SFL v Airdrie United


Fixture: Irn Bru SFL Division

Attendance: 2252, Kick Off: 3.00pm.

Referee: Alan Muir

Greg Ross, Neil McGregor┬ and┬ Nick Phinn were missing from the team that won at Greenock.┬ Alex Burke, Chris Higgins┬ and Andy Dowie returned while Willie Gibson still found himself on the bench.

Airdrie United brought in Scott Gemmill and John Baird taking the places of Paul Lovering and Frankie Lagana. It was the visitors who kicked off towards the McCathie Stand end and┬ Scott Gemmill┬ forced a corner after just 12 seconds meaning Pars keeper, Greg Fleming handled twice within the first 45.

In fourth minute Dowie`s pass on the half way line went straight to his opposite number Marc Smyth and his pass to Ryan McCann was moved on for Diarmund O`Carroll to shoot on target from 30 yards and with Fleming unable to take first time Airdrie won another corner.┬ The Pars first corner of the match┬ three minutes later was sent in from the right by Joe Cardle and Andy Kirk met that to produce a powerful header that flew narrowly over the cross bar.

After quarter of an hour┬ Steven Bell`s header out of his own box landed for John Baird and the 24 yeard old signed from Montrose in the January transfer window last year threatened to take the ball right to release a shot but Woods slid in to extinguish the danger.

The opponents might be called the Diamonds but there was nothing dazzling about the play in the first third of the match.┬ Dunfermline found it hard to get the ball out of their defence and Airdrie failed to do much with it.┬ In 25 minutes a long ball from Woods put David Graham through on the counter.┬ Tom Parratt was left in his slipstream but Davie slipped the ball to the wrong side of the right goalpost.

Andy Kirk belted a 30 yard free kick into the defensive wall but that heralded a period of better Pars possession that kept the ball further up the park.┬ Woods forced a corner on the right in 34 but Cardle`s delivery escaped through the box without contact.┬ Two further corners from the right followed with just as much success. Kirk`s header on a Woods cross was never going to alter things.

O`Carroll kept Fleming on guard with a low shot and Kirk maybe should have done better in 39 minutes when Bell headed down a Graham cross from the left but the effort again was high. Dowie pushed up to send the ball deep to the corner flag for Kirk in the next minute. The Northern Ireland internationalist cut back to Woods and his low ball along the 18 yard line allowed Cardle a pop at goal but he too was wide right.

Half Time: Dunfermline 0 Airdrie United 0

All square at the break but the half time Young Pars penalty kick competition provided┬ the thrills and was to be a bit of a rehearsal for Andy KIRK to score from the spot in eighth minute of the second half.┬ Firstly Graham and Smyth were yellow carded for a tussle, then as the ball was played into the Airdrie box Smyth tried to blooter the ball away but only drove it against a Pars player.┬ The break rebounded forward towards Bell 15 yards out and┬ Stephen Robertson made a messy challenge that led to referee Alan Muir pointing to the spot.

On the hour Fleming couldn`t clear as Airdrie piled men into his box. Smyth was unlucky to see his attempt tangled up in the keeper`s legs and former Celtic youth player O`Carroll despatched a low angled drive that Woods cleared off his line┬ and the ball went out for a corner. The defence survived that as did the opponents when Kirk blasted over from a Cardle corner.

Cardle beat two men before slamming a 66 minute effort wide from 25 yards, he followed that up two minutes later with a wilder shot from 18 yards. Graham set off on a quick attack when he robbed the ball off Airdrie`s McCann on half way. The final square pass just 12 yards out was flicked away from Bell by Ricky Waddell to keep the game at just 1-0.

Fleming held a Gemmill header off a Scott McLaughlin delivery from the right, then McLaughlin had a crack from a Waddell cross but the Pars defence blotted that out. O`Carroll was yellow carded for bundling sub Willie Gibson off the ball down on the left and when the Pars man sent over the free kick the ball just eluded Bell`s challenge at the far post.

Airdrie tormented Austin McCann, twice Gemmill got in behind to put over dangerous balls and from a corner sub Keegan headed the ball at Fleming`s chest.┬ At the other end Steven McDougall came on to test Robertson.┬ The keeper could do nothing about Steven BELL`s header on a vicious Gibson free kick from the right that was aimed at the near post.┬ The Pars midfielder darted in to ease the ball into the net and with his fifth goal of the season put the result beyond any doubt.

DUNFERMLINE: Greg Fleming; Calum Woods, Chris Higgins, Andy Dowie, Austin McCann (c); Steven Bell, Gary Mason, Alex Burke (Nick Phinn 77); David Graham, Joe Cardle (Willie Gibson 72); Andy Kirk (Steven McDougall 83).
SUBS:┬ Scott Muirhead,┬ Greg Paterson (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Graham (51), Bell (68), Mason (88)
SCORER: Kirk (53 pen), Bell (87)

AIRDRIE UNITED: Stephen Robertson; Tom Parratt,┬ Marc Smyth, Simon Storey, Ricky Waddell, Ryan McCann (Frankie Lagana 77), Kevin McDonald (Paul Keegan 77), Scott McLauchlin,┬ Diarmund O`Carroll, Scott Gemmill, John Baird.
SUBS:┬ Bobby Donnelly, Kevin Watt, Lee Hollis (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Smyth (51),┬ Robertson (52), O`Carroll (81)
WEATHER: 10C Overcast

NEXT MATCH: (away) SFL v Airdrie United
Tuesday 9th March 2010, kick off 7.45pm

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