Scottish Premiership
Inverness CTInverness Caledonian Thistle0AberdeenAberdeen1

Inverness CT 0-1 Aberdeen

By Andy CampbellBBC Sport Scotland
  • 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.

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


Inverness CT

Formation 4-2-3-1

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


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


Formation 4-4-1-1

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


  • 1Langfield
  • 7Monakana
  • 14Smith
  • 15Robson
  • 25Shankland
  • 31Rose
  • 32Gibbons
Calum Murray

Match Stats

Home TeamInverness CTAway TeamAberdeen
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Inverness CT 0, Aberdeen 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Inverness CT 0, Aberdeen 1.

  3. Post update

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

  4. Post update

    Foul by David Raven (Inverness CT).

  5. Post update

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

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Inverness CT. Ibra Sekajja replaces Aaron Doran.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Cameron Smith replaces David Goodwillie.

  8. Post update

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

  9. Post update

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

  10. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by David Raven.

  11. Post update

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

  12. Post update

    Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Mark Reynolds.

  13. Post update

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

  14. Post update

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

  15. Post update

    Foul by Mark Reynolds (Aberdeen).

  16. Post update

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

  17. Post update

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

  18. Post update

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

  19. Post update

    Foul by Adam Rooney (Aberdeen).

  20. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Josh Meekings.

As It Stood

3Dundee Utd1811163122934
5Inverness CT1810262419532
6St Johnstone189271718-129
9Partick Thistle185582321220
11St Mirren1832131432-1811
12Ross County1824121737-2010
View full Scottish Premiership table

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