SC League Cup FALKIRK 2 DUNFERMLINE 1: Date 27/08/13
The Second Round of the Scottish Communities League Cup took Dunfermline to the freshly astroturfed Falkirk Stadium. It was only the fourth time that the Pars had faced Falkirk in the League Cup, the most recent meeting being in October 2002 when the Premier League Pars dumped the First Division Bairns by two goals to nil. Scorer of both goals for the Pars that night was none other than Stevie Crawford who was in the opposite dugout for this tie.
Central defender, Luke Johnston came into the Fifers starting eleven which also saw Ryan Wallace return and Stephen Husband start his first first team match of the season. Liam Dick and Craig Sibbald replaced Kyle Turnbull and Conor McGrandles in the Falkirk team. Lack of turnstile operators appeared to delay the crowd getting into the stadium but the sides emerged for the 7.45pm kick off regardless, Dunfermline in their turquoise away shirts and navy blue shorts.
The Pars kicked off attacking the goal at the south end and when Josh Falkingham was fouled level with the 18 yard line Wallace sent in a delivery from the free kick that caused Dick to concede a third minute corner. Falkirk survived that but Dunfermline continued to look comfortable in the opposition half.
The hosts first attempt at goal was in sixth minute after Blair Alston had cut inside and teed up Sibbald but his 20 yard shot was blocked. Then in eight minutes Ryan Scully was out fast to deny Phil Roberts who had raced away from his marker. Moore broke on the counterattack three minutes later and earned only a corner when he had set up a great chance to shoot and then opportunity to set up Thomson. In the end a half struck shot deflected off the heels of a defender. Before Falkirk could relax Husband got in a shot on target but McGovern held.
Having dominated the first quarter of an hour the Pars were hit a killer blow in 19th minute when Kieran Duffie cut in from the right and smashed the ball across the face of goal Callum MORRIS put his foot in to try and clear but only succeeded, with huge misfortune, in placing the ball in his own net. 1-0
At the other end Falkingham's well struck cross was turned behind for a corner by Will Vaulk but McGovern easily held Millen's corner from the right. But in 28 minutes the Pars struck back. Falkingham was chopped down by Jay Fulton just inside the Falkirk half and Morris floated the free kick to Ryan Thomson on the right of the box and his header was accepted by MOORE who in real predator mode buried the chance. 1-1
Wallace flashed a shot narrowly across the face of goal but the Pars then conceded a well worked goal from a Falkirk throw in. It was FULTON who was played through and he sent the ball beyond Scully's left hand to net at the far post. 2-1
Then in 33 minutes Falkingham was impeded by Stephen Kingsley on the byeline, the defender was booked and Millen was able to play a fine ball to the near post. Wallace met it with a fierce header but McGovern performed heroics first to keep out the effort, then the follow up from Thomson and Morris. Moore got involved too but the ball was kept out and the striker was shown yellow for overenthusiastic chasing of the chance.
Falkirk went back up the park and rattled the Pars defence who were twice forced to blast the ball behind for corners. The defence was under great pressure as the half time break approached but the deficit remained one goal when referee Steven McLean blew up.
Half Time: Falkirk 2 Dunfermline 1
When the second half got going the Pars were immediately pressing, Husband made a break and Whittle crossed. The ball was cleared only as far as Geggan and he lobbed the ball back into the penalty spot and Moore collected but was forced right. Eventually his return for Falkingham slipped behind and the heat was off but not for long. Husband powered a shot on target but the ball hit a defender. The follow up was hit at McGovern and Moore was unlucky not to net the rebound.
In 52 minutes Moore squared for Wallace and he released Milen who had made an overlapping run but the youngsters cross cum shot was plucked out of the air by McGovern. Moore continued to look a threat both on the break and in and around the box, only failing was not getting in shots on target.
The match swung from end to end as the hour mark was reached and for the fans it was exciting stuff. There was another scramble in the Falkirk six yard box on 62 minutes when Whittle's cross was sent skying only to drop back towards the goalline. Wallace and then Moore tried to convert by the Bairns kept the Pars out yet again.
Allan Smith had replaced Ryan Thomson in 63 minutes and within two minutes he hit a good attempt across the face of goal. Then four minutes later Geggan swept a good chance wide. Next Wallace travelled to the right byeline and when he crossed McGovern was forced to turn the ball behind. Husband laid off a great ball for Falkingham on the left side of the box but the skipper sent his shot from 14 yards high and wide right.
Falkirk remained a threat on the counterattack and took the heat off their defence with a 74th minute corner that cannoned behind off the back of Dick's head. Back to the other end ands Wallace beat the offside trap to take the ball down in the box but he failed to shoot and when the next chance did materialise it was Smith who crashed the ball wide right.
As the clock ran down Falkirk were happy to take two corners from the left. These wasted a few more minutes before Shaun Byrne came on in place of Stephen Husband for the final six minutes. In 88 minutes the Pars were awarded a free kick that was in just the right area for Hubby but in his absence Millen took the setpiece but from 26 yards sent the ball into the stand.
Craig Dargo replaced Millen in 91st minute but it was Falkirk who should have scored when Roberts was through but pulled his shot across goal and wide left. A fine fighting performance from the Fifers who did not look a level below the Bairns.
FALKIRK: Michal McGovern, Liam Dick, Will Vaulks, Kieran Duffie, Stephen Kingsley, Craig Sibbald (Conor McGrandles 68), Olumide Durojaiye, Blair Alston (Luke Leahy 79), Jay Fulton, Philip Roberts, Rory Loy.
SUBS NOT USED: Scott Shepherd, Johnny Flynn, Graham Bowman (GK)
SCORERS: Morris (19 og), Fulton (32)
YELLOW CARD: Kingsley (34), McGrandles (90)
DUNFERMLINE: Ryan Scully; Ross Millen (Craig Dargo 91), Luke Johnston, Callum Morris, Alex Whittle; Stephen Husband (Shaun Byrne 84), Andy Geggan, Josh Falkingham (c), Ryan Thomson (Allan Smith 63); Ryan Wallace Jordan Moore.
SUBS NOT USED: Chris Kane, Ryan Goodfellow (GK)
SCORER: Moore (28)
YELLOW CARD: Moore (35), Millen (40)
REFEREE: Steven McLean
WEATHER: Fine 20C
ATTENDANCE: 3663 (inc 755 Pars fans)
NEXT MATCH: (home) SPFL League One v Stranraer
Saturday 31st August 2013, kick off 3.00pm
- www: MATCH PICTURES
Ladbrokes Championship: Saturday 22nd April, Dunfermline v Falkirk kick off 3.00pm