With the departure of Andy Geggan, 21 year old Lewis Martin is now the Pars' longest-serving first team squad member, having made his debut for the club 5 days after his 17th birthday, in April 2013. Part of a group of players who saw first-team action after the senior squad was decimated due to administration, Lewis has now made 103 appearances for DAFC. In his teenage years, he was a remarkably mature figure in the Pars defence, showing composure beyond his years. Rarely booked (receiving just 5 yellow cards in his first 76 appearances, and no red cards), the step up to Championship football in 2016/17 saw him, coincidentally or not, pick up 5 bookings plus 3 red cards in 27 games. His previous appearances - with the exception of his debut, which was a late substitute appearance in the Championship/First Division season of 2012/13 - were as a League 1 player.
Lewis' Pars career stats:
Called up to the Scotland Under 19 squad on 3 occasions, Lewis is arguably the most adaptable defender at the club. In Allan Johnston's first season in charge, although never cementing a place of his own in the team, he made 33 appearances covering mainly for others - the long-term injuries to Callum Fordyce and Ryan Williamson giving him the chance to show his versatility in both full back roles and in central defence. Significantly, he was not regarded as a first choice centre-half, which is the position he has said he prefers. Ben Richards-Everton, Fordyce (pre-injury) and then Marc McAusland and Brad McKay were all played ahead of him in the middle of the defence, with most of Lewis' games coming as a full back. However, his performance levels remained well above average, and he was rewarded with a new 2 year contract in the summer of 2016.
The progression to second-tier football has been more difficult for the player than many might have predicted. Three sendings off, for his tendency to put his hands on opponents in the penalty box, or haul down the opposing team's striker when through on goal, indicate a previously-unseen flaw in his game. In total, he received more cards (yellow and red) in one season than in his previous 4 seasons combined.
While a useful member of the DAFC squad, Lewis himself could benefit from a loan spell with regular first team football, as opposed to another season spent covering injured or suspended Pars team mates who would otherwise have been selected ahead of him.
2017/18 will be an important season for Lewis. He is a decent young player, with a good character, and if he can regain the "no fuss" aspect of his game, his time at EEP could yet continue beyond May 2018.
Here are some DAFC-related dates to look out for in the coming weeks:
31: Contracts end for Pars players whose futures are as yet undecided (Rhys McCabe, Michael Paton and Jason Talbot).
2: Betfred Cup Group stage draw
3: 2017/18 Early Bird Season Ticket period ends
15: DAFC squad begin pre-season training
23: SPFL 2017/18 fixtures announced
1: 2017/18 Season Ticket "Keep Your Seat" period ends
6: Pre-season friendly v Hibs (H)
15: Betfred Cup group game
16: Club Open Day
18/19: Betfred Cup group game
22: Betfred Cup group game
25/26: Betfred Cup group game
29: Betfred Cup group game
(note: 4 Betfred Cup fixtures will be scheduled for the above 5 dates, with one date missing out, once fixtures are announced).
5: SPFL game 1
8/9: Betfred Cup last 16
Dunfermline are now without 2 team captains following Andy Geggan's departure to Ayr United, days after Callum Fordyce signed for Queen of the South.
Andy Geggan was Dunfermline's longest serving first team player, having joined the club from Ayr in the summer of 2012. He formed a midfield trio with Stephen Husband and Josh Falkingham in Jim Jefferies' new-look Pars team, and played his part in the team's climb to the top of what is now the Championship, before financial problems and then administration ruined the club's season and threatened its future. At just 25, Geggan was one of the older players left after the club's administrator had to make most of the senior first team players redundant in the spring of 2013, and assumed a level of responsibility alongside the 22 year old Falkingham, in what was a very youthful Dunfermline team.
