TEAM NEWS: In goal, Cammy Gill was given his first start in a Pars competitive game, while Ryan Williamson and Kallum Higginbotham - both suspended for next week's opening Championship game - were listed among the substitutes. Midfielder James Craigen moved to right wingback, his usual place taken by James Vincent, while Joe Thomson was given Higgy's number 7 shirt.
OPINION: Job done: a second half turnaround ensured the Pars completed Group D of this season's Betfred Cup with a 100% record and will be seeded in the knockout stages. After impressive displays in the previous group games, the first half today was surprisingly flat - or as I tweeted at half time - ''drab and lifeless". There was little to excite the crowd and while not playing badly, the team were sleepwalking, in deed of a jolt to wake them up. Stirling scored through veteran striker Peter MacDonald in the 36th minute and went in at half time 1-0 up.
The second half was, thankfully, a different story. The players collectively emerged from their slumber and began to play as we know they can - there was much to admire about the crisp, quick, incisive passing movements involving players such as Faissal, Myles Hippolyte and Louis Longridge. It was Hippolyte who equalised after 47 minutes, mercifully not flagged for a possible offside by a clueless linesman who spent the rest of the game either flagging incorrectly or waiting on the referee to tell him. The Pars striker ran through and tucked the ball beyond Cameron Binnie in the Stirling goal.
Dunfermline went ahead in the 56th minute after some trickery by Faissal, juggling the ball and flicking it against the bar from an impossible angle, the ball then falling for James Vincent to head home from close in.
The team were cutting through Stirling by this point, a series of one-touch slide rule passes from player to player being very pleasing on the eye, and denied a further goal by a crowded Stirling backline. The third goal came in added on time, sub Andy Ryan's free kick striking the bar and the rebound turned in by Hippolyte for his fourth goal in the Betfred competition.
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