Garry O'Connor 90+2
Victor Palsson (69)
Appearances & Goals To Date
|Youngest Player:||Tom Aldred (20 years 327 days)
|Oldest Player:||Owain Tudur Jones (2013 years 0 days)|
|Average Player Age:||25 years 328 days|
|Domestic Players:||11 (100.00 % of starting eleven)|
|Youngest Player:||Aaron Doran (20 years 83 days)|
|Oldest Player:||Andrew Shinnie (2013 years 0 days)|
|Average Player Age:||24 years 340 days|
|Domestic Players:||17 (94.44 % of matchday squad)|
First Team Debuts
Hibs break their duck in the Highland Capital:
A last gasp goal by Gary O'Connor saw Hibernian take all three points South after a disjointed game in Inverness.
Whilst Ryan Esson was certainly the busier keeper early on, Hibernian will be grateful for the profligacy shown by the Inverness team as they squandered chance after chance.
Esson began where he left off last season with two or three instinctive saves to keep the scoreline blank as Hibs hit on the break, but Inverness gradually asserted themselves on the game as Foran skied a shot from a threatening position. Like last week, the woodwork denied Greg Tansey and a serious of frantic attempts meant there was only going to be one likely outcome.
A couple of penalty claims came and went, but fell on deaf ears, sorry Mr Conroy, I was told that was your name.
However, with Jonny Hayes being scythed down in the Hibs half deep into time added on, and referee Conroy ignoring the pleas of 99% of the stadium, Hibs surged forward for O'Connor to slip the ball under Esson with a half hearted effort, and stun the home support.
A result that never looked on the cards the longer the game wore on, but was always a danger as far as the home fans were concerned. The positives to take from this is that the team looked decent enough to compete this season, but we need a bit of time to gain some understanding. Unfortunately, in the SPL, tolerances are pretty short, let's hope the fans can wait for the team to form a partnership.
Terry Butcher handed debut's to Austrian defender Thomas Piermayr and Welsh midfielder Owain Tudur Jones with Aldred, Tansey and Tade making their home debut's. Last seasons survivors made up the rest of the team with Esson, Gillet, Tokely, Ross, Hayes and Foran all starting. Chris Hogg was unavailable and Lee Cox will be missing for a few games. Aaron Doran found a place on the bench as did young striker Shane Sutherland along with a pair of Shinnie's, the replaced David Proctor and Morrison and Tuffey.
Hibs had David Stephens replacing the injured Sean O'Hanlon and O'Connor and Sproule back in the greens side were to play a prominent part in the early proceedings.
The day was set for an entertaining game, the weather was summery and the pitch looked healthy. The Innes bar without Colin still served up drinkies, the juke box was used and the taxi to the stadium was much appreciated, cheers Craig.
The crowd was somewhat poor considering the anticipation of the first home game of the season with Hib's away end looking rather sparse................
Ginger Jaggy will provide us with a full report later.....................and it's ready for you now.
Robbed, smash and grab raid and confused, are only a few ways to sum up Saturday's controversial encounter on a beautiful day in the Highlands. Garry O'Connor's late strike gave Hibs their first win in the Highland capital; but how, is a question which bemused Caley Thistle fans can't answer. It took a while but the football produced by the home side must have impressed the supporters, but for a second week a failure to finish off chances cost us dear.
The first half started off slowly with both teams taking a while to settle. Both teams resorted to the long ball in the glorious sun shine. It was after 10 minutes when the first chance arrived as new signing Thomas Piermayr took a long range strike but dragged the ball well wide of goal. It was to be a long time until the next chance for the home side materialised. It was Hibs who settled and took control of the game with the two main danger men pointed out before the game causing the problems. It was Ivan Sproule who was fortunate to keep the ball under control with tackles lunging in and should have scored but took an age and that allowed Kenny Gillet to appear from nowhere to deflect the ball over the bar. Hibs continued to press with Garry O'Connor receiving a clever pass inside, taking a first time shot which Esson smartly beat away from danger. The player voted by the fans as the outstanding performer of last season was called upon again but in comical fashion – even though he wasn't laughing. Hibs build up play again was impressive with the ball being whipped in from the Hibs left by David Wotherspoon. Sproule leapt highest to nod back to O'Connor who made contact but only saw his shot rebound off Esson's face and again away to safety.
