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  1. Last week
  2. IrnBru Cup Semi-Final Inverness welcome Irish Premiership side Crusaders to the Scottish Highlands for the IrnBru cup semi-final. Just when you forgot all about this competition, someone somewhere comes up with a date and time to suit everybody. Well, the date is Sunday 18th February, the time is 17:15. I kid you not. The weather has relented in the last couple of days which is just as well as the pitch looked somewhat tired and heavy after weeks of dismal winter weather took it's toll. I would still expect a less than velvet surface with the going soft. Logistics aside, the competition has reached the last four with Inverness v Crusaders (Northern Ireland), and New Saints (Wales) v Dumbarton. To give New Saints their Sunday name, it's The New Saints of Oswestry Town & Llansantffraid Football Club. They play in Oswestry, Llansantffraid-ym-Mechain. That'll be why TNS is the preferred title. Thankfully, it's Crusaders that we play and they are known as the Crues. ***Latest News*** We now know one of the finalists and it's congratulations to Dumbarton who have reached their first Cup final in over 100 years. They came from behind to beat TNS 1-2 with late goals from Danny Handling and Dimitris Froxylias. Former Caley Jags player Dean Ebbe had given TNS the lead early in the second half. So what do we know about them? They hail from Belfast where they have a 3383 capacity all seated stadium, Seaview. Manager Stephen Baxter is a former player and has been in the job since 2005. They play in red and black, so they have something in common with half of Caley Thistle. In season 2016/2017 they relinquished their title and finished second in the NIFL Premiership behind one of their Belfast rivals, Linfield. It was a last day victory for Linfield that decided the title. However, this season appears to be back on track with Crusaders 5 points clear with 10 games remaining. Some impressive stats so far, Played 28:- Won 22 - Lost 2 - Goals For 82 - Goals Against 28. Crusaders last game was a 4-2 victory over Glentoran although they were knocked out of the Irish Cup a couple of weeks ago 4-1 by Cliftonville after being reduced to ten men. Jordan Owens, Billy Joe Burns, Colin Coates and Gavin Whyte were the scorers in the win over Glentoran. Gavin Whyte is the top scorer in the division with 18 goals, and fellow Crusader Paul Heatley is third with 13 goals. Whyte was the man that scored a last minute goal to knock out Dundee United in the last round. The 22 year old is regarded as a flying winger and one of the hot prospects in the Irish Leagues. He was also a signing target for Dundee United at one point but he is content to remain at Seaview for now where he is scoring goals almost every week. Recent signing Darren Murray is also amongst the goals and scored a brace on his debut in the 3-0 win over Carrick Rangers. The former Warrenpoint Town striker feels he will benefit from playing at Crusaders as he will get more scoring opportunities. He has already notched 12 for the season. Check out this BBC Sport footage of their win over Glentoran. Crusaders v Glentoran From the Belfast Telegraph, defender Sean Ward said the players are relishing the chance to progress to another major final. "It's been a good competition for us and like every one we enter we want to go as far as we possibly can," said Ward. "We are confident we can beat Inverness, there is no doubt about that, but we will need to perform well. "We will give it our best. To reach the final will be special. Players want to play in finals, it's why we play the game and it's another massive opportunity to reach a big final. "After the disappointment of the League Cup semi-final and Irish Cup it's a welcome distraction for us. We will face a full-time Inverness outfit who will be good but we will give it our best and see if it's good enough." And manager Stephen Baxter added:- "This Inverness game is a break away from the relentless pressure and tension of the league games. It's a big game of football but it will be a nice break for us. "We will give a good account of ourselves. We won the Setanta Cup which was a huge lift to everyone and reaching an IRN BRU semi-final is a big feather in our cap as these are the best teams in our islands." Inverness have stuttered somewhat in recent weeks and have also dropped out of the Scottish Cup with a 1-0 defeat to Premiership side Dundee after a replay. That was our last game (30th Jan) as the weather saw the Dundee United game postponed. We were idle last weekend as we were not involved in the Cup and had no game arranged. Before the Dundee game we lost 3-1 at Falkirk in the Mulraneygate encounter. We were comfortable until Jake saw red and once we were reduced to ten men we lost the plot like Jake. We are lingering in no-mans land at the moment in seventh place in our own Championship. Team News It's been a slow news fortnight in the Highlands football wise, but here are the last known team line-ups for both squads. Carl Tremarco is still injured and Nathan Austin is cup-tied, otherwise Robbo should have a full squad to choose from. Inverness (v Dundee) : Ridgers, Mckay, Warren, Donaldson, Calder (Mackay 83), Chalmers, Vigurs, Polworth, Bell (Mulraney 67), Doran (Baird 67), Oakley Crusaders (v Glentoran) : Jensen, Ward, Burns, Coates, McChrystal (Beverland 46), Lowry, Forsythe, Heatley, Owens, Murray (Caddell 78), Whyte (Cushley 88) More detail and Robbo chat can be found on the Official Preview. From the Crusaders website:- Any Crusaders supporters going to the Irn Bru Cup Semi Final on Sunday against Inverness Caledonian Thistle are asked to gather at the ICT Social Club at 28 Grieg Street where a bus will transport you to the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium for the game. If you are there for 3.45pm Norman Coleman will have a "gift" for you as a thank you for travelling to the game so please do not miss out. It will be worth it and it is a gesture for your making it to the game to get behind the lads on the pitch. I'll make no prediction on this game as I have never seen Crusaders play before. However, given their win over Dundee United and their current form in the Irish Premiership then I would expect them to be an accomplished side well capable of troubling an Inverness side in indifferent form and during our rebuilding process. It will be a first for Inverness to be playing an Irish side and a welcome break from the somewhat turgid games we have witnessed in the Championship. Crusaders come over with an exciting free scoring side and we should be in for an entertaining match. Anyway, welcome to the Highlands of Scotland and I hope you enjoy our national drink, it's made from girders you know, although made with less sugar now. Sláinte............ It's not great quality, but here's how Dumbarton got into the final. Two cracking strikes to win it.
  3. Earlier
  4. Over and Out. This seasons Scottish Cup run was short lived when an efficient Dundee came North and stifled our creative players after the break to score an early second half goal through Scott Allan to win this replay. There was nothing between the sides in the first half, but once Dundee opened the scoring they never looked back as we offered little in the way of a goal threat until a final flourish once Daniel Mackay entered the arena. He at least managed to make Parish work in the Dundee goal. We can't be faulted for effort, but all too often the final ball was not there and too many players wanted an extra touch or passed the buck when a shot on target might have been more beneficial. It was a swirling blustery and somewhat wet evening that greeted the players onto the park in front of 1746 hardy souls who were mostly looking for a cup upset. Inverness had Iain Vigurs and Liam Polworth re-instated to the midfield after suspension along with Aaron Doran and bad boy Jake Mulraney benched. Daniel Mackay and John Baird also began on the bench. Dundee had Celtic target John Hendry in the starting XI and were looking for Sofien Moussa and Leitch-Smith to provide the goals with Scott Allan the driving force in midfield. A tentative start saw both sides probing for an opening but little came the way of the strikers with defences on top. That theme continued for 45 minutes. The strong gusty wind and driving swirling rain saw both sides struggle to get the upper hand and the first half passed everyone by. Half Time 0-0 The second period was just two minutes old when Dundee surged forward after an Inverness attack broke down. A-Jay Leitch-Smith did the spadework and Scott Allan supported him and placed the ball beyond Mark Ridgers low into the corner of the net. Poor play from Inverness in attack and the defence backed off as Dundee went forward giving Allan the opportunity to pick his spot. Dundee took control from that moment and should have increased their lead on a couple of occasions but for some wayward finishing, good goalkeeping and some good fortune on our behalf. AJLS was looking lively and he missed the best chance after a scrambulation in the box when two or three chances should have been put away. The woodwork and keeper doing their best to deny the Dundee forwards. Ridgers made two or three excellent stops to keep us in with a chance of snatching a late goal but we ran out of ideas all to quickly and most forays forward ended in wayward passes or defenders blocking the crosses before they became chances. Daniel Mackay came on and forced Parish to concede a corner which was as near as we came to scoring, but as I said, too little too late and Dundee deserved their shot at the next round. Full Time 0-1 Ultimately disappointing exit after matching Dundee for a game and a half. They looked sharper on the ball, especially in the second half, and the movement of their front players was dragging our defenders around creating the space for them to exploit, something that we never quite matched. Inverness were best served by Coll Donaldson who is a class apart, Iain Vigurs (1st half), Daniel Mackay who livened proceedings and goalkeeper Mark Ridgers who made some remarkable saves and who knows how he kept the ball out of the net after the 10 second stramash. He is my MotM for tonight. Wonderful moment of light relief in the first half when the steward confiscated the young teams siren effect gadget thingamyjig. It sounded like a police car siren and as the steward marched it along behind the goal over to the main stand, siren wailing and blue lights flashing. The siren could be heard disappearing into the distance with images being conjured up of the head steward trying to switch the damn thing off below the stand as the siren baffled the morons. That was the brightest moment of a dull first half. Highlights or lowlights.................. Robbo agrees................. Date: 30/01/18 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1746 Referee: Stephen Finnie Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers, Chalmers, Warren, Polworth, Doran (Baird 67), Vigurs, Oakley, Calder (Mackay 83), Bell (Mulraney 67), Mckay, Donaldson Subs (not used): Esson, Seedorf, Trafford, Brown Scorers: none Booked: Doran (45), Oakley (60), McKay (65), Vigurs (78) Sent Off: none Dundee: 1 Lineup: Parish, Kerr, Waddell, Hendry, Holt, Allan, O'Hara, Kamara, El Bakhtaoui (Spence 46), Leitch-Smith, Moussa (Deacon 84) Subs (not used): Malherbe, O'Dea, Aurtenetxe, Wolters, Lambert Scorers: Allan (47) Booked: Hendry (36), O'Hara (62) Sent Off: none a
