SFL Div One: DUNFERMLINE 0 FALKIRK 1: Date: 26/12/12 :
Falkirk were the visitors for this festive fixture and they travelled across the Forth in search of their first win at East End Park since 2007. The Bairns had failed to win the previous five encounters and Pars fans did not want to see their Christmas spoiled by their rivals who sat in sixth place, four places and ten points behind the Fifers.
Dunfermline were without centre half Callum Morris who was serving the second of his two match suspension for the red card he was shown against Livingston. John Potter continued in his berth in a Dunfermline side that showed three changes from the one that started eleven days before against Hamilton. Joe Cardle and Ryan Wallace came into the side meaning Ryan Thomson and Craig Dargo dropped to the bench. Paul Gallacher returned in place of his deputy Michal Hrivnak.
Steven Pressley's Falkirk showed one change - Craig Sibbald making way for Blair Alston. The opposition fans certainly added to the pre match build up and welcomed their yellow shirted players on to the park. Wallace and Falkingham kicked the game off with the Pars attacking the goal in front of the travelling support.
Falkirk made the most of the opening five minutes and there was some indication of their ambitions when Lyle Taylor tussled with John Potter on halfway in sixth minute. First chance came to Cardle two minutes later but he took too long to get a shot in after a good crossed ball by Stephen Husband.
The Pars produced a good build up through McMillan and Falkingham and then Husband whose crossed ball won a 14th minute corner but that was comfortably defended. Gallacher then had a relatively easy take from a weak on target shot by Jay Fulton.
in 20th minute McMillan linked with Barrowman but his cross was blocked out by Jonathon Flynn but the Pars did get a delivery over and Andy Geggan was desperately unlucky as he arrived just a shade late to send his header over the crossbar. Then in 24th minute Cardle raced down the left and had the home fans rising to their feet anticipating his cut back but Darren Dods got enough of a touch on the ball to divert it away from danger.
Seconds later a cross from the left dropped for Barrowman on the edge of the six yard box but McGovern pulled off a fine save diving to his left to keep out the Pars striker's header. In 29 minute Manager Jim Jefferies was sent to the stand by referee Stephen Finnie having failed to calm down after the whistler's talking to minutes earlier for being inches ouitside the technical area. This time he applauded the decision of the stand side assistant, Michael Banks and Finnie sent him to the stand which ended up right behind the dugout.
The crossbar kept the Pars out in 33 minutes when Stephen Jordan's cross was deflected off Dods. Falkirk replied with a couple of corners to turn the pressure on at the other end but still Dunfermline looked the more composed and the more likely to break the deadlock. Cardle crossed and then Jordan crossed but it was a 30 yard effort from Geggan that really tested McGovern.
The match had been bubbling up but in 40th minute it blew a fuse. Josh Falkingham and Stewart Murdoch were shown yellow for their part but just when it looked as though that was all over, Jordan McMillan was shown red and the Pars were down to ten men. The Pars captain allegedly had his hands around Murdoch's neck.
Half Time: Dunfermline 0 Falkirk 0
It looked that the Pars were not going to make the one man disadvantage make any difference mounting immediate attack. But soon all the play was at the other end with Stephen Jordan shown yellow in 52 minutes for kicking the ball away as Falkirk were awarded a free kick. The defence dealt with that but were fortunate that Thomas Grant failed to take a good chance just minutes later. The Bairns piled on the pressure, a shot was blocked and then an effort blasted over Gallacher's crossbar.
A deflected cross brought Paul Gallacher into action in 61 minutes but then four minutes later Falkingham was taken down by Grant earning him a yellow card and the Pars the kind of opportunity they were seeking from a free kick 25 yards out. Unfortunately Husband's low drive was well wide left of target.
A Geggan cross dropped just beyond the far post and then a cross from the same source was played low to Cardle and he was pushed in the back as the ball approached but the referee did not see that. But in 70th minute he couldn't fail to see Barrowman downed by Dods and there was another yellow card and another Husband free kick that this time the wall dealt with.
Blair Alston had a clean shot at goal but Gallacher made a good save. Dunfermline's ten men tried their hardest and continued to threaten particularly from the right. Falkirk looked shaky when put under pressure. Ryan Thomson was introduced for Cardle in 76 and his first touch was a blast on target that was blocked on the edge of the box.
Falkirk were getting chances and Taylor was forced to shoot over the bar when under challenge from Dowie. Play switched from end to end but it was Husband who took two long range efforts at goal but failed to engage the keeper.
Six minutes from the end there was a great chance for Dunfermline to score. Falkingham got around Duffie on the left wing and his cut back set up Thomson but his drive was blocked. Off the ball Duffie earned a second yellow card and the sides were even in numbers.
Alston was shown yellow in 89 minutes but then in the next minute was on the end of a Taylor cut back to slot past Gallacher. First goal of the season for the Dalgety Bay boy, ALSTON 0-1.
Three added minutes changed nothing after that and the match officials left the field to a barrage of boos. Elsewhere Morton defeated Partick Thistle 2-1 to go joint top of the First Division and set up a really tough away game at Cappielow on Saturday.
DUNFERMLINE: Paul Gallacher; Jordan McMiillan; Andy Dowie; John Potter, Stephen Jordan, Josh Falkingham, Stephen Husband, Andy Geggan, Joe Cardle (Ryan Thomson 76); Andy Barrowman (Andy Kirk 83), Ryan Wallace (Craig Dargo 91).
SUBS NOT USED: Alex Whittle, Michal Hrivnak (GK)
SENT TO STAND: JIm Jefferies (30)
YELLOW CARD: Falkingham (40), Jordan (52)
RED CARD: McMillan (41)
FALKIRK; Michael McGovern; Kieran Duffie, Darren Dods, Jonathan Flynn, Stephen Kingsley; Stewart Murdoch, Blair Alston, Thomas Grant (Sean Higgins 72), Conor McGrandles, Lyle Taylor, Jay Fulton
SUBS NOT USED: Ryan McGeever, Craig Sibbald, Lewis Small, Graham Bowman (GK).
YELLOW CARD: Duffie (32), Murdoch (40), Dods (70), Alston (89).
RED CARD: Duffie (84)
SCORER: Alston (90)
REFEREE: Stephen Finnie
WEATHER: Overcast almost dark 5C
50/50 DRAW: winning ticket number in the 50/50 half time draw at thismatch was No. 17387. The prize amount is £1,000.00. The second prize of a DAFC £20.00 gift voucher is ticket No. 18505.
NEXT MATCH: SFL First Division (away) v Morton
Saturday 29th December 2012. kick off 3.00pm
- www: MATCH PICTURES
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