Pars punished for missed chances

Owen Moffat had to wait almost two months for his first league start for Dunfermline but his debut in the Fife derby turned out not to have a happy ending. The match looked to be heading for a 0-0 draw before Raith Rovers netted the winner in the third minute of time added on at the end of the game. The Rovers goalscorer Sam Stanton, has scored only two goals since February, both have been against Dunfermline and both were match winners. Owen who is on a season long loan from Blackpool reflected the feeling in the dressing room in his post match interview.

“The boys were gutted, the better team lost on the day. Yes it’s disappointing but it just shows you that in football you need to take your chances or you get punished.”

Six of the Pars ten shots at goal were on target, three times more than Raith’s and Owen admitted “we had a good few on the day. I should have done better a couple of times myself. It’s a collective and there were other chances in the game.”

The 21 year old who was at Celtic from the age of seven before joining Blackpool in August last year went on to highlight the frustration of the Dunfermline team:-

“The gaffer said at the end that although we lost our last two games to Thistle and Ayr, at least we knew we’d lost to the better team both times. That wasn’t the case here, we felt we were the much better team and performed really well, in the first half especially. It just shows you need to put the game to bed when you are on top.”

In his post match comments to the media James McPake said that he was preparing for post match reflection expressing disappointment for just taking a draw from a game that they had felt they had dominated for significant periods. Owen said:-

“There wasn’t much else the gaffer could say. We’d carried out the game plan, we had dominated the first half and the result was really gutting.”

The team’s dominance was further underscored by Raith’s goalkeeper being announced as their Man of the Match. Moffat reflected, “Their keeper getting Man of the Match pretty much sums it up.  He’s had a couple of good saves. I should have found a corner with the snapshot he saved from me in the second half, then stopped the rebound from Aaron.

“The boys are hurting and will be looking to put it right against Morton on Friday, put in a good performance and hopefully get the three points for the fans.”

On a personal note, Moffat recalled the satisfaction of being named in the Dunfermline starting eleven. He had started the SPFL Trust Trophy match at Tannadice in September but this was his first league start. He had played in two Premier League games while at Celtic and appeared for them at Hampden in the 2021 League Cup final win over Hibs so he was not overwhelmed by the passionate crowd that watched the derby. He continued:-

“I found out on Friday I was starting my first league match since coming up, I was really happy but it wasn’t the best result. The derby atmosphere was great and the place was bouncing from the start.”

Owen feels he is benefiting from game time and he is optimistic that he can play his part for Dunfermline in the cinch Championship.

“We had a bounce game with St Mirren a few weeks back and I got 90 minutes there, which I hadn’t done for a while.  I was happy to start against Raith and get another sixty minutes. It’s great to get back out playing again.”

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