Dunfermline Athletic

Fixtures : 2020-2021 : Hearts

Sat, 3rd Apr 2021 Kick Off: 15:00

Dunfermline 0 Hearts 0

Saturday, 3rd Apr 2021

Scottish Championship: Vytas Gašpuitis makes his starting debut as one of four changes.

Dunfermline welcomed league leaders Hearts to East End Park on a beautiful spring afternoon. Both sides came together on the back of disappointing results and there would be little doubts that players on both sides would be really up to bury the memory of recent results.

Stevie Crawford made four changes bringing in Iain Wilson, Dom Thomas, Declan McManus and Vytas Gašpuitis, returning from international duty with Lithuania to make his starting debut for the Pars.

Hearts had players back from international duty and so Craig Gordon and Michael Smith were two of five coming into Robbie Neilson’s team. Peter Haring, Euan Henderson and new signing from Aberdeen, Shay Logan were the others coming in and those out were Andy Halliday, Christophe Berra, Armand Gnanduillet and Mihai Popescu.

Kevin O’Hara got the match underway with Dunfermline attacking the goal at the away end. The home side had early possession but Hearts began to get their act together and took play into the Pars half without being able to get near the penalty box. Gordon had an easy take from a 12th minute free kick flighted in from the left by Thomas.

First shot on target came in 18th minutes, that was from Aaron McNeff and it was comfortably taken by Owain Fôn Williams. Within the same minute Scott Banks was put through by McManus one on one against Craig Gordon but under pressure from the chasing Aidan White, he sent his shot outside the left goalpost.

O’Hara forced a 21st minute corner on the right off Aidan White but when Thomas centred the referee’s whistle blew up play for something he saw. Six minutes later Gary MacKay-Steven cut inside from the left, chose not to release a right footed shot but instead chose to pick out McNeff who shot high over the crossbar from 18 yards out.

With six Hearts players strung out along a line eight yards out, Gordon held another free kick flighted in from the left by Thomas. Then in 32 minutes McManus broke from his own half and with Banks and O’Hara sprinting through he chose the latter and his effort was sent wide left as Gordon came out to narrow the angle.

Back at the other end a Hearts corner afforded Liam Boyce the opportunity to get away a shot that too went wide left. Andy Irving’s short taken setplay was played back to him by Henderson and Boyce made a good run from the far goalpost to the edge of the box to meet the chance.

Next a Henderson ball across the six yard box just evaded Boyce at the far post. A Dunfermline chance fell to Josh Edwards receiving an O`Hara pass in the left side of the Hearts box but his attempt went wide left. In 43 minutes O’Hara again latched on to a defence splitting McManus pass, this time he forced a good save out of Gordon saving low at his left hand post.

The capital side had the bulk of the first half possession but the Fifers had four good chances running on to through balls from McManus that they had managed to fail to take.

Half time: Dunfermline 0 Hearts 0

The home side created a chance within two minutes of the restart, Thomas crossing from the left, Wilson knocking down for McManus to try an overhead kick that went wide.

Next minute a good cross from Banks resulted in a corner on left after Haring had headed over his own crossbar and when Thomas delivered Vytas Gašpuitis was desperately unlucky to hit the crossbar with a powerful header.

There were two corners in quick succession for Hearts. The first from the left was tipped away by Fon Wiilliams and when Henderson delivered the next from the right, Haring came close at the far post but sent his attempt wide of Fon Williams goal.

Hearts best chance of the match possibly came in 53 minutes when a Boyce effort was well saved by Fon Williams. Play was disrupted with three Hearts substitutions but when
Armand Gnanduillet was introduced for McNeff in 71 minutes, he immediately found himself with a chance but he sent his effort way over the bar. Then an Irving free kick from in front of the Hearts dug out failed to create the opportunity for the seven Hearts players challenging to get on the end of the cross.

McManus was unfortunate to be penalised for a challenge on Hearts sub Steven Naismith and when he swept the setpiece over from the left the Pars defence did its job. Fraser Murray was the Pars first sub in 79 minutes replacing Scott Banks but it was Hearts that continued to threaten with Boyce on the left side of the Pars box setting up Naismith but Fon Williams dived bravely on the ball.

