Scottish Cup: PARTICK THISTLE 0 DUNFERMLINE 1: Date 01/12/12
Manager Jackie McNamara went with the same team as the previous Saturday but Pars replace strikeforce with Andy Barrowman and Craig Dargo starting in place of Andy Kirk and Ryan Wallace. After seven weeks out with a calf strain Stephen Jordan returned, so Andy Geggan moved back into midfield and Joe Cardle found himself on the bench.
Pre match Michael the Firhill stadium announcer reminded everyone of the fine home win that Thistle had over the Pars just three weeks ago. He did concede that it might be a completely different game in this Fourth Round Scottish Cup tie. It was the last day of March when Thistle last lost a home match and since then eleven teams have come and gone without success. Could Dunfermline continue their superior cup form over the Maryhill club?
In the stands the fans were in good form basking in the late low sunshine on this the first official day of winter. The red and yellow chequered flags formed a cordon for the match officials to lead out the teams. Dargo and Falkingham got play underway attacking the goal at the city end but it was the home side that forced a corner first within two minutes. It was a run on the overlap by Stephen O'Donnell that caused Husband to concede but when the cross came in it was him that booted clear.
The Pars had a steady start and it was the sixth minute before they gave keeper Graeme Smith something to do. An inviting Jordan cross was well taken by the blue shirted keeper. At the other end Thistle had a fair chance just four minutes later but neither Doolan or Lawless could convert a dangerous ball in from the left.
The cup tie kept up its competitive edge with Dargo shooting on target from an acute angle on the right but Smith saved. Then Jordan impeded O'Donnell on the right and the Jags flighted in a free kick that was headed behind for a corner. Fortunately the Fifers defence were in charge of that and it went back up the field.
As the midway point of the first half approached there was stalemate in the middle of the park with the visitors having slightly better of the territorial advantage. Aaron Sinclair was left unmarked and he was fed the ball in 24 minutes to cross into the danger area but the Pars defence did its job.
Next minute Barrowman dispossessed Hugh Murray in the centre of the Thistle defence but after feeding a good pass on for Dargo the shot was deflected wide left off Smith's outstretched leg. Best chance of the match thus far.
In 28 minutes centre back Aaron Muirhead clipped Dargo's ankle as he raced towards goal and as it was a last man tackle referee Steven McLean had little option but to show the Thistle man a red card. Stephen Jordan took the free kick but would only have been successful if the rugby posts had been there.
Jackie McNamara reorganised his defence with Alan Archibald coming on for Stevie Lawless and the home side reduced to just Kris Doolan upfront. Barrowman and Dargo both had shots over the bar as Dunfermline upped their effort before the opening goal in 36 minutes. Josh Falkingham won the ball on the right and Husband centred for BARROWMAN to rise highest and send the ball into the bottom left of the home net. 1-0 for the Pars.
Four minutes from the break Chris Erskine capitalised on a Morris header and burst towards goal feeding Doolan and from a dangerous position on the edge of the box, his well hit shot was deflected for a corner. Gall fisted that clear but just a minute later had to race out to clear with his feet as well.
Quite a first half and advantage Pars at the interval courtesy of Andy Barrowman's ninth goal of the season.
Half time: Partick Thistle 0 Dunfermline 1
Callum Morris collected a yellow card in the first challenge of the second half as he climbed over Murray. Thistle created the first chance with Sinclair and Bannigan bursting down the left and delivering a good cross that Doolan was not far away from converting.
The home side looked far from giving up and continued to press with vigour. In 55 minutes nevertheless, Thomson chested down a free kick for Barrowman to crash a shot from the edge of the area but the defence blocked.
Thomson drove from midfield and picked out Cardle on the left but he failed to release the ball before being dispossessed. Thomson won the ball back but shot wide right. Then in 61 minutes McMillan cut inside and shot narrowly wide right from 25 yards.
It should have been 2-0 in 62 minutes when Dargo broke and then laid the ball off to his left. Husband was perfectly placed but his shot got blocked and then Cardle crashed the rebound into a defender. Quite a let off.
Four minutes later Thomson was just as unlucky when he nipped past Archibald with only the keeper to beat but Smith gathered the loose ball. Drama in 72 minutes when Geggan took down Erskine on the left side of the box. Referee McLean pointed to the spot and Forbes' effort was magnificently turned on to his right hand post by Gallacher and the ball travelled along the goal line to be cleared at the other post by Jordan McMillan.
Ryan Wallace had replaced Dargo with twenty minutes remaining and the sub was denied by the keeper's punch and then failed to control a good Husband delivery on 18 yards. In 77 minutes Gallacher pulled off a great save when Erskine smashed a tricky shot off the ground but on target. Next Barrowman had the chance to seal it but blasted his shot high and wide,
Smith then saved from Cardle in 81 minutes and two minutes later Joe was again fed a great ball by Wallace but his final pass found a yellow shirt. Gallacher saved a stinger from Forbes to keep the Fifers ahead as the home side mounted a tremendous effort to get an equaliser. The home fans had earlier chanted "we only need ten men" and it certainly looked liked their players believed it.
In 88 minutes Barrowman skied a good opportunity but neither Dunfermline nor Thistle were to score. It was a valiant effort from the Jags but the Pars defended really well to hang on for a much needed place in the next round. Only downside was the two yellow cards collected by Andy Barrowman in the dying minutes that meant both sides ended with ten men.
PARTICK THISTLE: Graeme Smith; Stephen O'Donnell, Aaron Muirhead, Aaron Sinclair Hugh Murray (Steven Craig 71), Conrad Balatoni, Chris Erskine, Stuart Bannigan, Ross Forbes, Kris Doohlan (Mark McGuigan 57), Stevie Lawless (Allan Archibald 30).
SUBS NOT USED: Ludovic Roy, David Rowson,
YELLOW CARD: Sinclair (92)
RED CARD: Muirhead (28)
DUNFERMLINE: Paul Gallacher, Jordan McMillan (c), Andy Dowie, Callum Morris, Stephen Jordan; Josh Falkingham (Joe Cardle 42), Stephen Husband (Shaun Byrne 82), Andy Geggan, Ryan Thomson; Craig Dargo (Ryan Wallace 70), Andy Barrowman.
SUBS NOT USED: Andy Kirk, Michal Hrivnak (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Geggan (7), Morris (46), McMillan (89), Barrowman (90)
RED CARD: Barrowman (91)
SCORER: Barrowman (35)
REFEREE: Steven McLean
WEATHER: Sunny 5C
NEXT MATCH: (away) Irn Bru First Division v Livingston
Saturday 8th December, kick off 3.00pm
- www: MATCH PICTURES
Ladbrokes Championship: Saturday 22nd April, Dunfermline v Falkirk kick off 3.00pm