Dunfermline’s miserable afternoon in Paisley was completed with the news that top scorer Faissal El Bakhtaoui is likely to be out for several weeks.
The Moroccan has notched 15 goals in as many appearances this season, but manager Allan Johnston revealed that he’s unlikely to feature at Stranraer on Saturday after lasting only 39 minutes of this Petrofac Training Cup quarter-final.
“El Bakhtaoui came off with a hamstring injury and he’s been a big player for us, but that provides an opportunity for someone else,” he said.
Michael Moffat replaced him at the weekend and could keep the jersey, but Johnston might like to drop more of his side.
“We have a small squad so it’s difficult,” he said. “We’ll need to see how everyone reacts in training before our next game.
“Overall, when you look at our team, I don’t think anyone played well. You get the odd occasion when one or two don’t play well but, in this case, it was the majority of them.
“It was just a bad performance.”
Former Rangers striker Calum Gallagher fired the home side in front from point-blank range when he raced in unchallenged to fire Cameron Howieson’s cross behind Sean Murdoch.
It went from bad to worse for the Pars when Ben Richards-Everton was caught in possession on the edge of the penalty area. Gallagher nicked the ball away from him and then crossed for Stephen Mallan to score with an angled drive.
Joe Cardle should have pulled one back in the 27th minute when he got on the end of Shaun Rooney’s netbound drive but somehow managed to turn it over from a yard out.
Scott Agnew smashed home Saints’ third from 12 yards eight minutes from the break.
After racking up 24 goals in their seven previous away games this season, Dunfermline might have been expected to make a better fist of it, but there was never any likelihood of a comeback, and Mallan rubbed salt in the wounds when he rattled in his second from 18 yards.
The 801 travelling fans were disappointed at the lack of fight by their side and made their displeasure clear.