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Found 8 results

  1. On the brink Inverness are on the brink of relegation after a shambolic, hapless and gutless performance against a mediocre St Johnstone, who themselves were without two of their stalwart players after an altercation last week. As it turned out, it mattered not a jot as we slumped to an embarrassing 3-0 defeat after Larnell Cole was sent off for dissent. We crumbled thereafter. Goals from Steve Maclean, and a late Liam Craig penalty were rubber stamped by a Graham Cummins strike to complete a miserable afternoon for the Caley Jags and their supporters who chose to vent their frustration towards the bench and the unseen board who had backed the untried Richie Foran, who is probably the scapegoat in this whole sorry saga. The only saving grace after today's tripe was that only County and Accies benefited by a single point. The rest, like us, losing. We only had around 2500 home fans at this game, what incentive is that for the players to bust a gut, then again, what encouragement are the fans getting after a display like that, it's a catch 22 situation. Richie Foran speaking to BBC said "The main person who is not good enough is me. I am obviously not doing my job right and big apologies to the supporters. I believe we let them down today. "It is not good enough. I pick the team, I pick the shape, I will take 90% of the blame for that but the players need to stand up as well." Just today I hear you all shout........ In a game that was crucial to our Premiership survival barely 2500 Home fans bothered to turn up to witness another grim performance, and another nail in the Caley Jags coffin. Considering what was at stake for Inverness, we showed little urgency in the opening exchanges. We lined up with three at the back and Tremarco and McNaughton slightly ahead although it was basically a back five as St Johnstone pressed us high up the park. Mulraney made the bench but remained on it for the whole game. We started with no width and little expectation, sadly that's how at panned out. Neither side were able to carve out a clear opportunity although we had three snippets that we passed on, Billy Mckay, Alex Fisher and Carl Tremarco unable to make the keeper work as they knocked the ball wide or sclaffed their attempts. Greg Tansey showed plenty commitment and a long range effort was dealt with by Alan Mannus in the visitors goal. St Johnstone offered little to trouble Fon Williams, but when they did, he gifted them an opportunity, one they accepted gleefully as MacLean tapped in almost on the line. The keeper had dived low to cut out a cross, all he succeeded in doing was knocking the ball into the path of two Saints players who contrived to knock the ball behind him from close range. Five minutes before the break and the chilling stench of relegation was overpowering. Half Time 0-1 Undeterred we plodded on in the second period and caused the visiting defence plenty of problems, however, for all our domination until Larnell Cole was red carded in the 80th minute, we failed to make Alan Mannus work, electing to miss the target or see shots blocked by a hard working St Johnstone defence. Even the talismanic Billy Mckay failed to get shots away and found defenders protecting Mannus able to block his efforts. When we did make a breakthrough, Cole could only shoot straight at Mannus who gathered easily. We were pressing at this point without a cutting edge but the game dynamics changed drastically after 80 minutes when Cole was sent off. He appeared to have skipped past a couple of players before being brought down clumsily. However, the incompetent referee, and I use that term loosely, Stephen Finnie saw otherwise and when Cole confronted him all he got for his troubles was a yellow card. The angry Cole never gave up though and Finnie swiftly followed the first yellow with a second followed by a change of colour to red. That started the capitulation and two minutes before the end Tremarco gave away a penalty as St Johnstone broke forward. Cue mass exodus. Game and season over as Liam Craig sent Fon Williams the wrong way again. The icing went on the Perth cake in injury time when Graham Cummins wrapped up the points with Inverness, by now, in total disarray. Full Time 0-3 This was another must win game that brought us zero points and abject failure and misery. The Cole sending off was farcical, but there can be no excuse for Garry Warren getting red carded in the tunnel after the game. He obviously had something to say to the official and saw the same colour as Cole. Well done Gary, you are now out at a critical time when we are trying to avoid relegation. Not a great advert for the captain of our team and certainly not leading by example. In truth, our performance was that of a team in absolute chaos, nobody taking responsibility, nobody able to create the spark needed to ignite the fuse, nobody with the balls to try something different and the harsh reality is that we deserve to be where we are based on too many similar performances over the season. Richie's appointment not looking like the best idea right now and the players look resigned to going down. Shame on the lot of you. We needed other games to go for us and they mostly did. Only County and Accies moved further away from us and only by one point, so the position remains crystal clear at the bottom of the table. I'm afraid the only way out of this is to start winning games, anything other than a win next week at Motherwell and it's Championship for us, unless you believe in miracles. tm4tj MotM:- It doesn't matter anymore. We were well served by the departing Tansey, McCart and McNaughton who must be needing to build on his stamina after his lengthy lay off. Billy continues to work away but you can see his frustration after another fruitless day at the office. Too many passengers in a side that look as if they are already doomed. Apologies if this sounds like a broken record, but I'm afraid the record is well and truly broken. Footage from SPFL website of our humiliation Date: 08/04/17 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2961 Referee: Stephen Finnie Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Fon Williams, Tremarco, McNaughton (King 57), Warren, Draper (Polworth 57), McCart (Boden 82), W.Mckay, Tansey, Fisher, Laing, Cole Subs (not used): Esson, Mulraney, Brad McKay, Anier Scorers: none Booked: Cole (81) Sent Off: Cole (82), Warren (in tunnel after game) St Johnstone: 3 Lineup: Mannus, Scobbie, Alston (Thomson 82), MacLean (Millar 79), Shaughnessy, Smith, Coulson (Wotherspoon 70), Paton, Easton, Craig, Cummins Subs (not used): Clark, Anderson, Hurst, Hunter Scorers: MacLean (40), Craig (pen.88), Cummins (91) Booked: Alston (65) Sent Off: none a
