Civil Service Strollers 2 Dunfermline 2Saturday, 26th Jun 2021
Pre Season Friendly: one Trialist starts in midfield. Kevin O’Hara (36) 0-1: Lewis Duffy (44) 1-1: Nikolay Todorov (85) 1-2: Euan Valentine (87) 2-2:
After the 2-2 draw against Spartans, Dunfermline made the trip further into Edinburgh to face other Lowland League opposition in the shape of Civil Service Strollers, a team that finished 8th, two places above Spartans last season.
The Dunfermline squad was only 13 strong, no sign of Wednesday night’s trialists but one new one to play in midfield. Goalkeeper Deniz Mehmet got his first start in what was a youthful starting eleven that included seventeen year old Miller Fenton in central defence alongside Vytas Gašpuitis.
The home side kicked off attacking the goal at the club house end but it was seven minutes before the first attempt at goal, Dom Thomas accepting Kyle Macdonald’s cut back but the ball soared over the crossbar.
Four minutes later Macdonald avoided offside getting forward to centre a ball from the right that Nikolay Todorov headed just outside the near post.
On the quarter hour Lewis McCann slipped the ball through to create a great opportunity for Kevin O’Hara. His shot was blocked and Todorov’s follow up deflected behind for the first of two corners that the Strollers defended.
The Trialist saw his effort go out off Jonathan Moffat for a 19th minute corner and then Paul Allan’s shot deflected for a corner from the other side. Fenton was well up to head the ball back across the six yard box but the defence came out on top.
Midway through the first half Thomas drilled the ball into the box from the left and Todorov was unfortunate to turn his connection over the bar. An Edwards cross was cut out to earn the Fifers a 28th minute corner but again the hosts defended well.
Two minutes later the Pars did everything but score with Todorov hitting the post and McCann’s follow up blocked by keeper MacAllan Whyte. Thomas next came close his left footed shot swirling narrowly outside the left upright.
Another chance was fed by Macdonald to Thomas in 31 minutes and this time Whyte pulled off a really good save at his left hand post. Five minutes later the visitors scored the goal that they had threatened for some time. Thomas won the ball in his own half and when he released the pass O’HARA was through and he made no mistake in finding the net. 0-1
The goalscorer forced the first of two 40th minute corners but nothing came of them. It had been all Dunfermline but Strollers forced a corner in the final minute of the half. Euan Valentine delivered the ball from the right, Gašpuitis and their tall man, Alieu Barda Faye were the distraction as the ball reached Lewis DUFFY in the centre of the box and his header found the net 1-1.
It had been a first half dominated by Dunfermline possession and pressure but at the break it was all level.
Half time: Civil Service Strollers 1 Dunfermline 1
Both sides made one change before play restarted with Owain Fôn Williams replacing Deniz Mehmet. It was the big Welshman who was in serious action within two minutes of his appearance diving at the feet of Johnston as he sprung through the defence.
Todorov was yet again denied by the home keeper with a close range effort before in 53 minutes Matty Todd came on for Lewis McCann with the sub taking over McCann’s attacking role.
On the hour mark O’Hara rattled the post from a corner on the right and Macdonald blasted his follow up over the crossbar. With a diving header Todd got to a Macdonald cross but again the keeper kept his side level when it looked like the visitors would retake the lead.
Edwards was now getting more joy up the left yet his crosses just couldn’t be converted. Todd evaded the offside trap but when the cross fell for Thomas, his shot at the angle was dispatched over the bar.
From a 74th minute corner O’Hara returned the ball for Gašpuitis but Whyte saved. Next a Todorov break ended with a great effort but Whyte was equal of it and then Gašpuitis has another headed effort on target but amazingly Whyte managed to gather that one as well.
With seven minutes remaining Strollers introduced their sub keeper Christopher McKee but it is a measure of how well the first choice MacAllan Whyte had played that he was clapped off by the Dunfermline fans as well as the home ones. The 20 year old stopper was at Cowdenbeath last season but played just one match, the 1-0 away win over Edinburgh City.
Unluckily for the young sub keeper within two minutes of the substitution O’Hara got wide on the left and his cross provided an easy finish for TODOROV. 1-2
Civil Service would get back on level terms however just two minutes later when Valentine chipped Fôn Williams and Edwards acrobatic efforts on the line still could not prevent the equaliser. 2-2
Despite a late push for a winner, Dunfermline Athletic had to settle for a draw. Good to see strikers Kevin O`Hara and Nikolay Todorov scoring goals but the manager and his coaching staff will be disappointed with the goals their side conceded.
SUBS NOT USED: Scott Clapperton, Ross Wallace
SCORERS: Duffy (44), Valentine (87)
DUNFERMLINE: Deniz Mehmet (Owain Fôn Williams HT): Kyle Macdonald, Vytas Gašpuitis, Miller Fenton, Josh Edwards: Paul Allan: Dom Thomas, Trialist: Kevin O’Hara, Lewis McCann (Matty Todd 53), Nikolay Todorov
SUBS NOT USED:
SCORERS: O’Hara (36), Todorov (85)
WEATHER: Overcast 13C
NEXT MATCH: TBC
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