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BBC Sport's Scott Davie
reports from East End Park
 real 14k

Tuesday, 26 December, 2000, 23:35 GMT
Pars end nine-game barren spell
Aberdeen's celebrations were short-lived
Aberdeen's celebrations were short-lived
Dunfermline Athletic 3-2 Aberdeen

Barry Nicholson gave Dunfermline a deserved victory after the Fifers fought back from behind against Aberdeen.

Steve Crawford had given the home side the lead.

David Rowson and Andy Dow put Aberdeen back in control.

But, after the break, Youssef Rossi and Nicholson ended Dunfermline's nine-game run without a win over the Dons.

Little excitement

There were two pre-match pitch inspections before referee Garry Mitchell allowed the game to go ahead despite freezing fog and ice at East End Park.

Aberdeen did not want the game to go ahead.

Steve Crawford celebrates the opening goal
Steve Crawford celebrates his opening goal
There was little excitement to heat the fans up in the early stages as both sides took time to adjust to the adverse weather conditions.

The first attempt on goal came from Aberdeen's Alex di Rocco in the eighth minute.

He cut out a slack Ian Ferguson pass at the edge of the Dunfermline box, but the Frenchman's strike was too hurried and goalkeeper Marco Ruitenbeek saved easily.

Simple goal

After 10 minutes, Scott Thomson's header from a Nicholson corner was blocked on the line by Aberdeen midfielder Derek Young.

From another Nicholson corner Andrius Skerla's net-bound header from 14 yards was blocked by Aberdeen defender Derek Whyte.

It was the home side who took the lead in the 14th minute with a simple goal.

Crawford beat the Dons' off-side trap, racing onto a Steven Hampshire pass to coolly slot past goalkeeper Ryan Esson from 10 yards.

No chance

Young's 35-yard drive flew just over the bar before the Dons got a deserved equaliser after 37 minutes.

Arild Stavrum set up Rowson, who gave Ruitenbeek no chance with a low shot from 20 yards.

Andrius Skerla and Thomas Solberg clash
Andrius Skerla and Thomas Solberg clash
A Crawford lob was just wide at the other end.

But Dow gave the visitors the lead two minutes before the break.

The midfielder worked a nice free-kick with Young before driving the ball past Ruitenbeek.

Dunfermline rearranged their formation at half-time and, within a minute of the restart, had grabbed a remarkable equaliser.

Rossi appeared to be stuck for ideas before unleashing a tremendous low curling shot from 30 yards that flew just inside Esson's left-hand post.

The home side took immediate confidence from the goal.

Further chances

Six minutes later, found themselves in the lead.

A high ball from the right was headed down inside the box by substitute Marinus Dijkhuizen and Nicholson was on hand to slam the ball high into the net from 12 yards.

There were further chances at both ends.

But it was Dunfermline who emerged victorious to make it four home wins in a row.


Dunfermline: Ruitenbeek, Skinner, Skerla, Rossi, Nicholson, Ferguson, SM Thomson, Hampshire, McGroarty, Crawford, Moss.

Subs: SY Thomson, Doesburg, Dair, Bullen, Dijkhuizen.

Aberdeen: Esson, McGuire, Whyte, Solberg, McAllister, Winters, Derek Young, Rowson, Dow, Stavrum, Di Rocco.

Subs: Preece, Belabed, Clark, Mackie, McNaughton.

Referee: G Mitchell.

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