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East Fife 2 Albion Rovers 0: Smith pleased by Fifers’ reaction

Chris Duggan scores as keeper Ross Stewart and Ross Dunlop can only look on.
Chris Duggan scores as keeper Ross Stewart and Ross Dunlop can only look on.

Bayview manager Barry Smith was impressed with the attitude of his side after they saw off Albion Rovers at Bayview.

The Fifers went into the game on the back of a 3-0 defeat to Alloa in midweek, their first loss since the end of November.

Smith said it would be a test of character for his side to rebound straight back from the defeat at the weekend. They passed with flying colours, a Chris Duggan double sealing the win.

Smith said: “We asked for a reaction and I knew I’d get one because of the group of boys I have in that dressing room.

“They won the game through a lot of hard work but also through a lot of good football.

“Chris Duggan showed what he’s capable of with his first goal, and just being a striker for his second.

“The boys are really capable and it was probably the best they’ve been passing the ball.

“The most pleasing thing for me is that we responded in the right manner from Tuesday night.

“We defended from the front, which helped the back four. The whole team worked very hard as a unit.”

Both sides had decent chances to open the scoring during a frantic beginning.

Duggan went close with a low drive before Ross Stewart tested Mark Hurst at the other end.

East Fife played delightful one-touch football in and around the 18-yard box, with Scott Robinson pulling the strings.

Robinson’s craft was complemented by the graft of the likes of Ross Brown as the Methil club played to its strengths.

But for all their possession they struggled to break down a well-organised Rovers defence.

Duggan again went close, as did Kevin Smith, as the Fifers peppered the Rovers goal.

Rovers managed to withstand the pressure until the break, but it was a different story in the second 45.

Just a few minutes had past before Duggan scored the first of his brace.

On-loan Dundee midfielder Jesse Curran pitched in a delightful cross which the striker met flush on the volley, giving Ross Stewart no chance.

It was the goal which finally broke the Rovers down, and it wasn’t long until the advantage was doubled.

If Duggan’s first goal was a screamer, the second was just a striker doing what every good striker does.

There didn’t look to be any danger when Ross Dunlop passed back to his keeper.

But Stewart misjudged the passback and made a hash of his clearance.

Duggan was first to react, and nicked the ball off the Rovers No 1 before tapping into an empty net.

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