SFL v Ross County


Fixture: Irn Bru SFL Division

Attendance: 2803, Kick Off: 3.00pm.

Referee: Steven McLean

For the final match in the first quarter of the league season Manager Jim McIntyre was forced to make one change.¬ Captain Austin McCann was out¬ after straining his knee medial ligament against Queen of the South.¬ Alex Keddie came in with Chris Higgins moving to the left side of defence.

Ross County were without the suspended Iain Vigurs meaning¬ Stuart Kettlewell¬ came into the side that started in the Alba Challenge Cup Semi Final the previous Saturday. Marc Corcoran was the only other change taking the place of Garry Wood.

The visitors kicked off attacking the McCathie Stand end and the early play was certainly in that direction without Chris Smith really having anything to do. The first chance of the game came in fifth minute when Gary Mason sent Pat Clarke through on goal.¬ Shaping up to score the striker was squeezed into a shot at an angle that keeper Michael McGovern parried and then saved the follow up from Clarke.

Three minutes later Andy Kirk was set up on the right side of the opposition box but his shot was pulled wide left. Then in 13 minutes Clarke was very unlucky to be caught offside when another break looked on.¬ The Pars continued to keep McGovern occupied with Kirk flicking on the ball for Cardle but the all green keeper gathered first.

County survived a fairly solid penalty claim on the¬ quarter hour but Gary Miller got away with his juggling act. Next Corcoran`s crude tackle on Steven Bell gave Wullie Gibson the chance to pump in a useful ball from a free kick on the right but Calum Woods attempt with the header was too high.

In 25 minutes a Mason challenge on Gardyne handed Ross County a great opportunity from a free kick 20 yards out on the right wing. Former Par Scott Morrison fired the free kick over, Chris Smith went for the ball but it appeared to break off him to Scott BOYD at the far post and the Pars were one down.

The Staggies lead lasted all of three minutes.¬ A diagonal Chris Higgins ball into the County penalty box was nudged on by Darren McCormack and Wullie GIBSON from the right drove the ball in at the far post.

Dunfermline pressed and were unlucky when Steven Bell flashed the ball across the six yard box with Kirk coming oh so close to putting the home side ahead. There was concern in the Pars ranks ten minutes before the interval when Calum Woods required lengthy treatment after a clash with Gardyne but he was back on to flick the ball up on to McCormack`s hand inside the box but no chance of a penalty.

The Pars might have gone in ahead had Joe Cardle`s 40th minute break turned out better. The winger`s cross was good and Clarke headed it on target but McGovern parried the shot on the line and the no.9`s follow up was belted over the bar.¬ It was just four minutes later when the former Dundee striker did eventually cash in.¬ Cardle passed the ball deep left for Andy Kirk who then thrashed the ball across and CLARKE turned it home from eight yards. From a Fifers point of view the goal came at a good point and the sides went back to the dressing room with Dunfermline ahead.

Half time: Dunfermline 2 Ross County 1

Derek Adams made a substitution at half time Andrew Barrowman coming on for Marc Corcoran and they got off to a flier with an equaliser within three minutes. Martin Scott got the better of Alex Keddie on the right and his delivery was cconverted by Steven CRAIG.

The goal unsettled the Pars and their support and a 53rd minute cross by Miller was despatched narrowly outside the left upright by Barrowman. Cardle`s 57th minute attempt was turned over for a corner but the delivery was too high for Keddie to meet. A better chance came within two more minutes with Gibson`s cross giving Kirk a free header but the ball went wide right from just ten yards out.

A Pars free kick 23 yards out was then well struck by Gibson.¬ The ball got through the four man County wall but McGovern pulled off a great save to deny the home team.¬ Next a Cardle ball into the box was nodded down by Bell but Kirk again failed to take advantage.

David Graham and Steven McDougall came on as Macca made a double substitution with 20 minutes to go and it was Graham who almost earned the tag of super sub with two near things in the space of three minutes. First he had a shot at the left post turned behind then he had a 30 yard curler deflected over the bar. Keddie had a good attempt from the corner but the ball was kept out.

Gibson made a great run in 77 minutes, starting by beating Brittain in his own half and then another two players before being unceremoniously dumped by Miller 25 yards out.¬ The County right back was yellow carded and McGovern got down on his knees to hold Gibson`s attempt. Dunfermline kept up the pressure with Gibson again beating two men before sending the ball wide left for McDougall but his shot was way too high.

Bell was caught offside after more good work from Gibson and with 85 minutes on the clck it looked as though time was running out.¬ Gibson picked out Graham on the left and he beat his man to zip the ball across the face of goal but Clarke failed to connect with his header attempt.

This was a match that Dunfermline should have won and they duly did with a fantastic 90th minute winner.¬ Their dominance for most of the game eventually paid off when Steven McDOUGALL was played into the box and despite sub Jonathan Flynn`s efforts to stop him the Pars sub sunk the ball in the net from 15 yards.¬ McDougall had another chance in 93 minutes after Graham turned the ball back for him but he blasted wildly wide right.

In the end it did not matter, the three points were secured with the Pars first win over Ross County since April 2009.¬ Elsewhere Raith Rovers came back to take the points at Central Park and Partick Thistle defeated challengers Falkirk. Not a bad afternoon for Macca`s men.¬ As for Ross County it must have been a nice run down the A9, the country would have looked good in the autumn gold but no luck this time at EEP.

DUNFERMLINE: Chris Smith; Calum Woods, Andy Dowie, Alex Keddie, Chris Higgins; Wullie Gibson, Steven Bell, Gary Mason (c), Joe Cardle (David Graham, 70); Andy Kirk (Steven McDougall,70), Pat Clarke.
SUBS: Paul Willis, Nick Phinn, Kyle Allison (GK)
SCORER: Gibson (28), Clarke (44), McDougall (90)
YELLOW CARD: Gibson (25), Cardle (67)

ROSS COUNTY: Michael McGovern; Gary Miller, Scott Boyd (Jonathan Flynn 79), Darren McCormack, Scott Morrison; Martin Scott, Stuart Kettlewell, Richard Brittain, Martin Gardyne, Marc Corcoran (Andrew Barrowman HT),¬ Steven Craig (Garry Wood 71).
SUBS NOT USED: Paul Lawson, Joe Malin.
SCORER: Boyd (25), Craig (48)
YELLOW CARD: Craig (54), McCormack (62), Miller (77)


NEXT MATCH: First Division¬ (away) v Dundee
Saturday 23rd October 2010, kick off 3.00pm

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