SFL First Division: DUNFERMLINE 4 LIVINGSTON 1: 01/04/00
PARS FIND FIVE FOR THE NET
Pars served up notice that five wins from their remaining five league matches is a distinct possibility. In demolishing Livingston the highest placed of their remaining competitors the Fifers registered their first home win since January.
Dunfermline had Moss and French out injured. Andy Tod was also injured but only his pride as Calderwood dropped him. The big central defender was blamed for the loss of the late goal at Brockville last Saturday and so ended up on the subs bench for the visit of Livingston. So starting places for Eddie May and Jason Dair on a day that the Pars could leap above Falkirk since they don`t play Clydebank until Sunday.
The Livvy Lion became the first opposing club mascot to visit East End Park; lord knows why he doesn’t have a strip? Big Jim Leishman was in the dug out for Livvy alongside their new manager, Davie Hay. Livingston had Graham Coughlan back from suspension but they chose to put him on the bench and Paul Deas was serving his suspension. Ian McCaldron was to be badly missed between the sticks and no Gerry Britton or Marino Keith because of long term injury.
Eddie May kicked off for Dunfermline playing west to east. The ball was played out left to where three Pars men had lined up. Nothing came of the move but Owen Coyle won a free kick within the first minute which Ian Ferguson sent into the East stand.
Skinner combined with May after eight minutes to feed a tempting ball to Coyle on the edge of the box but he got closed down as the home crowd screamed “hit it”. A minute later Kris Mampaey was called to race out of his box to thump the ball into the North stand. McPhee kept his leg in the tackle and floored the Belgian. Pip Yeates took a while to revive the keeper whose leg knock had caused him to writhe about in a ball. Referee Hardie had plenty of time to seek evidence from his Assistant who was directly in front of the incident but incredibly neither official saw any reason to punish the Livvy no. 9 and resumed play with the throw in. McPhee played out the rest of the match like a pantomime badie being booed whenever he touched the ball.
A 16th minute free kick on the right midway into the Livvy half was squared to Justin Skinner who prodded through a great ball through to Owen COYLE. Coyle`s opener was a saveable shot that keeper Alexander waved at as it bounced over his diving frame.
David Bingham rugby tackled Stewart Petrie and was yellow carded next minute. Livingston were not holding back in their challenges and some of Bingo’s team mates were lucky not to see yellow as well.
Stevie Crawford made a 22nd minute run from his own half evading numerous tackles to get wide on the right and cross for Owen Coyle but his elevation was too great and the keeper was not called on.
Jason Dair then made a run from deep laying off to Crawford but his ball to Coyle was poor. Livvy had their moments and on 31 John Potter was called on to make a telling tackle just inside his penalty box. Ferguson had lost the ball to Lee Richardson who passed for McPhee to move in on goal and the defenders timing was crucial.
Ten minutes before half time Owen Coyle sent over a cross which Crawford sent wide when the net might have been easier to find. Coyle was pushed while going for a lofty Mampaey clearance and from the free kick Stewart Petrie’s on target rocket was saved by Alexander.
The second goal which had always looked like coming was scored one minute before half time. Crawford had yet another penetrating run he might have scored but the chance fell to Ferguson and the ball went out left. Petrie immediately crossed for MAY at the edge of the box. He twisted and beat the defence before walloping in a great goal.
Hamish French appeared for the half time 50/50 draw which was won by director John Meiklem and the Pars Youth Development Fund were then presented with the £800 prize. The club seemed to be on a winning day and that continued in the second half.
Crawford pushed a great ball through into the path of Eddie May but his lay off to Owen Coyle was intercepted at the edge of the six yard box by Derek Fleming. May again was involved as yet another break through allowed him to cross for Coyle.
May’s athletic efforts covering every blade of grass turned to his misfortune in the 52nd minute. May had covered back and was unfortunate to find both nets. The own goal from inside the six yard box came as he tried to cut out a chest high cross with his foot.
This was only a temporary set back and possibly the only way Mampaey was going to be beaten. Six minutes later the two goal advantage was restored. Stevie CRAWFORD took his second half goal after Petrie split the defence.
McCormick’s twist and turn allowed him a shot at goal but he was high of the target. At the other end Crawford lined one up for Petrie but he too was off target.
Lee Bullen had come on for Coyle in the 64th minute and within ten minutes he had inflicted more pain on the visitors. A tremendous strike from the edge of the penalty box by the substitute sailed into the net in front of the home support in the Norrie McCathie Stand.
Bingham had a chance which he screwed away wide of the goal and Dunfermline ran out worthy winners.
Interesting to see how the defence performed in Andy Tod’s absence; the ex Kelty Hearts man probably being missed more when attacking at free kicks and corners. Eddie May looked like a man reborn and there were sterling perfomances from Petrie and Potter. There was a distinct lack of attack up the right wing, Doesburg looked particularly deserted but maybe future opponents might turn up without a left back.
A very satisfactory display that restrained the Livingston drummer and their happy clappy support.
On this performance we will win 15 points and finish on 74 points. St Mirren defeated Airdrie 1-0 and the question is whether they can fail to take ten points from their remaining games.
DUNFERMLINE: Mampaey; Skinner, Potter, Thomson; Doesburg, May (Tod 84), Ferguson, Petrie, Graham (86), Dair; Crawford, Coyle (Bullen 64).
Yellow Cards: No Pars
Scorers: Coyle (16), May (44), Crawford (59), Bullen (73)
LIVINGSTON: Alexander, Kelly, Fleming, McManus, Sweeney (Coughlan 45), Richardson (Millar (74), Smith (King 56), Rowson, McPhee, McCormick, Bingham.
Yellow Card: Bingham (17)
Scorer: May og (52)
Referee C Hardie
League Position 2nd
Strip: Black and White home
Weather: Sunny, cool next to no wind
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