  2. Inverness make Dons work hard for the points Aberdeen took the lead after 22 minutes when the ball was bundled home from close range following a corner. It was eventually accredited to Gary Warren (og). The Dons looked eager to please but we had a couple of first half chances, a Mckay shot and a Tansey header. Polworth had an effort tipped away for a corner after the break as Aberdeen continued to search for a second. Miles Storey incredibly missed a sitter late on. Only he knows how. It didn't matter at the end though as we failed to score and find ourselves in more trouble than you could shake a stick at. RIG was at this one and here is his report.......... Went into that game fearing an absolute bumming but came away slightly disappointed we didn't nick something from it. Not saying we deserved a draw but Aberdeen were very flat for most of the match and we grew into it and had some decent chances to get a goal. That said overall Aberdeen definitely seemed to be playing within themselves after their destruction of Dundee on Friday. Very defensive line up to start with from Foran. Warren, Laing and McNaughton all starting at CB with Tremarco and Raven on the left and right. Tansey, Draper and Polworth in the middle and Mckay and Anier up front. The lack of width in the side was evident throughout the opening period of the game. Any time the likes of Tansey got the ball in the midfield we looked to the wide areas for support and Raven / Tremarco were often too far up the pitch or too far back to offer us the chance to stretch the Aberdeen rearguard. When Aberdeen attacked they went down the flanks doubling up on our full backs which often meant that one of the midfield three were having to come across to help defend which opened up space in the middle of the pitch for Shinnie, McLean etc to drive into. Aberdeen goal was pretty untidy from an ICT point of view. Defence struggled to clear a corner and the ball seemed to ricochet in off Warren under pressure from Considine and Taylor. Best chance of the first half for ICT was created by Polworth who surged through the middle and played a nice ball to Mckay inside the box but Lewis was able to save. It was a rare moment of football from ICT in the first half with our main tactic normally consisting of leathering the ball in the vague direction of Mckay or Anier which was easily defended by Taylor and O'Connor. Half Time 1-0 Second half Aberdeen clearly eased off and we started to grow into the game a bit more as time went on coupled with a change in shape. A couple of long range strikes, including a decent effort from Polworth, and some scrambles in the Aberdeen box gave some hope that we might nick a point but our play in the final third lacked a real cutting edge. During a rare period of play where we actually got the ball down and passed it around we had some success getting in behind the Aberdeen defence particularly down their left and once Fisher came on the long ball started to become a bit more effective with Taylor and O'Connor suddenly finding themselves under pressure in the air. However the best chance of the second half fell Aberdeen's way in the shape of the inexplicable miss from Storey. Absolutely no idea how he managed to miss it and then he contrived to take the ball away from goal as he tried to get it under control. Full Time 1-0 ICT players were on the floor at the end. There was certainly no lack of effort from the guys last night but we just don't have the quality to break down teams like Aberdeen and probably most teams in the league just now. Even just having someone like Christie could open up a few goal scoring chances for us which could make all the difference. I thought Polworth did well in his more natural central midfield position. He was burst by the end of the game though. McNaughton was also excellent at the back for us and I felt Laing had a good game. Draper was poor. Distribution well off and again he was used to try and win some of the long balls with varying degrees of success. Tansey was off the boil too. His short passing was mostly good although he often gave the ball away needlessly. Some of his long passes were off the mark too and he showed a real reluctance to try and attack when in possession even when faced with yards of open space. Aberdeen, as I said, were playing in first or second gear. They were competent all over the pitch without any real standout performances I felt. Everyone just did their job well. Nothing flashy. A pretty routine win for them. Whole crowd was very muted. It felt like a post split match with nothing to play for therefore there was zero atmosphere save for one really angry Aberdeen fan in the DD who spent about 20 minutes of the first half calling a bunch of 16 year old ICT fans paedos which was slightly strange. Date: 04/04/17 Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen Attendance: 11507 Referee: Andrew Dallas Aberdeen: 1 Lineup: Lewis, Logan, Shinnie, Considine, Taylor, McLean, Rooney (Storey 79), McGinn (Christie 80), Hayes, O'Connor, Jack Subs (not used): Alexander, Pawlett, Wright, Ross, Anderson Scorers: Taylor (22) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Fon Williams, Raven, Tremarco, McNaughton (Fisher 86), Warren, Polworth, Draper (Cole 61), W.McKay, Tansey, Laing, Anier (Ebbe 67) Subs (not used): Esson, McCart, King, B.McKay Scorers: none Booked: W.Mckay (40), Tremarco (66) Sent Off: none