  5. Revenge for the Bairns as Jake sees Red. It was a much changed Caley Jags squad that went to Falkirk with our midfield decimated by suspension and injury. Iain Vigurs and Liam Polworth were suspended, Carl Tremarco is still out injured and Aaron Doran would not be risked on the artificial surface given his long term injury problems. Charlie Trafford was touch and go given his head knock and illness since last weekend. In Came Collin Seedorf with Trafford making the starting XI. Jake Mulraney returned to action, for a while anyway, more about him later. John Baird was on the bench along with a couple of youngsters in Daniel MacKay and Jack Brown. Falkirk had Andy Nelson starting and Tom Taiwo had recovered sufficiently to begin the game. Robbie Thomson continued in goals despite the signing of Celtic youngster Conor Hazard Falkirk kicked off in front of 4251 fans, a decent crowd for a miserable afternoon. Inverness were first to threaten in the second minute as Connor Bell put a dangerous ball to the back post, but it was cleared by the defence and a few minutes later Robbie Thomson was forced to make an excellent save to deny Joe Chalmers. With Inverness forcing the pace of the game George Oakley shot just wide after outmuscling the defender and Charlie Trafford headed one into the hands of Thomson. A great start by Inverness who are taking the game to their hosts and creating the openings. Jake Mulraney caused havoc and won a corner from which Oakley flicked the ball goalward but the danger was cleared by Thomson who gathered. It was almost half an hour before Mark Ridgers had to earn his money and he produced a superb save to deny Sibbald after he was played in by Louis Longridge. A looping shot from Mulraney went close ten minutes before the break as Inverness dominance resumed but there is no breakthrough yet for the makeshift midfield who are squaring up well so far. Coll Donaldson made amends after failing to control a ball but he got back to make a solid challenge on Andrew Nelson to deny the striker, the home fans looking for a penalty (be patient..... soon). Brad Mckay had to make a clearance when Nelson tried to backheel his way to goal as Falkirk came back strongly at the end of the first half. Out of the blue came a red! Mulraney saw red mist after a couple of rash challenges and a shove and kick and then had a go at the water bottle on his way to an early bath via the dressing room doors (allegedly). Looks like the FOR SALE sign hanging round his neck is taking it's toll. What a clown . We needed this like we need a hole in the head. Some harsh words needed from Robbo after that aberration. He let himself and his team mates down with that indiscretion. Inverness' 8th red card of the season. Disgraceful. Half Time 0-0 Cheers Jake . Two minutes into the second half and Falkirk take the lead as Aaron Muirhead converts from the spot after Chalmers fouled Longridge in the box. The Bairns smell blood and Nelson forced a corner after a neat turn and shot. It looks a long way back for ten man Inverness, and we pay no attention to our horrendous disciplinary record as Trafford enters the book. It goes from bad to worse and Seedorf gave away another needless penalty and Muirhead smashed his second of the game. Falkirk don't have to do anything, we are doing it for them. It's open day now and Longridge dragged a shot wide as we appear to have imploded. But, our saviour is on when Connor Bell is replaced by John Baird as Gary Warren enters the refs book with twenty minutes left. Please referee, just end the game now! It's virtually been one way traffic since the sending off and the end can not come quick enough for Inverness................. but wait a minute. Young substitute Daniel MacKay linked brilliantly with fellow sub Jack Brown and finishes with aplomb with some five minutes remaining. Great goal and the youngsters showing their seniors how it should be done. However normal service was resumed as Nelson grabs a third for Falkirk before being subbed. RIG summed up the highs and lows in his review of the match. "With the game over we saw a couple of young lads come on for some first team action and they provided probably the only spark of the second half for ICT supporters when Brown burst from midfield and played a ball forward to Mackay who turned his man and curled a shot into the bottom corner of the net. A glimmer of hope that was quickly put out at Warren was burned for pace down the right side of our defence and the ball crossed for Nelson to seal the win from close range." Full Time 3-1 Revenge was sweet for the Bairns after Mulraney saw red. Up until that point it was an even game. Some of these guys need a talking to as this is not acceptable. An eighth red card of the season for Inverness and two more bookings is crippling the clubs bid to get back into contention for a play-off spot. At the moment, it's three steps forward and two steps back. ICT Chris was more pragmatic: "Overall, deserved win for Falkirk and one we need to write off as a bad afternoon and get back to our prior form." On the first forty-five he was optimistic up to a point: "That was a pretty odd game. We started Trafford and played him with Seedorf and Chalmers in midfield and started really well, we made all the running and, as I see a Falkirk fan noted, Oakley dominating the home centre halves. We didn’t create that much though and slowly Falkirk came back into the game, forcing Ridgers into a good save before Mulraney had his meltdown. It was utterly bizarre, he conceded a foul and got booked then immediately went through Longridge before kicking out at someone a few seconds later. He literally got booked twice in two minutes and walked off, it was like he wanted to get sent off. Really odd." Caley100 was more scathing, only Ridgers escaped his wrath: "We started quite well without causing any damage, Lost the plot after the wee man had a fecking brainstorm, but too many players were awful.. really awful. Trafford was terrible, Mackay just cannot pass a ball, Chalmers gave away the first pen, has the pace of a tortoise and is about as dangerous to the opposition as a plastic bath duck, Seedorf also gave away a pen which was on the cards as he spent the day diving into tackles. I' m not going to mention Baird. ( haha, you just did) Warren lost a high ball (again) letting it bounce 3 times before letting the forward Nick the ball to set up their third. Ridgers was pretty safe and had no chance with goals. ***** day weather wise too, good few beers in Edinburgh later helped." OK, so maybe we can put it all down to a bad day at the office, but if we are serious about getting in to the play-off places, then the attitude needs to change. It's almost as if the management don't want the club to go up. Anyway, well done to the young guns for coming on and playing football, take a bow Daniel and Jack. If you just want to forget the rest of the game, here's Jack Daniel's superb set up and finish, I'll have a large one! Robbo was understandably not impressed.......... Falkirk have been busy getting their videos online..... Date: 27/01/18 Venue: The Falkirk Stadium, Falkirk Attendance: 4251 Referee: Euan Anderson Falkirk: 3 Lineup: Thomson, Kidd, McGhee, Muirhead, Grant, Taiwo (Jakubiak 66), Sibbald, Longridge, Tumilty, Robson, Nelson (O’ Hara 89). Subs (not used): Hazard, McKee, Blair, Loy, Watson Scorers: Muirhead (48 pen, 65 pen) Nelson (87) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers, Chalmers, Warren, Oakley (Mackay 78). Mulraney, Calder, Seedorf, Bell (Baird 69) McKay, Donaldson, Trafford (Brown 82) Subs (not used): Esson, Doran, Harper Scorers: Mackay (84) Booked: Mulraney (43), Trafford (64), Warren (70) Sent Off: Mulraney (45) a
  6. Back to the day job. A cup run is a welcome break from the weekly chore of trying to get back into the Premiership, but it's back to the bread and butter stuff this weekend as we take to the road again with a visit to Falkirk, the land of the Kelpies, the Big Wheel and the Antonine wall, a sort of poor mans Hadrian's wall. It's the fifth meeting between the sides this season already. Falkirk won the first up in the Highlands in a league Cup encounter when we were going through our disarray period. That was followed by a 0-0 draw at Falkirk during the clean sheet era where we looked to be the better side. Our improvement continued as we narrowly won the Challenge cup game 1-0 at the Caledonian Stadium. As confidence began to spread through the ranks, the evolution reached new heights when we skelped the Bairns 4-1 and that is where we are now, the new improved Caley Jags. Let's hope we can keep the trend going. Last weekend both clubs were to put their day jobs aside and play in Scottish Cup ties. However, Falkirk ended up with a day off when their game against Livi at the Pasta Place was postponed, the weather winning that tie. It did go ahead on Tuesday night though and Falkirk progressed into the 5th round courtesy of a deflected goal in injury time from a Reghan Tumilty cross. Inverness did play though, and managed a creditable 2-2 draw at Premier side Dundee. It took a late goal from George Oakley to earn the replay, but it was well deserved. Aaron Doran had opened the scoring in the first half only for Dundee to edge ahead with Sofien Moussa deflecting an A-Jay Smith-Leitch shot beyond Mark Ridgers. Mark O'Hara added a second after a midfield lapse and our defence backing off, and as time ticked away, Oakley pounced to merit the replay, which will be held at the Caledonian Stadium on Tuesday night 30th January. The last time these two met was just over two weeks ago in a re-arranged fixture. The scoreline was somewhat startling considering the hiding Falkirk meted out to Championship contenders Dundee United only three days earlier. The 6-1 thrashing sent ripples throughout the Championship and many feared the worst. However, Inverness dealt out their own punishment as they pumped the Bairns 4-1. We went on a scoring spree and were three up at the break with Oakley, Bell and Mulraney hitting the net. Falkirk tightened up after the break and pulled one back through Longridge, but we extended our lead again when substitute and former Falkirk player John Baird scored the fourth. Who would have thought? Since that game we have beaten Queen of the South and drawn with Dundee in the cup. Falkirk's inconsistent season saw them come away with all three points from Greenock on the Saturday after the loss at Inverness. Craig Sibbald getting the winner in the 20th minute. Paul Hartley spoke to BBC Sport after the game: "Credit to the players and how they performed today. They had to dig deep to get the result. The movement, work-rate and enthusiasm of Louis Longridge and Andrew Nelson to take defenders on and to put people under pressure was pleasing. The lads here are digging deep and want to stay in the team, and they are working well just now." It would appear that Paul Hartley is finally getting to find out his best XI. Full-back Reghan Tumilty's