ANNAN ATHLETIC 1 DUNFERMLINE ATHLETIC 2
The Pars made the long trip south down the M74 to take on Annan. The club that entered the Scottish Football League three years ago as Associate members hope to gain full membership at the end of this season and this cup tie took the fancy of both sets of fans. Dunfermline were the first SPL team to visit Annan and for Pars fans it was a new ground to visit.
The home side made two changes from the team that played Albion Rovers the previous Saturday - Ian Harty and Bryan Gilfillan coming in for Graeme Bell and Jack Steele. Jim McIntyre made three changes from the side that started against St Mirren; Martin Hardie, David Graham and Steven McDougall were out and in came Andy Dowie, Andy Barrowman and Paul Burns.
Annan kicked off down the slope but Jason Thomson forced a corner within 40 seconds. Joe Cardle's delivery from the right was defended but the Pars were quickly causing the home side problems when a Thomson pass sent Andy Kirk through on goal in four minutes. There were loud appeals from the home stand for offside but that fell on deaf ears and those appealing felt that there was justice done when Kirk crashed his shot off the crossbar.
More promise from the Fifers five minutes later when Cardle's cross from the left corner flag was met by Burns at the far post but his header sailed over the bar. It was Burns former team mate Sean O'Connor who had Annan's frst chance in 13 minutes. The defence failed to cut out an attack through the centre and O'Connor only got half a strike on his effort and Gallacher saved.
Kirk conceded a free kick 30 yards out and Aaron Muirhead belted his effort off the defensive wall twice before Kirk took it away. Cardle made Summersgill save at his near post and then took two ensuing corners. When the second one came in from the right BARROWMAN ran in to meet it and send it looping over the keeper for the opener.
Annan responded within four minutes through an individual effort by David COX. The 22 year old former Livingston and Montrose player had the defence faltering in his wake as he picked the ball up in right midfield and carved a route to the top of the box on the left to smash a fine shot into Gallacher's net. 1-1.
Cardle's corner in 25 minutes was headed high over the bar by Barrowman while at the other end following a defended free kick, O'Connor got in to try a shot but Alex Keddie blocked the netbound effort. On the half hour Steven Sloan powered over a cross from the right that Gary Mason turned behind for a corner. From another corner two minutes later Ian Harty's overhead kick was cleared off the line at the left goalpost by Kirk.
Barrowman sent Burns away up the right in 35 minutes but the defence cut his cross out in the six yard box. Cardle continued to put in some useful crosses but despite several good efforts no one was able to get on the end of them. Keddie headrf back across goal at a 37th minute corner but again Annan cleared.
Burns was on the end of a Mason pass into the box but the former Queens man fired high over the bar. It had been a frustrating first half for Dunfermline. Annan had not let them settle too long on the ball and in front of goal the shooting boots and headed attempts had just not done the job. The home side certainly troubled the Pars defence, Cox demonstrated what could be done and O'Connor had also made things uncomfortable for the Eastenders.
Half Time: Annan Athletic 1 Dunfermline Athletic 1
The Pars started the second half on top and had the ball in the net after three minutes from an Austin McCann cross but it was only after Kirkie had bundled the Annan keeper over the line with the ball in his clutches. The next Pars goal was only another three minutes away however. An elementary cross from the left touchline was met by KIRK and his header beat Summersgill to put the Pars head for the second time in this cup tie.
In 58 minutes Annan came close to getting back on level terms. Ian Harty switched the ball across the Pars penalty box and from the left side Gilfillan headed inches wide of Gallacher's left hand post. Gall held a Cox corner as the Borderers refused to lie down.
Liam Buchanan replaced Kirk at the midway stage of the second half but it was Annan's Muirhead who threatened the scoreline twisting and turning on the right side of the Pars box before firing into the sidenetting. Burns forced a 70th minute corner that Cardle sent over from the right, The initial danger was dealt with but in the follow up Barrowman netted from a Buchanan cross but was adjudged to be offside.
Gary Mason was subbed by Ryan Thomson with just under 20 minutes to go and with ten remaining Steven McDougall replaced Paul Burns. Annan committed all their subs too and tried hard for an equaliser. Neither side troubled the keepers.
This was a good contest in which Annan did themselves much credit with Cox being rightly named Man of the Match. Dunfermline were spared a visit to Celtic Park and handed this sun-kissed cup tie instead. With Kenny MacAskill the Justice Secretary looking on I don't think even he could dispute that the Pars were worthy qualifiers for the Second round.
ANNAN ATHLETIC: Craig Summersgill; Aaron Muirhead (Jack Steele 80), Scott Gibson, Andy Aitken, Michael McGowan; Steven Sloan (Jordan McKechnie 71), Peter Watson, David Cox; Sean O'Connor (Graeme Bell 81), Ian Harty,
SUBS NOT USED: Alex Mitchell (GK), Kevin Neilson.
SCORER: Cox (21)
YELLOW CARD: Watson (76)
DUNFERMLINE: Paul Gallacher, Jason Thomson, John Potter, Alex Keddie, Austin McCann (c); Paul Burns (Steven McDougall 80), Andy Dowie, Gary Mason (Ryan Thomson, 71), Joe Cardle; Andy Kirk (Liam Buchanan 66), Andy Barrowman..
SUBS NOT USED: Chris Smith (GK), Paddy Boyle,
SCORERS: Barrowman (17), Kirk (51)
REFEREE: Charlie Richmond
WEATHER: Sunny 21C
NEXT MATCH (home) SPL v Inverness Caley Thistle
Saturday 6th August 2011, kick off 3.00pm