SPFL League One: DUNFERMLINE 1 PETERHEAD 1: 03/01/15
Peterhead were the first foots at East End Park and for this match John Potter made two changes from the starting eleven asgainst Stranraer two weeks before. Ross Forbes and Ryan Wallace came in while Lewis Spence and Ryan Thomson dropped out.
The visitors made just one change from their line up against Morton, David Cox replacing Mark Millar.
The Pars kicked off attacking the goal at the Cowdenbeath end and it was there in the fourth minute that Alex Whittle's cross from the left created the first opportunity of the new year unluckily Josh Falkingham's header dropped well wide of target. Just two minutes later the Pars captain crashed in a pass from the right byeline that the yellow shirted Graeme Smith beat away. When Wallace gathered the clearance his pass to Falkingham on the right was deemed to be offside.
The momentum was with the home team and still within the first ten minutes Falkingham was teed up for a shot at goal from a Michael Moffat cut back but was found to missing his shooting boots.
Moffat created another good opportunity after beating two opponents on the right only for a defender to spoil the chance. Then when Ross Millen pumped a low ball into the Peterhead box, Moffat stepped over the ball and left it for Wallace but he thrashed the ball into the sidenetting. Just as well the offside flag was raised.
Andy Geggan was back in his midfield role after a game at right back and it was he who headed wide after another Millen delivery. In 20 minutes Moffat was tumbled by Scott Ross 21 yards out and FORBES stepped up to drive the free kick low into the left side of the Peterhead net. The 25 year old's first goal since February; 1-0.
Geggan tried a shot from 35 yards that nearly did the trick with the help of a deflection but Smith held. It was half an hour into the game before the Aberdeenshire side created any danger with two chances. On both occasions it was captain Steven Noble that delivered the danger. First he got around the back on the left to send in a ball that the defence did well to defend then he picked out Jamie Stevenson and he thundered a shot on target that Buchanan blocked although the ball felled him in the process.
In 38th minute it looked like Moffat had to open his 2015 account. The striker broke through the middle and beat off the challenge of his marker Reece Donaldson but then Smith saved his left footed shot from 15 yards.
Then in the space of two minutes Moffat provided chances for Wallace and Byrne only to see the final ball intercepted. Forbes prodded another ball in on the left side of the box that Moffat flicked on for the inrushing Geggan but he could not connect. Another free kick 27 yards out in 42 minutes saw Forbes lift the ball over the defensive wall but Buchanan was beaten to the ball by a Peterhead man.
It had been a good first half performance from the Fifers with Moffat in particular causing the visitors problems. Pars possession in the first half was 59% and they were possibly worthy of a greater lead at the break.
Half Time: Dunfermline 1 Peterhead 0
Just 90 seconds into the second half Ryan Scully was called upon to make a good save after the Blue Toon's Rory McAllister turned and shot from 15 yards. Twice in the next four minutes Whittle sent Forbes away down the left, twice he delivered dangerous balls into the box but twice the defence cleared. Geggan then tried a dipping shot from 30 yards that Smith held under his crossbar before Millen swung over an inviting ball that Moffat crashed narrowly high and wide right.
It had been Ryan Wallace's first start since 22nd March but in 57 minutes John Potter withdrew him and introduced Faissal El Bakhtaoui. Immediately Smith had to hold a powerful cross from the sub. and then Falkingham burst through the middle only for Smith to make a great save diving at the Pars player's feet. The ball broke promisingly to Forbes but he slipped at the critical moment.
The visitors got the match back on level terms when they converted what looked like a soft penalty decision against Lewis Martin after he impeded Cammy Ross' progress in the box. Peterhead's top goalscorer Rory McALLISTER took the responsibility for the 63rd minute spot kick sending it delicately to the keeper's left. 1-1
Moffat was extremely unlucky not to restore the lead in the next move up the park. Forbes headed a big ball in from the right down to the former Ayr United striker but he drove the ball off the near post.
Chances kept coming the Pars way with El Bakhtaoui threatening as he broke through the middle from inside his own half. Unfortunately he took one touch too heavily and lost the opportunity on the edge of the D.
McAllister failed to recover from a knock and was substituted in 75 minutes by Andy Rodgers. Andy Stirling came on at the same time as Ross Forbes was withdrawn. In the Peterhead subs first involvement Geggan arrived with a tackle from behind and the Pars player was sent off for his recklessness. It was a case of indiscipline on Geggan's part and much to the home fans disgust Rodgers only saw yellow after he retaliated.
The touch paper had been ignited and there were another two coarse tackles from Peterhead sub Bryan Gilfillan. Allan Smith's fresh legs were tried for the last five minutes as Moffat went off and he drove a great chance of 90th minute glory narrowly wide left from 18 yards.
Ryan Strachan was yellow carded for his 91st minute trip on Byrne as he made a run on goal. Millen had the chance to shoot from the free kick but that was charged down by a defender no further than five yards away and despite another from further out the Pars chances of recovery were gone.
With the final attack of the game Peterhead piled on the pressure and could easily have stolen a winner. Strachan released a shot and there was some solid defending to preserve the point. From the Pars point of view this was yet another very disappointing day; they remain fourth but now equal on points with Brechin City who beat Forfar Athletic 2-0 at Station Park.
DUNFERMLINE: Ryan Scully; Ross Millen , Gregor Buchanan, Lewis Martin, Alex Whittle; Josh Falkingham (c), Shaun Byrne, Andy Geggan, Ross Forbes (Andy Stirling 75); Michael Moffat (Allan Smith 86), Ryan Wallace (Faissal El Bakhtaoui 57)
SUBS NOT USED: Stuart Urquhart, Lewis Spence, Declan O'Kane, Ryan Goodfellow (GK)
SCORERS: Forbes (20)
YELLOW CARD: Millen (FT)
RED CARD: Geggan (76)
PETERHEAD: Graeme Smith; Cammy Kerr, Scott Ross, Dean Cowie (Jordan Brown 53), Reece Donaldson, Steven Noble (c), Ryan Strachan, Jamie Stevenson, James Redman, David Cox (Bryan Gilfillan 69), Rory McAllister (Andy Rodgers 75)
SUBS NOT USED: Mark Millar, Dean Richardson, Ross Smith, Paul Jarvie (GK).
SCORERS: McAllister (63 pen)
YELLOW CARD: Cox (29), Redman (33), Rodgers (77), Strachan (91)
REFEREE: Craig Charleston
WEATHER: Dry, bright 3C
NEXT MATCH: SPFL League One (away) v Stirling Albion. Saturday 10th January 2015. Kick off 3.00pm at Forthbank
50/50 Half Time Draw no.131057 won £900
Betfred Cup v Peterhead: Saturday 22nd July 2017, kick off 3.00pm