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From The Other Side

The Official Website’s Craig Anderson looks ahead to Clyde’s IRN-BRU First Division match at East End Park tomorrow, against a managerless Dunfermline side…

Dunfermline v Clyde (8/12/2007)

JIM LEISHMAN has been quoted as saying this week that Dunfermline are in crisis – and that could be music to Colin Hendry’s ears. The sacking of Pars boss Stephen Kenny has made the headlines this week and the club’s new beginning starts this Saturday.

Striker Jim McIntyre takes charge of the side for the game with Clyde on Saturday and the fans will be looking for a reaction from the players in what has been a wretched season for them so far. Clyde boss Hendry will hope to pile further misery on them by taking a win from Fife to help boost the Bully Wee’s push for survival.

Expectations were high at East End Park despite relegation from the SPL and many of the highly paid players were kept with a view to returning to the top flight. But the season has lurched from one disaster to another and the Pars come into the weekend’s game without a win in their last six games.

In fact the only two goals they’ve scored in that terrible spell was in the Challenge Cup Final when they were beaten 3-2 by St Johnstone, and one of those was a penalty. Since beating Queen of the South in October, the Pars have plunged into the middle of the relegation fight, with their hopes of returning to the SPL as likely as Berti Vogts returning as Scotland manager.

They are currently a massive 21 points adrift of league leaders Hamilton and at this moment surviving in the First Division must be their new objective. Kenny’s sacking was inevitable as Dunfermline suffered massive defeats to Stirling Albion and Hamilton and the fact they hadn’t scored in five league games only added to their misery.

But as the search for a new boss begins, McIntyre has to steady the ship and the first priority must surely be to find the back of the net.

Saturday’s game will be Clyde’s first visit to East End Park since May 1994 and older fans of the club will not want reminded that the Bully Wee were on the end of a 5-0 thrashing that day. In fact they definitely won’t reminded that Clyde haven’t won in Dunfermline in over 30 years, when the club won 3-2 in a Division One clash all the way back in 1974. There have 18 attempts since, but the Bully Wee still haven’t registered a win and with the off-the-field problems dominating matters, Saturday could be Clyde’s best chance.

The two meetings so far this season has brought one victory each at Broadwood, with the Pars winning the Challenge Cup tie 4-1 at the start of September. But goals from Steven Masterton and David McGowan secured a 2-1 win for Clyde in the First Division later on that month, their first win over the Pars since 1987.

Whatever happens, Saturday game will be a huge three points for either club and at this stage, both managers will bite your hand off for them.