Caley spoil McCall's big day

Stuart McCall had to settle for a draw on his Fir Park debut as Motherwell manager as Inverness secured a battling 0-0 draw in their SPL clash.

Last Updated: 15/01/11 at 17:27

McCall: Saw Well held to a draw

McCall: Saw Well held to a draw

With Mark Reynolds in Sheffield discussing a move after Wednesday had a second bid accepted for the defender, Shaun Hutchinson stepped up for an impressive first start for 13 months.

Motherwell needed some excellent first-half saves from Darren Randolph to ensure the shut-out but they had the better of the second period without working Inverness goalkeeper Ryan Esson.

The half-time shift in power was entirely predictable given the fierce wind which, accompanied by a steady downpour rain and a heavy pitch, were a perfect advertisement for a winter break as the SPL clubs prepare to discuss changes to the calendar and league structure on Monday.

With Nick Blackman, Alan Gow and Marc Fitzpatrick having left already this month, McCall was left with just eight players over the age of 21 but his side kept the third clean sheet in his four games as he prepares to rebuild.

Motherwell started off playing into the wind and were gradually pushed back during a quiet opening half hour with several inswinging corners from Graeme Shinnie causing some problems.

The hosts had a narrow escape in the 31st minute when Ross Forbes stopped Shinnie's cross with both hands in front of his face right on the edge of the box. Referee Euan Norris gave a free-kick with some degree of uncertainty as the visitors claimed for a penalty.

Inverness soon created the first clear chance when Richie Foran knocked the ball through for Adam Rooney. The striker took the shot quickly but it bounced into the ground and up, allowing Randolph to make an impressive flying save.

Motherwell struggled to clear the resulting corner and Randolph saved well from close range from Rooney, who looked suspiciously offside, before blocking Shinnie's powerful follow-up.

The hosts had a penalty appeal rejected when they accused Foran of handball and they survived until half-time.

Jamie Murphy got Motherwell's first shot on goal in the 52nd minute after turning inside well and firing a long-range effort that was held by Esson.

Motherwell were now enjoying the territorial advantage and Chris Humphrey almost cut the visitors open when he got beyond Shinnie and pulled the ball across the face of goal, but Ross Tokely cleared. Murphy was next to threaten when he turned Chris Innes brilliantly on the left flank and burst towards the penalty area, but dragged his shot wide of the near post.

Another Humphrey cross caused panic but Ross Forbes could not get a strong enough connection to convert at the back post.

John Sutton then played Murphy through but the angle was tight and the ball would not fall kindly for the striker, who shot wide. Motherwell lost Keith Lasley in the 75th minute to what looked like a hamstring injury with 19-year-old Steven Meechan coming on.

Hutchinson made his first mistake made when he failed to control a difficult Forbes pass, to allow Foran a clear run on goal, but the former Motherwell striker shot just wide with only Randolph to beat.

Foran saw a shot saved from further out but Motherwell continued to look the more likely team to notch a winner and McCall brought on striker Esteban Casasgolda for midfielder Forbes.

Inverness also went for the three points by bringing on Dani Sanchez and Eric Odhiambo but neither side could carve out a late opportunity.

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1 Celtic 34 66 89
2 Aberdeen 34 17 64
3 Motherwell 34 5 61
4 Dundee Utd 34 15 54
5 Inverness 34 5 53
6 St J'stone 34 9 51
7 Hibernian 34 -17 34
8 St Mirren 34 -19 34
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11 Ross Co 34 -20 31
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