Pre Season Friendly v Forfar Athletic
FORFAR ATHLETIC 1 DUNFERMLINE 6 Date: 03/08/99
This was a full scale dress rehearsal for the First Division title campaign. Campbell started with what looks like his current thinking for a first choice side. Even the subs looked like probables as all the transfer listed Englishmen were left at home.
Another beautiful summers evening greeted the 150 or so travelling supporters who had left thunderstorms back in Parland. Forfar proved difficult for the first half hour with only a header wide from Andy Smith raising the hopes.
The stand side assistant referee had caused a stoochie by flagging Scott Thomson offside when he clearly had not been and then proceeded to amuse the crowd behind him by entering into unprecedented dialogue about the game. The fact that the match officials were dressed in traditional Forfar blue was not missed by the Pars mouths. Dick Campbell also ventured forward from his position in the terracing to advise the same official that "we were not here to watch you".
On 23 minutes the Forfar centre Paul McIlreavie turned on the edge of the penalty box and shot a good effort that Westie saved well. Three minutes later centre half Johnston met a corner unchallenged and fortunately his forceful header was straight at the keeper. A minute later big McIlreavie was wrongly judged to have been taken down by Andy Tod and a penalty was awarded. The truth was Toddy got the ball and the Forfar man fell over it. Anyhow justice was done when Westie saved well from Andy Cargill.
This was a turning point from which the home side never really recovered. Owen Coyle hit the crossbar before a great Scott Thomson cross reached Andy SMITH on the far side of the six yard box for the big man to hoof it into the net whilst the Forfar defence stood and watched.
Moving back along the terracing at half time so as to get a good view of all the Dunfermline action in the second half found one yet again in the vicinity of the Saddler`s Pie Shop. Unbelievably friendly and efficient, the staff were chatting away about their visit to Dingwall last Saturday - I think it was never like this in the Premier League. The next 45 minutes were definitely what we had needed in the Premier League.
Six minutes gone and Petrie runs down the left, crosses, Coyle shoots, doesn`t quite score, but Eddie MAY scrambles it over the line. Five minutes later Super Stewartie heads just wide left and Scott Thomson hits the crossbar. Then in 62 Stewart Petrie puts over another gem from the left and Andy SMITH meets it with his head to make it 3-0.
With 20 minutes remaining Eddie May crossed from the edge of the box for Owen COYLE to meet first time. One minute later Andy SMITH glanced a Stewart Petrie cross passed the luckless triallist keeper. In the 79th Stewart Petrie sent a through ball that put Owen Coyle and Jamie Dolan through with only the keeper to beat. COYLE ignored the support from Dolan by slotting in no. 6. Ralph Grant got a consolation for Forfar nine minutes from time which meant that newly introduced David Hay`s first touch came when he lifted the ball out of his own net.
Forfar could do well this season because they gave Dunfermline a fair testing. The scoreline flatters and possibly the home side were feeling the effects of Saturday`s extra time.
Dunfermline certainly look championship material now and justify the bookmakers odds; but we shall see come this Saturday.
Oh and as for the contents of the poke - very disappointing; could be that the best bridies are our very own Stephens!
DUNFERMLINE: Westwater (Hay 79); Shields, Tod, Reid, McGroarty (Ireland 79); Thomson, Dolan (French (79), May (Graham 79), Petrie (Nish 80); Smith, Coyle.
Scorers: Smith (45, 62, 71), May (51), Coyle (70, 79)
Ladbrokes Championship: Saturday 18th March, Dunfermline v Ayr United kick off 3.00pm