Dunfermline 3 Arbroath 0

cinch Championship: Matty Todd and Kane Ritchie-Hosler started

In this previously postponed fixture Dunfermline faced an Arbroath side under the caretaker management of Stuart Malcolm, Arbroath’s Head of Recruitment Barry Sellars and former St Johnstone player, Liam Craig.

James McPake made two changes from the side that faced Raith Rovers the previous Friday meaning Matty Todd and Kane Ritchie-Hosler started in place of Aaron Comrie and Alex Jakubiak and it was the same starting eleven that started the last league game against Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

The Arbroath team showed just one change from that was knocked out of the Scottish Cup by League Two side, The Spartans. Keaghan Jacobs came in for the injured Ryan Dow.

The visitors kicked off attacking the goal at the McCathie Stand end but after early Pars pressure it was the home side who forced the first corner in fifth minute. Unfortunately Michael McKenna met the cross first to clear.

It was 11 minutes further on when Ritchie-Hosler earned a corner on the right but taken short from Joe Chalmers to Paul Allan the cross was all too easily cut out. Lewis McCann made a run through the middle but his 19th minute shot from 18 yards out went into the hands of the Arbroath keeper, Derek Gaston.

The keeper came out on top again when Owen Moffat accepted a Josh Edwards pass and fired a5 him from 24 yards out. Arbroath no.24 Jermaine Hylton was then unceremoniously flattened by Sam Fisher to hand the Red Lichties a 24th minute free kick but McKenna’s attempt to the right of the four man wall deflected off Todd and it was Craig Slater who got in a shot but it was well wide left. 

Three minutes later Jay Bird conjured up an on-target shot from the left side that Deniz Mehmet dropped to his right to hold. On the half hour the first substitution of the match saw Darren Lyon replace David Gold but this was a game that required something to raise the atmosphere.

Ritchie-Hosler’s efforts to get around the Arbroath defence earned a 34th minute corner that McKenna cleared again but then the Arbroath captain flattened Ritchie-Hosler and McCann would have an opportunity from a free kick 30 yards out. His shot was deflected for a corner on the left that Fisher met but headed on to the roof of the net.

Half Time: Dunfermline 0 Arbroath 0

The second half was only in its third minute when the deadlock was broken. A ball in from the right set up Todd and there were appeals for a penalty as he hit the deck. Play continued though and Moffat drove the ball on target only for Gaston to beat it away. Fortunately the chance then fell to EDWARDS who crashed the ball into the far side of the goal. 1-0

Edwards had a chance quickly thereafter but this time forced on to his right foot he could not find the target. Play was halted in 51 minutes when Kane Ritchie-Hosler picked up a shoulder injury that resulted in him being stretchered off. Play resumed after a seven minute stoppage with the introduction of Aaron Comrie off the bench.

Things got worse for Dunfermline as they lost another two players in three minutes. Owen Moffat and Sam Fisher were helped off meaning the introduction of Craig Wighton, at the same time as Matty Todd was subbed by Michael O’Halloran and Alex Jakubiak for Fisher. 

O’Halloran was immediately fed a pass from McCann that sent him up the left wing and his cross created danger until Colin Hamilton hooked it away. Jakubiak had only been on the park three minutes when he cut back another threatening ball from the left but the defence conceded a 69th minute corner. The second goal would come not from the setpiece but from a surging run down the right by O’Halloran. His cross in was played back by Jakubiak for McCann to shoot, that effort was pushed away by Gaston and Wighton’s follow up was also stopped by the keeper. However WIGHTON was handily placed to convert in 73rd minute when he received a great delivery in from Comrie. 2-0

Jakubiak provided the chance of a second for Wighton when he broke into the left side of the Arbroath box to feed the striker at the near post. Unfortunately it was just a corner that came from that as the defence blocked him out.

Dunfermline continued to pressurise the Angus side’s defence with McCann’s delivery cut out for a corner and then O’Halloran belting the ball wide left from the top of the box. In 89 minutes another O’Halloran run teed up Wighton but his attempt was diverted over the crossbar.

The third goal did arrive in 90th minute. McCann’s attempt from the left side of the box was only half saved by Gaston and WIGHTON had an easy job in seeing the ball over the line. 3-0

McCann’s 97th minute cross from in front of the North West saw Wighton race to head home but he could not connect and only he ended up in the net. Arbroath left the right side open again two minutes later but again neither Wighton nor Jakubiak could meet the ball.

In the tenth minute of stoppage time Michael McKenna went down with an injury and with the stretcher deployed again referee Ross Hardie came to be sensible conclusion blowing for full time in fifteenth minute of added time.

After a pretty tame first half that James McPake would later call stuffy, the improvements in the second half made it a bit of a one sided game eventually. The three points lifted Dunfermline into fourth place, the only downside injuries to Kane Ritchie-Hosler (dislocated shoulder) and Sam Fisher (ankle).

DUNFERMLINE: Deniz Mehmet: Sam Fisher (Alex Jakubiak 66), Chris Hamilton (c), Ewan Otoo: Kane Ritchie-Hosler (Aaron Comrie 58), Paul Allan, Joe Chalmers, Josh Edwards: Matty Todd (Michael O’Halloran 63), Owen Moffat (Craig Wighton 63): Lewis McCann.
SUBS NOT USED: Miller Fenton, Harry Sharp (GK), Max Little (GK)
SCORERS: Edwards (48), Wighton (74, 90)

ARBROATH: Derek Gaston; Aaron Steele, Thomas O`Brien (c), Colin Hamilton, Scott Stewart: Craig Slater, Michael McKenna, David Gold (Darren Lyon 30), Keaghan Jacobs, Jermaine Hylton (Kenan Dünnwald-Turan 82), Jay Bird (Ricky Little 74)
SUBS NOT USED: Mark Stowe, Ally Adams, Jess Norey.
YELLOW CARD: O’Brien (38)

REFEREE: Ross Hardie

Manager’s post match comments

NEXT MATCH: cinch Championship (home) v Queens Park, Saturday 2nd December 2023, kick off 3.00pm at KDM Group East End Park

The winner(s) for the 50/50 DAFC v Arbroath 28 11 2023 draw which ended on November 28, 2023 8:30 pm was Ticket Number WEB7263 

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