Co-operative Insurance Cup v St Mirren
DUNFERMLINE 2 ST MIRREN 0 Date: 23/09/08
Co-operative Insurance Cup Third Round
Attendance: 2186, Kick off 19.45
Referee: Calum Murray
Dunfermline fielded an unchanged eleven for the visit of St Mirren in the Co-operative Insurance Cup. Having reached the third round by defeating Peterhead and Alloa Athletic, this was going to be a real test to see what gulf exists between the First Division and the SPL.
Gus MacPherson`s side included ex Pars John Potter, Gary Mason, Jim Hamilton and Billy Mehmet and it was Gaz and Hammy who kicked off attacking the goal in front of a sparsely populated McCathie Stand. The visitors created the first effort at goal in fifth minute when Mason pushed the ball wide for Jack Ross to pump over a ball to Mehmet at the back post but his header was wide left
Jim Hamilton headed another Ross cross on to the roof of the net before former Buddy, Alex Burke stole the ball on halfway to release Andy Kirk. His ball to Kevin Harper appeared to have put the winger in an impossible position but he carved out room for a good cross that got no takers.
Dunfermline settled and a Scott Thomson free kick skimmed off Scott Wilson to drop for Graham Bayne but his shot from an acute angle was smashed outside the left post. Nipper kept up the pressure pinning Saints into the bottom right corner and Harper won a 17th minute corner that he took, supplying Bell with a header that was cleared away by Ross.
Harper continued to cause the Paisley side problems and it didn`t help when Mark Howard failed to take a cross cleanly. Next the Pars no.7 made a embarked on a run across the park to feed Austin McCann a ball that he lofted over from the left. The opposition defence in the shape of Franco Miranda was happy to hook away the half connection from Bayne`s header.
On the half hour Gary Brady allowed Nick Phinn to dispossess him inside the centre circle. Phinn`s red boots took the ball to 25 yards out before trying a shot that rebounded for Bell to return but this time Bayne`s attempt was to be stopped by the defence. Thomson was up to send over another inviting ball but this time just too high for Bell to head home.
Saints kept the cup tie spirit going, with both wing backs getting near enough to power shots wide of Gallacher`s goals. Then there was a brave dive for a header by Hamilton that Wilson blocked and in the same attack Shields closed out Mehmet. The home support might have lacked numbers but they did not lack a jeer or two as St Mirren`s passing broke down.
The SPL side`s best chance came on the stroke of half time when Hamilton`s drive was stopped by Bell and then Stephen McGinn saw his 25 yarder deflected wide off Shields.
Half Time: Dunfermline 0 St Mirren 0
Both sides had their chances in the early stages of the second period with Mehmet looking the biggest menace from the supply of Ross. Potter had to head behind when a move from Burke on the left to Harper on the right via Steven Bell was centred after Harper had streaked passed Miranda.
Hamilton hit one over the crossbar while at the other end Harper looped a shot at Howard. The keeper launched a long ball that Wilson, with Hamilton on his heels, failed to clear and he would have been relieved to see Greg Shields sweep the ball off Hamilton`s boot right in front of goal. Hammy then made Gallacher hold a 30 yard drive while at the other end a Kirk run made a shooting opportunity but the ball hit the bar and went over the bar.
As the tie went into its final quarter, Jim McIntyre put on Simon Wiles for Steven Bell and although it had nothing to do with the substitution there was an immediate payback. A ball from the right was just right for BAYNE to head in from ten yards. It had taken 69 minutes to find the net but the Pars hit again four minutes later.
The¬ Dunfermline sub`s tenacity on the left then won a corner that Harper swung over. The ball broke back to Simon WILES and he rattled in off the crossbar for his first goal since Boxing Day 2005. This was the kind of sting that might have killed off teams but Gus MacPherson`s men gave the ever noisier Pars fans plenty to worry about.
Robb scooped a chance over the bar from close in and the visitors threw on Dennis Wyness at the expense of Gary Mason as they made a valiant attempt to stay in the cup.
There were loud appeals for a penalty after Wiles drove a Bayne cross at a defender and as the away fans began to slip out McGinn drove a shot from distance over Gallacher`s bar.
It was quite clear that the Paisley side were out and their own fans were shouting "What a load of rubbish" before the 90 minutes were up.¬ It has to be Jim McIntyre`s finest result as a manager and it might have been even more emphatic had Phinn managed better direction on an added time McCann cross.
DUNFERMLINE: Paul Gallacher; Scott Thomson, Greg Shields, Scott Wilson (c), Austin McCann; Kevin Harper (Calum Woods 80), Nick Phinn, Steven Bell (Simon Wiles 68), Alex Burke; Andy Kirk, Graham Bayne.
SUBS: Scott Muirhead, Lee Graham, Callum Reidford
SCORER: Bayne (69), Wiles (73)
YELLOW CARD: Bayne (89)
ST MIRREN: Mark Howard; Jack Ross, Franco Miranda, Gary Mason ( Dennis Wyness 79), Will Haining (Scott Cuthbert, 88), John Potter, Hugh Murray ( Steven Robb, 65), Stephen McGinn, Gary Brady; Jim Hamilton, Billy Mehmet
SUBS: Craig Dargo, Chris Smith (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Miranda (53), Haining (82)
WEATHER: Dry 15C
NEXT MATCH: First Division (away) v Morton
Saturday 27th September 2008, kick off 3.00pm
Ladbrokes Championship: Saturday 18th March, Dunfermline v Ayr United kick off 3.00pm