Queen's Park 0 PARS 2

GOAL HERO Lewis McCann joked that he "got a wee bit excited" after a first half effort that led to him lighting up the national stadium with a set-piece stunner.

The Dunfermline forward had already put his side ahead against Queen's Park when, in the 67th minute, he stood over a free-kick won by debutant Alex Jakubiak.

Having already forced goalkeeper, Callan McKenna, into action from a similar position earlier in the game, the 22-year-old curled a sensational strike from at least 25 yards into the top corner to secure an excellent three points for James McPake's men.

Dunfermline Press: Lewis McCann strikes his free-kick at Hampden to give the Pars a two-goal lead.Lewis McCann strikes his free-kick at Hampden to give the Pars a two-goal lead. (Image: Craig Brown.)

A delighted McCann said afterwards: "It was caught sweetly. I got a bit excited after the one in the first half and just adjusted it a wee bit!

"It's good. I've only taken about 20, 25 free-kicks, and it's the first one to go in. It's a good one to go in, and a good place to do it as well, at the National Stadium, so it was really good."

Whilst he might not have expected it to hit the net, with McCann commenting that the shock of it prompted a knee-slide celebration in front of the travelling Pars support, it didn't come as a surprise to his boss, who said "he's got that in him" and sees it daily on the training pitch.

What may have been a bit unexpected, however, was how dominant and controlled Dunfermline were at Hampden as they ended a run of four games without a win in all competitions.

They also extended their unbeaten league run on the road to 15 matches, since losing to Montrose last October in League One, and this was a well-deserved success.

From the outset, Athletic were on the front foot, with McCann and the impressive Ben Summers at the heart of their attacking play.

Despite still being shorn of the likes of Kyle Benedictus, Rhys Breen, Kane Ritchie-Hosler and Matty Todd through injury - with Andrew Tod and Paul Allan also missing out with what McPake described as "minor" knocks - Dunfermline were impressive against a side that missed out on last season's Championship title on the final day in a deciding match with Dundee.

Jakubiak scored in that one for the Dees, and he would have a part to play in this one later from the bench, but the Pars could, and probably should, have been comfortably ahead by the time he was introduced for the returning Craig Wighton with an hour played.

Summers saw an early effort comfortably saved by McKenna, and another blocked after a super run and cross from McCann, who was then unfortunate not to make contact with a dangerous Aaron Comrie ball into the penalty area, before having a free-kick pushed wide well by the Spiders goalkeeper.

Michael O'Halloran also had a couple of shots blocked, with fine defending by the hosts denying Summers again in similar vein, before McCann was unlucky to divert wide after fine play by on-loan Celtic midfielder Summers to set up the opportunity.

Sam Fisher, whilst grappling with an opponent, saw a penalty appeal waved away, as did Wighton, who felt the ball struck a Queen's arm as he tried to find a team-mate, as Dunfermline sought an opening goal.

They didn't get it before half-time but, early in the second half, they did.

McCann played the ball forward to Summers on the left and, after continuing his run into the penalty area, was found by the Scotland under-21 star.

After taking a touch, he sent an effort towards the far post and, although McKenna got something on it, it looped into the net via the far post to give Dunfermline the lead.

Summers, twice, and Josh Edwards came close to doubling their advantage soon after, but they did get their second when McCann struck a sublime free-kick to take his tally for the season so far to five in all competitions.

A shot from ex-Par, and Spiders skipper, Dom Thomas, that was beaten away well by Harry Sharp, was about all the home side could muster in response as Athletic saw the game out comfortably.

Queen's Park were fortunate to end with a full compliment of players after poor challenges late on by Jack Thomson, on Edwards, and Charlie Fox, on McCann, resulted in bookings, with the latter in particular infuriating the Pars players and bench.

That resulted in Robin Veldman, the Spiders head coach, refusing McPake's offer of a handshake at time-up, but the Pars boss wasn't set to lose sleep over it after a fine day for his team.

"I'd say, in terms of football, we were better in the first half than we were in the second," he said.

"We got two goals in second half - we were a bit wasteful in the first half - but credit to the players.

"They were defending as a team from Lewis McCann, Craig Wighton, all the way back to Harrison Sharp. It was a really good, complete performance in terms of that.

"We never really looked troubled. Of course, we're going to have to defend in the last 10 minutes when we're 2-0 up, but even then the centre backs, Sam Fisher, Ewan Otoo, Aaron Comrie, they're heading balls out the box, making clean clearances, and we just looked as if we played relaxed today.

"It was a very good performance.

"It could've been better. If we'd been more relaxed and ruthless in front of goal in the first half it would've been a very comfortable afternoon. We created real chances in the first half, we opened them up pretty well, but we were wasteful. I suppose that's good because it gives us something to think about. I wouldn't have been saying that hadn't we got the two goals in the second half, but that's what we need. We believe as a group."

Queen's Park: McKenna, Robson, Fox, Spong, Hepburn (McPherson 62), Thomson, Paton, Thomas, Healy, Turner (Jarrett 80), Longridge.

Subs not used: Bannon, Bruce, Reid, Fairlie, Waugh, McLeish, Ferrie.

Booked: Thomson (84), Fox (85).

Pars: Sharp, Comrie, Fisher, Hamilton, Otoo, Edwards, Chalmers, Summers (Moffat 73), Wighton (Jakubiak 61), O'Halloran, McCann.

Subs not used: Fenton, Sutherland, Hoggan, McLeod, Little.

Goals: McCann (52, 67).

Booked: Sharp (77), Edwards (89), Hamilton (90).

Referee: Scott Lambie.

Attendance: 1,968.