141228 aberdeen mckay 001Inverness Caledonian Thistle 0 v 1 Aberdeen

This result saw Inverness remain in fifth spot in the Premiership, two points behind the third place that would see them qualify for a UEFA League spot. Half way through a tough old League campaign it might seem that it would be the ideal place to be, but after this game they might have kicked themselves that second wasn’t theirs outright. How so?

141228 aberdeen shinnie 001Peter Pawlett’s goal in the twelfth minute was enough to separate the sides to the end, but Inverness contributed more than enough to take something from the game. Brown had two exceptional saves bracketing half time, Billy Mckay hit the woodwork and Aaron Doran sclaffed a finish that deserved better. No wonder John Hughes was bemoaning his side’s utter lack of good fortune. “We put enough into it to certainly get something out the match," he explained. "You can see that Lady Luck's just deserted us a little bit right at this moment in time.”

141228 aberdeen tremarco 001Aberdeen’s goal was a case in point. Meekings and Tremarco, who were otherwise in control of everything that came their way both went for the same innocuous high ball in the penalty area. It squirted off them, landing at the feet of McGinn, who squared to Pawlett. The finish beyond Brill was tidy rather than spectacular. As the Inverness defence debated the loss, it was difficult not to feel sympathy for Tremarco. Afforded a rare start because of Graeme Shinnie moving to midfield, he plied his combative trade up and down his flank to great effect all day, even after the constraining factor of a yellow card was applied. He did well.

The second half was a mirror image of the first, both sides playing fluent passing football and creating chances when they arose. The closest Inverness came was from a clipped Billy Mckay finish rattled off the cross bar from the tightest of angles in eighty minutes. He joined a list of frustrated Inverness players headed by Tansey, Raven and Shinnie. No one, however was more frustrated than John Hughes: “Take nothing away from Aberdeen. They've got that experience, that know-how. Although we were the better team in the second half, you're still wary of them on the counter attack. We were a match for them. Any team that comes here knows that they've been in a game and that would certainly be the case today."

It certainly was John, and now there is the small matter of a New Year’s derby at Dingwall to look forward to. Bounce back? I couldn’t think of a better time.

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