Scotland’s in-form team Dundee United made it seven wins in a row to reach the semi-finals of the Irn-Bru Cup.
A close-range shot from central defender Mark Durnan on eight minutes gave the Tangerines an early lead and, despite some decent play from Dunfermline, they held on to go into Monday’s last-four draw.
The Pars, as was the case in the league game between the sides at Tannadice in midweek, didn’t do themselves any favours by having a man sent off, with Lewis Martin the culprit on 57 minutes for fouling Blair Spittal.
The home team started without the suspended Nate Wedderburn, who was sent off on Tuesday, while striker Farid El Alagui dropped to the bench. In for those two came Rhys McCabe and Michael Moffat.
As expected, the Tangerines made eight changes to the team that started the 1-0 win in the league on Tuesday night.
The only survivors from that Championship clash were Durnan, Jamie Robson and Simon Murray.
That meant starts for Luis Zwick, Sean Dillon, Coll Donaldson, Lewis Toshney, Spittal, Nick Van der Velden, Cammy Smith and Bradley Smith – all still recognised members of the first-team squad.
Referee Willie Collum had the fans sympathising with him (or maybe not) on six minutes when he fell on his backside after colliding with Dunfermline’s John Herron.
Once the sniggers had died down a couple of minutes later, United took the lead.
It was Durnan who was on target for the third time in the last four matches, the big defender firing home from close range after a short corner wasn’t cleared properly by the Dunfermline defence.
As the Pars tried to hit back, only a brilliant blocking tackle from Toshney got in the way of Joe Cardle’s angled shot.
On 13 minutes, there was another chance for the home side when McCabe’s shot was deflected just past Zwick’s right-hand post.
Midway through the half, Dunfermline’s Kallum Higginbotham cut the United defence open with a pass and Nicky Clark clipped his shot over from a great position.
Higginbotham was then wild with a half-volley as the Pars saw plenty of the ball around the half-hour mark.
Dunfermline nearly levelled a minute from the interval when Michael Moffat strode forward then let fly with a shot that hit the outside of the post. It would have been a deserved equaliser.
Five minutes into the second period, McCabe floated a freekick over the United bar.
The Tangerines, now with a back four and with Cammy Smith up front, almost made it 2-0 on 55 minutes when a slick pass from Van der Velden set up Spittal but his shot was saved.
The Pars then got a man sent off against United for the second successive match when Martin was sent packing.
He was shown a straight red on 57 minutes for pulling back Spittal after the Tannadice player had robbed him on the halfway line then sprinted goalwards.
That forced the Pars into a change, taking off Cardle and bringing on Callum Fordyce, while the visitors replaced Murray with Ali Coote.
A Spittal freekick from just outside the box was deflected over on 77 minutes then Durnan almost got his second of the game when he smashed a shot goalwards that had to be saved by keeper Sean Murdoch.
The Pars goalie was called into action again on 80 minutes, saving from Van der Velden, before United handed a debut to Graham Taylor when he came off the bench for Cammy Smith.
To end a decent afternoon for United, there was a big cheer from the travelling support for two men who had battled back from injury, with Toshney being replaced by Stewart Murdoch for the last few minutes.
In a busy stoppage-time period, United sub Coote had a golden chance to score at one end but Murdoch saved then the Pars had a strong claim for a penalty when Donaldson challenged El Alagui inside the visitors’ box but ref Collum infuriated the home supporters by saying no.
Dunfermline: Sean Murdoch, Talbot, Martin, Ashcroft, Herron, Geggan, McCabe, Clark (McMullan 70), Moffat (El Alagui 67), Cardle (Fordyce 59), Higginbotham. Subs not used: Hutton, Paton, Duthie, Callum Smith.
Dundee United: Zwick, Dillon, Durnan, Donaldson, Toshney (Stewart Murdoch 87), Spittal, Murray (Coote 63), Cammy Smith (Taylor 81), Van der Velden, Robson, B. Smith. Subs not used: Long, M. Smith, Allardice, Taylor, Appere.
Referee: Willie Collum.