SFL v Livingston


Fixture: Irn Bru SFL Division One

Attendance: 1859, Kick Off: 7.45pm.

Referee: Calum Murray


Scott Thomson came in for the suspended Calum Woods and David Graham replaced the injured Graham Bayne. Livingston had Chris Innes back and Andrew Halliday in to take the places of David Mackay and Gary Miller.

Before kick off there was a minute`s applause as a mark of respect for Mary Leishman, wife of Jim who of course has held the position as manager of both clubs.

The match started with Dunfermline on the ascendancy and Roddy McKenzie was called into action in the sixth minute to save a low struck shot from Steven Bell┬ after he received a fine cut back from Jamie Mole.┬ Livi`s first corner in ninth minute was easily defended and the Pars continued to look the most likely.

Nick Phinn required treatment in 17 minutes after a nasty challenge from Murray Davidson and although the Fifers forced a corner from the resultant free kick, it wasn`t until two minutes later that McKenzie had a serious shot to save from Graham.

Next Greg Shields had the travelling support gasping as the ball was whipped across the face of goal.┬ A free kick was awarded when no advantage followed from a McDonald and Innes sandwich on Graham and Thomson was very close from the 27 yard free kick.

Just when it looked as though the Pars were comfortably in control a Livi cross over from deep down┬ the left was deflected off a defender to Anthony McPARLAND┬ and he┬ blasted the ball past Gallacher from the edge of the box.┬ Dunfermline tried to get back but long range efforts from Thomson and Glass were both off target.

On 32 minutes Mole at least made McKenzie save an effort from 18 yards but the Pars continued to push for the equaliser.┬ Playing deep inside the Livi half the Pars crowd roared their side on and there were several cries of┬ "shoot it" was the ball sat up invitingly.┬ Keaghan Jacobs had to come on for Jason Talbot in 37th minute after he was assisted to hobble off following a clash on the edge of the box.

Nick Phinn was played in on the right side of the box after a fine pass from Graham but Halliday was back to deny him his tenth goal of the season. A Glass shot was deflected for another corner but Livi dealt with that.

The half ended with the Pars still pressing Livi back but still they could not find the route to goal even though David Graham`s┬ twisting run carved out a great opportunity to test McKenzie from 20 yards. ┬ Rarely can they have dominated a game as much without penetrating┬ the opposition defence.

Half Time: Livingston 1 Dunfermline 0

Dunfermline started the second half where they had left off in the first with Alex Burke hitting a wild shot before hitting the ball across the face of goal without anyone getting a touch. Another good chance came from a Bell delivery from the left but Phinn`s head on to Thomson could not be converted.

The Pars fans willed their side on; Mole was denied a penalty claim and then Phinn headed a Graham cross wide left. Dunfermline were pushing up and Livi cleared the ball straight to Glass.┬ The vice captain lofted the ball to the far left where the Livi man failed to cut it out letting McCann gather on the bye line and send over a cross that Steven BELL hit on the volley to bulge the net to McKenzie`s right. The equaliser came just eleven minutes into the second half leaving plenty time for another.

Danny Griffin kept Gallacher involved with a low bouncing shot but then Murray DAVIDSON was given plenty time in 66 to take a touch from one foot to the other before driving the ball low into the bottom right. Within a minute David GRAHAM scored a cracker of a goal to make it 2-2 with a spectacular strike from 25 yards. A great time to open his goals account for Dunfermline!

In 69 minutes a McParland corner from the left was headed in by DAVIDSON and it was 3-2.┬ Jim McIntyre introduced Kevin Harper and Rory Loy for the two goalscorers and then in 72 Scott Muirhead for Austin McCann.

Alex Burke broke through into the left side of the Livi box to bring a great save out of McKenzie in 75 minutes but Livi broke from the corner with Jacobs from the left picking out GRIFFITHS and he found the net with a low drive from the edge of the box. Rory Loy headed a Harper delivery from wide right on to the crossbar as the excitement levels were maintained.

Dunfermline continued to do most of the attacking. Griffiths did threaten on the counterattack until he appeared to injured his hamstring with five minutes left but there was to be no more goals even though Thomson had a good effort wide left.

It is hard to believe that Dunfermline lost this.┬ Paul Hegarty`s Livingston took all their chances and despite all their considerable pressure Dunfermline just could not make it count. With St Johnstone and Partick winning at Broadwood and Dingwall respectively it was not a good night for the Fifers as they slipped to seventh.

LIVINGSTON: Roddy McKenzie; Cameron MacDonald, Chris Innes, Danny Griffin, Jason Talbot (Keaghan Jacobs 37); Anthony McParland, Murray Davidson, Andrew Halliday (Mark Torrance 65), Joe Hamill, Leigh Griffiths, Armand One (Raffaele De Vita 63).
SUBS: David Winters,┬ Craig McDowall.
SCORER: McParland (23), Davidson (66, 69), Griffiths (76)

DUNFERMLINE: Paul Gallacher, Scott Thomson, Greg Shields, Scott Wilson (c), Austin McCann (Scott Muirhead 72); Steven Bell (Rory Loy 70), Stephen Glass, Nick Phinn, Alex Burke; Jamie Mole, David Graham (Kevin Harper 70).
SUBS: Andy Kirk, Callum Reidford.
SCORER: Bell (56), Graham (67)

WEATHER: Fine 4┬║C

NEXT MATCH: (home) First Division v Partick Thistle
Saturday 14th March 2009, kick off 3.00pm

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