The Hibees Highland Hoodoo continues...
... as Caley Thistle run out 4-2 winners in a thoroughly entertaining game that saw Adam Rooney score a hat-trick. Despite Jonny Hayes gifting the Easter Road side an opening, Inverness had the major share of opportunities and were deserved winners over ten man Hibs, who had Hanlon red carded shortly after coming on at half time, for a deliberate handball. Adam Rooney duly converted the spot kick against Mark Brown who wore the number 31. I do believe that is the number of consecutive penalties he has failed to save. Next weekend, he wears the number 32 shirt, (only joking Broonie). Foran started the cakewalk with a perfectly placed sidefooted effort, then Rooney took over with a well constructed threesome. Riordan had capitalised on a Hayes error at 2-0 before Liam Miller pushed Inverness into overdrive and we finished the game well on top.
Lennon & McCartney can sleep easy as davie tries his hand at song writing............
Here's a song for next week (sung to the tune of "the sting") "Tell every 'tic fan that you know, Inverness is as far as you go, You won't need your shades or your buckets and spades, But you might need your sledge for the snow". Alternative Maryhill has the chance to report on a Caley Thistle game/ party next week that has more potential significance than any previous encounter. He's going to get shakespearean about it, but I reckon it's more Henry V than Macbeth. We are presently that happy few, that band of brothers and those who stay at home next week may well think themselves accursed come 5.45 pm, that they were not there. But that is next week.
Today, we 4,000 or so entertained Hibs at TCS, in a fixture that the Gods had previously blessed us with good results, but results that owed as much to Hibs naivety as our skill. Not today. From the first minute, both sides showed a commitment to passing the ball on the ground but ICT always have the cutting edge that comes from weeks of breaking away in matches away from home and being clinical in the finish. Today it took 7 minutes for that to surface, FORAN finishing cutely from around the 18 yard line after a cutback pass from Rooney on the left. Inverness played some sublime football, prompted by a more effective midfield than we've seen for ages – welcome back Cox. He and Duncan destroyed Hibs midfield. John Rankin still managed to show, with one effort flashing just wide of a post on 15 minutes or so. Both sides continued to make chances and pass the ball, Esson having a couple of what are now routine saves for him. Half time and a really nice game was building up.
Half time: Inverness Caledonian Thistle 1 Hibernian 0
Well, that second half started with a bang. After an early Hibs corner, Jonny Hayes got one on the left and swung a wicked delivery to Rooney. A quick stab of the boot and Hanlon, a half time sub punched the ball off the line. Penalty and red card. Fair play to Hanlon, he didn't stop running on his way to collect his coat. He didn't need an early bath, having graced the pitch for 5 minutes and 35 seconds exactly. Mark Brown guessed the right way on ROONEY's penalty (never seen that before) but couldn't stop it. 2-0 and game over. 15 minutes later, however, the saint known as Hayes decided to sin for once and delivered a beautifully weighted back pass to Derek RIORDAN of all people. 2-1 and the head hanging was enlivened beautifully by the ballistic Ross Tokely. "dead ball specialist" got it spot on – look at "angry german kid" on you tube. I have seen the day when that sort of calamity at home would have cued a collapse into panic, but the response today was superb. Sinner Hayes regained his saintly status by delivering a lethally accurate pass to ROONEY who put a lovely finish past Brown from just inside the box. 3-1 and again, it's all over, especially with Rooney going close again. By this time, bit between the teeth, he was all over the Hibs defence like a rash. They had no cure. Again, we contrived to let them back in after a break from Hibs culminating in Tokely hitting Galbraith like an exocet missile in 77 minutes. Even the most rabid north stand fanatic had to concede that one. Penalty, which Liam MILLER despatched. True to this game, the response was swift and almost identical; break out of defence, ball to Hayes, magnificent defence splitting pass and brilliant finish from ROONEY on 79 minutes. The match ball is yours my son. The game rattled on, and we could easily have had more, and Riordan could easily have exploded into a heap of frustrated huffiness.
Full Time 4-2
The final result after a breathless game of football that would have graced any decent football tv show (it's a pity we don't have one) Referee Conroy had moments of weirdness, but none that could influence reality and did anyone actually see Derek Adams? Maybe he was looking for the spell book that he had evidently lost. Adam Rooney was MOTM by a country mile, and it's no wonder nervousness is reaching a new peak over our chances of keeping him. Tactics by Terry & Mo were again faultless, as was team selection. That kind of wraps it up, except for a wee plea; I've been watching fitba for 40 odd years now, and I'm convinced that we are watching something quite unique evolving at TCS. It really is special and the home support is reflecting it more and more. These are great times to be an ICT fan, and they might not come around again too soon. So go to every game you can, shout yourself hoarse and jump around like a daftie. This team loves it and deserves it.
Match report written by tm4tj/Davie