By Connor Ryan
Albion Rovers starting XI: 1. Jack Leighfield 2. Adam Fernie 3. Blair Malcolm 4. Ayrton Sonkur 6. Kyle Fleming 8. Jamie Leslie 11. Charlie Reilly 12. Ewan Wilson 14. Joe Bevan 21. Euan Mutale 23. Luke Graham
Subs: 9. Scott Roberts 15. Devan McColl 16. Barry Duncan 17. Luca Sandberg 18. Kieran Dolan 19. Max Wright (replaced Euan Mutale on 74′) 22. Josh McCulloch
East Fife starting XI: 1. Allan Fleming 5. Aaron Steele 15. Samuel Denham 2. Stewart Murdoch 12. Liam Newton 6. Connor McManus 7. Ryan Schiavone 19. Alex Ferguson 10. Alan Trouten 11. Jack Healy 9. Scott Shepherd
Subs: 3. Jonathan Page 4. Kieran Miller 8. Patrick Slattery 14. Brogan Walls (replaced Ryan Schiavone on 46′) 16. Connor Young 17. Aidan Denholm 18. Rabin Omar 21. Reece Beveridge 22. Taylor Steven
Rovers remained at the bottom of the league despite a battling performance as East Fife claimed all three points at Bayview this afternoon.
A goal from Euan Mutale half way through the first half was cancelled out by a superb Jack Healy strike before half time, with Alex Ferguson getting the winner for East Fife in the second half.
The first chance of the game would fall to Rovers on the 12th minute as Charlie Reilly’s cross was forced behind for a corner, but sadly this did not result to anything.
Joe Bevan would be next to go close just five minutes later as his lovely 1-2 with Charlie Reilly got him into the box but unfortunately his effort couldn’t find the target.
Another chance for Bevan would arrive in the 22nd minute as his header at the back post following Charlie Reilly’s cross would again be unable to be converted, however the signs were looking promising for Rovers.
Action would occur at both sides of the pitch between the 25th and 30th minute as Bevan went close to opening the scoring for Rovers after being played through by Reilly, but his effort went narrowly wide.
The Rovers defence would then be called into action for the first time as the ball was cleared off the line, preventing East Fife from taking the lead.
The deadlock would finally be broken on the 34th minute following Rovers constant pressure as Kyle Fleming delivered the ball to the back post which was knocked down by Luke Graham who found Euan Mutale to knock the ball home.
Rovers lead sadly wouldn’t last until the break as an exceptional long range strike from Jack Healy on the stroke of half time gave East Fife an equaliser.
Despite a dominant performance from Rovers, there was still plenty of work to do in the second half.
The first 15 minutes of the second half would see both sides exchange chances, with East Fife’s Stewart Murdoch also picking up a booking for a foul on Jamie Leslie.
East Fife would take the lead through Alex Ferguson just after the hour mark to put his side 2-1 up as the chances began to dry up following this goal.
Rovers only change of the game would come in the 73rd minute as Rovers looked to change up their attacking options, with goal scorer Mutale making way for Max Wright.
Multiple chances would come in the last ten minutes for Rovers as we battled for an equaliser, with an attempt on goal being agonisingly deflected off the line in the 88th minute.
Rovers were unable to find an equaliser and left Bayview empty handed despite a positive performance, and unfortunately other results did not go our way as Elgin City defeated Dumbarton 1-0 and Bonnyrigg Rose drew 0-0 with Annan Athletic.
Rovers will have one more chance to avoid the relegation play-off on the final day of the season as we take on Stirling Albion at home next Saturday.
Goal-scorers: Euan Mutale (ARFC) Jack Healy (EFFC) Alex Ferguson (EFFC)
Bookings: Jamie Leslie (ARFC) Samuel Denham (EFFC) Stewart Murdoch (EFFC) Conor McManus (EFFC)
Referee: Steve Kirkland
Assistants: Colin Drummond and Andrew Bryson