Dunfermline Athletic

1986: Stenhousemuir 0 Dunfermline 0

Memorable Match #41
Fine Fare Second Division
Tuesday 29th April 1986
Ochilview Park

This match is not so memorable for the match but for its consequences. The real drama came after the final whistle.

Except for one weekend, Queen of the South had topped the Second Division table for all of 1986 but just one week before the Pars had taken over at the top with a 2-0 win over Arbroath while the Dumfries side had lost 3-1 at Stirling.

On the following Saturday afternoon Stranraer had piled more misery on the Doonhamers with 2-1 win at Palmerston while the Pars won 4-0 at Berwick and in doing so crashed through the 100 goal barrier for the season. That put the Fifers, already assured of promotion, three points clear at the top with two fixtures remaining.

Both contenders were to play in midweek, Dunfermline away to Stenhousemuir and Queens away to Cowdenbeath. A shock for the fans though was centre half Dave Young missing his only match of the season and in his absence Bobby Robertson deputising.

The kick off was delayed for 12 minutes to allow the large crowd into the ground. At 2600 it was Stenny’s biggest gate of the season and they expected to see the Pars take a major step towards the championship title.

Nerves seemed to appear as the Pars stuttered through the first half and those nerves were not eased by news of a 3-1 half time lead for Queens at Central Park. The second half at Ochilview also failed to provide any goals and there was an air of disappointment when referee George Cumming blew for time up. The large travelling support assumed that the Dumfries side would surely have won.

Then Jim Leishman was spotted running towards Ian Westwater, his arms spread wide. The rest of the Dunfermline bench was running on to the park behind him when the tannoy crackled into life. The important message from the announcer concerned someone’s lost car keys. Then almost as an afterthought he added:- “By the way, I have a final score that might be of interest - Cowdenbeath 3 Queen of the South 3.” The Pars were Second Division champions.

The Ochilview pitch suddenly became swamped by a sea of bodies. Players, officials and fans all joined in the celebrations. A mixture of ecstasy and relief that it was all over. This was the club’s first league title in sixty years.

After 38 of the season’s 39 league matches the Pars sat top of the league in an unassailable position five points ahead of second placed Queens.

Back in Dunfermline the celebrations were already underway. Horns were being blasted and pubs were filling up with fans eager to toast the team’s success. The team headed back to East End Park where the celebrations in the Paragon went on until the early hours.

While the party was in full swing a bus pulled up outside the ground in Halbeath Road. The buss. O tainted the Queen of the South officials and players making their way home from Cowdenbeath. Bitterly disappointed as they were, the group climbed the stairs into the Paragon to offer their sincere congratulations to their Dunfermline counterparts.

STENHOUSEMUIR: Lindsay Hamilton: Harry Cairney, Jim Meakin, Robin Butler (Gerry McIntosh 75), Grant Reid, Harry Erwin, Lenny McComb, Alan Bateman, Jim Sinnet, Sandy McNaughton (Rodgers 65), Gordon Buchanan

DUNFERMLINE: Ian Westwater: Rowan Hamilton, Bobby Forrest, Norrie McCathie, Bobby Robertson, Ian Heddle, Jim Bowie (Trevor Smith 83), Davie Moyes, John Watson, Gary Thompson, Ian Campbell (Grant Jenkins 85)

REFEREE: GD Cummings, Carluke
ATTENDANCE: 2600



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