SFL First Division: AIRDRIE 2 DUNFERMLINE 2: Date: 15/08/99

Dunfermline travelled to North Lanarkshire for their first fixture at the Shyberry Excelsior, home of their old adversities Airdrie. An unchanged side despite the midweek set back against Morton.

Dick Campbell is continually warning that there are no easy games in this League and on this performance there will no easy rides. The Pars fans emotions took to the highs and lows as the Pars twice took the lead and top of the league, only to let Airdrie back in. By the 41st minute the vociferous away support were singing "you`re not hopeless anymore" presumably at their manager but what a hopeless second half performance followed.

Eight minutes into the match a Scott Thomson corner swung in from the left. Andy Tod headed it down and Owen COYLE opened the account. This lead was lasted all of 8 minutes before Chris McGroarty got caught in possession at the back and the ball was forced out for a throw in on our right flank. Greg Shields took the throw but the Dunfermline players froze as the ball bounced into the penalty box and allowed Allan Moore to poke the ball over the slow to react Westie.

Scott Thomson`s 21st minute drive came back off his namesakes right hand post. Smithy hit it at the keeper but Owen COYLE stuck the ball in the net to restore the lead. Andy Tod had an effort over the crossbar and Thomson blasted an Eddie May cross wide left.

The Pars fans were in full song by now. questioning the brown colour of the home support and working their way through the whole book of DA numbers.

The game of two halves story that had been perfected last season got a comeback for the second 45. Under 3 minutes on the electronic clocks behind the goals and Airdrie were level. Dick took the ball down the right and shrugged off McGroarty to send in a high cross that only McCormick went for. he headed past a sleepy Westwater for 2-2.

Airdrie looked the more likely to score for a while. Dunfermline`s efforts never really threatened the keeper. Dolan chipped through to Coyle in 53 minutes but his shot was wide left. Andy Smith had a header turned around the keeper`s left post on the hour. Stewart Petrie shot wide after sub Hamish threaded a perfect ball to him.

When Airdrie`s central defence had to be reorganised with 15 minutes to go because of Forrest collecting a brace of yellows, the Pars failed to take any advantage from the extra man and seemed to lack ideas.

The last chance came with 90 minutes gone. Jamie Dolan ran through the centre of the defence but he failed to convert once he got into the opposition box and as the ball went on to Coyle the goal scorer was offside.

Dunfermline provided at least half of the 2872 fans but the biggest First Division crowd was at Inverness - 3022. Clydebank contributed about 100 to the paltry 1433 at Cappielow.

DUNFERMLINE: Westwater, Shields, Tod, Reid, McGroarty. Thomson, May (French 69), Dolan, Petrie. Smith (Nish 69), Coyle.
Sub not used: Ireland

Scorers: Coyle (8, 21)
Yellow Card: Dolan (86)

Referee Hugh Dallas (Motherwell)
Attendance 2872

League Position 2nd

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