SPL: DUNFERMLINE 1 ST JOHNSTONE 1: 31/10/98
Only six of the starting line up from Wednesday were retained as Dunfermline brought back Andy Smith, replaced the entire midfield and brought Jamie Squires in to a five man defence. Playing into the low autumn sun, the Pars had a promising start and looked eager to lift themselves off the bottom of the League.
The 22nd minute opener came in controversial circumstances as the Assistant Referee on the North Stand side raised his flag as Greg Shields tried to round the Saints defender. Shields appeared to give up and just blasted over the ball as Stuart Dougall waved play on. Andy SMITH was left with slightly more than a tap in from four yards. Despite the St Johnstone protestations the goal stood.
The second half brought the usual Pars post interval dross. I can hardly recall them being in the St Johnstone penalty box until the 85th minute. Saints equaliser came on 54 minutes after a period when the Pars defence just could not get the ball away. A clearance fell to John McQuillan whose 25 yard shot found the bottom right hand corner of Lee Butler’s goal. The visitors had chances to win the game; Lee Butler tipping the ball out from under the crossbar in 71st minute and minutes later deflecting a Lowndes cross away from the waiting St Johnstone players.
Only at the end did Dunfermline threaten to score when Richard Huxford head passed and Andy Smith was caught sleeping as Stewart Petrie pushed through a great ball.
The final whistle was a great relief to all after Dunfermline went down to ten men following what looked like a serious leg injury to Scott Thomson.
Dunfermline Athletic: Butler, Shields, Tod, Squires, Ireland, McCulloch (Petrie 60); Thomson, Templeman (Huxford 71), Millar, Smith, Britton (Ferguson 79)
Subs not used: Hay, Faulconbridge
Scorer: Smith (22)
Yellow cards: Tod (14), Millar (42), McCulloch (52), Petrie (88)
Referee: S Dougall
League position 10th and still bottom!
Next Match v Aberdeen (away) 7th November
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