Ladbrokes Championship: Dunfermline 0 Queen of the South: 20/10/18

For the visit of Queen of the South Dunfermline were unchanged from the side that faced Alloa Athletic in the Irn Bru Cup the previous week.

The Doonhamers manager Gary Naysmith made two changes from the side he started at Bayview in their last match. Canadian David Norman and former Dunfermline captain Callum Fordyce were brought in while young Callum Semple and loanee from Kilmarnock, Adam Frizell dropped out as they attempted to prevent consecutive defeats in October in Fife.

Queens top goalscorer Stephen Dobbie got the match underway with the visitors attacking the goal at the McCathie Stand end. It was the sixth minute before Dobbie put pressure on Danny Devine and Lee Robinson had to react fast to prevent the Queens captain adding to his impressive tally.

James Vincent made a break and threatened two minutes later. The ball was defended out for a throw in on the left and Jackson Longridge was able to get a cross in from the left corner flag but Norman cleared with a diving header. Then Faissal El Bakhtaoui forced a tenth minute corner and when Malaury Martin delivered Devine’s header went wide right of target.

In 16 minutes a Pars free kick 27 yards out was pumped high to the far post by Martin where Lee Ashcroft couldn’t get enough on his header to test Alan Martin in the Queens goal. Play was slow and deliberate with the visitors dangerous with a 19th minute break when Dobbie back heeled to Lyndon Dykes who then crossed the halfway line before feeding Andy Stirling to his right but he allowed J Longridge to cleverly rob him of possession.

The visitors first corner in 25 minutes was cleared by Craigen and Norman’s follow up from 25 yards went tamely wide left. The home side tried to burst forward with Vincent feeding El Bakhtaoui and then on to an enterprising Connolly but the defence mopped up and there was to be change to the stalemate.

Connolly’s driving run on the half hour almost created the opener. His touch as he approached the box found Andy Ryan and his lay back looked perfectly placed for Louis Longridge to convert but he didn’t connect well and the opportunity was gone.
Then in 33 minutes a great save by keeper Martin denied Ryan when he hit a superb curling shot from the right side of the Queens box. Ryan earned a corner on the right two minutes later but Martin’s outswinger was headed away by Michael Doyle. Martin had the next shot at goal however and that earned one corner on the left followed by another from the right. Doyle again cleared the danger.

Martin’s challenge on Josh Todd earned the visitors a free kick taken by Scott Mercer but when El Bakhtaoui dispossessed Dobbie the Pars broke and there was disappointment in the stands as the choice of Ryan on the right as opposed to L Longridge to the left failed to create the much desired goal.

All square at the interval with both sides really needing to inject some urgency into their play for the next 45 minutes.

Half time: Dunfermline 0 Queen of the South 0

There was an early second half chance from a El Bakhtaoui pass but Martin nipped out before a Ryan could connect. Ryan chased the ball down the left and then crossed in 50 minutes and L Longridge was unlucky not to convert as the ball came back off a defender.

Dunfermline were getting their passes together, just the final ball was letting them down.

Craigen’s tackle on Todd gave QOS a free kick 30 yards out on the left touchline and when he recovered, Todd sent in a high ball into the crowded penalty box where Robinson fisted clear.

Martin sent a 59th minute free kick in from the left that was beautifully met by Ashcroft but the keeper palmed his headed effort over the bar. The corner was defended but the pressure was maintained with Connolly fizzing the ball across the face of goal with El Bakhtaoui just failing to get the touch needed to score.

El Bakhtaoui sent a curling shot on target from 25 yards out but Martin comfortably held. Lots of Dunfermline possession and territorial advantage but nothing to show for it. Ryan appeared to be pushed over in the box as J Longridge swung in another ball from the left and Craigen sent over an inviting ball from the right that just evaded Connolly.

Then the management team made their first substitution withdrawing Faissal El Bakhtaoui to field Myles Hippolyte in 71st minute. L Longridge smacked a good effort on target only to hit Jordan Marshall before Aidan Keena came on for his Dunfermline debut taking over up front from Andy Ryan with 11 minutes remaining.

Having been kept quiet all game Dobbie almost nicked to score but the attentions of both Devine and Craigen kept him out. Queens did however get in to score in 84th minute. Martin was brushed off the ball and sub Adam Frizzell raced away releasing the ball to TODD speeding down the left channel to receive the pass that he swept past Robinson from the edge of the box. 0-1

In front of goal but facing the wrong way, J Longridge tried an overhead kick but was wide left and the visitors saw out the four minutes of added time to take home the three points. The results sees Queen of the South leapfrog their opponents into fifth while Dunfermline slip to severnth in the Championship.

DUNFERMLINE: Lee Robinson: James Craigen, Lee Ashcroft (c), Danny Devine, Jackson Longridge: Louis Longridge, James Vincent, Malaury Martin (Joe Thomson 85), Aidan Connolly: Andy Ryan (Aidan Keena 79), Faissal El Bakhtaoui (Myles Hippolyte 71).
SUBS NOT USED: Tom Beadling, Ryan Williamson, Robbie Muirhead, Cammy Gill (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Connolly (38)

QUEEN OF THE SOUTH: Alan Martin: Scott Mercer, Callum Fordyce (Callum Semple 86), Michael Doyle, Jordan Marshall: Andy Stirling (Adam Friizzell 79), Kyle Jacobs, David Norman (Owen Bell 73), Josh Todd: Stephen Dobbie (c), Lyndon Dykes.
SUBS NOT USED: Connor Murray, Robbie Ivison, Daniel Irving, Jack Leighfield (GK).
SCORERS: Todd (84)
YELLOW CARD: Doyle (57), Dykes (93)

REFEREE: Steven Reid
WEATHER: Overcast 14C

NEXT MATCH: Ladbrokes Championship (home) v Dundee United, Saturday 27th October 2018, kick off 3.00pm at East End Park

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