Hearts 2 - 1 Inverness CT

League Match
Saturday, November 26th, 2011, 3:00 PM at Tynecastle Stadium, Edinburgh
Attendance: 12,021
Referee: Craig Thomson
Hearts Inverness CT

Rudi Skacel (46)
Eggert Jonsson (76)
Ross Tokely (58)

Team Managers
Paulo Sergio Terry Butcher

Starting Eleven
Marian Kello
Andy Webster
Marius Zaliukas
David Obua
Ryan McGowan
Rudi Skacel
Ryan Stevenson
Jamie Hamill
David Templeton
Eggert Jonsson
John Sutton
Ryan Esson
Ross Tokely
Kenny Gillet
Chris Hogg
Josh Meekings
Johnny Hayes
Greg Tansey
Andrew Shinnie
David Davis
Richie Foran
Gregory Tade

Jamie MacDonald
Mehdi Taouil
Adrian Mrowiec
Stephen Elliott
Gordon Smith
Scott Robinson
Arvydas Novikovas
Jonny Tuffey
David Proctor
Lee Cox
Nick Ross
Graeme Shinnie
Aidan Chippendale
Shane Sutherland

Adrian Mrowiec => Ryan Stevenson (46)
Mehdi Taouil => John Sutton (80)
Scott Robinson => David Templeton (90)
David Proctor for Josh Meekings (73)
Nick Ross for Andrew Shinnie (83)
Shane Sutherland for Gregory Tade (90)

Eggert Jonsson (3)
Rudi Skacel (46)
Ross Tokely (14)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Ryan Esson (GK) 124 apps -
Chris Hogg 20 apps1 goal
Kenny Gillet 21 apps -
Ross Tokely 573 apps36 goals
Josh Meekings 5 apps -
David Davis 10 apps1 goal
Greg Tansey 15 apps2 goals
Johnny Hayes 81 apps18 goals
Andrew Shinnie 14 apps5 goals
Richie Foran 110 apps29 goals
Gregory Tade 17 apps6 goals
David Proctor (sub) 156 apps8 goals
Nick Ross (sub) 65 apps3 goals
Shane Sutherland (sub) 50 apps2 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:David Davis (20 years 284 days)
Oldest Player:Chris Hogg (2013 years 119 days)
Average Player Age:26 years 292 days
Domestic Players:11 (100.00 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Aidan Chippendale (19 years 190 days)
Oldest Player:Chris Hogg (2013 years 119 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 15 days
Domestic Players:18 (100.00 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Shane Sutherland played his 50th major competitive game for the Club.

Hearts end their goal drought to pip Inverness:

Second half goals from Rudi Skacel and Eggert Jonsson were enough to see off a determined Caley Thistle at a windy Tynecastle, where Ross Tokely had replied for the visitors.

Andrew Shinnie had rattled the Hearts rigging after 17 minutes but the score remained blank at half-time.

The home side were ahead in the first minute of the second half from a tight angle before the visitors scored a close range header twelve minutes later, but the winner came after Jonsson was on hand to nod home a Templeton cross in the 76th minute to keep all three points in the capital. Jonny Hayes missed a great opportunity for Inverness to earn a draw but lifted his strike over the bar as Hearts held on for the win.

Alternative Maryhill will provide us with a full match report when he gets back from the game....... He's back

They came in their dozens, from as far apart as Wick and Southampton, in the hope of witnessing the real start of the ICT revival that the Kilmarnock game promised but the Celtic game postponed. They left disappointed; but then, away days are always about more than just the football, and for someone who had been tucked up in bed by ten o’ clock the night before, witnessing the scene on the 11 o’clock train from Glasgow to Edinburgh was particularly entertaining: four or five pink-eyed, very hungover ICT supporters attempting to self-medicate with Buckfast and budget vodka; one not quite managing and reacquainting himself with his morning fry-up; muted outrage in the surrounding seats. ICT supporters: bringing restraint and decorum to the central belt for seventeen years... The pre-match venue for most was, as usual, the Diggers: a proper pub that has the advantage of being only five minutes from Tynecastle, which means you can stay there until ten to three and just stroll down to the game. Yesterday promised to be even easier: instead of having to buy a ticket in advance at the ticket office, we were assured that we would be able to pay at the gate. When we arrived at the ground, however, we discovered that Hearts had taken the notion of pay at the gate a bit too literally and opened a single cash turnstile. And despite the earlier facetious comment about ‘dozens’, this was certainly ICT’s best away support of the season, and so it took some time to get them through the gate. The first ten minutes of the game, therefore, are missing from this report as I was still outside the ground during them. It didn’t sound like a great deal was happening, however, and BBC live text seems to confirm that this was the case.

