Inverness CT 2 - 3 Dundee Utd

League Match
Saturday, December 10th, 2011, 3:00 PM at Tulloch Caledonian Stadium
Attendance: 3,142
Referee: Steven McLean
Inverness CT  Dundee Utd

Goalscorers
Johnny Hayes (2)
Billy Mckay (47)
Johnny Russell (51)
Roman Golobart (og.64)
Johnny Russell (78)

Team Managers
Terry Butcher Peter Houston

Starting Eleven
Ryan Esson
Ross Tokely
Kenny Gillet
Chris Hogg
Roman Golobart
Johnny Hayes
Greg Tansey
Andrew Shinnie
David Davis
Richie Foran
Billy Mckay
Dusan Pernis
Robbie Neilson
Sean Dillon
Paul Dixon
Gavin Gunning
John Rankin
Willo Flood
Scott Robertson
Stuart Armstrong
Gary Mackay-Steven
Jon Daly

Substitutes
Jonny Tuffey
Gavin Morrison
Lee Cox
Nick Ross
Graeme Shinnie
Shane Sutherland
Gregory Tade
Steve Banks
Garry Kenneth
Keith Watson
Barry Douglas
Johnny Russell
Ryan Dow
Lauri Dalla Valle

Substitutions
Lee Cox for Chris Hogg (15)
Nick Ross for Andrew Shinnie (67)
Gregory Tade for Billy Mckay (73)
Johnny Russell => Willo Flood (49)

Bookings
David Davis (14)
Richie Foran (80)
Gary Mackay-Steven (35)
Sean Dillon (54)

Red Cards
David Davis (83)
None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Ryan Esson (GK) 126 apps -
Chris Hogg 22 apps1 goal
Roman Golobart 10 apps -
Ross Tokely 575 apps36 goals
Kenny Gillet 23 apps -
David Davis 12 apps1 goal
Greg Tansey 17 apps2 goals
Johnny Hayes 83 apps20 goals
Andrew Shinnie 16 apps6 goals
Billy Mckay 4 apps1 goal
Richie Foran 112 apps29 goals
Lee Cox (sub) 79 apps4 goals
Nick Ross (sub) 66 apps3 goals
Gregory Tade (sub) 19 apps6 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Roman Golobart (19 years 268 days)
Oldest Player:Chris Hogg (2013 years 133 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 189 days
Domestic Players:10 (90.91 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Roman Golobart (19 years 268 days)
Oldest Player:Graeme Shinnie (2013 years 133 days)
Average Player Age:24 years 246 days
Domestic Players:17 (94.44 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Milestones
Billy Mckay scored his first goal for the Club.

Houston, we have a problem:

As we tweeted towards the end of the match ... "Caley Thistle. Perfecting the art of grabbing defeat from the jaws of victory. Dreadful" 

A full match report will appear here later once someone is calm enough to comment on this capitulation in a reasoned manner. 

ICT 2-3 Dundee United 

Yes,it's the same headline, but it has a different meaning today.  We have a problem, a big problem.  We managed to score very early in each half.  The enigmatic Jonny Hayes and Billy McKay scoring good goals, then the wheels fell off.

 I'm sure that Houston will take all the plaudits, and rightly so as his substitution of Johnny Russell for the ineffective Willo Flood transformed his faltering side into world beaters.  They needed not to be world beaters as we shot ourselves in the foot and the writing was on the wall as soon as we backed off Uniteds enterprising front-men.

Friday nights snow had to be cleared from the park ahead of the game as Inverness shivered after a week of horrendous weather.  Maybe we shouldn't have bothered as we slumped to another defeat, but this was no ordinary defeat.

We started brightly, Jonny Hayes firing home inside two minutes.  David Davis doing the spadework and Hayes placing the ball low into the net from teny yards before the plastic seats had time to warm up.  Oh boy, we all thought we were onto a good thing here as we looked spritely and United struggled to create an opening.

However, the game was about to change as Davis chased after Mackay-Steven and the pair of them were blown apart as Hogg halted their progress, (ouch).  Hogg required repairing and was stretchered from the scene of the accident being replaced by Lee Cox.  Davis was booked for his clumsiness, something he would regret later in the game.

