Majestic Deas Earns the Point
Injury ravaged Caley Jags were without at least nine players and down to the bare bones. Once the mist cleared we could see that Rovers had pulled a fast one before a ball was kicked and stunned everyone by appearing in pink. WTF. Sam Stanton opened the scoring after Raith hit the post from distance. Ridgers made a superb save from a flick towards his top corner soon after. Robbie Deas scored a tremendous header into the top corner off a pacey cross from Zak Delaney, and that's how it was at the interval. Ridgers pulled off a worldy save at the start of the second half from Ngwenya. Man of the Match Robbie Deas was helped off the pitch near the end suffering from a leg injury, but Inverness held on for their point. Given the circumstances, a decent point, and it was enough to put us top of the table for now with Partick being hammered 4-0 by Queens Park. Happy days if it were not for the news that Deas has broken his leg.
It was a case of who's who as Raith emerged from the tunnel bedecked in pink. Took a minute or two to work out what was going on as we also played towards the North Stand in the first half.
Raith were well aware that we were seriously depleted and took the game to their hosts, forcing a couple of corners early on which were defended positively. Aidan Connolly shot wide and then Sam Stanton got a header on goal when it popped up in front of him but couldn't get any purchase on the ball and Mark Ridgers was able to grab the ball comfortably at head height.
However a minute later, the 13th, was unlucky for the hosts as Raith deservedly took the lead at this stage of the game. A shot which appeared to take a slight deflection cannoned back off the post and just when it looked as though we might have got away with it, the ball was knocked back in from a tight angle and bundled behind Ridgers for a scrappy opener, Stanton claiming the goal. All a bit untidy and possibly preventable.
Kyle Connell and Dylan Easton had shots saved by Ridgers as Raith continued to dominate against the makeshift Inverness XI but we were gradually beginning to get to grips with the pace of the game and Nathan Shaw did well to forage further forward but his shot was too high.
Ten minutes before the break Ridgers puled off a tremendous save to deny Easton and two minutes later we were level. Zak Delaney who had been starting to drive forward on the left did just that. He delivered a crip swinging cross into the area and Robbie Deas met it fifteen yards out to divert the ball with his head into the top corner despite a despairing dive from Jamie Macdonald. What a cross, What a dive, what a goal.
Stanton almost replied immediately but again Ridgers was up to the effort and tipped the ball out for a corner followed by more activity around the Inverness box just before the break.
HALF TIME: 1-1
After the interval Shaw got a shot away after winning the ball midway on the left before driving forward but it never troubled Macdonald. The same could not be said at the other end as Ridgers pulled off a brilliant save to deny Ngwenya who had burst into the box on the left side, the keeper managing to somehow keep the ball out of the net at the expense of a corner.
There followed a distinct lull in the proceedings with both sides appearing to have settled for a point. Defences were on top for the next forty minutes right up until Deas went down injured after a clash for the ball in midfield. It's not like Robbie to stay down and it was clear something was amiss. After five minutes he tried to walk unaided off the park but he could not put weight on his leg and crumpled to the turf a couple of times. We would find out the next day why. He has broken his leg.
Mathew Strachan replaced Robbie for the remainder plus five minutes of time added on and he did well. Getting an early defensive touch, breaking forward and looking assured as he swung a dangerous ball in from the left side. Alas there were no takers. Right at the end he denied Raith a winner as he diverted Stanton's close range volley wide of the goal when it looked like Sam had got the winner.
FULL TIME: 1-1
Disappointing to have to add Robbie Deas to the extensive injury list, but what a performance from the centre back today. Absolutely immense. Mark Ridgers made three or four crucial saves and in general there were good performances throughout. Mathew Strachan came on in the 88th minute. In the remaining time, he swung a tantalising cross into the box and prevented a goal at the death with a timely block to deflect a goalbound shot wide for a corner.Top of the league just now is an unexpected bonus. Raith had plenty of half chances, but with Deas imperious, we did just enough for our share of the spoils. Good to see Sean Welsh get off the bench for a few minutes as well. Let's hope he stays clear of injury.