Match Reports for Season 1998/99:
East Fife 2 Clyde 1 - 8 May 1999 (League Division
East Fife simply had to win this match to have any chance at all of staying in Division Two and made the best possible start. Only two minutes had been played when Richard Gibb ran on to a Kenny Munro ball played in high from the right wing. Dickie ran into the penalty area and squared the ball for Ben Honeyman, who made no mistake to put the Fifers 1-0 in front. Fife hopes of avoiding the drop were raised midway through the half as news filtered through that Stirling Albion were losing at home to Arbroath - if the scores remained the same then East Fife would avoid relegation! As the half wore on, East Fife seemed content to sit back and allow Clyde to run at the home defence. It was a tactic which almost allowed Clyde to equalise twice in quick succession - home 'keeper McCulloch managed to deflect a goal bound effort wide before Grant fired the ball over the bar from close range when it seemed easier to score. Ben Honeyman was unlucky to see his well taken shot deflected over the bar on the half hour mark. Both teams were putting in some hard tackles by this stage and tempers were becoming frayed. It was no surprise, therefore, when the visitors were reduced to ten men in 39 minutes. Ronnie Coyle tackled Clyde's Barrett inside the penalty area and, as the player fell, he lashed out at the East Fife defender. The referee had no option but to wave the red card. Right on half time East Fife doubled their lead. Tommy Harrison waltzed into the penalty area and his final shot appeared to be handled by a Clyde defender lying on the ground. The home supporters' loud claims for a penalty turned to cheers, however, as the ball broke to Ben Honeyman who fired home his second of the afternoon. East Fife started the second period just as they had started the first and John Martin was unlucky to see his shot saved by visiting 'keeper Wylie in 47 minutes. Ten minutes into the second half the tall striker was again foiled when Wylie fisted his effort over the bar. As the half wore on, ten man Clyde came back into the match and pulled a goal back with a long range volley through Keogh in 61 minutes. Clyde then went on to take control of the game, but with only minutes remaining John Martin broke away and raced down the right. Although the striker had Ben Honeyman unmarked on his left, John opted to go for goal and the chance was wasted. East Fife were applauded from the field at the end, but with Stirling Albion turning their game around to beat Arbroath 2-1 it'll be Third Division football for the Methil Men next season
Alloa Athletic 3 East Fife 1 - 1 May 1999 (League
It was obvious right from the start of this match which tactics the Alloa players had decided to use - remove the goal scoring threat of Barrie Moffat from the game. East Fife's top goal scorer was brought down at every opportunity and finally had to limp from the field just before half time. Playing up the slope, the Fifers did threaten the home goal on several occasions during the first half. In six minutes, Barrie Moffat was unlucky to see his close range header sail narrowly over the bar and midway through the half Ramsay's shot was blocked by Valentine. The Alloa captain saved his side again five minutes before the break when he got in the way of a Ben Honeyman shot. In the second half East Fife continued to threaten, but it was the Wasps who went ahead in 63 minutes when Irvine scored from a free kick on the edge of the box. McKechnie added a second five minutes later before former Bayview favourite Dave Beaton put the match beyond doubt with a third goal in 83 minutes. Andy Lawrie scored a consolation goal three minutes before the final whistle. Results elsewhere mean that it'll be either East Fife or Stirling Albion who take the drop along with Forfar - but the situation's not looking at all good for the Methil Men. Even if Albion only draw at home to Arbroath it'll mean East Fife have to beat Clyde by ten clear goals to stay up. Realistically, only an East Fife victory and a Stirling defeat next week will save us from Division Three.
East Fife 1 Arbroath 2 - 24 April 1999 (League Division 2)
East Fife pushed forward in the opening stages of this match and took the lead in only three minutes. Steve Kirk raced down the right wing and sent in a low cross from which Barrie Moffat scored with a diving header. Gradually Arbroath crept into the game and only the crossbar denied them the equaliser in 20 minutes. The rest of a scrappy first half was played out with neither side making much impression in front of goal. Ten minutes into the second half Andy Lawrie was unlucky to see his well struck volley hit the crossbar. Arbroath equalised through a bizarre goal in 73 minutes. Willie McCulloch fumbled the ball on the goal line and the ball was squared to Devine who had the simplest of tasks sidefooting into an empty net. The visitors then stepped up a gear and it was no surprise when McGlashan volleyed them in front four minutes later. Any hopes East Fife might have had of saving the match all but disappeared during Arbroath's goal celebrations when Graham Robertson stupidly made a remark to the far side linesman and the late goal hero of two weeks ago was shown the red card. East Fife pushed everyone forward in the closing stages but it was Arbroath who ran out deserved winners. With Partick losing in Inverness there's still a chance that we can avoid relegation, but there's going to have to be a vast improvement on this performance.
