SPL: ABERDEEN 2 DUNFERMLINE 0: 28/01/98
The Pars were without the suspended Dave Barnett, Ivo Den Bieman coming in to replace him and Raymond Sharp being in the squad for the first time since the opening match of the season.
Craig Robertson started the game in the centre of the defence as Dunfermline lined up 5-4-1; Andy Smith being given the task of trying to find something out of nothing. When you have Scotland’s leading home grown striker one might have expected better service to him. It was Smith who almost scored in the opening minutes as Dunfermline pressed forward with confidence. This quickly evaporated when an Eoin Jess shot from 20 yards deceived Ian Westwater who misjudged the bounce of the ball off the sandy patch in front of his goal. Six minutes on the clock and Aberdeen were firmly in the driving seat.
The officials completely missed a glaring offside and the Pars defence did extremely well to block the attack that followed. Hamish French came close at the other end but Aberdeen did enough to warrant their 1-0 half time lead.
The Pars started the second half poorly and just when it looked as though the Aberdeen defence might weaken Gary Smith was allowed to drive horizontally across the edge of the penalty box before sending the ball majestically past Westie.
At 2-0 Alex Miller’s men sat back and absorbed Dunfermline’s efforts which improved when firstly Hamish French was thrown forward and then Craig Robertson moved into midfield. Aberdeen never looked likely to concede a goal and dispose their opposition of 7th spot in the Premier League.
The media reckoned that Dunfermline played “too much football” and are now suggesting that the direct route for which they received so much criticism in the early (successful) part of the season is what is required! A win by any means is now desperately required.
DUNFERMLINE: Westwater, Shields, C Miller (Sharp 80), Tod, Den Bieman, Curran (Duarte 80), Moore (Shaw 64), Robertson, Smith, French Petrie.
Yellow Card: Den Bieman, Shields, Tod
Referee: J Fleming (Glasgow)
League Position 8th
Next Match v Kilmarnock (home) Saturday 31st January
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