Callum Smith’s first half strike was enough for Dunfermline to take all three points in the Development League against Dundee. Both teams fielded strong starting line ups with the likes of Kallum Higginbotham and Nat Wedderburn starting for the Pars, while James Vincent and Rory Loy were included in the Dundee line up.
Dunfermline started well, hounding the Dundee 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, with 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.
Callum 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 Callum 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 Callum Smith, but his header was straight at Mitchell. Higginbotham was causing Dundee’s stand-in right back James Vincent plenty of problems and the former Kilmarnock man’s cross was just missed by Euan Spark four minutes before the break.