Alloa Ath 2 - 3 Dunfermline Ath 3: Joe Cardle decides it

Joe Cardle in action for Dunfermline. Picture: Graham Stuart/SNS
Joe Cardle in action for Dunfermline. Picture: Graham Stuart/SNS
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Dunfermline have a decent Scottish Cup pedigree and seem intent on keeping their interest in this season’s competition alive as long as possible. But they will need to keep a tighter lock on their defence.

This was a tie where they were cruising 3-0 before Alloa hit back with two goals in the final quarter and threatened to pull off the unlikeliest of results.

Nicky Clark put Dunfermline in front when he reacted first to knock the ball home from close range after Neil Parry had blocked a Gavin Reilly shot.

Kevin Cawley, playing his 200th game for the hosts, almost equalised with a decent effort which Sean Murdoch did well to save with one hand. But Alloa struggled to make any real impression at that stage and they fell further behind.

Paul McMullan put Dunfermline 2-0 up two minutes from half-time when his speculative shot found its way into the net through a crowd of players.

Joe Cardle took the tie out of Alloa’s reach with a well-struck shot from outside the area to net the third goal early in the second half after Clark had created the opening.

That should have been that but Alloa hit back as Dunfermline began to question themselves.

Substitute Stefan McCluskey pulled a goal back shortly after coming on after being released by Cawley but it looked to be no more than a token.

Michael Moffat had a “goal” chalked off for Dunfermline and Greig Spence pulled back a late one for Alloa when he timed his run to perfection. But it came too late and the Pars secured their place in the last 16, where Allan Johnston will be hoping for a favourable draw today.