Scottish Cup v Montrose

MONTROSE 2 DUNFERMLINE 2 - Date 08/01/11

Fixture: Scottish Cup

Attendance: 1030, Kick Off: 3:00pm

Referee; Crawford Allan

Dunfermline Athletic faced Montrose in just their second ever Scottish Cup pairing and it was the Fifers first visit to Links Park since the Skol Cup took them there in August 1992.┬ ┬ On both those occasions the visitors progressed to the next round and so in an attempt to repeat those achievements Manager Jim McIntyre made two changes for the trip north. Neil McGregor and Andy Kirk were preferred to Andy Dowie and Pat Clarke.┬ Ryan Thomson replaced Joe Cardle┬ on the bench to fulfil the U21 requirement.

Montrose were without the suspended Chris Hegarty and both Sean Crighton and Martin Boyle dropped to the bench as in came their Player/Manager Steven Tweed, Paul Tosh and Aaron Sinclair. The artificial playing surface was very wet but it was sunshine that welcomed the Fifers and their travelling support to the Angus Riviera.

McDougall and Kirk got the cup tie underway defending the goal at the sea end. Montrose`s Sinclair was the first to fire at target but his fourth minute shot from┬ 30 yards was easily blocked. David Graham was squeezed out by Terry Masson as the Pars┬ threatened to penetrate the home defences. That┬ gave Paul Willis the opportunity to send in a dangerous ball from a free kick on the left but the defence headed away on their six yard line.

An Austin┬ McCann cross landed at the feet of Willis in the tenth minute but he was too surprised to find the ball carry through to him to take the chance. Next a swiftly moved ball from Willis sent Kirk into the penalty box and Tweed conceded a corner.┬ McGregor came close with his header from Willis` corner, the ball rattling the left goalpost. Kirk then tested Sandy Wood with a low curling shot that the man in the green shirt got down on his knees to hold.

A 15th minute Pars corner was headed high over the bar by Alex Keddie but having got to grips with the playing surface the Pars began to dominate. Andy Kirk fired a fiercely struck shot off the right post and McDougall hit the rebound┬ at the keeper. So it was well against the run of play when the Third Division side took the lead after 27 minutes. Nicky Smith fed Paul TOSH the ball on the right, he then┬ raced away┬ from Keddie before despatching a┬ shot that found┬ the net off the left post.

The Pars came back down the pitch again with Graham promising a breakthrough and both Kirk and Mason shooting at goal.┬ Graham stuck a McCann cross wide left from just 8 yards out and ten minutes before half time McDougall headed a Woods cross over the crossbar. A Montrose free kick then nearly produced a second goal.┬ Dougie Cameron`s left footed chip cleared the defence and Gordon Pope made a run to meet the ball but sent it over the bar from 12 yards out.

A 40th minute Willis corner from the left was headed towards goal by Woods but McGregor`s flying header sent the ball over the bar from close in.┬ Willis had a crack from 30 yards but again the crossbar was too low.

Half Time: Montrose 1 Dunfermline 0

Macca`s men started the second half strongly and were really unlucky not to get the equaliser in 48 minutes. Davie Graham swung a ball over from the left touchline and at the far post Gary Mason volleyed┬ but hit the sidenetting. A Willis corner from the left was headed over the crossbar by McGregor as the Fifers fortunes continued to desert them.

Come on Ye Pars greeted Willis` 54th minute corner where Phinn shot wide and keeping up the pressure Keddie chipped a shot over the bar. Tweed conceded a 56th minute corner but his team kept that out as well. Three minutes later Woods turned Willis corner outside the left post and the Pars continued to push up with McCann and McDougall combining well without creating the chance to shoot.

In 64 minutes Graham took on the entire Montrose defence, wriggling his way through to shoot from 15 yards but Wood at full stretch saved a certain goal. In fact it was Montrose who could have scored next as Tosh again made tracks for the Dunfermline goal.┬ Keddie couldn`t stop the angled shot and the ball came back off the same post that had prevented Kirk in the first half.

The Fife buses had moved into the street behind the Montrose goal with 20 minutes remaining┬ and it looked increasingly likely that those buses were going to be conveying home some really disappointed fans.┬ But in 73 minutes latching on to a slipped pass from Graham, substitute Pat CLARKE pulled out a shot from 25 yards that Wood in the home goal just couldn`t hold.┬ ┬ The ball took a deflection off┬ Steven Tweed┬ and travelled off him into the net for a very welcome equaliser.

Graham went on another solo run and again the Montrose keeper performed with style to deny Dunfermline. When Clarke was pulled down nine minutes from time┬ Willis fired in a free kick from the left that Clarke flicked on as the ball made its way on to the right post.┬ McGregor failed to connect as the ball rebounded across goal┬ but KIRK in front of the keeper,┬ turned it in off his knee for the Pars second. 2-1 to the Fifers.

Montrose forced their first corner in 89 minutes; that led to their second but McGregor headed clear.┬ The Angus side kept up the pressure with a McNally throw in towards goal.┬ The ball was cleared initially but pumped back in for Tweed to chalenge on the six yard line along with McGregor and Keddie.┬ The ball┬ fell to TOSH on the right side and his left foot┬ was too quick for the efforts of Clarke and Phinn to┬ prevent his shot and the┬ ball was sent crashing past Chris Smith.┬ The equaliser came in the first minute of added time so there was no time to respond and a replay is necessary on Tuesday night (weather permitting).

Dunfermline had umpteen corners but those and their final balls in particular let them down. Yes Sandy Wood, the home goalie had two or three great saves┬ but Montrose fought well to the bitter end to deserve another crack at overcoming the Pars.

MONTROSE: Sandy Wood;┬ Stephen McNally,Alan Campbell, Steven Tweed,┬ Gordon Pope; Ross McCord (Martin Boyle┬ 80),┬ Terry Masson (Connor Thomson, 86),┬ Aaron Sinclair, Dougie Cameron; Nicky Smith (Hugh Davidson 60), Paul Tosh,
SUBS NOT USED:┬ ┬ Sean Crighton, Tim Capstick (GK).
SCORER: Tosh (27, 91)
YELLOW CARD: Smith (42), McNally (58)

DUNFERMLINE: Chris Smith; Calum Woods, Neil McGregor, Alex Keddie, Austin McCann (c); Paul Willis, Nick Phinn, Gary Mason, David Graham; Andy Kirk, Steven McDougall (Pat Clarke 65)
SUBS NOT USED:┬ Alex Burke, Ryan Thomson, Andy Dowie, Kyle Allison (GK)
SCORERS: Clarke (73), Kirk (81)
YELLOW CARD: Woods (56)

WEATHER: Sunny 2"C

NEXT MATCH: (home) Scottish Cup Replay v Montrose
Tuesday 11th January 2010, kick off 7.45pm

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