Published: 28/10/2017 16:45 - Updated: 29/10/2017 09:41

Caley Thistle extend unbeaten run with home win over Dunfermline

Written byJamie Durent

Connor Bell has been an understated performer in Caley Thistle's season to date. Picture: Ken Macpherson.
Connor Bell's goal proved decisive as Caley Thistle recorded their first home win of the season. Picture: Ken Macpherson.

CALEY Thistle extended their unbeaten run to five games with a 1-0 win over Dunfermline.

Connor Bell's goal in the first half proved decisive, as a composed performance by Inverness secured their first home league win of the season.

It also marked their fifth game in a row without conceding a goal and Mark Ridgers had little to do in the Caley Thistle goal.

They held the league's most prolific side at arms' length for the majority of the game and were worthy winners.

Both sides were unchanged on the back of wins last week, Caley Thistle beating Dundee United 2-0 and Dunfermline triumphing 3-1 against Livingston.

It took just four minutes for Caley Thistle to register a shot on target, with Jake Mulraney's cross cleared into the path of Iain Vigurs and his half-volley was clawed away from the top corner by Sean Murdoch.

A shot skied by Fraser Aird was the only effort Dunfermline offered as they struggled to get anywhere near Mark Ridgers in the Caley Thistle goal.

Mulraney, who has been challenged to deliver more consistently by John Robertson, started the game as one of the Caley Jags liveliest players. The midfield looked to feed him often behind the full-back and after a couple of near misses, he drifted away from Jason Talbot and angled a ball across the face of goal that Dunfermline could not clear, leaving Bell to roll in at the far post.

The Caley Jags were well on top and a stinging drive from Liam Polworth forced Murdoch to parry shortly after. Dunfermline stopper Murdoch was breathing a sigh of relief too, as Joe Chalmers nicked the ball away from him on the far side of the area and appeared to be taken down from behind by the visiting goalkeeper. Referee Kevin Clancy was unmoved.

Liam Polworth has been frustrated with Caley Thistle's start. Picture: Ken Macpherson.
Liam Polworth had one effort save and struck a late shot against the bar.


A golden opportunity was presented to the Pars on 36 minutes as Brad Mckay mis-read Nicky Clark's ball and allowed him a free run on Ridgers. However, the teen sensation bottled it at the crucial moment, skewing well wide.

Caley Thistle had the swirling wind going against them in the second half and it nearly caught out Ridgers, with Aird's cross looping over his head. Fortunately he was able to back-pedal and bundle the ball behind for a corner.

On 56 minutes John Baird should have doubled his side's lead after Mulraney picked him out beautifully but as he tried to lift the ball over Murdoch the goalkeeper advanced, smothering his shot.

Baird drew the ire of Polworth in a bizarre confrontation just a minute later, in reaction to a spurned opportunity. Bell did well to pick Baird out in the middle but instead of taking a first-time shot, he attempted to lay off Polworth and mis-placed the pass. Polworth flew into a rage with Baird, storming over to him and pushing him, before the situation was diffused.

Much of the second half was a non-event with few chances created, only Joe Cardle coming close to scoring as he drew a low stop out of Ridgers.

A late strike from Polworth cannoned back off the crossbar and despite a wave of long balls forward from the Pars, Inverness held out for their fifth game unbeaten in a row.

CALEY THISTLE: Ridgers; Raven, Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco, Chalmers, Vigurs, Polworth, Bell (Warren, 90), Mulraney (Calder, 72), Baird (Oakley, 78). Subs unused: Esson, Elsdon, Trafford, Mackay. Booked: Baird, Tremarco.

DUNFERMLINE: Murdoch; Williamson, Morris, Ashcroft, Talbot, Splaine (Shiels, 76), Wedderburn, Aird (Cardle, 66), Higginbotham, Clark, Smith (McManus, 66). Subs unused: Gill, Martin, M'Voto, Ryan. Booked: Morris, Splaine, Williamson, Clark, Higginbotham.

Attendance: 2948.

Referee: K Clancy.

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