Polworth sent off as Inverness lose play-off first leg
Inverness Caledonian Thistle 0
Dundee United 1
Ten man Inverness were unable to keep the score level going down to Tannadice after Liam Polworth was sent off three minutes into the second half.
The midfielder was instantly dismissed after being guilty of a high boot which caught the face of Mark Connolly.
Dundee United will take a one goal advantage into the second leg of the Premiership play-off semi final thanks to a Paul McMullan strike.
The hosts started the game brightly as Polworth beat Jamie Robson on the right wing and cut into the box where his powerful low drive was saved by Benjamin Siegrist.
Dundee United responded when Peter Pawlett’s pass went through the centre of the Inverness defence allowing Osman Sow to run on to with only the goalkeeper to beat. But his shot from the edge of the box was well saved by Mark Ridgers before the ball was punted away from danger.
Joe Chalmers came close to giving Inverness the lead midway through the first half when he latched on to a cross from Brad McKay and his curling effort from the edge of box whistled inches wide of the right hand post.
Inverness went even closer when Chalmers’ cross from the left wing found Jordan White in the box whose header beat Siegrist but smashed against the inside of the left post.
Ridgers came to Inverness’ rescue again when Paul McMullan stole the ball off Kevin McHattie and the striker charged towards goal firing from 12 yards. But the goalkeeper did well to parry the ball out for a corner.
Dundee United threatened again and Paul Watson beat the Inverness defence in the air to nod McMullan’s cross towards goal but his header was cleared off the line by Shaun Rooney.
Polworth continued to threaten down the right wing and his cross found White unchallenged in the box once again with Siegrist forced to pull off another save to prevent the ball hitting the top right corner.
Inverness were reduced to 10 men three minutes into the second half when Polworth was sent off after a high boot caught Mark Connolly in the face and was instantly dismissed by referee Nick Walsh.
Jamie Robson came close to putting United in front midway through the second half but his close range header lacked any power to trouble Ridgers.
The killer blow came in the 77th minute after Nicky Clark’s strike hit the left hand post but McMullan reacted first to fire home the rebound from close range to give United the advantage in the second leg.
Inverness CT: Ridgers, Rooney, Chalmers, Donaldson, McCart, Polworth, Doran (Harper 72), White (Austin 80), McKay, Trafford, McHattie.
Subs (Unused) Mackay, McCauley, Austin, McDonald, MacGregor, Gunn, Harper.
Dundee United: Siegrist, McMullan (Smith 85), Sow (Clark 67), Safranko (Booth 45) Robson, Butcher, Reynolds, Watson, Harkes, Pawlett, Connolly.
Subs (Unused) Laidlaw, Frans, Buhenna, Smith.
Referee: Nick Walsh.