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Hamilton -V- Inverness CT - SPFL

Jan 24 2015 10:19 PM | tm4tj in Reports 2014-15

Inverness now own Accies

 

 

 

 

Inverness moved to within a point of Aberdeen as they overcame Hamilton in the 10p game at New Douglas Park. It was a quiet first half with Hamilton just having the edge but an own goal by Grant Gillespie and a team goal finished by Nick ross made it four defeats on the bounce for the Accies and five wins on the trot for Inverness.

 

The 10p admission price made for a large crowd looking for Hamilton to bounce back after three losses, with the visitors hoping to build on their fine run of four wins in a row. At the end of the game, Inverness now get to keep Hamilton Accies after our third win over them this season. Meh!

 

 

Immortal Howden Ender has penned this wonderful report for us.

 

 

ANOTHER AGONISING AFFAIR AGAINST ADMIRABLE ACCIES

 

post-25-0-84090600-1422186364.jpg

 

There was as much chance of seeing a goal in that first half as being served in one of the local hostelries. However I was later advised that the local publicans had feared an influx of Old Firm fans due to the Cellic playing early doors and Sevco getting postponed. Anyone we managed to squeeze in to the Tap to raise a dram to Frank McAvoy and Alex O'Neil. If you had been doing a pay at half time to define your entertainment rating then 10p may just have been feckin accurate !!

 

To be fair to Hamilton I thought that they bossed the first half whilst not really looking like a threat. To be fair also we did look solid at the back throughout and it was a couple of indisciplined moments of our making that jangled the first half nerves. Deano had one of his moments after 5 opening minutes when he clattered Meekings with an attempted clearance sclaff. The other was yet another needless booking for Gary Warren but the spirited Jesus Garcia then sent a free-kick over the bar. Fortunately the much derided Imrie also sclaffed his chance as well. Forgive me if I am wrong but our only efforts were both from Greg Tansey and only one was on target and did not exactly test Pinocchio McGovern. Deano to be fair redeemed himself holding a decent strike from Tony Andreu. And then they sold out of feckin pies before the half time whistle.

 

Half Time 0-0

 

Yet again we came out in the second half like men possessed. I am really not sure what happened in the first 45 but we looked like we were going for a 1-0 on the break. We hardly put two passes together and then we play them literally off the pitch. Some of the passing and especially the movement was a joy to behold. Canning looked very nervy and perhaps the onus of player manager may be too much for him. His slip let in wee Billy and although Pinocchio saved well that was the cue for a change in the bossing. Grant Gillespie saw appeals for a Hamilton penalty turned down early in the second period but that really was the only scare we got from then forwards, Wee Billy then showed another side to his repertoire and set up both the goals - the second being as good a team effort as I have seen in a while. On 53 minutes Wee Billy looped a pass towards Graeme Shinnie, whose his shot rebounded off both McGovern and Gillespie before nestling in the net. It may have been slightly fortunate but it was well deserved. Pinnochio then prevented wee Billy and then turned a Meekings header wide.

 

Full Time 0-2

 

With fifteen minutes to go we made the game safe with a delightful passing move. Again wee Billy and Ross Draper were the architects - combining down the left to provide an inviting cross that Ross duly slammed past a helpless Pinnochio. Draper possibly could have scored himself but he laid it off to Nick Ross. It was noticeable that the second goal heralded a stampede of departures from the away end as the Old Firm hangers on decided to leave and head for the Buckfast shop. And two eminent gypsies left early doors as well from the midst of the away support. Substitute Aaron Doran passed up a late opportunity to add gloss to the scoreline. But to put an absolute damper on the day Deano collapsed, under no apparent pressure, and it looked like he had jarred his knee. It was more worrying that it took almost 4 minutes to treat him and he was carted off on a stretcher. That also gave rise to the biggest cheer of the day for the return of the Esson. Lets hope Deano's injury is not as bad as once feared but I would say the we are extremely fortunate to have Ryan as back up.

 

So we had seven shots in the second half with six on target, 60-40 possession and four corners. We only committed five fouls over the 90 minutes and, irritatingly to me, two of them resulted in two more needless bookings with Draper following Warren into the book. I even thought Brian Colvin had a good day at the office.

 

I will leave it to Yogi to sum up the day - "I didn't enjoy the game .. There was a real apprehension before the game. We were getting a bit complacent and it showed in the first half... Second half we got back to what we're all about. Even if it wasn't a great performance it showed me the spirit and that's what got us the win. They were the better team in the first half and played some nice football. In terms of us getting on the ball and making things happen that's the worst I've seen us for a long while...But, credit to them in terms of still keeping that clean sheet... We're punching well above our weight. Our main goal at the start of the season was to stay up. I'm serious.. I'm just lucky I'm working with a bunch of boys that want to improve as footballers. We've got a happy, spirited team. It's all about getting results and if you're getting results your job is made easy". That must be the first time that I have wholly concurred with the closing statement from one of our managers :notworthy:

 

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>

 

SMILEYMOMETER :smile: 

 

DEANO :smile:  :smile:  :smile:  To be fair he had little to do but did his job when asked - GET WELL SOON BIG MAN

 

RAVEN :smile:  :smile:  :smile:  A quiet day at the office. Did not really notice him that much.

 

MEEKINGS :smile:  :smile:  :smile:  Again effective and nearly scored with a cracking header.

 

WARREN :smile:  :smile:  :smile:  Again solid but I do wish that he would cut out the needless fouls which lead to needless bookings and needless suspensions.

 

TREMARCO :smile:  :smile:  :smile:  :smile:  Humble pie time fer moi !!  Excellent performance and that included coming forwards. Much improved an my MOM

 

WILLIAMS :smile:  :smile: :smile:  Another who was quietly effective and played in a more defence minded mode. And possibly suffered from the performances of Tremarco and Shinnnie and our preference to play down the left.

 

DRAPER :smile:  :smile:  :smile:  Excellent "holding" display but the same negative comments as Warren

 

TANSEY :smile: :smile:  :smile:  :smile:  Reminds me of a modern day Gary McAllister and that IS a compliment

 

ROSS :smile: :smile:  :smile:  Not quite sure what his role was but will give similar comment as to Williams. Did he take his goal well with calmness and assurity. 

 

McKAY :smile: :smile:  :smile:  :smile:  Poor wee Billy must have been as frustrated as the fans in the first half but showed in the second that there is more to his game than goalscoring. And his constant movement was a joy to watch and relive.

 

 

 

Inverness CT 

Brill (Esson 94), Raven, Shinnie ©, Warren, Meekings, Mckay, Draper, Ross, Tansey, Tremarco, Williams (Doran 79)

Subs:- Vincent, Devine, Horner, Polwarth, Christie.

 

 

Hamilton 

McGovern, Gillespie, Canning, Tana, Hendrie, Routledge, MacKinnon (Docherty 83), Crawford, Redmond (Brophy 69), Imrie (Longridge 82), Andreu

Subs:- Watson, Hill, Antoine-Curier, El-Zubaidi.

 

 

 

Referee:- Brian Colvin

 

Crowd:- 5089

 

 

Final score Hamilton Accies 0-2 Inverness CT



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Hamilton -V- Inverness CT -SPFL

Jan 23 2015 08:21 PM | tm4tj in Previews 2014-15

10p Game

After the pay what you want, comes the 10 pence game. It would appear that the clubs don't need money these days. This is a remarkable gesture from Hamilton Accies in recognition of their former player and manager Alex Neil who moved on to Norwich recently. As a tribute to him, the Accies have reduced prices to the number he wore, 10, hence the 10p admission prices.

The midweek games saw Inverness walk all over a poor St Johnstone while Hamilton felt the full force of the unpredictables, Patrick Thistle who routed the Accies 5-0. These results have seen a 5 point gap open up between the teams as Inverness remained in 3rd place due to United drawing with St Mirren with Hamilton in 5th.

Inverness were the victors in the two previous games this season, winning 2-0 at New Douglas Park and 4-2 in the return game at Inverness.

Richie Foran is out, but still an important part of the set up, working behind the scenes. Choices for Hughes who, if any, he brings in after a convincing win in midweek.

Martin Canning is the man tasked with keeping Hamilton at the top end of the table, not an easy job following behind the local legend. 

Short preview this week due to technical problems. My laptop is in thirty bits. Not good.

Tm4tj prediction is brief as well. I am tipping Inverness to pile more misery on Accies recent form and take all three points back North.



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Inverness CT -V- St Johnstone - SPFL

Jan 20 2015 06:23 PM | Scotty in Reports 2014-15

Easy Money

 

 

 

Inverness cruised to victory over a rancid St Johnstone side devoid of skill, energy, subtleness and quality. First half goals from Billy Mckay and Marley Watkins had Inverness in the driving seat before the break as the Perth side never got out of first gear. No further goals in the second half but I doubt Inverness will have an easier game all season. Someone needs to tell the St Johnstone team it was a pay what you can night, not a play when you can be bothered.

 

.Graeme Shinnie moved to right back to replace the suspended David Raven and Danny Williams started along with Marley Watkins. Ryan Christie and James Vincent started from the bench and young Ally Sutherland made an appearance before the end.

St Johnstone were without James McFadden, but the dangerous Michael O'Halloran started.

The pay what you want experiment certainly boosted the size of the crowd, not sure about the coffers though.

The visitors started with a flurry of crosses and corners right from the off and from one of these Graeme Shinnie was fortunate to see a sliced clearance shave the top of the bar. It looked as though it was going to be a busy night for the Inverness defence, but that was it really. Once the Caley Jags got hold of the ball, they never relinquished it and it proved to be a difficult night for the Perth men as our possession game took over, albeit sometimes overplayed at times, but in keeping the ball, St Johnstone were restricted to chasing shadows for the rest of the game.

In truth, it turned into shooting practice for the hosts as they turned the screw. Plenty of showboating and slick interplay saw the Perth defence opened up time and time again with only the end product missing. Billy McKay was unlucky a few times as Mannus did his best to thwart the Inverness strikers. He clawed away a Billy header and saw a few efforts go close, none closer than Aaron Doran who hit the post after the ball broke to him on the edge of the box. A goal was imminent though and it carried a touch of fortune initially. An attempted clearance cannoned off a defender amidst claims of handball. Nick Ross never hesitated and his chipped cross found Shinnie at the back post, and he kept it alive by knocking it back to McKay who turned the ball into the net.

The Inverness tails were well and truly up and after a period of ball retention across our own penalty area, the long ball down the left paid off. Tremarco took the ball expertly on his chest as he burst forward before rifling a low ball across the box. Mannus dived but failed to cut it out and Watkins had the simplest of tasks to side foot the ball into an empty net.

St Johnstone were nowhere to be seen as Inverness dominated to the break, Tremarco volleying wide but no more goals as the half ended.

HALF TIME 2-0

If anything the second half was a bit of an anti climax as pretty patterns were still being weaved but the back of the net would not bulge again. That's not to say we did not create anything but a ruthless streak we do not possess. There were a few melee's around the Saints box but that elusive third goal would not come. Nick Ross volleyed over from a good position and one or two efforts were headed away or blocked in the six yard box.

FULL TIME 2-0

St Johnstone were absolutely minging, creating very little and spent most of the game chasing shadows. A lot of that was down to our possession play, but plenty of it was down to their lack of urgency and quality. That said, we let them off lightly by not forcing home our massive superiority and that is my only gripe. Too often we faffed around at the back and played across the park in search of total retention. It certainly worked to piss off St Johnstone but it was getting frustrating to watch at times although it probably kept Brill warm as the chill descended on the stadium.

tm4tj MotM is not easy to pick given our overall dominance. Nick Ross was the sponsors choice, not a bad one at that, but my pick was Carl Tremarco who grew into the game and had a brilliant assist for the second goal. Only Brill gets less than full marks as he had nothing to do but clear pass backs, and one of them he left so late he cleared it next week, almost being shut down. Now where have I seen that before? Happy days, four in a row, here we go!

