Peter Grant eases some Dunfermline pressure with Raith fightback and alludes to disrupted preparations
Dunfermline manager Peter Grant eased some of the pressure on himself after his team fought back at Stark’s Park to earn a 1-1 draw with Raith Rovers.
The Pars are still rooted to the foot of the cinch Championship, winless and on just four points after seven matches, but the manner in which they recovered after being outplayed by Raith in the first half will have given some scope for optimism.
Replayed due to a power failure last month that forced an abandonment, this time the lights stayed on for the first Fife derby of the season. In-form Dario Zanatta put Rovers ahead after 11 minutes, but Dunfermline levelled on 79 minutes via substitute Kevin O’Hara.
Former Alloa Athletic boss Grant was appointed during the summer to replace Stevie Crawford and while the early signs were promising, with some good performances in the Premier Sports Cup, the league campaign has been underwhelming. Some of the Dunfermline supporters are already disillusioned with results and performances under the ex-Celtic coach.
German consortium DAFC Fussball GmbH now hold the majority shareholding at Dunfermline and Thomas Meggle and Damir Keretic, two of the principal players in the group, were here to witness proceedings. There is little doubt that despite this third consecutive draw in the league, Grant will need to eke out improvements from this team, expected to build on last season’s fourth-place finish.
The visitors put in a wretched first-half performance and were fortunate that an impressive Raith did not put the game to bed. However, only a goal ahead at the break, Rovers left the door open. Grant brought on forwards Craig Wighton and O’Hara and the more offensive outlook got them a foothold in the match.
Post-match, Grant alluded to preparations for the match being disrupted. “We had quite a difficult build-up to the game with injuries and whatever, so we never really got working on anything,” he said. “We had fantastic backing again. I know I have my critics, but they were desperate for us to win. And I think they could see the spirit the boys showed. They have never waned once.”
Raith boss John McGlynn said: “It’s two points dropped from the position were in, but it was our third game in six days. I’m happy with the overall performance.”
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