Inverness Caledonian Thistle 1
As the dust settled at Caledonian Stadium after a frenetic second half, it was time to look at the significance of this result. Celtic, after demolishing Inverness before the international break, consigned to a defeat by St. Johnstone; Hearts losing for the second game in succession; Ross County engineering another scoreless affair at Dundee United. A strange canvas of an SPL to imagine this result in, but in the end, no bad result at all for Inverness and Aberdeen.
A bright but breezy day greeted both sides for an uneventful first half, both sides showing some good touches in the middle of the park but little in terms of goalmouth action. Aaron Doran became the first player yellow carded after 18 minutes for stopping Hayes in full flight, Meekings the second in 43. Foran passed up a couple of chances and Vernon could have done better with a header from inside the box that sailed over the bar. It probably landed in Munlochy. That was it really, for a first half that most were happy to see end.
Half time: Inverness Caledonian Thistle 0 Aberdeen 0
If the first half was mundane, the second half fairly exploded out of the blocks before the 4499 attendance had time to finish their Pie & Bovril.
Debutante Andre Blackman fired an impressive 20 yard shot just over as both sides began to threaten. However, ten minutes in and the game ignited as Owain Tudur Jones powered into a challenge with Aberdeen winger Fraser, which left the Aberdeen player in some agony. The challenge was late, but didn’t appear to show the malice required to warrant the straight red card that resulted. Whatever the merits of the card, Ryan Fraser was sprightly enough to immediately be causing Inverness more problems with his speed on the wing as they shuffled their midfield.
Not for the first time, Foran proved the pivotal force as he was galvanised to action. Snapping, ferocious and positive, he took the midfield by the scruff of the neck as Andrew Shinnie was replaced by Shane Sutherland. The impact was immediate as, spinning off the last defender after being on for 3 minutes Sutherland was felled in the area by Russell Anderson.
The penalty was as inevitable as the red card that followed it, and Foran dispatched it with aplomb. The game was now most definitely on. As ICT sensed a first home win of the season, Doran broke clear in a four man break. He was about to shoot when the late arriving Reynolds clattered him but a second Inverness penalty was denied.
As the sense of injustice grew, Foran was booked for another challenge on the by now bewildered Fraser and the game ebbed and flowed. With 7 minutes to go, Inverness’s chance of all three points evaporated. The defence seemed to be organising themselves as a quick free kick resulted in Hayes teeing up a perfect cross for Smith to bury the header beyond an apoplectic Esson.
Another impact substitution, just at the wrong end this time. Billy McKay replaced the tiring Doran after 85 minutes, an impressive showing after his international heroics in Italy in midweek, and just as the game was drawing its last gasp Shane Sutherland was stretchered off in some pain after a nasty looking knee injury. Hopefully it’s not as bad as it looked. Connor Pepper replaced him, but couldn’t repeat his feats at Hearts a couple of weeks ago and the game finished with no more goals.
Full time: Inverness Caledonian Thistle 1 Aberdeen 1
|Photos Courtesy of CaleyJags.com||Report by David Balfour|
|15th Sept 2012||Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness
|Clydesdale Bank Premier League|
|Inverness CT||1 -Foran (67 pen)|
|TEAM: Esson, Raven, Shinnie, Warren, Meekings, Blackman, Tudur-Jones, Draper, Shinnie (Sutherland 63 [Pepper 90]), Foran , Doran (McKay 86)|
|SUBS: Reguero, Brislen-Hall, Morrison, Oswell|
|Booked: Meekings, Foran, Doran|
|Sent Off: Tudur-Jones|
|Aberdeen||1 -Smith (84)|
|TEAM: Langfield, Jack (Smith 74), Anderson, Considine, Reynolds, Rae, Hayes, Hughes, Fraser (Megginson 81), Vernon (McGinn 73), Magennis|
|SUBS: Brown, Robertson, Clark, Brown|
|Sent Off: Anderson|