SPFL League One: EAST FIFE 1 DUNFERMLINE 3: Date 01/02/14
Dunfermline took on East Fife in Methil on a cold, wet and windy February day. Jim Jefferies fielded all four of his January transfer window signings - Lawrence Shankland, Jonathan Page, Danny Grainger and Ross Forbes. Out of the team that started at Brechin went Kerr Young, Alex Whittle, Stephen Husband, Josh Falkingham and the suspended Andy Geggan. Ryan Thomson and Ross Millen also returned to the side who had lost their last two games.
East Fife manager Gary Naysmith made no changes to his eleven, the same side that defeated Forfar Athletic the previous Saturday. Former Pars Greg Paterson, Liam Buchanan and Kevin Rutkiewicz lined up against their old club.
The teams changed ends before East Fife kicked off towards the goal at the beach end. The home side forced a corner and had early possession but when a Grainger throw in was met by Shankland, Naysmith defended himself and a penalty was awarded by referee David Somers. Forbes assumed responsibilty for the fourth minute spot kick but he stuck it right and Paterson dived the right way to pull off the save.
Paterson was then called upon to act as sweeper twice and to hold a long range effort from the right. Pars keeper Ryan Scully then needed treatment after diving in to save at the feet of Buchanan in eight minutes.
Forbes shot in 13 minutes won a corner on the right and when the former Jag swung that over Buchanan's header created danger as it went up and then dropped down in the six yard box. There was an almighty scramble that ended with Shankland heading over the bar.
Three more corners followed in quick succession but East Fife survived. Lewis Martin was forward to smash an 18th minute shot on target from 35 yards but again Paterson held. The Pars kept up the pressure but the home defence broke up the moves. At the midway point in the first half Page met another Forbes corner from the right but his forceful connection just six yards out sent the ball over the crossbar.
On 26 minutes the Pars took advantage on the counterattack as East Fife pushed up. Shankland's pass sent Wallace through on Paterson but the target was closed down by the advancing keeper and the skipper's effort ran outside the right post.
Pinball on the edge of the box between Shankland and Thomson ended up with the Aberdeen loanee testing Paterson but again the keeper held. On the half hour Shaun Byrne burst into the box on the right but his shot was blocked.
As half time approached Ryan Williamson played a one two off Wallace to get in behind the home defence but between Paterson and his defenders they prevented Forbes from finishing. Wallace was next to fire a good effort on target but again the one time youth international keeper pulled off a fine save.
Just a minute from the interval Dunfermline grabbed the goal that they deserved. Williamson did well to fend off the challenges of two opponents and as his ball came in Joe Mbu miscued his clearance and Ross FORBES reacted first to stick the ball away from close in. 0-1
With a strong wind on their backs Dunfermline had created plenty of first half chances but had only one goal to show for it all at the break.
Half time: East Fife 0 Dunfermline 1
The Pars took a good few minutes to gauge the strength of the wind they were playing into in the second half. High balls forward were just getting wickedly caught but Williamson was near enough to have a shot in 53 minutes but was wildly left of target. Grainger did well to get his trajectory right from a free kick on the left to pick out Shankland at the far post but Paterson kept out his header.
Paul Willis came on in 59 minutes as the first sub of the game to replace Ryan Stewart. Forbes bundled over Gary Fisher to hand East Fife a free kick and the delivery was not cleared convincingly leaving Kevin Smith to send an effort narrowly over the Pars crossbar.
There was cheer for the sizeable travelling support as the Pars scored twice in three minutes. Both goals came from Williamson crosses deep inside the opposition box. The second goal came in 74 minutes when Forbes picked out the full back's run into the right side of the East Fife box and WALLACE stuck the ball home when it was cut back. 0-2
Danny GRAINGER marked his Pars debut with a goal with his right foot. Williamson was again fed the ball by Forbes and his cross looked too big this time when the ball travelled far left. Result was that the new boy was well placed to shoot past Paterson off a defender. 0-3
The home side got some consolation just two minutes later and predictably it was former Par Paul WILLIS who slipped the ball beyond Scully at his right hand post. It was Kevin Smith who made the goal, dispossessing Williamson in the East Fife half and bursting forward to supply the substitute with a chance from an acute angle from the left that he took well.
In the end it was a convincing win in horrid wet and windy conditions. Jim Jefferies must have been pleased with the showing of his new signings; goals from Forbes and Grainger and solid displays by Page and Shankland. Pity that the two goalscorers are cup tied.
Watch the goals on ParsTV
EAST FIFE: Greg Paterson, Scott Durie, Kevin Rutkiewicz, Gary Naysmith, Joe Mbu, Gary Fisher, Stephen O'Neill (Jonathan Stewart 82), Ryan Stewart (Paul Willis 59), Marc McKenzie , Kevin Smith, Liam Buchanan (c).
SUBS NOT USED: Gary Thom, Ross Brown, Craig Johnstone, Lewis Barr, Connor Shaw (GK).
SCORER: Willis (79)
YELLOW CARD: Smith (85)
DUNFERMLINE: Ryan Scully; Ryan Williamson, Ross Millen, Lewis Martin, Jonathan Page, Danny Grainger; Shaun Byrne (Josh Falkingham 72), Ryan Thomson (Stephen Husband 89), Ross Forbes; Ryan Wallace (c), Lawrence Shankland.
SUBS NOT USED: Jordan Moore, Kerr Young, Alex Whittle, Faissal El Bakhtaoui Ryan Goodfellow (GK)
SCORERS: Forbes (44), Wallace (74), Grainger (77)
YELLOW CARDS: Page (34), Falkingham (88).
REFEREE: David Somers
WEATHER: Wet, windy 5C
NEXT MATCH: (away) William Hill Scottish Cup v Rangers
Friday 7th February 2014, kick off 7.30pm
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