Dunfermline Athletic

Dunfermline Dominate To Become Cup Champions

Date: Friday, 26th Apr 2024

Dunfermline Athletic played their penultimate home SPFL cinch Championship fixture against Queen`s Park last Saturday, at KDM Group East End Park. The match finished in a 0-0 draw, ending the hopes of the Pars of a Top 4 finish and extending their season through their participation in the Promotion Play-Offs.

While unlikely, there is still a possibility that Athletic can finish second bottom of Scotland`s second-tier and find themselves competing to stay in the Championship via the Relegation Play-Offs.

While full focus will be on ensuring they don`t make a swift return to SPFL cinch League One, their minds were taken off duty ever so slightly this midweek, as Dunfermline Athletic faced Livingston in the SPFL cinch Reserve Cup Final.

The match – taking place at The Tony Macaroni Arena, the home of the Livingston – caught the imagination of many from West Fife, with the short journey to West Lothian allowing a healthy travelling support to come and support a young Athletic side.

Their opponents and hosts were even younger, which made the visitors slight favourites heading into the contest. It was Gary Montignani`s sides` second chance to lift this trophy within 12 months, having got to the Final the season prior, too.

However, Killie played a strong and experienced line-up that evening, running out 7-0 winners at Rugby Park. Montignani was keen for his players to show their development when they faced the Lions in this campaign`s show-piece event.


Highlights: Livingston Reserves 1-2 Dunfermline Athletic Reserves

Dunfermline started the stronger, dominating the ball and creating numerous chances, but it was Rudi Bryce who opened the scoring for the hosts, midway through the first-half: he latched onto the end of some good work between Che Reilly and Sam Featherstone down the left, with Featherstone curling in a right-footed delivery which caught out the Pars back-line and saw Livi take an unlikely lead at Almondvale.

The West Fifers weren`t downbeat however, with a quick response seeing them return to level-pegging within 5 minutes of the game kicking-off once more.

Terrific play on the right by Andy Tod, who nutmegged his man following a ball down the right-hand side by Conley Adamson, before drilling the ball low and hard across the 6-yard box, to find an unmarked Jake Sutherland at the back-post to tap home the equaliser; the striker didn`t even need to shoot to get the ball into the net, as the teenager showed maturity to allow the ball to hit off of his shins and roll over the line.

A timely goal from a fantastic bit of football by Montignani`s men.


Gary Montignani reflects on Reserve Cup success with DAFC

The game became a lot more of an even contest in the second period, with Livingston battling hard and not allowing the Pars to play the football they had the freedom to play in the first-half, meaning it was more of a grind to try find that elusive second goal. There was a sense from within the stadium that if Dunfermline could take the lead for the first time in the contest, then they could manage the match and lift the trophy.

Max Little had very little to do throughout the match in goals for Athletic, but the longer the game remained at 1-1, the nervier it became in West Lothian.

Fresh legs were required from both Clubs as the clocked ticked down, with the hope that fresh impetus could be a decisive factor in determining who would be crowned Reserve Cup Champions for Season 2023-2024. Jake Rennie was one of those introduced, on the right-hand side for Adamson with just under 30 minutes to play.

It was the substitute who made a crucial contribution to Dunfermline Athletic lifting silverware on Tuesday evening. He took a throw-in on the right, before receiving the ball back; his lofted cross into the box gave Taylor Sutherland something to fight for – the Pars Captain on the evening rose above everyone else within the penalty area, planting his header with aplomb into the back of the net, putting the Pars in front for the first time in the match.

As predicted, despite the Lions throwing everything at Athletic in the closing stages, the experience and maturity within the Pars squad would allow them to comfortably manage the match and see the game out without any scary moments. Little did have two straight-forward saves to make in the dying minutes but Montignani`s men were deserved winners in the end and were crowned SPFL cinch Reserve Cup Champions for Season 2023-2024.

A brilliant evening for Dunfermline Athletic Football Club. Congratulations to all at KDM Group East End Park!!


The players react following the trophy presentation at The Tony Macaroni Arena

Surely the outcome on Tuesday evening is good proof that Dunfermline`s Youth Academy is flourishing. Dunfermline fans provide support in a wide variety of ways, none other than the European Paintings produced by talented artist Paul Town.



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