Dunfermline Athletic

Arbroath 2 Dunfermline 3

Saturday, 30th Mar 2024

cinch Championship: Fisher in for Welch-Hayes. Ewan Otoo (24) 0-1: Paul Allan (33) 0-2: Chris Kane (45) 0-3: Scott Stewart (53) 1-3: Scott Stewart (64) 2-3:

Match 31 of the Championship season and Dunfermline were away to bottom of the table Arbroath. Sunshine and just a breeze by Gayfield Park standards greeted the Fifers. Manager James McPake made one change from his starting eleven at Cappielow the previous week - Miles Welch-Hayes left out as a precaution, replaced by Sam Fisher.

In search of his third win under his stewardship Arbroath manager Jim McIntyre dropped Jay Bird, Innes Murray and Connor Teale to the bench and brought in Gordon Walker, Thomas O’Brien and Leighton McIntosh. That meant the Red Lichties started seven players over the age of 30.

Dunfermline kicked off playing into the sun and attacking the goal in front of a very large Pars support that numbered 919. Play halted on three minutes when Chris Hamilton took a hefty knock as he leapt up in a challenge with Adam Mackinnon. Play resumed two minutes later but the vice captain was unable to continue and in six minutes Paul Allan became the first substitute of the afternoon.

Kane Ritchie-Hosler earned Dunfermline a tenth minute corner but Scott Stewart headed clear. There was another stoppage after Ricky Little had managed to ground both Chris Kane and Alex Jakubiak. Next there were chances at both ends both thwarted by the goalkeepers. First it was a snapshot from McIntosh that Deniz Mehmet pushed around his left goalpost. Then at the other end Kane saw his shot touched one handed around his right hand post.

There was a fantastic opportunity for Jakubiak in 17 minutes after Allan had pushed a great ball through the middle for Kane. O’Brien blocked the chance but Jakubiak followed up and with the keeper out of his goal ushered the ball narrowly wide left.

A Matthew Todd break down the right ended with him firing a low effort that Gaston turned away for another Pars corner. Amidst calls for handball from Edwards corner, Fisher fired high over the bar. It was not all Dunfermline as Walker picked out David Gold on the edge of the Fifers box and Mehmet had to hold a well connected effort.

The Pars went ahead on 24 minutes in the second phase from a long Edwards throw in from the right side. Arbroath failed to complete their clearance and Ewan OTOO turned to launch a low shot past Derek Gaston from the edge of the box, his first goal since the opening day of the Championship campaign made it 0-1.

Just six minutes later the crossbar saved Arbroath after Malachi Fagan-Walcott and Otoo’s headers had dropped for Kane to thrash at goal. Next though there was a second Dunfermline goal and it came from a free kick won and executed by Paul ALLAN. The ball cleared the four man defensive wall to bulge the net on the left side. 0-2

Arbroath lost their captain Thomas O’Brien in 43 minutes with Connor Teale replacing him and they lost their third goal two minutes later. An Allan free kick from 30 yards out found the head of Fagan-Walcott and his effort was kept out by the crossbar only for KANE to follow up to make it 0-3.

Quite a first 45 from the Pars. They really buzzed from the start and took the game to their hosts scoring three to go in with a comfortable lead.

Half time: Arbroath 0 Dunfermline 3

Arbroath were out early for the second half but when it got underway Todd earned the first corner of the half. That was defended out for Edwards to blast the ball into the roof of the stand. A 53rd minute McKenna corner from left travelled through the Pars box for Scott STEWART to squeeze in at the far post. 1-3

Back to the other end and Ritchie-Hosler’s crack at goal was deflected for a corner on the right. Allan delivered but Stewart saw the ball out as Fisher challenged at the back post. Allan again assumed responsibility for the corner this time from the left but Gaston plucked the cross out of the air.

In 63 minutes Mehmet did well to twice keep out McKenna but from the resultant corner STEWART was able to squeeze the ball over the Pars goalline. 2-3

Arbroath made two changes bringing on Chris Slater and Jay Bird and Lewis McCann came on for Alex Jakubiak. Immediately the Pars sub had an opportunity but Gaston saved. Allan was injured in a 72nd minute challenge on midway and unable to continue, Joe Chalmers was brought on in his place.

Kane directed the ball wide right from another long throw in before at the other end Fagan-Walcott was penalised for his tackle and Chalmers had to head away from the free kick. Arbroath were fighting for their lives and they made Dunfermline defend doggedly.

Jim McIntyre got a reaction out of his team in the second half and Dunfermline certainly did not have it easy by any means in the second 45. The Arbroath manager called in a Jekyll and Hyde performance from his team but they had given themselves too much to claw back. The Pars hung on to win their third game in a row for the first time this season. The result took the Pars into the top four for the first time this calendar year.

ARBROATH: Derek Gaston, Ricky Little, Thomas O’Brien (c) (Connor Teale 43), Scott Stewart, Zak Delaney, David Gold (Chris Slater 65), Adam Mackinnon, Ryan Dow (Mark Stowe 81), Michael McKenna (Jay Bird 65) Leighton McIntosh, Gordon Walker.
SUBS NOT USED: Innes Murray, Kyle Robinson, Darren Lyon, Arron Steele, Max Boruc (GK).
SCORERS: Stewart (53, 64)

DUNFERMLINE: Deniz Mehmet, Sam Fisher, Kyle Benedictus (c), Malachi Fagan-Walcott, Kane Ritchie-Hosler Chris Hamilton (Paul Allan 6 (Joe Chalmers 72)), Ewan Otoo, Josh Edwards, Matty Todd (Rhys Breen 89), Chris Kane, Alex Jakubiak (Lewis McCann 67)
SUBS NOT USED: Owen Moffat, Michael O’Halloran, Xavier Benjamin, Brad Holmes, Max Little (GK)
SCORERS: Otoo (24), Allan (33), Kane (45)
YELLOW CARD: Ritchie-Hosler (94)

REFEREE: Craig Napier
WEATHER: Changeable 9°C

NEXT MATCH: cinch Championship (home) v Partick Thistle, Saturday 6th April 2024, kick off 3.00pm at KDM Group East End Park

Half time draw winning ticket 82526 won £787

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