John McGlashan clearly tried to repeat that fairly easy victory with a rather defensive lineup in which new signing Rattray appeared (switching with Raeside at the left side of defence) and Tosh in the middle, leaving Reilly and Brazil to forage up front. East Fife themselves were also playing it canny so the first half was a fairly tight and tactical contest with few chances either side - in fact nothing of note at either end.
The Fifers often use their giant, genetically modified players, to good effect at set-pieces. Perhaps irritated by a series of questionable adverse refereeing decisions, our defence took a little while to pick up players and a great delivery in from the right from (alleged racist and proven flasher) Fotheringham for Templeman to beat his marker and power a header past Hill. He may have justified the substantial fee and wages but that was the sum of what he did all afternoon, apart from whingeing.
Second half was more open and Arbroath looked good going forward in brief spells. The introudction of Bryan Scott (strangely for Reilly who had done well) created new danger. Scott's header cannoned off the bar, while Tosh and Tully wasted great positions and other shots were fired over. As the game was stretched, East Fife also came closer on a couple of occasions.
On another day with a bit of luck, Arbroath would have taken at least a draw from this. Flyer, Black, Tully and Raeside looked good but questions were again raised about the manager's tactics - especially the lack of forward/forward support first half and the subs second.
East Fife's denied space and, since they include a good few seasoned pros, were biting at our ankles and nudging at jumps throughout the game relying on long balls to Templeman. Its an effective style for Division 3
Refereeing was again dubious. There was no reason to book Brazil for trying to keep a ball in play. We did not deserve 4 bookings to their one and that does not reflect the very biased foul count. However Rattray or Tully was lucky to avoid a straight red for a high lunge late on.
East Fife's dodgy money has made them the Chelsea of Div 3 this season and a farce of the overall competition. That may be why the atmosphere was a bit flat again this afternoon.
However the real competition is for the playoffs and we have a major challenge ahead to get a run together. The signs from last weekend and this are not too discouraging
See a selection of photos from the game - from an East Fife source on: http://www.putfile.com/dyker
and East Fife match report on http://www.fridayclub.co.uk/arbroath3.html