SPFL Championship: DUNFERMLINE 1 DUNDEE UNITED 3: 10/09/16
Ladbrokes Championship: Reilly penalty saved (9): Murray (21) 0-1: Clark penalty saved (28): McMullan penalty saved (32): Andreu (46) 0-2: Paton (51) 1-2. Dixon red card (58): Andreu (92) 1-3
Dundee United were the visitors for the first league game between the teams at East End Park since October 2011. Further nostalgia was around since this was also the first time the pair had met outside the top flight since season 1995-96. On head to head league meetings Dunfermline led 48 to 46 with 35 drawn.
Dunfermline continued with Callum Fordyce as Lee Ashcroft`s partner in central defence and Paul McMullan retained his place meaning Allan Johnston went with the same starting eleven as hit Brechin City for five the previous Saturday.
Ray McKinnon made three changes from to the United the team that struggled to see off Peterhead in the IRN-BRU Cup, Cammy Bell returning between the sticks and Simon Murray and Tope Obadeyi displaced Blair Spittal and Scott Fraser.
The visitors kicked off and within 30 seconds Simon Murray put pressure on keeper David Hutton when Ryan Williamson`s header back to him was just a little weak for comfort. The Pars first opportunity came in the following minute when a free kick from the right midway inside the United half was met by Ashcroft but his headed attempt went straight to the all green Cammy Bell.
There was a serious chance for Murray in fifth minute when Tope Obadeyi`s ball in from the left escaped through the Pars six yard box without a touch. Andy Geggan sent in a couple of dangerous deliveries forcing an eighth minute corner from the second. When Michael Paton sent that over from the left, William Edjenguele was penalised for impeding Ashcroft and referee John Beaton pointed to the spot.
Gavin Reilly picked up the ball and when he arrived at the penalty spot solved the discussion between Paton and Clark presumably over who was taking the penalty. The on loan Jambo elected to fire to the keeper`s right and Bell parried the ball away.
United responded and Murray tried a shot from 20 yards that hit the Stephens sign midway up the McCathie Stand. The Pars had not really been troubled with anything United could conjure up but then in 21 minutes Fordyce sclaffed a Obadeyi cross and MURRAY hammered in the chance. 0-1
The home crowd booed as the North Stand linesman lowered his flag and Murray was allowed to cut in and fire narrowly over the crossbar. Then in 25 minutes Dunfermline were awarded a second penalty. Reilly broke into the box and Bell came out to block, both platers went down injured but when Clark tried to turn the ball back from the right byeline Willo Flood upended him.
After three minutes of treatment on both injured players but primarily to Bell, Nicky Clark stepped up and hit the ball the same way as Reilly with the same effect. Deja Vu.
On the half hour a Paton corner from the left was an inswinger that the United keeper punched out to Clark, he fired the ball back on target and Lewis Toshney was adjudged to have used a hand to stop it and so the Fifers had another penalty.
Toshney and Bell were yellow carded before Paul McMullan bounced up to take the Pars third penalty of the game but he chose to send it left as well. Bell again chose to dive to his right and so he kept the Pars out for a third time!
A 39th minute free kick threatened the Pars defences but Hutton was out to the edge of his box to hold. At the other end Clark tried a snap shot that just cleared the United crossbar.
It was end to end and Paul Dixon was up to receive an Obadeyi cross and his strike cannoned off Williamson for Hutton to hold. Paton was caught offside as Reilly tried to play him into the right side of the United box.
Murray fired a wild shot wayward from an acute angle and in the third minute of added time Hutton held an effort from Tony Andreu after Nick van der Velden had chested the ball into his path. It had been quite a first half.
Celtic missed three penalties in a match against East Fife in 1973 but Ernie McGarr actually only saved two, the third being sent over the bar so Cammy Bell goes into the record books for a hattrick of saves all in one half.
Half time: Dunfermline 0 Dundee United 1
Within a minute of the restart Dundee United were two up. The Dundee side swept forward and ANDREU received the ball in from the left 25 yards out to advance and hit on target. Hutton took the sting out the shot but could not get back to prevent the ball squirming over the line. 0-2
Despite the early set back there was still belief from the half time team talk and the Pars pushed up. Clark fought off defenders in front of goal to get in a shot that broke to PATON and he stabbed to ball home in 51st minute 1-2
Martin earned a yellow card in 56 minutes for tripping Obadeyi. Charlie Telfer was given two chances to cross and Hutton saved the second at his near post.
As if the game needed more drama, Dixon was then shown a second yellow in 58 minutes. Ray McKinnon withdrew Obadeyi and Jamie Robson came on on the hour for the ten men to attempt to hold on to the win.
Ashcroft headed over the top from a corner but the Fifers attacked and fed balls into the United box but the defence held tight.
A great burst of speed from McMullan took the ball up the left and he delivered a great ball into the six yard box but Robson headed clear. Then with fourteen minutes remaining Farid El Alagui made his Dunfermline debut replacing Ryan Williamson in an attacking tactic.
Fordyce powered a header over the crossbar from a 78th minute McMullan free kick deep down the left. Three more minutes later McMullan swung in another great delivery from the left, El Alagui met the ball perfectly but Bell clutched the French Moroccan`s powerful header.
The Pars withdrew their second full back when Joe Cardle came on in 83 minutes and there could be no criticism of failing to go for it. United were content to try and soak up the minutes as well as the play. Their defences got tighter and deeper.
Smith took the pressure off with a counter before Geggan tried to reach El Alagui but Bell collected first. Two minutes into added time the Pars then paid for being upfield and when the opposition broke on the right ANDREU showed how to do it striking the ball home off the right post. 1-3
Quite a remarkable match and the home support and the Pars really could not belive that they were on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline! The heroic Dundee United keeper Cammy Bell left East Emd Park with the match ball to celebrate his historic achievement.
DUNFERMLINE: David Hutton, Ryan Williamson (Farid El Alagui 76), Lee Ashcroft, Callum Fordyce, Lewis Martin (Joe Cardle 83), Michael Paton, Andy Geggan (c), Rhys McCabe, Paul McMullan, Gavin Reilly, Nicky Clark.
SUBS NOT USED: Kallum Higginbotham, John Herron, Ben Richards-Everton, Michael Moffat, Cammy Gill (GK)
SCORERS: Paton (51)
YELLOW CARD: Geggan (45), Martin (56)
DUNDEE UNITED: Cammy Bell: Frank van der Struik, William Edjenquele, Paul Dixon: Lewis Toshney, Willo Flood (c), Simon Murray (Cammy Smith 67), Charlie Telfer, Nick van der Velden (Coll Donaldson 79), Tope Obadeyi (Jamie Robson 60), Anthony Andreu
SUBS NOT USED: Sean Dillon, Blair Spittal, Scott Fraser, Luis Zwick (GK).
SCORERS: Murray (21), Andreu (46, 92)
YELLOW CARD: Edjenquele (9), Toshney (31), Bell (31), Dixon (31)
RED CARD: Dixon (58)
REFEREE: John Beaton
WEATHER: Sunny 17C
NEXT MATCH: Ladbrokes Championship: (away) v Morton, Saturday 17th September 2016, kick off 3.00pm at Cappielow.
Ladbrokes Championship: v Morton , Saturday 11th November 2017, kick off 3.00pm