Partick Thistle 1 Dunfermline 0Friday, 26th Nov 2021
Scottish Cup Third Round: Dunfermline unchanged. Ross Docherty (82) 1-0:
This Scottish Cup tie meant that Dunfermline travelled to Firhill for the third time this season. The previous two matches, firstly in the Premier Sports Cup was a 4-2 win for the Fifers and the second was a goalless draw. Now under the management of John Hughes, the Pars would hope to progress to the next round but they were up against a Partick team unbeaten in seven games since their Challenge Cup defeat to Queen of the South and having achieved shut outs in their last six matches.
John Hughes stuck by the starting eleven that had success against Ayr United while Partick Thistle made two changes as Stephen Hendrie made his second appearance for the Jags and former Aberdeen youth Cammy Smith replaced Lewis Mayo and Brian Graham.
The first storm of the winter, Storm Arwen battered the east coast but at Firhill in comparison it was just a windy day. It was a clear and dry evening as the teams warmed up and the fans took up their seats.
Matthew Todd kicked off the first Scottish Cup tie between the teams since December 2012. A repeat of the Fifers 1-0 result that day would be very acceptable. The Pars attacked the goal at the open south end of the stadium and they immediate made good use of having the wind on their backs. Ryan Dow forced a corner on the left that Graham Dorrans swung in close to the crossbar and Jamie Sneddon could only turn away for another corner. Dom Thomas inswinger was kept out by the crossbar. All within the first three minutes.
Akinola headed an Aaron Comrie cross behind for a seventh minute corner but the wind caught that and it dropped behind. Thistle’s first chance came in 13 minutes when Vytas Gašpuitis misjudged a challenge and Smith made ground up the right and into the Pars box but fortunately his cross was cut out. Three minutes later Owain Fôn Williams was called upon to hold a low drive from Ciaran McKenna.
The visitors had started with great energy and initially did not give Thistle time to dwell on the ball but Ian McCall’s men worked their way back into things and there was an inviting ball from the left into the box that Zak Rudden came close to connecting with. In 24 minutes Dorrans made a swift break to create space and surge forward, he played a one two off Kyle Macdonald before being surrounded on the right side of the box to be denied a finish.
Dunfermline enjoyed a lot of possession but could not make much of it. Then out of the blue a burst down the left fed Rudden who looked set to create the opener but Fôn Williams kept it out and Scott Tiffoney’s follow up hit the right upright. The rebound came back off Gašpuitis and out for a corner. Quite a let off.
The options for Dunfermline appeared to be stifled by the Partick set up and there was a great number of passes exchanged amongst the Pars central defenders and Dorrans in search of an opening that would not materialise.
Half time: Partick Thistle 0 Dunfermline 0
The first Pars chance of the second half came in its fourth minute when Thomas was fouled and gave a free kick 35 yards out while ignoring the foul on Dow that follow 25 yards out in a central position. Dorrans delivery was cleared and McCann could not retrieve it. The big striker earned the wrath of the home fans for robust play down the right but his cross was too big.
The home side had the next good opportunity in 54 minutes when Tiffoney was sent down the left by Smith and the resultant cross allowed the Thistle winger to pick out Smith to the left of goal but fortunately his well connected attempt was deflected over the bar.
Dow picked up a yellow card three minutes later when going for the ball with Thistle captain Ross Docherty. A break on the hour by Tiffoney was fed to Holt on the overlap and he won a corner off Comrie. Turner’s first won a second corner this time from the right but Fon Williams held that one comfortably.
At the mid point of the second half both sides made their first substitutions of the evening. Ross MacIver replaced Zak Rudden while Dunfermline introduced Nikolay Todorov in place of Matty Todd. In 72 minutes Turner swung a free kick from the left through the Pars box with no takers before next minute the former Pars midfielder was subbed by Shea Gordon.
Thistle had the next chance when Hendrie’s cross fell to Smith but the defence blocked that out. The Fifers were finding it hard to move play out of their own half and Hendrie forced another corner on the left in 77 minutes that Tiffoney wasted.
The long awaited goal came in 82 minutes when sub MacIver threaded the ball to DOCHERTY to his left and the Thistle captain floated the ball into the top right corner giving Fon Williams no chance. 1-0
The Dunfermline response was to send on Kevin O’Hara and withdraw Dom Thomas. Todorov had an effort deflected wide right but at the other end it required a great Connolly interception to avert a second Thistle goal.
