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Found 82 results

  1. Bell ends the contest Inverness eased their way into the semi-final of the IrnBru Challenge Cup thanks to a second half goal from striker Connor Bell, his fifth goal of the season. In doing this, we also established a new record for consecutive clean sheets. That's seven in a row now. By my calculations, that's 693 minutes of play without conceding, give or take a minute or two. Fantastic effort guys. Alex Cooper replaced Jake Mulraney who was on u21 international duty. For Falkirk, Kevin O'Hara began his eight match suspension and Nathan Austin, Alex Harris and James Craigen all started. Chances were at a premium in this tight contest but after a dogged first half, Inverness gradually got on top and their presence in the Falkirk half eventually paid off when the ball broke to Bell after a headed clearance cannoned off the back of John Baird into the path of Bell. He steadied himself before firing through Robbie Thomson to score the only goal of the game. Inverness were able to see out the game without too much fuss. Falkirks best moments came in the first half when Coll Donaldson cleared one off the line and Myles Hippolyte fluffed a couple of good opportunities. Carl Tremarco was voted MotM on Alba TV, Connor Bell got the vote from the match sponsors, but there were a few worthy winners. Aaron Doran was a surprise inclusion on the bench and he got on the park for the final twenty minutes. Great to see the wee winger back on the field after his horrendous injury problems over the last two seasons. The draw for the semi-finals will take place on Tuesday. Included in this are Crusaders from Northern Ireland, Dumbarton and the winners of Sunday's tie between Welsh league side New Saints and Queen of the South. Robboquote:- "The players are now playing for the name on the front of the jersey rather than the name on the back". Falkirk Manager Paul Hartley felt his side were a bit unfortunate. Highlights from Falkirk TV The BBC Alba broadcast of the game can be seen on iplayer for the next six days ICT -V- Falkirk Date: 11/11/2017 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1078 Referee: Euan Anderson Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: : Ridgers, Raven, Tremarco, Chalmers, Polworth, Baird (Oakley 79), Vigurs, Bell (Calder 86), Cooper (Doran 71), Mckay, Donaldson. Subs (not used): Cameron Mackay (GK), Warren, Trafford, Daniel Mackay. Scorers: Connor Bell (57) Booked: Bell, Tremarco Sent Off: none Falkirk: 0 Lineup: Thomson, McGhee, Muirhead, McKee (Loy 63), Austin (Dunne 71), Hippolyte, Longridge, Harris, Balatoni, Craigen (Blues 84), Watson. Subs (not used): Mutch (GK), Grant, Gasparotto, Gallacher. Scorers: none Booked: Craigen Sent Off: none a
  2. Livingston -V- Inverness CT

    No goals at Pasta place. In John Robertson's 100th game in charge, Inverness made it six clean sheets in a row as they played out a 0-0 draw against Livingston at the Tony Macaroni Stadium. It was no surprise that John Robertson made no changes to the starting XI from the one that beat Dunfermline Athletic last week. That meant that John Baird was deemed fit enough to continue up front. Gary Warren remained on the bench with Coll Donaldson in his place once more and Alex Cooper returned to the squad after injury. David Hopkin made three changes to the starting line-up that beat Brechin City last week. Onto the bench went Nikolay Todorov, Rafa De-Vita and Jack McMillan. In came Jackson Longridge, Keaghan Jacobs and Danny Mullen. 1262 paid to witness this encounter with 267 in the away end making themselves heard. Livi came flying out of the blocks and had two attempts in the first couple of minutes, Josh Mullin testing Mark Ridgers and Craig Halkett heading over from a corner. Connor Bell had the ball in the net after six minutes from a John Baird cross, but the linesman flagged him for offside. Coll Donaldson was booked after twenty minutes as Livi looked to threaten and at the other end Jake Mulraney was close to connecting with a Joe Chalmers cross. Five minutes later and Mulraney was fed through on goal by Liam Polworth but Neil Alexander denied the pacey wide player saving low to his left. Ten minutes before the break Longridge went close after he found some space in the box from a Danny Mullen lay off. Mulraney turned on the after burners but Alexander foiled him as he lost control having done the difficult bit. Danny Mullen was yellow carded five minutes before the interval and Carl Tremarco followed him into the book a couple of minutes later after a late tackle. However, we made it to the interval without conceding and still had eleven players on the park. Inverness possibly shaded the first half with Mulraney looking dangerous. Half Time 0-0 As in the first half, Livi looked intent on breaching our defence and pressed hard without actually creating anything. Brad Mckay is next to have his name taken as the home side threatened to break forward. Around the hour mark, George Oakley replaced Baird who was reportedly struggling to make this one. Tremarco almost latched on to a Mulraney cross as the visitors made some progress. Livi subbed Penrice for Cadden. Shortly after, Tremarco was replaced by Riccardo Calder. Polworth tried his luck from outside the box but his shot ran out of steam and Alexander saved comfortably and at the opposite end Ridgers dealt easily with a cracker from Jacobs with twenty minutes left. Longridge upended Mulraney and was booked for his troubles. Jake dragged a shot wide moments later. Hopkin made his final changes and Danny Mullen and Josh Mullin went off, Nikolay Todorov and Dylan Mackin came on. Chalmers won a corner with ten minutes left but it came to nothing as Polworth fired well over. Moments later Polly fed Bell in on goal but Alexander came out on top once more, managing to get a toe on the ball to divert it from goal. Todorov and Cadden shot over as Livi tried to nick a winner but we made it six clean sheets in a row to take a hard earned point back up the A9. Full Time 0-0 Immortal Howden Ender will have the full version of the days events for us in due course......... and here it is. RETURN TO THE TOEKNEE MACARONI - NO GOALS BUT PLENTY OF POSITIVES First game I have been to since Dumbarton and it was like watching a brand new team – a much improved and organised outfit – and I was advised that this was below the standards set at Tannadice and against Dumbfarmlife. Well dropped the missus off at the Travelodge, a swift pint in the Hungry Horse at the top of the Hill and down to the petite Stadium Bar and a few swift voddie and cokes with Top Six. And then we were all paraded into the Main Stand. It was packed and we must have had close to 50% of the attendance – and we certainly made ourselves heard. A 0-0 always conjures up the idea of boredom and a lack of entertainment. Apart from the first 2-3 minutes - when Livi flew out of the blocks and had fashioned two chances – I felt that we were always in control, if anyone deserved to win it was us but most of the play was confined to the middle sections of the pitch. On show were two very well drilled defences but two teams clearly lacking in the necessary firepower to clinch all three points. In many ways we cancelled each other out as Livi’s style and system was almost identical to ours. We had two good chances to steal three points in both halves. Mulraney had the first half chance after a great through ball from (?) Vigurs, he outpaced the defence but brought out a good save from the veteran Alexander. IMHO Connor Bell had the better chance and really should have tucked it away. And what a through ball from Polworth. So we looked very solid and confident at the back. We won the midfield battle but I felt that we were lacking up front and the two “wee man attack” against the likes of Livi will not work. But we are getting better and better – fitter and fitter – and all of a sudden a play-off place is very much back on the cards. Only negative was our discipline (again) and picking up three cheap yellow cards – Mckay, Donaldson and Tremarco. And we picked up praise from both coaches. Inverness manager John Robertson: "That's six clean sheets and something the players should be immensely proud of because they're working their socks off. We had to match a really honest, intense, direct Livingston team and we managed to create a few opportunities. Livingston manager David Hopkin: "Inverness have really picked up defensively and Neil Alexander's pulled off a couple of great saves to keep us in it as well. Before the game I'd have taken a point. We were playing against an experienced and well-drilled side. SMILEYMOMETER RIDGERS Nowt to do with fitness, all to do with confidence and a much improved back four. RAVEN May not have many more opportunities so I will give him the MotM Award. More like the old Rave, kept going and overlapping for 90 minutes. MCKAY Not pretty but dogged and efficient. DONALDSON Mighty close in my MotM choice. Can't believe the difference in him in comparison with Dumbarton. TREMARCO Probably a real influence on the improvement defensively but I suspect he will be missing in action for another few weeks. MULRANEY Appears to have been given some “play for the shirt” medication but also played wide right and offensive which is undoubtedly where he is at his best. POLWORTH Another 110% display. If only we had a Brewster or Dargo to feed to. VIGURS Showed the usual class touches but I suspect that he was singled out for the “don’t let him play” attention by Livi. CHALMERS I really (always) liked him in midfield. A real battler and a great foil for Vigurs, Polworth and Mulraney. BAIRD Needs a goal. Plus he is the target man and I don’t think that he is comfortable with that. Better player running off the front man. BELL Well I would simply pick him in front of Baird – as the runner – at the present time. Great run on to a greater pass which led to him missing the 1:1 opportunity of the game. CALDER Looked a bit dodgy and not the ideal cover for Tremarco at full back/wing back OAKLEY WTF – what an action packed half hour put in. Probably boosted by the fan chants and evidently clapping enthusiastically at the final whistle. ROBBO Continues to improve. Will be interesting who he plays at left back and surely Oakley has booked a start as the Number 9. Here's the action from the Tony Macaroni......... Robbo was a bit disappointed not to take all three points, but he was very happy with the Caley Jags Away fans. Date: 04/11/2017 Venue: Tony Macaroni Stadium Attendance: 1262 Referee: Gavin Duncan Livingston: 0 Lineup: Alexander; Longridge, Byrne, Halkett, Gallagher, Lithgow, Mullin (Mackin, 77) Pittman, Penrice (Cadden, 65), Jacobs, Mullen (Todorov, 77). Subs (not used): Maley, Knox, Carrick, Todorov. Booked: Mullen, Longridge. Scorers: none Booked: D Mullen (40), Longridge (74) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Raven, Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco (Calder, 69), Chalmers, Polworth, Vigurs, Mulraney, Bell, Baird (Oakley, 60). Subs (not used): Esson, Warren, Cooper, Trafford, Mackay. Booked: Donaldson, Tremarco, Mckay. Scorers: none Booked: Donaldson (21), Tremarco (44), B Mckay (56) Sent Off: none a
  3. Caley Jags dump the Arabs Inverness threw the form book out the window as they went to Tannadice and convincingly beat United 2-0 thanks to first half strikes from Iain Vigurs and Connor Bell. It was no more than Inverness deserved as they kept the home side relatively quiet throughout and the three points went back up the A9. Thankfully, they paid no attention to my pre-match prediction of a home win and went about their business with some authority. John Robertson went with an unchanged side from the excellent draw at Falkirk. Under fire Arabs boss Ray McKinnon brought in Scott McDonald and Sam Stanton to try and give him some attacking promise. Out went Billy King and Jordie Briels missed out through injury. That went well Raymond! A board meeting was hastily arranged at Tannadice on Saturday night. ICT Chris was in attendance and he was suitably chuffed with how things went, here is his account of the game. We were excellent today, thoroughly deserved the win and it probably should've been more. We appear to have stumbled on a formation and style that works, or it has the last two weeks anyway. We built on the performance against Falkirk and improved on it. We set up in a pretty standard 4-4-2, relatively flat in midfield with Chalmers left and Mulraney right. Vigurs and Polworth sat in the middle in front of the the same back four as previously, including returning hero Donaldson. Up front we had Baird and Bell. United had a few chances early and forced Ridgers into a reflex save from a shot (didn't see who hit it) and then we had to scramble clear from within the six yard box after a prolonged stramash. After that we really took over and started having an impact in an attacking sense. Baird and Tremarco missed headers and we had a few other openings before opening the scoring. Following a corner the ball was headed clear to Vigurs who shot in from the edge of the box. We then doubled our lead with one of the best goals I've seen us score in years. A United attack broke down around our 18 yard box and we broke with a little dink into midfield from Donaldson (I think). We then moved the ball quickly through midfield and released Mulraney with a weighted through ball. Mulraney rinsed the left back for pace and drove into the box, where he hit a driven low cross that Connor Bell drilled in from a couple of yards. It was a ******* belter, everything about it was perfect, the passing, the pace, the finish. When Mulraney got the ball I said to my mate that this would be goal of the season, I can't imagine us scoring a better one this season. We had a couple of other breaks which could've lead to goals in the first half, Mulraney, Baird and Bell all had opportunities. Into the second half and we again sat strong and broke, with Mulraney probably having the best chance when he was put right through but didn't shoot quickly enough. Donaldson also had a header that he put over but should've got on target. United, oddly, played with their centre half Durnan up front from an hour but that had zero impact, I don't think a single chance came from it. There were a couple of set pieces that Ridgers had to save but weren't really threatening. It was nervy for the fans because we've been so bad but looking back, we cigar'd it in the second half. Full Time 0-2 Overall, we were excellent. Vigurs was at the heart of everything, he ran the midfield. He has been superb this season, strolling though games and dominating possession. He can switch the play but it's the way he plays little passes to create space, flicks round the corner of players and turns with the ball that makes him so effective. He really has been a class act and is the heart of our team. Defensively we have somehow become settled and solid. Having two experienced full backs in Tremarco and Raven is a help but Donaldson has been a rock the last two weeks, defends well, no nonsense, quick and good in the air. He clearly loved getting that win, going by his celebrations at the end. He looks like being a real find. Up front Baird and Bell aren't likely to be prolific but the way they pull defenders about, hold the ball and make runs is vital to creating the space for our chances. Mulraney has kicked on in the last two weeks, another confidence filled game today, including an actual assist, miracle of miracles! Second week in a row he dominated the full back and his end product was better. Great stuff You can see why ICT Chris was drooling over the second goal. She's a belter as Gerry Cinnamon would say.......... Robbo was suitably chuffed as well Date: 21/10/2017 Venue: Tannadice Attendance: 5560 Referee: Willie Collum Dundee United: 0 Lineup: Lewis; Durnan, Toshney, McMullan (Murdoch, 60), McDonald, Stanton (Fraser, 76), Edjenguele, Flood, Robson, Keatings, Fyvie (King, 52). Subs (not used): Mehmet, Scobbie, N'koyi, Smith. Scorers: none Booked: James Keatings (65) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Raven, Tremarco, Chalmers, Polworth, Baird, Vigurs (Oakley, 87), Mulraney (Cooper, 74), Bell (Trafford, 82), Mckay, Donaldson. Subs (not used): Esson, Warren, Elsdon, Mackay. Scorers: Iain Vigurs (28) Connor Bell (36) Booked: Brad Mckay (16) Sent Off: none a
