Mouldy Old Dough had just been knocked off the number one spot in the pop charts the last time Dundee United lost a competitive match to East Fife.
A few would have been whistling the Lieutenant Pigeon tune on November 18, 1972 as the Methil men secured a 1-0 win in the old First Division at Bayview.
Almost 47 years later, the Fifers came to Tannadice and left with a deserved 2-0 win to cast a shadow over United’s Betfred Cup campaign, with Robbie Neilson’s men finishing Group A with only seven points.
The night belonged to the fabulous Fifers, with Aaron Dunsmore’s goal on 38 minutes giving them the lead at the break against the lacklustre Tangerines.
They then stunned the home fans with a second goal via Liam Watt on 51 minutes.
United made a couple of changes to the side that kicked off against Cowdenbeath on Friday.
They were without central defender Mark Connolly, who was suspended, and that meant a start for Paul Watson. Benjamin Siegrist was back in goal, with Deniz dropping down to the bench.
After a quiet start to the match, Paul McMullan of the Tangerines won a freekick just outside the box on nine minutes. The setpiece was chipped into the goalmouth by Scott Banks but Watson’s header went over.
Poor defending from the Fifers almost cost them when both Sam Stanton and Calum Butcher tried to fire in shots from around six yards but the ball was eventually cleared for a corner that came to nothing.
On 16 minutes, it was the visitors’ turn to threaten when Anton Dowds sent a 20-yard strike over the home bar following a lay-off from Ross Davidson.
Smith’s cross into the East Fife goalmouth on 22 minutes caused some concern but no United player could get on the end of what was an excellent delivery.
The Tangerines needed to get out of first gear, while the visitors could be well pleased with their opening half-hour.
Agnew curled a left-foot shot well wide from 25 yards before they opened the scoring – not undeservedly so – on 38 minutes.
It was an excellent move that saw Dowds play a ball in behind United’s defence for the free-running Dunsmore, who slotted his shot past Siegrist.
The hosts came within a whisker of a quick equaliser when Lawrence Shankland stunned everyone with a strike that smashed on to the bar, bounced down and was cleared behind by Stewart Murdoch. The corner saw Butcher’s header saved by goalie Jordan Hart.
United had a penalty claim waved away by referee Graham Beaton when Watson fell to the floor inside the six-yard box then Smith curled a shot past the post right on half-time.
It didn’t get any better for the Tannadice team as, embarrassingly for them, they fell further behind on 51 minutes.
Once again, the Fifers’ goal was beautifully converted as Watt chased a long ball down the left, cut inside then pinged a right-foot shot into the far corner of Siegrist’s net.
United made two changes, bringing on Jamie Robson and Louis Appere for Adrian Sporle and Scott Banks respectively.
East Fife sub Chris Duggan, who had just replaced Ryan Wallace, blasted wide of United’s goal as they looked to add to their lead on 66 minutes.
Nicky Clark nodded a corner over from close range as the home side looked to claw their way back but still the Methil men held firm.
Shankland should have reduced the deficit on 75 minutes but volleyed wide when in a great position.
The Tangerines at least seemed interested now and it took a great one-handed save from Hart to keep out Stanton’s header.
East Fife, who switched Dowds with Lewis Hunter, weren’t bothered by that, though, and Siegrist had to dive full-length to keep out another Dunsmore shot.
Five minutes from time, the Tangerines should have had a penalty when Murdoch fouled sub Appere but ref Beaton waved play on.
The visitors then had the ball in the United net again on 86 minutes thanks to Dunsmore’s header but the offside flag was up.
On this evidence, it looks like being another long, hard season for United and their fans.
However, it was the Fifers’ night and they celebrated this brilliant result in style when the whistle blew.
Dundee United: Siegrist, L. Smith, Sporle (Robson 54), Reynolds, McMullan, Clark (Mochrie 71), Stanton, Butcher, Shankland, Banks (Appere 58), P. Watson. Subs not used: Deniz, Chalmers, Harkes, King.
East Fife: Hart, Dunsmore, Murdoch, Dunlop, C. Watson, Slattery, Wallace (Duggan 65), Agnew, Watt (Denholm 72), Dowds (Hunter 80), Davidson. Subs not used: Long, Higgins, Davidson, Laird.
Referee: Graham Beaton.