SFL v Queen of the South


Fixture: Irn Bru SFL Division One

Attendance: 2930, Kick Off: 3.00pm.
Referee: Stevie O`Reilly

Jim McIntyre named an unchanged team from that took the field against Peterhead. Gordon Chisholm was without his suspended captain and Stephen Dobbie dropped to the bench. Andy Aitken and Gary Arbuckle started for the Doonhammers. It was also the first appearance of the season for Scotland`s no.1 club mascot, Sammy the Tammy.

Queen of the South kicked off and within 60 seconds Stewart Kean was able to shoot at goal but his attempt from 20 yards was wide of the right post. This ignited the visiting fans who quickly made their presence known in the South East Stand.. They were quietened In the fifth minute when Kevin Harper was the first to test Bryn Halliwell on his return to East End Park.

The 11th minute saw a beautiful move from Nick Phinn to Alex Burke. The wee man cut inside before delivering a great ball to Phinn who had broken up the left wing. His cross was nicely aimed at Graham Bayne seven yards out but Aitken intervened to head the ball behind for┬ the first┬ corner of the game.

Stephen Glass` corner was cleared only as far as Phinn on the edge of the box and his return to Glass let the Pars in but the final ball was intercepted.

Queens came back at Dunfermline and Arbuckle shook off the challenge of Wilson to get in behind the defence on the left but fortunately Scott Thomson was on hand to head away the cut back at the near post. Next in 20 minutes Jamie McQuilken accepted a misdirected Bayne header that Kean was fed only to see his shot deflected wide.

The Pars were being pegged back by their opponents and Sean O`Conner set up Kean with another shot at goal that Gallacher pushed round his left hand post. All this pressure eventually paid off when Neil McFarlane`s long through ball put KEAN in on goal. Scott Thomson was shadowing him but as he entered the box crumbled.

The ex St Mirren striker nipped in and coolly slotted beyond Gallacher from 15 yards to make it 1-0 in 26th minute. As the visitors celebrated what they had failed to do in their two league matches here last season, Nipper hobbled off with the assistance of physio Gerry Docherty.┬ Calum Woods came on at right back with Greg Shields taking up a role in the centre of defence.

Dunfermline had a few chances to get back at their opponents but their crosses, predominantly from the left were easily cut out by the towering blue defence.

Glass a firm pass back cum shot ito prevent O`Conner shooting in 39th minute, was well held by Gallacher. Two minutes later Wilson belted the ball behind for a corner when it did look as though he had time to be more positive and Bayne and then Harper had to head clearances away as the ball was crossed two times from the right.

At the other end Nick Phinn`s drive was deflected on the edge of the box but Halliwell read it well and took it┬ cleanly.┬ Woods put in a timely tackle to prevent O`Conner shooting and Craig Barr headed the corner wide of Harper on the right post.┬ This was the worst 45 minutes of the season for Athletic, a stiff half time team talk would be a certainty.

Half time: Dunfermline 0 Queen of the South 1

Dunfermline started strongly at the beginning of the second period. Kirk was checked when trying an early one two with his co-partner up front. ┬ McCann won the ball off Burns deep down the left to cross but just too high for Bayne. The Pars forced a corner on 47 minutes that Kirk, Harper and Bayne all challenged to no avail. Then another quick corner was ably defended.

In 52 minutes a QOS corner down in front of their happy fans almost produced a second goal. Kean`s delivery was met by Barr just in front of goal and the ball rebounded off the keeper on the line. Somehow the defence kept the ball out and the Pars survived.

Two minutes later Andy KIRK won the affections of the Pars fans.┬ He accepted a Burke pass and with the defence standing off him the man on his home debut fired home from 25 yards to find the net low to Halliwell`s right.

Kirk almost put the Fifers ahead just three minutes later when his overhead connection on a Harper cross was directed wide right.┬ Wilson made a fine pass out of defence and Woods won a free kick 30 yards out when his penetrating run was illegally ended.

The free kick was played wide right to Harper but his cross was headed behind by O`Conner.┬ Then Barr up ended Alex Burke to earn himself a caution and Kirk had┬ the opportunity to fire a 25 yard free kick over the five man wall but unfortunately over the crossbar as well.

Chances kept coming and Burke had the fans oo-ing when he despatched a pass from Phinn narrowly wide of the right post in 64 minutes.┬ Woods picked up a loose clearance in the next minute to advance on goal and strike a powerful ball that sadly was always rising over the top.

Next Phinn took advantage of a poor Halliwell kick that Bayne hard nearly charged down. The shot was held by Halliwell but he could do nothing about Andy KIRK`s 69th minute shot. A long ball to Bayne was played to the feet of the newest signing and he turned Aitken on the edge of the box┬ to drill the ball into the bottom left.

With 15 minutes remaining the Pars fans were on song as DA won another corner and this time Wilson`s glancing header fell wide of the far post.┬ Iain Williamson had replaced Kevin Harper and the sub had a 78 minute shot that zoomed wide.

It was not all one way traffic in the second half.┬ Substitute Jamie Adams drove deep right into the Pars box to make Gallacher save while at the other end Kirk fired a stinging shot that Halliwell blocked and then held at the second attempt Bayne`s well hit folow up.

Williamson might have thought that the referee was pointing to the spot as Arbuckle went down in his 83rd minute challenge but instead Stevie O`Reilly brandished a yellow card to Arbuckle for diving.

The next card was red for Andy Aitken`s late late tackle on Graham Bayne.┬ There was plenty of relief to see the Pars striker recover and fit to continue after brief treatment from the physio.

There was a let off for Dunfermline two minutes into added time when Barr`s delivery from a free kick fell to Arbuckle six yards out in front of goal and he somehow managed to send the bar over the bar with the net seemingly an easier target.

This was the classic game of two halves.┬ The second half Pars is what we need and they certainly earned their win.┬ The double strike from Andy Kirk will endear him to the fans double quick and yet again Alex Burke was the star in support.

DUNFERMLINE: Paul Gallacher; Greg Shields, Scott Wilson (c), Scott Thomson (Calum Woods 28), Austin McCann; Kevin Harper (Iain Williamson,68), Nick Phinn, Stephen Glass, Alex Burke (Scott Muirhead 92); Andy Kirk, Graham Bayne.
SUBS:┬ Paul Willis, Callum Reidford
YELLOW CARD: Wilson (33), Williamson (92)
SCORER: Kirk (54, 69)

QUEEN OF THE SOUTH: Bryn Halliwell; Craig Barr, Andy Aitken, Craig Reid, Jamie McQuilken; Steven Tosh, Neil McFarlane (Jamie Adams 79), Paul Burns; Stewart Kean, Sean O`Connor (Stephen Dobbie 76), Gary Arbuckle..
SUBS NOT USED: Scott Robertson, Michael McGowan, Cammy Bell (GK)
SCORER: Kean (26), Arbuckle (83)
YELLOW CARD: Barr (61)
RED CARD: Aitken (88)

WEATHER: 13┬║C Wet

NEXT MATCH: (away) SFL v St Johnstone, Saturday 9th August 2008, kick off 3.00pm

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