Dunfermline City headed North on Sunday with a depleted line up to face Inverurie in the District Cup. Due to injuries, holidays and other family Commitments City could only muster up the bare eleven to make the trip North. Debuts were handed out to Robbie Swinton and Jordan Baird – which Brian Brown being a shock call up to complete the squad.
With the normal skipper Brent Walker missing Adam Rintoul took over the captain’s armband. City lined up with a 4-5-1 formation in order to frustrate the opposition in midfield – and this appeared to work right from the off.
The game was pretty scrappy to start with – City were looking menacing on the attack with Green getting forward from midfield to help loan striker Miller – while the Midfield and Defence were stopping Inveruries attacks outside the 25 yard line.
City won a short corner midway through the half after some good build up play – Miller pushed the ball out to Rintoul inaccurately at the top of the D who collected the ball and played it back to Miller who deflected the ball past the helpless keeper to put City one nil up.
Inverurie were causing some menace on the attack by now trying to get back into the game – but the rear-guard were providing difficult to get past. Campbell, Fleming, Edwards and Swinton were talking strongly and distributing the ball well – and adhering to the motto when in doubt smash it out.
The five man midfield of Baird, Rintoul, Graham, Green and Brown – were starting to gel together – Baird was linking up brilliantly with right back Campbell on the right hand side while Brown wasn’t letting the Right midfielder get passed him without a solid tackle being put in place to divert his path.
City almost added a second when a through ball from Rintoul to Miller – Miller reversed sticked the ball first time from the edge of the D with the keeper charging out – the ball went past the keeper but just failed to dip under the crossbar.
Brian Brown was next to test the Inverurie defence as he surged into the D and unleashed a shot which the Inverurie keeper knocked past the post. Green then had a diving effort in the d which he just failed to convert – but came up with some nice astro burns (frotunately not to his face this week).
City then got a lifeline when an Inverurie ball was played across the face of the city goal – Campbell missed the ball with his stick and knocked it away with his feet – and a short corner was awarded – on another day it could have been a penalty – however the defence managed to deal with the short corner.
Rintoul almost blasted City two nil ahead with a late run into the d and a power drive which was well saved by the keeper.
Half time arrived and the 11 City men were relieved to get a breather – as Inveruries 14 men kept their legs fresh on the park at all times.
The second half started and the game was pretty even. City as the half progressed City were getting pushed further and further back. Relying on the counter attack. It was from a counter attack that City got another short corner – good play by Rintoul and Graham saw the ball reach Miller in the D who was stick tackled. A short corner immediately awarded – Miller pushed to Rintoul who played the ball wide to Ryan Green – Ryan progressed with the ball before dropping it back to Rintoul who calmly pushed it past the keeper into the goals.
This gave City a cushion they much needed. Inverurie now started throwing more men forward – however to a man the defence stood firm. Swinton took on a man marking role of one of the Inverurie attackers and wouldn’t let him get more than a metre away from him – so this relieved his threat. City were to lose a goal however when good play allowed an easy finish past Athol Murray in goals.
2.1 and game on for Inverurie as the continued to press.
City were on the break were unlucky not to add a third – Good work found Graham ready to apply a finish in the d – before he was wrongly called up for kicking the ball when in fact it was the defenders foot the ball had hit.
Graham was finding himself everywhere in the second half – defending constantly – but also surging forward to support every attack – this helped take some pressure of the rest of the midfield as well as the defence as they were looking to get some relief.
Another City break found Miller surging from the half way line towards the D – three McDonalds Edwards surged forward this time in support – but Miller opted to shoot – and the shot was well saved by the keeper with Edwards just failing to convert the rebound.
Green then was sent through on the keeper by Miller – but the keeper was quick to block his path at the edge of the D.
Inverurie then right at the death almost found an equaliser – but Athol Murray made a great save to keep them out. City then finished the game with Rintoul playing keep ball by the Inverurie right corner flag for a few minutes.
The final whistle went and City had won 2.1.
This was a sterling effort from the 11 man squad – every player could be proud of the part they played in this cup upset.
City in the first half were by far the more threatening of the two teams – and worked hard as a unit. In the second half the rolling subs of Inverurie meant they could keep the pace up against a tiring City side – however the City players dug deep into their energy reserves to fight through the pain barriers.
Even though Inverurie dominated the second half possession City created the more clear cut chances – Miller, Campbell, Graham and Rintoul all coming close to adding to Citys lead.
We can now look forward to the draw for the next round of the cup. It’s just a shame that Carnegie were knocked out in the last round denying City the chance of a local derby. Where next for City…..the draw will tell them in due course.
City ones are Back to league action next week away to Kinross.