Inverness Pay The Penalty
Inverness slumped again when others around them were faltering, this time only drawing with second bottom Alloa. A first half penalty was tucked away by Iain Flannigan after Shaun Rooney and or Brad Mckay rashly bundled Kevin O'Hara over in the box. We eventually equalised through Jordan White on the hour when he held off the defenders challenge in the box to turn and slot home from close range. White should have won the game with the last attack of the match but headed against the bar when it looked easier to score. Despite a dominant second half, Mark Ridgers had to be alert to block an effort from close range on the rare occasion Alloa ventured forth while we squandered numerous opportunities to make debut keeper Wright work too hard.
Despite the dropped points, Inverness remain second top, and Alloa remain second bottom.
Shaun Rooney appears to be here until the summer and he was on the park at right back. Tom Walsh started with James Keatings out injured, and Brad Mckay and Kevin McHattie filled the Coll & Jamie shaped hole in the heart of our defence. Alloa were without the injured Jamie MacDonald and young debutante Kieran Wright was in goal. Goal shark Kevin O'Hara was the sting in the Wasps attack.
Inverness kick started the game but it was Kevin O'Hara that was first to make a keeper work, Ridgers holding on to his long range effort. Inverness responded and a blocked shot from Aaron Doran brought a corner to the hosts and then Tom Walsh had his attempt blocked as well before O'Hara once more tried his lick from distance, the ball deflecting for a corner.
The first decent opportunity fell to Jordan White but Kieran Wright grabbed the ball comfortably as White failed to connect properly. Carl Tremarco popped up towards the front of the box at a corner and his header dipped just over the bar as Inverness looked most likely to score.
Alloa broke the one way traffic when a Kevin McHattie back header was intercepted by Robert Thomson, thankfully he shot wide, but it was the hosts that mostly held the upper hand.
Miles Storey broke down the right side and cut the ball low across the box but Doran smothered his shot and it trundled safely into the arms of the keeper. White saw a header sail over the bar, unfortunately that would be a recurring theme for the big striker.
Boom! Out of nowhere, Alloa were afforded room down our right side and when O'Hara broke into the box, a combination of Brad Mckay and Shaun Rooney targeted the Alloa man. It looked as though it was Rooney who unceremoniously barged O'Hara over as Mckay tugged his man and there was no hesitation from Kevin Clancy as he pointed to the spot. Ridgers guessed right, but Iain Flannigan had sufficient power on his spot kick to find the bottom corner, just out of Mark's reach. If it's any consolation to us, Coll Donaldson did likewise for County yesterday. Meh!
Almost immediately, we could have equalised. However Storey set a new record for vertical shooting as he lashed a great ball into the box high above the stand, straight out of the Jordan White heading textbook.
Trafford fired a shot from twenty-five yards but it was straight down the young keepers throat as he parried then picked up the ball.
Storey saw a header saved by Wright but it was at the other end where a goal almost came. Ridgers and or McHattie had to be at their best to deny Cawley after we got in a bit of a scrambulation in and around our own box.
Another chance would come our way as White met a deep cross, but as he stretched out to volley the ball he could only knock it tamely into the goalies gloves.
Half Time 0-1
We looked more urgent at the start of the second half and pinned Alloa onto the back foot, but a couple of deflected efforts came and went without troubling Wright too much.
Sean Welsh made a welcome return to action and on the hour, White would not be denied though and the big lad did well to control an awkward ball into the box from Welsh on the right, hold off his marker and turn the ball into the net from six yards. No more than we deserved at this point in the game.
We looked as though we were going to overrun Alloa now as Rooney began to surge forward but his sterling efforts saw no takers in the box, Doran being denied a couple of times.
However, Alloa reminded us that they were also on the park when Ridgers had to make a great save to deny O'Hara after James Vincent gift wrapped a loose ball to the visitors.
Best moment of the match from the hosts when substitute David Carson skipped across the Alloa defence before shooting just wide. Close but no cigar!
In a frantic ending to the game Ridgers made a desperate stop to deny O'Hara or Alan Trouten, White headed over, Doran had a shot saved and right at the death Jordan White smacked the bar with a close range header when he should have been bugling the net. Doh!
Mark Ridgers was our MotM with Shaun Rooney having a good second half. Good to see Walsh and Welsh getting up to speed and wee David Carson looked lively when he came on, really unlucky with the rasping shot that fizzed past the corner of the post and bar. Bottom line though is it's more points dropped against teams at the bottom end of the table, and that won't be good enough to keep us in second place should we continue to falter.
Speaking to BBC Sport
Inverness CT assistant manager Barry Wilson: "I'm frustrated. We were chasing the game after the penalty, which we felt was of the soft variety. Results elsewhere went for us but we've not taken our chance to go further ahead."
Alloa Athletic manager Peter Grant: "I've been delighted with our performances. We showed another side today the way they had to dig in at a tough place to come."
Full Highlights from Caley Jags TV...........
Bazza was on post match duty........