Floodlight robbery as Pars exit cup
Photo: Craig Brown.
Scottish Communities League Cup Pars 0 Aberdeen 1
THE PARS' League Cup hopes were washed away in cruel fashion last night as Aberdeen struck in the third minute of injury time to steal the win.
Jim Jefferies' First Division side deserved better against the SPL visitors after dominating the match, hitting the woodwork twice and creating a hatful of chances to win the third round tie.
But it was the Dons fans who were singing in the rain at the end after Scott Vernon bundled the ball home from close range, with just 30 seconds of the three minutes injury time left to play.
Josh Falkingham replaced Craig Dargo in the only change from Saturday's demolition of Livingston but it was Aberdeen who threatened first with what turned out to be a rare attack for the visitors in the first half.
Niall McGinn was set to pull the trigger from 12 yards but Callum Morris slid across the sodden turf to make a block and Pars raced to the other end to force former Dunfermline keeper Jamie Langfield into a good stop.
Andy Geggan's ball across the box was cleverly dummied by Andy Barrowman and Stephen Husband thumped in a shot which the Dons stopper was happy to palm away.
A last ditch tackle from Andy Considine denied livewire Falkingham a shot at goal and the home support howled in fury when two late offside flags denied Joe Cardle and Ryan Wallace a free run at goal.
Picking up where they left off at the weekend, Pars snapped into tackles in midfield, closed down their opponents as soon as they took possession and generally hustled the SPL side out of their stride.
Falkingham showed great desire to win the ball on the edge of the box and an instant turn and shot from Wallace saw the ball flash across Langfield and just wide of the post in 23 minutes.
The little striker was then inches away from Cardle's fine through ball before Dunfermline claimed for a penalty in the 36th minute.
Andy Barrowman was about to latch onto Falkingham's quick pass but he was cynically taken out by Gavin Rae, who picked up a booking as Pars tried to persuade the ref that the foul was committed in the box.
There was a sense of injustice as Wallace slammed the resultant free kick into the wall and McGinn should have rubbed salt into the wounds in 41 minutes when a long ball skidded off the turf to send him clear on goal.
Paul Gallacher ran out but then retreated as he realised he wasn't going to reach the ball before the striker, who advanced into the box before wastefully firing over the bar.
Pars were out of luck again just before the break when Barrowman turned in the box and curled a shot beyond Langfield but the ball struck the keeper's left hand post and bounced to safety.
Aberdeen's fans booed their team off at half-time but Craig Brown's side threatened in 51 minutes when Josh Magennis' cross was met by Johnny Hayes but Gallacher was down quickly to smother the effort.
Cardle seemed to take it upon himself to try and win the tie and he tortured Magennis on the left wing, weaving inside and out before curling a right foot shot inches wide of the post.
The winger was then out of luck in 65 minutes with a thunderbolt from the edge of the box that was destined for the top corner until Langfield flung out his right arm and deflected the ball onto the crossbar - an amazing save.
Cardle then sent in a corner in 71 minutes that Aberdeen couldn't clear and as the ball pinballed around the six yard box no-one in black and white was able to force it over the line.
Having put so much effort into the match, Pars started to tire and Aberdeen gained a foothold in the game when Russell Anderson climbed off the bench to shore up the Dons rearguard and prevent Barrowman winning the aerial duels.
The Aberdeen captain ventured into the box to knock a corner just wide in 74 minutes and chances began to fall their way, with sub Vernon presented with an opportunity in 78 minutes that he ballooned high over the bar.
Wallace showed that Pars weren't finished just yet, letting fly with a right foot shot that just cleared the bar and it looked like the match was heading for extra time when Vernon just couldn't reach a teasing cross from Considine in 82 minutes.
But with Pars appealing for offside, and the clock ticking towards 93 minutes, McGinn ran onto Rae's pass and pulled the ball back for Vernon to turn the ball past Gallacher from two yards out.
Gallacher, McMillan, Dowie, Morris, Jordan, Cardle, Geggan (Kirk 87), Husband, Falkingham (Thomson 80), Wallace, Barrowman.
Subs not used - Hrivnak, Whittle, Potter.
Langfield, Magennis (Anderson 67), Reynolds, Considine, Robertson (Hughes 75), Clark, Rae, Osbourne. Hayes (Vernon 61), Smith, McGinn.
Subs not used - Brown, Jack.
Booked - Rae (36), Robertson (66), Hughes (87).
Goal - Vernon (90).
Referee John Beaton.
This article appeared in Dunfermline Press 27 Sep 12
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
Sep 27, 11:52
Sep 27, 13:34
A sucker punch - yes.
Disappointed - No
The Pars were magnificent last night and definitely deserved a win. The team Jim Jeffries has built on a shoestring budget is the best looking Pars side for a good number of years. They play with enthusiasm, skill and confidence and it is a credit to the team that they made Aberdeen look so ordinary.
Come on all Pars fans out there! For one reason or another the support has dwindled over the last decade. Those who can afford to go back, I urge you to go along and watch the new look side. Jeffries is working wonders and his team deserve a bigger turnout from the local community.
Recommend? Yes 8 No 2
Sep 29, 00:45
Oct 1, 13:21
I try to get along when I can - work commitments etc. Not sure if it's the best for 8 years, but certainly an improvement on last year, although the opposition isn't as difficult as last year! We're all long suffering Pars fans and support them through good and bad.
Recommend? Yes 2 No 0