Away Draw at Home
Another first; an away league game at 'home'. Despite the lack of goals this was an exciting end-to-end match, played in a cold, swirling wind.
In the early stages it was Aberdeen who looked like scoring but, as the game went on, ICT came very close on several occasions. In the second minute a corner from Aberdeen's Chris Clark was headed goalwards by Zander Diamond, but it came off the post amidst sharp intakes of breath from the large visiting support.
Three minutes later, a good move at the other end led to a Roy McBain low ball across goal from the left, but nobody could take advantage. The pressure returned to the Inverness end, and a Scott Severin shot from outside the box was deflected for a corner.
There was a major let-off in 16 minutes when Stuart Golabek cleared a shot from Markus Heikkinen off the line. A curling ball into the six-yard area from Grant Munro in 20 minutes was turned goalwards by Graham Bayne's overhead kick, but Esson took it late at the top corner.
Esson had to be quick to collect a loose ball four minutes later with Bayne nearly on it - Bayne went down but nothing was given.
Liam Keogh sent a curling shot past the post in 29 minutes then Mark Brown took the ball at the feet of John Stewart. The best ICT chance of the half came in 33 minutes when a curling Ross Tokely cross from the right was met by McBain, but his diving header went past. Juanjo was, as usual, a real threat and, as the first half came to an end, he lobbed over then was tackled by Russell Anderson as he closed in on goal.
Half Time: 0-0
Straight from the restart there was controversy, as Tokely went down injured in his own box and the referee allowed play to continue around him. The game was only stopped when Richie Hart also took a knock. The pressure on the Aberdeen goal increased and Hart shot over before a glancing header from Tokely forced a fine save from Esson.
A bad pass-back on the hour mark allowed Juanjo in, but Esson saved well. Esson was again the hero with 20 minutes left when he blocked shots from Bayne and Juanjo in quick succession and Russell Duncan's follow-up was eventually cleared.
Esson held an on-target Bayne header in 76 minutes. In a final Dons flurry, Brown had problems with a Richard Foster corner in the wind, but Duncan cleared the danger. Substitute Scott Muirhead then sent in a low, dangerous ball from the left but it came to nothing. In the end a draw was about right, but both teams regretted their missed chances.
Full Time: 0-0
Craig Brewster must clearly be in the frame for the December Manager of the Month award; unbeaten in four games, a win at Motherwell and points taken off Rangers, Hearts and Aberdeen.
ICT now turn the year in eighth place, four points above bottom-placed Dundee United.
Team: Esson, Hart, Anderson, Diamond, McNaughton, Clark (Muirhead 72), Heikkinen, Severin, Foster,
Mackie, Stewart (McGuire 79).
Subs Not Used: Blanchard, Morrison, Considine, O'Leary - Booked: None
Inverness CT: 0
Team: Brown, Tokely, Dods, Munro, Golabek, Hart, Duncan, Keogh, McBain, Juanjo (Prunty 90), Bayne.
Subs Not Used: Fraser, McCaffrey, Wilson, Hastings, Proctor, Fox - Booked: Dods (60), Munro (60)
Attendance: 18,250 Referee: J Underhill