We dominated right from the start and could have taken the lead within thirty seconds. Steven Ferguson curled a tremendous shot from twenty yards but it just skimmed over the bar.
The next chance also fell to us when McFadden won the break of the ball at the edge of the box. He sclaffed his shot wide but Dirk Lehmann seemed certain to score until a diving challenge turned the ball over the bar.
At this point East Fife were struggling to emerge from their own half but they did have a couple of corners and free kicks. Our defence was not excellent but they did more than enough to keep the Fife side at bay.
Our pressure was inevitably leading to a goal and it was only a matter of time before we took the lead. Steven Ferguson raced through after confusion in the East Fife defence and rounded the goalie outside the box. The ball fell perfectly to Dirk Lehmann who guided his shot into the empty net.
East Fife could have let their heads drop but instead they rallied and probably had their best period of the game leading up to half time.
We substituted Kevin McDonald for Scott Leitch at half time but that made little difference to the flow of the game. A chance was blasted over before Hammell’s long range volley forced the ‘keeper into a diving save.
The second goal was only delayed though and James McFadden capped a good performance by finding the net. He was played through a square defence and waltzed round the goalie before tapping home.
The game was over and both teams knew it. East Fife did work themselves back into the match but we had things well under control. We took the opportunity to give Cowan and Russell a quick run and we can look back with satisfaction at what was a convincing win.
Rangers, Celtic, Livingston, Aberdeen, Hearts, Dunfermline, Dundee United and Dundee will probably be the top seeds in the draw later this week. It will take both Hearts and Dundee losing tomorrow to put us into the top group.