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Young Pars victorious away to Saints

St Mirren FC 0

Dunfermline Athletic 2

Morrison, 40, Duthie, 90
  • Sunday, 06 November 2016
  • Paisley 2021 Stadium
  • Under 20´s
  • SFA Youth Cup - R3

Mark Gillespie | YFS North Ayrshire Senior Reporter
Author's Bio | Articles by Author [email protected]

Late drama settled a third round tie which once again highlighting that thin line between cup glory and defeat. The home side had spurned a late penalty opportunity which might have forced extra time, before Dunfermline made sure their name was in the hat for the next round with the final kick of the game.

On balance the Fife side were good value for their win. Yet this was a much closer run affair than the sides’ last outing together, a thumping 5-1 for the Pars at Kelty. A new look St Mirren side were set on revenge and provided a much sterner test on this occasion.

Changes are afoot in Paisley, as new manager Jack Ross promotes the likes of Kyle Magennis up to his senior squad, with a number of new faces stepping up from the Academy. Allan McManus also rested midfielder Ethan Erhahon, just returned from Scotland duty at the Victory Shield.

Dunfermline, meanwhile, sported five new faces from the league encounter 3 weeks ago, but already look a compact outfit. After taking the lead on 40 minutes, they visibly grew in confidence, with the movement of Callum Smith and Robbie Crawford up front proving a handful for the home defence.

Good pressing in midfield and width were the platform for long spells of Dunfermline dominance, with Reece Duncan encouraged to get up the flanks and provide crosses from the either bye line. And yet St Mirren still managed to craft the best of the early chances before falling behind, even cracking the woodwork twice in the second half.

Much of the early Saints danger came from the set piece, with a numerous dangerous deliveries causing problems in the Pars box. Three clear cut opportunities fell to Kalvin Orsi, the first a point blank header on four minutes where he couldn’t work Cammy Gill. The striker’s movement was good but he should have given his side the lead midway through the first half but shot straight at Gill. Another great chance fell his way 5 minutes later as he rose unchallenged but headed off target.

On 37 minutes it was Nathan Flanagan’s turn to miss from 5 yards after a surging run and cross from Greig McNaughton. And the Pars duly made them pay as they finally broke the deadlock 5 minutes before the break. It arrived from a free kick to Smith at the far post who nodded back for Stuart Morrison to head past Reece Willison from close range.

  • Half Time:
  • St Mirren FC
  • 0-1
  • Dunfermline Athletic

The Pars emerged the more confident side after the interval, with a higher tempo and pressing game keeping Saints on the back foot. But they weren’t able to find that killer ball and this gave the home side some glimmer of hope as the half progressed.

There were fewer chances at either end as the match progressed, with Dunfermline content to maintain possession and boss the midfield. Brandon Luke came closest to doubling their advantage with a rasping shot just of target from outside the box on 68 minutes.

Saints knew they had to lift the tempo and pushed players forward. Only the solitary goal down and with 20 minutes left they began to make inroads into the Pars half. They may indeed have wondered whether it was not to be though as they twice struck woodwork in a 5 minute spell, from a McDonald header and then as McNaughton’s raking shot rattled the post from outside the box.

The visitors then should really have finished the tie on 77 minutes as Duthie’s long ball through beat the offside trap, with Smith clean through, but he couldn’t beat the onrushing Reece Willison.

With nothing to lose Saints continued to push players forward with nothing to, but suffered a setback with Cameron MacPherson given a second yellow for a late challenge on 87 minutes. Hopes were beginning to fade, when suddenly they won a spot kick, with Duncan adjudged to have handled the ball in the box.

It set the stage for the game’s final act as Gill saved Craig Johnson’s spot kick low to his right. As home heads sank, the pars were duly up the other end to win a free kick outside the box, which was expertly dispatched by Duthie to make sure of the Fifers place in the next round.

 

  • Full Time:
  • St Mirren FC
  • 0-2
  • Dunfermline Athletic

Lineups

St Mirren FC
Dunfermline Athletic
1 Reece Willison
2 Greig McNaughton
3 Cameron Breadner
4 Lee Fawkes
5 Dylan McKendry
6 Andrew McDonald
7 Conor O’Keefe
8 Cameron MacPherson
9 Craig Johnston
10 Kalvin Orsi
11 Nathan Flanagan
12 Christopher Henry
14 Euan East
15 Conor McBrearty
16 Ben Cameron
17 Ethan Erhahon
18 Matthew Reilly
19 Jamie Dodsworth
1 Cammy Gill
2 Reece Duncan
3 Conner Duthie
4 Paul Allan
5 Stuart Morrison
6 Johnny Galloway
7 Robbie Crawford
8 Evan Horne
9 Callum Smith
10 Scott Lochhead
11 Brandon Luke
12 Jack McClair
14 Matthew Todd
15 Owen Andrews
20 Joe Russell
Star Player
St Mirren FC
Dunfermline Athletic
Greig McNaughton showed a good engine down the right flank, providing ammo for his strikers. Unlucky not to equalise with a fine strike late on.
Callum Smith's movement up front caused problems, and he linked up well with his team mates, laying on the opening goal for Morrison.
Magic Moment
St Mirren FC
Dunfermline Athletic
There was last minute hope of redemption as ref Euan Birch awarded Saints a spot kick.
Duthie's free kick was the game's last word. A great strike from the corner of the box.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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