A SENSATIONAL late Ross Millen strike booked the Pars a spot in the second round of the Petrofac Training Cup as they sent rivals Raith Rovers tumbling out of the competition.

Millen's 81st minute shot from 25 yards into the top corner sealed a deserved win for the hosts as they set-up a meeting with bitter rivals Falkirk in two weeks time.

Jim Jefferies named new signing Gozie Ugwu on the bench and made three changes to Saturday's starting line-up, with Ross Forbes, Ryan Williamson and the suspended Alex Whittle making way for Shaun Byrne, Ross Millen and Ross Drummond.

After a cagey opening, it was the visitors who had the first sight of goal on 12 minutes. A loose pass by Lewis Spence was seized upon by Ryan Conroy who played in Christian Nade, but Ryan Scully blocked with his feet as the striker tried to go round him.

Just two minutes later, there was a big chance at the other end. Byrne released Faissal El Bakhtaoui on the right and although he got himself into a good shooting position inside the area, he fired into the side netting from around eight yards.

The contest was not a typical blood-and-thunder Fife derby but referee Alan Muir enraged the home supporters when he booked Byrne on 23 minutes when he appeared to be caught by Ross Perry.

The Pars then caused further concern in the Rovers rearguard when, after a good passing move, Josh Falkingham played the ball wide to Millen. The right back's crossed was whipped into the six-yard area but eluded everyone and Raith survived.

Another good opportunity fell the Athletic's way on the half hour mark. Lovely play between Michael Moffat and Falkingham sent El Bakhtaoui scampering clear, but a slight nudge saw the Frenchman lose his balance and forced wide. Although the ball eventually broke to Falkingham, the Yorkshireman blazed his shot over.

The tempo was picking up and Perry snatched at a chance at the near post from a corner for Raith before having another effort from range blocked.

Dunfermline though were taking the game to the Kirkcaldy side and ended the half strongly. El Bakhtaoui saw a weak shot blocked after he was set up well by Spence before a Millen corner was headed not too far over by Gregor Buchanan.

Moffat was looking busy in attack for the Pars and he was next to have a go, drawing a smart block from Kevin Cuthbert after he was set up by Spence. The ball then found its way to Geggan but the skipper could only shoot over from 12 yards.

The home side continued to press and from a Millen corner, El Bakhtaoui laid the ball to Millen but he shot wide of target from the edge of the Rovers box.

But just a minute into the second half, Rovers had a golden chance to take the lead. Nade picked the ball up midway inside the Pars half and, showing terrific feet, evaded desperate attempts to tackle him as Scully blocked his shot from inside the area, with Lewis Martin on hand to clear the loose ball.

Play switched back to the other end and Moffat did well to play the ball to El Bakhtaoui, who showed quick feet to dance inside but his shot from eight yards was saved by Cuthbert.

After Byrne won a free-kick on 54 minutes, the set-piece was taken quickly to El Bakhtaoui who again had a sight of goal, but his long-range was easily held by Cuthbert.

Geggan was the next to try his luck just after the hour mark but again the Pars failed to hit the target, but their attacking intent was encouraging.

The Pars continued to apply the pressure and a superb break from a Rovers corner by Moffat saw Falkingham released on the left. His attempt to cut inside at the edge of the area was crudely halted by Perry, who was booked, before Millen's free-kick was blocked by the edge of the five-man wall.

Dunfermline continued to threaten and again Moffat and El Bakhtaoui linked well. The ball was eventually worked to Falkingham but another effort from distance was comfortably held by Cuthbert.

The home side's dominance finally paid off in spectacular fashion with nine minutes to go. After Millen's corner was flicked away from goal by Geggan at the far post, the skipper did well to keep the ball alive. He found Falkingham who found Millen, and his shot from 25 yards out sailed beautifully into the top corner beating Cuthbert all-ends-up.

Rovers tried to respond and former Par Jason Thomson sent a header off target before Gozie came on for his debut in place of El Bakhtaoui to a rapturous welcome from the home supporters.

Rovers pushed forward once more as the clock ticked down and substitute Ross Callachan caused concern as Martin blocked his effort in front of Scully.

But the Pars had done enough and the final whistle was greeted with great joy around East End Park as they booked a second round tie with Falkirk and sent the holders out at the first hurdle.

Pars: Scully, Millen, Drummond, Martin, Buchanan, Geggan, El Bakhtaoui, Spence, Moffat, Falkingham, Byrne.

Subs: Goodfellow, Wallace, Forbes, Page, Thomson, Williamson, Ugwu.

Referee: Alan Muir.

Attendance: 4230.