Inverness CT 3 - 4 Aberdeen

League Match
Saturday, December 21st, 2013, 5:30 PM at Tulloch Caledonian Stadium
Attendance: 4,810
Referee: Steven McLean
Inverness CT  Aberdeen

Goalscorers
Billy Mckay (47)
Billy Mckay (57)
Graeme Shinnie (90)
Barry Robson (pen 22)
Barry Robson ((32)
Peter Pawlett (37)
Niall McGinn (44)

Team Managers
John Hughes Derek McInnes

Starting Eleven
Dean Brill
Josh Meekings
Gary Warren
Carl Tremarco
Nick Ross
Graeme Shinnie
Aaron Doran
Ross Draper
Danny Williams
Richie Foran
Billy Mckay
Jamie Langfield
Joe Shaughnessy
Michael Hector
Russell Anderson
Mark Reynolds
Ryan Jack
Niall McGinn
Willo Flood
Barry Robson
Peter Pawlett
Scott Vernon

Substitutes
Ryan Esson
David Raven
Daniel Devine
Liam Polworth
Conor Pepper
Ben Greenhalgh
Torbjorn Agdestein
Nicky Weaver
Jonathan Hayes
Greg Wylde
Nicky Lowrie
Calvin Zola
Cameron Smith
Josh Magennis

Substitutions
David Raven for Richie Foran (45)
Torbjorn Agdestein for Nick Ross (76)
Jonathan Hayes -> Mark Reynolds (64)
Josh Magennis -> Scott Vernon (90+5)

Bookings
Ross Draper (14)
Danny Williams (90)
Jonny Hayes (90)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Dean Brill (GK) 19 apps -
Josh Meekings 81 apps -
Gary Warren 56 apps8 goals
Carl Tremarco 8 apps -
Aaron Doran 92 apps10 goals
Danny Williams 10 apps -
Ross Draper 59 apps6 goals
Nick Ross 124 apps9 goals
Graeme Shinnie 119 apps4 goals
Billy Mckay 88 apps47 goals
Richie Foran 186 apps44 goals
David Raven (sub) 54 apps -
Torbjorn Agdestein (sub) 14 apps -

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Aaron Doran (22 years 228 days)
Oldest Player:Billy Mckay (2015 years 145 days)
Average Player Age:26 years 253 days
Domestic Players:7 (63.64 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Liam Polworth (19 years 75 days)
Oldest Player:Torbjorn Agdestein (2015 years 145 days)
Average Player Age:26 years 104 days
Domestic Players:12 (66.67 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Milestones

Shambolic first 45:

Unbreached in the last five games, the Inverness defence dished out more presents than Santa Clause at his Eastgate Grotto in a festive handout. Forget your gold, frankincense and myrrh, Inverness CT were handing out gifts hand over fist and the eleven wise men from the East took full advantage.

Inverness were taught a harsh lesson in the first half as Aberdeen tore us apart at every opportunity in a somewhat uncharacteristic opening half where every time the Dons attacked they looked like causing problems.

Two goals from former Inverness winger Barry Robson and one apiece from Peter Pawlett and Niall McGinn saw them apparently coasting into second place in the SPFL. A second half revival saw Billy McKay notch a predatory brace and a superb header from Graeme Shinnie all but snatch Inverness an unlikely point, however the Dons saw out the game courtesy of some well worked time wasting routines and take all three points East.

A chilly winters day saw a crowd of around 4800 assemble to watch this late kick off in John Hughes first home game in charge of the Caley Jags. How he must have wished the half time whistle had sounded half an hour earlier. It was also Scotty's first game this season, all the way from Canada, maybe there's a lesson to be learnt there!

A late change saw Danny Williams start in place of the sprightly Marley Watkins who had suffered a dead leg in training and his pace was badly missed in that first half.

A bright start by the home side gave little indication of what was to come. Richie Foran dived to head a low effort just wide from a Tremarco free kick and Ross grazed the outside of a post after McKay set him up on the edge of the box. The Inverness pressure continued and Langfield did a bit of scrambling back to atone for his own poor clearance, Doran arrowing a thirty yard curling shot on target, but Langfield gathering well.

