Dunfermline Athletic

Rangers 2-0 Dunfermline

Date: Saturday, 11th Nov 2006

Despite the defeat at Ibrox, the Pars had a much improved performance compared to that at home the previous week.

Unfortunately we did not have press access at Ibrox, nothing unusual in that as the Old Firm don`t like to entertain the opposition fans in any manner.

We asked for a match report and two people happened to do one at the same time, so I have enclosed both here.

Match Report by Trent:

Pars lined up with 4-5-1 formation. Rodders was in goals with a back four of (running left to right) S Morrison, Shields, Bamba and Labonte. The midfield five (again running left to right) was Hamilton, Simmons, Mason, Ross and O Morrison. When going forward O Morrison and Hamilton were to push forward to give width. Crawford was the lone striker.

The game kicked off with Rangers shooting towards the end where the small (approx 120) but vocal Pars support were sitting. Most of Rangers first half chances came from the tricky wing play of Lee Martin on the left (at least I think it was him) who`s crosses caused the Pars defence trouble.

Prso, Adam and Svensson had some chances wide and Greg Shields nearly headed into his own net! The attention of Bamba and Shields in the box and S Morrison and Labonte wide snuffed out all other chances for Rangers and despite Prso diving (the ref waved play on but did not produce a card!) the Pars held firm.

However the best chance of the first half came for the Pars when Owen Morrison made room for himself in the box to give him a great shooting chance which he sadly put over the bar. This was the Pars best (and really only) chance of the half.

Half time 0-0 but suprisingly between them, no team managed a shot on target. There was a scare when Rodders was injured in a clash with Prso but after some treatment he played on.

The second half began (with no Pars changes) with Rangers again the dominant side but the Pars had the first shot on target when in a quick counter attack move, Gary Mason found O Morrison who in turn released Crawford who cleverly created space away from the Rangers defence to blast a shot from the left hand side of the box that McGregor made a good save from.

After this Rangers piled the pressure on but with the Pars defence holding firm and Rangers making the wrong choices, it seemed that a goal would never come. Unfortunately it did when Boyd received the ball into feet and spun Bamba to fire past Rodders. 1-0 Rangers.

The unlucky Steven Simmons recieved another head knock but was ok to shake it off and Rodders, although showing signs of his injury, carried on.

The Pars, showing a great fighting spirit that was sadly lacking last week, did not let the heads go down and nearly equalised. After a scramble from a Pars corner, the ball fell to Gary Mason who`s shot deflected off a Rangers defender and wide. The ensuing corner resulted in another scramble but Rangers managed to clear. Rangers then seemed to have scored another through Boyd but to the delight of the Pars fans, the goal was rightly ruled offside.

However Rangers did score a second through Steven Smith but Pars fans could feel aggrieved that Smith was still on the park to score after he seemed to make contact with Owen Morrison`s face right in front of the linesman (who had a shocker). The referee however (who had a truly awful game) only saw fit to produce a yellow card.

Anyway, Prso received the ball in the box and released Smith who was overlapping and who blasted a good shot past Rodders. 2-0 Rangers.

The first Pars change came when the impressive Scott Morrison, in his first full team start since his horror injury, made way for Callum Woods. Pars were shaky for the next few minutes with Rangers having a few chances, mostly from corners and crosses. However the Pars then replaced Owen Morrison with Freddy Daquin and pushed Hamilton forward more.

The Pars tried to push forward and after another goalmouth scramble from a corner, nearly scored. However it wasnt to be. The last Pars change came with Crawfor making way for the young Iain Williamson but with two minutes to play, he had little chance to impress. The last chance of the game fell to Jim Hamilton who`s volley from just outside the box sailed narrowly over.

Full time, Rangers 2-0 Pars. Pars have gotten pelters from the Sunday rags but Pars fans who travelled gave the team a standing ovation off the pitch. Whilst we did play defensive and rode our luck on occasion, we did try to get forward when we had the chance and really shoul have taken the lead from Owen Morrison in the first half. We created other chances and won four corners. We refused to give in and really rolled the sleeves up.

Their was a real fighting spirt from front to back. Scott Morrison had a fantastic game and does not look like he has been out for over a year and if not for the performance of Bamba would have been the MOM. Bamba however made some immense tackles and was very strong in the tackle. He looked confident going forward and made some good passes. Shields was his ever composed figuire and was solid and gave a good captains performance. No player put in a bad shift and the three centre midfielders, Simmons, Mason and Ross fought hard to close down and made life difficult for the Rangers midfield.

Labonte had to deal with the tricky Lee Martin but coped well and looked far more composed than in recent games with some excellent tackles. Owen Morrison was positive and can acutally beat a man. Jim Hamilton was isolted in left midfield but put in a solid shift. Crawford was tireless up front alone and held the ball up well.

