Dunfermline 3 Falkirk 0Saturday, 7th May 2011
Goodbye to the IRN BRU First Division: Nick Phinn started in place of Calum Woods. Phinn (21) 1-0; Phinn (52) 2-0; Clarke (87) 3-0. Party time!
DUNFERMLINE 3 FALKIRK 0
PICTURES OF TROPHY PRESENTATIONS
There's every chance that no one will remember this game for what happened during it, only the presentation of the First Division trophy at the end and the sore heads the following morning. For the final match of the season Jim McIntyre made one change - Nick Phinn coming in for the injured Calum Woods. Falkirk made four changes from the side that lost the previous Saturday at home to Ross County. Brian McLean, Mark Twaddle, Stewart Murdoch and Marc Millar (suspended) made way for Stephen Kingsley, Ross Perry, Burton O'Brien and Jack Compton.
Pre match routine from Scotland's no.1 Club mascot, Sammy the Tammy involved yet another cardboard box but this was a Radio Sammy juke box of melodies that the home support join in with. Queen's "We are the Champions" figured more than once and by kick off the stands were filling up nicely with jubliant supporters in real party mode.
Sammy, presumably with the promise of good behaviour, was even given a flag to lead the ballboys out. When the teams came out it was to a tumultous greeting. Dunfermline in black shorts kicked off attacking the goal at the Cowdenbeath end.
Chris Smith was the first keeper called into business on four minutes easily holding a Mark Stewart header. Kallum Higginbotham shot weakly wide while Austin McCann took advantage of a McDougall / Cardle move down the left but the ball had travelled over the byeline before he could deliver the cross.
In 12 minutes Kieran Duffie headed past the post but the Pars fans continued to sing. "You're staying down with the Rovers" was a popular song for the afternoon punctuated with a regular chorus of "Championees". A Pars corner went virtually unnoticed but then a Compton corner yielded several opportunities for the Bairns to shoot but each time their efforts were blocked.
On the quarter hour a David Graham cross from the right was headed on target by Phinn but Olejnik held. Two minutes later there was a roar as Graham played Cardle through but he cut inside and won a free kick 30 yards out.. He spectacularly took that himself and kicked straight into touch on the right as he tried to find Graham.
A fantastic jink on the right taking out Compton let Graham cross and the advancing PHINN headed in from nine yards. 1-0 but immediate fears for the scorer with the physio frantically summoned. Fortunately after scoring his third goal of the season Nick was able to continue.
Next chance came some five minutes later when Andy Dowie chipped the ball in front of Andy Kirk but Olejnik was out fast to put an end to that. In front of the McCathie Stand there were cheers as Compton swung a free kick over the crossbar. McDougall created an opportunity displaying clever skills on the left of the Falkirk box but Olejnik held the cross.
In 38 minutes McDougall picked out Cardle on the left and Tom Scobbie with no messing conceded the corner. Cardle's inswinger was punched clear by Olejnik. A Falkirk corner five minutes from the break was headed downwards by Ryan Flynn straight towards Smith. Steven McDougall required treatment after an off the ball accident.
Compton had a super run down the left beating two men in the Pars box but Alex Keddie came in to kill the danger. A corner ensued but at half time it was the Pars who were ahead.
Half Time: Dunfermline 1 Falkirk 0
Tonight's gonna be a good night ironically welcomed the Falkirk team out, When play resumed Falkirk still looked short of the sharpness that was needed to bother the Pars defence. In 52 minutes PHINN timed his run to meet a McDougall cross from the right corner of the penalty box to score at the far post.
A chorus of appreciation from Jimmy Mac's Barmy army was acknowldeged by the Manager and the whole stadium was on its feet for a rendition of Stand Up for the Champions. The party warmed up further for plaudits for Jim Leishman and then for Joe Cardle as he was subbed by Liam Buchanan in 66th minute.
Smith clutched an awkward break off sub Finnigan before Pat Clarke in 71 minutes replaced Andy kirk. The season's top goalscorer was not to add to his 21 goal tally. McDougall had a good shot blocked before Falkirk produced their best attempt of the game when Compton's cross from the left was directed from 12 yards towards Smith's bottom left by Stewart but Smith pulled off a great one handed stop.
With eight minutes remaining Alex Burke was introduced in place of Phinn and the end of contract player was given a rousing welcome. Play continued towards the Falkirk goal with Clarke rolling a shot from the edge of the box just outside the right goalpost. The sub had not long to wait for a goal however when Olejnik made a great save from a corner, CLARKE rammed the ball home to make it 3-0.
The final whistle cued further celebration. The first home league win over Falkirk since October 1993, Champions and promotion to the SPL. Let the Par ty commence.
After the plinth was built in the centre circle, the ball boys flanked it each carrying a dozen black and white balloons. The League trophy was placed on the podium by Jim Leishman. Photographers crowded around him and Gregor Abel's famous Dunfermline Song was played in full.
Each player in the squad was called out to walk to the centre cirlcle. Even Steven Bell on his crutches. Physio, kit man, Gerry McCabe, Joe Nelson, Austin McCann and finally Jim McIntyre. Sammy strolled out as well, bounced into the photocall and Queen strated up again before Austin McCann lifted the silverware. Oh what a feeling!
DUNFERMLINE: Chris Smith; Andy Dowie, Kevin Rutkiewicz, Alex Keddie, Austin McCann (c); David Graham, Gary Mason, Nick Phinn (Alex Burke 82), Joe Cardle (Liam Buchanan 66); Steven McDougall, Andy Kirk (Pat Clarke 71).
SUBS NOT USED: Chris Higgins, Kyle Allison (GK).
SCORER: Phinn (21, 52), Clarke (87)
FALKIRK; Robert Olejnik, Keiran Duffie, Ross Perry, Stephen Kingsley, Thomas Scobbie; Kallum Higginbotham, Ryan Flynn, Burton O'Brien, Jack Compton; Mark Stewart, Tam McManus (Carl Finnigan 58).
SUBS NOT USED: Chris Mitchell, Stewart Murdoch, Blair Alston, Jamie Barclay (GK)
REFEREE: Steve Conroy
WEATHER: Fine 19C