Dunfermline 4 Stenhousemuir 1Saturday, 24th Jul 2021
Premier Sports Cup: Fôn Williams, Gašpuitis and Cole start in place of Mehmet, Watson and Allan. Craig Wighton (15) 1-0: Kevin O’Hara (36) 2-0: Craig Wighton (43) 3-0: Kevin O’Hara (49) 4-0: Robert Thomson (67) 4-1:
The final group match of the 2021-22 Premier Sports Cup brought League Two side Stenhousemuir to East End Park. Dunfermline manager Peter Grant had made two signings since the previous match against Dumbarton. Former Brentford youth, Reece Cole went straight into the starting eleven and the highly rated, Kai Kennedy on loan from Rangers was on the bench. Owain Fôn Williams and Vytas Gašpuitis started in place of Deniz Mehmet and Paul Watson.
Stenhousemuir started former Pars Nat Wedderburn, Ross Forbes and Cammy Graham with Robert Thomson and Craig Reid two of their nine named substitutes.
Another really sunny day welcomed 1570 fans back to East End Park and for this match the North West Stand was open in addition to the McCathie and Main stands. The visiting team was still using the concourse of the East Stand as changing facilities. Even with the restricted numbers there was a really welcome buzz around the ground and great expectations of Dunfermline to take up from where they left off the previous Saturday with another explosive performance.
There was an attacking start from the Fifers with Craig Wighton turning to test keeper David Wilson with a stinging shot in the third minute. Stenhousemuir managed a couple of forward moves in the opening ten minutes without producing anything to concern Fôn Williams or his defence.
Dom Thomas delivered a tenth minute corner in from the left but the Warriors defence cleared. Five minutes later Aaron Comrie’s sortie forward created the opening for the first goal. He exchanged passes with Kyle Macdonald on the right before cutting in and slipping the ball to Craig WIGHTON who avoided the offside trap and slotted past keeper Wilson. 1-0
Four minutes later Nikolay Todorov raised expectations again with a blast at goal but was just off target. Then Todorov was the provider but Kevin O’Hara’s attempt was blocked. Comrie was well forward again when in 26 minutes he played Macdonald into the Stenny box. The former Airdrie man picked out Wighton but his low shot was cleared at the far post.
Nat Wedderburn was allowed a pop at goal from a Darren Christie cross but the big man belted the ball into the McCathie Stand. Back at the other end a good run by Josh Edwards set up Cole for a drive at goal but he was wide left.
The pressure was maintained with Edwards shot blocked by the keeper and then a Todorov shot deflected wide for a corner. Thomas was next to shoot but his effort on the edge of the box was also blocked.
The second Dunfermline goal came in 36 minutes after the Stenny keeper came out to clear the ball on the edge of his box. The ball rebounded off a defender and Wighton, Todorov gathered on the right byeline and his squared ball was a tap in for O’HARA. 2-0
WIGHTON made it 3-0 two minutes from the break after Edwards spread a great ball down the left for O’Hara to travel with and deliver a dangerous ball in that Edwards just couldn’t convert but Todorov returned to his fellow striker and with two bites hit the net.
The scoreline was a fair return for having twice as much possession as Stenhousemuir and 14 first half shots to their one.
Half time: Dunfermline 3 Stenhousemuir 0
Kai Kennedy was a half time sub for the Pars while Stenhousemuir made three changes and within four minutes there was another goal for the home support to celebrate. Edwards cut the ball in from the left for O’HARA to drill a right footed shot home from six yards. 4-0
Edwards was trying hard to score what would be his first senior goal and had a great effort as he went from left to right across the box but was denied by the keeper. Thomas has a crack as well but again Wilson kept it out. Reece Cole required treatment in 63 minutes and he did not continue, Dan Pybus replacing him in 64 minutes. While Cole received treatment Stenhousemuir introduced Robert Thomson and Michael Anderson for Thomas Orr and Ross Forbes and within three minutes of the restart THOMSON netted a cut back from the left, 4-1.
Kennedy gave a brilliant demonstration of how he could break through defences playing a one two off O’Hara to use his speed to burst into the left side of the Stenny box. His cross to the far post was met by Macdonald but he headed downwards and the keeper saved.
A Pybus effort was deflected right for a Pars corner in 76 minutes and when Thomas delivered the ball to the far post Gašpuitis sent it wide. That was Dom’s last involvement as he was then subbed for Paul Allan.
