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  1. Horner saves blushes Inverness came from behind twice to snatch a 2-2 draw against Dundee United after two former Caley Jags players had put United ahead. John Rankin smashed in the opener as the Arabs went in at the break a goal up. We levelled right at the start of the second half when Liam Polworth side footed a volley into the net. Billy Mckay capitalised on an Owain Fon Williams error late on, but Lewis Horner bundled in the equaliser in stoppage time to end the scoring. A mild but damp December afternoon greeted the players as the game kicked off with Xmas shopping looking like the winner. Yogi continued without David Raven at right back, but the bigger surprise was that Josh Meekings missed out through injury, as did Ross Draper. Lewis Horner was the man chosen to fill the position and he had a torrid time of it, but it was he who would have the last laugh as he netted the equaliser. Dundee United fielded two former Inverness favourites, and they would play a big part in the outcome. John Rankin was recalled to the starting X1 along with Scott Fraser and Chris Erskine. A brisk start for the bottom club and Billy Mckay almost scored in the first minute had he connected with a cross, and a couple of minutes later we had Owain Fon Williams to thank for blocking a Mckay effort from inside the box. We forced four corners in quick succession, all to no avail despite dangerous looking crosses into the box, but no takers in blue shirts were to be found. Lewis Horner was having a tough time of it down the United left flank. He was doing plenty of ball watching and lost his man a few times which was causing a bit of concern in the North Stand. Practically every United attack was coming through that channel and Horner was left exposed a few times. Iain Vigurs brought out a save from the keeper although it looked as though his header was going just wide anyway. We chose the wrong option plenty of times in the first half and did our best to help out United with a series of misplaced passes, electing to pick out players in tangerine despite our players clearly dressed in blue. Storey brought out another save when he tried to float in a shot from the left but it was dealt with comfortably. With twenty five minutes gone United once more capitalised on poor defending down their left wing. Scott Fraser wriggled clear on the bye line and his cut back was met by John Rankin who lashed the ball high into the net from twelve yards giving the keeper no chance. We had a shot charged down in a penalty box scrambulation, the ball just never fell kindly enough for us. Next, Devine found himself well forward as we neared the break but his shot whistled just wide. The miss of the match came a minute before the break as James Vincent looked set to head home, but he headed wide when it looked easier to score from Polworth's cross. Half Time 0-1 Hughes would have read the riot act at the interval and it worked as we were level within thirty seconds of the restart. Danny Williams did well down the left and he picked out Polworth with his cross and he duly guided the ball into the net from ten yards. That should have been the cue for us to kick on, but after a brief flurry we reverted to type and started passing the ball sideways and backwards again. Iain Vigurs had a shot wide and at the other end Scott Fraser made Fon Williams work to keep the ball out. The game went through an untidy phase with neither side creating much although Gary Warren saw a header miss to the right as the ball flashed across the goal, but United were starting to come more into the game as an attacking threat. Rankin had a shot saved and Fraser shot just over from outside the box. But it's Xmas time and presents are all the rage at the Caledonian Stadium. A speculative cross from the left should have been tidied up by Fon Williams but he dropped the ball at the feet of the wrong man and Billy Mckay turned villain as he scored against his old club. Gary Warren crashed a close range header off the bar as we tried to recover from this blow, and it looked all over for Inverness but we woke from our slumber once more to press for a second equaliser and another villain, Lewis Horner, turned saviour as he bundled a Williams cross just over the line. We almost had the audacity to score a winner, but despite a late flurry of activity the game ended all square. Full Time 2-2 We snatched a draw from the jaws of defeat but it wasn't our most impressive of performances. Too many sloppy passes ruined our first forty-five and it was no surprise that Rankin blasted United ahead after getting the opening down the left wing. Horner was being horribly exposed and the big surprise was that he came out for the second half. He did however