Dunfermline 3 Rangers 2Sunday, 7th Jan 2007
Tennents Scottish Cup Third Round. Pars rediscover the route to goal and defeat Rangers 3-2 in famous victory.
The Scottish Cup brought the Pars some relief from the pressures of the SPL relegation battle but they were without their stand in skipper Greg Shields (ill) and Gary Mason (back injury). New on loan signing Jim O`Brien went straight into the starting line up.
Rangers welcolmed back Barry Ferguson as they kicked off attacking the sparsely populated McCathie Stand. The goalkeepers both had a quiet start to the match with neither side creating anything in the way of goalmouth action. Owen Morrison tantalised the right side of the visitors defence and after slipping the ball to Stephen Simmons Alan Hutton conceded a free kick that brought all the big men up for the eighth minute setpiece. Unfortunately Jim O`Brien`s lofted ball into box was too strong and Allan McGregor held easily.
Just four minutes later Simmons accepted a loose Ian Murray defensive header and then drilled a shot on target that McGregor did well to save. Kris Boyd had looped in a ball from the right that the Pars defence mopped up but Ferguson`s cross in 13th minute was headed down by Karl Svensson but Roddy McKenzie dropped to his left to save competently.
There was a let off in 16th minute when Novo broke through the left channel and fed the ball left for Charlie Adam. When the ball came into the far post Alan Hutton`s effort came back off the back of Owen Morrison on the line and into the hands of McKenzie.
Next minute the Pars were celebrating their first goal in 467 minutes football. O`Brien`s free kick on the right was defended but the ball was switched left with Young`s header for Owen Morrison. He turned Julien Rodriguez to pick out Jim HAMILTON on the right edge of the six yard box. The Pars striker blasted the ball from his left foot into the far left of the Rangers net.
Rangers response came from a quickly taken free kick awarded for O`Brien`s tackle on Ferguson. Charlie Adam received and swung over a dangerous ball into the Dunfermline penalty box but Wilson rose to make a crucial headed clearance.
In 26th minute Stevie Crawford sent the ball wide right for O`Brien and when his delivery was played into the six yard box and Svensson belted the ball behind for a corner on the right. Scott Morrison swept this one over and there was a let off for Rangers when Phil McGuire`s header was kept out by Crawford and McGregor was allowed to gather.
Then three minutes later yet another Dunfermline goal! A throw in down on the right found O`Brien and his cross was headed only as far as Owen Morrison and his overhead kick was fired on target by SIMMONS. The shot pinballed off Svensson and Rodriguez before the ex Hearts midfielder followed up to smack the ball into the net.
Dunfermline kept up the pressure with newly introduced sub Chris Burke forced to head behind to give the home side yet another corner. Owen Morrison sent the ball in from the left but Scott Wilson headed wide right. McKenzie was back in the action however in 37 minutes out swiftly to thwart Novo`s progress into the left side of his box.
Next minute Dunfermline were denied a penalty when Ian Murray appeared to handle just inside his box. Before half time Chris Burke tried to lift his side with a couple of crosses in from the right; Gavin Rae headed wide left and then Boyd was picked out in a good position but he failed to control and the Pars survived.
What a fantastic first half from the Pars with Jim O`Brien making a big big impact. Having waited so long for an opening goal in a match the Pars notched two. Could this be history in the making?
Half Time: Dunfermline 2 Rangers 0
Hamilton and Simmons resumed the action after a lengthy wait for Sky television to indicate they were back. Just as well they waited because within 30 seconds the Pars had another corner and another goal. Scott Morrison swung in a great delivery from the right and Phil McGUIRE rose just six yards out to fend off Hutton`s challenge and head in Dunfermline`s third goal of the cup tie after only 55 seconds of the second half.
In 52nd minute Roddy McKenzie held nicely after Wilson`s clearance dropped for Ferguson. He played the ball right for Burke who forced the Pars keeper to save. At the other end Hamilton twice and Crawford had chances as the ball was kept deep inside the Rangers box but McGregor saved the eventual attempt from Hamilton.
Two minutes later however it was Ian Durrant`s Rangers who got the fourth goal of the game. A neat move on the right put Rae deep right and his cut back was clinically despatched beyond McKenzie by Kris BOYD. This further fuelled the cup tie with the Royal Blues launching an all out attack on the Fifers goal.
The Pars looked dangerous on the break with Crawford and Owen Morrison having chances to shoot. Kris Boyd had the ball in the net again in 63 minutes but he was rightly penalised for a push on McGuire that gave him the free header from eight yards. Rangers brought on Thomas Buffel and Stephen Kenny substituted Calum Woods for Owen Morrison.
It was Rangers who took the inspiration however as Kris BOYD headed in an Ian Murray cross from just three yards out at the far post. Twenty two minutes remained for the Gers to find an equaliser against the bottom of the table, Pars. In 71st minute Barry Ferguson headed a Burke corner kick on to the top of the crossbar as it was clear that it might be a real backs to the wall end to the match.
