William Hill Scottish Cup: EAST STIRLINGSHIRE 1 DUNFERMLINE 4: 02/11/14
William Hill Scottish Cup Third Round: Ross Forbes and Stuart Urquhart in; El Bakhtaoui (37) 0-1; El Bakhtaoui (62) 0-2; Byrne (76) 0-3; Greenhill (79) 1-3; Millen (84 pen.)
Jim Jefferies was forced into making two changes for the short trip to meet East Stirlingshire in the Scottish Cup. Josh Falkingham was recovering from having his tonsils removed on Tuesday and Lewis Martin was suffering from a back strain. That made way for the return of Ross Forbes and Stuart Urquhart.
The League Two side made two changes as well - Steven Brisbane and Ross Gilmour making way for Michael Bolochoweckji at centre back and Guy Tahin upfront.
The home side kicked off and put Dunfermline, in their red away strip, under pressure right away forcing a corner within 90 seconds and giving Alex Whittle a tough task in the opening minutes. Whittle whizzed a crossed ball through the Shire box and then Andy Geggan was caught offside when Michael Moffat picked him out on the left.
In sixth minute Whittle got down the left and whipped over another inviting ball but again none of the Dunfermline heads could get to the ball first. Two minutes later East Strirling forced two corners with Gregor Buchanan heading David Greenhill's first behind and then the defence clearing the subsequent.
Ross Forbes hit a great shot in 12 minutes that Shire keeper Richie Barnard touched over to give the Pars their first corner of the afternoon. Ross Millen sent that in from the left but the defence cleared. Barnard came out to catch a second Pars corner two minutes later.
Dunfermline kept up the pressure with a third corner, Chris Townsley sent that behind and that led to another corner on the right. This brought a changed approach with Faissal El Bakhtaoui playing that deep to Millen who lobbed over the ball for Buchanan at the back post but Barnard was well out to touch the ball away.
The sizeable travelling support behind Barnard's goal were being patient but it really looked like just a matter of time before that net would be found. Another Millen corner came and went before Byrne's attempts to break into the box was blockled out. Lewis Spence had a pop at goal but was narrowly wide right. Moffat was then caught offside as the one way traffic continued.
Moffat then linked with Byrne but his return was intercepted and the same happened when twice in quick succession El Bakhtaoui broke in on the right side of the penalty box only for a defender to win the ball both times from the low right footed crosses.
East Stirlingshire were defending really well and the Pars continued to find the route to goal elusive. Then in 37 minutes Moffat was right to cross into the back post area where EL BAKHTAOUI met it with his right for the opener. 0-1
Four minutes later a cross from the left set up Byrne with an opportunity at the far post but only a corner was won. Millen's inswinger from the right picked out Buchanan but he headed wide left.
The Fifers went in one up but really it could have been a lot more. Had Buchanan's headers been on target and had some of those Whittle crosses been met by a Pars head then the lead might have been much greater.
East Stirlingshire 0 Dunfermline 1
There was a chance to make it 2-0 within 60 seconds of the restart. A Moffat flick on dropped nicely for El Bakhtaoui but he crashed the ball over the crossbar from close in. A Forbes cross in 50th minute was returned by Millen just beyond the right goalpost but neither El Bakhtaoui nor Moffat could finish.
Whittle was next to threaten on the overlap but yet again right back Connor Greene prevented the cross. The home side were taken forward with a Greenhill surge but big Guy Tahin continued to show a distinct lack of touch. Play got bogged down with four Shire throw in deep down the right before Byrne stole the ball away.
Forbes hit a free kick wildly high over the bar before Dunfermline netted a second and yet again it was EL BAKHTAOUI. A slick passing move saw Moffat draw a defender so that the French Moroccan was set up to put away well from 15 yards out. 0-2
The home team made a tactical substituion at the goal and Andy Kay created a good chance for them crossing into the six yard box but Greenhill could not accept the opportunity. Play stuck in the Shire half before Greenhill sent a shot well wide right.
In 70th minute referee Alan Muir spoke to Scully over his delay in taking a goal kick. There was then a double substitution for the Fifers, Michael Moffat and Faissal El Bakhtaoui went off to be replaced by Chigozie Ugwu and James Thomas.
BYRNE was able to break from his own half in 76 minutes, accepting the ball from sub James Thomas, carrying the ball to the edge of the Shire box before tucking it past Barnard. 0-3 Three minutes later the opposition got a goal back and it was an absolute gem from the number 11 Greenhill hitting a shot from the right 25 yards out that went in off the left upright. 1-3
The three goal advantage was restored from the penalty spot six minutes from time. Sub Ryan Thomson was taken down on the left side of the penalty box by Greene. He was shown a yellow card while MILLEN collected the ball and then dinked the spot kick down the middle to beat the keeper. 1-4
The Pars safely through to the Fourth Round.
EAST STIRLINGSHIRE: Richie Barnard; Connor Greene, Lloyd Kinnaird, Michael Bolochoweckji, Chris Townsley, Graeme MacGregor (Steven Brisbane 62), Andy Kay, Neil McCabe, Guy Tahin (Paul Brennan 71) , David McKenna, David Greenhill
SUBS NOT USED: Billy Vidler, Martyn Shields, Ross Gilmour, Alan Deans, Sean Quinn
SCORERS: Greenhill (79)
YELLOW CARD: Bolochoweckji (32) MacGregor (50) Townsley (59) Greene (83)
DUNFERMLINE: Ryan Scully; Ross Millen, Gregor Buchanan, Stuart Urquhart, Alex Whittle; Shaun Byrne, Lewis Spence, Andy Geggan (c), Ross Forbes (Ryan Thomson 78); Faissal El Bakhtaoui (James Thomas 72), Michael Moffat (Chigozie Ugwu 72)
SUBS NOT USED: Andy Stirling, Allan Smith, Ryan Williamson, Ryan Goodfellow
SCORERS: El Bakhtaoui (37, 62) Byrne (76) Millen (84 pen)
REFEREE: Alan Muir
WEATHER: Dry 10C
NEXT MATCH: SPFL League One (away) v Peterhead
Saturday 8th November 2014, kick off 3.00pm
Ladbrokes Championship: Saturday 22nd April, Dunfermline v Falkirk kick off 3.00pm