SFL Div One: DUNFERMLINE 0 FALKIRK 2: Date: 27/03/13
There was a very subdued atmosphere at a freezing cold East End Park for this Wednesday night derby. Not even the attraction of a home match against the Auld Enermy could raise much heat on the day that the Club went into Interim Administration.
19 year old Kerr Young came into the team to make his senior Dunfermline debut against Falkirk. John Potter dropped out as did Andy Geggan, Ryan Thomson and Joe Cardle. Shaun Byrne, Chris Kane and Josh Falkingham all started.
Falkirk had Michael McGovern back in goal, Kieran Duffie, Jay Fulton and Thomas Grant started with David Weatherston, Will Vaulks, Sean Higgins and keeper Graham Bowman making way for them.
The visitors kicked off attacking the goal in front of just a few hundred travelling supporters in the East Stand, Although it was all Dunfermline in the opening two minutes it was Stuart Murdoch who got the first chance but he drove his shot from 25 yards high over Paul Gallacher's crossbar.
Falkirk's Thomas Grant has clearly offside as the Bairns tried to break through the Pars defence where Young was set with the toughest task in the league looking after top goalscorer Lyle Taylor. There was very little he or the defence could do from a free kick played in by Grant that saw TAYLOR rise above everyone and head home in tenth minute. 0-1
A strong Jay Fulton cross from the right byeline was headed behind by Jordan McMillan for safety and Dunfermline successfully defended that. Next McMillan made a surging run that had the home fans roaring but his final lay off towards Barrowman as he entered the Falkirk box was intercepted.
Big Johnny Flynn tumbled Ryan Wallace just inside the box but it would have been a soft penalty. Play continued and Wallace created a wonderful chance at the midway point of the first half. He beat off his marker and burst in on the left side of the box, it looked possibly easier to score but he blasted his attempt high into the McCathie Stand.
Stephen Husband trip of Conor McGrandles on the edge of the D gave Grant a pop at goal from the resulting free kick but his sights were high and Dunferrmline survived. Blair Alston was gifted a chance from a weak clearance but smashed his attempt from 20 yards over the bar. In 38 minute Taylor met another Grant free kick but this time Gallacher pulled off a magnificent save down to his right to deny the Falkirk striker.
Falkirk dominated for spells but the Pars were by no means out of the contest. Wallace, Falkingham and McMillan in particular showed much grit and although McGovern was barely tested in the first period there was much hope that team spirit could raise a home revival when the teams return.
Half Time: Dunfermline 0 Falkirk 1
Ryan Thomson was the first substitute of the night, replacing Chris Kane for the restart. The singing section at the top of the McCathie Stand was the highlight of the opening fifteen minutes of the second half, they made a tremendous job of creating a positive atmosphere and totally drowned out the Falkirk response.
On the park the Bairns were making it difficult for Dunfermline to respond to their noisy backing. Play was predominantly in the Pars half but Young targeted Barrowman on the edge of the Falkirk box and he headed the ball down for Falkingham to give McGovern his first serious save of the night.
Allan Smith was introduced for Shaun Byrne 12 minutes into the second half. Thomson's shot earned the Pars a corner but when that came over from the left Falkirk got that away all too easily. Stephen Jordan was yellow carded for dumping an opponent in front of the North West Stand but it was the Pars who would then press their opponents. A neat free kick sent Husband in on the right side and his cut back was perfect for Smith but despite a great connection Darren Dods dived in to block.
In 73 a Husband free kick from halfway was pumped into the opposition box and Barrowman dropped under the challenge of Murdoch but no penalty and the yellow ball travelled through for a goal kick. Falkingham robbed a midfielder to threaten on the right. He fed the ball to Smith and with a posse of defenders around him the young striker miraculously produced a powerful cross that took everybody by surprise.
As the match entered its final five minutes, McMillan defended really well to prevent Taylor finishing after a promising move from their right. Further disaster was to strike however in 88 minutes when Blair ALSTON with a slick shot made it 2-0
With the administrator's axe predicted in the morning, this was a determined effort from a team that probably included players that will never again pull on the black and white. Full marks to all fourteen who tried their very best in difficult circumstances.
DUNFERMLINE: Paul Gallacher; Jordan McMillan (c), Andy Dowie (c), Kerr Young, Stephen Jordan; Josh Falkingham (Alex Whittle 87), Chris Kane (Ryan Thomson HT), Shaun Byrne (Allan Smith 57), Stephen Husband; Andy Barrowman, Ryan Wallace.
SUBS NOT USED: Craig Dargo, Michal Hrivnak (GK).
YELLOW CARD: Jordan (61), Dowie (81), McMillan (92)
FALKIRK: Michael McGovern; Kieran Duffie, Darren Dods, Jonathan Flynn, Stephen Kingsley, Conor McGrandles, Stuart Murdoch, Jay Fulton (Craig Sibbald 74), Blair Alston (Lewis Small 92), Thomas Grant (David Weatherston 68), Lyle Taylor.
SUBS NOT USED: Will Vaulks, , Graham Bowman,
SCORERS: Taylor (10), Alston (88)
REFEREE: George Salmond
WEATHER: Cold 3C
NEXT MATCH: (away) v Livingston
Saturday 30th March 2013, kick off 3.00pm
- www: WEB ALBUM
Ladbrokes Championship: Saturday 18th March, Dunfermline v Ayr United kick off 3.00pm