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Page last updated at 19:46 GMT, Saturday, 20 March 2010

Ross County 0-0 Inverness CT

By Charles Bannerman at Victoria Park


A stalemate between Ross County and Inverness meant both were unable to take full advantage of First Division leaders Dundee's loss to Airdrie.

County dominated the first half with Iain Vigurs, Michael Gardyne and Scott Morrison all threatening.

The second period produced the best from Inverness whose Robert Eagle hit the post.

Substitute Paul Di Giacomo came close to sealing victory for the home side but there was to be no winner.

Inverness, who are now 12 games undefeated, lie three points behind Dundee while County, in fourth place, are six points off the pace but with two games in hand.

After a featureless opening 20 minutes, County began to rack up the chances with eight in the remainder of the first half and little by way of response from the visitors.

Gardyne, who had earlier set up Vigurs to head just over the bar, landed a lob on the roof of the net.

In between, Scott Morrison's 35-yard free kick tested goalkeeper Ryan Esson, who parried the shot into the air before recovering the ball.

The visitors, with Eagle on for Nauris Bulvitis and a reshuffled defence and midfield, emerged a much better side after the break and might have scored if David Proctor had got his head a couple of feet closer to Lee Cox's ball from the left.

Gardyne and Inverness striker Adam Rooney both shot at their opposing keepers before Eagle hit the inside of the left post from 12 yards.

There were also misses at each end for County's Paul Lawson and Johnny Hayes while Gardyne's replacement Di Giacomo fired over from just three yards.

Both sides, who meet again in Inverness on 30 March, pressed for the goal that would have made a huge difference to their title challenges, but fell just short.

Ross County manager Derek Adams said:
"Well we've actually murdered them. It's a football match but at half-time it's a boxing match and they're never in the game.

"I was surprised they came with five across the middle and a defensive formation because they obviously needed a win to try and push Dundee and get back to that Scottish Premier League where they still want to be.

"But the chances we had in the first half, the way we created them, the openings we had, we should have had the game out of sight by half-time.

"In the second half they had a couple of opportunities and I think we were by far the better side today, everybody would say that.

"It's another good positive result for us but we would have liked to have won the game."

Inverness manager Terry Butcher said:
"It's a good point for us today. We played well in spells in the game and very poorly in others.

"It was a tale of two halves really, I thought we were much better in the second half, much stronger, much more solid and we always carried that threat of a breakaway.

"Ross County had the majority of the pressure possibly. The back four had to defend well. Ryan only had one save to make and it was a crucial save and Robert Eagle had a great chance at the other end.

"Both sides have had one clear cut chance each and haven't taken it. It was a really, really hard fought match but we're happy with the point.

"Three ponts off the top and we still have to play Dundee at home in the last game and Ross County will be pleased about Dundee's result at Airdrie as well because they're not out of it, as are other teams."

Ross County: McGovern, Miller, Boyd, Keddie, Morrison, Brittain, Lawson, Scott, Vigurs (Wood 84), Gardyne (Di Giacomo 71), Barrowman (Craig 90).
Subs Not Used: Malin, Kettlewell.

Booked: Morrison.

Inverness CT: Esson, Tokely, Bulvitis (Eagle 46), Munro, Golabek, Duncan, Hayes, Proctor, Cox, Odhiambo (Sanchez 82), Rooney.
Subs Not Used: Allison, Ross, Stratford.

Booked: Duncan, Tokely, Golabek.

Att: 5,928

Ref: M Tumilty

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