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Found 8 results

  1. All over bar the shouting Despite Richie Foran stating we were ready for the battle, it was Motherwell that came out determined to put us to the sword and after just eight minutes we found ourselves 2-0 down and Tremarco substituted through injury. Foran said on BBC Sport "I'm feeling positive. Three points today can change the whole picture for us." Eight minutes later that statement looked flawed. Alex Fisher deflected one in before half-time and had another couple of efforts well saved by Craig Samson. The Fish lobbed another ten minutes after the break to level matters. However a disputed Scott McDonald goal and a powerful headed finish from Allan Campbell put Well in the driving seat again. 4-2 Final score and the Championship is calling our name out loud. The fears of the visiting fans were quickly realised as Billy Mckay missed out through injury and with Gary Warren and Larnell Cole suspended and Iain Vigurs on the park, the writing was on the wall before a ball was kicked. The results this weekend have virtually relegated Inverness although Dundee are still in free fall five points above us. Old Caley Girl will have a full report for us if she hasn't jumped off the Kessock Bridge yet.................. Nope, she's still with us, and has put together a somewhat sombre report. The Grim Reaper is coming It is with a very heavy heart I start typing this match report. Yesterday was, in all honesty, a final roll of the dice to save ourselves and we failed. There is no doubt this wretched season is grinding to its inevitable conclusion. We are done, finished and down no doubt about it. Any optimism Caleyaway had at the start of the match didn’t last long. Cadden opened the scoring in 7 minutes. He danced into the box and bulleted the ball into the left hand top of the goal. It seemed to catch the wind and curl giving OFW no chance. Yet again all too easy with Cadden not shut down early by McCart. Two minutes later things went from bad to worse. Moult floated a left footed shot over the goal, the ball was fumbled by OFW and bounced into the net. Ryan Bowman could have made it 3 but for a good save by our keeper. At this point we decided to roll up our sleeves, waken up and play. A further blow was Carl Tremarco going off injured and replaced by McNaughton in 11 minutes. For the rest of the first half it was pretty much end to end stuff with Fisher giving the away fans a bit of a lift in 21 minutes with a left footed shot hitting the right hand back of the net. Owain Fon Williams had several fine saves as well. HALF TIME Motherwell 2 Inverness Caledonian Thistle 1 The second half continued as the first had ended with both sides having chances. However in 54 minutes it looked like the great escape was on. Fisher scoring a poachers goal from outside the box into an empty net, one that Iain Stewart would have been proud of. This was the type of fight and grit we had been looking for from the players and there was hope this might, just might be the day we won the must win game. In 64 minutes Vigurs was replaced by Mulraney and unfortunately that led to us losing shape in my opinion. Vigurs had been having a solid game up till this point playing off Polworth. Two minutes later enter the Willie Collum show. Scott McDonald headed the ball towards goal and was saved on the line by Owain Fon Williams. Well we all thought it was until Mr Collum bizarrely awarded a goal!!! Our players were understandably raging and that was that. The players seemed totally deflated and that probably led to losing another goal 5 minutes later from an Allan Campbell header. Anier appeared in 74 minutes replacing Billy King and Brad McKay earned a yellow in 89 minutes. No luck again but that’s been the story of this season. A monumental task now awaits if we are to stay up. FULL TIME – Motherwell 4 -2 Inverness Caledonian Thistle OCG MotM – Alex Fisher, showing fight passion and knowing where the back of the net was. I can’t help feeling he should have been playing more and that if he had we might not be where we are now. At the end of the match he came over acknowledged the fans and gave away his top to a young away fan. Not sure what to read into that but rumours now surface that his contract will not be renewed sadly. Honourable mention to Iain Vigurs, Greg Tansey and Liam Polworth who definitely got pass marks from me. Can’t remember feeling so down as I did yesterday leaving Fir Park. Will be a while till we see it again as our fate is sealed. There will be no great escape after all. Yes Collum changed the match and in all probability that was the killer blow but we have been struggling all season. A lot of chat re Richie Foran, the players and the board from fellow Caleyawayers. Leaving that for another day as still licking my wounds from a miserable day out. Oh dear, not looking so good now as we enter the bottom-six split 5 points adrift of the nearest side, the free falling Dundee. All is not lost yet, but it would be a brave man to bet on us avoiding relegation now. Still, while there are fifteen points still up for grabs, then we can cling on to the Premiership for another couple of weeks yet. Next game is a Friday night derby at Dingwall. Not for the faint hearted I imagine. A forlorn Foran gives his match reaction........... Highlights from SPFL website Date: 15/04/17 Venue: Fir Park, Motherwell Attendance: 3696 Referee: Willie Collum Motherwell: 4 Lineup: Samson, Hammell (Jules 87), Heneghan, McHugh, Campbell, Cadden, Frear, Pearson, Bowman (Ainsworth 59), McDonald, Moult (Blyth 83) Subs (not used): Griffiths, Clay, Ferguson, Gordon Scorers: Cadden (7), Moult (9), McDonald (65), Campbell (70) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Fon-Williams, Tremarco (McNaughton 13), McCart, Laing, B.MacKay, Polworth, Draper, Vigurs (Mulraney 64), Tansey, King (Anier 74), Fisher Subs (not used): Esson, Ebbe, Horner, Boden Scorers: Fisher (21, 54) Booked: Brad Mackay (89) Sent Off: none a
