All Articles

Showing articles posted in the last 365 days.

This stream auto-updates   

  1. Last week
  2. Derby Draw Disappoints Inverness The Highland derby ended in a disappointing draw as County came from behind to snatch a point with a late Alex Schalk strike. Greg Tansey's deflected strike just after the break gave Inverness an unexpected lead given the poor first forty-five, but they failed to capitalise on some early second half pressure, Billy Mckay hitting the crossbar as he tried to turn a cross home. County were menacing on the counter and Craig Curran missed a sitter when he headed wide when he should have hit the target. Overall, a draw was just about right although either side could have sneaked all three points. Inverness were dealt a blow before kick-off with the news that pacey winger Jake Mulraney was not fit. The converse for Ross County, with big stopper Andrew Davies given the go ahead to play. Richie Foran seemed to go for a formation that was designed not to concede rather than go for glory. Iain Vigurs started with Ross Draper and Carl Tremarco back after suspension. County had Aaron McCarey between the sticks. The game kicked off on a heavy pitch after Friday's constant rain and it was a cagey opening. Vigurs was looking more involved than he has been of late and he curled a ball that skiffed the top of the bar with the keeper beaten. Good effort with his right foot from twenty yards but he was injured soon after and replaced before the break by Liam Polworth. County were looking the more likely as our lack of width allowed them access to the wide areas and they flashed a couple of dangerous low crosses into the box that just eluded the strikers when a touch would have given them the lead. We were devoid of attacking intent in the first half and getting to the break all square was a bonus. Half Time 0-0 However, we exploded out of the blocks after the interval and Greg Tansey smacked a shot low towards the keepers left after indecision in the visitors ranks. The ball took a wicked deflection off County defender Andrew Davies and wrong footed Aaron McCarey in goal to find the opposite corner. We took the game by the scruff of the neck and minutes later Tansey brought out a good save from McCarey from a free kick wide on the Inverness left, the keeper tipping the ball over the bar. Ross Draper drifted a header back towards goal but it went narrowly over the bar from a deep cross as we tried to extend our lead. Carl Tremarco might feel he should have done better as well when presented with an opportunity to score. Costly misses as it turned out. County broke forward and Curran missed a golden opportunity to level matters. A deep cross found him at the back post all on his own but he contrived to miss the target from just six yards. It was Inverness that were still turning the screw though and Tansey hit a thunderous shot from twenty-five yards that McCarey did well to parry. A foot either side and he would have had no chance of touching it. From the resultant clearance, Inverness burst forward again Henri Anier setting up Billy Mckay but under pressure his close range strike cannoned off the bar, the rebound just evading Carl Tremarco's head before being cleared by a grateful County defence. Fon Williams was eventually called into serious action in the 81'st minute as he tipped over a Milan Lalkovic shot from distance. The warning was not heeded and when we failed to deal properly with a County attack, from the resultant throw in Alex Schalk latched onto the ball in the box, turned and fired high behind Fon Williams to make this feel like a defeat. Still time for substitute Dean Ebbe to try his luck from the edge of the box but his shot leaked to the left of goal and that was about it, game over and a better point for County than it was for Inverness. Full Time 1-1 So, the Highlands belong to Ross County for this season, but there will be one more derby to come and neither club are clear of the threat of relegation yet. It could be a season defining game for either club, What did we learn from that game? County are no better than us, but our poor start to the campaign and two derby losses see us in this predicament and not them. Richie Foran didn't cover himself in glory with his team selection and strategy. No width, no pace, no clean sheet and not killing the game off when we were on top all cost us dear. Why did he not bring on the substitutes earlier? We were crying out for fresh legs to further stretch the overworked visitors defence ten minutes before they equalised. Everyone could see that, County shuffled theirs effectively; we paid the price. Not a great crowd for the most crucial Highland derby ever, but those that were there gave the side plenty of encouragement. Overall, a draw was the most deserving of results. It's not the result we had hoped for but it's not a disaster. We climbed above Accies on goal difference and gained a point on Motherwell. Next game is at home to Kilmarnock and we really need to start turning draws into victories. PerfICT posted his Inverness player ratings on CTO. Can't argue with these really and like most, picked out Greg Tansey as MotM. Fon Williams: 6. Apart from a tip over the bar in the second half, I can't remember him having a save to make. Raven: 8. Had Gardyne in his pocket for most of the game. Excellent. Warren: 6. Not so exposed for pace in the 5 at the back formation, but was skinned by Gardyne a couple of times. McCart: 7. Really starting to show his potential. One absolute crunching tackle in the first half was a joy watch. Laing: 7. Solid all game. Tremarco: 8. Another excellent game from our player of the season. Unlucky not to score in 2nd half. Tansey: 9. Without doubt his best game of the season. Deserved his goal. Draper: 8. Always plays well against County and didn't disappoint. Vigurs: 7. Easily his best performance of the season. Excellent right foot shot that clipped the bar early on and good distribution. Anier: 6. Better from him, but first touch let him down quite often. Mckay: 7. Worked his socks off with fairly poor service. Really unlucky with the shot off the bar that would have killed the game. Polworth: 6. Certainly not his best game, but picked out Tansey for the goal. Also wound Gardyne up, which always deserves credit! Foran: 5. Clearly does not like playing with width up front. Did he miss a trick by not playing Cole and King, or was the formation right to nullify County's attack? Personally, I prefer the 4-2-3-1 formation, with pace out wide, but the players almost made the 3 centre halves formation work. His half time talk certainly did the trick. Referee: 6. Did well to keep his cards in his pocket for most of the game. A couple of penalty appeals for County...think he got those right too. . Full Match Available On Demand Now at http://buff.ly/2nmreVu (Site Registration Required) for only £5. Footage from SPFL website Date: 18/03/17 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 4123 Referee: Crawford Allan Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Fon Williams; Raven, Warren, Laing, McCart, Tremarco, Draper, Tansey, Vigurs (Polworth, 42), Anier (Ebbe, 89), Billy Mckay Subs (not used): Hoban, Brad Mckay, King, Cole, Boden Scorers: Tansey (48) Booked: Tremarco (88) Sent Off: none Ross County: 1 Lineup: McCarey; Gardyne (Lalkovic, 80), Fraser, Davies, van der Weg, Naismith, Boyce, Chow, Routis (O'Brien, 78), Schalk, Curran (Dow, 85) Subs (not used): Foden, Gobern, Tumilty, Dykes. Booked: Naismith Scorers: Schalk (86) Booked: Naismith (52) Sent Off: none a
  3. So, who does own the Highlands? Ross County make the short trek over the bridge to face Inverness in a crucial showdown as both clubs fight for their Premiership survival in what has become a relegation derby with another one to come before the end of the season. Tough times for both Highland clubs. And they don't come much tougher than this. A local derby at the wrong end of the table with points needed by both clubs. The Highlands were predominantly ours, but this has been a substandard transitional season for Inverness, with County faring marginally better. This could change on Saturday. Is it a must win game? Possibly not, but it's certainly a must not lose game. Inverness took a small step forward last weekend with a scarcely deserved but crucial point at Firhill, Gary Warren scoring with the last touch of the game. It was a vital one though as his header from a deep Billy King cross found the bottom corner to cancel out Kris Doolan's opener for Partick. Foran suffered badly from a lack of available players for this one with Ross Draper and Carl Tremarco suspended and the pacey Jake Mulraney injured and Aaron Doran out for the rest of the season. It showed in his team selection so a point at Partick is not to be scoffed at given our deficiencies. County at one point this season looked good for a top-six place, but their form of late has been that of a relegation threatened side. Their good work at Tynecastle was undone as Killie came North and went home with all three points. A late Kris Boyd counter was the difference between the sides after Conor Sammon and Liam Boyce had scored earlier in the game. That turnaround and our late point at Partick means that there are only four points between the sides now. Both clubs have picked up just seven points over their last ten games, County with two wins and a draw. One of those wins was a 3-2 victory in the last derby with Liam Boyce bagging a brace and Martin Woods notching the other. We toiled that day but goals from Carl Tremarco and Alex Fisher gave us some hope although it was a case of too little too late. County also won the first derby 3-2 with Boyce claiming a hat-trick that day. Scott Boden and Ross Draper scored for Inverness in another game where we fell short of the mark. Strangely enough, we have scored two more goals than County, once more it's the defence that has been letting us down with County conceding five less than us. In truth, there's little between the sides, yet County manager Jim McIntyre is still searching for a route into the top-six. That has long been closed for Inverness as Richie Foran realised avoiding relegation is the priority. Sadly, if neither club find a bit of form going into the final games of the season, then relegation is a distinct possibility for both clubs. Thankfully, Hamilton and Motherwell are still in the mix for that unwanted position. Even a play-off game presumably against either Dundee United or Falkirk would not guarantee safety, so the battle is well and truly on to get to tenth place and avoid the dreaded drop and all the unwanted baggage that goes with it. Richie Foran will be without Josh Meekings, Ryan Esson, Aaron Doran and Lewis Horner. Kevin McNaughton came through a development game in midweek unscathed and took it in his stride. However, a frantic derby may be a bit of a risk given the circumstances. Jake Mulraney missed out last week and we could do with his electifying pace out wide. Hopefully he has recovered fully from his injury. Youngster Jamie McCart on loan from Celtic has been called into the Scotland u21 squad after some promising displays for Inverness, so congratulations to him. Jim McIntyre will be hoping to have Scott Fox back in goal for this one. Chris Burke, Tony Dingwall and Ian McShane are all out for the rest of the season. Jay McEvely will miss this weekend and Andrew Davies, Scott Fox and Martin Woods will be given every opportunity to make the derby. Alex Shalk has a broken bone in his hand but is expected to be included in the squad. So, problems for County on the injury front as well. It will be interesting to see if either boss has placed his cards on the table or will there be any surprises included in the starting line-ups. tm4tj prediction:- County are on a poor run just now and we have shown some battling qualities over the last few games that was missing earlier in the season. Injuries are still causing havoc with our team selections with Meekings and Doran out for the season and Esson struggling. It's great to have Billy Mckay back with us, but if we don't play to his strengths, then he would be as well sitting in the stand. He was isolated at Partick last week but with home advantage I expect us to get bodies forward to give him some assistance. County have won the two previous derby's, but the tide is turning at a crucial stage of the season. Liam Boyce scored his first goal of 2017 last week and if we can keep him quiet, then I will be looking for three points to bring County right down into the relegation mire. Only ten games left to save our season, and on derby day, other games of interest to County and Inverness: Hamilton visit Rangers, Motherwell host St Johnstone and Killie and Partick play each other. Fingers crossed, results favour the Highlands. Richie Foran & Henri Anier look forward to the derby............
