On January 10, 2019, the Pars turned to legendary striker Stevie Crawford after Allan Johnston’s three-and-a-half-year reign came to an end. In only his second job as manager in senior football, Crawford’s overhauled the Pars squad, putting the emphasis on youth, and worked tirelessly to restore a sense of pride in a club that is so close to his heart. Reporter Ieuan Williams looks back at an eventful 12 months.

DUNFERMLINE have failed to take a single point from their last five games and they find themselves just three points off the relegation play-off spot.

It’s a dangerous run of form but it is not the first time Stevie Crawford has found himself in this position as Pars head coach and he’s confident results will turn.

A crisis was only narrowly averted at the end of last season as his side nearly sleepwalked into danger by taking just one point from 24; seven defeats from eight.

The Championship fixtures ran out just in time as the club ended the campaign in seventh place.

Fast forward to the present day and they currently occupy fifth spot – just four points off fourth – with their positive goal difference separating them and the chasing pack of Queen of the South, Morton and Arbroath, by the finest of margins.

Press Sport looks back at Crawford’s first 12 months in the Dunfermline dugout a year after taking charge.

Club chairman Ross McArthur chose to promote from within the coaching staff to replace Allan Johnston in January last year.

The Pars parted company with Johnston after his side squandered a 2-0 half-time lead against Alloa, who equalised in the final seconds.

Crawford, then serving as the first team coach and reserve team manager, was appointed as his replacement on January 10, 2019, and he moved to bring in Greg Shields as his number two.

The manager may have changed but the results and team selection remained the same in his first match in charge in a 1-0 defeat to Dundee United which was then followed up by an embarrassing Scottish Cup exit to local rivals Raith Rovers.

A travelling support of 2,794 made their way through to Kirkcaldy for the fourth round tie and watched on as they were knocked out 3-0.

After an away draw with Morton and home defeat to Ross County, Crawford tasted his first win as Pars boss against Inverness which kickstarted a run of five consecutive victories (with five clean sheets) that moved them from seventh place to fourth.

Three wins during this run were earned in February which resulted in Crawford being named the Ladbrokes Championship Manager of the Month.

The winning streak eventually came to an end at home to Dundee United in late March in what would be the start of a miserable spell of performances and results.

They ended the season with seven defeats from eight games with four of the bottom five sides beating them in a series of poor displays.

From the 18-man squad selected to travel to Inverness on the final day last year, only three started for the Pars in their most recent fixture against Morton.

Crawford put his own stamp on the team during a busy summer transfer window which saw 14 players arrive and 11 depart.

Ryan Dow and Aaron Comrie were the first two names in the door and both have been consistently strong performers in Pars colours.

Raith Rovers striker Kevin Nisbet was also snapped up and is arguably one of the best signings made by any Championship manager this season.

He’s scored 16 league goals from 21 games with only Dundee United and Inverness keeping him quiet.

The Pars have only won once in the league when Nisbet hasn’t scored, and he’s netted more than half of Dunfermline’s Championship goals. He also smashed in five from five in the Betfred Cup, including a hat-trick on his home debut against Albion Rovers.

Experienced midfielder Paul Paton was also brought in to captain the new-look Dunfermline and he led the team in a 3-2 Betfred Cup group stage victory over St Mirren to start the 2019/20 campaign with great promise.

Despite being humbled by League Two side Edinburgh City, they advanced comfortably to the next round as group winners.

They were rewarded with a glamour cup tie against Celtic in Glasgow and more than 1,200 Athletic fans made their voices heard as they watched a fantastic display from their team.

They were compact, organised and smart on the counter, with Tom Beadling’s second-half equaliser sending the game into extra-time and the away support wild.

Although they couldn’t hold out for penalties or snatch a winner themselves, it was a proud, memory-making performance and they more than merited their standing ovation at the full-time whistle.

However, their Scottish Cup defeat to League One’s bottom side Stranraer was a day to forget as they limped out of the competition at the first hurdle in a 1-0 upset.

They were out of all cup competitions by the end of November as the Stair Park shock came two months after Alloa fought back to win 2-1 at East End in the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Cup.

Crawford has guided the team to as high as third in the Championship this year but inconsistent performances and defensive errors have seen them fall out of the play-off places.

Although they drew with Dundee on the opening day, their performance in the first 45 minutes was excellent and they were a joy to watch with Nisbet and Lewis McCann leading the line brilliantly and Josh Coley and Dow causing havoc on both flanks.

That was the Pars at their best and this young team – if they can replicate that level of performance – have the players and potential to climb the league and finish in the play-offs at the right end of the table.

Creating chances isn’t the problem, as recent months have shown, but their defensive frailties and inability to fight back in games is costing them points.

They’ve conceded 13 goals in their last five games and have only won once in the 12 games that they have been in a losing position.

It’s a poor run of form but Crawford and his players are confident they can put smiles back on the fans’ faces, starting against Dundee next Friday night with the BBC Scotland cameras arriving to East End for the occasion.