Livingston are first visitors to East End...Author: Jason Barber Date: Wednesday, 7th Aug 2002
Livingston come calling this Saturday as the first home game at East End Park kicks off for season 2002/03.
Here we take a look back to previous encounters as well as a look ahead to Saturday`s big game.....
Dunfermline took a few plaudits from the media last week (shock horror!) after nearly grabbing a point at Celtic Park. But for a fantastic late lunge by Rab Douglas, the season would have been off to a real flyer had a point been gained in the hardest game of the season.
It was not to be though and this week the Pars will be looking to set themselves up for the season with a match against one of the teams who will be there or there abouts come May. Dunfermline will no doubt have to compete with Livingston if a UEFA cup tie is at long last going to come back to East End.
Looking back into the history books, there are not many matches against Livingston to be found. Changes of team name and now ground name (an annual event?) for Livingston have seen DAFC only ever play the ex-Almondvale club in two league campaigns to date, 1999/00 in the 1st division and last year in the SPL.
The all but wiped out from the history books Meadowbank, however, played Dunfermline quite a few times during their brief existence. The mid to late seventies saw the clubs compete with each other every year until Dunfermline FINALLY made it out of the old Second Division in 1978/79 season.
The season remembered mostly for THE Andy Rolland penalty in the last game of the season against our chums from Falkirk also saw Meadowbank finish as the worst club in Scotland, with only 24 points from their 39 league games!
Dunfermline had a 100% record against the Edinburgh club that season with 3 wins out of 3, the pick of which was a 3-1 victory in April. This win was the last for 5 matches as Dunfermline went into self-destruct mode getting only a single point from their next four games! Andy Sharp (with a double) and Donald McLaren were the scorers for DAFC that day.
Last season saw a win for each side (moving on to the Livingston name of course) at East End Park. Stevie Crawford put Dunfermline ahead in the first match with an early opener, before the infamous Skinner slip saw his standing at the club hit a terrible low as he gifted Livingston the three points.
In the other match, a Lee Bullen goal was enough to give the Pars all three points back in March of this year.
So, onto this week then. Who can predict what will happen? I think it will be a very close match, last week`s results showed very little between any of the SPL teams at this early stage of the season. Livingston nearly let a 3 goal lead against relegation tipped Motherwell slip away, before hanging on for a 3-2 win. After countless players heading there in the last few years, Davie Bingham is now the solitary ex-Par on their books. He will be struggling to gain a place up front with Argentinian Zarate scoring a double on his debut.
A win in this match could well set up either team for a great run in the league, enabling them to get some crucial points on the board so early on. A win for Dunfermline would be seen as a fantastic result, yet a loss could see heads go down....
JC will no doubt have his troops well fired up for this game. It may come too early for new signing Scott Wilson, so expect to see a fairly similar starting line up to last week. However, Marco did not do his chances any good when he again looked weak at corners for Celtic`s first goal, could Derek Stillie be in line for a debut?
Whoever plays, a good backing is essential for the Pars. Livingston will no doubt bring their novelty drums etc. so Pars fans need to be heard this week.
Let`s get this season off to a flyer!
`MON THE PARS!