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Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Montrose in stalemate in Championship play-off first leg

By Will Clark

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Samson Lawal. Picture: Callum Mackay.
Samson Lawal. Picture: Callum Mackay.

Championship Play-Off Semi Final First Leg

Montrose 0

Inverness Caledonian Thistle 0

Inverness Caledonian Thistle were held to a goalless draw at Montrose in the Championship play-off semi final first leg.

Neither team were able to break the deadlock in a nervy tie at Links Park on Tuesday night.

The two teams are set to face each other again in the second leg at the Caledonian Stadium on Saturday at 3pm, with the loser guaranteed to be playing in League One next season.

The winner will face either Alloa Athletic or Hamilton Academical in the play-off final, who drew 2-2 in their first leg semi final tie tonight, for the right to remain in the Championship.

Inverness made two changes to the team that defeated Greenock Morton 3-1 in their final game of the regular season.

Samson Lawal came in for Sean Mcallister and Danny Devine started in place of Jamie Carragher.

In a nervy first half, Montrose had the better of the chances early on. Craig Brown set up Graham Webster 12-yards from goal. But a great save by goalkeeper Mark Ridgers to parry out for a corner kept the game goalless.

Former Elgin City hitman Kane Hester also had an opportunity to give Montrose the lead when he was allowed a shot from the edge of the box.

But his effort lacked any power as it was gathered comfortably by Ridgers.

Inverness improved as the first half went on, with Alex Samuel going close when he was allowed to charge into the box, but saw his effort flash wide of the left post.

The best chance of the first half came just before the break, when Lawal unleashed a thunderous effort from 25-yards out which beat the goalkeeper, but crashed against the crossbar.

Inverness started the second half the brighter, with Luis Longstaff seeing a shot going inches past the right post and Samuel testing the goalkeeper again.

But Montrose had a big chance to take the lead when Craig Brown’s ball into the box found Blair Lyons who saw his effort go wide of the left post.

Lawal had another chance to give Inverness the lead when Billy Mckay’s cross from the right wing came back to the Nigerian who is on loan from Livingston. But his shot was well saved by Cammy Gill.

Montrose had a late flurry of chances without testing Ridgers as the first leg ended goalless with the tie to be decided on Saturday.

Montrose: Gill, Steeves, Quinn, Webster (Williamson 79), Hester (Hermiston 86), Gardyne, Lyons, Dillon, Shrive (Callaghan 60), Graham, Brown (Machado 79).

Substitutes: Matthews, Masson, Cochrane. Bachelor, Craig,

Inverness: Ridgers, Harper, Kerr, Devine, Mckay (Macgregor 83), Anderson (McAllister 78), Longstaff (Carragher 78), Boyes, Savage (Duffy 60), Samuel (Pepple 83), Lawal.

Substitutes: Mackay, Samuels, Brooks, Ujdur.

Referee: Chris Graham

Attendance 1043

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