Ross County 1 Dunfermline 0Saturday, 16th Jul 2022
Premier Sports Cup: Craig Wighton starts in place of Kyle Macdonald. Jordy Hiwula (64) 1-0
The third match in Group C of the Premier Sports Cup pitched Dunfermline against Premierleague opposition. After victories over East Fife and Buckie Thistle this was likely to be a good test for James McPake’s side. Craig Wighton returned after not being risked in midweek as he nursed a knee injury and that meant a seat on the bench for Kyle Macdonald.
Malky Mackay’s Ross County team showed two changes, Ross Laidlaw coming in between the sticks for Ross Munro and Josh Sims starting in place of former Pars youth, Jordan White.
It was Ross County’s first home match of the 2022-2023 season, the playing surface looked ready for Wimbledon and there were very pleasant conditions for this match, light cloud 20°C and a soft breeze. The sun made a brief appearance as the Fifers kicked off attacking the goal at the jail end.
The first Pars opportunity came in the fifth minutes when Lewis McCann was cut down by Alex Iacovitti deep down the right. Unfortunately the County defence swept away Josh Edwards delivery from the setpiece.
The first quarter of an hour passed without a shot at goal and the match was rooted in midfield. An injury to Ross Callachan paused play but he was for to resume after treatment. Chris Hamilton and Aaron Comrie made crucial interceptions to lead play upfield. From the latter’s counter McCann was able to gather and in 20th minute register the first shot of the afternoon but Ross Laidlaw was able to hold the effort that had the sting taken out of it by Ben Purrington’s challenge.
The Fifers came close to opening the scoring in 33 minutes. A foul on Hamilton handed Allan an opportunity from a free kick 25 yards out on the left. When the ball rebounded back to him off the wall he slipped in right to Matty Todd and then on to Hamilton. The delivery into the box created danger and Breen’s header was saved by Laidlaw and Wighton’s follow up went wide.
This was a good period of play for Dunfermline and Edwards forced another free kick deep down the left but this time Laidlaw held Allan’s cross all too easily. Then in 41 minutes a Todd break teed up Allan but his shot went straight into the arms of the keeper.
There was time for another counterattack after Comrie made another interception and his header sent O’Hara away into the County half. He picked out Todd who shot from 25 yards out but the effort was blocked. In the minute added on for Callaghan’s injury County earned a corner as Kyle Benedictus was forced to head behind. Fortunately the corner from the right did no damage.
It had been a very competent first half performance from Dunfermline with five shots to their opponents none. Ross County had shown some fancy touches but their crosses had been rather wild and at the interval there really didn’t look like two divisions between the sides.
Half time: Ross County 0 Dunfermline 0
Josh Edwards took control over two early second half free kicks. Laidlaw held the first and after Yan Dhanda was yellow carded for downing McCann the setpiece tried to find Benedictus at the far post but he was eased off the ball and only a goal kick came of it.
Dhanda had a strike from outside the box that flattened Breen but that did the job and then the Pars won two corners, their first of the match in 59 minutes but both times Laidlaw was able to fist away Allan’s in swingers.
County introduced two substitutions on the hour with Dominic Samuel and Kazeem Olaigbe replacing Yan Dhanda and Owura Edwards. The home side immediately looked more positive and it was Ben Paton who tested Deniz Mehmet in 62 and then shot wide in 64. The pressure told however as Jordy HIWULA was able to find the net with a looping header from a cross in from the left. 1-0
Dunfermline almost managed to get the perfect reply from a 71st minute corner from the right. Wighton headed on to the crossbar and McCann and sub Nikolay Todorov were denied in front of goal as they tried to stab the ball home.
There were further chances for the Fifers with McCann firing a free kick wide right, Allan having his effort deflected behind after newt build up by Edwards and Todd and then Todd blasting an 81st minute shot that just rose above the crossbar.
Kyle Macdonald had to come on for the injured Kyle Benedictus with four minutes remaining and it was the subs’ 90th minute cross that Todorov headed over the bar. County survived a penalty appeal when McCann was spilled in the box and then a late chance when McCann’s shot was turned around his right hand post by Laidlaw. Dunfermline finished pressing for the equaliser that would have heralded penalties but that was not to be.
The 137 strong travelling support enjoyed the huge effort that their side put in and the players went to them at the end to applaud their support. Unfortunately it was to be a journey home with no points.ROSS COUNTY: Ross Laidlaw: Connor Randall, Alex Iacovitti, Keith Watson (c), Ben Purrington: Ross Callachan, Yan Dhanda (Dominic Samuel 60), Ben Paton (Jordan White 74), Owura Edwards (Kazeem Olaigbe 60), Jordy Hiwula (Victor Loturi 82), Josh Sims (David Cancola 74)
SUBS NOT USED: Jack Baldwin, Callum Johnson, Jordan Tillson, Victor Loturi, Jake Eastwood (GK).
SCORERS: Hiwula (64)
YELLOW CARD: Dhanda (50), Samuel (73)
DUNFERMLINE: Deniz Mehmet: Aaron Comrie, Kyle Benedictus (c), (Kyle Macdonald 86), Rhys Breen, Josh Edwards: Chris Hamilton (Joe Chalmers 78): Matthew Todd, Paul Allan, Kevin O’Hara (Nikolay Todorov 66), Lewis McCann, Craig Wighton.
SUBS NOT USED: Miller Fenton, Jake Rennie, Michael Beagley, Sam Young, Andrew Tod, Callum Archibald (GK).