  2. Fir Park six-pointer. It's getting close to last chance saloon for Inverness as they try to stave off relegation. A visit to fellow strugglers Motherwell is our last game before the League split, a split that will determine our fate over the final five games of this dismal season. It's probably fitting that the bottom two clubs at this moment are Inverness and Motherwell, the clubs with the worst defensive record in the League. Inverness' only away win all season came at Motherwell back in October. It kind of came out of the blue although it was nonetheless very welcome at the time. Second half goals from Carl Tremarco, Lonsana Doumbouya, and Liam Polworth catapulted rookie boss Richie Foran's side into the top-six. Here we go we all thought. Alas, a devastating one win in the twenty-one League games since then has plummeted Foran's flops to the brink of relegation, four points adrift of second bottom Motherwell. It's been a season to forget for Caley Jags fans with a total of four wins to date, the worst statistic in British senior football. Speculation grew in the media this week that Foran was about to get the bullet, but the club quickly dispelled any truth in the hype surrounding this, although many fans fear it's a couple of months too late in the making. The board won't like this either, but many pundits are looking to them as guilty parties in this sorry mess. Foran's appointment being the main topic and appearing to be the cheap option. Club legend Barry Wilson talking on BBC Sport is pointing his finger at the board. "The buck stops with the board. They made the appointment, they took the gamble and, at the minute, it's certainly not looking as if it's worked. "Richie needed his own man in there as an assistant, he wasn't granted that, so there had to be a partnership between Brian and Richie - and I don't think that's there. That doesn't help." We are not relegated yet though and should we defeat Motherwell, then more opportunities will surely come along after the split, but the statistics don't back that up with only four wins in thirty-two games, why should the last five be any different. We showed nothing against St Johnstone to suggest that we are up for a battle and if anything, most of the players look resigned to Championship football already. We plumbed new depths against St Johnstone going down without much fight 3-0 at home with two players sent off. Larnell Cole during the second half and Gary Warren after the final whistle. Nothing went right for us and heads went down too early, the Cole sending of just brought forward the capitulation. The Steelmen lost 1-0 to surprise top-six qualifiers Partick Thistle who have had a great season by their recent standards. That defeat was Well's seventh in the last ten games with only one win and two draws. Well parted company with Mark McGhee at the end of February after a run of two wins in thirteen games. Seems not too bad considering some managers have had worse records. However the straw that broke the donkey's back was a 5-1 thrashing from Dundee. A month later they appointed Stephen Robinson as the man to get them out of trouble. His first game saw the bounce help them to a win over Killie, but that has been followed by no wins in their last five games and we have edged one point closer to them by virtue of an extra draw. Inverness will be missing the suspended duo of Larnell Cole and Gary Warren. Josh Meekings, Iain Vigurs and Aaron Doran are long term absentees. David Raven missed last weekend with a groin strain and is a doubt as is fellow defender Jamie McCart. One massive blow to our hopes is that Billy Mckay is struggling to make this one. Jake Mulraney featured for the development squad in midweek and he will benefit from some game time. Kev McNaughton played last weekend against St Johnstone, but maybe found the pace too much given his lengthy spell out and the role he was offered, but his quality showed through. Motherwell have Keith Lasley suspended for this game. Stephen McManus is recovering from a groin operation and is not expected back yet. Richard Tait has also been under the knife and is out having missed the last seven games. Louis Moult is a doubt for this game. tm4tj prediction:- I despair watching the Caley Jags at the moment. The lack of passion is evident, the lack of quality is evident, the lack of ambition is evident, the lack of creation is evident. On this evidence, we are heading one way unless the manager and players can find something that's been missing all season. I don't hold out much hope for a win, maybe a draw, but it's who wants it the most. Home win looks likeliest. Other games in the relegation watch this weekend:- Dundee v Hamilton. Dundee have lost their last 6 games on the bounce. Accies have 2 wins & 2 draws in last 6. Killie v Hearts. Killie are on the verge of safety, a win over Hearts would make them unlikely candidates.
