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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 May 2007, 13:20 GMT 14:20 UK
Dunfermline Athletic 0-3 Falkirk
By Clive Lindsay

Steven Thomson and Alan Gow celebrate at East End Park
Steven Thomson and Alan Gow both scored at East End Park
Falkirk gave derby rivals Dunfermline a pre-Scottish Cup final headache by delivering a comprehensive defeat in the Pars' final game in the SPL.

The game came to life after a fairly even and lacklustre first half.

Relegated Dunfermline failed to clear a speculative ball into the penalty box and Steven Thomson slotted the ball home after 49 minutes.

Alan Gow steered in the second eight minutes later and Pedro Moutinho fired a late third from 22 yards.

Dunfermline manager Stephen Kenny had vowed to experiment ahead of the Scottish Cup final and made eight changes.

But few fringe men improved their chances of starting in the Hampden showpiece.

Gary Mason, Stephen Glass, Tam McManus and Jim O'Brien, who are ruled out of the final, had been left out along with Adam Hammill, who is on England Under-19 duty.

Goalkeeper Dorus De Vries picked up an injury in training following his horrendous error in the game that cost Dunfermline their place in the Scottish Premier League last week and made way for Roddy McKenzie.

Falkirk, safe in seventh place, were unchanged as the game started in a difficult swirling wind.

Dunfermline responded to the Bairns' fans taunts about relegation by applying the early pressure.

Stephen Simmons' shot was blocked by Vitor Lima amid claims for a penalty for handball.

Stephen Kenny looks unimpressed by Dunfermline's efforts
Pars boss Stephen Kenny's changes failed to produce victory

But Falkirk were intent on showing off their passing game and Gow's chip over the defence found Carl Finnigan.

However, goalkeeper Roddy McKenzie came to the rescue with an important block.

Dunfermline had a second appeal for a penalty ignored by referee Eddie Smith in the 34th minute, when Mark Burchill was bundled away from Freddie Daquin's cross by a combination of Darren Barr and Jack Ross.

Kenny had seen enough by half-time and withdrew Daquin and Scott Muirhead, with Jim Hamilton and Calum Woods being their replacements.

But it was Falkirk who broke the deadlock after the Pars failed to clear during a goalmouth melee and Thomson fired the ball into the far corner from 15 yards.

Latapy came close to adding to the scoreline immediately, but his cheeky chip from the edge of the box nestled on the roof of the net.

The veteran midfielder then played a one-two with Gow on the edge of the box and the Rangers-bound forward steered the ball under McKenzie and into the same far corner.

Late efforts from Stevie Crawford, Shields and Darren Young failed to test Falkirk goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel as Dunfermline fans were reminded why their side will be playing in Division One next season.

A McManus header struck the crossbar, but the former Falkirk man cannot be called upon against Celtic at Hampden.

And Falkirk rubbed salt in the Pars' wounds when Moutinho added a third in stoppage time.


Dunfermline: McKenzie, Shields, Muirhead (Woods 46), Bamba, Wilson, Young, McCunnie, Simmons (McManus 68), Crawford, Daquin (Hamilton 46), Burchill.
Subs Not Used: Paterson, McGuire, Ross, O'Brien.

Booked: Shields, Wilson.

Falkirk: Schmeichel, Ross, Scobbie, Barr, Milne, Lima, Thomson, Craig (O'Donnell 81), Latapy (Moutinho 74), Gow (John Stewart 86), Finnigan.
Subs Not Used: Lambers, Uras, Mcstay, Twaddle.

Booked: Thomson, Craig, Lima, Scobbie.

Goals: Thomson 49, Gow 57, Moutinho 90.

Att: 5,087

Ref: E Smith

SEE ALSO
Kenny promises better for final
19 May 07 |  Dunfermline Athletic
Hughes warns against high hopes
19 May 07 |  Falkirk
Saturday's photos
19 May 07 |  Scotland


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