SPFL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH REPORT : Alloa Athletic 0-0 Inverness CT

The stalemate streak continued for Inverness CT as they scraped their way to a 0-0 draw against Alloa Athletic.

It was a game that on paper should have been an easy win for the visitors. Despite being on someone else’s territory and on a change of playing surface, you would expect the unbeaten northerners to cruise to victory against part-time outfit Alloa Athletic. However it was the complete opposite this time around.

I should add that it was an incredibly boring game from the start. Inverness struggled to adapt to the dimensions of the pitch. Their typical wide play consistently costing them possession on the artificial pitch. Which Alloa have tactically shortened by around 9 metres, making the pitch much narrower compared to the usual Championship ground. And it paid off spectacularly here.

I had the joy of watching these two in their 2-2 stalemate earlier in the season at the Caledonian Stadium, where Alloa, despite holding their own, thoroughly robbed Inverness of a deserved 3 points. And it didn’t take them long to hit the gas here, with Shields, Zanatta and Robertson all coming close early on.

Inverness started slowly but had found a rhythm, Aaron Doran returned to the starting XI for Riccardo Calder (I’m assuming because his style of play better suits the narrow pitch), and he caused a fair bit of trouble early on. Creating chances for Jordan White and Liam Polworth, however both men dragged their shots wide.

Inverness suffered an early blow when captain Carl Tremarco pulled up injured in the 32nd minute, being replaced by the aforementioned Calder. And despite having a solid game at Left Back, The hosts made the most of the change. With Calder pushing high up the field regularly, Robertson and Taggart of Alloa would find easy counter attacks down the right hand side. However they failed to make anything of it, with Ridgers keeping them at bay.

There’s not much else to say about the first half, and the second was much and such the same. Inverness clearly struggled with the narrow pitch, frequently putting the ball into touch with passes that would usually work on other grounds. The hosts continued to push forward but were wasteful with their chances. Despite having 14 shots, only 2 were on target, however Zanatta did hit the bar midway through the second half in what was very close to the opener.

The visitors did find a second wind through substitutes Nathan Austin and Daniel Mackay, both men preceding to terrorise the Wasps defence for the final 10/15 minutes. Austin set up the best chance of the game, squaring the ball for Jordan White, however the ball came off his chest and went straight out for a goal kick. Liam Polworth and Joe Chalmers came close from range, but both went agonisingly wide.

It was dull encounter but showed signs of promise for both sides. Alloa seem to be growing into the league from what I have seen. They’re a completely different side from the smash and grab 2-2 in week 3. The narrow pitch helped their game, but the players seem to have more chemistry moving forward. As for Inverness, it’s 7 draws and 3 wins from 10 games. Serious changes are needed in the front line, as Jordan White isn’t getting them the goals so far. They play Dunfermline on Tuesday, and with fan favourite George Oakley returning from injury, they’ll be looking to pick up a win. But to do so, it’s time to start Nathan Austin and change up their game plan a little.

Man Of The Match is a tough one as no player really stood out, so I’ll go with a joint effort, Dario Zanatta from Alloa and Tom Walsh from Inverness. Two men who consistently created chances whilst on the pitch, and provided the biggest threat for the side respectively going forward.

FT: Alloa Athletic 0-0 Inverness CT

MotM: Tom Walsh (ICT)/Dario Zanatta (ALLOA)