Inverness' Euro hopes crushed

Inverness' hopes of European football next season were crushed by a 1-0 defeat to Highland rivals Ross County.

Last Updated: 19/05/13 at 15:39 Post Comment

Ross County: Celebrate the only goal of the Highlands derby

Ross County: Celebrate the only goal of the Highlands derby

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

With St Johnstone beating Motherwell, Terry Butcher's side needed a victory to earn a place in the Europa League qualifiers.

But Andre Hainault's sweetly struck volley just before half-time was enough to secure Ross County's first SPL derby win at Victoria Park.

For Inverness it was a cruel end to their most successful season, which also saw them lose a Scottish Communities League Cup semi-final penalty shootout to Hearts.

Butcher's side had not been out of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League top three since November and had the chance to seal a European spot last weekend but blew a one-goal lead at home to Dundee United.

They had not lost in five games against the Dingwall side this season but they were second best after struggling to cope without several midfielders.

With Richie Foran and Ross Draper suspended, Inverness started with a four-man midfield with an average age of 20.

County created their first chance on 20 minutes when Ivan Sproule got in front of a defender to meet Evangelos Oikonomou's low cross but his first-time effort just cleared the top corner.

Mihael Kovacevic then powered his way to the 18-yard box and dug out a low shot that Antonio Reguero saved before Steffen Wohlfarth volleyed wide with the Spaniard scrambling.

The hosts broke the deadlock when Paul Lawson crossed for Canadian international Hainault to unleash a powerful volley that flew into the top corner from 10 yards.

Inverness almost lost another before the break when Josh Meekings hesitated inside the box under pressure from Sproule but Mark Fotheringham could not get hold of his shot and Reguero saved.

After the break Inverness found more urgency to their play with Billy McKay coming close when he flicked David Raven's shot just wide but they could not keep the pressure up and Lawson twice threatened from long range.

Raven had a half chance but Gallacher got down well to hold at the second attempt and the away fans were already resigned to defeat before Iain Vigurs hit Reguero's post with an injury-time free-kick.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Sunday, 21 December 2014
12:15
Dundee U 2-1 Celtic Report
Saturday, 20 December 2014
15:00
Aberdeen 1-0 Kilmarnock Report
Partick 1-1 Dundee Report
Ross Co 0-1 Hamilton Report
St J'stone 1-0 Inverness Report
St Mirren 0-1 Motherwell Report
Sunday, 14 December 2014
13:00
Celtic 4-1 St Mirren Report
Saturday, 13 December 2014
15:00
Dundee U 0-2 Aberdeen Report
Hamilton 2-1 Dundee Report
Inverness 0-4 Partick Report

Footer 365

Premier League: Martin Skrtel's late header earns Liverpool 2-2 draw with Arsenal

A 97th-minute bullet header from defender Martin Skrtel earned Liverpool a 2-2 draw with Arsenal at Anfield on Sunday.

Transfer news: Labour MP Iain Wright warns Hartlepool against signing Ched Evans

Labour MP Iain Wright has told Hartlepool to "think again" over their interest in signing convicted rapist Ched Evans.

Premier League: Neil Warnock blasts officials after Crystal Palace's 3-0 defeat at Man City

Neil Warnock said the decision to disallow a Crystal Palace goal in the 3-0 defeat to Manchester City was "disgraceful".

Mail Box

More Players In The Wrong Bloody Shirt

Plus Cristiano Ronaldo, who looks 'heart-breakingly well-suited to a Real Madrid shirt' according to one United fan. Plus, words from the good doctor and plenty more...

Players Plainly Wearing The Wrong Strip...

There are some players who just look plain daft in whatever shirt they're wearing. Like Cesc and Robin. It's a cracking mailbox with a load of different themes...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property