  4. At least we were no Skelpied Inverness showed much improvement in the land of the Kelpies as they more than matched Falkirk in a no score draw at the Falkirk Stadium. Despite hitting the woodwork a couple of times, the ball managed to stay out and we took a well deserved point back up the A9. Falkirk fans pretty much in agreement that we should have won all three, anything from three to five goals is the going rate at the moment. John Robertson made two changes from the side that beat Peterhead. Out went the injured Owain Fon Williams with Mark Ridgers deputising and Riccardo Calder dropped to the bench in favour of Jake Mulraney. Paul Hartley, in his first game in charge, reinstated Robbie Thomson in goals as expected, but Nathan Austin only made the bench with Sammy Hippolyte starting. Lee Miller missed out altogether. 4107 fans were on hand to watch Hartley's first game in the hot seat with 160 fans in the away end. Alex Harris and Joe McKee were first to get shots away, Mark Ridgers having to deal with the second one with a save low down. Inverness began to compete but early efforts from Polworth and Baird petered out. Thomson stopped the first one and Baird just missing the target with his attempt. Polworth looks to be on a mission and tried another from distance but this time his shot was blocked. Good opening quarter from the visitors and Chalmers won a corner after his shot was deflected behind and from the corner kick, Brad Mckay won another from his header. Thomson stops the flow this time as he gathers in his box. What a surprise, Jake Mulraney gets booked for alleged simulation. Polly goes in the book as well for questioning the decision. Jake gets a lot of this, travelling at speed brings it's own downfalls at times. Half an hour gone and Chalmers delivers a decent ball into the area but it's turned behind for another corner to Inverness. Jordan McGhee was thwarted by a fantastic tip over from Mark Ridgers, his header looking like it was about to open the scoring. Looks like the video cameraman wasn't quick enough to catch the action, so I have added the photo from the Falkirk website match report to give you an indication of the quality reaction save by Ridgers. Tremendous reaction from close range. Five minutes before the break and John Baird won a free kick in a promising position, however Chalmers' shot went narrowly wide of the mark with Thomson scrambling across his line as the ball fizzed past his left hand post.. An encouraging opening half from the visitors and they went in at the break on level terms. Half Time 0-0 Baird started the second forty-five in similar fashion to the first, shooting just wide again. Mulraney made good progress and found Baird who played it to Vigurs, but he shot wide as well. Recurring theme here. Carl Tremarco burst into the box but he also fired high over the bar. Hartley has seen enough of Tom Taiwo and Kevin O'Hara and replaces them with Cameron Blues and James Craigen as he looks to get a better grasp of midfield where Iain Vigurs was running the show. Baird headed over as the near misses continued. Connor Bell was next to break into the box, he went closer but his shot clips the outside of the post and goes behind for a goal kick. Next attack and Baird fed Bell at the back post but Thomson blocks. He also gathers an effort from Polworth as Inverness look for the opener and a Vigurs corner starts a melee in the box, but it is eventually gathered by the keeper. Mulraney shows a clean pair of heels to the Falkirk players and a corner is won as a result of this. From the set piece, Mulraney smacks the post. Everything but a goal from Inverness and Coll Donaldson flicked a header wide. With five minutes left, Jake Mulraney left the field to be replaced by last weeks young record breaker Daniel MacKay. Both sides went looking for the winner in the dying moments of this game, but despite plenty of effort, the ball remained out of the net. Full Time 0-0 So, despite fearing the worst, we were untroubled for the greater part of this game and with a bit of luck could have scored two or three and Falkirk would have had no complaints had we done so. Like the League Cup game, we more than matched the Bairns, but this time we cut out the comedy defending and thoroughly deserved our point. A few plus points for Inverness. A clean sheet for under fire keeper Mark Ridgers, a solid defensive display for Coll Donalson, Jake Mulraney doing what he should be doing, and no fighting in the dugout this week. Iain Vigurs was in control mode in the midfield and gets our MotM award. Minus point was the familiar failure to score goals given the opportunities available. Some wayward results today with Livvi beating the Arabs and Dunfermline drawing with Queens. Defeat for Brechin keeps them rooted to the bottom and we remain second bottom, but after today's performance, there is a great deal more optimism than there was a couple of weeks ago. Check the video's and see the progress being made. A more ebullient Robbo and honesty from Paul Hartley. Date: 14/10/2017 Venue: Falkirk Stadium Attendance: 4107 Referee: Nick Walsh Falkirk FC: 0 Lineup: Thomson, McGhee, Grant, Balatoni, Muirhead, Harris (Austin 67), McKee, Kerr, Taiwo (Blues 59), O'Hara (Craigen 59), Hippolyte. Subs (not used): Gasparotto, Shepherd, Gallacher, Mutch. Scorers: none Booked: Hippolyte Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers, Raven, B Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco, Polworth, Vigurs, Chalmers, Mulraney (D MacKay 85), Bell, Baird. Subs (not used): Esson, Elsdon, Oakley, Calder, Cooper, Brown. Scorers: none Booked: Mulraney (25), Polworth (25), B McKay (90+4) Sent Off: none a
  5. Embarrassing Inverness turned in another lifeless performance that makes a joke of the £20 ticket price to enter the ground. Despite gaining a point, we have actually dropped down a position in the table to second bottom after Falkirk beat Morton. Only Brechin City have fewer points than us and that statistic does not look likely to change in the near future. Attendance patterns remain low as another crowd around the 2K mark witnessed one of the poorest games ever with statistics showing that we had no shots on target over the entirety of the game. Coll Donaldson was at the heart of the defence with Gary Warren suspended and David Raven made a return to right back with Carl Tremarco starting on the left. Chalmers and Elsdon were omitted and all three strikers started, Oakley, Baird and Bell. Queens had James McFadden on the bench alongside Derek Lyle. The much maligned Alan Martin did keep his place in goal, but to be honest he could have been replaced by a fluffy toy, such was our lack of effort and creativity. It didn't take long for Queens to work out that we were totally useless and incapable of threatening their goal. We did however have the first attempt, a Brad Mckay header that flew a couple of feet over. Owain Fon Williams was called into action to tip over a dipping shot from Shaun Rooney as the visitors ventured forth, but for the main part of the half, the game was littered with niggly fouls and misplaced passes. We were our own worst enemies in this department which meant that we struggled to make any headway. Jason Kerr headed just wide as the half wore on with little or no activity around the visitors box. Shortly before the interval Stephen Dobbie had a couple of attempts, but his rangefinder was switched off as he fired a free kick high and wide and drilled a shot across the box and wide of target. Half Time 0-0 The second period showed absolutely no improvement from the home side, in fact we were worse and Queens took control of the game driving forward at will. Oakley was hooked ten minutes in, the hapless striker (using the term loosely) being swapped for Riccardo Calder. He should have stayed in the dressing room as his general lack of interest in the game was getting on the fans nerves. We don't need players like this wearing the jersey. Just before the hour, OFW saved well from Dobbie as Queens turned the screw. There looked to be only one winner as we failed to muster an attempt on the fragile but untroubled Alan Martin in goal. Dobbie by now realised that he could just waltz through our defence and he could have scored a barrowload but thanks to wayward finishing, last ditch defending and Owain Fon Williams we managed to keep him out, more by good luck than good play. Callum Tapping was next for the shoot-in but Williams denied him as well and Dobbie, Tapping, Kerr and Rooney all had opportunities to win the game. We ended the game on the back foot and managed to hold out for a draw despite a couple of penalty claims being denied our visitors with Dobbie looking less than impressed. Full Time 0-0 Oh dear, what a shambles. It's a word that's being used a lot these days as our demise continues. Robertson was less than impressed after last week, this week will just make matters worse I fear. An entire game without an attempt on goal means one thing. We are not going to win this game and we can count ourselves fortunate to take a point. Top marks can only go to Owain Fon Williams who kept us interested. The rest can hang their heads in shame after an utterly gutless performance. One unbelievable moment during the game and it came for the visitors. A free kick from a seemingly dangerous position came to no harm as the ball cleared the top of the visitors stand from around twenty yards out. A miss of biblical proportion and one that will be remembered long after this game has been forgotten. What now for Inverness? Some tough games coming up in the league and a tricky Irn Bru cup game against Peterhead to come. It's getting worse I'm afraid. Let the relegation battle commence. Robbo was interviewed after the match. Gary Naysmith was happy enough Finally, something to cheer about. Our youth side beat Forfar 1-3 after extra time to move into the next round of the cup. Goals from Ryan McRitchie, Andrew Macrae and Kieran Chalmers sealed the win. Well done lads, great stuff. Date: 30/09/17 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2082 Referee: Euan Anderson Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Fon Williams, Raven, Tremarco, Polworth, Baird (Mulraney 81), Vigurs, Oakley (Calder 52), Bell, Mckay, Donaldson, Trafford Subs (not used): Ridgers, Chalmers, Elsdon, Cooper, Brown Scorers: none Booked: Tremarco (17), Raven (52), Trafford (75) Sent Off: none Queen of the South: 0 Lineup: Martin, Rooney (Rooney 86), Marshall, Fordyce, Tapping, Stirling (Lyle 68), Rankin, Kane (McFadden 84), Dobbie, Jacobs, Kerr Subs (not used): Leighfield, Murray, Mercer, Dykes. Scorers: none Booked: Tapping (92) Sent Off: none a
  6. More agony for the travelling support Immortal Howden Ender was one of our well travelled fans for this encounter at the Rock and he was less than impressed with the fare on display from his beloved Caley Jags. Many fans have seen it all, League Championships, Scottish Cup wins and European football. Sadly, it looks like relegation is the next step in the decline of our club. Despite going ahead in the eighth minute through Bell, we were unable to build on that and second half goals from Froxylias and Wardrop made it a long journey home for all the suffering fans. Wasted Journey Well perhaps the omens were there long before we kicked off. Glasgow city centre awash with Old Firm neds, the nice wee train journey to the Rock cancelled due to engineering works and roadworks bringing traffic chaos to the Erskine Bridge. Underground to the West End and an empty student pub. Uber to Dumbarton and quaffing in the Stags Head watching part time Old Firmers watching the game. And then a walk down to a ground that resembles a Sunday League setting and then watching 90 minutes of Sunday League fare. At the time I was quite happy with the first half performance. A superb Polworth through ball splits the defence and Bell finished well in the 8th minute and we were in charge for the majority of the first 45 minutes. Again I have to comment on the lack of enthusiasm and celebration to herald that early goal. We looked neat enough but it was tippy tappy stuff with most balls going either sideways or back. OFW did appear to ooze more confidence to those in front of them and those brave few sitting in the stands. And if Bell had notched a second when through on goal 1:1 and we had gone 2-0 up – well who knows. Trafford and Oakley both had half chances, OFW had little to do and it really should have been 2 or 3-0. There was a sense of a standing ovation, albeit muted, as the boys trooped off at half time. And very quickly after the restart it became clearer what had happened. Stevie Aitken had given us far too much respect. He had decided to sit his team deep, allow us the ball in our own half and defend deep. The elements were also in our favour in the first half as well. Dumbarton lined up like a pack of dogs looking for the fox. From then on they defended, allowed us the luxury of possession in our own half but they pressed and pressed and looked to break at every opportunity. Froxylias basically ran the show. It took them a mere 2 minutes to equalise and we never looked like getting back. Froxylias fired home in the 47th. Froxylias bent a curling free kick at our goal in the 63rd minute, OFW made a good stop, albeit over dramatically and Wardrop reacted, knocked in the rebound whilst our defenders watched. OFW looked as if he had pulled his groin or his knee and he never took any further kicks and threw the ball out if necessitated. I suspect that he will be missing in action for a few weeks. And why oh feckin why did Robbo appear to leave the playmaker role to Donaldson? Why didn’t Vigurs drop back? Is Gary Warren collecting yellow cards? Hope I get him in Top Trumps. If he dived then that was ridiculous. I thought that he was practically in with a chance of a goal. Judging by his muted reaction he was guilty. That all happened in the 79th minute and Robbo had not even appeared to have considered a substitution at that stage. How Oakley stayed on after the hour stupefies me. And then to add insult to injury the decision is made to hook Tremarco and take on Mulraney. A certain poster on here gave Mulraney some gentle stick and his reaction almost led me to go on the park and give him a slap. He clearly does not want to be here. Tremarco himself also looked bemused as he trooped off. And then we leave it to the 87th minute to bring on Baird for Oakley. And we keep on hoofing to the skyscraper front three of Bell, Baird and Mulraney !! And remember the name Colin Steven. Another in a long list of embarrassing, amateur referees. He lost control and came up with a bevvy of ridiculous decisions – albeit both ways. And then it was back to the Stags Head, on to the Uber, on to the Underground, on to Central Station and home to Chorley. Travel cost me around £75 and I will NOT be spending that type of amount to watch absolute dross. I have booked for Livi and Dumfries. I am going there for the pre-match and post-match activities and I will not be considering any other games unless the team show a distinct improvement or even if they showed some enthusiasm and fight. Those two ingredients are sadly lacking. OFW - Nice to see him back. Back four looked more confident. Spectator for most of the first half. No chance with either goal but may have over-dramatised the free kick save. McKay – Back at full back. To be honest I hardly noticed him which probably says it all. Warren – Sorry but has become a luxury and his lack of discipline is shocking. And he was mighty quiet for a captain. He basically looked cheesed off. Donaldson – Who the feck gave him the playmaking. Libero role. Dzebi-Zade would have done a better job. Chalmers – Sweet left foot was noted once and then it was a case of Sweet Feck all. Polworth – Roving role again. At least he gave 100% and looked most likely to produce something. Great through ball to Bell for the goal. Vigurs – Some lovely touches but plays throughout in an area ten yards either side of the half way line. If we could afford such a luxury and have a couple of beavers beside him – well. Trafford – Dougal’s comment about fitness and diet may come in to play. He looks the part but dies after the hour. Mind you he runs for Vigurs. Tremarco – As with OFW it was nice to see him back but not as an offensive , wide player. Needs to either go back to left wing back or even central defence. And why he was not allowed to play for 90 minutes to enhance match fitness beggars belief. BELL – Starved of any delivery in the second half. No support up front. Worked his socks off and should have got a first half brace. OAKLEY – Inept and provided zilch basically. Already mentioned Robbo’s selection and tactical boo-boos. However, we did have the quote of the season so far. Robbo talking about the poor marking from his defenders said “We’ve worked in training all week about marking men in the box – I’ve never seen space score a goal in my life Here's the longer version from Sons TV. Date: 23/09/17 Venue: Your Radio 103FM Stadium Attendance: ??? Referee: Colin Steven Dumbarton: 2 Lineup: Gallacher; Wardrop, Hill, Barr, McLaughlin, Hutton, Froxylias, Dowie, Walsh (Wilson, 79), Stewart (Gallagher, 88), Nade (Morrison, 71) Subs (not used): Smith, Johnston, Roy, Ewings Scorers: Froxylias (47), Wardrop (63) Booked: Walsh (9), Barr (51), Hill (77), Wilson (91) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Fon Williams; Mckay, Donaldson, Warren, Chalmers, Polworth, Trafford, Vigurs, Tremarco (Mulraney, 77), Bell, Oakley (Baird, 86) Subs (not used): Ridgers, Mackay, Zschusschen, Cooper, Elsdon Scorers: Bell (8) Booked: Warren (61), Vigurs (84) Sent Off: Warren (79) a
