Dunfermline Reserves 2 Livingston Reserves 2

cinch SPFL Reserve League, Tuesday 2nd April 2024, kick off 1.00pm at Ainslie Park Stadium.

The Reserve League is made up of nine teams who play each other once. Queen`s Park are currently top on 18 points from seven games but they can be overtaken by Kilmarnock, Hibs and Dundee. Dunfermline have six points from five games, they occupy seventh place and in this match they faced eighth placed Livingston.

There were only two survivors from the reserve team that defeated Hamilton – Max Little and Taylor Sutherland – as Dunfermline fielded a young starting eleven with Sutherland captaining the side. Livingston started several players whose first team appearances this season were well into double figures – Mohammad Sangare, Daniel Mackay, Kurtis Guthrie and former loanee at Dunfermline, Bruce Anderson.

The Premier League club took the lead following a ninth minute corner from the right that Calan LEDINGHAM divert low into the Dunfermline net.

On the quarter hour, Anderson showed his impressive footwork to brush off his marker and test Max Little with a fine net bound shot that the Pars keeper turned over his crossbar. Dunfermline got right back in the match with a well worked goal in 21 minutes. Freddie Rowe’s clever touch played Sutherland into the box. The ball returned to Rowe who then tried to tee up Sutherland in front of goal but faced with defence he switched the ball to his left where Liam MIDDLETON calmly finished. 1-1

A Ewan McLeod pass put Sutherland through to blast a shot on target from the right but keeper Jack Hamilton blocked the well connected effort. Either side of the half hour mark Dunfermline retained useful possession to frustrate their opponents, completing strings of passes and beating off challenges. In 34 minutes Jake Rennie won possession on the left still on his own half but broke towards the centre circle from where he sent Middleton through on Hamilton but the keeper was able to direct the shot wide for a corner.

Two minutes later and Sutherland drove an effort over the bar and then as Dunfermline really turned up the pressure Rowe from 20 yards made Hamilton save at full stretch to his right.

Daniel Mackay created a rare Livi chance in 44 minutes driving in from the left to fire narrowly outside the far post. The teams would go in on level terms but Dunfermline had been the better team in the first half.

Half time: Dunfermline Reserves 1 Livingston Reserves 1

A really slick move earned Dunfermline the lead in just the third minute of the second half. Beagley passed to Middleton who in turn slipped the ball left to SUTHERLAND and the striker placed the ball beyond the advancing Hamilton to net at the far post. 2-1

Livingston threatened immediately with Mackay extracting another fine save out of Little and they would successfully find an equaliser in 57th minute. The goalscorer was GUTHRIE who slotted a low shot in to make it 2-2.

The visitors introduced two substitutes in addition to the one that they had made at half time and the game opened up a bit. Guthrie evaded the offside trap to get into a position to belt a shot on target from short range but Little beat it away.

For the final 15 minutes coach Gary Montignani introduced Jay Snoddy, Leo Evans and fifteen year old keeper Thomas Margetts. Leaving the field were Tod, Middleton and Little. Livi sub Che Reilly sent a good opportunity over the Dunfermline bar and Anderson headed wildly wide from an 86th minute corner.

Anderson`s added time shot rebounded behind for a corner on the left and when that came over Margetts saved what looked like being a match winner and then Anderson drove the ball on to the crossbar.

This turned out to be an entertaining match in which the teams would share the points. The sides will meet each other again later this month in the cinch SPFL Reserve Cup final at Almondvale but it likely that Dunfermline’s side that day may not look very similar to the one played at Ainslie Park.

DUNFERMLINE: Max Little (Thomas Margetts 75), Kian McHale, Sam Young, John Tod (Leo Evans 75), Conley Adamson, Ewan McLeod, Michael Beagley, Jake Rennie, Freddie Rowe, Liam Middleton (Jay Snoddy 75), Taylor Sutherland (c) (Mark Beveridge 84)
SUBS NOT USED:
SCORERS: Middleton (21, Sutherland (48)

LIVINGSTON: Jack Hamilton, Tommy Sharp, Junior McQuilken, Calan Ledingham, Mohammad Sangare (John Binnie HT), Sam Culbert, Daniel Mackay (Che Reilly 68), David Carson (Harvey Petrie 68), Bruce Anderson, Trialist (Dean Rappozzoh 50), Kurtis Guthrie.
SUBS NOT USED: Joe McQuire, Corey Kirk, Sam Featherstone
SCORERS: Ledingham (9), Guthrie (57)
YELLOW CARD: Ledingham (26)

REFEREE: Ryan Lee
WEATHER: Changeable 8°C
Coach Gary Montignani’s post match comments

NEXT MATCH: cinch SPFL Reserve League v Hibernian, Tuesday 9th April 2024, kick off 1.00pm at Ainslie Park Stadium.

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