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Inverness Caley Thistle go six unbeaten despite Dunfermline hitting the woodwork seven times thanks to Danny Devine's first-half goal

By Andrew Henderson

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Dunfermline 1 (McCann)

Inverness Caledonian Thistle 1 (Devine)

Inverness Caledonian Thistle survived a flurry of Dunfermline attacks that hit the woodwork to extend their unbeaten run to six matches.

The home side hit the crossbar and post an incredible six times in the first half, only for Danny Devine to give the Caley Jags a one-goal lead going into the interval.

However, despite looking comfortable for large portions of the second half, Lewis McCann would finally find the back of the net for the Pars in the closing minutes to ensure the spoils would be shared at East End Park.

Danny Devine gave Inverness an unlikely lead going into half time. Picture: Ken Macpherson
Danny Devine gave Inverness an unlikely lead going into half time. Picture: Ken Macpherson

Although going in at half time with the advantage, Caley Thistle had to ride their luck at several points during the first 45 minutes.

While Max Anderson had the first shot at goal, Dunfermline will feel they could have taken the lead when Lewis McCann was found unmarked inside the Inverness box, only to miscue his header harmlessly wide.

Shortly afterwards though, the home side could count themselves extremely unlucky not to break the deadlock when they hit the woodwork twice on back-to-back occasions.

The first of those saw McCann, a regular threat to the ICT defence, beat Mark Ridgers only to see his effort bounce off the inside of one post, all the way across goal and on to the other before staying out.

Kane Ritchie-Hosler then nipped in front of Cameron Harper to connect with a cross on the right side of the box, seeing his shot clip the inside of the near post – and then when Danny Devine tried to clear, the ball bounced off him and on to the other one.

Inverness saw their biggest threat come at set-pieces when they could force numbers forward, and on one such occasion Deniz Mehmet tried to collect a corner only to miss the ball, but there were too many bodies for Billy Mckay to force his follow up through when the Caley Jags record scorer tried to turn the ball in.

Mckay was involved again for arguably the simplest chance of the match at that point, as Anderson darted forward before cutting the ball back to Mckay, whose attempted shot skewed into the path of Harper with the goalkeeper out of position.

The wing-back, though, would not have been expecting the ball to fall to him and so could not force his effort towards the net.

Having passed up that opportunity going forward, Inverness were then nearly the architects of their own downfall.

Morgan Boyes attempted to pass the ball back to Ridgers when McCann intercepted, going around the goalkeeper and again hitting the woodwork.

When Owen Moffat then tried to follow up, his effort was nodded on to the bar by Nikola Ujdur – with the ball somehow still staying out.

If Dunfermline were starting to think it might simply not be their day, they would have needed serious convincing that it wasn't when Danny Devine put ICT ahead shortly before the break.

After a corner was only half-cleared, Inverness worked the ball out to Anderson who aimed for Devine inside the area, cushioning the ball with his head before stabbing it past Mehmet and into the back of the net to send Inverness back into the dressing room with a lead.

The sting definitely seemed to have been taken out of the Pars' tail after the restart, and it was David Wotherspoon who went closest in the early stages of the second half after a well-worked move down the left side led to the Canadian international cutting back on his right foot and taking aim.

Visiting supporters certainly seemed to feel comfortable, chanting along with every pass being successfully completed and sounding in fine voice.

Substitutions midway through the half somewhat spoiled the rhythm of play, but with a single strike separating the sides there was still plenty of time for either side to push for a goal.

Ewan Otoo nearly turned the ball into his own net in trying to clear a low cross from Harper, who had linked up well with Wotherspoon on the left flank, just about managing to scoop it over the bar instead.

Luis Longstaff had a good opportunity to make it 2-0 in the final 10 minutes, when a long passing sequence culminated in David Carson crossing for the substitute, who could not keep his eventual effort down.

That miss nearly came back to bite Caley Thistle, though, when Otoo took aim from a full 30 yards out, hitting his shot brilliantly only to see it once again cannon clear off the post.

There was still time for a final twist in the tale as Dunfermline would score a late equaliser.

McCann did well to control a high pass just inside the ICT box, firing towards his near post – just clipping the inside of it as the ball found the back of the net, leaving Ridgers with no chance of saving it.

Dunfermline: Mehmet, Edwards, Hamilton, Otoo, Ritchie-Hosler (O'Halloran 70), Chalmers, Todd (Jakubiak 60), McCann, Fisher, Moffat (Wighton 70), Allan.

Subs not used: Sharp, Little, Comrie, Fenton.

Caley Thistle: Ridgers, Harper, Devine, Gilmour, Carson, Mckay (Longstaff 65), Anderson, Boyles, Shaw, Wotherspoon (Welsh 83), Ujdur (Duffy 65).

Subs not used: Mackay, Delaney, Lodovica, Brooks, Thompson, Sheridan.

Referee: Euan Anderson

Attendance: 5034

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