Dunfermline Athletic’s Kevin Nisbet has claimed that he wants to build up a partnership with Celtic’s Jonathan Afolabi.
Afolabi made only his third appearance for the Pars in their Championship win against Dundee United at the weekend. And he would turn out to be the hero too after netting his first goal for the club on loan from Parkhead.
Afolabi’s strike was Dunfermline’s second of the game after Nisbet bagged his 23rd goal of the season against the Arabs with a fine first-half header (Transfermarkt).
And after downing the league leaders 2-0 at East End Park, Nisbet told Not The Old Firm that he hopes it’s the start of a good partnership with the Celtic youngster.
“It was good for big Jonathan to get his first goal as well so hopefully he can kick on from there. For us it’s a team game.
“Me and John have to work hard up front and keep our shape. I think for us it was just about getting a win again after the defeat to Inverness. Now we’ve got Arbroath on Wednesday which is another big game for us.
“I think we’ve got the pace to break on teams. Hopefully me and John keep striking up a good partnership.”
Nothing more than a start
In all of Afolabi’s three Dunfermline appearances, he’s only played alongside Nisbet in two games. Therefore, there’s a long way to go before Pars boss Stevie Crawford can start getting too excited about the partnership.
Even so, Afolabi’s goal against United was huge on so many levels. Not only was it his first goal at senior level and his first strike in Scotland – it was also the goal that confirmed Dunfermline’s first home win against United in 13 years.
So he’s already making history in these early stages of his time in Fife. Of course, he won’t have long to get used to it before he’s back at Lennoxtown again. The agreement is only in a deal until the end of the season, meaning we’ll have him back in just a couple of months’ time.
But just getting Afolabi some game-time is vital at this stage. He’s had six months to settle into life in Scotland, and now having the pressure of trying to get into the promotion playoff spots will be a nice starter test for him.
Next up for the Celtic striker is a clash at Arbroath tomorrow night. He’ll be in action whilst the Hoops travel to Livingston, so hopefully it’s a nice double for him to celebrate post-match.
His partnership with Nisbet is an exciting one. He has the second-highest goalscorer in the championship alongside him, and that should lead to more opportunities for our man to get on the scoresheet. With Neil Lennon also recently putting a 3-5-2 into place, it’s ideal for Afolabi to continue working with a partner.