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Robbo no happy after home defeat Inverness' disjointed side slumped to a 0-2 defeat at the hands of Championship contenders Falkirk who did all their hard work in the first half and coasted in from there, the hosts unable to fashion out any clear chances over the entire game. Inverness were without captain Gary Warren and Jake Mulraney, both injured at Forthbank in midweek. Alex Cooper was a surprise inclusion on the bench having earned a short term contract as we struggle for fit players. Matt Elsdon came in at the back and John Baird faced his former club up front. A blustery but dry afternoon greeted the sides as the game kicked off, a bit of haar coming in from the Firth keeping the temperature down. Falkirk were prepared to take the game to their hosts looking to get an early advantage, but it was Inverness that passed up on the first snippet. A free kick from Polworth found it's way into the box and bounced into an awkward area, but the defence reacted quicker and cleared the danger. An excellent bit of ball retention saw Nathan Austin get clear in the box after a neat flick set him up, but he smothered his shot from twelve yards and Mark Ridgers was able to block with his legs to avoid a certain goal. When Susan was robbed in midfield, Falkirk went forward again and Sammy Hyppolite tried from distance but his shot was always heading just the wrong side of the post with Ridgers scrambling across his line to escort the ball round the sticks. Pressure was mounting on the home defence but they were coping at this point. However, a long diagonal ball from Rory Loy was well taken by Alex Harris wide on the Falkirk right as he raced forward. He delivered a superb cut back into the box which was asking to be dispatched, and up popped Joe McKee to drive the ball low behind Ridgers for the opening goal from around the same spot as Austin missed from earlier. Ridgers had to scamper well out of his box as a long ball caught out the entire home defence. He just managed to get a toe nail on it to foil Austin as the striker sped towards him some forty yards out. Our only moment in the first half saw a deep cross find John Baird under pressure at the back post from Aiden Muirhead, but alas, between the defender and the keeper, the ball was blocked from Baird's header. One minute later and that miss would prove costly. Ridgers was less fortunate with his next piece of the action a couple of minutes before the break. He scuffed a clearance about thirty five yards straight to the feet of Rory Loy who promptly fed Nathan Austin who in turn curled the ball low past the culprit in goal. Just enough time for Ross Draper to fire a shot wide before the whistle blew. A bit harsh on Inverness maybe, but two down at the interval and a mountain to climb, the lack of creation evident. Half Time 0-2 The second period saw Falkirk go into their shell as they looked to hold onto what they had with Inverness not showing much attacking intent or commitment, and ten minutes in Ricardo Calder was replaced by Alex Cooper. He had a run into the corner of the box, but his effort was blocked for a corner from a tight angle. On the hour Robbo had seen enough, or maybe not seen enough of Felitciano Zschuschenn and hooked him for George Oakley. The result of that substitution showed that we looked slightly more menacing with Oakley able to hold up the ball better and battle for his place in the team. He almost reduced the deficit after seventy-five minutes but Robbie Thomson brought off a TV save to deny him from twenty-five yards. Little was seen of Falkirk in this half, but we were still making heavy weather of producing moments in the ever increasing swirling conditions that brought in even more chilling winds. As the game wore on we looked less likely to carve open the visiting defence and that's how it ended with Falkirk going to the top of group A with a game in hand. Full Time 0-2 For Inverness, Collin Seedorf looked to be the most accomplished player and George Oakley did his chances of a start no harm when he was introduced. Most of the rest need to take a look at themselves and see if they want to play for this club or not, and one or two appear to be lacking in confidence just now. Defeat for Robbo in his second game at