East Fife 2 Forfar Athletic 1 - 17 April 1999 (League Division 2)
After a slow start by both sides, it was East Fife who created the first real goal scoring opportunity after twenty two minutes. Young Ryan Mooney's half hit effort from a Dick Gibb cross rebounded to Ross Venables in front of goal, but the resulting shot went high over the bar. The opening goal came two minutes later when 'Spider' Ramsay rose above the Forfar defence to send a perfectly flighted header into the corner of the net. East Fife were by this stage creating quite a few openings and, on the half hour mark, Kenny Munro was unfortunate to see his 30 yard effort hit the bar and go over after taking the ball half the length of the field. Just before half time Forfar Manager Ian McPhee let his frustrations get the better of him when he picked up the spare match ball and kicked it at a section of the home support - an irresponsible action which for some reason the police and match officials decided to ignore. Eight minutes into the second half East Fife should have doubled their tally when seemingly every black and gold player on the park failed to prod the ball home during a goalmouth 'stramash'. It was Forfar who were playing the better second half football, however, and in 57 minutes McLean equalised for the 'Loons' when he latched on to a defence splitting pass from Nairn and fired the ball past McCulloch. Steve Kirk replaced Ronnie Coyle midway through the half and, as has happened so often in the past, the Player-Manager's presence on the park turned the game around. After two penalty claims had been turned down, the East Fife pressure finally paid off with three minutes to go when the ball fell perfectly for John Martin in front of goal. Forfar 'keeper Jim Moffat did well to push the substitute's well hit volley onto the bar, but Barrie Moffat was on hand to calmly stroke the rebound into the net.
Partick Thistle 2 East Fife 2 - 10 April 1999 (League
Play was fairly evenly balanced between the two sides in the opening exchanges. In fifteen minutes, just as the visiting supporters were beginning to get over the shocking TEN POUNDS admission price for this match, East Fife 'keeper Willie McCulloch put on a first class juggling act and somehow managed to prevent the ball from crossing the line to keep the scores level. After half an hour Partick took the lead when Houston broke clear of East Fife defender John Cusick and beat McCulloch from the edge of the penalty area. East Fife started the second period in a more determined fashion and managed to create a number of chances as the half wore on, but gradually the home side took control and it was no surprise when they scored again in 71 minutes when Avdiu placed a neat header wide of Willie McCulloch. Partick then scorned a couple of good chances before Player-Manager Steve Kirk headed East Fife back into the game in 73 minutes. Realising that they might still be able to take something from the game, the East Fife players rallied during the last quarter of an hour and treated the travelling supporters to a grandstand finish. Two minutes from time, Graham Robertson sent the Fife fans into raptures when his close range overhead kick flew past the outstretched arms of home 'keeper Arthur and into the net. Unfortunately, with Arbroath winning at Alloa and Stirling Albion scoring a late equaliser in Inverness, East Fife are still one point behind third bottom Stirling Albion and three points adrift of fourth bottom Partick. If the team can show this kind of fighting spirit during the final four matches, however, there's still a good chance we'll beat the drop.
QOS 2 East Fife 0 - Saturday 3 April 1999 (League
There was more rough play than good football in this match. Queens' Townsley and Mallan were both yellow carded during the opening exchanges, with the latter extremely fortunate not to receive his marching orders after using an elbow on Lawrie. The referee indicated that he had observed an elbow being used, but amazingly decided only to book the player. East Fife's John Cusick was next to find his name in the ref's book, before Tommy Harrison was sent for an early bath after using an elbow to dislodge a 'Doonhamer' who had taken a fancy to his shirt. About the game itself - after some promising East Fife moves in the first five minutes, it was Queen of the South who took the lead in twelve minutes when Adams fired home from close range. East Fife found themselves two goals down after half an hour when McCulloch failed to claim an inswinging corner and Rowe headed the ball home. The second half was a total non-event as far as East Fife were concerned. Ryan Mooney was the only Fifer playing up front and, although the youngster did his best, it was no surprise that the only shot on target during the second period was a Steve Kirk free kick in the closing stages which the Queens' goalie gathered easily.
East Fife 1 Stirling Albion 0 - 20 March 1999
(League Division 2)
A much needed win for the Methil men.
Stirling Albion were the first to threaten when home 'keeper Willie McCulloch pulled off a good one handed save from a thirty yard pile driver after eight minutes. Two minutes later a tremendous move between Tommy Harrison, new signing Steve Ramsay and Barrie Moffat saw the latter race clear in on goal. Barrie's final shot didn't match the build up, however, and his tame effort went wide. The striker made amends in fourteen minutes when he received a pass from Lee Dair inside the penalty area and fired the ball past the visiting 'keeper to put the East Fife one nil up. The home side continued to create some good chances as the half wore on, the most notable a shot from Ramsay after a goalmouth scramble which sailed over the bar. Albion started the second half in more determined fashion and dominated the game for about fifteen minutes, but then back came East Fife. Graham Robertson met a cross from the left perfectly with his head only to see the ball crash off the bar. Minutes later John Cusick broke away and ran half the length of the pitch before firing the ball inches wide. With about five minutes remaining Lee Dair forced a good save out of the visitors 'keeper. The game drew to a close with Albion trying desperately to break down the home defence but East Fife held out and finished the match worthy winners.
With Arbroath drawing at Clyde, this result puts East Fife third bottom of the table and a point ahead of the 'Lichties'. Although our next two games are away from home against Queen of the South and Partick, if we play like this we might just takesome valuable points from them.
Caley Thistle 4 East Fife 0 - 13 March 1999 (League Division 2)
Neither side really looked like scoring in the early stages. After half an hour it was the home side who went in front when McCulloch was beaten from close range by McLean. Barrie Moffat was unlucky not to equalise two minutes later when he raced clear but his effort was well saved by the home 'keeper. Half Time 1-0 to Thistle.
