Dunfermline 2 Hearts 1Friday, 20th Nov 2020
Scottish Championship: Fôn Williams, Mayo, Whittaker, Thomas and Turner return. Dom Thomas (49) 1-0: Euan Murray (54) 2-0: Stephen Kingsley (84) 2-1:
Both sides came into this Championship match unbeaten and it was the Pars who kept their record intact with an impressive 2-1 win in front of national television coverage.
It was the 111th league match between these sides but the first since April 2012 and Dunfermline were looking for their first league win over Hearts since September 2004.
Stevie Crawford made five changes from the side that faced Clyde the previous Saturday - Owain Fôn Williams, Lewis Mayo, Steven Whittaker, Dom Thomas and Kyle Turner returned in place of Cammy Gill, Matty Bowman, Fraser Murray, Iain Wilson and Kevin O’Hara.
The Edinburgh side were odds on favourites to win this game and lift the title at the end of the season. Their manager Robbie Neilson made seven changes from the under strength starting eleven that started against East Fife in the Betfred Cup.
The rain that had been around all day was persistent in the warm up. Hearts returned from their isolated changing facilities in the East Stand and Dunfermline from the tunnel at the McCathie Stand end to line up facing the select presence of scouts, media and directors. Boyce kicked off for the visitors attacking the goal at the home end.
A second minute free kick sent in from the right by Smith engaged Fôn Williams early coming out to gather in front of the inrunning Mihai Popescu. Counterpart Gordon had to hold a Thomas cross three minutes later after taking on a lay off from Turner.
The Pars first shot at goal came in eleven minutes after Declan McManus had won possession on the right and set up Mayo who found Turner and his shot curled just outside the left post. Next minute the crossbar kept Hearts out after Elliott Frear’s free kick 28 yards out on the right side was met by Popescu in a posse of Jambos.
The Pars countered and when Gordon miscued won a 14th minute corner that Whittaker met at the near post but his effort went into the sidenetting. Five more minutes and Kerr McInroy won possession in the centre of the park. The on loan Celt drove forward picked out Thomas to his left but when he shot it was blocked.
A Kingsley free kick from 28 yards out was struck wide right before on 25 minutes Frear sliced his shot when given a chance in the left side of the Pars box when fed a cross from Olly Lee. It wouldn’t have counted anyhow since the 30 year old former Forest Green player was offside.
Lee was uncomfortably allowed a pop at goal from 25 yards out but sent his effort wide right. Dunfermline were not out of it and had a good opportunity when Dow was fed the ball into the left side of the Hearts box by Thomas but his left footed shot was sent high over the bar.
Turner was fouled by Boyce as he drove forward earning the home side a free kick 35 yards out. Thomas created danger as he lifted the ball into Hearts box and Euan Murray raced in. The skipper got his head to it but alas the offside flag had been raised.
When the interval arrived the stats indicated Hearts had enjoyed 60% possession but it would be Stevie Crawford who would be the manager happier with his team. His side had managed three shots to Hearts four.
Half time: Dunfermline 0 Hearts 0
The second half got off to the best possible start. Fôn Williams held a low Lee corner and sent Dow away up the park. Play continued up the right from a Mayo throw in McInroy turned the ball back for Dom THOMAS who picked up the ball and drove in from the right along the edge of the box before releasing a powerful left footed shot that took a slight deflection off Popescu before bulging the net. Just the fourth minute of the half and 1-0.
Thomas created more danger minutes later cutting in from the right and from the byeline just failing to connect with Turner. The defence intercepted to concede a 54th minute corner on the right but when Thomas delivered his target man Euan MURRAY was right there to head past Gordon from close in for number two. 2-0
On the hour Smith’s cross was ideal for Boyce to attack but Williams was brave and made a double save. Three Hearts corners ensued and from the final one Popescu headed his effort against the crossbar.
Jordan Roberts was introduced as a substitute in 63 minutes following Jamie Walker nine minutes earlier. The Fifers had another good chance when Turner got in on the left and when the Hearts defence tried to clear they only supplied McInroy with a shooting opportunity. His shot was fierce and low but sadly wide right.
Hearts broke from halfway when Edwards drove the ball into an opponent and Naismith was through but Whittaker tracked him and as the Hearts captain tried to slip the ball to Robert’s to his right, Josh Edwards slid in very timely to concede only a corner. It could have been so much worse.
There were further Dunfermline chances but in 79 minutes they should have gone three up. Another good Thomas delivery saw Gordon save at full stretch and Mayo dramatically headed the ball across goal and wide right.
