Dunfermline have been handed a huge boost with the news they have been successful in overturning the red card dished out to Joe Cardle last weekend.
The winger was sent-off for violent conduct and was facing a two-match suspension after an incident involving Ayr United’s Peter Murphy in the Pars’ 2-1 victory at Somerset Park.
With play already stopped, Murphy reeled away clutching his face after Cardle threw out an arm to escape the midfielder’s clutches and referee Andrew Dallas showed him a straight red card.
However, there appeared to be little, if any, contact and the Fifers succeeded with an appeal to the SFA yesterday, ensuring the 28-year-old is free to face Stenhousemuir tomorrow and Forfar on Boxing Day.
Manager Allan Johnston explained: “We appealed Joe’s red card and it’s been rescinded, so that’s great news for us and great news for Joe as well, because he’s not that type of player.
“It was difficult for the referee. He wasn’t in a great position to see, because there were bodies in the way and you actually see Murphy moving his arm.
“We’re delighted. Joe could have been out for a wee while but it’s great to have him available.”
Dunfermline failed, however, in a bid to overturn the yellow card Cardle received for simulation seconds before his red card.
Meanwhile, Johnston, who is set to welcome back skipper Andy Geggan from injury after the midfielder trained yesterday, has urged Dunfermline to build on the win at Ayr that sent them back to the top of League One.
With tomorrow’s home match with Stenhousemuir followed by a trip to Forfar and a home Fife derby against Cowdenbeath, Johnston is eager to see the Pars cement their place at the summit over the festive schedule.
He added: “We want to keep the tempo up and keep winning games.
“The Christmas period is always vital in your season, so it’s important that over the next few games, especially, that we win our games.