Co-operative Insurance Cup v Dundee United


Co-operative Insurance Cup Fourth Round

Attendance: 5350, Kick off 19.45

Referee: Dougie MacDonald

The Pars made the trip to Dundee to meet Craig Levein`s United in the Quarter Final of the Co-operative Insurance Cup. Jim McIntyre had captain Scott Wilson back meaning Greg Ross dropped out of the side that started against Partick Thistle nine days before. The home side didn`t risk Jon Daly who had a groin strain meaning Roy O`Donovan, on loan from Sunderland,� came in as the only change from the United team that defeated St Mirren on Saturday.

Had United not� fielded Dods and Wilkie surely Dunfermline would have aggregated more SPL appearances with every one of the Dunfermline starting eleven experience of playing in the upper echelon. The Fifers kicked off and right away Kevin Harper carried the ball up the right to get in an early cross.� The ball was cleared only as far as Stephen Glass who tried a shot from 30 yards� that was narrowly wide of the left goalpost.� All this within the first 30 seconds!

A sweet interchange in the fourth minute between Harper and Bayne put the former Hibee through to shoot at goal but his effort was deflected for a corner on the right. Glass`s delivery was sent behind by Sean Dillon� but Lee Wilkie headed away Kevin Harper`s corner from the left.

United forced Greg Shields into conceding an eighth minute corner but that was successfully defended as was their next four minutes later. Deep in his own half, Wilkie almost lost possession to Bayne but recovered to pick out Craig Conway on the left. The United player`s deft first touch took him away from Calum Woods and the move forced another corner.

Pressure was maintained in front of Gallacher`s goal and in 18th minute a Willo Flood cross was only turned out as far as Scott ROBERTSON and his strike from 16 yards was driven into the Pars net.

Dunfermline nearly struck right back just three minutes later.� A Bayne pass on the edge of the box went under Wilkie`s foot and Kirk got in to shoot on target from the left side but Zaluska came out to block. The cup tie swung back to the other end with Craig Conway releasing a shot from 30 yards that skimmed the roof of the net as Gallacher touched it over.

From a� 27th minute United free kick on the right Paul Dixon picked out Wilkie at the far post but his knock back was mopped up by the Pars defence.

The visitors then enjoyed some good possession that seemed to reassure them that the task facing them maybe wasn`t impossible. They looked the equal of their SPL opponents and might have been level on goals had the 32nd minute through ball sat up slightly better for Andy Kirk.� The Irishman`s effort from 14 yards beat the keeper but hit the right post and rebounded away.

United were always dangerous and in 44 minutes Dixon`s run down the left took him to the byeline.� His� cross was a fine ball through the six yard box and it took a brave Austin McCann intervention to send the ball passed for a corner.� The half ended with the Arabs one up but really Dunfermline were worthy of at least a draw.� The home defence was susceptible to the odd mistake and the Pars need to cash in on that in the second half.

Half Time: Dundee United 1 Dunfermline 0

First serious effort of the second half was in 49 minutes� from the boot of Glass; his floater from 20 yards out just cleared the crossbar.� At the other end in the next minute O`Donovan ran on to a long ball and tried to chip Gallacher from 20 yards.� � The 23 year old Irishman� was successful but the ball went over the crossbar before hitting the net.

A United free kick was lobbed over from the right for Wilkie to challenge for at the far post. Gallacher was furious with the decision that gave United the first of four successive corners.� The best United managed from these was a Robertson shot deflected off Shields for another corner.

There was brief respite from intense United pressure when Harper swung in the ball from the right that had no takers in front of Zaluska`s goal. Glass sent in a good ball from a free kick but United got up in front of Bayne to concede a corner. O`Donovan easily cleared Harper`s corner.

Nick Phinn pulled off a fine strike from 30 yards that Zaluska pushed away wide.� When the ball came back in Glass was fouled by Robertson and Dunfermline were awarded a free kick in a central position but Glass popped that straight into Zaluska`s hands.

The home side were unlucky not to increase their lead in 70 minutes after Dixon walloped a free kick against the right upright. None of Dougie MacDonald`s� decisions appeared to go in Dunfermline`s favour and Kirk was rather harshly penalised as he seemed to get away from the two United central defenders just inside their own half.� In fact it was Morgaro Gomis and Sean Dillon who collided without any assistance from the Pars striker.

There seemed no way through but Graham Bayne nearly� found the whole in the United defence in 75.� Phinn had switched the ball out left for McCann and he immediately returned the ball deep to the right of goal.� Harper cut back for the Pars striker to direct the ball on target at the near post but Zaluska was there to keep it out.

Phinn hit another shot from outside the box, this time he was not on target.� With time running out Wiles and Williamson were thrown on and all the big men were up for a 84th minute free kick but Harper`s cross was too strong and Zaluska held.

The Fifers survived a fierce Willio Flood shot thanks to the crossbar. Steven Bell came on with two minutes to go but wasn`t to be the hero heading Glass`s free kick wide. Williamson headed a chance at the keeper and in the fourth minute of added time Glass made Zaluska pull off a great save.

Dunfermline finished attacking two corners but � the game was to be lost by the only goal of the game. This had been a workmanlike performance by Jim McIntyre`s men. Very seldom did it look like these teams were in different leagues but it`s a very relieved United that progressed to the semifinals.

DUNDEE UNITED: Lukasz Zaluska, Sean Dillon, Lee Wilkie (c), Darren Dods, Paul Dixon; Willo Flood, Scott Robertson, Morgaro Gomis, Craig Conway; Roy O`Donovan, Francisco Sandaza (Warren Feeney 69)
SUBS: Michael McGovern (GK),� David Robertson, Danny Swanson, Garry Kenneth
SCORER: Robertson (15)
YELLOW CARD: Gallacher (91)

DUNFERMLINE: Paul Gallacher; Calum Woods, Greg Shields, Scott Wilson (c), Austin McCann; Kevin Harper (Steven Bell 88), Nick Phinn, Stephen Glass, Alex Burke (Simon Wiles 81); Andy Kirk (Iain Williamson 82), Graham Bayne.
SUBS: Scott Thomson, Callum Reidford


NEXT MATCH: (home) SFL First Division v St Johnstone
Saturday 1st November 2008, kick off 7.45pm

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