Dunfermline Athletic

Falkirk 0 Dunfermline 1

Saturday, 5th Nov 2022

cinch League One: Chris Hamilton and Kyle Macdonald start in place of Rhys Breen and Nikolay Todorov. Craig Wighton (60) 0-1:

When the League One fixtures were released in the summer, November the fifth was the date that no Falkirk or Dunfermline fan was ever going to forget. The Fifers returned to the Falkirk Stadium for the first time since December 2018 hoping to continue the recent run there of three wins.

James McPake made two changes from the side that started against Kelty Hearts the previous week with Chris Hamilton and Kyle Macdonald getting the nod ahead of Rhys Breen and Nikolay Todorov. On the bench was the welcome sight of Paul Allan.

Falkirk’s manager John McGlynn named the same starting eleven and bench that was successful away to Queen of the South the previous Saturday. Familiar faces in the Bairns team were former Pars Coll Donaldson, Brad Mackay and Kai Kennedy.

The match was a sell out and the atmosphere had built up long before kick off and it was the hosts who kicked off attacking the goal in front of the very vocal travelling support that would total 1976.

The early play was tentative from both sides but Falkirk through Kennedy forced a sixth minute corner off Aaron Comrie only for Deniz Mehmet to have an easy take from Aidan Nesbitt’s delivery.

The home side continued to enjoy possession predominantly in their own half. Comrie’s challenge on Leon McCann handed Falkirk a 14th minute free kick on the left side but Mehmet held after Kyle Benedictus took the sting off the crossed ball. Matty Todd had a surging run out of defence two minutes later but his progress was halted by Donaldson.

Dunfermline’s first threat to the Falkirk goal did not come until 21st minute when Josh Edwards swung the ball over from the left firing Nicky Hogarth to tip away the danger. There was a let off after Nesbitt robbed Hamilton of possession and sent Kennedy in on the left side of the Pars box but Fisher brushed off the man in gloves to see the ball out for a goal kick.

Territorially Dunfermline then enjoyed a spell further up the park with Edwards, Mochrie and Chalmers linking up well but still no shots. Then in 36 minutes a long throw in from Edwards from the right landed for Benedictus but his effort was blocked and when Chalmers collected and returned the defence held out.

Two minutes later Henderson headed a cross from the left behind for a corner and when that came over Comrie got two efforts in with the second being held by Hogarth. Another corner was forced in 39 minutes and this time Mochrie worked the ball to Chalmers whose cross was met by Fisher but his header went over the bar.

In 42 minutes Fisher headed away Kennedy’s corner from the right and there was to be no breaking the deadlock in the first half. It was a half in which the home side had seen 59% possession but it is goals that count.

Half Time: Falkirk 0 Dunfermline 0

First threat of the second half came in 51 minutes when Macdonald intercepted a pass and picked out Mochrie on the left but unfortunately Falkirk defended the cross. Next minute Burrrell was yellow carded for a late tackle on Fisher but the defence held out to deny the visitors.

The pressure was maintained with Macdonald again winning the ball and the next cross came in from Edwards. A 60th minute corner on the right was forced by Comrie and when Chalmers inswinger came in WIGHTON dipped to head the ball in at the far post. 0-1

The celebration on the park was great but the away stand erupted and there were wild scenes as the Pars fans poured on to the walkway behind the advertising boards.

Gary Oliver and Craig McGuffie replaced Finn Yeats and Kai Kennedy three minutes after the goal and Falkirk forced corners at which Liam Henderson headed narrowly over the crossbar.

There was little doubt that Dunfermline deserved their lead but Falkirk battled for an equaliser. Nikolay Todorov replaced Craig Wighton 13 minutes from the end of the 90 and now with the Pars fans in full voice it was a case of seeing the match out.

Hamilton saw yellow as he cut out Alegría 20 yards out and from the free kick two corners from the left followed, Fisher incredibly brave in clearing the first over his own crossbar. Falkirk pressed but McGuffie hit his shot wide left as the minutes ran down.

Another Falkirk corner in 85th minute was wasted but play was deep inside the Dunfermline half as Rhys Breen came on to take the place of Chris Mochrie.

As the match entered added time Benedictus went down with cramp but in 90+1 Macdonald got the break to send Todd in on the left side but Hogarth saved his attempt. There had been several stoppages in the second half and there would be many added. In the end Mehmet turned a fifth minute shot around his right hand post. There was time for it but not the one that was conceded from it.

Fantastic scenes of celebration as fans, management and players enjoyed the moment.The result opened up a seven point gap between the sides.

FALKIRK: Nicky Hogarth: Leon McCann, Brad McKay, Coll Donaldson, Liam Henderson, Finn Yeats (Gary Oliver 63), Stephen McGinn (c) (Juan Alegría 71), Aidan Nesbitt, Calumn Morrison, Kai Kennedy (Craig McGuffie 63), Rumarn Burrell.
SUBS NOT USED: Steven Hetherington, Seb Ross, Blair Sneddon, Ola Lawal, Paddy Martin (GK).
YELLOW CARD: Burrell (52)

DUNFERMLINE: Deniz Mehmet: Aaron Comrie, Sam Fisher, Kyle Benedictus (c), Josh Edwards, Chris Hamilton, Kyle Macdonald, Joe Chalmers, Chris Mochrie (Rhys Breen 87), Matthew Todd: Craig Wighton (Nikolay Todorov 77).
SUBS NOT USED: Paul Allan, Kane Ritchie-Hosler, Sam Young, Andrew Tod, Robbie Mahon, Taylor Sutherland, Max Little (GK)
SCORERS: Wighton (60)
YELLOW CARD: Hamilton (80)

REFEREE: Alan Newlands
WEATHER: Changeable 10°C

NEXT MATCH: cinch League One (home) v Clyde, Saturday 12th November 2022, kick off 3.00pm at The KDM Group East End Park

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