Dunfermline 0 St Johnstone 1Saturday, 3rd Jan 1998
Dave Barnett (og 7) 0-1:
Bert Paton had 10 players out through injury and suspension and with Andy Smith out suspended Stewart Petrie returned, but he did not look match fit. Scott McCulloch passed a late fitness test but Harry Curran was also out through injury.
St Johnstone were without George O’ Boyle so the EEP crowd were quiet to start and even quieter after 7 minutes. In driving rain and a bitterly cold westerly wind the Perth men pushed forward with confidence with their backs to the elements. As is likely to happen in nasty conditions, the Pars defence totally mucked up a fairly tame Saints excursion into the Dunfermline penalty box. Andy Tod fired a clearance into Dave Barnett and the ball ended up in the net.
The best Dunfermline could hope for was to go into the second half only one down. That looked likely even after a reasonable amount of pressure on the Saints defence in the second quarter but nearing the interval Allan Preston broke through and with only the keeper to beat Westie pulled him down on the edge of the D. Referee Alan Freeland deemed that a defender had covered behind the keeper and only a yellow card was shown. Other less sympathetic referees could easily have made it red.
Half time: Dunfermline 0 St Johnstone 1
Half time brought a welcome respite but David Bingham had suffered concussion in the last attack of the half and so Ivo Den Bieman was brought on for the second half. Ivo had been unhappy to be dropped and on his own admission would prefer to play at central defence (but with Andy Tod).
Toddy moved forward into an attacking role that some have wanted to see him in for some time. Unfortunately his first touch control was limited and no real threat came from him all second half.
For most Pars fans the display was the worst that they could remember There was not one Pars shot on target all match and only one corner that could be recalled. Nobody played well in the black and white stripes and the match sponsors.
SUBS NOT USED: Zoran Lemajic (GK)
ST JOHNSTONE: Alan Main; Alan Kernaghan, Callum Davidson, John McQuillan, Allan Preston, Jim Weir, Nick Dasovic, Philip Scott, Paul Kane, Tommy Wright, Roddy Grant (Thomas Andersson 72)
SUBS NOT USED: Danny Griffin, Leigh Jenkinson
SCORERS: Barnett (og 7)
YELLOW CARD: Grant
REFEREE: Alan Freeland (Aberdeen)
NEXT MATCH: v Hibs (away) Saturday 10th January 1998
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