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Aberdeen 0 - 0 Inverness CT

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 Inverness CT


27/12/2004 | KO: 15:00

Dons slip to fourth after lacklustre performance

Pittodrie attracted a festive crowd of 18,250 today but there was little to celebrate from this performance. After a promising opening 20 minutes Aberdeen struggled to take control of the match and with Hibs winning at Tannadice the Dons slip to fourth in the league. In the opening period Aberdeen hit the post and had a Heikkinen effort scooped off the line but as the frustration grew control of the game slipped away and Aberdeen had Ryan Esson to thank for earning a point. He made some telling stops and a double save midway through the second half capped a fine performance.

Inverness kicked off in front of a large crowd but it was the Dons who created the first scoring chance in the 3rd minute. Heikkinen released Foster on the right and the youngster cut inside and hit a fierce shot that was deflected wide by Munro. The resultant corner saw Diamond smash a header off the woodwork as Aberdeen looked for an early breakthrough. Two minute later the visitors broke and a dangerous ball was fired across the face of the goal but fortunately there was no one there to take advantage for Inverness. Aberdeen went close again in the 8th minute when a well worked corner found Severin on the edge of the box but once again the effort was deflected clear of the target.

Inverness then had a spell of pressure testing Esson with high crosses. The keeper was not found wanting but at the other end Brown looked unsure in the 15th minute as he came for a Foster cross. The keeper never came near to collecting the ball allowing Mackie to sneak in and head over. Aberdeen were dominating at this stage but luck was not with them and once again they were denied in the 17th minute. A Clark free kick was turned back across goal by Severin and Heikkinen looked to have turned the ball into the net only to be denied by a Golabek goal line clearance. Clark was causing problems on the left with some tricky wing play and the Dons looked dangerous at set plays.

There was almost a mix up at the back when a short pass back put Esson in trouble in the 25th minute but the keeper did well to scramble the ball clear. Three minutes later Anderson was forced to scoop the ball clear and Inverness threatened with a series of long throws from Munro. After a promising start Aberdeen were now struggling to deliver a decent final ball with several players guilty of delivering a sloppy final pass. McBain had a chance to fire Inverness ahead in the 35th minute but failed to convert a decent delivery. Seconds later Foster missed a golden opportunity when he fired a Clark cross high over the bar from close range. Clark himself then hit a hopeful effort from distance in the 43rd minute but it failed to test Brown. A minute later Stewart's pace won a free kick on the right and it was the same player that was in position to head Foster's delivery over the bar.

Aberdeen started the second half on the offensive as they continued to try and break down a well organised defence, but a couple of head knocks brought play to a halt. In the 54th minute Clark won a free kick on the edge of the box and rolled the ball into the path of Severin who in turn drilled his effort inches wide. A minute later Juanjo set up Hart but he fired high over the bar then in the 58th minute Esson was down smartly to prevent an own goal as an Inverness free kick caused panic. A minute later Stewart looked to be fouled on the edge of the box but failed to get a decision. Diamond almost gifted a goal in the 61st minute when he was short with a pass back and had Esson to thank as he denied Juanjo.

At the other end Brown flapped at a Foster corner before recovering to collect the loose ball. Aberdeen broke with pace in the 65th minute but unfortunately there was not enough support to make a breakthrough. A minute later the Dons looked to be exposed and only dithering by the Inverness front line prevented a goal. Stewart should have done better in the 70th minute when he headed wide and Aberdeen did not look like the same team that had started the match in fine form. Clark hobbled off in the 72nd minute and was replaced by Scott Muirhead but it was the visitors who looked most likely to score.

Aberdeen had Ryan Esson to thank in the 74th minute when he made a terrific double stop from Bayne and Juanjo before Diamond made a telling block to keep the score level. Esson then rescued the Dons again two minutes later with another save from Munro. Aberdeen had drifted so far out of the game it was difficult to see where a goal could come from and with eleven minutes remaining McGuire replaced Stewart. Inverness almost grabbed a goal in the 83rd minute when Keogh hit the side netting following a powerful run. Aberdeen made a push near the end but never looked like grabbing the winner in this poor match.

Inverness CT Teamsheet
Brown, Tokely, Golabek, Dods, McBain, Bayne, Hart, Juanjo (Prunty 90), Duncan, Munro, Keogh

Bookings:  Dods 90,   Munro 90
Attendance: 18,250
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: John R. Underhill, Edinburgh
Today's Match Programme remembers Hicham Zerouali.
The Red Army also remember the Moroccan
Darren Mackie wins a header as the Dons push for an opening.
Richard Foster also looks to make a breakthrough in the early stages.
Darren Mackie tries his luck on the deck.
Brown clutches the ball as Stewart waits for any slip.
The ball smashes off the woodwork to deny Diamond.
Kevin McNaughton attempts an eightsome reel...
...then reverts to the more traditional footballing techniques.
He can also do it with his eyes closed.
Jimmy Calderwood also can't look as the Dons struggle to break down Inverness.
Marcus Heikkinen makes a challenge today.
Mackie controls the ball at Pittodrie.
Man of the match Ryan Esson acknowledges the crowd.