The season's first competitive game saw Dunfermline produce an impressive performance, with several players hitting form from the start. Arbroath boss Dick Campbell had watched his side hold Dundee United to a draw in the first Betfred League Cup tie, but there was to be no repeat of that scoreline at East End Park last night, such was Dunfermline's superiority.
The Pars began with Lee Ashcroft, Nat Wedderburn and Gavin Reilly making their debuts, and with David Hutton in goal, replacing the injured Sean Murdoch. The lively front pairing of Reilly and the Moff soon caused the visitors problems, and Moffat showed an encouraging willingness to shoot, a sign of his increasing confidence.
The only surprise in the first half was that it took the Pars 44 minutes to open the scoring. Reilly beat Arbroath keeper Robbie Mutch to a passback, and played the ball across goal for the Moff to finish.
The second half began with more waves of attack from Dunfermline, but Arbroath proved to be dangerous on the counterattack. Hutton made a great save from a Bobby Linn shot, and Omar Keder also came close with another effort. Joe Cardle was enjoying a free role to play across the front line, from his usual position on the left, but with greater freedom to move around the pitch. Cardle almost doubled the Pars lead when his shot from 20 yards hit the post after 60 minutes.
The second goal came a minute later, and it began again with Reilly, who passed to Moffat, who then played in Andy Geggan to finish off the move.
Dunfermline fans were then treated to debut appearances from the bench by Kallum Higginbotham and Paul McMullan. Higginbotham (pictured) immediately took a grip of the game, showing a fantastic array of passes and excellent close control and vision. His 60 yard crossfield pass found the rampaging Ryan Williamson on the right, and from the fullback's cross, the Moff put the ball past Mutch to make it 3-0.
With 4 minutes remaining, Arbroath had a player red carded in what is now becoming a tradition for teams managed by Dick Campbell when visiting East End Park. This time it was Ricky Little's turn to assault Paul McMullan and earn a straight red. It seems that everytime his teams lose at Dunfermline (which is often), Dick makes sure at least one of his players tries to cripple a Pars player so that the day isn't a complete waste for him. The photo below shows Little leaving the field following his sending off.
Pars team: Hutton, Williamson, Martin, Ashcroft, Richards-Everton, Geggan, McCabe, Wedderburn, Reilly, Moffat, Cardle. Subs used: Higginbotham, McMullan, Spence.
Pars Review man of the match: Michael Moffat.