Dunfermline 2-1 Dundee UnitedAuthor: Stephen Taylor Date: Saturday, 18th Nov 2006
A new era started today under manager, Stephen Kenny, and what a start, as the Pars came from behind to win 2-1.
What an easy game this management thing is! Just turn up and show face for 10 minutes and, before you know it, your new team has won three points despite not even playing all that well.
What on earth will happen when Stephen Kenny has a few weeks work under his belt with these under-achievers?
A great result, however, in what was a poor spectacle of a game with neither team capable of keeping the ball on the ground for any more than 10 seconds.
New Pars manager, Stephen Kenny, had a watching brief over his new team and was given a very warm welcome to a very chilly East End Park.
Craig Robertson sent out the team with Scott Wilson making a welcome return from injury and with Scott Morrison making his first home start in over a year.
Dorus De Vries had also recovered from injury to play in goals and in front of him he had a back four of Labonte, Wilson, Shields and Scott Morrison.
The midfield quartet was Simmons, Mason, Young and Owen Morrison. Stevie Crawford and Jim Hamilton filled the striking roles.
A very healthy away support clearly buoyed by their undefeated run under their new manager, Craig Levein, urged their team forward in the opening moments as the Pars struggled to get hold of the ball. Stephen Simmons did pull a shot wide inside the first minutes but it was United that settled into the game much better. United won their first corner in 9 minutes but it was easily cleared. Former Pars player, Noel Hunt was looking sharp and caused problems in 11 minutes as he twisted and turned on the right putting over a low cross which Shields managed to clear.
Conway cut in from the left and blasted over the Pars goal in 14 minutes. Robson then hit a powerful shot in 19 minutes that De Vries did well to hold. A minute later Robson hit a free kick after he had been upended by Shields. The pressure was building and Kerr hit a thunderous low shot that was blocked in 22 minutes. The Pars were just nowhere. The midfield was completely out of the game. No pace, no movement and completely lightweight...........oh and winning second balls? Forget it! High balls were being lumped forward to Hamilton who won nothing in the air and Stevie Crawford was hardly given a pass the whole half.
Noel Hunt headed wide in 36 minutes when it seemed like he would score. In 38 minutes Scott Morrison took a good touch and header to intercept a good ball from Robson which typified his performance that the left back was one of the better Pars players in that half.
There was a controversial moment in 39 minutes as a cross from the left into the united area saw Hamilton challenge Stillie with the keeper ending on his backside and the ball broke to the edge of the area but the Pars midfield were simply to slow to take advantage. If the United fans were upset by typically incompetent referee Freeland at his non decision the home fans were equally angered when the Pars were given a free kick. Owen Morrison took it quickly playing it against a United player who was refusing to retreat 10 yards. Instead of stopping play and telling the defender to retreat Freeland waved play on with United breaking forward. The Pars players, again, being too slow to react and then the ball reached the bye line with the linesman flagging the ball had gone over yet Freeland still waves play on! Simmons hit a hooked shot over in 43 minutes but it was a completely tepid response and the home side must have welcomed the half time whistle. Half time 0-0.
There were no changes for either side at half time except Owen Morrison was switched over to the right. It initially looked as if United were again starting well with Scott Wilson cutting out a dangerous cross from the left giving away a corner. Stevie Crawford then had a good break through the middle but edging to his left his left foot shot was weak and wide. Noel Hunt headed into the side net in 51 minutes as the United fans stood to acclaim a goal. However the United fans had barely sat down again when United did score as a cross from the left was easily headed past De Vries in 52 minutes. On the balance of play it was probably a fair reflection of the game.
United went looking for the second goal and a shot across goal in 54 minutes was close. The Pars then made what was probably a decisive and match changing double substitution in 60 minutes. Dacquin and Muirhead replaced the ineffective Owen Morrison and Simmons. It immediately gave the Pars some width with Muirhead wide left and Dacquin wide right.
Stevie Crawford heralded the change with a shot straight at Stillie in 61 minutes. Muirhead got into the game very quickly and he put over a good cross a minute later which was scrappily cleared by United as panic almost set in. United took off Hunt and brought on Simmons, which was a strange decision as Hunt had troubled the Pars defence the whole afternoon. A cross in 72 minutes saw Stillie clatter into the back of Crawford leaving Stevie sprawled on the floor.