1 - 1
|Andy Tod (48)||
Jim McIntyre (75)
Tony Bullock .1
Mark Wilson .2
David McCracken .3
Alan Archibald .5
Barry Robson .11
Mark Kerr .7
Derek McInnes .4
James Grady .16
Jason Scotland .20
Billy Dodds .14
Paul Jarvie .24
Stuart Duff .12
Paul Ritchie .23
Graeme Holmes .22
Jim McIntyre .10
Collin Samuel .9
Darren Young for Scott Thomson (45)
Craig Brewster for Noel Hunt (73)
Billy Mehmet for Andy Tod (73)
Collin Samuel for Billy Dodds (59)
Jim McIntyre for Barry Robson (73)
Stuart Duff for Jason Scotland (82)
Gary Mason (27)
Scott Wilson (90)
Chris Innes (54)
Dougie McDonald (Referee)
United Manager Ian McCall fielded a 4-4-2 formation as his side looked to open the 2004/05 with a positive result at East End Park. McCall’s most recent signing Scotland defender Paul Ritchie was given a place on the bench after joining the club on the eve of the game.
Last year’s beaten cup finalists Dunfermline were happy to see the return of club skipper Scott Thomson who endured a nightmare season last year due to injury. Craig Brewster recovered sufficiently from recent knee surgery to get a place on the bench. Andy Tod, who played as a loan signing for Ian McCall’s United whilst still on the books at Bradford, started up front thanks to his pre-season goal scoring exploits.
The game started brightly with both teams well up for the contest. Dunfermline forced an early corner when Mark Kerr brilliantly denied Noel Hunt a shooting opportunity. United’s midfield then took a grip of the game and began to dictate proceedings in a manner that would be carried on throughout the half. United’s first real chance at goal came in five minutes when Mark Wilson’s cross was knocked down by Kerr into the path of James Grady. The striker stretched to get his foot to the ball and hammered a volley just past the far post.
Ten minutes into the game the large United travelling support was well in the mood to give Paul Ritchie a welcoming cheer as the United Manager sent his subs out to warm up.
United put together a few great one-touch passing moves but the final ball was letting them down. The Pars were being kept well back in their own half, relying on the pace of Hunt on the break to trouble the United defence.
Jason Scotland was continuing to show the great form of last season making telling runs at the Pars defence, only to be denied by last-gasp tackles and clearances to his final ball into the box.
United’s dominance continued as half time approached and Jason Scotland and Barry Robson were both subjected to some rather heavy challenges, however all resultant free kicks were being dealt with by the Pars defence.
As the half time whistle approached Grady and Scott Thomson clashed heads, with the Pars man was taken from the field for stitches.
The Pars immediately set about breaking up United’s dominance of the game at the start of the second half. Their new-found energy paid dividends just 3 minutes into the half when makeshift centre forward Tod bundled the ball home after a Gary Dempsey shot had been blocked. They could have gone further ahead a couple of minutes later when Barry Nicholson blasted over from the edge of the box.
United’s response to the setback was quick as Derek Stillie just managed to tip a Billy Dodds header over after some great wing play on the left by Scotland. Despite the Pars’ advantage, the game was still in United’s sights and from a corner David McCracken saw a near post header bundled away by Stillie.
The United gaffer made an inspired substitution in 73 minutes when he replaced Robson with United’s top scorer from last season Jim McIntyre. Having only been on the park for two minutes, McIntyre side-footed a Scotland cross into the net after a great dummy from Collin Samuel and a neat flick from Grady had put Scotland in the clear on the right.
The game continued at a frantic pace with both sides probing for what would be the decisive goal but the match finished all square with both teams probably happy with a point. United will regret not turning their dominance into goals in a commanding first half performance but the Pars will also rue the missed chances from early in the second half when they could have put the game beyond United.
Match report written by Grant Letham
|Tony Bullock (GK)||32||1||-||7||-|
|Stuart Duff (sub)||22||1||-||68||-|
|Jim McIntyre (sub)||32||1||1||94||27|
|Collin Samuel (sub)||22||1||-||30||2|
* - Table split into two divisions of six.