There`s a Ton of weight on Dunfermline`s shouldersDate: Thursday, 29th Nov 2018
The Pars take on Greenock Morton in another vital match in the SPFL Ladbrokes Championship.
Match-Day 15 of the SPFL Ladbrokes Championship will see Dunfermline Athletic take on Greenock Morton in a crucial clash at East End Park. Allan Johnston`s men are needing to improve their form - particularly at home - and they`ll be looking to do that, starting this weekend, against a side they have a very poor record against in recent weeks.
The Pars come into this match on the back of a 2-1 defeat aganst Ross County at The Global Energy Arena; a difficult Saturday afternoon became harder just 9 minutes in, as Bolly McKay scored following a corner on the right. Then, just 6 minutes later, Kallum Higginbotham saw red (in more ways than one) as match referee Alan Muir sent the Englushman packing for an elbow to the face of Stelios Demetriou, in an off-the-ball incident.
With 10 men for 75 minutes of the game, you can maybe understand the loss to the pre-season bookies` title favourites. However, the performance was strong and resilient with another goal lost from a set-piece, albeit this time from the second phase, as Jamie Lindsay tapped home Brian Graham`s cut-back. Johnston did switch things up, taking off Malaury Martin and bringing on Aidan Keena: this had an immediate impact as he set Faissal El Bakhtaoui free down the right and his low driven cross was turned home by Ross Draper, culmnating in an own-goal. The loss was a sore one for the visitors to take and they`ll be looking to bounce back come Saturday afternoon.
It won`t be an easy game against a Morton side filled with experience - a midfield trio of Chris Millar, Jim McAllister and Michael Tidser will give a calmness and composure in the middle of the park that can only benefit Jonatan Johansson`s men. The former Finland international managed his first home match for the Ton against DAFC earlier on this season and has carried on the good form following the draw at Cappielow that afternoon. An Andy Ryan goal was cancelled out late on by Scott Tiffoney, following a mistake by goalie Lee Robinson as the shares were spoiled.
The club from Inverclyde are showing good form with 3 wins in their last 7, with only two matches being lost. The Championship club scraped through in the Scottish Cup following a replay as they defeated League Two side Peterhead. Following a 1-1 draw at home last weekend, the full-time outfit travelled to Balmoor Stadium where they won the tie 3-0 in the end. A midweek trip up north was probably not on JJ`s wish-list as he prepares to travel to West Fife this Saturday, but, the confidence and momentum are clearly with the visitors to EEP.
With just one win in their last seven, coming away to Alloa in a 1-0 score-line thanks to a stunning Jackson Longridge goal, it emphasises the task facing the Athletic in just a few days time. The league standings show just two places between the teams, however, five points separate the sides and a win for the visitors on Saturday would put a large gap between the Pars and the `right` end of the table. Currently only 6 points from that final promotion play-off spot, all hope and confidence should not and cannot be lost; the players and management staff will know the magnitude of this match and the upcoming fixtures, heading into 2019.
Nobody can deny the poor run of form we as a club are on right now and how disappointing it is that we haven`t been able to fulfil our potential so far this season. The campaign is only 14 matches in - there are still 66 points to be played for and all is not lost, yet - the fans know how easily this division can change and a few good results could propel the team to where they`d like to be this term.
The task in hand is HUGE: a lot of points need to be picked up in a short space of time, starting with the encounter against our Greenock opponents - hopefully a big crowd can turn up and cheer the Pars on the victory; we are all going through a range of emotions right now - whether that be anger, frustration, apathy or A.N. Other - but, the one common goal we all have is to see Dunfermline Athletic pick up 3 points on a match-day and that is what we will all want to see come 5pm this weekend, I am sure.
The players and the managment staff will be, understandably, under scrutiny from the fans, so, hopefully they can put on a good show, collect a vital victory and relieve the Ton of weight upon their shoulders.