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Monthly Digest - August 2001

There are doubts whether Youssef Rossi will play again for the Athletic. The Moroccan failed to return from International duty, due to "personal business", and it is believed that Rossi's wife has not settled in Dunfermline, and has refused to return to Scotland. However in an interview live on BBC TV, Calderwood said that he expected the defender back at EEP on Thursday morning. 
Jimmy Nicholl has followed Jimmy Calderwood's example and signed an extension to his contract which will keep him at EEP for another four years.
Date: 4th August 2001 Opposition: St Johnstone Score (H/T): 2-0 (1-0)
Competition: Sc Premier League Venue: McDiarmid Park Attendance: 4,701
Scorers: [1-0] Nicholson (6), [2-0] Nicholls (53)
Cards: De Gier (DAFC)
Pars Team: Ruitenbeek, Skerla, Skinner, Thomson (Dair 78); Bullen, Nicholson, Mason, Nicholls, McGroarty, Crawford (Nish 88), de Gier (Hampshire 70).  Subs not used: SY Thomson, Potter.
St Johnstone: Main, Dods, Kemble, Forsyth; Hartley, McBride, Kane (Jackson 58), Murray, Lovenkrands, Parker (McDonald 58), Connolly (Fotheringham 78). Subs not used: Cuthbert, McCluskey.
Referee: K Toner
The dream continues as the Pars remain at the top of the league. Not the most exciting of games, but both goals were worthy match winners. The first in only six minutes came after Stevie Crawford took a Nicholls pass, headed for the bye-line and sent over a fine cross for Barry Nicholson to hit the ball across Main and into the net. The second goal was superb. Following some excellent passing play, the ball landed at the feet of Davie Nicholls, and his shot from the edge of the box gave Main no chance. Six points out of six - bring on the Rangers next Saturday! 
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
1 Dunfermline Ath 2 2 0 0 7 2 6
2 Celtic 2 2 0 0 4 0 6
3 Rangers 2 1 1 0 3 0 4
Donde esta Rossi? Perhaps not surprisingly, Moroccan Youssef Rossi fails to keep his Thursday appointment with Jimmy Calderwood. The boss is less than impressed.
Before the Rangers game there was a real feeling that  this could be the game that breaks the Pars 30 year league duck against Rangers at home. With Rangers showing indifferent form in both the league and in Europe, confidence was running high.
Date: 11th August 2001 Opposition: Rangers Score (H/T): 1-4 (0-2)
Competition: Sc Premier League Venue: East End Park Attendance: 10,902
Scorers: [0-1] Latapy (13), [0-2] Flo (17), [0-3] Konterman (47), [1-3] Klos (53 OG), [1-4] Konterman (83)
Yellow Cards: McGroarty (DAFC), Konterman (Rangers)
Red Cards: Skinner (DAFC)
Pars Team: Ruitenbeek, Skerla(Nish 80), Skinner, Thomson, Bullen (Hampshire 75), Nicholson, Mason, Nicholls (Dair 70), McGroarty, Crawford, de Gier.   Subs not used: SY Thomson, Potter.
Rangers: Klos, Ricksen, Wilson, Numan, Vidmar, Hughes (Kanchelskis 33), Konterman (Dodds 86), Latapy, Ross; Flo, Mols (De Boer 59).  Subs not used: Smith (GK), Pentilla.
Referee: D McDonald
After all the pre-match hype, a quite dreadful performance by the Pars. With what appeared to be a considerable amount of assistance from the referee, Rangers overpowered a timid Dunfermline side. The opener came from a Latapy free-kick, on the edge of the box, which wrong footed Ruitenbeek. The 'keeper also seemed slow to react as Flo placed the third into the corner of the net. The third came immediately after the break, when Konterman headed home a Latapy corner. There was a bit of light relief for the Pars support in 53 minutes, as Klos punched a Nicholson corner into his own net. But then in 81 minutes Skinner was red-carded for deliberate hand-ball on the edge of the box. From the resulting free-kick, Konterman scored.  
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
3 Dundee 3 2 1 0 5 3 7
4 Dunfermline Ath 3 2 0 1 8 6 6
5 Dundee Utd 3 1 2 0 3 2 5
A reserve close door friendly against Hibernian is held at the Fleet Grounds, to give injury victims Gus MacPherson and Michel Doesburg a run out. The Dunfermline XI lose 2-1, with the Pars goal coming from Steven Hampshire. 
The Rossi saga takes a new twist, as the wayward defender turns up at Southampton for a week's training. Apparently DAFC have belatedly given permission for Rossi to spend time with the Saints with a view to a permanent move. Relationships between Rossi/his brother and the club are clearly strained. Rossi's brother (his agent), has been touting the defender for 300,000, whilst chairman John Yorkston says the going rate is 1 million. Mr Yorkston added, "I just hope that he is a Southampton player by the end of the week". Unfortunately for all concerned, by the end of the week it transpired that Southampton had decided not to make a move for the defender 'at the moment'. It is understood that Rossi was injured during training, and the opportunity to display his talents was limited. In the meantime he is believed to have returned to Cassablanca for treatment. More to follow on this one I think!
For the game against Dundee Utd, Michel Doesburg is drafted in to the squad to replace the suspended Justin Skinner. The game is too early for MacPherson, who is still lacking match fittness. 
