Inverness CT 0 - 2 Dundee Utd

League Match
Tuesday, March 1st, 2011, 7:45 PM at Tulloch Caledonian Stadium
Attendance: 3,392
Referee: Steven McLean
Inverness CT  Dundee Utd

None. Prince Buaben (75)
David Robertson (90)

Team Managers
Terry Butcher Peter Houston

Starting Eleven
Ryan Esson
Ross Tokely
Grant Munro
Chris Innes
Chris Hogg
Lee Cox
Johnny Hayes
Stuart Duff
Aaron Doran
Adam Rooney
Richie Foran
Dusan Pernis
Sean Dillon
Barry Douglas
Keith Watson
Paul Dixon
Craig Conway
Scott Robertson
Daniel Swanson
Morgaro Gomis
Stuart Armstrong
David Goodwillie

Jonny Tuffey
Stuart Golabek
Russell Duncan
Nick Ross
Eric Odhiambo
Shane Sutherland
Alex MacDonald
Filip Mentel
Timothy van der Meulen
David Robertson
Prince Buaben
Andis Shala
Johnny Russell
Ryan Dow

Nick Ross for Aaron Doran (28)
Alex MacDonald for Johnny Hayes (73)
Shane Sutherland for Adam Rooney (84)
Prince Buaben => Stuart Armstrong (72)
David Robertson => Daniel Swanson (77)

Ross Tokely (8)
Chris Innes (39)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Ryan Esson (GK) 100 apps -
Chris Innes 13 apps -
Grant Munro 358 apps16 goals
Chris Hogg 5 apps1 goal
Ross Tokely 547 apps35 goals
Stuart Duff 30 apps1 goal
Johnny Hayes 67 apps15 goals
Aaron Doran 6 apps1 goal
Lee Cox 65 apps4 goals
Adam Rooney 114 apps51 goals
Richie Foran 84 apps24 goals
Nick Ross (sub) 41 apps1 goal
Alex MacDonald (sub) 4 apps -
Shane Sutherland (sub) 27 apps -

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Aaron Doran (19 years 297 days)
Oldest Player:Chris Innes (2012 years 214 days)
Average Player Age:26 years 16 days
Domestic Players:10 (90.91 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Aaron Doran (19 years 297 days)
Oldest Player:Chris Innes (2012 years 214 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 34 days
Domestic Players:17 (94.44 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Ryan Esson played his 100th major competitive game for the Club.

Inverness plumb new depths of ineptitude:

Inverness reached an all time low performance tonight as they drew another blank at home against a spritely Dundee United.  The Arabs never had to get out of second gear as a hapless Caley Thistle looked more like a highland league side and relinquished the three points all to easily for my liking.

Second half goals from Prince Buaben and David Robertson left the home fans frustrated by the punchless performance from the Jags, and not even the surprise appearance  of Jonny Hayes could light up the dour atmosphere summed up by top scorer Rooney missing a sitter with the score at 1-0 to United.  Let's hope he kicks this habit and returns to scoring form soon.

Esson started his 100th game and Tokely was at right back with Munro on the opposite side.  Innes and Hogg paired up in central defence.  Hayes, Cox, Duff and Doran were the midfield with Foran backing up Adam Rooney in attack.

This defeat sees Inverness drop out of the top six and we can have no complaints given our performances of late, and Hibs, Aberdeen and St Johnstone are all queueing up to leap frog us as well.

Davie has the task of reporting on this setback and he will give us his thoughts when he chills out.

This was supposed to be the kind of fixture that players and fans alike relish. A still, calm but cool evening under the floodlights on a pitch that had stood up well to Friday’s rugby match it was perhaps surprising that no more had come out to watch ICT’s push to consolidate a top six place. In the end, the moribund sounding announcer claimed 3,300 or so souls had witnessed Inverness sink without a trace.

There were murmurings before proceedings got under way, especially concerning ICT’s back four. It was thought obvious by wags and wise men alike that a Tokely, Innes, Hogg and Munro combination would be ponderous and vulnerable and so it proved. If ICT have the rapier thrust of Doran and Hayes, United countered that with Conway and Swanson. Goals were inevitable. United’s own rear-guard were likewise patched together with a noticeable lack of height. Surely Rooney and Foran would profit.

