Dunfermline Athletic

Dunfermline 1 Airdrieonians 1

Saturday, 18th Feb 2023

cinch League One: three changes as Kane Ritchie-Hosler, Chris Mochrie and Robbie Mahon started. Ben Stanway (38) 0-1: Nikolay Todorov (73) 1-1:

Former Dunfermline keeper David Hutton was the Airdrie hero coming off the bench to save a Kyle Benedictus penalty.

Just seven days after serving up a seven goal thriller these two teams met again. Dunfermline made three changes while Airdrie made two. Into the Pars starting eleven came three on loan players - Kane Ritchie-Hosler, Chris Mochrie and Robbie Mahon as Joe Chalmers, Lewis McCann and Kyle Macdonald dropped to the bench. Rhys McCabe’s Airdrieonians were without Callum Smith who was red carded the previous Saturday and Aaron Taylor-Sinclair. Into the Diamonds side came Craig Watson and Ben Stanway.

The Dunfermline players wore black armbands and Deniz Mehmet sported the Turkish flag on his shirt as a mark of respect for those suffering after the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

The visitors kicked off attacking the goal at the McCathie Stand end and the first item of note was treatment required to the Dunfermline captain Kyle Benedictus on five minutes. He was able to return two minutes later but the game got bogged down with throw ins and clearances. A yellow card was shown to one of the away coaching staff in eleven minutes as his side perpetuated with high balls forward.

First chance of the game came from an Adam Frizzell delivery from the left across the face of goal that Calum Gallagher failed to connect with. Then in 14 minutes a Josh Edwards cross from the left was met by Craig Wighton but his shot went wide left.

An Edwards cross was deflected for a corner on the left that Callum Fordyce headed away but next a Mahon pass sent Matty Todd in on the keeper but Josh Rae bravely dived at the Pars midfielder’s feet to make the save. Todd was presented with the next chance from a Mochrie cut back but that was blocked.

Dunfermline intensified the pressure on the visitors goal as the half way point in the first half past but it wasn’t to last long. Airdrie’s first corner in 27th minute was almost costly. Charlie Telfer sent the ball over from the left and Fordyce’s headed came off crossbar and fortunately was held by Deniz Mehmet. The Pars keeper then turned a Stanway effort around his right hand post as the game swung back to the visitors.

Further pressure came from a 33rd minute corner conceded by Benedictus in stopping Frizzell. Fordyce headed this one wide left. Edwards was next to attempt one for Dunfermline but his left footed shot from 35 yards out cleared the Airdrie bar.

A Watson foul on Wighton afforded Mochrie an opportunity from a free kick 30 yards out but he drove that against the Airdrie wall. Then in 38 minutes a goal and it came for the visitors. Cammy Ballantyne was deep inside the Pars penalty box to receive a pass from Telfer and his cut back found STANWAY in front of goal to stab home. 0-1

Dunfermline failed to reply before the interval. In fact Gabby McGill had a great chance from the edge of the box but shot straight at Mehmet and so for the second week running Dunfermline went in trailing the North Lanarkshire team.

Half time: Dunfermline 0 Airdrieonians 1

First chance for an equaliser came in 48 minutes when Edwards played Todd up the right but Rae beat Wighton to the cross. Four minutes later Mahon forced a good save out of Rae and Edwards follow up was turned behind for a corner but it was less than ten minutes into the second half when Lewis McCann replaced Robbie Mahon.

A surging Todd run up the left on to a release by McCann earned a corner on the left. That led to a dangerous Ritchie-Hosler cross into the Airdrie six yard box that no Dunfermline heads could meet.

Mehmet held a low driven 64th minute free kick from Telfer after Todd was penalised for his challenge on Ballantyne on the right edge of the Pars box. James McPake then made a double substitution introducing Joe Chalmers and Nikolay Todorov for Chris Hamilton and Matty Todd.

It looked like Todorov had made the dished difference when he rose to get his head on a Ritchie-Hosler delivery from the right but his effort came off the right upright to end up in the keeper’s hands. The much sought after Dunfermline goal did however come in 73 minutes and it was the combination of the two subs that did the job. A short taken corner to Chalmers corner on the left was crossed and met by TODOROV at the near post. 1-1

There was a scramble, won by Benedictus, to get the ball out of the net but McCann, Rae and Watson were all shown yellow for their part in the tug of war. Eight minutes from the end McCann made a break into the opposition box and when he prodded the ball through defenders Wighton’s attempts to finish were halted by the keeper’s challenge. A second yellow was shown to the Diamonds keeper and referee Ross Hardie awarded a penalty.

Former Pars keeper David Hutton came on as Stanway was sacrificed. Benedictus hit the 84th minute penalty to the left side and Hutton dived the correct way to parry the ball away.

Todorov made Hutton save again, Wighton pulled a shot wide from a Comrie corner as there was a tremendous final push. Unfortunately it was to remain 1-1 and the points dropped combined with Falkirk’s 1-0 home win over Alloa Athletic meant that the Fifers lead at the top of League One was reduced to five points.

DUNFERMLINE: Deniz Mehmet: Aaron Comrie, Kyle Benedictus (c), Rhys Breen, Josh Edwards: Chris Hamilton (Joe Chalmers 65): Robbie Mahon (Lewis McCann 55), Kane Ritchie-Hosler, Chris Mochrie: Matthew Todd (Nikolay Todorov 65): Craig Wighton.
SUBS NOT USED: Kyle Macdonald, Kevin O’Hara, Ewan Otoo, Paul Allan, Miller Fenton, Max Little (GK).
SCORERS: Todorov (73)
YELLOW CARD: McCann (74), Ritchie-Hosler (87), Dave Mackay (90+1)

AIRDRIEONIANS: Josh Rae: Cammy Ballantyne, Callum Fordyce (c), Ben Stanway (David Hutton 83), Euan Deveney, Rhys McCabe, Craig Watson, Adam Frizzell, Charlie Telfer, Gabby McGill, Calum Gallagher (Salim Kouider-Aïssa 90)
SUBS NOT USED: Justin Devenny, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, Lewis McGregor, Lachie Byrd, Joe Dixon, Dean McMaster, Bright Prince
SCORERS: Stanway (38)
YELLOW CARD: McCabe (57), Rae (74, 82), Watson (74), E Deveney (90+4).
RED CARD: Rae (82)

REFEREE: Ross Hardie
WEATHER: Drizzle 6°C
ATTENDANCE 4468

NEXT MATCH: cinch League One (away) v Queen of the South, Saturday 25th February 2023, kick off 3.00pm at Palmerston Park

Winning ticket number – 60444 Prize amount - £1,000 of which £100 was donated back by the winning hospitality table. Deniz Mehmet’s signed gloves - Winning ticket number – 62211


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