Scottish Cup v Clyde
CLYDE 0 DUNFERMLINE 3 Date: 24/02/04
Fixture: Tennent`s Scottish Cup
Attendance: 2441, Kick Off: 19:30
Referee: Charlie Richmond, Weather: Dry 2C
Injury decimated Jimmy Calderwood’s team for the return to Broadwood on Scottish Cup duty to try again after the abandonment of the tie previously started on Saturday 7th February but snowed off after 57 minutes. Stevie Crawford and Derek Young joined the Pars injury list after Saturday’s defeat at Pittodrie. Craig Brewster, Gary Mason, Noel Hunt and Darren Young were all out on Saturday. Mason was back on the bench but JC was on the boards for the meeting with the SFL First Division leaders.
Dunfermline started strongly in the second attempt of their Scottish Cup encounter with Clyde, determined not to lose out after their previous lead was wiped out by the winter weather writes Alan Maxwell. Both Byrne and Dempsey had early shots at goal, saved and over the bar respectively, but in the opening spell it was Clyde who came closest to scoring when a mis-hit shot by Harty was headed toward goal by Keogh. Only the goal-line intervention of Lee Bullen prevented the home team taking the lead.
Bullen`s return to the starting eleven may have been one of many signs that the Pars were without a handful of regular players, but despite the weakened squad of the visitors this early chance was the last action the Clyde front men were to see for quite some time.
The turning point came with less than twenty minutes played when Billy Mehmet aimed to capitalise on a slack pass back to Halliwell. With only Halliwell to beat, Mehmet was hauled back by McClusky. Referee Charlie Richmond took one look to his assistant and McClusky`s fate was sealed, and any chances of Clyde hanging on marched off the pitch with him. Having been robbed of a goal in the game that never was, Barry NICHOLSON took the penalty and sent it low past Halliwell.
Dunfermline began to stretch the ten-man Clyde team all over the park and threw together a handful of chances that should have doubled their lead. Andy Tod`s marauding run down the left wing allowed Mehmet a header wide of the post, and his dummy set up Gary Dempsey for a shot
that suffered a similar fate. Pars` youngsters then combined to create an excellent chance to extend the lead when Mehmet turned the remaining Clyde defenders inside out before sliding the ball across the six-yard box but Labonte`s low drive ricocheted off Halliwell on the line and sailed away from goal.
The Pars did eventually extend their lead and once again it began with a stray pass in the heart of the Clyde defence. This time it was Tod who received and stroked it into the path of Thomson. The Pars` captain drove his way across the pitch before launching a cross back into the box and once again Barry NICHOLSON was on hand to finish, a left-foot volley making certain he was not going to miss out on any glory this time around.
With five minutes remaining of the first half, Lee BULLEN stuck his foot out to redirect a Wilson effort past Halliwell and effectively kill off the tie before half time. Dunfermline switched things around in the second half with Tod returning to defence and Bullen moving into attack, and Kilgannon being brought on early in the half in place of Wilson.
The changes were not to bring about any more goals but there was no shortage of chances as the visitors continued their dominance. Bullen`s first effort as a striker very nearly got him another goal as he attacked Byrne`s cross but saw his header cleared away from goal by Kernaghan. It was Byrne`s tenacity that almost paid off again minutes late when he released the ball at the edge of the box, but Mehmet`s shot on the turn was well held by Halliwell.
A brief spurt of attacking activity saw Andy Tod deny his former team-mate Andy Smith and following Keogh`s header over the bar from the ensuing corner kick it was back on the defensive for Clyde. Gary Dempsey should have been the next to get his name on the score sheet. After having a well-struck volley deflected over the bar the young Irishman followed up by latching onto a Byrne through ball before turning Kernaghan and firing into Halliwell`s arms.
Mehmet also came close from a couple of yards out but the ball got trapped beneath him, and a marvellous shot from the outside of Byrne`s left foot was only kept out by an equally marvellous save by Halliwell. Clyde almost grabbed a consolation with quarter of an hour remaining through a fiercely struck free kick from Colin Marshall, but Stillie tipped the shot onto the bar and coped well with Kernaghan`s header from the corner kick.
With little of the game left Dunfermline threw Mason and Grondin into the mix but managed only another couple of half-chances through Bullen and Mehmet before the final whistle.
The damage may have been done in the first half but an assured and dominant second half ensured that there was never any risk of this result going any other way. Dunfermline must now hope they can manage the same level of application in the next round lest they see a repeat of previous depression-filled trips to Partick.
Shots On Target
Shots Off Target