The Honest Men continued and impressive start to the 2018/19 season as the 10 men of Ayr held the Caley Jags to a 0-0 draw at the Caledonian Stadium.
It wasn’t a scoreline which represented to the game well, but it shows how solid the new boys are defensively. And rightfully so, the visitors will be the happier of the two with this score following a 0-0 draw in the Highland capital.
This overall was a poor game, Inverness dominated the attacking side of the game from start to finish. Looking back they should’ve scored at least 3 or 4 with the number of chances they had. Nathan Austin broke away, but missed what was a golden chance.
The main turning point was the sending off. Daniel Harvie received a yellow card in the 13th minute for a needless swipe at Shaun Rooney’s shin from behind. Followed by pushing George Oakley to the ground in the box. Liam Polworth missed from the resulting penalty, and things spiralled downhill from there. Inverness has numerous chances but failed to make anything from it.
Ayr played a smart game, forcing the likes of Polworth, Walsh and Oakley out wide and preventing them from playing their natural game. Combine that with a masterclass from Ross Doohan in goal, and you have a defensive plan which was going to cruise through this game. The battle between typical sharpshooter Lawrence Shankland and ICT defender Colon Donaldson was the only attacking play of note however. Michael Moffat was poor for the visitors, and perhaps if he was on form, they would’ve walked away victorious.
In the second half, Inverness continued to pressure the visitors but it all came to nothing. Robertson for the fourth game running made substitutions which ruined they’re chances. Tom Walsh and Nathan Austin were putting in shifts up front, and yet we’re taken off whilst players like Joe Chalmers we’re causing more trouble for they’re own defence and getting to stay on the pitch.
Jordan White almost put the home side ahead, his header looping over the bar in what really should’ve been a better hit from a man of his size. Donaldson almost scored from 30 yards out, but his effort fizzled over the bar in what was a common occurrence this game.
Ultimately, the red blew his whistle to put both teams out of their misery. It was a poor game from both sides and raises the question now for the home fans. When will things change? Inverness have made signing like Sean Welsh, Jamie McCart, Tom Walsh yet none of them are getting a full 90 minutes. Yet Chalmers and Polworth who have been inconsistent in recent times, repeatedly get full games. If they want to hit form, this NEEDS to change.
Ayr are looking strong, very strong in defence. But this could easily change. They didn’t look threatening despite having the prolific Shankland up top. If he leave they’ll struggle for goals, but other than that. They don’t have much to worry about.
And on a separate, final note. Liam Polworth looks like he could’ve confirmed his future in this game as after the final whistle, he started to make his way towards the fans. However, a group from the stands were taking their abuse to new levels, none of which can be condoned in any way. As a result, he turned and instead made his way to the changing rooms.
St. Mirren have been lurking, and for his own sake, it would be a good move. The fans are disrespectful towards him and he deserves better than that. So if that’s the last time he dons the Red and Blue, the only way is up.
Joint Man Of The Match: George Oakley and Tom Walsh
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