SFL First Division: MORTON 0 DUNFERMLINE 3: 11/12/99
A training injury to Jamie Dolan meant that Jimmy Calderwood was forced into one change in the starting line up; David Moss came in and Chris McGroarty, Steven Hampshire and John Potter made up the bench.
Dunfermline were pegged back into their own half for most of the opening twenty minutes. Five minutes into the match Ian Westwater could only watch the ball flash across his goalmouth with Ross Matheson being unfortunate not to turn the ball into the Pars goal. This wee number 7’s speed and presence caused havoc with the Dunfermline defence.
Four minutes later a Paul Fenwick shot from 25 yards hit the inside of Westie’s left hand post and fell to Matheson who put it in the net. The Cowshed side assistant had his flag up for offside and relief was in evidence not the least from the Pars keeper who really should have got to the first shot.
Westie’s clearances and goalkicks in the first twenty minutes flew off the park at both sides and he was subjected to abuse prompting a comment from the Pars fans behind his goal “bet you think you’re at the away end Westie!
Dunfermline had countered through Stewart Petrie who was felled and Justin Skinner took a free kick towards David Moss but provided no threat to Maxwell. Next the disallowed goals were equalised as Crawford had the ball in the net but again the offside flag denied the opener.
Only a minute passed however before Crawford turned provider and Owen COYLE sent the ball low into the net. The goal settled the Pars down and they started to play better football. Number two came from David MOSS when he headed in from a corner on the left. Despite some flapping on the goalpost the pace of the header earned a goal.
Dunfermline were well on top when the interval came and started not too badly in the second. Westie was in action after 51 minutes when Matheson shot low and hard into the same corner as Coyle’s goal had landed. The next event was perhaps one of the most significant things to happen in the match. After 57 minutes captain Andy Tod was substituted by John Potter. Toddy had been yellow carded in the 44th minute for persistent fouling and this probably gave the Manager the excuse to pull him off. It was definitely a desirable move and allowed Potter to show his skills.
Andy Tod’s distribution had been woeful and certainly was getting abuse from the travelling “support”. In the end Potter did nothing wrong and demonstrated that he could play a bit.
Morton came close with an effort that went over the crossbar and Petrie had a run which he should have scored with. Owen Coyle had a shot saved by Maxwell’s back as he dived late for the ball and then Steven Hampshire was brought on for Coyle.
The young Chelsea loan player could have had a hattrick with seven minutes but got nothing. First he was through in a similar style to Petrie previously but hung on too long before shooting. A minute later Hamish crossed and Hampshire failed convert by shooting wide.
Stevie CRAWFORD however popped up to get the third which was always on the cards. He rounded the weary Morton defence to slot the ball passed Maxwell for his seventh goal in five matches.
A good result but the manager acknowledges - not as good a performance as last Saturday. Both fans were left to go home happy when the tannoy revealed Inverness 1 St Mirren 1. So now only six points behind the leaders with half the league programme still to play.
DUNFERMLINE: Westwater; May (McGroarty 18), Tod (Potter 57), Skinner, Reid, Thomson; French, Moss; Crawford, Coyle (Hampshire 80), Petrie.
Scorers: Coyle (25), Moss (32), Crawford (85)
Yellow Cards: Andy Tod (44)
Referee AC Gemmill
League Position 2nd
Strip: Yellow (away)
Next match v Inverness Caley Thistle (home) League Saturday 18th December 1999
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