A deserved passage through to the next round of the Reserve Challenge Cup and the return of Tom Beadling were the main stories to take from today's Pars/QOS second string game at New Central Park, Kelty. Both sides fielded youthful lineups, with senior players currently on the first team bench included for Dunfermline. The game was essentially an under 20s match but it was enjoyable and there was some good football played.
The teams were coached by goalscoring legends from their respective clubs - Stevie Crawford for the Pars and current QOS striker Stephen Dobbie. In attendance in the crowd were ex-Pars Hamish French, Stephen Husband and Par-for-9-days Willo Flood.
Tom Beadling gave Dunfermline a 13th minute lead when his free kick curled into the lower corner of the net. Beadling looked composed and assured, and will be a big asset to the first team midfield once he regains full fitness. He remained on the pitch at half time, warming down, with the plan clearly to give him 45 minutes.
The Queens' equaliser from Robbie Ivison came from inside the box, the scorer given far too much space to shoot past Cammy Gill. Apart from a couple of flurries, Queens did not threaten the Pars goal very often and it was Dunfermline who took a deserved lead with 73 minutes on the clock. Overlapping full back Josh Roberson was fouled in the box and Callum Smith - on loan at Arbroath but eligible to play for the Pars reserve team - put the penalty away confidently, sending the keeper the wrong way. Smith was unlucky not score at least one other goal, slipping at the point of shooting on one occasion and later firing in a powerful drive the just went over the bar.
The team lined up 4-4-1-1, with Matty Todd playing just behind Smith in attack. Midfielder Paul Brown impressed, a wee tenacious character who lets the opposition know he's there. Wingers Lewis Crosbie and Lewis Sawers also played well. Matty Todd is another player who has featured in the first team squad this season, and he had a good game but seemed overly frustrated at times - there's no doubting his enthusiasm.
A good win and into the next round of the Reserve Cup in what was a satisfying runout for Crawford's young team.
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