Dunfermline Athletic

Queen`s Park 2 Dunfermline 1

Friday, 5th Jan 2024

cinch Championship: Fisher, Breen and Otoo out, Allan, Moffat and O’Halloran start. Ruari Paton (55) 1-0: Dom Thomas (78) 2-0: Ben Summers (85) 2-1

Dunfermline returned to The National Stadium for this league game brought forward to Friday night for live television. James McPake was so short of defenders that there was a puzzle over shape when the teamlines were announced. Some even suggested James McPake or Dave Mackay might have been registered to play!

Sam Fisher, Rhys Breen and Ewan Otoo were missing following the Fife derby three days previously. Paul Allan returned however and starts were handed to Michael O’ Halloran and Owen Moffat. The away team bench would have two keepers, 20 year old Miller Fenton and four teenagers.

Meanwhile Queen’s Park made two changes from the starting eleven that lost to Partick Thistle. Former Par Louis Longridge was missing and Lewis Reid was on the bench as Thomas Robson and Alex Fairlie came in.

The hosts kicked off seeking their first win at Hampden Park since moving from the City Stadium earlier this season. In the early minutes Queen’s Park took the game to Dunfermline but the defence never looked in any trouble. The Fifers first threat came on seven minutes when Josh Edwards got forward and played a one-two off Owen Moffat to get to the byeline but Jack Turner blocked his shot without even being awarded the corner.

A Craig Wighton cut back for Alex Jakubiak in front of goal was cut out but a 14th minute free kick allowed Joe Chalmers to pump the ball into the Spiders penalty box but the home defence was first to it. The home support were growing increasingly annoyed as Ruari Paton was caught offside yet again. Deniz Mehmet saved anyway but Aaron Comrie had sustained a calf injury and despite the physios’ treatment he had to retire. Twenty year old Miller Fenton came on as 19th minute substitute, his Championship debut.

In 25th minute Moffat received the ball back from Summers to execute the first shot of the evening and he rifled the ball narrowly wide left. Ruari Paton had the ball in the net but his provider, Cammy Bruce was offside.

Next Dom Thomas tested Mehmet with a shot from 25 yards but the keeper held the effort. Paton then had an effort after a Dunfermline throw in on the right was read by the opposition. The first corner of the match went Queen’s way in 37 minutes but it was less than effective and Moffat cleared. Thomas forced another corner a minute later, Moffat got to Thomas’ delivery but went down right away and play stopped for the physios to check his head injury.

Mehmet kicked away a tricky ball in from Thomas on the right that fell into a dangerous area in front of goal. There were two minutes of additional time at the end of the first half but that changed nothing and the match remained devoid of any goals when the teams went in. Queen’s Park had managed four shots, two on target. Both Dunfermline’s efforts had been wide and they were yet to win their first corner.

Half time: Queen’s Park 0 Dunfermline 0

The first half had done nothing to ignite anything from Dunfermline’s point of view and for the second half the Pars started with four at the back. Paul Allan was deployed at right back, Hamilton and Fenton were in the centre of defence and Edwards at left back.

Two Queen’s Park corners in 52 minutes were eventually headed clear by Hamilton. A slackness led to Queen’s cashing in with an opener three minutes later. Fenton’s pass back to Hamilton was then played towards Summers but he was robbed of possession and the slip to PATON allowed the striker to brush off the challenges and from the edge of the box, dispatch the ball beyond Mehmet. 1-0

To go a goal behind was bad enough but then another hamstring injury lengthened the Pars list of players out to nine. It was Alex Jakubiak who was forced off at the midpoint of the second half and Taylor Sutherland came on to replace him.

A Thomas shot was deflected behind for a 77th minute corner but a minute later another THOMAS shot aided by a deflection, ended up in the net. 2-0

Seventeen year old Liam Hoggan replaced Michael O’Halloran for the final ten minutes.The Fifers did not give up and in 85 minutes SUMMERS struck for the second match running. A weak pass out of defence by Queen’s Park was collected by Moffat and he worked his wizard way around defenders to lay the ball back to the on loan Celtic player whose powerful drive netted off the left goalpost. 2-1

Edwards came really close to grabbing an equaliser when he smashed a shot that hit the left sidenetting. Sutherland covered back really well to deny Paton another goal but 2-1 was enough to take the three points.

QUEENS PARK: Calum Ferrie, Alex Bannon, Jack Thomson, Alex Fairlie (Stuart McKinstry 73), Thomas Robson, Zach Mauchin (Ben McPherson 77), Jack Spong, Jack Turner (Patrick Jarrett 90), Cameron Bruce, Dom Thomas (c), Ruari Paton.
SUBS NOT USED: Will Tizzard, Aaron Healy, Lewis Reid, Lucas McCormick, Ricky Waugh, Callan McKenna (GK)
SCORERS: Paton (55), Thomas (78)
YELLOW CARD: Robson (59)

DUNFERMLINE: Deniz Mehmet, Aaron Comrie (Miller Fenton 19), Chris Hamilton (c), Josh Edwards, Michael O’Halloran (Liam Hoggan 78), Paul Allan, Joe Chalmers, Ben Summers, Owen Moffat, Craig Wighton, Alex Jakubiak (Taylor Sutherland 67).
SUBS NOT USED: Jake Sutherland, Harry Sharp (GK), Max Little (GK)
SCORERS: Summers (85)
YELLOW CARD: Summers (81)

REFEREE: Willie Collum

NEXT MATCH: cinch Championship (home) v Airdrieonians, Saturday 13th January 2024, kick off 3.00pm at KDM Group East End Park

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