Pars go top after derby win
Published 29 Oct 2012 09:00 0 Comments
click to enlarge
Stephen Husband slots home his penalty on Saturday. Photo: Craig Brown.
Pars 3 Cowdenbeath 0
PARS returned to the top of the league after a derby win that was in danger of being called off at half time due to an injury to whistler Kevin Clancy.
The ref was eventually replaced as a steward ran the line in the second half - which was delayed by 35 minutes - and it must have been the first time ever the officials have been cheered onto the pitch by relieved fans.
Bizarrely the stand-in wasn't allowed to give offside decisions or flag for fouls and to add to the strange nature of the afternoon, Cowden's Thomas Flynn saved a penalty but couldn't remember it after the match.
The derby action certainly took the attention off Pars' boardroom strife which saw seven directors resign from the main board and a question mark placed over their future involvement with the club.
Cowden fans weren't slow to offer their view, goading the home support with chants of Pars 'going bust', but at least there was consistency on the pitch with Jim Jefferies picking the same team that battled back for a share of the points with Morton.
They were almost ahead in four minutes when Ryan Wallace brilliantly controlled a floated pass over the top, and smashed in an angled shot that Flynn did well to fist away.
Cowden came close when Marc McKenzie skipped down the right and pulled the ball back for Jamie Stevenson who thumped a half volley inches over Paul Gallacher's bar.
Stephen Husband and Greig Stewart both had efforts blocked while Joe Mbu was a rock at the heart of the visiting defence, winning most of his aerial duels with Andy Barrowman and cutting out some dangerous Joe Cardle deliveries.
Colin Cameron jinked past a challenge to take a short free kick and test Gallacher before a close shave at one end led to Pars getting the breakthrough in 28 minutes.
Gallacher had to race from his line to clear from Lewis Coult after a short pass back from Andy Geggan and seconds later Josh Falkingham was sprinting through the middle.
He slipped the ball left to Cardle who cut inside and deceived the keeper with a right foot strike that nestled into the rigging.
It looked like it was all over for Cowden in 30 minutes when John Armstrong was too slow to clear Cardle's cross and as he went to swing at the ball Ryan Thomson nipped it off his toes and was tripped by the skipper.
Husband tried to nonchalantly dink the spot kick down the middle, a la Panenka, but Flynn managed to block it with his legs to leave the midfielder red-faced.
Flynn didn't have long to enjoy his moment and required treatment for a head knock after he was clattered by Wallace as the striker tried to turn home Falkingham's low cross.
He lasted another 10 minutes - and made another good stop to deny Husband - before being replaced just before the break by Craig Wight.
An injury also ended Clancy's day, Cameron had careered into him earlier in the half, and there was a 35 minute delay to the second half.
Eventually Sunday league ref Jock Campbell (61), from Rosyth, took the line in front of the north west stand, an area he normally keeps an eye on as a steward for G4S.
Both sides struggled for momentum but Cardle still shone brightly, weaving inside from the left wing he left three players in his wake before Wight smuggled his shot round the post in 54 minutes.
Husband arrowed a shot across goal and Wallace appealed in vain for a penalty, he got a corner, when the ball was scooped over the keeper's head and the striker tumbled under a challenge from Mbu.
Cardle curled an attempt just over the bar but Cowden came close to levelling, Stewart controlling Cameron's free kick before swivelling and placing a delicate chip over Gallacher that landed on top of the net.
The Cowden boss thought Calum Morris should have seen red for a two-footed lunge on McKenzie in 64 minutes but the ref booked the defender and the free kick sailed over the bar.
Wallace slammed a set piece into the wall at the other end, after Falkingham was upended on the edge of the box, losing his boot in the process, but the pressure eventually paid off in 78 minutes.
Wallace's last contribution was to cut inside Mbu and just before he was tackled and hobbled off he sent in a cross that Armstrong sliced into his own net.
A collective sigh of relief helped to relax the Pars and with the points safe they added a third in 84 minutes with Andy Kirk doing well to keep the ball in and tee up Geggan.
His low ball across goal was turned over the line by sub Craig Dargo, the goal putting Pars above Partick Thistle on goal difference.
Pars almost added some gloss with fine skill from Husband giving him a sight of goal and his curling effort struck the bar with Wight helpless.
In injury time Falkingham decided to have a go, slaloming through a number of challenges before forcing the keeper into a one-handed save.
Gallacher, Geggan, Dowie, Morris, McMillan, Cardle (Drummond 85), Husband, Thomson, Falkingham, Wallace (Dargo 79), Barrowman (Kirk 66).
Subs not used - Hrivnak, Potter.
Booked - Thomson (63), Morris (64).
Goals - Cardle (28), Armstrong o.g. (78), Dargo (84).
Flynn (Wight (42), Cowan, Armstrong, Mbu, Adamson, McKenzie, O'Brien (Miller 46), Cameron, Stevenson, Coult, Stewart.
Subs not used - Ramsay, Brett, Garcia.
Referee Kevin Clancy (Douglas Ross 46!)
This article appeared in Dunfermline Press 29 Oct 12