SFL v Hamilton Accies
DUNFERMLINE 0 HAMILTON ACCIES 5 Date: 20/10/07
Fixture: Irn Bru SFL Division One
Attendance: 3856, Kick off 15.00
Referee: Steve Conroy
The home fixture against Hamilton Accies was a great chance for the Pars to narrow the gap between them and the league leaders, unfortunately the match only provided evidence of the massive progress that Dunfermline will need to make if they want to avoid another season playing in the First Division.
For only the second time in his managerial term at Dunfermline, Stephen Kenny named an unchanged team. Hamilton brought in Alex Neil with Tony Stevenson dropping to the bench.
The Pars kicked off attacking the goal in front of the 174 Hamilton supporters who had made the trip through to Fife but it was the league leaders who got off to the best possible start with Jim McARTHUR notching a goal within four minutes. Sol Bamba was dispossessed as he tried to go forward allowing the Hamilton player to break from 45 yards out and drill his way down an empty channel to prod the goal beyond Gallacher from the edge of the box.
Dunfermline`s first opportunity to get something back came nine minutes later when David Elebert fouled Jim Hamilton and Tam McManus drove the 30 yard free kick narrowly over Halliwell`s crossbar. Hamilton looked comfortable and continued to pass the ball well. Gallacher was forced to save another good effort when McArthur connected with a cross from the right but they were presented with a second goal in 18 minutes.
A short header back from Bamba gave Paul Gallacher no chance and Jim McCARTHY nipped in to gather. He took his goal well and drew boos from the East End faithful as his team took a two goal advantage.
Midway through the half Hamilton defender Mark McLaughlin and Mark Burchill clashed in a challenge. The Pars were awarded a free kick and after a lengthy period o treatment to the visitor Stephen Glass attempted to pick out Jim Hamilton on the right side of the penalty box but the big striker just couldn`t get enough control on the ball.
Another Bamba error almost let McArthur in again but Gallacher came out on top when the big defender recovered to drive the ball off David Winters and back to his keeper. The Fifers didn`t get off so lightly in 31st minute when Richard OFFIONG took a chance 25 yards out on the right side and hit a fierce dipping shot into the Pars net.
In 38 minutes Glass fired a long range effort outside Bryn Halliwell`s left hand post but really the Pars were getting nowhere near hurting their opponents. Offiong broke away from Bamba in the 41st minute and Scott Wilson was shown a yellow card as he stopped the Hamilton man 20 yards out. Fortunately Winters lofted the free kick over the crossbar.
It was a miserable first half for the Pars and after giving their opponents an early lead the Lanarkshire outfits` confidence just grew and grew. The second half just had to be better.
Half Time: Dunfermline 0 Hamilton Accies 3
Stephen Kenny introduced Darren Young and Owen Morrison for the second half, withdrawing Nick Phinn and Jim Hamilton. Accies kicked off the second half and within 13 seconds had extended their lead. A through ball was played against David WINTERS by the luckless Bamba and the Hamilton player neat chipped the ball into the far corner from 18 yards.
Owen Morrison did get a shot in and then was brushed aside on the top of the opposition box before an Offiong break on the left sprung the home defence and his well timed delivery was perfectly converted by WINTERS running in from the right, for number five! Just 53 minutes on the clock but a hopeless task facing the East End Park men, droves home fans chose to watch no more.
Burchill sent Tam McManus down the left in 61 minutes and who looked as though he was in for a goal until McLaughlin came crunching in with a well timed tackle to save the shut out. Glass had a long ranged shot blocked and Crawford headed over a Glass cross. The substitution of Richard Offiong and David Elebert changed little for Accies whose fans were pinching themselves as they chanted for six.
Crawford drove in a low shot on target that Halliwell stopped dropping to his right. This was really the first time that Dunfermline had forced the Hamilton keeper to make a save. The keeper was out spritely to clutch a Ryan corner over from the right, just their second of the match, with five minutes to go but there was to be no way past the former Pars keeper.
Hamilton went home with three of the easiest points they are likely to collect this season as they recorded their best ever league win over Dunfermline Athletic. As for the Pars, there were no stars and most of their supporters would have been content had the match ended long before 4.50pm.Â Stephen Kenny and his players were left to puzzle out just what went wrong.
DUNFERMLINE: Paul Gallacher; Calum Woods, Souleymane Bamba, Scott Wilson, Scott Muirhead; Tam McManus, Nick Phinn (Darren Young HT), Stevie Crawford (c)(Bobby Ryan 81), Stephen Glass; Jim Hamilton (Owen Morrison HT), Mark Burchill.
SUBS NOT USED: Sean Murdoch, Jamie Harris.
YELLOW CARD: Wilson (42).
HAMILTON ACCIES: Bryn Halliwell; Tom Parratt, Brian Easton, James McCarthy (Tony Stevenson 68), David Elebert (Chris Swailes 62), Mark McLaughlin, David Winters, James McAthur, Richard Offiong (Brian Wake 62), Alex Neil, Mark Gilhaney
SUBS NOT USED: , Tomas Cerny, Paul McLeod
SCORERS: McArthur (4), McCarthy (18), Offiong ((31), Winters (46, 53)
YELLOW CARD: McArthur (69)
WEATHER: Overcast 15ÂºC
NEXT MATCH: (away) SFL v Stirling Albion, Saturday 28th October 2007, kick off 3.00pm