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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 December, 2003, 16:52 GMT
Dunfermline sink Rangers
Lee Bullen deals with Nuno Capucho
Dunfermline were worthy winners at East End Park
Dunfermline 2-0 Rangers

Defending champions Rangers fell eight points behind league leaders Celtic as they were beaten by Dunfermline at East End Park.

Alex McLeish's injury-ravaged side did not enjoy their first encounter on the Pars' synthetic pitch and fell behind to an early Stevie Crawford goal.

A bizarre own goal from Paolo Vanoli five minutes from time ensured a first league win over the Ibrox side for Dunfermline in 31 years.

The home team enjoyed the bulk of first half play and held off some late pressure from the visitors to seal a great victory.

The home side started strongly and within two minutes Rangers goalkeeper Stefan Klos had to tip a chip from Gary Mason over the bar.

The Pars kept up the early pressure and were rewarded with a goal in the fifth minute when Crawford latched on to headed flick from Craig Brewster and lofted the ball over Klos from 15 yards.

The Dunfermline strike duo repeated the combination soon after but this time Crawford, having outpaced Henning Berg, could only find Klos with a low shot.

Brewster fired a shot at Klos before Rangers winger Chris Burke went on a jinking run that ended with the youngster firing over.

Dunfermline were deploying the long, high ball to good effect and Brewster was making life difficult for Rangers' central defenders Berg and Michael Ball.

Rangers were bereft of attacking ideas and home goalkeeper Derek Stillie did not have a save to make in the opening 45 minutes.

The visitors replaced the ineffectual Nuno Capucho with Egil Ostenstad at the interval and began the second period with more purpose.

The home side were still a threat and Klos did well to beat Andy Tod to a lofted free kick from Darren Young on the edge of the six yard box.

Gary Mason and Chris Burke challenge for the ball
It was the first league win for the Pars over Rangers in 31 years
A stumble from Berg almost gave Crawford a free run at goal but Ball saved his team-mate's blushes with a timely sliding challenge.

Shota Arveladze, who had missed Rangers' last three matches with an ankle injury, was thrown on for the final 20 minutes.

And the Georgian international immediately set up Peter Lovenkrands, who was denied by a good block from Stillie.

Arveladze then fed a neat pass in behind the Pars defence for Malcolm, but the Rangers man slipped as he shaped to shoot.

Arveladze was making his presence felt and the substitute saw his well-timed strike from a Vanoli cross go narrowly wide.

With five minutes remaining, a cross into the Rangers penalty area appeared to strike Vanoli on the arm and, while the home players were claiming for a penalty, the Italian defender inexplicably stroked the ball into the corner of his own net.

Burke went close for Rangers with a powerful 20 yard strike that grazed the top of the crossbar


Dunfermline: Stillie, Skerla, Scott Wilson, Tod, Bullen, Nicholson, Mason, Darren Young, Derek Young, Crawford, Brewster. Subs: Ruitenbeek, Dempsey, Hunt, McNicol, McDermott.

Rangers: Klos, Ricksen, Berg, Malcolm, Ball, Burke, Hughes, Vanoli, Lovenkrands, Mols, Capucho. Subs: McGregor, Arveladze, Ostenstad, Ross, Gibson.

Referee: A Freeland






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