Another case of points lost due to defensive slackness in a game where 3 points were there for the taking. Manager Allan Johnston brought Lewis Martin back into the team following his suspension, and Nat Wedderburn into midfield to replace the injured John Herron. The remainder of the starting line-up was the same as in last week's win over Morton.
The first half was a dreadful exhibition of football, with barely 3 passes made by either team before possession was lost or the ball was hacked out of play. A truly dismal 45 minutes that was summed up by the opening goal after 40 minutes. A corner kick from Queens' Mark Millar was flicked on by Lee Ashcroft, with the Pars defender's header sailing over Sean Murdoch and into the goal.
The second period was an improvement. Nat Wedderburn was a solid presence in midfield, Kallum Higginbotham was the team's main creative force, and the opening 25 minutes of the second half was largely dominated by Dunfermline. The equalising goal was a superb strike from Jason Talbot. The Queens defence cleared the ball but it was met by Talbot 20 yards from goal, and his thunderous shot flew into the net: 1-1 after 62 minutes.
The Moff was playing well, linking up with his team mates. However, he had a miss of biblical proportions in the 64th minute. Nicky Clark and then Higginbotham had shots that were charged down by the home defence, only for the ball to fall to Moffat 5 yards out and an open goal. The Pars striker sent the ball high over the bar.
Eight minutes later, Moffat almost made up for his miss with a glancing header that just went past the post. A minute later, the Moff helped to create the second Pars goal. His pinpoint cross-field pass was met perfectly by Higginbotham, whose header beat Lee Robinson in the Queens goal.
As in so many games this season, Dunfermline were in a position to pick up crucial points. Clearly the better team, and having seemingly eliminated defensive errors in recent weeks, old problems resurfaced in the 78th minute that allowed Queens to equalise. Failure to cut out an attack on the Pars left side led to Derek Lyle shooting, Murdoch saving and then Stephen Dobbie tapping in the rebound. Criminal defending.
Queens took heart from their equaliser and came close a couple of times in the final 10 minutes. The Pars attack had run out of steam, and although Joe Cardle had been brought on to replace Paul McMullan in the 70th minute, there were no further substitutions despite having 3 strikers on the bench. Fresh legs may have been able to test the veterans in the Queens defence in the last part of the game.
A point may have been welcomed before the game but this was another day where points were thrown away.
Pars starting line-up, with marks out of 10:
All photos by Pars Review.
A full match photo gallery will be posted tomorrow.