Willie McCulloch saved East Fife from going further behind with an excellent save from a header shortly after the restart but could do nothing to stop a fierce drive from Barry Wilson on the hour mark which put Caley two up. Shortly after this Graeme Robertson almost pulled one back but again Les Fridge in the home goal was on hand to deny the Fifers. Midway through the second half Barrie Moffat was sent clear but was denied on the edge of the six yard box with a sliding tackle which resulted in the ball rolling harmlessly into the arms of the Thistle 'keeper. The home side were reduced to ten men after 70 minutes when Tokely was sent off for a foul on Andy Lawrie. Lee Dair did have a couple of half chances after this but any hopes East Fife had of using their one man advantage to take something from the game were dashed with ten minutes of the game left when Sheerin scored a third for Caley. In the dying minutes Teasdale added a fourth to complete a miserable afternoon for the visitors. With Queen of the South recording a shock 2-1 win at leaders Livingston, this result means that East Fife have now slipped to second bottom spot - a point behind Arbroath and two behind Queens. Relegation is beginning to look more like a probability rather than a possibility.
East Fife 1 Livingston 1 - 6 March 1999 (League
This was a much improved performance from East Fife.
Play in the first half was fairly evenly balanced, but it was East Fife who created the better chances with Barrie Moffat particularly unlucky to see his effort go just past the upright in ten minutes. Midway through the first half the match was held up for eight minutes after
Livingston's Sherry was injured in the East Fife penalty area. The player was eventually stretchered off. East Fife took the lead just after the half hour mark when Lee Dair capitalised on a defensive error and fired the ball powerfully into the net. John Cusick headed just wide from a Barrie Moffat cross before the break.
In the second half Livingston came more into the match and equalised in 55 minutes directly from a free kick on the edge of the penalty area. Midway through the second half East Fife were unlucky not to regain the lead when Barrie Moffat's close range volley was well saved. Minutes later East Fife were denied again when Lee Dair hit the bar with a header.
In the final minute, Barrie Moffat again found himself through on goal but his effort went just wide of the right hand post. Overall, a draw was probably just about the right result.
East Fife 0 Alloa 4 - 27 February 1999 (League
Willie McCulloch did well to palm out a close range effort after two minutes but ten minutes later he really should have saved a tame free kick which rolled into the net at his left hand post. Defensive errors were largely to blame as the visitors cruised to a 4-0 lead after only 23 minutes. Just before the break Alloa should have added a fifth when a 40 yard lob sailed over McCulloch and struck the inside of the post.
It has to be said that East Fife were an improved side in the second half - if only slightly. Andy Lawrie fired wide when it seemed easier to score, Barrie Moffat hit the post from all of two feet and Gilbert Allan crashed the rebound off the bar. Late in the game a close range effort from Lee Dair was scrambled clear by the Alloa defence.
East Fife 1 Raith Rovers 2 - 23 February 1999 (Fife
Cup Semi Final)
In an evenly contested first half, both sides created several good chances with John Martin and Gilbert Allan both sending the ball narrowly past the post for the home side and a Raith forward missing an open goal. As the first half drew to a close, Jason Strathdee was clearly upended twice in quick succession as he tried to come in from the right, but amazingly the referee waved play on.
In the second half, East Fife took control and deservedly went ahead from the penalty spot through Lee Dair after John Martin had been upended by the Raith 'keeper when through on goal. Shortly after this East Fife should have scored a second when the ball found Grant McPherson three yards out from an open goal but he misdirected his effort.
With fifteen minutes left Raith equalised in controversial circumstances. When the ball was played through the middle of the park there were clearly two Raith players offside, but the linesman allowed play to go on and the ball was fired home. The East Fife players surrounded the linesman in protest but this only resulted in the referee waving his yellow card. The East Fife heads went down after this and five minutes later Raith set up a similar move which resulted in the winning goal.
Clyde 1 East Fife 0 - 20 February 1999 (League
The entire first half of this match was almost entirely without incident. Best chance for East Fife was a Barrie Moffat effort just before half time which the Clyde 'keeper did well to save.
In the second half, East Fife were hardly in the game and on several occasions Clyde broke through the Fife defence only to be foiled by 'keeper McCulloch. Clyde were awarded a penalty as the second half wore on but fortunately for East Fife the ball was sent high over the bar from the spot kick. Just when it seemed Willie McCulloch had earned East Fife a draw, Clyde scored with only two minutes left. McCulloch got down well to parry a fierce shot, but a Clyde player was on hand to fire the ball home from close range.
Forfar Athletic 2 East Fife 4 - 16 February 1999 (League
With a strong westerly wind at their backs, East Fife took the lead in 17 minutes when Lee Dair fired the ball under Forfar 'keeper Robertson. Heavy snow then started to fall and the match continued under blizzard conditions before Barrie Moffat broke through the home defence to shoot home goal number two in 27 minutes. A brief let up in the conditions allowed Forfar to pull a goal back through Tully in 40 minutes, but before half time Barrie Moffat added two more to complete his hat trick and send the Fife in 4-1 up at the break.
In the second half it was backs to the wall stuff as Forfar tried hard to use the wind to their advantage but the stuffy Fife defence held out until 88 minutes when McGlauchlan scored a consolation goal for the 'Loons'.
East Fife 1 Partick Thistle 0 - 6 February 1999 (League Division 2)
This was a new, rejuvenated East Fife.
Right from the start they looked the better side and, playing towards the north goal, almost took the lead in only two minutes after Gilbert Allan crossed from the left and Barrie Moffat's header dropped just wide of the right hand post. It was East Fife who were creating most of the the first half chances and there were good efforts from Barrie Moffat, Gilbert Allan and Tommy Harrison before the home side took the lead five minutes from the break. Lee Dair sent in a perfect cross from the right wing and Barrie Moffat rose to direct his header wide of the Partick 'keeper and into the left hand corner of the net.