  4. Earlier
  5. Gary has the final say. Inverness snatched a draw from the jaws of defeat at Firhill thanks to a last second Gary Warren header. It could prove to be a crucial point for Foran's men as late goals in other games around the country kept us in touch at the foot of the table. Kris Doolan looked to have given a dominant Partick all three points but Warren answered his critics in the best possible fashion. Immortal Howden Ender ventured North to the bistro's and wine bars of Maryhill and has this report for us. Read on. Gary Warren's last-minute, last touch, injury time (offside ) header saved our bacon in Maryhill. Great sliding celebration and 194 Invernessians went ballistic once again. We don't usually have any luck at Firhill but we got dollops of it yesterday. We didn't deserve a point but WTF Kris Doolan's 10th goal of the season looked to have earned Plastic Whistle their fourth straight Premiership win. They actually looked like a good footballing team but more like a Spanish outfit than from the hipster West End of Glesga. But good old Gary Warren nodded home at the far post for the Highlanders, who had a first-half strike from Henri Anier disallowed with Billy Mckay standing offside. We had the first effort of the match when Greg Tansey fired a 25-yard shot wide and he followed that up with 3 or 4 others which all went off target, other than a tame back-pass free kick. But at least he had a go !!. But that was their our only real threat as the Maryhill Magyars totally dominated possession and we either hoofed or gave them the ball back. "Musthavea Walrus look-alike, sound alike" was proving to be a handful and got the home fans MOM. Warren was the man to mark him but he was played wide right of a three man defence !! Early injuries to Abdul Osman and Lawless should have helped us to but feckin didn't. Lawless hadn't even be replaced and they were down to 10 men when Anier produced his only "effort" of the day and we thought that we had stolen an equaliser. But the flag went up for offside against wee Billy. Need to see the highlights BUT if he didn't touch it that would have been mightily harsh. It would have been great to have gone in 1-0 up but 0-0 was undeserved but happy to take it. But in the 56th minute the DOOLAN inevitably put the Whistle ahead and many of us braced ourselves fer a Hamilton away repeat. Thankfully our shaky defence all of a sudden began to look resolute or did the Whistle sit back on their Laurel or Hardy's. And even the shaky Fon Williams looked safer and produced what I can only describe as a "World Cup save" and it probably also saved our season. AND THEN two minutes into the two minute allotted stoppage time Gary Warren rose at the back post (looking suspiciously offside ) to head in the equaliser from Billy King's cross. 194 Invernessians applauded the sliding celebration an "oh, oh Gary Warren filled the Maryhill air and many Plastic Whistle supporters were either on their way oot or had feckin left already. FON WILLIAMS Still looked shaky and I shudder when anything goes at him but his second half performance literally saved our bacon. WARREN Played on the right of a three man defence for ALL of the game. Give me a break but our saviour once again. LAING Did OK in the central position. He, like many others, didn't seem to understand our system but he stood his ground and can only get better. McCART Bet he never witnessed anything like this at Parkdread !! But as with Laing he stood his ground. BRAD MACKAY Played in yet another position - like a right sided wing back. And he got plenty of space and plenty of the ball. He did OK but he simply didn't know how to play in that position. RAVEN Played in the left sided wing back position but he popped up all over the place. What a gut-busting performance. Eat, Sleep, Raven, Repeat - MOM by a feckin country mile. TANSEY Now that was more like the Tansey of old. Like Raven he was clearly motoring at 100%. Only player who looked comfortable on the ball, passed successfully, looked to shoot and very close to MOM. POLWORTH I thought that he put in a lot of effort and was clearly the runner fer Tansey and Vigurs. He did not deserve to be substituted and appears to have become the whipping boy. VIGURS Best footballer in the team - Most skillful player in the squad - One of my faves - BUT if I could have got on to the pitch and past the stewards I would have slapped him. He feckin gave up. DISGRACEFUL and should have been hooked instead of Polworth. But he still managed to get another yellow card !! ANIER Sorry but why did he even start ? He looks like the mercenary that he is. Except he is sticking his head in the feckin sand rather than fighting. BILLY Mckay If there ever was a player to feel sorry for - enuff said !! Took King on in the 62nd minute and played him where ? Answers on a postcard please. Took Cole and Boden on in the 81st minute for the ineffectual Vigurs and Anier. Probably saved us the point and we pressed Whistle. But Cole in central midfield !! Richie Foran said : "It's a huge point today. (No **** Sherlock). I thought it was a very close game (what !!), but we've played against, for me, a top-four side today (what!!) . They are an excellent team, strong aggressive, can pass the ball and have goal scorers (what!!), so it's a big point. I always believed we'd score (what!!) and we've scored a lot of late goals this season. If you put balls in the box you've got a chance (what!! - when!!). It was a great leap [by Gary Warren] and a great finish. It was a good ball hung up by Billy King. "I'm delighted for the players and we're going in now to two home games. Results have gone our way, so it sets it up for a cracking game of football next week against Ross County." OK lets sum up in a nice, positive manner. We got out of the Jail End yesterday. Any of us would have taken a point. Can see the reason for playing 3-5-2 but why not with King and Cole wide ? Or why didn't we change it earlier ? We were terrible for most of the 92 minutes and 33 seconds. With Draper and Tremarco back and getting back to a well worked system then we can get 6 out of 6 points at the Dump. But I don't feel comfortable singing "WE ARE STAYING UP " YET Match footage from SPFL website. will be available soon. Date: 11/03/17 Venue: Firhill Stadium, Glasgow Attendance: 3082 Referee: Willie Collum Partick Th: 1 Lineup: Cerny, Dumbuya, Booth, Lindsay, Osman (Amoo 33), Doolan, Erskine (Elliott 89), Lawless (Azeez 43), Barton, Keown, Edwards Subs (not used): Ridgers, Nisbet, McCarthy, Lamont Scorers: Doolan (56) Booked: Amoo (83) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Fon-Williams, Raven, Warren, Polworth (King 62), Vigurs (Cole 81), McCart, W.McKay, Tansey, Laing, B.McKay, Anier (Boden 81) Subs (not used): Hoban, McNaughton, Ebbe, Fisher Scorers: Warren (92) Booked: Vigurs (21), McCart (45) Sent Off: none a
  6. Six-Pointers from here on in! It's all six pointers from here on in as we travel to Firhill to take on Partick Thistle in the Premiership looking for more points to add to the rather unexpected but nonetheless welcome four we gleaned from Hearts and the Rangers recently. Despite those fantastic results, other clubs have not been so keen to help us out and we still find ourselves at the foot of the table, two points behind Hamilton. We suffered a setback in our last outing even before we kicked off against Celtic. Hamilton never read the script properly and defeated Aberdeen on the Friday night to leapfrog us in the table. With County getting a bonus win at Tynecastle on the Saturday and Killie losing to Motherwell on Sunday, Inverness were the big losers going down 0-4 to a rampant Celtic. After a battling first 45, we were the architects of our own downfall, gifting goals like they were going out of fashion. But enough of the doom and gloom. The good news is that we don't have to play Celtic again and our fate is in our own hands over the next eleven games, the most important in our history. There were plenty of positives against Celtic despite the crushing scoreline although they were undone by some calamitous errors that verged on comedy. We were never going to win this game, but after gifting a second and third goal our task was well beyond us and we had to take our punishment as a result. Partick have been one of the success stories of this season and we go down to Firhill with a less than impressive record there in recent years. Only four wins in our seventeen visits, one of which was a Scottish Cup game in 2015, that was a good year if I recall correctly. Others were a First Division game in 2010, our first visit in 1998 and one at the tail end of last season when the campaign was done and dusted (1-4). That was our best ever result against the Harry Wragg's Partick have been a bit of a bogey team for us although overall the stats will show that victories are fairly even. Historically, home advantage seems to prevail and at Firhill we have six defeats, four wins and seven draws. Our last encounter was at Inverness where the sides played out an unspectacular 0-0 draw. The first game at Partick ended in defeat for Inverness by 2-0, Foran's first game in charge. Goals by Chris Erskine and David Amoo gave Partick an untroubled victory. We all knew this early in the season that scoring goals would not be our strong point as we struggled to create anything. What we did not foresee was that our normally reliable defence would be even worse; and here we are today, bottom of the league on merit. Partick's last game saw them limp out of the Scottish Cup in a rather tame affair at the hands of Aberdeen, but in the League they have made their way under the radar into the top-six, ten points above Inverness. Goals for are similar, but once again it's our defensive record that is the main issue. Richie Foran spoke to the BBC after his first game in charge at Firhill back in August. I wonder what he thinks of his comments now? And who is Scott Boden? "It's only early. You don't become a bad team overnight. We're going to stay positive. "I thought we had poor imagination in the final third. With the quality that we have up there I expect a little bit more but we didn't get enough help around Scott Boden. "(It's a) disappointing result but I can't be too hard on the lads. They've been magnificent since I've come in. "I think we're in for a good season. We've got the quality. We just need to work on a few bits and pieces." Alan Archibald has doubts over Danny Devine and Christie Elliott after the pair sustained knocks during last weekend's defeat by Aberdeen. On-loan Crawley winger Jason Banton (groin) could be involved but long-term absentees Sean Welsh (foot), Ryan Scully (shoulder), Stuart Bannigan and Gary Fraser (both knee) remain out. Richie Foran hopes to have Jake Mulraney back after he missed the Celtic game. He will be needed as Aaron Doran is reported to be out for the season after undergoing surgery on his knee. The operation was not on the same knee that has been a problem over the last two seasons. Carl Tremarco will be out, either through injury or suspension and Ross Draper is suspended for one match, he will be a big miss. Josh Meekings and Lewis Horner are long term casualties but Kev McNaughton is making good progress and was on the bench for the Celtic game. Ryan Esson has returned to training and Horner is ready to begin legwork. Other crucial fixtures over this coming weekend that will have a bearing on our destiny. Hearts v Hamilton, Aberdeen v Motherwell and County v Killie tm4tj prediction:- Eleven games left to save our season. Celtic apart, we have shown some willingness to try and stay in this League with credible draws against Dundee and Hearts and an excellent win over Rangers. Unfortunately other results have meant that we are back on the bottom and we will remain there unless we show a real desire to fight for everything. In Billy Mckay we have one man who can almost work miracles, but he needs help and Jake Mulraney if fit could be his provider, with King on the opposite flank. Our creaking back four have been shuffled more than a deck of cards at a Las Vegas casino, through injury, suspension and parent club ruling. We need our best players on the park and they need to be performing at the top level. Owain Fon Williams has been sloppy lately, but he can perform much better as he has done on occasion, let's hope his confidence is not shattered after that Celtic debacle as we have no suitable cover for him with Esson not fully fit. Partick hold the Indian Sign over us, but I'm hopeful of at least a draw if not a rare win at Firhill. Beware the scalded cat!
  7. Fon Williams in Blunderland Cock up keeper Owain Fon Williams was badly at fault as Celtic cruised home 4-0. The keeper who looked to have recovered from a shaky spell earlier in the season gifted Celtic their second goal and was suspect as they scored a third direct from a free kick after failing to cover his near post. I'm afraid he made a difficult job impossible as Celtic took full advantage from his gaffs to run out 4-0 winners. Scott Sinclair scored an excellent opener after riding a couple of challenges on the stroke of half time. Moussa Dembele poked in the second moments after the break after OFW blundered. Stuart Armstrong scored from that free kick and Dembele finished with aplomb as Celtic clinically hit on the counter. The result was never in doubt, but the manner in which we gifted goals was difficult to take and it undid the good work of the last couple of games. Another big away support filled the South Stand as Celtic kicked off playing towards the bridge end where a noisy and spirited young team took up residence and backed the home side who would be facing a difficult task. The first half was void of any real chances, neither keeper being forced into anything too difficult and maybe that was a good thing as events would unfold. Billy Mckay tried his luck with a low effort that Craig Gordon gathered easily after Billy King linked with Mckay and fed him on the edge of the box. It was a resilient display by Inverness, but just when we thought it was safe to go for the half-time cuppa, Scott Sinclair scored a superb goal. He appeared to be fouled by Draper as he made his way across the edge of our box but he stayed on his feet and rode another challenge before curling a shot beyond the outstretched Fon Williams to bring the first half to a dramatic close, The pressure had been mounting but up to that point we were well in the game without causing too much problems for the visitors. Half Time 0-1 We kicked off the second period and within twelve seconds shot ourselves in the foot. From the kick off the ball went backwards, and when Gary Warren decided to put it all the way back to his keeper there seemed little danger. However Fon Williams miskicked the ball, only succeeding in slicing the ball into the path of Moussa Dembele five yards in front of him. He chipped the ball up in the air and prodded it into the empty net with our blundering keeper lying on the deck looking on. It looked as though that goal sucked the energy and determination right out of the home players and from there on in it was one way traffic. Celtic don't usually need gifts, but when they are presented to them on a plate, it would have been rude not to accept it. Moments later the keeper made amends when he stopped a close range effort on his line but, alas, the damage had been done. Dembele and his strike partner Sinclair were causing problems with their sheer pace, skill levels and movement and from one burst by Dembele he left defenders in his wake before setting up Sinclair who blasted just over. His next thrust saw Celtic win a free kick just wide of the angle of our penalty box. Cross anticipated by all apart from Stuart Armstrong who hit the ball well and it ended up in Fon Williams' net at his near post. More shambolic keeping from the Welsh international who did not cover himself in glory. Cheap goal to lose and Celtic well on top. Liam Polworth woke from his slumber and fired a loose ball on target with a volley but Gordon was equal to it and tipped it over for a corner. That was the nearest we came to scoring whilst Celtic carved out another half dozen chances. The final goal came when Billy King ran out of ideas at the Celtic end, loss possession and when Tierney cracked a long ball forward, Dembele left everyone in his wake before dinking the ball over Fon Williams and into the empty net. Quality goal from a quality player. Full Time 0-4 Celtic were good value for their win with Dembele and Sinclair outstanding. Tierney is one of the hottest prospects around and the whole team oozes class from back to front and right through the bench as well. It's difficult for any team to match them at the moment, but we did just that in a keenly contested first half. However the wheels fell off with the errors and the desire to compete visibly ebbed from the players. No disgrace losing to the best Celtic team for years, but disappointing that we contributed to our own downfall after a promising first forty-five. With that game out of the way, Foran needs to lift the squad for the last eleven games with the Aberdeen one looking like the toughest fixture left. Mind you, in our position at the bottom, they are all tough. Richie Foran was as scathing of his side as any of the fans. Caley boss Richie Foran: "It's extremely disappointing. We lacked courage on the ball, we lacked belief on the ball. I'm not even sure Celtic got out of second gear. We never got going. "I find it hard to think of a player that did well. The whole 11 lacked courage. Off the ball we were OK; on the ball we didn't want to pass forward and take responsibility. "On the counter we had the ability but we didn't have the belief to go with it. It doesn't matter how good Celtic were. We had opportunities to play and get forward but we didn't fancy it. "The second goal was comical. It's embarrassing. But we were poor all over the park. At least three of the goals we conceded were avoidable." tm4tj MotM. Not one Inverness player deserved to be nominated apart from Ross Draper who tried his best. The sponsors MotM went to Polworth. Having a laugh maybe, but the real MotM goes to the young team who tried to drum up support as they waved their flags, sang, jumped around and got right behind the team for the full 93 minutes. Well done lads, it's a pity the team don't have your energy and enthusiasm at the moment. Look away now if you are easily upset............. Date: 01/03/17 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 5948 Referee: Andrew Dallas Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Fon Williams, Raven, Laing, Warren, B.McKay, Polworth, Draper, Tansey, King, W.Mckay (Anier 81), Cole (Vigurs 64) Subs (not used): Hoban, McNaughton, Ebbe, Boden, Fisher Scorers: none Booked: Laing (65) Sent Off: none Celtic: 4 Lineup: Gordon, Lustig, Sviatchenko, Boyata, Tierney, Bitton, Brown (Henderson 78), Armstrong, Mackay-Steven (McGregor 69), Sinclair, Dembele Subs (not used): de Vries, Toure, Izaguirre, Gamboa, Griffiths. Scorers: Sinclair (43), Dembele (46, 73), Armstrong (66) Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  8. It is a tough call against the leaders and I think you're right re damage limitation. Having said that, Celtic will lose a league game at some point I believe so why not tonight? Extremely doubtful I must admit but you never know with football. With Aberdeen Caledonian Thistle losing at Hamilton last night we are now two points adrift at the bottom. With that result in mind, if Celtic win tonight, they can win the title at home in their next match which is against.....The Rangers
