Scottish Cup: DUNFERMLINE 3 ST JOHNSTONE 2: 13/02/01

Dunfermline staged a dramatic second-half recovery to emerge victorious from the Tennent`s Scottish Cup third round replay. 13th February 2001

The prize which awaits the Fife side is indeed a glittering one. Premier League leaders Celtic travel east this Saturday to what promises to be a fascinating fourth-round tie.

Two down after an hour, the home side hit back in amazing style with goals from Scott Thompson, Marinus Dijkhuizen and David Moss.

Poor defending by Dunfermline was punished by the Perth side after 13 minutes. A poor headed clearance from Andrius Skerla confounded an equally inept attempt to cover from Justin Skinner and presented Craig RUSSELL with a simple task. 0-1

It took the middle of the first half before the home side made an impression. Alan Main did well to push away a stinging shot from Moss.

With St Johnstone`s flowing efficiency contrasting sharply with the Fifer`s labour movement, the home goal came under more threat on the half-hour.

A delicate exchange between John Paul McBride and Nick Desovic resulted in a sweetly-struck shot from the latter but Ruitenbeek intervened with a good grasp of the situation.

As interval approached, it was Dunfermline who desperately needed resuscitating. Again Skinner was left for dead by the lively Nathan Lowndes but the end result - snatched high and wide - hardly did justice to the means.

With seconds of the first half remaining, Lowndes found his mark to cushion the visitors` lead. Once more Dunfermline paid the price of shoddy defending with Skerla`s poor heading again the cause of Dunfermline`s woes as LOWNDES powered a low drive past a helpless home goalkeeper.

Half time: Dunfermline 0 St Johnstone 2

Dunfermline reshuffled their pack for the second period, with Gary Mason replacing the struggling Skinner. Immediately, the home side bared their teeth but Barry Nicholson`s snap shot was beaten away by Main.

Minutes later, Nicholson left his mark, though not in the best possible manner. A caution came his way after an altercation with Sylla, who was even more fortunate not to see red.

Unfortunately, football took a backseat for a while. Jason Dair was booked for seeking retaliation on Sylla, whose own fuse was becoming shorter by the minute. When Sylla was eventually substituted on the hour, it was as much for his own good as that of his side.

However, the immediate benefit was helped by Dunfermline who reduced the deficit two minutes later. Chaos amid a cluttered goalmouth finally resulted in Scott THOMSON beating Main from close range. 1-2

After a sustained period of home pressure, Dunfermline deservedly drew level 12 minutes from time when Marinus DIJKHUIZEN headed a Dair delivery past Main. 2-2

Then, with only six minutes remaining, East End Park erupted as the home side snatched a sensational winner. David MOSS was perfectly positioned a few feet from goal after Thomson`s shot had rebounded from the post. 3-2

DUNFERMLINE: Marco Ruitenbeek: Andrius Skerla, Youssef Rossi, Lee Bullen, David Moss, Scott Thomson, Barry Nicholson, Jason Dair, Justin Skinner (Gary Mason 45), Marinus Dijkhuizen (Rob Matthaei 78), Stewart Petrie (Andy Tod 73)
SUBS NOT USED: Mark McGarty, Scott Y Thomson (GK)
SCORERS: Thomson (61), Dijkhuizen (77), Moss (83).
YELLOW CARDS: Nicholson, Dair, Tod

ST JOHNSTONE: Alan Main: Gary Bollan, Steven Frail, Jim Weir, Darren Dods, John-Paul McBride, Momo Sylla (Tommy Lovenkrands 59), Nick Dasovic, Paul Kane, Nathan Lowndes, Craig Russell (Keigan Parker 62)
SUBS NOT USED: Stuart McCluskey, Michael O`Neill, Kevin Cuthbert (GK).
SCORERS: Russell (13), Lowndes (43)

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