Ladbrokes Championship: Inverness Caley Th 2 Dunfermline 1: 30/10/18

Dunfermline travelled north in hope of their first league win in the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium since March 2007. To take the three points they would need to end John Robertson’s side’s 21 League match unbeaten record.

Manager Allan Johnston made five changes, three enforced- Tom Beadling, James Vincent and Louis Longridge plus Ryan Williamson and Faissal El Bakhtaoui placed on the bench. In came Andy Ryan, Aidan Connolly, Malaury Martin, Joe Thomson and Aidan Keena for his first start for the club.

For Inverness Caley Thistle, their boss John Robertson made four changes from the side that drew at Alloa on Saturday. He was without Carl Tremarco and he relegated to the bench, Joe Chalmers, Jamie McCart and Aaron Doran to make room for Coll Donaldson, Riccardo Calder, Charlie Trafford and 17 year old Daniel Mackay who was making his first league start.

The Caley Thistle side included two former Pars players, Shaun Rooney and Jordan White. The home side kicked off attacking the goal at the away end after a minutes silence in respect for the Leicester owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and those killed in the Leicester City helicopter crash.

Lee Robinson was in action after just one minute coming out swiftly to dive at the feet of MacKay who had run on to a through ball from Liam Polwarth. The Pars first attempt came after a Martin free kick was headed out and Thomson tried his luck from 25 yards out only to be blocked.

Then in nine minutes Myles Hippolyte tested Mark Ridgers who kept the ball out with his knees. Next minute Hippolyte accepted a misplaced pass from Welsh on half way and again burst down the right and his pass to the left was accepted by KEENA who showed great composure to net low to the keeper’s left. Great celebration 0-1

White had an effort cleared off the line before Caley were awarded a free kick that earned James Craigen an 13th minute yellow card. The setpiece was defended before the Fifers broke again two minutes later and this time Connolly picked out Keena who was denied when Sean Welsh got back.

Next Jackson Longridge sent a long ball up field that Keena was unlucky to get sufficient control of. Inverness hit back however on 20 minutes when CALDER ran on to a long diagonal from Rooney to net all too easily from the left side of the Pars box. 1-1

Two minutes later Connolly fed Ryan the ball on the right side 25 yards out but his shot went wide right. White tested Robinson again on 28 minutes as play switched from end to end.

In 24 minutes Calder’s loose ball found Martin and when he picked out Keena in the right side of the box, the loanee spun and set himself up for a nice left footed shot that Ridgers stretched to his right to save. Then a pass inside from Connolly led to an opportunists strike out of the blue from KEENA, from some 35 yards out his effort sailed into the top right of the Caley net. 1-2

The teams were back on level terms five minutes later when Tom Walsh was able to get a low cross in from the right and it was met by WHITE who turned the ball in from six yards out. 2-2

On 45 minutes Thomson broke and then was cleverly fed the ball back from Martin on the overlap. His cross from the right byeline was turned behind by the home defence denying Keena to take the opportunity to net a first half hat trick.

It was an exciting first half that kept the hardly fans minds off the freezing cold temperature. Nine shots on target and four goals. Bring on the second half.

Half time: Inverness Caley Thistle 2 Dunfermline 2

After just two minutes Ryan required the physio to treat his right ankle but he returned moments later. Keena picked up a knock as well in 53rd minute although he did not stop. A Caley corner in 54 minutes was headed behind by White and it began to look by the number of slips that the surface was possibly icing up.
On the hour Hippolyte threatened as he rounded Calder but the defender recovered and shielded the ball behind for a bye kick. Sean Welsh then took the feet from Ryan as he burst clear to see yellow but Martin swept the free kick over everyone and out on the right for a goal kick.

A Pars corner midway through the half was sent over from the right by Martin, Devine got his head to it but the back travelled on to Connolly on the left and when he was fouled, Martin curled the set piece towards the goal that Ridgers held.

Both sides committed subs with twenty minutes remaining, Joe Chalmers and Nathan Austin replacing Charlie Trafford and Tom Walsh. The Pars withdrew Andy Ryan to introduce Faissal El Bakhtaoui.

In 77 minutes Calder took down Keena 20 yards out and Connolly assumed responsibility from the free kick and it was kept out by the crossbar. At the other end Calder sent a rocket towards goal but the effort was deflected behind off sub Nathan Austin.
Pars sub Robbie Muirhead had an 83rd minute chance of glory after Longridge raced down the left after Connolly was sacked by his marker. The left back picked out El Bakhtaoui on the edge of the box who laid it off to his right but the striker’s shot was blazed over the crossbar.

Martin chipped an 88th minute cross to El Bakhtaoui on the edge of the Caley box but the offside flag was raised. Next minute a Hippolyte free kick 28 yards out was driven low into the defensive wall but it was to end all square. The sixth successive draw for the Highlanders.

It was a much improved performance from the Pars. They created more chances than of late and the players who came into the side took their chance really well.

INVERNESS CT: Mark Ridgers: Shaun Rooney, Brad McKay, Coll Donaldson, Riccardo Calder: Liam Polworth (Aaron Doran Cogan 74), Charlie Trafford (Nathan Austin 70, Tom Walsh (Joe Chalmers 70), Sean Welsh (c), Jordan White, Daniel Mackay.
SUBS NOT USED: Jamie McCart, Roddy McGregor, George Oakley, Daniel Hoban (GK).
SCORERS: Calder (20), White (34)
YELLOW CARD: Welsh (62)

DUNFERMLINE: Lee Robinson: James Craigen, Lee Ashcroft (c), Danny Devine, Jackson Longridge: Aidan Connolly, Malaury Martin, Joe Thomson, Myles Hippolyte: Andy Ryan (Faissal El Bakhtaoui 70), Aidan Keena (Robbie Muirhead 81).
SUBS NOT USED: Ryan Williamson, Lewis Martin, Kallum Higginbotham, Lewis McCann, Cammy Gill (GK)
SCORERS: Keena (10, 29)
YELLOW CARD: Craigen (13)

REFEREE: Barry Cook

NEXT MATCH: Ladbrokes Championship (away) v Alloa Athletic, Saturday 3rd November 2018, kick off 3.00pm at the Indodrill Stadium

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