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Dunfermline ease past Clyde in Scottish Cup

Dunfermline Athletic 5

Thomas 5, 70 Crossan, 44 McClair, 80, O'Kane, 90+4

Clyde FC 1

Lynass (p), 13

Matthew Sigsworth | YFS Fife Senior Reporter
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Dunfermline Athletic produced a fine display to see off Clyde in Round Three of the Scottish FC Youth Cup at East End Park on Monday night. Two goals from James Thomas, as well as strikes from Paul-Joseph Crossan, Cammy McClair, and Declan O’Kane saw the home side safely into the next round, with a Conor Lynass penalty the only reply for Clyde.
The hosts almost got off to the perfect start in under sixty seconds, but McClairs’ tap in was ruled out following a foul on Clyde goalkeeper Christopher Shaw.
Dunfermline continued to look the more dangerous in the opening exchanges, with Gavin McMillan looking especially lively in midfield and linking well with his two strikers McClair and Thomas; the early signs indicated the first goal wasn’t far away.
And those signs proved to be correct in the fifth minute, when a mix up in the Clyde defence saw Alex Grier head the ball over his onrushing keeper, allowing Thomas to run through on goal and tap in to open the scoring.
Dunfermline had a chance to make it two just moments later. McMillan played a fine ball out to Scott Mercer who in turn picked out Thomas in the centre, but the forward headed over the bar from close range.
Clyde responded well to going a goal down, and were gifted a way back into the game on twelve minutes with Stuart Morrison fouling Kieran Blair inside the box. Conor stepped up to slot a right footed finish past Cammy Gill in the Dunfermline goal and bring the score level.
Having got themselves back into the match, Clyde went looking for a second with Blair being found by a Tommy Porter pass out to the wing. But he couldn’t find a teammate as his cross was headed behind for a corner.
The game was an even one for much of the first half hour, and next it was Dunfermline’s turn to press for the lead. Finn Graham played a good ball to the feet of Mercer, who after a direct run into the box found McClair, but the forward was unable to bring the ball under control. Moments later McClair had another opportunity, this time heading over from Grahams’ cross.
As the half went on, Dunfermline began to assert some control on the match. Ryan Williamson was a constant danger with some marauding runs from right back, but Clyde were always looking to break with speed when their hosts lost possession. Jonathan Reynolds did well to hold the ball up before releasing Blair, but his pass was just over hit and ran harmlessly through for Gill to collect.  
Williamsons’ influence on the game was growing, and following another run down the right, he found Mercer who with a drop of the shoulder managed to lose his marker, but his left footed shot flew high and wide of the goal.
Dunfermline stepped up their pursuit of the lead, with two chances from two corners coming in quick succession, but on both occasions O’Kane was the man to head wide following good deliveries from Mercer.
The second goal did eventually arrive, however, when after winning the ball back from a Clyde throw in, Crossan turned and having carried the ball in field released a left footed shot that diverted in off the post to give the home side a two one lead at the interval.
It was a bright start to the second half from Clyde, and some nice link up play between Connor McLaughlin and Blair ended with the latter’s shot being well blocked.
McLaughlin was now seeing much more of the ball having switching sides at half time, and he delivered a dangerous cross on fifty three minutes, but was unable to land it on the head of a teammate.
Any hope of a comeback was, however, short lived as Dunfermline netted twice in ten minutes to secure their spot in the next round. First, a well worked goal saw Mercer take a quick free kick to Jordan Orru, who after a one-two with Crossan delivered a low ball into the box, turned home from close range by Thomas for his second goal of the night.
McLaughlin continued to look the most likely to make something happen for the visitors, and he delivered another dangerous looking cross from the left, just out of the reach of the lurking Reynolds. McLaughlin then released substitute Fraser Sheridan, but he was unable to find a way past Gill who produced a fine double save to preserve his side’s advantage.
Just as Clyde looked to be in the ascendency, Dunfermline grabbed a fourth ten minutes from time when a quick throw in from the right found McClair, who turned his marker and sent a left footed effort curling into the far corner.
Clyde were not about to stop playing, however, and it wasn’t long before Gill was called into action again. First to deny Reynolds, and when the loose ball fell to substitute Ciaran McBrearty on the edge of the area; Gill was there again to smother any hope of a late surge from the visitors.
As the game started to head towards full time, both sides would have further chances in front of goal. First, Crossan finished a diagonal run across field with a right footed effort that curled over the bar, before McLaughlin smashed his effort off the top of the woodwork for the visitors following a direct run at goal.
Clyde looked to be finishing the game the stronger of the two sides with McLaughlin, now playing through the middle, involved in nearly every attack. First, he was unable to latch onto a through ball, before sending in a dangerous looking free kick from the left, but once again there was no Clyde head on the end of it.
Despite the away side’s late pressure, there was still one more goal for the home fans to cheer. Mercer was fouled on the left, level with the edge of the area. And after dusting himself down swung the free kick into a crowded penalty area, where O’Kane arrived unmarked to head the ball home.
Dunfermline will now await the draw for the fourth round while also looking forward to a home game against Celtic in the league on Thursday night. Meanwhile Clyde will travel to Annan Athletic in the Development League West on Monday.      


Dunfermline Athletic
Clyde FC
1.Cammy Gill
2.Ryan Williamson
3.Jordan Orru
4.Stuart Morrison
5.Declan O'Kane
6.Finn Graham
7.Scott Mercer
8.Gavin McMillan
9.Paul Joseph Crossan
10.James Thomas
11.Cammy McClair
12.Reece Duncan
14.Johnny Galloway
15.Scott Sutherland
16.Brandon Luke
20.Jamie Wilson
1.Christopher Shaw
2.Fabio Capuano
3.Gerard Traynor
4.Billy Robb
5.Alex Grier
6.Tommy Porter
7.Connor McLaughlin
8.Paul Brown
9.Jonathan Reynolds
10.Keiran Blair
11.Conor Lynass
12.Fraser Sheridan
14.Josh Robertson
15.Nathan Ward
16.Ciaran McBrearty
21.Matthew McRae
Star Player
Dunfermline Athletic
Clyde FC
Gavin McMillan. A tough choice for the home side, but the midfielder was pulling the strings in the first half. Ryan Williamson pushed him close though.
Connor McLaughlin. Grew in stature through the game and looked the most dangerous player for the away side with some direct running and fantastic delivery.
Magic Moment
Dunfermline Athletic
Clyde FC
Dunfermline's fourth goal was the pick of the bunch. A nice turn and left foot finish into the far corner from McLair.
A cool penalty from Conor Lynass providing the visitors with their only goal of the game.

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