SPFL League One: ARBROATH 1 DUNFERMLINE 2: Date 26/04/14
PARS TV VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
For the last away fixture of the league season, the Pars were in Arbroath to meet the team at the foot of the table. Paul Sheerin's team began the match just one point behind fellow relegation candidates East Fife and there was clearly going to be a fight to the end from the opposition. Jim Jefferies side showed only four survivors from the Athletic side that started at Somerset Park the previous Saturday - Danny Grainger, Ross Forbes, Faissal El Bakhtaoui and Ryan Thomson.
On the back of a vital win at Forfar, Arbroath made one change former Stranraer player, Kevin Nicoll in for Ross Chisholm. It was a pretty miserable day weatherwise but the home fans had plenty of optimism for their chances as the teams came out to the theme tune to The Great Escape.
The Pars kicked off through Ryan Thomson and Faissal El Bakhtaoui attacking the goal at the south end. The ball spent lots of time in the air in the opening minutes with headers and booted clearances endangering the seagulls. When the ball did get down on the deck it was the home team that had the first attempt at goal but Alan Cook's seventh minute shot was blocked out by the Pars defence.
Arbroath's player manager then was lined up with a neat lay off to him on the edge of the D but he completely miscued. A Dunfermline corner did little to dampen the Red Lichties fervour and Cook was well blocked by Morris. The stuffing was then well and truly knocked out of the home side when Dunfermliner took a 14th minute lead.
Stephen Husband launched a fierce shot from distance at the Arbroath goal and when keeper Scott Morrison could not hold on to the ball, Ryan THOMSON reacted first to chest the ball into the net. 0-1
On 20 minutes Pars keeper Ryan Scully did well to shut out a shot from close in from Paul McManus and then two minutes later when Colin Hamilton accepted a McManus pass at the left corner flag, the left back's cross was headed on target by Kenny Deuchar only for Scully to pull off another impressive save.
Bobby Linn sent a cross through the Pars six yard box and this time Millen headed clear. Grainger quickly followed that up with a timely block on a Linn shot 20 yards out. In 29th minute a long throw from Grainger created two good chances for the Fifers. Ross Forbes effort was stopped but El Bakhtaoui got a second bite but that was well saved.
Three minutes later it was Grainger again who created the danger. He rounded Michael Travis and got in a shot that Morrison blocked and Thomson then drilled a shot back at the orange shirted keeper.
A Millen corner was delivered into the centre of the Arbroath box but the Pars attackers were penalised for climbing. In the minute of added time at the end of the first half Linn cut in from the right and released a shot from 25 yards out that went narrowly wide of the left goalpost.
Half time: Arbroath 0 Dunfermline 1
The teams and the supporters changed ends for the second half which took a little while to excite. Thomson ran on to a promising Grainger pass in 51 minutes but the striker's first touch on the edge of the box took the ball too far ahead of him to set up a shot.
The home side then scored the equaliser they had sought in spectacular fashion. Bobby Linn sent in the corner from the left and TRAVIS made the run to the near post and his diving header was glanced into the top corner. 1-1
El Bakhtaoui nearly made an immediate reply but his stinging shot from 16 yards was well stopped by Morrison. Arbroath rallied and tried hard for another goal. McManus had a shot blocked and twice Page made important connections to deny the Lichties. Geggan blocked a Cook shot as Dunfermline continued to be pegged back and a Nicoll shot was then deflected behind for a corner. When Linn sent that over Travis again caused the problem and Scully did well to hold his header.
Lewis Spence and Shaun Byrne replaced Ross Forbes and Stephen Husband as the match entered its final quarter. Byrne cut inside to get into a shooting position but three defenders blotted him out. There was a welcome sight in 78 minutes when Ryan Wallace returned to competitive action for the first time in a month and there was a delay before the Pars free kick could be taken as David Banjo came on for the opposition.
Grainger played the free kick short to Spence when everyone was expecting the ball to be lobbed into the box. Banjo was left in Grainger's slipstream as he received the return and took off down the left from where he delivered a great ball into the box that GEGGAN turned it into the net. 1-2
Then Wallace broke through the middle but when one on one with Morrison, the keeper came out on top. The striker had another good chance quickly after that when Millen supplied a great cross in to the far post. An Arbroath free kick faced with a six man wall, sent the ball right to Banjo who headed on target but Grainger headed that away.
As the clock ran down the more comfortable Dunfermline looked and the only disappointment has to be the yellow card that Josh Falkingham picked up at the final whistle after Kevin Nicholl was shown yellow for dumping Ryan Wallace off the park. It takes Josh to five cautions, one away from suspension.
No Great Escape for Arbroath but since East Fife failed to win any points either the relegation and play off spot go to the final day of the campaign.
DUNFERMLINE: Ryan Scully; Ross Millen, Callum Morris, Jonathan Page, Danny Grainger; Andy Geggan (c), Stephen Husband (Shaun Byrne 68), Josh Falkingham, Ross Forbes (Lewis Spence 68); Faissal El Bakhtaoui (Ryan Wallace 78), Ryan Thomson.
SUBS NOT USED: Ryan Goodfellow (GK), Ryan Williamson, Allan Smith, Lewis Martin.
SCORERS: Thomson (14), Geggan (79)
YELLOW CARD: Forbes (40), Falkingham (94)
ARBROATH: Scott Morrison, Michael Travis, Alex Keddie, Colin Hamilton, Ryan McGeever, Kevin Nicoll, Paul Sheerin (Ross Chisholm 75), Bobby Linn, Paul McManus, Kenny Deuchar (Leighton McIntosh 73), Alan Cook (David Banjo 78).
SUBS NOT USED: Lari Yao, Chris Scott, Ricky Little, Sandy Wood (GK)
YELLOW CARDS: Keddie (36), Sheerin (38), Travis (83), Nicholl (94).
SCORER: Travis (54)
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Ladbrokes Championship: Saturday 22nd April, Dunfermline v Falkirk kick off 3.00pm