Dunfermline 1 Ross County 2Saturday, 2nd Feb 2019
Ladbrokes Championship: Bruce Anderson and Ryan Williamson start: Bruce Anderson (41) 1-0: Billy McKay (52) 1-1: Michael Gardyne (77) 1-2:
A game of two halves with the Pars in command for the first 45 minutes but with all the three points going to Dingwall
Stevie Crawford’s first home match in charge of Dunfermline Athletic was against league leaders Ross County. He made two changes from the side that drew with Morton, transfer deadline day signing Bruce Anderson came in for Callum Smith and Ryan Williamson started in the absence of the injured Tom Beadling.
Ross County made one change from the side that defeated Alloa 2-0 the previous week with Callum Semple replacing Sean Kelly. The visitors won the toss and asked the Pars to kick off into the low winter sun.
First shot at goal came on two minutes was from James Craigen and although Anderson tried to help it on the effort went wide. Then within a minute Joe Thomson crashed a low 25 yard effort outside the right post.
The first real County effort came after they were able to lob a cross over from the left touchline that Brian Graham headed forcefully down and on target causing Ryan Scully to get down rapidly to keep his goal in tact.
A ninth minute breakaway had Danny Devine back pedalling with Lee Ashcroft and Craigen trying to get back. The latter got entangled with Declan McManus, earning himself a ninth minute yellow card and the visitors a free kick 24 yards out. Billy McKay sent that over the six man wall and over Scully’s bar.
Faissal El Bakhtaoui earned a 12th minute corner but when Craigen sent that in from the right refeee Barry Cook blew play up for an infringement despite the ball being at Anderson’s feet.
Five minutes past before Dunfermline turned defence into attack, Thomson swinging the ball out of his own box for Bakhtaoui on the left wing and his precision pass forward was ideal for Anderson to run on to and head in on goal. He was not to be the immediate hero however as Jamie Lindsay slid in to deny the shot.
Keeper Scott Fox was down on his knees to hold a low shot from Thomson on the edge of the box then in 24 minutes Anderson was through again having successfully got the better of Semple but he hit his shot at Fox.
A Thomson pass was intercepted by Lewis Spence and Jackson Longridge checked McManus leading a a free kick that the Pars successfully defended. Then in 33 minutes El Bakhtaoui sent Anderson through again and this time on an angle from the right side of the penalty box sent his low shot narrowly outside the left goalpost.
A 35th minute free kick from the right was again defended when McManus sent that into the Pars box, El Bakhtaoui broke but ran out of space on the left as McManus tracked back. The home side pressed with Vincent feeding Thomson but he was blocked and then with five minutes to the interval Thomson did get a shot away from 20 yards out but was off target left.
Eventually the pressure paid off. A wayward clearance by Lindsay dropped to El Bakhtaoui and he fed ANDERSON another ball on the right side of the County box. This time the on loan Don slid the ball home under the advancing Fox for the 41st minute opener. 1-0
Dunfermline had put in a good first half, showing much more determination, they thoroughly deserved their half time lead.
Half time: Dunfermline 1 Ross County 0
Ross County made two changes for the restart, Declan McManus and Callum Semple going off and Andy Boyle and Michael Gardyne coming on. The visitors were to get an equaliser that many thought had been scored from an offside position. A Marcus Fraser cross was headed away but from 20 yards out Ross Draper tried a shot that deflected off Craigen to McKAY who slotted home. There were many claims that the scorer had been in the wrong place but after much protest the match was restarted from the centre circle. 1-1
Ross County came extremely close to adding a second goal in 54 minutes. There was a game of ping pong on the Pars goal line instigated from a Graham shot as Devine, Ashcroft, Longridge and Craigen all dived in to keep the Staggies out.
The goal certainly gave the visitors a lift but it was a 64th minute mistake by Longridge ten yards into his own half letting Lindsay dispossess him that almost led to a second goal for the away team. Lindsay laced the ball through for McKay, the ball going in off the left upright but offside this time!
As the match went into its final quarter Fox was out to clutch a dangerous cross across the face of goal by Kallum Higginbotham. A Gardyne free kick was headed out by Thomson but Higginbotham was immediately robbed and McKay rattled a chance wide right.
Callum Smith and Ryan Blair were introduced in 73 minutes with strikers El Bakhtaoui and Anderson going off. The goal that most were looking for was to come for the Staggies. The ball was not cleared in the Dunfermline box and GARDYNE from 14 yards out was able to squeeze the ball between Vincent and Ashcroft into the top left corner. 1-2
Myles Hippolyte replaced James Craigen with seven minutes remaining but County were in command having knocked the stuffing out of their opponents with their second half performance.
