Rangers Reflections...Author: Jason Barber Date: Friday, 8th Nov 2002
Dunfermline Athletic regained a lot of pride and plaudits, if not a place in the next round. After a TV disaster last time round against Rangers, a UK wide audience saw Dunfermline more than matched their opponents for the first time in a long while.
It would be easy to just dismiss the game as yet another defeat, but the performance for the majority of the match was something Pars fans have not seen against Rangers for many a year.
Jimmy Calderwood shuffled his pack of players yet again, with Scott Thomson being dropped due to an earlier fall out. JC simply dismissed the incident as one of those things, taking the chance to remind players who the boss is!
Davie Nicholls also dropped out and Dunfermline took the game to their opponents from the first minute.
Early bookings from the referee did not help the cause, with Craig Brewster being especially unlucky to be on a yellow card after only a few minutes. Why a talking to would not have sufficed, only Dougie MacDonald knows.
More chances were created in this game for the Pars than in the normal against Rangers. A combination of poor finishing, superb goalkeeping from Klos and a Brewster block late on stopped Dunfermline winning the tie.
Here is a reflection on how the players performed:
Marco Ruitenbeek: Saved very well in first half from rare Rangers attack. Will be disappointed with the goal he eventually lost. 7/10
Gus McPherson: Rolled back his years with a gutsy performance. Got stuck in the from the off and never looked like letting Rangers in. 8/10
Scott Wilson: Looked like he only had to play at half pace. Never troubled and is a genuine bargain buy. 9/10
Andrius Skerla: Superb double act between himself and Wilson. Defended as well as everyone knows he can. 9/10
Jason Dair: Recalled from the wilderness, but played very well. Certainly deserves to keep his place. 8/10
Barry Nicholson: Certainly applied plenty of effort in defence and attack. Best performance he has had against his former club. 7/10
Gary Mason: Another recall due to Thomson missing. Man marked Arteta very well for most of the match. Nothing flashy but did the midfield general role very well. 7/10
Gary Dempsey: Booked for a challenge on Ricksen, showing harder side to his game. Couple of long range efforts which never troubled Klos. Actually lasted 90 minutes! 7/10
Lee Bullen: Patrolled the right flank for 90 minutes, but rarely got in behind the Rangers defence. Certainly his favoured position after all the places he has played recently! 7/10
Stevie Crawford: Pretty quiet night for Crawford. Did not quite link up to Brewster`s lay offs as well as he usually does. Few chances at getting on the scoresheet. 7/10
Craig Brewster: Won and kept possession countless times. Candidate for man of the match alongside the centre halves. 9/10
Sean Kilgannon: Came on for last 10 minutes and managed to beat Ricksen a few times in a short spell to get his cross in.
Steven Hampshire: Last throw of the dice from the Pars, but rarely got a chance to grab the headlines.