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I'll make it 1 to forget for Jefferies; DUNFERMLINE v HEARTS.

Seventeen years ago Jim Jefferies helped make Ian Westwater's first team debut a match to remember.

But now the Dunfermline keeper would love to make the last game of 1997 a fixture his old pal will want to forget.

Westie still recalls the match in 1980 he donned the Jambos No.1 jersey for the first time at the tender age of 16. Skipper that day was Jefferies and his no-nonsense style helped the young Westwater concede only one goal.

That appearance in a 1-1 draw with St Mirren made him the youngest goalie ever to play in the Premier League - a record he still holds.

But despite their friendship, including two and a half years at Falkirk, the pair will be best of enemies at East End Park today when Jefferies comes calling with his title-chasing Jambos.

Westie, now 34, said: "We go back a long way and no doubt we will have a chat after the game, but for 90 minutes we will be bitterest rivals.

"I still have fond memories of that game in 1980 and it was a proud moment.

"Jim was playing in defence and it is fair to say that he didn't miss much. He was a very tough- tackling player and uncompromising as well.

"And it is no surprise to me that he has taken those qualities into management. He was a leader and very much a winner and he is still like that.

"But whoever plays against us knows that they will have to raise their game because if they don't they won't get the three points."

Westwater has been a Heart-breaker already this season.

An amazing performance at East End Park helped the Pars dump the Jambos out of the Coca- Cola Cup in September.

A string of heroic saves in that 1-0 win had boss Bert Paton touting him for a Scotland call-up.

And although the Pars' No.1 regards France as a bit of a pipe dream for him, he'll settle for another match- winning performance today.

He said: "After that game I said that I didn't think Hearts could play better and not win.

"But it was one of those daft nights. I just felt that I could have played on all night and not lost a goal.

"It was nice to be tipped for a call-up but I will not be losing any sleep about not going to France.

"I'll gladly settle for a quieter day at East End Park today than last time against Hearts.

"But if I am still as busy and we get the same result I'll be happy."

Dunfermline beat Hearts 2-1 at home in their first battle this season and have taken points off all the major title challengers so far.

Westie believes the Fifers could have a bearing on the destiny of the flag.

He said: "Results have shown that we can damage other people's aspirations if they don't raise their game against us."

Pars boss Paton will be without Scott McCulloch, Colin Miller, Marc Millar, Stewart Petrie and Gerry Britton but top scorer Andy Smith returns.

Paton said: "We have not scored in our last three games so we are out to change that."

Hearts boss Jim Jefferies looks set to hand Jim Hamilton a start, with Scotland hopeful Neil McCann doubtful.

Tynecastle cult-hero Jose Quitongo could also feature from the beginning.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Stephen, Kenneth
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 27, 1997
Previous Article:El of an act to follow; HIGHLAND LEAGUE.
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