Dundee Utd 3 - 0 Inverness CT

League Match
Monday, March 5th, 2012, 7:45 PM at Tannadice Stadium, Dundee
Attendance: 5,994
Referee: Alan Muir
Dundee Utd Inverness CT

Goalscorers
John Rankin (15)
Scott Robertson (52)
Johnny Russell (78)
None.

Team Managers
Peter Houston Terry Butcher

Starting Eleven
Dusan Pernis
Robbie Neilson
Sean Dillon
Gavin Gunning
Paul Dixon
Willo Flood
Scott Robertson
John Rankin
Gary Mackay-Steven
Jon Daly
Johnny Russell
Ryan Esson
Ross Tokely
Kenny Gillet
Josh Meekings
Roman Golobart
Nick Ross
Greg Tansey
Richie Foran
Shane Sutherland
Gregory Tade
Billy Mckay

Bench
Steve Banks
Garry Kenneth
Richie Ryan
Barry Douglas
Stuart Armstrong
Milos Lacny
Ryan Dow
Jonny Tuffey
David Proctor
Steve Williams
Graeme Shinnie
Owain Tudur Jones
Claude Gnakpa
Sam Winnall

Substitutions
Stuart Armstrong => Gary Mackay-Steven (77)
Richie Ryan => Johnny Russell (80)
Milos Lacny => Jon Daly (80)
Claude Gnakpa for Nick Ross (66)
Owain Tudur Jones for Billy Mckay (76)

Bookings
Richie Ryan (84) Roman Golobart (37)
Richie Foran (52)
Greg Tansey (62)
Josh Meekings (82)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Ryan Esson (GK) 136 apps -
Roman Golobart 17 apps1 goal
Ross Tokely 581 apps36 goals
Josh Meekings 13 apps -
Kenny Gillet 35 apps -
Greg Tansey 30 apps3 goals
Nick Ross 75 apps4 goals
Richie Foran 124 apps29 goals
Gregory Tade 30 apps8 goals
Shane Sutherland 58 apps3 goals
Billy Mckay 14 apps1 goal
Owain Tudur Jones (sub) 7 apps -
Claude Gnakpa (sub) 6 apps -

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Roman Golobart (19 years 354 days)
Oldest Player:Greg Tansey (2013 years 219 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 336 days
Domestic Players:10 (90.91 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Roman Golobart (19 years 354 days)
Oldest Player:Greg Tansey (2013 years 219 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 285 days
Domestic Players:17 (94.44 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Milestones

United canter home against cart horses:

Dundee United once more emphasised the gulf in class between these two sides as they strolled to victory against a clueless and punchless Inverness Caledonian Thistle. There appeared to be little between the sides in the opening exchanges, but that all turned when a looping John Rankin effort found the top corner and Inverness reverted to type after that. Scott Robertson shouldered home a second before tormentor in chief Johnny Russell scored a sublime third to end the contest with twelve minutes remaining.

Another defeat for Inverness and Terry Butcher must be wondering if he has anything left in the tank to offer his struggling outfit. I doubt many of the Inverness supporters expected much from this match, but it's still disappointing to be proved right and the alarming rate that we are shipping goals must be of some concern to the Caley Jags management. Of equal concern is our inability to fashion any clear scoring opportunities and we looked as though we could have played for a fortnight without seriously troubling Pernis in the United goal. We must be a joy for any opposition defence to play against given our lack of aggression in front of goal.

Terry Butcher thrust a hastily repaired Roman Golobart back into central defence and his partner tonight was none other than Ross Tokely with Proctor and Williams on the bench alongside Graeme Shinnie. Jonny Hayes was nowhere to be seen and Shane Sutherland started, with McKay the lone striker and Gnakpa and Winnall on the bench with Tudur-Jones. Hayes apparently tweaked a hamstring last week but should not be out for long..........hopefully.

United were a more settled side with goal threats all over the park and twin tormentors Jonny Russell and Gary Mackay-Steven leading the charge with big Jon Daly. They had a defence but they could have enjoyed this game from the stand as a powderpuff Inverness attack failed to carve out any serious goal threats although the stats will show a number of attempts on target, but none troubling Dusan Pernis in goal.

I can't stomach much more of this drivel tonight and Ginger Jaggy can continue the report when he settles down..............

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Two weeks and two tales of woe in which Caley Thistle’s upward momentum has well and truly been clipped as we suddenly look over our shoulder. A win over Kilmarnock on Saturday in our game in hand will almost guarantee safety but our performance levels have nose-dived since the back end of January and Monday night saw this continue to deteriorate against a classy Dundee United side.

