The Final QuarterDate: Friday, 10th Mar 2023
We are into the final quarter of the SPFL cinch League One campaign, following Dunfermline Athletic`s re-arranged match versus Falkirk on Tuesday evening, on Match-Day 27 in the third-tier of Scottish Football.
Prior to the mouth-watering, midweek, encounter, both sides faced home matches on Match-Day 26 – just three days previously. The Pars faced Alloa Athletic, while the Bairns hosted bottom side Peterhead.
Highlights: Dunfermline Athletic 2-0 Alloa Athletic
Goals from Chris Hamilton and Kevin O`Hara provided maximum points for James McPake`s men, while John McGlynn`s side finally got the better of the Blue Toon, running out 5-0 winners after a flurry of late goals.
This set up the re-scheduled fixture for a classic Top of the Table battle, which caught the eye of many within Scottish football circles. Over 7,000 home fans attended the match, with a total crowd of 9,530 setting a great atmosphere within KDM Group East End Park, on what could prove to be a pivotal night in the title race.
A cagey opening 45 minutes saw very few chances for either side. Gary Oliver had an early header saved by Deniz Mehmet, while Kai Kennedy shot wide of target later on in the opening period. Chris Mochrie came closest for either side however on the stroke of half-time, hitting the inside of the post: but it remained all level at the interval.
Athletic had a storming start to the second-half, with Matty Todd in particular proving a thorn in the side of the visitors. Falkirk couldn`t get going and it was Dunfermline on tip, but similarly to the first-half, neither Club could make their possession and territory count.
Rhys Breen speaks to ParsTV following the 2-0 victory over Falkirk
,,,until the 67th minute, that is. Joe Chalmers` inswinging corner from the right was met by Rhys Breen`s forehead; Rumarn Burrell tried to clear the ball off the line, alongisde goalkeeper Brian Kinnear, however, referee Euan Anderson awarded the goal. A controversial moment, but one which saw the West Fifers lead.
McGlynn would be expecting a major reaction from his title-chasing squad, with just over half of the final period left at a sold-out KDM Group East End Park. That hope wouldn`t come to fruition however: Todd`s strong run and cross down the left was harmlessly picked up by Calumn Morrison on the Bairns` left-hand side...
...he laid the ball back to Kinnear but his first-time left-footed clearance deflected off the backside of Black & White striker Craig Wighton, spinning into the middle of the penalty box; Kane Ritchie-Hosler out-fought his opponent, Sean Mackie, to win the loose ball in the air – his knock-down was tucked away but the unmarked Matty Todd to double Dunfermline`s advantage.
Matty Todd talks to Jordan Burt for ParsTV on Tuesday evening
Mehmet wasn`t in any way troubled thereafter and the Pars saw the game out comfortable, to the delight of the home crowd.
The end of the third quarter and it was an 8 point advantage at the top of the division for McPake`s men, but complacency isn`t something which will be allowed to come into play with the ex-Dundee manager at the helm.
Highlights: Dunfermline Athletic 2-0 Falkirk
It is now into the final quarter of the SPFL cinch League One term for all 10 sides in the division, beginning this weekend. The Pars head north to face Peterhead, while Falkirk`s final quarter will be delayed due to their participation in the Scottish Cup.
Their match away to Montrose will be re-scheduled, meaning the Pars have an opportunity to increase the gap at the top to 11 points, weather permitting this Saturday, if they can defeat the Blue Toon at Balmoor Stadium.
For the Bairns, their manager McGlynn is hoping his side`s campaign hasn`t ended in earnest, but admits that it will now be hard to catch Dunfermline Athletic and win the title – but he confirms his squad will not give up on that challenge just yet.
John McGlynn reflects on his side`s loss with FalkirkTV