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Found 44 results

  1. Play-Off Possibility Inverness face Dundee United on Saturday with the season hanging in the balance after another defeat in midweek at East End Park. We are now closer to the relegation play-offs at the bottom end of the table than we are to the promotion play-offs. Our schoolboy errors on and off the park leave us with little hope of progressing this term and the outlook is bleak. All we have left to look forward to is the IrnBru cup final at McDiarmid Park Perth against Dumbarton. That is assuming we can stave off the relegation play-off position. After a lifeless performance against Dunfermline, we went down 1-0, but by all accounts we got off lightly with Mark Ridgers making a couple of wonderful saves to keep the score down. Our attempts to score were negligible and our antics off the park were laughable. I'm talking about the farce that ended with Brad Mckay not being named at all until Riccardo Calder pulled up, then only being named as a substitute but Cameron Harper who made his debut was suddenly injured after five minutes therefore Brad got on the park after all. What the hell was that all about? Our opponents, Dundee United managed to get back on track after a poor run of results. They came from behind to defeat Queen of the South with Mathew Smith bagging a brace, the first a thumping long range effort. Thomas Mikkelsen had scored the equaliser to get United back into the game. It was their first Championship win since they beat Brechin on the 2nd of January. During that poor run they had been thrashed 6-1 by Falkirk and 3-0 by Morton. Coll Donaldson and Nathan Austin are still sidelined so that leaves our back line a bit fragile. Who knows what's going on behind the scenes, but the Brad Mckay farce was odd to say the least. Let's hope this is sorted before it's too late. The Arabs have made an emergency loan signing in Anthony Ralston. I'm buggered if I know what the emergency is, but the young Celtic defender is at Tannadice for the rest of the season. He has made six starts for Celtic including a Champions League game against PSG. United went with this line-up against QotS:- Lewis, Durnan, Quinn, Scobbie, Murdoch, Flood (Slater 88), King (McMullan 84), Stanton, Robson, Smith, Mikkelsen (McDonald 73). tm4tj prediction:- Given our lame effort at East End Park, and without Coll Donaldson, I see no reason that we should expect anything from this game. Thumping win for United which coupled with a win for Dumbarton over Brechin City will leave us perilously close to the relegation play-off slot. Further news on the Official Site
  2. Defeat leaves Inverness looking over their shoulder. At least we managed to get a kick about after the frustrating list of postponements recently. Unfortunately it ended in another defeat that effectively ends our season with James Craigen scoring an early goal. Midweek at East End Park was not the preferred choice of many, but we went down looking to get our slim play-off hopes back on track. Dunfermline were in the same boat as their season has gone pear shaped as well. They were without a win in their last seven games, since they beat Dumbarton 1-0 on the 6th of January. Nevertheless, 2249 folk turned up to watch this one. Inverness were without influential central defender Coll Donaldson and fragile front man Nathan Austin, both out with hamstring injuries. Brad Mckay was also out..........until Riccardo Calder pulled up. That gave 16 year old Cameron Harper his first start and put Brad onto the bench. Collin Seedorf started at right back and Carl Tremarco partnered Gary Warren in central defence. George Oakley was the front runner with Connor Bell on the bench. The Pars were without top player Jo Cardle but Kallum Higginbotham started. Former Caley Jags man and cup final hero James Vincent was on from the start, but Nat Wedderburn found himself on the bench. Vincent has been on loan from Dundee since the end of January. The game kicked off in total confusion over the Inverness team lines with Cameron Harper starting. Harper's only involvement prior to this game was as an unused sub in the 3-1 defeat at Falkirk in January. Alas, his debut lasted only five minutes as he was substituted with Brad Mckay coming on, but the farce was just beginning as James Craigen fired home a free kick one minute later to open the scoring. Inverness were on the back foot as Dunfermline surged forward and Declan McManus was blocked as the Pars looked to increase their advantage. However Inverness started to creep back into the game and Lee Ashcroft had to look lively on a couple of occasions to repel the visitors. Half an hour gone and the contest had become untidy with petty fouls interrupting the flow of the game and that was the process right up until the interval with nothing of note to report. This game has an end of season feel about it. If it continues like this our season will be over. Half Time 1-0 Polworth started the ball rolling for the second forty-five, and the fans were be looking for a bit more life on the park. After a chanceless first half Doran brought Pars keeper Robinson into action as he gathered the Caley Jags' players shot in the 47th minute. Mark Ridgers denied James Craigen his second goal with an excellent save down low as the game livened up, the keeper pushing the ball out for a corner. Meanwhile, the visiting fans were amusing themselves by cheering for Ryan Esson as he warmed up behind the goal. Jake Mulraney had been woken by something and he ventured deep into the home area but the ball eventually going out. However, there has been more activity in the first ten minutes of the second half than there was in the whole of the first. Robbo had seen enough of Mulraney and Doran and they were replaced by Connor Bell and Zak Elbouzedi with twenty minutes left but it was Nicky Clark that almost scored for the hosts with his cross which was missed by Ridgers but hooked clear by Tremarco. A couple of minutes later Clark fed McManus and he hit the post. Polworth had a shot blocked as Inverness looked to get an unlikely equaliser and Zak Elbouzedi had no takers for his cross into the box as Robbo raged while Clancy ticked him off. Iain Vigurs headed straight at Robinson as we tried to make amends for a dismal first half. Inverness had Ridgers to thank for a couple of tremendous saves from Martin and Higginbotham and Brian Rice had his chips as he was sent to the stand by Clancy. Full Time 1-0 Looks like our season has ended in tatters with defeat at East End Park. We petered out and Dunfermline were well worth the three points and should have won by a greater margin. Our lack of funds is showing in the lack of quality and threadbare squad and it's the IrnBru cup or bust. Dumbarton are now only six points behind Inverness and we should now concentrate on avoiding relegation instead of looking for promotion which was always beyond us after last seasons disaster. RIG had this to say after another disappointing display. A truly shambolic performance from ICT that should really be leaving fans very worried at the prospect of a second successive relegation. With Dumbarton playing Brechin again on Saturday there's a real chance they will be just 3 points behind us. Forget about possible Highland Derbies next season and focus on staying in this league. Even though the score line makes it look like a close game I'd say we were as bad as when we were thumped 5-1 there earlier in the season. At the back we floated between competent and clueless. Most of the time we coped easily with the Pars attacks. Other times we flapped at crosses and passed the ball out of defence straight to the home side. Polworth and Vigurs certainly tried but mainly succeeded in giving the ball away. Chalmers was anonymous, Mulraney kept running the ball out of play instead of crossing it and Oakley spent most of the game falling over after wrestling with his opponent. We were an utter shambles. Aimless punts up the park and truly woeful attacking play in the final third. There were very few plus points. Ridgers made some good saves and it was great to see Tremarco and Bell back in the side. But apart from that it was a night to forget for ICT. Here's Allan Johnston talking after his sides first win in eight games. Date: 13/03/2018 Venue: East End Park, Dunfermline Attendance: 2249 Referee: Kevin Clancy Dunfermline: 1 Lineup: Robinson; Williamson, Martin, Morris (C), Ashcroft, Craigen, Beadling, Vincent, Higginbotham, McManus, Clark. Subs (not used): Gill; Aird, Shiels, Armstrong, Wedderburn, Lochhead, Ryan. Scorers: Craigen (6) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Seedorf, Warren, Tremarco, Harper (B Mckay 5), Chalmers, Vigurs, Polworth, Doran (Bell 71), Mulraney (Elbouzedi 71), Oakley. Subs (not used): Esson; Brown, Trafford, Mackay Scorers: none Booked: Tremarco (89) B Mckay (90+2) Sent Off: none a
  3. Heading towards last chance saloon After what seems like an entire season of games put on hold in the Winter of our discontent, we should take on fellow promotion hopefuls Dunfermline Athletic on Tuesday night. It's getting to the stage for both clubs where only a win will suffice. This game has been knocked back already due to inclement weather and frozen pipes but it looks like it could go ahead this time. Our last competitive game was on 24th February when we went down 0-2 against Morton in the Highlands. We only managed two games throughout February. The other one was the IrnBru Cup game against Irish side Crusaders which saw us get into the final after a pulsating 3-2 win. We will play Dumbarton at McDiarmid Park, Perth, in a couple of weeks. The fixtures are now stacking up for Inverness and we will be playing twice a week for the foreseeable future. Dunfermline are without a win in their last seven games since they defeated Dumbarton 0-1 on 6th January. Their last game was a 2-0 defeat to leaders St Mirren at the weekend. They still lead Inverness by five points and sit just outside the play-off zone in sixth place, but we do have two games in hand. We were dropped down into eighth position at the weekend when Falkirk beat Morton 3-1, and only Dumbarton and Brechin are below us. Our season now hinges on us making a grandstand finish to the season, but with our player of the year so far Coll Donaldson injured, it looks like the IrnBru Cup might be our only crumb of comfort after the massive rejig following relegation. Dunfermline warned us how tough this league was going to be by trouncing us 5-1 in the second league game of the season. We did gain a modicum of revenge with a 1-0 win at the Caledonian Stadium at the end of October, but only six wins from thirteen Championship fixtures since then has seen us struggle to climb the league. It's like one step forward and two back at the minute. Coll Donaldson and Nathan Austin are both out with hamstring injuries but Robbo should have a full squad otherwise. Here's the Pars line up in their last outing at St Mirren. Dunfermline: Robinson, Williamson, Talbot, M'Voto, Ashcroft, Craigen, Beadling, Vincent, Armstrong, McManus, Clark. SUBS: Gill, Morris, Martin, Cardle, Wedderburn, Higginbotham, Ryan tm4tj prediction:- With our lack of action recently it's difficult to guess how we will react to our inactivity. Coll Donaldson missing out is a big blow and our cover up front is thin with John Baird off to Morton and Nathan Austin injured. Dunfermline fans don't seem too bothered if we were to help remove Magic Johnston from the managers seat, so let's see if we can help them out here and record an away win. It looks like a tall order though, so I'm going with a no score draw.
