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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 January, 2005, 16:50 GMT
Dunfermline 3-1 Dundee
Andy Tod (left) powers in a header
Andy Tod (left) powers in a header
A hat-trick of headers from Andy Tod helped Dunfermline to an important win over struggling Dundee.

Tod nodded in his first after 13 minutes, when a cross from Barry Nicholson was headed into his path by Gary Mason.

The striker grabbed his second after 28 minutes, when he headed in a cross from Greg Ross.

Neil Barrett pulled one back for the visitors before the break, with Tod heading in his third after 54 minutes.

Conditions were dreadful as the game started and the swirling rain and driving sleet had obviously impacted on the attendance.

In the opening moments, Dunfermline midfielders Gary Mason and Darren Young came close with decent efforts from outside the box.

Lee Wilkie, who was returning to the Dundee defence after a long-term injury, was marshalling the back four effectively, as Dunfermline struggled to make the breakthrough.

However, their frustration lasted only 13 minutes, when the first searching cross of the game by Barry Nicholson paid dividends for the home side.

The former Rangers player hit an inviting cross from wide on the right to the back post where Mason headed back to striker Andy Tod, who had the easiest of chances to head home from six yards out.

In the 25th minute, the visitors came close to levelling the scores when a Mark Fotheringham free-kick found Wilkie towering above the Pars' defence at the back post, but the defender's header went just over the bar.

Three minutes later, the Taysiders were dealt another blow when the Fifers doubled their lead with Tod's second goal of the afternoon.

Young defender Greg Ross calmly lifted the ball to the back post where Tod bulleted his close-range header into the net past Derek Soutar.

Dundee were handed a surprise lifeline before the break when Stephen McNally's cross from the right, after good work by striker Fabian Caballero, was impressively headed home by Neil Barrett from 10 yards out.

After the interval, the Dundee fans were looking for a concerted fightback from the visitors who, apart from their goal, had shown little in the first 45 minutes.

However, as conditions deteriorated further, the home side again took the initiative and, in the 48th minute, substitute striker Noel Hunt headed a Ross cross just over the bar from 14 yards out.

In the 54th minute, there was no real surprise when Tod grabbed his hat-trick after yet another cross from the right.

Hunt swung the ball in from the touchline and, as the Dundee defence were caught watching the ball, Tod was at the back post to bullet another header past Soutar from 10 yards out.

The visitors responded with an increased effort, but Dunfermline were determined not to let their lead slip again.

Dundee's woes were summed up ten minutes before time when Mark Fotheringham beat Stillie with a low drive from 16 yards, only to see it bounce back off the upright.

With their city rivals drawing with Rangers, the defeat means Jim Duffy's side drop to the foot of the SPL on goal difference.

Dunfermline: Stillie, Darren Young (Dempsey 74), Scott Wilson, Skerla, Scott Thomson, Nicholson, Mason, Ross (Butler 81), Labonte, Tod, Mehmet (Hunt 30). Subs Not Used: Langfield, Bradley, Campbell, Craig Wilson.

Goals: Tod 13, 28, 54.

Dundee: Soutar, McNally, Mann, Wilkie, McDonald, Smith, Barrett, Fotheringham, Robb, Sutton, Caballero (Larsen 85). Subs Not Used: Murray, Hernandez Santos, Hegarty, Cerdeira, Robertson.

Booked: Barrett.

Goals: Barrett 40.

Att: 4,426

Ref: K Toner

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