MON 17TH JULY 2006: A v KINNOULL JUNIORS (Pre-season Friendly)

For a game played at Tulloch Park, Perth on a undulating pitch, East Fife lined in a 4-4-2 formation.

Missing from the travelling party were Craig Smart, Linton, Dodds, Craig, whilst Greig McDonald and Paul Hampshire remain long term injuries.

The early stages of the game were all East Fife, pushed on by Blackadder, Fortune and Kelly, but the nearest they came to scoring was when Crabbe smacked a free kick off the post.

Crabbe and Kelly had been the victims of some heavy tackles, especially from their big No5. A feature of the whole game was the number of running arguments raging between certain players and the referee.

In the 29th min East Fife had a let off when a Kinnoull player should have done better when through on Ross. We failed to heed the warning and a minute later Kinnoull went ahead when a pinpoint cross was headed behind our keeper.

East Fife continued to press forward, helped by Blackadder, and we were rewarded with an equaliser when a neat exchange between him, Crabbe and Martin allowed the latter to shoot home on 38 mins.

Half-time: 1-1

The second half opened with Kinnoull on top, which probably prompted Baikie, just returned from holiday that day, to make a mass substitution. Jablonski, Smith, J. Smart, Mitchell and Ritchie replaced Crabbe, D. Ross, Kelly, Fortune and Martin after 55mins.

The introduction of Jablonski, along with the aerial threat posted by Smart, started to trouble the home defence and it was no surprise when they combined to allow Jablonski to volley home from 18 yards to put us 2-1 ahead on the hour mark.

At this stage of the game we were winning free kicks outside the box, taken by Blackadder. This feature of his game could prove to be exciting for the Bayview faithful this season.

The last Sub of the night took place in 62mins when Gordon was replaced by Beveridge.

All evening, McGowan and Doyle had been prone to the odd mistake. One of these proved to be embarrassing on 75 minutes when Kinnoull were allowed an equaliser.

The team must have seen the unhappy look on Baikie's face as they set out to save their blushes. Blackadder rattled the post from 30 yards before Smart had a 30 yard drive which drifted over the bar quickly followed by a neat header.

With time running out the winner finally arrived on 88 minutes. Ritchie, who had minutes earlier missed a header when it should have been easier to score, finally got on the end of another Blackadder cross to score with a sharp header.

Seconds later the referee called a halt to the proceedings. We had won our first game!

The pre-season circus rolls on to the North of England this weekend. We are going to need every one of the 450 minutes left in these friendlies to get us ready for Stenhousemuir on the 5th August.

FINAL SCORE: Kinnoull Juniors 2 - 3 East Fife

(Starting line up) - I. Ross, D. Ross, Courts, McGowan, Doyle, Kelly, Fortune, Blackadder, Crabbe, Gordon, Martin

(Subs used) - Jablonski, Smith, J. Smart, Mitchell, Ritchie and Beveridge

[Report on the game courtesy of Dave Marshall]