Dunfermline Athletic

Kiss me Gazza

Wednesday, 9th Nov 2011

Austin McCann had forgotten how to celebrate goals but Gazza might have landed one on him last time

Austin McCann's first goal for Dunfermline

They are not too common but Austin McCann's goals have a habit of being winners. His last, seven years ago was hit from a free kick that he took in preference to none other than Paul Gascoigne. That day the two were playing for Boston United at home to Cambridge United in Football League Two, the date Saturday 4th September 2004.

During the game Gazza had demonstrated his crowd pleasing nature when he was brought down by an opponent then leapt to his feet in a threatening manner only to firmly plant a kiss on the Cambridge player's forehead. The English international legend had already been unsuccessful from a free kick and when an opportunity came from a set piece with just three minutes remaining, it was Austin who connected to send the ball past the now Norwich City keeper John Ruddy at his near post. There was not another Gazza embrace but Ozzie recalled how Courtney Pitt had teed the hit up for him:-

"It was a free kick fed to me and it was a decent goal to be honest, I had to hit it from 25 yards into the top corner". He then expanded on how Gazza ended up playing alongside him.

Paul Gascoigne and Austin McCann

"Paul Gascoigne had arrived at Boston on the promise of a coaching role but he didn't really get the chance. He was great to have around you and I remember everybody sitting in the dressing room waiting for him to walk in. In the short time that he was there it was good. He trained hard in the gym and his physique was unbelievable."

The coaching role never materialised and Gascoigne left the Lincolnshire club who now play in the Blue Square League North, after playing just five games.

"It was good experience for me" added Ozzie "the boys still give me stick about it."

Ozzie's rare goal on Saturday at Easter Road inflicted defeat on Hibs and earned the Pars only their fourth ever Premier League win there and their first win in their last ten SPL matches. The 31 year old's goal was his first in in 138 appearances for Dunfermline.

Austin McCann celebrates goal

In April 2003 Austin's last minute thunderbolt past Rab Douglas from 30 yards secured a late 2-1 win over Celtic but that was his only goal in over three years with the Tynecastle club.

"I only scored once for Boston and one for Hearts. I scored seven at Airdrie but I managed to get on the penalties there. That must have been three or four from the penalty spot but I was also playing wingback for Airdrie in a 3-5-2.

"It is a long time since I'd played there but it suited me against Hibs. I have played in a back four and a back three already this season but the Manager wanted to change it to try and get a result and it has worked for him on Saturday."

Possibly caused by a combination of the disbelief that McCann could be on the scoresheet and the impossibility that is reading either the numbers or the names on the back of the Pars players' strips there was confusion and doubt in the Easter Road press box whether the goal was really the Pars captain's.

"The Manager said to the wingbacks that playing 3-5-2 he wanted us to push on, especially with three solid centre backs there. He said to me and Willis to push on."

Austin's goal drought could have been ended with a brace since he had a good chance in the second half to double his tally.

"At the time I thought if I could just get a connection on this and hit the target but it managed to go by me. It was a good opportunity but I couldn't stretch far enough. In the end one goal was all we needed because the boys defended well."

Legends Festive Bash



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