As predicted, with Greg Tansey’s red card having been overturned, Terry Butcher started with the team that had played against Celtic, and for much of the first half they played brightly and with purpose, having plenty of possession and passing the ball about well. As against Celtic, however, there were few clear-cut chances created and two of the best came in quick succession. On seventeen minutes, a powerful Andrew Shinnie shot from outside the penalty area cannoned off the junction of bar and post, then on twenty minutes, after Marius Zaliukas had given away possession, Jonny Hayes played Tade through to go one-on-one with Kello. Rather than trying to round the ‘keeper, Tade shot early and Kello blocked with his legs. Hearts at this stage looked unimaginative and rather unmotivated and even when chances fell to them they looked a little half hearted: just before the half-hour mark Ryan Stevenson had two opportunities, but fired the first weakly at Esson and the second high over the bar. Just after the half-hour mark there was a moment of some controversy when the referee awarded a drop ball after having stopped play for an injury to a Hearts player. The ICT players seemed to assume Hearts would simply play the ball back to Esson, and therefore did not contest the drop ball, but instead David Templeton continued playing and managed to get a shot away which, fortunately, Esson saved without much difficulty. Between this point and the half-time whistle, ICT probably played the better football, with Jonny Hayes and Andrew Shinnie swapping positions and Hayes, in particular using the ball very well. Real penetration, however, remained elusive and it was Hearts who continued to have the clearer chances, albeit mostly long-range shots that Esson dealt easily with. Half time came with the score at 0-0, and on the basis of the first forty-five minutes very few people would have been surprised had it remained the same until full time.

Half Time 0-0

That was not to be the case, however. ICT came out of the traps at the start of the second half and went straight into attack, only to lose possession and watch helplessly as a long diagonal ball was knocked on to Skacel, in about a square mile of space on the right hand side of the field, and he fired the ball past Esson from just inside the penalty area. ICT tried to respond quickly and after turning well inside the box on a lay-off from Hayes, Shinnie managed to get away a shot that went over the bar. There was a lack of imagination in some of the attacks, however, with the defence reverting to long balls that were either dealt with easily, or that the forwards were unable to do anything with, one example being Foran struggling to get onto a crossfield pass from Meekings on around 50 minutes. At the other end, David Templeton fired in a couple of shots, the first saved by Esson, the second blocked by Tokely, then twelve minutes into the second half Hayes was blatantly blocked by Eggert Jonsson near the right hand touchline, giving ICT a free kick. Hayes sent a looping ball into the box: it was met by Tokely, stooping to get to the ball ahead of Webster, and he nodded it past Kello from about five yards. Hearts 1, Caley Thistle 1. It might have been hoped that having got back into the game when they did not look at their best, the Inverness players would have been able to push on and try to dominate the game, but instead the quality of play remained poor and possession was wasted by both sides. ICT’s best moment came in 67 minutes when Andrew Shinnie, probably the team’s most threatening player, got away from the defender manhandling him and sent in a fierce shot that Kello did well to parry. The rebound fell to Jonny Hayes but he fired the ball over the bar. On 72 minutes ICT right back Josh Meekings, who had had a fine game, was substituted, apparently suffering from a dead leg, and David Proctor came on. Just three minutes later, Hearts were ahead again. John Sutton’s shot from 20 yards was brilliantly tipped round the post by Esson, but from the short corner, David Templeton sent in a pacy cross and Eggert Jonsson, completely unmarked in the box, headed in at close range. 2-1 Hearts, with question marks over the Inverness defending yet again. After the goal, ICT continued to try to muster up some attacks, but there seemed to be something half-hearted about their play from this point onwards. Nick Ross replaced Shinnie on 80 minutes – a curious decision, as Shinnie, along with Hayes, was the team’s most creative influence throughout, while Tansey, who might just as easily have been replaced, had been virtually anonymous . Ross was unable to make much impact, and nor was the final sub, Shane Sutherland, although this was unsurprising as he did not replace Tade until the game was entering injury time: another rather odd decision. The game petered out with little in the way of goalmouth action, and the ICT supporters filtered out, to return to the four corners of the UK disappointed but unfortunately not entirely surprised by the result.

Full Time 2-1

The news coming though from East End Park of Aberdeen’s two late goals meant that ICT were now on their own at the bottom of the league; but on the plus side, it means Dunfermline as well as Aberdeen and Hibs are still within touching distance. Next week against St Mirren becomes a big game now, however: despite their promising start to the season, this is a team we have proven we can beat, and they suffered a hammering at the hands of Celtic yesterday that will hopefully have sapped their confidence a little. If we lose that one, though, we will have to start wondering who we are going to pick up points against. Hopefully we can take another decent support there, get behind the team, and this time start to see our season turn round.

Match report written by Alternative Maryhill

Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Rangers 15 12 3 0 30 6 24 39
2. Celtic 16 11 2 3 34 16 18 35
3. Motherwell 16 9 3 4 22 18 4 30
4. St. Johnstone 15 6 5 4 18 12 6 23
5. Hearts 16 6 4 6 15 11 4 22
6. St. Mirren 16 5 5 6 14 19 -5 20
7. Dundee Utd 16 4 6 6 21 26 -5 18
8. Kilmarnock 15 3 7 5 20 25 -5 16
9. Hibernian 16 3 5 8 16 26 -10 14
10. Dunfermline 16 3 5 8 19 34 -15 14
11. Aberdeen 15 3 4 8 17 21 -4 13
12. Inverness CT 16 3 3 10 20 32 -12 12