A half-time dressing down by the Bayview coaching staff helped inspire East Fife to a dramatic comeback win.
Saturday’s game in Methil had absolutely everything, with fans witnessing eight goals and three red cards.
No one could have anticipated such drama when the Fifers took an early lead and looked like they would go on to cruise to victory.
But Shire bounced back, and went in at half-time 2-1 ahead, before a second half which crackled into life after Jamie Insall pulled the Fifers level but was almost straight away shown a red card.
East Fife boss Gary Naysmith said his side were told in no uncertain terms that parts of their first 45 showing just hadn’t been good enough but was pleased with the reaction he got.
“To be honest me and Dougie (Anderson, East Fife assistant) both tore into them at half-time,” said the boss.
“That could have gone one of two ways they either show they’re together as a team or they fold.”
The hosts made the breakthrough when Kyle Wilkie headed home a Craig Murray cross but Ross Gilmour levelled things up and David McKenna slammed Shire ahead.
The game was turned on its head again when on-loan Hibs striker Insall pulled East Fife level with a goal on his home debut. But, within the space of barely a minute, the same man saw a straight red for a lunge on Reece Donaldson.
The 10 men of East Fife grabbed the lead once again when Nathan Austin slid the ball past Darren Dolan but the Fifers were ahead for only two minutes as Donaldson levelled again.
From the kick off the Fifers raced up the park and Pat Slattery made it 4-3.
Donaldson picked up the second red card of the game for two bookings and was joined early in the dressing room by Aron Lynas before Austin wrapped up the home win in stoppage time.