A hard-fought "friendly" match that featured a few meaty tackles and an encouraging second half display from a Pars side that matched their Premiership opponents, improving as the game went on.
With the Norrie McCathie Stand closed, home fans in the main stand caught sight of the returning Faissal El Bakhtaoui in the players' tunnel before kick-off. As the photo below shows, he looked delighted to be back where he belongs.
The first half will not live long in the memory of the 901 fans inside EEP; little creativity from either side and no clear goalscoring opportunities. The Pars youthful front 2 of Callum Smith and Lewis McCann worked tirelessly for little reward.
The second half was a marked improvement with Dunfermline showing more as an attacking force, with wingbacks Ryan Williamson and Jackson Longridge more involved. It was from one great run by Longridge that the Pars should have gone ahead; the wingback's final ball was met by the trialist striker, on as a substitute, but his effort was saved by Motherwell keeper Mark Gillespie. Motherwell threatened occasionally but Dunfermline's play was the more incisive of the 2 teams. Aidan Connolly made an impact after replacing McCann for the final 20 minutes, while the defence were solid and there was a first outing of the season, for the last 15 minutes, for Lee Ashcroft. Lee Robinson was back to his assured best in goals.
This was a good test against a Motherwell side that included Cedric Kipre, Carl McHugh, Curtis Main, Ryan Bowman and Chris Cadden. The new players are bedding in well and there are encouraging signs for the season ahead. The addition of the Moroccan fans' favourite will be an even greater boost.
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