Betfred Cup: Dunfermline 3 Peterhead 0: 17/07/18

Jim McInally brought his Peterhead team to East End Park in the Betfred Cup for the second year running. There were two changes from their starting eleven at Brechin on Saturday, Simon Ferry and Callum Home exchanging places with Ross Kavanagh and Aaron Norris.

From the side that faced Motherwell in the final pre season friendly, Dunfermline gaffer Allan Johnston brought in Lee Ashcroft as skipper, Kallum Higginbotham and new signing Myles Hippolyte.

The Blue Toon kicked off attacking the goal at the McCathie Stand end and within 20 seconds former Par Willie Gibson had a shot at goal but his effort sailed high over the bar. They then had an opportunity from a free kick 25 yards out after Mark Durnan had tumbled Rory McAllister. It was Gibson who took charge again but Higgiinbotham charged that down.

There was excitement in the very full main stand as Louis Longridge played Ryan Williamson into the Peterhead box but the defence covered across and only a corner was won. Back at the other end Lee Robinson pulled off a good save to keep out Ashcroft’s deflected header.

In tenth minute Hippolyte burst into the right side of the Peterhead box but under pressure from Ferry he was forced wide left with his shot.

At the midpoint of the first half the visitors were awarded a free kick in the centre circle after Durnan was a bit late on Russell McLean but when Gibson pumped this one in towards the Pars box referee Steven McLean blew up for an infringement.

Next there was a minute or two of chaos as Hippolyte and Gibson clashed midway into the visitors half. The referee spoke to both players before eventually deciding that it was a free kick for the home side. Unfortunately James Craigen’s setpiece was headed away by Gibson.

Dunfermline kept up the pressure and one free kick followed another after Ferry fouled Hippolyte and then from the first Higginbotham earned another just 25 yards out. This time Hippolyte tried an attempt but the ball landed on the roof of the net.

More Pars pressure saw Higginbotham send an exquisite ball right for L Longridge and his powerful shot had to be beaten away by Greg Fleming. The keeper was out quick to gather a deflected L Longridge shot ten minutes from the interval.

Tracking back Hippolyte was yellow carded for a tackle on Gibson in 36 minutes but Jamie Stevenson’s free kick was charged down by L Longridge and eventually a frustrated Jack Leitch booted the ball high at goal but well over.

Another free kick came Peterhead’s way when Durnan was late on McLean but Craigen headed away Gibson’s free kick on the edge of the box. Two minutes later a cross from the right was met by Joe Thomson at the near post but he turned the ball wide right.

The opening goal did come however in 41 minutes and it was a goal scoring debut for HIPPOLYTE heading home at the far post after great play from Williamson taking the ball to the byeline before producing the perfect cross. 1-0

There was another good chance before the half time whistle again it was Williamson who threatened. He twisted one way and then the other before releasing a stinger of a shot that Fleming again did well to halt.

Only one goal in it at the break but plenty to be optimistic about for the second half. 56% first half possession for Dunfermline.

Half time: Dunfermline 1 Peterhead 0

On the resumption Dunfermline won their fifth corner of the evening but that caused no danger. It was Thomson`s 48th minute run on to a Hippolyte pass that created real danger but Ferry slid in to thwart the former Celtic man’s run. Higginbotham forced another corner on the left but this time unchallenged, Fleming clutched the delivery.

A foul on McAllister handed Peterhead a 54th minute free kick. The Blue Toon’s prolific striker took this one himself and drove his shot on to the left upright. The ball was returned at an acute angle by McLean and he too hit that post although Robinson did have it covered.

The next chance for the home side came in 59 minutes when Higginbotham flighted in a great ball from the right. Jackson Longridge met it with a header but directed the ball wide. Hippolyte has a crack from 20 yards out but Fleming held. The visitors then had to defend from a Higginbotham free kick given after Stevenson collected a yellow for taking out Ashcroft. Eadie headed the cross away.

Taking play to Dunfermline Stevenson was involved with several close exchanges with his team mates but eventually the Pars snuffed him out. Williamson went on a run and tested a Fleming with a cross before Thomson let rip from 30 yards but Fleming held.

The home fans were unhappy as L Longridge appeared to be impeded as he bore into the box but the ref played on and J Longridge fired a low shot that the all red kitted keeper held.

In 72 minutes the Fifers changed from three at the back to four, Ashcroft and Thomson were withdrawn and Lewis McCann and Aidan Connolly cane on. Within five minutes the latter had severely tested the keeper with a shot from close in and then hit the crossbar from a free kick on the edge of the box.

Craigen was shown yellow when conceding an 80th minute free kick 26 yards out from which McAllister powered his attempt straight at Robinson. Four minutes later it was his counterpart at the other end who did extremely well to keep out a Hippolyte volley from a Higginbotham delivery.

More Pars corners kept the crowd from leaving and just as well since there was to be an 88th minute penalty. Connolly was taken down as he tried to round his man on the left side of the box. After much protestations, HIGGINBOTHAM stepped up to dispatch the ball into the right side of the goal for 2-0.

Andy Ryan came on and Myles Hippolyte went off to a standing ovation before the game restarted. Within three minutes the sub had carved himself a goal bursting through into the left side of the Peterhead box before crashing his shot into the top right.

DUNFERMLINE: Lee Robinson: Lee Ashcroft (c) (Aidan Connolly 72), Mark Durnan, Danny Devine: Ryan Williamson, Kallum Higginbotham, Joe Thomson (Lewis McCann 72), James Craigen, Jackson Longridge: Louis Longridge, Myles Hippolyte (Andy Ryan 90).
SUBS NOT USED: Lewis Martin, Stuart Morrison, Callum Smith, Cammy Gill (GK)
SCORERS: Hippolyte (42), Higginbotham (88pen), Ryan (90+3)
YELLOW CARD: Hippolyte (36), Craigen (80)

PETERHEAD: Greg Fleming: Cameron Eadie, Simon Ferry (Liam McDonald 85), Jason Brown, Jamie Stevenson: Russell MacLean (Aaron Norris 69), Scott Brown, Willie Gibson, Callum Home (Ross Kavanagh 69), Jack Leitch: Rory McAllister (c),
SUBS NOT USED: Lewis Buxton, David McCracken.
YELLOW CARD: S Brown (59), Stevenson (64)

REFEREE: Steven McLean
WEATHER: Bright 18C

NEXT MATCH: Betfred Cup (away) v Dundee, Sunday 22nd July 2018, kick off 3.00pm at Dens Park

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