St. Mirren 3 - 3 Inverness CT

League Match
Saturday, February 12th, 2011, 3:00 PM at St Mirren Park, Paisley
Attendance: 3,203
Referee: Bobby Madden
St. Mirren Inverness CT

Michael Higdon (pen)(28)
Steven Thomson (29)
Darren McGregor (74)
Adam Rooney (6)
Aaron Doran (33)
Adam Rooney (61)

Team Managers
Danny Lennon Terry Butcher

Starting Eleven
Paul Gallacher
Marc McAusland
Lee Mair
John Potter
David van Zanten
Darren McGregor
Steven Thomson
Hugh Murray
Paul McGowan
Craig Dargo
Michael Higdon
Ryan Esson
David Proctor
Chris Innes
Chris Hogg
Russell Duncan
Lee Cox
Johnny Hayes
Stuart Duff
Aaron Doran
Adam Rooney
Richie Foran

Craig Samson
Jure Travner
Sean Lynch
Jamie McCluskey
Aaron Mooy
Kenneth McLean
Mark Lamont
Jonny Tuffey
Liam Polworth
Eric Odhiambo
Shane Sutherland
Alex MacDonald

Jure Travner => Lee Mair (46)
Sean Lynch => Hugh Murray (83)
Eric Odhiambo for Johnny Hayes (25)

Paul McGowan (43)
Craig Dargo (90)
Aaron Doran (59)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Ryan Esson (GK) 97 apps -
Chris Hogg 2 apps1 goal
Chris Innes 11 apps -
David Proctor 145 apps8 goals
Johnny Hayes 66 apps15 goals
Aaron Doran 3 apps1 goal
Lee Cox 62 apps4 goals
Russell Duncan 344 apps10 goals
Stuart Duff 27 apps1 goal
Adam Rooney 111 apps51 goals
Richie Foran 81 apps24 goals
Eric Odhiambo (sub) 64 apps11 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Aaron Doran (19 years 280 days)
Oldest Player:Russell Duncan (2012 years 197 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 60 days
Domestic Players:10 (90.91 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Liam Polworth (16 years 127 days)
Oldest Player:Chris Innes (2012 years 197 days)
Average Player Age:23 years 192 days
Domestic Players:15 (93.75 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Aaron Doran scored his first goal for the Club.

Makeshift defence offers Saints a share of the points:

Inverness led twice in this game but were pegged back by a battling St Mirren and both sides settled for a point each after Ryan Esson produced a dramatic late point blank save to deny the Saints all three points.

Adam Rooney got back on the SPL goal trail with a brace and Aaron Doran scored his first for the club, but goals from Higdon (pen), Thomson and McGregor  meant a deserved draw for the homesters.  Inverness were down to the bare bones for this encounter due to injuries and suspensions and the back four looked like they had just met for the first time on the team bus down to Paisley.  Liam Polwarth was drafted into the squad as Butcher struggled to muster enough fit and able bodies to fill the spaces. 

With Munro and Tokely suspended, the news that Hayes starting was welcomed by the Caley Jags support, but with Ross, Shinnie, Gillet, Sanchez, McBain, Golabeck and Morrison out it meant that Butcher had few options open to him.

A full match report for this game will follow once the reporter gets his breath back .........................It was a long breath, but here it is cowboys.

Remember the Alamo? Vaguely…

Greetings, y’all. I’m here to tell you a tale of an epic battle between the knights of the north and the bandits of the deep south. No quarter asked, none given. So abandon your steers, tie up your horses, pull over a tin of pork and beans and a sarsaparilla, and sit back.…

A watery sun was breaking through when the central belt posse stepped off the half noon wagon-train from Glasgow and into the one-horse town of Paisley. Cactus Stan, Top Six Gun Nic, the MacInnes brothers and One-Draw Young had only one place in their sights as they swaggered down the main drag: a shady saloon known as the Alamo.

Inside, several mean-looking hombres were ranged round the bar: Govan Jaggie, Capital Caley, The Immortal Howden Ender, ITN Jnr, mother-and-son team Carol and Cammy, and Red Card Reilly, nursing his very own ring of fire after a midnight munchie box. A few native injuns skulked in the darker corners, but we paid them no mind: we only had eyes for the tray of cow pies and the malt liquors being served by the barkeeps, a striking lady of middle years who had the whip-hand, and an ageing gunslinger with a mighty original nose.

