SPFL League One: DUNFERMLINE 1 AIRDRIEONIANS 1: 26/09/15
Paton and Talbot out, McCabe and McAusland in. George Hunter (18) 0-1; Michael Moffat (74) 1-1
Allan Johnston was keen that his side took their good form at Tannadice in Tuesday night's Scottish League cup tie into this league match. It was second placed Dunfermline v fourth placed Airdrieonians.
After going over on his ankle in training on Friday Michael Paton was sidelined meaning Rhys McCabe came in for his starting debut. Jason Talbot was rested and that made room for Thursday signing, Marc McAusland to partner former Diamond Ben Richards-Everton in the centre of defence with Lewis Martin returning to left back.
Airdrieonians made one change from the side beaten at home by Ayr United the previous Saturday, George Hunter started in place of Caolan McAleer.
Visiting keeper Neil Parry was the first involved in any serious action rising well to clutch a McCabe cross out of the air at the edge of his six yard box. Then in fifth minute Faissal El Bakhtaoui robbed Sean Crighton of possession on the top of the Airdrieonians box only to fire his shot narrowly over the crossbar.
More traffic towards the Airdrieonians goal was started by Joe Cardle but when he laid the ball off for Byrne to prod a through ball into the path of Ryan Wallace his pace was just a little to fast to control. The Diamonds only chance within the opening ten minutes came from a cross to the far post but Murdoch held Hunter's headed effort.
A defence splitting pass from McCabe let Byrne in on the right but Scott Smith slid in to deny the Pars midfielder a clear shot and Parry held with ease. In 14th minute Liam Watt won the first corner of the game off Andy Geggan but Murdoch fisted away Watt's cross.
Having dominated the play for the opening ten minutes the Pars let Airdrie get the feel of going forward and they created a couple of chances. Wallace had a shot beaten away off Chris O'Neil but Airdrieonians hit on the break with David Cox's ball to HUNTER in 18 minutes finding the net from an acute angle on the right. 0-1
Martin made Parry save from his 20 yard drive and then from a 25th minute Wallace corner Geggan got a flick but the ball travelled through the six yard box only for Alan Lithgow to clear. McCabe did no better from a free kick 25 yards out sending the ball over the Airdrie crossbar.
Play got parked in the opposition half either side of the half hour mark but the defence dealt with a couple of McCabe crosses and starved Dunfermline of any shooting opportunities. Geggan tried a chip to the far post but that was scrambled clear before Wallace could press.
Joe Cardle had the ball in the net in 37th minute heading home a McCabe shot that was deflected off a defender. The Pars man was flagged offside so there was nothing yet to celebrate. Back at the other end Airdrie should have netted when Cox's cross went behind Hunter running in front of goal.
A 44th minute free kick was blasted into the Pars wall by Watt before the Pars were awarded a free kick 40 yards out after Smith brought down Wallace but Cardle sent that into the stand. So the interval came with a deficit of one goal despite 55:45 possession in the home side's favour.
Half Time: Dunfermline 0 Airdrieonians 1
Mickael Antoine-Curier replaced Shaun Byrne for the restart but the management's new plan was soon disrupted by a back injury to Josh Falkingham and he had to go off making way for Michael Moffat. Moff gave the McCathie stand great hope with a strong run tpwards them in 52 minutes but he ran out of ground. Then within a minute he forced Parry to touch his effort over the crossbar after Geggan had produced a good cross in from the right.
In 55 minutes a Cardle cross from the left took a deflection and bounced just outside the right goalpost. Moffat continued to enjoy lots of possession deep inside the opposition box at times Richards-Everton was up there too but there was only a corner to show for it.
On the hour Moffat fed a great ball to Antoine-Curier with a great chance but Parry came out and managed to stop him albeit rather unconventionally. The home side again played the game in the opposition half but Airdrie left only Taylor Morgan on half way as they prevented any penetration by the Fifers.
An El Bakhtaoui shot from 20 yards whizzed by the right goalpost and a Cardle cross was booted away before in 74th minute Geggan first timed a return for MOFFAT to head in at the far post. 1-1
Just three minutes later Antoine-Curier burst towards goal. Parry met him on the edge of the box and Crighton shoulder charged the Pars man away. Antoine-Curier tried a snapshot in 80th minute but that escaped wide left.
McCabe delivered a fine ball into the box but Moffat's header again went outside that left upright. The turquoise shirted Airdrie keeper wasted time at every opportunity.
Cox and McAusland required the physios to come on again in 90th minute but when they and the play continued! Antoine-Curier had one final chance to be the match winner but Parry held his effort.
The Pars stats showed even more possession in the second half and in the end Dunfermline had 8 corners to Airdrieonians 2 but it's goals that win games and the teams could not be separated this time.
DUNFERMLINE: Sean Murdoch; Andy Geggan (c), Lewis Martin, Ben Richards-Everton, Jason Talbot; Rhys McCabe, Shaun Byrne (Mickael Antoine-Curier HT), Josh Falkingham (Michael Moffat 51), Joe Cardle; Ryan Wallace, Faissal El Bakhtaoui.
SUBS NOT USED: Jason Talbot, Lewis Spence, James Thomas, John Potter, David Hutton (GK).
SCORERS: Moffat (73)
AIRDRIEONIANS: Neil Parry; Jamie Bain, Sean Crighton, Alan Lithgow, Chris O'Neil, Liam Watt, Scott Smith, Marc Fitzpatrick (c), George Hunter (Jordan Morton 63), David Cox, Taylor Morgan (Caolan McAleer 89).
SUBS NOT USED: Bryan Prunty, Nicolas Sumsky, Adam Brown, Scott Stewart, Rohan Ferguson (GK)
SCORERS: Hunter (18)
YELLOW CARD: O'Neil (96)
REFEREE: John McKendrick
WEATHER: Overcast 16C
NEXT MATCH: Ladbrokes League One (home) v Albion Rovers
Saturday 3rd October 2015, kick off 3.00pm
Ladbrokes Championship: Saturday 22nd April, Dunfermline v Falkirk kick off 3.00pm