SPL v Inverness Caley Thistle
DUNFERMLINE 1 INVERNESS CT 1 Date: 06/11/04
Fixture: BOS SPL Premier League
Attendance: 4921 Kick Off: 15:00
Referee: Iain Brines Weather: Overcast 13C
A minute`s silence was observed before this match kicked off as a mark of respect for the three Black watch soldiers from Fife who were tragically killed at Camp Dogwood in Iraq on Thursday.
Greg Shields returned from injury meaning Richie Byrne found himself back on the bench. Craig Brewster continued in midfield with Andy Tod and Billy Mehmet being posted up front. Simon Donnelly found himself substitute again to accommodate the change.
With recent victories over both Dundee clubs Dunfermline were offered the chance to build on their recovery by facing the one other team scrapping away below the Pars in the SPL basement. Despite edging out the visitors in the first half it was not to be the Pars`s day and a second half in which Thistle`s keeper had no saves to make told its own story.
A positive start for the Pars saw Mehmet and Darren Young combine well to produce a terrific strike from distance by the former that was well saved by Brown. Shields saw his own effort charged down before a Brewster cross was headed over the bar by Tod.
The first clear-cut scoring chance should have fallen to Inverness when Duncan got the better of Thomson to create a clear run at goal but he proved more eager to look for a free kick than a goal and the Pars` captain managed to recover.
Dunfermline had to reorganise their back four after an early departure through injury for Skerla and Inverness understandably began to trouble the hosts a little more. The finishing was not good enough however and both Wilson and Juanjo were guilty of missing the target.
With just under half an hour played the Pars took the lead through the combination of Mehmet and Young, the same combination that had secured a precious win in the dying minutes of the Pars` previous game. The striker played a terrific through ball which Darren YOUNG got on the end of to fire a sweetly struck effort low past Brown from just outside the box.
The lead could have been brief for the Pars following a mix-up between Byrne and Wilson but Hart`s swipe sent the ball blazing well wide of the target. Five minutes later Scott Wilson picked up a yellow card for a cynical foul on Juanjo twenty yards from goal. Caley`s players insisted the card should have been red but having missed out on a couple of one-on-one chances already, the task of beating Shields and Thomson before shooting could hardly have been called a clear goal scoring chance. In the end Bayne only succeeded in getting booked while Juanjo, with two attempts, squandered the free kick.
A good start to the second half for the Pars saw Tokely being called into action to head Nicholson`s dangerous cross over his own bar but the attacking play was short-lived. Hart and Juanjo both saw their long range efforts sail over the bar as Caley began to get back into the game.
Dunfermline were denied a penalty when Barry Nicholson latched onto a terrific through ball by Brewster only to be brought down by Brown, but the referee waved away the protests of the incensed midfielder as Caley regained their dominance.
Stillie very nearly came a cropper when dallying in his own box and had to make amends from the ensuing corner kick. Caley may not have been carving out many good chances but with the Pars sitting back and inviting them forward for the rest of the second half it was only a matter of time before the visitors equalised.
There may have been a degree of luck in the goal from substitute Liam FOX but there was no argument that Caley deserved their share of the points after dominating a defensively minded Pars for the second half.
The dying minutes saw a couple of half chances for the Pars but when Brewster`s shot skidded wide of the post you could feel it was not to be the Pars` day. A second denied penalty claim for an obvious handball rubbed salt in the wounds, but the damage had been done much earlier in the game.
|Dunfermline||Inverness Caley Thistle|
|7||Shots on Target||3|
|7||Shots off target||12|