SFL v Raith Rovers
RAITH ROVERS 1 DUNFERMLINE 2 Date: 20/03/10
Fixture: Irn Bru SFL Division
Attendance: 4098, Kick Off: 3.00pm.
Referee: Scott MacDonald
RAITH ROVERS 1 DUNFERMLINE 2
The second Fife Derby in five days saw Jim McIntyre make just one change from the side that won 2-1 on Tuesday night. Steven Bell`s first half red card in that match put him out for the trip to Kirkcaldy making way for the return of Alex Burke. The Rovers made three changes as their injury woes continued. David Armstrong, Darren Smith and Dene Shields came into John McGlynn`s starting eleven.
A free kick for Andy Dowie`s challenge on Gregory Tade gave the home side a second minute opportunity from 35 yards but Allan Walker blasted that high into the Pars support. Four minutes later Iain Wlliamson went down under a challenge from Austin McCann but Darren Smith curled the 25 yard attempt wide of the right goalpost.
Tade caused problems for the left side of the Pars defence to set up Dene Shields. His shot was blocked by Chris Higgins but the Rovers did force the first corner of the game. In tenth minute Walker`s delivery from the right was overhit but still Dunfermline found it hard to get their game going on the thinly covered pitch.
A series of successful passes did put Graeme Holmes in to the left byeline five minutes later and when David Graham crossed Willie Gibson won a corner off Ferry. Gibson`s ball from the coner kick on the right posed no problems as did his free kick in 23 minutes that was hit diagonally through the Rovers box.
Woods turned a Tade effort behind for a corner on the right but the defence got that away and McDougall sent the ball long to Gibson. Unfortunately Gibson was dispossessed by Smith and any chance of hitting on the break was gone.
Stephen Simmons was yellow carded for his 31st minute tackle on Burke that subsequently caused him to be subbed by Joe Cardle but that was not before Raith were controversially reduced to ten men. Just two minutes after referee Scott MacDonald had taken his name Simmons went down on the right side of the box as Higgins tackled. The tackle was fair but the Raith player went up in the air and got shown a second yellow for simulation.
Cardle attempted to make an immediate impact launching one of his trademark runs inside to shoot over the crossbar from 25 yards. Dunfermline certainly looked more confident with the one man advantage but they had still to test Raith keeper David McGurn when the half time whistle went.
Half Time: Raith Rovers 0 Dunfermline 0
The second half was only five minutes old when Dunfermline scored the opener. David Graham tantalised Laurie Ellis on the right side but beat his man to cut inside the box and release a fine low shot on target. The ball broke off a defender and Gary MASON was on hand to crash the ball home from 16 yards.
Play continued to flow towards McGurn`s goal and it was Graham again who got to the byeline but no one could strike. Graham got fantastic leverage on a Woods cross only for McGurn to make a phenomenal save from the Pars players strike from 15 yards.
Cardle then fired a low shot in at an angle that McGurn turned behind and although Dowie headed the 58th minute corner firmly he was wide right. Next Gibson broke into the penalty box but messed up his shot when in a good position.
The game was not won yet. Mason conceded a corner with a no messing tactic at the corner flag and when Allan Walker sent over the 66th minute corner Frenchman Greg TADE rose to head in at the far post.
Four minutes later Greg Fleming was well out his box in the left back position when he chopped down Tade. With the Rovers support screaming for a red card, Scott MacDonald brought out a yellow. The decision was correct but that didn`t prevent those watching through dark blue spectacles branding the decision a "disgrace".
Gibson drove a 77 minute free kick low into the arms of the keeper and then Woods played a neat 1-2 off Gibson to get into position to fire low towards the bottom right but again McGurn was able to turn the ball around his post for a corner.
A Gibson free kick went for another corner on the left. Gibson`s yellow boot sent that over which Raith defended but the Pars kept up the pressure, Phinn winning a free kick but again Gibson`s delivery failed to get any takers. Ross Campbell had only just replaced Steven McDougall when he slipped the ball on for David GRAHAM to break and this time he took the chance drilling the ball into the bottom right. 2-1.
There were some nervy moments as the clock ran away from Raith but in the end the third successive 2-1 league win over Raith Rovers took the Pars to within three points of leaders Dundee who lost 3-0 at Airdrie.
RAITH ROVERS: David McGurn; Grant Murray, Laurie Ellis, David Armstrong (Craig Wedderburn), Mark Ferry, Allan Walker, Iain Williamson, Stephen Simmons, Darren Smith, Dene Shields (Johnny Russell 62 (Robert Sloan 90)), Gregory Tade.
SUBS: Gary O`Connor (GK), Javier Amaya..
YELLOW CARD: Simmons (31), Walker (54)
RED CARD: Simmons (33)
SCORER: Tade (66)
DUNFERMLINE: Greg Fleming; Calum Woods, Chris Higgins, Andy Dowie, Austin McCann (c); Alex Burke (Joe Cardle 34): Willie Gibson, Graeme Holmes (Nick Phinn 20), Gary Mason, David Graham; Steven McDougall (Ross Campbell 81),
SUBS: Neil McGregor, Greg Paterson (GK).
SCORER: Mason (50), Graham (83)
YELLOW CARD: Fleming (70), McCann (77)
WEATHER: Dry, Sunny 11C
NEXT MATCH: (home) First Division v Partick Thistle
Tuesday 23rd March 2010, kick off 7.45pm
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