  4. Ton too heavy for lightweights. Morton all but ended any faint hope Inverness had of making the play-offs with a clinical two goal victory in the Highlands, their first ever at Inverness. A sorry Caley Jags look destined for another season in the doldrums after failing to win this six-pointer and Morton took full advantage to move above Dundee United into third place in the Championship with their fourth win in the last five games. A first half goal from Scott Tiffoney was added to after the break when MotM Gary Harkins slotted home a penalty. It could have been so different had we hit the net instead of the woodwork, twice, and not had two goals chalked off. However, we were the architects of our own downfall, Brad Mckay having a first half to forget as he allowed the ball to bounce over him which led to the opener, and Collin Seedorf giving away a penalty in the second period. We did try, but Morton seemed to have all the answers and looked a yard sharper than us all over the park, the pace and movement of their front runners causing our Donaldsonless defence problems. Liam Polworth missed what can only be described as a sitter near the break and that summed up our day really. Inverness were dealt a blow before taking to the pitch with news that Coll Donaldson was injured. Carl Tremarco made the bench as did Nathan Austin, and Aaron Doran started with Jake Mulraney suspended after his red card madness at Falkirk. No surprises in the Morton side with Jack Purdue making his debut today coming off the bench and the evergreen Gary Harkins was the orchestrater in chief. Inverness went straight into the visitors box after some neat interplay in the opening seconds, but Trafford shot down the keepers throat. However, it was Morton who looked liveliest thereafter with their front players causing concern with their movement and pace. Inverness appeared second to every ball and anything loose was snapped up by the eager Morton players. The opening goal was a schoolboy error by Brad Mckay who allowed a long punt from Gaston to bounce over his head. Wee Tiffoney new exactly what was happening and turned Mckay to spin in behind him as Brad mistimed his interception. He almost made amends by blocking the first attempt, but Tiffoney mopped up by driving the ball towards the net as Gary Warren tried to recover the situation. The ball eventually going into the net off Warren's outstretched boot. We worked hard enough, but looked to have little up front to trouble Gaston in the visiting goal. However, we should have been level before the break when Liam Polworth tried to turn a Doran cross from the right into the net. He only succeeded in sclaffing it across the face of the goal when it looked easier to score. Great opportunity to get back on level terms before the interval. Half Time 0-1 Nathan Austin was given a part to play as Robbo hooked Trafford at the break. We looked to take the game to Morton but made heavy work of trying to create openings. Austin's day was short lived as he pulled up after only twenty minutes. It appears that he is made of porcelain. Apparently he has done his other hamstring this time. We were unfortunate on a couple of occasions when Joe Chalmers guided a shot onto the post with the keeper stranded and later on when Iain Vigurs rattled the crossbar with the keeper beaten again. From the rebound, Aaron Doran caught a sweet volley but Gaston got down to block at his near post. The keeper just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Right after that double miss, Morton went up the park and ended the contest. It had looked like it was not going to be our day and that was confirmed when Seedorf gave away a penalty with twenty minutes left bringing down Tiffoney as he jinked past him. Gary Harkins was calmness personified as he stroked the ball off the inside of the post and into the net to double their advantage and Inverness knew their fate. Full Time 0-2 We did have the ball in the net twice, but were penalised on both occasions, but in truth, we played second fiddle to a better organised side and Morton thoroughly deserved the win, their first at the Caledonian Stadium. MotM for me was Morton's Gary Harkins who has skill to burn. After Iain Vigurs wilted in the second half, Harkins took control of the nidfield and he was the main reason Morton pulled off this deserved win. Frustrating day for the Caley Jags who could have taken something from the game but in the end, when the going got tough, the heads went down and the all too familiar stench of defeat was there for all to smell. Here's the goals if you can suffer it................ Date: 24/02/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2359 Referee: Steven Kirkland Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers, Seedorf, Warren, B Mckay, Calder, Polworth, Trafford (Austin 47, D Mackay 65), Vigurs, Chalmers, Doran, Oakley Subs (not used): Esson, Tremarco, Bell, Elbouzedi, Harper. Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none Morton: 2 Lineup: Gaston, Doyle, Lamie, O'Ware, Russell, Ross (McHugh 72), Murdoch, Harkins, Tidser, Tiffoney (Purdue 83), Oliver. Subs (not used): Strapp, Brennan, Langan. Scorers: Tiffoney (28), Harkins (70 pen ) Booked: Purdew (90+1) Sent Off: none a
  5. Let the six-pointers begin. Inverness host Morton in the Championship as the battle for play-off places hots up. With only ten games left for Inverness to save their season, many of these encounters will be seen as six-pointers, and this one is certainly a must not lose game. It's game on after the pitch inspection. It had been arranged for 08:30 on Saturday morning as a precaution with the surface struggling to recover recently. It's back to league business for Inverness after the enthralling IrnBru Cup win over Irish side Crusaders last Sunday. It looked all over bar the shouting at the interval as Inverness raced into a three goal lead with goals from George Oakley, Joe Chalmers and Jake Mulraney. However, Inverness were once more reduced to ten men and Crusaders had a real go, Heatley grabbing a brace to make the last few minutes a touch tense. But we held on and even had the luxury of spurning a scoring opportunity when Iain Vigurs made a hash of a penalty kick after CTO Man of the Match Liam Polworth was sent tumbling to the sodden turf. That victory will see us play Dumbarton in the final on Saturday 24th March at 16:15 with the game being played at McDiarmid Park, Perth. Morton moved eight points above Inverness in midweek with a hard earned win over Dumbarton. Thomas O'Ware was the man that consolidated their position in the top four in a game that they always looked like coming out on top. The Greenock side have won three of their last four games, drawing the other one. They have the best defensive record in the league conceding only 23 goals whilst scoring 34, giving them a +11 goal difference, to Inverness' +2gd. We drew 1-1 in the first meeting this season with Gary Warren scoring in the first half. Morton eventually got to grips with the pace of the game and were well worth their point after Robert Thomson levelled just after the break. Collin Seedorf was red carded at the end of this game. In the second game, Morton held the upper hand after David Raven was sent off as he conceded the penalty after twenty-two minutes from which Gary Harkins scored the only goal of the game. Discipline has been a big part of our downfall this season and can probably be attributed to the loss of around ten points, enough to see us comfortably in the play-off zone. After the IrnBru game, we have now had nine players sent off. Whether the referee's decisions have been correct or not, we are putting ourselves in the position of ending the game with less players than we started with, mostly through petty trips, clips, minor indiscretion and often sheer stupidity. What it boils down to is those left on the pitch are suffering because we can't keep our composure when the going gets tough resulting in the ruination of the fans weekend plus our struggle to climb the table is like running in treacle. This really needs addressed Robbo, time to take drastic action against those seeing red where indiscipline is an issue. Inverness were without Carl Tremarco, Aaron Doran, Nathan Austin and Charlie Trafford against Crusaders. Tremarco is almost ready and could feature in the squad. Austin was cup-tied and will return. Doran was not risked on a really heavy pitch and he and Trafford are available. Brad Mckay will be eligible for this game as his red card will only make him miss the final against Dumbarton. John Baird has been loaned to Morton for the remainder of the season therefore I doubt we will see him in the squad tomorrow. No big loss really as although he worked hard, his return of only four goals in thirty-one games was hardly game changing stuff. Talking of red cards; Jake Mulraney will sit this one out after his madness at the end ofJanuary in Falkirk. It was that long ago that even the SFA forgot to put his name on the current list of outstanding suspensions. SFA not as observant as Caley Stan who pointed that one out. Morton were without Australian centre half Jack Iredale against Dumbarton and Robert Thomson has not played in over a month now. Jai Quitongo, Ross Forbes and Keeper Jamie McGowan are all out long term. tm4tj prediction. Well, if they can't be motivated for these final ten games then there's no hope. I expect us to be fired up for this one as we push for the top zone. It's taken a long time for Robbo to suss out his best options and he's nearly there. George Oakley has made the front man job his own. It's possible Austin could compliment him with Calder and Doran the providers. Liam Polworth had his best game for ages last week and his confidence is growing as is Mark Ridgers in goal. So, coming good at the right time we hope, but Morton have got where they are by hard graft and will be difficult to break down as their defensive record suggests. Gary Harkins will always be a threat with his quality. Tight game but we should edge it. 2-1 for Inverness, mon the Caley Jags. Official Preview Here's Morton keeper Derek Gaston pulling of this acrobatic save against QotS recently. Incredible stuff....
  6. Revenge for the Bairns as Jake sees Red. It was a much changed Caley Jags squad that went to Falkirk with our midfield decimated by suspension and injury. Iain Vigurs and Liam Polworth were suspended, Carl Tremarco is still out injured and Aaron Doran would not be risked on the artificial surface given his long term injury problems. Charlie Trafford was touch and go given his head knock and illness since last weekend. In Came Collin Seedorf with Trafford making the starting XI. Jake Mulraney returned to action, for a while anyway, more about him later. John Baird was on the bench along with a couple of youngsters in Daniel MacKay and Jack Brown. Falkirk had Andy Nelson starting and Tom Taiwo had recovered sufficiently to begin the game. Robbie Thomson continued in goals despite the signing of Celtic youngster Conor Hazard Falkirk kicked off in front of 4251 fans, a decent crowd for a miserable afternoon. Inverness were first to threaten in the second minute as Connor Bell put a dangerous ball to the back post, but it was cleared by the defence and a few minutes later Robbie Thomson was forced to make an excellent save to deny Joe Chalmers. With Inverness forcing the pace of the game George Oakley shot just wide after outmuscling the defender and Charlie Trafford headed one into the hands of Thomson. A great start by Inverness who are taking the game to their hosts and creating the openings. Jake Mulraney caused havoc and won a corner from which Oakley flicked the ball goalward but the danger was cleared by Thomson who gathered. It was almost half an hour before Mark Ridgers had to earn his money and he produced a superb save to deny Sibbald after he was played in by Louis Longridge. A looping shot from Mulraney went close ten minutes before the break as Inverness dominance resumed but there is no breakthrough yet for the makeshift midfield who are squaring up well so far. Coll Donaldson made amends after failing to control a ball but he got back to make a solid challenge on Andrew Nelson to deny the striker, the home fans looking for a penalty (be patient..... soon). Brad Mckay had to make a clearance when Nelson tried to backheel his way to goal as Falkirk came back strongly at the end of the first half. Out of the blue came a red! Mulraney saw red mist after a couple of rash challenges and a shove and kick and then had a go at the water bottle on his way to an early bath via the dressing room doors (allegedly). Looks like the FOR SALE sign hanging round his neck is taking it's toll. What a clown . We needed this like we need a hole in the head. Some harsh words needed from Robbo after that aberration. He let himself and his team mates down with that indiscretion. Inverness' 8th red card of the season. Disgraceful. Half Time 0-0 Cheers Jake . Two minutes into the second half and Falkirk take the lead as Aaron Muirhead converts from the spot after Chalmers fouled Longridge in the box. The Bairns smell blood and Nelson forced a corner after a neat turn and shot. It looks a long way back for ten man Inverness, and we pay no attention to our horrendous disciplinary record as Trafford enters the book. It goes from bad to worse and Seedorf gave away another needless penalty and Muirhead smashed his second of the game. Falkirk don't have to do anything, we are doing it for them. It's open day now and Longridge dragged a shot wide as we appear to have imploded. But, our saviour is on when Connor Bell is replaced by John Baird as Gary Warren enters the refs book with twenty minutes left. Please referee, just end the game now! It's virtually been one way traffic since the sending off and the end can not come quick enough for Inverness................. but wait a minute. Young substitute Daniel MacKay linked brilliantly with fellow sub Jack Brown and finishes with aplomb with some five minutes remaining. Great goal and the youngsters showing their seniors how it should be done. However normal service was resumed as Nelson grabs a third for Falkirk before being subbed. RIG summed up the highs and lows in his review of the match. "With the game over we saw a couple of young lads come on for some first team action and they provided probably the only spark of the second half for ICT supporters when Brown burst from midfield and played a ball forward to Mackay who turned his man and curled a shot into the bottom corner of the net. A glimmer of hope that was quickly put out at Warren was burned for pace down the right side of our defence and the ball crossed for Nelson to seal the win from close range." Full Time 3-1 Revenge was sweet for the Bairns after Mulraney saw red. Up until that point it was an even game. Some of these guys need a talking to as this is not acceptable. An eighth red card of the season for Inverness and two more bookings is crippling the clubs bid to get back into contention for a play-off spot. At the moment, it's three steps forward and two steps back. ICT Chris was more pragmatic: "Overall, deserved win for Falkirk and one we need to write off as a bad afternoon and get back to our prior form." On the first forty-five he was optimistic up to a point: "That was a pretty odd game. We started Trafford and played him with Seedorf and Chalmers in midfield and started really well, we made all the running and, as I see a Falkirk fan noted, Oakley dominating the home centre halves. We didn’t create that much though and slowly Falkirk came back into the game, forcing Ridgers into a good save before Mulraney had his meltdown. It was utterly bizarre, he conceded a foul and got booked then immediately went through Longridge before kicking out at someone a few seconds later. He literally got booked twice in two minutes and walked off, it was like he wanted to get sent off. Really odd." Caley100 was more scathing, only Ridgers escaped his wrath: "We started quite well without causing any damage, Lost the plot after the wee man had a fecking brainstorm, but too many players were awful.. really awful. Trafford was terrible, Mackay just cannot pass a ball, Chalmers gave away the first pen, has the pace of a tortoise and is about as dangerous to the opposition as a plastic bath duck, Seedorf also gave away a pen which was on the cards as he spent the day diving into tackles. I' m not going to mention Baird. ( haha, you just did) Warren lost a high ball (again) letting it bounce 3 times before letting the forward Nick the ball to set up their third. Ridgers was pretty safe and had no chance with goals. ***** day weather wise too, good few beers in Edinburgh later helped." OK, so maybe we can put it all down to a bad day at the office, but if we are serious about getting in to the play-off places, then the attitude needs to change. It's almost as if the management don't want the club to go up. Anyway, well done to the young guns for coming on and playing football, take a bow Daniel and Jack. If you just want to forget the rest of the game, here's Jack Daniel's superb set up and finish, I'll have a large one! Robbo was understandably not impressed.......... Falkirk have been busy getting their videos online..... Date: 27/01/18 Venue: The Falkirk Stadium, Falkirk Attendance: 4251 Referee: Euan Anderson Falkirk: 3 Lineup: Thomson, Kidd, McGhee, Muirhead, Grant, Taiwo (Jakubiak 66), Sibbald, Longridge, Tumilty, Robson, Nelson (O’ Hara 89). Subs (not used): Hazard, McKee, Blair, Loy, Watson Scorers: Muirhead (48 pen, 65 pen) Nelson (87) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers, Chalmers, Warren, Oakley (Mackay 78). Mulraney, Calder, Seedorf, Bell (Baird 69) McKay, Donaldson, Trafford (Brown 82) Subs (not used): Esson, Doran, Harper Scorers: Mackay (84) Booked: Mulraney (43), Trafford (64), Warren (70) Sent Off: Mulraney (45) a
