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Monthly Digest - October 1986

Thanks to the Athletic's recent excellent form, their games had become magnets for scouts from all over the UK. Crytsal Palace's manager, Steve Coppell, had taken in the Montrose game, whilst Spurs, Luton, Hibs, Hearts, Motherwell and Dundee had all been represented. Amongst the players catching the eyes of the scouts were, Watson, McCathie and Westwater. 
After being stolen from East End Park the previous week, the Second Division Championship flag was recovered from under the floorboards of a house. 
Hugh Whyte, who last made a league appearance 18 months before, will deputise for the injured Ian Westwater against Forfar.
 
Date: 4th October 1986 Opposition: Forfar Athletic Score (H/T): 3-3 (2-2)
Competition: Sc Division One Venue: Station Park Attendance: 1,892
Scorers: [0-1] MacDonald (19 pen), [1-1] Hamilton (29), [2-1] Watson (40), [2-2] MacDonald (44), [2-3] MacDonald (76), [3-3] McCathie (83).
Cards (Yellow): Heddle (DAFC), MacDonald (Forfar)
Pars Team: Whyte, Forrest, Heddle, McCathie, Reid, Donnelly, Bowie (McCall), Thompson, Watson, Hamilton, Jenkins. Sub Not Used: Ferguson. 
Forfar Ath: Moffat, Benett, McPhee, Morris, McKillop, Clark, Brewster, Lorimer (Ward), Scott, Bell, MacDonald. Sub Not Used: Lennox. 
Referee: K J Hope (Clarkston)
In an exciting topsy-turvy game, Forfar took the lead via the penalty spot, after McCathie tumbled Clark in the box. The Pars equalised 10 minutes later when Rowan Hamilton headed in a chipped Donnelly cross. John Watson then put the Pars into the lead shooting home from a Donnelly pass. A Whyte error then let Forfar equalise just before the break. In a fast flowing second half, MacDonald exploited a gap in the Dunfermline defence to score his hat-trick, but just seven minutes from the end, a Norrie McCathie diving header from a Jenkins cross gave the Pars a share of the points.  
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
1 Dunfermline Ath 12 8 3 1 20 10 19
2 Airdrieonians 12 6 4 2 18 11 16
3 Dumbarton 12 7 1 4 21 14 15
           
Date: 8th October 1968 Opposition: Dumbarton Score (H/T): 0-1 (0-0)
Competition: Sc Division One Venue: East End Park Attendance: 4,161
Scorers: [0-1] McCoy (71)
Cards (Yellow): Watson, Reid (DAFC), McCahill (Dumbarton)
Pars Team: Westwater, Forrest, Heddle, McCathie, Reid, Donnelly, Bowie (McCall), Thompson (Ferguson), Watson, Hamilton, Jenkins.
Dumbarton: Stevenson, Docherty, Montgomerie, Martin, McCahill, T Coyle, Moore, Kay, Houston, McCoy, O Coyle. Subs Not Used: Grant, McGowan
Referee: J Duncan (Gorebridge)
A dreadful night for the Pars, who were well and truly off form. With the game looking as if it would end goalless, a break by Dumbarton's Moore 19 minutes from time, saw the ball touched to McCoy, who drove the ball past Westwater. In the last minute, Grant Reid missed from a Bowie corner, when  it seemed easier to score.
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
1 Dunfermline Ath 13 8 3 2 20 11 19
2 Airdrieonians 13 7 4 2 20 12 18
3 Dumbarton 13 8 1 4 22 14 17
 
The board make the milestone decision for the club to become full-time once again. As a starter, manager Jim Leishman is to be offered a 2 year full time contract. It is expected that 6 or 7 players will go full time over the next three months. The basic wage will be pegged at around 250 per week.
Jim Leishman denied that a 60,000 bid for John Watson had been turned down. A further denial issued by Club Chairman Mel Rennie, was that Big Country frontman, Stuart Adamson, was to join the Board.
Grant Reid discovers that he has been playing with a broken nose, sustained in the game against Forfar. In the team to play Clyde, he will be replaced by Davie Young.
Date: 11th October 1986 Opposition: Clyde Score (H/T): 0-1 (0-1)
Competition: Sc Division One Venue: Firhill Attendance: 1,665
Scorers: [0-1] Murphy (41)
Cards (Yellow): None
Pars Team: Westwater, Forrest, Heddle (McCall), McCathie, Young, Donnelly, Bowie (Ferguson), Thompson, Watson, Hamilton, Jenkins.
Clyde: Atkins, McFarlane, Napier, Tait, Flexney, McDowall, Murphy (Miller), Logan, Watters, Evans, Lloyd. Sub Not Used: Willock 
Referee: A Ferguson (Giffnock)
Another off day for the Pars as they slumped to their second defeat in a row. Having had missed a couple of good opportunities to score, the Bully Wee took the lead just before half time. From a free kick, Murphy sent the ball around the wall and into the net. The defeat saw DA drop down to second place.
 
