SFL v Morton


Fixture: Irn Bru SFL Division One

Attendance: 2411, Kick Off: 3.00pm.

Referee: Steven Nicholls

Dunfermline brought back Steven Bell, Joe Cardle and Andy Kirk for the match against managerless Morton.  The Greenock side were without Neil MacFarlane and Allan Jenkins but Carlo Monti and Eric Paartulu returned.

Morton went into a huddle before Brian Graham and Peter Weatherson got proceedings underway attacking the goal at the McCathie stand end. Early play was all towards Greg Fleming`s goal with his counterpart, Colin Stewart not seeing much of the ball before holding an overstruck Greg Ross pass in seven minutes.

The first corner of the game went Dunfermline`s way in 14 minutes when an Alex Burke free kick was turned behind off Monti`s back but the Pars failed to make that count.  Brian Graham went down with an injury in the next minute and Pars doc Bobby Robertson came on to confirm with the Morton physio that a stretcher was required. Brian Wake then became the first sub of the afternoon.

The subs high cross in 19 minutes was held by Fleming despite Weatherson`s forceful challenge. Morton were seeing an uncomfortable amount of possession although not really getting anywhere near the Pars goal. Dunfermline gradually came into the game with David Graham pumping over a couple of crosses; the first Stewart held and the second overhit.

The East End faithful were growing their disquiet when a Ross cross was headed down by Bell to Kirk but the keeper prevented the goal and his defence scrambled the ball away. Immediately there was another goalmouth stramash but again the Morton defence came out on top.

Not for the first time in the afternoon, Graham Bayne went down under another stiff challenge in 33 minutes and needed Gerry Docherty`s attention. The Pars captain was fit to continue after a couple of minutes but as the first half slithered towards a close there looked little prospect of any goals. 

Fleming held a looping header and McGregor cut out a cross into the danger area.  A long cross feld pass from Woods put Graham in with an opportunity to cross but he tried to beat one man too many. A Cardle corner found Bell`s head but Morton cleared.  Dunfermline failed to ignite in the first 45; much better required in the second.

Half Time: Dunfermline 0 Morton 0

Dunfermline certainly restarted the more positive with a Cardle run teeing up Graham for a cross into the six yard box that Stewart Greachen headed away but Bell failed to control the clearance as it came to him.  It was the visitors who caused Fleming`s  first real save of the day when in 51 minutes a diagonal ball in from Kevin Finlayson was met at the far post by Weatherson and the Pars keeper pulled off a fine save just when it looked as though his team might be going behind.

McAlister had a shot blocked after he had twisted his way into a good position just inside the box.  At the other end Kirk fed the ball to Graham and he cut inside to shoot from the D but that was blocked.  Jim McIntyre then committed two substitutes with Willie Gibson and Nick Phinn replacing Alex Burke and Graham Bayne.  David Graham went upfront and Gibson patrolled the right flank.

Morton threatened when a challenge on Wake dropped for McGuffie but his shot was firm but wide. The double substitutions seemed to rouse the Pars from their slumber and the pressure told when Graham got the ball wide to cross for Joe CARDLE to head home his third goal of the season in 63 minutes.

Phinn then worked a route through to test the keeper but he held and next Gibson had a blast that was sadly well off target. It was one way traffic now with Graham desperately unlucky not to control a Cardle ball into the box.  It looked all over when GRAHAM took advantage of a botched attempt by Greachen to clear a through ball and the former colleague of James Grady put a dent in his managerial appointment hopes by hitting in a 72nd minute second Pars goal.

Morton got back into the game with 15 minutes remaining when McAlister made ground down the left to cross into the six yard box. Fleming did fantastically well to save Wake`s header but McGUFFIE was right behind the striker to turn the ball in.

Gibson rocketed a free kick over the bar and then Graham came close with an effort from the left side of the box that suffered the same fate. In 80th minute Paartulu caused Fleming to pull off a great save touching the ball over the top for a corner and then the same Morton player headed the corner from the right narrowly over the crossbar.

In 87th minute a Graham break on the right set up a square pass to the unmarked Cardle, he was blocked on the edge of the box by keeper Stewart but the rebound sat nicely for Steven BELL to hit the ball home from 25 yards giving the keeper and retreating defenders no chance.

The match might have started slowly but certainly in the last third there was plenty for the fans to shout about. The three points were very welcome as Dunfermline recorded their first back to back home league wins in just over a year.

DUNFERMLINE: Greg Fleming; Greg Ross (Chris Higgins 80), Neil McGregor, Andy Dowie, Calum Woods; David Graham, Steven Bell, Alex Burke (Willie Gibson 59), Joe Cardle; Andy Kirk,  Graham Bayne (c) (Nick Phinn 59).
SUBS: Steven McDougall, Greg Paterson (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Ross (27), Bell (61)
SCORER: Cardle (63), Graham (72), Bell (87)

MORTON: Colin Stewart; Ryan McGuffie, David McGregor, Allan McManus, Stewart Greachen, Carlo Monti, Kevin Finlayson, Eric Paartulu, Brian Graham (Brian Wake 17), Jim McAlister, Peter Weatherson.
SUBS: Ryan Harding, Jamie Docherty, James Grady, Ryan McWilliams (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Paartulu (70), McGregor (76), Monti (88)
SCORER: McGuffie (75)


NEXT MATCH: (home) First Division v Dundee
Saturday 31st October 2009 kick off 3.00pm

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