The rugby posts had to be lifted out by helicopter in preparation for the first game of football to take place in the Waikato Stadium in Hamilton, New Zealand reported Gordon Baird.

The Hamilton Pipe Band may have led the pre match entertainment but the Pars were made to feel right at home as the Skids “Into The Valley” welcomed them on to the field.

Dunfermline began brightly and took the lead after just three minutes, Steven HAMPSHIRE stroking the ball home after it broke to him inside the penalty box. 0-1

The All Stars nearly equalised in 11th minute when Fraser received a low cross at the corner of the six yard box. He looked certain to score but Marco Ruitenbeek made a fantastic save, diving to his right, through up his left hand to divert the ball over the bar.

In 18 minutes Scott Thomson played a nice one-two with Hampshire to poke in an eight yard shot which was cleared at the post. The ball then came out to Kevin McLeish whose shot flew narrowly wide.

Midway through the half the All Stars began to take a grip in midfield and gradually put the Pars under some pressure. In 33 minutes Thomson was forced into clearing high over his own bar and two minutes later Ruitenbeek saved well with his left foot after Smeltz found room in the box.

Former Sheffield United player, Tim Butterfield was at the heart of everything for the home team and he began a move which saw Fisher’s shot turned behind by the Pars Dutch keeper.

A trio of half time substitutions saw Nicholls pushed forward to midfield and this almost paid off immediately as he crashed a shot high off the keeper’s right hand post.

The Pars were caught out in 56 minutes when LITTLE was played through the middle to slot the ball past Ruitenbeek for the equaliser. 1-1

The goal prompted Dunfermline into a reaction as they went on to dominate the rest of the match. Nicholls fired a couple of efforts which the substitute keeper did well to save and in 77th minute Nicholson beat a couple of defenders before striking a shot against the post.

Three minutes later the pressure paid off as NICHOLSON struck a sweet sho5 beyond the keeper from 20 yards out. 1-2

With seven minutes remaining Fisher squandered a great chance to level when through on goal, he shot weakly at Ruitenbeek. The Pars saw the game out quite comfortably and received a sporting ovation from the 2500 spectators at the Waikato Stadium.

DUNFERMLINE: Marco Ruitenbeek: Mark McGarty, Andre Karnebeek (Marcus Stergiopoulos 74), Kevin McLeish (Brian Blair HT), Davie Nicholls (Cartwright 74), Scott Thomson, George Fotheringham, Barry Nicholson, Colin Nish (LEE Bullen HT), Steven Hampshire, Gary Dempsey (Stewart Petrie HT).
SCORERS: Hampshire (3), Nicholson (80).

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