loan from Ross County has been extended and he has taken in Louis Longridge from Hamilton on a permanent deal after his loan spell ended. He has already scored three goals in three games. Sean Welsh has been taken on from Partick Thistle. Swansea City midfielder Ryan Blair and forwards Alex Jakubiak, from Watford, and Andrew Nelson, from Sunderland have all arrived on loan deals. Young Celtic keeper Conor Hazard arrives on loan for the rest of the season. The clearout has begun in earnest with midfielder James Craigen and striker Lee Miller leaving. Defender Luca Gasparotto has made a permanent move to Morton having been on loan to them. Add that to the earlier releases of Conrad Balatoni, Liam Henderson and Nathan Austin, it's clear to see that Hartley is looking to go down a different route to the previous manager. The latest departure is midfielder Mark Kerr. Even later news is that promising defender Tony Gallacher is off to Liverpool for £200K. Blimey, is anybody left? Inverness have Carl Tremarco out for another month or so. Charlie Trafford took a nasty head knock against Dundee and is struggling with sickness, and between petulance and incompetence, we have two players suspended for accumulative bookings. Like Trafford, both are midfielders and Liam Polworth and Iain Vigurs will miss one game. Nathan Austin and Jake Mulraney were rested on the bench, and given both players are recovering from slight injuries then that's no bad thing with some tough games coming up. Aaron Doran may not play given the artificial surface and his long term rehab from knee surgery. So it looks like it's all hands to the pumps for Inverness. With Jake Mulraney walking around with a large FOR SALE sign on his back, it's reassuring to know that Hearts have signed another pacey wide player, Danny Amankwaa. Hopefully Jake will be left here for a bit longer. Falkirk may be without Tom Taiwo who was injured in the cup game at Livingston. A badly swollen ankle causing him to come off. Hartley did say on Taiwo, “Tom isn’t too bad, he is ok. We will see how he is in the morning and assess him to see if he is fit for Saturday’s match. He got a bit of a fright, it looked a nasty one at the time, but it’s not as serious as we thought so he may have a chance to face Inverness". Smokescreen or what? With a multitude of departures and arrivals, it's anyone's guess who Paul Hartley will select. tm4tj prediction:- Both sides have improved from a poor start to the season and if the recent encounter is anything to go by then the smart money will be on Inverness. However, closer scrutiny will show that Falkirk did pass on some good chances in that game and after a sloppy first half by their own admission they improved drastically after the break. Hartley has begun re-shaping his side to his own requirements and after a hard earned win over Livi in midweek they will be out to get some revenge over Robbo's side after the 4-1 defeat in the Highlands. We will be without Carl Tremarco but his replacement Riccardo Calder has offered us some attacking threat on the left. Jake Mulraney and Nathan Austin could come back in as well so we might just have enough flair to edge this game. Anything better than a defeat will be a bonus, a draw will not be the end of the world and it would maintain our ten point advantage over the Bairns. A win will see us handily placed to make an assault on the play-off zone in the coming weeks. I'm going for a narrow away win, but a draw might be where the smart money is. Mon the Caley Jags
  7. All to do again. Inverness went to Dundee in search of a minor shock in this fourth round Scottish Cup tie almost three years on from lifting the trophy. However, it's a much changed side from back then. It looked bleak until three minutes from the end when George Oakley stabbed in the equaliser from close range. Aaron Doran had scored the opener with a deflected shot to give the visitors the lead before the break. Sofien Moussa deflected a shot in to level before Mark O'Hara looked to have put Dundee through. John Robertson has been the architect of a few Cup surprises over the years. During his previous tenure at Inverness, he knocked out Celtic en route to the 2003 semi-finals where today's opponents Dundee ended our run by virtue of a 1-0 win. Robbo benched attacking midfielder Liam Polworth who had been struggling with a virus, and to add more steel to the engine room he slotted Canadian Charlie Trafford in alongside creative playmaker Iain Vigurs. Jake Mulraney took a knock a couple of weeks ago and he made the bench along with John Baird and Nathan Austin who has also been receiving treatment. McCann managed to get a few contracts extended during the winter break and he started with Josh Meekings, Darren O'Dea and talented striker Sofien Moussa on the park. Sitting on the bench were Kerr Waddell and Marcus Haber and Jack Hendry missed out through illness. Paul McGowan was first to have a go in front of 3507 fans but his shot from distance was well wide of the target and at the other end Iain Vigurs shot straight at Elliott Parish. Great start to the game by the visitors who were playing in their Premier League opponents faces, causing Dundee to be error strewn. Joe Chalmers almost got on the end of a Brad Mckay cross as we took the game to Dundee. Fifteen minutes in and Inverness opened the scoring when a long throw-in from Mckay bounced through Josh Meekings and found Aaron Doran in the box and he volleyed in the first goal of the game. Almost another after a mix up in the home box, George Oakley playing Connor Bell in but Parish collected just in time. That warning seemed to perk Dundee up and they managed to fashion a couple of corners which the visiting defence were able to clear. Scott Allan hit one from 25 yards but Mark Ridgers dealt with it as Dee came more into the game and Mckay blocked Moussa as he let fly, Ridgers able to save the rebound from A-Jay Leitch-Smith. Surprise surprise, Iain Vigurs received a yellow card midway through the half and Ridgers saved a Scott Allan free kick. Ten minutes before the break and a let off for Inverness as Moussa headed onto the underside of the bar from an Allan corner. Dundee had certainly been stung during that brisk opening quarter by Inverness but the game was more evenly balanced now. Mark Ridgers pulled off a tremendous save to deny Leitch-Smith as he bore in on goal and preserved the narrow advantage. Just before the interval, some great play by Doran forced a corner with Bell waiting for a tap-in, Vigurs heading the resultant corner over. Moments later Parish stopped Oakley from notching number two with his feet as the striker broke free. Half Time 0-1 Dundee got the second half underway with Glen Kamara kicking off towards the Bobby Cox stand, no doubt looking to get back on level term quickly. And hey presto, just two minutes in and a second deflected goal of the afternoon draws Dundee level. Leitch-Smith shooting but Moussa credited with the goal this time as the ball deflects off him and goes out of Ridgers' reach. Bell was denied by a reaction save from Parish as the visitors almost went back in front just after being pulled level, and it was Parish again to deny Bell as the game swung back towards Inverness. Charlie Trafford got the worse of a clash with Darren O'Dea and had to leave the field. O'Dea continued after treatment but Trafford is off down the tunnel. Liam Polworth replaced the Canadian. The lively Scott Allan went off to be replaced by El Bakhtaoui, not a popular choice with the home support given Allan was possibly the most effective Dundee player. Dundee edged ahead through Mark O'Hara as he burst forward when Vigurs gave the ball away in the halfway area and O'Hara went on to fire low past Ridgers from the edge of the box. El Bakhtaoui fired over for the Dee and Vigurs tried to make amends for Inverness but his effort was woeful. Substitute Liam Polworth tried from distance but it was another straight down the keepers throat. Entering the final ten minutes and Inverness won a free kick in a promising position, but Doran's cross was cleared. Robbo freshened up his strikers and threw John Baird on and withdrew Connor Bell as Polworth entered the ref's jotter for catching McGowan with an arm. The Dundee midfielder missed a good opportunity to end the contest but he headed a Kerr cross over after a good break forward. John Baird passed on a couple of decent chances for Inverness as we pressed for a leveller. However, it was strike partner George Oakley that got on the scoresheet when he got on the end of a Riccardo Calder cross to level the tie. The ball was poorly defended and when the half cleared it was headed back into the six yard box by Joe Chalmers where Oakley pounced to send the tie to a replay. Calder joined Vigurs, Donaldson and Polworth in the refs book as he brought down Moussa in time added on and right at the death a last ditch tackle thwarted Aaron Doran from getting clean through. Full Time 2-2 All in, a great day out for the 357 Caley Jags away fans and the team thoroughly deserved another crack at getting into the fifth round, something our near neighbours will not manage this season. Good to get the draw without a couple of influential players on the park. Nathan Austin and Jake Mulraney will benefit from the time off, although Charlie Trafford might now be struggling to make the replay. Speaking on BBC Radio, Robbo said : "There was little between the teams. We started well, got the goal, looked dangerous, then Dundee come into it. They turned the screw, created opportunities, and it was a terrific second goal. "We had to change it. Liam Polworth was in his sick bed all week, but travelled because he knew we were short, came on and started to cause problems. Then big George managed to get a goal and we deserved it for our bravery, because we kept going forward and throwing men into the box. A replay was about right. "It's taken us a while to get going, but we've got a shape that suits us now. The players have confidence and to come here to Dens Park and put on that kind of performance shows our improvement. We'll go at them in the replay with the same vigour and resilience, and we'll have a chance." Replay has been scheduled for Tuesday 30th January 19:45 kick off at the Caledonian Stadium. The prize for the winner is a home tie against Motherwell. Video Highlights from Caley Jags TV Robbo spoke after the game..... George to the rescue..... Highlights can be seen on BBC TV for those that can access the channel. Date: 20/01/2018 Venue: Dens Park, Dundee Attendance: 3507 Referee: Stephen Finnie Dundee: 2 Lineup: Parish; Kerr, Meekings, O'Dea, Aurtenetxe, McGowan (Wolters 85), Kamara, O'Hara, Leitch-Smith, Allan (El Bakhtaoui 61), Moussa Subs (not used): Malherbe; Holt, Curran, Waddell, Henvey. Scorers: Moussa (47), O'Hara (64) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Mckay, Donaldson, Warren, Calder, Trafford (Polworth 58), Vigurs, Chalmers, Doran, Oakley, Bell (Baird 81) Subs (not used): Esson; Austin, Mulraney, Seedorf, Brown. Scorers: Doran (16), Oakley (87) Booked: Vigurs (27), Donaldson (66), Polworth (82), Calder (90+4) Sent Off: none a
  8. Dundee -V- Inverness CT - Sc Cup - Preview

    Very impressive and informative Report . 5 stars.!
