SPFL League One: AIRDRIEONIANS 2 DUNFERMLINE 0: Date 05/04/14
The bogey that had restricted Dunfermline to just two wins in the last six games against Airdrie returned again in this first fixture in April.
The Pars made three changes from the team that started the previous week against Brechin City. In came Stephen Husband, Danny Grainger and Ross Forbes with Ryan Thomson (injured), Alex Whittle and Lewis Martin dropping out.
Airdrieonians made one change from the side they put out at Stranraer, goalscorer against the Pars earlier in the season Caolan McAleer returning after a two match suspension to take the place of Scott Stewart. Gary Bollan's side approached the game full of confidence with just one defeat in their last eleven games. The manager was hoping for the Diamonds to take up from where they left off from their 1-0 win at East End Park in January.
Faissal El Bakhtaoui and Lawrence Shankland kicked the game off and Dunfermline pressed right away. Andy Geggan turned a long pass from Callum Morris into the path of Shankland but his shot was not on target. McAleer got in Airdrie's first attempt but he too was off target. In fifth minute El Bakhtaoui powered a right footed effort narrowly wide left from the edge of the box.
On ten minutes a break on the counter almost got the Pars the opener, it was El Bakhtaoui who crossed and Shankland executed a neat back flick but even though Grant Adam kept him out, the offside flag was already up. First corner of the game in 12th minute was played short to Grainger but his shot from 25 yards was rising all the way and cleared the bar.
Jonathan Page headed behind when McAleer got close to the Pars goal and then Gregor Buchanan headed over at the corner from the right. Airdrieonians began to regain the territory and got much closer to the Fifers box for a spell. As the midpoint of the first half past, McAleer latched on to a Adam throw out and evaded challenges to pop a shot from 25 yards that sailed over Scully's goal.
When Morris tumbled McAleer 23 yards out on the left side, Keighan PARKER was able to send the free kick past the Pars wall and Scully to put the home side into a 28th minute lead.
El Bakhtaoui was being heavily relied on for the Pars inventiveness but when he cut back to release a right footed shot at an angle from 15 yards, his attempt went over the bar. Several times Ross Millen was picked out on the right but all attempts to penetrate the Airdrie defence were turning out to be unsuccessful.
Play halted while Jim Lister received attention following a clash with Morris allowing players on both sides to question referee Crawford Allan about his decision making. Lister was back on soon thereafter and his shot was deflected off Geggan for an Airdrieonians corner.
Dunfermline finished off the half with a corner and more pressure but were to go in to meet Jim Jefferies losing by one goal.
Half time: Airdrieonians 1 Dunfermline 0
Two early balls into the Airdrie box, from Husband and then Grainger were both headed clear. A diagonal ball in from Falkingham brought Adam out to hold and then in 52 minutes the keeper took the ball at the second bite from a corner surprisingly given to the Pars. Shankland was deemed offside again when the ball was played over from the left and despite all their possession Dunfermline were finding it hard to create danger.
In 58 minute Forbes made an excellent attempt of trying to beat the keeper with a fine dipping shot from 35 yards but Adam managed to tip the ball over his bar. Four minutes later a long throw from Grainger travelled to El Bakhtaoui and he made Adam save his shot from the edge of the box.
Alex Whittle and Allan Smith were introduced as a double substitution in 71 minutes with Falkingham and El Bakhtaoui being withdrawn. Next a Forbes corner from the right was met by Morris but Shankland failed to get the touch that was required to net as the ball escaped out to the left.
Adam held a Millen free kick but could only palm away Millen's next cross from the right. The ball fell awkwardly to Whittle but was defended only for Geggan to launch a rocket of a shot from 25 yards that went wide left. Dunfermline continued to have the bulk of the play but nothing came out of it.
As the match neared its end there was a horrendous mix up between Morris and Scully on the edge of the box. The goalkeeper tried to seek out Page with a pass but instead hit the ball off Morris and Jim LISTER saw the ball into the Pars net to seal a miserable day for the Fifers. For all their possession they had nothing to show for it.
AIRDRIEONIANS: Grant Adam; Jamie Bain, Gregor Buchanan, Stefan Milojevic, Paddy Boyle; Caolan McAleer (Scott Stewart 73), Craig Barr, Darren McCormack, Liam Watt; Jim Lister, Keighan Parker (Liam Coogans 91).
SUBS NOT USED: Chris McCluskey (GK), Lewis Coult, Reece Glackin, Grant Evans, Nicky Cadden.
SCORERS: Parker (28), Lister (91)
YELLOW CARD: McCormack (35)
DUNFERMLINE: Ryan Scully; Ross Millen, Callum Morris, Jonathan Page, Danny Grainger; Josh Falkingham (Alex Whittle 71), Stephen Husband, Andy Geggan (c), Ross Forbes, Faissal El Bakhtaoui (Allan Smith 71), Lawrence Shankland.
SUBS NOT USED: Ryan Goodfellow (GK), Shaun Byrne, Lewis Martin, Lewis Spence, Finn Graham.
YELLOW CARD: Forbes (53), Shankland (80)
REFEREE: Crawford Allan
WEATHER: Overcast 11C
NEXT MATCH: SPFL (home) v Forfar Athletic
Saturday 12th April 2014, kick off 3.00pm
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Ladbrokes Championship: Saturday 18th March, Dunfermline v Ayr United kick off 3.00pm