CELTIC 3-0 ICT Caley Thistle were soundly beaten by Celtic but in truth didnt play at all badly. Mike Fraser, replacing the suspended Mark Brown in goal had a good game and made several crucial saves especially in the first half, and ICT had plenty of chances at the other end before the game was lost. Club historian Ian Broadfoot reports from Celtic Park.
|18th November 2006||Celtic Park, Glasgow|
|CELTIC||3 (Dods og43, Vennegoor of Hesselink 71, Jarosik 85)|
Team: Boruc, Telfer, Caldwell (O'Dea 60), McManus, Naylor, Nakamura, Lennon, Graveson (Jarosik 76), Maloney (McGeady 87), Vennegoor of Hesselink, Zurawski
SUBS: Riordan, Sno, Wilson, Marshall
|INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE FC||0|
Team: Fraser, Tokely, Munro, Dods, Hastings, Wilson (Wyness 69), Duncan, Rankin McBain, Bayne, Dargo
SUBS: Sutherland, McSwegan, Soane, Black, McCaffrey, Smith
|Man of the Match|
A disappointing afternoon in Paradise for Caley Thistle but a good performance – particularly in the first half.
It took until close to half time before Celtic broke down the resolute defence but it was not all about defending. There were good moves going forward and chances created.
With Mark Brown suspended Mike Fraser came in for only his second start and he had an excellent game – early stops gave him confidence and he had no chance with any of the goals. Teenage keeper Jonathon Smith took Fraser’s usual bench spot.
Russell Duncan was captain for the day to mark his 200th appearance since joining the club in the summer of 2001. The August 1-1 draw between the teams in Inverness was the last SPL point dropped by Celtic and they went into this game looking for a clean sweep over the other eleven teams. They succeeded but victory was only assured when the second goal went in.
The visitors pushed hard from the kick-off and nearly gave Celtic a fright in the second minute. Ross Tokely crossed from the right and Roy McBain had two shots blocked with Graham Bayne and Barry Wilson fighting hard to latch onto the rebounds – eventually it went over for a corner.
Mike Fraser was called into action in the fifth minute when Maciej Zurawski raced down the left and shot – the keeper parried it for a corner. Five minutes later Fraser dived to take a header from Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink. A long Fraser clearance in 14 minutes was headed down by Bayne for John Rankin but the midfielder was fouled 23 yards out. The free kick by Wilson was touched back to him by Rankin but his shot was held by Artur Boruc.
Bayne headed a Shunsuke Nakamura corner off the line in 21 minutes then a break upfield led to a cross from McBain which just eluded Craig Dargo. In 25 minutes there was an old fashioned stramash in the Caley Thistle goal following a header from Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink. It took Fraser plus two defenders to clear the danger at the third attempt. A minute later a Wilson corner from the left at the other end was headed back across goal by Grant Munro and a Bayne diving header looked in – in the event it slid just wide.
Fraser saved from Maloney and Boruc from Rankin before the opening goal came in 43 minutes. A Nakamura corner from the left was touched on by Zurawski and Darren Dods went for it along with Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink – it skidded past Fraser and was credited as a Dods own goal.
Half Time: 1-0
This was a blow from which ICT really never recovered. Straight after the break Dods blocked a Maloney cross and the home fans claimed a hand was used. Kenny Clark was having none of it. Caley Thistle continued to give as good as they got until the 72nd minute when a second goal put the game beyond them. Paul Telfer played a clever one-two with Nakamura then crossed from the right - Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink slid in to net from eight yards out.
With ten minutes left Maloney tried one of his trademark free kicks from 25 yards out. It went over the wall and dropped just above the bar as Fraser could only watch. Goal number three came with five minutes left when Maloney sent a corner from the right and substitute Jiri Jarosik rose high to head into the top left corner. In added time Fraser held a Nakamura low shot and time was up.
Full Time: 3-0
The defeat took ICT back to seventh place with Celtic streets ahead at the top.