St Mirren 0- 1 Dunfermline AthleticAuthor: Stephen Taylor Date: Monday, 30th Apr 2007
A magnificent and vital 1-0 win closes the gap with St Mirren to 1 point and the equally magnificent Pars support headed home from Paisley very happy.
This was most definitely a "win or bust" night for the Pars and from the start to the finish there was only going to be one winner.
The Pars had Tom McManus back in the side as Jamie McCunnie dropped to the bench plus Phil McGuire missed the match due to suspension. The Pars lined up in a 4:4:2 line up with De Vries in goals, Shields, Wilson, Bamba and Muirhead the defensive unit. Hammill, Mason, Glass and O`Brien the midfield quartet. McIntyre and McManus played up front.
The Pars kicked off playing towards their own vociferous support. Jim O`Brien had an early chance with a free kick on the edge of the area which he put over the bar. McManus as looking very sharp in these early stages as the Pars started the game well.
The big problem for the Pars as the final ball which was just not good enough with too many balls being played too close to keeper Smith. Both sides were struggling to get the ball down to pass it as the game went through a frantic stage.
Hammill was looking dangerous on the left but was closely marked with Van Zanten making his mark on a couple of occasions.
Bamba was having a great game and nearly broke the deadlock in 31 minutes making a surging run to the edge of the penalty area, playing a one two with McIntyre and his lobbed shot was just wide.
Adam Hammill had a good effort just wide in 41 minutes.
Half time 0-0
As is now tradition the Pars delayed their return to the pitch for the second half. But they certainly did not stop taking the game to St Mirren. A Pars corner after good work by Shields in 46 minutes saw a header cleared then a shot blocked.
The Pars appeared to have taken the lead in 52 minutes when a shot was deflected into McManus`s path and he slid it past the keeper but was adjudged offside.
The goal was only delayed a few minutes as again McManus was again on the edge of the 6 yard box as a Muirhead shot was deflected to Tam who whipped it past Smith. The Pars fans were belting out their support.
Stephen Kenny took off Hammill for McCunnie in 80 minutes as he tightened up the midfield area. McMnaus had another great chance in the closing minutes as he headed wide when it seemed easier to score.
St Mirren tried to get a late equaliser but they lacked invention and the Pars defence stood firm although there were one or two half chances for the home side in the closing 10 minutes. Jim Hamilton came on for McIntyre and McManus had another shot saved in added time. Final score 0-1.