SPFL League One; DUNFERMLINE 2 BRECHIN CITY 1: Date 29/03/14


For the visit of Brechin City Jim Jefferries made five changes to his starting eleven. Out¬ went Williamson, Husband, Byrne, Forbes, Wallace; in came Millen, Martin, Falkingham, Thomson. El Bakhtaoui. With Paul McLean and Johnny Brown missing from the team that faced Rangers so¬ Brechin brought in Greg Cameron and former Par Ryan Ferguson. Their ability to name just four substitues was¬ possibly an indicator of their squad struggling for availability.

The visitors kicked off attacking the goal at the McCathie Stand end and immediately pressed the Pars.¬ Brechin had an uncomfortable level of possession in the opening eight minutes¬ but Lawrence Shankland was given half a chance with a weak pass back to Graeme Smith but the striker stabbed the ball left of target from seven yards out.¬

The first corners of the match came in tenth minute and these were for Brechin but after the first was headed back behind, Scully smothered the second after Jonathan Page had headed down the delivery in from the left. One forceful run down the right from Faissal El Bakhtaoui took play temporarily to the other end before Darren Petrie pumped in a free kick from the left edge of the box that Alex Whittle headed away.

Petrie made a surging run through the left channel beating several Pars players challenges and got in a shot that Scully took enough of the sting out of with his thigh¬ for Page to sweep in behind and mop up behind the keeper.

In 17 El Bakhtaoui laced the ball into the box for Shankland to crash a good shot on target but Smith did really well to divert the effort over his crossbar. Allan Smith became the first sub of the match replacing Thomson who had sustained an ankle injury after 20 minutes.¬ Another City corner five minutes later saw Brechin captain Graham Hay get a free header at the left post but he headed over the bar.

Graeme Smith then held an attempt from Allan Smith after he got his head to a Millen free kick. Dunfermline then showed signs of attempting to get a grip of the match with El Bakhtaoui evading challenges down the right to create danger. The ball was switched back to Falklingham who exchanged passes with Andy Geggan before trying a shot that was deflected for a corner.

A 34th minute corner was sent in from the right by Whittle but that was headed clear and Brechin took the game to the other end where former Par Robert Thomson shot wildly into the McCathie Stand. Bobby Barr next snatched a shot at goal but his direction was wayward right.

After Martin became the third Dunfermline booking when he pushed over Alan Trouten, Steven Jackson launched the 28 yard free kick on target forcing Scully to touch the ball over his bar and when the corner came over from the right Craig Molloy sent the ball back over the crossbar. There was still time for Hay to test Scully from Brechin's fifth corner of the match and the left post kept the match goalless after the the keeper turned it on to it. With the first half statistics showing 8 Brechin shots to the Pars 2, things would have to change for the second!

Half Time: Dunfermline 0 Brechin City 0

El Bakhtaoui and Shankland got the second half underway and a free kick was awarded against McLauchlan deep down the left. Millen whipped that in but Morris was penalised for his challenge with Smith for the crossed ball.¬ The opening goal came in the second minute of the half however. El Bakhtaoui sent an early ball in from the right that SHANKLAND met at the near post to divert the ball high into the net. 1-0

The Fifers kept going forward with Smith powering a shot narrowly over the bar and then Millen producing another dangerous cross from the right. In 55 minutes Geggan's header on another Millen cross was deflected for a corner on the left but City dealt with that.

The Angus side were then to get back on level terms when on the hour Bobby Barr fed the ball into the box for THOMSON to slot past Scully for his fifth Brechin goal. 1-1

Shankland was then unfortunate to be just too far ahead of Smith's cut back from the right byeline. Thomson at the other end brushed off Millen to drill a shot on target that Scully thankfully blocked. Greg Cameron's right footed free kick into the Pars box was cleared before Ross Forbes came on for Lewis Martin in 74 minutes.

The sub's first delivery picked out Shankland on the edge of the box. With two men to his right¬ he slipped it¬ to El Bakhtaoui who was denied by a Smith save and then a Hay block on his follow up. Brechin defended dangerous balls in from three Pars corners. A Whittle cut back set up Smith for a drive from 18 yards but that was blotted out.

As the match entered the final ten minutes Dunfermline¬ upped it a gear¬ trying to cash in on their far superior possession. Shankland appeared to be pushed away as he attempted to convert a Forbes cross. Then a Forbes free kick from 30 yards out on the right side was held by Graeme Smith as he dived low to his left hand post.

With one minute remaining Allan Smith earned a penalty for the Pars when he was taken out by a rash¬ Steven Jackson tackle on the right¬ side.¬ Ross MILLEN was given the task of converting the spot kick which he duly did placing the ball to the keeper's left as went the other way. 2-1

The late goal proved to be the winner and coupled with East Fife's win at Forfar, the Pars play off place was sealed.

DUNFERMLINE: Ryan Scully; Ross Millen, Jonathan Page, Callum Morris, Alex Whittle; Josh Falkingham (Stephen Husband 91), Lewis Martin (Ross Forbes 74), Andy Geggan (c),¬ Ryan Thomson (Allan Smith 21), Faissal El Bakhtaoui, Lawrence Shankland
SUBS: Ryan Goodfellow (GK), Shaun Byrne, Lewis Spence, Ryan Williamson.
YELLOW CARD: Falkingham (29), Whittle (37), Martin (43)
SCORERS: Shankland (47), Millen (90 pen).

BRECHIN CITY: Graeme Smith; Ryan Ferguson, Gerry McLauchlan, Graham Hay (c),¬ Steven Jackson,¬ Darren Petrie; Greg Cameron, Alan Trouten,¬ Robert Thomson, Craig Molloy, Bobby Barr (Derek Carcary 80).
SUBS NOT USED: Allan Walker, Ewan Moyes, Craig Nelson (GK)
SCORER: Thomson (60)
YELLOW CARD: McLauchlan (46), (86), Smith (90)

REFEREE: Nick Walsh
WEATHER: Sunny intervals, 7C
HALF TIME DRAW: won £639 for ticket 91274

NEXT MATCH: SPFL League One (away) v Airdrieonians
Saturday 5th April 2014, kick off 3.00pm

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