Another day, another draw.
Dunfermline once again displayed resilience and guts as they fought back to claim a 1-1 draw against Raith Rovers on Wednesday night.
Kevin O’Hara’s leveller ended a 319-minute goal-drought and, while they remain winless at the foot of the Championship, Peter Grant’s Pars are unbeaten in three.
Courier Sport was at Stark’s Park for all the action.
Did Owain Fon Williams save Peter Grant’s job?
There was a certain irony to Fon Williams’ astonishing late heroics.
When the big Welshman clawed Matej Poplatnik’s goal-bound header to safety, he perhaps saved his gaffer’s job.
— Par on the LU 🏴🇨🇭🇪🇺 (@ParOnTheLU) September 29, 2021
If Dunfermline had slipped to an ego-bruising defeat against their Fife neighbours, the clamour for a change in the dugout would have been deafening.
Following on from a superb display against Inverness, for which he was named in the SPFL’s team of the week, Fon Williams’ late stop was yet another crucial intervention.
It is quite the turnaround.
Grant signed Deniz Mehmet in the summer and immediately made the former Dundee United goalkeeper his number one.
He persisted with Mehmet between the sticks for several weeks despite a string of high-profile errors before finally recalling Fon Williams.
Now, a man Grant overlooked for a considerable period is spearheading Dunfermline’s nascent attempts to kick-start his ailing tenure.
Mark Connolly in at the deep end
Connolly put pen to paper on his loan deal with Dunfermline on Tuesday evening.
He met his new teammates in the Stark’s Park dressing room on Wednesday night.
He then completed 90 minutes for the fist time in almost five months after battling back from a snapped posterior cruciate ligament.
— SPFL (@spfl) September 30, 2021
Will the 29-year-old have more comfortable days at the office? Of course.
He will be disappointed that Dario Zanatta’s crucial opener zipped through his legs.
But Connolly must be commended for an otherwise solid showing in challenging circumstances.
The big Irishman was vocal, attacked everything in the air and his distribution was tidy.
Given he was playing in a team of strangers, that is testament to his experience and professionalism.
Both of those qualities will be crucial between now and January, with Grant keen for Connolly to be a leader in the dressing room — nurturing young talent and setting standards — as well as effective on the grass.
The Ghost of Managers’ Past
It seems like every match Dunfermline have played in the last fortnight has been make-or-break.
And each time, they have eked out a draw to pacify the critics.
Against Queen of the South on Saturday, one point must become three.
Victory would see Dunfermline climb off the foot of the Championship and, depending on results elsewhere, could be within four points of the promotion playoffs.
But anything other than a win is unthinkable ahead of the October international break.
The man in the opposition dugout, Allan Johnston, knows exactly what Grant is going through, having spent three-and-a-half years as Pars boss.
And the former Dunfermline manager may just decide the fate of the current incumbent.