SFL: Div One Play Off 2nd Leg; DUNFERMLINE 1 ALLOA 0: 19/05/13 :
On Sunday 19th May Dunfermline Athletic were relegated as a result of failing to claw back the first leg deficit against Alloa Athletic. Following the first leg that was played at Recreation Park on Wednesday night, the Pars trailed their visitors by three goals but there was great hope that for the second week running Jim Jefferies side could achieve the tough task of pulling back the deficit and winning on aggregate.
Andy Geggan and Chris Kane came into the starting eleven so both Craig Dargo and Shaun Byrne were back on the subs bench. For the visitors their manager Paul Hartley made one change, Jonathan Tiffoney dropping to the bench to make way for Jason Marr.
The bumper crowd in excess of 5000 witnessed a cautious start from both sides but Alloa forced a couple of corners on five minutes. Although they were able to play the ball around the Pars box there was no shots on the home goal. In nine minute Alex Whittle prodded a nicely weight pass down the left that Geggan ran on to but Ryan Thomson was made to head wide.
At the other end Graeme Holmes turned Ross Millen to put in a shot from an angle that fell outside the far post. Then in 14 minutes Stephen Husband picked out Millen and his cross was headed behind. From Millen's corner on the left, Potter cut back for Husband but his shot on the edge of the box was locked by Daryll Meggat. The next Dunfermline opportunity was created by the running Allan Smith who was able to find Millen on the right and when crossed Thomson's header went wide left.
John Potter squeezed out Calum Elliot to concede a corner on the right in 21 minutes and when Ryan McCord got good purchase on his header but directed it wide right. Alloa kept up the pressure with McCord sending Kevin Cawley into the box. He only half connected with and Hrivnak dived in to save.
A 24th minute Millen free kick was headed over by Thomson from six yards. Then at the other end Elliot's cross was neatly intercepted by Millen as it was travelling to Cawley at the left post. Three minutes later Cawley flattened Young and homed in on the Pars goal but Hrivnak was well out to smother the threat.
An injury to Young on the half hour looked concerning but the 19 year old played on. Simmons puish on Thomson earned the Pars a free kick 25 yards out Kane attempted to break up the five man Alloa wall but Husbands's net bound shot came off his team mate in going behind for a goal kick.
Next Kane picked out Millen on the right whose pass then found Smith but the young striker's shot could only win a corner. Alloa did not deal with that particularly well and Falkingham then forced a free kick and this time from the left Millen's ball into the six yard box evaded the green kitted keeper and unfortunately everybody else. Bain punched away yet another delivery from a free kick that saw Daryll Meggat yellow carded.
The first half had seen Dunfermline try hard to create opportunities but Alloa's defending had been first rate. The visitors had had their moments and possibly made more and better chances despite lesser possession.
Half Time: Dunfermline 0 Alloa Athletic 0
Craig Dargo replaced John Potter for the second half meaning Kane dropped back to form a central defensive partnership with Kerr Young.
It was Alloa however who threatened first in fourth minute of the second half as Hrivnak turned a very good attempt by Cawley from the edge of the box around his left hand post. Dargo slipped Geggan in 54th minute but the Alloa defender slid in to scoop away the ball before a shot could be pulled.
Midfielder Darren Young, who had as five year spell at East End Park, replaced McCord on the hour but the clock seemed to be running away from Dunfermline. In contrast Alloa grew increasingly comfortable.
In 72 minutes Dargo twisted and turned to try and get a shot away but Gordon blocked and when the opportunity fell to Falkingham, Bain saved. The goal that the Pars so badly needed came in the following minute however when Falkingham's cross from the right evaded the heasds of the Parts attackers and Alloa defenders to drop for SMITH and at an angle from the left he drilled his shot into the bottom right of the Alloa goal.
The goal lifted the hopes and the home support encouraged Dunfermline to increase their urgency but it was Alloa who had most of the possession until Falkingham got in on the right side of the box but his final ball was edged out for a corner.
There were few chances coming Dunfermline's way and their fate was sealed when Husband was red carded in 86 minutes for high kick that felled Young. Falkingham almost carved a route to goal and Dargo had a run. A Smith shot was beaten away by Bain and ion 90 minutes Kerr Young had a good header tipped over the bar by the keeper.
The Fifers made the drop from SPL to the Scottish Second Division in successive seasons and sadly the blame is all to do with the years of financial mismanagement that created the dire situation off the park. The Club going into administration, the need to shed players and the subsequent 15 point deduction was too big a penalty for Jim Jefferies young survivors to overcome.
Alloa Athletic were the 2012/13 First Division Play Off winners and were promoted for the second season running. Good luck to them there. As for Dunfermline Athletic Football Club the most important thing now is to survive and be back to compete in the third tier of Scottish football next season.
DUNFERMLINE: Michal Hrivnak; Ross Millen, Kerr Young, John Potter (Craig Dargo HT), Alex Whittle; Josh Falkingham (c), Stephen Husband, Chris Kane, Andy Geggan; Ryan Thomson, Allan Smith,
SUBS NOT USED: Shaun Byrne, Lewis Martin, Fayssal El Bakhtaoui, Ryan Goodfellow (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Falkingham (12), Geggan (67)
RED CARD: Husband (86)
SCORER: Smith (73)
ALLOA ATHLETIC: Scott Bain; Michael Doyle, Ben Gordon, Jason Marr. Daryll Meggat, Ryan McCord ( Darren Young 60), Kevin Moon, Stephen Simmons, Graeme Holmes, Calum Elliot, Kevin Cawley.
SUBS NOT USED: Jonathan Tiffoney, Mark Docherty, Martin Grehan, Craig McDowall (GK).
YELLOW CARDS: Meggat (40), Gordon (61), Holmes
- www: MATCH PICTURES
Ladbrokes Championship: Saturday 18th March, Dunfermline v Ayr United kick off 3.00pm