Pre Season Friendly v Gretna
DUNFERMLINE 2 GRETNA 1
Fixture: Pre Season Friendly
Kick Off: 15:00
Referee: Ian Frickleton
Weather: Breezy 21C
The sun came out as Dunfermline kicked off their first ever fixture against the club entering their fourth season in the SFL. Gretna were playing in the Unibond League and the FA Cup before gaining entry into their home country competition and they certainly looked like they were in Fife to enjoy the occasion pushing up and winning the first corner of the match. Just inside the 9th minute their early possession and endeavour paid off.
Gretna were awarded a dubious free kick on the edge of the centre circle that former Eastender Davie Nicholls flighted in the direction of Kenny Deuchars at the top of the right side of the penalty box. The Gretna striker made no effort to reach the ball leaving it instead for the inrushing Ryan Baldacchino who slipped in behind the defence to drive a low shot that was blocked by Halliwell but cannoned into the net off Derek TOWNSLEY.
Davie Nicholls challenges Gary Mason
Awoken by the adversity Dunfermline became more adventurous. In the 11th minute Lee Makel sent the ball left for Donnelly and his square ball set up Gary Mason with a shot from the edge of the box that went over off the top off the crossbar. While attacking a loose Craig Wilson pass allowed Baldacchino to break through the middle and exchanges between David Bingham and Ryan McCuffie ended up with Bingo firing in a shot that Bryn Halliwell tipped over the bar.
Next Scott Morrison was wide left to cross a dangerous ball through the six yard box for Wilson to turn into Mason`s path four yards from goal but he failed to convert the chance and Alan Main was fortunate to gather the ball.
There were 27 minutes gone when Morrison crossed from the wing for Burchill to try a header from inside six yards but Main had an easy task in clutching the ball out of the air. Two minutes later he was much more spectacular with a great save from Simon Donnelly. Burchill was wide right to send over a cross that was headed out as far as Greg shields and his lob found Donnelly centre stage. The Pars man whacked the ball into the ground to spin up towards the net making it hard for the keeper to get to but unfortunately the man in the green shirt got to it.
With the home support calling for their favourites to go up a gear they won their first corner of the game in the 35th minute and Andrius Skerla might have done better than pull his shot across the face of the goal to the left. When Nichols sent Mason sprawling 30 yards out the free kick let Lee Makel have a crack at goal. He came close clattering the right goalpost and rebounding away.
Half Time 0-1
Three half time substitutions did the trick for Leishman. The Young Brothers and Andy Tod came on for Campbell, Wilson and Burchill and within twelve minutes the Pars were winning instead of losing. The second half performance started strongly with Toddy pushing up the right and combining with Shields. It was Darren Young though that supplied Greg with the pass that he laced through for Derek YOUNG to equalise from five yards in the 49th minute.
The game became much more open and Gretna threatened with Baldacchino`s ball to Gavin Skelton being crashed onto the crossbar. It was the Pars though who were next on target. Shields pass along the top of the penalty box rebounded off Birch and Darren YOUNG drove home to make it 2-1.
On the hour Gretna again struck the woodwork this time Deuchars and McCuffie making the opening that left Skelton with free shot at goal but maybe with the deflection off Tod the ball was kept out by the right post. Dunfermline played some better football. Darren Young and Greg Shields had pops at goal but Gretna defended deeper and made sure that the chances had to be taken from distance.
Billy Mehmet came on for the industrious Donnelly but no more goals were forthcoming. This was a much better workout for the Fifers than the one Brechin had served up on Tuesday night. Gretna were very competitive and came forward when they could. McCuffie and Baldacchino were perennial dangers who along with Deuchars kept the Pars back three alert. The Young Brothers appeared to inject some urgency into the Pars game; the death of their father means they will not make the trip to Italy and on this showing they will be a big miss.
Trialist named for Pars was substituted keeper, goalkeeping coach, Scott Y Thomson.
Dunfermline Squad: Bryn Halliwell; Greg Shields, Andrius Skerla, Scott Thomson, Iain Campbell (Tod HT); Craig Wilson (Darren Young HT), Lee Makel, Gary Mason (Ian Williamson 89), Scott Morrison (Hunt 86); Simon Donnelly (Billy Mehmet 78), Mark Burchill (Derek Young HT)
Dunfermline Subs not used: Greg Ross, Trialist
Dunfermline Strip: New Black and White Striped shirts, white shorts and socks
Dunfermline Goal Scorers: Derek Young (49), Darren Young (57)
Gretna Squad: Alan Main; Derek Collins, Derek Townsley, Chris Innes, Jamie McQuilken (Mark Birch HT); Ryan Baldacchino, Ryan McCuffie, David Bingham (Mark Boyd 33), Davie Nicholls (Andy Aitken HT), Kenny Deuchars, Gavin Skelton
Gretna Subs not used: Greg Fleming
Gretna Goal Scorers: Townsley (9)
Ladbrokes Championship: v St Mirren, Friday 26th January 2018, kick off 7.45pm