Scottish Cup - Fourth Round


DUNFERMLINE Athletic were left embarassed in the Fife Derby as they fell 3-0 to Raith Rovers and out of the Scottish Cup.

A huge travelling support made their way to Kirkcaldy for the clash which turned sour in the second half.

It was all downhill after captain Lee Ashcroft was sent off for a last man shirt-pulling ten minutes after the restart.

And after that the Lewis Vaughan show began as he fired home a 12-minute second half hat-trick.

His first was a penalty, his second was a diving header and the third was a gift after another Dunfermline defensive blunder.

It was an afternoon to forget for everyone involved with the club, and especially for new head coach Stevie Crawford, who cut a dejected figure as he watched his side go out the competition straightaway.

It was Raith that started the cup tie strongest, with the visitors frustrated at a lacklustre opening few minutes with very little passes finding their intended targets.

A good chance did present itself to James Vincent on five minutes though, after Euan Murray gifted away possession. The midfielder should've have shot at the first time of asking but he dallied on the ball and the chance was lost inside the box.

Myles Hippolyte was the next Pars man to find himself in a good position after a neat James Craigen pass found the onrushing winger.

He fell to the floor in the presence of a navy shirt but referee Bobby Madden was unmoved.

Kallum Higginbotham was trying desperately to make chances for the Pars, and with Joe Thomson being marked out the game by Nat Wedderburn, there was very little quality on show.

It looked like if anyone was going to conjure up opportunities for the Rovers, it would be Vaughan, who had a go from range but his effort whistled wide of the far post with Lee Robinson helpless.

As seen in Dingwall earlier this season when he threw an elbow to get sent off, Higginbotham has a temper; especially when the match isn't going his way.

Up against ex-Par Daniel Armstrong on the same flank, the Pars forward brought down the midfielder twice before a lunge down the byline which, quite remarkably, went unpunished. It wasn't to be winger's, or any other Pars' player's day.

The best chance of the half would fall to Hippolyte five minutes before the break.

Faissal El Bakhtaoui had his shot well-blocked inside the box with the ball falling to the Englishman.

He fooled his man and his powerful effort was tremendously saved by Robbie Thomson from eight yards out.

Hippolyte couldn't believe it and Thomson beat his chest with delight at his one-handed stop as the sides went in level.

Captain Lee Ashcroft was guilty of letting his teammates down after hauling down Chris Duggan when the the striker was through on goal on 54mins as the second-half began.

Referee Bobby Madden had no choice but to send the centre-half off.

Dunfermline coped well with a man advantage and were doing the majority of the attacking until the hosts made their superiority count.

They won a penalty as a Pars shirt manhandled Chris Duggan to the ground in a conjested penalty box.

Vaughan stepped up and rifled the ball past Lee Robinson on 68mins. It was a beautiful penalty that led to ugly scenes from the home support as they threw flares onto the pitch, resulting in a lengthy delay as the damage was cleared.

Vaughan would grab his brace 10 minutes later, diving home at the back post from a Duggan delivery from the right wing. He headed home unmarked.

His hat-trick would come on 81 minutes and in comic fashion.

Devine failed to clear his lines and his effort struck Vaughan, giving the striker the chance to race clear and blast the ball home past Robinson.

A teriffic 2,784 Pars fans made the trip through to Kirkcaldy for the tie and scores left as the third went in.

They had seen enough as they watched their side exit the Scottish Cup to their Fife rivals at the first time of asking.

Pars: Robinson, Craigen, Ashcroft, Devine, Longridge, Beadling, Thomson, Vincent, Higginbotham (Todd), Hippolyte (Durnan), El Bakhtaoui (Muirhead).

Subs not used: Gill, Allan, Connolly, Smith.

Raith Rovers: Thomson, Murray, Benedictus, Davidson, Crane, Armstrong (Buchanan), Gillespie, Wedderburn, Flanagan (Dingwall), Vaughan, Duggan.

Subs not used: Lyness, Matthews, McKay, Watson, Smith.

Referee: Bobby Madden

Attendance: 6,013 (2,784 Pars fans)