Andrius Skerla plays the first half of Lithuania's friendly match against Israel. Lithuania lose 3-2.
Date: 18th August 2001 Opposition: Dundee United Score (H/T): 2-3 (0-2)
Competition: Sc Premier League Venue: Tannadice Attendance: 7,602
Scorers: [0-1] McIntyre (12), [0-2] Lilley (28), [1-2] Thomson (61 pen), [2-2] Thomson (77), [2-3] Hamilton (80 pen)
Yellow Cards: Crawford, Mason, Dair, Skerla (DAFC), Hamilton (Dundee Utd)
Pars Team: Ruitenbeek, Doesburg (Bullen 59), Skerla, Thomson, McGroarty; Nicholson, Mason, Nicholls, Dair; Crawford (Hampshire 40), de Gier.  Subs not used: Thomson, Potter, Nicol
Dundee Utd: Gallacher, McCunnie, Lauchlan, Grifffin, Aljofree; Hannah, Buchan, Miller (Venetis 90), McIntyre (Paterson 72); Hamilton, Lilley (Carson 86).  Subs not used: Combe, McCracken.
Referee: S Dougal
The Athletic were made to pay for two first defensive lapses that gifted United a first half lead. Thomson got caught in position by the corner flag, and from the cross, the ball was headed back across goal for McIntyre to hammer the ball home. The second United goal was almost a carbon copy, but Lilley's shot from outside the box, found Ruitenbeek slow to react. Looking dead and buried at half time, the Pars surprised in the second half with a spirited come-back. The catalyst for the revival was the introduction of substitute Lee Bullen. Gaining a penalty just 90 seconds after his arrival, which was converted by Thomson, the big striker's direct running at the United defence caused all sorts of problems. In 77 minutes, McGroarty was brought down just outside the box, and from the resultant free-kick, Thomson curled a beauty into Gallagher's net. Unfortunately the Pars forgot to defend, and when a Millar shot was stopped by Ruitenbeek's foot, Mason got into a tangle with Lilley, and a penalty was conceded. There was to be no fairy-tale ending for the Pars, as Hamilton slotted the ball home.   
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
4 Dundee 4 2 1 1 6 6 7
5 Dunfermline Ath 4 2 0 2 10 9 6
6 Hearts 4 2 0 2 5 5 6
Andy Tod goes on loan to Jim Jeffrey's Bradford City for three months, and scores on his debut against Macclesfield in the Worthington Cup. Junior Mendes spends a week on trial at English Third Division Lincoln City.  
The Under 21 league starts with the Pars home tie against Rangers being played at New Bayview. The opening home fixtures have all been re-arranged to allow the new under soil heating at East End Park time to bed in. The Pars lost 3-0, but on the plus side, there was a very positive performance from Gus MacPherson.
There was a major boost for the Pars as Stevie Crawford and Barry Nicholson are called into the Scotland squad to play Croatia and Belgium. A surprise call up the Scotland Under 21 squad as an over-age player, was Gary Mason, but there was disappointment for Chris McGroarty who failed to make the squad.
Another surprising turn in the Rossi saga - the meandering Moroccan turns up on the Thursday and trains. Blaming his brother for misleading him regarding 'clauses in his contract', the Moroccan international, who will not feature in the team against Hearts on Saturday, was forced to train with the youngsters.
Missing from the team against Hearts will be Andrius Skerla, who took an ankle knock in training, and Steven Hampshire who was also injured. Gus MacPherson is passed fit to make his debut. He starts the game on the bench.
Date: 25th August 2001 Opposition: Heart of Midlothian Score (H/T): 0-1 (0-0)
Competition: Sc Premier League Venue: East End Park Attendance: 6,992
Scorers: [0-1] Severin (75) 
Cards: MacPherson, Dair, Doesburg (DAFC), Simmons (Hearts)
Pars Team: Ruitenbeek, Doesburg, SM Thomson, Bullen (Skinner 66), Nicholson, Mason, Nicholls (MacPherson HT), McGroarty, Dair (Nish 76), de Gier, Crawford.  Subs not used: SY Thomson, Potter.
Hearts: Niemi, Simmons, Pressley, Webster, Mahe, Juanjo (McSwegan 59), Severin, Fulton, Flogel, McKenna, Wales (Kirk 42).  Subs not used: McKenzie, Davidson, Kirk, McCann, McSwegan
Referee: M McCurry
A shocking performance from the Pars, who made the easy look difficult throughout. Despite a fairly bright opening 15 minutes, when the Pars had some excellent efforts on goal,  including a de Gier header which hit the bar, their play degenerated, and it was no surprise when Hearts scored in 75 minutes. It is of little consolation that the winner was a spectacular 35 yard Scott Severin blockbuster, which gave Ruitenbeek no chance. A very scrappy game. 
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
6 Dundee 5 2 1 2 6 8 7
7 Dunfermline Ath 5 2 0 3 10 10 6
8 Livingston 5 1 3 1 2 2 6
The Pars Under 21 team loses 3-0 to St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park. A disinterested looking Rossi makes his playing return in a black and white jersey. To make matters worse the wandering Moroccan has been called up by his national team for a friendly on 5th Sept against Italy. Will he return this time?
Gary Mason remains on the bench throughout Scotland's Under 21 match with Croatia at McDiarmid Park. The Scots drew 1-1, with Kenny Miller equalising with a penalty well into stoppage time.