  7. Back to the day job. A cup run is a welcome break from the weekly chore of trying to get back into the Premiership, but it's back to the bread and butter stuff this weekend as we take to the road again with a visit to Falkirk, the land of the Kelpies, the Big Wheel and the Antonine wall, a sort of poor mans Hadrian's wall. It's the fifth meeting between the sides this season already. Falkirk won the first up in the Highlands in a league Cup encounter when we were going through our disarray period. That was followed by a 0-0 draw at Falkirk during the clean sheet era where we looked to be the better side. Our improvement continued as we narrowly won the Challenge cup game 1-0 at the Caledonian Stadium. As confidence began to spread through the ranks, the evolution reached new heights when we skelped the Bairns 4-1 and that is where we are now, the new improved Caley Jags. Let's hope we can keep the trend going. Last weekend both clubs were to put their day jobs aside and play in Scottish Cup ties. However, Falkirk ended up with a day off when their game against Livi at the Pasta Place was postponed, the weather winning that tie. It did go ahead on Tuesday night though and Falkirk progressed into the 5th round courtesy of a deflected goal in injury time from a Reghan Tumilty cross. Inverness did play though, and managed a creditable 2-2 draw at Premier side Dundee. It took a late goal from George Oakley to earn the replay, but it was well deserved. Aaron Doran had opened the scoring in the first half only for Dundee to edge ahead with Sofien Moussa deflecting an A-Jay Smith-Leitch shot beyond Mark Ridgers. Mark O'Hara added a second after a midfield lapse and our defence backing off, and as time ticked away, Oakley pounced to merit the replay, which will be held at the Caledonian Stadium on Tuesday night 30th January. The last time these two met was just over two weeks ago in a re-arranged fixture. The scoreline was somewhat startling considering the hiding Falkirk meted out to Championship contenders Dundee United only three days earlier. The 6-1 thrashing sent ripples throughout the Championship and many feared the worst. However, Inverness dealt out their own punishment as they pumped the Bairns 4-1. We went on a scoring spree and were three up at the break with Oakley, Bell and Mulraney hitting the net. Falkirk tightened up after the break and pulled one back through Longridge, but we extended our lead again when substitute and former Falkirk player John Baird scored the fourth. Who would have thought? Since that game we have beaten Queen of the South and drawn with Dundee in the cup. Falkirk's inconsistent season saw them come away with all three points from Greenock on the Saturday after the loss at Inverness. Craig Sibbald getting the winner in the 20th minute. Paul Hartley spoke to BBC Sport after the game: "Credit to the players and how they performed today. They had to dig deep to get the result. The movement, work-rate and enthusiasm of Louis Longridge and Andrew Nelson to take defenders on and to put people under pressure was pleasing. The lads here are digging deep and want to stay in the team, and they are working well just now." It would appear that Paul Hartley is finally getting to find out his best XI. Full-back Reghan Tumilty's loan from Ross County has been extended and he has taken in Louis Longridge from Hamilton on a permanent deal after his loan spell ended. He has already scored three goals in three games. Sean Welsh has been taken on from Partick Thistle. Swansea City midfielder Ryan Blair and forwards Alex Jakubiak, from Watford, and Andrew Nelson, from Sunderland have all arrived on loan deals. Young Celtic keeper Conor Hazard arrives on loan for the rest of the season. The clearout has begun in earnest with midfielder James Craigen and striker Lee Miller leaving. Defender Luca Gasparotto has made a permanent move to Morton having been on loan to them. Add that to the earlier releases of Conrad Balatoni, Liam Henderson and Nathan Austin, it's clear to see that Hartley is looking to go down a different route to the previous manager. The latest departure is midfielder Mark Kerr. Even later news is that promising defender Tony Gallacher is off to Liverpool for £200K. Blimey, is anybody left? Inverness have Carl Tremarco out for another month or so. Charlie Trafford took a nasty head knock against Dundee and is struggling with sickness, and between petulance and incompetence, we have two players suspended for accumulative bookings. Like Trafford, both are midfielders and Liam Polworth and Iain Vigurs will miss one game. Nathan Austin and Jake Mulraney were rested on the bench, and given both players are recovering from slight injuries then that's no bad thing with some tough games coming up. Aaron Doran may not play given the artificial surface and his long term rehab from knee surgery. So it looks like it's all hands to the pumps for Inverness. With Jake Mulraney walking around with a large FOR SALE sign on his back, it's reassuring to know that Hearts have signed another pacey wide player, Danny Amankwaa. Hopefully Jake will be left here for a bit longer. Falkirk may be without Tom Taiwo who was injured in the cup game at Livingston. A badly swollen ankle causing him to come off. Hartley did say on Taiwo, “Tom isn’t too bad, he is ok. We will see how he is in the morning and assess him to see if he is fit for Saturday’s match. He got a bit of a fright, it looked a nasty one at the time, but it’s not as serious as we thought so he may have a chance to face Inverness". Smokescreen or what? With a multitude of departures and arrivals, it's anyone's guess who Paul Hartley will select. tm4tj prediction:- Both sides have improved from a poor start to the season and if the recent encounter is anything to go by then the smart money will be on Inverness. However, closer scrutiny will show that Falkirk did pass on some good chances in that game and after a sloppy first half by their own admission they improved drastically after the break. Hartley has begun re-shaping his side to his own requirements and after a hard earned win over Livi in midweek they will be out to get some revenge over Robbo's side after the 4-1 defeat in the Highlands. We will be without Carl Tremarco but his replacement Riccardo Calder has offered us some attacking threat on the left. Jake Mulraney and Nathan Austin could come back in as well so we might just have enough flair to edge this game. Anything better than a defeat will be a bonus, a draw will not be the end of the world and it would maintain our ten point advantage over the Bairns. A win will see us handily placed to make an assault on the play-off zone in the coming weeks. I'm going for a narrow away win, but a draw might be where the smart money is. Mon the Caley Jags
  8. Closing in on a play-off position Inverness recorded their first win over Queen of the South this season with a comfortable 3-1 scoreline. First half goals from Iain Vigurs and Joe Chalmers gave us a deserved lead and Aaron Doran added a third after the break. As we eased off, Queens came more into it and got their consolation when Owen Bell headed a fine goal with five minutes left. This win pulls Inverness level on points with the Doonhamers and within striking distance of the two teams above us although we have played more games than most. Still, it's a healthier position than we were in a few months ago. Carl Tremarco missed out through injury as did Nathan Austin. Riccardo Calder slotted in at left back with Brad Mckay on the opposite side. Collin Seedorf and Jake Mulraney were fit enough to make the bench. The Doonhamers had the firepower of 35 year old Stephen Dobbie up front and youngster Owen Bell starting on the bench. On loan Rangers defender Myles Beerman was on the bench along with him. Striker Chris Kane was making his final appearance for Queen of the South before returning to St Johnstone. The 23 year old has now made 24 appearances for the Doonhamers scoring five goals and has benefitted greatly playing alongside the vastly experienced Stephen Dobbie. The frost of the previous days had relented and it was a brisk day, a tad chilly but nonetheless a decent day for a game of footy. Just over two thousand two hundred fans made the effort to get to this game and they were treated to an excellent start by the hosts who came out of the blocks with all guns blazing. The two previous meetings this season produced no goals but Inverness were looking to carry their excellent form from the Falkirk game into this one. Queens were confident their excellent away form would continue. The opening moments were a taste of things to come and captain Gary Warren had a header saved in the second minute as Inverness pressed from the off. The keeper did well to tip his powered header onto and over the bar. Moments later from the resultant corner Iain Vigurs placed a header into the keepers top right corner as he kept a cool head when a loose ball presented itself to him. Great goal and what a start to this game. Dobbie and Polworth exchanged efforts at either end as the game opened out but it was Inverness that were in control and it was no surprise when a second goal came along, although it was all done in slow motion. Joe Chalmers gathered a ball on the edge of the box and his scuffed effort deceived everyone, including the fans in the North Stand. It wrong footed half a dozen players and an unsighted keeper to roll gently into the bottom corner with Leighfield scrambling frantically across his line to no avail. Take that and a first for Joe Chalmers. We saw out the half comfortably and our attacking endeavour should maybe have reaped more, but Queens got away lightly. Half Time 2-0 Gary Naysmith no doubt got them to up their energy levels after the break and with Inverness content to hold what they had Queens came more into it, Stephen Dobbie coming close. However, when we broke forward we always looked dangerous and Aaron Doran knocked home a third after Polworth crossed into the box from the right. Dobbie tried his luck again but his curling effort was mopped up easily by Mark Ridgers as Queens began to believe in themselves and we gave up ownership of the midfield. Beerman and Kerr went close as well but most of the work Queens were doing ended in hopeful efforts rather than guilt edged chances. Iain Vigurs was yellow carded in bizarre fashion. Shaun Rooney went down when tackled and the ref blew for a foul, albeit a soft one. After the players exchanged pleasantries Rooney shoved Vigurs over. As is the norm these days, the ref calls them both over and booked Rooney then Vigurs. Seems to me that getting pushed over is a bookable offence. How odd. Mark Ridgers saved a rasping effort as Queens went looking for a goal and we began to look a little edgy at the back but we weathered the storm and it probably was more comfortable on the park than it was watching from the stand. John Baird had an effort saved but Queens got their reward for not giving up when a superb Beerman cross was briskly headed high into the net by Owen Bell. Inverness responded and Oakley almost restored the three goal cushion but he shot across goal and wide of the mark. Full Time 3-1 Fantastic first half again for Inverness. Some really tidy play and a thoroughly deserved win. Coll Donaldson was once again immense, he is some player for a big lad, but for me, he was outshone by Riccardo Calder who doubled as a full back and left winger. Great shift again from Calder who is my MotM. There was some wonderful play all over the park and George Oakley is turning out to be a useful front man using his upper body strength to good effect. Unsung hero Joe Chalmers has come onto a game over the last couple of months playing on the left midfield side. Without the shackles and constraints of defending, the big loon has come into his own and scored a goal into the bargain. Iain Vigurs, despite his booking tally reaching it's limits, was a class apart in the first half and himself and Polly are beginning to create plenty for the strikers. No failures yesterday and competition for starting berths is hotting up. So, we are starting to pick up pace and are now pushing for a play-off position, well deserved given our recent form. Scottish Cup game at Dundee next week followed by an away trip to Falkirk. Goals highlights from Caley Jags TV Robbo delighted. Gary Naysmith was honest as usual accepting his team were second best. Here's what he had to say. Date: 13/01/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2209 Referee: Alan Muir Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: Ridgers; Mckay, Warren, Donaldson, Calder, Polworth, Vigurs (Trafford 78), Chalmers, Doran, Bell (Baird 72), Oakley Subs (not used): Esson; Seedorf, Mulraney, Mackay, Brown Scorers: Vigurs (3), Chalmers (29), Doran (58) Booked: Mckay (21), Vigurs (74), Donaldson (76), Sent Off: none Queen of the South: 1 Lineup: Leighfield; Rooney, Kerr, Brownlie, Mercer, Murray (Fergusson 63), Thomson, Rankin, Dykes (Beerman), Dobbie, Kane (Bell 71) Subs (not used): Martin; Akubuine, Gourlay Scorers: Bell (85) Booked: Dykes (41), Rooney (74) Sent Off: none
  9. Is there a goal at the third time of asking? After the big win on Tuesday night, it's Gary Naysmith's Queen of the South that come North looking to keep Inverness out of the play-off zone on Saturday with a 3:00pm kick off. It's the third time the clubs have met this season in the Championship and both previous games had the same outcome, no score draws. The first one at Inverness saw Queens get the better of a 0-0 scoreline but with Inverness content on sorting out their defensive frailties, it beckoned the start of a new defensive era, one where we stopped shipping comedy goals and started to build from the back. The return game at Palmerston was closer in terms of superiority but the result remained the same. Inverness got their shooting boots on in midweek with an excellent win over the Bairns. Oakley, Bell, Mulraney and Baird all scored to banish the narrow defeat at Paisley to the recycle bin. It was a swashbuckling performance in the first half that saw the Bairns blown away as Inverness consolidated their mid-table position. Jake Mulraney was in sparkling form, his pace was awesome and let's hope he recovers from his knock to make a start on Saturday. Queens had a fruitful visit to Livingston and came away with a 1-0 win to jump over them in the League, albeit on goal difference. Chris Kane was the man that made the difference with a first half goal. The clubs are more evenly matched in terms of goals scored and conceded than they were the last time they played. We have started scoring and shored up the defence and have closed the goal difference gap to four. Queens (for 33 against 27) Inverness (for 26 against 24) Carl Tremarco is back on the injury list with a suspected hamstring injury, the heavy pitches and busy schedule being blamed for his problems. He will be scanned before the extent of the injury can be gauged. Jake Mulraney was also subbed against Falkirk as a precaution after taking a knock. No David Raven to call on now, but Riccardo Calder did well when he came on against the Bairns, both in defence and going forward. Collin Seedorf is an option but he is another coming back after a recent injury. Up front Nathan Austin could return after his niggle at Paisley although he missed the Falkirk game. Queens have had recent injury problems of their own and will be looking to get back to full strength before some of their loan players return to parent clubs. James McFadden has left the club looking to play abroad. This was their team that played in the 1-0 win at Livingston that saw Queens jump into fourth place in the Championship:- Martin, Rooney, Brownlie, Kerr, Mercer, Murray, Thomson, Rankin, Dykes, Kane, Dobbie (Bell 90). tm4tj prediction:- Any club with a natural goal scorer like Stephen Dobbie has to be taken seriously. Despite the lack of goals in the earlier tussles, there is plenty of players on both sides capable of knocking one in. We had three strikers scoring against Falkirk and Mulraney notching his first for Inverness. So things are looking up. I'll take our in form strikers to get more goals in this one and edge closer to the top zone. In case you missed it, here are the goals from the Falkirkgame with all three strikers scoring.