  9. Closing in on a play-off position Inverness recorded their first win over Queen of the South this season with a comfortable 3-1 scoreline. First half goals from Iain Vigurs and Joe Chalmers gave us a deserved lead and Aaron Doran added a third after the break. As we eased off, Queens came more into it and got their consolation when Owen Bell headed a fine goal with five minutes left. This win pulls Inverness level on points with the Doonhamers and within striking distance of the two teams above us although we have played more games than most. Still, it's a healthier position than we were in a few months ago. Carl Tremarco missed out through injury as did Nathan Austin. Riccardo Calder slotted in at left back with Brad Mckay on the opposite side. Collin Seedorf and Jake Mulraney were fit enough to make the bench. The Doonhamers had the firepower of 35 year old Stephen Dobbie up front and youngster Owen Bell starting on the bench. On loan Rangers defender Myles Beerman was on the bench along with him. Striker Chris Kane was making his final appearance for Queen of the South before returning to St Johnstone. The 23 year old has now made 24 appearances for the Doonhamers scoring five goals and has benefitted greatly playing alongside the vastly experienced Stephen Dobbie. The frost of the previous days had relented and it was a brisk day, a tad chilly but nonetheless a decent day for a game of footy. Just over two thousand two hundred fans made the effort to get to this game and they were treated to an excellent start by the hosts who came out of the blocks with all guns blazing. The two previous meetings this season produced no goals but Inverness were looking to carry their excellent form from the Falkirk game into this one. Queens were confident their excellent away form would continue. The opening moments were a taste of things to come and captain Gary Warren had a header saved in the second minute as Inverness pressed from the off. The keeper did well to tip his powered header onto and over the bar. Moments later from the resultant corner Iain Vigurs placed a header into the keepers top right corner as he kept a cool head when a loose ball presented itself to him. Great goal and what a start to this game. Dobbie and Polworth exchanged efforts at either end as the game opened out but it was Inverness that were in control and it was no surprise when a second goal came along, although it was all done in slow motion. Joe Chalmers gathered a ball on the edge of the box and his scuffed effort deceived everyone, including the fans in the North Stand. It wrong footed half a dozen players and an unsighted keeper to roll gently into the bottom corner with Leighfield scrambling frantically across his line to no avail. Take that and a first for Joe Chalmers. We saw out the half comfortably and our attacking endeavour should maybe have reaped more, but Queens got away lightly. Half Time 2-0 Gary Naysmith no doubt got them to up their energy levels after the break and with Inverness content to hold what they had Queens came more into it, Stephen Dobbie coming close. However, when we broke forward we always looked dangerous and Aaron Doran knocked home a third after Polworth crossed into the box from the right. Dobbie tried his luck again but his curling effort was mopped up easily by Mark Ridgers as Queens began to believe in themselves and we gave up ownership of the midfield. Beerman and Kerr went close as well but most of the work Queens were doing ended in hopeful efforts rather than guilt edged chances. Iain Vigurs was yellow carded in bizarre fashion. Shaun Rooney went down when tackled and the ref blew for a foul, albeit a soft one. After the players exchanged pleasantries Rooney shoved Vigurs over. As is the norm these days, the ref calls them both over and booked Rooney then Vigurs. Seems to me that getting pushed over is a bookable offence. How odd. Mark Ridgers saved a rasping effort as Queens went looking for a goal and we began to look a little edgy at the back but we weathered the storm and it probably was more comfortable on the park than it was watching from the stand. John Baird had an effort saved but Queens got their reward for not giving up when a superb Beerman cross was briskly headed high into the net by Owen Bell. Inverness responded and Oakley almost restored the three goal cushion but he shot across goal and wide of the mark. Full Time 3-1 Fantastic first half again for Inverness. Some really tidy play and a thoroughly deserved win. Coll Donaldson was once again immense, he is some player for a big lad, but for me, he was outshone by Riccardo Calder who doubled as a full back and left winger. Great shift again from Calder who is my MotM. There was some wonderful play all over the park and George Oakley is turning out to be a useful front man using his upper body strength to good effect. Unsung hero Joe Chalmers has come onto a game over the last couple of months playing on the left midfield side. Without the shackles and constraints of defending, the big loon has come into his own and scored a goal into the bargain. Iain Vigurs, despite his booking tally reaching it's limits, was a class apart in the first half and himself and Polly are beginning to create plenty for the strikers. No failures yesterday and competition for starting berths is hotting up. So, we are starting to pick up pace and are now pushing for a play-off position, well deserved given our recent form. Scottish Cup game at Dundee next week followed by an away trip to Falkirk. Goals highlights from Caley Jags TV Robbo delighted. Gary Naysmith was honest as usual accepting his team were second best. Here's what he had to say. Date: 13/01/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2209 Referee: Alan Muir Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: Ridgers; Mckay, Warren, Donaldson, Calder, Polworth, Vigurs (Trafford 78), Chalmers, Doran, Bell (Baird 72), Oakley Subs (not used): Esson; Seedorf, Mulraney, Mackay, Brown Scorers: Vigurs (3), Chalmers (29), Doran (58) Booked: Mckay (21), Vigurs (74), Donaldson (76), Sent Off: none Queen of the South: 1 Lineup: Leighfield; Rooney, Kerr, Brownlie, Mercer, Murray (Fergusson 63), Thomson, Rankin, Dykes (Beerman), Dobbie, Kane (Bell 71) Subs (not used): Martin; Akubuine, Gourlay Scorers: Bell (85) Booked: Dykes (41), Rooney (74) Sent Off: none
  10. Is there a goal at the third time of asking? After the big win on Tuesday night, it's Gary Naysmith's Queen of the South that come North looking to keep Inverness out of the play-off zone on Saturday with a 3:00pm kick off. It's the third time the clubs have met this season in the Championship and both previous games had the same outcome, no score draws. The first one at Inverness saw Queens get the better of a 0-0 scoreline but with Inverness content on sorting out their defensive frailties, it beckoned the start of a new defensive era, one where we stopped shipping comedy goals and started to build from the back. The return game at Palmerston was closer in terms of superiority but the result remained the same. Inverness got their shooting boots on in midweek with an excellent win over the Bairns. Oakley, Bell, Mulraney and Baird all scored to banish the narrow defeat at Paisley to the recycle bin. It was a swashbuckling performance in the first half that saw the Bairns blown away as Inverness consolidated their mid-table position. Jake Mulraney was in sparkling form, his pace was awesome and let's hope he recovers from his knock to make a start on Saturday. Queens had a fruitful visit to Livingston and came away with a 1-0 win to jump over them in the League, albeit on goal difference. Chris Kane was the man that made the difference with a first half goal. The clubs are more evenly matched in terms of goals scored and conceded than they were the last time they played. We have started scoring and shored up the defence and have closed the goal difference gap to four. Queens (for 33 against 27) Inverness (for 26 against 24) Carl Tremarco is back on the injury list with a suspected hamstring injury, the heavy pitches and busy schedule being blamed for his problems. He will be scanned before the extent of the injury can be gauged. Jake Mulraney was also subbed against Falkirk as a precaution after taking a knock. No David Raven to call on now, but Riccardo Calder did well when he came on against the Bairns, both in defence and going forward. Collin Seedorf is an option but he is another coming back after a recent injury. Up front Nathan Austin could return after his niggle at Paisley although he missed the Falkirk game. Queens have had recent injury problems of their own and will be looking to get back to full strength before some of their loan players return to parent clubs. James McFadden has left the club looking to play abroad. This was their team that played in the 1-0 win at Livingston that saw Queens jump into fourth place in the Championship:- Martin, Rooney, Brownlie, Kerr, Mercer, Murray, Thomson, Rankin, Dykes, Kane, Dobbie (Bell 90). tm4tj prediction:- Any club with a natural goal scorer like Stephen Dobbie has to be taken seriously. Despite the lack of goals in the earlier tussles, there is plenty of players on both sides capable of knocking one in. We had three strikers scoring against Falkirk and Mulraney notching his first for Inverness. So things are looking up. I'll take our in form strikers to get more goals in this one and edge closer to the top zone. In case you missed it, here are the goals from the Falkirkgame with all three strikers scoring.
  11. Inverness -V- Falkirk - Preview

    Peter Grant is on form with the Bairns. Remember how well he played in the Cup Final against us. Judging by the video this team has some hard working and skilled players in it. But I think Willo Flood is just past it. No wonder Dundee U's poor Manager was really upset. Almost lost for words so he was. If the game is on tomorrow we can't take any chances with this team and IMHO must shut them down in early course.
  12. Top Challenge Tough task ahead as we venture forth to Paisley to take on one of the form teams of the Championship in the shape of title contenders St Mirren on Saturday with a 3:00pm kick off slot. Last time out we ended the game against Livingston with ten men and surrendered a half time lead to end the day with just one point. That's the third game in a row where we have been reduced in numbers and half a dozen for the season, something which should be of some concern for John Robertson. This time it was Iain Vigurs who has the knack of rubbing the referee's up the wrong way and seems to be a target for some who like to get some retribution. In saying that, maybe Iain should wind his neck in a tad and make himself less visible to these situations. Just saying! Anyway, the sending off and subsequent injuries altered the pattern of the game and Livi managed to gain a point whilst we squandered two. Aaron Doran placed a wonderful low shot beyond the reach of the keeper to open the scoring early, but we were undone late in the game as Livi scored from a set-piece to level. St Mirren also surrendered a lead in their derby as Morton came back to earn a point after Celtic bound Lewis Morgan gave the Buddies the lead in the first half. Thomas O'Ware headed Morton level late on to secure a well earned point for the Ton. That reduced their lead at the top of the table to three points with Dundee United skelping Brechin 4-1. The table does not lie. St Mirren are top with 42 points and we sit seventh on 24 points. Goals scored shows the same trend with St Mirren on 38 and Inverness on 22. We have actually conceded one goal less than the Buddies, thanks to our clean sheet run but if it were not for Brechin (11 goals), there would be a massive difference in goals scored. As it is, we are getting close to 50% of St Mirren's stats. We have to take it one step at a time after our poor start to the season, but it was an opportunity missed last time out to put ourselves in a position where it would have been possible to climb the table. As it is, it will take another couple of weeks to see if we have what it takes to move up, or drift into mid-table obscurity, only time will tell. Nathan Austin made his debut in the home game against Livingston and looks to have plenty of what we have been missing. The ability to get past defenders, able to head the ball, pace and a directness not seen at the club since Barry Wilson last played here. Iain Vigurs misses out through suspension. Joe Chalmers came off injured against Livi and Collin Seedorf missed that one through injury. It's beginning to unravel a bit with suspensions and injury but Carl Tremarco will be back after his one match ban. David Raven played his final home game and despite his public swipe at the club, could play against St Mirren if required. Rumour has it that Alex Cooper could be let go, the former County player being surplus to requirements along with Matt Elsdon and Big Susan. Jack Ross has done a fantastic job at Paisley. Avoiding relegation last season after being cut well adrift at one point, and continuing the upward surge of the club this term, looking like Premiership contenders since the start of the season. Lewis Morgan has had his medical at Parkhead but appears to be on loan back to St Mirren for the remainder of the season. Similar to the Ryan Christie scenario a couple of years ago. Daniel Mullen has slotted in since joining from Livingston and is another goal threat to contend with. Gavin Reilly is strengthening after recovering from illness and is a huge goal threat. tm4tj prediction:- This is a tough game at a tough venue. We were scalped earlier in the season down there despite Robbo claiming there was little between the sides. St Mirren also won 2-0 in the Highlands and we will do well to contain them with their added fire power of Daniel Mullen complimenting Lewis Morgan and Gavin Reilly should he start. Our defence has generally coped fairly well since we settled down and got to know each other. A draw might be our best option, but I'm no holding my breath.
