Scottish Communities Cup v East Fife


Attendance: 1262, Kick Off: 7.45pm.

Referee: Craig Charleston

The reward for knocking out Annan Athletic at Galabank was a Second Round of the Scottish Communities League Cup tie at New Bayview versus John Robertson`s East Fife.  There was the usual cool east coast breeze and this was the Pars first visit to Methil in the post power station era. The view beyond was now one of a giant rubble ridge.

Dunfermline made four changes from the team that faced Dundee United. Martin Hardie, Gary Mason, Andy Kirk and Joe Cardle were rested meaning starts for Kevin Rutkiewicz, Steven McDougall, Andy Barrowman and Liam Buchanan. For East Fife Robert Campbell and David Cowan dropped out of the eleven who were defeated by Arbroath on Saturday; Ryan Wallace and Scott Dalziel replaced them.

The home side kicked off but within 18 seconds the ball was shot into the hands of Michael Brown by Steven McDougall after David Graham had made the break. At the other end Ryan Wallace dubiously sprung the offside trap in 90 seconds, to loop an effort from 28 yards over Paul Gallacher and the bar.

In the fifth minute East Fife hit on the break. Scott Dalziel slipped the ball right for Bobby LINN to shoot on target, Gallacher parried the shot but the East Fife no.7 followed up to smack the ball into the net.

An eighth minute corner caused the Pars more problems. Linn took it short to Craig Johnstone and he returned for Linn to ease past McDougall and smash a shot on target but Gallacher beat it away at his near post. Graham`s 11th minute shot from 25 yards went wide left

Next minute Barrowman broke and fired a fierce low shot to the keeper`s right. Brown failed to hold and BUCHANAN followed up to scoop the ball into the net. 1-1.Â

The Pars momentarily looked a bit more like the SPL team and McDougall got in a cross that Buchanan headed narrowly wide left. At the other end however, Dalziel pulled the ball back from the byeline for Lloyd Young to fire another shot on goal but this time Rutkiewicz blocked. East Fife were proving a handful and were not afraid to take Dunfermline`s defence on.

Respite came when Dunfermline earned a free kick on the left and Buchanan headed at Brown from McDougall`s delivery. Back it came to the other end but Wallace`s scissor kick effort went well over the bar. The end to end cup tie continued with Graham sending McCann up the left, his cross was good for Barrowman but he headed high over the bar.

Even with Dunfermline playing in their bright yellow tops and East Fife in all red, the floodlights were badly needed and the switch was found on the half hour. The Pars began to play a bit brighter as well; Graham and Buchanan trying shots at goal. Barrowman forced a corner and a defender hooked the ball over his crossbar for another. A third McDougall corner was headed on by Keddie and three more corners followed that. Dowie`s glancing header was then cleared to break the sequence. Dunfermline were to pay for failing to take anything from this period of continual pressure.

Three minutes from the interval Linn fed the ball out right for Durie but he pulled his shot across goal and out on the left. At the same time the floodlights in the south east corner went out but they would be powered up by the end of the break.

Half Time: East Fife 1 Dunfermline 1

Dunfermline recommenced with two more corners in the opening three minutes. The first McDougall struck right across goal and out at the far post. The next made no impact either. Buchanan drove a shot at Young in 52 minutes but East Fife restored their lead three minutes later. A cross to the far side of the penalty box was controlled by DALZIEL and Thomson failed to stop the shot which was despatched beyond Gallacher. 2-1 to the Second Division Fifers.

On the hour Gallacher did well to hold a Linn free kick that cleared the wall and almost immediately after that Keddie conceded another free kick within shooting distance. This time sub Robert Sloan took the setpiece and his effort slipped just over the bar.

Ryan Thomson replaced Andy Dowie in midfield and the Pars had a good chance when Barrowman fought and won possession on the right side of the box but Buchanan`s shot was blocked and then the rebound evaded Graham. The Methil men pushed up and kept their SPL opponents pinned back in their own half for a lengthy spell.

A chance did come Dunfermline`s way in 72 minutes when sub Andy Kirk switched the ball on to Paul Willis on the right side of the box but he crashed the ball over the bar with his shot at an angle. East Fife countered with Wallace releasing a great ball for Linn to hit as he ran into the box but fortunately he hit the outside of the sidenetting.

Brown was having a quiet second half and McCann`s cross with 15 minutes to go failed to give him anything more as his defence headed clear. This was the continuing story as the trevelling support grew more and more frustrated. "This is the worst trip I`ve ever been on" was the chant.

In 81 Minutes Ryan Thomson made a good run into space on the left, collected the pass from McCann and quickly fed Graham but he shot wide right from 15 yards out. East Fife broke again and earned a free kick as Burns was shown a yellow card. Sloan`s attempt from 28 yards out came off the wall and the Pars cleared.

Ryan Thomson then showed good skills to beat men on the left but his final ball wasn`t good. At the other end Sloan`s shot was deflected off a defender for a 88th minute corner and that just ran the clock down further. The Methil men were to see the game out, Hislop heading a last ditch Barrowman header off the line, to knock the Pars out of the competition; the sixth time in nine meetings in the League Cup that they have savoured success. It was a deserved win in which Paul Gallacher was by far the busier keeper.

East Fife may have the odd electrical problem but they certainly put Dunfermline`s lights out in this possibly their worst cup shock since losing to 3-0 to Ayr United in the Scottish Cup in January 2002.

EAST FIFE: Michael Brown; Scott Durie, John Ovenstone, Craig Johnstone, Steven Hislop, Bobby Linn, Matthew Park, Lloyd Young, Scott Dalziel (Robert Sloan 60), Ryan Wallace, Darren Smith.
SUBS: Andrew Collier, Ross Brewster, , Ross Brown, James Blaikie.
SCORER: Linn (5), Dalziel (55)
YELLOW CARD: Wallace (57).

DUNFERMLINE: Paul Gallacher, Jason Thomson, Kevin Rutkiewicz, Alex Keddie, Austin McCann (c); Steven McDougall (Paul Willis 55), Paul Burns, Andy Dowie (Ryan Thomson 63), David Graham; Liam Buchanan (Andy Kirk 70), Andy Barrowman,
SUBS: Chris Smith (GK), Paddy Boyle.
SCORER: Buchanan (12)
YELLOW CARD: Burns (83)

WEATHER: Overcast 15C

NEXT MATCH: (home) SPL v Motherwell
Saturday 27th August 2011, kick off 3:00pm.