In 89 minutes Todorov made Sneddon save an angled shot from the right corner of the penalty box. The home side would see the tie out with yet another clean sheet, extending their run without conceding to seven games.
SUBS NOT USED: Ben Stanway, Ji Stevenson, Jake Hastie, Harry Stone (GK)
SCORERS: Docherty (82)
YELLOW CARD: MacIver (81), Docherty (86), Gordon (90+2)
DUNFERMLINE: Owain Fôn Williams: Aaron Comrie, Mark Connolly, Vytas Gašpuitis, Josh Edwards: Kyle Macdonald, Matthew Todd (Nikolay Todorov 68), Graham Dorrans (c), Dom Thomas (Kevin O’Hara 83): Ryan Dow, Lewis McCann.
SUBS NOT USED: Ross Graham, Craig Wighton, Ian Wilson, Dan Pybus, Paul Allan, Reece Cole, Deniz Mehmet (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Dow (57), Dorrans (90+2)
REFEREE: John Beaton
WEATHER: Gusty 4°C
NEXT MATCH: cinch Championship (away) v Hamilton Academical, Saturday 4th December 2021, kick off 3.00pm at New Douglas Park
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Preview Partick ThistleFriday, 26th Nov 2021
Scottish Cup (away) v Partick Thistle, Friday 26th November 2021, kick off 7.45pm
This weekend’s Scottish Cup tie against Partick Thistle will be played at Firhill on Friday night. It will be the fourth meeting this season of these two clubs with results so far generating one win, one defeat and a goalless draw. A draw this time will result in a replay being required.
Partick Thistle have drawn Dunfermline nine times in the Scottish Cup and the Fifers have progressed on eight of those occasions. The sole Thistle success came when the two were paired in January 2008.
Milestones Partick (away)
Last Victory | 10/07/21 | 4-2 | Premier Sports Cup
Last Defeat | 08/12/18 | 0-2 | Championship
Best Victory | 20/04/66 | 6-2 | Div One*
Worst Defeat | 10/11/34 | 1-7 | Div One*
Last Goalless Draw | 23/10/21 | 0-0 | Championship
First Meeting | 23/10/26 | 1-5 | Div One*
*Pre league reconstruction
Scottish Cup Meetings
Despite Thistle being founded in 1876 and Dunfermline nine years later in 1885, it wasn’t until 1955 that the two clubs were paired in the Scottish Cup.
That very first meeting took place at East End Park on 5th February 1955 in the Fifth Round of the competition. Most of the 10,500 fans at the match were disappointed as the Jags went two up before half time against Second Division Pars through goals from George Smith and Willie Sharp. In the second half the home side turned it around with two George Duthie penalties and goals from Felix Reilly and Colin McKinlay to go through 4-2. Not that it did Dunfermline much good because they were to lose 7-0 to Airdrie in the next round.
Eleven years would pass before the clubs were drawn together again. It was a home tie for the Pars and by this time in February 1966, both teams were in the top flight. Future Scotland Manager Andy Roxburgh scored for Thistle but Alex Smith, Bert Paton and Jim Fleming did likewise for the Pars in a 3-1 win.
Thistle v Pars: The Cup Record
East End Park P5 W5 D0 L 0 F15 A4
Firhill P5 W3 D1 L1 F8 A4
Total P10 W8 D1 L1 GF23 GA8
Next season a crowd of 19,104, the biggest gate ever to watch a Thistle v Pars Scottish Cup tie, witnessed a 1-1 draw at Firhill. Billy Cunningham`s cross unfortunately led to an own goal from Roy Barry but before half time Dunfermline were back on level terms when Alex Ferguson scored. In the replay the Dunfermline attack tore Thistle apart and while their defence concentrated on stopping Fergie, Pat Delaney hit a hat-trick. Goals from Hugh Robertson and Ferguson made the tally five with one reply from Arthur Duncan.
In season 67/68 the teams were drawn against each other again, this time in the last eight and for the third time in three years Dunfermline progressed thanks to a Bert Paton strike. A semi final win over St Johnstone took the Pars to the Cup Final where they famously won 3-1 against Hearts.
