To Hell and back:
Inverness staged a remarkable comeback at Tannadice to almost take all three points in a nail biting four all draw against the Tangerines. We found ourselves three goals down after an incredible opening eight minutes where bloopers were the order of the day. Josh Meekings was unfortunate to bundle the ball into his own net after five minutes and Jon Daly scored an equally bizaare goal as he blocked a Graeme Shinnie clearance, the ball rebounding into the net behind a raging Reguero. It got even worse after eight minutes when Skacel stroked home and the game looked beyond a shell shocked Inverness. We are, however, made of stern stuff these days and a typical poachers double from Billy McKay gave us hope before half time and then the incredible happened. McKay scored his hat-trick from the spot and then Garry Warren looked to have won it with a terrific header, four minutes from time, but a hotly disputed penalty saw Daly level the scores and bring the curtain down on a memorable match...........meh, eat yer heart out Derek Adams.
Dundee United were quick out of the blocks at Tannadice and before you could say wow, they were three goals up inside eight minutes. A speculative long ball to the back post saw Daly slide in to meet it, but he made a hash of it and knocked it square across the six yard box, unfortunately the inrushing marker Josh Meekengs could only hold his head in his hands as the ball cannoned off him into the net behind a stranded Reguero.
It went from bad to worse moments later. Graeme Shinnie did well to intercept a through ball, but he delayed his clearance until the following striker stuck a leg out as Graeme completed his clearance. He was waiting for the keeper to come out, wrongly I have to say, and Reguero was waiting for Shinnie to clear it. Result, comical goal number two and disaster for Inverness.
Number three came about much more clearly. Skacel was afforded the freedom of the box and he buried the ball low past a stranded and forlorn keeper. No way back surely!
Incredibly, United could and should have gone five up before Billy Mckay intervened. Gunning headed harmlessly over when he should have scored, and that was just after Reguero had made a good save, low to his left to deny a Rankin strike.
Finally, Inverness started the game. Andrew Shinnie drew an excellent save from Cierzniak, tipping his 25 yard effort over the bar. The fightback had begun.
In the 25th minute, on form striker Billy McKay made an impact nodding in a Foran volley from six yards to reduce the deficit, and astonishingly two minutes later scored with another close range header from a Doran corner.
Half Time 3-2
As in the first half, it was United who came out all guns blazing looking to kill off the visitors and Stuart Armstrong went wide from the edge of the box. Reguero kept Inverness interested with an instinctive save after a Garry Warren block almost found it's way into the net and as the Spanish keeper kept the ball out, Flood flashed the ball into the side netting. He was to feel worse soon after as he bundled over Ross Draper to hand Billy McKay the opportunity to complete his hat-trick. He duly obliged, tucking the ball away with ease.
The game had evened out now and Tudur-Jones tested the keeper with a header. Inverness amazingly went ahead with barely five minutes left. Garry Warren met a Graeme Shinnie corner flush on his napper and the ball sped into the back of the net via the base of Cierzniak's left hand post. The unlikely had happened, Inverness had gone ahead, but could they hold on to that lead.
The answer would be revealed shortly, but not before Reguero once more showed his worth, denying Daly from close range. However, United would not be denied, although the jury is out on the decision to award the penalty. Foran adjudged to have committed an offence and Daly putting the resultant spot kick straight down the middle, unfortunately, Reguero had already made his mind up and dived to his left, the ball almost clipping his heels, and that was the goal that ended the scoring at four apiece.
Full Time 4-4
Well well, that was some game. From the depths of despair to the brink of victory and back to all square again. Maybe it's a bit of Karma after our cup heroics against County, Derek Adams must have smiled at that one surely. Billy McKay simply scores when he wants. He is on fire just now and his treble was poaching at it's best. We had shot ourselves in the foot with the first couple of goals and it looked like game over at ten past three, but our new found confidence saw us drag ourselves back into contention, and we even had the temerity to take the lead, albeit momentarily before United's last gasp equaliser.
There's only one MotM here, and it's Billy McKay for giving us something to battle on for. Scoring three goals anywhere would normally win most games for you, but it takes two to tango, and United deserved their point, so well done to them for playing their part in this memorable game.
Terry Butcher gave a full match analysis after the game, and this is a fantastic tactical insight into how and why Inverness Caledonian Thistle have competed so well this season.
Match report written by tm4tj