 

 

Date: 20/01/15  Venue: Caledonian Stadium    Attendance: 3161Referee: Kevin Clancy Inverness CT: 2Lineup: Brill, Shinnie, Warren, Meekings, Tremarco, Watkins (Christie 67), Draper, Williams (Vincent 81), Doran, Ross, McKay (Sutherland 87)
Subs (not used): Esson, Devine, Horner, Polworth
Scorers: Mckay (34), Watkins (41)Booked: noneSent Off: none
 St Johnstone: 0
Lineup: Mannus, Mackay, Anderson, Wright (Miller 55), Scobbie, O'Halloran (Kane 29), Brown (McDonald 46), Lappin, Caddis, Wotherspoon, Graham
Subs (not used): Banks, MacLean, Croft, Easton
Scorers: noneBooked: Graham (27), Lappin (46), Anderson (68), McDonald (70)Sent Off: none

 

 



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Inverness CT -V- St Johnstone - SPFL

Jan 19 2015 08:57 PM | tm4tj in Previews 2014-15

Pay What You Can



It's innovation time at Tulloch Caledonian Stadium this Tuesday night as the club introduce a Pay What You Can strategy as the January purse strings tighten on us all. This is the first time a Premiership club has tried this and credit to the Caley Jags board for recognising the plight of the football fan in trying times for fans and clubs alike. See the full story on the official sight right here at http://ictfc.com/news/club-news/1456-pay-what-you-can-v-st-johnstone



It's the turn of Scottish Cup holders St Johnstone to visit the Highland capital having already defeated us 1-0 in a typically dour encounter in Perth when the fall guy Brian Graham tricked Willie Collum into awarding a penalty. The same player scored from the spot and has since been handed a two game ban for his cheating and the bungling Mr Collum demoted through the ranks for a couple of weeks for his misinterpretation of the laws, not just for this game, but a series of game changing blunders.

The last six encounters have resulted in four wins for Inverness and two for Perth. Both defences have conceded 21 goals, but it's in attack where Inverness hold the advantage with 30 goals against St Johnstone's 19. That is the main reason we hold a nine point advantage over the Perth men. However, the recent reverse at McDiarmid Park in December was in the middle of a three game losing streak which we seem to have rectified by winning our last three games. Since beating us, St Johnstone have beaten Dundee United before losing to Aberdeen and Hamilton and then triumphing over our Nemesis, Partick Thistle on Saturday. Captain Dave Mackay and Steven Anderson were the scorers

David Raven and Greg Tansey are both suspended for this one with Raven being unable to carry out his punishment at the weekend due to the Tannadice game being off. Bringing Devine in at centre back and moving Meekings to right back is an option as that is where Josh originally plied his trade. This should open the door for a fit Marley Watkins and James Vincent to return with young Ryan Christie raring to go as well. Plenty of options for Hughes.

St Johnstone are without injured midfielders Chris Millar and Murray Davidson and former Scotland international James McFadden is suspended but Lee Croft and Brian Easton are available.

tm4tj prediction:- with a full strength squad I would have had no hesitation in promoting a home win as the safest bet. However regular first choice defender David Raven and midfielder Greg Tansey are under disciplinary suspensions which will weaken the side, although Hughes has plenty of options for replacements. Danny Devine has deputised with seamless ease previously and he could fill the void. I still believe Inverness have enough at their disposal to take all three points, but St Johnstone always seem to make it difficult for teams to break them down. Marley Watkins extra pace has been missed recently and he could return to add a bit of width to our attack. Michael O'Halloran is a threat for the visitors and could unsettle a makeshift defence, but it's a home win for me, however be prepared for a tense struggle.
 



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Dundee Utd -V- Inverness CT - SPFL

Jan 17 2015 08:04 PM | tm4tj in Reports 2014-15

Game off

 

 

 

Oh dear. Once again the old problem of calling games off too late reared it's ugly head. United allegedly had the heaters on since Thursday morning but amazingly there were still pockets of ice around the threadbare goal areas.

 

Many Inverness fans had already left, some as far as Perth before the decision to call the game off was officially announced after a second pitch inspection. Some buses made it to Bruar, little consolation if you ask me.

 

 

This has been posted on the official United site stating the reasons and a reduced offer for tickets when the game is eventually played.

 

January 17, 2015

A Club spokesperson said: “Naturally we’re very disappointed the game can’t go ahead due to the sub zero temperatures we have experienced overnight. Despite taking every precaution and our undersoil heating being on since first thing on Thursday morning, there are patches of the pitch that are a safety hazard for the players particularly in and around the goalmouth areas. We don’t want to take any chances with player safety and as such, while we wanted to give the game as much chance to happen as possible, we also wanted to give fans adequate notice to save unnecessary travel.

“We have also decided that, as a good will gesture in appreciation of the effort being made by supporters at this time of year, we will let supporters of Inverness and Dundee United attend the rescheduled fixture for £5.”

 

However, some choice quotes have been doing the rounds:-

 

£15 to go to Bruar and back...money well spent, said AJS on twitter, however, it got better for him......To Bruar and back for a pish and a Subway. Rare away day experience....... Pointless journey. F*%*!n shambles. Hoping Tuesdays on now.

Bev tweeted.........not a happy supporters bus heading north. What a shambles......we didn't even get a toilet stop.........

Paul was not too happy..........Doesn't take a genius to know that #ICTFC against #DUFC isn't a local derby. Either make a decision early or don't. It's not rocket science.

Gringo was grumpy as well.......Nice one SPFL. Let the ICT fans and team travel down the icy A9 for a couple of hours and then.....and only then....call the game off. You really are a fecking joke.

Anon.........absolutely disgraceful that a basic need cannot be fulfilled I can understand IF the heating failed. It that doesn't seem to be the case, who is doing the ground staffing for United, Stevie Wonder?

 

And the final complaint was .....The SPFL were willing to risk fans travelling on the notorious A9 in these conditions. Tells you all you need to know about where we come.

 

Anyway, fair play to United for reducing the prices for the next one, but could it have been averted in the first instance, and, if in doubt, could it have been called off sooner.



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Dundee Utd - GAME OFF

Jan 16 2015 06:30 PM | tm4tj in Previews 2014-15

GAME OFF

 

 

 

Tannadice is the venue this Saturday with United hosting third equal  Inverness in the weekends top game, where only goal difference separates the sides. At the other end of the spectrum, Ross County have St Mirren as visitors in the ongoing relegation battle.

Inverness picked up an excellent three points last Saturday when a Billy Mckay double helped the 10 men to overcome Kilmarnock. David Raven had been sent off just after the break and Inverness did it the hard way, coming from behind to win convincingly by 1-2, despite the numerical disadvantage. Mckay's two goals were well worth the long trek for the Inverness fans, his tenacity, interplay and invention worthy of a bigger stage.

United had to wait until Monday night for their game when they ousted Hamilton at New Douglas Park in a five goal thriller. United saw a two goal lead dwindle away before Sean Dillon headed the winner to take them above Inverness in the table. Stuart Armstrong and Mackay-Steven had put United in the driving seat before the Accies drew level, but it was United that took all three points.

So, excellent away wins for both clubs that keeps them on the heels of Aberdeen and Celtic. Inverness are on a three game winning run after losing the previous three. United have two wins and a draw in their last three games, including a thumping 6-2 derby win over the Dark Blues. Over the last ten games, United have accumulated nineteen points, one more than Inverness. United are top scorers in the league with forty-two goals which is twelve more than the Caley Jags whereas our defence has conceded seven less than United's.

The first encounter this season saw Inverness win 1-0 in the Highlands thanks to an early Marley Watkins strike. In truth though, the score was kind to United who managed to keep it to one goal. Billy Mckay missed a few chances that day, I'm not so sure he is in the same mood right now after his clinical display at Rugby Park.

United's Gary Mackay-Steven is a talented youngster and has been attracting attention from none other than Celtic who are allegedly preparing a package, but it has been reported that United would take no less than £250K to let the 24 year old Thurso lad leave Tannadice. Sheffield United have already been told to take a hike with their £80K bid.

John Hughes will be without the suspended David Raven. Marley Watkins and James Vincent missed the trip to Kilmarnock, but look to have recovered from their minor knocks. Maybe a gap in the market for Danny Devine to come into the defence although Ross Draper has covered there before and Josh Meekings was originally played at right back. Over to you Yogi. Incidentally, Ibra Sekajja has left the building and signed for Livingstone.

Jackie McNamara is without centre-backs Callum Morris and John Souttar as well as striker Mario Bilate. However, United should have signed the powerful former Motherwell striker Henri Anier in time for him to be included in their squad for this game. Anier scored nine times for Motherwell in forty appearances and will sign a two and a half year deal. It looks as though Gary Mackay-Steven has signed a pre-contract agreement with Celtic and will join the Scottish Champions in the summer. I wonder if that will affect his focus for the remainder of the season? Full back Mark Wilson has left the building.

tm4tj prediction:- This is one of the toughest fixtures on the calendar. However, if you want to mix it with the big boys, this is the right end of the table to be at. Tannadice is not an easy place to get anything from and when United are in full flow they are a joy to behold. The addition of Anier will add strength to an already impressive strike force which is the leagues top scorers. The United front men are backed by an equally impressive midfield who are not afraid to get in amongst the goals. Their defence is suspect though and are more akin to a mid-table side and that is where we will find any joy that comes our way. We will miss David Raven who has been a regular contributor, but Yogi has choices and that could be important who he decides will fill Raven's boots. With Watkins and Vincent at his disposal, we can also boast a decent attacking force, and Christie will be champing at the bit to test his skills with United's engine room. The winner of tomorrow's game will jump into second place in the table, and that's incentive enough for Inverness to take all three points in a tight affair.

By the way, on this very day in 1931 Dundee United recorded their biggest ever win by beating Nithsdale Wanderers 14-0. Jock Bain scored a hat-trick and Tim Williamson bagged five. On the same day, Inverness Caledonian Thistle were erm, unheard of. We were there in spirit though in the shape of Caledonian FC and Inverness Thistle.

The Motherwell v Killie game has been postponed due to damage at Fir Park.

 



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Kilmarnock -V- Inverness CT SPFL

Jan 10 2015 02:28 PM | Scotty in Reports 2014-15

Raven Mad!

 

 

 

Inverness defender David Raven saw red early in the second half after he felled Josh Magennis to provide Alexei Eremenko with the opener from the penalty spot. Raven had also been booked in the first half for a dangerous tackle which could easily have been red. From hero to zero for Raven in the space of a week. Billy Mckay continued his mini scoring spree by getting both Inverness' goals to turn the game on it's head as the ten men took all three points up a snowy A9. That was Mckay's fourth goal in the last three games, great return from the wee man who scores when he wants, and this result moves Inverness back into third place for now, albeit temporarily as Dundee United have still to play Hamilton.

 

 

The Real Mckay

It was a horrendous day weatherwise as the sides entered the park. Strong winds and heavy rain/sleet showers greeting the players and fans alike and the long journey back to Inverness would take a bit longer than normal with driving conditions poor over Drumochter.

Ryan Christie dropped to the bench to make way for Ross Draper in midfield in an otherwise unchanged side from the one that beat St Mirren.

Allan Johnstone added some punch to his shot shy squad with Lee Miller starting ahead of Chris Johnston and Craig Slater putting Jamie Hamill on the bench. It's over 700 minutes since Killie had scored from open play and the local fans showed they are not happy by staying at home.

Like Kenny McLean did at Inverness last week, Greg Tansey waged a one man war on the opposition goal firing in a number of long range shots, Samson equal to those that were on target, tipping one particular wind aided effort over the bar in style.

The visitors were making all the early running and the sharpness of Billy Mckay was troubling the Killie defence. He turned his marker on the inside right position but his shot was blocked for a corner as he sprinted clear.

Eremenko eventually managed to find himself in the opposition half and he let fly from 35 yards. Josh Meekings saw the danger and headed the ball just over with Brill flying across his goalmouth just in case.

This woke Killie up a bit and the same player was just too high with a free kick from the other side of the park, and Lee Miller had Brill scrambling across his line, but his shot on the turn was always going wide, good effort though.

Half Time 0-0

Raven was the scapegoat just after the break, but not before Tansey had once more warmed the palms of Samson. A through ball was missed by Warren in front of the back line allowing Magennis to break into the box. Raven tried his best to cover for the error but only succeeded in tumbling the burly striker. Red card for Raven and the unflappable Eremenko despatched the resultant spot kick effortlessly. Goal for Killie, but still not from open play.

Raven knew the score and never looked back as he made his way off the pitch. He had been booked for a clumsy tackle in the first half and a second yellow would have been enough to send him for an early bath.

The fall guy Magennis spurned a great chance to double the advantage and score without the aid of a set-piece but headed tamely over the bar from six yards with Brill lying on the deck after pushing out an angled drive from Rory Mackenzie.

Killie should have been in heaven by now, one goal to the good and Inverness having to play virtually the whole second half with ten men. We don't do lying down though and the men from the North rolled up their sleeves and took the game to their hosts.

Billy Mckay scored a stunning equalising goal. A wonderful flighted ball round the back of the Killie defence from Nick Ross allowed Mckay to run onto the curling pass. Billy had plenty to do with three defenders around, but he took the first one out by flicking the ball over him onto his left foot. Two steps to his left saw off the others and he smashed the ball home from eight yards. Paul Gasgoine eat yer heart out!