In January 1999 the then Second Division, Thistle were drawn at home to SPL Dunfermline. Twice in the first half George Shaw was able to elude a challenge from Des McKeown and twice Shaw`s crosses were converted by Andy Smith. Robert Dunn raised the the Thistle hopes when he got one back from the penalty spot but Dunfermline went through to face Celtic.
Co-Managers Gerry Britton and Derek Whyte welcomed Dunfermline to Firhill on 6th March 2004 but again the Pars won through 3-0. Richie Byrne put the Pars ahead after just ten minutes. Further goals from, captain for the day, Barry Nicholson and a gem from Craig Brewster sealed the Fifers place in the last four.
A Stephen Simmons double was enough to put Thistle out when the teams met in the Cup on 24th February 2007. Again the Pars went on to reach the Cup Final and in that respect Thistle have been lucky omens but they finally broke their duck with a 2-1 win in 2008. After Scott Wilson had put the Fifers ahead, two goals from Liam Buchanan caused the Pars cup exit.
The last Scottish Cup meeting was in the Fourth Round in December 2012. A red card for Thistle’s centre back Aaron Muirhead for a last man tackle on Craig Dargo in 28 minutes made the home side’s challenge all the more difficult. Eight minutes later Josh Falkingham won the ball on the right and Husband centred for Andy Barrowman to rise highest and send the ball into the bottom left of the home net.
Drama in 72 minutes when Geggan took down Erskine on the left side of the box. Referee McLean pointed to the spot and Forbes` effort was magnificently turned on to his right hand post by Gallacher and the ball travelled along the goal line to be cleared at the other post by Jordan McMillan.
Partick Thistle have not conceded a goal in their last six games and are undefeated in seven. They have won their last three including away to league leaders Kilmarnock. Having scored 29 goals in their first 15 league matches, they are the Championship’s top goalscorers.
Dunfermline have now won their last two matches and have only lost three of their last eleven games. They will be hoping that the new manager effect will help them knock out Thistle.
Last six matches
Ayr United (H) W 3-0
Inverness Caledonian Thistle (A) W 2-1
Morton (H) L 1-3
Arbroath (A) L 2-4
Raith Rovers (H) D 1-1
Partick Thistle (A) D 0-0
Hamilton Academical (H) W 1-0
Ayr United (A) W 4-0
Kilmarnock (H) W 1-0
Inverness Caledonian Thistle (H) 0-0
Morton (A) D 0-0
Dunfermline (H) D 0-0
League Position: 6th
League Points: 13
Goal Difference: -9
League Record: P15 W2 D7 L6 GF15 GA24
Last Six Match Form: DDLLWW
League Position: 4th
League Points: 27
Goal Difference: +15
League Record: P15 W8 D3 L4 GF29 GA14
Last Six Match Form: DDDWWW
Last Time Out
DUNFERMLINE (v Ayr United): Owain Fôn Williams: Aaron Comrie, Mark Connolly, Rhys Breen, Josh Edwards: Kyle Macdonald (Craig Wighton 75), Matthew Todd (Paul Allan 67), Graham Dorrans (c), Dom Thomas: Ryan Dow, Lewis McCann (Kevin O’Hara 81).
SUBS NOT USED: Ross Graham, Kai Kennedy, Nikolay Todorov, Deniz Mehmet (GK)
PARTICK THISTLE (v Hamilton Academical): Jamie Sneddon: Ciaran McKenna, Lewis Mayo, Olatunjo Akinola, Kevin Holt: Kyle Turner, Ross Docherty (c), Stuart Bannigan, Scott Tiffoney: Brian Graham (Ross MacIver 79), Zak Rudden (Cammy Smith 58).
SUBS NOT USED: Connor Murray, Jake Hastie, Shea Gordon, Stephen Hendrie, Harry Stone (GK).
Referee will be John Beaton.
With both Partick Thistle and Queen’s Park being drawn at home in the Third Round of the Scottish Cup, Thistle chose to utilise their right to play first on the pitch they currently share with Queen’s Park. Kilmarnock could not play on Sunday 28th November due to their tie in the SPFL Trust Trophy on Tuesday 30th November being followed by a televised cinch Championship match against Inverness Caley on Friday 3rd December, this tie was unable to be played on the Sunday.
Faced with the option of remaining on the Saturday afternoon, and playing after the Queen’s Park v Kilmarnock tie, Thistle chose to play first on the pitch that weekend and subsequently have moved the tie to Friday 26th November.
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