The club's relegation to League 1 saw season 2013/14 begin with the Pars playing Rangers in the third tier, with Geggan an integral part of the side that eventually finished second. A play-off loss to Cowdenbeath was a huge blow, and the following season saw Dunfermline finish a lowly seventh place in the division, with Geggan suffering the poorest season of his time with Dunfermline, along with many of his team mates. He was now club captain but was unable to replicate the form of his first 2 years at the club. Still under contract for a further season when new manager Allan Johnston was appointed in May 2015, Geggan lost the captaincy to new signing Callum Fordyce but began the season in his customary midfield role in a vastly improved Dunfermline team. Fordyce's season-ending injury meant that Geggan became team captain from September onwards, leading the club to the League 1 title, and signing a new contract at the end of the season.
Geggan's final season with the club began with a flurry of goals in the opening month before his form suffered in midfield. On the verge of being dropped from the starting 11, he filled the vacant right back position in the autumn and continued in that role for the remainder of the season. His form improved, and while not a "natural" full back, he was reliable and consistent, and rarely had a poor game. He also retained the captaincy and proved his leadership qualities time and again.
The club's mid-table finish was satisfactory, but while many fans would have been happy to see Geggan remain at the club, his role in the team had to be questioned: he was not a Championship-level midfielder, and was likely to be replaced at right back, if the club were to progress and challenge for promotion next season. His return to former club Ayr, who despite relegation from the Championship had just announced that they were to go full-time from next season, has to be seen as a good move for the player. The offer of a 2 year deal at Ayr must also have been attractive, in an era of mainly 1 year contracts, and for a player who is now past his 30th birthday. Interestingly, Ayr manager Ian McCall has said that he sees Geggan as a right back, when it might have been assumed that he would play in midfield in League 1.
Andy Geggan's time at East End Park was a roller-coaster that included relegation, a failed play-off bid, a season as the lowest-placed full time club in the SPFL, a title win, and then consolidation in the Championship, as the club continues its recovery from administration. He was a central figure in the club's past 5 seasons and all Pars fans will wish him well with his new club.
The East End Park exit door has been in regular use since the Pars' season ended 3 weeks ago, with the departure of several players, offset by contract extensions for others plus one new addition.
Joe Cardle, Nicky Clark, David Hopkirk, Lewis Martin, Sean Murdoch and Ryan Williamson were already contracted to the summer of 2018 and, at this stage, will be in the squad for next season.
Contract extensions have been agreed with Callum Morris, Lee Ashcroft, Kallum Higginbotham and Nat Wedderburn. New contracts have also been signed by several of the now-disbanded Under 20s team: Paul Allan, Conner Duthie, Cammy Gill, Scott Lochhead, Brandon Luke, Stuart Morrison and Callum Smith. The only new face so far is Wee Team centre half Jean-Yves M'Voto, who was one of the players included in this Pars Review article from March: www.parsreview.org/blog/scouting.
Leaving the club are Callum Fordyce, Andy Geggan and the Moff, who have signed pre-contract agreements with new clubs, plus first team squad members Ben Richards-Everton, Lewis Spence and David Hutton, all released. This leaves Rhys McCabe, Michael Paton and Jason Talbot as the only first team players either not to have signed a new deal with Dunfermline (yet), or having announced moves to other clubs. Loan signings Paul McMullan, Gavin Reilly and John Herron are either back with their parent clubs or out of contract.
It has been confirmed that Under 20s goalkeeper Cammy Gill will now be part of the Pars first team squad.
With all of the above taken into account, the current Pars squad is as follows:
Midfielders & Wingers:
Players marked * are Under 20s outfield players. Allan Johnston has confirmed that DAFC will not be operating with an Under 20s team for season 2017/18; and with no reserve league until 2018/19, the manager also said that some (but not all) of these younger players will be loaned to other teams, with others retained for the first team squad. On the basis that 4 of the 6 teenage players will be loaned out (this figure could vary), then the current first team squad total would be 14. Johnston has stated that he hopes to have a first team squad of 18 or 19 players, a reduced pool of players compared to recent seasons.
Areas of the team/squad that now require additions, which will also depend on the futures of McCabe, Paton and Talbot, are:
Right back (1)
Left back (1)
Centre midfield (1, possibly 2)
Wide Left midfield (1: left or right)
I would not be surprised if another first team squad player was loaned out, meaning that six further new signings would result in a squad of 19, and would cover the positions noted above, some of which - particularly up front - are obviously lacking in numbers and quality as it stands.
