Dunfermline 2 Falkirk 0Friday, 9th Oct 2020
Betfred Cup: Two changes as Declan McManus and Fraser Murray start for Kyle Turner and Kerr McInroy. Euan Murray (58) 1-0: Euan Murray (65) 2-0:
Two headed goals from captain Euan Murray gave the Pars a 2-0 win over their rivals.
Falkirk were the opposition for the first home match since 7th March. Under the Covid-19 restrictions this match was played with no fans present but did benefit from live coverage on the Premier Sports channel. It was the fifth League Cup meeting between the sides and the first since August 2013.
Stevie Crawford made two changes from the side that started against Dumbarton on Tuesday night. Declan McManus and Fraser Murray started, Kyle Turner was on the bench and Kerr McInroy was on international duty with Scotland U21s as they took on Czech Republic at Tynecastle.
Both sides fielded players who had played for their opponents. Paul Watson, Kevin O’Hara and Declan McManus lined up against Scott Mercer, Mark Durnan and Aidan Keena.
Falkirk emerged from their changing area in the East Stand and they kicked off but they found themselves defending a corner from the right after two minutes. Dom Thomas’ cross was cleared off the line by keeper Robbie Mutch after Keena surprisingly failed to clear at the near post. McManus was then very unlucky not to convert the saved ball.
There were further deliveries into the Falkirk box, Aaron Comrie from the right and Thomas from the left that were defended before Owain Fôn Williams had to come for a free kick sent in from midway into the Pars half.
Dunfermline created more danger on the quarter hour when a quickly taken free kick was fed to Ryan Dow and McManus got a headed flick on the cross but Mutch got a touch to keep the ball out.
There was further pressure as McManus won a corner on right that Thomas took. The Pars had the ball in the net after the cross went through the box initially and Paul Watson cross caused a bit of havoc. In the scramble for the loose ball the keeper was impeded and referee Grant Irvine blew for a free kick to Falkirk.
A fine cross in from the right from O’Hara required Mutch to fist away Superman style and then Thomas forced a 20th minute corner on the left. From the setpiece the 24 year old signing from Kilmarnock picked out Steven Whittaker as he ghosted in but his well connected effort was blocked.
A Dunfermline free kick midway into the visitors half was swung into the crowded Falkirk box by Dow but Durnan met it to clear. Then on the half hour Fôn Williams was called upon to save a great chance when Keena just six yards out, met Calumn Morrison’s cross from the right.
The visitors managed to hold on to increasingly more possession that they punctuated with a Leitch effort from the edge of the box causing Fôn Williams to have another save to make but again straight at him.
Falkirk continued to push up and both the Pars central defenders had some very necessary interceptions to make to deny the Bairns. Then when McManus threatened to run through on goal, Hall took him down and from the setpiece Thomas was allowed a decent crack at goal from 25 yards out. Mutch dived to his left to concede the corner and when that came in Watson got in a shot on target that was blocked.
From a 42nd minute corner on the right Falkirk had appeals for a penalty with what would later prove legitimate shouts for handball against McManus but the referee was on the wrong side of the incident. Then two minutes later Morrison smashed a 30 yard free kick over the crossbar and at the other end Mutch kept Falkirk alive with a good save keeping out Dow and conceding a corner.
Dunfermline started the game the better but the League One side had enjoyed a better second quarter and there was nothing between the teams at the interval. Talking point will be the Falkirk penalty claim when it can be analysed.
Half time: Dunfermline 0 Falkirk 0
Thomas did well to leave Mercer in his slipstream down the left in 49th minute but he tried a shot from an ambitious angle that crossed the box and ended up going out for a thrown in on the far side.
O’Hara was put through the middle three minutes later but the defence rushed back to prevent the shot. The former Falkirk youth got another similar chance very quickly but this time the keeper saved with his outstretched right foot. Then when Thomas won a 58th minute free kick on the left his delivery from 28 yards out picked out Euan MURRAY six yards out to power his header downwards and into the Falkirk net. 1-0
Falkirk introduced Josh Todd in place of Robbie Leitch but it was the Fifers who made the difference. Mercer did really well to concede just a corner as he tracked Thomas into the left side of the Bairns box but when Thomas delivered the setpiece E MURRAY was at the far post to send his header past Mercer on the post. 65 minutes and 2-0.
