Pre Season Friendly v Inverurie Locos


Fixture: Pre Season Friendly
Attendance: 1004, Kick Off: 19:00
Referee: P Cheyne, Weather: Sunny blue skies. 22C

On Tuesday the Pars travelled to Inverurie to take on the Loco Works club starting their third season in the Highland League. The day was warm, the match was taxing and the journey which got the team bus back to East End Park on midnight was tiring.

Dunfermline fielded a strong side with only the rested Stevie Crawford missing from could have been described as the strongest starting line up available. The match had a familiar sponsor in Woodrows who bought over Hays in Inverurie and recently relocated to new premises in neighbouring Kintore.

A crowd of just over 1000 saw the home side survive an early scare with just 43 seconds on the stop watch. Derek Young advanced down the left with Locos John Young in close pursuit. The ball appeared to be going out for a goal kick but Derek didn’t give up and managed to get over a ball that Craig Brewster belted narrowly over the crossbar.

Inverurie then almost opened the scoring themselves when in the 6th minute, new signings Richard Singer (from Banks o Dee) and Kenny Coull (from Cove Rangers) combined to send in a ball from the right that Gary Mason under pressure could only stick towards Marco in goal and the big Dutchman managed to fall on the ball to stop the danger.

Tommy Wilson then tested Marco with a long range effort that might just have been curling passed his left hand post. For the rest of the first half however it was all Dunfermline. They tried everything but couldn’t get passed Lee Mellough in the home goal or shot wide.

Brewster touched on a nice ball for Noel Hunt after 15 minutes but his shot was wide right. Next minute a David Grondin cross from the left touchline was hit at Derek Young by Andrew Bisset and the re-bound fell straight into the keeper’s hands.

Midway through the half another clever ball from Brewster to Bullen put Lee into a shooting position but the keeper parried the shot and pounched on the loose ball just ahead of Noel Hunt. Barry Nicholson was next to strike wide from another Brewster pass and very quickly Hunt was again wide after Darren Young’s pass was cunningly flicked on by Brewster.

Craig narrowly headed over from a Grondin cross and had another header tipped over the bar by Mellough following a Bullen run up the right that had been set up by Darren Young. All this was interspersed by numerous corner kicks all of which Inverurie’s defence got to first despite the presence of Bullen and Wilson.

As the interval approached Nicholson went on a run from a Brewster pass but again the shot this time from 25 yards was wide right. The home side were warmly applauded as Bisset won them their first corner of the match in the 40th minute but the short taken effort was wasted.

The second half was just two minutes old when Bisset headed a Brewster cross over his own crossbar. Noel Hunt shot wide in 56 minutes after Brewster and Derek Young etched out a chance for him that he sent wide to the left. That was the young Irishman’s last involvement for Jason Dair came on in his place.

On the hour a loose pass from Darren Young led to a Craig Ross charging upfield looking to make the best of the break. Scott Wilson put in a hefty challenge as Ross laid the ball off to his right for Coull to hammer over the crossbar.

Craig Brewster was substituted after he appeared to need a bandage to a toe on his left foot and immediately after returning to the field got kicked on it. George Fotherngham came on for him in the 65th minute and from the increasingly agitated Pars bench, Bullen was ordered forward. Dair started getting in shots on goal and his 66th minute try from a Derek Young ball was wide right from 25 yards. Bullen headed wide left from a Grondin corner from the right.

Fotheringham and Nicholson did well on the right before the former’s cross was well cut out by substitute goalie Ian Thain (16 years with Keith). In the 75th minute Derek Young seemed to be set up to score but he blasted high with the keeper well out of contention. Bullen put the ball in the net in the next minute but the assistant referee had his flag up. Jimmy Calderwood got into the pre-season warm up then by giving the official much grief that was responded to by "that is enough Sir, Sir!""

When Dair’s 79th minute shot was deflected wide for a corner the sub took it himself out on the left. Shortly taken to Darren Young who shot from 30 yards out on the left side. The shot took a deflection and sub Scott Walker was at the far post to head in the winner..

The Fifers tried to increase their lead with Derek Young just failing to get on the end of a Wilson punt and brother Darren heading a Fotheringham cross wide. Four minutes from time a Darren Young drive was tipped over by the keeper and from the resultant corner Bullen’s header was headed off the line. Another corner then and this time Darren shot over the bar.

Final score then was 1-0. Not an impressive scoreline and a disappointing performance where better finishing would have reflected better on the goals tally.

Still it was a lovely evening to be in the North of Scotland; a neat and welcoming ground – only sad that the Locos come down steps on to the park, a tunnel would be so much more appropriate!

DUNFERMLINE: Ruitenbeek; Mason (Dempsey 70), Skerla, Wilson, Grondin (Walker 74); Bullen, Darren Young, Nicholson (MacNicol 80), Derek Young; Hunt (Dair 58), Brewster (Fotheringham 65)
STRIP: Away Orange
SCORER: Walker (80)

INVERURIE LOCOS: Mellough (Thain 48); Young (Fraser 74), Bisset (Graham 48), Wilson (Copeland 67), Mess, Park, Singer, Walker (Buchan 48), Coull, Ross (McLeod 67), McWilliam

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