Goalkeeper and central defensive positions would appear to be finalised. Both full back positions are a priority, with right back Ryan Williamson the only natural full back in the squad, and no left back other than Lewis Martin as cover.
If the manager retains his favoured 4-4-2 formation, at least one central midfielder is required, although if Scott Lochhead is not loaned out, he could be an option alongside big Nat and one other. Whether the "one other" is Rhys McCabe, or a new signing, will be one of Johnston's most important decisions of the summer. With the squad set to be tighter in numbers than in the season just ended, there could be just one wide midfielder added to compete for places with Joe Cardle and Kallum Higginbotham. If a 3-5-2 or 4-3-3 formation was considered, this would reduce the need for the 4 wingers who featured in the squad of 2016/17, and could see Higginbotham play in a number 10 role as opposed to wide on the right, or left.
Two new strikers are definitely needed: 17 year old Callum Smith will either be loaned out or used as an option from the bench, leaving only David Hopkirk to compete with Nicky Clark for a place in attack. The manager has spoken about the need to add more goals, which would explain the departure of the talented Moffat, whose all round play was of a high standard but was not replicated in his limited goal return.
The above comments are made with the 18 or 19 player squad limit in mind. Ideally I would add one further central midfielder plus another wide attacker and another full back to the list above, but this would push the number to 20 or above.
The signing of Morris could be Johnston's best of the summer, as stated in this Pars Review article from April: www.parsreview.org/blog/5-things-we-learned-v-dumbarton4578926. The spine of the team - Murdoch, Morris, Wedderburn and Clark - is strong enough to compete at the top end of the table, and with the signing of more players of the same quality, a promotion challenge could and should be anticipated when the league season starts in August.
Here's a summary of tonight's Supporters Council Meeting with Ross McArthur and AJ:
•Last 2 seasons there was a profit in overall budget, 20 years prior saw a loss
•£40,000 to relay pitch at end of the season
•Reserve league will start season 2018/19
•Our under 20s has been dropped for this season
•Younger players will be best sent out on loan (Morrison, Duthie, Smith, Luke)
•Spoken to 'bigger' clubs about relationships (scouting/recruitment)
•Looking to improve scouting system
•6 live BBC Alba games in the Championship next season
"Don't take off goalscorers if we need a goal"
•"Depends on how players perform in training"
•"Friendlies arranged every couple of weeks for injuries/younger players"
•"Standards of referees has gone downhill, can only help if they go full time"
•"Still looking to bring in 7 or 8 players" (current or new players)
•Went to speak to Brendan Rodgers regarding Celtic's players
•18-20 first team players with 4 or 5 players going out on loan
•Use gym before training, in Thursday and Friday
•McKane Park for training in pre-season, during season will be based at Kelty Hearts
•Not likely to bring in another goalkeeper, Cammy Gill for second choice most likely
•"Need more goalscorers on the pitch"
•"No reason why we can't be challenging at the top of the league"
Was pretty clear that AJ is adamant to improve this coming season - he was open about now being able to change systems during games/before games to 3 at the back but also saying that we will still play with a back 4 at times with good competition from the bench. He's obviously a very nice and humble guy with the best interests of the club at heart, he was apologetic to players such as Dycey, BRE and Spence on their departures by saying how great they were for the club but it's all about pushing the club forward etc. Have every faith in him to push us forward next season.
Thanks to Ben for the report and comments.
17 year old striker Callum Smith has won a new 2 year contract with Dunfermline after a very impressive season in the Under 20s team. He is the top scorer for John Potter's team, and following the club's withdrawal from next season's Under 20s Development League, he now has a first team place as his next target. Callum, who only turned 17 in November, has benefitted from regular game time with the Under 20s, and has operated as the team's only natural striker after James Thomas and Ciaran Lafferty were both released during the season. Callum's game awareness has improved, and he is also more composed in front of goal: games earlier in the season saw him have a tendency to place shots too high; he has largely eliminated that from his game and is more accurate with his goal attempts.
