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Dunfermline Athletic

Martin Hardie Post Raith

Sunday, 24th Apr 2011

"I turned 35 on Friday and if we manage to go up then I think it could be a wee swansong for me ...

Jim McIntyre praised Martin Hardie for battling on through injury against Raith Rovers, claiming that others might have given up at half time. Martin explained the problem:-

"I went in for a 50/50 and my ankle just sprung back a bit. I was in a bit of pain at half time and when you sit there for fifteen minutes it starts to stiffen up. I got statin on and once the pain killers kicked in it was all systems go and I was delighted to win the match."

All pain was forgotten as soon as Martin scored the equaliser just ten minutes into the second half and the winner twelve minutes from time:-

"I never felt any pain at that point especially when the second one went in. The adrenalin was kicking us on and I was glad to score not just one but two. It was vital for us because it has been a great team effort today. For seventy minutes of the game we absolutely dominated it. They hit long balls into channels; we knew that`s what they would do because that`s the way that they have been playing all season.

Martin Hardie scores 1-1

"When you come up against a Dunfermline side that are buzzing just now then I think it proved that we have big players who can stand up and be counted."

Martin`s second goal came from a free kick 28 yards out and he studied his options carefully before executing a severe blow to Raith Rovers promotion hopes:-

"The keeper gave me a lot of room to be fair and I actually pulled Steven McDougall into the wall just to try and block his view as he was trying to get across. I saw that there was a lot of space to be aimed at and it was just my job to get it over the wall and luckily enough that`s what happened.

Martin Hardie hits in number two

"I have hit a couple of free kicks since I have been here, the keepers have saved them and put them over the bar but especially at a time like this in a game of high magnitude for the First Division I was really pleased that it went in."

The goals against Raith Rovers took Martin`s tally to eight in 14 appearances for Dunfermline but the big man praised his gaffer for allowing him to play in a position that gave him goalscoring opportunities.

"At St Johnstone I was sitting as a sitting midfield man; I have nearly 100 career goals for a midfielder. When I came here Jim gave me the licence to get forward. To score from the dead ball and from the corner as well is credit to myself because there was a point in January when I was in a gym by myself still looking for a club. Through a lot of hard work, Jim McIntyre gave me the chance to train with them. He signed me there and then."

Martin is hoping to take Dunfermline into the SPL and make a contribution in the top flight:-

"I turned 35 on Friday and if we manage to go up then I think it could be a wee swansong for me. The body starts to get a bit stiff during the week but hopefully we can go up. There are only two games left and we need to win on Saturday to get the Club back up.

"When you see a crowd like that here - I know it`s a big game and everybody has come out for it - we know that there can be bigger crowds in the SPL and it proves Dunfermline are a big club and they can attract crowds here. Hopefully at the end of the season we can go up as champions."

There are still two games to go warned Martin. "I remember at St Johnstone we were chasing Gretna; we pulled back between ten and fifteen points but unfortunately we played too many cup games that season and ran out of energy."



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