SPFL League One: STIRLING ALBION 2 DUNFERMLINE 2: 10/01/15
The match survived the stormy weather with light snow falling but not lying during the warm up.
Allan Smith, Lewis Spence and debut boy Jim Paterson came in for Alex Whittle, Ryan Wallace and the suspended Andy Geggan as John Potter set out in search of his first managerial victory.
Stirling Albion made one change from the side that won 2-1 at Stenhousemuir the previous week; Lewis Coult replacing Lewis Small who returned to Falkirk for treatment to a shoulder injury. With two former Pars keepers on their books, Greg Paterson retained his newly acquired place between the sticks.
The home side kicked off and within 12 seconds Sandy Cunningham blasted the first attempt wide and high of target. The Pars first effort was from a Ross Forbes free kick that was floated in for Paterson to hold. Play continued towards the Stirling goal, Smith crossing for Forbes and although his shot was blocked the offside flag was up.
A fourth minute corner for the Binos was fisted clear by Ryan Scully and then at the other end when Smith dispossessed Wedderburn, the striker chose to shoot from an acute angle on the left when a cut back might have borne a better result.
Ross Millen was fed a pass from Josh Falkingham in 11 minute and his ball into the box dropped for Smith but his try to sweep the ball the Dunfermline postie, Paterson, got blocked. The wind howled as Forbes sent a low ball through the Stirling box from a 17th minute corner from the left.
At the midway point in the half a Phil Johnston free kick was floated in from the right and Scully's fist just beat Chris Aitken for the ball. Back at the other end Forbes corner in from the right was met by Gregor Buchanan's head but the ball flashed past the right goalpost. The Pars centre half then had to head clear after Johnston's shot was beaten away by Scully.
In 29th minute Falkingham's trickery got him on the right side of the Stirling box and his cutback to Shaun Byrne brought about a powerful shot that Paterson tipped over. Two Dunfermline corners both from the left side failed to alter things but then three minutes later Paterson had to touch the ball around his right hand post after Moffat fed Byrne the opportunity for a left footed strike from 18 yards.
Seven minutes before the break the home side's hope of a first home win of the season took a severe dent when Lewis Coult was shown the red card. The former Cowdenbeath striker cut down Lewis Martin causing a big reaction from the Pars players and fans.
in 42 minutes Craig Comrie's corner from the right was headed goalwards and Forbes headed clear on the goalline. The clearance was switched swiftly up the park with SMITH running in from the left to slot the ball past the advancing keeper. 0-1
It was a half in which Dunfermline had the bulk of the chances, 12 shots to Stirling's four and six corners to the home side's two. The hosts did have their opportunities but the Pars defence had looked fairly solid when required.
Stirling Albion 0 Dunfermline 1
Moffat and Smith kicked off the second 45 and within three minutes the outstretched left foot of keeper Paterson denied Smith after Jim Paterson had supplied the ball for the Pars goalscorer. Then in 52 minutes Spence popped a shot that slipped narrowly wide of the left upright.
The ten men of Stirling did not give up by any means and they strung passes together to force a corner kick on the left on the hour. When Comrie sent that over Chris SMITH's header powered the ball in at the left post. 1-1
Four minutes later Potter made his first tactical change, Andy Stirling replacing Forbes. A Spence run through the middle allowed the Pars sub an effort on goal but hit the shot high and wide right.
Faissal El Bakhtaoui replaced Michael Moffat for the final quarter of an hour and although not directly affected by him, the Pars had two quick chances with Spence being blocked out and then a Buchanan header just staying out at the base of the right post.
A Comrie free kick in 79 minutes led to the home side going ahead. Scully came for the ball but failed to get it and in a scramble Craig WEDDERBURN stuck the ball away. 2-1
Andy Stirling tried another shot from outside the box and again he was off target. There could have been a third home goal in 87 minutes when sub Scott Shepherd took advantage of a Martin slip but Scully came out and pulled off a fantastic vital save.
The Pars struggled to take any benefit from their one man advantage and the home side dug in to try and keep the Fifers out. There was one almighty stramash in the home goalmouth as the match went into added time. A Jim Paterson overhead kick and a series of efforts were incredibly kept out. Then in 92 minutes Scully came up for a last chance corner. The defence looked to have done its job again but when MARTIN got the chance he smashed the ball into the left side of the net.
The goal salvaged a point from the jaws of a defeat but for John Potter it had been a toatally unacceptable second half. He felt that too many players failed to carry out the instructions in the second half and he said that he would look to freshen things up for next week.
Brechin City's 2-1 home win over Ayr United took them to 31 points, two more than Dunfermline who slipped out of the play off places for the first time since August.
STIRLING ALBION: Greg Paterson; Ross McGeachie, Craig Wedderburn, Chris Smith (c), Jamie Creaney; Phil Johnston (Lee Hamilton 83), Craig Comrie, Angus Beith, Sandy Cunningham (Scott Shepherd 67), Lewis Small, Gordon Smith (Ross Forsyth 91)
SUBS NOT USED: Willie Robertson, Dale Fulton, David McClune, Callum Reidford (GK).
SCORERS: Smith (60), Wedderburn 79)
YELLOW CARD: Creaney (36)
RED CARD: Coult (38)
DUNFERMLINE: Ryan Scully; Ross Millen, Gregor Buchanan, Lewis Martin, Jim Paterson; Josh Falkingham (c), Shaun Byrne, Lewis Spence (Ryan Thomson 80), Ross Forbes (Andy Stirling 64); Michael Moffat (Faissal El Bakhtaoui 74), Allan Smith.
SUBS NOT USED: Finn Graham, Scott Mercer, Declan O'Kane, Cammy Gill (GK)
SCORERS: Smith (42), Martin (92)
YELLOW CARD: Buchanan (88)
REFEREE: Crawford Allan
WEATHER: Changeable 4C
NEXT MATCH: SPFL League One (home) v Airdrieonians
Saturday 17th January 2015, kick off 3.00pm
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