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Fox in the box earns Dens draw For the third time in his short Caley Thistle career Liam Fox came off the bench and snatched an equalising goal. The Dundee fans were stunned as they thought that three precious points were in the bag. Dundee certainly had the chances and were twice denied by the woodwork. ICT played excellent flowing football but lacked the killer touch. The atmosphere was very tense as the Dundee fans faced relegation. Derek Soutar held a Stuart Golabek effort in the opening seconds but the best early chance fell to Dundee in the eighth minute. A Tam McManus corner landed in a crowded box and, after penalty claims, Mark Brown dived to save a close-range shot from Callum MacDonald. Two minutes later Graham Bayne latched onto a Richie Hart corner but his clever near-post header crept over. Brown blocked a McManus angled shot in 16 minutes then the keeper watched helplessly as a McManus free kick from the left raced low across goal and came off the far post. An Iain Anderson low free kick in 35 minutes headed goalwards but Brown turned it for a corner. Half Time: 0-0 Fabian Caballero came on at half-time for Dundee and within a minute he headed wide. Dundee finally made a breakthrough in 49 minutes when Sancho headed in a McManus corner. The home fans saw light at the end of the SPL tunnel but Caley Thistle began to dominate the match. Dundee defended in depth but did come very close on the break in 64 minutes. Steve Lovell ran onto a through ball but his shot came off the bar. ICT substitute Rory McAllister tested Soutar in 73 minutes with a header to the top corner. Lovell tried again in 77 minutes when he chased a pass down the right. Brown came out to narrow the angle and slipped. Lovell failed to take advantage as his lob crossed the face of the goal and was cleared. With two minutes left Grant Munro sent a trademark long throw from the left and it fell for Golabek. His shot was blocked by Sancho but Fox was well positioned to collect the rebound and hit home the equaliser. As the clock ticked into overtime Dundee were awarded a free kick 25 yards out. Mann stepped up to take it; reminiscent of his Inverness days, but his high shot was held by Brown. Russell Duncan quickly led a breakaway and set up Craig Brewster on the left. The player/manager bore down on Soutar but shot wide. Full Time: 1-1 The relegation battle now goes to the last day. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dundee: 1 (Sancho 49) Team: Soutar; Robertson (McNally 37), Mann, Sancho, Robb, McDonald, Brady (Caballero 45), Smith, Anderson, McManus, Lovell (Barrett 82). Subs Not Used: Dubourdeau; Larsen, Fotheringham, Sutton - Booked: Sancho (50). Inverness CT: 1 (Fox 88) Team: Brown; Tokely, Dods, Munro, Golabek, Hastings, Duncan, Hart, McBain (Fox 71), Prunty (Brewster 63), Bayne (McAllister 71). Subs Not Used: Fraser; Proctor, Black - Booked: None Attendance: 6,691 - Referee: Craig Thomson
Livi hanging on... Another frustrating afternoon for the home fans as Caley Thistle played well in spells but failed to convert their chances. Relegation-threatened Livingston fought hard and scored the one goal that took the points. ICT started brightly and Roy McBain shot over the bar in just 13 seconds. In the first four minutes Wilson took two free kicks from outside the box - the first was held high by Roddy McKenzie and the second went low and just wide. Stuart Golabek shot wide then a bouncing effort from Bryan Prunty was taken by McKenzie. Livi came close in 21 minutes when a Derek Lilley attempt was headed off the line by Ian Black. Five minutes later Prunty was through and one-on-one with McKenzie but, as the keeper came out, the striker chipped over the bar. Livingston's goal in 29 minutes was deceptively simple. A neat Hassan Kachloul flick over the defence reached the unmarked Jason Dair and he headed home from six yards. Two minutes later Prunty again hit over the bar. Livi captain Burton O'Brien sent a hard shot on target in 42 minutes but Mark Brown held it comfortably. On the whistle Hart found space wide left of the goal but his cross back into the box went over Graham Bayne as he fell to the ground. Half Time: 0-1 Two minutes into a wet and windy second half Livingston nearly doubled their lead when Lilley hit the bar after an O'Brien cross. Russell Duncan then let fly from 25 yards but the rising ball was beaten away by McKenzie. Ross Tokely connected with the resultant corner but it was cleared off the line. Livingston were fighting for their SPL lives and they held firm against all that Caley Thistle could throw at them. The chance of the half fell to Graham Bayne in 70 minutes. Tokely raced down the right and his cross found Bayne faced with an empty goal. Bayne's shot looked a certain goal but somehow McKenzie scrambled back and saved the day. Shots from Hart and Bayne in 78 minutes both seemed to hit Livi hands but the referee ignored protests. The closing stages were dominated by ICT but nothing came off. Substitute Rory McAllister chased a long ball from Stuart Golabek in added time but, despite appearing to be held back, nothing was given. It was the same story seconds later when McAllister headed on for Golabek and the Caley Thistle captain went down under pressure but to no avail. Full Time: 0-1 Livingston took the points and gained a vital step up the league. