Pre Season Friendly v Blyth Spartans


Pre Season Friendly

Attendance: 333, Kick off 3:00pm

Referee: Tony Young

Greg Paterson continued in goal as the Pars played on English soil for the first time in 22 years.  Chris Higgins came into the side to experience the first taste of playing alongside Andy Dowie.  Despite all the new faces, seven of the side that played against Clyde in the final match of last season started.  Spartans Chairman Tony Platten claimed that his manager Mick Tait was starting with his strongest eleven. 

Alex Burke led the Pars team out in bright July sunshine and it was the home side that kicked off attacking the goal at the west end. Within two minutes Nick Phinn broke into the Blyth box and possibly too early for the ref, a worthy appeal for a penalty was rejected when the Pars man was up ended just inside the far side of the box.

In eighth minute there was optimism for the small group of travelling supporters when David Graham cut inside from the right but Andy Kirk`s effort was cleared by Craddock.  Almost immediately Graham supplied another good cross ball and Bayne`s header was deflected for a corner on the left.  Gibson sent that in but the hosts cleared.

Dunfermline took the lead in 12th minute.  Andy Kirk sent the ball to Graham on the right side of the box and his touch found Graham BAYNE in good position to net, right footed from six yards.  Two minutes later a speculative shot lobbed in by Robert Dale from 30 yards dropped on Paterson`s crossbar creating the first real noise out of the home support.

In 18 minutes former Gateshead and York midfielder Steven Turnbull`s header reached Chris McCabe at the far post but his header dropped over the bar. Then in 20th minute a cross from the right sent over by Ross was met by Willie GIBSON and his header from six yards hit the net.

Alex Burke almost scored with the best move of the game, thus far in 27 minutes.  Phinn started it with a pass that was flicked into the path of the `flying` Burke by Bayne and the wee man struck a shot from the edge of the box that was worthy of a goal but the fingertips of Mark Bell stopped the ball as it headed for the bottom left of the goal and he pounced on the loose ball before anyone else.

Dowie headed a Gibson free kick over the Spartans bar on the half hour and Graham sent a shot from distance the same way minutes later. Then in 39 minutes a through ball from Turnbull towards manager`s son Michael Tait had an unfortunate outcome.  Greg ROSS overweighted his pass back and gave Paterson no chance as the ball rolled in at the base of the right goalpost.

Within two minutes Blyth had it back on level terms. A fairly soft decision handed the hosts a free kick 25 yards on the right side and Gareth WILLIAMS stepped up to send the ball over the four man wall and into the right side of the net as Paterson stood rooted to the spot.

Half Time: Blyth Spartans 2 Dunfermline 2

No Pars substitutions following the break but Spartans made three changes. It was 58th minute before there was anything to note when Kirk prodded a good ball into the path of Bayne and the big number nine took the ball to the byeline to the left of goal before putting over an inviting ball that got blasted behind for a corner.

Five substitutions came along in the 62nd minute.  Fleming for Paterson, Woods for Ross, McDougall for Graham, Holmes for Burke and Cardle for Gibson. In 68th minute Joe Cardle switched the ball for Woods to pick out Bayne, his header was helped goalwards by Phinn but a hand kept that out and Andy KIRK made no mistake from the spot.

Stephen Glass came on for Phinn and in 75 minutes Willis cross from the right corner flag was tapped back right by Cardle and the sub`s low driven shot slipped narrowly wide left.  Two minutes later a McDougall cross from a similar spot picked out BAYNE and his downward header beat Henderson to make it 4-2.

Muirhead went wide left and then Bayne headed a Cardle corner the same way. The two goal cushion appeared to give the Pars some composure and their opponents slowed a bit.  In 87 McDougall drove into the far right of the box and was forced into cutting back for Bayne but the big centre failed to connect and missed the chance of a hattrick.

A useful exercise for both sides, satisfying to score four goals and nice to see the new boys knitting in. At the final whistle Tony Platten came on the tannoy to thanks the Pars fans who travelled south (around 80 of them perhaps) and the crew of HMS Blyth who seemed to be on their way to Rosyth and Faslane.

BLYTH SPARTANS: Mark Bell (Ali Henderson 69); Ben Christiansen, John Brackstone, Gareth Williams, Joe Tait, Darren Craddock (Richard Forster HT), Chris McCabe (Shaun Reay HT), Steven Turnbull, Robbie Dale (Adrian Webster HT), Ian Graham, Michael Tait
SUBS:  Keiron Wrightson, Steven Collins, Stuart Bath, Josh Gillies.
SCORERS: Ross (39 og), Williams (41)

DUNFERMLINE: Greg Paterson (Greg Fleming 62), Greg Ross (Calum Woods 62), Chris Higgins (Austin McCann.77), Andy Dowie, Scott Muirhead; David Graham (Steven McDougall 62), Nick Phinn (Stephen Glass 70), Alex Burke (c)(Graeme Holmes 62), Willie Gibson (Joe Cardle 62); Graham Bayne, Andy Kirk.(Paul Willis 69).
SCORERS: Bayne (12, 77), Gibson (20), Kirk (68 pen.).

WEATHER: Sunny 17C

NEXT PRE SEASON FRIENDLY (home) v Dundee United, Tuesday 14th July kick off 7.30pm

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