Hard earned point
Despite some glaring opportunities for both sides, the score remained blank at the interval. Ugwu sinned a couple of times and Musonda too, but the biggest sinner of all was our own Roddy MacGregor who failed to get the ball past the bodies lying on the goalline from three yards. What an opportunity, what a miss and goalless at the interval. More chances went abegging after the interval and Sean Welsh hit the post with a header. Saves misses and good fortune ensured this entertaining game ended all square. It was not the win we wanted, but trust me this was a massive upgrade from the drivel served up against Morton. The guys got their pride back and played with the passion and desire required to stay in this league.
Neil McCann was looking for a reaction after the dross on display against Morton, in fact since we returned to action after the glut of postponements. It was going to be difficult with Doran, Harper, Vincent and Storey all out and three youngsters on the bench alongside the departing James Keatings and a recovering Kevin McHattie. Raith had wing wizard Kai Kennedy on from the start but Manny Duku was on the bench with Gozie Ugwu starting. Looks like it could be a long night.
The weather was marginally better than it was for the Morton game, but it was still bitterly cold and damp as a depleted Inverness took to the field.
Raith kicked off towards the Kessock Bridge end and Inverness were soon on the back foot with their makeshift side. Ugwu should have scored early but he fresh aired the ball two yards from goal. Musonda had an equally good opportunity after a corner fell to his feet twelve yards out but he scooped his shot just over the bar.
The first Inverness involvement was almost twenty minutes in when a Todorov header at the back post went over and wide when it looked like he should have done better.
Midway through the half the hosts appeared to have weathered the storm and were looking to create something for themselves. We missed an unbelievable opportunity after Kieran Macdonald slid along the goal line and cleared Dan Mackay's effort off the line as it rolled towards the goal. It fell to Roddy MacGregor who turned and shot from inside the six yard box but again the ball was smothered on the line and eventually cleared. What have we got to do to score. More pressure from the hosts and Todorov had a shot charged down for a corner. Good response by our second string.
A tempting ball from Kai Kennedy found Ugwu in prime position in front of Ridgers but he headed just over when he should have hit the target.
Carson did well at the other end and delivered a good cross into the area but Toddy could not get enough purchase on the ball and Macdonald saved comfortably.
Raith forced a couple of corners just before the interval as Inverness made it to the whistle on level terms.
Half Time: 0-0
Six minutes into the second half and a Carson clearance inside his own box could have gone anywhere. As it was it slipped past his own post; sigh of relied all round. A free kick invited Robbie Deas to have a go but he was deemed offside. An Allardice free kick had just too much on it as the Caley Jags forwards closed in.
A series of fouls saw Inverness get down the left side and Allardice's driven free kick was was bounced behind off Deas for a goal kick.
Determined play by MacGregor down the right and a whipped cross by Carson left Sean Welsh with a headed opportunity, but his header bounced down and off the post with the keeper beaten. Moments later Shane Sutherland went through one on one with MacDonald but the experienced keeper stood firm and blocked Shane's shot as he tried to lift it into the net. Good spell by Inverness and unfortunate not to be ahead.
Carson not impressed by Kennedy as he went to ground and handbags were exchanged with around 25 minutes left.
Dylan Tait lifted a cut back from the left just over the bar with Ridgers rooted to the spot and Robbie Deas took a knock that required treatment.
Up the park and a turn and strike from Mackay won us a corner and Todorov almost got on the end of the cross but Benedictus was first to the ball to clear as Toddy fouled him.
With ten minutes left the points were still up for grabs by both sides and Ridgers ably assisted by a couple of defenders smothered the ball close to his near post as Raith homed in on his goal along the bye line.
The visitors were pressing hard for the winner and Duku replace Ugwu with five minutes left. Some great defending by the home defence ended with a tremendous save by Ridgers and a scrambulation in the box before the ball was knocked wide.
Last chance fell to Todorov in injury time but his shot from the right side was not struck cleanly enough and MacDonald gathered at his near post.
Full Time 0-0
Well, McCann asked for a response and despite the scoreline he certainly got one. Considering our available squad it was a good point that could easily have been three. David Carson was given MotM by the BBC pundits and few could argue with that. Great contributions from our entire back line and Ridgers was absolutely solid when called into action and took the pressure off the defence with some confidence boosting catches when under pressure. Should we have scored? Yes, probably three or four, but Raith might feel the same.
Onward to Tuesday night with more confidence after a much needed boost tonight with the team showing that they are up for the battle. Well done to all who responded.
Here's Carson talking just after releasing Kai Kennedy from his back pocket