Inverness CT 1 - 4 Rangers

League Match
Sunday, February 26th, 2012, 12:45 PM at Tulloch Caledonian Stadium
Attendance: 6,416
Referee: William Collum
Inverness CT  Rangers

Goalscorers
Steve Williams (40)
Steven Davis (6)
Sone Aluko (16)
Andrew Little (36)
Lee McCulloch (72)

Team Managers
Terry Butcher Ally McCoist

Starting Eleven
Ryan Esson
Kenny Gillet
Josh Meekings
Steve Williams
Johnny Hayes
Nick Ross
Graeme Shinnie
Greg Tansey
Richie Foran
Gregory Tade
Billy Mckay
Allan McGregor
Kirk Broadfoot
Dorin Goian
Carlos Bocanegra
Ross Perry
Lee McCulloch
Steven Davis
Sone Aluko
Maurice Edu
Salim Kerkar
Andrew Little

Substitutes
Jonny Tuffey
Ross Tokely
David Proctor
Owain Tudur Jones
Claude Gnakpa
Shane Sutherland
Sam Winnall
Neil Alexander
Mervan Celik
Alejandro Bedoya
Greg Wylde
Rhys McCabe
David Healy
Kane Hemmings

Substitutions
David Proctor for Josh Meekings (46)
Claude Gnakpa for Nick Ross (71)
Owain Tudur Jones for Gregory Tade (88)
Mervan Celik => Salim Kerkar (81)
Greg Wylde => Sone Aluko (85)
Kane Hemmings => Andrew Little (85)

Bookings
Kenny Gillet (42)
Richie Foran (62)
None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Ryan Esson (GK) 135 apps -
Josh Meekings 12 apps -
Steve Williams 4 apps1 goal
Kenny Gillet 34 apps -
Nick Ross 74 apps4 goals
Graeme Shinnie 47 apps1 goal
Johnny Hayes 95 apps23 goals
Greg Tansey 29 apps3 goals
Billy Mckay 13 apps1 goal
Gregory Tade 29 apps8 goals
Richie Foran 123 apps29 goals
David Proctor (sub) 163 apps8 goals
Claude Gnakpa (sub) 5 apps -
Owain Tudur Jones (sub) 6 apps -

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Billy Mckay (23 years 132 days)
Oldest Player:Josh Meekings (2013 years 211 days)
Average Player Age:26 years 30 days
Domestic Players:10 (90.91 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Sam Winnall (21 years 43 days)
Oldest Player:Owain Tudur Jones (2013 years 211 days)
Average Player Age:26 years 56 days
Domestic Players:17 (94.44 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Milestones
Steve Williams scored his first goal for the Club.

Inverness fans due a refund as team fails to turn up...

Inverness played like a Highland league side; that's maybe doing the Highland league teams a dis-service, as they constantly lofted aimless balls forward, mis-controlled in defence and in front of goals, wasted throw-ins and free kicks and were, well, just generally inept.

The Ibrox tax dodgers put aside their off field shenanigans to overwhelm a clumsy and hapless Inverness X1, who looked as though they were on a Sunday afternoon kick about in the sun. Oh wait, they were, unfortunately Rangers meant business and from the start they controlled the pace of the game and will not have an easier afternoons wages in a long time, assuming they will get paid.

Rangers responded magnificently to adversity and sprinted out of the blocks scoring three first half goals before Steve Williams notched the consolation before the break. Davis, Aluko and Little were the first half scorers and Lee McCulloch completed the rout in the second half, and almost added a fifth.

Ross Tokely found himself on the bench once more with Gillet partnering Williams and Shinnie at left back. Tade and McKay were on from the start. Ally McCoist put Perry, Little and Kerkar on the park with David Healy dropping to the bench, and it was the Rangers manager who's alteration made the most impact as Inverness struggled to cope with the pace and accuracy of the Gers strikers.

A shell shocked Ginger Jaggy will take up the story when he calms down...............

Well, the future may hang in the balance for Rangers but they showed a togetherness and performance to suggest that no one at Ibrox is lying down and ready to take the impending doom hanging over the club. In contrast, every Caley Thistle fan who was present and watching on Sky will know that for all the good possession Rangers held Caley Thistle gave them the freedom of Inverness.

Terry Butcher was furious after the game and so he should be. This is the second Old Firm match where Caley Thistle have been bullied and made to look like Sunday league players. The days when Caley thistle really gave the Old Firm a match in the Highland Capital has disappeared for the time being. The idea of top six footballs still remains a possibility, but it is growing shorter by the week as Dundee United look to pull away from the rest of the pack.