East Fife started the second half where they finished the first but Partick started to come into the match and, to be fair, squandered a couple of golden opportunities as the half wore on.
In the last ten minutes East Fife had some good chances to go two up, the best efforts coming from Richard Gibb and Tommy Harrison. Partick threw everything at East Fife during the four minutes of injury time (where the ref found that amount of time from I just don't know ) but the home defence stood firm.
Stirling Albion 0 East Fife 1- 30 January
1999 (League Division 2)
A win at long last! I suppose Albion will feel they should have taken something out of this match but it's putting the ball in the net that matters and Lee Dair managed this in the 37th minute after latching on to a clever pass from Barrie Moffat. Kevin Skeldon almost made it two just after the break but his volley was well saved by the home 'keeper. Stirling, playing without danger man Alex Bone, had the ball in the net on the hour mark but the goal was disallowed for a foul on Gilbert Allan.
This was the second home defeat in a week for Albion - both times against relegation threatened opposition. The Forthbank side lost 3-1 at home to QOS on Tuesday night ( a terrible result from East Fife's point of view ) and I really thought they would punish us on the rebound !
East Fife 0 Berwick Rangers 5 - 23 January 1999 (Friendly)
Following the sacking of assistant manager Andy Harrow on Monday, East Fife yesterday announced the appointment of former player/manager Dave Clarke as coach. The general feeling amongst the supporters before the game today was that if anybody could sort out the East Fife defence it was Dave Clarke. During his time as both player and Manager from the early 1970's to the mid 1980's East Fife gained a reputation as a defensive side. It looks like Dave's really got a job on his hands as the defence in this friendly match really was as bad as the scoreline suggests. Berwick found themselves three up at half time after a double from Forrester and an own goal from Grant McPherson. East Fife's only chance in the first half came from a Cusick header five minutes from half time.
Queuing for the half time pie, I got into conversation with a Berwick supporter ( Yes - unbelievably there were a couple of carloads who made the long trip just for a friendly ! ).
"Is this East Fife's second team?" he enquired. "No, East Fife are almost at full strength" I truthfully replied. Just after half time Forrester completed his hat trick and Berwick added a fifth with about fifteen minutes left. Throughout the entire second half East Fife failed to create a decent chance.
Livingston 1 East Fife 0 - 20 January 1999
(League Division 2)
It was a deserved win for Livingston. East Fife did play a little better than against QOS on Sunday but still failed to create many goal scoring opportunities.Livingston took the lead through ex-Hearts Miller in 27 minutes, immediately following a promising move by East Fife at the other end. Just on the hour mark, Ronnie Coyle was shown the red card for apparently exchanging differing views with the Livingston bench. The most annoying thing about the evening, however, wasn't the result but the way in which the visiting supporters (about 100) were treated. Livingston's impressive stadium consists of three stands with a total capacity of around 5,500. For last night's game they decided to open only the main stand, which holds 2,000, for a crowd of 1845. This meant that the East Fife supporters were forced to mingle with the home support - and suffer the obvious discomfort which this causes. The 1500 seat stand behind the north goal and the other 2,000 seat stand opposite the main stand remained closed. Only two adult turnstiles, a juvenile turnstile and a parent and child gate were open behind the main stand which resulted in many supporters, including myself, missing the first ten minutes. Eventually they started admitting supporters through an exit gate - which obviously had no turnstile. How, then, could the club possibly know how many people were inside the ground ? Surely this breaches all the safety regulations! Once inside we had the almost impossible task of finding three seats close to each other.
East Fife 0 Queen of the South 1 - 17 January 1999 (League Div 2)
To be honest, East Fife actually managed to play a little better than last week - if only because Queen of the South were so poor they made us look good. The first real chance of the game came after fourteen minutes. Kenny Munro raced down the right wing and his cross was met by Barrie Moffat, who headed just past the right hand post. Two minutes later, an ambitious shot by John Martin from fully 35 yards saw the visitor's 'keeper push the ball round the post for a corner. It took Queen of the South almost half an hour to create a clear opportunity. The ball was squared from the left but the Queen's forward who was perfectly placed to score put his effort wide of an open goal. Two minutes later the visitors squandered another opportunity when Mullen shot wide with only McCulloch to beat. Just before the break, John Martin found himself clean through on goal after a defensive error, but couldn't control the ball and the chance was lost.
Two minutes into the second period East Fife missed the best chance of the game so far. John Martin broke through the visitor's defence and his effort was only parried by the 'keeper. Barrie Moffat followed up and his shot went narrowly over the bar. Five minutes into the second half, Barrie Moffat was impeded in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. It was Barrie himself who took the kick, but his well placed shot, to the 'keepers left, was well saved. In 65 minutes disaster struck. Ronnie Coyle had the simple task of passing back to McCulloch, but he slipped and only managed to pass the ball straight to a Queen's forward who had the simplest of tasks in rounding McCulloch and scoring. Apart from a Kevin Skeldon shot which was saved with 5 minutes left, East Fife never looked like scoring after losing the goal.
East Fife 0 Forfar Athletic 1 - January 9 1999
(Scottish Cup 2nd Round Replay)
Forfar were up for this one, and attacked right from the start. It was no surprise when they took the lead in 16 minutes - after home 'keeper McCulloch had come out to smother a Forfar move down the left, the ball was squared to Brand and he had the simplest of tasks side footing the ball into an empty net.
For the first fifteen minutes of the second half, the Forfar forwards kept running right through the East Fife defence and they must be wondering how they didn't score another four or five.
