A performance that echoed the early days of the Allan Johnston era, when Dunfermline rattled in goals at will: 4, 5, 6 and then 7 were scored in a 4 game period in 2015 and this evening saw a return to that type of goalscoring form. The Betfred Cup has provided enough examples of teams from higher divisions struggling against part-time opposition this season, so tonight's emphatic win should be enjoyed and appreciated: this new-look Pars side could be on the verge of a very special season.
The team lined up in the same 3-5-2 formation as in the previous 2 Betfred games but with Faissal El Bakhtaoui up front, making his debut in his second spell with the club. Joe Thomson dropped to the bench and Louis Longridge moved to midfield after playing in a more attacking position at Dundee 3 days ago. From the start, the Pars dominated and within 15 minutes were 3-0 ahead. Danny Devine got his first goal for the club after 7 minutes, heading in a James Craigen free kick. Louis Longridge then opened his goalscoring account for the Pars a minute later, finishing well after a pass from Faissal. In the 15th minute, the French-Moroccan striker made it 3-0 with a very well taken goal. Ryan Williamson then had a shot cleared off the line and the only surprise was that it took until the 43rd minute for the next goal to come. Faissal charged down a clearance from Brechin keeper Conor Brennan and put the ball into the empty net.
Andy Ryan and James Vincent were brought on at half time for Faissal and James Craigen. Brechin were reduced to 10 men after 52 minutes when Guilliano Morena received his second yellow card. Six minutes later Ryan proved again what an instinctive goalscorer he is, shooting home after good work from Aidan Connolly, who had replaced Louis Longridge 2 minutes earlier.
Brechin scored an unlikely goal to reduce the deficit to 5-1, Dene Shields (not Dean Shiels) the scorer after 61 minutes after a mix-up in the Dunfermline defence. Ryan then got his second after 63 minutes and almost had a hat trick soon after but saw his shot well saved by Brennan.
With 4 minutes remaining, Myles Hippolyte made it 7-1 to round off an excellent performance by the team.
As a unit, the team/squad have made a very promising start to the season. What every successful team also needs is a player who is capable of lighting up a game and we certainly have that with Faissal. The weeks and months ahead will be very interesting.
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