stick to his task and got some joy with the equaliser. A disappointing result and performance really against a struggling side, but at the end of the day it was a relief to snatch a draw. This was a tremendous opportunity to crawl into the top-six, but we blew it big style and this result has dropped us down the table to ninth place. All the teams from second to twelfth are capable of beating each other and this result just shows that you can take nothing for granted in this league. My MotM goes to Gary Warren who had a couple of crunching tackles and tried his best to get a goal. Helping him out were Greg Tansey and, erm, well, that's about it. Not enough passmarks for anyone else to get a mention. Date: 19/12/15 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2981 Referee: Craig Thomson Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Fon Williams, Horner, Warren, Devine, Williams, Tansey, Wedderburn (Tremarco 86), Polworth, Vincent (Sho-Silva 90), Vigurs (Mbuyi-Mutombo 68), Storey Subs (not used): Esson, Raven, Lopez, Foran Scorers: Polworth (46), Horner (90) Booked: Warren (25) Sent Off: none Dundee Utd: 2 Lineup: Szromnik, Durnan, Morris, Gunning, McGowan, Demel (Souttar 77), Rankin, Dixon, Fraser (Spittal 89), McKay (Dillon 89), Erskine Subs (not used): Zwick, Murray, Spark, Bodul Scorers: Rankin (26), Mckay (81) Booked: Durnan (5), Dixon (77) Sent Off: none
  2. Early Xmas Present Inverness managed to get three points in a 2-1 victory, but not before losing another late goal to keep the fans on edge. An Iain Vigurs double saw us cruise in at the break two up but we conceded a late goal to give Killie a sight of the points. Mark Connolly scored with three minutes left but we managed to see out the game and get a much needed three points. This was a must not lose game and we achieved that. However, we made hard work of it in a poor second half showing when we let a sloppy Kilmarnock off the ropes and gave them every encouragement that they could possibly take something from a game that should have been well beyond them. John Hughes had a stronger squad available for this one as players returned from injury. Oddly, he still persists with Raven and Horner on the bench and Josh Meekings at right back with Danny Devine partnering Gary Warren at the heart of the back four. Carl Tremarco, Tobi Sho-Silva and Andrea Mutombo all started on the bench but all three of them would feature later in the game. Nat Wedderburn started this one with Ross Draper nowhere to be seen. Killie were much as expected with Kris Boyd and Josh Magennis the target men and a small band of hardy supporters had made the long trek to back the Ayrshire club. The opening exchanges were fairly even with Inverness doing their usual crisp passing without any penetration. We needed a little help and Kilmarnock duly obliged in the fourteenth minute. Comedy defending by two Killie players near the corner flag allowed Polworth to smuggle the ball from them. He ran along the line before teeing up Iain Vigurs who had the simplest of tasks to tap the ball home. An early Xmas present for Inverness, gift wrapped by the Kilmarnock defence. For all our dominance and good possession, we were still creating very little in the final third and more often than not seemed reluctant to build on our fortuitous start to the game. Kris Boyd gave the home fans cause for concern when he fired a powerful free kick a couple of feet over the corner of Fon Williams bar as Kilmarnock tried to get back on level terms, however it was Inverness who were busier around the penalty box, but without making keeper Jamie MacDonald work. That changed just after half an hour into the game and there was nothing fortunate about this one. We tore into the Kilmarnock defence down our right flank. Miles Storey got the better of the defenders this time and he rifled a ball into the box. James Vincent stepped over the ball and Iain Vigurs was left with time to pick his spot. Conrad Balatoni eventually got the booking he so richly deserved. The guy is a clown, getting his card not long after handbags when he tried to steal the ball when we were looking to take a throw in. Could easily have been an early bath for the hot-head. The half ended without much further ado and a comfortable position for Inverness to build on, surely. Half Time 2-0 Gary Locke decided enough was enough and he rang the changes at the break bringing on Carrick and Kiltie to replace Slater and Obadeyi. This appeared to inject a bit more urgency to the visitors, but Owain Fon Williams was still pretty much a spectator in the Inverness goal. We helped the Kilmarnock cause by being content to pass the ball sideways for long spells without looking to kill the game off and that would cause some unease in the stands. Storey limped