Arbroath 2 Dunfermline 0Saturday, 6th Feb 2021
Scottish Championship: Dow and Banks drop out for McInroy and O’Hara. Thomas O’Brien (27) 1-0: Dale Hilson (36) 2-0:
Dunfermline were not as much beaten by a football side but by the stormy February weather. In conditions that Stevie Crawford described as farcical, Arbroath took the experience of home advantage to record the win.
Thirteen points separated these sides as second placed Dunfermline travelled to face second bottom Arbroath at a wet and very windy Gayfield Park.
Stevie Crawford was without Ryan Dow who picked up a calf injury on Wednesday night and Scott Banks was a substitute as Kerr McInroy and Kevin o’Hara started.
Colin Hamilton dropped out of the Arbroath team and Dick Campbell brought in Scott Stewart. Gavin Swankie who was on their bench in midweek against Inverness Caley Thistle was also missing.
It was a very grey day on the Angus coast, waves powered in off the North Sea creating rough, white breakers and the wind was strong even by Gayfield standards. As Arbroath kicked off with the wind on their backs attacking the goal at the south end it remained to be seen just what effect the gusts would have on the game.
Arbroath keeper was tested within 30 seconds. Lewis Mayo sent the ball out to the right wing from where McInroy slipped the ball to O’Hara who executed a fierce shot that was held.
Former Par James Craigen got in Arbroath’s first attempt on four minutes but his 25 yard shot skimmed out beyond the right goalpost. Within the first seven minutes Owain Fôn Williams sent his first three goal kicks out above the dugouts and even when he did keep it low it was proving very difficult for the Pars to get the ball out of their own half.
On 11 minutes Bobby Linn a free kick from the left touch line was testing and Fôn Williams did remarkably well to keep it out. Two minutes later the keeper’s clearance was skied and the ball dropped back for Linn to try another shot that escaped over the crossbar.
A great chance opened up for Dale Hilson in 24 minutes and the right goalpost kept his shot out. It continued to look as though the Pars immediate task was to keep a clean sheet and hope to take advantage of the conditions in the second half.
But with 27 minutes on the clock Arbroath captain Thomas O’BRIEN launched a long range effort, possibly 30 yards out, that took a wicked deflection in hitting the net. 1-0
Play continued towards the Fifers goal. Linn swung in two corners that Dunfermline defended and Craigen had a shot blocked. Play was taken to the other end when Fraser Murray gathered from a Josh Edwards free kick and the home defence had work to do. But then the break up the left set up Linn for a shot from way out. The ball came back off the right upright and HILSON stepped in to net the rebound. 36 minutes gone and it was 2-0.
The visitors almost managed to strike back immediately with a ground hugging move from Wilson in his own half, through O’Hara, McInroy, Mayo and McManus that culminated with Fraser Murray getting in a shot that unfortunately found the sidenetting. Five minutes from the break a Derek Gaston’s clearance went straight to McInroy but on the edge of the box O’Brien made a crucial block.
To go in two behind was probably a result with the hope that the wind can provide more Pars assists in the second half. Arbroath had registered 63% possession and 13 first half shots. Hopefully the Dunfermline coaching staff had clocked how Arbroath used the conditions to their fullest.
Half time: Arbroath 2 Dunfermline 0
Bobby Linn was subbed before the second half commenced with David Gold being introduced. In 49th minute Aaron Comrie sent the ball into the box, Declan McManus flicked it on and O’Hara flashed a shot narrowly wide right.
Gaston saved from McManus at his near post after O’Hara had provided the chance. Then in 57 minute McInroy curled a shot in from the right that travelled just outside the far post. He had a better effort just two minutes later when O’Hara again set up McInroy with a shot but Gaston pulled off a good save.
Jack Hamilton threatened in 61 minutes but Euan Murray swept away the danger. The Red Lichties next forced a corner but O’Brien could not connect with the delivery and play switched back to the home half. Edwards had a shot from an acute angle before at the midpoint of the half, Lewis McCann was introduced for Lewis Mayo.
O’Hara and McManus both had low efforts blocked before Fraser Murray tried a shot from further out that went over the crossbar. Then from a McInroy corner from the right there was one almighty stramash in the Arbroath six yard box but the ball ended up in the keeper’s hands.
