Dunfermline City Hockey Club News story

Weakened but stubborn City defeat experienced Falkirk Line up

23 Sep 2017

Dunfermline City went into this match minus several regulars with injuries and holidays and other commitments being the order of the day. Skipper Neil Fleming was one of those missing making Miller stand in skipper for the day.
We looked like having 14 players for the game - but two late call offs on Friday and one Saturday morning left us with just 11.

This made the subbing easy for a change - but just the tactics team set up for Miller and coach McInally to figure out.

We went with Murray in goals - Buchanan right back Buttercase snr sweeper, Cunniffe centre back and Coles left back. In the middle of the park - Luff wide right - Campbell wide right and the dynamic duo of Ben Buttercase and the lean mean machine Edwards in the middle. Miller and Alan Green led the line.

City got the game underway and it was Falkik who dominated from the outset - with City struggling to break free - but City gradually settled into the game and started to find that break aways were going to be their strength today. 

The first break away of note led Buttercase and Campbell down the left - and City ended up with the ball in the Falkirk D - the ball broke to Miller at the top of the D whose first time shot was well saved by the keeper.

Falkirk kept on pressing with a lot of possession - but it was City who were finding the space in midfield to run at with many times Buttercase/Edwards or Miller finding time to drive forward. 

Falkirk had a very experienced line up and it looked like this would be to there advantage - but one of their key players Jewels was marked out the game by Ben - who took the ball of him every time he got it. 

The City defence were being well marshalled and the whole back four were not letting the ball near Murray in goal who wasnt being tested.

City took the lead when a breakaway led to a short corner - Creag Campbell was composed and struck the ball home approx 15 minutes into the game.

City took confidence from this - and kept breaking away quickly - the next attack saw Luff released one on one with the keeper - the keeper saved and as the ball came out the D - Miller reacted first - beating a defender to the ball dinking it past him then unleashing a shot in to the far bottom corner to make it 2.0.

City conceded a few short corners but nothing came of them - City also had a few short corners but "powder puff" shots from Buttercase were blocked. 

Half time - 2.0 up and this was proving to be one of the best composed City performances in a while with everyone fighting for each other.

Mike gave a rousing team talk - and suggested that the only change he would change is Creag replace Ben as the left option for short corners due to his powder puff shots!!! (Mike had to eat his hat later)

Second half began - and it was more of the same - lots of possession for Falkirk - but it was still City who looked more dangerous on the break.

One move saw Buttercase play an excellent ball to Miller whose first time shot was inches past the post.

Creag Campbell was then unluck with an effort which was well saved.

City did grab the third when Ben Buttercase drove into the d and unleashed a powder - power drive into the back of the goals - an excellent strike to make the score 3.0.

City with 11 men were now starting to tire - and Falkirk with their rotation system were looking the fresher team.

They got a goal back as City allowed one of their defenders to drift into the D - Noone closed him down and he reverse hit a shot goalwards which caught Murray unawares and went into the goal.

Now Falkirk had the imputus and did look like they were going to mount a comeback - but City to a man kept fighting away.

Falkirk with 5 minutes to go did get a second. Edwards fouled outside the D - and the free hit was taken quickly - Edwards hadnt retrieved 5 yards so couldnt tackle - and for some reason noone else tackled which allowed the midfielder to drift into the d and shoot past Murray.

3.2 and it was squeeky bum time.

City should however have sealed it as Edwards released Miller down the right wing. Miller drove down the wing and then played a precision ball at pace to Edwards on the penalty spot whose first time effort just skimmed over the bar for what would have been a goal of the season contender.

City did seal the win when it looked like an attack was breaking down - Green was about to usher the ball out the Falirk D with his back to goal - when Miller advanced and called for the ball - Green left it the ball say up a couple of inches and Miller half volleyed the ball home with one of the cleanest strikes of the day - actually breaking the backboard to make the score 4.2. There was a minute left on the clock - but Falkirk kept going.

Athol Murray - made an outstanding double save - but then Falkirk were awarded a short corner - and the full time whistle came at the same time.
The short corner came to nothing and City had a well deserved 4.2 win.

This was an outstanding team performance against a very experienced Falkirk line up.

To a man everyone fought for each other - there was no inter team moaning - most moans if any were towards umpire. But this was a composed and accomplished performance. AND NO BOOKINGS!!

To a man:
Murray - marshalled his defence well - made a couple of excellent saves when it mattered.
Buchanan - Was outstanding at RB - nothing got passed him and composed on the ball.
K Buttercase - Marshalled the defence well - and blocked anything that came near him.
Cunniffe - Broke down attack after attack = and sending us on counter attacks.
Coles - A new position same result - committed and solid - some great tackles and clearances.
Luff - worked tirelessly getting up and down the wing to defend and attack - instrumental in the City 2nd goal.
Campbell - another tireless performance getting back and forward and took his goal brilliantly
Edwards - man mountain - a legend - creative in all senses.
Ben Buttercase - MOM performance - marked Falkirks key men out the game with excellent tackling - some strike for the 3rd goal.
Al Green - worked tireless working the line up front - held up the ball well - made it hard for Falkirk to get the ball out of defence and unlucky not to score himself.
Miller - worked up and back - and pace on counter attacks proved telling - two excellent strikes for crucial goals.

Thanks also to Graeme for another excellent game umpiring - and to Mike for the pre match warm up and managing the team to a win shouting numerous instructions to keep us motivated throughout.

Now lets hope we can take this team spirit into our next game against Stirling Wanderers at Woodmill.
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