MON 27TH DEC 2004: H v MONTROSE (SCOTTISH 3RD DIVISION)
(REPORT BY LEE GILLIES)
Despite the catastrophe of Montrose away with people being drunk and offending elderly stewards (no names mentioned Chris!!!), expectations were high of an East Fife win. The Fifers were delighted that Santa brought us the gift that was on all of our Christmas lists.
The first real excitement of the game came in the first ten minutes after a swift Fife move which landed to Stevie Nicholas but which former Fife favorite Butter stopped excellently.
Morrison was kept on his toes in the 15th minute after Craig Smart broke through the Fife defence with ease, but Morrison saw it coming and stopped superbly.
After a superb clearance from Kevin Bain in the 17th minute, the ball landed to Stevie Nicholas, who flicked it on to Sean Paliczka who ruined a good Fife move with a disappointing cross.
19 minutes gone and Montrose had another good chance, but Craig Smart shot over the bar from close range.
Stevie Nicholas had the chance of the match so far in the 21st minute, Butter got off his line brilliantly to stop the chance but Montrose defender Paul Doyle was the real hero of the match after clearing the ball of the line.
26 minutes in and it was time for some comedy in the game - after an East Fife shot, the ball was trapped in the net or so I believe, and a young ball boy got entangled in the net and fell, he took it well, but left Fife fans laughing - Class.
As the 35th minute mark came, " Total Garbage" was a chant from a certain known Fife fan, after he was getting frustrated at the efforts of Brian Fairbairn who had a disappointing game, after last seasons chants or "Get Fairbairn on" turned to "Get Fairbairn off!"
The half time whistle went and my verdict of the first half was that it was a close game, But I think East Fife deserved to be just in front, which sadly they weren't.
52 minutes gone and the first exciting action of the second half was a free kick to East Fife which Fairbairn did so well to ruin.
Former Fifer Steve Kerrigan was booked on the hour mark for a shocking challenge and quite right too. (anyone notice how many accents that guy has??).
Five minutes later and Fife on the attack again, a back pass from Montrose defender Donachie, which Nicholas tried to get to, he slid in on Butter, but he did well to kick out.
67th minute saw Fairbairn get booked for a shocking lunge at Craig Smart.
A minute later, however, and Bayview witnessed one of the goals of the season, as Brian Fairbairn, who had a really poor game, beat two Montrose defenders to score from 25 yards out - What a goal!
The 76th minute saw Sean Paliczka's last action of the match - he latched on to the ball and shot narrowly wide, when midfielder Gary Kelly was in the middle screaming for the ball. Paliczka was replaced two minutes later by James Herkes.
With four minutes remaining, Les Byle, who all in all played really well, was booked for a challenge on Montrose attacker Wood.
The last action of the game came in the final minute when Jimmy Herkes fired a volley wide of goal.
The final whistle came and it was a deserved East Fife victory and some deserved festive cheers, as the Fife closed the year out with a win.
C'mon the Fife.
FINAL SCORE: East Fife 1 - 0 Montrose
EAST FIFE: Morrison, Renwick, Brash, Lumsden, Bain, Kelly, Palizcka (Herkes 78), G. McDonald (Byle 14), Nicholas, Mitchell (Tarditi 89), Fairbairn Subs (Not Used): Logie and Gaughan
This week's 3-2-1 is done by guest reviewer Ian Matthew -
3 points - STEVIE NICHOLAS (superb all round game with great skill and good sight)
2 points - LES BYLE (settled in well when he came on and made some crucial challenges)
1 point - KEVIN BAIN (organised the defence well and kept a level head)
[For another report on the game and stats, check out the EAST FIFE MAD site]
[For more pics of the game check out Brian Lawson's THEFIFERS.CO.UK site]