Inverness CT 1 - 3 Queen of the South

League Match
Saturday, October 10th, 2009, 3:00 PM at Caledonian Stadium
Attendance: 3,011
Referee: Iain Brines
Inverness CT  Queen of the South

Johnny Hayes (19)
Holmes (1)
Holmes (83)
Holmes (90)

Team Managers
Terry Butcher Gordon Chisholm

Starting Eleven
Ryan Esson
Ross Tokely
Grant Munro
Stuart Golabek
Nauris Bulvitus
Russell Duncan
Lee Cox
Robert Eagle
Johnny Hayes
Richie Foran
Dani Sanchez

Kyle Allison
David Proctor
Daniel Stratford
Dougie Imrie
Adam Rooney

Dougie Imrie for Dani Sanchez (71)
Adam Rooney for Robert Eagle (76)
McLaren => McAusland (38)
Weatherston => Wyness (46)
Kean => Weatherston (67)

Richie Foran (72)
Nauris Bulvitus (77)
Nauris Bulvitus (86)
Lilley (28)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Ryan Esson (GK) 40 apps -
Nauris Bulvitus 14 apps1 goal
Stuart Golabek 236 apps5 goals
Grant Munro 298 apps10 goals
Ross Tokely 490 apps32 goals
Russell Duncan 298 apps9 goals
Lee Cox 15 apps2 goals
Robert Eagle 12 apps3 goals
Johnny Hayes 14 apps3 goals
Richie Foran 30 apps7 goals
Dani Sanchez 12 apps5 goals
Dougie Imrie (sub) 61 apps8 goals
Adam Rooney (sub) 51 apps9 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Lee Cox (19 years 111 days)
Oldest Player:Robert Eagle (2011 years 72 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 162 days
Domestic Players:11 (100.00 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Lee Cox (19 years 111 days)
Oldest Player:Dani Sanchez (2011 years 72 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 218 days
Domestic Players:16 (100.00 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts


Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse…

Yet another home game, and yet another humiliating defeat.

Just when it looked like we had turned the corner with victory against Ross County, ICT crashed and burned to Queen of the South, conceding two late goals.

Derek Holmes was the hat-trick hero for the visitors, who comfortably soaked up pressure for long periods as Caley Thistle, level at the break thanks to a Jonny Hayes strike, toiled against solid defending and eventually went to pieces late in the match. The result, it is fair to say, heaps considerable pressure on Terry Butcher, who hardly helped his cause by berating fans as they left the ground early.

It took (by my watch) all of 35 seconds for the quiet optimism buzzing in the stands to be sucked away. To be fair, the strike from Holmes was worthy of any football match, but true to form for the season, ICT were their own worst enemy. Sanchez bizarrely passed straight to Wyness – bizarre Sanchez passes remained a theme throughout the match – and Denzil quickly fed Holmes who showed a technique which belied his physique to hook a sweet volley past Esson from 25 yards. Even a number of the home fans, including myself, felt the goal worthy of applause. Yet even then we were buoyed as the players responded well to the setback. Sanchez nearly redeemed himself with a bit of good fortune, as a defender’s clearance ricocheted goalwards off the Spaniard, only to be well saved. But soon the scores were level, as Jonny Hayes did his level best to produce an effort to match QOS’s opening gambit. From a free kick twenty-five yards from goal, out wide, Hayes chose to try his luck instead of crossing and he whipped the ball inside the near post with the surprised goalkeeper well beaten. Two wonderful goals and, for a change, a good match as well. So far, so good, we thought.

By half time there was only one team that looked likely to win. Even though some of (no, let’s be honest – most of) the passing was dodgy to the say the least, and the likes of Sanchez and Eagle could be most diplomatically described as “passengers”, Inverness were well on top. Richie Foran was the fulcrum of everything good, taking the ball into feet and using it well, despite a glaring lack of support. Lee Cox came closest to scoring next when Foran played him in behind the defence, but his effort was blocked by Hutton in the away goal. The away team were camped in their own half. At the break, the verdict in the stands was unanimous – this match was for the taking. How wrong we were.

