SFL Div One: DUNFERMLINE 0 PARTICK THISTLE 1; Date 18/08/12
Dunfermline's first home league match of the 2012-13 season saw Jackie McNamara's Partick Thistle side travel to East End Park. Jim Jefferies introduced Joe Cardle into the starting eleven from Cowdenbeath the previous week. For the visitors Jackie McNamara had shuffled his pack for the cup tie v Queens Park in midweek but he brought six players back for this game: Scott Fox was between the sticks, Alan Archibald, Kris Doolan, Steve Lawless, Chris Erskine and Hugh Murray returned.
There were queues outside East End Park reaching back to the Aldi car park entrance just ten minutes before kick off and when Partick got the game underway it was the Pars who threatened from the start. Ryan Thomson in four minutes forced the first corner of the game; Cardle sent that in from the left and the ball flashed tantalisingly through the six yard box with no takers.
Three minutes later Doolan forced the first of three quick corners but Paul Gallacher came for the third and held commandingly. This gave the visitors a lift and they confidently strung together a number of passes that frustrated the Fifers for a spell. Cardle was given the chance to send in a free kick but that was defended and then in 14 minutes Paul Willis found Thomson on the edge of the box but his effort went wide right.
Partick lived dangerously with Archibald losing possession in his box but his defence recovered only for Murray to be caught by Falkingham. Decision was a free kick against the Pars. At the other end Chris Erskine got a shot on target but it took a deflection and Gall dived to his right to hold easily.
Thistle took their chance however in 24 minutes. Erskine threaded a ball into the centre of the Pars box that Steve LAWLESS took round John Potter and stuck away to Gallacher's right. 0-1.
In reply Willis got a shot on target from 20 yards but his attempt didn't have enough on it to give Scott Fox any problems. The visitors continued to take the game to Dunfermline, play got stuck in the Pars half with Erskine and Lawless absolutely buzzing. Cardle was doing a lot of spoiling but as an attacking unit the Pars lacked a threat.
Eight minutes from the break Jordan McMillan had to go off after treatment from physio Kenny Murray that failed to mend an ankle problem. Stephen Husband replaced him after he limped off and then had the chance for immediate glory when played through but the 25 year old Thistle keeper won the race.
When Thistle miscued the ball it came back into the centre of their box where Willis headed it down for Thomson and he went down under the challenge from Archibald but the decision from Iain Brines was no penalty.
The Pars had a good chance from an angled Andy Geggan pass into the Partick box. Cardle gathered but got dispossessed before he could get in a shot. So Thistle went in ahead at the break and the Pars players certainly knew that they had been in a game. Hopefully the half time talk can inject some fresh ideas for the home team..
Half Time: Dunfermline 0 Partick Thistle 1
Bright summer sunshine welcomed the teams back on to the pitch and the Pars set off attacking the goal in front of the McCathie Stand. It was Partick within three minutes who created a good chance with Sean Welsh hammering a shot narrowly wide of the left post from 30 yards out.
Cardle gave Fox a save to make rising to hold the Pars stars' looping ball. A Barrowman ball for Thomson just in front of goal was timely defended and then a Cardle pass was directed wide right from a Willis header.
In front of their own fans Thistle stoked the ball around successfully with pace and Paul Paton had a crack at goal from 25 yards and a deflection took that close but outside that left post again. Dunfermline then got their opportunity with Cardle centering but both Willis and Thomson failing to accept it. An immediate reaction was to introduce Andy Kirk, coming off the bench to replace Josh Falkingham in 58 minutes.
Dowie then Thomson and Barrowman headers failed to make the breakthrough and a firmly hit Willis cross was cleared by the opposition defence. At the other end Gallacher held a Paton shot after Erskine had slipped the ball right for this team mate.
On 65 minutes Barrowman raced clear down the left but his cut back for Kirk was behind his co-striker and the chance had gone. Then in the next attack Kirk teed up Cardle but a Partick man dived in to stop the shot. It was end to end by now and Paton's cross was well defended by Geggan. Welsh was next allowed to line up Paton for a shot and this time fortunately high over the bar.
In 71 minutes an Andy Dowie ball into the Partick box was headed on from a defenders head to Cardle on the left but he couldn't convert the chance. After Willis was tackled by Bannigan, Thistle broke on the counter and with the ball coming off the heel of Erskine, Lawless had a chance but the Pars were let off. Alex Whittle then replaced Willis in 77 minutes as Jim Jefferies made his final change of the afternoon.
Cardle sent an inviting ball across the Thistle box and then Husband sent over a free kick that created an opening for Dowie but his shot from ten yards didn't have enough behind it to crack the defence. Barrowman shot from 20 yards but was wide right before in 85 minutes Welsh crossed from the left for Erskine on the edge of the box. The striker composed himself and shot just outside the right post.
The Pars made a final push. Potter came close to a Cardle corner from the left but the scoreline was not to be changed. The travelling supporters were the ones singing at the end and satisfylingly they knew that their side had been the better. Still only one home win since May 2011
DUNFERMLINE: Paul Gallacher; Andy Geggan, Andy Dowie, John Potter, Stephen Jordan; Ryan Thomson, Jordan McMillan (c) (Stephen Husband 37), Josh Falkingham (Andy Kirk 58), Paul Willis (Alex Whittle 77), Andy Barrowman, Joe Cardle.
SUBS NOT USED:, Chris Kane, Michal Hrivnak (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Potter (41), Barrowman (53)
PARTICK THISTLE: Scott Fox, Stephen O'Donnell, Aaron Muirhead, Alan Archibald, Stuart Bannigan:Paul Paton, Hugh Murray, Sean Welsh, Steve Lawless, Chris Erskine (James Craigen 89), Kris Doolan (Christie Elliot 77)...
SUBS NOT USED: Conrad Balatoni, Aaron Sinclair, Ryan Scully (GK),
SCORER: Lawless (24)
REFEREE: Iain Brines
WEATHER: Sunny 22C
50/50 HALF TIME WINNERS:
Winning number was No. 00270 . The prize amount is £486-00. The second prize of a home top was winning ticket No. 01204.
NEXT MATCH SFL First Division (away) v Airdrie United
Saturday 25th August 2012, kick off 3.00pm
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