Dunfermline 5 Cowdenbeath 1Saturday, 1st Aug 2015
Scottish League Cup First Round: Faissal El Bakhtaoui (49) 1-0; Shaun Byrne (56) 2-0; Declan Hughes (59) 2-1; Ryan Wallace (74 pen), 3-1; Shaun Byrne (78) 4-1; Faissal El Bakhtaoui (90) 5-1
Another fine win proved a major confidence boost for Allan Johnston's side and sent the home support home pinching themselves and hoping that this was a taste of the season ahead.
For this Scottish League Cup First Round tie, Dunfermline were unchanged from the side that comfortably saw off Arbroath the previous Saturday with Michael Moffat and Faissal El Bakhtaoui out to continue their net finding habit. New signing Jason Talbot served the second of his two match suspension following his sending off in the pre season friendly against Hibs.
Colin Nish's Cowdenbeath side made one change from that knocked out of the Petrofac Training Cup at the hands of local rivals Raith Rovers. They dropped former Par Chris Kane to the bench in order to bring in Lewis Milne.
So the home season got underway with Dunfermline attacking for once the accurately described "Cowdenbeath end". Early pressure was applied by the Pars with El Bakhtaoui's fourth minute ball across the Blue Brazil six yard box bringing the first excitement of the match. Unfortunately Joe Cardle got closed out at the far side.
Then just on five minutes into the match there was a roar as El Bakhtaoui found the net but the Main Stand side linesman's flag had already been raised for offside.
When Michael Moffat slipped the ball to Cardle on the left, Dean Brett tumbled the Pars winger to give the home side a free kick on the left corner of the penalty box but when Cardle delivered the ball was headed clear.
In eighth minute Moffat cut his own passage through the middle of the Cowden defence and sent his left footed shot agonisingly just outside the right upright.
Moffat showed great skills to tee up a shot from 15 yards but Bradley Donaldson blocked that. Next Andy Geggan powered a shot from 30 yards but that too was blocked on the edge of the box. A Cardle free kick then attempted to pick out Ben Richards-Everton at the far post but again the offside flag went up.
The rain which had never been far away all summer returned in 12th minute and there was hope that this would re-create a playing surface like that the Pars had so enjoyed at Arbroath the previous week. El Bakhtaoui broke through on the right but disappointingly failed to pick out Moffat on the top of the D.
As the first quarter of the cup tie was completed not even the most ardent of Blue Brazil fan could have denied that the Toon side were on top. Martin blasted off target and Cardle's free kick in from the right fell at the feet of the inrushing Richards-Everton but he got caught up with the ball and failed to notch his first senior goal.
The one way traffic continued with Cardle's shot being blocked and Ryan Williamson's cross being held by the bright orange kitted Michael Andrews. In 27 minutes Sean Murdoch came out to hold a free kick pumped over from the right touchline and that was really the Pars keeper's first call to action.
Two minutes later a wicked ball over from a Cardle free kick on the right narrowly evaded Geggan and Richards-Everton's touch saw the ball ping over the bar. Referee George Salmond produced a yellow card for Craig Johnston's challenge on Williamson and from the Paton free kick Richards-Everton head at Andrews.
In 33 minutes Murdoch fisted the ball away after some slackness in the home defence although the offside flag also went up. Then next minute El Bakhtaoui broke down the right, cut into the box shrugging off tackles before releasing a low shot that went narrowly outside the far post.
Yet another Pars free kick in 38 minutes picked out Richards-Everton whose header was then met by Callum Fordyce but his effort was easy meat for Andrews.
The keeper then held a long range attempt from El Bakhtaoui and then in 43 minutes Cardle picked out Moffat in front of goal but his shot was deflected over the crossbar. It had been a first half that the Eastenders had dominated, the onmly thing missing - goals!
Half time: Dunfermline 0 Cowdenbeath 0
The visitors got the second half underway in bright sunshine and within 15 seconds Byrne made great tackle to rob Luke Armstrong as his break took him toi the edge of the Pars box.
Pressure was immediately turned back on the Blue Brazil with Pars possession in the opposition box. Paton earned a corner that was defended but the breakthrough was to come in just the fourth minute of the half. A Cardle cut back from the left picked out EL BAKHTAOUI who made room for himself to drive the ball past Andrews from 12 yards. 1-0.
