By Michael Shearer
Albion Rovers line-up: 1. Jack Leighfield, 5. Sean Fagan, 6. James McGowan, 4 Ayrton Sonkur, 3. Blair Malcolm, 8. Jamie Leslie, 20. Lewis Kidd, 7. Callum Wilson, 11. Charlie Reilly, 9. Scott Roberts, 19. Kieran Dolan
Subs: 17. Chris Smith, 2. Adam Fernie (replaced James McGowan on 84’), 15. Devan McColl, 16. Barry Duncan, 10. Maxwell Wright (replaced Lewis Kidd on 81’) 18. Kieran McGrath (replaced Kieran Dolan on 66), 12. Michael Paton, 14. Amaury Testa (replaced Scott Roberts on 81’)
East Fife line-up: 1. Allan Fleming, 2. Stewart Murdoch, 15. Samuel Denham, 5. Aaron Steele, 3. Scott Mercer, 12. Liam Newton, 4. Kieran Millar, 19. Alex Ferguson, 17. Joao Balde, 7. Ryan Schiavone, 8. Patrick Slattery
Subs: 21. Matthew Rollo, 18. Lucas Williamson (replaced Liam Newton 95’), 6. Charlie Murray, 14. Brendan Ramsay, 20. Sam Martin, 11. Jack Healy, 22. Taylor Steven, 16. Michael Cunningham
Rovers sank to their third consecutive league defeat of the season at home to East Fife at the Reigart Stadium despite dominating the game for large portions.
Liam Newton gave the visitors the lead in the 67th minute thanks to a Ryan Schiavone cross which Rovers’ defenders were unable to get a hold of.
Rovers first chance of the half came in the second minute from striker Scott Roberts whose left footed shot was blocked by Stewart Murdoch for a corner.
From the ensuing corner James Mcgowan headed just over the bar with the Coatbridge side continuing to chase for an early goal in the sunshine.
Captain Sean Fagan was next to go close for the hosts only a minute later with his right footed shot from close range.
A foul on Ayrton Sunkar led to Rovers winning a free kick deep in East Fife’s half with Stewart Murdoch conceding a corner but the home side could not make the most of the corner as they became more desperate to take the lead.
Rovers Captain Sean Fagan was next up to test the East Fife defence as his shot from outside the box was narrowly saved by Allan Fleming in goal for a corner.
Ayrton Sonkur would continue Rover’s bombardment on the East Fife goal in the 20th minute after his follow up strike from a Callum Wilson shot came off the post.
Sean Fagan would yet again test Fleming in goal with his shot narrowly saved as Rovers continued to create chances down the left side.
The visitors first chance of the half would come in the 22nd minute through Sam Denham who headed narrowly wide from a Scott Mercer ball into the box from a free kick.
Rovers chance of the game would come in the 26th minute with Allan Fleming pulling off a wonder save from a Kieran Dolan tap in that looked destined to break the deadlock for the hosts.
Charlie Reilly continued to look dangerous and was unlucky none of his teammates were able to meet the ball he cut back into the centre of the box in the 31st minute.
Just as it looked inevitable Rovers would take the lead East Fife showed the danger, they posed on the counter with Joao Blade breaking through the Rovers defence forcing Jack Leighfield into a save.
Balde continued to cause the home side problems with his header deflected for a corner in the 36th minute.
An Alex Ferguson ball into the box from the ensuing corner was met by Scott Mercer who was unable to find a teammates head as East Fife worked their way into the game despite spending much of the first quarter camped in their own half.
As Joao Balde dribbled past Rover’s midfield onto the edge of the Rovers box, he would meet captain Sean Fagan who fouled Balde leading to the first yellow card of the game for Fagan.
Rovers weathered the East Fife storm and minutes before half time Scott Roberts was able to get a shot off which was blocked by East Fife in the last chance of the half.
A Joao Balde mistimed tackle six minutes into the second half led to Rovers earning a free kick in the East Fife half.
Charlie Reilly would force a save out of Fleming minutes later as he beautifully cut in from the left wing forcing the keeper into parrying the shot for a throw-in.
Schiavone fired just over the bar for the Visitors in the 54th minute after a Balde cross into the box with East Fife becoming more of a threat as the game wore on.
Rovers first substitution of the game came in the 65th minute with Kieran Dolan Replacing Kieran McGrath.
Seconds after the substitution East Fife took the lead through Liam Newton, as the away side made the most of their spell of possession they garnered early in the second half.
The home side hoped to bounce back immediately with a Leslie effort from distance forcing Fleming into a save low to his left for a corner.
Rovers would yet again wonder how they were unable to find the back of the net after a header was cleared off the line and the follow up attempt by Lewis Kidd blocked by Allan Fleming.
East Fife would then make their first change of the game in the 72nd minute with Taylor Steven Replacing Ryan Schiavone.
Two minutes later Sam Denham became the second player to be yellow carded after a challenge on Leighfield.
Rovers looked to find an equaliser with Max Wright and Amaury Testa being substituted on for the hosts replacing Lewis Kidd and Scott Roberts in the 78th minute.
Rovers became desperate and looked to get the ball into the box as quickly as possible four minutes later from a free kick, but this meant Fleming was able to comfortably come for the hopeful ball into the box.
A fourth substitution meant McGowan left the pitch for Fernie with only seven minutes of the game to play.
Kieran McGrath was unable to hit the target as the ball fell to his feet at the centre of the East Fife box one vs one with the keeper in Rovers last chance of the second half.
Rovers now turn their attention to Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic away from home next Saturday at New Dundas Park.
Goal scorers: Liam Newton (1)
Bookings: Sean Fagan (yellow), Taylor Steven (yellow), Liam Newton (yellow).
Referee: Callum Scott
Assistant Referees: Callum Doyle, Rhys Struthers