Three points on the road for Caley
A late goal from David Carson was enough to win Inverness all three points in their visit to Dunfermline this afternoon. Jake Gray reports.
Both sides lined up the same way as they did in their previous fixtures. The Pars were looking to pull three points clear in second place, while Caley were hoping to put themselves into play-off contention.
It was the home side who looked more up for it from the off. Scott Banks and Dom Thomas were doing well down each flank, but their early flurry of crosses came to no avail.
With 10 minutes on the clock, Thomas found Fraser Murray, who glided past Danny Devine but saw his effort deflected into the hands of Mark Ridgers.
Moments later, Caley thought they were a goal to the good. Shane Sutherland’s effort was blocked on the line by Aaron Comrie and Owain Fon-Williams gratefully gathered as the Inverness players protested that the ball was over the line.
It was then the home side’s turn to have their share of controversy. Thomas picked the ball up on the left and played an inch perfect through ball for Craig Wighton who slotted past Ridgers, but the linesman flagged for offside.
Neither side were able to go into the break with a lead, in what was a fairly even 45 minutes.
Inverness were quick out the blocks in the second half and put the Pars on the back foot almost straight away.
Roddy MacGregor’s effort from the edge of the box was agonisingly wide of the mark. Moments later, Nikolay Todorov’s volley looked like it was looping in, but nestled on the roof of the net, much to the relief of Fon-Williams in the Pars goal.
The home side struggled to create chances and Inverness ensured that Fon-Williams was to be the busier of the two goalkeepers. MacGregor cut inside and fired his shot at goal, but Fon-Williams parried his shot, and the rebound was blocked by Paul Watson.
The visitors were almost ahead through Sean Welsh, but Fon-Williams was on hand to deny the Caley skipper from a free kick.
However, Caley broke the deadlock with nine minutes left on the clock. Left-back David Carson found himself free in the box and slotted the ball past Owain Fon-Williams to make it 1-0, much to the delight of Neil McCann and the Inverness dugout.
Caley defended a late spell of pressure from the home side to ensure that all three points travelled back with them to the Highlands.
After battling for a goal throughout the match, waiting until late to break the deadlock, Neil McCann was delighted with his team’s performance;
“I’m so proud of them. Our last three games we’ve kept three clean sheets. They are absolutely out on their feet, but I don’t think anyone can say we didn’t deserve that today.
“I thought all round we really looked like a proper unit, a team that is prepared to do anything for each other. I’m delighted.”
Stevie Crawford shared his frustration following his team’s performance:
“We’ve lost games this season where I felt we shouldn’t have, but we didn’t do enough to win the game today. You’ll sense that I’m not happy. Collectively it wasn’t enough, it wasn’t what has got us in the position that we are in.
“I thought we were positive in the way we tried to change things with substitutions, I don’t want to play at East End Park and settle for a draw, but there was stuff that we worked on that just didn’t come off today. Sometimes you can take your eye off the ball a bit.”
Both sides are in Scottish Cup action on Tuesday night. The Pars travel to Cappielow to take on Morton, while Neil McCann and his Inverness side head to Victoria Park to take on Highland League outfit, Buckie Thistle.