  13. Opportunity to bounce back. Game On! We head for Glebe Park Brechin on Saturday, our last game of 2017 to play The City at their quaint venue, where a hedge forms one side of the stadium. I suppose it's more picturesque than our own, where a defunct singing section, tea shop and toilets mark the touchline on the Bridge side of the stadium. It's an opportunity to bounce back after the disappointment at Morton where we went down to a Gary Harkins spot kick, and ended the game with ten men after David Raven was red carded at the penalty incident. There was some consternation surrounding the playability of the ground despite the City grounstaff and volunteers covering the surface. Heavy frost had penetrated a couple of area's and that was giving some concern. Brechin City have issued the following statement. "PITCH UPDATE In the main the pitch covers have done their job despite overnight frost with the vast majority of the pitch soft and playable. Unfortunately despite a double layer of covers the frost has got into an area of about 3 metres square in the bottom goalmouth. However, taking the current forecast into account and depending on overnight conditions, our ground staff feel this area can be worked on to make it playable for the game. In any case an early decision will be made tomorrow morning with regard to a pitch inspection." It matters not now as no inspection needed, Game On! So far this season, Brechin have been our whipping boys despite their results against other more illustrious opponents being very close affairs. We have played them three times already this season. A 3-0 league cup victory was followed by our first league win of the season, 0-4 at Glebe Park back in August. We repeated that scoreline at the end of November with a 4-0 win at the Caledonian Stadium and that brings us to the final game of 2017 matchday 18 for both sides. Brechin are without a win this season and that is shown in their league position, only three points from 17 games. With that in mind, their goals against tally is the worst in the league. They have conceded twice as many as Inverness with 38 against. If you thought that goal scoring is a problem for Inverness (18), then spare a thought for Brechin fans who have witnessed only 12 league goals. They are not the worst though. That accolade goes to Falkirk who have only scored 9 times. Our optimism is justified given our dominance over City in previous fixtures this season, but we are not exactly setting the heather on fire ourselves and this could be a tough game. Last time against City we won 4-0 with goals coming from Brad Mckay, John Baird, Connor Bell and George Oakley. We were always in command, but the game was somewhat flat at times and four nil possibly flattered us, a late dinked goal from George Oakley putting some shine on the dull proceedings. For the visitors that day, Isaac Layne ploughed a lone furrow, but he is a robust fellow and was a handful for our defenders who ultimately coped well with his powerful bursts forward. He is a bit like marmite, you either love him or hate him. On that day he looked decent, alas many Brechin fans think otherwise. Inverness will be without David Raven who may well have played his last game for Robbo's side. The stalwart right back was reinstated after the John Hughes era and has been a fans favourite, especially after his stunning goal that helped knocked Celtic out of Scottish cup. However, a red card at Cappielow means he will miss this one although he could possibly feature against Livingston on 2nd January before he leaves after turning down a new deal. That has been on the cards for some time and the end is nigh, but best wishes to David in his future career. Collin Seedorf will probably take Raven's place. Some fuel to the rumour that Nathan Austin will be joining us from Falkirk to add some competition to the main strikers berth. Much needed if you ask me. Darren Dods last squad for the 2-1 defeat to Dunfermline:- Smith, McLean (Dale 46), Crighton, Fusco, Spark, Watt, Smith, Lynas, Sinclair (Graham 77), Orsi (McLennan 55), Layne. Further detail can be found on Official Site Here's Robbo's reaction to the defeat at Cappielow This post has been promoted to an article
  14. Forget about last Saturday Brechin City will try again on Tuesday night in this re-scheduled game with a 19:45 kick off, the previous attempt thwarted by persistent rain. The last time these two clubs were due to meet the weather put paid to any football. Not a lot has changed since but the preview has been revamped to show the results of Saturdays game and the impact of any player injuries or disciplinary actions. City are now without a win this season from the thirteen league games played and have only three points to show for their efforts. That has planted them firmly at the foot of the table and are no doubt the bookies favourites for automatic relegation. They have scored just nine goals and more importantly have conceded twenty-six. So, scoring 0.7 of a goal per game and conceding at the rate of two every match. That's the form that justifies their position at the moment. On the face of it, City have a lot to do. However, closer inspection shows that their last six league games were tight affairs only losing by one goal in each game and a draw with league leaders Dundee United. Those defeats were by St Mirren, Morton, Queen of the South, Livingston and Dumbarton. The Dumbarton game was particularly hard to take with the Sons scoring the winner in the 90th minute. And the final straw; it was a Willie Dyer own goal. A battling draw last weekend with United shows that Brechin will not be going down without a fight. Inverness were on a record breaking run until St Mirren and referee John McKendrick spoiled the party at the weekend with a disputed and disappointing 0-2 win. Seven games without conceding saw us edge our way up the table. What a transformation from our opening couple of months. Defeat at Dumbarton on 23rd September with Gary Warren red carded saw us only two points better off than Brechin and morale at an all time low. we started the record breaking run with a hard fought goalless draw against Queen of the South. It was not a classic, but a determined effort and the team were under strict orders to keep Queens at bay. It worked and things have looked up ever since. It's great credit to Mark Ridgers and his defence that we have continued that run. Coll Donaldson is doing so well at the moment that captain Gary Warren could not get back in the side. However, he played against St Mirren with Brad Mckay suspended and the clean sheet run came to an end. I suppose it had to happen sometime. The clubs have met twice already, once in the League Cup and once in the league. Inverness came out on top both times securing 3-0 and 0-4 wins. The League game at Glebe Park saw goals from Polworth, Mckay, Cooper and Vigurs give us a comfortable victory. However, Brechin have learnt a lot in defeat and their recent performances have been encouraging for Darren Dods. The manager of the month curse has now struck yet and our last game saw St Mirren take the points in a wintry scene more akin to a Xmas card. I'm sure Samuel Taylor Coleridge based a verse on the sodden pitch against the Buddies. It's time to get the St Mirren game out of our thoughts and get back to winning ways. Robbo can call on the previously suspended Brad Mckay but he will be without the classy red carded Iain Vigurs who was oddly sent off against St Mirren for being assaulted by keeper Craig Samson. Possibly Aaron Doran, Zak Elbouzedi and Collin Seedorf will come into contention at some point during this game. Many thought Doran could have done a job against St Mirren, however the heavy pitch was maybe a factor in his omission. Darren Dods had this starting XI against Dundee United, and they worked hard for their point. G Smith; McLean, Crighton, E Smith, Dyer, Dale, Graham, Watt Spark, Layne, Orsi. Mclennan & Sinclair came on as subs in the second half. tm4tj prediction:- Given our previous results against Brechin this season, I would have thought another win was on the cards, but with their recent run of close games, this one will be tighter than previous, but I am still going for a home win. 2-0 to the Caley Jags with John Baird to break his drought. More info on the Official Site
  15. Watery Lottery Sinks Caley Jags It was a case of Saints and sinner at the Caledonian Stadium Water Park as St Mirren and their Buddie ended our run of clean sheets with two second half goals. The first was a disputed penalty scored by Ian McShane, the second a breakaway at the death as we probed for a leveller, knocked in by Gavin Reilly. The conveyor belt of comedy referees knows no bounds. This time it was sinner John McKendrick that showed his inability to officiate fairly and he had clearly lost the plot midway through the second half, brandishing cards at will, ignoring blatant cheating and sending off Iain Vigurs for what can best be described as being assaulted. As expected, Gary Warren replaced the suspended Brad Mckay and Jake Mulraney returned to the starting XI with Alex Cooper removed. St Mirren went with a tried and tested eleven. The game kicked off with 2687 hardy souls peering through the driving sleat with both sides probing for openings. Liam Polworth fired from distance but Samson got down to keep it out and Carl Tremarco got on the end of a Gary Warren header from a corner but the ball was kept out from close range. The visitors were being fairly robust, with their Buddie making allowances for the conditions as he ignored home pleas for a bit of protection. Iain Vigurs was wrongly booked for protesting about a brash challenge from Cammy Smith, the perpetrator also booked for his part. Polworth and Chalmers tested Samson again but the keeper made a couple of fine saves to deny the eager Inverness midfielders. John Baird showed why he has not scored since the last St Mirren game by wasting a great opportunity after a Polly ball set him in on goal but Samson was relieved to see the strikers effort go straight at him. The clean sheet record was still preserved as the whistle brought the first half to a close, Inverness looking the most likely with Mark Ridgers freezing his bells off in goal with little to do to keep warm. Half Time 0-0 The second period was only six minutes old when Kyle McGennis went down under a shoulder charge challenge from Polworth. There seemed little danger and it beggars belief that anyone would make a rash challenge as McGennis cut along the line into the box. But up stepped Buddie McKendrick to award a hotly disputed spot kick to the visitors which McShane buried with Ridgers going the opposite direction and thus ended our clean sheet record in disappointing fashion. Chalmers once more brought out a good save from the keeper as he turned his shot from around thirty yards round the post, having dived full length low to his left. However, the second half had descended into a watery lottery as sleat and snow blizzards swept across the already sodden turf making it difficult for any cohesive movement. Water was splashing up from the surface as players struggled to get to grips with the monsoon conditions. The visitors were relishing it though as they were afforded the freedom of the park by Buddie McKendrick, upending players without punishment and the more they did, the more they got away with it. Unfortunately, the same leniency was not shown to us. The hapless man in the middle surpassed himself when Vigurs and McShane collided in the box. They exchanged pleasantries and whilst doing so, keeper Samson sprinted over and did some sort of WWE manoeuvre on the Inverness midfielder. Many more joined in to what had now become a mass tag team event. When the snow settled, McKendrick gave Vigurs another yellow signalling the end of the game for him. Absolute joke I'm afraid. That displeased most in the park and we were left chasing the game a man short. With Inverness now desperate to level, they were denied another penalty claim after 90 minutes and from the resulting clearance, Reilly was put clean through and he slotted home to end the game. By the time the second goal went in, hypothermia was setting in and it was time to go, the home stands clearing briskly. Full Time 0-2 A disappointing end to our recent good run, but that was in no small way attributed to another Scottish referee in a long line of absolute duds. St Mirren were here to keep us out at all cost and their tactic of winding Iain Vigurs up worked very well with a bit of assistance from McKendrick. An utter howler of a day and one to forget for many reasons, but it will be remembered mostly for the performance of the egotistical hapless clown who has made Willie Collum look like an expert in his chosen field. A chance to get back on track this Tuesday with a home game against Brechin who drew 1-1 with Dundee United today. Robbo was less than diplomatic in his appraisal of the events.... Date: 25/11/2017 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2687 Referee: John McKendrick Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Raven, Warren, Donaldson, Tremarco, Chalmers (Oakley, 75), Polworth, Vigurs, Bell, Mulraney (Calder, 52), Baird (Trafford, 80). Subs (not used): Mackay, Elsdon, Doran, Seedorf Scorers: none Booked: Iain Vigurs (22), David Raven (71). Sent Off: Iain Vigurs (79) St Mirren: 2 Lineup: Samson; McGinn, Baird, Davis, Eckersley, L Smith, Magennis, McShane, Morgan, C Smith (Demetriou, 83), Reilly (Duffy, 90) Subs (not used): Stewart, Buchanan, Sutton, Kirkpatrick, McCart Scorers: McShane (Pen 52) Reilly (90+2) Booked: Smith (21), McGinn (24), Eckersley (61), Samson (79) Sent Off: none a
