Dunfermline Athletic

2010: Raith Rovers 3 Dunfermline 5

Memorable Match #69
Pars lift silverware
Reserve League Cup Final
Starks Park, Tuesday 31st August 2010

Dunfermline made a remarkable recovery to come back from 3-1 down to win the 2009-2010 Reserve League Cup.

This was the third time these two had met in this competition, Dunfermline winning both the previous matches.  The Scottish Football League had drawn lots to determine which Fife side should get home advantage after Rovers` win over Annan Athletic and the Pars` defeat of Ayr United on 12th August.  So it was a 7.00pm kick off at Starks Park to see which Fife club was going to lift the silverware.

The Pars gave starts to first team squad players Kyle Allison, Alex Keddie, Neil McGregor, Paul Willis, Ryan Thomson and Jordan White. The remainder of the squad was made up from the U19 squad. Raith had first team players out in the shape of Dougie Hill, Iain Williamson, Graham Weir, Jamie Mole and former Par Scott McBride.

Dunfermline forced the first corner of the match in 70 seconds and had a couple of early chances before the Rovers first chance in the tenth minute when Iain Williamson’s run, playing a 1-2 off Weir got in a shot that was deflected just outside the right post.

Raith got a grip of the game and were unlucky when Williamson put Weir through on the left. The Raith no.10 got the better of Blair McWhirter but his attempt was pulled across the face of goal.

Raith then took advantage from a Pars corner on the left with Mole breaking away up the right. He beat off the challenge of young Ross Drummond but Allison made a fine save to turn the ex Hearts striker`s low drive around his right hand post. Williamson sent the ball over from the left corner flag and Dougie HILL rose above everyone to head home the opener in 22 minutes. 1-0

It could have been two when Mole and Beveridge appeared to have created the cut back that Weir, on the penalty spot, was bound to score from but the defence bravely blocked out his effort just as it left his boot.

Better linking from the Pars in 35 minutes let Steven Leslie break into the Raith box to thread the ball to Connor Schiavone but his drive was deflected behind for a corner.

In 41 minutes it was Willis, who had always looked a threat, who made a powerful run cutting in from the right just inside the Rovers half to create the pass for SCHIAVONE to run on to and stick majestically past the advancing Andy McNeill from 16 yards. 1-1

The Pars couldn`t keep it level for long unfortunately. It took Raith just 150 seconds to get back ahead. The trouble came from the left with McBride picking out WEIR on the left side of the box and he directed the ball into the far side of Allison`s net to make it 2-1 at the interval. Once they had got their act together Raith had enjoyed more of the ball and territorially play had been much more often in the Pars half.

Half Time: Raith Rovers 2 Dunfermline 1

Neither coach, Craig Ireland or Gerry McCabe, made any changes for the restart and Dunfermline had to defend a Donaldson ball in from the right and then a really well delivered corner from Williamson on the left. A Willis corner for the visitors in 52 minutes gave the defence a breather but play was soon back in front of Allison.

Shaun Byrne replaced Schiavone in 66 minutes as the midfield was getting very crowded. Shots at goal were scarce and it wasn`t until 70 minutes that Beveridge tried a 25 yard attempt that rocketed low past Allison`s right hand post. Just two minutes later Raith increased their lead after McBride made the run down the left brushing off Byrne to cross for MOLE to head easily past Allison. 3-1

With just 18 minutes remaining some might have thought it was all over but two touches of magic within a minute from Alex Burke rekindled the Pars hopes. Dunfermline pressed the Raith goal and when Willis recovered the ball on the left his cut back was perfect for BURKE in 74th minute to drive home from 25 yards Dunfermline`s second goal of the night. 3-2

Then next minute Burkie was the provider sending a through ball out of midfield for LESLIE to run on to on the right side and fire over the keeper from the edge of the box to make it 3-3.

Both teams went for the winner but it was Dunfermilne who were to go ahead for the first time on the evening with just three minutes left. Leslie was taken down by Hill on the edge of the penalty box earning the Raith centre half a yellow card for kicking the ball away. Willis and Burke stood over the ball as the five man wall was moved back and then Burke let rip send a stinging shot round the wall and McNeill couldn`t hold the ball and as it broke back off him LESLIE dived in to score the Pars fourth. 3-4

After the fourth official had indicated two added minutes White put Leslie through and as he was about to shoot, 15 yards out Hill tumbled him down. A penalty was awarded but Hill was injured, possibly an ankle injury, and a stretcher was required. After a delay of eight minutes Steven LESLIE stepped up and smashed in Dunfermline`s fifth and the trophy was secured to go to West Fife.

Somewhere around 45 players were used in the 11 games that took Dunfermline to the Reserve League Cup Final. The final two matches of the section were fulfilled by the Under 17s and the semi final on 12th August by the Under 19s.

In the first eight games Paul Willis was an ever present, Graeme Holmes and Chris Higgins played seven times, keeper Greg Paterson and centre half Lee Graham six. Nick Phinn made five appearances and even Andy Kirk, Gary Mason and Jim McIntyre started matches in the campaign.

26 goals were scored and 8 conceded. Only one game out of the eleven was not won, that was at New Bayview in November when the Methil men won 1-0.

RAITH ROVERS: Andy McNeil; Reece Donaldson, Kevin Brown, Craig Wedderburn, Dougie Hill (Colin Wilson 90+10), Jamie Mackie, Iain Williamson, Graeme Beveridge, Jamie Mole, Graham Weir, Scott McBride
SUBS NOT USED: Tom Graham, Jordan McKechnie, Andrew Walls, Ross Laidlaw
SCORERS: Hill (22), Weir (44), Mole (72)
YELLOW CARD: Hill (87)

DUNFERMLINE: Kyle Allison; Blair McWhirter, Neil McGregor, Alex Keddie, Ross Drummond (Grant Munro 76); Paul Willis, Alex Burke, Ryan Thomson, Connor Schiavone (Shaun Byrne 66); Jordan White, Steven Leslie
SUBS NOT USED: Kerr Young, Fraser Moncrieff, Aaron Sommerville (GK)
SCORERS: Schiavone (41), Burke (74), Leslie (75, 87, 90+10)
YELLOW CARD: Burke (64), Thomson (89)

REFEREE: Greg Aitken
WEATHER: Fine 18˚C

Above: Man of the Match Steven Leslie goes up to pick up his winners medal

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