Vigurs Screamer Rescues Point
A tremendous strike from Iain Vigurs earned Inverness a 1-1 draw at Pittodrie after Niall McGinn had opened the scoring soon after the break with an angled drive that found the far corner of Fon Williams' net.
Inverness came off the bottom of the table with a hard fought draw against Aberdeen, but I suspect that next weeks visitors to the Highlands will prove to be a tougher nut to crack with Celtic overwhelming the Rangers 5-1 in the first Old Firm League game since the blue teams demise some four or five years ago.
Richie Foran handed Brad Mckay his debut at right back with Alex Fisher chosen to lead the line and Lonsana Doumbouya a substitute. Jonny Hayes returned for Aberdeen but Peter Pawlett started on the bench along with new signing James Maddison.
The opening minutes were somewhat scrappy. Misplaced passes from both sides were in abundance as the ball exchanged hands, or more correctly, feet, at regular intervals.
Inverness were first to serve notice that there was a game on and when the ball came to Polworth inside the box, he smashed a shot off the top of the bar from twelve yards. That was after around fifteen minutes of slackness.
That was the nearest either side came in a cagey first half, more akin to a chess game where it ended in stalemate at the break.
Half Time 0-0
Inverness started the second on the front foot and Ross Draper was unlucky to see a volley deflected just wide as we surged forward.
However it was the Dons that opened the scoring in slightly controversial circumstances. Liam Polworth looked to be fouled in the centre of the park. Crawford Allan saw it differently and play continued as Polworth lay prostrate on the grass. The ball reached Niall McGinn wide on the left and he stepped inside before hitting a low drive right across the keeper from a wide angle but the ball nestled in the bottom corner to give the Dons the lead. That was a goal that came out of the blue and it unsettled the visitors for a while.
Wes Burns showed his pace as he drove at the Caley Jags defence which had parted momentarily, but his shot went wide with others expecting a pass. Vigurs was robbed outside his own penalty box and Adam Rooney almost replicated the opening goal. This time, Fon Williams read the script and dived headlong to keep the ball out as the Dons started to turn the screw.
But, as we showed last week, we are not beaten until the fat lady sings. Draper won a tussle in the midfield and when the ball came to Vigurs some twenty five yards out, he crashed an unstoppable shot off the underside of the bar, despite the acrobatics of keeper Lewis. What a strike, as Arthur Montford would say, he absolutely blootered the ball into the top corner.
Aberdeen upped the pressure in the final ten minutes looking for a winner but our defence held firm reasonably comfortable apart from one final push from the hosts where the ball was not cleared properly but Meekings was on hand to keep the ball out.
Full Time 1-1
A well deserved share of the points and you will be hard pushed to see a better goal than Iain Vigurs effort. Although statistics will show that there were few shots on target, this was always an intriguing contest with plenty of wee cameo roles going on. We looked fairly solid at the back for most of the game and the midfield competed well. If any criticism can be given, then we lacked the defence splitting pass and gave away possession too easily in the final third. However, a point at Pittodrie is not to be scoffed at and we would have taken that prior to kick off.
Video from https://www.youtube.com/user/splofficial
Brad Mckay put in a decent shift on his debut and will be difficult to drop on that performance. Fon Williams was more assured as were the whole back line and the middle men kept the Aberdeen play-makers quiet. Alex Fisher battled tirelessly with little service and it was great to have Doran on the park showing flashes of sublime control and the bustling style from Doumbouya will reap rewards throughout the season.
Plenty to look forward to for the rest of the season and Celtic will be prudent to be wary of us next week, despite everyone writing us off.
Only downside at Pittodrie was the local stewards getting heavy handed with some young upstarts just after we scored. Cromwellian attitudes are alive and well at Pittodrie.