SFL Div One: DUNFERMLINE 1 MORTON 4 : Date: 23/02/13
Morton returned to East End Park a venue they left with a 2-2 draw back in October. Josh Falkingham was out after sustaining injury at The Falkirk Stadium in the previous game. Andy Geggan returned from injury meaning Ross Millen dropped to the bench, Joe Cardle, Chris Kane and Andy Barrowman also started with Stephen Husband and Andy Kirk dropping out.
Kyle Wilkie and Tom O'Ware dropped out of the Morton team to make way for Martin Hardie and Craig Reid. It was the visitors who kicked off defending the goal in front of their travelling support. Dunfermline immediately won possession and pressed right away. There were promising breaks from Barrowman and Thomson but Ryan Wallace's early deliveries from the right failed to endanger the Greenock men's defence.
In ninth minute Ryan Thomson lit up the game receiving a Geggan throw in level with the 18 yard line, turning and testing keeper Derek Gaston with a fine shot. Wallace delivered the resultant corner but Morton cleared but not as convincingly as they would have liked. Dunfermline kept up the pressure with a Cardle free kick that Thomson headed narrowly outside the right post.
The visitors earned themselves a free kick in 14th minute after Fouad Bachirou was taken down. Michael Tidser pumped that into the Pars box, fortunately none of his team mates seized on the chance and Geggan got it away. At the other end Geggan's cross was blocked and but when Wallace sent in the 18th minute corner the ball swung in from out of play.
A great chance did come in the following minute when Craig Dargo broke clear midway inside the Morton half. He chose a diagonal pass from the edge of the box but Gaston got to the inviting ball just ahead of the inrushing Wallace and Cardle. There was hopes of cashing in on a poor clearance as Gaston skied a Kevin Rutkiewicz pass back but Dargo couldn't get in the cross that might have been made to count.
Dunfermline looked the more likely to score with Dargo forcing another save out of the bright orange kitted keeper. A 27th minute corner on the left was fed to Cardle but his cross to Callum Morris just couldn't be converted. Another corner one minute later flashed all the way across the 'Ton penalty box.
Morton had hardly had a shot for Gallacher to save but on the half hour Fouad Bachirou was adjudged to have been fouled by Morris in front of goal and Referee Craig Charleston awarded a penalty. Peter McDONALD sent the ball past Gallacher, in off the base of the left post and then rattling across goal to land in the net. 0-1
The referee was unpopular again in 32 minutes when he pulled a hattrick of yellow cards. Dowie, McMillan and Geggan appeared to be cautioned for over protesting a decision that they clearly felt should have gone their way. The Pars were then unlucky as Thomson, Dargo and Barrowman created danger in the visitors six yard box but the yellow shirts defended the problems to survive.
There was then a great chance for the Fifers to get back on level terms. Cardle was tripped in a challenge from Bachirou on the left side of the penalty area but Barrowman's 43rd minute spot kick crashed back off the crossbar. So the league leaders went in with the lead they barely deserved.
Half time: Dunfermline 0 Morton 1
Dunfermline were back out waiting to take up the battle against Morton but when the 'Ton resumed they got down the left and although Kane on 18 yards headed the crossed ball away, it dropped nicely for TIDSER to drill the ball home from 25 yards. It had taken only 38 second half seconds for the scoreline to go to 0-2.
The Pars responded and there were loud appeals for a second Dunfermline penalty as Geggan attacked on the right but Morton broke and again exploited the left side on the counter. When the ball was played into the far side of the six yard box McDONALD arrived timeously to head diagonally beyond Gallacher, 0-3 with forty minutes remaining.
Morton continued to look the more likely goalscorers. On the hour Paul Gallacher made a really good save from McDonald's header from a Scott Taggert cut back. Then a David O'Brien shot was blocked and another Morton corner was sent in from the left. The 64th minute setpiece was not properly cleared and TIDSER drove the ball into the bottom right of the Pars net.
Peter Weatherson had replaced McDonald and he fired a 69th minute chance over the crossbar. Dunfermline sub, Stephen Husband (for Kane) had an early opportunity in 71 minutes but his 27 yard free kick was well wide of target. Fayssal El Bakhtaoui then replaced Dargo and the subs first touch was a shot at goal but the ball was taken by a fan half way up the McCathie Stand.
With a header, Callum MORRIS got a consolation goal back with seven minutes remaining but the Pars were to slump to their fourth successive defeat at home. Six defeats out of the last seven games but with the defeat to Allan Moore's men went any hope the Pars had of catching the league leaders.
DUNFERMLINE: Paul Gallacher; Andy Geggan, Andy Dowie, Callum Morris, Jordan McMillan (c); Chris Kane (Stephen Husband, 67), Ryan Thomson, Joe Cardle; Craig Dargo (Fayssal El Bakhtaoui 76), Andy Barrowman, Ryan Wallace.
SUBS NOT USED: Ross Millen, John Potter, Michael Hrivnak (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Kane (23), Dowie (32), McMillan (32), Geggan (32), Wallace (57).
SCORER: Morris (83)
MORTON: Derek Gaston; Scott Taggart, Kevin Rutkiewicz, Craig Reid, Willie Dyer, Fouad Bachirou, Martin Hardie (David Graham 79), Michael Tidser (c), David O'Brien; Peter McDonald (Peter Weatherson 65), Colin McMenamin (Archie Campbell 74).
SUBS NOT USED: Tom O'Ware, David Hutton (GK).
SCORERS: McDonald (30 pen., 50), Tidser (46, 64)
YELLOW CARD: Bachirou (43), Hardie (43)
REFEREE: Craig Charleston NEXT MATCH: (home) Scottish First Division v Partick Thistle
WEATHER: Overcast 4C
50/50 HALF TIME DRAW: Winning ticket was No. 28580. The prize amount: £527.00. The second prize of a DAFC £20.00 gift voucher was ticket No. 28570.
Saturday 2nd March 2013, kick off 3.00pm
NEXT MATCH: (home) Scottish First Division v Partick Thistle
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