Dunfermline hosted Arbroath at East End Park on Tuesday night as the Pars looked to bounce back from Saturday’s defeat at Tannadice. Arbroath have had a strong start to the season and won the first encounter between the sides at Gayfield earlier in the season. Dunfermline having won their first home game since March in their last outing at East End Park were looking to start to string some home wins together and climb up the league table.
Stevie Crawford made two changes to the starting lineup, Kevin Nisbet returned to the team in place of Harry Cochrane to partner Andy Ryan up top for the Pars. The other change was the more surprising one as the Dunfermline manager swapped his goalkeeper’s, bring Ryan Scully back in to the side in place of Cammy Gill. A shaky performance from Gill on Saturday seemed to have persuaded Crawford to make a change who brings back in Scully who’s last game was against Arbroath were he made a poor mistake for the games only goal. The tale of the Dunfermline ‘keepers is a curious one but one thing is for sure, Stevie Crawford isn’t afraid of changing them up if he feels the need to.
The first half, was easily one of the worst 45 minutes of football I’ve ever seen. Pretty turgid stuff from both sides with the exception of perhaps the first 5 or so minute where the Pars started well. The only real thing of note that’s worth mentioning was the very physical approach from Dick Campbell’s side, admittedly this wasn’t very surprising however the number of fouls in the first half really prevented the Pars from being able to build any sort of momentum. One particular late tackle on Lee “Zidane” Ashcroft was enough to infuriate the Dunfermline centre half and on another day could have result in a red card for the Arbroath player.
The second half was in truth, a lot better. Credit must go to the Pars players and manager as the team came out firing in the second half. Kevin Nisbet went close with a volley from inside the box however his effort lacked power and went straight at the ‘keeper. The Pars striker had his tail up in the second half and was rewarded for his efforts as he put his side in front. Captain Paul Paton played a lovely ball down the line to Andy Ryan, who cut the ball back to Kevin Nisbet who sent the keeper the wrong way with a smart finish.
The opening goal lifted the East End Park crowd and the Pars continued to push forward to increase their lead. Paul Paton was again influential as the Pars got their second, he played a lovely cross in to Kevin Nisbet and the striker made no mistake as he grabbed his and his team’s second goal.
Ryan Scully came back and kept a clean sheet, and despite not really being tested that often he did deal with everything that came his way. Lee Ashcroft put in yet another sold performance as he continues his good form. Paul Paton was superb, the captain has played very well recently and was involved in both goals for the Pars. The front two worked well together, Andy Ryan did well and set up his partner for the first goal. Finally, Kevin Nisbet, two big goals not just for the team but for Nisbet himself as the striker gets back amongst the goals. Hopefully now he can kick on and go on a scoring run.
This was a big win for Dunfermline. Having finally won their first home game since March against Ayr, putting two consecutive home wins together will be a big plus for Stevie Crawford. This three points have boosted the Pars up to 6th position in the league and with Queen of the South visiting East End End on Saturday and the possibility of another home win, there is now a big chance for Dunfermline to push towards the playoffs.