  9. Stunning victory Inverness Caledonian Thistle ended their fourteen league game winless streak with a glorious win over Rangers thanks to a spectacular goal from Billy Mckay. In a pulsating game Greg Tansey had smacked home the opener in the first period. Martin Waghorn showed how to take a penalty as Rangers leveled from the spot but Iain Vigurs could not replicate that later in the game, Wes Fodderingham saving comfortably, but he was left sprawling helplessly when Billy scored his stunning acrobatic winner in the last minute of normal time. The hairs on the back of my neck are still standing. This win lifted Inverness off the bottom of the league for now with Hamilton playing Celtic on Saturday. What a climax to the 1000th game in our history! Richie Foran made a bold statement showing faith in the players that worked so hard to get a point at Tynecastle last weekend. Gary Warren, Brad Mckay and Iain Vigurs all started on the bench with youngster Jamie McCart and Louis Laing keeping their place in defence. Liam Polworth started with Larnell Cole and Jake Mulraney providing the service for the striker. The visitors had no surprises in their line-up and were looking to get back to winning ways having only one win in their previous six games and a big crowd were backing them to sort it in the Highlands. It looked like it was going to be a long night for Foran's side as Rangers flew out of the blocks and put Inverness on the back foot for the first ten minutes with slick incisive passing and swift play as they cut the hosts open three or four times during that period. However we are more resilient of late and repelled these attacks with Owain Fon Williams saving twice in quick succession as Kenny Miller bore down on goal after a quick throw in caught us napping, also saving the rebound as Emerson Hyndman shot low and hard. He kept out a Barry McKay effort as well as we were pinned in our own half during a torrid opening period. Three corners in as many minutes bore no fruit for the visitors before we eventually ventured forth. Fifteen minutes in and it looked even bleaker for Inverness as Carl Tremarco had to be replaced by Brad Mckay and Foran had to re-shuffle his under pressure back line. Jake Mulraney had our first attempt but the keeper dealt with his effort as we got to grips with the game and half an hour in Greg Tansey shot narrowly wide. He would do better just before the break. Barry McKay should have done better with a close range header but he got under the ball and it sailed over the bar. A let off for Inverness and we retaliated with Liam Polworth going close, as did Martyn Waghorn at the other end. One minute before the interval, Inverness took the lead in spectacular style. Greg Tansey latched onto a loose ball some thirty yards out after a Polworth shot was blocked. He crashed a low swerving shot to the keepers right and despite a headlong dive from Foderingham the ball fizzed into the bottom corner for a tremendous goal. Still time for Miller to try his luck but at the break it was advantage Inverness. Half Time 1-0 The end to end play continued after the break with Inverness looking comfortable as Rangers struggled to make the breakthrough. Barry McKay saw an effort tipped over by a confident Fon Williams as the pressure mounted on the hard working home defence and Joe Toral went very close with a shot across goal that just rolled past the far post. You could sense a goal was coming and it did. Louis Laing was adjudged to have been late with a tackle on Lee Wallace on the far side of the box as he crossed the ball and Waghorn made penalty taking look easy, Fon Williams going right, the ball flashing to his left on it's way into the net. Jake Mulraney had the Rangers defenders on toast all night but he had to leave the field after stretching for a wayward pass. Needless moment that ended his day and the home fans feared the worst as Billy King replaced him. Tansey almost put Inverness ahead once more after good play down the left by Larnell Cole set up the chance for a shot. His strike looked destined for the top corner but Foderingham pulled off a fantastic one handed save to keep the scores level. Great stop from the keeper. Rangers broke at the other end and Inverness had Fon Williams to thank after he denied Waghorn when he had raced clear into the left side of the box but the keeper stood tall and blocked his shot and the ball stuck as well. Bonus! The pace of the game was unrelenting and a really slick move by Rangers inside the Inverness area ended with a shot blocked inside the six yard box. Frenetic stuff and Billy Mckay forced Foderingham into action again as he shot from an angle inside the visitors box, the keeper up to the task this time getting two strong hands on the ball to push it away from goal after Billy had twisted and turned to create the space for a shot. Billy Mckay was causing all sorts of problems for the Rangers defence with his darting runs and magnificent ball retention and it was another such run that saw him bundled over inside the box. Penalty to Inverness but who would take this one as our success rate from the spot has been poor recently. Substitute Iain Vigurs had the balls to step up but his rather tame shot was comfortably saved low to his left by the keeper. Meh! However, the darting Mckay would not be denied and he scored a stunner to win all three points as the clock ticked down. There seemed little danger when a Larnell Cole cross was knocked high in the air by a defender. However, we are talking about the tenacious Billy Mckay here. Despite being surrounded by three big Bears, he held off the defenders before sending a controlled overhead kick into the corner of the net from ten yards. Wow, a stunning goal fit to win any game and the reaction from manager Richie Foran was a joy to behold, double fist pumps along the touchline as he, the fans and Caley Thistle players rejoiced in style. Still time for Jason Holt to fire a cross into the body of Iain Vigurs with the away fans rising as one to claim for a penalty but that would have been harsh as Vigurs blocked the ball at the expense of a corner, and that was it, game over and a fabulous welcome win for Inverness. Full Time 2-1 Oh boy, what a pulsating game that was and a fitting tribute for the 1000th competitive match for Inverness Caledonian Thistle. You could see what that victory meant to the under pressure manager Richie Foran as his players put in a shift and a half to earn the right to wear the shirt. Fantastic effort from all and let's not forget the part Rangers played in this enthralling encounter. They also displayed some slick football, but with both keepers in excellent form it was Inverness that wrote another slice of history in this landmark game. tm4tj MotM. So many excellent performers out there. Owain Fon Williams has rediscovered how to keep the ball out of the net. A strong display by an overworked defence and a huge effort by the midfield with Tansey outstanding. Jake Mulraney was menacing once we ventured up the park and Larnell Cole did likewise on the other side and seemed to get a second or third wind late in the game to make some lung bursting runs. Great effort. My MotM goes to a wee striker, and not just for his sublime acrobatic goal. Billy (small 'k') Mckay was tremendous and involved in everything when we broke upfield. He is definitely more energetic than the Duracell Bunny and he ran himself to a standstill, as did most of our players tonight. Special mention to Richie Foran. He has been on the receiving end of some tough criticism, but he was absolutely ecstatic tonight and showed some managerial credentials by leaving his experienced players on the bench and went with youth and energy. It paid off big time. Theresa May, Queen Elizabeth, Winston Churchill, Angela Merkel........................your boys took a helluva beating tonight! Check out Richie releasing his pent up frustration after Billy scores his stunner. Here is the rest of the action from the SPFL website Inverness CT 2-1 Rangers And, last but not least, Immortal Howden Ender has put down his legendary smileymometer ratings giving Tansey top marks from his viewing point on his sofa.. SEVCO SMILEYMOMETER FON WILLIAMS : Not wholly assured and I would guess at 80% fit. I still get nervous about / for him. But that performance can only be "confidence medicine". RAVEN : Eat, Sleep, Raven, Repeat - He plays on the right, he plays on the left. Lets just say that he pulled back the years last night. TREMARCO : Hope that the injury is short term - Big, big player for us this season. BRAD McKAY : Literally thrown in at the deep end. Sound if not spectacular LAING : : Lack of match time and fitness showed at times last night but held firm as the Sevco tide threatened. Needless challenge for the penalty and a needless yellow card (although he can afford them !!) McCART : Joint MOM for me. At Tynie he looked "green" and needed the support and guidance of Laing. Last night it was the opposite. Memories of a young Warren. Perhaps it was the Parkhead factor !! DRAPER : Now that was a captains' performance. Hope that the substitution was pre-planned and not due to an injury. Ran his socks off and won almost everything in the air and on the ground, especially from dead ball situations. TANSEY : MOM too. Much maligned by many this season, especially me, but that is two fine performances in a row. Busy, looking for the ball and picking out passes. He benefits from the cover from Draper and Polworth, the width of two wingers and the running of Mckay - but he has always been a "footballer". May be tad cruel but he may also be influenced by the new look Foran and the fact that Aberdire are more interested in Christie. Now really playing for his starting place like all the others. Could not believe that he didn't grab the penalty. And yet another yellow - for "clumsiness" - Paul Scholes timed a tackle better. POLWORTH : ; Another benefitting from being played where he enjoys and where he is most effective. Must have ran miles more than anyone else in the last two games but also a ball player when needed. Another beginning to really play for the shirt and his manager. Needs to learn how to win penalties though !! VIGURS : : WHY was he allowed to take the penalty ? Was it pre-planned ? Did wee Billy and Tansey bottle it ? MULRANEY : : IF he had been more direct and confident from the off he would have totally murdered Wallace. A lad who appears to have confidence issues but that should be a confident booster. Play wide and attack, attack, attack son. Fell out of the game because we were on the back foot but kept tracking back. Shades of a young Barry Robson. COLE : : Just did not get in to the game and overshadowed by Mulraney who was getting all the midfield service. Another who could be more direct. Mckay : : Much improvement in his running off the ball and hold-up play. A born poacher and goalscorer. He scores when he wants FORAN : : Brave, brave selection but overdue and (sorry) but not rocket science. Has taken him 2/3rd of a season to have a "realisation" epiphany - whilst previous being somebody who rhymes with epiphany. That was the "old" Richie Foran on the sidelines. Keep being nasty, keep being aggressive - You are the feckin boss and not one of the feckin boys. Some of his post-match comments : I thought our moment was gone with missing the penalty," admitted Foran ; The boys showed big, big character against a really good side. They [Rangers] have been written off, they're getting criticised from every angle. They're a good side with good players and that's a huge result for us. "I always thought we were a threat in the final third. I knew we'd get a chance again. "I wasn't sure if we'd get a chance after the penalty but that's why you've got Billy Mckay in your team. He can score out of nothing. If you want to have a successful season, you need a striker like that." And as for the future : "We can go on a run," said Foran. "Maybe it's going to be perfect timing for that run, coming to the end of the season ; "Go and win games, go on your run, go eight, nine unbeaten, we can get in that top six." - Shut the feck up Richie. We win one game, against a team in turmoil, and we are Top Six Again - give me a break. It is easy to lift yourself against the top teams and on the gogglebox - the proof rests in going to Firhill and get three points, the trick is to win the Highland Derby and to take another three at home against a struggling but unpredictable Kilmarnock. Cellic up next is a hiding to nothing and to finish : Date: 24/02/17 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 6415 Referee: Steven McLean Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Fon Williams, Raven, Tremarco (B.Mckay 15), Polworth, Draper (Vigurs 80), McCart, W.Mckay, Mulraney (King 69), Tansey, Laing, Cole Subs (not used): Hoban, Warren, Ebbe, Anier Scorers: Tansey (45), Mckay (89) Booked: Laing (56), Tansey (66) Sent Off: none Rangers: 1 Lineup: Foderingham, Tavernier, Kiernan, Wallace, Wilson, Toral (Garner 92), Miller, McKay, Halliday (Holt 80), Hyndman, Waghorn Subs (not used): Alnwick, Windass, Dodoo, Forrester, Hodson Scorers: Waghorn (pen.67) Booked: Toral (14), Wilson (86) Sent Off: none a
  10. 1000 not out. It's a landmark day as Inverness Caledonian Thistle play their 1000th competitive game. Opponents for this will be the newest side in Scotland, The Rangers. The Caley Jags have come a long way since they entered the big boys leagues in 1994 and their first league game, a 5-2 win over Arbroath at Telford Street. Alan Hercher scored a twenty minute hat-trick for Caledonian Thistle that day and set the tone for Inverness as they would make their way through the Leagues to the present day. Their competitive debut was a 2-0 win over East Stirlingshire in the Coca Cola cup, Wilson Robertson scoring the first ever goal. There is an excellent programme available to commemorate this occasion. 1000th Game We had an unwelcome visitor to these shores this week. Doris day has been and gone and hopefully the weather will relent a bit as Inverness welcome the Rangers to the Highland capital. Scotland shivered in the wake of storm Doris as high winds and snow caused chaos across the land. The Highlands missed the worst of the storms but travel throughout Scotland was disrupted, so take care. Richie Foran saw his beleaguered side battle hard for a well earned draw at Tynecastle last weekend. Carl Tremarco had given the Highlanders the lead with a spanking header before Arnaud Djoum bundled home in the second half. Under fire keeper Owain Fon Williams did his confidence no harm as he held firm and saved a penalty as Hearts pushed for a winner. An unexpected point given our lack of resources through injuries and suspension. The Ibrox side lost their last game going down 2-1 at Dundee. The Dark Blues were two up before Joe Garner scored with a swerving long range effort but it was not enough to deny Dundee a deserved win. Inverness are entrenched at the foot of the table some 24 points behind the Glasgow side. Our goal difference is 12 goals worse off. They have scored 33 goals, 4 more than Inverness. It's in defence where the vast difference can be found as we have shipped 46 goals, 18 more than the Rangers. The Ibrox side have won both fixtures already this season, winning 1-0 in the Highlands thanks to a stunning volley from Kenny Miller and 1-0 in Glasgow, although Inverness were unfortunate not to take something from this game as Brad Mckay put the ball into his own net. Inverness can call on the services of Gary Warren, Brad Mckay and Iain Vigurs, all free from suspension. Aaron Doran is continuing to build his strength after a virus floored him for a couple of weeks and could feature. Josh Meekings, Lewis Horner and Kev McNaughton will all miss out. Louis Laing deputised well last week in defence and could continue with youngster Jamie McCart possibly dropping to the bench to accommodate the return of Warren. The Rangers will have Lee Wallace and Josh Windass back. Clint Hill will not make it after being injured against Dundee. tm4tj Prediction:- An encouraging draw at Tynecastle will give Richie Foran some belief that his side can steer themselves away from the relegation slot. This is the second of three really tough games with Celtic up next and points are at a premium. Nobody thought we stood much chance at Tynecastle given our injury and suspension crisis, but a back to basics work ethic saw us take a point and that is what will be required on Friday night against the Rangers. The elements could be a great leveler as well and it could be that we will take something from this game as managerless Rangers seem to have taken a confidence dent in recent weeks. Clean sheets are a thing of the past at Inverness so I'll go for a scoring draw.