  10. Bairns Battered Inverness stunned Falkirk with a superb opening forty-five to end this contest with three first half goals. George Oakley, Connor Bell and a sublime first for Jake Mulraney gave the visitors too much to do and they never recovered from that opening spell. Louis Longridge scored a consolation looking suspiciously offside but John Baird quickly restored our three goal advantage to end the game. John Robertson had Iain Vigurs back after suspension but Nathan Austin missed out through injury. With David Raven now departed, Brad Mckay was shipped out to right back with Gary Warren back in the heart of defence alongside Coll Donaldson. George Oakley started with John Baird on the bench. Paul Hartley came North buoyed by his sides 6-1 thrashing of Championship contenders Dundee United with Louis Longridge in the starting XI. Tom Taiwo missed out through injury. Oakley was yellow carded early for an alleged dive, I'm not as convinced as the referee John Beaton. However, Inverness went ahead after only ten minutes. Iain Vigurs won the ball deep and fed Liam Polworth. He drove forward before sliding a great ball into the path of the electric Jake. Oakley then benefited from Mulraney's pace and direct ball into the box, the striker bundling the ball in from close range. The visitors tried to force their way back into the game, mainly due to some wayward passing from the home defence, but their shooting left a bit to be desired. Gary Warren earned a booking for a cynical type of foul after losing his man in the final third, Joe Chalmers would earn his card for a similar foul later in the game. The free kick drifted wide with Ridgers watching. Warren would be more constructive soon after, popping up in the visitors box and bringing out a tremendous save from Robbie Thomson from ten yards when a shot found him unmarked close to goal. The hosts would not be denied though as we forged a path through the Falkirk players from our own left back position. the ball was transferred swiftly with Polly travelling again before feeding Jake who in turn teed up Bell to notch number two. Fantastic break from defence into attack involving six players. Two minutes later and the Bairns were in disarray. Another ball from the back showed Oakley use his strength to turn his marker on the halfway line. He played on to Jake who skipped forward before curling a beauty behind a stunned Thomson with his left peg from just outside the box. 3-0 at the Interval and even the home fans were stunned. Half Time 3-0 Inverness were obviously wary of a backlash from the Bairns and we were content to relinquish territory and possession and hit on the counter. That worked well for most of the half with Falkirk only having a couple of efforts wide of the mark although Ridgers was called upon to make a smart save when a loose ball was cracked goalward. It was the only moment of real concern until Longridge lifted a ball over him when he was sent clear behind our high line. It looked offside but hey ho. Two minutes later, and the final goal came When substitute Aaron Doran broke down the left flank. He measured a cross onto the head of fellow substitute John Baird who gleefully nodded into the empty corner of the net. Full Time 4-1. What a surprisingly fabulous result for Inverness, their best win of the season against last weeks surprise package, Falkirk. The confidence boosting statistic is that three different strikers scored and electric Jake got his first goal for the club in the Championship. Some great performances. Iain Vigurs ditched his bad boy nonsense and oozed class in the first half. Jake Mulraney was magnificent with his searing pace and scored a super goal before coming off injured in the second period. Riccardo Calder came on and was a revelation at left back after Tremarco went off injured. At one point, one of the Falkirk players had to pay to get back into the ground as Riccardo left him bamboozled and bewildered. Great skills from the wing back. However, my MotM goes to the ever confident Coll Donaldson who must surely be getting right up the Arabs noses with his stylish displays since joining Inverness. That win has us closing in on the play off slots and another win at the weekend over Queen of the South will do us no harm at all. It also keeps Falkirk away from us just now, so all good. FromFalkirk TV Robboe delighted..... Date: 09/01/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2014 Referee: John Beaton Inverness CT: 4 Lineup: to follow Subs (not used): to follow Scorers: Oakley, Bell, Mulraney, Baird. Booked: ???? Sent Off: none Falkirk: 1 Lineup: to follow Subs (not used): to follow Scorers: Longridge Booked: ???? Sent Off: none a
  11. Weather Permitting............. We will try and play Falkirk again at the Caledonian Stadium on Tuesday night with a 7:45pm kick off. There has been heavy frost for a few nights now on top of a pretty wet surface and a pitch inspection has been called for 11:00am on Tuesday morning to see if the game will go ahead. Inverness went down 1-0 at Paisley over the weekend despite creating plenty of opportunities to get something from the game. Both managers agreed it could easily have been a draw but with 20 goal Gavin Reilly in your side, it was St Mirren that took all three points whilst our goal shy strikers, (using the word loosely), squandered everything that came their way. However, Robbo was not too despondent given the effort they put in and the chances created but admits a bit of quality in front of goal would not go amiss. Unfortunately Nathan Austin lasted less than ten minutes before pulling up with what appears to be a slight hamstring injury. George Oakley, John Baird and Connor Bell all missed from decent positions, that's been a familiar pattern this season. Conversely, Falkirk went goal happy and absolutely thrashed Dundee United 6-1. What was so unusual about that scoreline was the fact that the Bairns were the lowest scorers in the league prior to this game. Only twelve goals from eighteen games - that equates to 2/3 of a goal per game. Billy King had the temerity to put United ahead, but goals from Peter Grant and Reghan Tumilty before the break and a double from new signing Louis Longridge after as well as strikes from Tommy Robson and Lewis Kidd ended the humiliation for title contenders United. That really was a bolt from the blue but could be just what the Bairns needed to kick start their season. Despite that crushing win, Falkirk are still seven points adrift of Inverness, have scored less, and conceded more. Since the 0-2 League Cup defeat up here, we have drawn 0-0 at Falkirk and won the IrnBru tie 1-0, which shows that we have improved from a slow start to the campaign. This game has been postponed a couple of times already, here's hoping the weather relents a bit. Inverness missed the control of Iain Vigurs at the weekend through suspension but he will be included in the squad for this one. Nathan Austin pulled up during the Paisley game and will miss out. Coll Donaldson also missed the weekend game after being injured against Brechin City. Falkirk welcomed Louis Longridge into their squad and they got instant payback when he scored twice against the Arabs. Along with Longridge, Tommy Robson, Andrew Nelson, and Reghan Tumilty all started against United and their squad is now unrecognisable since the start of the season when little went right. It would appear that Paul Hartley is slowly starting to turn things around which is bad news for the teams above the Bairns. tm4tj prediction:- despite our loss at the weekend, there was enough on display to suggest we were close to getting something out of the game against the leaders. Since the defeat to Falkirk in the League Cup, it was clear that they were not the force they had been in previous seasons and we have upped our game as well, especially in defence. We will do well to keep our distance from Falkirk and that might be the game plan. I'm going for a scoring draw with a home win as second best bet. If you like goals and seeing Dundee United getting thrashed, here's the seven goals from United's destruction at the weekend.
