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Dunfermline Athletic 1 - 0 Aberdeen

HT Score: Dunfermline Athletic 0 - 0 Aberdeen

Dunfermline Athletic scorers: Clarke 53

21/07/2010 | KO: 19:45

Pars Beat Dons in Dunfermline

The Dons fans travelled to East End Park in hope of seeing possible new signing Lee Hendrie and they got their wish as Mark McGhee named him in the starting eleven.

The Dons lined up with Rory McArdle again at right back. Zander, who was skipper for the third game running, was at centre half with Jerel Ifil and Grant Basey at left back. In front of him was Robbie Williams. Lee Hendrie and Adnan Ahmed were in the centre of midfield with Fraser Fyvie playing right midfield. Chris Maguire, the standout player in pre-season so far was partnered up front with Michael Paton.

In torrential rain the Dons started the game brightly and were knocking the ball about on the wet surface with some aplomb. However it was Dunfermline who had the first chance of the game when Nick Phinn got in behind the Dons back four but with only Langfield to beat he dragged his shot wide. Credit to the keeper for getting out quickly and not giving him any target to shoot at.

On 20 minutes Paul Willis was picked out on the left hand side. He had time to get a shot on goal but his powerful effort was palmed away by Langfield. From the resulting set play the Dons failed to deal with the cross and were forced to concede another corner. From that set-piece Alex Keddie was given a free header but thankfully he missed the target.

On 22 minutes a quick move from the Dons set Maguire free. The striker played a lovely ball through but it was just too wide for Paton to take on the run. Maguire again though was looking very sharp. Four minutes later Paton had to come off and was replaced by Josh Magennis. It was unclear what was wrong with the striker. Hopefully nothing too serious as the Dons injury list was just beginning to clear up.

Two minutes later hesitation at the back from the Aberdeen midfielders and defenders allowed Keddie to get a shot on goal but again he was off target. On the half hour mark the Dons had their best chance. The ball broke to Maguire in the box but he placed his first time effort wide. Chris probably had time to take a touch. Ahmed then got himself in trouble with the referee for a late tackle. The midfielder is not scarred to make a challenge!

Dunfermline are ahead of the Dons in terms of pre-season training and match action as their season starts next Saturday and they were looking the sharper of the two at this stage. The home side created a good passing move down the right. From the cross Andy Kirk got ahead of his marker but his shot was comfortably saved by Langfield.

On 36 minutes Fraser Fyvie won a corner after battling away down the right. Williams, who has been taking all the Dons set pieces played in a superb ball to the near post and with McArdle in close attendance the Dunfermline defence were forced to scramble the ball behind for another corner. 

The manager made just the one change at the break with Howard replacing Langfield in goal, but then a couple of minutes into the second half Jeff Smith came on for Ifil and moved into the wide left position with Williams moving to left back and Basey moving to centre half. Folley came on for Ahmed in the middle of the park before Foster came on for Fyvie.

With all that going on the Dons were still trying to get themselves organised when Dunfermline took the lead on 53 minutes. McArdle lost possesion in the middle of the park and the Pars moved the ball quickly to Andy Kirk. The striker took the ball wide, pulling Zander with him. He then put in a great cross and Pat Clarke had all the time in the world to head home past Howard.

Minutes later Hendrie was replaced by Okus. The Englishman got warm applause from the travelling Aberdeen fans as he left the field. He had a decent game and showed some great touches. 55 minutes and Maguire picked the ball up in space and played Magennis in. The big striker was taken down just outside the box. Williams stepped up to take the free kick and he curled his effort inches wide. Williams was again very impressive from set plays.  

Megginson then replaced Maguire up front. The U19 player's first touch saw him pick the ball up on the half way line. Although he had options left and right he had the confidence to stride forward and hit a fine shot and Chris Smith was forced to make a smart save. On the hour mark Foster, who again was playing right midfield burst forward and hit a good low drive that went inches wide.

68 minutes, just as the game was beginning to die a death, Richard Foster had a fantastic forward run. He played the ball to Smith. He put in a decent cross but Megginson could not quite get enough on his header to direct it goalwards. Then Aberdeen broke forward again but Magennis dallied on the ball when he had options and Dunfermline raced to the other end. Substitute Joe Cardle hit a fine shot that appeared to be heading into the top hand corner until Howard produced a quite brilliant save to tip it over.

77 minutes and Megginson, who had done very well since coming on, played in a cross from the left. The ball broke to Smith who did well and send a lovely ball across the face of goal but no one gambled and made a run in on goal.

Then from the left again Foster put another cross in. Although there was not much pace on the ball Magennis did really well to get above everyone and put a powerful header in. Smith just kept it out. The ball broke to McArdle but the defender hurried his shot and fired high and wide. The Dons fans were happier with the players efforts though.

In the closing stages Aberdeen were well on top. Smith and Williams fired in a couple of great crosses but the Dons strikers could just not get that vital touch. Then Dunfermline went down to ten men when Keddie got injured. With all the subs already on they had to play a man down. The Dons kept going forward but were unable to grab an equaliser which they deserved.

Dunfermline Athletic Teamsheet
Chris Smith (Kyle Allison 61), Calum Woods (Neil McGregor 61), Andy Dowie, Alex Keddie, Chris Higgins, Paul Willis (Steven McDougall 46), Gary Mason (c)(Ryan Thomson 61), Nick Phinn (Steven Bell 46), David Graham (Joe Cardle 46), Pat Clarke, Andy Kirk (Jordan White 61).
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Langfield (Howard 46), McArdle, Ifil (Smith 48), Diamond, Basey, Ahmed (Folly 48), Fyvie (Foster 49), Hendrie (Okus 54), Williams, Maguire (Megginson 58), Paton (Magennis 27).
Attendance: 1,037
Venue: East End Park, Dunfermline
Referee: Steven Nicholl,