League Cup wrap: Batting Dunfermline go clear

David Hopkirk. Picture: SNS
David Hopkirk. Picture: SNS
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Ten-man Dunfermline moved three points clear of Ayr United at the top with a 2-1 win at Somerset Park.

David Hopkirk, pictured, scored what proved to be the winning goal and Dunfermline held off a late onslaught from the home side.

It was an even first half with both sides creating chances. Faissal El-Bakhtaoui had two shots in quick succession but could not find the net with either.

Ayr toiled to keep the striker quiet and he had another effort after half an hour which goalkeeper Greg Fleming dealt with.

It was Michael Moffat who made the breakthrough after 33 minutes with a close-range strike but the lead lasted just two minutes.

Gerry McLauchlan headed the equaliser from a corner-kick to provide the perfect response.

Dunfermline were reduced to ten men after 53 minutes when Joe Cardle was sent off after picking up two bookings in quick succession.

Robbie Crawford came within inches of putting Ayr in front midway through the second half, shooting narrowly wide.

But Hopkirk gave Dunfermline the points with 20 minutes left when he calmly rounded the goalkeeper after Ayr had given up possession cheaply.

Albion Rovers remain third after a narrow 1-0 win at Stenhousemuir.

Gary Fisher provided a 69th-minute lead with a low shot but Jason Scotland wasted a great chance to equalise when he struck the post with a penalty-kick.

Brechin City and Peterhead drew 1-1. Peterhead took just seven minutes to edge in front, Leighton McIntosh – the division’s player of the month in November – breaking the deadlock. Substitute Robert Thomson equalised with nine minutes left. Greig Spence netted his ninth goal of the season to give Cowdenbeath a 1-0 win at Forfar Athletic.

Airdrieonians won 3-1 at Stranraer, taking the lead five minutes from half-time when Bryan Prunty pounced in the area after McGurn had blocked a shot. Taylor Morgan made it 2-0 four minutes into the second half when he lobbed the ball over McGurn. Craig Malcolm pulled a goal back with a header before Liam Watt settled it.