They Think It Is All Over ...Date: Thursday, 9th Feb 2023
Saturday saw Match-Day 22 for Dunfermline Athletic in SPFL cinch League One, at home to Montrose.
However, closest league rivals – and arch nemesis – Falkirk had 2 games in a matter of days, with the opportunity to close the gap at the top of the table.
The Pars kicked-off at home to the Gable Endies, while the Bairns were just a few miles away – also in West Fife – against Kelty Hearts.
All eyes within the stadium remained focused on the task in hand on the KDM Group East End Park pitch, but the score-line at New Central Park was just as important to many.
Highlights: Dunfermline Athletic 2-0 Montrose
As half-time approached in both matches, Kelty took the lead against Falkirk, thanks to ex-DAFC attacker Kallum Higginbotham. Shortly afterwards, the ball was in the net for the Black & White, too. Joe Chalmers` corner was only cleared as far as the edge of the box, before a bit of head tennis saw Rhys Breen knock the ball home.
The score-lines at the interval may have suggested the league campaigns were going to draw to a close in very differing fashions for both Clubs. However, there remained a feeling of nervousness with the fragility of the score-line.
Just after the hour mark, the game was put to bed in one area of West Fife, as Craig Wighton delivered a decisive blow to Stewart Petrie`s side, as James McPake`s men notched a second. After great running by Matty Todd and a fabulous cross in by Lewis McCann, it was the simplest of finishes by Wighton for his 11th of the term.
Things weren`t over in Kelty however, with late drama to follow. Jordan Allan notched his first for his new Club on 79 minutes, before a deflected Rumarn Burrell effort in the final minute of the match saw John McGlynn`s men keep their title aspirations alive with a massive 3 points against John Potter`s side.
Highlights: Alloa Athletic 1-1 Falkirk
So, the gap remained at 5 points, but the Bairns had their game in-hand on Tuesday evening away to Alloa Athletic. A chance to put the pressure onto Athletic, reducing the gap to just two points with a victory over Brian Rice`s men.
The game seemed to be petering out for a 0-0 stalemate – a good result for Falkirk considering how the opening 85 minutes had gone – before Gary Oliver stood up to be counted in the dying stages, with what could be a vital goal in the title-hopefuls campaign.
They thought it was all over... but Alloa weren`t for surrendering. In the 93rd minute, a handball was penalised within the Bairns penalty-area, giving the Wasps the chance to sting the tails of Falkirk with a stoppage-time equaliser.
John McGlynn reviews Falkirk`s match with Alloa
Scott Taggart stepped up to take the spot-kick, rifling the ball past PJ Morrison to grab a point for the Clackmannanshire side. A psychologically bitter blow for the Bairns, who are now 4 points behind the Pars. However, it is Dunfermline who must take advantage now; they need to capitalise on Tuesday evening`s dropped points by Falkirk, when they play their catch-up match this weekend.
Airdrieonians away awaits: a win would see McPake`s side go 13 points clear of the Diamonds, but arguably more crucially, 7 ahead of McGlynn`s men.
They Think It Is All Over... it isn`t yet!!