SPFL Championship: DUNFERMLINE 1 QUEEN OF THE SOUTH: 07/03/17
For the re-arranged match against Queen of the South manager Allan Johnston went with the same starting eleven as faced Dumbarton on Saturday. Queen of the South made three changes from the team beaten by Falkirk. Two former Pars players Andy Dowie and Derek Lyle dropped to the bench and Jordan Marshall was out altogether. In came another former Par Chris Higgins, Jamie Hammil and Lyndon Dykes. Scott Mercer a product of the Dunfermline youth system continued in defence.
Queen of the South had played all of their previous five matches at home and had a rollercoaster lose-win sequence in their last six matches. They arrived at East End Park unbeaten away from home since before Christmas.
The Doonhammers kicked off attacking the goal at the McCathie Stand end but it was Dunfermline who pushed up early and got into a useful position but failed to get away the third minute shot. Next minute Paul McMullan was caught by John Rankin and despite the Pars man requiring treatment no free kick was given. The home number 18 was fit to continue.
The Pars were unlucky in seventh minute when Andy Geggan bore in on goal and when his shot was deflected the ball just didn`t sit up for Michael Moffat. Five minutes later keeper Lee Robinson was out to take a Jason Talbot pass before it could reach McMullan. Then Higgins cut out a long ball from Callum Morris intended for Michael Moffat.
Queen of the South did win a 15th minute corner when Dykes played the ball off Geggan but Nicky Clark was first to head the corner away before Stephen Dobbie was caught offside. The Pars went ahead two minutes later when the ball came through to MOFFAT and evading a challenge, slotted the opener in. 1-0
Gary Naismith`s men had two chances to immediately get back on level terms. Morris blocked a right footed Dom Thomas effort and next Joe Thomson fired high and wide from outside the box. A Thomas corner at the midway point of the first half was taken by Sean Murdoch and then Lee Ashcroft headed clear a dangerous cross from the on loan Motherwell player. However eleven minutes after going behind Queens pulled it back. A Rankin shot was blocked but THOMSON followed up to stick the ball in the bottom left from close in. 1-1
Higgins had to clear a Kallum Higginbotham cross, Geggan crossed and Clark was unlucky not to get his head to it but it was fairly open as the visitors also threatened. Morris headed a Thomas cross behind and Wedderburn cleared when Thomas delivered. Thomson fired wide and Murdoch made a fine block on a Dobbie effort on the angle four minutes from the break.
In an effort to snatch a half time lead McMullan embarked down the left, made ground into the box and cut back for Moffat but his shot was blocked. First half possession revealed 53% to the visitors, they had more shots than the Pars and led 4-0 on corners. But it`s goals that count and it was all square after the first 45 plus two added minutes.
Half time: Dunfermline 1 Queen of the South 1
Clark got the second half underway and straight away forced their first corner of the match off Rankin. Higginbotham delivered but Ashcroft`s header on target is taken by Robinson. Within a minute another corner this time conceded by Higgins was headed cleared by Jamie Hamill.
QOS first showing of the second period was a wildly hit shot from Thomas in 50th minute. They did earn themselves a corner on the right that Thomas hit into the sidenetting. Still it was the visitors pressing for the next goal, Wedderburn headed away a Hamill cross and then Dobbie saw his left footed shot from outside the box held by Murdoch.
The game required something to kick start it again and Allan Johnston made his first change introducing Joe Cardle for Kallum Higginbotham in 63 minutes. Again it was the visitors who got in shots however. Thomas missed to the right and in 71 minutes Murdoch palmed away a Dobbie shot that was destined for the top right corner.
As the match entered its final fifteen minutes Cardle and Moffat linked up but the final ball let them down. Then there was a fine chance for Clark but the ball came back off the left post. Two further substitutions followed by the Pars, Gavin Reilly for Michael Moffat and Michael Paton for Paul McMullan. John Herron headed Paton`s first cross into the arms of Robinson and then Cardle came close getting on the end of a Paton free kick but whizzing the ball wide left.
The Fifers pushed for the winner and from an 85th minute free kick to the right of the penalty box the ball fell to Morris but his overhead kick failed to do the business.
Paton then supplied a cross that Herron headed at the keeper. Again Dunfermline kept going but a corner in the second minute of added time that provided the last chance, was wasted.
Clark and Herron had the best chances to grab the winner but in the end there was not to be one. A point apiece probably suited Queen of the South more and they retain their fifth place spot and a four point advantage over the Pars.
DUNFERMLINE: Sean Murdoch: Andy Geggan (c), Callum Morris, Lee Ashcroft, Jason Talbot: Nat Wedderburn: Kallum Higginbotham ((Joe Cardle 63), John Herron, Paul McMullan (Michael Paton 76): Nicky Clark, Michael Moffat (Gavin Reilly 76).
SUBS NOT USED: Rhys McCabe, Callum Fordyce, Lewis Spence, Cammy Gill (GK)
SCORERS: Moffat (17)
QUEEN OF THE SOUTH: Lee Robinson: Scott Mercer, Chris Higgins, Darren Brownlie, Jamie Hamill: John Rankin, Joe Thomson (Owen Bell 88), Kyle Jacobs, Lyndon Dykes (Dale Hilson 83), Dom Thomas , Stephen Dobbie (Derek Lyle 83)
SUBS NOT USED: Andy Dowie, Conner Murray, Danny Carmichael, Jim Atkinson (GK)
SCORERS: Joe Thomson (28)
YELLOW CARD: Rankin (26), Brownlie (86)
REFEREE: Euan Anderson
WEATHER: Cloudy 6C
NEXT MATCH: Ladbrokes Championship: (away) v St Mirren Saturday 11th March at the Paisley 2021 Stadium, kick off 3.00pm