Dunfermline paid the penalty for Graham Dorrans’ contentious red card as a David Moyo spot-kick condemned the Pars to a 1-0 defeat against Hamilton.
A hard-fought, if uninspired, showdown in Lanarkshire always appeared destined to be settled by a solitary strike.
And that moment came when Dorrans was adjudged to have used his arm to block the ball on the line.
Moyo subsequently slotted home from 12 yards and the Pars captain was dismissed for denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity.
The afternoon could have been so different for Dorrans, who struck the bar in the first period; Dunfermline’s best chance of the game.
🎥 The only goal from yesterday's 1-0 defeat away to Hamilton. pic.twitter.com/hN1cWGFo1y
— Dunfermline Athletic (@officialdafc) December 5, 2021
The Fifers’ second success defeat sees John Hughes’ side slip back into the bottom two in the Championship.
He replaced Dom Thomas, who sat out altogether.
An attritional, scrappy first period was short on clear-cut chances, albeit both sides illustrated ample endeavour.
Lewis McCann pressed tirelessly for the Pars, making good on Hughes’ insistence that attack should provide the first line of defence.
Matty Todd was lively, firing one early effort wide from a tight angle, and Dorrans impressed by dictating play from deep.
Indeed, skipper Dorrans was responsible for the sole clear opportunity in the first period.
His ferocious, deflected drive from 25 yards dipped wickedly and rattled the bar. Aaron Comrie headed the rebound wide from six yards. Gilt-edged.
Dorrans stopped Accies from breaking the deadlock on the hour-mark, nodding a Mihai Popescu header off the line after the Romanian met a Reegan Mimnaugh delivery.
But from the resulting corner, history repeated itself.
Once again, Popescu won the aerial duel and, from the ensuing goal-mouth scramble, Marley Redfern saw his shot blocked by Dorrans.
The former Scotland midfielder was sent off by referee David Munro, who deemed the veteran to have used his arm, before Moyo coolly slotted home his spot-kick.
Even with 10 men, the visitors huffed and puffed. But openings were sparse and Accies held firm for a pivotal three points.