Davis went to right back and Cox took over the midfield role as Butcher had to shuffle the pack.  In all honesty, Davis coped reasonably well at right back, but his drive and determination were now missing from midfield and we were bereft of attcking options thereater. 

Hayes was having an excellent opening forty-five and time after time he would drift past his marker but the second goal had to wait until the second half.  Hayes failed to pull the trigger inside the box as we kept United quiet, electing to square the ball from a striking position and the opportunity went astray.  Pernis did well to divert a McKay shot round the post as the home side looked comfortable.  United were foraging forward in bursts and Mackay-Steven was weaving pretty patterns down the left wing, but there was no end product at this point and the first half petered out just in time as United were beginning to get to grips with the game.  Daly heading over was the first hint that something was amiss.

Half Time 1-0

The second half started like the first, another goal inside a couple of minutes as Billy McKay rose in the box to guide a superb Hayes cross into the bottom corner.  Two nil maybe flattered us a bit, but we did not mind.

Just when we thought we were going to achieve back-to-back wins, the capitulation started.  Russell's introduction had an instant impact.  Like Davis in the first half, United's Armstrong did the donkey work as our defence backed off and when the ball came to Russell in the box he sent it past Esson with ease. 

We looked fragile now and United had a spring in their step, but Richie Foran almost restored the two goal advantage with a rasping shot that almost took out two first aiders walking behind the goal.  However, we gifted United the equaliser as Golobart intecepted a cross at full stretch and the ball diverted past a furious Ryan Esson to level the scores.  Disaster for the young Spaniard who had been having a decent game up to that point.  Golobart almost immediately atoned for that blunder by directing an angled header goalwards, but unlike Billy McKay's effort, it went just the wrong side of the post.  Meh!

 The writing was on the wall now and United took the game by the scruff of the neck as Butcher showed how not to make match winning substitutions, Nick Ross taking to the park in place of Andrew Shinnie.  Not a tactically good day for Butcher who showed his lack of judgement with some less than believable  decisions as he relied on his favoured lads to do the business.

Heads down and backs to the wall are not a good combination and it was no surprise when the fleet footed Russell scored his second and United's third to leave the home fans in utter frustration and anger at their teams inability to see out this game.  He had sped away from Gillet and slid the ball into the net from the edge of the box after being threaded through by Mackay-Stevens.

Just to round off a miserable afternoon for the homesters, Davis was sent packing for a second booking as he once again chased after the elusive Mackay-Steven with ten minutes remaining.

The full time whistle ended the contest and the home players and management were roundly booed from the scene of the crime.  Not the Xmas present we were hoping for and boss Butcher needs to think long and hard about his player choices before we slip into the abyss and County pass us on the way up.

Full Time 2-3

What started out as an exciting game in prospect, turned out to be one of the most frustrating results ever.  You would have to go a long way back to recall such utter disbelief at the way we crumbled when the going got tough.  United deserved the win, let's not beat about the bush here, but the way it all panned out left a nasty taste in the mouth and with Ibrox looming next weekend it looks like we are here for the long haul.  Well done to Houston for turning round their fortunes after last weeks ineptness against Celtic. 

Despite the own goal, my man of the match was Roman Golobart, who showed some good touches and will be required in the coming weeks after Hogg's injury.

Match report written by tm4tj



None.

Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Rangers 18 14 3 1 34 8 26 45
2. Celtic 18 13 2 3 36 16 20 41
3. Motherwell 17 10 3 4 25 18 7 33
4. St. Johnstone 17 7 5 5 20 16 4 26
5. Hearts 18 6 4 8 16 14 2 22
6. Kilmarnock 17 5 7 5 23 25 -2 22
7. Dundee Utd 18 5 6 7 24 29 -5 21
8. St. Mirren 18 5 6 7 17 23 -6 21
9. Inverness CT 18 4 3 11 24 36 -12 15
10. Aberdeen 17 3 5 9 19 25 -6 14
11. Hibernian 17 3 5 9 16 28 -12 14
12. Dunfermline 17 3 5 9 20 36 -16 14