Ladbrokes Championship: Dunfermline 0 Dundee United 2: 27/10/18

The second quarter of the Pars Championship campaign began like the first, with Dundee United as opponents. This time the encounter was hosted by East End Park where the Fifers were looking for their first home league win over United since 2007.

Visiting manager Robbie Neilson named the same eleven that started against Inverness Caley Thistle the previous week. Meanwhile Allan Johnston made three changes from the side defeated by Queen of the South last time out. Ryan Williamson, Tom Beadling and Myles Hippolyte all came into the side at the expense of Malaury Martin, Aidan Connolly and Andy Ryan.

The home side kicked off through Faissal El Bakhtaoui attacking the goal at the east end of the stadium. It was the fifth minute before either keeper got involved in serious action and it was United’s Benjamin Siegrist who had to dive low to his left to keep out Hippolyte who had tormented Rachid Bouhenna before hitting a decent effort from the edge of the box.

Williamson forced a seventh minute corner but when James Craigen got in the cross United cleared. There was a good build up from the Pars a few minutes later with Louis Longridge finding James Vincent but Williamson could not control the next pass.

The visitors first attempt at goal came in 14 minutes, Jackson Longridge blocking Billy King’s shot and then Fraser Fyvie crashing the follow up over the crossbar. They had another opportunity when Fraser Aird made a break down the left to punt a long ball to the far side of the box where Paul McMullan drilled a shot on goal only to be blocked by Craigen.

L Longridge switched play out to Williamson on the right and he forced a 21st minute corner but when Craigen delivered Lee Ashcroft disappointingly sent his attempt over the bar.

Midway through the half Referee Steven Kirkland earned the wrath of the home crowd as he awarded Neilson’s side a free kick on the left after it looked much more like El Bakhtaoui had been fouled. Aird sent the ball in from the setpiece 40 yards out and McMULLAN met it at the near post to head in at the near post. 0-1

Lee Robinson held a speculative shot from Fyvie before play travelled to the other end with El Bakhtaoui sending Hippolyte away on the left. He got in a good cutback but there was no one on position to capitalise.

Ten minutes from the break Frederic Frans challenge on El Bakhtaoui warranted a free kick but the offender headed away when Craigen pumped the ball into the United box. A 40th minute setpiece was again dispatched into the opposition box but the keeper came out to steal any chance away from Ashcroft and Hippolyte.

In 44 minutes a long throw in from Hippolyte on the right picked out Faissal in front of goal but his shot was blocked and Ashcroft sent rebound wide right.

Half time: Dunfermline 0 Dundee United 1

The Pars went at their visitors from the kick off causing Bouhenna to halt Hippolyte on the edge of the box and earn a yellow card within 30 seconds. Hippolyte struck the free kick behind off the United wall and the resultant corner was headed away.

At the other end an Aird corner from the left in 50 minutes was hoofed away by Ashcroft. Then five minutes later Aird sent in another from the right touch line and as the defence cleared McMullan crumbled as two defenders came either side of him. There were vain cries for a penalty during which time Robinson and Aird had a barge at each other earning themselves a ticking off from Steven Kirkland.

Disaster struck on the hour when a wayward pass from J Longridge was perfect for McMullan who advanced and squared to KING on the right side of the Pars box. He took a touch, wrong footing his defender before planking his left footed effort in the Pars net. 0-2

Both sides sent on subs in 62 minutes Aidan Connolly taking the place of James Craigen and Billy King being replaced by Nicky Clark. The former Pars striker made an immediate impact earning himself a yellow card with his first involvement!

Two fouls one on each of the two extremities, allowed Aird to deliver dangerous crosses into the Pars six yard box but Robinson fisted away. Then Williamson got wide right and his cut back found Hippolyte before El Bakhtaoui got the shot away but just off target. In 72 minutes Beadling created a chance for himself with clever control on the edge of the penalty area but his effort went the same way as his team mates.

When United swept forward in 76 minutes Booth’s cross was put behind for a corner on the left but when that came over it was too high for Pavol Safranco. United failed to take advantage of an 81st minute penalty, McMullan sending the spot kick wide right with Robinson going the right way.

Sam Stanton was yellow carded when trying to win another penalty and it was the United midfielder who had the next opportunity to thrash a shot on target but that was blocked. The Tayside club pressed as the game edged towards its conclusion.

Sub Joe Thomson earned an 88th minute corner but Connolly’s inswinger from the right was all too easily held by Siegrist. Another corner allowed Connolly to try again, this time the keeper dropped the ball and there was a scramble before Ashcroft sent his shot over the top. Ryan had the final chance and looked certain to score but the United keeper stick out his leg to keep him out.

DUNFERMLINE: Lee Robinson: Ryan Williamson, Lee Ashcroft (c), Danny Devine, Jackson Longridge: Louis Longridge (Andy Ryan 69), James Craigen (Aidan Connolly 62), James Vincent ( Joe Thomson 77), Tom Beadling, Myles Hippolyte, Faissal El Bakhtaoui. .
SUBS NOT USED: Malaury Martin, Aidan Keena, Robbie Muirhead, Cammy Gill (GK)
YELLOW CARD: El Bakhtaoui (24)

DUNDEE UNITED: Benjamin Siegrist: Stewart Murdoch, Rachid Bouhenna, Frederic Frans, Callum Booth: Billy King (Nicky Clark 63), Fraser Fyvie, Sam Stanton, Fraser Aird (Christoph Rabitsch 78), Pavol Safranko (Craig Curran 90+1), Paul McMullan.
SUBS NOT USED: Yannick Loemba, William Edjenguele, Matty Smith, Matej Rakovan (GK)
SCORERS: McMullan (24), King (60)
YELLOW CARD: Frans (43), Bouhenna (46), Stanton (82), Fyvie (90+1)

REFEREE: Steven Kirkland

NEXT MATCH: Ladbrokes Championship: (away) v Inverness Caley Thistle, Tuesday 30th October 2018 7.45pm kick off at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium

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