Clyde 1 Dunfermline 2Saturday, 7th Feb 2004
Scottish Cup - Match abandoned after 57 minutes
Dunfermline travelled to Cumbernauld to top of the table, First Division side Clyde in the Tennents Scottish Cup. Aaron Labonte and Greg Shields (Cup tied with Kilmarnock) dropped out of the side that started at Tannadice last Saturday. In attack Noel Hunt came in to partner Stevie Crawford with Craig Brewster still out with an ankle injury and young Irishman, Richie Byrne came in for his first start.
Clyde kicked off after the minutes silence for former Scotland manager, Ally McLeod shooting towards the goals in front of the snow covered Campsie Hills. Andy Smith got the first chance of the game so Derek Stillie was the first keeper to get a touch.
This might have lulled Clyde into a false sense of security because after only 4 minutes and 15 seconds the Pars took the lead. Byrne won a corner on the left and when Darren Young crossed ball into a crowded Clyde penalty box, the clearance only went as far as Scott Wilson at the edge of the box. His well-struck low shot was saved by keeper Morrison but he failed to hold the ball and Noel HUNT turned the ball in at the left post.
Clyde’s reaction was to take the game right back to Dunfermline with Derek Stillie needing to brave the challenges to punch the ball clear and then see the clearance hit over the crossbar before he dropped to the ground to receive treatment for an injury incurred.
Dunfermline really got stuck in and there was no evidence any lack of attitude. The play was all one way towards the Clyde goal. In the 12th minute a Stillie kick out went deep into the opposition half and keeper Morrison won the race against Crawford to block the ball. Hunt grasped the opportunity to latch on to the second ball and shot from 30 yards at the open goal, but unfortunately the ball went left of target.
The Campsie’s had disappeared in mist that turned out to be a snow storm but play was unaffected by the sleet. Andrius Skerla had a good blocking tackle on Harty in the 18th minute, but then it was back to more Dunfermline attacking. Darren Young sent Crawford up the right wing and he, noting a slip by his defender, continued towards the corner flag and swung a great ball through the six yard box. Clyde right back Mensing turned the ball out for a corner.
There were a series of Darren Young corners that gave the Clyde defence problems as the ball dropped into the crowded six yard box. In the 22nd minute a clearance from Young’s corner was met by Barry NICHOLSON, who drove a great low shot passed the Clyde keeper to put Dunfermline into a deserved two nil lead.
It was not the first clearance from a corner that Clyde had presented the Pars with, but Barry was happy to grasp the opportunity and score what he later described to be one of his best goals from such a position.
Just when things were looking good, Clyde got a goal back on the half hour from a Colin Marshall free kick. Jimmy Gibson made the decoy run before the Clyde No.8 hit a good high ball into the Pars penalty box for Mark McLAUGHLIN to head in from six yards. Unmoved by this, the SPL team merely continued attacking.
Richie Byrne’s cross two minutes later was almost deflected into his own net by Simon Mensing but spun wide for a corner on the right. This was Dunfermline’s eighth corner of the match, but not one they made anything of. The snow had relented and the hills in the distance had reappeared. Dunfermline were playing with composure and it looked only a matter of time before they would put their name in the quarter final draw.
Four minutes from half time the Pars were awarded a free kick just outside the penalty area on the left after Stuart McCluskey had fouled Crawford. Darren Young aimed the ball in to the again crowded six yard box but when the ball dropped for Wilson he failed to get in a shot.
Clyde’s only other response of the half was a low Fotheringham effort from a free kick that Stillie held diving to his right.
Half time: Clyde 1 Dunfermline 2
Both players and fans were glad of the half time respite to warm themselves up again and when the second half started it had only gone three minutes when referee Charlie Richmond called for a yellow ball since the snow was making viewing like watching through a fake-snow filled ornament.
Play continued as the park began to get covered with the snow. Stevie Crawford received on the left wing and took route one towards goal, releasing a shot on the apex of the penalty box that keeper Morrison held well.
Tackling marks and footprints were beginning to stand out on the increasingly white surface. Charlie Richmond consulted his fourth official, Colin Hardie, but they decided play to continue for another three minutes.
The pitch markings were becoming indistinguishable and the play had deteriorated as both teams found it difficult to create anything and probably also to find their own players in the snowstorm. It came as no surprise when on 57 minutes the referee stopped the game.
After a poor attempt to brush the pitch markings, Charlie Richmond took one final trip to the centre circle and returned to announce the blatantly obvious conclusion.
Match abandoned 57th minute, so it will all have to be gone through all over again. Hunt and Nicholson will get no credit for their goals and Richie Byrne will have to make his starting debut in another game.
SUBS NOT USED: Marco Ruitenbeek, Gary Dempsey, David Grondin, Aaron Labonte, Billy Mehmet
SCORERS: Hunt (5), Nicholson (22)
CLYDE: Morrison; Mensing, McCluskey, McLaughlin, Fotheringham; Marshall, Ross, Gibson, Hagen; Smith, Harty
SUBS NOT USED: Gilhaney, McConalogue, Keogh, Kernahan, Bryan Halliwell (GK).
SCORERS: McLaughlin (30)
YELLOW CARD: Mensing (27)
REFEREE: Charlie Richmond
WEATHER: Horrid 0C, Snow
NEXT MATCH: Tennents Scottish Cup re-arranged match against Clyde will be played on Tuesday 24th February 2004 at Broadwood Stadium, kick off 7.45pm
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