When Craigen brought down McCann for a 78th minute free kick Fraser Murray had an opportunity but he sent it over the five man wall and the bar as McManus seemed to be blown up for offside.
Scott Banks replaced Aaron Comrie and then Matthew Todd came on for Iain Wilson. A Banks corner five minutes from the end was headed wide and the home side continued to slow down everything to run the clock down.
In the second minute of added time Banks was squashed between two defenders in the box but the referee waved away appeals for a penalty. It summed up the miserable afternoon. The decision to play the game was extremely debatable and of course the home team have had plenty of experience of playing in such wind. Dunfermline went down to third as a result of Raith Rovers win at Morton
SUBS NOT USED: Kris Doolan, Lewis Moore, Scott Gallacher (GK).
SCORERS: O’Brien (27), Hilson (36)
DUNFERMLINE: Owain Fôn Williams: Aaron Comrie (Scott Banks 77), Paul Watson, Euan Murray (c), Josh Edwards: Kerr McInroy, Lewis Mayo (Lewis McCann 68), Iain Wilson (Matthew Todd 84), Fraser Murray: Kevin O’Hara, Declan McManus.
SUBS NOT USED: Kyle Macdonald, Kyle Turner, Paul Allan, Cammy Gill (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Watson (86)
REFEREE: Craig Napier
WEATHER: Wet, windy cold 2°C
NEXT MATCH: Scottish Championship (home) v Dundee, Saturday 13th February 2021, kick off 3.0m at East End Park behind closed doors.
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Arbroath 2-0 Dunfermline
Sat, 6th Feb 2021
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Preview ArbroathSaturday, 6th Feb 2021
Scottish Championship (away) Saturday 6th February 2021, 3.00pm kick off at Gayfield behind closed doors
Saturday’s match at Gayfield will be the 100th between Arbroath and Dunfermline Athletic. The Pars have won 48, Arbroath 30 and 21 have been drawn. The Angus side have the upper hand in their home games, 21 wins to the Pars 15 within 11 drawn.
In buoyant mood after demolishing neighbours Raith Rovers 4-1 on Wednesday night, this match can probably not come quick enough for Stevie Crawford’s side. With heavy snow forecast they can only hope it doesn’t lie on the coast.
Milestones Arbroath (away)
Last Victory | 28/11/20 | 3-1 | Betfred Cup
Last Defeat | 31/08/19 | 1-0 | Championship
Best Victory | 14/09/57 | 5-0 | Division Two
Best Victory | 09/08/52 | 5-0 | League Cup
Worst Defeat | 03/10/25 | 0-5 | Division Two
Worst Defeat | 23/01/54 | 0-5 | Division B
Last Goalless Draw | 04/03/20 | 0-0 | Championship
First Meeting | 04/02/22 | 0-0| Division Two
Last Meeting at Gayfield
Betfred Cup, Saturday 28th November 2020
Arbroath 1 Dunfermline 3
The Fifers went ahead in 28th minute, Ryan DOW was on the edge of the box and his left footed effort found the right side of the net with the Pars first shot on target. 0-1
The Pars would increase their lead eight minutes later from a Dom Thomas corner in 36 minutes. Paul Watson met it then Lewis Mayo returned the ball across the face of goal and from close in Euan MURRAY finished it. 0-2
Arbroath 1-3 Dunfermline (goals)
Fri, 20th Nov 2020
Arbroath got back into the game with a goal in the 65th minute. Stephen Craigen made the cross from the left and Dale HILSON, a half time sub who had been fairly anonymous up until this point, converted the cross at the far post. 1-2
Seven minutes from the end any possible Arbroath comeback was ended from the penalty spot. Dow shot from 20 yards out and as it went to keeper Gaston was deflected off Ricki Little’s hand. Referee Nick Walsh awarded a penalty. Kevin O’HARA stepped up and sunk his right footed shot into the right side of the Arbroath goal. 1-3
It was a good win for the Fifers, their first at Gayfield since July 2015 and into the quarter final draw.
