Inverness CT 1 - 1 Rangers

League Match
Saturday, December 11th, 2010, 12:45 PM at Tulloch Caledonian Stadium
Attendance: 6,799
Referee: Calum Murray
Inverness CT  Rangers

Johnny Hayes (31)
Kenny Miller (57)

Team Managers
Terry Butcher Walter Smith

Starting Eleven
Ryan Esson
Ross Tokely
Grant Munro
Russell Duncan
Lee Cox
Johnny Hayes
Graeme Shinnie
Stuart Duff
Adam Rooney
Richie Foran
Eric Odhiambo
Allan McGregor
Steven Whittaker
David Weir
Madjid Bougherra
Sasa Papac
Richard Foster
Steven Davis
Lee McCulloch
Vladimir Weiss
Kenny Miller
Steven Naismith

Jonny Tuffey
Stuart Golabek
Roy McBain
Shane Sutherland
Dani Sanchez
Neil Alexander
Gregg Wylde
Darren Cole
John Fleck
James Beattie
Rory Loy
Kyle Hutton

Roy McBain for Eric Odhiambo (76)
Shane Sutherland for Richie Foran (90)
James Beattie => Vladimir Weiss (46)
Gregg Wylde => Richard Foster (79)

Richie Foran (40)
Russell Duncan (44)
Ross Tokely (69)
Richard Foster (43)
David Weir (44)
Kenny Miller (75)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Ryan Esson (GK) 88 apps -
Ross Tokely 534 apps34 goals
Grant Munro 347 apps15 goals
Graeme Shinnie 16 apps -
Russell Duncan 337 apps10 goals
Johnny Hayes 62 apps15 goals
Stuart Duff 16 apps1 goal
Lee Cox 55 apps3 goals
Adam Rooney 100 apps46 goals
Richie Foran 70 apps21 goals
Eric Odhiambo 53 apps11 goals
Roy McBain (sub) 343 apps19 goals
Shane Sutherland (sub) 16 apps -

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Lee Cox (20 years 173 days)
Oldest Player:Graeme Shinnie (2012 years 134 days)
Average Player Age:27 years 26 days
Domestic Players:11 (100.00 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Shane Sutherland (20 years 54 days)
Oldest Player:Graeme Shinnie (2012 years 134 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 230 days
Domestic Players:16 (100.00 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Adam Rooney played his 100th major competitive game for the Club.

Hayes Humdinger:

A Jonny Hayes cracker in the first half was offset by a Kenny Miller goal in the second as Caley Thistle and Rangers shared the spoils at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium.

A late penalty save from Ryan Esson after a James Beattie swan dive means that ICT's home form continues to improve.

The proverbial game of two halves as Inverness stamped their authority on the first forty five with what only can be described as a stupendous strike from little Jonny.  He drifted forward having received a throw out from the alert Esson, and despite Duff offering himself wide, Hayes cut inside and sent an unstoppable shot with the outside of his left peg high past the despairing dive of Scotland keeper Allan McGregor.  Sky Sports noted this one at 34.7 yards, it did not do it justice.

Rangers had to up their game after half time and this they did, pushing Inverness onto the back foot and Miller finished superbly with a one touch and shoot exercise to slot the ball past Esson from the edge of the box.   Ryan Esson then showed why he should be pushing for a Scotland call by diverting Miller's spot kick after Beattie dived artistically to win an undeserved penalty.  A number of chances were then scorned by both sides, but Rangers held on to secure a point.

The home side had to do a hasty shuffle of the pack before the start of todays game as rising U21 star Nick Ross was sent home suffering from tonsillitis.  This was the only change from the side that drew 2-2 with Celtic a fortnight ago, with Eric Odhiambo given the nod to play in the back up strikers position.  Walter Smith brought out the big guns for this trip North with Whittaker and Papac restored to the side and Algerian International Madjid Bougherra back to fitness in the heart of the defence.  The tricky Weiss started ahead of Beattie, who was to play a major part in the second half.  Rangers took to the field in a rather garish red and white striped shirt, pass me the sick bag.

Inverness started briskly with Eric Odhiambo looking eager to impress, making darting runs at the Rangers defence in the first few minutes.  The final ball though was not forthcoming.  Adam Rooney passed up the first real opportunity of the match in the ninth minute as he cut in from the right after latching onto an Odhiambo feed.  Rooney had left Weir in his wake as he bore down on McGregor, but the keeper did well to block Rooney's effort, although the young striker might feel he could have done better.  Ranger eventually ventured forward and the energetic Naismith looped a header harmlessly over Esson's bar after breaking clear from his markers in the box.  A midfield battle ensued, with Inverness dominating the play although Rangers were now starting to gain some more ball time.  The only notable piece of brilliance came when Jonny Hayes spun like a whirling dervish to leave three Rangers players spellbound in the midfield.  His next piece of magic surpassed that though.  Thirty minutes gone and Rangers were beginning to come to grips with the game. 

