St Mirren 0-1 Inverness CT
Clydesdale Bank Premier League
St Mirren Park continued to be a happy hunting ground for Inverness CT in their final away fixture of the season. A solitary goal from Richie Foran being enough to separate the sides on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Paisley.
The Caley Jags showed intent from the off, applying pressure on St Mirren and winning a first minute corner. Andrew Shinnie whipped the ball in to the box but Tade couldn't get enough on it to turn it goal-wards. Tade was given another chance moments later thanks to a through ball from Foran, but pressure from the St Mirren prevented him getting a clean shot at goal.
Inverness were playing some great passing football and a series of short passes from the left set Aaron Doran up for the shot, with only the cat-like reflexes of Samson denying him the opener.
St Mirrens first foray into the ICT box came shortly afterwards. Hasselbaink broke through the middle before playing it wide to Tesselaar who played it back across goal. Fortunately Hasselbaink appeared to have stumbled after trying to use an elbow to wave off the attentions of Richie Foran...but that didn'es prevent claims for a penalty which were quickly waved away by referee Calum Murray.
Aaron Doran it was again to have a shot at the St Mirren goal, this time for a little further out and again denied by sharp reactions from Samson. The keeper was unable to hold the shot and the ball found its way to Andrew Shinnie who was unfortunate not to have got more contact with the half volley which Samson made no mistake in holding on to this time. This was to be Aaron Dorans final contribution to the game, having picked up what looked like some kind of ankle knock or twist he was replaced by Nick Ross.
St Mirren were to have the best of the closing minutes of the first half with Ryan Esson needing to be at full stretch to keep out a dipping shot from Tesselaar and then needing to have his wits about him when tested by Thompson at his near post from the resulting corner.
HT: St Mirren 0-0 Inverness Caledonain Thistle
It didn't take ICT long to get going in the second half again with Hayes picking up the ball around the half way mark, making what has become a bit of a trademark run and letting loose from 25 yards. Samson, again, failed to hold the ball. Tade followed up to challenge as the keeper scrambled for the ball but was flagged for offside.
Nick Ross picked up the ball deep inside the Caley Thistle half and was on a great run down the left, but Teale was having none of it and decided it better to take the player out than risk him getting through on goal....resulting in the only yellow card of the game. The resulting free-kick was something straight from the training ground and executed with near perfection. The kick was taken short, Nick Ross then flicked it over the pack to the back post where it was met by the onrushing Richie Foran who somehow managed to put himself in to the net but cut the ball back across onto the glove on Samson.
Most of the action for the next 20 minutes or so came from the Away Stand where the travelling faithful were partaking in some kind of weird beach-ball rounders with an inflatable banana!!! Distraction was such that it wouldn't surprise me if most missed the body check on Gregory Tade at the edge of the area which resulted in a free-kick. Tansey sent a beautiful ball to the back post where Richie Foran had managed to slip his marker to nod the ball home...the nervous glance to the linesman and the look of relief on his face summed up our fortunes this season.
The Caley Jags held on well and looked untroubled for the remainder of the game with a desperate effort from McGowan from wide on the left which went wide of the top corner being the only notable moment of the rest of the game
FT: St Mirren 0-1 Inverness Caledonian Thistle
With both teams safe from relegation you might have forgiven this game had it turned out to be typical end of season drabness, but it wasn't. St Mirren offered little by way of a threat on goal, but they had come out to play some football and with both teams keeping the ball on the deck it was far from the worst 90 minutes entertainment we've had this season.
A goal, a clean sheet, no sending offs, no bookings and three points....fans left the ground happy and even the extended journey home for one group didn't manage to put a dampener on the day.
Safety was assured last Wednesday and 10th place was all but secured on Saturday. However our final game against Hibs this coming weekend could still prove vital in the relegation battle. Dunfermline and Hibs square off this evening, and a Dunfermline victory would see us involved in a match that could decide which of those teams is relegated.
Report By: Don Johnstone
|5th May 2012||St Mirren Park, Paisley
|Clydesdale Bank Premier League|
|TEAM: Samson, van Zanten, McGregor, McAusland, Tesselaar, Goodwin, Imrie (Murray 33), McGowan, McLean (Reilly 73), Hasselbaink (Teale 52), Thompson|
|SUBS: Smith, Mooy, Carey, Thomson|
|Booked: Teale (66)|
|Sent Off: None|
||1 - Foran (85)|
|TEAM: Esson, Meekings (Piermayr 58), Golobart, Gillet, G.Shinnie, Hayes, Foran, Tansey, Doran (Ross 36), A.Shinnie (McKay 69), Tade|
|SUBS: Tuffey, Tudur-Jones, Winnall, Sutherland|
|Sent Off: none|