St Mirren 2-1 Dunfermline

St Mirren moved up to fifth in the Scottish Premier League thanks to a strong first-half showing against Dunfermline in Paisley.

Kenny Mclean finished off from close range after an excellent run and cross from Nigel Hasselbaink.

And Hasselbaink slid in for the second, connecting with a low delivery from Steven Thompson.

The Pars pulled one back when Joe Cardle's wicked delivery deflected in off goalkeeper Craig Samson.

The home side started strongly and Dunfermline goalkeeper Paul Gallagher was forced into good low stop from Jim Goodwin's long range strike after three minutes.

Two minutes later there were cries for a penalty when Paul McGowan's shot was blocked by Paul Burns but referee Crawford Allen waved play on.

Hasselbaink and Steven Thomson were both unable to find the target from promising positions and Gallagher again had to be at his best to turn McGowan's strike from distance round his post.

From the resulting corner St Mirren defender Lee Mair found himself in space but his header went wide of the post.

McGowan should have grabbed the game's opening goal after 22 minutes when Goodwin's excellent cross evaded the Dunfermline defence but the striker was unable to make any contact with the goal at his mercy.

The hosts finally got the goal their play merited after 25 minutes when Hasselbaink's weaving run ended with a neat cut-back to Mclean, who knocked the ball in from close range.

Dunfermline's Ryan Thomson passed up a glorious opportunity after an excellent delivery from Paul Willis - heading wide from eight yards out.

Hasselbaink was a constant threat and his superb delivery found Stephen Thompson, who headed the ball across goal to Mclean only for Gallagher to produce a wonderful stop from point-blank range.

Samson had been a virtual spectator during the first half but he was forced into an excellent save when Andy Kirk connected with Willis' dangerous free-kick.

On the stroke of half-time the home side doubled their lead when Steven Thompson robbed Austin McCann inside the Dunfermline half and delivered a superb delivery for Hasselbaink to hammer high into the net.

St Mirren continued to enjoy the better of the play after the break and after 47 minutes Dunfermline defender Alex Keddie was forced to head the ball behind his own goal after good work by Hasselbaink.

Hasselbaink then tested Gallagher from distance and he then turned provider for Mclean, who shot over from close range.

Gallagher did well to parry away Graham Carey's free-kick before the visitors were handed an unlikely lifeline.

On 62 minutes the St Mirren defence failed to deal with Cardle's cross and the ball deflected off Samson and into the goal.

Gallagher produced a brave low save at the feet of Steven Thompson after good work by David van Zanten.

Dunfermline substitute Cardle was causing the St Mirren defence problems and he unleashed a stinging effort after an excellent driving run, forcing Samson into a good stop.

A late effort from David Graham was as close as they were to come though and St Mirren held out for all three points.

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