SPFL League One: DUNFERMLINE 0 BRECHIN CITY 1: 24/02/15
Since the Pars lost at Forfar on Saturday whilst Brechin City were defeating Stirling Albion at Forthbank, the Angus club leapfrogged John Potter's men back into the play off positions. A home win though would overturn those positions once more but Brechin arrived in good form, unbeaten in their last fourteen league games.
The changes were well and truly rung in the Dunfermline starting line up with seven changes from the team that lined up at Station Park. Out went Andy Geggan, Alex Whittle, Faissal El Bakhtaoui, Josh Falkingham, Paul George, Andy Barrowman and Lewis Spence. In favour were Ryan Thomson, Jim Paterson, Shaun Byrne, Lewis Allan, David Hopkirk, Michael Moffat and Ryan Williamson after a few months out with a dislocated knee cap.
For the visitors Ray McKinnon made two changes bringing in Craig Storie and former on loan Par, Ryan Ferguson for Andy Jackson and Gary Fusco.
The Pars kicked off attacking the goal at the East Stand end and it was that goal that was threatened first. A Hopkirk free kick from the left touchline caused danger in the City six yard box and when the ball broke to Kyle McAusland he got in a shot but that was easily blocked.
Keeper Graeme Smith created a problem for himself, allowing Hopkirk to dispossess him on the right side of his box and then putting in a crashing tackle from behind on the former Annan striker way out ast the corner flag. An early card for the purple kitted stopper and another free kick that he managed to clear off the head of Thomson.
Brechin took play towards Scully with Robert Thomson and Ryan Ferguson seeking the opening. The latter was shown a yellow card in 13 minutes when he tumbled in the box with no obvious contact. At the other end play on the edge of the box from Thomson to Moffat and McAusland got the home fans craving for a shot and McAusland was egged into having a shot from 30 yards when it was clear that Smith could deal with that all too easily.
Byrne took a silky touch to evade Brechin captain Craig Molloy and then feed Williamson to his right. The right back then found Moffat who had come out to receive the pass and the opposition did well to cut a ball to Hopkirk lingering dangerously on the left apex of the penalty box.
As the midway point of the first half passed Williamson, Allan and Williamson again troubled the reds defence but they eventually came out on top. In 28 minutes Hopkirk made a good break on the left laying off a fine pass for Allan but he just overran it before he cut it back.
Next Allan beat the offside trap but Thomson couldn't get enough on his header as the ball came in from the right and again Smith held easily. Bobby Barr was booked for flying in on Scully in 36 minutes but then in the next attack he supplied a good cross for Alan Trouten but he skied his shot high over the bar from 12 yards.
Three minutes from the interval, Molloy became the fifth Brechin player to be yellow carded and McLean's header in an attempt to clear a Williamson cross ended up testing his keeper.
It had been a 45 minutes without a corner kick but Dunfermline even with only 42% possession, had all the shots but no goals to show for it.
Half time: Dunfermline 0 Brechin City 0
Brechin got the second half underway and there had been no half time substitutions. In just the fourth minute of the half Trouten received the ball inside the Pars box and chose to switch it left fot Thomson to shoot. Scully made a good block and the visitors had the first corner of the night. That came to nothing by Barr sent in another from the right that was not cleared and Scully pulled off a tremendous save as the inrushing Gerry McLauchlin headed on target.
Brechin were really pressing but Dunfermline looked like they had the opener after Hopkirk netted from an acute angle when the ball came back off the left upright but the referee's whistle had already gone. Brechin lost their centre back in defending the move, limping off after treatment meaning Ewan McNeil came on.
Josh Falkingham replaced Byrne in 58 minutes and he almost scored with his first chance but just failed to get enough on Hopkirk's delivery. Hopkirk continue with another cross and a shot of his own but although now well on top the Fifers just couldn't penetrate the opposition defences.
A 66th minute free kick conceded by McLauchlan saw another dangerous ball played into the box by Hopkirk but that was headed clear. The Pars first corner of the game in 68 minutes met with similar treatment. Moffat's shot from a Falkingham pass was blocked and the goal that East End Park wanted so much was to come at the wrong end. Barr had fired a warning over the crossbar before a simple cross from the left by sub Andy Jackson let Trouten leap to head in the 73rd minute opener. 0-1
The substitution of Michael Moffat with ten minutes remaining was not popular with home support and a chorus of boos welcomed Andy Barrowman into the frey. A Trouten shot was deflected wide left to hand Brechin another corner before play was back in front of the McCathie Stand. McAusland was deep left to cross into the six yard box but the red shirts were first to it.
Brechin saw time out well, creating attacks of their own to take the presure off their defence. A 93rd minute corner was the final hope but Buchanan headed that wide right. It was to be the first Brechin win at East End Park since 1987 and their impressive unbeaten run extends to 15 league matches.
DUNFERMLINE: Ryan Scully: Ryan Williamson (Andy Geggan 71), Gregor Buchanan (c), Stuart Urquhart, Jim Paterson; Shaun Byrne (Josh Falkingham 58), Kyle McAusland, Ryan Thomson, David Hopkirk; Lewis Allan, Michael Moffat (Andy Barrowman 80).
SUBS NOT USED: Paul George, Lewis Martin, Faissal El Bakhtaoui, Ryan Goodfellow (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Paterson (29)
BRECHIN CITY: Graeme Smith; Paul McLean, Gerry McLauchlan, Darren McCormack, Colin Hamilton; Ryan Ferguson, Craig Storie, Craig Molloy (c), Alan Trouten, Bobby Barr; Robert Thomson.
SUBS NOT USED: Gary Fusco, Andy Jackson, Ollie Durojaiye, Ewan McNeil, Steven Jackson, Calum Tapping, Ben Tough (GK).
SCORERS: Trouten (73)
YELLOW CARD: Smith (5), Ferguson (13), McLean (27), Barr (36), Molloy (42), Storie (86)
REFEREE: Andrew Dallas
WEATHER: Clear 3C
NEXT MATCH: SPFL League One (away) v Stranraer
Saturday 28th February 2015, kick off 3.00pm
50/50 Half time draw: Winning ticket number 135370 won £443
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