A packed East End Park and a Dunfermline win in front of a national television audience

This match was the beamed live by Sky Sports and their commentator, Ian Crocker introduced this as a crunch match for Dunfermline at the foot of the Premier League. From the opening 13 matches Bert Paton’s Pars had taken just 11 points and only scored 10 goals. Hence the signings ahead of this game of two strikers, 20 year old David Graham from Rangers and Edinho on loan from Bradford City. The Brazilian, bought from Guimaraes in Portugal had endeared himself to fans at Bradford as their top scorer the previous season.

With the match switched to a Sunday evening kick off with the unusual kick off time of 6.05pm (at least in 1998), the initiative of slashing admission prices to £5 for adults and £1 for kids proved very popular and the kick off had to be delayed to allow in the crowd of 10,704. The Dunfermline board got what they wanted by attracting new fans while also creating an atmosphere from a good sized live audience.

Alex Mathie opened the scoring for the visitors in just the third minute. Dodds ball in the right picked out United’s signing from Ipswich Town in the right side of the box. He turned Jamie Squires and sent a shot towards the top left. For a moment it looked like Lee Butler had got enough of a touch on it to send it over but unfortunately the ball found the top corner of the Pars net. 0-1

Edinho immediately hit the right goalpost at the other end and Dijkstra tipped away a later effort from the new man before Andy TOD headed in the equaliser in 27 minutes. Edinho controlled the ball on the left side of the United box, cut back for Gavin Johnson to sweep the ball over to the far corner of the six yard box and Tody powered the ball across goal to find the net just inside the left upright. 1-1

It was a lively game with the large crowd cheering on everything giving it a cup tie feel. The Fifers were awarded a soft free kick when Siggi Jonson was deemed (wrongly) to have handled the ball. The free kick 30 yards out saw the Pars Johnson run over the ball before McCULLOCH drove his low strike through a disjointed United wall to find the net inside the right post. 2-1

Having come from behind to lead there was no way the Pars were going to relinquish that but the post did keep out a 42nd minute Mathie drive.

Half time: Dunfermline 2 Dundee United 1

On the hour Butler was beaten by a Mathie header but Greg Shields cleared off the line. For the Pars, nine minutes later, Smith headed narrowly wide.

There was drama when United were awarded an indirect free kick seven yards out right in front of goal after Butler had picked up a pass back. The entire Dunfermline team lined up along the goal line and the ball was blocked after Dodds tried to blast the tap-back to him.

Despite losing Andy Smith late on with a twisted ankle, the Pars clung on and saw out the four added minutes to record just their second win of this SPL season. This win took them level on points with their opponents but at the end of the season Dunfermline had only 28 points and were relegated with Dundee United six points ahead of them in ninth place. It was also the first time that Dunfermline had won a game that was being televised live.

Edinho would make ten appearances for the Fifers, scoring one goal in a 2-1 defeat at Tynecastle, before returning to Bradford in February 1999.

DUNFERMLINE: Lee Butler: Greg Shields, Jamie Squires, Craig Ireland, Mark McCulloch: Derek Ferguson, Andy Tod, Gavin Johnson (Richard Huxford 73), Edinho (Stewart Petrie 62), Andy Smith, David Graham
SUBS NOT USED: Colin Nish, Ian Westwater (GK).
SCORERS: To (27), McCulloch (36)
YELLOW CARD: Squires (21), McCulloch (38)

DUNDEE UNITED: Seeb Dijkstra: Magnus Skoldmark (Jason de Vos 55), Darren Paterson, Maurice Malpas, Siggi Jonson, Bernard Pascual: Craig Easton, Lars Zetterlund (Joe Miller 69), Ross Mathie, Billy Dodds, Kjell Olofsson (Steven Thompson 80)
SUBS NOT USED: Jim Paterson, Alan Combe (GK)
SCORER: Mathie (3)
YELLOW CARD: de Vos (56

REFEREE: John Rowbotham

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