Dunfermline 2 Falkirk 0Tuesday, 2nd Jan 2018
Ladbrokes Championship: New signing Lee Robinson comes in for Sean Murdoch. Nicky Clark (16) 1-0: Declan McManus (51) 2-0:
The Dunfermline side showed two enforced changes from the one that faced Brechin City last time out on the Saturday before Christmas. Sean Murdoch was out injured and Allan Johnston fielded his first January signing, former Queen of the South keeper Lee Robinson in goals. Captain Callum Morris was suspended so Jean Yves M`Voto came in at centre back and Nicky Clark wore the captain`s armband.
Injury to Myles Hippolyte meant Falkirk manager, Paul Hartley, could not name the same starting eleven that recorded his first victory in charge of Falkirk on Saturday. Out went Lewis Kidd, Paul Watson and in came Thomas Robson, Andrew Nelson and Sean Welsh.
The home side had two good chances on the opening three minutes. Firstly Clark got in an early shot tha just escaped wide right of the goal and then third minute M`Voto forced keeper Robbie Mutch to turn his header round the other post.
The game developed into the unusual heated derby with the ball being passed around at pace to avoid challenges but Reghan Tumilty was shown the first yellow card of the game in just the ninth minute for going on with a high boot.
A Paton corner from the right was headed wide right by Lee Ashcroft and on 15 minutes Clark`s shot from a Declan McManus lay off was blocked by a defender. One minute later CLARK had another chance from a similar position to the right of goal and this time his shot was fumbled by the Falkirk keeper as it made its way into the net. 1-0
Dunfermline pushed for a second and in 23 minutes Clark came close to doing that but his header from a Jason Talbot cross slipped wide right.
The large travelling support cheered loudly as their side forced a 27th minute corner but that was headed down by Clark and booted away by Ashcroft. Falkirk kept play in the Dunfermline half for a spell and there was a great tackle from Dean Shiels and a good clearance from Williamson. Jordan McGhee fired a 32nd minute shot low and wide from 30 yards.
McManus did well to rob a defender as he tried to usher it out and then was denied a penalty as he appeared to have the feet pulled away from him. It was Clark in 36 minutes who got the next chance after good work by Joe Cardle but the shot from 15 yards out cleared the bar.
Robinson had to make his first serious save in 48 minutes when Aaron Muirhead crashed a low shot to the left side of the Pars goal from 30 yards out. Fortunately the new keeper got down well to deny the equaliser.
Craig Sibbald wound himself up for a shot from the right side of the penalty box but miscues. Then Tumilty got round the back of the defence but his pass was well cut out. Thomas Nelson had a go in 43 minutes but his poorly connected effort went wide left.
The Bairns almost got the goal they were looking for in 45 minutes when Louis Longridge was play through by Taiwo but Robinson fingertipped it round the post for a corner on the right. When that was taken to the corner of the penalty box Tumilty met it but the on loan Ross County player sent his attempt over the bar.
Dunfermline edged the first half as the scoreline reflected, 52% possession and 8 shots to Falkirk`s four.
Half time: Dunfermline 1 Falkirk 0
The second half was just five minutes old when the Pars increased their lead. Cardle had just embarked on a run where he took on what seemed like the entire Falkirk defence before being closed out. But when Talbot sent a diagonal pass back into the Bairns box, Clark got a touch as the ball broke for MCMANUS to stick the ball in at the right post. 2-0
Play got even more heated, M`Voto and Longridge were given stern words from Willie Collum and Andrew Nelson was yellow carded for his challenge on McManus. Sibbald sent a free kick across the face of the Fifers goal before it was back to the other end. Falkirk came back with Tumilty again the threat, his shot from the edge of the box was tipped around the post by Robinson.
On the counter Cardle benefitted from the left back`s slip but Tumilty cleared the cross. Paul Hartley then made a double substitution in an effort to get back into the game. Rory Loy and Alex Harris replaced Peter Grant and Tom Taiwo in 64th minute.
Paton sent over a 69th minute corner but Clark just failed to get enough on his header to find the net. Next Robinson flew out to clutch a Tumilty cross away from a number of heads on the edge of the six yard box. The contest continued with neither side holding back, the home fans were on good form and enjoyed their taunting verses.
