Inverness and Queen of the South played out a boring 0-0 draw at a blustery Caledonian Stadium where the sides cancelled each other out with some mind numbingly boring football with neither keeper being over exerted. A Stephen Dobbie shot hit the bar after a free kick but that was about it. Sean Welsh went close with a shot from distance but the least said about this game the better.
Inverness and Queens were unchanged from the previous week. The Doonhamers were in a sort of claret and amber strip with top striker Stephen Dobbie spearheading their attack. We were going with Jordan White as our target man but that approach is wearing thin.
Carl Tremarco made his 150th appearance for the Caley Jags today and was given a wee presentation prior to kick-off. Unfortunately that would be the highlight of an uncomfortable first half for the hosts as the visitors took the game to them.
Blustery conditions around the park but Queen of the South coped better than us in the early exchanges, the game kicking off with just over 2000 in the stadium.
Lyndon Dykes tested Mark Ridgers after five minutes and Coll Donaldson had to look sharp to deny goal machine Stephen Dobbie an early opportunity to strike for goal.
It was ten minutes in before Inverness ventured forward but like most, Rooney's cross was well off target. Aaron Doran beavered away and fired one shot from distance which forced Martin to beat it away, but not enough was direct enough as the visiting defence ushered him across the park and most attacks simply petered out.
The wind was causing much grief but Queens effort to work hard and play the ball on the deck was giving them much more success and possession than our wayward tactics and loose play.
In truth, there was little to enthuse over in a drab first 45, Polworth coming closest with a long range effort, but even that was a couple of yards high and wide.
The second period was only a couple of minutes old when Queens should have done better than to head over from a corner. Semple was left alone in the box and his header was just over the bar when he really should have hit the target.
Dobbie was being marshalled well for the most part, but his shoulder drops and turns were always giving him a yard of space to get a shot away and he drilled one well wide from the angle of the box.
Best attempt for Inverness came on the hour when Sean Welsh latched onto the ball around thirty yards out but his dipping shot whistled just outside the junction of bar and post. Close call but no cigar this time.
Gary Harkins was the man responsible for orchestrating the visitors attacks and he simply strolled through the game completely bossing our whole midfield and nullifying Liam Polworth who looked intimidated by Harkins' presence.
It looked like a combination of Mark Ridgers and his crossbar kept out a fierce 35 yard strike from Dobbie after a free kick, the ball crashing back off the crossbar, the rebound being gathered by Ridgers after the ball was knocked towards him by Lyndon Dykes in the six yard box.
The game changed slightly after a couple of managerial decisions. Riccardo Calder came on for the disappearing Doran and soon after Man of the Match Gary Harkins was subbed.
Calder immediately gave us another option wide left and he was able to get some joy down the flank. However the final ball was still not good enough to create anything of note.
We had a whisky moment late on. A short White & Mackay moment. Young Daniel replaced the totally inept Jordan White with ten minutes remaining.
However, as we increased our intensity in a final flurry, Queens resorted to breaking up play with some cynical fouling that Iain Vigurs would have been proud of. Alas we were still unable to make Martin in the Queens goal work for his crust and the game ended in a dismal stalemate.
Oh dear. Much was expected after a good performance last week in the Dinwall derby but I'm afraid this was simply rubbish of the highest order. It's as plain as the nose on your face that White is not the striker we are looking for. Tom Walsh flattered to deceive, Shaun Rooney passed to more of his ex-team mates than he did to his new ones. Liam Polworth was completely overshadowed by Gary Harkins. There were one or two exceptions. Coll Donaldson was outstanding for us, shored up the defence and still found time to maraud forward on occasion. Sean Welsh was the pick of our midfield, battled hard but took a nasty knock in his googles late on. Our defence was the brightest aspect of our day but going forward we were too slow and ponderous.
Anyway, our best was Donaldson, but the real MotM was Gary Harkins who was a class above everyone else on display. His skill and vision was impeccable and able to get down and dirty when required.
Footage now online...........
Dougie Anderson of Queen of the South was encouraged by his teams performance.