DUNFERMLINE moved to the top of the table with a Fife derby victory over Cowdenbeath which could be best described as routine, albeit in circumstances bordering on the bizarre.
Dunfermline - Cardle 28; Armstrong og 78; Dargo 84
The half-time interval lasted 34 minutes after referee Kevin Clancy withdrew from duty due to an injury picked up in an accidental clash with Cowdenbeath’s player-manager Colin Cameron.
Without a fourth official at First Division level to step into the breach, a public announcement was made to the supporters inside East End Park, pleading for any SFA qualified officials to make themselves known.
G4S steward and Category Six referee in the Kirkcaldy district leagues John Campbell did just that and, as the second half belatedly began, found himself running the far-side touchline as assistant referee Douglas Ross took charge of the encounter.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Dunfermline manager Jim Jefferies. “In league football, there should be a fourth official, because these things happen and it is ridiculous we got to this stage.”
Footballing matters on the field were rather more straightforward.
Dunfermline opened the scoring on 27 minutes. Diminutive midfielder Josh Falkingham fed Joe Cardle at the corner of the box, who fired past Thomas Flynn from the edge of the box.
Stephen Husband then passed up a golden opportunity to double the lead minutes later as his nonchalant penalty kick was saved by Flynn.
John Armstrong, enduring a forgettable afternoon having concede the first-half penalty, then diverted an Andy Geggan cross into his own net, and the Pars went top on goal difference when substitute Craig Dargo slid home from close range after a Geggan cross.