Thomas had two attempts in 71st minute, one blocked and the second held by the keeper before Iain Wilson came on in place of Steven Whittaker. Thomas was charged with an 81st minute free kick after Dow was stopped on the right and Murray had a chance from it for his hattrick but just couldn’t get the connection on Thomas’ left footed delivery at the far post.
Six minutes from time an impressive burst of pace from Dow took him to the byeline and an equally good cross found O’Hara in front of goal but his effort was held by Mutch. Lewis McCann came on for Ryan Dow and the Pars saw out the three added minutes to record their first home win of the season.
Three points to add to Tuesday’s three and top the group, placed the Pars in a very strong position in Group E with two fixtures remaining.
SUBS NOT USED: Paul Allan, Miller Fenton, Cammy Gill (GK), Ben Swinton (GK)
SCORERS: E Murray (58, 65)
YELLOW CARD: Watson (56), F Murray (62)
FALKIRK: Robbie Mutch: Scott Mercer, Ben Hall, Mark Durnan, Paul Dixon: Callum Morrison, Gary Miller (c), Morgaro Gomis, Robbie Leitch (Josh Todd 61), Aidan Keena (Akeel Francis 70), Anton Dowds (Conor Sammon 84).
SUBS NOT USED: Blair Sneddon, Lee Miller, Matthew Connolly (GK).
YELLOW CARD: Keena (31), Dowds (74)
REFEREE: Grant Irvine
WEATHER: Dry 9C
NEXT MATCH: Betfred Cup (away) v Kilmarnock, Tuesday 13th October 2020 at Rugby Park kick off 7.45pm
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Preview FalkirkFriday, 9th Oct 2020
There are enough players on both sides to know how much this Friday night’s fixture means to their supporters.
When the draw for the groups of the Betfred Cup was made, there were cheers on both sides of the Forth when Falkirk were added to the Pars group. Possibly those cheers died out fast when everyone remembered that there would be no fans present to stir up the usual superb derby day atmosphere. Nevertheless this is a match where both fans and players will be desperate to come out on top.
With Falkirk awarded a 3-0 win for Kilmarnock being unable to fulfil their opening group match fixture due to players testing positive for Covid-19 and the entire first team squad being forced to quarantine, the result of this derby could have a big say in who progresses out of the group.
Falkirk and Dunfermline have only ever played four ties in the League Cup and it is seven years since the teams last met in it.
Dunfermline v Falkirk: The Full League Record
TOTALS | P102 | W35 | D22 | L45 | F123 | A139
Dunfermline v Falkirk: The Full League Cup Record
TOTALS | P4 | W2 | D1| L1 | F9 | A5
League Cup Matches v Falkirk
27/08/2013 | A | L | 1-2
22/10/2002 | H | W | 2-0
03/09/1966 | A | W | 2-1
20/08/1966 | H | D | 2-2
Milestones Falkirk (Home)
Last Victory | 13/04/19 | 0-1 | Championship
Last Defeat | 10/11/18 |0-1 | Championship
Best Victory | 13/04/66 | 6-1 | Division 1
Worst Defeat | 02/01/52 | 0-6 | Division 2
First Meeting | 04/09/26 | 0-1 | Scottish First Division
Last Goalless Draw | 17/11/87 | Scottish Premier League
Dunfermline have won five of the last twelve meetings, Falkirk five and two have been drawn.
Last 12 Matches v Falkirk
13/04/19 | (H) | 0-1 | L | Championship
29/12/18 | (A) | 4-2 | W | Championship
10/11/18 | (H) | 0-2 | L | Championship
06/04/18 | (A) | 2-0 | W | Championship
07/04/18 | (A) | 2-1 | W | Championship
02/01/18 | (H) | 2-0 | W | Championship
04/11/17 | (A) | 1-1 | D | Championship
05/10/17 | (A) | 0-2 | L | Irn Bru Cup
19/08/17 | (H) | 3-1 | W | Championship
22/04/17 | H) | 1-2 | L | Championship
04/02/17 | (A) | 0-2 | L | Championship
26/12/16 | (H) | 1-1 | D | Championship
Last Meeting at East End Park
Dunfermline 0 Falkirk 1
13th April 2019, Scottish Championship
Dunfermline were awarded a 17th minute penalty kick when a pass from the right seeking out Bruce Anderson caused defender Ciaran McKenna to tumble the on loan striker and referee Willie Collum pointed to the spot.
