Albion Rovers 0 Dunfermline 1Saturday, 2nd Apr 2016
Ladbrokes League One: Rhys McCabe and David Hutton in for Josh Falkingham and Sean Murdoch. Faissal El Bakhtaoui (87) 0-1
Dunfermline travelled to Coatbridge accompanied by a large travelling support out to further celebrate winning the league title last Saturday. The opposition, Darren Young's Albion Rovers went with the same eleven as drew with Airdrieonians in the previous match while Allan Johnston was forced into making two changes.
Rhys McCabe came in for the suspended Josh Falkingham and in goal David Hutton came in for the injured Sean Murdoch. New signing Scott Robinson was on the bench. Last season's League Two champions formed a guard of honour as this season's League One champions entered the field.
Early play was towards the home goal with a second minute corner sent in by Paton defended as Brad McKay attacked it. David Hopkirk had a shot blocked before at the other end shots from Ross Davidson and Gary Fisher were well off target.
The Pars were forced into an eighth minute substitution when Craig Reid limped off to be replaced by Shaun Rooney. The sub was soon involved in an overlap after McCabe had slipped the ball right for Paton to feed onwards but the big man's cross was blocked.
Faissal El Bakhtaoui tried a shot but was wide but then having adjusted his sights then tested keeper Ross Stewart with a good effort on 15 minutes that had the red shirted keeper dive at full stretch to keep him out.
Hopkirk got around his marker, Alan Reid but fired his 20th minute attempt straight at the keeper. Five minutes later McCabe's pass into the left side of the Rovers box looked good for the in running Jason Talbot but Scott McBride made a crucial tackle to concede just a corner. When Paton sent that over Brad McKay just could not get enough purchase on his header and Stewart held easily.
It was a frustrating period for the Fifers who totally dominated play but final balls from McCabe and others failed to do any damage. A 32nd minute corner heralded some hope of breaking the deadlock but Ben Richards-Everton headed wide.
Wallace was next to deliver into the box and this time McKay headed wide. El Bakhtaoui's efforts to get on the end of a ball crossed in from the right were then halted by a Kyle Turnbull header. In 39 minute Talbot was high up the left to receive a McCabe lay off but a combination of Reid and Dunlop got the ball cleared.
In 44 minutes a free kick conceded by Richards-Everton at the right corner flag allowed McBride to send over a decent ball that Rooney headed out only as far as Davidson but he hoisted his shot high over the crossbar.
That was the closest the home side got to corner in the first half which showed Dunfermline had 64% possession. A tricky sticky and bumpy pitch perhaps the cause of just two shots on target in the first 45 minutes.
Half time: Albion Rovers 0 Dunfermline 0
The Pars started the second half strongly with a through ball flighted nicely from McCabe for Hopkirk but as the ball bounced flatly he could not control it and the chance was gone. Next El Bakhtaoui launched a shot on target but the ball was kept out, painfully, by Hopkirk's back.
After five minutes of the half Spas Georgiev produced a snapshot from the edge of the Pars box and Hutton did well to turn the ball over the top for the Rovers first corner of the afternoon. That was successfully defended before in 53 minutes El Bakhtaoui put Hopkirk through again but unfortunately the keeper was able to beat away the striker's shot.
At the other end former Par Scott McBride hurt himself was he desperately tried to get on the end of a Ally Love cross from midway down the Albion left. Play switched back to the home team's half and Wallace was in position to crash a shot over the bar.
Then in 58 minutes the ball was played left from El Bakhtaoui through Geggan to Wallace who then cut in and drilled a low drive on to the right goalpost. Love was clearly offside when a nice touch from McBride played him passed the defence in 63 minutes.
Dunfermline forced two quick corners on the right, the second after Hopkirk had done well to get round his man and centre an inviting ball. Both corners were ably dealt with by the defence that continued to frustrate the league winners.
A McCabe chip from half way picked out Hopkirk on the right side of the box but the ball was booted out for a corner that was yet again defended after McKay had headed goalwards. Albion pushed up and when they won a 70th minute corne Archibald came close from a Davidson cross. That was virtually Archibald's last involvement as Paul Willis came on in his place. Dunfermline then made their second substitution, Joe Cardle replacing Ryan Wallace.
McCabe, then Talbot were yellow carded in 76 and 77th minutes for fouls on Fisher and Willis and two minutes later Rooney was also shown yellow for a tug on Love and given the Albion no.11's reaction he too was shown yellow.