East Fife brought on all three substitutes to try and turn the game around, but apart from one weak effort after an hour which didn't really trouble Forfar 'keeper Moffat and two scrambled efforts which almost crept in during the last fifteen minutes, East Fife were never in the game.
On this form it's probably just as well we're out - It's saved us from humiliation against St Johnstone at McDiarmid in the next round.
Forfar 2 East Fife 2 - 2 January 1999 (Scottish
Cup Round 2)
The Station Park pitch was declared playable after two inspections by the referee after a lunchtime deluge.
East Fife started in blistering style with the wind at their backs. After some good early pressure, Gilbert Allan was upended thirty yards from goal. Ronnie Coyle took the resultant free kick curled the ball into the net with Dean Robertson seemingly making no effort to save it! "Deano! Deano!" came the chant from the substantial travelling support - perhaps a little cruel as the swirling wind had played a huge part in the goal. Time - four minutes. Six minutes later, Dean Robertson silenced the travelling support when he got his fingertips to a tremendous John Martin effort which seemed destined for the top corner. From the resultant corner, however, Barrie Moffat rose to head brilliantly past the helpless Robertson to make it 2-0. East Fife continued to dominate, with Lee Dair playing particularly well on the right. Barrie Moffat and John Martin were playing well too, although the latter wasted two good chances when he only had 'keeper Robertson to beat. Dean Robertson again saved his side with another tremendous save from John Martin on the half hour mark.
Half time 2-0 to the Fife - but it could have been five or six.
What a transformation in the second half! Forfar took up the game where East Fife left off, and completely turned the tables. After incessant pressure on the East Fife goal it came as no surprise when, in 57 minutes, Craig waltzed through the East Fife defence and fired the ball past McCulloch. Wave after wave of Forfar attack followed and when they equalised through a close range effort from Brand with twenty minutes to go it looked as if the home side would go on to win the game comfortably. With 15 minutes left, however, Allison was red carded for an atrocious foul on Richard Gibb - and Forfar's domination of the match ceased forthwith.
East Fife 3 Caley Thistle 2 - 27 December 1998 (League Division 2)
What a game!
East Fife started the better side and created good chances in the first fifteen minutes.
The best of these was a John Martin shot which forced the Thistle 'keeper to push the ball on to the bar, closely followed by a Barrie Moffat shot from a Skeldon cross which went just over.
Caley started to come into the match midway through the half and might have scored a couple through Duncan Shearer, who was constantly managing to lose his marker.
Five minutes before half time the visitors were down to ten men when Paul Cherry was shown the red card for stamping. Despite this, Thistle still managed a couple of efforts before the interval but it was East Fife who were to go in one nil up at half time. In first half injury time, Gilbert Allan burst into the box sandwiched between two Thistle defenders and just managed to place the ball under the advancing 'keeper. The ball rolled agonisingly towards the goal. Just as it was about to cross the line, defender Robertson caught up with it and attempted to clear but only succeeded in putting the ball in the net off the post.
Caley Thistle started the second half in determined fashion and soon took control of the game.
Just on the hour mark they equalised when Teasdale headed home from close range, then five minutes later they took the lead through McLean.
The visitors continued to dominate after this, but with fifteen minutes to go East Fife broke out of defence. The ball was played through to substitute Lee Dair on the edge of the penalty area, who turned and fired the ball home. Score 2-2.
This seemed to fire new life into the team and the home crowd were hopeful of holding out for a draw. Then on came substitute Player/Manager Stevie Kirk. With only two minutes left Stevie floated in a perfect cross from the right which was met at the far post by John Martin, who headed under the goalie and into the net. Bayview Stadium ERUPTED!
Arbroath 2 East Fife 1 - 19 December 1998 (League
There's been a lot of press coverage recently about Arbroath's plans to move to a new stadium. Apparently, their current ground Gayfield (opened with a match v East Fife in the 1920's) is in a state of disrepair and the safety certificate won't be renewed at the end of the season. I have been to Gayfield on numerous occasions in the past few years and I can't see anything wrong with it. With this in mind I walked all round the place before kick off to see if I could find out where it was apparently falling apart.
I couldn't see anything wrong, so I approached a maroon clad Arbroath supporter and asked "Just what is wrong with Gayfield?". "It's *!?!$*? freezing!", came the reply! Question answered.
Anyway, on to the game. Steve Kirk was the first player to get a shot on target. His snap shot from just inside the penalty area was well held by 'keeper Hinchcliffe. Barrie Moffat came close shortly after this. Arbroath slowly started to take control of things and, with only 'keeper McCulloch to beat, Gallacher blew the best chance of the game so far when he chipped the ball wide. A minute before half time East Fife took the lead and I have to admit it was against the run of play. A short pass back was intercepted by John Martin and he toe poked the ball past the Arbroath goalie. The ball trundled into the net at an agonizingly slow rate and an Arbroath defender almost cleared it before it crossed the line. Half time 1-0.
At the start of the second half East Fife started well and Barrie Moffat almost scored number two with a close range header which Arbroath 'keeper Hinchcliffe did well to tip over the bar.
Arbroath, though, began to take control again and pressurized the East Fife goal. McCulloch rescued the Fifers on numerous occasions but could do nothing to stop Arbroath's equaliser - a diving header from Sellars after 65 minutes. Arbroath continued to dominate after this, but the small band of travelling East Fife supporters thought they had held out for a draw. Until the last minute that is. Arbroath's winner came in the final minute - and it was that man Sellars again. He gathered the ball wide on the left, beat a couple of players and chipped the ball over the advancing McCulloch and into the net. A real sickener.
