On a day when a Great Dane threatened to grab all of the headlines it was an old Craw who was to prove to have the last laugh.
Some say it was written in the stars, others – namely myself – would tend to blame complacent defending. Whatever the reason, the undeniable fact remains that Stevie Crawford’s second half equaliser cost the Pars three vital points which were all so clearly merited. In a one-sided match which, at times, threatened to become as one-sided in terms of the score line, with the Pars enjoying near total domination up against a Dundee Utd side that were so often devoid of idea or attacking guile – McCall’s side resorting to an unfashionable and ultimately unprofitable hit-and-hope style of play. Passing and moving with a pace and a purpose, the Pars first half display was arguably Hay’s side most impressive all season. Tearing through the United defence with venom and relative ease, you can’t help but wonder whether on another day the Pars would have went into the half-time break three or four goals to the good. And had it not been for some truly baffling officiating – lets just say there aren’t enough four letter words in the English language to describe the referee and his North Stand linesman – the Pars would now have the luxury of a rather comfortable seven point gap over bottom club Livingston.
With the visitors so dependant on launching the high ball deep into the Pars defensive territory in search of target man Jim McIntyre or the pace of Stevie Crawford, the Pars makeshift defence coped – but for a fatal moment of complacency – comfortably with United’s attacking forays, which to be honest were very few and far between. Whilst both showed good defensive awareness and impressive attacking runs, the full backs Thomson and Labonte seemed far too reluctant to thwart the source of crosses, with Barry Robson and Mark Wilson frequently allowed the time and space to deliver cross after cross into the Pars goalmouth. Although to be fair the Pars central defensive pairing of Andy Tod and Andrius Skerla dealt superbly well with each and every cross and corner delivered into the Pars box. Big Toddy – most recently starring as a prolific striker – hardly gave Crawford a moment’s peace all afternoon, using his strength and awareness to deal with the threat of the ex-Pars hero both in the air and on the ground. And had it not been for a goal that, lets face it, your granny’s dug could have scored, Crawford’s return to
With his future – be it at
So once again the Pars lead a match 1-0 whilst playing some very good football and then…bang, disaster strikes. The word dejavu somehow leaps to mind! Dundee Utd, Motherwell, Hafnarfjordur anyone? Although it has to be said that coming away from this fixture, my feelings for the future are much more optimistic than before. Yes we drew against a team that we should be beating, certainly based on yesterday’s performance. But the simple fact is if the Pars can repeat this level of performance on a far more frequent basis then the corner might yet be turned…sooner rather than later!
Man Of The Match – JESPER CHRISTIANSEN – An excellent display of strength, guts, awareness and skill from the big man who some say isn’t cut out for this level. New Contract please!
PARS – Stillie 7, Labonte 7, Thomson 7, Tod 8, Skerla 8, Nicholson 8, Dempsey 6, Makel 7, Mason 7, Hunt 6, (Mehmet) 6, Christiansen 9.