Scottish Cup v Stenhousemuir


Fixture: Active Nation Scottish Cup

Attendance: 1832, Kick Off: 3.00pm.

Referee: Bobby Madden

Three Pars goals in five minutes in the first quarter of this cup tie placed the game beyond the Second Division club but the inclusion of the suspended Calum Woods puts progress to next round in doubt.

The match survived the severe winter weather that had gripped Scotland for the previous three weeks. Referee Bobby Madden`s pitch inspection at 11.00am gave the green light for the fixture to go ahead. Dunfermline faced lower league opponents but had to counter a record that showed that they had never won a Scottish Cup game against Stenhousemuir at East End Park.

Dunfermline made two changes from the side that drew against Inverness Caley Thistle last time out. Greg Fleming came back for his first game since November replacing Greg Paterson in goal, Nick Phinn started in preference to Alex Burke. From the side that faced Cowdenbeath last time out, Stenhousemuir brought in Willie Lyle with Gary Thom dropping to the bench.

Austin McCann captained the Pars and it was Scott Dalziel and Craig Molloy who got the cup tie underway with the visitors in an all sky blue kit attacking the goal at the McCathie Stand end.

Steven Bell`s through ball to David Graham set up the first real attacking move on three minutes but the final pass failed to give Willie Gibson much of a chance to put in a telling shot.

Stenhousemuir forced the first corner of the game three minutes later and despite the ball not being properly cleared survived a Kevin Bradley attempt that Greg Fleming took as he dropped to his knees. Dunfermline always looked like they could break and test the Stenny defence and Graham did that in 13 minutes, feeding Kirk a chance that Chris McCluskey palmed away. Gibson had an effort blocked and Bell ran out of luck as he tried to break through the middle.

The first goal duly arrived in 16th minute when McCann went deep left and crossed a fine ball into the six yard box for GIBSON to head home. Just 100 seconds later Andy KIRK latched on to a ball that wasn`t properly cleared and Dunfermline were 2-0 up.

Another four minutes passed before PHINN waltzed through the centre of the Stenny defence and placed his shot past the advancing McCluskey with an angled shot that found the far left of the net.

John Coughlin`s men tried to fight back and Dalziel`s 25th minute pass to Molloy set up a shot but Fleming had no trouble in claiming the 20 yard shot. In 34 minutes Steven McDougall beat a couple of opponents before testing McCluskey from 20 yards, then next minute Kirk sent a shot narrowly wide but then David GRAHAM found a hole in his former club`s defence to get into a position to shoot beyond McCluskey from 20 yards. result 4-0 Pars!

Another three minutes passed before Graham`s ball through the middle saw McCluskey win the race for the ball with Kirk. A 41st minute corner for Stenhousemuir was only defended as far as Molloy and his crack from 20 yards came back off the crossbar. Jordan Smith was flagged offside as he tried to capitalise on the break off the woodwork.

Dunfermline finished the half strongly winning a corner when Lyle tucked the ball behind his own goal but at the interval it was still a healthy home lead.

Half Time: Dunfermline 4 Stenhousemuir 0

Dunfermline continued where they left off on the resumption and Neil McGregor came close to registering his first Pars goal in 47th minute. Phinn switched the ball wide for Gibson to whip over a tempting ball that the big defender met but his header came booming back off the crossbar.

McDougall teased the left side of the Stenhousemuir defence before crossing a ball that Phinn headed to McCluskey but the Pars continued to look totally in charge. Even when a Motion free kick was headed on target by Scullion it was straight into the arms of Fleming.

Calum Woods and Joe Cardle came on for Jim McIntyre`s team as he deployed a tactic to give his bench match practice. A Graham cross from the right was headed behind for a corner.� Cardle`s ball was defended out to Woods but Bell just couldn`t get a connection on his delivery from the left.

The next Cardle delivery was deflected by a defender on its road across goal and Steven McDOUGALL was on hand to deflect the ball into the roof of the net to make it 5-0 in 63 minutes.

There was still 20 minutes to go when a fine individual effort from CARDLE created the opportunity for the ex Airdrie United player to tuck away number six. His shot from just inside the penalty box found the right side of the net with the keeper well beaten.

McCluskey denied McDougall number seven in 75 minutes and next Graham skied a shot over the bar.

The Second Division side were punished for the audacity of giving Fleming some saves to make and close shaves as McDougall broke eight minutes from time. He was hauled down needlessly by Lyle on the corner of the Stenny penalty box and grabbed the ball to take the spot kick. KIRK made no mistake sending the ball right to take the tally to seven.

There was consolation for the Forth Valley team in 90th minute when Kevin BRADLEY`s solo effort, twisting and turning the Pars defence more than once was finished with a fine drive past Fleming. The Pars were safely through to the next round long ago however.

It was Dunfermline`s biggest win since January 1998 when five goals from Andy Smith helped Pars to a 7-2 home win over Edinburgh City in the Third Round of the Scottish Cup. The last six winning margin was in the First Division when Dunfermline beat Clydebank 6-0 in the First Division.

DUNFERMLINE: Greg Fleming. Greg Ross (Calum Woods 61), Neil McGregor, Andy Dowie, Austin McCann (c). Willie Gibson (Joe Cardle 59), Steven Bell, Nick Phinn (Alex Burke 65), David Graham. Steven McDougall, Andy Kirk.
SUBS: Paul Willis, Greg� Paterson (GK).
SCORERS: Gibson (16), Kirk (17, 83 pen.), Phinn (21), Graham (35), McDougall (63), Cardle (70)

STENHOUSEMUIR: Chris McCluskey. Willie Lyle, Jordan Smith (c), Chris McLeod, Stephen Thomson (Gary Thom HT). Craig Molloy, Iain Thomson (Lee Currie 62), Pat Scullion (Sean Welsh 62), Kevin Motion. Scott Dalziel, Kevin Bradley
SUBS: Craig O`Reilly,Scott Bennett (GK).
SCORER: Bradley (90)


NEXT MATCH: (away) IRN BRU First Division v Dundee
Sunday 17th January 2010, kick off 3.00pm

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