TUES 22ND MAR 2005: A v ALBION ROVERS (SCOTTISH THIRD DIV)
Being an East Fife fan is neither fair nor easy. A season watching them is like having a case of Wonka Bars and not knowing, as you unwrap each one, whether you're going to get a golden ticket or not.
It's usually a disappointing affair, but once in a blue moon you strike gold and the chocolate factory is opened up to you in it's full glory.
Tonight was a case of chocolate overdose.
Following the disappointment of Saturday's humiliating loss to East Stirling, a number of disillusioned Fife fans decided not to make the trip to Coatbridge, our good selves included. In true East Fife style, those that didn't go missed our best performance of the last two seasons, a goal avalanche and some much needed cheering up. Bloody typical!
Jim Moffat made a few changes from Saturday, with Johnny Mitchell making way for Sean Paliczka and what a decision that was to prove to be!
As the mighty Fife ran rampant, the lucky ones that did make the journey only had to wait just three minutes for the Fife to take control and set the tone for the evening, as Sean Paliczka got on the end of a long cross, before firing his effort low into the corner of the net, from a seemingly impossible angle. 1-0 Fife.
The Fife nearly doubled their lead seconds later when Gavin Beith headed straight at the Albion keeper Chris Fahey from a good position, but Beith was not to be denied and he did indeed double the Fife lead with quarter of an hour gone. The Rovers defence failed to clear properly and the ball fell to Gavin who volleyed it into the top corner of the net for 2-0.
As the half itself reached the halfway point, Paliczka claimed his second and East Fife's third, tapping in Kris Brash's cross from close range on 22 minutes, as the Fife fans rubbed their eyes in disbelief and the stay at home fans watching teletext even more so!
Then, seven minutes later, came the goal of the night. East Fife won a free kick 25 yards out and Brian Fairbairn stepped up to curl a beauty perfectly into the top corner. 4-0 Fife!
The Bairn and Greig McDonald both had chances to increase the rout further before the break, but the panicky Rovers defence managed to block and scramble clear on both occasions, whilst Albion did have one chance of their own, John McCafferty turning Sean McInulty's effort round the post.
So, half time and an amazing scoreline. Would it continue to be this one-sided?
Yes, it soon turned out.
Paliczka nearly grabbed his hat trick, shooting just wide after a mazy run and then the Bairn claimed the miss of the night, heading wide from two yards out, with an open goal beckoning.
But the fifth Fife goal was just being delayed and it eventually came on 55 minutes through a Greig McDonald diving header.
It soon became six of the best on the hour mark and Sean Paliczka claimed his hat trick when he picked the ball up inside the box, cut inside then unleashed a low shot which went in off the left hand post from 7 yards out. 6-0!
Then the action stopped!
Both teams had half chances, but nothing to really trouble either keeper and as the final whistle came, both sets of fans were in shock at what they'd witnessed, but with different emotions then forming .
For the Fife, a performance full of praise for all, but you do have to wonder why they can't produce performances like this every week. Or are Albion really that bad???!
For those that missed it, complete disappointment. For those that made the journey, the best time of the season. If only we'd known!
Now we need to try and capitalise on this on Saturday and see if we can indeed launch a late push for third. The division is atrocious, so who knows?!
C'mon the Fife.
FINAL SCORE: Albion Rovers 0 - 6 (six) East Fife!
EAST FIFE: McCafferty, Renwick, Brash, Lumsden, Mathie, Kelly, Paliczka (Mitchell 74), G. McDonald, Nicholas, Beith, Fairbairn Subs (Not Used): Dodds, Tarditi, Boyle, Linton
Tonight's 3-2-1 done by Uddingston Fifer....
3 points - SEAN PALICZKA (constant threat going forward and took his goals well)
2 points - GRAEME MATHIE (solid performance. won everything in the air)
1 point - BRIAN FAIRBAIRN (brilliant free kick. good performance. was a threat when he got the chance to cross the ball or run at defenders)
[For another report on the game and stats, check out the EAST FIFE MAD site]
[For more pics of the games check out Brian Lawson's THEFIFERS.CO.UK site]