When played on after an 88th minute late tackle on Smith, Hippolyte got into a shooting position but could not finish. Williamson had a run right into the County box in the second minute of added time but his low shot sneaked wide left.
The Pars had come close but few would argue that Ross County deserved the three points that retained their position as Championship League leaders. As for Dunfermline they had to realise that their first half performance and lead had to underline just how close they were to competing with the best that the Championship had to offer.
SUBS NOT USED: Matthew Todd, Aidan Connolly, Stuart Morrison, Cammy Gill (GK)
SCORERS: Anderson (41)
YELLOW CARD: Craigen (9), Devine (24), Smith (79), Higginbotham (86)
ROSS COUNTY: Scott Fox: Marcus Fraser, Keith Watson, Callum Semple (Andrew Boyle HT), Kenny van der Wag: Ross Draper, Jamie Lindsay, Lewis Spence, Billy McKay, Declan McManus (Michael Gardyne HT), Brian Graham (Ross Stewart 68).
SUBS NOT USED: Josh Mullin, Tom Grivosti, Daniel Armstrong, Ross Munro (GK)
SCORERS: McKay (52), Gardyne (77)
YELLOW CARD: Lindsay (68), Spence (89), Van Der Weg (89)
REFEREE: Barry Cook
WEATHER: Sunny 4C
NEXT MATCH: Ladbrokes Championship (home) v Inverness Caley Thistle, Saturday 16th February 2019, 3.00pm kick off at East End Park.
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- Managers post Ross County
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Dunfermline 1-2 Ross County
Sat, 2nd Feb 2019
Stevie Crawford post Ross County
Sat, 2nd Feb 2019
Ryan Scully post Ross County
Sat, 2nd Feb 2019
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Preview Ross CountySaturday, 2nd Feb 2019
Ladbrokes Championship: Saturday 2nd February 2019
Ross County are the guests at East End Park for just the second time in the league in more than seven years. The two clubs have had contrasting fortunes since they met in March 2011 and County come south as strong contenders to win automatic promotion this season as champions.
It is likely that former Pars Declan McManus, Lewis Spence and Dan Armstrong will be in the Stagiies squad to turn out at East End Park. Other former Par Callum Morris has not played since 4th January against Morton.
Milestones (home) v Ross County
Last victory | 16/10/10 | 3-2 | Division One
Last defeat | 11/08/18 | 1-3 | Championship
Best victory | 25/01/97 | 4-0 | Scottish Cup
Worst defeat | 11/08/18 | 1-3 | Championship
Last goalless draw | none
First meeting | 25/01/97 | 4-0 | Scottish Cup
All Competitive Matches v Ross County
Six defeats, six draws and five wins.
24/11/18 A 1-2 L Championship
11/08/18 H 1-3 L Championship
16/01/16 A 0-1 L Scottish Cup
09/01/16 H 2-2 D Scottish Cup
29/03/11 A 1-0 W First Division
08/03/11 H 1-1 D First Division
22/02/11 A 0-0 D First Division
16/10/10 H 3-2 W First Division
03/04/10 H 1-2 L First Division
13/02/10 A 2-2 D First Division
12/12/09 H 3-3 D First Division
13/10/09 A 0-0 D First Division
18/04/09 A 3-1 W First Division
24/03/09 A 1-2 L First Division
21/02/09 H 1-2 L First Division
20/09/08 H 3-1 W First Division
25/01/97 H 4-0 W Scottish Cup
Last Time at East End Park
Saturday 11th August 2018
Dunfermline 1 Ross County 3
Josh MULLIN opened the scoring in 25 minutes. The goal was made by Ross Draper who played the ball off Jamie Lindsay before setting up his team mate who thrashed the ball past Lee Robinson from a 45 degree angle 15 yards out. 0-1
County’s lead was to last just four minutes as the Pars equalised after a long throw in from Hippolyte on the left was latched on to by Louis LONGRIDGE who crashed the ball home from 12 yards. 1-1
Three minutes from the interval, Michael GARDYNE ripped through the home defence beating off the challenges of three defefenders to stick the ball past Robinson. 1-2
At the midpoint of the second half Ross County increased their lead. It came when a corner from the right was headed on by Draper for WATSON to volley in at the far post. 1-3
DUNFERMLINE: Lee Robinson: Lee Ashcroft (c), Mark Durnan, Jackson Longridge: Ryan Williamson (Kallum Higginbotham 66), Joe Thomson (Aidan Connolly 79), James Vincent, Louis Longridge, James Craigen: Faissal El Bakhtaoui, Myles Hippolyte (Andy Ryan 79)
SUBS NOT USED: Matthew Todd, Callum Smith, Lewis McCann, Cammy Gill (GK)
ROSS COUNTY: Scott Fox: Marcus Fraser, Sean Kelly, Callum Morris, Keith Watson, Ross Draper, Jamie Lindsay, Iain Vigurs, Josh Mullin (Ryan Dow 89), Michael Gardyne (Davis Keillor-Dunn 85), Declan McManus (Brian Graham 71)
SUBS NOT USED: Stelios Demetriou, Ross Stewart, Billy McKay, Ross Munro (GK)
Form Last Six Matches
Morton (A) D 0-0
Raith Rovers (A) L 0-3
Dundee United (A) L 0-1
Alloa Athletic (H) D 2-2
Falkirk (A) W 4-2
Ayr United (H) D 0-0
Alloa Athletic (H) W 2-0
Motherwell (A) W 2-1
Queen of the South (A) L 0-4
Morton (A) L 0-1
Inverness Caley Thistle (H) W 2-1
Partick Thistle (H) W 2-0
Since defeating Morton 3-0 at East End Park on 1st December, the Pars have drawn four, won one and lost two. This season the only other home win in the league was against Partick Thistle in September.
