SPFL League One: ARBROATH 0 DUNFERMLINE 3: Date 21/12/13
Dunfermline Athletic travelled to Arbroath for their first game there since August 1985. The Manager made one change from the team that came back from two down the previous Saturday with Kerr Young coming in for Callum Morris who failed to recover from a training ground achilles knock in midweek.
Paul Sheerin the Arbroath manager started again but he made three changes from the side that faced Forfar, bringing in Bradley Donaldson, Dayle Robertson and Kieran McWalter for Ross Chisholm, Darren Smith and Steven Doris.
It was second top versus second bottom in this final pre Christmas fixture on the shores of a decidedly choppy looking North Sea. Arbroath kicked off with the strong wind on their backs and the Pars attacking the goal at the south end of the park. The Fifers were denied a third minute penalty when Ryan Williamson ran on to a Stephen Husband pass and the 17 year old cut in on the bye line only to be chopped down as he was about to cut back.
In eight minutes Bobby Linn sent in a free kick from the left touchline but Ryan Scully held the header that emerged from the bunch in the box. Four minutes later Ryan Wallace sent over a low ball from a corner on left and that caused mayhem at the near post. The ball was not properly cleared and brushing off the challenge of Banjo, Andy GEGGAN was able to bulge the net with a great strike. 0-1
Alex Whittle sent over a corner from the right in 18 minutes that keeper Scott Morrison dropped but his defence mopped up and then he didn't look too clever in the following minute when Ryan Thomson rounded him on the left but the Pars player's attempt went across the face of goal. Play was halted twice for head knocks to Ryan Williamson and then Stephen Husband but both were fine to continue. Midway through the half indeed Williamson made another surging run that ended up with keeper Morrison holding the final pass.
At the other end Lewis Martin made a timely intervention to deny Arbroath an opening. Scully took a goalkick that barely travelled 40 yards indicating how the wind was influencing play. Dunfermline kept the ball down however and worked themselves up the park.
Next time the Red Lichties were forward David Banjo crossed from the right and McWalter got a good connection but fortunately Husband blocked the shot. Byrne became the next requiring the physio to come on after suffering a late challenge from Colin Hamilton.
Then in 36 minutes the Pars doubled their lead. Possession was won in their own half before the Pars broke at speed. Thomson received and then sent the ball right where Falkingham fed Wallace and his shot from the edge of the Arbroath box was blocked but when the rebound sat up for him he chipped it to the far post where Ryan THOMSON headed home. 0-2
Five minutes from the break Arbroath's Linn lobbed a corner from the left up for the wind to catch. When it descended into a crowded six yard box Scully could not hold but Geggan did well to clear. Jim Jefferies team would have that advantage in the second 45 but in the first half they had played the conditions very well.
Half time: Arbroath 0 Dunfermline 2
The visitors got the game underway in the second half but it was the home side that had the early pressure with Martin doing well when Robertson was put through. In 53 minutes Husband played the ball out wide right for Williamson. He left Cook in his slipstream as he took off down the wing and beat off Hamilton to cross from the corner flag but no one could finish.
Next a high ball through put Geggan in for a shot but somehow that was kept out and only a corner was won. Whittle pumped that over from the right but Geggan headed over. At the other end Michael Travis sent the ball over the Dunfermline bar at a corner but the Pars attempts kept coming with Williamson and Husband being off target.
In 64 minutes Josh FALKINGHAM struck a fabulous goal from 15 yards after Whittle's squared ball somewhat surprisingly travelled through several players' feet to the former Arbroath player. No wild celebration just a salute from Josh. Falkingham then became provider as his cross travelled to the far post where the ball was driven into the sidenetting by Whittle.
Former Pars player Lee Sibanda came on to make his 100th appearance for the home side while Jordan Moore also came on with Shaun Byrne withdrawn. Falkingham failed to connect right when Wallace edged a Williamson cross to him 20 yards out. Then Wallace popped an effort from distance that just cleared the crossbar.
Nine minutes from time Wallace almost scored from a corner. The wind caught the ball nicely but Morrison managed to fist off his line. Keddie collected yellow in 86 in conceding a free kick in front of goal just 25 yards out. Husband struck a low effort through the Arbroath goal but Morrison dived to his right to pull off a fine save.
Referee David Somers added no time whatsoever and all parties were glad to end procedings at 3-0.
ARBROATH: Scott Morrison, David Banjo, Michael Travis, Alex Keddie, Colin Hamilton, Bradley Donaldson, Paul Sheerin, Bobby Linn, Dayle Robertson (Pat Martin 81), Kieran McWalter (Chris Scott 81), Alan Cook (Lee Sibanda 69).
SUBS NOT USED: Lari Yao, Johnny Lindsay, Jamie Thompson, Leonard Wilson (GK).
DUNFERMLINE: Ryan Scully; Ryan Williamson, Kerr Young, Lewis Martin, Alex Whittle; Shaun Byrne (Jordan Moore 74), Stephen Husband, Josh Falkingham (c), Andy Geggan; Ryan Wallace (Faissal El Bakhtaoui 81), Ryan Thomson.
SUBS NOT USED: Allan Smith, Craig Dargo, Ryan Ferguson, Chris Kane, Ryan Goodfellow (GK).
SCORERS: Geggan (12), Thomson (36), Falkingham (64).
REFEREE: David Somers
WEATHER: 8C Windy damp
- www: MATCH PICTURES
Ladbrokes Championship: Saturday 22nd April, Dunfermline v Falkirk kick off 3.00pm