22 different Pars players featured in today's first pre-season friendly, against Forfar Athletic at Station Park. In front of a crowd of 545, the game, played in clammy heat, gave Pars fans their first sight of the raft of new summer signings. While it would be folly to make judgements on any player based on a friendly match, especially the first of the season, there were several pleasing aspects to the performance in each half, which saw a half time swap of one full Dunfermline team for another.
Only Aaron Comrie and Matty Bowman were missing from the first team and reserve squads who took part today. The first half began with the team in a 4-3-3 line up, which shifted to 4-5-1 at times; Gabby McGill was the focal point of the attack, with Callum Smith to his right and Lewis McCann to his left. Both Smith and McCann provided width and dropped back into midfield when required. Ryan Scully was in goals, with the adaptable Stuart Morrison at right back, young Josh Robertson at left back, and a central defensive pairing of captain Lee Ashcroft and Tom Lang. The midfield was made up of Tom Beadling, Paul Allan and Kyle Turner.
It was Turner who won the Pars a penalty after 15 minutes when he was fouled in the box. Tom Beadling's kick was saved by Marc McCallum but the midfielder then sent the rebound high over the bar. You can see the kick on the Pars Review Twitter page (link here).
Turner then put Dunfermline ahead in the 20th minute, lashing a shot from around 12 yards high into the net. The midfielder, highly rated from his time at Stranraer, looked impressive and will be one of our main creative hopes for the season ahead.
The second half began with Cammy Gill taking over from Scully in goals, and a back 4 of Paul Brown and Lewis Martin as fullbacks, and Thomas Bragg and Euan Murray in the middle. Bragg, 17 years old, played with great confidence and did not look at all out of place in a first team setting. Murray, signed from the Wee Team, also impressed.
The midfield in the second half had natural width that was missing in the opening 45 minutes. Wingers Ryan Dow (winner of this season's Jason Talbot look-a-like competition) and Josh Coley were always looking to get possession and attack the home defence. In the middle of the pitch, old head Paul Paton did his job very effectively, alongside Matty Todd, 14 years Paton's junior.
Andy Ryan and new signing Kevin Nisbet were in attack but neither striker had any clear goalscoring opportunities. It was Forfar who came closest to scoring in the second half, when Connor Coupe headed across the goal and wide.
Coley almost got a second Dunfermline goal when his dinked shot over the out-rushing Forfar keeper narrowly missed the goal.
A decent game and good to see the new boys get a good run-out.
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