  11. Still life left in Foran's squad. Inverness managed a battling 1-1 draw with Hearts at Tynecastle to show the supporters that their season is not over yet. Carl Tremarco scored with a powerful header to give the Highlanders a first half lead but Arnaud Djoum leveled matters just after the hour. Neither side could make the breakthrough after that as Inverness defended in depth to ensure they took a welcome point back North. Richie Foran's depleted squad fought well considering he had to start without the suspended Gary Warren, Brad Mckay and villain of the piece Iain Vigurs. With Josh Meekings injured that meant a start for new signing Louis Laing and young Celtic loanee Jamie McCart. Immortal Howden Ender was watching from afar and has this TV report for us........ Ní raibh mé ann. Tá mé numpty. Bhreathnaigh mé ar an buaicphointí ar BBC Alba. Toirtíní Jam versus Inbhir Nis. It will be interesting to see how a report from watching on the big screen compares with views from the Gorgie Road Terraces. Only difference to me was that I did not frequent Diggars before the game but at least with a 23.00 start I was probably just as drunk as I would have been at 15.00. For once the comments of the two managers probably very accurately summed up the whole game for me. Many people have criticised Ian Cathro and suggested that he has little idea of the game. But he commented - "[Inverness] worked very, very hard. They stayed strong, they stayed compact and they gave us some difficulties in breaking them down. "However, I think we have dominated the game and we have created enough chances to win one-and-a-half games. Ultimately we suffered the frustrations of having perhaps not been clinical enough when those opportunities arise and defending the set play properly in the first-half. "It's not great (the pitch). Of course it adds another level of difficulty but it is a situation we need to manage with and deal with collectively." Now who would have thought that we would have been described as a hard working outfit - compact - hard to break down But we were, we feckin were. Richie Foran added - That was the old Inverness today I thought. Going forward we have been fine this season, going back we have been lazy. We haven't had enough fight - the fight was there today, that's for sure. "The boys are flat out on their feet and I think it's a deserved point. They've hit the post, we've hit the post. We looked dangerous on the counter-attack, they looked dangerous on the counter. "It wasn't a pitch to play football on. There were a lot of long balls. The most pleasing part was our going back up the park, our spirit, our work-rate. That was the old Inverness." That was more like the old Inverness today but we still have a lot of work to be done. The team today was selected out of need not design. Lets hope we learned some valuable lessons and lets hope that reality sets in. Yes The boys are flat out on their feet and that should be the comment every week but it sadly hasn't. The pitch was horrendous and more suited to an Edinburgh Sunday Football setting but it is the same for both teams - although it probably went more in our favour. Yes - one of the most pleasing aspects was our going back up the park, our spirit, our work-rate. Again that was more like the old Inverness." Only misquote may be the "that's for sure" as I am sure that it would have been "to be sure". Poor OFW has had a lot of stick recently. I still suspect that our Da Vinci has been painting with a dodgy easel. Did the close up clip of his visage after the penalty not paint a fine picture. He looked more composed yesterday and more lithe. He made a couple of other good saves. That can only have gone some way to mend his fractured confidence. Who would have ever thought that our central defence pairing would be Laing and McCart. They looked strong enough. Laing was evidently not match fit but to me his experience and apparent pace steadied the inexperienced McCart who is definitely a "green" prospect. I can see Laing keeping his place against the team who may still be managed by Warburton. I can see him being paired with Gary Warren. That is an experienced pairing, both know the central defending role and Laing's pace may suit Warren.I feel that Gary has been playing too deep in recent games, almost in the old "sweeper" role. He can now relinquish that to Laing who appears more Meekings-esque. I was not at all surprised by the steady performance of Tremarco but Raven stood out as well. There just appeared to be a more compact and high line feel. Tremarco was left unmarked for the goal. That was probably because of his size but Cathro had not done his homework as we know how effective Carl can be in that position. Will Raven keep his place against the team who may still be managed by Warburton? Personally I would take back in Brad McKay but that is not a reflection on the Scouse legends performance at Tynie. The only blot on the defensive copybook was bookings for both full-backs. Bookings that we simply can not afford. What a joy to see Draper and Tansey playing in more favoured roles. I have always alluded that they can not play together in midfield but they appeared to both have been given roles that suited them. Draper as the destroyer with release to go forward and Tansey as the creator. I thought that Tansey had his best game of the season. He was one who ran his socks off, wanting the ball and that has not always been the case. I am afraid that Vigurs will be the sacrifice against the team who may still be managed by Warburton. He may be the "footballer" in our squad but we need workers and, on song, Draper and Tansey are as good as any pairing in Scotland. Polworth surprised me. To me he was given the "chaser" role, almost "in the hole" but in a very defensive manner. He was effective enough but to me wasted. He did however also allow Draper to move forward. We have several players who could do that better. I would put Anier in that role the team who may still be managed by Warburton. He does not look like an out and out forward to me. He is a runner, he is a chaser but he is also more adept at linking with Mckay and could be a real threat in the hole. Playing Cole and Mulraney wide was another acceptable strategy. But did they play wide enough? Did they penetrate deeply enough? I suppose that given our position and the occasion that this was sacrificed to flood the midfield. Mulraney looks more of a finished version than Cole. I am puzzled as to why Doran has not got a run in the team. I would be playing Mulraney and Cole against the team who may still be managed by Warburton. And then we come to wee Billy. Has he learned from his Englandshire experience or not. He always was a clever "mover" but that skill has clearly been enhanced. There was no other option than to play him up front there by himself. That should be different when we are playing at El Dumpo. The only away fixture left that we may have to consider that is at Aberdire. I am really looking forward to seeing him the team who may still be managed by Warburton. As for the actual game it was probably thankful that we scored first. Tansey delivered his "usual" dead ball service and Tremarco surprised the Jam Tarts with a great header at the far post. Bjorn Again then came close when he clipped the bar but it was always going over. It must have been hard to "bear" for him !! Struan then produced a fine save from OFW and the bustling, clumsy Goncalvez missed a bit of a sitter. If he eats more Pie suppers he could end up like Akinfenwa. In the second half they took on Walker, probably looking for more width and a better service. The Akinfenwa lookalike missed another chance but then they threw the Kitchen sink at us and Perry found Djoum who equalised. That will probably just about be his finest moment other than winning the African Cup of Nations. And we really could have stole three points if Draper had put more meat on a header. And then you sensed that our bad luck had sank in once again and was destined to break our hearts. But OFW broke Hearts hearts. It was not a badly struck penalty but OFW chose correctly and pulled off a fine save. That must have boosted everybody. Was a draw a fair result? I thought that it was. The pitch was a leveller, the Jam Tart final product had a soggy bottom, they had a lot more shots on and off target, they missed a penalty but for once we rode our luck and IMHO deservedly so. Lets end with the picture of the day and a fitting tribute to the Man of The Match SPFL website Hearts v Inverness CT Date: 18/02/17 Venue: Tynecastle Stadium, Edinburgh Attendance: 16372 Referee: Bobby Madden Hearts: 1 Lineup: Struna, Hughes, Avlonitis, Sowah, Djoum, Kitchen (Martin, 77), Tziolis, Choulay (Currie, 62), Johnsen (Walker, 49), Goncalves Subs (not used): Noring, Nicholson, Nowak, Smith Scorers: Djoum (64) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Fon Williams; Raven, McCart, Laing, Tremarco, Draper, Mulraney (Doran, 62), Tansey, Polworth, Cole, Mckay (Anier, 80) Subs (not used): Hoban, Ebbe, Fisher, Boden, Gilchrist Scorers: Tremarco (24) Booked: Tremarco (15), Mulraney (36), Raven (38) Sent Off: none a
  12. Tough Times Ahead. Our season has been a shambles and it looks like getting worse over the next three fixtures, Hearts, Rangers and Celtic. A raft of players are missing this one through injury, suspension and loan arrangements. With little likelihood of picking up points in these games and time starting to run out, it looks like we are heading one way. We were swatted aside last weekend in the cup by a rampant Celtic side who look to be a good bet for the treble. One-nil or ten-nil, it matters not a jot, the end result is the same, we are not in the next round of the cup. Maybe that's a good thing as we can concentrate solely on one thing now, avoiding relegation. Richie Foran is not adjusting to life in the office as well as we would have liked and the club are sliding into oblivion at an alarming rate. Many managers have lost their jobs for less; fourteen league games without a win is a statistic that has seen managers on the dole, but with Foran on a four year contract there seems to be little chance that he will be shown the door any time soon. The rookie manager appointment has backfired big time on the Caley Jags board and the team look resigned to the fact that they are bottom of the table with little prospect of getting away from the relegation zone in the near future. Our last visit to Tynecastle was a 5-1 thrashing where we were simply overrun as Hearts scored at will. We fared better in a topsy turvey game at Inverness, blowing a two goal lead before eventually earning a point in a 3-3 draw. The Edinburgh side are the second top scorers in the league with 45 goals. That's as many as we have conceded and 17 more than we have scored. Hearts have perked up in the last few games after a slow start in the capital for new boss Ian Cathro. Since losing to Aberdeen and Celtic, they have thrashed Motherwell and Rangers, scoring seven goals for the loss of only one. However, they were held to a goalless draw in the Scottish Cup by local rivals Hibernian last weekend on their tattie field style pitch where fluent football looked difficult. Our results are as poor as they have ever been. Fourteen league games without a win leaves us languishing at the foot of the table. Despite an encouraging fightback against Dundee (2-2), we were cuffed 6-0 at Parkhead in the cup. The previous game was a bigger disappointment, going down 3-0 at Hamilton without a fight. Confidence looks to be at an all time low and games are fast running out before the split. In fact there are only fourteen games left to save our season. If they are anything like the previous fourteen, then it's Championship football for us. Hearts will be without Callum Paterson who is out for the season with knee ligament damage and John Souttar who has ruptured his Achilles tendon. Prince Bauben is also out and former Caley Jag Don Cowie looks like he will sit this one out as well with a rib injury. Inverness have been dealt a blow with player absentees like they are going out of fashion. Gary Warren, Brad Mckay and Iain Vigurs are suspended. Warren for too many players getting the better of him and having to resort to fouling, similar for Mckay, and Vigurs for too many niggly, petty and unnecessary fouls when he can't be arsed getting back to help. Billy King will be missed as a supplier through parent club ruling for loanees and the usual crop of injuries are still wreaking havoc. Kev McNaughton, Lewis Horner and Josh Meekings are out long term. Aaron Doran could return; he has had more comebacks than Lazarus now. To alleviate these problems, Richie Foran has managed to secure former Motherwell defender 23 year old Louis Laing until the end of the season and he is eligible to play on Saturday against the Jambo's. tm4tj prediction:- The next three games are difficult and this one will be particularly harrowing given our list of unavailable players. It's hard to see anything other than a convincing win for Hearts considering we have had only two clean sheets all season. Owain Fon Williams looks like a man short on confidence, having a mare every other week and back up keeper Ryan Esson was unavailable last week through injury. Iain Vigurs is a passenger just now and our back four is in tatters. Midfield is bereft of any pace and drive and up front we couldn't punch a hole in a wet paper bag. Nuff said, another heavy defeat on the cards. Anything less will be a miracle. Not sure if it's Louis Lang or Lois Lane, but I reckon it's superman we need.
  13. He scores when he wants. Unfortunately it's not Billy Mckay but Moussa Dembele as the Celtic striker scored back to back hat-tricks to add to goals from Mikael Lustig, Kieran Tierney and Scott Brown. A not unexpected result and Richie Foran has enough on his plate to worry about after this crushing defeat. As expected, Owain Fon Williams returned to the sticks and Brad Mckay moved into central defence as Foran made two changes from the side that started against Dundee last week. Patrick Roberts missed out as Liam Henderson started for the Scottish Champions who were without Leigh Griffiths and Stuart Armstrong at a less than packed Parkhead. Tremendous start by Inverness inside the first minute as David Raven almost slipped Mckay in after Billy had made good ground down the left and at the other end Liam Henderson fired wide. The opening exchanges were sprightly with both sides having a go and Inverness looking composed on the ball. Ten minutes in and Celtic gradually began to impose themselves on the possession stats with the visitors content to keep them at bay and look for the counter opportunity. Neither keeper had been asked to work in the first fifteen although there was plenty of enterprising play on show, mostly from the hosts as Inverness struggled to hold on to the ball. Twenty minutes gone and Mikael Lustig opened the scoring from close range, brilliantly controlling a through ball from Nir Bitton and slipping it behind Fon Williams. A bit harsh on Inverness who had coped well up to that point. The free kicks were flowing now for Celtic as Inverness tried to stem the flow and the Bhoys were taking full advantage of this causing the Inverness defence plenty of problems but unable to make Fon Williams work. It was constant Celtic pressure now as Inverness failed to link play to the forwards. Ross Draper picked up a booking after a couple of robust challenges as Inverness forced a corner down the left and another as the defence cleared. Warren was adjudged to foul from the second set piece. Iain Vigurs was rightly booked for a clumsy tackle on Dembele to be the third naughtyboy, Carl Tremarco being the first, and as the interval approached we were coming out of our shell and entered the Celtic half a couple of times before the already booked Vigurs offended again. Warren became the fourth villain for upending Dembele who was causing all sorts of problems as he drove at the defence time and time again. A minute before the break Dembele squeezed the ball over the line, Fon Williams failing to keep out his low shot as it crept over the line after James Forrest had skinned Tremarco down the right flank. Fon Williams was on the bench last week for exactly that and it was a disappointing goal to lose. If the plan was to give Celtic total dominance, it was working well as we approached the interval, but with two goals in it, the Caley Jags still had some interest in the cup, albeit very faint. Despite their superiority, Fon Williams had little to do other than pick the ball out of the net twice. Half Time 1-1 Game over just after the break when Dembele slotted home with composure from ten yards. Super save from Fon Williams soon after as Celtic threaten a cricket score and Billy King leaves the pitch through injury with Jake Mulraney entering the field. No fairytale this time for Inverness as Celtic turned the screw and memories of Feb 8th 2000 were quickly erased as Dembele easily notched his hat-track after being set up by Forrest. Forrest was the provider again as he teed one up for Kieran Tierney to nod home and the icing was on the cake when Scott Brown lifted the net off the rigging with a thunderous shot to end the scoring. Full Time 6-0 Oh dear, that went well! A thrashing for Inverness but we have bigger fish to fry with a relegation battle to be won. Nothing we could do about this with Celtic rampant and Dembele in fine form. James Forrest was the architect of most things as Inverness were done by his pace time and time again. It was always on the cards and the killer blow was the soft goal on the stroke of half time that OFW will not want to see again. In fairness he was maybe partially sighted and he just could not get down quick enouh as the ball agonisingly crept under him and over the line. Inverness MotM. Jake Mulraney who looked like he should have been on from the start. The rest need to take a long hard look at themselves. Iain Vigurs was lucky to stay on the park as he pushed the boundaries a few times after being booked. If he wonders why the fans are giving him a hard time, then look no further than his contribution today. It's not a day for criticism though as Celtic were simply too good. All the best players on the park were in green and white hoops. If you can face it, footage of the drubbing can be seen on the BBC Sport website Date: 11/02/17 Venue: Celtic Park, Glasgow Attendance: 25577 Referee: Kevin Clancy Celtic: 6 Lineup: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata (Toure 88), Sviatchenko, Tierney, Bitton, Brown, Forrest, Henderson (McGregor 65), Sinclair, Dembele (Ciftci 81) Subs (not used): De Vries, Izaguirre, Gamboa, Mackay-Steven Scorers: Lustig (20), Dembele (44, 50, 59), Tierney (86), Brown (91) Booked: Lustig (72) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Fon Williams, Raven, Warren, Brad McKay, Tremarco, Draper (Cole 63), Tansey, Vigurs, King (Mulraney 53), Anier, Billy Mckay (Ebbe 63) Subs (not used): Hoban, Polworth, Fisher, Boden Scorers: none Booked: Tremarco (29), Draper (35), Vigurs (37), Warren (42) Sent Off: none a