out of the game on the hour being replaced by Andrea Mutombo, who's fleet of foot would entertain us for a bit although we were looking to kill the game off. We were content to hit on the break and at least half a dozen good bursts forward went without troubling the keeper as our efforts fizzled out before working the Killie defence. Liam Polworth missed the best chance of the half as he burst into the box after some intricate play just outside of it. Unfortunately he could not wrap his foot round the ball properly and he slid his shot just the wrong side of the post from close range. The game was slipping away from a lifeless Kilmarnock but we offered them a little help after failing to mop up from a corner. Mark Connolly scored from close range to unsettle the home support and set up a fraught last few minutes of play. Still time for substitute big Tobi to ruffle the side netting from a tight angle as we went seeking a third and Tansey brought out a save from MacDonald. We weathered the final moments fairly comfortably despite Killie winning a corner to keep their hopes alive. Full Time 2-1 Hard earned three points beginning with a gift from Kilmarnock. Cracking second goal and relatively comfortable passage despite Killie scoring late. Liam Polworth was a standout with his driving runs and incisive passing and is my MotM. Well backed up by Nat Wedderburn, especially in the first half and two goal hero Iain Vigurs. We tried to let Kilmarnock back into the game but they were unable to accept our generosity and were really there for the taking, but likewise, we were unable to give them the doing they should have had. However, a welcome three points which moves us in the right direction, up to seventh, but little in it between seventh and eleventh where Kilmarnock now find themselves. Next up is Dundee United, another must not lose game. Keep the faith as we look to enter the top-six. Date: 12/12/15 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2775 Referee: Barry Cook Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Fon Williams, Meekings, Warren, Devine, Williams, Wedderburn (Tremarco 77), Tansey, Polworth, Vincent, Vigurs (Sho-Silva 82), Storey (Mbuyi-Mutombo 60) Subs (not used): Esson, Raven, Lopez, Horner Scorers: Vigurs (14, 32) Booked: Vigurs (21) Sent Off: none Kilmarnock: 1 Lineup: MacDonald, O'Hara, Connolly, Balatoni, McHattie, Smith, Hamill (Robinson 82), Magennis, Slater (Carrick 46), Obadeyi (Kiltie 46), Boyd. Subs (not used): Ridgers, Barbour, Westlake, Ashcroft Scorers: Connolly (87) Booked: Balatoni (22), McHattie (38), Connolly (45), Boyd (90) Sent Off: none
  3. Celtic Edge TV Show Celtic ran out relatively comfortable 1-3 winners eventually, after the Caley Jags had matched them all over the park except in the vital goal scoring area. Miles Storey levelled the game before half time after Callum McGregor replicated his goal against Ajax. After the break Leigh Griffiths scored from close range and Carlton Cole managed to handle the ball into the net off Danny Devine's shins for what could be described as a scrappy own goal. Heavy rain meant an early pitch inspection ahead of this televised game. Inspection passed but the horrendous weather would make for a heavy pitch as Vivaldi's Four Seasons was played out in one day. Gary Warren made a welcome return to the starting X1 along with Ross Draper, but there was no room for David Raven who was joined on the bench by Andrea Mutombo and Tobi Sho-Silva. Danny Williams went to left back and Josh Meekings was the preferred option at right back. Celtic continued with Kieran Tierney in defence and Scott Allan on the bench, but there was no sign of the struggling Kris Commons. Anthony Stokes was on the bench as his twitter account revealed. Something that would not best please the Celtic management team. Both sides started crisply but Celtic took full advantage from a third misplaced pass in a row from Josh Meekings. The ball was transferred swiftly forward and Mcgregor raced towards the home goal and planted the ball beyond Fon-Williams as the home defence went into reverse. We are in good company here as this was a photo-copy of the goal he scored in midweek against Ajax. Craig Gordon was fortunate to keep out a point blank header from Warren. Not sure he knew much about it, but the ball stayed out of the net and from the ensuing stramash, Meekings slid a sot just wide. We had responded well to the early setback and we forced a couple of corners but to no avail and at the other end Lustig headed wide after a Celtic corner. In the 38th minute, Miles Storey broke into the box chasing a neat ball from Polworth who did well when he robbed Armstrong in midfield. His initial shot was saved by Gordon but the ball broke kindly for the speedy hitman and he mopped