SPL v Kilmarnock


Fixture: SPL

No goals, no yellow cards but at least it
wasn`t no points. The Boxing Day
was played in seasonal mid winter conditions. Chris McGroarty and Jason Dair
started in preference to Stewart Petrie and the suspended Ian Ferguson. Tommy
Johnson is no yet match fit so Kilmarnock started with the team that won at Dens
Park on Saturday.

As goal less draws go this was a fairly typical
example. Not many shots on targets and lacking in goalmouth incident. It was the
8th minute before Marco Ruitenbeek was needed. A jinky run down the left by
young Stephen Murray caused Gus MacPherson lots of problems and the young
Kilmarnock number 36 swung over a cross that Chris McGroarty headed out only as
far as Di Giacomo but fortunately the Kilmarnock striker`s shot went straight to
Marco`s safe arms.

Mason and McGroarty won a corner on the left
six minutes later but Scott Thomson`s header on Barry Nicholson`s cross went
high over the crossbar.

Dunfermline were enjoying more possession and
their passing was superior all of which made the sizeable home support very

Lee Bullen headed a McGroarty cross at keeper
Marshall and then MacPherson`s ball into the box was sent behind by Freddie
Dindeleux for a 23rd minute corner. Unfortunately the Nicholson cross from the
right evaded everyone.

Two minutes later Kilmarnock won a corner when
Murray created a chance for Dargo and Mitchell. Alan Mahood attacked the corner
but the Pars defence got the ball away comfortably.

Gary Mason dispossessed Murray and play was
moved swiftly down the left by Jason Dair who delivered a good cross into the
Kilmarnock six yard box.

Stevie Crawford made contact but the header was
just wide to the left of goal.

Despite all the possession the Pars could have
gone behind on the half hour after Garry Hay took a Scott Thomson pass and
threaded the ball through the middle for Dargo. The crowd was audibly shocked
when Justin Skinner produced a fine interception to deny the former Rovers man a
straight run in on goal.

A poor Killie clearance made a chance for Gary
Mason but his 25 yard shot was touched over the crossbar by Marshall. When the
corner came in the ball was cleared only as far as McGroarty and wee Chris` shot
from 20 yards appeared to take a deflection in going wide of Marshall`s right
hand post.

Two further chances fell to Dair before referee
Dougall blew for half time.

Firstly a movement through MacPherson, Crawford
and Nicholson gave Jason time to turn and shoot - but at the goalkeeper. Then
the Pars player was picked out free on the right of the six yard box but again
the keeper got in the way.

There was great interest and much light relief
from the half time entertainment when youngsters aged 2 to 4 made their own
interpretation of the rules of association football.

Dunfermline kicked off the second half towards
their 400 or so supporters and were first to get into the opponents box. A
McGroarty cross from the left found MacPherson on the far side of the box and he
tried to get around his old defence before laying the ball back for Barry
Nicholson to shoot.

Kilmarnock blocked the shot and broke on the
counterattack. As Murray and Di Giacomo raced upfield it was Lee Bullen who was
back to break down the move.

In the 48th minute McGroarty took a free kick
on the right and shot the ball low across the face of the goal. Scott Thomson
was nearest converting for a goal but even he was taken by surprise at the far

Six minutes later Mahood lined a shot up for Di
Giacomo but his shot from 30 yards was wide. Kilmarnock looked dangerous on the
break and having brought on Kris Boyd for Craig Dargo the sub hit a shot from
the right angle of the six yard box. The ball looked net bound but curled onto
the inside of Marco`s right hand post. Fortunately for the Pars no one was
following up and the chance was cleared.

Justin Skinner made another timely intervention
a minute later robbing Alan Mahood on the edge of the box after Murray had done
well to keep the ball in on the far side.

With 66 minutes on the clock a Dair corner was
headed on by Bullen but Nicholson lifted the shot over the bar. Canero got free
two minutes later after Mahood had pinched the ball off Mason. The young U21
internationalist snatched a shot from 30 yards which went wide right.

Dunfermline brought on Michel Doesburg for Gus
MacPherson in the 76th minute. The former Rugby Park favourite was warmly
applauded off by both sets of fans with some home fans even getting to their

The best chance of the match then fell to
Stevie Crawford . A Ruitenbeek kick was headed on by Bullen and Crawford
collected the knock on to race in on goal unchallenged. The Scotland striker
failed to understand just how much time he had and hurried a shot that Marshall

Next another McGroarty free kick flew across
the face of the Kilmarnock goal with Thomson, Doesburg and Dair all trying to
get on the end of it.

Back at the other end a Dindeleux free kick
came off McGowne and Di Giacono cleared the crossbar. Marco was out well to
collect a Fowler float in before Jimmy Calderwood gave an SPL debut to Sean
KIlgannon. The player on loan from Middlesboro was given ten minutes to impress
and got his fair share of the ball in the closing minutes.

In the 88th minute Kilgannon sent in a good
cross that Crawford and Bullen rose for. Marshall got between them to clutch the
ball but then dramatically dropped in behind him. There was a scramble but
Dindeleux sent it behind for a corner.

At the end Boyd made Ruitenbeek concede a
corner and Bullen could have stolen the match in the second added minute when
another Kilgannon cross was back headed by Crawford to big Lee. Unfortunately
Santa hadn`t been listening to him and the effort went over the crossbar.

Jimmy Calderwood said that he would have
settled for a point before the match but given the chances he felt that his team
might have got better. A third successive shut out is good. Skinner did well and
Andrius Skerla looks to have found his form of the early part of last season.
someone needs to find the net though!

Sammy says thanks very much for visiting our web site where we have lots of news for young Pars fans.