Dunfermline Athletic

Season Ends With A Draw For Dunfermline

Date: Wednesday, 8th May 2024

Dunfermline Athletic ended Season 2023-2024 with an entertaining 3-3 draw with Ayr United at Somerset Park on Friday evening, on Match-Day 36 in the SPFL cinch Championship.

Both sides had very little to play for going into the closing match of the campaign; there was still a competitive edge with 5th place up for grabs if either side could win and Greenock Morton lost, but there was no drama of promotion or relegation for the Honest Men nor the Pars come the final match of the regulation season.

Despite there being very little pressure on either side, there wasn`t much to report in the opening quarter of the contest: it was just prior to the first quarter of match ending in which the opening goal came with the first major opportunity of the match. Mark McKenzie sprung the offside trap to race in behind the Athletic defence before rounding goalkeeper, Deniz Mehmet. Despite a tight angle, which was being made increasingly smaller by Miles Welch0Hayes` back-tracking, the ball was knocked across goal and into the empty net, as Scott Brown`s side went ahead.

With just over half an hour gone, Michael O`Halloran departed the field of play through injury, to be replaced by Kane Ritchie-Holser and within moments the Pars were back on level terms.

Frankie Musonda, playing left-back on Friday evening, was faced by the presence of the newly-introduced substitute, so turned back and played a pass back to goalkeeper Josh Clarke – however, this was anticipated by Dunfermline`s on-loan St Johnstone forward Chris Kane, who dinked the ball into the back of the net for the equaliser with 10 minutes of the first-half remaining.

Chris Kane chats to ParsTV following the final match of the campaign

Seven minutes later, Owen Moffat linked up down the left before crossing in, finding the head of Kane who flicked the ball home for his fifth goal in 10 appearances in Black & White. With neither keeper overly troubled, the Pars had fought their way back into the match and now into the lead. And, incredibly, prior to the interval, the visitors had a third! Another delviery from the left, this time an in-swinging Paul Allan corner was briefly nodded clear but only to Josh Edwards, who volleyed the ball past Clarke from 12-yards out to give Athletic a two-goal cushion going into half-time.

United pushed at the start of the second-half, but Dunfermline were holding firm. But, with just over 20 mintues remaining of the term, a long-ball down the Pars` left got half-time substitute Scott Tomlinson in behind; unfortunately, Mehmet slipped as he attempted to close down the angle and this allowed the attacker to find fellow sub, Lucas McRoberts, in the middle to tuck the ball home from close range, despite the best attempts of Sam Fisher to block the ball and put off the young striker from grabbing his first senior goal.

Highlights: Ayr United 3-3 Dunfermline Athletic

This goal gave the hosts increased confidence they wouldn`t end the season with a home loss: Anton Dowds made sure this wouldn`t happen as he swivelled and shot past Mehmet from 10-yards out following a delivery in from the left. An entertaining match, which now stood at 3-3. An enthralling finish would surely ensue.

The West Fife side did grow back into the match and James McPake`s men could`ve won it with some late opportunities, however, the feeling within Somerset Park quickly changed after a medical emergency occurred in the 86th minute. Mehmet received lengthy treatment as he received the best of care from the Dunfermline Athletic medical team, assisted by Ayr United`s medical staff too.

This meant Max Little would come on for the final few moments of the match but he wasn`t troubled as the game played out without any further chances being created and both sides accepting a point to close the campaign.

All our thoughts are with Deniz as we wish him a speedy recovery. We wish all the players and staff a relaxing Summer before Season 2024-2025 kicks off in a couple of months time.

James McPake chats to Jordan Burt following the final whistle vs Ayr United

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