With a season that's been as crap as East Fife's 2004/2005 one, you don't really expect it to end with silverware, but that's just what the long suffering Fife faithful got on the evening of May 4th.

With the rain forcing a 24 hour delay, it meant that the AFTN crew could take in the Fife Cup final against the equally struggling Raith Rovers and boy, are we glad we caught it!

East Fife dominated from the off and this possession led to the opening goal from Stevie Nicholas with 25 minutes gone and he's not going to score a more bizarre goal in his career!

Sean Paliczka sent a dangerous cross into the box from the right to Stevie. With two defenders and the keeper around him, Stevie manages to fall over in the six yard box going for the ball. The Raith defenders then appear to be at sixes and sevens and the ball falls back to Nic who manages to loop the ball over David Berthelot whilst lying flat on his back and sitting on his arse! Great skill and 1-0 to the Fife.

Seven minutes later and the lead was doubled when the Policecar goes on a mazy, hits the byeline and then sends a perfect cross into the impressive Johnny Mitchell who brilliantly volleys home from 8 yards out in the move of the night.

The Rovers then pulled one back with six minutes of the half remaining, in the most shocking piece of officiating of the night.

In total route one football, young Patrick Clark latches on to a long clearance from Berthelot and uses his hand to control the ball in to his path. The assistant referee somehow manages to miss it completely, allowing Clark to send a cracking dipping volley over Scott Morrison and into the top of the net. A superb finish doesn't take away from a bit of cheating and the Fife players and fans let the linesman know exactly what they thought.

Still, 2-1 at the half and the Fife were pretty much coasting.

The Rovers started the second half stronger but it was only seven minutes old when the Fife increased their two goal advantage, when Mitchell outpaced the last Rovers defender before being completely up-ended by Berthelot in the box, after rounding the Rovers keeper and with an empty net beckoning. Clear penalty and a red card for the goalie. Up stepped Stevie Nic to hit home the penalty and it was 3-1 Fife.

Ten man Raith then played their best football of the match and pulled a goal back on the hour mark when Craig Malcolm volleyed home.

But it was East Fife's night and when the final whistle came the black and gold won their first trophy in 20 years! Michael Renwick then went up to collect the trophy (rather bizarrely) from Derrick Brown and it was cheers all round Bayview and at least a happy end to a miserable season.

Let's hope for some more Cup glory next season though! C'mon the Fife.


FINAL SCORE: East Fife 3 - 2 Raith Rovers

EAST FIFE'S CUP WINNERS WERE: Morrison, Renwick, Mathie (Duncan 22), Lumsden, Bain, Kelly, Paliczka, Byle, Nicholas, Mitchell, Brash Subs (not used): Dodds, Tarditi, Ferguson and Crawford

Stevie Nic makes it 3-1

"When Renwick Goes Up To Lift The Fifeshire Cup......"

"Happy Days Are Here Again"



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