150221 kilmarnock celeb 001Inverness Caledonian Thistle 3 v 3 Kilmarnock

This game was one of those that it was impossible to peel your eyes away from for a minute. If you did, you could be guaranteed that some matter of import would have passed.

The bare bones are this; Inverness led on three occasions, were pegged back on three occasions, had cause to bemoan a late penalty claim being denied and had a manager at the end disappointed by their inability to grab all three points.

150221 kilmarnock shinnie 001So how did we arrive at this? A lazy wind and cold greeted two teams; one at the top of its game and the other rediscovering their form at just the right time of the season.

The match started like that too; Inverness pressing and then leading in 18 minutes after Graeme Shinnie arrived on a ball in the penalty area that had been intelligently gifted by Watkins and studiously ignored by Nick Ross. He needed no further encouragement.

That lead lasted all of two minutes, as a fluorescent Kilmarnock attacked down the right. A shot hit Ecclestone in the back looped over him and landed at his feet. Eternally grateful, he slid the ball past Esson. If that were a precedent, it was backed up by Inverness’s second.

150221 kilmarnock ross 001That man Watkins again made the running and crossed into the area covered by a despairing Westlake. All he could do was knock it against Ross, who tapped in from six yards and Caley Thistle were ahead again.

Crucially, there was a lengthy stoppage as Killie’s Connolly was treated for what turned out to be a nasty shoulder injury, and in the third minute of stoppage time referee McLean decided to ignore a challenge that felled Ross, but award a free kick when Ross draper unequivocally halted the resultant attack.

150221 kilmarnock esson 001Slater curled a great free kick which Esson flew at as it struck his left post. Unfortunately for the Inverness keeper, the ball then struck his foot and nestled in the net. Honours improbably even at half time, Danny Williams took six minutes to correct matters as he thundered a thirty yard strike past Samson. Hit ferociously, it’s hard to tell even from replays if the ball deflected marginally off a defender. Either way it was a great strike worthy of winning any game, and this was certainly the case until Obadeyi careered past Raven and won his side a corner. Obviously not content with this, he headed the resultant cross past a despairing Esson.

Afterwards, John Hughes cut a disappointed figure; “We need to be a bit more ruthless and manage the game better - just to keep that back door shut. We were defensively poor from the front. But we'll take that dunt on the chin and hopefully come back from it on Tuesday night” Some (including the boss) might have seen this as two points dropped, but the point now takes us seven points clear of a Dundee United side that lost on Saturday and appear crippled by the sale of Armstrong and Mackay-Steven to Celtic.

Of course, it’s that Dundee United side that we face on Tuesday night in Dundee and a win for Caley thistle would see us ten points ahead in third place with half a dozen or so games to go until the League split. It’s a massive game, we’ll be there and you can find out here what the blue and red slant was on what is sure to be an intriguing night.

Find all our latest videos at youtube.com/officialict Photos by CaleyJags.com Report by Davie Balfour