Dunfermline 1 Hearts 0Wednesday, 16th Jul 2008
Pars win Pre Season Friendly against SPL opponents. One up at half time, Dunfermline ended the game with seven player
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Seven of the team that started the final match of last season against Queen of the South started in this pre season friendly. Missing, having departed for Rotherham and Ross County, were Mark Burchill and Scott Morrison while on to the bench went Jim McIntyre and Iain Williamson. There were East End Park debuts for close season signings Austin McCann and Graham Bayne.
The visitors kicked off attacking the goal in front of the empty McCathie Stand and Deivivas Cesnauskis early break up the right to feed Michael Stewart on the right side of the Pars box forced a corner within 50 seconds. Stewart took it but Christophe Berra's strong header went sailing over the crossbar.
After that positive start the midfields of both sides stifled any attacking moves. It was the ninth minute before Scott Muirhead crossed a useful ball in from the left flank that Bayne just failed to reach. Next Kevin Harper earned the applause of the home support after a run down the right and cross that needed Berra's early intervention to thwart the Pars chances.
A free kick in 17th minute floated in from the left by Stewart was firmly headed away from the six yard box but Woods conceded a corner when the white boot of McGowan swung in a good ball from the other side. Fortunately neither side connected with the low ball through the box and Glass whisked away the danger.
Dunfermline created a great opening in 22 minutes when Nick Phinn picked out Burke on the edge of the box but he failed to get the shot in and won only a corner. That was defended but in the next minute Stephen Glass rushed on to the ball on the left side of the penalty area. An inviting square ball caused Kevin Harper and Lee Wallace slide in for it. Next thing it was nicely slipped in at the near post.
Hearts were looking well out of sorts and when their former player, Austin McCann got deep to send over a fine delivery Banks had to be alert to hold Bayne's forceful header. In 35th minute Glass struck the ball wide to Muirhead fired another good cross at Bayne. This time Berra blatantly shoved the former Caley Thistle player off the ball and despite the referee having an excellent view of the action, he refused to penalise the Jambos no.4.
Phinn won possession in midfield to send Harper scurrying away again. He was closed down but the Edinburgh folk in the East Stand were beginning to make their complaints heard. They had every right too since Paul Gallacher was never tested during the first half.
As for Dunfermline well they looked the better team with fewer wayward passes and overstruck balls. The enterprise and work rate of the SFL side meant at half time they were worthy of their lead. Hearts were booed off the park.
Half Time: Dunfermline 1 Hearts 0
Jim McIntyre's side made a confident start to the second half and the visitors were pegged back in their own half until in 51st minute when a Christos Karapidis cross was easily booted clear by Scott Wilson. A Cesnauskis cross from the right was headed behind to safety by Woods but the corner was very ineffective and the ball was immediately forced back into the Hearts half.
When Hearts did get forward again a throw in from the left was cleared by Wilson off Glen but that merely set up Stewart on the 18 yard line but his 'shot' was weak and well wide right. Dunfermline responded with a Harper run that left Phinn with a pop at goal from the right edge but the keeper was not to be tested as it cleared the bar.
At the other end Gallacher pulled off the save of the night to deny an opportunist Cesnauskis chip from 25 yards. The ball looked destined to drop in at the far post until the Pars keeper leapt up to his right to turn the ball around his right hand post.
As the match entered the final quarter the home support again showed their appreciation as their team tried to switch play forward. Unfortunately that was short lived but they defended another Hearts corner after Stewart's cross from the right corner flag was headed into safety by Wilson.
The introduction of young Iain Williamson for Scott Muirhead almost paid immediate dividends. His first touch was a finely weighted pass from the centre circle that was prodded forward by Woods on the right. Williamson chased and won the ball back for Woods to belt into the box but unluckily that was deflected out.
The double substitution that saw youngsters Paul Willis and Harry McGregor replace Scott Thomson and Stephen Glass caused reorganisation with McCann going to join Scott Wilson in central defence. In 81 minutes Stewart's cross was driven on target by Husband but again Gallacher was the equal to it with a good save.
Paul Willis in action
McCann had a great saving tackle as Cesnauskis threatened to walk the ball in and Gallacher was provoked into demonstrating his disapproval of the Jambos unsporting reaction. Scott McBride and sixteen year old Jordan White were given their chances to impress with five minutes remaining but the very young side hung on with gritty defending and the luck of a woeful Stewart strike wide.
For Dunfermline it was a performance that they could be proud of.
DUNFERMLINE: Paul Gallacher; Calum Woods, Scott Wilson (c), Scott Thomson (Paul Willis 76), Austin McCann; Kevin Harper (Scott McBride 85), Nick Phinn, Stephen Glass (Harry McGregor 76), Alex Burke, Scott Muirhead (Iain Williamson 73), Graham Bayne (Jordan White 85).
SUBS: Callum Reidford, Jim McIntyre.
SCORER: Harper (23)
HEARTS: Steven Banks; Christos Karapidis, Christophe Berra (c), Marius Zaliukas, Lee Wallace; Ryan McGowan (Jamie Mole HT), Ruben Palazuelos, Michael Stewart, Gary Glen (Steven Husband 63), Deivivas Cesnauskis, Andrius Ksanavicius
SUBS: Jamie McDonald, David Templeton, Jonathan Brown,
REFEREE: Dougie MacDonald
WEATHER: Sunny 18?C
NEXT MATCH: Pre Season Friendly, Tuesday 22nd July (home) v Dundee United