Scottish Cup: RANGERS 4 DUNFERMLINE 0: Date 07/02/14
Dunfermline stood between Rangers and the next round of the Scottish Cup, a trophy they already had their name on 33 times. Their last success was in 2009 and how they would like some silverware to underline their belief that they can still compete at the highest level.
Ally McCoist the Rangers manager, went with the same team that saw off Brechin City in League One the previous Saturday. Pars boss Jim Jefferies was without his new signings Ross Forbes, Jonathan Page and Danny Grainger since they were already cup tied. Ryan Thomson also dropped out and in came Callum Morris, Alex Whittle, Josh Falkingham and Andy Geggan.
It was Andy Geggan who led out the Pars and Shankland and Wallace kicked off for the visitors who were in their away strips meaning it was turquoise versus royal blue. After 90 seconds keeper Ryan Scully was in serious action to hold a swerving shot that Dean Shiels released from 25 yards out.
On three minutes Whittle made ground up the left wing but it was a Ross Millen cross in fifth minute that brought keeper Cammy Bell into action taking down Lee McCulloch in the process. Lawrence Shankland was the target but the keeper got in before him.
Dunfermline then lost the early goal that they feared. David Templeton did all the hard work, beating off Millen but then Ryan Williamson got a touch but failed to clear the ball just six yards out and SHIELS netted to Scully's left. 1-0
There was a chance for the Fifers almost immediately but the header fell to Falkingham who could not get enough on his attempt to beat Bell. In true cup tie fashion play switched quickly to the other end where Scully came out smartly to sweep the ball away from the fast advancing Shiels.
In 18th minute Nicky Law twisted and turned to torment the Pars defence on the left side of the box but the defence snuffed out what looked like real danger. Then Templeton made Scully stop a low shot to his right and Morris swept up for the Pars. The visitors failed to make much headway down the middle and as the midpoint of the first half approached a Whittle cross failed to stay in.
Rangers increased their lead in 24 minutes from a setpiece after Wallace brought down Black on the right touchline. When the ball was pumped in by Fraser Aird towards the Pars six yard box Jon Daly headed down to the left and Scully pulled off a fine right handed save but SHIELS followed up to thump in the second goal.
Five minutes later Shiels threatened to notch a first half hattrick but Scully was able to save the snap shot from the edge of the box. Before that Wallace had got a shot on target but Bell kept him out at the near post. Templeton made another rapid break down the left but the defence snuffed out his chances of shooting. Instead the ball came back to Shiels who bent an effort on goal but just wide right. Minutes later Black tried a long range effort with his left foot that slipped just over the crossbar.
TEMPLETON had already demonstrated the speed that he could break at and in 37 minutes used that to greatest advantage in accepting a pass from Bilel Mohsni just ten yards inside the Pars half. He beat off the challenges of Geggan and Millen to stylishly slip the ball into the Pars goal. 3-0
Three minutes from the break the scorer of Rangers third goal made Scully hold another well struck shot. It could have been yet another when a Black free kick was flicked on by Shankland in his attempt to clear into the path of Moshni at the far post and his effort travelled across goal with Shiels just missing to head home.
A torrid first 45 for the Fifers and despite losing three goals Ryan Scully had saved them from a few more. It wasn't looking too likely that Dunfermline would be in Sunday's draw for the next round.
Half time: Rangers 3 Dunfermline 0
Jim Jefferies sent his team out early to await their opponents and two half time substutions for the Pars saw Faissal El Bakhtaoui and Ryan Thomson replace Ross Millen and Shaun Byrne.
Unfortunately after just 75 seconds of the second half, Dean SHIELS fired in to compete his hattrick and effectively put an end to the contest. Wallace did all the work down the left, Scully came out but with Williamson and Morris also challenging the ball fell nicely for the no.10 to find the net at the far right. 4-0.
A 57th minute corner was sent over from the left by Wallace but Black got that away easily from the near post. Martin and Williamson put in important clearances and in 61 minutes Scully pulled off another good save when Aird got in a shot from close in.
With 25 minutes remaining the match had gone quiet. Falkingham put in an impressive tackle on Law as he burst into the left side of the Pars box before Aird won a corner on the right off Whittle. Aird took it short to Black and he whizzed it just over the top.
In 76 minutes Jordan Moore replaced Shankland but it was Rangers who continued to look likely to score. Black hit the crossbar with a speculative shot and then Scully made a fine save from Templeton.
Jim Jefferies side pushed forward with five minutes remaining and a trademark Williamson run and cross forced a corner on the right but after a bit of head tennis the Gers defence cleared. Moshni was yellow carded as the Pars were awarded a free kick but Wallace fired that into the wall and Geggan then bulleted a shot that was blocked.
Dunfermline exit the Scottish Cup at the last 16 but hopefully the TV cash and a reasonable crowd considering the live coverage should have set the Pars up for the rest of the season where the priority has always been to win promotion.
RANGERS: Cammy Bell; Lee McCulloch, Sebastien Faure, Bilel Mohsni, Fraser Aird (Arnold Peralta 72), Lee Wallace; Ian Black, David Templeton, Nicky Law (Robbie Crawford 82), Dean Shiels (Andy Little 76), Jon Daly.
SUBS NOT USED: Steven Smith, Richard Foster, Emilson Cribari, Steve Simonsen (GK).
SCORERS: Shiels (8, 24, 47), Templeton (37)
YELLOW CARD: Moshni (88), Templeton (91)
DUNFERMLINE: Ryan Scully; Ross Millen (Faissal El Bakhtaoui HT), Calum Morris, Lewis Martin, Alex Whittle; Ryan Williamson, Shaun Byrne (Ryan Thomson HT), Josh Falkingham, Andy Geggan (c); Ryan Wallace, Lawrence Shankland (Jordan Moore 76).
SUBS NOT USED: Kerr Young, Stephen Husband, Ross Drummond, Ryan Goodfellow (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Morris (82)
REFEREE: Bobby Madden
WEATHER: Dry 4C
NEXT MATCH: SPFL League One (away) v Forfar Athletic
Saturday 15th February 2014, kick off 3.00pm
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