Pre Season Friendly v St Johnstone
ST JOHNSTONE 1 DUNFERMLINE 0
Fixture: Pre Season Friendly
Kick Off: 15:00
Referee: Andy Hunter
Weather: Sunny 20C
The Pars fans who travelled up the M90 expected to see what might be Jim Leishman`s starting eleven for next week`s opener at Easter Road. Without the injured Lee Makel, Greg Ross filled the central midfield role and Mark Burchill was on the bench as the visitors kicked off towards the Ormond Stand.
Early play was all towards the Pars goal with Bryn Halliwell being brought into the action to collect an overstruck Stephen Dobbie pass after three minutes and then minutes later the same blue shirted player charging down a Greg Ross clearance to bring further alarm to the Pars defence.
Dunfermline`s first real chance came in the 14th minute when Greg Shields effort from six yards was blocked by Dyer. Five minutes later it was the other way around as the Pars defender nicked the ball off his opponent as he drew back to shoot from 16 yards.
The game was fairly quiet and goalmouth action sparse helped by St Johnstone over hitting a free kick from a good position on the left. Ruitkiewicz quickly halted Simon Donnelly`s progress after Derek Young had dispossessed Campbell 25 yards out. Another St Johnstone free kick in the 31st minute gave Neil Janczyk a chance to test Halliwell with a stinging shot from 25 yards that dipped over the defensive wall.
Seven minutes from the interval Derek Young`s run caused Dyer to turn out for a corner kick on the right. Scott Morrison took the corner and when St Johnstone headed the ball out he collected it and swung over a nice ball for Scott Wilson on the far side of the box but New Zealand internationalist Mark Paston, the trialist keeper from Bradford, held with ease. A Scott Thomson free kick from the edge of the left side of the Saints penalty box was challenged by Wilson but it was Toddy who got a touch turning the ball over the bar from close in.
In the 44th minute Neil Janczyk came closest to breaking the deadlock with a 40 yard effort that slipped narrowly over the bar and the Pars finished the half strongly with Morrison`s cross being headed in on target by Wilson. The keeper again played safe tipping the ball over the bar.
Half Time 0-0
The second half was slow to warm up and it was the home side who were first to threaten. Janczyk`s free kick from the right picked out Dobbie well out to the left of goal and his looping shot at an angle bounced just wide of the right goalpost. At the other end the Saints keeper was out to collect a useful Shields ball in from the right bundling Derek Young over in the process.
In 56th minute Dobbie threaded a good ball through the middle for McCann to run on to but the Pars defence stole the ball off him to thwart the attack. The first of a series of substitutions in the game brought Craig Wilson on in place of Greg Ross and Dunfermline seemed to use him extensively in his first involvement culminating in a Shields cross that Derek Young headed over the top.
Dobbie lifted the ball over Andy Tod and took the ball to the edge of the box before releasing a shot that went out for a corner off Scott Wilson. In 63rd minute Janczyk sent Dobbie into the right side of the Pars box to centre a ball that Halliwell coolly took of the boot of Milne. Mark Burchill came on for Donnelly but his header from a Hunt cross went over the bar like most of the others.
St Johnstone Manager Owen Coyle introduced a triple substitution and they got closer with Jackson`s drive being stopped by Gary Mason`s outstretched foot. David Hannah fired in a shot that sneaked over the bar before St Johnstone took the lead six minutes from time. Simon Mensing made a strong run bursting through the middle and slipped a neat pass from the edge of the D right to Steven Milne. Despite the challenge of Greg Shields and the diving Sean Murdoch nothing could stop the well hit shot going low into the centre of the net.
Paul Sheerin had a header at goal that came close and although Dunfermline rallied in an attempt to get a late equaliser the final whistle was a welcome sound to their ears. This was the team`s fourth game in seven days and probably came too soon after their stern test against Chievo. The performances in Italy were very good and that is what we all hope continues next Saturday when the SPL season kicks off.Dunfermline Squad: Bryn Halliwell (Sean Murdoch 68); Greg Shields, Andy Tod, Scott Wilson (I Campbell 79), Scott Thomson (A Skerla 71), Scott Morrison (N Hunt 70); Greg Ross (Craig Wilson 59), Darren Young, Gary Mason; Simon Donnelly (M Burchill 64), Derek Young (Majiec 85)
Dunfermline Subs not used: Billy Mehmet, Ian Williamson
Dunfermline Strip: Home White and Black
St Johnstone Squad: Trialist; Steven Anderson, Mark Campbell, Kevin Rutkiewicz (Ryan Stevenson 59); Simon Mensing, Ryan McCann (Trialist 75), Trialist (Paul Sheerin 75), Neil Janczyk (David Hannah 75), Willie Dyer, Steven Milne, Stephen Dobbie (Andy Jackson 71)
St Johnstone Subs not used: Owen Coyle, Trialist, Kevin Cuthbert (GK)
St Johnstone Goal Scorers: Milne (84)
Ladbrokes Championship: v St Mirren, Friday 26th January 2018, kick off 7.45pm