Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts Yellow fell to their first defeat of the season on Sunday at the hands of a talented Real Fife side at McDuff Park. Two goals for Reece McIntosh put the hosts into a comfortable lead, but a late goal from Kieran Young almost sparked a comeback, and Real were made to dig in to get the three points.
The game’s first chance came when a Nairn Connely free kick was only half cleared to the edge of the area, and Steven Jeffries ran onto the ball to hit a volley that skidded along the turf but was comfortable for Lewis Sinclair, who saved and held onto the ball.
The lively Jeffries then almost found himself clean through on goal, but Sinclair was able to rush off his line and smother the ball at the feet of the forward.
Blair Chalmers then strode out of defence with purpose and tried a shot from distance, but Josh Ellis was more than equal to it and made a comfortable save.
The first goal was not long in coming, and it was a sensational ball from midfield that released McIntosh, who showed great composure to take the ball around Sinclair and finish into an empty net.
The goal was nothing more than Real Fife deserved, and they went on to dominate large parts of the first half with Kieron Bowie pulling the strings in midfield.
Connely showed quick feet to escape his marker in midfield and play a ball up to Bowie, who sent another raking pass through the heart of the Swifts defence to release Jeffries on the right of the area, and although his low right foot shot beat Sinclair, the striker could only watch as the ball cannoned back off the foot of the post and away from danger.
The move was on time and time again for Real, and just moments later Bowie played an almost identical ball to release Jeffries again, who this time took the high road and tried to chip the advancing Sinclair, but the ball dropped agonisingly wide of the post.
Jeffries was causing havoc with his pace, and he again found space to turn and run at the Inverkeithing defence from a throw in, getting close enough for a shot that this time was on target, but Sinclair did brilliantly to parry the ball away.
Having come under pressure for much of the game so far, Inverkeithing finally found some respite as they ventured forward to mount an attack of their own.
A long ball up towards Owen Bathgate was well defended by Brandon Wight, and after Chalmers played a good ball out wide to Callum Laydon, the wide man’s touch let him down and he was unable to bring the ball under control.
Inverkeithing were soon made to regret their missed opportunities as Real doubled their lead just moments later.
The influential Bowie found space from a throw in, and after racing to the byeline cut the ball back across the face of goal for McIntosh to smash the ball home at the far corner.
The game could have easily been out of reach for Inverkeithing just before half time, as Jeffries again found space in the right channel for a shot but was again was denied by a fine save from Sinclair, and the goalkeeper was on hand again as the rebound fell to McIntosh, getting down low to turn his effort away at the near post.