Rangers are next up at East End Park....Author: Jason Barber Date: Wednesday, 28th Aug 2002
After the anti-climax that was the result, and mostly the performance, at Tynecastle last weekend, Rangers are this weekend's visitors to East End Park.
The BBC cameras will be here for their first visit of the season also, so Dunfermline will be hoping that the stage fright that so often seems to appear on national telly can finally be put to rest.
Hopefully, no more injuries will occur to the Pars squad before Sunday's 3pm kick off. Sean Kilgannon picked up a knock during Monday nights under 21 match and Gus McPherson is struggling after yet another injury during his spell at the club last week.
Scott Wilson will no doubt be fighting fit and eager for a starting place against his former employers and should start the match as part of a more solid defence than was witnessed last week.
Needless to say, our record against Glasgow Rangers is not good. In fact it is downright awful. No league win home or away in 30 years to be precise! Not a single Premier League match has ever resulted in Dunfermline leaving with all the points. Still, let's look on the bright side!
Dunfermline have shown that they can be more than a match for any side at East End. Draws against both sides of the old firm in the last couple of season could well have resulted in victories. The last match between the sides here ended in 1-1, the final game of 2001/02 season with Stevie Crawford getting the last Dunfermline goal of the season.
All records are there to be broken. One day, Dunfermline WILL beat Rangers in the league. In an ideal world, this Sunday will be that day! Thousands of Pars fans will never forget the classic 1988 cup tie which saw the last Dunfermline win over Rangers in any competition.
20th February 1988. An incredible crowd of 19,360 packed the terraces of East End Park and saw the injury ravaged Dunfermline Athletic line up with:
Dave McKellar, Graeme Robertson, Bobby Smith, Norrie McCathie, Vetle Andersen, John Holt, Mark Smith, Ross Jack, John Watson, Craig Robertson and Stuart Beedie. Sub used was Eric Ferguson.
The match will be remembered by any Pars fan there that day. Mark Smith opened the scoring with a unique cross/shot from near the Pars fans at the cage. England's number one at the time, Chris Woods, was left to do what David Seaman would do so many years later.....
Plenty of pressure was applied by Rangers as their internationalist laden side faced an early cup exit. Their side featured such household names as Ray Wilkins, Richard Gough, Ian Durrant, Ally McCoist, Davie Cooper etc. etc.
John Brown was sent off just before half time and looked like he was going to land a punch on the referee! He had to be dragged away before doing his side even more damage.
1-0 Dunfermline at half time, surely Rangers would overpower them in the second half?
A flash of ginger brilliance was required by Dunfermline if they were going to make it through to the next round. A Stuart Beedie corner was met perfectly at the near post by Norrie McCathie. Flying through the air, almost horizontally, was one of his team mates who had also climbed the leagues with the Pars.
John Watson met the ball perfectly and bulletted a header past the despairing Woods.
2-0 Dunfermline and the game, bar a couple of scares, was theirs.
The crowd will not be anywhere near as big this week. None of those names will be anywhere near the pitch. But one is certain, the gap between the clubs is a lot less now than it was then.
Dunfermline have shown they are one of the best teams in Scotland on their day.
Sunday needs to be one of those days.
Come on Dunfermline, make a little piece of history for yourselves!