Dunfermline Athletic

Dunfermline 2 Clyde 1

Saturday, 29th Apr 2023

cinch League One: Paul McGowan and Chris Hamilton start in place of Kyle Benedictus and Lewis McCann. Cameron Salkeld (12) 0-1: Kane Ritchie-Hosler (45) 1-1: Lewis McCann (90+3) 2-1:

A fantastic strike by Lewis McCann deep into added time gave Dunfermline Athletic a victorious end to the match and sparked off Trophy Day Par-Ty time

The last home game of the season arrived with Dunfermline Athletic already champions of League One and this would be day the trophy would be presented. There was a large crowd in excess of 6000 at the KDM Group East End Park for what would hopefully be a celebration after another win to ensure an undefeated season in all competitions at home.

Manager James McPake was without the suspended Kyle Benedictus and Kevin O’Hara following their red cards against Airdrieonians. Lewis McCann was on the bench so Paul McGowan and Chris Hamilton started.

Barry Cuddihy and Martin Rennie dropped out of the Clyde team that drew at Peterhead meaning starts for Cameron Salkeld and Rico Quitongo. Clyde formed a guard of honour as Chris Hamilton led the League One champions out with a giant golden Champions banner obscuring the view the middle section of the North West stand. The visitors kicked off attacking the goal at the McCathie Stand end.

The match started tentatively and although it was 12 minutes in, the first shot at goal opened the scoring. Cameron SALKELD received the ball wide right and advanced into the Pars box to thrash the ball at an angle past Deniz Mehmet. No shut out today! 0-1

Dunfermline found it hard to create openings. McGowan tried unsuccessfully to play Craig Wighton into the box, Ewan Otoo burst into the Clyde box but keeper Ryan Mullen slid out to hold, Josh Edwards swung over a cross that was headed away by Brian McLean and Chris Mochrie’s 22nd minute on-target effort was blocked amidst calls for hand ball.

A Kane Ritchie-Hosler cross forced the first corner of the match on the half hour. Joe Chalmers took it short to McGowan and his cross from the return reached Hamilton on the far side of the box but his ball inside was defended away off Darren Hynes.

Salkeld had another opportunity ten minutes from the break when through on goal. He evaded the tracking Otoo but Mehmet held the shot that was intended to lob him. In 38 minutes an Edwards cross evaded Paul Allan at the far post and despite over 60% possession the home side were finding it hard to test Mullen.

Mochrie was implored to shoot but then was moaned at for sending his 40th minute shot over the crossbar from 25 yards out.

A neat Chalmers flick earned Dunfermline a 43rd minute corner but when he sent the ball in from the left Mullen rose to deny the four Pars attackers. McGowan was unlucky with a cut back but then in the final second of the first 45 a smart flick back by Wighton went straight into the path of RITCHIE-HOSLER and he drove the ball home just inside the left upright.

Half time: Dunfermline 1 Clyde 1

McGowan forced a corner within 35 seconds of the restart and there immediately seamed more urgency about the Pars play. Chalmers cross was headed on by Comrie but Clyde mopped up. A 50th minute corner from the right was fisted away by Mullen before at the other end Jon Craig dispatched a glorious chance over the bar.

A 54th minute corner saw a Hamilton attempt blocked and then Mochrie shoot wide. Clyde had the ball in the net next minute but in trying to get on the end of the Kyle Doherty pass Scullion and Salkeld were both offside. Mehmet then had a moment trying to clear right in front of goal and Doherty’s block thankfully cleared the bar.

The second half was proving more eventful and Mochrie crashed another shot this time low to the left of target. Ritchie-Hosler combined neatly again with Wighton but his final ball let him down. Then Allan had a chance but failed to get leverage on his shot.

A storming run by Otoo, playing a 1-2 off Edwards earned another corner but Clyde cleared. With 25 minutes remaining James McPake made his first substitutions of the match, Nikolay Todorov and Lewis McCann coming on for Paul McGowan and Paul Allan. Kyle Macdonald and Robbie Mahon followed seven minutes later with Wighton and Mochrie withdrawn.

It was still very much one way traffic towards the Clyde keeper and Otoo found himself further up the park more often than usual. It felt that no matter what the Pars tried they were going to be denied a victorious end to their home season but then in the third minute of time added on, Lewis McCANN released a shot from the edge of the box that found the left side of the net. 2-1

The winner heralded a real celebration with the players and management taking the accolade from the North West and McCathie Stands before returning to the dressing room while the winner’s platform was erected on the east side of the centre circle.

Sammy was out with the champagne bottle and Gregor Abel’s Dunfermline song entertained the crowd as the photographers positioned themselves ready for the trophy and streamers.

Neil Doncaster from the SPFL and Dunfermline Chairman and CEO marched the trophy to the podium. Each player was introduced to the crowd beginning with Deniz Mehmet, Aaron Comrie, Josh Edwards and so on. Medals were placed over their heads before the background team were welcomed on. Dave Mackay and James McPake were cheered on until skipper Kyle Benedictus was the final person to emerge.

Kyle lifted the trophy at the front of a bouncing podium, We are the Champions and then Status Quo Rockin all over the world as Chris Hamilton and Gary Mournian spray the champagne. The players families then joined the centre circle party. More photos, more jumping and tears of joy. Dunfermline Athletic are back in the cinch Championship.

DUNFERMLINE: Deniz Mehmet: Aaron Comrie, Chris Hamilton (c), Ewan Otoo, Josh Edwards (Miller Fenton 80): Kane Ritchie-Hosler, Paul Allan (Lewis McCann 65), Joe Chalmers, Chris Mochrie (Kyle Macdonald 72): Paul McGowan (Nikolay Todorov 65), Craig Wighton (Robbie Mahon 72).
SUBS NOT USED: Max Little (GK).
SCORERS: Ritchie-Hosler (45), McCann (90+3)

CLYDE: Ryan Mullen: Ross Lyon, Erik Sula, Brian McLean (c), Rico Quitongo (Paul Kennedy 62): Darren Hynes: Liam Scullion (Steven Thicot 70), Kurtis Roberts, Jon Craig: Cameron Salkeld (Conner Duthie 77): Kyle Doherty (Martin Rennie 77)
SUBS NOT USED: Olly McDonald, Euan Cameron, Josh Bradley Hurst (GK).
SCORERS: Salkeld (12)
YELLOW CARD: Salkeld (36)

REFEREE: Colin Steven
WEATHER: Overcast 7°C

NEXT MATCH: cinch League One (away) v Alloa Athletic, Saturday 6th May 2023, kick off 3.00pm at the Indodrill Stadium

50/50 half time draw: winning number 47739 won £1000.

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