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
1 Dumbarton 14 9 1 4 27 17 19
2 Dunfermline Ath 14 8 3 3 20 12 19
3 Airdrieonians 14 7 4 3 20 15 18
 
Jim Leishman signs a two year full time contract. At the time he said that his aim was to become the club's longest serving manager. Sandy Archibald (39-46) held the record. Leishman relinquished the post of Commercial Manager. 
The manager was due to appear before a SFA Disciplinary Hearing after being booked as a result of  a half time argument with the referee during the East Fife game on 30 August. He was then red-carded during a game with East Fife reserves. 
Skipper Bobby Robertson is recalled for the game against Morton, having been out with a hamstring injury, since the St Mirren game on 20th August. 
           
Date: 18th October 1986 Opposition: Greenock Morton Score (H/T): 1-1 (1-1)
Competition: Sc Division One Venue: East End Park Attendance: 3,741
Scorers: [0-1] Clinging (21), [1-1] Donnelly (29)
Cards (Yellow): Watson (DAFC), Hunter, Bruce (Morton)
Pars Team: Westwater, Robertson, Forrest, McCathie, Young, Donnelly, Thompson (Bowie), Morrison, Watson, McCall (Ferguson), Jenkins.
Morton: Bruce, O'Hara, Holmes, Hunter, Doak, Clinging, Robertson, Richardson, Alexander, Turner, McNeill. Subs Not Used: Coyle, Boag.
Referee: J.F. McGilvray (Edinburgh)
Against a tight Morton defence, Dunfermline found it difficult to make any inroads on the Morton goal, finding themselves constantly frustrated by the away team's offside trap. Despite having the better of the opening period, Morton opened the scoring when a defensive error let in Clinning to steer the ball past Westwater. Dunfermline equalised some minutes later when Donnelly took a pass from McCathie, and scored with a super shot from 18 yards. A professional foul by the Morton keeper in the last few minutes saw McCathie tumbled to the ground. Bruce escaped with a caution, and the chance for the Athletic to score the winner had passed.   
 
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
1 Dumbarton 15 10 1 4 29 18 21
2 Dunfermline Ath 15 8 4 3 21 13 20
3 Airdrieonians 15 7 4 4 21 17 18
 
Big Jim made his appearances before the beaks, and found himself banned to the stand for the rest of the season and fined 200. He will be absent from the dug-out for around 30 matches, and during that time Gregor Abel will look after the team on the pitch.
Over the next two weeks, Leishman will be discussing with all the players whether they are interested in full-time football.
Having gone four games without a win, manager Leishman refused to to be panicked into making wholesale changes to his team.
           
Date: 25th October 1986 Opposition: Brechin City Score (H/T): 4-0 (1-0)
Competition: Sc Division One Venue: East End Park Attendance: 3,159
Scorers: [1-0] Jenkins (6), [2-0] Watson (46), [3-0] Watson (73), [4-0] Ferguson (77)
Cards (Yellow): Lyall, Stevens (Brechin City)
Pars Team: Westwater, Thompson, Forrest, McCathie, Young, Donnelly, Robertson, Connelly (McCall), Watson, Ferguson, Jenkins. Sub Not Used: Bowie
Brechin City: Martin, Watt, Fleming (Lees), Brown, Stevens, Lyall, Lytwyn, Adam (Gallaghaer), Powell, Scott, Perry.
Referee: P Hanley (Coatbridge)
It was back to winning ways, as the Pars turned in an inspired performance. Jenkins opened the scoring with a superb shot from the edge of the box. Although Brechin had opportunities to equalise, any threat they posed was killed off just after the break, when Donnelly passed to Watson who sidefooted past Martin in the Brechin goal. Watson scored the third slotting home a Jenkins pass, and Ferguson got the fourth, making no mistake after Watson had missed a Connelly cross.
 
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
1 Dunfermline Ath 16 9 4 3 25 13 22
2 Dumbarton 16 10 1 5 29 19 21
3 East Fife 16 6 6 4 27 24 18
 
Chairman, Mr Rennie confirmed that although the club's aim is to get promoted to the Premier League, but the team's current position had taken the Board by surprise. He also revealed that the decision to go full-time was likely to cost the club around 250k a year. 
           
Date: 29th October 1986 Opposition: Partick Thistle Score (H/T): 1-0 (0-0)
Competition: Sc Division One Venue: Firhill Attendance: 2,579
Scorers: [1-0] Watson (75)
Cards (Yellow): Herd (Partick Thistle)
Pars Team: Westwater, Thompson, Forrest, McCathie, Young, Donnelly, Robertson, Connelly (Campbell), Watson, Ferguson, Jenkins. Sub Not Used: McCall
Patrtick Thistle: Brough, Spittal, Workman, Cairns, Carson, Watson, Law, Herd, West, Mackie, McDonald. Subs Not Used: Gallagher, Kelly
Referee: W.N. Crombie (Edinburgh)
In a dull game played in a torrential downpour, it took until the 75th minute for it to come to life when Watson scored an excellent goal. A Gary Thompson throw-in went to Watson, who knocked the ball to Ferguson. The ball was pushed forward to Gordon Connelly, whose cross was met on the head by a diving Watson. Despite Partick fighting back, Westwater stood firm to deny them a share of the points.
 
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
1 Dunfermline Ath 17 10 4 3 26 13 24
2 Dumbarton 17 11 1 5 31 19 23
3 Morton 17 8 3 6 34 25 19

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