It is fair to say this was an eventful afternoon for Farid El Alagui. Only on the pitch for 45 minutes, the Dunfermline striker managed to score a double at the right end and an own goal at the wrong one as he earned the Pars a place in the quarter-finals.
The introduction of the former Hibernian and Falkirk marksman was manager Allan Johnston’s answer to an insipid first-half display that played right into the hands of a Queen’s Park side content to funnel an entire team behind the ball and hit on the break.
However, El Alagui’s aerial prowess and ceaseless work-rate instantly posed different questions of the League One visitors before the French-Moroccan’s own goal handed the amateurs fresh impetus in the closing stages.
“Farid made a big impact,” beamed Johnston. “He gives us that bit of physical presence up front, especially when teams are sitting in, and you saw the difference he made, getting the goals.
“I didn’t want to mention the own goal! But he did really well and we could have scored more.”
El Alagui blasted in the opener three minutes after coming on at half-time when a corner fell at his feet.
He then headed in the second from Joe Cardle’s cross in the 62nd minute. Eight minutes later, he sullied his performance when he nodded Darren Miller’s corner into his own net.
Queen’s Park felt that an earlier Miller corner had crossed the line but manager Gus MacPherson was pleased with his side’s efforts.
“The players were a credit to themselves,” he said.