SFL: Div One Play Off 1st Leg; ALLOA 3 DUNFERMLINE 0: 15/05/13
It was a dull wet night that welcomed the Pars to Recreation Park for the first time in twenty eight years. The Pars all white look for the warm up was a tribute to Mo Hutton's laundering and the hopes were that Jim Jefferies men would stand out much better than they had done the previous Wednesday night at Forfar.
There was one change from the team that started on Saturday; Ryan Wallace was out after his early retiral against Forfar and Craig Dargo came in for him. The home side's manager Paul Hartley fielded an unchanged starting eleven and bench from that deployed on Satuday in the 3-2 home defeat to Brechin City.
The kick off was delayed by ten minutes as Alloa were overwhelmed by the size of the travelling support. The Pars fans were queuing long before the three turnstiles opened but it was clear by 7.30pm that it would be an impossible task to get all these Fifers in by the scheduled 7.45pm kick off.
There was a blow to the Pars hopes when Andy Geggan pulled out in the warm up and Shaun Byrne had to come into the starting eleven. Seventeen year old Lewis Spence came in to complete the bench of which Fayssal El Bakhtaoui was the oldest at 20.
The sun had come out before Dunfermline kicked off through Josh Falkingham and Craig Dargo. The Pars attacked the goal at the street end. It was Alloa however who got in the first shot of the night with Ryan McCord's attempt from 28 yards slipping narrowly over the crossbar in fourth minute.
Three minutes later Daryll Meggat played a one two with Graeme Holmes and his delivery from the left towards the Pars six yard box was headed on by McCord but he failed to get enough on it and the ball went wide right. The visitors first real chance took until 14th minute when Kerr Young attacked a Ross Millen corner in from the right but he could only connect enough to send wide left.
Good possession by Stephen Husband in the middle of the Alloa half five minutes later meant Dunfermline forced another corner as Ben Gordon headed a Millen cross behind. Young was penalised for climbing at the back post and the Wasps survived.
In 27 minutes Alloa took the lead and it was definitely against the run of play. Holmes, about 35 yards out sent a square pass across the park for Jonathan TIFFONEY and he was allowed to advance and drill an angled shot past Michal Hrivnak. 1-0 to the Second Division team.
A foul on Thomson on the edge of the Alloa box set up a chance for Husband but he battered the ball into the Alloa wall. A 34th minute clash between Meggatt and Byrne felled the Pars midfielder again but he was able to continue even though he looked pretty dazed.
A Millen free kick four minutes from the interval targetted Potter but he could not find the net. At the other end Hrivnak held a 25 yarder from McCord. Thomson was sent down the left channel but James Doyle made a good tackle to end the danger. Alloa broke in the second minute of time added on at the end of the first half. Potter did his best to stop McCord and when he looked beaten Young left ELLIOT. The former Jambo was then slipped the ball that he chipped over Hrivnak to bring the first half to a disastrous end.
Dunfermline had the better of the game but found themselves two behind. That said Alloa keeper Scott Bain was still to be tested.
Half Time: Alloa Athletic 2 Dunfermline 0
Hrivnak was called to make a fine save just two minutes into the second half. Elliot had got the better of Potter and then Young's sweeping up was blocked and Alloa's top goalscorer Kevin Cawley was given the opportunity to have a pop on target but fortunately it was held by the Slovakian stopper.
The Pars replied with Byrne sending Millen in on the right but the youngster sent his cross into the arms of Bain. Alloa started the half with confidence however and Tiffoney got in on the right and fortunately there wasn't an orange shirt nearer the ball as it flashed across goal. Further pressure let Cawley in for a low shot that the Pars keeper held and in 55 minutes Stephen Simmons chipped an effort over the crossbar.
Two minutes later the away support roared to greet Millen as he went over to take the Pars first corner of the second half but that was cleared with a fairly elementary header. Another from the right in 63 travelled to Dargo on the far side and there were loud shouts for handball from the Pars fans behind the goal but no penalty and Falkingham's follow up from the edge of the box was belted wide right.
Alloa pushed up with Doyle filling the injured Tiffoney's role on the right creating danger. There were several crosses into the Pars box that took some fortunate defending. An 85th minute header from an Alloa corner on the right was sent beyond the far post but Dunfermline were finding it hard to exert the same kind of pressure at the other end.
The home side were awarded a soft penalty two minutes from the end of the regulation 90 when Docherty passed to Elliot on the right side of the penalty box. The striker appeared to do no more than run into Potter but Referee Steven McLean pointed to the spot. Elliot took the penalty himself and struck it well to the keeper's right but Michal Hrivnak went the right way and pushed the ball around his post.
It looked that the task would be to rescue the second leg from 2-0 down but in the second minute of the three added at the end, Kevin MOON squeezed in on the left and drove a shot into the bottom right. 3-0 and a lot to do on Sunday.
ALLOA ATHLETIC: Scott Bain; Jonathan Tiffoney (Mark Docherty 71), Ben Gordon, Michael Doyle, Daryll Meggat; Ryan McCord (Darren Young 60), Stephen Simmons, Keith Moon, Graeme Holmes; Calum Elliot, Kevin Cawley
SUBS NOT USED: Craig McDowall (GK), Eddie Ferns, Martin Grehan
SCORERS: Tiffoney (27), Elliot (45+2), Moon (92)
YELLOW CARD: McCord (30)
DUNFERMLINE ATHLETIC: Michal Hrivnak; Ross Millen, Kerr Young, John Potter, Alex Whittle; Shaun Byrne, Stephen Husband, Josh Falkingham (c), Craig Dargo (Ross Drummond 65), Ryan Thomson, Allan Smith (Fayssal El Bakhtaoui 82).
SUBS NOT USED: Lewis Spence, Lewis Martin, Ryan Goodfellow (GK)
REFEREE: Steven McLean
WEATHER: Sunny,cool 10C
NEXT MATCH: (home) Play off final v Alloa Athletic
Sunday 19th May 2013, East End Park ko 4.05pm
- www: MATCH PICTURES
Ladbrokes Championship: Saturday 18th March, Dunfermline v Ayr United kick off 3.00pm