SFL v Clyde

DUNFERMLINE 4 CLYDE 4 Date: 20/12/08

Fixture: Irn Bru SFL Division One

Attendance: 3489, Kick Off: 3.00pm.

Referee: Charlie Richmond

It was the Saturday before Christmas and all around East End Park everyone was hoping for some Christmas cheer. Reduced admission prices were set to attract in the fans and all that was needed was a home win to break the dreadful run of three home defeats inflicted by St Johnstone, Dundee and Morton.

Captain Scott Wilson was available again after serving a two match suspension but Jim McIntyre went with the defence that had played in his absence. Rory Loy and Alex Burke came into the starting eleven that with Steven Bell out saw Kevin Harper drop to the bench.

Clyde made three changes from the side that defeated Airdrie United last time out. Manager John Brown brought in Scott Gemmill, midweek goalscoring sub Alan Trouten and Marvyn Wilson meaning Dave MacKay and Ricky Waddell were relegated to the bench with Paul Emslie out.

The visitors kicked off and got off to a flyer with a goal in just 29 seconds. Pat Clarke shielded the ball to feed it back to Willie McLaren and he lifted the ball through to Alan TROUTEN on the top of the box. The 24 year old, signed from Queens Park at the start of the season, took a touch to wrong foot the defence and sent his low shot past Paul Gallacher from 16 yards.

In response Dunfermline forced two quick corners but the first shot at goal did not come until six minutes.  Nick Phinn`s header was laid back by Graham Bayne for Rory Loy to connect but send well over the crossbar into the empty East Stand.

Austin McCann won a ninth minute corner off McLaren and when that came over from the left Bayne was sent flying and Referee Charlie Richmond had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Stephen GLASS assumed the responsibility sending his low left footed effort into the bottom right for a very welcome equaliser. Dunfermline`s first home goal in over 250 minutes.

Clyde came right back at the Pars with McLaren breaking forward after dispossessing Greg Shields in the Clyde half and subsequently McLaren`s shot was blocked by Calum Woods to deny the Broadwood team.

The visitors were awarded a 21st minute free kick 30 yards for Phinn`s challenge on Gemmill but Trouten put too much on the ball into the far side of the box and Alan Lithgow could only help the ball out for a goal kick. A swift break by Loy produced a through ball for Andy Kirk to run on to but Lithgow swept the ball out for a corner.

Stephen Glass` corner was defended back out to him and Shields deflection on a Glass returned cross was tipped over the bar by Clyde keeper David Hutton. In 30th minute Kirk, with a great display of pace, did catch a Woods long ball and the Pars were desperately unlucky with the Irishman`s strong ball across the face of goal as both Bayne and Burke came close to being executioner.

Glass directed a 39th minute chance towards the left post but lack of pace on the connection meant David Hutton gathered  with ease.  Next Bayne sent a header into Hutton`s arms. Pantomime boos greeted Charlie Richmond`s whistle to obtain treatment for himself after he had taken a fall but after some magic `sponge` from Pars physio Gerry Docherty he was fit to resume.

Loy was upended down on the right and Glass`s 43rd minute free kick was deflected around the near post by Wilson. Clyde were forced to use sub Ricky Waddell before the break as Gemmill couldn`t continue.  Burke drove the final effort of the first half wildly over the bar and the teams were to turn around all square.

Half Time: Dunfermline 1 Clyde 1

The fans half time teas were flavoured with optimism and it took 80 seconds of the second period for that to be warranted. Fortunately most spectators were seated before a  simple cross into the box dropped at the feet of Andy KIRK who lashed the ball past Hutton.

Bayne had a good opportunity to increase the lead in 48 minutes after good work by Loy on the right set the striker up with a header that he disappointingly directed at the keeper.  Clyde forced a corner on the left two minutes later and Chris HIGGINS rose to head Trouten`s delivery back across goal to strike right back.

This was developing quite a cup tie atmosphere but that was supposed to be three weeks away yet.  Former Par Pat Clarke pulled a good chance wide left before Macca made a double substitution withdrawing Rory Loy ,much to the disquiet of the home fans, and Alex Burke.

The introduction of Graeme Holmes and Kevin Harper did not have the immediate effect that was hoped for. Instead John Brown`s men grabbed the lead when CLARKE was able to squeeze the ball between Phinn and Shields to beat Gallacher at the far post.

To make matters worse four minutes later in 69, Alan Lowing, on loan from Rangers, crossed a simple ball that CLARKE controlled and netted from ten yards out.  Now Dunfermline required to score five goals in this match to win but Andy KIRK got one of those back in 72 minutes.  Keeper Hutton was drawn out to clear a through ball but sent it right to the feet of the Pars striker who sent the ball into the open goal. 3-4!

In 74 minutes Jim McIntyre came on as the Fifers switched to 4-3-3 and Harper began to trouble the left side of the Bully wee defence. Macca lasted just four minutes after injuring himself in flicking on a ball that sent his side streaming forward. He had time to look up and see Nick PHINN slot the ball beyond Hutton to register the eighth goal of the match.

With McIntyre unable to continue Dunfermline were forced to chase the winner with just ten men. The ten gave their all with Phinn getting himself booked for what looked like a blatent foul on the corner of the Clyde penalty area.  McLaren drove at Gallacher back at the other end as the Pars looked exposed as they threw men forward.

Nipper made a sortie up the left to send over an inviting ball that had no takers and Phinn tried a long range shot that failed to hit the target. At the death, Gallacher had an added time save from Waddell but there was to be no more goals.

Just like last December`s fixture between the teams a draw was the outcome but this was a thrilling match pity, that it earned us just one point. Plenty to be joyful about but no one was triumphant. 

DUNFERMLINE: Paul Gallacher; Calum Woods, Scott Thomson, Greg Shields, Austin McCann (Jim McIntyre 74); Rory Loy (Kevin Harper 64), Nick Phinn, Stephen Glass (c), Alex Burke (Graeme Holmes 64); Graham Bayne, Andy Kirk..
SUBS: Callum Reidford, Scott Wilson.
SCORER: Glass (10 pen.), Kirk (47, 72), Phinn (79)
YELLOW CARD: Bayne (32), Glass (80), Phinn (85)

CLYDE: David Hutton; Chris Higgins, Billy Gibson, Alan Lithgow, Alan Lowing (David McKay 84), Alan Trouten, Marvyn Wilson, Mark Brown, Scott Gemmill (Ricky Waddell 44); Willie McLaren, Pat Clarke.
SUBS: Gary McSwegan, Roddy MacLennan, Peter Cherrie (GK)
SCORER: Trouten (1), Higgins (50), Clarke (65, 69)
YELLOW CARD: Waddell (88), Higgins (90+3)


NEXT MATCH: (home) SFL First Division v Livingston
Saturday 27th December 2008, kick off 3.00pm

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