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  1. Butcher's meet not enough for sad Caley Jags In the presence of the great man himself, Inverness and Ayr locked horns at the relegation end of the table. A far cry from the euphoric scenes when Inverness were in seventh heaven after winning the First Division back in 2010. This game took on a more sinister roll after Dunfermline trashed Dundee United 3-1 last night to move four points above Inverness in the table. A win for either side here could prove pivotal come the business end of the season. Defeat may start the downward spiral for either side as they could become detatched from the peleton above. Inverness had to put the Battery Farm debacle behind them and concentrate on the job in hand on the park. At the end of the day the only word I have after this display is despondency. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A beautiful afternoon for a kick about in the Highlands was ruined by a rubbish game of football. Inverness were down to the bare bones with only six subs, mainly the walking wounded on the bench. The visitors had Frankie Musonda as captain and a strong starting XI with an equally strong bench that included Logan Chalmers, Jamie Murphy and Aiden McGeady. Inverness as they do started brightly. A long free kick from Savage caused problems in the first minute before being cleared and a couple of minutes later keeper Clarke let a shot squirm under him and narrowly missed going in at his far post. However, our usual ten minute flurry only lasted until that ball slipped past the post. Ayr dominated the half thereafter and took an early lead through a poked effort from Stanger on the line or possibly an own goal from Anderson after we failed to clear our lines on Ayr's left flank and gave the ball away too easily. The industrious Alex Samuel had our best moment when he guided a volley just over the bar. Alas, we were absolutely honking for the rest of the half, unable to string one pass together and constantly gave the ball away. Fortunately on the stroke of half time we were thrown a lifeline from the spot. Fair play to Billy Mckay for grabbing the ball and slamming it into the net for an undeserved but welcome equaliser. Given the abuse he and his son took after he missed his penalty against the Pars, this was a sweet moment for a legend. After the interval nothing changed. We continued to fail to create anything and Ayr continued to look the more likely to score again. There wasn't a lack of effort. However a lack of tactical nous and quality were in abundance. Ayr always looked like breaking clear and we always looked pedantic and predictable and turned backwards at every opportunity. Is that a lack of confidence or a lack of quality. Probably both. Predictable Ayr took all three points when Bryden knocked home in front of the Ayr fans to complete our demise. Although there was still half an hour to go, nobody in the home support could see us scoring and they amused themselves by taunting security and anyone else that would listen. Mark Ridgers kept us close with a big save ten minutes from the end as we feared the worst. Cammy Harper did eventually fire a great ball across the box near the end but there were no takers as it flashed across the goal a yard from the line. Therein lies the difference. When Ayr did that in the fifth minute, Stanger scored from practically on the goalline. As it was, we played out the final half hour without otherwise threatening and Ayr took all three points back home. FULL TIME: 1-2 Having sat through one of the worst games for many a year there is little to hope for now apart from Arbroath to keep losing because we certainly appear to find it difficult to win. We have no game changers in our squad and our manager is playing the wrong type of anti-football to help our cause. Big Dunc thought we were the better team. Pleeeeeaaase, give me a break! We were second to everything and Ayr were always one step ahead of us after the first three minutes. SHOCKER springs to mind. Highlights from Ayr United as we appear to be too embarrassed to put our own highlights up We lost didn't we>>> Date: 16/03/2024 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1979 Referee: Iain Snedden Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Duncan Ferguson Lineup: Ridgers; Carragher (Doran 69), Devine, Savage, Duffy, Kerr, Lawal (Pepple 69), Anderson, Harper, Alex Samuel, B Mckay Subs (not used): C Mackay; Brooks, Austin Samuels Scorers: B Mckay (45+3 pen) Booked: Carragher (11), Pepple (87) Sent Off: none Ayr United: 2 Manager: Scott Brown Lineup: Clarke; McAllister, Musonda, Stanger, Sanders, Syla, McHugh, Bryden (Amartey 70), Dowds, Willoughby (Murphy 62), McKenzie Subs (not used): Albinson; McGinty, McGinley, Tomlinson, Dempsey, McGeady, Chalmers Scorers: Stanger (5) Bryden (61) Booked: Murphy (68) Sent Off: none a
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