SPL v Hearts
DUNFERMLINE 1 HEARTS 2 Date: 07/04/12
Attendance: 4700, Kick Off: 3:00pm.
Referee: Stephen Finnie
Dunfermline`s third last home match of the season saw Hearts as the visitors. Martin Hardie served a one match suspension, Kevin Rutkiewicz was out with a training ground injury and Joe Cardle dropped to the bench as in came Kyle Hutton, Paul Willis and David Graham. There were only six subs on the bench since Paddy Boyle, Paul Burns and Andy Barrowman were all on the injury list.
Andy Webster (training injury) and Craig Beattie (rested) dropped out of the Hearts team and in came Scott Robinson and Gary Glen. Pre match Purvis Group were unveiled as the sponsors of Dunfermline Athletic for the coming season. That will be the eighth season of their valued support.
Hearts kicked off attacking the goal at the McCathie Stand end and within the first 30 seconds both keepers had a touch of the ball. The travelling support were quick to acknowledge the new Pars manager, chanting "there`s only one Jim Jefferies` while at the other end the home support questioned Rudi Skacel`s past times.
The Pars won the first corner of the game in six minutes after Paul Willis` shot was deflected behind. Unfortunately the 20 year old`s corner was a complete flop as he hit his foot straight into the ground. A second corner four minutes later was headed clear by Zaliukas.
Andy Kirk forced another corner in 13th minute and this time the ball flashed through the six yard box but no one could get the touch required to convert. Dunfermline kept up the pressure pumping in a good cross from the left that Jamie MacDonald held.
Hearts best move came in 18 minutes when Danny Grainger picked out Ryan McGowan with a fine diagonal switch and the central defence had to be at their best to keep the capital side out, Dowie heading back for Chris Smith. The Pars then produced a great move of their own with Graham feeding McCann on the overlap down the left side. His cross was aimed at Kirk six yards out in front of goal but his header went over the crossbar.
A Graham shot from 30 yards three minutes later was deflected behind for another corner but there was plenty to encourage the home team. Mark Kerr was the next to belt a low drive at goal but his effort was blocked. Kirk had a 25th minute shot on to the roof of the net after Willis had headed on a Smith clearance.
Ian Black was yellow carded when he thumped Hutton to the ground but Willis smashed the free kick into the Hearts wall. The Jambos forced their first corner of the afternoon in 38 minutes and when Black sent that in Andy Driver got in a powerful shot that was always going wide that Gary Mason blocked for Smith to gather.
There was a big let off for the Pars when McCann headed the ball back across the top of the penalty box in 45th minute. Glen directed his shot wide off Smith and then from the corner a Driver shot was driven straight at the keeper who held.
The best of the first half football had come from the home team. Hearts had failed to get a shot on target until the very end of the half and despite it being goalless at the interval there was a lot to be optimistic about for JIm Jefferies new club.
Half time: Dunfermline 0 Hearts 0
Within 32 seconds of the restart Jordan MacMillan sent over a dangerous cross from the right corner flag that Darren Barr tucked behind for a corner. That proved fruitless and then at the other end Smith pulled off a tremendous reactive save to keep Skacel`s bullet of a shot out but from the ensuing corner Hearts were to take the lead.
The corner was defended but was fed back out wide left for Danny Grainger to cross again and amidst defensive uncertaincy Gary GLEN was allowed to thread the ball into the Pars net from an angle on the left. 0-1. An immediate reaction was needed but it was Hearts who were to get the quick goal.
A diagonal ball into the Pars six yard box was well met by McGowan and his header was cleared off the line by Alex Keddie but when the skied ball came back down it was KEDDIE under pressure from Barr, who sent the ball into the far right of his own net. 0-2 with 52 minutes gone.
Two nil down, Dunfermline were clinging on to their SPL status by their fingertips. Joe Cardle and Steven McDougall were introduced in 63 minutes as Jim Jefferies changed things in a desperate effort to claw their way back into the game.
Graham made a great driving break out of his own half, picked out Cardle and when the sub crossed it was McDougall who got the half chance but could not turn quick enough to direct his shot on target.
Liam Buchanan was the Pars final sub with quarter of an hour to go but it was Hearts who continued to push. Thirteen players in the Pars six yard box for a corner from the left but the Pars cleared. Robinson, Black and Driver tormented their opponents as the Jambos cruised on.
In 85 minutes hope returned to East End Park when a corner from the right was defended back out to Joe CARDLE and he stepped in before thrashing a shot on the angle into the Hearts net. Dunfermline`s first goal against the Jambos in the three SPL matches between the sides this season. 1-2.
Two further Pars corners were greeted with thunderous cheers but alas Hearts defended well. Cardle had a shot blocked by Hammill and there was to be no more scoring. Cardle was caught offside as the three minutes of added time were announced.
Final drama was a Pars free kick on the edge of the box in 94th minute but Cardle scooped that over the wall and the crossbar.
The two goals in the space of four minutes early in the second half really killed the Pars hopes. Given the Pars hopes to catch Hibs in the relegation fight, Hearts victory was greeted with unusual joy no doubt down the Easter Road.
DUNFERMLINE: Chris Smith; Jordan MacMillan, Andy Dowie, Alex Keddie, Austin McCann (c); Paul Willis (Liam Buchanan 75), Gary Mason, Mark Kerr (Steven McDougall 63), Kyle Hutton, David Graham;, Andy Kirk (Joe Cardle 63).
SUBS NOT USED: Ryan Thomson, Kerr Young, Bernardo Fernandez (GK).
YELLOW CARD: Kerr (41)
SCORER: Cardle (85)
HEARTS: Jamie MacDonald; Ryan McGowan, Darren Barr, Daniel Grainger, Marius Zaliukas, Jamie Hamill, Scott Robinson, Ian Black (Denis Prychynenko 89), Andrew Driver (Arvydas Novikovas 83), Gary Glen (Suso Santana 73), Rudolf Skacel,
SUBS NOT USED: Jason Holt, Mark Ridgers, Gordon Smith, Jordan Morton.
YELLOW CARD: Black (33), McGowan (42)
SCORER: Glen (48), Keddie og (52).
WEATHER: Overcast 8C
50/50 HALF TIME DRAW: Winning ticket 60101 worth £605
NEXT MATCH: (away) SPL v St Mirren
Saturday 21st April 2012, kick off 3.00pm
Ladbrokes Championship: v St Mirren, Friday 26th January 2018, kick off 7.45pm