Carrying on my tour of the Irn Bru Scottish First Division Stadia this weekend I returned, for the first time in two seasons, to another familiar stomping ground East End Park in Dunfermline. Not only have I blogged about games attended and missed here before but I also saw the crowd from numerous angles and vantage points during the Dumfermline and East Fife by election.
End Park in conveniently placed along the Halbeath Road to the east of
the City, so cars and coaches are best coming off the M90 at junction 3
and coming straight into the city. It is only just outside the city
centre and not too far a walk from the train station.
Unlike our trip across the Forth Bridge a fortnight ago
yesterday there were delays in crossing as the road works have been
completed. So masses of Livi fans who allowed time for the bridge again
found themselves congregating out side the gates of the East Stand well
before the gates opened at 2:15.
time I visited EEP was in the SPL days and we were accommodated in one
half of the North Stand. It was also the match that our club chairman
Pearse Flynn still in a dispute with Dunfermline's Chairman John
Yorkston was sat in the stands with the fans, in fact only about 2 rows
behind me. However my mate who was sat beside me, missed the goal as he
was sitting behind one of the posts holding up the commentary gantry.
This time however all the Livi fans had uninterrupted views of the
action from the East Stand.
Across from us was the
Norrie McCarthie stand. To the right of this stand is the tunnel where
the officials and players emerge like at Old Trafford from the corner of
the pitch. The Main Stand to the south has the director's boxes
enclosed just behind the dug outs.
are good in the East stand there is a raised viewing platform but at
turnstile level where 5 wheelchairs could have access. As each disabled
ticket holders helper is given a hi-vis jacket on entering, even the
time I was here for a match we were taking up half of the North stand
and only divided by a barrier from some of the most vocal home support,
real see into the whites of their eyes stuff. This time we were somewhat
separated from any of the home support. The vocal mob from the North
Stand did direct some chants in our direction. But even the fans in the
main stand were quite far away and didn't make much noise for most of
the match anyway.
That being said I was up near the
back of the East Stand and the acoustics did seem to have an effect
later on we did get both Mark Proctor and Curtis Fleming plus all the
subbed players to respond directly to our chants. Having said that the
atmosphere in the Livi end was buoyant for most of the game and all the
later stages, whereas the most noise that the Pars fans created was at
he end when they booed off Stephen Kenny and his players.
£2.50. One highlight for me was to see Willie Rennie's smiling face
advertising his surgeries from the advertisement pages. It had two pages
dedicated to the visitors and a random selection of players selected
for profile, and surprisingly for a first visit of the season not more
emphasis on some first team regulars. There was a two page interview
with one of the home players, on this occasion local boy made good
Steven Crawford. There was a section looking back at one of the Pars
great games from the sixties. Also there was a section looking at
programmes from the past which in a tribute to the visitors also
mentioned the first programme between Meadowbank Thistle and Dunfermline
on 25 September 1976 at Meadowbank.
Us away fans did
play a quick game of Play Your Cards Right with the previous two games
reports. For the record the winners went lower, higher. However, tow
downsides the first page of the programme did call our manager Martin
Proctor. Plus the Dunfermline players were listed by their UEFA cup
squad numbers. Not only a fling back to the Pars SPL days and a slight
slur on the rest of the clubs in the league, but also now never to be
used again this season, except for identifying who the subs were
replacing the team stats section.
Pie and Bovril
is only a scotch pie not a steak pie at EEP, however, why quibble when
almost every away fan looks forward to the steak Bridie which at £1.90
is gorgeous. Added to this the Bovril is only £1.10 and you are saving
60p on Dundee. For those not used to a bridie think a little like a beef
stew stuffed into a Cornish Pastie pastry. The bridie on offer was
exquisite the meat was lovely and tender, and just enough gravy to hold
it all together. My bovril was lovely and warm especially as I didn't
even start to drink it until 10 minutes after I bought it.
Pie (Bridie) and Bovril £3 (Excellent)
League Table of Cost
first half looking at the scoreline would have suggested a very even
game. However, Super Mario in the Livi goal was hardly troubled and
didn't have to make a save. With Dave MacKay back at right back he
started running overlaps with Graham Dorrans and provide all sorts of
option. Jason Kennedy surging forward from midfield and Lee Makel
distributing from there were creating all sorts of havoc for the Pars
defence. All that was lacking was a finish. However they kept hounding
the Pars box. Steven Craig once getting to the goal line but without
support for a lay back before being unceremoniously dumped off the ball
for what could have been a penalty. Later on he again broke the offside
trap (which was a tough act for him yesterday) and was through into the
box when Bamba pushed him over the ball, but the ref failed to blow for
an even clearer penalty. However, Craig finally got on the end of a
Tomas Pesir cross to head home the first just before half time.
second half couldn't have got off to a much worse start for Dunfermline
when 4 minutes in when two Dunfermline defenders managed to collide in
the centre of the park allowing the ball to trickle past them. Steven
Craig needing no second thought pounced on it to punch away his second
of the afternoon. This must have dumbstruck the official as for the next
ten minutes they didn't flag him for offside, and when they did it was
some time after Dunfermline had cleared a ball and it was being passed
around on the half way line. Livi didn't sit back though and continued
to make advances on the now largely static Pars midfield and defence. At
one point managing not just a 1-2 but a 1-2-3-4-5 between two players
who didn't even move. Mark Tinkler, who along with new signing Julius
Raliukonis have made no error in central defence, finally put a seal on
the game and possible the Dunfermline managers tenure with a great
strike on 66 minutes, which would probably have not even been stoppable
without the slight deflection it received. Finally on 90 minutes almost 3
months after he hit the back of the net only to have it ruled offside
Jason Kennedy finally found his name on a Livi scoresheet.
Final Score Dunfermline 0 Livingston 4 (Steven Craig 44,49, Mark Tinkler 66, Jason Kennedy 90)
on the relative teams' positions. Dunfermline drop from 6th to 8th one
point above bottom spot . Livingston move out of the play-off 9th spot
to replace Dunfermline in 6th.
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