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3 talking points from Dunfermline v Kilmarnock as injury to Deniz Mehmet sees young trialist start in goals

Deniz Mehmet made his first start since August.
Deniz Mehmet was named in the starting XI.

Dunfermline completed their preseason friendlies with a 1-0 defeat to Kilmarnock at East End Park.

Daniel Armstrong scored the only goal of the match after trialist goalkeeper Ryan Mullen’s error.

There were a couple of injury concerns – and another trialist came off the bench at
half-time – as James McPake’s men improved in the second half.

The Pars are now preparing to get their season under way, starting with a Premier Sports Cup group stage match versus East Fife at Bayview on Saturday.

Late change of goalkeeper – first goal conceded

Deniz Mehmet had been named on the team sheet but didn’t emerge for kick-off, meaning Mullen instead.

The 21-year-old is unattached after leaving Celtic in the summer and while there he spent time on loan at Cove Rangers and Queen’s Park.

A poor kick early on didn’t seem to disrupt his confidence and he later made a smart save from a Fraser Murray one-on-one following a misplaced pass from Aaron Comrie.

That was followed by a mistake for the opening goal on 24 minutes when he spilt the ball just when it seemed he had it comfortably under control

It allowed Daniel Armstrong to loop the ball into a vacant net.

The difficult stuff was coming easier to the young keeper as he saved a second
one-on-one, this time from Kerr McInroy.

However, he then went on to fumble a cross from a Kilmarnock corner.

McPake sticks to back four

It wasn’t clear from the team sheet how Dunfermline would line up.

With Comrie, Josh Edwards and Kyle MacDonald all starting, and Premiership opposition in Kilmarnock, it appeared McPake may start in a three-man defence.

The manager stuck to what appears to be his preferred formation – a 4-3-3 with Chris Hamilton at the base of midfield.

They appear to be well-drilled in the shape and while they would have liked to have carried more threat in front of goal, especially in the first half, there was some neat play in the final third.

Craig Wighton's playing time at Dunfermline was limited.
Craig Wighton started up front.

Craig Wighton was given the task of playing through the middle and he linked well with his teammates on a few occasions in the opening 45 minutes.

Half-time changes and another injury
concern

A triple-change was made at the break, with Comrie, MacDonald and Joe Chalmers replaced by Paul Allan, Lewis McCann and another trialist Ethen Vaughan.

The former Burnley and Norwich under-23 right-back seemed solid enough and got forward on a few occasions.

As if losing Mehmet from their already thin squad wasn’t enough of a blow, Rhys Breen left the pitch shortly after the break.

After receiving treatment he tried to continue but soon went down again before leaving the field.

It meant Nikolay Todorov was introduced and Wighton dropped into midfield, with Hamilton moving into defence.

Second-half sub: Nikolay Todorov.

It led to their best spell of the match, with Todorov forcing a save from Walker from distance and then going close with a header from a corner.

O’Hara also came close in what was an awkward effort on the turn in front of goal.

The biggest cheer of the day came for Andrew Tod jr when the 16-year-old fulfiled a lifelong ambition of playing at East End Park when he came on as a late sub.

Dunfermline’s James McPake on loan market ‘domino effect’ and the managerial merry-go-round disrupting transfers

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