  3. Absolutely Brutal Inverness slumped to another defeat, this time at the hands of relegation rivals Motherwell. That's nine games without a win and this result leaves us as firm favourites for the drop. If this was a boxing match, the referee would probably have taken both boxers aside and reminded them they would have to show some intent or risk losing their purse. However, Clay delivered a sucker punch with a bit of a freak blow as Fon Williams did not cover himself in glory, the wind aided strike catching him unawares. Another body blow from Scott McDonald ended the contest. Despite a late flurry of activity, probably borne out of embarrassment we only had a scrambled effort from want away midfielder Greg Tansey to show for it. We had plenty of possession in the second forty-five, but similar to most games this season we were unable to capitalise on it. Ross Draper had what looked like a decent claim for a penalty turned down and Aaron Doran struck the crossbar, but as is the norm these days, nothing went for us and in the end the three points left Inverness destined for North Lanarkshire. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Old Caley Girl will have a full report for us when she thaws out and her anger subsides....................... and here it is. Not sure where to start here to be honest. However, the hard luck excuses this season are wearing a bit thin. The Caley Thistle line up was unchanged from the last game at Ibrox. As mentioned in the match preview McHugh returned to the Motherwell line up following a lengthy spell out with concussion. A decent crowd, for a cold post-Christmas midweek match were in good spirits led by a noisy young team in the north stand. However, this optimistic mood was to be misplaced. Motherwell had the first chance of the game with a free kick from Hammell taking a deflection forcing Owain Fon Williams to make a save. However, this led to Caley Thistle having chances of our own with Polworth and Cole coming close. It was end to end chances with Tansey forcing a great save from Samson from a 25 yd free kick. There was bit of drama when Cole had a hefty challenge on Lucas earning a yellow card. Arguably he was perhaps lucky it wasn’t a different colour. This flashpoint kicked off Scott McDonald into a rage and it seemed like everyone on both sides piled in. Tansey tested Samson again on the stroke of halftime but without result. Half Time 0-0 ICT started the 2nd half with a great chance with Doumbouya crossing the ball right across the goalmouth but Cole could not connect. However, in 50 minutes the game changed completely with a Clay shot from the edge of the box catching the wind and finding itself right in the top corner of the net. Not much Owain Fon Williams could do about it as just a freak shot. This did however, change the game with ICT panicking and reverting to the “hoof and hope” tactic. We did have chances to pull the game back with Vigurs and Doran forcing good saves and a possible call for a penalty when Draper was pushed over in front of goal. Draper also had another claim turned down a few moments later but it would have been soft. We continued to press for the equaliser but to no avail and indeed there was the worry that we would be caught on the counter which indeed proved to be the case when Moult stormed down the right passing to McDonald who shot past a static OFW who seemed unwilling to move off his line. Motherwell 2-0 up and the home fans left in droves. Tansey did bundle the ball over the line in the dying minutes but too little too late for the home team. Full Time 1-2 Worrying times. Motherwell looked a poor side but we just couldn’t get our act together. Bottom of the table with just one win in 13. Only 2 home wins this season with only one clean sheet. Apparently we also have the lowest points total at this stage, in any division, in our history as a club. The stats also show that most clubs bottom at the turn of the year go on to be relegated. Richie Foran also a bit fortunate in the lack of criticism coming his way, at the moment, in my opinion. County up next and it really really is a must win but I’m personally not full of confidence. We do have the personnel to sort this and it really is time for some leadership on the field from the experienced players and a bit of backbone to show what they really are capable of. Bad luck maybe but let’s make our own luck. An ugly 1-0 on Saturday will do fine. OCG MotM – To be fair to the match sponsor there really wasn’t a lot of choice. However, the choice of Iain Vigurs drew audible gasps then boos in the north stand. Personally I wish he would roll up his sleeves and stop being a passenger for most of the game. I’m going with Tremarco for the simple reason that I can’t remember him doing much wrong. Date: 28/12/16 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 3097 Referee: Barry Cook Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Fon-Williams, Tremarco, Warren, Meekings, Polworth (Mulraney 70), Draper, Vigurs, Tansey, McKay, Doumbouya (Fisher 58), Cole (Doran 55) Subs (not used): Esson, Boden, King, Sutherland Scorers: Tansey (90) Booked: Cole (35), McKay (39), Fisher (77), Vigurs (88) Sent Off: none Motherwell: 2 Lineup: Samson, Tait, Hammell (McMillan 62), Heneghan, McManus, McHugh, Cadden (Ainsworth 25), Lucas, Clay, McDonald, Moult Subs (not used): Brill, Bowman, Ferguson, Campbell, Mackin Scorers: Clay (50), McDonald (87) Booked: Moult (58) Sent Off: none a
