Ladbrokes Championship: Dunfermline 2 Alloa Athletic 2: 05/01/19

Jim Goodwin’s Alloa Athletic were the first foots of 2019 at East End Park. It was the third trip east for the Clackmannanshire team, the previous two resulted in two draws but they travelled as the third best in the Championship’s last six form league. Just as well then that the second placed team on form was Dunfermline Athletic.

No surprise that Allan Johnston named the same starting eleven as took the three points away from Falkirk the previous week. For Alloa Athletic, Jim Goodwin made three changes from the side that started against Dundee United. Out went Kevin Cawley, Jon Robertson and Jake Hastie to make way for Iain Flannigan, Connor Shields and Jordan Kirkpatrick who returned to Alloa in midweek.

The visitors kicked off attacking the goal at the McCathie Stand end. When Steven Hetherington went through Myles Hippolyte just after the second minute mark, referee Gavin Ross produced his first yellow card of the game and from the free kick just inside the Alloa half Dunfermline launched the ball into the opposition box. The defended ball dropped to James Craigen and he returned it but was too strong to create danger.

This prompted a sustained period where the home side took the game to their opponents. Hippolyte juggled the ball past Liam Dick to smash a ninth minute attempt narrowly outside the right goalpost. The away side’s defence were doing well to keep the Pars away from shooting opportunities, Hippolyte seeing his 14th minute shot blocked and Aidan Keena driving his 16th minute snapshot from 20 yards over the bar.

Joe Thomson accepted a lay off from Hippolyte but his 30 yarder hit Andy Graham. Next try was more successful. Aidan KEENA took the 18th minute chance 20 yards out on the right side and smashed the ball into the far side of the net for the Fifers first goal of 2019. 1-0

Alloa tried to respond immediately and it took a good Robinson save low to his right to deny Kirkpatrick’s power packed shot from 25 yards out. Hippolyte has his effort deflected for a corner on the left and despite Jackson Longridge meeting that at the far side of the six yard box Neil Parry fisted away the headed knock back.

Soaking up the pressure Alloa reverted to six men strung along their 18 yard line at times. Kallum Higginbotham tried to counter that with a 26th minute shot from 25 yards out but was off target. Two minutes later Dunfermline were to extend their lead when FLANNIGAN could not avoid directing the ball into his own net.

The goal came after James Vincent won possession well inside the Pars half. His pass sent Keena racing in on the right side of the Alloa box to release a shot that Parry beat out only to go past him off his own player. 2-0

Keeping up the search for more goals Hippolyte sent a good attempt narrowly wide right. The Pars dominated and finished the half displaying several strings of successful passes. At the break 2-0 up, stats showed just 52% possession in the first half but the Pats were totally in control of the match.

Half time: Dunfermline 2 Alloa Athletic 0

First shot of the second period was a low one at Party from Longridge but when Alloa broke a cross from the left found TROUTEN well placed to hit the ball into the Pars goal at the left goalpost. Just three minutes of the second half gone and it was 2-1.

In 53 minutes Keena twisted and turned on the right side of the visitors box. Despite being apparently surrounded by Wasps he eventually got a shot in only for keeper Parry to clutch. Ryan Williamson was the first sub to used replacing James Craigen in 12th minute of the half.

One minute later Keena was taken down 25 yards out but Hippolyte’s attempt from the free kick was scooped over the crossbar and into the McCathie Stand. Back at the other end Scott Taggart’s cross allowed Trouten a headed effort that dropped wide left. Next Kirkpatrick rocketed a shot from 25 yards out that zoomed over Robinson’s bar.

A Williamson foul on Zanatta gave Alloa a chance from a free kick 30 yards out but Kirkpatrick fired that straight to Robinson. When Dunfermline got forward Higginbotham lofted a free kick into the Alloa box only for Parry to advance and hold. His clearance swiftly took play back into the Pars half where again the visitors looked much better than they had done in the first half.

Sensing the change the home fans could be heard urging their team on but it was a cut back from Shields at the right corner flag that created a good opportunity for Trouten and from the edge of the box he hit the roof of the net, thankfully on the outside.

In 72 minutes Beadling sent the ball wide right for Williamson to cross but from eight yards out Keena’s header dropped wide left. Four minutes later Flannigan forced a corner off Ashcroft and when that came over from the right Higginbotham scooped the ball away at the right goalpost.

Then another good move from Dunfermline ended up with a Williamson cut back that Higginbotham just couldn’t reach. Time was running away from Alloa who introduced Kevin Cawley, Liam Burt and then Greig Spence in an effort to grab an equaliser.

Jim Goodwin’s men finished strongly forcing a corner on the left and then a free kick that was returned into Robinson’s hands.

But in the third minute of added time from a free kick in his own half, keeper Neil Parry launched the ball forward sub Spence sent the ball right for TROUTEN and he picked his spot from the edge of the box low left for a dramatic and disappointing finale. The part time surveyor’s 14th goal of the season meant it ended 2-2.
DUNFERMLINE: Lee Robinson: James Craigen (Ryan Williamson 57), Lee Ashcroft (c), Danny Devine, Jackson Longridge: Tom Beadling, Joe Thomson, James Vincent: Myles Hippolyte, Aidan Keena, Kallum Higginbotham.
SUBS NOT USED: Faissal El Bakhtaoui, Callum Smith, Robbie Muirhead, Lewis McCann, Mark Durnan, Cammy Gill (GK)
SCORERS: Keena (18), Flannigan (28 og),
YELLOW CARD: Devine (40)

ALLOA ATHLETIC: Neil Parry: Scott Taggart, Andy Graham, Sam Roscoe, Liam Dick: Connor Shields (Kevin Cawley 74), Steven Hetherington (Greig Spence 86) Iain Flannigan, Jordan Kirkpatrick (Liam Burt 81): Alan Trouten, Dario Zanatta.
SUBS NOT USED: Jon Robertson, Adam Brown, Ahmed Aloulou, Chris Henry (GK)
SCORERS: Trouten (49, 90+3)
YELLOW CARD: Hetherington (3), Zanatta (34),

REFEREE: Gavin Ross
WEATHER: Overcast 5C

NEXT MATCH: Ladbrokes Championship: (away) v Dundee United, Saturday 12th January 2019, kick off 3.00pm at Tannadice.

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