SFL Div One: FALKIRK 2 DUNFERMLINE 2
Jim Jefferies took his high flying Dunfermline team across the Forth to meet Falkirk where the bookies were making the visitors the 11/10 favourites. It was the same again starting eleven but Falkirk made three changes from the side that faced Cowdenbeath the previous week. Luke Leahy, Blair Alston and ex Jambo Robbie Neilson as a trialist were brought in to replace McGrandles, Haworth and Weatherston.
Dunfermline went into the game on the back of five successive league wins while it was five games back that Falkirk won in the league. Since defeating Morton 2-1 at Cappielow, they had lost to Livingston and drawn with Hamilton, Airdrie and Cowdenbeath,
The vocal pre match build up was certainly won by the Fifers whose travelling support was expected to top 1500. Falkirk kicked off towards the Pars support and for the opening minutes kept play in front of them. A long throw from Stephen Kingsley caused uncertainty on the edge of the Pars six yard box and it was six minutes into the game before the Pars were far enough up the park for Josh Falkingham to get in the first effort on target. Michael McGovern held that with ease.
Murdoch scythed down McMillan to hand the Pars a free kick on the right. Jordan floated that in but Neilson got in front of the inrushing Callum Morris to give Dunfermline the first corner of the match in eigthth minute. When that was sent over from the right Andy Dowie got his head to it but his effort cleared the crossbar.
Andy Geggan was yellow carded in 13 minutes when he stopped Blair Alston's run but Luke Leahy pumped the free kick from 35 yards out straight through for a goal kick.There was a fright for the Fifers defence when Dowie was weak with his header back to Gallacher but as Lyle Taylor pounced on it Morris covered back to deny the Bairns. It was fiesty stuff as Stewart Murdoch was shown yellow in 18 minutes.
Ryan Wallace was through on goal two minutes later and fired at McGovern when a cut back for Barrowman might have had greater success. Dunfermline got much more into the game after that with better posession and play in the opposition half. There was a great chance in 29 minutes when Cardle's ball into the right side of Falkirk's box was nodded down for McMillan to pop a shot narrowly over the bar.
Falkirk striker Lyle TAYLOR had served notice earlier that he was capable of speedy counters and that is exactly what happened ion the half hour. The no.9 was clear of the ensuing defenders when he shot past Gallacher to send the Bairns into the lead. 1-0.
McMillan was the second Pars player to see yellow on 37 minutes and next the Pars threatened with a Barrowman header that travelled over the top. Jordan headed a Kingsley cross over his own crossbar in 41 minutes to give Falkirk their first corner of the afternoon but that was headed wide by Neilson.
Two minutes from the interval Joe Cardle displayed some great trickery to produce a dangerous ball into the box but the home defence headed clear. It had been a competitive first half without Dunfermline testing Fakirk stopper McGovern. Hopefully news that Morton were 2-1 up against league leaders Partick Thistle at half time would give the Pars players increased resolve in the second half.
Half time: Falkirk 1 Dunfermline 0
The Pars got the second half underway with an immediate push with Wallace feeding McMillan on the right but his ball in was too strong and Falkirk had a goal kick within ten seconds. McGovern was tested in 53 minutes when Wallace's cross from the right had to be held to deny Cardle.
Falkirk had pegged the Pars back and were winning possession all too easily. The Pars were made to suffer when in 55 minutes a ball was lobbed over the defence for TAYLOR to slot another past Gallacher. 2-0.
Dunfermline reacted with pressure on the home defence and Cardle made McGovern save in 59 minutes. Ryan Thomson replaced Falkingham as Jim Jefferies tried to rectify the situation. Alston won a corner in 64 minutes but Gallacher eventually held after some head tennis in the six yard box. At the other end a good ball in from the right cannoned off Thomson and into the arms of the orange shirted keeper.
There were louds appeal for a penalty from Cardle's 66th minute corner appeared to be handled at the cross. Jordan was then shown yellow after dumping Higgins on the touchline. Morris joined him in the book two minutes later and in 71 minute Dalgety Bay man, Alston tested Gallacher with a powerful effort from 30 yards.
Sean Higgins looped the ball over Gallacher in 75 minutes and the ball broke behind off the crossbar. Back in front of the Pars support Kirk came close to getting on the end of a Wallace cross. His corner was rather easily defended and play swept to the other end again as it
It was become increasingly like a defeat when in 79 minutes hope was restored with a Pars goal. Wallace took the ball to the right byeline to send the ball into the six yard box where Andy BARROWMAN arrived just right to tuck the ball away. 2-1.
The Pars support rallied and roused the team. Wallace's next cross was dangerously headed over his own crossbar by Neilson but when Wallace sent the ball in from the left corner flag Ryan THOMSON had substitute success again to head home the equaliser. 2-2
Two goals in three minutes had the Pars fans dancing in the aisles Wallace nearly squeezed in at the left post then Jordan's cross was headed downwards by Barrowman at the far post but McGovern held. Another corner raised huge roars from the Pars fans but this time Thomson couldn't quite reach Wallace's delivery. Falkirk were on the rack but Wallace's sliced shot took the pressure off them. What a finale, what a comeback but unfortunately no more goals.
Morton's 3-1 win over Partick Thistle meant that Dunfermline left the Falkirk Stadium top of the First Division.
FALKIRK; Michael McGovern; Kieran Duffie, Trialist (Chris Smith 94), Darren Dods, Johnny Flynn; Luke Leahy (Andrew Haworth 87), Stewart Murdoch, Blair Alston, Stephen Kingsley; Lyle Taylor, Sean Higgins (David Weatherston 77).
SUBS NOT USED: Graham Bowman (GK), Dale Fulton
YELLOW CARD: Murdoch (18)
SCORER: Taylor (30, 55).
DUNFERMLINE: Paul Gallacher; Jordan McMillan (c), Andy Dowie, Callum Morris, Stephen Jordan; Josh Falkingham (Ryan Thomson 62), Andy Geggan, Stephen Husband, Joe Cardle (Andy Kirk 73); Andy Barrowman, Ryan Wallace
SUBS NOT USED: Michal Hrivnak (GK), Craig Dargo, John Potter.
YELLOW CARD: Geggan (13), McMillan (37), Jordan (67), Morris (69)
SCORER: Barrowman (79), Thomson (82)
REFEREE: Brian Colvin
WEATHER: Sunny intervals 14C
ATTENDANCE: 4961 inc.1632 away fans.
NEXT MATCH: SFL First Division (home) v Morton
Saturday 20th October 2012
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Ladbrokes Championship: Saturday 22nd April, Dunfermline v Falkirk kick off 3.00pm