Dunfermline Athletic

Fixtures : Falkirk

Sat, 7th Apr 2018 Kick Off: 15:00

Falkirk 1 Dunfermline 2

Saturday, 7th Apr 2018

Ladbrokes Championship: Same again starting eleven. Kallum Higginbotham (24) 0-1. Fraser Aird (48) 0-2: Aaron Muirhead (79 pen.) 1-2:

This was the fixture that fans of both clubs had been waiting for. No matter what was at stake this was always going to be a great occasion, played in front of a passionate crowd in an excellent atmosphere.

Both teams were in good form going into this derby. The Bairns came in on the back of seven league games unbeaten and the Pars on six without defeat.

No surprise to anyone in that Allan Johnston went with the same starting eleven that had set up wins over Queen of the South and Livingston. The only changes to the squad being Jean-Yves M’Voto and Joe Cardle returning to the bench and in so doing ousting Dean Shiels and Conner Duthie.

Falkirk manager Paul Hartley made two changes from his side that drew at Palmerston in midweek. Louis Longridge and Paul Watson were brought in to replace Lewis Kidd and Ryan Blair who were both back on the bench.

There was a large following for the Fifers and some of the travelling supporters were still queuing outside as Nicky Clark and Tom Beadling kicked off attacking the goal in front of the home support. It was a frantic fight from the start with players on both sides desperate for possession. Maybe some reflection on the punishment the ball was taking that it was replaced on five minutes!

Fraser Aird sent Lewis Martin up the left wing and a seventh minute corner was won. Longridge cleared and play quickly switched to the Dunfermline goalmouth where Craig Sibbald sent a simple ball in from the left and Andrew Nelson had the chance from ten yards out. His connection was not great as Lee Ashcroft closed him down and Lee Robinson took the deflected effort on his goal line.


Falkirk 1-2 Dunfermline
Sat, 7th Apr 2018

In 13 minute Kallum Higginbotham sent Declan McManus chasing after a through ball on the right. Declan caught the call and crossed to the near post. Indecisive defending allowed Ryan Williamson in for a shot but with the angle tight he shot into the sidenetting. Watson went unpunished for chopping down Higginbotham on the right and although the free kick maintained pressure nothing was made of the 16th minute setpiece.

Two minutes later another Pars corner from the left was over hit by Aird and the heat was off the hosts. Ashcroft then had to block a Longridge shot from the edge of the box and Falkirk followed that up with a cross from the left that created danger but was suitably dealt with. McManus fired a 21st minute free kick at keeper Conor Hazard but could do nothing to stop the 24th minute opener.

From his own half Higginbotham picked out Aird in the centre circle and he sent Clark chasing into the left side of the Falkirk box. The striker checked and fed the ball back to Martin who could not help responding to HIGGINBOTHAM’s cry for the ball and the former Bairn lashed out from 25 yards out. It took a deflection off Watson on the edge of the box and found the net to the left of the helpless 20 year old keeper. 0-1

The Fife support broke into full song only quietening on the half hour to see if Aird could inflict more damage at another corner from the left. Unfortunately it was another that Longridge took care of. In 33 minutes the on loan Celtic keeper pulled off a great save tipping Clark’s header on an Aird cross behind for a corner. This was a good spell for the Fifers and Falkirk’s only response was a Tommy Robson cross that Robinson held with ease.

Aird swung over another corner from the left in 37 minutes and although Clark got close his headed effort dropped wide right. The home side lacked their early impetus and their support grew unsettled.

There was one final chance of them being in better mood at the break after a soft free kick was conceded by Morris on the left side 16 yards out from the left byeline. Longridge delivered a decent ball into the danger zone in front of goal but the ball escaped through the box without a touch. Aaron Muirhead complained profusely that his path towards meeting the ball had been seriously hampered but referee Don Robertson just blew for half time.

A first half with 56% Pars possession, five corners to their hosts none and seven shots to Falkirk’s two. The vital stat one goal deservedly for the Fifers.

Half time: Falkirk 0 Dunfermline 1

The second half was in its third minute when James Craigen drove narrowly wide left. The Pars regained possession and Higginbotham forced his way in from the right, he got the break off his marker and fired the ball across the face of goal. McManus got close but failed to connect but that only meant AIRD had an easy finish at the far post. 0-2

The fans behind the goal poured out on to the walkway to celebrate and that started them off with very loud chanting.

Alex Harris was the first sub of the afternoon when he replaced Peter Grant in 55 minutes and one minute on Falkirk forced their first corner of the match. Sibbald delivered from the right and McGhee arrived late to power his header on target and it took a wonder save from Robinson to turn the ball over.

