Ladbrokes Championship: Dunfermline 1 Alloa Athletic 3: 28/12/19
This was the third visit to East End Park this season for Peter Grant’s Alloa Athletic. The last team to take any points away from Dunfermline, they were without the injured Andy Graham and former Par Robert Thomson was moved to the bench to accommodate Adam Brown and Kevin O’Hara.
Looking for their first home win over Alloa since May 2013, Dunfermline brought in Kyle Turner, Josh Edwards and Greg Kiltie. There was no Danny Devine or Tom Beadling and McCann found himself on the bench.
The visitors kicked off through Liam Buchanan attacking the goal at the McCathie Stand end. They forced a corner within 40 seconds but Ryan Scully punched that away.
A fifth minute corner came the Pars way when Edwards dipping cross in from the left was headed behind by Robbie Deas. Turner played that in from the right but the ball was intercepted before it reached Kevin Nisbet on the eighteen yard line.
Three minutes later keeper Jamie Macdonald was out fast to prevent Kiltie getting on the end of a Nisbet ball into the Alloa box. Next Nisbet had two good chances but on both occasions was denied by the 33 year old keeper. Paul Paton’s pass to Ryan Dow was sent right for a Turner to cross and the Pars top goalscorer’s header was beaten away. He retrieved the ball and created an opening for himself on the top of the box but Macdonald dived low to his left to turn the shot around his left hand post.
Edwards head helped on the corner kick delivery from Turner but Steven Hetherington headed away and Paton’s follow up shot was blocked by Deas..
It was all Dunfermline as the quarter hour mark was reached and the visitors were penned back in their own half. Kiltie and Dow were lining well but the final ball was just not delivering the opportunities.
After all the clever build up play ironically it was a simple move that provided the opener. Aaron Comrie sent a long pass up the right, Dow crossed and NISBET headed home from inside the six yard box. 1-0
The lead was to last only 90 seconds. The Wasps went up the park, O’Hara forced a corner off Martin on the right. Hetherington swing the ball in and although Scully made a save, Martin tried to head clear but that the ball broke for Liam Dick whose attempt was blocked by Scully but Adam BROWN was able to drill home the loose ball. 1-1.
Alloa were then to take the lead just four more minutes into the game. Scott Taggart pumped a ball towards the Pars box where Edwards gathered but had his clearance charged down by Buchanan and latching on to the break Kevin O’HARA fired a low shot from the edge of the box that found the net just inside Scully’s left hand post. 1-2
Turner delivered in a 30th minute corner from the right, Alloa sent it high and Ashcroft headed the ball down for Kiltie in front of goal but an Alloa man stepped into to belt away the danger. Next it was Comrie who worked his way in on the right but when Dow was given the chance to shoot his shot from ten yards out was blocked.
Nisbet had one final opportunity to alter things before the break but played through into the left side of the Alloa box by Thomson, he sent his shot wide right. The Pars valiant efforts to get back level had been thwarted by sometimes as many as six defenders strung across the Alloa back line and the whole team lying deep.
First half stats showed 59% possession for the home team, eight shots to Alloa’s two but it was the visitors who went in ahead.
Half time: Dunfermline 1 Alloa Athletic 2
The first corner of the second half was won by Nisbet on the right but when Turner got two bites at picking out a player Alloa still cleared. Then from an Edwards cross Paton’s shot rebounded to Kiltie and his shot was deflected behind amidst appeals for a penalty from the McCathie Stand.
A free kick from Turner was defended out to Paton whose return was headed wide right by Ashcroft. Next Kiltie went up for a 51st minute Paton cross but failed to get his head on it. It certainly looked like the half time team talk had made an impact. Comrie, Dow and Kiltie beavered away on the right but headers snuffed out the final threat.
Anthony McDonald was brought on for Joe Thomson in 66 minutes as Dunfermline tried a different approach to breaking down the defences. Unfortunately it was Alloa who were to score next. Nisbet’s outstretched leg took down Jon Robertson on the right edge of his own penalty box and referee Reid pointed you the spot. FLANNIGAN stepped up, Scully went the right way but the Alloa skipper converted the setpiece in the bottom left. 1-3.
Robert Thomson replaced Liam Buchanan before a 73rd minute corner saw Dick sent the ball narrowly outside the target. Thomson then had an early chance as the no one was able to clear a cross ball but Scully saved.
Lewis McCann replaced Josh Edwards in 76 minutes as Dunfermline went three at the back. Still the home side found it hard to crack the two walls of defenders and even though they had possession not much was coming from it. Kiltie was forced into firing from the edge of the box but his aim was high.
In 84 minutes a Turner attempt from 25 yards out was blocked by Taggart. Then Martin pushed up fed Kiltie but Dow was offside as he tried the shot. Macdonald saved from Kiltie and then Martin fired wide from the corner.
There was a fine defence put up by the foot of the table team and even with ten players in the opposition half there was just no way through it. An end to the Fifers five home win run and three dropped points. Alloa yet again prove to the Pars bogey team.
DUNFERMLINE: Ryan Scully: Aaron Comrie, Lee Ashcroft, Lewis Martin, Josh Edwards (Lewis McCann 76): Paul Paton (c), Kyle Turner (Matt Todd 87), Joe Thomson (Anthony McDonald 65): Ryan Dow, Kevin Nisbet, Greg Kiltie.
SUBS NOT USED: Gabby McGill, Tom Lang, Harry Cochrane, Cammy Gill (GK)
SCORERS: Nisbet (20)
ALLOA ATHLETIC: Jamie MacDonald: Jon Robertson, Scott Taggart, Robbie Deas, Liam Dick: Kevin Cawley, Steven Hetherington, Iain Flannigan, Adam Brown, Liam Buchanan (Robert Thomson 73), Kevin O’Hara.
SUBS NOT USED: Blair Malcolm, Cammy O`Donnell, Paul Gillespie, Chris Henry (GK)
SCORERS: Brown (21), O’Hara (25), Flannigan (66 pen.)
YELLOW CARD: Brown (67), Hetherington (68)
REFEREE: Steven Reid
WEATHER: Dry 10C
NEXT MATCH: Ladbrokes Championship (home) v Ayr United, Saturday 4th January 2020, kick off 3.00pm at East End Park