  4. Dundee end Inverness hoodoo Inverness crashed to a 2-1 defeat at Dens Park despite dominating for long spells. This was Dundee's first win over Inverness since the Challenge Cup Final in 2009. League games go back 11 years since Dundee last won. Goals from young star Craig Wighton and Kostadin Gadzhalov were enough for Dundee despite a late Carl Tremarco strike for the visitors, but it was Dundee who held on for that crucial win which lifts them to seventh in the league as we slump to tenth, just one point off the bottom. Our miserable day was complete when Lewis Horner was red carded in injury time. Brad Mckay missed out with a shin injury sustained against Aberdeen and Lewis Horner was his replacement with David Raven also unavailable. Greg Tansey returned from suspension. The home side were without Yordi Teijsse and Craig Wighton continued in attack with Nicky Low and Mark O'Hara also unavailable. Rig made the journey as he does to most games, here's what he saw............ Really disappointing result and performance. Foran is kidding himself if he thinks that was our best performance of the season though I suspect he is deflecting attention from the players. Whilst we did knock the ball about pretty well, especially in the first half, all too often our final ball was lacking or Dundee snuffed out any threat. The likes of King and Doran far to often failed to send in a really good cross for Doumbouya to attack and most of our efforts on goal were long range strikes that were always sent flying well over the bar and seldom troubled Bain. Good goal from Wighton to open the scoring driving right at Warren and slotting the ball beyond Fon Williams in the style of Thierry Henry. Dundee also had a penalty claim when Draper tangled with McGowan but it was difficult to see what happened from the other end of the ground. Just before half time there was a bit of a scramble in the Dundee box after a Tansey corner wasn't cleared and despite a number of sclaffed efforts towards goal no ICT player was able to turn it into the net. Half Time 1-0 Second half was much of the same. ICT tended to dominate possession but Dundee created better chances. The second goal largely killed the game off. Free kick on the ICT left was whipped in by Hately, Doumbouya missed the ball and Gadzhalov powered the ball into the net. Whilst we did get a goal back when Tremarco somehow found the net after Bain appeared to cock up his attempted save bagging an equaliser probably wouldn't have been deserved. Full Time 2-1 Dundee were much better than when we cuffed them earlier in the season whereas we seem to have gone backwards somewhat. Despite playing with 'proper' wide men in Doran and King we didn't really get much joy down the left or right flanks and Doran seemed to spend most of his time cutting in from the right and sitting inside leaving Draper to play on the right for large parts of the first half which seemed a bit odd. Vigurs went off injured which might go some way to explain his complete lack of effort when trying to defend Dundee attacks in the second half. Another injury is not really what we need with Polworth and Mackay out but hopefully the former is back soon especially with Raven out and Horner now suspended. We're starting to look a wee bit thin, low on confidence and pretty toothless up front. Some massive games coming up now against St Johnstone, Hamilton and Killie. I think we really need at least two wins from that lot. Going to be a tight old season this one. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dundee:- Bain, Holt, Vincent (Williams 64), O'Dea, Hateley, McGowan, Haber (Etxabeguren 90), Gadzhalov, Kerr, Wighton, Gomis. Subs not used:- Mitchell (GK), Loy, Duffy, El Bakhtaoui, Curran. Inverness CT:- Fon Williams, Tremarco, Warren, Meekings, Draper, Doran (Boden 74), Vigurs (Cole 81), Tamsey, Horner, King (Mulraney 66), Doumbouya. Subs not used:- Esson (GK), Sutherland, Macrae. Referee:- Andrew Dallas. Attendance:- 5094.
  5. Bad Karma. After Jordan Roberts sensational injury time goal against Motherwell in the cup, Karma came back to bite us on the arse as Motherwell turned a draw into three points with a last second breakaway goal to snatch all the points and consolidate their top-six ambitions. Marvin Johnson scored when Inverness were pushing for the winner and his break saw the defenders scurrying back in vain as he raced through and slotted the ball beyond Fon Williams in the 94th minute, a result that has all but confined Inverness to the relegation contest. A bright April afternoon saw Inverness line up without the suspended Greg Tansey, the more attack minded Andrea Mutombo being the only change from the side that trounced Ross County a fortnight ago. Motherwell were without the injured James McFadden and Stephen Pearson, but the dangerous Scott McDonald and Louis Moult started with Lionel Ainsworth on the bench. The opening exchanges were bright without troubling either keeper, but the dazzling footwork of Andrea Mutombo was a joy to behold as he waltzed around the Motherwell defenders. Unfortunately none of his own team mates knew what to expect and more often than not he would be crowded out by the resolute visiting defence. New Scotland u21 cap Liam Polworth drove one just over the bar after twenty minutes as the posturing continued and it looked promising for Inverness with Mutombo bamboozling everyone, including himself. Liam Hughes got a header on target as Inverness began to press but he could not get enough purchase on the ball and it was an easy gather for Ripley in the Well goal and Mutombo flashed a shot over soon after. Hughes had another header saved before Marvin Johnson narrowly missed with a header low to the left as the game opened out. At the other end Miles Storey went just as close with a similar effort, unfortunately the end result was similar as well and the half closed all square. Half Time 0-0 Same pattern in the second half and Mutombo fired over once more. Mark McGhee made the first alteration bringing on Lionel Ainsworth and Jack Leitch for Cadden and Gomis with fifty-three minutes on the clock, but it was the home side that threatened with Hughes and Meekings heading over. Just after the hour Motherwell took the lead in bizarre fashion. Fon Williams needlessly flapped at a cross from the left and when the ball landed near the feet of substitute Ainsworth, his scuffed shot sliced up in the air. It still looked as though we might get away with it, but with a man on the line, Fon Williams scrambled back but could not keep the ball out as it crept under the bar and into the net, along with the defender. Freaky! We took only eight minutes to restore parity. Andrea Mutombo had a shot saved just after the goal but on seventy minutes Ross