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Season Ends Now Whilst the final scoreline looks comfortable enough, the outcome of this game hinged an a dubious penalty offered by Kevin Clancy in first half injury time. It's no shock that we succumbed to a controversial refereeing decision, the first leg went the same way, but it did leave a bitter taste in the mouth for the near 500 away support who were right behind the team. However, that incident on the stroke of half-time took the last embers of resistance out of the players and the second half just emphasised the difference a few grand makes. Nicky Clark scored from the spot and further goals from Osman Sow and Pavol Safranko ended our season, but not the bitterness as John Robertson said what we all knew. Looks like Robbo will be hauled in front of the beaks, but maybe it's about time they investigated their own backyard to see if the people they employ are up to the job. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ On BBC Sport:- Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson branded the "arrogance" of Scottish officials as a "disgrace" after his side were condemned to another season in the Championship. Robertson was sent off after Dundee United were awarded a penalty in his side's 3-0 Scottish Premiership play-off semi-final defeat at Tannadice. The 4-0 aggregate loss loss ends the Highlanders' chances of promotion. "I've had enough; I'm happy to go all the way with it," Robertson said. "This can't be allowed to go on. The inconsistency of the refereeing is incredible. It might sound like sour grapes, and it is a wee bit tonight, but the standard is poor." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Up to the penalty award, Inverness had been the busier side with Tom Walsh Aaron Doran and Joe Chalmers being denied by Siegrist in the Arabs goal. Jordan White headed just over from a corner and all was rosy. Up steps cowboy Kevin Clancy to ruin the entertainment and the rest is history. Nicky Clark hit woodwork twice when it looked much simpler to score, it mattered not, the damage had already been done, thanks Kev. Absolutely titanic effort from the players who gave their all and were out of their feet at the end after being sunk by the iceberg Clancy. It was also a titanic effort by the Caley Away fans, some of them going over and above the call of duty to get behind the team. And when was the last time United had over 8500 fans at Tannadice. Great crowd and I'm sure the Premiership accountants will be glad it's United that progress and not the famous Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Here's one such account from Immortal Howden Ender:- Well I sat in a motorway queue for four feckin hours, made me hit the Forth Road Bridge at rush hour and got to Dungdee 45 minutes before the kick off. Feckin stone cold sober !! Up until that ridiculous penalty decision we were the better team, playing some nice football and looking the team to score by a country mile. But our lack of power and flair up front and the age old inability to take chances let us down again. We really should have been 2 or 3 up and there were scoreable chances for Walsh, White and Doran. The penalty, it's conversion and the timing appeared to simply break our hearts. But we put so much into that first half that it would have been a miracle if we had maintained that level after the second. Only a sniff of a comeback would have possibly riled us up. But the Arabs went for the throat from the start of the second half, pressed higher up the pitch and the second was the beginning of the end. It could well have been 5 or 6 in the end and we never looked like scoring. You would have to say that everybody gave their all but I thought that some showed their flaws. There weren't many who didn't look absolutely flecked 10-15 minutes before the end. Again that is the cruelty of our play off system. I will leave the Smileymometer alone but Ridgers did nothing wrong, Rooney ran and ran and did well before being flecked. McCart was superb and my MotM. Should Coll have been playing when clearly 50 to 60% fit - I would say not. McHattie was caught out for the second goal and struggled defensively. Our midfield ran their socks off but we went for the long, high ball [often diagonal] too often and did not utilise the width and especially Walsh snuffed. Doran played like he did against Hearts and did not come up with the goods. White had little support but did not hold things up enuff and lost too much in the air. Not sure either where Brad McKay was playing but it did look like he was employed to provide