Betfred Cup: Dunfermline 6 Elgin City 0: 15/07/17

After the disappointing final pre season friendly at Starks Park on Monday, Nicky Clark and Lee Ashcroft return in place of Aaron Splaine and Jean-Yves M`voto.

The Pars kicked off through Declan McManus and immediately tormented the visitors goal. Joe Cardle delivered a first minute cross that was headed clear and Nat Wedderburn`s follow up from 25 yards was blocked.

Kallum Higginbotham sent on a cross from the right but that was headed clear and then, still in the third minute, McManus was closed out as he tried to get round the Elgin City defence. Michael Paton drove a shot at keeper Marc Waters before City`s fist fora forward saw Ross McKinnon deliver a ball that was headed away by Lewis Martin.

Cardle jinked his way in on the left side of the box but lost possession but then in tenth minute he was cut down 30 yards out and Higginbotham took charge of the free kick.

The setpiece led to the simplest of openers, Nicky CLARK rising to head home from eight yards. 1-0

There were chances to make it two with Martin seeing his shot on the quarter hour blocked and then four minutes later McManus cutting back the ball but just behind Clark. The Pars striker was able to notch up the second on 20 minutes. Another simply cross from Williamson on the right saw CLARK rise and head home. 2-0

It looked as though the Championship were going to steam roller their League Two opponents as firstly Paton and then Wedderburn had further opportunities.

City forced their first corner in 28 minutes but that caused Sean Murdoch no problems. Next it was another chance for the Pars after Jamie Reid upended Cardle just outside the box on the left. Everyone lined up for the lob in by Higginbotham but instead the Pars no.7 laid the ball off for Cardle to drive into City players and then hit the rebound over the crossbar.

Dunfermline made it 3-0 on 33 minutes. PATON followed up a blocked effort from McManus and clinically finished from 15 yards out.

Just two minutes later Higginbotham got round Darryl McLeish on the right and when he crossed CLARK stepped in to complete his first half hat trick of headers. Still ten minutes to half time and it was 4-0.

Despite the size of the lead there were appeals for injustice as McManus` break was blown up for an infringement. The first half had seen a commanding performance from the Fifers and the home fans felt that the result was already decided as they headed for their half time refreshments.

First half possession was 64% to the home side and 11 shots to Elgin`s none.

Half time: Dunfermline 4 Elgin City 0

Stephen Bronsky and Ali Sutherland replaced Ross McKinnon and Chris McLeish before the second half resumed. Cardle made a lively start to the second 45 forcing a corner off Cooper with his shot and when Higginbotham delivered from the right, CLARK swept the ball past Waters. 5-0

Higginbotham was next to be through on Waters but the keeper was first to the ball. Then McManus` shot was saved and Clark was foiled as he tried to convert the rebounded chance.

Elgin managed two shots on target both from Chris Dodd and both saved by Murdoch. Scott Lochhead replaced Michael Paton in 61 minutes but by this stage the pace of the game had dropped.

Others were trying to their names on the scoresheet with Higginbotham driving from an acute angle on the left and Williamson from the other side. Lochhead too had a crack from 25 yards that Waters held and then Cardle fired across the face of goal having popped up on the right side of the City box.

With 18 minutes remaining, Nicky Clark was then withdrawn to receive a standing ovation for his four goals and 17 year old Callum Smith took up his position. Jean-Yves M`Voto also made an appearance for the final ten minutes with the formation being shuffled to accommodate him.

Lochhead got to the City byeline but Cardle continued to be desperately unlucky in front of goal, his efforts being continually blocked. M`Voto almost got in for a header, Lochhead drove wide right and even McHardy had an effort for the visitors and it looked liked there was to be no more goals especially when sub Smith missed a relatively routine chance. Not so, happily SMITH made up for his miss with a coolly taken opportunity in the final minute. 6-0

A comprehensive mauling for the Morayshire outfit.

DUNFERMLINE: Sean Murdoch: Ryan Williamson, Callum Morris (c), Lee Ashcroft, Lewis Martin: Kallum Higginbotham, Michael Paton (Scott Lochhead 61), Nat Wedderburn, Joe Cardle: Declan McManus (Jean-Yves M`Voto, 79), Nicky Clark (Callum Smith 73)
SUBS NOT USED: Cammy Gill, Stuart Morrison, Conner Duthie, Brandon Luke.
SCORERS: Clark (10, 20, 35, 48), Paton (33), Smith (90)

ELGIN CITY: Marc Waters, Matthew Cooper, Cameron Eadie, Darryl McHardy, Ross McKinnon (Stephen Bronsky HT): Jon Paul McGovern: Jamie Reid (Callum Ferguson 57), Brian Cameron, Thomas Reilly, Chris Dodd: Chris McLeish (Ali Sutherland HT).
SUBS NOT USED: Scott Smith, David Wilson, Trevor Dear (GK)

REFEREE: David Munro

NEXT MATCH: Betfred Cup (away) v East Fife, Tuesday 18th July 2017, kick off 7.45pm at New Bayview

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