Dunfermline Athletic

Fixtures : 2013-2014 : Ayr United

Wed, 4th Dec 2013 Kick Off: 19:45

Dunfermline 1 Ayr United 0

Wednesday, 4th Dec 2013

William Hill Scottish Cup Fourth Round Replay: Thomson (60) 1-0

Dunfernmline 1 Ayr United 0

MATCH PICTURES
Dunfermline achieved their goal of reaching the fifth round of the Scottish Cup after a hard-fought win over a resilient Ayr United at a freezing cold East End Park.

After the 1-1 draw at Somerset Park on Saturday, neither manager saw the need to change their starting line-up and indeed the only change on the Pars bench was the re-introduction of Stephen Husband after his recovery from injury, replacing Chris Kane.

The visitors kicked off proceedings towards the Norrie McCathie Stand and within a minute Ryan Scully was having to do some handiwork, punching the ball away from danger inside the box after Whittle`s mistimed clearance ballooned up in his direction.  After four minutes a run by Wallace gained the Pars the first of many corner kicks.

Millen`s delivery was cleared only as far as Falkingham and his driven volley was deflected over for another corner but there was nothing doing.  Just two minutes later and one of Alex Whittle`s driving runs won another corner but Ayr were coping comfortably with the set pieces.

In ten minutes a foul by Crawford on Falkingham gave Dunfermline a free kick thirty yards out.  The ball was defended but collected by Callum Morris, but his attempted cross from the right was easily gathered by Hutton. In 14th minute, another good run by Whittle created danger inside the Ayr penalty area.  It was cleared but only to Millen on the other side.When his cross came over Ryan Thomson chested the ball down but couldn`t get enough purchase on his shot which was saved by Hutton to his left.

Dunfermline v Ayr United

Ayr got their first attempt on goal a minute later when a Crawford snapshot was fired wide outside Scully`s left-hand post. Dunfermline were passing well and were in control of the game which was being played very much in Ayr`s half, without putting much pressure on Hutton`s goal.  However in 19th minute it looked like a possible Ayr breakaway might be on but Kerr Young`s tackle on Pope on the halfway line broke up the play but earned him the first yellow card of the evening.

Midway through the first half Allan Smith made a great run from the left into the Ayr box but chose the attempted pass when a shot looked the better option. Then a minute later Callum Morris became the second player in the ref`s book after the far side assistant referee pointed to an off-the-ball incident that had taken place earlier.

Josh Falkingham v Ayr United

Dunfermline were cranking up the pressure and Josh Falkingham had a pop from 25 yards that flew just over Hutton`s crossbar.  In 26 minutes Athletic`s best chance of the first half fell to Thomson inside the box ten yards out.  His shot low to the keeper`s left looked like it might creep in but Hutton got enough on it to divert it for a corner left.  Nothing came of that one and a minute later Falkingham won another but with the same result.

In 31st minute a third Dunfermline player went into the book. This time Ryan Thomson was sent through inside the box and when he was crowded out he fell to the ground, only to be booked for simulation.

Ryan Thomson earns himself a yellow card

In 34 minutes Ayr won their first corner of the game, and a minute later their best chance so far fell to Kevin Kyle but his shot was easily saved by Scully.  Dunfermline continued to press and thanks to the runs of Smith and Wallace won another three corners, all of which Ayr coped with comfortably.

Then there was controversy in 41st minute. The ball was cleared from the Ayr box towards Millen just outside.  Kyle seems to lunge at the ball in an effort to clear but made contact with Millen`s shins who was brought down with the force.  The referee wasn`t interested and when Millen protested too much. he became the fourth Dunfermline player in Mr Finnie`s book.

As half-time approached Dunfermline won their ninth and tenth corners of the first 45 but with no different result to the first eight!  A frustrating half in many ways - despite almost complete domination and some neat slick play Dunfermline failed to create enough clear cut chances and only had four yellow cards to show for their efforts.

Half Time: Dunfermline Athletic 0 Ayr United 0

No changes for either side at half-time and when the game restarted, the pattern of the match didn`t.In the first minute Thomson played Smith in but his attempt was blocked by Pope for another corner.  This time Millen swung the ball to Falkingham on the centre edge on the box but he couldn`t control it quickly enough and the opportunity was gone.  Byrne won a free kick but when the ball came over Millen blasted it high and wide.