It all changed just after twenty minutes into the game. A long high ball was missed by the heads of Vernon and Meekings. Unfortunately the ball hit the flailing arm of Josh and no doubt about it, a penalty borne out of nothing really. Barry Robson cracked the ball home, hit hard and low just out of the reach of a diving Brill to his right side.

It got worse ten minutes later when Robson doubled his tally with a header would you believe it. A cross to the far post by Pawlett found Robson sandwiched between Tremarco and Warren, he was off balance and facing the opposite direction, but the ball still found the top corner. Not sure Robson knew much about it, but he enjoyed it anyway.

And it got even worse. Pawlett fed Vernon who in turn picked out Pawlett as he sprinted into the box after a weak Nick Ross challenge on the half way line. Pawlett took it first time and he swept the ball home from twelve yards. Hint of offside by Vernon, but the final execution was clinical.

The home defence was now in tatters, Gary Warren having a nightmare along with the rest of the side and huge gaps were allowing the Dons a safe passage into our penalty box. Niall McGinn took full advantage of more poor marking to run unchallenged for forty-five yards before drilling the ball home from the edge of the box. Lethal from Aberdeen; shambolic from Inverness, many punters tempted to go at half time.

Half Time 0-4

Harsh words must have been spoken at the interval and a quick response was required. It came via Duracell Bunny, Billy McKay. He was prepared to roll up his sleeves and he gave the home side some belief when he latched onto a loose ball at the far post to prod home his first of the night.

Nick Ross spurned a tremendous opportunity after McKay set him up with a header back across the box, but Nick, not noted for his striking ability lashed a volley straight at Langfield who gratefully parried the ball to safety.

McKay would not be denied his second though as he showed tenacity to crash in an angled drive after rounding Langfield. Doran and Ross had combined with Billy who was running himself ragged; great goal, and game on.

Could we do it? Draper headed one off the post and Raven cracked the same post with the rebound. Tremarco's corners were worrying the Dons defence.

Gary Warren got one thing right tonight. He flighted a long ball into the box and Graeme Shinnie met it on the run from fifteen yards to send an unstoppable header into the top corner, Langfield rooted to the spot. Pick that one out. Ya beauty!

Aberdeen meanwhile were reduced to sitting in and hitting on the break and Hayes could have done better with a late strike, but he rolled it gently into Brill's hands.

We almost got the leveller our second half blitz deserved, but a melee in the Dons box from another corner just would not go over the line and Aberdeen survived to take all three points East.

Full Time 3-4

The proverbial game of two halves. Battered in the first, we got off the canvas to narrowly lose on points, had it actually been a boxing match the ref would have called a halt after 45 minutes.

Richie Foran looks as though he has damaged his shoulder and could miss the busy festive programme and David Raven came back into his most productive position at right back just after the break, Shinnie moving flanks, but further ahead of Tremarco after the re-shuffle, which seemed to suit our pursuit of goals in the second half. It was a damaging first half, one of the poorest I have witnessed, but we did show great character to have a go in the second half and but for that it could have been a miserable Xmas for the home fans.

tm4tj MotM:- Has to be Mr perpetual motion, Billy McKay. He ran his little cotton socks off in the second half, where does he get the energy from? Sadly, Gary Warren and Josh Meekings were bossed in that first half by Scott Vernon and that was one of the reasons we were taken apart. But, we can rebuild as we showed in a spirited second half. This result has cost us a place or two in the league, but we still have that game in hand, and after the half time pep talk, all is not lost yet.

Jury is still out on John Hughes and let's not go down the route of knee jerk reactions. He must have said something right at half time.

Match report written by tm4tj



None.

Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Celtic 16 13 3 0 38 12 26 42
2. Dundee Utd 17 9 5 3 34 12 22 32
3. Aberdeen 17 10 2 5 28 17 11 32
4. Inverness CT 16 10 2 4 26 15 11 32
5. Motherwell 17 10 1 6 21 24 -3 31
6. St. Johnstone 16 6 4 6 22 17 5 22
7. Hibernian 17 4 6 7 10 16 -6 18
8. St. Mirren 16 4 4 8 14 26 -12 16
9. Kilmarnock 17 4 3 10 19 29 -10 15
10. Partick Thistle 16 3 5 8 14 27 -13 14
11. Hearts 17 3 3 11 13 29 -16 12
12. Ross County 16 3 2 11 17 32 -15 11