Dunfermline 0 - 1 Inverness CT

League Match
Saturday, August 8th, 2009, 3:00 PM at East End Park, Dunfermline
Attendance: 2,975
Referee: Dougie McDonald
Dunfermline Inverness CT

None. Lee Cox (90)

Team Managers
Jim McIntyre Terry Butcher

Starting Eleven
Ryan Esson
Grant Munro
David Proctor
Lionel Djebi-Zadi
Nauris Bulvitus
Lee Cox
Robert Eagle
Daniel Stratford
Dougie Imrie
Adam Rooney
Dani Sanchez

Kyle Allison
Roy McBain
Johnny Hayes
Graeme Shinnie
Shane Sutherland

None. Johnny Hayes for Robert Eagle (69)
Roy McBain for Dougie Imrie (76)
Shane Sutherland for Dani Sanchez (85)

Glass (10)
Graham (13)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Ryan Esson (GK) 28 apps -
Lionel Djebi-Zadi 23 apps -
Nauris Bulvitus 2 apps -
David Proctor 94 apps5 goals
Grant Munro 286 apps8 goals
Daniel Stratford 3 apps -
Robert Eagle 2 apps1 goal
Lee Cox 3 apps1 goal
Dougie Imrie 60 apps8 goals
Adam Rooney 39 apps7 goals
Dani Sanchez 2 apps1 goal
Johnny Hayes (sub) 2 apps -
Roy McBain (sub) 332 apps19 goals
Shane Sutherland (sub) 2 apps -

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Lee Cox (19 years 48 days)
Oldest Player:Dani Sanchez (2011 years 9 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 1 days
Domestic Players:11 (100.00 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Shane Sutherland (18 years 294 days)
Oldest Player:Graeme Shinnie (2011 years 9 days)
Average Player Age:23 years 178 days
Domestic Players:16 (100.00 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Lee Cox scored his first goal for the Club.

Opening day draw

Inverness Caledonian Thistle opened their SFL 1 league campaign with a tricky journey South to face Dunfermline at East End Park. Both sides are striving for promotion back to the SPL along with Partick and Dundee and the game offered the respective fan bases a chance to see how their favourites competed against another rival title challenger.

In a very open game that produced a number of chances for both sides it took until the 92nd minute for the winning goal which came courtesy of a rasping drive from Inverness midfielder Lee Cox who sent a very vocal away following into raptures and gave ICT a great three points at what will be a very difficult venue for teams to take points from over the course of the season. After limping past Montrose and thrashing Annan Athletic in the first rounds of the Challenge and CIS Cup respectively this game was to be a much tougher test for Inverness with a number of new players making their league debut having been signed by Butcher over the summer. With Foran and Tokely both suspended Inverness lined up:

Proctor     Bulvitis     Munro     Djebi Zadi
Imrie (McBain 77 mins)     Cox     Stratford     Eagle (Hayes 70 mins) Sanchez (Sutherland 87 mins)

Inverness started strongly and attacked Dunfermline right from the off. A long ball through from Djebi Zadi found Rooney in space and the striker drove towards goal but was halted in his tracks by a splendid challenge from Pars defender Neil McGregor. The flame haired forward was not to enjoy the best day in front of goal passing up a glut of chances to put Inverness in front. Lee Cox passed up an opportunity as Sanchez feed him at the edge of the box but he pulled his shot high and wide of Flemings goal. Dunfermline had plenty of opportunities as well, ending the game having some 20 shots at goal, but they were not proving clinical when presented with chances to take the lead. Gibson, Burke and Kirk all attempting to open the scoring for the Pars but none were able to force Esson into a serious save. Whilst ICT were having more of the ball and knocking it around with relative ease, Dunfermline still posed a threat on the break with David Graham in particular proving to be a tricky customer for the ICT defence and Proctor was lucky to avoid a yellow card after what looked to be a rash challenge the Dunfermline player after he had skipped past his man. Inverness should have taken the lead after neat build up play on the left wing between Djebi Zadi and Eagle which resulted in Djebi Zadi thundering through on goal but he was unfortunate in dragging his shot just too far to the right which resulted in it clipping the edge of the post and rebounding away from any lunging Inverness player much to the relief of the Home crowd. The chances continued to come for both sides with only despairing blocks and poor finishing meaning that the scores stayed level. Dunfermline should have taken the lead when a cross was stood up to the back post and Bayne rose to head towards goal but the effort was wide of Esson's right hand post. Just before half time a last ditch challenge from Munro closed down a goal bound effort from Bell which meant that despite a glorious number of openings for both teams we went into the break goalless. 

Half Time 0-0

The second half began in a similar vein to the first with both sides desperately seeking the crucial opening goal. Whereas ICT had just shaded the first half the second 45 minutes was to see more of Dunfermline as an attacking force and they rained in a plethora of long range shots on Esson's goal. Graham again proving to be a thorn for ICT as neat build up play down the left saw him presented with half a chance and he fired a shot goalwards but it was of little concern to Esson. Whilst the home side continued to try their luck from long range, ICT looked to hit on the break and nearly did so when Sanchez was played through and looked to be hauled back by a Pars defender. Referee MacDonald played advantage, although this was now arguably lost as Sanchez was crowded out before he could get his shot away with McGregor again sliding in to block the Spaniards shot. As the game entered the last 20 minutes the tempo was upped by both sides and both Esson and Fleming had to look sharp to keep their sides in it. First the bustling Imrie stung the palms of Fleming with a ferocious drive which Willie Gibson then attempted to replicate Imrie’s effort at the other end as he rifled in a shot that swerved wickedly in front of Esson who did well to keep it out. As the game entered the final 10 minutes of normal time it became abundantly clear to everyone in the ground that one goal was going to be enough to win it and the Inverness away support roared their team on. However it was the Dunfermline fans who nearly had a goal to celebrate as a clever dip of the shoulders allowed Kirk to wriggle free from Bulvitis and send a shot thumping off the post with Esson beaten.

A goal did eventually come and thankfully it came for Inverness. Lee Cox found himself in space at the edge of the Dunfermline area, with the home players too slow to close him down, the Englishman cracked in a right footed strike that beat Fleming and secured a precious three points for Inverness.

Full Time 0-1

The joy at getting the winning goal was clearly evident from the fans celebrations through to the reactions of the players and management. Dunfermline could argue that they were hard done by as a draw might well have been a fairer result but for all the shots they rained in on Essons goal only two were on target. ICT now have to keep their momentum going when Ayr United visit Inverness next week. Three points will be expected and if the team play as well as they did on Saturday there is no reason why that could not be achieved.

Match report written by tm4tj

Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Ross County 1 1 0 0 2 1 1 3
2. Dundee 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 3
3. Inverness CT 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 3
4. Ayr United 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1
5. Partick Thistle 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1
6. Queen of the South 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1
7. Raith Rovers 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1
8. Airdrie United 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0
9. Dunfermline 1 0 0 1 0 1 -1 0
10. Morton 1 0 0 1 0 1 -1 0