In 88 minute Ewan Henderson called for Fraser Murray to pass into space deep down the left. He was taken down just as he promised to get into the Hearts box and Thomas delivered for Pars skipper Euan Murray to test Gordon with a really good header. The save a really good one with an outstretched left leg.

There was one final chance for the home side Henderson and Fraser Murray combining in similar fashion as before bringing a desperate clearance away from the six yard box.

The result took Dunfermline back into the play-off places and ended a run of three consecutive league defeats.

DUNFERMLINE: Owain Fôn Williams: Aaron Comrie, Vytas Gašpuitis, Euan Murray (c), Josh Edwards: Scott Banks (Fraser Murray 79), Iain Wilson, Lewis Mayo, Dom Thomas: Kevin O’Hara (Ewan Henderson 84), Declan McManus (Lewis McCann 89).
SUBS NOT USED: Kyle Macdonald, Kerr McInroy, Paul Allan, Cammy Gill (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Wilson (90+3)

HEARTS: Craig Gordon: Shay Logan, Michael Smith, Craig Halkett, Aidan White (Mihai Popescu 61): Euan Henderson (Steven Naismith 65), Peter Haring, Andy Irving, Gary MacKay-Steven: Aaron McEneff (Armand Gnanduillet 71), Liam Boyce.
SUBS NOT USED: John Souter, Jamie Walker, Scott McGill, Ross Stewart (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Smith (90+6)

REFEREE: Colin Steven
WEATHER: Sunny 13°C

NEXT MATCH: Scottish Championship: (away) v Ayr United, Saturday 10th April 2021 at Somerset Park, kick off 3.00pm behind closed doors

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Preview Hearts

Saturday, 3rd Apr 2021

Scottish Championship (home) v Hearts, Saturday 3rd April 2021, kick off 3.00pm at East End Park behind closed doors

Tuesday night’s defeat to Raith Rovers was a painful experience for team, management and fans but that has to be put behind everyone very quickly. There are six league matches remaining and if Dunfermline win them they will finish in a play off place.

Now that may sound straight forward but for a team that was undefeated in their first eleven fixtures, they have now won just four times in the last eighteen. If there is to be any success the early season form needs to be rediscovered fast. Losing to Hearts would take the Pars destiny out of their own hands and the Jambos have not proven easy to take points off even at East End.

Milestones v Hearts (Home)

Last Victory | 20/11/20 | 2-1 | Scottish Championship
Last Defeat | 18/08/18 | 0-1 | League Cup
Best Victory | 02/01/69 | 4-2 | Div One*
Worst Defeat | 26/11/55 | 0-5 | Div A*
Last Goalless Draw | 28/02/04 | 0-0 | Premier League
First ever meeting | 18/12/26 | 0-2 | First Division*
*Pre league reconstruction

Last meeting at East End Park

Friday 20th November 2020, Scottish Championship

Dunfermline 2 Hearts 1

After a goalless first half the second got off to the best possible start. Fôn Williams held a low Lee corner and sent Dow away up the park. Play continued up the right from a Mayo throw in McInroy turned the ball back for Dom THOMAS who picked up the ball and drove in from the right along the edge of the box before releasing a powerful left footed shot that took a slight deflection off Popescu before bulging the net. Just the fourth minute of the half and 1-0.

Thomas created more danger minutes later cutting in from the right and from the byeline just failing to connect with Turner. The defence intercepted to concede a 54th minute corner on the right but when Thomas delivered his target man Euan MURRAY was right there to head past Gordon from close in for number two. 2-0

The Jambos pressed to try and get back into the game and Stephen KINGSLEY brought them joy heading in from an Irving corner from the right six minutes from time. 2-1

Dunfermline held on however and went top of the league. The unbeaten run extended to 13 games.

DUNFERMLINE: Owain Fôn Williams: Lewis Mayo, Paul Watson, Euan Murray (c), Josh Edwards: Steven Whittaker: Ryan Dow, Kerr McInroy, Dom Thomas (Fraser Murray 85): Kyle Turner: Declan McManus (Kevin O’Hara 83).
SUBS NOT USED: Aaron Comrie, Iain Wilson, Matty Bowman, Lewis McCann, Cammy Gill (GK)
SCORERS: Thomas (49), E Murray (54)
YELLOW CARD: Whittaker (56), Williams (78), Edwards (82), Dow (90+4)

HEARTS: Craig Gordon: Michael Smith, Craig Halkett, Mihai Popescu, Stephen Kingsley: Craig Wighton (Jordan Roberts 63), Olly Lee (Andy Irving 76), Andy Halliday, Steven Naismith (c), Elliott Frear (Jamie Walker 52): Liam Boyce.
SUBS NOT USED: Jamie Brandon, Aidan White, Christophe Berra, Ross Stewart (GK).