Final mention must go to the small but vocal Pars support. We gave the lads great backing all game and even after the game when we were held back inside the ground for a good ten/fifteen minutes.


Match Report by pars1885:

Dunfermline travelled through to Ibrox knowing that there will be few better chances of beating Rangers at Ibrox – something which has not been done by a Dunfermline side since Jim Leishman scored the winning goal in a 4-3 win back in 1972.

Caretaker manager Craig Robertson made three changes from the team that were humiliated by Falkirk last week with Andy Tod, Darren Young and Mark Burchill being replaced by Sol Bamba, Scott Morrison and Stevie Crawford as the Pars, unsurprisingly, set out to frustrate the home side, who had lost their previous two games, with a 4-5-1 formation, Crawford operating as the lone striker.

Dunfermline, playing away from the small but vocal travelling support in the first half, were under pressure almost instantly when Stephen Simmons deflected the ball away for a corner following Charlie Adam’s shot after a cut back from Croatian striker Dado Prso, who later feel to floor inside the area following a challenge from Shields but referee Steven Conroy waved away the home sides protests – not the first Rangers protest in recent days.

Adam then sent his header just over as Rangers struggled to break down the stubborn Pars defence, who welcomed back Scott Morrison who was making his comeback from injury having spent the last fourteen months on the sidelines with the knee ligament injury he picked up while playing for Scotland Under 21’s in Austria.

The home side, despite having the majority of possession, failed to create many clear cut chances as the Pars, watched by new manager Stephen Kenny, kept Rangers out in the first half, resulting in the home side being booed off the pitch at half time, much to the amusement of the hundred or so Pars fans that watched the game from the Govan West Corner of Ibrox.

Craig Robertson would have gone in at half time reasonably happy with both the performance and the work rate of the players, who seemed completely different from last week when they went down 3-0 to Golden boy Stokes. There were no changes in the Pars team, despite goalkeeper Roddy McKenzie picking up an injury to his kidney as he collided with a Pars defender while coming out for a Lee Martin cross late in the first half.

The game continued in the same manner, with Rangers having the majority of possession but the best chance in the opening exchanges fell to Stevie Crawford whose shot was saved by last seasons Dunfermline number one Allan McGregor following good work on the right by Irish winger Owen Morrison.

However it Le Guen’s side that took the lead to ease the pressure on the under fire Frenchman as Kris Boyd fired past McKenzie, who was battling on well with his injury, on the hour mark after the former Kilmarnock man managed to spin Bamba following a knock down by Prso, who sent a header over just minutes later.

Robertson moved summer signing Jim Hamilton from left wing to his natural position of striker as Dunfermline set out their intentions and as a result of the more attacking formation, Dunfermline started to create some chances – the first being a cross from Scott Morrison which was just out of reach of Bamba and Simmons.

Gary Mason’s shot was deflected wide after following a cross from the tricky Owen Morrison but despite this pressure, Rangers doubled their lead as youngster Steven Smith received the ball from the effective Prso and the Rangers youth system product fired past McKenzie from the edge of the box on 77 minutes to score his first goal for the Glasgow outfit, whose fans burst into a chorus of “Rule Brittania” followed by “We are the people”.

Jim Hamilton looked to add to his Tynecastle handba…goal but his long range effort was easily dealt with by McGregor but despite “Hammys” effort it was Rangers more than Dunfermline who looked more likely to score next as Barry “I can only pass the baw sideways and backwards but am still the West coast media’s golden boy” Ferguson came close but his effort was headed away by the impressive Bamba.

Greg Shields was forced to leave the park in stoppage time, forcing the Pars to play out the last minute with ten men.

With McKenzie and Shields both picking up injuries today, Stephen Kenny’s first game in charge, against Dundee United next weekend, is made harder and the former Derry City man may have to recall Sean Murdoch, the eighteen year old on loan at Forfar, or look to seventeen year old Greg Paterson to fill the sticks in the relegation clash next week.

Kenny saw a totally different Dunfermline team to the one we saw last week against THEM. Every player gave 100% today - there was fight, commitment, team spirit and every player was “playing for the jersey”- something that the Derry City fans say Kenny demands from his team. The defence today did well, Bamba and Shields in particular, who made tackle after tackle after tackle.

Scott Morrison being back gave a boost to the defence as he looked composed both in the tackle and on the ball while wanting to get forward at every opportunity. Labonte put last weeks horror show behind him and put in a good performance at right back while the five man midfield did well, fighting for everything, while Crawford, the lone striker for 60 minutes, was full of running but his service was lacking somewhat.

It was obvious that the arrival of the “new Martin O’Neill” has given the players and fans alike a lift and good times seem to be ahead for us lot. Ibrox is by no means an easy place to go but Dunfermline came away having won some of their pride back that was lost last week.

The Pars fans will no doubt be looking for them to build on this and take all three points against Craig Levein’s United on Saturday.

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