Dunfermline 4-0 Livingston: Barrowman is par excellence
Partick Thistle’s unblemished start to the season may have caught the eye but Dunfermline continued their dogged pursuit of the First Division pacesetters with a victory as remarkable for the ease with which it was accomplished as its margin.
While both these sides were expected to be among the contenders for the championship flag, on the evidence of this lop-sided affair they are headed in very different directions at the moment, with Livingston serving up an utterly toothless display.
Andy Barrowman may have taken a while to win his way into the affections of the Dunfermline supporters, but with two goals and two assists he made a major contribution to a victory that understandably had Pars manager Jim Jefferies beaming about a job well done. “Our game plan was to get on top of them and force them into errors and that’s what happened,” he reflected before still finding further areas for improvement, albeit with a grin. “You’re always happy with a four-goal haul, but when you see some of the chances we missed today there could have been even more.”
The Fifers’ complete domination of this encounter spanned from the early stages to right until the end with Livingston displaying a lamentable lack of purpose and resistance. “We were well beaten, men against boys,” was John Hughes’ candid assessment of his charges. “We’re better than that but just seem to be lacking a bit of energy and know-how at the moment.”
A tentative opening phase aside, the hosts wasted little time in creating a procession of chances. On the ten-minute mark Joe Cardle sliced the visitors’ flimsy rearguard open with a telling through-ball to which Barrowman only just failed to apply the finishing touch, and shortly afterwards it was Cardle himself who should have opened the scoring after he chested down a Jordan McMillan cross in the box but then blasted his effort wildly over the bar.
As Barrowman also failed to hit the target after defensive mix-up allowed him to break clear, the only concern among the Dunfermline fans at this stage might have been that their side would be punished for inability to make their patent superiority count. Any such fears were quickly laid to rest in a productive three-minute spell which firstly saw the omnipresent Barrowman redeem himself with a simple finish after Ryan Wallace had pounced on yet more tepid Livingston defending, and then McMillan steal in from the right to send an angled shot past the helpless Andy McNeil.
Craig Dargo had played an important role in orchestrating many of the Fifers’ attacking forays during the first half and the visitors might have hoped his withdrawal just after the interval would offer some respite from the siege. Instead it led to more of the same with his replacement, Ryan Thomson, increasing Dunfermline’s lead within minutes of taking to the field by applying a headed finish to a lay-off from Barrowman.
It would have been hard for the visitors to have been any more anonymous after the break than they were in the opening 45 minutes, but somehow they contrived to do just that, with Paul Gallagher in the Dunfermline goal probably experiencing one of the quietest afternoons in his long professional career. Up at the other end Barrowman, who had led the line for the Fifers in exemplary fashion, earned himself a deserved ovation from the home fans after adding his second and his side’s fourth by lofting the ball over McNeil after being put clear.
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Monday 20 May 2013
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