ARBROATH: Derek Gaston: Jason Thomson, Ricki Little, Colin Hamilton: Michael Ruth, James Craigen, Miko Virtanen, Gavin Swankie (Mark Whatley 64), Scott Stewart (Bobby Linn HT), Michael McKenna (Dale Hilson HT), Luke Donnelly (Kris Doolan 66).
SUBS NOT USED: Rab Douglas (GK)
DUNFERMLINE: Owain Fôn Williams: Lewis Mayo, Paul Watson, Euan Murray (c), Josh Edwards: Ian Wilson: Ryan Dow, Kerr McInroy, Dom Thomas (Fraser Murray 90): Kyle Turner (Aaron Comrie 84): Declan McManus (Kevin O’Hara 75).
SUBS NOT USED: Steven Whittaker, Matty Bowman, Lewis McCann, Miller Fenton, Lucas Berry, Cammy Gill (GK)
Twelve Most Recent Meetings
The Fifers have won nine of the last twelve fixtures, Arbroath two including the one last season at Arbroath and one game drawn.
26/12/20 | Dunfermline 1 Arbroath 0 | Championship
28/11/20 | Arbroath 1 Dunfermline 3 | Betfred Cup
04/03/20 | Arbroath 0-0 Dunfermline | Championship
29/10/19 | Dunfermline 2-0 Arbroath | Championship
31/08/19 | Arbroath 1-0 Dunfermline | Championship
15/08/17 | Dunfermline 2-0 Arbroath | Challenge Cup
19/07/16 | Dunfermline 3-0 Arbroath | League Cup
25/07/15 | Arbroath 1-4 Dunfermline | Challenge Cup
26/04/14 | Arbroath 1-2 Dunfermline | League One
25/02/14 | Dunfermline 3-0 Arbroath | League One
21/12/13 | Arbroath 0-3 Dunfermline | League One
17/08/13 | Dunfermline 2-3 Arbroath | League One
Dunfermline’s defeat at Tynecastle was just their second of the season and their first away defeat since 11th January 2020. They have drawn three of their last six matches but the defeat of the Rovers is a big confidence booster.
Arbroath have only conceded six goals but won only one of their seven home league matches this season. They are unbeaten in their last four matches including against Inverness on Wednesday night.
Raith Rovers (H) W 4-1
Hearts (A) L 0-1
Ayr United (H) D 0-0
Morton (A) D 0-0
Inverness Caley Thistle (A) D 1-1
Arbroath (H) W 1-0
Inverness Caley Thistle (H) D 1-1
Morton (A) W 1-0
Dundee (H) D 1-1
Queen of the South (A) D 2-2
Hearts (A) L 1-3
Dunfermline (A) L 0-1
Current League Stats
League Position: 2nd
League Points: 24
Goal Difference: +9
League Record: P14 W6 D6 L2 GF24 GA15
Last Six Match Form: LDDWDW
League Position: 9th
League Points: 11
Goal Difference: -9
League Record: P14 W2 D5 L7 GF10 GA19
Last Six Match Form: LLDDWD
Last Time Out
DUNFERMLINE (v Raith Rovers): Owain Fôn Williams: Aaron Comrie, Paul Watson, Euan Murray (c)(Steven Whittaker 90), Josh Edwards: Lewis Mayo, Iain Wilson: Scott Banks (Kerr McInroy, 75), Ryan Dow (Kevin O’Hara 56), Fraser Murray: Declan McManus.
SUBS NOT USED: Lewis McCann, Kyle Macdonald, Kyle Turner, Cammy Gill (GK)
ARBROATH (v Inverness Caley Thistle): Derek Gaston: Jason Thomson, Ricki Little, Thomas O’Brien, Colin Hamilton: Dale Hilson (Kris Doolan 80), James Craigen, Michael McKenna (HT), Ben Williamson, Bobby Linn (Scott Stewart 61): Jack Hamilton (Luke Donnelly 80).
SUBS NOT USED: Gavin Swankie, Mark Whatley, David Gold, Scott Gallacher (GK).
Other Championship Fixtures
Ayr United v Hearts (Friday)
Alloa Athletic v Queen of the South
Dundee v Inverness Caley Thistle
Morton v Raith Rovers
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