  12. Dave the Rave signs off with defeat at Paisley. David Raven played his 188th and final game for Inverness today as Robbo's side faced Championship leaders St Mirren. Inverness were limited somewhat and were without player of the season so far as Coll Donaldson who limped off after the Livi game failed to make it. Iain Vigurs was suspended and Collin Seedorf made the bench. On the plus side, Nathan Austin started and Gary Warren came in at centre back. Joe Chalmers also took to the pitch after a heavy knock in the Livi game. The biggest surprise I suppose was John Baird starting ahead of George Oakley. Gavin Reilly started ahead of Daniel Mullen and Celtic's new signing Lewis Morgan was playing as a loan player for the Buddies. Four and a half thousand fans would watch this one with St Mirren eager to stretch their lead at the top and Inverness hoping to get closer to the play off zone. It took less than ten minutes for the line-up to change as Nathan Austin limped off with what appeared to be a hamstring injury, Oakley replacing him. St Mirren were first to threaten seriously when Lewis Morgan played in Smith but Liam Polworth blocked, Kyle Magennis blazing the free ball over. At the other end Aaron Doran set John Baird through but he shot wide. A goal was coming though and no surprise that top striker Gavin Reilly opened the scoring from a tight angle after Cammy Smith set him free for his 20th of the season. Doran shot straight at the keeper as Inverness looked for a way back into the game and Joe Chalmers came close with a shot from distance that was near but just wide. The Buddies almost scored a second when Stelios cracked the bar with a tremendous effort after 26 minutes. After that let off, the closest Inverness came to drawing level was another strike from Chalmers, but it was another strike that went wide and St Mirren ended the half in the Inverness box with Smith being blocked. Not out of this one yet, still all to play for in the second half. Half Time 1-0 Five minutes in and Doran almost levelled after a short corner from Polworth was laid off by Raven. A couple of minutes later a Polworth cross was scooped away by Craig Samson with the aid of the post and Inverness players enquired if the ball was over the line. The answer was given as no. Inverness had stepped up a gear and Doran saw a shot blocked with Raven's cross put behind for a corner. Brad Mckay headed over from the set piece. Mark Ridgers had to look lively to save a Cammy Smith shot as St Mirren broke forward and they forced a couple of corners in quick succession as the game opened out. Or maybe they heard Falkirk had just scored a fourth goal against Dundee United. Unbelievable Geff. More danger for Inverness as Daniel Mullen came on to replace Ian McShane with around twenty minutes left. Oakley had a superb chance but his effort was straight at Samson. With fifteen minutes to go, Jake Mulraney came on to replace Aaron Doran. Ten minutes left and Morgan drew a corner on the left side after some good play. Ridgers fouled as ball ends up in the net and Connor Bell swaps places with John Baird. Reilly almost slides in number two but Morgan's cross just evades him as the home side try to close out the game. With five minutes left Connor Bell is denied at the back post as Samson saves and in the final minute Oakley headed just wide. Full Time 1-0 Great effort by Inverness but St Mirren are in heaven as news from Falkirk is that the Bairns have scored a sixth against the Arabs as Wilie Collum end the game in Paisley. Not too much damage done below Inverness with Brechin drawing and Dumbarton losing, however the Falkirk result was a surprise. We have made little progress above us in recent weeks and the play off positions, although still attainable, are looking less likely at the moment. David Raven leaves with the best wishes for all his work at Inverness and who can forget his fantastic contribution in our cup winning season. It's been some journey for David and this was his 188th appearance for the Caley Jags. He didn't score many goals for us, but when he did, they were important and his strike against Celtic will linger forever in our hearts. He also bagged a beauty in a derby against Ross County from outside the box. A stunning strike not to be forgotten. He is also a talented musician and as the cup was paraded around Inverness, Dave was able to hold a tune with the best of them. A true gent and a pleasure to be around. He outstayed John Hughes and made his way back into the squad when things were looking bleak and here we are today after 188. All the best David. Chairman Graham Rae paid this tribute on the Official Site Rig summed up the game with a familiar theme:- . "Another frustrating performance from ICT today. The same issues that have been evident on so many occasions this season were yet again on show today. A clear lack of clinical edge, poor play in the final third, lack of width, slow in closing down the opposition and defensive errors leading to a goal. We really do know how to make it hard for ourselves. Definitely disappointing to come away empty handed given the chances that we passed up but if you don't take these chances and continue to waste them then we can't complain much. Polworth had a good game for us today although he was at times wasteful with the ball when attacking he covered so much of the pitch both defending and supporting the attack he gets massive respect for his effort. Doran also had a decent game as well despite being subbed. He swanned past opposition players like they weren't there at times. I think he'd be really useful as a number ten playing behind the striker (as many others have said before). Warren had some heroic blocks but was also culpable for some pretty dodgy passes out of defence which put us under pressure. Most players did fine but nothing amazing. Man of the day Raven spent a fair chunk of the game being roasted by Morgan and was lucky not to be booked on a few occasions after hauling him down. Despite this he also chipped in with some great challenges and blocks at the back and was an excellent support down the right flank when we were attacking. With Falkirk on Tuesday we need to seriously sharpen up on our finishing. Missing four or five guilt edged chances a game simply cannot go on". Robbo was not too despondent but appreciates that it's goals that win matches.... Jack Ross gave his thoughts after this win that saw the Buddies go six points clear at the top. Here's footage from the St Mirren site Date: 06/01/2018 Venue: Paisley 2021 Stadium Attendance: 4448 Referee: Willie Collum St Mirren: 1 Lineup: Samson; L Smith, Baird, Davis, Demetriou, McShane (Mullen 72), McGinn, Magennis, C Smith (Irvine 90+1), Morgan, Reilly Subs (not used): MacKenzie, Sutton, Stewart, O'Keefe, Erhahon Scorers: Reilly (26) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Raven Mckay, Warren, Tremarco, Polworth, Trafford, Chalmers, Doran (Mulraney 75), Baird (Bell 81), Austin (Oakley 9), Subs (not used): Esson; Calder, Seedorf, Brown Scorers: none Booked: Mckay (39) Sent Off: none a
  13. Top Challenge Tough task ahead as we venture forth to Paisley to take on one of the form teams of the Championship in the shape of title contenders St Mirren on Saturday with a 3:00pm kick off slot. Last time out we ended the game against Livingston with ten men and surrendered a half time lead to end the day with just one point. That's the third game in a row where we have been reduced in numbers and half a dozen for the season, something which should be of some concern for John Robertson. This time it was Iain Vigurs who has the knack of rubbing the referee's up the wrong way and seems to be a target for some who like to get some retribution. In saying that, maybe Iain should wind his neck in a tad and make himself less visible to these situations. Just saying! Anyway, the sending off and subsequent injuries altered the pattern of the game and Livi managed to gain a point whilst we squandered two. Aaron Doran placed a wonderful low shot beyond the reach of the keeper to open the scoring early, but we were undone late in the game as Livi scored from a set-piece to level. St Mirren also surrendered a lead in their derby as Morton came back to earn a point after Celtic bound Lewis Morgan gave the Buddies the lead in the first half. Thomas O'Ware headed Morton level late on to secure a well earned point for the Ton. That reduced their lead at the top of the table to three points with Dundee United skelping Brechin 4-1. The table does not lie. St Mirren are top with 42 points and we sit seventh on 24 points. Goals scored shows the same trend with St Mirren on 38 and Inverness on 22. We have actually conceded one goal less than the Buddies, thanks to our clean sheet run but if it were not for Brechin (11 goals), there would be a massive difference in goals scored. As it is, we are getting close to 50% of St Mirren's stats. We have to take it one step at a time after our poor start to the season, but it was an opportunity missed last time out to put ourselves in a position where it would have been possible to climb the table. As it is, it will take another couple of weeks to see if we have what it takes to move up, or drift into mid-table obscurity, only time will tell. Nathan Austin made his debut in the home game against Livingston and looks to have plenty of what we have been missing. The ability to get past defenders, able to head the ball, pace and a directness not seen at the club since Barry Wilson last played here. Iain Vigurs misses out through suspension. Joe Chalmers came off injured against Livi and Collin Seedorf missed that one through injury. It's beginning to unravel a bit with suspensions and injury but Carl Tremarco will be back after his one match ban. David Raven played his final home game and despite his public swipe at the club, could play against St Mirren if required. Rumour has it that Alex Cooper could be let go, the former County player being surplus to requirements along with Matt Elsdon and Big Susan. Jack Ross has done a fantastic job at Paisley. Avoiding relegation last season after being cut well adrift at one point, and continuing the upward surge of the club this term, looking like Premiership contenders since the start of the season. Lewis Morgan has had his medical at Parkhead but appears to be on loan back to St Mirren for the remainder of the season. Similar to the Ryan Christie scenario a couple of years ago. Daniel Mullen has slotted in since joining from Livingston and is another goal threat to contend with. Gavin Reilly is strengthening after recovering from illness and is a huge goal threat. tm4tj prediction:- This is a tough game at a tough venue. We were scalped earlier in the season down there despite Robbo claiming there was little between the sides. St Mirren also won 2-0 in the Highlands and we will do well to contain them with their added fire power of Daniel Mullen complimenting Lewis Morgan and Gavin Reilly should he start. Our defence has generally coped fairly well since we settled down and got to know each other. A draw might be our best option, but I'm no holding my breath.
  14. New Year, New Striker? Livingston are the first footers on 2nd January 2018 at 15:00 as we look to build on our hard fought away win at Brechin in the final game of 2017 when we came from behind to win with ten men. An upset looked to be on the cards after we squandered an early lead at Glebe Park. Jordan Sinclair scored from the spot then volleyed home a tremendous second before the break to give Brechin some hope. Substitute George Oakley levelled the game but Carl Tremarco picked up a second yellow, therefore a red to give the hosts some impetus. However, some baller skills from big Coll ended up with Oakley tapping home his second and the winner to give us all three points which might have been harsh on Brechin, but showed some real determination from Inverness and that was not lost on Robbo in his post match reaction. Livi had a break before the bells when their game with Dunfermline was called off, one of six SPFL games to fall foul of the weather. Their previous game saw them thump Dumbarton 4-1 at the Rock, with goals coming from Craig Halkett, Scott Pittman, Dylan Mackin and Scott Robinson The current report card for Livi will show that they have made a tremendous start to life in the Championship and sit comfortably within the play-off positions at the end of 2017. However, more recent defeats to St Mirren and Dundee United and a draw against Falkirk have taken some of the shine off their results. Our own report card will show much improvement, but more required to make the play-off zone. Livi are third in the table on 29 points, four places above Inverness on 23 points. Defensively there is nothing between the sides, but Livi have the edge in attack with 28 goals to our 21. In fact, if you take Brechin out of the equation, then we would have only ten goals to our credit! Thank you Brechin City, call again. In the previous games this season, Livi came out on top in the first encounter winning 3-1 at the Caledonian Stadium when Todorov, Robertson and Halkett answered a Connor Bell strike. The return at the Pasta Place saw us draw 0-0 during our record breaking clean sheet run. So, we have improved, but a draw at Palmerston, defeat at Cappielow and a scrambled win at Brechin show we still have some way to go before we can consider ourselves candidates. David Raven could return after suspension in what could be his final game for the Caley Jags. Carl Tremarco will miss this one after being red carded at Brechin. Collin Seedorf is a doubt after being subbed at Brechin. New signing Nathan Austin could be in line for a start, but will have to climb over George Oakley to get it unless Robbo realises that scoring goals is not John Baird's best attribute and finally benches him. There's no doubting Baird's commitment, but scoring goals is not for him at the moment. Matt Elsdon and Big Susan look to be on their way out after failing to impress for whatever reasons. Nathan has plenty of style as you can see from this photoshoot. Welcome to the Caley Jags. Livi will have to do without the Mullen streak. Five goal striker Daniel Mullen signed for St Mirren on loan in mid-December and that will become permanent in January along with a five figure fee. Possible line-up for Livi: Alexander, Penrice, Lithgow, Gallagher, Halkett, Mullin, Jacobs, Byrne, Pittman, Boyd, Toderov or Makin. tm4tj prediction:- Let's not get too carried away after a stirring performance to beat Brechin. Yes, that's right, it was only Brechin. With Neil Alexander in goal, that makes it a more difficult task, and having Halkett, Pittman and Todorov in your side, goals are a distinct possibility. However, with results mainly on the up I will be looking for at least a point from this game. Anything less would be a severe setback to our aspirations and will have us looking over our shoulders once more. More info on Official Site
