Scottish Cup v Stenhousemuir


Fixture: Active Nation Scottish Cup

Attendance: 1810, Kick Off: 7.45pm.

Referee: Bobby Madden

Dunfermline started with Saturday`s hattrick hero Joe Cardle.  Steven McDougall was out with a broken toe otherwise it was the same starting personnel as at Firhill with 18 year old Paul Willis on the bench.

The hosts made four changes from the one that lost at home to Alloa.  Out went Kevin Motion, Iain Thomson, Sean Welsh and Chris McLeod, in went Gary Thom, Craig Molloy, Robert Love and Scott Gair.

Pre match entertainment was specially selected and included `Let`s Go Round Again` by the Average White Band and Alexandra Burke`s `Bad Boy`!  St Johnstone attracted a crowd of 1049 for the CIS Insurance Cup tie in August but the away end filled up as the kick off approached, and was subsequently delayed, ensuring the Warriors their best attendance of the season. 

There was a real old fashioned cup tie atmosphere as the Pars kicked off at 7.44pm attacking the goal in front of the very full away end.  Greg Fleming was the first of the keepers to be called into action holding a Thom header from a Willie Lyle cross after just 90 seconds.

In six minutes David Graham flashed an inviting ball across the Stenny box but neither Andy Kirk nor Willie Gibson could get the connection required. Three minutes later a free kick 25 yards out allowed Lee Currie a pop at the target but his low drive went wide right.

Andy Kirk controlled the ball 25 yards out and turned to release a shot that went wide right.  Next minute, 14th, Graham carved out some space in the centre of the home defence to create an opening to belt a shot low but narrowly wide of the other post.  Stenhousemuir were certainly going to put up a fight and Currie sent another free kick wide left. In 27 minutes a Ross clearance dropped to Kevin Bradley and Fleming had to be out quick to prevent Scott  Dalziel getting in a more powerful effort.

The Fifers were finding it difficult to get near the goals and not to help things, Gibson`s free kick in 29th minute was overstruck.  Next a Kirk attempt from outside the box was way off target.  Then ten minutes from the interval came the breakthrough.  Joe CARDLE turned the defence inside out on the left side of the penalty box to make time to plant his shot in at the left post.

Three minutes later Fleming held a useful Dalziel header from a Love cross while in front of the Pars fans Kirk looked like he was in for a second but the pace of the pitch took the ball too far and the defence mopped up behind the keeper.

Andy Dowie`s tackle on Bradley in 43 let Currle from the free kick flight another ball into the Pars box but that too sailed right through.  Lyle conceded a corner on the left that McGregor went up for but the chance fell to his central defensive parner Dowie who despite getting two bites of the cherry couldn`t get a shot at Chris McCluskey.

The final opportunity of the first half came from Graham`s perseverance on the left side of the Stenny box but Phinn was wide when he met the cross.

Half Time: Stenhousemuir 0 Dunfermline 1

The teams came back out to Abba - `The Winner takes it All` and for the first ten minutes Dunfermline looked as if they were going to go on and seal the outcome. All the possession deep in the Stenny half kept play well away from Fleming but Dunfermline were still finding a route through the Stehousemuir defence none too easy.

In 64 Greg Ross was rather harshly penalised for his challenge on Steven Thomson and Kevin Bradley`s free kick was headed powerfully behind by Gary Thom.  Then two minutes later there appeared to be a tug on a maroon shirt in front of goal.  Steven Bell might have been nearest but referee Bobby Madden pointed to the spot. BRADLEY struck the spot kick low into the bottom left to square the tie.

Cardle was chopped down by Currie and Gibson drove a fierce free kick through the wall from 25 yards out only for McCluskey to do really well turning the ball behind for a corner.  Steven Bell met that delivery in from the left but he was off target sending the ball narrowly wide right.

Stenny sub Kevin Motion blasted a shot but straight at Ross, then Bradley almost took the ball through on the left side of the Pars box and Fleming had to come out sharpish to collect.  Graham had a shot parried but he was already flagged offside.  The replay was just five minutes away from extra time when Bradley won a free kick on the right and the Pars defence had to do some serious defending.

An 88th minute free kick found the head of Andy Dowie but his attempt went wide. Phinn headed a Ross delivery into the keeper`s hands and next Phinn spread the ball wide for Gibson to try a shot but again straight to the keeper. 

Full Time: Stenhousemuir 1 Dunfermline 1

The cup tie went to extra time and in 98 minutes Dunfermline won a corner on the right at which there were appeals for a penalty as the ball seemed to break off a Warriors player.  No penalty given however.  The Second Division side were visibly tiring but their defenders, all but Scott Dalziel by now, continued to find reserves.

Neil McGregor required treatment after conceding a 105th minute corner but in his absence Dowie cleared the danger.

Half Time in Extra Time: Stenhousemuir 1 Dunfermline 1

Former Pars youth defender Pat Scullion came on for Stenny replacing Dalziel for the final fifteen. In the 21st minute of extra time Andy KIRK received a cut back from Cardle and a low drive from 18 yards that took a deflection was enough to beat everyone including the keeper

Treatment to Phinn and Thom delayed the final whistle and there was still time for  David Graham to intercept a clearance and shoot wide. Despite valiant efforts from Stenhousemuir they were in vain. Scullion looked to be in a good position but the offside flag was up.  Dunfermline scraped through and the whistle sent many home players on to the deck.

The Pars fans were on song at the end but they had had a long and nervy evening.

STENHOUSEMUIR: Chris McCluskey; Willie Lyle, Jordan Smith, Gary Thom, Lee Currie, Craig Molloy, Stephen Thomson, Robert Love (Iain Thomson 84), Scott Gair (Kevin Motion 72), Scott Dalziel (Pat Scullion 106), Kevin Bradley.
SUBS: Grant Penderleith, Scott Bennett (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Molloy (34), Lyle (62)
SCORER: Bradley (67 pen).

DUNFERMLINE: Greg Fleming; Greg Ross, Neil McGregor, Andy Dowie, Austin McCann (c); Willie Gibson (Alex Burke 90+2), Steven Bell, Nick Phinn, Joe Cardle (Graeme Holmes 113); David Graham, Andy Kirk.
SUBS:  Paul Willis, Chris Higgins, Greg Paterson (GK)
SCORER: Cardle (35), Kirk (111)
YELLOW CARD: Cardle (93)


NEXT MATCH: (home) First Division v Queen of the South
Saturday 30th January 2010, kick off 3.00pm

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