Dunfermline Athletic

Quarter final of the Scottish Cup, preview!

Author: Jason Barber Date: Thursday, 22nd Feb 2007

Dunfermline host a Scottish Cup quarter final on Saturday afternoon against Partick Thistle, and it`s all to play for.

Former Pars manager, Dick Campbell, brings his Glasgow side to Dunfermline for the first time since 2004, when The Pars beat Thistle 3-1 in the league cup. A one sided contest saw goals from Craig Brewster, Scott Thomson and Noel Hunt win the tie.

Fast forward to Saturday and the two sides will both be eager to once again forget about their league form and concentrate on the Scottish Cup. Neither team were performing in their league campaigns, up until last Saturday in Thistle’s case when they had an impressive 1-0 win away to Livingston. Dunfermline could not match that result, but at least ended the worst non goalscoring run for a SPL team in history. Stevie Crawford’s penalty just before half time brought a sense of relief to a long suffering support which has had so little to cheer about for too long.

Partick’s win at Livingston will no doubt be seen as the perfect stepping stone going into this vital cup tie. The clubs are meeting at the quarter final stage knowing that a win on Saturday gives them a Hampden semi final to look forward to, which would be such a massive boost to either club. Dick Campbell was quick to come out with the early warning shots after the draw was made, bragging that his side would beat Dunfermline. Hopefully those words are pinned up in the home dressing room on Saturday and come back to haunt our former boss at the full time whistle....

The Scottish Cup has provided one hell of a lot of joy for those of a Dunfermline persuasion this season. Whilst the SPL has continued to prove to be a dire and woeful campaign with only ten games remaining to save top flight status, Dunfermline have managed to punch above their alleged weight in the two previous rounds. Being drawn at home to Rangers in the third round no doubt brought numerous sighs from all at the club, but as the team raced to a 3-0 lead after only 46 minutes, an incredible collective high replaced the initial apathy brought about by the draw.

Having seen off the second favourites, Dunfermline were once again drawn at home in the fourth round. Hearts, the cup holders, were next out the pot and another rather apathetic response was the majority feeling. Having yet another SPL team, and a rather high flying one at that, did not portray too many romantic images of the Scottish Cup and the variety it can throw up.

However, Hearts it was and Dunfermline yet again went into a home match as underdogs in the competition. Dorus De Vries kept Dunfermline in the tie on a couple of occasions with top class saves, and The Pars certainly rode their luck. However, Adam Hammill tormented the Jambos for the whole match and his injury time cross was floated in perfectly and met by Scott Wilson at the back post to put Dunfermline 1-0 up with just seconds remaining.

The draw for the fifth round finally gave Dunfermline a match against lower league opposition, at last. Meanwhile, Partick found that they were drawn away from home for the SEVENTH consecutive Scottish Cup tie!

So having seen off Ross County and Deveronvale on their travels, Partick now travel to the Kingdom of Fife no doubt hoping to add even more misery to Dunfermline’s current plight. Whilst The Pars may have the tag of favourites for the first time in the cup this season, the media will no doubt not see it as too much of a “shock” should Partick win on Saturday. Any complacent feelings felt by anyone in the Dunfermline squad should be quickly countered by thoughts of the third round defeat at home to Airdrie United last season, a real low point of the 2005/06 campaign.

As well as Campbell managing Partick, ex Pars in their ranks are Simon Donnelly and Derek Young. It may not come as too much of a surprise to see that both are rated doubtful for the tie due to injury however! Derek Young would be facing up to older brother Darren (if both selected) for the first time in their careers, whilst Donnelly would also be taking on his former club for the first time since his St. Johnstone days.

Dunfermline’s team will have be changed from last weeks draw at home to Kilmarnock. Stephen Glass has been the first choice left back since coming to the club on loan, but his inclusion on the Hibs bench in the third round again leaves him cup tied for the duration of this (hopefully extended) cup run.

Stevie Crawford broke the nearly 10 game SPL scoring duck last week with a finely taken penalty, but the problems remain up front with goals still hard to come by. Jim McIntyre played, in midfield, against Cowdenbeath in the Fife Cup midweek, whilst Mark Burchill is away to see a specialist about his horrendous ongoing injury problems which have all but wrecked his season.

Greg Shields and Darren Young look to be definitely out for The Pars, joining Glass on the sidelines alongside long term injury victim Scott Thomson.



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