SPL: DUNDEE UNITED 2 DUNFERMLINE 1: Date 05/03/97
The Pars suffered defeat at the hands of the Tangerines who kept a pip for the last kick of the ball. A great injustice after Dunfermline had inflicted the first intrusion into the Tannadice net since the last visit of the Pars in November.
Dunfermline without Colin Miller on international duty with Canada and without Andy Smith through suspension, Raymond Sharp wore the no.2 although played on the left side of defence. United started with McSwegan in for Kjell Olofsson. a happy sight for the Pars since he scored two of his nine league goals against them at East End.
Tannadice was severely windswept with Dundee United playing the first half with the advantage. Craig Robertson almost gifted United an opener in the first minute when he drove a free kick in the opposition half straight to United and allowing Robbie Winters a straight run in on goal. Remarkably Sharp got back sufficiently to force the United striker to shoot just wide of Westie`s left hand post.
A few minutes later Winters was through on goal again but this time Andy Tod put in a great tackle to keep the score sheet clean.
In the 24th minute Jamie Dolan fired in a 20 yarder that Westie tipped over the bar. Ten minutes later United were given a corner when Pressley put the ball past for a bye kick. From the resultant corner McLaren handled but the ref A M Roy from Aberdeen who would undoubtedly benefit from sponsorship by Vision Express, allowed him to cross and luckily United failed to net.
Luck ran out however in the 38th minute when Andy McLAREN struck a great 20 yard shot that gave Westie no chance. The Pars had struggled well against the wind, had failed to get a shot on target for the whole first half and were probably happy to go in one down with their advantage to the elements in the second half.
In the 61st minute a 25 yard free kick was beautifully struck by Derek FLEMING, his 6th goal in 70 appearances. The Pars were definitely back in the match and both Gerry Britton and Hamish French had great chances to get the winner. French`s effort being kicked off the line by Pressley. A stonewall penalty was denied when Hamish French was blatantly taken down in the box by Dykstra.
Then with the last kick of the ball and a draw looking inevitable and deserved OLOFSSON who had come on for McSwegan swept in a cross from the right. The full time whistle went at the restart and robbery was the only description after a second half in which Dunfermline played some of their best football of the season.
DUNFERMLINE: Ian Westwater: Derek Fleming, Andy Tod, Steve Welsh, Raymond Sharp: Harry Curran, Hamish French, Craig Robertson, Gerry Britton , Marc Millar, Stewart Petrie (Allan Moore 89)
YELLOW CARDS: Curran, Sharp, Tod
SCORER: Fleming (61)
LEAGUE POSITION: 6th
Next Match v Hibernian (League) Away, Saturday 8th March
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