Dunfermline Athletic

2006: Dunfermline 1 Livingston 0

Memorable Match #49
Wednesday, 25th Jan 2006, Easter Road
CIS Insurance Cup Semi Final: Darren Young (37 pen.) 1-0

Darren Young`s penalty sent Dunfermline Athletic to their first CIS Insurance Cup final since 1991 at the expense of fellow SPL strugglers Livingston.

Dunfermline made five changes from the side that started on Saturday. Simon Donnelly retained his place, Gary Mason, Mark Burchill and Noel Hunt were all back and Craig Wilson was preferred to Greg Ross. Andy Tod and Lee Makel were out injured. Iain Campbell was out suspended and Bartosz Tarachulski found himself back on the bench where club captain Scott Thomson was also fit enough to take a seat.

Livingston fielded an unchanged side from the one that started against Rangers the previous Saturday as they tried to prevent Dunfermline make their third League Cup Final.

It was that the SPL`s bottom two sides that met in what should have been a prestigious Cup Semi Final on Burns Night. Only 4630 turned up at Easter Road to see if the sides would serve up something worth missing your Burns Supper for? Livingston kicked off up attacking the goal in front of the Pars fans in the Famous Five Stand. If the tie was going to be decided by the decibels from the audience then going by the pre match it would be a Fife win.

The first shot of the game after 90 seconds came from Steve Hislop after Paul Dalglish had been gifted possession from Yannick Zambernardi but the effort was easily blocked. Another 90 seconds later Darren Young received a neat pass from Donnelly and warmed McKenzie`s hands from 25 yards out.

Both sides had early attempts that tested the defences before
a promising move with Hunt sending Burchill through into the right side of the Livi box. The seventh minute ball was inviting but went through the penalty box unaccepted. Dunfermline were down to ten men as Greg Shields received treatment for a nose bleed that required a strip change as Livingston won the first of three corners. Fortunately Shields was back on to block Livi`s best attempt - a David Mackay on target shot from 15 yards.

A strong run by Dalglish was terminated with a stinging shot that Allan McGregor did well to first parry and then gather. Then in 20th minute almost saw Dunfermline take the lead and but for a deflection Burchill might have found the top left of the net.

A fine lay off from McNamee to Dalglish maintained the end to end play and McGregor was relieved to see the Livi no.9 send his low drive beyond the left goalpost. Just before the first half hour a Zambernardi pass sent Burchill up the left wing and his return into the box was destined for Hunt in fine position to convert but Richard Brittain got back to send the ball over his own bar for a corner.

Dunfermline piled on the pressure; Craig Wilson sent over two corners and a Hunt header was held by Roddy McKenzie. There were appeals for a penalty as Hunt was pushed over on the edge of the box by Harold Pinxten but the best that came was a Burchill shot deflected for another corner.

Nothing came from that and there was a wee fright from a Gabor Vincze throw in when the defence stopped even although referee Dougie McDonald had not blown for hand ball. There were no Fife complaints however over the whistler`s next decision.

Yet another strong Burchill run down the left, fixing on to a Hunt header, saw him travel into the penalty box and Greg Strong`s stop on the speeding striker made the penalty decision an easy one. After his success from the spot in the 93rd minute of the Boxing Day match against Rangers there was no stopping Darren YOUNG taking the spot kick. The keeper could not stop the right footed shot and Dunfermline went 1-0 up in 37th minute.

For the remainder of the first 45 and two added minutes Dunfermline were in command and the West Lothian side did little to endanger the Pars half time lead. Had Donnelly been slightly deadlier with his shot it might have been two.

Half time Dunfermline 1 Livingston 0

The opening five minutes of the second half had Livingston pinned back into their own half. Hunt won a free kick deep down the right and then a corner but McKenzie was out to clutch that. After former Par Jason Dair came on for Gabor Vincze another ball from Mason to Hunt won a further corner in 55 minutes. Livi survived and two minutes later won one of their own that McGregor stretched out to remove from the head of Hislop.

The Lions` drums grew quieter as a free kick over from Wes Hoolahan was easily cleared by the men in stripes. Donnelly passed up a good opportunity to break but the Livingston defence won that one. Player manager Paul Lambert introduced Robert Snodgrass for Hislop as he tried to boost his attack but it was Dunfermline who came closest to adding to their score.

Livi were not for giving up and it was Donnelly who was back in his own box to turn a Snodgrass cross behind for a corner in 68th minute. From that Greg Strong headed narrowly wide of the right goalpost. Noel Hunt was replaced by Bartosz Tarachulski as the game served up true cup tie football. Craig Wilson`s shot was blocked by Dair and then his 77th minute cross was fisted away by McKenzie.

With Lambert committing his third substitute the opposition pushed forward. McCunnie`s extended foot prevented a Snodgrass pass reaching Hoolahan and a great opportunity to grab an equaliser. Livi fans were on their feet to appeal for a penalty in 82 minutes when Snodgrass tumbled at Shields’ feet. Snodgrass did win a free kick on the right corner of the Pars box but fortunately Hoolahan sent the delivery well beyond the far post.

The four added minutes were played amidst one almighty din as both fans spurred their teams on. Dunfermline belted the balls away and wrapped up a well deserved victory to take the club to their first League Cup Final since October 1991. For manager Jim Leishman that meant he would at last lead Dunfermline out at a Hampden cup final. Unfortunately in front of a 50000 crowd, Celtic would lift the 2005-2006 CIS Insurance Cup.

DUNFERMLINE: Allan McGregor; Jamie McCunnie, Greg Shields, Scott Wilson, Yannick Zambernardi; Craig Wilson (Greg Ross 87), Darren Young, Gary Mason, Simon Donnelly, Mark Burchill (Aaron Labonte, 83), Noel Hunt (Bartosz Tarachulski 70).
SUBS NOT USED: Scott Thomson, Bryn Halliwell (GK)
SCORERS: Darren Young (37 pen.)

LIVINGSTON: Roddy McKenzie; David Mackay, Paul Tierney, Harald Pinxten, Greg Strong, David McNamee (Allan Walker 76), Richard Brittain, Gabor Vincze (Jason Dair 53), Wes Hoolahan, Paul Dalglish, Steve Hislop (Robert Snodgrass 64).
SUBS NOT USED: Emmanuel Dorado, Ludovic Roy (GK).
YELLOW CARD: Pinxten

REFEREE: Dougie McDonald
ATTENDANCE 4630



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