SPL: DUNFERMLINE 2 DUNDEE 0: 13/03/99

This was a big match for both sides with Premier League survival at stake. Dunfermline could not afford to miss the opportunity to close the gap on Hearts and the two Tayside clubs, and Dundee needed the assurance of ongoing SPL status to allow commitment in the coming weeks to ground reconstruction.

Dunfermline did not play as well as they have of late but got the three points they desperately needed.

Dunfermline defended the goal to the east end which meant they played into a fierce spring sun. There were nothing shining in the opening play. It took fifteen minutes before the first incident of any note - a Steven Tweed header over the bar following two successive Dundee corners. This brought Dunfermline to life and three minutes later Andy Tod headed a Marc Millar cross straight at Douglas, the Dundee keeper.

Midway through the half a corner clearance fell to Marc Millar but his 20 yard shot went high over the bar. Stewart Petrie then crossed from the left and the ball spun through his grasp for a corner. The corner was one of seven first half corners that were successfully defended by the tall Dundee defence.

A cross from the right looked promising when Coyle went up on the edge of the six yard box, but he missed it and it fell on to the back of Gerry Britton’s leg. Coyle had a shot over and wide and next Britton broke through on the left but as two defenders closed down on him failed to trouble Douglas.

Three minutes later on 36 minutes Andy Tod provided the first shot on target of the game. He raced in to the left side of the box to head into the far corner of the net but Douglas got a hand to it and deflected it on to the crossbar and over.

Good constructive play down the right allowed Scott Thomson to get in a cross but Jason Dair blew the chance. Four minutes from half time Adamczuk broke down the right and fired across a dangerous ball that Greg Shields headed behind.

Andy Tod had yet another effort at goal but again the ball soared over the bar. In the last move of the half Falconer thread the ball out to Anderson whose cross found Falconer and Butler saved in style to tip the ball over for another corner. It had been all Dunfermline despite the fact that the visitors had 8 first half corners to the Pars 7. Dunfermline were having no success with corners against the tall Dundee defence and the Pars attack looked too slow and deliberate.

The second half did not start with any great gusto. Jason Dair had a 30 yard mishit off target in 54 minutes. Two minutes later Stewart Petrie drove passed the right post and next minute Owen Coyle was clear from half way. The striker narrowed in on goal with two defenders in hot pursuit and unfortunately his effort went over the bar as Douglas came to meet him.

Gerry Britton was replaced by David Graham in 58 minutes. Immediately his speed bother the towering Dundee defence and he teed up Jason Dair. Dair’s shot was blocked and nobody could stick it in the net.

In the 63rd minute of the game Scott Thomson crossed for Coyle but again his shot was saved but the ball broke for SCOTT THOMSON who fired in a 18 yard shot as the Dundee defence became tattered.

Dundee tried to counter and Annand had a weak effort which Lee Butler gathered easily. Gavin Johnson took a fall on to the track and was soon replaced by Andy Smith. Scott Thomson dropped back to left back and big Andy was given an attacking midfield role. On 77 minutes Coyle cutely back heeled for Andy Smith but his glorious chance slipped passed the left post. Seven minutes from time Butler needed to save a Falconer header but as the Pars played out the game with little other danger DAVID GRAHAM proved too pacy for the opposition as he single handed took them on and stuck the ball away for Dunfermline’s second.

Dariusz Adamczuk was then sent off for hitting the ball away, this following his earlier card for diving meant offski for the Pole.

Hearts will fear the tread of this Dunfermline side but on this showing it is still Dundee that have the most to worry about.

DUNFERMLINE: Butler, Millar, Tod (captain), Shields, Johnson (Smith 75); Thomson, Dair, Dolan, Petrie (Templeman 85); Coyle,, Britton (Graham 58)
Subs not used: Westwater, Squires.
Scorers: Thomson (63), Graham (89)
Yellow cards: Dair (66), Millar (71).

Referee Hugh Dallas (Motherwell)
Attendance: 6890
League position 10th

Next match v St Johnstone (home) Saturday 20th March 1999



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