Clyde 0 East Fife 2: Smith returns to lead Fifers into round four

East Fife manager Darren Young praised returning skipper Kevin Smith after he inspired East Fife to a Scottish Cup third round win.

The Fifers have had to cope without their captain for most of the season as he gradually works his way back to fitness following a pre-season operation.

He has been reintroduced to the side from the bench in the past few games but was handed a start at Broadwood. And Smith made an immediate impact, volleying the side into a first-half lead.

His opener was added to in the second half by a Jonathan Page header to seal the win.

Young said: “It was a scrappy game but what a great strike by Kev.

“It was his first start of the season with him coming back from injury and you can see what he means to the club with the type of player he is. He’s a finisher.

“The second half we had to huff and puff a bit and Clyde were a bit better.

“We never got going and didn’t pass the ball as good as we have in the past few weeks. But we stuck at it and managed to get that second goal. From there we looked a lot more comfortable.”

The Fifers arrived at Broadwood with depleted numbers, unable to field loanees Mark Hurst, Greg Hurst, Nathan Flanagan and Jordan Piggott.

The hosts were aiming to make a positive first impression on new gaffer Danny Lennon who was appointed in midweek.

Smith made a return to the East Fife line-up in place of Ben Reilly and almost opened the scoring within the first five minutes when his header was blocked on the line.

Clyde may be struggling a division below the Fifers but gradually grew into the game and had a sustained period of pressure which included a dangerous Kieran Duffie drive which Ryan Goodfellow smothered.

The hosts should have broken the deadlock on the 20 minute mark when they hit East Fife on the counter-attack.

David Goodwillie raced in on Goodfellow’s goal but screwed his strike into the side-netting.

They were punished by the visitors who took the lead in style shortly after the half-hour mark when Smith volleyed home a Chris Duggan knock-down.

Clyde started the second half well and almost got level with a Barry Cuddihy volley testing Goodfellow.

Fife had chances to extend the lead, and Smith will certainly feel he should have done better with an effort he fired wide from six yards with the goal gaping.

But the Fifers did put themselves on easy street by grabbing the crucial second goal when Page headed home a Mark Docherty free-kick.

Any lingering hopes Clyde had of getting back into the game were firmly killed off when Martin McNiff was shown a straight red for a lunge on sub Reilly.