  16. Still 693 and counting. With the Brechin game being called off in midweek, our next visitors will be a much more difficult proposition and the clean sheet record will be well tested. St Mirren are the next club attempting to breach our defence, something they managed four times in the previous fixture this season in Paisley. To be honest, the record, 693 minutes, is a welcome notch in the clubs history, but let's not let it detract from the job in hand. Three points is the aim in each match, clean sheets or not. The Brechin game fell foul of the weather on Tuesday. Constant heavy rain for hours on end scuppered any chance of the game going ahead as it got heavier as the day wore on. St Mirren went on a scoring spree last Saturday as they were involved in a Scottish Cup 3rd round encounter with Lothian Thistle Hutchinson Vale.The Championship side knocked in seven goals in the first half, with Gavin Reilly helping himself to four before being substituted in the 67th minute. The Buddies sit second in the table despite no wins in their last three. Draws against Falkirk and Morton and defeat at Tannadice has seen the Arabs hit the top, but St Mirren have a game in hand over leaders Dundee United who lead by three. St Mirren have scored 24 goals in their dozen games so far and have conceded 17. That's 11 goals more than us although we are one better off in defence thanks to our recent run of seven games without conceding. They got the better of Inverness earlier in the season by virtue of a 4-2 win. It rained goals in thirteen second half minutes. When the dust settled, it was the Buddies that took the points. Goals from Lewis Morgan, Gregor Buchanan, Cammy Smith and Ian McShane did the damage with John Baird and Liam Polworth replying for Inverness. John Robertson has Aaron Doran back after a two year injury hell. The wide player featured against Falkirk in the IrnBru cup and will benefit from more match sharpness as the season progresses. Jake Mulraney returns after international duty with the Irish u21 side where he scored a superb solo goal. Brad Mckay is suspended and that opens the door for a return to the heart of the defence for captain Gary Warren. Collin Seedorf and Zak Elbouzedi are making progress and could be included in the squad. Big Susie is still out. Jack Ross has Gary McKenzie's back in training but not available for this one. tm4tj prediction:- St Mirren have not fared as well away from Paisley where they have only dropped two points this season. Away from home they have lost three times which offers us a glimmer of hope. Our form has got better as the season lengthens. A win is a big ask, but we are well capable of matching the opposition. I'm looking for a narrow home win. More details are on the Official Site
  17. Fizzy Pop Football It's the Irn Bru quarter final today at the Caledonian Stadium and Falkirk are the visitors in a game that will kick off at 17:15. The chance for some silverware for the lower league clubs starts to gain some credence as the latter stages of the competition looms large. For fans living further afield, this game will be live on BBC Alba at 17:15 on Saturday 11th November. The curse has landed at the Caledonian Stadium. You can see the concern etched over the face of Tommy and Robbo on the image here. John Robertson won the Manager of the Month award for October after his side played four games without conceding, winning three and drawing one (Falkirk). Carl Tremarco was part of that achievement and his return to the side after long term injury and his defensive qualities were also rewarded with the Player of the Month trophy. A well deserved double for the club, congratulations to all concerned. Since beating Peterhead 3-0 in the last round, we find ourselves on a bit of a roll. Inverness are gaining in confidence after a sluggish start to the campaign. Goals from Liam Polworth, Riccardo Calder and young Daniel MacKay flattered us slightly, but the clean sheet was instrumental in our confidence booster. The recent league game between the two sides at the Westfield Stadium saw Inverness unfortunate not to win. We are on a bit of a resurgence with six clean sheets in a row, something that was unimaginable earlier in the season. Falkirk have also struggled to get their season going and sit second bottom in the Championship. It's not the position you expect to find the Bairns, but they too are going through a bit of a transition period. In the last round they disposed of Dunfermline Athletic 2-0, goals from Conrad Balatoni and Myles Hippolyte winning the tie. Like us, they have started to pick up recently, but a 4-2 defeat at Queen of the South was not what new manager Paul Hartley was hoping for. An Inverness XI played a bounce game against a Ross County XI in midweek for a good cause, the proceeds going to the Maggie's Highlands Appeal. It was an opportunity to get some of our injured contingent some game time. Collin Seedorf, Aaron Doran, Zak Elbouzedi all featured with Doran scoring. He likes a strike against the County. The game was won by County 3-2, but the real winner was the charity. George Oakley was our other scorer. Jake Mulraney is on international duty with the Ireland u21 squad. Collin Seedorf, Zak Elbouzedi and Aaron Doran will miss out despite playing the challenge game at Dingwall in midweek. Riccardo Calder will be a ready made replacement for Mulraney. Tom Taiwo and Craig Sibbald are out. Paul Hartley confirmed that both have started to do some light running but are well short of first team action. tm4tj Prediction:- It's a break from the league campaign and a chance for some silverware. I expect Falkirk to go into this one with more energy than they showed in the recent league game against us. We are a different beast though and the confidence gained from our unbeaten run will do us no harm at all. This will be a tight affair but home advantage could swing this in our favour. Inverness to edge this one, but it might take penalties to do it. One of our own fans has been getting some high praise for the fantastic sporting artwork she has been producing amongst other things. The talented Sophie Robb, who lives on the Black Isle overlooking the Caledonian Stadium has been producing remarkable images of great local sporting moments, captured in paintings. Some of her work can be seen here. There is also a great article on the BBC website about Sophie. Sophie's Art Well done Sophie, you are a very creative and artistic person. I hope Inverness Caledonian Thistle give you more opportunities to recreate the moment.
  18. Livingston -V- Inverness CT

    No goals at Pasta place. In John Robertson's 100th game in charge, Inverness made it six clean sheets in a row as they played out a 0-0 draw against Livingston at the Tony Macaroni Stadium. It was no surprise that John Robertson made no changes to the starting XI from the one that beat Dunfermline Athletic last week. That meant that John Baird was deemed fit enough to continue up front. Gary Warren remained on the bench with Coll Donaldson in his place once more and Alex Cooper returned to the squad after injury. David Hopkin made three changes to the starting line-up that beat Brechin City last week. Onto the bench went Nikolay Todorov, Rafa De-Vita and Jack McMillan. In came Jackson Longridge, Keaghan Jacobs and Danny Mullen. 1262 paid to witness this encounter with 267 in the away end making themselves heard. Livi came flying out of the blocks and had two attempts in the first couple of minutes, Josh Mullin testing Mark Ridgers and Craig Halkett heading over from a corner. Connor Bell had the ball in the net after six minutes from a John Baird cross, but the linesman flagged him for offside. Coll Donaldson was booked after twenty minutes as Livi looked to threaten and at the other end Jake Mulraney was close to connecting with a Joe Chalmers cross. Five minutes later and Mulraney was fed through on goal by Liam Polworth but Neil Alexander denied the pacey wide player saving low to his left. Ten minutes before the break Longridge went close after he found some space in the box from a Danny Mullen lay off. Mulraney turned on the after burners but Alexander foiled him as he lost control having done the difficult bit. Danny Mullen was yellow carded five minutes before the interval and Carl Tremarco followed him into the book a couple of minutes later after a late tackle. However, we made it to the interval without conceding and still had eleven players on the park. Inverness possibly shaded the first half with Mulraney looking dangerous. Half Time 0-0 As in the first half, Livi looked intent on breaching our defence and pressed hard without actually creating anything. Brad Mckay is next to have his name taken as the home side threatened to break forward. Around the hour mark, George Oakley replaced Baird who was reportedly struggling to make this one. Tremarco almost latched on to a Mulraney cross as the visitors made some progress. Livi subbed Penrice for Cadden. Shortly after, Tremarco was replaced by Riccardo Calder. Polworth tried his luck from outside the box but his shot ran out of steam and Alexander saved comfortably and at the opposite end Ridgers dealt easily with a cracker from Jacobs with twenty minutes left. Longridge upended Mulraney and was booked for his troubles. Jake dragged a shot wide moments later. Hopkin made his final changes and Danny Mullen and Josh Mullin went off, Nikolay Todorov and Dylan Mackin came on. Chalmers won a corner with ten minutes left but it came to nothing as Polworth fired well over. Moments later Polly fed Bell in on goal but Alexander came out on top once more, managing to get a toe on the ball to divert it from goal. Todorov and Cadden shot over as Livi tried to nick a winner but we made it six clean sheets in a row to take a hard earned point back up the A9. Full Time 0-0 Immortal Howden Ender will have the full version of the days events for us in due course......... and here it is. RETURN TO THE TOEKNEE MACARONI - NO GOALS BUT PLENTY OF POSITIVES First game I have been to since Dumbarton and it was like watching a brand new team – a much improved and organised outfit – and I was advised that this was below the standards set at Tannadice and against Dumbfarmlife. Well dropped the missus off at the Travelodge, a swift pint in the Hungry Horse at the top of the Hill and down to the petite Stadium Bar and a few swift voddie and cokes with Top Six. And then we were all paraded into the Main Stand. It was packed and we must have had close to 50% of the attendance – and we certainly made ourselves heard. A 0-0 always conjures up the idea of boredom and a lack of entertainment. Apart from the first 2-3 minutes - when Livi flew out of the blocks and had fashioned two chances – I felt that we were always in control, if anyone deserved to win it was us but most of the play was confined to the middle sections of the pitch. On show were two very well drilled defences but two teams clearly lacking in the necessary firepower to clinch all three points. In many ways we cancelled each other out as Livi’s style and system was almost identical to ours. We had two good chances to steal three points in both halves. Mulraney had the first half chance after a great through ball from (?) Vigurs, he outpaced the defence but brought out a good save from the veteran Alexander. IMHO Connor Bell had the better chance and really should have tucked it away. And what a through ball from Polworth. So we looked very solid and confident at the back. We won the midfield battle but I felt that we were lacking up front and the two “wee man attack” against the likes of Livi will not work. But we are getting better and better – fitter and fitter – and all of a sudden a play-off place is very much back on the cards. Only negative was our discipline (again) and picking up three cheap yellow cards – Mckay, Donaldson and Tremarco. And we picked up praise from both coaches. Inverness manager John Robertson: "That's six clean sheets and something the players should be immensely proud of because they're working their socks off. We had to match a really honest, intense, direct Livingston team and we managed to create a few opportunities. Livingston manager David Hopkin: "Inverness have really picked up defensively and Neil Alexander's pulled off a couple of great saves to keep us in it as well. Before the game I'd have taken a point. We were playing against an experienced and well-drilled side. SMILEYMOMETER RIDGERS Nowt to do with fitness, all to do with confidence and a much improved back four. RAVEN May not have many more opportunities so I will give him the MotM Award. More like the old Rave, kept going and overlapping for 90 minutes. MCKAY Not pretty but dogged and efficient. DONALDSON Mighty close in my MotM choice. Can't believe the difference in him in comparison with Dumbarton. TREMARCO Probably a real influence on the improvement defensively but I suspect he will be missing in action for another few weeks. MULRANEY Appears to have been given some “play for the shirt” medication but also played wide right and offensive which is undoubtedly where he is at his best. POLWORTH Another 110% display. If only we had a Brewster or Dargo to feed to. VIGURS Showed the usual class touches but I suspect that he was singled out for the “don’t let him play” attention by Livi. CHALMERS I really (always) liked him in midfield. A real battler and a great foil for Vigurs, Polworth and Mulraney. BAIRD Needs a goal. Plus he is the target man and I don’t think that he is comfortable with that. Better player running off the front man. BELL Well I would simply pick him in front of Baird – as the runner – at the present time. Great run on to a greater pass which led to him missing the 1:1 opportunity of the game. CALDER Looked a bit dodgy and not the ideal cover for Tremarco at full back/wing back OAKLEY WTF – what an action packed half hour put in. Probably boosted by the fan chants and evidently clapping enthusiastically at the final whistle. ROBBO Continues to improve. Will be interesting who he plays at left back and surely Oakley has booked a start as the Number 9. Here's the action from the Tony Macaroni......... Robbo was a bit disappointed not to take all three points, but he was very happy with the Caley Jags Away fans. Date: 04/11/2017 Venue: Tony Macaroni Stadium Attendance: 1262 Referee: Gavin Duncan Livingston: 0 Lineup: Alexander; Longridge, Byrne, Halkett, Gallagher, Lithgow, Mullin (Mackin, 77) Pittman, Penrice (Cadden, 65), Jacobs, Mullen (Todorov, 77). Subs (not used): Maley, Knox, Carrick, Todorov. Booked: Mullen, Longridge. Scorers: none Booked: D Mullen (40), Longridge (74) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Raven, Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco (Calder, 69), Chalmers, Polworth, Vigurs, Mulraney, Bell, Baird (Oakley, 60). Subs (not used): Esson, Warren, Cooper, Trafford, Mackay. Booked: Donaldson, Tremarco, Mckay. Scorers: none Booked: Donaldson (21), Tremarco (44), B Mckay (56) Sent Off: none a
  19. Livingston -V- Inverness CT - Preview

    As to commenting, it seems as if TM4TJ actually means .."The Master For Today's Job"... Aye!
