SFL Div One: HAMILTON 0 DUNFERMLINE 3
Dunfermline travelled to Hamilton on league business for the first time in four and a half years. Following the midweek cup defeat to SPL Aberdeen, Jim Jefferies went with the same starting eleven that had delighted him against the Dons. Craig Dargo for Alex Whittle was the only change.
For Accies their manager Billy Reid brought Jonathan Page and Stevie May in and relegated Michael Devlin and Louis Longridge to the bench as they sought their first league win.
There were no more than 350 Pars supporters in the ground when the match kicked off with the home team playing towards the stand housing the Fife support. Dunfermline looked as though they were going to take the game by the throat right from the start but it was Accies who had the first chance. On four minutes Routledge fed Ali Crawford on the left side of the box but their top scorer this season blasted high over the bar.
Then in sixth minute Page was up to attack the first corner of the game but he lacked control in front of goal and the Pars defence cleared.Then Stevie May was caught offside as Dunfermline failed to get control. Accies continued to press and in tenth minute Fisher, Keatings and Crawford showed good touches as the ball was pumped about the perimeter of the Pars box.
In 12th minute Alex Neil eased Ryan Wallace off the ball to give the Pars a free kick level with the 18 yard line out right. Joe Cardle's delivery was low and easily cleared but then another setpiece 27 yards out was taken by Jordan but Kevin Cuthbert held the left footed effort at shoulder height.
The Pars then won more possession but found it hard to break through the opposition who at times, strung five along the back and four in front of them. Cardle pumped a free kick too strong to the far post and Dowie could not get enough on his header to create danger.
In 19 minutes another Cardle free kick from the right was cleared out and Josh Falkingham looped a header in that Cuthbert held. Next minute Husband drilled a shot on target but Cuthbert held comfortably. Accies then threatened on the break with Routledge sending May away down the right. Morris caused him to check back in the box and Jordan intercepted to rob possession away. Gary Fisher then fired a long range effort over Gallacher's goal.
In 26 minutes Wallace earned a free kick down on the left byeline and when Cardle delivered Morris' header was turned over his crossbar by Cuthbert. Cuthbert then fisted away Cardle's inswinger and yet again Hamilton mounted a threat on the counter. James Keatings fired this chance over the bar.
Wallace fed the ball to Andy Geggan on the edge of the box in 32 minutes and as he set the ball up for Falkingham but the Hamilton defence blocked him out as he attempted to get in a shot for the opener. Next Cardle picked out Jordan on the left but Falkingham could not get high enough to head in at the far post.
Stephen Jordan's 38th minute free kick was dropping promisingly for Barrowman but Cuthbert came flying out to punch clear. It was a first half with loads of Dunfermline possession but one where they found it difficult to breach the opposition defence.
Half time: Hamilton 0 Dunfermline 0
The half time team talk worked wonders. Wallace and Falkingham got play underway and when the ball was played down the left Cardle picked out Jordan on the overlap and the Englishman cut back from the byeline for WALLACE to fire a shot that travelled low into the net from 15 yards out. Just 19 seconds after the restart and 1-0 to the Pars.
Dunfermline looked even more dangerous with the lead but again Accies threatened on the break with Gallacher pulling off a fine save from a Crawford effort only for the officials to award a goal kick. The home support grew increasingly discontent with referee Craig Charleston when he penalised Accies for their challenge on Gallacher.
In 58 minutes the Hamilton bench and fans were complaining the ball was out of play as Wallace took advantage to break and cross for Falkingham but his shot fell outside the left goalpost. Two minutes later Wallace crossed from the right and Barrowman's header on it was saved by Cuthbert.
Substitute Andy Ryan was dumped by Geggan forcing a free kick 30 yards out but the sub shot his effort into the defensive wall. Then in 68 minutes Cardle cut in from the right looking to release a right footed shot but he didn't get the opportunity and sent the ball right to WALLACE who shot from 15 yards out on the angle and didn't need a touch from Barrowman as he ushered it home. 2-0.
Hamilton tried to mount a comeback feeling all the time that decisions weren't going there way. Two corners in 77 minutes were relatively easily defended. Dunfermline intercepted from Crawford and it was three against two in 79 minutes as Cardle, Wallace and Barrowman broke but the latter chose to shoot when Cardle was free and the keeper held.
Wallace rolled the ball out at the far post in 81 minutes before Andy Kirk replaced Andy Barrowman, the Pars first sub. In 84 minutes Paul Gallacher made a great save at a Gary Fraser corner when May arrived to meet it with a glancing header. Then in 89 minutes Dunfermline put the icing on the cake when Husband cut back on the right for sub Ryan THOMSON to stoop to head in a Pars third.
A fine win but a late equaliser for Partick Thistle at Kirkcaldy kept the Pars in second place.
HAMILTON ACCIES: Kevin Cuthbert; Grant Gillespie, Alex Neil (c), Stephen Hendrie, Martin Canning, Jonathan Page, Jon Routledge, Stevie May, Gary Fisher (Louis Longridge 71), James Keatings (Andy Ryan 64), Ali Crawford (Gary Fraser 80)
SUBS NOT USED: Scott Christie (GK), Michael Devlin.
YELLOW CARD: Fisher (45)
DUNFERMLINE: Paul Gallacher; Jordan McMillan (c), Andy Dowie, Callum Morris, Stephen Jordan; Josh Falkingham (Ryan Thomson 86), Andy Geggan, Stephen Husband, Joe Cardle; Andy Barrowman (Andy Kirk 82), Ryan Wallace
SUBS NOT USED: Michal Hrivnak (GK), Craig Dargo, John Potter.
SCORER: Wallace (46, 68), Thomson (89).
REFEREE: Craig Charleston (stood in for Iain Brines who was called in to officiate at Motherwell v Celtic)
WEATHER: 14C Sunny intervals and very windy
NEXT MATCH: Irn Bru First Division (away) v Falkirk
Saturday 6th October 2012, kick off 3.00pm: ALL TICKET
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