That was it from Hibs in an attacking capacity in the first half as Inverness finally started to make an impression on the visitors goal. The first glorious chance fell to our skipper who should have done better after good build up play. Hayes put in a delicious cross which Tom Aldred - up from the back –flicked on to Foran at the back post but he snapped at the shot and sent it high into the Hibs fans behind the goal. Next was the first of the major talking points. More good play from the Inverness midfield set Gregory Tade through but his run was stopped by Hibs captain Ian Murray without the ball but the penalty claims were waved away by Steve Conroy. Then Tade was denied by a tight offside call when Foran was adjudged to have gone just too early but replays have shown it to be by the slightest margins. One of the few things the referee and his assistant managed to see all afternoon. Tade then had a golden opportunity but he failed to control a Foran cross, diving, but putting his header wide. The momentum was definitely with us and the hope was we could continue to create and go on to win in the second half.
Half Time 0-0
The second half can only be described as phenomenal, gutting and baffling all at the same time. It was phenomenal because the football produced by our new side in spells was extremely pleasing, playing with width and pace which caused Hibs all sorts of problems. The first big talking point of the second half was the failed appeal for a second penalty when the ball clearly struck the arm of a Hibs defender. Steve Conroy again waved play on to the absolute derision of Terry Butcher who was going apoplectic on the touchline. Aaron Doran came on for the strangely ineffective Nick Ross and his craft on one side and the pace and trickery of Hayes on the other was something which the home fans have reason to be very excited by. The story of the game though was summed up after a few crosses by both men which just needed someone to be on the end of to tap in, alas there wasn't. When there was a man on the end of the crosses they some how baffled everyone watching. Greg Tansey twice got into scoring positions but failed to make the keeper work after latching onto the fabulous delivery's being served up. Foran was sent through and clearly bundled over for a third penalty shout but yet again Conroy waved it away. The one in the first half was debateable but the two second half shouts were stonewaller's and were dismissed without any hint that the officials were giving them a second thought.
As for Hibs they became non existent as an attacking force but did force Esson into a wonderful save. Just before it Ian Murray suffered the same fate as Tade as his goal was chalked off by the flag. Esson made his second wonderful save. Caley Thistle on the attack were caught cold by the pace of Sproule from our own corner. He burst upfield but without support had to wait before putting in a great cross. O'Connors shot was blocked straight to Thornhill whose dipping volley was expertly tipped over by Esson. At the other end though Inverness were creating chance after chance like it was a conveyor belt on a factory floor. Hayes put in another scrumptious cross that only needed a touch, it did but unfortunately it wasn't the right touch as Tom Aldred was just the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time when he conspired to knock it wide from 2 yards. The scene looking around the ground was one of total bewilderment with hands on heads and the shaking of heads from fans that couldn't believe how the ball managed to go the wrong side of the post. That may have been a sign it wasn't going to be our day but if that wasn't then the next chance definitely was. Hayes again sent in another brilliant corner which Hibs failed to clear falling to the feet of Tansey, who slid his shot onto the post from point blank range. Yet again the supporters had that feeling of 'what do we need to do to score' as that was the 3rd time we have rattled the post in two matches. That was the final effort and a point seemed disappointing but acceptable until the late drama. Yet again Steve Conroy was involved when it appeared that Hayes was mugged in the midfield by two Hibs players. The ref had plenty practice of waving play on and therefore waved Hibs forward with Hayes punching the ground in frustration. The ball was knocked forward to O'Connor to run into the box and he miss-hit his shot towards the far post. Esson should have saved it but ended up helping the ball cross the line as Hibs and their fans celebrated in ecstasy at the late winner. That was it as the ref blew immediately as Caley Thistle kicked off to resume the match. The final whistle was met with howls of derision as the boo's were directed at the match officials as they walked off.
Full Time 0-1
Inverness played well enough to please the home fans but the lack of a cutting edge is a concern. Frustration though is the overwhelming feeling to play so well and miss those chances and also have some appalling decision thrown into the mix.
Inverness are the only side pointless in the SPL, Dunfermline away next week, let's hope some team bonding happens this week.
Match report written by tm4tj/ginger jaggy