A much improved performance was undone by a calamitous goalkeeping error at a ground where the team have now conceded costly late goals through individual errors for a third consecutive visit. A point pre-match may have been seen as a decent result but the team merited all 3: while not a vintage display, there were several encouraging elements, not least of which was the manager's team selection.
A lack of fit central defenders has almost forced Allan Johnston to revert to a back 4 after weeks of preferring a 3-5-2 formation. The defensive record, which up until the start of this month was the second worst in the 4 SPFL divisions, has improved dramatically, coinciding with a switch to a back 4. The game seemed to be heading for another Pars shutout, which would have been the third in a row, but for Lee Robinson's mistake; the keeper had earlier made an excellent reaction save from a Jack Iredale shot. Robinson then began to show the other side to his game, when he seemed to drop the ball at the edge of his penalty area, and then handled it outside the area in a failed attempt to amend for the error. He was booked and thankfully nothing came from the resultant free kick.
With 8 minutes remaining, and the Pars 1-0 up, Morton's Scott Tiffoney struck a speculative shot from distance. It appeared to be an easy save for Robinson but he allowed the ball to almost pass through his hands and into the net.
In the Morton goal, former Pars keeper Ryan Scully had none of Robinson's flashiness but ended the game the happier of the 2 goalkeepers, largely because he concentrated on the basics of his job, something I have mentioned time and time again regarding Robinson. I do not expect the errors he made today to be featured on his Instagram page.
Without Ryan Williamson, still not fully fit, James Craigen continued at right back and there was a welcome start for perennial substitute Aidan Connolly, and for new signing Malaury Martin. The French midfielder was the team's standout player - this is a quality footballer and we can look forward to better things once fellow midfielder Tom Beadling - on the bench today as part of his recovery from injury - is match fit. Martin did what all good footballers do - made the game look easy, showing good close control and rarely wasting possession.
Aside from Iredale's first half effort, Morton did very little in attack, while Dunfermline spent more time in the opposition half but for all the good link-up play, did not test Scully enough. Faissal again failed to score, seemingly unable to get into goalscoring positions, despite putting a great deal of effort into the game.
Andy Ryan, recalled to the starting line-up, did what Andy Ryan does: score. He is a born goal poacher and deserves a run in the team. His finish from a pinpoint Louis Longridge pass after 68 minutes put the team in a great position to record a first League win since the opening weekend. Then came Robinson's moment: echoes of Liverpool keeper Loris Karius in the Champions League final.
Encouraging signs, mixed with one very costly, and avoidable, moment that undid a lot of good work and effort.
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