Friendly fire as Pars go to trial
Published 20 Jul 2012 09:30 0 Comments
Pars 1 East Fife 3
KEVIN Kyle and Ian Murray were among the surprise trialists last night as the former Edinburgh derby rivals climbed off the bench as Pars slipped to derby defeat.
It was the ex-Hearts hitman's first outing in 18 months after injury while the former Hibs captain slotted in at centre back after trying to get a deal in the USA with Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Pars boss Jim Jefferies said he's never worried about the results in pre-season friendlies but he will be concerned about the readiness and numbers in his squad with the season due to kick off next Saturday.
The Rangers saga and interminable wait to see who would replace the fallen giants in the SPL has hampered Pars recruitment plans as they couldn't sign anyone until they knew what league they'd play in.
The bad weather also played a part and last night's re-arranged fixture was the first time Jefferies was able to see his trialists in action, with former Leeds and Carlisle left back Stephen O'Halloran and ex-Barnsley youth centre back Conor Branson playing the full 90.
Another trialist, ex-Hibs keeper Graeme Smith, and Pars new boys Chris Kane, Ryan Wallace, Andy Geggan and Josh Falkingham all had a first half workout while Joe Cardle, Andy Barrowman and Andy Dowie were rested.
Playing in their red and yellow away kit, the Pars were first to threaten when Geggan's cross found Andy Kirk at the back post but his deflected header was comfortably saved.
Wallace, who hit 27 goals for East Fife last season, looked sharp for the Pars and a slick one-two gave him a sight of goal but Michael Brown managed to thwart his old team-mate.
Ryan Thomson strode forward from midfield and tried his luck, dragging his effort wide of target when Wallace, to his left, looked a better option.
Former Pars wide boy Scott McBride then took advantage of a loose pass from O'Halloran in 19 minutes to test Smith, the keeper palming the shot away to his left.
However the danger wasn't over and David Muir returned the ball to the back post for Collin Samuel and his downward header somehow bounced over Smith and into the net for a very soft goal.
Pars levelled in 25 minutes when Paul Willis' dangerous low cross was turned into his own net by the unfortunate Scott Durie, son of East Fife boss and former Scotland international Gordon.
An 'Incredible Hulk' impression by Fife's Gareth Wardlaw, his shirt in tatters after a tussle with John Potter, lifted spirits but the Second Division side were ahead again in 41 minutes when Durie made amends by firing a 20 yard shot into the bottom corner.
Wholesale changes disrupted the Pars rhythm and an, as yet, unnamed Slovakian keeper took over from Smith while Murray, Paul Burns, Liam Buchanan, Jordan McMillan and Alex Whittle took to the field for the second half.
Whittle in particular looked lively on the left wing but it was the visitors who looked more like scoring, Muir and Darren McCormack both winning headers in the Pars box.
A good run and cross from Willis in 66 minutes looked certain to bring a goal but Kirk's header flashed past the post, his last chance before Kyle replaced him.
For a man who hadn't played since January 2011, the former Scotland striker showed a good touch, deftly clipping a great cross to the back post that Buchanan was inches from converting.
The Slovak keeper had one decent save but could do nothing to stop East Fife adding the third goal in 81 minutes, Andrew Jamieson's effort curling up and over his gloves and into the top corner.
The otherwise impressive Whittle missed an amazing chance with minutes left, somehow contriving to knock the ball away from the net when just a yard out, although he came close with a deflected effort right at the death.
Buchanan swerved a free kick over the bar and that was it - there are now three friendlies against Hearts, Berwick and Lochgelly Albert for Jefferies to try and fashion a team together for the Ramsdens Cup clash at Forfar on Saturday 28th July.
Trialist (Trialist 46), Geggan (McMillan 46), Trialist, Potter, (Trialist 46), Trialist; Willis (Byrne 81), Kane (Burns 46), Thomson, Falkingham (Whittle 46), Kirk (Trialist 69), Wallace (Buchanan 46).
Subs not used - Munro, Young.
Goal - Durie (og 25)
M Brown, Durie, Smith (R Brown 63), Campbell, McCormack, King (Jamieson 46), McBride (Brewster 74), Muir, Wardlaw (Malcolm 53), Samuel, Johnstone.
Subs not used - McAllister, Martin, Collier, Gordon
Goals - Samuel (19), Durie (41), Jamieson (81).
Referee Stephen Finnie.