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Monthly Digest - January 2002

The Pars opening match of 2002 at Dundee is postponed due to frostbound pitch. Despite four other SPL games taking place, the Pars retain seventh position.
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
6 Kilmarnock 22 9 4 9 23 24 31
7 Dunfermline Ath 22 7 4 11 24 37 25
8 Dundee United 23 6 7 10 23 41 25
A blow for the Pars ahead of their Scottish Cup match is that new signing Mike Panopoulas is ineligible to play, as he wasn't signed within the 14 day deadline.
Dunfermline appoint former Dutch international and Feyenoord player Theo de Jong as European scout.
Date: 5th January 2002 Opposition: Motherwell Score (H/T): 3-1 (2-0)
Competition: Scottish Cup Venue: East End Park Attendance: 5,131
Scorers: [1-0] Crawford (21), [2-0] Thomson (38), [3-0] Crawford (47), [3-1] Elliott (81)
Cards: Pearson, Adams (Motherwell)
Pars Team: Ruitenbeek; Skerla, Skinner, Thomson; MacPherson (Dair 82), Nicholson, Ferguson (Kilgannon 76), Mason, Petrie (McGroarty 61); Bullen, Crawford. Subs not used: SY Thomson, Hampshire.
Motherwell: Woods; Corrigan (Elliott 78), Strong, Deloumeaux, Hammell; McFadden, Lasley, Soloy (Forrest HT), Dow (Pearson 55); Kelly, Adams. Subs not used: Brown, Martinez
Referee: J Underhill
Dunfermline won through to the fourth round of the Cup with a good solid performance against a very poor Motherwell side. Crawford grabbed the opening goal with a mishit shot from a Bullen cross. The second came from a Scott Thomson free-kick just outside the box, which beat both the wall and Woods. Number three came just after the break, when Crawford turned Deloumeaux to slot the ball home. Motherwell scored a consolation goal 9 minutes from the end, when Elliott scored at the far post from a corner.  
The reward for victory over Motherwell, is a fourth round Scottish Cup tie away to Ayr United.
JC is reported to be about to start contract talks with six players; Ian Ferguson, Marco Ruitenbeek, John Potter, Michel Doesburg, Lee Bullen and Justin Skinner.
Date: 12th January 2002 Opposition: St Johnstone Score (H/T): 1-0 (0-0)
Competition: Sc Premier League  Venue: McDiarmid Park Attendance: 3,459
Scorers: [1-0] Mason (80)
Cards: Thomson, McGroarty (DAFC), Miller (St Johnstone)
Pars Team: Ruitenbeek; Skinner, Skerla, SM Thomson; MacPherson, Mason, Nicholson, Panopoulos (Nicholls 75), McGroarty (Petrie 87); Crawford (Hampshire 82), Bullen  Subs not used: SY Thomson (GK), Kilgannon
St Johnstone: Miller; Dods, McCluskey, Dasovic (McCulloch 85); Russell; Murray, Falconer, Hartley, Lynch; McBride (Connolly 72), MacDonald (Djebaili 80). Subs not used: Cuthbert (GK), Kane
Referee: A Freeland
A scrappy match which could have gone either way. There was a scare midway through the first half when the referee seemed to award a penalty to Saint Johnstone, but changed his mind and awarded a free kick. Panopoulos had another good game and could have scored in the second half but was thwarted by a brilliant save from Miller. The winner came with just 10 minutes remaining, Gary Mason thundered home a loose ball at the edge from the box. A very good three points from what could have been a difficult game.    
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
6 Kilmarnock 23 9 4 10 23 26 31
7 Dunfermline Ath 23 8 4 11 25 37 28
8 Dundee 22 7 5 10 23 34 26
Arriving at East End Park for a week's trial are former Arsenal player Steve Morrow (31), and French youngster Jean-Felix Dorothee (20) from Rennes. Morrow however only stays two days and goes off for another trial down south after only being offered a short term deal. JC admits his interest in Tranmere's Senegal born striker, Seyni N'Diaye.
Ian Ferguson is said to be considering a move down-under to Australia or America when his contract expires in the summer. Meanwhile, the possibility of Youssef Rossi moving to Premiership team Leicester City is dismissed by Foxes boss Dave Bassett
Youngster Marc McGarty goes on loan to First Division strugglers Raith Rovers, whilst David Moss returns to EEP after his two month loan spell at Ayr United ended.
Date: 19th January 2002 Opposition: Motherwell Score (H/T): 3-1 (1-0)
Competition: Sc Premier League  Venue: East End Park Attendance: 4,280
Scorers: [1-0] Skerla (25), [2-0] Mason (48), [3-0] Bullen (58), [3-1] McFadden (76)
Cards: Panopoulos (DAFC), Leitch, Lasley (Motherwell)
Pars Team: Ruitenbeek, MacPherson, Skinner, Skerla, SM Thomson, Mason, Nicholson, Panopoulos (Nicholls 63), Crawford, Bullen, Petrie (McGroarty 74). Subs not used: SY Thomson, Hampshire, Kilgannon.
Motherwell: Woods, Soloy (Nicholas 72), Hammell, Ready, Strong, Déloumeaux, Leitch, Pearson (Lehmann 55), Lasley, McFadden, Elliott. Subs not used: Brown, Corrigan, Martinez.
