ALBA Challenge Cup v Arbroath

DUNFERMLINE 1 ARBROATH 0 - Date 24/07/10

Fixture: ALBA Challenge Cup

Attendance: 976

Referee; Bobby Madden

The Pars competitive season started with the first of two consecutive home cup ties against the same lower league opposition.� Paul Sheerin brought his new look Arbroath to East End Park for his first competitive game in charge.� Gavin Swankie his latest addition� was on the bench as� new signings Stuart Malcolm, David Dimilta and David McGowan started.

Dunfermline made two changes from the team that started against Aberdeen - Austin McCann and Steven Bell came in, Nick Phinn and Chris Higgins dropped to the bench.� Nice to see Graham Bayne in the Press Box training for a job with the Press Association.

First chance of the match in just 85 seconds came to Keith Gibson who was on the end of a cut back from the right but fortunately he drove well wide right. Dunfermline`s first opportunity came in six minutes when David Graham struck the ball wide right, Paul Willis dummied it and let it roll out for Calum Woods to send over a useful ball.� The tall figure of Malcolm tried to reach it but it carried over him to Pat Clarke on six yards but his shot was not clean and he failed to score.

First corner of the game was for the visitors in 10th minute.� Alex Keddie headed clear but Arbroath kept up the pressure with a McAnespie free kick and Josh Falkingham hit the ball over the crossbar.

Arbroath`s diminutive David Dimilta won another corner on 14 minutes and McAnespie came close with a header at the far post, unluckily for him directed wide.� Dunfermline responded with another fine cross from Woods this time forced on to his left foot by Sheerin and Gary Mason was unfortunate to see his glancing header from 14 yards hit the right sidenetting.

Goalmouth incidents were rare but in 25 minutes Keddie blattered a clearance against Falkingham and David McGowan fed the rebound to� Falkingham but his shot was easy meat for Chris Smith.� At the other end Darren Hill held a Graham cross under his crossbar.

On the half hour there were appeals for a penalty when Keddie`s header from his own half was taken away by Clarke only to be tumbled in the penalty box by Jay Shields. It was a gentle foul but technically a spot kick.� The decision went against the Pars striker as he trapped the ball on the ground.

Three minutes later a Kirk cross from the right just escaped past the left goalpost and the Pars first corner in 36 minutes failed to find any holes in the Lichties defence. Another crude Gibson tackle on Bell gave the Pars a free kick midway inside their opponents half.� Mason found Keddie on the left side of the box but Wilis could only edge on the ball to keeper Hill.

A really good chance came in 38 minutes when Andy Dowie broke forward and he found Clarke in space 25 yards out but Hill pulled off a fine save. Three minutes later the offside flag saved Arbroath.� Great individual skill from Clarke created a shooting chance from 28 yards.� The ball deflected off Bell to fool the keeper and slip in to the bottom right of his goal. Clearly offside though.

Malcolm pulled over Kirk in the box; no decision. Graham and then Willis tried shots as Dunfermline kept on top but at the break the game was still to see a goal.

Half Time: Dunfermline 0 Arbroath 0

A mis-directed pass back by Shields just three minutes into the second half gave Kirk a chance but Hill pushed the ball over the crossbar and then when Willis fired over the corner from the right Dowie was well placed six yards out for the header but he managed to send that one wide right.

Gibson was replaced by Swankie in 51 minutes but it was still Dunfermline who looked more likely to score.� Kirk ran in on the right and his cross was only half cut out by Shields and Clarke facing the wrong way backheeled an attempt that just slipped by the left upright. Kirkie then had a shot over the bar before Joe Cardle was introduced.� Willis went off and Graham switched to the right flank.

Dunfermline had plenty of possession but couldn`t find a way through the Lichties defence.� Mason found Clarke on the edge of the box but neither he nor Woods who tried the next attempt were successful.� In 63 minutes the offside flag was up as Kirk sprung the defence and beat the keeper but even then the ball came back off the left post.

One minute later KIRK was in a similar position but fully onside, the keeper came out was beaten and this time the ball was on target- 1-0,� Arbroath player manager Paul Sheerin had a great chance in front of goal in 68 minutes but manged to place the ball spectacularly wide right.

The visitors were pegged back in their own half but all the possession didn`t translate into goals. Clarke was harshly rather penalised in 74 minutes - adjudged to have handled as he controlled a Cardle pass and sent the ball into the roof of the net.

A Cardle corner from the right in 82 minutes travelled all the way through the box to Mason and his shot was just over the top. David Graham was next to pose a threat with a thunderous volley from the right but heroically Hill stopped that.

In the end the one goal was sufficient to see the Pars into the draw for the next round even though the scoreline didn`t reflect the comfort of the win.

Sponsors Man of the Match: Gary Mason

DUNFERMLINE: Chris Smith; Calum Woods, Andy Dowie, Alex Keddie,� Austin McCann (c); Paul Willis (Joe Cardle 60), Steven Bell (Nick Phinn 82), Gary Mason, David Graham, Pat Clarke, Andy Kirk (Steven McDougall 76).
SUBS: Kyle Allison, Chris Higgins;.
SCORER: Kirk (64)

ARBROATH: Darren Hill; Jay Shields, Stuart Malcolm, Danny Griffin, Kieran McAnespie; David Damilta,� Josh Falkingham,� Marc McCulloch, David McGowan (Bryan Scott 53 (Ian Nimmo 66)), Keith Gibson (Gavin Swankie 51), Paul Sheerin.
SUBS:� Alan Rattray, Daryl Burns (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Falkingham (68)

WEATHER:� Overcast 19°C.

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