A home team with only 1 win in the past 8 home games, against an away team with no away wins in their League this season, ended almost predictably in a draw, although both sides had several chances to score what would have been a decisive second goal.
Pars boss Allan Johnston made 1 change to the starting line up following last week's defeat to Falkirk: Lewis Martin replaced Jason Talbot at left back. This was, perhaps, a surprise as Talbot was far from the worst performer last week, but this was also the third Scottish Cup game this season where Johnston has benched Talbot.
The game began in a freezing temperature, with the rain contributing to the pitch cutting up badly. Hamilton were handed 2 early opportunities, both after Kallum Higginbotham had lost possession. Nat Wedderburn then had an effort from outside the box that whistled past the post.
Andy Geggan was having a very good game at right back, a marked improvement from recent weeks, and was instrumental in many of Dunferrmline's attacks, linking up well with Higginbotham on the right.
The Pars appeared to take the lead in the 28th minute when Callum Morris' header found the net, but referee Craig Thomson disallowed the goal for an apparent push. Two minutes later, Dunfermline did go ahead when Paul McMullan was played in by Michael Moffat and showed good composure to finish.
Geggan was injured in the 38th minute and sadly had to be substituted. Jason Talbot came on, with Lewis Martin switching to right back.
The second half began with the wind still biting and it was Dunfermline who created the first chances of the half. McMullan was put through but his shot was scuffed and went past the post. Moffat was then put in on goal but looked around for a team mate to pass to rather than shoot. With no pass possible, he was then forced to shoot and brought out a great save from Accies' keeper Remi Matthews. Moffat then created an opening for Higginbotham, but the winger screwed his shot wide. These chances all fell in a 6 minute period and really should have been capitalised on.
Hamilton then came into the game, with Murdoch making a great save from Eamonn Brophy. Jason Talbot then hit his own crossbar with a header. Murdoch then tipped another Accies' effort over the bar. Hamilton equalised after 75 minutes when Daniel Redmond, an impressive midfielder, was given too much space on the right and placed his shot beyond Murdoch and into the corner of the net.
Both sides were still pressing forward to avoid a midweek replay but there were no further goals.
Pars starting 11 and subs, with marks out of 10:
Photos by Pars Review.
Tomorrow: full match photo gallery.