St Mirren 1 Dunfermline 0Tuesday, 13th Jul 2021
Premier Sports Cup: two changes as Owain Fôn Williams and Dan Pybus start in place of Deniz Mehmet and Craig Wighton. Curtis Main (29) 1-0:
In the second match of the Premier Sports Group H, Dunfermline took on Premier League opposition in the shape of Jim Goodwin`s St Mirren. The Paisley side were semi finalists in this competition last season and had great success in the league last season finishing in seventh place.
Dunfermline travelled to St Mirren just two years ago in this competition and won 3-2, another win would be a great achievement. Peter Grant made two changes from his line up at Firhill on Saturday as Owain Fôn Williams and Dan Pybus started in place of Deniz Mehmet and Craig Wighton. Still just the five subs.
St Mirren’s starting eleven included the familiar figure of Greg Kiltie amongst a large clutch of new faces. The SMiSA Stadium was bathed in sunshine in 21°C that is all but the South Stand which housed fans! There were 500 making a welcome sight, well spaced out in both the West and East Stands as well.
Dom Thomas led the Pars out ahead of their opponents as the Skids belted out the Saints are Coming. Dunfermline were the team in black and white attacking the goal at the east end against St Mirren in all red.
The home side held possession in the opening minutes but once the visitors gained possession they looked composed and confident. Pybus and Allan got involved and there were a number of good completed passes. First shot of the evening, in tenth minute, was a speculative shot from Jamie McGrath but the Irishman sent ball well over the crossbar.
St Mirren keeper Jak Alnwick was brought into action in 16 minutes to gather a through ball from Josh Edwards ahead of Kevin O’Hara. Next minute the home side were awarded a free kick 28 yards out in a central position. Scott Tanser crashed the ball into the Dunfermline wall but latched on to the break and thrashed a shot on target that Fon Williams tipped over his bar. Fortunately the Fifers defended the corner with no issues.
Midway through the half Pybus released Edwards down the left but his cross was just too strong to be controlled. The Championship side enjoyed more good spells of possession, stringing passes together but they were unable to penetrate the Paisley defence.
St Mirren earned a 28th minute corner on the left when Paul Watson headed a Tanser cross. The corner was defended but there was no real clearance and St Mirren pressure allowed Kiltie to sweep the ball in from the right for Curtis MAIN to rise high above all and headed in at the foot of Fon Williams right hand post as the Pars keeper scrambled to try and keep it out. 1-0
Ten minutes from the break, Edwards tracked Jay Henderson back but the referee awarded a soft free kick as the St Mirren no.12 went to the ground. Fortunately Macdonald headed Tanser delivery away. Then forced by Henderson, a 41st minute corner delivered in by McGrath from the right was headed over by Joe Shaughnessy.
Half time: St Mirren 1 Dunfermline 0
The floodlights were on for the second half as the light and the temperature faded. McGrath got the match underway again with the Premiership going right at it right away. A 47th minute corner from the left was headed away by Nikolay Todorov and two minutes later a Dunfermline corner was earned after Edwards fed Pybus and Tanser cut out his cross before it reached Todorov. The corner did not alter anything and it was back to the other end.
A head knock to Watson at a St Mirren corner stopped play but after the physios treatment he was back on. Another corner followed in 54 minutes when Fon Williams had to turn a Henderson cross behind. The Pars keeper was made to save from Main’s headed attempt from the corner.
The home side were able to control the match and Dunfermline were beginning to be restricted to trying for the breakaways. In 62 minutes Peter Grant made his first change, Craig Wighton for Dom Thomas. The move was clearly aimed at trying to push Saints back but before that could have much effect Jim Goodwin introduced four subs. Off went Jamie McGrath, Eamon Brophy, Curtis Main and Greg Kiltie to be replaced by Cammy Macpherson, Ethan Erhahon, Kristian Dennis and Lee Irwin.
The Pars rallied and forced their second corner of the match but Edwards smashed his 35 yard effort over the top. More St Mirren pressure followed and there was almighty scramble on 80 minutes when a Macpherson pass set up McAllister but somehow Fon Williams with two interventions was able to get the ball behind.
Macpherson had a shot deflected for a corner on the right but still the Dunfermline defence showed great resilience.
As the minutes slipped away Peter Grant was encouraging his players forward. Ross Graham had a run and got back well when possession was turned around. He need not have worried as Edwards did the job on the left. Then a Pars corner from the left was sent in by Allan but the ball went over off Graham’s head.
