Watery Lottery Sinks Caley Jags
It was a case of Saints and sinner at the Caledonian Stadium Water Park as St Mirren and their Buddie ended our run of clean sheets with two second half goals. The first was a disputed penalty scored by Ian McShane, the second a breakaway at the death as we probed for a leveller, knocked in by Gavin Reilly.
The conveyor belt of comedy referees knows no bounds. This time it was sinner John McKendrick that showed his inability to officiate fairly and he had clearly lost the plot midway through the second half, brandishing cards at will, ignoring blatant cheating and sending off Iain Vigurs for what can best be described as being assaulted.
As expected, Gary Warren replaced the suspended Brad Mckay and Jake Mulraney returned to the starting XI with Alex Cooper removed.
St Mirren went with a tried and tested eleven.
The game kicked off with 2687 hardy souls peering through the driving sleat with both sides probing for openings.
Liam Polworth fired from distance but Samson got down to keep it out and Carl Tremarco got on the end of a Gary Warren header from a corner but the ball was kept out from close range.
The visitors were being fairly robust, with their Buddie making allowances for the conditions as he ignored home pleas for a bit of protection. Iain Vigurs was wrongly booked for protesting about a brash challenge from Cammy Smith, the perpetrator also booked for his part.
Polworth and Chalmers tested Samson again but the keeper made a couple of fine saves to deny the eager Inverness midfielders. John Baird showed why he has not scored since the last St Mirren game by wasting a great opportunity after a Polly ball set him in on goal but Samson was relieved to see the strikers effort go straight at him.
The clean sheet record was still preserved as the whistle brought the first half to a close, Inverness looking the most likely with Mark Ridgers freezing his bells off in goal with little to do to keep warm.
Half Time 0-0
The second period was only six minutes old when Kyle McGennis went down under a shoulder charge challenge from Polworth. There seemed little danger and it beggars belief that anyone would make a rash challenge as McGennis cut along the line into the box. But up stepped Buddie McKendrick to award a hotly disputed spot kick to the visitors which McShane buried with Ridgers going the opposite direction and thus ended our clean sheet record in disappointing fashion.
Chalmers once more brought out a good save from the keeper as he turned his shot from around thirty yards round the post, having dived full length low to his left.
However, the second half had descended into a watery lottery as sleat and snow blizzards swept across the already sodden turf making it difficult for any cohesive movement. Water was splashing up from the surface as players struggled to get to grips with the monsoon conditions. The visitors were relishing it though as they were afforded the freedom of the park by Buddie McKendrick, upending players without punishment and the more they did, the more they got away with it. Unfortunately, the same leniency was not shown to us.
The hapless man in the middle surpassed himself when Vigurs and McShane collided in the box. They exchanged pleasantries and whilst doing so, keeper Samson sprinted over and did some sort of WWE manoeuvre on the Inverness midfielder. Many more joined in to what had now become a mass tag team event. When the snow settled, McKendrick gave Vigurs another yellow signalling the end of the game for him. Absolute joke I'm afraid.
That displeased most in the park and we were left chasing the game a man short.
With Inverness now desperate to level, they were denied another penalty claim after 90 minutes and from the resulting clearance, Reilly was put clean through and he slotted home to end the game. By the time the second goal went in, hypothermia was setting in and it was time to go, the home stands clearing briskly.
Full Time 0-2
A disappointing end to our recent good run, but that was in no small way attributed to another Scottish referee in a long line of absolute duds. St Mirren were here to keep us out at all cost and their tactic of winding Iain Vigurs up worked very well with a bit of assistance from McKendrick.
An utter howler of a day and one to forget for many reasons, but it will be remembered mostly for the performance of the egotistical hapless clown who has made Willie Collum look like an expert in his chosen field.
A chance to get back on track this Tuesday with a home game against Brechin who drew 1-1 with Dundee United today.
Robbo was less than diplomatic in his appraisal of the events....