Dunfermline Athletic

Inverness CT 0 Dunfermline 0

Tuesday, 27th Feb 2024

cinch Championship: Benjamin, Holmes and Kane out. Deniz Mehmet penalty save (18)

Dunfermline returned to Inverness for the second time this season hoping to build on their win away to Partick Thistle the previous Friday night. James McPake’s starting eleven showed three changes from that side in the absence of Chris Kane (ill) and with Xavier Benjamin and Brad Holmes on the bench, Miles Welch-Hayes made his starting debut, Ben Summers started along with Alex Jakubiak in place of the injured Charlie Gilmour and benched Aribim Pepple.

Dunfermline has nine players out but Caley Thistle also had an injury list of nine players and loanee Max Anderson was suspended. For the home side Duncan Ferguson brought back Wallace Duffy and Billy McKay. Caley Thistle were in search of their first home league win since November that would see them leapfrog their opponents.

The visitors kicked off attacking the goal at the Kessock Bridge end and on two minutes Ben Summers flighted a fine pass up the left to Lewis McCann and he made ground to execute an inviting ball across the six yard line that Jakubiak came extremely close to finishing.

McCann forced the first corner of the night off Danny Devine in eight minutes. When Paul Allan delivered from the right Jakubiak’s attempt was thwarted, when Matty Todd got the chance to shoot from the clearance Sean McAllister was pole axed as he kept the well struck 25 yard effort out.

Dunfermline kept up the pressure from a Welch-Haynes long throw and then an Allan free kick where Summers was caught offside. Welch-Hayes fired a long range effort over the Thistle crossbar before McCann conceded a corner on the right. The Pars were first to the ball and as Allan and Kerr went for the loose ball on the left side of the penalty box they clattered into each other with the offence looking more like against Dunfermline. Referee Gavin Duncan saw it otherwise and awarded a penalty. Billy McKay stepped up to the 18th minute spot kick, sent it to Mehmet’s left and the Pars keeper had gone the correct way to save.

With 13 players in the Fifers six yard box a corner from the right was met by Devine and his header sailed high and wide.

In 27 minutes Lewis McCann went down and when he could not continue Brad Holmes came on in his place. Devine headed another Caley Thistle corner off target before there was a lengthy delay for an injury to Duffy. Remarkably given the anxious scenes he was able to continue.

A Nathan Shaw foul on Summers yielded a Pars free kick that resulted in a 42nd minute corner from the right but Caley defended Allan’s cross. Then in the second minute of time added on at the end of the first half a Summers through ball set up Jakubiak but after he drew the keeper and directed his shot on target Devine slid back from nowhere to keep it goalless.

That was the visitors only on target shot of the half in which the stats claimed 60% Inverness possession.

Half time: Inverness Caley Thistle 0 Dunfermline 0

Two substitutions were made at the start of the second half with Michael O’Halloran and Joe Chalmers replacing Ben Summers and Paul Allan. In 48 minutes Todd unleashed a low strike from an angle on the right that went wide left. Then at the other end O’Halloran made a very timely challenge to deny a McAllister shot from 15 yards out.

A 57th minute McAllister corner was met by Devine but yet again his direction was off target. James Carragher was yellow carded for his tackle on Jakubiak and after physio’s attention the 27 year old striker was able to continue. Todd took charge of a free kick on the left. His cross was blocked and two corners followed. Holmes got a shot in but it was blocked.

A couple of Kerr free kicks into the Dunfermline box created a scrappy period. Jakubiak was trying his hardest to take the Pars forward and a squared ball from Edwards to Todd but his shot from distance skied wide right. Welch-Hayes won a 75th minute corner on the right and there were appeals for a penalty when Welch-Haynes shot was halted.

Mehmet was kept exercised by high balls from the right by Samuel and then Shaw. Owen Moffat was introduced for Matty Todd for the last quarter of an hour. The sub fizzed the ball into the six yard box from a short taken corner on the right and the diving Hamilton just couldn’t connect.

In 86 minutes Moffat started a neat move where Jakubiak allowed the ball to run on for Holmes but the challenge on him could only earn a throw in. Chalmers returned the defended ball in from Edwards and O’Halloran won a corner on the right. Chalmers again took charge of the setplay but it was his free kick also from the right, that found Welch-Hayes in front of goal but his effort was tipped over by Mark Ridgers.

The final attempt came from Otoo but he fired over the bar and it would end goalless. Dunfermline dropped to eighth and Inverness remained ninth.

INVERNESS CT: Mark Ridgers, Wallace Duffy, Danny Devine, James Carragher, Remi Savage, Cammy Kerr, Nathan Shaw (Aaron Doran 78), Cameron Harper, Sean McAllister, Alex Samuel, Billy McKay (c) (Aribim Pepple 90).
SUBS NOT USED: Austin Samuels, Adam Brooks, Cammy Mackay (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Carragher (60), Devine (88)

DUNFERMLINE: Deniz Mehmet, Miles Welch-Hayes, Chris Hamilton (c), Malachi Fagan-Walcott, Josh Edwards, Matty Todd (Owen Moffat 74), Paul Allan (Michael O’Halloran HT), Ewan Otoo, Ben Summers (Joe Chalmers HT), Alex Jakubiak, Lewis McCann (Brad Holmes 28).
SUBS NOT USED: Miller Fenton, Taylor Sutherland, Xavier Benjamin, Max Little (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Allan (29), Hamilton (65)

REFEREE: Gavin Duncan
WEATHER: Overcast 5°C

NEXT MATCH: cinch Championship (home) v Ayr United, Saturday 2nd March 2024, kick off 3.0m at KDM Group East End Park.

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