Gordon Smith’s ninth goal of the season earned us a draw at East End Park as Stirling Albion ended a seven-match losing streak in League 1.
The ex-Raith striker opened the scoring with 20 minutes left, after Lewis Coult had seen his header come back off the bar, but Dunfermline equalised five minutes later when Andy Geggan nodded home at the far post.
Stuart McLaren’s men were well worth the draw, which is a boost going into the home double header with Stranraer on Tuesday and Peterhead next Saturday.
The Binos boss recalled keeper Callum Reidford in a line-up that showed four changes from the team beaten at Cappielow in our most recent outing on March 3.
Coult, Sandy Cunningham and Kevin McKinlay also returned, with on-loan Andy Stirling ruled out against his parent club, Angus Beith injured and Ross Forsyth unavailable. U20 defender Scott Davidson was included in the squad for the first time.
Dunfermline were unchanged from the side that beat Ayr 2-1 the previous week but they lacked urgency and Stirling looked comfortable in the first half in a revised system that saw McKinlay and Phil Johnston deployed as wing-backs.
Adam Cummins came close but the centre-half prodded the ball wide of the post after Ryan Scully had parried a header. The Pars threatened only occasionally but Michael Moffat wasn’t far away when he cracked a shot against the top of the bar.
We always looked capable of causing problems from set-pieces and it was a corner that led to the opening goal. Craig Comrie whipped in a terrific delivery, Coult’s near-post header was tipped on to the bar and Gordon Smith nodded in the rebound.
Dunfermline levelled five minutes later when Alex Whittle, just on as a substitute, swung in a cross from the left wing and ex-Ayr man Geggan rose highest to head home from close range.
John Potter’s side applied some late pressure and Reidford did well to push out an Andy Barrowman header as we held on for our first point since the 2-2 draw with the same opponents in January.
Dunfermline Athletic: Scully, Millen, Urquhart, Martin, McAusland, Spence (Whittle 71), George (Falkingham 34), Geggan, Allan (Barrowman 65), Moffat, Hopkirk.
Subs (not used): Buchanan, Byrne, El Bakhtaoui, Goodfellow (GK).
Scorer: Geggan 75
Stirling Albion: Reidford, McGeachie, McKinlay, Robertson, Cummins, C Smith, Johnston, Comrie, Coult (Shepherd 80), G Smith (Hamilton 76), Cunningham.
Subs (not used): Paton, Weir, Herron, Scott Davidson, Paterson (GK).
Scorer: G Smith 70
Referee: George Salmond