Scottish Premiership
Inverness CT0Aberdeen1

Inverness CT 0-1 Aberdeen

  • Aberdeen win to cut Celtic's lead
  • Pawlett goal secures three points for Dons
  • Fifth straight Premiership win for visitors
  • Third successive league loss for Inverness

Peter Pawlett's early goal gave Aberdeen victory in Inverness and moved the Dons to within two points of Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic.

Niall McGinn seized on a 12th-minute defensive mix-up to lay on the chance for Pawlett to fire high into the net.

Goalkeeper Scott Brown denied Marley Watkins, David Raven and Graeme Shinnie as Caley Thistle pressed for parity.

Brown also tipped over a Greg Tansey free-kick before Billy McKay shot against the Aberdeen crossbar.

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Interview - Inverness CT boss John Hughes

Derek McInnes's side host his former club St Johnstone on New Year's Day, hours before Celtic travel to take on Partick Thistle. Inverness, who remain fifth, are up against Highland rivals Ross County in Dingwall on 1 January.

Inverness, so often in the top four this season, went into the match hoping to avoid a third straight defeat against an Aberdeen side who had won their three previous December matches.

And John Hughes' Caley Thistle gifted their visitors the chance to open the scoring when Josh Meekings and Carl Tremarco both leapt for the same high ball.

McGinn retrieved on the right and squared for Pawlett to score for the second match running.

Peter Pawlett and Graeme Shinnie
Inverness captain Shinnie (right) was deployed in midfield rather than at left-back

After such an early set-back, the hosts gradually began to exert some pressure with Gary Warren testing Brown from distance.

The keeper was given more work to do when Inverness sprung Aberdeen's offside trap, with Watkins and Raven denied in quick succession.

And there was further frustration for Inverness in first-half stoppage time when Shinnie struck powerfully towards goal only to see the impressive Brown make another block.

The second half lacked the fluency of the first and neither side carved out many clear openings.

However, in one break David Goodwillie crossed low for Jonny Hayes and the former Inverness winger failed to make a telling connection from near the penalty spot.

A McGinn free-kick moments later flew over the crossbar.

Tansey was much more accurate with his set piece at the other end and Brown was equal to it with a solid save.

Aberdeen claimed for a penalty after Adam Rooney's header towards goal struck the flailing arm of Warren but referee Calum Murray allowed play to continue.

Caley Thistle's best chance of the match fell to McKay after Warren beat Brown to Tansey's deep free-kick but, with the goal unguarded, the striker's half-volley on the stretch rattled the frame of the goal.

And there was similar disappointment for McKay moments later when he could not quite connect with another Warren headed knock-down, allowing Brown to gather minutes before the final whistle sounded.

A robin on the pitch at the Caledonian Stadium
A feathered guest made its way onto the pitch at the Caledonian Stadium
Aberdeen players celebrating
Aberdeen celebrated an early lead following Pawlett's confident finish
Gary Warren and Adam Rooney
Warren's arm made contact with the ball following Rooney's header but no penalty was awarded
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes
McInnes's side have won all four of their matches in December
Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Hughes
Hughes' Inverness have now lost their last three games

Line-ups

Inverness CT

  • 12Brill
  • 2Raven
  • 5Warren
  • 6Meekings
  • 18TremarcoBooked at 32mins
  • 16Tansey
  • 3Shinnie
  • 15Watkins
  • 22Christie
  • 10DoranSubstituted forSekajjaat 86'minutes
  • 7Mckay

Substitutes

  • 1Esson
  • 4Vincent
  • 11Ross
  • 13Sekajja
  • 14Devine
  • 17Horner
  • 19Williams

Aberdeen

  • 20Brown
  • 27Murray
  • 5Taylor
  • 6Reynolds
  • 3Considine
  • 10McGinn
  • 22Jack
  • 16PawlettBooked at 30mins
  • 11Hayes
  • 17GoodwillieSubstituted forSmithat 85'minutes
  • 9Rooney

Substitutes

  • 1Langfield
  • 7Monakana
  • 14Smith
  • 15Robson
  • 25Shankland
  • 31Rose
  • 32Gibbons
Referee:
Calum Murray
Attendance:
6,614

Match Stats

Home TeamInverness CTAway TeamAberdeen
Possession
Home53%
Away47%
Shots
Home17
Away10
Shots on Target
Home6
Away3
Corners
Home7
Away5
Fouls
Home13
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Inverness CT 0, Aberdeen 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Inverness CT 0, Aberdeen 1.

Attempt missed. Greg Tansey (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Foul by David Raven (Inverness CT).

Cameron Smith (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Inverness CT. Ibra Sekajja replaces Aaron Doran.

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Cameron Smith replaces David Goodwillie.

Attempt missed. Marley Watkins (Inverness CT) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left.

Attempt saved. Ash Taylor (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by David Raven.

Attempt saved. Gary Warren (Inverness CT) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Mark Reynolds.

Attempt blocked. Carl Tremarco (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Ryan Christie (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Mark Reynolds (Aberdeen).

Attempt missed. Adam Rooney (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is too high.

Billy McKay (Inverness CT) hits the left post with a left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left.

Carl Tremarco (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Adam Rooney (Aberdeen).

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Josh Meekings.

Attempt blocked. Ryan Jack (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Billy McKay (Inverness CT) header from the centre of the box misses to the left following a corner.

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Scott Brown.

Attempt saved. Greg Tansey (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

Aaron Doran (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ryan Jack (Aberdeen).

Ryan Christie (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Andrew Considine (Aberdeen).

Attempt missed. Andrew Considine (Aberdeen) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is too high.

Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Marley Watkins (Inverness CT).

Foul by Marley Watkins (Inverness CT).

Mark Reynolds (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Gary Warren.

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Ash Taylor.

Attempt blocked. Ryan Christie (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Adam Rooney (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by David Raven (Inverness CT).

Attempt missed. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

Foul by Gary Warren (Inverness CT).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic18123334122239
2Aberdeen18121527171037
3Dundee Utd1811163122934
4Hamilton18103530191133
5Inverness CT1810262419532
6St Johnstone189271718-129
7Kilmarnock187381822-424
8Dundee185672325-221
9Partick Thistle185582321220
10Motherwell1852111327-1417
11St Mirren1832131432-1811
12Ross County1824121737-2010
View full Scottish Premiership table

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