Dunfermline Athletic

Dunfermline 2 St Mirren 2

Friday, 13th Oct 2023

SFA Youth Cup Third Round: Daniel Bell (48) 1-0: Ethan Sutherland (58) 1-1: Freddie Rowe (63) 2-1: Ethan Sutherland (78) 2-2: Dunfermline won 4-2 on penalties

The U18s faced St Mirren in the Third Round of the SFA Youth Cup. For the game at KDM Group East End Park, Greg Shields side showed four changes for the one fielded the previous Friday away to Inverness Caley Thistle - Aidan Meikle resumed in goal in place of Lewis Briggs and there were started for Sam Young, Daniel Bell and John Tod. Ethan Merritt dropped to the bench and Trialist and striker Jake Sutherland dropped out altogether. Jake was left out as a precaution required following a concussion that happened in first team training on Wednesday.

The Dunfermline side contained four 2006s, five 2007s and two 2008s and their opponents team had a similar age profile. The Buddies kicked off attacking the goal in front of the McCathie Stand and it was that end that witnessed the opening chance. It was seventh minute when Ethan Sutherland collected the ball in his own half, made ground and then picked out Ewan Mooney but Meikle was up to the shot and parried away the well struck effort.

St Mirren cornered much of the possession for a period but the young Pars side held strong and restricted Saints to one long range shot in 17 minutes. Then at the midpoint of the first half, Matthew Turner took Bell down and the Fifers were awarded a free kick 24 yards out. Young took responsibility and whizzed a shot narrowly wide left.

The Saints keeper was called into action in 24 minutes, holding a firmly struck effort shot from 30 yards. At the other end Carrick McEvoy picked out Callum Penman on the right and his shot was kept out by the crossbar.

Dunfermline had begun to find their rhythm and their opponents were having to work harder to get out. A strong run from Ewan McLeod, evading several opponents set up captain John Tod in the Saints box but as he swept the ball outside the far post the offside flag had been raised.

Meikle was tested again in 34 minutes diving to his right to make a super save from Marshall after Mooney had turn the ball back for him. A crossfield pass then let Saints Sutherland in for a shot but his effort rocketed cleared of the crossbar.The visitors first corner, coming in 38th minute, found Mooney on the edge of the penalty area but Liam Hoggan stole the ball away to prevent the shot.

A powerful run by Freddie Rowe earned the Pars a corner and that was taken deep to Hoggan on the far side. His stinging shot was deflected behind for another corner and this time Mark Beveridge’s corner was cleared. The home side finished the half strongly and Rowe looked inside the box as Penman hauled him down. Right back Penman was yellow carded but only a free kick was awarded. Young again took responsibility and from 19 yards out he made the keeper pull off a fine save.

Half Time: Dunfermline 0 St Mirren 0

The Fifers restarted as they had finished the first half and in 48 minutes reaped a reward. Hoggan made ground down the left and cut the ball back for Daniel BELL to dispatch the ball into the top right corner. 1-0

Dunfermline continued to play with confidence and Hoggan tried a shot from 35 yards out that only just escaped right of target. At the other end Meikle pulled off another fine save from Penman but then just ten minutes after going behind the Buddies struck. It was Mooney who hung on to possession on the edge of the Pars box to thread the ball left for SUTHERLAND to find the bottom right with a low driven shot. 1-1

There was grave concerns in the stands as Freddie Rowe closed in on goal without getting an effort away. The sixteen year old brushed aside every challenge until faced with the goalkeeper who he beat with a neat finish into the bottom right. ROWE’s 58th minute goal had the home crowd cheering with delight. 2-1

Meikle produced another fine save to deny Mooney only minutes later and then in 72 minutes the Saints number nine did hit the net but the offside flag had been raised. Meikle held a good strike from Sutherland before sun Neil Blake took the pressure off by winning a corner on right. Saints survive that despite a scramble to clear in front of goal.

The equaliser that St Mirren were seeking came in 78 minutes when SUTHERLAND capitalised on a miscued clearance to net in the bottom left. 2-2

Try as they did neither side could score a winner in the regulation 90 minutes.

Unlike last October when East End Park hosted last year’s SFA Youth Cup and it took extra time to see off Morton 5-1 and this tie went straight to penalties.

Full Time: Dunfermline 2 St Mirren 2

1. Ewan McLeod scored left side 1-0
2. Carrick McEvoy netted to the left 1-1
3. Sam Young powered the ball home 2-1
4. Ethan Sutherland shot saved by Meikle to his right 2-1
5. Liam Hoggan scored to the right side 3-1
6. Owen Foster netted right 3-2
7. Neil Blake scored high right 4-2
8. Ewan Mooney had to score, Meikle saved!

Dunfermline progressed 4-2 on penalties. A great win for Greg Shields, his coaches and team. A draw was a fair reflection of the match and a good result given their opponents are in the Elite League. Keeper Aidan Meikle was the hero but there were big parts played by the signed older players – Sam Young, Ewan McLeod and Liam Hoggan. Freddie Rowe took his goal well and showed signs of being a potential crowd pleaser.

DUNFERMLINE: Aidan Meikle: Conley Adamson (Ethan Merritt 90), Sam Young, Kian McHale, Logan Kudesia (Neil Blake 69): Liam Hoggan, Ewan McLeod, Freddie Rowe, Mark Beveridge, John Tod (c) (Lucas Fyfe 85), Daniel Bell
SUBS NOT USED: Jay Snoddy, Leo Evans, Lewis Briggs (GK), Thomas Margetts (GK)
SCORERS: Bell (48), Rowe (63)

ST MIRREN: Shay Kelly: Callum Penman, Owen Carey, Billy Hutchison, Owen Foster (c), Kenzie McLelland, Lewis Marshall (Owen Doyle 68), Matthew Turner, Evan Mooney, Carrick McEvoy, Ethan Sutherland
SUBS NOT USED: Frankie Aitchison, Kyle Murray, Jack Barr, Josh Farquhar
SCORERS: Sutherland (58, 78)
YELLOW CARD: Penman (45)

REFEREE: Terry Ormiston
WEATHER: Dry, windy 12°C

NEXT MATCH: (home) v Ayr United, Friday 20th October 2023, 2.00pm kick off at Michael Woods, Glenrothes

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