Draper belied his size as he dropped his shoulder bursting into the box and was promptly scythed down by the clumsy Keith Lasley. Stonewall penalty and Iain Vigurs stepped up to draw Inverness level, the keeper making his mind up early to go to his left, the ball going the opposite way. Two minutes later and Tremarco stole in at the back post and redirected the ball across the face of the goal, unfortunately just wide of the far upright as we looked likely to take the lead. Five minutes on and Ripley did well to block as Tremarco made ground into the six-yard box, his attempt smothered by the keeper and a defender. Vigurs and Mutombo had efforts at goal as Inveness went for the win in the last ten minutes and that would be our downfall. Damned if you do, and damned if you don't. Deep into injury time Inverness were still searching for a winner, but after winning a corner Motherwell cleared the ball and Marvin Johnson showed a clean pair of heels as he sped goalwards from his own half. Two defenders were left in his wake and he coolly slotted the ball round Fon Williams and into the net for the winner. Gutted,meh! There was only time left to kick off and it was game over for a frustrating afternoon for the home fans. The visitors were rightly ecstatic and they have virtually confirmed their top-six position. Full Time 1-2 Oh dear, we managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of a draw. Fair play to Motherwell who weathered the onslaught and did what they had to do, but it was a frustrating afternoon for the Highlanders. We can't complain though having meted out similar punishment in the cup game. However, once more we failed to make the most of our superiority and paid the price. Fon Williams needs to take a look at his part in the first goal. Not good enough for the SPFL never mind the Euro Championships. In all honesty it was a fairly open game and one we looked like winning. We lost a freak goal and a breakaway at the end with no time left to recover. We will play worse and win, but the result did not justify the effort. However, the long knives are out as peoples memory fades. That Scottish Cup win is a long time ago it seems. tm4tj MotM is going to Andrea Mutombo who was best aided by Carl Tremarco. Mutombo teased the Well all afternoon with his darting runs and quick feet. Unfortunately Motherwell eventually sussed him out and crowded him out on a number of occasions, but he was a delight to watch. If only one of our players knew how to help him out it would have been a dawdle. Tremarco almost ghosted in a couple of times and backed up the attack well. Draper did well to win the penalty after a slack first half but he grew into the game. A couple of testing games coming up within the week. At home to Hearts on Tuesday and away to Dundee United next weekend. Let's get out there and back the team in this miserable climate. Date: 02/04/16 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 3348 Referee: John Beaton Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Fon Williams, Meekings (Horner 86), Warren, Devine, Tremarco, Draper, Vigurs, Polworth, Mbuyi-Mutombo, Storey (R.Williams 84), Hughes (D.Williams 73) Subs (not used): Esson, Foran, Roberts, Wedderburn Scorers: Vigurs (pen.70) Booked: Tremarco (40), Draper (82) Sent Off: none Motherwell: 2 Lineup: Ripley, Law, Kennedy, McManus, Hammell, Cadden (Ainsworth 52), Lasley (Fletcher 73), Gomis (Leitch 52), Johnson, Moult, McDonald Subs (not used): Samson, Chalmers, Thomas, Watt Scorers: Ainsworth (62), Johnson (94) Booked: McDonald (89) Sent Off: none
  6. Yogi makes a Boo Boo. A shambolic team selection and performance saw Inverness gift Hibs safe passage into the semi-final with a deserved 1-2 win at Inverness, as Yogi goes from hero to zero in less than a year. Hughes kept all his attacking options on the bench for reasons only he will know and at the back we handed Hibs the opportunity to advance, and they did so with Anthony Stokes capitalising twice. That left Inverness with too much to do in the second half and we fell short despite getting one goal back through Iain Vigurs with almost fifteen minutes left. Hibernian took a large following to the Highland capital for this cup replay despite the disappointment of losing the League Cup final to Ross County on the Sunday. They had Jason Cummings up front with Anthony Stokes backing him up. Dylan McGeough failed to make the squad. John Hughes' line-up was the subject of much ridicule and probably one of the main reasons we are out of the cup. Despite the fact that we have struggled to score goals of late, Yogi chose to leave attacking options Miles Storey, Jordan Roberts, Danny Williams and to a lesser extent Liam Polworth on the bench. Instead we had Richie Foran starting after months out, Liam Hughes an almost untried midfielder at centre forward and Josh Meekings at right back for his first start in ages. Andrea Mutombo was not fit enough to make the squad. It was our defence of the trophy and surely we would take the game to Hibs to try and retain the trophy against the Championship side who have not won in five games. We began by getting forward well, but as is our frustrating habit of late we were soon void of attacking intent as Hibs got to grip with the game, realising that we were not an attacking threat. By playing Hughes up front, we seemed to abandon our sideways passing game and opt for route one, but more often than not the long balls were floundering on the heads of the visiting defenders. Hibernian went ahead after Stokes benefitted from a defensive cock-up. A decent ball in by Lewis Stevenson from the Hibs left saw Devine and Tremarco go for the same ball. Devine got a touch which flicked it over Tremarco and Stokes was on hand to receive the gift and stroke the ball home from eight yards. Five minutes later and the Cup was back in it's box ready for sending South. Danny Devine has become the master of disaster recently and he messed up trying to pass the ball out of defence. He scuffed his clearing pass five yards into the path of the impressive Liam Henderson who sped into the box