Inverness CT 1 - 0 Partick Thistle

League Match
Saturday, March 22nd, 2014, 3:00 PM at Tulloch Caledonian Stadium
Attendance: 3,093
Referee: Kevin Clancy
Inverness CT  Partick Thistle

Goalscorers
Billy Mckay (62)
None.

Team Managers
John Hughes Alan Archibald

Starting Eleven
Dean Brill
Josh Meekings
Gary Warren
David Raven
Graeme Shinnie
Greg Tansey
Ross Draper
James Vincent
Danny Williams
Richie Foran
Billy Mckay
Paul Gallacher
Stephen O-Donnell
Lee Mair
Gabriel De la Vega
Aaron Sinclair
Gary Fraser
Stuart Bannigan
Kallum Higginbotham
Chris Erskine
Kris Doolan
Lyle Taylor

Substitutes
Ryan Esson
Daniel Devine
Carl Tremarco
Nick Ross
Liam Polworth
Ryan Christie
Marley Watkins
Scott Fox
James Craigen
Prince Buaben
Steven Lawless
Chris Elliott
Jordan McMillan
George Moncur

Substitutions
Nick Ross for Danny Williams (71)
Ryan Christie for Richie Foran (80)
Marley Watkins for James Vincent (82)
Prince Buaben -> Gary Fraser (72)
Steven Lawless -> Chris Erskine (76)
George Moncur -> Lyle Taylor (80)

Bookings
David Raven (33)
Richie Foran (47)
Greg Tansey (68)
Kallum Higginbotham (13)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Dean Brill (GK) 37 apps -
Gary Warren 71 apps9 goals
David Raven 68 apps1 goal
Josh Meekings 99 apps -
Ross Draper 73 apps6 goals
Graeme Shinnie 136 apps4 goals
Greg Tansey 51 apps6 goals
Danny Williams 20 apps1 goal
James Vincent 21 apps1 goal
Richie Foran 197 apps44 goals
Billy Mckay 106 apps51 goals
Nick Ross (sub) 138 apps11 goals
Ryan Christie (sub) 8 apps -
Marley Watkins (sub) 25 apps1 goal

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:James Vincent (24 years 182 days)
Oldest Player:Josh Meekings (2015 years 236 days)
Average Player Age:27 years 22 days
Domestic Players:6 (54.55 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Liam Polworth (19 years 166 days)
Oldest Player:Graeme Shinnie (2015 years 236 days)
Average Player Age:26 years 109 days
Domestic Players:11 (61.11 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Milestones

Thistle Do:

It really was the proverbial game of two halves. The first half was Dean Brill versus Partick Thistle but we were transformed into a football team in the second half and Billy McKay got back on the score sheet to give Yogi his first home league win of the season, just.

Despite the offer of free and cheap tickets, it was another paltry attendance that saw Partick Thistle take the game to Inverness. Partick, as always had a healthy following of around 400, which means that only around 2,600 bothered to turn up and welcome our League Cup heart breakers back home.

As expected, Aaron Doran missed out and Carl Tremarco, Nick Ross and new talent Ryan Christie started on the bench.

Report by AJS......................

Steps in the right direction

It was a return to home comforts for ICT as they welcome Partick Thistle back to the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium for a 2nd time this season. The home side were looking to end a barren run of form that had seen them go 492 minutes without scoring and 3 months without a victory at home. Following the mid week defeat to Motherwell Yogi shuffled the pack with Gary Warren returning to the starting 11 in place of Danny Devine and saw Danny Williams get a 2nd consecutive league start, Marley Watkins again had to settle for a place on the bench while Aaron Doran missed out through injury.

Partick went into this one with just defeat in five, including and impressive home win against Aberdeen and were unbeaten against Caley Thistle in the previous two encounters this season. They had strengthened well during the Transfer window. Bringing in Lyle Taylor and Prince Bauben on loan from Sheffield United and Carlisle, both players had enjoyed successful spells in Scotland previously while they also re signed winger Chris Erskine on loan from Dundee United.

The match itself was proving to be a real non event in the first half but it was clear from very early on that Partick were in the ascendancy. The home side seemed tentative going forward and were being forced well into their own half by the visitors with Erskine, Taylor and Kallum Higginbotham finding pockets of space to exploit.

Despite this it was the host who had the first sight of goal. Williams throw found Greg Tansey out wide, he turned Higginbotham neatly and laid the ball back across the box, Mckay and Vincent let it run to Draper at the edge of the area, the big man struck it first time on his left but his shot lacked any real conviction and was easily gathered by Paul Gallacher. 

Partick's dominance was beginning to show and they were very close to breaking the deadlock through Lyle Taylor. Piccolo's long ball was missed in the air by Warren and saw Taylor get in behind the back line, bearing down on Brill he seemed sure to score but he could only poke the ball straight at ICT's big stopper and he gathered the ball gratefully in what was the first in a number of individual battles between Brill and Taylor. 

