Dunfermline Athletic

Dunfermline 1 Partick Thistle 1

Saturday, 6th Apr 2024

cinch Championship: two changes as Welch-Hayes and Chalmers start. Brian Graham (24) 0-1: Chris Kane (78 pen.) 1-1:

Third placed Partick Thistle were the opposition for the first match in April. Both teams were hoping for a fourth consecutive league win and so there were expectations that this would be a hotly disputed contest. The air temperature as if in anticipation rocketed to an unseasonably high 15 degrees but that was accompanied by a strong wind.

James McPake made two changes to his starting eleven with Miles Welch-Hayes coming in for Sam Fisher and Joe Chalmers taking over the midfield role vacated by the injured Chris Hamilton. Partick boss Kris Doolan made one change bringing back one time Pars loanee, Kerr McInroy with Ben Stanway dropping to the subs bench.

Dunfermline kicked off into the wind attacking the goal at the McCathie Stand end and Josh Edwards long throws were deployed from either side in the opening minutes. Partick keeper David Mitchell was first into action holding a Chalmers free kick after Aaron Muirhead had dumped Chris Kane 30 yards out on the right side.

Kane Ritchie-Hosler had started really strongly and it was his run in eight minutes that led to Welch-Hayes threading an inviting ball across the six yard box that unfortunately no one could connect with. Within the same minute Alex Jakubiak teed up another cross from the right that Kane headed on target but into Mitchell’s arms.

In 16th minute Thistle took advantage of a defensive slip up that let Brian Graham in on goal. His shot came off Deniz Mehmet to set up Aidan Fitzpatrick 18 yards out. The Thistle man blasted the ball low on target but Kyle Benedictus was nicely placed to block and Mehmet gathered the ball.

Three minutes later a Graham shot looked like it was net bound as it pinged through players towards the left side of the Pars goal but Welch-Hayes managed to scoop the ball away. Another slip up led to Benedictus seeing a yellow card and McInroy given the opportunity for a pop at goal from a free kick 28 yards out. Happily for Dunfermline the 23 year old lifted his shot over the defensive wall and on to the roof of the net.

There were a couple of blocks as Thistle pressed in 24 minutes and with the Dunfermline defence unable to clear Brian GRAHAM stuck away his chance. 0-1

Having struggled initially the Jags really got their game going and stifled the home side’s efforts to get up the park. McBeth’s foul on the attacking Kane earned him a yellow card and Chalmers another attempt from a free kick 30 yards out in a central position. Unfortunately the Partick wall did its job. It did get the ball back into the visitors half. In front of the North West Ritchie-Hosler was shown yellow in 38 minutes when he and the crowd clearly felt a throw in decision went unjustly against him.

Running on to a Matthew Todd pass Otoo earned a 41st minute corner down at a very windy left corner flag. Thistle survived as the cross passed through their box and out for goal kick that Mitchell not for the first time took all his time to take.

The half finished with the Fifers pressing after McBeth’s tackle on Todd yielded another free kick this time on the left side just 20 yards out. Todd fired to the near post where the keeper cleared. Chalmers then latched on to the clearance but his shot was blocked.

Half time: Dunfermline 0 Partick Thistle 1

There was a 47th minute chance for Thistle when Fitzpatrick flashed the ball across the goalmouth from the right but Graham failed to connect. Ritchie-Hosler tried to cut inside a fire at goal but his effort was blocked. Jakubiak forced a 55th minute corner on the left after an Otoo burst up the left channel. Fagan-Walcott and Welch-Hayes got their heads to Todd’s corner but Mitchell would hold comfortably.

Owen Moffat was the first substitute to be used, replacing Chalmers in just the 12th minute of the second half. Lewis McCann followed seven minutes later taking over from Alex Jakubiak. Todd was then desperately as he evaded the offside trap to run on to Fagan-Walcott’s penetrating pass. Matty’s shot beat the keeper but was kept out by the left goalpost.

Todd also had a chance presented to him in 72 minutes when Ritchie-Hosler hooked on a Mehmet clearance but his effort sailed over the bar. An Edwards ball into the Partick box was skied by the defence but Mitchell beat Fagan-Walcott to the ball.

It had been a sustained period of Pars pressure with nothing to show for it but an Edwards ball towards Kane in the box caused Muirhead to concede a 78th minute penalty. KANE took some time to get the ball to sit on the penalty spot before cooly smashing it past Mitchell. 1-1

The right post then kept out a McInroy shot and in 85th minute Fagan-Walcott blocked an on target effort from Graham. At the other end Ritchie-Hosler’s run set up Todd for a cross to the far post but Moffat’s shot failed to hit the target. Kane then came closer with an 88th minute shot that hit the left post.

Dunfermline put Thistle under the cosh in the closing minutes. Fagan-Walcott swept a pass out to the left for Moffat and although he drew the keeper out his cross was blocked. In third minute of time added on Kane chested an Edwards pass goalwards but Mitchell held.

The draw ended both sides winning runs. Dunfermline remain fifth on 42 points eight behind their opponents and three behind their next opponents, Airdrieonians who have played one game less.

DUNFERMLINE: Deniz Mehmet, Miles Welch-Hayes, Kyle Benedictus (c), Malachi Fagan-Walcott, Kane Ritchie-Hosler, Joe Chalmers (Owen Moffat 57), Ewan Otoo, Josh Edwards, Matty Todd (Brad Holmes 87), Chris Kane, Alex Jakubiak (Lewis McCann 64).
SUBS NOT USED: Rhys Breen, Sam Fisher, Michael O’Halloran, Taylor Sutherland, Xavier Benjamin, Max Little (GK)
SCORERS: Kane (78 pen.)
YELLOW CARD: Benedictus (22), Ritchie-Hosler (38)

PARTICK THISTLE: David Mitchell, Jack McMillan, Luke McBeth, Aaron Muirhead, Harry Milne, Lewis Neilson, Steven Lawless (Ben Stanway 70), Kerr McInroy (Zander Mackenzie 87), Scott Robinson, Aidan Fitzpatrick, Brian Graham.
SUBS NOT USED: Kieran Ngwenya, Blair Alston, Ricco Diack, Che Campbell, Thomas Horn, Ceiran Loney, Ross Stewart (GK)
SCORERS: Graham (24)
YELLOW CARD: McBeth (34), Robinson (62)

REFEREE: Calum Scott
WEATHER: Windy 15°C

NEXT MATCH: cinch Championship (away) v Airdrieonians, Saturday 13th April 2024, kick off 3.00pm at the Excelsior Stadium.

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