before cutting it back to Jason Cummings. He got his shot away and Fon Williams saved brilliantly, but the ball fell nicely for Stokes who won't score an easier double than this. What were Inverness doing while all this was happening? Well, nothing really apart from a comedy of errors, and the half ended with boo's ringing in the ears of the home side, the away fans in fine voice though. Half Time 0-2 Another feeble first half would surely see a couple of changes at the interval, but no, Yogi persevered with his starting choice. Desperation was evident as we surged forward and Tremarco should have done better than stab a deep cross well over from five yards at the back post. Iain Vigurs hit a sweet right footer from 25 yards but Oxley was well placed to save as Inverness struggled to create the clear opening they needed. The cumbersome Nat Wedderburn was booked and substituted two minutes later and Lewis Horner went the same way. Attacking flair was introduce at last with Danny Williams and top scorer Miles Storey entering the field of play. Fifteen minutes later, the Inverness pressure paid off when Iain Vigurs was on hand to knock in a Foran header back across the box. Five minutes later and more comedy gold when Oxley clashed with Hughes as he blocked the makeshift strikers stab at goal. There followed a series of calls for medical attention for the keeper seemingly unable to see properly after dislodging one of his contact lenses. A booking for time wasting followed before he slumped to the ground, eventually being substituted. Seven minutes of added time resulted from that farce but we huffed and puffed without blowing the house down. In fact, Hibs could have scored a third or fourth as we threw everyone forward in an attempt to salvage something from he wreck, but good goalkeeping and poor finishing saw the game end 2-1 in Hibs favour and our defence of the cup was over. Full Time 1-2 Oh dear Yogi, what have you done. Seriously cheesed off lots of fans tonight with the team selection and tactics. Hibs at least tried to play football while we looked like a Highland League outfit. We missed a tremendous chance to get into another final and it has been snubbed as the players struggled to find any momentum. Fair play to Hibs, they did what they had to and I'm afraid the buck stops with John Hughes for that performance. His player selection was absolutely horrendous and one wonders what he was thinking about. We were the home side and we needed to go out and take the game to Hibs. Playing without forward minded players was not the right thing to do. MotM. I don't think I could pick one player from that shambles. I suppose Owain Fon Wiliams did nothing wrong and he did make a couple of excellent saves so he is my choice. Those certainly not considered were Liam Hughes, Carl Tremarco, Danny Devine, Josh Meekings, Lewis Horner, Ross Draper or Nat Wedderburn. Richie Foran, Gary Warren and Iain Vigurs get pass marks for neatness. We looked slightly more dangerous with the introduction of Storey, Williams and Polworth, but the horse had bolted by then and like lots of games this season, it was too little too late. Next up is County away. I'm not sure quite so many fans have the stomach to take this one in given our recent demise. Date: 16/03/16 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 3207 Referee: Stephen Finnie Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Fon Williams, Meekings, Warren, Devine, Tremarco (Polworth 73), Horner (Storey 62), Draper, Wedderburn (D.Williams 62), Vigurs, Foran, Hughes Subs (not used): Esson, R.Williams, Roberts Scorers: Vigurs (77) Booked: Wedderburn (60), Meekings (64) Sent Off: none Hibernian: 2 Lineup: Oxley (Virtanen 88), Gray, McGregor, Fontaine, Stevenson, Bartley, McGinn, Henderson, Keatings, Cummings, Stokes Subs (not used): El Alagui, Handling, Boyle, Gunnarsson, Dagnall, Thomson Scorers: Stokes (36, 41) Booked: Keatings (69), Gray (83), Oxley (87) Sent Off: none 0
  7. Down Down Deeper and Down. A Status Quo song kept coming into my head after watching us slip to another defeat against one of the relegation contenders. Yes, we really are in the shit. Hamilton somehow won the game 0-1 despite us having numerous chances to score but as is the norm these days, we failed to trouble the keeper and paid the price for over elaboration around our own box. Carlton Morris notched the only goal of the game as the visitors broke forward after Ross Draper lost the ball. A crowd pulling initiative brought plenty of youngsters to the game with the away end sparsely populated, the Accies fans reluctant to travel far to watch this drivel. I don't blame them to be honest. Yogi's hands are tied at the moment with suspension and injury robbing Inverness of a settled side. Warren and Tremarco were suspended and Meekings, Raven, Vincent, Doran, Mutombo, Brill, Fisher and Co remained sidelined. This meant a big shuffle for Yogi and he went with three at the back in a bid to accommodate those that were available. As expected the game would turn out to be a non spectacle in the first half, although I have seen worse this season. We did start the better side but it did not take long for the visitors to keep the ball and restrict our forward intentions. However we did forage up the park after fifteen minutes but Liam Polworth blazed a shot over the bar from outside the box when he possibly could have gone deeper into the Accies area. It started to look promising and Jordan Roberts did likewise a minute later. Here we go! Gramoz Kurtaj had Accies first chance of note after twenty-two minutes when he shot just wide, and just before the half hour Michael Devlin might have done better than miss the target with a header. A tribute for Ross Lyall was observed on the thirty minute mark, one minute for every year that Ross lit up this planet with his zest for life. The sixty second applause ringing round the stadium. The game was dire and the play was littered with petty fouls all over the park as both teams struggled to fashion out any clear opportunities, however, just before the interval Dougie Imrie latched