Inverness CT 1 - 0 Ayr United

League - Championship
Saturday, August 21st, 2021, 3:00 PM at Caledonian Stadium
Attendance: 2,032
Referee: Kevin Clancy
Inverness CT  Ayr United

Goalscorers
Seam McGinty (o.g.) (54)
None.

Team Managers
Billy Dodds David Hopkin

Starting Eleven
Mark Ridgers
Robbie Deas
Kirk Broadfoot
Daniel Devine
David Carson
Tom Walsh
Scott Allardice
Michael Gardyne
Roddy MacGregor
Manny Duku
Shane Sutherland
Charlie Albinson
Seam McGinty
Markus Fjortoft
Jack Baird
Jordan Houston
Aaron Muirhead
Mikey Hewitt
Joe Chalmers
Andy Murdoch
Tomi Adeloye
Mark McKenzie

Substitutes
Cameron Mackay
Cameron Harper
Reece McAlear
Sean Welsh
Aaron Doran
Lewis Jamieson
Billy Mckay
Michael Moffat
Michael Miller
Daire O'Connor
Cameron Salkeld
Johnathan Afolabi
Finn Ecrepont
Aaron Miller

Substitutions
Billy Mckay for Manny Duku (68)
Sean Welsh for Shane Sutherland (78)
Aaron Doran for Tom Walsh (85)
Johnathan Afolabi -> Mikey Hewitt (65)
Daire O'Connor -> Joe Chalmers (75)
Cameron Salkeld -> Andy Murdoch (81)

Bookings
David Carson (70)
Robbie Deas (73)
Markus Fjortoft (40)
Aaron Muirhead (75)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Mark Ridgers (GK) 162 apps -
Robbie Deas 39 apps1 goal
Daniel Devine 118 apps4 goals
Kirk Broadfoot 7 apps -
David Carson 60 apps1 goal
Tom Walsh 75 apps13 goals
Scott Allardice 39 apps3 goals
Michael Gardyne 6 apps -
Roddy MacGregor 64 apps4 goals
Shane Sutherland 127 apps11 goals
Manny Duku 7 apps2 goals
Aaron Doran (sub) 296 apps49 goals
Sean Welsh (sub) 70 apps9 goals
Billy Mckay (sub) 159 apps65 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Roddy MacGregor (19 years 248 days)
Oldest Player:Kirk Broadfoot (37 years 22 days)
Average Player Age:27 years 360 days
Domestic Players:8 (72.73 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Lewis Jamieson (19 years 162 days)
Oldest Player:Reece McAlear (2023 years 25 days)
Average Player Age:27 years 95 days
Domestic Players:13 (72.22 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Milestones

Walsh nicks it: A slightly damp morning opening out into a muggy but calm afternoon in the Highlands made for near perfect conditions for this game. However, the football did not match the weather in a dour first half and it was goalless at the interval. Ayr rattled the top of the stand at the start of the second half as the game came to life. Tom Walsh looked to have opened the scoring when he bundled an inviting cross from Manny Duku behind the keeper after 54 minutes with Sean McGinty in close proximity trying to clear the ball. Joe Chalmers put a shot across the face of the Inverness goal that went narrowly wide. Walsh missed a glorious chance to double the lead moments later but pulled his shot across the face of the goal as well. Robbie Deas also missed an opportunity for a second goal, firing the ball over the bar from a great position inside the box. The game was more open but Inverness held on for their third 1-0 win of the season and top the league jointly with Killie.

Inverness were one of three unbeaten sides in the Championship after opening wins over Arbroath and Raith Rovers. The point against Rovers was hard earned and deserved, but it took a wonderful strike from Roddy MacGregor to win the match. We sat third in the table behind promoted Partick Thistle and relegated Kilmarnock before this match with visitors Ayr United. Billy Dodds had few injury worries ahead of this match after last weekend off whilst Ayr were on League Cup duty against Dundee United. Ayr's last win at the Caledonian Stadium was in 2003 when Stewart Kean scored the only goal of the game.

Roddy MacGregor kept his place after his stunning goal against Raith Rovers with Reece McAlear dropping to the bench alongside Sean Welsh, Billy Mckay and Aaron Doran. No sign of the injured Wallace Duffy or the recovering Anthony McDonald. Ayr came North with a somewhat depleted squad after routine covid testing unearthed some cases. Still some experience in their ranks though with Tomi Adeloye and Joe Chalmers starting and Michael Moffat on the bench.

Roddy MacGregor was first to have a go in the third minute but his drive from the edge of the box was dragged just wide into the side netting. Manny Duku should have done better when he was set up as he burst into the box but he duffed his shot into the hands of a grateful keeper from fifteen yards. Shane Sutherland was the next sinner after a short corner, but the ball sat up as he tried to pick his spot and he lifted it high and wide from a good position. From another corner swung into the front post Robbie Deas went down low to head the ball but his connection was poor and the ball drifted wide of the mark. Ayr's first chance came from a defensive error that saw a shot off target from the right, but it lacked any power or direction. Tom Walsh saw a shot blocked by an elbow as the half time whistle approached but Kevin Clancy was not interested and the first period drew to a close with clear opportunities at a premium.

Half Time 0-0

Ayr started the second half by rattling the facing on the top of the stand some 40 feet above the crossbar. Better would come ten minutes into the half. Shane Sutherland hooked a ball over his shoulder for Duku to stretch his legs down the left wing. He drilled the ball across goal where Sean McGinty tried to clear the ball from the fast approaching Tom Walsh. He only succeeded in knocking the ball off Walsh's chest and into the net. Joe Chalmers then missed Ayr's best opportunity, but as the angle narrowed, he placed his shot just wide of the far post. Walsh replicated this at the other end driving just wide from eighteen yards as Inverness searched for a cushion. Robbie Deas squandered the best chance of the game scooping the ball over the bar from six yards following a corner. Aaron Doran saw Ayr keeper Albinson fumble a drive from the edge of the box but he gathered at the second attempt as the game ran away from the Honest Men.

Roddy MacGregor will be difficult to shift if he continues to show this form and Manny Duku worked hard for his team mates and it was his speed and ability that set up the goal. Poor first half all round but a much more entertaining second half made up for it with a goal to boot. Three wins on the trot, top of the table and a clash with table toppers Kilmarnock coming up next weekend. What's not to like!

Match report written by tm4tj



None.

Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Kilmarnock 3 3 0 0 5 0 5 9
2. Inverness CT 3 3 0 0 3 0 3 9
3. Partick Thistle 3 2 0 1 7 5 2 6
4. Arbroath 3 1 1 1 5 4 1 4
5. Morton 3 1 1 1 5 5 0 4
6. Queen of the South 3 1 0 2 5 6 -1 3
7. Raith Rovers 2 0 1 1 4 5 -1 1
8. Hamilton Academical 3 0 1 2 4 7 -3 1
9. Dunfermline 2 0 1 1 2 5 -3 1
10. Ayr United 3 0 1 2 2 5 -3 1