SFL v Dundee
DUNFERMLINE 0 DUNDEE 1 Date: 22/03/08
Fixture: Irn Bru SFL Division One
Attendance: 3972, Kick off 15.00
Referee: Alan Freeland
Dundee travelled to East End Park on the back of two defeats on the road, in the cup at Queen of the South and at Hamilton the previous Saturday. They could not afford to lose any further ground on Accies if their promotion hopes were still to be alive when the New Douglas Park men go to Dens on the last day of the season.
The visitors were missing Paul McHale and the suspended Mickael Antoine-Curier meaning both Derek Lyle and Freddie Daquin started against their old club. For the Pars, Jim McIntyre named an unchanged starting eleven.
Dunfermline kicked off attacking the goal in front of the 700 - 800 travelling support but neither side found it easy in the early exchanges to get near enough goal to try an attempt at the target. Mark Burchill`s neat pass to Stevie Crawford in seventh minute was the first to make anyone sit up but under pressure from the Dundee defence he failed to cut back the necessary cross.
Both sets of fans were growing impatient with misplaced passes and the ability of the defences to remain on top. There were glimpses of Pars intent with a quickly taken throw in by Burchill to Crawford. The lay off allowed Nick Phinn to send the ball wide left to Alex Burke and Scott Morrison just failed with the final pass into the top of the Dundee box.
Calum Woods had to leave the field in 12th minute with a cut and Stephen Simmons performed the temporary role at right back until Scott Thomson was introduced three minutes later. Phinn and Glass had wayward shots at goal but at least they were getting them in. Dundee had still not made Paul Gallacher make a save but to do that they would need to have some meaningful possession in the Pars half.
Dunfermline continued to try and find a hole in the sometimes ten man defence and almost got caught on the counterattack on 26 minutes when Kevin McDonald`s through ball was touched around Wilson by McMenamin but fortunately Gallacher was out fast to collect. Two minutes later a fairly innocuous ball broke through the centre of the Pars defence. McMenamin touched it to his left but Greg Shields was in quick to deny Daquin a shot at goal.
Craig Samson needed to be alert to stop Burchill making the best of a Phinn pass.┬ ┬ The first corner kick of the game came the visitors way in 32nd minute following a McDonald free kick that was turned behind. The corner was dealt with by Gallacher and he sent Burke on a break up the left but when the ball was eventually swung in by Simmons it was taken away by Dixon to prevent Crawford finishing it.
It was four minutes from the interval before Dunfermline won their first corner kick but when Stephen Glass whipped that over from the right it went straight into Samson`s hands. It hadn`t been the most action packed first half - a corner each and nothing for the keepers to save, that is until the first minute of added time.
Mark Burchill gathered the ball 30 yards out and made Samson pull off a good diving save as the ball dipped in towards the bottom right. The parried ball was collected by Simmons but when his cut back to Burchill came back the ball was turned out for a corner.┬ From┬ the resultant setpiece Phinn blasted Glass delivery well over the crossbar.
Half Time: Dunfermline 0 Dundee 0
Dundee started the second 45 showing the type of urgency that might have been expected from the start and Freddie Daquin got two bites at a 50th minute chance but pulled┬ the better one┬ wide right.┬ Within a minute however he took advantage of a flighted ball into the box from McDonald that beat Morrison and for the first time ever, the name DAQUIN was attributed with an East End Park goal. The 29 year old Frenchman chose to shoot across goal, beating the outstretched Gallacher┬ to find┬ the net at the far post.
The Pars almost struck right back.┬ Glass laid the ball off for Morrison to whip in a fine ball and Crawford was desperately unlucky as his glancing header went behind off the near post. The game had certainly sprung to life and Dundee were thwarted in 55th minute after a ball swung over from the left was squared from Lyle to McMenamin and Gallacher turned the shot from 13 yards over the bar.
A strong penalty claim in 59 minutes when Crawford was sent flying in the right side of the box was dismissed by Referee Alan Freeland. Next a Phinn cross was controlled by Burchill and played into the feet of his striking partner but Craw`s shot was quickly blocked.┬ Glass had a pop at goal but he was high after Burke, Burchill and Crawford had carved out the chance.
Iain Williamson was brought on for Alex Burke and the sub was fortunate not to concede┬ a penalty for his tackle back on David Cowan.┬ At the other end he caused Samson to dive at his feet.
David O`Brien was clearly offside in 71st minute as he raced on to another McDonald ball. Lyle`s slip of Wilson out on the right three minutes later let him in for a fine cross that McMenamin headed wide right when it looked easier to score. The Pars were struggling to contain Dundee as they demonstrated just why they sit in second place in the league.┬ Dixon floated another cross through the Pars box.
Bob Davidson replaced Lyle and in 78th minute made Gallacher earn his crust with a great save on the sub`s drive┬ from 14 yards.┬ From the break off the keeper, McMenamin and then McDonald then had attempts to notch the second but somehow the Pars survived.
Jim McIntyre replaced Nick Phinn with nine minutes remaining and Eddie Malone was too close to the Pars player coach in 86th minute. A┬ free kick was awarded on the edge of the box but unfortunately Scott Morrison could not repeat last week`s goal direct from a free kick. After that Dundee never looked like conceding and held on for three valuable points.
DUNFERMLINE: Paul Gallacher; Calum Woods (Scott Thomson 15), Scott Wilson (c), Greg Shields, Scott Morrison; Nick Phinn (Jim McIntyre 81), Stephen Simmons, Stephen Glass, Alex Burke (Iain Williamson 65); Mark Burchill, Stevie Crawford.
SUBS NOT USED: Sean Murdoch (GK), Kevin Harper.
DUNDEE: Craig Samson; David Cowan, Paul Dixon, Kevin McDonald, Eddie Malone, Gary MacKenzie, Freddie Daquin, Patrick Noubissie, Colin McMenamin, Derek Lyle (Bob Davidson 77),┬ David O`Brien
SUBS NOT USED: Ludovic Roy, Jani Sturm, David Worrell, Brian Clark
SCORER: Daquin (51)
WEATHER: Overcast 8┬║C
MATCH PICTURE GALLERY
NEXT MATCH: SFL (away) v Stirling Albion, Tuesday 25th March 2008, kick off 7.30pm