Hamilton Academical 0 - 3 Dunfermline AthleticAuthor: Alistair Campbell Date: Saturday, 29th Sep 2012
Class eventually told at New Douglas Park with the Pars running out winners by 3 goals. After an even and goal-less first half, Wallace finished off a neat move within 20 seconds of the restart. A second Wallace goal midway through the half secured the points before Thomson added a late third.
The Pars haven’t played many games in Hamilton in recent years. (Old) Douglas Park (now a Sainsbury’s) was the scene of the long awaited first George O’Boyle goal and also witnessed (more or less) a game fogged off with the Pars two goals to the good – the replay being drawn and the dropped point costing the Pars promotion. More recently, Pars fans travelled through in large numbers to the new ground for the first game of the 2007/08 season with high hopes of going straight back up following Stephen Kenny’s team’s relegation, only to come back to earth with a bump, losing to the future champions.
The artificial turf of that day has long since been replaced by grass, but Billy Reid was still there, as was his skipper Alex Neil who started in a 3 man central defence as the Accies looked to keep it tight. The Pars support was also significantly smaller and there was no need to use the small new stand that has appeared opposite the main stand.
As for the team, there had been injury doubts over Falkingham and Geggan, but both were passed fit and took their places in the normal starting eleven, namely Gallacher in goals, a back four of McMillan, Dowie, Morris and Jordan; a midfield quartet of Husband, Geggan, Falkingham with Cardle wide on the left and a forward duo of Barrowman and Wallace. On the bench Dargo was back along with Kirk and Thomson, Potter and Hrivnak, with Whittle missing out.
After Accies kicked off it was the Pars who enjoyed 40 seconds’ worth of possession, but any hopes of a lightning start were quickly dashed as the Pars were forced backwards. The home team showed plenty of bite and enthusiasm, and gave as good as they got in early stages. They were denied what looked like an obvious corner in 5 minutes when Jordan failed to clear and the ball was played to Crawford whose blocked shot spun over the bar, but soon had the ball in the quadrant as Dowie headed a long-range shot behind, Morris eventually clearing the danger.
The Pars only had a couple of tame attempts on target to show for their efforts – a Jordan free kick straight at Cuthbert, and a left footed effort from Husband that similarly left the home keeper untroubled.
Cardle on the other hand looked to be giving the right-back Gillespie plenty bother – ghosting past him in 20 minutes before dragging his shot wide, and again 5 minutes later when Husband pinged him a 40 yard cross-field pass, but Barrowman couldn’t get on the end of the cross.
Dunfermline had to stay alert as pressing forward in numbers left then potentially vulnerable on the break – Stevie May, who from a distance had a slight air of a blue-booted Miguel Ángel Jiménez about him, broke free half way through the half and managed to turn Morris but Jordan got there to nick the ball back to Gallacher – and Keatings outpaced Dowie before blasting a shot over from wide in the box.
The game was pretty scrappy – Hamilton conceding several free-kicks as they competed for the ball, but never in particularly dangerous areas – and the Pars’ play didn’t have its normal zip after their midweek exertions.
Cardle did have a half chance in 38 minutes, cutting inside, but again his attempt to drift the ball in the far corner was just too wide.
Half Time: Accies 0 Pars 0
There were no personnel changes at the break, but Jordan looked to have changed out of his green boots, and within 20 seconds of the restart these had contributed to the lead. Wallace fed Cardle on the left, his reverse ball found the overlapping Jordan and he laid it on a plate for Wallace 16 yards out who stuck it in the far corner of the net. 1-0 Pars.