Dunfermline Athletic

Let The Games Begin...

Date: Wednesday, 12th Jul 2023

Pre-Season is over for 2023 for Dunfermline Athletic, with competitive games just around the corner for James McPake`s side.

In the main, the manager feels it has been a relatively successful warm-up for the campaign ahead, with the biggest disappointment being the injury lay-off for Kane Ritchie-Hosler.

The winger did participate in the opening Friendly match of the summer schedule, against FC. St. Pauli, before picking up an injury in training which will sideline him for at least 2 months! The German Bundesliga 2 side were far too good for the Pars, running out 3-0 winners at KDM Group East End Park.

Highlights: Dunfermline Athletic 0-3 FC. St. Pauli

The second Friendly of Pre-Season was away to Cove Rangers five days later; despite the loss of Ritchie-Hosler, it did see the return of Rhys Breen as a half-time substitute. It was a hard fought contest with neither team creating too many goalscoring chances.

Cove took a fortuitous lead in the first-half, before Paul McGowan – playing as a trialist for the Club during the Pre-Season preparations – equalised late on following good work by Taylor Sutherland down the right-hand side. Sandwiched in between was a missed penalty by Athletic, with Craig Wighton being denied from the spot.

Highlights: Cove Rangers 1-1 Dunfermline Athletic

It was another 6 days until the next outing, a home encounter with SPFL cinch Premiership side St Johnstone. The match saw the return of Matty Todd, who had sat out the first two Pre-Season Friendlies following surgery on his nose over the summer break.

Craig Wighton opened the scoring early on to get Dunfermline off to the perfect start, but a stunner from Graham Carey equalised for the Saints shortly afterwards. The second-half was keenly contested, but no further goals were forthcoming as the match ended in a 1-1 draw.

Highlights: Dunfermline Athletic 1-1 St Johnstone

Heart of Midlothian were the next visitors to KDM Group East End Park, with a sun-drenched West Fife hoping to see the first win of the campaign for the Black & White. However, the strength of the Jambos squad would provide a really difficult afternoon for the hosts.

However, the scoring wasn`t broken until the 76th minute, through young right-back Luke Rathie, who fired Steven Naismith`s side in front. This looked like it would be the only goal of the game, until Josh Edwards` quic thinking from a throw-in got Lewis McCann in down the left and his cross was bunled home by Peter Haring for an 86th minute own goal: it was the third consecutive 1-1 Friendly draw for Dunfermline.

Highlights: Dunfermline Athletic 1-1 Heart of Midlothian

Rhys Breen hobbled out of the Hearts match with a hamstring complaint, meaning he would miss the final Pre-Season game of the summer against Alloa Athletic just two days later. It was a changed side to that of the Hearts match, with many first-team players sitting out and resting up ahead of the competitive action beginning this weekend.

Chris Hamilton would knock the Pars in front early on following a corner, but the Pars` Vice-Captain would then see a red card for a challenge on Steven Hetherington, that the referee deemed to be Serious Foul Play.

The DAFC supporter will be gutted to be missing the opening match of the 23/24 season, against local rivals Raith Rovers in the Viaplay Cup Group Stages, which will kick-off McPake`s men`s season come 5:!5pm on Saturday. Despite being down to 10 men for nearly the whole second-half, it was Dunfermline Athletic who came out victorious from their trip to Clackmannanshire.

Highlights: Alloa Athletic 0-1 Dunfermline Athletic

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