Hamilton Academical 1 - 0 Inverness CT

League Match
Saturday, January 17th, 2009, 3:00 PM at New Douglas Park, Hamilton
Attendance: 3,070
Referee: Brian Winter
Hamilton Academical Inverness CT

Goalscorers
Simon Mensing (39 pen) None.

Team Managers
Billy Reid Craig Brewster

Starting Eleven
Tomas Cerny
Trent McClenahan
David Elebert
Mark McLaughlin
Martin Canning
Brian Easton
Simon Mensing
James McArthur
James McCarthy
Joel Thomas
Paul McGowan
Ryan Esson
Richard Hastings
Ross Tokely
Grant Munro
Pavels Mihadjuks
Roy McBain
Russell Duncan
Don Cowie
Iain Vigurs
Filipe Morais
Andrew Barrowman

Bench
Sean Murdoch
Jordan McMillan
Gary Gow
Chris Swailes
Lucas Akins
Derek Lyle
David Graham
Michael Fraser
Phil McGuire
Thierry Gatheussi
Ian Black
Garry Wood
Dougie Imrie
Adam Rooney

Substitutions
Chris Swailes -> David Elebert (45)
Lucas Akins -> Joel Thomas (71)
Garry Wood for Andrew Barrowman (46)
Dougie Imrie for Russell Duncan (60)
Adam Rooney for Don Cowie (73)

Bookings
Mark McLaughlin (59) Andrew Barrowman (20)
Iain Vigurs (70)
Dougie Imrie (77)
Garry Wood (90)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Ryan Esson (GK) 14 apps -
Pavels Mihadjuks 2 apps -
Richard Hastings 361 apps4 goals
Ross Tokely 464 apps31 goals
Grant Munro 265 apps6 goals
Iain Vigurs 23 apps3 goals
Don Cowie 66 apps12 goals
Filipe Morais 2 apps2 goals
Roy McBain 321 apps19 goals
Russell Duncan 279 apps9 goals
Andrew Barrowman 23 apps2 goals
Garry Wood (sub) 18 apps3 goals
Dougie Imrie (sub) 40 apps5 goals
Adam Rooney (sub) 23 apps5 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Iain Vigurs (20 years 260 days)
Oldest Player:Grant Munro (2010 years 171 days)
Average Player Age:27 years 286 days
Domestic Players:10 (90.91 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Iain Vigurs (20 years 260 days)
Oldest Player:Dougie Imrie (2010 years 171 days)
Average Player Age:27 years 286 days
Domestic Players:17 (94.44 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Milestones

A new low:

A lot of positivity surrounded the build up to this week's game against Hamilton.

A  good win last week against Partick in the cup, free buses laid on by some of the directors, a large travelling support expected, and some movement in the transfer market had fans up for it and a buzz around the stadium.

Unfortunately though, when it mattered most, it was back to business as usual as ICT lost their seventh game in a row in a row courtesy of a first half penalty slipping further behind Hamilton at the foot of the table.

Caley Thistle slipped to their seventh straight league defeat at a wind buffeted New Douglas Park yesterday, with relegation rivals Hamilton Accies moving six points clear of Brewsters ailing team. A penalty just before half-time, converted by Simon Mensing, gave Hamilton the only goal of the game and saw them secure a fourth consecutive home victory. For the larger than usual travelling support there was only bitter disappointment as an already desperate season slipped to new lows.

Caley Thistle made two changes to the side who had defeated Partick thistle in the cup, with Ryan Esson returning between the sticks and Richard Hastings coming back at left-back. Play throughout the match was hampered by the horrendous conditions, with a howling wind and driving rain making it difficult for both sides. Early in the match Caley Thistle looked settled and Ross Tokely cut inside from the right before sending a left foot shot inches over the bar. This roused the visiting support, their numbers boosted by free bus travel, but the game settled into a familiar pattern for Caley this season of little penetration in front of goal.

Accies pushed forward and although not managing to test Ryan Esson they took advantage of a deep-lying Caley Thistle to force several free kicks. Don Cowie looked fortunate not to concede a spot kick on the edge of the area but the referee adjudged the foul to have taken place outside the box. Another infringement saw a 30 yard free kick from Easton fly over the bar.

The Jags tried to force their way into the match but found it hard to create any clear-cut chances. Roy McBain slipped in Don Cowie but his cross was taken easily by Cerny. Just after that Accies made the breakthrough when Grant Munro was adjudged to have tripped Joel Thomas in the area. Former Clyde and St Johnstone utility player Simon Mensing stepped up and sent his shot crashing into the roof of the net. Just before half-time David Elebert pulled up injured for Accies and was replaced by veteran Chris Swailes.

