Dunfermline Athletic v Stenhousemuir at East End Park, Dunfermline on 8.3.14
SPFL Division One Att 2,510
Dunfermline Athletic 0 Stenhousemuir 0
For this game the Warriors had Scott Booth in charge for the first time, and he would be struggling to get a tougher first assignment then Dunfermline at East End Park. The Fifers have been free scoring in their recent home games and were looking to continue that run. Stenhousemuir were hoping to stop that run and in the first half the game plan looked to be to frustrate the home side and take the sting out of their attack.
Dunfemline’s first real opening came in the 5th minute with a counter attack following a Stenhousemuir corner and it ended with ex-Par Chris Smith tipping a diving header by Shaun Byrne round the post. A minute later Stephen Husband dragged a shot wide after the visitors had failed to clear their lines after the resultant corner was not cleared properly.
In the 9th minute the home side were gifted an opportunity after Nicky Devlin stood on the ball and this allowed Lawrence Shankland in but the striker on loan from Aberdeen was thwarted by an alert Chris Smith who saved the day with a fine tackle as the striker was poised to score.
Stenhousemuir were struggling to cope with the gusty wind and could not get going at all. They were almost the architects of their own downfall once again in the 21st minute when a David Rowson cross field free kick was picked off by Andy Geggan who fed Danny Grainger who burst into the box before tumbling following a Nicky Devlin tackle. There was contact but the referee could have been influenced by the way the Dunfermline player went down as it looked theatrical in its execution.
The Warriors were rarely seen as an attacking force but they did come close in the 32nd when a Sean Higgins free kick was scrambled out for a corner and then David Rowson headed just wide from 12 yards.
As the half progressed there were more chances for Dunfermline with Husband and Shankland coming close before the best chance fell to Shankland in the 41st minute when he held off an off balance Stewart Greacen before firing wide of the target with just the keeper to beat.
The half ended with no scoring and the second started in similar fashion with Stenhousemuir continuing to frustrate the opposition. At times it was just a case of getting enough bodies behind the ball and this was exemplified in the 48th minute when Greacen made a diving header out for a corner after Eddie Malone gave the ball away cheaply and then Chris Smith did well to keep the corner out of the net under pressure from the Dunfermline attackers.
There was a better passage of play for Stenhousemuir at the other end in the 58th minute when the ball fell to Ross McMillan after a free kick wasn’t cleared but the defender was unable make contact and the danger was cleared.
There was a real escape for Stenhousemuir in the 64th minute when a Ross Forbes corner was dropped by Chris Smith and Danny Grainger reacted quickly but his effort from close range struck the post.
The Warriors brought on Errol Douglas to support Sean Higgins in the 67th minute as they tried to open the game up in an attacking sense. A couple of minutes later Ryan Williamson did well to deny Sean Dickson as he hoped to latch onto a Devlin cross.
In the 74th minute a fine cross by Ross Millen was missed by three Pars players when a touch by any of them could have resulted in a goal. In the last ten minutes the Warriors were more positive in their play and Ross McNeil and Douglas combined only to see the latter’s shot drift just over the bar. This was followed by a McMillan header that went just over the bar.
The Warriors were more vulnerable at the other end though and Allan Smith saw an effort blocked for a corner. It came to nothing though and the play transferred to the other end and Jonathon Page was grateful to clear after the ball would not fall for Errol Douglas.
In all three meetings between the clubs this season Dunfermline have scored in the 90th minute or later and Ryan Thomson saw an effort saved by Chris Smith in the 90th minute. Smith then denied Husband in the 93rd minute. The last chance though fell to David Rowson a minute later but his effort was blocked by Grainger.
In the end this was the first no score draw for Stenhousemuir this season and at times it was not pretty. The plan to frustrate Dunfermline worked but the part to go on and secure all three points just failed in its execution.
Dunfermline Athletic – Scully, Millen [Williamson 67], Grainger, Page, Morris, Geggan, El Bakhtaoui [Smith 55], Husband, Shankland [Thomson 67], Byrne and Forbes. Subs not used – Dargo, Martin, Spence and Williamson.
Stenhousemuir – C.Smith, Devlin, Greacen, McMillan, Malone [b22], Hodge [b58], D.Smith [Douglas 67], Rowson, Higgins, Dickson [McNeil 81] and Lynch [McKinlay 73]. Subs not used – Ferguson, Faulds, Shaw and Watt.
Referee –Crawford Allan Assistants – Andy Tait and Steven Traynor
|March 8, 2014||3:00 pm||SPFL Ladbrokes League 1||2013/2014||90'|
|East End Park, Dunfermline|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|