  7. Off And Running Inverness belatedly got their season off and running with an ultimately convincing 0-4 win at Glebe Park, Brechin. First half goals from Iain Vigurs and a Brad Mckay header were added to after the break by Alex Cooper and Vigurs again. This win lifts Inverness off the bottom of the table. Brechin remain at the foot alongside surprise strugglers, Falkirk. Gary Warren missed out with a recurring ankle injury which paved the way for frozen out David Raven to return to the back four. Alex Cooper and Connor Bell started up front with John Baird, George Oakley was on the bench. Darren Dods named himself on the bench and had made three changes from the side that went down 3-0 at Inverness in the League Cup. Jordan Sinclair, Finn Graham and James Dale started with Gary Fusco and Ally Love on the bench. The Hedge was in pristine condition as the game kicked off with an enthusiastic away support backing the Caley Jags to get their first win of the season. They wouldn't be disappointed. Unfortunately, some of our more hyper juvenile fans never made it to the end to witness this first win. Let's hope they grow out of it. It was a low key opening quarter to the game with both sides struggling to create anything of note, other than a yellow card for the reckless Matt Elsdon. The deadlock was broken after 26 minutes when Iain Vigurs lashed a shot into the top corner with the aid of a slight deflection, the ball always looking destined for the back of the net anyway. Liam Polworth was the provider on that occasion. Soon after the goal, Connor Bell forced Smith to deny him his first Caley Jags goal, the keeper saving one handed from the wee striker. A second goal came along when Brad Mckay firmly planted his header back across goal and into the top of the net from an Alex Cooper corner. Liam Polworth was prominent in his free role and causing problems for the Brechin defence and he almost scored before the interval but his shot went wide. Half Time 0-2 Brechin felt a bit hard done by after making the visitors work hard in the first 45, but after the break Inverness imposed themselves on the game, but not before the aforementioned Matt Elsdon was removed from the field of play before he was sent off for persistent fouling, much to the chagrin of the home bench. The third goal duly came along when goalless striker John Baird neatly set up Alex Cooper who beat his marker inside the box and tidily stroked the ball early into the bottom corner, taking the keeper out of the equation with his brisk strike. Iain Vigurs was the unlikely scorer of the fourth goal when he raced to the front post to glance a superb corner from Polworth behind Smith to give the visitors a more convincing win. It was no more than we deserved as Brechin wilted. There was still time for Brechin to try for a consolation, but Paul McLean hit the post with his glancing header. That was enough to keep Mark Ridgers and his defenders on their toes and they saw out the game with the minimum of fuss. In fact, they almost notched a fifth but Graeme Smith blocked with his legs to keep the final score at 4-0 to the Caley Jags. Full Time 0-4 Just the result that John Robertson was looking for after the thrashing at East End Park a couple of weeks ago. Inverness were best served by two goal MotM Iain Vigurs with Liam Polworth and Charlie Trafford showing up well. Still a bit of work to do defensively, but the midfield now look capable of driving the team forward. I'm sure the return of Gary Warren will resolve some of the issues at the rear and Carl Tremarco is hopeful of a comeback soon, a possible outing in the forthcoming Challenge Cup game against Aberdeen U20's. Positive off the park with the Chairman addressing many of the issues and more positivity on the park with a comfortable win at Brechin. However, let's not get carried away with this result, but from small acorns etc, etc. A sterner test awaits in our next Championship game as we visit Paisley to take on high flying St Mirren, who trounced Dundee United 3-0 at the weekend. Here's a couple of observations from a pair of well respected fans who made the journey to Glebe Park. Alternative Maryhill went along with a touch of trepidation:- I was nervous about this after the absolute car crash of a performance at East End Park, but in the end it was more comfortable than I could have hoped. There wasn't a great deal in the first half - we probably had slightly more of the ball, but chances were pretty even. Looks like Vigurs got a bit lucky with a deflection for our first, and Mckay wasn't really challenged for his header back across goal for the second. We pretty much controlled the second half, though, and it was good to see the likes of Polworth playing with freedom and confidence. The key to our improvement over the past couple of games seems to have been the introduction of Charlie Trafford. I wasn't up for the Morton game, so this was my first look at him. He seems a very unfussy player and just sits in front of the defence, looking to break up attacks and then hold the ball until he can send someone away, but having him there allows Vigurs to try to dictate play a little further forward and allows Polworth, who looked much improved yesterday, to drive forward. Connor Bell also impressed, playing in a left-sided attacking role for most of the game before moving to the right when Calder game on, and I'd have him starting on one of those sides in place of Mulraney from now on. On the other side, Cooper contributed less, especially in the first half, but his movement and composure for his goal were excellent. I'm still unconvinced by our defence: Raven had a solid game, but Elsdon, Mckay and Chalmers are all capable of looking hasty in the challenge and uncertain in possession. They weren't troubled all that often, but against teams with tricky, pacey attacking players such as Cardle, they will struggle. Having Gary Warren and particularly Carl Tremarco back should make a difference, however, as much for their leadership qualities and presence as their defensive ability. It was great to see another decent travelling support getting right behind the team. The stewarding of the young team looked pretty heavy-handed to me, as if they were expecting trouble from the start. Otherwise, it's a cracking set-up at Brechin, with the wee bar beneath the stand and the ability to move easily between stand and terraces. A bit of a faff to get to from Glasgow if you don't drive, though, so I won't be bothering going up for this Challenge Cup nonsense against Aberdeen colts next week. Looking forward to the rest of September: intriguing fixtures against clubs I have't seen us play for a few years - St Mirren, Livvy, Dumbarton and Queens - and we should have a much clearer idea of how the team is developing and how we match up in this division by the end of the month. Caley Stan was yer man with these observations:- Good 2nd half performance after a shaky start. We reverted to a back 4 with Trafford sitting in front. Vigurs played further forward & Polworth was again given a lot of freedom. Connor Bell came in from the left to support Baird when we attacked. The 1st half was scrappy with few chances at either end. Although Brechin didn't create much, they had Elsdon & McKay flustered on a couple of occasions & must've returned from the break thinking they could still take something from the game. How wrong they were. We dominated them completely & should've scored more. Vigurs & Trafford bossed the midfield, repeatedly sending Polworth off to drive into space through the middle. Robbo's got him playing in his best position now, & the centre of midfield looks to have a nice balance. Date: 26/08/17 Venue: Glebe Park, Brechin Attendance: 703 Referee: Mat Northcroft Brechin City: 0 Lineup: Smith, McLean, Dyer, Dale, Graham (Love 67), Layne, Lynas, Spark (Watt), Orsi, Crighton, Sinclair (C.O'Neil 85) Subs (not used): P.O'Neil, Fusco, Dods Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 4 Lineup: Ridgers, Raven, Chalmers, Elsdon (Donaldson 49), Polworth, Baird, Vigurs, Bell (Mulraney 79), Cooper (Calder 74), Mckay, Trafford Subs (not used): Esson, Oakley, Foy Scorers: Vigurs (27, 72), Mckay (32), Cooper (62) Booked: Elsdon (17), Cooper (63), Mulraney (92) Sent Off: none a
  8. Card Happy Craig ruins the day. Inverness went down to a Craig Thomson decision to award a penalty after Paul McMullan burrowed his way into the box and through a blockade of legs and bodies. He made the referee make the decision and he pointed rather hastily to the spot. McMullan took the kick himself and scored with ease as Mark Ridgers went the opposite way from the ball. A large away contingent made for a healthy crowd for the opening game of the season as Inverness took to the park minus the injured captain Gary Warren, Ross Draper handed the armband. Quality defender Collin Seedorf missed out through injury. John Baird and George Oakley were the pairing trusted to get the goals. Dundee United were without the suspended Scott McDonald and Mathew Smith which meant that Paul McMullan continued to spearhead their attack. It was with much trepidation that many Caley Jags fans ventured forth after last seasons relegation and changes to personnel, the Betfred Cup games offering little reassurance to the home fans. However, they turned up to see how we would fare against hot tips Dundee United. Early exchanges showed that we were willing to take the game to United and we carved out a few opportunities to create chances, but there were no takers for the trickery of Ricardo Calder or the class and prompting of Iain Vigurs. We went behind on thirteen minutes when McMullan lunged into the legs blocking his route to goal and Thomson did not hesitate to offer the penalty to United. A bit harsh on the defenders who were already on the ground but McMullan made the most of it and converted thereafter. Calder was causing havoc down our left flank, skinning the defenders with ease, but the final ball evading all but the keeper and his defenders in the visitors box. Plenty of long diagonal balls finding Calder, alas, he was unable to make the most of them. Mark Ridgers did pull off one brilliant save early on when United threatened inside the box, the keeper able to parry the ball to safety when a goal looked the likeliest outcome. For all our territorial superiority, we never managed to create the clear chances that United were able to, and Ross Draper took it upon himself to burst into the box along the byeline. Unfortunately his grounding looked a bit suspect, and when Tam Scobbie squared up to Draper, the pair found themselves in the refs wee black book. We reached the break just one goal down, but not too dispirited given our bright opening to the game. Half Time 0-1 The lack of a goal threat was worrying and that theme continued after the interval with us having the possession, but United having the better chances. They should have wrapped up the points late in the game after a bit of slackness at the back. The game seemed to pause, or go into slow motion and it ended with Sam Stanton curling a shot over the vacant net, the defence not covering themselves in glory at that point. We put plenty of effort into this one, but nobody was willing to take the bull by the horns as the game became littered with shameful play acting and general thuggery, mostly on the part of the visitors who killed the flow of the game any way they deemed necessary. However they seemed to have a decent alibi in Craig Thomson who allowed them to get away with most of the attempts to disrupt the beautiful game. He did however almost wear out his yellow card, nine bookings in total Full Time 0-1 Despite this loss, we can take heart from the overall performance against the Champions elect. It took a disputed penalty to win the game. The biggest disappointment from Robbo's point of view will be the lack of clear opportunities we created. Lewis in goal never really had to break sweat other than the amount of crosses or corners he had to gather out of the air untroubled. Ricardo Calder looked a big threat wide on the left. He was literally dealt a huge blow that went unpunished from the shoddy Craig Thomson, having to leave the game after ten minutes of the second half. Iain Vigurs looked to be a class above anyone else and was my MotM, especially in the first half and he did break sweat with one track back and crucial intervention. Mark Ridgers pulled off one tremendous save, although some of the pass backs put him under pressure and the clearances were a bit iffy. The defence were missing Warren and Seedorf and that's an area Robbo will be keeping a close eye on. Another area worth watching is up front. Where are the goals going to come from? So, not too disheartened, but still a familiar feel about the defeat. We all knew it would take a bit of time for everyone to find their feet, so patience will be a virtue this season. Off to Dunfermline next week in matchday two. Date: 05/08/17 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 3415 Referee: Craig Thomson Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Raven, Elsdon, Mckay, Chalmers, Polworth, Draper, Vigurs, Calder (Mulraney, 58), Baird (Bell, 74), Oakley (Zschusschen, 85) Subs (not used): Esson, Cooper, MacDonald Scorers: none Booked: Draper (43), Raven (63), Vigurs (76), Mckay (89), Elsdon (92) Sent Off: none Dundee Utd: 1 Lineup: Lewis; Toshney, Scobbie, Edjenguele, Robson, Allardice (Keatings, 67), Briels, Stanton, Fraser (Flood, 87), King, McMullan Subs (not used): Mehmet, Murdoch, Donaldson, Chalmers, Thomas Scorers: McMullan (pen.13) Booked: Scobbie (44), Stanton (74), McMullan (80), Briels (86) Sent Off: none a
  9. Loons 1 - 2 Inverness Liam Polworth had a first half penalty saved by Loons keeper Marc McCallum, who also made some excellent saves to deny Iain Vigurs, John Baird and Ricardo Calder after the spot kick. All the goals came in the second period with Forfar opening through Mark Scott. The lead was short lived and George Oakley and John Baird had Inverness in front six minutes later. That was how it finished, but it was not enough for Inverness to progress in the competition. Connor Bell signed for Inverness in the morning of this game and earned a seat on the bench, Jake Mulraney joining him. David Raven started at right back with Collin Seedorf injured, and Mathew Elsdon was at centre back with Gary Warren still injured. Immortal Howden Ender has this report for us, hot off the press............. A BRIDGE TOO FORFAR !! Well we bowed out of the Betfred Cup at far too early a stage. The Bairns were always going to be a tough nut to crack but we should have hit the nine points from the other three. John Robertson certainly played it down with – “We’ve had a decent League Cup without being hugely impressive – It’s been four matches against quality opponents (!!) that has put us in good stead for the league campaign and allowed us to gel and get fitness levels up”. Hopefully he really meant – “I have now had a chance to look at everybody and I know the way forward”. Station Park may be difficult to find but it is a homely wee stadium and the “astro turf” looks in very good condition. (OK I prefer grass maself). The wind was strong assisted by the intermittent spells of drizzle. We certainly played better when faced to play football against the elements in the first half. The second half became more of a punt which did not work well with the wind and the pitch. I note that the attendance was quoted at 517 but looked more to me. Good turnout from the Highlands – must have been 100-150. The Central Belters/Juanjo Away were well represented and driven to the game from Dundee by none other than a taxi driver called Bobby Mann. Me – I arrived there – by feckin car – 20 minutes before the kick off with Mrs Johndo and Mini IHE – stone cold feckin sober !! At least my grandson (Leighton) had a winning start to his ICT career. We totally dominated the first 45 as we had to play football in its true sense. We could have/should have gone in 3-0 up. The final ball/ the final strike was sadly missing. We played some neat stuff but basically fecked it all up at the close. Calder could have netted a hat-trick. Just after the half hour we had a chance to practically ease the game. Initially it looked like a soft penalty award and a trip on Baird but it was reported as being a hand ball. Not sure why Vigurs did not step up but it was left to Polly – possibly to boost his confidence (DOH). It was really a very poor strike and adds to our penalty