On a freezing cold afternoon at New Bayview, in frontof a good turnout of Lichtie fans,Arbroath had to field a somewhat makeshift side with many younger players. Henry, loanee from Aberdeen started at No 10, Reid came in for Boby Linn while the first 2 subs used were Hester and Skelly. We seemed to line up with 5 in the middle and only Rutherford up front, so struggled when he went off injured halfway through the first half (Hester on as sub early)
On a wet pitch, a fairly ordinary first half was reasonably balanced. Arbroath maybe shaded it in terms of possession and openings but there were chances at both ends. R Just before the halftime whistle, Campbell out on the right was allowed too much room to fire in a tremendous cross for Austin to head home close in. it was very entertaining to see him yellow carded for gesticulating at the away support.
Second half started with East Fife on the front foot, pressing hard while we seemed to lose our way. Our midfield was increasingly overrun and corners and chances created. With no Rutherford up front and rather poor forward passing from Reid and Ramsay, we didn't get much of a sniff.
Halfway through the second half Ausin, who was a threat all afternoon, too easily eluded S Rutherford inside the box and Insall scored with a tap in,. Thereafter Fife had more of the pressure while Arbroath didn;t make the most of the ball up top.
As a consolation, there was a fabulous longrange goal from Kieran Stewart, on as a late sub for Reid, and the ball sailed into the top corner from 35 yards out.
East Fife were not great but upped their game second half and our inexperienced midfield struggled to get a grip on the game, while Austin proved a handful.