SPFL League One: DUNFERMLINE 0 PETERHEAD 0: 07/11/15
three changes in Pars starting eleven. Paton, Antoine-Curier and McCabe start
For the visit of Peterhead Allan Johnston brought in Michael Paton, Rhys McCabe and Mickaël Antoine-Curier at the expense of David Hopkirk, Shaun Byrne and Michael Moffat. Josh Falkingham was deemed fit enough to return to the bench after being out for five weeks with a back injury.
The visitors made four changes - Kevin Dzierzawski, Scott Ferries, Leighton McIntosh and new signing Jassem Sukar from Dundee United, coming in for Cameron Kerr, Ally Gilchrist, Jordan Brown and Nicky Reilly.
After a minutes silence to remember those killed and injured in the line of duty with the Armed Forces, it was Peterhead who kicked off attacking the goal at the McCathie Stand end. After the opening minute was played predominantly in the Pars half, Faissal El Bakhtaoui burst down the right before trying to pick out Antoine-Curier but his cross into the six yard box was well defended.
El Bakhtaoui caused the next danger to the Peterhead goal, latching on to a McCabe pass the striker was shadowed by Sukar just enough to restrict the power of the shot that was held by Graeme Smith.
Antoine-Curier was offside in eighth minute when attempting to get on the end of a Jason Talbot cross from the left. Then two minutes later Smith had to dive to his left to palm away a header by his own right back, Ryan Strachan. The defender was put under pressure when Joe Cardle fed McCabe and Paton who switched play rapidly through El Bakhtaoui to Lewis Martin and the right back's good left foot produced the cross that caused the mayhem.
From being lucky at one end Peterhead then were unlucky when McIntosh broke in on the right and his shot across goal came back off the left goalpost. The Pars broke with pace and El Bakhtaoui tumbled in the Peterhead box when tracked by Steven Noble. No penalty awarded.
The Blue Toon got a decision when Ben Richards-Everton tackled Rory McAllister and from the 19th minute free kick Strachan drove the ball low but wide right. Next minute another decision was not given when Martin was tripped by Scott Ferries and the Peterhead man scampered away up the left to pick out Ferry with his cut back but the chance went tamely wide of the left goalpost.
Andy Geggan was well wide with a 25th minute shot from 30 yards and two minutes later McCabe had a shot from a similar distance that narrowly cleared the crossbar. Not to be left out McAllister from a suspicuiously offside position tested Sean Murdoch with a low drive. Strachan then got away with a slight touch as Cardle fired the ball through the six yard box from the right. No corner.
Just after the half hour Cardle was in on the right side of the opposition box again and this time tried a shot that hit the sidenetting. The referee Gavin Ross who had hitherto won no friends around East End Park then yellow carded Cardle when the Pars man ended up on McIntosh's back in trying to avoid falling. The Peterhead man reacting earning his card but Joe received a most unpopular card too.
Five minutes from the break Paton launched a great strike from 25 yards but the ball powered wide left. It had been a first half bereft of corners, the Pars had seven shots to the visitors five but no goals.
Half Time: Dunfermline 0 Peterhead 0
McAllister had a 47th minute effort blocked as Peterhead had the first opportunity of the second half and the Pars first chance fell to Paton when Antoine-Curier headed a diagonally passed ball down to his feet but the shot ended up in row Z. Richards-Everton collected a soft yelllow before the Fifers won the first corner of the game when El Bakhtaoui's 52nd minute shot was deflected behind. Unfortunately the setpiece changed nothing.
There was a let off for Richards-Everton in 54 minutes when in trying to shield the ball out for a bye kick he allowed McIntosh to cross and fortunately in front of goal sub Jordan Brown skied his attempt over the bar. Next minute Brown was presented with an even better chance from McIntosh and this time Murdoch pulled off a great block.
Another Pars corner was successfully defended and then the crowd jeered as El Bakhtaoui rather greedily tried a shot at the far post with men well placed in the centre. The stadium silenced as Kevin Dzierzawski's 62nd minute shot hit the net and breathed sighs of relief when they realised the ball was outside the sidenetting on the right.
At the midway point in the half Allan Johnston made his first substitution withdrawing Michael Paton to introduce Ryan Wallace. It looked inspired as the sub immediately got in behind the left side of the Blue Toon defence but Antoine-Curier failed to take the chance at the far post and the ball rocketed behind.
In 71 minutes Antoine-Curier sent Cardle down the left and when his cross came in El Bakhtaoui was unlucky that the ball just did not present itself well enough for him to finish. Smith held a McCabe cross.
Peterhead forced two corners in 74th minute with Murdoch punching clear from the second. Then a Talbot ball for Antoine-Curier at the far post was smashed outside the right post from close range. The striker then won a corner on the right and when quickly taken McCabe sent the ball through the six yard box and Richards-Everton returned it along the crossbar.
Talbot headed behind to give Peterhead a 81st minute corner that Murdoch rose to hold comfortably. Talbot then got his defence out of trouble when centrally they slipped up and let McAllister in on goal. After sprinting in from the right, El Bakhtaoui drove a shot into Smith's arms.
Michael Moffat replaced the luckless Antoine-Curier for the final six minutes and Shaun Byrne came on for Rhys McCabe before Ryan Wallace made Smith pull of a fine save from a 30 yard free kick.
The visitors tested the Pars and their supporters nerves with a final push but for the second Saturday running it was to be a match with no goals. Peterhead bounced back from their disappointing 4-3 defeat to Stenhousemuir but this was the kind of match that Allan Johnston wants his team to win. Full marks to the home defence for the fifth successive league match without conceding a goal.
DUNFERMLINE: Sean Murdoch; Lewis Martin, Marc McAusland, Ben Richards-Everton, Jason Talbot; Michael Paton (Ryan Wallace 67), Andy Geggan, Rhys McCabe (Shaun Byrne 86), Joe Cardle, Mickaël Antoine-Curier (Michael Moffat 84), Faissal El Bakhtaoui.
SUBS NOT USED: David Hopkirk, Josh Falkingham, Shaun Rooney, David Hutton (GK).
YELLOW CARD: Cardle (35), Richards-Everton (50), Martin (61)
PETERHEAD: Graeme Smith; Ryan Strachan, Scott Ross, Jassem Sukar, Steven Noble; Simon Ferry (Jordan Brown 49), Kevin Dzierzawski, James Redman, Scott Ferries; Leighton McIntosh (Shane Sutherland 78), Rory McAllister (Andy Rodgers 88).
SUBS NOT USED: Scott Adams, Nathan Blockley, Paul Jarvie (GK).
YELLOW CARD: McIntosh (35), Ferry (43), Brown (85)
REFEREE: Gavin Ross
WEATHER: Damp 10C
NEXT MATCH: Ladbrokes League One (away) v Airdrieonians, Saturday 14th November 2015, kick off 3.00pm at Excelsior Stadium
Betfred Cup v Peterhead: Saturday 22nd July 2017, kick off 3.00pm