SPL: DUNFERMLINE 2 MOTHERWELL 1: 07/03/98
This was a match where the result was the most important factor. The winner would claim a ten point cushion over bottom placed Hibs. Just as well for the offering on the field was not impressive. Dunfermline were without the services of Colin Miller (pulled muscle) and John Fraser (groin strain) but the management supplied a few changes courtesy of their own brand of strategic thinking. Craig Ireland retained his place in the centre of the defence, Dave Barnett returned to the heart of the defence and Andy Tod moved into midfield to play alongside Bingham, Robertson and Petrie. Stewart Petrie started at right midfield and Hamish French joined Andy Smith up front.
Motherwell scored first through Tommy Coyne in the 12th minute with Motherwellâ€™s first sortie into the penalty box. A Billy Davies corner from the left was nodded down by Newman for Coyne to convert. Eleven minutes later ANDY SMITH got on the end of a brilliant Dave Bingham break out of our own half and an equally brilliant lay off to the right for the big striker to slot under the advancing keeper. Not alot happened in a fairly lacklustre half in which the keepers must have felt distinctly out of things.
Dunfermline tried to play a midfield but Andy Tod was anonymous and one cannot recall Robbo and Toddy exchanging a pass all match.
Sitting alongside was Walter Smith watching the Motherwell performance ahead of their fixture next week but he did suggest that Toddy was lost in midfield and Robertson was past it. And some thought he knew nothing about football eh!
With 64 minutes gone Andy Smith burst through on goal and Newman the Motherwell no.4 cleared the ball past Woods into his own net.
Both teams played out the time with little urgency save the French Motherwell substitute Eric Garcin who gave the defence a rough time but his former club was the destiny for him again as Toulouse seemed inevitable for a Well side that showed little of the new managers influence.
DUNFERMLINE: Westwater, Shields, McCulloch, Tod, Barnett, Ireland, Bingham, Robertson, Smith, French (Shaw 73min), Petrie (Huxford 80min).
Subs not used Den Bieman,
Yellow cards: Smith, Robertson, Shields
Scorer Smith (23), Newman og (64)
Referee Tom Brown (Edinburgh)
League position 8th
Next match v Aberdeen (home) Saturday 14th March