Dunfermline Athletic

Albion Rovers 0 Dunfermline 3

Tuesday, 25th Jul 2023

Viaplay Cup Group F: two changes as Rhys Breen and Paul Allan start. Josh Edwards (23) 0-1: Craig Wighton (80) 0-2: Taylor Sutherland (88) 0-3:

Dunfermline returned to the Reigart Stadium in Coatbridge for the first time since they played Albion Rovers there in April 2016. The Fifers were seeking the three points that would keep their Viaplay Cup hopes alive.

James McPake made two changes with Kyle Benedictus and Joe Chalmers rested and Rhys Breen and Paul Allan starting. The home manager Sandy Clark made one change from his team that won at Annan on Saturday - Bright Prince being preferred to Devan McColl.

The pitch looked in good condition for what would its first match of the season. The travelling support filled the east end of the stadium and there was a good turnout of home supporters as well.

The first corner of the evening in seven minutes was conceded by Niyah Joseph and that created the opportunity for Allan to send a decent cross into the Albion box. The defence cleared only as far as Aaron Comrie on the right and his return travelled back to the left side where Lewis McCann burst in but shot wide left.

Then two minutes later Comrie whacked a shot on to the crossbar but Dunfermline had all the play and Comrie forced another corner on the right. This time the cross was big but Breen won the throw on at the corner flag. Josh Edwards produced one of his specialty long throws but Albion cleared.

The home side carelessly gave away an 18th minute corner and this time it was skipper Chris Hamilton who headed over Allan’s cross. Patrolling 25 yards out Deniz Mehmet was being engaged as an extra outfielder as Dunfermline were in total control, the only thing missing was a goal.

The opener arrived however midway through the first half. Andrew Tod cut back from the right byeline, Craig Wighton was just too far ahead to convert but Josh EDWARDS met the ball on the edge of the box to melt it through defender and keeper. 0-1

Going behind spurred a response from the home side and Mehmet was made to make two saves in as many minutes. Firstly from Joe Bevan and then, at full stretch, from Callum Wilson.

The Fifers soon got the game back under their control, assisted by a few stray passes from their opponents but facing five men strung across the back it was proving difficult to get into good scoring opportunities. A good series of passes through McCann, Wighton, and Tod set up Comrie for an attempt but only a corner would follow.

Joseph made a powerful counterattack seven minutes from the break and Mehmet was against called into serious action to preserve the lead.

Half time: Albion Rovers 0 Dunfermline 1

Otoo was pushed into midfield for the second half and in 49 minutes Kyle Benedictus replaced Sam Fisher who was suffering from a stomach bug. An Edwards run produced a corner on the left and before that was taken Joe Chalmers subbed Chris Hamilton. The corner would yield nothing and the ball went out wide right.

In 57 minutes Tod took off towards goal down a channel on the left and having past two defenders, his shot was beaten away by keeper Ross Connelly. The right goalpost then denied McCann. Lewis had a 62nd minute shot deflected behind and again it was all Dunfermline. A cute Allan chip into the Albion box was cleared and then from a 73rd minute free kick McCann whizzed the ball right through the penalty box.

That was Lewis McCann’s final act as Taylor Sutherland took over upfront. A foul on the substitute caused a free kick 28 yards out but Allan hit that over the four man wall and over the bar. Chalmers was next to try and drive a path through the solid defence but was eventually halted.

Finally in 80 minutes the Pars secured a second goal. An Edwards long throw in was flicked on by Chalmers on the left side of the penalty area and WIGHTON was handy to turn the ball past Connelly. 0-2

Sutherland had a shot blocked but he got his reward two minutes from full time. Otoo made the run and released the ball for SUTHERLAND to sink into the bottom right of the Albion net. 0-3

In 90th minute Sutherland delivered a fine ball in from the right that Wighton latched on to but keeper Connelly matched the striker’s quality with a great save. It had been a match dominated by the cinch Championship side but their patience had been tested by the Lanarkshire Rovers.

ALBION ROVERS: Ross Connelly: Adam Fernie, Sean Fagan (c), Connor Duffy: Dom McMahon, Barry Duncan, Callum Wilson ( Reece Patterson 84), Alex McCaw: Joe Bevan, Bright Prince, Niyah Joseph.
SUBS NOT USED: Josh Tran, Devan McColl, Kai McMenemy, Fraser Walker (GK), Cha Henderson

DUNFERMLINE: Deniz Mehmet: Sam Fisher (Kyle Benedictus 49), Rhys Breen, Ewan Otoo: Aaron Comrie, Paul Allan, Chris Hamilton (c) (Joe Chalmers 53), Josh Edwards: Andrew Tod, Craig Wighton, Lewis McCann (Taylor Sutherland 74).
SUBS NOT USED: Miller Fenton, Liam Hoggan, Max Little (GK)
SCORERS: Edwards (23), Wighton (80), Sutherland (88)

REFEREE: Gavin Duncan
WEATHER: Overcast 16°C

NEXT MATCH: cinch Championship (home) v Airdrieonians, Saturday 5th August 2023, kick off 3.00pm at KDM Group East End Park.

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