Betfred Cup: East Fife 0 Dunfermline 0: 18/07/17
Dunfermline were the opposition as East Fife played their first competitive match on their new AstroTurf surface. No surprises as Allan Johnston went with the same starting eleven as demolished Elgin City on Saturday. That meant a place on the bench for new signing Dean Shiels.
East Fife manager, former Pars captain, Darren Young made three changes from the side that lost 1-0 at Peterhead. Kyle Wilson, Ben Reilly and Thomas Cordery came in in place of Chris Kane, Ross Mutch and keeper Ryan Goodfellow.
Despite the clear blue sky, bright sunshine and the sight of people on Leven beach the fans were in need of their jackets in the east facing stand at New Bayview. Paul Willis got the match underway with East Fife in red and white attacking the goal at the town end.
The Pars first real threat was created right on four minutes when Kallum Higginbotham delivered from the right, Declan McManus was closed out for the shot but he then won back possession only to lose out again as he tried to secure a better shooting position.
In tenth minute Ben Gordon and Joe Cardle clashed just inside the East Fife half and both physios were waved on with some urgency expressed by referee Gavin Ross. Fortunately it had sounded worse that it actually was and the pair returned immediately.
A free kick on the left almost level with the 18 yard line was swept over towards Lee Ashcroft at the far post but his knock down was booted away by the home defence. A clearance from Nat Wedderburn clipped the wrong side of the corner flag so in 16 minutes East Fife won the first corner of the night. No need to worry when Mark Docherty sent that over from the right Sean Murdoch was well out to fist the ball away.
Play switched to the other end and a Craig Watson pass back was picked up by Thomas Cordery to award the Pars an indirect free kick 15 yards out on the right side. Nicky Clark rolled that to Higginbotham but his blast ballooned up and although taken and returned by Cardle East Fife survived by conceding a 18th minute corner. Higginbotham from the left found the head of Clark but his effort went over the crossbar.
A long throw out from Murdoch sent Cardle away up the left but his progress came to an abrupt halt when Aaron Dunsmore took him down. A second warning for the East Fife right back without a card from Mr Ross. Higginbotham sent the free kick to the far post to be met by Clark but the home defence cleared the ball as it was nodded down.
Ten minutes from the break Michael Paton got close enough to fire at the opposition goal and when the ball ricocheted out Clark drove a low shot on target but keeper Cordery and Watson combined to stop the goal.
At the other end Nathan Flannigan rounded Ashcroft and from an acute angle drove his shot into the sidenetting. There immediately followed a real let off for the Bayview side as keeper and full back collided on the top of the box allowing McManus to run away wide to the right with the ball. His pass found Clark but he delayed his shot and the defence`s closed him out.
Paton was next to pop an effort from 20 yards out but that cleared the bar. Into added time and Higginbotham drove a shot that was destined to squeak inside the near post but Cordery got down to deny an opener. The Championship side had played the prettier football, created the better chances but at half time there was nothing between the teams.
Half time: East Fife 0 Dunfermline 0
Ryan Goodfellow replaced the injured home keeper Thomas Cordery before the restart and within 25 seconds he was ushering a McManus shot just wide left.
It was all Dunfermline but East Fife`s defending held out. Darren Young`s men seemed quite comfortable allowing the Pars possession and they made a good job of keeping the ball well away from Goodfellow.
A 57th minute free kick awarded after Cardle was fouled by Flannigan gave Higginbotham the chance to pump in another dangerous cross from the setpiece and Goodfellow held Ashcroft`s looping header.
Five minutes later and a Paton chip into the box was headed behind by Gordon but this time Higginbotham`s low delivered corner was easily defended. Cardle was on the right to cross a great ball in but there was no one on the far side of the box to convert. Martin and then Paton were next to shoot but the first was blocked and the latter`s slipped wide.
At the midpoint of the second half Ashcroft powered a header wide from another setpiece. The Pars management then attempted to change things withdrawing Wedderburn and Higginbotham to bring on Dean Shiels and Scott Lochhead.
Lochhead immediately injected his pace into the contest and was unlucky with a drive and closed out when presented with a half chance.
A 77th minute corner resulted from a Shiels free kick but that was cleared by the East Fife defence and when presented with another bite at it the new man fired wide right from 25 yards out.
It was 82nd minute when Callum Smith subbed Declan McManus. Cardle was next to shoot after cutting in from the right but the ball was blocked and at the other end after Ashcroft was yellow carded Docherty`s free kick slipped all the way through to Murdoch.
There was optimism from the travelling support as Shiels won a 87th minute free kick on the edge of the box but Clark`s 87th attempt was deflected off the wall. Darren Young brought himself on for Reilly but he could do little to stop a Smith effort sweetly set up by Cardle. Fortunately for the home side Goodfellow pulled off a good save.
After three added minutes the final whistle sounded a penalty shoot out. The contest was held at the beach end and first up was Dean Shiels.
1 Shiels scored low right
2 Docherty scored right down the middle 1-1
3 Paton scored low right 2-1
4 Willis scored high left 2-2
5 Clark scored low right 3-2
6 Slattery scored low left 3-3
7 Cardle scored low left 4-3
8 Flannigan scored 4-4
9 Lochhead scored left 5-4
10 Watson scored right down the middle 5-5
11 Morris netted in middle 6-5
12 Mutch scored low left 6-6
13 Ashcroft crashed home right 7-6
14 Wilson scored 7-7
15 Williamson goal low right 8-7
16 Dunsmore scored low right 8-8
17 Smith converted 9-8
18 Gordon hit left post
Dunfermline win 9-8 on penalties to take the bonus point.
EAST FIFE: Tom Cordery (Ryan Goodfellow HT): Aaron Dunsmore, Craig Watson, Ben Gordon, Mark Docherty: Nathan Flanagan (Ross Mutch 72), Pat Slattery, Paul Willis, Kyle Wilson, Ben Reilly (Darren Young 88), Chris Duggan
SUBS NOT USED: Ryan Inglis.
YELLOW CARD: Flannigan (59)
DUNFERMLINE: Sean Murdoch: Ryan Williamson, Callum Morris (c), Lee Ashcroft, Lewis Martin: Kallum Higginbotham (Scott Lochhead 68), Michael Paton, Nat Wedderburn (Dean Shiels 68), Joe Cardle: Declan McManus (Callum Smith 82), Nicky Clark.
SUBS NOT USED: Jean-Yves M`Voto, Conner Duthie, Aaron Splaine, Cammy Gill (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Ashcroft (83)
REFEREE: Gavin Ross
WEATHER: Sunny 20C
NEXT MATCH: Betfred Cup: (home) v Peterhead, Saturday 22nd July 2017, 3.00pm kick off at East End Park
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