Celtic 2 - 2 Inverness CT

League Match
Saturday, November 27th, 2010, 3:00 PM at Celtic Park, Glasgow
Attendance: 46,096
Referee: Alain Hamer (Luxembourg)
Celtic Inverness CT

Goalscorers
Sung-Yeung Ki (38)
Patrick McCourt (65)
Richie Foran (70)
Grant Munro (83)

Team Managers
Neil Lennon Terry Butcher

Starting Eleven
Fraser Forster
Thomas Rogne
Daniel Majstorovic
Jos Hooiveld
Du-Ri Cha
Charlie Mulgrew
Sung-Yeung Ki
Joe Ledley
Shaun Maloney
Gary Hooper
Daryl Murphy
Ryan Esson
Ross Tokely
Grant Munro
Russell Duncan
Lee Cox
Johnny Hayes
Nick Ross
Graeme Shinnie
Stuart Duff
Adam Rooney
Richie Foran

Bench
Lukasz Zaluska
Emilio Izaguirre
Mark Wilson
Richie Towell
Niall McGinn
Patrick McCourt
Anthony Stokes
Jonny Tuffey
Stuart Golabek
Roy McBain
Eric Odhiambo
Shane Sutherland
Dani Sanchez

Substitutions
Patrick McCourt => Shaun Maloney (9)
Richie Towell => Jos Hooiveld (57)
Anthony Stokes => Daryl Murphy (78)
Eric Odhiambo for Richie Foran (81)

Bookings
None. Lee Cox (88)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Ryan Esson (GK) 87 apps -
Ross Tokely 533 apps34 goals
Grant Munro 346 apps15 goals
Russell Duncan 336 apps10 goals
Johnny Hayes 61 apps14 goals
Lee Cox 54 apps3 goals
Stuart Duff 15 apps1 goal
Nick Ross 30 apps1 goal
Graeme Shinnie 15 apps -
Adam Rooney 99 apps46 goals
Richie Foran 69 apps21 goals
Eric Odhiambo (sub) 52 apps11 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Lee Cox (20 years 159 days)
Oldest Player:Adam Rooney (2012 years 120 days)
Average Player Age:27 years 12 days
Domestic Players:11 (100.00 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Shane Sutherland (20 years 40 days)
Oldest Player:Graeme Shinnie (2012 years 120 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 216 days
Domestic Players:17 (100.00 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Milestones

One year on the road undefeated on League duty:

Inverness achieved a remarkable milestone today and did it the hard way.  One year and counting since Inverness Caledonian Thistle lost a league match, and no better place to do it than the scene of  the crime of 'supercaleygoballistic'.  We did it the hard way as well, with Celtic tentatively edging into a 2-0 lead through a Ki Sung-Yeung strike and a superb solo effort once more from Paddy McCourt.  However, Terry Butcher has built a side with plenty of resilience and no shortage of skill and Inverness deservedly preserved that long undefeated record in spectacular style.  Richie Foran started the party by mugging Rogne and brilliantly slotting the ball beyond Forster off the post.  The comeback was completed when an audacious overhead kick from Rooney was headed home by Grant Munro with some seven minutes left.

The unfortunately named Hamer, and his linesmen were noticeable by their invisibility, so they must have had a decent game.  Well done to them as they would have been under tremendous pressure to perform in the Parkhead goldfish bowl.  This they did, and they completed the misery for Neil Lennon & Co with aplomb. 

The Shakespearean Tragedy is all Celtic's then, over to you Alternative Maryhill.....................