The wee man wasn't done though and himself and Nick Ross teed up an opportunity for Doran but his shot went wide as Inverness continued to hold the upper hand.

Lee Miller almost snuck one in but the attention of Graeme Shinnie was enough for the big striker to poke the ball the wrong side of the post in a rare attack from the Ayrshire side.

Samson pulled off another great save to deny Tansey once more, pushing the ball away for a corner. The winner was coming though and another stunning goal it was.

This one was made and scored by none other than Billy Mckay with a neat assist from the intelligent Nick Ross. Mckay robbed a Killie player some 15 yards into the Inverness half. He made a bee line for the home penalty area cutting across field from the left before playing on to Ross who delayed perfectly before reversing the ball to the overlapping Mckay. He never broke stride to strike a low shot into Samson's bottom right corner for a tremendous goal.

Full Time 1-2

That ended the scoring and what a way to send the visiting fans home. Two better strikes from the same player in the same match you will be hard pushed to see. It was a brave performance from Inverness after going down to ten men, but no more than they deserved. Kilmarnock have still to get rid of the unwanted tag of not scoring from open play for so long.

 

Rig seems to agree about the weather and with the choice of players who were performing well and he commented thus on CTO:- Superb result considering the circumstances and also the weather which was truly horrendous in parts. One Dean Brill kick looked like it had some real distance on it only to be held up in the air being sent back towards the ICT goal. Awful conditions to play football in. I can see why a lot of Killie fans are frustrated. That game should have been yours after the sending off and penalty but for some reason Kilmarnock became very negative and struggled to make their man advantage count. Credit to Hughes and the players for remaining disciplined and hitting so effectively on the counter. Mckay was absolutely magnificent. His hold up play was a joy to watch and his goals were well taken. Nick Ross also did well supporting the attack and he grabbed two assists yesterday. With Watkins out just now he's certainly impressing.

 

  

tm4tj MotM:- Oh well, he scores when he wants and he did just that today. Mckay was the main difference, turning attacks into opportunities all on his own and converting said chances with aplomb. He might not be here next season, but while he is we will cherish every moment. Nick Ross made a telling contribution today and he deserves a mention and Greg Tansey's shoot on site policy is gaining momentum.
 

 

 
Date: 10.01.2015 Venue: Rugby Park, Kilmarnock Attendance: 2793
Referee: Don Robertson
 
Kilmarnock: 1
Lineup: Samson, Barbour, Connolly, Ashcroft, Chantler, McKenzie, O'Hara (Cairney 83), Slater, Magennis, Eremenko (Johnston 70), Miller (Muirhead 64)

Subs (not used):  Brennan, Hamill, Westlake, Pascali

Scorers: Eremenko (pen.47)

Booked: Miller (20), Chantler (67), Cairney (90)

Sent Off: none

Inverness CT: 2

Lineup: Brill, Raven, Warren, Meekings, Tremarco, Tansey, Shinnie, Doran (Williams 61), Draper, Ross (Christie 84), McKay

Subs (not used):  Esson, Devine, Horner, Polworth

Scorers: Mckay (53, 81)

Booked: Raven (18), Draper (36)
Sent Off: Raven (47)

 



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Kilmarnock -V- Inverness CT - SPFL

Jan 08 2015 09:11 PM | tm4tj in Previews 2014-15

Keep off the Grass

 

 

 

It's off to Rugby Park on Saturday as Kilmarnock host Inverness on their plastic pitch in a fifth versus seventh premiership match. They played Celtic on it on Monday and a furore broke out when Celtic were denied permission to train on the pitch prior to the game. Meh!

Pitches have moved on since the original ones were installed in the eighties. Stirling Albion were the first to try it out at their then ground at Annfield in 1987. There are now 12 stadiums where grass is no longer used, Hamilton being the only other one in the Premier division. The state of the art 3G surfaces are reckoned to be as good as it gets and might be the way forward in our harsh winters. Water on the surface makes for a great game apparently. That shouldn't be a problem this weekend.

Last Sunday, Inverness eventually saw off St Mirren thanks to a piece of magic from Billy Mckay, the striker flicking home an incisive cross from MotM David Raven half way through the second half. That win was on the back of an excellent derby triumph at Dingwall which broke a run of three defeats over the Xmas period.

Kilmarnock had picked up some form recently with wins over Hamilton and St Mirren, but suffered defeat on Monday when Celtic won 2-0. Prior to beating Hamilton, Killie had gone nine games without a win, losing eight of those games.

Our last few visits to Rugby Park have thrown up mixed results. Three wins and three defeats including that remarkable fireworks display when we won 3-6 in 2011. Nobody saw that one coming, but it was a game that will stick in the memory banks for a long time. We had a Shinnie hat-trick that day, but it was brother Andrew that did the damage, along with a brace from Gregory Tade and a single from Jonny Hayes. Killie's scorers were Dean Shiels (2) and Paul Heffernan. Worth noting that none of these scorers play for the clubs now.

Some positive news for Inverness fans with Greg Tansey signing on for another couple of seasons, but we await deals for Shinnie, Watkins, Mckay, Meekings and Raven. Shinnie, Watkins and Mckay look to be the difficult ones to secure, but there is more hope for Meekings and Raven to be tied up.

 

  

 

In the earlier game in August, Inverness ran out comfortable 2-0 winners. Aaron Doran opened the scoring in the second half and Greg Tansey scored with a superb long range shot that cannoned off the bar/post and Samson, with the keeper actually being credited with scoring the goal. That was a similar game to our last home game, the match taking a while to ignite, but overall a deserved three points.

Marley Watkins missed the St Mirren game with a knock but that was our only worry. Richie Foran is out long term. That gave Nick Ross the chance to shine with Ross Draper returning to the bench after suspension. Carl Tremarco carried on at left back with Graeme Shinnie foraging around in midfield. I would expect a similar squad to face Killie.

Allan Johnstone has the experienced (and sturdy) Alexei Eremenko to call upon. The Russian playmaker is built like a brick shit house, but his ability on the ball is unquestionable. With former Aberdeen player Josh Magennis on the books, Killie are not short of target men.Craig Slater returns to the squad after his suspension. His over exuberant celebration for scoring the winner against St Mirren saw him picking up his second yellow and subsequently missed the Celtic game. The referee as you might have correctly guessed for that chastising sending off was once more the incompetent Willie Collum. Enough said.

 

Killie are reported to be lining up a bid to entice Kris Boyd back once more. Boyd is now out of favour at troubled the Rangers and if Killie can come up with a package, the proven scorer could find himself playing for the Rugby Parkers once more, the possibility of him lining up against us is a real prospect.

 

tm4tj prediction:- I thought we might have to settle for a point at Dingwall, but a surprising return to direct football saw us emerge with an easy 3-1 victory. We reverted to type against St Mirren but still took the points, although the performance was a bit below par. It's not easy to work out which approach we will use, but my guess is it will be somewhat cautious and I wont be expecting fireworks this time, although a point won't be too shabby. We are capable of taking all three, but let's not be greedy as Killie are also capable of turning on the style and we have suffered at their hands before.       



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Inverness CT -V- St Mirren -SPFL

Jan 04 2015 02:10 PM | Scotty in Reports 2014-15

Just enough

 

In a game low on drama, Inverness did just enough to take all three points with a fabulous, brilliantly executed goal from Billy Mckay after tremendous wing play by David Raven. St Mirren had stifled the Inverness engine room and used the Partick tactics of closing us down quickly and it almost paid off for them, but for Raven and Mckay's invention, Billy flicking the ball home with around fifteen minutes to go.

With it being a seasonal Sunday kick off, the attendance was also seasonal, but full of anticipation after the performance at Dingwall giving fresh hope to our campaign.

Ross Draper was available but only made the bench, and Marley Watkins had picked up a knock and missed out. Nick Ross was the surprise inclusion in an otherwise unchanged side. St Mirren had the luxury of Steven Thompson and Kenny McLean available and had Inverness lad Mark Ridgers in goal

A fine afternoon saw St Mirren kick off and the usual slow pattern of play ensued. Inverness content to hold the ball, the visitors happy to let us have it, but no goal threats as a consequence of St Mirren shutting us down quickly a las Partick Thistle, which would make it an uncomfortable afternoon for the home fans.

 

Unlike the derby game, our play was less direct. St Mirren gave as good as they got in the first half and Kenny McLean was unlucky with a shot from distance that rattled the top of Brill's crossbar, McLean taking aim some 35 yards out, but his swerving shot was always just on the high side which was fortunate for the big keeper as he would not have stopped it.

Brill tipped over a rasping shot from McLean as he waged a one man war on Dean's goal as Inverness struggled to get any momentum going and he also flashed a swerving shot a yard wide as the visitors looked the most likely to open the scoring.

Inverness fans were getting impatient and they wanted better. Billy Mckay squandered the best opportunity of the half as a wayward back pass from Jeroen Tesselaar fed him in on goal on the right side of the box. Unfortunately as he cut inside the keeper he elected to clip the ball to his left but Ridgers managed to block the tame attempt and the chance was gone.

A poor first forty-five from Inverness' point of view came to an end just as we looked to up the pace, Christie, Mckay and Doran missing before the break giving some hope for a better second half.

Half Time 0-0

The second half had barely started when Doran fired one wide and at the other end McLean kept plugging away but shot over from distance. Inverness were content for St Mirren to take on long pots but they were keeping the visitors out of their box for the most part.

Danny Williams replaced Ryan Christie after the hour and a bit more urgency came into our game. The pressure was mounting and a series of attempts were blocked by the now hard working St Mirren defence. A goal was coming but it took a moment of magic to conjure it up.

Tansey collected the ball well in his own half. He looked up and spotted Raven making himself available on the right wing. He flighted a fifty yard diagonal ball towards Raven who still had plenty to do. The full back took the ball on the third bounce and skinned the defender to the bye line then arrowed a low ball into the box where Mckay, with his back to goal stepped over it with his leading leg and back flicked it home for a sensational goal. It was going to take something special to break the deadlock and that was it; stunning goal.

 

A spate of substitutions from both sides broke the game up thereafter although Mckay could have done better after breaking clear on the right side of the area, but he elected to shoot early and Ridgers gathered his weak shot easily when a cut back might have produced better.

A late Tansey free kick from 22 yards was comfortably saved by the keeper and Mckay almost turned a deep cross into the net but the angle beat him and the ball ended in the side net.

Full Time 1-0

The game drew to a close and Inverness did just enough to earn this victory as the visitors had struggled to make much headway in the second period. Not a pretty sight but another welcome three points in the bag.

 



tm4tj MotM:- Not always getting the plaudits, but today David Raven was superb and he capped it with a brilliant piece of skill to set up Mckay for the only goal of the game.

 

<  

Next game is away to Kilmarnock.

 

 
Date: 04.01.15 Venue: Caledonian Stadium, Inverness Attendance: 2751
Referee: Bobby Madden
 
Inverness CT: 1
Lineup: Brill, Raven, Warren, Meekings, Tremarco, Ross (Vincent 83), Tansey, Shinnie, Doran (Draper 78), Christie (Williams 64), McKay
Subs (not used): Esson, Sekajja, Devine, Horner
Scorers: Mckay (77)
Booked: Tansey (26)
Sent Off: none

 

St Mirren: 0
Lineup: Ridgers, Naismith, McAusland, Goodwin, Tesselaar, Drury (Mclear 78), Mallan (Reilly 85), McGinn, Kelly (Wylde 78), McLean, Thompson
Subs (not used): Kello, Osbourne, Ball, Baird
Scorers: none
Booked: McGinn (66)
Sent Off: none

 



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Inverness CT -V- St Mirren - SPFL

Jan 04 2015 02:10 PM | Scotty in Reports 2014-15

Just enough

 

In a game low on drama, Inverness did just enough to take all three points with a fabulous, brilliantly executed goal from Billy Mckay after tremendous wing play by David Raven. St Mirren had stifled the Inverness engine room and used the Partick tactics of closing us down quickly and it almost paid off for them, but for Raven and Mckay's invention, Billy flicking the ball home with around fifteen minutes to go.

With it being a seasonal Sunday kick off, the attendance was also seasonal, but full of anticipation after the performance at Dingwall giving fresh hope to our campaign.

Ross Draper was available but only made the bench, and Marley Watkins had picked up a knock and missed out. Nick Ross was the surprise inclusion in an otherwise unchanged side. St Mirren had the luxury of Steven Thompson and Kenny McLean available and had Inverness lad Mark Ridgers in goal

A fine afternoon saw St Mirren kick off and the usual slow pattern of play ensued. Inverness content to hold the ball, the visitors happy to let us have it, but no goal threats as a consequence of St Mirren shutting us down quickly a las Partick Thistle, which would make it an uncomfortable afternoon for the home fans.

