Ladbrokes Championship: Alloa Athletic 0 Dunfermline 1: 03/11/18
After an improved performance at Inverness in midweek there was no surprise that Allan Johnston named the same again starting eleven. Jim Goodwin made four changes to his Alloa starting eleven, Kevin Cawley, Steven Hetherington, Alan Trouten and Greig Spence were brought in replacing Connor Shields, Jake Hastie, Liam Burt and Iain Flannigan.
Alloa kicked off attacking the goal at the south end of the ground and in third minute a quickly taken throw in on the left by Myles Hippolyte sent in Andy Ryan and the visitors forced an early corner as Andy Graham deflected the powerful shot behind. The keeper was tested again at the corner and then Ryan brought another save out of Neil Parry.
Next it was Aidan Connolly who had a pop from a free kick after Aidan Keena was fouled 25 yards out but his attempt slipped narrowly wide. Alloa then had a free kick of their own from a similar distance after Joe Thomson had tugged back his man. When Hetherington swept the ball over from the left there were plenty of attackers challenging but it was Dario Zanatta who glanced the header wide right.
Then from 30 yards out Keena made Parry save low down to his left before Hetherington was shown a 12th minute yellow card for completely taking out Malaury Martin. The on loan Jambo took a sore one but was able to continue. The resultant free kick dropped for Hippolyte but hi# well connected shot was blocked.
An Alloa break down the left almost got them in for a 17th minute opener. Zanatta got the break of the ball to get round both Craigen and Devine, his cross was met by Spence whose shot was cleared off the line by Lee Ashcroft. Alloa’s subsequent corner from the right was directed wide left by Spence.
There were attempts from Connolly and Ryan from the left side of the Wasps box in 21 minutes before a Thomson effort from 25 yards out was tipped over the bar by Parry. Ryan took responsibility for the next free kick but drilled that into the hosts wall.
Lee Robinson did well to keep out a Trouen effort after Scott Taggart had crossed in a low ball from the right. The 29th minute chance pinged back out, then it back to the other end as a Martin pass was chipped into the box by Jackson Longridge and only the outstretched left fist of the Alloa keeper kept out Connolly’s connection.
James Craigen’s 38th minute cross was headed on target by Ryan but again Parry denied him. Next chance two minutes later came from a long Robinson kick up the park that collected on the left side of the Alloa box but with the purple kitted keeper advancing towards him, he struck his shot into the side netting.
Half time: Alloa Athletic 0 Dunfermline Athletic 0
The Fifers started the second half pressing the Alloa goal, Thomson crossing for Keena to drive a low shot from the edge of the box that was blocked and then after Taggart had tumbled Ryan Martin firing a 49th minute free kick into the Alloa wall from 20 yards out.
Four minutes later Connolly pumped a free kick in from the left touchline but the keeper nicked it away from the in running Devine. Alloa had their chances on 58 minutes when Zanatta tried to goaround the entire defence and then from the clearance Jon Robertson crashed a shot off target.
On the hour Allan Johnston made a double substitution introducing Kallum Higginbotham and Ryan Williamson in place of Aidan Connolly and James Craigen. With little impact having been made Faissal El Bakhtaoui then subbed Aidan Keena.
In 69 minutes however Dunfermline took the lead from a Jackson LONGRIDGE rocket. Higginbotham’s cross was defended out only for the defender to crash the ball into the top right corner from the edge of the penalty box. 0-1
There was a further chance for Ryan but he wanted too many touches as he tried to round the keeper and then El Bakhtaoui had a glancing header saved by the keeper. Jim Goodwin then tried to change his team’s fortunes subbing Kevin Cawley and Greig Spence with Jake Hastie and Adam Brown.
Robinson made a good fisted clearance from an 80th minute corner, conceded after Thomson had made a great interception to deny the Alloa attackers. Back at the other end El Bakhtaoui fired a low shot from 30 yards out but Parry dropped to his left to hold.
After a strong run by Dick, Thomson made a great tackle on the left side of the Pars box to prevent Hastie getting in to shoot. With the match in added time a Higginbotham cross hit into ground by El Bakhtaoui fell wide right.
The three points were sealed after defending a late Alloa assault and although the Pars remain seventh there opened up a six point gap between them and Partick below. Looking upwards Dunfermline are four points off Morton in fourth.
ALLOA ATHLETIC: Neil Parry: Scott Taggart, Liam Dick, Sam Roscoe, Andy Graham, Kevin Cawley (Jake Hastie 72), Steven Hetherington (Ahmed Aloulou 82), Jon Robertson, Alan Trouten, Dario Zanatta, Greig Spence (Adam Brown 72).
SUBS NOT USED: Connor Shields, Liam Burt, Reis Peggie, Chris Henry (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Hetherington (12), Dick (56), Zanatta (66).
DUNFERMLINE: Lee Robinson: James Craigen (Ryan Williamson 60), Lee Ashcroft (c), Danny Devine, Jackson Longridge: Myles Hippolyte, Malaury Martin, Joe Thomson, Aidan Connolly (Kallum Higginbotham 60): Andy Ryan, Aidan Keena (Faissal El Bakhtaoui 68).
SUBS NOT USED: Robbie Muirhead, Lewis Martin, James Vincent, Cammy Gill (GK)
SCORERS: J Longridge (69)
YELLOW CARD: Ryan (72), Hippolyte (86)
REFEREE: David Munro
WEATHER: Overcast 13C
NEXT MATCH: Ladbrokes Championship (home) v Falkirk, Saturday 10th November 2018, kick off 3.00pm at East End Park.
Half time draw won by ticket 05292
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