Nobody is going to confuse today’s El Classico between Real Madrid and Barcelona with the latest version of “El Kessocko” played at
Victoria Park Global Energy Stadium in Dingwall today. The match was exactly as the final score suggests, a stalemate. Perhaps the biggest news to come out of it was that goalkeeper Mark Brown, who has been the County backstop for most of the season, has fractured his thumb- his return date is unknown. Faced with that news, County manager Derek Adams turned to Michael Fraser, whose play was instrumental in last years promotion push, and he did not disappoint.
The only real excitement in the first half came just after the half hour mark when County midfielder Iain Vigurs go stuck in (and maybe a bit more) against Caley defender David Raven. Vigurs was booked for his enthusiasm and Raven was booked for his objection to it. Most interestingly, however, both managers attempted to get off their leashes and have a go at each other, resulting in this:
However, because both Adams and I.C.T. skipper Terry Butcher are both gentlemen and professionals both downplayed the incident after the match and Butcher was also nice enough to note that while he may have indulged in some profanity, Adams did not. For those of you who don’t know, Adams neither drinks nor swears, but isn’t above taking a pop at a player- as I’ve noted on several occasions.
The main talking point of the second half resulted from a penalty box tackle by County defender Evangelos Ikonomou on Caley’s Graham Shinnie. There were hearts in the throats of many a County supporter when the referee blew the whistle and displayed his yellow card, but there was a sigh of relief when he pointed in the direction of Shinnie and I am sure, mouthed the words, “That’s a wee bit of simulation there, laddie.”
With both clubs taking a point a piece from this match, County’s unbeaten streak was extended to 10 matches and they have now reached 42, have sole possession of fourth place, remain in contention for a Europa League place, and trail third place I.C.T. by only a single point.
I am also happy to report that except for a few empty seats in the away end, the match was played in front of a full house, with 6000 supporters turning up for what might just be the biggest derby in Scottish football at present. County’s next match is at home against first place Celtic next Saturday. Hopefully Celtic will be suffering from a Champions League hangover when they arrive in the Highlands…