Inverness 1

SUB Danny Devine handed his former club victory at East End Park as Inverness made the trip back to the Highlands with all three points.

His outstretched hand met the ball in the box and Sean Welsh comfortably converted the resulting penalty with three minutes left on the clock.

In what was a poor game of football, both sides lacked any real quality in front of goal and the winner was always likely to come from a set-piece or mistake at the back.

The result means Dunfermline stay bottom of the Championship table with no wins from their opening five games.

Pars boss Stevie Crawford made changes to his side that lost 2-1 to Alloa in the Tunnocks Caramel Wafer Cup the previous week.

Cammy Gill maintained his place between the sticks for his first league start of the season. There was a reshuffle in defence as Lewis Martin moved into the centre to accomodate Josh Edwards' introduction at left-back - his first Championship start - in place of the injured Tom Lang. Matty Todd and Gabby McGill dropped out for Kevin Nisbet and Lewis McCann, with the latter brought into the starting XI after making his U21 debut for Northern Ireland last week.

The visitors had a trio of familiar faces in their ranks with James Vincent, Shaun Rooney and Jordan White all starting. Former youth player Kevin McHattie was named on the bench.

After Partick Thistle held Arbroath to a 1-1 draw at Gayfield last night (Friday) in controversial circumstances - Luke Donnelly was wrongly ruled as offside after he netted what would have been a late winner for Dick Campbell's men - the Pars started the game rock bottom of the Championship.

After starting with two draws, a couple of defeats to nil followed, leaving Stevie Crawford's side with a poor return of just two points from their opening four games.

In his matchday programme notes, the Pars boss said, "I sincerely hope that we can start moving forward again, beginning today. I am acutely aware that our fans are looking for something to cheer about and I would dearly love that to start today."

The last time the home support in Dunfermline actually had a win to celebrate was back on March 2, when Queen of the South were 1-0 losers at East End Park.

The opening exchanges of this one were largely spent in the Pars' half.

John Robertson would've been pleased by the territory his side occupied but not the decision-making the white shirts made in those areas.

They won free-kicks and corners but failed to test Gill once.

On the rare occasions Athletic got hold of the ball early on their passes were wasteful and often misplaced.

Nisbet had a half chance inside three minutes, and McCann let fly with a half-volley close to the half hour mark, but both efforts were well wide.

Paul Paton repeated McCann's effort on 35 minutes from a closer and better position. The ball broke invitingly for the experienced midfielder at the edge of the area. Unfortunately, it was the wrong man at the right time as his drive was heading wide from the moment it left his foot.

As the half wore on the quality from both sides was very low and the 0-0 scoreline at the break reflected that. Inverness broke on the counter a handful of times without creating. Edwards' delivery for the Pars from set-pieces was the only time Dunfermline looked threatening.

Considering the Pars hadn't scored once in the second half of their opening four matches, the signs didn't look promising for the 45 minutes that were ahead.

Even when Mark Ridgers was finally drawn into a save it was from his own player.

Kyle Turner's free-kick from the right was deflected towards the bottom corner by Coll Donaldson but Ridgers clawed it out for a corner. A great save from the Caley stopper.

Greg Kiltie linked neatly with Nisbet to free the striker for a run against two retreating defenders but his shot lacked composure and whistled past the far post.

Caley bodies were thrown on the line moments later when Nisbet and McCann were both denied a route to goal after a scramble in the visitors' box.

Aaron Doran let fly on 83 minutes to sting the palms of Gill. Judging by the keeper's less than convincing stop, it may have moved in the air. The rebound came to nothing.

Danny Devine had only been on the park for 10 minutes - Josh Edwards went off with a calf injury, meaning Lewis Martin moved to left-back - when he made a lasting impression on the game.

Ex-Par James Vincent burst through to the six-yard box and the ball bounced up to touch the hand of ex-Inverness man Devine.

Nick Walsh had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and substitute Sean Welsh stepped up confidently to put the ball down the middle on 87 minutes, with Gill diving to his right.

The Pars surged forward in search of a leveller to no avail.

They next travel to Firhill to play ninth place Partick Thistle.

PARS: Gill, Comrie, Ashcroft, Martin, Edwards (Devine 76), Kiltie, Paton, Beadling, Turner (Cochrane 71), Nisbet, McCann (Coley 71) Subs not used: Scully, Todd, Ryan, McGill.
Booking: Turner (29)

Inverness: Ridgers, Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Walsh (MacGregor 70), Vincent, Carson (Welsh 60), Doran, White (Todorov 61), Storey.

Subs not used: Mackay, McHattie, Trafford, Harper.
Booking: MacGregor (88).

Goals: Welsh (pen, 87)

Referee: Nick Walsh.

Attendance: 3,446