SFL v Morton
MORTON 1 DUNFERMLINE 2 Date: 27/02/10
Fixture: Irn Bru SFL Division
Attendance: 1776, Kick Off: 3.00pm.
Referee: Craig Thomson
Jim McIntyre claims Greenock is a difficult place to come to but he probably wasn`t meaning the snowy conditions on the M8. Leaving the white pyramids of Bathgate and the snow covered Kirk o` Shotts graveyard where the tombstones stood out like Chinese soldiers the journey to the Clyde `riviera` was much easier after Euorcentral. Conditions at the tail of the bank were perfect for football and Macca brought in Calum Woods for Andy Dowie and Andy Kirk for Willie Gibson. Nine years after first playing for the Pars, Gary Mason made his second Dunfermline debut in place of Alex Burke.
Morton Manager James Grady was forced into making one change - Carlo Monti came in for the suspended Kevin Finlayson.
Dunfermline kicked off attacking the goal at the east end of the ground and for most of the opening ten minutes they took the game towards Colin Stewart in the Morton goal. Cardle sent Mason up the right but his cut back to McCann was intercepted but when Graham fed the ball back to Greg Ross his firmly delivered ball into the box found Kirk but he could not control it well enough to get the shot in.
The Pars forced two corners in 11 minutes and although the second found Kirk and then Bell the Greenock defence held firm. A swiftly moved ball from Graham to Cardle two minutes later produced the first shot of the match but Joe was well wide right.
In 16th minute a fine move out of defence from Woods, right to Ross then on to Bell was fed to Cardle for another shot at goal. This time Stewart had to parry the well hit attempt and Phinn`s cut back from the left byeline was forced away. Graham was next to threaten and he almost set up Cardle but only a corner could be won.
Steven Masterton hit a fine 35 yards free kick that Greg Fleming dived at full stretch to turn around his left hand post in 21 minutes. Morton then won another corner and turned the heat up a bit on the visitors. Within another two minutes Dunfermline were back at the other end and Stewart did really well to keep out Woods powerful header on a Cardle corner. Bell was unfortunate with the follow up as his drive was blocked.
Erik Paartulu came on for Carlo Monti who had not been terribly prominent and apparently the Morton no.7 got changed and went home. Nevertheless Morton had their best chance so far in 34 minutes when Ryan McGuffie lumped forward a big ball from the halfway line and Peter Weatherson looked to be in on goal but Neil McGregor recovered to put the striker off and Fleming dived to the deck to smother the ball.
David Graham had a shot off a Bell pass but his attempt was curled well wide right. The sun came out momentarily with six minutes to the break but it wasn`t for Cardle`s attempts to get himself into a shooting position. Eventually it was McCann who swung the ball over but it dropped behind the goal.
At the interval even the Morton fans could concede that the Fifers were ahead on points but as Jim McIntyre always says `its goals that change games`.
Half Time: Morton 0 Dunfermline 0
The Pars were out fully two minutes waiting on their opponents and eventually it was Russell and McAlister who got the second half underway. Dunfermline made one half time substitution, Chris Higgins replacing Neil McGregor.
Two minutes into the half Graham curled a shot inches around the Morton right goalpost but it was the home side who got the opening in 55 minutes. A good free kick from Masterton on the right cleared Phinn and Cardle for Ryan McGUFFIE to glance away at Fleming`s right hand post.
Willie Gibson was thrown on to replace Phinn just before the hour and he immediately rifled a shot from the right angle of the box but it broke off Cardle. Graham had his fine effort headed behind by Shimmin and the home defence continued to head away crosses from Cardle.
Weatherson played a neat deflection in front of Russell but Woods made a great tackle to rob the striker of a chance to make it 2-0. McGuffie then found Weatherson on the edge of the box but Mason made a timely interception.
Greachen was booked as the Pars were awarded a free kick 30 yards out but Stewart held Gibson`s low drive. Ross Campbell came on for Joe Cardle and within a minute the game was back on level terms. Nothing to do with the sub however although Graham was wide left to pick out Andy KIRK and he turned his man to stick the ball away to the keeper`s left.
In 78 minutes Steven Bell chased the ball to the byeline on the right. Keeper Stewart came out but the Pars player followed the ball as the keeper missed it. Bell then crossed to Campbell on the right side of the box and he cut the ball back for Gary MASON to ram the ball in at the left goalpost from 20 yards. Mace`s first Pars goal since 18th November 2006 against Dundee United.
Dunfermline looked more comfortable with the lead; Graham came close and Campbell made another opening on the right but no one was there to convert his cross. Still it was a fine win having come back from the goal down. For luckless Morton it was their seventh home defeat of the season.
MORTON: Colin Stewart, Ryan McGuffie, Dominic Shimmin, Alan Reid, Stewart Greachen (c), Steven Masterton, Allan Jenkins (Brian Graham 83), Brian Graham,, Carlo Monti (Erik Paartulu 32), Jim McAlister, Iain Russell (Donovan Simmons 72)l, Peter Weatherson
SUBS: David McGregor, Kevin Cuthbert (GK)
SCORER: McGuffie (55),
YELLOW CARD: Greachen (68)
DUNFERMLINE: Greg Fleming; Greg Ross, Neil McGregor (Chris Higgins HT), Calum Woods, Austin McCann (c); Steven Bell, Gary Mason, Nick Phinn (Willie Gibson 59); David Graham, Joe Cardle (Ross Campbell 69); Andy Kirk.
SUBS: Alex Burke, Greg Paterson (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Mason (44), Gibson (88)
SCORER: Kirk (70), Mason (77)
WEATHER: Dry 5C
NEXT MATCH: SFL (home) v Raith Rovers
Tuesday 2nd March 2010 kick off 7.45pm
Ladbrokes Championship: Saturday 22nd April, Dunfermline v Falkirk kick off 3.00pm