Dunfermline Athletic 0 Livingston 0

Last updated : 28 December 2004 By Depressed In Livi
Despite terrible weather, injury worries for both sides and Dunfermline's notoriously unhelpful plastic pitch, this was a perfect illustration of the problems facing two limited teams firmly rooted in the relegation battle.

Livingston's point, plus a defeat for Dundee United, at least lifted the Lions off the bottom of the table, but they never looked capable of repeating October's 2-0 home win over Dunfermline, but on the plus side, a shockingly poor Dunfermline crowd was matched man for man by the roaring Livingston support.

Dunfermline started brightly enough in blustery conditions with Billy Mehmet enthusiastically leading the attack after shrugging off an injury.

Unfortunately for the Fifers their rare shots on goal were blocked by the visitors and only a first-time volley by Gary Mason posed any threat.

One of Livingston's few forays upfield revealed holes in the home defence with James McPake and Stephen Adam almost capitalising inside the penalty area.

However, Dunfermline continued to look the stronger side and five minutes before half-time midfielder Gary Dempsey produced their first effort on target with a free-kick from 25 yards.

Moments later defender Scott Wilson might have done better when Barry Nicholson picked him out from another set-piece.

McPake forced a diving save from home keeper Derek Stillie in the early stages of the second period and top scorer Jim Hamilton sent another header wide from an impossible angle, but Livingston could never take control of the game away from Dunfermline.

Defender-turned-striker Andrew Tod wasted a free header for the Pars and Hamilton was then slightly fortunate to avoid conceding a penalty when David McNamee's clearance appeared to catch his arm.

Dunfermline kept getting closer to the opening goal and stand-in keeper Colin Meldrum had to pull off an acrobatic one-handed stop to push Darren Young's long-range drive round the post.

Meldrum was finally beaten after 67 minutes only for defender Gustavo Bahoken to clear Mehmet's net-bound shot off the line.

A wicked spinning deflection and a low cross from substitute Thomas Butler also caused panic in the bruised and battered Livingston defence which somehow made it through to the final whistle.

That the travelling Lions Support matched the home fans 'man for man' in terms of numbers, outsinging them for long periods of the game is worthy of a mention. Well done! It was a pity that the team on the park couldn't give them the win they desparately craved.

Many more performances like this and razor blades and rope will be provided free from the LivUltras offices for your enjoyment.

Meanwhile Livi manager Richard Van Gough was delighted with his side's clean sheet and that the Lions have now moved off the foot of the table.

However, he was less than impressed with Dunfermline's plastic pitch.

He said: "I thought that is not a real game of football out there.

"The ball goes through and it runs away and there are three or four of my players complaining about sore backs and groins."