Dunfermline Athletic

Dunfermline 0 Airdrieonians 2

Tuesday, 5th Mar 2024

cinch Championship: Chris Kane and Owen Moffat drop out, Ben Summers and Alex Jakubiak start. Nikolay Todorov (16) 0-1: Gabby McGill (60) 0-2:

Airdrieonians returned to KDM Group East End Park in a repeat of the opening day league match. That day the Pars won 2-1 and continued their undefeated record against the Diamonds that now stretches back six games. Airdrieonians and Dunfermline kicked off with both on 32 points but with the Lanarkshire club having played one game less.

Dunfermline were without Chris Kane and Owen Moffat dropped to the bench but there he was joined by the welcome figure of Kane Ritchie-Hosler who had been given the all clear to play. Into the team came Alex Jakubiak and Ben Summers. Airdrieonians started no fewer than four former Pars players - Rhys McCabe, Callum Fordyce, Nikolay Todorov and Gabby McGill.

Chris Hamilton won the toss and elected to attack the goal at the home end. There was nearly immediate success Summers sending the ball up the left for Jakubiak to take into the Airdrie box and cut back for Matty Todd. There was only 30 seconds on the clock when Todd sent the chance wide from the edge of the box. Lewis McCann drilled an attempt into the hands of Josh Rae in four minutes.

Fordyce rose to head a lofted ball into the Pars box but the visitor’s first chance sailed over Deniz Mehmet’s goal. Five minutes later a McStravick shot was deflected on to the top of that bar before Dunfermline created another great chance. Summers was the provider from the left and Todd smashed the ball narrowly outside the near post. Back to the other end and McStravick snatched a shot from 20 yards out that slipped only just outside the left upright.

The warnings of Airdrieonians threat had been there and in 16 minutes a cross from the left left over by Adam Frizzell sat up nicely for Nikolay TODOROV to head past a Mehmet. 0-1

A Paul Allan free kick saw Airdrie happily concede a corner midway through the half and when Allan delivered that from the right Miles Welch-Hayes header was cleared off the line and Hamilton’s follow up was deflected wide. Play stopped in 27th minute when Frizzell’s challenge made serious contact with Welch-Hayes knee. The Airdrie man was shown yellow as was Otoo for the fracas that followed. Fortunately the on-loan Livi player was able to continue. The resultant free kick picked Todd free on the right side of the box but he seemed to have left his shooting boots in the dressing room as he sent this chance high and wide.

Dunfermline did not lack drive and a McCann cross was headed away by Megwa. Summers was able to engage with several team mates as Dunfermline retained the ball in the opposition half and Edwards sent in a good cross but the Diamonds defended doggedly. Hancock picked up a yellow after Jakubiak earned a free kick midway into the Airdrie half but again Allan’s delivery was defended.

Jakubiak laced a pass through for Otoo to force an added time corner but that was headed clear like previous ones. It had been a well contested opening half but it was the away team who went in ahead.

Half time: Dunfermline 0 Airdrieonians 1

Rae was the first keeper in action in the second half plucking out of the air a really dangerous cross from Welch-Hayes. In 49th minute Jakubiak evaded the offside trap to run on to a Hamilton pass but he fizzed his shot high and wide from the right side.

Allan’s 52nd minute cross from the right touchline turned into a shot with Rae keeping the ball,out as it headed for the top left. An Edwards cross was destined for Todd at the far post before Hancock put in behind for a corner. That was duly defended while at the other end Todorov’s header went wide left.

Kane Ritchie-Hosler was given a warm welcome as he made. It was the 21 year old’s third comeback of the season but the fans joy was short lived as Airdrieonians extended their lead on the hour. The ball got bogged down in the final third and when defended Gabby McGILL turned and dispatched the ball into the left side of the Pars net from 18 yards out. 0-2

Seeking to change the game James McPake made a triple substitution with 20 minutes remaining. Off went Alex Jakubiak, Ben Summers and Paul Allan to make way for Brad Holmes, Michael O’Halloran and Owen Moffat.

A Moffat shot was hit high and an O’Halloran cross was beaten away as the match entered its last ten minutes. Airdrie made an excellent job of seeing the match out. They restricted the Pars so much that there was little threat of letting go of their shut out. The 367 visiting fans were the ones in full voice as the three added time minutes completed the match.

Airdrieonians first win at KDM Group East End Park since 2016 took them above Dunfermline into fifth place while the Pars slid to sixth equal on points with Ayr United.

DUNFERMLINE: Deniz Mehmet, Miles Welch-Hayes, Chris Hamilton (c), Malachi Fagan-Walcott, Josh Edwards, Matty Todd, Paul Allan (Michael O`Halloran 70), Ewan Otoo, Ben Summers (Owen Moffat 70), Alex Jakubiak (Brad Holmes 70), Lewis McCann (Kane Ritchie-Hosler 56).
SUBS NOT USED: Kyle Benedictus, Joe Chalmers, Taylor Sutherland, Xavier Benjamin, Max Little (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Otoo (27), Mehmet (89)

AIRDRIEONIANS: Josh Rae, Craig Watson, Callum Fordyce, Mason Hancock, Kanayo Megwa, Rhys McCabe, Adam Frizzell (c), Charlie Telfer, Gabby McGill (Chris Donnell 66), Liam McStravick (Dean McMaster 73), Nikolay Todorov (Calum Gallagher 73).
SUBS NOT USED: Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, Josh O’Connor, Elliot Dunlop, Arron Lyall, David Hutton (GK).
SCORERS: Todorov (16), McGill (60)
YELLOW CARD: Frizzell (27), Hancock (42), McCabe (85), Telfer (89)

REFEREE: Duncan Williams

NEXT MATCH: cinch Championship (away) v Raith Rovers, Saturday 9th March 2024, kick off 3.00pm at Stark’s Park
The winner(s) of the 50/50 DAFC v Airdrieonians which ended on March 5, 2024 8:20 pm was Dawn Cozens WEB5359

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