REFEREE: Nick Walsh
WEATHER: Bright 20°C
NEXT MATCH: Premier Sports Cup (home) v Alloa Athletic, Saturday 23rd July 2022, kick off 3.00pm at East End Park
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- Managers post Ross County
- Deniz ready to repay faith placed in him
- Dunfermline 5 Buckie Thistle 0
- East Fife 0 Dunfermline 2
Ross County 1-0 Dunfermline
Sat, 16th Jul 2022
James McPake post Ross County
Sat, 16th Jul 2022
Rhys Breen post Ross County
Sat, 16th Jul 2022
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Preview Ross CountySaturday, 16th Jul 2022
Premier Sports Cup (away) v Ross County, Saturday 16th July 2022, kick off 3.00pm at the Global Energy Stadium.
On Saturday Dunfermline take the journey north up the A9 to face Premiership opposition in the form of Ross County. While the Pars took on Cove Rangers in a pre season friendly, Malky MacKay’s Premiership side went to Verona in Italy on 25th June for a week of pre season training.
Both sides have played Highland League runners up Buckie Thistle in their last games. While County were held to a 1-1 draw at Buckie’s Victoria Park Dunfermline saw off the same opposition 5-0 on Tuesday night.
The sides last met in the Scottish Championship in April 2019 and on their 19 previous encounters the Staggies have won 8, the Pars 5 and 6 have ended all square.
Milestones v Ross County (away)
Last Victory | 29/03/11 |1-0| Division 1
Last Defeat | 09/04/19 | 0-1 | Championship
Best Victory | 18/04/09 | 3-1| Division 1
Worst Defeat | 24/03/09 | 1-2 | Division 1 |
12/01/16 |1-2 | Championship
Last Goalless Draw | 22/02/11 | 0-0 | Division 1
First Meeting | 24/03/09 | 1-2 | Division 1
Last Time at Dingwall
Scottish Championship, Tuesday 9th April 2019
Ross County 1 Dunfermline 0
County scored the only goal of the game on the hour when GRIVOSTI`s powerful header met Mullin`s delivery from the corner on the left. 1-0
Disappointing from a Pars perspective because they probably deserved something from the game given their excellent first half performance.
ROSS COUNTY: Scott Fox: Marcus Fraser, Sean Kelly, Andy Boyle, Kenny van der Weg (Tom Grivosti 45+2), Jamie Lindsay, Josh Mullin, Don Cowie, Michael Gardyne (Lewis Spence 88), Brian Graham (Declan McManus 82), Ross Stewart.
SUBS NOT USED: Dan Armstrong, Callum Semple, Harry Paton, Ross Munro (GK)
DUNFERMLINE: Ryan Scully: James Craigen, Danny Devine, Lee Ashcroft (c), Jackson Longridge: Tom Beadling: Louis Longridge (Faissal El Bakhtaoui 34), Matthew Todd (Lewis McCann 82), Ryan Blair: Myles Hippolyte (Robbie Muirhead 70), Bruce Anderson
SUBS NOT USED: Ryan Williamson, Mark Durnan, James Vincent, Cameron Gill (GK)
Last Six Matches
Buckie Thistle (H) W 5-0
East Fife (A) W 2-0
Kilmarnock (H) L 0-1
Stenhousemuir (A) W 2-0
Forfar Athletic (A) W 6-0
Cove Rangers (A) W 2-0
Buckie Thistle (A) D 1-1
Brora Rangers (A) W 4-1
Dundee United (H) L 1-2
Rangers (A) L 1-4
Motherwell (H) L 0-1
Hearts (A) D 0-0
Championship League Position: 9th
Championship League Points: 35
Goal Difference: -17
Away League Record: P18 W2 D6 L10 GF14 GA29
Last Six Match Form: DLWWWL
Premiership Position: 6th
Premiership Points: 41
Goal Difference: -14
Home League Record: P19 W5 D7 L7 GF28 GA30
Last Six Match Form: DLLLWD
Last Time Out
DUNFERMLINE (v Buckie Thistle): Deniz Mehmet: Aaron Comrie, Kyle Benedictus (c), Rhys Breen, Josh Edwards: Matthew Todd (Andrew Tod 66), Paul Allan, Chris Hamilton (Joe Chalmers 63), Kyle Macdonald (Jake Rennie 81), Lewis McCann (Nikolay Todorov 63), Kevin O’Hara (Michael Beagley 81).
SUBS NOT USED: Craig Wighton, Miller Fenton, Sam Young, Callum Archibald (GK)
ROSS COUNTY (v Buckie Thistle): Ross Munro: Connor Randall, Alex Iacovitti, Keith Watson, Ben Purrington (David Cancola 84): Ross Callachan, Yan Dhanda (Josh Sims HT), Ben Paton, Owura Edwards (Kazeem Olaigbe 66), Jordy Hiwula, Jordan White (Dominic Samuel 61),
SUBS NOT USED: Adam Mackinnon, Jake Eastwood, Matthew Wright, Dylan Smith, Victor Lotur.
Referee will be Nick Walsh.
Ross County close season signings:-
* Ben Purrington (26), former youth and first team player at Plymouth Argyle, joined on a two year deal from Charlton Athletic.
* Jordan Hiwula (27), former Manchester City youth with 61 appearances at Coventry City, the striker joined on a two year deal from Doncaster Rovers.
* Kazeem Olaigbe on a season long loan from Southampton.
* Jake Eastwood (25), goalkeeper, on a season long loan from Sheffield United.
* George Harmon, former WBA youth, joined on a two year deal from Oxford City.
* Owura Edwards, on season long loan from Bristol City.
* Yan Dhanda (23), former WBA and Liverpool youth, creative midfielder who made 62 appearances for Swansea City.
* Victor Loturi (21), Canadian midfielder joined on a three year deal from Cavalry FC.
Other Group C Match
Buckie Thistle v Alloa Athletic
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