United lay down marker
Inverness went down 2-0 to Dundee United in a potential warm up game for the play-offs. Pavol Safranko opened the scoring in the 27th minute when he drove a volley past Cammy Mackay from fifteen yards and Paul McMullan scored the second just after the interval when he appeared to handle the ball in his build up to the goal. Whilst the Inverness defence appealed for the foul, McMullan ran across them and scored the goal. Despite plenty of opportunities, Inverness failed to capitalise on any of the breaks and United eased home to keep County waiting for the title celebrations. Nathan Austin did not endear himself to the home fans after failing to make the effort to get on the end of an Anthony McDonald shot after the youngster waltzed into the box. Great effort by McDonald, the same could not be said of Austin who tried to chastise the youngster for his own failure to get on the end of his shot.
The end result mattered not as Dunfermline failed to get a point at Dumfries meaning Inverness are assured of a play-off place.
Maybe Robbo was keeping some aces up his sleeve with a view to some tough play-off games looming. Coll Donaldson was on the bench but no sign of captain Carl Tremarco or the dislocated fingered keeper, Mark Ridgers. Sean Welsh is out for the season.
United had plenty in reserve with Paul McMullan and Pavol Safranko the preferred partnership up front.
It all looked fairly promising for the hosts in the opening exchanges and Jordan White got a header away in the fifth minute but it was well over the bar.
United forced a couple of corners which came to nothing and Tom Walsh brought out a save from Siegrist at the other end. Shortly after this Cammy Mackay dived low to his left to ensure a stifled shot from Safranko stayed outside his posts.
Jamie McCart was doing well keeping the back line in order with Coll Donaldson out and Inverness were looking the most likely to open the scoring. Aaron Doran saw Siegrist save his header and Tom Walsh fired a terrific shot from thirty yards which the keeper saved well in the top corner as he managed to push the ball behind for a corner kick.
Out of the blue, United scored when Peter Pawlett flicked the ball to Pavol Safranko who volleyed low past a helpless Cammy Mackay from the edge of the box. Good strike and the move was similar to the one Inverness did at Partick when Walsh crashed the ball home.
On the half hour Jamie McCart went close with a header, but one minute later we had the crossbar to thank when Paul Watson smacked a header off the woodwork, Mackay looking like he had it covered had it tried to sneak under the bar. Joe Chalmers cleared the rebound away with a header from under the bar.
Chalmers was next up with a shot from distance on the right side, the ball almost catching the United keeper out as it bounced in front of him but he reacted well to keep it out somehow. Motherwell bound Liam Polworth also broke on the right side but his effort was neither a cross or a shot an Siegrist gathered.
We finished the half strongly but an equaliser eluded us and Inited went in 1-0 ahead.
Half Time 0-1
We were left chasing the game five minutes into the second half when Paul McMullan appeared to use an arm to control the ball as he ran across the face of our defence. As we appealed for the free kick, McMullan kept going and tucked the ball behind Mackay for a schoolboy error sickener.
We went again and after some tidy build up play Doran found himself in space on the left side of the box. Unfortunately his effort was blocked and the chance went begging.
Polly went on a decent run and his parting shot had plenty power but rose over the bar. At the other end, Mackay beat away a sizzling shot from Jamie Robson as United were able to hit effectively on the break.
Substitute Nathan Austin was somewhat selfish as he shot weakly from an angle. His memory was substandard as soon after he berated Anthony McDonald for doing exactly the same. In McDonald's case he put in the effort to get his shot away and if Austin had bothered his arse he might well have got on the end of it as he watched it slide the wrong side of the post. This exchange brought about an angry reaction from the North Stand, and deservedly so, but for some it extended too far.
United would have scored a third on the break as we continued to chase the game but for a brilliant goal line clearance by Shaun Rooney after some trickery on the right flank and a Robson shot driven to the goal.
Three corners came and went for Inverness as we tried to get something from the game, but to no avail.
In a final flourish we rained efforts towards the North Stand, unfortunately that's where most of them ended. Bizarrely, Brad Mckay was dismissed given two yellow cards for seemingly being tripped in the box, the inept referee booking Brad for diving I presume then his angry reaction to the yellow brought about another one. What did he expect? 'Oh that's OK ref, just one of those things'. Aye right.
Jordan White almost got a late consolation as he turned and shot in the box but Siegrist dived full length to deny the striker. He was denied again just before the final whistle as he powered a good header goalwards, Siegrist again thwarting him with another good save. The United keeper could make a claim to say he was their Man of the Match.
It was just one of those days I'm afraid. We had plenty of opportunities but spurned them all through poor shooting and good goal keeping. Jamie McCart was outstanding and get's my vote for Man of the Match. He was well supported by Shaun Rooney, Kevin McHattie and Cammy Mackay in our hastily rearranged defence with Ridgers, Donaldson and Tremarco missing.
With Dunfermline also losing, that means we can now relax for the next couple of matches ahead of the play-off games. The other good thing was that the title was not won on our patch. Maybe that was the plan!
Match footage from Caley Jags TV
Inverness Caley Thistle boss John Robertson on BBC Sport: "We spoke to Paul after it and he was honest enough to admit it hit his arm. Six of our defenders appealed for handball but they've made the cardinal sin of stopping and waiting for the whistle to go. The referee got it poorly wrong."