10-04-2016, 05:38 PM
The U20’s suffered their second league defeat of the season against Dunfermline at East End Park. Seven changes were made to the side that saw off St Johnstone last week with David Mitchell, James Vincent, Julen Etxabeguren, Greg Warwick, Taylor Berry, Iain Smith and Rory Loy all brought in alongside Kerr Waddell, Jesse Curran, Connor Coupe and Josh Skelly. Despite the first team regulars, the Dees fell behind midway through the first half and never really recovered meaning the Pars took all three points.
Dunfermline started well, hounding the Dark Blues defenders when they were in possession. With three minutes on the clock Scott Lochhead got to the by-line, but nobody in a red shirt could get on the end of the cutback. The resulting goal kick saw Connor Coupe involved in a nasty clash of heads with Dunfermline’s Reece Duncan. The Dundee man coming off worse out of the two.
The Pars should have been ahead after 12 minutes. David Hopkirk was sent through on goal and took the ball around Dundee’s David Mitchell but a heavy touch allowed Etxabeguren to recover and clear the ball before the Dunfermline man could get a shot away.
Smith was sent in one on one with Mitchell after 20 minutes, but the Dundee stopper did well to deny the Dunfermline number nine. Four minutes later, Connor Coupe was replaced by Kyle Clark. The winger was unable to recover from his earlier head knock.
The loss of the influential Coupe was a blow to the Dees, but things were about to get worse as 60 seconds later, the hosts were ahead. The ball broke through to Smith inside the area, and the striker took the ball around Mitchell and rolled it into the empty net. The Pars had the lead that their early domination deserved.
The hosts continued to put the Dees under pressure and just two minutes after the opener, Mitchell had to produce a fine save to keep out Scott Lochhead’s low drive.
The Dees were second best all over the park and should have been further behind just after the half hour mark, Kallum Higginbotham’s cross as met by Smith, but his header was straight at Mitchell. Higginbotham was causing stand-in right James Vincent back plenty of problems and the former Kilmarnock man’s cross was just missed by Euan Spark four minutes before the break.
The Dees reshuffled the pack at the start of the second half. Kyle Clark dropped into right back allowing James Vincent to move into midfield. Iain Smith, Rory Loy and Iain Smith made up the front three.
Higginbotham was continuing to cause Dundee problems. The tricky winger sending two curling shots just over the crossbar. Lochhead flashed an effort just wide of the post after the hour mark.
Dundee’s first shot of the game came courtesy of Rory Loy after 70 minutes. Kyle Clark’s pass was misjudged by the Dunfermline defence, but goalkeeper Cammy Gill did well to turn Loy’s low drive away from danger.
The Dark Blues were beginning to show signs of improvement and went close again through Loy after 71 minutes. The striker got on the end of Iain Smith’s cross, but his header was comfortably saved by Gill.
The Dees managed to win a handful of corners but failed to ask any questions of Gill. In truth, this was a poor performance from the Dees who were outfought by a strong Dunfermline side. The Dees will have to move on from this result and focus on picking up three points next time out.
Dunfermline (4-2-3-1): Gill, Duncan, Duthie, Spark, Fordyce, Galloway, Lochhead, Wedderburn (Horne 60), Smith, Hopkirk, Higginbotham
Subs Unused: Luke, Crawford, Thomas, Robertson, Dunn (GK)
Goals: Smith 25’
Dundee (4-2-3-1): Mitchell, Vincent, Etxabeguren, Waddell, Warwick, Coupe (Clark 24), Berry (Moore 55), Curran, I. Smith, Loy, Skelly (M. Smith 85)
Subs Unused: Ferrie (GK)
Report: Andrew Creegan