Dunfermline Athletic

Dunfermline Athletic 0 Falkirk 3

Author: Neil Farrell Date: Sunday, 5th Nov 2006

All week in the papers we were told that the players would be fired up for this one. Unfortunately, motivation didn`t seem to turn up as the Pars lost a goal in less than 40 seconds, throughout the game they were also second to every ball. Despite this team on paper being better than last season, the new manager will need to quickly install a sense of confidence in the players.

Caretaker Manager Craig Robertson who was in charge for the last time before a replacement for Jim Leishman arrives made just one change to the side that earned a priceless point at Tynecastle a week earlier. Jamie McCunnie who has a broken toe was replaced by Greg Ross.

The Pars started the first half shooting towards the very large Falkirk support which numbered around the 2,500 mark many of which were not even in the ground before Falkirk opened the scoring after just 35 seconds. Andy Gow fired in a very good cross from the left wing to ANTHONY STKOKES who stroked in the ball with his left foot from about 6 yards into the bottom right of the goal – completely unacceptable and Falkirk tails are up.

The Pars players trudged back to re-take the kick off with not one of them looking as though they had a care in the world.

In a thoroughly boring first half that could have put you off football for life there was a few half chances for the Pars – half chances that is all. The Pars midfield was (not for the first time) giving poor support to the defence as well as attack and generally leaving a large void of space which a chain-smoking 38 year-old with dreadlocks was enjoying for the second game in a row against Dunfermline Athletic. Pars management and players obviously not learning from their previous mistakes...

Whoever takes on the Pars job has a massive task ahead of him, and has a squad full of deadwood with players that have been on "easy street" for the past 3 years or so.
It’s the same old adage: we have defenders – that cannot defend, a midfield that if you replaced them with a bunch of cardboard cut-outs would honestly be more effective.

To be fair we do have a quality attack – but what is the point in having them if they do not get any service throughout the game whatsoever. I knew that we were never going to score during the Falkirk game.

Anthony Stokes was having a field day ripping the Pars Mickey Mouse defence apart and almost added to it 5 minutes before the break with his shot whistling narrowly past the post – a warning of what was to come.

After the half-time pies and Bovrils were consumed (probably by the players as well as recent fitness levels shows) the players looked about 2% more interested in the game than in the start and were actually starting to impose themselves now and again. Phil McGuire replaced Stephen Simmons during the break and for a guy that has not played for about 6 weeks did very well for himself throughout the second half. Hopefully he will not get dragged down to the same level as the majority of his colleagues. A further change was made when Prodigal Son of the Pars Stevie Crawford replaced Owen Morrison.

Meanwhile Falkirk doubled their score when a very simple ball was played through he middle allowed Thomson time and space to play the ball to ANTHONY STOKES and he made no mistake. 2-0. Again the players did not look interested as they trudged back up the field to re-take play.

Falkirk and particularly their fans were enjoying the moment. Their day was complete when somehow in the Pars proud history a Falkirk player was allowed to do about at least half-a-dozen (6 if you’re a young ‘un) keepie-uppies right in front of the Falkirk fans without even so much as a challenge let alone a red/yellow (preferably the former) offence.
Obviously guys like our Aaron Labonte have no clue as to the importance of this fixture! Do they have cloth ears, or have they simply been ignoring Jim Leishman and Craig Robertson for the past 2 years or so. Either way it’s all very alarming down at KY12 7RB.

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