No ExcusesDate: Wednesday, 4th Oct 2023
Last Saturday saw Dunfermline Athletic travel to Maryhill, to face Partick Thistle on Match-Day 7 in the SPFL cinch Championship.
It was an eagerly awaited match for both supporters, for different reasons. Kris Doolan`s side were coming into the match off the back of a 3-0 home defeat to Arbroath seven days prior, while the Pars had won their last two matches, 2-0 away to Queen`s Park and 3-1 versus Greenock Morton at KDM Group East End Park.
Unfortunately for James McPake, despite the positive news regarding the return to the Match-Day Squad of goalkeeper Deniz Mehmet, Paul Allan and Ben Summers dropped out from the week before, depleting numbers further for the Pars. With all that said, the starting eleven remained strong – Alex Jakubiak started his first match for the Club against one of his previous sides, in the only change from the win against the Ton.
But, it was a slow start from Dunfermline, with the hosts having chances early on. Harry Sharp wasn`t really tested, but the intent was set from the outset by the Jags. As the midway point of the first-half approached, Jamie Sneddon sent a long free-kick forward, which evaded all of Athletic`s defenders, leaving Scott Robinson with the simple task of tucking the ball home, past the helpless Sharp. It was a deserved lead for the home side.
Chris Hamilton speaks to ParsTV
The visitors then began to show their teeth as they looked to fight their way back into the match. Sneddon had to look smart to save from Jakubiak from distance, while Sam Fisher saw an effort heroically blocked away for a set-piece, following a stramash within the area.
However, there were two moments of controversy too: both, handball claims which the Pars could feel hard done by to not get given. The first incident saw Lewis McCann lay the ball into Jakubiak on the left and his curling shot was blocked away – not illegally so according to match referee, Colin Steven. In a similar incident just moments later, Ewan Otoo done well down the left before squeezing a low delivery to the right-side of the box; running onto the ball at speed, Aaron Comrie smashed a right-footed effort that was goal-bound, before it was also blocked away by a Partick body.
Incensed players surrounded the ref, convinced it should be a spot-kick. But nothing of the nature was forthcoming and the half came to a close at 1-0, with the hosts feeling they should`ve been further ahead after ex-Dunfermline winger Steven Lawless raced through on goal, 1v1 with Sharp, but his cheeky chip wasn`t fooling the Dundee loanee.
James McPake admits there was no excuses for the performance against Partick
The second-half saw Thistle begin as quickly as they did in the opening 45 minutes, but this time it took only 4 minutes to breach the Athletic backline. The move down the left saw the ball fizzed across the face of goal, where Brian Graham was to tap the ball home. The Partick captain couldn`t miss and it was a long way back for McPake`s side now. Within 5 minutes, Jakubiak was replaced by Owen Moffat as the visitors tried to get their way back into the contest.
The cushion of a two goal lead allowed Doolan`s side to hit Dunfermline on the counter-attack, using the pace of Aidan Fitzpatrick in particular. This was evidenced as the scoreline changed to 3-0! Joe Chalmers sent in a corner for the Pars, with the resulting header being cleared off of the line: the hosts broke at speed, one again down the left, with Kerr McInroy (another ex-Dunfermline player) the man to profit in the middle, as he had the freedom of the Pars penalty area to head home and seal the three points with a third goal.
Dunfermline Athletic continued to push and probe and try give the away support something to cheer. McCann came the closest, cutting in from the left and forcing Sneddon to tip the ball behind for a corner, but ultimately it would be a disappointing afternoon to say the least for the side from West Fife. All focus now has to turn to Arbroath this weekend, in the penultimate match of the first quarter in Scotland`s second-tier. McPake will be hoping for a brighter week injury wise, as well as the result and performance being more to his and the Football Club`s standards, at KDM Group East End Park this Saturday.
Highlights: Partick Thistle 3-0 Dunfermline Athletic
- Loop It Like Lewis
- McCann Shines Again As Dunfermline Are Victorious At The National Stadium
- Football Comedy Night