  14. Mission Impossible? Seventeen years on and the result that shocked Scottish Football still sends a shiver down the spine of Caley Thistle fans. Supercaleygoballistic...... you know how it goes, gets an airing every time these two clubs meet, especially in the Scottish Cup. At the time nobody thought it was possible. Inverness were being dismissed with contempt borne through ignorance. How could a mid-table first division side knock the mighty Celtic out of the Scottish Cup on their own patch. Well, they did, and they did it in style. Celtic were no longer invincible and Inverness wrote themselves into the history books. The damage was far reaching at Parkhead and heads would roll in the aftermath of that game. Feb 8th 2000 is etched on the minds of Inverness Caledonian Thistle fans, just as the Lisbon Lions are for the Celtic faithful. Is it possible for the current crop of Caley Jags players to emulate their predecessors and cause what would be a major upset, considering Celtic's dominance in the domestic game this season and given the transformation made by manager Brendan Rodgers? The simple answer has to be NO and there are a number of reasons for that. Not least the current form of Celtic, sweeping all before them and 27 points clear in the Premiership. The present squad have overtaken the run by the famous Lisbon Lions. The Celtic squad is littered with International players. Brendan Rodgers has moulded his own style into the Celtic team and has brought some excellent quality to the team like Moussa Dembele and Scott Sinclair. They have scored a phenomenal 65 goals in 24 league games whilst conceding only 16. That's 2.7 goals scored per game and a meagre 0.666 against per game. Is that a sign of the devil? But it's not what Celtic have to offer that concerns me. It's what Inverness don't have to offer that is the greater worry. We are bottom of the Premiership on merit alone. We fail to keep clean sheets on a regular basis, only 2 from 24 games. We are scoring goals at a rate of 1.16 per game. We have no current International players on our books, other than a couple of squad reserves in Owain Fon Williams and Billy Mckay and crocked Kevin McNaughton. Our manager is a newcomer to the job, unlike his counterpart who has a proven track record at the highest level. We no longer have the element of surprise on our side. Playing each other three or four times a season has scuppered that. Man for man, our current team could not lace the boots of our Feb 8th 2000 squad. We no longer possess players that play for the jersey, willing to lay it all on the line for ninety minutes and go through the pain barrier just to pull on the famous Inverness Caledonian Thistle strip. All over the park we could replace present players with golden oldies. Jimmy Calder was somewhat unorthodox as a keeper, but he could keep the ball out of the net and saved around 50% of penalties he faced. Ross Tokely was maybe not the most gifted, but was a difficult man to get beyond and solid in the air and worked well going forward. Stuart Golabeck: Toughest tackling full back I have ever seen. Scared of nothing and had enough pace to cover for big Bobby. Richard Hastings, a young fit Canadian International with plenty of energy. Bobby Mann was an absolute colossus. Calmness personified in the face of adversity and on his day the best centre back in the country. Mike Teasdale, always there when you needed him and skillful for a big lad. Mark McCulloch, no nonsense tough tackling midfielder who never shirked a challenge. Barry Wilson, how we could do with him now, a tremendous pacey winger with skill in abundance and a goal threat. Paul Sheerin was able to keep a cool head and fitted the Caley Jags ethics. Charlie Christie was one of the most talented players to come from the Highland League, twinkle toed and dedicated to the cause. Dennis Wyness, legend and goal scorer extraordinaire. Kevin Byers, Martin Glancy and Martin Bavidge all did their bit as well. Every one of them would not look out of place in today's side and most would be certain of a start every week. Let's not forget Pele. His philosophy was score more than the opposition. It worked well most of the time and entertainment value was top drawer. Back to the present day though and we have got to rise to the challenge, albeit a daunting one. Current form shows that Celtic are bullet proof and we are favourites for the drop. The Bhoys brushed aside St Johnstone in their last game thanks to a dubious penalty going their way and ran out big winners, scoring five after coming from 2-1 behind, Moussa Dembele scoring a hat-trick after coming on around the hour mark and bagging a hat-trick in 24 minutes. However, this is cup football and we are forever optimistic. We have to believe that the impossible is possible. Richie Foran never shirked a challenge as a player and this is one challenge he will relish. Let's not forget that we have dumped favourites Celtic out of the Scottish Cup on three occasions now, so maybe it's not such a big deal any more. Thought it might be worth mentioning that Celtic have only dropped one point this season. Now who could that have been against? Tom Rogic will miss another few months of action after an ankle operation ruled him out for the forseeable future. Stuart Armstrong and Leigh Griffiths look set to sit this game out as they near fitness but won't be risked. Why should they be when Dembele and Sinclair are on the books along with a squad of full international players. Josh Meekings will be missing for at least another couple of months. That's a blow as we have struggled defensively from the start of the season. Kevin McNaughton and Lewis Horner are other long term casualties. David Raven played the ninety minutes against Dundee as did Jamie McCart, but he will be unavailable to face his parent club in the cup. Brad Mckay could step in and Ross Draper has been known to drop deep to play in the back line when we have no other options available. Billy Mckay has had two games to get to know the current incumbents and that will benefit him greatly. Billy King came back against Dundee and showed up well. tm4tj prediction:- If I'm being realistic then we should have no chance whatsoever and this could be a rout. But as I said, it's cup football and away from the pressure of gaining league points. It's a difficult place to go and get any sort of result but that's what we have to do. We were not given a scooby in 2000 and it's the same now. Here's hoping we can get stuck in and emulate the class of Feb 8th 2000. However, I'm not holding my breath on that as wins at Parkhead are as scarce as an Iceberg Lettuce. Celtic to be in the hat for the next round leaving Inverness to concentrate on avoiding relegation. Nostalgia is making a comeback. Here's the respective sides that played that famous game 17 years ago. Celtic 1 (Burchill) Jonathan Gould, Tom Boyd, Olivier Tebily, Stephane Mahe, Vidar Riseth, Colin Healy, Regi Blinker, Lubomir Moravcik, Eyal Berkovic, Mark Viduka and Mark Burchill. Ian Wright replaced Viduka at half-time after the Aussie took the huff. It mattered not a jot. Key players such as Henrik Larsson and Paul Lambert were unavailable through injury. Shame! Inverness CT 3 (Wilson, Mann, how dare they say that Moravcik scored it, Sheerin pen) Jim Calder, Mike Teasdale, Stuart Golabeck, Bobby Mann, Mark McCulloch, Richard Hastings, Paul Sheerin, Ross Tokely, Barry Wilson, Charlie Christie and Dennis Wyness. Kevin Byers, Martin Glancy and Martin Bavidge all made late appearances in the game. Key players such as....................erm, they were all on the park beating Celtic.
  15. Bottlers battle back Richie Foran branded his team bottlers after the crushing defeat at Hamilton in midweek but they fought back from the brink to get a deserved draw against Dundee. The Dee were cruising at the break two goals to the good when Inverness showed some of the bottle that manager Richie Foran was looking for despite passing up on a second penalty opportunity. Marcus Haber and Darren O'Dea had given Dundee a scarcely deserved lead at the interval but Billy Mckay notched his first goal on his return from the spot. Unfortunately he failed with a second penalty effort but was involved in the equaliser when Bain blocked his attempt only for Greg Tansey to follow up and knock the ball home. A lively encounter with both sides having plenty chances but at the end of play it was a point each. Under fire manager Richie Foran made a few changes after his side slumped badly at Hamilton. Dropping to the bench were Welsh international Owain Fon Williams who has been culpable over the last couple of months, defender Brad Mckay and midfielders Liam Polworth and Larnell Cole. Ryan Esson made his first start of the season and David Raven was the right back. New recruit Jamie McCart from Celtic started alongside Gary Warren at the heart of the defence and Billy King returned to the wide midfield. Billy Mckay made a welcome return to Inverness two years after his departure and he was partnered up front by Henri Anier. Dundee came North with a trio of former Inverness players but they all stayed on the bench with Henrik Ojamaa making his debut for the Dee. Kevin Holt and Darren O'Dea returned after suspension to bolster Paul Hartley's squad. The Inverness side were smarting after being branded bottlers in midweek and there was a freshness about them as they started briskly. Carl Tremarco was unlucky in the sixth minute as he turned a cross onto the junction of post and bar with his head after a cross from the left. Dundee were not idle though and Marcus Haber was making a nuisance of himself with his power as he headed wide and Paul McGowan, Mark O'hara and Tom Hately all shot wide in quick succession as the Dark Blues came more into the game before Henri Anier tested Scott Bain in goal. Esson did likewise from McGowan at the other end. It was a lively affair and Greg Tansey drew a save from Bain as Inverness looked to get on the scoresheet, but in the 37th minute the visitors took the lead when Haber headed home a cross from Cameron Kerr. A bit harsh on Inverness, but worse was to follow. Two minutes before the break our defensive frailties were exposed again when O'Dea headed in number two. That hurt given our bright opening to the game. Just before the break Gary Warren headed just wide as our winless run looked set to continue. Half Time 0-2 Harsh words must have been spoken at the break and Iain Vigurs hit a post with a free kick five minutes in and Bain made another save from Vigurs moments later. Julen Etxabeguren was adjudged to have fouled Billy Mckay after a corner and it was Mckay himself who took the kick. Never the greatest penalty taker, Billy had the balls to take this one and he managed to put the ball down the middle with Bain stretching out a leg in vain, the ball just missing his studs on it's way into the net. Lifeline! McGowan should have restored the two goal advantage but shot wide from a tremendous position inside the box and Ojamaa almost nicked one from close range but David Raven popped up on the line to scoop clear. Dundee were hitting well on the break and looked dangerous when sweeping forward. Inverness were still having the bulk of the play and Etxabeguren tried his best to help out again, conceding another penalty. This brought about a fit of rage from McGowan who could not believe his stupidity. Undaunted, Billy felt he could cope with a second one and stepped up again. Strange, considering he was not the sharpest of penalty takers first time round and this time Bain came out on top saving his weak effort. Ross Draper saw a shot and follow up header saved as we turned the screw and showed plenty of determination to overcome adversity. Our persistence paid off when a Billy Mckay shot was saved well by Bain, but the ball fell to Tansey on the edge of the box and he buried the ball with precision and power. Game on! The final ten minutes were played out without further scoring, both sides fairly content with holding on to what they had, and that's not a criticism, it was for the best after what had gone on before. Full Time 2-2 Richie looked for a reaction and he got one. We still conceded goals, but instead of crumbling, we came out fighting and a draw was no more than we deserved, so full marks to the guys for not capitulating like they did at Hamilton and at least giving it a go. MotM is a toss up between a pair of Billy's. Mckay and King did well and look as though they could build a good understanding. As opposed to some weeks, it was encouraging to see more than one player stand out and there were interesting cameo's all over the park. We are still vulnerable at the back, but that is also understandable with the enforced changes and new players slotting in. Jamie McCart will only get better with games. An altogether much more positive outlook than there was after the Hamilton abyss. Only downside was that we failed to gain ground on the others at the bottom, although the signs are there that we are not relegated yet. Date: 04/02/17 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2606 Referee: Nick Walsh Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Esson, Raven, Tremarco, Warren, Draper, Vigurs (Polworth 86), McCart, Billy McKay, Tansey, King (Mulraney 85), Anier Subs (not used): Fon Williams, Ebbe, Boden, Brad Mckay, Cole Scorers: Billy Mckay (pen.53), Tansey (79) Booked: Billy Mckay (58), Tremarco (75) Sent Off: none Dundee: 2 Lineup: Bain, Holt, O'Hara, O'Dea, Hateley (Klok 84), Extabeguren, McGowan, Haber, Ojaama (El Bahktaoui 86), Kerr, Gomis Subs (not used): Mitchell, Vincent, WIlliams, Ross, Wighton. Scorers: Haber (37), O'Dea (43) Booked: O'Dea (48), Extabeguren (52), McGowan (63) Sent Off: none a
  16. Heading for last chance saloon The games keep rolling in and this weekend it's the turn of Dundee to take on the challenge of the six-pointer as they visit the Caledonian Stadium for a 3:00pm kick off, with Billy Mckay sure to pull in an extra few bums on seats to see if he can rescue our season. Midweek at Hamilton was a disaster for us as we turned in an abysmal display and deservedly got turned over by Accies who looked to have the better appetite for a relegation dogfight. Richie Foran drew audible gasps from the Caley Jags fans by re-signing (on loan) our favourite son, the almost prolific Billy Mckay until the end of the season. However, Accies had their own agenda and went about their business in the right manner. We showed Billy how far we have come from the successful team he left two years ago. Sadly that direction is downwards and with little leadership on and off the park, it's difficult to see where and when that will change. So, 3-0 it was to Accies and the most disappointing aspects from our point of view was the lack of quality, leadership and desire on display. We played with no recognised wide players, instead deploying them on the bench and choosing to thump long high balls up to a vertically challenged striker. Can someone tell Richie that isn't working too well. Dundee had a night off in midweek and now have a game in hand, as have Killie and Motherwell from the bottom half of the league. Their last game saw them go down 3-0 at Pittodrie. They were also dabbling in the transfer window and took on Henrik Ojamaa the Estonian ex-Motherwell striker and they also hired former Ross County midfielder Marc Klok. Dundee have lost as many games as Inverness (12), but have won twice as many (6). They sit two places above Inverness in tenth place having accumulated five more points than us. They ended a barren spell against Inverness with a 2-1 victory at Dens Park in November. Since that game, they have lost four and won two with one drawn, gaining seven points. We have failed to win any, losing five and drawing three from eight games. We are on our worst ever league run, no wins from twelve games since we defeated Motherwell in October. The stats don't lie I'm afraid and that's why we prop up the league table. Many fans are beginning to question the judgement of the board in appointing a rookie manager with no credentials whatsoever and giving him a four year contract. Practically everybody was delighted that Richie Foran followed John Hughes and were willing him to succeed. However, it's a results driven business and we are languishing precariously close to the dreaded relegation slot with only three wins from 23 league games. That in itself is a shocking statistic that will only lead to one thing. A lot of fans were coming out of the woodwork after the Hamilton debacle to vent their displeasure at the demise of our club and many are looking for a change of leadership. As results show, we are bottom on merit and the game at Accies was the last straw for many. Maybe in the harsh light of day, we have all had time to reflect on this. We have been talking about six-pointers for a few weeks now and we have failed in every one of them. However, there is still not a huge gap between us in bottom to Motherwell in sixth (seven points). I doubt anyone wants Foran to fail, but unless we start to win some games, there appears little doubt as to where we will be playing our football next season. It shouldn't come as a massive surprise to anyone although it's taken a long time for some to get their heads out of the sand and see the reality of our position. If it's any consolation, the Dundee fans feel the same about their side! Josh Meekings, Kevin McNaughton, and Lewis Horner are all out long term. Aaron Doran hopes to have shaken off this virus that has been going through our dressing room and forced him to miss the midweek game and Billy King is also a doubt. It looks as though a calf injury will keep David Raven out. Jamie McCart could make his debut in defence following his signing from Celtic. Dundee will have Kevin Holt back after injury and Darren O'Dea will return after suspension. Henrik Ojamaa could make his Dundee debut along with Marc Klok. tm4tj prediction:- It pains me to say, but with no confidence, no leadership, no defence, no tactical nous and not enough quality in the squad, I can see Dundee getting their second win over us this season. What can we do to stop this happening. Well, we need to get rid of the players who are not pulling their weight and put players on the park who will display some fight for the jersey. How about some wide players to give Billy Mckay some half decent service that he will thrive on, not rugby style punts that fall on the heads of the towering defenders. If fit, get Mulraney, King and Doran on the park and dump Vigurs, Tansey and Warren onto the bench. Fon Williams needs a break, his goal keeping has been sloppy of late bar the odd game or two. I hope Esson is fit enough to play. Our pedantic midfield needs a massive kick up the arse, let's hope we don't capitulate as easy as has been happening most of this season. Draw at best, but defeat is on the cards. Go on, prove me wrong, I'll be delighted. Don't shoot me, I'm just the messenger
