Friendly v Raith Rovers
RAITH ROVERS 0 DUNFERMLINE 1 Date: 24/01/01
A local derby is never likely to be a friendly and the meeting of First Division Raith with their SPL big brothers was no different.
Youssef Rossi is in Egypt with Morocco on World Cup duty so Dunfermline fielded a strong team with only Scott Thomson and David Moss missing from what might have been the strongest starting line up.
The first two shots at goal came from Ian Ferguson in the 10th and 12th minute. Firstly Stevie Crawford`s cross from the right flashed across the six yard box untouched, Chris McGroarty collected and played the ball back for Fergie to drive the ball from 25 yards but just wide of the left goalpost.
Two minutes later a Barry Nicholson cross was touched down for Fergie by Marinus Dijkhuizen but the 20 yard drive took the same route. There was a fright for the Pars when a wayward pass from Justin Skinner fell to Jay Stein but he could only shoot way wide to the right of the goal.
Raith no. 9 Andy Clark had the crowd gasping as his cross went untouched across the front of the Pars goal before Skinner cleared. Two minutes later in the 28th minute Dijkhuizen got on the end of a Skinner cross but keeper Coyle dived right to collect easily.
Dunfermline had a period of possession around the Raith penalty box when Hampshire and McGroarty tried to find an opening. This ended when Jason Dair swung over a great ball from the right which looked as though it was teed up for Stevie Crawford to score but even given the time for a practice swing the former Raith striker hit wildly over the crossbar from 8 yards out.
The match had not been soft but when Skerla and Clark clashed in the 39th minute Referee Rowbotham had to intervene and he then split Browne and Ferguson as tempers flared.
Two minutes from half time Stevie Hampshire playing against his brother, Paul almost got the opener when Andrius Skerla pushed a nice pass into his path but the keeper stuck out his right foot to save.
Raith brought on two substitutes at half time but it was Dunfermline who started the half the better. Skerla pushing forward again found Crawford but Stevie shot wide left. But the goal that always looked possible came in the 56th minute.
Dair hit the ball across the goal but no one accepted the chance the ball landed at the feet of Stevie CRAWFORD who hit a fine dipping volley from 20 yards out into the bottom right of the Raith goal.
Two minutes later Crawford could have doubled the lead when a good turn by Hampshire let him advance to play the ball off Dijkhuizen for Crawford to shoot just off target. Marco Ruitenbeek was tested by Stein in the 59th minute when the Raith man spotted the keeper off his line. The pot shot from the byeline around 25 yards out was collected by the big Dutch keeper just before it cross the line.
Stein was creating all the danger for the Kirkcaldy men. In the 65th minute he threaded a ball across the box but McInally`s shot came straight back to him.
With twenty minutes to play a McGroarty cross from the left was met by Gary Mason but the effort really couldn`t be called a shot and the ball went well wide to the left of the Raith goal. Greig McCulloch who played a good attacking role down the right flank sent the ball into the box and Skinner`s clearance landed on the top of the crossbar.
Gary Mason did better to get on the end of a cross in the 75th minute but the keeper saved. The only other chance came with 6 minutes remaining when Nicholson`s shot was deflected for a corner.
"A good work out" for the players was how Jimmy Calderwood later described it. Fergie hobbled off after 80 minutes after crumbling in a heap with one of the Raith tackles. The Fifers` skipper only twisted his ankle a little and was fit to jog to his car after the match to give a lift home to Marco and Michel.
Both Scott Thomson and David Moss are likely to return on Saturday. Thomson has Moroccan tummy and Mossy has a blister that has got a bit of an infection.
Ladbrokes Championship: Saturday 18th March, Dunfermline v Ayr United kick off 3.00pm