In a rare break up the park, Pope made good progress and his low cross from the left caused some concern in the Pars defence before Morris scrambled it away.  But the play was soon back in the Ayr half and Pope became the first Ayr player to receive a yellow card.  In 52nd minute a good run by Byrne gave Geggan a chance but his shot was blocked for another Pars corner.

Whittle was finding some space down the left and his dangerous ball across in 57th minute gave Smith a chance in front of goal but the ball ended up in the Ayr keeper`s hands.  However, this was a foretaste of what was to come because just two minutes later another bursting run from Whittle saw him hit the perfect cross from the byeline which Ryan THOMSON got a good head to from the centre of the 6 yard box to squeeze past Hutton and open the scoring.  Ayr made an immediate change, bringing on Alan Forrest to replace Robbie Crawford.

Goal celebration

Remarkably Whittle made the same run again on the hour and this time it took some desperate defending to clear.Marenghi then gave Falkingham a sore one and was booked and a minute later Adam Hunter became the third Ayr player in the book.  As the match entered its final quarter Marenghi was subbed, replaced by Malcolm, before Malcom headed over from a Pope cross.

In 72 minutes Smith won the Pars another corner but Josh Falkingham`s shot from the clearance went wildly over.  Next minute the ball was played to Smith inside the Ayr box but his angled shot from the right flew well over the bar.  It was to be Allan`s last action, replaced by Craig Dargo.

With just ten minutes remaining it looked as if the game had been wrapped up.  Ryan Wallace`s shot from the left side of the box could only be blocked by Hutton as far as Thomson but as the Pars striker netted the rebound the referee blew for a free kick to Ayr.

For the first time in the match Ayr began to string some good passes together and put pressure on the Pars defence. The good football from the Pars was now being replaced by defensive clearances.  In 86 minutes Michael Moffat hit a powerful shot from 12 yards which was superbly parried by Scully to keep the Pars goal intact.  It was his first real save of the match but a cracker!

As Ayr became more desperate, Dunfermline were able to play on the break, and in 89th minute a terrific run from the halfway line by Byrne saw him close in on Hutton`s goal. Unfortunately his left foot shot was too weak to trouble the keeper.

Two minutes into added time and Husband came on to replace Wallace, but still the final whistle wouldn`t come and Dunfermline fans had to endure almost five minutes of second-half added time before Stephen Finnie blew the final whistle.

There was relief all round but in truth Dunfermline played the best football and dominated this match and ran out deserved winners.  It was good to see a confident, solid defence.  Alex Whittle, as ever, put in a power of work down the left side, and with Falkingham and Byrne running the midfield Dunfermline maintained control.

Arguably more could have been created up front, where incidentally Ryan Thomson is looking good after his return, but it was always going to be a game of high stakes and high tension.  The important thing is the Pars are through!

Callum Morris celebrates

MATCH PICTURES

William Hill Scottish Cup

DUNFERMLINE: Ryan Scully, Ross Millen, Kerr Young, Callum Morris, Alex Whittle; Shaun Byrne, Andy Geggan, Josh Falkingham (c), Allan Smith (Craig Dargo 74), Ryan Thomson, Ryan Wallace (Stephen Husband 93).
SUBS NOT USED: Lewis Martin, Ryan Ferguson, Jordan Moore, Ryan Williamson, Ryan Goodfellow (GK).
SCORERS: Thomson (60)
YELLOW CARD: Young (20), Morris (24), Thomson (31), Millen (42),

AYR UNITED: David Hutton; Adam Hunter, Alan Lithgow, Scott McLaughlin (c), Gordon Pope; Anthony Marenghi (Craig Malcolm 68), Robbie Crawford (Alan Forrest 60), Brian Gilmour, Michael Donald; Kevin Kyle, Michael Moffat.
SUBS NOT USED: Willie Muir (GK), Craig McCracken, Michael McGowan, Jackson Longridge, Michael Wardrope
YELLOW CARD: Hunter (62), Marengo (62), Pope (52)

REFEREE: Stephen Finnie
WEATHER:
ATTENDANCE 1932

NEXT MATCH: SPFL League One (home) v Forfar Athletic
Saturday 7th December, kick off 3.00pm

50/50 PRIZE DRAW: Ticket no:71896 wins a cash prize of £320!