Moffat was presented with a great opportunity to double the advantage on 55 minutes. Cardle scampered through the left channel from the halfway line releasing the ball on the edge of the box left to Moff but he blasted wide left.
Next minute however in a fine individual contribution Shaun BYRNE found the net from 20 yards out to make it 2-0.
The lead was to be pegged back to one however within three minutes when the unmarked Declan HUGHES smashed the ball into the Pars net. 2-1
Ryan Wallace replaced Michael Moffat in 66 minutes and play returned to in front of the home support. El Bakhtaoui blasted over from the right but just Cowden tried to find an equaliser they were caught out on the counter. Wallace raced on to a long ball, controlled it well and then was taken out by the keeper as he tried to pass him. Penalty kick and a red card shown to Michael Andrews.
Jamie Sneddon came on as Craig Johnston was withdrawn before WALLACE placed the ball into the bottom left. 3-1 That became 4-1 just four minutes later when BYRNE was presented with an easy chance heading home in front of goal.
That was the 22 year old's last involvement, denied the chance to go for a hattrick with the introduction of Josh Falkingham.
Wallace's 86th minute shot from the edge of the box was parried by Sneddon and the ball cleared off the line by his defender. El Bakhtaoui then tried an unconventional jumping effort that just failed to come off.
The ten men got pinned back into their own half but the tie was effectively all over when EL BAKHTAOUI's solo run in 90th minute produced a fifth!. Many of the away fans had left the stadium when George Salmond blew up for full time; a resounding victory for the second week running.
Quite a second half and impressive stuff from the Pars. 19 shots at goal, 8 on target, 8 corners to Cowdenbeath's none. 59% possession, on this display Dunfermline Athletic can be a real threat this season and it will take a good team to stop them!
SUBS NOT USED: David Hutton (GK), Lewis Spence, James Thomas, John Potter.
SCORERS: El Bakhtaoui (49, 90), Byrne (56, 78), Wallace (74 pen).
COWDENBEATH: Michael Andrews; Dean Brett, John Armstrong (c), Bradley Donaldson, Mo Yaqub; Sam Orritt (Chris Kane 24), Lewis Milne, Declan Hughes, Craig Johnston (Jamie Sneddon 73), Greig Spence, Luke Armstrong (Colin Nish 61).
SUBS NOT USED: Liam Callaghan, Pat Scullion, Kyle Miller, Jack Wright
SCORERS: Hughes (59)
YELLOW CARD: Johnston (30), Kane (68)
RED CARD: Andrews (72)
REFEREE: George Salmond
WEATHER: Overcast 15ºC
NEXT MATCH: Ladbrokes League One (away) v Brechin City
Saturday 8th August 2015, kick off 3.00pm
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DAFC 5-1 Cowdenbeath
Sat, 1st Aug 2015
Allan Johnston post Cowdenbeath
Sat, 1st Aug 2015
Shaun Byrne post Cowdenbeath
Sat, 1st Aug 2015
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Preview CowdenbeathSaturday, 1st Aug 2015
Scottish League Cup First Round: Cowdenbeath will be the visitors two weeks ahead of the same fixture in League One
League Cup Tickets: Saturday 1st August All stands: Adults £15, Concessions £10, Under 12's £5.
Fife derbies this season were always going to be against League One neighbours Cowdenbeath but the four meetings became five when the draw was made for the Scottish League Cup. The teams last met in this cup way back in September 2003 when goals from Stevie Crawford and Craig Brewster secured a 2-0 victory and a tie against St Johnstone. The previous season the teams also met in the League Cup, Dunfermline winning through 2-1 at Central Park.