Falkirk forced another two corners in the next few minutes but the defence did its job. Welsh pushed up the right and when he managed to get his cross in Jakubiak’s attempt deflected off Ashcroft. In 62 minutes a quickly taken corner on the left let Falkirk pick out Muirhead 20 yards out and his low drive whistled narrowly wide of the left upright.

At the other end Craigen got the opportunity from a Pars corner but his shot from an Ashcroft dink back went wide left. At the midpoint of the half Nat Wedderburn replaced Fraser Aird but Forth Valley’s finest pushed forward and pressed for a breakthrough. Jacubiak and Sibbald both threaten on the left but the defence was resolute.

In 73 minutes with Fifers venturing further up field Harris was laced a pass from Jacubiak but in a good position and with Robson on the far side the sub flashed the ball towards goal but was wide left. Two minutes later Higginbotham sent over a cross that Clark just failed to connect with.

Next time Falkirk got into the Falkirk box there was some desperate defending, Falkirk were denied and Clark hooked the ball away from McGhee but the referee pointed to the spot, penalty Falkirk. MUIRHEAD stepped up and sent the 79th minute spot kick into the left side of the net. 1-2

Jean-Yves M’Voto came on with five minutes remaining. Kallum Higginbotham was withdrawn and within two minutes the Pars man was yellow carded for his challenge on Andrew Nelson. That earned The Bairns a free kick on the edge of the box. The physios and resultant Falkirk substituion consumed three minutes before Kidd drove into the two man wall and McManus took the ball away.

It was a real rearguard operation for the remaining minutes and the five added. The Pars saw the match out for their first victory at the Falkirk Stadium since March 2011. Even better news for the 1469 strong travelling support came with other results where all three other play off contenders, Dundee United, Morton and Queen of the South all lost.

FALKIRK: Conor Hazard: Paul Watson, Jordan McGhee, Aaron Muirhead, Peter Grant (Alex Harris 55), Sean Welsh (Lewis Kidd 75): Craig Sibbald, Louis Longridge, Tommy Robson: Alex Jakubiak, Andrew Nelson (Kevin O’Hara 89).
SUBS NOT USED: Thomas Taiwo, Reghan Tumilty, Ryan Blair, Robbie Thomson (GK).
SCORERS: Muirhead (79 pen.)
YELLOW CARD: Muirhead (50), Sibbald (81)

DUNFERMLINE: Lee Robinson: Ryan Williamson, Callum Morris (c), Lee Ashcroft, Lewis Martin: Kallum Higginbotham (Jean-Yves M’Voto 85), Tom Beadling (Joe Cardle 90+2), James Craigen, Fraser Aird (Nat Wedderburn 67): Declan McManus, Nicky Clark.
SUBS NOT USED: Andy Ryan, Dan Armstrong, Jason Talbot, Cammy Gill (GK)
SCORERS: Higginbotham (24), Aird (48)
YELLOW CARD: Robinson (66), Ashcroft (77)

REFEREE: Don Robertson
WEATHER: 13C Overcast
ATTENDANCE 5784

NEXT MATCH:

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    Sat, 7th Apr 2018
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  • Kallum Higginbotham post Falkirk
    Sat, 7th Apr 2018
  • Fraser Aird post Falkirk
    Sat, 7th Apr 2018

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Preview Falkirk

Saturday, 7th Apr 2018

Ladbrokes Championship (away) v Falkirk Saturday 7th April 2018, 3.00pm kick off at The Falkirk Stadium.

As if every match against Falkirk is not always a vital match, this derby game will go a long way in determining whether or not the Pars make the play off places.

Falkirk had a disappointing start to the Championship season yet they will feel that if they can defeat Dunfermline they would still have an outside chance of making the play offs themselves.

Regardless of league form or league positions, matches between Dunfermline and Falkirk have an energy of their own and sadly it is not always the positive variety. Both clubs will want to avoid the events of the last two clashes at the Falkirk Stadium where events both on and off the park have left a lot to be desired.

Falkirk on their own ground are never easy opponents where Dunfermline are concerned and their most recent win there is in March 2011.

Milestones Falkirk (Away)
Last Victory
12/03/11 2-1 First Division
Last Defeat
05/10/17 0-2 Irn Bru Cup
Best Victory
01/01/65 4-0 First Division*
Worst Defeat
1936-37 4-6 First Division*
*Pre league reconstruction


Allan Johnston Match Preview vs Falkirk
Thu, 5th Apr 2018

The Pars 3-1 win over Falkirk on 19th August was the first Dunfermline win in 11 tries. Falkirk have won 8 of the last 12 meetings in league and cup. The Pars won the most recent fixture, the New Year derby, 2-0 at East End Park courtesy of goals from Nicky Clark (16) and Declan McManus (51).

