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Monthly Digest - September 2003

The Under 21 team record their first goal and win of the season against Hearts at Forthbank Stadium. Anthony Storie with a penalty and Ian Campbell are the scorers.
Goalkeeper Derek Stillie is drafted into the Scotland squad after Cardiff City goalie Neil Alexander opts to remain at home with his pregnant wife. 
Stevie Crawford plays 76 minutes of Scotland's 3-1 win against the Faroes Isles. Having picked up a needless booking for playing on after the whistle, the striker misses out on the national team's vital Euro 2004 Qualifier away to Germany (Scotland lost 2-1). 
For the second season in a row, the second round of the CIS League Cup pairs Dunfermline and Cowdenbeath together. The match will be played on 24th September at East End Park. 
Most of the players released at the end of last month have now found new teams. Jason Dair signed for Motherwell, with Steven Hampshire and Kevin McLeish both at Brechin. Scott Walker is training at Falkirk.
Work on laying the artificial surface gets underway, with a team of specialists flying in from Canada to carry out the work.
Just ahead of the game, Craig Brewster is ruled out of the Rangers game as a result of an injured foot. He joins long term casualties, Scott Thomson, Noel Hunt and Derek Young on the sidelines. Marco Ruitenbeek also misses out with a hamstring injury.
Date: 13th September 2003 Opposition: Rangers Score (H/T): 0-4 (0-3)
Competition: Sc Premier League Venue Ibrox Stadium Attendance: 49,072
Scorers: [0-1] Thompson (7), [0-2] Mols (32), [0-3] Arveladze (43), [0-4] Capucho (66)
Yellow Cards: Skerla (DAFC), Capucho (Rangers)
Pars Team: Stillie; Bullen, Wilson, Skerla, Tod (Labonte 80), Grondin (Kilgannon 73), Nicholson, Darren Young, Mason, Dempsey (Mehmet 60), Crawford. Subs not used: SY Thomson, Byrne
Rangers: Klos; Ricksen, Emerson, Khizanishvilli, Ball, Nerlinger, Berg (Vanoli HT), Arteta, Thompson (Capucho 19), Mols, Arveladze (Lovenkrands 66). Subs not used: McGregor, Hughes
Referee: C Richmond
Another disappointing trip to Ibrox, and another heavy defeat. Although Dunfermline had the better of the first five minutes, once Thompson scored in seven minutes following a Skerla mistake, there was only ever going to be one outcome. Mols looked suspiciously offside when he scored Rangers second, but Lee Bullen later admitted that he had played the Dutchman on. Arveladze popped home number three after an Arteta freekick had deceived the Pars defence. Although it looked like Rangers would run riot in the second half, they only added one more when  Capucho knocked in a Mols cross. Not surprisingly at Ibrox, Referee Richmond chickened out of booking the already cautioned Capucho for a blatant dive that would have seen the Portuguese dismissed.
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
5 Motherwell 5 2 1 2 6 7 7
6 Dunfermline Ath 5 2 1 2 4 6 7
7 Hibernian 5 2 1 2 6 9 7
Manager Calderwood was left to lament that it was the same old story for the Pars at Ibrox saying, "you cannot win anything here if you give goals away. We made it so easy; it was not as if they were wonder goals."
The Pars Under 21 team gains partial revenge for the defeat at Ibrox when they draw 1-1 with Rangers at Methil. Pat Clark scores the Athletics' goal just before half time. With the plastic pitch being installed, this will be the last time that the Under 21's have to decant to New Bayview for their games. 
Chairman John Yorkston and General Manager Jim Leishman travel to Lithuania to discuss a possible tie up between Kaunus FC and the Pars. 
Two of the freed players were fixed up with other clubs this week. Andre Karnebeek signed a two year deal with Dutch club de Graafschap, and Scott Walker joined Alloa Athletic on a short term deal until January.
At long last the artificial surface is completed, transforming East End Park. At a press conference to unveil the pitch, those Dunfermline players called on to speak give the pitch cautious approval. Later that evening a Press team took on Radio Forth in the first ever game played on the surface.  
Hibernian players are given the opportunity to train on the new surface ahead of the Saturday's game. There were some unfavourable comments from some of the players (particularly Jarkko Wiss), but not from manager Bobby Williamson.
There's a further injury blow for Noel Hunt when he suffers a recurrence of the injury that has kept him out of action so far this season. Others on the sidelines are regulars, Scott Thomson and Derek Young plus Marco Ruitenbeek. Nipper is expected to make his return in the Under 21 game against Hibernian at Easter Road on Monday.
