Forget the cliche of taking each game as it comes, this is the time of the season where teams starting scrutinising all of their remaining fixtures.

Take Dunfermline Athletic. The 5-1 win over Dumbarton at the start of the month showed them to be in good fettle.

But Saturday's 1-0 home defeat to Ayr United suggested otherwise. On a day when the four teams below them all picked up points, Allan Johnston's side is just five points off the bottom. And their next two matches are against Morton and Hibs.

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Ross Docherty inflicted the wounding blow at East End Park and defender Lee Ashcroft knows things have to improve.

"It was just one of those days when nothing went right for us," he said.

"Credit to Ayr. They sat in and defended well, but it just wasn't good enough from us and it was one of those games when we never took our chances.

"It was a scrappy goal to lose, and I still don't know how it went in. But it was early in the second half and we thought we had plenty of time to get back into the game.

"We haven't lost many matches recently and we felt it was only a matter of time before we got a goal.

"Obviously Ayr were fighting for their lives and they were desperate to get points on the board. If they hadn't scored first, we could have taken control of the game, but football doesn't work like that.

"We need to pick ourselves up and go again at Morton which we know will be an even harder game."

St Mirren continued their revival with a 2-0 win at Queen of the South with Steve Mallan and Rory Loy (penalty) both on target and Gary Naysmith, the Queens' manager, stressed his team were not out of the relegation equation.

Hibernian extended their lead at the top to seven points but they blew hot and cold in the 2-2 draw with Dumbarton.

Dumbarton goalkeeper Alan Martin saved a penalty from James Keatings but then gave up the late equaliser for Martin Boyle.

Marvin Bartley, who conceded the penalty from which Christian Nade put Dumbarton ahead, admitted: "It was a very frustrating afternoon. We knew it was a game we needed to win to keep the pressure on the teams below us, especially with second and third playing each other."

Raith Rovers beat Dundee United 2-1 at Stark's Park with United manager Ray McKinnon branding it a "self-inflicted defeat".

United have only won once in 10 matches and are now 11 points off the top.

Craig Barr and Ryan Hardie scored the goals for John Hughes' side with Simon Murray replying for United.