Albion Rovers 1 Pars 1

There was a smash hit and a record set but it wasn't a day for Pars fans to remember after they lost ground in the League One title race. 

They could only draw in Coatbridge while league leaders Ayr stretched the gap at the top to three points with a comfortable victory against Airdrie. 

It took a wonder strike to finally breach the Dunfermline rearguard with a new club record of ten and a half hours without conceding a league goal set at Coatbridge. 
Josh Mullin's stunning leveller was the first Pars goalie Sean Murdoch had conceded in League One since the 1-1 draw with Airdrie in September, 632 minutes of football in total. 
It brought Albion back into the match after Andy Geggan met a corner and sent a downward header into the net to confirm the visitors' early dominance. 
The title chasers had brought back Joe Cardle - wearing one glove over a strapping on his right hand - after injury while Shaun Byrne, who climbed off the bench to net the second goal against Airdrie, came in for the crocked Rhys McCabe. 
Dunfermline hadn't visited Coatbridge on league business for more than 30 years, the last win at Cliftonhill coming in the old Second Division in October 1984. 
Allan Johnston's men were aiming to embark on a winning run ahead of the Scottish Cup clash at Ayr next week and the home side were in trouble in the second minute when a loose header from Alan Reid back into his own box caused panic. 
Michael Moffat drifted off the left flank to fire an effort into the side netting and Geggan let fly moments later with a 25-yard drive that flew over the top. 
Moffat's touch let him down after a lightning break and incisive pass from Faissal El Bakhtaoui and the chance was lost as he was forced wide. 
It was all one way traffic towards Albion's goal and they were lucky to survive when Ryan Wallace pulled the ball back and El Bakhtaoui's instant flick at the front post was deflected past the post. 
But from the corner Geggan rose to power an unstoppable 15th minute header down and across the line, despite the efforts of some desperate Rovers defenders. 
They got it right two minutes later when keeper Ross Stewart punched Wallace's dangerous free kick to the edge of the box. 
El Bakhtaoui hammered it back towards goal but Michael Dunlop was in the right place to block on the line and prevent Pars taking a comfortable lead. 
And it proved the turning point for Rovers as they scored with their first attack in the 20th minute. 
There was an assist for ref Alan Muir with a poor decision to penalise Wallace for a sliding tackle where he won the ball and was then kicked by ex-Par Andy Barrowman. 
The free kick was lumped into the box and only cleared as far as Mullin who smacked a wonderful volley arcing away from Murdoch and in off the crossbar. 
Dunfermline's early dominance was over as the home team took heart from their stunning leveller, with Murdoch getting down to smother a Barrowman shot on the turn in the 36th minute. 
Moffat could have edged Athletic back in front when he stole in behind the defence to latch onto a long pass but he couldn't get a decent connection to divert the ball past the onrushing Stewart. 
Barrowman nodded a chance just over the bar on the stroke of half time, with Murdoch appealing for a foul and the Coatbridge men looking far more threatening. 
Pars' first attempt at goal in the second half ended up in the car park. Seconds later El Bakhtaoui at least came closer than Geggan with a looping header that dropped safely into Stewart's gloves. 
Byrne thumped a downward volley into the sodden turf and into the Rovers' keeper's midriff before a scare in the Athletic box where Mullin found space but panicked and overhit the cross. 
A promising break ended with Moffat overcooking the final ball but Dunfermline kept the heat on. 
For a change, Cardle raced to the byline instead of cutting inside and his inviting clip was met by Wallace but the wee striker couldn't get his head on target. 
Barrowman should have punished his old club in the 55th minute when a slide rule pass from Mullin played him in but he pulled the shot across goal and well wide. 
Ayr had beaten Albion the week before and Pars were desperate to find the goal they needed to keep the pressure on the league leaders. 
An acrobatic volley from El Bakhtaoui bounced harmlessly past before the boss shuffled his pack, replacing wide boys Cardle and Wallace with David Hopkirk and Michael Paton. 
Too often Dunfermline gave the ball away, they overhit the pass on an admittedly sticky surface numerous times, and the away following were growing frustrated. 
Moffat wriggled free in the box in the 70th minute but dragged his low shot across goal and wide. 
A great driving run from Geggan almost brought the goal - he also stayed on his feet after a hefty challenge from behind - but Stewart was down to save. 
A fierce Lewis Martin strike skidded dangerously off the wet pitch with the keeper happy to somehow palm the ball round the post. 
Dunfermline cranked up the pressure with Rovers retreating towards their own goal and hoping to hang on for a point. The home side almost provided a sting in the tail when Murdoch was troubled by sub Ally Love's thump from 25 yards.