Livingston previewAuthor: Jason Barber Date: Thursday, 31st Oct 2002
Here we take a look ahead to the weekend league game away to Livingston, as well as taking a look at a match not too far away in the past.
This weekend sees Dunfermline trying to get back on track following yet another Old Firm defeat. The scoreline may have been similar, but the performance was 10 times better than the one against Rangers. For large spells of the game, Dunfermline had the upper hand, though they could not turn all their pressure into goals....
Next up are Livingston, who up until a couple of weeks ago were looking like relegation material. Successive wins against Dundee United and Motherwell have seen them move off the bottom and into the pack within the bottom 6 clubs.
They will be full of confidence going into this match, but then again so should Dunfermline. The previous game this season had a 2-1 victory to the Pars, though anyone there that day knows the score came nowhere near reflecting the dominance Dunfermline had in the match.
The squad is likely to be similar to the one that gave Celtic a couple of frights, Andre Karnebeek will be looking to try and prove his season debut was just a one off and retain his left wing back position. Chris McGroarty and Jason Dair must be pushing him hard for a recall though.
Marco Ruitenbeek had his critics after both the last two league games, but with Derek Stillie missing from the bench last week and the under 21 game in midweek, he will be assured of his place as he trys to grab a confidence boosting clean sheet.
Needless to say, there have not been too many matches against Livingston in the past. There were certainly more against Meadowbank in their 21 year existence, but we have only played Livingston on league business in two previous campaigns.
The first of those was the 1999/00 promotion winning season. Dunfermline had just been relegated from the SPL and Livi had been champions of the second division. However, Livi had made their intentions clear and they were not looking to hang around in the 1st division for too long.
An early season encounter, the first ever league meeting between the clubs, took place on the 4th September 1999. Dunfermline lined up with the following team:
Ian Westwater, Richard Huxford, Jason Dair, Andy Tod, Brian Reid, Jamie Dolan, Justin Skinner, Hamish French, Andy Smith, Owen Coyle and Stewart Petrie. Subs used were Eddie May and David Graham.
Amazing to think that only 3 years after this game took place, there are only 2 players still on the books out of the first team squad that day!
In front of a crowd of 5,798 (likely to be higher than this weeks crowd) a pretty uneventful game unfolded. Livingston had the better chances from the off and it was not until half time that Dick Campbell made some changes and Dunfermline had the better of the game.
In the second half, Dunfermline totally dominated the game but had little to show for their efforts.
It was not until the 84th minute that the Pars finally managed to get a breakthrough. Owen Coyle got the only goal of the game and went on to have a great run in the first team, until a certain sending off at new year.
The week after the Livingston match, Dunfermline signed David Moss from Falkirk. Lee Butler also withdrew his transfer request, though he was not to feature again in the first team.
As it turned out, Dunfermline made promotion with a new manager in place. The squad had a major overhaul and the Calderwood era began.
Livingston took a further season to make it to the SPL but have hardly looked back since. Their early season form was a complete reverse of the results that saw them finish in 3rd place last season, so we know what they are capable of.
This is a game Dunfermline are more than capable of winning. If a top 6 finish (or higher) is to be achieved, these away games have to be won. Jimmy Calderwood will certainly be looking for all three points this Saturday, nothing less will be good enough in his book.
`MON THE PARS!