Dundee United cruised to victory in the Highlands as disparity on the park mirrored that off the park. United were worthy winners as Inverness struggled to find any momentum and it was left to desperation and Mark Ridgers to keep the score down. Shaun Rooney deflected a forced Paul McMullan cross/shot into the net. A reaction save from Siegrist blocked a James Keatings effort before the break but that was as good as it got for the hosts. Nicky Clark stroked in the second as we unravelled and a cheap penalty saw Lawrence Shankland complete the scoring, but not the agony as we failed to trouble the United keeper with a series of fluffed attempts whilst United looked more likely to increase their lead.
A poor day at the office that had the home fans shaking heads long before the end as we lose ground on the three teams above us.
Almost 800 Arabs made the trek across the Drumochter Pass to land in the heavenly oasis drenched mirages in the highland capital. Just under 3000 drookit fans in the stadium in time for kick off as League Leaders Dundee United looked to strengthen their grip on the top of the table, and they did that in surprisingly easy fashion as their hosts simply watched in awe. We were all happy to see Paul McMullan get his 100th game for the Arabs, how sweet as we applauded his every move.
United were the busier side in the early exchanges and Inverness were forced onto the back foot as McMullan, Clark and Harkes all showed their intent with efforts at goal and blocked shots.
Aaron Doran had an effort charged down and just when we looked to be getting to grips with the pace of the game, disaster. We were unconvincing in trying to clear a ball forward and when it found it's way to the right, McMullan was allowed to cut in from the right and hit the ball hard into the ruck, the ball coming off Shaun Rooney just about on the line and ricocheting into the net.
Nicky Clark fired a free kick over from a decent position as United continued on the front foot and Calum Butcher was left unchallenged to head wide ten minutes before the break.
Our best chance fell to James Keatings as we got the break of the ball for once and he found himself directly in front of Siegrist about 10 yards out. The keeper spread himself and reacted brilliantly to save the point blank effort. And that was our only big chance of the half.
Half Time 0-1.
United flew out of the blocks at the start of the second half but it was Jordan White that had the first opportunity as he headed tamely at Siegrist before Mark Ridgers had to make a full length diving save from an Ian Harkes strike from distance at the other end.
Louis Appere fed Calum Butcher in on goal, and but for another quality save from Ridgers, United would have doubled their advantage.
A free kick from Keatings was curled over the bar as we responded to the activity around our box before a double substitution saw Storey and Walsh replace the ineffective mild Curry and twirling Doran around the hour.
Shaun Rooney picked up a yellow, moments after getting away with a bit of 'road rage' after not being awarded a free kick and then hunting down his man in a fifty yard dash. He would leave the pitch injured shortly after to be replaced by James Vincent and that further reduced our attacking options as Toddy would remain on the bench.
In the 71st minute James Keatings should have made the keeper work after Tom Walsh sent an inviting cross to the back post. However from just outside the sticks some three yards from goal Keatings fluffed his lines and headed down, wide and out.
One minute later Nicky Clark was on the end of an incisive move to fire the ball past Ridgers from inside the box and effectively end the contest. Cut open like a tin of corned beef and finished sweetly.
However, that didn't stop Miles Storey making a rash challenge in the box allowing Lawrence Shankland to score his 18th goal of the season. He doesn't need any help, but there you go. Calamitous defending.
That took the stuffing right out of the turkey's in blue and we were fortunate not to concede any more with Ridgers saving from Cammy Smith and Appere shooting wide when it looked easier to hit the target.
Inverness were best served by MotM Charlie Trafford with the only other candidates in blue being the busy David Carson and Mark Ridgers who made three or four crucial stops. The rest were quite frankly an embarrassment. We've had more riches and quality in our first season in the ranks than there was on display yesterday.
The real quality came from those in Tangerine with Ian Harkes standing out for me and wee McMullan providing the ammunition for his strikers, unlike our wide players who would have been as well staying at home and keeping dry.
General consensus online is that the gaffer could have made different choices with Curry looking particularly weak and Storey being a waste of a jersey, certainly in the wide position he has been played. The big talking point though is why goal scorer Nikolay Todorov is benched in preference to Jordan White as the target man and why do we keep adopting the long ball approach when we don't retain it after the punt. Over to you John!
From BBC Sport
Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "For the majority of the game there was very little in it. I thought their passing and movement looked a little bit sharper. They deserved to win the game in the end.
"Big moments change games and it should have been 1-1 and then in the blink of an eye we were 2-0 down. The penalty allowed United to completely dictate how the game finished by just sitting in."
Dundee United head coach Robbie Neilson: "I was pleased. We got the first goal and then in the second-half we were a bit more dominant. We got the second goal and that killed it.
"It's a very, very tough place to come. I think a lot of teams will drop three points up here. It's a good three points and we move on to the derby now."
No easy to respond when you've been stuffed....
And here is something for the club to chew over. That's more than the fans are getting.........
Who ate all the pies?
At every single Caley game I see the same routine,
Not on the pitch nor the half-time draw, but it's such a woeful scene,
The masses queuing for their pies are often left bereft,
As the painful cries from the pie stand guys state "sorry, no pies left!"
A simple head count every week would seem the best solution,
To draw this daft scenario to a quite simple conclusion,
The total sum of customers who "missed out" so to speak,
Equates to the extra amount of pies you order for next week!
(c) Kenny Adie 2019.