  15. By George, he's the man. Inverness, a man down, came from behind to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat thanks to a double from substitute George Oakley. Inverness scored early in what appears to have been an own goal. However, winless Brechin hit back and Jordan Sinclair levelled from the spot. Sinclair scored a superb second to give the hosts the lead at the break, but Oakley's introduction and Carl Tremarco's departure ended with the visitors taking all three points North. News filtered through that Inverness had signed Nathan Austin on an 18 month deal prior to kick off. Would that give the strikers the incentive to impress the boss? Robbo had Baird on from the start once more with the patient George Oakley on the bench. Collin Seedorf replaced the suspended David Raven at right back. A festive crowd of 571 braved the elements to watch what turned out to be a five star cracker with George Oakley playing the starring roll as Brechin remain without a win despite an excellent performance. Full report to follow...... Robbo's post match thoughts....... Date: 30/12/2017 Venue: Glebe Park, Brechin Attendance: 571 Referee: Gavin Duncan Brechin City: 2 Lineup: G Smith; Fusco, Dale, Graham, E Smith, Crighton, Spark, Lynas, McLennan (Jackson 79), Layne, Sinclair (Watt 59) Subs (not used): McLean, Dyer, Love, C O'Neil, P O'Neil Scorers: Sinclair (Pen 18, 39) Booked: Sinclair (14) Dale(73) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: Ridgers; Seedorf (Oakley 62) B Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco, Polworth Vigurs, Chalmers, Mulraney, Baird (Warren 71), Bell (Calder 80) Subs (not used): Esson, Doran, Cooper, Trafford. Scorers: E Smith (og 8) Oakley (65, 85) Booked: Tremarco (18) Bell (21) Vigurs (61)Mulraney (86) Oakley (88) Sent Off: Tremarco (67) a
  16. Opportunity to bounce back. Game On! We head for Glebe Park Brechin on Saturday, our last game of 2017 to play The City at their quaint venue, where a hedge forms one side of the stadium. I suppose it's more picturesque than our own, where a defunct singing section, tea shop and toilets mark the touchline on the Bridge side of the stadium. It's an opportunity to bounce back after the disappointment at Morton where we went down to a Gary Harkins spot kick, and ended the game with ten men after David Raven was red carded at the penalty incident. There was some consternation surrounding the playability of the ground despite the City grounstaff and volunteers covering the surface. Heavy frost had penetrated a couple of area's and that was giving some concern. Brechin City have issued the following statement. "PITCH UPDATE In the main the pitch covers have done their job despite overnight frost with the vast majority of the pitch soft and playable. Unfortunately despite a double layer of covers the frost has got into an area of about 3 metres square in the bottom goalmouth. However, taking the current forecast into account and depending on overnight conditions, our ground staff feel this area can be worked on to make it playable for the game. In any case an early decision will be made tomorrow morning with regard to a pitch inspection." It matters not now as no inspection needed, Game On! So far this season, Brechin have been our whipping boys despite their results against other more illustrious opponents being very close affairs. We have played them three times already this season. A 3-0 league cup victory was followed by our first league win of the season, 0-4 at Glebe Park back in August. We repeated that scoreline at the end of November with a 4-0 win at the Caledonian Stadium and that brings us to the final game of 2017 matchday 18 for both sides. Brechin are without a win this season and that is shown in their league position, only three points from 17 games. With that in mind, their goals against tally is the worst in the league. They have conceded twice as many as Inverness with 38 against. If you thought that goal scoring is a problem for Inverness (18), then spare a thought for Brechin fans who have witnessed only 12 league goals. They are not the worst though. That accolade goes to Falkirk who have only scored 9 times. Our optimism is justified given our dominance over City in previous fixtures this season, but we are not exactly setting the heather on fire ourselves and this could be a tough game. Last time against City we won 4-0 with goals coming from Brad Mckay, John Baird, Connor Bell and George Oakley. We were always in command, but the game was somewhat flat at times and four nil possibly flattered us, a late dinked goal from George Oakley putting some shine on the dull proceedings. For the visitors that day, Isaac Layne ploughed a lone furrow, but he is a robust fellow and was a handful for our defenders who ultimately coped well with his powerful bursts forward. He is a bit like marmite, you either love him or hate him. On that day he looked decent, alas many Brechin fans think otherwise. Inverness will be without David Raven who may well have played his last game for Robbo's side. The stalwart right back was reinstated after the John Hughes era and has been a fans favourite, especially after his stunning goal that helped knocked Celtic out of Scottish cup. However, a red card at Cappielow means he will miss this one although he could possibly feature against Livingston on 2nd January before he leaves after turning down a new deal. That has been on the cards for some time and the end is nigh, but best wishes to David in his future career. Collin Seedorf will probably take Raven's place. Some fuel to the rumour that Nathan Austin will be joining us from Falkirk to add some competition to the main strikers berth. Much needed if you ask me. Darren Dods last squad for the 2-1 defeat to Dunfermline:- Smith, McLean (Dale 46), Crighton, Fusco, Spark, Watt, Smith, Lynas, Sinclair (Graham 77), Orsi (McLennan 55), Layne. Further detail can be found on Official Site Here's Robbo's reaction to the defeat at Cappielow This post has been promoted to an article
  17. Opportunity to bounce back. Game On! We head for Glebe Park Brechin on Saturday, our last game of 2017 to play The City at their quaint venue, where a hedge forms one side of the stadium. I suppose it's more picturesque than our own, where a defunct singing section, tea shop and toilets mark the touchline on the Bridge side of the stadium. It's an opportunity to bounce back after the disappointment at Morton where we went down to a Gary Harkins spot kick, and ended the game with ten men after David Raven was red carded at the penalty incident. There was some consternation surrounding the playability of the ground despite the City grounstaff and volunteers covering the surface. Heavy frost had penetrated a couple of area's and that was giving some concern. Brechin City have issued the following statement. "PITCH UPDATE In the main the pitch covers have done their job despite overnight frost with the vast majority of the pitch soft and playable. Unfortunately despite a double layer of covers the frost has got into an area of about 3 metres square in the bottom goalmouth. However, taking the current forecast into account and depending on overnight conditions, our ground staff feel this area can be worked on to make it playable for the game. In any case an early decision will be made tomorrow morning with regard to a pitch inspection." It matters not now as no inspection needed, Game On! So far this season, Brechin have been our whipping boys despite their results against other more illustrious opponents being very close affairs. We have played them three times already this season. A 3-0 league cup victory was followed by our first league win of the season, 0-4 at Glebe Park back in August. We repeated that scoreline at the end of November with a 4-0 win at the Caledonian Stadium and that brings us to the final game of 2017 matchday 18 for both sides. Brechin are without a win this season and that is shown in their league position, only three points from 17 games. With that in mind, their goals against tally is the worst in the league. They have conceded twice as many as Inverness with 38 against. If you thought that goal scoring is a problem for Inverness (18), then spare a thought for Brechin fans who have witnessed only 12 league goals. They are not the worst though. That accolade goes to Falkirk who have only scored 9 times. Our optimism is justified given our dominance over City in previous fixtures this season, but we are not exactly setting the heather on fire ourselves and this could be a tough game. Last time against City we won 4-0 with goals coming from Brad Mckay, John Baird, Connor Bell and George Oakley. We were always in command, but the game was somewhat flat at times and four nil possibly flattered us, a late dinked goal from George Oakley putting some shine on the dull proceedings. For the visitors that day, Isaac Layne ploughed a lone furrow, but he is a robust fellow and was a handful for our defenders who ultimately coped well with his powerful bursts forward. He is a bit like marmite, you either love him or hate him. On that day he looked decent, alas many Brechin fans think otherwise. Inverness will be without David Raven who may well have played his last game for Robbo's side. The stalwart right back was reinstated after the John Hughes era and has been a fans favourite, especially after his stunning goal that helped knocked Celtic out of Scottish cup. However, a red card at Cappielow means he will miss this one although he could possibly feature against Livingston on 2nd January before he leaves after turning down a new deal. That has been on the cards for some time and the end is nigh, but best wishes to David in his future career. Collin Seedorf will probably take Raven's place. Some fuel to the rumour that Nathan Austin will be joining us from Falkirk to add some competition to the main strikers berth. Much needed if you ask me. Darren Dods last squad for the 2-1 defeat to Dunfermline:- Smith, McLean (Dale 46), Crighton, Fusco, Spark, Watt, Smith, Lynas, Sinclair (Graham 77), Orsi (McLennan 55), Layne. Further detail can be found on Official Site Here's Robbo's reaction to the defeat at Cappielow
  18. Snore Draw ZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... Inverness were late to bed the night before the game after a serious road accident delayed them by some ten hours. John Robertson had asked if the game could be postponed but our pleas fell on deaf ears. A crowd of 1293 were on hand to witness a goalless first half although it was not without incident. It was much the same fare in the second forty-five but at the end it was a point apiece. The nearest we came to scoring was a late penalty claim that was turned down by the match official when Charlie Trafford appeared to be fouled in the box. Unfortunately, it's a result that drops us down a place as Dumbarton shocked leaders St Mirren in Paisley to win 1-0 and jump above Inverness. Full report to follow..................... Robbo reaction...... Gary Naysmith reflects on the game......... Date: 02/12/2017 Venue: Palmerston Attendance: 1293 Referee: Barry Cook Queen of the South: 0 Lineup: Martin; Mercer, Kerr, Brownlie, Marshall, Dykes, Jacobs, Rankin, Stirling (McFadden 68) Kane (Lyle 76), Dobbie (Rooney 88) Subs (not used): Tapping, Bell, Leighfield, Akubuine Scorers: none Booked: Brownlie (90+1) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Raven, Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco, Polworth, Vigurs, Chalmers (Calder 85), Mulraney, Baird (Trafford), Bell (Oakley) Subs (not used): Cooper, Warren, Seedorf, Mackay Scorers: none Booked: Vigurs (36), Donaldson (56), Trafford (68), Mulraney (71) Sent Off: none a
  19. Caley Jags Head South Inverness make the long trek to Dumfries this weekend to take on Queen of the South in the Championship. Queens have made steady progress under Gary Naysmith with some great results this season, but they have also faltered when better results were expected, going down at home to Livingston a couple of weeks ago. They have scored 23 goals and conceded 19 from their opening 14 games, winning 6 losing 4 and drawing 4. They did of course get the better of a no scoring draw in Inverness at the start of our record breaking run of clean sheets. They are six points above us in 5th place. Our last visit to Palmerston was in April 2010 when we won 3-1. We were one down after ten minutes but Adam Rooney levelled before the break. Grant Munro headed us in front and Rooney completed the scoring a couple of minutes from the end. We went on to win the League that season and were promoted back into the Premier League. Ahh yes, those were the days. Last time out we convincingly beat Brechin City 4-0 in midweek. That was after the disappointment of the St Mirren defeat that ended our run of seven consecutive clean sheets. John Baird scored the second against Brechin and the whole team celebrated this phenomenon. Brad Mckay had opened the scoring and Connor Bell and George Oakley rounded off a good evening for us. Queens last outing saw them come from behind twice, with a late og helping them earn a point at Dumbarton who are proving to be a difficult side to put away. Top scorer Stephen Dobbie had scored a penalty earlier in the game to level the scoring. This is what the former Hearts and Scotland player Gary Naysmith thought of the Dumbarton game. Brad Mckay put Gary Warren back to the bench after his one match suspension and I would imagine Charlie Trafford will get the same treatment as Iain Vigurs returns from his one match ban. Aaron Doran won't be risked on the artificial turf and Zak Elbouzedi will sit this one out as well. Callum Fordyce will miss this game for Queens after a hamstring injury picked up on Tuesday night at Dumbarton. Naysmith has options of Andrew Stirling and Chris Kane coming in for allegedly tired oldies like James McFadden and Derek Lyle. John Rankin will be in the visitors squad, with Stepehen Dobbie the joint top scorer in the league one to watch. Connor Murray is a doubt but Dan Carmichael is a non starter. Kyle Jacobs is back after suspension. More detail on the Official Site tm4tj prediction:- We will provide stiffer opposition for Queens this time out. Our last mission against them was to stop conceding goals. We accomplished that and went on a run, the rest is history. However, with Ian Vigurs back, the quality from midfield will provide goal scoring opportunities although at the other end Stephen Dobbie will be a major threat. I'm taking us to draw at worst, win at best. It will be tight, but I believe we now have enough quality and confidence to compete with the best in this division. Our reporter for this game will the intrepid Immortal Howden Ender for whom this will be seen as a home game for him as he makes the short trip from Chorley FM to Dumfries. Enjoy yer trip ya olde git. ***LATEST NEWS*** The Inverness team bus was delayed for hours on Friday evening after a serious road accident on the A9 at Killiecrankie, not arriving at their destination until 03:00. Thoughts are with those injured at this time. More details On BBC website.