Then in 88 minutes MacDonald’s cross caused St Mirren to concede a corner but Watson’s headed attempt went in the wrong direction. Play broke to the other end and Fon Williams did really well to dive at the feet of Irwin to deny a second.
On 90 minutes another chance fell to Macpherson but he couldn’t get his header on target. In the third minute of added time O’Hara stole a pass back and his cross into the box hit the hand of Charles Dunne but no penalty was awarded since it was deemed to have come up off his foot.
That was the final chance and the three points would be all St Mirren’s. With 15 shots to the Pars 3, 10 corners to the Pars 4 and 60% possession maybe St Mirren should have won more convincingly so full credit to Dunfermline to be in this contest right through until the very end.
SUBS NOT USED: Richard Tait, Daniel Finlayson, Ryan Flynn, Dylan Reid, Dean Lyness (GK)
SCORERS: Main (29)
DUNFERMLINE: Owain Fôn Williams: Aaron Comrie, Paul Watson, Ross Graham: Kyle Macdonald, Paul Allan, Dan Pybus, Dom Thomas (c)(Craig Wighton 62), Josh Edwards: Kevin O’Hara, Nikolay Todorov
SUBS NOT USED: Vytas Gašpuitis, Miller Fenton, Matty Todd, Deniz Mehmet (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Allan (75), Todorov (90+3)
REFEREE: Craig Napier
WEATHER: Sunny 21°C
NEXT MATCH: Premier Sports Cup (home) v Dumbarton, Saturday 17th July 2021, kick off 3.00pm at East End Park
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Preview St MirrenTuesday, 13th Jul 2021
Premier Sports Cup: Tuesday 13th July 2021 at the SMiSA Stadium, kick off 7.45pm
Dunfermline’s second match in the Premier Sports Cup is away to St Mirren on Tuesday night. While Peter Grant’s men were defeating Partick Thistle 4-2 on Saturday, St Mirren were sitting it out after Dumbarton could not fulfil the fixture due to cases of covid.
This is the seventh time that the Pars have travelled to play St Mirren in the League Cup and they have only won twice, but that includes the last time in July 2019. Overall Dunfermline have won 8 of the previous 14 League Cup matches.
In total the clubs have met on 119 occasions, Dunfermline have won 50 times and lost 42. In away meetings Dunfermline have won 19 of the 59 meetings, St Mirren 29.
St Mirren reached the semi final of both the League and Scottish Cup competitions last season so this will be a tough fixture for Dunfermline.
Milestones St Mirren (Away)
Last Victory 19/11/16 1-0 Championship
Last Defeat 10/03/18 0-2 Championship
Best Victory 15/10/66 5-0 Div One*
Worst Defeat 18/02/59 2-6 Div One*
Last Goalless Match 11/03/11 0-0 Premier League
* Pre Reconstruction
Last Twelve Matches v St Mirren
14-07-2019 | St Mirren 2 Dunfermline 3 | Betfred Cup
10-03-2018 | St Mirren 2 Dunfermline 0 | Championship
26-01-2018 | Dunfermline 1-2 St Mirren | Championship
16-12-2017 | St Mirren 1-0 Dunfermline | Championship
16-09-2017 | Dunfermline 3-0 St Mirren | Championship
11-03-2017 | St Mirren 0-0 Dunfermline | Championship
14-01-2017 | Dunfermline 1-1 St Mirren | Championship
19-11-2016 | St Mirren 0-1 Dunfermline | Championship
24-09-2016 | Dunfermline 4-3 St Mirren | Championship
10-10-2015 | St Mirren 4-0 Dunfermline | Petrofac Cup
26-08-2014 | St Mirren 2-1 Dunfermline | League Cup
21-04-2012 | St Mirren 4-4 Dunfermline | SPL
Last time at St Mirren Park
St Mirren 2 Dunfermline 3
14th July 2019, Betfred Cup
Dunfermline got off to a flyer in the first match of the 2019-2020 season going in after the first 45 minutes with a three goal lead.Ryan Dow (19) 0-1: Andy Ryan (24) 0-2: Tom Beadling (40) 0-3: Cody Cooke (63) 1-3: Danny Mullen (65) 2-3:
The Fifers went ahead in 19th minute. Having won possession in the St Mirren half, Josh Coley was able to thread a pass right for DOW to run into the box and find the bottom left with a fine shot from an acute angle. 0-1
Five minutes later Kevin Nisbet put through RYAN and again from the right side of the St Mirren box, the ball was dispatched low into the bottom left. 0-2
Pars went three up in 40th minute. Tom BEADLING picked out Ryan whose shot looked in but hit the right upright only for the former Sunderland player to follow up and crash home. 0-3
The hosts got two goals back midway through the second half. Cody COOKE curled in a St Mirren goal in 63 minutes and a second Saints goal arrived within two minutes. This time a cross from the left was not cleared and Danny MULLEN was able to stab the ball home. The Championship side hung on and saw their 3-2 win out.