taking woes. Four minutes after the restart Marc Scott put Forfar ahead. Perhaps Ridgers was partly to blame but David Cox made a fool out of Chalmers and the initial shot, well saved by Ridgers, should never have been allowed to be completed. Yngwie and I were joking earlier that Cox had enjoyed his summer holidays as he was clearly overweight. But then he tormented Chalmers which says it all. Perhaps that was a wake up call and at least we reacted. Five minutes later McCallum was at fault as he pulled out of a 50/50 with Baird. The ball went loose and George Oakley neatly tucked it away. Before you could say Inverness Caledonian Thistle a Polworth corner was headed on and John Baird hit a screamer at the back post. And the photo does not lie as Mini IHE shows his seerness by evidently predicting the outcome !! After that I was expecting a barrowload but we appeared to relax. Substitutions may not have helped but we were careless. We did not possess the killing off factor and nearly paid the price. So it was back to the 1984 Lounge for the Juanjo Away and a pickup by Bobby Mann. I headed to Camperdown Park to run the feckin dog, went to Tesco and had ma first feckin swally at 20.00 hrs. So feck the family it is Virgin Rail on my own from now on. SMILEYMOMETER RIDGERS Neither worried or inspired me. Looks like a decent shot stopper and a decent distributor but he needs to get nasty and start shouting more. RAVEN Nice to see him back. Looked good in the first half but outpaced on a few occasions by the speedy Scott. Looks more like a squad player. CHALMERS Disappointed. Taken to the proverbial cleaners by a fat Cox. Perhaps that was a Twiiter prediction ELSDON Looks the part but not the most mobile and looks very green and surprisingly not the best in the air. McKAY Thought he was going off in the first half as he appeared to have pulled a muscle. Expected more from him. POLWORTH Why does Robbo not realise that Polworth is wasted wide right - but there again where does he fit in ? He appeared to be given more of a roving role in the second half but we can do that at Forfar but ?!! The roving role however appeared to nullify both Vigurs and Draper VIGURS What was the abuse for ? Vigurs was a class above everybody else in the first half. A sweet left foot comparable with the taxi driver called Bobby Mann. Ran the game for 45 minutes. Faded in the second but the wind was with us and punts became predominant. My MOM by miles. DRAPER Some are stating that he is in second gear. He has always appeared to be in second or third gear to me. He linked well with Vigurs playing in front of him. We really, really need to hold on to him CALDER Calder was impressive but NOT a left winger or a finisher. Looks more like a polished wing back or deeper wide player - unfortunately much like Mulraney. But Tremarco and Calder together really is a juicy prospect. But again where do you play him Robbo ? OAKLEY / BAIRD I x2 Impressed by both Oakley and Baird. They are both pacey and thinkers. They are not on the same wavelength yet but the potential is definitely there. Both took their goals well. MULRANEY Mulraney to me was a breath of fresh air but also a greedy *******. Perhaps trying to impress too much but was more of an individual than a team player to me. BELL Bell did not have much time but looks like the perfect back-up fer Baird FCZ (Susan) . I think I was initially spooked by the Clach reports. He is gangly and awkward but he showed signs today that he can hold up and pass. At the moment a good back-up for Oakley. And he is much better than the Walrus. SO .. I am really worried about the lack of pace at the back. Seedorf and Calder at full backs may assist. Polworth is wasted and perhaps needs to be an initial back-up for Vigurs and Draper. Or what about Polly at right back and Seedorf forward. The front two picks themselves. Date: 29/07/17 Venue: Station Park, Forfar Attendance: 517 Referee: Gavin Duncan Forfar Athletic: 1 Lineup: McCallum; Travis, Bain, Malone, Munro, Mensing, Cox (Aitken, 79), Millar (McBride, 51), Lister, See, Scott. Subs (not used): King, Easton, Warwick, Gill, Kennedy. Scorers: Scott 49. Booked: Munro Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Raven, Mckay, Elsdon, Chalmers, Polworth, Draper, Vigurs, Calder (Mulraney 75), Oakley (Zschusschen 71), Baird (Bell, 84). Subs (not used): Esson, MacDonald, Cooper. Scorers: Oakley 54, Baird 55. Booked: Calder, Baird Sent Off: none a
  10. Robbo no happy after home defeat Inverness' disjointed side slumped to a 0-2 defeat at the hands of Championship contenders Falkirk who did all their hard work in the first half and coasted in from there, the hosts unable to fashion out any clear chances over the entire game. Inverness were without captain Gary Warren and Jake Mulraney, both injured at Forthbank in midweek. Alex Cooper was a surprise inclusion on the bench having earned a short term contract as we struggle for fit players. Matt Elsdon came in at the back and John Baird faced his former club up front. A blustery but dry afternoon greeted the sides as the game kicked off, a bit of haar coming in from the Firth keeping the temperature down. Falkirk were prepared to take the game to their hosts looking to get an early advantage, but it was Inverness that passed up on the first snippet. A free kick from Polworth found it's way into the box and bounced into an awkward area, but the defence reacted quicker and cleared the danger. An excellent bit of ball retention saw Nathan Austin get clear in the box after a neat flick set him up, but he smothered his shot from twelve yards and Mark Ridgers was able to block with his legs to avoid a certain goal. When Susan was robbed in midfield, Falkirk went forward again and Sammy Hyppolite tried from distance but his shot was always heading just the wrong side of the post with Ridgers scrambling across his line to escort the ball round the sticks. Pressure was mounting on the home defence but they were coping at this point. However, a long diagonal ball from Rory Loy was well taken by Alex Harris wide on the Falkirk right as he raced forward. He delivered a superb cut back into the box which was asking to be dispatched, and up popped Joe McKee to drive the ball low behind Ridgers for the opening goal from around the same spot as Austin missed from earlier. Ridgers had to scamper well out of his box as a long ball caught out the entire home defence. He just managed to get a toe nail on it to foil Austin as the striker sped towards him some forty yards out. Our only moment in the first half saw a deep cross find John Baird under pressure at the back post from Aiden Muirhead, but alas, between the defender and the keeper, the ball was blocked from Baird's header. One minute later and that miss would prove costly. Ridgers was less fortunate with his next piece of the action a couple of minutes before the break. He scuffed a clearance about thirty five yards straight to the feet of Rory Loy who promptly fed Nathan Austin who in turn curled the ball low past the culprit in goal. Just enough time for Ross Draper to fire a shot wide before the whistle blew. A bit harsh on Inverness maybe, but two down at the interval and a mountain to climb, the lack of creation evident. Half Time 0-2 The second period saw Falkirk go into their shell as they looked to hold onto what they had with Inverness not showing much attacking intent or commitment, and ten minutes in Ricardo Calder was replaced by Alex Cooper. He had a run into the corner of the box, but his effort was blocked for a corner from a tight angle. On the hour Robbo had seen enough, or maybe not seen enough of Felitciano Zschuschenn and hooked him for George Oakley. The result of that substitution showed that we looked slightly more menacing with Oakley able to hold up the ball better and battle for his place in the team. He almost reduced the deficit after seventy-five minutes but Robbie Thomson brought off a TV save to deny him from twenty-five yards. Little was seen of Falkirk in this half, but we were still making heavy weather of producing moments in the ever increasing swirling conditions that brought in even more chilling winds. As the game wore on we looked less likely to carve open the visiting defence and that's how it ended with Falkirk going to the top of group A with a game in hand. Full Time 0-2 For Inverness, Collin Seedorf looked to be the most accomplished player and George Oakley did his chances of a start no harm when he was introduced. Most of the rest need to take a look at themselves and see if they want to play for this club or not, and one or two appear to be lacking in confidence just now. Defeat for Robbo in his second game at home with his new look side and he pulled no punches in this frank and cutting interview after the game. Peter Houston also gave his thoughts. Great video & commentary from Falkirk TV Date: 22/07/17 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: ???? Referee: John Beaton Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers, Chalmers, Elsdon, Polworth, Draper, Baird, Vigurs, Calder (Cooper 55), Seedorf, Zschusschen (Oakley 59), McKay Subs (not used): Esson, Raven, Foy, MacDonald Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none Falkirk: 2 Lineup: Thomson, Muirhead, Watson, Grant, Gallacher, McKee, Taiwo, Hippolyte (Miller 80), Harris (Shepherd 71), Gallacher, Austin (Kerr 79), Loy Subs (not used): Mitchell, Gasparotto, O'Hara, Craigen Scorers: McKee (21), Austin (43) Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  11. Binos pay the penalty. A blistering hot day in Scotland that would have made new signing Felitciano Zschusschen, (now to be known as Susan from here on in), right at home. The Curaçaoan international started on the bench as Robbo went with a similar line-up to the one that eased past Brechin at the weekend. The Binos made three changes from the team that went down at Falkirk. Lee Hamilton, Andrew Black and Callum Morrison in for Scott Davidson, Liam Caddis and Ross Kavanagh. It would take penalties to separate the sides. Inverness had less rubbish penalties and sneaked back up the A9 with the bonus point. Robbo expected his side to take the game to the hosts and they did some early pressing, Iain Vigurs volleyed wide after three minutes as the visitors looked for that early opening. Five minutes later and Macdonald heads over from a corner at the other end. Gary Warren is booked in the tenth minute as he gives away a free kick on the edge of the box, but Ridgers is equal to the shot from McGeachie after the free kick is taken. Liam Polworth made Cammy Binnie work with a low long range effort, but it's well saved by the keeper. Andrew Black was booked for Stirling after fouling Polworth and soon after Jake Mulraney has to be subbed through injury with Joe Chalmers entering the field. George Oakley ruffled the side netting as he went close to scoring around the half hour. The pressure began to mount on the home goal and Polworth dragged a shot wide after Oakley shot over. Still no goals though with the interval approaching fast. Not the first half Robbo was looking for and it ends goalless. Maybe it'll soon be Susan time......... Half Time 0-0 Six minutes into the second half and Robbo has seen enough, and as Oakley hooks the ball over the bar, Robbo hooks Oakley. Susan makes his debut so soon. Ricardo Calder is closest to opening the scoring in the second period but he pulls his shot wide of the target. Story of the night so far. Binnie then denies Warren and Draper on the follow up as the visitors fail to impress. Baird does manage to get the ball in the net but is adjudged to have fouled the keeper in the process. He also received a booking for his troubles. One or two frantic scrambles in the home end as Warren goes to ground. Play on, but not for Warren as he is soon replaced by final sub Matt Elsdon with just over ten minutes remaining. Iain Vigurs drills a low shot goalwards but Binnie denies him. Susan has the ball in the net but it suffers the same fate as the previous one for Baird. This time high feet from Seedorf ruins the moment. Right at the end, Mark Ridgers is called upon to make a decent save to deny Morrison. Full Time 0-0 Straight to penalties after our inability to score carries on from last season. When will this end? Stirling to start the shoot-out for the bonus point. Dickson - Wide 0-0 Baird - Wide 0-0. (ffs, how narrow are these goals). Morrison - Saved by Ridgers 0-0 Chalmers - Shoots high over 0-0 Smith - Shoots over the bar 0-0 Polworth - Scores, at last 0-1 McMullan - Another over the bar 0-1 (good grief) Vigurs - Scores to seal it 0-2 Shockingly poor penalty shoot-out ends with Inverness picking up the bonus point. More match reaction to follow............... Stirling Albion: 0 Binnie, McGeachie, Noble, Hamilton, McNeil, Black, Morrison, Robertson, McDonald, Smith, Dickson Subs: Foden, Davidson, Banner, McMullan, Caddis, Henderson, Kavanagh Inverness CT: 0 (0-2 after penalties) Ridgers, Warren, Polworth, Draper, Baird, Vigurs, Oakley, Mulraney, Calder, Seedorf, McKay Subs: Esson, Raven, Chalmers, Zschusschen, MacDonald Referee: Mike Roncone Attendance: 591
  12. We do have a team after all! Inverness eased their way into this League Cup game and ended up with a comfortable 3-0 win over Championship newbies Brechin City, thanks to a brace from Gary Warren and a first for new signing George Oakley. After an indifferent low key pre-season, some heads were already dropping slightly but this was just the tonic they needed to get back behind the team as we kicked off Betfred League Cup Group A with a decisive win over fellow Championship side Brechin City. Robbo gave five newstarts their debut with another two on the bench but it was stalwart captain and center back Gary Warren that stole the show with a couple of goals from set-pieces. Jake Mulraney was showing a clean pair of heels to the Brechin defenders and was the target of some rash challenges before being replaced in the second half. Apart from a Layne free kick early on and a Spark header that went over, City offered little in the way of forward momentum and after Oakley had headed home the third, they were looking rather bedraggled with Inverness stroking the ball around comfortably. Hardly surprising given the number of players the visitors had missing, only four on the bench including the Machine. So, we do have a team after all. However, it's difficult to judge considering the opposition were struggling to get players on the park and the fact that they have just come up from the first division. Collin Seedorf looks to be a class act and Oakley took his goal well. Oooooh Gary Warren led by example and Jake Mulraney looked to have the freedom of the wing, this could be a good season for him. Not much for debut keeper Mark Ridgers to deal with in a comfortable afternoon all round. If there could be any criticism levelled at the team, they could and should have scored more goals against a weakened Brechin, but it's good to get the opening game out of the way without any mishaps. Onwards and upwards. Despite being stunned to be back in charge, Robbo was delighted with the win and looks forward to the challenge ahead. CALEY THISTLE: 3 (Warren 21,34, Oakley 57) Ridgers; Seedorf, Mckay, Warren, Calder, Polworth, Draper, Vigurs (Elsdon, 83), Mulraney (Chalmers, 72), Baird, Oakley. Subs unused: Esson, Raven, Stark, Wilson, MacDonald. Booked: Warren. BRECHIN CITY: 0 Smith; McLean, Dyer, Fusco, Crighton, Spark (Ford, 84), Orsi, Lynas, Jackson, Layne, Love (Sinclair, 78). Subs unused: O’Neil, Dods. Booked: Love, McLean. Referee: B Cook. Crowd : 1419
