Author: Stephen Taylor Date: Saturday, 30th Dec 2006
Dunfermline Athletic 0
Despite a lot of huffing and puffing it was the same old story for the Pars as they lost by a respectable 2-0 to a vibrant Hibs side.
It certainly looks as if Stephen Kenny is having some effect on his players but the question must be asked "just how much more can he squeeze out of this particular group of individuals?". Sadly, the answer looks to be "not much".
With Stevie Crawford returning after suspension he partnered Mark Burchill in attack. The midfield saw Stephen Simmons replace Freddie Dacquin wih Mason on the right, Simmons and Bamba in the middle and Scott Muirhead on the left. The defence was unchanged with Shields, McGuire, Wilson and Young playing in front of De Vries.
In front of a reasonably full Easter Road stadium including a fairly good Pars support the Pars were shooting in what used to be the downhill direction. The Pars gave the new Hibs goalkeeper McNeil an easy take from a limply taken freekick. If ever the youngster needed an early confidence boost that was it.
Simmons blasted well over in 2 minutes. The Hibs left back made a good run forward unchallenged in 4 minutes and had a shot but he hit it wide.
Stevie Crawford also hit a shot over in 9 minutes after being set up by a lively Bamba. A few minutes later Darren Young hit a shot so wide it went out for a throw in on the Hibs left.
The game fell into a spell of dogged defensive work from the Pars keeping Hibs well away from their goal area. However, in 17 minutes Scott Brown hit a shot wide after a cross was punched clear by De Vries. A couple of minutes later Killen had a great chance to score but it was saved by De Vries only to find Killen was actually offside.
The Pars won their first corner in 20 minutes but did nothing with it. Then we had a spell of 4 minutes with three Pars players being booked, all for fouls. Young, McGuire and Mason the culprits. Scott Wislon made a great tackle inside his own area in 40 minutes which definitely denied Hibs a goal scoring chance. In the closing minutes Hibs had two shots hit well wide neither troubling De Vries. Half time 0-0.
The Pars seem to have developed a tactic in recent weeks keeping the opposition waiting for them to return the to pitch for the start of the second half. However, when they did return Hibs continued where they had left off the first half attacking the Pars goal. In 50 minutes Hibs had a good sweeping move ending in a shot by Killen going well over the bar. Burchill had a half chance in 54 minutes but the keeper saved.