Inverness dropped to fifth in the table after a defensive lapse cost them all three points. Bottom club Arbroath had their task made easier with Dodds dropping Mark Ridgers to the bench. In a first half of few chances McKenna hit the post with a curling effort for the visitors with the keeper stranded. Doran curled a similar effort just over with Gaston stranded as Inverness grew into the game before the interval. Despite some home pressure, the final pass was always a touch too many and it was goalless at the break. Nathan Shaw opened the scoring after he met a flick on at the back post. Having worked hard to get ahead we gifted Arbroath a leveller after a wayward defensive header left Kieran Shanks through on goal to drill past a helpless Mackay. Gaston pulled off some tremendous saves from Harper, Duffy and Mckay and Arbroath finished with a wee flourish, but we held on for a point.
Billy Dodds was still without a raft of injured players and he added Mark Ridgers to the list by dropping him to the bench after the Morton mayhem. What a slap in the face for Ridgers, and a bigger slap in the bollocks for the paying public. Scapegoat springs to mind. Arbroath were without Tam O'Brien, Scott Binsindou and Scott Stewart. Kieran Shanks started up front with Dale Hilson on the bench.
Inverness set the ball rolling shooting towards the North Stand on a sodden pitch, which became evident as the number of players losing their footing increased as the game went on.
It was a slow opening to the game before Cammy Harper had a low shot turned behind for a corner, the keeper taking no chances as the ball neared his right hand post. Billy Mckay was next to have a pop but it was too easy to stop his shot from the edge of the box.
A neat bit of interplay from the visitors allowed Michael McKenna to bend a shot from eighteen yards onto Cammy Mackay's right hand post, but with the keeper beaten the ball cannoned off the outside of the post to safety.
Aaron Doran had a similar effort at the other end as he shaped to curl his shot goalwards with the keeper in no mans land. Unfortunately it drifted just over the bar, but that was our best moment so far with twenty-five minutes gone. Mckay then shot wide and had a header comfortably saved by Gaston in the visitors goal. Inverness were ending the half on top with George Oakley close to connecting with a Harper delivery.
HALF TIME: 0-0
We opened the second half on the front foot and Mckay found the keeper with another header from a Nathan Shaw cross. Shaw was warming to the task and was one of our main threats going forward.
Seven minutes after the break it was Shaw that opened the scoring when he came in late at the back post to knock home a head flick from Mckay after a great cross in from the left side. Good reward for the young wide player.
We almost grabbed a second as Oakley bustled down the right and stabbed the ball across the face of the goal from a tight angle. It was kept alive by Mckay on the left who found Harper but his shot from just inside the box was well saved by Gaston.
Out of nothing Arbroath equalised. We looked to have broken down a foray forward on the left for Arbroath. However, it appears to have been Carson who headed the ball into the path of Kieron Shanks who needed no prompting as he stepped onto the ball and slotted it behind the exposed Cammy Mackay. Poor goal to lose and it came when we were well on top.
With twenty minutes remaining, Wallace Duffy was unlucky not to score as Gaston spread himself well to block his drive with his feet before picking himself up to spectacularly deny Billy Mckay in the top corner, tipping the ball behind.
There followed a spate of substitutions from the visitors which seemed to tighten things up for them and regain some control in the middle of the park. Daniel Fosu had a header picked out of the air by Cammy Mackay as Arbroath looked for a winner in the final ten minutes. Dylan Tait saw his shot saved under the bar as we regressed with the Smokies adding to their corner count with every ball into the box making it an uncomfortable ending to the game.
FULL TIME: 1-1
A game we should have won slipped out of our grasp. Missed chances, good goalkeeping, wrong decisions, passing the buck, after you Claude, one glaring error and it all adds up to points dropped and down to fifth in the table, albeit only three points away from leaders Ayr United.
Disappointing result after starting the second half brightly. Shaw did well to tuck the ball in at the back post but the equaliser was avoidable as we failed to clear the ball away from the edge of the box. Shaw worked hard and took his goal well. Billy Mckay was tireless once more against towering defenders. We probably should have won after going ahead but Gaston saved the Smokies on a few occasions. Cammy Mackay was rarely tested and could do little about the goal.