Craig Brown made four changes to the side that beat Hibernian last week. Fraser Fyvie picked up a leg knock in training on Friday and pulled out on Saturday morning. Mo Chalali did not travel with the team after not recovering from his ankle injury. It a tactical switch both Rory's dropped to the bench with Youl Mawene coming back in to partner Andrew Considine in central defence. Arnason moved back in central midfield with Chris Clark coming in for Fyvie to make his 250th appearance for the Dons. Up front Josh Magennis partnered Scott Vernon. The manager clearly believing a bit of pace could trouble
Inverness started the game brightly. In windy and wet conditions in was going to be a difficult afternoon for Jason Brown and his defenders. The wind was swirling around the stadium so it did not really favour either side in the first half, just make life difficult for both sets of players, even harder for goalkeepers to judge cross balls.
After a strong start by the home side the Dons eventually got themselves in the game. On 10 minutes a long thrown in by Arnason went right into the heart of the penalty box. However it was the home side who had the chance when they broke quickly. Tade went down the left but his cross was too near Brown.
A fantastic travelling support, who filled out the away end, tried to get their favourites going and it seemed to work. Arnason played a good ball down the wing. Chris Clark latched into it and won a corner. Milson played in a decent in swinger that Esson could not come for. Arnason got his head to it but was penalised for foul. Hard to see who he fouled. The visitors kept the pressure on and Arnason's long took a long throw from the right found Vernon but his header went inches wide. A good chance missed. Esson did not even move. Then from the other side, same again. Long throw that none of the defenders won. The ball went all the way through to Ryan Esson who had stayed on his line. Arnason was not happy that someone had got on the end of it - he was quite right to have a go at his teammates.
Johnny Hayes was lucky not to go in the book for a lunge on Rob Milsom. Aberdeen players have had red cards for worse this season. Credit to Milsom who just got up and did not make anything of it. Tade, who caused the Dons plenty of problems when he was with Raith Rovers, had another good run in the box. He was cut off by a few white jerseys and appealed for a penalty but the referee correctly pointed to the corner flag. In the end the danger was dealt with by Brown whose handing was good. The Welsh keeper has looked safe and assured these past couple for games. His handing has been excellent.
On the half hour mark the game opened up. Magennis was put in on the right and from a tight angle he fired the ball straight at keeper. The spun off the former Dons number one but thankfully for Esson his wrists were strong enough and the ball went over bar. From the resulting corner Consdine was only inches away from getting on the end of it. Again Inverness broke and Tade again had another good run down the left. He was almost testing Foster for pace but the Dons captain did well to put the ball behind. From the corner Considine cleared and Shinnie fired just over from distance. Brown had sight of it all the way.
After that bit of the excitement the game got back being scrappy again. Both teams were struggling to put two passes together and struggling to deal with the conditions.
Just after the half hour mark Foster and Brown almost got in a mess. Brown did well in the end to clear the danger. Aberdeen were the better team and enjoying most of the possession but again had no cutting edge. They were missing Fraser Fyvie. Also nothing was sticking up front
On 38 minutes a better play from Aberdeen as Arnason played the ball to Milsom who played the ball down the left channel for Magennis to chase. That was the type of ball they needed to be playing for Josh to use his pace. It forced a corner from which Mawene and Arnason almost combined. Then from another corner Milsom very nearly scored direct from. Esson did well in the end. Magennis was now started getting into the game. He was pulling defenders over to this left hand side which was creating space for the midfielders to run into.
Milsom took a nasty head knock on 40 minutes. The referee correctly blew up straight away although Arnason had picked the ball up in a good area outside the box. Aberdeen were now dealing with the conditions better than the home side and were enjoying more of the possession. Plenty of free kick, corners and throw ins in good areas but no end result, The Dons could maybe have done with Fallon's aerial threat. Even then the Dons should have done better as they still had a height advantage. First time that has happened against Inverness.
As the second half started the first goal was going to be crucial in this game but the Dons looked the far more likely to get it. The Dons made a tactical change with Chris Clark and Ryan Jack swapped positions down the right. Rob Milsom on the left was getting some rough treatment during the game. This time Piermayr went in with his studs showing.
The Dons were for the first time getting ball down and putting together some nice passing moves. On 52 minutes a good move involving Josh, Jack and Clark got the full back in. He got to the byline but his cross low was just cut out as Vernon was about to pounce. Jack looked the most composed player on park. He was showing some quality, something that the game was sadly lacking. Again better stuff from the Dons as they should patience in their build up play. Arnason played in Milsom down the left but his crossed looped over.
Inverness were beginning to come back into the game. Hayes, who looked lively throughout crossed deep but Foster did well against Tade at the back post. The game went into a bit of a lull as both teams became cagey as they knew the first goal was so important.
Then just after the hour mark David Davies burst forward, the first time anyone had put pace on the ball throughout the game. He got into the box but his shot was well kept out by Brown at his near post. From the corner though Inverness took the lead. The ball was played in and from and from about the penalty spot Golobart powered a header low into corner. It was a good headed but really poor defending. No Aberdeen player went to attack the ball. They also had no defender on the post. If they did he would have cleared the danger.
The goal lifted the home side and their supporters and the Dons were on the ropes. A straight through ball left McKay up against Considine. MacKay beat the central defender for pace, Brown was not sure whether to come out or not and in the end was caught in no man's land. Thankfully Considine was able to get some pressure on McKay and he put his shot over the bar. Really should have been 2-0.
The home side were not left rueing that miss for long as on 68 minutes they did get a second and again in was very poor defending. A corner from the other side was not dealt with. The ball broke to Tade who was allowed to turn and shoot. This weak shot went through a ruck of players, and nestled into the bottom corner. Brown was unsighted with so many bodies in front of him.
It was incredible how Aberdeen let this game drift away. Craig Brown made a double substitution straight away. Fallon and Mackie came on for Magennis and Vernon who had straight to form any kind of partnership.
Then with the game seemingly over a life line for the Dons with 15 minutes to go.
As the game become stretched Milson found space down the left and low cross was not dealt with. Fallon did really well to angle his first time shot in the corner of the net with Esson stranded out of position.
This set up a grand stand finish as the Dons launched everything at Inverness.
Mackie, who did really well when he came on and was willing to mix it, did well to win a ball in midfield. Good play down the right hand side between Clark, Arnason and Jack, saw the ball set up for a cross. Jack's cross went over Fallon who appeared to be pushed. Milsom picked it up and cut inside but right foot shot was always going over. Milsom then played in a good free kick but the Inverness defence dealt better with it than the Dons had done.
Mitch Megginson then came on for Ryan Jack. The young striker has not had many opportunities to show what he can do this season. Arnason was booked for foul on Shinnie. Inverness thought it should have been a red card. Cedit to the ref was not taken in by it. Even Butcher was up screaming for action. McKay was up on his feet minutes later.
In the final minutes Aberdeen throw a couple of long balls into the box but Inverness were desperate to hold onto the three points which they managed to do. A very frustrating afternoon.