SFL v Airdrie United
DUNFERMLINE 0 AIRDRIE UNITED 0 Date: 23/08/08
Fixture: Irn Bru SFL Division One
Attendance: 3334, Kick Off: 3.00pm.
Referee: Craig Charleston
There was only one change from the side that started at McDiarmid Park; Kevin Harper was still injured and so, 23rd minute sub last week, Iain Williamson came in in place of him. The bench had a few new faces, new signing Simon Wiles and close season signing Steven Bell.
Kenny Black`s Airdrie team that drew with Dundee was given a vote of confidence.
The sun glimpsed through as Kirk and Bayne got things underway with Dunfermline attacking the goal at the east end. Things almost brightened up more when Williamson`s perseverance created the opportunity to pick out Kirk on the penalty spot. He laid the ball off for Bayne but his effort was blocked.
That prefaced a number of good Pars chances. Williamson`s sixth minute cross was sent over his own bar by McKenna and from the subsequent corner taken by Stephen Glass from the right Stephen Robertson had to punch Paul Di Giacomo`s header off his own line. Pressure continued with Bayne teeing up Andy Kirk but that too was deflected for a corner.
A quickly taken free kick in 12 minutes, squared from Glass to Burke caught out the Airdrie defence and his shot from 25 yards out was edged on by Kirk but the keeper held the shot albeit at the second attempt. Next chance came the Pars way just five minutes later. An Austin McCann sweeping pass was challenged by Glass but he just couldn`t get high enough to execute the header on 6 yards.
Alex Burke sold his defender out on the left and his low delivery was flicked on by Phinn for Kirk but his finish lacked power and again the grey shirted Robertson collected. The game was into its second quarter before Airdrie won their first corner but Steven McDougall`s cross was headed over Paul Gallacher`s crossbar by David Nixon.
Kirk was lying deep when he threaded through a ball into the opposing box and Matt Hazley timed his tackle well to take the ball away from Williamson. On the half hour Phinn was booked for what looked a perfectly fair tackle on Cardle 23 yards out. The free kick created the first real task for the Pars defence but thankfully Greg Shields read Airdrie`s intricate intentions and sped out to intercept the shot.
Dunfermline were by far the better team but they could not convert all their possession and fine touches into goals. There was nothing for Gallacher to save and Kirk almost changed the scoreline just 90 seconds from the break when his cross from the right byeline was controlled by Bayne and turned back for Burke but the keeper held it.
Then Williamson had a glorious chance to send them into the lead. Burke broke around the D, playing a one two off Bayne but the ball sat up better for the 20 year old but he blasted it over the bar from 8 yards.
Half Time: Dunfermline 0 Airdrie United 0
Andy Kirk received a lay off from Graham Bayne to fire narrowly wide of the left goalpost with just 38 seconds of the second half gone. In 50th minute Calum Woods looked hemmed in after taking a pass from Williamson but he broke through with a step over reminiscent of his old mucker Adam Hammil to set up Alex Burke but he was high with his 30 yard effort.
Burke maybe should have done better when McDougall failed to head clear a cross from the right but possibly taken by surprise failed to take the chance.
Nine minutes into the half Referee Craig Charleston maintained his card happy reputation by showing Nick Phinn a yellow card his second of the game. The red was then swiftly flashed. The incident came after Glass` shot from about 35 yards out was deflected off Bayne and Phinn chased it to the right byeline. Before he touched the ball he was up ended but the referee deemed it a dive and so produced yellow!
It maybe looked like it to the home fans in the McCathie stand behind but this was not Tae Kwon Do so there was no use in protesting. Steven Bell came on to make his Pars debut as Williamson was withdrawn and McCann was far enough forward to test the keeper. Kirk did likewise in 68th minute as he drove in from the right.
The ten men were not really being stretched at all by their opponents. Simon Wiles came on for Graham Bayne with 13 minutes remaining and he had an early chance with a chip at goal from outside the box that fell wide left.
Wilson and Shields were both up for a Glass free kick in 82 minutes and there was some desperate defending to deny the Pars. Wiles had another crack from an acute angle but was blotted out. The new boy had a fantastic chance of instant glory five minutes from time after Steven Bell had worked really well to win the ball with his head. The break fell better to Wiles and he hammered the shot but unfortunately well off target.
Airdrie closed with a corner kick from the left that Di Giacomo directed at Gallacher and Dunfermline`s last throw was a Wiles drive and cross that was intercepted before Thomson could get the chance to head home.
DUNFERMLINE: Paul Gallacher; Calum Woods, Greg Shields, Scott Wilson (c), Austin McCann; Iain Williamson (Steven Bell 63), Nick Phinn, Stephen Glass (Scott Thomson 85), Alex Burke; Andy Kirk, Graham Bayne (Simon Wiles 77).
SUBS NOT USED: Scott Muirhead, Callum Reidford
YELLOW CARD: Phinn (30, 54), Shields (76), Wilson (89)
RED CARD: Phinn (54)
AIRDRIE UNITED: Stephen Robertson; Marc Smyth (c), Matthew Hazley, Kevin McDonald, Bobby Donnelly, David Nixon; Steven McDougall (Scott McLaughlin 54), Stephen McKenna, Paul Di Giacomo, Simon Lynch (Stuart Noble 63), Joe Cardle (Michael Brown 56).
SUBS NOT USED: Darren Smith, Lee Hollis (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Lynch (32), Di Giacomo (70), Donnelly (83)
WEATHER: Dry 19ºC
NEXT MATCH: Co-operative Insurance Cup (home) v Alloa Athletic, Tuesday 26th August 2008, kick off 7.45pm.
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Ladbrokes Championship: Saturday 18th March, Dunfermline v Ayr United kick off 3.00pm