Dunfermline 1-1 DundeeAuthor: Alistair Campbell Date: Tuesday, 31st Mar 2009
This was a slightly subdued affair, and as tight as matches between these two teams have been recently. After going behind to a bad goal the Pars didn’t give up and their efforts were finally rewarded with a goal right on the 90 minutes.
Jim McIntyre left the defence unchanged, but opted for a more attacking line-up including Graham, Bayne and Mole, with Bell dropping to the bench, where there were welcome returns for Greg Shields and Andy Kirk. Thus we had a 4-4-2 formation, with Gallacher in goals, a back four of Woods, Wilson, Thomson and McCann, a midfield quartet of Phinn, Glass, Burke and Graham, with Mole and Bayne the forward duo. The visitors also exhibited more attacking pretensions than might have been expected pre-match, featuring Gilhaney on the right of a midfield 4 and both Colin McMenamin and Mickael Antoine-Curier in an attacking capacity.
Defending the Norrie, the Pars’ first move in the first minute gave a strong indicator of what was to come for the rest of the half - neat play being brought to a halt by a needless off-side, as Mole and Graham tried to link on the left.
Graham Bayne’s 4th minute snapshot was comfortably dealt with by Rab Douglas in the Dundee goal, after David Graham had run half the length of the pitch and a multi-man move involving Thomson, Wilson, Glass and Burke gained the game’s second corner when Douglas scrambled to cut out Mole’s cross. However, as with the first, Douglas gathered the in-swinger comfortably.
Keeping up the recent trend, the Pars had started well, trying to play football, but also trying to make use of Mole’s pace. However, also as with recent matches, the final ball was leaving a lot to be desired, with few chances being created despite all the good lead-up work. Instead it was Dundee who had a decent chance in 13 minutes - Woods and Wilson got in each other’s way and couldn’t clear properly and Gilhaney was presented with a shooting opportunity but Gallacher did well to beat the ball away at his near post.
More tidy play on the right two minutes later was spoiled when Woods’ cross was way too deep, and although the Pars gained a corner at the second attempt again they couldn’t threaten from the set-piece.
Both assistants were incurring the wrath of the meagre Pars support - midway through the half, McCann was muscled off the ball by McMenamin, although got in a tackle which appeared to be collected at least a yard over the bye-line by Gallacher, but play was allowed to continue.
Alex Burke picked up a deserved yellow card in 28 minutes for hauling down Gilhaney 25 yards from goal as Dundee hit on the break, but Paton couldn’t repeat his Dens goal-scoring trick from the free-kick as his effort flew well over.
Burke left two players for dead in 32 minutes before spoiling his good work with a tame chip straight to Douglas, McMenamin’s dummy in the box allowed Antoine-Curier to get possession 8 yards out with his back to goal, but Nipper Thomson lived up to his nickname by nipping in to rob him as Wilson desperately tried to stop a turn and shot, and then in 35 minutes Graham beat the off-side trap for once but after reaching the bye-line, Phinn couldn’t gather his cut-back.
With 6 minutes to go to the break, the Pars spurned a great chance. Graham appeared slightly miffed not to get a free-kick after being barged off the ball, but the next chance he got he broke forward before sending Mole free, one-on-one - but the forward’s touch let him down at the vital moment and Douglas cleared. Three minutes later Antoine-Curier had a chance to shoot, but wanted a better one, cutting inside and allowing Wilson to make a saving tackle. Two examples of why both teams have relatively poor scoring records.
Half-time: Pars 0 Dees 0.
Greg Shields replaced Scott Wilson at half-time, and within 15 seconds found himself struggling to pick up Antoine-Curier , but Thomson made a saving block. Five minutes later Greg was again in a spot of trouble with Cameron this time, but again the defence held out, before Gilhaney sent a shot sizzling just past Gallacher’s left hand post. Meanwhile Kirk had replaced the disappointing Mole.
A goal seemed to be getting closer and closer, but it wasn’t clear for whom. McMenamin’s cross whistled across the face of goal with no takers in 53 minutes, Glass had an effort blocked; from the resultant corner Shields couldn’t time his free header properly, before Phinn was unlucky, squeezing in onto the end of Bayne’s knock-down and flicking the ball with the outside of his boot over Douglas, only to see it land on the top of the bar and bounce out.