Dunfermline Athletic

D Go From B To A

Date: Thursday, 17th Nov 2022

Following their frustrating 2-2 home draw with Clyde on Saturday afternoon, all attention turned to the SPFL Trust Trophy on Tuesday evening as the re-arranged Third Round tie took place at KDM Group East End Park.

The winners knew they would face Arbroath away in the next round, on Saturday 10th December at Gayfield Stadium. The incentive was there for Darren O`Dea and Stephen McManus`s side; they had the chance to come to the home of the League One leaders and cause an upset, in the process going through to the next round to test themselves against Championship opposition, so James McPake knew it`d be a stern task against the Lowland League outfit.

However, the Celtic B side were missing several key first-team players due to international call-ups or through being away with Ange Postecoglou`s Celtic A squad for their warm-winter training camp in Australia during the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

For the Pars, they were needing to bounce back to winning ways, but their task was made tougher by having no natural width in their side, due to the ineligibility of 3 of their 4 loanees. Sam Fisher was at the heart of the defence, the Dundee defender being granted permission by Gary Bowyer to participate in this competition for the Black & White. However, wingers Chris Mochrie (Dundee United), Robbie Mahon (Motherwell) and Kane Ritchie-Hosler (Rangers) were all cup-tied due to their involvement in the tournament in an earlier round for their Parent Clubs.

This meant teenagers Andy Tod and Taylor Sutherland were given their first-team chance; Sutherland making his compeititve, senior, debut while Tod was making his first start for Athletic: Sam Young also made his competitive debut at the heart of the defence, too.

It only took highly-rated Sutherland 3 minutes to make his mark within the senior game, as he glanced home a header following a cross from the right to fire McPake`s men into an early lead.

The game was comfortable for Dunfermline – they allowed Celtic to have possession, but Max Little (also making his senior, competitive debut for DAFC) was untested as the game reached the end of the opening quarter.

hortly afterwards, Captain for the evening Chris Hamilton found Nikolay Todorov to fire home a second goal of the evening for Athletic, albeit it was deflected in off the post and the goalkeeper.

The score-line was halved with under 10 minutes to go until the interval, as Queen`s Park loanee Johnny Kenny raced onto a through ball which sliced open the Pars back-line to calmly slot the ball home to make the deficit just one, once again, for the Hoops. This gave confidence to O`Dea and McManus`s men as the break approached, so the half-time whistle probably came at a good time for the hosts.

The second-half was a lot more end-to-end and saw both goalkeepers worked; regular first-teamers Josh Edwards and Craig Wighton were introduced just before the hour mark and their presence brought a different outlet for the visiting defenders to deal with. While no more goals were scored, it was victory for McPake`s side, as D go from B to A in the SPFL Trust Trophy,

It was an entertaining match and it was a 90 minutes which brought a lot of joy, satisfaction and benefits to the DAFC Coaching Team, as James McPake explained to ParsTV following Tuesday evening;s encounter:

Focus now turns to Saturday, with Match-Day 16 of the SPFL cinch League One campaign quickly approaching.

Jim McInally has resigned as Peterhead manager – and similarly to the task which faced the Pars last weekend against Clyde, when the Bully Wee got the `new managers bounce` under Jim Duffy, Chris Hamilton knows that it will not be an easy proposition in a few days time, when the Blue Toon face Dunfermline Athletic at Balmoor Stadium.

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