Dunfermline Athletic

Dunfermline under 21s thrash Killie 3-0

Author: David Cooney Date: Tuesday, 20th Jan 2004

Hunt (57,88)
Dempsey (75)

No pictures just now, but here is David`s match report in the meantime. Hopefully normal service will resume shortly with regards to photographs being added to articles and the messageboard returning!!

The young Pars continued their impressive season with an emphatic 3-0 win over their Kilmarnock counterparts. In a game that the Pars dominated from start to finish, a number of the fringe players turned in accomplished performances, performances that will perhaps provide Jimmy C with one or two selection problems ahead of this Saturday`s visit of Terry Butcher`s Motherwell side.

The Pars set their stall out right from kick-off with Sandy Clark opting for a 3-5-2 formation - later changed to a 4-4-2 formation, then back again - with Kilgannon and McNicol taking up the respective wing-back roles. In only the second minute of the match Billy Mehmet won a free kick just outside the Killie box in what appeared to be a dangerous position. The Pars failed to threaten from this set piece, however this was uncommon on a night when the young Pars, particularly through Bullen and Byrne, seemed to pose a real aerial threat at every corner and free kick.

The first real chance of the night came the way of the visitors in the fourth minute when a Craig Dargo header flew past Ruitenbeek`s left-hand post. From then on in the Pars bombarded the Killie goal. In the eleventh minute a Ritchie Byrne header seemed to have Samson beaten, only to sail just past the post. Two minutes later an expertly timed through ball by the impressive Dempsey was met with a thundering finish into the top corner by Billy Mehmet. However both the fans and the players were astounded when the nearside linesman`s flag chopped off what seemed to be a perfectly good goal.

This setback failed to upset Mehmet who, three minutes later, found himself running through on Samson`s goal only to be flattened by the Killie goalkeeper inside the box. The outcome seemed a definite penalty yet in a bizarre decision the referee gave a free kick to the visitors. Two minutes later the Pars were this time given a helping hand by the lacklustre officials when Dempsey who appeared to be in an offside position, was allowed to sprint through on goal only to lose his footing at the last moment. The Pars stepped up the pressure on the Killie defence and Mehmet and Byrne were unlucky not to opening the scoring after consecutive corners from Kilgannon. In the twenty-fourth minute Noel Hunt managed to spring the offside trap to go one-on-one with Samson only for the young keeper to parry his shot, and with defenders arriving back in their numbers Billy Mehmet`s rebound was cleared off the line.

The young Pars continued to press the Kilmarnock goal for the remainder of the half with Mehmet and Dempsey bringing out comfortable saves from Samson. Hunt, Bullen and Young were also unfortunate not to score from headers in the lead up to the half-time whistle.

Five minutes into the second half Killie sub Steven Naismith - on for Craig Dargo - almost succeeding in lobbing Ruiteenbeek who found himself in no mans land after indecision from the big Dutch keeper. This would have been an injustice if the youngster had scored and the incident seemed to result in spurring the Pars on. Only two minutes later Hunt got on the end of a Mehmet flick-on only to see his shot sail over the bar.

The Pars fans received a scare in the eleventh minute of the second half when Mehmet, who had found a clear run to goal, was brought down under a cynical challenge by Barry McLaughlin. A red card would have been very fair however referee Anthony Law only awarded the ex-St. Mirren defender with a yellow. Noel HUNT seemed an unlikely candidate to take the free-kick, however he confidently curled the ball into top corner to open the scoring. A goal which will no doubt do his confidence a world of good.

The Pars almost doubled their lead in the sixty-first minute when good work by Derek Young set up Sean Kilgannon who crashed a shot over the bar. Hunt continued to trouble the Killie defenders and brought out a good save from Samson in the sixty-fourth minute after a fierce twenty-yard drive.

Sean Kilgannon started to force his way into the proceedings as the game wore on, and with fifteen minutes to go he sent a lovely through pass to the feet of Gary DEMPSEY who took a touch before firing the ball through the advancing keeper`s legs. The Pars could have extended their lead with three minutes to go when sub Patrick Clarke showed good skill in order to find Derek Young who`s shot crept just wide of the post. However the Pars did finally seal the victory with two minutes left when Dempsey, after some good work on the left, found Kilgannon on the left who sent in an inch-perfect cross to HUNT who showed all the composure in the world to calmly head past Samson.

DUNFERMLINE :- Ruitenbeek, McNicol, Byrne, McGarty, Bullen, Storey, De Young, Mehmet, (Clarke), Hunt, Dempsey, Kilgannon. Subs :- Murdoch, Campbell, Wilson, McGuire

KILMARNOCK :- Samson, McGregor, Hay, McLaughlin, Hamill, Canning, Masterton, (Boyle), Gilroy, (Johnstone), Boyd, Dargo, (Naismith), Murray. Subs :- Bell, Sangster

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