Dunfermline 1-1 LivingstonAuthor: Stephen Taylor Date: Saturday, 1st Mar 2008
The Pars stumble to another dull draw at East End Park this time against Livingston despite a bright start to the game and taking an early lead through Alex Burke`s first goal for the team.
Kevin Harper returned to the side after missing a game due to suspension with Nicky Phinn dropping back to the bench. Scott Morrison also retained his place at left back although he was told this week he will leave the club at the end of the season. The Pars lined up with Gallacher in goals with Woods, Wilson, Thomson and Morrison the back four. The midfield saw Harper on the right, Simmons and Glass in the centre and Burke on the left. Burchill partnered Stevie Crawford in attack.
It was a cold blustery afternoon at East End with the Pars kicking off towards the Halbeath end with the wind behind them. It was not until 6 minutes that Crawford got the first effort on goal just sliding a shot past the post after it dropped from over his shoulder. A minute later Stephen Simmons showed one of his weak moments with a passback that fell short which Gallacher managed to nip away before Griffiths latched onto it. The other side of Simmons was shown when to was part of a great move with Burchill feeding Harper who set up Simmons but he was challenged as he took his shot.
That good move was followed in 13 minutes with a great goal by Alex Burke as he cut in from the left going past two defenders and as everyone, including the Livi defence, expected him to pass but he struck a low shot inside Stewart`s right hand post.
Harper was in and out of the game but in 18 minutes he put over a good cross which Crawford was about to tuck away as it was taken off his toe for a corner.
Malone hit a wild shot over in 21 minutes but that was a pre cursor to Livi`s equaliser. The ball was pinging about the Pars penalty area and was not cleared but it fell to Dorrans on the left side of the area about 16 yards out and he neatly finished.
That goal started a good spell for the visitors as the Pars had fallen off the pace and had stopped passing the ball. As usual there were some bizarre decisions from the officials not least in 28 minutes when Livi were given a corner when clearly neither the referee nor the NW stand linesman had a clue. From the resulting corner a downward header was cleared off the goal line.
In 36 minutes Crawford and Burke linked well with a cross going across the face of the goal. Harper was at the back post but he wasted the opportunity.
Calum Woods pinged over a high cross that dropped inside the Livi 6 yard area and bounced over as Crawford and the keeper missed it.
Harper had a great chance in 42 minutes to set up a goal as he at last beat the left back James and as he cut along the bye line his cross was at chest height and easy for the keeper to take. It needed a low powerful cutback. Half time 1-1.
Harper lost possession in 52 minutes and allowed Livi to break and Snodgrass was one on one with Wilson and his shot was pulled wide which was a let off for the Pars. Former Par, Lee Makel hit a free kick wide in 55 minutes from a dubious free kick
Harper did not last much longer and was subbed by Nicky Phinn in 55 minutes. The conditions were playing a big part in the game but without doubt the Pars inability to get the ball down and pass it was contributing to a poor second half spectacle. Stevie Crawford had a shot in 57 minutes that went over.
The next chance the Pars had was not until 64 minutes as Simmons headed a Burke cross just wide. Mark Burchill had a quiet game but chased a long ball near the corner flag that he managed to switch a cross back across goal but it was cleared.
Stevie Crawford was through in 67 minutes and as he got into the 18 yard area a terrific tackle by McPake took the ball away from the striker. The Pars made late changes with McManus replacing Crawford in 79 minutes and 16 year old Willis coming on for Burke in 83 minutes. Stephen Simmons got hit in the face in the closing minutes and either sustained injury to his jaw or cheekbone and had to be taken off with the Pars playing with 10 men for the final minute or so. Final score 1-1.