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Inverness CT 0 Morton 0 – Dougie Imrie points to positives in Highland stalemate despite second half frustrations

Dougie Imrie's men rounded off the year with a clean sheet in horrendous Highland conditions as they made it five Championship games unbeaten.

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By Christopher Dodds
Inverness CT 0 Morton 0 - Dougie Imrie points to positives in Highland stalemate despite second half frustrations

MORTON BOSS Dougie Imrie was delighted to sign off 2023 by extending his side’s unbeaten run as they battled ‘snow bombs’ and illness to take a point ifrom the Highlands.

The result saw the Cappielow side finish the month of December unbeaten, despite dropping down to sixth in the cinch Championship – but Imrie says things are looking up heading into 2024.

The 0-0 draw against Duncan Ferguson’s men made it three clean sheets in a row and back-to-back shutouts on the road as he steered the Cappielow men away from the relegation zone.

He said: “I’m delighted with our December form, we started the month in a really precarious position and through the effort of the lads we’ve managed to navigate our way through that and propel ourselves up the table.

Imrie’s men are five games unbeaten after registering back-to-back draws against Inverness and Airdrie Pic: Paul Paterson


“We’ve come out quite well with three clean sheets, 11 points, I’m delighted with that. Three wins and two draws including that win up at Arbroath has been brilliant in tough circumstances like we did against Inverness today.

“I thought it was pretty even between the two sides in all honesty, I thought we slightly shaded it and had the better of the chances and Robbie Muirhead should’ve scored with his effort midway through the second half.

“I don’t think Ryan had a save to make so that’s credit to the team and their performance as a whole, that’s three clean sheets on the bounce now, that’s three clean sheets on the bounce now but it’s far from where we want to be.”

Shot shy

In a first half bereft of any real quality, it would be the hosts who had the opening chance of the game as some good work from Cameron Harper down the left saw him find space to pick out David Wotherspoon’s late run into the box, but his first-time snapshot was well blocked by the outstretched leg of Kirk Broadfoot.

Morton would then try to hit their opponents on the counter and should’ve done better five minutes before the interval after Steven Boyd received a slide rule pass from Broadfoot, who sprawled forward, he was quick to turn and try his luck from distance, but instead of finding the top corner he instead found the Kessock Bridge.

Caley were dealt with a big blow on the eve of the January transfer window as talisman attacker David Wotherspoon was forced off after picking up a knock off the back of Power’s robust challenge where he appeared to wrap his studs down his ankle, as he was replaced by Louis Longstaff

Ton tried to threaten in the brief flashes they had in the Caley Jags’ half. Jack Baird got on the end of Crawford’s cross, but his header flashed back across goal and wide of the mark.

Imrie’s men were spared of any blushes after Billy McKay latched onto a culmination of errors to feed in Gilmour who feints past Broadfoot’s tackle to try and find the top corner, but he lashed over the bar.

Missed chances

Robbie Muirhead passed up a guilt edged chance in the Highlands Pic: Paul Paterson

But Robbie Muirhead will be having nightmares for weeks though looking back on this one after letting a guilt edged chance go a begging on the hour mark. He did all the hard work, outmuscling Gilmour to feed in Boyd out on the left, his lofted pass into the penalty area found Cameron Blues in space, and he laid the opportunity on a plate for the Ton No.9, who somehow lashed wide from five yards out.

The Ton boss was left baffled by Muirhead’s decision to thrash his left foot out at the effort as opposed to taking it in and then trying his luck with his weaker right side.

Despite his frustrations though, he admitted that on any other day his No.9 puts the ball in the back of the net and despite surrendering fifth place in Scotland’s second tier, Imrie is looking forward to Tuesday’s clash against Ayr United.

He added: “I just think he’s got to take that on his right foot. It’s perfect for him to hit on his right, but instead he’s come across it on his left and he’s not connected the right way.

“If that was Robbie of last season, it’s a goal, unfortunately for us it wasn’t this time around but it’s a good point to get on the road. I want to thank the fans for making the effort to come up because it looks like it’ll be difficult to even get home.

“Tuesday will be another tough game Ayr fought back from two goals down against Dunfermline, every team is fighting and giving their all. If you’re not at it you’ll certainly be punished like we were in the first part of the season. But we can look forward to the new year now.”

That chance summed up what was quite a bleak afternoon for both sides in front of goal as the hardy few who battled through weather warnings to head to the Highlands would’ve been forgiven for being left wanting.

It’s yet another fast turnaround for Ton as they gear up to welcome the Honest Men to Cappielow on Tuesday afternoon.

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