Scottish Championship
DunfermlineDunfermline4St MirrenSt Mirren3

Dunfermline Athletic 4-3 St Mirren

By Paul MitchellBBC Sport at East End Park
Dunfermline celebrate
El Alagui (centre) got Dunfermline's winner

Farid El Alagui's late goal gave Dunfermline Athletic victory over manager-less St Mirren.

The Buddies, who parted with boss Alex Rae last week, led through John Sutton but Nicky Clark levelled.

A second from Sutton put the visitors ahead again until Andy Webster's own goal restored parity.

Clark put the Pars in front only for Ryan Hardie to equalise but El Alagui struck from close range to settle the match.

Just over 20 years since they last played together for Hearts, Allan Johnston and Allan McManus came head to head in a managerial capacity for the first time as St Mirren's Head of Youth Development took charge of St Mirren for the first time.

Dunfermline opened the brighter of the two sides and Joe Cardle spurned an early chance to open the scoring after the ball appeared to catch between his feet as he failed to convert Nicky Clark's cross.

Sutton had a first half to remember by taking both chances that came his way. The first came when Lewis Morgan was allowed two chances at delivering his cross and Sutton guided the low ball into the corner of the net, his shot just evading the diving Sean Murdoch.

Dunfermline quickly responded and were deservedly level nine minutes later when Clark netted with a low diving header perfectly meeting Jason Talbot's cross.

But Sutton was to have the last word in the first half. The striker gathered a simple ball forward into his feet at the edge of the box and he held off Callum Fordyce to unleash a quick shot with perfect placement to restore Saints lead.

Ryan Williamson replaced Fordyce at half-time and immediately the home side searched for an equaliser which almost came when Cardle shot wide.

Sutton headed wide, missing his opportunity for a hat-trick.

Scott Gallagher pulled off a great save from Clark but St Mirren could not clear and Cardle reacted after the ball rebounded off to score with a deflection off Webster.

Clark scored his second of the game with fourteen minutes to play when he read Michael Paton's cross and nipped in to steer the ball beyond Scott Gallagher.

Saints were behind for only five minutes when Hardie found the top corner from the right side of the box as the game continued to thrill with its attacking intent.

The game was settled by a defensive lapse nine minutes was timer when Rocco Quinn attempted a passback into the box but he didn't anticipate the threat posed by El Alagui who clipped the ball beyond the onrushing Gallagher to secure the points and their first league win since opening day for Dunfermline.

Manager reaction

Dunfermline's Allan Johnston: "It's good to finally get the result we deserve. We are looking to push up in the table and challenge in the top four, we believe we have the players capable of doing that and I think we showed that today.

"I couldn't see how we were behind at half-time, I thought we were the much more dominant team and it was a really good team performance in the second half. Nicky Clark was unplayable, he was everywhere with great finishes for the goals. There were some special goals.

"The players have shown a lot of confidence in the last four games and we've not been far away but it was good to get that result."

St Mirren's Allan McManus: "We were very unlucky, I thought we deserved at least a point from the game. We created numerous opportunities and another day it could have been different.

"Where we are at the moment is fine lines with the goals and there was a mistake at the end. I can't ask for more from the players, they played some really good stuff at times. I've told the players that there is no point in sitting with their heads down they just have to come back in on Monday and work hard and keep working hard and playing like that and it will turn round.

"I have no idea if I will be in charge for the Falkirk game, I will keep doing what I am doing until a new management team is in place. I am more than happy with my job which is to develop players for the first team but this is a great experience for me."

Line-ups

Dunfermline

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Murdoch
  • 4Martin
  • 12Ashcroft
  • 5FordyceSubstituted forWilliamsonat 45'minutes
  • 3Talbot
  • 7Paton
  • 6Geggan
  • 21Herron
  • 11CardleSubstituted forMcMullanat 79'minutes
  • 17ReillySubstituted forEl Alaguiat 73'minutesBooked at 75mins
  • 37Clark

Substitutes

  • 2Williamson
  • 9Moffat
  • 16McCabe
  • 18McMullan
  • 20Higginbotham
  • 43Hutton
  • 48El Alagui

St Mirren

Formation 4-5-1

  • 12Gallacher
  • 2Naismith
  • 15BairdBooked at 24mins
  • 6MackenzieSubstituted forWebsterat 44'minutes
  • 3Irvine
  • 20Hardie
  • 14Hutton
  • 10Mallan
  • 8Quinn
  • 17MorganSubstituted forWalshat 67'minutes
  • 9Sutton

Substitutes

  • 1Langfield
  • 4Webster
  • 7Clarkson
  • 16Walsh
  • 25Shankland
  • 35Whyte
  • 39McDonald
Referee:
Greg Aitken
Attendance:
2,732

Match Stats

Home TeamDunfermlineAway TeamSt Mirren
Possession
Home48%
Away52%
Shots
Home11
Away8
Shots on Target
Home3
Away3
Corners
Home7
Away3
Fouls
Home10
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Dunfermline Athletic 4, St. Mirren 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Dunfermline Athletic 4, St. Mirren 3.

  3. Post update

    Jason Talbot (Dunfermline Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Stephen Mallan (St. Mirren).

  5. Post update

    Foul by Michael Paton (Dunfermline Athletic).

  6. Post update

    Gary Irvine (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  7. Post update

    Corner, St. Mirren. Conceded by Lewis Martin.

  8. Goal!

    Goal! Dunfermline Athletic 4, St. Mirren 3. Farid El Alagui (Dunfermline Athletic) right footed shot from more than 35 yards to the top left corner.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Dunfermline Athletic. Conceded by Scott Gallacher.

  10. Goal!

    Goal! Dunfermline Athletic 3, St. Mirren 3. Ryan Hardie (St. Mirren) left footed shot from long range on the right to the top left corner. Assisted by Stephen Mallan.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Farid El Alagui (Dunfermline Athletic).

  12. Post update

    Andy Webster (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Dunfermline Athletic. Paul McMullan replaces Joe Cardle.

  14. Goal!

    Goal! Dunfermline Athletic 3, St. Mirren 2. Nicky Clark (Dunfermline Athletic) right footed shot from long range on the right to the top left corner. Assisted by Michael Paton.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Stephen Mallan (St. Mirren) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

  16. Booking

    Farid El Alagui (Dunfermline Athletic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Farid El Alagui (Dunfermline Athletic).

  18. Post update

    Andy Webster (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Dunfermline Athletic. Farid El Alagui replaces Gavin Reilly.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jason Talbot (Dunfermline Athletic) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left.