Caley Thistle suffer 5-1 defeat by ruthless Dunfermline Athletic

Iain Vigurs scored twice for Inverness

Caley Thistle’s wait for a first point in the Championship continues after they were beaten 5-1 by Dunfermline at East End Park.

Callum Smith fired the Pars in front after only two minutes before Lee Ashcroft headed home a second in the 14th minute.

Iain Vigurs pulled one back from a free kick but Joe Cardle added a third for the Pars four minutes before half-time.

David Hopkirk netted a fourth in the 67th minute before Cardle completed the scoring in the dying embers on a comfortable afternoon for the Pars.

Caley Thistle manager John Robertson made two changes from the team beaten 1-0 by Dundee United last weekend with Collin Seedorf replacing David Raven, while Jake Mulraney stepped in for Ross Draper following his move to rivals Ross County.

The visitors fell behind after only 80 seconds of this encounter.

Smith showed a great turn of pace to dart away from the Caley Thistle defence and, after getting the break of the ball from goalkeeper Mark Ridgers’ challenge, displayed great composure to slot the ball home with two Jags defenders on the line.

Inverness almost mustered an immediate response when John Baird sent an enticing cross into the area but George Oakley’s attempt was well blocked by Jason Talbot.

Former Falkirk forward Baird had a shot deflected over but it was the Pars who were looking far more likely to add to their lead.

Pars midfielder Hopkirk went close to a stunner from 25 yards only to be denied by an equally impressive stop from Ridgers.

But, from the resulting corner, Dunfermline grabbed their second with Ashcroft nodding home from Kallum Higginbotham’s delivery with 14 minutes on the clock.

Caley Thistle looked down and out but, to their credit, they reduced the deficit a mere four minutes later when a Vigurs free kick evaded everyone and nestled kindly in the bottom corner.

That came against the run of play but the Pars restored their two goal advantage just before half-time when Joe Cardle stepped inside before curling beyond Ridgers from just inside the area.

John Robertson’s men made a better start to the second half and almost pulled one back when a clever free kick from Vigurs released George Oakley but he shot straight at Sean Murdoch.

Another chance fell Oakley’s way on the hour mark but he volleyed wide from a tight angle.

But, after Caley Thistle’s best period of the match, they conceded a fourth – and it was another exquisite goal from the Pars.

Higginbotham picked out Hopkirk with a delightful pass and the ball sat up perfectly for the midfielder to fire home from 20 yards with his left boot.

Dunfermline felt they should have had a penalty moments later when Dean Shiels fell in the area following a clumsy Liam Polworth challenge.

The impressive Cardle completed the scoring with a superb goal in the final minute, dancing past four defenders before drilling beyond Ridgers.