Dunfermline 1 Peterhead 0Saturday, 30th Apr 2016
Ladbrokes League One: three changes from Airdrie but no Faissal El Bakhtaoui in the starting eleven. Joe Cardle (17) 1-0
The only team in League One that Dunfermline had yet to win against this season were the opposition for the final match of the season. Third placed Peterhead made one enforced change, Leighton McIntosh started in place of the suspended Rory McAllister.
Dunfermline boss made three changes from the eleven that started at Airdrie the previous Saturday. Craig Reid, Andy Geggan and Joe Cardle returned with Ryan Williamson, Shaun Rooney and Rhys McCabe dropping to the bench alongside top goalscorer Faissal El Bakhtaoui.
There were several trackside presentations as the teams warmed up and the large end of season crowd filtered in. With 6236 inside East End Park Peterhead formed a guard of honour as the Ladbrokes League One champions entered the field with flame throwers on the park providing a spectacular entrance.
Peterhead kicked off towards the McCathie Stand and forced the first corner of the game in third minute that David Hopkirk cleared with ease. Dunfermline's first chance came within two more minutes when Reid fed the ball into the right side of the opposition box where Josh Falkiongham ran on to gather and flash a great ball across the face of the six yard but Michael Moffat just couldn't get the necessary touch.
Next it was a Hopkirk ball in from the right that had keeper Graeme Smith out to intercept before Ryan Wallace could finish. At the other end Ben Richards-Everton was greatly involved, first recovering from a slip and evading a balloon to clear, then blocking two on target attempts from outside the box.
A block on Moffat by Dzierzawski handed the Pars a free kick 29 yards out but Wallace sent the attempt low and wide left. Peterhead produced a promising move when Simon Ferry slipped the ball through Shane Sutherland for McIntosh to shoot from an acute angle on the right and his effort was driven into the sidenetting.
It was really sweet move in 17 minutes that turned the pressure on Peterhead. Moffat wasa picked out in the middle of the park and he fed the ball left for Cardle. Joe sent a right footed cross to the far side of the six yard box and although that found a Peterhead head the danger was not properly cleared and CARDLE found himself threaded a pass from Wallace that set him up to slip the ball into the left side of the goal. 1-0
Fifteen yards out Hopkirk was picked out by Reid but the excellently placed delivery was just a shade strong and the opportunity was gone. A minute later in 26 minute Wallace was sent through on the keeper and Graeme Smith tumbled the Pars striker just outside the box. Smith was shown yellow but the resultant free kick came to nothing as Wallace's slip to Cardle was overhit and the weak shot was low to the left.
Another Wallace free kick on the half hour was splendidly lifted over the defence for the inrunning Brad McKay but the direction on his header did not match Wallace's skilful delivery.
Swift passing, Wallace to Falkingham to Cardle to Falkingham on 35 minutes but when Josh checked and shot from 18 yards two defenders blocked his effort. Smith held a 37th minute corner from Wallace on the right and Hopkirk tried a shot from distance that Stevenson blocked.
Jordan Brown dispatched a snapped opportunity over Sean Murdoch's crossbar and in the last action of the first half Jamie Stevenson picked out sub Nathan Blockley on the edge of the box but Murdoch held comfortably.
Half time: Dunfermline 1 Peterhead 0
The league champions kicked off the second half in bright sunshine but with the Ochils still with a covering of snow it was still very cool for the last match of the season. Wallace was first to supply a chance from deep down the right. He stopped and with the ball on his left foot crossed for Hopkirk but he his shot was blocked.
Murdoch then pulled off a fabulous save when Steven Noble's ball in from a corner on the right was headed on target by Brown at the back post. All the players except Sean Murdoch were in the Peterhead half as Dunfermline confidently stroked the ball around.
The Blue Toon forced a 59th minute corner when McIntosh played the ball off Talbot. Both centre backs, Redman and Strachan had touches and attempts but eventually Falkingham got the ball out of the Pars box and Wallace made break down the right. The subsequent delivery was met by Moffat but as he slid in he sent the ball wide right at the near post.
Cardle was shown a yellow card after being brushed over in the box by Strachan. Wallace pumped in a 70th minute free kick from 28 yards out on the left but Geggan couldn't get enough on his header to hit the target.
Three minutes later Wallace got the break of the ball in a challenge with Redman and homed in on goal, evading the efforts of Strachan to halt him but sent a sizzler of a shot narrowly wide left.
Cardle had two close shots before with thirteen minutes remaining Faissal El Bakhtaoui was introduced to a great welcome. The Pars top goalscorer was seeking one more goal to claim the division's top striker title.
Shaun Byrne then came on for Josh Falkingham the Man of the Match went off to a warm ovation with everyone aware that might be his last appearance in a Pars strip. Faiss showed a classy touch in playing Cardle in at the top of the box but his slip to Moffat wasn't anticipated and Peterhead cleared. Talbot drove a shot wide left and it was all Dunfermline as the clock ran down.
Byrne was taken down 25 yards out and Faissal El Bakhtaoui drove his attempt from the resultant free kick into the Peterhead wall. Cardle's 88th minute shot went wildly left and in the second minute of added time a Geggan foul on Andy Rodgers gave Peterhead one final chance but Murdoch showed his usual great ability to beat away Sutherland's shot.
