Dunfermline Athletic

Dunfermline 2 Alloa Athletic 0

Saturday, 4th Mar 2023

cinch League One: Ewan Otoo and Chris Hamilton start in place of Josh Edwards and Nikolay Todorov. Chris Hamilton (39) 1-0: Kevin O’Hara (67) 2-0:

Dunfermline hosted fourth placed Alloa Athletic as the season completed its second third but James McPake was without Josh Edwards and Nikolay Todorov meaning a first start for Celtic loanee, Ewan Otoo and the vice captain Chris Hamilton.

The visitors’ manager Brian Rice also made two changes with captain Mark Durnan and Jon Robertson taking the places of Murray Miller and the absent Luke Strachan. Former Pars youth Stefan Scougall kicked off for the Wasps attacking the goal at the McCathie Stand end.

Right on two minutes it was Dunfermline who got the first opportunity when Otoo found himself in possession on the left side of the Alloa penalty box and his cut back set up Matty Todd but his great connection was matched by keeper Jay Hogarth’s save. Next in the fourth minute Kane Ritchie-Hosler got himself into the box with a neat one two but again Alloa kept that effort out and Craig Wighton melted the rebound narrowly wide left. It had been an explosive start from the Fifers with Joe Chalmers keeping up the pressure in making Hogarth save his low driven effort from 25 yards out.

Alloa forced the first corner in 11 minutes and Connor Sammon got his head to Scougall’s delivery but Todd cleared. A Pars corner followed next minute with Chalmers receiving the short taken setplay to cross but Hogarth held.

Aaron Comrie sustained an injury as he cleared the ball off the right byeline and had to be subbed by Kyle Macdonald in 20th minute. The referee’s whistle had gone before George Stanger sent an overhead kick over the Pars crossbar. Next though Ross MacIver was able to pop a shot that Deniz Mehmet kept out low to his left.

Comrie was wheeled up the tunnel on a stretcher as the visitors were beginning to enjoy more of the play. MacIver shot wildly wide left but Alloa retained possession in the Dunfermline half. When Chris Mochrie tried a break he was tugged down by Michael Doyle who was duly shown at he first yellow card of the game.

Mochrie was able to break forward again in 34 minutes and set up Wighton with a pass into the left side of the box but the strike’s effort was deflected on to the left post and out for a corner. Hamilton met the cross but his header cleared the Alloa bar.

Mochrie tried a shot from 25 yards but that was deflected for a corner on the right which would lead to the opening goal. Chalmers corner was met by a posse of players on the six yard line and the ball ended up in the net with the significant touch credited to Chris HAMILTON. 1-0

For the second week running there was confusion over the goalscorer with Hamilton, Breen and Wighton all looking like they were making claims on it.

Half time: Dunfermline 1 Alloa Athletic 0

Adam King replaced Stefan Scougall before Wighton got the second half underway and Hogarth was made to hold on his line, a fierce cross from Macdonald in just the fourth minute of the half. Then two minutes later Todd went deep up the left to fire across the face of goal but just beyond Wighton.

Wighton was cut down by Durnan in 58 minutes but escaped a yellow card and from the free kick Chalmers swept the ball deep into the opposition box where Hamilton met it only for Hogarth to save again.

There were appeals for a penalty when Stanger tackled Todd but nothing was given and that was Matty’s last involvement as he and Wighton were withdrawn to introduce Kevin O’Hara and Lewis McCann in 61st minute.

Within three minutes it looked as though the subs would make an immediate impact. O’Hara broke up the left but his final ball was just too much in front of McCann for him to reach. Then at the midpoint of the half Kane Ritchie-Hosler swung over a great ball from the right and O’HARA rose to head home at the far post. Kevin’s goal against his former club was his second of the season and it was 2-0.

Alloa defended another Ritchie-Hosler as O’Hara searched for the return before Paul McGowan came on for Chris Mochrie for the final 16 minutes. A couple more Ritchie-Hosler passes sought out O’Hara but both were cut out and it was no surprise that the on loan Rangers player went down with cramp in 82 minutes since he had been everywhere.

He was up and at the opposition again within a minute sending it yet another ball from the right that set up O’Hara but he dispatched that over the bar. At the other end MacIver’s 87th minute effort was headed behind by Breen and next it took a last ditch block from Kyle Benedictus to keep Alloa out.

A Ritchie-Hosler inspired break then sent O’Hara on to a McGowan flick up the left but McCann was unlucky not to get the crucial connection in front of goal. The two goals however were enough to secure the three points and maintain the five point lead over Falkirk who put five goals past Peterhead.

DUNFERMLINE: Deniz Mehmet: Aaron Comrie (Kyle Macdonald 20), Kyle Benedictus (c), Rhys Breen, Ewan Otoo: Kane Ritchie-Hosler, Chris Hamilton, Joe Chalmers, Matthew Todd (Kevin O ‘Hara 61), Chris Mochrie (Paul McGowan 74): Craig Wighton (Lewis McCann 61).
SUBS NOT USED: Paul Allan, Miller Fenton, Robbie Mahon, Max Little (GK).
SCORERS: Hamilton (39), O’Hara (67)

ALLOA ATHLETIC: Jay Hogarth: George Stanger, Mark Durnan (c), Scott Taggart, Daniel Church: Michael Doyle (Kevin Cawley56), Jon Robertson, Quinn Coulson (Luke Donnelly 56): Stefan Scougall (Adam King HT): Ross MacIver, Connor Sammon.
SUBS NOT USED: Murray Miller, Andy Graham, Cameron O’Donnell, Luke Rankin, Rayan Mohammad, Willie Muir (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Doyle (32)

REFEREE: Colin Steven

NEXT MATCH: cinch League One (home) v Falkirk, Tuesday 7th March 2023, kick off 7.45pm

50/50 half time draw: Winning number – 63263, Prize Amount - £910

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