Celtic 2 - 0 Inverness CT

League Match
Saturday, September 24th, 2011, 3:00 PM at Celtic Park, Glasgow
Attendance: 47,382
Referee: William Collum
Celtic Inverness CT

Goalscorers
Joe Ledley (28)
James Forrest (33)
None.

Team Managers
Neil Lennon Terry Butcher

Starting Eleven
Fraser Forster
Badr El Kaddouri
Glenn Loovens
Daniel Majstorovic
Adam Matthews
Ki Sung-Yueng
Baram Kayal
Joe Ledley
James Forrest
Anthony Stokes
Gary Hooper
Ryan Esson
Ross Tokely
David Proctor
Thomas Piermayr
Nick Ross
Graeme Shinnie
Greg Tansey
David Davis
Aidan Chippendale
Richie Foran
Gregory Tade

Bench
Lukasz Zaluska
Thomas Rogne
Mark Wilson
Victor Wanyama
Patrick McCourt
Mohamed Bangura
Georgios Samaras
Jonny Tuffey
Kenny Gillet
Josh Meekings
Roman Golobart
Andrew Shinnie
Shane Sutherland
Billy Mckay

Substitutions
Mohamed Bangura => Gary Hooper (52)
Patrick McCourt => Anthony Stokes (75)
Georgios Samaras => Ki Sung-Yueng (75)
Roman Golobart for David Proctor (27)
Shane Sutherland for Aidan Chippendale (56)
Andrew Shinnie for Thomas Piermayr (64)

Bookings
None. Richie Foran (25)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Ryan Esson (GK) 117 apps -
David Proctor 150 apps8 goals
Thomas Piermayr 9 apps -
Ross Tokely 566 apps35 goals
Aidan Chippendale 2 apps -
Graeme Shinnie 34 apps1 goal
David Davis 3 apps -
Nick Ross 61 apps3 goals
Greg Tansey 8 apps2 goals
Richie Foran 103 apps29 goals
Gregory Tade 10 apps2 goals
Roman Golobart (sub) 6 apps -
Andrew Shinnie (sub) 7 apps -
Shane Sutherland (sub) 44 apps2 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Aidan Chippendale (19 years 127 days)
Oldest Player:Greg Tansey (2013 years 56 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 202 days
Domestic Players:11 (100.00 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Aidan Chippendale (19 years 127 days)
Oldest Player:Josh Meekings (2013 years 56 days)
Average Player Age:24 years 143 days
Domestic Players:17 (94.44 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Milestones

Celtic the victors on day of mass protests:  

Plenty of plaudits for the players today.  A good battling performance but ultimately the three points stayed in Glasgow.

After a bright start to the game by Butchers casualties, Celtic settled into the game and eventually cruised to victory against the struggling basement side.

First half goals from Joe Ledley and James Forrest set the Hoops on the road to victory despite Majstorovic being hassled by Tade from the off; he really is a disaster waiting to happen, Majstorovic that is. 

David Proctor was added to the injury list after a first half clash left him requiring stitches in a head gash and Roman Golobart deputised.

Bit of a stalemate in the second half only disturbed by the fans vocal protests from the stands and a diving header from Richie Foran which Forster saved brilliantly, but the game just evaded the visitors as Celtic held out for a 2-0 win.

Full report to come from Alternative Maryhill.

Normally this would be a fixture that would be expected to generate a bit of anticipation among Inverness supporters, particularly given that only twelve league games ago Caley Thistle were dismantling Celtic’s title hopes while Neil Lennon converted his water bottle on the touchline in impotent fury. Yet twelve games is a long time in football, and this is an ICT side almost unrecognisable from that which defeated Celtic in May: injury-stricken, filled with untested players, lacking a goalscorer and coming into the game bottom of the SPL and off the back of a very poor second half performance against Dundee United. Even with Celtic looking inept against Rangers last weekend and uninspired against Ross County in midweek, very few among the ICT following were expecting anything more than defeat yesterday, and this perhaps explains why it was a pretty small contingent of CaleyAway footsoldiers that assembled in the London Road Tavern and in Celtic Park itself. By the end of the game, however, despite the anticipated defeat coming to pass, there seemed to be a little more optimism among the Caley Thistle fans, having witnessed a very positive performance from their team.