Well, that result leaves us six points adrift of Arbroath in third bottom place, although we're five points clear of second bottom Queen of the South.
"You're going down with the Forfar" was the chant of the home support at the final whistle. Well, I think they've maybe got a point there.
East Fife 0 Clyde 0 - 12 December 1998 (League Division 2)
Both sides struggled to play on the greasy surface in the early stages and both sides created the same amount of early chances - none!
Midway through the first half, against the run of play, East Fife almost took the lead. John Martin's backward header from the bye line was met by Kevin Skeldon, whose shot came back off the post. Gilbert Allan hit the rebound perfectly, but the visitor's 'keeper got down well to save. A few minutes later East Fife's trialist shot high and wide when it seemed easier to score. "Isn't that Harrison who used to play with the Hearts?" asked a spectator sitting behind me. "More like Harrison who used to play with the Beatles" came the reply.
Just on the stroke of half time, Barrie Moffat turned his marker on the half way line and started to head towards goal. The Clyde man grabbed Barrie's shirt and almost pulled it from his back. Play on said the referee. Unbelievable.
In the second half both sides started to play better football, but it was Clyde who were creating all the chances. The best move of the game came when a Clyde player turned on the half way line, took the ball down the left wing. His perfect cross was met well by one of his team mates, but McCulloch saved well.
Then came a series of chances for Clyde, most created by defensive errors, which really should have sent the three points back west. The visitors hit the bar, shot wide with only the 'keeper to beat, and had a point blank effort miraculously saved by 'keeper McCulloch.
In 62 minutes George Johnston, attempting to win the ball, lunged at a Clyde forward and the referee had no option but to show the big defender the red card.
So, for the last half hour it was backs to the wall stuff - and if Clyde had been worthy of their high league position they would have had no problem in securing all three points with the chances they created.
East Fife 2 Stirling Albion 3 - 28 November 1998 (League Division 2)
East Fife kicked off, playing towards the north goal for the first half.
It was a perfect afternoon for football. It soon became apparent that Stirling were the faster, fitter side. Stirling took the lead after 20 minutes when a misunderstanding between 'keeper McCulloch and the East Fife defence left Albion's Bone with the easiest of goals. The Fife started to come more into the game after this and both Martin and Moffat tested the visitors 'keeper. Just after the half hour, East Fife were awarded a free kick on the right. The ball was flighted in perfectly for Martin to rise above the defence and head the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the net. Five minutes before half time came the first controversial decision. An Albion player went down in the penalty area and amazingly the referee pointed to the spot. Bone stepped up to put the visitors in front again.
Into the second half, and East Fife were starting to show more promise. The visiting 'keeper did well to touch a George Johnston header on to the bar and out for a corner after half an hour. Richard Gibb surprised everyone (including himself !) by curling the resulting corner directly into the net. Score 2-2.
Ten minutes later, Bone completed his hat trick by waltzing right through the East Fife defence and placing the ball wide of McCulloch into the corner of the net. East Fife refused to lie down, and began pressurising the Albion Defence. In 85 minutes, John Martin chased the ball into the penalty area and was sent crashing to the ground. Penalty! ... or so we thought! The referee waved play on. The players ran to the linesman to appeal - alas in vain. East Fife had been denied an absolute stonewall penalty. With two minutes left - EXACTLY THE SAME THING HAPPENED!! Again the players surrounded the referee and linesman and again a certain penalty was denied.
Queen of the South 0 East Fife 0 - 21 November 1998
(League Division 2)
East Fife started well and came close in the opening minutes when a Richard Gibb free kick went inches past the post, then the Queens' defence were lucky to clear the ball off the goal line following a move between Munro and Moffat. QOS slowly began to come more into the game, but it was East Fife who almost took the lead just before the break when both Moffat and Martin just failed to connect with a cross which flashed across the face of the goal.
Both teams found the windy conditions difficult to cope with in the second half. The nearest anyone came to scoring was when Queens' McLeod sent a header just over the bar with East Fife 'keeper McCulloch struggling to reach the ball.
That's now three matches we've gone without conceding a goal, which must be greatly encouraging for manager Stevie Kirk. However, we've only managed to score twice during the same period.
East Fife 1 Forfar Athletic 0 - 14 November 1998 (League Division 2)
(first match at New Bayview Stadium)
I turned up at the ground early ( at 12:45 for a 2PM kick off ) in order to get a good seat, but actually had to join a queue! By the time the match kicked off the ground was packed ( remember the capacity is only initially 2,000 ). The official attendance was 1422 - so where were the empty 578 seats? I couldn't see them.
Anyway, about the match. East Fife, playing towards the sea, started very nervously and allowed Forfar to create a few chances early on. Both sides were having difficulty with the greasy surface. There were two incidents when both 'keepers almost slid out of their respective penalty areas when gathering the ball. As the half wore on, the Fifers started to pick up and a few half chances were created. The main problem, however, was that every player bar the goalie wanted to have the honour of scoring the first goal at Bayview Stadium which resulted in quite a few hopeful long range efforts sailing over the bar, out of the ground and hitting the cars in the car park. Half time 0-0.
Both sides created good chances in the second half although the conditions meant that there wasn't a lot of good football on show. The turning point for East Fife came when Steve Kirk came on as substitute with about fifteen minutes left and started to spread the ball around the park.
