Greenock Morton 1

KEVIN Nisbet was at the double as the Pars moved into third place in the Championship with a convincing win over Morton.

The striker netted either side of a Greg Kiltie strike with Reece Lyon netting a consolation for the dreadful visitors.

Dunfermline now find themselves just four points off Inverness in second place after winning their fifth home league game on the bounce.

They have bounced back from their shock Scottish Cup exit to Stranraer in some style and never looked like picking up anything other than a win against today's visitors.

Stevie Crawford would have fancied their chances against a team that had failed to take a single point on the road this season before the sides met at East End Park.

The only absentee for the Pars from their win at Somerset Park against Ayr United on Tuesday night was Lee Ashcroft. The centre-back had to be withdrawn at half-time midweek after sustaining a head knock. Josh Edwards was brought in at left-back to replace Ashcroft in the starting XI, with Lewis Martin shuffling one space across the defence to partner Danny Devine in the middle.

The opposition had one familiar face in their side with David Hopkin providing ex-Par Robbie Muirhead with a chance to shine against his former club.

Dunfermline started well with Harry Cochrane pulling the strings from the base of midfield with Ryan Dow, Greg Kiltie and Kevin Nisbet all benefitting from the youngster's passing into space.

Morton sat deep early on and limited Nisbet and Kiltie to half chances in the opening 10 minutes which failed to test Danny Rogers.

Clever work down the right resulted in the first clear opportunity for the Pars to edge ahead but Kyle Turner missed the target.

Dow released Aaron Comrie to the byline and the right-back's drilled cross was met by the advancing Turner who met the ball on the stretch but fired over.

The home support didn't have to wait too much longer for a goal to celebrate as Nisbet added more value to his ever-increasing stock.

It was the striker's initial delivery which forced a Morton defender to head the ball off Chris Millar's hand and referee Steven Kirkland had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Nisbet stepped up and Rogers guessed correctly to thwart the coveted hitman that's drawn attention from Scotland's biggest clubs this season.

Rogers' heroics would count for nothing though as Kirkland had adjudged that the stopper had moved off his line and ordered a re-take much to the anger of the visiting manager, team and support.

Nisbet would make no mistake at the second attempt and blasted the second in the opposite direction of his first on 22 minutes.

The 22-year-old and his teammates were growing in confidence and Tom Beadling hit the side-netting before Kiltie headed off the post inside the six-yard box with Rogers left rooted to the soaked turf.

The Pars were completely in control of the half and Morton failed to offer anything in the way of efforts at goal. They were pedestrian and aimless long balls were dealt with comfortable by the Athletic defence.

They managed to get in at the break just a goal down but went further behind through tragic defending after the interval.

Rogers made a fine save to deny Nisbet's low rifled drive and just when he was ready to collect his own parry, Peter Grant booted the ball out of his hands and Kiltie was free for an easy tap-in from six yards out.

It was no more than the Pars deserved and they nearly made it three soon after but Beadling was kept out.

Morton had never looked like scoring all game but they found a way back into the tie on 62 minutes.

Reece Lyon had just emerged from the bench and with his first touch of the game pulled Morton level from 20 yards after making himself free at the edge of the box.

While they were having more of the ball, the visitors couldn't find a leveller and were hit on the break in clinical fashion by Nisbet.

The striker got his second after Dow freed the striker for a one-one with the last defender on the counter attack.

He wrapped his foot round the ball and curled home with a touch of class for his 13th league goal of the season.

Crawford's men only ever looked like winning this match and Nisbet was denied a hat-trick in the final moments as his shot was blocked from eight yards out.

Victory puts them up to third in the table ahead of their next match against Dundee next Saturday at Dens Park.

PARS: Gill, Comrie, Devine, Martin, Edwards, Dow, Cochrane, Beadling (Morrison 84)), Turner (Thomson 71), Kiltie, Nisbet.

Subs not used: Scully, McGill, McDonald, McCann Fenton.

Booking: Edwards (18)

Goals: Nisbet (22, 83), Kiltie (51)

MORTON: Rogers, Jacobs, Welsh (Salkeld 66), Grant, Baird, Livingstone, Millar (Lyon 60), McAllister, Muirhead, McHugh, Cadden (Nesbitt 54).

Subs not used: Ramsbottom, Nesbitt, Blues.

Bookings: Baird (44), Welsh (64), Grant (73), Nesbitt (84)

Goal: Lyon (62)

Referee: Steven Kirkland

Attendance: 3,515