Hearts 1 - 0 Inverness CT

League Match
Saturday, September 20th, 2008, 3:00 PM at Tynecastle Stadium, Edinburgh
Attendance: 12,890
Referee: William Collum
Hearts Inverness CT

Mikoliunas (8) None.

Team Managers
Csaba Laszlo Craig Brewster

Starting Eleven
Michael Fraser
Richard Hastings
Ross Tokely
Grant Munro
Phil McGuire
Roy McBain
Ian Black
Don Cowie
Dougie Imrie
Andrew Barrowman
Adam Rooney

Ryan Esson
Jamie Duff
Lionel Djebi-Zadi
Barry Wilson
Iain Vigurs
Rory McAllister
Garry Wood

Nade -> Ksanavicius (59)
Palazuelos -> Mikoliunas (77)
Mrowiec -> Stewart (86)
Garry Wood for Adam Rooney (62)
Barry Wilson for Ian Black (74)
Iain Vigurs for Roy McBain (81)

Ksanavicius (56)
Stewart (59)
Ross Tokely (29)
Garry Wood (65)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Michael Fraser (GK) 65 apps -
Phil McGuire 32 apps -
Richard Hastings 342 apps3 goals
Ross Tokely 447 apps30 goals
Grant Munro 246 apps6 goals
Don Cowie 48 apps11 goals
Roy McBain 306 apps19 goals
Ian Black 113 apps4 goals
Dougie Imrie 22 apps3 goals
Adam Rooney 6 apps1 goal
Andrew Barrowman 7 apps1 goal
Barry Wilson (sub) 345 apps83 goals
Iain Vigurs (sub) 9 apps2 goals
Garry Wood (sub) 4 apps1 goal

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Dougie Imrie (25 years 55 days)
Oldest Player:Phil McGuire (2010 years 52 days)
Average Player Age:28 years 252 days
Domestic Players:10 (90.91 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Iain Vigurs (20 years 141 days)
Oldest Player:Phil McGuire (2010 years 52 days)
Average Player Age:28 years 219 days
Domestic Players:17 (94.44 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts


Gorgie Loss:

Caley Thistle have been showing good form on the road this season, but things came back to earth with a bit of a bump today when we visited Tynecastle to face Hearts.

A defensive lapse was to be our downfall yet again as Ksanavicius left our back four rooted to the spot and sent Mikolunas through on goal.  Fraser hesitated when coming out and was easily rounded, sending us a goal down after only 8 minutes.

This proved to be the only goal of the match and Inverness faced the long journey home with little to celebrate.

Given the Gretna-style collapse of the financial markets this week it was fitting that the build up to the match was dominated, at least from a Jambo perspective, by the failure of the Hearts players to be paid this month. The question of whether or not Ukio Bankas and Hearts are going the way of Lehman Brothers was an unwelcome distraction for the home side, who have enjoyed a relatively good start to the season. The only other pre-match activity of note was the steady stream of Caley fans to the Hearts reception buying tickets, which no doubt prevented the mass crowd trouble we see at every SPL ground with a cash gate.

I will however say that Blackie was, once again, outstanding. - Naelifts

Craig Brewster made three changes to the side from last weekends home defeat to St Mirren with skipper Grant Munro coming back in for youngster Jamie Duff, Dougie Imrie being re-introduced ahead of Iain Vigurs and summer signing Andy Barrowman replacing Garry Wood up front. Wood, Vigurs and Duff were joined on the bench by Rory McAllister, Barry Wilson, Ryan Esson and Lionel Dejbi-Zadi. Hearts brought in Andrei Ksanavicius for Adrian Mrowiec. Caley Thistle lined up as expected, with Cowie and Imrie playing on their stronger sides rather than the often used 'switch' tactic. Hearts used their Greek captain Christos Karipidis in a defensive midfield role, a change from last season when he was at centre-half.

