Dunfermline 1 Coventry City 0Sunday, 26th Jul 2009
Starts for Paul Willis and Graeme Holmes. Trialist in centre of defence. Kirk puts Pars 1-0 up in 39.
Jim McIntyre was without the services of four defenders - Calum Woods, Andy Dowie, Scott Muirhead and Austin McCann. In their absence trialist Neil McGregor came in to play alongside his former Clyde team mate Chris Higgins. Steven McDougall was tried at centre forawrd alongside Andy Kirk.
Coventry handed a debut to new signing Sammy Clingan from Norwich who teamed up with Aron Gunnarsson in the centre of midfield.
Joe Cardle was named on the teamsheet to start but David Graham wore no.11 at the kick off with Joe sitting the match out in the McCathie Stand alongside Woods, Wiles, Dowie and the Saint, Paul Gallacher.
The Pars had the first shot on target in 64 seconds when Steven McDougall cut a ball back from the right side of the Coventry box for David Graham who scooped his shot into keeper Dimi Konstantopoulos' arms.
It was the tenth minute before Coventry had a shot at Fleming's goal with Clinton Morrison slipping the ball left for Michael Doyle to shot back across goal and send the ball outside the keeper's left hand post.
The visitors enjoyed a fair degree of the possession without threatening the Pars goal although it took two good blocks from McGregor to deny Coventry shots at goal. Neither side bothered the keepers and Andy Kirk's 33rd minute effort was fired high over the bar.
The best opportunity to break the deadlock came in 36 minutes when Graham beat off his full back at the left corner flag and then picked out Phinn in front of goal. He almost had too much time to compose himself but his low shot was sent diagonally at goal but out off the left post.
The music had not long to be left cued however. Three minutes later Holmes pulled the ball back from the right for Ross to hit the ball through a number of defenders for Andy KIRK to net sidefooted from six yards. All the Coventry defenders had their hands up appealing for offside but the officials all raced back to the centre line.
As the evening sun came out McGregor continued to impress in the home defence ensuring that half time arrived with the advantage.
Half Time: Dunfermline 1 Coventry City 0
Clingan made a penetrating run to create the first chance of the second half. He picked out Freddie Eastwood on the edge of the box but Higgins was out fast to close him down. At the other end Willis's cross from the right was tipped away from Graham just as it looked like he was liable to convert.
Higgins conceded a 50th minute free kick on the right corner of penalty box and Clingan's delivery was headed powerfully over the top by Eastwood. Within a minute half time sub Leon Best rattled the crossbar with cracking shot from 15 yards.
The Republic of Ireland internationalist injected a bit more directness into City's play and Dunfermline were pushed back with even Jermaine Grandison bursting through to try a shot. An injury to Phinn and the substitutions of Graham Bayne for Andy Kirk and Willie Gibson for Paul Willis disrupted the Sky Blues' rhythm and allowed Dunfermlne to quieten the English side for a spell.
As the match entered its final quarter an extremely high ball that dropped just inside the Coventry box was missed by Bayne but it fell nicely to McDougall. He sold a nice dummy before letting go with his right foot but Wright dived in to leave the keeper redundant.
Gibson was fouled on the right just five yards from the byeline and when he recovered he lobbed in a nice ball that McGregor met at the far post but his effort fell outside the left post.
Eight minutes from the end a nice passing movement sent McCann wide left for a very inviting cross into the six yard box that just evaded the outstretched Bayne. McIntyre was yelling 'stop the cross' minutes later as eventually Isaac Osbourne succeeded from the right touchline but Best's glancing header travelled wide of the far post.
Steven McDougall was offside in 85 minutes but he tried a good lofted shot that would have been spectacular but fell just outside the far post. In 88 minutes an injury to James McPake delayed play for three minutes. The former Livi man was strethered off sitting up.
The referee only added 100 seconds and at the final whistle the Pars fans applauded their side off. Let's hope that becomes a regular occurrence.
DUNFERMLINE: Greg Fleming; Greg Ross, Trialist, Chris Higgins, Stephen Glass (c)(Austin McCann 67); Paul Willis (Willie Gibson 60), Graeme Holmes (Steven Bell 67), Nick Phinn (Alex Burke 67), David Graham; Steven McDougall, Andy Kirk (Graham Bayne 60).
SUBS: Greg Paterson (GK),
SCORER: Kirk (39)
COVENTRY CITY: Dimi Konstantopoulos, Stephen Wright, Jermaine Grandison (Isaac Osbourne 58), James McPake, Sammy Clingan (Shaun Jeffers 76), Jordan Clarke (Adam Walker 58), Ashley Cain, Michael Doyle, Freddie Eastwood, Aron Gunnarsson, Clinton Morrison (Leon Best HT).
SUBS: Kieran Westwood (GK).
REFEREE: John McKendrick
WEATHER: Dry 18C
NEXT MATCH: (away) Co-operative Insurance Cup v Dumbarton
Saturday 1st August 2009, ick off 3.00pm