  3. Well Well Well. Wednesday night in Lanarkshire and Inverness were the visitors to Fir Park under the floodlights with both clubs hovering just outside the top-six. It was the visitors that took all three points with an ultimately convincing win, although it never looked that way at the break. Tremarco, Doumbouya and Polworth scored the goals as Motherwell capitulated in the second half. Richie Foran elected to start with Aaron Doran wide replacing Jake Mulraney who drops to the bench. Lonsana Doumbouya retained the strikers jersey. Mark McGhee had Lionel Ainsworth, James McFadden and Scott McDonald on the bench, opting for the youth of Ross McLean and Jack McMillan with Louis Moult the danger man. A promising start for the visitors and a couple of headers go off target, Doumbouya rising highest in the box from a corner but not finding the target. A clash of heads has Carl Tremarco and Richard Tait receiving treatment, the Inverness player donning a bandage before continuing. Soon after this, Liam Polworth hit a long range effort that goes just wide and Motherwell's Craig Clay does likewise at the other end. It's tit for tat stuff halfway through the first half and although the visitors are getting their fair share of the ball, they lack penetration, Brad Mckay foraging well on the right though. Louis Moult made his first telling contribution but his shot hits the side netting on the half hour, and at the other end Doumbouya heads just wide again. Shortly after, Doumbouya and Vigurs combine, but the latter fires over. Just before the break a bit of a cufuffle around our box as Cadden strikes from range. The deflection finds Moult but Mckay recovers to clear. Neither keeper has been seriously tested in a cautious first forty-five and one added minute brings the half to a close. Half Time 0-0 Moult squanders the first chance of the second period as a deep cross is headed over Fon Williams' bar, and Mckay continues where he left off in the first half, but no takers for his cross that fizzes across the box. However, his persistence pays off as he pings another cross into the box and Carl Tremarco meets it on the slide six yards out to knock it in off the underside of the bar. Billy King replaced Doran just after the hour, the Irishman not best pleased by that decision from the gaffer, rightly so as he had been fairly promising all night. The home side react by bringing on Scott McDonald for Bowman as they search for an equaliser. But it's the visitors that take the game forward and Samson has to tip a Polworth shot round the post for a corner. Tremarco and Warren combine well........ in attack, and win a corner. Total football mun. From the corner, the much maligned Doumbouya knocks home from the centre of the six yard box when the ball fell to him, his initial header blocked and dropping at his feet. Great reply from the big man after taking some stick over the last couple of weeks for missing a couple of relatively simple chances. Motherwell clutching at straws now and desperately firing a couple of shots from distance but they don't trouble Fon Williams and with around fifteen minutes to go McGhee makes his last throw of the dice and on come McFadden and Ainsworth for Clay and Maclean. Moult does find the net but is adjudged to be off side, much relief in the visitors ranks. Could be a testing last quarter of the game. Doumbouya should have scored his second of the night but his downward header from three yards bounced up and over the crossbar after a delightful flighted cross from Polworth. However, Liam Polworth had other ideas about a Well revival and rifled a low shot from twenty-five yards to kill off any thoughts of a Motherwell revival. Thumping shot from Polly who makes a habit of this at times, the ball finding the bottom corner with the keeper diving full length to his right. Billy King was the provider for Liam to slash the ball home. A couple of efforts either end after the goal but the result is a formality now and Inverness keep a clean sheet into the bargain to record an excellent away win to push us back into the top-six. Full Time 0-3 A somewhat unexpected but welcome win, and after a dour first half, we swept Motherwell away with some clinical finishing. That's three wins on the trot at Fir Park. We should play there every week. Much improved performance all round and great to see Doumbouya grab another goal, that will do his confidence no harm. Fon Williams kept a clean sheet, although he was relatively untroubled Tremarco keeps on giving and Polly back on the goal trail. All good at Fir Park. Manager Richie Foran had this to say " "There was some great play all over the park, our fitness levels were spot on, and once again we're finishing the game stronger, we're going right to the final whistle, so it was good. I'm delighted for the back four getting that clean sheet". Match video from SPFL Website Date: 26/10/16 Venue: Fir Park, Motherwell Attendance: 3131 Referee: Don Robertson Motherwell: 0 Lineup: Samson, Tait, Heneghan, McManus, Moult, Bowman (McDonald 64), Cadden, Lasley, Clay (McFadden 77), MacLean (Ainsworth 78), McMillan Subs (not used): Brill, Lucas, Ferguson, Hastie Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: Fon-Williams, Tremarco, Warren, Meekings (Raven 86), Polworth, Draper, Doran (King 62), Vigurs, Tansey, McKay, Doumbouya (Boden 89) Subs (not used): MacKay, Mulraney, Horner Scorers: Tremarco (57), Doumbouya (71), Polworth (83) Booked: Tremarco (85) Sent Off: none a
