SFL v Ayr United
AYR UNITED 1 DUNFERMLINE 2 Date: 10/04/10
Fixture: Irn Bru SFL Division
Attendance: 1367, Kick Off: 3.00pm.
Referee: George Salmond -
Dunfermline travelled to Ayr for the first of three away games in the closing four matches of the season. Chris Higgins� took the place of� the injured Neil McGregor.� Ayr United made two changes from the side that lost at home to Raith Rovers in midweek. Andy Aitken and Martyn Campbell were out injured so Manager Brian Reid brought in Billy Gibson and 35 year old Kevin James for his 12th league game of the season.
Dunfermline in their red shirts with black shorts kicked off attacking the home end but immediately lost possession allowing an Ayr cross into the box within 20 seconds.The home side`s first real attack� came in three minutes when Ryan Borris� collected Mark Roberts pass� out left and� his cross� could only be forced out as far as Steve Bowey.� His shot rebounded away for the first corner of the afternoon and when that came over from the left James` header was chested away by Gary Mason.
In seventh minute Borris conceded a free kick that let Willie Gibson drill the ball into the Ayr box and Mason picked up the chance but fired narrowly wide left.� Four minutes later Ross Campbell failed to get enough purchase on his header from a Graham cross, then at the other end Steven Bell was shown a yellow card for impeding Dean Keenan. Danny Lafferty sent the free kick inches wide of Chris Smith`s left hand post.
Andy Dowie was left with space to pop a shot from 35 yards but his 18th minute attempt sailed wide of target. David Graham was next to threaten with a run from his own half.� He beat off several players to reach the top of the box but blasted his shot high over the top. Campbell had a half chance just after that but the home defence survived.
Dunfermline created the best chance so far in 25 minutes.� Austin McCann fed McDougall on the left and his cross travelled across the face of goal to Gibson who knocked it for Graham in front of goal but his connection sent the ball over the crossbar from just 8 yards.
Five minutes later Craig Samson took the ball off Bell`s head after Woods had pumped over a good delivery from a Gibson lay off.� Graham was unlucky not to get in a shot after Bell played the ball back to him but the Ayr support were growing increasingly annoyed with their side who at times were finding it hard to clear their own penalty box.
They were permitted some rare excitement in 37 minutes when Keenan`s cross had to be headed away by Dowie but that apart there was little service to their strikers, Tam McManus and Mark Roberts.
Disaster for Ayr though in 40 minutes.� Steven McDouglall skinned the on loan Chris Mitchell on the left, drove into the box and his cut back was hammered into the net by Ross CAMPBELL.� The lead was well deserved but should have been doubled in the next minute when Woods broke down the left to feed Graham in front of goal but Samson saved at point blank range.
Graham sent another chance wide in 44 minutes and then the Pars paid dearly when McMANUS controlled a bouncing through ball to evade both Dowie on the edge of the box and round Smith to net.� The half time whistle ended a first half where Dunfermline were miles ahead on possession and chances but thanks to McManus all square.
Half Time: Ayr United� 1 Dunfermline 1
Given their perilous league position Ayr needed to win this match and in the early stages of the second period McDougall, Graham and McCann all found themselves with space to attack on the counter.� Then in 53 minutes McDOUGALL was picked out on the edge of the box to burst in on goal and slot the ball beyond Samson to reinstate the Fifers lead.
McManus nearly snatched an equaliser right back but Chris Smith timed his run nicely to palm away the strikers attempt. In 57 minutes Higgins fired over the top at� Dunfermline`s only second� corner of the afternoon.
Woods was carded in giving away a 66th minute free kick but Mitchell made a mess of� the setpiece� that looked more like a rugby union conversion attempt.� At the other end Graham was allowed another go at goal but Samson yet again closed out the target to keep his team`s hopes alive.
Brian Reid threw on two subs but still chances came the Pars way but the luckless Graham sent his 71st minute opportunity out of the ground. Graham may have lost his shooting boots but he was spreading passes and crosses like butter on hot toast.Woods cut in from the right in 76 minutes and Samson turned his well struck shot around his post.� Woods was on the end of the corner but Samson held the right back`s header.
With just ten minutes left the home fans were appealing for their side to `have a go` but really Dunfermline were well in control. McDougall was through on the left side in 82 minutes but again Samson held the shot. Graham forced his way through the middle and Campbell pulled his shot wide left.
Viscone turned a Graham cross over the crossbar when it looked like McDougall was sure to slip in number three with just three minutes remaining.� Kevin James headed over Smith`s crossbar in the 93rd minute and two Pars goals were enough to win the points.� � Rarely can Dunfermline have been so far ahead with just a one goal advantage to show for it.
AYR UNITED: Craig Samson; Chris Mitchell,� Kevin James,� Billy Gibson, Danny Lafferty;� Dean Keenan, Steve Bowey (Kenny Connolly 59), Ryan McGowan (Rocky Visconte 59),� Ryan Borris (Junior Mendes 67);, Mark Roberts, Tam McManus
SUBS:� , Alistair Woodburn,, Steve Grindlay (GK),
SCORER: McManus (44)
YELLOW CARD:� Lafferty (70), Connolly (80)
DUNFERMLINE: Chris Smith;� Calum Woods, Chris Higgins, Andy Dowie, Austin McCann (c); Steven Bell, Gary Mason, Willie Gibson;� David Graham, Ross Campbell (Nick Phinn 88), Steven McDougall.
SUBS:� Greg Ross, Graeme Holmes, Alex Burke, Greg Fleming (GK).
YELLOW CARD: Bell (13), Woods (66), Gibson (84)
SCORER: Campbell (40), McDougall (53)
WEATHER: Sunny Intervals 17C
ATTENDANCE: 1367 (90 Pars fans)
NEXT MATCH: (away) SFL v Inverness Caley Thistle
Saturday 17th April 2010, kick off 3.00pm
- www: MATCH PICTURES
Ladbrokes Championship: Saturday 22nd April, Dunfermline v Falkirk kick off 3.00pm