Dunfermline 0 Queens Park 1Saturday, 7th May 2022
cinch Championship play-off semi-final, 2nd leg: Martin in for Edwards. Simon Murray (89) 0-1
Dunfermline Athletic were relegated to Scottish League One as a consequence of losing the semi final play off with Queens Park. Relegation was sealed with this 1-0 home defeat but the outcome was due to a thoroughly disappointing season.
It was winner take all at East End Park in this the second leg of the cinch Championship semi final play offs with Queens Park standing between the Pars and a final against either Airdrieonians or Montrose.
Manager John Hughes made just one change from his first leg selection, Lewis Martin making his first start since 5th February in coming in for the absent Josh Edwards. Queens Park brought in Jai Quitongo and Luca Connell, so Darren Lyon and Louis Longridge found themselves on the bench beside another former Dunfermline player, Stuart Morrison.
The visitors kick off attacking the goal in front of the McCathie Stand and it was there in the third minute that Jakub Stolarczyk had to pull off the first save. Bob McHugh took the ball to the left side of the Pars box and his pass found Connell in front of goal but the young Polish keeper pulled off a crucial save with his outstretched right hand.
An eighth minute challenge on Connor Smith by Ryan Dow resulted in a Queens free kick and two corners from the right followed from that but neither created a chance for the Spiders.
Dunfermline pushed forward with Dorrans, Todd, Lawless and Dow all trying to penetrate the visitors defence to no avail before in 22 minutes Efe Ambrose had to cut out a dangerous ball into the six yard box from Quitongo. Then a Connell free kick from midway into the Dunfermline box picked out Charlie Fox and Stolarczyk had to save the header.
First real Dunfermline chance came in 25 minutes when Dow from the right side of the box drilled the ball narrowly wide left. Pressure continued with Dow setting up Lawless but Tommy Robson blocked his shot and very quickly thereafter Dow crashed another shot from outside the box over the bar.
The home side got a break when Fox failed to usher the ball out on the right but O’Hara smashed the resultant chance over the bar. Then on the half hour Todd knocked the ball down in front of goal for Lawless to shoot but he too sent the effort over the bar.
A swift flowing move saw the ball move up the park from Dorrans to Polworth, Todd and back to Polworth whose shot from the right side of the box was deflected away for a corner on the left. The 35th minute corner was sent over by Dorrans and Ambrose was really unfortunate to see his shot from close in kept out on the line by the keeper’s right foot. The assault ended with Dow chipping an attempt narrowly over the crossbar.
Next Polworth has an effort blocked and Dorrans found himself with an opportunity from the edge of box but his shot slid wide left. A poor clearance from Ferrie led to a 41st minute Pars corner. Lawless took it short to O’Hara and when returned he picked out Ambrose at the far post but his header was kept out.
60% Pars possession in the first half with the stats showing 14 shots to Queen’s Park’s two.
Half time: Dunfermline 0 Queen’s Park 0
Bright sunshine greeted the second half and there was an early corner with Martin and Dow combining on the left and Dow’s shot after 40 seconds earning a corner on the right. Unfortunately advantage could not be taken from that but the play continued well into the opposition half.
In 55 minutes Simon Murray was the first sub of the match, within three he was taken down by Ambrose and referee Craig Napier showed red to the Nigerian internationalist. Connell drove the subsequent free kick into the defensive wall.
Dunfermline reacted with a double substitution in 63 minutes with Dan Pybus and Aaron Comrie thrown on in place of Joe Chalmers and Ryan Dow.
The home side then has a good chance from a free kick 20 yards out in line with the right edge of the Queens box. Lawless delivered an inviting ball that was met by Coll Donaldson but his header cleared the bar. In 77 minutes Lawless played another free kick into the Queen’s box, Donaldson met it again and again Ferrie held.