  13. Not over yet. Inverness came out of the blocks flying with a hint of intent, and after only two minutes Billy Mckay opened the scoring from close range. Things got even better when Alex Fisher knocked in number two after ten minutes. Inverness could have stretched their lead in the first period but Ryan Esson came to the rescue just before half-time to keep it 0-2 at the break. The second half offered less opportunities and the Inverness defence coped well with Dundee's attacks. This was a massive result and one which left the fans wondering where has this result been all season. A clean sheet to boot, well done Richie and the guys. Richie Foran talked to BBC Sport after the final whistle. He said we were magnificent defensively, won almost every ball into the box. Same again for Saturday. Great win, especially for the supporters. The players had a great attitude all week, confidence was high and we look forward to a massive game on Saturday. Pressure is now on Hamilton. The side were met with an enthusiastic and larger than normal vocal backing as we took to the park. Foran put the much maligned Iain Vigurs into the middle of the system to add some much needed creativity, and it worked well with Vigurs supplying some teasing balls forward. Billy Mckay almost scored in the first minute when he shut down Scott Bain but his block on the delayed clearance bounced just wide. He would not be denied moments later when he pounced on a lay-off from Liam Polworth to drill the ball low past the keeper from 12 yards. The perfect start for the Caley Jags in their quest to remain in the Premiership. The evening got even better for the visitors in the 10th minute when Iain Vigurs chipped a wonderful ball into the box from central midfield. There was plenty to do and I'm sure the Dundee defenders thought that as well. Undaunted, Alex Fisher controlled the ball on his head and as it fell he swivelled and volleyed a spectacular shot behind a stunned keeper. What a goal. It would not have looked out of place in the Nou Camp. Fisher passed up on an easier chance when he directed a header wide form a good cross by Brad Mckay. He should have made the keeper work at least but he will be forgiven after his stunning goal earlier. Paul McGowan fired one wide as Dundee woke up and Liam Polworth went close at the other end. Darren O'Dea headed over as Dundee picked up the pace but Inverness were playing with a new found confidence and looked composed all over the park, dealing with the Dark Blues comfortably. Cammy Kerr broke into the box but slashed his shot wide under pressure and the game went into overdrive with opportunities coming at both ends. In truth, Dundee could have had no complaints if they had found themselves four down before the interval, although Ryan Esson made a tremendous block close to the break after Nick Ross did well to slip in Haber. Half Time 0-2 After the interval we kept control of the game without being so prominent in our opponents half. At the back we were first to every ball and restricted Dundee to half chances. Mark O'Hara could have done better with a header but he nodded it straight at Esson who scooped it up comfortably. At the opposite end Brad Mckay directed a header to the top corner but Bain had enough time to pluck it out of the air. As the game wore on, Foran went for safety and replaced attacking options with defenders with Dundee desperate to take something from the game. However we were equally determined to hold onto our clean sheet, only our third of the season and the decision to hold what we had proved to be the right one as the home side were kept at arms length as the game came to a close. Full Time 0-2 What a shot in the arm this was. It was as welcome as it was unexpected, but thoroughly deserved. We did most of our productive work early which left Dundee chasing the game and they never fully recovered from our opening blitz. Tremendous shift from everyone with Iain Vigurs being the pick of the bunch. Great work by Esson and the defence to keep the clean sheet and two fantastic goals to set up this lifeline. Superb backing from the visiting fans who backed the team to the hilt. All to do again on Saturday in another must win game. Can we do it, yes we can, there is life in the team after all. Date: 17/05/2017 Venue: Dens Park, Dundee Attendance: 5574 Referee: Kevin Clancy Dundee: 0 Lineup: Bain, Kerr, Gomis (Higgins 45), O'Dea, Holt, Vincent, Ross, O'Hara, McGowan, El Bakhtaoui (Wighton 72), Haber (Ojamaa 55). Subs (not used): Williams, Dryden, Ferie, Smith. Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Esson, Brad Mckay, Warren, Laing, Raven, Polworth, Tansey, Draper, Vigurs (McCart 89), Fisher(McNaughton 85), Billy Mckay (Anier 66) Subs (not used): Hoban, Mulraney, Cole, Ebbe. Scorers: Billy Mckay (2) Alex Fisher (10) Booked: Vigurs, Anier Sent Off: none a
  14. Almost there. Inverness took a massive step towards the Championship with another defeat. This time it was Kilmarnock who inflicted the pain as we struggled to get back on level terms having gone two goals down through Longstaff and Jones. Alex Fisher grabbed a goal but despite a frantic finish to the game we failed to get a point and relegation looks to be imminent. Immortal Howden Ender witnessed this one and his report is here.............. Well I travelled with forlorn hope and a fair degree of trepidation. But that still did not stop me and my 146 compatriots from sitting in the away stand, cheer on the boys and hope for some salvation. My only negative thought at the start was the inclusion of Anier but otherwise I was quite happy with the first team choice. Fisher has deserved his chance and may have been a more polished player if he had been given a run early. He had a clear cut chance in the 2nd minute, through on goal, 1-1 with McDonald and he totally fecked it up. If he had kept his composure, as he did 69 minutes later then it may have been a different story. So we have a plastic pitch. We are playing in to the wind and the driving rain. Killie know the surface and they play tippy tappy at the back, use the width, take people on and are patient. Us we hoof at every opportunity. Billy Mckay must wonder what the feck is going on. Anier offers sod all and Mulraney has an off-day but rarely gets a ball at his feet or a pass to run on to. The clear tactic was to feckin hoof it. And for the second time away from home Esson makes the second big error (OK there were 2 errors) of his belated season and gifts the first goal to Longstaff. Just what we did not need. You could see some heads go down at that time. Have to say that I was really impressed by Frizell, Jones and Wilson. If we had that three playing for us we would have hammered them. But we have Foran and the hoof. So half time comes along and you think lets have a go. But God lets us down again. The wind dies down, the rain stops and some feckin sunshine comes out. And as if that wasn’t bad enuff we hook Mulraney for Vigurs. We put Draper up front and we switch Fisher to wide right midfield. Yes wide right midfield !! Foran complained about our defending for the second but I thought it was tidy lead up play and a very tidy finish by Jones who had tormented Brad all day long. And guess who had the two long range shots on target – of course – David Raven !! Anier goes off, 58 minutes too late, and gets replaced by Polworth who never got into the game. Not sure exactly where he was playing though. And then we hook Draper and take on Cole. BUT we put Cole on the left BUT keep Fisher on the wide right and put Mckay up front on his own. We pack feckin midfield with the lackadaisical Vigurs and Tansey with Polworth running around like a headless chicken. But as the chants against Foran begin to grow we put ourselves back in the game. Great pass from Vigurs and Fisher tucks it away very neatly, 69 minutes too late. Lee McCulloch summed it up nicely – “The last 10 minutes were a bit nervy but we got there in the end.” We began to show the desire and fight that we should have been showing for weeks, nay months. No player can be faulted for endeavour in the last 15 minutes. Killie looked shell shocked and took their feet off the pedal. And wee Billy could have got us that desperately needed point with a glorious lob which would have been a goal of the season contender if it went in. We actually started playing football as well. Alas too late. And Foran summed up the day – “I'm delighted with the players' performance, believe it or not. I told them they should be proud of themselves, how they handled the occasion.” Well he must have just been watching the last fifteen minutes and had forgotten the deplorable first 45. And then "Individual mistakes have cost us again. The only disappointing part is the second goal. Jones has so much space to run at us. It's a set-piece for us, they break and score - that's schoolboy defending but overall we were the far better team and had far better chances.” – DOH – wrong goal – and we deserved a point and that would have been a bit of a robbery. “We didn't get what we deserved and that was the three points, in my mind. We need to cut out the individual mistakes, it's been the story of the season.” – Yes agree about the individual mistakes and add it has been the story of MY season. Some players do NOT play for you. And then he concludes as a modern day Lazarus – “We need help from other clubs now, simple as that. We need to do our business on Wednesday and Saturday. There is still a chance. It is probably a small chance, but there is a chance." – WTF !! No Smileymometer but here are my conclusions. Esson did OK but that one mistake early doors killed us. Brad was taken apart by Jones, Raven was solid and full of endeavour. Warren was my MOM for clearly giving his all. Laing was quietly effective. Mulraney never got going and Anier never has got going. Draper looked OK in midfield but was lost up front against a very tall Killie central defence. Tansey looks pretty but he is keeping himself for Aberdire. Fisher gave his all but was a fish out of water wide right. Wee Billy never got used and was a waste in the hole role. He is best on the toes of the last defender. Vigurs actually started trying to play football but he is such a lazy *******. Polworth and Cole made no impact. Ah Well it looks like Dumfries will be my ”home” game next season. Killie v ICT Date: 13/05/17 Venue: Rugby Park, Kilmarnock Attendance: 3137 Referee: John Beaton Kilmarnock: 2 Lineup: MacDonald; Hendrie, Dicker, Ajer, Taylor, Smith, Jones, Longstaff, Frizzell, Kiltie (McKenzie, 77), Sammon Subs (not used): Lyle, Osborne, Roberts, Hawkshaw, Graham, Cameron Scorers: Longstaff (17), Jones (57) Booked: Wilson (15), Smith (16) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Esson; Brad Mckay, Laing, Warren, Raven, Draper (Cole, 70), Tansey, Anier (Polworth, 58), Billy Mckay, Mulraney (Vigurs, 46), Fisher Subs (not used): Hoban, McNaughton, Ebbe, McCart Scorers: Fisher (71) Booked: Brad Mckay (15) Sent Off: none a
  15. Rare win for Inverness gives hope. Inverness threw themselves a slender lifeline with a deserved 2-1 win over Hamilton Accies in the relegation scrap at the foot of the table. It was only our second win in twenty-four games and our fourth of the season. This win closes the gap to Accies and Well to four points with only three games left. We should have been out of site by half time and Accies could have had no complaints had we been four or five up at the break. As it was, an early goal from defender Brad Mckay and a penalty by Greg Tansey was all we had to show from numerous attempts. Accies left a bitter sweet taste in the mouth as they notched a goal through Redmond with the last kick of the game as we got ourselves in a fankle. Pity about that but it was a welcome three points that gives us a glimmer of hope and keeps our premiership status alive for another week at least. Full report to follow......... Date: 06/05/17 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2478 Referee: Andrew Dallas Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Esson, Raven, Warren, Draper, Billy Mckay, Mulraney (King 90+2), Tansey, Fisher (Boden 68), Laing, Brad Mckay (McNaughton 90), Anier Subs (not used): Hoban, Horner, McCart, Cole Scorers: Brad Mckay (10), Tansey (pen.36) Booked: Draper (40), Billy Mckay (51), Tansey (54), Boden (74) Sent Off: none Hamilton: 1 Lineup: Matthews, Mcmann, Sarris, Devlin, Skondras, Imrie, Donati (Crawford 46), Docherty (Brophy 82), MacKinnon, D'Acol, Bingham (Redmond 46) Subs (not used): Woods, Gillespie, Templeton, Adams Scorers: Redmond (94) Booked: Donati (35) Sent Off: none a
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. Aberdeen -V- Inverness CT

    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
  19. Another missed opportunity. Inverness passed up another opportunity to steer away from the foot of the table as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Kilmarnock in the Highlands. It was an entertaining enough game and nobody can have any complaints about the scoreline. Brad Mckay gave away a penalty with a rash challenge inside the box to give Bobby Madden no option but to point to the spot. Kris Boyd converted to open the scoring, but six minutes later Billy Mckay swivelled in the box to hit a low shot in off the post the square matters. With no further scoring thanks to both keepers in excellent form, the game ended level, a better point for Killie than it was for the home side. With Iain Vigurs and Carl Tremarco missing, Richie Foran had to re-jig his outfit and went with five defenders and King & Cole as the playmakers. Aberdeen bound Greg Tansey was given a key role to provide the ammunition for the strikers. Killie had Kris Boyd on from the off with the tricky Jordan Jones the wide provider. It was a fairly cagey opening to the game with neither side settling early. Larnell Cole was prominent early on and he drew a good save from Freddie Woodman as he shot from the edge of the box. One contest that was as one sided as David Haye's last bout was Jordan Jones v Brad Mckay. It was a contest that would see the bedraggled Brad kept in the dressing room after the break. Jones enjoyed the freedom of the wing as he tore Brad Mckay a new one time after time. It was his pace and trickery that led to a clumsy lunge by the bold Brad that Mr Madden had the simple task of awarding a penalty. A stonewaller and Kris Boyd fired the penalty low to the keepers right which makes you wonder why Owain dived low to his left. It may have been Mckay that was the baddie, but the real villain of the piece was Billy King who lost the ball just outside our box. Jones forced Fon Williams into action a couple of minutes later as he waltzed across our defence and shot goalwards. We took that one on the chin and pushed for an equaliser and that came six minutes later. The busy Cole fed David Raven on the left and his cross into the box was partly cleared. Billy pounced on the loose ball, brought it under control swiftly, swivelled and rifled his shot across the keeper and in off the post. Ten minutes later and Gerg Tansey hit a long range effort to the keepers left, but it was at a comfortable height and he pushed the ball away from danger at the expense of a corner. Boyd might have done better as he volleyed a cross from the right, but he miscued and the chance went harmlessly wide. Conor Sammon fared slightly better with a header but Fon Williams saved minutes before the break. Half Time 1-1 With Brad Mckay staying in after the break Kevin McNaughton replaced him to good effect, his first real test since his season long injury problem. He certainly steadied the ship and also found time to overlap on the left. Tansey and Billy Mckay both shot wide as we looked to get ahead and Cole made Woodman earn his crust as the keeper dived low to his left to push away his netbound shot. Gary Warren did well as he out sprinted the bulky Boyd and terminated his run on the edge of the box with a well timed tackle, the ageing Killie striker looking like he might benefit from a long ball over the top. Jake Mulraney came on after the hour and spent the rest of the afternoon being fouled. His wing wizardry seeing him beat players with consumate ease but still the final ball eluded him and his strike partners. Some nifty neat footwork by Tansey saw him feed McNaughton who crossed low into the heart of the box. Billy Mckay hit it first time with his left foot from twelve yards but Woodman produced a remarkable reflex save to deny Billy who must have thought he was about to score. Jones and Sean Longstaff brought out the best of Fon Williams, but he pulled of an equally good save as he dived low to his right and got a solid hand on a flashing shot from Callum Roberts as Killie finished the game strongly. Woodman was in the right place to gather a stabbed effort in a six yard box melee and that was our lot. Full Time 1-1 So, a draw it was and no surprise it was a scoring one at that. Plenty of effort from Inverness today but the story of the season was evident again. Not making the most of the chances that came our way and when we ran out of ideas the visitors ended stronger and we were left clinging on somewhat without looking like getting our noses in front. Richie Foran is not the fans favourite just now as we went with five defenders and an isolated Billy Mckay. Brad Mckay was rightly hooked at half time as he was a liability every time Jones confronted him. Kev McNaughton was excellent when he came on though and oozed class, his reading of the game reminiscent of a young Bobby Mann. Mulraney did one piece of magic to earn a corner when he was hemmed in but was the victim of some rough treatment from the Killie defence. Great goal from Billy Mckay to get us the point and a superb display from Fon Williams. I'm giving my vote to Larnell Cole, but there were great contribuions from a handful of players, namely Fon Williams, Raven, Tansey and Billy Mckay. A couple of names not on that list are the pair responsible for the Killie penalty, Brad Mckay and the anonymous Billy King who must have been wearing Vigurs' boots. These draws are hurting us now as we run out of games and many fans are now fearing the worst with Foran looking like he might be incapable of turning this around. Difficult times ahead as Hamilton sent us to the bottom of the league once more with a very late win against St Johnstone. One win in our last eighteen games does not fill me with confidence going into the vital bottom six games. Difficult game coming up at Pittodrie on Tuesday night and the sheep are on fire after burning Dundee on Friday night. That's the most difficult fixture we have left, let's get it out of the way with as little damage as possible then look for some positives in our remaining fixtures. Footage from SPFL website Date: 01/04/17 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2780 Referee: Bobby Madden Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Fon Williams; B.Mckay (McNaughton, 46), Warren, McCart, Raven, Laing, Draper, Tansey, Cole (Polworth 86), King (Mulraney 61), W.Mckay Subs (not used): Esson, Ebbe, Boden, Anier Scorers: W.Mckay (25) Booked: B.Mckay (34) Sent Off: none Kilmarnock: 1 Lineup: Woodman; Wilson, S Boyd, Ayer, Taylor, Dicker, McKenzie (Kiltie 51), Longstaff, Jones (Roberts 78), K Boyd, Sammon Subs (not used): MacDonald, Osborne, Frizzell, Hawkshaw, Innes Scorers: K.Boyd (pen.19) Booked: Dicker (76) Sent Off: none a