Rangers played their first away game from Ibrox since being moved in to administration and after losing to Kilmarnock hopes were raised that Caley Thistle could inflict more pain in front of the Sky Cameras. But for that to happen we had to perform at our best, this, on paper, was as weak a Rangers side that has travelled up the A9 but anyone expecting an easy victory would be optimistic at best. This Rangers team still have quality players which could still have competed for the league if they hadn’t had a ten point deduction.

The opening to the game was encouraging for the home side as they pressed from the off against their battered and bruised opponents. But with their first attack the champions (for not much longer) took the lead through their best player Steve Davis who ran the show all game. On six minutes the impressive Salim Kerkar was played through on the Caley Thistle right and his simple ball into the centre was tapped home by the industrious Northern Irishman. From that point Rangers looked like they could score every time they attacked. It was not really due to Rangers attacking but more down to our defence looking as shaky as a house built on sand.

Sone Aluko missed a sitter from close range as he failed to put his back post header on target from only five yards out from a brilliant Davis cross. But the ex-Aberdeen wide man was not to be denied only a few minutes later when an Andy Little cross was poorly cleared by Kenny Gillet and Aluko from 18 yards drilled the ball low into the corner of the net.

Caley Thistle did show glimpses of getting back into the game with Greg Tansey making Allan McGregor parry a powerful drive before Billy McKay troubled the Rangers defence with a decent run and cross with no one to profit in the middle.

The game was then ended as a contest when Kerkar again played a terrific ball in behind Meekings and Little finished superbly over Esson to complete Rangers dominance. But that wasn’t the end of the scoring in this half as Steve Williams powered a header into the Rangers net from a Tansey corner to keep the game breathing but only just.

Half Time 1-3

The second half did not yield as much action as the first which on a positive note meant that Caley Thistle was not really humiliated as badly as they could have been. Inverness brought on Proctor to replace the bedraggled Meekings. The second half started encouragingly when Jonny Hayes delivered a tempting ball into the box which Gregory Tade put wide at the front post but via a deflection. Had that gone in then at 3-2 the game may have been different but yet again our defence proved that we were never going to win this game. They were bullied at a corner and a header from Maurice Edu was cleared off the line by Nick Ross before Davis struck a low shot which Esson did well to put past the post with his foot. The ball travelled through a ruck of bodies and Esson showed lightning reactions to turn it round the post with his foot.

We had escaped but with little happening at the other end it was likely that Rangers would increase their lead. They did on 72 minutes when Caley Thistle again gave the ball away cheaply and it ended up in the back of the net. Little again drove at the defence and played a lovely ball to Kerkar whose weakfish effort was parried by Esson and the rebound was slammed home by Lee McCulloch.

Gregory Tade spurned another opportunity from a tempting Hayes cross but it would not have counted as he was flagged for offside, and Rangers almost made it five late on when McCulloch saw his fantastic volley crash off the bar and away. But Television Replays do appear to show that the ball did cross the line.

The game ended without any more meaningful action. What was shown was that Rangers can’t be treated lightly as they played very well for the circumstances they are in. In fact it is perceivable that quite a few members of the squad that did play or at least made the journey north will never play with each other again. Caley Thistle made Rangers look like world beaters with a performance which was inept at best.

Full Time 1-4

Terry Butcher has a lot of work to do if we are to make top six now starting with Dundee United next week. The odds are against us but we must not forget that we were the form team through January and the only team’s that had beaten us were the Old Firm. So let’s write this match off and start afresh for next week because surely we can not be as generous as we were on Sunday.

Match report written by tm4tj/ginger jaggie



None.

Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Celtic 29 24 2 3 61 18 43 74
2. Rangers 28 20 4 4 55 17 38 64
3. Motherwell 28 14 6 8 40 33 7 48
4. St. Johnstone 27 11 6 10 36 33 3 39
5. Dundee Utd 28 9 10 9 44 39 5 37
6. Hearts 28 10 6 12 31 28 3 36
7. Aberdeen 28 7 11 10 28 31 -3 32
8. Kilmarnock 28 7 11 10 31 43 -12 32
9. St. Mirren 28 6 12 10 26 37 -11 30
10. Inverness CT 27 7 6 14 32 46 -14 27
11. Hibernian 28 5 7 16 30 55 -25 22
12. Dunfermline 29 4 7 18 30 64 -34 19