Dunfermline Athletic

It`s As Easy As 1,2,3...

Date: Wednesday, 27th Mar 2024

Dunfermline Athletic travelled to Greenock Morton at the weekend, on Match-Day 30 in the SPFL cinch Championship for James McPake`s men.

On the back of their impressive win against league leaders Dundee United, there was an expectation that the Pars could and should go to Cappielow and pick up 3 points against Dougie Imrie`s men.

he first-half was a pretty drab affair: the hosts only real opportunities came from long throw-ins by Lewis Strapp, but following some pinball in the Dunfermline defence, the shots were well off-target and not troubling Deniz Mehmet in the Pars goal.

Athletic were carving out the more clear-cut chances, but Ryan Mullen was pretty quiet at the other end as well, with most shots being blocked or dragged wide of the target.

Miles Welch-Hayes speaks to ParsTV

The feeling at half-time was that a goal for either team could be the winner, with such a competitive and closely fought contest being a fine example of how the smallest of margins could be the difference between success and failure in the Scottish Championship.

Ten minutes into the second-half, a quickly taken, short, corner allowed Kane Ritchie-Hosler to swing the ball into the box with his right-foot, with the high ball meeting the head of the on-rushing Miles Welch-Hayes, who saw the ball loop over Mullen and into the net, as the Livingston loanee scored his first goal for Dunfermline Athletic.

The visitors had the chance to double their lead, as Chris Kane hit the post with a header from another right-sided corner, before Chris Hamilton somehow didn`t manage to bury the rebound, keeping the scoreline at just 1-0.

In this type of match, a 2-goal lead would be crucial in such tight matches. McPake`s men not taking their chance when it came along provided the hosts with encouragement and optimism that they could still get something out of the game.

Deniz Mehmet chats to Jordan Burt post-match

mrie`s men were pushing the Pars back, as they threw everything bar the kitchen sink at the West Fife side. The Ton knew a defeat would see them be leapfrogged by the KDM Group East End Park Club; desperate defending helped keep Dunfermline in front with the clock ticking down.

With just over 5 minutes to go, match referee Steven MacLean pointed to the spot for a foul on substitute Jai Quitongo, by Ewan Otoo. Mehmet has been in good penalty saving form in recent weeks, with stops from Billy McKay and Callum Smith denying Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Raith Rovers goals in previous matches.

On this occasion, it was former Black & White attacker Robbie Muirhead that stepped up to take the spot-kick. The left-footed effort from 12-yards went to Mehmet`s left-hand side, but the Pars #1 got down low to tip the ball onto the post before Josh Edwards smacked the ball to safety: Brad Holmes managed to beat the goalkeeper to the bouncing ball up the other end but his shot towards the open net was blocked in an end-to-end, crazy, 30 seconds.

Despite continued pressure at Cappielow, there was no comeback for Greenock Morton. Some would say Saturday`s result was as easy as 1,2,3...

-- 1 goal
-- 2 wins in a row
-- 3 points

6 matches to go for Dunfermline Athletic in the SPFL cinch Championship for Season 2023-2024, starting away to Arbroath this weekend. Both the promotion and relegation play-offs are realistic end points for the Pars, so McPake`s side know they can`t rest on their laurels with 18 points still to play for.

A win over Jim McIntyre`s Red Lichties would go along way to preserving their place in Scotland`s second-tier for next season, hopefully allowing them to focus on a late charge towards finishing in the Top 4.

Highlights: Greenock Morton 0-1 Dunfermline Athletic

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