  20. I was there when John Baird scored. Inverness cruised to victory against bottom club Brechin City thanks to two early goals and another two later in the second half to secure a comfortable 4-0 win. Goals from Brad Mckay, John Baird, Connor Bell and George Oakley secured the points on a chilly winter night, the pitch heavy and proving difficult to move the ball around quickly. A crowd of 1801 braved the dropping temperatures to witness a rare occasion, a John Baird goal in this re-scheduled fixture, the first one being postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. Gary Warren returned to the bench with Brad Mckay re-instated alongside Coll Donaldson after his suspension. The disciplined Iain Vigurs was replaced by Charlie Trafford in midfield. Brechin were as expected, with Isaac Layne ploughing a lone furrow up front.The same man has the power to carry it off though and caused a few problems with his burly physique. There was almost a dream start for Brechin as a long ball forward sat up nicely for Connor McLennan on the edge of our box. Ridgers was caught in no mans land and a subtle lob left him stranded, but the ball bounced back out off the base of the post. A let off for Inverness before we got going and a warning we heeded. In the seventh minute we went ahead, Brad Mckay crashing a close range volley high into the net direct from a Polworth corner. Two minutes later and it was joy for John Baird. The striker had not scored for over a couple of months, but he capitalised on a defensive mix up by a pair of Smiths to squeeze the ball home from ten yards for number two after it broke kindly to him off the defender and keepers lack of communication. We dominated the half but the game went quiet, for long periods, akin to a Sunday afternoon kick-about. Isaac Layne made some powerful bursts, but Coll Donaldson and Brad Mckay were equal to him overall. Jake Mulraney was a menace to the visiting defence throughout and he was unfortunate not to break his duck on a couple of occasions. Half Time 2-0 Connor Bell headed in number three early in the half to put the game to bed and that allowed us to make some alterations with Aaron Doran getting more game time. Our intricate play was not helped as the heavy pitch deteriorated and made simple things difficult. Substitute Alex Cooper hit a ferocious shot that Keeper Smith did well to beat away but he was helpless when another sub, Goerge Oakley ran onto a tidy through ball from Trafford to flick it round the advancing keeper. Cool finish from Oakley who is beginning to look the part. As said earlier, Layne was the one Brechin player that looked mildly menacing but Ridgers was untroubled for the entire ninety minutes as he froze his bells off between the sticks. Full Time 4-0 A convincing win for Inverness against a side that drew with Dundee United at the weekend. Conditions were not conducive to silky football, and what skill was displayed came from the home side. Overall, an excellent win in what could have been a potential banana skin game. Best for Inverness were Brad Mckay, Jake Mulraney (first half) Liam Polworth, and my MotM Coll Donaldson. Good in defence, quick and willing to play the ball out of defence when required. Date: 28/11/17 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1801 Referee: Craig Charleston Inverness CT: 4 Lineup: Ridgers; Raven, Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco, Chalmers, Polworth, Trafford, Mulraney (Cooper, 80), Bell (Doran, 63), Baird (Oakley, 63) Subs (not used): Mackay, Warren, Calder, Seedorf Scorers: Mckay (7), Baird (9), Bell (52), Oakley (87) Booked: Chalmers (57) Sent Off: none Brechin City: 0 Lineup: G Smith; McLean, Dyer (Lynas, 55), Dale, Graham, Layne, Watt (Sinclair, 70), Spark, McLennan (Orsi, 76), Crighton, E Smith Subs (not used): Fusco, O'Neil Scorers: none Booked: Dyer (12) Sent Off: none
  21. Forget about last Saturday Brechin City will try again on Tuesday night in this re-scheduled game with a 19:45 kick off, the previous attempt thwarted by persistent rain. The last time these two clubs were due to meet the weather put paid to any football. Not a lot has changed since but the preview has been revamped to show the results of Saturdays game and the impact of any player injuries or disciplinary actions. City are now without a win this season from the thirteen league games played and have only three points to show for their efforts. That has planted them firmly at the foot of the table and are no doubt the bookies favourites for automatic relegation. They have scored just nine goals and more importantly have conceded twenty-six. So, scoring 0.7 of a goal per game and conceding at the rate of two every match. That's the form that justifies their position at the moment. On the face of it, City have a lot to do. However, closer inspection shows that their last six league games were tight affairs only losing by one goal in each game and a draw with league leaders Dundee United. Those defeats were by St Mirren, Morton, Queen of the South, Livingston and Dumbarton. The Dumbarton game was particularly hard to take with the Sons scoring the winner in the 90th minute. And the final straw; it was a Willie Dyer own goal. A battling draw last weekend with United shows that Brechin will not be going down without a fight. Inverness were on a record breaking run until St Mirren and referee John McKendrick spoiled the party at the weekend with a disputed and disappointing 0-2 win. Seven games without conceding saw us edge our way up the table. What a transformation from our opening couple of months. Defeat at Dumbarton on 23rd September with Gary Warren red carded saw us only two points better off than Brechin and morale at an all time low. we started the record breaking run with a hard fought goalless draw against Queen of the South. It was not a classic, but a determined effort and the team were under strict orders to keep Queens at bay. It worked and things have looked up ever since. It's great credit to Mark Ridgers and his defence that we have continued that run. Coll Donaldson is doing so well at the moment that captain Gary Warren could not get back in the side. However, he played against St Mirren with Brad Mckay suspended and the clean sheet run came to an end. I suppose it had to happen sometime. The clubs have met twice already, once in the League Cup and once in the league. Inverness came out on top both times securing 3-0 and 0-4 wins. The League game at Glebe Park saw goals from Polworth, Mckay, Cooper and Vigurs give us a comfortable victory. However, Brechin have learnt a lot in defeat and their recent performances have been encouraging for Darren Dods. The manager of the month curse has now struck yet and our last game saw St Mirren take the points in a wintry scene more akin to a Xmas card. I'm sure Samuel Taylor Coleridge based a verse on the sodden pitch against the Buddies. It's time to get the St Mirren game out of our thoughts and get back to winning ways. Robbo can call on the previously suspended Brad Mckay but he will be without the classy red carded Iain Vigurs who was oddly sent off against St Mirren for being assaulted by keeper Craig Samson. Possibly Aaron Doran, Zak Elbouzedi and Collin Seedorf will come into contention at some point during this game. Many thought Doran could have done a job against St Mirren, however the heavy pitch was maybe a factor in his omission. Darren Dods had this starting XI against Dundee United, and they worked hard for their point. G Smith; McLean, Crighton, E Smith, Dyer, Dale, Graham, Watt Spark, Layne, Orsi. Mclennan & Sinclair came on as subs in the second half. tm4tj prediction:- Given our previous results against Brechin this season, I would have thought another win was on the cards, but with their recent run of close games, this one will be tighter than previous, but I am still going for a home win. 2-0 to the Caley Jags with John Baird to break his drought. More info on the Official Site
  22. Watery Lottery Sinks Caley Jags It was a case of Saints and sinner at the Caledonian Stadium Water Park as St Mirren and their Buddie ended our run of clean sheets with two second half goals. The first was a disputed penalty scored by Ian McShane, the second a breakaway at the death as we probed for a leveller, knocked in by Gavin Reilly. The conveyor belt of comedy referees knows no bounds. This time it was sinner John McKendrick that showed his inability to officiate fairly and he had clearly lost the plot midway through the second half, brandishing cards at will, ignoring blatant cheating and sending off Iain Vigurs for what can best be described as being assaulted. As expected, Gary Warren replaced the suspended Brad Mckay and Jake Mulraney returned to the starting XI with Alex Cooper removed. St Mirren went with a tried and tested eleven. The game kicked off with 2687 hardy souls peering through the driving sleat with both sides probing for openings. Liam Polworth fired from distance but Samson got down to keep it out and Carl Tremarco got on the end of a Gary Warren header from a corner but the ball was kept out from close range. The visitors were being fairly robust, with their Buddie making allowances for the conditions as he ignored home pleas for a bit of protection. Iain Vigurs was wrongly booked for protesting about a brash challenge from Cammy Smith, the perpetrator also booked for his part. Polworth and Chalmers tested Samson again but the keeper made a couple of fine saves to deny the eager Inverness midfielders. John Baird showed why he has not scored since the last St Mirren game by wasting a great opportunity after a Polly ball set him in on goal but Samson was relieved to see the strikers effort go straight at him. The clean sheet record was still preserved as the whistle brought the first half to a close, Inverness looking the most likely with Mark Ridgers freezing his bells off in goal with little to do to keep warm. Half Time 0-0 The second period was only six minutes old when Kyle McGennis went down under a shoulder charge challenge from Polworth. There seemed little danger and it beggars belief that anyone would make a rash challenge as McGennis cut along the line into the box. But up stepped Buddie McKendrick to award a hotly disputed spot kick to the visitors which McShane buried with Ridgers going the opposite direction and thus ended our clean sheet record in disappointing fashion. Chalmers once more brought out a good save from the keeper as he turned his shot from around thirty yards round the post, having dived full length low to his left. However, the second half had descended into a watery lottery as sleat and snow blizzards swept across the already sodden turf making it difficult for any cohesive movement. Water was splashing up from the surface as players struggled to get to grips with the monsoon conditions. The visitors were relishing it though as they were afforded the freedom of the park by Buddie McKendrick, upending players without punishment and the more they did, the more they got away with it. Unfortunately, the same leniency was not shown to us. The hapless man in the middle surpassed himself when Vigurs and McShane collided in the box. They exchanged pleasantries and whilst doing so, keeper Samson sprinted over and did some sort of WWE manoeuvre on the Inverness midfielder. Many more joined in to what had now become a mass tag team event. When the snow settled, McKendrick gave Vigurs another yellow signalling the end of the game for him. Absolute joke I'm afraid. That displeased most in the park and we were left chasing the game a man short. With Inverness now desperate to level, they were denied another penalty claim after 90 minutes and from the resulting clearance, Reilly was put clean through and he slotted home to end the game. By the time the second goal went in, hypothermia was setting in and it was time to go, the home stands clearing briskly. Full Time 0-2 A disappointing end to our recent good run, but that was in no small way attributed to another Scottish referee in a long line of absolute duds. St Mirren were here to keep us out at all cost and their tactic of winding Iain Vigurs up worked very well with a bit of assistance from McKendrick. An utter howler of a day and one to forget for many reasons, but it will be remembered mostly for the performance of the egotistical hapless clown who has made Willie Collum look like an expert in his chosen field. A chance to get back on track this Tuesday with a home game against Brechin who drew 1-1 with Dundee United today. Robbo was less than diplomatic in his appraisal of the events.... Date: 25/11/2017 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2687 Referee: John McKendrick Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Raven, Warren, Donaldson, Tremarco, Chalmers (Oakley, 75), Polworth, Vigurs, Bell, Mulraney (Calder, 52), Baird (Trafford, 80). Subs (not used): Mackay, Elsdon, Doran, Seedorf Scorers: none Booked: Iain Vigurs (22), David Raven (71). Sent Off: Iain Vigurs (79) St Mirren: 2 Lineup: Samson; McGinn, Baird, Davis, Eckersley, L Smith, Magennis, McShane, Morgan, C Smith (Demetriou, 83), Reilly (Duffy, 90) Subs (not used): Stewart, Buchanan, Sutton, Kirkpatrick, McCart Scorers: McShane (Pen 52) Reilly (90+2) Booked: Smith (21), McGinn (24), Eckersley (61), Samson (79) Sent Off: none a
  23. 693 minutes and counting. Bottom club Brechin City are next up for Inverness at the Caledonian Stadium on Tuesday evening with a 19:45 kick off scheduled. City are without a win this season from the twelve league games played and have only two points to show for their efforts. That has planted them firmly at the foot of the table and are no doubt the bookies favourites for automatic relegation. They have scored just eight goals and more importantly have conceded twenty-five. So, scoring 0.6 of a goal a game and losing just over two. That's the form that justifies their position at the moment. On the face of it, City have a lot to do. However, closer inspection shows that their last five league games were tight affairs only losing by one goal in each game. Those defeats were by St Mirren, Morton, Queen of the South, Livingston and Dumbarton. The Dumbarton game was particularly hard to take with the Sons scoring the winner in the 90th minute. And the icing on the cake; it was a Willie Dyer own goal. Brechin had a Scottish Cup game at Buckie on Saturday and were 2-1 down at the interval. Jordan Sinclair had scored a leveler in the first half and substitute Isaac Layne equalised again on the hour. Layne scored the winner with four minutes left. It may only have been Buckie Thistle, but that was a tremendous and much needed confidence booster for Brechin, and Isaac Layne will be one to watch when they come North on Tuesday night. He may just have played himself into the starting eleven for Tuesday. Inverness are on a record breaking run at the moment. Seven games without conceding has seen us edge our way up the table. Still a long way to go, but what a transformation from our opening couple of months. Defeat at Dumbarton on 23rd September with Gary Warren red carded saw us only two points better off than Brechin and morale at an all time low. we started the record breaking run with a hard fought goalless draw against Queen of the South. It was not a classic, but a determined effort and the team were under strict orders to keep Queens at bay. It worked and things have looked up ever since. It's great credit to Mark Ridgers and his defence that we have continued that run. Coll Donaldson is doing so well at the moment that captain Gary Warren can not get back in the side just now. Long may it continue. The manager of the month curse has not struck yet and our last game saw us beat Falkirk 1-0 in the IrnBru cup quarter final. Our previous game was a 0-0 at Livingston. A far cry from the beating we took in Inverness by Livi two months earlier. Robbo has one or two more players available since the break. Aaron Doran was a surprise substitute against Falkirk. He had played in a charity game at Dingwall, as did Collin Seedorf and Zak Elbouzedi. The injury list is shortening, though the returning players may well need more fitness training before being rushed into a full match. It was great to see Doran back on the park after his two year injury hell and he will be like a new signing when he is fully fit. Jake Mulraney missed the cup game against Falkirk but is available after playing with the Ireland u21 side where he scored a confidence boosting spectacular solo goal. Brad Mckay is suspended which paves the way for Gary Warren to return to the heart of the defence alongside Coll Donaldson. Darren Dods starting XI at Buckie was: Smith, Crighton, Fusco, Smith, McLean, Watt, Graham, Dale, Dyer, Orsi, Sinclair. On the bench were Love, Layne, O'Neil, Lynas, Spark, O'Neil. tm4tj Prediction:- Brechin are not the soft touch that their league position suggests. However, having defeated them twice already this season I would expect us to eventually be too strong for them. Comfortable home win after grinding them down. Maybe we can continue the clean sheet run as well, that would be a bonus, but it's the three points that are important here. Jake Mulraney should come back into the starting line-up and that will give us plenty pace up front. He and Connor Bell were starting to form a willing partnership and a couple of assists for Bell from Jake were sowing the seeds for the future. The Scottish Cup draw has given us an away tie at Premiership club Dundee in January. On Sunday 26th November, Hibernian will be the challengers for our youth squad in the 4th round of the Scottish Youth Cup. Admission is free, so come along and support the young team. The game kicks of at 13:00. Watch Jake Mulraney goal from 30 seconds in to this highlights................
