Our only effort of note in the first half was in the opening minutes. Derek Adams pounced on a loose ball in the box but was denied by a defender with the 'keeper beaten. Dunfermline probably had slightly more of the play but struggled to create anything. Woods easily held a Stevie Crawford half chance but was otherwise untroubled. The Pars did have a free header from close range but failed to hit the target.
Shortly before half time, the possible turning point arrived. Stephen Pearson, who had been doing well on the left of midfield was injured in a fifty-fifty tackle . He was subbed at half time and this put an end to any thoughts of us going forward. Shaun Fagan looked entirely lost when he came on and he had a very poor game. Kevin McDonald must be wondering why Fagan has jumped ahead of him in the queue for a place.
This was our only shot in the second half
As the second half progressed, we began to sit deeper and deeper. Dunfermline still had difficulty in making chances but Woods was called into action to save a long range effort from Crawford. The only threat was Woods' reluctance to collect balls in the six yard box. A minor disagreement developed between him and Martyn Corrigan over this subject and Corrigan was right to be annoyed.
It was becoming apparent that the defenders could not win every ball in our box and eventually we suffered when Bullen leapt above his man to head into the corner. Needless to say, Stevie was on the line, watching events unfold. It's pointless criticising Woods as he's just not the type of goalie who claims crosses. However, Butcher must be aware that a decisive 'keeper in the Dykstra mold could have been enough to secure us a point today.
We did rally near the end but Dunfermline looked comfortable with their lead. McFadden had a long free kick saved and Ruitenbeek had to look sharp to save a looping header from Adams. However, we could not get the equaliser and to be honest, we didn't deserve one. We knew this was going to be a tough match and despite losing Sengewald and Pearson to injury, we came close to taking a point. If we have everyone fully fit next week, there is no reason why we cannot beat Dundee.
The next to home games are crucial - get right behind the team.