  20. Derby Draw Disappoints Inverness The Highland derby ended in a disappointing draw as County came from behind to snatch a point with a late Alex Schalk strike. Greg Tansey's deflected strike just after the break gave Inverness an unexpected lead given the poor first forty-five, but they failed to capitalise on some early second half pressure, Billy Mckay hitting the crossbar as he tried to turn a cross home. County were menacing on the counter and Craig Curran missed a sitter when he headed wide when he should have hit the target. Overall, a draw was just about right although either side could have sneaked all three points. Inverness were dealt a blow before kick-off with the news that pacey winger Jake Mulraney was not fit. The converse for Ross County, with big stopper Andrew Davies given the go ahead to play. Richie Foran seemed to go for a formation that was designed not to concede rather than go for glory. Iain Vigurs started with Ross Draper and Carl Tremarco back after suspension. County had Aaron McCarey between the sticks. The game kicked off on a heavy pitch after Friday's constant rain and it was a cagey opening. Vigurs was looking more involved than he has been of late and he curled a ball that skiffed the top of the bar with the keeper beaten. Good effort with his right foot from twenty yards but he was injured soon after and replaced before the break by Liam Polworth. County were looking the more likely as our lack of width allowed them access to the wide areas and they flashed a couple of dangerous low crosses into the box that just eluded the strikers when a touch would have given them the lead. We were devoid of attacking intent in the first half and getting to the break all square was a bonus. Half Time 0-0 However, we exploded out of the blocks after the interval and Greg Tansey smacked a shot low towards the keepers left after indecision in the visitors ranks. The ball took a wicked deflection off County defender Andrew Davies and wrong footed Aaron McCarey in goal to find the opposite corner. We took the game by the scruff of the neck and minutes later Tansey brought out a good save from McCarey from a free kick wide on the Inverness left, the keeper tipping the ball over the bar. Ross Draper drifted a header back towards goal but it went narrowly over the bar from a deep cross as we tried to extend our lead. Carl Tremarco might feel he should have done better as well when presented with an opportunity to score. Costly misses as it turned out. County broke forward and Curran missed a golden opportunity to level matters. A deep cross found him at the back post all on his own but he contrived to miss the target from just six yards. It was Inverness that were still turning the screw though and Tansey hit a thunderous shot from twenty-five yards that McCarey did well to parry. A foot either side and he would have had no chance of touching it. From the resultant clearance, Inverness burst forward again Henri Anier setting up Billy Mckay but under pressure his close range strike cannoned off the bar, the rebound just evading Carl Tremarco's head before being cleared by a grateful County defence. Fon Williams was eventually called into serious action in the 81'st minute as he tipped over a Milan Lalkovic shot from distance. The warning was not heeded and when we failed to deal properly with a County attack, from the resultant throw in Alex Schalk latched onto the ball in the box, turned and fired high behind Fon Williams to make this feel like a defeat. Still time for substitute Dean Ebbe to try his luck from the edge of the box but his shot leaked to the left of goal and that was about it, game over and a better point for County than it was for Inverness. Full Time 1-1 So, the Highlands belong to Ross County for this season, but there will be one more derby to come and neither club are clear of the threat of relegation yet. It could be a season defining game for either club, What did we learn from that game? County are no better than us, but our poor start to the campaign and two derby losses see us in this predicament and not them. Richie Foran didn't cover himself in glory with his team selection and strategy. No width, no pace, no clean sheet and not killing the game off when we were on top all cost us dear. Why did he not bring on the substitutes earlier? We were crying out for fresh legs to further stretch the overworked visitors defence ten minutes before they equalised. Everyone could see that, County shuffled theirs effectively; we paid the price. Not a great crowd for the most crucial Highland derby ever, but those that were there gave the side plenty of encouragement. Overall, a draw was the most deserving of results. It's not the result we had hoped for but it's not a disaster. We climbed above Accies on goal difference and gained a point on Motherwell. Next game is at home to Kilmarnock and we really need to start turning draws into victories. PerfICT posted his Inverness player ratings on CTO. Can't argue with these really and like most, picked out Greg Tansey as MotM. Fon Williams: 6. Apart from a tip over the bar in the second half, I can't remember him having a save to make. Raven: 8. Had Gardyne in his pocket for most of the game. Excellent. Warren: 6. Not so exposed for pace in the 5 at the back formation, but was skinned by Gardyne a couple of times. McCart: 7. Really starting to show his potential. One absolute crunching tackle in the first half was a joy watch. Laing: 7. Solid all game. Tremarco: 8. Another excellent game from our player of the season. Unlucky not to score in 2nd half. Tansey: 9. Without doubt his best game of the season. Deserved his goal. Draper: 8. Always plays well against County and didn't disappoint. Vigurs: 7. Easily his best performance of the season. Excellent right foot shot that clipped the bar early on and good distribution. Anier: 6. Better from him, but first touch let him down quite often. Mckay: 7. Worked his socks off with fairly poor service. Really unlucky with the shot off the bar that would have killed the game. Polworth: 6. Certainly not his best game, but picked out Tansey for the goal. Also wound Gardyne up, which always deserves credit! Foran: 5. Clearly does not like playing with width up front. Did he miss a trick by not playing Cole and King, or was the formation right to nullify County's attack? Personally, I prefer the 4-2-3-1 formation, with pace out wide, but the players almost made the 3 centre halves formation work. His half time talk certainly did the trick. Referee: 6. Did well to keep his cards in his pocket for most of the game. A couple of penalty appeals for County...think he got those right too. . Full Match Available On Demand Now at http://buff.ly/2nmreVu (Site Registration Required) for only £5. Footage from SPFL website Date: 18/03/17 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 4123 Referee: Crawford Allan Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Fon Williams; Raven, Warren, Laing, McCart, Tremarco, Draper, Tansey, Vigurs (Polworth, 42), Anier (Ebbe, 89), Billy Mckay Subs (not used): Hoban, Brad Mckay, King, Cole, Boden Scorers: Tansey (48) Booked: Tremarco (88) Sent Off: none Ross County: 1 Lineup: McCarey; Gardyne (Lalkovic, 80), Fraser, Davies, van der Weg, Naismith, Boyce, Chow, Routis (O'Brien, 78), Schalk, Curran (Dow, 85) Subs (not used): Foden, Gobern, Tumilty, Dykes. Booked: Naismith Scorers: Schalk (86) Booked: Naismith (52) Sent Off: none a
  21. Gary has the final say. Inverness snatched a draw from the jaws of defeat at Firhill thanks to a last second Gary Warren header. It could prove to be a crucial point for Foran's men as late goals in other games around the country kept us in touch at the foot of the table. Kris Doolan looked to have given a dominant Partick all three points but Warren answered his critics in the best possible fashion. Immortal Howden Ender ventured North to the bistro's and wine bars of Maryhill and has this report for us. Read on. Gary Warren's last-minute, last touch, injury time (offside ) header saved our bacon in Maryhill. Great sliding celebration and 194 Invernessians went ballistic once again. We don't usually have any luck at Firhill but we got dollops of it yesterday. We didn't deserve a point but WTF Kris Doolan's 10th goal of the season looked to have earned Plastic Whistle their fourth straight Premiership win. They actually looked like a good footballing team but more like a Spanish outfit than from the hipster West End of Glesga. But good old Gary Warren nodded home at the far post for the Highlanders, who had a first-half strike from Henri Anier disallowed with Billy Mckay standing offside. We had the first effort of the match when Greg Tansey fired a 25-yard shot wide and he followed that up with 3 or 4 others which all went off target, other than a tame back-pass free kick. But at least he had a go !!. But that was their our only real threat as the Maryhill Magyars totally dominated possession and we either hoofed or gave them the ball back. "Musthavea Walrus look-alike, sound alike" was proving to be a handful and got the home fans MOM. Warren was the man to mark him but he was played wide right of a three man defence !! Early injuries to Abdul Osman and Lawless should have helped us to but feckin didn't. Lawless hadn't even be replaced and they were down to 10 men when Anier produced his only "effort" of the day and we thought that we had stolen an equaliser. But the flag went up for offside against wee Billy. Need to see the highlights BUT if he didn't touch it that would have been mightily harsh. It would have been great to have gone in 1-0 up but 0-0 was undeserved but happy to take it. But in the 56th minute the DOOLAN inevitably put the Whistle ahead and many of us braced ourselves fer a Hamilton away repeat. Thankfully our shaky defence all of a sudden began to look resolute or did the Whistle sit back on their Laurel or Hardy's. And even the shaky Fon Williams looked safer and produced what I can only describe as a "World Cup save" and it probably also saved our season. AND THEN two minutes into the two minute allotted stoppage time Gary Warren rose at the back post (looking suspiciously offside ) to head in the equaliser from Billy King's cross. 194 Invernessians applauded the sliding celebration an "oh, oh Gary Warren filled the Maryhill air and many Plastic Whistle supporters were either on their way oot or had feckin left already. FON WILLIAMS Still looked shaky and I shudder when anything goes at him but his second half performance literally saved our bacon. WARREN Played on the right of a three man defence for ALL of the game. Give me a break but our saviour once again. LAING Did OK in the central position. He, like many others, didn't seem to understand our system but he stood his ground and can only get better. McCART Bet he never witnessed anything like this at Parkdread !! But as with Laing he stood his ground. BRAD MACKAY Played in yet another position - like a right sided wing back. And he got plenty of space and plenty of the ball. He did OK but he simply didn't know how to play in that position. RAVEN Played in the left sided wing back position but he popped up all over the place. What a gut-busting performance. Eat, Sleep, Raven, Repeat - MOM by a feckin country mile. TANSEY Now that was more like the Tansey of old. Like Raven he was clearly motoring at 100%. Only player who looked comfortable on the ball, passed successfully, looked to shoot and very close to MOM. POLWORTH I thought that he put in a lot of effort and was clearly the runner fer Tansey and Vigurs. He did not deserve to be substituted and appears to have become the whipping boy. VIGURS Best footballer in the team - Most skillful player in the squad - One of my faves - BUT if I could have got on to the pitch and past the stewards I would have slapped him. He feckin gave up. DISGRACEFUL and should have been hooked instead of Polworth. But he still managed to get another yellow card !! ANIER Sorry but why did he even start ? He looks like the mercenary that he is. Except he is sticking his head in the feckin sand rather than fighting. BILLY Mckay If there ever was a player to feel sorry for - enuff said !! Took King on in the 62nd minute and played him where ? Answers on a postcard please. Took Cole and Boden on in the 81st minute for the ineffectual Vigurs and Anier. Probably saved us the point and we pressed Whistle. But Cole in central midfield !! Richie Foran said : "It's a huge point today. (No **** Sherlock). I thought it was a very close game (what !!), but we've played against, for me, a top-four side today (what!!) . They are an excellent team, strong aggressive, can pass the ball and have goal scorers (what!!), so it's a big point. I always believed we'd score (what!!) and we've scored a lot of late goals this season. If you put balls in the box you've got a chance (what!! - when!!). It was a great leap [by Gary Warren] and a great finish. It was a good ball hung up by Billy King. "I'm delighted for the players and we're going in now to two home games. Results have gone our way, so it sets it up for a cracking game of football next week against Ross County." OK lets sum up in a nice, positive manner. We got out of the Jail End yesterday. Any of us would have taken a point. Can see the reason for playing 3-5-2 but why not with King and Cole wide ? Or why didn't we change it earlier ? We were terrible for most of the 92 minutes and 33 seconds. With Draper and Tremarco back and getting back to a well worked system then we can get 6 out of 6 points at the Dump. But I don't feel comfortable singing "WE ARE STAYING UP " YET Match footage from SPFL website. will be available soon. Date: 11/03/17 Venue: Firhill Stadium, Glasgow Attendance: 3082 Referee: Willie Collum Partick Th: 1 Lineup: Cerny, Dumbuya, Booth, Lindsay, Osman (Amoo 33), Doolan, Erskine (Elliott 89), Lawless (Azeez 43), Barton, Keown, Edwards Subs (not used): Ridgers, Nisbet, McCarthy, Lamont Scorers: Doolan (56) Booked: Amoo (83) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Fon-Williams, Raven, Warren, Polworth (King 62), Vigurs (Cole 81), McCart, W.McKay, Tansey, Laing, B.McKay, Anier (Boden 81) Subs (not used): Hoban, McNaughton, Ebbe, Fisher Scorers: Warren (92) Booked: Vigurs (21), McCart (45) Sent Off: none a
