A frustrating game that saw Dunfermline fail to defeat Alloa at East End Park for a fifth consecutive match. After the morale-boosting win at Firhill last week, the Pars were looking to build momentum with a first home League win of the season but had to settle for a draw despite having more of the game.
Stevie Crawford made 2 changes to the starting 11 that faced Partick Thistle last time out: Gabby McGill (confirmed as injured ) and Paul Paton (presumably injured) were replaced by Lewis McCann and Harry Cochrane in the same 4-4-2 formation as last week. The loss of Paton brought the average age of the team that began the game down to 21.8, surely the youngest Dunfermline lineup for quite some time.
There was a glorious chance for Dunfermline to open the scoring inside the first minute. A long ball from Lee Ashcroft made its way to Lewis McCann who got past his marker and played a pass to Kevin Nisbet. The striker, 10 yards from an open goal, put his shot wide of target. McCann then almost got his first Pars goal when he cleverly got past 2 Alloa defenders only to see his goal-bound shot headed clear. There was another near miss when Greg Kiltie couldn't divert Kyle Turner's shot beyond Alloa keeper Jamie MacDonald.
Although Dunfermline had more clear cut chances, Alloa were gradually getting into the game and playing the better football. There was a strange lethargy in the Pars' play while the visitors were linking up well but couldn't turn their impressive build up play into chances that might have troubled Cammy Gill in the home goal.
Five minutes into the second half, Alloa took the lead. After breaking up field, the ball fell to Adam Brown and from 30 yards the midfielder scored what will probably be the goal of his career with a great shot that flew into the top corner of Gill's net.
Seven minutes later, Dunfermline equalised. A hand ball by Nisbet in the lead up to the goal was missed by referee Colin Steven. The ball reached Kyle Turner whose well-placed shot from 19 yards gave drew Dunfermline level and gave the young midfielder his fifth goal of the season.
From that point on, Dunfermline dominated possession and ought to have scored at least once more to secure the 3 points the team deserved on the balance of play. Nisbet was having an off-day in front of goal - after his early miss, he had a free header in the 80th minute that hit the bar and then in the final minute, from another cross by substitute Josh Coley, Nisbet was unable to get his head to the ball a yard from goal.
Alloa once again proved to be a difficult opponent and Dunfermline ended the game disappointed not to have broken the winless run at home against the Clackmannanshire side. As I have remarked in almost every report this season, the young Pars team - with yesterday's side the most youthful fielded so far - will inevitable show inconsistency. There were positives to be taken from yesterday's game along with areas where there can, and hopefully will be, improvement, given time. The lack of a clinical edge was the difference between one point and three.
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