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Monthly Digest - December 2000

The expected arrival of the Argentinian Under 21 striker did not materialise as he had apparently suffered a serious leg injury. Rumours that Skerla was moving to Celtic were denied.
Date: 2nd December 2000 Opposition: Celtic Score (H/T): 1-3 (0-2)
Competition: Sc Premier League Venue: Parkhead Attendance: 59,224
Scorers: [1-0] Dair (55 secs), [1-1] Moravcik (7), [1-2] Larsson (20), [1-3] Johnston (79)
Cards (Yellow): Matthaei, Nicholson, Bullen (DAFC) Larsson (Celtic)
Pars Team: Ruitenbeek, Skinner, Skerla, S. Thomson, Nicholson, Matthaei (McGarty 66), Moss, Dair (Boyle 38), May (Hampshire HT), Bullen, Crawford. Subs not used: SY Thomson, Graham.
Celtic: Douglas, Boyd, Valgaeren, Mjallby, Agathe, Thompson, Moravcik, Petrov, Petta, Larsson, Johnson. Subs: Gould, Mahe, McNamara, Healy, Smith.
Referee: M McCurry
Even though the Pars took a surprise lead in just 55 seconds from a Jason Dair shot from the edge of the box, Celtic always looked as though they would win this encounter. Moravcik equalised after finding himself unmarked on the far side of the box, before in 21 minutes Larsson capitalised on a mistake by Justin Skinner. Ruitenbeek at long last saved a penalty at his tenth attempt, but almost immediately Celtic scored their third when Johnston headed home a corner.
The EEP injury crisis forces Calderwood to recall Andy Tod from his loan spell at Stockport County. During his time down south, Andy had played in defence, attack, and even in goals for two minutes, after the County keeper had been sent off.
Gary Mason from Manchester City arrives on a weeks trial, as does Samuel Ipoua from Toulouse.
Striker Owen Coyle moves on loan to Ross County
Date: 9th December 2000 Opposition: Hibernian Score (H/T): 0-3 (0-1)
Competition: Sc Premier League Venue: Easter Road Attendance: 10,078
Scorers: [0-1] Laursen (5), [0-2] Zitelli (55), [0-3] Paatelainen (69)
Cards (Yellow): Skerla (DAFC )
Cards (Red): Matthaei (DAFC)
Pars Team: Ruitenbeek, Skinner, Skerla, Thomson, Doesburg (Mendes 59), Crawford, Bullen, Hampshire, Matthaei, Nicholson, McGarty (Graham 67).  Subs not used:  SY Thomson, Martin, McDonald.
Hibernian: Colgan, Laursen, Sauzee, Lovell, Fenwick, G. Smith, Latapy (Andrews 80), O'Neil, Jack, Paatelainen (Lehmann 77), Zitelli (McManus 77). Subs not used:  Franks, Murray.
Referee: K Clark
Another poor away day for the Pars. With 9 first team regulars ruled out through injury, manager Calderwood was forced to make changes. Having got off to a bad start when Ulrik Laursen slotted home Hibs first in just five minutes, things got worse some fifteen minutes later when Matthaei was sent off for taking a fresh air swipe at Lovell. The Pars were lucky to only be one down at half time, but they paid the price in the second half when Hibs scored twice. 
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
8 Motherwell 20 6 4 10 25 31 22
9 Dunfermline Ath 20 5 5 10 16 28 20
10 Aberdeen 19 3 8 8 19 28 17
13th December 2000 - Gary Mason signs after a successful trial. Samuel Ipoua returns to Toulouse. 
Dunfermline and Stockport are embroiled in a row over Andy Tod, after the English side refuse to release the defender.
Junior Mendes returns to action against Hibs, but is then injured in a bounce game in training.
Date: 16th December '00 Opposition: St Mirren Score (H/T): 2-0 (1-0)
Competition: Sc Premier League Venue: East End Park Attendance: 5,061
Scorers: [1-0] Thomson (37), [2-0] McGroarty (73)
Cards (Yellow): Crawford, Ferguson, Nicholson (DAFC) Baltacha, Gillies (St Mirren)
Pars Team: Ruitenbeek, Skinner, Skerla, Rossi, Nicholson, Ferguson, Scott Thomson, Moss (Bullen 72), McGroarty, Crawford, Hampshire (Doesburg 73). Subs Not Used: SY Thomson, McLeish, Huggon.
St Mirren: McCaldon, Baltacha (Yardley 61), Turner, Barry McLaughlin, Walker, Bowman, McKenzie, Gillies, Brown, Fenton (Quitongo 76), Renfurm (McGarry 76). Subs not used: Scrimgour, Robinson.
