Dundee 2 Dunfermline 1Saturday, 9th Apr 2005
BOS SPL Premier League
Darren Young (9) 0-1:
Steve Lovell (56 pen.) 1-1:
Brent Sancho (62) 2-1:
From a position of superiority and one nil ahead the Pars came out after the break and looked nothing like the team that had been in command after taking a ninth minute lead courtesy of a Darren Young piledriver in the 9th minute. A penalty from Steve Lovell and a first ever Dundee goal for Brent Sancho gave the Dees the points and a very comfortable four point difference between them and Dunfermline and a further seven point gap over Cup Finalists Dundee United at the foot.
Davie Hay made one change from the team that took a point the previous Saturday at Livingston, preferring Noel Hunt to Jesper Christiansen. One minute`s silence for Pope John Paul II preceded the kick off for which the sun came out as the Pars defended the goal in front of their sizeable travelling support.
Dundee forced the first corner of the game and as Noel Hunt broke away Bobby Mann rashly stopped the Pars striker on the half way line earning himself a 2nd minute booking. Hunty recovered to carry on and although nothing came from the free kick it was the Irishman that caused the next threat just four minutes later. Darren Young sent him down the right wing and he sent in a cross that Lee Wilkie was forced to play over the crossbar for the visitors first corner of the day. Iain Campbell`s delivery was tipped away by Derek Soutar.
In the ninth minute a throw in for the Pars on the ;left side of the park midway inside the Dundee half was returned to Campbell by Donnelly. The young full back`s ball into the box was lower than preferred but Hunt stuck the ball square to Andy Tod who in turn laid it back for Darren YOUNG to drill home from the edge of the penalty box.
Things could have got even better for the Fifers five minutes later when Campbell won a corner off Barrett and sent in a ball that was headed out only as far as Skerla. The Lithuanian internationalist hammered a shot that hunt narrowly failed to turn into the Dundee net. The home team had really been a disappointed to the home support but right back Callum Macdonald injected some pace into their attack down the right and won a corner that Brady sent in to good effect. Iain Campbell heroically headed off the line after Mann had lofted in a shot from the edge of the box.
Stirred by the proximity to scoring MacDonald then scooped a 24th minute Dundee free kick from the centre circle for Lovell to collect from a chest down and fire over the crossbar. For the remainder of the first half however all the chances came Dunfermline`s way.
On the half hour Lovell was back in his own six yard box to turn the ball behind for a corner when Scott Wilson threatened with a header on Campbell`s free kick. Three minutes later Hunt scampered down the left playing a 1-2 off Simon Donnelly and giving MacDonald a torrid timer before being extremely unlucky with his touch inside the penalty box.
Darren Young and Donnelly combined well to put Hunt in position to send another dangerous ball into the box that Soutar came out to hold. Things looked even worse for Dundee in the 38th minute. Just four months after coming back for an 11 month spell out with cruciate ligament problems Lee Wilkie went down as he was about to challenge Iain Campbell on the byeline out on the Dundee right. Wilkie was carried off with damage to the same knee but this made way for substitute of Brent Sancho, a substitution that eventually went Dundee`s way.
The lengthy stoppage for Wilkie`s injury led to the first half being extended by four minutes and in that period Mann was penalised for his tackle on Tod and Scott Thomson shot the free kick from 25 yards out into the Dundee wall that Noel Hunt was doing his best to disrupt.
Hunt was subbed at half time making way for Billy Mehmet but the alterations for the second half were not going to have a positive effect.
For the first ten minutes of the second half both sets of fans could be forgiven for their thoughts and interests straying to other sporting events taking place that afternoon. News of the Tennents Scottish Cup Semi Final, the Grand National and even the Melrose Sevens all seemed more interesting than the mediocre start to the second period. A soft yellow card for Gary Mason taking the ball away from Tom McManus should have been enough to awaken the Pars team to the fact that the Dens Park outfit were beginning to get the breaks and preventing any constructive play from the visitors.
