A dire game with the exception of the final 10 minutes when Dunfermline broke out of the lethargy that hung over the players for the vast majority of the match. A first home League win was achieved thanks to a calamitous error by Thistle captain Christie Elliott, whose misplaced clearance fell to Aidan Connolly a few yards from goal. The Pars winger took full advantage of the gift to score the game's only goal after 69 minutes. Connolly later had a chance from a similar position but somehow managed to hit the post with the goal gaping.
Allan Johnston named the same starting 11 that drew with Morton last weekend. The team played reasonably well at Cappielow but were a disjointed and lifeless lot in a first half this evening that must have had every viewer on BBC Alba, where the game was being shown live, reaching for the remote to switch channels. It was truly dire stuff - terrible football from both sides.
The second half began as a continuation of the first in terms of the standard of play. Dunfermline had multiple corners, almost all of which hit the first Thistle defender. Ironically, one of the culprits was Malaury Martin, who, corner kicks aside, was the best footballer on the pitch by some distance. As for his team mates, Mark Durnan had a good game in central defence - including a late clearance that prevented an almost certain goal; Lee Robinson atoned for his howler last week with a great blocking save in added time; Joe Thomson looked lively when brought on as a sub, replacing Andy Ryan, and with the formation changing from 4-4-2 to 4-5-1, which coincided with the Pars' best period of the game, the final 10 minutes. James Craigen, James Vincent and Aidan Connolly had semi-decent games. The rest of the team had games to forget. Faissal has reached the point where if there were better options on the bench, he should be rested. One attempted pass in midfield, which was shanked sideways high into the main stand, summed up Faissal's evening.
The final 10 minutes saw the game spring to life and having suffered 80 minutes of dross, we can only wonder why it took so long. It shouldn't take a fortuitous goal to give the team the shot in the arm they so desperately needed. Better teams than Thistle would have punished us before Connolly's goal.
Ultimately, it's a much needed 'W' in the results column: the month ends with the team undefeated and only one goal conceded in the 4 games played, but with just the one victory. However, the quality of play in those games - with the exception of most of the Morton game, and the final 10 minutes tonight, continues to be a concern.