Dunfermline to challenge Gary Mason red card

Gary Mason is sent off

Mason was sent off for a challenge on Johnny Russell

Dunfermline Athletic manager Jim McIntyre has vowed to appeal against the red card shown to Gary Mason in the 4-1 defeat by Dundee United  .

Mason was sent off by Steven O'Reilly after 25 minutes with his side already 2-0 down at East End Park.

"Gary said he slid along the ground and won the ball," said McIntyre.

"I have looked at it on the television, that's exactly what happened and it's a wrong decision by the referee - I'm certain we will win the appeal."

Mason's pending suspension for his challenge on Johnny Russell adds to McIntyre's selection woes, with defender Kevin Ruitkiewicz and forwards Liam Buchanan and Andrew Barrowman absent as well as a host of midfielders.

"Martin Hardie will resume training on Monday and we'll just have to see how he goes," said McIntyre.

I couldn't have asked any more of the players in the second half

Jim McIntyre Dunfermline Athletic manager

"Keven Ruitkeiwicz is another six weeks. Stevie Bell had another procedure done during the week - he's looking two or three months away.

"Nicky Phinn reinjured his hamstring again on Friday. Joe Cardle has got tendonitis in his knee and Liam Buchanan was sick.

"If you add Andrew Barrowman's appendix operation to that growing list, you can see exactly what we are missing and there's no doubt that would give far more competition for places."

However, McIntyre continued to back his players despite their failure to win a home league game since their promotion from Division One and their drop to second bottom of the table.

"I couldn't have asked any more of the players in the second half," he said. "They showed great commitment.

"Losing the first goal through poor marking made our task harder, though, and the sending off was a turning point."

The Pars' 10 men pulled a goal back through Andy Kirk and threatened a surprise comeback before late goals from Russell and Gary Mackay-Steven settled the game.

"We got the goal and they were rattled for a bit," added McIntyre.

"United have some quality players, though, and they hurt us on the break.

"It's going to be a long season and there is a bit of a gulf between ourselves and some of the more established teams who have more experienced players in their squads."