Jim Jefferies Post StranraerSaturday, 31st Aug 2013
31/08/13: JJ - "At one time there was just relentless pressure. They couldn't get out ......
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After waiting for two late goals to secure the three points against Stranraer, Pars gaffer Jim Jefferies admitted he was frustrated that his side tried to walk the ball into the net.
"The move with Wallace was a great build up, a great little 1-2. He sidestepped the player and then you are looking for him to bury it but suddenly he tried to pass it."
The frustration was compounded by failure to accept the advice he had offered his players at half time:-
"We were getting into good areas in the last third but not taking the right option. I thought the pitch was a bit sticky when we were trying to take people on. You could see it catching a lot of the players out because of the fact that it is getting stuck between their feet. The last thing you should do is try and take people on. You need to keep moving the ball and passing and I thought we played it with a bit quicker tempo in the second half.
"Virtually all you had to worry about was Stranraer hitting you on the break, because they are good at it. They had a couple of experienced players up front - Corcoran was a handful for young Millen today, he will learn from that and on breakaways they could easily have gone in front.
"You could say that about us because we had some chances prior to that as well. We kept plugging away but we knew at the end of the day the full timers would overcome the part timers who had had a hard game in midweek. It was always going to tell and in the end we got the gaps and we got a couple of goals out of it.
"At one time there was just relentless pressure. They couldn't get out and when they did we kept putting the pressure on them and it finally paid off."
With Stranraer taking the lead from the follow up to a 22nd minute penalty that Ryan Scully initially saved, Dunfermline yet again went behind in a game. This was not the kind of start that Jim Jefferies was seeking:-
"It was a needless push but having said that we didn't need to push him. That is where the naivety comes in; when you have a target to throw the ball into, if you are going to give him the space to throw it in to his feet, the one thing you do is don't try to get the ball - you let him have it but he shouldn't get it because a midfield player would stand in front of the number nine. I said that to Luke, that his player was the target all the time. Then he has to throw it high and it is a 50-50 every time. We made sure that didn't happen so much in the second half.
"It cost us a goal when our goalie did well. Then you have to say to your players 'how is it that Stranraer can not switch off and you allowed yourself to not react quick enough'. You have let him down by giving away a needless penalty, he tried to pull you out of the mire and all he was looking for was to be on your toes, deal with it and put it out for a corner even."
Martin Grehan's 22nd minute goal was equalised within a minute when Andy Geggan netted:-
"It was nice to get the equaliser so quick because it gave everybody a lift. We played some really good football moves today again but it was just that final pass or the final bit where they make a decision, a lot of time it was the wrong decision. Fortunately they kept plugging away and don't think anybody could deny that we were the better side.
"Their manager came up and said that we played well and we deserved it. They definitely did. Justice was done apart from so much pushing forward to get a winner, you leave yourself a little exposed and there is no doubt, they had a couple of chances. If you allied the chances that they had to the ones we had I think we deserved to come out on top."
A new striker, Robert Thomson, was signed this week and thrown in for his debut against Stranraer but it was substitute Allan Smith who for the second successive Saturday scored a late goal to put the result out of any doubt. His Manager explained that follow injury the 19 year old sub had been pushed forward much earlier than had been anticipated as he recovered from an injury sustained against Hearts in the very first pre season friendly:-
"He has been out all season after his pre season injury. He has played 75 minutes in a bounce game and not really had a full 90 minutes. He has come on and made an impact at Stenhousemuir last week, at Falkirk he came on and did alright - he just couldn't get the goal there but I thought he showed some nice touches. I was thinking about playing him today but thought when the game dies down you are better making an impact coming on.
"That is what you look for when you make a substitution. That worked but he he will play on Monday at a closed door game and then there is another one at the end of the week before the break next Saturday. He will have another weeks training before he is in contention to start, I am not saying he will, but he will be in contention because he is getting himself up to match fitness. He understands that and is happy with that.
"I gave Thomson his debut because is you look at the way that we have been going. We looked to get someone in there. Jordan Moore and him have played together at Dundee United. I thought Robert Thomson did quite well today, he put himself about, he was a handful and could have scored a couple of goals himself if he had been a wee bit sharper. He is another one who has not had a lot of matches. I gave him a little longer than I had intended but he will do alright for us. He has done well in training, well in the under 20s and the forwards have not been scoring goals. They have been coming from defenders, midfielders and penalties.
"Look at Dunfermline today again. They try and play, try and work their socks off. They do that and you can never fault them for the effort. For me the man who was just outstanding all day today was Callum Morris. He won every header against one of their danger men. Grehan is quite a handful but he never won one header against Callum. For me he just set the tone.
"There were a lot of decent performances but the most important thing was to make sure that we got a result to build on the Stenhousemuir result. We have taken nine points out of twelve, it should have been twelve out of twelve after missing a hatful of chances - better chances than we got today - against Arbroath but that's football and sometimes you will get that with these young kids. Where we are at the end of the season who knows but there are tough games ahead."