SPL: DUNFERMLINE 0 MOTHERWELL 2: 02/08/97
This was a disappointing start to the new season. Bert and Dick raised a few eyebrows with a team selection. With Craig Robertson, Steve Welsh, Gerry Britton and David Bingham out injured, Marc Millar and Derek Fleming were left out. Motherwell had numerous chances and got two goals, Dunfermline a handful of chances, none on target and the first scorer of the season sweepstake gets a roll over.
Motherwell should have scored in the very first attack when Tommy Coyne sent over a cross from the right that should have been converted from inside the six yard box. Andy Smith got the better of the Well defence twice in the next ten minutes but Hamish French and then John Fraser failed to score. In the 19th minute Andy Tod hit the post with a header and two minutes later Andy Smith blasted over the bar when netting might have been easier.
Dunfermline should have had a penalty in the 30th minute. Craig Denham upended Andy Smith in front of goal but unfortunately the ref did not see it that way. A minute from half time Andy Smith was set up by a neat pass from Harry Curran but again the striker failed.
Dunfermline started the second half with the same formation as they had tackled the first half. In the 47th minute Owen Coyle suspiciously offside set up Tommy Coyne who brought a great save out of Ian Westwater. Motherwell then took a grip of the game and when Sharp stuck out a foot for Eddie May to tumble over on the edge of the box a penalty resulted. Tommy COYNE stepped up to give Westie no chance. 63 minutes gone and not a lot to show for it.
Moore came on for Fraser and later Petrie for Sharp. The system that the Pars tried to play from then on in seemed to have all 11 players confused and the chances that did pop up fell to a distinctly out of touch Harry Curran who will want to extinguish all memory of this game for ever.
The 85th minute second goal from Tommy COYNE was a neat back flick from a free kick on the left. The free kick should never have come about as Andy Tod obstructed Willie Falconer for a ball that was touch bound. Anyhow a flat Pars defence allowed the well striker cream on the cake with a cheeky effort that gave Westie no chance.
Dave Barnett was forced into a few errors which suggest that he might need to adapt to the pace of the Scottish League. Ian Westwater was the only Pars star.
DUNFERMLINE: Ian Westwater, Greg Shields, Raymond Sharp (Stewart Petrie 78), Andy Tod, Dave Barnett, Craig Ireland, Harry Curran, Colin Miller, Smith, Hamish French, Fraser (Allan Moore 57)
Yellow cards: Fraser, Smith, Shields
Referee Bobby Orr (Kilbarchan)
Next match Coca Cola Cup v Ayr United Saturday 9th August 1997 (Home)