THE end of the most turbulent week in the history of Dunfermline Athletic brought some welcome solace as a youthful Pars side salvaged a spirited 2-2 draw away to high-flying Livingston.
After entering interim administration and, as a result, having to shed seven senior first-team players as well as assistant manager Gerry McCabe last week, the Pars were priced up as 7/1 bookies’ outsiders for their trip to West Lothian.
Yet, despite taking to the field with a patched-up defence featuring a clutch of Under-20s and veteran John Potter, who was playing with an ankle injury, the Pars soaked up plenty Livingston pressure but left with a point that only the cruellest observer would have begrudged them.
The Pars, likely to find themselves drawn into a relegation fight if they suffer a substantial points deduction for their financial indiscretions, took the lead midway through the first half through Ryan Thomson before Livingston turned the game on its head through Anthony Andreu and substitute Marc McNulty midway through the second half. However, the visitors refused to capitulate and grabbed their point in injury time when Stephen Husband netted a penalty after Danny Mullen had fouled Shaun Byrne.
Jefferies said: “I have to praise two sets of players, those that have stayed and those that have left. I asked the youngsters to thank the guys that have passed on their experience to them by putting on a good display and they did that.”
Elsewhere, Partick Thistle are now four points clear at the top, with a game in hand, after winning 2-1 at Cowdenbeath. The Firhill side, who triumphed 3-0 at Central Park last Wednesday, opened the scoring when Kris Doolan converted a James Craigen pass after just 12 minutes, but the Blue Brazil levelled through Craig Moore’s header after half an hour. The leaders claimed the points courtesy of a 62nd-minute header from Doolan although they survived a late scare when Jamie Stevenson’s free kick hit the underside of the bar.
Jags manager Alan Archibald feels his side have rediscovered their mojo at just the right time. He said: “We are looking like a hungry team at the moment. Our energy and workrate is terrific.”
Second-place Morton saw their challenge suffer another setback as they lost 2-1 to Raith Rovers in Kirkcaldy. Former Greenock player Brian Graham headed the hosts in front on 12 minutes before Michael Tidser sliced a Jason Thomson cross into his own net to double Rovers’ lead before the interval. The Cappielow men could only muster a Kyle Wilkie goal 18 minutes from time in reply.
Falkirk sent hosts Airdrie closer to relegation with a 1-0 success that was achieved through Lyle Taylor’s 27th goal of the season. The striker robbed Gregor Buchanan and raced through to net just before the hour mark. Taylor’s game ended eight minutes from time after he picked up a second yellow card following an incident with Buchanan.
Dumbarton climbed into seventh place after defeating Hamilton 3-2 at New Douglas Park, with Steven McDougall opening the scoring for the Sons before the home side had Gary Fisher dismissed just past the half-hour mark. Scott Agnew made it two on 49 minutes, before substitute Andy Ryan quickly gave the ten men hope, but Paul McGinn lashed home a third for Dumbarton, who held on despite Stevie May’s late counter.