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Monthly Digest - December 2001

Date: 1st December 2001 Opposition: Heart of Midlothian Score (H/T): 1-1 (1-1)
Competition: Sc Premier League Venue: Tynecastle Attendance: 11,176
Scorers: [1-0] Nicholson (73), [1-1] Simmons (90 pen)
Cards: Petrie, Mason, Ferguson, Bullen (DAFC), McKenna (Hearts)
Pars Team: Ruitenbeek, Thomson, Skinner, Skerla, Mason, Nicholson, Ferguson, Hampshire (Doesburg 69), Petrie, Crawford, Bullen Subs not used: Harrower, Dair, McGroarty, Nish
Hearts: Niemi, Webster, Pressley, McKenna, Maybury, Mahe (Flogel 53), Simmons, Gronlund (Weir 75), Fulton (Boyack), Fuller, Wales Subs not used: McKenzie, Davidson
Referee: R Orr
If before the game the Pars had been offered a draw, they would have no doubt jumped at it. However the manner in which the last minute penalty had been conceded left a sour taste in the mouth. Having played the better football, Barry Nicholson gave the EEP team the lead, shooting home after a well worked one-two with Lee Bullen. With Niemi being kept busy, it looked like the full points would be crossing the Forth Bridge, until the final minute. Ricardo Fuller worked his way into the box, and was tackled by Justin Skinner. Both players fell, and the referee waved play on. However the linesman had spotted a tug of Fuller's shirt, and after consultation, the referee awarded a penalty kick. After the protests died away, Simmons sent Ruitenbeek the wrong way to give Hearts an undeserved share of the points.   
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
9 Hearts 17 5 3 9 20 23 18
10 Dunfermline Ath 17 5 2 10 22 33 17
11 Motherwell 17 4 4 9 20 33 16
There was disappointment after Swedish signing target, Jimmy Tamandi, opts to sign for Swedish team AIK despite agreeing terms with the Pars. Another potential signing target, Hans van de Haar, with Austrian team Bregenz has an injury which will keep him out of action until at least February. 
The Athletic's Under 21 team went down 2-3 to Motherwell at EEP. Nish and McGarty scored the Pars goals. Although New Zealand trialist Aaran Lines gave an impressive second half performance, boss Jimmy Calderwood decided not to pursue his interest in the player.
Date: 9th December 2001 Opposition: Celtic Score (H/T): 0-4 (0-2)
Competition: Sc Premier League Venue: East End Park Attendance: 8,207
Scorers: [0-1] Balde (8), [0-2] Hartson (20), [0-3] Hartson (59), [0-4] Thompson (61)
Cards: Mason, Ferguson (DAFC), Balde, Hartson, Maloney (Celtic)
Pars Team:

Ruitenbeek, MacPherson (Skinner HT), Skerla, Thomson; Bullen, Nicholson, Ferguson, Mason (Dair 61), Petrie (McGroarty 71); Hampshire, Crawford. Subs not used: Harrower, Nish.


Douglas; Mjallby, Balde, Valgaeren; Petrov (Maloney 73), Lennon (Sylla 66), Lambert (McNamara HT), Thompson, Guppy; Larsson, Hartson. Subs not used: Gould, Smith.

