Aberdeen only went and did it again didn't they!!!! 4 minutes into second half injury time Chris Maguire scored Aberdeen's 4th goal in a 4-3 win to keep their top 6 dreams alive and make it 17 games without a win against the Dons for ICT.
This was a sickener for Caley Thistle in a game where the effort seemed to return to the players. This game had it all - 7 goals, 10 players booked, 2 sent off for off the pitch actions, and yet some excellent entertainment.
Its been doom and gloom for the last few weeks but today's game, despite the last minute goal might have contained a glimmer of hope. Its bad for the defence to lose 4 goals, but there was effort, there were ICT goals, and there was entertainment... all things that had been missing in recent weeks.
|29/03/08||Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness|
|INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE||3 Bus (21 o.g.), Duncan (40), McBain (58)|
Team: Fraser, Tokely (Paatelainen 82), McGuire, Munro, Hastings, Proctor, Cowie, Duncan, McBain, Imrie (Hart 75), Niculae
SUBS: Wyness, McAllister, Vigurs, Kerr, Malkowski
|ABERDEEN||4 Aluko (7), Nicholson (45), Miller (54), McGuire (94)|
Team: Soutar, Maybury, Considine, Bus (Maguire 46), McNamara, Foster, Nicholson, Severin, Aluko, Mackie (Duff 73), Miller
SUBS: Pawlett, Walker, Touzani, Mair, Langfield
Just going to list various things I noticed or thought of during/after the game:
Overall the game was poor in terms of the football played. Aberdeen seemed more likely to try and pass it but we were too reliant on hoofing the ball up the park as usual. However, there was some nice passing in places I felt.
Our line up was odd. Not sure about Tokely in midfield really. He was caught out a lot by Aluko but stuck to his job well on most occasions. However, in our system the right midfielder needs to help cover back with our right sided full back and this he couldn't to due to this lack of pace and Proctor was often left exposed.
The first Aberdeen goal was abysmal defending from Proctor, Tokely, Munro and McGuire. Far too easy for the lad to cut inside and stroke the ball past Fraser.
Niculae being ball greedy! Why oh why did he not pick out Cowie all alone with an empty net in front if him? Worst decision by anyone of the entire 90 minutes.
Odd goal to level with but we'll take it. I thought it was going to head out of play till Bus(s) arrived to smash a header into his own net.
Duncans finish was a sweet strike and I believe his yellow for his celebration was incorrect however the highlights might clear this up as to what happened. Seemed that it was the reaction of Aberdeen players and fans that got him booked.
Especially when you consider Nicholson celebrating in front of/baiting the ICT fans. Personally I think both should have been allowed but if MacDonald was to book Duncan then he should book Nicholson. It was a fantastic goal they equalised with but Hastings was too slow to close down and allowed Foster (?) too much time and space to pick out the runner into the box with McGuire static as Nicholson rose. Could Ikey have come for it? Cracking goal nonetheless but we made it easy.
Duncans sending off - will be interesting to see just what he does with regards to "kicking the ball away" from MacDonald. Can't help but feel that there wasn't too much in it but we'll see (hopefully) in the highlights. Put us on the back foot for the 2nd half but we coped well under intense pressure at times though on other occasions we were falling apart.
Seemed to galvanise the effort from the lads so that was appreciated given recent performances showing so little enthusiasm.
Munro had a spectacular goal line clearance from Miller or Mackie I think it was. Miller then went on to miss an open goal as he sidefooted wide. More dodgy defending from us allowed this opportunity.
Our free kicks at the edge of the box were atrocious. We had a horror one from Duncan against "Team X" but Imrie topped that yesterday with his one. Something we need to work on clearly. Any chance of Rankin giving the lads some pointers?
Subs were interesting. I actually think the players he brought on were good - Hart added fresh legs and plenty of effort in the midfield and putting Marcus on retained our balance. However we could have used another pair of fresh legs in there to help us hold the ball up away from the goal. That's where Wyness came in. Players like McBain and Cowie were tiring badly although that's too be expected.
We still looked a threat on the counter. Forced some corners and had a few reasonable efforts e.g. Marcus going for glory and I think Hart and Tokely both had breaks into the box that just failed to result in anything.
Killer goal at the end where we just couldn't clear our lines and up popped Maguire to steal in to get the winner.
The sheer effort from the team was a huge positive and something we haven't seen in a long time.
Some of the goals we scored were excellent I felt. I thought McBains goal was a great finish as it could so easily have got stuck under his feet (see Brown in the Rangers v Celtic game)
Niculae was brilliant in holding the ball up and looking for the clever pass into space - no long ball mince here!
The result obviously
The possible lack of discipline from Duncan and Munro that resulted in the red cards
The defence still needs a lot of work
The fact that we were crying out for another pair of fresh legs to help take some of the heat off the lads towards the end was ignored
Just back...traffic was shocking, much like our defending! However, I've been moaning about being bored at the last few games, and even though we lost that was an absolutely magnificent football match. We feared the worst after the Aberdeen opener, and at 3-2, but for the first time in months we had players out there who were sweating blood. Hundreds of fans stayed behind at the end to applaud the players off and they deserved it. Our third goal was a work of art as well - Niculae's one touch flick releases Cowie down the right, and his first time cross picks out McBain striding through the centre to score. Magic.
Rossco - I was horrified by the decision to stick him on the right wing, and it took a while for him to settle there. But in the second half he was incredible. Had to be subbed because he looked like he would collapse from exhaustion.
Roy McBain - also put in a magnificent shift second half, capped with a goal.
Marius - simply a class act. Held up play well and set up so many of our attacks with clever flick on's.
Hart - did well off the bench
Brew - not his fault we lost. Tactically we were a bit better today, and the players gave everything second half.
Russell b***** Duncan - I think it is reasonable that your teammates receive a public apology. Whatever you got sent off for, you are an absolute moron. We're running out of central midfielders fast. Mind you, in his absence we looked twice the team we were.
Phil McGuire - a wheelie bin would be more useful at centre-half. Utterly hopeless and a liability.
Grant Munro - I don't care if the referee and standside linesman were completely incompetent (which they were) - if you were sent off after the game then you are a total idiot.
Ian Black (or the absence of)- was apparently in the Heathmount while we were playing.
Anyway, the best we've played in ages. At 3-3 we had at least as much chance of nicking it