Fôn Williams fisted away an Adam Brown corner in 85 minutes before Kennedy forced a Pars corner at the other end that was headed clear. Matty Todd replaced Kevin O ‘Hara was left to a standing ovation.
The result had not really been in any doubt from fifteen minutes into the match. Dunfermline finish the group on nine points with the other group match on Sunday between St Mirren and Partick Thistle to determine the group winner. A St Mirren win or draw would see them top the group but Dunfermline would go through as one of the best group runners up. A Partick win would mean Dunfermline would top the group. The outcome is the same Dunfermline will be in the draw for the second round of the Premier Sports Cup.
SUBS NOT USED: Miller Fenton, Deniz Mehmet (GK)
SCORERS: Wighton (15, 43), O’Hara (36, 49)
STENHOUSEMUIR: David Wilson: Nicky Jamieson, Sean Crighton (c), Bernard Coll (Craig Reid 49): Darren Christie, Ross Forbes (Michael Anderson 63), Nat Wedderburn, Adam Brown, Cammy Graham (Jamie Mills HT): Euan O`Reilly (James Lyons HT), Thomas Orr (Robert Thomson 63).
SUBS NOT USED: Ross Lyon, Declan Hughes, Ryan Tierney, Ryan Marshall (GK).
SCORERS: Thomson (67)
YELLOW CARD: Lyons (71)
REFEREE: Kevin Clancy
WEATHER: Sunny 19°C
NEXT MATCH: Cinch Championship (away) v Morton, Saturday 31st July 2021, kick off 3.00pm at Cappielow Park
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Dunfermline 4-1 Stenhousemuir
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Sat, 24th Jul 2021
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Preview StenhousemuirSaturday, 24th Jul 2021
Premier Sports Cup: (home) v Stenhousemuir Saturday 24th July 2021, kick off 3.00pm at East End Park
The final match of the Premier Sports Cup brings Stenhousemuir to East End Park for the first time in over five years. The visitors have taken three points from their match against Dumbarton but are out of contention in Group H. The Pars with six require three more points to have any chance of progressing to the knock out rounds through winning the group or as one of the three group winners with the best records.
Milestones v Stenhousemuir (home)
Last Victory | 05/03/16 | 5-0 | League One
Last Defeat | 13/02/60 | 0-1 | Scottish Cup
Best Victory | 27/09/30 | 11-2 | Division Two
Worst Defeat | 25/02/50 | 1-4 | Scottish Cup
Last Goalless Draw | 08/03/14 | League One
First Meeting | 29/04/22 | 0-0 | Division Two
In head to heads, Dunfermline have won 47 of the 93 matches against Stenhousemuir but of the 47 home matches Dunfermline have won 29, 13 have been drawn and 5 lost. In the League Cup the sides have met three times at East End Park and Dunfermline are unbeaten but two of the matches were drawn.
Stenhousemuir have not won a game at East End Park since the pre-Stein era.
Last Twelve Matches v Stenhousemuir
The last twelve meetings between the clubs have all been in League One and the Pars have won 10, drawn 1 and lost 1.
05/03/16 | H | W | 5-0 | League One
06/02/16 | A | W | 3-0 | League One
19/12/15 | H | W | 1-0 | League One
19/09/15 | A | W | 5-0 | League One
21/03/15 | A | W | 1-0 | League One
14/02/15 | H | W | 3-2 | League One
15/11/14 | A | L | 0-1 | League One
13/09/14 | H | W | 2-0 | League One
08/03/14 | H | D | 0-0 | League One
02/01/14 | A | W | 2-1 | League One
09/11/13 | H | W | 3-2 | League One
24/08/13 | A | W | 5-4 | League One
Last Meeting at East End Park
League One, 5th March 2016
Dunfermline 5 Stenhousemuir 0
The home side had been top of the table since the first week in December en route to the League One title. They took 28 minutes to break down the Warriors defence.
