Chris Templeman was relegated to the bench as the Pars brought back Derek Ferguson after injury. St Johnstone eager to impress under their new manager Sandy Clark started strongly with George O’Boyle troubling the visitors’ defence.

Dunfermline did little to heat up the match, their midfield failing to make any headway. Incidents were few and the Saints were fortunate to lead at half time through a 37th minute own goal. All the big Saints defence were up for a McMahon set piece from the right and doubtful marking gave the home side numerical advantage at the far post. A Nick Dasovic header was forced down on Jamie Squires’ legs and the young defender could not avoid diverting the ball into his own net.

The second half resumed with the Pars playing towards their own support in the North stand. Gerry Britton was pulled down as he went up for a cross and the referee rightly awarded the penalty. There seemed to be few volunteers to take it so skipper ANDY SMITH stepped up and walloped the ball past Alan Main.

Two minutes later the same Smith blasted over a Richard Huxford shot which rebound from the upright and wasted the best chance that came Dunfermline’s way for the rest of the match. Pouring rain replaced the fine sunshine and Butler was forced to save from O’Boyle.

Roddy Grant replaced O’Boyle and was extremely lucky not to be red carded as he completely took out Scott McCulloch. The left back who had one of his best game’s for Dunfermline was carried off by Pip Yeates and John McVeigh. Scandalously Grant received not a card or even a word from the whistler. The subsequent bookings of Huxford and Shaw were reactions to this resultance to penalise Grant.

Despite losing an own goal the defence played well, but Britton and Smith failed to bother the opposition and the midfield seemed to miss the urgency and enthusiasm of Chris Templeman.

DUNFERMLINE: Butler, Shields, Squires, Ireland, McCulloch (Shaw 80); Huxford, Thomson (French), Ferguson, Johnson (Petrie); Smith, Britton.
Subs not used Hay, Templeman
Scorer: Smith (pen 49)
Yellow Cards: Smith, McCulloch, Huxford, Britton, Shaw

Referee G Simpson (Westhill)
League position 7th

Next match v Hearts (home) Sunday 20th September 1998 ko 3.00pm

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