Referee: S Dougal
History repeats itself, as the Pars inflict their second 3-1 defeat on Motherwel in a fortnight. After a quiet opening referee Dougal sparked the Pars fans to life by unjustly booking Panopoulos for diving, despite the player clearly having been fouled. The opener came from the unlikely source of Andrius Skerla, who deflected a free-kick into the net with his behind. Number two came just after the start of the second half started, when Gary Mason, having dispossessed a Motherwell player shot home from outside the box giving Woods no chance. Number three was a close range effort from Bullen, after excellent work by Panopoulos and McPherson. Motherwell grabbed a consolation goal with 14 minutes remaining, when McFadden was allowed to score from close in after a break from the edge of the Motherwell box. That was the first goal lost by the Pars in 555 minutes of SPL action.  The win stretched Dunfermline's unbeaten run to seven games (six in the SPL). Next up Rangers. 
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
6 Kilmarnock 24 9 5 10 25 28 32
7 Dunfermline Ath 24 9 4 11 28 38 31
8 Dundee United 25 7 7 11 24 43 28
There are big doubts ahead of the Rangers game as to whether keeper Marco Ruitenbeek will be fit. 
With striker Seyni N'Diaye earning a recall to the first team at Tranmere on Saturday, JC is forced to drop his interest. Another player definitely not coming to EEP is defender Steve Morrow, who is now believed to be returning to the States. 
French youngster Jean-Felix Dorothee could be offered a contract after impressing on trial.
Date: 23rd January 2002 Opposition: Rangers Score (H/T): 2-4 (2-0)
Competition: Sc Premier League  Venue: East End Park Attendance: 8,795
Scorers: [1-0] Thomson (16), [2-0] Thomson (32), [2-1] Vidmar (47), [2-2]  De Boer (53), [2-3] De Boer (62), [2-4] Arveladze (79 pen)
Cards: Kilgannon, Petrie, Mason (DAFC), De Boer, Ricksen (Rangers)
Pars Team: SY Thomson, Skinner (Nicholls 74), Skerla, SM Thomson, MacPherson, Nicholson, Mason, Kilgannon (Dair 58), Panopoulas (Petrie 58), Bullen, Crawford. Subs not used: Harrower, McLeish
Rangers: Klos, Ricksen, Moore, Amoruso, Vidmar, de Boer, Konterman, Ferguson, Caniggia (McCann 69), Arveladze, Loverkrands. Subs not used: Christiansen, Dodds, Ross, Hughes.
Referee: A Freeland
This was a real game of two halves, played in torrential rain throughout. At half time the Pars fans could scarcely believe what they had seen - their side two goals ahead of the mighty Rangers, as a result of  two Scott Thomson headers from set pieces. After the break came the slump. Vidmar pulled one back from close range, and then de Boer was on hand to take advantage of SY Thomson's parry following a Loverkrands cross. De Boer scored his second and Rangers third slipping the ball past an advancing Thomson. The Pars supporter's misery was complete when Rangers gained the inevitable soft penalty 11 minutes from the end.   
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
6 Kilmarnock 25 9 5 11 25 30 32
7 Dunfermline Ath 25 9 4 12 30 42 31
8 Dundee United 26 8 7 11 28 44 31
Justin Skinner learns that he is not to be awarded a new contract when his current one expires at the end of the season.
There are persistent rumours that Birmingham City are set to make a bid for midfielder Barry Nicholson.
Date: 26th January 2002 Opposition: Ayr United Score (H/T): 0-3 (0-2)
Competition: Scottish Cup  Venue: Somerset Park Attendance: 3,681
Scorers: [0-1] Grady (30), [0-2] MacPherson (39 OG), [0-3] Robertson (58)
Cards: Nicholson, Skinner, Ferguson, MacPherson (DAFC)
Pars Team: SY Thomson; Skerla, Skinner (Panopoulos HT), SM Thomson; MacPherson, Nicholson, Ferguson (Hampshire 68), Mason, Petrie (Kilgannon 61). Subs not used: Harrower, Nicholls.
Ayr United: Nelson; Hughes, Duffy, Craig; Robertson, McGinlay, Wilson, Sheerin (Scally 76), Lovering; Crabbe (Annand 84), Grady. Subs not used: McEwan, Sharp, Dodds
Referee: S Dougal
A disaster. One of the worst Pars performances for a long time, with Ayr United running out worthy winners in atrocious weather conditions. Ayr took the lead from a corner when James Grady was left unmarked. Gus MacPherson scored a spectacular own goal nine minutes later with a volley that was supposed to go out for a corner. The rout was complete in 58 minutes, when Robertson hammered home his shot which had got stuck in the mud a yard short of the line. 
JC is not a happy man after his team's Cup defeat at Ayr. Calling them 'big time Charlies', he challenged his players to take a long hard look at themselves in the mirror.
It's announced that five players will be released at the end of the season. Justin Skinner, David Moss, John Potter and Keir Nicol will all be leaving EEP. Departing immediately is defender Michel Doesburg, who is returning to his native Holland to play for FC Zwolle. Marco Ruitenbeek and Lee Bullen have both been offered new two year contracts, whilst talks are ongoing with Ian Ferguson, keeper Scott Y Thomson and Marc McGarty who have all been offered one year contracts.  Meanwhile, JC continues his search for a striker to replace Jack de Gier who left the club back in November.
David Moss is wanted by his old club Falkirk on loan for the rest of the season. Stranraer are reported to be interested in signing Keir Nicol, after the youngster played a trial for the Stair Park team.
Following a change of heart by Tranmere, JC finally manages to bring Senegal born striker Senyi N'Diaye to EEP. The player has signed for a nominal fee until the end of the season. N'Diaye hopes that by playing regularly for DA he may earn a recall to the Senegal national team in time for their trip to the World Cup finals in Japan/Korea.