Ten-man Caley see off Dons

Gregory Tade's first-half strike gave 10-man Inverness Caledonian Thistle a 1-0 SPL victory over Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Saturday.

Last Updated: 24/03/12 at 17:48

Tade: Grabbed the winner for Caley at Pittodrie

Tade: Grabbed the winner for Caley at Pittodrie

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The Frenchman had the easiest of finishes after Billy McKay rounded Dons stopper Jason Brown before passing the ball to his strike partner.

The visitors, who had gone seven matches without a win, were forced to play the majority of the second half with 10 men when Josh Meekings was given a second booking but they defended bravely to hold on for maximum points despite a late onslaught from Aberdeen.

Youngster Mitch Megginson replaced New Zealand international Rory Fallon in Aberdeen's only change from the team that lost 1-0 to Motherwell to end a 13-match unbeaten run.

Inverness also made a change from the side that drew 1-1 with Kilmarnock last weekend with Welshman Owain Tudur Jones reinstated at the expense of on-loan Wolves striker Sam Winnall, who had to be content with a place on the bench.

The Highlanders were dealt a blow before the match had started when goalkeeper Ryan Esson picked up an injury during the pre-match warm-up and was replaced by Northern Ireland international Jonny Tuffey.

The visitors had an early chance to test Brown in the Aberdeen goal with a free-kick from the edge of the area but Tudur Jones shot straight into the defensive wall.

But Inverness broke the deadlock after 10 minutes when McKay rounded goalkeeper Brown before setting up Tade who walked the ball into the empty net for his ninth goal of the season.

The Dons had a great chance to restore parity when Scott Vernon found himself unmarked on the edge of the area but his weak shot was easily saved by Tuffey.

Aberdeen were fortunate to avoid going two behind when Kari Arnason cleared Richie Foran's effort off the line and Caley continued to dominate before the break with Tudur Jones and Shane Sutherland both trying their luck from distance.

The Dons, who made a change at the break with Peter Pawlett replacing Iceland international Arnason, started the second half in determined fashion with Rory McArdle sending an inviting cross into the box which was well cleared by Ross Tokely with Vernon lurking.

Inverness were reduced to 10 men after 58 minutes when Meekings was shown a second yellow card for a poorly timed challenge on substitute Pawlett.

The dismissal prompted Aberdeen to throw on an extra attacker with Chris Clark making way for Mohamed Chalali, while Caley sacrificed striker McKay for defender Thomas Piermayr.

Tade had a great chance to put the result beyond doubt when he pounced on a slack header by McArdle but his effort trickled past the post.

The pressure from Aberdeen was unrelenting with Chalali and Vernon both denied by good stops by Tuffey.

Inverness assistant manager Maurice Malpas was sent to the stands by referee Stephen Finnie but the Caley Jags held on to move only two points behind the Dons with a game in hand.

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