Pars lose late at Cappielow in repeat of early season defeat
Michael Paton, Dean Shiels and Kallum Higginbotham dropped out of the starting 11 with only Paton still in the squad. Shiels and Higginbotham were ill during the week. New signing Tom Beadling started while other new recruits Daniel Armstrong and James Vincent made the bench.
MINUTES THAT MATTERED
10' Pars keeper Lee Robinson saved Gary Oliver's shot.
23' GOAL Tom Beadling connected with Jason Talbot's cross to shoot past Morton keeper Derek Gaston.
33' Callum Morris lost possession when trying to shepherd the ball out of play. Morton's Michael Tiffoney played the ball to team mate Michael Tidser whose cross was missed by the home team's forwards.
37' GOAL Morris conceded a free kick from which Gary Harkins found Gary Oliver, who touched the ball to Tidser, who struck the ball past Robinson.
40' A controversial moment when Nicky Clark seemed to put the Pars back in the lead but saw the goal disallowed for being offside, which seemed to be an incorrect call by referee Gavin Duncan.
43' Tiffoney's shot from outside the box was saved by Robinson.
44' Andy Murdoch's header for Morton went narrowly wide.
48' Clark's header from a James Craigen cross was saved on the line.
55' Clark, back defending after a Morton corner kick, saved a Morton goal when he cleared a Tiffoney effort on the line.
61' Beadling headed a Craigen cross wide.
75' Gaston saved well from Clark's header.
90' GOAL Calamitous defending by Dunfermline saw Robinson and Morris collide and let in Bob McHugh, who squared the ball for Oliver to score the winner.
As was the case at Dumbarton in January, it is the social media guy of Pars Review writing this report today. Hope you enjoy a different perspective on things this week!
Going into this game, the importance of securing 3 points was clear in the battle for a top 4 place with Morton and ourselves only separated by 2 points. The first half began with both teams creating opportunities but lacking that killer instinct in front of goal. It’s been well documented that we require not only creativity, but also more goals from midfield this season. Therefore, the introduction of 3 midfielders in the January window was a pleasing aspect for the fans. Tom Beadling was the 3rd midfielder brought in, coming from Sunderland on a loan deal until the end of the season. His opening goal was exactly what we have missed all season from that area of the pitch. The initial cross from Jason Talbot rebounded in the 18 yard box and Beadling was there to pounce on the loose ball to put the Pars 1-0 ahead. He celebrated in front of the travelling support showing great delight in scoring on his Dunfermline debut.
The home side then came into the game more, with Gary Harkins pivotal in midfield once again when playing us. It would be his free-kick that would eventually bring the game back to level pegging when he delivered a ball that fell to the edge of the box where Morton’s Michael Tidser was there to smash home the equaliser. The final piece of action in the first half would be a disallowed goal for Dunfermline - Nicky Clark finishing off the move with an overhead kick of sorts, but ruled out when the linesman flagged for offside on the striker - in my opinion it looked onside, a poor call from the linesman who certainly got an earful from the Pars support!
The team came out for the second half in buoyant mood and created numerous chances in the first 15 minutes of the half. One or two fell Clark’s way but to no avail, coming closest with an effort that was tipped away from goal by Morton keeper Derek Gaston. There’s no doubt we had our chances and if we’d have taken even one of them at that point in the game the outcome could have been much different. However, failure to pick up Morton’s main man (Gary Harkins) yet again and then to not put on any subs throughout the full 90 minutes to change things up is frustrating to say the least. We’ve made these signings as we believe they offer more quality than what we had, and yes they’ve only just arrived and need time to settle in, but we gave Beadling the chance from the start today and he had a positive impact on the game and offered that bit of freshness we’ve been lacking in recent weeks. To not give 20 minutes to either Armstrong, Vincent or even Andy Ryan is baffling to me and I simply don’t understand why those options weren’t utilised.
The Morton winner was a calamity of errors. The ball was played forward in the final minute. There was confusion and miscommunication between both Robinson and Morris which let Bob McHugh in around them. McHugh squared it to Gary Oliver who had the simple task of hitting it anywhere towards goal that the back-tracking M’Voto wasn’t, and he did just so, winning the points for Morton with pretty much the last kick of the game.
Yet again the Pars were left wanting from a side sitting above 7th in the league at kick off. The stat that I read a few weeks ago about only having won a single game against any team sitting above 7th since mid September is extremely poor and shows that we need to improve drastically if we are to make the play-offs come May.
Thanks to Ben for his report after I had to miss the game due to work commitments.
As always, Ben took the photos and created the edited images for this article.