Four Of The BestDate: Thursday, 19th Jan 2023
Dunfermline Athletic were back in action on Saturday afternoon following Tuesday`s postponed SPFL Trust Trophy Quarter-Final tie with Dundee.
It was Top vs Bottom in SPFL cinch League One as the Pars faced Peterhead at KDM Group East End Park; the first home match of 2023 and the first time the players could run out to Into The Valley for over a month.
But, the players certainly made up for lost time over the 90 minutes.
It wasn`t the fastest of starts by the Black & White, but they weren`t troubled either by the Blue Toon. In the 16th minute, James McPake`s men opened up Davie Robertson`s sides defence for the first time and clinically made them pay: Josh Edwards angled a ball down the left channel for Chris Mochrie to run on to and his first time left-footed low cross was swept home by Craig Wighton`s right-boot; that is 9 goals in 15 appearances this season for Wighton, following a return of 0 in his first few matches of the campaign when he was carrying a knee injury which really hampered him at the start of the term.
Without severely testing on-loan Aberdeen goalkeeper Tom Ritchie, Athletic remained in control of proceedings and were rewarded for their patience and perseverance twenty minutes later following a fantastic move – the ball was played over to the right for Kyle Macdonald to try deliver a cross;
but the wing-back cut inside and drilled a low left-footed ball across the 18-yard line for Edwards to collect;
he laid it off for Matty Todd who stepped onto the ball with his weaker left-foot but produced an absolute beauty of a strike to double the Pars` lead, with the midfielder now onto 7 goals for the season.
Highlights: Dunfermline Athletic 4-0 Peterhead
Robertson`s side made a substitution at half-time and started the second-half brightly, with Daniel Fosu getting their first real effort on goal, but it flashed wide of Deniz Mehmet`s goal. Experienced striker Boris Melingui entered the fray, replacing Kieran Shanks up top and this seemed to improve the Blue Toon, with the ball sticking up front longer, for half-chances to be made and territory to be gained. In the end, Mehmet wasn`t called into action the whole game, but there were periods during that final half of the match when Dunfermline had to be dogged and show their defensive qualities, too.
The game really should have been put to bed by the hour mark, with Wighton missing a one-on-one opportunity while Todd dragged his shot wide of the post when it was easier to score, unmarked in the penalty area from around the penalty spot!
But as Peterhead pushed, the gave the Pars the prospect of using their pace up top to make their mark, and this is what they did with just under fifteen minutes to go: a corner to the visitors was cleared which allowed Mochrie to break forward through the centre of the park; he had options either side but chose the correct one in Edwards who had stormed down the left to pick up possession inside the area and slam the ball past Ritchie for the third goal for Athletic, to seal all three points for McPake`s men.
Josh Edwards speaks to ParsTV following the 4-0 victory
his allowed the squad to be rotated with much-needed game-time being given to guys such as on-loan Motherwell winger Robbie Mahon as well as Kevin O`Hara, returning from a long injury lay-off. And it was these two players who combined in the dying minutes to put the cherry on the cake for the Pars.
Mahon cut inside and drove into the box on the left-hand side, before hitting a shot towards goal: Ritchie couldn`t hold on as the ball squirmed through his grasp and seemed to be heading over the line to give Mahon his first Dunfermline goal – however, millimeters away from this happening, O`Hara raced in to slot the ball home into the empty net to claim his first goal of the term on his comeback appearance.
There was some debate in regards to whether the ball was over the line or not before DAFC`s #7 struck, but GoPro footage by the Club seemed to suggest the ball wasn`t fully over the line when O`Hara tapped it home.
⚽ It was great to see @_kevinohara dusting off the cobwebs yesterday (and snatching a goal off of @RobbieMahon28 too!! 🤣)— Pars TV (@ParsTV_Official) January 15, 2023
🎤It is fair to say, however, that his interview skills are still a little rusty.... 🤦🏻♂️
Also starring @thecouriersport`s @craigcairns001 pic.twitter.com/ASUykUwohc
O`Hara may be sharp in front of goal, but his interview skills are still a bit rusty!!
The weekend saw `Four Of The Best` from Dunfermline Athletic: four differently worked goals, four different kind of finishes, four individually pleasing moments.
However, with the re-arranged SPFL Trust Trophy Quarter-Final away to Dundee re-scheduled for this midweek, it was set to be an away cup double, with the Black & White also in Round 4 Scottish Cup action this weekend at Firhill against Partick Thistle.
But, alas, the wintry weather has caused further problems and the SPFL Trust Trophy tie remains outstanding, with a new date of Tuesday 24th of January now booked into the diary. Third time lucky, potentially!