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Monthly Digest - January 2003

Date: 2nd January 2003 Opposition: Livingston Score (H/T): 2-0 (1-0)
Competition: Sc Premier League Venue East End Park Attendance: 5,219
Scorer: [1-0] Crawford (45), [2-0] Crawford (57)
Yellow Cards: None
Pars Team: Stillie; Skerla, Wilson, Thomson; Bullen, Nicholson, Dempsey (Kilgannon 83), Dair, McGroarty (Mason HT); Brewster (Walker 70), Crawford. Subs not used: Ruitenbeek, Hampshire.
Livingston: Broto (McEwan 49); Hart, Andrews, Rubio, Bollan, Carnacho, Makel, Quino (Cherif 63), Bingham, Zarate, Xausa (McMenamin 80). Subs not used: O'Brien, Graecen.
Referee: G Mitchell
In terrible conditions, on what must have been the coldest day of the season so far, Dunfermline did well to overcome Livingston. At the end of fairly mundane first half, Stevie Crawford shot the Pars into the lead, when he turned Marvin Andrews and placed the ball into the net via the post. Livi were forced to replace keeper Broto just after the start of the second half due to injury, and it was a mistake by his young replacement that led to the Pars second goal. Brewster shot from the edge of the box, and McEwan failed to hold the ball, which fell to Crawford, who accepted the gift to put the Athletic two up. Despite further attempts on goal, Dunfermline failed to add to their tally, but can feel pleased with themselves for getting the victory.  
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
3 Hearts 24 10 7 7 40 41 37
4 Dunfermline Ath 23 11 3 9 39 41 36
5 Hibernian 24 10 4 10 36 36 34
The win over Livingston sees the Pars move up a place in the SPL to fourth. After the game, manager Jimmy Calderwood said that his team was now in a good position to challenge for Europe.
Two more players sign new contracts, with Gary Dempsey signing a new 4 1/2 year which will keep him at East End Park until 2007. Barry Nicholson has signed a 3 1/2 year extension to his current contract which now runs until 2006. 
With the points from the Livingston game secure, the SPL started its three week winter break. The Pars players were given a week off before returning to training on 13th January.
Despite fears to the contrary, Marco Ruitenbeek is reported to be interested in signing a new contract, rather than returning to Holland to work in his father's printing business.  
The Scottish Cup draw sends Dunfermline to Livingston - the first time the two teams will have met in the competition. 
Bobby Jenks joins the staff at Dunfermline Athletic as Talent Identification and Funding Manager. 
Two former Pars are in the news. Brian Reid joins Falkirk from Blackpool, and due to financial problems at Bradford City, Andy Tod is dropped from the team, so that City do not have to pay Dunfermline a further 25,000 when the defender makes 25 appearances. Meanwhile Dundee United are reported to be interested in signing Tod.
As a result of his dispute with Dunfermline, Youssef Rossi is banned from playing worldwide by FIFA. 
Manager Jimmy Calderwood is to be called before the SFA Disciplinary Committee to explain remarks made after the Celtic game.
While his team-mates enjoy a well earned rest with a week's holiday, Gus MacPherson continues to train in an effort to be fit for his return when the season restarts after the winter break.
Despite rumours that Noel Hunt was having second thoughts about signing for Dunfermline, depending on Shamrock Rovers next result, the youngster could join the Pars earlier than expected, possibly playing in the Under 21 game scheduled for Rugby Park and the Petrie Testimonial game. 
Despite rumoured health problems, Colin Nish returns to training with the Pars following his loan spell. The arrival of Hunt could spell the end for the striker's Dunfermline career, and a number of clubs are reported to be interested.
Stevie Crawford is rumoured to be attracting the attention of English Premier League giants, Spurs and Everton. Contract negotiations with the striker are reported to have stalled, with the club and player are reported to be some distance apart. Manager JC puts the chances of the striker re-signing at 50/50. However, captain Scott Thomson signs on for a further three years, and goalkeeper Marco Ruitenbeek signs a year's extension to his contract, dismissing reports that he was set to quit football.
