Dunfermline Athletic

Unlucky sub changes Pars fortunes

Sunday, 12th Feb 2023

Robbie Mahon:- “We made five changes on Saturday and every single one of us who came off the bench were as good as the starters.

Robbie Mahon Dunfermline’s nineteen year old loanee from Motherwell has only made six appearances for the club since joining in September but on Saturday he got his most minutes so far and he played a key role in the side’s dramatic comeback against Airdrieonians.

Robbie was introduced along with newly signed Ewan Otoo, in just the 32nd minute at a stage when James McPake claimed that he could have hauled off most of his team. The Irishman would have a role to play in the lead up to all three of Dunfermline’s first goals and he agreed that he had never played in a more dramatic game:-

“That was a good game in the end but it was a bad performance in the first half. We know that. We knew what we had to work out and we came back in and got told. We got told what we had done wrong, the fans knew it but we came back out, gave it our all and it paid off in the end.”

Robbie had watched from the subs bench as Dunfermline had a 17th minute finish, a header from Craig Wighton disallowed before Airdrie took the lead through former Pars striker Gabby McGill. Then to concede again and go in at the break with a two goal deficit, most would consider that it didn’t seem like it is going to be your day but Robbie was sure that with the character in the team, they could turn it around like they did.

“Coming off the bench that early is not easy, but the second that you come on the lads don’t have their heads down, they are ready to help you and that makes all the difference - having those lads around you to get your chin up if you put a bad ball into the box or whatever. They are all there for each other and it’s great.”

A moment that riled the fans and turned the tide was possibly not sending off the Airdrie goalkeeper, Josh Rae when he handled the ball outside his box. Robbie considered his response:-

“I am not going to have my opinion on if it was a red card or not. I think it was obvious but the ref had a different opinion. The ref was good so he is allowed to make a mistake or two, it didn’t end up being game changing so that’s allowed. I think it was just the hard work of all eleven of us on the pitch, the subs and the crowd. They back us and it makes a big difference.”

Modestly the Dubliner played down his part in creating the openings that led to the 60th minute penalty and Matty Todd’s two goals:-

“I would say as a team we did enough. We attacked well from the right side and the left. A few goals came from the right side but the team were incredible.”

The Dunfermline penalty came from a quick break up the right after Robbie had received the ball in his own half. He played the ball off Chris Mochrie and the inch perfect return saw Robbie control and shoot. His effort was blocked but what happened next led to Callum Smith’s red card for hand ball and the subsequent penalty kick.”

Robbie will be credited with assists for both Matty’s goals, which he described:-

“I gave him the ball, I did not really put it on a plate for him. He had to do it himself and he took the two of them very well. They were both outside the box and they were very good finishes, so credit to him.”

James McPake has said recently that Robbie has been unlucky not to get more game time but has always said that the loanee has a big part to play in our season. The player who has been capped for the Republic of Ireland U17 team said:-

“It is nice to hear him say that and it gives me a bit of a boost, a bit of confidence and I think it helps to hear him say that. He said that I’m unlucky but I can’t complain when the lads are winning week in week out and scoring goals. It is all part of the game.

“It is a brilliant squad. We made five changes on Saturday and every single one of us who came off the bench were as good as the starters. That’s the thing, there’s no different levels just one level of intense talented players and that is always handy to have as well.”

The scenes at full time would lead you to believe that the significance of the result is probably even greater than the fruits of the afternoon but Robbie disagreed:-

“It is game by game. It is just three points, we have them again next week, they are a good side and we have to prepare for that again.”

Watch Robbie’s interview with Jordan Burt for PARStv

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