JIM Duffy hailed his players for earning a ‘terrific’ draw against Dunfermline last night but reserved special praise for Gary Oliver after the striker put in an outstanding shift.

Ton drew 1-1 at East End Park and Duffy was beaming with his side after they showed some character to come back from going a goal down and end the match unlucky not to have taken all three points.

Oliver was the stand-out for the Greenock men and his manager was full of superlatives to describe the 22-year-old’s performance — insisting it’s more than just goals that Oliver contributes to the team.

He said: “I thought it was a terrific point because we haven’t played for over two weeks now.

“To come to Dunfermline, who are a really good side with tremendous firepower, I thought we competed really well. 

“The fitness levels were terrific and the attitude meant that it was a very good point.

“The first half I thought Dunfermline probably edged it, we were trying to find our feet a little bit albeit it was a very fortuitous goal they’ve scored. 

“That was a bit unlucky for us but we showed a great response.

“The second half could probably have went either way, they had a couple of half chances and we had a great one with Thommo [Robert Thomson] and their keeper has made a good save. 

“But coming here, without it being a classic match, I’m delighted with a point.”

On Oliver, Duff said: “Fortunately for us we’ve managed to have a couple of closed door games and Gary has scored in them so that helps. 

“Maybe that just lets him know that he has that ability to score. He’s been terrific for us in terms of his link-up play and you could see that again tonight because he was outstanding.

“Getting that goal was a huge boost for him and it’ll give him a lot of confidence. He contributes an awful lot to our team. 

“He works so hard, chases lost causes, puts defenders under pressure. If he gets goals that’s obviously a bonus because players love to score. 

“But as long as he’s contributing that’s the important thing.”

Defender Luca Gasparotto started his first game since returning to the club on loan from Falkirk until January and Duffy was complimentary towards the Canadian.

He said: “I thought Luca was terrific, it was good to have him back in and he gave us that presence which we know he can do. 

“That allowed us to change systems a bit and we rejigged things in the second half.”