When Dunfermline suffered the ignominy of administration two years ago Joe Cardle was one of the high-profile casualties to emerge from the carnage which ensued.
Happier times are apparent at East End Park nowadays, as illustrated by Saturday’s 7-1 thrashing of neighbours Cowdenbeath, a game in which winger Cardle, who returned to the club in the summer following spells with Raith Rovers and Ross County, found the net twice.
“I’m delighted to be back I had unfinished business here” said Cardle afterwards,
“I want to take this club back to where they should be. Everyone knows that Dunfermline shouldn’t be in this league. Promotion is our aim and we’ve made a good start to the season but that’s all it is a good start. There’s a long way to go and consistency will be the key.”
Having won their previous three games 4-1, 5-1 and 6-1, the pre-match talk revolved around whether the Pars could go one better and hit their Fife rivals for seven and while many thought such talk was fanciful, four goals in the space of little more than half an hour had the home fans chanting ‘we want seven’ long before the interval.
Moroccan striker Faissal El Bakhtaoui, who had scored twice in every one of Dunfermline’s last three victories, made it eight for the season by beating Cowden keeper Michael Andrews twice in the first eight minutes and Michael Moffat made it 3-0 shortly afterwards.
Former Pars striker Greig Spence squandered a glorious chance to haul the visitors back into contention when his penalty, awarded after a foul by Lewis Martin on Cowden player-manager Colin Nish, was saved by Stewart Murdoch.
Cardle then raced up the park to make it 4-0 and second-half strikes from subs David Hopkirk and Ryan Wallace put the home side six ahead before Cowden were reduced to 10 men, Craig Johnston being shown a straight red for a dangerous tackle on Ryan Williamson.
The Holy Grail of a seventh goal looked certain to be eluding the Pars when Wallace’s late penalty kick crashed off the crossbar, but Cardle gave the fans the goal they were screaming for, just ahead of Scullion’s last minute defiant consolation for the beleaguered visitors.