Dunfermline Denied Double Trophy CelebrationsDate: Wednesday, 3rd May 2023
Dunfermline Athletic had the opportunity of making it two `Trophy Celebrations` within the space of just a few days this week, as they lifted the SPFL cinch League One trophy at the weekend before travelling to Ayrshire on Tuesday night to face Kilmarnock Reserves in the SPFL cinch Reserve Cup Final.
On Saturday, the Pars played their final home first-team match of the campaign, against Clyde in front of 6005 supporters, the majority packed into the home ends to witness the League One trophy being lofted high into the sky come full-time. But, the party atmosphere was quickly dampened by Cameron Salkeld, whose 12th minute strike silenced KDM Group East End Park, with the relegation-threatened Bully Wee taking a surprise lead in West Fife.
Highlights: Dunfermline Athletic 2-1 Clyde
It was a really poor display from Athletic in the first-half, but it was ended with a piece of quality which typifies Dunfermline`s full season: Kane Ritchie-Hosler was the man to grab the equaliser, playing a neat one-two with Craig Wighton, before the ball was fired low across Ryan Mullen and into the corner of the net.
The second-half was nigh on Pars pressure, with those of a Black & White persuasion hoping for a winner to end the season in style. It didn`t look like that elusive second goal was going to happen, despite the best efforts of James McPake, who threw every offensive option off the bench onto the park to try and find a late piece of magic.
And finally the wish of the majority within the stadium was met – in true DAFC fashion, with Lewis McCann smashing home an absolute beauty in the 93rd minute to send Dunfermline delirious; his left-footed effort from 20-yards flew past the helpless Mullen and into the back of the net in front of a near full Norrie McCathie Stand. Let the party commence.
Trophy Presentation – SPFL cinch League One Champions 2022-2023
Just 3 days later and the West Fifers had a second opportunity of a trophy lift, with Miller Fenton leading out a youthful Dunfermline Athletic Reserves side, who faced Kilmarnock Reserves in the SPFL cinch Reserve Cup Final at Rugby Park.
Greg Shields` side faced a real uphill battle, with Killie putting out an experienced eleven which included 3 ex-Par loanees: Liam Polworth, Kerr McInroy and Fraser Murray. And it was the latter who opened the scoring after 16 minutes, which started a long evening for the `Men in Maroon`.
Highlights: Kilmarnock Reserves 7-0 Dunfermline Athletic Reserves
Young Kilmarnock striker Bobby Wales would grab a double prior to the interval, with the game virtually done with 45 minutes still to play. The proverbial Men vs Boys cliché was certainly in play at Rugby Park, with some of the players in the visiting line-up going to school earlier on that day while some of the hosts were taking their kids to school at the same time!!
Steven Warnock would score two fantastic goals on the night during the second-half, with the teenager on-loan at Forfar showing the quality he possesses within his right boot, while Murray added his second of the match as well. However, none of the trio would take home the match-ball as well as the trophy, with substitute Aaron Quigg rounding off the scoring in the 92nd minute to make the final score 7-0 to the home side.
Despite the heavy scoreline, it has been a really positive term for the DAFC Youth Academy with progress continuing to take place on the park. Tuesday night`s experience may be a sore one to take for Athletic`s youngsters, but it may well just stand them in good stead in the years to come, as they aim to become first-team regulars such as the previoulsly aforementioned Lewis McCann, as well as Matty Todd – who picked up a plethora of awards at the annual Player of the Year ceremony.
Greg Shields chats to ParsTV following the SPFL cinch Reserve Cup Final
Just one match remains for Dunfermline Athletic, prior to a well earned summer break for all connected to the Black & White, following Saturday`s match with Alloa Athletic at the Indodrill Stadium in Clackmannanshire. McPake will be hoping to end the campaign on a high: a repeat of the 3-0 scoreline from the last time Athletic travelled to Alloa would do nicely, but any win for Dunfermline will do, that`s for sure!