SPL: DUNFERMLINE 1 ABERDEEN 1: 29/08/98
A bit of a battle in which both sides put up a fight for their share of the points. Andy Tod was out with torn ligaments in his ankle, so Richard Huxford retained the place he took when replacing his injured team mate at Motherwell last week. Dunfermline brought in Scott Thomson for the injured Derek Ferguson, Gavin Johnson for John Fraser and Gerry Britton replaced George Shaw upfront.
The kick off was delayed by nine minutes because the new turnstiles (and their operators) were struggling to cope with the job. On the day when the Pars announced that they would be launching a new away strip Dunfermline wore their plain black shirts, third strip, which are fast becoming 1-1 draw specials.
Dunfermline were the much better side in the first half. Scott Thomson twice fired in good efforts and Jim Leighton had to produce his international class; Chris Templeman had some good tries and Aberdeen looked poor. Craig Hignett was red carded in 24 minutes for elbowing Templeman but the Pars failed miserably to capitalise on the extra number advantage.
The home support loudly applauded their side off at half time but it was a slower side that emerged 15 minutes later. Aberdeen took the lead in 74 minutes when Mark Perry was left unattended at a corner kick. This came as a surprise to the team but from the stand it clearly looked that an Aberdeen goal was likely.
Marc Millar sporting a peroxide shampoo, replaced Scott Thomson but he is still a shadow of the old self. George Shaw replaced Chris Templeman and latterly Hamish French came on for a very tired looking Gerry Britton. Then with 80 odd minutes gone Dunfermline suddenly awoke from the dead and finished with a blitz on the Dons goal that again had to be thankful to Jim Leighton.
Following good build up play from Shields and George Shaw, Greg Shields’ cross was nodded back across the six yard box by Craig Ireland and Hamish FRENCH slotted in the equaliser. Twice after that Leighton kept the draw alive and held out during a frenzied Pars onslaught.
DUNFERMLINE: Butler, Shields, Squires, Ireland, McCulloch; Huxford, Thomson (Millar 67), Templeman (Shaw 80 ) Johnson; Smith, Britton (French 83).
Subs not used Hay, Nish
Scorer: French (89)
Yellow Card: Huxford (50), Millar (80), Britton (82)
Referee S Dougal (Burnside)
Attendance 6463 but looked more like 7700 Mr D’Mello!
League position 5th
Next match v St Johnstone (away) Saturday 12th September 1998
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