SFL v Morton

DUNFERMLINE 2 MORTON 1 Date: 05/05/09

Fixture: Irn Bru SFL Division One

Attendance: 1348, Kick Off: 7.45pm.

Referee: Brian Winter

Stephen Glass┬ returned after serving a two match suspension. Steven Bell picked up a calf strain in the warm up on Saturday and he┬ and Calum Woods missed┬ this game. Eric Paartulu dropped to the bench for Morton to make way for Steven Masterton, Morton`s only change from the team that lost at Perth on Saturday.

There was a fifteen minute delay in the kick off because of a calf┬ injury to one of the match officials and as the crowd waited in anticipation, stadium announcer Alex Mill kept them fully informed of the news and two early goals at the Emirates Stadium`s Champions League Semi Final.

Dunfermline had┬ a chance inside two minutes┬ when Graham Bayne accepted a long ball and got away a good shot on target requiring Kevin Cuthbert to touch the ball around his right hand post. From the corner Alex Burke exchanged passes with Stephen Glass before delivering a ball to the near post that Bayne directed wide.

Morton created a good opening in six minutes when Kevin Finlayson got the ball in from the right for Ryan McGuffie but his header at the near post was destined to clear the crossbar. McGuffie was unlucky again when a loose ball from a Morton throw was allowed to bounce through the Pars box.

Finlayson found himself with the opportunity to shoot from 25 yards but fortunately his 15th minute shot was well off target. Next David Graham took the heat off his defence,┬ going on a long run from deep inside his own half but his final pass to Bayne was just too far in front of the striker.

Iain Russell won a corner in 18th minute and when Masterton sent that in from the right Stewart Greachen got good purchase on a header from 14 yards but that cleared the crossbar.┬ Masterton had a fair attempt from a 30 yard free kick but was too high and sent the ball into the McCathie Stand.

The Pars response was firstly a 30 yard drive from Andy Kirk that┬ brought Cuthbert into action but Jim McIntyre was forced into making a 25th minute┬ substitution bringing on Rory Loy for captain Scott Wilson.┬ Stephen Glass dropped back to left back and Scott Muirhead found himself in central defence.┬

Loy exercised Cuthbert with a great attempt in 34 minutes from the left angle of the box but the Morton keeper tipped that away for a corner.┬ It was a corner from the left that created another chance for the hosts just three minutes later. Graham played the ball deep for Burke to square to Nick Phinn.┬ The top scoring midfielder came close sending his shot dipping left of goal.

Next minute another great chance for Dunfermline was missed.┬ Kirk was wide right to swing over an inviting ball that Phinn again directed wide.┬ As half time approached the Pars piled on the pressure with Loy just failing to get enough on a Ross cross and Bayne being denied by McManus.

Phinn had┬ two bites at the cherry as Morton just couldn`t┬ clear their┬ box. The Greenock side lived dangerously at another corner but Paul Gallacher had to punch away a visitors corner from under his bar before the interval arrived. It had been quite an entertaining first 45, no goals but at least at the break the home fans could applaud their side off.

Half Time: Dunfermline 0 Morton 0

Bayne and Kirk got the second period underway but it was five mnutes before there was a shot at goal and that from Jim McAllister was wildly high. The Pars then won a corner and although the first onslaught was defended Burke swung over the second and Bayne got in a powerful header that a defender blocked.

A 55th minute free kick was launched into the Pars box by Masterton and Greachen made a spectacular diving effort but just failed to keep his header low enough.┬ Next minute it was so different.┬ A sprint up the right from Graham won him a shot at goal on the angle and Cuthbert could not hold the fiercely executed effort.┬ The ball broke to LOY who netted from close in finding the net at the far post despite Greachen`s attempt to stop it.

Davie Irons team came right at Dunfermline after going behind. A Masterton free kick was cleared by a diving header from Muirhead, Carlo Monti had a shot deflected for a corner and then in 62 minutes MONTI netted from 20 yards after the ball broke to him after a first attempt was blocked.

Bayne glanced a Glass cross just wide of the right goalpost before Morton had┬ bad luck as another Monti belter rebounded off the heels of McAllister 14 yards out.┬ Burke fired over and Graham wide. A Graham cut back into the box was left by Kirk but a timely┬ interception denied Phinn of another goal.

With third place in the league┬ the likely prize for the winners Morton battled on and came close with a McAllister corner that was flicked on by McManus, palmed away by Gallacher and the hit over the bar by Greachen.

Five minutes from time McGuffie`s ball from the left was headed ever so narrowly wide of the right post and at the other end Bayne`s on target header was tipped away by Cuthbert. Then in 87th minute of the game, something we`d all waited too long for - a winning Pars league goal at east End Park.┬ A simple cross from the right was met by the┬ right foot┬ of Andy KIRK and the ball rattled down into the net off the crossbar.

It may not have had the glamour of the Champions League but it was end to end stuff for the whole 90 minutes. The first league win at home since December and three points clear now in third place.

DUNFERMLINE: Paul Gallacher; Greg Ross, Scott Wilson (c) (Rory Loy 25), Austin McCann, Scott Muirhead; David Graham,┬ Nick Phinn, Stephen Glass, Alex Burke, Scott Muirhead; Graham Bayne, Andy Kirk┬ .
SUBS: Greg Paterson (GK), Lee Graham, Scott McBride, Paul Willis.
SCORER: Loy (56), Kirk (87)

MORTON: Kevin Cuthbert; Alex Walker, Allan McManus, Stewart Greacen, Ryan McGuffie (Eric Paartulu 90+2); Kevin Finlayson, Carlo Monti, Steven Masterton, James McAllister, Peter Weatherson (Brian Wake 80), Iain Russell.
SUBS: James Grady,┬ Chris Smith, Ryan McWilliams.
SCORER: Monti (62)

WEATHER: Wet, windy 11C

NEXT MATCH: (home) First Division v Clyde
Saturday 9th May 2009, kick off 3.00pm

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