Cardle was caught offside, Williamson had a customary run, beat two men but shot at Mutch. Then in 77 minutes Cardle hit the post after Ashcroft on half way had picked out Clark who in turn sent the Pars fans favourite scurrying down the right to get in a well struck shot.
Robinson reacted fast to thwart a Welsh shot and then the keeper did well to hold a Sibbald free kick that has headed away by Clark only for McGhee to fire a low netbound shot. Loy was caught offside in the left side of the Pars box and as the minutes ran away on Falkirk, Kallum Higginbotham replaced Joe Cardle.
There was time however for Tumilty to hit the post and Andy Ryan to round the Falkirk keeper 30 yards out but then see Clark hit the pass narrowly wide left. Nonetheless the two goals were sufficient to secure the three points and keep the Pars in 4th place.
Lee Robinson was awarded the Man of the Match, a shut out and on this showing looked a good acquisition. So it was a good start to the New Year, a second home win over Falkirk, the first back to back wins since September and possibly of greater importance, growing confidence.
SUBS NOT USED: Fraser Aird, Lewis Martin, Callum Smith, Cammy Gill (GK)
SCORERS: Clark (16), McManus (51)
YELLOW CARD: Ashcroft (37), Cardle (61), Ryan (90+1)
FALKIRK: Robbie Mutch: Aaron Muirhead, Peter Grant (Alex Harris 64), Reghan Tumilty, Tom Taiwo (Rory Loy 64), Craig Sibbald, Jordan McGhee, Louis Longridge, Thomas Robson, Andrew Nelson, Sean Welsh.
SUBS NOT USED: Cameron Blues, Lewis Kidd, James Craigen, Paul Watson, Robbie Thomson (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Tumilty (9), Nelson (55)
REFEREE: Willie Collum
WEATHER: Rain 4C
NEXT MATCH: Ladbrokes Championship (away) v Dumbarton Saturday 6th January 2018, 3.00pm kick off at the YOUR Radio 103FM Stadium.
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Preview FalkirkTuesday, 2nd Jan 2018
Ladbrokes Championship: (home) Tuesday 2nd January 2018 v Falkirk 3.00pm kick off at East End Park
The 97th league meeting between Dunfermline and Falkirk provides the New Year derby match at East End Park. There is always plenty of fight when these two come together and with no fewer than five red cards in the three matches between them this season maybe its no surprise that the SPFL have put referee Willie Collum in charge of this one!
Everyone accepts that form goes out the window in derbies but neither side come into the match in scintillating form. Both won last time out but the home side have won just one in eight and the visitors two in ten. So far this season there has been one win apiece and one draw. Falkirk`s last win against Dunfermline was 2-0 in the Irn Bru Cup.
Dunfermline v Falkirk: The Full League Record
|At East End Park||48||18||12||18||65||61|
|At Falkirk Stadium||12||3||3||6||9||13|
Milestones Falkirk (Home)
Last League Victory | 19/08/17 |2-0| Championship
Last League Defeat | 27/03/13 |1-2| Championship
Best League Victory | 13/04/66 | 6-1| Division 1
Worst League Defeat | 02/01/52 | 0-6 | Division 2
The Pars 3-1 win over Falkirk on 19th August was the first Dunfermline win in 11 tries. Falkirk have won 9 of the last 12 meetings in league and cup.
Last 12 Matches v Falkirk
04/11/17 (A) 1-1 D Championship
05/10/17 (A) 0-2 L Irn Bru Cup
19/08/17 (H) 3-1 W Championship
22/04/17 (H) 1-2 L Championship
04/02/17 (A) 0-2 L Championship
26/12/16 (H) 1-1 D Championship
15/10/16 (A) 1-2 L Championship
19/08/14 (H) 1-2 L Petrofac Cup
27/08/13 (A) 1-2 L League Cup
27/03/13 (H) 0-2 L Division One
16/02/13 (A) 0-1 L Division One
26/12/12 (H) 0-1 L Division One
Last Meeting at East End Park
19th August 2017
Dunfermline 2 Falkirk 0
Dunfermline`s first win over Falkirk since the Championship winning season 2010-2011 came after a clinical start from the Pars. A bizarre second half where Falkirk were reduced to nine men. Then a celebratory finish as Joe Cardle nailed a very popular home win.
