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Tale of two Penalties A well-earned point but three would have been amply justified. Craig Brewster stayed with the same team that performed heroics against Rangers. It was a strange afternoon with John Robertson and Donald Park in the away dug-out so soon after leaving Inverness but their knowledge of the ICT players did not pay-off. The 'home' side were in the driving seat for most of the game but the strong Hearts defence yielded little. Craig Gordon held a Richie Hart looping header in the 11th minute then a 15 yard Juanjo shot on the turn was blocked. Play switched ends and there was a dangerous moment when a Robbie Neilson ball across goal was cleared by Ross Tokely with Marc De Vries stretching for it. The big striker was the main Hearts threat all afternoon but he was well contained. It should have been 1-0 in the 15th minute when a Tokely through ball sent Juanjo clean through on Gordon. He had too much time and too many options as he tried to round the keeper but slipped and Gordon grabbed the ball gratefully. Grant Munro then limped off to be replaced by Richard Hastings. Juanjo went down in the box in 20 minutes after a 1-2 with Graham Bayne but nothing was given. Juanjo was tormenting the Hearts defence and he was brought down by Jamie McAllister in 28 minutes. Stuart Golabek's 25 yard free kick was held by Gordon. Tokely headed away a Paul Hartley free kick then another by Richie Hart was taken well by Gordon. The match flared up in 33 minutes when an Andy Webster barge on Graham Bayne ended with the ICT player heading forcibly for the dug-out and chaos ensued. Players clashed and, after order was restored, Webster saw red. Patrick Kisnorbo and Liam Keogh were both booked for their parts in the aftermath. The Inverness side pushed to take advantage of the extra man but nothing came off. The closest was in 39 minutes when Hart sent a low ball in from the right and Juanjo touched it just wide. Just after the break a Tokely cross from the right was met well by Bayne but Gordon saved his header. Half Time: 0-0 Robbie Neilson had a sight of goal in 54 minutes but Hastings popped up at the right moment to block the shot. Five minutes later Graham Weir closed in on Mark Brown but the keeper narrowed the angle and the shot trickled wide. Weir was again through in 62 minutes and he went down after contact with Brown as he tried to find an angle to shoot. The referee hesitated but, on the advice of his assistant, a penalty was awarded. Paul Hartley netted and, against the run of play, Hearts were ahead. It seemed rather a soft penalty but honours were evened up six minutes later when Juanjo went down at the other end and once more it was a penalty. Juanjo took it himself and scored. ICT pushed for a winner and in 69 minutes they came close. A Bayne header was blocked and it fell for Juanjo but it came to him at a difficult height and his shot hit the bar. In 75 minutes the Inverness defence was under pressure from a McAllister free kick but it was eventually cleared. A Tokely low ball across the Hearts goal ten minutes from the end looked good but no one could take advantage. A Tokely header was cleared for a corner in 84 minutes then, at the other end, a Pressley header was cleared off the line. The last chance fell to substitute Barry Wilson but as he raced for the ball, Gordon came out to punch it for a corner. Full Time: 1-1 A good point and tenth place held. ICT now have 15 points, the same as Dundee United and Livingston, with Dundee two points adrift at the foot of the table. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness CT: 1 (Juanjo 68 pen) Team: Brown; Tokely (McCaffrey 89), Dods, Munro (Hastings 16), Golabek, Hart (Wilson 72), Duncan, Keogh, McBain, Juanjo, Bayne Subs not used: Fraser; Proctor, Fox, Prunty - Booked: Keogh (33), Golabek (60), Brown (62) Hearts: 1 (Hartley 62 pen) Team: Gordon; Neilson, Pressley, Webster, Hamill (Berra 84), Wyness (Stewart 46), Hartley, Kisnorbo, McAllister, De Vries, Pereira (Weir 46) Subs not used: Moilanen; McKenna, Janczyk, Sloan - Booked: Kisnorbo (33), Weir (68) - Sent Off: Webster (33) Attendance: 2011 - Referee: Calum Murray