  22. Fon Williams in Blunderland Cock up keeper Owain Fon Williams was badly at fault as Celtic cruised home 4-0. The keeper who looked to have recovered from a shaky spell earlier in the season gifted Celtic their second goal and was suspect as they scored a third direct from a free kick after failing to cover his near post. I'm afraid he made a difficult job impossible as Celtic took full advantage from his gaffs to run out 4-0 winners. Scott Sinclair scored an excellent opener after riding a couple of challenges on the stroke of half time. Moussa Dembele poked in the second moments after the break after OFW blundered. Stuart Armstrong scored from that free kick and Dembele finished with aplomb as Celtic clinically hit on the counter. The result was never in doubt, but the manner in which we gifted goals was difficult to take and it undid the good work of the last couple of games. Another big away support filled the South Stand as Celtic kicked off playing towards the bridge end where a noisy and spirited young team took up residence and backed the home side who would be facing a difficult task. The first half was void of any real chances, neither keeper being forced into anything too difficult and maybe that was a good thing as events would unfold. Billy Mckay tried his luck with a low effort that Craig Gordon gathered easily after Billy King linked with Mckay and fed him on the edge of the box. It was a resilient display by Inverness, but just when we thought it was safe to go for the half-time cuppa, Scott Sinclair scored a superb goal. He appeared to be fouled by Draper as he made his way across the edge of our box but he stayed on his feet and rode another challenge before curling a shot beyond the outstretched Fon Williams to bring the first half to a dramatic close, The pressure had been mounting but up to that point we were well in the game without causing too much problems for the visitors. Half Time 0-1 We kicked off the second period and within twelve seconds shot ourselves in the foot. From the kick off the ball went backwards, and when Gary Warren decided to put it all the way back to his keeper there seemed little danger. However Fon Williams miskicked the ball, only succeeding in slicing the ball into the path of Moussa Dembele five yards in front of him. He chipped the ball up in the air and prodded it into the empty net with our blundering keeper lying on the deck looking on. It looked as though that goal sucked the energy and determination right out of the home players and from there on in it was one way traffic. Celtic don't usually need gifts, but when they are presented to them on a plate, it would have been rude not to accept it. Moments later the keeper made amends when he stopped a close range effort on his line but, alas, the damage had been done. Dembele and his strike partner Sinclair were causing problems with their sheer pace, skill levels and movement and from one burst by Dembele he left defenders in his wake before setting up Sinclair who blasted just over. His next thrust saw Celtic win a free kick just wide of the angle of our penalty box. Cross anticipated by all apart from Stuart Armstrong who hit the ball well and it ended up in Fon Williams' net at his near post. More shambolic keeping from the Welsh international who did not cover himself in glory. Cheap goal to lose and Celtic well on top. Liam Polworth woke from his slumber and fired a loose ball on target with a volley but Gordon was equal to it and tipped it over for a corner. That was the nearest we came to scoring whilst Celtic carved out another half dozen chances. The final goal came when Billy King ran out of ideas at the Celtic end, loss possession and when Tierney cracked a long ball forward, Dembele left everyone in his wake before dinking the ball over Fon Williams and into the empty net. Quality goal from a quality player. Full Time 0-4 Celtic were good value for their win with Dembele and Sinclair outstanding. Tierney is one of the hottest prospects around and the whole team oozes class from back to front and right through the bench as well. It's difficult for any team to match them at the moment, but we did just that in a keenly contested first half. However the wheels fell off with the errors and the desire to compete visibly ebbed from the players. No disgrace losing to the best Celtic team for years, but disappointing that we contributed to our own downfall after a promising first forty-five. With that game out of the way, Foran needs to lift the squad for the last eleven games with the Aberdeen one looking like the toughest fixture left. Mind you, in our position at the bottom, they are all tough. Richie Foran was as scathing of his side as any of the fans. Caley boss Richie Foran: "It's extremely disappointing. We lacked courage on the ball, we lacked belief on the ball. I'm not even sure Celtic got out of second gear. We never got going. "I find it hard to think of a player that did well. The whole 11 lacked courage. Off the ball we were OK; on the ball we didn't want to pass forward and take responsibility. "On the counter we had the ability but we didn't have the belief to go with it. It doesn't matter how good Celtic were. We had opportunities to play and get forward but we didn't fancy it. "The second goal was comical. It's embarrassing. But we were poor all over the park. At least three of the goals we conceded were avoidable." tm4tj MotM. Not one Inverness player deserved to be nominated apart from Ross Draper who tried his best. The sponsors MotM went to Polworth. Having a laugh maybe, but the real MotM goes to the young team who tried to drum up support as they waved their flags, sang, jumped around and got right behind the team for the full 93 minutes. Well done lads, it's a pity the team don't have your energy and enthusiasm at the moment. Look away now if you are easily upset............. Date: 01/03/17 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 5948 Referee: Andrew Dallas Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Fon Williams, Raven, Laing, Warren, B.McKay, Polworth, Draper, Tansey, King, W.Mckay (Anier 81), Cole (Vigurs 64) Subs (not used): Hoban, McNaughton, Ebbe, Boden, Fisher Scorers: none Booked: Laing (65) Sent Off: none Celtic: 4 Lineup: Gordon, Lustig, Sviatchenko, Boyata, Tierney, Bitton, Brown (Henderson 78), Armstrong, Mackay-Steven (McGregor 69), Sinclair, Dembele Subs (not used): de Vries, Toure, Izaguirre, Gamboa, Griffiths. Scorers: Sinclair (43), Dembele (46, 73), Armstrong (66) Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  23. Stunning victory Inverness Caledonian Thistle ended their fourteen league game winless streak with a glorious win over Rangers thanks to a spectacular goal from Billy Mckay. In a pulsating game Greg Tansey had smacked home the opener in the first period. Martin Waghorn showed how to take a penalty as Rangers leveled from the spot but Iain Vigurs could not replicate that later in the game, Wes Fodderingham saving comfortably, but he was left sprawling helplessly when Billy scored his stunning acrobatic winner in the last minute of normal time. The hairs on the back of my neck are still standing. This win lifted Inverness off the bottom of the league for now with Hamilton playing Celtic on Saturday. What a climax to the 1000th game in our history! Richie Foran made a bold statement showing faith in the players that worked so hard to get a point at Tynecastle last weekend. Gary Warren, Brad Mckay and Iain Vigurs all started on the bench with youngster Jamie McCart and Louis Laing keeping their place in defence. Liam Polworth started with Larnell Cole and Jake Mulraney providing the service for the striker. The visitors had no surprises in their line-up and were looking to get back to winning ways having only one win in their previous six games and a big crowd were backing them to sort it in the Highlands. It looked like it was going to be a long night for Foran's side as Rangers flew out of the blocks and put Inverness on the back foot for the first ten minutes with slick incisive passing and swift play as they cut the hosts open three or four times during that period. However we are more resilient of late and repelled these attacks with Owain Fon Williams saving twice in quick succession as Kenny Miller bore down on goal after a quick throw in caught us napping, also saving the rebound as Emerson Hyndman shot low and hard. He kept out a Barry McKay effort as well as we were pinned in our own half during a torrid opening period. Three corners in as many minutes bore no fruit for the visitors before we eventually ventured forth. Fifteen minutes in and it looked even bleaker for Inverness as Carl Tremarco had to be replaced by Brad Mckay and Foran had to re-shuffle his under pressure back line. Jake Mulraney had our first attempt but the keeper dealt with his effort as we got to grips with the game and half an hour in Greg Tansey shot narrowly wide. He would do better just before the break. Barry McKay should have done better with a close range header but he got under the ball and it sailed over the bar. A let off for Inverness and we retaliated with Liam Polworth going close, as did Martyn Waghorn at the other end. One minute before the interval, Inverness took the lead in spectacular style. Greg Tansey latched onto a loose ball some thirty yards out after a Polworth shot was blocked. He crashed a low swerving shot to the keepers right and despite a headlong dive from Foderingham the ball fizzed into the bottom corner for a tremendous goal. Still time for Miller to try his luck but at the break it was advantage Inverness. Half Time 1-0 The end to end play continued after the break with Inverness looking comfortable as Rangers struggled to make the breakthrough. Barry McKay saw an effort tipped over by a confident Fon Williams as the pressure mounted on the hard working home defence and Joe Toral went very close with a shot across goal that just rolled past the far post. You could sense a goal was coming and it did. Louis Laing was adjudged to have been late with a tackle on Lee Wallace on the far side of the box as he crossed the ball and Waghorn made penalty taking look easy, Fon Williams going right, the ball flashing to his left on it's way into the net. Jake Mulraney had the Rangers defenders on toast all night but he had to leave the field after stretching for a wayward pass. Needless moment that ended his day and the home fans feared the worst as Billy King replaced him. Tansey almost put Inverness ahead once more after good play down the left by Larnell Cole set up the chance for a shot. His strike looked destined for the top corner but Foderingham pulled off a fantastic one handed save to keep the scores level. Great stop from the keeper. Rangers broke at the other end and Inverness had Fon Williams to thank after he denied Waghorn when he had raced clear into the left side of the box but the keeper stood tall and blocked his shot and the ball stuck as well. Bonus! The pace of the game was unrelenting and a really slick move by Rangers inside the Inverness area ended with a shot blocked inside the six yard box. Frenetic stuff and Billy Mckay forced Foderingham into action again as he shot from an angle inside the visitors box, the keeper up to the task this time getting two strong hands on the ball to push it away from goal after Billy had twisted and turned to create the space for a shot. Billy Mckay was causing all sorts of problems for the Rangers defence with his darting runs and magnificent ball retention and it was another such run that saw him bundled over inside the box. Penalty to Inverness but who would take this one as our success rate from the spot has been poor recently. Substitute Iain Vigurs had the balls to step up but his rather tame shot was comfortably saved low to his left by the keeper. Meh! However, the darting Mckay would not be denied and he scored a stunner to win all three points as the clock ticked down. There seemed little danger when a Larnell Cole cross was knocked high in the air by a defender. However, we are talking about the tenacious Billy Mckay here. Despite being surrounded by three big Bears, he held off the defenders before sending a controlled overhead kick into the corner of the net from ten yards. Wow, a stunning goal fit to win any game and the reaction from manager Richie Foran was a joy to behold, double fist pumps along the touchline as he, the fans and Caley Thistle players rejoiced in style. Still time for Jason Holt to fire a cross into the body of Iain Vigurs with the away fans rising as one to claim for a penalty but that would have been harsh as Vigurs blocked the ball at the expense of a corner, and that was it, game over and a fabulous welcome win for Inverness. Full Time 2-1 Oh boy, what a pulsating game that was and a fitting tribute for the 1000th competitive match for Inverness Caledonian Thistle. You could see what that victory meant to the under pressure manager Richie Foran as his players put in a shift and a half to earn the right to wear the shirt. Fantastic effort from all and let's not forget the part Rangers played in this enthralling encounter. They also displayed some slick football, but with both keepers in excellent form it was Inverness that wrote another slice of history in this landmark game. tm4tj MotM. So many excellent performers out there. Owain Fon Williams has rediscovered how to keep the ball out of the net. A strong display by an overworked defence and a huge effort by the midfield with Tansey outstanding. Jake Mulraney was menacing once we ventured up the park and Larnell Cole did likewise on the other side and seemed to get a second or third wind late in the game to make some lung bursting runs. Great effort. My MotM goes to a wee striker, and not just for his sublime acrobatic goal. Billy (small 'k') Mckay was tremendous and involved in everything when we broke upfield. He is definitely more energetic than the Duracell Bunny and he ran himself to a standstill, as did most of our players tonight. Special mention to Richie Foran. He has been on the receiving end of some tough criticism, but he was absolutely ecstatic tonight and showed some managerial credentials by leaving his experienced players on the bench and went with youth and energy. It paid off big time. Theresa May, Queen Elizabeth, Winston Churchill, Angela Merkel........................your boys took a helluva beating tonight! Check out Richie releasing his pent up frustration after Billy scores his stunner. Here is the rest of the action from the SPFL website Inverness CT 2-1 Rangers And, last but not least, Immortal Howden Ender has put down his legendary smileymometer ratings giving Tansey top marks from his viewing point on his sofa.. SEVCO SMILEYMOMETER FON WILLIAMS : Not wholly assured and I would guess at 80% fit. I still get nervous about / for him. But that performance can only be "confidence medicine". RAVEN : Eat, Sleep, Raven, Repeat - He plays on the right, he plays on the left. Lets just say that he pulled back the years last night. TREMARCO : Hope that the injury is short term - Big, big player for us this season. BRAD McKAY : Literally thrown in at the deep end. Sound if not spectacular LAING : : Lack of match time and fitness showed at times last night but held firm as the Sevco tide threatened. Needless challenge for the penalty and a needless yellow card (although he can afford them !!) McCART : Joint MOM for me. At Tynie he looked "green" and needed the support and guidance of Laing. Last night it was the opposite. Memories of a young Warren. Perhaps it was the Parkhead factor !! DRAPER : Now that was a captains' performance. Hope that the substitution was pre-planned and not due to an injury. Ran his socks off and won almost everything in the air and on the ground, especially from dead ball situations. TANSEY : MOM too. Much maligned by many this season, especially me, but that is two fine performances in a row. Busy, looking for the ball and picking out passes. He benefits from the cover from Draper and Polworth, the width of two wingers and the running of Mckay - but he has always been a "footballer". May be tad cruel but he may also be influenced by the new look Foran and the fact that Aberdire are more interested in Christie. Now really playing for his starting place like all the others. Could not believe that he didn't grab the penalty. And yet another yellow - for "clumsiness" - Paul Scholes timed a tackle better. POLWORTH : ; Another benefitting from being played where he enjoys and where he is most effective. Must have ran miles more than anyone else in the last two games but also a ball player when needed. Another beginning to really play for the shirt and his manager. Needs to learn how to win penalties though !! VIGURS : : WHY was he allowed to take the penalty ? Was it pre-planned ? Did wee Billy and Tansey bottle it ? MULRANEY : : IF he had been more direct and confident from the off he would have totally murdered Wallace. A lad who appears to have confidence issues but that should be a confident booster. Play wide and attack, attack, attack son. Fell out of the game because we were on the back foot but kept tracking back. Shades of a young Barry Robson. COLE : : Just did not get in to the game and overshadowed by Mulraney who was getting all the midfield service. Another who could be more direct. Mckay : : Much improvement in his running off the ball and hold-up play. A born poacher and goalscorer. He scores when he wants FORAN : : Brave, brave selection but overdue and (sorry) but not rocket science. Has taken him 2/3rd of a season to have a "realisation" epiphany - whilst previous being somebody who rhymes with epiphany. That was the "old" Richie Foran on the sidelines. Keep being nasty, keep being aggressive - You are the feckin boss and not one of the feckin boys. Some of his post-match comments : I thought our moment was gone with missing the penalty," admitted Foran ; The boys showed big, big character against a really good side. They [Rangers] have been written off, they're getting criticised from every angle. They're a good side with good players and that's a huge result for us. "I always thought we were a threat in the final third. I knew we'd get a chance again. "I wasn't sure if we'd get a chance after the penalty but that's why you've got Billy Mckay in your team. He can score out of nothing. If you want to have a successful season, you need a striker like that." And as for the future : "We can go on a run," said Foran. "Maybe it's going to be perfect timing for that run, coming to the end of the season ; "Go and win games, go on your run, go eight, nine unbeaten, we can get in that top six." - Shut the feck up Richie. We win one game, against a team in turmoil, and we are Top Six Again - give me a break. It is easy to lift yourself against the top teams and on the gogglebox - the proof rests in going to Firhill and get three points, the trick is to win the Highland Derby and to take another three at home against a struggling but unpredictable Kilmarnock. Cellic up next is a hiding to nothing and to finish : Date: 24/02/17 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 6415 Referee: Steven McLean Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Fon Williams, Raven, Tremarco (B.Mckay 15), Polworth, Draper (Vigurs 80), McCart, W.Mckay, Mulraney (King 69), Tansey, Laing, Cole Subs (not used): Hoban, Warren, Ebbe, Anier Scorers: Tansey (45), Mckay (89) Booked: Laing (56), Tansey (66) Sent Off: none Rangers: 1 Lineup: Foderingham, Tavernier, Kiernan, Wallace, Wilson, Toral (Garner 92), Miller, McKay, Halliday (Holt 80), Hyndman, Waghorn Subs (not used): Alnwick, Windass, Dodoo, Forrester, Hodson Scorers: Waghorn (pen.67) Booked: Toral (14), Wilson (86) Sent Off: none a
