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Last Updated: Monday, 6 November 2006, 21:37 GMT
Inverness CT 1-1 Aberdeen
By Clive Lindsay

Lee Miller celebrates with goalscorer Steve Lovell
Steve Lovell equalised after coming on as a substitute
Steve Lovell marked his return from injury with an equaliser that denied Inverness Caledonian Thistle their first-ever win over Aberdeen.

Craig Dargo fired just wide for Caley Thistle during a poor first half.

But Graham Bayne's diving header from a Roy McBain cross broke the deadlock for Inverness after 78 minutes.

Substitute Lovell had already struck the bar with an overhead kick before forcing the ball home after Lee Miller headed on a Michael Hart cross.

Lovell had started on the bench after three months out through injury.

Fit-again Jamie Smith also returned, with Scott Severin moving back from midfield to defence for the dropped Zander Diamond.

Inverness were unchanged as they chased their eighth league game without defeat.

But it took 19 minutes for either side to threaten, Aberdeen's Gary Dempsey drilling a 20-yard drive wide of the far post.

Dargo immediately responded from a similar distance at the other end, but his effort curled a couple of feet wide.

Dons captain Russell Anderson just failed to get enough on the ball after two dangerous Smith crosses to the far post.

John Rankin neatly sidestepped Richard Foster and fired straight at Aberdeen goalkeeper Jamie Langfield from just inside the penalty box.

But it was a dull affair that rarely ignited a healthy Monday-night crowd at Caledonian Stadium.

Graham Bayne scores with a diving header
Graham Bayne dived to put Caley Thistle into the lead

Aberdeen started the second half strongly and Chris Clark fired across the face of goal.

Michael Hart powered into the Inverness box after Miller flicked the ball on, but his cross-cum-shot from a difficult angle landed on the roof of the net.

The Dons had the better possession, but it was Inverness who broke the deadlock.

Dargo sent McBain to the bye-line with a fine through-ball and Bayne threw himself to head home the low cross from 10 yards.

A last-ditch tackle by Hart prevented Barry Wilson pulling the trigger and grabbing a second after a jinking run into the box moments later.

Aberdeen pressed for an equaliser and Lovell's introduction almost paid dividends with an overhead kick that struck the crossbar before fellow substitute Andrew Considine headed the rebound over.

The late pressure paid off in the dying seconds when former Dundee striker Lovell forced the ball home.

But it meant that both sides had squandered an opportunity to move into third spot in the Scottish Premier League.


Inverness CT: Brown, Tokely, Dods, Munro, Hastings, Wilson, McBain, Duncan, Rankin, Bayne, Dargo (Wyness 81).
Subs Not Used: Fraser, McCaffrey, McSwegan, Soane, Sutherland, McAllister.

Booked: Duncan.

Goal: Bayne 78.

Aberdeen: Langfield, Hart, Anderson, Severin, Foster, Jamie Smith, Nicholson, Dempsey (Lovell 79), Clark (Considine 67), Mackie (Maguire 83), Miller.
Subs Not Used: Soutar, Diamond, Daniel Smith, Stuart Smith.

Booked: Considine, Lovell.

Goal: Lovell 90.

Att: 5,744

Ref: D McDonald



SEE ALSO
Christie philosophical after draw
06 Nov 06 |  Inverness CT
Calderwood unhappy with display
06 Nov 06 |  Aberdeen
Christie named manager of month
06 Nov 06 |  Inverness CT


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