  17. Return of the Mac fails to inspire embarrassing Caley Jags. Prodigal son Billy Mckay returned to Inverness as Richie Foran pulled off a signing coup to set the fans buzzing prior to this fixture and he went straight into the starting XI. Aaron Doran, Josh Meekings and Billy King all missed out for the visitors as Massimo Donati and captain Michael Devlin returned after suspension for the hosts. However, it took Accies only ten minutes to open the scoring when Alex D'Acol scored from a corner with the Inverness defence looking sheepishly at each other. Greg Tansey spurned an opportunity to level the score from the spot but Gary Woods saved. Grant Gillespie scored two minutes into the second half with Fon Williams not looking too clever. Rakish Bingham lashed in a third after more shoddy Inverness play. Shoes have come off for less serious predicaments. It's time for some tough talking at the Caledonian Stadium. Old Caley Girl witnessed this one and it's suffice to say that she was less than impressed with the display from the Caley Jags, despite the introduction of new signing Billy Mckay. Here's her report from the SuperSeal Stadium................ The Caleyaway faithful turned up at New Douglas Park with renewed hope following the morale boosting return of the prodigal son Billy McKay. However, this optimism was to prove short lived and misplaced with a Tuesday night horror show from ICT. Its 8 years since the infamous shoes off protest and to be quite honest if there had been another display of shoes this week it would not have been undeserved. It was clear from the off that Hamilton were well aware how important this game was and it didn’t take us long to see which team was up for the fight and which wasn’t. Ali Crawford had the first chance of the game but shot over the bar and Billy Mckay had a good chance a few minutes later but shot wide. However, just a few minutes later Hamilton were ahead with D’Acol heading home from close range from a Crawford corner. With 26 minutes played ICT were thrown a potential lifeline with Darian MacKinnon fouling Billy Mckay in the box and a penalty was awarded. There was a collective sigh of relief when our usually reliable penalty taker Greg Tansey stepped up, but this proved short lived. He fired the ball towards the right hand corner but Woods went the right way and saved. At that point the writing was on the wall that it wasn’t going to be a good night for us. To be fair to Tansey, Woods did very well in saving his shot but that wasn’t much comfort to the travelling fans. At this point the heads went down and we resorted to punt after punt that rarely got anywhere near Anier or Mckay. Tansey and Vigurs collected first half yellows and Crawford went off injured in 32 mins. Half Time 1 – 0 If we thought things were going to improve second half we were sadly mistaken. Two minutes after the restart Hamilton were 2 ahead, Grant Gillespie firing the ball into the right hand corner of the net. In 58 minutes Draper was replaced by Cole and a few moments later Hamilton were three ahead, Bingham shooting from outside the box into the top right hand top of the net. Ebbe replaced Anier in 75 minutes but this was a shambolic display from ICT. I can’t remember anything of note in any way positive in the second half from an ICT perspective at all. Full Time 3 – 0 With the midfield missing in action and unable to get the ball effectively to the strikers and the defence having a collectively poor night then this had only one outcome. In fact I’d suggest it was the worst display I personally have seen from an ICT team in years. The players looked disorganised and tactics seemed non-existent, headless chickens at times. Another worry, apart from now being adrift at the bottom of the league, is that Hamilton look more than capable of being up for a scrap but we seem to be falling more apart as the games are played. Richie Foran sounded emotional in his post-match interview and was scathing of the players but at last seems to have admitted to himself that we are in a relegation battle. With a four year deal a change of manager is not an option so we just have to hope that somehow Foran and his players can pull off a miracle and get us out of this mess. On this performance the jury is out that they can. OCG MotM – Ok, not sure anyone deserved this award at all but if I have to pick a player I’d have to go with Billy Mckay, who must wonder what he has done coming back to this shambles of a set up. My MotM tho is going to the guys and girls of Caleyaway, all 139 of those present on Tuesday night, who deserve much much better than they spent good money to watch. Here's the SPFL video from the SuperSeal Stadium. Parental guidance is advised as it's another horror show from the Caley Jaggies. Date: 31/01/17 Venue: New Douglas Park, Hamilton Attendance: 1745 Referee: Euan Anderson Hamilton Acc: 3 Lineup: Woods, Devlin, Gillespie, Imrie, D'Acol (Brophy 78), Redmond, Crawford (Adams 32), Bingham (Boyd 72), Mackinnon, Donati, McMann Subs (not used): Matthews, Seaborne, Watson, Cunningham Scorers: D'Acol (10), Gillespie (47), Bingham (61) Booked: Devlin (26), Redmond (31), Mackinnon (54) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Fon Williams, Raven, Warren, Brad Mckay, Tremarco, Draper (Cole 58), Tansey, Polworth, Vigurs, Anier (Ebbe 74), Billy Mckay Subs (not used): Esson, McCart, Mulraney, Fisher, Boden Scorers: none Booked: Vigurs (29), Tansey (38) Sent Off: none a
  18. Time to get the finger out. Things are getting rather tense at the foot of the Premiership as we visit Hamilton Academical in what many fans consider to be a six-pointer with both teams propping up the League table in equal proportions, four points adrift of the nearest club Motherwell, yet only six points short of sixth placed Partick Thistle. Encouraging rumours that Billy Mckay has been suggested as a possible returnee and that will go down well with the home fans, but first we have Hamilton to take care of and Dundee at home this Saturday. ***** NewsFlash ***** Billy Mckay back on loan until the end of this season. Old Caley Girl hits the nail on the head with this hard hitting Preview that will make us all sit up and smell the coffee. He signs when he wants..........Billy Mckay, he signs when he wants. Not sure where to start this preview to be honest except to say that nothing less than a win is going to pass muster. I watched Richie Foran on the STV news tonight and saw him appeal to the support not to lose faith and that he and the players know what is needed to get us out of the drop zone and up the league. Well to be frank Richie the support need some evidence that you and the players can do this and please can you start to show us soon! On the forum pages this week there has been a bit of nostalgic chat re another away game to Hamilton 8 years ago. This game was the beginning of the end for Craig Brewster with the infamous shoes off protest. Tomorrow is a game just as important to ICT as that game all these years ago with nothing less than a win an option. It is a pity this game is not being played on a Saturday to beef up the away support numbers. However, on a January Tuesday night it is. This particular Tuesday also happens to be the one when the transfer window shuts and hopes remain high that new recruits may still arrive. Our record at Hamilton is fairly decent but this is an important game for both sides. Our record on artificial pitches is also not too bad. Owain Fon Williams was back to form against Partick and hopefully this will continue for the rest of the season. Josh Meekings remains out and the press are reporting Tremarco may be struggling as well as Tansey. A lack of fit defenders for this game is not ideal so we can only hope Carl recovers in time. This game was brought forward a day at both clubs request and in hindsight an extra days rest may have been a better plan given that there is illness in the team. With so much chopping and changing lately it’s hard to predict which team will take to the park but my personal preference is Anier up front. Hamilton, have their own problems with talks for fan boycotts and Canning must be also feeling the heat. They do have some decent players however with the ever dangerous Ali Crawford up front and the tenacious Darian MacKinnon in midfield. We also shouldn’t forget how ex-ICT player Dougie Imrie loves a goal against us. I think a lot of Caleyaway would be more than happy if the infamous Hamilton young team are boycotting tomorrow night. Well we can hope. OCG prediction – Nothing less than 3 points will do. A loss would cut us adrift by 3 points and cannot be allowed to happen. C’mon lads give us something to cheer at last! 3 wins in 22 games is relegation form and we need to change this ASAP. 8 years ago we couldn’t do it so let’s hope tomorrow night is different. Great minds think alike and here is my take on the game tonight............... Things are getting rather tense at the foot of the Premiership as we visit Hamilton Academical in what many fans consider to be a six-pointer with both teams propping up the League table in equal proportions, four points adrift of the nearest club Motherwell, yet only six points short of sixth placed Partick Thistle. Inverness drew level with Accies at the weekend thanks to a goalless draw with Partick and Accies going down 3-0 at Perth. There was nothing on show at the Caledonian stadium to suggest that the Caley Jags are in any hurry to leave the basement after another inept performance and had Owain Fon Williams to thank for the point they earned. Hamilton are in the same boat after they were trounced by St Johnstone and there's plenty of unrest amongst the support at the Superseal Stadium. The clubs have an almost identical goal difference, achieved in different ways. Our goals for is greater than Accies by five goals, but our defensive record is six worse off. Four points and no wins from our last eleven League games does not make for good reading. When you check Accies stats, they are almost on a par with ours, no wins in twelve Premiership games and a mere six points from a possible thirty-six, no wonder the natives are getting restless at their respective Stadiums. Hamilton have taken on Greek defender Giannis Skondras until the end of the season as they look to turn round their season. He comes in from PAOK Salonica but might not have the clearance to play against Inverness. Michael Devlin and Massimo Donati will return to the squad after suspension. Inverness are still waiting to reap the rewards of their January sales signings, Henri Anier and Dean Ebbe. Manager Richie Foran has bemoaned the fact that a virus has hindered his preparations over the last couple of games and further injuries are hampering his efforts to get his side away from the relegation battle. Carl Tremarco missed training and Greg Tansey and Gary Warren suffered against Partick. Josh Meekings could be out for a month with a knee injury and Billy King misses out although David Raven made an appearance on Saturday. And, Billy small k Mckay could play tonight subject to clearance. Wooohooooo. tm4tj prediction:- Anything less than a draw for either club will be a crisis. After the weekend games, it's hard to see where a victory will come from and both sets of fans are steeling themselves for life in the Championship. We have a good record at Hamilton, but with only three wins in 22 games there's little confidence around, and the same goes for Accies. The first encounter was a surprisingly entertaining draw in the Highlands, however, I will go for a complete and utter shitfest of a game played out in freezing conditions in front of a paltry crowd as Accies fans begin to boycott the Canning experience and Inverness fans are losing the will to live, especially for a Tuesday night game in deepest South Lanarkshire. Going for a Score draw, probably 1-1.
  19. Clean Sheet, but no wins in eleven. Inverness and Partick served up a bit of a borefest with a no score draw at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium at the weekend. If anything, Partick just shaded it and the only positive for Inverness was our second clean sheet of the Premiership Season. Partick had the better of the clear chances but Owain Fon Williams upped his game after recent lapses with a tremendous display to deny the Firhill Jags. In his post match interview, manager Richie Foran mentioned some players were struggling with fitness and that showed as we struggled to create enough clear opportunities. The only other positive worth mentioning was that we pulled level on points with Hamilton at the bottom of the table and Tuesday nights encounter with the Accies is being labelled a six-pointer this early in the season. Full Report to follow. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlHJSYsrPdk Date: 28/01/17 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2823 Referee: Stephen Finnie Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Fon Williams, Raven, McKay, Warren, Tremarco, Draper (Doran 80), Tansey, Polworth, Cole (Mulraney 60), Doumbouya (Vigurs 37), Anier Subs (not used): Esson, Ebbe, Boden, Gilchrist Scorers: none Booked: Warren (65), Anier (72) Sent Off: none Partick Th: 0 Lineup: Cerny, Booth, Welsh, Lindsay, Erskine, Lawless, Barton, Elliott, Azeez (Doolan 66), Keown, Edwards Subs (not used): Ridgers, Dumbuya, Amoo, McDaid, Nisbet, McCarthy Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  20. PerfICT provides the concise report from Saturday's game at Elgin The game kicked off in beautiful sunshine, with ICT facing into a low, irritating sun. Caley Thistle started brightly, with a spell of reasonable pressure culminating in a decent strike from Tansey from the edge of the area which was well parried by the keeper. Elgin responded with some pressure of their own, which was ultimately rewarded with a goal. Vigurs picked up the ball in the deep, but dithered and got dispossessed. In trying to win it back, he made a clumsy challenge, resulting in a free kick on the edge of the box, right of centre. Nicholson hit the free kick low at the right end of the wall. From where I was standing, it went under the last man in the wall and OFW failed to keep it out, despite getting his hand to it. Caley Thistle responded almost immediately, with Doumbouya meeting a great cross to power into the net, but the goal was disallowed, presumably for a push. Undeterred, ICT continued to press and Cole burst into the box down the left, cut in and placed a beauty in the right corner to equalise. Further chances came ICT's way late in the half, with Doumbouya, Cole and Warren all going close. HT 1-1. The second half was altogether more comfortable for Caley Thistle, with long spells of possession, with Elgin restricted to hitting on the break. Cole was bossing things with pace and tricks aplenty - Elgin had no answer to him. Doumbouya spurned several good headed chances, one well saved, one off the bar and one glaring miss. Vigurs nearly atoned for his mistake, with a great free kick off the bar. Finally, Doumbouya connected with a great cross from Doran (I think) and squeezed it into the net, possibly courtesy of a deflection. While ICT continued to dominate possession after the goal, Elgin looked increasingly dangerous on the break. Anier came on for his debut, with the inneffectual Boden making way. Anier controlled a tricky ball well and hit a good effort straight at the keeper from the edge of the area. In the dying minutes, Elgin created several decent chances, but Warren in particular excelled in blocking close-range shots during the last minute stramash! FT: 1-2! Date: 21/01/2017 Venue: Borough Briggs, Elgin Attendance: 3624 Referee: John McKendrick Elgin City: 1 Lineup: Waters, Cooper, McPhee, Mchardy, Nicholson (Stewart 29), Reilly, Dodd (Reid 64), Cameron, McLeish, Sutherland, Moore (Gunn 73) Subs (not used): Watson, Bruce, Cullen, Wilson Scorers: Nicolson (25) Booked: McPhee (53), McHardy (78) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Fon Williams, Tremarco, Warren, Polworth, Doran, Vigurs, Tansey, Boden (Anier 76), McKay, Doumbouya, Cole Subs (not used): Esson, Ebbe, Brown, Sutherland, Gilchrist, MacLennan Scorers: Cole (32), Doumbouya (66) Booked: Doran (76) Sent Off: none
  21. I have to say I am somewhat rusty at all of this !!! I dont think I have done a match preview or report for several years ! TM4TJ continues to do a stellar job motivating the volunteer reporters to create our previews, match reports and other content so when he ups sticks and heads offline for a month its a bit of a culture shock to find yourself in at the deep end again. But here goes ... Coming into this match we dont have our problems to seek ! No wins in 10 games since October 26th and only one win in the last 14 games. November and December saw us grab just two points against Hamilton and Kilmarnock and we rounded out the year with three straight losses to Rangers, Motherwell, and then the mob from over the bridge on Hogmanay. Here's hoping 2017 brings something better. Elgin on the other hand are faring a bit better. They sit 3rd in Scottish League2 after 20 games and former Caley Thistle youngster Shane Sutherland tops the league scoring charts with 15 for the season so far. They have played 3 games already in 2017 with a 2-2 draw against Forfar and 3 goal outings in the 3-0 win over Montrose and 3-2 game versus Annan. The only meeting between the sides - other than friendlies over the years - was a 4th round Scottish Cup tie at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium back in January 2011. Despite controlling things from start to finish, Caley Thistle made very heavy weather of most scoring attempts with the goals not coming until injury time in the second half when Dani Sanchez (92) and Adam Rooney (94) netted for the home side. Only Ryan Esson remains as part of the current ICT playing squad from that day although Richie Foran is now manager and Shane Sutherland who came on in the second half for Eric Odhiambo is of course now playing for the Elgin side ! There's a few survivors from the Elgin side from that day too, such as Jamie Duff and Brian Cameron. Since the Hogmanay defeat, Richie Foran has made 2 new signings and also extended the contracts of David Raven and Larnell Cole (loan). Henri Anier is only 26 - but for some reason I thought he was older when reading his career bio - and has previously featured for Motherwell, Dundee Utd and Hibs in the Scottish league as well as clubs in Estonia, Norway, Germany and most recently Kalmar in Sweden. He has 34 caps for Estonia. At the other end of the spectrum, Dean Ebbe has signed from Bluebell United, an amateur club in the Leinster Senior League in Ireland. Personally I see parallels with Dougie Imrie here who had impressed in the juniors at Lanark and worked his way to ICT via Clyde. Imrie was pretty decent for us and still plys his trade in the premiership with Hamilton so it can be done, lets just hope Richie picked a good 'un. Richie was quoted this week as saying Dean is ready to play but Henri may not be risked as his last game was in October. I think we may see Ebbe on from the start with Anier replacing him in the second half. With the winter break for the premiership, there is little team news available as yet, but it is expected that Raven, Horner and MacNaughton are all still out. We will update this list as and when more info is available. Travelling to the game ? Additional train services will be in operation for this match. The outbound train will depart from Inverness at 13:35, arriving in Elgin at 14:20. The return train will depart Elgin at 17:27, arriving back in Inverness at 18:14. No alcohol will be permitted on these trains or on the 18:57 Elgin - Inverness service. In the event of a draw, postponement or abandonment of the original fixture the match will be replayed/take place on the evening of Tuesday 24th January.
