Dunfermline Athletic

Arbroath 1 Dunfermline 5

Friday, 9th Dec 2022

SPFL Trust Trophy: Macdonald, Hamilton and Todorov started. Kyle Macdonald (6) 0-1: Matty Todd (19) 0-2: Kyle Benedictus (22) 0-3: Matty Todd (36) 0-4: Craig Wighton (68) 0-5: Thomas O’Brien (74) 1-5

Dunfermline travelled to Gayfield to meet Arbroath in the Fourth Round of the SPFL Trust Trophy. Three on-loan players - Kane Ritchie-Hosler, Chris Mochrie and Robbie Mahon - were unavailable due to being cup tied with their parent clubs. Manager James McPake made three changes with Kyle Macdonald coming in for Aaron Comrie and Chris Hamilton and Nikolay Todorov taking the places of the absent Mochrie and Ritchie-Hosler.

Arbroath too had players unavailable - Dylan Tait and Scott Bitsindou - while Michael McKenna, Scott Allan and Bobby Linn were dropped to the bench as Dick Campbell made six changes from the previous Saturday. Former Par Cammy Gill was in goal displacing Derek Gaston for this game.

It was a really still and cold evening on the Angus coast, perfect for football. In the first half Dunfermline were attacking the goal at the Pleasureland end. The visitors forced a corner on the right within two minutes but when Joe Chalmers swung the ball over Arbroath cleared.

Dunfermline went ahead in sixth minute after Todorov set up Todd to his left to cut the ball across the penalty box. Todorov left it for MACDONALD to his right to score his first goal of the season. 0-1

Seven minutes later Chalmers found himself on the right after delivering a corner that had been defended. He made ground before releasing a screamer of a shot that narrowly cleared the target. Another corner from the left then created more danger for Arbroath with Todd taking it short to Chalmers, Todorov heading goalwards but the defence smothering the chance for Wighton in front of goal.

It was one way traffic and Macdonald forced a good save out of Gill in 17 minutes but Devro Corfe’s effort at the other end brought Deniz Mehmet into serious action. The keeper parried the ball away and Arbroath had a corner on the right. That worked out in Dunfermline’s favour when Wighton launched a great ball up the park and TODD carried the ball from just inside his own half to beat Gill with a left footed shot at the left upright. 0-2

Three minutes later in 22 minutes, Kyle BENEDICTUS powered a shot on target from a Chalmers corner and despite Fosu’s efforts on the goalline it was 0-3.

Play was halted in six minutes later when Fosu and Chris Hamilton collided but after treatment both were able to resume. Todorov fed Hamilton who then sent Todd through on goal but Gill did well to block the shot. Next it was a Hamilton shot that got blocked but when Macdonald came in from the right he chipped the ball for TODD to head into the bottom left. 0-4

When Macdonald was taken down the Pars were awarded a free kick 25 yards out but Rhys Breen’s attempt to get on the scoresheet flew wildly over the bar. Nevertheless it had been a great first 45 minutes for the Fifers and they thoroughly deserved their four goal lead at the interval. The first time that they had led by that margin since 30th November 2019 at home to Partick Thistle.

Dunfermline enjoyed 64% first half possession and had managed 11 shots to their hosts 2.

Half time: Arbroath 0 Dunfermline 4

No surprise then that Arbroath made three changes before the restart with Michael McKenna, Keaghan Jacobs and Bobby Linn introduced in place of Fosu, Corfe and Isiaka.

Initially Arbroath certainly engaged the Dunfermline defence more but Macdonald did well to control the ball on the left and when his defender slipped opted to shoot but his 59th minute shot cleared the crossbar. The home side then suffered a further setback as sub Keaghan Jacobs had to retire and on the hour Dale Hilson became their fourth sub of the evening,

A Chalmers free kick from 30 yards out targeted Todorov but Thomas O’Brien intercepted. There was no such result when Chalmers picked out Todd from his own half and his pass in 68 minutes WIGHTON ran on to convert in style to the top right. 0-5

A fine cross field lob from Fisher to Edwards saw the wingback cross a good ball towards Todorov but the danger was cleared with two corners following that changed nothing. A 74th Linn free kick was headed behind and from the corner on the left O’BRIEN hammered the ball home from the right. 1-5

To concede a goal was a setback but Dunfermline saw the tie out comfortably. The only surprise was the delay until the 89th minute to bring on any substitutes. Taylor Sutherland and Andrew Tod replacing Wighton and Todorov.

Dunfermline were definitely up for the cup, their first win at Gayfield since November 2020 came after a season of four defeats against this opposition. Mission accomplished Dunfermline Athletic are through to the quarter finals of this season’s SPFL Trust Trophy and they eagerly await the draw to see who they are up against next.

ARBROATH: Cammy Gill: Marcel Oakley, Ricki Little, Thomas O’Brien (c), Colin Hamilton: Daniel Fosu (Bobby Linn HT), David Gold, Florent Hoti, Deri Corfe (Keaghan Jacobs HT (Dale Hilson 60), Kieran Shanks, Kareem Isiaka (Michael McKenna HT)
SUBS NOT USED: Scott Stewart, Derek Gaston (GK)
SCORERS: O’Brien (74)
YELLOW CARD: Shanks (85)

DUNFERMLINE: Deniz Mehmet: Sam Fisher, Kyle Benedictus (c), Rhys Breen: Kyle Macdonald, Chris Hamilton, Joe Chalmers, Josh Edwards: Matthew Todd: Craig Wighton (Andrew Tod 89), Nikolay Todorov (Taylor Sutherland 89).
SUBS NOT USED: Aaron Comrie, Jake Rennie, Sam Young, Michael Beagley, Max Little (GK)
SCORERS: Macdonald (6), Todd (19, 36), Benedictus (22), Wighton (68)
YELLOW CARD: Fisher (80)

REFEREE: Chris Graham

NEXT MATCH: cinch League One (away) v Airdrieonians, Saturday 17th December 2022, kick off 3.00pm at the Excelsior Stadium

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