SPL v Dundee
DUNDEE 1 DUNFERMLINE 2 Date: 23/10/04
Fixture: BOS SPL Premier League
Attendance: 5456 Kick Off: 15:00
Referee: S Dougall Weather: Overcast 11C
When the Pars need an away win oh how we need to thank Dundee. With only one win on the road since our last one at Dens Park at the beginning of February and not even one goal away from home in this campaign it was again Dundee who suffered as Davie Hay`s team put in a determined performance to earn their second win of the season.
Scott Thomson put the Pars up, against the run of play in the 35th minute. Derek Young finished off a beautiful flowing move four minutes into the second half and with Anderson getting one back within 200 seconds it was a good defensive display from the whole team that kept the Dees out.
The Pars were forced to make changes from the side beaten at Almondvale last Saturday. Derek Young replaced the injured Gary Dempsey and with Gary Mason preferred, Darren Young was on the bench. Thomas Butler started upfront on the right side with Simon Donnelly dropping in behind the front two.
Dundee kicked off towards the Dunfermline support stuck in the north side of the east stand and the play swept towards Derek Stillie`s goal for the first 25 minutes. The Pars keeper had to be quick to turn a Stephen McNally shot round his left hand post in the fifth minute. The corner highlighted indecision in the Pars defence as they failed to stop the ball reaching Steven Robb on the left side of the penalty box and his return whizzed through the six yard box before Derek Young cleared the box.
John Sutton`s header from a Garry Brady cross caused a six yard box stramash that Andrius Skerla eventually won. Two minutes later as Dundee kept up the pressure Greg Shields had to block a Robb cross to concede a corner. Robb`s ball in from the left ended wide right after the in-rushing Neil Barrett`s header was off target.
Dunfermline looked nervous; Craig Brewster had an aimless long range effort that failed to tax Soutar but they managed little to take the heat off their own defence. Robb, Barrett and Lovell produced a move that threatened a goal and Derek Stillie roasted his defence as Dundee showed up inadequacies.
A Simon Donnelly touch back teed Shields for a shot from 25 yards but again the effort was wide right. Back at the other end Robb got around Shieldsie, kept the ball in at the byeline and sent over a ball that Brady hit over the bar.
Despite the one way traffic towards the Pars goal Dundee were to lament their inability to turn the chances into goals. Dunfermline had weathered the storm and then started creating chances of their own. Shields and Nicholson combined for the right back to get in a shot but unfortunately too high.
Shields ball to Nicholson on 32 minutes was also despatched over the workwork but two minutes later Donnelly`s ball into the right side of the box was fired at Soutar from 8 yards and the keeper touched the ball out for a corner on the right. This was Dunfermline`s first corner of the game and Thomas Butler sent in a ball that Scott THOMSON met at the near post to head powerfully in from about 8 yards out.
Brewster headed a cross into the path of Derek Young but his shot from 20 yards went over the crossbar. Dundee were nearly in on 39 minutes when Brady swung in a ball from the right that Barrett beat Wilson to but fortunately Derek Stillie scooped up the ball before venting more anger this time at Brew.
The only other noteworthy play of the opening 45 was a Thomson free kick sent into the box from just inside the Dundee half on the far left. The defence defended the first ball but Brewster was presented with a chance which was again too far to right of target.
The Fifers started the second half chasing hard for a second goal and it didn`t take long to arrive. Derek Young`s pass to Brewster on the right was sent across the penalty box and Barry Nicholson was very lucky not to get high enough to headin the cross. Then Nicholson supplied Brew with a similar chance but as Brent Sancho challenged the Pars veteran could not get enough on his header to beat Soutar.
Then a slick movement with the ball being switched quickly from Brewster to Donnelly and out right to Nicholson before being sent into the Dundee box for DEREK YOUNG to execute the killer volley with his right foot from 8 yards out.
At two nil it looked as though Dunfermline might have the result in the bag but as Livvy`s Alan Kernaghan said last week a two goal lead is the hardest to defend. The Pars tails were only up for just over three minutes. Rejected by Dunfermline during summer trials Ian ANDERSON struck back heading in a Robb cross from the left to put Dundee right back into the match with more than 30 minutes remaining.
Dundee then threw everything at the visitors as they pushed for an equaliser. Stillie had to push the ball round his left post again after another Robb cross found Sutton at the far post and he beat off Thomson to test the keeper.
In a brief respite Scott Thomson was up to shoot a low driven effort wide left from distance but it was back to defending when Sutton drove wide and then Brady`s cross being put behind by Thomson for yet another corner. Lovell disappointed the home crowd behind the Pars goal when it looked as though he was going to head in a Sutton ball but the anticipation plunged when he failed to connect.
Billy Mehmet came on for Thomas Butler in the 63rd minute and he almost coverted a Dunfermline counterattack minutes later. A swift passing move from Nicholson through Mehmet picked out Young on the left. His cross into the Dundee penalty box was headed back square to the substitute but from all of six yards found the keeper`s hands and not the net.
The home fans biggest cheer of the day came in the 71st minute when Paraguayan Fabian Caballero made his return to Dens. He was thrown up front as Jim Duffy tried the Calderwood tactic of four men up. The newly introduced sub sent in a ball from the left from a short taken corner that Mehmet headed out but Sutton and Lovell had attempts to score but the latter eventually sent the shot wide left.
As Dundee parked in the Pars half to keep up almost constant attack Mehmet and Nicholson got the inevitable breakaway down the right but Derek Young volleyed the cross over from 25 yards. The second of the visitors` corners in the 83rd minute was headed off the head of Thomson by Bobby Mann.
Four minutes from the end of normal time Thomson cleared a Mann header off the line and next Stillie held well from a Sancho header. Good play retaining possession kept the Pars out of trouble and ensured that the mission was accomplished.
After a shaky start Dunfermline came into the match. The Dundee goal made it an uncomfortable closing half hour. In total they forced ten corners to the Pars two but a very good defensive display from all eleven DA players on the park made it a happy return from Tayside.