THOUGHTS of Saturday’s Fife derby evoke stirring memories of past glories for Joe Cardle – but the Dunfermline winger is desperate to ensure there are new reasons to celebrate against bitter rivals Raith Rovers.
Though Dunfermline have hosted two Challenge Cup ties in the intervening years, this is the first league meeting at East End Park since January 2013, just weeks before the Pars – who won 1-0 on that occasion – were plunged into administration.
But it is the clash of April 2011 that may very well be uppermost in the minds of the home fans as they seek inspiration from that 2-1 victory in front of over 11,000 fans that helped Dunfermline seal promotion back to the top-flight.
Cardle admits that momentous encounter will live long in the minds of the Pars players and supporters involved.
But the 29-year-old is eager to fashion fresh memories as the League One champions bid to turn around a poor start to the season that sees them rooted in eighth in the table.
He told Capital City Press: “This is the first league game against Raith at East End since I was here the last time.
“I’ve got some great memories from playing against Raith. Obviously there was the special game where we won and went on to win the league.
“Those were special, special times and great memories and hopefully there’s plenty more to come. Hopefully we can bring back those good memories.
“Last season was good but that’s in the past now and we want to get pushing up that league table.
“We’re looking forward to this game. I’m sure there will be a nice big crowd and hopefully we can repay the fans for the way they’ve supported us in each game this season.
“The three points on Saturday would be massive for everybody at the club.”
Dunfermline have managed just two wins from their first 11 league outings of the season and, though they have scored 15 times, they have conceded 23 to earn the second-worst defensive record in Scottish football.
Frailties at the back also cost them the last time the teams met in August when the Pars went down 2-0 at Stark’s Park.
And Cardle, who was sidelined for three weeks with a knee injury until making a scoring return against Dumbarton last weekend, is keen to shake off previous disappointments as the East End Park men seek revenge.
Cardle added: “It’s been frustrating not to be involved, but hopefully I can make up for it this weekend – and we can make up for the first derby this season.
“We want to turn it around – I think we’ve got a lot of making up to do in this game.”