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So much effort, but so little to show for it

Terry Butcher's proclamation that in his time as manager at Inverness Caledonian Thistle and previously at Motherwell that he had never witnessed such a one-sided game would probably not have found a dissenting voice on the Kilmarnock team bus.

Inverness C T 1 Kilmarnock 1
Inverness C T 1 Kilmarnock 1

Many among the visitors' squad would have been far too busy tr ying to discern just how they were leaving the Highlands with a point at all.

Kenny Shiels, the Kilmarnock manager, was not there to dispense tea and sympathy to his Inverness counterpart, but he would have surely spent the journey back down the road poring over the statistics of a match that very nearly passed his side by. The home side had myriad chances to score, a fact that came of no surprise to either manager, with Shiels reserving special praise for Cammy Bell; anointing him as Scotland's best goalkeeper at the moment.

Such a statement was not only indicative of Bell's ability, but also of how busy the Scotland internationalist was keeping a barrage of efforts out of the visitors' net.

"On another day, we would have won by four or five goals," said Billy McKay, the industrious Inverness striker who was afforded space and freedom by a Kilmarnock defence which gave the appearance of having met for the first time at the entrance to the Caledonian Stadium an hour earlier.

The former Northampton Town player must, however, shoulder some of the blame for the number of chances missed before Roman Golobart rammed home the equaliser. That goal came by way of a mea culpa for his incredible own goal on the half-hour mark, when the Inverness defender lobbed his goalkeeper while under no pressure to even kick the ball in that direction.

"We haven't been ruthless, we've been toothless," said Butcher. "If you're making 20 opportunities to cross it, or shoot or to score and you score only one goal, that ratio's not going to work. I don't think, with Motherwell or at Caley, that we've ever had as many opportunities to have scored. I can't believe we haven't won that game."

Shiels' view that his side failed to make an impression on the match until after the equaliser – which was seven minutes from the end – was a source of acute disappointment to him.

"That's not what we're about," said the Kilmarnock manager. "We like to try and get on the ball, keep possession and restrict the opposition and that wasn't evident."

He will need to address that this week, with the Scottish Communities League Cup final against Celtic coming up on Sunday. Should they offer the same level of performance then the Parkhead side will likely cruise to their first trophy of the season at Hampden, perhaps without the need for too much perspiration.

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