Dunfermline Athletic

Alloa Athletic 0 Dunfermline 2

Saturday, 6th May 2023

cinch League One: Kyle Benedictus and Lewis McCann start in place of Chris Hamilton and Chris Mochrie. Craig Wighton (64) 0-1: Paul McGowan (68) 0-2

Match day 36 took Dunfermline Athletic to play Alloa Athletic. The Pars were already crowned champions and the Wasps had already clinched a place in the Championship play-offs. The hosts had third place to play for in an attempt to overtake Airdrieonians.

Kyle Benedictus returned having served his one match suspension following his red card against Airdrieonians two weeks ago. Lewis McCann also came into the starting eleven with the two Chris - Hamilton and Mochrie - dropping to the bench.

Alloa Athletic made four changes, out went George Stanger, Stefan Scougall, Luke Strachan, Conor Sammon and in came Mark Durnan, Adam King, Cameron O`Donnell, and Quinn Coulson.

There was a sizeable travelling support inside the Indodrill Stadium all optimistic for a 28th Pars win of the season. Craig Wighton kicked off attacking the goal at the street end and it was he who has the first opportunity of the match lining well with Kane Ritchie-Hosler but final ball just not enough to hit the target.

Dunfermline enjoyed most of the early possession, spreading the ball around comfortably. In ninth minute Ewan Otoo picked out Joe Chalmers on the left but his cross was just too high for McCann to head home. Alloa’s first attempt in 13th minute was an on target shot from 25 yards out from the boot of Murray Mitchell but Deniz Mehmet dropped to his left to hold.

A Paul Allan cross from the right created a chance for Wighton at the far post but the defence did its job and Dunfermline’s 14th minute corner was the first of the game. Unfortunately former Par Mark Durnan got that away.

The Fifers were well on top but finding their opponents hard to break down so when Wighton burst through in 25th minute it was disappointing that Alloa’s 19 year old keeper got the touch to concede a corner on the right. Jay Hogarth held from the setpiece.

Otoo was forward to earn a 32nd minute corner but that was over hit and the pressure was off the Wasps again. At the other end Coulson sent a 30 yard effort wide right. Then a Murray shot hit off the back of Otoo for a 36 minute Alloa corner. O’Donnell’s delivery from the right looked good for Devine but the Pars kept him out and Durnan sent his follow up over the crossbar.

Alloa created another chance two minutes from the break with Durnan and Doyle combining on the right before the former smashed his shot over the bar. Despite Dunfermline’s dominance with 69% first half possession it was Alloa won led on shots 5 to 3 but its goals that matter.

Half time: Alloa Athletic 0 Dunfermline 0

The Fifers seemed to start the second 45 with great intent and Wighton had a good opportunity blocked after only 20 seconds. Paul McGowan sent a shot wide and then in 49 minutes McCann had a powerful shot from an angle on the left touched over the bar.

Ritchie-Hosler forced a 58th minute corner and when Chalmers sent the ball over from the right Hogarth pulled off a great save to keep out McCann’s header from point blank range. Allan fired wide right before he was subbed for Chris Mochrie.

Ritchie-Hosler then played an inviting through ball that saw McCann dispossess half time sub George Stanger but the striker shot wide left to everyone’s disappointment. Two minutes later however in finding the net Craig WIGHTON became only the sixth Pars player this century to score 20 goals in league and cup matches in a season.

It was Ritchie-Hosler’s pass into the right side of the Alloa box that McCann then hit at target, Hogarth turned away the shot but the striker followed up to net. 0-1

Just four minutes later McGOWAN scored the Pars second with a classy lob. Chalmers launched the ball from the centre circle in towards the right of the opposition box. The on-loan Dundee man let the ball bounce twice before hooking it into the far side of the net. 0-2

McCann broke up the left and almost squeezed the ball home at Hogarth’s near post. He was then subbed in 74 minutes by Nikolay Todorov with Kyle Macdonald replacing Kane Ritchie-Hosler at the same time. Robbie Mahon and Miller Fenton followed six minutes later with Joe Chalmers and Josh Edwards going off.

Mahon immediately placed his mark on the match firstly with a fine pass that sent Macdonald in on the right and then with a surging run that he ended with a dangerous ball in that Hogarth had to deal with.

The 2-0 final scoreline punctuated the final chapter of the Pars League One, thankfully short, story. The 24th league match undefeated, the 24th clean sheet of the season and a new points record for a League One season. With 21 goals scored against this team they set a new club record for number of goals conceded in a league season, beating a record (27) that has lasted 110 years. As the country enters its Carolean Era, Dunfermline Athletic embark on a new era looking forward to competing in the Championship yet again.

Well done to James McPake, Dave Mackay and their players, the season 2022-2023 has been one of successes, records and great memories. Here’s to the next!

ALLOA ATHLETIC: Jay Hogarth: Michael Doyle, Andy Graham, Mark Durnan (Steven Buchanan 82), David Devine (George Stanger HT): Kevin Cawley (Luke Donnelly 66), Murray Miller, Cameron O`Donnell: Adam King, Quinn Coulson (Luke Rankin 88): Ross MacIver (Conor Sammon 66)
SUBS NOT USED: Nathan Cannon, Willie Muir (GK).

DUNFERMLINE: Deniz Mehmet: Aaron Comrie, Kyle Benedictus (c), Ewan Otoo, Josh Edwards (Miller Fenton 80): Kane Ritchie-Hosler ( (Kyle Macdonald 74), Paul Allan(Chris Mochrie 69), Joe Chalmers (Robbie Mahon 80), Paul McGowan, Lewis McCann (Nikolay Todorov, 74), Craig Wighton.
SUBS NOT USED: Chris Hamilton, Taylor Sutherland, Max Little (GK)
SCORERS: Wighton (64), McGowan (68)
YELLOW CARD: Allan (51)

REFEREE: Calum Scott
WEATHER: Showery 14°C

NEXT MATCH: Pre season friendly (home) v St Pauli, Friday 23rd June 2023, kick off 7.30pm at the KDM Group East End Park

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