Scottish Cup v Livingston


Fixture: Tennent`s Scottish Cup

Attendance: 3155, Kick Off: 15:00

The winter break was interrupted by the Third Round of the Tennent`s Scottish Cup but for Dunfermline it was the same opposition as last time out on 2nd January.¬ Seeking to repeat that 2-0 victory Jimmy Calderwood made only one change to his starting line-up replacing the injured Scott Thomson with Andre Karnebeek.

The first 45 minutes raised severe doubts over whether the Pars had re-emerged from their winter hibernation. Livingston were by far the brighter and Dunfermline struggled to keep possession. Livingston had the early territorial advantage and it was the fifth minute before keeper David McEwan was brought into action, albeit merely to kick the ball to a defender.

Barry Wilson brought the first incident of the match when in the ninth minute his desperate attempt to keep the ball in play ended up with him clattering over an extremely close advertising board. Wilson recovered to provide Bingham with an opportunity four minutes later but Derek Stillie was quickly out to clear the danger.¬ Francisco Quino fired a 30 yard shot over the bar just three minutes later.

It was the 18th minute before the Pars increased the pressure on the home side with a Jason Dair cross forcing Philippe Brinquin to produce a good headed clearance. A Marvin Andrews mistake six minutes later allowed Stevie Crawford to find Craig Brewster wide left. He advanced in from the angle of the box and shot into the side netting from 15 yards out.

The very next minute Chris McGroarty shot over the crossbar from 25 yards out when he took a Nicholson ball played back to him from Crawford. Those two half chances looked costly when Livingston took the lead from a free kick out right on the 26th minute. Gary BOLLAN powered in¬ the shot which took the deflection of the shoulder Quino to deceive Derek Stillie and hit the net. After the match Quino said that he was willing to accept that credit for the goal should go to the former St Johnstone full back.

Dunfermline`s response lacked much conviction. A Lee Bullen cross five minutes after was headed high and wide right by Craig Brewster. Next Brewster set up Crawford for a neat flick in towards to the Livingston goal, but McEwan made a diving save to keep Livi in the lead.

There was some ragged and desperate defending from Wilson and McGroarty just before the break which resulted in a corner on the left hand side. Barry Wilson swung over a dangerous ball which Rolando Zarate played on to the cross bar and then further timely defending kept a goal bound header out.

Another Livingston corner in the 44th minute from Burton O`Brien on the right was floated into the far side of the six yard box where Oscar Rubio rose unchallenged and fortunately his effort dropped wide to the left of goal. The half closed with a Gary Dempsey touch out to Brewster who fired past the left hand side of David McEwan`s goal.

The system that Dunfermline had practiced all week was discarded at half time.¬ Sean Kilgannon came on to replace Karnebeek and Lee Bullen moved to the left side of a back three as Calderwood tried something more appropriate in a cup tie where you are trailing by a goal to nil.

In the 55th minute a long ball from Derek Stillie appeared to be played by the hand of Marvin Andrew. As the last defender he was extremely lucky that referee Freeland saw no infringement. Crawford however, did immediately get a chance to test Livi`s replacement for the now departed Javier Broto. McEwan spilled what was a decent shot, but the home side managed to clear the danger.

Steven Hampshire entered the fray in the 63rd minute, taking the place of McGroarty, and with his first touch delivered the ball which brought the equaliser. A free kick awarded for a foul on Sean Kilgannon had allowed the substitution and when Nicholson floated in from the set piece, Hampshire struck the ball goalwards and Stevie CRAWFORD was on hand at the far post to divert the ball into the net.
Both teams went for the winner with the visitors possibly looking the more likely, however Livingston did have their chances at times. Zarate drove a free kick into the wall in the 68th minute and a minute later a Kilgannon cross was played from Hampshire to Crawford but the best that could be won was a corner. Gary Bollan had a free kick cleared away by Bullen and David Bingham almost got to the ball as it was chipped in towards goal.

Jason Dair sent in an angular ball across the penalty box which Hampshire just failed to connect. Then in the 77th minute Nicholson tried a chip from the edge of the box which narrowly cleared the cross bar. Three minutes later Gary Dempsey tried a 22 yard shot but with the same result.

Davide Xausa flashed a ball across the face of the Pars goal but the opportunity went a begging. Three minutes from time a Quino shot was deflected only as far as Xausa but Kilgannon was on hand with a very timely tackle.

The tie could have been settled in the 89th minute when Crawford found himself through on the keeper. Stevie went right and tried to get round McEwan, but he did really well saving the ball at the feet of the Scotland striker. The final chance developed from a Cherif corner but fortunately today`s super sub, Steven Hampshire, was on hand to head away a Rubio header.