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18.01.2003 @ 15:00 Caledonian Stadium, Inverness Attendance: 2021
Inverness CT 0 - 1 Ayr United
Referee: J Rowbotham League-match

Goalscorers
None. Kean (3)
Starting Lineup
Mark Brown
Ross Tokely
Bobby Mann
Stuart Golabek
Stuart McCaffrey
Charlie Christie
Barry Robson
Graeme Stewart
Roy McBain
Dennis Wyness
Paul Ritchie
Nelson
Lyle
Lovering
McManus
Campbell (Black 54)
Craig
Chaplain
Smyth
Kean (Dunlop 73)
Grady (Whalen 62)
Murray
Substitutes
Michael Fraser
David Bagan
Russell Duncan
Richie Hart
Liam Keogh
Black
Whalen
Dunlop
Annand
Dodds
Substitutions
Russell Duncan -> Ross Tokely (33)
Richie Hart -> Graeme Stewart (64)
Liam Keogh -> Paul Ritchie (73)
Black -> Campbell (54)
Whalen -> Grady (62)
Dunlop -> Kean (73)
Yellow cards
Stuart McCaffrey (60)
Lovering
Smyth
Red cards
None. Lovering (88)
Match report
This was the management teams delayed home debut and it did not go well. It was also a record 100th game in a row for Dennis Wyness and Barry Robsons 150th appearance. The most disappointing statistic was the fact that this was the first ever Ayr victory against Caley Thistle in Inverness. A Roy McBain 20 yard shot was blocked in the first minute then Ayr struck two minutes later. A mishit by Mark Smyth fell kindly for Stewart Kean and he hit a first time low ball into the net from just inside the box. A minute later Mark Brown came out to save at the feet of Scott Chaplain then in 13 minutes Brown pushed a Kean close-range shot over the bar. For the rest of the half Ayr were pinned back but all attacks came to nothing. Ayr played five at the back and held on grimly to their lead throughout the game. Caley Thistle had by far the bulk of the possession but had great difficulty penetrating beyond the Ayr 18 yard line. Robson hit well past in 32 minutes then his low shot was easily saved in 41 minutes. In 44 minutes a strong Christie run gave some hope but he hit low and past. The second half was more of the same but Caley Thistle did threaten Craig Nelsons goal. A minute into the second half a high Wyness header was held by Nelson then a low Robson ball from the left was touched on by Wyness but Nelson again saved. On the hour mark Robson passed two defenders then stretched Nelson with a good low shot. There were long periods of scrappy play but Ayr could have gone two up in 74 minutes when a breakaway ball reached Kean in sight of goal his first time shot was wild. Substitutes Richie Hart and Liam Keogh added some bite and in 80 minutes Keogh hit low past the post. Five minutes from time Nelson dropped a Robson cross but recovered to collect. Ayr were by now taking everything slowly and there was trouble for Lovering three minutes from time at a throw-in. His time wasting brought a yellow card then a second when he protested. There was no time to take advantage of the superior manpower. In the last minute Hart nearly came to the rescue but his strong shot from 22 yards whistled past. Ayrs Stephen Whalen had a chance in stoppage time but Brown came out to save it broke back to Whalen but Stuart Golabek cleared. Time ran out and Falkirks win against Arbroath took them back to the top spot.