Hibernian 1 - 0 Inverness CT

League Match
Saturday, September 1st, 2007, 3:00 PM at Easter Road, Edinburgh
Attendance: 13,258
Referee: Eddie Smith
Hibernian Inverness CT

Fletcher (2 pen) None.

Team Managers
John Collins Craig Brewster

Starting Eleven
Michael Fraser
Ross Tokely
Grant Munro
Stuart McCaffrey
Barry Wilson
Roy McBain
Russell Duncan
Ian Black
Don Cowie
Craig Brewster
Marius Niculae

Zbigniew Małkowski
Phil McGuire
John Rankin
Iain Vigurs
Dennis Wyness
Rory McAllister
Dean McDonald

Morais -> Benjelloun (46)
Shiels -> Zemmama (57)
O'Brien -> Stevenson (70)
Phil McGuire for Stuart McCaffrey (53)
Dennis Wyness for Marius Niculae (75)
John Rankin for Barry Wilson (84)

Jones (37) Marius Niculae (53)
Phil McGuire (84)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Michael Fraser (GK) 26 apps -
Grant Munro 213 apps5 goals
Stuart McCaffrey 194 apps7 goals
Ross Tokely 407 apps29 goals
Roy McBain 269 apps15 goals
Russell Duncan 226 apps6 goals
Ian Black 77 apps1 goal
Barry Wilson 315 apps79 goals
Don Cowie 6 apps1 goal
Marius Niculae 5 apps2 goals
Craig Brewster 34 apps11 goals
Phil McGuire (sub) 1 app (debut) -
John Rankin (sub) 42 apps6 goals
Dennis Wyness (sub) 220 apps95 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Ross Tokely (28 years 184 days)
Oldest Player:Don Cowie (2009 years 32 days)
Average Player Age:34 years 342 days
Domestic Players:11 (100.00 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Iain Vigurs (19 years 121 days)
Oldest Player:Phil McGuire (2009 years 32 days)
Average Player Age:31 years 13 days
Domestic Players:18 (100.00 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts
Phil McGuire(Signed )


5 SPL games, 5 losses ... thats the bottom line at the end of today's game as Caley Thistle made their worst ever start to a season. However, terrible though it is, today there were signs of hope.

For long periods of today's game Caley Thistle dominated Hibs and if it was not for some good goalkeeping from Ma-Kalambay, including a penalty save from Marius Niculae, the outcome may have been a lot different.

Both Niculae and Brewster had numerous chances but couldnt grab the goal that would cancel out Steven Fletcher's 2nd minute penalty.

9:30am and the Innes Bar Supporters Bus heads off down the A9 en route to Easter Road and Inverness Caley Thistles first SPL match with Brewster at the helm. After some initial discussion about events of the last couple of weeks and setting the world to rights on all matters regarding Brewster’s appointment we got down to some discussion about the game ahead.

Would Brewster play himself? Was he right to play himself? - The general consensus seemed to be that it was a no-brainer and under any other circumstances then Brewster would be the first name on the team sheet. We'd have to wait till nearer kick-off to find out if we had called it right.

"CaleyD, what's on the radio"....."Nothing it's screwed". So here we are, heading off down the road and no music to keep us entertained, thinking caps had to go on. Themann4thejob was quick to spot the newspapers and decided we should do all the Saturday quizzes you get in these things. We ran through the TV Quiz with relative ease, and the Telly Addicts were quickly identified. OK, what now...it was TM4TJ again who decided to entertain us by reading out the Dear Deidre with the inclusion of the odd ad-lib and I barely managed to keep the bus on the road through laughing. The crossword was next, but this was abandoned as we crossed the Forth Road Bridge due to the bumps making it impossible to write (and nothing to do with us struggling to complete it).

We all arrived safely at Easter Road and were fortunate to find a great parking spot close to both the ground and The Iona Bar. Non-Alcoholic Beer for me, necking pints and shorts for the rest. News then came through that the team bus was late in arriving and the line-ups would be delayed as a result...then further news that it still wasn't here yet. We'd all decided that should the worst come to the worst then we'd have to put out a team made up of those present in the bar. Thankfully news came through very soon after that the team had arrived...and more importantly, that our collective wisdom 4 hours previous had called it right and Brewster would start for Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC.

More drink (more Kaliber for me) and a flash of IHE's new tattoo and we were ready to head for the stadium. The walk from The Iona being perfectly timed and us arriving in our seats just as the teams were making their way on to the pitch.

Dennis Wyness had been dropped to the bench to make way for Brewster who was partnering Niculae up front. Probably a wise decision when you take into account all 6'6" of Rob Jones at the back for Hibs.

Grant Munro returned to the team after being out midweek with a back niggle and once again captained the team.

The referee had barely got the whistle away from his lips for the start of play when Caley Thistle launched their first attack which led to a corner within the first 20 seconds of the game. Then it all went a bit pear-shaped at the other end as we had to defend the first Hibs attack. As our defence worked to clear the ball from the box the ball was played against McCaffery who was deemed to have handled deliberately in the area. He had his back to us but it looked a very harsh decision and the spot kick was awarded.

Steven Fletcher stepped up and put the ball in the back of the net to make it Hibs 1 - 0 Inverness CT inside the 2 minute mark.

Caley Thistle were quick to compose themselves and get on with the game. It was on the 4 minute mark that Caley Thistle got their next corner. Barry Wilson played a ball in to the back post and, Hibs Keeper, Kalambay did well to tip it over. Another corner and shouts were going up for the old school rule of "3 Corners = a penalty". The forth corner of the match came in 7 minutes and Don Cowries’ delivery was met in the centre of the box by a great shot from Brewster who was unlucky to put it straight at the keeper.