Anderson stepped up but the Falkirk keeper Harry Burgoyne turned the penalty kick around his left hand post. There was much celebration from the travelling support behind the goal.
Fifteen minutes from the end Matty Todd picked out Anderson but his shot crashed down off the crossbar. Next the travelling support were celebrating a goal that would win them the game. Davis KEILLOR-DUNN got the break of the ball off Devine on the edge of the box to round him and stick the ball low into the left side of the Pars net.
DUNFERMLINE: Ryan Scully: James Craigen, Danny Devine, Lee Ashcroft (c), Jackson Longridge: Tom Beadling (Kallum Higginbotham 38): Matthew Todd (Robbie Muirhead 87), James Vincent, Ryan Blair: Faissal El Bakhtaoui (Myles Hippolyte 76), Bruce Anderson.
SUBS NOT USED: Aidan Connolly, Stuart Morrison, Mark Durnan, Cammy Gill (GK)
FALKIRK: Harry Burgoyne: Jordan McGhee (c), Ciaran McKenna, William Edjenguele, Paul Dixon: Paul Paton, Deimantas Petravicius (Davis Keillor-Dunn 51), Ross MacLean, Abdul Osman, Aaron Jarvis (Nikolai Todorov 59), Zak Rudden (Mark Waddington 90).
SUBS NOT USED: Ian McShane, Tommy Robson, Shayne Lavery, David Mitchell (GK).
SCORERS: Keillor-Dunn (76)
Last Season’s Form
Final League Position: 6th
League Points: 37
League Record: P28 W10 D7 L11 GF41 GA36
Goal Difference: +5
Last Six League & Cup Match Form: LWDDDW
Final League Position: 2nd
League Points: 52
League Record: P28 W14 D10 L4 GF54 GA18
Goal Difference: +36
Last Six League & Cup Match Form: LWWLDW
Dumbarton (A) W 1-0
Stirling Albion (N) D 0-0
Rangers B (A) L 1-3
East Fife (A) W 1-0
Spartans (A) W 3-0
Stenhousemuir (A) D 1-1
Kilmarnock (H) C-C
Ayr United (H) W 3-2
Hearts (A) L 0-3
Raith Rovers (A) L 2-6
East Stirlingshire (H) L 0-1
Above: Aidan Keena in a Pars shirt
Last Time Out
DUNFERMLINE (v Dumbarton): Owain Fôn Williams: Aaron Comrie, Paul Watson, Euan Murray (c), Josh Edwards: Ryan Dow (Fraser Murray 63), Steven Whittaker, Kerr McInroy, Dom Thomas: Kyle Turner (Iain Wilson 73), Kevin O’Hara (Declan McManus 73)
SUBS NOT USED: Lewis McCann, Paul Allan, Miller Fenton, Cammy Gill (GK), Ben Swinton (GK)
FALKIRK (v Ayr United): Robbie Mutch: Scott Mercer, Paul Dixon, Ben Hall, Trialist, Gary Miller (c), Robbie Leitch, Conor Sammon, Aidan Connolly, Akeel Francis, Calumn Morrison
SUBS: Aidan Keena, Morgaro Gomis, Charlie Telfer, Blair Sneddon
It will be a return to East End Park for five players who played for the Pars - Scott Mercer, Mark Durnan, Aidan Connolly, Josh Todd and on loanee Aidan Keena.
Falkirk will know that their top goalscorer Declan McManus, scorer of 24 goals in 34 outings for the Bairns last season, will have to be watched now he is back in the black and white. They will have also noted their former player Kevin O’Hara open his Pars account at Dumbarton on Tuesday night. Enough players on both sides to know how much this fixture means to their supporters.
Referee at East End Park will be Kevin Clancy and the other Betfred game in Group E, Clyde v Dumbarton will played on Saturday.
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