Edwards was yellow carded for a foul on the right edge of the box and when Smith delivered Hearts sent the ball behind. The Jambos continued to press and Stephen KINGSLEY brought them joy heading in from an Irving corner from the right six minutes from time. 2-1
Kevin O’Hara had replaced Declan McManus and Fraser Murray came on for Dom Thomas as Hearts pushed for another while the Fifers tried to hang on to their lead. That was duly delivered and after five added minutes Dunfermline recorded their first league win over Hearts for sixteen years and top of the league. The unbeaten run now extends to 13 games.
SUBS NOT USED: Aaron Comrie, Iain Wilson, Matty Bowman, Lewis McCann, Cammy Gill (GK)
SCORERS: Thomas (49), E Murray (54)
YELLOW CARD: Whittaker (56), Williams (78), Edwards (82), Dow (90+4)
HEARTS: Craig Gordon: Michael Smith, Craig Halkett, Mihai Popescu, Stephen Kingsley: Craig Wighton (Jordan Roberts 63), Olly Lee (Andy Irving 76), Andy Halliday, Steven Naismith (c), Elliott Frear (Jamie Walker 52): Liam Boyce.
SUBS NOT USED: Jamie Brandon, Aidan White, Christophe Berra, Ross Stewart (GK).
SCORERS: Kingsley (84)
YELLOW CARD: Halliday (56), Walker (59), Lee (73), Naismith (90+3)
REFEREE: Don Robertson
WEATHER: Rain 11°C
NEXT MATCH: Betfred Cup Second Round (away) v Arbroath, Saturday 28th November 2020, kick off 3.00pm at Gayfield, behind closed doors
50/50 Draw Winner Number: 100009975 Jackpot: £309
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Dunfermline 2-1 Hearts
Fri, 20th Nov 2020
Stevie Crawford post Hearts
Fri, 20th Nov 2020
Dom Thomas post Hearts
Fri, 20th Nov 2020
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Preview HeartsFriday, 20th Nov 2020
Friday 20th November 2020, kick off 7.45pm at East End Park and televised live on BBC Scotland channel.
Dunfermline welcome Hearts to East End Park for their first league meeting since April 2012. Hearts are odds on favourites to win, as they are to win the Championship outright and in doing so rebound straight back up to the Premiership. The match has been re-scheduled for a Friday night to allow live broadcast on the BBC Scotland channel.
After the international week those players who have been away will return to their clubs meaning both Dunfermline and Hearts will probably be much changed from their starting elevens at the weekend.
Milestones v Hearts (Home)
Last Victory | 03/02/07 | 1-0 | Scottish Cup
Last Defeat | 18/08/18 | 0-1 | League Cup
Best Victory | 02/01/69 | 4-2 | Div One*
Worst Defeat | 26/11/55 | 0-5 | Div A*
Last Goalless Draw | 28/02/04 | 0-0 | Premier League
First ever meeting | 18/12/26 | 0-2 | First Division*
*Pre league reconstruction
Dunfermline have recorded just one win in the last dozen games between the teams, with two draws, and nine defeats. The Pars have only won one of their last eight home games against Hearts.
Last Twelve Matches v Hearts
Date | H/A | F-A | Scorers
18/08/18 | H 0-1 [0-1] Lee
29/07/17 | A 2-2 [0-1] Cowie [1-1], Cardle, [2-1] McManus [2-2] Gonçalves
07/04/12 | H 1-2 [0-1] Glen, [0-2] Keddie og, [1-2] Zaliukas og
17/12/11 | A 0-4 [0-1] Elliot, [0-2] Taouil, [0-3] Templeton, [0-4] Skacel
15/10/11 | H 0-2 [0-1] Webster, [0-2] Skacel
23/09/09 | A 1-2 [1-0] Bayne, [1-1] Glen, [1-2] Stewart pen.
25/09/07 | A 1-4 [0-1] Nade pen [1-1] Simmonds, [1-2] Berra, [1-3] Elliot, [1-4] Elliot
03/02/07 | H 1-0 [1-0] Wilson
02/01/07 | H 0-1 [0-1] Pospisal
28/10/06 | A 1-1 [0-1] Velicka [1-1] Hamilton
29/07/06 | H 1-2 [0-1] Bednar, [1-1] Simmons, [1-2] Pospisal
24/04/06 | A 0-4 [0-1] Pospisal, [0-2] Bednar, [0-3] Mikoliunas, [0-4] Makela
Last meeting at East End Park
18th August 2018, League Cup
Dunfermline 0 Hearts 1
The Pars reward for topping their Betfred Cup group was a home tie in the Second Round against Heart of Midlothian. The visitors battled through to a quarter-final place thanks to a late Olly Lee goal but the Pars produced a creditable performance boosting their confidence to take into the league campaign.