  22. Not a Happy New Year Just when you think things can't get much worse, we fail to win at Dingwall for the first time in six games and extend our winless run to ten games, the worst in our history. It's not looking good for Richie Foran as another defeat anchors us at the bottom of the pile and makes us favourites for the drop at this stage of the season. Liam Boyce scored a double and Martin Woods added a third with Carl Tremarco and sub Alex Fisher scoring for Inverness in an all too familiar tale of too little too late. Inverness benched Liam Polworth and started with Aaron Doran, the only change from the defeats against Motherwell and Rangers. County, as expected had Kenny van der Weg back after suspension and gave Ryan Dow a start ahead of Paul Quinn and Craig Curran. A healthy away support gave Inverness all the backing they needed from the start, but it's a pity the team failed to return the favour. It took County only two minutes to breech the suspect visitors fragile defence. Liam Boyce, who scored a hat-trick in the first meeting knocked home from close range, the ball adjudged to have crossed the line by Bobby Madden. Not the start the away fans were hoping for and we were left chasing the game inside 120 seconds. County were buoyed by this explosive start and Alex Schalk hit the side netting soon after. Inverness could only muster a shot from Larnell Cole that cleared the Jail End on it's way out of the stadium. To their credit, Inverness gradually worked their way into the game and began to control most of the play without any real cutting edge, the final ball eluding them as has been the case all season. Schalk went close with a header as County broke the monopoly, but it was Inverness that deservedly pulled themselves level when Carl Tremarco headed home his sixth goal of the season after Warren had made a nuisance of himself in the County box just before the half hour. No more than we deserved at this stage of the game but County re-asserted themselves soon after, Fon Williams being equal to a Martin Woods effort. They took the lead again on thirty-five minutes and it was that man Boyce once more. Fon Williams did well to turn away another strike from Woods, but as Inverness could not clear the ball, Boyce struck the ball well enough and it ended up in the back of the net, Fon Williams looking sheepish again as the ball missed his hands on the way into the net. Boyce was once more a handful for the visiting defence and could have had another hat-trick inside the first half but he missed the target this time and at the other end Cole went closer than his previous attempt but Fox was alert enough to deny him. Half Time 2-1 Iain Vigurs was spotted on the park early in the second half when a minor dust-up was intervened by the ref who lectured the players for offending. King and Fisher were introduced to try and lift Inverness but it was County that stretched their lead when Woods added a third after Schalk fed him through. Billy King was lurking with intent though and it was from one of his shots that Alex Fisher benefited from to score our second goal. A slick forward move saw King turn and strike from twenty yards, Fox blocked but Fisher reacted first to dink the ball behind the keeper. With ten minutes remaining, Inverness piled forward but an equaliser eluded them, Aaron Doran coming closest with a low drive that Fox pushed away. Full Time 3-2 I'm sure the County fans would have enjoyed their Hogmanay celebrations better than the Inverness contingent. Never would they have been expecting to be gifted goals so easily. Owain Fon Williams was suspect again, deceived once more. The annoying thing was that the second goal came after two superb saves, then the innocuous shot/cross from Boyce went straight through him. Shocker from the artist. I doubt he will be painting that scene any time soon. Once again ( how often have we said that), we were cut open too easy, offered too little in attack, squandered what little opportunities came our way, gifted needless goals, were error strewn across the back and lacked the ability and tactical nous to alter the outcome. There's no doubt that County overall deserved to win this encounter, with a little help from ourselves.We did have better spells, but these were unsustainable due to our own frailties. A lot of tough talking to be done during the winter break. I'm sure we won't all like the result, but if it changes our fortunes, so be it. If not then it's Championship for us and a bleak future, that's the reality of the situation we find ourselves in. Ten games without a win does not make for good reading, it's not all down to misfortune. tm4tj MotM:- Tommy Tremarco continues to give. Another goal, his sixth of the season and willingness to get forward when required makes him my MotM. To be honest it was not a difficult choice as others around him disappointed. Owain Fon Williams may still be struggling with spasms, something must be affecting the way he has performed recently is beyond sloppy. Iain Vigurs was again poor, but he was not alone. Billy King showed signs of improvement when he came on, as did Alex Fisher. Other than that, the rest need to take a long hard look at themselves. The young team tried their best to lift spirits on the field but were let down badly. Some investment is needed if we are to get out of this, but the stats tell us otherwise. Anyway, Happy New Year. Enjoy the break. Highlights from SPFL Website Date: 31/12/16 Venue: Global Energy Stadium, Dingwall Attendance: 5111 Referee: Bobby Madden Ross County: 3 Lineup: Fox, Fraser, Davies, McEveley, van der Weg, Woods (Franks 71), Chow, Routis, Dow (Dingwall 91), Boyce, Schalk (Curran 62) Subs (not used): McCarey, Quinn, McLaughlin, Tumilty Scorers: Boyce (2, 28), Woods (61) Booked: McEveley (76) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Fon Williams, McKay, Warren, Meekings, Tremarco, Draper, Tansey, Cole (King 56), Vigurs (Boden 73), Doran, Doumbouya (Fisher 56) Subs (not used): Esson, Polworth, Mulraney, Sutherland Scorers: Tremarco (28), Fisher (81) Booked: Warren (46), McKay (92) Sent Off: none a
  23. Derby Day to end the Year If ever Inverness needed an away derby win it's tomorrow. Sitting bottom of the pile as we approach 2017, you could say it's not been the best season so far for the Caley Jags, or Richie Foran the rookie manager given the job of keeping this club in the position it has earned over the years. The Highland derby takes on a rather sinister desperation tag with neither club able to establish a clear gap to safety, although defeat in Dingwall will be more damaging for Inverness than it would be for County at this stage of the campaign. County have been flirting with the top-six for a few weeks now, but only one win in their last six and defeats in their last two have seen them move down a couple of notches to eighth, albeit only four points above bottom placed Inverness who are without a win in nine games now. We are in a poor run of results recently, three points from a possible twenty-seven is relegation form and the bookies are starting to lean towards us as Championship contenders. In saying that, some of our performances have merited more. We played Rangers off the park at Ibrox a couple of weeks ago and lost 1-0, mainly due to our inability to capitalise on the opportunities created. We were a touch unfortunate to lose at home against Motherwell. Dominating for long spells, we hit the woodwork twice and had a decent penalty claim turned down whilst Motherwell scored a freak wind assisted goal and a breakaway to steal the points. Unfortunately that has been a consistent theme throughout our season so far which has gained us only three wins from twenty league games. County are in no position to scoff, they have only four wins, but that's enough to keep them above us at the moment. County's last two games ended in defeat at the hands of Hamilton and Celtic. Those defeats came off the back of an excellent 2-1 win over Aberdeen. Our stats are worse, six defeats in eight games and only two draws. However, despite all that, we have scored more goals than County but we have also conceded more, and that makes County's goal difference one worse than our at minus fourteen. County did win the first fixture this season by the odd goal in five at the Caledonain Stadium. Nine yellow cards and five goals, ye cannae whack a local derby. A Liam Boyce hat-trick did the damage with Inverness doing the usual too little too late routine replying through Scott Boden (who???) and Ross Draper. With the bulk of last season's squad still playing for Inverness, the focus is turning to Richie Foran as the fans begin to question his suitability for the job. It was an appointment met with enthusiasm by most, and trepidation by a few. Brian Rice was kept on as his number two and we all hoped that would help to keep a bit of continuity. However, the stats don't lie and we find ourselves in the midst of our longest winless run for ten years. One clean sheet is not ideal either, and a stat that is doing the rounds is that this is the lowest points total that we have accrued after twenty games in any season in our entire history. These observations and statistics tell me something is wrong and not a lot has been done about it so far, either before, during or after games. The last time we were in this predicament we left it too late to avoid the drop, don't let it happen again, for it won't be so easy to bounce back again. We started against Motherwell with the same narrow selection we used successfully at Ibrox. We normally apply a bit of width at home but kept Doran, Mulraney and King on the bench whilst deploying Polworth in a wider role than he is best suited to, with Vigurs similarly on the left of midfield. I'm no Alex Ferguson, but surely we need to employ wide players if we are using a target man as our main striker. Here's hoping we get our tactics better at Dingwall and get the result we need. Richie Foran is still waiting to hear back from Fulham regarding an extension to Larnell Cole's contract. It would appear that the young loan player would like to remain here for now, but Fulham have not replied yet, so clarification required there. Foran also wants to hear no more talk of luck: "There's no more mention of luck from me. You make your own luck. We're bottom because we deserve to be. You need to be ruthless and clinical, which we haven't been." Ross County look set to be without Chris Burke (virus) and Michael Gardyne, both struggling for fitness and Ian McShane is still out. Kenny van der Weg will be back in contention for a start after suspension. Young midfielder Reghan Tumilty got an airing at Parkhead and did very well using his pace to good effect. Inverness CT have no fresh worries, but long term outs are Kev McNaughton, David Raven and Lewis Horner. Goalkeeping issues are still prevalent but Owain Fon Williams will play through the pain with Esson still struggling with his groin. Alex Fisher came on as a sub against Motherwell and is maybe due a start alongside Lonsana Doumbouya who is finding the lone striker role difficult with nobody around to help him. Greg Tansey has openly stated his desire to leave at the end of the season, but he has also stated that will not affect how he handles himself while playing for ICT. tm4tj prediction:- It does all sound pretty drastic at the moment, but it only takes two or three good results and then we will be able to see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel. The downside of that is another couple of defeats will point us in the wrong direction. However, the winter break is looming, as is the transfer window so it could all change quickly. On top of that we have an excellent record at Dingwall in recent years. We have won the last five fixtures at the Global Energy Stadium and I'm backing us to do it again, maybe without a clean sheet, but it's points that matter just now. Happy New Year to you all.
  24. Basement battle continues. Inverness welcome Motherwell on Wednesday night as the frantic festive football continues with another game where points are getting more crucial as the season goes on. 4 4 40. That's not a new football formation or our goals against column, not even our win-draw-defeat column, but it has been causing a bit of a kerfuffle.A pricing initiative to get more bums on seats has not gone down well at Well. Apparently the season of goodwill did not extend as far as away fans and they are not amused. For home fans, it means that four people can get in for £40, that's £10 a head. Great offer for us, but maybe seen as a bit harsh on the far travelled visitors, many who would have been carrying gifts as they travelled to our stable at this time of year. Merry Xmas.. Our last game ended in defeat at Ibrox on Xmas Eve, but not for the want of trying. we outplayed Rangers but Foderingham put in a great shift to deny the Inverness forwards, saving the day on three or four occasions, and when a gift came along, Liam Polworth picked his spot from eighteen yards. Unfortunately that spot was just the wrong side of the post. To rub salt into the wounds, we even scored the goal for Rangers, Brad Mckay being the unfortunate recipient of a Martyn Waghorn ball into the box, the ball cannoning off his shins and into the net. Even worse, it was his sore shins. Motherwell's last outing also ended in defeat at the hands of the Dons. Former Inverness players Graeme Shinnie and Adam Rooney scored in the first half, as did Scott McDonald for the Steelmen, but Niall McGinn settled it with a late third. So, 3-1 defeat it was, the same score we managed against the Dons just over a month ago. Motherwell were the last side Inverness beat. Mind you, there has only been three, the others being Dundee and St Johnstone. Our win at Motherwell was as surprising as it was welcome. A three goal blitz in the second half saw us cruise home with the three points thanks to goals from Carl Tremarco, Lonsana Doumbouya and Liam Polworth. That result put us into the top-six and we were looking to kick on from there; we are still waiting and we have now reached the bottom of the pile. We are now eight games without a win, Motherwell have no wins in their last five. We have the usual crop of walking wounded with Kev McNaughton and David Raven out longer term and Lewis Horner added to that for at least a couple of months. Alex Fisher and Scott Boden got an airing at Ibrox. The keeper crisis is ongoing but both were prepared to play despite lingering niggles. Motherwell's Carl McHugh could be fit enough to be included in the squad but captain Keith Lasley has a shoulder injury that could rule him out. Joe Chalmers, Kieran Kennedy, Jacob Blyth and Ross MacLean are all set to miss out. tm4tj prediction:- It's been a tough couple of months and a disappointing run of results without a win, but there were very encouraging signs against Rangers that our outfield play deserves better. We will be more positive at home and play with at least one wide player, possibly utilising the pace and trickery of Mulraney to provide the ammunition our strikers need. A win would be a fabulous result but a draw seems to be the likeliest outcome. Greg Tansey looks like he will be away at the end of the season, choosing not to renew his contract. We need that kind of player in our side, but we need one that is fully focused on giving his all for Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Old Caley Girl made sure we had our Preview organised and sent this one in as well, two for the price of one, enjoy....... Things are not getting any better in ICT land with festive results not doing us any favours and we found ourselves bottom of the league before taking to the pitch on Saturday at Ibrox. Despite reports of an excellent performance we still did not win and the need for us to start winning is becoming desperate. No wins in 8 is relegation form and the only saving grace is that the league is so close and means a couple of wins can propel you up the table. Motherwell are the visitors tonight and it goes without saying that it is a game we must not allow ourselves to lose. The ugliest win imaginable would be acceptable. Motherwell themselves will be desperate to win this one having not won themselves in 5 games and having only won on the road once this season. Keith Lasley is major doubt with a shoulder injury and Chalmers, Kennedy, Blyth and MacLean are definitely out. Carl McHugh may feature, for the visitors, having been out with concussion since August. There is a bit of chat on the Motherwell forums about giving Dean Brill his chance. Could we see the return of “Deano” at the TCS albeit in the wrong colours. As to ourselves, Richie Foran is looking for a bit of consistency from the players. A lack of goals is a worrying feature as is our failure to keep more than one clean sheet this season. Raven, McNaughton and Horner are definitely out with Ryan Esson apparently a major doubt. There is also a lot of press speculation about potential moves in the January transfer window especially regarding Tansey and Meekings. The players need to keep thoughts of moves out of their heads tonight and dig in to obtain us the result that we so badly need. OCG Prediction – Hoping we can keep the 3 points in the Highlands and obtain a 3rd home win of the season but I predict a score draw with 1-1 the most likely.