Milestones Cowdenbeath (Home)
First Div Play Off
Div B Two
Dunfermline's record against Cowdenbeath reveals 43 wins and 29 defeats with 17 draws. Of the last twelve meetings Dunfermline have won ten but this is a local derby and everybody knows history and the form book can go out the window. The last meeting was a disappointing 3-0 defeat in the First Division play offs two seasons ago. Prior to that play off win in 2014 Cowdenbeath's last East End Park win was in May 1993.
|Last Dozen Meetings|
Cowdenbeath and Dunfermline have met six times in the League Cup, there has been one draw and five Pars wins. The Pars have only once lost a League Cup or Scottish Cup tie to Cowdenbeath at East End Park; that was in January 1929.<
|Arbroath (A)||W||4-1||Raith Rovers (H)||L||0-1|
|Hibs (H)||L||1-2||Edinburgh City (H)||D||0-0|
|Queens Park (A)||W||5-2||Hearts (H)||D||1-1|
|Livingston (A)||D||0-0||Gala Fairydean (A)||W||
|Berwick Rangers (A)||
|East Fife (A)||
Last Time Out
DUNFERMLINE (v Arbroath): Sean Murdoch; Ryan Williamson, Callum Fordyce (c), B Richards-Everton, Lewis Martin; Michael Paton, Andy Geggan (Lewis Spence 80), Shaun Byrne, Joe Cardle; Michael Moffat (James Thomas 70), Faissal El Bakhtaoui (Ryan Wallace 55)
SUBS NOT USED: David Hutton (GK), Ryan Finnie, John Potter.
COWDENBEATH (v Raith Rovers): Michael Andrews; Dean Brett, John Armstrong, Bradley Donaldson, Mo Yaqub Samuel Orritt (Lewis Milne 67), Chris Kane (Colin Nish 78), Declan Hughes, Craig Johnston ( (Kyle Miller 84), Greg Spence, Luke Armstrong.
SUBS NOT USED: Liam Callaghan, Pat Scullion, Jamie Sneddon, Jack Wright
Quite a change in the Cowdenbeath squad since that play off match in May 2014. Of the side that played that Sunday, only Dean Brett, John Armstrong, Chris Kane, Kyle Miller and Lewis Milne featured last Saturday for them. Scrutiny of the Pars team however also reveals that only six of their players are still at the club:- Ryan Williamson, Lewis Martin, Shaun Byrne, Josh Falkingham, Andy Geggan, Faissal El Bakhtaoui.
Colin Nish's most recent signings are striker Luke Armstrong, defenders Bradley Donaldson and Mo Yaqub, goalkeeper Michael Andrews and midfielder Sam Orritt.
Armstrong came through the Youth Academy ranks of Middlesbrough prior to joining Birmingham City last season where he featured in their under-21/Development squad. The 19 year old scored twice for Cowden in their pre season friendly versus Gala Fairydean Rovers.
Sam Orritt is from Yorkshire and joined the Blue Brazil after a spell in college football in the USA. Sam played at under-16 level with Rotherham United and then for Lincoln United before going Stateside. Sam has spent the last few years in South Carolina where he played for Limestone College Saints Athletic.
Goalkeeper Michael Andrews began his career with Falkirk where he was loaned out to East Stirlingshire for a spell. Subsequently, he enjoyed stints with Montrose and East Fife. Last season, he was Berwick Rangers' custodian but has now agreed to come to Central Park after playing in our pre-season fixtures. 6ft 3in Michael is a Scotland under-21 internationalist and hails from Haddington.
Mohammed ‘Mo’ Yaqub, a left sided defender (he has also played in a midfield role). Mo was a trainee with Celtic and then moved to join St. Mirren in July 2012. He made his League debut for St Mirren at the end of season 2012/13. The 21-year old was also capped by Scotland at under-17 level. Mo was released by St Mirren following their relegation last season.
Former Hibs and Livingston defender Bradley Donaldson celebrated his 21st birthday by putting his signature to a contract with Cowdenbeath FC. He is a product of the Hibs youth set up which he joined at the age of just 8. Brad left Easter Road after Hibs relegation in 2013/14 - a season in which he had a successful loan spell at Arbroath but latterly spent some time on the sidelines due to injury.
Brad was with Livingston last season although he was unlucky again as his recovery from injury was hampered when he contracted septicaemia following a pre-season match versus Dunfermline. Once fighting fit though he made his bow in the Livingston 1st team. Brad is primarily a central defender but he can also play in the full back berth.
Referee for this Fife Derby cup tie will be Andrew Dallas.