SFL v Ayr United
DUNFERMLINE 3 AYR UNITED 1 10/10/09
Fixture: Irn Bru SFL Division One
Attendance: 2460, Kick Off: 3.00pm.
Referee: Dougie MacDonald
From the side that lost to Queen of the South out went Joe Cardle and Graeme Holmes, in came David Graham and Andy Kirk who was on a high having been called into the Northern Ireland squad to face the Czech Republic in Prague on Wednesday.. Ayr made two changes from the side that defeated Raith Rovers. Billy Gibson and Kevin Cawley started in place of Kevin James and Alistair Woodburn.
Both sides languished too close to the foot of the table for comfort so it was with added conviction that Alex Burke and Andy Kirk got the match underway with the Pars attacking the goal at the Cowdenbeath end of the stadium. Willie Gibson got in the first attempt with a lobbed shot from the right that escaped wide left.
Ayr United enjoyed possibly more possession than Jim McIntyre was happy with and Ryan Stevenson produced their first stab at goal in eight minutes but hit the McCathie Stand from 25 yards.
Five minutes later Dunfermline were presented with a glorious chance when Graham Bayne`s cross from the right travelled all the way to David Graham ten yards out. The former Gretna man connected but keeper Craig Samson`s save sent the ball over the crossbar.
The visitors popped a 16th minute effort around the Pars right post when Kenny Connolly curled in a good attempt from the left corner of the penalty box. The match lacked goalmouth incident and Kirk was unfortunate in 24 minutes when Gibson delivery was just too strong for him to get a decent header on target.
The match badly needed a goal and it might have been rather harsh on the visitors who had gone through a good patch but a good through ball almost produced the goods for the Pars on the half hour. Graham raced on to the pass and on the edge of the six yard box tried to find Kirk with a squared ball but Billy Gibson slipped in ahead of Kirk to kill the opportunity.
Four minutes later Graham`s deflected shot from 25 yards was held by Samson. Then a Muirhead cross was scooped away from first Kirk and then Bayne by the Ayr keeper.
Ayr might have looked like Aston Villa in their claret away strip and Dunfermline vaguely resembled Juventus unfortunately the first half lacked even Scottish First Division quality, delivered no goals and precious few chances.
Half Time: Dunfermline 0 Ayr United 0
Calum Woods replaced Scott Muirhead for the second half and immediately Dunfermline looked much more interested. Graham`s shot from edge of six yard box deflected over the bar. Then a Graham cross allowed Gibson to snap a pass into Phinn. Bayne tried a shot and Kirk netted the rebound off the block but the offside flag had already been raised.
The 55th and 56h minutes proved to be very fruitful for the Pars however. Ten yards inside the Ayr half Calum Woods swept the ball in from the left side to Burke who in turn moved the play wide right through Ross to Gibson. Connolly challenged but the former Killie player got the cross in for Andy KIRK to turn the ball passed Samson for the opener and his 100th league goal.
Next minute Graham cut inside to the top of the D but his shot was blocked. Willie GIBSON accepted the rebound and netted from 20 yards with the aid of a deflection. Graham kept up the pressure brushing aside Cawley to hit the post five minutes later. Nick Phinn followed up but sent his attempt wide of target to the right.
Willie GIBSON made it 3-0 in 63 minutes when another Graham shot brought about a great save from Samson but the Ayr defence could do nothing to stop the low drive into the far side of their net.
Five minutes later Ayr manager Brian Reid committed a triple substitution. On came Neil McGowan, Alistair Woodburn and Ryan Borris to replace Kevin Cawley, Bryan Prunty and Kenny Connolly.
Pars sub Joe Cardle ran off with a touch through from Bayne but his final effort went wide left from 20 yards. Then at the other end Greg Fleming, well out on the left of his penalty box dived to block David Gormley run and referee Dougie MacDonald pointed to the spot. Chris AITKEN accepted the award thumping the penalty into the top left to bring the Honest Men back into things.
On 85 minutes Kirk played the ball wide left for Cardle to launch another of his runs but having got almost to the byeline his cross in the direction of Kirk was intercepted and the chance had gone. Three minutes later Kirk`s shot from the right rolled outside the far post but by then the result was not in question.
Three welcome points for Jim McIntyre and his team take them two places up the league overtaking both Ayr and Morton. Ross County`s win at Greenock means that on Tuesday night the Pars travel to Dingwall to take on the second placed team.
DUNFERMLINE: Greg Fleming; Greg Ross, Neil McGregor, Andy Dowie, Scott Muirhead (Calum Woods HT); David Graham (Joe Cardle 66), Nick Phinn (Graeme Holmes 66), Alex Burke, Willie Gibson; Graham Bayne, Andy Kirk.
SUBS NOT USED: Steven McDougall, Greg Paterson (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Bayne (32), Ross (90+2)
SCORERS: Kirk (55), Gibson (56, 63).
AYR UNITED: Craig Samson; Dean Keenan, Martyn Campbell, Billy Gibson, William Easton` Kevin Cawley (David Gormley 68), Chris Aitken, Ryan Stevenson, Kenneth Connolly (Alistair Woodburn 68); Bryan Prunty (Neil McGowan 68), Mark Roberts.
SUBS NOT USED: Steve Grindlay (GK), Ryan Borris.
SCORER: Aitken (75 pen)
YELLOW CARD: Keenan (46), Campbell (76)
WEATHER: Overcast 11C
NEXT MATCH: (away) First Division v Ross County
Tuesday 13th October 2009, kick off 7.45pm
- www: MATCH PICTURES
Ladbrokes Championship: Saturday 18th March, Dunfermline v Ayr United kick off 3.00pm