The changes made by the two managers had not been difficult to predict beforehand. Terry Butcher left Andrew Shinnie and Roman Golobart on the bench, bringing David Proctor into central defence and giving Aidan Chippendale his first start. For Celtic, the much-criticised Georgios Samaras was dropped in favour of Anthony Stokes; the injured Scott Brown and suspended Charlie Mulgrew gave way to James Forrest and Joe Ledley; and the Wilsons, Kelvin and Mark, were replaced by Daniel Majstorovic and Adam Matthews.

After their poor second half performance in the old firm derby, it might have been expected that Celtic would impose themselves on Caley Thistle from the first whistle, but in fact it was the Inverness team that took the game to Celtic. In the first five minutes, Gregory Tade’s persistence and hard running twice took him through on Fraser Forster; on the first occasion he was penalised for an alleged foul on Glenn Loovens, but on the second he managed to get away a shot which was well saved by the Celtic keeper. A couple of minutes later, Richie Foran made a promising run up the right and delivered the ball into the centre, but Nick Ross was just unable to get on the end of it. ICT kept up the pressure with Aidan Chippendale putting the ball back in from the opposite wing, but this time Glenn Loovens was able to make a clearance.

Although Celtic had plenty of possession in this opening period, they had very little penetration, and their first clear chance was a 20-yard shot from Gary Hooper on fourteen minutes which went wide of Ryan Esson’s right hand post. Meanwhile, their central defence looked decidedly uncertain, especially when put under pressure by Tade; Daniel Majstorovic’s failure to clear a through ball on twelve minutes would be the first of several similar errors which caused consternation in the Celtic support. Nevertheless, Celtic gradually began to put more pressure on the ICT goal. A deflected cross produced a corner, and although the ball flew harmlessly over both defenders and attackers, David Proctor received a head knock while jumping for it, and had to be taken off bleeding heavily. Caley Thistle tried to respond with Chippendale and Tade combining well on the left, but possession fell again to Celtic and after a swift counter-attacking move that anticipated the build-up to their second goal, James Forrest got in a shot that Ross Tokely did well to block.

With Celtic increasingly dominating the game, Terry Butcher decided to bring on Roman Golobart, presumably having been told that David Proctor would not be fit to resume. So ICT were restored to eleven men, having played for more than five minutes with only ten; but within two minutes of being restored to full strength, they were a goal behind, when Joe Ledley fired in a twenty-yard shot low to Esson’s right after striding onto a crossfield pass from Beram Kayal. Perhaps sensing a new vulnerability about ICT, Celtic went for the quick kill and just three minutes later Tokely had to make another block to prevent a Gary Hooper shot going in. Caley Thistle rallied and quickly forced a corner, but when Chippendale’s ball in was cleared, Celtic swept to the other end, Ki sliding a diagonal pass into Forrest who burst past Piermayr and fired the ball into the net from just inside the box. Celtic 2 – Caley Thistle 0.

While at this point ICT supporters might have been forgiven for expecting a collapse of Aberdonian proportions, the rest of the first half was in fact dominated by a Caley Thistle team determined not to lie down to Celtic. The Inverness team managed to win four corners in but unfortunately never really looked capable of threatening in the air from any of them: this was one area in which Majstorovic and Loovens looked very comfortable. For all Tade’s terrific workrate and pressurising, Greg Tansey looked the most likely ICT player to score, breaking late from midfield, and he sent in two shots just either side of the forty-minute mark which also, unfortunately, went just either side of the goal.

