Today we look back at a game from March 1988 between the Pars and our opponents this weekend, Morton. Both teams were involved in a relegation battle in the Premier Division, with 7 League games remaining.
MORTON 0, DUNFERMLINE 3
FINE FARE LEAGUE - PREMIER DIVISION
WEDNESDAY 23 MARCH 1988
UK news: after 129 years, the Liberal Party ceased to exist after it merged with the Social Democratic Party, to become the Social and Liberal Democratic Party.
Pop music: Aswad's 'Don't Turn Around' ended Kylie Minogue's 5 week run at number 1 with 'I Should Be So Lucky'.
Football news: Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson announced his retirement from playing, aged 30, and was appointed manager of Oxford United. Lawrenson was in the job for 25 games, winning only 4, before resigning. In Scotland, Rangers were knocked out of the European Cup at the quarter final stage, defeated 3-2 on aggregate by Steaua Bucharest.
Meanwhile, on a spring evening in Greenock, Dunfermline took on hosts Morton in a meeting of the 2 lowest placed sides in the Fine Fare Premier Division.
Four days previously, the Pars had ended a horrific run of 8 League games without having scored a single goal, with a resounding 6-1 home win over Dundee. Two of the scorers from that game, Mark Smith and Stevie Morrison, would find the net again at Cappielow.
Pars boss Jim Leishman named an unchanged starting 11, the team featuring players who had been part of the Leishman journey over the past 5 years (Bobby Robertson, Morrison) together with new boys Willie Callaghan - son of the Pars great of the same name, and goalkeeper Hans Segers.
Goals by Smith and Morrison put Dunfermline into a good position going into half time. Morton, who had conceded 81 League goals prior to this game, were a different side after the break. Their hopes of avoiding relegation reiled on a run of victories in the remaining games, coupled with the teams above them losing almost every match. It was a forlorn hope but they could not be accused of lack of effort in this game, after being outplayed in the first half they dominated the second period without being able to score. The game was over when Callaghan scored his first Pars goal to make it 3-0, which is how the game ended.
The league positions for both clubs did not change by the season's end 6 weeks later. Morton were relegated with 16 points (in the era of 2 points for a win), winning only 3 League games all season. Dunfermline would win just once more in the final 6 games to finish 5 points behind third bottom Falkirk, with 28 points. It was a disappointing end to a 3 year period that saw the club win consecutive promotions into the top division. However, they would be back 12 months later after winning the First Division in season 1988/89.
Pars line-up v Morton (player in background image - Stuart Beedie):