Dunfermline Athletic

Ash enjoys ridiculous day

Monday, 3rd Feb 2020

“It shows the character of the boys and we know that we are more than capable of coming to these places and winning.

Prior to Saturday Lee Ashcroft had only won one of the seven matches that he had played at Palmerston and he would be the first to say that it is never easy to get a result there.

It was going to be a lot different from last Friday at East End Park. The Palmerston surface is a hard and tricky pitch and Lee admitted that he knew that it was going to be a battle.

In the end he was delighted to score what turned out to be the Pars winning goal in the 3-2 win over Allan Johnston’s Queen of the South. He commented that it was achieved in a manner that earlier in the season might have been beyond them:-

“For Queens to go a goal up and come back and get the win is great for us. I think maybe a month or so ago we might have struggled but it shows the character of the boys and we know that we are more than capable of coming to these places and winning.

“To be fair to them, they caused us bother with their way of playing. The big boy Hamilton is good at that part of his game. We had a game plan and it was working sometimes and obviously we just had to deal with it.

“It was a bit end to end for a spell after it went two each, so it was good to go up the park and get the goal.”

Lee’s winner, his second goal of this season and his tenth for the club, was a perfectly executed header on the end of a Dom Thomas corner eight minutes from time. The third goal followed a pattern of the previous two which also came from corners. The success comes after devoting special attention to converting from setpieces. Lee said:-

“We have not had many goals from corners this year, me included I know I could do better at them. We are delighted and I’m sure the backroom staff will be delighted as well because we have worked on them.

“Dom had great delivery for the three of them. Dan’s (Devine) was a great header as well in the first half. When the delivery is there it is up to us to attack it. We were just lucky to get the three goals out of it.

“After we got the third goal the boys did well keeping the pressure off us and I think we did well for the last five minutes or so.”

The home side had pulled the game back level at 2-2 after Stephen Dobbie converted a 60th minute penalty after a decision that rather upset Lee. He commented:-

“I need to watch what I am saying. I have had him (Referee Craig Napier) before at Alloa at well and I think he has made the same mistake twice. I don’t know what to say, for me it was a ridiculous decision.

“I spoke to Dobbie at the time and he said ‘I don’t know what he has seen there’. To be honest there was no speaking to him, he was arrogant and wasn’t for listening to what we had to say. I was angry and got booked.

“I maybe said something that I probably shouldn’t have said. I just had to keep my head after that and it was good to go up and get the winner and make it right.

“It is hard sometimes to keep your cool when these decisions go against you, especially when he has done it before. It is one of those things, after I got booked I just took a deep breath and got on with it.”

The win, coupled with results elsewhere, took Dunfermline into fourth place in the Championship and Lee agreed that with new recruits - Owain Fôn Williams and Jonathan Afolabi coming into the team there can be optimism that the Pars can clinch a play off place. The 26 year old welcomed his new colleagues:-

“It is always good to see new boys coming in. Big Jon (Afolabi) has only been in a couple days and he has been thrown straight in. It cannot be easy but I thought he was great. He worked hard with Gabby, the two of them did well. You can see that he has a bit of ability and wasn’t at Celtic for nothing. Hopefully there is more to come from the big man.

“We have only had a couple of days training with him but you can see that he has the quality, strengths and attributes. That is a positive for us.

“Big Owain has come in and he was great as well, great talking to the boys and it feels like he has been here for a while now.

“That’s the way it is in football. Boys come in all the time, you get to know them quick and before you know it they are good mates of yours.”

Two wins back to back will hopefully create some momentum for the team especially after the poor run of defeats prior to this. Lee was honest in his appraisal:-

“We went on a run that was very poor, we know that ourselves and it is hard to get out of these runs when you are in them. That is football, when you are winning you get used to winning and when you are on these losing runs it is hard to say but you are used to losing. It is hard to get out of it.

“That’s two wins out of two now. We have a wee break before our next game, that is good for us. We will get a break, go back to training and look forward to the games coming up now.”

Due to the Scottish Cup weekend and then opponents Inverness Caley Thistle taking part in the semi final of the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Cup, the next match for the Pars is in three weeks time away to Partick Thistle.

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