SPFL League: DUNFERMLINE 3 AIRDRIEONIANS 0: 23/08/14
Airdrieonians have won on three of their last four visits to East End Park so without a win in their four competitive matches this season they could hardly have a happier place to pick for an away game. Their manager Gary Bollan made two changes from the side that lost the previous Saturday. Keigan Parker was suspended following his red card against Peterhead and Scott Stewart dropped to the bench making way for Partick Thistle's new signing from Tamworth, Ben Richards-Everton who has been immediately loaned out to the Lanarkshire club and Joe Hamill.
Dunfermline made two changes as well; Gregor Buchanan recovered from injury in time to face his former club and Chigozie Ugwu started, meaning Ross Forbes and Jonathan Page were relegated to the bench.
Ugwu and Michael Moffat got the match underway with the Pars attacking the goal at the east end. It was the visitors who were first to attack and within two minutes Ryan Scully had to make a good save at full stretch to turn a Liam Watt attempt from 20 yards around his left hand post.
Moffat mounted a counterattack but it was Andy Geggan who grabbed the Pars first chance of the afternoon in fifth minute but his shot from outside the Airdrie box went well wide right. The visitors then forced Ross Drummond into fouling Scott Gray on the Pars left and Joe Hammil sent over a dangerous ball into the Pars box that Richards-Everton headed narrowly over the crossbar.
Scully made another good save on nine minutes after Jim Lister had burst through into the right side of the Pars box. The closest Dunfermline were getting was a cross from the right from Millen that sneaked just outside the left upright.
In 19th minute Dunfermline forced to corners but neither of Millen's deliveries concerned the Airdrie defence. An Airdrie corner two minutes later was headed away by Buchanan but Gray returned the ball and there was relief that referee Stephen Finnie penalised the striker since the ball ended up in the net.
At the half way stage in the first half Ugwu narrowly failed to turn in a El Bakhtaoui cross but when Geggan returned thatr from the edge of the six yard box UGWU smashed in the opener. 1-0.
The stadium announcer released the music again two minutes later but this time the big striker was deemed to have been offside as he converted Millen's cross from the right.
Airdrie would have got back on level terms in 28 minutes when Lister burst through on the keeper but Scully made a great block to keep the visitors out. Jamie Bain did well to block Millen's cross after a rehearsed setpiece involving Geggan, Spence and Falkingham. A corner resulted but the Pars were blown up for climbing in the box.
The Fifers continued to press with Moffat taking a pass from Bakhtaoui to then beat off Hamill and get a low shot in from the edge of the box but Andrew McNeil held that with ease. Both sides were then forced into making early substitutions. Both no.18s came on firstly Robert Wilson for the Diamonds and then Ryan Williamson for the Pars. David Proctor firstly and then with a twisted ankle, Ross Drummond went off.
The home side then increased their lead with a 40th minute goal. El Bakhtaoui got to the byeline on the right and his cross was met by Geggan at the far post but his header came back off the bar and for the second time a second bite of the cherry resulted in a goal, this time Michael MOFFAT finishing powerfully. 2-0
With five added minutes for all the first half stoppages Airdrie tried hard to recover from their deficit but the Pars held out for a well deserved half time lead. Stats for the first 45 confirmed 56% Pars possession.
Half time: Dunfermline 2 Airdrieonians 0
The second half continued with the home side looking the much more likely to score. Moffat was narrowly beaten to the ball by Airdrie keeper McNeil and then Williamson forced a corner on the right. When Millen sent that over Buchanan's header on target was turned away by a defender on the line, Millen returned the ball as it failed to go behind but this time Buchanan's dive failed to connect with the ball.
At the other end Bain drove wide left before El Bakhtaoui broke and then laid the ball back for Moffat but his 57th minute shot was blocked. An Airdrie corner was sent in from the right by Hamill, Martin cleared but Bain won another corner on the left and before that could be taken Hamill was subbed by Scott Stewart.
Williamson reeked havoc deep down the right as the Dunfermline offensive escalated again. Ross Forbes replaced El Bakhtaoui on 64 minutes and the sub released a fine ball into the full back's path to create another dangerous ball throuigh the Airdrie box. Ryan Thomson had subbed Andy Geggan and the sub persevered to get around Chris O'Neil but his cross was defended. Then Ugwu cut back from the right byeline but there were no takers for the opportunity.
On 80 minutes Forbes drove towards the goal and received a back flick from Ugwu into his path but with just the keeper to beat pulled his left footed shot wide right. The third goal was only a minute away however and it came from UGWU forcing his way into the left side of the penalty box and finishing well despite Richards-Everton's close attentions. 3-0
Airdrie tried a few runs and rattled a fine shot wide left but it was Dunfermline's day, three goals and three points.
DUNFERMLINE: Ryan Scully; Ross Millen, Lewis Martin, Gregor Buchanan, Ross Drummond (Ryan Williamson 37); Andy Geggan (c)(Ryan Thomson 69), Lewis Spence, Josh Falkingham, Faissal El Bakhtaoui (Ross Forbes 64), Michael Moffat, Chigozie Ugwu.
SUBS NOT USED: Jonathan Page, Shaun Byrne, Allan Smith, Ryan Goodfellow (GK)
SCORERS: SCORERS: Ugwu (23, 81) Moffat (40)
YELLOW CARD: Falkingham (70)
AIRDRIEONIANS: Andrew McNeil; Chris O'Neil, David Proctor (, Robert Wilson 36), Marc Fitzpatrick, Paddy Boyle; Scott Gray, Joe Hammill, Ben Richards-Everton, Liam Watt, Jamie Bain, Jim Lister,
SUBS NOT USED: Lucas Birinstinfil (GK), Jack Haggerty, Kyle Richford, Scott Stewart, Jack Kirwan, Nathan Blockley
YELLOW CARD: Fitzpatrick (55), Richards-Everton (76), Lister (86)
REFEREE: Stephen Finnie
WEATHER: Sunny Intervals
NEXT MATCH: SPFL League Cup (away) v St Mirren
Tuesday 26th August 2014, kick off 7.45pm
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