home with his new look side and he pulled no punches in this frank and cutting interview after the game. Peter Houston also gave his thoughts. Great video & commentary from Falkirk TV Date: 22/07/17 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: ???? Referee: John Beaton Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers, Chalmers, Elsdon, Polworth, Draper, Baird, Vigurs, Calder (Cooper 55), Seedorf, Zschusschen (Oakley 59), McKay Subs (not used): Esson, Raven, Foy, MacDonald Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none Falkirk: 2 Lineup: Thomson, Muirhead, Watson, Grant, Gallacher, McKee, Taiwo, Hippolyte (Miller 80), Harris (Shepherd 71), Gallacher, Austin (Kerr 79), Loy Subs (not used): Mitchell, Gasparotto, O'Hara, Craigen Scorers: McKee (21), Austin (43) Booked: none Sent Off: none a
We do have a team after all! Inverness eased their way into this League Cup game and ended up with a comfortable 3-0 win over Championship newbies Brechin City, thanks to a brace from Gary Warren and a first for new signing George Oakley. After an indifferent low key pre-season, some heads were already dropping slightly but this was just the tonic they needed to get back behind the team as we kicked off Betfred League Cup Group A with a decisive win over fellow Championship side Brechin City. Robbo gave five newstarts their debut with another two on the bench but it was stalwart captain and center back Gary Warren that stole the show with a couple of goals from set-pieces. Jake Mulraney was showing a clean pair of heels to the Brechin defenders and was the target of some rash challenges before being replaced in the second half. Apart from a Layne free kick early on and a Spark header that went over, City offered little in the way of forward momentum and after Oakley had headed home the third, they were looking rather bedraggled with Inverness stroking the ball around comfortably. Hardly surprising given the number of players the visitors had missing, only four on the bench including the Machine. So, we do have a team after all. However, it's difficult to judge considering the opposition were struggling to get players on the park and the fact that they have just come up from the first division. Collin Seedorf looks to be a class act and Oakley took his goal well. Oooooh Gary Warren led by example and Jake Mulraney looked to have the freedom of the wing, this could be a good season for him. Not much for debut keeper Mark Ridgers to deal with in a comfortable afternoon all round. If there could be any criticism levelled at the team, they could and should have scored more goals against a weakened Brechin, but it's good to get the opening game out of the way without any mishaps. Onwards and upwards. Despite being stunned to be back in charge, Robbo was delighted with the win and looks forward to the challenge ahead. CALEY THISTLE: 3 (Warren 21,34, Oakley 57) Ridgers; Seedorf, Mckay, Warren, Calder, Polworth, Draper, Vigurs (Elsdon, 83), Mulraney (Chalmers, 72), Baird, Oakley. Subs unused: Esson, Raven, Stark, Wilson, MacDonald. Booked: Warren. BRECHIN CITY: 0 Smith; McLean, Dyer, Fusco, Crighton, Spark (Ford, 84), Orsi, Lynas, Jackson, Layne, Love (Sinclair, 78). Subs unused: O’Neil, Dods. Booked: Love, McLean. Referee: B Cook. Crowd : 1419
Susan could feature at Stirling. Inverness opened their Group A, Betfred Cup, account with a comfortable win over Brechin City on Saturday. Gary Warren notched a couple and new striker George Oakley opened his own personal account with a header. One swallow does not a summer make but how good did that feel? Next up a wee Tuesday night jaunt to Stirling to battle with the Binos. John Robertson has said that three wins should be enough to progress so it would be great to meet Falkirk on Saturday sitting with two. Tonight should also see the much anticipated debut of Feliciano Zschusschen, apparently to be known as Susan…. He has a very impressive showreel so hopes are high that the goals this season could be plentiful. Mark Ridgers was very quiet on Saturday and will be hoping for more of the same. I expect the team to line up pretty much as Saturday and my guess is that Oakley will be sacrificed to allow Susan to show us what he can do. The Binos finished mid-table last season in League Two with 47 