Dunfermline Athletic 5 - 2 ArbroathAuthor: Alistair Campbell Date: Saturday, 31st Jul 2010
Dunfermline completed a cup double over Arbroath but only after going behind to an early Paul Sheerin strike. Kirk soon equalised and some late second-half goals put some barely deserved gloss on the score-line.
The Pars showed a couple of changes for part two of the Arbroath cup double-header: out went the injured Bell and Graham with Phinn and Cardle the beneficiaries as Jim McIntyre kept his 4-4-2 formation. Smith was in goals, Woods, Dowie, Keddie and McCann along the back; Mason and Phinn in the middle, Willis on the right, Cardle on the left, and Kirk and Clarke up front. Higgins made way on the bench as McGregor was called up, along with youngsters White and Thomson. Allison and McDougall kept their places.
Arbroath made 3 changes: Gavin Swankie was promoted from the bench and there were also starts for Jordyn Sheerin and ex-Par, and ex-just about everyone else Jim Hamilton. This allowed a slightly more adventurous approach from the visitors, with Hamilton alternatively joining the junior Sheerin up front and dropping back to join the senior Sheerin in mid-field.
The home team were looking for an early goal, and certainly had some chances. Keddie got a 6th minute header on target from a Willis corner, but this didn’t really threaten before Cardle stung Hill’s palms from 12 yards after Shields hadn’t dealt well with Kirk’s cross beyond the back post.
Phinn was next to show, asking Kirk to leave Woods’ cross from the bye-line, but volleyed over the top. A goal seemed to be coming, but when it came it came at the wrong end. Willis seemed momentarily wrong-sided by McCulloch but got back to nod behind for the corner. The ball was swung in, and the unmarked Paul Sheerin scored from inside the six-yard box. 1-0 Arbroath.
That was a bit of a shocker, but before there was time for any proper inquest, the Pars levelled. This time Willis got the cross in from the right, again Shields didn’t clear properly and Cardle picked up and turned back on to his right. With most people expecting a shot Joe chipped it to the back post where Kirk headed home from approximately a yard. One each.
One expected the Pars to press on from here, but Arbroath continued to work hard and matched their higher division opponents, although Falkingham picked up a second booking in two games, this time for persistent fouling. However after the half-hour the Pars began to put together some decent moves. In 34 minutes space opened up for Cardle, but instead of shooting he slipped the ball inside to Phinn, whose first time flick just evaded the far post. Next Joe drifted to the right side and although his centre was just behind Phinn, Nick did well to set up the shooting chance, the ball almost eluding Hill’s left hand glove, but the keeper grabbed hold.
It seemed a question of time, but suddenly Arbroath roared back into it, and could count themselves unlucky not to be ahead at the break. McCann did well defensively to track Swankie when he got clear, but the next let-off was courtesy of McAnespie’s poor finish after somehow finding himself on the end of Falkingham’s near-post cross from the right in the 43rd minute. Pat Clarke could also count himself fortunate after appearing to catch Malcolm with his elbow when both players tangled on the ground just before half-time, referee Charleston deciding a yellow card each was ample punishment. The half ended with Hamilton outjumping both Dowie and Woods only to loop a header onto the roof of the net.
Half time: Pars 1 Red Lichties 1.
The home fans were hopeful that that their favourites might step up a gear after Macca’s half time words of wisdom and there was some early justification for that optimism - Hill unnecessarily flapped at a tame Woods cross and Kirk outpaced Danny Griffin in the 50th minute but his cutback was poor. Then a rare switch of play saw Griffin just get ahead of Clarke to meet Cardle’s cross, but the visitors upped their game and again began to compete with their hosts.
Jim Hamilton had been tipped to come back and haunt Dunfermline – in 55 minutes he attempted a lob from 45 yards after play seemed to pause when Phinn was taken down from behind, but Chris Smith had time to get back on his line, then a couple of minutes later he tried the more conventional route from ten yards closer, but was well off-target.