Inverness CT 1 - 2 Dundee Utd

League Match
Saturday, May 11th, 2013, 3:00 PM at Tulloch Caledonian Stadium
Attendance: 3,728
Referee: Crawford Allan
Inverness CT  Dundee Utd

Goalscorers
Aaron Doran (42)
Ryan Dow (50)
Gary Mackay-Steven (90)

Team Managers
Terry Butcher Jackie McNamara

Starting Eleven
Antonio Reguero
Chris Hogg
Josh Meekings
David Raven
Nick Ross
Graeme Shinnie
Aaron Doran
Andrew Shinnie
Ross Draper
Richie Foran
Billy Mckay
Radoslaw Cierzniak
Brian McLean
Jon Souttar
Willo Flood
John Rankin
Gary Mackay-Steven
Stuart Armstrong
Ryan Gauld
Johnny Russell
Jon Daly
Ryan Dow

Substitutes
Ryan Esson
Daniel Devine
Charlie Taylor
Liam Polworth
Owain Tudur Jones
Conor Pepper
Shane Sutherland
Philip Anderson
Richie Ryan
Mark Millar
Michael Gardyne
Marcus Tornstrand
Rory Boulding
Luke Johnston

Substitutions
Owain Tudur Jones for Ross Draper (80)
Shane Sutherland for Nick Ross (87)
Mark Millar -> Ryan Dow (64)
Michael Gardyne -> Ryan Gauld (68)
Rory Boulding -> Johnny Russell (73)

Bookings
Ross Draper (54)
John Rankin (34)
Radoslaw Cierzniak (35)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Antonio Reguero (GK) 27 apps -
Chris Hogg 24 apps1 goal
David Raven 42 apps -
Josh Meekings 61 apps -
Ross Draper 40 apps5 goals
Aaron Doran 72 apps6 goals
Graeme Shinnie 99 apps2 goals
Andrew Shinnie 64 apps24 goals
Nick Ross 104 apps7 goals
Richie Foran 168 apps40 goals
Billy Mckay 68 apps30 goals
Owain Tudur Jones (sub) 54 apps2 goals
Shane Sutherland (sub) 89 apps3 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Aaron Doran (22 years 4 days)
Oldest Player:Josh Meekings (2014 years 286 days)
Average Player Age:24 years 305 days
Domestic Players:7 (63.64 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Liam Polworth (18 years 216 days)
Oldest Player:Graeme Shinnie (2014 years 286 days)
Average Player Age:24 years 107 days
Domestic Players:13 (72.22 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Milestones

Euro door is still ajar:

Inverness failed to clinch a European spot, despite St Johnstone going down heavily against Celtic, after their profligacy enabled Dundee United to steal all three points in a game where missed chances cost Inverness dearly. Last weeks hat-trick hero Billy McKay once more missed a penalty and Doran, Ross, McKay and Shinnie all passed up glorious chances to seal the points. Aaron Doran had opened the scoring but Ryan Dow levelled in a rare United foray forward and the sickener came in injury time when Gary MacKay-Steven knocked home the winner to stun Inverness.

The Euro dream is hanging by a thread, a very thin thread at that after Inverness spurned enough chances to win three games. It was set up nicely earlier in the day as Celtic trounced St Johnstone 4-0 to leave Inverness the relatively straightforward task of beating an understrength Dundee United side to clinch their Europa League slot ahead of Perth and Dingwall, but it was not to be, despite Inverness pushing hard for victory on a blustery afternoon.

It all started promisingly for Inverness with Foran and Shinnie directing shots at Cierzniak in the opening few minutes. It was over ten minutes before United came out of their shell and a lovely MacKay-Steven back heel set up Armstrong for a crack at goal but Meekings saved the day with a block in the six-yard box with Reguero beaten, the ball heading close to the far post. Meekings tried his luck with a free kick, no doubt inspired by his shot last weekend which set up the winner, but this time it was wide of the mark.

