Inverness CT 1 - 0 Hearts

League Match
Saturday, January 21st, 2012, 3:00 PM at Tulloch Caledonian Stadium
Attendance: 3,812
Referee: George Salmond
Inverness CT  Hearts

Goalscorers
Shane Sutherland (49)
None.

Team Managers
Terry Butcher Paulo Sergio

Starting Eleven
Ryan Esson
David Proctor
Kenny Gillet
Josh Meekings
Steve Williams
Johnny Hayes
Nick Ross
Greg Tansey
Richie Foran
Shane Sutherland
Gregory Tade
Marian Kello
Jamie Hamill
Ryan McGowan
Darren Barr
Andy Webster
Ian Black
Rudi Skacel
Adrian Mrowiec
Scott Robinson
John Sutton
Stephen Elliott

Substitutes
Jonny Tuffey
Ross Tokely
Thomas Piermayr
Gavin Morrison
Graeme Shinnie
Billy Mckay
Jamie MacDonald (GK)
Suso Santana
David Templeton
David Obua
Gary Glen
Denis Prychynenko
Jason Holt

Substitutions
Ross Tokely for Nick Ross (86)
Billy Mckay for Gregory Tade (90)
David Templeton => Stephen Elliott (18)
Suso Santana => Darren Barr (63)
David Obua => Ian Black (68)

Bookings
Shane Sutherland (88)
Darren Barr (10)
Ryan McGowan (41)
Ian Black (57)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Ryan Esson (GK) 131 apps -
Kenny Gillet 29 apps -
Steve Williams 2 apps -
Josh Meekings 7 apps -
David Proctor 159 apps8 goals
Johnny Hayes 90 apps23 goals
Greg Tansey 24 apps3 goals
Nick Ross 69 apps3 goals
Richie Foran 118 apps29 goals
Gregory Tade 26 apps8 goals
Shane Sutherland 53 apps3 goals
Ross Tokely (sub) 578 apps36 goals
Billy Mckay (sub) 11 apps1 goal

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Shane Sutherland (21 years 95 days)
Oldest Player:Greg Tansey (2013 years 175 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 355 days
Domestic Players:11 (100.00 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Shane Sutherland (21 years 95 days)
Oldest Player:Greg Tansey (2013 years 175 days)
Average Player Age:26 years 80 days
Domestic Players:17 (100.00 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Milestones

Caley Thistle clean sheets are like buses...

...you wait ages for one of them and two suddenly come along one after the other.

With todays 1-0 win over third placed Hearts, courtesy of a 49th minute strike from Shane Sutherland, Caley Thistle now go 6 games unbeaten, and are theoretically less than a game away from 6th spot !!!

Hearts Blown Away

Edinbrgh's finest were blown away by a whirlwind at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium. They had no answer to the tormentor in chief, Jonny Hayes who showed them a clean pair of heels whenever he got on the ball, and not content with that he helped out in defence by tracking back and snuffing out any threat that Hearts wide boys might have posed. It was Hayes finest game for Inverness.

Terry Butcher had to make seven changes from the side that knocked Dunfermline out of the cup. the weather almost saved him the bother as torrential rain and gale force winds lashed the Moray Firth and brought about a couple of pitch inspections, despite covers masking the surface, and it was touch and go for a while before the game went ahead.

With midweek heroes Roman Golobart and Andrew Shinnie crocked long term and Lee Cox straining a calf, Butcher had to shuffle the pack big time. Thomas Piermayr, Ross Tokely and Graeme Shinnie were rested from the back line as well but Ryan Esson returned to his number one spot in place of the impressive Jonathan Tuffey. So, this meant a completely alien back five taking to the park. Josh Meekings at Right back, David Proctor and Steve Williams as centre-backs and Kenny Gillet returning to left back. There were starts for Nick Ross and Shane Sutherland with McKay dropping to the bench. Some of these changes were due to the hectic schedule recently and not risking players who are still not fully 100%.

Hearts were without Zaliukas red-carded against the Buddies; McGowan filled his boots, but Templeton, Obua and Santana only made the bench. Sutton was the lone striker, no doubt an attempt to unsettle the untried home sides back four with his battering ram style of play.

The game started amid fears that the prevailing anticyclone and heavy precipitation might eventually get the better of the playing surface. Thankfully the conditions were deemed good enough by referee George Salmond for the game to continue and off we kicked.

A bright start by Inverness who were looking sharper than their counterparts in the early stages and broke forward at pace, Jonny Hayes looking up for the challenge after having his throat felt in midweek by captain Foran. Hearts were looking sluggish in the swirling vortex, but Hammill tried his luck as the ball broke to him some thirty-five yards out. Esson was helpless as the sidewinder ball smacked off the crossbar and away to safety. A let off for the home side, but that was about all Hearts had to offer in the first half as Inverness took the game to them.

Our makeshift defence looked as though they had played together for years. The full backs dealing with the wingers with ease and Williams and Proctor handling the threat of Sutton comfortably and displaying great composure at times when the ball was lobbed forward. Williams looks an admirable athlete and strolled through this game untroubled.

