Inverness extend their stay at the top
Inverness failed to set the heather on fire but did enough to earn their chips at Auchterarder as they beat SPFL strugglers Kilmarnock by the odd goal in three. Richie Foran, the SPFL player of the month, and N Ireland international striker Billy McKay scored for the visitors with Barry Nicholson getting the last touch in a bizarre goal for Killie. This was an error strewn match but manager of the month Terry Butcher's side always had the edge over a disappointing Kilmarnock who looked more like a pub side than a team playing in the top division in Scotland.
Immortal Howden Ender took a break from ghost duties to write this report for us.....................
Well I suppose that the old cliche says that it takes a good team to take three points away from home when they are not performing at their best. That was a rather uninspiring performance but we were still streets ahead in regard to quality and endeavour - and if we had scored a second early doors we could have cruised home in comfort. As it was we were happy to hear the final whistle although we never looked like or deserved to be losing two points.
Lets liken it to the Bazooka Joe experience - or probably Hubba Bubba to the yoof - I can recall blowing this massive bubble until it popped and stuck to ma face. It would then take ages to peel the debris off and ages to get the energy to blow another fecker up. But I still have this big bubble in front of me and it ain't going to burst easily. And I suspect that if it does I will comfortably peel the debris off, unwrap a new chewy and start blowing it up again.
This ICT side really do have the togetherness factor and are simply not going to implode. They may stutter but they could explode again.
We decided not to stir up the spirits in the Hunting Lodge but drank some spirits in the Portmann Hotel - which is recommended for future Killie trips. There was a rather subdued support today and averaged in the 40+ years and that is why we didn't bounce to the Ultra ditty until just on full time !!
As fer the game - not one to write home for - but Foran netted again after 5 minutes. If he had been found the first time he would have been offside but by the time the second attack came round he was in the perfect position.
If we had got a second soon after - and we clearly went fer it - we could have feckin hammered them. We were by far the better team in the first 45 and perhaps Doran could have netted one of his two chances. But we went more and more on the back foot and allowed Killie to pass the ball although they never did anything in the last third.
Their equaliser evidently came as a shock and Nicholson benefited from a lucky ricochet off a Shinnie clearance which left Brill with no chance. It did kick us back into life and McKay lobbed home a beauty to take the lead again. But instead of capitalising we seemed to sit back and look to score on the break. To me that was tactically wrong and let Killie more in to the game and us resorting more and more to the hoof. I would have to say that I was actually disgusted by the tactics employed when we got a corner with 4 minutes to go. We put ONE feckin player in the box and went to time waste. Sure, that may have gained us two very valuable points but it was negative and disappointing in the extreme.
But as the final whistle blew we were / are still TOP of the league and deservedly so. The brethren again paid homage to the footballing gods as TB emerged from his pulpit and led the faithful in the celebratory homage.
To me - Foran has been a revelation this season and was my MotM by a country mile. Just behind him was a more difficult choice but I would plump fer Meekings and Draper.
It is probably homage to the defensive unit that Brill is still relatively untested. He had no chance with the dodgy goal and had only one real save which may have been going wide anyway. His distribution however waned in the second half. Raven was solid enuff although TB must have been pished off that he managed to play half an hour in a brilliant white and un blooded head bandage. Warren was solid if not as effective as usual. Boyd is still a handful if not well past his SPL sell by date. Shinnie is as good an attacking wingback as there is - especially in comparison to Lee Wallace.
Ross and Doran looked good at times but were employed more in a defensive role. Poor Vincent worked his socks off but can anybody tell me what his feckin role was today. McKay again ploughed a lone furrow but his chip was worthy of winning any game.
I really hope that today was horses for courses and we are more attacking at the Hill of Dung. But I and you can probably put up with another week of adrenaline and serotonin surge.
Date: 14.09.2013 Venue: Rugby Park, Kilmarnock Attendance: 3063
Referee: Steven Mclean
Lineup: Samson, Clohessy, Irvine, Tesselaar, McKeown, Nicholson, Fowler (Pascali 70), Jacobs (Stewart 76), Gros (Ibrahim 46), Gardyne, Boyd
Subs (not used): Reguero, O'Hara, Ashcroft, Pooler
Scorers: Nicholson (51)
Booked: Pascali (76)
Sent Off: none
Inverness CT: 2
Lineup: Brill, Raven, Warren, Meekings, Shinnie, Draper, Foran, Ross, Vincent (Williams 81), Doran, McKay (Agdestein 85).
Subs (not used): Esson, Devine, Greenhalgh, Tremarco, Polworth
Scorers: Foran (6), McKay (56)
Booked: Shinnie (86)
Sent Off: none