Aberdeen 1 Inverness CT 0: Nicholson's late penalty is harsh on Inverness

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The Independent Online

Aberdeen maintained their magnificent home form and remain unbeaten against Inverness Caledonian Thistle after Barry Nicholson's late penalty secured the points.

Ross Tokely was the Inverness culprit, fouling Lee Miller seven minutes from time, and Nicholson stepped up to send goalkeeper Michael Fraser the wrong way.

Caley were the better side in the second period but could not find a way past Jamie Langfield in order to earn a first victory over the Dons.

Aberdeen started positively, with Sone Aluko looking especially eager to impress after he was preferred to Dan Smith in the only change from the team that battled to a 1-0 victory over St Mirren on Saturday.

In the sixth minute he did well to find Jamie Smith in the Inverness penalty area, but before the striker could shoot he was tackled by Ian Black.

Inverness slowly began to make their way into the game, with the strong hold-up play of Graham Bayne up front posing problems for the Aberdeen defence.

In the 32nd minute, Bayne and John Rankin managed to set up Richard Hastings for a chance to shoot, but the left-back lifted the ball over the bar.

Aluko began to drift out of the game but not before Smith just failed to reach his cross immediately after the break. Inverness responded by pushing forward and Langfield had to make consecutive stops from Black within a minute.

Langfield was then forced to gather a downward volley from Marius Niculae.

Richie Byrne helped out his goalkeeper in the 69th minute by producing a fine tackle to take the ball away from Bayne, who was racing through on goal.

Bayne was then thwarted by Langfield before a fingertip stop denied Hastings as Inverness continued to push forward.

Hastings was able to utilise the space vacated by Aberdeen's substitute Jeffrey de Visscher, who was forced to leave the field to take off his black under-shirt, which matched Caley's strip.

Inverness were undone, however, when Tokely bundled Miller to the turf and Nicholson hit the penalty past Fraser.

Aberdeen (4-4-2) Langfield; Mair, Severin, Byrne, Foster; Young (De Visscher, 76), Nicholson, Clark, Aluko (Lovell, 64); Miller, Jamie Smith. Substitutes not used: Soutar (gk), Touzani, D Smith, Jonathan Smith, Crawford.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle (4-4-2): Fraser; Tokely, Munro, McGuire, Hastings; Cowie, Duncan, Black, Rankin (Hart 80); Bayne, Niculae. Substitutes not used: Malkowski (gk), Wyness, Vigurs, Proctor, Gillespie, Duff.

Referee: M Tumilty.

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