A 2-0 absolute PUMPING: maybe not the most eloquent description but one that is entirely fitting. We asked for what we saw in the spirited final 10 minutes of last week's game, but spread over the 90, and we got it. It mattered not that this was the worst Falkirk side in living memory - what on earth was their former manager Paul Hartley doing in the summer, bringing in such dross? Their problem, not ours - we dealt with them professionally and could have had 5 or 6 but for an inspired Falkirk goalkeeper, the crossbar, and bad luck when a couple of decent efforts narrowly missed.
The same starting 11 that defeated Partick Thistle was named again today and from the outset it was clear that we were playing on a different level to our rivals. Falkirk's only tactic was to commit a series of fouls that should have caused referee Bobby Madden to issue more yellow cards. Our midfield bossed the game - James Vincent had possibly his best game for Dunfermline, while Malaury Martin once again oozed class - despite lacking pace, the Frenchman is sheer quality - for me, the best midfielder in the Championship.
Our domination was not reflected in the scoreline - both our goals came late in each half, the first from Andy Ryan, and the second from the pantomime villain from old Pars/Falkirk games, when he played in Falkirk blue - sub Myles Hippolyte, who also saw an effort hit the bar. The lively Pars support sang Hipployte's name, winding up the home support in the process. Ryan's goal was a header from a Louis Longridge (another ex-Bairn!) cross, while Hippolyte's late clincher came after great work by Faissal El Bakhtaoui. Quite how Faissal didn't score today is a mystery: Falkirk keeper Leo Fasan denied him 3 times, the third of which was set to be a superb goal until the tall keeper turned the shot round the post.
Aidan Connolly came close with a shot from 22 yards, Ryan shot into the side netting after making space for himself inside the box, and there were other effort that contributed to the Pars' total of 18 attempts at goal. In comparison, Falkirk had 3 attempts at goal, with only 1 on target.
This was a hugely satisfying afternoon: rarely have we dominated a game so much, especially against Falkirk. We are now outside the play-off places by goal difference - level on points with fourth place Dundee United. Just over 2 weeks ago, the upcoming League games against Morton, Partick and Falkirk were seen as pivotal for the club's hopes this season, and for the manager, who was under pressure after a series of defeats: 7 points (which could easily have been 9) later, we have made steady progress, securing some important results, in the knowledge that there is even more to come from the team, who will take great confidence from today's result and performance.
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