Boyd swept his shot just a foot wide of the left post in 73 minutes and then Ferguson had a shot that McKenzie dropped to save. The pressure continued to be turned on Dunfermline with Buffel in particular causing mayhem. The defending got desperate and scrappy but the Pars into the final seven minutes with the one goal advantage after Hutton blasted high.
Freddie Daquin came on for the exhausted Hamilton. It continued to be all towards Roddy McKenzie`s goal. Rangers were appealing for a penalty when Wilson held Boyd down then Buffel was caught offside. The closing minutes including the three added were nerve racking but the cheers at the final whistle were all to come from the supporters of Dunfermline Athletic.
What a show from Stephen Kenny`s men; having won FAI Cup in December with Derry City, he really does have the magic for Cups. Only Dunfermline`s second ever Scottish Cup victory over the Ibrox side. The next round is on 3rd/4th February.
SUBS NOT USED: Andy Tod, Sean Murdoch (GK)
SCORERS: Hamilton (17), Simmons (29), McGuire (46)
YELLOW CARD: Young (48), Wilson (89)
RANGERS: Allan McGregor; Alan Hutton, Julien Rodriguez (Chris Burke 35), Karl Svensson, Ian Murray; Gavin Rae (c), Brahim Hemdani, Barry Ferguson, Charlie Adam (Thomas Buffel 64); Nacho Novo, Kris Boyd
SUBS NOT USED: Sasa Papac, Steven Lennon, Scott Gallacher (GK)
SCORERS: Boyd (54, 68)
YELLOW CARD: Novo (23), Boyd (35), Adam (38), Hutton (92)
REFEREE: Iain Brines
WEATHER: Bright, Windy 8°C
NEXT MATCH: SPL (away) v Falkirk, Saturday 13th January 2007, kick off 3.00pm
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Preview RangersThursday, 4th Jan 2007
Goal shy Pars meet Rangers for the seventh time in Scottish Cup history. The match will be played on Sunday 7th January 2007 with a 12:15 kick off.
Earlier Dunfermline were knocked out of this season`s CIS Insurance Cup at the hands of Rangers who inflicted a 2-0 home defeat on the Pars. The Third Round Scottish Cup pairing means this will be the third of four meetings between the clubs at East End Park this season but this time Dunfermline will be looking to take advantage of the unrest in the Rangers camp.
To do that they will also need to break their five game run without scoring a goal. Cup goals in 1988 came in the midst of an eight match Premier League run without a goal. The one and only time that Dunfermline have knocked Rangers out of the Scottish Cup came on 20th February 1988 after five of those league games without a goal. Is this an omen?
The Pars had to wait 73 years for the first meeting with Rangers on 1st March 1958 at East End Park. Challenging strongly for promotion from the old Second Division, there was huge interest in the visit of the Glasgow side and on the day a record crowd of 24,377 turned out.
Dunfermline attacked Rangers from the start and had strong claims for a penalty denied before McWilliam put the Pars ahead in 13th minute. As expected, Rangers hit back and equalised through Murray in 31st minute and then scored the winner with a Ralph Brand goal six minutes before the interval.
Six years later and the clubs met in the semi final. Dunfermline suffered a late blow with the withdrawal of captain Jim MacLean through injury, and lost a poor match 1-0.
The next match was in 1984 by which time Dunfermline were well and truly near the bottom of the pile. But no one had taken account of Jim Leishman`s motivational qualities and his Second Division troops came to within nine minutes of one of the great Scottish Cup shocks after Rab Stewart had put them into a surprise lead at Ibrox. Two late goals saved Rangers blushes, but there was no escape four years later.
Leishman`s Pars won convincingly with goals from Mark Smith and John Watson to secure what has been, so far, Dunfermline`s only cup victory.
In 1991 Rangers secured a comfortable 2-0 win but that wasn`t the case last time around. In 2003 Dunfermline took the lead when French midfielder David Grondin scored with a 20 yard strike, only for Rangers to level before half time from Caniggia. The tempo and tempers rose with Barry Ferguson being sent off and Rangers grateful to accept the replay. Unfortunately the second game proved too easy for Rangers who ran out 3-0 winners on their home patch.
As you can see Dunfermline have perhaps only won once but there has been plenty of incident and interest. Let`s hope this one lives up to its predecessors. Referee will be Iain Brines who officiated in Dunfermline`s match at Easter Road on the last Saturday of 2006. In both his matches in charge of the Pars this season, he has yellow carded four Pars players.
The draw for the Fourth Round will be made on Sunday at 2.10 pm, live on Sky Sports and BBC Radio Scotland. Dunfermline or Rangers will be draw number 13, which relates to the order the clubs were drawn in the third round. Should a replay be necessary it will be played at Ibrox on Tuesday 16th January and would lead to the postponement of Dunfermline`s home tie against Raith Rovers in the Fife Cup.
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