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Saturday April 6, 2019

Ladbrokes League One





East Fife

Airdrie and East Fife played out a nervy stalemate as the battle for fourth spot rumbles on.


The points were shared at Penny Cars Stadium as both sides looked to claim an advantage for the final play-off spot.


There looked to be a degree of nervousness within the sides, as neither were able to create a clear-cut scoring opportunity in the first 45 minutes.


Kevin Smith fired a 20 yard shot over the crossbar on 15 minutes for the first real attempt in the game.


Four minutes later East Fife manager Darren Young and goalkeeping coach Lindsay Hamilton were sent to the stand for their behaviour, after Scott Robertson was prevented from taking a throw in.


Josh Campbell sent his effort from outside the box over the East Fife goal on 22 minutes while two minutes later Scott Agnew’s shot was deflected for a corner with the first real shot on target.


Ross Davidson made a poor connection on 34 minutes, firing wide at the back post, then Agnew combined with Smith who sent his shot over the Airdrie goal.


Anton Dowds found Agnew on 41 minutes but his shot from the edge of the box was straight at David Hutton.


Two minutes from the interval a cross from the right by Scott Stewart was met by Leighton McIntosh at the front post and his shot was blocked for a corner.


A goalless first half was followed up by a better second 45 minutes.


Aaron Dunsmore fired a shot off target five minutes after the restart, but it took a superb last-ditch Josh Campbell challenge to stop Liam Watt as the former Airdrie midfielder looked set to open the scoring on 56 minutes.


A long ball forward saw the Diamonds presented with the best chance to seal victory in 64 minutes after a defensive slip allowed McIntosh to run in on goal with just keeper Brett Long in front of him. The striker’s chipped effort was not high enough and the ball fell into the keeper’s hands.


McIntosh glanced a Stewart cross wide of the visitors goal with 20 minutes left, while a minute later Pat Slattery sent his shot wide after being picked out by Agnew.


East Fife broke on 74 minutes and after Smith passed the ball to Agnew he drilled another shot wide of the goal as the clock ticked down.


The final period of the match swung from end to end with both defences standing firm and a goalless draw was in the end a better point for the visitors than the home side. 


There may be twists and turns before the end of the season, but with all sides having 12 points to play for, fourth spot may not be decided until the final week of the season.   

John O'Brien at Penny Cars Stadium.

Photographs © John Steven. Click to view full size.

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