East Fife v Annan
East Fife leap frogged Elgin to go back to the top of the league following this victory over Annan who found themselves 2 goals down inside the opening 8 minutes.
It was a whirlwind start for the home team and one Annan never recovered from. The Annan team showed a couple of changes from the team which started against Clyde the previous week with Josh Todd injured and his position being taken in attack by Peter Weatherson, Steven Sloan and Ryan McStay were relegated to the subs bench with on loan St Mirren signing Barry Cuddihy being given a starting berth in the middle of the park.
It took Gary Naysmith’s men just three minutes to break the deadlock after good work from Scott Mercer found Kyle Wilkie in the box. The winger’s effort deflected off Kevin Smith into the path of Jamie Insall who nodded in from just a yard out.
The lead was then doubled just three minutes later with on loan Hibs striker Jamie Insall involved again as his backheel found defender Jonathan Page who drilled home low to the goalkeeper’s left. East Fife continued to look dominant with chances for Smith and Wilkie but neither could add a third with Annan struggling for possession.
Annan responded in the 10th minute with a Jordan Morton effort which went narrowly passed the post. Minutes later East Fife were presented with an opportunity but Naysmiths 15 yard free kick went wide of the target. Annan won their first corner in the 16th minute but Nicoll’s header went past the post. In the 27th minute Kevin Smith’s shot was blocked and the ball fell invitingly for Kyle Wilkie who’s well drilled shot went narrowly wide.
The Annan defence were seriously tested around the 34th minute but they withstood the challenge and the score remained two nil at the interval.
Annan started the second half promisingly and within 3 minutes they were back in the match. Flynn got upended 24 yards out and Peter Weatherson stepped up to hit another stunning free kick into the corner of the net past the stranded Liam Kelly.
East Fife restored their 2 goal advantage in the 58th minute when Jonathan Page’s back post header from a high Kevin Smith cross was adjudged to have crossed the goal line.
Currie pulled off a good save to deny Jamie Insall in the 63rd minute but the striker increased the home teams advantage when he grabbed his second of the game in the 68th minute, the striker had a penalty appeal turned away but the ball found its way back to Insall who emphatically volleyed home past Currie.
Swinglehurst , Black and Osadolor were all introduced in the 70th minute and it was Osadolor who latched on to a Flynn cut back to score when his miss-hit shot cannoned off the ground to leave Kelly stranded as it looped over his head and into the net.
The defeat leaves Annan with a lot to do and the game against Queens Park on Tuesday evening takes on added importance.
EAST FIFE : Liam Kelly, Pat Slattery, Steven Campbell (Craig Murray 56 min), jonathan Page, Ross Brown, Kevin Smithn, Kyle Wilkie ,Gary Naysmith, Scott Mercer, Jason Kerr, Jamie Insall (Jordan Austin 90 min ). Subs Not Used Joe McGovern, Craig Murrays, Stevie Campbell.
East Fife goals- Insall (5) (68), Page (8) (58)
ANNAN ATHLETIC: Blair Currie, Ben Jago, Kevin Nicoll ( Steven Swinglehiurst 73 min), Martin McNiff, Peter Watson ( Steven Black 73 min), Barry Cuddihy, Rabin Omar ( Smart Osadolor 73 min), Matthew Flynn, Peter Weatherson, Lewis Guy , Jordan Morton. SUBS NOT USED: Blair Currie, Liam Park, Ryan McStay, Steven Sloan
Annan Goals- Weatherson (48) Osadolor (80)
Referee – Gavin Ross . Assistants David Roome and Xander Harrison.