Inverness CT 1 - 1 Hearts

League - Championship
Friday, February 26th, 2021, 7:45 PM at Caledonian Stadium
Referee: Nick Walsh
Inverness CT  Hearts

Goalscorers
Miles Storey (10)
Liam Boyce (36)

Team Managers
Neil McCann Robbie Neilson

Starting Eleven
Mark Ridgers
Cameron Harper
Wallace Duffy
Robbie Deas
Daniel Devine
David Carson
Sean Welsh
Roddy MacGregor
James Keatings
Shane Sutherland
Miles Storey
Craig Gordon
Michael Smith
Mihai Popescu
Craig Halkett
Stephen Kingsley
Andy Halliday
Aaron McEneff
Gervane Kastaneer
Steven Naismith
Gary Mackay-Steven
Liam Boyce

Substitutes
Cameron Mackay
Harry Nicolson
Brad Mckay
Scott Allardice
Lewis Hyde
Daniel Mackay
Nikolay Todorov
Peter Haring
Christophe Berra
Jamie Walker
Armand Gnanduillet
Ross Stewart
Andy Irving
Euan Henderson

Substitutions
Nikolay Todorov for James Keatings
Daniel Mackay for Roddy MacGregor (57)
Scott Allardice for David Carson (66)
Armand Gnanduillet -> Gervane Kastaneer (45)
Jamie Walker -> Steven Naismith (62)
Andy Irving -> Michael Smith (80)

Bookings
Wallace Duffy (30)
Sean Welsh (36)
David Carson (52)
Gervane Kastaneer (15)
Stephen Kingsley (32)
Craig Gordon (52)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Mark Ridgers (GK) 142 apps -
Cameron Harper 28 apps -
Daniel Devine 98 apps4 goals
Wallace Duffy 13 apps1 goal
Robbie Deas 18 apps1 goal
David Carson 41 apps -
Sean Welsh 55 apps7 goals
Roddy MacGregor 44 apps2 goals
Shane Sutherland 105 apps8 goals
James Keatings 46 apps11 goals
Miles Storey 84 apps21 goals
Scott Allardice (sub) 19 apps2 goals
Nikolay Todorov (sub) 49 apps10 goals
Daniel Mackay (sub) 42 apps6 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Roddy MacGregor (19 years 72 days)
Oldest Player:Sean Welsh (30 years 356 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 284 days
Domestic Players:8 (72.73 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Lewis Hyde (18 years 231 days)
Oldest Player:Sean Welsh (30 years 356 days)
Average Player Age:24 years 138 days
Domestic Players:14 (77.78 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Milestones

Virtual game ends all square:

Neil McCann's 'tenure' got off to a tremendous start when Miles Storey made amends for his penalty miss in midweek. He opened the scoring after muscling Michael Smith off the ball to drive it behind Gordon after ten minutes. Hearts were on the slow burner but got back on level terms after half an hour when the defence parted to allow Liam Boyce space and time to knock the ball into the net from six yards. The second half was relatively quiet until a late surge from Hearts saw Boyce hit the bar then Ridgers make a good stop from Walker.

Neil McCann's first team selection was a 4-4-2ish which saw Nikolay Todorov, Daniel Mackay and Scott Allardice drop to the bench with Miles Storey, Sean Welsh and James Keatings on from the start in the virtual ticket derby.

Robbie Neilson has a wealth of talent with the likes of Jamie Walker, Peter Haring and Christophe Berra on the bench. Recent signing Gary Mackay-Steven, Gary Naismith and Liam Boyce, who loves to score against us, in the starting XI. That's the same line-up that drew against Morton last week.

The game kicked off in front of a virtual crowd of over 11,000 and Mark Ridgers was the first keeper to pull a shot out of the air in the second minute from McEneff. The same player had another shot charged down in the fourth minute as Hearts pushed forward.

Miles Storey had the first meaningful attempt for Inverness, his shot from distance saved comfortably by Craig Gordon after five minutes although the visitors were in control of possession in the early stages.