To mark the opening with of the new pitch, the BBC's 'Off the Ball' programme broadcasts from Legends.
Before the game the opening ceremony for the new pitch takes place. John Yorkston leads a party that comprises legends, Ian Rush, Jean-Pierre Papin and Karl-Heinz Riedle, plus Pars legends Ron Mailer, Alex Edwards and Willie Cuningham. UEFA and SFA officials are also on hand to help with the balloon release that signified the opening. 
Date: 20th August 2003 Opposition: Hibernian Score (H/T): 0-0 (0-0)
Competition: Sc Premier League Venue East End Park Attendance: 9,715
Scorers: None
Yellow Cards: Mason, Tod (DAFC), Murdock, Glass (Hibs)
Pars Team: Stillie; Bullen, Skerla, Wilson (Dempsey 52), Tod, Grondin (KIlgannon HT); Nicholson, Darren Young, Mason; Crawford, Brewster Subs not used: SY Thomson, Mehmet, Labonte
Hbernian: Andersson; Orman, Kouo-Doumbe, Murdock, Edge; Brebner, Wiss, Glass, Murray; O’Connor (Riordan 79), Brown (Dobbie 80) Subs not used: Hyldgaard, McManus, Whittaker
Referee: M McCurry
After all the hype, the game itself turned out to be a real disappointment. In front of a larger than average crowd neither team really made much impression, although the Athletic were probably the better of the two. The best chance of the first half fell to Brewster who's header clipped the crossbar. The second half wasn't much better, although the action had to be halted for three minutes after the pitch was invaded by a male streaker. Once the idiot had been removed, Crawford found himself with the best chance of the game one on one with the keeper, but Andersson turned his shot away with his leg. Andy Tod was lucky not to receive a red card for a last man challenge, after downing Dobbie. This was a game that DA should have won, and there may be a time later in the season when the Pars rue the two dropped points.
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
4 Dundee 6 3 1 2 8 5 10
5 Dunfermline Ath 6 2 2 2 4 6 8
6 Hibernian 6 2 2 2 6 9 8
Post match, JC was disappointed with his team's performance, saying "we had a great crowd today, that's why I am so annoyed we put in a performance like that. It was a bit of a carnival day, and we went down like a burst balloon."
The player's reaction to the pitch is mixed with most preferring to give it more time. 
At half time during the Hibs game Ian Rush, Jean-Pierre Papin and Karl-Heinz Riedle (all wearing Pars shirts) took place in a penalty shoot-out against three lucky competition winners. 
The Under 21 game against Hibernian is called off due to a waterlogged pitch - ironic really!
The streaker who disrupted the Hibs game is fined £100 at Dunfermline Sheriff Court. Chairman John Yorkston hopes the invader won't result in the club being fined.
Dunfermline are one of five Scottish clubs listed as being technically insolvent by accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers. Dundee, Hearts, Hibs and Livingston are the other four.
Speaking about his trip to Lithuania with chairman John Yorkston, Jim Leishman said that the intention is to try and encourage their younger players to come to East End Park as the senior game in Lithuania is not to the same standard as in Scotland.
Despite press reports saying that Australian Defender/Midfielder Andy McDermott had signed from Northern Spirit, Jimmy Calderwood stated that no deal had been done. 
Date: 24th September 2003 Opposition: Cowdenbeath Score (H/T): 2-0 (0-0)
Competition: CIS League Cup Venue East End Park Attendance: 3,582
Scorers: [1-0] Crawford (55), [2-0] Brewster (65)
Yellow Cards: Tod (DAFC), Winter (Cowden)
Pars Team: Stillie, Bullen, Darren Young, Skerla, Nicholson, Mason, Crawford, Brewster (Mehmet 79), Dempsey (Byrne 67), Kilgannon, Tod Subs not used: Grondin, McNicol, Scott Y Thomson
Cowdenbeath: Carlin, Mowat, McInally, Gilfillan, McKeown, Ritchie, Shields (Fusco 67), Winter, Brown, Gordon, Buchanan (Mauchlen 61) Subs not used: Matheson, Slaven, Fleming
Referee: H Dallas
Despite a very poor performance in this scrappy game, Dunfermlline advanced to the next round of the CIS cup thanks to a goal each from striking partnership Brewster and Crawford. During a very poor first half, Cowden had two excellent chances to take the lead. Stillie had to make a superb save from a Shields overhead kick, and rebound, and then following a poor Tod clearance, Brown should have done much better with only Stillie to beat. In the second half DA took command, and Crawford finished well from a Brewster pass to give the Pars the lead ten minutes after the break, and the game was over when an unmarked Brewster headed in a Kilgannon corner.  
