Highlanders given a football lesson by rampant Pars
In a complete reversal of last season's meeting between the teams, Dunfermline showed how, when certain players are on top form, they are a formidable team at Championship level at least. Without the team's 2 first choice strikers (Nicky Clark and Declan McManus), Pars boss Allan Johnston brought 17 year old Callum Smith back into the starting 11, partnered by David Hopkirk. Jason Talbot made his first appearance of the season at left back, while Dean Shiels replaced Michael Paton in what was a much needed change to the centre midfield.
Doubts as to the players' confidence levels after the midweek Rangers defeat were soon banished when Smith put the Pars ahead after 2 minutes. He chased a through ball and was met by Inverness keeper Mark Ridgers at the edge of the penalty box. The ball spun away and Smith showed great composure to look up and place the ball in the corner of the net.
Lee Ashcroft, who was wearing a bandage round his head to protect stitches after an injury against Rangers, headed home a second Pars goal in the 14th minute from a Kallum Higginbotham cross.
Ian Vigurs, who had scored a hat trick the last time the teams played each other, pulled a goal back in the 18th minute. His free kick was missed by everyone and sailed into the bottom corner of the net, from what seemed like an attempted cross that somehow made its way into the goal.
Higginbotham, who like last season is the team's leading goal assist provider, laid on the third Dunfermline goal 5 minutes before half time. His run from the right ended with a pass to Joe Cardle, whose shot from just outside the box beat Ridgers in the Inverness goal.
David Hopkirk had been denied a first half goal by a good save from Ridgers, but got his name on the scoresheet after 67 minutes with a well hit shot from 18 yards. The "reserve" striking partnership were both playing well. Smith showed great positional awareness for such a young player, and lead the line effectively.
The fifth Pars goal was possibly the best: in the final minute, Cardle received the ball on the left, moved inside, evading several Inverness players and curled the ball into the corner of the net. This was Joe at his very best, and with his fifth goal of the season he became the team's leading scorer this term.
A perfect response to the trauma of Wednesday evening, in front of an encouraging home crowd of 4391, with at least 4200 being Dunfermline fans. There was much to take encouragement from, with every player making a positive contribution. Particularly impressive were Williamson, Ashcroft, Cardle, Higginbotham and Smith. Dean Shiels will benefit from getting a full 90 minutes and will be a big player for us as the season progresses. But the day belonged to the teenager who led the attack.
Pars starting 11 and subs, plus man of the match:
Tomorrow: match photo gallery & matchday vlog will be uploaded.
Photos & edits in this article by Pars Review.