up by slotting the ball into an empty net. Game on! Bitton shot wide as the game approached the break but all square at the interval was no more than Inverness deserved. Half Time 1-1 A positive start to the second period saw Draper head just wide as we looked to get our noses in front. Celtic responded with a hat-trick of corners which came to nothing before introducing Scott Allan for the struggling Stuart Armstrong. That substitution injected a bit more urgency about the visitors and just before the hour Tierney and Allan combined down the left to set up Griffiths to hammer the ball high into the net from six yards for a smart finish from the Champions. Inverness were restricted to containing Celtic as the visitors tried to assert themselves on proceedings and this was having a detrimental effect on our attacking options. Most of our good work was being done in midfield and neither keeper was being overworked. Carlton Cole almost made an instant impact as he headed downward, but Fon-Williams was alert and saved well, however, the cumbersome Cole was instrumental in the goal that killed the game. Leigh Griffiths unleashed a powerful shot that Williams did well to Parry. The ball hung around the Inverness box and with Cole lying on the deck, he appeared to nudge the ball with his hand/arm onto the unfortunate Devine who could only watch in dismay as the ball trundled into the corner of the net. Goal given and game over with around ten minutes of play left. Mutombo and Sho-Silva also got some game time but were not able to influence this game as we ran out of time and ideas. Full Time 1-3 We competed well and it was encouraging to get Warren and Draper on from the start. Same old problems of not creating enough really and although the third goal should not have stood, we never quite did enough to warrant getting anything from the game after the break. This result has us staring at the play off position, but still within touching distance of the top-six. We don't play Celtic every week so all is not lost as we get more players up to speed. The news that Yogi has signed on for another couple of seasons has been welcomed by most involved with the club and we can now focus on climbing away from danger and maybe even a wee cup run, starting at Stirling Albion in January. The two players that combined for our goal were the pick of our bunch with Fon-Williams making a couple of excellent saves as well, but Hughes can now maybe sort out a contract for MotM and top scorer Miles Storey now that his own destiny has been decided. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVG9Sc6Ol6g Date: 29/11/15 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 5976 Referee: Willie Collum Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Fon Williams, Meekings, Warren, Devine, Williams, Tansey, Draper, Polworth (Horner 84), Vincent (Mbuyi-Mutombo 73), Vigurs (Sho-Silva 73), Storey Subs (not used): Esson, Raven, Wedderburn Scorers: Storey (39) Booked: none Sent Off: none Celtic: 3 Lineup: Gordon, Lustig, Simunovic, Boyata, Tierney, Johansen, Bitton, Armstrong (Allan 53), Rogic (Cole 59), McGregor, Griffiths (Mackay-Steven 92) Subs (not used): Bailly, Izaguirre, Ambrose, Ciftci Scorers: McGregor (7), Griffiths (59), Devine (og.85) Booked: Biton (65) Sent Off: none
  4. Bogey Time Inverness once more struggled against our bogey side Partick Thistle and went down 2-1 thanks to a last gasp sucker punch. Miles Storey had opened the scoring after only six minutes but Partick's Kris Doolan restored parity just before the break. Ryan Stevenson's cross/shot eluded everyone and ended up in the net in the 90th minute to snatch all three points. Gary Warren, Ross Draper, Andrea Mutombo, Nat Wedderburn, Tobi Sho-Silva and David Raven all started on the bench as Yogi went with the guys who did so well at Motherwell. To be honest, our bench looked stronger than our starting X1. 2864 hardy souls braved the cold to witness yet another Inverness side struggle at Firhill. They seem to hold the Indian sign over us and that was evident as the game unfolded. Today's report comes from two of our regular supporters at the away venues and first up with his views is alternative Maryhill. We did close down well early on and moved the ball about well, but over the piece, there were a few players who simply didn't contribute enough. Vincent again looked a bit lightweight and didn't seem to know where he should be playing. Vigurs showed flashes of his ability with a couple of backheels and incisive passes, but for the most part he strolled about the place, as if he wasn't particularly interested in looking for the ball or getting forward. This was in contrast to Polworth, who worked his socks off looking for the ball in the way that Christie has found himself