SAT 20TH DEC 2003: A v PETERHEAD (SCOTTISH CUP 2ND ROUND)
Third round here we come!
In the end, it wasn't as hard fought a game as many had expected. Peterhead looked dangerous on the attack, but woeful at the back, and in the end, it would have been an injustice if the Fife had come back with anything other than the win.
Every player played their part and the large Fife contingent in the stand also played theirs. There can't be many throats that aren't hoarse from Jim Moffat's travelling barmy army tonight.
The game was played in a downpour from start to finish and although the ground was totally sodden, the pitch never cut up at all and the game was played in a good nature. The only bad challenge being a Paddy Kelly one outside our box late in the second half and the only bad bit of banter being from when some knobend Peterhead/Rangers fans thought it was a good idea if they sat in our side and noised up the Fife faithful. It wasn't and they soon moved!
Both teams started brightly and East Fife had the most possession for the first few minutes, but it was Peterhead that seriously threatened first, only to find Gary O'Connor on immense form. He came out brilliantly to block an onrushing Bavidge, then followed that up by tipping a dangerous Perry screamer onto the bar.
The Fife came back into it and Euan Donaldson was unlucky to see a spectacular free kick brilliantly turned round the post by Mathers. It was only a matter of time though and some neat footwork by Stevie Nicholas, set up Willie Stewart who rounded the onrushing Mathers to calmly stroke the ball home in the bottom right hand corner for the opener after 39 minutes. All the sweeter as were down to ten men at the time with the soon to be bandaged-up Kenny Deuchar getting stitches for a head knock at the time.
Peterhead pressed for the equaliser after the break and although they dominated the possession, they never really looked all that dangerous. Apart from tipping a point blank header over and watching an amazing burst of speed and shot from Bavidge (I think?!), Gary O was rarely troubled.
As Peterhead pushed forward, they started to leave gaps at the back and Deuchar and Nicholas were making the most of them, forcing a few corners. With four minutes left however, Stevie Nicholas broke free through the middle and skillfully knocked the ball home for the winner and a third round tie, sending the Fife fans into raptures.
Overall, no player could be faulted. They worked hard as a team and got the breaks that's been missing the last few weeks. Hopefully that will give the team a confidence boost and spur them on to re-finding their League form and a nice little Cup run.
Just a final word for the brilliant steward at our bit. The best steward we've had all season! Banter with the fans and a sensible approach taken with all. Can we get him for every away game?!.
Thanks to Saint Nicholas, what a nice Christmas we'll all have now.
EAST FIFE: O'Connor, Russell, Donaldson, Mortimer, Hall, Kelly, McMillan, McDonald, Deuchar, Nicholas, Stewart. Subs - Graham, Fairbairn, Blair, Mitchell, Gilbert
AFTN MAN OF THE MATCH: GARY O'CONNOR (with Stevie Nic very close behind)
AFTN FAN OF THE MATCH: BAZ - nice megaphone work
CHANT OF THE GAME: Newbie, Pitch Of Wellesley Road
COMMENT OF THE GAME: "I never thought I'd hear that" after the tannoy announcement of Willie scoring
We're gonna celebrate!