A very welcome 3 points and a first victory over Alloa in 3 attempts this season - today's match saw the Pars dominate for long spells but also have a couple of first half escapes when Alloa might have taken the lead. The winning goal was a goal of the season contender from leftback Jackson Longridge, his fourth of the season.
Allan Johnston named an unchanged lineup although James Vincent was fit again and listed among the substitutes. The tight pitch - narrowed to the minimum width under UEFA guidelines - did little to encourage expansive football, which is clearly Alloa's intent this season - to battle and scrap for points.
Dunfermline started well and made Alloa keeper Neil Parry work hard - both Andy Ryan and Aidan Keena forced good saves from Parry early in the game. It was refreshing to see a Pars team have no hesitation in shooting. The home side threatened with a Dario Zanatta header that just missed the target. The Pars continued to press but on a breakaway it seemed certain that Alloa would go ahead after Greig Spence shot towards an open goal, only for Lee Ashcroft to appear from nowhere to block the attempt. Great defending by the Pars captain but a big let-off too.
The dreich weather and darkening sky greeted the teams at the start of the second half. Dunfermline tried to play the better football but the tight pitch and slippy conditions were not helping. Alloa did not have any clear cut second half chances with the Pars defence clearing the ball without frills.
Allan Johnston made a double substitution after 60 minutes, replacing James Craigen and Aidan Connolly with Ryan Williamson and Kallum Higginbotham. The 2 subs combined on the right side, with Myles Hippolyte moving from right to left wing. Eight minutes later, Faissal El Bakhtaoui replaced Aidan Keena in attack.
The game's only goal followed soon after the final Pars' substitution. The ball broke out to Jackson Longridge who hit a rasper of a shot from outside the box into the top corner of the net. A superb strike and on the balance of play, a deserved lead for Dunfermline.
There were further chances: Faissal had a header from a Williamson cross that Parry held; Andy Ryan then evaded a couple of challenges in the penalty box but was unable to finish. Faissal then took a cross from Higginbotham but shot too early when he had time to bring the ball in.
Alloa pressed for a late equaliser but resolute defending by Williamson and then a backtracking Thomson saw Dunfermline through to the end of the 90 minutes with the lead intact.
A satisfying performance.
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