Dunfermline Athletic 3 Motherwell 0

Last updated : 24 April 2004 By Footymad Previewer

What a week for Dunfermline as they celebrated reaching their first Scottish Cup final in 36 years by virtually clinching fourth place in the SPL.

Even without Craig Brewster, and following a punishing spell of five games in ten days, the Pars looked remarkably fresh and showed plenty of firepower up front.

With Scotland striker Stevie Crawford outstanding goals from Barry Nicholson, Gary Dempsey and Derek Young extended their fine home record this season.

Both teams have been criticised after their recent encounter at Fir Park and another mediocre contest seemed to lie in store in the opening 20 minutes.

Missed or hopeful shots hardly stirred the blood and even Crawford managed to waste a promising home counter-attack by dithering too long on the ball.

Finally Dunfermline clicked into gear and Crawford's touch was surer when he rounded off a superb passing move by setting up a chance which Nicholson fired narrowly over from 22 yards.

The Fifers when even closer in the 28th minute as Dempsey rattled the inside of the post with a dipping right foot effort.

Crawford and Nicholson continued to run the show and it was little surprise to see Crawford creating the opener when he squared for Nicholson to do the rest from eight yards.

The Young brothers both had shots on goal as Dunfermline stayed on top moving into the second half and they stretched further ahead after 51 minutes.

Crawford got the better of Martyn Corrigan and slid the ball into the path of Dempsey, whose finish clipped the post on its way into the net.

Steven Craig briefly sparked hopes of a Motherwell fightback when he rippled the sidenetting, but when the young striker then headed wide from just two yards the visitors knew it was not their day.

Young's precise sid-footed shot from a Lee Bullen cross confirmed Motherwell's worst fears and keeper Barry-John Corr had to make a brilliant late save from Crawford as Dunfermline threatened to run riot.