  4. Let's see the real Mr Vigurs After Saturday's disappointing performance, it's off to Motherwell on Wednesday night for a 19:45 kick off with both clubs vying to claim a top-six spot, one we hold on goal difference at the moment from Killie and County and one point ahead of Motherwell. Last time out we struggled to create much against a rejuvenated Kilmarnock and had to come from behind once more to snatch a late draw. Frustration was the order of the day as we were left chasing the game after Brad Mckay gave away a needless penalty with a clumsy barge on Coulibaly who scored from the spot thereafter. As we struggled to make some headway, Killie looked the likeliest to double their advantage, but as is the theme of late, we struck four minutes from the end when Lonsana Doumbouya forced home an equaliser from close range. It had been such a poor day at the office, even Ross Draper was substituted, raising eyebrows as to why the likes of Iain Vigurs had escaped the managers notice, conspicuous by his absence. He was not alone though and we really need to show a vast improvement if we want to take some points North. Motherwell faced a much sterner examination going down 2-0 at Celtic Park. With Mark McGhee setting out his stall intent on keeping Celtic out, they made life difficult for them at times but with Celtic's fire power they were always going to search for goals and so it proved with Sinclair and Dembele scoring. I doubt McGhee will be so cautious against us given our lack of creation in the final third and our midfield content to let the opposition control the pace of the game. We had four fixtures last season against the Well. Inverness won two games at Fir Park, one of these in the Cup. Motherwell won both games in the Highlands. Iain Vigurs scored a spectacular volley at Fir Park last season. Inverness had gone three goals ahead before Well staged a late recovery, but we held on to take the three points. Would be nice if he could wake from his slumber and help the team out once more. The cup game was won by another stunning goal, but Jordan Roberts is no longer on the books at the Caledonian Stadium. Ross Draper was subbed against Killie, not because of injury, but for tactical reasons. He has expressed his frustration at not being able to stay on the pitch to help the team out, but is fully committed to the overall cause. Larnell Cole was a doubt before Saturday and will still miss out with an Achilles injury. Ryan Esson is also out. Stevie Hammell is doubtful for the hosts with a hamstring injury but Carl McHugh is out. Mark McGhee is in a similar position to Richie Foran, still trying to work out his best XI with Louis Moult the most likely to score the goals, but Lionel Ainsworth appears to be out of favour so that's good news for us. tm4tj Prediction:- I'm not overly confident after our last six encounters have seen us gain one win and four draws with a solitary defeat to the Rangers. Motherwell fare slightly worse, one win, two defeats and three draws. It is however still very tight in the middle of the league and a win will catapult either side into the top-six, although we are already there (just). Well we were until Accies beat the Dons last night. Doh! I can't see where our goals are going to come from as Richie juggles his strikers around looking for the most productive solution. When Ross Draper is your top scorer, you know you have a striking problem. We will do well to get a point, but 1-1 seems to be a common score of late, and seeing as we can't keep a clean sheet either, that looks like the best bet. Richie & Josh speak to the Press ahead of tonight's game...................
  5. Roberts Stunner Puts Caley Jags Through With Late Winner. Number 39 scored in the 39th minute to put Inverness ahead before the break. Miles Storey it was that claimed the goal to give the visitors the lead with Stephen McManus in close proximity. We were down to one hand on the trophy when Scott McDonald equalised after the break as McManus powered a header goalward. Jordan Roberts restored two hands on the trophy with a fantastic winner in the 91st minute and it's Inverness that go into the quarter finals after a hard fought game. Inverness travelled to Fir Park to take on Motherwell after being paired with the Lanarkshire club in the last sixteen of this seasons Scottish Cup and came away with the trophy still in their grasp for now. Much had been made of the young guns being kept off the buses, but there was still enough away fans to encourage the side to defend the trophy, and substitute Jordan Roberts became an instant hero with a spectacular winner as the game entered injury time. Inverness went unchanged with Carl Tremarco at full back and Danny Williams in a more attack minded midfield position. New signings Liam Hughes and Ryan Williams joined Jordan Roberts on the bench. Mark McGhee riled the home support before a ball was kicked by leaving top scorer Louis Moult on the bench, but veteran striker Scott McDonald led the attack. First to have a crack at scoring was our man in the news this week, Aberdeen target Greg Tansey who tried his luck from 35 yards with a free kick, but Ripley gathered reasonably comfortably as the ball curled round the wall, the ball bouncing into the keepers arms. Ripley didn't look so comfortable when an unlikely scorer Carl Tremarco looped a header goalwards, the keeper scrambling backwards to tip the ball onto the bar before eventually grasping the ball as it bounced to safety. Scott McDonald hit woodwork for the Steelmen when a brilliant cross from Cadden was glanced onto the top of the bar with Fon Williams beaten, the ball bouncing up and over for a goal kick A let off for the Cup holders and they rubbed salt into the wound by going straight up the park to open the scoring. Mutombo did well chesting down the long ball forward before slipping a ball wide down the left. Carl Tremarco was well advanced and raced onto the ball before firing a low ball across goal. Miles Storey was closely followed by Stephen McManus and it appears as though the big defender got the final touch as the ball bounced into the net in the 39th minute. That goal was all about the quality down the left from Tremarco who was having an excellent game. As the half drew to a close, Fon Williams plucked an effort from Cadden out of the air but it was the visitors who held the