With his penalty miss against Forfar last month still fresh in the memory, it was going to take something special from Gozie Ugwu to regain the backing of the Dunfermline fans.
The former Reading striker certainly produced the goods on Saturday with his hat-trick helping a much-changed Pars side end a run of four League One games without a victory as they saw off the challenge of struggling Albion in emphatic style.
“Its my first ever hat-trick in senior football,” said a delighted Ugwu.
“I even had a few chances to get a fourth. But I was pleased to get the three goals and, in fact, I was happy just to start the game.
“My form has dipped lately and I’ve been waiting for my chance but it came along today and I knew I had to take it.
“I’m hoping I can now get a regular start in the first team but that will be the gaffer’s decision.
“I’ve set myself a target of 10 goals before Christmas and that’s me on seven now so another hat-trick next week would be just fine.”
Ugwu gave his side the perfect start to the game when he rose to send a powerful header beyond Albion keeper Callum Reidford in the fifth minute and he netted a second shortly afterwards, combining well with Shaun Byrne before curling home an angular shot.
The striker then found Reidford in inspired form as he pushed for a third goal and when he struck the bar from close range early in the second half it looked like the hat-trick might elude him. However, he managed to force Josh Falkingham’s cross over the line on the hour to ensure he’d be going home with the match ball.
Andrew Stirling completed the scoring with 18 minutes remaining with a 25-yard free-kick and a bad day at the office for the visitors deteriorated further in the closing stages when William Robertson received a straight red card for his wild lunge at Falkingham.
Pars boss Jim Jefferies, who celebrated his 64th birthday on Saturday, was quick to stress that the seven changes he made from the team which lost to Stenhousemuir last week should not be construed as any kind of criticism of his players.
“The guys I left out weren’t dropped because of lack of effort or because of the way they’ve been playing,” he said.
“It was just down to the fact that things hadn’t been happening for them. The team I put out today shows that we have a good strong squad of players.
“It was a tremendous footballing performance and it’s given everyone at the club a lift.”