2001: Dunfermline 5 Motherwell 2
Memorable Match #50
Bank of Scotland Premier League,
Saturday 28th July 2001, East End Park
Dunfermline got off to a flyer as new signing from NEC Nijmegen, Jack de Gier netted twice in a five-goal demolition of Motherwell.
Dunfermline’s opening match of the SPL season was played in front of a disappointing crowd of less than 5000 but those who stayed away missed one of Dunfermline’s best opening performances in years.
The Pars opened brightly and created a number of chances early on. But it was an error in the ‘Well rear guard that brought in the opener on the seventh minute mark. A harmless enough cross came over from the left but as a Greg Strong tried to direct a header back to his keeper Jack de Gier pounced and shot a coolly past Mark Brown. Only a few minutes into the game and the fans loved the Pars debutant. 1-0
In 25 minutes the complexion of the game change. As Andy Dow joined a Motherwell attack he was brought down inside the box by Nicholson. David KELLY equalised on the spot and Motherwell seemed immediately more confident. Pressuring the Pars left hand side, the opposition took control of the game and at half time Athletic were lucky to have stayed level.
Half time: Dunfermline 1 Motherwell 1
Jason Dair came on for Steven Hampshire at the break but even he must’ve been surprised at the speed of his impact. Inside the first minutes of the second half the half time sub sent over at telling cross which NICHOLSON volleyed into the corner to give the pass the lead. 2-1
This definitely did the trick and now the Pars were in top gear. A great Dunfermline move almost caused Andy Dow to head past his keeper. Brown save the header but he couldn’t save the next. Nicholson’s corner was perfectly met my head of the rejuvenated Lee BULLEN to sail into the corner of the net for number three. 3-1
The home fans were in good voice and they didn’t have to wait long before they were celebrating what was arguably the best goal of the afternoon.
Good work by Stevie Crawford on the left side culminated in a low close to the front of the goal. De GIER got in front of his marker to smash the Pars fourth into the roof of the net with a stunning left foot hook. 4-1
Dunfermline’s scoring wasn’t completed until the 70th minute and then very unusual fashion. Gary Mason held the ball up on the left before noticing by Nicholsons late run. Mason’s cross was met by the head of the Pars five foot seven midfielder who directed the ball perfectly past keeper Brown.
Although Adams got a late second for Motherwell, Dunfermline ran out worthy winners. It was a great team effort with new signing and man of the match Jack de Gier outstanding. Barry Nicholson appeared to be starting from where he left off last season and the fans favourite Lee Bullen could have done his chances no harm.
Homesickness meant that de Gier spent only a short time on Fife although he did score five goals in his fourteen appearances. His debut double was the first at East End Park since 22nd March 1978 when 20 year old Andy Dickson marked his first appearance by netting twice in the 6-1 thrashing of Brechin City.
DUNFERMLINE: Marco Ruitenbeek, Andrius Skerla, John Potter, Lee Bullen, Chris McGroarty, Steven Hampshire (Jason Dair HT), Davie Nicholls, Barry Nicholson, Gary Mason, Jack de Gier (Stewart Petrie 73), Stevie Crawford.
SUBS NOT USED: Kevin McLeish, Greg McDonald, Scott Y Thomson (GK)
SCORERS: de Gier (8, 59), Nicholson (46, 70), Bullen (56)
MOTHERWELL: Mark Brown, Martyn Corrigan, Andy Dow, Karl Ready, Greg Strong, Kevin Twaddle, Roberto Martinez, Stuart Elliott, Steven Hammell, Derek Adams, David Kelly.
SUBS: Eddie Forrest, Neil Tarrant, Stevie Nicholas, Keith Lasley, Stevie Woods (GK).
SCORERS: Kelly (25 pen.), Adams (79)
REFEREE: Jon Rowbotham
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