SPL: DUNDEE 1 DUNFERMLINE 0: 28/10/98
SIMPLY NOT CRICKET
This rain delayed match witnessed Dunfermline playing with complete command for 45 minutes and then retiring for the second half. Perhaps if the Pars opening partnership of Britton and Faulconbridge had put in more net practice the duck would have been broken. In all honesty Dunfermline should have hit Dundee for six in the first half and been able to declare comfortably at the interval to the warmth of the “pavilion”. Instead none of their many chances were completed and when the teams changed ends the balance of play switched to the team playing with its back to the cold west wind - Dundee’s answer to the Freemantle doctor.
Dunfermline made two changes; Andy Tod in place of Jamie Squires and Craig Faulconbridge for the injured George Shaw. which meant that Andy Smith was twelfth man.
Dominating is about the only word to describe the Pars first half performance. There were several times when all eleven Dundee men were inside their own penalty box and Dunfermline piled on the pressure with McCulloch and Petrie combining especially well.
Scott McCulloch was first to threaten the scoreboard when his 40 yard run ended up in the sidenetting. On 15 minutes Petrie got in a first class cross which Faulconbridge just failed to convert. A minute later there was a goalmouth “stramash” which Dundee amazingly survived. Just seven minutes after that keeper Douglas, who was not fit to kick the ball all night, confused his defence and Gerry Britton was presented with the ball at his feet. The former Dens striker looked certain to score until Barry Smith slid in to clear off the line.
Gavin Johnson had a shot blocked after a fine cross from Faulconbridge in 32 minutes and six minutes later Johnson should have scored with a header.
Five minutes from the interval Brian Irvine’s goal kick went straight to Gerry Britton; the ball broke to Stewart Petrie who fired across the six yard box instead of into the net.
In the second half in complete contrast, it was all Dundee. Willie Falconer got his first goal for Dundee when he rose above the decidedly slow to react central defence to head passed Butler from a Willie Miller cross. McInally fired in a shot that Andy Tod did well to block on the line and Eddie Annand should have done better with a header.
So the Pars now prop up the league having lost only three of their eleven matches. This was a match they had to win to secure Premier confidence; the kind of match they have to win and the pattern of match they should have won.
Dunfermline Athletic: Butler, Shields, Tod, Ireland, McCulloch; French, Huxford (Millar 87), Johnson (Ferguson 73) Petrie, Britton, Faulconbridge (Smith 73)
Subs not used: Hay, Martin
Yellow cards: Petrie (80)
Referee: M Clark, Edinburgh
League position 10th and bottom!
Next Match v St Johnstone (home) 31st October
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