Full report to follow...........
 

 

 

 
Date: 04.01.15 Venue: Caledonian Stadium, Inverness Attendance: 2751
Referee: Bobby Madden
 
Inverness CT: 1
Lineup: Brill, Raven, Warren, Meekings, Tremarco, Ross (Vincent 83), Tansey, Shinnie, Doran (Draper 78), Christie (Williams 64), McKay
Subs (not used): Esson, Sekajja, Devine, Horner
Scorers: Mckay (77)
Booked: Tansey (26)
Sent Off: none

 

St Mirren: 0
Lineup: Ridgers, Naismith, McAusland, Goodwin, Tesselaar, Drury (Mclear 78), Mallan (Reilly 85), McGinn, Kelly (Wylde 78), McLean, Thompson
Subs (not used): Kello, Osbourne, Ball, Baird
Scorers: none
Booked: McGinn (66)
Sent Off: none

 



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Inverness CT -V- St Mirren - SPFL

Jan 03 2015 10:15 AM | tm4tj in Previews 2014-15

Buddy Hell



A great start to the New Year for Inverness with the derby win and hot on the heels of that is the visit of County's relegation threatened contenders, St Mirren.

St Mirren's form guide makes for distressing reading. Only one win in their last ten league games and that was a couple of weeks ago at Dens Park. That's a hell of a run. The result of this is plain to see as they languish one point above an equally poor Ross County, and along with Motherwell, these three teams look set to battle for the relegation spot this season unless a drastic turnaround after the transfer window occurs. The Buddies have only won three league games this term and sit second bottom on 11 points with Inverness doing somewhat better on 35 points after 11 wins. Our record was tarnished in recent games with three defeats on the spin until the derby game saw us trounce County 3-1 in Dingwall.

The recent cup pairing saw us take the game to a replay after a 1-1 draw in Paisley thanks to a second half equaliser from defender Josh Meekings after Marc McAusland had opened the scoring in the first half. It was a different story in the replay as Inverness swept St Mirren aside and the 4-0 scoreline flattered the visitors. Warren, Tansey, Williams and Shinnie scored that night but it could easily have been doubled as Inverness swamped the Buddies.

We have seen off a few St Mirren gaffers in our time, and soon after this crushing defeat the hapless Tommy Craig was removed from office. Gary Teale has been in temporary charge since then and three games later they won their first game in eleven attempts beating Dundee 3-1. Kenny McLean scored a brace and Stevie Mallan added the other. Teale has secured McLean's eligibility to play in this game, and that's a bonus for them as he is their talismanic goal threat and would be a big miss if excluded.

It's no coincidence that the same man that gifted Brian Graham the penalty for St Johnstone was the man involved with McLean's 'red' card. Yes, the incompetent Willie Collum, but thankfully he will not be at Inverness on Sunday. It's high time the authorities punished the inadequacies in our refereeing system. Bring back the men from Luxembourg, a breath of fresh air that was! Bobby Madden is the man in charge on Sunday. Oh well!

However, a word of caution for Inverness. The only thing that is predictable about these games is that they are unpredictable. Go back to 13th December and another side from the West came North and embarrassed us in a 4-0 hammering. Partick have the knack of getting under our skin and irritating the hell out of us and that setback seemed to knock our confidence for a game or two. We have also been turned over by a lowly St Mirren side before around this time of year, Boxing Day 2010 springs to mind when they came North expecting nothing and went home with a 2-1 win under their belt. It had all looked rosy as Lee Cox scored early, but a double from Steven Thompson clinched a deserved win for the Paisley side. So, beware the underdog.

Ross Draper has served his two game ban and will be included in the squad for the visit of St Mirren. Mind you, he is not guaranteed a starting slot given the excellent team performance at Dingwall on New Years day. Richie Foran, as is the norm these days is still out.

On the red card theme Kenny McLean will be available as his club are appealing the punishment he was given by the aforementioned Willie Collum; another fine mess Willie! McLean was dismissed during the 2-1 defeat at home to Kilmarnock when he appeared to move his head towards Ross Barbour. And to complete the theme, striker Steven Thompson is also available after completing a ban.

Marc McAusland could feature, despite receiving seven stitches when he suffered a head wound against Killie, but Ellis Plummer, has returned to Manchester City after bringing his one-year loan switch to an early conclusion. He had been out since September with a groin injury.

tm4tj prediction:- You can't argue with the statistics that point to a win for Inverness but St Mirren are now in a dog fight at the bottom, and every dog has it's day. The cup result was overwhelmingly in our favour. I doubt the same will happen in the scrap for League points. Kenny McLean is the main goal threat along with Steven Thompson, but as long as we have our defensive caps on, then I won't be arguing with the stats. Home win, maybe 2-1.

 

So, there you go, an Inverness v St Mirren preview without Ross Tokely being mentioned.......................................Oh damn, spoiled it, my bad.
 



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Ross County -V- Inverness CT - SPFL

Jan 01 2015 02:25 PM | Scotty in Reports 2014-15

Happy New Year



Aaron Doran opened the scoring in a one sided first half, flashing home a 20 yarder after Marley Watkins had done the spade work. Jim McIntyre agreed about the way the match was going and made two substitutions before the break as County kept the score to 0-1 at the interval. Doran doubled his tally with a replica strike which was deflected but Jackson Irvine powered in for County from a corner almost immediately. Billy Mckay restored the two goal cushion from close range in the 73rd minute and that's how it ended and ensured it was a Happy New Year at the Caledonian Stadium.

 

It was a great way to start the new year and a thoroughly deserved win for Inverness, coming on the back of three straight defeats and no goals, all the better to do it in a derby. This result keeps Inverness in fifth place but the top of the table has an odd look about it as Aberdeen take over from Celtic with the Parkhead teams game being postponed at Partick today

 

A sizeable away support had plenty to cheer about on New Years day in Dingwall as the first footers enjoyed the lions share of the game. In truth, County were well beaten and Jim McIntyre has a massive job on his hands if they want to avoid the drop.

John Hughes kept faith with the same X1 that lacked the killer instinct against Aberdeen in the previous game. He would be looking for more from the enigmatic Aaron Doran and out of sorts Billy Mckay and Marley Watkins. He wouldn't be disappointed. Ross Draper continued his suspension.  

County were without Tony Dingwall, Ben Frempah, Darren Barr and Michael Gardyne. Liam Boyce made the bench alongside Jackson Irvine and Jake Jervis with Graham Carey replacing Gardyne. Terry Dunfield was this years surprise inclusion, but his day would be over before half time.

Inverness started this game with intent and Carl Tremarco was first to a ball down the left flank but Mckay could only turn his cross into the side netting with the keeper awol.

The visitors kept the pressure on the home defence and Doran got some early shooting practice, driving just wide before Quinn blocked Marley Watkins.

Antonio Reguero fumbled a Ryan Christie shot but gathered at the second attempt as Inverness pressed hard for the opening goal and Mckay looked livelier as he shot just wide. Mckay had a great appeal for a penalty turned down as he spun round Reckford who looked as though he was holding the striker back but nothing doing.

Graeme Shinnie saw a low shot cleared off the line with Reguero beaten as Brittain knocked the ball clear, but the goal was only delayed for a few more minutes.

Watkins gathered again on the right from Mckay after Marley had knocked on a Brill kick out, Doran got involved and drilled a low shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box. No more than Inverness deserved and the away fans were loving this.

Brittain dragged a deflected shot well wide as County tried to make headway but it was the visitors who showed them ho to do it properly. A great break forward from the resultant corner and telling ball from Christie who fed Doran who laid it on to Mckay, he jinked past two tackles but Reguero pulled off a tremendous save to deny the wee striker.

Jim McIntyre hd seen enough by now and had made two tactical replacements by the 41st minute, Liam Boyce replacing the ineffective Yoann Arquin and Dunfield being replaced by Jackson Irvine.

Boyce suddenly became County's most effective player looking to link up with others, something they had not managed in a dismal first half for them. Nevertheless, it was still one way traffic and County were fortunate to go in at the break only one goal down.

Half Time 0-1

By the 53rd minute McIntyre had used all his subs with Jake Jervis replacing Richard Brittain, but the pattern of the game did not change much and five minutes later, County fell two behind.

It was that man Doran again, he does love playing County as he scored a similar goal to the first with the aid of a slight deflection. Game over you would have thought but no, hang on a minute.

Irvine forced Brill to make a superb save, knocking the ball onto the post from where County won a corner. Inverness' defence made there only lapse of the day and from the corner, Irvine stooped to power a header unchallenged into the net. Sloppy defending, great header and game back on.

David Raven is getting forward plenty these days and he hit a rasping shot to high to the keepers left, but Reguero was equal to it as Inverness continued to dominate.

With fifteen minutes left, Inverness restored their two goal cushion when Mckay reacted first to knock in Warrens header from a Tansey free kick. Game over this time, but not the pressure on the County defence, Meekings almost adding a fourth as he flicked a Tansey cross goalwards. A combination of Reguero and the base of his right hand post saving the day.

County were reduced to long range pot-shots as the game drew to a conclusion, but Inverness were worthy winners and in truth should have won more convincingly. For County, it looks like the battle is well and truly on to avoid relegation, good luck with that.

 

Full Time 1-3

 

All the action here and Wee Davie talks to Graeme Shinnie

 

     

Motm is difficult to spot after such a comprehensive drubbing where everyone played their part. However, as poor as some were over the last couple of weeks, they also get the credit when it's due and Aaron Doran just gets it ahead of Marley Watkins and Billy Mckay. As I said, difficult choice, but they were all heroes today.



Happy New Year.

 

 Date: 01/01/2015  Venue: Global Energy Stadium, Dingwall Attendance: 4887
Referee: Steven McLean
 
Ross County: 1
Lineup: Reguero, Saunders, Boyd, Quinn, Reckord, Kiss, Brittain (Jervis 53), Woods, Dunfield (Irvine 41), Carey, Arquin (Boyce 32)

Subs (not used):  Brown, Cardle, Maatsen, Toshney

Scorers: Irvine (60)

Booked: Arquin (22), Quinn (55), Kiss (61), Irvine (71)
Sent Off: none

Inverness CT: 3

Lineup: Brill, Raven, Warren, Meekings, Tremarco, Tansey, Shinnie, Watkins (Vincent 80), Christie (Ross 85), Doran, McKay (Sekajja 88)

Subs (not used):  Esson, Devine, Horner, Williams

Scorers: Doran (27, 58), Mckay (73)

Booked: Raven (24), Watkins (71)
Sent Off: none

 





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Ross County -V- Inverness CT - SPFL

Dec 31 2014 12:21 PM | tm4tj in Previews 2014-15

New Year Derby Day



It's derby time and Inverness head to Shadowland to first foot the Global Energy Stadium on New Years Day for the second meeting this season, the first ending in a 1-1 draw in early October.

The frost has set in this month and Inverness have hit the skids. Ross County seem to be frozen and haven't shifted much, but Inverness are on the slide and moving in their direction with three defeats on the trot and zero goals in those games which has seen us drop from second to fifth with St Johnstone about to overtake us. Happy Days!

It's four games since Inverness scored and won a game, beating Dundee at Dens by 2-1. Mckay and Christie were on target that day, but it was a less than convincing performance. Since then, three straight defeats, all winnable games, have seen us slide towards County in the table and confidence amongst the fans is low. Yogi's passing game has been well and truly sussed out and plan B has yet to materialise. The mystery against Aberdeen was why he chose to go with Tremarco at left back when Shinnie has operated there to good effect all season. James Vincent was overlooked for central midfield, a position many feel is his favoured slot. Another damning feature of that game was the reluctance to change it or make early substitutions when all around could see we were struggling to make headway. Whatever his reasons, he needs to sort it rapidly or we could be staring at four in a row.

County will be buoyed by their point at Parkhead where they ground out a no scoring draw. Unfortunately for them, they still hit the bottom with St Mirren winning. However, they always seem to up their game when they see us coming and get in our faces, similar to Partick Thistle and we all know the result of that.

Ross Draper misses his second game for his sending off at Perth and Richie Foran is still sidelined; so what's new?

I'll tell you what's new, the transfer window is about to open and the rumour mill is in full swing. Shinnie, Watkins, Mckay to name three have been noticeably off the pace in the last few games and it's just possible that the transfer speculation is getting to them. One or two have done it all before and Greg Tansey knows where the grass is greener. Others like Nick Ross have not progressed into Yogi's thoughts and might be better elsewhere and Hughes will start hunting in earnest at the prospect of losing some of our top players.