The hosts responded through Danny Williams , Raven picked out Tansey from a throw in and he fed the ball to Williams, the dynamic winger cut inside onto to his stronger left foot but again the effort lacked the necessary power to really trouble Gallacher and it was a routine catch for Particks keeper.

Partick were beginning to crank up the pressure however. Higginbotham, who has been one of their standout players this season was finding lots of space and had a couple of efforts himself though none of them really troubled Brill. However the big stopper was soon to be properly tested. Higginbotham found Taylor on the edge of the area, he showed Warren inside and found space and time for a shot. It was well driven and it was heading in but Deano was alert and got down to his right nice and quick to parry it wide. 

The away side were continuing to dominate, ICT could barely get out of their own box, let alone their own half and the battle of Taylor v's Brill went into round three. Partick won a free kick about 30 yards from goal. Taylor stepped up and curled it towards the bottom corner but Deano was again on hand to thwart him, getting down low to claw it away on his left, Bannigan went for the follow up but was denied but a wonderful challenge by Josh Meekings but Partick's dominance was being felt and it was beginning to create unease amongst the players and in the stands as the home side looked to relieve the pressure. 

Lyle Taylor was continuing to cause problems, a neat bit of inter change between Gary Fraser and Piccolo found Taylor again lurking. He got a show away once again but this time he couldn't keep it down and much to the relief of ICT's defence it flew over. 

With half time coming near ICT finally managed to search out another effort through Greg Tansey. The big Scouser took advantage of a bounce to try the speculative volley from the edge of the box but it spun wide.

HT 0-0

ICT came out at half time having no doubt received some stern words from Yogi. They came out with more urgency, energy and were beginning to find more openings.

A long ball from Brill was poorly dealt with by Piccolo. It fell to Vincent who steered his header into the path of Billy McKay and his neat ball over the top found Tansey through on goal against and advancing Gallacher. He went for the lob and seemed sure to score but while his effort went over him, sadly it also went over the bar, a guilt edge miss.

His miss was soon to be topped though by Billy McKay. His recent form has not been much to shout about, he certainly hasnt been scoring when he wants with just 1 goal in 11 going into this one and with the miss that followed you could see why. Warren picked out Tansey in midfield and his surging run towards the box had the Partick defence back pedalling, his pass split the defence open and found McKay one on one with Gallacher. He steadied himself and went for the shot on his left foot but he struck it like a man lacking confidence and for where it was and who he is you know it should have been in but it flew harmlessly wide. 

After that I was beginning to think it was going to be another 0-0, or fancied Partick to sneak a win but that all changed very quickly. Lyle Taylor had a goal chalked of for offside but ICT fans were about to witness a long lost aspect of football matches...a goal.

Lee Mair was judged to have fouled McKay and the referee awarded a free kick. Graeme Shinnie dispatched it to the back post where the ball found the head of Ross Draper and his looping header fell nicely at the opposite post for Billy McKay who made no mistake this time, nudging his header over the line to put ICT into the lead and give the home fans something to shout about for the first time in five games. 

Partick sent on George Moncur and Stephen Lawless looking to add some extra flair and chase an equaliser but the ICT defence held firm in the 2nd half, set pieces were well handled by Deano who was determined to hold onto a third straight clean sheet. 

ICT fans also got to see further glimpses of Ryan Christie's ability, the local lad has been given a few substitute appearances in recent games and has been pushing for a start. Some neat touches and a good vision for the pass was on show yesterday in spells, more to come from him and looking forward to seeing it. 

As the game got into the closing stages both sides were slugging it out, Partick were being closed off by ICT's back four while going forward they were not looking to leave themselves too exposed in search of a 2nd goal.

1-0 full time

To summarise - Not a classic and was a major non starter in the first half. Partick were given far too much time to knock the ball about in dangerous areas and were it not for Dean Brill it could have been a very different story at half time. We got the response we wanted from the players in the 2nd half which was pleasing. We moved the ball around better, created openings and despite missing two wonderful chances beforehand we took an opportunity that came our way and had something to celebrate. A win, a clean sheet, a goal to celebrate and a first home win for Yogi and while it may not have been pretty we cant really ask for much more. These are all steps in the right direction.

AJS's motm - Dean Brill - Mugged off Lyle Taylor with three fantastic saves, kept us in the game when we were under pressure and handled Partick's set pieces late on superbly. One of his best displays this season.

Match report written by AJS



None.

Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Celtic 30 26 3 1 74 14 60 81
2. Aberdeen 29 18 3 8 42 27 15 57
3. Motherwell 30 18 3 9 50 44 6 57
4. Dundee Utd 30 14 8 8 54 36 18 50
5. Inverness CT 29 14 6 9 34 28 6 48
6. St. Johnstone 30 12 5 13 37 32 5 41
7. Hibernian 31 8 10 13 29 40 -11 34
8. Kilmarnock 31 8 6 17 38 54 -16 30
9. Partick Thistle 30 6 11 13 32 47 -15 29
10. Ross County 30 8 5 17 35 52 -17 29
11. St. Mirren 30 7 6 17 29 50 -21 27
12. Hearts 30 5 6 19 26 56 -30 21