Dunfermline 0 - 1 Inverness Caledonian Thistle: Pars pay penalty
Sean Welsh provided a dismal game with its defining moment just four minutes from time. The substitute, pictured, stayed cool to convert from the penalty spot after home substitute Danny Devine was accused of handball in his own box. Until then, neither side had done enough to deserve the win but, after too many draws last term, Inverness manager John Robertson is optimistic his players have learned their lesson.
“It had 0-0 written all over it,” he said. “This was the game last year where we didn’t pick up anything and we had 14 draws like that. Part of our plan this season to be more competitive is to turn the draws into wins. And this is the classic example.
“No team deserved more than a point but we’ve managed somehow to snatch the victory. It’s a massive three points for us and I can only congratulate the players because I don’t think either team deserved any more than a point.”
The action throughout betrayed Dunfermline’s recent form, the hosts coming into the match without a win in six. And the effects of four consecutive defeats showed in a lack of confidence and attacking cohesion. They finished the afternoon rooted to the bottom of the Championship still seeking that elusive win.
Their best chance early on came when Josh Edwards’ corner cannoned off the shins of Lee Ashcroft and was cleared off the line by Carl Tremarco. Ashcroft then elicited the loudest cheer by holding off Jordan White to shield the ball for a bye-kick. It was that kind of game.
Pars skipper Paul Paton was inches away from the all-important breakthrough with a volley in the 36th minute but fired inches past the upright and it was a day when both sides proved awry until Welsh’s winner.
The home fans were enraged when referee Nick Walsh awarded Caley Thistle their late penalty. Coll Donaldson’s long ball ricocheted up and off the hand of Devine and Welsh turned Caley Thistle’s point into three.
“We fought to the bitter end and I can’t fault the players in terms of their effort and commitment,” said under-fire Dunfermline manager Stevie Crawford. “It’s just bitterly disappointing that it’s another penalty decision that’s gone against us.”