That was about to change though, and when the goal came, it was one to remember.  The move which led to the goal, started with a Rangers attack.  A dangerous ball into the Caley Jags penalty box was brilliantly chested down by Ross Tokely into the security of Ryan Esson's arms.  He wasted no time in releasing the ball to little Jonny.  He was still in his own half some thirty yards from his own goal line.  Stuart Duff made himself available on the right as he overlapped the wee man.  But Jonny had idea's of his own as he meandered forward on the right side.  He crossed the halfway line with Duff still sprinting ahead but what we then witnessed was a goal right out of the top drawer.  Jonny ignored his runner and dipped his shoulders inside.  Duff by this time had caught the defenders eyes as he headed towards the South Stand.  Jonny was by this time eying up McGregor in the Rangers goal 45 yards away.  A few more short steps from Jonny Hayes saw him release the ball with the outside of his left boot from 35 yards, in the inside right position.  The ball went like a rocket, swerving high into the far right corner of Scotland goal minder McGregor's net via the inside of the post.  Euphoria in the home stands and Jonny danced his own version of the Irish jig to celebrate his stunner, with Cox and Duncan doing some nifty footwork as they joined in. 

This stung Rangers into a bit more urgency and Munro blocked an effort by Lee McCulloch from the edge of the box.  Corners came and went for Rangers and then a spate of bookings in the run up to half time.  Foran, Foster, Duncan and Weir were all noted by Callum Murray as a minor fracas broke out.  Foster then clattered Shinnie as desperation set in.  As half time  neared, Odhiambo had the last attempt when he dragged a shot wide of McGregor's goal.  The whistle blew for half time with Inverness deservedly ahead, but would Walter Smith allow his champions to deliver the same inept performance in the second half?

Half Time 1-0

The answer was obvious from the restart.  Weiss was the fall guy, and he was replaced by another fall guy, James Beattie; more later.  Rangers showed more urgency and looked far more menacing with Naismith causing the home defence problems.  Esson saved a vicious swerving 25 yard effort from Davis, and Miller shot over as Rangers upped their game.  The Inverness defence were now working double shifts as the visitors threatened to take the game by the scruff of the neck.  A spate of corners followed but Tokely and Munro held firm.  Inverness were now on the back foot and sitting deeper and deeper, any clearances were just coming straight back at them.  A goal was coming, and come it did as Scotland striker Kenny Miller fired an excellent 20 yarder in off Esson's left hand post.  Davis had engineered the ball to Miller who wasted no time in hitting the ball low and hard past the diving Caley Thistle stopper.

To their credit, Inverness responded to that set back well and Rooney once more tested McGregor, but once again the keeper came out on top saving his drilled shot from 12 yards.  Hayes made McGregor work again as his TV save tipped the wee mans header over the bar.  Rangers players were now starting to drop like flies all over the park and they procured a series of free kicks from the generous Calum Murray.  Ross Tokely glanced a header over as Inverness kept the tempo high.  Rossco was then harshly booked after the ball hit his hand while he sprawled on the deck, unbelievable refereeing really, maybe Lennon was right after all. 

The pressure was mounting on the Inverness rearguard again and Naismith should have done better as he lifted the ball a couple of yards over the bar, when scoring looked an easier option.  Kenny Miller talked himself into Murray's jotter after mouthing at the official over a trivial decision.  The only surprise was that it took the ref so long to do it.  Eric Odhiambo's day had started brightly but he faded as the game wore on and it was no surprise when he was hooked for testimonial man, Roy McBain with Butcher looking to get to grips with the midfield again.  The afore mentioned James Beattie conned the ref into awarding Ger's a penalty with a blatant dive.  The camera never lies I'm afraid James.  You should be ashamed of yourself.  Duff pulled back from making a challenge inside the box, but Beattie continued with the pretence of being tripped and spreadeagled himself inside the area.  However, Ryan Esson saved Beattie's blushes by knocking Miller's spot kick over the bar with his trailing legs, having been sent the wrong way by Kenny.  Justice done and Smith was not amused.

The last ten minutes saw chances at both ends.  Miller dragging a shot wide and at the other end,  McGregor saved bravely as Foran tried to get on the end of a cross then throwing himself at the feet of Cox to prevent the home side snatching the points.  Three minutes of added time came and went and the final whistle was greeted by a round of applause from the home fans, proud of the days effort from Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Full Time 1-1

tm4tj Man of the Match should really be going to Jonny Hayes for his Irish Jig.  His goal was sublime and will long be cherished around these parts, and maybe even in half of Glasgow.  But for his overall contribution I am swayed to giving Stuart Duff the prestigious accolade.  Kevin McCann will find it difficult to break into the side if he ever recovers from his injury.  Good game with a bit of everything thrown in, it's what Saturdays are for.

Next week, it's time for Xmas shopping in Edinburgh, and a spot of footie to ease the pain.

Match report written by tm4tj


Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Rangers 15 12 2 1 35 16 19 38
2. Celtic 15 11 2 2 35 12 23 35
3. Hearts 15 9 2 4 27 13 14 29
4. Inverness CT 16 7 5 4 27 19 8 26
5. Motherwell 14 7 2 5 22 16 6 23
6. Kilmarnock 15 6 2 7 24 18 6 20
7. Dundee Utd 14 5 4 5 15 20 -5 19
8. St. Johnstone 16 5 3 8 12 23 -11 18
9. Hibernian 15 4 3 8 17 25 -8 15
10. St. Mirren 16 3 4 9 15 28 -13 13
11. Hamilton Academical 15 2 4 9 11 29 -18 10
12. Aberdeen 16 3 1 12 15 36 -21 10