Inverness CT 1-0 East Fife

Darren Young was delighted with the effort of his Fifers in Inverness.Darren Young was delighted with the effort of his Fifers in Inverness.
Darren Young was delighted with the effort of his Fifers in Inverness.
Despite taking nothing from the game, East Fife possibly saved the best for last in their Betfred Cup group campaign.

While nobody wants to lose games, if there is an acceptable way to suffer a defeat, then this was it.

Darren Young's side were able to draw on plenty of positives from their midweek showing against Hearts at Bayview and took them into their final match.

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East Fife won just one game from the four played in the group, but arguably put in better performances in defeat against the Jambos and Caley than they did against Cowdenbeath.

They knew they couldn't qualify, but that didn't stop Young from starting with his strongest starting XI.

Ryan Wallace and Jack Hamilton were paired up front with Kevin Smith and Danny Denholm deployed on the wings in an attack minded formation.

The first half may have been short on chances but the best of what was created fell to East Fife.

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Wallace fired high over the bar from the edge of the box while Chris Higgins was denied from point blank range by Cameron Mackay.

Inverness seemed content to hit on the break with Kai Kennedy at the heart of the best of what they created.

East Fife has done well in the opening half but were even brighter after the re-start.

They peppered the Inverness goal with deep crosses which, to their credit, the hosts did well to defend.

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When they weren't sending balls into the box they were trying to get in behind the Caley defence and the home backline had to look lively to block Thomas Collins' ball along the face of goal.

The game had really opened up and a goal looked only a matter of time.

It went the way of the home side, Shane Sutherland meeting Cameron Harper's corner and powering his header beyond Jordan Hart.

The goal was cruel on the visitors but they refused to feel sorry for themselves.

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Hamilton was a thorn in Caley's side and, when he was tripped inside the box by Robbie Deas with seconds left, it looked as if the Fifers would get the equaliser they merited.

Hamilton stepped up himself to take the spot kick but his strike lacked power and was beaten away by Mackay.

It was a tough ending to the game but there's no doubt the Fifers take huge credit from their performance.

Boss Young said: “Everybody did well.

“Every single player was brilliant.

“We created a lot of chances and put a lot of balls into the box.

“On another day Jack Hamilton could have had a hat-trick.”

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