upper hand. Half Time 0-1 McDonald brought out a regulation save from Fon Williams as Motherwell looked to get back into the tie. Mutombo was booked as he looked to be fading out of the game and was subbed soon after, Jordan Roberts at last getting a fair crack of the whip, I wonder what he can do. Motherwell striker Scott McDonald was willing to shoot on sight when it wasn't really the best option, Fon Williams once more gathering comfortably. Stephen Pearson fresh aired what looked like a glorious chance to score and Danny Williams brought out a reflex save from Ripley at the other end as Inverness looked to extend their lead. On 66 minutes, Devine was booked after bringing down Chris Cadden as he broke clear. Devine not convinced it was a free kick and neither was I. However, from the corner that followed the aftermath of the free kick McMannus powered a header on target and Scott McDonald was handily placed to divert the ball into the net away from the keeper. Game on! Motherwell fans frustration eventually won the day as McGhee eventually brought on Louis Moult with around ten minutes of play left. However, it was another substitute that produced the goods to shatter the Steelmen. As the game entered time added on, Jordan Roberts outmuscled Morgaro Gomis just inside the Inverness half. He strode forward and jinked onto his left foot before unleashing a thunderbolt that flashed behind a diving Ripley into the keepers top right corner, the net just doing enough to stop the progress of the ball. What a goal and a great way to get off the mark for Roberts who has had his season badly curtailed through injury. The timing of the goal was of course, impeccable leaving Motherwell only time to wonder at the strike but not enough to be able to do anything about it and it was game over. Full Time 1-2 Well well Well, what a way to get into the next round. We probably just deserved to edge it but as expected, there was little between the sides and it was fitting that it took an exceptional strike to win the tie. A couple of paragraphs from our onsite viewers who saw the game like this and concurred that we deserve to be in the hat. Rig thought so as well and gave Tremarco top points:- "Anyway, might not have been the best game but I think we deserved that. I felt we created the better chances overall and whilst Motherwell edged the first half we were the better side in the second. Great play by Tremarco to make the first goal. Not seen him show that kind of speed, well, ever! Perhaps an error by the Well defence thinking they had more time or another man over but credit Tremarco for getting to it and then playing in such a good ball to Storey. So it went in off McManus but we'll take it. Disappointing goal to concede. Devine didn't cover himself in glory with a rash challenge when Motherwell broke which led to the corner from which they scored but we really need to defend set pieces better. I thought Tremarco was perhaps our best player. He was good defensively and offered a good bit of support going forward. Devine had a game that encapsulated his season. Some heroic defending one minute and then he was losing his man which nearly saw us concede. Mutumbo started well but faded quite a lot. Didn't give Raven much help defensively and, like Williams on the left, had a habit of coming inside a lot meaning we weren't playing with a lot of width for most of the game. Jordan Roberts showed some very nice touches when he came on and hopefully we'll see him starting in games in the near future. Looks a good one." Alternative Maryhill was as ever, more philosophical, but agreed that we shaded it:- "Not a vintage performance, but we did deserve the win. Both full backs played well, and I thought Draper was the pick of the midfielders and that Danny Williams looked our most dangerous attacking player: some excellent movement, particularly at the start of the second half, and he had one clever flick that Ripley saved at his near post. Mutombo started well, but I thought he faded before the end of the first half was over, and he does still look a little lightweight, both in possession and when trying to close down opponents - I'd like to see him work a bit harder in the latter respect. There's clearly talent in there, but he does still look a bit of a luxury. Not as much, though, as Vigurs, who I thought was extremely disappointing. He was ponderous in possession, didn't close down enough or fight for the ball when he lost possession, and was frequently negative in his passing. Tremarco's run and cross for the opener was about the first really decisive piece of play that we had managed, despite a few passages of neat interplay. The second half was better, although we did lose our way for a while around the time of the Motherwell goal, something that wasn't helped by the substitution of Storey for Polworth, when Vigurs would have been a far more obvious candidate to be replaced. In a way though, it was good that Motherwell scored, because it made the impact of Roberts' goal all the sweeter. What a strike. If you weren't there, you'll enjoy seeing it on TV. The Motherwell Twitter account, from deep in a well of its own salty tears, described it as 'speculative'. How bitter." Date: 06/02/16 Venue: Fir Park, Motherwell Attendance: 3907 Referee: Steven McLean Motherwell: 1 Lineup: Ripley, Hammell, McManus, Kennedy, Law, Pearson, Lasley (Moult 83), Gomis, Johnson, Cadden, McDonald (Ainsworth 88) Subs (not used): Samson, Laing, Chalmers, Leitch, Thomas Scorers: McDonald (67) Booked: Pearson (76) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Fon Williams, Raven, Tremarco, Warren, Draper, Devine, Tansey, D.Williams, Vigurs (Hughes 88), Mbuyi-Mutombo (Roberts 56), Storey (Polworth 70) Subs (not used): Esson, R.Williams, Wedderburn, Brown Scorers: Storey (39), Roberts (91) Booked: Mbuyi-Mutombo (54), Devine (65) Sent Off: none
