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Monthly Digest - April 2002

Normal admission prices will apply to the final two home games of the season, against Aberdeen and Rangers. John Yorkston expressed his disappointment that reduced prices charged for the games against Livingston, Kilmarnock and Dundee had not lead to a significant increase in crowd numbers. 
The Pars Under 21 team recorded two wins during the week. Against Kilmarnock at EEP the team had won 4-0 with Colin Nish scoring two. Brian Blair and Kevin McLeish scored the other goals. On the Wednesday at Bayview, Davie Nicholls and Colin Nish with another two, scored as Dundee were beaten 3-1 at Bayview.  
A meeting of the ten clubs outwith the Old Firm is held at EEP to discuss the possibilities for TV rights if Rangers and Celtic decide to strike their own deal. John Yorkston speaks out and condemns the big two. 
Manager Calderwood is presented with his Manager of the Month award, and pays tribute to his assistant, Jimmy Nicholl.
Missing from the game against Aberdeen will be the influencial trio, Ian Ferguson (Calf), Chris McGroarty (Hamstring), and Steven Hampshire (stomach bug).
Date: 6th April 2002 Opposition: Aberdeen Score (H/T): 0-0 (0-0)
Competition: Sc Premier League Venue: East End Park Attendance: 7,339
Scorers: None
Cards: Skinner (DAFC), Bisconti (Aberdeen)
Pars Team: Ruitenbeek; MacPherson, Skerla, Skinner (Karnebeek 75), Thomson; Bullen (Nish 88), Nicholson, Mason, Dair; Crawford, N'Diaye (Rossi 64). Subs not used: SY Thomson (GK), Kilgannon.
Aberdeen: Kjaer (Preece 75); McNaughton, Anderson, McGuire, McAllister; Winters (Thornley 83), Young, Tiernan, Bisconti; Mike (Dadi 73), Mackie. Subs not used: Rutkiewitz, Clark.
Referee: H Dallas
Considering that European places were at stake, this was a disappointing game. Although both sides had a number of half chances, neither could take advantage. Given that Kjaer spent most of his 75 minutes on the pitch nursing a knee injury, it was unfortunate that fewer attempts on goal were made. Stevie Crawford had the best opportunities, but it just wasn't to be Dunfermline's day. 
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
4 Livingston 34 13 10 11 41 40 49
5 Dunfermline Ath 34 12 8 14 39 52 44
6 Hearts 34 12 6 16 44 48 42
Scotland manager Berti Vogts pays his first visit to EEP to watch the Aberdeen game. As well as Stevie Crawford and Barry Nicholson, Scott Thomson did his chance of earning a call-up no harm. However, when the squad was announced a few days later, only Crawford earned a call up. Nicholson was named in a 23 man practice squad which will take on Dundee United at Forthview.  
The vote on SPL TV is scuppered when Rangers and Celtic vote against setting up the channel. The future for live TV coverage of the Scottish game is shrouded in uncertainty.
The Pars lose their last U21 league game of the season against Livingston, 1-0 at Ochilview. The team finishes the season in sixth place, with Colin Nish the league's top scorer with 18 goals. Celtic's Simon Lynch is second with 13.
There are major injury worries ahead of Celtic game. Ferguson, McGroarty, MacPherson, Rossi and Hampshire will all miss the game.
Date: 13th April 2002 Opposition: Celtic Score (H/T): 0-5 (0-2)
Competition: Sc Premier League  Venue: Parkhead Attendance: 57,016
Scorers: [0-1] Hartson (19), [0-2] Lambert (39), [0-3] Smith (58), [0-4] Hartson ( 70), [0-5] Sylla (76)
Cards: Nicholls, Dair (DAFC)
Pars Team: Ruitenbeek; Skerla, Thomson, Karnebeek (McGarty 74); Bullen, Nicholson, Mason, Nicholls (Petrie 64), Dair; N'Diaye (Skinner HT), Crawford. Subs Not Used: Thomson (GK), Kilgannon.
Celtic: Douglas, Mjallby (Weighorst 58), Boyd, Crainey; Agathe (Petta 54), Lambert, Lennon (Smith HT), Petrov, Guppy; Sylla, Hartson. Subs Not Used: Gould, McNamara.
Referee: J Underhill
Any hope, that having won the title the previous week, Celtic would take it easy against the Pars, was quickly dismissed as this became yet another embarrassing trip to Glasgow. After a reasonable start the Athletic once again allowed themselves to be swept aside by Celtic. The opener came after a disputed throw-in had been awarded to Celtic, allowing them to take advantage. Scott Thomson failed to cut out the cross and John Hartson headed in from 9 yards. Lambert scored number two from the edge of the box, and after the interval the third duly arrived as Jamie Smith's shot went over the goal line via Barry Nicholson.  Hartson got his second with an angled shot, and to add insult to injury, Momo Sylla scored with a header.
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
5 Hearts 35 13 6 16 47 50 45
6 Dunfermline Ath 35 12 8 15 39 57 44
7 Kilmarnock 35 12 9 14 38 48 45
In a surprise move, the ten non-Old Firm clubs, including Dunfermline, tender their resignation from the SPL. The ten will leave the league in two years time. Where now for Scottish football? 
Stevie Crawford stays on the bench as Scotland lose 2-1 to Nigeria at Pittodrie. Slightly better luck for Andrius Skerla, who came on as a 58th minute substitute for Luithuania during their 4-1 away defeat against Yugoslavia.
