Dunfermline 3 Raith Rovers1Wednesday, 26th Aug 2009
Pars 1-0 up after 39 through Andy Kirk. Williamson pen 1-1 in 52 but Campbell own goal gives Pars back the lead two minutes later. Kirk again in 70 3-1
DUNFERMLINE 3 RAITH ROVERS 1
Jim McIntyre went with the same starting eleven that were successful against Airdrie United the previous Saturday. In the visiting side Craig Wilson and Iain Williamson were returning to Dunferm;ine Athletic for the first time since they made the short trip to join the Rovers.
Ahead of kick off Sammy the Tammy pranced around East End to the theme tune of Coronation Street with his cardboard cut out that said 'welcome'. The Rovers Return then after nine years for this the first League Cup meeting between the Fife rivals since 1989. A repeat of the 3-0 Pars win that day would do nicely as a 'welcome'.
Captain Graham Bayne kicked off for Dunfermline playing towards the vociferous Kirkcaldy support in the CCW East Stand that was to number 1421. Within 60 seconds Steven Bell centred for Andy Kirk to head down a useful attempt but David McGurn saved what was a header from an offside position.
When Joe Cardle was upended by Wilson on the left edge of the Raith box in sixth minute Willie Gibson was able to thump a good free kick at McGurn, the all sky blue kitted keeper taking at his second attempt. Cardle overstruck the next build up after Woods had swept a crossfield ball to Austin McCann who controlled it and fed his winger.
Both sets of fans were making plenty noise and stirring up a fine derby atmosphere. On the park the contest was fighting for every ball without really engaging the goalkeepers. But in 14 minutes Gibson sent a fine ball into the six yard box that Bayne could only turn back in the direction of Cardle and the opposition defence got the chance away.
A 22nd minute free kick 30 yards out in a central position gave Raith an opening to test Fleming but Allan Walker drove that into Bayne's belly in the centre of the four man wall. A corner quickly followed and when Darren Smith sent that in from the right Douglas Hill was penalised for 'climbing' at the far post.
In 29 minutes Gibson got the break but held on to possession just too long and Cardle was not to get a shot at McGurn. Next Calum Woods took a Gibson pass to get into the Rovers box and crossed but that was booted clear and when Andy Kirk did get a shot in from a Bell lay off he was well wide of the left post.
The best chance of the first half came in 32 minutes when a defensive clearance dropped to Smith and his dipping shot from 20 yards just clesred the crossbar although some visiting fans got excited as they thought the ball had been netted. Five minutes later in true cup tie spirit it was the Pars who had the glorious chance. A nice through ball from Cardle sent Kirk into the Raith box and he released a powerful shot that McGurn parried and Bayne was unlucky that he could only play the ball back to Burke who was then quickly closed out.
In 39 minutes however the Halbeath Road neighbours were well aware of some significant happening. Gibson delivered the ball into the box from the right and KIRK glanced the ball into the net just inside the far post. Extended play of 'Glad All Over' with Alex Mill the stadium announcer not even silencing it to credit the scorer.
At the break Jim McIntyre's men had the lead and we could only hope that the cliched 'first goal is so important' was to be proven correct.
Half Time: Dunfermline 1 Raith Rovers 0
John McGlynn brought on Iain Davidson for the second half, Graham Weir was withdrawn and Williamson joined Tade upfront. Fleming had an early shot to hold before in 47 minutes a free kick 30 yards out gave the Pars another chance. Kirk ran over ball leaving Gibson to thump a low drive just a whisker wide left.
Four minutes later it was Raith's turn with Walker firing in a free kick in that Fleming did well to save. Next however Smith got round the left side of the Pars defence to chip the ball across the face of goal. Tade went up but McGregor tugged him back as he threatened to head in at the far post. Penalty given and yellow card to the Pars defender.
Former Par Iain WILLIAMSON stepped up for the penalty and made no mistake sending his right footed drive into the right of the net with Fleming going the other way. The lead was restored however before the Kirkcaldy folk had time to control their excitement. Craig Wilson earned himself a yellow card and the Pars a free kick out on the left. Gibson fired over the ball and Mark CAMPBELL diverted the ball positively past his own keeper. 2-1 and what a cup tie!
Kirk two good opportunities that just eluded him but enough to get the entire DA support singing. Bell teed up Gibson in 63 but his shot was right of target. The advantage was extended however in 70 minutes after a hashed clearance from substitute Davidson. Cardle accepted the 'pass' on the edge of the box and he unselfishly slipped the ball left to Andy KIRK who will not score many simpler from inside the six yard box.
An injury to Gibson in 75 caused the Pars first substitution of the evening and Steven McDougall entered the fray. Raith sent on two subs of their own and Robert Sloan caused Fleming to pull off a great save from a 81st minute free kick and then from Sloan's corner the Pars keeper was in the right place to stop Murray's downwards header from six yards.
In 84 minutes Raith were awarded a life line when Higgins brought down Walker in the centre of the box. Williamson again assumed responsibility but sent the ball the same way as his first and this time Fleming went the right way to block the effort.
Dunfermline had further chances, McGregor at a McDougall corner but the tie was safely won after McGregor bravely blocked Bryce.
A great performance from the Pars who always looked stronger, sharper and more capable than their opponents. The next interest is to see who comes out the bag with us in Thursday's draw for the next round.
DUNFERMLINE: Greg Fleming; Calum Woods, Neil McGregor, Chris Higgins, Austin McCann; Willie Gibson (Steven McDougall 76), Steven Bell, Alex Burke (Nick Phinn 79), Joe Cardle (Scott Muirhead 89); Andy Kirk, Graham Bayne (c).
SUBS: Andy Dowie, Greg Paterson (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Bell (35), McGregor (52), McCann (90+1)
SCORER: Kirk (39, 70), Campbell (og 54)
RAITH ROVERS: David McGurn; Craig Wilson, Laurence Ellis, Mark Campbell, Douglas Hill, Grant Murray, Iain Williamson, Allan Walker, Gregory Tade (Robert Sloan,77), Graham Weir (Iain Davidson HT), Darren Smith (Lee Bryce 77)
SUBS: Gary O'Connor (GK),Mark Ferry
SCORER: Williamson (52 pen)
YELLOW CARD: Wilson (53)
REFEREE: Brian Winter
WEATHER: Damp 17C
NEXT MATCH: (home) First Division v Raith Rovers
Saturday 29th August 2009, kick off 3.00pm
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