Scottish Cup Quarter Final v Aberdeen

Dunfermline won 4-2 on penalties

Fixture: Homecoming Scottish Cup

Attendance: 13567, Kick Off: 7.45pm.

Referee: Eddie Smith

Oh what a night! Semi Final versus Falkirk next after the mighty Pars knock out SPL Aberdeen in penalty shoot out.

For the Homecoming Scotland Quarter Final Cup Replay at Pittodrie Jim McIntyre was without Greg Shields whose father had sadly died earlier in the day. That meant there was only one change from the eleven that started against Aberdeen at East End Park a week past Saturday. Aberdeen made two changes Richard Foster and Chris Maguire taking the places of Derek Young and Tommy Wright.

Several hundred Pars fans had negotiated the A90 traffic cameras and the horrendous traffic congestion in the Granite City to greet their team as they emerged from the tunnel opposite. Even Sammy the Tammy had a flag saying "Bring on the Bairns" to wave as he jostled with Aberdeen Angus pre match. It was a calm, almost balmy evening, given this was the far north - perfect for football. All Dunfermline needed was the parfect result.

The Pars kicked off attacking the goal at the beach end but the first chance in just under two minutes came at the other. Calum Woods blocked Sone Aluko`s first run but the rebound was sent wide left for the young Englishman to run on to. His cross found Darren Mackie right in front of goal but Thomson`s presence put the striker off and he sent the ball wide right.

Two minutes later Mackie was allowed to cross from the right edge of the Pars box and Paul Gallacher had to tip Mark Kerr`s header over the crossbar. Scott Severin`s shot in ninth minute produced a second corner but the Pars dealt with Mulgrew`s delivery.

Ten minutes into the match Phinn ran on to a Graham Bayne flick but his chip over the keeper went over the bar as well. Back in front of Gallacher Aluko`s dangerous ball was swept away by Scott Wilson as his keeper failed to get to grips with the ball. Bayne had a couple of half chances, shooting wide and then the defence beating away his effort from a Bell lay off.

Steven Bell had a great chance in 17 minutes when he attacked Austin McCann`s ball over from the left. His header looped over the crossbar but it was a let off for the Dons. Dunfermline looked to have cooled the initial Dons heat and were now beginning to get their own game together.

Mulgrew sent in a fine ball from the left in 25 minutes that Thomson headed behind for a corner on the right but Zander Diamond was wide with his attempt to head the ball home at the far post. Foster smacked a shot from 35 yards that Gallacher held.

Phinn created more danger in the Dons box but could not find Bayne with the cut back. Alex Burke lost the race to pounce on the loose ball and then Jamie Langfield had to hold a header from close in after Bell knocked down a Burke cross.

Dunfermline enjoyed a period of sustained pressure before just ten minutes from the break Diamond headed a Frank Mulgrew free kick well wide left. The Dons tried to push the Pars back but really Macca`s men were now dealing well with everything the SPL club tried. Mackie was offside with the home side`s last effort before half time while at the other end Burke`s shot from distance went well wide right.

By the end of the first 45 minutes the Pars support was double what they had at kick off and it was sweet to hear the home crowd booing their side off.

Half Time: Aberdeen 0 Dunfermline 0

The two club mascots practiced penalties during the break and there was still the chance that this game could go to a penalty shoot out. Severin and Maguire got proceeding back under way and Aberdeen quickly won the first corner but the Pars defence dealt with that.

The Pars had an opportunity in 48 minutes when the ball came to Bayne in the box but he just could not get a decent shot in. Then a Thomson free kick was touched on by Bell to Bayne but again the striker just couldn’t take the half chance. Dunfermline had settled in well and the Aberdeen support had fallen very quiet.

A good Aberdeen move in 55 minutes never looked like penetrating the visitors defence with Maguire sending Aluko`s cross well wide. Austin McCann robbed Foster out on the left and his cross was headed on terget by Phinn forcing Langfield to turn it over his crossbar. The corner caused controversy as Glass was pulled up for being offside as he and Phinn tried out a rehearsed routine.

An Aberdeen corner from the left on the hour brought another on the right that Mulgrew swung over but Diamond headed high into the stand. Diamond won another corner and from this one Mair fought to get on to the ball after Mulgrew`s corner had been sent skyward. With the home fans roaring the defence won the fight.

