Dunfermline Athletic

Partick Thistle 1 Dunfermline 1

Saturday, 21st Jan 2023

Scottish Cup Fourth Round:- Rhys Breen in for Sam Fisher. Kyle Benedictus (42) 0-1: Aidan Fitzpatrick (51) 1-1: Dunfermline went out 4-2 on penalties

Despite putting up a really first rate performance and creating several good chances, Dunfermline exited the Scottish Cup losing 4-2 on penalties after extra time.

For the second successive season Dunfermline were drawn away to Partick Thisle in the Scottish Cup. It was the fourth placed team in the Championship versus the leaders of League One. James McPake was forced into making one change with Rhys Breen returning in place of Sam Fisher who was recalled from his loan by Dundee this week.

Ian McCall’s Partick Thistle showed three changes from the side that defeated Morton last time out. Ross Docherty (suspended), Steven Lawless and Brian Graham were all missing meaning starts for Harry Milne, Scott Tiffoney and Danny Mullen.

The teams came out to deafening music and it was the hosts Kyle Turner who kicked off with Thistle defending the goal at the open south end. Kyle MacDonald’s early cross forced a first minute corner but Joe Chalmers cross was defended. The Fifers initially forced Thistle back with Macdonald and Chris Mochrie hold on to possession but Aidan Fitzpatrick delivered a cross into the Pars box that required serious defending.

Chalmers had a shot blocked before from the left he was able to send over an eighth minute cross that Breen met at the far post but he glanced his header wide right.

Kyle Benedictus was penalised for his challenge on Turner and the former Par took the setpiece, over hitting the 30 yard out free kick much to the amusement of the 762 strong travelling support in the Colin Weir Stand to his left. Then in 15 a good run by Macdonald got the ball into the six yard box and the defence was relieved to concede a corner. Again Chalmers delivered, this time from the right and Matty Todd gathered the defended ball only to crash his low effort narrowly wide left from 30 yards out.

Stuart Bannigan latched on to the ball in the centre circle to send Fitzpatrick scurrying down the right wing. His shot was well saved by Deniz Mehmet who turned the fierce shot around his left hand post for a 21st minute corner, taken by Turner but suitably defended. Thistle did look as though they were becoming a bit more of a force and the Fifers survived a well struck shot from 25 yards from Tiffoney that escaped wide left.

Then another great chance came Dunfermline’s way. Todd saw his cross to Wighton in the left side of the box returned to him and his next was perfect for Macdonald at the far post but unfortunately he headed over the bar. The game swung back to the other end where Chalmers was able to block an on-target left footed shot from Fitzpatrick.

In 33 minutes Fitzpatrick got round Edwards and cut the ball back across the box. Tiffoney latched on to it but went over claiming for a penalty but Bannigan got in a shot that Mehmet held. It was Dunfermline who got the better chance just three minutes later. A Macdonald cross picked out Todd and his return was sweetly met by Wighton in front of goal but his shot hit the arm of the diving keeper and the ball was deflected over the bar.

From the corner on the left Breen headed inches over the crossbar but then there was a left off at the other end as Mehmet and Breen slipped up on the left perimeter of the Pars box. Mullen took advantage and shot at the unguarded goal but from the angle the best he could do was hit the sidenetting.

Then a 41st minute free kick 35 yards out led to a Dunfermline penalty. As the ball was delivered into the box Breen was blocked by Lee Hodson and the referee awarded a penalty. Kyle BENEDICTUS stepped forward and made no mistake. 0-1

It had been a good first half performance from the Pars and they deserved their lead in this very entertaining cup tie.

Half time: Partick Thistle 0 Dunfermline 1

The Championship side got back on level terms within six minutes of the restart. Mullen threaded a pass to FITZPATRICK to his right and he crashed the ball home the edge of the box, the ball going in off the inside of the left goalpost. 1-1

Lewis McCann came on for Chris Mochrie in 57th minute and there was a distinct fight about Thistle with Comrie getting held down and Hamilton taking a knock. Comrie won a 61st minute corner but Sneddon came out to grab Chalmers cross. Then an Edwards cross for Wighton meant Thistle conceded a corner on the left from which Hamilton sent a shot on target but Wighton in his efforts to divert it into the other corner put the ball wide right of goal.