having to do this season, or Horner, who looked direct and confident going forward. As a relatively senior player with obvious ability and a lot of experience at this level, Vigurs surely has to take more responsibility and look to dictate play more. The substitutions were a bit odd too. Williams for Mutombo was an absolute head-scratcher: Williams was one of our harer working and more direct players; Mutombo, on the other hand, again looked like a poor signing. He looks utterly unwilling to mix it - despite his height, he was outjumped for every ball he 'contested', and, as I've noticed before, when an opposing player in his proximity has the ball, he has a tendency to skip on the spot before beginning his run to challenge, as if buying the opponent time to get away from him. Maybe this is simply his running style, but it is highly inefficient and someone should be working on it with him. He did make one good run into the box late on, but didn't seem aware of the opportunity for a cut-back, and again, I just don't think his awareness of team mates is good enough to make him an effective player for us. This is maybe the fifth time I've seen him play, and the same concerns are apparent every time. Storey for Sho-Silva was also a strange one, giving how little Vincent was contributing - surely Sho-Silva could have played as a link-man in behind Storey? - but he did look a more promising prospect when he came on, although he had precious few opportunities. He made one excellent challenge for a high ball, and looked quick and direct when trying to break forward; unfortunately, we didn't seem able to find him with anything. Draper for Polworth was more understandable, give how hard Polworth had worked. When Draper is fully fit, though. I'd like to see if both could be accommodated within the team - Polworth deserves to keep his place. Finally, the concession of yet another late goal surely points to the fact that at the moment, something about the tactics and system isn't working. It seems clear that too often, we cede control of the game as soon as we go ahead, rather than trying to increase our advantage. Opposing managers are probably quite relaxed about going behind to us, because they know they'll have the opportunity to start dominating the midfield and pushing us back and forcing us into mistakes. The fact that Fon Williams was one of our best players (despite possibly misjudging the flight of the winner - I'd need to see it again) says a great deal. I think everyone in the away section would have taken a draw - this was ICT at Firhill, after all - but there was a depressing familiarity, almost a feeling of inevitability, to that late goal. Our inability to compete over 90 mins in many games bodes ill for Celtic next week. RIG thought much the same as above, and here are his thoughts. We can have no complaints with that result. The only surprise was that Partick didn't take advantage of their numerous chances and win by more. They could easily have won that 4 or 5 - 1 were it not for a string of excellent saves from Fon Williams. The save in the first half from a header from Doolan I think was the pick of the bunch for me. Good start for ICT as alternative maryhill mentions. Some nice intricate passing led to the first goal well finished by Storey (seriously get this kid signed up now) and he had another smashing chance to make two but he seemed to just miss a ball that was crossed in from the right. For the rest of game all the chances fell to Partick and whilst we enjoyed a comparable share of possession we created so little with it we never deserved to add to our lead. The best chance in the second half for ICT came when Mutumbo broke into the box but shot at a tight angle instead of cutting back to Vincent who would have been well placed to score. Poor defending from us for the Partick equaliser. We seemed to think the initial danger was over but the ball was quickly worked back into the box and it seemed we were caught out somewhat and Doolan finished well into the corner of the net. Second half was more of the same i.e. Partick creating the best chances and Fon Williams largely equal to them. Muirhead and one other Partick player both had efforts saved before the fluke winner from Stevenson. I think that Fon Williams should have done better with the cross but despite it not being meant the three points were no more than Partick deserved. Peculiar that, after largely dominating the opening period, we yet again seemed to sit back and never again regained that same level of dominance in the game. We saw a fair chunk of the ball but we lacked any real creative spark to generate anything of note especially in the second half. The odd nice flick from Vigurs and Mutumbo can't compensate for a complete dearth of attacking