Scottish Championship
Dunfermline1St Mirren1

Dunfermline Athletic 1-1 St Mirren

Kallum Higginbotham scores for Dunfermline
Kallum Higginbotham's penalty put Dunfermline ahead in the first half

St Mirren remain seven points adrift at the foot of the Scottish Championship after a high-tempo draw with Dunfermline Athletic.

Kallum Higginbotham's penalty nudged the hosts ahead before the break.

Almost immediately after half-time Gary McKenzie levelled for Saints with a powerful header from a corner.

Michael Moffat and Nicky Clark both spurned chances to restore the Pars' lead, while Saints' Lewis Morgan could have snatched a vital victory late on.

You can see where a lot of St Mirren's problems stem from as their defence looked fragile whenever Dunfermline attacked their backline with pace.

Veteran ex-Pars goalkeeper Jamie Langfield had to be lively to block a couple of early chances while Andy Webster cleared a Paul McMullan shot off the line and Moffat had a penalty claim denied.

That was for a reckless challenge by MacKenzie, who didn't learn his lesson, as a repeat incident in the 36th minute was punished by Willie Collum, with Higginbotham scoring from the spot.

MacKenzie's determination to make amends saw him steer a header from a Stevie Mallan corner against the post just before the interval.

This time it was the Pars who paid the price for ignoring a warning as the defender's perseverance paid off a minute after the restart - he powered home another Mallan corner.

St Mirren defender Gary McKenzie
McKenzie gave away a penalty, hit the woodwork and scored the equaliser

It was his defensive qualities that were severely tested for long spells after that equaliser though as the Fifers went in search of the winner to strengthen their push for a play-off place.

Clark was a real handful with his movement and aerial ability but he could only look on with frustration after a dazzling run ended with Moffat turning his team mate's cross wide from six yards.

It took a brilliant diving save from Langfield to deny Clark a ninth goal of the season when his header seemed certain to hit the net, while Higginbotham flashed a couple of 20-yard drives wide.

Then two minutes from time Clark's glancing header went agonisingly wide as St Mirren dug in to claim their first point in three meetings between the teams this season.

What the managers said

Dunfermline manager Allan Johnston: "It is definitely two points dropped as far as I'm concerned. We created the most chances from open play and some really good chances at that.

"We've probably got to finish them off then we get caught with a block defending a corner that St Mirren work very well to get their equaliser.

"It's been a great run (nine unbeaten) but you are always going to get frustrated when you lose goals that are avoidable even though we have tightened up since the start of the season."

St Mirren boss Jack Ross: "After going behind against the team with currently the best form in the division then getting a point means there was more positives than negatives.

"If we can pick up points at place like this then win our home games then we will start to climb the table.

"In the main, the performance levels have been good but last week's (a 3-0 defeat at home to Queen of the South) wasn't acceptable and I was honest with the players in my criticism of them and they responded."

Line-ups

Dunfermline

  • 1Murdoch
  • 6Geggan
  • 5Fordyce
  • 12Ashcroft
  • 3Talbot
  • 20Higginbotham
  • 8Wedderburn
  • 21Herron
  • 18McMullanSubstituted forCardleat 89'minutes
  • 9Moffat
  • 37Clark

Substitutes

  • 4Martin
  • 11Cardle
  • 16McCabe
  • 17Reilly
  • 22Morris
  • 43Hutton
  • 48El Alagui

St Mirren

  • 1Langfield
  • 2Naismith
  • 4WebsterSubstituted forBairdat 45'minutes
  • 6Mackenzie
  • 3IrvineBooked at 32mins
  • 29McAllisterSubstituted forMagennisat 74'minutes
  • 20StorieBooked at 81mins
  • 8QuinnBooked at 43minsSubstituted forMorganat 58'minutes
  • 10Mallan
  • 9Sutton
  • 16Loy

Substitutes

  • 7Clarkson
  • 15Baird
  • 17Morgan
  • 18Mclear
  • 23Fjelde
  • 28Willison
  • 42Magennis
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
4,108

Match Stats

Home TeamDunfermlineAway TeamSt Mirren
Possession
Home47%
Away53%
Shots
Home14
Away13
Shots on Target
Home5
Away6
Corners
Home5
Away9
Fouls
Home6
Away16

Live Text

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

Full Time

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

Attempt missed. Lewis Morgan (St. Mirren) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Substitution

Substitution, Dunfermline Athletic. Joe Cardle replaces Paul McMullan.

Attempt missed. Nicky Clark (Dunfermline Athletic) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Corner, St. Mirren. Conceded by Callum Fordyce.

John Herron (Dunfermline Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Stephen Mallan (St. Mirren).

Attempt blocked. Stephen Mallan (St. Mirren) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Corner, Dunfermline Athletic. Conceded by Jack Baird.

Attempt missed. Kallum Higginbotham (Dunfermline Athletic) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left from a direct free kick.

Booking

Craig Storie (St. Mirren) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Michael Moffat (Dunfermline Athletic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Craig Storie (St. Mirren).

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

Attempt missed. Michael Moffat (Dunfermline Athletic) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Mirren. Kyle Magennis replaces Kyle McAllister because of an injury.

John Herron (Dunfermline Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lewis Morgan (St. Mirren).

Attempt missed. Kallum Higginbotham (Dunfermline Athletic) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

Corner, Dunfermline Athletic. Conceded by Jason Naismith.

Attempt missed. Lewis Morgan (St. Mirren) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Attempt saved. Gary Mackenzie (St. Mirren) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Corner, St. Mirren. Conceded by Andrew Geggan.

Foul by Lee Ashcroft (Dunfermline Athletic).

Rory Loy (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Paul McMullan (Dunfermline Athletic).

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

Attempt missed. Michael Moffat (Dunfermline Athletic) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

Foul by Stephen Mallan (St. Mirren).

Kallum Higginbotham (Dunfermline Athletic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt saved. Nicky Clark (Dunfermline Athletic) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Mirren. Lewis Morgan replaces Rocco Quinn because of an injury.

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

Attempt missed. Michael Moffat (Dunfermline Athletic) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left.

Corner, Dunfermline Athletic. Conceded by Jack Baird.

John Sutton (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lee Ashcroft (Dunfermline Athletic).

Goal!

Goal! Dunfermline Athletic 1, St. Mirren 1. Gary Mackenzie (St. Mirren) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Stephen Mallan.

Corner, St. Mirren. Conceded by Lee Ashcroft.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Hibernian21136236112545
2Dundee Utd21116430201039
3Morton209742920934
4Falkirk218763125631
5Dunfermline216782730-325
6Raith Rovers206772124-325
7Queen of Sth216782832-425
8Dumbarton2156102231-921
9Ayr214891931-1220
10St Mirren2127121938-1913
View full Scottish Championship table

Top Stories