Fife Cup v Raith RoversWednesday, 31st Aug 2016
The Pars lost on penalties to their old rivals Raith Rovers in this Fife Cup semi-final. Trialist (28) 0-1: Trialist (60) 1-1
Raith Rovers 1 Dunfermline 1
Raith won 5-4 on penalties
After deservedly taking the lead through a goal from their trialist striker, it was another trialist who equalised for the home side. With no extra-time under the competition rules the match moved straight to penalties, with Raith prevailing 5-4.
The Pars’ management took the opportunity to give a couple of senior players some match time, and to take another look at their trialist striker, but otherwise it was the development squad who filled the bulk of the places at Starks Park on Wednesday night.
Euan Spark came in to replace Stuart Morrison from Saturday’s defence, and the midfield saw first-teamers Lewis Spence and Nat Wedderburn join Evan Horne in getting a run as Johnny Galloway, Brandon Luke and Robbie Crawford dropped to the bench. James Thomas started up front with the trialist.
Meantime, Rovers had a very young team, with a number of trialists listed who were trying to catch the eye of coach Craig Easton or the watching Gary Locke.
The Pars kicked off defending the goal in front of the McDermid Stand but most of the first half action was at the other end. In the second minute a raking run from Lochhead looked dangerous, but the subsequent shot didn’t match the run’s quality and drifted past the post.
Rovers enjoyed some brief pressure before Lochhead again made a long run, but again his shot lacked power.
The Pars’ trialist was keen to get in on the act when he took a free kick 28 yards out, but although well struck, his shot didn’t force a save from the trialist keeper.
However, after a series of corners the Pars made the breakthrough just before the half hour. Spence’s corner from the left came back to him and he played the ball out to Horne to vary the angle of delivery. His inswinging cross was met by the head of TRIALIST and the ball looped over the Raith keeper and into the net.
After a slightly bizarre moment, when Raith twice tried and failed to make their second substitution, the replacement firstly wearing a strip with the wrong number, and then one with no number at all, the Pars spurned a great chance to double the lead when good play set up Reece Duncan to chip into the box, but Thomas sent his free header wide.
Another late chance, albeit a much harder one, went a-begging when Spence tried to catch the keeper off his line, but he didn’t quite catch his volley from 30 yards.
Nevertheless, the Pars had the lead at the break.
Half time: Raith Rovers 0 Dunfermline Athletic 1
The Pars started the second period well, Lochhead getting an early shot away, before Thomas should really have done better when getting the ball unmarked at the back post, but he made a mess of his shot from a narrow angle.
Thereupon the home team started to play – a tremendous run from Thorsen took him past four players, but his cut-back was poor – then Court turned Duncan but Gill saved well. Another Court run looked promising but this time Duncan made the tackle, and McKay had a chance from the corner, but his effort was blocked.
Nevertheless, Rovers got the equaliser on the hour mark – the TRIALIST striker who had replaced the injured Osei early in the first half cut inside from the right and drilled home from the edge of the box.
This reverse prompted Potter to make immediate changes – off came Wedderburn and Spence to be replaced by Galloway and Ciaran Lafferty. Early signs that the changes would make a difference were promising. In the 65th minutes Horne combined with Lafferty who crossed but the trialist couldn’t connect firmly with his attempted overhead kick. A minute later and the trialist turned beat his man but shot straight at the keeper. Frustrated, he was booked for simulation shortly after.
Luke replaced Horne but the Pars couldn’t conjure up a winner. Instead, there was a late scare – Court outpaced Allen but Spark provided cover and the Pars successfully defended the last-minute corner that resulted.
Score after 90 minutes:
Raith Rovers 1 Dunfermline Athletic 1
Penalties ensued – first up were McKay and Lochhead who both scored.
Court netted for Raith but Spark saw his effort turned round the post. Gill saved from the trialist before Lafferty equalised. 2-2
Berry and Thomas both scored to make it 3 each and Stevenson and Duthie both converted to make it 4 apiece. We were now into sudden death: Thorsen scored but Galloway seemed to slip at the crucial moment and his shot went over the bar.
This was a sad way to end the match – the Pars had been well on top in the first half and will be annoyed at letting it slip.
Final Score: Raith Rovers 1 Dunfermline Athletic 1 – Raith win 5-4 on penalties.
SUBS NOT USED: Trialist
SCORERS: Trialist (60)
DUNFERMLINE: Cammy Gill, Reece Duncan, Paul Allen, Ewan Spark, Conner Duthie, Evan Horne (Brandon Luke 73) Nat Wedderburn (Johnny Galloway 63), Lewis Spence (Ciaran Lafferty 63), Scott Lochhead, James Thomas (c), Trialist
SUBS NOT USED: Robbie Crawford, Callum Smith, Josh Dunn(G/K)
SCORERS: Trialist (28)
YELLOW CARD: Trialist (67)
NEXT MATCH: SPFL Development League: (home) v Celtic. Tuesday 6th September 6.00pm kick off at East End Park
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