chances to get us back into the game and that is very concerning. Contemplating the rest of the season without the flair and creative spark of Christie is troubling. Good away crowd from us however and the steak pie was decent (firm crust, generous filling and no soggy bottom) so there were some positives. Cheers lads, better luck next time. Date: 21/11/15 Venue: Firhill Stadium, Glasgow Attendance: 2864Referee: Don Robertson Partick Thistle: 2 Lineup: Scully, Seaborne, Welsh, Booth, Osman, Amoo (Muirhead 59), Doolan (Pogba 75), Lawless, Dumbuya, Lindsay, Fraser (Stevenson 81) Subs (not used): Gallacher, Miller, Frans, Edwards Scorers: Doolan (42), Stevenson (90) Booked: Lindsay (79) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Fon Williams, Tremarco, Vincent, Meekings, Devine, Tansey, Horner, Williams (Mbuyi-Mutombo 65), Polworth (Draper 75), Vigurs, Storey (Sho Silva 69) Subs (not used): Esson, Warren, Raven, Wedderburn Scorers: Storey (6) Booked: Vigurs (88) Sent Off: none
  5. Ultimate Anti Football Inverness and St Johnstone served up an utter borefest of a game as anti-football took over the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium. The Perth side took all three points in a 0-1 win over a punchless Inverness who had not a clue how to break down the 10 men of St Johnstone. Both sides should be ashamed of themselves as misplaced passes, poor tackles and miscontrol was the order of the day. Both keepers could have stayed in the dressing room and the score would have remained the same as a 90th minute Liam Craig penalty won the match for the visitors. It turned out to be a decent day for a game of football after overnight rain, the pitch left moist but it great condition. It should have led to an entertaining afternoon's sport. How wrong can you be. Inverness were still unable to field a full strength squad and it showed. Carl Tremarco played at left back, but there is still no sign of Jordan Roberts, Tobi Sho-Silva, Gary Warren, Aron Doran, Richie Foran, and Andrea Mutombo was also out. Iain Vigurs made the bench and James Vincent got a start along with Liam Polworth. St Johnstone had Liam Craig on the bench, but he would be instrumental in our downfall late in the game. Fon-Williams was fortunate a couple of times as he replicated some of Dean Brills twitchy moment from clearances, having to dive full length to save the first one from rebounding in. That was as close as anyone came to breaking sweat in a dire first half. Our only half chance came when Tremarco was well blocked by O'Halloran as he broke into the left side of the box, just before he was able to offload. What a tedious first forty-five, surely the second half would be better? Half Time. 0-0 Well, we didn't know it at the time, but the second half was equally poor, in fact even worse if anything. Dave Mackay was sent off after catching Tremarco on the halfway line. That would maybe give us the upper hand. No. Despite the numerical advantage, and oceans of possession, we hadn't a clue how to get behind the Perth bus and were unable to make Mannus work for his bonus. Fon-Williams was equally idle as the Saints looked to hold on for a point. Little did they know how inept we were about to become and in Michael O'Halloran, they had the only player on the park worthy of his wages. The boredom was now reaching world championship level and it was about to turn into utter chaos as Devine was adjudged to have impeded substitute Liam Craig after ninety minutes had passed. Craig himself took the kick and our misery was complete. Full Time 0-1 Oh dear, what can you say about that. There was lots of head shaking as disgruntled fans left the stadium, muttering the words, shambles, disgraceful, punchless, wet paper bag, useless, no strikers, headless chickens etc. To be honest, that is probably doing a disservice to headless chickens who I'm sure would have shown more aptitude and attitude than those on the park. I would have liked to tell you more about our efforts during the game, but to be honest, there were none, absolutely zilch, zero, nothing. Worst game of football I have ever witnessed. In truth, St Johnstone were no better and we would maybe have done better if they had eleven players on the park. As soon as Mackay went off, they retreated further into their already defensive shell and the writing was on the wall. Yogi needs to turn this around pretty quick or this week will be a complete disaster for us. League Cup action on Tuesday night and the fans might be voting with their feet after this one. MotM. Well, there were none in blue worthy of a mention. They all underperformed. Best on the park was a lively Michael O'Halloran who led the line well. Take note Yogi, we need someone to do this for us. Full match report to follow..............
