DAFC Legends 2 Ajax Amateurs 2Sunday, 20th Jan 2008
Stars of the past turn back the clock
This charity match witnessed the return to East End Park of a great many names associated with recent, and maybe not-so recent, Dunfermline Athletic history. Stevie Morrison, Ray Farningham and Davie Irons demonstrated very early that their passing skills had suffered little in the years since they last wore the famous black and white stripes.
Ajax Amateurs had arrived in Scotland on Friday and their acclimatisation included visits to numerous tourist attractions that seemed to specialise in late night attractions and sampling Scotland's efforts to compete with Grolsch and Heineken. Their minder, former Pars goalkeeper Marco Ruitenbeek was delighted to be back at Dunfermline.
The first opportunity of the game came to David Bingham running on to a break off Ross Jack but the Ajax keeper was quickly off his line to block. Dave Young was forced into conceding a corner kick that saw five Ajax players lingering at the far side of the box awaiting the delivery from the right. The ball did sneak through to Michel de Haan who blasted the ball over the crossbar.
Graeme Robertson looked no different in his right back role, rediscovering the 'neat football' he was renowned for. It was a Robertson cross from the right byeline that Jack headed down only to be defended back to Robbo and then David Bingham struck the return wide right. This 13th minute chance was certainly the best so far at either end.
Six minutes later Stevie Morrison showed why he was was nicknamed Zico with a pot shot from 23 yards that just cleared the Dutchmen's bar. Dunfermline began to look as though they could take control of the match and were unlucky when in front of goal, Ian Campbell dummied a Farningham cross but Jack had not read the move.
Dave Westwood in goal displayed perfect handling but was glad to see a back flick on a cross from the right directed wide of his left hand post. Hamish French was the first sub to come on to replace Ian Campbell but it was his co-striker Ross Jack who headed home in 26 minutes only to see the offside rather harshly held aloft.
Davie Irons had cut the ball back for a Morrison cross that he sent to the far post and Jack turning back the years, met the ball with a stylish diving header to beat the keeper. Another good chance came the Pars way with French breaking to feed Jack a ball that he centred just too high for Andy Tod.
As always seems to happen when you don't take your chances you pay for it. The Dutchmen clipped a ball in behind the two central defenders and De HAAN had a simple execution to find the net from 15 yards.
The half time whistle looked just as welcome for the visitors as it did the hosts.
Half Time: DAFC Legends 0 Ajax Amsterdam 1
Dunfermline started the second half strongly with Bingham running on to a nicely weighted ball up the right after Robertson had intercepted an Ajax pass. Irons won a free kick and Bingham's take almost picked out Toddy at the near post.
Pressure was maintained with French running on to a through ball to test the keeper from 18 yards. The keeper blocked the shot but Davie IRONS was following up to blast the ball into the net. There was only a ball boy in the McCathie Stand but that made no difference as the Gretna Manager celebrated his goal.
The goal spurred the Pars on and Irons forced the keeper into making a fine save just minutes later. The 1968 Scottish Cup winning captain Roy Barry replaced Dave Young and Stuart Rafferty assumed Stevie Morrison's midfeld role. Despite the numerous substitutions Dunfermline looked very comfortable. But looks can be misleading as Ron de VRIES proved, striking a shot past Westwood from 30 yards to restore the Ajax lead.
There was a specially warm East End Park welcome for Marco Ruitenbeek as he came on for Dave Westwood in the Pars goal. A long throw from the sub found Grant Jenkins on the centre spot and he set up an attack that culminated in Graeme Robertson's lift into the box being shouldered away by a Dutch defender. Loud appeals but no penalty.
In 56th minute the moment most fans had been waiting for - Jim Leishman entered the fray. For a while it looked like Leish was not going to let football spoil a nice afternoon stroll but to the younger fans' great enjoyment he did get involved and contributed to the battle back. The reward duly came.
A Ziggy Bowie cross in the final minute of the 63 that the match lasted was headed down by Ross Jack and Andy TOD hammered home the equaliser. With the score at 2-2 the referee decided that he had seen enough of this nostalgia and blew for full time.
There was a warm feeling of contentment as the Bluebell Polka played the supporters out of the Main Stand. When will they see their likes again?
DUNFERMLINE: Dave Westwood (Marco Ruitenbeek 49); Graeme Robertson (Jim Leishman 56), Dave Young (Roy Barry 41 (Bobby Dall 52)), Andy Tod, Stewart Dall (Bobby Robertson 30); Ray Farningham, David Bingham, Davie Irons, Stevie Morrison (Stuart Rafferty 41( Hamish French 61)), Ross Jack (Grant Jenkins 47), Ian Campbell (Hamish French 24 (John Watson 56 (Ross Jack 58))).
SCORER: Irons (38), Tod (63)
AJAX AMATEURS from: Johnny Aloserij, Patrick Bosschieter, Rogier van den Brink, Arjan Duijunker, Nuno Ferreira, Michel de Haan, Dennis Husers, Said El Hattachi, Danny de Jong, Ralf P. Klint, Tarik Konjo, Matthieu Koster, Alex Liefhebber, Richard Louwens, Rende Luitjes, Stefan van Oers, Cees van Oevelen, Kevin Pepers, Marc Reiz, Berend Seur, Bert C Verweel, Cees Vos, Ron de vries, Samir Zahhaf
SCORERS: De Haan (33), de Vries (49)