Referee: A Freeland
After all the anticipation that preceded the game, this turned out to be one big let down. DA rarely competed, and at times seemed in awe of the Glasgow team. The first and third goals came from poorly defended corners. The second, was a Hartson low shot from a cross. The fourth came after a free-kick hit the wall, and rebounded out to Thompson to volley home past Ruitenbeek. With the game live on the BBC, the crowd was much reduced from what could normally be expected.
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
10 Motherwell 18 4 5 9 21 34 17
11 Dunfermline Ath 18 5 2 10 22 37 17
12 St Johnstone 18 2 3 12 12 31 9
Following his booking against Celtic, captain Ian Ferguson is suspended for three games, starting with the Livingston game.
Even with Youssef Rossi playing a blinder, the Pars Under 21 team goes down 4-0 away to Rangers. 
Signing target speculation continues. Wigan's Lee McCulloch, formerly of Motherwell, looks favourite to be wearing a Pars strip in the very near future.  
Pars director Gavin Masterton outlines plans for the future development of East End Park. Work is due to start in the next few weeks on a Business Centre and Hotel. A sportsman's bar will also be incorporated into the designs.
Date: 15th December 2001 Opposition: Hibernian Score (H/T): 1-0 (0-0) 
Competition: Sc Premier League Venue: East End Park Attendance: 6,617
Scorers: [1-0] Nicholson (74)
Yellow Cards: Bullen, Dair, Ferguson (DAFC), Fenwick (Hibs)
Red Card: Luna (Hibs)
Pars Team: Ruitenbeek; MacPherson, Skerla, Thomson (Skinner 60), McGroarty; Bullen, Nicholson, Ferguson, Petrie (Dair HT); Hampshire (Mason 74), Crawford. Subs not used: Harrower, Nish.
Hibernian: Colgan; Orman, Smith, Fenwick, Murray (Laursen 77); Brebner, Jack, O'Neill, Zitelli (Hurtado 55); Luna, McManus (De La Cruz 73). Subs not used: Caig, Arpinon.
Referee: D McDonald
Not the prettiest of games, but an excellent and welcome three points. Hibs dominated early on, and the Pars defence looked shaky. The turning point came in 30 minutes, when Paco Luna received a straight red card for appearing to lash out at Scott Thomson, following a hard challenge. With the game looking as if it would be goal-less, a weak clearance from Hibs substitute Hurtado, fell nicely for Barry Nicholson on the edge of the box, and his volley beat Colgan.   
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
9 Hibernian 19 5 5 9 26 30 20
10 Dunfermline Ath 19 6 2 11 23 37 20
11 Motherwell 19 4 6 9 23 36 18
A surprise omission from the team against Hibernian was Youssef Rossi. The official line is that he slipped and injured his knee the day prior to the game, however, there are persistent rumours regarding his imminent departure, possibly to Manchester City or Leicester.
Rock star and Dunfermline supporter Stuart Adamson is found dead in a hotel in Hawaii. 
After a number of false starts, a new signing finally arrives at the club. Seasn Kilgannon, a 20 year old former Scottish Youth player, arrives for a three month loan spell from Middlesborough. More players to follow. The Lee McCulloch saga grinds on with Wigan procrastinating  on a deal, but more hopeful is that Portsmouth's Greek Australian, Mihalias  Panopoulos, will agree to join the Pars.  However, despite press reports to the contrary, Calderwood denies any interest in Czech striker Horst Siegl.  
With new signing Kilgannon in the team, Dunfermline beat Burntisland Shipyard 5-1 in the Fife Cup. Nish, McGarty, McLeish (2) and Vaughan are the scorers.
Date: 22nd December 2001 Opposition: Livingston Score (H/T): 0-0 (0-0)
Competition: Sc Premier League Venue: Almondvale Attendance: 5,326
Scorers: None
Yellow Cards: Bullen (DAFC), Aurellio, Caputo (Livingston)
Pars Team: Ruitenbeek; MacPherson, Skerla, Skinner, Thomson; Mason, Nicholson, Ferguson (Nicholls 89), Petrie (Dair 58); Bullen, Crawford. Subs not used: S Y Thomson, McGroarty, Nish
Livingston: Culkin; Andrews, Rubio, Santini; Brinquin, Tosh, Quino (Wilson 72), Cherrif (Bingham 22); Fernadez (Caputo 64), Lowndes, Aurellio. Subs not used: McEwan, Zausa
Referee: R Orr
A dire pre-Christmas offering which saw neither side create much in the way of clear chances. Livvy had the best of the first half, and almost scored when Cherrif hit the post. DA had a much better second half, but failed to make any impact the home defence.
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
9 Hibernian 20 5 6 9 26 30 21
10 Dunfermline Ath 20 6 3 11 23 37 21
11 Motherwell 20 4 6 10 24 39 18
As a tribute to Stuart Adamson, Livingston played "Into the Valley" as the teams ran onto the field, and two Big Country songs at half-time. The gesture was much appreciated by the travelling support.
French defender Betrand Ketchanke's two month contract runs out, and is not renewed. 
Date: 26th December 2001 Opposition: Kilmarnock Score (H/T): 0-0 (0-0)
Competition: Sc Premier League Venue: Rugby Park Attendance: 6,873
Scorers: None
Yellow Cards: None
Pars Team: Ruitenbeek; Skerla, Skinner, Thomson; MacPherson (Doesburg 76), Nicholson, Mason, McGroarty, Dair (Kilgannon 83); Crawford, Bullen. Subs not used: SY Thomson, Nicholls, Petrie.
Kilmarnock: Marshall; Fowler, McGowne, Dindeleux, Hay; Canero, Mahood, Mitchell, Murray (Calderon 77); Dargo (Boyd 53), Di Giacomo.Subs not used: Samson, Sanjuan, Innes.
Referee: S Dougall
A goal-less bore draw, which the Pars could have won had they taken the few chances that came their way. The best chance fell to Stevie Crawford with about ten minutes to go, but with just Marshall to beat, Stevie shot directly at the big keeper. One of the plus points to come out of the game, was that for the third game in a row, the defence kept a clean sheet.
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
7 Dundee 20 6 5 9 20 30 23
8 Dunfermline Ath 21 6 4 11 23 37 22
9 Dundee United 21 5 7 9 22 37 22
Portsmouth midfielder Mihalias Panopoulos signs on loan for three months.  
Date: 29th December 2001 Opposition: Aberdeen Score (H/T): 1-0 (1-0)
Competition: Sc Premier League Venue: East End Park Attendance: 7,774
Scorers: [1-0] Bullen (22)
Yellow Cards: Nicholson (DAFC), Zerouali (Aberdeen)
Pars Team: Ruitenbeek; MacPherson (Doesburg 84), Skerla, Thomson, McGroarty (Kilgannon 80), Panopoulos (Skinner 67), Nicholson, Mason, Petrie; Bullen, Crawford. Subs not used: SY Thomson, Dair.
Aberdeen: Kjaer; Anderson, Guntveit, Solberg, McAllister; Bisconti, Darren Young, Mackie (Thornley 75), McGuire; Winters, Zerouali (Derek Young 80). Subs not used: Esson, Lilley, Tiernan
Referee: K Toner
An excellent performance from the Pars to end the year. The only goal of the game came from a long Scott Thomson clearance, which Lee Bullen chased. He beat Phil McGuire in the air and as keeper Kjaer advanced, Bullen diverted the ball over him and into the net. The Pars played some really nice football, and new signing Mike Panopoulos capped an excellent debut by lifting the MoM award. The defence was once again outstanding, with Marco Ruitenbeek in particular having an excellent game.  
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
6 Hearts 22 8 4 10 29 28 28
7 Dunfermline Ath 22 7 4 11 24 37 25
8 Dundee 20 6 5 9 20 30 23
Before the match with Aberdeen, a one minute silence was observed in memory of Stuart Adamson.
JC reveals that he is continuing the search for two new players, a striker and a defender.