SPL: DUNFERMLINE 0 KILMARNOCK 6: 17/04/99
SAMMY TO TAKE THE BLAME
When a side lies at the foot of the table with six games to go and proceeds to lose by six goals at home there is little better indicators of whom to put your money on for relegation.
The Pars fans who made their way out Appin Crescent this afternoon expecting a 2 or 3 - 1 win had better accept the reality of it all; it is going to take a miracle to escape the drop. With all the talk of Dundee United taking over Dundee and so saving everyone from relegation, it is Dunfermline who’d better start negotiations to by Jocky Scott’s den. With United winning 4-0 at Pittodrie maybe their need to acquire their next door neighbours might wane.
Dick Campbell was quoted after the game as saying “I’ve got to be the most embarrassed manager in the country right now. We stopped doing everything that we are good at, there was no buzz about us from start to finish.”
The match was certainly all about tactics and Dunfermline’s went seriously wrong all day. It was not Dick Campbell but Scotland’s number one club mascot, Sammy the Tammy who started the rot. The usual routine with the ball people in the centre circle was changed to make them fall down as he touched them instead of just running to their stations. Right from that moment the Pars were down and struggling to compete with a Kilmarnock team that might as well have fielded their squirrel.
Dunfermline started with the same line up as they had at Ibrox on Wednesday night. This was the only similarity to that game because the Pars lacked the drive and fight that they had so ably demonstrated in their last match. We have now failed to score against Kilmarnock in all four encounters this season and given the Ayrshire men’s great defence record a plan should have been deployed to hit the net.
With Kilmarnock defending the goal in front of the away support and playing into the sun, the first 15 minutes were relatively incident free. Richard Huxford found himself clear in the Killie penalty box but a Mahood tackle ended any hopes of an early goal. After 17 minutes a cross was headed on by Petrie to Dair before Coyle sent the ball wide. A quick throw from Petrie 6 minutes later gave Coyle a chance which he failed to use.
But it was Kilmarnock who took the lead in 26. Jerome Veraille cut back a ball to John Henry who accepted his third goal in as many matches. The fairly boring first half finished with Scott Thomson and Marc Millar having attempts to beat Marshall and Andy Tod heading an effort from a Stewart Petrie free kick.
The second half started with Andy Smith coming on for Huxford. Andy played up front as the system changed to 3-4-3. This did not work as the flanks where Killie were dangerous were devoid of defenders. Early evidence of its shakiness came when Marc Millar was short on a pass back to the keeper. In the 51st minute Varielle crossed to Reilly but he and Durrant combined to miss their chance.
On 56 minutes Verielle in suspiciously offside position crossed for Henry to see his effort keeper Butler brilliantly saved a Henry rebound off his body was fired into the net from close in by Ally Mitchell. Two minutes later Ian Durrant was teed up for number three as he hit the net from 12 yards.
On the hour Owen Coyle sent one of our 5 second half corners wide right. Two minutes later further team changes as Colin Nish replaced David Graham, Now Graham must have been caught offside 6 or 7 times in the first half but the lad was the only player who was fighting for Premier League survival. His substitution was met by calls of booing.
Jerome Vareille was given acres of space as he walloped in number 4.
After 75th minutes Henry got his second, Kilmarnock’s fifth, and Super Ally came on to score a late sixth. Andy Tod had tested Marshall with 9 minutes remaining and Coyle sent another ball wide.
The fans who remained to the bitter end booed loudly at the final whistle. It was not only the defeat but the manner of the defeat that was so disappointing. Dunfermline rarely looked like scoring and the stuffing was out the team before they started. The sun drenched Halbeath Road had a silent atmosphere as fans dispersed in shock. Gloom has certainly set in and matches are running out. A Fife Scottish bus made its journey eastbound - the destination board stated Dundee and destiny for DAFC has much to do with events in Dundee both on and off the park.
DUNFERMLINE: Butler; Millar (Squires), Tod, Shields, Huxford (Smith 45); Thomson, Dair, Dolan, Petrie; Graham (Nish 62), Coyle.
Subs not used: Westwater, McGroarty.
Yellow card: Millar (57), Thomson 59).
Referee S Dougall
League position 10th
Next match V Dundee United (away) Saturday 24th April 1999
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