For the Staggies, there will be no Dingwall in Dingwall as the aforementioned Tony is out injured. Graham Carey and Michael Gardyne are both struggling to shrug off injuries. Jackson Irvine is a possibility along with Filip Kiss. He's never heard of Tain and he comes from sunny Spain, ohhh Reguero. The former Inverness keeper has been in the nets in recent games displacing another former keeper, Mark Brown.

 

They say that nostalgia aint what it used to be, but we could do with some of this on the 1st.

 



tm4tj prediction:- It's all adding up to a severe dose of unpredictability. I'm not brimming with confidence after our last three games and would bite your arm off at the offer of a point to help us get back on track. We need to be more clinical in front of goal and a direct approach might suit the County pitch better instead of faffing around at the back and gifting goals like nobodies business. If we can keep out County's eager attack, then my best bet is a goalless draw.

Happy New Year.

 

Here's wee tune to cheer you all up.................

 


 



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Inverness CT -V- Aberdeen - SPFL

Dec 28 2014 02:37 PM | Scotty in Reports 2014-15

The fire beckons the thaw

 

 

 

Aberdeen ran out today 1-0 winners thanks to a Peter Pawlett strike in the 12th minute, which moved the in form Aberdeen only two points behind Celtic as we approach the New Year.

 

Normally it would be a man in red who gives presents around this festive period, but as has been the case for the error prone ICT defence in recent weeks… it was a gift from a man in blue. Carl Tremarco, brought into the side to play in Graeme Shinnie’s left back role left vacant as Shinnie moved into midfield, inexplicably challenged team mate Josh Meekings which then resulted in the loose ball being picked up by Niall McGinn to set up Pawlett with a clear shot at goal. There was a valiant attempt to block the shot but the deflection only took the ball further into the corner of the net.

 

Following the early goal, Inverness exerted more pressure on the Aberdeen defence who were playing a very high line in support of the pressing midfield. This led to several chances where balls were played wide or behind colossus Ash Taylor who dwarfed his opponent Billy Mckay. A fantastic through pass from Ryan Christie managed to release Marley Watkins who fired directly at the imposing Scott Brown, where a shot across goal may have provided the onrushing Mckay an opportunity to pounce. Shortly after, Mckay outmuscled the young Aberdeen full back Murray and tried to curl the ball into the far corner when there were perhaps better opportunities to pass to in the penalty area.

 

Graeme Shinnie drifted past several challenges in the midfield and produced a strong right footed shot which Brown parried away where the ball cut back to Ryan Christie drifted wide of the post.  There was then the muted appeal for a penalty as an Aberdeen defender and Meekings fell to the floor. Whilst there was an arm used to drag Meekings down, it didn’t help that Josh altered his direction to collapse theatrically over the opponent’s legs. The groans from the home end became more audible as we approached the half time interval, knowing that our recent inability to score and Aberdeen’s clean sheet record meant it could be a very frustrating afternoon.

 

One man whose frustrations were clearly getting to him was today’s panto villain Tremarco where he fired in a rotten challenge on right back Murray in the 31st minute. Going by the letter of the law, this challenge was not only reckless but it definitely used excessive force which was deserving of a red card. It seems Tremarco has one of these challenges each game he plays and it’s remarkable he hasn’t seen red for the club yet. Unfortunately his contribution never improved as the game went on with several misplaced passes and crosses further angering the home crowd.

 

Half Time 0-1

 

Aberdeen continued to let Inverness have possession, with the intention to try and closely mark the first half’s dangerman Christie whilst pressing the players who didn’t have a similar level of close control. An Aberdeen breakaway should have punished ICT further when Hayes missed a driven cross across goal from 12 yards out. Apparently his right foot hasn’t improved much since he left 3 years ago…

 

Inverness found luck continued to be against them with a Billy Mckay shot from a tight angle striking the bar with Brown stranded. Tansey then had a free kick saved by Brown who used his large frame to reach a ball that was travelling high into the net.

 

Luck was not the perpetrator for Aaron Doran though, he simply fluffed his lines when the ball broke to him inside the box some ten yards from goal. Unlike Pawlett, Doran miscued and the chance went well wide as he scuffed his shot; more anguish for the North Stand.

 

The final chance of the game went to Aberdeen who had a goal bound Rooney header that slammed against the hand of Warren. Cries of ‘unnatural position’ were directed to the referee, who thankfully knew the rules of deliberate handball much better than those wearing red.

 

Full Time 0-1

 

 

So where now for John Hughes? Fans left today’s game really disappointed at the personnel and formation selection, where natural centre midfielders like Polworth, Vincent and Horner didn’t enter the field; instead watching Shinnie have a fairly ineffectual game in their position. Mckay again looked like he was lacking support, whilst Watkins and Doran contributed very little. Let’s hope Hughes get things right in time for the New Year fixture against Ross County.

 

Difficult to select a MotM when so many in blue underperformed. Easier to stroke off those not getting a mention, starting with Shinnie, Tremarco, Doran, Watkins, Brill, Mckay, Raven and Meekings. So by default, that leaves Tansey and Warren as contenders, with Christie mustering pass marks for effort.

 

 
Date: 28.12.2014 Venue: Caledonian Stadium, Inverness Attendance: 6614
Referee: Calum Murray
 
Inverness CT: 0
Lineup: Brill, Raven, Warren, Meekings, Tremarco, Tansey, Shinnie, Watkins, Christie, Doran (Sekajja 86), McKay
Subs (not used): Esson, Vincent, Ross, Devine, Horner, Williams
Scorers: none
Booked: Tremarco (31)
Sent Off: none

 

Aberdeen: 1
Lineup: Brown, Murray, Taylor, Reynolds, Considine, McGinn, Jack, Pawlett, Hayes, Goodwillie (Smith 85), Rooney
Subs (not used):  Langfield, Monakana, Robson, Shankland, Rose, Gibbons
Scorers: Pawlett (12)
Booked: Pawlett (30)
Sent Off: none

 



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Inverness CT -V- Aberdeen - SPFL

Dec 27 2014 08:09 PM | RossP in Previews 2014-15

The Sheep are on fire… pray for snow!

 

 

 

Sunday will see Inverness host Aberdeen where a win for either side will secure second position for now. An Aberdeen win will put them only two points behind leaders Celtic who slipped up by drawing at home to Ross County who hit the bottom again, despite this battling point at Parkhead.

Inverness have hit their customary Xmas slump, losing their last two fixtures whilst the Dons are on a bit of a roll with six wins in their last seven games, the only loss coming against Celtic. They will be looking to make it five in a row whereas Inverness will be hoping to stop the rot after two consecutive defeats.

Transfer speculation is rife around Inverness and Graeme Shinnie is the subject of most of it. Aberdeen are one of a few clubs allegedly putting a package together hoping to attract the Caley Jags vice captain to the East, but Birmingham City might be more lucrative for Graeme and the opportunity to join up with his brother, Andy in the English championship. Josh Meekings, Gary Warren, Aaron Doran, Marley Watkins and Billy McKay are all key figures at the Caledonian Stadium, but the January transfer window is looming large and that's always an uncomfortable time for selling clubs.

 

RossP has taken time off from his Xmas duties to put together this excellent preview for us.........................

 

Inverness Caledonian Thistle host Aberdeen in this festive fixture, where both sides will be desperate to take advantage of title challenger Celtic’s Saturday slip to relegation fodder Ross County. Also with the good form of top six challengers Hamilton and St Johnstone, John Hughes and Derek McInnes really cannot afford to drop points this weekend.

 

Recent form

There’s not much of a pattern to the results between the two sides, each earning 5 wins in the last 13 games with the remaining fixtures ending in a draw (including the Cup Final in March).

 

Inverness CT had been sitting pretty with Celtic at the top of the SPFL a mere two fixtures ago… before a capitulation against Partick Thistle and further dropped points against the form team in the country St Johnstone caused a tumble down the table. Whilst some of the embarrassment from the Partick game was rectified with a fairly solid performance last weekend, fans will be worried that this slump is the start of our almost annual decline in results over the winter period.

 

Aberdeen could hardly be in better form going into Sunday’s game, where they have 7 league wins out of 8; all with clean sheets. As was the case last season many of their results were won by one goal, and with such a Scrooge-like defence if they go a goal up they will likely see the game out for a win. Their fans have also been excitedly looking at the SPFL table and predicted that two wins from their next two games would see them sit top of the league.

 

Dangermen

Rather than focus on Goodwillie and McGinn who have the most assists in the league, or the multitude of ex-ICT players now playing in red; I’ll instead highlight Ryan Jack who should be starring for Scotland according to the Dons fans (the same bunch that were incandescent at the exclusion of players like Anderson, Langfield, Reynolds and Pawlett from the national side). Despite their red tinted glasses giving them an unrealistic analysis of Jack’s ability it does need to be said that he is a very effective player and one that will cause Tansey significant worry in the middle of the pitch. Strong in the tackle, quick to move the ball and a great ‘football brain’ to find space to operate, he could play at English Championship level - which he will definitely have to in order to jump ahead of Scotland fringe players like Arfield, Bryson, McDonald, Bridcutt and Cairney who all deserve to be selected ahead of Jack in my opinion.

 

Shay Logan is a player who will probably spend more time in our half than his own and that is where his best strength lies. A fast and direct full back, He found great joy in the last fixture between ICT and Aberdeen counterattacking in the space that Shinnie left when stranded up the pitch. Had his crossing matched his shooting that day, the 3-2 scoreline could have been much worse for ICT. With Logan pushing up the pitch it will allow extra numbers of Aberdeen's attacking players to operate in the ICT penalty area - a worrying sign when all have already scored several goals this season.

 

Team news

Inverness have lost Ross Draper for two games due to a needless reaction in the St Johnstone match earning him a straight red card. Whilst many of his team mates came to his defence in the national press, it is increasingly apparent that his reckless challenges warrant the referee attention he’s been receiving. With Draper missing, Hughes has to decide whether to install Vincent, Shinnie, Williams, Polworth or Ross in the CM role next to Tansey. With his comments at looking to avoid ringing changes I would anticipate that Vincent will play in the middle instead of his usual ineffective position on the right of midfield, allowing Watkins to come back into the starting line up.

 

Aberdeen usually have an injury crisis when we meet, but on Sunday they will only be missing long term absentees Anderson, Flood and Low. McInnes has demonstrated a tactical masterclass in the forward positions, playing nearly all his players in ‘unfamiliar’ positions and still inspiring positive performances and results. This will probably continue with the only question mark being whether Goodwillie will pay for his petulant reaction after being substituted against Kilmarnock.

 

RossP Prediction

Many ICT fans commented last weekend that we are looking increasingly toothless up front and that the chances we were once creating are now increasingly harder to come by. Perhaps opposition teams have discovered if they press our defence and midfield whilst squeezing their back line forward, we are prone to errors similar to the short passback from Ryan Christie which led to the Brian Graham dive for the winning penalty. This will likely be on John Hughes’ mind when selecting his team and tactics for the weekend, where Aberdeen will at times be pushing Logan into wide midfield whilst the fluid attacking midfield of Pawlett, Hayes, Jack, McGinn, Rooney and Goodwillie are constantly interchanging positions. This may be a match where we have to surrender the possession play that Hughes craves in order to play a more direct game where Watkins, Mckay and our wide men look to challenge for the ball in the Aberdeen corners of the pitch – a tactic the team learned under former manager Terry Butcher. If this is indeed his tactic, expect the guile of Ryan Christie and Aaron Doran to be sacrificed for the energy and physicality of Danny Williams and James Vincent.

 

As an ICT fan who has lived and worked in Aberdeen for over a decade, this is the fixture I want to win most. Dons fans are a smug bunch (when things are going well for their team) and this year I’ve found it even more nauseating if you add in their slavering of reported target Shinnie. I unfortunately don’t see us getting a win in this fixture as the Dons are playing extremely confidently and with a big support backing them, it wouldn’t surprise me if they ran out comfortable winners by one or two goals. I’d love to be proven wrong though!



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St Johnstone -V- Inverness CT - SPFL

Dec 20 2014 02:29 PM | Scotty in Reports 2014-15

Criminal proceedings.

 

 

 

Inverness paid the penalty for one too many pass backs. Ryan Christie was the perpetrator, choosing the wrong option aided by poor execution, but the real sinner was Brian Graham who cheated his way to a penalty, diving as Brill came out to block his run. To rub salt into the wound, he took the resultant spot kick and hammered it into the opposite side of the net to where Brill had moved for what proved to be the only goal of the game. Who said that crime doesn't pay!

 

He was caught on CCTV and you can view the footage below.

 

 

This robbery has seen Inverness drop from second to fifth after the Sunday game which saw United beat leaders Celtic handsomely.

