League One wrap: Joe Cardle nets hat-trick for Dunfermline

Joe Cardle netted a hat-trick for Dunfermline. Picture: SNS
Joe Cardle netted a hat-trick for Dunfermline. Picture: SNS
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Dunfermline turned on the style as they took another step closer to the League 1 title by crushing Stranraer 6-1 at East End Park.

Faissal El Bakhtaoui netted twice and Joe Cardle grabbed a hat-trick with Brad McKay also on the scoresheet. El Bakhtaoui opened the scoring midway through the first half when he tucked the ball away after Michael Paton and Cardle had combined. It was 2-0 before the break when Cardle cut in from the left to shoot home. Stranraer got the second half off to a good start when Mark McGuigan scored from 18 yards.

That was to be their high point as McKay quickly restored Dunfermline’s two-goal advantage with a header. On 54 minutes it was 4-1 when El Bakhtaoui crashed home a Michael Moffat flick and 
Cardle slipped home the fifth just three minutes later. Cardle rounded things off with 17 minutes left when he shot home a pass from 
substitute Ryan Wallace.

Peterhead continued their impressive pursuit of the 
Fifers with a 4-1 Balmoor success over a Brechin City side that are increasingly looking like they are bound for League 2. Rory McAllister, who went on to grab a hat-trick, fired the Blue Toon in front on 25 minutes. The lead was doubled in first-half injury time when McAllister drilled home a shot from 20 yards.

Liam Watt pulled a goal back midway through the second half but McAllister chipped in his third with 15 minutes left and Shane Sutherland added the fourth in injury time.

Ayr United boosted their play-off hopes and dented Airdrie’s with a 1-0 win at the Excelsior Stadium. Craig Moore came up with the all-important goal on the stroke of half time. Cowdenbeath stopped their slide down the table with a 3-2 success at Stenhousemuir. One-time Hibs striker Ross Caldwell gave the Blue Brazil the lead after six minutes and Declan Byrne doubled the lead shortly afterwards. A quickfire double by Colin McMenamin pulled the Warriors level, but Lewis Milne grabbed the winner with 11 minutes left.

Forfar defeated ten-man Albion Rovers 1-0 thanks to an injury-time Steven Craig goal.