Dunfermline Athletic

2011: Morton 0 Dunfermline 2

Memorable Match #42
Scottish First Division
Saturday 30th April 2011, Cappielow

The penultimate league match of the 2010-11 First Division season saw Dunfermline travel to play Morton at Cappielow where a 2-0 win secured the three points that were enough to see the Pars win the First Division championship.

Having negotiated heavy traffic on the way into Greenock, Cappielow was full of Pars fans many basking in summer sunshine on the open west terracing. The seated terracing for away fans filled up quickly from before 2.00pm.  There are possibly few more difficult away fixtures in the First Division but Jim McIntyre`s team needed little firing up for this one.

Morton made three changes from the team that lost to Partick Thistle the previous Saturday while Jim McIntyre was without the previous Saturday`s hero, Martin Hardie. Martin had not trained all week after picking up an ankle injury against Raith.

Dunfermline made three changes - Kevin Rutkiewicz, Andy Dowie and Steven McDougall all returning. Striker Liam Buchanan and central defender Chris Higgins dropped to the bench.

The Press box was jammed packed and a great atmosphere was drummed up by the shirt sleeved Pars Army who were soaking up the pre match fever as much as the sunshine. The Morton cheerleaders tried their best to whip up the excitement but the Pars fans were making a far better job of dancing on the terraces.

Morton in their red away strips kicked off attacking the goal in front of the travelling support.  The second of two Pars corners in the eighth minute brought a welcome early opener. Joe Cardle pumped the ball over from the right, Rutkiewicz timed his run well to power his header on target and McDOUGALL turned the ball past Stewart from close in. 0-1

Another corner five minutes later this time from the left saw Andy Kirk head wide at the far post.  Morton were kept well away from the Pars goal and restricted to long shots until an Alex Keddie flick back caught Chris Smith out and two home corners turned some heat on the visiting defence. 

McDougall made the next chance in 29 minutes again creating space on the right to shoot on target.  Stewart beat the ball out and David Graham looked certain to score but his shot from 15 yards was driven wide to the right of goal. Bachirou dispossessed Dowie in midfield to send Morton forward. 

Seven minutes before the interval there was a fright for the Fifers. David O`Brien sprang the right side of the Pars defence sending Peter Weatherson on to a great chance. The Morton no.9 beat Smith but saw his shot brilliantly intercepted on the line by Keddie.

Despite several good chances in the first half, at half time the Fifers were just one up.  Morton have had their moments and if the stress levels are to be limited an early goal in the second half would be good.

Half Time: Morton 0 Dunfermline 1

In the sixth minute the Pars scored that second goal to create a comfort cushion. Mason fed McDougall who in turn prodded the ball out right for David GRAHAM. His options looked limited but he drilled a fantastic finish low into the far side of the Morton net. Great celebrations as the players ran to the away fans in the Main Stand and the travelling support behind the goal spilled on to the pitch. 0-2

With their tails up Dunfermline continued to bother Morton although they had a moment or two of their own. Smith saved, then Rutkiewicz cleared and substitute Pat Clarke had a header into Stewart`s arms.

Nick Phinn came on for the injured Calum Woods. Cardle pulled up with a hamstring problem and was replaced by Liam Buchanan with seven minutes left.  Phinn had a shot deflected for a corner down on the left and the time was soaked up as another followed.

The fans were celebrating the result long before Referee Brian Winter contemplated the minutes required to be added. 17 stewards lined the end behind the Morton goal where the Pars Army were on their feet. It was to be a hopeless case to prevent a pitch invasion.

The final whistle confirmed Dunfermline`s return to the SPL.  It had taken four hard season`s. Jim McIntyre had improved Dunfermline`s position year on year since he took over in January 2008 and this time lifted the ultimate prize.  Well done to Macca, his players and all the backroom staff.

MORTON: Colin Stewart; Stuart McCaffrey,Grant Evans, Kevin McKinlay (Carlo Monti HT), David MacGregor, Allan Jenkins, David O`Brien, Michael Tidser, Fouad Bachirou, Peter Weatherson (Stuart Kean 64), Derek Lyle (Graeme Holmes 73)
SUBS NOT USED: Darren Young, Kevin Cuthbert (GK)

DUNFERMLINE: Chris Smith; Calum Woods (Nick Phinn 75), Kevin Rutkiewicz, Alex Keddie, Austin McCann (c); David Graham, Gary Mason, Andy Dowie, Joe Cardle (Liam Buchanan 83); Steven McDougall (Pat Clarke 64), Andy Kirk.
SUBS NOT USED: Chris Higgins Greg Paterson (GK)
SCORERS: McDougall (8), Graham (51)

REFEREE: Brian Winter
WEATHER: Sunny 19C

NEXT MATCH: (home) SFL First Division v Falkirk
Saturday 7th May 2011, kick off 3:00pm

Morton vs Dunfermline
Sat, 30th Apr 2011

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