Scottish Cup v East Fife

EAST FIFE 0 DUNFERMLINE 0 Date: 08/01/05

Fixture: Tennent`s Scottish Cup Attendance: 1722

Kick Off: 15:00 Referee: Brian Cassidy

Weather: Windy 3C

Billy Mehmet and Scott Wilson were not fit for the trip along the Fife Coast to take on Third Division East Fife. Their absence made way for the two new boys, Lee Makel and Jesper Christiansen to be fast tracked into the starting eleven.

It was a Cup tie in which the Pars hit the crossbar twice and East Fife forced a great save out of Stillie in the 68th minute. The goalless draw means that the sides will meet again on Tuesday 18th January.

The Pars kicked off playing towards the seaside end in front of a packed stadium, albeit only on one side. The match too should have been one sided but the part timers were never going to make it easy for their SPL opponents.

First opening came in the fifth minute from a Greg Ross throw in deep into the East Fife half. He picked out Christiansen who whipped in a ball for Barry Nicholson and his shot had to be desperately blocked to prevent the early goal that the Pars would have loved. Two minutes later Barry got in a shot that went over the crossbar and over the wall behind the goal. Lee Makel took a corner, won on the left after he had sent the ball out to Mason and on to Young. Makel took the corner meaning our usual corner takers was in to try his chance.

In the 10th minute the Pars were unlucky not to score. Makel swung over the ball from a free kick on the right and Scott Thomson rose to head the ball towards goal. The crossbar got the next touch and despite Andy Tod rushing in the Methil defence cleared as the ball stayed in.

The home side then enjoyed a little more possession than they had in the opning ten but created no threat whasoever to the Pars defence. Darren Young won the ball in midfield and sent in a cross from the left that Christiansen touched to Nicholson but his effort was again blocked.

Jesper Christiansen and Kris Brash fight for possession

The Danish striker went on an impressive break down the left in the 19th minute leaving two East Fife players in his wake before lifting a classy ball aimed at Nicholson at the far post but the green shirted Morrison came out to intercept.

Brian Fairbairn provided East Fife`s first ball into the Pars box but Thomson easily headed away. Labonte made progress up the left before picking out Tod and setting up Darren Young for a shot that the keeper stopped.

There was half an hour on the clock when the same player sent a pass from Makel well over the crossbar. Play was fairly constant towards the East Fife goal with Tod setting up Mason to cross for Christiansen but only a corner would come of it. Tod was on the end of Lee Makel`s corner from the right but the keeper turned the downward header out for another corner. Makel tried again but this time the defence cleared but only as far as Young and his 25 yard shot was well wide.

Lee Makel goes "Up for the Cup"

Two minutes later in 37th minute Young started a move through Christiansen that came back to him from Mason but this time the ex Dons` effort was blocked. Derek Stillie was freezing in the Pars goal and a flurry of East Fife attacks did little to heat him up.

He had to dive at the feet of Nicholas after Johnny Mitchell had played him through and then four minutes from half time the home side`s first corner was sent back from Paliczka to Renwick and the Pars keep had to hold a deflected shot from Gary Kelly.

Seven minutes into the second half Fairbairn collected the ball on the left and went on a run that ended up with Derek Stillie diving to his right to parry the ball round his post for a corner on the left. The corner on the left was followed by a corner on the right as Andy Tod headed behind to prevent Renwick`s challenge. From the second one Barry Nic broke and made his way to midway inside the East Fife half before attempting to find Christiansen with a squared ball that the home defence raced back to cut out.

More of Lee Makel

The Pars fans rallied to egg on their team when Makel picked out firstly Darren Young and next Mason who sent Christiansen down the right before setting up another shooting opportunity for Young that once again was blocked. The ball was bouncing around the edge of the East Fife box until Young again got in a shot that was well wide.

Back at the other end Mitchell had a glancing header that went wide but that was brief respite as the SPL side took the game to their opponents. Makel poked the ball out to the right side from where Ross lofted over a cross that Tod launched himself at with an overhead kick to produced shot that went wide left.

Left: Andrius Skerla and right, Gary Mason on the ball.

Labonte was up to collect a pass from Ross on the edge of the box but his ball to Nicholson was closed out on the six yard box. On the hour Labonte squared to Nicholson but his cross was headed behind by Renwick. Makel sent in the corner from the left and Morrison tip away dropped to Nicholson on the right. His shot hit the crossbar and fell to the striking partnership and Christiansen touched the ball away from the defenders to Young who brought a fine save off the legs of the East Fife keeper. Christiansen`s follow up was wide right.

(Left) Jesper Christiansen is coaxed up by Referee Brian Cassidy and back into action (right).

Young and then Nicholson had shots at goal, the latter causing Morrison to hold from 25 yards before Davie Hay brought on Noel Hunt for Jesper Christiansen. Yet again the Pars support tried to encourage their team but it was Derek Stillie who turned hero pulling off a great save after a Renwick-Nicholas-Paliczka move provided a good delivery that Nicholas fired in on target in the 68th minute.

Hunt was provider for Nicholson`s 71st minute shot that he was forced to thump in just too high. Captain Scott Thomson had to be substituted with twelve minutes remaining as a spasm in his back forced him to give up. Ian Campbell came on and immediately was a involved with a corner and then free kicks but it was a miserable day when no matter what Dunfermline tried it was never going to get the breakthrough.

Encouragement turned to frustrated criticism and when Referee Cassidy brought play to an end there was a barrage of boos from the visiting supporters. Further criticisms came in the post match radio phone ins and the chance to answer all of this will come a week on Tuesday at East End Park.

Andy Tod in attack v East Fife Saturday 8th January 2005

Davie Hay Post Match Comments
Jesper Christiansen Post Match
Scott Thomson Post Match
Greig McDonald Post Match

Dunfermline Squad: Stillie; Ross, Skerla, Thomson (Campbell 78), Labonte; Makel, Mason, Nicholson, Darren Young (Dempsey 71); Tod, Christiansen (Hunt 65)

Dunfermline Subs: Langfield (GK), Dunn.

Dunfermline Strip: Home White and Black

Dunfermline Yellow Cards: none

East Fife Squad: Morrison; Renwick, Lumsden, Bain, Brash; Paloczka, McDonald, Kelly, Fairbairn; Nicholas, Mitchell

East Fife Subs: Mathie, Byle, Steele, Tarditi, McCafferty (GK)

East Fife Yellow Cards: none