A complete shambles of a performance, lacking any semblance of a plan, up against opposition who had not won a League game before today, and whose manager and captain were openly criticising their own supporters in the local newspaper in the days leading up to the game.
The Dunfermline team had 1 change from last week, with Ben Richards-Everton returning to the starting 11, and Callum Fordyce moving from central defence to right-back in place of Ryan Williamson. Fordyce was not a success at full-back, lacking mobility and looking, to use a good Scottish word, stecky. At left-back, Lewis Martin had a poor game, actually managing to tackle himself at one point. Big Ben had a decent enough game - for Big Ben. His partner in the middle of the defence, Lee Ashcroft, has lost form recently and was at fault for the opening goal in the 24th minute. Morton's Gary Oliver took advantage of Ashcroft backing off, and placed a shot beyond Pars keeper David Hutton.
Dunfermline equalised 6 minutes later when Nicky Clark scored his first Pars goal with a close range shot.
The game was a poor exhibition, with very little quality on show. The Pars midfield was individually and collectively dreadful. On the wings, Paul McMullan was ineffective, while Michael Paton's lack of pace and athleticism suggested that your granny with a zimmer would have given him a good race. In central midfield, Andy Geggan had another very disappointing game, and is currently a shadow of the player he was last season. Beside Geggan was Rhys McCabe, who is in the team despite himself, and at one point passed the ball to a Morton player 3 yards away and was then immediately nut-megged by the same player.
Up front, Nicky Clark put in a lot of effort but was a frustrated figure. Gavin Reilly was a waste of a shirt, and has the first touch of an elephant.
Subs Joe Cardle, Kallum Higginbotham and Farid El Alagui were unable to improve the team's performance. Cardle at least had one shot on target, but was lucky not to be sent off - minutes after being booked for bouncing the ball off the head of the Morton physio, he then tripped Morton's Jamie McDonagh off the ball, unseen by the officials, avoiding a second yellow and a dismissal.
Both teams were playing so poorly that it seemed to be a contest to see who was least worst. Then, with 6 minutes remaining, Jai Quitongo scored Morton's winner, hammering the ball in off the underside of the bar. David Hutton could not be blamed, and was one of 3 Pars players - the other 2 being Big Ben and Clark - who were slightly above the wretched levels set by their team mates.
Pars player ratings:
Photo by Pars Review.
A full match photo gallery with over 30 photos will be posted tomorrow.