The Dons escaped from Fife with a place in the Scottish Communities League Cup Quarter Finals- mainly due to a superb performance from Jamie Langfield who kept his side in the game with a series of superb saves. Scott Vernon scored in the 93rd minute to the relief of the large travelling support and send his side into the next round.
Following the 3-3 draw with Motherwell just 3 days before, Aberdeen lined up in a 4-4-2 formation. Josh Magennis was at right back, with Reynolds and Considine in central defence and Clark Robertson came to fill the left back spot, making his first start of the season.
In midfield Hayes was wide left, Osbourne and Rae in the middle with Chris Clark at right midfield. Up front Niall McGinn was partnered by Cammy Smith, his first ever start for the Dons.
About 1000 or so Aberdeen fans made the journey to Fife and it was a very different Pars team to the one that they saw in the SPL last season. Jim Jeffries has brought in a lot of young players during the summer as they adjusted to life in the First Division.
With just a minute gone, a slack pass by Gavin Rae allowed Dunfermline in but thankfully Wallace over hit his cross.
On 5 minutes a long Langfield clearance was not dealt with and gave the Dons a great opening.McGinn and then Smith challenged for the ball before it broke for McGinn- but the Pars defence did just enough to block.
Then on the counter attack the home side broke at pace. They worked it into the box and the Dons defence on the left side was posted missing. Stephen Husband was left one on one. He decided to hammer in a shot but Langfield made a brilliant save. A real let off for Aberdeen.
Moments later there was then a great tackle by Considine on Wallace. The defender was left one on one but the skipper timed his tackle brilliantly to avert the danger.
Dunfermline were playing with a lot of confidence and on 13 minutes Mark Reynolds was forced to head the ball behind for a corner at the near post. As Dunfermline continued to press there were two offside calls against Barrowman then Wallace. The Dons defenders stepped forward to catch them out on both occasions but it looked very close. Then minutes later Wallace was again flagged offside. His pace though was a real worry for Considine and Reynolds.
With 17 minutes gone the Dons finally managed to put a few passes together and enjoyed their first spell of possession and Hayes won a corner. The ball though was flicked on at the near post and cleared to safety.
A simple ball into the box on 23 minutes nearly resulted in the opening goal for the home side. Although it looked like Falkingham had raised his foot challenging for the ball the referee did not blow and the ball fell to Wallace. From a tight angle he drilled a shot across Langfield- but it also went past the post.
Two minutes later a long ball over the top of the Dons defence and this time Wallace was onside. Thankfully on the wet surface the ball skipped through to Langfield. Wallace was only inches away from getting a touch.
Aberdeen were very lucky to still be on level terms. They had really not got into the game at this stage and on the half hour mark there was another good ball into the box by Dunfermline but Reynolds did very well to win the header with Barrowman in close proximity.
The Dons then tried to create something themselves on 35 minutes. Robertson and Hayes did well down the left. Robertson strolled forward and picked out Rae on the edge of the box but he miscued his volley.
The home side then found themselves with a great opportunity when Rae fouled Wallace on the edge of the box. It was very close to a penalty. Wallace however was also in if Rae had not made the tackle. Rae was booked but at the end of the day it was worth it as the free kick was blasted into the wall and cleared to safety.
Against the run of play Smith played a quite superb pass over the top for McGinn with the outside of his foot. The striker was in the clear. Although the defenders pushed him wide he was still at a good angle and should have scored but put his effort over the bar.
Then back came the First Division side again. After another good, quick move Husband found space on the left side of the box. He shot across the goal and Langfield did well to get finger tips on it and turn the ball onto the post. It was a great save.
Aberdeen were pleased to hear the half time whistle. The booing from the Red Army told the story with their side losing too many individual battles all over the park.
Neither manager made any changes at half time but the weather took a turn for the worse in Fife with heavy rain lashing down at the start of the second period.
On 47 minutes a lovely reverse pass by Smith gave Magennis an opening on the right. His cross though failed to pick out a red jersey.
Then minutes later Magennis, again down the right, put a cross in. This time it was better and Hayes had a chance but failed to get the ball under control. At the other end Joe Cardle curled one just wide from the edge of the box.
The game was still hugely open and entertaining but was probably too open for Aberdeen's liking.
A good tackle by Rae then allowed Aberdeen to hit on the break. Hayes drove forward and might have been better going himself but decided to cross for McGinn and the ball was deflected behind for a corner which the Dons could do nothing with. They made the games first change with Johnny Hayes being replaced by Scott Vernon on the hour mark.
Dunfermline continued to move the ball about well. Cardle collected it on the edge of the box and hit a shot which seemed destined for the top corner but Langfield made a quite brilliant save. He somehow touched it onto the bar- superb goalkeeping.
At the other end there was an opening for Smith but his shot across goal was not far away from reaching Scott Vernon.
Craig Brown made a second change on 66 minutes when Russell Anderson replaced Josh Magennis. Anderson went to right back in a straight swap. McGinn was now playing in front of him on the right side of midfield.
Another corner for Dunfermline resulted in another superb save from Langfield. The ball was not cleared and after a stramash the ball was fired in and Jamie somehow kept it out with his feet at point blank range.
It was The Dons who then forced a series of corners. Anderson at the near post very nearly fired it home after making a good late run.
The Dons third and final change was made on 75 minutes with Clark Robertson going off and Stephen Hughes coming on. This resulted in a reshuffle at the back with Osbourne going to right back, Anderson and Reynolds to Centre back and Considine at left back.
And the defensive changes certainly made the Dons look more solid, particularly with Russell back in central defence.
Vernon had a half chance after a well worked move. On his left side he blasted the shot in but over the bar. He did not have a lot of the goal to aim at.
With ten minutes to go Josh Falkingham came off for the home side. The Dons fans and players were glad to see the back of him as he had given them a torrid time throughout!
Considine then played a superb whipped ball into the box but Vernon at the back post could not quite get a touch and the chance past as time began to ebb away from the visitors.
A short time later substitute Hughes played a clever ball over the top. Vernon beat the keeper to it but the ball bounced up and hit his hand.
There was real confusion just before the end of the game. The referee appeared to wave a yellow card at Gavin Rae. Rae had already been booked in the first period but the ref didn't produce a red card after the second booking. After the game it was confirmed that the booking was actually for Stephen Hughes not Gavin Rae.
With time running out, Clark almost picked out Vernon but the chance passed. They kept the pressure on though and just as it looked like the game was heading to extra time, The Dons claimed victory. Anderson had a brilliant header forward then Rae cleverly played the ball in behind for McGinn to run onto. He got to the byline and picked out Vernon who bundled the ball home from a yard out.
The Dons got out of jail and owe Jamie Langfield a great deal. He had four fantastic saves and the large contingent of fans were singing his name at the end- well deserved after a fabulous display of goalkeeping.