The second half was comparatively uneventful. Celtic seemed content to try to retain possession and play at a slow pace, and while it might not have been particularly exciting for their supporters, ultimately the tactic worked, with ICT’s front men having run themselves almost to a standstill by around the eightieth minute. On the subject of the Celtic supporters, incidentally, it would be churlish not to mention the backing they gave their team in the second half: at one stage, the entire home support was on its feet doing the huddle; at another, the two ends of the ground were involved in some call-and-response chanting. It was genuinely impressive, and actually enjoyable to see football supporters having real fun at a game despite the fairly dull football on offer. Mind you, the ground was only ¾ full...

Perhaps surprisingly, the Celtic players didn’t seem particularly lifted by the noise from the terraces. Probably their best chance came five minutes into the half, when a dangerous ball into the penalty area was scooped well over the bar by Stokes. Subsequently, much of Celtic’s probing play was well broken up by Nick Ross and David Davis, two of ICT’s more impressive performers, who both played quite deep and shielded the defence well. Equally, however, ICT were unable to build any real momentum. The replacement of Aidan Chippendale with Shane Sutherland after only fifty-five minutes might have contributed to this. Chippendale looked a little fragile at times, but there were a few pleasing flashes of creativity: neat threaded passes and intelligent overlapping runs. Sutherland, when he came on, wasn’t really able to get into the game, apart from one potentially dangerous run cutting in from the left that ultimately came to nothing. The fact that Sutherland was again brought on to play in a position that is not his preferred one was a reminder of how limited the manager’s options currently are, but if Chippendale was too tired to have carried on it would have been interesting, perhaps, to see Tade moved wide for the last half hour and Billy McKay given a chance up front; certainly, the terrific ball fired across the area by Tade after again winning possession from Majstorovic halfway through the second half suggested that he could be effective in that role.

As the game entered its final stages Caley Thistle carved out one fine chance that might have made the last ten minutes interesting, when Graeme Shinnie, again mostly excellent for ICT, slung in a cross from the left which Richie Foran met with a diving header. From where we were sitting in the stand, it looked like it had been an excellent stop from Fraser Forster to keep the ball out of the net. That, however, was very much that. Foran looked exhausted, and although Gregory Tade never stopped running until the ninety minutes was up, he too was unable to make a difference. So another defeat, but it was a far closer game than many had feared it would be, and the travelling supporters showed their appreciation of the players’ efforts by staying to applaud them, a gesture that was reciprocated by most of the team.

No real change, then: as so often this season, we are left reflecting on a decent showing that ultimately wasn’t rewarded. Yesterday’s performance was undoubtedly much more spirited and inventive than last week’s second half against Dundee United, and players like Davis, Chippendale and Tansey showed enough to suggest that they are up to SPL standard; yet the suspicion remains that without a player who can score regularly, surviving in the league this season will be a struggle. Next week’s home game against St Mirren is starting to assume real importance, and unfortunately a team that hadn’t scored in their three previous league fixtures emphatically found their shooting boots yesterday, putting three past Kilmarnock. Still, Killie themselves came up to Inverness in fine league form, and look what happened there. So, keep the faith, but keep your fingers crossed too. 

Match report written by Alternative Maryhill



Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Rangers 8 7 1 0 19 3 16 22
2. Celtic 8 6 0 2 18 8 10 18
3. Motherwell 9 5 1 3 12 12 0 16
4. Hearts 8 3 3 2 9 4 5 12
5. St. Mirren 9 3 3 3 7 7 0 12
6. Kilmarnock 8 2 4 2 11 11 0 10
7. Dundee Utd 9 2 4 3 13 16 -3 10
8. St. Johnstone 7 2 3 2 7 6 1 9
9. Dunfermline 8 2 3 3 11 16 -5 9
10. Hibernian 8 1 3 4 8 15 -7 6
11. Aberdeen 9 1 3 5 4 11 -7 6
12. Inverness CT 9 1 2 6 8 18 -10 5