Scot Comms League Cup: DUNFERMLINE 0 ABERDEEN 0
For the Third Round Scottish Communities League Cup tie there was one change in the Dunfermline side from the one that beat Livingston convincingly on Saturday; Josh Falkingham replacing Craig Dargo. For Aberdeen manager Craig Brown made five changes from the side that drew on Sunday against Motherwell; in came Clark Robertson, Chris Clark, Niall McGinn, Isaac Osbourne, Cammy Smith and out went Ryan Jack, Russell Anderson, Scott Vernon, Stephen Hughes and Ryan Fraser.
Dunfermline kicked off through Falkingham and Wallace attacking the goal in front of a sizeable travelling support in the East Stand and Jamie Langfield was the first keeper to get a touch gathering the ball away from the Pars in just 16 seconds. The Fifers continued their positive start with Wallace sending the ball through the six yard box.
In fifth minute there were chances at both ends, firstly with Niall McGinn being well closed down as he lined up his shot and then Stephen Husband getting free on the right side of box to crack a shot at goal but Langfield parried away the well struck shot. Falkingham then broke through the middle but Andrew Considine covered back to thwart the attempt as the wee man reached the edge of the Aberdeen box. All this within the opening ten minutes!
In 12 minutes the yellow boot of Joe Cardle delivered a great cross that Reynolds dived into to concede a corner with the ball hitting the sidenetting. The corner was headed clear by Magennis but the Pars continued to press and Cardle was very unlucky to be flagged for offside in a close call. Wallace was then caught offside in 16 minutes but rightly so, in another situation where the Pars pace looked a danger to the Dons back four.
Next minute Andy Dowie headed away Magennis' cross and Aberdeen got their first corner of the tie. Then in 23 minutes a long ball was moved from Barrowman to Falkingham and right to Wallace who shook off his defender to get a shot in but pulled it across the goal and out at the far post. Three minutes later a through ball from Cardle sent Wallace chasing for the ball 20 yards out but Langfield came out and snuffed out the opportunity.
Chris Clark's shot on the half hour was blocked by Jordan in a rare Dons visit to the Pars penalty box. Back at the other end a free kick was given right on the 18 yard line as Cardle was cut down by Rae but after Husband ran over the ball Wallace smashed his shot into the Aberdeen wall.
Having had all the chances Dunfermline could then have found themselves behind as Smith sent McGinn through one on one with Gallacher but he made himself big and the Irishman shot over the bar. Three minutes from the break Wallace set up Cardle on the left but Reynolds cut out the shot before next Barrowman hit the right post from a chance he did get away. At the end of the half, Aberdeen were booed off as was the referee for his 37th minute decision to award the free kick instead of a penalty.
Half Time: Dunfermline 0 Aberdeen 0
Heavy rain for the restart but it was the Pars who were first to engage their opponents goalkeeper with Cardle slipping the ball right for Falkingham but his cross was taken by Langfield. As the rain got even heavier Hayes nearly got enough on a cross from the right but he did not connect right just six yards out and Gallacher was able to save.
Cardle then had the home fans jumping to their feet with a curling ball to the right post from 25 yards; unfortunately the shot sneaked outside the post and there was nothing to celebrate. Next in 59 minutes Cardle skinned Magennis to get in for a dangerous low cross into the six yard box but the visitors defence were first to the ball.
The woodwork came to Aberdeen's aid again in 65 minutes when Cardle's powerful shot was turned on to his crossbar by Langfield. The keeper next had to fist away a strong McMillan cross before a Cardle corner in 73 minutes created a goalmouth scramble and Callum Morris' back heeler failed to find a Dunfermline player and Aberdeen survived. This had been another good period from the First Division team who were certainly causing their SPL opponents plenty of trouble.
Two Aberdeen corners on the right in 74 minutes ended up wth Anderson sliding in to direct the ball wide right and sub Scott Vernon was allowed a pop at goal but again off target. Stephen Hughes sent a free kick over the bar as Jim Jefferies made his first change sending on Ryan Thomson in place of the tiring Falkingham. Considine was up the left in 83 minutes to deliver a great ball into the six yard box but Vernon just couldn't quite get that vital touch.
Gall clutched Osbourne's cross as Aberdeen began to enjoy more possession and mounted the pressure. Smith burst into the left side of the box but his shot was deflected behind for a corner. Wallace went down with an injury in 87 minutes but continued after Kenny Murray's treatment. Andy Kirk then took the place of Geggan.
A Jordan free kick was headed by Dowie and as the ball dropped down towards the goalline Langfield turned it over. Dunfermline pushed as regulation time ran out but Cardle tried to beat one defender too many.
Then two minutes twenty two seconds into added time Aberdeen got the goal that they barely deserved. VERNON was able to convert the chance after Rae played McGinn into the right side of the box. Unfortunately when the ball was cut back there was no one going to stop the Dons 61st minute sub. A cruel cruel end to what was a strong performance from Jim Jefferies team.
No failures in the Dunfermline side but they paid dearly for not taking any of their many chances.
Full Time: Dunfermline 0 Aberdeen 1
DUNFERMLINE: Paul Gallacher; Jordan McMillan (c), Andy Dowie, Callum Morris, Stephen Jordan; Josh Falkingham (Ryan Thomson 80), Andy Geggan (Andy Kirk 87), Stephen Husband, Joe Cardle; Ryan Wallace, Andy Barrowman.
SUBS NOT USED: Alex Whittle, John Potter, Michal Hrivnak (GK).
ABERDEEN: Jamie Langfield; Clark Robertson (Stephen Hughes 75), Andrew Considine, Joshua Magennis (Russell Anderson, 68), Mark Reynolds; Gavin Rae, Chris Clark, Niall McGinn, Jonny Hayes (Scott Vernon 61); Cammy Smith, Isaac Osbourne.
SUBS NOT USED: Ryan Jack, Jason Brown (GK).
SCORER: Vernon (93)
YELLOW CARD: Rae (37), Hughes (88)
REFEREE: John Beaton
WEATHER: Dry to begin but rain after 15 mins. 14C
ATTENDANCE: 3057 (1174 from Aberdeen)
50/50 HALF TIME DRAW: Winner 06530 won £325.
NEXT MATCH: (away) SFL First Division v Hamilton
Saturday 29th September 2012, kick off 3.00pm
Ladbrokes Championship: Saturday 22nd April, Dunfermline v Falkirk kick off 3.00pm