Inverness CT 1 - 2 Ross County

League Match
Wednesday, January 1st, 2014, 3:00 PM at Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness
Attendance: 4,332
Referee: Alan Muir
Inverness CT  Ross County

Goalscorers
Aaron Doran (89)
Scott Boyd (15)
Alex Cooper (17)

Team Managers
John Hughes Derek Adams

Starting Eleven
Dean Brill
Josh Meekings
Gary Warren
Carl Tremarco
Nick Ross
Graeme Shinnie
Aaron Doran
Ross Draper
Danny Williams
Marley Watkins
Billy Mckay
Michael Fraser
Ben Gordon
Stuart Kettlewell
Scott Boyd
Richard Brittain
Gary Glen
Alex Cooper
Brian McLean
Steven Saunders
Graham Carey
Jordan Slew

Substitutes
Ryan Esson
David Raven
Daniel Devine
Liam Polworth
Ryan Christie
Ben Greenhalgh
Torbjorn Agdestein
Mark Brown
Branislav Micic
Rocco Quinn
Melvin De Leeuw
Darren Maatsen
Marc Klok
Kevin Luckassen

Substitutions
Torbjorn Agdestein for Marley Watkins (24)
Liam Polworth for Carl Tremarco (77)
Branislav Micic -> Steven Saunders (68)
Kevin Luckassen -> Gary Glen (74)
Rocco Quinn -> Stuart Kettlewell (88)

Bookings
Gary Warren (52)
Stuart Kettlewell (10)
Gary Glen (34)
Graham Carey (54)
Jordan Slew (70)

Red Cards
Ross Draper (76)
None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Dean Brill (GK) 22 apps -
Carl Tremarco 11 apps -
Josh Meekings 84 apps -
Gary Warren 59 apps8 goals
Ross Draper 62 apps6 goals
Aaron Doran 95 apps11 goals
Danny Williams 13 apps -
Nick Ross 127 apps9 goals
Marley Watkins 13 apps -
Graeme Shinnie 122 apps4 goals
Billy Mckay 91 apps47 goals
Liam Polworth (sub) 17 apps -
Torbjorn Agdestein (sub) 16 apps -

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Aaron Doran (22 years 239 days)
Oldest Player:Billy Mckay (2015 years 156 days)
Average Player Age:26 years 51 days
Domestic Players:7 (63.64 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Liam Polworth (19 years 86 days)
Oldest Player:Torbjorn Agdestein (2015 years 156 days)
Average Player Age:26 years 2 days
Domestic Players:12 (66.67 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Milestones

Must Try Harder:

Ross County first footed the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium on the 1st of January 2014 and took full advantage of their hosts accommodating hospitality by taking all three points.

It was a towsy encounter which saw Inverness offer the hand of friendship to their neighbours by gently parting their once rock solid defence to allow Scott Boyd and Alex Cooper to tease the points away from the generous Inverness back four who did their level best to help out the Staggies by reducing themselves to ten men midway through the second half, and a late Aaron Doran counter proved once again to be too little too late. I'm afraid the teams report card of late has must try harder written on it, and it's easy to see why.

County were without a win in nine games, gaining just one point from those games and stood 22 points adrift of Inverness, who themselves are not on the best of runs at the moment. The form book does tend to get shredded when it comes to Derby fixtures and so it turned out.

David Raven once more sat on the bench and Danny Williams again filled the midfield vacated by the injured Richie Foran. How much longer will we have to suffer Raven, our natural right back being left out of the picture; over to you Yogi?

County introduced Jordan Slew up front and the sturdy Blackburn Rovers loanee caused early alarm bells to sound with a couple of powerful runs at the Inverness defence. At 6ft 3in Slew is going to be a handful for many a defender, built like a brick shithouse and pace akin to Usain Bolt.

The turning point in this game though was the withdrawal of Inverness' main supply route for Billy McKay as County managed to kick the legs away from our own super sprinter Marley Watkins, having to be subbed shortly after being hacked down by the County defence in the fourteenth minute.

Aaron Doran was unfortunate to see a strike cannon back off a post from eighteen yards in the sixth minute and McKay missed with the rebound, struggling to tame the ball before firing wide. Must try harder.

