Co-operative Insurance Cup v Arbroath

DUNFERMLINE 5 ARBROATH 2 - Date 31/07/10

Fixture: Co-operative Insurance Cup

Attendance: 1283

Referee; Craig Charleston

The second encounter in as many weeks between Dunfermline and Arbroath was a brighter game in which both teams offered far better football than the sluggish Alba Cup tie that had proved so forgettable the week before. Dunfermline had the first clear cut chance of the game inside ten minutes with Joe Cardle forcing Hill to beat the ball over his crossbar but it was the visitors who were to take an early, if short-lived, lead.

After Willis had been forced to concede a corner the Pars defence was all at sea when the ball was floated into the box. While Paul SHEERIN`s header was not particularly powerful it was at close enough range that Smith`s hand could not keep it out.

Dunfermline did not let the surprise opener affect them in any noticeable way and just a minute later they were level again through similar circumstances. Joe Cardle picked up the ball close to the byeline and curled the ball across the box. Andy KIRK was waiting a couple of yards from goal to head home with ease.

Despite a string of promising attacks and half chances from the Pars, Arbroath could have grabbed the lead from a corner again through Jordyn Sheerin but his header sailed over the bar. The Pars replicated the feat minutes later when Cardle`s cross was headed over by Andy Kirk following some neat play from the hosts.

Both teams continued to play tidy attacking football and chances came thick and fast. Following a weak effort from Swankie for the visitors and a good save from Hill to deny Nick Phinn, Kieran McAnespie squandered a chance that should have sent the visitors into the break in the lead. A low ball flashed across Smith`s box and McAnespie, waiting at the post, should have buried it but somehow managed to direct his effort to the wrong side of the post.

Jim Hamilton managed to squeeze one more chance out of the opening half with a looping header over Smith but the ball landed safely on top of Smith`s net, much to the pleasure of the Pars fans who had given him the customary welcome throughout the first half.

The Pars gained the upper hand in the second half as Arbroath showed signs of tiring and the home team dominated from the kick-off. Early pressure saw Hill fumble a shot but was lucky not to see any Pars players waiting to capitalise - he wouldn`t be so lucky later in the match.

Phinn came close with a header which forced Hill into a terrific save and from the ensuing corner Woods and McDougall both had efforts blocked. Another corner in quick succession saw McDougall hook the ball over the bar to temporarily avert the danger for Arbroath.

The pressure continued on the visitors however with Andy Kirk driving a low free kick inches wide of the post, Dowie heading over from a corner which the defender should have buried and McDougall driving the ball low across goal just too far ahead of Kirk for the striker to bag a second.

Kirk continued to threaten however and his long range effort fifteen minutes from time was parried by Hill. The rebound fell to Paul WILLIS who evaded the keeper`s first attempt and seemed certain to have spurned the chance when his touch took him away from goal but in a moment that the Arbroath keeper won`t want to see again, the Pars youngster`s weak effort squirmed under his body and trundled over the line.

A minute later the Pars put the game beyond doubt. Austin McCann`s cross was cleared half-heartedly and the ball dropped to Joe Cardle. The Pars winger cut inside to unleash a low drive which was intercepted by Andy KIRK, who turned and stroked the ball past Hill from close range.

Hill managed to pull off another good save from Phinn but was picking the ball out of the net again soon enough. With less than ten minutes remaining, Steven McDOUGALL dribbled toward the Arbroath defence who backed off long enough for him to make it into the box and send a powerful shot sailing past Hill.

With what seemed likely to be the last action of the game, Arbroath clawed back another consolation goal. A careless pass from Gary Mason gifted possession to the visitors at the edge of the Pars` box, allowing Gavin SWANKIE to curl the ball low past Smith into the bottom corner.

The action hadn`t quite finished yet however as the Pars made it five on the stroke of full time. Joe Cardle broke free down the left wing and flashed a quick ball across the box. Despite the generous tannoy announcement of Cardle as scorer the credit for the goal can only go to Stuart MALCOLM who was helpless to avoid battering the ball into his own net to round off a miserable second half for the visitors.

DUNFERMLINE: Chris Smith, Calum Woods, Andy Dowie, Alex Keddie, Austin McCann (c); Paul Willis, Gary Mason, Nick Phinn, Joe Cardle; Pat Clarke (Steven McDougall 56), Andy Kirk,
SUBS NOT USED: Neil McGregor, Jordan White, Ryan Thomson, Kyle Allison (GK)
YELLOW CARDS: Clarke, Woods
SCORERS: Kirk (13, 76), Willis (75), McDougall (82), Malcolm (og 90)

ARBROATH: Darren Hill, Jay Shields, Kieran McAnespie (Ryan Suttie 48), Josh Falkingham, Stuart Malcolm, Danny Griffin, Gavin Swankie, Marc McCulloch, Jim Hamilton (McGowan 80), Jordyn Sheerin (Robbie Ross 82), Paul Sheerin.
SUBS NOT USED: McMullen, Burns
YELLOW CARDS: Falkingham, Malcolm
SCORERS: P. Sheerin 12, Swankie 88

REFEREE: Craig Charleston, Assistants: Martin Cryans, Steven McFaulds
WEATHER: Showery 19C

NEXT MATCH (away) SFL v Falkirk Saturday 7th August 2010

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