points, just 5 points short of a play-off slot. Their opening game this season saw them crash to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Falkirk who scored through Nathan Austin, Joe McKee, Alex Harris and Aaron Muirhead. Albion scored a superb late consolation from Darren Smith in a more even second period. Squad changes at Stirling Albion according to the BBC website are - In: Peter MacDonald, forward (Clyde); Steven Noble, defender (Peterhead). Loan: Callum Morrison, midfielder (Hearts). Late additions are defender Lee Hamilton from Bristol Rovers and Keeper Mark Foden from over the bridge. Out: Chris Smith, goalkeeper (Stenhousemuir); Ross Forsyth, defender (Clydebank); Jamie Mills, defender (BSC Glasgow); Ross McMillan, defender (BSC Glasgow); Frazer Wright, defender (retired); Alex Docherty, midfielder; Darren Petrie, midfielder; Jack McCue, midfielder. Loan ended: Dylan Bikey, forward (Hearts); Conor Quigley, defender (Dundee). Stirling Albion had this squad starting against Falkirk:- 1 C Binnie 2 R McGeachie 3 S Noble 4 S Davidson 5 E McNeil 6 W Robertson 8 L Caddis 9 P MacDonald 10 D Smith 11 R Kavanagh 16 S Dickson. Subs:- 7 C Morrison 12 K Banner 14 A Black 15 C McMullan 18 B Henderson 19 R Cameron GK R Fallens Stirling Albion Team News:- Striker Andy Little won’t feature as he continues his recovery from injury and the game is likely to come too soon for defender Ross Smith. Prices for tonight are £10 adults £5 concessions and U16s free. All fans are housed in the West stand according to Stirling twitter. Oh, remember to take yer sun screen factor 50, it's roastie toastie out there. Format: A reminder that all drawn games in the group stage go straight to penalties, with the winners receiving a bonus point. Let’s hope another win is winging its way to Inverness. This Preview was brought to you by Old Caley Girl
The Dawn of a New Era Our season kicks off at Central Park, Cowdenbeath in the revamped version of the League Cup. Inverness have been paired with Cowdenbeath, Arbroath, Dunfermline and Dundee United in the group stages. This will be new gaffer Richie Foran's first competitive game in his managerial career. It's all change at Inverness with new players in to replace those that left in the summer. Notable defectors are Miles Storey (Aberdeen), Danny Williams and James Vincent (Dundee), Jordan Roberts (Crawley Town), Andrea Mutombo (somewhere on the internet beside a £180,000 Lamborghini) and the much maligned Danny Devine (Partick Thistle). We have been busy in the transfer market though and in comes defender Kevin McNaughton, striker Scott Boden, speedy winger Jake Mulraney and Billy King (loan). It's anyone's guess how Inverness will line up tomorrow, but one man could well find himself starting after we all thought he was leaving. David Raven outlasted Yogi in an unprecedented turnaround and remains at the club while Yogi is on the dole. Owain Fon Williams has been at the Euro's with the successful Welsh squad and it may be Ryan Esson that gets the nod for this game. Pre-season was limited to highland league opposition and Elgin City. Josh Meekings and Aaron Doran have been posted missing. Other than that, a good blend of youth and first team players have been given a run out and it's now time for Richie Foran to select who he thinks will be good enough to progress in the Betfred League Cup. Former Inverness player Liam Fox is the man in charge of Cowdenbeath after the sacking of Colin Nish. A former Caley Jags Nemesis, he was dismissed after the Blue Brazil were relegated from League one following the play off defeat by Queens Park. Gary Glenn is one familiar name in their squad and he is the former Hearts and Ross County striker. Our last visit to Central Park ended in defeat in season 96/97 in front of 282 fans. Craig Sinclair and Martin Scott had Cowdenbeath 2-0 up at the interval, but despite plenty of pressure, we only managed to score one through Paul Cherry. We went on to win the third division that season whilst Cowdenbeath finished seventh. tm4tj prediction:- First game is always a leap into the unknown. Moreso this time with a new manager as well as some new faces on the park. Nothing to gauge either side against, but one would imagine a club from the top division will be good enough to win; fingers crossed.