Almost straight from kick off, flaws became apparent when Tokely yellow carded for launching Conway into near earth orbit (more of this later) but there was hope, and these feelings were bolstered by a bullet header from Foran on 10 minutes that was kept out by a superb save from Pernis. Hayes had flayed Douglas on the left to supply the ammunition, and hope sprung again. Duff flashed a comment worthy volley just wide in 20 minutes and although United were having more possession and play, ICT were creating better chances. Clouds began to gather when Aaron Doran pulled up in 25 minutes with what looked like a groin strain to be replaced by Nick Ross. With the attacking focus disrupted, the crucial battle was switched to Cox and Gomis in centre midfield. Even stephens there. United created a couple of chances that were easily dealt with but the nip and tuck nature of this game persisted until half time, interrupted only by the second yellow of the game for Innes for carping at the frankly miserable Mr MacLean on account of another baffling decision. Both MacLean and the stand side assistant were dreadful; indecisive, inconsistent and inattentive. Someone had to say something.

Half Time: Inverness 0 Dundee United 0

The second half opened as a carbon copy of the first, the majority of possession going to United without any real threat. Swanson and Gomis threatened, but the vaunted Goodwillie was, for the most part reduced to the status of niggling irritation. Conway came more and more into the game, but blotted an otherwise good copybook with a ridiculous dive (bought by the referee, no surprise there) which was designed to see Tokely ordered off. ICT created chances for Cox, who smacked a diving header just over; Munro, who screwed a volley wide and Nick Ross caused a collective intake of breath with a corner kick. That was about it, and it was now glaringly obvious that whoever scored first was going to win this game. The pivotal decision came in 70 minutes, Armstrong being replaced by Bauben. Combining him and Gomis in the midfield marginalised the now struggling Hayes and Ross lacked the physical presence to cope with either of them. Hayes was replaced by Alex MacDonald, but Bauben opened the scoring after 3 minutes of being involved, slapping a shot past Esson after Innes slipped and was subsequently skinned on the wing and Goodwillie cut the ball back. The deflation in the Inverness side was visible at this point, and a comeback never on the cards. Sutherland somewhat bizarrely appeared again in place of Rooney, (who earlier had wished the ground would open up and swallow him after spurning a glorious chance from five yards with the head), but to no avail. It came as no surprise when, in 89 minutes David Robertson administered the coup de grace. It couldn’t finish quickly enough after that.

Full time: Inverness 0 Dundee United 2

There were so many things wrong with this performance that the final score pales into insignificance. Tactically, the team was set up with a slow back four and a lightweight midfield that almost guaranteed the long ball game that we have come to know too well, and despair of. It was compounded by Ross Tokely having what was frankly a nightmare. Had he been sent off (as he should have been) in the first half it might actually have done us a favour and forced a bolstering in the middle of the park. It never came, and the countering of the United Prince Bauben substitution with MacDonald was ludicrous. We needed a holding midfielder at that point and the result was inevitable. By the end, Rooney’s fight had simply disappeared after chasing down innumerable aimless long balls and redirecting them to colleagues who were somewhere else, Foran’s anger became visible at Tokely at least and the shortcomings of Innes and Munro ceased to matter. The result was all the more concerning as this was a United side that was no great shakes on the night, and their manager admitted as much. Our own manager would do well to share in the culpability of this result instead of railing against his “wretched” players that he has (by his own admission) failed to motivate. That there is a crisis of confidence is obvious, and how Butcher deals with it may define his managership. It’s not Brewsteresque by any means, the boos were faint last night, but it mustn’t be allowed to become that.

It is becoming obvious that there are players who we fans cherish that are past or getting past their SPL sell by date. At least in Chris Hogg we have a central defender who can use the ball and we can build around, but midfield needs urgent attention if Rooney is not to leave with an overwhelming sense of relief. 9 points from a possible 41 is lamentable as the man on the radio said, and the streams of fans leaving early told a story of the season they have been forced to endure, at least at home. There is an air of hens coming home to roost, and we can only hope that the turning point comes sooner rather than later in this season at least. We'll not go down, but we may yet have reason to thank God for Hamilton.

Thanks davie, you almost made it sound entertaining, incredible piece of journalism and wordsmithery.

Match report written by davie


Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Celtic 27 20 4 3 59 17 42 64
2. Rangers 25 19 2 4 57 23 34 59
3. Hearts 27 17 4 6 41 22 19 55
4. Kilmarnock 27 11 6 10 40 33 7 39
5. Motherwell 28 11 4 13 31 35 -4 37
6. Dundee Utd 25 8 10 7 30 31 -1 34
7. Inverness CT 28 8 9 11 36 37 -1 33
8. Hibernian 28 9 4 15 30 44 -14 31
9. Aberdeen 27 9 3 15 30 44 -14 30
10. St. Johnstone 26 8 6 12 17 33 -16 30
11. St. Mirren 27 5 7 15 22 44 -22 22
12. Hamilton Academical 27 2 9 16 16 46 -30 15