The Caley Jags were dominating the game at this stage and were unlucky not to have scored from the next 3 attempts. Wilson had a shot which went straight to the keeper, followed by Brewster going wide left from the penalty area and Black having a chip taken by Kalambay - all before the 20 minute mark.

Fletcher then had one of Hibs few chances at the ICT goal when he headed over the bar.

We were really stringing some nice play together at this stage of the game and one attacking play by us saw about a dozen one touch passes strung together. It was the kind of play that deserved a better end product and you could have put the "Goal of the Season" stamp on it right there and then, but it wasn't to be.

Every one of the ICT players seemed to want a bit of the action as Cowie, Black and Niculae all had shots at goal with a weak Stevenson effort at the opposite end being the only reply. The ICT fans were missing out on much of the action in the first half but you can be sure they weren't complaining and everyone as in good spirits....that was raised through the roof on 35 minutes when Jones took Brewster down inside the box. Some justice for the soft penalty we had conceded at the other end. Niculae stepped up to the mark and after seeing his free-kick against Arbroath you would have bet your house on him putting it away. He struck the ball solid, however it was a little to straight and all 6'7" of Kalambay was put to good use as the ball clipped his trailing foot and went high over the bar.

Both teams were to have a further 2 corner kicks before the half-time whistle but neither could capitalise. Michael Fraser did have one decent attempt at goal to save but he covered it well and punched it wide. Inverness go in at the break a goal down which was hard to bare when you consider how much they had dominated in the first half.

Opinion among the ICT fans during the break was that if this had been boxing match then the referee would have stopped it long ago as Hibs were struggling to offer up anything. Confidence was high though and if we continued where we had left off in the second half then surely we would get our just rewards.

Continue where they left of they did. Barry Wilson was the first to have a go at goal but shot high over the bar.

8 minutes in and Niculae was dealt a harsh blow. Need to see the replay but from where I was sitting it looked like a Hibs player bundled him over in the box. It looked like a strong claim for a penalty, but the referee pulled out a yellow for Niculae - I can only think that he must have thought he dived, but as the player was practically crawling over the top of him I can't for one second believe how he came to that conclusion.

Stuart McCaffery had earlier been replaced by loan signing Phil McGuire and Niculae came off with 15 minutes to go, being replaced by Dennis Wyness. With Niculae having received a knock to the head and being on a yellow card this was probably a sensible tactical move by Brewster.

We had been dominating the game for long spells and it wasn't long before Wyness was proving difficult for the Hibs defensive to deal with. A shot by Brewster which was set to go wide right was clipped by Dennis Wyness who almost succeeded in re-directing it into the postage stamp top corner.

The referee hadn't been too kind to us all afternoon and he again seemed to make a bizarre decision when flashing a yellow at Phil McGuire for a foul on Fletcher.

Mike Fraser who had been solid all day had one final save to make about 5 minutes from the end when he comfortably caught a shot from O'Brien. From here on in it was all Caley Thistle as the stepped up the pace and really pushed for the much deserved equaliser.

A volley by Cowie was saved by Kalambay whilst Wyness was struggling to keep the ball down and shot over the bar twice. Russell Duncan had the last real attempt on goal just inside injury time when he was unlucky not to have stuck the ball in the top corner from 25 yards out.

A small lapse in concentration in front of the ICT goal was the last of the excitement for the day. It was a hard loss to take when you look at how much of the game we controlled but the end product just couldn't be found and the players just weren't getting the breaks in front of the goal.

Every man on the pitch had given it 100% today, they knew it and the fans knew it. Instead of sliding off dejected they remained to clap and cheer the team off the pitch. I had commented on the forum last week that we had lost the team spirit and that we were more used to a team who held their head high - win, lose or draw - and that was back there again today for all to see and for the first time in a long time the players took the time to acknowledge the fans as they left the field...so spot on to the lads for that.

Everyone back to the battle bus and we had one extra body (no..not the ref). Kind of Blue was joining us for the return trip. We were quickly under way......too KFC, and then back on the road home.

TM4TJ had forgotten his 'Depends' and it wasn't long before I was receiving rather large hints that I may want to stop the bus at the next stop. In fact, these hints had started before we even reached the Forth Road Bridge. Thankfully the Toll Booth attendant couldn't count as I lied through my teeth about the number of seats on the bus in order to save a few sheckles and we were away again.

It wasn't long before Tm4TJ was becoming more annoying than a 4 yr old and trying to convince me that him needing to pee was an emergency and justifiable reason for stopping on the hard shoulder....lol. He had to wait till we reached the Perth Bypass.

We mulled over the days events, agreed that the whole team had a great performance and then had another crack at the crossword. That lasted a little while before the light made it impossible to continue...we were actually managing to answer some questions in this one. A brief pit-stop at Aviemore when I realised that the orange light that had been annoying me on the dash for the last 30 miles was the fuel light and then the last leg home.

A thoroughly enjoyable day had by all and even though we never put any points on the board it was obvious to everyone present that this is a team who are making progress. Roll on Celtic!!!

Match report written by CaleyD

Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Rangers 5 5 0 0 18 3 15 15
2. Hibernian 5 3 2 0 9 5 4 11
3. Celtic 4 3 1 0 12 2 10 10
4. Dundee Utd 5 3 1 1 7 2 5 10
5. Motherwell 4 3 0 1 6 4 2 9
6. Kilmarnock 5 2 1 2 5 5 0 7
7. St. Mirren 4 2 0 2 3 4 -1 6
8. Aberdeen 5 1 2 2 6 8 -2 5
9. Falkirk 5 1 0 4 7 14 -7 3
10. Hearts 4 0 2 2 2 8 -6 2
11. Gretna 5 0 1 4 4 15 -11 1
12. Inverness CT 5 0 0 5 2 11 -9 0