Title Dunfermline's to loseMonday, 15th Feb 2016
Joe Cardle was villain and then hero on Saturday
Firstly Joe talked us through his goal:-
"it was a great ball from Jason Talbot, I read the line and I saw big Fleming coming out. I tried to put it past him. It was going towards the goal and it was on target but Devlin tried to kick it off the line but it hit the wrong part of his foot and went in the back of the net. I spoke to the referee, he gave me it and I will 100% take it.
"After the first half we were very frustrated going in behind at half time because we had a lot of the play in the first half hour before their goals. Obviously the second goal was my mistake and I had to make up for it. I think I did that goal and equaliser."
Joe did not have any dispute with the penalty kick decision that came about due to a poor touch for him:-
"It was something I shouldn't have done. When I am that deep and doing my defensive duties I should just have got rid of the ball. I have tried to come inside and they have read it. I reacted pretty quickly but the boy got in front of me. I am not saying that it wasn't a penalty, I have not seen it played back but as long as we made up for it and it was some comeback in the end."
Dunfermline had gone two behind but came back to win from that position for the first time since behind two down to Stenhousemuir on 14th February 2015. A year ago it was Andy Barrowman, Kyle McAusland and a 94th minute Barrowman winner that thrilled East End Park. This Valentine's weekend it was a Michael Moffat penalty, Joe's goal and then Faissal El Bakhtaoui's winner. He felt that it was important that they were able to reduce the deficit so soon after going two behind.
"To get that before half time and of course the sending off was crucial. We knew that we could kick on playing against ten men. We were lucky enough to get my equaliser and then Faiss popped up with a crucial winner. I think he will do that until the end of the season. We have been pretty consistent with that, there are always going to be chances. He seems to be sticking them away, that is his job and that is what he has done throughout the season."
At the interval Joe was very disappointed with himself after what had just happened, he concurred with the red card shown to Brian Gilmour and then described the feeling in the home dressing room:-
"I think it was definitely a red card, it hit his hand and he was on the line and so the referee had to give a red card. The goalkeeper was beaten and the ball was going in. When it hit his hand he had to give a red card, it was unfortunate for the boy but that is what happens in football.
"We knew ourselves from possession and what we can do that there would always be chances created. We would come out and create them, we just needed to put them away and thankfully we did that and got the winner. It was a massive three points for us."
Peterhead defeated Forfar Athletic coming back from behind and with ten men from 29 minutes after the dismissal of Steven Noble.
"We realised after the game that the result was huge. With Peterhead winning, three points for us was massive. To be 13 points in front of Ayr is massive for us and hopefully the next three or four games will continue our run of winning games and hopefully we will run over Peterhead and Ayr."
The Pars have now led the Ladbrokes League One since 5th December, they have enjoyed that position in all but twelve weeks of the season and been in the top two in all but for two of those weeks. Joe considers this team to be handling this status admirably.
"We need to stay focused. At the top of the league there is always going to be pressure on us. I think we have handled that very well since the start of the season. We have been very consistent this season, hopefully we can keep that going into the last quarter and finish it off."
Joe was quick to agree that the title is now Dunfermline's to lose:-
"We have played some good stuff throughout the season and at Christmas we didn't think we would be 13 points away from Ayr at this point in the season. The next three or four games are crucial games for us so we need to keep plugging away in training and hopefully keep doing it on Saturdays."