Scottish Cup v Hibernian
DUNFERMLINE 1 HIBERNIAN 1 Date: 22/02/03
Fixture: Tennent`s Scottish Cup
Attendance: Kick Off: 17:35
Referee: S Dougall, Weather: Dry, cold 5ºC
Dunfermline took on Hibs in the Tennent`s Scottish Cup only a week after defeating the Easter Road side 3-1 on their own patch in the SPL. A 2-1 defeat in midweek away to lowly Motherwell was a sharp lesson which dispelled any threat of complacency in the Pars ranks.
Lee Bullen was injured at Easter Road so Jason Dair continued in his place. Gary Dempsey dropped out of the side that lost at Fir Park with Ged Brannan returning having served his one match suspension for his red card last Saturday.
To the Hibs side that lost last Saturday Bobby Williamson brought in Gary Smith, Tom McManus and Doumbe in place of Orman, Zambernardi and O`Connor as they looked to win their first Scottish Cup since 1902.
The visitors kicked off towards the McCathie Stand and enjoyed the better of the early possession with Dunfermline`s first push ending with Nick Colgan racing out to block Jason Dair`s burst into the right side of the penalty box. The ball looked as though it went behind off the keeper but no corner was given.
O`Neil worked a ball out right for McManus to fire over a dangerous cross that Andrius Skerla flicked away from the waiting Paatelainen. Dunfermline broke forward in the 9th minute when Dair produced a fine ball over to Barry Nicholson on the far side of the Hibs penalty box. Barry chose not to shoot but square the ball for Stevie Crawford just 8 yards out but the Pars top scorer failed to get in any kind of shot.
Dunfermline had the better chances in the first quarter. Brebner had to put in a timely tackle to deny Grondin a pop at goal 25 yards out. Doumbe swished at a Nicholson cross from the right and that was enough to distract the black gloved Crawford away from a shot. Two Pars corners in quick succession followed but it was Hibs who forced the next danger.
Scott Wilson fouled Mixu Paatelainen 25 yards out and after the Pars man received a telling off from referee Stuart Dougall it was Jason Dair who received a yellow card for saying something untoward to the whistler. McManus hammered the free kick into the four man wall and in the ensuing stramash Doumbe was blown up for pushing.
On the half hour Derek Stillie was out to the edge of his box to put in a successful tackle and then dived on the ball as he played it back into his box. Next the Pars keeper easily collected an Ian Murray attempt to head in the opener when Townsley swung over a good ball to the far post in the 34th minute.
Gus MacPherson had a crack at goal four minutes later when Davide Grondin`s pass to Crawford was laid back for the ex Kilmarnock cup winner. Crawford`s cross in the 40th minute sent Brewster out to the right byeline before returning the ball across the face of goal. The injured Colgan tipped away enough to let Kouo Doumbe clear before Brannan could shoot.
Three minutes from the interval Hibs took the lead through Ian Murray. A Craig James throw in on the right was played back to him by Brebner and his right footed ball in found the Hibs man free on the corner of the six yard box and despite Dair`s desperate attempt to stop him MURRAY stuck the ball away left footed beyond Stillie.
Stillie had to make a great left handed save diving to his left two minutes later after Grant Brebner turned and shot from the edge of the box. One minute into the two added minutes at the end of the half Nicholson`s dross from the right touchline midway inside the Hibs half set up Craig Brewster with a great header from 8 yards. The ball was headed down and Colgan made a two handed save diving to his left.
Half Time 0-1
The Pars started the second half with plenty possession and penning Hibs into their own half. A Dair throw in on the right dropped for Nicholson to guide the ball towards Brewster but all he could win was a corner.
With Bobby Williamson screaming at his players James surged up the right leaving Grondin in his slipstream. A one two off a player inside him let James into the box and Stillie had to come out to block the danger.
The initial post half time push looked as though it was beginning to wane when the Pars got the equaliser thirteen minutes into the second half. Davide Grondin swung over a great ball from the left byeline midway inside the opposition half. Crawford rose to get the finest of nicks on the ball which then fell for NICHOLSON six yards out. Ahead of the chasing O`Neil the Pars midfielder slotted away to the absolute delight of the home fans behind the goal.
Jimmy Calderwood demonstrated his wish to win the tie on the night when after 62 minutes Noel Hunt replaced MacPherson with Ged Brannan dropping back. The Scouser almost immediately took a chance to beat two Hibs players within his own penalty area before clearing out right. When Paul Fenwick clearly fouled Brewster 30 yards out Stuart Dougall played advantage and Gary Mason was allowed to shoot but he was high with his shot from 25 yards.
The Pars tried hard to get the winner as Hibs began to fade. In the 73rd minute a Grondin cross was turned out by Murray for a corner left. The Frenchman took it and Dair`s strike from it was deflected for another corner to no avail. Soon another corner (7th) again won by Grondin two minutes later heralded another Dair shot right footed from the edge of the box firmly hit the left hand post and rebounded away.
In the 80th minute Noel Hunt burst away out of defence but the chance evaporated when the young Irishman failed to play the ball that Crawford was expecting.
As the minutes ticked down neither side managed to create anything to prevent another meeting at Easter Road.
Replay will be on Wednesday 5th March at Easter Road.