  24. Livingston -V- Inverness CT

    No goals at Pasta place. In John Robertson's 100th game in charge, Inverness made it six clean sheets in a row as they played out a 0-0 draw against Livingston at the Tony Macaroni Stadium. It was no surprise that John Robertson made no changes to the starting XI from the one that beat Dunfermline Athletic last week. That meant that John Baird was deemed fit enough to continue up front. Gary Warren remained on the bench with Coll Donaldson in his place once more and Alex Cooper returned to the squad after injury. David Hopkin made three changes to the starting line-up that beat Brechin City last week. Onto the bench went Nikolay Todorov, Rafa De-Vita and Jack McMillan. In came Jackson Longridge, Keaghan Jacobs and Danny Mullen. 1262 paid to witness this encounter with 267 in the away end making themselves heard. Livi came flying out of the blocks and had two attempts in the first couple of minutes, Josh Mullin testing Mark Ridgers and Craig Halkett heading over from a corner. Connor Bell had the ball in the net after six minutes from a John Baird cross, but the linesman flagged him for offside. Coll Donaldson was booked after twenty minutes as Livi looked to threaten and at the other end Jake Mulraney was close to connecting with a Joe Chalmers cross. Five minutes later and Mulraney was fed through on goal by Liam Polworth but Neil Alexander denied the pacey wide player saving low to his left. Ten minutes before the break Longridge went close after he found some space in the box from a Danny Mullen lay off. Mulraney turned on the after burners but Alexander foiled him as he lost control having done the difficult bit. Danny Mullen was yellow carded five minutes before the interval and Carl Tremarco followed him into the book a couple of minutes later after a late tackle. However, we made it to the interval without conceding and still had eleven players on the park. Inverness possibly shaded the first half with Mulraney looking dangerous. Half Time 0-0 As in the first half, Livi looked intent on breaching our defence and pressed hard without actually creating anything. Brad Mckay is next to have his name taken as the home side threatened to break forward. Around the hour mark, George Oakley replaced Baird who was reportedly struggling to make this one. Tremarco almost latched on to a Mulraney cross as the visitors made some progress. Livi subbed Penrice for Cadden. Shortly after, Tremarco was replaced by Riccardo Calder. Polworth tried his luck from outside the box but his shot ran out of steam and Alexander saved comfortably and at the opposite end Ridgers dealt easily with a cracker from Jacobs with twenty minutes left. Longridge upended Mulraney and was booked for his troubles. Jake dragged a shot wide moments later. Hopkin made his final changes and Danny Mullen and Josh Mullin went off, Nikolay Todorov and Dylan Mackin came on. Chalmers won a corner with ten minutes left but it came to nothing as Polworth fired well over. Moments later Polly fed Bell in on goal but Alexander came out on top once more, managing to get a toe on the ball to divert it from goal. Todorov and Cadden shot over as Livi tried to nick a winner but we made it six clean sheets in a row to take a hard earned point back up the A9. Full Time 0-0 Immortal Howden Ender will have the full version of the days events for us in due course......... and here it is. RETURN TO THE TOEKNEE MACARONI - NO GOALS BUT PLENTY OF POSITIVES First game I have been to since Dumbarton and it was like watching a brand new team – a much improved and organised outfit – and I was advised that this was below the standards set at Tannadice and against Dumbfarmlife. Well dropped the missus off at the Travelodge, a swift pint in the Hungry Horse at the top of the Hill and down to the petite Stadium Bar and a few swift voddie and cokes with Top Six. And then we were all paraded into the Main Stand. It was packed and we must have had close to 50% of the attendance – and we certainly made ourselves heard. A 0-0 always conjures up the idea of boredom and a lack of entertainment. Apart from the first 2-3 minutes - when Livi flew out of the blocks and had fashioned two chances – I felt that we were always in control, if anyone deserved to win it was us but most of the play was confined to the middle sections of the pitch. On show were two very well drilled defences but two teams clearly lacking in the necessary firepower to clinch all three points. In many ways we cancelled each other out as Livi’s style and system was almost identical to ours. We had two good chances to steal three points in both halves. Mulraney had the first half chance after a great through ball from (?) Vigurs, he outpaced the defence but brought out a good save from the veteran Alexander. IMHO Connor Bell had the better chance and really should have tucked it away. And what a through ball from Polworth. So we looked very solid and confident at the back. We won the midfield battle but I felt that we were lacking up front and the two “wee man attack” against the likes of Livi will not work. But we are getting better and better – fitter and fitter – and all of a sudden a play-off place is very much back on the cards. Only negative was our discipline (again) and picking up three cheap yellow cards – Mckay, Donaldson and Tremarco. And we picked up praise from both coaches. Inverness manager John Robertson: "That's six clean sheets and something the players should be immensely proud of because they're working their socks off. We had to match a really honest, intense, direct Livingston team and we managed to create a few opportunities. Livingston manager David Hopkin: "Inverness have really picked up defensively and Neil Alexander's pulled off a couple of great saves to keep us in it as well. Before the game I'd have taken a point. We were playing against an experienced and well-drilled side. SMILEYMOMETER RIDGERS Nowt to do with fitness, all to do with confidence and a much improved back four. RAVEN May not have many more opportunities so I will give him the MotM Award. More like the old Rave, kept going and overlapping for 90 minutes. MCKAY Not pretty but dogged and efficient. DONALDSON Mighty close in my MotM choice. Can't believe the difference in him in comparison with Dumbarton. TREMARCO Probably a real influence on the improvement defensively but I suspect he will be missing in action for another few weeks. MULRANEY Appears to have been given some “play for the shirt” medication but also played wide right and offensive which is undoubtedly where he is at his best. POLWORTH Another 110% display. If only we had a Brewster or Dargo to feed to. VIGURS Showed the usual class touches but I suspect that he was singled out for the “don’t let him play” attention by Livi. CHALMERS I really (always) liked him in midfield. A real battler and a great foil for Vigurs, Polworth and Mulraney. BAIRD Needs a goal. Plus he is the target man and I don’t think that he is comfortable with that. Better player running off the front man. BELL Well I would simply pick him in front of Baird – as the runner – at the present time. Great run on to a greater pass which led to him missing the 1:1 opportunity of the game. CALDER Looked a bit dodgy and not the ideal cover for Tremarco at full back/wing back OAKLEY WTF – what an action packed half hour put in. Probably boosted by the fan chants and evidently clapping enthusiastically at the final whistle. ROBBO Continues to improve. Will be interesting who he plays at left back and surely Oakley has booked a start as the Number 9. Here's the action from the Tony Macaroni......... Robbo was a bit disappointed not to take all three points, but he was very happy with the Caley Jags Away fans. Date: 04/11/2017 Venue: Tony Macaroni Stadium Attendance: 1262 Referee: Gavin Duncan Livingston: 0 Lineup: Alexander; Longridge, Byrne, Halkett, Gallagher, Lithgow, Mullin (Mackin, 77) Pittman, Penrice (Cadden, 65), Jacobs, Mullen (Todorov, 77). Subs (not used): Maley, Knox, Carrick, Todorov. Booked: Mullen, Longridge. Scorers: none Booked: D Mullen (40), Longridge (74) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Raven, Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco (Calder, 69), Chalmers, Polworth, Vigurs, Mulraney, Bell, Baird (Oakley, 60). Subs (not used): Esson, Warren, Cooper, Trafford, Mackay. Booked: Donaldson, Tremarco, Mckay. Scorers: none Booked: Donaldson (21), Tremarco (44), B Mckay (56) Sent Off: none a
  25. Tony Macaroni challenge We head down to Livingston on Saturday to face the upstarts of the season so far. David Hopkin has taken his promoted side to second in the Championship after eleven games. They have already beaten Inverness in the Highlands, but might find us a tougher nut to crack this time round as we look to make it six clean sheets in a row. Last time out we defeated Dunfermline at the Caledonian Stadium thanks to a goal from Connor Bell. That was on the back of an excellent away win at Tannadice the week before. It's six games since we conceded a goal, approaching 500 minutes of football. That's not bad for a side that began the season by gifting comedy goals every week. We have certainly tightened up at the back and credit has to go to Coll Donaldson who has come in and taken his chance to establish himself as the number one centre back. With the two returning full backs, David Raven and Carl Tremarco, and Brad Mckay alongside him, we are a different proposition and it's no coincidence that results have improved of late. Let's not forget the part keeper Mark Ridgers has played in this. Coming back in for the injured Fon Williams, Mark has kept three clean sheets in a row and I'm certain that having a more solid and settled back line makes his life easier. Confidence breeds more confidence. Livi went second thanks to a 3-2 win over Brechin City. Jack McMillan, Craig Halkett and Dylan Mackin did the damage. Halkett was also a scorer when Livi visited the Highlands in September and came away with a 1-3 win. They have scored twenty goals, seven more than us but their defence is only one goal better off, despite our poor start to the campaign. The Lions have won their last three home games, beating Brechin, Dundee United and Dumbarton. One lowlight was the 3-1 defeat at East End Park. Zak Elbouzedi played for an hour on Sunday in the 2-0 youth cup win over University of Stirling. Good to see Zak getting some match time after his injury troubles since coming North. Aaron Doran is building towards a return but some more fitness levels needed. Owain Fon Williams, Collin Seedorf and Felitciano Zschusschen remain out. Alex Cooper missed out last week. John Baird is a doubt. David Hopkin's last game was against Brechin and this was his preferred line-up: Alexander, Gallagher, Halkett, Lithgow, Mullen, Pittman, Byrne, Penrice, McMillan (Mackin 45), Todorov (Jacobs 64), De Vita (Knox 73). Mullen and Mackin scored for the U20's in midweek and will be looking for a start here. tm4tj prediction:- All these clean sheets are breeding confidence and it's starting to spread through the stands. The performance at Tannadice was commanding, the win over Dunfermline was harder work but thoroughly deserved and with Iain Vigurs pulling the strings in midfield we are able to create more for our eager front pairing of Connor Bell and John Baird. Jake Mulraney has two assists in the last two games, both put away by Bell, so a promising partnership is being nurtured by Robbo. Livi showed in the game at Inverness that they are well set up for the rigours of the Championsip. They work hard for each other and defend in depth when required. Not too easy to break down this will be a test for Mulraney and Bell. Given our recent upturn in fortune, a draw would be a decent result, a win would be a bonus, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. No score draw or narrow win either way is where the smart money will be. More detail on the Official site