Inverness CT 0-0 Dunfermline
Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League
This match threw up none of the best and all of the worst of what it is to belong to the top tier of Scottish football. Nerves were in clear focus for most of the night and all that assumed importance was the result. It would either mire Inverness in a relegation fight as merciless and lethal as a bear pit, or administer a virtual coup de main to Dunfermline’s dying hopes. Which was it to be?
As it was, hostilities were joined on a beautiful spring evening on a pitch that looked surprisingly good for the time of the season. The Inverness line up likewise surprised, with Billy McKay looking as if he might play a lone role up front. Were Inverness looking to contain, and could Dunfermline rise to the obvious challenge? The answer came in a half that both sides struggled with. Passing was at a premium and shots on goal even more so.
Steve Williams brought out a save from the much maligned Chris Smith after a stramash in the box whilst anything that the Pars could manage was dealt with by Ryan Esson with some ease. Aaron Doran again looked bright, but Inverness missed the vision and shooting power of Jonny Hayes. A goalless first half came, and just as quickly went despite claims for a penalty as Doran was flattened by a Pars full back who had made a hash of the clearance. One of the “seen them given” variety, Mr O’Reilly chose not to.
Half Time: Inverness Caledonian Thistle 0-0 Dunfermline Athletic
Hostilities could have been rejoined with some anxiety, but that was dispelled by substitute Roman Golobart and his double act partner, the Nessie mascot. A tango next time lads? If the football had either the quality or the humour that these lads had shown, it might have lit up the darkening skies, but again neither side could find a finishing touch to lead up play that was decent without setting the heather on fire.
The brightest spark of the evening was the introduction of Andrew Shinnie, replacing his brother as the shape changed and Inverness began to show some intent. With a bit more match sharpness he might have done better with the couple of chances that came his way but nothing was doing. He might have better luck at Paisley on Saturday, if he has a longer run out but whatever happens it was heartening to see him back. There were a couple of brow furrowing moments as the Pars passed up opportunities but in the end, Jim Jeffries got the point that he wanted, as did Terry Butcher.
Full Time: Inverness Caledonian Thistle 0-0 Dunfermline Athletic
As things stand, we are now safe and can plan for the next SPL campaign that will be historic for its Highland derbies. The Manager can start to plan and put together a side that will challenge next term and in this League, that would represent a real achievement. Dunfermline are still alive, although barely, after achieving their point and they now go into a real cup final of a game against Hibernian on Monday night. Beat them, and it might fall to Caley Thistle to relegate the Edinburgh side on the last day of the season. Now there’s a game to relish.who flashed a couple of efforts close enough to have Langfield scrambling. Williams, however, came closest after rifling a crisp shot past Langfield that was ruled out for offside.
Report by: Davie Balfour
|2nd May 2012||Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness
|CLYDESDALE BANK SCOTTISH PREMIER LEAGUE|
|TEAM: Esson, Gillet, Williams, G.Shinnie (A.Shinnie 70), Tokely, Meekings, Doran, Tansey, Ross (Sutherland 70), McKay (Tade 88), Foran|
|SUBS: Tuffey, Golobart, Piermayr, Tudur-Jones|
|Booked: Foran (74)|
|Sent Off: None|
|TEAM: Smith, McMillan, Dowie, Keddie, McCann, Cardle, Kerr, Hutton, Mason (Hardie 66), Graham (Buchanan 84), Kirk (Barrowman 84)|
|SUBS: Fernandez, Boyle, Willis, Thomson|
|Booked: McCann (64), Keddie (73)|
|Sent Off: None|