ST MIRREN: Vaclav Hladky: Paul McGinn, Gary McKenzie, Jack Baird, Ethan Erhahon: Stephen McGinn (Oan Djorkaeff 79), Ryan Flynn, Tony Andreu, Kyle Magennis: Cody Cooke, Danny Mullen.
SUBS NOT USED: Cammy McPherson, Jamie Walker, Cameron Breadner, Jim Kellermann, Scott Glover, Dean Lyness (GK).
DUNFERMLINE: Ryan Scully: Aaron Comrie, Stuart Morrison, Lee Ashcroft, Lewis Martin: Paul Paton(c): Ryan Dow (Lewis McCann 90), Tom Beadling, Josh Coley: Kevin Nisbet (Gabby McGill 62), Andy Ryan (Kyle Turner 68).
SUBS NOT USED: Matty Todd, Tom Lang, Matthew Bowman, Cammy Gill (GK).
Last Six Matches
St Mirren defeated Northern Irish champions Linfield 3-0 in a friendly in Belfast before following that up with a 3-1 win over Ayr United at the SMiSA Stadium on Tuesday of last week. St Mirren Youth Academy graduate Jay Henderson was among the scorers as well as strikers getting goals with Eamonn Brophy, Lee Erwin and Kristian Dennis all scoring across the two matches.
Dunfermline’s two wins in April that secured their play off place came after a run of seven matches without a win. The new manager Peter Grant wants to see his team get off to a good start and they can build on what was a good away win at Firhill on Saturday.
Partick Thistle (A) W 4-2
Raith Rovers (A) L 0-2
Raith Rovers (H) D 0-0
Alloa Athletic (A) L 0-1
Arbroath (H) W 4-3
Queen of the South (H) W 3-1
Dundee United (H) D 0-0
Kilmarnock (A) D 3-3
St Johnstone (H) L 1-2
Hamilton (H) L 1-2
Kilmarnock (A) D 3-3
Ross County (A) W 3-1
League Position: 4th
League Points: 39
Goal Difference: +4
Away League Record: P13 W1 D6 L6 GF14 GA21
Last Six Match Form: WWLDLW
League Position: 7th
League Points: 45
Goal Difference: -8
Home League Record: P19 W7 D4 L8 GF22 GA22
Last Six Match Form: WDLLDD
Last Time Out
DUNFERMLINE (v Partick Thistle): Deniz Mehmet: Aaron Comrie, Paul Watson (Vytas Gašpuitis 85), Ross Graham: Kyle Macdonald, Paul Allan, Dom Thomas (c), Josh Edwards: Kevin O’Hara, Craig Wighton (Matty Todd 89), Nikolay Todorov (Dan Pybus 71).
SUBS NOT USED: Miller Fenton, Owain Fôn Williams (GK)
ST MIRREN (v Dundee United): Jak Alnwick: Richard Tait, Conor McCarthy, Marcus Fraser, Ryan Flynn (Cameron Macpherson 45), Jamie McGrath, Dylan Connolly (Kyle McAllister 62), Ethan Erhahon, Jay Henderson, Lee Erwin (Jonathan Obika 56), Eamon Brophy (Kristian Dennis 56).
SUBS NOT USED: Daniel Finlayson, Dylan Reid, Collin Quaner, Dean Lyness (GK).
The Buddies first team squad has been strengthened with the signings of Charles Dunne, Curtis Main, Greg Kiltie, Scott Tanser and Alan Power. They currently have 25 first-team players and feel they are in a good place heading into the new season.
Referee will be Greg Aitken who was in charge of Raith v Dunfermline play off in May.
Other Group H match
Dumbarton v Stenhousemuir
2019: St Mirren 2 Dunfermline 3
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