SPFL League One: DUNFERMLINE 3 PETERHEAD 0: 27/09/14
It is 15 years since the Aberdeenshire club was admitted into the Scottish League but this is their first competitive visit to East End Park. It is unlikely that they will ever forget that in a match where they lost three points to three goals and had three men sent off.
Peterhead made three changes from the team that defeated Stenhousemuir last time out. Missing were Dean Cowie, Jamie Stevenson and Andy Rodger, making way for Jordan Brown, Bryan Gilfillan and Ryan Strachan.
Jim Jefferies made two changes from the side beaten at Cappielow the previous Saturday, Andy Geggan (injured) and Ross Drummond (benched) were replaced by Ryan Thomson and Ross Forbes.
The visitors kicked off attacking the goal at the McCathie Stand end. Ryan Strachan powered an early free kick high and wide while it was eighth minute when captain for the day, Josh Falkingham fired over an equally wild effort. Keeper Graeme Smith easily held a cross cum shot in from the left but Peterhead were definitely able to settle into the game before stupidly handing the Pars an 11th minute free kick 30 yards out.
A routine had been prepared involving Falkingham and Forbes but the pass out wide for Williamson was too weak and the blue team stole away the ball. Next however there was a really good chance for the Pars when Forbes delivery from the left flashed through the six yard box with Falkingham coming desperately close to getting the touch that was required.
Right on fifteen minutes Jamie Redman discovered just how appropriate his name was as referee Greg Aitken showed him a red card for a scything tackle on Falkingham. After treatment from physio Kenny Murray the Yorkshire terrier was able to continue and Forbes made keeper Graeme Smith pull off a fine save to turn the ball behind for a corner on the right. Again a short taken corner failed to send the ball into the box.
A 21st minute Williamson cross from the right corner flag picked out Michael Moffat but he headed over the bar. Then when Williamson threatened again Steven Noble pulled the young right back over and a free kick was awarded. This time the ball was delivered into the six yard box but the referee believed it had gone behind off Buchanan's head when given his protests it clearly didn't.
Falkingham came close again, running on to a through ball into the left side of the penalty box beating Smith but hitting the left upright with his attempt. In 27 minutes Moffat brushed aside the challenge of Donaldson to get in a left footed shot but Smith had no problem gathering that.
Williamson got in behind the Peterhead defence again and his cross was headed behind by Gilfillan for a corner on the left. When Millen sent that over Buchanan got good contact heading the ball down and back across the six yard box but the Blue Toon defence cleared. Another pop shot from Forbes nearly broke the deadlock but yet again Smith turned the ball around his left hand post.
Moffat forced a 33rd minute corner on the left but it was a follow up from Forbes some 28 yards out that tested the keeper. Two more corners followed with Chigozie Ugwu heading wide at the second.
In a rare visit to the Pars end Jordan Brown blasted a shot into the stand from the edge of the box. The ten men then forced two corners of their own before Buchanan headed clear. At the other end chances kept coming; Williamson got the better of his marker and his ball into the six yard box was good but Smith got to the ball before Ugwu.
There followed some shoddy defending in the Pars penalty box and they were fortunate that Sharp and Gilfillan could not finish. Another Williamson run turned the pressure back on Peterhead. Another corner was won for Forbes to pump across and this time it was Thomson who was nearest but Peterhead survived.
The game was in the second minute of added time at the end of the first half when all hell let loose down at the corner flag in front of the tunnel. Peterhead captain Steven Noble pushed Falkingham into the corner flag and Jordan Brown followed up with a punch on Gregor Buchanan. The result was two red cards and Peterhead were down to eight players. Tempers flaired up and the visiting manager Jim McInally got involved as well.
Dunfermline 0 Peterhead 0
Andy Stirling replaced Lewis Spence as the Pars kicked off against the eight men and within the first 50 seconds Peterhead survived two great chances. First the half time sub raced up the left and crossed for Ugwu at the near post but Smith punched clear and then when Williamson got in a cross from the right Thomson was denied by the keeper.
Forbes produced a stinging effort that came back off the bar in 49 minutes and Peterhead spread themselves out along the 25 yard area. Every opportunity was being taken by Peterhead to use up time and Smith held a fine strike from Millen.
Stirling turned a good ball along the six yard line that Ugwu couldn't accept and next Falkingham shot wildly past the right post. Smith then held another shot launched on target by Forbes before FALKINGHAM got the opener in 59 minutes. 1-0
Smith then tipped another great shot from Forbes over his bar and Falkingham shot another wide. Peterhead introduced two subs and then picked up two yellow cards at the midway point in the second half but with at times all eight Peterhead players in their own box it was a long ranged effort from Forbes that again tested Smith.
The Pars then scrambled a goal in 71 minutes, Moffat made the break on the right side of the opposition box and when he played the ball for UGWU in the six yard box, the big man got the touch as defenders and keeper dived in. 2-0
The game was effectively over as soon as Peterhead had gone down to eight men but goals win games and the two that Dunfermline managed to squeeze through the Blue Toon defences were surely to be enough.
Striker James Thomas came on for his first team debut and Shaun Byrne replaced Ryan Thomson. Peterhead defended well as they conceded possession to the Fifers for lengthy spells. Full marks to keeper Graeme Smith, he had a busy afternoon and if not for him the scoreline could haver been many more.
He was to be beaten again however with two minutes remaining. Byrne picked out THOMAS on the right side of the Peterhead box and he coolly turned and crashed the ball into the far corner of the net. 3-0
The win coupled with defeats to both Ayr United and Morton takes Dunfermline back into second position with Dick Campbell's Forfar taking over the top spot following their home win over Brechin City.
DUNFERMLINE: Ryan Scully; Ryan Williamson, Gregor Buchanan, Lewis Martin, Ross Millen; Josh Falkingham (c)(James Thomas 73), Lewis Spence (Andy Stirling HT), Ryan Thomson (Shaun Byrne 80), Ross Forbes; Chogozie Ugwu, Michael Moffat
SUBS NOT USED: Stuart Urquhart, Alex Whittle, Ross Drummond, Ryan Goodfellow (GK)
SCORERS: Falkingham (59), Ugwu (71), Thomas (88)
PETERHEAD: Graeme Smith; Ross Smith, Scott Ross, Reece Donaldson; Graeme Sharp, Brian Gilfillan (Mark Millar 63), Ryan Strachan (Ryan McCann 75), Jamie Redman, Steven Noble (c); Jordan Brown, Rory McAllister (David Cox 60)
SUBS NOT USED: Ewen Donaldson, Fraser McLaren, Dean Richardson, Jamie Stevenson
YELLOW CARD: Millar (65), Donaldson (68)
RED CARD: Redman (15), Noble (45+2), Brown (45+2)
REFEREE: Greg Aitken
WEATHER: Sunny 16C
NEXT MATCH: SPFL League One (away) v Stirling Albion
Saturday 4th October 2014, kick off 3.00pm at Forthbank
50-50 Half Time Draw. Winner 113449 won £657
Ladbrokes Championship: Saturday 22nd April, Dunfermline v Falkirk kick off 3.00pm