SFL v Dundee

DUNFERMLINE 3 DUNDEE 1 Date: 11/09/10

Fixture: Irn Bru SFL Division

Attendance: 4037, Kick Off: 3.00pm.

Referee: Steve Conroy

With Dundee just two points behind the Pars it was second v third. For the match against the Dees Jim McIntyre went with the same eleven as that which started at Forthbank two weeks previously.  Dundee were without their suspended goalkeeper Rab Douglas; former East Fife and QOS keeper Scott Fox took over between the sticks and Finnish internationalist Njazi Kuqi for David Wittenveen was the only other change.

The visitors kicked off and pegged Dunfermline into their own half for most of the opening three minutes.  It was from a Pars attack that Dundee got their first chance.  An Andy Kirk lay off was light and Garry Harkins made the break feeding the ball through Kuqi to Nicky Riley on the right.  His shot from the edge of the box was blocked and the returned ball was headed over the crossbar by Kuqi.

A McCann tackle on Riley handed Dundee a 12th minute free kick but Calum Woods headed behind for the first corner of the afternoon.  Thankfully that was easily defended and Woods next involvement was a crack at goal from 25 yards out that soared over the bar.

Steven McDougall needed treatment in 17 minutes after taking a heavy challenge but he was back on by the time a Gibson cross from the right was met by Cardle at the far post but Fox pulled off a fine save. The ball was only cleared as far as the left side of the Dundee box where Riley hauled down Steven Bell even though he was heading away from goal. Referee Steve Conroy with an open palm gesticulated penalty kick.  Willie GIBSON was the taker and he drilled it home low at the right post for a 19th minute opener.

The visitors were bound to be feeling that they should not be behind after such a bright start but they persevered and Harkins free kick to the near post was touched on by Kuqi, just six yards out, but Chris Smith held the effort.  Harkins tried a long range attempt in 28 minutes but was off target.  Similar happened with a Stephen O`Donnell shot four minutes later.

Andy Dowie headed a Paton cross behind for a corner on the left. That was defended and next Smith held O`Donnell`s poor return. Harkins fed Griffiths a ball in 35 minutes that he turned on to fire across the face of goal from 15 yards.  The Pars supports applause was limited to defensive qualities until McDougall won a 38th minute corner. Gibson`s delivery was not one to cheer however.

Five minutes from the break Gibson lifted in a cross from the right but Bell couldn`t get enough purchase on the ball to prevent it going wide of the left post. The midfielder had better luck with his next chance.  Austin McCann found McDougall on the left wing, midway inside the Dundee half. He headed a diagonal ball that Kirk flicked back into the path of BELL and he ran into the box to slot the ball past the advancing Fox.

Within a minute Fox was made to save from Joe Cardle and the travelling support showed their disquiet. The sun came out as the half time whistle came.  It had been far from a dazzling first half display from the Pars but who cares.  It was the home fans who sung their side off at the break.

Half Time: Dunfermline 2 Dundee 0

Dunfermline kick off the second half attacking the goal at the McCathie Stand end and Cardle produced the first chance after just three minutes but Bell just couldn`t get a free header on the opportunity at the far post.

In 50 minutes Leigh Griffiths riggled his way into the box from the right and amazingly Kuqi saw his connection deflected over the bar. The corner from the left was quickly taken by Lockwood and Dundee took the lead when HARKINS header stuck the ball away at the far post.

Dundee keeper Scott Fox required the attentions of their physio in 55 minutes with an injury to his left leg. With a trialist on the bench the Dens Park side were fortunate that the 23 year old was able to continue.  He pulled off a great save in 62 minutes after Gibson released Kirk in on the right side of the box but the keeper was equal to the powerfully executed shot on the angle.

McDougall won a corner just before he was subbed as the game entered its final quarter.  Pat Clarke came on to play against his former club but there was no immediate impact as Jamie Adams headed away the corner and then a Gibson free kick.  Nick Phinn then replaced Gary Mason and the opposition made a double substitution.

Griffiths produced some of his magic in 74 minutes and his shot was goalbound until Smith used all his stretch to tip the ball around his goalpost for a goal kick!  This warranted a lengthy lecture by Steve Conroy to the Dundee Assistant Manager Billy Dodds.  Just two minutes later Gibson sent a cross into the Dundee box, The defence left it for their keeper who should have gathered the ball quite easiiy instead he gave it more fresh air and CLARKE accepted the gift at the far post.

Three goals and yet no goals from top goalscorer Andy Kirk. There were odds of 9-2 for him to score the last goal and Fox denied him with a good save with seven minutes remaining. It was to end without any further goals but it was three very welcome points for the Fifers.  A good performance from the team that connected well as a unit.  It was a good defensive display that laid the foundations for the victory and the Pars took their chances well even though they were handed a gift from a stupid penalty concession and an awful goalkeeping blooper to seal it.

DUNFERMLINE: Chris Smith; Calum Woods, Andy Dowie, Chris Higgins, Austin McCann (c); Willie Gibson, Steven Bell, Gary Mason (Nick Phinn 71), Joe Cardle; Andy Kirk, Steven McDougall (Pat Clarke 68).
SUBS NOT USED: Alex Keddie, Alex Burke, Kyle Allison (GK)
SCORER: Gibson (19 pen), Bell (41), Clarke (76)
YELLOW CARD: Mason (59)

DUNDEE: Scott Fox; Eric Paton, Craig McKeown, Rhys Weston, Matt Lockwood; Nick Riley (Craig Forsyth 71), Stephen O`Donnell; Gary Harkins, Jamie Adams (Colin McMenamin 85); Njazi Kuqi (Sean Higgins 71), Leigh Griffiths.
SUBS NOT USED: Gary Irvine, Trialist (GK)
SCORER: Harkins (51)
YELLOW CARD: O`Donnell (64), Lockwood (90)

WEATHER: Sunny intervals 17C

Video Highlights Dunfermline 3 Dundee 1

NEXT MATCH:- (home) SFL First Division v Cowdenbeath
Saturday 18th September 2010, kick off 3.00pm.

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