Scottish Championship
St Mirren0Dunfermline1

St Mirren 0-1 Dunfermline Athletic

Nicky Clark (right) was the match-winner for Dunfermline
Nicky Clark (right) was the match-winner for Dunfermline with his fifth goal of the season

Struggling St Mirren lost more ground at the foot of the Championship, with Nicky Clark's first-half goal earning Dunfermline victory in Paisley.

Clark drilled in a shot on 26 minutes after Lee Ashcroft's effort had been blocked following a free kick.

The win lifts Dunfermline up to eighth place, while the hosts are still seeking a league win this season.

The Pars almost snatched a second goal on the break when Michael Moffat struck a post in stoppage time.

It was Dunfermline's first league win since beating the Buddies in September, but again the home side will be wondering how they did not win a match in which they created the bulk of the chances.

The defeat leaves St Mirren seven points adrift of Dumbarton.

The last time the teams met in the Saturday evening game they conjured up seven goals and it looked like they might deliver another cracker after a brisk opening.

Jason Naismith had a shot well saved by Sean Murdoch in the visitors' goal inside four minutes, then Lewis Morgan nodded just wide before Clark tested Saints keeper Scott Gallacher with a header.

Clark then put Dunfermline ahead with his fifth goal of the season, the striker providing a clinical finish in the box after some poor defending provided him with the opportunity.

Kyle McAllister saw a good effort saved by Murdoch before the Dunfermline keeper produced a sensational stop from a flashing David Clarkson header right on half time to preserve the narrow interval lead.

Saints continued to press after the break and Stevie Mallan brought out another good save from Murdoch before Clark should really have put Dunfermline further ahead but Gallacher did well to block the striker's effort.

Referee Nick Walsh was attracting the wrath of the home support as the game became tense and he lectured both Saints boss, Jack Ross and Pars assistant, Sandy Clark, for a row in the technical area after yet another contentious decision. Both men continued their bickering at the final whistle.

John Sutton should really have done better after Murdoch spilled a 70 minute Lewis Morgan effort but time and time again the home side just could not convert the chances they made despite throwing Tom Walsh and Lawrence Shankland on as second half substitutes.

Moffat hit the woodwork in the dying seconds when a counter-attack caught the hosts short but there was no time for St Mirren to benefit from the reprieve.

What the managers said

St Mirren manager Jack Ross: "The goal we conceded was poor and while we did not play particularly well in the first 30 minutes or so, we did much better after that.

"But we need to be much more ruthless when the chances come our way and although Sean Murdoch had some good saves we probably did not do enough to win the game, but could easily have got something out of it.

"The performance levels in the last three home matches have improved. We just need to finish the chances we make to make some real progress."

Dunfermline boss Allan Johnston: "I'm delighted to get our first away league win of the season and it is nice to dig one out in terms of a result for a change.

"St Mirren put us under a lot of pressure in the second half and the players deserve a lot of credit for showing character as in big games, big players step up and ours did that tonight.

"But it is only one game and one result and we now need to put a strong run of those together to get up the table. I'm confident we can do that."

Line-ups

St Mirren

  • 12Gallacher
  • 2Naismith
  • 5GordonSubstituted forHardieat 76'minutes
  • 15Baird
  • 3Irvine
  • 10Mallan
  • 42MagennisSubstituted forMclearat 82'minutes
  • 29McAllister
  • 7ClarksonSubstituted forShanklandat 51'minutesBooked at 74mins
  • 17Morgan
  • 9SuttonBooked at 89mins

Substitutes

  • 1Langfield
  • 11Gallagher
  • 14Hutton
  • 18Mclear
  • 19Stewart
  • 20Hardie
  • 25Shankland

Dunfermline

  • 1Murdoch
  • 4Martin
  • 12Ashcroft
  • 5Fordyce
  • 3Talbot
  • 20Higginbotham
  • 7PatonSubstituted forMcMullanat 77'minutes
  • 16McCabe
  • 21Herron
  • 37ClarkBooked at 84mins
  • 48El AlaguiSubstituted forMoffatat 90'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Moffat
  • 11Cardle
  • 17Galloway
  • 18McMullan
  • 24Duthie
  • 33Smith
  • 43Hutton
Referee:
Nick Walsh
Attendance:
2,126

Match Stats

Home TeamSt MirrenAway TeamDunfermline
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home10
Away11
Shots on Target
Home5
Away8
Corners
Home6
Away2
Fouls
Home15
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, St. Mirren 0, Dunfermline Athletic 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, St. Mirren 0, Dunfermline Athletic 1.

Attempt saved. Paul McMullan (Dunfermline Athletic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Michael Moffat (Dunfermline Athletic) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the centre of the box.

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

Substitution

Substitution, Dunfermline Athletic. Michael Moffat replaces Farid El Alagui.

Booking

John Sutton (St. Mirren) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by John Sutton (St. Mirren).

Lee Ashcroft (Dunfermline Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Gary Irvine (St. Mirren) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Farid El Alagui (Dunfermline Athletic).

Attempt saved. Lewis Morgan (St. Mirren) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Corner, St. Mirren. Conceded by Lee Ashcroft.

Corner, St. Mirren. Conceded by Lee Ashcroft.

Booking

Nicky Clark (Dunfermline Athletic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Lewis Morgan (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Nicky Clark (Dunfermline Athletic).

Foul by Kyle McAllister (St. Mirren).

Paul McMullan (Dunfermline Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Mirren. Lewis Mclear replaces Kyle Magennis.

Attempt saved. Paul McMullan (Dunfermline Athletic) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Foul by Ryan Hardie (St. Mirren).

Lewis Martin (Dunfermline Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, St. Mirren. Conceded by Callum Fordyce.

Attempt saved. Lee Ashcroft (Dunfermline Athletic) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Corner, Dunfermline Athletic. Conceded by Lewis Morgan.

Substitution

Substitution, Dunfermline Athletic. Paul McMullan replaces Michael Paton.

Attempt missed. Michael Paton (Dunfermline Athletic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Mirren. Ryan Hardie replaces Ben Gordon.

Attempt saved. Lee Ashcroft (Dunfermline Athletic) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Foul by Jason Naismith (St. Mirren).

Michael Paton (Dunfermline Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Lawrence Shankland (St. Mirren) is shown the yellow card.

Corner, St. Mirren. Conceded by Michael Paton.

Attempt missed. John Sutton (St. Mirren) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Attempt missed. Jason Naismith (St. Mirren) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is close, but misses to the right.

Attempt saved. Nicky Clark (Dunfermline Athletic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Lewis Morgan (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lewis Martin (Dunfermline Athletic).

Attempt saved. Stephen Mallan (St. Mirren) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Hibernian149412671931
2Dundee Utd1484223121128
3Morton146532115623
4Raith Rovers136431813522
5Falkirk146441815322
6Queen of Sth135351519-418
7Ayr134271120-914
8Dunfermline143381624-812
9Dumbarton142571220-811
10St Mirren130491025-154
View full Scottish Championship table

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