It took a while for the Athletic to get into the match but after 20 minutes Eddie May was needlessly sacked deep on the far right of the penalty box. ANDY SMITH stepped up to slot the spot kick low to Les Fridge`s right.

Fifteen minutes later Owen Coyle almost took advantage of a defensive error but his weak shot was saved easily. Scott Thomson then crossed for May but his header went over the crossbar. Six minutes from half time Stewart Petrie crossed for Smithy to set up Greg Shields. The right back`s effort also sailed over the bar.

Just on half time Chris McGroarty and Petrie combined well for the latter to send in a testing cross which Andy Smith turned over the crossbar.

Four minutes into the second half and Brian REID`s missed take out provided a chance which was equally badly missed by the highlanders attack. But the big defender claimed the brownie points with yet another goal with his feet at the other end only 6 minutes later. Somehow the defence gave him space and time to place the ball in the net for 2-0.

Reid was very involved at this point of the match but was badly caught on the ankle by Inverness sub, Allan. 67 minutes gone and the opposition were reduced to 10 men as Stuart Dougall`s decision was straight red. Reid struggled on until he was replaced by Craig Ireland.

9 minutes from time Stewart Petrie`s cross was headed back across the six yard box by David Graham, Owen Coyle was in front of the ball but Scott THOMSON was on hand to thrash the ball through the dogged defence. Five minutes later Jamie Dolan had his shot saved as the Pars encamped in the Inverness half. Then with 90 minutes come and gone Stewart Petrie, from inside the centre circle, swung a ball right to Dolan who crossed wide left to Thomson and PETRIE collected the ball on the edge of the box to smash passed Fridge.

Dick Campbell described the reported thrashing as "pleasing" and "magnificent". It is difficult to know if Dunfermline were good or Inverness were just poor. Caley`s strip looked like a England Rugby League outfit but at least they attempted to play football. With Morton putting 4 goals passed Falkirk, Tuesday night`s Challenge Cup v Morton will be revealing. In England relegated Nottingham Forest and Blackburn did not find life easy in the lower echelons on the
opening day so we have to happy with 4-0 and top of the table from day one.

DUNFERMLINE: Westwater, Shields, Tod, Reid (Ireland 73), McGroarty; Thomson,
May, Dolan, Petrie; Smith (Graham 56), Coyle.
SCORERS: Smith (20pen.), Reid (62), Thomson (81), Petrie (90).
YELLOW CARD: Petrie (9)

REFEREE: S Dougall
League Position 1st

Next match v Morton (home) Challenge Cup Tuesday 10th August 1999

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