By David Buick
Goals from Kevin O’Hara, Declan McManus and Paul Watson sealed a dramatic comeback for Dunfermline that saw them come from two goals behind to beat Clyde 3-2 and top their League Cup group.
The visitors started well and managed to go into the break a goal to the good as Ally Love capitalised on a Euan Murray mistake to give the Bully Wee the lead. Dunfermline created numerous chances in the first half but really lacked a cutting edge and this theme continued into the second half.
Clyde on the other hand were ruthless; they went two goals to the good as Mark Lamont punished an Iain Wilson mistake to double their advantage. Stevie Crawford rung the changes, introducing first Kyle Turner and then Dom Thomas to try and change the game.
The Pars got right back in it as Fraser Murray was fouled in the box, allowing O’Hara to convert from the spot. From then on, the Pars really started to control the game, and it wasn’t long before the equaliser arrived.
Ryan Dow found McManus running in on goal and the Pars striker made no mistake as he rounded the keeper to level proceedings. The Pars pushed for the winner and much to their delight, found it inside stoppage time. A Turner free-kick was flicked on seemingly harmlessly by Watson, only for Clyde keeper Matej Vajs to let the ball slip through his fingers and into the net.
The spirited comeback sees the Pars top the group and head into Sunday’s League Cup last 16 draw as one of the seeded teams. Here are three things we learned.
Pars top their League Cup group, again!
For the fourth successive year now, the Pars have topped their League Cup group and headed into the knockout draw. Hearts, Dundee, St Mirren, and this year Kilmarnock from the Premiership have all been pipped to the top spot in groups with the Pars since the inception of the group stage format in 2017.
Crawford’s team once again find themselves in the last 16, this time as a seeded side as the Pars have now made it seven wins and a draw from their opening eight games.
Turner introduction a turning point for the Pars
With Dunfermline two goals down, it was clear that a spark was needed to help turn the game around. Crawford turned to Turner who came off the bench to help
transform Dunfermline’s afternoon.
Turner ran the show in the second half, always looking to get on the ball and get Dunfermline moving forward. His eye for a pass and ability to speed up the transition from defence to attack really helped the Pars cause. To cap his impressive performance, it was Turner’s in-swinging free kick that resulted in the winning goal for the Pars. A fine afternoon for the young man.
Positives in defeat for Danny Lennon’s side
Dunfermline have been flying so far this season whilst Clyde’s recent form has been poor. For his side to have more than matched the Pars for the most part, Danny Lennon will be able to take positives from the game.
In attack his side didn’t create an awful lot but on plenty of occasions looked threatening and they were clinical when presented with chances as Love and Lamont finished well. They did well to frustrate Dunfermline for the most part and nobody would have begrudged them at the very least taking the game to penalties.