The Caley Jags opened the scoring when Keatings chipped a great ball forward from the half way line for Storey to chase. He had enough pace and power to force the error from Michael Smith and Storey anticipated well to knock the ball into the middle of the empty net.

Gervane Kastaneer was booked for a clumsy tackle on Sean Welsh who thankfully recovered after some treatment as we all held our breath.

Inverness were denied what looked like a penalty when David Carson was sent to the turf unceremoniously after Propescu turned his back on him but Referee Nick Walsh didn't want to know. (sounds familiar). A couple of minutes later Shane Sutherland appeared to delay his shot allowing it to be blocked inside the six yard box, another hand looked to have been involved, again nothing given. Could easily have been number two.

The goodwill from Tynecastle seemed to have gone completely with Storey next to be fouled heavily. From the resultant free kick another scramble in the box saw Carson go down again as the defence hoofed the ball away to safety.

Duffy took a booking for halting Mackay-Stevens progress and from the free kick did well to head clear for a corner. The corner flashed across the box dangerously but nobody in maroon was on hand to attack the ball; goal kick.

The free kicks were mounting for both sides as retribution seemed to be the order of the night. From one such free kick, Liam Boyce was left unmarked to drive the knockdown into the net from close range. Scorer Boyce knocked a header at the back post as Hearts upped the pace, the visitors more prominent for the last fifteen minutes.

Heats looking most likely to increase their lead as the interval drew closer but neither keeper was overworked and it was all square at the break with the visitors having slowly clawed their way back into contention.

Half Time 1-1

Armand Gnanduillet was on from the start of the second half but it was Inverness that almost scored when Robbie Deas was just inches away from connecting properly with a back post header, but it went wide.

Gnanduillet was looking like he was going to be a handful as he tried to latch onto a couple of balls around the box.

Walsh, the clown referee then booked David Carson for challenging Gordon who also picked up a card for his reaction.

Sub Jamie Walker made a good run down the right after Smith set him free but the defence cleared at the expense of a corner. Walker was involved with a few attacking moves since his introduction as Hearts looked for a second goal with twenty minutes left.

A bit of checkmate ensued as the we entered the last fifteen minutes and Scott Allardice lashed an ambitious effort well over the bar. In truth most of the second half has been untidy as free kicks and tiredness took over.

An odd moment from a ball into the Inverness box when Boyce headed onto the bar with Ridgers spectating. He was still spectating when the ball bounced down at his feet and back up again before grabbing it.

Some late Hearts pressure put the home defence under pressure and a ball by the awkward Gnanduillet fizzed across the box but beat everyone and went out for a goal kick.

Ridgers made a great block from Walker and his palmed clearance was met by Mackay-Stevens who headed wide. That was the last action of the game and a hard earned point for Neil McCann in his first game in the dugout.

Full Time 1-1

From BBC Sport:
Inverness CT interim manager Neil McCann: "I'm proud, I must admit. I'm delighted with the boys. We've only had one-and-a-half sessions. They gave me everything. "They were brilliant and limited Hearts to very little. We'd like to polish up our football, but I can't have any complaints."

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson: "We're disappointed, that's three draws on the bounce. People have got to realise it's very difficult to play in the Championship. You have to earn the right to play. "To be sitting 12 points clear is a fantastic achievement for the players. We have no given right to turn up and win football matches. We've got to take the positives from that."

Match report written by tm4tj



None.

Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Hearts 18 12 3 3 44 20 24 39
2. Dunfermline 16 7 6 3 26 18 8 27
3. Raith Rovers 15 7 3 5 29 23 6 24
4. Queen of the South 17 6 3 8 25 35 -10 21
5. Dundee 14 5 5 4 26 27 -1 20
6. Inverness CT 15 4 7 4 23 19 4 19
7. Morton 16 4 6 6 14 20 -6 18
8. Arbroath 17 4 6 7 14 20 -6 18
9. Ayr United 15 4 5 6 20 20 0 17
10. Alloa Athletic 17 3 4 10 19 38 -19 13