SPL v Dundee

DUNDEE 3 DUNFERMLINE 0 Date: 05/08/00
Fixture: Scottish Premier League

What a difference in Dens Park - two decent stands and more importantly foundations of a crowd pleasing team under the management of Italian Ivano Bonetti.

Dunfermline brought in new signing Barry Nicholson with Jason Dair dropping on to the bench and lined up 3-4-3; Doesburg, Skinner and Skerla at the back with Nicholson fitting in to right midfield. Dundee kicked off in their red away strip probably because the Pars new away strip has not yet been released.

The teams changed ends before Dundee kicked off towards the travelling support in the East Stand. Directly from the kick off the ball was played up the right wing and crossed into the six yard box. Things looked safe as all three defenders were there to clear, but indecision amongst them led to Justin Skinner prodding it back towards Marco Ruitenbeek. The tall Dutchman had stepped forward as he considering getting into the action and so the ball crossed the line in the centre of the goal for a 12 second own goal.

Fabian Caballero beat Michel Doesburg after 8 minutes and the danger resulted in the first of two corners that were fired in towards the near post. Barry Nicholson guarding the post cleared the first and nothing came of the second. Five minutes later when Marcello Marrocco won possession deep in the Pars half he teed up a 30 yard shot for Nemsadze which Ruitenbeek clutched with confidence.

Having had the stuffing knocked out of them with that early goal it took the Pars the first quarter to recover and their first real chance came after 23 minutes when Mendes put Nicholson through on the right but there was nobody in the centre to meet his cross.

Giorgi Nemsadze rounded everyone in the Dunfermline defence including the keeper and shot as he was forced left. Fortunately Eddie May was on the goal line to block the on target effort. Immediately Dunfermline`s counterattack sent Scott Thomson up the left and although his cross found Mendes on the right only a corner resulted. Nicholson took the corner and he rose unchallenged but his header went well wide of Rob Douglas` right hand post.

Stewart Petrie had a 30 yards shot over the crossbar in the 31st minute and Marco Ruitenbeek was injured as he came out to win the race against Caballero for a through ball.

Best Dunfermline chance of the game came in 38 minutes from a 25 yard free kick won when Stewart Petrie was taken down by Di Marchi. In a rehearsed move both Petrie and Ferguson ran over the ball before Scott Thomson struck it hard and low to Douglas? left. The ball rebounded out of the keeper?s hands but Mendes could only direct it back to him.

Dundee with their accurate passing and swift off the ball moves looked sharp on the break but just for 15 minutes Dunfermline did get back into the match. May and Crawford exchanged passes as they threatened to test the home defences but when the half time interval came we had to be happy to be just one behind.

The half time talk lifted the Pars momentarly but the opening ten minutes of the second half were to seal the Pars fate. Things looked up as we won a corner from the kick off and Petrie?s place kick to Nicholson flashed in front of Skerla. Doesburg had a telling tackle on Caballero on the edge of the penalty box as Dundee broke to the other end.

Almost immediately Dunfermline cleared Dundee were back at them; this time Caballero cut back from the bye line and Nemsadze?s right footed drive was held low by Ruitenbeek. The Georgian internationalist was running riot and Andrei Skerla had to head away another of his efforts.

Then in 52 minutes he picked up the ball 25 yards out, pasted three players before being brought down by Marco Ruitenbeek. The spot kick was stuck away low to the keeper?s left by Juan SARA. Only two minutes later as the ball was played out to the left side of the Pars penalty box Michel Doesburg pulled down CABALLERO and another penalty was awarded by Referee John Underhill. The Dundee man took it himself and placed in the same corner as Sara had just minutes ago as Ruitenbeek scurried across goal in the opposite direction.

In the dispute that followed Doesburg?s yellow card, Nemsadze, Ferguson and Petrie managed to see yellow as well. The result was now in little doubt but some chances did come the way of both teams. Nicholson crossed in the 67th minute but Scott Thomson?s shot was not clean and was saved easily.

Billio had a good cross for Sara and although he placed his header well Ruitenbeek made an equally good diving save. Ten minutes later the Pars keeper had yet another excellent save from the same Dundee forward and only the efficient use of an offside trap was making the big Dutchman?s life any easier.

Colin Nish had a diving header at a Mendes cross from left and the substitute might have done better minutes later when he couldn?t control a Crawford to Ferguson lay off. The Pars didn?t give up although Falconer almost got a fourth; Mendes sent in a close one but only Dundee were there to clear. Ferguson shot wide after a good run from Scott Thomson and at the end Petrie was upended on the edge of the box. The free kick should certainly have been nearer the box but Petrie blasted high over into a now sparsely populated Dunfermline support.

We didn`t play well but we didn`t play that badly. Dundee on the other hand are a million miles away from the Jocky Scott version. Bad news for Pars and many more of the SPL I would suggest.

DUNFERMLINE: 3-4-3: Ruitenbeek; Doesburg (Nish 65), Skinner, Skerla; Nicholson, Ferguson, Thomson, May (Dair 60); Mendes, Crawford, Petrie. Subs not used: Thomson (GK), Tod, Templeman.

Yellow Cards: Doesburg, Ferguson, Petrie.

Strip: Home Black & White

Referee John Underhill

DUNDEE: 4-4-2: Douglas, Smith, Marrocco, DE Marchi, Tweed, Caballero (Falconer 73), Sara (Milne 88) , Nemsadze (Yates 73), Artero, Billio, Robertson.

Yellow Cards: Nemsadze

Scorers: Skinner (og 12 sec.), Sara (pen 52), Caballero (pen55)

Weather: Warm and sunny

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