Dunfermline moved back into the Championship playoff places after ending their seven-match winless streak with a richly-merited victory over Queen of the South.
Goals from Kevin O’Hara, Fraser Murray and on-loan Celtic youngster Ewan Henderson secured three precious points for the Pars, with James Maxwell’s sharply taken effort for Queens proving mere consolation.
Dunfermline’s triumph could – and should – have been more handsome given the amount of chances they created, particularly during an impressive opening 45 minutes. However, they found visiting keeper Rohan Ferguson in fine fettle.
With this defeat, Queens’ promotion hopes are all-but over, however the Pars are back in fourth spot and boast a two point advantage over Inverness, who host Dundee in their game in hand on Tuesday night.
O’Hara’s strike ended a barren run of 326 minutes since the Fifers’ last rippled the net at East End Park
Seeking to end their recent malaise, the Pars exploded from the blocks. Dom Thomas was in irrepressible form, turning Rangers kid Maxwell inside-out on several occasions and forcing three super saves from Ferguson.
However, one of those sharp stops was only parried as far as O’Hara, who slotted home his 10th goal of the season; a respectable tally in a Dunfermline side which has toiled in the final third since December.
Indeed, O’Hara’s strike ended a barren run of 326 minutes since the Fifers last rippled the net at East End Park.
The fluidity on show from Stevie Crawford’s charges was night-and-day compared to recent showings, with the movement of Declan McManus, O’Hara and Ewan Henderson causing Queens all sorts of headaches.
Another fine save from Ferguson was required to deny McManus after the Pars No.10 had been sent scampering through by a fine O’Hara pass.
But despite their dominance, Dunfermline had Fon Williams to thank for preserving their advantage at the break, with the Welsh international making two wonderful blocks to thwart Connor Shields and Ayo Obileye in the space of 60 seconds.
Not to be outdone, Ferguson added to his catalogue of key saves after the break by palming away a Craig Wighton drive following a wonderful mazy dribble from the former Dundee attacker.
Dunfermline did double their advantage when Murray lashed home from point-blank range after a magnificent mazy run and cut-back from Thomas.
And although Maxwell briefly halved arrears for Queens, Henderson put any nerves to bed with his first ever senior goal; putting the finishing touch to a slick counter-attack as the visitors threw bodies forward.