First Point of the Season
John Robertson's side gained their first point of the season with a home draw against Morton. It looked promising early on as Inverness took the game to the visitors with some swift interchanging and incisive moves. It paid off when Gary Warren turned in a Liam Polworth free kick to open the scoring. However, instead of building from there, Morton grew in confidence and thoroughly deserved to level matters with a goal early in the second half when Robert Thomson headed in a tremendous Ricki Lamie cross. That's how it ended.
Gary Warren was thankfully restored to the heart of the defence after recovering from injury and new signing, Canadian international Charlie Trafford was handed a start by Robbo. Coll Donaldson warmed the bench along with David Raven, Jake Mulraney, Connor Bell and Matt Elsdon.
Jim Duffy had the pacey Jai Quintongo leading the line assisted by former Falkirk forward Bob McHugh with the talented Gary Harkins making the bench. Duffy had made four changes to the side dumped out of the League Cup by Livingstone as he returned to a more regular starting XI
A decent away support were hoping the Ton would continue where they left off having thumped St Mirren 4-1 in their last Championship match. Inverness, on the other hand were looking to bounce back after being mauled 5-1 at Dunfermline.
Early exchanges showed that we were intent on making amends from our dismal display at East End Park with new signing Charlie Trafford getting involved early. He doesn't want the tag of being a Ross Draper type of player. He'll do well to shake that one off then, he even looks a bit like him from the safety of the North Stand.
Liam Polworth looked to have been given a more roving role and he darted forward on a number of occasions making the keeper work as early as the seventh minute. A couple of minutes later and he was involved again, teeing up John Baird who placed his shot over the bar. Moments later he fired a shot from distance, however Gaston was able tip it over the bar. From the resultant corner, John Baird half volleyed over.
George Oakley was next to have a go but his shot was deflected for a corner. Bright start for the hosts and it looked to be only a matter of time before we opened the scoring with Morton keen to hack the ball anywhere to keep us at bay.
Riccardo Calder was weaving his way towards the box and Doyle upended him perilously close to the line. Polworth took the free kick low into the box and Gary Warren reacted first to slam the ball behind the startled keeper. No more than we deserved at this moment.
Vigurs and Seedorf were booked around the half hour mark as Morton were getting to grips with the game. The best they could muster in a half dominated by Inverness was a couple of sprints from Jai Quitongo who showed the defenders a clean pair of heels, but he was crowded out on both occasions before it came to anything.
As the half drew to a close, it was apparent that the momentum was swinging towards the visitors as they grew in confidence, Inverness' early grip on proceedings starting to slip.
Half Time 1-0
Baird had the first effort of the half but his shot was too straight at the keeper who gathered comfortably.
Six minutes into the second period and Morton were level. A ball was blocked clear out wide on the Morton right. Ricki Lamie fetched and turned in the same movement as he swung a brilliant ball into the box which was met be Robert Thomson who was facing the wrong way, but he delicately guided the ball into the net to level matters.
We had the occasional moment in the second half, an Oakley header just drifting narrowly wide, but for the most part, the ball was at the other end as possession began to level out.
From there on in, Morton looked the likelier to take all three points and should have scored just after the hour when Quitongo, Thomson and McHugh were all thwarted in a goalmouth melee by defenders and keeper alike. Close shave, but well done to Mark Ridgers on that occasion.
Bob McHugh saw a shot saved and at the other end Gary Warren headed into the keeper. Morton were keeping the ball in the Inverness half much to the frustration of the home fans as we struggled to recreate our opening twenty minutes.
We did however have probably the miss of the match when substitute Jake Mulraney, on for the injured Calder, hung a fabulous cross into the six-yard box. George Oakley seemed destined to score and the whole of the North Stand thought so as well, but the ball appeared to stop in mid air after connecting with Oakley's head and the keeper was able to smother the ball and prevent it crossing the line from five yards.
We ended the game on the back foot as Morton's corner count grew, with the struggling Collin Seedorf receiving a second yellow right at the end, but we managed to hold on for a draw.
Full Time 1-1
The draw was probably deserved over the piece, but slightly disappointing after a fiery opening twenty minutes when we looked like running up a cricket score.
Liam Polworth looked very lively in the first half but like the rest suffered as a very well organised Morton marked us out of the game, pressed high and really took control in the second half. Despite that we did have one superb opportunity to win the game but only Oakley will know what really happened. Charlie Trafford certainly looks like a great addition and will get even better when he gets to know his playing partners.
Gary Warren shored up the defence and led by example scoring a cracking goal and he was my Man of the Match. He was ably assisted by Ian Vigurs, (pity about his petulant and cynical side), and the aforementioned Polworth and Trafford. Mark Ridgers gets the fans jittery when facing needless passbacks, but he also pulled off a couple of great saves, so credit where it's due. Chalmers looked less risky with Warren guiding him so that's another plus, but Seedorf did not look comfortable, culminating in a couple of rash challenges and a sending off.
All in, we can take some positives from this encounter knowing that Morton are an established and very well organised bunch. It's been a tough few opening exchanges in the Robbo revolution and it will take a bit of time before we see his fruits ripen.
It's not the worst thing that could have happened in a week where Josh Meekings joined Dundee and Big Ben stopped chiming. Ding Dong.
If you are a bit more thick skinned, check out this enterprising fans views of the Morton game from the Greenock sides perspective.
Jim Duffy was candid as always
Brechin City away next week, hedge trimmers at the ready