Pre Season Friendly v Forfar Athletic
FORFAR ATHLETIC 3 DUNFERMLINE 2 Date: 19/07/03
Fixture: Pre Season Friendly
Attendance: 400, Kick Off: 15:00
Referee: Craig Mackay, Weather: Fine with Sunny intervals 22C
For the second game in two days, Jimmy Calderwood fielded a vastly different team from the one which defeated East Fife on Friday night. Of Friday night’s starting lineup only Lee Bullen was on from the start at Station Park, Forfar. Craig Brewster made a return to his first senior club and the lineup saw the inclusion of former captain Andy Tod, Davie Nicholls and Kevin McLeish.
The Pars kicked off towards the Station end and McLeish had an early shot which cleared the crossbar. At the other end Hugh Davidson had a similar attempt with similar result. In the eighth minute, Nicholls skied a clearance in his own penalty box and under pressure from trialist, Paul Shields, Derek Stillie conceded a corner. Darren Henderson sent the corner over for Paul TOSH to head in from six yards out squirming under the diving Stillie.
Mark McGarty tried to get the Pars right back in it, winning a corner after a good burst down the right by Scott McNicol but even the presence of Andy Tod couldn’t capitalise from the set piece. In the 11th minute Toddy was on the end of a David Grondin free kick swung in from the left and Craig Brewster narrowly failed to turn the ball in.
The trialist got away from Tod in the next minute and forced a good save from the advancing Stillie. It was midway through the first half before Ferrie in the Forfar goal was forced to receive a shot on target when McGarty picked out Brewster on the 18yard line and his overhead kick found the keeper and not the net.
Forfar were really moving the ball about nicely and it would have been no surprise had they increased their lead at this stage. Rattray started a move through Tosh to trialist who was unlucky to send his blast narrowly wide to the right. At the other end, McLeish won the ball off Rattray and passed wide for Brewster to carry the ball down the left and deliver a square ball into the penalty box which was cleared away from McLeish to concede a corner.
McLeish took the corner on the left and again Andy Tod headed down to Lee Bullen, but somehow he failed to cash in as the Forfar defence packed their six yard box. Derek Stillie had to react quickly to close down the trialist in the 34th minute when a long Paul Tosh ball from his own half sent him in on the keeper. Lee Bullen looked as though he might score as he burst through on the end of a Brewster pass, but he lost out to a heavy challenge in the penalty box which the referee judged fair.
Nicholls and Grondin were involved down the left for the former Falkirk skipper to set up Brewster, but again only a corner was won. McLeish was putting in a lot of work and buzzing about busily, he played a one-two off Brewster before hitting a shot wide. Having failed to get back on level terms, things got worse just five minutes from half time when a Forfar corner from the left was headed out by Andy Tod, the ball was struck back in to the penalty box and deflected into the net off Trialist Paul SHIELDS.
This time, however, the Pars did strike back taking just two minutes for Lee BULLEN to stick away the ball as Brewster twice had a go at Grondin’s cross. The six yard melee ended with the Pars getting it back to 2-1.
The second half opened with a real warning from Bullen, who managed to shoot narrowly past the left hand post with less than 40seconds gone. Next, McNicol attacked up the right, teed up Brewster but his effort was cleared off a defender. In the 50th minute a Grondin free kick was struck wide to the right of the goal and two minutes later the former Arsenal player reacted to a shout from Brewster and picked out the big striker for him to rocket in a shot from 25 yards that the keeper parried and then collected.
Forfar were not completely out of it and looked certain to score when Tosh sent Trialist into the left side of the penalty box but his shot rebounded off the left goalpost with the keeper beaten. Their luck seemed to be out but only two minutes later, McGarty’s weak pass back presented substitute Taylor with a goalden opportunity which he managed to put past the post.
Dunfermline made a double substitution taking off Anthony Storrie and Davie Nicholls to be replaced by Scott Walker and Andrius Skerla. The Pars did push forward a little bit more determinedly with Dempsey firing over the crossbar and a McLeish corner headed wide by Tod. In the 77th minute a Grondin corner was headed wide again by Andy Tod.
Seven minutes from time, Grondin had a real go which bounced out of the keeper’s hands to be grabbed at the second attempt. Craig Brewster took a quick throw to Scott Walker and his shot was saved by the keeper. As Dunfermline pressed forward for the equaliser, a McLeish shot was tipped over the top by Ferrie and from the ensuing corner the Pars got back on level terms. George Fotheringham crossed from the right, Toddy headed down from the far post for Craig BREWSTER to smack in from a central area.
It was not all over and Brewster sent away Bullen who delivered a lobbing cross which Grondin headed on target, to be stopped by the Forfar keeper who watched Walker rush in and shoot wide to the left. With two minutes Kevin McLeish received a nasty knock to his left leg and was stretchered off. The ten men failed to hold on to the draw when in the 90th minute, Hodge delivered a fine ball to Paul LUNAN which he crashed home from the edge of the box.
This was certainly an under-strength Dunfermline side with at least three players making their first appearances in the pre-season warm up but it was a side which was easily brushed away by a well-organised Forfar team.