Dunfermline Athletic sit two points clear at the top of League 1 with maximum points after three matches and are yet to concede a goal.
Nikolay Todorov came off the bench to net a late winner in the 1-0 victory over Montrose on Saturday.
— Dunfermline Athletic (@officialdafc) August 13, 2022
Despite it being the third match in a row Stewart Petrie’s side has failed to win or find the net, there were positives to be taken.
Courier Sport looks at the main talking points from the match.
Another week, another clean sheet for James McPake’s side.
Kyle Benedictus continues to look like one of the best pieces of business in the lower leagues alongside defensive partner Rhys Breen.
That’s not to mention right-back Aaron Comrie who again tucked in to form a back three to great effect during the second half.
As a result Deniz Mehmet continues to deal with that “different type” of fatigue.
Montrose were themselves 12 minutes away from a third consecutive clean sheet when Todorov headed past St Johnstone loanee Ross Sinclair.
Another week, more missed chances for the Pars.
McPake once again put wasting chances towards the top of his first answer in the post-match interview.
Several times already this season Dunfermline have spurned opportunities to kill matches by half-time, sometimes earlier.
Craig Wighton was the biggest culprit this time with his chance in the opening minutes although the Pars manager did explain the forward is not 100% fit.
Petrie’s game plan wasn’t far away from maybe taking the three points when Kerr Waddell headed against the post not long before the winning goal.
Earlier in the match Rory McAllister pounced on a rare Breen error but fired over with just Mehmet to beat.
The two sides were down on numbers for different reasons.
Petrie’s side started the match without a fair few regulars and lost Dundee United loanee Adam Hutchison in the first half to injury.
Despite this his side went toe-to-toe with the Pars for spells and were not far away from taking three draws from three full-time teams to start the season.
A lack of goals is clearly the concern but if they continue to perform as they did on Saturday they will be as competitive as ever this season.
The performances of Adam MacKinnon and Blair Lyons were encouraging.
McPake deserves a lot of credit for barely having any options on the bench yet still making three substitutions which made a difference.
Two of those linked up for the winning goal.
After Paul Allan was ruled out ahead of the game for four to eight weeks McPake went as far as to say he is close to a “crisis” if more players drop out.
Different ways to win
This victory required patience from Dunfermline, as did the opening-day victory over Alloa.
Those came between a comfortable afternoon at Meadowbank Stadium versus FC Edinburgh.
There will be more of the latter as the season progresses but what is more promising is the ability to grind out wins against stubborn opposition.
— Dunfermline Athletic (@officialdafc) August 14, 2022
This is something that was sorely lacking last season.
The way Benedictus led from the back yesterday during a potentially difficult afternoon epitomises the changes at East End Park this season.