SFL v Morton
DUNFERMLINE 1 MORTON 3 Date: 05/03/11
Fixture: Irn Bru SFL Division
Attendance: 2867, Kick Off: 3:00pm.
Referee: Calum Murray
The Pars tough task of nine league games in 28 days started with a home game against Morton.¬ The side were missing the injured defenders - Andy Dowie, Neil McGregor and Kevin Rutkiewicz.¬ Nick Phinn was also sidelined as Jim McIntyre made one change from the side that won at Dumfries the previous Saturday. Pat Clarke started in place of Andy Kirk.
For Morton, their gaffer Allan Moore also made one change from the¬ eleven that drew with Falkirk in midweek.¬ Former Par Derek Lyle replaced Peter Weatherson.
Morton¬ kicked off¬ and ensured that¬ their hosts¬ got off to the worst possible start¬ scoring a goal in just 36 seconds. An appauling clearance from the left byeline from Chris Smith went straight to LYLE and the 30 year old striker sent the ball netbound at an angle from 18 yards.¬ Alex Keddie was at the far post but instead of guiding it wide watched the ball sneak in off the post!
The Pars tried to recover fast with Steven McDougall sending in a useful ball from the right and then Calum Woods trying the same but neither engaged keeper Kevin Cuthbert. In seven minutes Clarke stole the ball off McCaffrey on the edge of the centre circle but Marc Smyth swept away the danger with space between him and the keeper.
The Pars saw more possession but the Ton dropped back and blotted the home side`s efforts. In 19 minutes Austin McCann fed David Graham the ball on the left and his cross dropped nicely for Liam Buchanan six yards out but he directed his header wide left. Three minutes later Michael Tidser got in behind the Pars defence and his cut back to Lyle teed up a glorious chance from just 12 yards but he skied it into the McCathie Stand.
A goal up Morton had no urgency in their play and it was up to Dunfermline to attempt to find a route through their ten man defence.¬ The match lacked goalmouth drama, a few late tackles crept into the game and the bobbly pitch made it difficult for both teams. A 42nd minute corner from McDougall was easily cleared. Morton forced one at the other end two minutes later but with few men up that was not hard to defend.
At the break the teams went in with just the one goal between them but Jim McIntyre must have taken the paint off the dressing room walls with his frustrations from the opening 45 minutes.
Half Time: Dunfermline 0 Morton 1
Dunfermline were out early for the restart but even Nostradamus` powers of prediction could have foreseen that Morton could have been gifted yet another early goal. A simple ball into the box seemed too strong for O`BRIEN. His first touch appeared to deceive Chris HIGGINS and the Ton no.11 rolled the ball into the left side of the net. 2-0 to the visitors.
Jim McIntyre made a double substitution just nine minutes into the second half Andy Kirk and Joe Cardle replacing Steven McDougall and Pat Clarke. There was no immediate impact however and the home fans grew increasingly restless.¬ A McCann cross travelled all the way to Mason on the edge of the box and although he was tumbled there was no whistle.
Woods won a corner on the right in 65 minutes but Keddie headed Cardle`s delivery over the bar and into the McCathie Stand. McKinlay towered over Kirk to give Dunfermline a 70th minute free kick that Higgins pumped towards Keddie in the box but that was cleared albeit with claims for hand ball against McKinlay.
With 15 minutes remaining Jim McInytyre played his final card, withdrawing Higgins to put on another midfielder, 19 year old Ryan Thomson. Although the sub had no influence the Pars did immediately snatch a goal back.¬ Cardle laced the ball into the box and Liam BUCHANAN eased the ball in at the right goalpost.
A Cardle free kick six minutes from time dropped sweetly for Woods six yards out but he sent his shot wide left. Cuthbert then came for Woods free kick and failed to take the ball but no one could cash in on the chance.
Three minutes from time the Pars gas went out; a header back to his keeper from McCann was intercepted by WEATHERSON and he had the simplest of chances to slip the ball past Smith. In the first minute of added time Cardle crossed for Kirk and he made a touch to his co-striker Buchanan but remarkably he sent the ball wide from six yards.
A good day for Raith Rovers as both Falkirk and Dunfermline lose. As the Pars lost their season long unbeaten home record, Morton enjoyed their first win at East End Park since November 2008 and 3-1 was their best in the league at Halbeath Road since season 1953-54.
DUNFERMLINE: Chris Smith; Calum Woods, Chris Higgins (Ryan Thomson 76), Alex Keddie, Austin McCann (c); Steven McDougall (Joe Cardle 54), Martin Hardie, Gary Mason, David Graham; Liam Buchanan, Pat Clarke (Andy Kirk 54).
SUBS NOT USED: Alex Burke, Kyle Allison
YELLOW CARD: Mason (45)
SCORER: Buchanan (76)
MORTON: Kevin Cuthbert, Grant Evans, Marc Smyth, Stuart McCaffrey, Kevin McKinlay; Allan Jenkins. Fouad Bachirou, Michael Tidser, David O`Brien; Sean Fitzharris (Stewart Kean 81), Derek Lyle (Peter Weatherson 76).
SUBS: Carlo Monti,¬ Brian Graham, Colin Stewart (GK).
SCORER: Lyle (1), O`Brien (48), Weatherson (87)
YELLOW CARD: Smyth (84), McKinlay (86)
WEATHER:¬ Clear 9C
NEXT MATCH: (home) SFL First Division v Ross County
Tuesday 8th March 2011, kick off 7:45pm
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