Hayes was tormenting the Hearts back line and his darting runs were causing them some grief, so much so that they resorted to upending him at every opportunity with Darren Barr being noted by the referee inside ten minutes.

After nineteen minutes Elliot left the pitch to be replaced by the dangerous David Templeton, no doubt unable to take the jibes after his hilarious double foot fresh air swipe at the ball right in front of the north stand.

Inverness were well on top with Greg Tansey probing and dictating play in midfield and a number of balls into the Hearts box went unpunished. Some of this due to the ball getting tangled under foot and some down to poor finishing. In a rare foray forward, a Templeton free kick was comfortably saved by Esson, looking to keep his second clean sheet in a row.

Inverness did have the ball in the net, Kello blocking an initial effort from Hayes, and after a couple of goes at it, Gillet knocked the ball in but one of the three were flagged offsides. It was Ross who tried to nick the ball and he was the one breaching the offside rule. That did not stop the tannoy man playing the celebratory tune, much to the glee of the North Stand who appreciated the joke.

McGowan was booked nearing half time and Nick Ross had the crowd on their feet as he curled one agonisingly wide. Tade almost opens the scoring as he knocks one wide from inside the six yard box, but the half time whistle draws the game into the break.

Half Time 0-0

Inverness started the second half where they left off, pressing Hearts onto the back foot straight away and after some tidy passing play and tenacity from Jonny Hayes, he picked out Shane Sutherland in the box and his powerful header from close range went through Kello and squirmed over the line with the keeper helpless. Shane's first goal this season after spending plenty time on the bench and just reward for his perseverance.

This stung a lack lustre Jambo's into action and they realised they had to do something if they wanted anything from this game. A couple of fouls later and former Caley Jaggie Ian Black was carded, and not before time. Before seventy minutes had gone, Sergio's intentions were clear as he replaced Barr and Black with Santana and Obua. This injection gave them more pace and width as they tried to recover the game.

The wind in the final third at the South end was restricting Esson's attempts to clear the ball and he was only managing to reach about thirty yards as he faced the teeth of the gale. In fact the weather was more problematic than the Hearts strikers.

A more frenetic end to the game was probably more comfortable for the players on the park than the watchers in the stands. Although Hearts enjoyed more possession now, Inverness still looked more threatening on the break and a cross come shot from wide on the left wing from Sutherland was centimetres away from bouncing into the net as it struck the post with Kello stranded. Hayes spurned the best chance of the half after Tansey threaded him through on goal with ten minutes left. Unfortunately Kello was equal to the wee Irishman and as Hayes flicked the ball goalwards the Keeper blocked the shot to keep Hearts interested. Hearts were reduced to taking pot-shots from distance, but none of them troubled the keeper, and likewise Hayes and Tansey for the homesters. Hearts last fling was blocked comfortably by Esson and that was the final action after four minutes of added time.

Full Time 1-0

This was a great advert for summer football, the game was played out in horrendous conditions. Driving rain, blustery swirling wind that would cut you in half and a ball that floated around like a balloon in a tornado but it all made for an entertaining spectacle and the scoreline although unexpected considering our injury problems warmed the cockle of our hearts.

To be honest, there were no failures today and picking a MotM is unfair to some. Jonny Hayes tore the Hearts defence to shreds with some old fashioned wing play. They had no answer to him, even with two men keeping an eye on him and resorted to some rough house tactics to stop him. Hayes was on a mission though and had his best game this season. Greg Tansey pulled the strings in midfield, popping up in attack and defending in depth when needed covering every blade of grass, but my MotM goes to someone who covered every blade of grass twice. Richie Foran made his greatest contibution to the cause yet. He was everywhere, winning defensive headers, blocking shots and distributing from the back, what a performance from the captain. Special mention to Proctor and Williams who complimented each other perfectly and strolled through the game and Ryan Esson for another clean sheet. Josh Meekings also booked himself the right back slot and Gillet's pace is a huge asset at left back. Nick Ross used the ball well and was unfortunate with one effort, but at the other end he declined a shot on target electing to play in Tade. In the end it was neither, but promising display from young Nick. And to the scorer Shane who has had a traumatic week losing a close friend. It must have been difficult for him but he showed great qualities and scored a vital winner.

Headaches for Butcher now after that eleven produced the goods, despite the inclement weather.

Match report written by tm4tj



None.

Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Celtic 24 19 2 3 48 18 30 59
2. Rangers 24 17 4 3 43 14 29 55
3. Hearts 24 10 5 9 30 18 12 35
4. St. Johnstone 23 10 5 8 30 24 6 35
5. Motherwell 22 10 5 7 27 26 1 35
6. Dundee Utd 24 6 9 9 33 38 -5 27
7. Kilmarnock 23 6 9 8 27 34 -7 27
8. Aberdeen 24 6 8 10 26 30 -4 26
9. St. Mirren 24 6 8 10 25 36 -11 26
10. Inverness CT 23 7 4 12 30 40 -10 25
11. Hibernian 23 4 6 13 24 41 -17 18
12. Dunfermline 22 4 5 13 25 49 -24 17