Second half substitute Jean Claude Darcheville popped up in the final minute to grab all three points for Rangers in front of a new record crowd at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium.
Caley Thistle looked to have weathered the storm, including seeing a Charlie Adam "goal" chalked off for offside, but the last minute kick in the teeth means that Rangers have taken 9 points out of 9 from ICT this season.
|20/01/08||Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness|
Team: Fraser, Tokely, Proctor, Munro, Hastings, Cowie, Black, Duncan, McBain, Paatelainen (Wilson 69), Niculae
Subs: Wyness, Bayne, Gillespie, Vigurs, Duff, Malkowski
|Rangers||1 Darcheville (89)|
Team: McGregor, Whittaker, Cuellar, Weir, Papac, Burke, Ferguson, Hemdani, Adam, Naismith (Darcheville 46), Cousin (Novo 75)
Subs: Boyd, Lennon, McMillan, Broadfoot, Smith
We are playing a 4-2-2-1-1 - Black and Duncan sat in behind the defence - Patti wide left - Roy wide RIGHT - Cowie (in a Rankin type role) almost in the hole behind Niculae. Thankfully Rangers are also playing a 4-5-1 system which is right up our street. The main danger is Burke who has obviously been tasked to test Rosscoe - and he is having some success. Hastings appears to have a grip on Naismith and with Granty man to man marking Cousin - Proctor is able to cover for Rosscoe. Both teams are playing on the counter attack and both are playing a high line and an offside trap. - to a neutral this half must have been so boring. Rangers are sluggish but we are tactically out manoeuvring them - so far. Patti (24) and Cowie (26) got in behind but McGregor got there first on both occasions. The first shot/header on target was Cousin on 27 but Fraser saved well. McBain showed his skill when he tried to chip McGregor on 38 and Duncan smashed the ball well over in the 42nd just after Fraser had saved well from Whittaker. At the moment we look surprisingly comfortable but I can see Walter hooking Naismith and putting Darcheville on for a 4-4-2. Brew must be happy as Walter, tactically, is playing into our hands - so far. To be fair nobody has really looked like scoring and the final balls from both teams have been simply awful. Tokely is toiling - McBain is "invisible" - Patti has not been seen as an attacking force - Duncan and Black are running the midfield - Cowie is working his socks off and Niculae is benefiting from that but we are not playing it to him - we are going wide all the time.
SECOND HALF: Much better second half for the neutrals and to be honest - we blew it and Rangers just about deserved it. Was Walter logged in and followed ma advice??? Burke went left which ultimately won the match - Adam went to the old outside left position - we never got to grips with that but thankfully he didn’t play well. Cousin out muscled Proc early doors which was a taste of things to come. Proc needs to beef up to be a SPL central defender. Munro showed him how it should be done a minute later when he out muscled Darcheville. Walter was evidently going fer the direct route football - we should really have taken advantage of that as Ferguson and Hedmani were nullified because of it. Black and Niculae should both have done better with poor shots on target but never threatening McGregor. I thought the first goal was going to come after a ridiculous referee decision to give Darchville a free kick against Proctor. Setanta showed it was the other way but yet another example of Proctor being out muscled. Adam had a great chance in the 62nd when he smashed it way over after a defensive lapse by Proctor. Niculae "disappeared" in the second half but produced a sweet left foot strike in the 68th but it didn’t really trouble McGregor. Wilson came on for Patti - he was clearly struggling fitness wise. I don’t really understand why it wasn’t a straight swap and allow Bazza to play wide left but Brew swapped Bazza and McBain. Cousin, very fortunately "scored" and the replay clearly showed that it should have stood. Duncan was playing him on and he knew it judging by the expression on his face. I cant understand why we didn’t take Bayne on for Niculae as he was also clearly flagging - as was Hastings who was having a good match but Burke skinned him on several occasions in the last 15 minutes. And then Adam hit the bar in the 83rd. I cannot believe that Rosscoe got the Sponsors MOM - he was struggling against Burke in the first 45 and looked good in the second because he had nobody playing against him and was given loads of time and space. He got in the way of a Niculae header in the 86th and he went for goal in injury time when Niculae had cleverly tailed off to the back post and a pass would have meant a clear goal. Proctor was to blame for the winner and I hope Brew chastises him. He played like an immature full back sticking his hand up in desperation for offside instead of going for the ball or the man. Darchville even miss-hit the shot.
Full Time: 0-1
A record crowd of 7,753 saw Rangers pinch it. Congrats to the North Stand as for the first time I recall, you could hear constant singing. It was one of those days that you can endure as we really deserved a point but i have no quarrels that Rangers shaded it at the end.