STEVIE CRAWFORD believes that his side's refusal to "buckle" during their latest win on Saturday is a marker of Dunfermline's continued progress.

The Pars head coach, who is two months shy of celebrating his second year in charge, has led the club to their best start to a season after they defeated Queen of the South to move top of the Championship table.

Their third win from as many league matches has followed as many victories in the group stage of the Betfred Cup, and they will go to Ayr United this weekend looking to make it a magnificent seven maximums in this campaign so far.

Despite having led 2-0 and 3-1 at points against the Doonhamers, Athletic were made to sweat towards the end of proceedings when Stephen Dobbie's 74th-minute penalty gave former East End boss Allan Johnston's outfit hope of achieving their first point of the season.

But they held out and, speaking this week, Crawford commented: "Looking back, there wasn't much in the game on Saturday there.

"I thought we finished it really strong. We were really strong in the first half when I look back at the game and played some really good stuff. We go in 2-0 ahead and then, when you lose the goal early on, you're thinking are Queens going to have a go at us now because they're hurting from losing their first two league games?

"We had a great response again. I've spoken about the lead-up to the third goal itself; I thought some of the football we played was fantastic. It's a good delivery, Euan Murray gets on it, Paul Watson reacts like you'd want the strikers to do, and buries the chance.

"At that point it was great – 3-1 up, an hour into the game – and then we lost a bad goal at a bad time. The penalty – should Iain (Wilson) have dived in? Possibly not but he'll learn from it.

"What I will say is that, although we did end up too deep, we didn't buckle and I think that you earn your own luck at times like that. I do think, looking back 12 months or 18 months ago, the corner kicks that we were conceding later on in the game we would've lost a goal. We would've.

"It's not to say we won't in the future but that was the pleasing side at 3-2. The difference between taking three points at the weekend and coming away with a point is massive.

"I keep saying it, we are going to drop points at some stage this season, but as long as the attitude and commitment's there like that, and the togetherness, we'll pick up more points than we'll lose this year."

Crawford hopes that they won't lose any at Somerset Park which, in recent times, has largely been a happy hunting ground for Dunfermline.

Of their last 12 visits, the Pars have come away with victory on nine occasions, which includes the previous two meetings, and have only lost once.

Mark Kerr's team lost their first match of the season on Saturday, 3-2 at Greenock Morton, having had a man sent off, and Crawford is wary of the threat they pose going forward.

Former Athletic pair Michael Moffat and Bruce Anderson, on loan from Aberdeen, are key components of their side, and Crawford added: "The four of them (Cammy Smith, Luke McCowan, Moffat and Anderson) caused a lot of problems last week and hit the post as well.

"They're good with their wee combination plays, clever in terms of linking and asking defenders questions, so it is going to be a very difficult game.

"What I would then flip that with is that we've got to try and be narrow, tight and secure out of possession, but make sure we're causing them problems as well.

"We're scoring goals at the moment and we're winning games of football, but Somerset Park is a very difficult place to go. Mentally, we've got to be on the money right from the start."

Crawford said that Aaron Comrie, who was forced off against Queens, is unlikely to be involved as the club wait to see the extent of the knock he picked up, while Lewis Martin went for an MRI scan on Tuesday in relation to what the manager said "seems to be a wee issue on the metatarsal area".