Having played its first competitive fixture in August 1994, Inverness Caledonian Thistle is a teenager. According to stereotype, it should have spent the last year doing whatever the footballing equivalent is of locking itself in its black-painted bedroom, pretending to study, listening to difficult, angular guitar music and listing its many hatreds in its diary. But when did Inverness Caledonian Thistle ever do anything according to stereotype? This particular sixteen year old is a brash, swaggering one, which has spent the last year getting up in the faces of teams the length and breadth of Scotland, fuelled by little more than Auchterarder fish suppers, quiz nights and self belief. It must be a grand young team to play for at the moment; it is certainly a grand young team to support. Yesterday’s game at Celtic Park will live long in the memory for a number of reasons: the doubts for most of the week as to whether it would go ahead due to the referees’ strike; a slight anxiety about whether the Inverness team, having elected to travel on Saturday morning, would make it through the snow and roadworks in time to submit the team lines; the novelty of seeing foreign officials taking charge of a Scottish league match for the first time, and anticipation of any potentially controversial decisions; and the additional layer of contempt for Celtic among many of the visiting supporters due to the club’s role in the whole refereeing debacle. Happily for ICT supporters, however, the most prominent reasons for remembering this game will ultimately be football ones. This was a performance that epitomised what Caley Thistle have become under Terry Butcher: confident, composed, classy and unable to accept that they are ever beaten. Belatedly, the media are starting to sit up and take notice of what is happening in Inverness. The team’s away record merited a mention on Sky’s ‘Soccer AM’ and yesterday’s Herald reflected the increased respect for Terry Butcher’s team by predicting that the game would end in a draw, something rarely forecast for any league visitors to Celtic Park apart from the other ugly sister. That the journalist in question also predicted that the team would line up with Stuart Golabek in central defence only slightly reduced confidence in his judgement, and in the end he turned out to be correct, about the draw if not Golly. Even Neil Lennon managed to summon up something which sounded like respect and admiration for Caley Thistle in the pre-match build up, although that had vanished in a puff of green smoke by the end of the match, with Lennon reverting to his torn-faced default setting. If he admires Terry Butcher as much as he professes to, perhaps he should take some tips in treating the media, officials and opponents with the same respect and graciousness that the Inverness manager shows. The pre-match build up for the Caley Away crew consisted, for the real hardcore, of breakfast in the Counting House, elevenses in the Horseshoe and a liquid lunch in the London Road Tavern, with the more lightweight of us joining for the latter part. The Celtic support has come in for a lot of criticism recently, but a couple of hours in the LRT is a reminder that a lot of these guys are just football fans first and foremost. Belying the cliché of Celtic pubs being no-go zones for visiting supporters, the punters in the LRT were friendly and welcoming even when it got so busy around the bar that it was difficult to lift pint to mouth, and a few of them even helped us to identify some of the players on the ‘Celtic 2000-01’ mural, a work of such stunning incompetence that it looked as if it had been painted by a twitching three-year-old holding the brush in his mouth. If only the same could be said of the stewards at Celtic Park. That they were welcoming, that is; their incompetence is beyond question. It was clear that they were set on throwing their weight around even before we got into the ground, when some fans were refused entry unless they got rid of their flag. For a large part of the first half they prowled the aisles, clearly determined to find people to make examples of for the crime of standing in a ‘seated’ section where several rows of seats had been torn out and not replaced; no doubt this did not stop Celtic selling tickets for them. The worst part of this was the hypocrisy and cowardice of it: as Davie has explained in more detail in the matchday thread, several people were ejected seemingly at random, in some cases in a quite aggressive and abusive manner, yet as usual throughout the home support there were large numbers standing, and after half time, the rule, suddenly, bizarrely, seemed to be relaxed for everyone: I, and the people around me, remained standing for most of the second half and no-one batted an eyelid, which raises the question of why several Inverness supporters wasted £25 on a match ticket, not to mention the time and expense of travelling, to be thrown out for a cause that the stewards, ultimately, didn’t really believe in. This needs to be sorted out, and quickly. Even the actions of a few bullies in day-glo couldn’t dampen the spirit of the ICT support, though. There were perhaps a few less in attendance than there might have been due to the weather and the uncertainty over whether the game would ahead, but those who were there once again gave fantastic backing to the team and were once again rewarded with a great performance. Celtic perhaps had a little more of the first half, but in truth there wasn’t a great deal between the teams at any time. There was a definite lack of pace and strength in the Celtic team compared to the one which put ICT to the sword in the CIS Cup earlier in the season; the absence of Anthony Stokes might have made a difference in that respect. The Caley Thistle players looked, to a man, like they believed they were the equal of Celtic’s players and Nick Ross in particular was outstanding in the centre of midfield: prepared to take on opponents with the ball at his feet, and with an ability to see passes that no ICT player, with the possible exception of Danni Sanchez, has matched since Ian Black left the club. Celtic had perhaps a little more of the possession for the first twenty five minutes, but apart from a couple of early shots from Shaun Maloney and a through ball which Daryl Murphy rolled into the ICT net after being flagged for offside, they created few clear cut chances. Even the introduction of ICT nemesis Paddy McCourt for the injured Maloney after eight minutes made little difference initially, and the best chance of this period fell to Adam Rooney, who was found unmarked on the edge of the box after a fine run and pass from Ross, and saw his driven shot pushed away by Fraser Forster. Celtic then managed to put a little more consistent pressure on the ICT goal, with Daryl Murphy bringing a save out of Ryan Esson from a shot on the turn, then heading a Cha cross wide of the keeper’s right hand post. All the same, it felt a little unjust when Celtic took the lead on thirty-seven minutes. The ICT defenders repelled an attack by Ki Sung-Yeung, but the ball broke to Paddy McCourt who beat Cox and fed the ball back to Ki to turn Duff and fire a low shot in off Ryan Esson’s near post. Shortly thereafter, Caley Thistle had a decent shout for a penalty when Jonny Hayes’ free kick appeared to come off the hand of Ki, but referee Alain Hamer, who had a low-key match, ignored Hayes’ claims, and the half finished with Celtic still a goal ahead.

