SPL: HEARTS 2 DUNFERMLINE 0: 09/05/98
A large and loud travelling support conquered the challenge of road works on the Forth Bridge to witness the last match of the season. There was little at stake for either side; Hearts players were more mindful of Saturday’s Cup Final while five Pars men (Smith, Tod, Ireland, McCulloch and Bingham) were treading softly to avoid another yelllow card and subsequent suspension at the beginning of next season.
The Fifers started well with Rousset being tested by Andy Smith. But Hearts responded and John Robertson made life for the Dunfermline defence who changed from a back five to four at the back with Richard Huxford put on Robbo. It took ages for the defence to understand what the management wanted and then with 22 minutes on the clock a through ball from Weir found Stephane Adam. The suspiciously offside striker placed the ball past Westie.
Dunfermline had many opportunities in the second half to get back on level terms. Andy Smith had two good chances that you would have expected him to add to his goal tally. The best however was when Rousset miskicked a clearance to Gerry Britton’s feet but his shot towards an open goal was too weak and the Hearts keeper was able to get back and redeem himself.
Petrie came on for an off form David Bingham and when further substitution of French for Millar was evident the large boos from the away support prompted the management to introduce Craig Faulconbridge. If Celtic had lost the championship this 20-year-old Englishman would have become a legend in Scottish football history. He clearly enjoys the fans praise, he plays with enthusiasm and commitment and it would be a shame if he has to return to fight for a place in Coventry reserves.
As has happened before at Tynecastle, with Dunfermline pushing for an equaliser Hearts broke upfield and HOLMES settled the match with seven minutes remaining.
Dunfermline finish the season in a disappointing 8th place in the Premier League but can look forward to being part of the new Premiership.
DUNFERMLINE: Ian Westwater: Greg Shields, Scott McCulloch, Andy Tod, Craig Ireland, Richard Huxford (Hamish French 78), Gerry Britton, Jamie Squires, Andy Smith, David Bingham (Stewart Petrie 60), Marc Millar (Craig Faulconbridge 78)
Yellow cards: none
Referee Bobby Orr (Kilbarchan)
Final league position 8th
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