SPL v Livingston
LIVINGSTON 0 DUNFERMLINE 0 Date: 04/10/03
Fixture: BOS SPL Premier League
Attendance: 4616, Kick Off: 15:00
Referee: Ian Fyfe,Weather: Sunny 7C
A goalless draw at Livingston did little to warm the 700 or so travelling support. It was a match that either team could have won yet neither deserved to lose.
Dunfermline were without Tod and Grondin so there was a starting place for both Scott Thomson and Scott Wilson. Livingston made one changed from the team that won 3-0 at Pittodrie last Saturday, Jon Paul McGovern replacing McNamee on the right side of the five man midfield.
The Pars defended the goal in front of their supporters in the first half. A fifth minute Livingston corner from Lee Makel was cleared only as far as Francisco Quino who hammered in a shot that was well wide to the left of Stillie`s goal.
Craig Brewster was on the end of a Sean Kilgannon free kick swung in from the right three minutes later but the header sent the ball over the crossbar. McGovern was looking pretty nippy on the right and it was he who picked out Kerr in the box. Gary Mason stepped in to display a cool, or maybe just crazy, head a skillfully work the ball away out of his own six yard box.
A long ball from Scott Thomson was moved on by Brewster and when the block came back off Marvyn Andrews Craig tested the keeper from 30 yards out. Roddy McKenzie took the ball at his second attempt. A 14th minute cross from Fernandez was cleared by Bullen only for Andrews to have a go with but he was well off target to the left.
When Brewster sent the ball out wide on the right touch line for Crawford things looked promising for the Pars but Stevie`s cross was tapped back across the box by Kilgannon from the left and the Livvy defence had no trouble getting it away.
Scott Thomson assumed the captain`s responsibility with a 28th minute free kick from 30 yards out that McKenzie tipped round his left hand post. Andrews headed away Kilgannon`s corner and the forward drive finished when Wilson was penalised for his challenge.
David Fernandez had a cross from deep down the left flank that Pasquinelli headed over the bar from the edge of the box. Brewster was forced back as Andrews went forward and finding himself in possession deep in his own half sent Crawford scurrying up the left in the 38th minute but the home defence had the upper hand.
Two minutes later Crawford managed to send Nicholson through the middle and as Barry played the ball into the box the ball came into contact with Marvyn Andrews hand. No penalty though. Just before half time a Bullen cross from the right was turned over the bar by Brewster and so there was no score at the interval.
The match had lacked much quality but the stadium pies made up for that with the exceptionally good meaty treat warranting special mention. The pies and the cool breeze had more bite than the match so far. The autumn leaves are hardly deep and still but could the Pars rise to be a challenge in the second half.
Not really unfortunately. Yellow cards for Brian Kerr and Darren Young soon after the restart indicated that the teams were out to do battle in the second 45. A Barry Nicvholsn ball into the Livvy box was nodded down towards McKenzie who at second goes at smothering the ball before safely claiming it.
Darren Young had a long range effort touched round the post in the 56th minute and a couple of minutes later Crawford should have scored. A nice ball from Brewster sent Nicholson down the right and Stevie met his pass at the near post but somehow managed to clear the crossbar from six yards out.
That brought more life into the play and next minute Quino set up Makel for a shot from 35 yards that was narrowly wide right. A Bullen cross was diverted off Brewster into McKenzie and then it was Stillie`s turn to collect after a good ball in from Fernandez was headed at the keeper by Pasquinelli.
Stillie had to be quick to deny Pasquinelli in the 70th minute after Fernandez had rounded Sean Kilgannon and beaten off Thomson to produce a dangerous ball deep into the Pars box. Next Young accepted a ball from Andrews and created a chance for Nicholson to shoot from distance but again it went straight to McKenzie.
Thomson pushed up trying to encourage his team and in the 76th minute his one two with Bullen almost set up Crawford but again the Livvy defence prevailed and play returned to the other end. This time the crossbar saved the Pars after a Thomson headed clearance had been returned by substitute McLaughlin and in the melee the linesman`s flag was up for offside.
The home team finished the stronger with the ball spending a fair amount of the final ten minutes in the vicinity of Stillie. There was plenty of practice for the Scotland call up when two Lee Makel`s free kicks were firstly edged on by Andrews and then Stillie saved the second as Rubio and Andrews were up for the kill.
A McGovern drive from the edge of the box was turned over the bar by Pasquinelli when he really should have netted and then a 35 yard Makel free kick was deflected off the six man Dunfermline wall two minutes from time.
In the end the Livvy boss was the happier; Marcio Maximo praising his side for such a good performance against such a good team as Dunfermline. Jimmy Calderwood was not too happy:- "If you play that bad a point is good result anywhere."