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Mounting frustration as Alloa Athletic hold Caley Thistle to yet another draw

Neil Parry of Alloa Athletic and ICT’s Jordan White.
Neil Parry of Alloa Athletic and ICT’s Jordan White.

Caley Thistle endured the latest in a succession of frustrating afternoons as they had to settle for a fifth consecutive draw against Alloa Athletic.

Inverness were far from at their best against a spirited Wasps outfit, who will count themselves unfortunate not to have taken more than a point.

It was an uncomfortable afternoon from the onset for John Robertson’s men, who were constantly harried and pressured by their part-time opponents, and the Caley Jags boss accepted it was a point gained for his side.

Although Inverness are undefeated in 21 league games – and will equal their club record set during the 1996-97 campaign if they avoid a loss against Dunfermline tomorrow – they undoubtedly need to turn more of those into victories if they are to mount a serious title challenge.

They now trail leaders Ross County, who they host in a Highland derby on Saturday, by seven points, with the lack of creativity in their attacking play clearly beginning to give Robertson cause for concern.

Despite their part-time status, the Wasps’ first league victory of the campaign against Partick Thistle the previous weekend was proof they have found their feet in the Championship.

Jim Goodwin’s men looked confident in the early stages with Dario Zanatta a particular threat. The on-loan Hearts player nodded wide from Connor Shields’ delivery before shooting low at Mark Ridgers from long range.

Caley Thistle were not allowed to settle by their high-pressing hosts with their first attempt eventually arriving on 26 minutes when Tom Walsh saw a side-footed effort comfortably held by Neil Parry.

The Highlanders were dealt a blow just after the half-hour mark with Carl Tremarco unable to continue after falling heavily, meaning Riccardo Calder was brought into the action.

There were further chances for the Wasps with Shields blazing a shot just over from Jon Robertson’s threaded pass before Alan Trouten’s lobbed attempt drifted inches over.

Despite Inverness having been second best they were close to a breakthrough moments before the interval with their best chance of the opening half arriving when Joe Chalmers’ corner was sidefooted wide by Brad Mckay.

Robertson would have demanded a reaction from his players at the interval, and although they looked to get more efforts away in the early stages of the second half they were largely restricted to long-range strikes, with Chalmers and Liam Polworth both off target from distance.

Alloa had not been as menacing as the first half but they twice came close to breaking the deadlock as the match wore on.

On-loan Sunderland attacker Shields saw a low strike flash narrowly past the post with Zanatta going even closer on 76 minutes when his powerful strike crashed off the underside of the crossbar with Ridgers well beaten.

Inverness finished on top with a Chalmers free kick deflected narrowly wide before substitute Daniel MacKay was thwarted by a strong block by Parry.

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