East Fife 4 - 2 Dumbarton

League - League 1
Saturday, February 1st, 2020, 3:00 PM at Locality Hub Bayview Stadium
Attendance: 536
Referee: Gavin Duncan
East Fife v Dumbarton, Feb 1st 2020, Locality Hub Bayview Stadium
East Fife Dumbarton 

Scott Agnew (4)
Chris Higgins (27)
Stewart Murdoch (70)
Scott Agnew (79)
Morgyn Neill (45)
Robert Jones (59)

Team Managers
Darren Young

Starting Eleven
Brett Long
Stewart Murdoch
Ross Dunlop
Chris Higgins
Pat Slattery
Aaron Dunsmore
Ross Davidson
Scott Agnew
Danny Denholm
Anton Dowds
Ryan Wallace
Conor Brennan
Rico Quitongo
Sam Wardrop
Ryan McGeever
Morgyn Neill
Ross Forbes
Stuart Carswell
Stefan McCluskey
Joe McKee
Kyle Hutton
Robert Jones

Craig Watson
Kevin Smith
Lewis Hunter
Liam Watt
Lewis Baker
Callum Morrison
Jordan Hart
Jordan Pettigrew
Lewis Crawford
Ruaridh Langan
Callum Wilson
Jai Quitongo
Ryan Tierney
PJ Crossan

Callum Morrison for Aaron Dunsmore (64)
Lewis Baker for Anton Dowds (86)
Craig Watson for Danny Denholm (89)
Jai Quitongo for Ross Forbes (75)

Stewart Murdoch (84) Ross Forbes (56)
Sam Wardrop (63)
Morgyn Neill (72)
Stuart Carswell (87)

Red Cards
None. None.

Appearances & Goals To Date
Conor Brennan (GK) 28 apps -
Rico Quitongo 26 apps -
Sam Wardrop 29 apps1 goal
Ryan McGeever 27 apps5 goals
Morgyn Neill 29 apps3 goals
Ross Forbes 63 apps14 goals
Stuart Carswell 117 apps4 goals
Stefan McCluskey 25 apps -
Joe McKee 24 apps2 goals
Kyle Hutton 115 apps -
Robert Jones 1 app (debut)1 goal
Jai Quitongo (sub) 1 app (debut) -

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Rico Quitongo (20 years 206 days)
Oldest Player:Ross Forbes (30 years 342 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 361 days
Domestic Players:10 (90.91 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Lewis Crawford (20 years 10 days)
Oldest Player:Ross Forbes (30 years 342 days)
Average Player Age:24 years 46 days
Domestic Players:17 (94.44 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts
Robert Jones(Signed January 30th, 2020)
Jai Quitongo(Signed January 29th, 2020)

Robert Jones scored his first goal for the Club.

WHAT is it about this fixture and two-goal leads this season?

Three times somebody has led by such a margin only to lose it again.

The difference is, though, East Fife have been able to respond to the setback twice. It is because of such things that they are where they are and Dumbarton are in their current position.

Scott Agnew and Chris Higgins' goals for the home side were countered by Morgyn Neill and Robert Jones, the latter making his debut.

For the second consecutive time, though, Sons' fightback ended there. Stewart Murdoch headed the Fifers' third and Agnew finished the contest.

It was a high workrate as always, but mistakes put Sons in a tough position that they could not recover from.

After a dry January, there was optimism that the goal drought so far in 2020 could end.

Instead, the worst possible start was made when Agnew's shot took a big deflection and rolled into the net on only three minutes.

Sons had a lot of possession after that but failed to test the home keeper.

And only a brilliant save by Conor Brennan from Danny Denholm's long distance effort on 18 minutes stopped them going 2-0 down.

A Stefan McCluskey shot which rolled wide, shortly after that, was Dumbarton's first significant question asked.

After 26 minutes, another cheaply conceded goal went in. A corner was allowed to bounce in the area and Higgins finished clinically.

On the half hour mark another defensive mistake should have been punished by Denholm, but Brennan denied him at close range.

Then, after a laboured almost remainder of the half, Dumbarton had a lifeline. Neill's header from Joe McKee's free kick was right in the corner and the team talks were ripped up in each dressing room.

Hope was renewed that the goal would revitalise the visitors, but only a fine low save by Brennan early in the second half from Anton Dowds' header kept the deficit at one.

It did revitalise them after all - and it came after some brilliant work by McCluskey after he chased down a long ball. He ensured Ross Dunlop couldn't play it off him for a goal kick and after the keeper saved, Jones slotted it away.

But on 69 minutes another defensive mistake was Sons' downfall. Murdoch was unchallenged to meet a free kick into the area to restore East Fife's lead.

And with 13 minutes remaining, Agnew put away a 20-yard free kick. His ability to do that was not in question; the validity of the award was.

Dumbarton fought valiantly for the rest of the afternoon, but were never going to get the foothold back.

Match report by Andy Galloway

Photography by Donald Fullarton

Programme cover / Team sheet