SPFL League One: STENHOUSEMUIR 0 DUNFERMLINE 5: 19/09/15
Wallace, Byrne and Rooney in for Moffat, Falkingham and Fordyce. Cardle (11) 0-1; El Bakhtaoui (24) 0-2; Byrne (44) 0-3; El Bakhtaoui (52) 0-4; Antoine-Curier (85) 0-5
Stenhousemuir's unbeaten home record went as the Pars hit the Warriors with a bunch of five.
Dunfermline travelled to Ochilview Park to face a Stenhousemuir side who were unbeaten at home this season. Allan Johnston made three changes from the side defeated at home the previous Saturday. Shaun Rooney came in at right back allowing Lewis Martin to move inside to take the place of injured Pars captain, Callum Fordyce. Ryan Wallace and Shaun Byrne started in place of Josh Falkingham and Michael Moffat. For Ryan it was first start since 3rd January.
Stenhousemuir's one change was Kieran Millar in place of Alan Cook and a familiar face in the home attack was Allan Smith facing his old club for the first time. The home side kicked off and in just 15 seconds Smith had a shot on target that Sean Murdoch dropped on one knee to hold.
The Pars early pressure was created by Rooney forcing a second minute corner and then causing Jamie Barclay to come out to punch clear as the full back rose to meet a Joe Cardle cross.
On five minutes Wallace broke through the middle and laid the ball off to Cardle to his left but his blast soared over the bar. The away team took a grip of the game with Cardle setting up a chance for Wallace on the right side of the box and his fierce eighth minute shot was touched over by Barclay.
It was no surprise when the Fifers took an eleventh minute lead. CARDLE received the ball from the right, made ground and then placed the ball in the far right of the net giving Barclay no chance. 0-1
Stenhousemuir could have no quibble when former Forfar defender, Stuart Malcolm collected the first yellow card of the afternoon for crudely stopping Jason Talbot's run.
Wallace won a 19th minute corner but after nothing came of that there was a five minute period in which Stenhousemuir went forward more than Dunfermline but that ended with a well taken header from Faissal EL BAKHTAOUI. The Pars striker met a great delivery in from the right off the yellow right boot of Rooney to net off the left goalpost. 0-2
As the half hour mark past a Rooney ball across the six yard box was headed behind for a corner and the Pars kept up the pressure with ultimately El Bakhtaoui sending his shot well wide right. With ten minutes to the interval Dunfermline's injury problems compounded as Rooney was forced to retire due to sustaining a knock earlier to his right foot. Geggan went to right back as new signing Rhys McCabe came on to make his Dunfermline debut.
McCabe and then Talbot tried shots from distance but neither were any real danger. It had been a first 45 minutes that Dunfermline had dominated with 57% possession and deservedly led by three at the break.
The third goal came in 44th minute as the Pars threatened from a Wallace cross. El Bakhtaoui looked like netting the loose ball but Euan Murray blocked. BYRNE followed up cooly picking his spot at the bottom right from 12 yards out.
Half time: Stenhousemuir 0 Dunfermline 3
The Warriors replaced Kieran Millar before the restart with Carlos Mazana-Martinez coming on. Dunfermline kicked off and immiatetely Geggan drove up the right but he sliced his cross and cleared the bar in just 30 seconds.
El Bakhtaoui won a 48th minute corner but it curled all the way out for a bye kick on the other side. Good passing play saw the Pars work the ball forward and Ben Richards Everton's pass was headed on by Wallace to El Bakhtaoui for Wallace to attempt a finish from the left.
Geggan was the supplier as EL BAKHTAOUI scored Dunfermline's fourth just seven minutes into the second half. The Pars captain cut in on the right side of the penalty box and unselfishly chose not to shoot teeing up Faiss for a straight forward finish. 0-4
David Hopkirk came on for Michael Paton before Stenny kicked off and Smith made Murdoch pull off a good save in 58 minutes from the home side's second on-target shot of the match. The Pars were then unlucky not to get a fifth when Talbot's cross was almost directed past Barclay.
There was a wee fright at the other end when Murdoch's clearance was blocked by Smith but fortunately the ball broke away to the left.
The home side must have felt the pressure upped further when in 65 minutes goal hungry, Mickael Antoine-Curier came on for Joe Cardle. They won a corner as Smith's header was fed to McMenamin to his left and in the play following that corner Mark Gilhaney struck a good attempt that went over off the crossbar.
Another two Stenny corners in 71 minutes kept play in front of Murdoch and Malcolm powered a header over the top. Murdoch held a Stephen Stirling effort from a free kick. Back at the other end Malcolm headed a Hopkirk cross behind.
With the points effective secure the Pars pace and possession reduced and they were fortunate in 78 minutes when Robertson's cut back fell to McMenamin but his drive was dispatched wildly over the bar.
Five minutes from time a long ball from Wallace allowed ANTOINE-CURIER to time his run well and get in one on one with the keeper. He took it left and finished. 0-5
More disappointment for Dunfermline though as the Pars ended up with ten men after losing a second full back, Jason Talbot limping in with what looked a thigh strain.
A fine performance, five goals, three points but two injuries.
STENHOUSEMUIR: Jamie Barclay; Ross Meechan, Stuart Malcolm (c), Euan Murray, Liam Henderson (Jamie McCormack 63); Mark Gilhaney, Stephen Stirling (Liam McCroary 83), Jon Robertson, Kieran Millar (Carlos Mazana-Martinez HT); Colin McMenamin, Allan Smith.
SUBS NOT USED: Jon McShane, Fraser Eddington, Anthony Marenghi, Dean Shaw (GK).
YELLOW CARD: Malcolm (14), Henderson (28), McMenamin (89)
DUNFERMLINE: Sean Murdoch; Shaun Rooney (Rhys McCabe 35), Lewis Martin, Ben Richards-Everton, Jason Talbot; Michael Paton (David Hopkirk 53), Shaun Byrne, Andy Geggan (c), Joe Cardle (Mickael Antoine-Curier 65); Ryan Wallace, Faissal El Bakhtaoui.
SUBS NOT USED: Josh Falkingham, Michael Moffat, John Potter, David Hutton (GK).
SCORERS: Cardle (11), El Bakhtaoui (24, 52), Byrne (44), Antoine-Curier (85)
REFEREE: Brian Colvin
WEATHER: 17C Cloudy
NEXT MATCH: Scottish League Cup Round Three (away) v Dundee United, Tuesday 22nd September 2015, kick off 7.45pm at Tannadice
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