Today we look back at a game from May 2009 between the Pars and our opponents this weekend, Queen of the South. The third from last League game of the 2008/09 season saw the teams meet up at Palmerston, with the Pars running out comfortable winners.
QUEEN OF THE SOUTH 0, DUNFERMLINE 3
SCOTTISH FIRST DIVISION
SATURDAY 2 MAY 2009
Jim McIntyre was making gradual progress by the end of the 2008/09 season. Appointed Dunfermline manager midway through the previous season in the wake of Stephen Kenny's dismissal, McIntyre was reshaping a squad that had been relegated from the Premier League in 2007. After a short period in temporary charge in December 2007, McIntyre - still registered as a player at the time - was given the job on a permanent basis in early January 2008.
This game in Dumfries in May 2009 found the Pars in a creditable third place in the First Division (now Championship), while hosts Queens were in fifth position. The League table was quite congested, with only 4 points separating Dunfermline in third to Ross County in eighth, in what was a 10-team division. There were no promotion play-offs then.
The game kicked off with a few familiar faces in Queens' lineup. Current Pars keeper Lee Robinson was then a 22 year old in his first spell with Queen of the South, on loan from Rangers. He would play for Queens again from 2010-2013 and have a third spell at the club from 2016-2018. Two of his three periods at the club ended with defeats against Dunfermline (2009 and 2017). Striker Stephen Dobbie was also in his first period with Queens, which yielded 54 goals in 97 games and won him a move to Swansea in the English Championship. Another ex-Par lined up for Queens - fullback Craig Reid, who played 13 games for Dunfermline in season 2015/16.
Both teams had early efforts on goal - Dunfermline keeper Paul Gallacher did well to block a Dobbie shot, and then at the other end, Alex Burke fired over the bar from 20 yards. Dunfermline took the lead after 21 minutes. Nick Phinn passed to Graham Bayne at the edge of the penalty box, took Bayne's return ball and played a ball over the home defence to Andy Kirk, who headed in from 6 yards, getting to the ball before Robinson.
Calum Woods doubled Dunfermline's lead 5 minutes later. Burke's cross found Woods inside the box and the defender powered a header into the net. Steven Tosh should have pulled a goal back minutes later but his shot went past Gallacher's right hand post. Neil Scally then had a chance for Queens but also missed the target with a header 5 yards from goal.
The third Dunfermline goal came in the 34th minute, a great strike from Phinn from outside the box after good play by Scott Muirhead.
Scally then tried an overhead kick, which narrowly missed the goal, in what was the final attack of the first half.
Although there were no further goals in the second half, both teams continued to attack, in what was an entertaining end of season match. Phinn was brought down in the box but no penalty was given by referee Chris Boyle. As the ball broke away, Kirk's shot was well saved by Robinson.
Queens' captain Jim Thomson was red carded after 68 minutes for stamping on Graham Bayne. Pars sub Rory Loy had a chance to make it 4-0 but shot over the bar. That was the last chance of the game and the scoreline remained as it was at halftime, 3-0 to Dunfermline.
Some of the Pars' players numbers went against tradition, with centre half Wilson in his preferred number 3 shirt; Greg Ross (wearing 5) at right back; Austin McCann (number 6) at left back; Calum Woods (number 2) alongside Wilson in central defence; and left winger Scott Muirhead wearing number 4. There were no squad numbers in the First Division that season.
It would be a further 2 seasons until McIntyre lead the team back to the top division. The 2009 team formed the nucleus of the 2010/11 title winning season. These were good times, with the team playing attractive football with mobility in midfield, 2 wingers and strikers who were regular scorers.
Pars line-up v Queen of the South (player in background image - Graham Bayne):
Today we look back at a game from March 2004 between the Pars and our opponents this weekend, Partick Thistle. The quarter final tie of the Scottish Cup gave Thistle home advantage but they were unable to cope with a rampant Pars side.
PARTICK THISTLE 0, DUNFERMLINE 3
SCOTTISH CUP QUARTER FINAL
SATURDAY 6 MARCH 2004
Dunfermline were aiming to progress to a first Scottish Cup Final since 1968 and began this quarter final match by taking an 11th minute lead when Barry Nicholson hooked a ball into the penalty box that found Darren Young. The elder Young brother (Derek was on the bench) crossed for an unlikely source to tap the Pars ahead - defender Richie Byrne.
The deadly Craig Brewster/Stevie Crawford partnership played a big part in the Pars' second goal, after 36 minutes, which involved just 5 touches between 4 different players. A throw in up the left side was flicked on by Brewster to Crawford, whose overhead kick pass fell to Young. A first time pass from Young to Nicholson ended with the midfielder taking a touch and then placing the ball across Thistle keeper Kenny Arthur and into the bottom corner of the net from 18 yards.
Derek Stillie in the Dunfermline goal was rarely called on during the first half but did well a minute before the break, saving a close range header from David Rowson.
Thistle had the first effort of the second half when Stephane Bonnes' hooked volley hit the top of Stillie's bar. Former Pars striker Gerry Britton then set up Bonnes inside the penalty area but the Frenchman's shot was turned round the post by Stillie.
The third Dunfermline goal, in the 69th minute, was perhaps the best example of the almost telepathic understanding between Brewster and Crawford. From the centre circle, Brewster's header found Crawford, who then headed the ball further to the left, giving himself space, and then played a pass over the Thistle defence to Brewster, who had made a run up the middle. The veteran striker reached the ball just the ball inside the box, before the outrushing Thistle keeper, and headed the goal that put the result beyond any doubt.
I was in the packed stand behind the goal that day, an area that has housed home fans in more recent years, but on that day in March 2004 was filled by a fantastic following of Dunfermline supporters. Seeing the final goal, a piece of play of the highest standard, was a privilege.
It mattered little that Barry Nicholson's penalty late in the game was saved by Arthur. The job had been done.
As we all know, we progressed to the final after a replay win over Inverness in the semi final, and went into the half time break in the final against Celtic at Hampden 1-0 ahead. If only we could have held out. It was the least these players deserved.
Pars line-up v Partick Thistle (player in background image - Andy Tod):