Dave the Rave signs off with defeat at Paisley.
David Raven played his 188th and final game for Inverness today as Robbo's side faced Championship leaders St Mirren.
Inverness were limited somewhat and were without player of the season so far as Coll Donaldson who limped off after the Livi game failed to make it. Iain Vigurs was suspended and Collin Seedorf made the bench. On the plus side, Nathan Austin started and Gary Warren came in at centre back. Joe Chalmers also took to the pitch after a heavy knock in the Livi game. The biggest surprise I suppose was John Baird starting ahead of George Oakley.
Gavin Reilly started ahead of Daniel Mullen and Celtic's new signing Lewis Morgan was playing as a loan player for the Buddies.
Four and a half thousand fans would watch this one with St Mirren eager to stretch their lead at the top and Inverness hoping to get closer to the play off zone.
It took less than ten minutes for the line-up to change as Nathan Austin limped off with what appeared to be a hamstring injury, Oakley replacing him.
St Mirren were first to threaten seriously when Lewis Morgan played in Smith but Liam Polworth blocked, Kyle Magennis blazing the free ball over. At the other end Aaron Doran set John Baird through but he shot wide.
A goal was coming though and no surprise that top striker Gavin Reilly opened the scoring from a tight angle after Cammy Smith set him free for his 20th of the season.
Doran shot straight at the keeper as Inverness looked for a way back into the game and Joe Chalmers came close with a shot from distance that was near but just wide.
The Buddies almost scored a second when Stelios cracked the bar with a tremendous effort after 26 minutes.
After that let off, the closest Inverness came to drawing level was another strike from Chalmers, but it was another strike that went wide and St Mirren ended the half in the Inverness box with Smith being blocked.
Not out of this one yet, still all to play for in the second half.
Half Time 1-0
Five minutes in and Doran almost levelled after a short corner from Polworth was laid off by Raven. A couple of minutes later a Polworth cross was scooped away by Craig Samson with the aid of the post and Inverness players enquired if the ball was over the line. The answer was given as no.
Inverness had stepped up a gear and Doran saw a shot blocked with Raven's cross put behind for a corner. Brad Mckay headed over from the set piece.
Mark Ridgers had to look lively to save a Cammy Smith shot as St Mirren broke forward and they forced a couple of corners in quick succession as the game opened out. Or maybe they heard Falkirk had just scored a fourth goal against Dundee United. Unbelievable Geff.
More danger for Inverness as Daniel Mullen came on to replace Ian McShane with around twenty minutes left.
Oakley had a superb chance but his effort was straight at Samson. With fifteen minutes to go, Jake Mulraney came on to replace Aaron Doran.
Ten minutes left and Morgan drew a corner on the left side after some good play. Ridgers fouled as ball ends up in the net and Connor Bell swaps places with John Baird.
Reilly almost slides in number two but Morgan's cross just evades him as the home side try to close out the game.
With five minutes left Connor Bell is denied at the back post as Samson saves and in the final minute Oakley headed just wide.
Full Time 1-0
Great effort by Inverness but St Mirren are in heaven as news from Falkirk is that the Bairns have scored a sixth against the Arabs as Wilie Collum end the game in Paisley.
Not too much damage done below Inverness with Brechin drawing and Dumbarton losing, however the Falkirk result was a surprise. We have made little progress above us in recent weeks and the play off positions, although still attainable, are looking less likely at the moment.
David Raven leaves with the best wishes for all his work at Inverness and who can forget his fantastic contribution in our cup winning season. It's been some journey for David and this was his 188th appearance for the Caley Jags. He didn't score many goals for us, but when he did, they were important and his strike against Celtic will linger forever in our hearts. He also bagged a beauty in a derby against Ross County from outside the box. A stunning strike not to be forgotten. He is also a talented musician and as the cup was paraded around Inverness, Dave was able to hold a tune with the best of them. A true gent and a pleasure to be around. He outstayed John Hughes and made his way back into the squad when things were looking bleak and here we are today after 188. All the best David.
Chairman Graham Rae paid this tribute on the Official Site
Rig summed up the game with a familiar theme:- .
"Another frustrating performance from ICT today. The same issues that have been evident on so many occasions this season were yet again on show today. A clear lack of clinical edge, poor play in the final third, lack of width, slow in closing down the opposition and defensive errors leading to a goal. We really do know how to make it hard for ourselves.
Definitely disappointing to come away empty handed given the chances that we passed up but if you don't take these chances and continue to waste them then we can't complain much. Polworth had a good game for us today although he was at times wasteful with the ball when attacking he covered so much of the pitch both defending and supporting the attack he gets massive respect for his effort. Doran also had a decent game as well despite being subbed. He swanned past opposition players like they weren't there at times. I think he'd be really useful as a number ten playing behind the striker (as many others have said before). Warren had some heroic blocks but was also culpable for some pretty dodgy passes out of defence which put us under pressure. Most players did fine but nothing amazing.
Man of the day Raven spent a fair chunk of the game being roasted by Morgan and was lucky not to be booked on a few occasions after hauling him down. Despite this he also chipped in with some great challenges and blocks at the back and was an excellent support down the right flank when we were attacking.
With Falkirk on Tuesday we need to seriously sharpen up on our finishing. Missing four or five guilt edged chances a game simply cannot go on".
Robbo was not too despondent but appreciates that it's goals that win matches....
Jack Ross gave his thoughts after this win that saw the Buddies go six points clear at the top.
Here's footage from the St Mirren site