Inverness Caledonian Thistle 1
There was no European hangover for Motherwell as they strolled to a comfortable victory which puts them top and leaves Inverness still looking for a first league win of the season.
ICT recalled Richie Foran to the starting 11 playing upfront ahead of Billy Mckay. Inverness also had to make a late change in the day when Simon King was injured in the warm up so David Raven was given a start at right back with Josh Meekings moving into the centre. Motherwell off the back of their Europa League exit fielded a side mixed with youth and experience as they looked for the three points that would put them top of the league.
Caley Thistle were nearly in front after two minutes when Ross Drapers shot was well tipped round the post by keeper Darren Randolph.
Motherwell's Bob McHugh went close to giving the home side the lead but his shot was saved by Esson.
Terry spoke after the game about conceding “diabolical goals” and Motherwell's first wasn't exactly the sort of gift we needed to give away with only ten minutes played. Tom Hateley's whipped in corner evaded everyone and Esson couldn't keep it from going over the line to put the Steelmen in front.
Clearly rattled by this, ICT lost possession almost immediately from the restart and Chris Humphrey's managed to evade two desperate challenges by G.Shinnie and then Ross Draper before picking out Michael Higdon in the 6 yard box who converted for Well's second.
Eventually, midway through the first half the nerves seemed to settle in the Inverness ranks and Raven was the first to test Randolph as ICT started venturing forwards. The resulting corner was cleared only to be expertly knocked back in by Owain Tudur Jones who found the head of Foran to make it 2-1.
Inverness had two great chances to level before half time with Foran doing well to win the ball in midfield for the first one, but he failed to pick the right pass with bodies in the box and the danger was cleared. Foran was given another chance before the break, a Meekings long ball evaded Jonathan Page and Foran charged down on goal only to be denied by Randolph and then put the rebound wide.
Half Time: Motherwell 2 Inverness Caledonian Thistle 1
Into the second half and two big calls for the referee, O'Reilly, with both being turned down. Again Foran at the heart of things who looked to have been fouled by Adam Cummins with the defender surely facing a red card if the foul was given, O'Reilly waved play on. At the other end and Fraser Kerr managed to race through only to go down under a Meekings challenge, once again O'Reilly deemed it a fair tackle.
If O'Reilly wasn't going to give Motherwell anything then the ICT defence were going to put it on a plate for Higdon, the striker latched onto a short Raven backpass and a finish off the post restored the home sides 2 goal cushion.
Inverness nearly got another one back with a spectacular effort from centre-back Gary Warren, hurling himself into a almost Rooney-esque overhead kick which Randolph ruined with an equally spectacular save.
Motherwell put the seal on it with ten minutes remaining, this time substitute Henrik Ojamaa breaking down the right and swinging in a cross for Higdon who took it first time and smashed it past Esson.
Inverness had a late chance to make it 4-2 when Foran was brought down by Page in the box but A. Shinnie's penalty was kept out by the impressive Randolph.
Full Time: St. Mirren 2 Inverness Caledonian Thistle 2
So we move into the international break with 5 played, 3 draws and 2 losses but scoring doesn't seem to be the problem. It’s frustrating to see the effort being put in there but just not getting the right results so far but there's an obvious improvement on last season and as long as everyone sticks with the team through this spell then I believe we'll start getting some wins.
We wish the lads going away on international duty the best of luck. Messrs Pepper, Doran and new man Phillip Roberts all hopefully getting some action with Ireland.
|Photos Courtesy of CaleyJags.com||Report by Jack Davis|
|2nd Sept 2012||Fir Park, Motherwell
|Clydesdale Bank Premier League|
||4 - Hateley 11, Higdon 12, 72, 79|
|TEAM: Randolph, Kerr, Page, Francis-Angol, Cummins, Law (Murphy 64), Hateley, Humphrey (Carswell 84), Lasley, Higdon, McHugh (Ojamaa 73)|
|SUBS: Hollis, Euan Murray, Daley, Hetherington|
|Sent Off: None|
||1 - Foran 28|
|TEAM: Esson, Raven, Shinnie, Warren, Meekings, Tudur-Jones (Morrison 64), Draper, Shinnie (Pepper 81), Foran, Doran, Sutherland (McKay 79)|
|SUBS: Reguero, Laing, Polworth|
|Booked: G. Shinnie|
|Sent Off: None|