Betfred Cup: Dunfermline 6 Albion Rovers 0: 17/07/19

Albion Rovers came to East End Park looking for their first win there since February 1984. The sides had only met once before in this Scottish League Cup competition, Dunfermline winning 4-0 at home on 21st August 1990.

Both sides had taken full points from their opening fixture and Pars manager Stevie Crawford and his counterpart Kevin Harper both made two changes from their winning weekend teams.

Andy Ryan dropped to the bench, Lewis McCann made his home starting debut, Kyle Turner started in place of Josh Coley.

Gregor Fotheringham and Jordan Stewart dropped out of the Albion Rovers starting eleven, Gary Phillips and Nicki Paterson came in. It was Paterson who kicked off for the visitors attacking the. McCathie Stand end but very soon it was to be one way traffic towards the goal at the other end.

There had already been a dangerous free kick played into the Albion box that Bryan Wharton had to head clear before the Championship side took an early lead. Just inside the Albion half on the right touchline Kyle TURNER won possession and swiftly received the ball back from Kevin Nisbet to set off on what was to be a direct solo run towards Ryan Goodfellow’s goal and he slipped the ball past the former Pars keeper to open the scoring in just the third minute. 1-0

Dunfermline’s pressure was relentless with Aaron Comrie and Ryan Dow on the right, McCann and Lewis Martin down the left and the danger of Turner and Kevin Nisbet through the middle. After winning a corner on the right Turner delivered but Jason Krones headed behind and the former Stranraer man’s second was hit too strong.

In eleven minutes Lee Ashcroft sent the ball to Nisbet wide right where his nice touch beat Ross Clarke but his final ball into six yard box Goodfellow held. At the other end the visitors’ attack were finding a resolute Fifers defence a tough nut to crack. Rovers captain Aron Lyness launched a long throw into the Pars box but Stuart Morrison headed away the danger.

Dow continue to make life difficult for his marker and got over another dangerous ball on the quarter hour that was headed clear. It was one way traffic and Dunfermline were looking threatening. Everything came together in 19 minutes for Kevin NISBET to double the lead, the former Raith striker glancing a header on Dow’s cross. 2-0

When play restarted Albion reminded their hosts that they were still around. Striker Euan East broke through the middle, beat the advancing Scully but fortunately Martin was covering back to scoop away the netbound ball.

This was only momentarily respite for Albion’s defence. At the midpoint of the half they had some head tennis to clear a free kick given for Phillips challenge on Dow. The next Dunfermline goal was only two minutes away however. Martin set off down the left wing managed to keep the ball in play before delivering a first class cross that NISBET, six yards out, only had to nod past Goodfellow. 3-0

Albion’s Phillips curled a free kick towards goal from 35 yards out but straight into Scully’s hands. Dunfermline were stringing together passes which made you start thinking we should be counting these. The move from Beadling through Paton to Comrie was typical of the play.

Turner was put through on Goodfellow in 32 minutes but forced by Goodfellow into a shot from a tight angle sent his effort wide. An Ashcroft pass was neatly flicked on by Turner but was intercepted before it could reach Beadling as the Pars surged forward.

The home side’s clean sheet did not come without being threatened at times and ten minutes from the break a little indecision between Ashcroft and Morrison allowed Declan Byrne to nip in but Scully cleared.

Again this was just a slight blip in the Pars dominance, there was lots of patience in the Pars build up play. Nisbet was played in one on one with Goodfellow but clipped the shot wide right. The patience duly paid off in 39th minute when COMRIE scored the fourth goal. After a number of completed passes Dow delivered from the right and the full back was in situ to convert. 4-0

With just five minutes to the break you could have excused Dunfermline had they coasted in until half time. Not so. When Dow sent in another pass Turner, close in, connected well and there were half hearted appeals for a penalty as Lynas dived along the goal line keeping the ball out with his chest.

Nisbet stole possession off Krones but sent his attempt from 20 yards out wide right. His first ever senior hat trick seemed to be evading him again but right on half time when Wharton failed to reach the long ball from Paton, NISBET was able to run on and stick the ball past the advancing keeper. Unfortunately Goody was knocked out in the clash with the goalscorer and was stretchered off.

Half time: Dunfermline 5 Albion Rovers 0

The League Two side made two substitutions before the restart. Albion’s third choice keeper Chris Smith came on between the sticks and Sean Fagan came on for Jason Krones. The Lanarkshire club came out showing a bit more bite than before and were clearly sent out to make amends for their first half performance.

What seemed like Albion Rovers first corner came in 52 minutes. Roberts sent the cross on from the left, the ball was headed away but Guiliano Morena was ideally placed to strike an effort from 25 yards out that Scully superbly saved.

Tough for Rovers but the Pars broke from the next corner with Dow feeding the ball through for TURNER and he tucked it past Smith for 6-0.

A pass back from Wharton put his 16 year old keeper under pressure, Smith slipped but recovered to deny the Pars predators.

Stevie Crawford made a double substitution in 59 minutes with Ryan Dow and Paul Paton going off to make way for Gabby McGill and Paul Allan. That was followed six minutes later by new signing Josh Edwards for Kevin Nisbet. The new boy almost scored with his first touch, narrowly failing to convert Turner’s ball from the right.

There was an excellent save by Smith to deny Comrie a second in 68 minutes and like a side with a six goal lead continued to create chances but they were caught offside and Albion were allowed to get closer to Scully’s goal.

Lynas launched a fantastic effort in 81 minutes and Byrne had the ball in the net but an offside flag had been raised. The match had been over as a contest for a long time and the Pars saw out the match to record a shut out and make it six points out of six for them in Group H.

DUNFERMLINE: Ryan Scully: Aaron Comrie, Stuart Morrison, Lee Ashcroft, Lewis Martin: Paul Paton (c) (Paul Allan 59): Ryan Dow (Gabby McGill 59), Tom Beadling, Kyle Turner: Kevin Nisbet (Josh Edwards 65), Lewis McCann.
SUBS NOT USED: Andy Ryan, Josh Coley, Tom Lang, Cammy Gill (GK)
SCORERS: Turner (3, 53), Nisbet (19, 25, 45), Comrie (40)

ALBION ROVERS: Ryan Goodfellow (Christopher Smith HT): Aron Lynas (c), Ross Clarke, Bryan Wharton, Jason Krones (Sean Fagan HT) Giuliano Morena, Scott Roberts, Nicki Paterson, Euan East, Declan Byrne, Gary Phillips.
SUBS NOT USED: Jordan Stewart, Smart Osadolor, Jack Gordon, Mark Greene, Daniel Moran
YELLOW CARD: Wharton (62), Osadolor (90+1)

REFEREE: Lloyd Wilson

NEXT MATCH: Betfred Cup: (away) v Edinburgh City, Saturday 20th July 2019, kick off 3.0m at Ainslie Park.

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