Callum was a first team substitute in the final 2 League games, and gained an assist in the 3-1 win over Morton, when his pass to Rhys McCabe resulted in the third Pars goal.
The Under 20s team is now broken up, and after enjoying many of their games this season, it is pleasing to see players such as Callum, Cammy Gill, Conner Duthie, Stuart Morrison, Scott Lochhead and Paul Allan all be given new contracts by the club. I also hope that the released players, including Johnny Galloway, Reece Duncan and Evan Horne, are taken on by other teams and have successful careers.
Photo and edit: Pars Review.
Sean Murdoch is Pars Review's Player of the Season for 2016/17, based on ratings out of 10 in every blog match report. Nat Wedderburn, Kallum Higginbotham, Paul McMullan and Lee Ashcroft were placed second through to fifth, in that order, taking total points divided by games started, to give an average points per game total. Sean won most of the individual player awards in recent weeks from Pars supporters clubs, and deservedly has come out top on this blog's ratings. This is the only player award that is based on performances in every game of the season.
Dunfermline played 47 League and Cup games this season, and Pars Review was at every game. Marks out of 10 were given to the starting 11 in every game. Substitute appearances were not rated, or included.
For the purpose of assessing a Player of the Season, only those players who had started a minimum of 50% of all League and Cup games were eligible - enough games to prevent a scenario where, for example, a player with only 5 appearances and who had the highest average points in the squad, being awarded the top player award simply because they had the highest average. This meant that players such as Callum Morris, whose average points per game ratio would have put him in 3rd place, was not eligible as he did not play enough games.
Edited image by www.instagram.com/thedunfermlineway/ using photos by Pars Review.
A bizarre winning goal in added on time secured fifth place in the Championship for Dunfermline in an enjoyable day in the sun in Dumfries. Nicky Clark's winner, his 16th goal of the season, came when the game seemed about to end goalless. The home side had more goal attempts but the Pars defence was resolute, and the 3 points were not undeserved.
Michael Paton replaced (a presumably injured) Jason Talbot at left back - which must have been a career-first for the right winger, in what was the only change from the team that defeated Morton last week. Queens began the game knowing that only a victory would be enough to move above Dunfermline into the top half of the division. The home side's main threat, naturally, came from top scorer Stephen Dobbie, with the veteran striker looking to add to his 26 goals for the season.
Dobbie threatened early, before Rhys McCabe had attempts from 2 free kicks outside the box. John Rankin then sent a shot just past Sean Murdoch's post. Both teams were keen to attack, and the game contained more action than most end of season matches. Dunfermline's best chance of the first half came when Kallum Higginbotham passed to Nicky Clark, who had time and space to do better than his eventual tame effort.
Queens' midfielder Callum Tapping had the ball in the net after 53 minutes but the linesman's flag was already raised. Dobbie was still a threat and shot wide and then was booked for an apparent dive in the penalty box.
Joe Cardle replaced the Moff on the hour, with Higginbotham moving into a central role and Paul McMullan switching to the right wing. Cardle, who has had a disappointing past few months, largely unused and not making an impact when given game time, had his best performance for some time, actively influencing the game and creating problems with his movement. This is the Cardle we would all like to see next season - mixing up play and showing the ability he undoubtedly possesses.
The game progressed with Queens trying to score the goal they needed to leapfrog the Pars in the table, but vulnerable to quick Pars counter attacks. Murdoch, who had made some good saves and who was aided by a great display from Callum Fordyce, then provided an unlikely goal assist with his upfield clearance that Clark connected with. Queens' keeper Lee Robinson was out of position, then seemed to slip, as the ball went past him and trundled into the net. The Pars players and fans celebrated the goal, the last of the season, and a fitting way to end the final match of 2016/17.
Pars starting 11, with marks out of 10:
Photos and edits by Pars Review.
Full match photo gallery will be posted tomorrow.
Edit by www.instagram.com/thedunfermlineway/
Callum Fordyce photo by Pars Review.
