Inverness CT v Aberdeen as it happened

Inverness Caley Thistle draw with second-top Aberdeen in the first Scottish Premiership game after the league split.

18 April 2014 Last updated at 19:13

As it happened

  1. 19:13: 

    Welcome to the first Scottish Premiership game since the league split into two sections of two for the final five sets of fixtures. This one, between second-top Aberdeen and fifth-placed Inverness Caley Thistle, involves two sides still hopeful of qualifying for the Europa League next season in the top half of the table.

  2. 19:14: 

    Inverness are without two key players, with captain Richie Foran having a knee operation that will keep him out until next season. Full-back Graeme Shinnie also misses out through suspension.

  3. 19:18: 
    Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Hughes on BBC Radio Scotland

    "I don't know the meaning of revenge. The League Cup final is well in the past now.

    "If it is anything like the last game here, when Aberdeen won 4-3, it will be fantastic.

    "We are without Richie Foran and I don't think we'll see him again until next season.

    "It was about time that Richie looked after Richie and that was our joint decision for him to have an operation."

  4. 19:21: 
    Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes on BBC Radio Scotland

    "We want to bounce back from Sunday's game and this is a good night to play football.

    "It was a sore one to take and it's all about the response now and there's a lot still to play for.

    "They can be proud of what they have done this season and it's important we go and finish the job."

  5. 19:23: 
    LINE-UPS

    Inverness CT: Brill, Raven, Warren, Meekings, Tremarco, Doran, Tansey, Ross Draper, Watkins, Vincent, McKay. Subs: Esson, Ross, Devine, Williams, Polworth, Christie, Evans.

    Aberdeen: Langfield, Logan, Anderson, Reynolds, Considine, Hayes, Flood, Robson, McGinn, Pawlett, Rooney. Subs: Shaughnessy, Robertson, Zola, Vernon, Smith, Low, Weaver.

    Referee: Bobby Madden

  6. 19:23: 
    GET INVOLVED

    PFA Scotland this week named its team of the year for the Scottish Premiership. There was one Caley Thistle player in it, the suspended Graeme Shinnie, and two from Aberdeen. Do you agree with the players voted for by their fellow professionals? Give us your thoughts on that or tonight's game as it progresses...

    Text us on 80295 or contact us on Twitter @BBCSportScot or direct to me @CliveLindsayBBC

  7. 19:27: 

    Aberdeen are looking to bounce back from Sunday's Scottish Cup semi-final defeat by St Johnstone. But Derek McInnes' side are unbeaten in their last seven league games.

  8. 19:29: 

    Caley Thistle will be on a high after their Highland derby victory away to Ross County. They will be hoping for a victory as some consolation for losing to tonight's opponents in last month's Scottish League Cup final on penalties.

  9. 19:31: 

    Ross Draper is the man to replace the suspended Graeme Shinnie in the Caley Thistle starting line-up. That is the only change from the team that defeated Ross County.

  10. 19:32: 

    Aberdeen also only make one change to the starting line-up. former Caley Thistle winger Jonny Hayes, having recovered from a collarbone injury, takes the place of the suspended Ryan Jack.

  11. 19:38: 

    Aberdeen have won three of the four meetings between the sides this season, including that League Cup final in their last meeting. However, Caley Thistle won 1-0 at Pittodrie in their last league meeting.

  12. 19:43: 

    Aberdeen are looking to increase their lead over third-top Motherwell to six points with a win. Caley Thistle are two points behind Dundee United and a victory for them would lift them above the Tannadice side.

  13. 19:45: 

    It has been a lovely day in Inverness, but the collars are now turned up, the scarfs being wrapped around necks, as the Spring chill engulfs Caledonian Stadium while the teams prepare to come onto the pitch.

  14. 19:46: 

    Remember there is live commentary of the match on the BBC Sport website and on BBC Radio Scotland in the Inverness and Aberdeen areas.

  15. 19:47: 
    KICK-OFF

    Inverness kick off in their traditional all blue, with Aberdeen in their normal all red.

  16. 19:50: 

    It is a pretty subdued start at Caledonian Stadium and we hope that wayward pass from the normally accurate left foot of Barry Robson is not a sign of things to come from these two sides.

  17. 19:51: 

    The game springs to life as Jonny Hayes wins a free-kick against his former club after a poor Greg Tansey challenge. However, the excitement only lasts a few seconds as Niall McGinn fires disappointingly into the defensive wall.

  18. 19:53: 
    GREAT SAVE!

    Marley Watkins powers his way through the Aberdeen defence and sets up Billy McKay on the penalty spot, but Jamie Langfield is at full-stretch to turn the striker's side-footed effort wide for a corner. Fine save from the goalkeeper.

