Ladbrokes Championship: Dunfermline 0 Inverness Caley Th 3: 01/09/18

Inverness sucked Dunfermline in and hit them on the break. Their 4-3-3 tactics seemed to work hitting three second half goals to demolish the Fifers.

The Dunfermlne Athletic starting eleven showed two changes from that fielded at Somerset Park against Ayr United, Joe Thomson and Myles Hippolyte came in for James Craigen and Andy Ryan who were on the bench alongside previous day signings Malaury Martin and Robbie Muirhead.

Having been critical of his side for missing chances against Alloa Athletic the previous Saturday, Inverness Caley Thistle manager John Robertson brought in former Pars striker Jordan White and Aaron Doran Cogan. George Oakley dropped to the bench and there was no Nathan Austin in the squad. Former Pars defender Shaun Rooney continued at right back.

Faissal El Bakhtaoui kicked the match off with the home side attacking the goal in front of the travelling support. First promise came from the Pars when Coll Donaldson had to make a clearance of Louis Longridge’s cross from the right. Then in fifth minute Mark Durnan accepted a weak clearance and started off through the middle, waltzing past a couple of opponents before losing possession on the edge of the Caley box.

El Bakhtaoui forced an eighth minute corner. L Longridge took that short to him and then whacked the return left footed across the box but just behind Durnan. A foul by Donaldson on El Bakhtaoui handed L Longridge a free kick 26 yards out but when he crossed referee Don Robertson immediately blew up play for something illegal he saw the Dunfermline attack up to.

There was another good move from the home side in 15 minutes when Thomson picked out El Bakhtaoui on the right but his delivery evaded L Longridge at the back post. Thistle threatened on the counter with White linking with Liam Polworth before sticking ball in the net but the offside flag was up.

Hippolyte was to see his 17th minute shot turned on to the crossbar by keeper Mark Ridgers and Danny Devine followed up but his shot was wide. Pressure continued with Thomson having his shot blocked 16 yards out and then Jackson Longridge following up sent his attempt wide right.

J Longridge’s tackle on Tom Walsh earned Caley a free kick just 22 yards out but Joe Chalmers chip into the box was headed away for a corner on the left that was over hit. A 25th minute corner was sent in from the right by Thomson and L Longridge got a great connection on the edge of the box but the ball ricocheted behind for another that this time saw Lee Ashcroft just too physical in his efforts to get his head to.

Three minutes later Walsh’s cross from the right wing was headed over the Pars crossbar from close in by White. A missed opportunity for the visitors. They immediately had another chance when the light rain caused Ashcroft to slip and Doran slipped the ball left for Walsh to shoot but Lee Robinson reacted fast and saved Inverness’ first shot on target.

Then Thomson header over a Williamson cross and Chalmers intercepted the right wing back’s next. Hippolyte and Tremarco were yellow carded in 39 minutes after a stoochie on the right wing and L Longridge had the best attempt at breaking the deadlock before the interval with a fierce volley from 22 yards out that narrowly cleared the bar.

Half time: Dunfermline 0 Inverness Caley Thistle 0

Myles Hippolyte was presented with a great opportunity just three minutes into the half but slipped at the vital moment.

Ashcroft was yellow carded for a foul on Doran and Polworth sent in a dangerous ball from the free kick on the left that Robinson have to parry away. When Walsh returned the ball from the right ROONEY headed the ball into the bottom right for the 51st minute opener. 0-1

Latest signing Robbie Muirhead came on for his Dunfermline debut replacing Myles Hippolyte in 58 minutes. The home fans gave him a big welcome and tried to encourage the team on. They were also pleased to greet the introduction of Kallum Higginbotham for Ryan Williamson seven minutes later.

A 70th minute corner was sent back to Higginbotham and when he crossed Inverness headed behind to deny the attacking Muirhead. The Pars were then caught out on the counterattack as Doran’s simple ball in from the right was met by POLWORTH who guided home number two in 71st minute. 0-2

Polworth threatened again five minutes later robbing Higginbotham to drive forward and play the ball off Walsh but the defence kept him out. Higginbotham then created an opening for Thomson to hit an effort that just travelled outside the far post.

Keeper Ridgers then did well to keep out El Bakhtaoui as he tried to drill the ball home and Thomson had a go that went wide right. In 82 minutes Ridgers turned a rocket from Higginbotham out for a corner that he subsequently held.

Dunfermline were to lose a third goal when sub George OAKLEY had space and time to slot the ball home in 83rd minute. 0-3

There was certainly no way back and John Robertson’s club went on to make it sixteen league matches now without defeat. From Dunfermline’s point of view three points from a possible twelve is not good. Due to the Irn Bru Cup there is a two week break before the next home league match against Alloa Athletic.
DUNFERMLINE: Lee Robinson: Lee Ashcroft (c), Mark Durnan, Danny Devine: Ryan Williamson (Kallum Higginbotham 65), James Vincent (Aidan Connolly 78), Louis Longridge, Joe Thomson, Jackson Longridge: Faissal El Bakhtaoui, Myles Hippolyte (Robbie Muirhead 58)
SUBS NOT USED: Andy Ryan, James Craigen, Malaury Martin, Cammy Gill (GK).
YELLOW CARD: Hippolyte (39), Ashcroft (50)

INVERNESS CALEY THISTLE: Mark Ridgers: Shaun Rooney, Brad MacKay, Coll Donaldson, Carl Tremarco (c): Liam Polworth (Riccardo Calder 84), Joe Chalmers, Tom Walsh, Sean Welsh, Jordan White (George Oakley 65), Aaron Doran Cogan (Charlie Trafford 84)
SUBS NOT USED: Daniel Mackay, Jamie McCart, Jack Brown, Daniel Hoban (GK).
SCORERS: Rooney (51), Polworth (71), Oakley (83)
YELLOW CARD: Tremarco (39), Walsh (53), Welsh (90+2)

REFEREE: Don Robertson
WEATHER: Overcast 17C

NEXT MATCH: Irn Bru Cup Second Round (away) v Boreham Wood, Saturday 8th September 2018, kick off 1.00pm at Meadow Park, WD6 5AL

50/50 half time draw - lucky ticket winner is the holder of ticket: 303745 for the prize of £748

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