SPL v Hibernian


Records are made to be broken and Jimmy Calderwood was delighted to break his capital duck with a resounding 4-1 win at Easter Road. The 671 Dunfermline faithful who travelled into Edinburgh on a mild late summer`s evening witnessed the Pars first league victory at Easter Road since 1961.

The visitors dropped Kilgannon and Hampshire to the bench and introduced Scott Walker on the left of a middle five and made room for Gary Dempsey in midfield.

An afternoon injury for Nick Colgan meant that Hibs had Tony Caig in goals and he must have been lamenting his late call up as he attempted to guard the goals in front of the home support. Within 35 seconds Stevie Crawford had the Hibs keeper in action as the Pars presence was quickly felt.

The ball was sore after a frantic opening ten minutes which saw the Pars have the majority of the raging play. In the 11th minute Crawford took the ball into the Hibs box and the chance seemed to have gone when he opted to take it right and beat Matyus. Berti`s boy though sent over a cross that Brewster headed on target but for Caig to block superbly. The rebound was melted into the net by Scott WALKER (below) to put the Pars into a deserved lead.

The confidence was growing and Andrius Skerla beat off Townsley and Luna to break through but his ideas of finishing it off were a bit too much and the Hibs defence eventually stopped the big Lithuanian.

Brewster and Crawford combined to expose a gap in the centre of the Hibs defence in the 23rd minute but the latter`s effort went straight to the keeper. One minute later Caig dropped a Bullen cross from the far right and Craig BREWSTER was on hand to stab the ball in the net. The Pars fans and press box could hardly believe it but the players celebrations were interrupted by Stuart Dougall only to get them back to the centre circle.

Next minute Brewster put Crawford through one on one with the keeper but he let the ball too far ahead him and on this occasion the keeper won the contest. Hibs had a rare chance in the 27th minute when a corner from the left was deflected off the back of Scott Wilson to Mixu Paatelainen at the far post but the Finn completely mucked up and the Pars were let off.

Another one on one this time with Gary Dempsey breaking through was broken down when Townsley took advantage of the young Irishman`s procrastination. Despite the one way traffic the Pars won their first corner in the 31st minute and although Nicolson`s cross was easily cleared Scott Thomson came close with an effort from outside the penalty box.

Incredulously the third Dunfermline goal was greeted with CRAWFORD rounding Dempsie and racing in on goal before sticking away with true strikers class. Three nil up and only 32 minutes gone!

Four minutes from the interval Derek Townsley was given loads if space way over at the far corner flag and his cross caught Scott Thomson on the wrong side of Paatelainen and the Finn netted easily from only three yards out.

The second half brought a double substitution from Bobby Williamson who had been wary of changing things too much because of the threat Dunfermline were creating. Off went Jack and Whittaker and on came Brebner and James.

Hibs looked determined for the opening minutes of the second half but it was soon back to the pattern of the first with the Pars in control. Brewster made ground along the left byeline and sent over a cross that Barry Nic should have scored from as the easiest of chances was not accepted.

The fourth goal was not far away however. In the 57th minute Scott Walker put in a fine cross from deep down the left wing Tony Caig came out for it but only managed to palm it one handed into his former team mates path. BREWSTER dispatched the goal from 12 yards to the delight of the Pars support behind the goal.

The home support started a chant of "Only one Sauzee" which their visitors perpetuated. Walker was injured in executing the vital cross and was soon substituted for Sean Kilgannon. Townsley had a long range shot that went straight to Marco but the keeper was on fine form when he pulled off a special save from Paatelainen at close quarters. One minute later he did well to stop a good 30 yard effort from Zambernardi.

Dunfermline always threatened and a swift movement upfield by Kilgannon to Mason and back up the left to Kilgannon might have yielded more than a corner. A corner was again the only prize for a Dempsey free kick from the left that Lee Bullen`s challenged at the far post.

Time was running out for the Hibees and the withdrawal of both Brewster and eventually Crawford prompted appreciative applause from both sets of fans. Steve Hampshire had come on for Brewster and his first involvement was to provide a good cross from the right that Caig touched away.

Then Crawford provide Hampshire with a great opportunity but his net buster rebounded down off the crossbar and out of the penalty area.

The match was won by then however and oh how the victory was sweet. Bizarre it seems when the record books are checked. Dunfermline scored four goals in a league match at Easter Road in 1959, but on that occasion they let in seven! No such repeat. a rare and thoroughly enjoyable victory. The first away victory since January and the best away win in the SPL since April 1998.

The team played well as a unit with Calderwood`s tactics of height on the flanks paying off. Brewster and Crawford again looked a perfect partnership. The pressure will grow for their inclusion for Scotland`s trip to Iceland but for the moment a repeat performance in Dundee on Saturday will do all Pars people.

DUNFERMLINE: Ruitenbeek. Wilson, Skerla, Thomson. Bullen, Nicholson, Mason, Dempsey, Walker. Crawford, Brewster.
SUBS: Stillie, Dair, Hampshire, McGroarty, Kilgannon
STRIP: Away Orange
SCORERS: Walker (11), Brewster (24), Crawford (32)
YELLOW CARD: Bullen (36)

HIBERNIAN: Dempsie, Zambernardi, Fenwick, Matyus. Townsley, Jack (Brebner HT), Murray, Jack, Whittaker. Luna, Paatelainen
SUBS: Westwater, McManus, Brebner, James, Wiss.
SCORERS: Paatelainen (41)
CARDS: none

Referee: Stuart Dougall,
Weather: Mild 18C
Attendance: 9837,