Reserves v HeartsTuesday, 17th Sep 2019
SPFL Reserve League: Oliver Bozanic (30 pen.) 1-0: Gabby McGill (38) 1-1: Aidan Keena (49 pen.) 2-1: Kieran Mitchell (80) 2-2: Rory Currie (85) 3-2:
HEARTS RESERVES 3 DUNFERMLINE RESERVES 2
Yet again penalties proved the Pars’ undoing as they went down to Hearts by the odd goal in five at this Scottish Reserve League fixture in the capital. Gabby McGill (38) had equalised Oliver Bozanic’s 30th minute penalty as the scores were level at half-time. Another penalty, this time converted by Aidan Keena (49) restored the Jam Tarts’ lead, only for substitute Kieran Mitchell to score against his former team. Rory Currie won the game for the home side with 5 minutes remaining.
The former schools playing fields at Meggetland have been retitled as a “Sports Complex” – as well as Boroughmuir High School activities they also host American Football, rugby (of course), hockey, cricket and nowadays East of Scotland club Tynecastle FC. Hearts have been playing reserve matches at the Oriam Centre but this fixture was switched to the more central venue.
Greg Shields named a strong line up in a 4-4-2 formation, captained by Paul Brown at left back, featuring Morrison and Bragg at centre back and Matty Bowman as right back in front of keeper Scully. Paul Allan and Matthew Todd were handed central roles, Lewis Sawers was wide right, Josh Coley in his favoured left-winger role, and Gabby McGill and Andy Ryan formed the front pairing.
In contrast Andy Kirk’s side looked to play more of a 4-1-4-1 formation with former loanee Aidan Keena leading the line, and featuring first team squad members Morrison, Bozanic and Dikamona.
Hearts kicked off towards the Slateford end and dominated the opening minutes. Bragg had to put in a telling block within the first minute, Brown conceded a corner 3 minutes later as Sandison and Henderson combined to good effect, and Scully reacted well, diving to his right to push away a deflected free-kick.
However, the best early chance fell to the Pars in 10 minutes as a Todd pass sent Ryan clear, but he shot past the right-hand post.
Play was pretty even, Greg Shields constantly providing positional advice to his charges from the side-lines and urging his players to talk to each other. Referee Calder allowed play to continue as the Pars broke after Ryan was fouled, but first Todd then Bowman had shots blocked.
But it was Hearts who took the lead, Kelty boy Sandison was tripped inside the box by Bowman, and BOZANIC scored from the spot with ease.
The Pars hit back – an early ball from Scully allowing Ryan to cause the Hearts’ defence some problems but Mason saved well, before the Pars equalised in 38 minutes. Todd sent Coley clear on the left, his first time cross to the back-post wasn’t properly cleared by Sandison and McGILL bundled home from close range.
Half Time: Hearts 1 Dunfermline 1
Hearts again started well, and Scully was forced into an early save from Moore, but the Pars keeper could do nothing to stop KEENA scoring from the spot in 49 minutes after the same player had been tripped by Bragg.
The Pars began to show more urgency, winning a number of corners which were taken by Bowman, but the nearest they came to the target was a Morrison header which landed on the roof of the net. Next Todd was played in and turned the ball back to Ryan but his shot was more like a rugby conversion, high over the bar. Meanwhile Scully was the busier of the two keepers, blocking from the other Morrison, before saving from the same player after a loose goal-kick.
Just after the hour, the Pars made what looked like a pre-determined raft of changes. After skim reading the 5 acetate slides of advice – presumably telling them their positions for corners and so on, Jordan, Coulson and Graham replaced Morrison, Coley and Ryan, then shortly after Mitchell came on for McGill and Watson for Todd (albeit moving to left back with Brown moving to the middle).
Calumn Morrison was proving a handful – in 73 minutes he got away from his man and Scully bravely saved from the feet of Currie, before Jordan blocked the follow-up.
The game had become more free-flowing. Connor Smith (Calum’s brother) went close for Hearts before the Pars equalised in 80 minutes – MITCHELL latched onto Graham’s through ball, took the ball wide of the keeper and coolly slotted home from the angle. Four minutes later, the same player worked himself a shooting chance but couldn’t find the target.
It looked as though the Pars had done enough for a share of the points, but with 5 minutes of regulation time left the home side scored what proved to be the winner. Substitute Watson got down the left and his cross picked out CURRIE who took a touch before finding the corner of the net.
SUBS NOT USED: Daniel Baur, Christopher Hamilton, Scott McGill, Kevin Silva (GK).
SCORERS: Bozanic (30 pen.), Keena (48 pen), Currie (85)
YELLOW CARD: Smith (78)
DUNFERMLINE: Ryan Scully, Matthew Bowman, Thomas Bragg, Stuart Morrison (Gregor Jordan 63), Paul Brown (c): Lewis Sawers, Paul Allan, Matthew Todd (Lennon Watson 67), Josh Coley (Quinn Coulson 63): Gabby McGill (Kieran Mitchell 67), Andy Ryan (Cameron Graham 63).
SUBS NOT USED: Craig Burt (GK)
SCORERS: McGill (38), Mitchell (80)
YELLOW CARD: Brown (55)
REFEREE: George Calder
WEATHER: Cloudy 14C
NEXT MATCH: SPFL Reserve Cup (away) v Motherwell, Monday 23rd September 2019, 2.00pm kick off at Broadwood
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