Just when we looked to have overcome County's initial surge, Tremarco conceded a corner, and when the ball fell to Boyd some ten yards out at the far post his shot caught Tremarco on the way past Brill into the net to give County the opener. Head tennis in your own box is no use. Must try harder

Things went from worse to even worser, if you know what I mean. Shinnie passed the ball loosely in midfield, and play raced to the other end where young Cooper turned inside and outside the recovering Shinnie with ease, and beat Brill with not the most powerful of shots in the world. It mattered not to County as the ball rolled behind Brill and into the net for the second goal inside two minutes. Must try harder

The home fans feared a repeat of the Aberdeen debacle as our defence seemed to be at sixes and sevens. A defence that a couple of weeks ago were the stingiest in the land were now starting to look like plonkers, gifting goals at will and unable to do the simplest of marking and tracking jobs. Just as in the Aberdeen game, a lot of our defensive issues have come in the right defensive area, an area normally covered by a certain Mr Raven, looking on from the bench.

You would have thought this would have stung Inverness into action, but no, we plodded on without any conviction and a lack of imagination. Without Watkins we looked to Doran, Ross and Williams to spark us into life, but there was no spark, and ultimately no life about this Inverness side. Must try harder.

Hallelujah, McKay almost flicked a long throw into the net but Fraser was alert to it and that was as near as we got apart from a weak Nick Ross header, McKay the provider.

Half Time 0-2

Could we see a repeat of the Dons game was the talking point over the half time cuppa, most fans thinking that was impossible given our dire first half performance and few could see a way back into this game. Billy McKay once more being starved of the ball resorting to taking throw-ins just to get a touch of the ball, or maybe because like most of us he is simply fed up of the pathetic throw-ins that we seem to contrive. While I'm on a roll here, when was the last time we scored direct from a free kick. Nobody in my vicinity could recall one, Caley100 mentioned Barry Robson, he could be right.

Unlike the Dons game, we showed little signs of urgency, still content to pass the ball sideways or back and the thought of turning the pitch 90% to offer more attacking possibilities did enter my mind as the football deteriorated to tedium. Free kick after free kick was wasted, crossing opportunities were wasted, most hitting the first defender and throw-ins were as good as a pass back to County. Must try harder.

Draper did force Fraser to parry a shot, but it was straight at him and the rebound was hooked clear by Boyd. Doran flighted one onto the top of the bar but it would have been an injustice had it caught out Fraser. Must try harder.

Draper was becoming a liability and a lunging tackle went unpunished, but when he led with the elbow in an aeriel challenge it was a straight red. He will get little sympathy from me, Inverness having to play out the last quarter 2-0 down and reduced to ten men. Tried too hard!

Agdestein who had impressed since his early introduction went close with a rasping drive after Williams ran across the County defence, but his shot rose just over the bar.

Time was running out fast as County defended in depth although Doran did score a tidy goal, flicking a Polworth through ball over Fraser and nodding it into the empty net, but it was too little too late I'm afraid, many having left the ground by the time this happened.

Garry Warren still found time to drill a ball into the side netting from a tight angle and it was all over bar the shouting, County had won their first game in ten, and we take one point out of a possible twelve over Xmas. Must try harder.

Full Time 1-2

tm4tj MotM:- Toby Agdestein was one player who looked interested and drove forward with intent, it's a pity nobody else turned up. Our defence has turned into a shambles right now and needs repaired, enter David Raven surely. This team has got us into a position that has raised our profile, unfortunately we are now on everybody's radar and teams are beginning to pick us off. We don't become a bad team overnight, but the absence of Foran is hurting us and we look vulnerable with another wafer thin first team squad struggling to cope with one or two absentee's. We might as well get rid of Billy McKay if we are not going to supply him with the ball, he would be as well playing elsewhere. It's a shame not to use his talents while he is here.

Match report written by tm4tj



None.

Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Celtic 19 16 3 0 41 12 29 51
2. Motherwell 20 13 1 6 31 25 6 40
3. Aberdeen 20 12 2 6 31 19 12 38
4. Inverness CT 19 10 3 6 27 18 9 33
5. Dundee Utd 20 9 5 6 36 21 15 32
6. St. Johnstone 19 7 4 8 25 22 3 25
7. Hibernian 19 6 6 7 15 16 -1 24
8. St. Mirren 18 5 5 8 19 28 -9 20
9. Kilmarnock 19 5 3 11 23 32 -9 18
10. Partick Thistle 19 3 6 10 15 33 -18 15
11. Ross County 19 4 2 13 19 36 -17 14
12. Hearts 19 3 4 12 14 34 -20 13