The result ultimately is all that matters, in what was a battling, determined performance, lacking in quality but full of heart and grit, aspects of the team that had been questioned lately. Manager Allan Johnston made 3 changes, with Andy Geggan missing through injury, Callum Fordyce started, Farid El Alagui came in for Michael Moffat, and Michael Paton took Joe Cardle's place on the left - the first time Paton has played on the left for Dunfermline.
St Mirren had not won in the Championship all season, and for most of the first half it was obvious why both teams were struggling. Dunfermline looked the better of the 2 sides, marginally, and got the goal that ultimately won the game through Nicky Clark from close range after 26 minutes.
Callum Fordyce's first start since the previous League game against St Mirren in September saw him eliminate unforced errors and turn in a great performance, clearing the ball in a McCathie-esque fashion when required, and leading the team very effectively.
Sean Murdoch made a crucial save on the stroke of half time when Saints' striker John Sutton headed the ball towards the corner of the goal. Murdoch got down to turn the ball round the post, when a goal looked certain.
The first half seemed to fly past, but the same was not true of the second period. Dunfermline were put under continuous pressure at times, and a combination of great goalkeeping, resolute defending, and some luck that has often deserted the team this season. Murdoch was confident in goals, and Fordyce an inspiring figure in central defence. Saints had chances through Sutton, Mallan and Shankland.
The Pars had a great chance to go 2-0 ahead in the 63rd minue when Higginbotham set up Clark, clean through on goal, but he hit his shot straight at Gallacher in the Saints goal.
Pars sub Paul McMullan almost scored when he placed a shot into the right corner, but saw it saved by Gallacher.
As the game went on, Saints spent the majority of the game camped in the Dunfermline half, with no success despite putting the Pars defence under huge pressure. A breakaway in the 5th minute of added time almost gave Dunfermline a second goal - the Moff, on for El Alagui, broke through and hit the post. The rebound fell to Clark, who hit the goalkeeper, and then struck the second rebound at a Saints defender. Referee Walsh then blew for time up and the Pars players celebrated with the travelling support.
Pars starting line up with marks out of 10:
All photos by Pars Review.
A match photo gallery will be posted on Sunday.