SPFL League One: DUNFERMLINE 3 STENHOUSEMUIR 2: 14/02/15

After finding the winning formula at Ayr two Saturdays ago, John Potter made two changes to his starting eleven. Alex Whittle and Josh Falkingham came in at the expense of Jim Paterson and Shaun Byrne. New signing, former Celtic youth, Paul George was on the bench.

Stenhousemuir's caretaker manager, Brown Ferguson made three changes from the side that faced Peterhead last time out. Kieran Miller and Jamie McCormack were suspended and Craig Sutherland dropped to the bench. Ross McMillan returned to lead the team after paternity leave, and Martin Grehan and Josh Watt took the place of the suspended pair. The trialists were goalkeeper Scott Morrison, formerly of Arbroath and Anthony Marenghi, formerly Ayr United.

The home side kicked off through Moffat and Barrowman and they looked commanding from the start. Moffat and Falkingham linked well on the right to create an early threat but it was Lewis Spence who tested Stenny keeper Greg Fleming in fourth minute, making him hold his 30 yard drive.

Falkingham's foul on Colin McMenamin just 30 yards out could have caused concern but the first use of referee's spray injected comedy into the setpiece especially when the Dunfermline players decided they would move further back to mark. Ryan Scully had nothing to worry about from that but then had to come out to fist away the first corner of the afternoon.

A Pars opportunity arose when Whittle picked out Falkingham just 16 yards out but his sidefooted shot failed to get past the central defenders. A 15th minute corner was headed on from Buchanan to Geggan then Barrowman but Fleming gathered the ball all too easily.

The home side had looked so good but they were to be severely punished for poor tackling in 18th minute. On loan from Celtic, Paul McMULLAN evaded Whittle's challenge on the top of the box and weaved his way in to crash the ball past Scully. 0-1

The quick reply almost happened when Michael Moffat sent a great effort from 25 yards out on to the Stenny crossbar just four minutes later. The opposition frustrated the Pars efforts to get forward and Scully was kept involved with pass backs. In the stands the home support were also voicing their frustrations.

In 34 minutes David Hopkirk flighted in a free kick from the right and although Barrowman met it with a header back across goal, Moffat was desperately unlucky to have his on target shot beaten away by Fleming. Gregor Buchanan was forced to retire after taking a head knock and Stuart Urquhart came on as a straight replacement.

Three minutes later Geggan's cross into the six yard box was tipped around his right hand post by Fleming just as Barrowman was about to get the killer touch. There were cries for a penalty when Spence was felled at the short taken corner but no decision and the next Fleming involvement was to hold a Spence cross from the right.

Back at the other end a chance dropped to right back Ross Meechan and Scully dropped to his right to save. The warning wasn't heeded however and when Hopkirk lost possession Stenhousemuir went back down the left. Ciaran Summers was allowed to cross the ball and Colin McMENAMIN made scoring look easy as he headed past Scully. 0-2

The 44th minute goal was followed by a Pars goal in the second minute of added time. Moffat drove the ball towards the net just inside the left goalpost and although a defender cleared the ball it rebounded into the net off the stomach of BARROWMAN. 1-2

Half Time: Dunfermline 1 Stenhousemuir 2

Before the second half got underway Dunfermline made their second substitution, new signing Paul George coming on to replace David Hopkirk. George made an immediate impression with some speedy and effective play down the right.

He was unlucky when there were no takers as he flashed the ball through the six yard box and then he forced a free kick on the right. He then delivered two corners in from the left before Geggan's cross from the right brought howls from the sidelines as they watched Barrowman fail to connect in front of goal.

Dunfermline strung lots of passes together but some robust defending limited their attacks. The home crowd were on their feet to protest about tackles firstly on Spence and then on Geggan. Stenny brought on Marenghi for Watt in 61 minutes and they had a good chance that McMenamin sent wide right from fifteen yards out.

Spence was brought down by Hodge to earn the Pars a 69th minute penalty but Michael Moffat's effort to the bottom right was saved by Fleming and Barrowman's follow up header went on to the crossbar.

The Pars second goal did come however just five minutes later and it was a belter from 30 yards from Kyle McAUSLAND. 2-2 The goal raised the hopes all around and Stenhousemuir were kept well out of it as the Pars tried to find a winner.

Faissal El Bakhtaoui had replaced Moffat and his backheeler to Spence just ten yards out brought a good save out of Fleming. Barrowman had two attempts that the former Pars keeper held.

Time was running out fast for Athletic as they pushed up in desperate search of a winner. El Bakhtaoui won a 90th minute corner and George's cross was oh so close for Barrowman. As it turned out Scully then had to make a great save to deny McMullen a winner.

Urquhart was yellow carded as he stopped McMullan and the Stenny player then stuck his effort over the crossbar. The goal that both sides sought so much arrived in the fourth minute of added time. The ball was played into the six yard box with a couple of Pars players attacking the cross. It then dropped for BARROWMAN to stick the ball away. 3-2

Another late late show against Stenhousemuir once again but three precious points. Morton and Brechin City drew but Stranraer picked up another three points.
DUNFERMLINE: Ryan Scully: Andy Geggan, Gregor Buchanan (Stuart Urquhart 36), Lewis Martin, Alex Whittle; Josh Falkingham (c), Kyle McAusland, Lewis Spence, David Hopkirk (Paul George HT); Andy Barrowman, Michael Moffat (Faissal El Bakhtaoui 72).
SUBS NOT USED: Shaun Byrne, Ross Millen, Ryan Thomson, Ryan Goodfellow (GK).
SCORERS: Barrowman (45+2), McAusland (74), Barrowman (94)
YELLOW CARD: Falkingham (50), Urquhart (93), Barrowman (94).

STENHOUSEMUIR: Greg Fleming; Ross Meechan, Alan Lithgow, Ross McMillan (c), Ciaran Summers; Paul McMullan, Kris Faulds, Bryan Hodge, Josh Watt (Trialist 61); Colin McMenamin (Gregor Fotheringham 70), Martin Grehan Robbie Duncan 84).
SUBS NOT USED: Fraser Eddington, Lee Gallacher, Craig Sutherland, Trialist (GK)
SCORERS: McMullan (18), McMenamin (44)
YELLOW CARD: Hodge (41)

REFEREE: Alan Newlands
WEATHER: Overcast 7C
ATTENDANCE 2393

NEXT MATCH: SPFL League One (away) v Forfar Athletic, Saturday 21st February 2015, kick off 3.00pm at Station Park

50/50 Half time draw: Ticket number 135116 won £723




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