SFL Div One: RAITH ROVERS 1 DUNFERMLINE 3
For the Fife Derby Pars boss, Jim Jefferies was able to start Joe Cardle, the only change from the side that lost to Partick Thistle the previous Saturday. That meant Chris Kane was left out. David Smith was the only change to the Rovers starting eleven; Joe Hamill dropped out of their midweek cup replay starting eleven against Airdrie United.
The teams changed ends and Raith Rovers kicked off defending the goal at the away end. Greg Spence rattled Andy Dowie within the first minute and the free kick sent Dunfermline up the park with Stephen Husband putting in the first attempt of the day but his shot was wayward and was met with derogatory jeers from the home support.
Allan Walker then took down Ryan Thomson from the rear and another free kick allowed Husband to float the ball into the Rovers box but that was defended. There was re-assuring play though from Dunfermline with Cardle giving Jason Thomson a torrid time. In fact he was possibly still reeling from that when he was late on Ryan Thomson and earned the first yellow card of the game in seventh minute.
Paul Gallacher held a long range effort from Smith before in 12 minutes the Pars broke fast. Andy Geggan's pass to Andy Barrowman was laced into the path of Josh Falkingham who travelled at speed to release Cardle on the left of the penalty box but his chip over the keeper also cleared the bar.
In 17 minutes Geggan broke but his one two off Barrowman was just too strong for the full back to convert. Smith exercised Gallacher again but really not seriously. Two Geggan crosses then created trouble for the home defence and they were relieved to see Falkingham's drive drift wide left.
Raith took the lead from an Allan Walker free kick deep down the right level with the six yard line. When the ball was lofted in former Par Pat CLARKE jumped high above the defence to head the ball past Gallacher. 1-0
Andy Dowie required treatment on his right leg from Pars physio Kenny Murray in 28th minute. He was able to continue but did appear to be hampered by it for a few minutes. In 34 Grant Anderson was shown yellow for his challenge on Thomson and the free kick was sent to the left side of the penalty area where Barrowman headed it across goal for Geggan but his attempt went wide right.
Then three minutes later Stephen HUSBAND's low free kick got the Pars back on level terms. Dougie Hill was shown yellow for chopping down Ryan Wallace and the 25 yard free kick was driven low through the Raith wall to beat keeper Ross Laidlaw at his right hand post. 1-1
Ryan Thomson then had two opportunities on the left side but could only find the sidenetting. Jordan McMillan raced down the left on a counterattack but Grant Anderson shadowed him and took the ball when Jordan appeared to lose his footing.
Then on 45 minutes Raith were reduced to ten men when their captain Allan Walker was shown a straight red. Home fans would claim that his challenge on Wallace possibly only warranted a yellow but the decision ignited feelings and as the teams went in at the break, Raith Assistant Manager Paul Smith was involved in a tussle and then Falkingham and Ryan Thomson got involved as the players went down the tunnel.
Half time: Raith Rovers 1 Dunfermline 1
With the teams inside, the stadium announcer informed the crowd that as a consequence of the clash at the end of the first half, referee Crawford Allan had sent off Raith's centre half Dougie Hill and yellow carded Dunfermline midfielder Ryan Thomson.
Before the Pars kicked off the second half, Raith introduced Stuart Anderson for striker Greg Spence as they shaped up 4-3-1. From the kick off Raith looked as though they would struggle to contain the Pars and within 90 seconds the score was 2-1.
It was a Joe CARDLE strike that flew into the Pars net from the left corner of the box and the nine men were going to be up against it. Ryan Thomson was forced to leave the field, ushered off by physio Kenny Murray, holding his face after receiving an elbow on his nose. So in 51 minutes Craig Dargo became the Pars first sub to be deployed in the game.
The rain came pelting down cooling the heat of the game. Andy Geggan was shown yellow in 61 and next minute Andy Kirk replaced Ryan Wallace. Dunfermline continued to enjoy plenty of possession but were kept well away from Laidlaw's goal.
Cardle turned on some of his trickery to carve out a chance from the left byeline. About to cross the ball took a bobble, so he checked, beat another player and then shot past the keeper but Eddie Malone was on the line to keep the ball out.
Falkingham pumped in useful crosses and Husband shot high but there was no way to the Raith goal. In 78 Barrowman was withdrawn, Alex Whittle came on and Dargo was pushed up. There was a Geggan header on target held by Laidlaw but despite their numerical disadvantage the home side continued to be a potential threat, assisted by some uncharacteristically poor clearances from Gallacher.
There was a real push from a Smith free kick and sub Brian Graham came close to getting in a header but Gallacher punched the ball away as it flashed across the goalmouth. Then with Rovers up the park, a slip by Ellis allowed Dargo to brake from his own half with no one other than the keeper to beat. As he approached the keeper he decided to lay the ball off to HUSBAND to his right and the midfielder slotted in his second of the afternoon to finish it at 3-1. The goalscorer was possibly offside but that probably summed up the Rovers day.
So a second 3-1 Pars victory over the great rivals and back level on points with Partick Thistle at the top after their surprise defeat at the hands of Hamilton Accies.
RAITH ROVERS: Ross Laidlaw; Jason Thomson, Laurie Ellis, Dougie Hill, Eddie Malone; Grant Anderson (Brian Graham.74), Simon Mensing, Allan Walker, David Smith, Greg Spence (Stuart Anderson HT), Pat Clarke
SUBS NOT USED: Jordan Roberts (GK), Reece Donaldson, Joe Hamill,
YELLOW CARD: Thomson (7), Anderson (34), Hill (36)
RED CARD: Walker (45), Hill (HT)
SCORER: Clarke (24)
DUNFERMLINE: Paul Gallacher, Andy Geggan, Andy Dowie, Callum Morris, Jordan McMillan (c),; Josh Falkingham, Stephen Husband, Ryan Thomson (Craig Dargo 51), Joe Cardle; Andy Barrowman (Alex Whittle 78), Ryan Wallace (Andy Kirk 62).
SUBS NOT USED: John Potter, Michal Hrivnak (GK)
SCORER: Husband (37, 88), Cardle (47)
YELLOW CARD: Thomson (HT), Geggan (61), McMillan (82), Falkingham (86)
REFEREE: Crawford Allan
WEATHER: Fine until heavy second half rain 7C
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Ladbrokes Championship: Saturday 22nd April, Dunfermline v Falkirk kick off 3.00pm