  24. Still life left in Foran's squad. Inverness managed a battling 1-1 draw with Hearts at Tynecastle to show the supporters that their season is not over yet. Carl Tremarco scored with a powerful header to give the Highlanders a first half lead but Arnaud Djoum leveled matters just after the hour. Neither side could make the breakthrough after that as Inverness defended in depth to ensure they took a welcome point back North. Richie Foran's depleted squad fought well considering he had to start without the suspended Gary Warren, Brad Mckay and villain of the piece Iain Vigurs. With Josh Meekings injured that meant a start for new signing Louis Laing and young Celtic loanee Jamie McCart. Immortal Howden Ender was watching from afar and has this TV report for us........ Ní raibh mé ann. Tá mé numpty. Bhreathnaigh mé ar an buaicphointí ar BBC Alba. Toirtíní Jam versus Inbhir Nis. It will be interesting to see how a report from watching on the big screen compares with views from the Gorgie Road Terraces. Only difference to me was that I did not frequent Diggars before the game but at least with a 23.00 start I was probably just as drunk as I would have been at 15.00. For once the comments of the two managers probably very accurately summed up the whole game for me. Many people have criticised Ian Cathro and suggested that he has little idea of the game. But he commented - "[Inverness] worked very, very hard. They stayed strong, they stayed compact and they gave us some difficulties in breaking them down. "However, I think we have dominated the game and we have created enough chances to win one-and-a-half games. Ultimately we suffered the frustrations of having perhaps not been clinical enough when those opportunities arise and defending the set play properly in the first-half. "It's not great (the pitch). Of course it adds another level of difficulty but it is a situation we need to manage with and deal with collectively." Now who would have thought that we would have been described as a hard working outfit - compact - hard to break down But we were, we feckin were. Richie Foran added - That was the old Inverness today I thought. Going forward we have been fine this season, going back we have been lazy. We haven't had enough fight - the fight was there today, that's for sure. "The boys are flat out on their feet and I think it's a deserved point. They've hit the post, we've hit the post. We looked dangerous on the counter-attack, they looked dangerous on the counter. "It wasn't a pitch to play football on. There were a lot of long balls. The most pleasing part was our going back up the park, our spirit, our work-rate. That was the old Inverness." That was more like the old Inverness today but we still have a lot of work to be done. The team today was selected out of need not design. Lets hope we learned some valuable lessons and lets hope that reality sets in. Yes The boys are flat out on their feet and that should be the comment every week but it sadly hasn't. The pitch was horrendous and more suited to an Edinburgh Sunday Football setting but it is the same for both teams - although it probably went more in our favour. Yes - one of the most pleasing aspects was our going back up the park, our spirit, our work-rate. Again that was more like the old Inverness." Only misquote may be the "that's for sure" as I am sure that it would have been "to be sure". Poor OFW has had a lot of stick recently. I still suspect that our Da Vinci has been painting with a dodgy easel. Did the close up clip of his visage after the penalty not paint a fine picture. He looked more composed yesterday and more lithe. He made a couple of other good saves. That can only have gone some way to mend his fractured confidence. Who would have ever thought that our central defence pairing would be Laing and McCart. They looked strong enough. Laing was evidently not match fit but to me his experience and apparent pace steadied the inexperienced McCart who is definitely a "green" prospect. I can see Laing keeping his place against the team who may still be managed by Warburton. I can see him being paired with Gary Warren. That is an experienced pairing, both know the central defending role and Laing's pace may suit Warren.I feel that Gary has been playing too deep in recent games, almost in the old "sweeper" role. He can now relinquish that to Laing who appears more Meekings-esque. I was not at all surprised by the steady performance of Tremarco but Raven stood out as well. There just appeared to be a more compact and high line feel. Tremarco was left unmarked for the goal. That was probably because of his size but Cathro had not done his homework as we know how effective Carl can be in that position. Will Raven keep his place against the team who may still be managed by Warburton? Personally I would take back in Brad McKay but that is not a reflection on the Scouse legends performance at Tynie. The only blot on the defensive copybook was bookings for both full-backs. Bookings that we simply can not afford. What a joy to see Draper and Tansey playing in more favoured roles. I have always alluded that they can not play together in midfield but they appeared to both have been given roles that suited them. Draper as the destroyer with release to go forward and Tansey as the creator. I thought that Tansey had his best game of the season. He was one who ran his socks off, wanting the ball and that has not always been the case. I am afraid that Vigurs will be the sacrifice against the team who may still be managed by Warburton. He may be the "footballer" in our squad but we need workers and, on song, Draper and Tansey are as good as any pairing in Scotland. Polworth surprised me. To me he was given the "chaser" role, almost "in the hole" but in a very defensive manner. He was effective enough but to me wasted. He did however also allow Draper to move forward. We have several players who could do that better. I would put Anier in that role the team who may still be managed by Warburton. He does not look like an out and out forward to me. He is a runner, he is a chaser but he is also more adept at linking with Mckay and could be a real threat in the hole. Playing Cole and Mulraney wide was another acceptable strategy. But did they play wide enough? Did they penetrate deeply enough? I suppose that given our position and the occasion that this was sacrificed to flood the midfield. Mulraney looks more of a finished version than Cole. I am puzzled as to why Doran has not got a run in the team. I would be playing Mulraney and Cole against the team who may still be managed by Warburton. And then we come to wee Billy. Has he learned from his Englandshire experience or not. He always was a clever "mover" but that skill has clearly been enhanced. There was no other option than to play him up front there by himself. That should be different when we are playing at El Dumpo. The only away fixture left that we may have to consider that is at Aberdire. I am really looking forward to seeing him the team who may still be managed by Warburton. As for the actual game it was probably thankful that we scored first. Tansey delivered his "usual" dead ball service and Tremarco surprised the Jam Tarts with a great header at the far post. Bjorn Again then came close when he clipped the bar but it was always going over. It must have been hard to "bear" for him !! Struan then produced a fine save from OFW and the bustling, clumsy Goncalvez missed a bit of a sitter. If he eats more Pie suppers he could end up like Akinfenwa. In the second half they took on Walker, probably looking for more width and a better service. The Akinfenwa lookalike missed another chance but then they threw the Kitchen sink at us and Perry found Djoum who equalised. That will probably just about be his finest moment other than winning the African Cup of Nations. And we really could have stole three points if Draper had put more meat on a header. And then you sensed that our bad luck had sank in once again and was destined to break our hearts. But OFW broke Hearts hearts. It was not a badly struck penalty but OFW chose correctly and pulled off a fine save. That must have boosted everybody. Was a draw a fair result? I thought that it was. The pitch was a leveller, the Jam Tart final product had a soggy bottom, they had a lot more shots on and off target, they missed a penalty but for once we rode our luck and IMHO deservedly so. Lets end with the picture of the day and a fitting tribute to the Man of The Match SPFL website Hearts v Inverness CT Date: 18/02/17 Venue: Tynecastle Stadium, Edinburgh Attendance: 16372 Referee: Bobby Madden Hearts: 1 Lineup: Struna, Hughes, Avlonitis, Sowah, Djoum, Kitchen (Martin, 77), Tziolis, Choulay (Currie, 62), Johnsen (Walker, 49), Goncalves Subs (not used): Noring, Nicholson, Nowak, Smith Scorers: Djoum (64) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Fon Williams; Raven, McCart, Laing, Tremarco, Draper, Mulraney (Doran, 62), Tansey, Polworth, Cole, Mckay (Anier, 80) Subs (not used): Hoban, Ebbe, Fisher, Boden, Gilchrist Scorers: Tremarco (24) Booked: Tremarco (15), Mulraney (36), Raven (38) Sent Off: none a
  25. Bottlers battle back Richie Foran branded his team bottlers after the crushing defeat at Hamilton in midweek but they fought back from the brink to get a deserved draw against Dundee. The Dee were cruising at the break two goals to the good when Inverness showed some of the bottle that manager Richie Foran was looking for despite passing up on a second penalty opportunity. Marcus Haber and Darren O'Dea had given Dundee a scarcely deserved lead at the interval but Billy Mckay notched his first goal on his return from the spot. Unfortunately he failed with a second penalty effort but was involved in the equaliser when Bain blocked his attempt only for Greg Tansey to follow up and knock the ball home. A lively encounter with both sides having plenty chances but at the end of play it was a point each. Under fire manager Richie Foran made a few changes after his side slumped badly at Hamilton. Dropping to the bench were Welsh international Owain Fon Williams who has been culpable over the last couple of months, defender Brad Mckay and midfielders Liam Polworth and Larnell Cole. Ryan Esson made his first start of the season and David Raven was the right back. New recruit Jamie McCart from Celtic started alongside Gary Warren at the heart of the defence and Billy King returned to the wide midfield. Billy Mckay made a welcome return to Inverness two years after his departure and he was partnered up front by Henri Anier. Dundee came North with a trio of former Inverness players but they all stayed on the bench with Henrik Ojamaa making his debut for the Dee. Kevin Holt and Darren O'Dea returned after suspension to bolster Paul Hartley's squad. The Inverness side were smarting after being branded bottlers in midweek and there was a freshness about them as they started briskly. Carl Tremarco was unlucky in the sixth minute as he turned a cross onto the junction of post and bar with his head after a cross from the left. Dundee were not idle though and Marcus Haber was making a nuisance of himself with his power as he headed wide and Paul McGowan, Mark O'hara and Tom Hately all shot wide in quick succession as the Dark Blues came more into the game before Henri Anier tested Scott Bain in goal. Esson did likewise from McGowan at the other end. It was a lively affair and Greg Tansey drew a save from Bain as Inverness looked to get on the scoresheet, but in the 37th minute the visitors took the lead when Haber headed home a cross from Cameron Kerr. A bit harsh on Inverness, but worse was to follow. Two minutes before the break our defensive frailties were exposed again when O'Dea headed in number two. That hurt given our bright opening to the game. Just before the break Gary Warren headed just wide as our winless run looked set to continue. Half Time 0-2 Harsh words must have been spoken at the break and Iain Vigurs hit a post with a free kick five minutes in and Bain made another save from Vigurs moments later. Julen Etxabeguren was adjudged to have fouled Billy Mckay after a corner and it was Mckay himself who took the kick. Never the greatest penalty taker, Billy had the balls to take this one and he managed to put the ball down the middle with Bain stretching out a leg in vain, the ball just missing his studs on it's way into the net. Lifeline! McGowan should have restored the two goal advantage but shot wide from a tremendous position inside the box and Ojamaa almost nicked one from close range but David Raven popped up on the line to scoop clear. Dundee were hitting well on the break and looked dangerous when sweeping forward. Inverness were still having the bulk of the play and Etxabeguren tried his best to help out again, conceding another penalty. This brought about a fit of rage from McGowan who could not believe his stupidity. Undaunted, Billy felt he could cope with a second one and stepped up again. Strange, considering he was not the sharpest of penalty takers first time round and this time Bain came out on top saving his weak effort. Ross Draper saw a shot and follow up header saved as we turned the screw and showed plenty of determination to overcome adversity. Our persistence paid off when a Billy Mckay shot was saved well by Bain, but the ball fell to Tansey on the edge of the box and he buried the ball with precision and power. Game on! The final ten minutes were played out without further scoring, both sides fairly content with holding on to what they had, and that's not a criticism, it was for the best after what had gone on before. Full Time 2-2 Richie looked for a reaction and he got one. We still conceded goals, but instead of crumbling, we came out fighting and a draw was no more than we deserved, so full marks to the guys for not capitulating like they did at Hamilton and at least giving it a go. MotM is a toss up between a pair of Billy's. Mckay and King did well and look as though they could build a good understanding. As opposed to some weeks, it was encouraging to see more than one player stand out and there were interesting cameo's all over the park. We are still vulnerable at the back, but that is also understandable with the enforced changes and new players slotting in. Jamie McCart will only get better with games. An altogether much more positive outlook than there was after the Hamilton abyss. Only downside was that we failed to gain ground on the others at the bottom, although the signs are there that we are not relegated yet. Date: 04/02/17 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2606 Referee: Nick Walsh Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Esson, Raven, Tremarco, Warren, Draper, Vigurs (Polworth 86), McCart, Billy McKay, Tansey, King (Mulraney 85), Anier Subs (not used): Fon Williams, Ebbe, Boden, Brad Mckay, Cole Scorers: Billy Mckay (pen.53), Tansey (79) Booked: Billy Mckay (58), Tremarco (75) Sent Off: none Dundee: 2 Lineup: Bain, Holt, O'Hara, O'Dea, Hateley (Klok 84), Extabeguren, McGowan, Haber, Ojaama (El Bahktaoui 86), Kerr, Gomis Subs (not used): Mitchell, Vincent, WIlliams, Ross, Wighton. Scorers: Haber (37), O'Dea (43) Booked: O'Dea (48), Extabeguren (52), McGowan (63) Sent Off: none a