SPL v Inverness Caley Thistle


Attendance: 3378, Kick Off: 3.00pm.

Referee: Stephen Finnie

Inverness were the visitors as the Pars went into their second SPL match of the season.¬ Jim McIntyre made one change from the side that faced Annan the previous Saturday - Martin Hardie coming in for Andy Dowie. The two¬ youngsters Tom Aldred and Nick Ross dropped out of the visitors starting line up to make room for Aaron Doran and Chris Hogg. That left just two Scots in the Inverness team - Ryan Esson and Ross Tokely; the rest of the side comprised of an Austrian, two Frenchmen, three Irishmen, a Welshman and two Englishmen.

The Highland `settlers` then¬ kicked off attacking the goal at the McCathie Stand end. Andy Barrowman forced the first corner in third minute and from the right, Joe Cardle picked out an unmarked Gary Mason on the far side of the box. His shot was headed netbound by Barrowman but saw the effort cleared off the line in what was an early escape for Caley Thistle.

Roared on by the home support, the Pars kept up the pressure with another corner within two minutes.¬ Inverness survived that but were fortunate to see Barrowman run the ball out on the far side after being released by Cardle. The first danger to Gallacher`s clean sheet came on ten minutes when Doran made ground down the left to deliver a cross along the 18 yard line but Greg Tansey failed to connect well with the ball and rolled it into the keeper`s hands.

Ross Tokely earned the first yellow card of the afternoon in 13 minutes when he unceremoniously halted Cardle`s run on the corner of the box. Hardie swept the free kick over the bar despite the penalty box filling up with black and white shirts. Next Burns fed Cardle the ball on the edge of the Caley box but chose not to shoot and teed up Jason Thomson but his shot was beaten away by Esson.

In 19th minute Kirk and Cardle combined to allow Thomson a really good diagonal ball into the box but neither striker could accept the chance. Three minutes later a great opportunity for Cardle was blocked by the diving tackle of Hogg. The chance was beautifully carved out by Burns and Thomson and in the end Caley Thistle were fortunate to keep the Pars out.

Tansey tested Gallacher with a free kick from 25 yards while at the other end Paul Burns cut inside and drilled a good low effort outside the right goalpost. Then in 27 minutes Hardie lobbed up a ball and the bounce deceived both Burns and Tokely but¬ Barrowman flicked it on into the Caley box where Andy KIRK smashed it past Esson for the Pars opener.

Thomson was yellow carded rather harshly before Cardle and McCann sprang the right side of the visitors defence but Esson held the cross. More pressure on the Caley goal was sustained with more cross balls and then a Hardie piledriver that was just off target.¬ French full back Kenny Gillet required the physio`s attention on 37 minutes after going down off the ball.¬ ¬ The 25 year old who played with Barnet last¬ season¬ was stretchered off from the centre circle meaning David Proctor was the first substitute of the afternoon in 39 minutes.

Inverness pressed a bit before the break but from a corner and a couple of Hayes` crosses, no danger was created.¬ It had been a good first half from the Pars, lots of lively play that generated chances. One goal¬ and it might have been more but the Pars deserved their lead.

Half Time: Dunfermline 1 Inverness Caley Thistle 0

Terry Butcher`s half time team talk paid immediate dividends with Inverness grabbing the equaliser after just 68 seconds of the second half. From a throw in on the left the Pars midfield failed to close down Greg TANSEY and he sent the ball into the home net from 25 yards with the help of a cruel deflection off the back of Alex Keddie`s outstretched leg¬ which removed any hope of Gallacher stopping the shot.

Dunfermline could have struck right back when Cardle was presented with ball from Doran on the right but Barrowman headed the cross on to the roof of the net. The Pars¬ re-instated their lead¬ though in 53 minutes when the Caley Thistle`s defence seemed to freeze. Thomson sent another ball over from the right and the crowd sighed as Cardle let the ball go under his foot. But Super Joe turned and delivered the perfect ball for KIRK to head into the Caley net from close in.¬ 2-1.

Thomson and Cardle continued to pile in balls from the flanks and the Caley defence survived but unconvincingly. Tokely was forced to move to right back as Caley were forced to bring on 20 year old Tom Aldred for first half sub, David Proctor. Hogg gave away possession in 63 minutes but Cardle`s ball towards Barrowman was too big and Esson swept up.

A Tokely cross in 65 minutes won Thistle a corner but Doran sent the shot at Gallacher. Mason got too strong a touch on the edge of the box as Kirk nudged the ball down to him and then Cardle tried a shot that was wide and high when his strikers were looking for the cross.

Controversy reigned midway through the second half when Caley had the ball in the Pars net. Foran flicked Ross`s cross towards the far side of Gallacher`s net but Gregory Tade`s assistance on the netbound ball was deemed offside by the Main Stand side¬ linesman.¬ Caley did get their equaliser on 76 minutes when Jonny HAYES reacted quickly to Gallacher`s failure to hold a low¬ Jones drive from 25 yards.

Both sides went for the winner with Burns off target with a header and then Foran sending sub Nick Ross away down the right with a chance that he pelted narrowly wide¬ to the left of goal.¬ A really good chance dropped for Steven McDougall when the Caley Thistle defence again looked dubious but Esson pulled off a great save.

Hardie`s tug on Tansey handed Inverness a free kick 27 yards out left of centre but the Pars charged down Tansey`s attempt. The ball remained in the Pars half and Richie Foran delivered the ball in from the left for TANSEY to head past Gallacher from close in.¬ David Graham came on for Gary Mason with five minutes to go and the home side tried to salvage something from the game.

A Thomson cross was taken by Esson before any black and white shirt could get to the ball.¬ But then in 90th minute Hardie was hauled over 30 yards out by Hogg and he assumed the responsibilty for the free kick.¬ A HARDIE special sent the ball into the top left of the Caley net to grab back a vital SPL point for Macca`s men.

Quite a rollercoaster of a match which had the Inverness side holding their head in their hands at the final whistle. The¬ attendance was disappointing and those who stayed away missed a real six goal thriller.

DUNFERMLINE: Paul Gallacher, Jason Thomson, John Potter, Alex Keddie, Austin McCann (c); Paul Burns, Martin Hardie, Gary Mason (David Graham 85), Joe Cardle; Andy Kirk (Steven McDougall 75), Andy Barrowman..
SUBS NOT USED: Chris Smith (GK), Ryan Thomson, Paul Willis, Andy Dowie, Kerr Young.
SCORER: Kirk (27, 53), Hardie (90)
YELLOW CARD: Thomson (29), Barrowman (79).

INVERNESS CALEY THISTLE: Ryan Esson, Tom Piermayr, Ross Tokely, Chris Hogg, Kenny Gillet (David Proctor 39 (Tom Aldred 60));¬ Johnny Hayes, Greg Tansey, Owain Tudor Jones, Aaron Doran (Nick Ross 74); Richie Foran (c), Gregory Tade.
SUBS NOT USED: Andrew Shinnie, Shane Sutherland, Gavin Morrison, Jonny Tuffey (GK).
YELLOW CARD: Tokely (13), Jones (48), Tansey (90).
SCORER: Tansey (47, 83), Hayes (76).

WEATHER: Bright 19C

NEXT MATCH: (away) SPL v ST Johnstone
Saturday 13th August 2011, kick off 3.00pm
Package from East End Park¬

Sammy says thanks very much for visiting our web site where we have lots of news for young Pars fans.