The vital game against Hearts at Tynecastle on the 1st of February is to be all ticket.
The Athletic have been given a 21,000 grant towards their youth programme.
Hungarian legend Istvan Kozma says that he would like to be a coach at Dunfermline one day. 
The Pars Under 21 team loses 3-1 to Kilmarnock at Rugby Park. Andre Karnebeek is stretchered off after running into a goalpost.
Date: 21st January 2003 Opposition: Pars XI Score (H/T): 3 -1 (2-1)
Competition: Stewart Petrie Testimonial Venue East End Park Attendance: 3,397
Scorer: [1-0] Brewster (18), [1-1] McNamara (27), [2-1] Brewster (36), [3-1] Petrie (87 pen) 
Cards: None
Pars Team: Stillie (Ruitenbeek 63); Bullen, Skerla, Wilson, McGroarty (Petrie HT); Nicholson, Dempsey, Crawford (Walker 83), Dair; Hampshire (Kilgannon 56), Brewster (McGarty 83).
Pars XI: Westwater (Rhodes HT); Den Bieman (Shields 56), Tod, Potter, McCulloch (Irons 74); Kozma (McNicol 86), McNamara (Boyle 67), Bingham (de Gier 74), Petrie (Skinner HT); Coyle (Templeman 63), de Gier (Smith HT)
Referee: J Rowbotham
What a night for Pars fans this was, as their favourites old and new paraded to honour of Stewart Petrie's ten years of loyal service at East End Park. The game itself was almost incidental, with the crowd willing on both sets of players. Istvan Kozma showed that he still has the skill that endeared him to the East End faithful, whilst the antics of keeper Andy Rhodes kept the crowd amused in the second half. The night however belonged to Stewart Petrie, and when referee Rowbotham awarded a soft penalty, Stewart duly converted to score his last ever goal for the Pars. A tremendous evening that will be remembered by all who were there for a long time.
At half time during the testimonial match, a ten minute game featuring Pars players from the past took place. John Watson, Kenny Ward, Hugh Whyte, Bobby Robertson, Davie Irons, Stevie Morrison, John Holt, and Billy Kirkwood were amongst the players who participated.

At a reception after the game various presentations were made to Stewart, players who participated, and members of the testimonial committee. The occasion also enabled players from the past to catch up with their former colleagues.

On Friday 24th January 2003, an era came to an end as Stewart Petrie left Dunfermline. Despite a late bid by Ross County to sign the player, Stewart heads to Australia to join Northern Spirit for the remainder of the season
Missing from the Scottish Cup tie at Livingston due to injury are Scott Thomson and Gary Mason.
Date: 25th January 2003 Opposition: Livingston Score (H/T): 1-1 (0-1)
Competition: Scottish Cup Venue City Stadium Attendance: 4,106
Scorer: [0-1] Bollan, [1-1] Crawford (63)
Yellow Cards: Dempsey (DAFC)
Pars Team: Stillie; Skerla, Wilson, Karnebeek (Kilgannon HT); Bullen, Nicholson, Dempsey, Dair, McGroarty (Hampshire 63), Brewster, Crawford. Subs not used: Ruitenbeek, McGarty, Walker.
Livingston: McEwan; Brinquin, Andrews, Rubio, Bollan, Makel, Wilson (Xausa 58), Quino, Bingham, Zarate (McMenamin 78), O'Brien (Cherif 72). Subs not used: Creer, Bahoken
Referee: A Freeland
A game of two halves. Dunfermline were dismal in the first and lucky to go in at the break just one goal down. Gary Bollan scored after a free-kick was touched onto him, and his shot was deflected into the net by Quino.The Pars looked a much better team in the second half, with Kilgannon delivering a number of quality balls into the Livi box. The equaliser came from a Nicholson free-kick, which found Hampshire. His shot was miss-hit, but top scorer Stevie Crawford was in the right place to knock the ball home. Crawford had the opportunity to hit the winner in the final moments, but McEwan did well to smother the ball at the striker's feet. Overall Dunfermline were fortunate to have a second opportunity, but at EEP they have a good record against Livi and must fancy their chances.  