onto the ball some 35 plus yards out and his vicious shot whizzed a couple of yards over the bar. Plenty of power as you would expect from the wee man, but not the accuracy. The half ended with Jordan Roberts firing over the bar in an instantly forgettable dirge of a game. Half Time 0-0 We again started the better and Iain Vigurs should have scored with a header after the ball was planted on his head from a Williamsr cross on the left, alas, he tried to glance his header and it went well wide of the keepers left hand post. Inverness were on top of the game since the break but Kurtaj sent a warning as he headed over when Accies broke away. The warning was not heeded though and on the hour Hamilton scored when we lost the ball and Carlton Morris benefited from a Greg Docherty pass to score across the keeper and in off the far post. That was a disaster for Inverness as we all knew what would happen now. Time wasting was a top priority for Hamilton and you can hardly blame them in their predicament, but our inability to put the ball in the net is worrying, in fact we need to get the ball on target before we can dream of scoring. Tansey shot over as our urgency began to sink in and Yogi shuffled the already shuffled pack once more. Jordan Roberts being replaced by Richie Foran. Miles Storey would be next to come on as Liam Polworth was hooked, but Accies were doing their level best to disrupt play at all costs. Petty fouls and substitutions were the only things that broke the monotony of time wasting as McGovern took every goal kick to the opposite side of the box and Imrie getting as far away from the dugout before being subbed. Yawn! With Foran on we looked a bit more direct but were always going to be susceptible to the odd breakaway and we had Fon Williams to thank for keeping out one such attack as he blocked a low shot from sub Darren Lyon. We went for broke in the last quarter but a couple of times the ball would just not roll for us in the box. A couple of melee's and stramashes followed but nobody was able to dig the ball out from the congested Accies penalty box. The final straw came in another scrambulation (I like that new word) when Nat Wedderburn poked his toe at one such bobbling ball in the box, but it bounced off the keepers left post and that was the straw that broke the donkeys back. Fair play to us, we kept going to the end but it was apparent our luck was out today as Tansey blazed over, as did Draper and a Devine header sealed our fate. Full Time 0-1 Well done Hamilton, the masters of time wasting, niggly fouling, timely play acting and disruption. I'm not being bitter, just realistic. We have brought all of this on ourselves and nobody else is to blame. I understand our plight with injuries suspensions etc, but we do have players capable of better. Our back line would not have started today had we had all of our players fit. That's football and we have to get on with it I'm afraid. In saying that, we have played worse and won, but it was back to the typical Hamilton v Inverness encounter after the last one broke the mould. Best of a bad bunch were unlikely contenders in Nat Wedderburn, thrown in at centre back but stuck to his task and always tried to play football. Lewis Horner who is growing on me and Ross Draper who will be disappointed at the goal. Fon Williams did well but was left exposed at the goal. Foran injected some urgency once he came on but it was too little too late. That result leaves us in the mire. Accies have drawn level on points with us and with Killie losing they stay five points adrift in the relegation play off place. Yes, that word relegation has overtaken the top-six word. We can do better, but that needs to start right now, beginning with a result in the Cup against Hibernian to boost our confidence, however avoiding relegation is the important thing here or it will be a bit of Status Quo whether we like it or not. Video from Caley Jags TV...................... Date: 12/03/16 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 3510 Referee: Steven McLean Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Fon Williams, Horner, Wedderburn, Devine, D.Williams, Draper, Tansey, Polworth (Storey 71), Roberts (Foran 64), Vigurs, Hughes Subs (not used): Esson, R.Williams, Brown, Maclennan Scorers: none Booked: Devine (48) Sent Off: none Hamilton Acc: 1 Lineup: McGovern, Gordon, Devlin, Tagliapietra, Kurakins, Imrie (Boyd 86), Gillespie (Lyon 69), MacKinnon, Kurtaj (Redmond 73), Docherty, Morris Subs (not used): Martin, Diaby, D'Acol, Brophy Scorers: Morris (59) Booked: Imrie (62), Gillespie (62), McGovern (93) Sent Off: none
  8. Inverness' slump continues. Inverness slumped once more in another embarrassing performance at Perth going down 1-0 to St Johnstone. Chris Kane scored the only goal of the game late in the second half with St Johnstone having a penalty well saved by Owain Fon Williams. There was no danger of Inverness scoring and the stat count showed massively in favour of the home side whilst the visitors failed to get a shot on target, something that Yogi needs to address urgently if we want to stay in the top league. Defeat we can handle, but the manner of these abysmal performances is causing much concern amongst the Caley Jags fans, and with Gary Warren being red-carded that just compounds our injury crisis with some crucial games looming. After this gutless display our chances of a top-six slot look slim, but our chances of relegation seem to be increasing with every game wasted. I'll let the fans do the talking here and ICT Chris had this to say on the forum:- We were absolutely dire last night. Having to change things around in terms of strikers isn't ideal and altering the shape of the team to include a target man must've been difficult, but our performance was negative, timid and dull. We played 3-5-2 with Polworth and Williams as wing backs, Tansey, Draper and Vigurs in midfield and Roberts playing 'off' Hughes up front. I thought Hughes actually did well. He isn't the most elegant player but when we hit the ball up to his chest or head he generally took it down or flicked