Dunfermline Athletic

Inverness CT 1 Dunfermline 1

Saturday, 2nd Sep 2023

cinch Championship: Chris Hamilton and Ben Summers start as Rhys Breen and Craig Wighton drop out. Nathan Shaw (12) 1-0: Chris Hamilton (80) 1-1

It was a warm but breezy day at the Caledonian Stadium and the sun was out as both sides went through their pre-match routine. Manager James McPake was without Craig Wighton left out as a precaution, but he brought in Ben Summers and Chris Hamilton meaning Rhys Breen dropped to the bench which also included Kane Ritchie-Hosler. Returning from an ankle injury the 21 year old came through a reserve match on Tuesday to be included in the squad for the trip north. Also on the bench was previous day signing Owen Moffat on loan from Blackpool.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager Billy Dodds brought in 19 year old Adam Brooks and new signings Max Anderson, on loan from Dundee and 22 year old Welshman, Morgan Boyes on loan from Livingston. Kevin Bray, Austin Samuels and Jake Davidson were relegated to the subs bench and it was former Dunfermline defender Danny Devine who captained Caley Thistle.

Attacking the goal at the Kessock Bridge end, the Fifers kicked off through Michael O’Halloran to Harry Sharp who kick launched Dunfermline into the Caley half for the majority of the first five minutes. In that time they forced two corners as the hosts defended Lewis McCann header, Chris Hamilton was caught offside in front of goal and Summers belted a shot narrowly over the crossbar.

Despite the Dunfermline dominance Inverness scored with their first serious attempt of the afternoon when Nathan SHAW’s snap shot from 20 yards found the net off the left goalpost. 1-0:

The Pars goal survived a low shot from Charlie Gilmour four minutes later, his low drive from 25 yards zooming wide left. As much as they tried to get forward both O’Halloran and McCann were finding it hard to round their defenders. It was Inverness who threatened from a 28th minute corner where a packed six yard box yielded a chance of Devine but thankfully that was booted clear.

An injury to ICT full back Wallace Duffy in 32 minutes served as a water break. The player was able to continue but it was the home side’s Gilmour who fired a low shot from 30 yards that just went wide right. Edwards flashed a cross along the six yard line that Comrie couldn’t reach before Brooks broke and found the net off the right post but the offside flag saved the Pars this time.

A very good penetrating run from Edwards showing great close control, earned a 39th minute corner but Summers delivery was too easily defended. At the other end Sharp punched away the threat from a Caley Thistle corner. After a promising start, it had not been the best of halves from the visitors and they went in at the break without having registered a shot on target.

Half time: Inverness Caledonian Thistle 1 Dunfermline 0

O’Halloran got in the first effort of the second half, his 47th minute shot from the edge of the box travelling out wide right. A Chalmers free kick ended up too strong but in 53 minutes Hamilton sent Summers on a run up the park. When he neared the Caley box he fed O’Halloran to his right but his shot was from too an acute an angle to net. Two minutes later O’Halloran’s slip to Edwards on the left won a corner. That was taken short by Summers to Chalmers and having dropped deep Summers’ shot was then blocked.

Fourteen minutes into the second half James McPake made a double substitution withdrawing Michael O ‘Halloran and Aaron Comrie to bring on Owen Moffat for his debut and Kane Ritchie-Hosler. A strong run by KRH immediately allow his fellow sub to fire the ball into the Caley box but it could not find McCann. Summers forced a corner midway through the half and although Benedictus rose to head Chalmers delivery on target it was not enough to beat Ridgers.

The skipper had taken a nasty knock earlier but could not continue so Paul Allan came on with twenty minutes remaking. Chris Hamilton dropped back into the centre of the back three. Next a McCann cut back went tantalisingly between the attacking Summers and Allan. Ritchie-Hosler had a shot blocked as Inverness appeared content to seek breaks on the counter. Indeed in 78 minutes a pass deflected off McKay fell for Bray but Sharp dived to his right to make a fine save.

Ritchie-Hosler earned an 80th minute corner and when taken short by Chalmers to Moffat the new boy chipped over the ball that HAMILTON met to head home. 1-1

Two minutes further on and Edwards stormed his way into the box and released an on target shot that the keeper blocked. Luis Longstaff came on for Caley and Andrew Tod replaced Ben Summers for the final eight minutes.

Owen Moffat made a tremendous run in 88 minutes to cut through the Caley Jags defence but his shot from 12 yards out was saved by Ridgers. There were further efforts in search of a winner from Fisher and Tod. Then in 95th minute Moffat pushed into the Caley box, fed Allan to the right and the return seeking Moffat in front of goal was intercepted. It had been a lively final twenty minutes and the home fans were happy to hear the referee’s final whistle.

INVERNESS CT: Mark Ridgers: Wallace Duffy (Keith Bray 70), Danny Devine (c), Morgan Boyes, Cameron Harper: Charlie Gilmour, David Carson, Max Anderson (Jake Davidson 87): Nathan Shaw: Billy Mckay (Austin Samuels 87), Adam Brooks (Luis Longstaff 82)..
SUBS NOT USED: Aaron Doran, Zak Delaney, Harry Lodovica, Robbie Thomson, Cammy MacKay (GK)
SCORERS: Shaw (12)
YELLOW CARD: Duffy (46), Brooks (58)

DUNFERMLINE: Harrison Sharp: Sam Fisher, Kyle Benedictus (Paul Allan 70), Ewan Otoo: Chris Hamilton: Aaron Comrie (Kane Ritchie-Hosler 60), Ben Summers ( Andrew Tod 84), Joe Chalmers, Josh Edwards: Michael O’Halloran (Owen Moffat 60), Lewis McCann
SUBS NOT USED: Rhys Breen, Miller Fenton, Taylor Sutherland, Max Little (GK)
SCORERS: Hamilton (80)

REFEREE: Matthew MacDermid
WEATHER: Sunny 20°C

NEXT MATCH: SPFL Trust Trophy (away) v Dundee United, Saturday 9th September 2023, kick off 3.00pm at Tannadice Park

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