Manager Jimmy Calderwood was disappointed with his team's first half performance against Livingston claiming that so poor was their performance, that he could have replaced ten players at half-time.
The prize awaiting the winner of the replay is a home tie against Hibernian, who beat Dundee United 3-2 in the third round. Both the replay and the Hibs game will be shown live on Sky TV.
Noel Hunt finally arrives at Dunfermline following his move from Shamrock Rovers. His old team won their last game 3-2, thereby qualifying for the Inter-Toto cup.
Andy Tod moves on loan from Bradford City to Dundee United until the end of the season. The move means that  Dunfermline lose out on the 25,000 that Bradford would have to play for the player making 25 appearances for the Bantams.
Still missing from the team for the Dundee game, are captain Scott Thomson, and influential midfielder Gary Mason.
Date: 29th January 2003 Opposition: Dundee Score (H/T): 0-1 (0-1)
Competition: Sc Premier League Venue East End Park Attendance: 4,237
Scorer: [0-1] Nicholson (12 og)
Yellow Cards: Wilson (DAFC), Rae (Dundee)
Pars Team: Stillie; Skerla, MacPherson (Hunt 68), Wilson; Hampshire (McGarty 80), Nicholson, Dempsey (Kilgannon 68), Bullen, Dair; Crawford, Brewster. Subs not used: Ruitenbeek, Karnebeek
Dundee: Speroni: McKay, Wilkie, Khizanishvili, Mair; Rae, Smith, Nemsadze, Brady, Caballero (Novo 68), Milne (Robertson 68). Subs not used: Langfield, Forbes, Robb
Referee: W Young
It was a case of what might have been against Dundee. Having gone behind to a spectacular own goal by Barry Nicholson, Dunfermline dominated the majority of the match, only to find no way through a well marshalled Dundee defence. To add to the frustration, there were same strange decisions from referee Willie Young, as well as time wasting and acting antics from a number of Dundee players - most notably Speroni and Caballero. One bright spot was the introduction of new signing Noel Hunt as substitute. He showed a lot of willingness to run and take on the defence, and was unfortunate on a couple of occasions not to open his Pars scoring account. 
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
3 Hearts 25 11 7 7 41 41 40
4 Dunfermline Ath 24 11 3 10 39 42 36
5 Kilmarnock 25 10 6 9 27 36 36
After the game, Jimmy Calderwood refused to criticise Barry Nicholson for his own goal. He also felt his team dominated but credited Dundee for their defensive performance. 
Speaking after making his debut, Irishman Noel Hunt said he was happy to be at Dunfermline, but was disappointed with the result against Dundee. The youngster also received a call-up to the Irish Under 21 squad for the game against Scotland at Kilmarnock. Gary Dempsey also received the call. 
Dunfermline's Under 21 team loses 3-0 to Rangers at EEP. Ruitenbeek, Hunt, Karnebeek, Walker and Kilgannon all feature in the Pars team.
Plans for the business centre in the south west corner of the ground have been slightly scaled down. Work on the four floors of rentable office accommodation is due to start at the end of May. The proposed hotel development will not start until the business centre has been completed, which will be in at least 18 months time. 
Ged Brannan becomes the second new player of the week as he signs from Wigan on loan until the end of the season, and just before the close of the transfer window, Arsenal youngster David Grondin also signs on loan.
Missing from the squad for the trip to Tynecastle is the injured trio of Scott Thomson, Gary Mason and Chris McGroarty. New signing Brannan is in the squad, but the game comes too soon for David Grondin.