Elgin started with the same eleven who started the East Stirlingshire game. The overhead conditions were good but the pitch cut up with players having difficulty keeping their balance. Elgin kicked uphill but East Fife started the brighter and Nathan Austin was causing problems with his pace and movement.
This produced a goal for East Fife in 6 minutes when Elgin gave the ball away in midfield and one pass split the Elgin defence and Austin ran on to coolly place the ball past Hurst. Elgin came more into the game with some excellent attacking play which resulted in an equaliser in 22 minutes. A fine passing move ended with Connor McLaren putting in a good cross which Gunny headed against the post. Dylan Easton following up stroked the ball into the net. A great team goal but Elgin were behind again with an almost identical goal to the first this time Austin running round the keeper to score after some very poor defending.
The game was flowing from end to end and Dylan missed a sitter from 6 yards after a wonderful passing movement involving several players.
Both teams had chances to score again before half time with Elgin unlucky not to be on level terms. The excellent crowd of just under 1000 including a large contingent from Fife had enjoyed an excellent first half from the best two footballing teams in the league.
Elgin started the second half well and hit the bar after a corner. Craig Gunn fired a shot over the bar and Darryl headed straight at the keeper from a free kick. As the second half progressed East Fife took control and had several chances to increase their lead. Elgin found it difficult to get their passing game together with their opponents closing them down very quickly. Marc McKenzie replaced Connor McLaren and had a good chance to score but his effort was well wide.
In 76 minutes East Fife went further ahead when Hurst spilled a shot and Kevin Smith followed up to score. In fairness to the goalkeeper the ball took a wicked bounce in front of him. East Fife held on comfortably and were worth winners. In Austin who is destined to join Falkirk next year they had a player who exposed the lack of pace in the Elgin defence. Best for Elgin were Soapy Cameron who won man of the match and Thomas Reilly.
While it was never a dirty game the referee chose to book numerous players from both sides.I think Dylan,Connor,Gunny and Thomas were the Elgin victims!
Tuesday night is now a must win for Elgin.
Report by Douglas Cameron