Dunfermline will be wary of ex-Par Gavin Reilly

Gavin Reilly.

Lee Ashcroft fears Dunfermline will have to keep a pumped-up Gavin Reilly at bay as they bid to return to the top of the Championship this afternoon.

Reilly spent last season on loan at the Pars from Hearts but suffered from an injury-affected campaign as he netted just twice in 28 appearances.

Having joined St Mirren this summer on a permanent deal, the 24-year-old has started the campaign in top form and has already scored eight times in just 11 games.

And Ashcroft believes Reilly will arrive at East End Park feeling he has a point to prove as the Buddies seek to stay ahead of the pack in the second tier.

He said: “We know what Gavin’s capable of. He works his socks off and I think he’ll come here and work even harder than he has done in the last few games.

“It’s going to be a busy game and a hard game for the defence, but one to look forward to.

“He’s got a point to prove, so it’s going to be a tough afternoon for whoever’s up against him.

“I know what he’s capable of and what to expect; it helps having trained with him last season as well. Every player’s got their strong points and their weaknesses, so it’s good knowing what he likes doing.

“It gives you that wee advantage, but at the same time he knows what we’re strong at and weak at.

“Hopefully we can go out and get the job done against him and shake hands and be pals after it.”

Dunfermline were knocked off top spot last weekend when they allowed a two-goal lead to slip in a 3-2 defeat away to Morton.

However, they return to their home patch today for the first time in four games and will be seeking to recapture the form that has seen them net 21 goals in five matches at East End Park this season.

A big crowd is expected to witness second take on first and Ashcroft is determined the Fifers will be the ones back at the summit come full-time.

He added: “It was a sore one to take last weekend. It just wasn’t what we’ve been up to recently.

“But we can’t get a better game than this one to make up for it. If we beat St Mirren we go back top and that’s a big incentive to put last weekend behind us.

“They’re playing with a lot of confidence just now, they’re doing well, so it should be a good game.

“But we know that if we play the way we’ve been playing at home we should get the win, so hopefully we can go out and do that.

“It’s obviously early but it’s the top two teams and whoever wins is going to be top of the table.

“If we can play the way we’ve been playing then there’s no reason why we can’t get the win.”