Euan Murray (later to become Pars captain) halted Byrne`s run to give the Pars a free kick 25 yards out. That was thrashed on target by Talbot but his effort came off the wall and FALKINGHAM was nicely placed on the edge of the box to drill in his third goal of the season. 1-0
Three minutes later Alan Cook was yellow carded as Byrne was again the victim but this time, from possibly 23 yards out, PATON scooped the ball over the wall to find the top left corner of the Warriors net. 2-0
The third Pars goal duly came in 54 minutes and it was a fine finish by EL BAKHTAOUI thrashing the ball into the roof of the net from just twelve yards out. The chance was past through the penalty box from Paton, Cardle and then to Faiss who brought his total for the season to 24. 3-0
It was a fine ball by McCabe that sent Hopkirk away down the right and his perfect pass in behind Malcolm reached WALLACE for a rudimentary finish 15 minutes later. 4-0
In 77 minutes Rhys McCabe`s defence splitting pass put Wallace through on goal, he evaded a defender but keeper Colin McCabe caught him and was shown red. Sub keeper Jamie Barclay came off the bench as Cook was withdrawn, and saved WALLACE`s initial try but the Pars striker followed up to net his eighth goal of the season. 5-0
DUNFERMLINE: Sean Murdoch; Craig Reid, Brad McKay, Ben Richards-Everton, Jason Talbot; Michael Paton, Shaun Byrne, Josh Falkingham (c)(Rhys McCabe 66), Joe Cardle; Michael Moffat (Ryan Wallace 60), Faissal El Bakhtaoui (David Hopkirk 67).
SUBS NOT USED: Paul Joseph Crossan, Lewis Martin, Shaun Rooney, David Hutton (GK).
SCORERS: Falkingham (28), Paton (31), El Bakhtaoui (54), Wallace (69, 79 pen)
STENHOUSEMUIR: Colin McCabe; Jamie McCormack, Euan Murray, Stuart Malcolm (c), Ross Meechan, Ciaran Summers; Alan Cook (Jamie Barclay (GK) 78), Stephen Stirling, Carlos Mazana-Martinez (Mark Gilhaney 66), Anthony Marenghi (Colin McMenamin 66), Lewis Small.
SUBS NOT USED: Liam McCroarty, Jason Scotland, Kieran Millar, Mark Allan.
Last Six Matches
Dunfermline’s first home match with fans since 7th March 2020 was an impressive 5-1 win over League One, Dumbarton.
Stenhousemuir have won one and lost two of their Premier Sports Cup matches this season. After a win at Dumbarton, they lost narrowly to Partick Thistle and kept close to St Mirren until losing a 94th minute goal that the Paisley men a 3-1 win.
Dumbarton (H) W 5-1
St Mirren (A) L 0-1
Partick Thistle (A) W 4-2
Raith Rovers (A) L 0-2
Raith Rovers (H) D 0-0
Alloa Athletic (A) L 0-1
St Mirren (H) L 1-3
Partick Thistle (H) L 1-2
Dumbarton (H) W 2-1
Brechin City (A) W 1-0
Albion Rovers (H) L 0-1
Annan Athletic (A) D 1-1
League Position: 4th
League Points: 39
Goal Difference: +4
Home League Record: P14 W9 D3 L2 GF24 GA13
Last Six Match Form: LDLWLW
League Position: 6th
League Points: 26
Goal Difference: -10
Away League Record: P11 W2 D3 L6 GF10 GA22
Last Six Match Form: DLWWLL
Last time out
DUNFERMLINE v Dumbarton): Deniz Mehmet: Aaron Comrie, Paul Watson (Vytas Gašpuitis HT), Ross Graham: Kyle Macdonald, Paul Allan (Dan Pybus HT), Dom Thomas (c), Josh Edwards (Miller Fenton 82): Kevin O’Hara, Nikolay Todorov (Matty Todd 77), Craig Wighton.
SUBS NOT USED: Owain Fôn Williams (GK)
STENHOUSEMUIR (v St Mirren): Ryan Marshall: Ross Lyon, Sean Crighton, Nicky Jamieson, Bernard Coll, Ross Forbes, James Lyons (Euan O`Reilly 57), Nat Wedderburn, Jamie Mills (Adam Brown 83), Robert Thomson (Darren Christie 74), Thomas Orr.
SUBS NOT USED: Michael Anderson, Cammy Graham, Ryan Tierney, Graeme Smith (GK).
Referee will be Kevin Clancy.
Other Group Match
St Mirren v Partick Thistle (Sunday 25th July ko 3.00pm)
The eight group winners and three best runners-up progress to the second round, where they are joined by the five clubs competing in European competitions - Rangers, Celtic, Hibernian, Aberdeen and St Johnstone, who are also the cup holders.
The seeded teams in the last 16 will be the five European entrants and the three group winners with the best records.
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