  19. 19:55: 

    Aberdeen defender Russell Anderson was fortunate not to have been given a yellow card for a wee tug on Marley Watkins before the midfielder set up that chance for Billy McKay. Strangely, referee Bobby Madden spoke to Anderson's central defensive partner, Mark Reynolds, instead.

  20. 19:57: 

    For those of you who can't find the BBC Radio Scotland commentary on the BBC Sport Scotland homepage (it is there!), here's a link.

  21. 20:03: 

    The ball bounces around the edge of the Aberdeen penalty area following a corner, but Aaron Doran's curling left-foot drive goes a couple of yards over the crossbar.

  22. 20:03: 

    Billy McKay's flick on sends Aaron Doran away down the Caley Thistle left. The winger tees the ball up in return for McKay, but the striker gets his low drive all wrong and it squirms well wide from 18 yards.

  23. 20:05: 
    GREAT SAVE!

    The match is heating up, but the Dons have to rely on a defensive error to force Caley Thistle goalkeeper Dean Brill into his first save. Josh Meekings directs the ball towards his own goal as he attempted to clear a cross into the penalty box. It is heading for the far corner, but Brill saves the defender's blushes with a finger-tip save.

  24. 20:07: 

    Jonny Hayes is next to threaten for Aberdeen. The wee winger must have sneaked a pair of ladders onto the pitch to reach that cross at the back post above a couple of towering defenders. However, his header lacks the power to trouble goalkeeper Dean Brill.

  25. 20:09: 

    That was a real test of the injury Jonny Hayes picked up in the opening minutes of the League Cup final. His bravery against his former club led to a month out of the game with a collarbone injury and he had another awkward landing there.

  26. 20:10: 

    From the sublime to the ridiculous for Jonny Hayes. The Dons' Irish winger is left red-faced as he kicks fresh air when he attempts a snap shot from the edge of the penalty area.

  27. 20:15: 

    Sorry for the lack of posts in the last few minutes. I almost fell asleep, the game has fallen into so much of a hole of mediocrity.

  28. 20:21: 

    Niall McGinn feeds the ball into the Caley Thistle penalty box for Barry Robson, but the veteran midfielder sends his first-time effort from an awkward angle way into the stand behind the goal.

  29. 20:23: 
    BBC Radio Scotland pundit John Robertson

    "There is nothing between the two teams. There's hasn't been all season. But I think Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes would want more end product to all the passing. Only a back-header from his own Josh Meekings has troubled Inverness goalkeeper Dean Brill."

  30. 20:24: 
    HITS THE WOODWORK

    Peter Pawlett makes a thrusting run towards the edge of the Inverness penalty box past a couple of half-hearted challenges before setting up Niall McGinn. However, the striker's powerful drive strikes the underside of the crossbar before being cleared. That was nearly the end product John Robertson was talking about.

  31. 20:28: 

    Peter Pawlett is the architect again as Aberdeen start to turn the screw. He sets up Adam Rooney on the by-line and Caley Thistle goalkeeper Dean Brill does well to snuff out the threat from the cross, diving low to gather at his near post.

  32. 20:31: 
    BBC Radio Scotland pundit John Robertson

    "There has been a lot to admire from both sides. There has been a spark about them and, although it's a 0-0, it hasn't been a boring 0-0."

  33. 20:32: 
    GREAT SAVE!

    Jamie Langfield to Aberdeen's rescue again. Aaron Doran plays a fine through ball that finds Billy McKay ghosting into the Dons penalty box, but the goalkeeper flung himself off his line to block the striker's 12-yard effort with his legs.

  34. 20:33: 
    HALF-TIME - Inverness Caledonian Thistle 0-0 Aberdeen
  35. 20:36: 

    So, rather than matching that 4-3 thriller they last met at Caledonian Stadium, the sides are as they were in the Scottish League Cup final at 0-0 at half-time.

  36. 20:38: 

    BBC Radio Scotland reporter Chick Young has just suggested that the play is awful at Caledonian Stadium. Host Richard Gordon is suggesting that it has been a lively game. Former Caley Thistle manager John Robertson and former Aberdeen striker Billy Dodds think there have been enough chances to make it interesting and there's been some good play. Who do you agree with? Give us your thoughts...

    Text us on 80295 or contact us on Twitter @BBCSportScot or direct to me @CliveLindsayBBC

  37. 20:41: 
    BBC Radio Scotland pundit Billy Dodds

    "The scoreline is not surprising considering the games between them this season have been so tight. It is not surprising that these two are in the top six and we could do with a goal to open things out."

  38.  

