Scottish Cup v Aberdeen

ABERDEEN 1 DUNFERMLINE 0 - Date 06/02/11

Fixture: Scottish Cup

Attendance: 5636, Kick Off: 3:00pm

Referee; Willie Collum

Dunfermline travelled to Pittodrie to face Aberdeen for the seventh time there in the Scottish Cup.  On four occasions it has ended the Pars cup hopes but memories are fresh of the Quarter Final win on penalties in 2009.  Jim McIntyre was forced into making three changes - Chris Smith was suspended, Liam Buchanan was cup tied and of course the departure of Wullie Gibson to Crawley Town also left a gap. 

From the team that lost to Partick Thistle the previous weekend Jim McIntyre actually made five changes. Twenty year old Kyle Allison started in goals new signing Kevin Rutkiewicz replaced Andy Dowie, Pat Clarke, Alex Burke and Joe Cardle came in to play leaving Andy Kirk upfront. Mason and Burke lined up in front of the back four with Clarke, Cardle and Graham operating ahead of them. Greg Paterson returned to the bench, his first involvement since breaking his leg against Dundee in March last year.

Aberdeen Manager Craig Brown was without David McNamee and Andrew Considine from the side that lost at home to Celtic on Tuesday night. Nikola Vujadinovic and former Rangers player Steven Smith on loan from Norwich City started.

Jim McIntyre felt that his team`s strength was in going forward, thus his attack minded team selection, they kicked off through Kirk and Clarke attacking the goal at the Richard Donald Stand end. Within the first 15 seconds however, Chris Maguire got the better of Austin McCann and whizzed the ball through the Pars penalty box.

Early Pars attacks were pulled up for an overrobust Andy Kirk challenge and then an offside decision.  Cardle fed Clarke the ball in fifth minute and a free kick was awarded.  Alex Burke touched the ball left for McCann to swing the ball across to the far right where Rutkiewicz headed the ball back in front of goal. A great chance fell to Kirk but he drove his shot wide of the left upright.

Robert Milson had to leave the park with a mysterious injury and former Par, Derek Young was `welcomed` on to the park in eighth minute. Aberdeen`s early pressure emanated from the right and Chris Maguire in particular but at no stage was Allison tested.  Aberdeen won the first corner of the afternoon off McCann but the skipper intercepted the delivery and Scott Vernon`s follow up attempt went to the keeper.

The 27 year old Englishman then had another chance from a cross but Rutkiewicz tracked him and forced Vernon`s effort over the bar. In 18th minute David Graham hit a 30 yarder that Jamie Langfield took with ease. Vujadinovic cleared the ball off Cardle`s boot for Dunfermline`s first corner but Joe`s delivery from the left was low and didn`t create anything for Keddie and Rutkiewicz.  Another corner on the right this time gave Mason the opportunity to chip the ball into the Dons penalty area but the red shirts got that away.

Kirk won another corner but taken quickly failed to provide any danger.  At the other end Vernon headed off target before Vujadinovic headed a Kirk shot behind for yet another corner.  Rutkiewicz challanged but failed to connect.  Back to the other end immediately and Maguire`s cross was met by Vernon but he directed his header into Allison`s arms.

Nikola Vujadinovic made a tough tackle on Kirk in 28 minutes leading to Referee Willie Collum pulling them both in for a few words of warning. Six minutes later Ryan Jack fired the first shot that Kyle Allison had to save, fortunately he picked out the 20 yard attempt successfully.

Cardle forced another corner as Kirk`s scoop back across goal was defended but again Joe was low with his delivery and Aberdeen forced the ball out.  Clarke made a run in 43 minutes but his left footed shot from 25 yards was held by Langfield. Graham tracked Young back, preventing a clean shot but collecting a bloody nose in the process.

Aberdeen had their chances in the first 45, mostly from the right but Kirk`s shot was the best effort of the half.  The Pars seemed to get a better feel of the game after 20 minutes but at the break it remained goalless.

Half Time: Aberdeen 0 Dunfermline 0

Aberdeen produced the first shot of the second half but Nick Blackman`s 51st minute drive from 20 yards was always heading outside the right upright.  Calum Woods was lectured after he dumped Blackman rather crudely.  Hartley touched the resultant free kick to Maguire but his rocket of a shot was well blocked.

Zander Diamond halted a Fifers attack in 58 minutes after Graham had flicked the ball into Cardle`s path. Aberdeen`s efforts to find a route through the Pars defence continued to be frustrated and notwithstanding the greater Dons possession, the game was there for either side to win as the match entered its final half hour.

In 64 minutes Vernon`s dummy let the ball run through for Maguire to let loose with a cracker of a shot that just cleared Allison`s crossbar. Gary Mason`s thigh kept out the next shot and then Maguire flashed the ball through the Pars six yard box and out at the left post.

In 69 minutes Pat Clarke broke through the centre of the Dons defence and found Kirk on the right side of the box. The Irishman connected well but on the angle Langfield pushed the shot over the bar.  Graham`s shot from the Cardle corner was blocked and play raced back to the other end. Rutkiewicz slipped up as Maguire threatened on the left side but Keddie put in a brave tackle to end that. Play continued as Maguire and Keddie remained on the deck and Jack should maybe have done better as the ball was squared from the left.

Two 76th minute corners maintained pressure on the visitors before Nick Phinn replaced Alex Burke. Woods sent in a free kick from the right touchline and Phinn exchanged passes with Cardle before Rutkiewicz nearly got dispossed on half way. The on loan St Johnstone player was then subbed by Neil McGregor as the new boy appeared to be carrying an injury.

In 83 minutes Neil McGregor made a great block on Peter Pawlett`s turn in front of goal after Josh Magennis had sent in a good ball from the right.  Diamond headed the following corner narrowly outside the left post as the SPL side went for a winner. An 85th minute Aberdeen corner was headed on by a Dons head and Allison grabbed the ball as Magennis tried to make a connection.

Everyone went up for an 89th minute Aberdeen corner but that went behind on the way over and Allison was left to take a goal kick. There were not many chances for the Pars, Aberdeen certainly created more and Vernon looked to have missed their final one sending the ball wide in 91 minutes.  In the dying minutes Phinn drove forward and blasted his shot to the right of goal.

Then after 91 minutes and 43 seconds Aberdeen found the net.  A firmly hit cross from the right was punched by Allison but cannoned off the luckless Neil McGREGOR to force in a cruel winner.  That left no time for retrieval and it is Aberdeen who go through to play St Mirren in the Quarter Final.

ABERDEEN: Jamie Langfield; Rory McArdle, Zander Diamond, Nikola Vujadinovic, Steven Smith; Ryan Jack (Josh Magennis 81), Paul Hartley, Robert Milsom (Derek Young 8), Chris Maguire; Nick Blackman (Peter Pawlett 56), Scott Vernon,.
SUBS NOT USED: Michael Paton, Mark Howard (GK)
SCORER: McGregor o.g. (92)

DUNFERMLINE: Kyle Allison; Calum Woods, Kevin Rutkiewicz (Neil McGregor 79), Alex Keddie, Austin McCann (c); Gary Mason, Alex Burke (Nick Phinn 77); Pat Clarke, Joe Cardle (Ryan Thomson 89), David Graham; Andy Kirk.
SUBS NOT USED: Paul Willis, Greg Paterson.

WEATHER: Dry, overcast 5C

NEXT MATCH: (away) SFL v Cowdenbeath
Saturday 12th February 2011, kick off 3.00pm


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