it on. I don't think you could ask much more of him, the problem was that the rest of he team was so deep that he was completely isolated. At one point in the second half he headed a long ball back to Roberts who ran at St Johnstone but our entire team were back in our own half, meaning you are relying on Roberts beating two players and pinging in a wonder goal, which isn't going to happen often with any player. We are so focussed on possession that we go backwards and drop deep to maintain it but can't actually play in the oppositions half. Playing with a target man and Wing backs we should've tried to push up and allowed them to either get crosses in for Hughes or at least hit diagonals for him to knock down to runners but we were so deep all we could offer was a long ball to an isolated target. This meant that we didn't create any chances, were pushed deeper and deeper and ended up defending for our lives. You do that and the opposition are bound to score. This style is one reason why we've been conceding so many late goals, we don't impose ourselves on games and end up hanging in constantly only to be broken. We are in serious trouble. I've been to three games in the last week and in that time we've created one real chance, the goal from Mutombo at Easter Road. That came from players making forward runs, with and without the ball, something we haven't done in any of the other games and we only did in that game because we were going out of the cup. Our main striker has scored one goal in two and half months, our defence can't cope with the pressure our style puts it under, our best creative player (Tansey) is in horrible form. Accies on Saturday is huge for us, a must win. Rig was also not impressed:- We didn't manage a single shot on target last night against a team that has won twice since the start of December and who absolutely dominated us for the majority of the game. Roberts had a couple of good half chances either side of half time. The first seemed to be a missed clearance by a Saints defender and Roberts took an age to control the ball and have a shot and when he did get an effort away it didn't even trouble Mannus. The other effort came as Vigurs pounced on a poor back pass from Anderson and cleverly back heeled it for Roberts who dragged his shot wide, possibly via a deflection. Saints however had numerous chances to score but it wasn't until the 84th minute they finally went ahead. With that goal from Kane 50% of the goals ICT have conceded have been in the last 15 minutes of a game. 50%. That's ridiculous. No complaints about the earlier penalty decision. Looked a desperate lunge from Warren at the time and having seen the highlights I can't see any reason not to have awarded the penalty and give him a second yellow. Cracking save from OFW though. With some of the saves he has been making recently you'd have to imagine he will be our number one keeper next season. Chris is right when he says that conceding late is largely down to our style of play. By sitting so deep we encourage the opposition to put pressure on us and we frequently make mistakes. Twice last night Tansey played dangerous balls across the back line and was intercepted. The number of last ditch 'heroic' style challenges we need to make is concerning. Tremarco alone made three such challenges last night and Warren and Devine also chipped in with a couple of desperate blocks. It's mind boggling why we choose to invite so much pressure on ourselves and end up making costly errors. Having games in hand is all well and good but not if you are losing the games and seldom creating anything resembling a chance during those games. As Chris has said we created nothing of note against Hearts, a couple of chances against Hibs and another couple tonight. A handful of (half) chances over three games is desperate stuff. The emphasis on possession is all well and good but you need to actually try and create something with the ball which is something we don't seem to do. According to the BBC both sides last night had roughly an equal share of the ball. The shots on and off target tell you which team was actually trying to create something when they had the ball. I know folk will say that we've got players out but the guys that are in the team now haven't just been plucked off the street. The majority of them have played most of the season for us so far so I don't believe injuries can be used as that much of an excuse. Our style of play is horrible. It's boring to watch. It's negative, slow and timid. We play with absolutely no width in the team. Polworth was free at least 3 or 4 times last night down the right and every time he was overlooked for a short pass back to either the defence or goal keeper. On the rare occasions we did get the ball wide the final delivery into the box was well below par. Williams would routinely scuff his crosses or not even beat the first man. As Chris rightly points out if you are going to play with a target man up front you need to offer him some support. Have midfielders running on to his knock downs and, given the formation we played last night, use your full backs to offer some width to cross it into the box for your target man. I don't think we did that once last night. Fair play to the Fair City Unity squad (:laugh:) last night. Never stopped signing all through the game. But what were Saint Johnstone playing at watering the pitch before the game? Were they trying to turn it into a bog? Date: 09/03/16 Venue: McDiarmid Park, Perth Attendance: 2157 Referee: Don Robertson St Johnstone: 1 Lineup: Mannus, Fisher, Anderson, Shaughnessy, Scobbie, Swanson (Craig 88), Davidson, Lappin, Wotherspoon, MacLean (Cummins 83), Kane Subs (not used): Doyle, Sutton, Clark, Thomson, Krachunov Scorers: Kane (84) Booked: Craig (94) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Fon Williams, Polworth (Horner 88), Warren, Devine, Tremarco, D.Williams, Draper, Tansey, Vigurs, Roberts (Wedderburn 73), Hughes Subs (not used): Esson, R.Williams, Foran, Brown, MacLennan Scorers: none Booked: Warren (63), Tansey (94), Vigurs (94) Sent Off: Warren (68)