The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition)
Crawford wary of threat posed by old boy Ashcroft
Stevie Crawford reckons Lee Ashcroft’s purple patch in front of goal has echoes of Dunfermline captain Euan Murray’s own hot streak at the start of the season, writes Alan Temple.
And the Pars boss has warned his side that they must defend diligently to stop the former East End Park favourite from adding to his tally tonight.
Ashcroft, who was on the Fifers’ books from 2016-20, has emerged as an unlikely goal machine during Dundee’s fourmatch unbeaten run in the Championship, rippling the net four times.
His latest effort rescued a point against Morton on Saturday with 88 minutes on the clock, ensuring James McPake’s men remained level on points with Raith Rovers in second spot.
Murray, by way of comparison, scored seven goals in his first 10 appearances as Dunfermline started the campaign in blistering fashion.
“Lee has hit a bit of form; a purple patch like Euan Murray had in the earlier parts of the season,” said Crawford. “We will be fully aware that we need to defend set-plays better against Dundee.
“But we will be fully focused on trying to cause them bother.
“Dundee are on a great run of form but it is the fighting spirit that I need to see from the boys that we saw in the Hearts and Ayr performances. That gives us the best opportunities to start winning games.”
While Dundee eye second spot – and the advantage of one fewer game in the promotion play-offs – Dunfermline’s aim is to simply reclaim their place in the top four. To do so, they must arrest a six-game winless run and claim all three points against the Dee.
“Our destiny is our own hands,” Crawford.
“The games coming are massive games,” added.
I still in added
that we finished the game stronger without creating clear-cut chances.
“But we had a few efforts that came off defenders; another day, they sometimes fall for you.
“Hopefully, that will be the rub of the green that we will get in the upcoming games.”
Crawford concedes there will be an element of the walking wounded about Dunfermline as they approach the denouement of the campaign.
“Unfortunately, Iain Wilson has been struggling for a number of weeks,” said Crawford, after the midfielder missed the 1-1 draw against Ayr on Saturday.
“He has a niggling Achilles that is flaring up every now and again. We are trying to manage the loads.
“Scott Banks came off in the game before (against Hearts). He has a tweak to his calf and I can’t put a timescale on it until it settles down.
“There are also a couple of bodies who put their neck on the line when they are maybe not 100% fit.
“I am talking about the experienced guys like Paul Watson and Steven Whittaker who came on at a difficult period in the game. They could easily have sat on the treatment table.
“We will need them – we will need everybody – because it is going to be a big ask.
“But it is one that are capable of doing.” we