SPFL League One: DUNFERMLINE 4 STIRLING ALBION 0: 22/11/14
Seven changes in Pars starting eleven. Gozie Ugwu (5) 1-0; Gozie Ugwu (18) 2-0; Gozie Ugwu (60) 3-0; Stirling (71) 4-0
Manager Jim Jefferies took notice of the efforts of squad players in training and in Under 20s matches and rung the changes after his first team had gone four league games without a win. For this fixture against foot of the table Stirling Albion in came Ryan Williamson, Lewis Martin, Allan Smith, Ryan Thomson, Chigozie Ugwu, Josh Falkingham and Andy Stirling. Shaun Byrne was played in front of the back four with a midfield of Stirling, Falkingham and Thomson in front of him.
The visitors made one change from their side that drew with Stranraer the previous Saturday, Andy Cunningham being preferred to Graham Weir.
The teams changed ends before Dunfermline kicked off attacking the goal at the McCathie Stand end and the new look team were to get off to the best possible start with Gozie UGWU heading home an opener inside five minutes. The goal was a simple finish to a free kick swung in from the right touchline by Andy Stirling. 1-0
Two runs down the right allowed Williamson two crosses within the next five minutes. Ugwu couldn't get enough on his header from the first and former Pars stopper Callum Reidford tipped the next over the crossbar.
Steven Doris forced a 15th minute corner off Martin but Williamson easily intercepted the low delivery. Play was quickly back to other end with Alex Whittle creating an opening to feed Smith in on the left. He stopped the ball before the byeline, turned and shot on the angle but was just wide right. Smith had the next attempt on 17 minutes but Reidford beat away a well struck shot.
The second goal was only as minute away and this time Shaun Byrne was the supplier of the pass into the left side of the box from where UGWU finished with aplomb. 2-0
The Pars continued to dominate and Andy Stirling was unlucky haviong done the hasrd bit in brushing off his man to see his cross defended. After Dale Fulton could not avoid cutting down Byrne, Stirling swung in free kick on 29 minutes but Gregor Buchanan could not get his header on target.
Ryan Scully held from Willie Robertson, Albion's first shot at goal in 32nd minute and within a minute Fulton sent in a free kick that just evaded the inrushing Chris Smith.
On 35 minutes a great move up the right saw Stirling feed Williamson and Smith left the cross for Ugwu who drilled his effort at a defender and Falkingham blasted his follow up wide.
Then Andy Stirling turned and shot from the edge of the box causing Reidford to palm the ball over for a corner. When that was played in from the right Thomson met it with a header at the far post but was wide of target.
Minutes later Ugwu glanced a header on a Smith cross but the ball travelled wide left. Byrne was having a superb first half and was the centre of all the Pars creativity. He slid an inviting ball into the Albion box again on the left but there were no takers as Reidford came out to hold.
Another good first half performance from JJ's team only this week there were goals as well!
Half Time: Dunfermline 2 Stirling Albion 0
Having registered only 40% possession in the first, the visitors started the second half with a bit more intent but in 48th minute were lucky when Whittle sped up the left and sent the ball through the six yard box with both Smith and Ugwu sliding in but failing to connect.
In 56 minutes Stirling had his shot deflected for a corner and when that was taken short to Falkingham his cross was headed on to the crossbar by Ugwu. Two minutes later when Andy Stirling made ground through the middle he created an opening for Falkingham to his right and although he released a fine shot on target the stand in captain was denied by the outstretched right foot of Reidford.
On the hour the Pars were to extend their lead to three goals. Smith slipped a nice pass for Falkingham to run into the box. He stayed on his feet under challenge and when he cut the ball back UGWU slid in six yards out to complete his hat trick. 3-0
Albion made two tactical substitutions but it was Robertson who tested Scully with a long range effort. From the resulting corner Andy Stirling broke from half way but was kept away from scoring his first goal for the club by sub right back Lee Hamilton. STIRLING got off the mark however in 71 minutes when his free kick from way out on the left probably 30 yards out from the byeline was to go in off the right goalpost. 4-0
Stirling Albion were reduced to ten men with nine minutes remaining when no.4 Robertson was late in through Falkingham. Jim Jefferies then had the luxury of bring on three sets of fresh legs against the ten. Faissal El Bakhtaoui, Michael Moffat and Andy Geggan replaced Andy Stirling, Shaun Byrne and hat trick hero Gozie Ugwu.
Williamson kept up the pressure with a couple more runs but at the end of one in 90th minute he was injured on the Stirling 18 yard line and after both physio Kenny Murray and doctor Bobby Robertson came on the young right back was stretchered off. It was a real dampener on a good day at East End Park.
DUNFERMLINE: Ryan Scully; Ryan Williamson, Gregor Buchanan, Lewis Martin, Alex Whittle; Andy Stirling (Faissal El Bakhtaoui 82), Josh Falkingham (c), Shaun Byrne (Andy Geggan 82), Ryan Thomson; Allan Smith, Chigozie Ugwu (Michael Moffat 82).
SUBS NOT USED: Stuart Urquhart, Ross Forbes, Ross Millen, Ryan Goodfellow (GK)
SCORERS: Ugwu (5, 18, 60), Stirling (71)
STIRLING ALBION: Callum Reidford; David McClune (Lee Hamilton 64), William Robertson, Ross McGeachie, Ross Forsyth (c); Phil Johnston, Dale Fulton, Chris Smith, Sandy Cunningham (Craig Comrie 75); Steven Doris, Gordon Smith (Graham Weir 64).
SUBS NOT USED: Craig Wedderburn, Darren Smith, James Creaney, Greg Paterson (GK)
YELLOW CARD: G. Smith (30), C Smith (78)
RED CARD: Robertson (81)
REFEREE: Colin Steven
WEATHER: Dry 12C
NEXT MATCH: William Hill Scottish Cup: Stranraer v Dunfermline
Saturday 29th November 2014, Stairs Park, kick off 3.00pm
Pre Season Friendly v Hibernian, Thursday 6th July 2017, kick off 7.45pm