  20. Time to get one over Pars We welcome Dunfermline Athletic to the Caledonian Stadium on Saturday and the opportunity to avenge the 5-1 thrashing we suffered at East End Park back in August. That was a sore one when we were still searching for our best eleven and formation. We might not be the finished article yet, but we have come a long way since then and four clean sheets in a row is testament to that. Build from the back they say. We have done that recently and an impressive display at Falkirk, coupled with a dominant performance at Tannadice has given us more optimism than was evident earlier in the campaign and shown that we are capable of competing with our revamped squad. Goals from Iain Vigurs and Connor Bell saw off United, but it was the overall display and composure that pleased most fans. Mark Ridgers was much criticised previously, but he also stepped up to the mark and looked more confident. Much of that will be gained from having a more efficient defence in front of him. He had a difficult time off the park recently and this article in the Inverness Courier explains all. Dunfermline are in great shape just now. Twenty points gleaned from their opening ten games from six wins, two defeats and two draws. Their defeats came at Morton and at home to the Arabs. However, they are the top scorers in the Championship with twenty-five goals, that's more than twice as many as we have managed. The Pars sit second only two points behind leaders St Mirren. Their last outing saw them defeat Livingston 3-1 thanks to a first half blitz, with goals from Kallum Higginbotham (2) and Fraser Aird. Inverness will soon be boosted with the return of a couple of players. Aaron Doran and Zak Elboudedi have returned to training but are short of full match fitness. They did play half a game in midweek and came through it unscathed. Warren and Trafford are recovering from hand injuries but are able to play, however, Alex Cooper is the latest casualty having injured an ankle. Collin Seedorf, Owain Fon Williams and Felitciano Zschusschen remain out. The Pars have top scorer Joe Cardle available again. Former Caley Jaggy Nat Wedderburn will feature for the Pars. tm4tj prediction:- We should offer a much stiffer test for Dunfermline than we did at East End Park. We must be wary of the fire power from the Pars who have the top three scorers in the league. Joe Cardle is an obvious threat, but Kallum Higginbotham likes a goal or two against us as well. Recent clean sheets have been very welcome, but scoring goals is not our strong point just now. For a striker, John Baird is not ideal, but his work rate can not be questioned. Jake Mulraney could be a key player today, his pace will be a tremendous asset and hopefully an end product will materialise. Might have to settle for a point, but that will be a massive improvement on the previous encounter and a good gauge of where we are at this stage of the campaign. More details in the Official Website preview.
  21. Caley Jags dump the Arabs Inverness threw the form book out the window as they went to Tannadice and convincingly beat United 2-0 thanks to first half strikes from Iain Vigurs and Connor Bell. It was no more than Inverness deserved as they kept the home side relatively quiet throughout and the three points went back up the A9. Thankfully, they paid no attention to my pre-match prediction of a home win and went about their business with some authority. John Robertson went with an unchanged side from the excellent draw at Falkirk. Under fire Arabs boss Ray McKinnon brought in Scott McDonald and Sam Stanton to try and give him some attacking promise. Out went Billy King and Jordie Briels missed out through injury. That went well Raymond! A board meeting was hastily arranged at Tannadice on Saturday night. ICT Chris was in attendance and he was suitably chuffed with how things went, here is his account of the game. We were excellent today, thoroughly deserved the win and it probably should've been more. We appear to have stumbled on a formation and style that works, or it has the last two weeks anyway. We built on the performance against Falkirk and improved on it. We set up in a pretty standard 4-4-2, relatively flat in midfield with Chalmers left and Mulraney right. Vigurs and Polworth sat in the middle in front of the the same back four as previously, including returning hero Donaldson. Up front we had Baird and Bell. United had a few chances early and forced Ridgers into a reflex save from a shot (didn't see who hit it) and then we had to scramble clear from within the six yard box after a prolonged stramash. After that we really took over and started having an impact in an attacking sense. Baird and Tremarco missed headers and we had a few other openings before opening the scoring. Following a corner the ball was headed clear to Vigurs who shot in from the edge of the box. We then doubled our lead with one of the best goals I've seen us score in years. A United attack broke down around our 18 yard box and we broke with a little dink into midfield from Donaldson (I think). We then moved the ball quickly through midfield and released Mulraney with a weighted through ball. Mulraney rinsed the left back for pace and drove into the box, where he hit a driven low cross that Connor Bell drilled in from a couple of yards. It was a ******* belter, everything about it was perfect, the passing, the pace, the finish. When Mulraney got the ball I said to my mate that this would be goal of the season, I can't imagine us scoring a better one this season. We had a couple of other breaks which could've lead to goals in the first half, Mulraney, Baird and Bell all had opportunities. Into the second half and we again sat strong and broke, with Mulraney probably having the best chance when he was put right through but didn't shoot quickly enough. Donaldson also had a header that he put over but should've got on target. United, oddly, played with their centre half Durnan up front from an hour but that had zero impact, I don't think a single chance came from it. There were a couple of set pieces that Ridgers had to save but weren't really threatening. It was nervy for the fans because we've been so bad but looking back, we cigar'd it in the second half. Full Time 0-2 Overall, we were excellent. Vigurs was at the heart of everything, he ran the midfield. He has been superb this season, strolling though games and dominating possession. He can switch the play but it's the way he plays little passes to create space, flicks round the corner of players and turns with the ball that makes him so effective. He really has been a class act and is the heart of our team. Defensively we have somehow become settled and solid. Having two experienced full backs in Tremarco and Raven is a help but Donaldson has been a rock the last two weeks, defends well, no nonsense, quick and good in the air. He clearly loved getting that win, going by his celebrations at the end. He looks like being a real find. Up front Baird and Bell aren't likely to be prolific but the way they pull defenders about, hold the ball and make runs is vital to creating the space for our chances. Mulraney has kicked on in the last two weeks, another confidence filled game today, including an actual assist, miracle of miracles! Second week in a row he dominated the full back and his end product was better. Great stuff You can see why ICT Chris was drooling over the second goal. She's a belter as Gerry Cinnamon would say.......... Robbo was suitably chuffed as well Date: 21/10/2017 Venue: Tannadice Attendance: 5560 Referee: Willie Collum Dundee United: 0 Lineup: Lewis; Durnan, Toshney, McMullan (Murdoch, 60), McDonald, Stanton (Fraser, 76), Edjenguele, Flood, Robson, Keatings, Fyvie (King, 52). Subs (not used): Mehmet, Scobbie, N'koyi, Smith. Scorers: none Booked: James Keatings (65) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Raven, Tremarco, Chalmers, Polworth, Baird, Vigurs (Oakley, 87), Mulraney (Cooper, 74), Bell (Trafford, 82), Mckay, Donaldson. Subs (not used): Esson, Warren, Elsdon, Mackay. Scorers: Iain Vigurs (28) Connor Bell (36) Booked: Brad Mckay (16) Sent Off: none a
  22. Tannadice Test Inverness travel to Dundee to take on faltering Dundee United at Tannadice on the back of three successive clean sheets, the Arabs finding the going tougher than their big spending board might have thought. The League campaign kicked off for both clubs back in August when the two sides met at the Caledonian Stadium on matchday one. That game was settled by a softish penalty award when Paul McMullen went down under a challenge in the box. He picked himself up and took the spot kick, scoring the only goal of the game. In all honesty, there was little between the sides other than that goal and some defensive errors from Inverness that gave United further opportunities. It's been downhill for Inverness since then with only one league win, and that against bottom club Brechin. Three draws interspersed with defeats have given us a meagre six points out of a possible twenty-seven. That's relegation form in any division. Recent results have been slightly more encouraging though and the clean sheets breed confidence. The first round of games have been played in the Championship and Inverness find themselves in second bottom place. However there were signs at Falkirk that maybe some progress has been made and a third clean sheet in a row gives the team something to build on. On top of that, we were much more prominent in attack and assured in midfield. The downside was the familiar lack of a cutting edge. Plenty of chances were created, but none taken, and that needs to change soon or we will be cut adrift at the wrong end of the table. The Arabs suffered a 2-0 defeat at Livingston last week, after two good wins over Dunfermline and Morton. They drew with Falkirk and Dumbarton prior to that when they would have been looking to take full points from those games. The defeat at Livingston was their first in seven games. Despite recruiting well over the summer, it's still a tough league to stamp your authority on. Although United have under performed in some games, they still sit at the right end of the table, in fourth place, four points behind leaders St Mirren and a massive eleven points ahead of second bottom Inverness. Both sides have scored ten Championship goals, but United's defence are six better off than us despite our recent upgrade in defence. Inverness are without Aaron Doran, Collin Seedorf, Zak Elbouzedi, big Susan and Owain Fon Williams. Gary Warren and Charlie Trafford might be included in the squad, although both will be sporting hand protection after suffering damaged thumbs. Injuries seem to be hindering our progress once more although Coll Donaldson has shown some form since his introduction at center back. United have a doubt in Dutchman Jordie Briels with a hip injury. Scott Fraser could make the squad after showing no adverse signs on his return to full training, but is not yet ready for the rigours of a match. Paul Quinn is available. Manager Ray McKinnon expects a tough game with Inverness starting to get to grips with life in the Championship, pointing to the three clean sheets in the last three games. tm4tj prediction:- It's a tough place to go to at the best of times, but when your at an all time low then it becomes a tremendous weight on your shoulders and it will be like running in treacle. I'm heartened by the clean sheets, but the lack of a cutting edge counteracts that. I didn't think there was too much between the sides in the opening game, but maybe United afforded us too much respect and sat in a bit. I fully expect a torrid afternoon and unless we have discovered a way to score goals, then a goalless draw is our best bet for a point. I'm not too confident about this one though and we might have to take one on the chin at Tannadice. Home win for me. More details in the Official preview from the ICTFC website.
