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Monthly Digest - March 2001

Eddie May leaves the Athletic after having his contract terminated by mutual agreement. Meanwhile Jason Dair has signed a new contract that will keep him at Dunfermline until 2004. Colin Nish also signed a new contract.  
Date: 4th March 2001 Opposition: Celtic Score (H/T): 0-3 (0-2)
Competition: Sc Premier League Venue: East End Park Attendance: 9,096
Scorers: [0-1] Petrov (11), [-0-2] Larsson (25), [0-3] Lennon (77)
Cards (Yellow): Nicholson, Ferguson (DAFC)
Pars Team: Ruitenbeek; Skinner, Skerla, Rossi; Dair, Nicholson, Ferguson (Tod 75), Moss (Hampshire 69), Thomson; Crawford, Dijkhuizen (McGroarty HT).  Subs not used: SY Thomson, Doesburg.
Celtic: Douglas; Mjallby, Vega, Valgaeren; Agathe, Lennon (Crainey 82), Lambert, Petrov, Thomson; Larsson, Sutton (Johnson 13). Subs not used: Gould, Boyd, Moravcik.
Referee: H Dallas
Celtic provided the opposition once again at EEP, but this time there was no fairy tale ending. Dunfermline struggled to get into the game, which Celtic won without to much difficulty. Petrov opened the scoring when he took  a pass from Larsson, and slid the ball into the net by the far post. Larsson then scored direct from a free kick, with Ruitenbeek looking unsighted. Lennon completed the misery in 77 minutes, with a hard shot from the edge of the box, after being set-up by Larsson. 
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
5 Hearts 30 12 6 12 48 45 42
6 Dunfermline Ath 30 10 7 13 28 44 37
7 Dundee 29 10 6 13 42 37 36
Date: 7th March 2001 Opposition: Celtic Score (H/T): 1-4 (1-1)
Competition: Scottish Cup Venue: Parkhead Attendance: 36,225
Scorers: [0-1] Vega (24), [1-1] Thomson (29), [1-2] Vega (49), [1-3] Larsson (62 pen), [1-4] Larsson (73 pen)
Cards (Yellow): Rossi (DAFC)
Pars Team: Ruitenbeek; Doesburg (Bullen 69), Skerla, Rossi, McGroarty; Nicholson, Ferguson; Hampshire, Thomson, Dair (Dijkhuizen 81); Crawford. Subs not used: Thomson (GK), Moss.
Celtic: Douglas; Mjallby, Vega, Valgaeren; Agathe, McNamara (Lambert 63), Lennon, Moravcik; Johnson (Petrov 63), Larsson (Crainey 81), Thompson. Subs not used: Gould, Boyd
Referee: W Young
The Pars go out of the Scottish Cup, although the 4-1 scoreline didn't do the Pars justice. The Celtic opener came from Vega who as the ball came over from a corner got their before Ruitenbeek to score. Scott Thomson equalised when he chipped the ball over Douglas and into the net. After the break Celtic went two up through a carbon copy of the first goal. Larrson then scored two penalties, one of which was a cert, with the other in the dodgy category!
The Pars are linked to a major project which will see Carnegie Sport & Hospitality Ltd take over the playing fields at Pitreavie. The move would see the Athletic use the redeveloped site as a soccer academy. 
Stewart Petrie makes his comeback in the Under 21 team, playing at full back.
Owen Coyle and David Graham have returned to East End Park after completing their loan spells at Ross County and Inverness Caley Thistle respectively. 
Chris McGroarty signs a new contract which will keep him at EEP until 2004. Chris also received a call-up to the Scotland Under 21 squad for the game against Belgium on 23rd March. Also signing a new contract is youngster Stephen Boyle. Not so lucky are goalkeeper David Hay, and defender Russell Taylor, both of whom have been told that they will not receive new contracts when their existing deals finish at the end of the season.
Arsenal striker, Lithuanian international Tomas Danelevicius, signs on loan until the end of the season. 
Date: 17th March 2001 Opposition: Hibernian Score (H/T): 2-1 (1-0)
Competition: Sc Premier League Venue: East End Park Attendance: 7,547
Scorers: [1-0] Crawford (29), [2-0] Hampshire (57), [2-1] Murray (87)
Cards (Yellow): Ferguson, Nicholson (DAFC), O'Neil (Hibernian)
Pars Team: Ruitenbeek; Doesburg (Petrie 79), Skerla, Thomson; Hampshire, Nicholson, Ferguson, Mason (Moss 64), Dair; Crawford, Danilevicius (Skinner 60). Subs not used: SY Thomson, McGroarty.
Hibernian: Colgan; Lovell, Smith, Dempsie, Murray, Jack; Brebner, Andrews (Libbra 56), O'Neil; McManus (Zitelli 57), Paatelainen. Subs not used: Franks, Lehmann, Bannerman.
Referee: J Underhill
An excellent win, but one that could have been more convincing than 2-1. Stevie Crawford was first on target when a poor clearance fell nicely for him to hammer the ball into the bottom corner of the net. The Pars went two up just before the hour mark when debutant Tomas Danilevicious's shot was well stopped by Nick Colgan, but the rebound fell to Steven Hampshire to convert. The game then changed dramatically. from being comfortably on top, the Pars were now forced into the defence. The defence stood firm until three minutes from the end when Murray grabbed a scrambled consolation goal. That win took Dunfermline to the 40 point mark, and in with an excellent shout of making the top six when the SPL splits after the next two games.
After making his debut against Hibs, Tomas Danelevicious heads off to play for his country against Hungary and Italy. The Pars are reported to be considering a long term deal for the Lithuanian.
Ian Ferguson could be on the verge of quitting the Pars and heading to Australia. Ferguson flew out for a ten day trial with Australian club, Northern Spirit. The tabloid rumourmill suggests that the abuse Fergie received during the Scottish Cup game against Celtic was to blame.
Chris McGroarty's call up to the U21 Scotland squad turns sour, when he fails to make an appearance after being named on the bench. The local supporters amongst the 6,000 crowd are not impressed. 
David Graham leaves Dunfermline and signs for English Third Division team, Torquay United.
The Pars matchday programme is named SPL Programme of the Year.
Date: 31st March 2001 Opposition: St Mirren Score (H/T): 1-1 (1-0)
Competition: Sc Premier League Venue: Love Street Attendance: 5,741
Scorers: [1-0] Crawford (8), [1-1] McGowan (82)
Cards (Yellow): Mason (DAFC), Fenton (St Mirren)
Pars Team: Ruitenbeek; Skerla (Dijkhuizen 78), Tod, Thomson; Hampshire, Doesburg, Skinner (McGroarty 85), Mason, Dair; Crawford, Hampshire, Danilevicius (Moss 56) Subs not used: Scott Y Thomson, Matthaei.
St Mirren: Roy; McLaughlin, Turner, McGowan; Baltacha, McKenzie, Gillies, Kerr; Fenton (Quitongo 62), McGarry (Renfrum 62), Yardley (McPhee 62). Subs not used: Scrimgour, Nicolson.
Referee: M McCurry
This match could have been subtitled, 'how to throw away two points'. Leading 1-0 thanks to yet another fine Stevie Crawford goal, the game turned in the 62nd minute when Saints made a triple substitution. The Buddies strikeforce changed completely, and whereas previously the Pars defence had been coping comfortably with haddies such as Yardley, they found the pace of the replacements much more difficult. With Skerla having just been stretchered off, Saints scored when a Kerr corner was headed ni from six yards by McGowan. Just how important those two lost points were, would become very clear in a week's time.