  6. Point Taken Inverness and Dundee United shared the points in a hard fought 1-1 draw at Tannadice. It was inevitable that Billy Mckay would score against his old club, but Josh Meekings powered home a header just after the break to level the score. It was a glorious day in Tayside as Inverness visited struggling Dundee United at Tannadice. The shirt sleeve weather made it a tremendous day for a game of football and the pitch looked in magnificent condition as the sides took to the park. A decent away support saw Inverness start with a similar side that took to the field against Hearts. News that Tobi Sho-Silva was out injured was a bit of a downer but we were looking to build on our excellent win against the Jambos. Iain Vigurs also missed out but James Vincent and Josh Meekings continued their comeback. United had Billy Mckay in the main strikers role and Darko Bodul and Scott Fraser were the men providing the ammunition. The opening exchanges were fairly even but Ross Draper picked up a booking inside a minute for hand ball. Ryan McGowan fired one just wide after five minutes as United looked for an early opening, and they got the breakthrough after seven minutes. Inverness will feel they could have averted the goal which had a bit of fortune about it and who else but Billy Mckay scored from less than a couple of yards. Familiar territory for Billy who got the break of the ball after a John Rankin close range effort was blocked on the line. Unfortunately for Inverness Billy did what Billy does best and he knocked the loose ball into the net. It looked bleak for Inverness five minutes later when Rankin met a Morris cross about ten yards out bang in the centre of goal. This time we got the break as Owain Fon-Williams spread himself and blocked the ball with his legs. A let off for the visitors and it really should have been two nil for United. Mckay was looking lively early on as we afforded him the freedom of the park, allowing him to link and run directly at the heart of our box. A couple of frantic tackles kept him at bay and he turned and volleyed one just wide. A good effort that could have caught the keeper out, but Fon-Williams soon had to dive smartly to divert a vicious shot from the edge of the box as United and Mckay threatened to run away with the game. We needed half time to arrive sooner rather than later and we reached the break without further damage. Half Time 1-0 Harsh words must have been said over the half time cuppa as straight from the kick off, Ryan Christie drifted goalwards before sliding in Williams who was upended on the edge of the box. Nothing given though and that stung Inverness into determined mode. Following a couple of corners, Josh Meekings rose majestically at the far side of the six-yard box and powered a Christie corner into the roof of the net. Game on! Carl Tremarco was linking well going forward and had a shot savedthe angle before Danny Williams and Greg Tansey lashed shots close to the goals, but just wide. The tide had turned and Inverness looked the most likely to go on and win the game with United reduced to chasing shadows for long spells. Miles Storey was running the lone strikers roll and it was taking it's toll on the lad who gave his all before being substituted near the end, but he looked knackered long before that. Richie Foran replaced Williams with ten minutes left. Scare for Inverness with four minutes of normal time left as United broke out of defence, but despite a swift break the 'goal' was chalked off for offside. Sit down shut up! The game fizzled out thereafter and a point apiece it was in the Autumn sunshine. Full Time 1-1 Maybe not the best of games, but always something happening to keep you interested. At the end of the day, a point each was probably fair enough. United were on top in the first forty five but failed to extend their lead and were rightly hauled level by Inverness who upped their game after the break, no doubt having been ear bashed by Yogi. Billy Mckay was prominent in the first half but faded as we came out stronger in the second period. Spoke to a couple of United fans after the game and we all agreed it was the right result. We were also unanimous in our praise of Scott Fraser who showed quick feet on numerous occasions when in a tight spot. Ryan Christie once more shone for Inverness and Carl Tremarco looked good going forward in the second half. Tremendous header from Meekings to level the game, but Owain Fon-Williams kept us in touch in the first half and he gets my vote as our MotM. Date: 19/09/15 Venue: Tannadice Stadium, Dundee Attendance: 6235Referee: Kevin Clancy Dundee Utd: 1 Lineup: Zwick, McGowan, Morris, Durnan, Dillon, Dow (Spittal 65), Kuhl, Fraser, Rankin, McKay, Bodul (Murray 82) Subs (not used): McCallum, Telfer, Connolly, Taggart, Donaldson Scorers: Mckay (7) Booked: Rankin (28), Bodul (68) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Fon Williams, Raven, Meekings, Devine, Tremarco, Draper, Tansey, Vincent, Christie, Williams (Foran 83), Storey (Polworth 90) Subs (not used): Esson, Lopez, Wedderburn, Horner Scorers: Meekings (56) Booked: Draper (1), Tremarco (10) Sent Off: none
