|28/08/07||Tulloch Caledonian Stadium|
|INVERNESS CT||3 Niculae (34,74), Wyness (64)|
Team: Fraser, Tokely, Watt, McCaffrey, McBain (Morgan 79), Cowie, Black, Duncan, Wilson (Rankin 79), Wyness, Niculae (McAllister 85)
Subs: McDonald, Ridgers.
|ARBROATH||1 Scott (71)|
Team: Morrison, MacKay, Ferguson, Raeside (Rennie 77), Bishiop, Tully, Hegarty (Webster 62), Scott, Tosh, Sellars, Watson (Reilly 75)
Subs: Wight, Black
Before tonight's game, Caley Thistle had only scored two goals in four games and these had come from defence and midfield.
Tonight, the strikers finally got into the action with Marius Niculae scoring a double - his first goals for the club - and record scorer Dennis Wyness bagging his 95th for the club.
With Grant Munro missing from the lineup due to a minor back strain, on loan defender Steven Watt came into the side and Ross Tokely took over the captaincy and it didn't take long for him to get in on the action... at both ends.
First he hit a long range effort from 35 yards that wasn't too far away and then in the 10th minute he was lucky not to have a penalty given against him with a clumsy challenge on Bryan Scott. The ref gave a free-kick and Hegarty put it over the bar.
After 20 minutes, Barry Wilson almost got on the scoresheet. His effort from a Don Cowie cross hit the bar. Wyness had a good chance a short time later but found himself surrounded by defenders and goalkeeper Morrison was able to grab the ball.
The first goal came in 34 minutes and it was Romanian International Marius Niculae who notched his first for the club. A pass from Dennis Wyness set him up and in the words of one fan it was "a cracking twenty yarder, powerful shot after good turn".
That was it for the first half and although only a slim lead, it was still a lead !!!
Half Time: 1-0
Into the second half and Barry Wilson was the first to have a serious effort on goal. Roy McBain crossed from the left and Barry attempted a diving header only to see his effort come off the post this time.
Five minutes later the lead was doubled and this time it was Dennis Wyness who scored. Craig Brewster, speaking on the official site, was quick to praise the record goalscorer saying how much he enjoyed it. "I think Dennis' goal especially was a great move, a great ball from Don Cowie to Russell Duncan and then Dennis does the rest with a touch, swivel and finish."
Caley Thistle sometimes like to make things difficult for themselves - as we all know - and tonight was no different. Barely seven minutes after Dennis had looked to have put the game out of reach, Arbroath scored and were right back in it. A defensive error allowed Bryan Scott to pick up the ball 12 yards out and he easily beat Michael Fraser to reduce the deficit to one with 19 minutes to go.
Not to worry though, Marius Niculae, who appears to be improving with every game did put the game out of reach three minutes later. A free kick from 22 yards was expertly hit with spin and swerve and although Morrison may have got a hand to it he couldn't stop it from going in.
Full Time: 3-1
So there it is, a win for Craig Brewster in his first game back and a few other positives on the night. Marius Niculae getting his first goal(s) for the club, Dennis Wyness finally getting back on the scoresheet with his first goal since January, Ian Black taking a few hefty knocks and not reacting badly, and Don Cowie also worthy of a mention after another good performance in the midfield.
After the start to the season we have experienced and the drama of the last week, its nice to be able to list a few positives and although tonight's match may "only" have been Arbroath its a nice boost going into this weekend's game at Easter Road where Craig Brewster scored twice last week for Aberdeen !