Dunfermline Athletic

Dunfermline 1 Dundee United 2

Friday, 10th Nov 2023

cinch Championship: Michael O’Halloran and Craig Wighton start in place of Alex Jakubiak and Lewis McCann. Kai Fotheringham (37) 0-1: Owen Moffat (53) 1-1: Chris Mochrie (85) 1-2:

Dunfermline returned to the KDM Group East End Park for what was the first of five successive home matches. First up were league leaders, Dundee United and for this, their first visit since February 2020, Jim Goodwin’s side arrived having scored 31 goals in their first dozen league games and conceded only once in their six away from home.

James McPake made two changes to his starting eleven, Michael O’Halloran and Craig Wighton coming in for Alex Jakubiak and Lewis McCann who were on the bench beside the returning Kane Ritchie-Hosler and Matty Todd. Dundee United made one change from the side held to a 1-1 draw at Tannadice by Inverness Caley Thistle with Liam Grimshaw back after illness to demote Kieran Freeman to the subs bench.

It was a cool, still evening as the teams emerged, the Pars Tracie tops over their traditional black and white, United in green shirts and white shorts. The teams exchanged pleasantries as they walked in front of the league sponsors board. A minute’s silence was held to respect those who lost their lives or incurred injury in conflict.

For the first half, Dunfermline attacked the goal in front of the already very vocal travelling support. The first incident was the concession of a sixth minute corner after Ewan Otoo and Deniz Mehmet got themselves caught up between an attacker. Fortunately the corner yielded nothing as the ball was headed over.

A pass from Joe Chalmers played Owen Moffat in on the left side of the United box and he forced a ninth minute corner but Paul Allan’s inswinger from the left was headed clear. Dunfermline we’re doing well to win possession back and in 13th minute a big through ball had Wighton chasing for a touch but keeper Jack Walton won the race 25 yards out and headed the ball away.

A surging run by Chalmers earned a 17th minute corner on the right as Aaron Comrie’s cross was sent behind. Unfortunately Jordan Tilson was first to Chalmers’ cross. United’s attempts meantime were restricted to long range and they were wayward.

Play stopped in 20th minute for O’Halloran to receive treatment, he was unable to continue and two minutes later Lewis McCann became the first substitute of the evening. Next Allan was able to pop a shot on target but Walton held and Comrie pinged a cross into the United box as Dunfermline were looking particularly hungry. Chalmers was seeing a great deal of the ball and pass were finding the right players.

The visitors had a very good chance in 27 minutes when a Glenn Middleton cross found Tillson in front of goal and it was a blessing his glancing header went wide right. Then it was Dunfermline’s turn to create something special. Wighton won possession in his own half and sent McCann down the right. The sub turned his man to squeeze the ball back to Wighton but his shot from 20 yards was blocked and went behind for a corner that was successfully defended.

The 37th minute brought the opening goal. A shot driven from the edge of the box by Grimshaw was initially saved but Kai FOTHERINGHAM reacted first to head the ball into the Dunfermline net. 0-1

The Green Tangerines suppressed the home sides’ efforts for the remainder of the half but after a poor kick out when Deniz Mehmet slipped a clash between Moult and the keeper as he redeemed himself resulted in another stoppage. Deniz recovered and play resumed.

A United corner was scrambled clear in the third minute of time added on. It had been a very open first half but United struck when the game had been going against them and led at the break.

Half time: Dunfermline 0 Dundee United 1

The second half only got underway after Harry Sharp replaced the injured Deniz Mehmet in goals. The on-loan Dundee stopper received a warm ‘welcome’ from the fans behind his goal. James McPake’s half time talk appeared to have geed the Pars up. McCann immediately hit a strong ball at goal from an angle on the right. Then there was a big penalty appeal from the home support after McCann was down by Gallagher. No whistle though.

Then at the other end Sharp pulled off a magnificent save just as it looked like Moult, the league’s top goalscorer was going to add to his tally with a header from six yards out. United were caught on the counter in 53 minutes when Owen MOFFAT ran through from his own half and when the sole United defender in from of him, Declan Gallagher, slipped he cooly finished into the bottom right of the opposition net. 1-1

The Pars goalscorer was subbed before the kick off with Matty Todd introduced, then on the hour Alex Jakubiak replaced Craig Wighton. United made a double substitution at the same time with Declan Glass and Mathew Cudjoe coming on for Kai Fotheringham and Tony Watt.

Next chance came from an Edwards run towards goal, his blistering left footed shot travelling out wide right. McCann had a couple of half chances that he just couldn’t get on target while at the other end Moult’s header was and Sharp pulled off another fantastic save to keep him out.

Last season’s loanee Chris Mochrie was brought on by United but it was Kane Ritchie-Hosler who got the biggest ovation coming on for the final quarter of an hour. The Fifers were putting up a good fight and McCann was unlucky to be deemed offside. The Pars were then caught three on two and Middleton’s effort at an angle from the ball slipped out beyond the far post.

There was a halt in proceedings as McCann and his manager were both shown yellow cards but from the resultant free kick United scored their second. Two United subs combined to find the 85th minute winner. Mathew Cudjoe crossed and it was MOCHRIE who hit the left footed shot past Sharp. 1-2

The final five minutes and five added were hotly disputed. Gallagher saw yellow for downing Jakubiak and McCann dispatched the free kick on to the top of the United net. It turned out to be a hugely disappointing night all round. That’s two league games against the favourites to win the league where Dunfermline have come off the pitch feeling that they should have taken more from the game.

DUNFERMLINE: Deniz Mehmet (Harrison Sharp HT): Sam Fisher, Chris Hamilton (c), Ewan Otoo: Aaron Comrie (Kane Ritchie-Hosler 75), Paul Allan, Joe Chalmers, Josh Edwards: Owen Moffat (Matty Todd 55): Craig Wighton (Alex Jakubiak 60), Michael O’Halloran (Lewis McCann 22)
SUBS NOT USED: Miller Fenton, Max Little (GK)
SCORERS: Moffat (53)
YELLOW CARD: Otoo (65), Hamilton (67), Sharp (82), McCann (83), James McPake (84)

DUNDEE UNITED: Jack Walton: Liam Grimshaw, Declan Gallagher, Kevin Holt, Scott McMann: Craig Sibbald, Jordan Tillson (Chris Mochrie 71) Kai Fotheringham (Mathew Cudjoe 61), Tony Watt (c) (Declan Glass 61), Glenn Middleton: Louis Moult
SUBS NOT USED: Kieran Freeman, Oliver Denham, Ross Graham, Flynn Duffy, Owen Stirton, Jack Newman (GK)
SCORERS: Fotheringham (37), Mochrie (85)
YELLOW CARD: Tillson (70), Moult (87), Gallagher (90+1)

REFEREE: Chris Graham

NEXT MATCH: cinch Championship (home) v Inverness Caley Thistle, Saturday 18th November 2023 at KDM Group East End Park, kick off 3.00pm
The winner for the 50/50 draw which ended on November 10, 2023 8:30 pm was as follows:- Ticket Number WEB5702

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