A look back at one of the best Pars games from last season, and the match report from Pars Review.
Game: Hibs 2, Pars 2
Date: 25 February 2017
Venue: Easter Road
Pars Review match report (link: www.parsreview.org/blog/match-report-hibs-2-pars-2)
For long periods in this game, this was as good a performance as I have seen from a Dunfermline team. Given the huge lift that Hibs went into the game with, after their midweek win over Hearts, and backed by a big home support, the fightback after going 2-0 down and the way the game was taken to the home side, was great to see, and has set a standard that these players are capable of reaching, and possibly exceeding.
There was one change to the starting 11 that lost on a penalty shoot out to Hamilton in the Scottish Cup - captain Andy Geggan replacing the injured Lewis Martin, a change that was anticipated even had Martin been fit. The sixth minute saw Hibs take advantage of space left by Geggan on the wing, with the ball then played over the Pars central defence and met by Martin Boyle who ghosted in past a static Jason Talbot to score.
Hibs second goal was also the result of slack defending, Talbot pulling down Boyle for a definite penalty. Jason Cummings scored the kick with ease, with 24 minutes gone.
At this point a drubbing looked on the cards but 2 minutes later Dunfermline were given a lifeline when Nicky Clark flicked a pass to Paul McMullan that was missed by Hibs' David Gray. McMullan took full advantage and scored his first League goal for the Pars, on his 21st birthday. McMullan then brought out a great save from Hibs keeper Ofir Marciano with a well struck shot that was heading for the top corner. Halftime came with Dunfermline showing signs of getting something from the game, which had earlier seemed highly unlikely.
The Dunfermline equaliser came a minute into the second half with a piece of Kallum Higginbotham brilliance. The winger received the ball inside the penalty box and placed his shot firmly past Marciano.
From this point onwards, for at least the next 20 minutes, Dunfermline took a firm hold of the game, and created multiple chances, with Moffat, McMullan and, especially, Clark seeing shots cleared off the line and saved by the excellent Hibs keeper. Some of the Pars' efforts on goal seemed certain to go in, and it was with a sense of disbelief that the scoreline stayed 2-2. Sean Murdoch was assured and made one save of significance, tipping a header over following a long punt upfield from the home side. Geggan was having a very good game, while Talbot recovered from his poor start to have a storming game up the left side, linking with McMullan. Ashcroft and Morris in central defence were dominant and restricted Hibs to long range efforts. Wedderburn was the main presence in midfield, and on the right Higginbotham showed the maverick ability he has, frustrating at times but capable of great skill. In attack Clark will wonder how he did not score. Moffat had one of his best ever games for the club, showing his intelligence and being a focal point of most of the Pars' attacks. Both strikers worked tremendously hard for the team.
The final 15 minutes lacked the drama that had preceded, but the despicable antics of Neil Lennon on the touchline, ranting and raving and waving imaginary cards, showed how rattled the League leaders were.
A great game, and as stated above, for a long period this was as good a performance as any Pars fan has witnessed in recent years.
Starting 11, with marks out of 10:
Photos & edited image by Pars Review.