Ladbrokes Championship: Dunfermline 0 Alloa Athletic 0: 15/09/18
From the side that played the previous week at Borehamwood, Kallum Higginbotham dropped out and Myles Hippolyte came in.
For their first league match at East End Park since May 1985, Alloa Athletic made five changes from the side that knocked Dundee United out of the Irn Bru Cup on penalties last time out. Out went Jon Robertson, Greig Spence, Connor Shields, Adam Brown and Reid Peggie, in their place there was Sam Roscoe, Steven Hetherington, Kevin Cawley, Jake Hastie and Alan Trouten.
Dunfermline wore Poppy red shirts to commemorate “The Seven Heroes of Moeuvres, September 1918” and the teams changed ends before the home side kicked off attacking the goal at the McCathie Stand End. First keeper in serious action was Alloa’s Neil Parry scurrying to gather a Faissal El Bakhtaoui prod into the left side of the penalty box that sought Jackson Longridge.
In third minute Louis Longridge sent in a good cross from the right that skipper Andy Graham headed clear before the visitors forced two fifth minute corners with James Craigen eventually clearing the threat.
There was more action right in front of the Alloa goal as El Bakhtaoui sent a L Longridge pass across the goalmouth and Craigen turned it back for Hippolyte but he could not direct the shot on target. Alloa pushed up with Lee Ashcroft clearing. Dario Zanatta collected but his cut back was intercepted. Hippolyte was sent away on the counter but opted to try a shot himself and that was blocked.
Robbie Muirhead was played a nicely waited pass from El Bakhtaoui but chose to shoot from the angle as he made the penalty box. Parry dropped to his right to hold the 19th minute effort. Two minutes later Muirhead provided his partner with a good chance 15 yards out but Parry was out quick and got the break to deny the goal.
An El Bakhtaoui shot deflected off Graham for another Pars corner but that was ably defended. Then on 25 minutes two telling blocks kept out strong attempts from Zanatta and then Trouten. Ashcroft and J Longridge making the important interventions.
Next El Bakhtaoui got the better of Graham, survived Cawley’s effort to disposses him and sent the ball to the far corner of the Alloa box but L Longridge was robbed by Dick. Joe Thomson’s 30th minute snapshot was deflected for a corner and even though the Fifers forced another Parry got both hands to Muirhead’s second setpiece.
Alloa forced two corners in 33rd minute raising the hopes of the travelling support but Jake Hastie‘s second was well held by Lee Robinson stretching high above everyone else.
When J Longridge slid in to meet Hippolyte’s 41st minute cross, the Pars man was really unlucky not to add to his tally but the ball sneaked wide left. 54% first half possession, five corners and five shots but no goals at the interval.
Half time: Dunfermline Athletic 0 Alloa Athletic 0
First note of the second half was a 52nd minute yellow card for Hippolyte for cutting down Hetherington but when he sent in the free kick from the right it was an easy take for Robinson. A Muirhead free kick three minutes later found Durnan on the far side of the box but his headed attempt went wide right.
The on loan Jambo Zanatta was next to threaten and it was a fine tackle from Craigen that prevented a shot. Then a Durnan challenge on Trouten gave Alloa another opportunity to lob a long ball towards the home box. Graham rose to head the ball across goal and Robinson’s chest kept out Trouten’s touch.
The keepers then held crosses, Robinson from Taggart and then Parry from Muirhead. Allan Johnston made a 64th minute double substitution, Louis Longridge and Myles Hippoyte being withdrawn to be replaced by Andy Ryan and Aidan Connolly. The latter showed early intent striking a low shot narrowly wide right.
Next Connolly fed El Bakhtaoui but his shot was beaten away. Alloa had everyone back and El Bakhtaoui ran out of space as he tried to get in a shot. Connolly again raced upfield from an El Bakhtaoui pass but Thomson’s shot did not trouble Parry.
Graham picked up a 79th minute yellow card as he tumbled Muirhead 20 yards out and from the free kick Connolly hit the roof of the Alloa net but unfortunately the outside of it. Next as Ryan was stopped on the left the ball came back to Muirhead but his shot was wayward.
Another Alloa setpiece in 82 minutes was headed away by Durnan but Alloa were not giving up in their quest for the winner. Ryan was offside when Longridge tried to switch play to the other end and then Craigen’s pass was taken out by Dick as the home side attacked.
Shields was offside as Hastie tried to pick him out on the right and Ryan was yellow carded a the frustration showed. Connolly’s free kick was headed away by Graham and Parry held the last attempt a lobbed effort from Durnan.
Alloa celebrated what they clearly felt was a good point and extended their unbeaten run to five matches.
DUNFERMLINE: Lee Robinson: James Craigen, Lee Ashcroft (c), Mark Durnan, Jackson Longridge: Louis Longridge (Andy Ryan 64), James Vincent, Joe Thomson, Myles Hippolyte (Aidan Connolly 64): Robbie Muirhead, Faissal El Bakhtaoui.
SUBS NOT USED: Malaury Martin, Matthew Todd, Danny Devine, Cammy Gill (GK).
YELLOW CARD: Hippolyte (52), Ryan (86)
ALLOA ATHLETIC: Neil Parry: Scott Taggart, Andy Graham (c), Sam Roscoe, Liam Dick: Kevin Cawley (Connor Shields 76), Iain Flannigan, Steven Hetherington, Jake Hastie, Alan Trouten (Liam Burt 61), Dario Zanatta (Greig Spence 73).
SUBS NOT USED: Jon Robertson, Adam Brown, Reis Peggie, Chris Henry (GK).
YELLOW CARD: Flannigan (60), Graham (79), Hetherington (88)
REFEREE: Mike Roncone
WEATHER: Cloudy 14C
NEXT MATCH: Ladbrokes Championship (away) v Morton, Saturday 22nd September 2018 at Cappielow
50/50 half time draw winning ticket is ticket: 306359 for the prize of £640
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