Dunfermline Athletic 1 Stranraer 3: Pars miss out on cup chance to host Dundee United

Dejection for Dunfermline's Josh Falkingham, Ross Millen and Michael Moffat as their side crashes out of the Scottish Cup
Dejection for Dunfermline's Josh Falkingham, Ross Millen and Michael Moffat as their side crashes out of the Scottish Cup

Dunfermline Athletic missed out on a meeting with Dundee United in the fifth round of the Scottish Cup after losing 3-1 to Stranraer at a bitterly cold East End Park.

Two late goals at Stair Park in the first game meant the Pars had been unable to book their spot in the next round at the first attempt, and Jim Jefferies’ men would have hoped home advantage would see them finally get past their League One rivals at the second time of asking.

However, it was not to be as Stevie Aitken’s side triumphed to book their own glamour game with Premiership high-fliers United in February.

The Pars started brightly and went close a couple of times, particularly in the 17th minute when Shaun Byrne crashed a header off the crossbar from six yards out.

The hosts certainly looked the likelier in the first half hour, but the visitors grew into the game and stunned the home crowd in 32 minutes by grabbing the advantage.

Sean Winter cut in from the left hand side largely unchallenged and the Stranraer man was given enough time and space to fire a well-hit right-foot shot into Ryan Scully’s bottom left-hand corner.

The Pars would have looked for an early response in the second half but the visitors exploited their eagerness by doubling their advantage in 57 minutes.

Grant Gallagher’s pace down the right took him to the byeline and his low cross was tapped home at the back post by Stephen Stirling.

The home side were rattled by that but gave themselves hope in 63 minutes when Ross Millen netted from the spot after Frank McKeown’s reckless barge into the back of Gregor Buchanan in the area.

However, they just could not find the equaliser they craved and Stranraer rubbed salt into the wound late on.

With the Pars pressing high up the pitch in the 89th minute, a quick break allowed the visitors to set up Jamie Longworth who kept his composure to seal the victory for Stranraer.

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