Dunfermline Athletic

Dunfermline 0 Kelty Hearts 0

Saturday, 1st Apr 2023

cinch League One: same again Pars but stalemate at The KDM

Unfortunately this was a goalless draw that gives 0-0 games a bad reputation. Kelty managed just one shot in 90 minutes and did a sterling job in frustrating their neighbours.

Dunfermline welcomed back to The KDM Group East End Park, John Potter and his Kelty Hearts team sitting on enough points to secure their League One status for another season.

James McPake went with the same starting eleven that won 3-1 at Montrose the previous Saturday. For Kelty Hearts John Potter brought in Darren Lyon for the absent Tam O`Ware. The teams changed ends before Craig Wighton got the match underway with Kelty defending the goal in front of the McCathie Stand.

It was Dunfermline who created the first good chance of the afternoon in eighth minute. Lewis McCann struck the ball with pace out to Kane Ritchie-Hosler on the right and after he made ground up the right flank the on loan Ranger delivered a cross that Wighton met at the far post and caused Darren Jamieson to turn the ball round his right hand post. Kelty defended the corner and then earned one of their own but that was over hit.

A Ritchie-Hosler shot at an angle from 15 yards out was then parried away for a 12th minute corner on the right but that failed to test the defence. Five minutes on and an Edwards pass played McCann away up the left. His cross along the six yard line was turned behind by centre back Jack Milne but again Joe Chalmers cross was defended. Kelty were pegged back and another corner transpired on 20 minutes. More Kelty defending was called for but the home side had a real grip of this Fife Derby.

Chalmers popped up on the right to send the ball across goal to Robbie Mahon but his attempt to pick out McCann in front of goal was intercepted. As the half hour mark approached Kelty managed to take play away from their final third and for a short spell Dunfermline found it hard to keep possession as the blue shirts flooded the midfield.

Michael Tidser flashed the ball across the Dunfermline goalmouth from a 33rd minute corner with no takers while at the other end McCann got in a shot that was blocked.

Finlay Shearer was the first substitute to be called upon after Nathan Austin hobbled off in 35 minutes. Chalmers put over another two dangerous balls from the left, the first from a corner but the defence held strong.

Jamieson held a Ritchie-Hosler cross after a neat interchange on the right with Comrie in 41 minutes Wighton met another good cross from Ritchie-Hosler that from close in he directed wide left. It had been a powerful first half from the Pars and the wonder at the break was how long would Kelty be able to hold out.

Half time: Dunfermline 0 Kelty Hearts 0

An 18 yard box scramble in 52 minutes had Kelty doing some last ditch blocking before McCann smashed an effort that was also blocked out. An Edwards cross was sliced into his keeper’s hands by Jason Thomson and with no success ongoing James McPake changed things just 14 minutes into the second half. Nikolay Todorov, Chris Mochrie and Paul McGowan replaced Lewis McCann, Craig Wighton and Robbie Mahon.

McGowan had a shot over the bar and then in 65 minutes met a Ritchie-Hosler cross to glance the ball narrowly outside the left upright. Kanayo Megwa collected a 69th minute yellow card for cynically ending Mochrie run up the left before a Barjonas ended when Benedictus blocked him. The free kick allowed Kelty to push up and they silenced the home support for a period as the match entered its final quarter.

Kevin O’Hara replaced Joe Chalmers and Kelty brought on Arron Darge for Michael Tidser but the stalemate prevailed. A Ritchie-Hosler run, with a flick on by Mochrie almost got the ball to Todorov in front of goal but Dunfermline were not producing anything to test the visiting keeper.

With six minutes remaining the East End crowd encouraged their side up the park but from a long Edwards throw in at the right corner flag the ball fell to Hamilton on the far side of the box and all he got for push on the back was a booking for simulation. The Pars attacked but with their supporters crying out for a shot the keeper still wasn’t involved.

When McGowan got an opportunity in 90th minute his 25 yard effort cleared the bar. Jamieson held a throw in launched at him by Edwards and the match would end all square.

Closest rivals Falkirk were also held to a 0-0 draw so the gap at the top remains 11 points with six games remaining. On the positive side Deniz Mehmet has overtaken Ian Westwater`s 1984-85 record for the number of shut outs in a season, well done to the Dunfermline keeper.

DUNFERMLINE: Deniz Mehmet: Aaron Comrie, Kyle Benedictus (c), Ewan Otoo, Josh Edwards: Kane Ritchie-Hosler, Chris Hamilton, Joe Chalmers (Kevin O’Hara 73): Robbie Mahon (Paul McGowan 59), Craig Wighton (Chris Mochrie 59), Lewis McCann (Nikolay Todorov 59).
SUBS NOT USED: Kyle Macdonald, Paul Allan, Miller Fenton, Taylor Sutherland, Max Little (GK).
YELLOW CARD: Hamilton (87)

KELTY HEARTS: Darren Jamieson: Kanayo Megwa, Jason Thomson, Jack Milne, Lewis Martin: Alfredo Agyeman, Darren Lyon, Michael Tidser (Arron Darge 78), Joe Cardle (Robbie Leitch 66), Jamie Barjonas: Nathan Austin (Finlay Shearer 35)
SUBS NOT USED: Reis Peggie, Ross Philp, Kyle McCulloch, Liam Campbell (GK).
YELLOW CARD: Cardle (23), Tidser (67), Megwa (59), Shearer (76), Jamieson (90)

REFEREE: Calum Scott

NEXT MATCH: cinch League One (away) v Falkirk, Saturday 8th April 2023, kick off 3.00pm at The Falkirk Stadium

50/50 Draw: Winning ticket – 40824 Prize Amount - £1,000

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