Dunfermline Athletic

Peterhead 0 Dunfermline 2

Tuesday, 11th Apr 2023

cinch League One: Craig Wighton drops out to make way for Nikolay Todorov. Nikolay Todorov (57) 0-1: Craig Wighton (67) 0-2:

It was bottom v top for this re-arranged cinch League One match at the Balmoor Stadium on a chilly Tuesday night. The home side were out to seek points to lift them into a play off position while Dunfermline travelled up the A90 with the prospect of winning the league title should Falkirk slip up at Montrose on the same evening.

The Dunfermline side showed one change from that which started at Falkirk with Nikolay Todorov starting in place of top scorer Craig Wighton. Peterhead also made one change from the side that defeated FC Edinburgh on Saturday, Kevin Joshua coming in for Jason Brown.

There was a big welcome for the Pars team from the travelling support, the teams changed ends before kick off meaning it was Dunfermline attacking the goal at the south end in the first half. Peterhead went into a huddle before Andy McCarthy kicked off for the hosts. It was the Blue Toon who threatened first. Josh Oyinsan met a free kick launched from his own half and with Kieran Shanks almost on the end of the knock down Josh Edwards was happy to concede a corner.

Further danger came from the third minute corner with Joe Chalmers clearing a Jordan Brown header off his goalline. Five minutes later a free kick on the edge of the D gave the home side another crack at goal and Deniz Mehmet did well to hold Ryan Strachan’s shot.

Matty Todd created the Pars first good opportunity with a surging run up the left channel in 12 minutes, his fine cross coming tantalisingly close to conversion by Lewis McCann and Todorov. Next a Chalmers free kick was headed over the crossbar by Chris Hamilton as the Fifers began to look more like themselves.

Peterhead were making it tough for the Pars and were giving as good as they got before with 24 minutes on the clock a soaring Edwards run up the left ended with a fine cut back that McCann smashed on target but keeper Stuart McKenzie parried that away only for McCann to be yellow carded as he attempted to retrieve the ball to left of goal and went down.

Josh Oyinsan rose to clear a 31st minute corner sent in deep from the left by Chalmers. An Edwards shot hit the hand of Ryan Strachan just inside the home box but no whistle. However referee Dan McFarlane had no hesitation in producing a yellow to Danny Strachan for man handling Hamilton. Then further controversy in 40 minutes when a McCann shot was turned behind by the arm of Ryan Strachan. Despite strong appeals from the Dunfermline players the referee was not to be swayed.

Layton Bilsand ensured Mehmet wasn’t getting cold with a curling shot from 25 yards out that the Pars number one held at his right hand post. It turned out not to be the kind of half that everyone was hoping for. Dunfermline did shade it on possession, they had three corners to Peterhead’s one but the Blue Toon had managed four shots to the Pars two.

Half time: Peterhead 0 Dunfermline 0

Dunfermline were out early to await kick off and it was Todorov who got things going. The home side continued to make life difficult for Dunfermline forcing misplaced passes and enjoying territorial advantage. Jack Wilkie swung over two free kicks from the left that had to be defended and it was the on loan Dundee man who thwarted Todd’s counterattack.

A Comrie pass played Todd into the right side of the Peterhead box but Todorov got all caught up and couldn’t get in his shot. Better luck next time however when TODOROV latched on to a Chalmers through ball in 57th minute to net. 0-1

The goal was Todorov’s final touch as he was subbed by Craig Wighton before Peterhead kicked off. Chris Hamilton was also withdrawn and Chris Mochrie introduced. A Mochrie free kick caused the defence to concede a 64th minute corner. Chalmers picked out Benedictus at the far post but the defence booted away his on target header.

The Fifers kept up the pressure with Kane Ritchie-Hosler driving into the right side of the Peterhead box to find Mochrie. His shot was blocked and McCann’s shot was deflected behind for another corner. The ball was defended out to Edwards who willed by the crowd shot from 30 yards out and he was only marginally wide right.

A second Dunfermline goal came ten minutes after the first. McCann capitalised on a slip up by Wilkie. Running into the right side of the box he unselfishly slipped the ball to his left for WIGHTON to finish. 0-2

Kyle Macdonald and Paul McGowan were brought on for Kane Ritchie-Hosler and Matty Todd and Dunfermline continued to really bother Peterhead and a good move up the left ended up with the keeper saving a strong Wighton shot.

Comrie played Macdonald down the right and Peterhead had to defend again. No doubt mindful of losing two late goals to Peterhead earlier in the season the away team pressed and the ball bounced about the Blue Toon penalty box.

The 90 minutes were seen out and it was another shut out for Deniz Mehmet and his team. The match at Links Park ended Montrose 1 Falkirk 2 so the gap at the top remains 11 points with the final four league games to go. A win against Queen of the South at home on Saturday would secure the much sought after title.

PETERHEAD: Stuart McKenzie: Layton Bisland, Ryan Strachan, Kevin Joshua, Jack Wilkie: Danny Strachan (Conor O’Keefe 70), Andy McCarthy, Jordan Brown: Josh Oyinsan (Jack MacIver 70), Kieran Shanks (John Allan 79), Jack Brown (Daniel Fosu 79)
SUBS NOT USED: Glenn Gabriel, Enock Walusimbi, Elie Ikwa, Cody McLeod, Sandy Wood (GK).
YELLOW CARD: D Strachan (36), Oyinsan (45), Jordan Brown (50), Bilsland (86)

DUNFERMLINE: Deniz Mehmet: Aaron Comrie, Kyle Benedictus (c), Ewan Otoo, Josh Edwards: Chris Hamilton (Chris Mochrie 58): Joe Chalmers, Kane Ritchie-Hosler (Kyle Macdonald 72): Matty Todd (Paul McGowan 72): Lewis McCann (Paul Allan 87), Nikolay Todorov (Craig Wighton 58)
SUBS NOT USED: Kevin O’Hara, Miller Fenton, Robbie Mahon, Max Little (GK).
SCORERS: Todorov (57), Wighton (67)
YELLOW CARD: McCann (24)

REFEREE: Dan McFarlane

NEXT MATCH: cinch League One (home) v Queen of the South, Saturday 15th April 2023, kick off 3.00pm at The KDM Group East End Park

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