Dunfermline Athletic

Morton 1 Dunfermline 2

Friday, 3rd Nov 2023

cinch Championship: Chalmers and Hamilton start in place of Benedictus and Breen. Owen Moffat (1) 0-1: Owen Moffat (7) 0-2: Steven Boyd (78 pen.) 1-2:

Dunfermline travelled to Greenock for the Friday night match against Morton. The ‘Ton played two matches in the week prior to this game, winning at Ayr and losing 2-1 at home to Raith Rovers. The Pars rescheduled their Halloween fixture against Inverness for Saturday 18th November and in common with their hosts they had lost their last league game to Raith Rovers by one goal.

Following injuries to Kyle Benedictus and Rhys Breen at Stark’s Park James McPake had to make two changes. Chris Hamilton and Joe Chalmers started against an unchanged Morton eleven. The home side were seeking a win that would take them level on points with Dunfermline but they in turn were after the three points that would elevate them to fourth place.

The teams changed ends before Dunfermline in all red kicked off against a home side in an all yellow strip. It was Owen MOFFAT who kicked off and it was the 21 year old who dispatched the ball into the Morton net after just 23 seconds. The goal came as a result of Alex Jakubiak’s pressure on the central defence and the shot was hit past Jamie MacDonald from the edge of the box. What a start! 0-1

Things got even better when MOFFAT was left free to advance and pop another shot past the big Morton keeper to double the lead in seven minutes. 0-2

Hamilton blocked a Robbie Crawford shot in 13 minutes as the home side got up the park for their first period there of any great length. Moffat forced another Pars corner and Hamilton was enraged as he felt he was taken out at the far post attempting to finish Paul Allan’s delivery. Chalmers had a snapshot at goal but his aim was too high and the next chance in 23 minutes came as Jakubiak burst through but his effort was held by MacDonald.

Next minute Josh Edwards squared for Jakubiak and his touch sent Allan in on the left side but he sent his shot wide. Mehmet was kept in the game holding a Robbie Muirhead header on a Tyler French cross. With Dunfermline looking more and more likely to add to their score, Morton manager Dougie Imrie made a substitution in 28 minutes withdrawing former Pars player Iain Wilson to introduce Lewis McGrattan.

It was Lewis McCann in 37 minutes who was next to try and get on the scoresheet but his low left footed shot from the right went wide right. It had been a very satisfactory first 45 minutes for the Fifers but they had led before here by two goals and not won.

Half time: Morton 0 Dunfermline 2

Steven Boyd replaced another former Par, Robbie Muirhead before the second half began and it was the sub who forced Comrie to concede a corner within 70 seconds. The corner picked captain Jack Baird but his header went straight into the hands of Mehmet. Crawford broke but the offside flag was raised, then a Cameron Blues shot was blocked by Hamilton. A Morton corner was then defended but the home support were beginning to sing and get behind their team.

Just when it was needed Dunfermline were able to turn the table on Morton. Tyler French saw yellow for halting Edwards surging run and McCann’s setpiece effort was net bound until MacDonald dived to turn it around his right hand post. The resultant corner from Allan grazed the crossbar and Hamilton’s diving header at the back post unluckily directed the ball into the sidenetting.

Next a stinging Edwards shot in 57 minutes was well saved by the ‘Ton keeper and there was concern when Otoo on fouled Blues out left level with the 18 yard line but Morton were penalised for pushing and the threat was gone. Play stopped at the midpoint of the half after Sam Fisher was caught after sliding in to take the ball off Boyd. After treatment from the physios Fisher limped back into position.

Mehmet grasped the ball after Power sent a free kick into the visitors’ box. Oakley made a speedy run down the right and his shot was deflected into sidenetting for a corner. Substitutions were made by both sides before the ball was sent in from the right. Oakley headed on target and the defence survived what some would term an almighty stramash.

Jack Bearne had come on for Cameron Blues and Craig Wighton for Alex Jakubiak. Michael O’Halloran followed in 73 minutes with Owen Moffat going off. A moment of madness with a mix up in the Pars box between Mehmet and Hamilton. A foul on Oakley handed Morton a penalty and Steven BOYD made no mistake and it was 1-2.

Morton had their tails up and sensed the possibility of a comeback. That should have been stifled after McCann’s cut back set up chances for Wighton and O’Halloran but those evaporated when Wighton hit the ball wide.

Egged on by the home crowd the team in yellow vigorously made Dunfermline defend their lead. O’Halloran reduced the heat earning a 87th minute corner on the right. Another on the left followed from that and when O’Halloran retrieved the defended ball he picked out Allan still wide left but his cross was headed at the keeper by Wighton.

A 90th minute corner was pumped into a crowded six yard box but Baird was penalised for his challenge and Morton’s opportunity had gone. In the second minute of the four added on a McCann clearance created another corner chance and again a melee in the six yard box had the Pars hearts in their mouths but eventually Mehmet smothered the ball.

MORTON: Jamie MacDonald: Jack Baird (c), Kirk Broadfoot, Tyler French, Iain Wilson (Lewis McGrattan 28), Cameron Blues (Jack Bearne 70), Alan Power, Calum Waters, Robbie Crawford, Robbie Muirhead (Steven Boyd HT), George Oakley
SUBS NOT USED: Grant Gillespie, Cameron Keay, Ryan Mullen (GK).
SCORERS: Boyd (78 pen.)
YELLOW CARD: French (55), McGrattan (63), Waters (81)

DUNFERMLINE: Deniz Mehmet: Sam Fisher, Chris Hamilton (c), Ewan Otoo: Aaron Comrie, Paul Allan, Joe Chalmers, Josh Edwards: Owen Moffat (Michael O’Halloran 73): Alex Jakubiak (Craig Wighton 70), Lewis McCann
SUBS NOT USED: Kane Ritchie-Hosler, Miller Fenton, Jake Sutherland, Harrison Sharp (GK), Max Little (GK)
SCORERS: Moffat (1, 7)
YELLOW CARD: Edwards (64), McCann (81)

REFEREE: Graham Grainger

NEXT MATCH: cinch Championship (home) v Dundee United, Friday 10th November 2023, kick off 7.45pm at KDM Group East End Park

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