Dunfermline Athletic

1987: Dunfermline 3 Hibernian 3

Memorable Match #52
Fine Fare Scottish League Premier Division
Saturday 8th August 1987, East End Park

Dunfermline fans had waited for the 8th of August 1987 for a very long time. In 1975, when the Scottish league had been re-organising to three divisions instead of two, the Pars narrowly missed out on the Premier Division place after a very poor finish to the 1974-75 season which saw them move out of the top 10 spot.

Although there was great as appointment, everyone thought that it would be simply a matter of time before the Pars got there they had after all been one of Scotland‘s top clubs for most of the previous 20 years.

Sadly, that matter of time took some 12 years as the Pars fought unsuccessfully to get out of the football wilderness. But then just as the fans were getting used to the idea, rapid promotion in successive seasons took the club Premier League football at long last. By then the Premier Division was made up of 12 sides and the Pars went up with Morton to take the place of Clydebank and Hamilton.

Above: Jim Leishman and Andy Williamson (father of Ryan Williamson)

The notion of Dunfermline in the Premier League was a novel idea, and drummed up by the media hype of Pars manager Jim Leishman, the home fans turned out in large numbers on a lovely sunny August day to see their favourites Premier debut against the team that had finished ninth the previous season.

This was new territory too for a lot of Hibs fans, and the crowd of over 11,000 created a tremendous atmosphere inside the freshly spruced up at stadium. When the players emerged to a standing ovation, Jim Leishman had sprung one surprise, he had included 17-year-old central defender Andy Williamson in his starting eleven.

The opening exchanges were frantic as would be expected, but Dunfermline were dealt a blow after only three minutes. Young Williamson stretched going into a tackle and had to be carried off in his first senior match. Fortunately this had no ill effect on the rest of the team, Gary Thomson was the first sub of the afternoon and Dunfermline withstood some Hibs pressure before taking a sensational lead in 20 minutes.

The Pars twenty five year old centre half Dave YOUNG, who had been with the club from the Second Division days, rose to head home the Fifers opener and East End Park went wild. Dunfermline might have got a second before half time but it was Hibs who carved out an equaliser through Paul KANE right at the break.

Half time: Dunfermline 1 Hibernian 1

That goal seemed to give Hibs confidence, and with Dunfermline struggling to cope with the menace of the Mickey WEIR, Hibs went ahead with a goal from the winger himself. 1-2

Dunfermline were far from finished, however, and within a few minutes were level again. This time it was former Hibee Stuart Beedie who scored for the Pars. It was the third goal inside 10 minutes, but there was more to follow. 2-2

Hibs teenage midfielder John Collins put the Easter Road side into the lead again in the 59th minute, and it looked for all the world as if they were going to keep it as they maintained a tight control in midfield.

If it had ended there, Dunfermline fans would still have been satisfied with the days work, but they had real cause for celebration in the 87th minute when that man YOUNG popped up again for the equaliser. 3-3

The game had produced six goals and incidents galore. The Dunfermline fans left East End Park that day with a very happy smile on their faces. You could hear them thinking “this is what we have been missing”.

DUNFERMLINE: Ian Westwater: Graeme Robertson, Andy Williamson (Gary Thompson), Norrie McCathie, Dave Young, Craig Robertson, Stuart Beedie, Stevie Morrison, Eric Ferguson (Willie Irvine), Ian McCall, Grant Jenkins.
SCORERS: Young (20, 87)

HIBERNIAN: Alan Rough: Callum Milne, Tommy McIntyre, Eddie May, Rae, Gordon Hunter, Mickey Weir, Paul Kane, Steve Cowan, John Collins, Joe McBride (Joe Tortolano).
SUB NOT USED: Paul McGovern
SCORER: Kane (45)

REFEREE: DA Yeats, Perth
ATTENDANCE: 11551



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