Dunfermline go into tomorrow's Championship game against Alloa on the back of a first League win of the season at Partick Thistle last weekend. It was also the Pars' first League victory since March, when tomorrow's visitors were defeated in an away fixture. Dunfermline's recent record against Alloa at East End Park has been poor, culminating in a 2-1 loss to the Wasps in the Challenge Cup 3 weeks ago.
Here is the current Championship table. Queen of the South play Dundee this evening - the game will be shown live on the BBC Scotland channel, with a 7.05pm kickoff. All other Championship matches are scheduled for a Saturday 3.00pm start.
A long overdue League win was achieved with some degree of comfort at Firhill last Saturday. There was pressure on the Dunfermline management and players going into the game, even at this relatively early stage of the season, as the team were bottom of the table and playing the side directly above them, the only other team without a win at that point. The 3-0 win, achieved through goals by Kevin Nisbet, Ryan Dow with a tremendous solo effort, and a deflected Kyle Turner shot from distance, lifted Dunfermline 3 places up the table and in with a chance of going into the top half of the table this weekend, depending on other results.
Nisbet's goal, his seventh of the season, was also the striker's first after a barren run of 6 games without a goal. The supply to the team's main goal source was improved last week with the return from injury of Ryan Dow, and Greg Kiltie being shifted to the left wing. Having Dow and Kiltie on the wings should see far more chances created in the weeks ahead. It was also pleasing to see Nisbet playing alongside a partner in attack as opposed to the lone striker role he has been asked to occupy in many games, which often left him an isolated and frustrated figure. Gabby McGill, who partnered Nisbet in the opening 45 minutes at Partick, has a niggling injury and may mot be available tomorrow. This should allow Lewis McCann a chance to play in his natural position as a striker, alongside Nisbet, and not the left sided attack role that Stevie Crawford has deployed the player in for much of this season.
There will be no other return from injuries this weekend: Joe Thomson, Euan Murray are still out; there was no update on Tom Lang but the defender would be, at best, on the bench if fit. Andy Ryan has been ill this week and could miss out tomorrow. He would have been unlikely to start against Alloa in any case.
The goalkeeping position and back 4 picks themselves, as does centre midfield plus the wings. Paul Paton had an effective game against Partick, his experience and physicality contrasting and complimenting the attacking thrust and greater mobility of his midfield partner Kyle Turner. Hearts' loanee Harry Cochrane, a central midfielder, will have to wait a little longer for a first team start with Dunfermline, unless Stevie Crawford makes a positional change involving Turner.
A victory tomorrow is essential to build momentum after last week's win at Firhill. A run of positive results would not only offset the poor start made in the opening 5 League games, but would also catapult Dunfermline to the edges of the top 4. The team have the ability as we have seen mainly in cup games this season. Winning breeds positivity and another 3 points tomorrow would give the team a further boost going into the end of the first quarter of League games next weekend, away to Morton.