Dunfermline Athletic

Fixtures : 2001-2002 : Kilmarnock

Wed, 26th Dec 2001 Kick Off: 15:00

Kilmarnock 0 Dunfermline 0

Wednesday, 26th Dec 2001

No goals, no yellow cards but at least it wasn`t no points.

The Boxing Day fixture was played in seasonal mid winter conditions. Chris McGroarty and Jason Dair started in preference to Stewart Petrie and the suspended Ian Ferguson. Tommy Johnson is not yet match fit so Kilmarnock started with the team that won at Dens Park on Saturday.

As goalless draws go this was a fairly typical example. Not many shots on targets and lacking in goalmouth incident. It was 8th minute before Marco Ruitenbeek was needed. A jinky run down the left by young Stephen Murray caused Gus MacPherson lots of problems and the young Kilmarnock number 36 swung over a cross that Chris McGroarty headed out only as far as Di Giacomo but fortunately the Kilmarnock striker`s shot went straight to Marco`s safe arms.

Mason and McGroarty won a corner on the left six minutes later but Scott Thomson`s header on Barry Nicholson`s cross went high over the crossbar.

Dunfermline were enjoying more possession and their passing was superior all of which made the sizeable home support very impatient.

Lee Bullen headed a McGroarty cross at keeper Marshall and then MacPherson`s ball into the box was sent behind by Freddie Dindeleux for a 23rd minute corner. Unfortunately the Nicholson cross from the right evaded everyone.

Two minutes later Kilmarnock won a corner when Murray created a chance for Dargo and Mitchell. Alan Mahood attacked the corner but the Pars defence got the ball away comfortably.

Gary Mason dispossessed Murray and play was moved swiftly down the left by Jason Dair who delivered a good cross into the Kilmarnock six yard box. Stevie Crawford made contact but the header was just wide to the left of goal.

Despite all the possession the Pars could have gone behind on the half hour after Garry Hay took a Scott Thomson pass and threaded the ball through the middle for Dargo. The crowd was audibly shocked when Justin Skinner produced a fine interception to deny the former Rovers man a straight run in on goal.

A poor Killie clearance made a chance for Gary Mason but his 25 yard shot was touched over the crossbar by Marshall. When the corner came in the ball was cleared only as far as McGroarty and wee Chris` shot from 20 yards appeared to take a deflection in going wide of Marshall`s right hand post. Two further chances fell to Dair before referee
Dougal blew for half time.

Half time: Kilmarnock 0 Dunfermline 0

Firstly a movement through MacPherson, Crawford and Nicholson gave Jason time to turn and shoot - but at the goalkeeper. Then the Pars player was picked out free on the right of the six yard box but again the keeper got in the way.

There was great interest and much light relief from the half time entertainment when youngsters aged 2 to 4 made their own interpretation of the rules of association football.

Dunfermline kicked off the second half towards their 400 or so supporters and were first to get into the opponents box. A McGroarty cross from the left found MacPherson on the far side of the box and he tried to get around his old defence before laying the ball back for Barry Nicholson to shoot.

Kilmarnock blocked the shot and broke on the counterattack. As Murray and Di Giacomo raced upfield it was Lee Bullen who was back to break down the move.

In 48th minute McGroarty took a free kick on the right and shot the ball low across the face of the goal. Scott Thomson was nearest converting for a goal but even he was taken by surprise at the far post.

Six minutes later Mahood lined a shot up for Di Giacomo but his shot from 30 yards was wide. Kilmarnock looked dangerous on the break and having brought on Kris Boyd for Craig Dargo the sub hit a shot from the right angle of the six yard box. The ball looked net bound but curled onto the inside of Marco`s right hand post. Fortunately for the Pars no one was following up and the chance was cleared.

Justin Skinner made another timely intervention a minute later robbing Alan Mahood on the edge of the box after Murray had done well to keep the ball in on the far side.

With 66 minutes on the clock a Dair corner was headed on by Bullen but Nicholson lifted the shot over the bar. Canero got free two minutes later after Mahood had pinched the ball off Mason. The young U21 internationalist snatched a shot from 30 yards which went wide right.

Dunfermline brought on Michel Doesburg for Gus MacPherson in 76th minute. The former Rugby Park favourite was warmly applauded off by both sets of fans with some home fans even getting to their

The best chance of the match then fell to Stevie Crawford . A Ruitenbeek kick was headed on by Bullen and Crawford collected the knock on to race in on goal unchallenged. The Scotland striker failed to understand just how much time he had and hurried a shot that Marshall saved.Next another McGroarty free kick flew across the face of the Kilmarnock goal with Thomson, Doesburg and Dair all trying to get on the end of it.

Back at the other end a Dindeleux free kick came off McGowne and Di Giacono cleared the crossbar. Marco was out well to collect a Fowler float in before Jimmy Calderwood gave an SPL debut to Sean KIlgannon. The player on loan from Middlesboro was given ten minutes to impress and got his fair share of the ball in the closing minutes.

In 88th minute Kilgannon sent in a good cross that Crawford and Bullen rose for. Marshall got between them to clutch the ball but then dramatically dropped in behind him. There was a scramble but Dindeleux sent it behind for a corner.

At the end Boyd made Ruitenbeek concede a corner and Bullen could have stolen the match in the second added minute when another Kilgannon cross was back headed by Crawford to big Lee. Unfortunately Santa hadn`t been listening to him and the effort went over the crossbar.

Jimmy Calderwood said that he would have settled for a point before the match but given the chances he felt that his team might have got better. A third successive shut out is good. Skinner did well and Andrius Skerla looks to have found his form of the early part of last season. someone needs to find the net though!





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