Match report/opinion will be online this evening.
Scottish Championship - Saturday 06/05/17 - KO 3.00pm - Palmerston Park
Odds (McBookie): Queen of the South 13/10; Draw 12/5; Dunfermline 21/10
The final game of the season takes place tomorrow in Dumfries and although neither side can be promoted or relegated, there is a place in the top half of the division to play for. This would represent a satisfying return to the Championship for Dunfermline.
Our opponents -
Queen of the South
Last five outings:
29 April - Championship - Drew 2-2 v Falkirk (A)
22 April - Championship - Lost 2-1 v Dumbarton (H)
15 April - Championship - Lost 3-0 v Hibs (A)
8 April - Championship - Won 2-0 v Ayr United (A)
1 April - Championship - Won 4-2 v Dundee United (H)
Queens' season has been a tale of extreme highs and lows, followed by consolidation. After leading the Championship with 5 wins and a draw in their opening 6 games, they endured a winless run of 13 matches, which included 7 straight defeats. This led to the resignation of manager Gavin Skelton, who was replaced by Gary Naysmith, and a slight upturn in results. Their season has faded away with little to actively play for, and they currently have won only 2 of their past 10 games but are secure in mid table. Without the goals of Stephen Dobbie (19 in the League, 26 in all competitions), Queens could easily have faced a relegation battle.
Queens have the joint second worst home record in the Championship this season (21 points from 17 games).
Queens have only had one score draw at home this season.
In the dugout
Appointed Queens manager on 1 December 2016 after a successful first managerial post at East Fife, who he led to the League 2 title last season. Naysmith, who was a full-back, enjoyed a 16-year playing career, beginning at Hearts in 1996. He made 121 appearances for Hearts before moving to Everton in 2001, playing 155 times for the Goodison Park club. He then joined Sheffield United, making 88 appearances, then moved to Huddersfield, Aberdeen then onto East Fife in the summer of 2013. He was initially signed as a player at East Fife, but became player/manager in December 2013. He won 46 Scotland international caps and also made 22 appearances for Scotland Under 21s.
Pars & Queens facts & stats
Head to head record - last 10 meetings:
Pars wins: 4
Queens wins: 7
Pars Review match reports from the games between the teams this season:
27 August 2016 - Pars 0, Queen of the South 1
17 December 2016 - Queen of the South 2, Pars 2
7 March 2017 - Pars 1, Queen of the South 1
Four Queens players have previously played for Dunfermline: Andy Dowie and Chris Higgins were part of the First Division (now Championship) winning team of 2010/11. Scott Mercer had one first team appearance for the Pars, while Derek Lyle did not feature for the Dunfermline first team in his spell at the club in 2004.
From the current Pars squad, Nicky Clark, David Hopkirk, David Hutton, Michael Paton and Gavin Reilly have all played for Queens. Pars boss Allan Johnston played and managed Queens, where his assistant manager was current Pars assistant Sandy Clark. Coach John Potter also played for Queens, on loan from Dunfermline, in 2012.
Here is the current Championship table:
Last five outings:
29 April - Championship - Won 3-1 v Morton (H)
22 April - Championship - Lost 2-1 v Falkirk (H)
15 April - Championship - Won 2-0 v Dumbarton (A)
11 April - Championship - Lost 1-0 v Dundee United (A)
8 April - Championship - Won 1-0 v Raith (H)
Pride, a top half finish and a last chance for some players to impress manager Allan Johnston are the remaining motivating factors for the Dunfermline team that travel to Dumfries tomorrow. Fifth v sixth in the final League game does not suggest that the game will be a hard-fought affair, but a win would end the season in a positive mood, and serve as a good farewell for whichever squad members may be featuring for the final time.
With Andy Geggan, Callum Morris,Ben Richards-Everton and John Herron injured, I would still select the strongest available line-up, rather than give other players a run-out from the start. This means the same team that defeated Morton last week.
Preferred starting 11, with squad numbers:
Tomorrow: Game Day image, then later in the evening match report/opinion with photos and Pars player ratings.
