CIS Insurance Cup v Partick Thistle
DUNFERMLINE 3 PARTICK THISTLE 1 Date: 22/09/04
Fixture: CIS Insurance Cup
Attendance: 2301 Kick Off: 19:45
Referee: Mike McCurry Weather: Cool 11C
A trio of fine finishes continued Dunfermline`s return to winning ways in tonight`s CIS Cup tie against Partick with only a solitary goal from the visitors temporarily halting the hosts` dominance.
With Gary Mason failing a late fitness test, new signing Thomas Butler made his starting debut in an otherwise unchanged team from the one successful over Hearts in the SPL on Sunday.
Craig Brewster stamped his authority on the game from the off and headed wide with just a minute gone. Such was the determination to attack on display from the Pars that an even better chance fell to defender Greg Shields shortly afterwards but after holding off the attention of Murray his shot on the turn went the way of Brewster`s.
In the seventh minute the Pars had a solid claim for a penalty when Mehmet was pulled down in the box by Dowie but referee McCurry was close to the incident and decided otherwise. Not to be deterred, Mehmet found his way into the box two minutes later and fired a cracking shot across the goal that was net bound but for a good one-handed save by Arthur.
The Pars continued their dominance throughout and it took a set piece a little under half an hour into the game to give the Jags their first real chance. Ex-Par Fleming fancied his chances with the free kick but curled it comfortably into Stillie`s arms.
With that brief threat swept aside the Pars returned to the offensive and within minutes had bagged the opener. A superb pass by Butler, in his first appearance in the starting eleven, was picked up in the six yard box by Mehmet, who unselfishly cut back into the path of Craig BREWSTER. His left foot shot zipped across Arthur and in at the far post to give the Pars the lead.
Partick still had a few moves up their sleeve and it took a brave last-ditch tackle by Skerla to prevent Panther from breaking through on goal. A claim for handball in the box was dismissed and countered moments later by a free kick against Mehmet when through on goal but Partick fought back to grab an equaliser.
A corner kick was conceded by Skerla five minutes before the interval and although Stillie saved the first headed effort well, Andy DOWIE followed up his own header with a second attempt that managed to find its way in.
The equaliser had come against the run of play but Pars spirits were lifted when skipper Scott THOMSON picked up the ball in the middle of the park and unleashed a powerful drive into the top corner to restore the home lead.
Chances were fewer in the second half and the Pars only other real chance of the early second half play came from a Dempsey effort that curled round the wrong side of the post. A string of corners at the other end gave Partick their most intense period of pressure on the Pars goalmouth but in the end One`s header off the crossbar was the closest they came to converting any of them.
With quarter of an hour remaining Noel HUNT put the game beyond any doubt when he created a chance from nothing, turning just outside the box and sending a hopeful shot spinning past Arthur into the top corner.
Hunt and Brewster both had chances to add to the tally but sent their headers wide of the target. A quick break in the last minute saw Hunt have one final effort but a terrific save by Arthur with the last touch of the ball kept the score down.