KEVIN NISBET could be forgiven for being pleased with his goal return for Dunfermline this season. But the striker is resolute in his determination to improve as a player and harbours an insatiable appetite for putting the ball in the back of the net.

The 22-year-old opened the scoring at East End Park on Saturday afternoon in his side's 2-0 win over Dundee United - their first home win over their opponents since April 2007 - before a second-half tap-in from Jonathan Afolabi sealed the three points for Stevie Crawford's men.

Nisbet's header in the first half brought his tally for the season to 23 in all competitions, with 18 of those coming in the league. Only Lawrence Shankland, who had a rare off-day in Fife at the weekend, has a greater tally this season.

Finishing the season as the second-top goalscorer in the Championship would be an impressive feat in and of itself. But Nisbet has loftier aspirations than that in mind. His movement off the ball, he stresses, is every bit as important as his goalscoring - as is his flourishing partnership with on-loan Celtic striker Afolabi.

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“Something I’ve worked on a lot over the last 18 months is my work rate off the ball," he said. "It’s getting better and I could probably get even better still so I just need to keep working hard and hopefully I can keep scoring goals.

“The goals help as well. It’s good but it’s great for the big man [Afolabi] to get his first goal for the club so now he can kick on and fire us into the play-offs.

“I’ve got 11 [to match last season's tally of 34 goals for Raith Rovers] to go. My target is to beat last year and I think it’s going well now. I’ve got 12 games left so I’m definitely on track and hopefully I can do it."

Dunfermline were worthy winners of an entertaining contest on Saturday. A key factor in the win was the clever pressing on show from Crawford's side; they harried their opponents relentlessly as a unit, with every player clearly well-drilled in their role.

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It is an approach that Crawford has devoted a lot of energy on in the team's training sessions, Nisbet revealed.

“Not just this week, it’s been the last five or six weeks," Nisbet replied when asked if the Pars had been working on their pressing. "Our shape at the start of the season wasn’t good enough. We’ve worked on that and it looks a lot more solid and compact, and I think we’ve got the pace to break on teams as well.

“It’s a hard shift but if you get in quick enough you’re saving yourself a 30-yard run. I think me and Jon have done that well the last two games and hopefully we can keep striking up a good partnership."

After Saturday's win, Dunfermline have a real shot at reaching the promotion play-offs at the end of the season. They are now just two points behind Dundee in fourth and Nisbet believes that he and his team-mates can take a great deal of confidence from the manner of their win over Robbie Neilson's champions-in-waiting.

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“I wasn’t really surprised [with the dominant performance]," he added. "Even on Tuesday [when Inverness won 2-1 at East End Park], we controlled a lot of the game and had a lot of chances. On another day we would go and win it. So I thought that if we put the same amount of effort in, the same composure and shape then I thought we would control it.

“Beating the team at the top will really help [breed confidence]. They’re going to win the league soon but for us, it was just about getting the win again after the defeat to Inverness and now we’ve got Arbroath on Wednesday which is another big game for us."