There followed an untidy period as neither side were able to exert any sustained pressure although Inverness always held the upper hand and Billy McKay should have done better when he tried to tee up Doran but his pass never quite reached the Inverness man and the defence just squeezed the ball round the post for a corner. You got the feeling it was not going to be McKay's day as he fluffed a volley from twelve yards after Foran and Ross had teed him up with headers, but Billy trundled his shot goalwards allowing the keeper to make a diving save to claw the ball away.

McKay and Doran had shots charged down by the overworked United defence and you could sense that something was about to give, and give it did. However McKay's day of woe would be complete as he passed up a chance from the spot after Rankin had felled Doran. He hit this one firmly enough but Cierzniak guessed correctly diving to his left to keep the ball out.

Andy Shinnie then decided to take matters into his own hands and he tried in vain to get the opener, flashing a couple of attempts wide but Inverness took the lead in style when Aaron Doran turned sharply on the edge of the box and whistled a low shot across and beyond the outstretched arms of the keeper, the ball nestling in the bottom corner. Great goal after some neat interplay, Foran, Hogg, McKay and Raven setting up the chance.

Daly had a chance to level matters just before half time but he headed straight at Reguero from 10 yards when a yard either side would have done the trick. That was about the last action of the first half with Inverness getting a foot in the Euro door.

Half Time 1-0

Inverness came out after the break intent on extending their vulnerable lead and Doran tested Cierzniak before Foran fizzed a shot wide, but it was the visitors who made more headway as Ryan Dow pounced on a knockdown from Draper who was under pressure from the irritating Jon Daly to crash the ball past Reguero from seven yards.

More ebb and flow about the game now and Doran fired one high over the bar. Russell tried a spectacular volley from thirty-five yards as the ball sat up nicely for him but Reguero was alert to it.

Undeterred by this set back, Inverness pushed forward at every opportunity and this would eventually be our downfall. Shots were raining in at both ends and Reguero was fortunate as he flapped at a corner which the defence eventually hacked clear.

With ten minutes left Doran missed a glorious opportunity to get the second foot in the Eurodoor but he blasted a cut back high over the North Stand from ten yards when a simple controlled stab would have done the job.

The Eurodoor was slammed shut for now as United broke swiftly in time added on and MacKay-Steven showed Doran how to execute the trick by side footing home a brisk cross to steal all three points and leave Inverness' season hanging by a sliver.

Still time for Andy Shinnie to bring his last home game to a close in style but Cierzniak was equal to it and that was game over in such disappointing style for the home fans who trudged away dreading the thought of next weeks Highland Derby deciding our seasons fate one way or another.

Full Time 1-2

To summarise, we had enough chances to win this game and next weeks game, but for one reason or another we failed to capitalise on our superiority and United battled hard for their win, fair play to them. We were the architects of our own downfall and it sets it up now for a winners take all weekend next week.

tm4tj MotM:- My award goes to Andy Shinnie in his last home game before heading South. He tried his utmost but those around him were incapable of providing the finishing touches to his link play. No doubt we will be the poorer next season without Andy and good luck to him at Birmingham. Meekings also put in another solid shift and Foran worked himself to a standstill, but it was not enough as United won the day.

With Ross County losing 2-0 on Sunday afternoon, only two teams can now qualify, Inverness or St Johnstone, it is much clearer now what we need to do next weekend.

Match report written by tm4tj



None.

Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Celtic 37 23 7 7 88 35 53 76
2. Motherwell 36 17 9 10 65 48 17 60
3. Inverness CT 37 13 15 9 64 59 5 54
4. St. Johnstone 37 13 14 10 43 44 -1 53
5. Ross County 36 12 14 10 46 46 0 50
6. Aberdeen 37 11 14 12 40 42 -2 47
7. Dundee Utd 37 11 14 12 51 57 -6 47
8. Kilmarnock 36 11 12 13 49 47 2 45
9. Hearts 36 11 10 15 37 46 -9 43
10. Hibernian 35 10 12 13 43 50 -7 42
11. St. Mirren 37 8 14 15 44 59 -15 38
12. Dundee 37 7 9 21 28 65 -37 30