SFL v Morton

DUNFERMLINE 4 MORTON 1 Date: 24/04/10

Fixture: Irn Bru SFL Division

Attendance: 2532, Kick Off: 3.00pm.

Referee: Steve Conroy


For the final home game of the season, Dunfermline were without Steven McDougall, out with a broken toe.� Joe Cardle returned after serving his two match suspension while Greg Ross and Alex Burke also came into the starting eleven. Morton were unchanged from the team that gave Dundee such a hard time the previous Saturday.

Right from the kick off Morton and their supporters were up for the challenge and the team in yellow were the first to get a shot on target Eric Paartulu scuffing a ball to Peter Weatherson on the penalty spot.� With just over three minutes gone, the striker turned and fired his effort into the arms of Chris Smith.

David Graham had the Pars first chance of the match in seven minutes breaking through into the Morton box but Colin Stewart forced the ball out to hand the home team the first corner of the afternoon.� Willie Gibson sent that in from the right, Andy Dowie appeared to leave� the cross� and Nick PHINN rushed in to power a header in at the far post.

Morton wasted an opportunity from a 25 yard free kick before Dunfermline took a bit of a grip on the game.� Lots of balls were� being distributed� through Burke and even Calum Woods was able to break out of central defence to feed Cardle with a ball midway into the oppostion half.

It was 20th minute before Morton got near enough Chris Smith for another effort but Michael Tidser`s shot from 25 yards was never going to tax the orange shirted Smith. The Ton won a corner but almost paid dearly with Burke sending McCann up the left on the counter.� The final ball went to the far post for Graham but a better option might have been to the near post for Cardle to sprint on to. A corner resulted but Woods` header went forcefully just over the crossbar.

Dunfermline increased their lead in 27 minutes.� Slackness in the visiting defence allowed Greg Ross to return a ball that picked out Steven BELL just eight yards out and he turned� with speed to whip the ball past two defenders and Stewart to net� at the far post.

Morton made Smith and Dowie look sluggish as he prodded the ball netbound in 31 minutes but Woods arrived in time to preserve the shutout, beating the ball away for a corner. Eight minutes later however the Assistant Referee in front of the North West Stand indicated Woods had handled the ball on the edge of the box as he forced the ball away from David Witteveen.� Referee Steve Conroy awarded a penalty much to the surprise of just about everyone in the ground, Woods was yellow carded and Carlo MONTI stuck the ball away to the keeper`s right.

The two goal advantage was quickly restored when Phinn split the defence and BELL ran on to gather the pass and shoot past Stewart in 44 minutes. Phinn chested down a Morton shot just on the half time whistle but the Pars went in at the break comfortably ahead.

Half Time: Dunfermline 3 Morton 1

It took Dunfermline just 14 seconds to pass up the first chance of the second half, Gibson broke down the left and sent over a great ball for David Graham but right in front of goal he diverted the ball over the bar when it looked easier to score.

Morton were given a chance in 55 minutes when Woods pass went to Kevin Finlayson on half way. The Morton no.7 gained ground before sending in an inviting ball that Witteveen headed on target only for Smith to make the save. Two minutes later the home fans were outraged as Cardle seemed to be brought down by McGuffie in front of goal.� No penalty and Steve Conroy`s popularity continued to sink.

Dunfermline dropped out of things for a while as Morton mounted a challenge. Brian Graham replaced David Witteveen much to the disapproval of the travelling support.� Then Burke made an important tackle to stop Tidser on the edge of the box but soon Smith was holding a shot from the midfielder and only minutes later Tidser popped another chance just over the bar.

Graham made Smith save again but really the match lacked any real bite as it entered the final fifteen minutes.� Jim McIntyre brought on both Gary Mason and Graeme Holmes in 80 minutes replacing Nick Phinn and Willie Gibson.� Dowie was yellow carded when Tidser fell over him 25 yards out but Smith held well from a fiercely hit Paartulu free kick. Smith did well to deny Simmonds in 89 and McCann pushed up to force a last minute corner.� Morton failed to clear and when Holmes tried to chip Alan Reid a hand was used and Steve Conroy pointed to the spot again.

Steven BELL stepped up with the chance for a hat-trick and made no mistake sticking the ball away in the bottom left for a convincing 4-1 win.

This was a match that was won by half time and really the second half was only academic. On to Airdrie next week for the final curtain on the season but following their� draw at Dumfries that� will be a match that will be full of meaning for the Diamonds.

DUNFERMLINE: Chris Smith; Greg Ross, Calum Woods,� Andy Dowie, Austin McCann (c); Willie Gibson (Graeme Holmes 80), Steven Bell, Alex Burke, Joe Cardle (Ross Campbell 61), Nick Phinn (Gary Mason 80), David Graham,
SUBS NOT USED:� Chris Higgins, Greg Fleming (GK).
SCORER: Phinn (8), Bell (27, 44, 91)
YELLOW CARD: Bell (53), Dowie (82)

MORTON: Colin Stewart; Ryan McGuffie, Dominic Shimmin, Stewart Greachen, Alan Reid; Kevin Finlayson, Eric Paartulu, Carlo Monti, Michael Tidser, Peter Weatherson (Donovan Simmonds 41), David Witteveen (Brian Graham 60).
SUBS: Kevin Cuthbert (GK), David McGregor, Alan Jenkins.
SCORER: Monti (40 pen.)
YELLOW CARD: Shimmin (93)

WEATHER: Sunny 15C

NEXT MATCH: (away) First Division v Airdrie United
Saturday 1st May 2010, kick off 3.00pm

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