Brewster makes his point This match was live on Setanta TV with a 2 pm kick-off. An excellent performance by every ICT player enabled them to come away from the match with their heads held high as Caley Thistle ensured Craig Brewster's first point as manager of the club. Ross Tokely returned to the side after suspension and Roy McBain came back from injury. The game got off to a sensational start for the home side when they took the lead after three minutes. The Gers had been on the attack and had earned an early corner kick but the ball was cleared up to Juanjo on the right touchline. He quickly touched it back to Richie Hart and from his immaculate cross Graham Bayne touched the ball home from six yards after beating the offside trap. Rangers were stung into action and Dado Prso tested Mark Brown. ICT were playing well and controlling the midfield and midway through the half skipper Stuart Golabek forced a great save from Stefan Klos with a long-range strike. In the closing minutes of the first half the visitors were lucky to get away with a shout for a penalty when Bob Malcolm obstructed Juanjo but the referee said no. Half Time: 1-0 Rangers introduced Bob Davidson into the side at the break for Namouchi and they immediately attacked the ICT goal. The constant pressure was eventually rewarded with an equaliser with Alex Rae playing the ball through for Stephen Hughes and his run and final pass found Prso who slipped the ball into the corner of the net. Prso had another chance but he shot well over the bar after good work by Rae. Liam Keogh then played a one-two with Juanjo but Klos saved well. Rangers' fans were calling for a penalty when Prso went down in the box alongside Darren Dods but their protests came to nothing. Mark Brown was the ICT hero at the end of the match when Nacho Novo turned and shot inside the box but the ICT No1 was up to it and he saved it when the ball nestled between his legs. Full Time: 1-1 At the end of the match the ICT support gave their team a rousing reception for the tremendous performance. The players worked hard for each other and deservedly took a point from a game they were expected to take nothing from. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness CT: 1 (Bayne 3) Team: Brown; Tokely, Dods, Munro, Golabek, Hart (Wilson 81), Keogh, Duncan, McBain (Hastings 64), Bayne, Juanjo (Prunty 90) Subs not used: Fraser, McCaffrey, Proctor, Fox - Booked: Bayne (75), Hart (81) Rangers FC: 1 (Prso 51) Team: Klos, Khizanishvili, Boumsong (Alex Rae 31), Andrews, Steven Smith, Hughes, Ricksen, Malcolm, Namouchi (Davidson 45), Novo, Prso. Subs not used: Graeme Smith, Mladenovic, Ball, Hutton, Fetai. Attendance: 6543 - Referee: Craig Thomson
Revenge for opening day defeat Another fantastic result for the club on a day that speculation was rife that John Robertson was off to Hearts. Another fine performance by the team made it a week to remember - seven points from three games. Praise in this game must go to a resolute defence who played superbly well in the second half as they protected our young substitute goalkeeper Michael Fraser, who replaced the injured Mark Brown at half-time, to record their second clean sheet of the season. ICT began the match with the same team that played Dundee. Caley Thistle started well and Juanjo saw his shot eventually cleared by MacKenzie in the away goal. ICT continued to press but most of the action was in midfield. Livingston had a couple of efforts from Lilley and Brittain before the home side opened the scoring through Graham Bayne. Barry Wilson's free-kick was headed on by Ross Tokely and Bayne was on hand to fire a superb shot into the net. Just on the half-time break Wilson's free-kick went inches wide of the target after Juanjo was brought down. Half Time: 1-0 In the second half Michael Fraser was introduced into the action due to a recurrence of Mark Brown's ankle injury. Livingston came more into the game and Derek Lilley saw his 25 yard drive come back off the post with Darren Dods blocking his follow-up. Burton O’Brien’s drive bounced off the bar before Fraser produced a superb save to deny Jim Hamilton then Mark Libbra had a goal disallowed for offside. ICT deservedly netted a second goal with three minutes remaining. Oscar Rubio made an error which allowed Wilson to run in on goal. His first attempt was saved by McKenzie but his second effort crossed the line before the goalkeeper scooped the ball away. Wild celebrations by the ICT fans as they could now rest easy knowing that the three points were secure. Full Time: 2-0 The referee eventually blew for the end of the game after four minutes of added time. Three points, a further two goals scored, a clean sheet, and up to ninth in the league. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness CT: 2 (Bayne 39, Wilson 87) Team: Brown (Fraser 45), Tokely, Dods, Munro, Golabek, Wilson, McBain, Hart (Keogh 74), Duncan, Bayne, Juanjo (Thomson 80). Subs Not Used: McCaffrey, Prunty, Fox, Black - Booked: Duncan (60), Tokely (60). Livingston: 0 Team: McKenzie, McNamee, Rubio, Dorado, Stanic, Brittain, Easton, Lovell (Snodgrass 67), O'Brien, Hamilton, Lilley (Libbra 76). Subs Not Used: Boyack, Snowdon, McLaughlin, McMenamin, Meldrum - Booked: Hamilton, Dorado. Attendance: 1,279 Referee: Mike McCurry