SPFL League One: FORFAR ATHLETIC 2 DUNFERMLINE 0: 16/08/14
Jim Jefferies made four changes for the trip to Forfar. Gregor Buchanan was out injured, while Ross Drummond, Ross Forbes and Faissal El Bakhtaoui found themselves on the bench. That made way for the return of Alex Whittle and after suspensiion, Josh Falkingham. There was also a first start for Chigozie Ugwu. Ryan Wallace was injured in training on Friday so he was in the stand.
With Darren Dods and Stephen Husband back from suspension Forfar left out Andrew Steeves and James Dale and Gavin Swankie also returned in place of Gavin Malin. Michael Moffat and Chigozie took the kick off with Dunfermline attacking the goal at the north end.
Swankie had the first shot but off target in third minute. Then from a short taken corner on the right Falkingham fed the ball back for Ross Millen to sweep the ball to the far post where Page headed just wide left.
Then at the other end Dods headed back across the face of the Pars goal where Chris Templeman had a free header but fortunately over the bar. Forfar kept up the pressure with Michael Dunlop whizzing the ball through the six yard box with Lewis Martin not knowing too much about it as he turned the ball out for a corner.
In tenth minute Moffat sent Chigozie through on the keeper and he had some of the travelling support on their feet ready to celebrate as he smashed his shot away from 16 yards out. Unfortunately he was off target and the ball crashed against the advertising boards.
Three minutes later Falkingham picked out Andy Geggan as he burst into the Forfar box on the right but keeper Rab Douglas was first to the ball. At the other end Husband had a good opportunity but his shot was deflected over the bar for a corner on the left. When that came over Page scrambled to concede another corner this time on the right and even Templeman wasn't tall enough to get on the end of that.
There were appeals for a penalty in 19th minute for a ball played hand against Forfar centre back Stuart Malcolm but only a corner was awarded. Back at the other end Martin barged away Templeman in what could have been a home appeal but the big striker was soon testing Ryan Scully with a stinging shot on the angle from the left.
There was no doubt that the Loons were troubling the Pars defence and after 25 minutes there was a bit of relief as the Fifers passing got going in midfield. A quickly taken free kick by Spence released Falkingham and he tried a snap shot from 30 yards that forced a good save out of Douglas. On the half hour Falkingham put through Chigozie and he was again one on one with Douglas but as he approached the box he stabbed the ball just too far ahead of him and again the keeper won the contest.
Next the Dunfermline keeper was called upon to make a serious save after Templeman played in Husband. Play switched back up the park and Dods headed a Millen cross behind. Another innovative move was tried for this corner but it failed. Dale Hilson cut in from the right and there was panic in the Pars six yard box with Scully diving in with his feet to deny Denholm.
Forfar had enjoyed the majority of the possession and they continued to worry the Pars deep inside their penalty box. Swankie had a shot blocked by Millen and then Templeman got an opportunity at the near post but from close in sent the ball narrowly wide right.
Half Time: Forfar Athletic 0 Dunfermline Athletic 0
Ross Drummond replaced Alex Whittle as the second half resumed and Hilson was first to get a shot at goal but fortunately he directed his good opportunity outside the left goalpost. Byrne had a good attempt headed away by Malcolm before in 51st minute Scully palmed away a Hilson header that had the home fans gasping. Pars got close again when Gozie brought down a good cross at the right post but couldn't get away a shot.
Young conceded a 53rd minute corner when Moffat put in Falkingham and at that corner Gozie tried a scissor kick that didn't come off. four minutes later there was a great move and chance created. Byrne made the break from his own half, played the ball off Moffat on the left wing and then bided his time as Drummond overlapped to thrash the ball at goal. Douglas beat it away and it looked like Moffat must score but Douglas got enough on the shot to turn it away for a corner.
Just when it looked like Dunfermline might get the breakthrough they were chasing Forfar scored the opener. It was a 28 yard strike from Dale HILSON that Scully couldn't prevent slipping in at the bottom left. 1-0
Ryan Thomson replaced Shaun Byrne in 63 minutes and immediately had two chances, the first a header had Douglas struggling to hold and then he was closest to an opportunity when Gozie got round the defence on the right to flash the ball back through the Forfar box.
Malcolm was yellow carded as he impeded Moffat on the edge of the box and Millen floated over the free kick with Moffat and Gozie looking likely but ultimately unsuccessful. As the rain returned Millen was given a pop at goal from 25 yards but the ball escaped narrowly over the top.
The Fifers were then to go further behind. James Dale had just come on as sub for Stephen Husband when he dropped in a 73rd minute free kick from the left that DODS met on the edge of the six yard box to head in. 2-0
Faissal El Bakhtaoui replaced Chigozie Ugwu with thirteen minutes remaining and immediately created chances for three shots at goal. The first was wide, the second well stopped by Douglas low to his left and the third held by Douglas. Spence's 87th minute shot went over the crossbar and a cross beat everyone but bounced out off the post. There was no way back for the Fifers who yet again left Forfar pointless.
FORFAR ATHLETIC: Rab Douglas; Michael Dunlop, Stewart Malcolm, Darren Dods, Arron James; Dale Hilson (Martyn Fotheringham 91), Stephen Husband (James Dale 69), Derek Young, Danny Denholm (Omar Kader 83); Chris Templeman, Gavin Swankie
SUBS NOT USED: Gavin Malin, Andrew Steeves, Craig Smith, Ross Salmon (GK)
SCORERS: Hilson (58), Dods (73)
YELLOW CARD: Page (75), Millen (89)
DUNFERMLINE: Ryan Scully; Ross Millen, Jonathan Page, Lewis Martin, Alex Whittle (Ross Drummond HT); Shaun Byrne (Ryan Thomson 63), Andy Geggan (c), Lewis Spence, Josh Falkingham, Michael Moffat, Chigozie Ugwu (Faissal El Bakhtaoui 77)
SUBS NOT USED: Ross Forbes, Andy Stirling, Ryan Williamson, Ryan Goodfellow (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Page (75), Millen (89)
REFEREE: Des Roache
WEATHER: windy 20C
NEXT MATCH: Scottish League Cup (home) v Falkirk
Tuesday 19th August, kick off 7.45pm kick off
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