JAMES MCPAKE said he was proud of his Pars players for their efforts despite missing out on an SPFL Trust Trophy semi-final.

Their twice-postponed last eight tie at Championship Dundee took place last night (Tuesday) and, despite Lewis McCann (below) cancelling out Paul McMullan's opener for the Dark Blues, Athletic went down to a 4-2 loss.

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READ MORE: Pars knocked out of SPFL Trust Trophy by Dundee

It was their second cup exit in four days, having gone out of the Scottish Cup to another second tier side, Partick Thistle, on penalties at the weekend, but McPake believes his League One leaders can take positives from the match.

"I think for maybe 84 minutes, or whenever the third goal goes in, we were well in the game," he said.

"I thought we started really well, had some good play. I think it was a good game actually, until the third goal goes in, and we were a bit unlucky.

"Fair play to the Dundee players. They were clinical at the top end of the pitch. We had some chances early on, but I think you can say it did maybe flatter them a wee bit, because it was such a good game.

"They've got good players that can hurt you, but I thought we were good on the night."

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When asked if his former club - McPake (pictured above with Lewis McCann) and number two, Dave Mackay, left Dens Park almost a year ago - were more clinical than Dunfermline, and that was the difference in the match, McPake replied: "I don't know because three of the goals are deflections as well.

"You say, is that clinical? I don't like the word lucky, so I don't know.

"At the short corner (for Dundee's second goal), we had made three subs right before it as well, so did we maybe get mixed up with that? I might need to look at that because was it at the right time? I don't know, I'd need to watch the video back.

"When you see some of the chances we had early on, we scored two fantastic goals, which I'm delighted about. We had a young kid (Sam Young) up against Alex Jakubiak, who is a fantastic player. He can hurt anyone in the Premiership, let alone a young boy who is making his first appearance against senior players. It's great for Sam Young (pictured below), I’m delighted for him.

"It was a good decision to get him off, and it was probably taking him off that caused the goals later on.

"It's a game that we're disappointed to lose, of course we are. It's a feeling we haven't been used to too much this season, and it's happened back-to-back now, with Partick Thistle and the coming here.

"But I'm proud of the team, proud of the players, each and every one of them. We are without a few, as are probably Dundee, I don't know - Paul McGowan's still injured, Shaun Byrne's injured - so they're minus a couple.

"There's no excuses, but I thought we were good on the night."

Captain, Kyle Benedictus, felt he was fouled in the build-up to the opening goal, but also felt the Pars could take positives from the game, despite what he felt was a harsh final scoreline.

"Towards the end, we were trying to push for that second goal, left three v three at the back, and they've capitalised on that," he said.

"We were going for it, and I thought it was another positive performance.

"That's what happens when you're chasing, trying to make it two all, but there's no questions of the boys. I thought the boys gave everything again, on another tough pitch.

"The last two games, with the rain, the pitches are tough, so credit to the boys.

"It's similar to Saturday; I thought we could've been a goal up in the first 15 minutes. I keep saying if you keep creating those, chances are going to go in, so we need to keep doing that.

"I've not seen it back, but I think it's a foul on me for their first goal. Their boy's pulled me, and the coaching staff and the manager said it looked a foul as well. I'll need to see it again, but these things sometimes go for you, or they don't.

"Credit to the boys, they came back, got it to one all, and probably just switched off at a corner.

"I think the manager, it was maybe 30 seconds before, made a triple change, and sometimes that can happen, in terms of people not knowing where they are.

"It's just switching off at that moment in time, and you're playing against teams in a higher league, they're going to be able to do that to you.

"Credit to the boys again, but we're obviously disappointed, because we did come here to win the game."

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Kyle Benedictus applauds the travelling support at full-time.