Half time: Celtic 1 – Inverness Caledonian Thistle 0

Caley Thistle began the second half like a team determined to overturn the deficit, and for the first ten minutes the Celtic defence was on the back foot and looked rattled by Inverness players’ determination, as they forced a couple of corners and sent several potentially dangerous balls into the Celtic box. Gradually, however, Celtic started coming back into the game, and Murphy, Cha and Ledley all had chances, although only the Korean’s shot posed any real threat, swerving just as it reached Esson. On sixty-five minutes, however, it appeared that ICT’s undefeated away run was finally coming to an end. Caley Thistle appeared to have broken up a Celtic attack and Graeme Shinnie was breaking out of his own penalty area with the ball, when a fine recovery tackle from one of the Celtic attackers allowed McCourt to take possession of the ball. The Celtic winger arguably bettered the goal he scored in Inverness on the opening day of the season, waltzing past first Grant Munro and then Ross Tokely before calmly stroking the ball past the prone Ryan Esson. 2-0. Game over? Not when this Inverness team are involved. They quickly forced a corner, Grant Munro had a shot which produced a save from Forster, and a couple of minutes after that they were back in the game, albeit with a little help from some comical Celtic defending. Daniel Majstorovic, who had looked uncertain throughout the second half, played a suicidal pass across the front of his own penalty area towards Rogne, but before the Norwegian could reach the ball, Richie Foran nipped in, rounded Forster and buried the ball into the back of the net with Majstorovic flailing ineffectually in his wake. 2-1, and in the ICT supporters’ corner a little flame of hope began to flicker again. Caley Thistle continued to push for the equaliser, and on 72 minutes Jonny Hayes had a great chance after Nick Ross and Graeme Shinnie combined well on the left wing and the latter sent an inviting cross into the box. The unmarked Hayes’ header from around eight yards went narrowly over the bar. Hayes then had a shot from outside the box which also went over the bar, before Terry Butcher made his only change of the match, bringing on Eric Odhiambo for Richie Foran. Then the moment we had been praying for happened. Majstorovic, again looking panicky, knocked a long ball from Stuart Duff out for a corner. Hayes swung the ball to the corner of the six yard box, Adam Rooney met it with an audacious overhead kick and Grant Munro nodded the ball into the net from barely a yard out. Pandemonium and hilarity in the Inverness corner; resignation and the beginning of a steady exodus in the Celtic sections. There were a few worrying moments when ICTChris managed to wedge his foot in his seat in the midst of the celebrations: it looked for a while as if he might be anchored there all night, or at least until someone came back with a pack of butter, but eventually, with a bit of help, he managed to extricate himself. The game played itself out with very few more threats to Inverness’s unbeaten record; indeed, if any side looked the more likely to score, it was Caley Thistle. The team’s ambition and determination was summed up in the first minute of injury time, when Eric Odhiambo had the ball on the touchline right in front of the Inverness support. Everyone expected him to try and keep the ball in the corner, happy to take a point from Celtic Park; instead, he twisted and turned away from his marker, determined to try to find an angle for a cross that might bring about the winner.

Full Time 2-2

When the final whistle went, it felt like a victory; and as Terry Butcher brought the players across to acknowledge the support, then led the fans in a crescendo of cheers, just as he had done at Ibrox, it seemed clear that it felt like that to him too. So the record continues, the year unbeaten has been achieved and fourth place has been maintained, at least for now. Terry Butcher’s stated ambition now is to take the unbeaten record over the whole calendar year of 2010. To do that, his players only have to survive one more away game, but it is a testing one: against third-placed Hearts, at Tynecastle, on December 18th. There are difficult home fixtures against Dundee United and Rangers to negotiate before Caley Away sets sail for Edinburgh, but regardless of what happens in between, if the team can take anything from what is always one of the best away experiences of the year, then it will be a hell of a Christmas party. See you there.

Match report written by tm4tj/alternative maryhill



Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Rangers 14 12 1 1 34 15 19 37
2. Celtic 15 11 2 2 35 12 23 35
3. Hearts 14 8 2 4 22 13 9 26
4. Inverness CT 15 7 4 4 26 18 8 25
5. Motherwell 14 7 2 5 22 16 6 23
6. Kilmarnock 15 6 2 7 24 18 6 20
7. Dundee Utd 14 5 4 5 15 20 -5 19
8. Hibernian 15 4 3 8 17 25 -8 15
9. St. Johnstone 15 4 3 8 10 22 -12 15
10. St. Mirren 15 3 4 8 14 26 -12 13
11. Aberdeen 15 3 1 11 15 31 -16 10
12. Hamilton Academical 15 2 4 9 11 29 -18 10