Hamilton Academical 1 - 3 Inverness CT

League Match
Saturday, November 13th, 2010, 3:00 PM at New Douglas Park, Hamilton
Attendance: 2,019
Referee: Steve McLean
Hamilton Academical Inverness CT

Douglas Imrie (29) Adam Rooney (49)
Johnny Hayes (52)
Adam Rooney (59)

Team Managers
Billy Reid Terry Butcher

Starting Eleven
Tomas Cerny
Simon Mensing
Andy Graham
David Elebert
David Buchanan
Douglas Imrie
Jim Goodwin
Jonathon Routledge
Jordan Kirkpatrick
Damian Casalinuovo
David Hopkirk
Ryan Esson
Ross Tokely
Grant Munro
Kevin McCann
Gavin Morrison
Johnny Hayes
Nick Ross
Graeme Shinnie
Stuart Duff
Adam Rooney
Richie Foran

Sean Murdoch
Martin Canning
Mark McLaughlin
Gavin Skelton
Derek Lyle
Flavio Paixao
Marco Paixao
Jonny Tuffey
Stuart Golabek
Roy McBain
Lee Cox
Eric Odhiambo
Dani Sanchez

Flavio Paixao => David Hopkirk (57)
Marco Paixao => Jordan Kirkpatrick (57)
Derek Lyle => Jonathon Routledge (75)
Lee Cox for Gavin Morrison (64)
Eric Odhiambo for Richie Foran (89)

Douglas Imrie (48)
Simon Mensing (88)
Richie Foran (44)
Graeme Shinnie (85)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Ryan Esson (GK) 85 apps -
Ross Tokely 531 apps34 goals
Grant Munro 344 apps14 goals
Kevin McCann 9 apps1 goal
Graeme Shinnie 13 apps -
Johnny Hayes 59 apps14 goals
Stuart Duff 13 apps1 goal
Nick Ross 28 apps1 goal
Gavin Morrison 10 apps1 goal
Richie Foran 67 apps19 goals
Adam Rooney 97 apps43 goals
Lee Cox (sub) 52 apps3 goals
Eric Odhiambo (sub) 50 apps11 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Johnny Hayes (23 years 133 days)
Oldest Player:Graeme Shinnie (2012 years 106 days)
Average Player Age:28 years 234 days
Domestic Players:11 (100.00 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Lee Cox (20 years 145 days)
Oldest Player:Kevin McCann (2012 years 106 days)
Average Player Age:26 years 170 days
Domestic Players:17 (100.00 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Eric Odhiambo played his 50th major competitive game for the Club.

Academicals taught a lesson in second period:

Inverness were looking to end a dismal record against the Accies in their SPL encounters, and they did it in style. Once again Dougie Imrie scored the opener in the first half to make the visitors task more difficult, but a superb second half from the Highlanders saw an Adam Rooney double and a single from Jonny Hayes make the points secure and extend the fantastic away run to 17 games unbeaten in the leagues. This victory keeps Inverness inside the top six, only one point behind fourth placed Motherwell.

A couple of milestones were reached today, Ross Tokely made his 500th start out of 531 appearances, and Eric Odhiambo created his own little piece of news gaining his 50th appearance when he came on as a late sub near the end. More for the stato's next week as the Hibs game will be the Inverness clubs 600th league match, and take that a week later to Parkhead, and Adam Rooney will make his century of appearances for ICT with a tremendous return of 43 goals from 100 games, barring injury of course.

Alternative Maryhill is your reporter for this game, and I believe he kept his shoes on this time.