Jimmy Calderwood's injury woes continue for the trip to Tynecastle. Ian Ferguson, Seyni N'Diaye, Chris McGroarty, Youssef Rossi and Lee Bullen will all miss out.
Despite uncertainty over what finance will be available next season, Calderwood still intends to bring a further four players during the close season.
Date: 20th April 2002 Opposition: Heart of Midlothian Score (H/T): 0-2 (0-0)
Competition: Sc Premier League  Venue: Tynecastle Attendance: 10,108
Scorers: [0-1] McKenna (60), [0-2] Kirk (80)
Cards: Nicholson, MacPherson (DAFC)
Pars Team: Ruitenbeek; Skerla, Thomson, Karnebeek; MacPherson (Kilgannon 74), Nicholson, Mason, Nicholls (Nish 65), Dair; Hampshire (Petrie 80), Crawford. Subs not used: SY Thomson, McLeish.
Hearts: Niemi; Maybury, McKenna, Webster, Mahe (Fulton 24); Tomaschek (Hamill 86), Simmonds (Kirk 71), Severin, Milne; Flogel, Fuller. Subs not used: McKenzie (GK), Wales
Referee: K Toner
Another disappointing trip to the capital, and another poor showing by the Pars. After a goalless first half, Hearts took the lead with a McKenna flick from a free-kick. After Nish was brought down in the box, Scott Thomson had the opportunity to equalise with a penalty. Unfortunately Nipper's kick was saved by Niemi. The defender then found himself being dispossessed by Fuller, who set up Kirk for the second. 
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
5 Hearts 36 14 6 16 49 50 48
6 Dunfermline Ath 36 12 8 16 39 59 44
7 Kilmarnock 36 13 9 14 41 48 48
The Livingston game is moved at short notice from the Saturday to Sunday at 12 noon, to enable live TV coverage by Sky. The admission price has been reduced to 5 for all.
A pre-season tour down under is announced. Dunfermline will play the New Zealand national side twice (29/6 and 3/7), in New Zealand, with a further friendly taking place in Australia, South Korea or Malaysia (5/7). The team then return to Europe where they will head to Holland for their now traditional pre-season training camp (7/7 to 15/7). Two away friendlies have then been arranged against East Fife (17/7) and Stirling Albion (20/7), before the team returns to EEP for games against Preston North End (23/7) and Birmingham City (27/7).  
Youngsters Colin Nish and Sean Kilgannon are both looking for to start the final two games to show what they are capable of. Meanwhile, Jimmy Calderwood will discuss a new contract with Mark McGarty during the week.
At the club's AGM, chairman John Yorkston reported a loss in excess of 3 million for the financial year to 31st May 2001. The club's total debt is now put at over 9.6 million. 
In a bid to attract more corporate money into the club, work will start immediately after the Rangers game to create a banqueting and conference centre within the main stand. The old Paragon Club will also be converted into a new Sportsman's Bar. The package of work will cost around 1.5 million. And as soon as planning permission is received, work will start on the hotel and office blocks, which will be built in the corners of the ground. 
The death is announced of former director, Bill Braisby, aged 69.
The placing of Motherwell FC into interim administration sends shockwaves around Scottish football. Newspapers suggest that Dunfermline could be the next club to fall.
Youssef Rossi gets yet another warning from the manager. 
Lee Bullen and Scott Y Thomson are both to get achilles operations next week.
Date: 27th April 2002 Opposition: Livingston Score (H/T): 1-4 (1-1)
Competition: Sc Premier League  Venue: Almondvale Attendance: 8,749
Scorers: [0-1] Lovell (34), [1-1] Dair (42), [1-2] Xausa (61), [1-3] Xausa (76), [1-4] Quino (83) 
Cards: MacPherson (DAFC)
Pars Team: Ruitenbeek, MacPherson, Skerla, Thomson, Karnebeek (Petrie 62); Dair (Nicholls 76), Nicholson, Crawford, Mason; Nish, Kilgannon (Hampshire 67). Subs not used: Harrower, McLeish.
Livingston: Broto, Brinquin, Rubio, Andrews; Makel, Lovell, Quino, Santini; Wilson (Tosh 72), Xausa (Bingham 78), Fernandez (Caputo 85). Subs not used: McEwan (GK), Hart.
Referee: M McCurry
With Livingston just needing a point to secure a European place next season, this was never going to be an easy fixture. The first half was a fairly even affair, with the home team taking the lead from a Lovell glancing header from a corner. DA equalised after a Kilgannon cross was headed back by Nicholson into the path of Dair, who slammed the ball past Broto. The second half was an even contest for the first 15-20 minutes, with Nish missing an excellent opportunity. Karnebeek went off injured, and from the resultant corner the defence was posted missing, allowing Xausa plenty of time to score. Thereafter, apart from a Thomson free-kick which was brilliantly saved by Broto, it was all Livvy. Xausa got his second with a shot from 20 yards after Fernandez had beaten Skerla. With 7 minutes remaining, Quino scored with a volley after the ball had rebounded off Ruitenbeek. 
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
5 Hearts 37 14 6 17 50 54 48
6 Dunfermline Ath 37 12 8 17 40 63 44
7 Kilmarnock 37 13 9 15 42 52 48
In the final of the Fife Cup at Starks Park, Dunfermline were beaten 2-1 by Raith Rovers. Mark McGarty scored the Pars goal.
A dead leg keeps Barry Nicholson out of the Scotland 'B' trial game against Dundee United. It now seems unlikely that Nicholson will travel with Scotland on their Far East tour during the summer.