Ross County 1 - 2 Inverness CT

League Match
Friday, April 4th, 2014, 7:45 PM at Global Energy Stadium, Dingwall
Attendance: 4,433
Referee: Calum Murray
Ross County Inverness CT

Filip Kiss (50) Aaron Doran (45)
Billy Mckay (79)

Team Managers
Derek Adams John Hughes

Starting Eleven
Mark Brown
Erik Cikos
Yann Songo-o
Scott Boyd
Evangelos Ikonomou
Richard Brittain
Filip Kiss
Michael Tidser
Graham Carey
Melvin De Leeuw
Yoann Arquin
Dean Brill
Josh Meekings
Gary Warren
David Raven
Carl Tremarco
Graeme Shinnie
Aaron Doran
Greg Tansey
James Vincent
Marley Watkins
Billy Mckay

Sean McCarthy
Ben Gordon
Rocco Quinn
Gary Glen
Brian McLean
Steven Saunders
Jordan Slew
Ryan Esson
Nick Ross
Liam Polworth
Ryan Christie
Danny Williams
Adam Evans

Rocco Quinn -> Michael Tidser (81)
Jordan Slew -> Evangelos Ikonomou (86)
Ryan Christie for James Vincent (68)

Michael Tidser (71) Marley Watkins (2)
Carl Tremarco (36)
Graeme Shinnie (64)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Dean Brill (GK) 40 apps -
Carl Tremarco 19 apps -
David Raven 72 apps1 goal
Josh Meekings 102 apps -
Gary Warren 75 apps9 goals
Greg Tansey 55 apps7 goals
James Vincent 25 apps1 goal
Marley Watkins 29 apps1 goal
Aaron Doran 109 apps14 goals
Graeme Shinnie 140 apps4 goals
Billy Mckay 110 apps52 goals
Ryan Christie (sub) 12 apps1 goal

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Aaron Doran (22 years 332 days)
Oldest Player:Josh Meekings (2015 years 249 days)
Average Player Age:26 years 182 days
Domestic Players:5 (45.45 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Ryan Christie (19 years 43 days)
Oldest Player:Graeme Shinnie (2015 years 249 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 320 days
Domestic Players:11 (64.71 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts


Kept in the Dark again:

Inverness won the last Highland derby this season with a deserved victory over struggling Ross County. Aaron Doran curled in a beauty on the stroke of half time after a Tansey free kick was parried by Brown, but Kiss scored just after the break when his shot deflected through Tremarco and bounced over Brill. Billy McKay rediscovered how to score as he latched on to his own shot to score a typical poachers goal from close range and almost scored with a sublime chip which hit the bar in the last minute. What a goal that would have been.

A couple of odd refereeing decisions bemused both sets of players and fans, but overall Inverness had the quality and County took the more direct options, but Hughes' players stuck to their orders and sealed their second win in Dingwall this season.

The players and fans were kept in the dark once more at the Global Energy Stadium in the Highland derby. No problem with the lights this time, but referee Calum Murray kept everybody in the dark with his ludicrous indecision and error strewn display, culminating in Shinnie being booked for not fouling Kiss inside the box and County getting the free kick some seven yards away from the non free kick. Totally baffling, what the hell was that all about?

Inverness had Josh Meekings returning at the heart of the defence and the even more exciting prospect of Aaron Doran playing out wide, something we have badly missed in the last month. Ross Draper also missed out due to illness with tough tackling Carl Tremarco coming in at left wing back with Graeme Shinnie moving into midfield to accommodate him. With Marley Watkins starting, there was no place for starlet Ryan Christie in the starting X1 and he began on the bench.

County, not surprisingly, started with the same eleven that did so well at Parkhead, and a less than full stadium saw the game kick off on a pitch heavily watered by a day of constant rain. With the game live on telly, it was no surprise that many chose the comforts of their own home to watch the last Highland fling of the season.

It was a cagey opening to the game with neither side getting the upper hand. It was clear to see that Yogi was sticking to his Barca masterplan as we moved the ball around swiftly without penetrating the County rearguard. County on the other hand were looking to exploit any weaknesses in our defence and hit on the break when our passing game eventually gave the ball away.

Marley Watkins was harshly yellow carded before the third minute had gone and that might have subdued him slightly, but he had the first effort of note when he headed tamely at goal with Brown saving. De Leeuw headed a Brittain through ball wide of the post after thirteen minutes as the game started to open out a little, but it was all a bit subdued.

First clear chance fell to McKay after Watkins burst forward at pace. Billy McKay ran off the defender on the edge of the box but his shot was similar to his penalty in the cup final and lacked conviction, Brown just managing to stretch a leg and divert the ball from entering the net.

Inverness were now having the better of the half and Watkins tested Brown, the ex-Inverness stopper diving full length to his right to turn the low thirty yarder round the post. Gary Warren headed over and James Vincent shot at Brown as the visitors got on top.

