JAMES MCPAKE saluted the response of his Athletic players after they battled back to earn a point in what he called a "showpiece" clash with Falkirk.

Table-topping Pars saw their unbeaten start to League One under threat when Callumn Morrison gave the visitors the lead - just the second goal Dunfermline have conceded in seven outings - in the first half.

READ MORE: Skipper Kyle's on point for Pars in pulsating Falkirk draw

Although they hit the crossbar with a Nikolay Todorov header, Dunfermline struggled in the opening period, with Morrison's goal giving the Bairns a deserved advantage.

However, they turned the tables after the break with a much improved performances, which was rewarded by Kyle Benedictus, with his first goal for the club, scoring from the penalty spot after Todorov had been felled by Liam Henderson.

Prior to that, Joe Chalmers had struck the inside of the post with a terrific strike, while Todorov, after doing brilliantly to connect with Aaron Comrie's low cross, struck the woodwork again later in the half.

"For a neutral, that would have been a very good game for this league," McPake commented.

"I think it was a very good game and showpiece for the league. There are good teams in this league.

"First half, I would say Falkirk were the better team. The way he (John McGlynn) plays football, and he'll come out and probably say that, and he'll say they should've won the game. You know that's not true, but they're hard to deal with.

"When you allow them the space and the time to do it, they'll hurt you. Second half, with the change of shape, that's all down to our players. When you change the shape, you ask them to do it, and second half, we were the better team.

"I know we hit the woodwork in the first half but, during the game, you hit the woodwork three times and you come away disappointed that you've not won the game.

"But, credit to my players, the way they responded. Chris Mochrie, in the second half, was the best player on the pitch by a country mile. He showed why he's in the under-21 squad, and he shows why he'll have a fantastic career.

"First half, he looked a wee bit lost in the way it was going, but I'll take that because it was me that picked the shape."

McPake, who said that Kevin O'Hara missed out with a knee injury, which looks likely to leave him facing a spell on the sidelines, was pleased to see how his team reacted to falling behind in a league game for the first time this season.

"It's the first time we've went behind as well so, in a strange and weird way, I'm glad that happened to see how they would react," he continued.

"Obviously, I would rather have won the game, but it was a big test and in front of a big crowd.

"The last time a lot of those players, I don't know how many of them - you take out Benedictus, take out Mochrie, Deniz (Mehmet) if Jakub (Stolarczyk, who was on loan to the Pars last season) was playing, I don't know - but the last time a lot of those players played in a big game that was important, with a big crowd, and everybody built it up to be a big game, but it was worth three points, a point or no points, but the last time they played in a game with a crowd like that was a play-off or a relegation fight.

"To show the character they showed to get themselves back in the game is credit to them, the mindset they're in and what they're trying to do.

We're still unbeaten, which is a positive as well, so all credit to my players in my opinion."

Bairns boss McGlynn felt his side were "totally dominant" in the opening period, and reckoned they were the more likely winners during the game's latter stages.

"First half, we were totally dominant," he said.

"I thought we were excellent; we played some great football, we got in behind them, we created opportunities but, unfortunately, we end up rueing the chances that we didn't take.

"I think we could've been two or three up at half-time. If we're two or three up at half-time, I think the game's finished, and that's what we would be a little bit disappointed in that we didn't take these opportunities, because I thought we were very dominant.

"We expected a reaction from Dunfermline in the second half, which we got. They came out the blocks at the start of the second half, and we had to weather that storm.

"Unfortunately, we didn't, although we're on the attack. We're at the edge of their box, Todorov does really well, and maybe Liam doesn't need to go and make that challenge because they've got a lot to do to score from there, but the referee gives a penalty, and it was very much game on. I thought after that it was nip and tuck.

"The first half, we were absolutely excellent, and I thought the game levelled off in the second half.

"They came out at the start of the second half, but I thought we had opportunities to win the game; cutbacks from the bye line, one going in behind, so I think if anyone was going to win it, I think we deserved to win it."

McPake also said afterwards that Rhys Breen, who was substituted late on, was taken off as a precaution and was "fine".