cover for the ailing Coll which was a waste of a player. May sound critical but we played well until half time and missing chances killed us again. Some of the officials decisions, other than the penalty, were shocking and there were some ridiculous offsides called. BUT what an away support and not a bad home one either. Glad I was there to the seasons death. Bring on the anguish of 2019-20. Caleytillidie It's All Over Now............. Date: 17/05/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 8540 Referee: Kevin Clancy Dundee United: 3 (4) Lineup: Siegrist; Watson, Connelly, Reynolds, Robson, Bouhenna, Harkes, McMullan, Clark (Stanton 78), Pawlett (Safranko 63), Sow (Booth 73). Subs (not used): Currid; Frans, Chalmers, Smith. Scorers: Clark (45+1 pen), Sow (54), Safranko (89) Booked: Reynolds (33). Sow(58), Safranko (70) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 (0) Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, McHattie, Rooney (Austin 56), Trafford, Chalmers, Walsh (Harper 90), Doran (McDonald 74), White Subs (not used): C Mackay; McCauley, MacGregor, Gunn. Scorers: none Booked: Mckay (45+1), Doran (38) Sent Off: none a0
Advantage United John Robertson's side were reduced to ten men just after half time and that swung the pendulum towards the visitors. Jordan White headed against the post in the first half, but Liam Polworth was red carded three minutes after the break. Despite the numerical advantage, Inverness made United work hard for their break and it came in the 78th minute after substitute Nicky Clark hit the post and Paul McMullan slotted in the rebound. Harsh on Inverness who had battled really hard to make up for the loss of Polworth. Only half time in the tie though and still all to play for at Tannadice where we won 2-1 in the Scottish Cup. United will know they will be in for a hard time and our lads will give it everything, similar to tonight. Great effort with Shaun Rooney outstanding. Jamie McCart was immense at the back and Mark Ridgers assured dealing with early crosses. Aaron Doran looked lively early on before fading in the second half when we were down to ten. The winners over the two legs will face either St Mirren or Hamilton Accies. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ On BBC Sport:- Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "We don't feel it's a red car. It could easily have sufficed with a yellow. For the referee to change the whole complexion of the game on that incident - we feel hard done by. "I can understand why he's given it - we know the laws of the game. It is what it is. We are 1-0 down. We've won at Tannadice before. We go down there full of confidence." Dundee United manager Robbie Neilson: "Pleased with tonight but by no means are we on easy street now. We've got a tough, tough game coming up. "The sending off has a bearing on the game. I've been delighted with Paul McMullan since I came in. He's got potential to really go far in the game because he's got that pace and he's got the fitness levels as well." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness were without the injured Tom Walsh and Carl Tremarco, with Anthony McDonald and Kevin McHattie starting. Dundee United had a clean bill of health after a ten day break whilst Inverness had battled through two tough games against Ayr United to get here. It was a wonderful sunny evening as United took to the park in front of a healthy and vociferous travelling support of over 1,000, welcoming their team into the Caledonian Stadium as if they had won the world cup itself. The North Stand was sparsely populated and like a morgue in comparison. Apathy rules in the Highland capital I'm afraid. The visitors kicked off and Coll Donaldson was immediately the target of their small minded section who took every opportunity to have a go at him as he won a free kick inside the first minute. Get over him Arabs. Liam Polworth fired a cross into the box which Siegrist parried clear as we made our intentions clear, but it was Mark Ridgers that had to make the first save after Peter Pawlett fed Osman Sow and Ridgers saved down low as the big striker smothered his shot from a good position. Polworth headed on to Joe Chalmers and the Dingwall target fired just wide as the game ebbed and flowed in the evening light. In the 23rd minute, Jordan White almost broke the deadlock as his header back across the keeper bounced off his right post, Siegrist beaten but the rebound was smuggled clear. The hosts were getting on top and a poor clearance by the United keeper almost led to a chance for White and Polworth, but it was snuffed