 

Inverness had won the previous four encounters with St Johnstone, but with the Perth side on a three game winning streak and Inverness smarting from a 4-0 thumping by Partick, this was always going to be a tight affair. And so it proved although Dean Brill was made to work much harder than his counterpart in the Saints goal, making a handful of excellent saves whilst Mannus was a part-time spectator.

 

Yogi rang the changes in his starting eleven with Ryan Christie and Aaron Doran starting ahead of Danny Williams and Marley Watkins. A strange one considering the impact Watkins has had this season, unless of course he was carrying a knock. As expected for Perth, James McFadden missed out and Lee Croft and David Wotherspoon filled in again, with Murray Davidson starting from the bench.

 

Enough from me, let's get down to the nitty gritty and dish the dirt on one or two.

 

The Sloth had slowly made his way to Perth with Caley Away to witness the robbery and here is his debut report....................

 

With Christmas jumpers and Santa hats being the main attire in the stands for the match between Inverness and St Johnstone, and Inverness fans on their Christmas day out, the Caley Jags were hoping to leave Perth with a win and all 3 points as an early Christmas present from the big man in red.

Inverness had a changed line up from the team that were beaten 4-0 by Partick Thistle the week before, with Marley Watkins and Danny Williams being dropped to the bench while Ryan Christie and Aaron Doran were slotted into the remaining space. St Johnstone only had one change from the game with Kilmarnock with Lee Croft being brought in for the injured James McFadden.

This unfortunately was not going to be the Christmas present that the Inverness fans were hoping for. The game began quite lively with large possession periods of the ball being kept by each team but at the end of the first half neither team were on top, however Christie and Shinnie came closest to giving the visitors the lead while Croft had the best effort for the home side.

Half Time 0-0

However, a moment of controversy in the second half tilted the game in St Johnstone's favour. In the 62nd minute, Dean Brill was alleged to have taken down Brian Graham within the Inverness box and the referee awarded the spot kick, although the decision didn't go without the voices of the Inverness players suggesting that he went down a little too easily, or as the fans saw it, a dive which Tom Daley would have been proud of. After winning the penalty, Graham converted as well, putting the ball in the net whilst sending Brill the opposite way.

It got worse for Inverness after a foul in the 66th minute by Ross Draper on Simon Lappin, where it was apparently seen by the referee that Draper threw an elbow out, Brian Colvin decided that it was a red card offence and sent him packing.

Although down to 10 men, Inverness didn't give up and in a scrappy end to the game, David Raven came closest by shaving the post in the dying moments, dashing all hopes of anything coming out of this game for Inverness.

Full Time 1-0

 

Here's the full highlights...........

 

At the end of the game, Inverness fans let their opinions be known on Colvin's refereeing performance. Just a hint, it wasn't the kindest of feedback. However, after a fantastic year so far, ICTFC fans won't let this result hang over them and will hopefully spend the upcoming days to the New Year happy whilst looking for a win over Aberdeen before the end of year. After that, along comes the first game of 2015, where we move onto the derby against our neighbour across the bridge on New Year's Day.

 

MotM for Inverness has to be keeper Dean Brill who did his best to keep out the St Johnstone attack with a string of superb saves. A great comeback for him personally after a lapse last week.

Inverness, who now haven't won in two and now moved down into 5th in the table while St Johnstone remain in 6th. Inverness next play Aberdeen at home on the 28th of December while St Johnstone are hosting Dundee United on the 27th.

Merry Christmas to all ICTFC fans and I'll see you all at the Aberdeen game.

The Sloth

 

 

 

 

 

 
Date: 20.12.2014 Venue: McDiarmid Park, Perth Attendance: 2891
Referee: Brian Colvin
 
St Johnstone: 1
Lineup: Mannus, Mackay, Anderson, Wright, Easton, Croft (Miller 91), Millar (Davidson 54), Lappin, O'Halloran, Wotherspoon, Graham

Subs (not used):  Banks, McDonald, Caddis, Brown, McLaren

Scorers: Graham (pen.62)

Booked: none
Sent Off: none

Inverness CT: 0

Lineup: Brill, Raven, Meekings, Warren, Shinnie, Tansey, Vincent (Watkins 56), Christie (Williams 84), Draper, Doran (Ross 80), McKay

Subs (not used):  Esson, Devine, Tremarco, Polworth

Scorers: none

Booked: Doran (27), Raven (60), Shinnie (62)
Sent Off: Draper (66)

 



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St Johnstone -V- Inverness CT - SPFL

Dec 19 2014 08:11 PM | tm4tj in Previews 2014-15

Time to Regroup



Last weeks result showed that nothing is certain in football, and with an away trip to Perth on the cards this weekend then it would take a brave man, or woman, to be confident about predicting the outcome of this one. This encounter is traditionally a tight affair, although last October St Johnstone did what Partick did to us, hammered us 4-0.

It was a game to forget in the Highlands as Partick did their homework and pressed us so hard they squeezed the ball into the net four times in what turned out to be a disastrous afternoon for Inverness where nothing went right. It might have been different had Marley Watkins been able to take full advantage when he muscled into the box early on, but he shot across the keeper and past the wrong side of the post. It went from bad to worse and Dean Brill will have better days. In fairness to him, his defenders let him down badly and the retention passing game was non existent as we handed possession over to Partick. They needed no second prompting and deservedly cuffed us.

However, that was last week and Yogi has been busy trying to address the issues. Partick had our cards marked and their pressing game forced us to make errors. Maybe this week we might make one back pass less and that could help to raise the tempo. Whatever was the problem, I hope it's fixed before we take on St Johnstone with half the league bunching up a point or two below us.

Ryan Christie and Aaron Doran could make the starting eleven this week. They have been playing great wee cameo's recently coming on late in the games. We were crying out for some creativity and tenacity against Partick but by the time they entered the fray the game was lost. Carl Tremarco is another who could be pushing for a start.

Since that 4-0 defeat at Perth, we have won the last four encounters, scoring six and conceding only once in the process. We sit second in the table on 32 points, 9 points above St Johnstone in sixth place. Our goal difference is 10 better than Perth's, but another heavy defeat will eat into that quickly.

LAM, that's life after May, has seen the Perth Saints struggle to get into their stride at the start of the season. However, they are unbeaten in their last six league games, and three wins on the bounce has seen them clamber into the top six. They see this as a springboard to challenge for a European place with winnable games coming up over the festive period. Michael O'Halloran and Brian Graham are men on form right now scoring seven times over the last six games and will be looking to add to their tallies for the season. Murray Davidson is getting back into the swing of it after being out injured and St Johnstone will be looking to consolidate their place in the top-six.

Inverness are smarting after the Partick debacle and Hughes is threatening to shuffle the pack a bit to freshen up the side. Christie and Doran spring to mind as well as Tremarco, but others like Polworth, Devine and Ross could play a part. Dean Brill will be looking over his shoulders after last weeks poor performance and Ryan Esson is another who is experienced enough to play without letting the standards of the team drop.

Not much team news from Inverness apart from that age old story about Richie Foran being in rehab. More interesting information coming from Perth and the news that James McFadden is out with a hamstring strain. That has to cheer up the Inverness camp surely. Tommy Wright has no squabbles over his replacement though as David Wotherspoon has filled the role effectively, but he is hoping to have Faddy back for their Tayside derby next week.

tm4tj prediction:- If we have gotten over last weeks mayhem, then we could get back on track with a win at Perth. It's not one of our favourite grounds to take points from but without McFadden, then that's one danger man eliminated. However, I'll err on the side of caution and settle for a share of the points in a scoring draw. 1-1 should see both camps happy enough for Xmas.

 



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Inverness CT -V- Partick Th - SPFL

Dec 13 2014 04:15 PM | Scotty in Reports 2014-15

OUCH!



Inverness fans took a sore one as they watched their team being dismantled by an energetic Partick Thistle in the battle of the Jags.

It was a day to forget for the Caley Jags side as their unbeaten home run was ended in spectacular style by a team that have sussed us out big time. While we tapped the ball around the back quarter in tentative style, Partick's cut and thrust won the day and they deservedly crushed us 4-0. Much of this was down to our own error ridden display, but take nothing away from Partick, they took full advantage of the situation and trounced us with their high intensity pressing game.

Two first half goals from Ryan Stevenson were added to after the break by Gary Fraser and Conrad Balatoni. Inverness had a couple of strikes ruled out for interference by Billy McKay from a Raven shot and a couple of interlopers who took to the field to relieve the boredom. (naughty boys, don't do this at home children).

Rig has posted this excellent report and it's too good not to use..................

That performance and result! How else can you react to something like that? Abysmal from ICT today and what a way for the unbeaten home record to go. Our normally reliant defence was all at sea today. Midfield never got going and we struggled to create anything up front. Every player, maybe except Tansey, should be pretty disappointed with how they played today.
 
First chance of the game went the way of ICT when Watkins sprang the offside trap but his low shot went wide of Gallachers right post. We perhaps started the better of the two teams but Partick took the lead thanks to a mistake at the back which set the tone for the day. Elliot was able to send a cross in from the ICT left side and as Brill waited to collect the low ball Stevenson stole in just in front of him and poked the ball into the net. Rotten goal from an ICT perspective but it was excellent anticipation from Stevenson to nip in and grab the opener.
 
ICT tried to get back into things but Partick were all over them pressing Inverness high up the pitch. Partick had clearly cottoned onto the desire to play the ball around at the back or, at goal kicks, short to either the centre backs or wide to Shinnie or Raven sitting on the left or right touchline. At one goal kick, when most players tend to congregate on one side of the pitch on the half way line, Partick had around six players inside the Inverness half anticipating a short ball from Brill to his defenders or a short lofted pass to the flanks. Time and time again Partick chased and harassed the Caley players who tried to pass it out from the back and each time the Inverness players were forced back or conceded possession.
 
The second goal was a direct result of this intense pressing game. A short ball from Brill to Warren was closed down and the ball won back by Higginbotham who turned and fed the onrushing Stevenson who coolly placed a shot beyond Brill. Having the luxury of watching the second goal again, I didn't realise that we had struggled to clear the ball so badly. I had initially thought we played it short to Warren but we were hemmed in by Thistle, ball back to Brill, clearance gets headed back towards our goal and Higginbotham wins a header which is then flicked into the path of Stevenson. Still not great from our point of view. For the rest of the half ICT were restricted to long range efforts with Tansey being denied twice by Gallacher. Brill then stopped it becoming 3 - 0 when he produced an outrageous save from a Seaborne header. it was a bit like the save Mikey Fraser pulled off in a win over Celtic.

 

Half Time 0-2
 
Into the second half and ICT started well but Partick made it 3 - 0 when a cross came in from the ICT left and Fraser leapt highest to nod in via the bar. It looked like Brill should probably have come to claim the cross as he didn't look too far away from it but that may be harsh as my view from the other end of the ground may not be the best. Game over.
 
Caley tried to at least get on the score sheet and there followed an incident packed couple of minutes. Draper burst into the Partick penalty area and tried to find a team mate to pass to but pressed on towards goal before tumbling over under pressure from a couple of opponents. It looked like a reasonable claim for a spot kick but I wasn't completely convinced and, more importantly, neither was Beaton and he waved play on. Tansey struck another wide range effort not long after which Gallacher was equal to as he sprang to his right and pushed it round the post. From the resultant corner Warren went tumbling over in the box and there were more claims for a penalty and again Beaton waved them away. The ball was cleared to Raven who smashed the ball into the net from about 30 yards but Beaton ruled that Mckay was offside and as he ducked out of the way of the ball he was interfering with play. Will be interesting to see that one again but alternative maryhill who was at the game said Mckay also tried to the flick the ball on so perhaps it was the right decision.
 
Partick grabbed a fourth with another cross from the ICT left which was headed in this time by Balatoni. After this the game pretty much fizzled out. Partick had done their job and sat back and defended for the rest of the game. ICT prodded and probed but struggled to break down the Partick defence. The only incident of note was when Gallacher tried to take a goal kick and two young ICT fans ran onto the pitch, one tried to pull down his shorts and the other 'scored' a goal. Gallacher seemed to take it well and when I asked him after the game what he thought of it he said that he was raging he hadn't kept a clean sheet.

 

Full Time 0-4
 
Partick just seem to have our number this season and I can't say I am looking forward to the Cup game in February. We need to try and find a way to combat the apparent high intensity, pressing game that they employ against us otherwise we will be getting thrashed again in a couple of months.

   

Rig has it spot on. We were the architect's of our own downfall. Brill won't want to see some of the goals again although he did pull off a tremendous save just before half time. Our only threat, albeit from long range was Tansey who struck at least four on target that Gallacher was able to keep out and he get's my MotM, just ahead of the two rogues who 'invaded' the pitch.
 

