SFL v Partick Thistle


Fixture: Irn Bru SFL Division

Attendance: 2401, Kick Off: 7.45pm.

Referee: Crawford Allan

Willie Gibson served a one match suspension, Alex Burke and Graeme Holmes were� out injured. Steven Bell returned after being banned for Saturday`s trip to Kirkcaldy, Joe Cardle and Nick Phinn were back in the starting eleven. Partick made three changes - Ryan Conroy, Brian Hodge and Steve Lovell taking the spots of Simon Donnelly, Stephen McKeown and Ian Maxwell.

It was change ends before David Graham and Steven McDougall kicked off towards the McCathie Stand.� Dunfermline had all the early play but almost got caught with the visitors first sortie. Liam Buchanan battled his way around the Pars defence before running the ball into the six yard box from the left and Steve Lovell might have scored from close in but Greg Fleming saved the day.

The Pars were quick to react with Cardle sending over a fine ball from the left that McDougall sent inches wide of the right post after Partick keeper Jon Tuffey came out and failed to take the cross.� McDougall had another effort in seven minutes after finding himself with time on the right side of the box but this time the ball went straight into Tuffey`s hands.

The next chance ten minutes later was an even better one; Cardle provided the ball from the left again but Bell couldn`t direct the ball into the net as it sped towards him. The Pars were all over the Jags and had them pinned back but just couldn`t get in the shot that would tell.

On 20 minutes East End Park roared on the side after Phinn drove the ball across the face of goal.� Another four minutes passed before Bell broke to play in� McDougall down the right.� He then slipped the ball to Bell and that went through Graham to Cardle but his blast from 15 yards went well wide left.

Against the run of play Thistle broke and were gifted a goal by Pars keeper Fleming who let a simple shot from 25 yards run through his hands and into the net.� The scorer of Thistle`s first away goal in five games, Liam BUCHANAN� making it four goals against the Pars in the last 11 games. Taking heart from the goal the Firhill side threatened again when Corcoran broke in on the left and then when Alan Archibald lumped a ball at Fleming.

Just ten minutes from half time more sustained pressure from the Pars raised the home support again.� This time they were realised as McDOUGALL latched on to a long ball from Woods and leaving the defender in his slipstream burst into box to crash the ball past the advancing keeper.

In a weak challenge, McDougall went down in the box after 44 minutes but the referee didn`t hesitate to play on. It had been an entertaining first 45 but it was all square at the break.

Half Time: Dunfermline 1 Partick Thistle 1

Manager Ian McCall made a double substitution for the restart Stephen McKeown and Simon Donnelly coming on for Mark Corcoran and Steve Lovell. McDougall had an early headed attempt over the bar and then in 51st minute Phinn had two good pops at the keeper in quick succession with the Irishman saving on both occasions.

David Graham pulled up in 55 minutes with what looked like a hamstring injury meaning Ross Campbell was the first Dunfermline sub. Within three minutes it� could have been a glorious substitution had Campbell accepted the chance from Austin McCann`s through ball� however one on one with the keeper he hit the ball left of target.

Bell fed Phinn another chance but his shot was blocked out for a corner on the right and when Cardle swung that in Bell was unlucky to see Tuffey fist away his well connected header.� As the minutes marched on Thistle showed no signs of relenting and came at the Pars giving the defence a job.

Then in 70 minutes Mason drilled in a shot that went off Rowson for a corner.� Bell tried a header on the first but only earned a second and Cardle`s next allowed the Jags to clear.� A Paul Cairney cross from the right appeared to come back out off the roof of the net and the ball was rammed in the net but fortunately the linesman`s flag was up.

Next time Cairney picked out Buchanan and Fleming palmed Buchanan`s effort from six yards over his bar. McCann conceded another corner in 76 and that uneasingly slipped through the Pars box and out for a goal kick.

In 79 minutes Phinn managed to nick the ball to Bell but his long range shot soared over the top.� Dunfermline were looking tired and their opponents were getting to the ball earlier.� The danger duly created McCall`s men a second goal in 81 minutes.� Typically it was the 35 year old former Pars man DONNELLY who broke to zap the ball past Fleming from the edge of the box.

The home side lacked the necessary ruthless finish and paid dearly for their missed chances.� Dowie headed behind from a Cardle corner in the third minute of added time and that was the story of the night. Just when things had looked up league wise this was another sickening reversal.

DUNFERMLINE: Greg Fleming; Calum Woods (Greg Ross 74), Chris Higgins, Andy Dowie, Austin McCann (c);� David Graham (Ross Campbell 55), Steven Bell, � Nick Phinn (Scott Muirhead 82), Gary Mason, Joe Cardle: Steven McDougall.
SUBS NOT USED: Neil McGregor, Greg Paterson (GK).
SCORER: McDougall (37)
YELLOW CARD: Woods (57)

PARTICK THISTLE: Jonny Tuffey; Ryan Conroy, Alan Archibald, John Robertson, Brian Hodge (Chris Erskine 64), David Rowson, Mark Corcoran (Simon Donnelly HT), Paul Paton, Paul Cairney; Liam Buchanan, Steve Lovell (Stephen McKeown HT).
SUBS NOT USED: Bryn Halliwell, Martin Grehan,
SCORER: Buchanan (27), Donnelly (81)
YELLOW CARD: Paton (39)


NEXT MATCH: (away) First Division v Queen of the South
Saturday 27th March 2010, kiclk off 3.00pm

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