out for a corner. From the clearance, the energetic Shaun Rooney fired a shot from Richie Hart area a couple of yards over the bar. United's main threat was Paul McMullan, he of dubious diving decisions and errant hand balls. Tonight he was simply playing football and his pace was causing Kevin McHattie a torrid time. Ridgers had to be alert to catch a high shot towards goal from the wee neckless hunchback as he demonstrated his menace. Pavol Safranko shot wide from the resultant corner. Siegrist gathered a White header as we pressed for the opener, but it lacked any power to beat the keeper. To the delight of the Dundee United fans, Coll Donaldson was booked for felling Pawlett, the biggest cheer since the teams came out onto the park. Right on half time he foolishly gave away another free kick on the edge of the box, the forward heading away from the box but Coll tested the patience of the referee and brought another round of soccer rage from the vising fans. The free kick came to nothing fortunately and that brought an end to a high tempo first half with both teams having a go. Half Time 0-0 Safranko stayed in the dressing room after the break with Calum Booth replacing him. It made Donaldson lighter as the big forward had now left his pocket. Three minutes into the second period and disaster for Inverness . As Polworth tried to flick his toe towards the ball on the edge of our box, Mark Connelly lowered his head and made a meal of going down and clutching his face. Surely an ambulance would be called. No, instead of blue lights, we got a red card for Polly who could have made his final contribution for the Caley Jags. Surprisingly there seemed to be little if any damage to the Arabs player who was on his feet soon after. The free kick came to nothing, but the red card changed the dynamics of the game. Aaron Doran and big Jordan linked well with White's shot blocked as he pulled the trigger, close call for United as the ten men continued to cause them problems. None moreso than the marauding Shaun Rooney who was like a duracell bunny all night. United were beginning to wear down Inverness, gradually, and substitute Nicky Clark tested Ridgers with a low drive. Cameron Harper had replaced a tiring Doran by now for the hosts. Ten minutes after coming on, the fresh legs of Clark saw United take the lead. McMullan benefited from a McHattie headed clearance that rattled off his chest, he then toe poked the ball to Clark and he fired a low shot back across the keeper from around the penalty spot. It cannoned off the left hand post of Ridgers and as we failed to react quick enough, McMullan buried the ball low into the net off the opposite post. Incredible set of circumstances and very harsh on the ten men of Inverness who had still looked dangerous on the break. Charlie Trafford had a shot saved and Callum Smith shot over as the game just ran away from us, but what an effort from the guys, just a pity so few bothered to turn up to watch the game and preferred watching on TV or washing their hair. Everything to play for at Tannadice and United will be wary of us. Red card or no red card? Well, if you ask the referee to make a decision and put him on the spot then there's every chance they will get it wrong and ruin what was a highly entertaining game up to that point. Many pundits (and Robbo) reckon a yellow would have sufficed, but we are talking third rate Scottish referee's here. Meh! No failures in the red and blue of the Caley Jags who were best served by sponsors MotM Aaron Doran until he tired, Jamie McCart who continues to impress and was a rock at the back, Charlie Trafford who just keeps getting better and the guy that impressed me with his Tokelyesque marauding runs down the flank, Shaun Rooney. Unfortunately United were best served by the three that mattered most, Nicky Clark, the menacing sprinter Paul McMullan, and Siegrist's right hand post. Doh! Here's the action from the SPFL site And here is Robbo................ Date: 14/05/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2604 Referee: Nick Walsh Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, McHattie, Rooney, Trafford, Polworth, Chalmers, Doran (Harper 72), White (Austin 81). Subs (not used): C Mackay, MacGregor, Gunn, McCauley, McDonald. Scorers: none Booked: Donaldson (38), Ridgers (48) Sent Off: Polworth (48) Dundee United: 1 Lineup: Siegrist; Watson, Reynolds, Connelly, Robson, Harkes, Butcher, McMullan (C Smith 85), Pawlett, Sow (Clark 68), Safranko (Booth 45). Subs (not used): Laidlaw; M Smith, Frans, Bouhenna. Scorers: McMullan (78) Booked: Booth (90+1) Sent Off: none a