Dunfermline have recorded two wins in the last dozen games between the teams, with two draws, and eight defeats. The Pars win in November was just their second win over Hearts in the last nine home meetings.

Last Twelve Matches v Hearts

Date | H/A | F-A | Scorers
30/01/21 | A 0-1 [0-1] Walker
20/11/20 | H 2-1 [1-0] Thomas, [2-0] E Murray, [2-1] Kingsley
18/08/18 | H 0-1 [0-1] Lee
29/07/17 | A 2-2 [0-1] Cowie [1-1], Cardle, [2-1] McManus [2-2] Gonçalves
07/04/12 | H 1-2 [0-1] Glen, [0-2] Keddie og, [1-2] Zaliukas og
17/12/11 | A 0-4 [0-1] Elliot, [0-2] Taouil, [0-3] Templeton, [0-4] Skacel
15/10/11 | H 0-2 [0-1] Webster, [0-2] Skacel
23/09/09 | A 1-2 [1-0] Bayne, [1-1] Glen, [1-2] Stewart pen.
25/09/07 | A 1-4 [0-1] Nade pen [1-1] Simmonds, [1-2] Berra, [1-3] Elliot, [1-4] Elliot
03/02/07 | H 1-0 [1-0] Wilson
02/01/07 | H 0-1 [0-1] Pospisal
28/10/06 | A 1-1 [0-1] Velicka [1-1] Hamilton

Recent Form

Dunfermline have won only once in their last six games. At home their record is better with seven wins, one draw and two defeats.

Hearts have won two, drawn two and lost two of their last six matches. It includes the first time that they have lost back to back games since December 2019.

Raith Rovers (A) L 1-5
Dundee (A) L 2-3
Morton (A) D 0-0
Inverness Caley Thistle (H) L 0-1
Morton (H) W 1-0
Queen of the South (A) L 0-1

Queen of the South (H) L 2-3
Brora Rangers (A) L 1-2
Arbroath (A) D 0-0
Ayr United (H) W 2-0
Dundee (H) W 2-1
Inverness Caley Thistle (A) D 1-1

Current League Stats

League Position: 5th
League Points: 30
Goal Difference: +10
League Record: P21 W8 D6 L7 GF30 GA28
Last Six Match Form: LWLDLL

League Position: 1st
League Points: 46
Goal Difference: +26
League Record: P22 W14 D4 L4 GF50 GA24
Last Six Match Form: DWWDLL

Last Time Out

DUNFERMLINE (v Raith Rovers):
Owain Fôn Williams: Aaron Comrie, Lewis Mayo, Euan Murray (c), Josh Edwards: Scott Banks (Lewis McCann HT), Ewan Henderson (Declan McManus 60), Kerr McInroy (Iain Wilson HT), Fraser Murray: Kevin O’Hara, Craig Wighton.
SUBS NOT USED: Kyle Macdonald, Paul Allan, Dom Thomas, Cammy Gill (GK)

HEARTS (v Queen of the South): Ross Stewart: Craig Halkett, Mihai Popescu, Christophe Berra, Aidan White: Andy Halliday, Andy Irving: Gary MacKay-Steven (Jamie Walker 63), Aaron McEneff (Euan Henderson 70), Armand Gnanduillet, Liam Boyce
SUBS NOT USED: Peter Haring, Elliott Frear, Gervane Kastaneer, Scott McGill, Zdenek Zlamal (GK)

Referee will be Colin Steven, only his second Dunfermline match of the season. The Pars won 4-1 the last time he officiated in the home match against Raith Rovers in February.

Other Championship Fixture
Arbroath v Ayr United

Remaining Dunfermline fixtures:-
03/04/21 - Hearts (H)
10/04/21 - Ayr United (A)
13/04/21 - Dundee (H)
17/04/21 - Queen of the South (H)
24/04/21 - Arbroath (H)
30/04/21 - Alloa Athletic (A)

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