Dunfermline Athletic

U20s v St Mirren

Sunday, 6th Nov 2016

SFA Youth Cup: Paisley 2021 Stadium. Stuart Morrison (41) 0-1: Cammy Gill saves Craig Johnston penalty (90+1): Conner Duthie (90+3) 0-2

- - Listen to John Potters post match thoughts


Reward for knocking out Berwick Rangers and then Livingston is a Third Round tie away to St Mirren. Dunfermline trounced their opponents 5-1 less than three weeks ago in the Development League but both sides showed major changes from that afternoon in Kelty.

Dunfermline only fielded five of the side that started that day and were missing their hattrick hero of that game, Michael Moffat who is well beyond the eligibility criteria for this competition.

The Pars youngest start was sixteen year old Paul Allan who partnered Stuart Morrison in the centre of the defence. In red shirts, white shorts and red socks the visitors kicked off.

In fourth minute Conor O`Keefe`s run up the right caused Conner Duthie to concede the tie`s first corner kick but when Nathan Flanagan centred Kalvin Orsi rose to head straight into the arms of Cammy Gill.

The Pars patiently built up their attacks and in tenth minute that came very close to paying dividend. Brandon Luke got to the byeline after neat passing on the left but when a Robbie Crawford met the pass at the near post the keeper came out on top.

Duthie was taken down on the left edge of the Saints box by O`Keefe and a free kick followed. Duthie thrashed that through the six yard box. In 17 minutes Morrison was yellow carded for his challenge on Flanagan. The Saints man received treatment before standing up and taking the free kick, fortunately into Gill`s hands.

St Mirren created further danger when Greig McNaughton swing in a cross from the right that Orsi headed wife left. A Lochhead 21st minute free kick On the right rebounded back off the opposition wall and Johnny Galloway fed Crawford who released a shot that narrowly escaped outside the far post.

It certainly felt like it was all Dunfermline as a Duthie chested down a clearance and drove to the byeline before sending in a dangerous ball that Andrew McDonald headed away.

Crawford then delivered a great through ball to Callum Smith and he released a fine shot that Reece Willison dived to his left to turn around his post.

Two St Mirren corners in 29th minute almost broke the deadlock. It was captain Orsi who shot from close in and Reece Duncan made the block to stop what looked like a certain goal.

Next it was the Fifers turn to create some heat, Galloway`s free kick from 35 yards out was cleared and diagonal ball in from Duthie was held by the all orange keeper. Evan Horne sent a 40 yard free kick into the Saints box but McNaughton headed away.

Ten minutes from the break St Mirren created a great opportunity. McNaughton picked out Johnston in the Pars box but as he fell over the ball broke for Flanagan and he released a shot that Gill did well to stop.

The Pars were rewarded for all their good play with a 41st minute goal. It came from another free kick 35 yards out and this time taken by Lochhead. His delivery looked too far beyond the left post but Smith Rose superbly to knock the ball back down across the face of goal for MORRISON to turn in. 1-0

Before half time Lochhead brought another fine save out of Williston with another well taken free kick. It had been a half that the Pars had shaded and deservedly led at the interval.

Half time: St Mirren 0 Dunfermline 1

Crawford had the first attempt of the second half receiving the ball from Duthie as the defender was crunched by MacPherson, but his shot from the right was always aimed narrowly wide left. Duncan headed away an inswinger of a corner from the right before played reverted to the other end and Crawford`s pass into the path of Smith almost yielded a second Pars goal.

The lay off to Duncan allowed a dangerous ball into the near post and the keeper first averted an own goal and escaped failed attempts by both Crawford and Horne.

On the hour Gill held a headed effort from Orsi but it was already heading wide left. Smith got in for a shot at an acute angle two minutes later but blasted the ball into the empty away stand.

Lochhead displayed some fine close skills to take on and beat several defenders in quick succession but the strikers just could make the final ball tell. Indeed the next shot at goal from Duthie had to be tried from 25 yards out and that went over the bar.

Gill saved as St.Mirren threatened from a corner at the midway point in the half while at the other end Luke failed to test the keeper with his shot after breaking in on the left side of the opposition box.

The home side fought to stay in the cup and John Potter went through a period of repeated calls to `stop the cross.` Conor McBrearty replaced Lee Fawkes in 72 minutes but it was Dunfermline who were pushing again. Duthie, Crawford and Luke all had balls in that were cut out.

Then a 77th minute corner in from the left was rattled on to the crossbar by McDonald. Quite a let off!

Duthie`s pass for Smith in 80 minutes evaded the offside trap and the striker had the chance to wrap up the tie when one on one with the keeper but Willison blocked the 20 yard shot. With the clock running down Lochhead dropped deeper in an attempt to tighten it all up.

Evan Horne was forced to retire limping off before Mathew Todd replaced him. Gill fisted clear as St Mirren pumped in a corner kick from the left and Breadner drilled two shots, one blocked and the follow up thumping the left upright.

There was still time, just, for more drama. MacPherson collected a second yellow and St Mirren went down to ten men with two minutes remaining. With the 90 minutes up a long Saints throw in from the right bobbled about the box and the ball broke up on to Morrison`s hand. A penalty was awarded and Craig Johnston stepped up to fire low to the keeper`s right and Gill dropped to parry the ball away.

On the counter a Smith pass to Luke then caused a rash challenge on the edge of the box and a free kick was awarded, left of centre. DUTHIE fired the 93rd minute setpiece low into the far corner of the net to secure a good victory. 0-2

A very satisfactory result, maybe the Pars made it a bit of a job of it. Lots of good performances, Callum Smith, Scott Lochhead and Conner Duthie especially and of course Cammy Gill a hero for his first penalty save since the Spartans Tournament pre season 2015.

ST MIRREN: Reece Willison, Greig McNaughton, Cameron Breadner, Lee Fawkes (Conor McBrearty 72), Dillon McKendry, Andrew McDonald, Conor O`Keefe, Cameron MacPherson, Craig Johnston, Kalvin Orsi (c), Nathan Flanagan
SUBS NOT USED: Chris Henry, Euan East, Ben Cameron, Ethan Erhahon, Matthew Reilly, Jamie Dodsworth
YELLOW CARD: Breadner (40), MacPherson (48)
RED CARD: MacPherson (88)

DUNFERMLINE: Cammy Gill: Reece Duncan, Stuart Morrison, Paul Allan, Conner Duthie: Robbie Crawford, Evan Horne (Mathew Todd 86), Johnny Galloway (c), Brandon Luke: Callum Smith, Scott Lochhead
SUBS NOT USED: Jack McClair, Owen Anthony, Trialist (GK)
SCORERS: Morrison (41)
YELLOW CARD: Morrison (17), Duthie (78)

REFEREE: Euan Birch

NEXT MATCH: SPFL Development League: (away) v Inverness Caley Thistle, Wednesday 9th November 2016, 6.00pm at the Caledonian Thistle Stadium

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