A BRILLIANT and resilient display saw East Fife knock out SPL opposition in a cup contest for the second time this season, as Aberdeen were dumped and they earned a quarter-final trip to Kilmarnock in the Scottish Communities League Cup.
The ups and downs for all involved must have been stomach-churning.
East Fife were ahead, behind, ahead again, then denied by an injury-time equaliser from a penalty.
In the eventual spot-kick shoot-out after extra-time, a two-goal cushion wriggled away before a third Mark Ridgers save finally saw them through.
Just after the half-hour mark, Rob Ogleby was released down the right and his cross into the penalty area was perfect for Ryan Wallace, as he arrived between two defenders, to score his eighth counter of the season.
Aberdeen got back on level terms with five minutes of the half left, when Jack’s corner was headed home by McArdle, while the Dons took an early second-half lead through Mackie.
According to the script this should have seen the `wee’ team fold, but there was more in the tank - and the Fifers hadn’t read the script.
Matthew Park took possession of a loose clearance from Aberdeen and, from 22 yards, floated home his first goal of the season, giving Gonzalez no chance.
Astonishingly, the Fifers took the lead two minutes later.
A decent build-up saw Wallace wrong-foot the home defence with a deft pass to Robert Sloan, who passed the ball into the far corner.
However, with over a minute of injury time played, referee McLean deemed Hislop’s challenge on Chalahi illegal and Fallon thumped the penalty kick home for Aberdeen’s equaliser.
With no goals in extra-time, each side missed two kicks to send the penalty decider to ‘sudden death’.
A calm-looking Park beat the home keeper for the second time and Ridgers saved his third spot kick of the night, from Clark, to put East Fife in the last eight.
Aberdeen ‑ Gonzalez, McArdle, Foster, Considine, Clark, Vernon (Osbourne 64), Mackie (Fallon 69), Arnason, Pawlett, Magennis, Jack (Chalali 75). Subs (not used) Megginson, Brown.
East Fife ‑ Ridgers, Durie, Park, Campbell (Hislop 46), White, Muir, Linn, Smith, Ogleby, Wallace (Dalziel 68), Sloan (Cook 70). Subs (not used) Murdoch, Brown.
Referee ‑ S. McLean. Attendance ‑ 3964.
Starcheck ‑ Ridgers 3 pts, Park 2, Wallace 1.