  23. At least we were no Skelpied Inverness showed much improvement in the land of the Kelpies as they more than matched Falkirk in a no score draw at the Falkirk Stadium. Despite hitting the woodwork a couple of times, the ball managed to stay out and we took a well deserved point back up the A9. Falkirk fans pretty much in agreement that we should have won all three, anything from three to five goals is the going rate at the moment. John Robertson made two changes from the side that beat Peterhead. Out went the injured Owain Fon Williams with Mark Ridgers deputising and Riccardo Calder dropped to the bench in favour of Jake Mulraney. Paul Hartley, in his first game in charge, reinstated Robbie Thomson in goals as expected, but Nathan Austin only made the bench with Sammy Hippolyte starting. Lee Miller missed out altogether. 4107 fans were on hand to watch Hartley's first game in the hot seat with 160 fans in the away end. Alex Harris and Joe McKee were first to get shots away, Mark Ridgers having to deal with the second one with a save low down. Inverness began to compete but early efforts from Polworth and Baird petered out. Thomson stopped the first one and Baird just missing the target with his attempt. Polworth looks to be on a mission and tried another from distance but this time his shot was blocked. Good opening quarter from the visitors and Chalmers won a corner after his shot was deflected behind and from the corner kick, Brad Mckay won another from his header. Thomson stops the flow this time as he gathers in his box. What a surprise, Jake Mulraney gets booked for alleged simulation. Polly goes in the book as well for questioning the decision. Jake gets a lot of this, travelling at speed brings it's own downfalls at times. Half an hour gone and Chalmers delivers a decent ball into the area but it's turned behind for another corner to Inverness. Jordan McGhee was thwarted by a fantastic tip over from Mark Ridgers, his header looking like it was about to open the scoring. Looks like the video cameraman wasn't quick enough to catch the action, so I have added the photo from the Falkirk website match report to give you an indication of the quality reaction save by Ridgers. Tremendous reaction from close range. Five minutes before the break and John Baird won a free kick in a promising position, however Chalmers' shot went narrowly wide of the mark with Thomson scrambling across his line as the ball fizzed past his left hand post.. An encouraging opening half from the visitors and they went in at the break on level terms. Half Time 0-0 Baird started the second forty-five in similar fashion to the first, shooting just wide again. Mulraney made good progress and found Baird who played it to Vigurs, but he shot wide as well. Recurring theme here. Carl Tremarco burst into the box but he also fired high over the bar. Hartley has seen enough of Tom Taiwo and Kevin O'Hara and replaces them with Cameron Blues and James Craigen as he looks to get a better grasp of midfield where Iain Vigurs was running the show. Baird headed over as the near misses continued. Connor Bell was next to break into the box, he went closer but his shot clips the outside of the post and goes behind for a goal kick. Next attack and Baird fed Bell at the back post but Thomson blocks. He also gathers an effort from Polworth as Inverness look for the opener and a Vigurs corner starts a melee in the box, but it is eventually gathered by the keeper. Mulraney shows a clean pair of heels to the Falkirk players and a corner is won as a result of this. From the set piece, Mulraney smacks the post. Everything but a goal from Inverness and Coll Donaldson flicked a header wide. With five minutes left, Jake Mulraney left the field to be replaced by last weeks young record breaker Daniel MacKay. Both sides went looking for the winner in the dying moments of this game, but despite plenty of effort, the ball remained out of the net. Full Time 0-0 So, despite fearing the worst, we were untroubled for the greater part of this game and with a bit of luck could have scored two or three and Falkirk would have had no complaints had we done so. Like the League Cup game, we more than matched the Bairns, but this time we cut out the comedy defending and thoroughly deserved our point. A few plus points for Inverness. A clean sheet for under fire keeper Mark Ridgers, a solid defensive display for Coll Donalson, Jake Mulraney doing what he should be doing, and no fighting in the dugout this week. Iain Vigurs was in control mode in the midfield and gets our MotM award. Minus point was the familiar failure to score goals given the opportunities available. Some wayward results today with Livvi beating the Arabs and Dunfermline drawing with Queens. Defeat for Brechin keeps them rooted to the bottom and we remain second bottom, but after today's performance, there is a great deal more optimism than there was a couple of weeks ago. Check the video's and see the progress being made. A more ebullient Robbo and honesty from Paul Hartley. Date: 14/10/2017 Venue: Falkirk Stadium Attendance: 4107 Referee: Nick Walsh Falkirk FC: 0 Lineup: Thomson, McGhee, Grant, Balatoni, Muirhead, Harris (Austin 67), McKee, Kerr, Taiwo (Blues 59), O'Hara (Craigen 59), Hippolyte. Subs (not used): Gasparotto, Shepherd, Gallacher, Mutch. Scorers: none Booked: Hippolyte Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers, Raven, B Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco, Polworth, Vigurs, Chalmers, Mulraney (D MacKay 85), Bell, Baird. Subs (not used): Esson, Elsdon, Oakley, Calder, Cooper, Brown. Scorers: none Booked: Mulraney (25), Polworth (25), B McKay (90+4) Sent Off: none a
  24. Bairns outing. Inverness travel to Falkirk on Saturday to take on Paul Hartley's Bairns with the game kicking off at 3:00pm at the Falkirk Stadium. As if this game wasn't going to be difficult enough, Falkirk have been given a lift by the signing of their new manager who replaced Peter Houston who was removed a couple of weeks ago. Since then, with Alex Smith guiding them, they have defeated Morton at Greenock and have jumped above us in the league. Last Saturday they had a tremendous 2-0 win over high flying Dunfermline in the Challenge Cup. That result along with our defeat of Peterhead sees us play Falkirk in the next round of the Challenge Cup, having already played them in the league cup. Minimum of six games against the Bairns this season, surely we'll manage to improve on our previous result so far. The League Cup encounter went the way of Falkirk earlier this season. A 2-0 defeat at home sounds like a bad one, but we were the architect of our own downfall in this game. Both goals came from slackness in our own defence and were preventable. McKee and Austin were the benefactors of our generosity. We have tightened up a bit at the back but let's not imagine that we are the finished article yet. Owain Fon Williams was restored to the sticks, but that ain't going to happen against Falkirk this time. The Welsh stopper is out for around six weeks with a torn muscle picked up in training. Our last game saw us beat Peterhead 3-0 in the Challenge cup. For long spells we failed to dominate but enter Daniel MacKay. The sixteen year old was a late sub and scored the final goal to finish off the game. He became our youngest ever player and scorer @ 16 years and 171 days. Well done Daniel, I'm sure there will be more to come in the future. Liam Polworth and Riccardo Calder were the other scorers. Daniels big day was slightly overshadowed by the unsavoury incident in the dugout as Polworth and Scott Kellacher angrily reacted to each others presence. The issue has reportedly been dealt with in house and we can only hope that Liam Polworth will be eligible to play after his internal punishment. We need all hands to the pumps, and Liam can add something to midfield if given the right treatment and role. Time to put this behind us and start climbing the league. Robbo's credentials are being brought to task by some fans. Understandable after our poor start to the season. This game will show which end of the table we will be plying our trade. Many feel that has already been decided. I would rather the fans got behind the club at this point, as we need everyone to pull in the same direction. John Robertson faces uncertainty after a series of freak injuries. Along with Owain Fon Williams, Charlie Trafford and Gary Warren are both out with thumb injuries. Aaron Doran, Zak Elbouzedi Collin Seedorf and big Susan are still out longer term, but there is some progress although it's too early to expect any of them back in the next couple of months. Coll Donaldson will continue at the heart of the defence after a solid showing against Peterhead. Mark Ridgers will no doubt be the No 1, let's hope his confidence has been rediscovered. Paul Hartley's first game in total control could see little change to the recent winning ways of the Bairns after a poor start to their season. However, Hartley will want to add his own style to the improving Bairns and he might make a change or two, but there is little need for that given our shot shy strikeforce. He can call on the services of proven strikers like Lee Miller, Rory Loy, Sammy Hyppolite, the list goes on. Joe McKee packs a tremendous shot and will be a danger at set pieces. Last time out Alex Smith sent Falkirk out like this:- Mitchell (Thomson 70), Muirhead, Grant, Balatoni, McGhee, McKee, Taiwo, Kerr, Harris, Hippolyte (Craigen 75), O’Hara (Austin 87). I would expect Robbie Thomson to start in goals for this one. tm4tj prediction:- I fear we may be under the cosh at Falkirk as our injury woes return big style. Along with our lack of creation, defensive frailties, striking issues and infighting, this will be an uphill task. Falkirk have finally got their season going, but we look to be a long way short of that. If our makeshift defence can cope, we might keep the score respectable, failing that we could end up on the wrong side of a cricket score. Home win I'm afraid. More detail can be found on the Official Website in the ICTFC v Falkirk preview.
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