A foul on Hamilton 35 yards out, handed Chalmers another chance to fire the ball into the Thistle box but Muirhead cleared. The ball was returned and McCann on the edge of the box hammered the ball just wide of the right upright. An Edwards long throw in 72 minutes was defended but led to another Pars corner. This was taken short by Todd to Chalmers and his cross allowed Breen a left footed shot that Sneddon dropped to his left to hold on the line.

Dunfermline were retaining a lot of possession much to the concern of the Firhill faithful and McCann launched a shot that Sneddon held. Kevin O’Hara replaced Craig Wighton in 79 minutes and play continued towards the Jags goal. Macdonald had another shot blocked and Comrie had a good interception as the home side broke on the counter.

The Fifers looked the most likely to prevent the match going to extra time, they finished the stronger but the Thistle defence held firm and there was to be 30 minutes more football.

Full Time: Partick Thistle 1 Dunfermline 1

Aidan Fitzpatrick was subbed by Cammy Smith before extra time kicked off. Hamilton’s ball in from the left led to a 97th minute corner but McCann’s connection was wild. Both sides then made another substitution and it was Kane Ritchie-Hosler who came on for the visitors in place of Joe Chalmers.

The Maryhill club were not for giving up and the Pars defence had to deal with a long Muirhead throw and a corner. Then right on half time in extra time an Edwards cross from the right fell for Hamilton at the far post but he managed to somehow send the ball over the crossbar.

Half Time in Extra Time: Partick Thistle 1 Dunfermline 1

In the final segment of the cup tie Dunfermline and Partick both pushed for the winner. Thistle wasted an 115th minute corner and survived two Edwards long throws. Neither side could find the opening and so penalties would decide which of the two progressed to the next round.

Penalty Shoot Out

Taken at the end in front of the home support.

1. Benedictus over off the crossbar
2. Muirhead nets 1-0
3. Macdonald right footed to bottom left 1-1
4. Holt scores left footed to bottom right 2-1
5 McCann smashes the net 2-2
6. Turner right footed to top left 3-2
7. Todd went left, saved by Sneddon 3-2
8. Dowds scores right side 4-2

Partick Thistle went through to the next round.

PARTICK THISTLE: Jamie Sneddon: Jack McMillan (Zander Mackenzie 89), Aaron Muirhead (c), Kevin Holt, Harry Milne: Aidan Fitzpatrick (Cammy Smith ET), Lee Hodson, Stuart Bannigan (Darren Brownlie 100), Kyle Turner, Scott Tiffoney (Anton Dowds 65): Danny Mullen.
SUBS NOT USED: James Lyon, Tunji Akinola, David Mitchell (GK).
SCORERS: Fitzpatrick (51)
YELLOW CARD: Turner (90+3), Milne (104), Brownlie (111)

DUNFERMLINE: Deniz Mehmet: Aaron Comrie, Kyle Benedictus (c), Rhys Breen: Kyle Macdonald, Chris Hamilton, Joe Chalmers (Kane Ritchie-Hosler 100), Josh Edwards: Chris Mochrie (Lewis McCann 57), Matthew Todd: Craig Wighton (Kevin O’Hara 79).
SUBS NOT USED: Nikolay Todorov, Sam Young, Andrew Tod, Taylor Sutherland, Robbie Mahon, Max Little (GK)
SCORERS: Benedictus (42 pen.)
YELLOW CARD: Edwards (117)

REFEREE: Scott Lambie
WEATHER: Overcast 4°C

NEXT MATCH: SPFL Trust Trophy (away) v Dundee, Tuesday 24th January 2023, kick off 7.45pm at the Kilmac Stadium at Dens Park

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