Hamilton Accies 3 v 0 Dunfermline AthleticAuthor: Stephen Taylor Date: Saturday, 9th Feb 2008
The Pars slump to their third defeat by the league leaders in a game that again showed the genuine gulf in class between these two sides. The home side made the most of their articial turf which clearly gives them an edge.
Manager, Jim McIntyre left himself out of the squad probably not fancying the surface which meant Stevie Crawford made a start partnering Mark Burchill in attack. There was also a return to the side for Sol Bamba in the defence.
The Pars lined up with Gallacher in goals, Woods, Wilson, Bamba and Scott Morrison. The midfield saw Harper on the right, Simmons and Glass in the middle and new signing Alex Burke on the left. Crawford and Burchill in attack.
The kick off was slightly delayed as an eagle eyed linesman noticed one of the goal nets hanging down a bit. Attacking the goal where the visiting fans were the Pars almost opened up a chance in 4 minutes as a tippy tappy passing move involving Harper and Burchill almost opened up for Harper before Harper was crowded out.
There was then a peculiar minute or two as Hamilton won 6 corners in quick succession as the Pars struggled to clear their lines.
New signing Alex Burke was showing up wel in th eearly stages and in 9 minutes he ran into the box from the left and nearing the keepers near post the midfielder chose to shoot but it was cleared off the line when perhaps a cut back was called for. It was then time for Harper to do similar and cut in from the right wing and finding Burchill but his shot was blocked.
Then virtually against the run of play Offiong was away, Bamba appeared to have made a good tackle but amazingly the referee was pointing to the penalty spot. The Pars defenders crowded round the referee clearly thinking that was such a bad decision. Offiong scores.1-0. A minute later Bamba again steps in with a vital tackle on the Accies centre forward.
in 18 minutes Burchill had a great chance to equalise as he was one on one with Halliwell but he shot at the advancing keeper and Burke following up fired in the rebound.
Bamba made a loping run forward in 26 minutes and he blasted wide. At the other end Gallacher had to make a save from a wicked shot that bounced in front of him so he could not hold the shot.
The Accies had a great chance to score in 30 minutes as they cut along the bye line and the cut back was slid wide of the post when it seemed easier to score.
Bamba made a run forward in 32 minutes and was taken out just on the edge of the area. Glass hit the free kick over the bar.
Throughout the game the main tactic from Hamilton was to hit the Pars on the break which they were very effective at doing. In 34 minutes Offiong was again through and despite Bamba pleading offside he could not catch the striker who got on the end of a low cross and slotted coolly past Gallacher. 2-0.
Stevie Crawford hit a shot against the keepers right hand post. That was unlucky but things got even more unlucky as Hamilton again broke away and Offiong completed his hat trick. 3-0. Game over. Half time 3-0.
Nicky Phinn came on for Simmons at the start of the 2nd half. Glass managed to lose possession just inside the Pars half and only a last ditch tackle by Wilson stopped another goal. Apart from Phinn, Wilson and, later, McManus getting booked there was nothing of note in a poor second half where the home side knew they had won the game and the Pars did not have the guile to create a chance. Offiong should have had his fourth in 68 minutes sliding in at the back post but he only put he ball out for a bye kick. Final score 3-0.
A poor show by the Pars in a strange game where they had actually played reasonably well in the first half despite losing three goals. Bamba had one of his up and down days which given it was his first game for ages was forgiveable. Neither he nor Wilson could dominate (or catch) Offiong. Woods and Morrison did not do very much offensively and both struggled against the pace of their immediate opponents.
The Pars midfield was posted absent for most of the game. Simmons and Glass were poor as was Haprer. Alex Burke did alright but looks as if he needs a few games under his belt to get match fit. Burchill and Crawford had chances but did not take them. McManus and Owen Morrison came on later but made little impact in the game.