Inverness CT v St Mirren
- FT 90 +3
- HT 0-0
Inverness Caledonian Thistle and St Mirren were left frustrated by their failure to convert chances in an evenly matched contest in the Highlands.
Saints' Paul McGowan was twice guilty of shooting straight at goalkeeper Ryan Esson with the goal gaping.
Two Steven Thompson headers kept Esson on his toes but after the break Inverness went on the attack.
Gregory Tade knocked a simple chance wide and debutant Claude Gnakpa hit the post but the game ended in stalemate.
The match started tamely with neither side finding any rhythm but most of the first-half chances fell to St Mirren.
With 14 minutes on the clock, McGowan was through on Esson but, with time to pick his spot, he hit the ball straight at the goalie and the chance was squandered.
Midfielder Greg Tansey ballooned a shot high over the St Mirren bar and in to the travelling fans when greater composure would at least have tested Craig Samson.
Inverness, buoyed by captain Richie Foran's decision to extend his contract by two years, struggled to get past Saints' central defensive pairing of Marc McAusland and Lee Mair.
And they could have gone behind when marauding striker Thompson almost caught out Inverness with a head flick after 23 minutes that looped just over the bar.
St Mirren had some good signing news of their own last week, when skipper Jim Goodwin signed a new contract in Paisley but a calf strain ruled him out.
Another Thompson header was pounced upon by Esson, his fourth save by that point, while the Saints keeper had not had a save to make.
Terry Butcher, the Inverness manager, has guided his team to a run of wins and draws - they last lost on 17 December, away to Rangers - but they were a shadow of their recent selves until the stroke of half-time when they carved out their first good chance.
Kenny Gillet moved the ball on to his right foot, his weaker foot, and pinged a low shot that flew a yard past the St Mirren post.
A half-time team talk by Butcher, not one to mince his words, seemed to enliven the home side and within a few minutes of the restart striker Tade had two chances to break the deadlock.
First, on the left of the box, he opted to cut the ball back to an invisible team-mate instead of shooting at goal.
But worse was to follow. A Jonny Hayes cross fell to the Frenchman three yards from goal but somehow he knocked the ball past the back post.
Graham Carey, St Mirren's free-kick expert, smacked one well wide of Esson's goal and with almost an hour gone one had the feeling the fans would not witness a goal.
Esson made a save from David Barron before Danny Lennon's side wasted a gilt-edged chance.
Thompson did well to set up striker McGowan who controlled the ball then meekly rolled his shot in to Esson's arms with the goal at his mercy.
Either side of that miss, Butcher made two substitutions, sending on new signings Gnakpa and Sam Winnall for Shane Sutherland and Tade respectively.
And Gnakpa endeared himself to the Caley Thistle fans immediately when he thumped a low shot off the Buddies post.
Lennon introduced Gary Teale and Hugh Murray for Steven Thomson and Carey in an attempt to freshen things up for his team, but neither could influence proceedings.
Inverness had a late chance when Nick Ross cut in from the left and let fly but his shot was saved by Samson.
- 01 Esson
- 03 Tokely
- 14 Proctor
- 22 Gillet
- 26 Meekings
- 07 Hayes
- 08 Tansey Booked
- 11 Ross
- 09 Foran Booked
- 15 Tade (Winnall - 70' )
- 18 Sutherland (Gnakpa - 64' Booked )
- 12 Tuffey
- 19 Shinnie
- 25 Gnakpa
- 02 Piermayr
- 17 Morrison
- 20 Winnall
- 21 McKay
- 01 Samson
- 02 van Zanten Booked
- 03 Barron
- 05 Mair Booked
- 14 McAusland
- 22 Tesselaar
- 08 Thomson (Teale - 75' )
- 23 Carey (Murray - 75' )
- 27 Imrie
- 09 Thompson
- 10 McGowan
- 12 Smith
- 37 Naismith
- 07 Murray
- 15 Mooy
- 21 Teale
- 11 Hasselbaink
- 39 Reilly
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The final whistle is blown by the referee.90:00 +1:43
Steven Thompson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ross Tokely. Ryan Esson takes the direct free kick.90:00 +1:12
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Paul McGowan by David Proctor. David van Zanten takes the free kick.90:00 +0:22
Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Greg Tansey.90:00 +0:07
Nick Ross takes a shot. Save by Craig Samson.89:20
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Gary Teale, clearance made by Greg Tansey.87:51
Claude Gnakpa fouled by David van Zanten, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Kenny Gillet.84:41
A cross is delivered by Kenny Gillet, Claude Gnakpa produces a header from inside the area that goes over the bar.84:41 Booking
Booking Lee Mair booked.84:26
Unfair challenge on Claude Gnakpa by Lee Mair results in a free kick.82:50
Free kick awarded for a foul by David Barron on Richie Foran. Free kick taken by Kenny Gillet.80:24
Nick Ross has an effort at goal from close in which goes wide left of the target.77:56
Inswinging corner taken by Greg Tansey, Marc McAusland makes a clearance.76:08