Michael Moffat came on with nine minutes remaining subbing the luckless Hopkirk but it was Albion Rovers who nearly scored. It was a fine 85th minute pass from Willis for Turnbull that took play forward. He fed Love on the left and his cross was hit on target by McBride but Hutton saved.
The much sought after goal duly arrived in 87 minutes and it was for the champions. El Bakhtaoui picked out Cardle on the left and he carved out a chance chipping the ball across the face of goal for EL BAKHTAOUI to head the ball home. 0-1
In 90th minute Moffat sent the ball wide left for Cardle and he drove a good shot in that was kept out by the post. No further scoring but three points to take the season's tally to 75.
SUBS NOT USED: Mark Ferry, Darren Young, Yves-Marie Kerjean, Blair Lochhead (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Archibald (67), Love (79)
DUNFERMLINE: David Hutton; Craig Reid (Shaun Rooney 8), Brad McKay, Ben Richards-Everton, Jason Talbot; Michael Paton, Andy Geggan (c), Ryhs McCabe, David Hopkirk (Michael Moffat 81); Ryan Wallace (Joe Cardle 74), Faissal El Bakhtaoui.
SUBS NOT USED: Shaun Byrne, Lewis Martin, Scott Robinson, Cammy Gill (GK).
SCORERS: El Bakhtaoui (87)
YELLOW CARD: Geggan (62), McCabe (76), Talbot (77), Rooney (79), El Bakhtaoui (88)
REFEREE: Mat Northcroft
WEATHER: Cloudy 11C
NEXT MATCH: Ladbrokes League One (home) v Forfar Athletic, Saturday 9th April 2016 kick off 3.00pm at East End Park.
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Albion Rovers 0-1 Dunfermline
Sun, 3rd Apr 2016
Allan Johnston post Albion Rovers
Sat, 2nd Apr 2016
David Hutton post Albion Rovers
Sat, 2nd Apr 2016
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Preview Albion RoversSaturday, 2nd Apr 2016
Ladbrokes League One: Dunfermline are unbeaten in their last nine winning all but one - against Albion Rovers on 8th March.
Newly crowned League One champions, Dunfermline Athletic, are off to Coatbridge on Saturday to face Albion Rovers. While all of West Fife focussed on the two league matches that mattered last Saturday - at East End Park and at Peterhead, a Lanarkshire derby was quietly taking place at the Excelsior Stadium.
Albion continued to find their neighbours near impossible to beat with only two points out of the possible12 this season and only one win over them since 1976-77 season. Ali Love's late equaliser rescued a point for Albion Rovers as they held play-off rivals Airdrieonians. The point however kept the two Lanarkshire sides locked together on 39 points and only one win behind Stranraer who currently sit in the fourth play off place with one match in hand.
Looking in the other direction Albion Rovers are three wins short of ensuring that they are not relegated to where they came from for the start of this season.
Milestones v Albion Rovers (away)
The Pars have only made one visit to Cliftonhill since March 1986 when Dunfermline, so for a number of Pars fans this will be their first opportunity to see the Pars play there. Tickets for this visit were almost all taken up before last Saturday's title clinching win over Brechin City and for that reason there will be a sizeable away support this Saturday.
Of the 73 previous league matches, the Pars have won 37, 14 have been drawn and 22 lost. The recent meeting at East End Park ended all square - Ryan Wallace had shot the Pars into a 1-0 with just a quarter of an hour remaining but Ross Davidson levelled just two minutes later and it finished 1-1.
That was also the scoreline when the teams met in Coatbridge in November. It was the same then - Andy Geggan got the Pars into an early lead but just five minutes later Josh Mullen netted for1-1. In October the first fixture ended in a 3-0 Pars win with goals from Joe Cardle (43), McCabe (62) and El Bakhtaoui (75).
