Pre Season Friendly v Cowdenbeath
COWDENBEATH 1 DUNFERMLINE 1 Date: 28/07/99
A warm summer`s evening certainly made the 500 or so travelling supporters feel like it was Brazil. Cowdenbeath won 4-2 on penalties.
The beautiful colours on the way home with the sunset over Knockhill would challenge any view of the Sugar Loaf and the curious colour scheme over the Pentlands caused by moonlight conflicting with the dying sun`s rays was fit for exotic places. The short journey to Central Park was a joy; parking within two spaces of the turnstile only 20 minutes before the kick off and then to find Humphrey`s Bistro on your bumper for a cool pint of lager made one feel that there are distinct benefits in visiting non premier league venues.
That thought was quickly extinguished by the football. A 1-1 draw after 90 minutes, I was never so relieved to hear that there was to be no extra time just straight to penalties.
Dunfermline kicked off into the sun with only three of this starting line up having started the friendly against Preston last Saturday. First effort took ten minutes when Nish`s high tackle robbed the home keeper and allowed Squires to set up Scott Thomson who shot wide. The Pars looked in control but ten minutes later, against the run of play Paul Simpson scored with a shot that Butler was nowhere near as to curled into the right of his net from 18 yards.
David Graham got in a cross from the right that Chris Templeman shot over. On the half hour Hamish French had a shot well held by the keeper and 6 minutes later Boyle played a 1-2 with Templeman but his right footed shot flew over the bar. Huxford`s attempt three minutes later suffered the same result before a minute later the left back crossed for Tod to set up Nish but the young strikers effort was well saved by the Cowden keeper from close range.
Three minutes from the break Huxford broke up the left and as the ball slipped away from him Steven Boyle stepped in to cross. Colin Nish met the ball but yet again the Cowden keeper saved magnificently. Nish had one more go with a shot wide in 44 but it was the Blue Brazil who went in one up.
Dunfermline had the best of the second half chances. Nish meeting a Boyle cross in the 48th minute to see the keeper stick out a foot to save. Ten minutes later Cowden should have made 2-0 when the home no.7 sent Simpson through on goal but his shot rolled wide of Butler`s left hand post.
65 minutes gone and Hamish FRENCH rose to head the Pars back into the cup tie. Hamish was desperately unlucky with a drive five minutes later; the keeper saved and Graham coolly netted the rebound. Unfortunately someone else had been offside when Hamish shot so no goal. Scott Thomson had a shot saved low with ten minutes to go but the match was destined to be settled on penalties.
Dougal, the West Highland terrier that roamed about the grassy area between the racetrack and the terracing didn`t seem to mind but those in just football strips were cooling down rapidly; nor were there thoughts of an early bath from the baby in the buggy whose Granny wheeled it back and forward while making brief glances at the play. The baby dropped the dummy and on returning it asked the kid if it was sure it was his.
One has to consider that there were few alternatives but how about the Pars penalties! Eddie May and Hamish French had the visitors first two penalties saved; Cowdenbeath missed none and when their fourth went in it was all over. A dummies performance from a team that were made to look a load of teets by a well organised third division outfit.
DUNFERMLINE: Butler; Squires, Tod, Ireland, Huxford; Thomson, Templeman (Dolan 81), French, Boyle (Petrie 81); Graham, Nish (May 81).
Ladbrokes Championship: Saturday 18th March, Dunfermline v Ayr United kick off 3.00pm