Mahon of the MatchDate: Thursday, 30th Mar 2023
Dunfermline Athletic faced Montrose at Links Park on Saturday afternoon, on Match-Day 29 in SPFL cinch League One. It was the day after second-placed Falkirk narrowed the gap to 8 points following a 0-0 draw versus Kelty Hearts on Friday evening.
James McPake was without the ever-present Matty Todd as well as Rhys Breen, but, this didn`t deter the Pars in their quest for promotion with Ewan Otoo and Robbie Mahon being given the chance to impress from the start. Joe Chalmers also started, having returned from injury, in place of Paul McGowan.
It was a drab opening to the match, but the visitors were the side in control and eventually found the opener. Following a Josh Edwards throw-in on the left, the ball found it`s way to the far side for Chalmers to swing in a cross with his left-foot, finding the head of the unmarked Lewis McCann, who nodded the ball past Ross Matthews for the opening goal just before the half-way mark of the opening period.
Robbie Mahon spoke to ParsTV following the victory over the Gable Endies
t was just 8 minutes later that the Pars doubled their lead, thanks to Craig Wighton. He headed home into an empty net following Matthews` terrific stop from McCann, which saw the ball smash against the cross-bar rather than into the top corner; it was the Mahon of the Match, on-loan Motherwell attacker Robbie, who set-up the chance however with an absolutely terrific driving run forward from the edge of his own box, before sliding in McCann.
Stewart Petrie would have been disappointed to say the least with how easy it was for Athletic to slice open the hosts defence as he went in at the interval two goals behind. And his side didn`t show any sign of improvement at the beginning of the second period, with Sean Dillon giving the ball straight to Wighton following kick-off, but McCann couldn`t make it 3-0 just seconds into the final 45 minutes.
Dillon was at the forefront of the action shortly afterwards however, as he dived in on Chris Hamilton within the area, missing the ball and taking out Dunfermline`s #5, with referee Peter Stuart pointing to the spot. Wighton stepped up to send Matthews the wrong way, with the third goal practically sealing the 3 points.
Highlights; Montrose 1-3 Dunfermline Athletic
The Gable Endies kept fighting and finally found a way through, thanks to Craig Brown. The half-time substitutes terrific left-footed effort flew past Deniz Mehmet and into the net, with the Pars #1 standing no chance of saving the effort. A consolation only, for Montrose, but Brown`s goal denied Mehmet the `Individual Clean-Sheet Record` at DAFC.
Mehmet remains on 20, joint-top with Ian Westwater. But, with 7 matches remaining, you`d imagine Mehmet will reach this milestone before the end of the campaign.
The `Overall Clean-Sheet Record` at the Football Club is 23, which is shared between 3 goalkeepers within one term, is also a target I am sure privately for the players and management team to try and overcome before the end of the campaign.
It is fair to say, however, that focus will be fully on Kelty Hearts this weekend in the final Fife Derby of the season at KDM Group East End Park. This messaged was emphasised by assistant manager Dave Mackay on Saturday evening.
Mackay spoke to Jordan Burt at Links Park