Half Time: 1-0

At half-time there was an unsavoury incident among the travelling fans when some young supporters abused Ian Black as he was warming up. The diminutive midfielder was targeted because of him signing a pre-contract agreement to join Hearts. Black clearly heard the abuse and stared long and hard at the group, who were challenged by some in the visitors section. Pre-contract agreements can be a sensitive matter for fans but given the sterling service Black has given Inverness since he signed, especially during this difficult campaign, he must feel aggrieved at the actions of a minority of the support. Given that Caley Thistle have often tied up players on PCAs the best approach from all parties is for the player to take a mature, professional approach to his game and for the fans to judge him on his performances, rather than resort to barracking.

Craig Brewster made a change at half-time with Andrew Barrowman being withdrawn in favour of Garry Wood. The wind and rain took an even heavier toll on the game, with kick outs holding up in the gale. Despite this Caley Thistle looked to have more attacking energy although this did not translate into any more clear chances. Roy McBain sent a good cross over but no attacking player could make contact and the ball flew out. Hamilton looked to be denied a good shout for a penalty when Thomas was body-checked by Latvian stopper Pavel Mihadjuks but the referee waved play on.

On the hour mark Dougie Imrie replaced Russell Duncan, to a cacophony of boos from the home crowd. When at Clyde Imrie was involved in an accidental clash with Ross McCabe which left McCabe requiring treatment on the pitch to resuscitate him and ended his career as a professional footballer. Imrie later forced Cerny into a good save from a free kick and was booked for a thundering challenge in the middle of the park. Last weeks hero Filipe Morais sent a dipping long range shot just over the bar and also forced Cerny into a stop from another long range effort.

Inverness came closest to scoring when Ross Tokely's header from a corner was flicked onto the woodwork by Garry Wood but it simply wasn't to be for the Highlanders and with the final whistle came concerted chants from a large section of the visiting fans for manager Craig Brewster to be sacked. The catcalls for Brewster had been growing throughout the second half and few Caley Thistle fans could ever remember a manager receiving such a roasting from their support.

Full Time: 1-0

The result leaves Caley Thistle six points adrift from Hamilton Accies and a point behind Falkirk. In ICTs five seasons in the SPL only once has a side bottom at this stage of the season avoided the drop, in 2005 when Livingston pulled clear in the final straight sending Dundee down. That was achieved largely through the signing of Hasan Kachoul and it will take an inspired capture to pull Inverness from the malaise that the team has fallen into.

Despite the obvious need for new signings there are many questions that should be asked of the current players and management team - Craig Brewster commented after the game that Inverness find scoring goals difficult yet his formation was inherently negative. Roy McBain and Iain Vigurs are good midfielders but don't offer as potent an attacking threat in wide areas as Dougie Imrie or Don Cowie in those positions would. Why start with them there? Adam Rooney has scored a quarter of ICTs SPL goals this season yet he sits on the bench until the final twenty minutes whereas Andy Barrowman and Garry Wood, who have scored three SPL goals from open play between them, are given more time. Wood is a fine prospect but is in the Graham Bayne mould of a worker and targetman and isn't the ideal player to turn to when a goal is required. Barrowman obviously has talent but should be broken into the side gradually from the bench. Given that the summer saw the departure from the club of Marius Niculae, Graham Bayne and Dennis Wyness questions have to be asked of the decision to head into this season with four inexperienced strikers.

The Caley Thistle fixture list has a depressing look about it for Inverness fans. Next Saturday sees a visit to Tynecastle, the following week Celtic come to the Caledonian Stadium and the fixture after that is a trip to Tannadice. On current form defeats have to be expected in these games which would take the side to ten straight league losses. Would this be enough to see Craig Brewster resign or be removed? Certainly the feelings of the support yesterday seemed to take a decisive turn against Brewster and it is difficult to see either him winning over the majority of the support or his team winning in it's battle against relegation.

Match report written by tm4tj



Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Celtic 21 16 3 2 47 20 27 51
2. Rangers 22 15 4 3 51 18 33 49
3. Dundee Utd 21 9 8 4 30 22 8 35
4. Hearts 22 10 5 7 22 22 0 35
5. Aberdeen 21 10 3 8 25 22 3 33
6. Hibernian 22 8 6 8 28 28 0 30
7. Kilmarnock 22 8 2 12 22 30 -8 26
8. St. Mirren 22 7 4 11 16 24 -8 25
9. Motherwell 21 7 3 11 21 31 -10 24
10. Hamilton Academical 22 7 2 13 20 36 -16 23
11. Falkirk 22 4 6 12 23 34 -11 18
12. Inverness CT 22 5 2 15 20 38 -18 17