Dunfermline 1 Inverness 1

The Inverness woodwork had already been struck seven times and just as it seemed their luck was completely out Lewis McCann grabbed a late leveller for Athletic - via the post!

It looked for all the world as if ex-Par Danny Devine’s first half strike would decide this match as the upright defied the unlucky home team time and again.

Just as the fans were beginning to give up hope it was eighth time lucky.

The Athletic striker controlled a ball on his chest and this time fortune favoured him as his left foot shot thumped off the post and rocketed into the top corner to rescue a point for James McPake’s men.

The draw puts Athletic in fifth place in the Championship.

Deniz Mehmet was back in goals for Dunfermline, he had to be subbed at half-time against Dundee United last week after suffering from concussion, but they were still without injured trio, skipper Kyle Benedictus, Rhys Breen and Ben Summers.

On the plus side, both Matty Todd and Kane Ritchie-Hosler made their first starts for the Pars after lengthy lay-offs due to ankle and knee problems.

Duncan Ferguson has galvanised Caley since he took over in September and, ahead of the trip south to Fife, they hadn’t lost with three wins and two draws from his five matches in the dug-out. It's now six.

In contrast, Pars had lost four out of their last five league matches and this battling draw - and performance - should give them renewed hope ahead of this Friday night's Scottish Cup clash with Raith.

In the previous meeting with Inverness, in September, a late Chris Hamilton header rescued a point and the Caley Jags started the better team here, setting up camp in Dunfermline’s half without creating any real moments of danger.

McCann should have done better with the first chance for Athletic in the 10th minute. Josh Edwards’ out swinging cross looked tailor made for the big striker but he got his header all wrong and the ball bounced harmlessly wide.

Owen Moffat, with a taste for goals after finding the net three times in the last two matches, showed neat footwork to jink inside and fire a 25 yard drive just over the bar.

And he was at the heart of a move when Athletic thought they’d taken the lead.

If McCann was wasteful earlier he was desperately unlucky not to score in the 17th minute when Moffat buzzed down the left and found the striker who collected, swivelled and shot across Mark Ridgers in the one movement.

The Caley Jags goalie was beaten but the ball struck the post, rolled along the line and glanced off the other post before bouncing out and being hoofed clear.

Two minutes later Pars were at it again.

Edwards sent in another brilliant cross and Ritchie-Hosler should probably have scored from six yards but his side-foot volley hit the post and Devine clumsily knocked the ball off the same post before Inverness could clear.

Todd was only just stopped in his tracks by an excellent Devine tackle, as he threatened to go clean through on goal, and Ritchie-Hosler almost caught out Ridgers with an instant curling effort that almost dropped into the top corner.

Big Dunc’s men had chances too – Max Anderson and Billy McKay were both denied by last ditch blocks - and must have wondered how they didn’t score in the 27th minute.

Anderson pulled the ball across goal and with Mehmet drawn out of position McKay miscued and screwed the ball wide of a gaping net. It found its way to Cammy Harper at the back post but he knocked the ball past the post when it looked easier to score.

Dunfermline knew they were cursed in the 33rd minute as they hit the post – twice – again in the same move.

McCann seized on a short pass back to round the keeper but from a tight angle he could only thump the ball off the post.

The ball landed in the box where Moffat controlled and smacked it goalwards only for it to deflect off a Jags leg and rebound back off the other post.

After that kind of misfortune, of course Inverness compounded it by going up the park and scoring.

Anderson chipped the ball into the box, Joe Chalmers and Ewan Otoo both challenged Devine in the air but the loose ball fell kindly for the Inverness defender to stick out a boot and stab it past Mehmet.

The visitors started the second half well, enjoying plenty of possession in the Dunfermline half, with David Wotherspoon – who had been training with the Pars all summer without signing a deal – flashing an effort just wide of the target.

McPake was first to blink, replacing a tiring Todd with Alex Jakubiak on the hour to try and give his team a spark as they struggled to get close to Caley’s goal.

In the 63rd minute they managed to get in behind the defence with McCann rolling a great ball across goal but there were no takers in black and white and Ferguson’s men managed to smuggle it out for a corner.

Sub Craig Wighton had a hook shot deflected wide and Jakubiak’s drive, after the corner was partially cleared, was slowed by a forest of legs.

In a tussle for the ball in the box in the 74th minute Jakubiak slumped to the ground with the home fans howling for a penalty.

The ref wasn’t interested and the striker didn’t complain, which seemed to back Devine’s claims that the Pars man had gone down too easily.

Dunfermline must have felt they were never going to get anything out of this match when they struck the post, for the seventh time, in the 82nd minute.

Otoo let fly with a terrific effort from near enough 30 yards but the ball pinged off Ridgers’ left hand post and bounced to safety.

But three minutes from the end McCann struck to rescue a draw for Dunfermline. That's worth posting about.