Alba Challenge Cup v Arbroath


Fixture: Alba Challenge Cup

Attendance: 1034, Kick Off: 3.00pm.

Referee: George Salmond

Arbroath were the visitors for the Alba Challenge Cup match that kicked off the Pars competitive action.¬ With Calum Woods was not risked following his stitches on his eyebrow on Tuesday night, ¬ Chris Higgins was joined by Austin McCann in the centre of defence. A shoulder injury to Greg Paterson at East Fife on Tuesday meant that under 19s keeper Craig Bald was on the bench.

The visitors kicked off attacking the goal at the empty McCathie Stand end and almost got a breakthrough within the first minute. Mark McCulloch made the cut through the right side of the home defence to cut a ball back for Steve Hislop in front of goal but he kicked fresh air and Paul Lunan at the far side of the box had his effort blocked.

Dunfermline`s response was a fifth minute cross from¬ Stephen Glass that¬ ¬ Andy Kirk ¬ headed at keeper Darren Hill from seven yards. The Fifers piled on the pressure with Glass` shot from 25 yards whistling past the left post.¬ Burke fed Gibson on the right but his inviting ball across the box slipped out at the far right.

In 13 minutes Keith Gibson chipped a neat ball into the left side of the Pars box that Lunan ran on to and delivered a fine cut back into a central area in front of goal but there were only black and white shirts there to take the ball away.

Three minutes later Glass provided another good cross that Ian Dobbins did well to cut out¬ and concede a corner.¬ Arbroath had¬ eight men back as they continued to frustrate the Pars attempts but Willie Gibson cut in from the left to release a stinger of a shot from 20 yards parried away by Hill for a throw in on the left.

As the match approached the midway point of the first half another Glass ball in from the right was attacked on the edge of the six yard box by Steven Bell but his header under pressure was directed over the bar.¬ Another Gibson cross this time from the right in 29th minute was headed wide left by Bayne before Arbroath created a good chance of their own.

Paul Watson`s ball out of defence sent Steven Doris up their right wing.¬ His delivery was perfect for Sellars but he mis-timed his header and still Fleming had nothing to save.

A Glass corner from the right in 34 minutes was met by Bell but his sidefooted shot was saved by the keeper.¬ A Gibson free kick was pumped into the box, the keeper punched out but neither Bell or Glass could get in the shot. Three minutes later Bayne and Bell both had opportunities as the ball bounced around the Arbroath six yard box but it culminated in a Bayne shot that was off target.

Dunfermline were passing the ball about with purpose but just couldn`t find a goal. In 39 minutes Glass flighted another good cross over from the left but was just too far in front of Gibson as he ran in and Hill caught it.

One minute from the break Bayne headed on a through ball but Gibson could only send the chance over the bar and then from a corner Alex Burke sent the ball the same way.¬ Graham had a pop at goal just on the whistle but Hill held.

Half Time: Dunfermline 0 Arbroath 0

The second half got off to a great start for the Pars with a goal wthin four minutes. Andy KIRK burst in from the right and played a one two with Bell on the corner of the Arbroath half before chipping Hill and finding the net.

Kirk¬ fed Bayne but the striker`s shot was blocked then Ross swung a ball over from the right that Hill grabbed off the head of Bayne.¬ Alan Rattray dumped David Graham in 55 minutes¬ and the Pars player required treatment from Gerry Docherty.

Next Bayne swept a great ball out right for Gibson to return across the six yard box but Darren Hill got the slimest of touches to mess up Kirk`s chance to turn the ball in.¬ Bell had a 30 yard effort over the bar before at the other end he got too much on a challenge on Keith Gibson and Arbroath were handed a free kick on the edge of the Pars box. Watson hammered that at goal but a deflection gave the visitors their first corner of the afternoon.

At the other end a 62nd minute cross from Gibson was headed into the keeper`s hands by Bayne at the far post. Bell was unlucky minutes later when his header on a Graham pass dropped outside the right goalpost. He made no mistake however with his next opportunity from a Glass corner on the right.¬ Steven BELL met the ball eight yards out with a header to make it 2-0.

The visitors brought on Jamie REDMAN in 71 minutes and within two he escaped the challenge of Ross to hit the net from a Sellars corner.¬ Nick Phinn¬ replaced Bell with fifteen to go but he couldn`t emulate the Arbroath subs achievement sending his early chance into the McCathie Stand.

Arbroath were not for giving up and Lunan forced a route into the left side of the Pars box to lift the ball in for Sellars to head narrowly outside the left post. Bayne almost killed the tie with a well connected shot from 15 yards five minutes from time but the right goalpost saved the Lichties and Phinn was unlucky as the rebund went back into the keepers hands.

The match boiled over in 88 minutes when Ian Dobbins was red carded for head butting Austin McCann as Sellars prepared to hit a free kick from the left corner of the box.¬ Bayne pulled Dobbin away from McCann meaning all the Arbroath players reacted and Rattray was also yellow carded for pushing McCann in the brawl. After quite a delay Sellars then forced a fine save out of Fleming to prevent extra time.

DUNFERMLINE: Greg Fleming; Greg Ross, Chris Higgins, Austin McCann, Stephen Glass; David Graham, Steven Bell (Nick Phinn 75), Alex Burke, Willie Gibson (Joe Cardle 67); Andy Kirk (Steven McDougall 80), Graham Bayne
SUBS: Craig Bald (GK), Graeme Holmes
YELLOW CARD: Gibson (42)
SCORERS: Kirk (49), Bell (68)

ARBROATH: Darren Hill; Steven Doris (Kevin McMullan 58), Mark McCulloch, Ian Dobbins, Jamie Bishop, Alan Rattray, Paul Lunan, Keith Gibson, Steve Hislop (Kevin Milne 90 +3), Barry Sellars, Paul Watson (Jamie Redman 71).
SUBS: Daryl Burns (GK), Steven Rennie
SCORER: Redman (73)
RED CARD: Dobbin (88)
YELLOW CARD: Rattray (88)

WEATHER: Sunny 20C


NEXT MATCH: (home) Pre Season Friendly v Coventry City
Wednesday 29th July 2009, kick off 7.30pm

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