The worst home performance for some time saw the Pars defeated by an organised Queen Of The South team. Almost every Dunfermline player was off form and struggled to pass the ball to their own team mates. Indeed, the best pass by a Pars player in the whole game came in the first half when Rhys McCabe played a perfect through ball - to Stephen Dobbie, the Queens striker, who narrowly missed with his shot.
Joe Cardle was ill and so Kallum Higginbotham moved to the left wing, with Michael Paton making his first start of the season on the right. Jason Talbot replaced Lewis Martin at left back.
The first half was a dreadful display by Dunfermline, and in particular the previously mentioned McCabe. Quite how he escaped being substituted is a mystery, especially as Allan Johnston withdrew Kallum Higginbotham at half time for tactical reasons (according to the manager), and although Higginbotham's replacement Paul McMullan (pictured below) went onto give by far the best performance of any Pars player in the game, the change had to be McCabe off and Higginbotham moved into central midfield.
Dunfermline survived an early scare when Derek Lyle's free kick hit both posts, rebounded to Jason Talbot, who played the ball back towards his own goal from 6 yards and was saved by David Hutton's quick reaction.
The visitors went ahead just before half time when Hutton remained rooted to his goal line when a cross came over from the right. Ben Richards-Everton then decided to allow the ball to pass him, which presented Lyle with a tap in. Abysmal defending.
The second half was a marginal improvement on the first period, which is not saying much, but a further self-inflicted blow was dealt when Jason Talbot was beaten to the ball near the half way line, and in sheer bad temper lunged into Queens player Kyle Jacobs, a vicious and selfish assault that fully merited the red card that was shown, leaving his team mates in an even worse position.
Much huffing and puffing followed and Queens passed up a few chances to extend their lead.
With a few minutes remaining, Dunfermline showed more attacking threat than in the 85 minutes or so that had preceded. Two penalty claims were turned down by referee Craig Charleston, firstly when Andy Geggan's shot from outside the box was weakly saved by Queens' keeper Lee Robinson, the ball falling to substitute Lewis Spence, who was clattered into from behind as he was about to shoot from close range. Then on the final whistle, Michael Paton's cross was played into a packed penalty box. Loud appeals were made when Geggan seemed to go down in the box. No penalty was awarded and the final whistle was blown.
The referee's decisions late in the game cannot overshadow what was a terrible performance. Even usually reliable players such as Lee Ashcroft had poor games. Once again, the attack was toothless, with Moffat's trundled shot in the first half the nearest the team came to scoring in the opening period. Richards-Everton had a great chance with a header late in the game but failed.
Pars starting 11, with marks out of 10. Subs were McMullan (7/10), Martin (6/10) and Spence (no rating, not on long enough).
Photos by Pars Review