SFL v Morton
DUNFERMLINE 2 MORTON 0 Date: 14/08/10
Fixture: Irn Bru SFL Division
Attendance: 3113, Kick Off: 3.00pm.
Referee: Alan Muir
Morton were the visitors for the opening league game at East End Park. There were two changes in Jim McIntyre`s team: Austin McCann and Joe Cardle return, Alex Keddie dropped out through suspension and Joe Cardle was preferred to Willie Gibson. From the team that lost in Dingwall on Tuesday night Allan Moore`s Morton had Colin Stewart back between the sticks, Peter Weatherson and Carlo Monti took the place of Stewart Kean and Fouad Bachirou.
A guard of honour, shaped by over a dozen former Pars Legends, formed for the two teams to enter the park and it was Dunfermline who kicked off through Kirk and Clarke attacking the goal at the Cowdenbeath end. It was Morton`s Michael Tidser who created the first chance in just 150 seconds making a surging run before sending a diagonal ball through the Pars box just ahead of Peter Weatherson.
Morton won the first corner of the afternoon in fifth minute when Carlo Monti`s shot was deflected off Calum Woods. The delivery from the right was defended but very quickly Graeme Holmes was presented with the opportunity to send the ball back in from the right and Marc Smyth`s header was glanced just too far left to bother Chris Smith.
Dunfermline`s first corner in tenth minute, executed by the red booted Joe Cardle, was held by Stewart and within 60 seconds Morton had a corner at the other end that Grant Evans headed wide at the far post. Pat Clarke turned and shot from a Woods cross in 15 minutes but his effort was blocked.
Nick Phinn required treatment after a Tidser challenge in 25 minutes and on the resumption Cardle launched the free kick into the hands of the purple kitted Morton keeper. After former St Johnstone and Inverness Caley Thistle central defender ,Stuart McCafferty fouled Andy Kirk on the left corner of the penalty box, Cardle fired in a free kick but Woods was penalised for shirt pulling in the attempt to convert the chance at the far post.
The visitors certainly enjoyed the bulk of the possession for the opening 25 minutes but keeper Chris Smith was never really tested. The Pars were coming more into things as Phinn was forced to retire to be subbed by Willie Gibson in 31 minutes. Pressure was put on the Morton defence as play moved to the sunny end of the park. Stewart held a Woods cross but soon play was back in front of the McCathie Stand.
Marc Smyth`s cross from the left in 39 minutes found the head of Weatherson but Smith did just enough to send the ball wide right for a corner. A cry of "we`re supposed to be the home team" accurately summed up the feeling from the sidelines as Morton continued to tease the home defence and Smith was called upon to hold a long distance attempt from Tidser in 42 minutes.
Not a good first 45 for the Pars, definitely second best but at the break it was all square and everything to play for in the second half.
Half Time: Dunfermline 0 Morton 0
Morton built up well for Allan Jenkins to set up the first chance of the second period in 47 minutes but his final ball failed to pick out the strikers and Monti was left with a shot that was blotted out by the home defence. Stewart`s first save of the afternoon in 50 minutes was an easily taken shot from Gibson.
Pat Clarke required the attentions of physio Gerry Docherty in 55 minutes but was fit to continue.Higgins made a double clearance on the hour, steering Jenkins pass away to the right and then intercepting Monti`s return. The travelling support were very upset as the offside flag went up as Jenkins wound up for a clear chance in front of goal before Steven McDougall replaced Pat Clarke.
The Greenock fans were on their feet again to complain about Andy Dowie`s challenge on Weatherson 14 yards out but in 64 minutes they were given a free kick after McCann`s misdemeanours only to overstrike the set piece. Holmes was then able to touch the ball right for Kelbie to drive into the right sidenetting.
Neil McGregor came on for Joe Cardle as David Graham moved wide again out of the midfield role he had assumed following Phinn`s retiral. Morton sub Stewart Kean hooked the next chance wide left and Smith had an easy take from Weatherson in 75 minutes.
It had not looked that promising for the Fifers but in 77 minutes Gibson broke out of defence and and switched the ball from right to left where McCann lobbed over a right footed delivery that Woods turned back for Andy KIRK to convert in front of goal for a very welcome Pars opener.
Within six minutes the lead was extended. Evans chopped down Graham 25 yards out on the left wing and when Gibson launched the free kick into the `Ton box KIRK`s glancing header from amongst a crowd of players six yards out beat Stewart.
Two nil flattered the home side who were outplayed for long periods. Certainly a case of hit and run but hey, who cares, two goals that mean three points, perfect at the end of the day! Bring on the Rovers next Saturday as the only teams in the league with maximum points go head to head.
DUNFERMLINE: Chris Smith, Calum Woods, Andy Dowie, Chris Higgins, Austin McCann (c), David Graham; Gary Mason, Nick Phinn (Willie Gibson 31), Joe Cardle (Neil McGregor 67); Andy Kirk, Pat Clarke (Steven McDougall 62).,
SUBS NOT USED: Paul Willis, Kyle Allison (GK)
SCORER: Kirk (77, 83)
MORTON: Colin Stewart; Grant Evans, Kevin Kinlay, Marc Smyth, Stuart McCaffrey, Michael Tidser, Carlo Monti, Allan Jenkins, Graeme Holmes, Kevin Kelbie (Stewart Kean 67), Peter Weatherson.
SUBS NOT USED: Neil MacFarlane, Stewart Greacen, Nathan Shepard, Kevin Cuthbert(GK)
YELLOW CARD: Tidser (59), Weatherson (72)
WEATHER: Sunny 17C
NEXT MATCH (away) SFL First Division v Raith Rovers
Saturday 21st August 2010, kick off 3.00pm
Ladbrokes Championship: Saturday 18th March, Dunfermline v Ayr United kick off 3.00pm