Today we look back at a game from March 2004 between the Pars and our opponents this weekend, Partick Thistle. The quarter final tie of the Scottish Cup gave Thistle home advantage but they were unable to cope with a rampant Pars side.
PARTICK THISTLE 0, DUNFERMLINE 3
SCOTTISH CUP QUARTER FINAL
SATURDAY 6 MARCH 2004
Dunfermline were aiming to progress to a first Scottish Cup Final since 1968 and began this quarter final match by taking an 11th minute lead when Barry Nicholson hooked a ball into the penalty box that found Darren Young. The elder Young brother (Derek was on the bench) crossed for an unlikely source to tap the Pars ahead - defender Richie Byrne.
The deadly Craig Brewster/Stevie Crawford partnership played a big part in the Pars' second goal, after 36 minutes, which involved just 5 touches between 4 different players. A throw in up the left side was flicked on by Brewster to Crawford, whose overhead kick pass fell to Young. A first time pass from Young to Nicholson ended with the midfielder taking a touch and then placing the ball across Thistle keeper Kenny Arthur and into the bottom corner of the net from 18 yards.
Derek Stillie in the Dunfermline goal was rarely called on during the first half but did well a minute before the break, saving a close range header from David Rowson.
Thistle had the first effort of the second half when Stephane Bonnes' hooked volley hit the top of Stillie's bar. Former Pars striker Gerry Britton then set up Bonnes inside the penalty area but the Frenchman's shot was turned round the post by Stillie.
The third Dunfermline goal, in the 69th minute, was perhaps the best example of the almost telepathic understanding between Brewster and Crawford. From the centre circle, Brewster's header found Crawford, who then headed the ball further to the left, giving himself space, and then played a pass over the Thistle defence to Brewster, who had made a run up the middle. The veteran striker reached the ball just the ball inside the box, before the outrushing Thistle keeper, and headed the goal that put the result beyond any doubt.
I was in the packed stand behind the goal that day, an area that has housed home fans in more recent years, but on that day in March 2004 was filled by a fantastic following of Dunfermline supporters. Seeing the final goal, a piece of play of the highest standard, was a privilege.
It mattered little that Barry Nicholson's penalty late in the game was saved by Arthur. The job had been done.
As we all know, we progressed to the final after a replay win over Inverness in the semi final, and went into the half time break in the final against Celtic at Hampden 1-0 ahead. If only we could have held out. It was the least these players deserved.
Pars line-up v Partick Thistle (player in background image - Andy Tod):