Dunfermline Athletic

Dunfermline 3 Morton 1

Saturday, 23rd Sep 2023

cinch Championship: same starting eleven for Pars. Craig Wighton (8) 1-0: Lewis McCann (27) 2-0: Robbie Crawford (82) 2-1: Michael O’ Halloran (89) 3-1:

Match day six of the 2023-2024 cinch Championship brought Greenock Morton to the KDM Group East End Park and it was sixth placed Pars v ninth Morton following Ayr United’s Friday night win over Queen’s Park.

Both sides named unchanged starting elevens. James McPake went with the eleven that had success over Queen’s Park at Hampden the previous week and Dougie Imrie named the same Morton eleven that held Dundee United to a 1-1 draw at Tannadice. Former Par Robbie Muirhead led the visitors attack when Iain Wilson was another familiar face on the ‘Ton bench.

Craig Wighton kicked the match off with the home side attacking the goal at the Cowdenbeath end and Dunfermline started strongly with Josh Edwards getting in the first shot at goal. His effort deflected for a fourth minute corner. That was taken short and returned for Joe Chalmers to pump across goal but with just too much on it for anyone to make contact.

Michael O’Halloran was looking particularly lively and it was his soaring run that earned the eighth minute corner that would produce the opener. A simple delivery from the right by Chalmers was met by WIGHTON who turned the ball neatly past keeper Jamie McDonald. 1-0

Four minutes later O’Halloran was hauled down by Steven Boyd and from the free kick Chalmers slipped the ball square to his left for Ewan Otoo to launch a shot that cleared the bar. Within a minute that crossbar was severely rattled from a Lewis McCann rocket from 30 yards out.

Alan Power took down Ben Summers 35 yards out to hand Dunfermline a 25th minute free kick 35 yards out but this time McDonald gathered the deflected shot. Two minutes on and the ball was back in the Morton net. A defence splitting move from Otoo to Edwards on the left set up McCANN for a finish from close in. 2-0

Five minutes from the interval Morton forced two free kicks and a corner that kept the Pars defence deployed. The visitors only attempt though from Robbie Crawford was blocked. On the counter Edwards sent Wighton up the park and as he closed in on the Morton box, slipped the ball to McCann to his left but to everyone’s disappointment the striker sent his shot over the bar.

Half time: Dunfermline 2 Morton 0

First chance of the second half fell to Cameron Blues in a good position in front of goal but he sent the ball wide right. Unfortunately they had Tyler French stretchered off ten minutes into the half when he clashed with McCann. Darragh O’Connor came on as his replacement.

Morton keeper pulled off a great save to deny a rasping shot from Suumers. Play halted again within two minutes as both O’Connor and Fisher required the physios attentions. The Morton man could not continue and the sub was subbed by Iain Wilson just seven minutes after coming on.

It was a different Morton in more than just personnel. They created a couple of good chances and both Boyd and Blues had fierce efforts blocked. Alex Jakubiak replaced Craig Wighton as the final quarter of the match commenced but still it was the visitors who were on the attack.

Crawford saw his shot blocked and Muirhead had an effort over the bar and then his next saved by Harry Sharp. Jakubiak then had two chances within a minute, the first saved by the keeper, the next travelling narrowly wide left. Owen Moffat replaced Lewis McCann in 74 minutes and immediately he sent an inviting ball across the face of goal.

The pressure eased as the Fifers forced a free kick and a corner in the opposition half. Moffat created another great opportunity for himself but his shot from an angle on the left escaped past the far post. Moffat and Jakubiak certainly imposing themselves on the opposition.

Just when it looked like Dunfermline had the game back under their control Morton got a goal back in 82nd minute with Robbie CRAWFORD finding the net. 2-1. The two goal advantage was restored however just seven minutes later. Moffat started the move in his own half, picking out Jakubiak in front of the home dugout. He looped the ball into an empty central area for O’HALLORAN to run on to and then one on one with the keeper slipping the ball into the right side of the net. 3-1

The six added minutes were seen off and the home win took Dunfermline into fourth place. It was a game that the Pars might have won even more convincingly but their defence also played well to block numerous Morton attempts.

DUNFERMLINE: Harry Sharp: Aaron Comrie, Sam Fisher, Ewan Otoo: Chris Hamilton (c): Michael O’Halloran, Ben Summers (Paul Allan 90+5), Joe Chalmers, Josh Edwards: Craig Wighton (Alex Jakubiak 68), Lewis McCann (Owen Moffat 74)
SUBS NOT USED: Miller Fenton, Taylor Sutherland, Max Little (GK).
SCORERS: Wighton (8), McCann (27), O’Halloran (89)

MORTON: Jamie McDonald: Tyler French (Darragh O’Connor 56 (Iain Wilson 63)), Jack Baird (c), Kirk Broadfoot, Calum Waters: Alan Power, Cameron Blues: Lewis McGrattan (Jack Bearne 73), Robbie Crawford, Steven Boyd (Grant Gilliespie 73): Robbie Muirhead
SUBS NOT USED: Cameron Keay, Matthew Davidson(GK). Ryan Mullen
SCORERS: Crawford (82)
YELLOW CARD: French (3), Muirhead (33), Broadfoot (76)

REFEREE: Grant Irvine
WEATHER: Cloudy 13°C
ATTENDANCE 5344

NEXT MATCH: cinch Championship (away) v Partick Thistle, Saturday 30th September 2023, kick off 3.00pm at the Wyre Stadium at Firhill

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