Next Mole made Langfield save in 65 with a forceful shot at an angle and then just minutes later Woods made Langfield save a low driven shot from outside the box. Bell tried a shot in 71 minutes that came off Mulgrew and then Bayne headed a McCann cross wide of Langfield`s goal.

Five minutes later the Pars persevered with their build up before eventually Burke lifted the ball into the box but Mole`s header went on to Langfield. That was the on loan Hearts striker`s last real involvement as he was then subbed by Rory Loy and with ten minutes remaining Jim McIntyre also chose to replace Nick Phinn with former Don, Scott Muirhead.

In 83 minutes Muirhead pushed forward and a quick exchange with Bayne let Loy release a shot from 28 yards that unfortunately was well outside the right goalpost. Loy next brushed off Kerr to pick out Bayne on the edge of the box and Bell shot but again off target.

A Wilson challenge on Mackie handed the Dons a chance to hit a 28 yard free kick but the wall did its job deflecting Mulgrew`s well struck effort away for a corner on the left. When that came in the home fans roared again as Considine headed the ball down but Steven Bell kicked it off the line.

Dunfermline forced a corner as the match entered its final minute of the regulation 90 but Langfield held the inswinger. In the final seconds of the two added minutes Aluko had a glorious chance to finish it but his shot from the left was cleared off the line by Scott Wilson and gathered by Gallacher. So it was on to extra time.

Wilson and then McCann pulled out good defensive qualities as the match entered its 95th minute before the Pars got the ball up in front of their fans - some still sporting bare chests! Mulgrew failed to clear and the Fifers went forward again but Severin stretched to boot the ball away and although they won a corner Langfield held that.

At the other end Muirhead hooked away a Smith shot. More danger came from a Mackie pass to Duff on the top of the box and Thomson headed behind for a corner left but that was clipped away by Muirhead. Wilson blocked an Aluko shot as Aberdeen pushed as turnaround time beckoned.

In the second minute of the second period of extra time Smith got the better of Woods down the left and his cross was met by sub Tommy Wright but fortunately straight into the hands of Gallacher.

Aberdeen piled on the pressure and pinned the Pars back. Greg Ross came on for the exhausted Bell and then Woods, followed by Wilson headed the ball out of their own box. The 120 minutes ended with the ball finding the net and the tie was to be decided on penalties.

Full Time: Aberdeen 0 Dunfermline 0

Penalties were taken at the beach end
1 Stuart Duff right footed in off right post (1-0)
2 Stephen Glass left footed into right of net (1-1)
3 Scott Severin right footed, saved by Gallacher going to his right (1-1)
4 Calum Woods scored (1-2)
5 Frank Mulgrew smashed in left (2-2)
6 Alex Burke right hand side (2-3)
7 Richard Foster to left saved by Paul Gallacher (2-3)
8 Graham Bayne scored (2-4)

As soon as Bayne drilled the ball into the bottom right the celebrations began. The Pars players and management ran over to celebrate in front of their delirious fans. What an achievement for a First Division team to reach the Homecoming Scottish Cup semi final.

The Directors, Management and Players wish to thank the fans who travelled to Aberdeen for their fantastic support.

ABERDEEN: Jamie Langfield; Zander Diamond, Lee Mair (Andrew Considine 68), Charlie Mulgrew; Sone Aluko (Tommy Wright 106), Scott Severin, Richard Foster, Mark Kerr, Jamie Smith, Chris Maguire (Stuart Duff 73), Darren Mackie.
SUBS: Bertrand Bossu, Derek Young.
YELLOW CARD: Foster (99)

DUNFERMLINE : Paul Gallacher, Calum Woods, Scott Thomson, Scott Wilson (c), Austin McCann; Steven Bell (Greg Ross 115), Stephen Glass, Nick Phinn (Scott Muirhead 80), Alex Burke; Jamie Mole (Rory Loy 80), Graham Bayne.
SUBS: Greg Paterson, Paul Willis.



NEXT MATCH: (away) First Division v Clyde
Saturday 21st March 2009, kick off 3.00pm

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