Dunfermline Athletic

U20s v St Mirren

Monday, 27th Feb 2017

SPFL Development League: Duncan (12) 0-1: Crawford (28) 0-2: Smith (31) 0-3: Flanagan (32) 1-3: Smith (50) 1-4: Watters (65) 2-4


Dunfermline met St Mirren for the third time this season in this SPFL Development League match played at Renfrew FC`s New Western Park on Monday afternoon. The Pars side was augmented with first team squad players David Hutton in goal, Callum Fordyce, Rhys McCabe, David Hopkirk and Michael Paton.

The visitors kicked off and the early crosses from both sides were easily taken by first Hutton and then the St Mirren defence. A sixth minute free kick on the right touchline allowed McCabe to launch in the ball, Hopkirk gathered but when he returned the ball from the left the Saints defence headed clear.

The Pars were to take a 12th minute lead after a Reece Duncan cross picked out Robbie Crawford, his effort was blocked but DUNCAN followed up. His initial shot was turned on to the right upright by the Saints keeper only for the Pars right back to head home the opener off the rebound. 0-1

David Hutton in the Pars goal had to gather from a Flanagan corner and then save from Watters and watch Flanagan shoot wide.. At the other end his counterpart parried then cleared a Hopkirk shot, Greig McNaughton headed away a 25th minute corner sent over by Hopkirk.

Three minutes later keeper Chris Henry stopped a shot from Hopkirk after he had received Paton`s cross but Robbie CRAWFORD followed up to slot in number two. 0-2

A free kick three minutes later led to Dunfermline going into a 3-0 lead. Evan Horne`s delivery from 30 yards out was headed into the St Mirren net by Callum SMITH.

Unfortunately the three goal cushion only lasted one minute since Nathan FLANAGAN was well placed in front of goal to receive a cross from the right and he fired in St Mirren`s first goal. 1-3

That was the way it was to remain until half time despite Hopkirk shooting over the bar, a long Fordyce ball narrowly evading Hopkirk and two good home chances going abeggin. The best St Mirren chance was cleared off the line in 41 minutes and Conor O`Keefe tried a curling shot that went out for a goal kick.

The Pars went in at the break with a comfortable lead but there were indications that the Buddies were by no means out of it yet.

Half time: St Mirren 1 Dunfermline 3

Dunfermline started the second half strongly. Good link up play from Paton and Duthie put in Hopkirk but the keeper saved. Then Hopkirk was put through on goal and again the St Mirren stopper did enough to keep out the Pars striker. A fourth Pars goal did arrive however in 50th minute when a long crossfield ball from Paton on the left to SMITH allowed the youngster to net his second of the match, slotting the ball past Henry from just inside the box. 1-4

Four could easily have become five as Hopkirk and Smith got into dangerous positions. The central defenders had headed attempts with Fordyce hitting the crossbar with his from a Duthie free kick. Scott Lochhead replaced Robbie Crawford on the right after 62 minutes, then Duthie tested the keeper and McCabe fired a free kick high and wide.

It was the Paisley side however who were to finish the scoring in 65 minutes when WATTERS converted a Flanagan cross from the left. 2-4

After that it was Dunfermline who created the better chances and probably should have added to their tally. This was another entertaining match and it was good to see the goals being scored by the younger team members.

John Potter`s post match comments:-

“I was happy with the win, I thought we started really well for probably 30 minutes, scored good goals and looked really positive. Disappointed with the goal they got because it gave them the chance to get in the game.

"The second half we started positive again, got another goal but again another sloppy goal given away and they had a wee spell for about 15/20 minutes where they looked like they were trying to get in it. We changed it about a wee bit, sat a bit solid and finished quite strongly with more chances. So, delighted with most of the game, some good stuff, some good goals, disappointed with the goals that we gave away, but overall happy with the win”.

“It was good to see the young guys scoring, a lot of the times its been them doing well, but the older ones scoring. Callum (Smith) got a couple of goals and it was Robbie’s (Crawford) first goal of the season. We are always telling him to get into the box and score goals and affect the game, and he did that.

"Reece Duncan we want to get forward from the full back area, so he is delighted with his goal. They need to score goals, they can’t rely on the first team ones all the time, but saying that I thought the first team boys were excellent as well. They had a good attitude, did things properly and they helped the young ones along again.”

“Rhys McCabe was really good, he’s not played for us and not played for the first team, so he was a wee bit match short, but I thought he controlled the game, made good passes, made tackles and hopefully enjoyed it. He needed the 90 minutes and it is great when he is there, playing alongside the likes of Evan (Horne) or Johnny (Galloway) just to show them that wee bit more experience and talk them through the game.

"Rhys combined well with Evan in midfield, they are two good footballers, they both want to pass the ball and I am at them constantly about defensive areas where to be to block shots, make tackles and they did that well today.

“It is important to keep winning games, and have a good habit of doing that no matter if its just the young ones, or the young ones with a couple of older ones or 4 or 5 of them. You get into a habit of winning games, so hopefully we can keep doing that."

“We have Falkirk next week, so it will be a young team as we have first team game on Tuesday. It’s a chance for some of the young ones who haven’t played a lot to come in, like Brandon and Robbie and Johnny who have been training really well recently to come in and continue the run.

ST MIRREN: Chris Henry: Cameron MacPherson, Greig McNaughton, Lee Fawkes, Ben Gordon, Dillon McKendry, C Pignatiello, Darren Whyte, R Watters, Conor O`Keefe, Nathan Flanagan
SUBS NOT USED: Craig Johnston, Euan East, Reece Willison (GK)
SCORERS: Flanagan (32), Watters (65)
YELLOW CARD: Flanagan (61), MacPherson (83)

DUNFERMLINE: David Hutton: Reece Duncan, Stuart Morrison, Callum Fordyce, Conner Duthie: Robbie Crawford (Scott Lochhead 62), Evan Horne, Rhys McCabe, Michael Paton: Callum Smith, David Hopkirk
SUBS NOT USED: Brandon Luke, Johnny Galloway
SCORERS: Duncan (12), Crawford (28), Smith (31, 50)

REFEREE: Chris Gentles

NEXT MATCH: SPFL Development League: (home) v Falkirk, Monday 6th March 2.00pm kick off at New Central Park, Kelty

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