    Colin Thomson: "Following the game 34k ft above Wyoming cruising at 438mph. Hoping for a Dons victory to banish the SC semi 'mare. COYR!!!" I think that requires more detail of what you are doing up there. Whatever it is, that is dedication for you. To the Dons, not to cruising I mean!

  39.  

    Neil S in Aberdeen: "Come on Aberdeen. Score a goal." Neutrals will settle for either side finding the net.

  40. 20:48: 

    Inverness are keen as they await the entrance of the Dons players after the half-time break.

  41. 20:49: 
    KICK-OFF

    Aberdeen were slow coming out of the tunnel but at last start the second 45 minutes at Caledonian Stadium. Keeping their hosts waiting deliberately, or was manager Derek McInnes giving them a long, hard talking to?

  42. 20:50: 

    Indeed, Aberdeen started the second half with 10 men. Winger Jonny Hayes comes onto the park nearly a minute after the restart. It looks like he is wearing a different colour boots this half. Maybe they were waiting for him to change.

  43. 20:54: 

    Bill in Stafford: "Chic is always negative unless it's one of his two teams that are playing! Very little between the teams, so it's tight as you'd expect. Come on the Dons." Dare I ask which two teams you mean? I am saying nothing except welcome to another far-flung fan and reader.

  44. 20:57: 
    CLOSE!

    Caley Thistle are so close to that breakthrough goal. Ross Draper rises at the front post and sends a powerful header a foot over the crossbar following an Aaron Doran corner.

  45. 20:59: 

    Just had someone send me a tweet saying he agrees with Chick Young's view that the game is rubbish. However, he then asked me not to mention his name. Agreeing with our veteran reporter is surely not that embarrassing, is it?

  46. 21:01: 

    The match is ebbing from end to end now and the noise level from the crowd of 4,224 - not too shabby for a Friday night in Inverness - is starting to rise accordingly. About 2,000 of them belong to the visitors though as the Highland public remain unenthused by the fitba.

  47.  

    Craig M Evans: "Come on @ICTFC, let's get revenge for that cup final! #bbcsportscot"

  48. 21:07: 

    Aberdeen make a change, with diminutive 18-year-old forward Cammy Smith replacing the tiring Jonny Hayes. The former Caley Thistle winger is just back from a month out through injury and was, perhaps understandably, fading out of the game.

  49. 21:10: 

    Ross Draper has to head clear from in front of his goal as the ball bobbles about the Caley Thistle six-yard box following a corner. Gary Warren is next with a brave header that results in a free-kick for a high boot from Aberdeen striker Adam Rooney.

  50. 21:11: 

    Caley Thistle's turn to make a change, with James Vincent, who has been completely anonymous this evening, being replaced with teenage midfielder Ryan Christie.

  51. 21:12: 
    HITS THE WOODWORK

    So close for Caley Thistle. Greg Tansey's rising drive on the turn from 12 yards is tipped onto the crossbar superbly by goalkeeper Jamie Langfield's fingertip. The ball loops into the air and, just as Billy McKay looks poised to pounce on the rebound, Shaleum Logan stretches out a telescopic toe to batter the ball clear.

  52.  

    Neil S in Aberdeen: "Come on Aberdeen. Let's beat ITC."

  53. 21:18: 

    Ryan Christie's superb crossfield pass finds Billy McKay and the Caley Thistle striker's low shot from 18 yards is well held by Jamie Langfield. Classy Christie has impressed any time I have seen him and must have a chance of matching or even surpassing the career achievements of his father, Inverness legend Charlie.

  54.  

    Colin Thomson: "Snoozing en route to Canada for our honeymoon. The inside of my eyelids were more interesting than that first half though." Many congratulations Colin. And I would suggest you have something, or someone, more interesting sitting next to you than a game of football.

  55. 21:22: 

    Barry Robson squanders a good position for Aberdeen. The veteran midfielder sends a 20-yard free-kick high towards the moon shining above Caledonian Stadium.

  56. 21:23: 
    BBC Radio Scotland pundit John Robertson

    "Neither team are giving up. They are battering into challenges and are not giving one another time on the ball. It is like an old-fashioned cup tie."

  57. 21:25: 

    Another change from Caley Thistle manager John Hughes, taking off Marley Watkins and replacing him with Nick Ross in midfield. Ten minutes for the local lad to make a difference.

  58. 21:27: 

    John Robertson has just mentioned on BBC Radio Scotland that there was not a Scotsman in the Caley Thistle starting line-up. Who do they think they are - Arsenal? A legacy of Terry Butcher's reign at Caledonian Stadium. Wonder if it will change under Yogi Hughes when he makes his own signings in the summer?

