SPL: MOTHERWELL 0 DUNFERMLINE 0: 22/08/98
Dunfermline made one change Scott McCulloch coming in for Gavin Johnson who was red carded last week. The start was delayed ten minutes for two reasons a) the Pars team bus got caught up in traffic and didn’t make Fir Park until after two o’ clock and b) the reduction of admission prices [to £5 for adults and £1 for concessions] by the new Well owner John Boyle meant that there were still many fans outside the ground at 3 o’ clock.
With almost 10000 in the ground you would have expected Motherwell to try hard to entertain and encourage repeat business. If they continue to dish out the thuggery that earned them three yellow cards in the first 15 minutes and had robbed Dunfermline of Andy Tod injured, it won’t be long before they are paying their supporters to come to home games.
There were few chances in this was a rugged match which was well handled by Referee Martin Clark. Motherwell hit the crossbar twice and Butler had a brilliant one handed save from Owen Coyle in the last minute. Dunfermline rarely threatened Kaven, the Finnish goalkeeper but they did come to life in the second half when Hamish French replaced John Fraser who had barely made his presence felt. The Motherwell right back Doesburg produced Dunfermline’s closest when in the 60th minute he almost floated the ball into his own net. The Pars, playing towards their 1000+ supporters, had a good second half with George Shaw really bothering the Well defence. One of his crosses was perfect for Andy Smith but his header went wide to the left.
Motherwell finished strongly in the last two minutes but were thwarted by Butler. Not nearly as bad as the radio pundits would have you believe. Chris Templeman again had a good game playing with lots of commitment. The loss of Andy Tod unsettled the Pars defence but with Greg Shields moving into the centre of defence the team has to be proud of their second shut out in a row and their first such sequence since December 1997.
DUNFERMLINE: Butler, Shields, Tod (Huxford 15), Squires, Ireland, McCulloch; Ferguson, Fraser (French 45), Templeman (Thomson 78); Shaw, Smith.
Subs not used Hay, Martin
Yellow Card: Shaw (30), Templeman(45) Shields, McCulloch
Referee Martin Clark (Edinburgh)
League position 7th
Next match v Aberdeen(home) Saturday 29th August 1998
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