As the ale kept flowing and the old northern songs started up around the barrelhouse piano, the footsoldiers of the northern army arrived in greater and greater numbers: a lean, hawk-eyed enigma known only as McCloud; a man named GMD, a stranger to me; several wild-eyed, well-refreshed young bucks wrapped in flags and walking wavy; and finally, with the moment of battle fast approaching, brooding cynic The Knowledge, hot-blooded bare-knuckle specialist Harry Chibber and a shifty, mescan-looking dude known as San Miguel.

Three o’clock was almost upon us and we had to leave the Alamo and make for the field of battle. We knew that some of us would not last long; we knew that others would end up in the county gaol; but we knew there was no turning back. As the Alamo faded into the dust behind us, however, a curious thing happened: One-Draw Young’s spurs and stetson fell away, and that ponderous ass hole Alternative Maryhill re-emerged.................and here is his tale

There were a couple of surprises in the ICT starting line-up. Graham Shinnie was injured, which meant that David Proctor started the game in the unfamiliar position of left back, with Stuart Duff on the right. And despite being widely rumoured to be unavailable through injury, Jonny Hayes began on the right wing. Terry Butcher decided to stick with the formation that had won so stylishly against Morton, which meant that Lee Cox and Russell Duncan anchored the midfield and Adam Rooney and Richie Foran played as a front two.

The attacking nature of this line-up was reflected in the early of action of the match, with ICT going on the offensive from the first whistle. Their first move ended with Jonny Hayes’ opportunist shot from the edge of the penalty area, which Paul Gallacher collected comfortably. Just a minute later, Richie Foran had a chance from inside the box, hitting a shot first time from a dangerous low cross by Aaron Doran, but Gallacher again dealt with it easily. The Inverness team was looking lively and keen to play the ball on the ground, but when the first goal came, in five minutes, it was pure route one. Ryan Esson took a goal kick which was head-flicked on by Foran towards Adam Rooney on the left-hand edge of the penalty area. Rooney turned Darren McGregor beautifully and lifted the ball over the approaching Gallacher. A fine striker’s goal.

Although play moved from end to end, for the next ten minutes or so ICT looked the more dangerous team with Jonny Hayes seeing plenty of the ball. After being caught with a heavy challenge, however, Hayes began limping badly and after another ten minutes or so, when it became clear that he could not run off the injury, he was taken off to be replaced by Eric Odhiambo. By that stage St Mirren had begun to impose themselves a little more and after a couple of tame long-range efforts, they had their first real chance on twenty-three minutes when Steven Thomson’s low shot from the right was parried across the face of his own goal by Ryan Esson and Hugh Murray hit the base of the post with the follow-up. Craig Dargo had been instrumental in starting that move off, and it was also he who created St Mirren’s equalizing goal. Latching on to a ball inside the box from the right, Dargo first took on Chris Hogg and then David Proctor. Hogg managed to avoid lunging in on the ex-ICT man, but Proctor, looking uncomfortable in the left back position, stuck out a foot slightly late. Dargo accepted the invitation, hit the floor and the resulting penalty was put away coolly by Michael Higdon. Uncertain defending again in the left back area led to St Mirren taking the lead just over a minute later. Odhiambo’s defensive header from a high ball into the ICT box was weak and the ball fell to Steven Thomson, unmarked outside the area. He headed the ball to Dargo who shielded it well then fed it back to Thomson, who had space and time to fire a fine shot into the top corner. In the aftermath of that goal, Caley Thistle looked unsteady with Dargo, at this point the best player on the park, firing in another shot that was blocked by Chris Hogg. Terry Butcher opted to switch the full backs and this decision was influential in Caley Thistle’s equalizer in thirty three minutes. Eric Odhiambo and Lee Cox combined well to pressurize the St Mirren defence after a long ball from Stuart Duff, and although the Saints managed to clear the danger temporarily, the ball only came as far as David Proctor, who threw a dangerous looping ball into the box. Adam Rooney seemed to get some sort of touch on it and as the ball bounced beyond Richie Foran, Aaron Doran came steaming in at the back post and fired it into the roof of the net. (This portion of the match report was brought to you by the miracle of BBC highlights: I was in the bog at the time.)

