Dunfermline extended their unbeaten run to 11 games and gained a first point of the season from games against Dundee United in today's game at a wintery East End Park. Manager Allan Johnston brought Jason Talbot and Michael Moffat back into the team, with Callum Morris making his League debut in his second spell with the club. The game began with snow falling, and temperatures around zero Celcius. The first chance fell to the Pars when Nicky Clark broke forward and passed to the Moff, whose shot beat United keeper Cammy Bell, but was cleared off the line by William Edjenguele.
Dunfermline fell behind after 18 minutes when the defence stood back and allowed Tony Andreu to shoot from just outside the penalty box. The strike beat Sean Murdoch, who went onto have a great game but may feel he could have got down earlier to the shot. Murdoch then made a poor clearance which put United straight on the attack, but luckily the visitors failed to take advantage.
The Pars equalised in the 28th minute with a well made goal. Kallum Higginbotham played a pass to Nat Wedderburn, who found Higginbotham with a return pass. The Pars winger then sent an accurate cross into the box which was met by John Herron, to score his first Dunfermline goal.
Murdoch made the first of several crucial saves shortly before half time from a shot by Thomas Mikkelson. The first half ended level, with United keeper Cammy Bell limping back to the changing room, to be replaced by substitute keeper Luis Zwick at the start of the second half.
Dunfermline had most of the ball in the opening 20 minutes of the second period. Nat Wedderburn was having a tremendous game in midfield, dominating the ball, using his physique to win physical challenges, and also displaying a great range of passing. The Pars fans in the North West stand sang the big midfielder's name, appreciating what was another impressive game from the Pars number 8.
Murdoch was the team's other standout performer today, making excellent saves from Andreu (twice) and, best of all, from a Blair Spittal freekick that looked a goal all the way until Murdoch's acrobatic leap to tip the ball over the bar.
Paul McMullan had a chance to put Dunfermline ahead but spooned his shot over the bar. Wedderburn then met a cross but his goalbound header was blocked and cleared. Although United were the more threatening team as the second half progressed, that did not prevent Pars sub Gavin Reilly from squeezing a shot from a tight angle that Zwick saved.
This was an entertaining game that deservedly did not have a losing team.
Pars starting 11, with marks out of 10:
Photos by Pars Review.
Tomorrow: full match photo gallery.