Tunnock`s Challenge Cup: Dunfermline 1 Alloa Athletic 2: 07/09/19
It has been a week where opposition has combined to thwart leader`s plans and this was yet another unwelcome example of an opposition whose strength conspired to disappoint all the optimism.
Alloa Athletic provided the opposition for the second season running running in the Challenge Cup. Now named after its sponsors Tunnockâ€™s Caramel Wafers, both sides were hoping to take the â€˜biscuitâ€™ and be in the draw for the Fourth Round on Tuesday lunchtime.
Stevie Crawford made five changes to his starting eleven. Cammy Gill was in for Ryan Scully in goals, Tom Lang and new signing Greg Kiltie made their debuts, Gabby McGill his starting debut and Matty Todd in the team. Making way for them were Danny Devine, Kevin Nisbet, Josh Coley and Lewis McCann who was on international duty with the Northern Ireland U21s.
Alloa Athletic manager Peter Grant made two changes leaving out Robbie Deas (cup tied with Celtic U20s) and Blair Malcolm to bring in Steven Hetherington and Jon Robertson. It was the visitors who kicked off attacking the goal at the McCathie Stand end against a Dunfermline side that shaped up 4-3-2-1 with McGill in the striking role.
Both sides string passes together in the opening exchanges but first threat came when former Par Robert Thomson earned an eighth minute corner on the left. Lee Ashcroft met Iain
Flanniganâ€™s delivery to clear the danger.
Five minutes later Paul Paton was forced into conceding another corner on the left and this time it was Todd who was first to Flanniganâ€™s delivery heading clear. There were a couple of Pars moves but their passing let them down and then Kiltie was dispossessed on the quarter hour as he tried to drive forward.
Next minute though the on loan player produced a great pass to put Aaron Comrie through and Andy Graham slid in to make sure the ball went behind. Lang was unlucky from Kyle Turnerâ€™s corner, his powerful header directing the ball wide right.
The crowd rallied behind the Pars as Lewis Martin broke into the left side of the Alloa box and keeper Neil Parry as he spilled his effort to save and his defence swept up. The half way point was reached with Alloa possibly having as much possession as their hosts and trying their best to spread their passes around.
The 24th minute of the match saw the first real attempt on goal, Todd releasing a low shot from 30 yards out that Parry had to dive to his right to hold. Two minutes later a good build up was punctuated by a Kiltie shot from 20 yards out but the ball cleared the Alloa crossbar.
At the other end an Alloa cut back dropped for Trouten and Cammy Gill made a good save to turn the ball over the bar. From the Alloa corner Dunfermline broke and scored. Ashcroftâ€™s header reached McGill on the right and his break saw the ball switched right for Turner and slickly returned for KILTIE. The debut boy coolly netted bottom right from 16 yards out. 1-0
That was the keeper Neil Parryâ€™s last involvement. Unable to continue the 33 year old was assisted off by two physios and Chris Henry became the first sub of the match.
Turner was fouled on the left and his free kick was destined for Ashcroft at the far post until Liam Dick headed behind. Turnerâ€™s corner was then defended but the Fifers kept up the pressure and Kiltie tested the new keeper with a shot from 20 yards that was held.
The Wasps were to live up to their nickname when they sting back five minutes from the interval. Dick powered a shot from the left side of the box and although Gill appeared to get a touch, Lang could not clear at the far post and somehow THOMSON got in to squeeze the ball home. 1-1
Sub keeper Henry blocked Ashcroftâ€™s downward header from a Turner corner and the sides went on all square.
Half time: Dunfermline 1 Alloa Athletic 1
No changes on either side as Turner got the second half underway and the Pars played most of the opening five minutes in the Alloa half without producing a shot at goal. Todd was the main provider but his crosses from the left did not create any goalscoring opportunities.
In 53 minutes however a Robertson ball in from the right was deflected towards TROUTEN on the top of the box and his shot went in off the base of the right goalpost. Yet another East End Park goal from a player who claims to love playing here. 1-2
There was almost a third Alloa goal straight away but Thomsonâ€™s overhead kick went over the top. He was then to be subbed by another former Par, Liam Buchanan.
On the hour Dunfermline made two tactical substitutions and one enforced. Andy Ryan and Kevin Nisbet came on for Matty Todd and Gabby McGill while Josh Edwards replaced Tom
Lang who walked off carrying what looked like a hamstring problem. Martin moved into the centre of the defence.
Beadling got wide right to cross a 64th minute ball to Kiltie at the near post but Henry won the ball. Alloa were certainly pushed back deeper but still there was no route through them. Receiving the ball from Turner, Ryan blasted an effort over the bar from the right side of the penalty box.
With just twenty minutes remaining Oâ€™Hara sent Cawley down the right and despite Edwards attempts to stop the cross got over a dangerous ball that Martin headed clear. Kiltie and Turner controlled the ball on the left edge of the Alloa box but when Kiltie shot his aim was wide right.
Alloa were proving hard to break down, they packed their defence forcing Paton to try a shot distance that was wildly off target. A 79th minute corner was played back to Turner but Alloa cleared from his second bite.
Three minutes later Taggart conceded a corner, again from the right and this time Nisbet met the ball at the far post but headed wide. An 85th minute corner resulted from a Turner free kick but again the defence came out on top. Beadling went down on the Alloa penalty spot and required treatment.
Pressure was on Alloa all the way to the end including the five added minutes. Sub Blair Malcolm had to come off with an injury meaning the opposition ended up with ten men. There was an appeal for a penalty when Beadlingâ€™s shot was blocked by Trouten but the Wasps hung on to see the tie out.
DUNFERMLINE: Cammy Gill: Aaron Comrie, Lee Ashcroft, Tom Lang (Josh Edwards 61), Lewis Martin: Paul Paton (c), Tom Beadling, Matthew Todd (Andy Ryan 60): Kyle Turner, Gabby McGill (Kevin Nisbet 60), Greg Kiltie.
SUBS NOT USED: Danny Devine, Josh Coley, Stuart Morrison, Ryan Scully (GK)
SCORERS: Kiltie (29)
ALLOA ATHLETIC: Neil Parry (Chris Henry 32): Jon Robertson, Andy Graham, Scott Taggart, Liam Dick: Steven Hetherington: Kevin Cawley, Alan Trouten, Iain Flannigan, Kevin O`Hara (Blair Malcolm 76), Robert Thomson (Liam Buchanan 57).
SUBS NOT USED: Adam Brown, Cameron O`Donnell, Nathan Gilhooley, Paul Gillespie.
SCORERS: Thomson (40), Trouten (53)
REFEREE: Steven McLean
WEATHER: Sunny 14C
NEXT MATCH: Ladbrokes Championship: (home) v Inverness Caley Thistle, Saturday 14th September 2019, 3.00pm kick off at East End Park.