Three minutes later a rare opportunity for the Glasgow side came from a Smith cross and Murray’s header dropped just wide of the right goalpost. Five minutes from full time a counterattack saw Murray travel down the left and tee up Fox on the edge of the box. He had time to compose himself but fired over the bar.
The warning had been registered but in 89th minute Queens Park scored when McHugh cut back for MURRAY in front of goal to finish. 0-1. That turned out to be the fatal blow for the ten man Fifers.
Five added minutes and the introduction of Lewis McCann and Bobby Kamwa saw a big push. O`Hara had a great chance that he could not convert but there was to be no way back. League One football for Dunfermline Athletic next season.
SUBS NOT USED: Nikolay Todorov, Rhys Breen, Dom Thomas, Reece Cole, Deniz Mehmet (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Pybus (65), Dorrans (87)
RED CARD: Ambrose (58)
QUEENS PARK: Calum Ferrie: Michael Doyle (c), Peter Grant, Charlie Fox, Tommy Robson: Luca Connell, Jake Davidson (Louis Longridge 67), Liam Brown (Jack Thomson 67), Connor Smith (Connor McBride 81): Jai Quitongo (Simon Murray 55), Bob McHugh,
SUBS NOT USED: Darren Lyon, Stuart Morrison, Luis Longstaff, Ronan Darcy, Jacques Heraghty (GK).
SCORERS: Murray (89)
YELLOW CARD: Davidson (62), Smith (75)
REFEREE: Craig Napier
WEATHER: Dry 13°C
50/50 Half time Draw- Winning Ticket number – 04674. Prize Fund - £550
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Sat, 7th May 2022
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Sat, 7th May 2022
Graham Dorrans post Queen`s Park
Sat, 7th May 2022
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Preview Queens Park Second LegSaturday, 7th May 2022
cinch Championship play-off semi-final, 2nd leg (home) v Queen`s Park, Saturday 7th May, kick-off 3.00pm at East End Park
Having played out a goalless draw on Wednesday night in the first leg at Firhill, Queen’s Park and Dunfermline go again on Saturday afternoon. The League One side will fancy their chances and no doubt will try and hold on and frustrate the home side for as long as possible in the hope that they can turn their fans against them.
John Hughes is confident however that on the better playing surface his players will come out on top and progress to the following week’s play off finals. The Dunfermline manager conceded that, given the Firhill pitch that he felt did not merit holding a play off match on, 0-0 was a decent result.
“It was never going to be a high scoring game, the pitch is not slick enough. I’m not blaming the pitch, it is what it is. You have to adjust and have to adapt - it is the same for both sides and you get on with it.
“I think we adapted very well. We went to Firhill two weeks ago to play Partick Thistle and went with a whole different style. It was terrible, horrible, horrible game. At least on Wednesday night I felt that we got on the ball and tried to pass it.
“I think we dominated most of the game, so on Saturday I’m hoping that we can get the job done. It is never easy, you always have to look at the opposition and give them credit. Football is a funny old game, when you put your guard down it has a great habit of catching you out.
“We are going to be concentrating and ready to go for Saturday. It will be a right tough football match but the fans will be out in their numbers. If they get right behind us, we play with a high intensity and get at it I think we will be a better team for it.”
Milestones Queens Park (Home)
Last Victory: 08/10/16 2-1 Challenge Cup Cup
Last Defeat: 12/08/78 0-3 Division Two*
Best Victory: 20/09/72 5-1 Division Two*
Worst Defeat: 22/12/49 1-6 Division Two*
Last Goalless Draw: 08/03/86 Second Division
First Ever Meeting: 17/03/23: 0-0 Division Two*
* Pre Reconstruction
Last Time at East End Park
Irn Bru Challenge Cup, Saturday 8th October 2016
Dunfermline 2 Queen`s Park 1
Half time sub Farid El Alagui scored all three goals with the deadlock broken within three minutes of his appearance. Muir turned the ball around his left hand post for a corner anmd when Paton swung the ball over from the right, Martin headed down for El ALAGUI to stick it away from six yards out. 1-0
Then in 62 minutes Cardle and Talbot out wide left managed to create the opening for a cross that EL ALAGUI raced in to meet at the near post. 2-0
Seven minutes later a Queens Park corner, their first from the right was sent in by Darren Miller and the unfortunate EL ALAGUI headed into his own net to revive the Spiders hopes. But it ended 2-1.