Last 12 Matches v Falkirk
02/01/18 (H) 2-0 W Championship
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

Last Meeting at Falkirk Stadium
Ladbrokes Championship, 4th November 2017
Falkirk 1 Dunfermline 1


In 28 minutes Nicky Clark latched on to the ball on the right side of the Bairns box. He was going away from goal when 17 year old Cieran Dunne cut the Pars striker down. A penalty was given and with a slow run up HIGGINBOTHAM found the net to the keeper`s right. 0-1

The match changed when Higginbotham was shown a second yellow card and the Pars were reduced to ten men for the final 35 minutes.

A free kick was awarded 30 yards out on the left side but was not taken until Rory Loy came on for Joe McKee. Jordan McGHEE stepped up and drove the 63rd minute setpiece into the right corner of the Dunfermline net. 1-1

Given it was Bonfire Night weekend the fireworks were certainly launched in the finale. Aaron Muirhead was shown a 92nd minute yellow and then the Pars were reduced to nine men as Declan McManus was shown a red card after pushing his opponent.

FALKIRK: Robbie Thomson: Aaron Muirhead, Paul Watson, Conrad Balatoni (James Craigen 74), Jordan McGhee: Joe McKee (Rory Loy 63), Louis Longridge, Mark Kerr, Cieran Dunne: Lee Miller, Myles Hippolyte (Nathan Austin 82).
SUBS NOT USED: Alex Harris, Luca Gasparotto, Kevin O`Hara, Robbie Mutch (GK).

DUNFERMLINE: Sean Murdoch: Ryan Williamson, Callum Morris (c), Lee Ashcroft, Jason Talbot: Kallum Higginbotham, Nat Wedderburn, Dean Shiels, Joe Cardle (Jean-Yves M`Voto 82): Declan McManus, Nicky Clark (Fraser Aird 86).
SUBS NOT USED: Aaron Splaine, Callum Smith, Andy Ryan, Lewis Martin, Cammy Gill (GK).

Form last six matches

Falkirk are unbeaten in their last seven league matches, they have lost only once at home since 25 November, that was against Livingston. Dunfermline are unbeaten in their last six matches.

DUNFERMLINE
Livingston (H) W 1-0
Queen of the South (H) W 3-1
Dundee United (A) D 1-1
Brechin City (A) W 3-0
Morton (H) D 0-0
Inverness Caley Thistle (H) W 1-0

FALKIRK
Queen of the South (A) D 2-2
Brechin City (H) W 3-0
Livingston (A) D 0-0
Morton (H) W 3-1
Rangers (A) L 1-4
Dumbarton (H) D 0-0

Recent Form

DUNFERMLINE
League Position: 3rd
League Points: 49
League Record: P32 W13 D10 L9 GF47 GA32
Goal Difference: +16
Last Six League Match Form: WDWDWW

FALKIRK
League Position: 8th
League Points: 38
League Record: P30 W9 D11 L10 GF36 GA42
Goal Difference: -6
Last Six League Match Form: WWDWDWX

Last time out

DUNFERMLINE (v Livingston)
: Lee Robinson: Ryan Williamson, Callum Morris (c), Lee Ashcroft, Lewis Martin: Kallum Higginbotham, Tom Beadling, James Craigen, Fraser Aird (Nat Wedderburn 71): Declan McManus (Andy Ryan 81), Nicky Clark.
SUBS NOT USED: Dan Armstrong, Dean Shiels, Conner Duthie, Jason Talbot, Cammy Gill (GK)

FALKIRK (v Queen of the South): Conor Hazard: Lewis Kidd (Alex Harris 84), Jordan McGhee, Aaron Muirhead, Peter Grant, Craig Sibbal, Ryan Blair (Louis Longridge 75), Thomas Robson, Sean Welsh, Alex Jakubiak, Andrew Nelson
SUBS NOT USED: Thomas Taiwo, Reghan Tumilty, Paul Watson, Robbie Thomson (GK).

Referee will be Don Robertson.

Dunfermline fans will hopefully attend in their numbers and as always been the case this season, will provide fantastic backing. They will be accommodated in the North Stand and prices for this match are as follows:-
Adults, £20: Concessions, £13: Under 18s £7: under 12s, £0 (max of 4 per paying adult).

Concessions are over 65s, full time students, unemployed and ambulant disabled. Please note that valid ID is required for all concession tickets.

There are 19 wheelchair spaces available, and these are free of charge.

The tickets are sold for unallocated seating.

Other Ladbrokes Championship Fixtures on Saturday
Brechin City v St Mirren
Dumbarton v Dundee United
Livingston v Morton
Queen of the South v Falkirk



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