East Fife 3
Dumbarton 2
League (League 2)

East Fife 

3 - 2


League (League 2)
Saturday, March 9th, 2024
New Bayview. Att. 571
3:00 PM Kick-off

Nathan Austin (3)
Brian Easton (56)
Nathan Austin (90)
Finlay Gray (50)
James Hilton (52)

Team Managers
Dick Campbell Stevie Farrell

Starting Eleven
Allan Fleming
Liam Newton
Stewart Murdoch
Brian Easton
Jonathan Page
Alan Trouten
Brogan Walls
Connor McManus
Robbie Hamilton
Nathan Austin
Scott Shepherd
Jay Hogarth .19
Mark Durnan .5
Gallagher Lennon .28
Blair Malcolm .4
Cian Newbury .21
Tony Wallace .14
Finlay Gray .18
Aaron Healy .10
James Hilton .17
Carlo Pignatiello .12
Michael Ruth .23

Reece Beveridge
Pat Slattery
Kieran Miller
Jacob Blaney
Jack Healy
Sean Docherty
Ryan Schiavone
James Lyon
Patrick O'Neil .21
Aron Lynas .2
Ryan Blair .6
Callum Wilson .20
James Graham .9
Marc Kelly .27

Jacob Blaney for Jonathan Page (45)
Jack Healy for Brogan Walls (63)
Kieran Miller for Robbie Hamilton (63)
James Lyon for Scott Shepherd (80)
Ryan Blair for Blair Malcolm (45)
James Graham for Aaron Healy (64)
Marc Kelly for Michael Ruth (83)

Stewart Murdoch (90) Blair Malcolm (41)
James Hilton (55)

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

Scott Lambie (Referee)
Paul O'Neill & Kevin Buchanan (Assistants)

Match Report

Nathan Austin’s injury time header saw East Fife close the gap on Dumbarton to just six points in the battle for the final playoff place.

For the second game in succession Stevie Farrell’s Sons got off to a nightmare start as they fell behind inside the opening three minutes.

However the game was turned on its head early in the second-half thanks to quickfire strikes from Finlay Gray and Jinky Hilton.

Sons would be ahead for just four minutes, with Brian Easton levelling for Dick Campbell’s hosts - before Austin won it late on.

Gutted boss Stevie Farrell said: “We didn’t start well and they deservedly were ahead. From there we’re chasing the game, but I thought our reaction was good and we settled in.

“We scored two really good goals, the second goal in particular. 

“But the second and third goals are just defensive errors. They are nothing to do with shape or anything like that; you’ve got to win headers in your box.

“Jay (Hogarth) knows that he should be doing better with both of them too. It’s naivety that has cost us.”

Skipper Mark Durnan made his first appearance since October in one of four changes from the side that had been beaten heavily by Sranraer midweek, with Aaron Healy, Jinky Hilton and Blair Malcolm also earning recalls.

David Wilson, Aron Lynas, Ryan Blair and the injured Sean Crighton dropped out.

After conceding inside two minutes at Stair Park, the Sons held out just 60 seconds longer in Methil.

Connor McManus’ through-ball was misjudged by Blair Malcolm, with Scott Shepherd taking full advantage to surge in on goal.

He was denied by Jay Hogarth, but the ball fell to Nathan Austin who stabbed in the rebound.

The Fifers - and Austin - should’ve had a second soon after.

A sharp move down the left saw Shepherd’s cross reach Austin at the far post - but he hit the post from point-blank range when it looked easier to score.

Stuart Murdoch then rattled the crossbar from 25 yards, before Sons finally settled into the game.

A flowing move saw Aaron Healy pick out Michael Ruth, but his shot was easily held by Allan Fleming.

Terrific play from Jinky Hilton then set Finlay Gray in goal, but he missed the target from a glorious position in the area.

The second-half began with Sons again on top - and with the wind at their backs, and they levelled just five minutes in.

Patient build-up eventually saw Tony Wallace cross for Finlay Gray, who took a touch before arrowing a superb effort into Allan Fleming’s top corner.

Four minutes after levelling, Sons were ahead.

Michael Ruth chased what looked to be a lost cause, before robbing Brian Easton of possession.

His pass across goal was dummied by Gray for the onrushing Jinky Hilton, who stroked a clinical finish beyond Fleming.

Sons’ joy lasted just four minutes.

Robbie Hamilton’s corner from the right was headed goalwards by Brian Easton with just enough power to squeeze beyond Jay Hogarth and into the net.

A frantic second-half then saw chances at both ends.

First Tony Wallace’s volley was flicked goalwards by Cian Newbury, but Fleming held on.

Fife sub Jack Healy then almost caught out Sons keeper Hogarth with a blistering long range effort, with the keeper spilling the ball before saving Nathan Austin’s rebound at the expense of a corner.

It looked as if the sides would cancel each other out as the game moved into injury time, but there was a final twist.

After Hogarth had awkwardly touched a Connor McManus piledriver onto the bar, the hosts mounted one last attack.

Jack Healy swung a deep ball over from the left, with Nathan Austin leaping highest to loop a header goalwards that deceived  the Rangers loanee and floated into the net to snatch all three points

Match report written by Fraser Clarke

Squad Statistics (as at March 9th, 2024)

2023/24 All Time
Jay Hogarth (GK)20 11 - 11 -
Mark Durnan31 17 - 17 -
Gallagher Lennon18 9 - 9 -
Blair Malcolm27 27 - 27 -
Cian Newbury18 11 - 11 -
Tony Wallace33 37127215
Finlay Gray21 3257511
Aaron Healy21 7 - 7 -
James Hilton26 315315
Carlo Pignatiello24 342754
Michael Ruth22 33113311
Ryan Blair (sub)28 291722
James Graham (sub)19 3 - 3 -
Marc Kelly (sub)25 8181

League Table (as at March 9th, 2024)