Dunfermline Athletic

1991: Dunfermline 1 Airdrieonians 1

Memorable Match #31
Scottish League Cup Semi Final
Tynecastle Park
Wednesday 24th September 1991

After eight SPL matches of the 1991-92 season Dunfermline had one point and Airdrieonians three, so this was a foot of the table clash in the Skol Cup semi final. Under the charge of Iain Munro, the Pars had done better in the Skol Cup defeating Alloa Athletic, St Mirren and Dundee United on their way to the semi. Airdrie had seen off Dumbarton, Aberdeen and Celtic.

Poor league form had led to Munro’s departure and it was Jocky Scott who was in charge by the time the Tynecastle semi came around. Dunfermline were without Istvan Kozma, Eddie Cunnington switched to right back and making way, Tommy Wilson was on the bench as Scott brought in Raymond Sharp at left back.

The Diamonds were made to defend in the opening ten minutes and the best chance coming when Sharp swung the ball over from the left, Derek McWilliams headed on for Craig Robertson to release a fierce shot that John Martin saved.

Airdrie’s first real chance came when Alan Lawrence crossed from the right corner flag and Sammy Conn’s effort at the near post was forced wide in the challenge of former Chelsea youth player, Cunnington. Sadly Conn incurred a knee injury in the process and had to be subbed by Paul Jack.

The sub was influential in providing Owen Coyle with a great chance that he sent left footed from 20 yards out and Andy Rhodes only just kept it out by tipping it on to the crossbar. Next time the Airdrie striker had better luck.

Keeper Martin’s long ball bounced nicely for COYLE to run on to and score his fourth goal of the season, right footed in off the left upright from just 12 yards out. 0-1

Half time: Dunfermline 0 Airdrieonians 1

Alex McDonald’s team got the second half underway and resumed the attack through Kenny Black. As for the Fifers, former Notts County striker, Ian McPartland forced a corner but when Ian McCall crossed Martin cleared.

Both sides had chances but the Pars were running out of time. Rhodes beat away a powerful Black 20 yard shot. A Sharp free kick was met by McCathie 16 yards out but his header went straight to Martin.

Dunfermline created pressure from Mark Haro long throws before with the two and a half minutes remaining, a hugely controversial hand ball decision against Jimmy Sandison provided Dunfermline with a lifeline.

Having awarded a penalty kick referee David Syme was surrounded by incensed Diamonds but he was adamant that the Airdrie captain’s right arm had come into play on the edge of the box. He was clearing a Rhodes ball pumped forward from just ten yards inside his own half. Derek McWilliams converted the penalty for his first Dunfermline goal. 1-1

Extra time followed and Lawrence laid an inviting ball across the face of the Pars goal with no takers. Sub Davie Kirkwood hit the left post from just inside the box and mercifully the ball rebounded back into Rhodes hands.

In the second half of extra time McCathie was denied by Watson from another Haro long throw. A Watson header was clearer off the line at right post by Cunnington and there was to be no further scoring. Airdrie clearly felt that they should have won without the need of penalties but that was what was going to settle it.

Penalty shoot out ended up with Watson v McCathie

The penalty shoot out saw Kirkwood hit the ball through Rhodes for 1-0 but McWilliams netted bottom left to make it 1-1. Coyle and then Robertson had their attempts saved. John Watson and Norrie McCathie were lined up to take their sides fifth effort and by the time they stepped up it was 2-2. Watson hit his penalty straight at Rhodes so when Norrie stepped up it was to put the Pars through to their first final since 1968. Sending Martin the wrong way, McCathie blasted low left and in so doing the Fifers won the tie 3-2 on penalties.

Having defeated Rangers in the other semi Hibs awaited the Pars in the Skol Cup Final.

DUNFERMLINE: Rhodes: Eddie Cunnington, Ray Sharp (Billy Davies), Norrie McCathie, Davie Moyes, Mark Haro, Derek McWilliams, Craig Robertson, Ian McPartland (Tommy Wlison), Ian McCall, Scott Leitch.
SCORER: McWilliams (88 pen.)
YELLOW CARD: McCathie

AIRDRIEONIANS: John Martin: Chris Honor, Walter Kidd, Evan Balfour, Kenny Black, Alan Lawrence, Sandy Stewart, Jimmy Sandison: Sammy Conn (Paul Jack (Davie Kirkwood)): John Watson, Owen Coyle.
SCORER: Coyle

REFEREE: David Syme, Rutherglen
ATTENDANCE: 10,662
WEATHER: Wet and miserable.



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