With six minutes to go, Barrie Moffat wrote himself into the history books by scoring the first ever goal at Bayview Stadium - and, just like the last ever goal at the old Bayview Park, it was a bizarre affair. The ball was played back to former East Fife guardian Dean Robertson, who fired his attempted clearance against Moffat. Barrie kept a cool head, ran around the 'keeper and slotted the ball home.
With the crowd whistling for full time, the visitors almost snatched an equaliser with a rasping shot which seemed to be heading for the top corner, but Willie McCulloch pulled off a tremendous save and the three points were in the bag.
After the match I went upstairs into the bar/restuarant area with about a couple of hundered or so other black and gold bedecked supporters. The extremely enjoyable pint cost only £1.60 and the surroundings were very pleasant as well. The players came in and mingled which gave me the opportunity to ask goal scorer Barrie Moffat to sign my match programme. A very pleasant end to a very pleasant afternoon.
Partick Thistle 0 East Fife 1 - 7 November 1998 (League Division 2)
This victory over Partick was thoroughly deserved.
East Fife played well throughout the game. The only real threat from Thistle came in the last ten minutes when East Fife's part time fitness started to show. The scorer of the only goal in the match was new signing Lee Dair, formerly of Raith Rovers. 'Keeper McCulloch found Dair with a long clearance, who then fired the ball high into the net.
East Fife 2 Livingston 3 - 31 October 1998 (League Division 2)
(Last match at Bayview Park)
Weel, that's it. The curtain has finally come down on Bayview Park.! It would have been nice to have left Bayview Park with a win, though. Livingston were actually not a bad side. They opened the scoring in ten minutes when John Robertson was left unmarked a couple of yards from goal and got his head on to a corner kick. East Fife equalised a few minutes later when Munro crossed for Brown to score. Half time 1-1.
Livingston went 2-1 up on the hour mark through Bingham. East Fife equalised almost immediately - and what a bizarre score the last East Fife goal at Bayview Park was. Barrie Moffat and Livvy defender McManus jumped together to head the ball and it was the Livingston man who made contact - only to see his attempted clearance sail over the head of his own 'keeper and roll agonisingly into the net. Just when it looked like the match would end all square, McCormick forced the ball home after a goalmouth scramble to take the points back to Almondvale.
Caley Thistle 4 East Fife 2 - 24 October 1998 (League
Caley went 1-0 ahead when McLean's shot was blocked by McCulloch and Duncan Shearer followed up. East Fife equalised almost straightaway when Matt Dyer capitalised on some slack Thistle defending.
Christie put Caley back in front from Sheerin corner, but East Fife hit back again when Barrie Moffat got his head on the end of a Munro cross.
Paul Sheerin restored Caley's lead from the penalty spot before a spectacular effort from Scott Mclean made sure of a home win for the Inverness side.
East Fife 0 Arbroath 3 - 17 October 1998 (League Division 2)
It was announced brfore the kick off that the move to the new stadium had been delayed YET AGAIN ! Just as well. We couldn't possibly leave Bayview on an embarrasing result and performance like this one.
Unbelievably, East Fife dominated the entire first half. The Arbroath 'keeper had to pull off quite a few saves, with the save from a Moffat header after half an hour nothing short of miraculous.
In the second half, however, the team just fell apart. Arbroath went ahead from the penalty spot in 65 minutes after Munro was adjudged to have nudged an Arbroath player on the edge of the penalty area. It seemed a very harsh decision.
There could be no doubts about the second Arbroath penalty which put the visitors 2-0 up just three minutes later. Abercromby dived to save a netbound shot with his arm and was duly sent off. Arbroath then took command and added a third with eight minutes left.
Alloa Athletic 5 East Fife 1 - 10 October 1998
Alloa took the lead after only 6 minutes. Steve Kirk almost equalised when he hit the bar. Alloa were reduced to ten men when Ramsay was sent off for a foul on Munro. Five minutes before half time Alloa scored a second. Despite playing with only ten men, the home side went 3-0 ahead in 58 minutes. Steve Kirk eventually pulled a goal back midway through the second half. Dyer was then sent off for a second bookable offence. In the last ten minutes, Irvine scored twice for Alloa to round off a completely miserable afternoon.
This was our second biggest defeat ever at Recreation Park - the worst being a 6-0 defeat back in 1910 !
Stirling Albion 3 East Fife 2 - 3 October 1998 (League Division 2)
For about the first fifteen minutes or so East Fife were causing the Albion defence all sorts of problems and it looked only a matter of time before they scored. The best chance during the early stages was a Cusick header which hit the bar. Exactly mid way through the first half, though, it was Stirling who opened the scoring when Bone, the nephew of the former East Fife manager, connected with a square ball to fire home from ten yards. East Fife got a deserved equaliser just before the break when Barrie Moffat headed home a Munro cross.
Just after half time disaster struck. The ball was played out to the Albion No.11 on the right wing. It looked like the ball was about to go out of play, but the player appeared to put out a hand to keep it in. With everyone in the stadium waiting for the ref to award a free kick, the Albion player darted off down the wing and crossed for Woods to score. How the referee or linesman didn't see the infringement I just don't know.
Just a minute later, the same player who had played the ball with his hand decided to fall over in the box, and again the 200 travelling East Fife fans were stunned into silence when the ref awarded a penalty. Bone made it 3-1. The Fifers kept plugging away and were eventually rewarded two minutes from the end when substitute Dyer crossed for Steve Kirk to head the ball into the net. A draw would have been a fairer result.
