SPFL League One: DUNFERMLINE 2 AIRDRIEONIANS 2: 17/01/15
Pre match there was a tribute to Pars legend and former captain Norrie McCathie who died 19 years ago this month. A good crowd of over 2500 turned out in the hope that John Potter's fourth match in charge might give him his first win.
New signings Kyle McAusland and Andy Barrowman started and Alex Whittle came into replace Lewis Spence and Michael Moffat and Ross Forbes who joined Morton in midweek. Airdrieonians fielded their new signing from Peterhead, Bryan Gilfillan and they kicked off attacking the goal at the McCathie Stand end.
The visitors enjoyed the early possession and gave the Pars defence a few anxious moments before Barrowman was denied a break by an unpunished hand ball. Airdrieonians were definitely on top when they took advantage of a slip by Ross Millen as he tried to clear a cross from the right. James LISTER swept the ball past Scully from 12 yards. 0-1
McAusland made a penetrating run into the left side of the Airdrie box but his shot was easily taken by keeper Andrew McNeil. The first corner of the match in 16 minutes went Airdrie's way but Millen easily dealt with that.
Byrne and Whittle attempts to break down the right side of the visitors' defence were stopped and Barrowman and Smith chased around in search of an opening. The first home corner in 24 minutes saw Gregor Buchanan run in with the pack but head Millen's cross over the crossbar. When play switched to the other end it was again the Pars centre half who headed behind to concede a corner that Barrowman cleared.
There were only 27 minutes gone when John Potter was forced into his first substitution of the game. Jim Paterson limped off with a groin strain and was replaced by Andy Stirling. There had been no defenders on the bench but plenty of options in the team so Whittle dropped back to left back.
Four minutes later Shaun Byrne rode a tackle on the edge of the box then twisted his way in to drive a shot to the near post but McNeil held. At the other end Scully was well out to deny Bryan Prunty and then the Diamonds fired a shot wide left.
Fortunes changed however when Allan Smith was tripped by Scott Stewart on the right perimeter of the box and referee Don Robertson pointed to the spot. Ross MILLEN picked up the ball and sent the 34th minute penalty to the top left. 1-1
Diamonds manager Gary Bollan appeared to disapprove of the decision and he was sent to the stand. Both sides tried to break down their opponents' defences but it remained all square at the break.
Half time: Dunfermline 1 Airdrieonians 1
Dunfermline started the second half with greater intent with Stirling getting up the left and generally retaining more possession in the opening ten minutes. Unfornately it all went wrong again in 56 minutes. A corner from the right was sent into the area to the right of goal and GILFILLAN arrived at speed to glance a header past Scully on his line. A goal on his debut, 1-2.
Airdrie certainly had their tails up and continued to beat a track towards Scully's box. Ryan Wallace was thrown on in place of Smith but it was the Diamonds striker Prunty that came close when he accepted a Nathan Blockley pass to send it wide right of target.
The Pars keeper held a Jamie Bain cross at his near post as the home support encouraged their team to drive up the park but they made hard work of that. Substitute Andy Stirling was substituted to introduce striker Michael Moffat with twenty minutes remaining.
The sub was to get the Pars back level within five minutes. Wallace was fouled out on the right but referee Robertson let play on as MOFFAT took the ball and then released a shot low into the far corner. 2-2
The momentum had swung back in the Fifers favour and for the first time in the game it looked like a home win was possible. Whittle whipped over a couple of good crosses from the left and both Moffat and Barrowman had headers that they could not direct on target.
With Wallace playing just in behind Moffat and Barrowman the Pars went for it and Wallace connected well but was thwarted when McNeil pulled off a fine save six minutes from the end.
Lewis Martin almost repeated his scoring feat of the previous Saturday with an attempt in 91st minute. He evaded Airdrie's tackles but shot at the keeper. The visitors had a couple of late shots themselves that Martin and Millen successfully blocked. In the fifth minute of added time Moffat could have been a hero but when he leapt for the final chance swung in by Wallace it was his shoulder that connected and the ball went over the bar.
It was another two home points dropped and not great for a team that still has title hopes. With league leaders Stranraer losing at home to Brechin City it does mean a point nearer the top but the challenge for play off places is now extended to six teams given Peterhead's win taking them level on points with Dunfemline with a game in hand.
DUNFERMLINE: Ryan Scully; Ross Millen, Gregor Buchanan, Lewis Martin, Jim Paterson (Andy Stirling 27 (Michael Moffat 70)); Josh Falkingham (c), Kyle McAusland, Shaun Byrne, Alex Whittle; Andy Barrowman, Allan Smith (Ryan Wallace 61).
SUBS NOT USED: Faissal El Bakhtaoui, Ryan Thomson, Lewis Spence, Ryan Goodfellow (GK)
SCORERS: Millen (34 pen.), Moffat (75)
AIRDRIEONIANS: Andrew McNeil; Jamie Bain,Ross Docherty, Ben Richards-Everton, Paddy Boyle (c); Nathan Blockley, Bryan Gilfillan, Scott Stewart, Bryan Prunty (John Boyle 76), Jim Lister, Scott Fraser (Liam Watt 52).
SUBS NOT USED: Keigan Parker, Gary Scott, McCauley Wilson, Rohan Ferguson (GK).
SCORERS: Lister (10), Gilfillan (56)
YELLOW CARD: Docherty (48), Bain (73)
REFEREE: Don Robertson
WEATHER: Cold, dry
NEXT MATCH: SPFL (away) v Morton
Saturday 24th January 2015, Cappielow, kick off 5.30pm
50/50 Half Time draw: Winning ticket no. 138205
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