Hamilton Academical 1 – Inverness Caledonian Thistle 3 So the amazing away run is preserved, for at least another two weeks. At half time yesterday, however, it looked as though it might just peter out against a team that has been a thorn in ICT’s side since its return to the SPL. Yesterday was a day of contrasts: between an ICT side that was at best tentative and at worst feckless in the first half, and one that was absolutely commanding and clinical in the second, and between a support that was subdued and fatalistic at half time and one that was dancing in the little lego stands at the final whistle. However he does it, it seems Terry Butcher had managed to inspire the players to turn things round once again. Another contrast was between the Chambers that I visited last time out in Hamilton, and the one I experienced yesterday. Anyone who was in there prior to the Shoegate match in 2009 would be forgiven for having a fixed impression of the place as a world-class centre of entertainment. Even without the boost given by an invasion of Highlanders hungry for the manager’s head, you might expect to find a few rows of flat-capped ex-miners and the occasional whippet, but when I arrived slightly later than usual yesterday, the place was deserted apart from a dozen of the ICT Away hardcore. The mood was muted: unusually civilised conversation and the occasional snore emanating from Red Card in Warsaw. What sort of person falls asleep in a pub?... Anyway, although we weren’t boosting his profits as much as we did last time, Douglas behind the bar was as gracious and welcoming as ever, and if, as is conceivable, yesterday turns out to be the last time we visit Hamilton for a while, he deserves thanks for his hospitality. The next challenge was to find the ground. On paper, New Douglas Park looks like a gentle ten-minute stroll from Chambers; in reality it is better hidden than Saddam Hussein’s bunker, surrounded by a network of supermarkets, car parks and railway lines, from within which the floodlights taunt you as you make yet another fruitless attempt to find the correct way through. After several false starts, we made it into the ground just in time for kick off. Despite a reported stomach muscle injury to Richie Foran and the availability of Lee Cox, Terry Butcher stuck with the team that won against Aberdeen in midweek, with Gavin Morrison and Nick Ross playing in central midfield alongside Stuart Duff, and the holy trinity of Foran, Hayes and Rooney in the attacking areas. As with much of the game against Aberdeen, however, the players struggled to impose themselves on the game in the first half, and Hamilton looked the more composed and dangerous side. There were few clear-cut chances in the early part of the game, apart from a drive from Jordan Kirkpatrick that Ryan Esson had to beat away, but most of Hamilton’s good play came through Dougie Imrie, who gave Graeme Shinnie a difficult time and won three free kicks against the young Inverness left back in the first twelve minutes. I’ve got to say that I agree with Naelifts’ point on the matchday thread that the nature of some of the abuse dished out to Imrie by the ICT support is pretty unnecessary. For one thing, it trivialises an issue that is too important to be trivialised for the sake of winding up a footballer; for another, it only seems to succeed in making Imrie play better against us. There was an inevitability about the fact that it was Imrie who opened the scoring yesterday, with a beautifully-judged first-time lob over Ryan Esson from the edge of the penalty area from Damian Casalinuovo’s headed flick-on, and throughout the first half he was the most effective player on the pitch and also got the better of a little personal duel with Richie Foran, eventually goading the Caley Thistle captain into earning himself an unnecessary yellow card for a frustrated retaliatory challenge on Imrie just before half time. Half time arrived without ICT having made a serious attempt on goal apart from an early Foran header wide and with the unbeaten record looking under threat. As mentioned earlier, the Caley Thistle away support was a little quieter and more subdued than at most recent games, but despite this, the stewards still felt the need to make an example of somebody and picked on interthenet jnr seemingly at random. Happily, the two-stands-and-a-wigwam design of New Douglas Park means that being huckled does not necessarily spell the end of your footballing afternoon, and within five minutes of being thrown out, itn jnr had reappeared on top of a container in the loading bay of Sainsbury’s: the best seat in the house. If the petty stewarding was typical of Scottish football, however, big kudos has to go to the Hamilton match-day DJ for his originality. Not for him the anodyne MOR supporters are normally subjected to at half time: instead, we were treated to a rich stew of funk, soul and jazz that was more redolent of a summer night in Manhattan than a chilly afternoon in South Lanarkshire.