Lee Mair takes the direct free kick.76:08 Booking
Booking Greg Tansey is cautioned.75:57
Greg Tansey concedes a free kick for a foul on David Barron.74:56 Substitution
Substitution Graham Carey goes off and Hugh Murray comes on.73:55 Substitution
Substitution Steven Thomson goes off and Gary Teale comes on.73:55
Direct free kick taken by Jeroen Tesselaar.73:55 Booking
Booking Caution for Claude Gnakpa.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Claude Gnakpa on Jeroen Tesselaar.71:52
Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Greg Tansey, clearance made by Jeroen Tesselaar.70:59
Corner taken left-footed by Johnny Hayes to the near post, clearance made by Jeroen Tesselaar.70:31
Claude Gnakpa produces a right-footed shot from just inside the penalty area and hits the post.69:47
Claude Gnakpa fouled by Jeroen Tesselaar, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Josh Meekings.69:06 Substitution
Substitution Sam Winnall on for Gregory Tade.68:11
The ball is swung over by Greg Tansey, Ross Tokely takes a shot. Craig Samson makes a save.68:11 Booking
Booking David van Zanten is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.68:00
Johnny Hayes fouled by David van Zanten, the ref awards a free kick.65:25
Paul McGowan takes a shot. Ryan Esson makes a save.63:54 Substitution
Substitution (Inverness CT) makes a substitution, with Claude Gnakpa coming on for Shane Sutherland.61:27
David Barron takes a shot. Save made by Ryan Esson.60:50
Corner taken left-footed by Graham Carey to the near post, clearance made by Greg Tansey.58:42
Richie Foran produces a left-footed shot from just outside the penalty area that goes harmlessly over the target.54:35
Unfair challenge on Douglas Imrie by Greg Tansey results in a free kick. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Graham Carey.50:07
Greg Tansey has an effort from just inside the box that misses to the left of the goal.49:12
Close range effort by Gregory Tade misses to the left of the target.46:27
Graham Carey fouled by Josh Meekings, the ref awards a free kick. David Barron takes the free kick.46:06
Steven Thompson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Richie Foran. Free kick taken by Ross Tokely.45:01
The second half has started.45:00 +0:28 Half time
Half Time The match has reached half-time.45:00 +0:08
Shane Sutherland is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Craig Samson restarts play with the free kick.44:14
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Richie Foran by David Barron. Greg Tansey crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left channel.43:15
Kenny Gillet has shot on goal from just outside the penalty box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.41:20
Steven Thomson takes a shot. Ryan Esson makes a save.39:37
Effort on goal by Graham Carey from just inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.37:05
Johnny Hayes produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the net.35:43
Foul by Jeroen Tesselaar on Gregory Tade, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed left-footed by Johnny Hayes, David van Zanten manages to make a clearance.35:17
Steven Thompson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on David Proctor. Kenny Gillet takes the free kick.34:18
Corner taken left-footed by Graham Carey from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by Shane Sutherland.33:30
Graham Carey restarts play with the free kick.33:30 Booking
Booking Richie Foran is given a yellow card.33:25
Free kick awarded for a foul by Richie Foran on Graham Carey.31:50
Foul by Kenny Gillet on Douglas Imrie, free kick awarded. Graham Carey crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from right channel, Ross Tokely makes a clearance.29:29
Corner taken by Graham Carey from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance by Richie Foran.29:10
Graham Carey takes a shot. Ross Tokely gets a block in.28:10
Free kick awarded for a foul by Douglas Imrie on Richie Foran. Direct free kick taken by Kenny Gillet.25:54
Paul McGowan has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide right of the target.24:45
The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by Ryan Esson.22:18
Steven Thompson takes a shot. Ryan Esson makes a save.20:06
Shot by Greg Tansey from outside the area goes high over the crossbar.15:55
Corner taken by Johnny Hayes.10:42
Graham Carey takes a shot. Save made by Ryan Esson.10:14
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Proctor by Steven Thompson. Richie Foran takes the free kick.3:32
Steven Thomson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Greg Tansey. Free kick taken by Kenny Gillet.1:43
Unfair challenge on Johnny Hayes by David Barron results in a free kick. Johnny Hayes takes the direct free kick.0:46
Foul by Kenny Gillet on Douglas Imrie, free kick awarded. David van Zanten takes the free kick.0:15
Kenny Gillet concedes a free kick for a foul on Douglas Imrie. David van Zanten takes the direct free kick.0:00
The referee gets the match started.
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