In the 55th minute McManus threaded a ball down the right that MacDonald ran on to before forcing a corner. Garry Brady`s delivery was headed goalwards from 15 yards by Mann and the outrushing Scott Thomson appeared to handle the ball at waist height as he attempted to clear. Referee Charlie Richmond pointed to the spot and Steve LOVELL took the penalty rocketing the ball from his right foot into the net. Derek Stillie had little chance of stopping it and Dundee were back level with 56 minutes on the clock.
Thomson was off the park getting treatment after clashing on the edge of the box with Stillie when Robb sent over a ball that Stillie tipped away and Wilson cleared. Then three minutes later amidst claims for a penalty Wilson saved the day when left two on one. The warnings were there and sure enough in the 62nd minute Stillie was fishing the ball out his net again when Brady played a fine ball through to Lovell. He dissected the central defence as he touched the ball into the penalty box where SANCHO ran on to it and scored.
Jim Duffy sent on Fabian Caballero and was instantly regretting it when Derek Soutar went down in a clash with Andy Tod. He had forgotten with the first half injuries to Barrett and Wilkie that he then had no substitutes left to field. After a brief stoppage the Dundee keeper was able to carry on and Campbell for a second time in the game was heading off his own line. Caballero was able to create bedlam in the Pars defence with what Duffy was later to describe as "an extra dimension". His ball to McManus on the right should have been number three but someone the ex Hibee shot wide of the left goalpost. The Argentinean followed that in the next minute by beating Stillie at the edge of the box but failing to get in the telling shot and then feeding the ball back to Robb whose well struck shot was well saved by the retreating Stillie.
Dunfermline were awarded a 76th minute free kick when Derek Young was hauled down by Robb but when Campbell found the wall Caballero mounted another breakaway that only failed to produce a goal because of an offside decision.
A double substitution nine minutes from time meant Hristov and Christiansen replaced Donnelly and Tod. The fresh legs seemed to inject some urgency into the visitors. Mason, Mehmet, Christiansen and Derek Young were involved a move that failed to finish with success. Next a Derek Young cross from the right was sent from Christiansen for Mason to shoot at goal but that was deflected for a corner. In the 88th minute a Christiansen ball from the left was touched away by Soutar and Wilson headed the deflection over the bar.
Four minutes were again added to the second half and the final chance to get the equaliser was a free kick when McManus was adjudged to have used a hand to prevent Christiansen`s progress 22 yards out. After a minute of gamesmanship while the Young Brothers and Caballero had goes at each other in forming up a defensive wall Thomson shot the ball over the bar. With that went all hope of salvaging a point. After fifty and a half minutes Charlie Richmond eventually brought the second half to a close to spark off great celebration in the home stands.
Gary Mason and Darren Young were the best in a Dunfermline side that looked far too deliberate and continues to find it hard to find ways of breaking down defences. Dundee defended resolutely towards the end to get the result that Dunfermline badly needed. The season is by no means sealed for Dundee but their task is certainly easier than Dunfermline`s. No team at the foot of the SPL table will be able to relax for some time yet.DUNDEE: Derek Soutar: Calum MacDonald, Bobby Mann, Lee Wilkie (Brent Sancho 41), Steven Robb; Neil Barrett (Mark Fotheringham 19), Barry Smith, Garry Brady: Tam McManus, John Sutton (Fabian Caballero 62), Steve Lovell
SUBS NOT USED: Glen Atle Larsen, Scott Robertson, Joel Kitamarike, Francois Dubourdeau (GK)
SCORERS: Lovell (56 pen.), Sancho (62)
YELLOW CARD: Mann (2), MacDonald (92)
DUNFERMLINE: Derek Stillie: Andrius Skerla, Scott Wilson, Scott Thomson, Iain Campbell; Derek Young, Gary Mason, Simon Donnelly (Jesper Christiansen 81), Darren Young; Noel Hunt (Billy Mehmet HT), Andy Tod (Gjiorji Hristov 81)
SUBS NOT USED: Craig McKeown, Craig Wilson, Greg Ross, Jamie Langfield (GK)
SCORERS: Darren Young (9)
YELLOW CARD: Mason (52)
REFEREE: Charlie Richmond
WEATHER: Rain at times 10°C
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