  7. Toothless A disastrous opening fixture for injury hit Inverness. Adding insult to injury, (no pun intended), Gary Warren took a nasty challenge from Stephen Pearson and it would appear that the club have confirmed he has broken a bone in his leg. With Meekings also taken off injured and Tremarco, Vincent, Doran, Roberts, Brill, Foran and Ferguson all requiring treatment things look pretty bleak at this moment in time. I doubt Motherwell will be winning any fair play awards after trying to catch Inverness on the hop. The tried to sneak a goal after play restarted following Warren's injury. Thankfully they guided the shot just wide. Unsavoury incident though. Rig has a report that is too good to waste, and here it is.......... A truly honking performance from ICT with the tone set early on when Warren hacked down Skippy after only a few minutes of the game gone with our fragmented side struggling to settle into anything approaching a rhythm. As was so often the case with Inverness when Hughes first arrived we were architects of our own downfall and helped Well score the first goal. A slack pass by Tansey was eagerly seized upon by Well and it looked like Fletcher and McDonald linked well to create a chance which was well saved by Fon Williams however he couldn't collect the ball and Fletcher followed in from close range to put Well ahead. As anyone who has seen an ICT game this season will know we have a lot of the ball but do absolutely nothing with it. As Motherwell sat back and defended in numbers ICT stroked the ball about with no real creative spark to open up the Steelmen. Even on the odd occasion when a break could have been on we seemed content to advance slowly out of defence and keep the ball rather than go for the jugular and try and get right at Well. At one point, collecting the ball from a wasted Motherwell corner we had all of our players within about 10 - 15 yards of the ball in a couple of big lines with no one further ahead of the player with the ball and no one seemingly trying to get into space to try and stretch the remaining defenders. We were exceptionally sluggish whereas Motherwell were much more direct and aggressive with and without the ball chasing it down and snapping into tackles making it hard for us to settle things down. McDonald missed a penalty after Johnson showed great skill to roll his marker and sprinted into the box only to fall over under what looked like minimal contact from Devine. Regardless, Allan gave a penalty and Fon Williams did well to block McDonalds spot kick which was a nice height for the keeper to get to and keep out. Wedderburn, who was struggling with the quickness of Motherwell players closing him down, was subbed for Mutombo who injected a bit more creativity and pace into a lackadaisical ICT side. This was pretty much how the first half played out with the only other notable talking point being what looked like a horrendous challenge by Pearson on Warren which resulted in the ICT defender having to be subbed off. Pearson looked like he launched himself hard into a challenge going well over the ball with studs showing. It seemed a clear red card but fortunately for Pearson Allan only showed him a yellow. Pearson himself went off later on as he seemed to injure himself in the tackle as well. Will be interesting to see it again on the highlights if it's covered. Half Time 0-1 Motherwell started the second half on top and ICT again were in a mess at the back. Some good work down the Well right led to a good chance to extend their lead but fortunately an effort by Fletcher (I think) hit the post / was saved by Fon Williams. Not long after that Chalmers (I think) who was still up from a corner looked certain to score as he waited to tuck away a loose ball from only inches out but somehow Draper came in to clear the ball away. The second half largely replicated the first with Well starting strongly and ICT struggling to create anything. A half hearted penalty claim from Tansey who looked like he may have been clipped in the box and a free kick late on from the same player which was headed wide were as close as ICT came to threatening anything close to a goal in a match that was not high on thrills. Full Time 0-1 A good win for Motherwell who looked comfortable throughout but a concerning defeat ICT who, despite missing a lot of first team players, struggled again to create any really good scoring chances. With Meekings and Warren both coming off injured our back four is completely unrecognisable from that of last season. If we aren't going to score then we could at least have looked to a relatively resolute defence to keep the opposition out. It will be interesting to see how a potentially patchwork backline deals with the upcoming games against St Johnstone and Partick. Date: 01/08/15 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 3307 Referee: Crawford Allan Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Fon Williams, Raven, Warren (Polworth 43), Meekings (Horner 46), Devine, Wedderburn (Mbuyi-Mutombo 33), Tansey, Draper, Williams, Lopez, Christie Subs (not used): Esson, Brown Scorers: none Booked: Warren (1) Sent Off: none Motherwell: 1 Lineup: Ripley, Chalmers, Laing, McManus, Hammell, Law, Lasley, Pearson (Leitch 61), Johnson, Fletcher (Moult 66), McDonald Subs (not used): Twardzik, Kennedy, Clarkson, Thomas, Ferguson Scorers: Fletcher (4) Booked: Pearson (37) Sent Off: none
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