The eagerly anticipated top of the table clash at East End Park between the principal contenders in the League One title race turned out to be a tale of two goalkeepers.
Dunfermline’s Ryan Scully produced a man-of-the-match performance with asuccession of outstanding saves to deny Forfar the victory that would have seen them pull four points clear of the Fifers while at the other end of the pitch, theageless Rab Douglas blocked a late penalty from Chigozie Ugwu to prevent the Pars from wrestling pole position from the Angus side.
Scully, on a season-long loan fromPremiership side Partick Thistle, played down his role in helping the Fifers secure a point as he reflected on the goallessencounter.
“It was an all-right performance” he said modestly, after accepting his man of the match award.
“I can be pleased with the way I played but it’s all about trying to help the team win the game.
“We knew we’d have the majority of the possession and that Forfar would sit back and try to hit us on the counter attack and I made a few saves but I’m here to do a job and that’s what I did today.”
Scully’s performance aside, the main talking point from an absorbing and highly competitive contest surrounded the 85th minute penalty award, given without hesitation by referee Stephen Finnie when Loons defender Stuart Malcolm was adjudged to have handled a shot from Dunfermline’s Lewis Spence.
A difference of opinion then becameevident among the Pars players as substitute Ugwu, who had been on the field for just over 10 minutes, appeared to prevent designated penalty taker Michael Moffat from stepping forward.
Ugwu took the spot kick himself, only to be denied by a brilliant diving save from Douglas.
Ugwu’s actions infuriated Dunfermline manager Jim Jefferies, who said: “I’ve just seen something I can’t believe. The players know that when our regular penalty taker, Ross Millen, isn’t on the park then it’s Michael Moffat who takes them. I saw what was happening and I was screaming at the players, telling them to make sure Moff took it.
“Its baffling as Chigozie’s never taken a penalty for us before. He’s let a lot of people down as we could be sitting on top of the league tonight.”