A through ball from the edge of the centre circle was perfectly weighted for Declan McMANUS to evade the offside trap and coolly net low into the bottom right corner. 1-0 and less than five minutes gone.
Six minutes after opening the scoring the Pars made it 2-0. It was a slick move from Smith in the middle, out to Williamson on the right and then centred for CARDLE to stick away.
The contest might have appeared to have ended when Falkirk went down to nine players but the Fifers did not play well when their opponents were two men short. The nine men hit on the break and in 83 minutes got a goal back to make it a potentially frantic final seven minutes. The ever dangerous Tony Gallacher got forward and crashed a shot that was kept out by the right goalpost. The rebound fell to TAIWO who lashed it in the top left corner 2-1.
In the third minute of added time CARDLE latched on to a pass from Andy Ryan, netted his second of the day.
DUNFERMLINE: Sean Murdoch: Ryan Williamson, Callum Morris (c) Lee Ashcroft, Jason Talbot: Kallum Higginbotham (Fraser Aird 73), Nat Wedderburn, Dean Shiels, Joe Cardle: Declan McManus (David Hopkirk 67), Callum Smith (Andy Ryan 67).
SUBS NOT USED: Lewis Martin, Aaron Splaine, Michael Paton, Cammy Gill (GK)
FALKIRK: Robbie Thomson: Aaron Muirhead (Peter Grant HT), Paul Watson, Luca Gasparotto, Tony Gallagher: Tom Taiwo, Joe McKee, Mark Kerr (c), Craig Sibbald: Nathan Austin (Lee Miller HT), Kevin O`Hara (Alex Harris 81)
SUBS NOT USED: Scott Shepherd, Cameron Blues, James Craigen, David Mitchell(GK).
Form last six matches
Brechin City (H) W 2-1
St Mirren (A) L 0-1
Queen of the South (H) L 2-5
Dundee United (A) L 1-2
Dumbarton (H) D 2-2
Morton (H) D 1-1
Queen of the South (A) W 3-2
Dumbarton (A) D 0-0
Livingston (A) D 0-0
Morton (H) L 0-3
Dundee United (A) L 0-3
Inverness Caley Thistle (A) L 0-1
Falkirk`s 3-2 home win over Queen of the South on Saturday was just their second league victory of the season. Prior to that they had been winless in the league since 30th September. That was the occasion of the Bairns first league win of the 2017-2018 season, a win under the stewardship of caretaker manager Alex Smith. Following that 1-0 win at Cappielow Falkirk went eight league matches without a win.
League Position: 3rd
League Points: 26
League Record: P18 W7 D5 L6 GF34 GA24
Goal Difference: +10
Last Six League Match Form: DDLLLW
League Position: 9th
League Points: 14
League Record: P17 W2 D8 L7 GF12 GA27
Goal Difference: -15
Last Six League Match Form: DLLDDW
Last Time Out
DUNFERMLINE (v Brechin City): Sean Murdoch: Ryan Williamson, Callum Morris (c), Lee Ashcroft, Jason Talbot: Michael Paton, Nat Wedderburn, Dean Shiels (Kallum Higginbotham 77), Joe Cardle (Fraser Aird 77): Nicky Clark, Declan McManus (Andy Ryan 79).
SUBS NOT USED: Lewis Martin, Callum Smith, Jean-Yves M`Voto, Cammy Gill (GK)
FALKIRK (v Queen of the South): Robbie Mutch: Lewis Kidd, Aaron Muirhead, Paul Watson, Peter Grant, Reghan Tumilty, Tom Taino, Craig Sibbald, Jordan McGhee, Myles Hippolyte (Alex Harris 53), Louis Longridge.
SUBS NOT USED: Cameron Blues, Reis Peggie, Jonny Mitchell, James Craigen, Cieran Dunne, Robbie Thomson (GK)
Callum Morris is suspended for Dunfermline and for Falkirk Kevin O`Hara and Joe McKee are still serving suspensions.
Referee will be Willie Collum.
Other Championship Fixtures
Dundee United v Brechin City
Inverness Caley Thistle v Livingston
Morton v St Mirren
Queen of the South v Dumbarton
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