Although both teams continued to try to play football and had about an even share of the possession, the first half saw little else in the way of clear cut chances.

In the second half, however, St Mirren took control, with winger Paul McGowan, on loan from Celtic, particularly influential. McGowan’s willingness to take players on led to ICT conceding several free kicks and a succession of dangerous St Mirren balls into the area. The most dangerous moment for ICT came when Darren McGregor got on to Jure Travner’s inswinging corner and headed the ball against Ryan Esson’s crossbar. Richie Foran, attempting to clear, then caused a second round of loosened bowels among the travelling support by heading against the post.

Just after the hour mark, Caley Thistle retook the lead against the run of play with an example of the sort of counter-attacking football that brought us so much success earlier in the season. A high clearance from Russell Duncan, after ICT had broken up another St Mirren attack, fell to the feet of Richie Foran. Foran turned away from his marker and sent a perfectly-weighted diagonal ball into the path of Adam Rooney, who out-paced the St Mirren defenders and slid the ball calmly beyond Gallacher and into the corner of the net. Bedlam in the away end: was this going to be our first league win in eleven?

Sadly not. Twelve minutes later, St Mirren were level again. Paul McGowan once more made the difference, his tricky play in the right back area forcing David Proctor into conceding a corner. From Travner’s dangerous outswinging delivery, Darren McGregor powered an unstoppable header into the corner of Esson’s net. This was disappointing, but certainly no more than St Mirren deserved. As the game moved towards its conclusion, however, St Mirren almost won it from an identical move. Travner’s corner was again met by the head of McGregor, this time only five yards out, but somehow Ryan Esson managed to get his arms up to parry the ball back into play. Esson has been outstanding for ICT all season, but this was surely his finest moment yet.

Full time 3-3

Although St Mirren were the stronger team in the second half, this was probably just about a fair result. The away support was buoyant leaving the ground and on the train back to Glasgow. Despite the early-season dreaming about top-four finishes and European places, ICT supporters are realistic and there was a great deal of appreciation for a battling draw, played in the right manner, with a very depleted squad and against a team that has a decent SPL record against us. If Hayes can recover fully and our defence is restored to full strength, we can be optimistic about picking up plenty more points this season; hopefully starting next week against the Saints of Perth.

Well, I guess that’s all folks: there’s probably plenty more tales to be told, but this hombre fell off his horse pretty soon after returning to Glasgow and what became of the others I cannot say. Rest assured though, that we will all be saddling up again for Easter Road in two weeks time. Yee-hah.…............

Superb account of yer day in the tumbleweed town and the ensuing battle Maryhill, and all this while the cattle ranchers from Dingwall were struggling to keep the wolves from the door against the Bino's.  Looks like they need the cavalry to help out after the lynching of marshall McStay.

Next weekend sees the Gunfight at the Tulloch Stadium when Perth come a callin, so don't be shy and mosey on down pilgrims.  The Perth steer drivers are heading North in droves and we need to have a showdown before the hoedown at the Innes corral where we can all wet our whistles, so get off yer horse and drink yer guinness.

Match report written by tm4tj

Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Celtic 24 18 4 2 53 14 39 58
2. Rangers 23 18 2 3 53 20 33 56
3. Hearts 25 16 3 6 39 21 18 51
4. Kilmarnock 25 10 6 9 38 28 10 36
5. Inverness CT 25 7 9 9 34 33 1 30
6. Dundee Utd 20 7 8 5 25 25 0 29
7. St. Johnstone 23 8 5 10 17 27 -10 29
8. Motherwell 24 8 4 12 26 33 -7 28
9. Aberdeen 23 7 2 14 23 42 -19 23
10. Hibernian 25 6 4 15 25 43 -18 22
11. St. Mirren 24 4 7 13 21 41 -20 19
12. Hamilton Academical 23 2 8 13 14 41 -27 14