SFL v Partick Thistle
DUNFERMLINE 0 PARTICK THISTLE 1 Date: 13/03/09
Fixture: Irn Bru SFL Division One
Attendance: 2736, Kick Off: 3.00pm.
Referee: David Somers
This was yet another match that the Pars should have taken something from. Manager Jim McIntyre ended up bitterly disappointed that a linesman`s "mistake" ended up costing his team� the match.� A decision at the midway point in the second half denied Nick Phinn a goal and had that been given who knows what they could have taken from this game.
Dunfermline were unchanged from the side that lost at Almondvale in midweek. Calum Woods remained suspended for this match, Andy Kirk (hip strain) joined Graham Bayne and Graeme Holmes� on the injured list� while Kevin Harper who played his first 20 minutes since December at Livingston missed out this time.
Thistle made one change from the side that started at Dingwall on Tuesday night, Manager Ian McCall preferring Paul Paton to Scott Chaplain. Given his history of spoiling things for the Pars it was good to to see that Liam Buchanan was still out injured.
The Pars kicked off attacking the goal in front of the Jags fans in the East Stand and in four minutes David Graham burst through the middle to test Jonny Tuffey. The keeper parried the good effort and Jamie Mole could not take the second chance winning just a corner on the right.
An Austin McCann free kick pumped into the Partick box� that Scott Wilson just failed to connect with was the only other action worthy of note before in 12 minutes Mole, from a Graham lay off,� smashed the ball into� the sidenetting on the right.
Dunfermline kept up the pressure in the gusty conditions. Stephen Glass` chip through allowed Nick Phinn to beat the offside trap but his cut back was deflected and Graham was forced wide left with his less than clear chance.� The home side were all over the Jags at this stage with Alex Burke`s shot being blocked and Phinn glancing a header wide.
It was well against the run of play when Thistle scored from the penalty spot in 20 minutes. David Rowson played the ball out wide right for Paul Paton to return.� Despite Burke trying hard to block the cross it landed for Gary Harkins on the left side of the box and Scott Wilson`s challenge caused referee David Somers to award a penalty.� No card for Wilson� but HARKINS got up and stuck the ball away deep to Paul Gallacher`s right.
Four� minutes later Mole swung over� a� cross from the right that Burke touched back� to Phinn and his shot from 22 yards was deflected on to the crossbar. Steven Bell required treatment in 27 minutes but was back on to fire the next Pars chance over the bar after a good pasing move from Thomson through Graham to Mole.
At the other end Gallacher was out quick to thwart Kris Doolan and then in 33 minutes Harkins blasted a Doolan lay off well wide of Gallacher`s left hand post. Rory Loy� came on for the struggling Bell but the Pars failed to keep up their earlier dominance.
The half fizzled out with Glass overhitting a free kick in from the left and a� Partick corner from the left headed clear by Glass and Loy. Phinn had an attempt blocked out and Doolan at the other end was well wide with his.
Half Time: Dunfermline 0 Partick Thistle 1
Dunfermline were out early awaiting Partick.� but from the kick off it was the visitors� � who were first to shoot, Paton thumping the ball over the top in just 35 seconds. In 50 minutes a cut back from the left byeline was tiuched back from Doolan and Stephen McKeown� had a great opportunity from just 14 yards but that thankfully was blocked.
It was 57 minute before the home side produced any danger when Mole sent Graham into the Partick box but it took full back Thomson to� test Tuffey for the first time in the second half.� Scott Muirhead replaced Alex Burke and next Glass fed Loy an opportunity but Tuffey turned that behind for a corner.
Muirhead went wide with the ball before quaring to Phinn at the edge of the box but his left footed shot in 62 minutes was blasted off target. Territorially the Pars were doing better but penetrating the opposition defence was problematic. In 67 minutes the home fans were up celebrating what would have been Phinn`s eleventh of the season but instead the offside flag was up.� The midfielder had followed up after David Graham`s great shot from 25 yards was deflected on to the crossbar off Alan Archibald.
At the other end Harkins clipped a Paton cross just outside the left post. Kevin McKinlay came on for Thistle and he kept Galacher alert with a powerful shot from 25 yards after Donnelly and Doolan had set him up. In 77 minutes Doolan and Paton linked up on the right side contriving to send another shot over the bar.
Dunfermline couldn`t make much headway with Mole offside when Muirhead looked to have played him through. Gallacher held a McKinlay header after Doolan had delivered yet another good cross. As the match entered the final ten minutes, the Jags support were breaking into song in marked contrast to the home support who had little to cheer.
Loy drove a low shot from distance that Tuffey held and next the all orange keeper dived at the feet of Mole to prevent any further Pars danger. A Muirhead cross was turned on goal by Thomson and again Tuffey stopped it.� Muirhead looped a header that Tuffey held and in 92nd minute Graham fired a low shot that the keeper took as it seemed to be spinning under him.
Ian McCall`s side hung on to their lead to register their first league win at East End Park in 26 years. Their win takes Thistle to within one point of league leaders St Johnstone who lost at Livingston.� As for Dunfermline that particular battle now looks out of their reach.
DUNFERMLINE: Paul Gallacher, Scott Thomson, Greg Shields, Scott Wilson (c), Austin McCann; Steven Bell (Rory Loy 33), Stephen Glass, Nick Phinn, Alex Burke (Scott Muirhead 58); Jamie Mole, David Graham.
SUBS:� Paul Willis, Greg Ross, Callum Reidford.
YELLOW CARD: Shields (78)
PARTICK THISTLE: Jonny Tuffey; Simon Storey, Alan Archibald, John Robertson, Mark Twaddle; Stephen McKeown (Kevin McKinlay 72), Paul Paton, David Rowson, Lucas Akins (Simon Donnelly 68), Gary Harkins, Kris Doolan.
SUBS: Craig Hinchcliffe, Scott Chaplain, Ian Maxwell,
SCORER: Harkins (20)
WEATHER: Fine 11C
NEXT MATCH: (away) Homecoming Scottish Cup Quarter Final Replay v Aberdeen, Wednesday 18th March 2009, kick off 7.45pm
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