In ten minutes Ryan Williamson evaded the offside trap and he forced another corner on the right. James Craigen’s cross was headed away but very quickly Faissal El Bakhtaoui found himself though on the right and his shot from an angle came back out off the left goalpost.
It was late on in the second half before the stalemate was broken when Olly LEE struck a low shot at an angle from the right. His 79th minute attempt went between Jackson Longridge and Danny Devine to find the far left of the net. 0-1
The Jambos’ keeper Zdenek Zlamal prevented extra time being necessary with a tremendous save in the fourth minute of added time. Williamson had terrorised the Hearts left and he centred another cross that firstly Connolly hit at the keeper and then El Bakhtaoui’s follow up was also blocked.
Craig Levein had warned his players that they would face a stern test at East End Park and he was proved correct. Some would say that they made it difficult for themselves but the Hearts fans celebrated the win while the Pars fans could certainly celebrate a fine Dunfermline performance.
DUNFERMLINE: Lee Robinson: Lee Ashcroft (c), Mark Durnan, Danny Devine: Ryan Williamson, James Vincent, Louis Longridge, James Craigen (Andy Ryan 86), Jackson Longridge: Faissal El Bakhtaoui, Myles Hippolyte (Aidan Connolly 81).
SUBS NOT USED: Kallum Higginbotham, Stuart Morrison, Joe Thomson, Callum Smith, Cammy Gill (GK)
HEARTS: Zdenek Zlamal: Michael Smith, John Souttar (c), Aaron Hughes (Oliver Bozanic HT), Ben Garuccio: Jake Mulraney (Callumn Morrison 77), Olly Lee, Peter Haring, Steven Naismith: Steven MacLean, Uche Ikpeazu (Kyle Lafferty 70)
SUBS NOT USED: Harry Cochrane, Anthony McDonald, Bobby Burns, Colin Doyle (GK).
Both the Pars and their opponents are undefeated in their eight matches this season. Dunfermline are unbeaten at home since 25th February.
Clyde (H) W 3-2
Ayr United (A) D 0-0
Queen of the South (H) W 3-2
Alloa Athletic (A) W 4-1
Inverness Caley Thistle (H) W 3-1
Kilmarnock (A) W 3-0
East Fife (A) W 3-2
Inverness Caley Thistle (H) W 2-1
Hibernian (N) D 1-1
Arbroath (A) W 1-0
Dundee (H) W 6-2
Raith Rovers (H) W 3-1
Current League Stats
League Position: 2nd
League Points: 10
Goal Difference: +6
League Record: P4 W3 D1 L0 GF10 GA4
Last Six Match Form: WWWWWD
League Position: 3rd
League Points: 9
Goal Difference: +6
League Record: P3 W3 D0 L0 GF9 GA3
Last Six Match Form: WWDWWW
Last time out
DUNFERMLINE (v Clyde): Cammy Gill: Matty Bowman (Lewis McCann 84), Paul Watson, Euan Murray (c), Josh Edwards: Ryan Dow, Fraser Murray (Dom Thomas 67), Iain Wilson (Kyle Turner 53), Kerr McInroy, Kevin O’Hara, Declan McManus
SUBS NOT USED: Steven Whittaker, Miller Fenton, Lucas Berry, Ben Swinton (GK).
HEARTS (v East Fife): Ross Stewart: Jamie Brandon, Aidan White, Mihai Popescu, Christophe Berra (Stephen Kingsley 71), Elliott Frear, Oliver Lee (Steven Naismith 49), Euan Henderson, Scott McGill, Andy Irving, Craig Wighton
SUBS NOT USED: Arron Darge, Lewis Moore, Cammy Logan, Aidan Denholm, Zdenek Zlama
Hearts will have midfielder Andy Halliday. Goalkeeper Craig Gordon, defender Michael Smith and striker Liam Boyce back from international duty and the injured duo - Jordan Roberts and Jamie Walker - could return. Josh Ginnelly is reported to still be out.
The referee will be Don Robertson.
Other Championship Fixtures
Arbroath v Morton
Ayr United v Dundee
Inverness Caley Thistle v Raith Rovers
Queen of the South v Alloa Athletic
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