Pars 0 Queen's Park 3

DUNFERMLINE dropped to second bottom of the Championship table after they fell to a second successive dispiriting home defeat this afternoon.

Second half goals from Jack Turner, former Pars star, Dom Thomas, and substitute, Mackenzie Carse were enough to hand Queen's Park victory at KDM Group East End Park, and leapfrog their opponents in the table.

After last weekend's thumping by Greenock Morton, James McPake wanted a response from his side, but didn't get it in terms of points.

Instead, the Spiders won their first regular league match at East End since season 1978/79 to pile more pressure on the hosts, who are now eight matches without victory.

McPake admitted post-match that the Pars are on a "real bad run", but is adamant they will turn things around - and says he's hopeful of adding some experience to the squad.

"We're on a real bad run, we know that. The facts are there for that, how long it's been since we've won, the goals we're conceding," he said.

"We just need to come out fighting, we need to get this place going, whether it takes a change of shape, a change of personnel.

"We can go back and look at it and say about the injured players, and it's maybe now when you're looking and you're in these situations where you see the experience missing from that team.

"Hopefully in the next week which, regardless of today, we're in the process of trying to add a couple of experienced bodies in. Hopefully that galvanises that group."

At time-up, those fans who were still inside the ground made their feelings known, with their favourites having not won at home since late November against bottom club Arbroath - who come calling next weekend in another match of huge significance.

Whilst, for much of the game, the Pars were better organised defensively, they rarely threatened, particularly in the second half, where they never tested Queen's keeper, Calum Ferrie.

They're now eight games without a win, and have lost four on the spin at home, and are now second bottom of the table on goal difference, with Inverness Caledonian Thistle sitting directly above them.

A fourth win in five moved the Spiders up three places to sixth, two points clear of the Pars.

"I think in terms of what we had asked them, to go out and at least show they cared this week, they did that. It's not to say they didn't care last week, but it maybe didn't show in some of the performances.

"I thought the first half there was plenty of effort and no real quality. The one bit of quality from both teams, I think in the first half, was the bit of play that results in the chance for Michael.

"Queen's Park didn't threaten us in the first half much either, so, both teams, it was quite a boring first half, but with both teams showing plenty of effort. Effort isn't enough; we need that quality."

When asked about potential arrivals, he added: "We almost had someone in this morning.

"We were hoping to have someone in, which wouldn’t have helped today.

“But we’re working very hard on it.

“We have been. We’ve spoken about this loan window and when the Premiership teams decide they can let players go.

“We’re working hard on it."

McPake made two changes to his starting line-up from the team that began that bruising defeat against Morton a week ago.

Malachi Fagan-Walcott and Craig Wighton missed out with injuries, but Aaron Comrie returned to the side, having been absent since picking up an injury the last time the teams met at the beginning of last month, alongside Paul Allan.

Although this was the third meeting of the teams this season, it was the Glasgow side's first visit to KDM Group East End Park this term.

Their last, in May 2022, saw them win by a solitary goal in the second leg of the Championship play-off semi-final, relegating the Pars to League One.

Outwith a play-off environment, though, the Spiders hadn't tasted victory along the Halbeath Road since the 1978/79 season, but arrived on the back of two wins in three under new head coach, and one-time Pars coach, Callum Davidson.

The former St Johnstone double-winning gaffer's successes both came on the road - last week at Inverness Caledonian Thistle, and at Raith Rovers in his first game - and they were taking on a home side desperate to respond to last week's five-goal drubbing.

The Spiders would've been looking to take advantage of any nerves in the home ranks and, inside the first couple of minutes, Joshua Scott was allowed to run into the Pars box too easily before, fortunately, he was blocked out.

Lewis McCann had the contest's first effort, a shot on the half-turn at the edge of the box that took a slight deflection on its way through to keeper Ferrie, and a couple of strong, but fair, tackles - after a clearance by a visiting player cannoned off McCann - got the crowd involved.

Michael O'Halloran soon had another opportunity, firing a shot straight at Ferrie from 18 yards after Ewan Otoo picked him out, before McCann curled one well over the top, after Turner saw an effort deflected over for the visitors.

That apart, though, there was nothing really to write home about during a drab opening 45 minutes, in which both teams cancelled each other out, and lacked quality or inspiration in the final third.

Former Pars favourite Thomas, tried to provide it for the visitors early in the second half, with an audacious effort from the left of the penalty area that flashed wide of the far post, before team-mate Stuart McKinstry lashed over from distance.

McPake made his first switch just shy of the hour, sending Owen Moffat on for Ben Summers, but the hosts survived a strong penalty appeal when Ruari Paton went down in the box, under pressure from Xavier Benjamin, but referee, Iain Snedden, was unmoved.

However, midway through the half, the deadlock was broken - and it was the visitors who managed it.

They had looked the more likely since the restart and, when McKinstry sent in a fine inswinging cross from the left, Turner got ahead of his marker to flick the ball beyond the helpless Deniz Mehmet and into the net.

The frustrated home punters made their feelings known, as McPake swapped McCann up top for Brad Holmes, but the closest they came was when Allan fashioned space for a shot at the edge of the box, but seemed to be caught in two minds whether to do so or pass.

In the end, he did neither, and the opportunity was lost.

Then, with 15 minutes to go, the Pars fell further behind as one of their former favourties inflicted the damage.

Thomas, was given far too much time and space to shape up a shot from the right edge of the box, and he took full advantage by curling a beauty into the far top corner that gave Mehmet no chance.

That was the cue for some fans to make their frustrations known, and they became louder in stoppage time when substitute Carse slotted home, after being played in by Thomas, to condemn the Pars to another dismal defeat.

Dunfermline: Mehmet, Benjamin, Hamilton, Otoo, Comrie, Edwards, O'Halloran (T. Sutherland 80), Chalmers, Allan, Summers (Moffat 57), McCann (Holmes 67).

Subs not used: Fenton, Young, J. Sutherland, Little.

Booked: O'Halloran (63), Benjamin (82).

Queen's Park: Ferrie, McPherson (Mauchlin 81), Bannon, Thomson, Paton, Thomas, Tizzard, McKinstry (Carse 73), Turner (Longridge 73), Scott, Welsh.

Subs not used: Robson, Bruce, Williamson, Reid, Kane.

Goals: Turner (66), Thomas (75), Carse (90).

Booked: Paton (50).

Referee: Iain Snedden.

Attendance: 4,433.