Ross County have only won four of their away league games this season, those at Tannadice, Firhill, Alloa and of course at East End Park. They have lost their last two league games on the road at Greenock and Dumfries when they also failed to score. Dunfermline have scored six in their last four league matches but they have failed to score in five of the last seven.
League Position: 7th
League Points: 25
Goal Difference: -6
Home League Record: P10 W2 D3 L5 GF7 GA12
Last Six League Match Form: DDWDLD
League Position: 1st
League Points: 42
Goal Difference: +12
Away League Record: P11 W4 D4 L3 GF15 GA17
Last Six League Match Form: DWWLLD
Last time out
DUNFERMLINE (v Morton): Ryan Scully: James Craigen, Lee Ashcroft (c), Danny Devine, Jackson Longridge: Tom Beadling: Joe Thomson, James Vincent, Kallum Higginbotham: Callum Smith (Robbie Muirhead 88), Faissal El Bakhtaoui (Myles Hippolyte 65).
SUBS NOT USED: Ryan Williamson, Matthew Todd, Aidan Connolly, Stuart Morrison, Cammy Gill (GK)
ROSS COUNTY (v Alloa Athletic): Scott Fox: Marcus Fraser, Sean Kelly (C Semple 45), Kenny van der Wag, Keith Watson, Ross Draper, Jamie Lindsay, Lewis Spence (Don Cowie 75), Billy McKay (Michael Gardyne 78), Declan McManus, Brian Graham.
SUBS NOT USED: Ross Stewart, Tom Grivosti, Daniel Armstrong, Ross Munro (GK)
County have made several signings during the January transfer window. Left-back, Kenny Van Der Weg (27) returned to Dingwall after leaving in January 2018, he has since been at Hamilton Academical FC and more recently KSV Roeselare, Belgium.
Pictured below midfielder, Lewis Spence (22) joined after spending the last 18 months with Dundee FC and played a total of 37 times for them. He was previously at Dunfermline Athletic, who twice loaned him to Brechin City in 2016.
Another Staggies signing was defender, Callum Semple (20). He has spent the first half of this season on loan with Queen of the South FC from Sheffield United - playing 27 games and scoring 1 goal.
Daniel Armstrong (21) was on loan at Dunfermline last season and played against his old team in the Scottish Cup tie at Raith two weeks ago. The highly-rated winger scored 5 goals in 11 appearances for Raith Rovers FC after joining them on a short-term deal in November 2018. Prior to his breakthrough in Kirkcaldy, Armstrong spent time with Wolves and Hamilton Academical FC.
Preston North End FC defender, Andrew Boyle (27) has joined Ross County. on loan until the end of the season. Boyle spent the first half of this season on loan with Dundee FC from Preston North End - playing 13 games and scoring 1 goal. Andrew has spent most of his career in the Irish league with the likes of Dundalk and Shelbourne before heading to the English Championship in 2017. He has one full cap for the Republic of Ireland.
Referee for this match will be Barry Cook, his first match in charge at East End Park since season 2016-2017 when in two visits he showed red cards to Lee Ashcroft and Lewis Martin.
Other Ladbrokes Championship Fixtures
Saturday 2 February 2019
Alloa Athletic v Ayr United
Dundee United v Morton
Falkirk v Queen of the South
Inverness Caledonian Thistle v Partick Thistle