  6. Cup Defence. It's time to continue the defence of our trophy as the Scottish Cup fifth round draw takes us to Fir Park to face the 1952 & 1991 winners Motherwell. It's not the most glamorous of ties and certainly a tougher one than we would have liked at this stage, and one that Motherwell will feel they can win, but that's the luck of the draw I suppose. The transfer window came and went and it caused a bit of a stushie up North with the Greg Tansey affair taking all the headlines. The on off saga detracted slightly from the fact that Inverness did add a couple of players to our squad. Liam Hughes and Ryan Williams are both midfielders and will hopefully add a bit of craft to the squad. So, rightly or wrongly, Greg Tansey remains an Inverness Caledonian Thistle player for now amid much speculation and guesstimating. Greg's official agent is blaming a third party for all the confusion. We'll not add to the mystique and leave it at that, content that he will be pulling on an Inverness shirt this weekend. This is a cup game, but as far as league form goes there's not much between the sides and home advantage could be the deciding factor. Inverness sit just three points above Motherwell, the main disparity being a much superior goal difference. We have sored more and lost less showing a difference of 13 goals in our favour. We have played twice already this season and it's one win apiece. We opened our campaign with a 0-1 defeat to Motherwell in the Highlands. We were in a transition period then, prior to our injury ravaged era and went down rather tamely to an early Wes Fletcher goal. In the reverse fixture at Motherwell we pulled of a surprise but nonetheless welcome 3-1 victory. A Greg Tansey penalty and a Miles Storey deflected strike saw us go in at the break two ahead. Iain Vigurs scored a superb volley after the break before Louis Moult pulled one back for the Well. But that's how it ended, 1-3 for Inverness and a mini revival started in December to boost our points tally. Motherwell made their way to this stage by thrashing Cove Rangers 5-0. They took just two minutes to open the scoring through Moult and were 2-0 up after six minutes when Scott McDonald scored. Further counters from Marvin Johnson and Stephen Pearson put them in at the break four up and Pearson added his second to end the scoring after the hour. Since that game, the Steelmen have been thrashed 6-0 by Hearts, lost 2-1 to County, drawn with Dundee and lost a late goal when slipping to defeat at Partick. While Motherwell were cruising into the next round, we made heavy weather of our tie at Forthbank and Stirling Albion fully deserved another crack at their Premier opponents. It took two spectacular goals to see off the Binos in the replay, many Inverness fans just happy to get into the draw, but not overjoyed by another lack lustre performance. Their pessimism justified in our next league game, a drab 0-0 draw with Partick following on from defeat at Kilmarnock. Carl Tremarco is the latest player to extend his contract. That comes on top of Gary Warren, Ryan Esson and Ross Draper putting pen to paper, so some good news for Caley Jags fans after a nail biting transfer window comes to a close. Inverness can call on their new signings to boost the squad. Yogi looks likely to flood the midfield given our lack of strikers available. Dean Brill is almost ready to pull his gloves on, but Aaron Doran and Josh Meekings are out. James Vincent has been a recent omission and his box to box play has been missed. Richie Foran and Jordan Roberts continue their rehab on the bench. The unfortunate Alex Fisher is out for six weeks with a chipped ankle bone. Motherwell have added Morgaro Gomis on loan from Hearts, and he is eligible for this game. A couple of notable outs is David Clarkson who has been loaned to St Mirren and midfielder Liam Grimshaw has returned to Manchester United. There's not much fresh news coming out of Fir Park, but defender Ben Roberts is reported to be struggling to make this one. tm4tj Prediction:- It's a chance to forget the rigours of league football and serve up a footballing treat for the fans. Inverness as holders will be looking to remain in contention and Motherwell will be hoping home advantage will benefit them. On paper, it should be tight. Louis Moult will be one to keep an eye on. He has scored 13 goals this season and has picked up 5 yellow cards, so one way or another, an exciting prospect. We have been under the hammer recently, struggling to create sufficient opportunities for Miles Storey, but the young striker has been plugging away and the goals will come, eight so far for him. Our last game at Fir Park saw us run out 3-1 winners, it'll be tighter than that and might take a replay to sort this one out. Of course, we have put Motherwell out of the cup at Fir Park before. Barry Wilson scored with a spectacular goal from all of 75 yards. I believe next season it will be up to 80 yards, gets better with every passing year. Bring it on! The romance of the Cup goes on for some teams. Ross County have an intriguing home tie against the first Junior side to reach the 5th round, Linlithgow Rose. They are well travelled in their quest for cup glory having been to Galashiels, Inverness, Wick and Forfar. Good luck to Ross County in that one. The big tie is the Capital clash that pits Hearts at home to Hibernian, a club looking for their first Scottish Cup triumph in over a century. And good luck to East Kilbride as they try to inflict Celtic's third domestic defeat in a row. We are all East Kilbride. Shock troopers Annan Athletic were rewarded with a home tie against Greenock Morton after pumping Hamilton 4-1 in the last round. There's an early kick off at Ibrox where Championship leaders the Rangers take on Premiership strugglers, managerless Kilmarnock, and an all Premiership game at Tannadice as basement side United play Partick Thistle. The final tie has Dundee visiting the Sons of the Rock at Dumbarton.
