Dunfermline Athletic

Montrose 2 Dunfermline 0

Saturday, 22nd Oct 2022

cinch League One: Chris Hamilton starts in place of Nikolay Todorov. Matthew Wright (63) 1-0: Matthew Wright (87) 2-0:

It was over 35 years since Dunfermline Athletic last played a league match at Links Park so James McPake was the first Pars manager since Jim Leishman to take a Dunfermline side there. He made one change from the side that defeated Clyde on Tuesday evening - Chris Hamilton being preferred to Nikolay Todorov.

Montrose manager Stewart Petrie made four changes from the side that drew against Falkirk the previous week, Rory McAllister was out injured and Matty Allan, Mark Whatley, and Matthew Wright were all on the bench making room for Paul Watson, Blair Lyons, Liam Callaghan and Craig Johnston.

There was interest in that Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross was the stand side linesman for this match and he gave the Dunfermline Athletic fans behind him the opportunity to come up with topical wise crack political comments. Everyone would hope that he would come up with footballing decisions that were politically correct!

The weather brightened up ahead of kick off and the travelling support were accommodated in the links side of the Main Stand and the open terracing. It was Gardyne who got the match up and running attacking the goal at the links end. The Mighty Mo had a chance after just 85 seconds but Liam Callaghan hit his effort well wide left.

The visitors were kept under pressure with Deniz Mehmet drawn well out of his goal for an unconvincing clearance that allowed a Watson shot from distance that Rhys Breen headed off the line.

A neat pass from Chris Mochrie to Craig Wighton threatened the home goal in seven minutes but in the end it was just a corner that was won and the defence dealt easily with that. Mochrie made a soaring run down the right channel but his cutback for Wighton was cut out.

On the quarter hour, Matty Todd received a yellow card in conceding a free kick 30 yards out but fortunately the Pars wall did its job in blocking Watson’s drive. Back in front of the Montrose goal Edwards tried to beat two men but had to lay the ball back to Mochrie who did get a shot in that slipped wide left. Minutes later in 20th Mochrie had another opportunity from 20 yards out on the right side but the ball went the same way as his previous one.

Aaron Comrie was up to challenge an Edwards cross from the left byeline but the defender crashed into Andrew Steeves and play was halted for treatment to the Montrose captain.

In 29 minutes Todd drove forward and with a delft touch from Wighton found Mochrie on the left and his week struck shot was kept out by keeper Ross Sinclair’s outstretched left hand and Steeves mopped up the loose baMo to feed Johnston on the left side of the Pars box and the keeper held the shot. Just two minutes from the break an Edwards throw in on the left picked out Joe Chalmers on the edge of the Montrose box but his left footed shot failed to hit the target.

It had been a half of equal possession, the home side had looked dangerous and Mochrie had been the Fifers greatest threat. In the first minute of time added on the on loan Dundee United player received the ball on the left from Todd. He waltzed through the home defence and cracked a good shot on target only for Sinclair to pull off a great save with his feet.

Half time: Montrose 0 Dunfermline 0

The second half was just 14 seconds old when Mochrie caused Sinclair to make another good save with his feet. Wighton then nearly created the opening for a Pars goal but his chip from beyond the left post was cleared by the defence as Comrie approached.

In 52 minutes Montrose almost got caught on the break. Mochrie made the run and teed up Todd to his left for a shot but that was blocked and only a corner was earned. Three minutes later a Comrie cross from the right found Edwards just beyond the far post but his effort went over the crossbar.

Nikolay Todorov came on for Chris Hamilton in 61 minutes but it was the Montrose sub introduced at the same time who made the immediate impact. Matthew WRIGHT replaced Blair Lyons and two minutes later with virtually his first involvement hit the ball into the bottom right of the Pars goal for 1-0.

Wright was presented with a great chance to increase the lead eight minutes later after MacKinnon released Johnston down the left and his ball found the sub in the middle of the Pars box but this time Mehmet pulled off a wonderful save to maintain the deficit at just one.

Robbie Mahon replaced Sam Fisher for the final 18 minutes and it was his tenacity in midfield fighting to get the ball to Mochrie that set up an 84th minute chance for Edwards but he struggled to keep the ball down and the ball went over the bar.

With Dunfermline pushing for the equaliser the opposition cashed in on lack of numbers at the back and WRIGHT notched a second in 87 minutes after getting the better of Comrie. 2-0

Chalmers had a late effort turned away for a corner on the right and when he delivered Edwards header went over the bar. The Fifers proud unbeaten record of 12 matches came to an end but they remain top of League One, now just one point ahead of FC Edinburgh and four in front of Montrose and Falkirk.

MONTROSE: Ross Sinclair: Andrew Steeves (c), Kerr Waddell, Sean Dillon: Blair Lyons (Matthew Wright 61), Cammy F Ballantyne, Paul Watson (Mark Whatley 61), Michael Gardyne (Graham Webster 84), 
, Liam Callaghan (Aidan Quinn 84): Adam McKinnon, Craig Johnston (Matty Allan 79).
SUBS NOT USED: Craig Brown, Martin Rennie, Aaron Lennox (GK).
SCORERS: Matthew Wight (63, 87)
YELLOW CARD: Gardyne (59)

DUNFERMLINE: Deniz Mehmet: Sam Fisher (Robbie Mahon 77), Kyle Benedictus (c), Rhys Breen: Aaron Comrie, Chris Hamilton (Nikolay Todorov 61), Joe Chalmers, Josh Edwards: Chris Mochrie, Matthew Todd: Craig Wighton.
SUBS NOT USED: Kyle Macdonald, Kane Ritchie-Hosler, Sam Young, Andrew Tod, Max Little (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Hamilton (3), Todd (15)

REFEREE: Iain Sneddon

NEXT MATCH: cinch League One (home) v Kelty Hearts, Saturday 29th October 2022, kick off 3.00pm at The KDM Group East End Park

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