|Last fourteen meetings|
|League One||Dunfermline||1-1||Albion Rovers||08/03/16|
|League One||Albion Rovers||1-1||Dunfermline||21/11/15|
|League One||Dunfermline||3-0||Albion Rovers||
|Skol Cup||Dunfermline||4-0||Albion Rovers||
|Division Two||Dunfermline||6-0||Albion Rovers||26/10/85|
|Division Two||Albion Rovers||0-3||Dunfermline||31/03/86|
|Division Two||Dunfermline||4-0||Albion Rovers||12/04/86|
|Division Two||Albion Rovers||0-2||Dunfermline||20/10/84|
|Division Two||Dunfermline||1-1||Albion Rovers||09/02/85|
|Division Two||Albion Rovers||1-1||Dunfermline||16/04/85|
|Division Two||Albion Rovers||1-1||Dunfermline||17/09/83|
|Division Two||Dunfermline||1-2||Albion Rovers||11/02/84|
|Division Two||Dunfermline||5-0||Albion Rovers||28/04/84|
|Division Two||Albion Rovers||1-0||Dunfermline||28/04/79|
Albion Rovers moved to Cliftonhill in 1919, with the new ground opening on 25 December. The Main Stand sits high on a rise above Main Street and a roof extension over the standing area in front of the stand was added in 1994.
The Main Stand and paddock are the only parts of the stadium normally used nowadays and the current capacity is listed as 1,238. In its heyday, Cliftonhill housed many thousand more people and its record attendance was set on 8 February 1936 when 27,381 watched the visit of Rangers. Unusually and owing to the ground's small capacity, there are no stands or open space behind either goals for spectators.
Albion Rovers were founded in October 1882 with players drawn from two junior teams - the Rovers and The Albion. It was not until 1903 when they entered the Scottish League playing in Division Two. Dunfermline first met Albion Rovers on 14th September 1912 when the Pars ran out comfortable 5-2 winners. The following season Albion Rovers finished runners up - one point ahead of the Pars.
In season 1919/20 they were elected to the First Division and in the same year they moved to their current home, Cliftonhill. This was perhaps The Wee Rovers most successful period in their history, reaching the Scottish Cup final in 1920 only to lose 3-2 to Kilmarnock in front of a crowd of 95,000, a record for the time.
With their relegation in 1922/23 season it meant that they would face Dunfermline once more, with the Fifers taking three points out of four but finishing three points and two places behind fifth placed Albion. In season 1933/34, Albion pipped Dunfermline to the Second Division title. They had to thank their 2-1 victory at East End Park on 17th March - when Dunfermline were top of the league and undefeated at home - for this achievement.
After the Second World War Albion found themselves, like Dunfermline, in Division 'B' and in 1947/48 they were promoted as runners up to East Fife. One season on they were back in the bottom league. They finished fourth in the Second Division in 1979/80 and in 1988/89 won that league. Albion Rovers won League Two last season by a ten point margin and a goal difference of +28. Last season's League Two champions find themselves up against the Pars in the league for the first time since season 1985/86.
|Current League Position|
|Recent League Form|
|Home / Away League Record|
|P15, W6, D4, L5||P14, W11, D3, L1|
Albion Rovers started the season well but since October they have only won four times. Albion have now gone seven matches without a win while Dunfermline are unbeaten in their last nine winning all but one - against Albion Rovers on 8th March.
|Recent League Form|
|Albion Rovers Home||Dunfermline Away|
|Ayr United||L||1-3||Ross County||L||0-1|
Sandy Clark left Albion Rovers in the summer to join Allan Johnston's management team at Dunfermline but the most famous link between the clubs is Jock Stein. Stein played 94 times for Albion between 1942 and 1950 and was part of the team that won Division 'B' in 1948.
In addition to Darren Young the current Albion squad includes former Pars players Andy Barrowman, Paul Willis and Scott McBride.
Last Time Out
DUNFERMLINE (v Brechin City): Sean Murdoch; Craig Reid, Brad
McKay, Ben Richards-Everton, Jason Talbot; Michael Paton, Andy Geggan (c), Josh Falkingham, David Hopkirk (Michael Moffat 40); Ryan Wallace (Paul Joseph Crossan
89), Faissal El Bakhtaoui.
SUBS NOT USED: Rhys McCabe, Shaun Byrne, Lewis Martin, Shaun Rooney, David
ALBION ROVERS (v Airdrieonians): Ross Stewart; Alan Reid, Michael Dunlop, Ross Dunlop, Kyle Turnbull; Gary Fisher, Ross Davidson, Ally Love, Scott McBride, Spas Georgiev, Paul Archibald.
SUBS NOT USED: Mark Ferry, Darren Young, Ben Cappie, Connor Shields, Blair Lochhead (GK)
Referee will be Mat Northcroft.