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness CT: 0 Team: Brown; Tokely, Dods, Munro, Golabek, Wilson (Hart 37), Duncan, Black, McBain (Hastings 64), Bayne, Prunty (McAllister 64) Subs not used: Fraser; Proctor, Fox, Fetai - Booked: Wilson (30) Livingston: 1 (Jason Dair 29) Team: McKenzie; McNamee, Dorado, Deloumeaux, Dair (Easton 61), Bahoken, Vincze, O'Brien, McMenamin, Lilley, Kachloul (Strong 73) Subs not used: Meldrum; Horvath, Brittain, Snodgrass, Dorrans - Booked: Bahoken, Kachloul Attendance: 3021 Referee: Brian Winter
End of season fare A frustrating afternoon all round and some strange decisions. The game was dominated by a soft penalty award for each side. With the rest of the SPL battling for top spot, UEFA places or against relegation there was little to play for here - the only issue was to see who would finish seventh. Killie captain Gary Locke chipped over the bar in eight minutes then a low off-target Stuart Golabek shot was deflected for a corner at the other end. Alan Combe pushed away a Craig Brewster volley in 14 minutes then a 19th minute header from Bryan Prunty hit the net but he was offside. A minute later the visitors took an unexpected lead when Gary Wales sent James Fowler away down the right and his cross was knocked in at the back post by Gary McDonald. In 27 minutes a Barry Wilson corner from the left curled into the area and a penalty was awarded - apparently Darren Dods's shirt was being pulled. Ross Tokely hit the spot kick low past Combe for 1-1. With five minutes of the first half left Brewster drew two defenders and left space for a Golabek shot from 20 yards but it sailed over. Half Time: 1-1 Mark Brown's first real save of the match came in 63 minutes when he held an angled shot from Wales. Seconds later Colin Nish closed in on a through ball and Brown raced to clear. Brown's busy spell continued as he caught a 20 yard Peter Leven shot through a ruck of players. The second bizarre penalty award of the day came in 72 minutes following a free kick from Wales. Another crowded goalmouth, the usual chaos and a penalty awarded for an apparent push by a Caley Thistle player. Leven made no mistake and it was 2-1 to Kilmarnock. Brown prevented what seemed a certain Killie goal in 74 minutes when Wales put Fowler through but the keeper blocked his shot. In 79 minutes Brewster turned neatly in the box and shot from an angle. It looked as if it would creep in but the post came to Combe's rescue. In the ensuing confusion Graham Bayne and Bryan Prunty both hit the bar and a relieved Killie defence cleared. Teenager Rory McAllister came on for the last five minutes in his first appearance after good performances with the reserve side. The youngster was quickly into the thick of the action but nothing quite came off. With a minute left McAllister just managed to keep his feet and pass to Wilson who set up Black but the Man of the Match only managed to hit it well over from long range. Freddy Dindeleux then failed to clear a Dods lob into the box from long range but McAllister could not reach the loose ball. Full Time: 1-2 The three added minutes produced nothing of note and Killie took the points. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness CT: 1 (Tokely 28 pen) Team: Brown; Tokely, Dods, Hastings, Golabek, Proctor (Bayne 62), Black, McBain, Wilson, Brewster, Prunty (McAllister 85). Subs Not Used: Fraser; Duncan, Fox, Fetai - Booked: Tokely (60), McBain (70). Kilmarnock: 2 (McDonald 21, Leven 72 pen) Team: Combe; Fowler, Lilley, Dindeleux, Hay, Invincibile (Greer 60), Locke, McDonald, Leven (Johnston 86), Dargo (Nish 54), Wales. Subs Not Used: Smith; Murray, Dodds, Naismith - Booked: Locke, Hay. Attendance: 3,108 - Referee: Eddie Smith
