Dunfermline Athletic

Airdrieonians 2 Dunfermline 1

Saturday, 13th Apr 2024

cinch Championship: Lewis McCann starts in place of Alex Jakubiak. Dean McMaster (45) 1-0: Malachi Fagan-Walcott (61) 1-1: Gavin Gallagher (63) 2-1:

It was a wet and windy afternoon that Dunfermline arrived to at the Excelsior Stadium. James McPake made one change from the previous week’s starting eleven against Partick Thistle with Lewis McCann coming in for Alex Jakubiak. 18 year old Andrew Tod took the place of Lewis on the otherwise unchanged bench.

As expected Rhys McCabe’s Airdrieonians side was the same as that which overcame Raith Rovers the previous Tuesday night. Nikolay Todorov, Gabby McGill and Callum Fordyce lined up against their former club. That win at Stark’s Park gave the Diamonds in fourth place, a six point advantage over Dunfermline, their closest rivals, in fifth.

Dunfermline wore black armbands in respect for the club’s Stadium Safety officer, Walter Logie who sadly passed earlier in the day.

Matty Todd kicked off with the Pars attacking the goal in front of their travelling support in the South Stand. It was a tentative start from both sides before the first attempt of the game in sixth minute. Chris Kane smacked a shot over the Airdrie crossbar from 25 yards out.

A long throw in from Josh Edwards in ninth minute created danger in the opposition box and the chance led to McCann heading on to the roof of the net. Then five minutes later a long ball from Kyle Benedictus hung up in the wind and Edwards caught up with the ball at the left byeline but his effort to cross ended up in the sidenetting.

It was Airdrie’s Charlie Telfer who came closest to opening the scoring, his 17th minute shot clearing Deniz Mehmet’s crossbar. The home side earned the first corner of the afternoon but referee Grant Irvine blew early for a latent push in the box on Benedictus.

An Edwards run forced a 22nd minute corner where Todd’s delivery was met by a glancing Miles Welch-Hayes header but the defence cleared. At the other end Craig Watson’s cross was missed by Todorov before being turned behind for a corner. The second phase from that was swept away for a throw in on the Pars right and play came to a halt when McGill needed treatment after Joe Chalmers challenge.

Edwards made a good block on Kanayo Megwa’s on target shot and Mehmet pulled off a fine save to deny McGill in 36 minutes. Handball against Telfer led to a 38th minute free kick that Chalmers delivered from the right. Airdrie’s initial clearance was returned and controlled by McCann and Todd for Ritchie-Hosler to pump into the left side of the Airdrie box. Malachi Fagan-Walcott then headed the ball back across goal for Chris Kane but his header cleared the crossbar.

Mehmet then fisted a Fordyce shot away for a 41st minute corner on the right that Benedictus cleared. A Telfer free kick hit the Fifers defensive wall and went behind for a 45th minute corner on the left. There was a delay while Cammy Ballantyne had to be subbed by Arron Lyall and when play resumed the corner was played short to Dean McMASTER who drilled the ball into the Dunfermline net from the edge of the box.

The home side had got to grips with the game better than their visitors and allowed them little time on the ball. They had threatened down the left side and Dunfermline switched off to concede a goal.

Half time: Airdrieonians 1 Dunfermline 0

There were two substations made by Dunfermline before play resumed. Off went Miles Welch-Hayes and Joe Chalmers to be replaced by Owen Moffat and Michael O’Halloran. Still it was the home side who threatened again with Mehmet tipping a 48th minute snapshot from Adam Frizzell around his right hand post before clutching the ball from Telfer’s corner.

The Pars keeper next had to make another good save to deny Todorov who was on the end of a Frizzell cross. In 52 minutes a Fagan-Walcott free kick was swept narrowly wide of the left upright by McCann. The big striker next broke away from his marker in the centre circle but Fordyce tracked him back to deny the pass to Kane that might have been a great opportunity for the on-loan St Johnstone player.

There was an equaliser to celebrate in 61 minutes when Todd’s corner from the left was met by the foot of FAGAN- WALCOTT at the far post 1-1.

Airdrie made two subs before the restart with Todorov and Frizzell going on with Lewis McGregor and Gavin Gallagher taking their places. The home side restored their lead within two minutes and it was GALLAGHER who found the net from a quickly taken free kick. 2-1

Andrew Tod and then Brad Holmes were introduced and Matty Todd and Lewis McCann went off. Benedictus made a great tackle to dispossess Gallagher as he raced into the Fifers box. The Pars captain complained bitterly about the contact on him and in 77 minutes was subbed by Sam Fisher.

Edwards now wearing the captain’s armband picked out O’Halloran on the right side of the Diamonds box but his shot flew over the crossbar. With Airdrie continuing to be a threat the Pars just could not get back into the match. Tod fired a 30 yard free kick at the keeper in time added on and when Kane did hit the net the offside flag had already been raised. In the fourth minute of added time Tod had the last attempt of the day but that too was saved by Robbie Hemfrey.

AIRDRIEONIANS: Robbie Hemfrey, Cammy Ballantyne (Arron Lyall 45), Craig Watson, Callum Fordyce, Mason Hancock, Dean McMaster, Adam Frizzell (c) (Lewis McGregor 61), Charlie Telfer (Chris Donnell 86), Kanayo Megwa, 
Gabby McGill (Calum Gallagher 86), Nikolay Todorov (Gavin Gallagher 61)
SUBS NOT USED: Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, Josh O’Connor, Elliot Dunlop, David Hutton (GK).
SCORERS: McMaster (45), G Gallagher (63)
YELLOW CARD: Todorov (57)

DUNFERMLINE: Deniz Mehmet, Miles Welch-Hayes (Michael O’Halloran HT), Kyle Benedictus (c) (Sam Fisher 77), Malachi Fagan-Walcott, Kane Ritchie-Hosler, Joe Chalmers (Owen Moffat HT), Ewan Otoo, Josh Edwards, Matty Todd (Andrew Tod 66), Chris Kane, Lewis McCann (Brad Holmes 72).
SUBS NOT USED: Rhys Breen, Taylor Sutherland, Xavier Benjamin, Max Little (GK)
SCORERS: Fagan-Walcott (61)

REFEREE: Grant Irvine
WEATHER: Wet and windy 10°C

NEXT MATCH: cinch Championship (home) v Queen’s Park, Saturday 20th April 2024, kick off 3.00pm at KDM Group East End Park

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