It was top versus bottom on the Halbeath Road as Inverness visited Dunfermline Athletic. Unfortunately it was a rather turgid affair that ended goalless and that was down to keeper Mark Ridgers who made two fantastic late saves to deny Nikolay Todorov and Craig Wighton who could have taken the points as the Pars looked to get their season up and running. As it was, it ended all square with Inverness remaining top and Dunfermline staying bottom.
Michael Gardyne missed out again as Aaron Doran made his 300th appearance for the Caley Jags. Unfortunately his day was terminated at the interval as The Pars dished out some strong arm tactics, especially in the first half which saw Doran replaced by Harper and Shane Sutherland replaced by Billy Mckay ten minutes before the break. Dunfermline had Fon Williams, Kai Kennedy and Nikolay Todorov on from the start as they went searching for their first win of the season.
From BBC Sport:
Dunfermline Athletic manager Peter Grant: "We've had a tough few weeks with Covid and the results and it's not easy to keep going and keep fighting and they showed the spirit that I know they have."
Inverness CT manager Billy Dodds: "It was going to be a battle, I knew they would work hard, I thought we were decent first half and they had the best chance second half. There weren't a lot of great chances in the game, I think a draw was a fair result but we had to battle for it."
Shane Sutherland saw an effort saved by Fon Williams fifteen minutes in as Inverness made the better start to the game and Mark Ridgers thwarted Nikolay Todorov as the hosts responded.
Clear cut chances were at a premium in a dour first half with neither side really catching the eye.
The most disappointing aspect of a poor first half was injuries to Sutherland and Doran.
Half Time 0-0
After the interval with neither side able to capitalise on some promising build up play the hosts gradually began to assert themselves on the ball and chances were being created.
Inverness were looking more vulnerable as the game opened out and offered little clear threat in front of goal, snatching at shots and heading wide without forcing Fon Williams to make a meaningful save.
The same could not be said of Mark Ridgers who defied the odds to palm away a fierce diving header from Todorov from point blank range and pounced on the loose ball to deny a certain goal. He then beat away another shot from Craig Wighton as the game entered time added on, these two saves earning him his fifth clean sheet of the Championship.
Dunfermline looked a much better side than their recent form had indicated and could easily have taken all three points at the end but for MotM Mark Ridgers who denied them access to his goal.
Unfortunately Inverness also looked like they were in a false position at the top of the league as they struggled to impose themselves on the game. Maybe the two first half injuries hindered us somewhat, but in truth, we were not convincing from the start and will feel it's a point gained, and not two points lost.
Still top of the league by one point despite Killie closing the gap after beating Partick Thistle and the Smokies still breezing along nicely in third only three points behind the leaders.
Queen of the South come North next week with Hamilton Accies to follow. Bring it on.