A round-up of Championship news, latest results, statistics and a look ahead to this week's fixtures
The final weekend of Championship fixtures could see a dramatic finish at the lower end of the division, with 3 teams actively involved in a relegation battle. At the top of the pile, with Hibs already having won the division, and Morton safe in the fourth place promotion play-off place but unable to climb any higher, the only point of interest is who will finish second, and so avoid a play-off quarter final home and away round against Morton. Second place Falkirk have a 1 point advantage over third place Dundee United, with the Bairns visiting Dumbarton, who secured their place in the division with a point at Tannadice last week. United travel to Morton, but with the Greenock side secure in fourth, the home team line up will be much different than the much stronger team they will field in the play-offs. Falkirk's goal difference is 9 better than United's, so even a Falkirk defeat combined with a United draw would still see Falkirk finish second.
The relegation battle is of greater interest, due to the different potential outcomes and with 2 of the 3 teams involved playing each other. Raith Rovers fell to a miserable 5-0 defeat at St Mirren last week, which allowed the Paisley side to leapfrog them into their season-end target of 8th place, and safety. Wee Team manager John Hughes gave what has become a much watched and discussed post-match interview, which depending on your viewpoint displayed the behaviour of either a genius or a madman. The interview can be seen here:
(Video content owned by Raith Rovers; video has been linked from the Rovers YouTube channel, with no infringements).
Hughes has a good home record since taking over at Stark's Park, winning 3 and drawing 2 games, with no defeats. His 7 away games have all been lost, and overall he has a lower points per game average this season with Rovers than his predecessor Gary Locke. To avoid a play-off place, his team must win and hope that Hibs defeat St Mirren. Raith can still be relegated automatically, if their opponents Ayr United win by 5 clear goals against them, to overturn the current goal difference between the teams, and the 3 point gap in the table. A draw for Raith would see them remain ninth regardless of St Mirren's result. Should Raith win and St Mirren draw, Rovers would still stay in the relegation play-off position due to Saints' much better goal difference.
The other game in this weekend's Championship is, of course, Dunfermline's trip to Dumfries. If the Pars avoid defeat, they will finish fifth.
Here is the Championship table:
This weekend's Championship fixtures:
Dumbarton v Falkirk
Hibs v St Mirren
Morton v Dundee United
Queen of the South v Dunfermline
Raith Rovers v Ayr United
Championship top scorers (League games only):
19 - Jason Cummings (Hibs), Stephen Dobbie (Queen of the South)
14 - Nicky Clark (Dunfermline)
13 - Tony Andreu (Dundee United)
11 - Robert Thomson (Dumbarton)
Despite being guaranteed a promotion play-off place, Morton have not won any of their last 8 games, and will go a complete quarter of League matches without a single victory if they do not defeat Dundee United on Saturday.
The most common scoreline in Championship games this season is 1-1. 17% of all fixtures (30 games) have ended a goal apiece. The second most common scoreline is 1-0 (10% of games ending with this result, a total of 17 matches).
39% of Championship games this season have been home wins; 33% of games have been draws; and 28% have been away wins.
Signed in August 2016 after Dunfermline had struggled in front of goal in the opening League games, Nicky Clark has delivered a decent goal return and has been one of the mainstays in this season's team. A natural goalscorer, especially when he has to react instinctively, Clark has 15 goals, more than double the total of the team's second highest scorer - Kallum Higginbotham coming next with 7.
After scoring 4 goals in the opening League game against Dumbarton, Dunfermline scored just once in the following 3 games. August ended with just 1 League goal being scored by a starting 11 striker. New signing Gavin Reilly was that scorer (with what would prove to be his only League goal of the season) but had struggled to impose himself in games. The Moff had scored twice in the season's first game, a League Cup win over Arbroath, but then went on a run of 7 games without any further goals by the time Allan Johnston decided to bring Nicky Clark to the club.