  7. I wasn't expecting that Inverness defied the odds to surprise even their most ardent of fans with a tremendous 1-3 win at Fir Park. A re-taken Greg Tansey penalty opened the scoring and Miles Storey added a second just before the interval. Iain Vigurs crashed home a superb third ten minutes after the break before Motherwell's Louis Moult poked in a consolation for the Steelmen soon after. To complete Wells misery, Stephen McManus was red carded in stoppage time. Inverness were down to the bare bones and by the time the final whistle went the bones were even barer as Ryan Christie and Miles Storey had to leave the field suffering from injury. Miles Storey managed to make the starting eleven and Gary Warren was on the bench along with Dani Lopez and Nat Wedderburn, but there was no place for utility man Danny Williams anywhere as he was suffering from a groin injury. Lewis Horner filled in for the suspended David Raven at right back. Motherwell managed to get Stephen Pearson fit enough for duty and he started. Theo Robinson and Wes Fletcher began on the bench with Scott MacDonald expected to score the goals and the talented Lionel Ainsworth to be one of the main providers. Inverness were minus a teamful of players and John Hughes had to sit in the stand. It was looking bleak for the Caley Jags, so much so that even the supporters bus was not required as they joined in the general malaise. Johndo will take over from here and give us a full match report when he has recovered from the shock of seeing the team win................................ Well was it worth the 180+ mile car journey in the persisting rain, an even worse return leg added to by a gale force wind, staying in Hamilton overnight, trains cancelled, getting a bus to Motherwell, getting lost, the Himalayan trek to the South Stand, a taxi back home and winning the Stoke v Chelsea first scorer sweep and not being there to pick up the winnings - presumably drunk by my compadres - Ya bet yer feckin bottom dollar it was. I thought that was as good a performance as we have put in this season. I thought that we deserved to win. Not a bad feat away from home with half a feckin squad to pick from and the manager in the stands. The Well crowd were so painful. On looking at the highlights / replays I think that he got every decision spot on. Well may well have had the lions share of the possession and considerably more shots (not on target !!) but we were relatively comfortable - apart from a companion who said that he would settle for 3-3 with 20 minutes to go - (hope he feckin choked on my Arnutovic winnings !! Looked like we went 4-4-1-1 to begin with - four at the back - a diamond in the middle with Tansey at the rear and Vincent up top - Christie roving and Storey running the line. Oh and two Development players on the bench. I thought that we played some lovely stuff in the first 20 minutes. Christie let fly with a curling left footer that went just wide and we were looking in charge. In some ways the early penalty goal changed our outlook. As fer the penalty - it was soft but you simply do not raise yer hand in a crowded goalmouth. Again a yellow is harsh but those are the rules. Tansey made it a replay of last week and the keeper sussed it. And again Thompson got it "spot-on" with the retake decision and TANSEY fired this one down the middle. Both Law and Storey encroached. But poor Well felt hard done by. WELL what they should have done was to concentrate on getting a shot on target plus their final passes were shocking. But they cascaded derision on Craig Thompson instead. We always looked more like scoring in the first half apart from a cracker that hit our crossbar. We may have thought that it was all over when we lost Christie and our shape. Lopez went into the Christie role which is OK'ish when he has Storey beside him. And STOREY neatly got himself in to a scoring position and abetted by a wicked deflection the ball sailed in the net to put us 2-0 up at half time. I had to laff at our substitutes at half time. The sight of Wedderburn and Warren playing passball with MacRae and Sutherland was like watching the Hulk, Spiderman and two of Snowwhite's dwarves. So onto the second and preparing for an onslaught which did come but not before Goal of the Season, probably even more satisfying as it was clearly straight out of the training ground. Superb flighted corner from Tansey and as sweet a strike from VIGURS as you will ever see. After that it was Well, Well, Well but we defended stoutly and always looked a danger on the break. May be harsh but I though that Fon Williams was at fault with the goal. It came at the perfect time for Well but they did not cash in on it. Perhaps they were too intent on chastising and calling Mr. Thompson !! Plus we never looked like scoring after Storey departed - clutching his hamstring again. But we hung on in there and thoroughly deserved the three points. And the 111 Highlanders went home happy - and what a feckin noise at the end with the acoustics of an empty stand FON WILLIAMS Despite the pressure he really did not have that much to do. Thought he misjudged the cross for their goal. Also I hate seeing keepers punch instead of holding. HORNER