Here to stay
Inverness surrendered a two goal lead in Glasgow to let Celtic take a point from a match they looked like getting nothing from after thirty-five minutes, when goals from Aaron Doran and Richie Foran put the Highlanders 0-2 ahead. Charlie Mulgrew reduced the deficit just before half time and Adam Mathews completed the comeback eight minutes from time to give Celtic an unlikely share of the spoils, a result which keeps Inverness perched on top of the league. On this showing we look like we are here for the long haul.
Inverness came into this match as SPFL leaders, and after a tough ninety-three minutes they are still on top. Celtic had to go chasing the game, and they did that well, but the result could have been different had Doran not delayed his decision in the box, allowing van Dijk to bundle him over without being penalised and the chance to extend the lead was lost, the rest is now history.
Immortal Howden Ender sampled the delights of Glasgow prior to the game, meeting up with the usual Caley Away fans and has this report for us..............
WE’RE STILL TOP OF THE LEAGUE AND YOU’RE NO !!
Q. When was the last time that ICT headed to Parkhead sitting at the top of the Premier League, went 2-0 up, scraped a point and stayed top of the Premier League ?
A. Saturday 24th August 2013 – yet another fine TerryandMo AwayDay.
It was also a day when the football gods were looking after us and helped our cause by creating defeats for Aberdeen and St Johnstone, leaving us three points ahead of Celtic, with a game in hand, but crucially standing aloft with by far the best goal difference.
The faithful were in good numbers and in good voice in the London Road Tavern prior to the game and it was nice to see the Hoop mates of Mikey Diamond shaking our hands and joining in the tribute chant. I reckon we could have persuaded Mikey to bring along a sheep to be slaughtered in a Karagandy manner if he was still around. I am just thankful I didn’t win the raffle and have to take a framed picture of the Pope in a Cellic strip home to us. Shine bright Mikey Diamond.........
As for the game I felt that it was unfortunately “shades of the past” from my perspective. I have to take in to account that it was the first time that I have walked in to Parkhead half expecting a result. In the light of the next morning, especially in wake of the other results, it was a hard won point and we really could have lost it in the end. An old cliché but I do really feel that a draw was the fairest result.
Celtic may have “dropped” six players from their supposed first eleven but it was only Samaras, Commons and Forrest that were rested. The latter two may have made a difference but it only gave the likes of Watt an opportunity to shine – which he didn’t.
Doran had already come close with a free kick but it was a brilliant swerving shot that took us in to the lead on 14 minutes. It was a bit of “even stevens” at that juncture and Brill had already thwarted Balde and Watt. But at that stage we were playing the better football and we really did look like league leaders.
In some ways I think that Kayal getting crocked may have saved the game, even at such an early stage. Kayal and the central defenders were simply there for the taking.
And we were in dream land ten minutes from half time when Foran bulleted in another header although it looked like Billy McKay had scuffed the initial attempt – but “so what?”. This is where I have to criticise because Celtic regrouped and attacked but I feel that we sat back and tried to ride the storm.
As much as I had expected a point before the game my gut instinct was that they were going to pull one back. I felt that there was dithering for once in our back line which allowed Mulgrew to pop in a crucial goal four minutes before the break and we could have then gone in level when Balde should have got a header at least on target.
Half Time 1-2
The second half was as long a 45 minutes as I have ever witnessed. We resorted to the “hoof” and in all honesty we never looked like doing anything.
Terry appeared to explain that away after the game with the comments:
“We played a slightly different way today and had to do that against Celtic. But we like to play attacking football and hopefully we can do that next week against Hearts.”
So we decided to park the bus and, similar to the supporters one, a Hoop chucked a brick through the window and dented our 100% record. To be fair the Hoops volleyed bricks at our bus in the second half and we were probably fortunate in the end to escape with that valuable point.
Perhaps it was the voddie and the stiffies but I can’t recall us having a real sniff in the second half. The only attacking action was a penalty claim by Doran and it clearly wasn’t. An equaliser looked inevitable but thankfully it did not come until the 82nd minute and it was bum clenching until the final whistle. I may be wrong but again I felt that the central defenders dithered to allow Matthews to net.
Full Time 2-2
So it wasn’t the stylish, entertaining ICT but I suppose that we got away with playing a very defensive formation. But we took a two goal lead, away at Parkhead, and came away with a point. I bet Karagandy would be envious of that. The big positive is that the “togetherness” factor is not in any doubt.
Brill was certainly tested today and came through with flying colours. I was impressed by his handling and he dealt with more crosses yesterday than the Bishop of Parkhead this morning. The back four were really tested and all gained pass marks, especially Meekings.
The rest were on their back foot for most of the game and the defensive style simply does not suit the likes of Vincent, Doran and McKay. Ross was the one that tried to play football but I felt that we were missing a playmaker despite another fine show from Foran.
Lets just hope that we see the real ICT next Saturday. And Terry probably summed it all up with his concluding words.
"To come here undefeated and leave undefeated, we have had a happy day."
Bring on the Jam Tarts.
Date: 24.08.2013 Venue: Celtic Park, Glasgow Attendance: 45,160
Referee: Craig Thomson
Celtic : 2
Lineup: Forster, Matthews, Izaguirre, Ambrose, Van Dijk (Lustig 75), Brown, Balde, Rogic (Atajic 80), Mulgrew, Watt, Kayal (Ledley 24)
Subs (not used): Zaluska, Mouyokolo, McGeouch, Henderson
Scorers: Mulgrew (42), Matthews (82)
Booked: Balde (60)
Sent Off: none
Inverness CT : 2
Lineup: Brill, Raven, Warren, Meekings, Shinnie, Foran, Draper, Ross, Doran (Watkins 83), Vincent, McKay (Agdestien 84)
Subs (not used): Esson, Devine, Greenhalgh, Williams, Polworth
Scorers: Doran (14), Foran (35)
Booked: Raven (62)
Sent Off: none