Ladbrokes Championship: Alloa Athletic 0 Dunfermline 1: 09/03/19

Dunfermline Athletic travelled to meet Alloa Athletic seeking to register their fifth successive league win. Manager Stevie Crawford made two changes to the side that defeated Queen of the South the previous Saturday - the Longridge brothers, Jackson and Louis coming in for Ryan Williamson and Aidan Connolly.

His Alloa Athletic counterpart Jim Goodwin made one change from the side that recorded a win in Dumfries two weeks ago, bringing in on loan Livingston 18 year old Jack Hamilton for just his second start for the club, Kevin Cawley making way. He stressed how everyone had to stay calm, stick together and make sure that Alloa had every chance if staying in the league with six matched to go. Goodwin claimed that all the pressure was on the bigger clubs like Dunfermline.

The team changed ends before Alloa kicked off attacking the goal at the main road end but it was Dunfermline on the attack Craigen forcing a corner within 30 seconds. Joe Thomson did get the chance to shoot but his effort was blocked as was another when L Longridge delivered another cross in from the right.

There were strong appeals for a penalty from the home fans when Craigen’s weak header back towards Ryan Scully almost let Dario Zanatta in. The on loan Jambo tumbled in the box as Craigen retrieved the situation.

Alloa defended a 12th minute corner from the left when Ryan Blair tried to find his man at the near post. Five minutes later a sweet passing move involving Beadling, Anderson, Thomson and Higginbotham resulted in a neat cut back to L Longridge on the edge of the Alloa box but his first touch was heavy and a goal kick ensued.

Another good pass from Blair through Anderson to L Longridge opened up the home defence in 26 minutes but the effort for Longridge failed to tax the keeper. The Wasps were living up to their reputation of being a hard team to play against. Their corner from the left on the half hour was defended and it was swiftly back to the other end.

Anderson sent the ball to the right side of the home team’s box but Thomson’s cut back was blocked. Then in 37 minutes L Longridge sent Thonson off down the right and when he lobbed in a ball for Anderson the striker was eased off the ball by Alloa’s Andy Graham.

Four more minutes passed until a Thomson pass to Higginbotham was turned into the path of L Longridge and although he cut back from the left byeline there was no one in the middle to convert.

You could not say the first half was action packed, possession was 50/50 and only the Fifers had managed a shot on target.

Half time: Alloa Athletic 0 Dunfermline 0

When play resumed the Fifers appeared to be the more industrious. There was a Higginbotham shot then a Blair effort from 35 yards out that was deflected for a corner on the left. L Longridge met that when Blair delivered it in low but Alloa blocked Thomson’s on target shot. Another corner soon followed but Alloa defended that as well.

Then Devine intervention created a 53rd minute opener. Further up the field than expected the centre back picked out Thomson on the right and his cross was stuck away superbly into the bottom right by Bruce ANDERSON, 0-1

Next chance came from a 61st minute corner. Higginbotham receiving a low corner from Blair on the right, he connected well but there were just too many bodies between him and the goal.

Alloa responded forcing a corner themselves after L Longridge had cleared off his line. The introduction of Jordan Kirkpatrick for Jack Hamilton seemed to fire up some urgency into their play and in 70 minute Ashcroft could not prevent Zanatta getting in a shot that Scully turned around his post. The Pars survived Flannigan’s delivery from the left before earning one of their own.

Neil Parry failed to hold a 72nd minute corner but the Fifers could not capitalise. Instead it was Alloa who again came close, the first of two Flannigan corners headed behind by J Longridge.

James Vincent replaced Kallum Higginbotham in 77 minutes and next minute Alloa introduced on loan Celt, Jack Aitchison, for Alan Trouten.

Myles Hippolyte followed taking the place of Bruce Anderson for the final five minutes. In the period when Alloa are notorious for their strike backs, Dick headed over the crossbar and Graham, having been moved up headed at Scully.

The home side almost got caught on the break, Hippolyte racing away down the left and cutting back in the second minute of added time for L Longridge to force a save out of keeper Parry.

Another 1-0 win, the fourth in their last five kept the Pars in fourth place. Alloa dropped to the foot of the table after Partick Thistle scored a late winner against Dundee United.

ALLOA ATHLETIC: Neil Parry: Scott Taggart, Liam Dick, Sam Roscoe, Andy Graham, Jack Hamilton (Jordan Kirkpatrick 60), Steven Hetherington Iain Flannigan, Alan Trouten (Jack Aitchison 79): Dario Zanatta, Connor Shields (Kevin Cawley 84).
SUBS NOT USED: Jon Robertson, Reis Peggie, Adam Brown, Chris Henry (GK)

DUNFERMLINE: Ryan Scully: James Craigen, Lee Ashcroft (c), Danny Devine, Jackson Longridge: Tom Beadling, Ryan Blair: Joe Thomson, Louis Longridge, Kallum Higginbotham (James Vincent 77): Bruce Anderson (Myles Hippolyte 85).
SUBS NOT USED: Ryan Williamson, Mark Durnan, Matthew Todd, Robbie Muirhead, Cammy Gill (GK)
SCORERS: Anderson (53)

REFEREE: Euan Anderson

NEXT MATCH: Ladbrokes Championship (home) v Dundee United, Saturday 16th March 2019, 3.00pm kick off at East End Park