Dunfermline Athletic

Wighton wants to go into play offs on a high

Monday, 26th Apr 2021

“I am delighted to score a couple of goals and take the three points.”

Craig Wighton was brought down for the eleventh minute penalty from which Declan McManus opened the scoring against Arbroath on Saturday but that was just his first involvement of significance in a seven goal thriller at East End Park. Craig would score twice in the space of 18 second half minutes to give the Fifers what turned out to be a necessary two goal cushion.

For the last fifteen minutes and the time added on at the end of the match Arbroath pressed hard for an equaliser. That did not come due to some dramatic Dunfermline defending and with the Pars bagging three points coupled with Inverness’s defeat at Tynecastle, that ensured Stevie Crawford’s side a place in the Premiership play offs. Craig was not far off the mark when he described the match as ‘mad’.

“It could have been more from both teams to be honest. There were chances but in the end we dug it out thankfully. It is a good three points but we should have made it a bit more comfortable.”

Dick Campbell complained about the penalty that Craig earned bit there was no doubt in the mind of the Dunfermline striker:-

“I thought it was a stonewaller obviously. I think that there was a foul on me before that and it carried on into the box. I thought that it was a foul but would need to see it back to see if it definitely was or not. The referee has given it but they got a penalty that evened itself out.”

After Arbroath had pulled it back for the teams to be level at 2-2 at half time, Craig put the Pars ahead in 57 minutes and then made it 4-2 on 75 minutes. Craig agreed that his second goal was special in terms of creation and execution.

“I thought Ewan Henderson was going to shoot to be honest but when he cut it back I just finished with instinct. Thankfully it went in the back of the net and gave us a bit of breathing space, but not for long.”

Craig scored three goals in five matches for Arbroath while on loan there at the end of last season but since has now scored against them for both Hearts and Dunfermline. He dismissed that as “one of those things”.

“Obviously I loved my time up there, it was really good but I am delighted to score a couple of goals and take the three points.”

The final five minutes it was real backs to the wall stuff but Craig felt that the home team was not going to be out-gunned like they had been on previous occasions:-

“The Raith game was disappointing but since then we have battled well and been in every game. We could probably have taken more points from some games but we showed today that we can fight. On the other side of that we played some good football at times and created chances as well.”

All that is probably a good sign ahead of the play offs, the first leg of which will be a week on Wednesday. Craig looked forward to that:-

“Obviously it will be tough, anything can happen in those games. We will look to get three points against Alloa next week. We can go into that full of confidence.”

After signing a pre contract at Dunfermline in February, Craig was loaned out to the Pars by Hearts and he is hoping to follow them into the Premiership. His aim since he arrived has been to finish in the play offs but he warned that nobody ever remembers who finishes in the play offs:-

“It is who goes up at the end of that. That is the goal but there is a long way to go between now and that happening. We just need to keep working hard and like I say we have the Alloa game to look forward to as well and hopefully we can go into the play offs full of confidence.”

Craig has no regrets for leaving Hearts who he feels deserved to win the league:-

“They have been the best team in the league all season but I did not feel part of it near the end because I was not playing. I wanted to go and play games and when I signed a pre contract here I was desperate to come early and finish this season strongly. We can see what happens in the play offs.”

The play offs can produce all sorts of results with nerves, excitement and upsets, Craig accepts that anything can happen but is looking forward to them:-

“We need to get a few back from injury and rid of the niggles from Saturday because it was such a tough game. Get everyone fit and take the Alloa game seriously because we want to go into the play offs on a high.”

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