DUNFERMLINE: Sean Murdoch: Ryan Williamson, Lewis Martin, Lee Ashcroft, Jason Talbot, Michael Paton, Andy Geggan (c), Rhys McCabe (Kallum Higginbotham 64), Joe Cardle: Gavin Reilly (Farid El Alagui HT), Nicky Clark (David Hopkirk 81)
SUBS NOT USED: Michael Moffat, Ben Richards-Everton, Paul McMullan, David Hutton (GK)
QUEENS PARK: Willie Muir: Ross Millen, Ryan McGeever (c), Adam Cummins, Craig McLeish: Darren Miller, Gregor Fotheringham (Ewan MacPherson 86), Paul Woods, Anton Brady (Liam Brown 70) Sean Burns: John Carter (Aiden Malone 58)
SUBS NOT USED: Scott Gibson, Bryan Wharton, Conor McVey, Andrew Murphy (GK)
Prior to the first leg play off, Dunfermline had won two and lost four of their last six matches. Queen’s Park have won two of their last six fixtures and have not won in their last three. The Glasgow side had lost only two home games in this league season, Dunfermline had won only two away games this league season. Queen’s Park scored 51 goals in their League One season while Dunfermline scored 36 in the Championship.
Last six matches
Queen`s Park (A) D 0-0
Queen of the South (H) L 1-2
Partick Thistle (A) L 0-1
Ayr United (H) W 2-1
Kilmarnock (A) L 0-2
Raith Rovers (H) W 2-0
Dunfermline (H) D 0-0
Falkirk (H) D 1-1
Montrose (A) L 1-2
Peterhead (A) L 1-2
East Fife (H) W 1-0
Cove Rangers (H) D 1-1
League Position: 9th
League Points: 35
Goal Difference: -17
Home League Record: P18 W5 D8 L5 GF22 GA24
Last Six Match Form: WLWLLD
League Position: 4th
League Points: 51
Goal Difference: +15
Away League Record: P18 W3 D10 L5 GF22 GA 21
Last Six Match Form: DWLLDD
First Leg Line Ups
DUNFERMLINE (v Queen`s Park): Jakub Stolarczyk: Matthew Todd, Efe Ambrose, Coll Donaldson, Josh Edwards: Steven Lawless, Liam Polworth, Joe Chalmers, Ryan Dow: Graham Dorrans (c)(Aaron Comrie 90): Kevin O’Hara (Lewis McCann 75).
SUBS NOT USED: Lewis Martin, Nikolay Todorov, Rhys Breen, Leon Jones, Dom Thomas, Bobby Kamwa, Deniz Mehmet (GK)
QUEEN’S PARK (v Dunfermline): Calum Ferrie: Michael Doyle (c), Peter Grant, Charlie Fox, Tommy Robson: Louis Longridge (Jai Quitongo 70), Jake Davidson, Liam Brown (Jack Thomson 70), Connor Smith: Bob McHugh (Simon Murray 80), Darren Lyon.
SUBS NOT USED: Connor McBride, Stuart Morrison, Lewis Moore, Luis Longstaff, Ronan Darcy, Jacques Heraghty (GK).
Referee will be Craig Napier.
cinch Championship play-off final fixtures
Thursday May 12
cinch Championship play-off final, 1st leg
Lowest-ranked team at home in 1st leg
Live on BBC ALBA, kick-off 7.30pm
Sunday May 15
cinch Championship play-off final, 2nd leg
Highest-ranked team at home in 2nd leg
Live on BBC ALBA, kick-off 1.10pm
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