Pars Goal scoring feats in recent yearsAuthor: Jason Barber Date: Friday, 6th Sep 2002
With a blank weekend for club football, we are taking the opportunity to look BACK over Dunfermline`s times in the Premier league, and more importantly who scored the goals!
This is the 10th season the Pars have spent in the top flight since the Premier league was formed. We have had some outstanding goalscorers in the Premier, and some who finished top of our scoring charts by default! Here we look at the top scorers season by season:
1987/88 After John Watson found the going too tough in the Premier, goals were going to be needed from a different source. The main striking partnership in our debut Premier season changed all the time! Eric Ferguson, Trevor Smith, Mark Smith, Grant Jenkins, Ross Jack and of course John Watson were all handed a striker`s jersey at one point or another. Out of them all, Mark Smith bagged 5 league goals in total (not of course including his most famous `shot` of all.....) Proven strikers like Jack and Watson only managed 4 and 3 league goals respectively. It was left to a midfielder to lead the way in 87/88. Craig Robertson, a pre-season signing from the Wee Team scored a fantastic 13 league goals in 42 games. Not only was he Dunfermline`s top scorer, he was also the highest scoring midfielder in Scotland! It was not enough to keep the Pars up, however, and a season back in the first division resulted.
1989/90 Jim Leishman had led Dunfermline to the First Division title for the only time in their history. Crowds were huge (by today`s terms) and the club was getting stronger. Record signing to this day Istvan Kozma was about to join the club and, to paraphrase D:Ream Things could only get better.........
Kozma scored 6 league goals that season, including the best hat trick I am ever likely to see in my life. Not renowned for his goals, Kozma was always one or two passes ahead of his team mates and must have been frustrated at times! George O`Boyle (anyone remember him!?) was perhaps the best at reading Kozma`s play. Incredibly skilful, the national press wrote articles about his goal drought. Not once was he criticised though, as his play was superb. He took until February to open his league account after hardly missing a game! It was left to his predatory strike partner to bag the goals though. Ross Jack had struggled in 87/88, but after a good season in the first division, he weighed in with a mighty 16 goals in 34 league games.
Only John Robertson and, eh, Roddy Grant (!) scored more than Ross Jack that season....
1990/91 Jim Leishman left during that summer...... With the remnant of a great squad, Munro took charge on his own which was all he had wanted all along. Crowds dropped, but the players remained pretty much the same. Ross Jack followed up his previous season with an impressive 16 league goals in 34 starts. Not too bad at all! Other than Jack, goals were hard to come by and the club avoided relegation with a couple of games to go.
1991/92 Munro started his second season in charge with the worst start to a season imaginable. It is somewhat ironic that his top scorer that season was a centre half. Crowds now plummeted and the goals went with them. Jocky Scott took over and finished off the good run in the league cup by getting to the final. Other than that, he was non-descript! Hamish French, Ian McParland (!) and O`Boyle all had spells up front. Kozma, quite often, was left on the bench. Amazing to think back to that happening! Dave Moyes was the top scorer that season with 5 league goals. Time to move on swiftly!
1996/97 After four season of trying, Dunfermline finally managed to get out of the first division. Play offs, goal difference and disastrous defeats at home to Cowdenbeath had all destroyed previous promotion parties. Bert Paton managed to get the club up as champions despite selling Jackie McNamara, despite the death of Norrie McCathie and despite the press campaign for their favourites Dundee United. A reasonably new team gelled in that first season back up. Andy Smith weighed in with a useful 8 league goals in 30 games, but it was Gerry Britton who took the honours in this season. 13 league goals in 27 league starts was an impressive record. Most of his goals were crucial as Dunfermline finished 5th, their highest to date in the Premier League.
1997/98 This season belonged to only one man. Britton picked up injuries and only managed 3 league goals, Davie Bingham helped out with 5 (including a famous one at Parkhead!) Andy Tod also dipped in with a useful 6 league goals from his centre half spot. But Andy Smith managed to get some unusual press attention Dunfermline`s way with his goal scoring in 97/98. 26 goals in total that season, 16 of them in the league. From 33 starts, his goal nearly every other game was a fantastic achievement. Marco Negri stopped Smith topping the scoring charts with his one half season of goals (32 goals in 28 starts!!!) Smith was called up to the Scotland `B` squad and played against Norway Under 23s at Tynecastle. Pars fans were out in force that night as the media campaign helped Smith get at least some recognition for all his efforts.
1998/99 After finishing a safe 8th the season before, relegation had not been at the forefront of most Pars fan`s minds going into 98/99 New signings came to the club, but most such as Dave Linighan, Gavin Johnson, Jamie Squires and (cough) Sergio Duarte did little to improve the squad. Smith was relied upon for goals after his previous exploits. Teams maybe became wise to the tactic of humping the ball up the park to Smith. He became a watched man and was not given nearly as many chances as the previous season. 5 players finished with 2 league goals this season, leaving Smith as top scorer with 8 in 29 starts. The honeymoon period was over and Dunfermline were once again relegated from the top flight. Bert Paton resigned before the end of the season, leaving Dick Campbell to try and stop the inevitable. Veteran goal scorer Owen Coyle was brought in to keep us up. A nightmare spell saw him scoring one consolation goal in 11 starts. Defeat at Tynecastle made it a lost cause.......
2000/01 After, thankfully, a brief stay in the first division, Dunfermline came fighting back in the year 2000. Jimmy Calderwood had taken over the reigns from Campbell and started to shape his own squad quickly. Stevie Crawford came in (under Campbell) and was signed after his loan spell from Hibs ended. League scorers in 2000/01 included Lee Bullen with 4, Jason Dair with 5 and David Moss with a useful 6. Crawford ended up top scorer though with 9 league goals from 37 starts. Not a prolific record, but anyone who has seen Dunfermline of late knows that he is not a penalty box type of forward.
2001/02 Moss`s goals were dispensed with early on in the season and the club became aware that a goalscorer was still needed and names crop up on a weekly basis. Players from England, Holland, Austria and Scotland have were all mentioned. Jack De Gier scored 5 in 12 starts, not too bad at all when compared with some of the other players mentioned previously. He was sold back in October though and has not been replaced. Scott Nipper Thomson weighed in with a very handy 6 goals in 32 games (not too bad for a centre half!) A joint award this season then, with Barry Nicholson having a useful 7 goals in 37 league games alongside Stevie Crawford who again finished top of the pile with 7 league goals in 36 league games, useful but not prolific.....
Who will be the next Dunfermline top scorer? Stevie Crawford and Craig Brewster have started the season looking like the best partnership in years for the club. No doubt one of them will be at the front of the pack this season whilst also being high up the national chart!
`MON THE PARS!