Clark, who had previously played under Johnston in a very successful period at Queen of the South, where his dad Sandy had also been assistant manager, had been released from Rangers at the end of 2015/16. He signed for Bury but a disagreement over his role in the team - he was being played wide, after being assured he would be played as a striker - led to a mutual termination of his contract. He returned north and signed for the Pars on 31 August, making his debut in a Challenge Cup game at Brechin 3 days later. His first Dunfermline goal came in the 2-1 defeat at Morton on 17 September. The following week, he hit a double in the 4-3 home win over St Mirren.
The team had slumped to second bottom of the division in the opening weeks of the season, but Clark's goals, plus the return from injury of Sean Murdoch, saw a gradual improvement. Clark ended 2017 with 6 goals in 17 Pars games, a ratio he would soon improve in January with 3 more goals. He moved up to 3rd place in the Championship's top scorers list, a position he still occupies. In February he scored 4 goals against Dumbarton at East End Park, the second time in his career that he had scored 4 in a game, having done so for Rangers in a game against Peterhead in 2013. As with many strikers, he had a barren run of games without a goal - the Dumbarton game being the only game he scored in from the end of January to the third week of April. Clark has since scored a goal in each of his last 2 games to bring his season tally to 15.
His goal ratio is an impressive 179 minutes per goal in League games, taking his total minutes on the pitch against his 14 League goals - a better ratio than Falkirk's Lee Miller, Dundee United's Simon Murray and Tony Andreu, amongst others.
Clark is contracted to Dunfermline for next season, and with the benefit of a settled team and a full pre-season at the club, he could realistically break the 20 goal barrier in 2017/18. His career statistics back this up, with 85 goals in 185 starts. His goals have helped Dunfermline retain their place in the Championship this season - next term could see him lead the line in a promotion challenge.
Join the Moff as he travels through time and space to visit Pars games from the past, in his PARDIS time travel machine.
As seen in the photo above, the PARDIS has touched down in Palmerston Park, home of Queen of the South. The Moff will be back there on Saturday when the Pars play Queens in the final Championship game of the season. Today, he has travelled in the PARDIS to the same stadium, 8 years ago this week, to see Dunfermline record a convincing victory.
May 2, 2009 - First Division - Queen of the South 0, Dunfermline 3
The previous Sunday, Dunfermline had lost 2-0 to Falkirk in the Scottish Cup semi final. In the League, promotion hopes faded after a run of 1 win in 10 games between February and March. A recovery in results after that was not enough to lift Dunfermline above an eventual 3rd place finish.
The third last game of the League season saw the Pars take the game to the home team. Andy Kirk had an early shot that was saved, and a few minutes later Alex Burke's 20 yarder went wide of the post. In the 21st minute, Kirk put Dunfermline ahead when he headed in a cross from Nicky Phinn.
Stephen Dobbie, who is currently in his second spell with Queens, was in the home side's line up for this game, showing form that would win him a move to Swansea. He almost pulled a goal back after 24 minutes, but it was the Pars who scored next, in the 26th minute, Callum Woods getting on the end of a Burke cross to put Dunfermline 2-0 up.
The third Pars goal came after 34 minutes when Phinn found the net with a well placed shot from 20 yards.
There were no further goals in the second half, although Graham Bayne came close to making it 4-0. Dobbie had a chance for Queens but was denied by a great tackle from Woods. Queens were reduced to 10 men after 68 minutes when Jim Thomson was red carded after stamping on Bayne.
Pars substitute Rory Loy should have extended the lead in the 87th minute but fired a shot high over the bar.
Pars team: Paul Gallacher, Callum Woods, Austin McCann, Greg Ross, Scott Wilson, Nicky Phinn, David Graham, Alex Burke, Graham Bayne, Andy Kirk, Scott Muirhead.
This is the final adventure for the Moff this season in his PARDIS. Will he be back next season, or will someone else take his place and go travelling in the time machine? Stay tuned to find out over the next few weeks.
On the same week this game was played, the UK number 1 single was, appropriately, "Number 1" by Tinchy Stryder & N-Dubz. The UK number 1 album was "The Fame", by Lady Gaga.