Third-tier East Fife knew that they would have to take each and every chance that came their way when welcoming the giants of Rangers to Bayview in the League Cup on Sunday.
So imagine manager Darren Young’s disappointment as Jerman Defoe rolled back the years to score a brilliant individual goal midway through the first half, after The Fifers had spurned a number of openings at the other end of the pitch.
The 36-year-old former England international provided a trademark finish for his sixth goal in seven games this season, turning away from a static defence with a burst of acceleration before coolly slotting the ball into the far corner.
Rangers went on to win 3-0 thanks to strikes from Filip Helander and the irrepressible Joe Aribo and Young was left wondering what might have been.
“We had the chances, a few wee half-chances at 0-0. But if you don’t take that in the final third then you end up punishing you and (it was a ) great goal from Defoe,” he told EFTV.
“It’s just a shame. Attitude wise, we can’t ask for anymore.”
Defoe may be closer to 40 than 30 these days but a loan move to Ibrox from Bournemouth has really kick-started a career that appeared to be dwindling to a close at the Vitality Stadium.
The veteran striker is relishing a key role in Steven Gerrard’s plans and it speaks volumes of his professionalism and attitude that he produced a performance of such game-changing quality amid testing conditions, from swirling winds to a plastic pitch.
No matter the surface, no matter the climate, Defoe remains as lethal as ever.
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