Dunfermline Athletic

Dunfermline Deserve Draw

Date: Wednesday, 6th Sep 2023

Last Saturday saw Dunfermline Athletic travel to the Highlands for the first time this term, as they faced Inverness Caledonian Thistle on Match-Day 4 in the SPFL cinch Championship.

Billy Dodds` side sat bottom of the division with 0 points from 3 matches, while the Pars showed a 1-1-1 record; one win, one draw, one defeat.

James McPake`s men were missing Craig Wighton through injury, while Deniz Mehmet and Matty Todd remained out with their long-term injuries. However, Kane Ritchie-Hosler returned from his long-term injury lay-off, while Owen Moffat was added to the squad, having joined on Transfer Deadline Day, on-loan from Blackpool.

The familiar nature to the Athletic line-up followed with the on-field display, with control of the game and plenty pressure being applied onto the hosts defence.

But, in the 12th minute of the match, Nathan Shaw fired home a left-footed effort, past Harry Sharp in goals, to put the Black & White 1-0 behind. The goal came against the run of play, but the Englishman was more than happy to celebrate his opener in front of the travelling support.

Highlights: Inverness Caledonian Thistle 1-1 Dunfermline Athletic

McPake`s men kept pushing and probing and were unlucky to find themselves behind at the break: the biggest frustration was probably the lack of clear-cut shooting chances and the lack of saves by home keeper Mark Ridgers. However, the second-half began brightly, with Michael O`Halloran curling wide from 20-yards, centrally, following a Josh Edwards throw-in.

The visitors remained the dominant side, with only a couple of tame late efforts from the hosts, not troubling Sharp in the nets for Dunfermline. But, a new lease of life was needed during the second period, with Ritchie-Hosler and Moffat entering the field of play on the hour mark. Their energy and freshness brought more impetus to the Pars attack and you felt a goal was imminent.

Chris Hamilton speaks to ParsTV following the 1-1 draw

That goal eventually did come, with 10 minutes left to play. Joe Chalmers took a short corner before Sam Fisher flicked on the dinked cross into the penalty area; Chris Hamilton was alert and got to the high ball before Ridgers and flicked it over the goalie to equalise in front of a large, vociferous, away support. The #5, who received the Captain`s Armband following Kyle Benedictus` injury substitution, which saw `Hammy` go into the back 3, enjoyed scoring his first competitive goal of the campaign, his third for the Football Club.

Naturally, a point away to ICT is never sniffed at, but Dunfermline Athletic were to rue a glorious chance late on which saw Ridgers atone for his error with the Hamilton goal, by salvaging a point for the hosts, Moffat made a great run forward from midfield, on the right of the box, before cutting inside the defender and attempting to outwit the goalie by smashing it home at the near post – unfortunately for the Pars, the experienced GK read his intentions and saved the shot in the dying embers of the contest.

Now, McPake`s side enter their third competitive of the season, with SPFL Trust Trophy action taking place this weekend. Athletic were drawn away to Dundee United, with the Third Round tie taking place at Tannadice this Saturday at 3pm.

Due to a multitude of reasons: injury, suspension, ineligibility or international call-up, it`ll possibly be a more unfamiliar look to Dunfermline, with the `Challenge Cup` certainly providing the management team with a headache or two for this weekend`s fixture.

James McPake post-Inverness

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