Unbeaten runs always come to an end but this was the worst possible way for Dunfermline to lose after 11 undefeated games - an abject display against one of our biggest rivals that produced no fight and was quite honestly gutless. From the start, it was obvious that the team were disjointed and unable to put the home side under any pressure. A Michael Moffat effort in the 38th minute was the Pars only serious attempt at goal in the first half, and even it missed the target. The first half was a terrible game to watch, regardless of the result. Falkirk's John Baird put his side ahead after 34 minutes from close range with the Pars defence failing to react.
The Pars defence was giving Sean Murdoch in goal no protection. Murdoch made a couple of excellent saves but had to watch as Andy Geggan wandered around the pitch like a drunk at a wedding with a free bar. Geggan's place has to be under threat after this wretched performance. Jason Talbot was the best of a bad bunch in defence. The central pair of Lee Ashcroft and Callum Morris were shaky and not in tune with each other. Ashcroft missed a chance to equalise in the second half that had older Pars fans longing for an Andy Tod attacking corner kicks. Morris attempted long passes from defence to 5'8'' strikers, and not surprisingly the tactic rarely succeeded.
Falkirk closed down the Dunfermline midfield, nullifying the impact of Nat Wedderburn and John Herron. Kallum Higginbotham was the outlet for most of the lumps up the park from his team mates but even he was unable to produce much of any worth. On the other wing, Paul McMullan had a poor game, although his effort cannot be criticised.
In attack (and I use that word loosely) Nicky Clark and the Moff were ineffective. As a pairing, Jack and Victor from Still Game would have given the Falkirk central defence a harder physical battle.
Allan Johnston made uncharacteristically early substitutions, bringing on David Hopkirk and Gavin Reilly after 63 minutes. Neither player did their case for selection any good whatsoever. Reilly does not look interested, while Hopkirk looked to be playing at least one division above his capabilities. Joe Cardle was given 9 minutes at the end to cut inside from the left wing, to little effect.
Falkirk doubled their lead through Lee Miller in the 77th minute, after Murdoch made a great save and once again the defence failed to react quickly enough.
Having been at every first team game this season, home and away, this was easily the worst that I have seen the team play. This report is written in frustration but I make no apologies for the sarcasm applied in the descriptions of how certain players performed. The fans deserve better than this. We have no divine right to win, or even avoid defeat, but the performance was simply unacceptable.
Pars starting 11, with marks out of 10:
Photos by Pars Review.
Tomorrow: full match photo gallery.