In the end it was a comfortable first win of the season over Peterhead, a great way to polish off a most successful season. The stage was built for the presentation of the Ladbrokes League One title and the title winning squad were all introduced individually until the manager emerged before Andy Geggan (as current captain) and club captain, Callum Fordyce.
The Ladbrokes representatives presented Geggs and Dycey with the League One trophy, silver streamers were fired in the air and there was joy all around East End Park. Quite a contrast from the doom of three years before when the club in administration was destined for relegation through the play offs.
Onwards into the Championship, the only sadness being the inevitable departures from East End Park and the inability to keep the title winning team together.
SUBS NOT USED: Shaun Rooney, Rhys McCabe, Paul Joseph Crossan, David Hutton GK).
SCORERS: Cardle (17)
YELLOW CARD: Cardle (63)
PETERHEAD: Graeme Smith; Jamie Stevenson (Marc Lawrence 67), James Redman, Ryan Strachan, Steven Noble; Jordan Brown, Kevin Dzierzawski (Nathan Blockley 20), Simon Ferry, Nicky Riley (Andy Rodgers 75); Shane Sutherland, Leighton McIntosh.
SUBS NOT USED: Paul Jarvie (GK).
YELLOW CARD: Smith (26), Riley (50), Redman (52)
REFEREE: John Beaton
WEATHER: Fine 10C
NEXT MATCH: Next season
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League 1 trophy presentation
Sat, 30th Apr 2016
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Preview PeterheadSaturday, 30th Apr 2016
The final match of the 2015-2016 season is one that players and fans hope with be a bit of a celebration and subsequent party.
Standing between that wish and reality is Jim McInally's Peterhead.
The opposition were for a lengthy period of the season the main rivals as contenders for the Ladbrokes League One title but after a run of 19 league matches undefeated the Blue Toon have lost their last four league matches and now sit third two points behind Ayr United. Peterhead's play off place is secure; they will play Ayr United and the only thing remaining to be decided is the way round for home advantage.
|All Matches v Peterhead|
|22/08/15||A||L||1-2||[0-1] McAllister (pen.), [1-1] Moffat, [1-2] McIntosh|
|04/04/15||A||D||1-1||[1-0] Moffat, [1-1] Rodgers|
|03/01/15||H||D||1-1||[1-0] Forbes, [1-1] McAllister (pen.)|
|08/11/14||A||D||3-0||[1-0] El Bakhtaoui, [1-1] Stevenson.|
|27/09/14||H||W||3-0||[1-0] Falkingham, [2-0] Ugwu, [3-0] Thomas|
|30/08/08||A||W||2-0||[1-0] Kirk, [2-0] Phinn|
There have only been seven league matches between these clubs and five have been drawn and one win each.
The first ever league match between Dunfermline Athletic and Peterhead is one that neither club nor their fans will forget in a hurry. It will be remembered not so much for the three goals Dunfermline won by but rather for the three men that Peterhead had sent off before half time. What followed was a bizarre second half that was more like a game of three and in.
The 2-1 defeat in the first match at Peterhead in August brought an end to the Pars buoyant start to the season with five successive wins. A Rory McAllister penalty put the home side in the lead after 30 minutes but Michael Moffat made it 1-1 just before half time and Leighton McIntosh scored a last minute winner for Jim McInally's team.
The matches at East End Park in November and at the Balmoor Stadium in January both ended in goalless draws. Peterhead is the only team in League One that Dunfermline have not beaten this season.
|Current League Position|
|League form last six games|
|Home / Away League Record|
|P15, W11, D4, L2||P15, W7, D5, L5|
Both sides recent form has been out of character. After such an impressive unbeaten run Peterhead have now lost their last five matches if you include the Petrofac Training Cup final against Rangers. The Pars have not won in three and will be really keen to end their League One stay with a win in front of what is expected to be a bumper crowd coming along to see the Ladbrokes League One trophy presented at full time.
|Form last six home / away|
|Dunfermline (home)||Peterhead (away)|
|Forfar Athletic||D||2-2||Brechin City||L||1-5|
|Brechin City||W||3-1||Forfar Athletic||L||0-2|
|Ayr United||W||3-2||Ayr United||W||
Last Time Out
DUNFERMLINE (v Airdrieonians): Sean Murdoch; Shaun Rooney, Brad McKay, Ben Richards-Everton, Jason Talbot; Ryan Williamson (Andy Geggan 38), Josh Falkingham, Rhys McCabe, David Hopkirk; Ryan Wallace, Michael Moffat (Conner Duthie 43).
SUBS NOT USED: Craig Reid, Shaun Byrne, Scott Robinson, Faissal El Bakhtaoui, Cammy Gill (GK).
PETERHEAD (v Brechin City): Graeme Smith; Jamie Stevenson, James Redman, Ryan Strachan, Steven Noble; Kevin Dzierzawski, Simon Ferry (Nathan Blockley 70), Shane Sutherland, Jordan Brown, Nicky Riley (Leighton McIntosh 45), Rory McAllister.
SUBS NOT USED: Scott Ferries, Andy Rodgers, Mark Lawrence, Paul Jarvie (GK).
Peterhead's top goalscorer with 22 league goals, Rory McAllister is suspended for this match following his red card against Ayr United last Saturday. Faissal El Bakhtaoui is on the same number of league goals at the top of the League One goalscorer rankings.
Referee will be John Beaton.
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