Ladbrokes Championship: Alloa Athletic 2 Dunfermline 1: 09/11/19
For the third season running these two Athletics were in the same league and this trip to the Indodrill Stadium on a cold and sunny November afternoon saw Dunfermline field the same starting eleven for the third successive match. No surprise at all given the back to back wins over Queen of the South and Arbroath with shut outs in both.
Stevie Crawford made two changes to his bench however to make room for Lewis McCann and, returning after six months out, Joe Thomson.
Alloa Athletic manager, Peter Grant, was without Steven Hetherington but Kevin Cawley returned for them in an otherwise unchanged team.
After one minute silence to respect Remembrance Weekend it was the visitors who kicked off attacking the goal at the south end and it was there that the first corner of the match occurred in the third minute. When Andy Ryan delivered from the right, Lee Ashcroft challenged for the ball at the far post but sent it wide left.
Alloa defended another two corners just four minutes later, Ryan’s from the right tipped behind by Jamie Macdonald and Kyle Turner overhitting the one from the left. When the ball was returned Andy Graham and then Robbie Deas headed away the danger.
Adam Brown and then Jon Robertson pushed forward for Alloa. Paul Paton headed away their first corner but Kevin O’Hara retrieved the ball and put in a useful cross from the left that Ryan Scully held.
Back at the other end Greg Kiltie created the next chance but Ryan was disappointed with his half struck shot. Then a moment of weakness let the Fifers defence down. Josh Edwards attempted to see the ball behind for a goal kick but he was robbed of possession on the left byeline by Scott Taggart and the cross for O’Hara 12 yards out, right in front of goal, saw Ashcroft go in and although he cleared, referee Craig Napier pointed to the penalty spot as O’Hara was floored. That habitual goalscorer against the Pars, Alan TROUTEN sunk the 17th minute spot kick sending Scully the wrong way. 1-0
After Kiltie earned a 23rd minute free kick on the right, Ryan sent in a decent delivery but that was headed away and Paton’s crashed return was blocked by the defence.
When Turner intercepted an Alloa pass inside his own half he was able to send Kevin Nisbet away up the right. As he cut along the inside of the box, evading Robertson he was taken down by the outstretched foot of Trouten and again the referee was pointing to the spot. NISBET took responsibility for the setpiece and tucked the ball away in the bottom left with Macdonald diving in the right direction but beaten by the pace. 1-1
The goal was no less that Dunfermline deserved, they had been playing some good football and merited being back on level terms. Next Kiltie produced a diving header that the Alloa keeper held and for the home side O’Hara was able to squeeze in a shot from the left side of the Pars box but he blasted the ball well wide and high.
There was a further blow for the Wasps when they lost Adam Brown through injury five minutes from half time. He had been one of the home side’s most influential players and he was replaced by one time Par, Robert Thomson.
Dow, Ryan and Turner all had powerful shots blocked as the Pars were all over their opponents. Nisbet had possession deep in the Alloa box but despite all the efforts the teams went in all square.
Half time: Alloa Athletic 1 Dunfermline 1
The heavy half time rain relented for the restart but in the failing light the branding from the new Lidl store stood out like a sun behind the full stand housing the Dunfermline Athletic fans.
Alloa has started the half the better but in 52 minutes they survived loud appeals for another penalty when the ball struck Robertson sixteen yards out.
After a couple of Taggart crosses were blocked, Trouten latched on to the ball and in trying to force his way in from the right forced a 55th minute corner that the home side over hit. Nisbet then brought a great save out of Macdonald after Dow had taken advantage of a misplaced pass that was blocked and came back to Nisbet. The resultant corner saw Ashcroft hard the ball on to the crossbar.
The tempo had risen and any thought of the cold weather was long forgotten. Macdonald flew out to punch away another Dunfermline cross before another Taggart cross was slid behind at the near post by Martin. When Blair Malcolm delivered Scully took care of it.
Another handball claim when Ryan’s 63rd minute shot was stopped by Malcolm went unpenalised. Graham however received a telling from the ref for pulling down Ryan 26 yards out. When Nisbet drove the ball into the wall there were more appeals for a penalty but play continued and Turner belted his effort to convert the loose ball narrowly over the bar.
Kiltie sent Nisbet away down the left channel, he cut inside when challenged and released a good effort from the edge of the box that again tested Macdonald. Alloa then took an opportunity to take a 72nd minute lead. From a quickly taken corner Iain Flannigan from 30 yards out on the right, dispatched a difficult ball to just beyond the far post where CAWLEY raced in to send his diving header past Scully. 2-1
Lewis McCann was introduced in place of Andy Ryan for the last thirteen minutes. The Pars searched for an equaliser but McCann’s first pass into the box was blocked and Kiltie drove his opportunity over the top.
A bigger miss however was Cawley’s 83rd minute effort where he tried to tee up the perfect shot before sending a blistering shot over the bar. McCann and then Dow won corners on the right but the home defence held.
Nisbet picked out Tom Beadling with a cross from the left but the 85th minute subs’ blasted net bound effort was deflected behind off the diving Deas and McCann then headed Kiltie’s corner narrowly over the bar.
Gabby McGill was also thrown on as the Pars tried to salvage a point but dogged defending by the Clackmannanshire outfit saw them over the line for the three points and up to eighth.
ALLOA ATHLETIC: Jamie MacDonald: Scott Taggart, Andy Graham c), Robbie Deas, Blair Malcolm: Kevin Cawley, Jon Robertson, Iain Flannigan, Adam Brown (Robert Thomson 40): Alan Trouten, Kevin O`Hara.
SUBS NOT USED: Liam Buchanan, Nathan Gilhooley, Cameron O`Donnell, Paul Gillespie, Chris Henry (GK)
SCORERS: Trouten (17 pen.), Cawley (72)
DUNFERMLINE: Ryan Scully: Aaron Comrie, Lee Ashcroft, Lewis Martin, Josh Edwards (Gabby McGill 87): Ryan Dow, Paul Paton (c), Kyle Turner (Tom Beadling 85) Greg Kiltie, Kevin Nisbet, Andy Ryan (Lewis McCann 77)
SUBS NOT USED: Harry Cochrane, Danny Devine, Joe Thomson, Cammy Gill (GK)
SCORERS: Nisbet (33 pen.)
REFEREE: Craig Napier
WEATHER: Sunny 6C
NEXT MATCH: William Hill Scottish Cup (away) v Stranraer, Saturday 23rd November 2019, kick off 3.00pm at Stair Park