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02.01.2008 @ 15:00 Pittodrie, Aberdeen Attendance: 13372
Aberdeen
1 - 0
Inverness CT
Referee: Mike Tumilty League-match

Goalscorers
Nicholson (Pen, 83) None.
Starting Lineup
Langfield
Byrne
Mair
Foster
Smith
Clark
Nicholson
Severin
Young
Miller
Aluko
Michael Fraser
Richard Hastings
Ross Tokely
Grant Munro
Phil McGuire
Russell Duncan
Ian Black
John Rankin
Don Cowie
Graham Bayne
Marius Niculae
Substitutes
Soutar
Lovell
Touzani
Smith
De Visscher
Smith
Crawford
Zbigniew Małkowski
David Proctor
Jamie Duff
Richie Hart
Iain Vigurs
Dale Gillespie
Dennis Wyness
Substitutions
Lovell -> Aluko (64)
De Visscher -> Young (76)
Richie Hart -> John Rankin (80)
Yellow cards
Byrne (48) Ian Black (42)
Marius Niculae (79)
Red cards
None None.
Other statistics
12 Shots 19
5 Shots on goal 9
3 Offsides 4
8 Corner kicks 5
12 Free kicks 16
1 Penalties 0
Match report
Caley Thistle have yet to record a win over Aberdeen, and although today looked like it might be a good chance given recent form, the Dons maintained that record with a 1-0 victory.

The game appeared to be heading for a 0-0 draw when Ross Tokely gave away a penalty in the 83rd minute. Barry Nicholson scored the spot kick and grabbed all three points for the Dons.

Inverness Caley Thistle travelled to Aberdeen in good spirits after a convincing 3-1 victory and a fine display against Kilmarnock in their last game. Aberdeen would have been of a similar mind, despite a dwindled squad to pick from, given that they had gone 11 games without loss at Pittodrie Stadium.

Darren Mackie, Michael Hart, Andrew Considine, Jackie McNamara and Zander Diamond were all missing for Aberdeen due to injury whilst Inverness CT travelled with a full squad to pick from.

Everyone in attendance at the match took time out to pay tribute to Phil O’Donnell with a minute’s applause before the game got underway.

The Caley Thistle fans are no stranger to a cold breeze given the location of the stadium, but the wind here at Pittodrie was blowing with a vengeance and it was no surprise that everyone was huddled up trying their best to escape it….even some of the players had donned gloves in an attempt to fight off at least some of the chill.

The first real opportunity of the match came for Miller, but he failed to threaten with a header that went safely wide of the mark. Mair had an attempt with the head shortly afterwards when Young played Aluko into the corner and he got the cross in to Mair inside the area. He failed to get any real power into the header and it was easily gather by Michael Fraser.

Inverness CT were playing very much the better football and had most control in midfield, but both teams found themselves unable to make any real impact on the game, with the wind conditions so bad it was impossible to play anything accurate through the air and with the pitch looking like it had only been freshly ploughed that morning it was difficult to play the ball on the deck.

With the Caley Thistle wing backs pushing forward so much in recent games and finding themselves within shooting range on a regular basis during matches then I think they could do with a little practice in that regard. Shots were few and far for both teams and on the only effort of any real note for ICT during the first half Richard Hastings was the last man in a great piece of play involving Bayne and Rankin, only for him to repeat his efforts of last week and send it, once again, over the bar.

Half Time came and I think it was welcome by all, both on the pitch and off of it. Neither team had been inspiring during the first 45 minutes and were in need of a little team talk, and the fans were desperate to head for a hot drink to try and warm the cockles.

This game had all the makings of one of those affairs where both teams just spend 90 minutes cancelling each other out, although I suspect is more down to the wind cancelling everyone out.

Marius Niculae had been largely quiet in the first half and Ross Tokely looked to be having an off day and was far less effective pushing forward from right back as we’ve come to expect.

The teams took to the pitch for the second half and the only thing in our favour was that we were now playing with the wind at our backs. Given the stalemate of the first half I thought we might have seen one, or both, teams make some half time changes, but that was not to be.

The second half was a carbon copy of the first with both teams failing to penetrate the final third of the pitch and cause the opposition any problems.

A free-kick played long into the box by Russell Duncan found the head of Ross Tokely for the first real attempt on goal by ICT in the second half, but he couldn’t get high enough to head it down and it climbed harmlessly over the bar.

Black looked to have used the wind to his advantage soon afterwards when he spotted a line to the net from 30+yards out. Despite the man on and being under a little pressure he rocketed a right foot shot at goal. Langfield who had been on decent form all day barely managed to connect with it and had to twist his body to get enough on it to tip it out for the corner kick.

Niculae was next to test Langfield…Bayne had done what he does best and chased a lost effort to the corner, only for him to manage to catch the ball and bring it under control. He then sent it back down the line and it was crossed in to the head of Niculae who never got enough on it as he sent it low past the left hand post.

Caley Thistle were managing to put some slick passes together and it was the next move down the right that saw the ball cleared to Bayne who was also denied by Langfield from the edge of the area.

Hastings got another crack at goal when he made a terrific run to support the midfield and found the ball played neatly to his feet. With two Aberdeen players in front of him he had little option but to take a pop from 25 yards. This time the ball was low and travelling and the Aberdeen keeper did well to get a hand to it to parry it wide.

On any other day and against a lesser keeper Inverness CT might have been a couple of goals up at this stage, but it wasn’t to be and the deadlock was broken under controversial circumstances. Miller had managed to break though into the area but was heading away from goal when Tokely had charged in to cover. There was shoulder to shoulder contact and Miller went down like a sack of seed potatoes…quite apt given the conditions of the pitch…and the referee was conned into awarding the penalty.

Nicholson stepped up and sent Michael Fraser the wrong way before slotting the ball into the left side of the net to make it 1-0 to the home side with under 10 minutes left in the game.

ICT had little to offer in an attempt to recoup a point from the game, and had it not been for another fine save by Fraser near the end when Miller again found himself through on goal, ironically after shoulder charging Munro off the ball in similar fashion to what he got his penalty for.

Think it would be wrong to say the game was dull, but the conditions didn’t help and it resulted in a lot of sloppy play which was interlaced with some fine link up play by ICT. None of that changes the fact that we left without any points and have to come calling another day in order to secure that elusive first win over the Dons.