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Preview Ayr United

Sunday, 1st Dec 2013

The story of this season`s William Hill Scottish Cup continues on Wednesday night when Ayr are the visitors in the Fourth Round replay.

AYR UNITED REPLAY IS WEDNESDAY 4th DECEMBER

The story of this season`s William Hill Scottish Cup continues on Wednesday night when Ayr are the visitors in the Fourth Round replay. Saturday`s match was just the Pars second drawn match of the season but there was not much between the sides and both came close to scoring a winner at Somerset Park. Ayr United sit immediately below Dunfermline in League One and as anticipated formed tough opponents.  Andy Geggan put Dunfermline ahead against the club he was signed from but 13 minutes into the second half Michael Donald scored an equaliser.

Ryan Wallace v Ayr United

The sides have already met this season at East End Park, that was on 28th September and when the home side recorded a resounding 5-1 victory. That day after going behind to a Michael Moffat goal in the second minute, the home side hit back to be 4-1 up at half time. Whittle, Geggan and Falkingham hit good goals after Wallace had equalised from the spot. Wallace added another in the second half to thoroughly see off their opponents.

The sides have been drawn against each other six times and its 3-3 on progress with now two ties being drawn.  Ayr United have won through in the last two pairings, winning 2-1 in Dunfermline in January 1993 and winning 3-0 in the last meeting in Ayr.  That was in 2002 when Jimmy Calderwood`s much fancied side were dumped out of the Cup with Gus MacPherson scoring a spectacular own goal.

Ryan Scully saves another

Cup Record

The Ayrshire club went on to knock out Dundee United that season before succumbing to Celtic. Since then they have never lost a Scottish Cup tie by more than two goals but on seven occasions out of the eleven they have exited in front of their own fans.

Season DUNFERMLINE AYR UNITED
2012-13 H Hamilton 0-2 Round 5 A Forfar Athletic 1-2
2011-12 H Inverness CT 1-3 Round 4 H Hibs 0-2
2010-11 A Aberdeen 0-1 Round 5 H St Mirren 1-2
2009-10 H Celtic 2-4 Round 5 A Dundee 1-2
2008-09 N Falkirk 1-3 Semi Final A Kilmarnock 1-3
2007-08 A Partick Thistle 1-2 Round 4 A Partick Thistle 1-2
2006-07 N Celtic 0-1 Final H St Johnstone 4-5
2005-06 H Airdrie United 3-4 Round 3 H Inverness CT 0-2
2004-05 H Celtic 0-3 Round 4 H St Mirren 0-2
2003-04 N Celtic 1-3 Final H Falkirk 1-2

Ayr United are five points behind the Fifers in the league but Moffat is the league`s top goalscorer with thirteen goals and the Scottish Cup record against Ayr United has been poor of late.

Kevin Kyle & Callum Morris

Dunfermline Ayr United
Current League Position
2 3
Recent Results
WLWWWD WWLDWD
League Points
23 28
Goal Difference
+3 +8
Home / Away League Record
P7, W5, D0, L2 P7, W3, D3, L1

Andy Geggan is pushed over in the box

Prior to Saturday Dunfermline had won five of their last six matches and Ayr four of their last six. The Somerset Park club have lost just two away games all season, at Partick and at Dunfermline.

Ayr United defeated Queens Park 3-2 in Round Three and Dunfermline won through 5-3 at Elgin. 

Last Time Out

DUNFERMLINE (v Ayr United): Ryan Scully, Ross Millen, Kerr Young, Callum Morris, Alex Whittle; Shaun Byrne, Andy Geggan, Josh Falkingham (c), Allan Smith (Craig Dargo 71), Ryan Thomson, Ryan Wallace.
SUBS NOT USED: Lewis Martin, Ryan Ferguson, Jordan Moore, Ryan Williamson, Chris Kane, Ryan Goodfellow (GK).

AYR UNITED (v Dunfermline): David Hutton; Adam Hunter, Alan Lithgow, Scott McLaughlin (c), Gordon Pope; Anthony Marenghi, Robbie Crawford (Alan Forrest 64), Brian Gilmour, Michael Donald; Kevin Kyle, Michael Moffat.
SUBS NOT USED: Willie Muir (GK), Craig Malcolm, Craig McCracken, Michael McGowan

Referee will be Stephen Finnie.

Alex Whittle sets up goal for Ryan Wallace



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