Dunfermline Athletic

Meadowbank 1 Dunfermline 3

Saturday, 21st Apr 1979

Scottish Division Two

With just seven games of the season left to try and gain promotion, Dunfermline had gone thirteen games without defeat, and now found themselves up against bottom team Meadowbank Thistle. The game was played at Bayview as the pitch at the Commonwealth Stadium was deemed unplayable. Thistle, should have been easy meat for high flying Athletic, but the Pars lack of killer instinct almost let the Edinburgh side of the hook.

Dunfermline took the lead in just three minutes, when Ricky Sharp fired a shot at the Meadowbank goal, which saw the keeper catch, and then fumble the ball into his own net. From that moment on Dunfermline controlled the game, and in 38 minutes a Mullin cross was headed past Johnston by Sharp to give Dunfermline a two goal lead at the interval.

Meadowbank Thistle 0 Dunfermline 2

After the break, the Athletic continued to push, and Meadowbank were forced to defend desperately.Then after an hour Sharp, who had been running the game, was injured and forced to retire from the fray. His removal changed the pattern of the game completely, and the confidence drained out of the Athletic, allowing Meadowbank right back into the game.

A Stuart shot was well saved by Whyte for a corner, and from the resultant kick, Downie flicked the ball onto Hancock to nudge it into the net. Sensing they had the upper hand, Meadowbank pushed men forward and they almost equalised when Donaldson just failed to get his foot to a dangerous cross.

Dunfermline fought their way back into the game and in the last twelve minutes found themselves the better of the two teams. In 82 minutes, Donald McLaren cut the ball back from the bye-line, and after two attempts on goal had been blocked, he was on hand to tap the ball home from close range to secure the points.

The final promotion run-in didn`t quite go as smoothly as planned. Defeats against Stranraer, Albion Rovers and Alloa Athletic, a draw against Forfar Athletic, plus a win against league leaders Berwick Rangers, meant that the destination of the second promotion place would go down to the last game of the season, at home to Falkirk.

Despite Falkirk taking the lead through John Perry in 55 minutes, an Andy Rolland penalty 8 minutes later, meant that Dunfermline gained the point they needed to secure promotion to Division One after three seasons in the second.

DUNFERMLINE: Hugh Whyte, Scott, Bonar Mercer, Thomson, John Salton, R Robertson, Mullin, Dickson, Mike Leonard, Donnelly, Sharp (McLaren).
SUB NOT USED: A Robertson



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