Karipidis had the games first chance when he looped a hopeful overhead kick over the bar following a corner from Layrea Kingston in the seventh minute. This was after the game started brightly for Caley with some decent possession and several forays into the opposition box. However, the deadlock was broken by Hearts in the eighth minute. Seemingly out of nothing the defence was caught high up the park and Mikoliunas broke clear onto a Ksanavicius through ball and finished well after Mikey Fraser rushed out of his goal to try and make up the space. It was a poor goal to lose and was to ensure that there would be no clean sheet for the Jags again this season.

The fact that we don't have a single experienced forward player at the club is now begining to tell. - Kingsmills 

Hearts were pressuring all over the park and looked the more likely team to score. Michael Stewart came closest to scoring when he ran from deep onto a Mikoliunas ball and forced Fraser into a fine save. Lareya Kingston caused problems as well with some runs at our defence - Dougie Imrie looked ill when forced to confront the Ghanian international. Ross Tokely was booked on the half hour for a clumsy challenge on Mikoliunas, his tackling proving as accurate as his distribution had been up to that point. As the half went on Caley slowly worked their way back into the match. Don Cowie cut in from the right and sent a shot across goal but Ross Tokely's shot was off target. Towards the end of the half the game moved more into Hearts territory, with Imrie seeing a chance in the penalty area but being unable to get it from under his feet and a corner leading to a goalmouth scramble.

Half Time 1-0

The second half started without changes to either side. Soon after the restart Dougie Imrie headed a Black crossfield ball inside for Adam Rooney to shoot but the Irishman's shot was blocked. Ian Black was probably the star man for the Jags this afternoon with excellent passing throughout the game. The best chance of the half fell to Roy McBain who snuck in behind the Hearts back-line but his shot was well saved by Kello. Just after this the first substitution of the game was made with Adam Rooney being withdrawn in favour of Garry Wood. Rooney had a reasonably lively game with Barrowman perhaps looking a more likely candidate for replacement. Wood was booked almost straight away for a foul on the Hearts goalkeeper.

If the removal of Rooney seemed to create controversy, the substitution in the 74th minute of Ian Black in favour of Barry Wilson saw bewilderment amongst some in the away support. Black had an excellent game, easily the most effective performer in midfield for Caley both in terms of work-rate and picking passes. However, with the game slipping away from his side it seemed that Brewster preferred to keep more obvious goal threats Cowie and Imrie in the midfield with Barry Wilson giving Caley extra width in the final section of the match. Certainly the bizarre chants of 'Brewster Out' from a minority were out of proportion and uncalled for.

We didn't actually play that bad, but lacked any cutting edge whatsoever. - davieB 

Hearts looked relatively comfortable heading into the second half with replacement Christian Nade making a strong break onto a through ball but he couldn't feed his teammates. As the match wound down Hearts were content to steadily hold out for the win and we found ourselves unable to make any further headway.

Full Time 1-0

The defeat saw Caley Jags lose for the first time on the road this season and also saw the sixth game in a row without a clean sheet. There were positives in the performance - Ian Black was superb in the middle of the park and Grant Munro was a steadying influence on his return to the first team after injury. However, despite having a great deal of pressure during the match it will disappoint the fans, players and management team that no breakthrough was made. Since Andy Barrowman scored in the first game of the season none of the recognised strikers in the squad have scored from open play. Adam Rooney and Garry Wood have both shown promise in the past few outings but Caley need to turn pressure and promise into goals. Grant Munro showed a sure touch at the back and many will look forward to seeing him paired up with Jamie Duff at some point this season.

Match report written by RIG

Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Rangers 5 4 1 0 10 4 6 13
2. Hearts 6 4 0 2 9 8 1 12
3. Celtic 5 3 1 1 11 7 4 10
4. Kilmarnock 5 3 1 1 5 2 3 10
5. Hibernian 6 3 1 2 7 6 1 10
6. Hamilton Academical 6 3 0 3 7 6 1 9
7. Inverness CT 6 2 1 3 6 6 0 7
8. Aberdeen 6 2 1 3 4 6 -2 7
9. St. Mirren 6 1 2 3 4 6 -2 5
10. Dundee Utd 6 1 2 3 5 9 -4 5
11. Motherwell 5 1 1 3 6 9 -3 4
12. Falkirk 6 1 1 4 6 11 -5 4