  25. Inverness were dealt a blow when an own goal from Brad Mckay was enough to give Rangers all three points despite the hosts being played off the park by a lively Inverness. Martyn Waghorn cut along the byeline and prodded the ball into the box, unfortunately it cannoned off Mckay for the only goal of the game. The goal came seconds after Lonsana Doumbouya spurned a great chance to score at the other end, Foderingham stopping the ball on the line as the big striker looked to be impeded before poking the ball goalwards. Larnell Cole almost benefited from slack play across the Rangers back line but Foderingham saved well again. Greg Tansey saw another effort saved by the keeper and Carl Tremarco almost got on the end of a deep cross that was just missed by Doumbouya as the visitors dominated in everything but the scoreline.. The best chance before the break fell to Liam Polworth after another cock-up in the home defence, alas he side footed the ball just the wrong side of the post. It was more of the same after the break but Rangers did break forward occasionally only for players to squander the chances. Owain Fon Williams was a virtual spectator as Inverness searched for the goal their slick play deserved, but he was eventually called into action to deny Jason Holt an undeserved second for the hosts. The last major action saw Foderingham deny sub Alex Fisher who spun and fired a superb volley towards the top of the goal, unfortunately the keeper was alert enough to tip it over for a corner. Full Time 1-0 So, bottom of the table as expected, but that was as good a performance as we have had all season and deserving of so much more. I'm not sure the goal will stick with Waghorn as it was going across the face of the goal before striking Mckay, but we will have to wait and see on that one. As I said, great performance, but wrong result. Motherwell next, a win would be nice. Alternative Maryhill was slightly more restrained in his summary. Really frustrating to come away without anything there. We looked stronger at the back than we have in ages - Meekings was superb and Mckay again showed that he has been an excellent signing - and we pressed the ball really well further up the park; Tansey and Doumbouya deserve particular praise in this regard. Cole also had probably his best game for us to date - nominally starting on the left of a three behind Doumbouya, he actually played a bit of a free role and looked far more willing take players on than he has in previous games. The drawback of the line-up and tactics we adopted was that we were very short of pace up front, and, especially with Doumbouya dropping back to support so much, we lacked anyone overlapping or taking the ball on. The chances we created - and there were more than there have have been for a while - were mostly created through sheer hard graft, forcing Rangers back by degrees. The fact that we weren't able to take any of them points to a fundamental weakness in the current squad that will probably see us struggling all season, even if we can turn in performances as impressive as this on a consistent basis. Then again, six points against Motherwell and County and we could be back in the top six for the start of 2017. Funny league this year. Merry Christmas btw, CTO folks. Richie Foran was quoted on BBC Sport as saying "I think the fact Rangers struggled is all down to us. I thought we controlled the game and absolutely dominated the first half. We cut them open on numerous occasions and were solid at the back. I can't ask for much more than that We were just lacking that wee bit of magic. Unfortunately we were up against a goalkeeper in unbelievable form. It's soul-destroying how we don't come away with more than a point today." Date: 24/12/16 Venue: Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow Attendance: 48,528 Referee: Don Robertson Rangers: 1 Lineup: Foderingham; Hodson, Kiernan, Hill, Wallace; Tavernier (Windass 58), Halliday, Holt; Waghorn (Forrester 70), Garner, McKay (Miller 58) Subs (not used): Gilks, Wilson, Dodoo, O’Halloran Scorers: Waghorn (13) Booked: Tavernier (42) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Fon Williams, McKay, Warren, Meekings, Tremarco, Tansey, Polworth, Draper, Cole (Boden 83), Vigurs (Doran 72), Doumbouya (Fisher 78) Subs (not used): Esson, Mulraney, King, Sutherland Scorers: none Booked: Cole (36), Vigurs (45), Meekings (84) Sent Off: none a
  26. Ho Ho Ho It's Xmas Eve and we have to get on our sleigh and head to the home of the bad Santa's at Ibrox to deliver our Xmas presents. Wrapped up nicely ready for delivery are no clean sheets, loads of injuries, gift goals and Richie Foran's beard, bless him. And to make matters worse, Barbara is on her way and we kick off at 12:30, yes, you read that right, 12:30 (in the afternoon). It's a daunting task at any time of the year, but the powers that be think it's no problem to go to Govan on Christmas Eve for a wee kick about with the bears. Maybe someone should send them a calendar and a map for New Year so they can get the fixture list sorted. Anyway, the bears den it is and we just have to get on with it. The Rangers have done as well as could be expected after their meteoric rise through the divisions, lurking in the top quarter of the Premiership. With Aberdeen fluffing their lines at Dingwall and Hearts stuttering under new boss Ian Cathro, the Gers find themselves a distant second behind Champions elect Celtic and look like being the best bet for the second spot and the Euro place that goes along with it. It's all happening below them though as seven or eight teams vie for the right to enter the Championship. Unfortunately, one of the front runners at the moment are Inverness Caledonian Thistle. However, this can all change at the drop of a Santa hat, noticeable last weekend as County displaced Kilmarnock in the top-six for now, being the only winners from the bottom half. Last time out the Rangers held on to beat Hamilton Accies at the Superseal Stadium thanks to a brace from Martyn Waghorn. Dougie Imrie made their keekie winkers twitch with a late strike but it was the Blues that took all three points to tuck in behind Celtic. Our last game saw us score late again to earn a point at Rugby Park. Souleymane Coulibaly scored a contentious stunner only for Gary Warren to level matters to get us what looked like a distant point at times during the game. Credit to us for keeping the energy levels high despite suffering more injury blows with Lonsana Doumbouya, Brad Mckay and Lewis Horner all being replaced because of injury. The Ibrox club are on a great run of results in their last nine games since losing to Celtic. Their only defeat was 2-0 at Tynecastle, but they rectified that a couple of games later by beating the Jambos at Ibrox by the same score. Three wins on the trot and five games without defeat at Ibrox sends out a grim message to Inverness that this is not going to be an enjoyable festive frolic. We have scored only two goals less than the Rangers but it's in defence where the difference is obvious as we have conceded almost twice as many as them (34 to 18). Our last result at Ibrox was a 3-0 League Cup win in October 2012. Goals from Andy Shinnie and Gary Warren were added to by a Graeme Shinnie penalty. The first encounter this season was won by a stunning Kenny Miller volley as Inverness offered their visitors the freedom of the park. Our generosity knows no bounds. It looks as though we withdraw our attacking intent when we go on the road and remove Mulraney, Doran, and King looking to fill the midfield with more bodies instead. Problem with this is that we can't buy a clean sheet either and once we start chasing the game it's difficult to see where the goals are going to come from. Our one paced midfield has to work harder and will need to get up to speed quickly at Ibrox or they will be overrun. Injuries are rearing their ugly head once more with three players limping out of Rugby Park. Lewis Horner took a more than robust challenge and will be out for a couple of months with knee damage. Brad Mckay suffered a bleeding nose on top of his sore shins courtesy of Graeme Shinnie against Aberdeen and Lonsana Doumbouya was singled out for some rough treatment. It was good to have Liam Polworth back though, and sooner than expected as well, so that's a bonus. Keeper crisis is ongoing with both still suffering in silence. Kev McNaughton will be out for months and David Raven till at least the end of January. Scott Boden and Alex Fisher are ready for action. Mark Warburton can look forward to this one with less pessimism. The Joey Barton revolution looks like it's over. Apparently he likes a bet and he is set to join Burnley again. Jordan Rossiter and Nico Krancjar will miss out but Matt Crooks, and Josh Windas should be available for selection. tm4tj prediction:- I'm expecting the worst to be honest and fully expect us to be propping up the league by the time 2017 comes along. We are dangerous when the chips are down but if our heads go down as well we could be on a steep learning curve here. We have taken points from Ibrox before but will need to be at our best and cut out the slackness. I'll happily take a point now although I fear that is more a wish than a prediction. Interesting times ahead and we could do with more attacking intent, drive in midfield and a no nonsense defender. The Xmas wish list will be sent to Santa, I hope he has the presents that Richie requires, although we will maybe have to wait until the January sales to get our bargains. I'm not sure it will be a Whyte Christmas at Ibrox, but it could be a white Christmas in the Highlands. Rock Star Rod, AKA Naelifts has this Xmas message for everyone................ And finally, Richie looks ahead to the challenge at the bears den.................. Merry Christmas
  27. Injuries ruin our chances. Inverness came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock in a game marred by more injuries to our already creaking squad. Souleymane Coulibaly scored a superb individual goal, his eleventh of the season, but captain Gary Warren cancelled that out as he headed home with six minutes remaining. That result keeps us second bottom with Ross County the only bottom team to pick up three points, and that was enough for them to replace Killie in the top six. Gary Warren returned to the starting XI with injury ravaged Owain Fon Williams and Lewis Horner taking their places in defence. In an attempt to bolster the midfield, Brad Mckay played in front of the back four, and Foran started with Lonsana Doumbouya the lone target man. Larnell Cole kept his place after his fine performance last week. Wide players Jake Mulraney, Aaron Doran and Billy King all started on the bench alongside Liam Polworth who has returned sooner than anticipated from injury. Killie had injury worries of their own and youngster Ian Wilson was given a start at the back with Scott Boyd missing out. It was a pretty dour first half with the home side occasionally threatening. In one such attack Josh Meekings made a tremendous clearance off the line after Nathan Tyson had clipped the ball over Owain Fon Williams. He did enough to hook the ball away from the goal line and Brad Mckay completed the clearance to avert a certain goal. Nick Walsh was called into question when the ball came off an Inverness arm in a goalmouth scramble but that would have been harsh had he penalised it. He was asked again and this time it could easily have been given as a cross was blocked by an elbow on the edge of the box. We struggled to make much headway in the first half, not helped by injuries to Doumbouya, Horner and Mckay. Fisher replacing the big striker after twenty-one minutes. Polworth replaced the nose bloodied Brad Mckay at the break. Lewis Horner struggled on until the hour before leaving the field, replaced by Billy King. Gary Warren had our only effort of note in the first forty-five but his header went wide. He would do better late in the game. Half Time 0-0 Billy King entered the fray and flashed a shot wide soon after and it looked as though the pace of the game had changed as we ventured forward. However, clean sheets are difficult to come by and Kilmarnock took the lead through a piece of individual magic. Coulibaly scored his wonder goal in the second half, although there was an element of good fortune about it. When he gathered a long ball on the corner of our eighteen yard box, their seemed little danger. The ball bounced up and he controlled it with his arm. Undaunted and unpunished, he twisted and turned substitute Liam Polworth onto the ground before firing a high shot into the keepers near post as defenders closed on him. Chances were at a premium, but Inverness found a way back into the game through captain Gary Warren. Greg Tansey fired a free kick into the box and the Killie rearguard parted to allow Warren every opportunity to head the ball down into the corner past a diving Jamie MacDonald. Just what we needed to get us off the foot of the table again and the game ended with no further scoring. Full Time 1-1 A draw was just about deserved as both sides had their moments on the ascendancy, but Killie will feel they might have nicked it with the one cleared off the line and a couple of penalty claims that were turned down. We came out stronger in the second half and did well to get back on level terms, so we won't complain about a share of the points. Rig saw it like this Really poor game overall. We lacked any attacking intent in the first half and seemed to have no plan for most of the game other than lump balls towards Doumbouya and Fisher. It was desperate stuff. Second half was a bit better but still we lacked an real incisive play in the final third. We seem to absolutely refuse to try and use our wingers and try and cross the ball into the box for the striker to attack. Looked like there was a hint of a handball when Coulibaly took the ball down when he scored the opener. Still, poor defending from Polworth to let him cut back inside and Fon Williams beaten again at his near post. Atrocious marking for our equaliser. Warren seemed to get in between two Kille players and still had a free header to plant the ball past MacDonald. Injuries really disrupted us today. Doumbouya, Horner and Mckay all taken off. Our reorganisation was a bit odd. Polworth at right back was strange. Far rather have Meekings there, drop Draper into defence and stick Polworth into midfield. He (Polworth) seemed to be one of the very few ICT players willing to carry the ball forward instead of battering it towards Fisher. Massively underwhelming first half performance, slightly improved second half but there's a lot of work to be done specifically in terms of our attacking play. We remain one dimensional, predictable and largely toothless. Think we deserved a draw but there's a lot of concerns there for me from an ICT point of view Immortal Howden Ender picked out different highlights in his summary. That was the best away day in years. The game was frenetic. It was highly entertaining and surprisingly competitive. I witnessed levels of skill and endeavour that I had never seen in certain individuals before. But then, unfortunately, the Hang The Man competition ended and we had to go to the game. How the feck did Mary Hill get Bahram Fetai !! The game itself was wholly forgettable. Up until the Coulibally goal BOTH teams served up dire stuff. The game only really heated up after they scored. We did show a lot of guts to recover but they went defensive and paid the price. Speaking to Killie fans afterwards they said that they had been doing the same all season. The goal was terrific and I had to celebrate with a piked, double somersault over the seats in front of me - ably abetted (feckin pushed) by King Beastie. And RedCard organised and won the goalscorer award and Warren could have had time to do a turn in the Hang the Man competition whilst he strolled in for the equaliser. The "spirit" certainly was there. Agree with what SuperFan posted earlier. Strange substitution but injuries are taking their toll. Strange to see the Walrus parading around with a huge ice pack on feckin freezing day and blood oozing from the two others. Tremarco was my clear MOM although Meekings was close. And we have no "teeth" up front. Date: 17/12/16 Venue: Rugby Park, Kilmarnock Attendance: 3294 Referee: Nick Walsh Kilmarnock: 1 Lineup: MacDonald, Hendrie, Boyle, Wilson, Taylor, McKenzie, Smith, Dicker, Jones, Tyson, Coulibaly Subs (not used): Mackay, Bojaj, Frizzell, Smith, Hawkshaw, Cameron, Adams Scorers: Coulibaly (73) Booked: Taylor (63), Smith (90) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Fon Williams, Tremarco, Warren, Meekings, Draper, Vigurs, Tansey, Horner (King 52), Mckay (Polworth 46), Doumbouya (Fisher 20), Cole Subs (not used): Esson, Doran, Mulraney, Boden Scorers: Warren (84) Booked: Draper (16), Polworth (90) Sent Off: none a
  1. Load more activity