Half Time : 1-0

Into the second half, then, and Caley Thistle started with more purpose than they had shown in the whole first half. There was, nevertheless, a large slice of luck about the opening goal. Grant Munro sent a chest-high, bouncing ball speculatively in the direction of the Hamilton penalty area from deep inside his own half; it looked like it would be an easy clearance for David Elebert, but somehow he misjudged the flight of ball almost completely, allowing it to bounce off his knee and behind him for Rooney to run on to and fire past Tomas Cerny from about sixteen yards. A gift of a goal, in truth, but it demonstrated that Rooney had not lost any of his coolness or composure in front of goal despite making a few bad decisions against Aberdeen on Tuesday night. From the moment the goal went in, the fight seemed to go out of Hamilton and ICT took control of the game. Within four minutes, they were in the lead, and again the Hamilton defence did not look very clever. Nick Ross, one of ICT’s best players yesterday, turned on the left hand side and slung a cross into the box. It didn’t seem a particularly dangerous ball, but Adam Rooney’s presence seemed to confuse the defenders and Jonny Hayes pounced on the loose ball before it could be cleared and blasted it home from just outside the six yard box. Billy Reid’s response was to take off two of the youngsters that had started the game, striker David Hopkirk and midfielder Jordan Kirkpatrick, replacing them with Jedward the Paixao twins, but just two minutes after the change, Caley Thistle scored the goal that effectively killed off the game. Jonny Hayes, who had a superb second half after having drifted in and out of the game in the first, took a pass from Duff and floated over a cross from the right hand side and Adam Rooney, on the left hand side of the penalty area, outjumped his marker to head powerfully back over Cerny and into the net. Three goals in ten minutes, and now no-one in the stands was in any doubt that ICT would extend their unbeaten away run. For most of the rest of the match, ICT remained firmly in control. There was one genuine scare in the Inverness penalty area when Esson had to block a Flavio Paixao effort from close range, and Dougie Imrie had a curling shot from outside the area held easily by Esson, but in the last fifteen minutes any Hamilton challenge simply faded away. One pleasing aspect of the closing period was the opportunity afforded to Lee Cox to make his comeback from injury. He had a solid half hour which included one glorious touchline tackle on Dougie Imrie that cleaned out ball and man; the sort of steel that we had been missing in the first half. A more worrying detail was the substitution of Richie Foran a couple of minutes before time, apparently with an ankle injury. He had already looked to be struggling with the stomach injury, and had had one of his quieter games: perhaps it is time for the manager to consider resting him, in the hope that he will be back to full fitness for the Celtic game in two weeks, when his experience will be vital.

Full Time : 1-3

And so to the final contrast of the day: the one between the feeling at full time last time ICT played in Hamilton, and the feeling at the final whistle yesterday. In January 2009, it was boiling frustration, fear of relegation (justified as it turned out) and anger at a manager who seemed oblivious to the fact that he had alienated supporters and players to an extent that his reputation at the club could never recover; yesterday, it was satisfaction, pride, optimism and a real sense of respect and unity between fans, players and management, with Terry Butcher conducting the fans in a chorus of cheers before disappearing triumphantly up the tunnel. To refer again to Naelifts’ post on the matchday thread, something special is going on with ICT at the moment, and I really hope that the club can sell out its allocation for the Celtic game and that we can make it a proper party for a year unbeaten on the road.

Match report written by tm4tj/alternative maryhill

Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Rangers 13 11 1 1 31 13 18 34
2. Celtic 12 10 0 2 31 9 22 30
3. Hearts 13 7 2 4 20 13 7 23
4. Motherwell 13 7 1 5 21 15 6 22
5. Inverness CT 13 6 3 4 20 14 6 21
6. Dundee Utd 13 5 3 5 14 19 -5 18
7. Kilmarnock 13 5 2 6 20 15 5 17
8. Hibernian 13 4 2 7 15 21 -6 14
9. St. Mirren 12 3 2 7 13 24 -11 11
10. St. Johnstone 13 3 2 8 9 22 -13 11
11. Aberdeen 13 3 1 9 15 28 -13 10
12. Hamilton Academical 13 2 3 8 11 27 -16 9