Save Dave campaign gathers pace as Killie look to get out of trouble. It's the beginning of the end for two of the bottom six clubs this weekend as Kilmarnock visit Inverness on Sunday in the early kick off at 12:30. Dundee United are almost certainly confirmed as one of the clubs destined for the drop. The best they can do is escape automatic relegation and a play off place would be their only hope of avoiding the drop, but it's a tall order. At the moment all of the bottom six are still mathematically in bother, but the focus is on the bottom three of United, Killie and Accies with Inverness hovering on the fringes. A win today would make it highly unlikely that we would face the play-offs. Defeat would bring Killie to within five points of us with the possibility of Hamilton joining us on the same points total but with a vastly inferior goal difference. Aye it's getting a tad fraught at the bottom as the clubs fight it out to be the best of the rest. In a week where the Queen has been upstaged on her 90th birthday by a Prince, it's time for Inverness to produce their own purple patch and steer clear of the drop. Let's go crazy, we don't want to be playing at a Paisley park next season. Despite all that's going on, the big talking point at the Caledonian Stadium is surrounding a Raven lunatic as the story has been made public that David Raven may not be offered a new contract by John Hughes. His preferred option of spending the cash will be to try and bring in strikers to add some fire power to our punchless squad. The fans are no happy about this situation and feel that Raven is being pushed out while he still has plenty to offer this club and would appear to be content to stay with us. It's a tricky one but this just fuels speculation of a rift within as Raven, although injured of late, looks to be frozen out. On the other hand, at 31 and a season littered with injuries, should Inverness be content to offer Dave a new contract? Either way, lot's of feathers have been ruffled over a Raven and a fans protest could well be surfacing. Back to the game and the clubs have played three times this season with the home sides winning each game. Back in October, Kiltie and Magennis put us to the sword with a 2-0 win at Rugby Park. That was Killie's first clean sheet of the season. We're too kind sometimes. In mid December we returned the favour in the Highlands with a 2-1 win. A Vigurs double put us in the driving seat despite a late consolation by Mark Connolly. Back to Rugby Park in January and Killie triumphed 2-1 when Kiltie opened the scoring only for Draper to level it before the break. However, Craig Slater scored a stunning volley early in the second half to secure the points. At that stage of the season Inverness had opened up a four point gap over Killie, it's now stretched to eight. Killie are not to be underestimated here and we just need to look back to their last game where they trounced St Johnstone 3-0. Worryingly for us, Kris Boyd scored twice and he is a player that knows the route to goal pretty well. Kallum Higginbotham scored the other in a tremendous victory over the side that thrashed Aberdeen on Friday night. Our last outing showed up the very worst of Scottish football as we dug out a 0-0 draw at home to Hearts. A dreadful game where chances were at a premium. Story of our season to be honest. The previous game we eased our relegation fears with a good away win at Tannadice, a result that all but scuppers United but kept us just above the waterline. Yogi has dented his relationship with the fans over the Raven affair and despite Dave being declared fit now, allegedly, he did not appear on the bench against Hearts when he is our recognised right back. Our injury list has all but disappeared, just Aaron Doran and Alex Fisher officially out. Dean Brill has played four or five games with the development squad and it's no coincidence that the young side has been performing better of late. Jordan Roberts has also featured but no sign of Raven anywhere. Kilmarnock should be unchanged although the scorer of said stunning volley Craig Slater could be recalled after illness. However, Steven Smith, David Syme and Mark Connolly are out for the remainder of the season and Chris Johnston is nearing full fitness. tm4tj prediction:- It's getting close to squeaky bum time as points are getting harder to come by. This will be no walk in the park with Kilmarnock's need greater than ours and that will be enough to drive them forward. With Kris Boyd back amongst the goals we need to be at our best defensively whilst also looking to create something at the other end. That's been a season long issue with injuries etc etc etc being cited as the reasons for our demise. It's time to stop feeling sorry for ourselves and get out on the park and put on a display. Yogi needs to put on an impressive performance here and forget about any locker room differences and put our best possible team on the park. Can someone tell him we are not clear of trouble yet and show some desire to get forward. His feathers may have been ruffled by the Raven, but it's not about one player, it's about the team. I'm going for a score draw, with Killie scoring an injury time equaliser, probably emanating from our right back position. Meh! The touchy subject is raised in this interview. Carl Tremarco talks about the visit of Kilmarnock, listen here.