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Page last updated at 17:14 GMT, Saturday, 16 October 2010 18:14 UK

Dunfermline 3-2 Ross County

By Sandra Brown
BBC Scotland at East End Park

Willie Gibson in action for Dunfermline
Gibson was on target for the First Division league leaders

Substitute Steven McDougall struck in the 89th minute to keep Dunfermline on top of the First Division.

Against the run of play, Ross County went ahead midway through the first half when Scott Boyd hooked home.

Willie Gibson drilled in the equaliser soon after and Pat Clarke fired the Pars ahead before the interval.

Steven Craig squared the game early in the second half and both sides had chances before McDougall found the net from just inside the penalty area.

The table-topping Pars started impressively and it needed a good double save from Michael McGovern to deny Pat Clarke, before Calum Woods went close with a header.

The home side also had a strong case for a penalty when Gary Miller escaped with what looked like a handball.

Jim McIntyre's side were feeling further hard done to when they fell behind on 25 minutes.

With Dunfermline appealing for offside, Boyd was on hand to convert a knocked down cross from close range.

However, the Pars hit back almost immediately with Gibson cracking in a shot as a headed clearance landed at his feet, following good work from Andy Kirk.

Kirk was also involved in the next goal, with some neat trickery and a cross for Clarke to smash the ball into the net two minutes from the half-time break.

The visitors introduced striker Andy Barrowman and altered their formation for the second half and the changes paid dividends.

On 48 minutes, Martin Scott crossed for Craig to steer a shot beyond goalkeeper Chris Smith.

The game crackled on at a thrilling pace and McDougall picked his spot in the closing stages to maintain Dunfermline's one-point lead over Fife rivals Raith Rovers.

Dunferrmline manager Jim McIntyre:
"The game should have been over by half-time.

"But credit to Ross County, they came back and rocked us for a 15 minute period.

"I thought we were excellent. Willie Gibson is really hard to play against when he's on form and Gary Mason was immense in the middle of the park.

"The players have got great belief and that comes from winning games.

"Our aim is to stay at the top of the league and it's our job to deal with the pressure that comes with leading."

Ross County manager Derek Adams:
"Dunfermline are a very good side. With their infrastructure they should be in the SPL.

"Overall, I thought Dunfermline deserved to win but to lose it so late is disappointing."

Dunfermline: Chris Smith, Woods, Dowie, Keddie, Higgins, Gibson, Bell, Mason, Cardle (David Graham 70), Clarke, Kirk (McDougall 70). Subs Not Used: Allison, Phinn, Willis.

Booked: Gibson, Cardle. Goals: Gibson 28, Clarke 44, McDougall 90.

Ross County: McGovern, Miller, Kettlewell, Boyd (Flynn 79), Morrison, Gardyne, Scott, McCormack, Brittain, Corcoran (Barrowman 47), Craig (Wood 71). Subs Not Used: Malin, Lawson.

Booked: Craig, McCormack, Miller. Goals: Boyd 25, Craig 48.

Att: 2,803

Ref: S McLean

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