After the game JC said, "we knew it was going to be difficult, being a local derby and to be honest Cowdenbeath started much better. We kept giving stupid corners away, they’ve missed a couple of great chances, and Derek’s made a couple of great saves to keep us in it. We didn’t have a lot of confidence in the team during the first half – I don’t know why, given the start that we’ve had. We looked very tentative and nervous."
The third round of the CIS Cup saw the Pars sent McDiarmid Park for a difficult away tie against St Johnstone.
Ahead of Thistle, there was good news when Scott Thomson was named in the squad. Scott Wilson, Derek Young and Noel Hunt continue to miss out. 
Date: 27th September 2003 Opposition: Partick Thistle Score (H/T): 2-1 (0-0)
Competition: Sc Premier League Venue East End Park Attendance: 4,684
Scorer: [0-1] Grady (50), [1-1] Crawford (55), [2-1] Crawford (70)
Yellow Cards: McBride, Milne, Fleming (Thistle)
Pars Team: Stillie; Bullen, Skerla, Tod (Thomson 27), Grondin; Nicholson, Darren Young, Mason, Kilgannon (Labonte 85); Crawford (Mehmet 92), Brewster Subs not used: Ruitenbeek, Dempsey
Partick: Arthur; Forrest, Murray, Whyte; Mitchell, Ross (Traynor 61); McBride (Fleming 69), Rowson, Milne; Grady, Bonnes (Britton 58) Grady
Referee: K Clark
Dunfermline recorded their first home win of the season, but the honour of scoring the first goal on the new pitch went to Thistle. The first half was a fairly dull affair, despite Kilgannon and Grondin supplying a number of decent crosses. Kenny Arthur's save from a Grondin shot was the nearest the Pars came to scoring during the first period. Club captain Scott Thomson made an earlier than anticipated return to action, when Andy Tod was forced to withdraw injured after 27 minutes. On his arrival Nipper took over the captain's duties having been handed the armband by Stevie Crawford.  After the break, Thistle took the lead, when Grady's shot was deflected by Thomson and looped into Stillie's net. Dunfermline came back and Man of the Match Grondin's cross was knocked into the net by Crawford from close range. The winning goal came when Kilgannon, who had one of his best games in a Pars jersey fired over a cross that the Partick defence failed to deal with, leaving Crawford with the fairly easy task of finishing. Kilgannon had the ball in the net with seven minutes remaining, but his strike was ruled out for offside.
Pos   Pld W D L F A Pts
3 Hearts 7 4 1 2 9 6 13
4 Dunfermline Ath 7 3 2 2 6 7 11
5 Dundee 7 3 1 3 9 8 10
In his after match interview, manager Jimmy Calderwood praised David Grondin saying, "Grondin was absolutely magnificent. Everything went through him and Kilgannon.
Andy Tod broke his toe during the Thistle game and had to go to hospital for treatment and is expected to miss the next game against Livingston.
After an eight month injury nightmare, Scott Thomson was delighted to make his return to action against Thistle admitting there were times when he feared his career was over. The club captain was given a standing ovation as he took his place on the field.
In an amazing post match outburst, which smacked of sour grapes, Partick boss Gerry Collins and Chairman Alan Dick both slammed East End's artificial surface. Both claimed that the pitch gave an unfair advantage to Dunfermline as Pars players know exactly what footwear to use. Thistle intend to lodge an official complaint with the SPL, SFA and UEFA (and presumably the Court of Human Rights), and have stated that they will consider boycotting their next visit to EEP in March if they have to play on the pitch as it is at the moment. Livingston's Stuart Lovell also jumps on the bandwagon saying "I'm sure these surfaces will have a bigger effect on players than grass in terms of wear and tear on their joints". Meanwhile, DA's Craig Brewster defends the pitch, saying that he liked playing on it, and that it was a 'footballers surface". Dunfermline issue a statement stating that the pitch was now been given UEFA accreditation prior to any matches being played.
Pars Under 21 team gain a 2-2 draw against Thistle at Firhill. A Trialist and Gary Dempsey score.
Hamish French severs links with the first team to take over the role of Community Coach, taking overt from John Glancy.