Denzil didn’t emerge for the second half – I don’t know whether he was injured or whether it was a tactical change. The relief at the fact he wouldn’t be putting us to the sword dissipated quickly, as it became clear that half-time had sapped our momentum. Where we had been tigrish in the first half, we were sluggish in the second. Hayes, often our most dangerous man, was double-marked in the second half and drifted out of the game, but his team-mates failed to take advantage of the extra space. As the gameplan became (predictably) the long ball to an isolated Foran, Queen of the South fought their way back into things. Even when Eagle and Sanchez were predictably hooked, things seemed to get worse, even though the long awaited return of Dougie Imrie from injury gave the fans a rare opportunity to cheer. All tactical shape disappeared and Gordon Chisholm’s side seized the opportunity. Ryan Esson had to tip one effort onto the post but, even as murmurs of frustration began to sweep through the home support, the defence failed to the heed the warning signs. With seven minutes left, a free kick from the left touchline was swung in and Holmes, quickest to react (in fact, the only one to react) glanced it into the bottom corner. It was a deadly blow. Heads dropped, shoulders slumped, and the Caley effort collapsed like a house of cards in a hurricane. The quiet discontent in the main stand became full-blown dissent, as the place emptied in a flash. The manager, stung by the heavy criticism (some over the top, but plenty justified), berated the supporters behind him for leaving, but in truth there was no reason to stay. It was clear the players had no fight left to attempt to salvage the situation. With gaps all over the park, a swift Queen of the South counterattack was finished once more by big Derek Holmes who was given the freedom of the penalty box to stroke the ball past the helpless Esson. Sub Adam Rooney did come close to a late, late consolation, but by that point it might not even have mustered a cheer. We had lost, again, against mediocre opposition. And Queen of the South didn’t even need to bring Barry Wilson off the bench to do it.

Butcher stormed straight down the tunnel at the final whistle, probably to avoid abuse. In truth there were not enough fans left to make a decent noise, but it’s clear that ICT’s management team are now hugely under pressure. The dream of a return to the SPL appears to be dead; whether we can keep well clear of the relegation dogfight, and whether TB and co. can turn this around are matters that are well open to debate. Caley have not won at home in the league since April, and there is no sign to suggest that this will change in a hurry. For the record, this writer has lost faith in the manager, but can we afford to chuck him?

The Patented Hislopsoffsideagain Man of The Match Award (the winner gets a free pint from me, if he ever claims it)

Yet again Richie Foran gave his all up front, holding up the ball for aeons despite having next to no help from his colleagues. How long till he ditches us for a team that deserves his talents?

The Patented Hislopsoffsideagain Waste of Space Award (the winner gets a slap from me if I ever run into him in the street)

Where do you start? Sanchez offers absolutely nothing – he couldn’t even stay on his feet half the time. Eagle was pedestrian at best. The defending was abysmal at best. Tokely looked unfit, Munro and Golabek just kept lobbing the ball forward aimlessly, and Bulvitis was slow, poor in the air and woeful in his positioning.

Match report written by hislopsoffsideagain


Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Queen of the South 9 5 2 2 18 10 8 17
2. Ross County 8 5 1 2 12 9 3 16
3. Partick Thistle 9 4 3 2 15 8 7 15
4. Raith Rovers 8 4 3 1 12 6 6 15
5. Dundee 8 4 3 1 11 7 4 15
6. Inverness CT 8 2 3 3 11 12 -1 9
7. Dunfermline 8 3 0 5 8 11 -3 9
8. Morton 9 3 0 6 6 17 -11 9
9. Ayr United 8 1 3 4 5 11 -6 6
10. Airdrie United 9 0 4 5 6 13 -7 4