SFL v Partick Thistle
DUNFERMLINE 0 PARTICK THISTLE 0 Date: 14/12/10
Fixture: Irn Bru SFL Division
Attendance: 1743, Kick Off: 7.45pm
Referee: Craig Thomson
For this match re-arranged from ten days previous Manager Jim McIntyre made two changes from the side that took the Pars to the top of the league on Saturday. Joe Cardle came in for the suspended Wullie Gibson and Steven McDougall was preferred up front beside Andy Kirk at the expense of Pat Clarke.
For Ian McCall`s Thistle Jackie McNamara returned, Conrad Balatoni replaced the suspended Alan Archibald and Liam Buchanan found himself on the bench.
The visitors kicked off attacking the goal at the McCathie Stand end. Within the first 90 seconds McDougall, Kirk and Cardle all had attempts to get crosses in. Things continued to look good with David Graham collecting the ball in his own half, beating a couple of opponents and releasing Phinn to speed through the middle. Alas he couldn`t get the shot in but then in fifth minute Cardle popped up on the right side of the penalty area to drill a low ball across that was intercepted by the defence.
Dunfermline got a rude awakening two minutes later when Bryan Hodge made ground down the left and his cross was rocketed wide left by Paul Paton. It took a deflection so Smith was called upon to hold the cross from the corner. Thistle didn`t give up and their front men nearly took advantage of some indecision in the centre of defence.
In 11 minutes a Calum Woods ball to the far post was pulled back by Cardle to blast a shot at Scott Fox but the linesman had his flag up for a goal kick. Then four minutes later Graham created the opportunity to shoot from the right angle of the penalty box. His cross-cum-shot dropped just over the bar to land on the roof of the net.
Partick countered and Smith was made to hold a Hodge header when he met a cross from the right. Then in 22 minutes Hodge had a great chance but his cracking shot was deflected off Keddie. Woods had a nice try as he lifted the ball over the Thistle defence but unluckily Phinn just couldn`t get a touch before Fox grabbed it.
There were 36 minutes on the clock when Cardle was in the right channel to feed Gary Mason in the box. His cut back travelled through the defenders to where Cardle might have been had he not been doing the provider`s job. Before the break Phinn drove a low shot at Fox and Kirk had an inviting cross headed away.
There were appeals for a penalty when Kirk was eased out in his challenge on a Woods cross on the edge of the six yard box. It was a first half that the Pars bossed without making too many chances or giving Fox much to save. Thistle had possibly as many shots at goal but had spent lengthy periods defending.
Half Time: Dunfermline 0 Partick Thistle 0
It was 52nd minute before the second half produced much to warm up the proceedings, skipper McCann getting to the byeline to centre a useful ball that the defence unfortunately got to first. Cardle picked out Graham, albeit off the back of David Rowson and the Pars no.7 sent the ball wide right to Woods. Woodsie beat his man and squared but McNamara got the ball away.
Then Cardle broke into the left side of the Partick box but skied his shot into the crowd behind the goal. Paton`s diagonal ball from the right was headed behind by Dowie to hand Thistle a corner but that turned out to be a poor attempt. Jim McIntyre then made the double substitution of Pat Clarke and Paul Willis replacing Kirk and Cardle.
Willis won a corner on the right and then Graham another. His deliveries were dangerous but still the Jags defended well. Woods met a Graham cross from the left in 66 minutes but his effort went safely into the hands of the tangerine shirted keeper. It was a Willis ball into the six yard box that got the home fans singing two minutes later but the ball was whisked away from the striker.
There was a let off for the league leaders when sub Liam Buchanan made the break down the right. Woods cut out the cross but Thistle got another bite at it and when Smith failed to take Dowie cleared off the line.
Kinniburgh was shown yellow when he dumped Willis and from the resultant free kick Nick Phinn drove the defended ball narrowly over the bar. Next a Willis cross was met by Clarke at the near post but the ball travelled past the right goalpost. Fox held another Willis effort but time was running out for Dunfermline when Graham sent his cross into the stand.
It all came to an end without the ball hitting the net. The point extends Athletic`s lead at the top but only due to Raith`s match at the Falkirk Stadium being a victim of the weather.
DUNFERMLINE: Chris Smith; Calum Woods, Andy Dowie, Alex Keddie, Austin McCann (c); David Graham, Nick Phinn, Gary Mason, Joe Cardle (Paul Willis 59); Andy Kirk (Pat Clarke 59), Steven McDougall.
SUBS NOT USED: Chris Higgins, Neil McGregor, Kyle Allison (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Clarke (72)
PARTICK THISTLE: Scott Fox; Paul Paton, Willie Kinniburgh, Conrad Balatoni (Iain Flannigan 81), Paddy Boyle: Jackie McNamara (c); David Rowson, Paul Cairney; Bryan Hodge, Simon Donnelly (Kris Doolan 83), Chris Erskine (62).
SUBS NOT USED: Martin Grehan, Ryan Scully (GK).
YELLOW CARD: Kinniburgh (71)
WEATHER: Damp 3C
NEXT MATCH: SFL First Division v Ross County
Saturday 18th December 2010, kick off 3.00pm
Ladbrokes Championship: Saturday 18th March, Dunfermline v Ayr United kick off 3.00pm