Dunfermline Athletic 3 - 1 Raith RoversAuthor: Alistair Campbell Date: Thursday, 27th Aug 2009
Dunfermline’s good start to the season continued with a win in the first instalment of this week`s Derby double-header. Andy Kirk scored twice and there was another own-goal – Iain Williamson replied from the spot, but had a later penalty saved.
Jim McIntyre had the rare luxury of naming an unchanged sixteen for the first Pars Rovers Derby in 9 years - Fleming in goals, Woods, McGregor, Higgins and McCann across the back, Gibson, Bell, Burke and Cardle in the middle and Kirk and Bayne up front. Paterson, Dowie, Muirhead, McDougall and Phinn were the subs. Rovers also played a 4-4-2 with former Pars Craig Wilson and Iain Williamson at right back and right midfield respectively. The presence of David Somers as fourth official meant there would be no need for appeals for qualified linesmen in the crowd to make themselves known (and Alex Mill was back as announcer).
The Pars kicked off towards the Raith end and with barely a minute gone a poor clearance from McGurn in the visitors’ goal allowed Bell to centre for Kirk to head on target, McGurn redeeming himself with a good save, but the off-side was up in any case. Gibson was next to show, shooting from a free-kick given at the corner of the box after Cardle had been fouled; McGurn saving at the second attempt.
The first quarter was a bit stop-start, both sides probing without creating much, and punctuated by frequent blasts from Brian Winter’s whistle. One such was to give a free-kick for a “foul” by Hill on Bayne after the linesman had given a corner against Higgins who had appeared to shepherd the ball out ahead of Weir.
Things got a bit livelier just after the half hour - Kirk had a chance to shoot but tried to pass in Cardle - who was forced away from goal but McCann was forward to assist and sent in a low cross which Bayne dummied but Kirk sent a shot past.
At the other end Tade’s forward run ended when the ball came off his heel, but with Higgins and McGregor getting in each other’s way, the ball fell to Smith whose dipping half-volley just cleared the bar. The Pars also came close in 37 minutes when Cardle fed Kirk and the striker’s left foot shot was saved by the keeper, but the deadlock was broken 2 minutes later. All night Burke’s first touch had been good enough to buy him half a yard - in this instance he collected the ball from McCann in yards of space, deep in his own half. He had ample time to play a nice ball down the line to Cardle and got into space 40 yards further up the park to collect the return. Alex switched the ball to the other wing, where Gibson cut inside and picked out Kirk whose glancing header went in at the far post. 1-0 Pars and the half-time lead was just about deserved.
Half Time: Pars 1 - 0 Rovers
Davidson replaced Weir at half-time allowing Williamson to adopt a more central attacking role and Rovers got off to a bright start at the start of the second period. Walker had a go from about 30 yards which McGregor stepped over, justifiably confident in Fleming’s ability to stop. At the other end the Pars earned a free-kick in a central area about 27 yards from goal. Kirk ran over the dead ball to allow Gibson the shot, but although he connected well, the ball flew past McGurn’s right hand post.
However Rovers equalised after 52 minutes. Woods didn’t clear properly and Bell was penalised for “foot-up” trying to flick on. Walker’s free-kick from 30 yards was palmed over by Fleming, the corner wasn’t cleared successfully, and when the ball came back in McGregor shoved Tade under his own bar. Penalty, and a yellow card for the defender. Iain Williamson took the kick and confidently sent Fleming the wrong way. One all.