Last updated : 19 September 2004 By Pars Mad
With the two-week international break failing to ease the fans suffering for what has been an unbearable start to the new campaign, the Pars players encounter their latest must-win fixture
Two Fir Park punters manage to sneak on to the pitch!
this time against home to Terry Butcher's young Motherwell side.

After a dreadful start to the season - a start which sees the Pars sit bottom of the league and out of Europe - all Pars fans will be hoping for a change of luck (aswell as Davie Hay's tactics) this Saturday at East End Park.

Although Butcher's Motherwell side have enjoyed a successful start to the season - including a 2-0 win against Hearts last time out - the Pars can take comfort from the fact that they have enjoyed a somewhat decent record against Motherwell in recent times.

In the first of four games against Motherwell last season the Pars showed both sides of their schizophrenic character - so typical under Jimmy Calderwood - by throwing away a two-goal lead at Fir Park. After taking a two-goal lead thanks to Crawford and Brewster efforts, the Pars defence capitulated under constant Motherwell pressure, conceding a Pearson goal twenty minutes from time before letting in a Martyn Corrigan equaliser deep into stoppage time.

In the middle of an impressive run, the Pars managed to hold onto to their lead in the second match of the season between the two teams, winning 1-0 thanks to a Derek Young overhead kick. In an impressive performance by the Pars, the home side could have added many more to their tally, hammering the Motherwell defence from start to finish.

The third contest between the two teams saw a fairly weakened Pars team - due to the fact that the Pars were slap bang in the middle of a run of five games in ten days - managed by Jimmy Nicholl - due to Calderwood attending his son's wedding in Holland - lose out to a Derek Adams penalty in a very dull encounter. Only a handful of Pars fans - this one included - made the trip to Fir Park to witness a lacklustre performance from a Pars team desperately trying to find their feet on the Fir Park beach...sorry, pitch!

The fourth, and final match of the season between the sides saw the Pars turn in arguably their best performance of the season. In the post-split match the Pars ran the Lanarkshire outfit ragged before eventually winning 3-0 thanks to excellent goals from Barry Nicholson, Gary Dempsey and, once again, Derek Young. Despite the excellent performance, the Pars supporters apathy once agin reared it's ugly head as a poultry crowd of just over 4000 turned up to witness the display - even more dissapointing when you consider that the Pars had, only days before, overcome Inverness Caley in a historic Scottish Cup Semi-Final victory to book their place in the final and qualify for Europe for the first time in donkeys years!
If rumours are to believed, it was after the seeing this poor East End attendance that Jimmy Calderwood decided to try his hand at a club where the supporters would appreciate his hard work in a more - lets say - supportive way!

So it goes without saying that a similar standard of performance from the Pars would definately not go amiss at East End Park this Saturday. With a full compliment of players to pick from - after the return from injury of Barry Nicholson and Scott Wilson - manager Davie Hay will be desperate for a repeat of last season's home performances against Butcher's boys.

With Davie Hay realising the enormity of the task to lift the Pars up the table after such a poor start to the season - and off the back of Chairman John Yorkston's dreaded vote of confidence - it is extremely vital that the manager's team selection is spot-on.
With the team lacking any sort of firepower, the inclusion of Simon Donnelly up-front - fresh from his Reserve team hat-trick against Aberdeen - could prove to be the missing link in the Pars machine this season. With the ex-St.Johnstone man showing his predatory instincts in this week's reserve match, one would hope that Hay realises Donnelly's true worth to the squad as a striker - not a midfielder!
Doing this would mean leaving out youngsters Noel Hunt and Billy Mehmet. With Hunt being deployed on the right-wing - a position the Irishman has never once played in - for the last few fixtures, one could forgive him for his below-average performances of late. The latter of the two, Billy Mehmet, could also be worth a decent shout up-front after his - despite goalless - performance against Kilmarnock in the Pars last fixture - a performance which earned the youngster the Man Of The Match award.

Whatever team Hay picks to take to the field on Saturday, it is absolutely imperative that the Pars come away with the three points to kick-start the season!

Davie, it's over to you!!!