Dunfermline Athletic

Dunfermline 3 Dundee United 1

Friday, 15th Mar 2024

cinch Championship: Pars unchanged. Matty Todd (11) 1-0: Kane Ritchie-Hosler (37) 2-0: Kane Ritchie-Hosler (53) 3-0: Kyle Benedictus (og 80) 3-1:

For the visit of the League leaders Dunfermline manager named an unchanged starting eleven from that losing at Stark’s Park the previous Saturday. The only change was on the subs bench where Sam Fisher returned to the match day squad for the first time since 29th January.

Jim Goodwin made two changes to his starting line up with Alex Greive and Jordan Tilson taking the places of Kai Fotheringham and Glenn Middleton.

Dunfermline kicked off attacking the goal at the away end and there was an early run from Josh Edwards that looked promising. Chris Hamilton picked up a yellow card in fourth minute for no more than a tug on his opponent then next minute Deniz Mehmet held from the first corner of the evening.

The home crowd erupted in 11 minutes when Matty TODD opened the scoring. It was Alex Jakubiak’s pass to Kane Ritchie-Hosler on the right that set up the goal. Kane might have shot but he elected to lay the ball off to his left and Matty tucked the ball away in the bottom left from eight yards out, 1-0.

Jakubiak was next to get a shot in but his effort from the right side of the penalty box was deflected over the bar. On 20 minutes the former Dundee man accepted another ball that he dispatched early at goal from 18 yards out on the left side but he hit the sidenetting.

Tony Watt was yellow carded for a crunching challenge on Hamilton reflecting perhaps the visitors frustrations as Dunfermline enjoyed the better of the half. On 27 minutes Ben Summers went to ground off the ball and with the physio unable to mend him Lewis McCann became the first substitute of the match.

Ten minutes from the break Ritchie-Hosler tried a shot that was blocked and went out for a long throw in on the right but referee Colin Steven blew for some overexcited pushing in the box. Then in 37th minute a second Dunfermline goal. Jakubiak who was on fire for this game attempted to pick out Todd centrally positioned 25 yards out, as the 22 year old threatened his marker slid in and in turn set up Kane RITCHIE-HOSLER who sunk the ball into the right side of the net with a beauty of a finish, his first goal of the season. 2-0

A rare United shot slipped wide left as they mounted an offensive towards the interval. They forced a third added minute corner on the left that Malachi Fagan-Walcott bravely headed clear. With Dundee United pressing hard, the defence continued to hold firm as United took a sixth added minute free kick and then corner and the Fifers would go in with a two goal advantage.

Half time: Dunfermline 2 Dundee United 0

Both sides made one start at the beginning of the second half, Paul Allan for Chris Hamilton and Glenn Middleton for Jordan Tillson. The visitors quickly had two good opportunities, one was belted against a defender and in 51 minutes Louis Moult sent the ball wide when it looked easier to net. Then Dunfermline remarkably went into a three goal lead and again it was the fans favourite who conjured up a fantastic goal. On the counterattack RITCHIE-HOSLER took the ball from inside his own half, he might have shot as he approached the United box but cleverly exchanged a pass with Jakubiak to his right before slotting it home. Even more noise greeted this goal as the home fans joy overflowed. 3-0

The table toppers were not exactly impotent but the Pars defence were doing their job and their opponents helped by failing to capitalise on chances. Middleton fired narrowly wide before their management made two substitutions in 64th minutes clearly in the hope of changing their fortunes. Kai Fotheringham and Chris Mochrie entered the fray with Ross Docherty and their top goalscorer Louis Moult being withdrawn.

Midway through the half Josh Edwards overstretched as he made an important intervention on the edge of his penalty box. He recovered to continue and the 70th minute substitution was Owen Moffat on for Matty Todd. Alex Greive was close to getting on a chance in front of goal but the ball slipped away from him and the defence cleared.

In 79 minutes Kane Ritchie-Hosler left the park to a well warranted standing ovation, Josh Edwards came on at the same time as Joe Chalmers and Sam Fisher came on. Unfortunately within a minute United had a goal back a Middleton cross cut back from the left byeline went trickling along the goalline and in off the right upright with the help of a defection off Fisher and then Benedictus. 3-1

The late goal turned out to be only a consolation and Dunfermline saw the match out to record an excellent victory. Absolutely no surprise Kane Ritchie-Hosler was presented with the Man of the Match award but there is no doubt that Alex Jakubiak played a stormer in a team that seemed particularly up for the battle.

The three points lifted the Fifers to sixth place ahead of Saturday’s fixtures. Ironically Dundee United remained just one point ahead of Raith Rovers who had played one match less.

DUNFERMLINE: Deniz Mehmet, Miles Welch-Hayes, Kyle Benedictus (c), Malachi Fagan-Walcott, Josh Edwards, Kane Ritchie-Hosler, Chris Hamilton (Paul Allan HT), Matty Todd (Owen Moffat 70), Ewan Otoo, Ben Summers (Lewis McCann 29), Alex Jakubiak
SUBS NOT USED: Joe Chalmers, Taylor Sutherland, Michael O’Halloran, Sam Fisher, Brad Holmes, Max Little (GK)
SCORERS: Todd (11), Ritchie-Hosler (37, 53)
YELLOW CARD: Hamilton (4)

DUNDEE UNITED: Jack Walton, Declan Gallagher, Kevin Holt, Miller Thomson, Scott McMann, Craig Sibbald, Ross Docherty (c) (Chris Mochrie 64), Alex Greive, Tony Watt, Jordan Tilson (Glenn Middleton HT), Louis Moult (Kai Fotheringham 64).
SUBS NOT USED: Liam Grimshaw, Matt Anim Cudjoe, Archie Meekison, Sam McCelland, Ross Graham, Jack Newman (GK).
SCORERS: Benedictus (80)
YELLOW CARD: Watt (25), Docherty (59)

REFEREE: Colin Steven

NEXT MATCH: cinch Championship (away) v Morton, Saturday 23rd March 2024, kick off 3.00pm at Cappielow Park.

The winner(s) for the 50/50 DAFC v Dundee United 15 03 2024 draw on March 15, 2024 was Peter Watson WEB6526

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