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Monthly Digest - December 1999

Newly appointed boss Jimmy Calderwood reveals that the board's ambition was the main reason he decided to return to Scotland from Holland. Having signed a 3 1/2 year contract with the club, JC stated that he intended that his team would play attacking football with commitment. Chairman John Yorkston commented that the decision to make Calderwood one of Scotland's highest paid managers, was a gamble that the club had to take. "If you want a top man, you have to pay top wages". Jimmy Nicholl will remain as Assistant Manager, having been in temporary charge prior to JC's appointment. 
JC revealed that before taking the job, he had watched the team play at Falkirk, where they won 3-1. He was particularly impressed with Stevie Crawford.
Work on the first "in with the bricks" wall of 600 bricks is expected to commence at the end of the month.
Date: 4th December 1999 Opposition: Ayr United Score (H/T): 3-0 (2-0)
Competition: Sc Division One Venue: Somerset Park Attendance: 2,113
Scorers: [1-0] Crawford (40), [2-0] French (43), [3-0] French (75)
Cards (Yellow): Reid (DAFC), Grant (Ayr)
Pars Team: Westwater; Tod, Skinner, Reid, Thomson; Dolan, French (Moss 82), May (McGroarty 70); Petrie, Crawford, Coyle (Hampshire 79).
Ayr United: Nelson; Robertson, McMillan, Hogg, Shepherd; Teale (Jemson 62), Kelly (Crilly 67), Hurst, Lyons; Grant, Reynolds (Lindau 82).
Referee: M Clark
For his first game in charge, JC sticks with the same starting 11 that beat Clydebank the previous Saturday. Crawford opened the scoring with a neat low shot into the corner of the net. Then three minutes later, following an excellent ball from Owen Coyle, veteran Hamish French rounded Craig Nelson to knock the ball into the net. French grabbed his second, 15 minutes from the end, when he shot home a Scott Thomson shot which had been blocked.
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
1 St Mirren 17 13 3 1 45 19 42
2 Dunfermline Ath 17 9 7 1 33 16 34
3 Raith Rovers 17 8 5 4 33 26 29
The owners of EEP, Dunfermline Sports Grounds Ltd are looking to Fife Council for approval to develop the ground. Any delay could in gaining approval could affect European funding which is available until the end of the year.
Andy Smith goes on loan to Kilmarnock for a month, but his debut for the Ayrshire team is delayed after their game against Dundee is postponed. Smith still has two years of his Athletic contract left. 
Loan star Stevie Crawford is due to be recalled by Hibernian after the St Mirren game on 27th December. After the beginning of January, Crawford can freely negotiate with other clubs.
A 50,000 bid by Dundee for Craig Ireland has been accepted by DA, but the player has so far refused to accept personal terms.
Date: 11th December 1999 Opposition: Greenock Morton Score (H/T): 3-0 (2-0)
Competition: Sc Division One Venue: Cappielow Attendance: 2,200
Scorers: [1-0] Coyle (25), [2-0] Moss (32), [3-0] Crawford (85)
Cards (Yellow): Tod (DAFC)
Pars Team: Westwater; Reid, Skinner, Tod (Potter 57); Thompson, Petrie, French, Moss, May (McGroarty 18); Coyle (Hampshire 80), Crawford.
Morton: Maxwell; D. Anderson, Fenwick, Morrison, Murie; McPherson, J. Anderson (Aitken 69), Curran (Hawke 69), Tweedie (Slavin 76; Matheson, Whalen.
Referee: A Gemmill
At dilapidated Cappielow, Dunfermline won handsomely to make it five wins in a row. Just minutes after he had had a goal chalked off for offside, Stevie Crawford released Owen Coyle on the edge of the box, and the former Motherwell striker scored with a fine shot into the corner of the net. Goal number two came from a David Moss header from a corner. Then five minutes from the end, Stevie Crawford found himself clear of the defence, to score his seventh goal for the club. 
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
1 St Mirren 18 13 4 1 46 20 43
2 Dunfermline Ath 18 10 7 1 36 16 37
3 Raith Rovers 17 8 5 4 33 26 29
The match against Morton saw Ian Westwater break the record for the number of league appearances by a goalkeeper. The game was Westie's 312th league goalkeeping appearance. However, Hugh Whyte has still made the most goalkeeping appearances overall, 364, compared to Westie's 357. 
A decision on the future redevelopment of East End Park has been put on hold pending a site visit by the Council's Planning Committee. One local councilor accused the club of "holding a gun to councilor's heads", because of the European funding deadline.
An experimental pitch protection cover was used for the first time, as temperatures drop below zero.
After agreeing personal terms, Craig Ireland finally moves to Dundee.
Date: 18th December 1999 Opposition: Inverness Caley Thistle Score (H/T): 1-0 (0-0)
Competition: Sc Division One Venue: East End Park Attendance: 3,775
Scorers: [1-0] Tod (90)
Cards (Yellow): Christie, Mann, Teasdale (Inverness CT)
Pars Team: Westwater, Reid (Graham 70), Skinner, Tod, French, Moss, Potter, McGroarty, Petrie, Crawford, Coyle.           Subs not used: Squires, Nish
Inverness CT: Calder, Golabek, Hastings, Mann, Teasdale; Tokely, Sheerin, Christie, McCulloch; Xausa (Glancy 88), Wyness (Bavidge 71).
Referee: J Underhill.
JC's first home game in charge, and the Pars make heavy weather of beating Inverness Caley. A dire game, which only started to come to life in the last half hour. The Pars winning goal came right on the final whistle, with Andy Tod heading home an Owen Coyle cross. Added to the news that St Mirren had been beaten 2-1 by Ayr United, Christmas had come early for the Pars support.  
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
1 St Mirren 19 13 4 2 47 22 43
2 Dunfermline Ath 19 11 7 1 37 16 40
3 Falkirk 19 9 4 6 31 28 31
Councilors have rejected the club's plans to redevelop East End Park. As a result, the Athletic could now miss out on 1 million European funding grant.
Striker Andy Smith returns from his loan spell at Kilmarnock. His future could be decided during the SPL winter break.
Former Hamilton and Hearts winger Jose Quitongo has been training with the Pars.
The new year derby clash against Raith Rovers will be all ticket.
There were many disappointed Pars supporters, as the eagerly awaited clash with St Mirren on 27th September is called off due to a flu epidemic at the Paisley club. St Mirren had submitted doctor's reports showing that out of 24 registered players, 10 had flu, and another 10 had medium to long term injuries.
Keeper Ian Westwater is within touching distance of equaling Hugh Whyte's all-time record of shut-outs. Westie has kept 99 league clean sheets, and 115 in all games. He now needs one more shutout to equal Whyte's record.