For a left footer squad player to fit in at right back was no mean feat. Didn't offer much going forward but defended stoutly. MEEKINGS Both central defenders were heroic DEVINE Both central defenders were heroic TREMARCO More of his type of game with little thought of going forward but tackling tigerishly - apart from the cross that ended in their goal. TANSEY More feckin like it - he controlled the game from deep. POLWORTH Shaded (just) MOM fer me. Great shift with doses of skill to put. Did that stare at Lopez after the hospital pass not scare you ?!! VIGURS Too much of a luxury fer us at the moment but a good "shoe-in" and the best possible bench warmer. What a feckin goal !! VINCENT I thought that he put in a great shift and was always on hand to help the attackers. CHRISTIE Usual before the early injury - hopefully a twinge. STOREY I suppose that we had little option but he really looked as if he was struggling and "Draperish" carrying an injury in the second half. Could never fault his effort and movement though. LOPEZ Looked OK with Storey but he is NOT a lone striker and he makes Vigurs look like Mr Dynamic. WARREN Welcome back skipper. Glad we didn't start you and your entry and the way that play was developing excused changing to a 5-4-1 WEDDERBURN Is he losing weight ? Date: 03/10/15 Venue: Global Energy Stadium, Dingwall Attendance: 5473Referee: Willie Collum Motherwell: 1 Lineup: Ripley, Law, Kennedy, McManus, Chalmers, Ainsworth, Grimshaw, Pearson, Johnson (Robinson 79), McDonald (Fletcher 68), MoultSubs (not used): Samson, Laing, Clarkson, Leitch, TaylorScorers: Moult (58)Booked: Pearson (12), Kennedy (55), McManus (64)Sent Off: noneInverness CT: 3 Lineup: Fon Williams, Tremarco, Vincent, Meekings, Devine, Tansey, Horner, Polworth, Christie (Lopez 39), Vigurs (Wedderburn 79), Storey (Warren 71)Subs (not used): Esson, Sutherland, MacRaeScorers: Tansey (pen.11), Storey (45), Vigurs (53)Booked: Vigurs (17, Devine (51)Sent Off: none
  8. From insult to injury Inverness face a tricky away day at Motherwell on Saturday as the Premier League table begins to pan out. With teams beginning to find their feet after settling down into a routine, points are getting harder to come by with any team capable of winning on the day. Motherwell will be a difficult game for us considering our injury crisis and given the runaround they gave us in the opening fixture of the season, it could be a long day at Fir Park. A win for either side could catapult them up to seventh place if other result are favourable. The defeated side will be looking over their shoulder at the relegation battle. It really is that tight. Inverness are now totally reliant on Celtic bound Ryan Christie as the sole threat and creative player as injuries cripple our squad. On top of the injuries, David Raven is suspended and to add insult to injury, John Hughes is also banned for, well, insulting the referee. Most people agree with him on that one though and maybe it's time the SFA looked at the standard of officials in this country rather than hammer those that are willing to speak out about something we all know about, but basically have just got to put up with week in week out. Last week we had to come from behind in a tale of two penalties at home to Dundee. Greg Tansey slotted our spot kick home to earn us a point as we toiled to make headway after David Raven was red carded. It's a difficult time for us just now as our squad has been decimated with injuries in a plague like manner. This is Mark McGhee's fourth game back in command at Fir Park. He started with a defeat at the hands of Celtic before a draw against Aberdeen. Things got progressively better last week when they beat Kilmarnock 1-0 at Rugby Park and they will be looking to continue their revival against us. Brian Rice will be the direct contact this week with Yogi suspended along with David Raven. I am not aware of any comebacks apart from the possibility of Dani Lopez getting nearer recovery. Whoopee I hear you all shout in unison. It would probably be easier to name who is fit, however the ones out are Dean Brill, Ross Draper, Jordan Roberts, Aaron Doran, Tobi Sho-Silva, Andrea Mutombo, Richie Foran and maybe or maybe not Dani Lopez. Two important players facing fitness tests are ooohhh Gary Warren and the swift Miles Storey. Let's hope the last two at least can get on the park or we might be totally fecked. Mark McGhee has returned to Motherwell and will now know that Stephen Pearson is also struggling for fitness, but Keith Lasley and Steve Hammell are out. tm4tj prediction:- I will be backing Mark McGhee to keep his side on track by turning our depleted troops over. Neither side has been prolific at scoring this season and both defences have been pretty frugal. I see nothing in our squad to trouble Motherwell and if Gary Warren does not get on the park then we are in big trouble. Without Storey we will have nothing to offer up front and our only hope is that superBhoy Ryan Christie can carve out some openings for himself. We have only won twice in our last fifteen visits to Motherwell and they have already stuffed us this season. It does sound a bit doom and gloom, but to be honest, it's exactly that.