A SLOW start turned into a convincing victory for Dunfermline Athletic as they secured a 3-0 win over Albion Rovers at East End Park this afternoon.

A lovely half-volley from Joe Cardle sent the Pars in front two minutes before half time before second-half goals from Rhys McCabe and Faissal El Bahktaoui completed the scoring, while Rovers sub Darren Young was sent off in the dying moments just nine minutes after coming on.

Both sides traded blows in the opening stages of the game, with the visitors keen to get forward and press the Pars defence. Joshua Mullin looked lively down the right but his shot inside the first ten minutes was straight at Sean Murdoch and did little to trouble the Pars keeper.

The home side found themselves pinned inside their own half for spells but were quick on the break, with El Bahktaoui always looking sharp and ready. A push in the back by Ricardo Talu which cut short the striker's dash to the byline had the Pars fans screaming for a yellow card, but the Rovers player escaped punishment from referee Mike Roncone.

On the half-hour mark, Shaun Rooney looked to pick out Michael Moffat with a cross into the box but Rovers keeper Ross Stewart easily took the ball from above the striker's head. Five minutes later, a corner for Albion saw Andrew Barrowman go close with a header while Mullin sent another chance for the visitors over the bar.

In the 41st minute the Pars fans were calling for a penalty when Cardle saw his run into the box halted when he was brought to the ground. However he only had to wait two minutes for justice after picking up the ball in the middle of the box and curling his shot into the top left corner of the goal to fire the home side in front after 43 minutes.

It wasn't perhaps the first-half performance that the Pars has been looking for but they went into the break a goal to the good. Michael Moffat made way for Mickael Antoine Curier for the second half while Cardle and Michael Paton switched flanks.

Both sides had a share of the ball in the opening 10 minutes after the restart but neither goalkeeper was really called into action. Andy Geggan tried his luck with a drive in the 59th minute but there was nothing in the shot to give Rovers any trouble. Two minutes later, Shaun Rooney tried a left-footed curling shot from inside the box but there was no real power to the shot and Stewart was able to hold it easily.

The same could not be said for the Rovers keeper in the 62nd minute, his effort to block McCabe's long-distance shot going up in the air and backwards over his head as he failed to claw it out from the net.

The Pars' 2-0 lead could have been halved just minutes later, however, when Rooney fumbled with the ball at his feet in his own box and almost put the ball past Murdoch. Fortunately for the home side, the keeper managed to gather it and keep his side out of danger.

Both managers made substitutions, with Cardle being replaced by David Hopkirk in the 64th minute while Albion boss Darren Young took off Alistair Love for Scott McBride.

A hard challenge from Kyle Turnbull on Hopkirk just moments after the Pars man came on saw a booking for the visitors and Rooney had a chance on goal as the referee played advantage but the Rovers defence cleared the danger after Stewart looked less than convincing with the save again.

Goal number three for the Pars came on the 75th minute when El Bahktaoui received the ball in the centre of the box and sent his shot cleanly into the back of the net, leaving Stewart stranded.

Hopkirk could have added one of his own a minute later, but his stinging shot from outside the box was well-held by the keeper.

The Pars made their final change of the game in the 81st minute as Ryan Wallace came on for Rooney, while Rovers made a double swap a minute later in a bid a salvage something from the match, with Mark Ferry and Darren Young replacing Gary Fisher and Paul Willis.

Young was promptly booked in the 84th minute after bringing down El Bahktaoui when the Pars man was on a run to the box, but the resulting free-kick failed to hit the target.

And the misery for the Rovers sub was only compounded in the 91st minute when he was sent off after a second yellow for a challenge in the dying minutes.

There were cries for another penalty moments before the final whistle when El Bahktaoui was tripped in the box but the game ended in a 3-0 victory for the Pars.

Pars: Murdoch, Rooney, Talbot, McAusland, Richards-Everton, Geggan (c), Paton, McCabe, Moffat, El Bahktaoui, Cardle Subs: Hutton, Wallace, Antoine Curier, Hopkirk, Byrne, Spence, Potter Albion Rovers: Stewart, Talu, Turnbull, Fisher, R Dunlop, M Dunlop (c), Mullin, Davidson, Barrowman, Willis, Love Subs: Lochhead, Ferry, Young, McBride, McRobbie, Gemmell Referee: Mike Roncone Attendance: 3,086