Referee: H Dallas
This was an excellent win against a Saints team which was finding life in the SPL difficult. Scott Thomson opened the scoring driving home a rebound from a Stevie Crawford shot, which Saints keeper McCaldon (who had an excellent game) could only parry. The Athletic's second goal was a peach. Chris McGroarty picked up the ball in midfield, and set off on a run towards goal. With the St Mirren defence parting, the youngster ran on, before hitting a low drive past McCaldon.  
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
8 Motherwell 21 7 4 10 27 31 25
9 Dunfermline Ath 21 6 5 10 18 28 23
10 Aberdeen 20 3 8 9 19 34 17
Andy Tod remains in limbo. The SFA and UEFA are now involved in the row.
Marinus Dijkhuizen, Utrecht's 6ft 2in striker, arrives seeking a loan deal, and signs until the end of the season. the Pars official website is launched.
Date: 23rd December '00 Opposition: Kimarnock Score (H/T): 1-0 (1-0)
Competition: Sc Premier League Venue: East End Park Attendance: 6,054
Scorers: [1-0]  Crawford (22)
Cards (Yellow): Doesburg (DAFC)
Pars Team: Ruitenbeek, Skinner, Skerla, Rossi, Hampshire (Doesburg 64), Nicholson (Dair 81), Ferguson, Scott Thomson, McGroarty, Crawford, Moss (Dijkhuizen 64). Subs Not Used: SY Thomson, Dair, Bullen.
Kilmarnock: Marshall, Canero, Dindeleux, Innes, McGowne, Baker (Hay 76), Davidson, Mahood, Reilly (Wright 82), Cocard (Dargo 76), McLaren. Subs not Used: Meldrum, Fowler.
Referee: B Orr
Two wins on the trot for the Pars, who gained full points thanks to a superb first half display. The winning goal from Stevie Crawford came from a Nicholson cross, which Stevie hit into the roof of the net. This was his first goal for over two months, and his tee shirt recorded his thanks to Santa. The second half was all Aberdeen, with Dunfermline desperately defending their lead. The defence was holding out well until time added on, when Ruitenbeek and Wright tangled while trying to get to the ball. A penalty was awarded, but thankfully Paul Wright's spot kick went well wide of the post, much to the delight of the Pars support..
Date: 26th December '00 Opposition: Aberdeen Score (H/T): 3-2 (1-2)
Competition: Sc Premier League Venue: East End Park Attendance: 7,194
Scorers: [1-0] Crawford (13), [1-1] Rowson (37), [1-2] Dow (44), [2-2] Rossi (46), [3-2] Nicholson (51)
Cards (Yellow): Solberg (Aberdeen)
Pars Team: Dunfermline Ruitenbeek, Skinner (Dijkhuizen 45), Skerla, Rossi, Nicholson (Dair 81), Ferguson, Thomson, Hampshire (Doesburg 71), McGroarty, Crawford, Moss. Subs Not Used:  SY Thomson, Bullen
Aberdeen: Esson, McGuire, Whyte, Solberg, McAllister (Mackie 80), Winters, Derek Young (Belabed 72), Rowson, Dow (McNaughton 80), Stavrum, Di Rocco. Subs Not Used: Preece, Clark
Referee: G Mitchell
Three games and three wins, things are looking up! Played in freezing fog, there was a danger that this game would be abandoned, as spectators struggled to see the action at the other end of the park. Pars took the lead when Stevie Crawford smashed the ball home following some lovely lead up play from Hampshire. Aberdeen equalised when Rowson shot past Ruitenbeek. Then just before half time, from a free-kick just outside the box, the ball was knocked to the side, where Dow drove the ball into the net. Trailing at the interval, the Pars would mot only have to come from behind, but also score three goals in a game, neither of which they had achieved previously this season. But, just after the break, Yousef Rossi got a lucky break from an Aberdeen defender, and unleashed a tremendous shot past Esson. Then five minutes later, from a Hampshire cross, Moss headed back across the goal, for Barry Nicholson to shoot high into the net. 
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
6 Dundee 22 8 6 8 34 25 30
7 Dunfermline Ath 23 8 5 10 22 30 29
8 Motherwell 23 8 4 11 30 36 28
The Andy Tod row has now been resolved. JC says he will never deal with Stockport County again.
Stewart Petrie is reported to be making good progress following his leg break during the third league game of the season against St Johnstone.
There was anger as the Pars game against Dundee at Dens Park, scheduled for the last Saturday of the year, is postponed just 80 minutes before kick-off. A local referee had earlier passed the frozen pitch as playable.