Luton striker finally ends his 33-game goal drought by netting Inverness equaliser at Dunfermline

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Pepple earns a point as fight to stay up goes to the final day

Luton striker Aribim Pepple finally ended his lengthy wait for a first senior goal in British football after scoring for Inverness Caledonian Thistle during their 1-1 draw at Dunfermline in the Scottish Championship on Saturday.

The 21-year-old has had a tough time of it since moving to Kenilworth Road in the summer of 2022 from Canadian Premier League side Cavalry, as he was sent out on loan to League Two Grimsby Town last term, failing to find the net in his 15 appearances in all competitions when at Blundell Park. He then went to National League team Bromley at the beginning of the current campaign, unable to register a goal in his six outings, before joining Inverness in January.

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Pepple had not been on target in his previous 12 matches for Caly, taking his barren run to 33 games in total, before, thrown on by manager Duncan Ferguson with just 20 minutes to go at the KDM Group East End Park, he broke his duck just moments later, taking a flicked header in his stride and producing a deft finish from close range to beat home keeper Deniz Mehmet.

He almost won it too, Mehmet getting down well to prevent his shot from the edge of the box finding the bottom corner, although the result couldn’t stop Thistle dropping into the relegation play-off spot. They now host fifth placed Morton on Saturday, needing to win and hope third bottom Queen's Park lose at home to fourth-placed Airdrie in their match.

Speaking to the club’s official YouTube page, Ferguson said: “I thought Bim did very well. We went more direct as the game went on, we went for it, it worked quite well, unfortunately we just couldn’t get the second goal, so it looks like it’s the play-offs for us."

Pepple himself told the Press & Journal: “We’re all down, but we know there’s another game and we’re not out of it. We will give everything we can, focus on the game and the things we can control, and see what happens. A draw is better than a loss, but it’s not what we came for. We definitely had the chances to win the game, but we will take the positives.

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“The ball just broke through, and the angle was a bit tight, so I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to get it and time it, but luckily it went in, so thank God for that. I was hoping for another one, but it didn’t come. We go again next week, we’re in the fight for next week and that’s the most important thing. Hopefully it will go in our favour."

Aribim Pepple on signing for Luton back in August 2022 - pic: Luton Town FCAribim Pepple on signing for Luton back in August 2022 - pic: Luton Town FC
Aribim Pepple on signing for Luton back in August 2022 - pic: Luton Town FC

Although Pepple has made just two starts since heading to the Caledonian Stadium, he always knew it would be difficult to break in when going up north, adding: “There are two great strikers, Billy Mckay and Alex Samuel, in the team in front of me. It’s not as if it’s two people not doing their jobs in the team. Whenever I come on, I want to make an impact. It broke for me on Saturday. Last week, I think I should have had one or two goals. It’s just about staying ready and when the chance comes, do the business.”

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