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Arbroath 4-2 Dunfermline: Peter Grant faces fury as Bobby Linn brilliance punishes the Pars

Match-winner: Linn
Match-winner: Linn

Seething Dunfermline supporters called for the sacking of manager Peter Grant after the porous Pars blew a two-goal lead to lose 4-2 against a Bobby Linn-inspired Arbroath.

Kevin O’Hara bagged a brace in the opening stages at Gayfield but the visitors found themselves pegged back through goals from Lichties skipper Thomas O’Brien and Joel Nouble.

And the introduction of Bobby Linn proved decisive, with the wing wizard producing a stunner from distance before winning a late penalty which was converted by Michael McKenna.

The Fifers remain the only side in the SPFL without a league win and are three points adrift of guaranteed safety.

For all Dunfermline were dire, Arbroath – third in the table and four points off the summit – were wonderful.

They did not allow their heads to drop following a poor start to proceedings and showed guts, graft and guile.

The full-time whistle brought a barrage of abuse aimed at Grant, whose position appears increasingly precarious.

Changes

Dunfermline were without on-loan Dundee United defender Mark Connolly, who missed out for family reasons. He was replaced by Rhys Breen, making his first start for the club.

Double: O’Hara

Nikolay Todorov also came in for Craig Wighton.

Understandably, Arbroath felt no need to alter the starting XI which defeated league leaders Inverness 1-0 in midweek.

Frenetic first period

Dunfermline looked destined to finally end their interminable wait for a Championship victory following a blockbuster start.

Kevin O’Hara took just eight minutes to break the deadlock, converting a wonderful free-kick delivery from Dom Thomas at the far post.

O’Hara then sprung a ragged offside trap to hare through on goal and clinically fire beyond Derek Gaston.

However, Dick Campbell’s side have no shortage of character and gumption. They were never like to wilt.

And Arbroath halved arrears with 15 minutes on the clock when skipper O’Brien lashed home from close range following a poorly defended corner.

A subsequent tweet from the official Lichties account which read ‘Arbroath playing against the wind, will have the wind second half’ served as a thinly-veiled warning of an onslaught to come.

As it happens, Arbroath didn’t need to wait that long for a leveller.

Parity was restored prior to half-time when Nouble nodded home a phenomenal Michael McKenna delivery at the back post; his fifth goal of the campaign.

Leveller: Nouble

One-way traffic

The Lichties were the dominant force after the break and should have completed a marvellous turnaround when a McKenna corner found Colin Hamilton unmarked at the back post.

However, the experienced defender skewed his header over the bar.

That would prove a temporary reprieve for the visitors as a Lichties legend worked his magic.

Bobby Linn, on as a second-half substitute, cut in from the left flank and unleashed an outrageous dipping, swirling screamer from 30 yards to beat Owain Fon Williams. Special.

And the game was made safe when McKenna slotted home a cool penalty kick after Linn had been felled by Ryan Dow.

Arbroath: Joel Nouble hails ‘inspirational’ big brother Frank as he reveals sibling rivalry with ex-Chelsea and West Ham United forward

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