Dunfermline 1 Huddersfield Town 2
DUNFERMLINE 1 HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 2
Huddersfield Town were the opposition for the Pars only home pre season friendly. For home fans it was the first chance to see in action the new signings - Paul Gallacher, Jason Thomson and Paul Burns. The Yorkshire outfit had signed Calum Woods in the close season so it was at East End Park that Calum made his debut for Huddersfield.
The Englishmen played Hamilton on Sunday, winning 2-1, but there were just two survivors from that starting eleven on the park when the guests kicked off attacking the goal in front of the empty McCathie Stand . It was Dunfermline who produced the first shot on target after just 65 seconds. Paul Burns made the break on the right and his pass to Steven McDougall allowed the Pars striker a pop at goal but Ian Bennett held at his near post.
Huddersfield tested Gallacher in ten minutes when Jordan Rhodes, son of former Pars keeper Andy, tried a shot from 16 yards. Then five minutes later Rhodes came oh so close to converting a Gary Roberts cross at the far post.
Dunfermline then pulled out a fantastic flowing move to crack the visitors defence. Hardie made the move sending Burns through. The new man laced the ball right again to Thomson and his cross was met perfectly by McDOUGALL to stick it past the keeper in 20th minute.
The rain came pelting down but it did not dampen Dunfermline's resolve, Burns and then Rutkiewicz picked out the strikers in the box but both times they were closed down by the opposition defence. Woods helped out belting his pass on to the back of his midfielder and McDougall grabbed the opportunity to drive and shoot but he was not to beat the keeper.
Even heavier rain in 35 minutes but Gary Roberts was allowed to stick a penetrating pass into the Pars box that thankfully caused the defence no real problem. Oscar Gobern fired a shot from distance but was well wide and high. The Terriers came into the game more stringing a good sequence of passes together and it looked like Dunfermline had made the crucial intervention on the top of the box but with two Pars men looking at each other RHODES grasped the chance and sent the ball sailing past Gallacher from 25 yards. 1-1 with 39 minutes on the clock.
The Pars then found themselves behind three minutes later. They had five defenders in the box but clearly not enough when RHODES is about. The Huddersfield striker showed why he was their top goalscorer last season by producing another fine shot to beat Gallacher at his left hand post.
Before the half time whistle Gallacher had to pull off a good save to touch a fine effort over the bar. The half ended with Dunfermline defending and Huddersfield definitely with their tails up.
Half Time: Dunfermline 1 Huddersfield Town 2
The play resumed as the Fife monsoon continued in earnest and McDougall tested the visitors' keeper early on but Bennett held well despite the slippery conditions. Woods was spared the soaking when he was substituted in 54 minutes narrowly missing coming up against his old mate, Joe Cardle who was brought on four minutes later. Three subs came on with Cardle, Andy Barrowman and Paul Willis replacing, Graham, Burns and Andy Kirk.
Willis almost made an immediate impact and the crowd made lengthy appeals after the young winger's shot appeared to be halted by a hand. No penalty. At the other end Lee Novak capitalised on a slip up in defence but blasted his shot over Gallacher's crossbar.
The ball was beginning to stick in the wet grass and the efforts to drudge the ball out of the watersodden pitch at times became comical. Donal McDermott was a 66th minute sub and he started to create danger along the outside of the Pars box.
Players adapted well to the 'waterpolo' and the standard was remarkably good but it was a plough through the water by Bennett that gave the Pars a 75th minute corner. That was defended and then it was Huddersfield on the attack again. Gallacher stopped a good drive by McCombe as he got up to have a go.
Cardle managed to run into the box and release the ball for Willis but despite a splash-amash at the far post the ball stayed out.
The game finished with a sizeable puddle on the far side in front of the McCathie Stand and would have been abandoned had it been a competitive fixture. There were better conditions at Victoria Park two seasons ago when the match was postponed before the kick off. Hopefully both managers got what they wanted from the game, we can only hope for better weather come Monday.
DUNFERMLINE: Paul Gallacher; Jason Thomson, Kevin Rutkiewicz, Alex Keddie (John Potter 79), Austin McCann (c) (Paddy Boyle 73); Paul Burns (Paul Willis 58), Gary Mason (Andy Dowie 79), Martin Hardie (Ryan Thomson 73), David Graham (Joe Cardle 58); Steven McDougall (Liam Buchanan 73), Andy Kirk (Andy Barrowman 58)
SUBS NOT USED: Chris Smith.
SCORER: McDougall (20)
YELLOW CARD: Mason (54)
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN: Iam Bennett; Calum Woods Jack Hunt 54), Peter Clarke (c) (Anthony Kay 11), Jamie McCombe, Gary Naysmith, Gary Roberts, Oscar Gobern, Tommy Miller, Danny Ward (Donal McDermott 65), Jordan Rhodes (Alan Lee 73), Lee Novak (Danny Cadamarteri 73).
SUBS NOT USED: Nick Colgan (GK), Liam Cooper, Aidan Chippendale, Chris Atkinson, Matt Crooks.
SCORER: Rhodes (39, 42)
REFEREE: George Salmond
WEATHER: Damp 15C
NEXT MATCH: (home) SPL v St Mirren
Monday 25th July 2011 kick off 7.45pm