First incident that woke the home crowd up came in the 36th minute. Tremarco tried to control a ball on his chest, but he's no Bobby Mann, and when the ball broke towards Kiss he lunged forward with studs showing and caught the County player. I've seen red cards for less and Tremarco was lucky to escape with a yellow. Adams seething at this decision.

Raven and Watkins served the ball to Shinnie who cracked a beauty from thirty yards and once more Brown saved to his right.

County responded and Brill saved high from an Evangelos Oikonomou shot just before the break, but the best was yet to come as Inverness won a free kick thirty yards out.

Now, we are not renowned of late for getting free kicks on target, but we now have Greg Tansey back. He exploded this one to Broonies right and he replicated the save he made five minutes earlier from Shinnie's thunderbolt, but this time McKay diverted the loose ball back out of the box to Doran. A bit of a tale of the unexpected here as Doran looked up and curled a tremendous effort high over Brown from the left corner of the eighteen yard box into the opposite corner for a fantastic opener right on the stroke of half time. A not undeserved lead for Inverness.

Half Time 0-1

County re-jigged their formation after the break and it paid dividends after only five minutes. A bit of fortune in the goal, but maybe it was justice after Tremarco had remained on the park. De Leeuw did well on the left to cut back and get his cross into the box with the outside of his left boot, Songo'o tried an overhead kick with Meekings turning his head away and as the ball fell to Kiss, his shot bounced down from Tremarco's tackle and then up over the stranded Brill for the equaliser.

Now, David Raven is not noted for scoring goals, although he did score on his last visit here, but two minutes after the leveller, he almost restored Inverness' lead as his deflected shot from range forced Brown to tip the ball over from right under the bar.

The game looked to be heading for a draw and Murray denied Inverness a penalty as Watkins tumbled in the box. The next penalty claim was bizarre for many reasons. Kiss lowered his head towards the ball inside the penalty area as Shinnie was clearing the danger. Boot, ball and head all made contact at the same time with the ball cushioning the blow. Kiss eventually falls over some seven yards away clutching his head. Shinnie remonstrated with Murray who looked to have lost the plot by this time and Booked Shinnie. Now then what would he do? If it was a free kick then surely it was a penalty, but in all honesty it never was a foul in the first place, unless Kiss could be seen to be using dangerous play by putting his head where the boot was. The bold Mr Murray made the worst ever decision by awarding County a free kick where Kiss had fallen, miles outside the box to the amazement of everybody, and people wonder why Scottish referees get so much stick. Unbelievable. Adams in seething overload at this one.

Inverness lived dangerously as the game entered the last quarter and were glad to see a whipped cross from Oikonomou be turned away for a corner by Warren and Meekings.

Boyd might have done better with a header and Tansey and Shinnie shot wide as both sides searched for the winner and it came with twelve minutes left.

Persistence paid off when Billy McKay netted from close range at the second attempt. Tremarco, remember him, nodded a ball back to Doran who dinked a ball onto the penalty spot. This is McKay territory and his first volley was blocked by the hand of Boyd, but Billy made no mistake from six yards as he slammed the ball high into the top corner to score a strikers goal.

Billy was not finished yet and he almost scored a brilliant solo goal after turning Boyd inside out on the edge of the box then chipping Brown. Unfortunately the ball smacked the bar with the keeper beaten for what would have been simply sublime.

That was the straw that broke the camels back and it was game over in what turned out to be an entertaining game after a cautious start.

Full Time 1-2

Full credit goes to Hughes for sticking to his game plan, although the part the wide players played in this victory was crucial and something we have lacked when Doran was out injured. County might feel aggrieved on a couple of occasions, the Tremarco tackle and the crazy incident where Murray lost the plot, but overall Inverness provided more quality and County looked to hit on the break, which floundered on our once more reliable back four with Brill being a spectator for most of the game, unlike Mark Brown who made half a dozen excellent stops.

tm4tj MotM:- A few contenders but difficult to see past Doran who scored the spectacular opener and had an assist for the winner, all so soon after coming back from injury. McKay was back to his best, but can only display that if we create chances for him and his goal was a typical McKay finish, sharp as a tack in the box and lethal with his follow up. The heart of our defence was solid and Raven and bad boy Tremarco always willing to overlap provided outlets for us with Tansey showing up well in central control room.

Match report written by tm4tj

Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Celtic 32 27 4 1 80 16 64 85
2. Aberdeen 32 18 6 8 45 30 15 60
3. Motherwell 32 19 3 10 53 47 6 60
4. Dundee Utd 32 15 9 8 57 38 19 54
5. Inverness CT 33 15 7 11 40 35 5 52
6. St. Johnstone 32 13 6 13 39 33 6 45
7. Hibernian 32 8 10 14 29 42 -13 34
8. Kilmarnock 32 9 6 17 40 55 -15 33
9. Ross County 33 8 7 18 38 56 -18 31
10. Partick Thistle 32 6 12 14 34 53 -19 30
11. St. Mirren 32 7 7 18 31 53 -22 28
12. Hearts 32 6 7 19 29 57 -28 25