We have to be thankful that Dunfermline have been poor all season otherwise we may not be looking backwards with any comfort. The game was a resounding victory for the Arabs and it could have been more had it not been for some decent stops by Ryan Esson. We do have good players and we are missing some key players but we are still lacking an out and out striker – some have queried why we haven’t tried Sam Winnall?

Caley Thistle went into this game without Jonny Hayes who may have been off the pace in our last couple of games but we certainly missed him in this one. We lacked drive and quality with very little creativity. Terry Butcher would have been pleased by the opening of the game with Dundee United finding it hard to get the ball down and dictate the play with their excellent passing game.

Unfortunately all that work was undone after a quarter of an hour from a comedy of errors at the back. First Kenny Gillet played a needless pass back to Esson who in turn made a poor clearance which fell to Richie Foran in midfield. His poor control allowed Ex Caley Thistle midfielder John Rankin to nip the ball away and hit a trademark long range strike which nestled into the top corner of Essons net. Great strike but shoddy play from the visitors.

Inverness did create chances with Shane Sutherland blasting over from a good position in the penalty box. Then came our best chance when Billy McKay showed some tenacity in the box to win the ball and put a shot in that was well blocked by Dusan Pernis. The game continued to be hard fought but without Hayes, a lack of an outlet was very observant for every Inverness fan. Instead it was long balls with McKay and Tade barely winning any balls against Gavin Gunning and Sean Dillon.

It was almost 2-0 before half time when danger man Johnny Russell was able to use his pace to get into the box and was only denied by an excellent full length save by Esson. Overall Inverness had held Dundee United well and had it not been for a lack of concentration on three fronts then it may well have been level at half time. But the downside was that we looked as dangerous as a mouse.

Half-Time 1-0

The second half started as the first had finished with United in the ascendancy. This tale does have a common theme. The theme was poor defending and this again reared its head just five minutes into the second half. A free kick from Willo Flood was won by Jon Daly who had climbed above Ross Tokely, and his knock back found it's way to Scott Robertson who unmarked headed the ball into the bottom of the net. It was such a sloppy goal to concede with Daly dominating the penalty area and Robertson finding the freedom of Dundee to nod home untidily.

Bizarrely going further behind stung us into some action. Claude Gnakpa came on for Nick Ross and his introduction definitely improved Inverness. Ross moments before going off was inches from an equaliser from a Sutherland Free Kick. The ball was definitely an improvement from the first half. It could have got worse when Esson dropped an easy catch, the goalkeeper watched on in relief when an off balance Daly stabbed the ball over. After that it was all Inverness for a 10-15 minute spell where some great chances had been made. Sutherland shot wide while Greg Tansey hit two decent shots that were comfortable for the Polish goalkeeper. But the golden chances fell first to Roman Golabart who headed wide when McKay was in a better position just behind him. Two minutes later McKay should have done better when he got himself into the box and hit a shot that looped over the bar at the near post. A better finish was needed and it summed up our night and season as a whole. Claude Gnakpa did bring out a save from Pernis but Caley Thistle could have played all night and not have scored.

There was still time for Russell to score the goal of the game even if the challenges were a little half hearted. The pacey front man received the ball from a Daly centre and he used great agility to get away from three or four defenders to finish coolly past Esson.

After that the game petered out with United sitting comfortably 3-0 ahead.

Full Time 3-0

That was the way the game finished and it highlighted a major gulf in class. The game was fairly even for the whole of the first half but the quality of delivery into the box was light-years between the teams. When Inverness did play along the deck and improved the crossing it was no surprise that we dominated for 10-15 minutes creating some real good chances, but our attempts at finishing were timid. We were already 2-0 down by then and on final reflections it was a majorly disappointing performance, not taking anything away from in form Dundee United.

Match report written by tm4tj/ginger jaggy



Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Celtic 30 24 3 3 62 19 43 75
2. Rangers 29 20 4 5 56 19 37 64
3. Motherwell 29 15 6 8 42 33 9 51
4. Dundee Utd 29 10 10 9 47 39 8 40
5. St. Johnstone 28 11 7 10 36 33 3 40
6. Hearts 29 11 6 12 33 29 4 39
7. Aberdeen 29 7 12 10 29 32 -3 33
8. Kilmarnock 29 7 12 10 31 43 -12 33
9. St. Mirren 29 6 13 10 26 37 -11 31
10. Inverness CT 28 7 6 15 32 49 -17 27
11. Hibernian 29 5 8 16 30 55 -25 23
12. Dunfermline 30 4 7 19 30 66 -36 19