Petrofac Challenge Cup: DUNFERMLINE 1 FALKIRK 2: 19/08/14
The second round draw in the Petrofac Training Cup threw up another local derby and the Pars were delighted at the chance to play their Championship rivals.
From the side that struggled at Station Park on Saturday, Jim Jefferies was forced to bring in Ross Drummond for Alex Whittle and Shaun Byrne and Chigozie Ugwu dropped to the bench to make way for Ross Forbes and Faissal El Bakhtaoui. Falkirk were unchanged from the starting eleven that did so well but lost to Rangers on Friday night.
The visitors kicked off attacking the goal in front of the McCathie Stand but play was stopped early on after Alex Cooper had cut down Josh Falkingham. Physio Kenny Murray came on before play and then the Pars midfielder restarted.
First chance came in six minutes when Lewis Martin sent Ross Millen away on the right and the right back's low cross was stopped and then grabbed by Falkirk keeper Jamie MacDonald just ahead of the inrushing Moffat and Geggan.
Conor McGrandles then followed Cooper in receiving a reprimand from referee George Salmond after Lewis Spence was hit to the deck. Dunfermline got their passing game going first although the ball was a bit of a hot potato for a period. Falkirk were forced into passing the ball back to MacDonald before on 15 minutes they were denied the opening goal when Ryan Scully pulled off a fine save after former Par loanee Rory Loy had breached the Fifers' central defence.
Play was quickly back at the other end with Drummond flashing the ball across the face of goal before Forbes delivered a great ball from a free kick on the right. Page tried to finish from just four yards out but hit MacDonald and Falkirk had a really narrow escape.
In true cup tie fashion Cooper immediately got a chance at the other end but his shot from 25 yards was deflected behind for the first corner of the night, one that Spence got away. Having had the minority of the possession the Bairns were working their way into the game and Cooper's 28th minute shot on target was fruit of their labours but fortunately the well hit attempt went straight to Scully.
Cooper's dayglo boot launched in a corner from the left that McCracken headed over the bar. Disquiet then from the home fans after Blair Alston's 35 yard effort cleared the crossbar to somehow earn another corner. It was 37th minute when El Bakhtaoui created an opportunity for himself, gathering the ball on the right, cutting in and releasing a left footed shot from the edge of the box that slipped outside the far post.
Thirty seconds later El Bakhtaoui raced down the right wing to cross for Moffat just eight yards out but he sent his header outside the same post. Then again El Bakhtaoui threatened to break through on the right but unluckily the pass from Moffat was not quite quick enough and the offside flag went up.
The League One team finished the half strongly with Moffat firing in a shot for MacDonald to hold. Best chance of the first half was certainly the one that fell for Page but at the break neither side had found the net.
Half time: Dunfermline 0 Falkirk 0
The stalemate looked like continuing well into the second half. Falkirk manager Peter Houston was the first to try something different making a double substitution in 52 minutes. Alston and Cooper were replaced by Craig Sibbald and Botti Bia-Bi.
Bia-Bi immediately terrorised Page on the left side of the Pars box and he cut the ball back for Tom TAIWO to drill the ball into the bottom left. 0-1
Matters were to get worse for Dunfermline as TAIWO struck again just five minutes later. Falkirk enjoyed possession on the top of the Pars box and when the ball was released to the left the former England under 17 international finished with pure quality.
Jim Jefferies was then to make his double substitution on 65 minutes. Off went Forbes and Page and into the action came Ryan Williamson and Chigozie Ugwu. Within three minutes Williamson had won a free kick on the right byeline and from that Millen delivered the cross that Andy GEGGAN was to head home. 1-2
That brought the cup tie back to life although Loy could have restored the two goal advantage with a good break down the right but his shot hit the sidenetting. Williamson had another soaring run and Spence had an on target shot headed clear. The excitement was mounting but the tie erupted with quarter of an hour remaining.
Botti Bia-Bi tangled with Millen as the pair went down on the edge of the box and then hit out at the Pars player as the free kick in the Fifers favour was about to be taken. Bia-Bi didn't exactly go quietly and all that stirred Dunfermline's spirits. With the home support rallying behind them there was real belief that the tie could be turned around.
The Pars pressed and Falkirk deployed time wasting tactics. Luke Leahy replaced McGrandles as the clock ran away from Jim Jefferies team. Try they did but after four added minutes it was Falkirk who went through to Thursday's third round draw.
DUNFERMLINE: Ryan Scully; Ross Millen, Lewis Martin, Jonasthan Page (Ryan Williamson 65), Ross Drummond; Andy Geggan (c), Lewis Spence, Josh Falkingham, Ross Forbes (Chigozie Ugwu 65); Faissal El Bakhtaoui, Michael Moffat
SUBS NOT USED: Ryan Thomson, Finn Graham, Shaun Byrne, Allan Smith, Ryan Goodfellow (GK)
SCORERS: Geggan (68)
YELLOW CARD: Geggan (35)
FALKIRK: Jamie MacDonald, Alan Maybury, Will Vaulks, David McCracken (c), Liam Dick; Blair Alston (Craig Sibbald 52), Tom Taiwo, Olumide Durojaiye, Conor McGrandles (Luke Leahy 84), Alex Cooper (Botti Bia-Bi 52), Rory Loy
SUBS NOT USED: Ryan McGeever, Peter Grant, Scott Shepherd, Graham Bowman (GK)
SCORERS: Taiwo (55, 60)
YELLOW CARD: Durojaiye (63)
RED CARD: Botti Bia-Bi (75)
REFEREE: George Salmond
WEATHER: Damp 18C
NEXT MATCH: SPFL League One (home) v Airdrieonians
Saturday 23rd August 2014, kick off 3.00pm
Betfred Cup v Peterhead: Saturday 22nd July 2017, kick off 3.00pm