 

 

 
Date: 13.12.2014 Venue: Caledonian Stadium, Inverness Attendance: 2723
Referee: John Beaton
 
Inverness CT: 0
Lineup: Brill, Raven, Warren, Meekings, Shinnie, Vincent (Doran 65), Tansey, Draper (Christie 65), Williams, Watkins, McKay
Subs (not used): Esson, Ross, Devine, Tremarco, Polworth
Scorers: none
Booked: none
Sent Off: none

 

Partick Th: 4
Lineup: Gallacher, O'Donnell, Balatoni, Seaborne, McMillan, Osman, Bannigan (Wilson 82), Elliott, Fraser, Higginbotham (Lawless 74), Stevenson (Eccleston 80)
Subs (not used):  Fox, Craigen, Lindsay, McDaid
Scorers: Stevenson (12, 40), Fraser (49), Balatoni (56) 
Booked: Elliot (35)
Sent Off: none

 



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Inverness CT -V- Partick Thistle - SPFL

Dec 12 2014 08:42 PM | tm4tj in Previews 2014-15

Tale of two Jags



Inverness face one of only three teams to have taken all three points off them so far this season. It's the Harry Wraggs who come North, weather permitting on Saturday for week 16 of the SPFL Premiership campaign, almost half way to the dreaded split.

The league table does not normally lie, but Partick sit ninth on sixteen points, exactly half the total of their hosts tomorrow. That's hard to explain really, considering they gave us a doing at Firhill in September. Aaron Doran had given Inverness an early lead but ten minutes later Partick turned that around to go 2-1 ahead with goals from Steven Lawless and Abdul Osman. Partick were buzzing around and despite Inverness getting to grips with the game in the second half, they fell further behind from a stunning strike by Kallum Higginbotham. They even threw away the opportunity of a fourth when Kris Doolan missed a late spot kick. What made this result hard to bear was the fact that Inverness had not conceded any goals in the previous five league games since the start of the season, but Partick destroyed that run in what was an excellent result for them.

Since then, we have gone on a decent run, winning six and losing two (Dons & Celtic away), and a derby draw with County. Partick have lost five league games over the same period, the lowlight being a 3-0 defeat at Rugby Park. They also suffered badly at the hands of Celtic in the League Cup quarter final, losing 6-0, but they fared better in a recent premiership game losing 1-0.

Partick on their day can be as adventurous as the best of them, their Achilles heel has been defensive frailties which is something Inverness can capitalise on, especially at home. We are unbeaten at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium this season, the only blemishes being the draw with relegation candidates Dross County, and the midweek draw with Dundee. One complaint from the home fans is that it usually takes half a game to get into top gear, but early goals in the cup replay against St Mirren showed that we can start early and finish strong as well.

Inverness' only concern is the permanently injured Richie Foran.

Partick Thistle  have worries over defenders Frederic Frans and Jake Carroll. Jordan McMillan is back training and Nathan Eccleston looks set to return.

John Hughes has been singing the praises of his squad after his subs made an impact at Dens Park and his main conundrum is whether any of the substitutes warrant a start ahead of the regular X1. It's a luxury we have not always been afforded, and having explosive guys like Aaron Doran and Ryan Christie on the bench is always a plus agaist tiring defences. Yogi has also been fending off other clubs who are reported to be showing an interest in hot property, Ryan Christie. Not for sale is the message from Yogi.

tm4tj prediction:- I'm taking Inverness to exact revenge on the Harry Wraggs with a reversal of the September scoreline. We have been consistently solid at home and our second half surges are getting reminiscent of the olde Pele days. Home win for me, by 3-1.
 



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Dundee -V- Inverness CT - SPFL

Dec 06 2014 02:23 PM | Scotty in Reports 2014-15

Late show at Dens Park



A late counter from Ryan Christie nicked the points for Inverness in a close encounter at Dens Park. Greg Stewart tapped in at the back post to open the scoring after 21 minutes, but who else, Billy McKay squeezed in the equaliser before the hour with Christie's goal coming just before the ninety minutes were up.

On form David Clarkson failed to keep his sensational scoring spree going and Inverness came from behind to take all three points back up the A9. This result tucked Inverness in below Celtic in second place and Dundee slipped just out of the top-six.

Reporters were in short supply this weekend, but our own Inverness fans have their say on how the team performed at Dens Park.............

 

Rig thought we were a bit below par, but still went home chuffed:- Fantastic result for us. I don't think we played that well but to not perform that well and still get the three points is a great outcome. Good chances for both sides seemed to be few and far between. Dundee, as others have said, edged the first half whilst we had the better of the second.
 
Disappointing goal to concede for the opener from an ICT perspective. Free kick looped to the back post and we seemed to lose track of the ball and the Dundee players which let Stewart steal in at the back to side foot home. We didn't really get going in an attacking sense in the first half. Perhaps our best chance was from a Tansey corner which was met by Meekings and his header crashed off the bar.
 
I'm still not sure how we equalised to be honest. Mckay found himself with space to pick a shot which Bain seemed to save then it came off Mckay and or a Dundee defender and ended up in the net.
 
After this we upped our game and the substitutes swung it for us. Doran and Christie gave us more of a spark up front and the latter grabbed the winner when Watkins beat McPake to a ball down the touchline and crossed for Christie and it looked like he stuck out his foot to poke the ball in beyond Bain.
 
Aside from our goals and the Meekings header I felt we were relatively toothless going forward. Especially after our recent attacking performances against Motherwell, Hamilton and St Mirren. Dundee marshalled us pretty well and I felt we did likewise with the likes of Clarkson barely getting a sniff.

AJS observed the proceedings similarly:- Game was not a classic in terms of quality. We struggled to keep our shape and found it hard to get in behind Dundee in the first half. They are not much of a team to watch themselves, relying heavily on set pieces to create chances which they got their goal from, players like Tansey and Williams were struggling to get time on the ball to knock it about.

2nd half saw us making better use of the wings, huge chunk of luck for Billy's goal but when you play well you get the breaks like that, the introduction of Doran and Christie was well timed, we really took the game to Dundee late on and grabbed the chance that came our way, good ball in and a great finish from Ryan to create some late scenes in the away end.

Given his current form Clarkson was in the thinking im sure but thought Warren and Meekings did well to keep him quiet. He showed some decent touches but never got a sniff at goal.

Signs of a great team when you play poorly but win, we ever stopped trying and got rewarded for our efforts. Yogi deserves credit for the double change. It's what won us the game.

Davie added:- Pace of the game was a bit slower, mainly because Dundee had to overload the midfield to snuff us out. That and the fact that it was really windy out on what was a pretty scabby looking lumpy pitch. We did really well to win this one. It seems Ryan Christie got booked for leaving the field of play whilst celebrating. Presumably Mr. Collum didn't see how greasy that area of the pitch was and if Ryan had tried to stop or turn he would have been on his arse in double quick time. Never fear.
 

Here's the proof that we can come from behind

 

 

Yogi and Billy chat after the Dens Park win..............
 

  

 

CTO fans had Marley Watkins once again as our most valuable player with Danny Williams also producing another busy performance. Warren and Makay were others who got nods of approval. John Hughes though is gaining more fans as the season grows and it's hats doffed for Yogi as humble pie gets scoffed in copious amounts every week.

 

 
Date: 06.12.2014 Venue: Dens Park, Dundee Attendance: 5400
Referee: Willie Collum
 
Dundee: 1
Lineup: Bain, McGinn, Konrad, McPake, Irvine, Thomson (McBride 71), McAlister, Boyle (Tankulic 62), Harkins, Stewart (Ferry 39), Clarkson
Subs (not used):  Schenk, Dyer, Roberts, Wighton
Scorers: Stewart (21)
Booked: Ferry (60), Tankulic (85)

Sent Off: none

Inverness CT: 2
Lineup: Brill, Raven, Meekings, Warren, Shinnie, Vincent (Christie 71), Draper (Ross 84), Tansey, Williams, Watkins, McKay (Doran 71)
Subs (not used):  Esson, Devine, Tremarco, Polworth
Scorers: Mckay (55), Christie (88)
Booked: Christie (88)
Sent Off: none
 




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Dundee -V- Inverness CT - SPFL

Dec 05 2014 08:07 PM | tm4tj in Previews 2014-15

Dens Draw on the Cards



A tough day is anticipated ahead of the visit to the City of Discovery to play Dundee, a team on the up and playing with confidence right now. The news that the incompetent Willie Collum will be in control (that's a bit of a misnomer) makes everyone's task even more difficult. The previous encounter this season saw Dundee earn a point in a midweek fixture in the Highlands with a goalless draw.

One man to watch on Saturday is former Motherwell striker David Clarkson. He is on a run just now having scored eight goals in eight games and will be worth keeping an eye on. That's a great return for the Bellshill lad whose last season at Bristol Rovers was plagued by injury

Dundee are without midfielder Paul McGowan, still suffering from a knee injury, (aye right), and Peter MacDonald who will miss out as well. Scott Bain will keep the goalies jersey with Kyle Letheren still out. Bain performed heroics last weekend in the cup win over Aberdeen.

Inverness are at full strength with captain Richie Foran the only exception to the rule.

 

Ginger Jaggy has been doing the homework for this Preview.............
 

Celtic have hit top spot and the likelihood is that they will stay there until the end of the season but Caley Thistle have a duty to push the champions all the way as best of the rest. John Hughes’ charges have been fantastic so far and will go out to prove to Celtic that surprises come in small packages. Next up is a tricky away game in the City of Discovery against the dark blue side of Dundee. Dundee is one of two teams in the league who have come North and taken anything away from the Caledonian Stadium, so Saturday is our turn to take the points along the A9.

Paul Hartley has had a great start to his management career. After successive promotions with Alloa Athletic, he then promoted Dundee to the top flight to make it three on the trot. With this record comes an exciting brand of football which has seen the Dark Blues climb into the top six currently.

The signing of David Clarkson has been remarkable as he has scored in 8 successive games including a last minute winner to knock fancied Aberdeen out of the Scottish Cup. Dundee has recruited well in the summer and since the signing of Clarkson it has all come together to make Dundee almost safe already. The good times could be returning to the city with Neighbours United starting to compete up the table on a more regular basis. James McPake has added steel and experience at the back while additions of Paul McGowan (injured) and Gary Harkins (in his 3rd spell at the club) have added flair and guile. Harkins alongside Leigh Griffiths were the main protagonists in their side when we humiliated them by overturning a 16 point lead to win the 1st division by 12 points. Griffiths may have gone and Harkins has aged somewhat since his period as a prolific goal scoring midfielder, but he still has the class and quality to cause us problems. A lot of what is good about Dundee’s football comes through the Greenock born midfielder so if Inverness can keep him quiet then that is half the battle won.

It could have been oh so different with Hartley in the away dugout instead of the home one tomorrow. Most fans at the time were bewildered that the club let such a bright and promising young manager slip through our fingers after the Butcher fiasco. To then add salt in the wounds the club go and appoint a man with a very mixed record. But Yogi has quietened the dissenters and although there has been one or two hiccups, it has largely been one continuous rollercoaster. The players have been performing brilliantly and we go into this game on the back of a brilliant run of form with 3 wins and one draw in both league and cup. Tuesday’s 4-0 thrashing of St Mirren will have given the guys confidence but we know this will be a tougher test.

The first game finished 0-0 back in the first week of the season. That game was tight and pretty turgid but both teams are flowing now and are playing some really entertaining stuff. With lots of attacking talent on both sides I expect goals tomorrow let’s hope it will be on the right side. This will be a tough match but I still think Inverness have enough to win the game and make sure we continue to keep the pressure on Celtic as best of the rest.

 

In Friday nights game, Dundee United held on to beat bottom club Dross County, who finished with ten men. That result cements County at the basement, but more importantly, Dundee United jump into second place, two points above Inverness. So that makes it all the more important that Inverness overcome the Dens Parkers and tuck themselves in behind Celtic once more.





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Inverness CT -V- St Mirren - Cup Replay

Dec 02 2014 07:43 PM | Scotty in Reports 2014-15

Buddies Hammered in the Cup

 

 

 

Inverness dismantled St Mirren in the cup, scoring four and in reality letting St Mirren off lightly. First half goals from Gary Warren, and a Greg Tansey penalty put Inverness in control and strikes from Danny Williams and captain Graeme Shinnie completed the rout. after the break. The score flattered the Paisley outfit and Tommy Craig's peg is a bit more shoogley.

 

As expected, Marley Watkins returned to the starting eleven along with Greg Tansey. Nick Ross stepped down from the side that started at Paisley with Ryan Christie joining him on the bench. For St Mirren, Jim Goodwin came back into the defence with Thompson, McGinn and Osbourne starting again.

 

A sparse crowd of just over 1300 attended the game on a chilled evening after a bright winters day.

