Dunfermline Athletic

Dunfermline Athletic 2 - 2 Raith Rovers

Author: Alistair Campbell Date: Saturday, 13th Nov 2010

How to lose a 2 goal lead in several easy lessons.

1 – Miss an open goal
2 – Get a player sent off
3 – Hand the ball on a plate to their substitute
4 – Sit back and defend until you concede an equaliser deep into stoppage time.

Throw in an emergency linesman and a 2 for 1 substitution farce and you have a typical Fife derby – maybe short on skill, but long on talking-points.

Tade challenges Mccann

Steven Bell’s hideous injury sustained at Cappielow meant that a change to the starting line-up was inevitable, but Macca sprung a surprise by making an unenforced change, dropping Higgins and bringing in Keddie to partner Dowie in the heart of defence. The normal 4-4-2 formation was kept, with Woods and McCann as the full backs and Neil McGregor got the call from exile in the stand to take his place alongside Mason in midfield. Graham continued on the left, player of the season (to date) Wullie Gibson was on the right and Clarke and Kirk continued up front. Smith was in goals. Ryan Thomson dropped back to the bench, alongside usual suspects Allison, Cardle and McDougall, with Higgins as the defensive cover.

As you would expect, there has been a fair bit of cross fertilisation in the Raith ranks –ex-Pars Craig Wilson Jamie Mole and Scott McBride would all start, and Iain Williamson was a named substitute alongside assistant manager Paul Smith. Stephen Simmons had injured his toe, but we had Sammy the Tammy back in his pomp to keep the punters happy, pre-match at least.

Clarke makes it 1-0

There was a ten minute delay to let the 7,000 plus crowd assemble, plus a further minute’s silence in respect of the fallen, impeccably observed. Eventually we were underway, with Raith kicking off and showing their hand early. Plan A was clearly to lump long high balls towards Gregory Tadé coming off the right-touchline. Plan B was to use Jamie Mole’s pace through the middle, and to a lesser extent that of Scott McBride down the left. After an early Gibson free-kick from distance that didn’t achieve very much we saw the first proper attempt in 11 minutes when Mole got free 18 yards from goal, but his snap-shot finished 12 yards wide. Austin McCann, skippering the side as usual, was having to use all his experience to nullify the threat of Tadé, giving him a little off balance shove that saw the latter tumble over a ball-boy.

David Graham had started encouragingly against Craig Wilson, but even so it was still a surprise when the move that led to the opening goal started in that quarter of the field in 19 minutes. Graham had gone on a run, but seemed to be going nowhere by the corner flag. However, he twisted, turned and got his cross in, and when that was cleared, Mason swung it to Gibson on the other wing. Wullie put in an early cross to the near post where Clarke bundled the ball home from close range. 1-0 Pars.

Rovers sought to hit back and forced 3 corners in quick succession – taken by the Banana-booted McBride from the right and Walker on the left – but Neil McGregor proved his worth with a couple of headed clearances. It continued to be a game of few chances, but the Pars took the next chance that came their way to double their lead. Again the move started on the left –Jinky McCann managed to beat two men to cross, but again the ball was cleared beyond the edge of the box. Woods was more than 25 yards out, but he sent a low left-footed strike into the bottom right corner. 2-0 Pars, and looking good.

Again Rovers tried the immediate counter, with Smith making a comfortable first save, after McGregor’s block had fallen to Mole. The Rovers’ cause wasn’t helped by Tadé suffering what looked like a nose-bleed, and being unable to rejoin the action after treatment for some minutes due to the lack of fourth official being able to conduct the necessary inspection. Eventually the ball was out of play and Rovers were back to full strength. However, their bad luck continued when Craig Wilson was yellow carded for using his hand to stop Graham’s flick 35 yards from goal. This was too far even for Wullie, so after lining up the shot he tried a little dink over the ball looking for Kirk, but the forward couldn’t control.

There hadn’t been a lot of good football played in the first period, but the Pars were nevertheless more than happy with the state of play at the break.

Half Time: Pars 2 Rovers 0



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