  59. 21:30: 

    A rare sight of Calvin Zola, the big striker replacing Adam Rooney for Aberdeen for the final five minutes.

  60. 21:31: 

    BBC Radio Scotland commentator Rob MacLean is hinting that Nick Ross could be playing for a former employer next season. Could the out-of-favour Caley Thistle midfielder be following ex-Inverness manager Terry Butcher to Hibernian?

  61. 21:34: 

    Aberdeen threaten to win the game. Willo Flood bursts into the penalty box and Niall McGinn catches the midielder's cut-back first time under pressure, but the effort from 10 yards is straight into goalkeeper Dean Brill's arms on the goal-line.

  62. 21:36: 

    Aberdeen are the team on top in the closing stages. Dons substitute Cammy Smith flashes a shot from 17 yards across the face of goal and a couple of feet wide of the far post.

  63. 21:37: 
    FULL-TIME - Inverness Caledonian Thistle 0-0 Aberdeen
  64. 21:39: 

    Second top Aberdeen move four points clear of Motherwell. They might be satisfied considering Stuart McCall's face a difficult game against champions Celtic tomorrow, albeit at Fir Park.

  65. 21:41: 
    BBC Radio Scotland pundit John Robertson

    "I don't think either manager will think they did enough to win the game. They will be quite honest enough to accept a point. Aberdeen will be more happy than Inverness with the point."

  66.  
    Niall McGinn and Gary Warren Niall McGinn and Caley Thistle's Gary Warren battle it out in an even game at Caledonian Stadium.
  67. 21:47: 

    That's 210 minutes of football between these two sides without a goal following this and the League Cup final, which took a penalty shoot-out to separate them.

  68. 21:51: 

    Caley Thistle miss a chance to leapfrog Dundee United into fourth place in the Scottish Premiership. Inverness remain a point behind Jackie McNamara's side, who travel to McDiarmid Park tomorrow to face St Johnstone in a dress rehearsal for the Scottish Cup final.

  69. 21:52: 
    Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes on BBC Radio Scotland

    "I thought we were very comfortable for long periods and played some good football.

    "We created a lot of good chances, although, with Billy McKay on the pitch, Inverness can always create chances.

    "I have a dressing-room of disappointed boys and that is what I like about them - they came here to win.

    "The one thing that is doing my head in is a reluctance to shoot and they need to show more belief in themselves.

    "But that's nit-picking. A lot of people thought we would have tired legs after the Scottish Cup semi-final, but we answered up tonight."

  70. 21:56: 

    That Scottish Cup semi-final defeat has perhaps overshadowed the fact that this draw has extended Aberdeen's unbeaten league run to eight games.

  71. 22:01: 
    Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Hughes on BBC Radio Scotland

    "Looking at the game, we rode our luck there at times with the one that hit the crossbar and Dean Brill had some saves to make.

    "But it was perhaps two points lost as perhaps we had the better of the chances and were solid at the back.

    "If Billy McKay had scored that goal just before half-time, that could have allowed us to go on and win the game.

    "Aberdeen's a far, far bigger club than us and to go out and match them is all credit to our players.

    "There is room for improvement, but they are a great bunch of guys and they played some good football tonight."

  72. 22:03: 

    Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes also said: "Some managers bang on about their style of play, but we just get on with it and we played some good stuff." He wasn't making it explicit who he was having a go at, if anyone. However, Caley Thistle counterpart John Hughes is one who certainly talks about his football philosophy of passing football, so who knows?

  73. 22:06: 

    Thanks very much for your company tonight. It was another goal-less affair between Inverness and Aberdeen, but - despite what my colleague, Chick Young, was saying on the radio - there was plenty of excitement at Caledonian Stadium. Hopefully there will be even more tomorrow, so join us then for our coverage of another five Scottish Premiership games as the race hots up for European places and the bottom sides scramble to avoid a play-off that could lead to relegation.

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As It Stood Table

Last updated 18 Apr 2014 UK

Scottish Premiership summary table; it charts each team by position, team name, games played, total goal difference and points
Position Team Played Goal Difference Points
No movement 1 Celtic 33 66 88
No movement 2 Aberdeen 34 17 64
No movement 3 Motherwell 33 5 60
No movement 4 Dundee Utd 33 17 54
No movement 5 Inverness CT 34 5 53
No movement 6 St Johnstone 33 7 48
No movement 7 Hibernian 33 -15 34
No movement 8 Kilmarnock 33 -16 33
No movement 9 Ross County 33 -18 31
No movement 10 St Mirren 33 -21 31
No movement 11 Partick Thistle 33 -21 30
No movement 12 Hearts 33 -26 13