 

It was a fairly level opening to the game with the home side dominating possession and playing the passing game, often frustrating the fans as much as the St Mirren players. Indeed Dean Brill had more touches than the whole Paisley side. The retention policy would pay off soon enough as Inverness won a corner after 20 minutes. Tansey whipped the ball to the near post and Gary Warren bulleted a header behind Ridgers for the opener.

 

Three minutes later and Watkins latched onto a long ball that curled round the defence. As he forced his way into the box, Goodwin went to ground and appeared to bring Watkins down with his arm. Penalty no doubt and Greg Tansey hammered the ball to the keepers right, the goalie going the opposite direction.

 

We then squandered three great opportunities before half time. These were glaring misses and should have seen St Mirren buried before the break. Danny Williams trundled the ball into the keepers hands from ten yards, straight at the keeper when either side would have seen him score. Vincent did likewise from even closer range, cushioning a header into Ridgers' midriff. The third was more down to misfortune, Warren's back post header netbound until the defender threw himself at the ball, blocking it under the bar with part of his body.

 

Half Time 2-0

 

St Mirren were more stubborn for around fifteen minutes after the interval, and after 56 minutes Thompson headed over unchallenged. A warning for Inverness that there was still work to be undertaken.

 

Just before the hour, Meekings almost added to his seasons tally of three, but he was off balance as he tried to smash a shot with his right foot on the turn, the ball slicing well wide. The pressure was mounting now on the St Mirren defence as Inverness saw off their mini-revival.

 

Surging breaks forward were becoming more frequent and in one such surge, Williams fed McKay who smashed a close range shot off the underside of the bar, but when the ball came back out to the edge of the six yard box, Williams crashed a low shot into the back of the net.

 

This goal ended all hope of a St Mirren comeback and it was shooting practice for Inverness thereafter, The visitors goal leading a charmed life.

 

The arrival of Doran just added to the Buddies misery as he jinked and spun his way around the Paisley defenders. Doran, Christie and Tansey all missed efforts, but none moreso than sub Nick Ross who dallied before trying to get a shot away and the chance was lost.

 

However, captain courageous Graeme Shinnie showed his strikers how to finish, running onto a through ball to curl it beyond Samson and complete the scoring on a night to forget for the Buddies.

 

Full Time 4-0

 

In truth, Inverness crushed a toothless St Mirren side, scoring four and missing another half dozen great chances. The worrying aspect is that none of the forwards found the back of the net, but hey ho, as long as the rest are contributing it's onwards to the next round of the cup, where Partick Thistle will provide a sterner test. For Tommy Craig, your taxi awaits,

 

   

 

tm4tj MotM:- Garry Warren scored one, could have scored another couple and showed some fleet footed touches akin to Pele. Great all round performance from the big central defender. Ably assisted by most of the others, but notably Watkins, Williams, Shinnie and Draper.

 

 
Date: 02.12.2014 Venue: Caledonian Stadium, Inverness Attendance: 1326
Referee: Calum Murray
 
Inverness CT: 4
Lineup: Brill, Raven, Meekings, Warren, Shinnie, Vincent, Draper, Tansey, Williams (Doran 76), Watkins (Christie 73), McKay (Ross 83)
Subs (not used):  Esson, Devine, Tremarco, Polworth
Scorers: Warren (20), Tansey (pen23), Williams (67), Shinnie (90)
Booked: Shinnie (2)
Sent Off: none

 

St Mirren: 0
Lineup: Ridgers, Naismith, McAusland (Brown 62), Kelly, Tesselaar, Goodwin, Reilly (Drury 52), Osbourne (Ball 72), McLean, McGinn Thompson 
Subs (not used):  Kello, Marwood, Teale, Caldwell
Scorers: none
Booked: Goodwin (22)
Sent Off: none

 



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Inverness -V- St Mirren - Cup Replay

Dec 03 2014 06:28 PM | tm4tj in Previews 2014-15

Cup Replay



Inverness and St Mirren go head to head after a 1-1 draw at the first time of asking left the clubs with this replay on Tuesday night at Inverness. The Buddies had opened the scoring in the first half when Marc McAusland scored from close range. Inverness took control after the break and the draw was no more than they deserved, the equaliser from Josh Meekings who fired home through a ruck of players after a stramash in the home goal area.

So, here we are, it's been a brisk December day in the Highlands and Inverness will be boosted by the return to the squad of the man of the moment Marley Watkins and shoot on sight Greg Tansey. Nick Ross will likely make way for Watkins, but it's a tougher choice for Hughes to make with Tansey available. Inverness have no fresh worries.

St Mirren saw Thomson, McGinn and Osbourne return to the side at the weekend and that gave them more presence on the park. Footballing thug Jim Goodwin is available.

tm4tj Prediction:- This should be a stroll for Inverness with the Buddies struggling in the league and Tommy Craig doing his best to get sacked. With Watkins back he will be able to get behind the St Mirren defence and the goals will come. Bring on Partick, that's what I say.


 



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St Mirren -V- Inverness CT - Sc. Cup 4th Rd

Nov 29 2014 02:16 PM | Scotty in Reports 2014-15

Replay required after cup stalemate



Inverness and St Mirren have it all to do again after a 1-1 draw at the first time of asking left the clubs looking at a replay this Tuesday night at Inverness. The Buddies opened the scoring after 17 minutes when Marc McAusland scored from close range. Inverness upped their game after the break and they deservedly equalised through Josh Meekings who fired home through a ruck of players.

St Mirren had a boost prior to kick off with the news that Steven Thomson was fit enough to start along with John McGinn and Isaac Osbourne. Alas, not even that was enough to entice the Paisley fans away from the Xmas shopping as less than 2000 turned up to watch shot-shy Saints take on high flying Inverness.

Inverness were without the suspended duo of Greg Tansey and on form Marley Watkins. Nick Ross surprisingly got the nod ahead of Aaron Doran and Ross Draper returned after suspension. Talking to the press seems to work then.

It was a low key opening to the game but that changed after seventeen minutes when McAusland scored. Inverness never dealt convincingly with a corner and the ball was cut back by Jason Naismith to McAusland who turned and fired home from close range. A novelty for the Buddies fans this season, some just staring in disbelief before they realised just what they had accomplished.

Inverness tried to respond but Billy McKay shot just wide from outside the box. Kenny McLean did likewise at the other end some ten minutes later as The Mirren looked to add to their lead.

Ross Draper headed narrowly wide from a corner as Inverness looked to get back on level terms before the break and his next action was a booking right on half time for fouling.

A poor forty five all round and not enough effort being put in by the visitors as they struggled to make much headway.

Half Time 1-0

The half time pep talk seemed to add a bit more urgency to Inverness but not before Brill was forced to make a save from Thomson's shot that was heading for the keepers right corner.

Christie was starting to threaten and he shot wide from outside the box as Inverness asserted themselves on the game. David Raven was next up and he missed the target as well, but a goal was coming as St Mirren found themselves penned in for long spells.

McKay shot over from a free kick and Danny Williams tested Ridgers as the pressure mounted. However, the goal came from an unlikely source. Josh Meekings has netted twice already this season and he notched his third after St Mirren lived dangerously from a corner. Tom, Dick and Harry had a go but it was Meekings who delivered, driving the ball through bodies from around 12 yards to level the tie.

Raven had a defenders attempt that sailed over and substitute Aaron Doran fared no better. McKay and Christie ended the off target  shooting as Inverness finished the game well on top, but unable to find the quality or finesse to get the winner.

The game petered out and both sides will be pleased to enter the draw for the fifth round. I suspect Inverness will be the happier of the two though as St Mirren will be heading North in midweek for a tie that will only cost £15 to watch.

Full Time 1-1

Overall a fair enough result with neither side getting the clear cut chances to bury the tie. St Mirren were rarely seen as an attacking force after the break and Inverness deservedly equalised, so it's all to play for on Tuesday night. The good news for Inverness is that Watkins and Tansey will be back and that should make a difference.

MotM is going to Ross Draper. Just back from suspension and not afraid to put himself about. In fact he got his yellow just before the break and was content to take over the Ross Tokely villain role right up to the final whistle, so if it annoys the Paisley fans, then that's good enough for me.
 

Well done to Spartans FC who put out Morton with a last minute winner. They took care of Clyde in the previous round and a big draw would be just reward for their efforts. Dundee advanced at the expense of Aberdeen in the early kick off. Motherwell, Hamilton and Ross County also ended their interest in the cup, as did Brora and Bo'ness who shipped five by the Smokies.

 

 

 
Date: 29.11.2014 Venue: St Mirren Park, Paisley Attendance: 1957
Referee: Calum Murray
 
St Mirren: 1
Lineup: Ridgers, Naismith, McAusland, Kelly, Tesselaar, Reilly, Osbourne (Teale 80), McLean, McGinn (Drury 60), Thompson (Ball 74), Marwood
Subs (not used):  Kello, Brown, Caldwell, Baird
Scorers: McAusland (17)
Booked: none
Sent Off: none

Inverness CT: 1
Lineup: Brill, Raven, Meekings, Warren, Shinnie, Draper, Williams, Christie, Ross (Doran 74), Vincent, McKay
Subs (not used):  Esson, Sekajja, Devine, Horner, Tremarco, Polworth
Scorers: Meekings (63)
Booked: Draper (45)
Sent Off: none
 



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St Mirren -V- Inverness CT - Sc. Cup 4th Rd

Nov 28 2014 09:21 PM | tm4tj in Previews 2014-15

The magic of the Cup



Inverness are on their travels in the Scottish Cup this Saturday with a visit to Paisley.The last time these sides met here in the Cup in February 2004, a solitary Darran Thomson goal amid heavy snow storms and a Saint Mirren blizzard saw Inverness advance to the next round. First division Inverness then beat Motherwell in the quarter finals with a Barry Wilson goal from 70 yards (it gets longer every year) before losing out 3-2 to Dunfermline Athletic after a replay. That semi-final replay was played at Pittodrie after a 1-1 draw at Hampden.

How times have changed. Inverness sit joint top of the Premiership, St Mirren are struggling at the foot of the table and Darran Thomson was last heard of playing for Vale of Lethen. Ross Tokely was an item of hate for St Mirren fans, and the news on the street is that Rossco is off to Angola for a bit of work. So, not much for the locals to boo tomorrow. Mind you, Tommy Craig will be there.

The Cup brings it's own magic to the football season. Inverness should know as they produced one of the greatest shocks ever in that memorable game at Parkhead. Brora Rangers are the only Highland League side left but the draw was less than favourable for them as they make the long haul from Dudgeon Park to Palmerston to face Queen of the South. The romance lives on for Bo'ness United and they have been given every chance of an upset with a home game against Arbroath. The final non league side are Spartans FC who face Greenock Morton at Ainslie Park, Edinburgh. Five Premiership sides will not make the next round and with Rangers playing Hamilton and Celtic facing Hearts then another two prominent clubs will miss out as well. So, in general, it's a great draw for the lesser clubs and maybe the magic will go on a bit longer for one or two of the minnows.

Marley Watkins has been a key player for Inverness this year and his absence will benefit the home side. His strength on the ball and blistering pace cause problems for defenders and he has added goals to his game. I would expect Aaron Doran to fill his boots, his cameo last week deserving of more air time. Ross Draper should return after suspension and he will be a direct replacement for Greg Tansey. A rejuvenated James Vincent is showing his worth and Ryan Christie has the skill and energy to turn a game quickly. Others staking a claim for a starting berth are Carl Tremarco, Nick Ross, Liam Polworth and Danny Devine.

St Mirren could welcome captain and seasoned striker Steven Thompson back, although he might not be fit enough for a start but would be a useful addition to the bench. Jim Goodwin is out, the ruthless defender has beaten up one too many players and is banned.

Latest Team News
Inverness pair Greg Tansey and Marley Watkins are both banned after going through the bookings threshold, while captain Richie Foran is out long term. Ross Draper returns.

Captain Steven Thompson could return after a long spell out for this  Scottish Cup meeting with Inverness. Midfielders John McGinn and Isaac Osbourne are also pushing for a start since their return to training. Bad boy Jim Goodwin is suspended and Ellis Plummer and Gregg Wylde miss out through injury.

tm4tj Prediction:- John Hughes reckons the law of averages could come into play in this game. "The law of averages says they have got to win sometime so we need to make sure we are at our best or we could be the side to suffer", said Yogi. I tend to agree with him on this one. St Mirren are having a torrid time just now and Tommy Craig does not seem to be able to lift the team, but the Cup often releases some of the tension in struggling sides and with Watkins and Tansey out we will need to be at our sharpest to avoid missing out on a decent Cup run. Might need a replay to sort this one out, but it won't be as easy as the bookies are making out.
 



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