February 2007: For the first time in almost 50 years, Saturday afternoons on the BBC did not feature sports programme Grandstand, its final episode being shown the week before. A litre of petrol cost 87p: within 12 months, that would increase to over £1 per litre. In other news, North Korea agreed to being a de-nuclearisation programme (sound familiar?) while in the UK singles charts, Mika was number 1 with 'Grace Kelly'. The View had the number 1 album with 'Hats Off To The Buskers'.
Season 2006/07: By early February, Dunfermline were enduring a poor season in the Premier League but had a Scottish Cup fourth round tie against Hearts to look forward to. It's that game we cover here, against our opponents this Saturday.
DUNFERMLINE 1, HEARTS 0
SCOTTISH CUP FOURTH ROUND
SATURDAY 3 FEBRUARY 2007
Dunfermline took on Scottish Cup holders Hearts in front of a crowd of 9597 at East End Park. The Pars had defeated Rangers in the previous round, while Hearts had brushed aside Stranraer 4-0 in the same round. The holders were favourites to progress, with Dunfermline on an 11 game run without a win in the Premier League and struggling at the foot of the division.
The game began with Hearts putting immediate pressure on the Pars' goal. After 3 corners in succession in the opening minutes, Hearts then claimed for a penalty when Saulius Mikoliunas went down in the box. Despite having more possession, Hearts could not carve out any decent goalscoring chances. In a rare attack, Pars defender Phil McGuire found space inside the Hearts box but a poor touch prevented him from testing Hearts keeper Stevie Banks.
The second half began with Pars winger Adam Hammill chipping the ball to the back post. Stevie Crawford headed the ball goalwards but it struck the back of Hearts defender Lee Wallace and was cleared. Hearts then had a chance when Michael Pospisil's shot was well gathered by Dorus De Vries. The Pars keeper was to save his team on another 2 occasions, palming away a Mikoliunas effort and then tipping over a Pospisil header.
Hammill then broke upfield for Dunfermline and his cross narrowly missed Crawford at the back post.
The game seemed to be heading for a replay at Tynecastle until the 89th minute when Hammill crossed the ball into a crowded penalty area. Pars captain Scott Wilson powered through a ruck of players to bullet a header past Banks and put Dunfermline into the quarter finals.
Dunfermline defeated Partick Thistle in the quarter finals and then Hibs in the semi final after a replay. The team's League form improved (1 defeat in 7 games from mid-March to early May) but a loss at Inverness in the second last League game saw them relegated. The Cup Final was then played, 2 weeks after the crushing disappointment of relegation. Opponents Celtic won 1-0 on what was a flat occasion. The Pars had negotiated a difficult path through the rounds to the final but barely threatened the Celtic goal that day at Hampden.
Pars line-up v Hearts (player in background image - Dorus De Vries):