East Fife 2 Queen of the South 0 - 27 September 1998 (League Division 2)
A home win at last! The first half was a pretty evenly matched affair - one side was as bad as the other! Despite the poor quality of football, however, both teams managed to create chances. For East Fife, Kenny Munro lobbed the 'keeper only to see his effort hit the bar, then the goalie did well to push a Barrie Moffat header round the post. Queens' best chance in the first half came when a forward intercepted a Gibb pass back, rounded 'keeper McCulloch and then proceeded to shoot wide of an empty goal - surely miss of the season!
Ten minutes into the second half, the visitors were reduced to ten men when their no.10 had a kick at an East Fife player on the half way line. East Fife then took control and their pressure eventualy came off when Steve Kirk got on the end of a corner to fire home from close range.
East Fife were awarded a penalty with 15 minutes left when Kenny Munro was tripped in the box. Barrie Moffat made no mistake from the spot. Queen of the South had another man sent off with five minutes left when their no.6 appeared to push Steve Kirk over after East Fife had been awarded a free kick. The travelling support voiced their disapproval, claiming that Kirk had taken a dive. The final score of 2-0 for East Fife was deserved, but there's still a feeling that we can play much better.
East Fife 1 Partick Thistle 3 - 19 September 1998 (League Division 2)
The second division's largest crowd of the day, 1084, turned up at Bayview.
Matt Dyer made a welcome return after apparently having settled his differences with the club. East Fife started well, playing towards the west goal. They went ahead with an early goal when Gilbert Allan headed back across goal from the bye line for John Cusick to head beyond the visiting 'keeper. Partick equalised with a close range effort after 15 minutes.
In the second half, East Fife did create some good chances, but Partick began to assert their authority on the game and went ahead when Gibb was disposessed on the edge of the penalty box and the Partick player fired home a 'daisy cutter' into the left hand corner from 20 yards. Partick added a third before the end following an error in the home defence. It was a disappointing end to a game which had started so promisingly.
Forfar Athletic 1 East Fife 2 - 12 September 1998 (League Division 2) East Fife took the lead in only two minutes when John Brown seized on an error in the Forfar defence. Forfar equalised in 25 minutes when Brand found Gibson and the latter fired the ball past Jim Butter in the Fife goal.
Just after the hour mark, Forfar 'keeper Dean Robertson carried the ball outside the penalty area. Stevie Kirk curled the resultant free kick round the wall and into the net for East Fife's winner.
Livingston 3 East Fife 1 - 5 September 1998 (League Division 2)
Livingston scored early on through David Bingham. East Fife pulled a goal back through Barrie Moffat midway through the first half only to see Livvy take the lead again through ex-Hearts John Robertson. ( Robertson was just one of Livingston's pre-season buys in their £1,000,000 summer spending spree. How can East Fife compete with investment like that?)
With eight minutes left Livingston got a third from the penalty spot (Bingham again the scorer ) in an incident which also saw Fife 'keeper Willie McCulloch sent off.
The match surprisingly attracted a crowd of 3,205. This was mainly due to the fact that admission prices were reduced to compete with the live transmission of the Lithuania v Scotland match on TV. The crowd was more than TREBLE Livingston's home gate, yet the admission price was only halved - this means that their actual takings were considerably increased ! A lesson to be learned there perhaps.
East Fife 1 Caledonian Thistle 5 - 29 August 1998
(League Div 2)
This was almost a re-run of the corresponding match last season.
Believe it or not, East Fife were well on top in the early stages and clearly dominated the first half. Playing towards the school end, Caley took the lead when John Cusick used both hands to catch a cross from the left in the penalty box. What he was thinking about I just don't know - he was lucky not to have been red carded. Caley gratefully accepted the gift of a penalty and went 1-0 up. The East Fife pressure almost paid off when John McNeil chested the ball down and sent a shot thundering off the bar after 25 minutes, but almost immediately Caley Thistle went 2-0 up against the run of play with a goal from ex Aberdeen player Duncan Shearer.
In the second half, Caley were a much improved side and created some good chances. In 63 minutes, however, they had a player red carded for a second bookable offence.
East Fife came back into the match after this and had a few good chances to get a goal back. In 76 minutes young John McNeil, who had had a good game, saw his cross-cum-shot deflected to substitute Phil Gartshore who headed into an empty net.
At this stage it looked like East Fife might take something from the game, but with only nine minutes left Caley Thistle again broke away to score.
East Fife immediately replaced Richard Gibb with Davie Fisher, but the gap which was then left at the back only helped Caley to score another two goals before the end.
Just as well this wasn't the last match at Bayview. It would be awful to bring the curtain down with a result like this.
East Fife 3 Partick Thistle 2 - August 1 1998
This was one of the best matches seen at Bayview for years.
East Fife fielded new signing from Hibs, John Martin ( son of the Airdrie 'keeper ) atno.9.
In an evenly contested first half, East Fife found themselves two goals down inside the first half hour after the home defence had twice been caught out by the surging runs of the Partick forwards.
About ten minutes before half time Barrie Moffat caught the ball on his chest before slipping it through the Partick defence for the unmarked John Cusick to place the ball past the visiting 'keeper.
In the second half, East Fife began to take control. After forcing a series of corners, the ball broke to Ronnie Coyle about 35 yards out, who fired an unstoppable shot through the Partick defence and past the helpless 'keeper.
Five minutes into extra time, super sub Stevie Kirk waltzed through the Thistle defence and fired the ball into the roof of the net. Partick never really looked like scoring after this and the home side thoroughly deserved