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  1. Yesterday
  2. TheMantis

    Rendall's Rambles

    Great blog James. So with @Renegade and myself, that's 3 devotees of Faroese football on CTO.
  3. Last week
  4. The Final installment GAME OFF! Another local derby coming up on Friday night with BBC Scotland getting in on the action from the Caledonian Stadium with Ross County the visitors for a 7:05pm kick off. It's the 6th and final Highland derby this season and every one of these games has been passionate, enthralling, dramatic and left the fans wanting more. Well, it's here, the next installment. There has been a pitch inspection asked for ahead of this game at 12:30 today after a week of constant rain has left the pitch the worse for wear. Here you can see a touch of dampness around the goalmouth which has affected the bounce of the ball...... AND IT'S GAME OFF. Our last game was a rewarding away fixture at Dumfries where we held Queen of the South at bay in the second half after we had come out of the blocks flying before the interval. Goals from Aaron Doran and Brad Mckay gave us a platform to build on but that never happened so we consolidated and kept Queens out with Mark Ridgers performing heroics in a challenging second half. That win was only good enough to keep us in fifth place with Dunfermline also winning to hold onto fourth position. Our Championship form has been somewhat patchy and that is why we have dropped out of the top four with Pars on a run akin to County's surge. Ross County have all but won the Championship and the teams below them are all playing for either a play-off place or relegation avoidance. A 2-0 home win over Morton at the weekend put them further ahead of second place Dundee United. Second half goals from Josh Mullin and Brian Graham secured the points. County faced a resurgent Falkirk on Tuesday night and raced into a 2-0 lead after twenty minutes with Brian Graham and Keith Watson both scoring headers. A late Falkirk penalty and Grivosti sending off made for a tense finale but County held on for all three points. That midweek victory over Falkirk gives County six wins on the bounce in the Championship. They have now opened up an eleven point gap to second placed Dundee United. Add to that, a win at Motherwell in the Scottish Cup and a couple of draws with us as well as a Challenge Cup win over East Fife, then it's easy to see why they are heading back to the Premiership. Their last league defeat was a 4-0 thrashing at Palmerston in mid-January. Our squad has been at the thin edge of the wedge recently with injuries to Kevin McHattie, Tom Walsh and Anthony McDonald. That has meant moving players around within our first choice squad. Joe Chalmers is one player who has benefited from his latest role coming in from the right and on to his sweet left foot as displayed by his stunning strike against Dundee United in the cup. County's depth of squad will not present them with any major issues as they sprint for the Championship tape. Billy Mckay is out for the rest of the season after breaking his arm whilst scoring a hat-trick against Ayr United recently. Mckay had scored 20 goals this season for County and was in fine form. He also won the Championship player of the month whilst wristing up with his stookie. Good luck with the recovery Billy. Iain Vigurs has been out for a few weeks and Tom Grivosti will be suspended. Callum Semple is a good bet to be in the squad. His gambling activities have been brought to the attention of the governing bodies and he will face a disciplinary hearing on March 28th. Street fighting, gambling, managers banned, inappropriate dressing room behaviour............It's all going down in Dingwall. There'll be a Netflix documentary out soon! Here's Polly looking ahead to tonight's game Good news is on short supply from the club at the moment, but here's some. Daniel McKay has penned a new three year deal at Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Daniel is one of the hot properties in the Scotland youth set-up and as John Robertson acknowledged on the Official Site he is a tremendous prospect. Robertson said: “Negotiations kicked in after he played his 25th game for the club. We’ve sat down with his agent and his parents to negotiate a new three year deal which will see Daniel continue to play his football in the Highlands.” “It’s another step which shows the youngsters are in our thoughts. It’s been an unlucky season for Dan, he’s picked up a lot of small injuries and he’s struggling a bit with a strain in his knee right now but hopefully this will give him a boost.” “He will be involved between now and the end of the season, and we hope he can kick on because we feel he is a tremendous prospect for the future.”
  5. Earlier
  6. Doonhamers Hammered Doon John Robertson was without the injured Tom Walsh, Anthony McDonald and Kevin McHattie. The bench was thin, with youngsters Millar Gamble and Fraser Russell in the squad. A win for Inverness could put us back into the top four. Queen of the South went into this one on the back of six straight Championship defeats, and that was reflected in the poor crowd and you could see why they had been struggling of late. They fell behind after only seven minutes when Aaron Doran intercepted and scored. B Mckay muscled in at a corner to get the second goal after twenty minutes. Queens had a go after the break and Mark Ridgers had to be at his best to deny Dobbie and Dykes as the hosts threatened to get back into the game. The big keeper pulled off a hatful of brilliant saves to keep Queens at bay as we seemed content to hold what we had. Jordan White almost made it three but was denied by Leighfield in goal with five minutes left and the game just ran away from Queens as it finished 0-2 for Inverness. With Dunfermline also winning, we remain fifth in the league. RIG was in the away day crowd and here are his thoughts on the game............ Easy win yesterday. Despite Queens being on a bad run I still expected us to stumble a bit here so it was a nice surprise to see us easily secure the three points save for a pretty shoddy opening to the second half. Very well taken goal by Doran to open the scoring. I see some reports have stated it was a poor backpass but I thought it was an overhit through ball from one of our players (clearly I wasn't paying that much attention). Anyway, Doran did well to get onto it and round the keeper before finishing well from a pretty tight angle. I thought he might have taken it too wide but he did well to squeeze it in (ooooer). Mckay got the second when he met a corner and found the net via a big deflection off his marker. We should have had a third goal when Polworth saw his shot turned wide and then from his corner McCart (I think) headed against the bar and White shot over. Queens seldom threatened but they were much better after the break and we were fortunate not to concede at least one goal with Ridgers denying Dobbie, Dykes and then Dobbie again as we struggled to get going again. Gone was the nice crisp passing play replaced by hurried balls lumped forward to no one in particular. Only Doran seemed to have the intelligence to try and get the ball down on the ground and start knocking it about again. Once we did that we started to gain a foothold and should have extended our lead when Welsh and the Polworth again shot wide from distance. Great performances from the likes of Doran, Polworth, McCart and Tremarco. Ridgers didn't have too much to do in the first half but made three terrific saves to maintain our two goal lead in the second. Had one of those gone in who knows what might have happened. Caley Stan pretty much agreed with RIG.............. That was very comfortable in the end, a strange feeling. We came flying out of the blocks and maintained a really high intensity for the whole of the first half - Queens had chances on the break but we could easily have put the game to bed before half time. They had a period of pressure after half-time, Dobbie got a few shots away and Ridgers made a number of decent saves. Then came the most pleasing aspect of the performance, the thing that's been missing from our season - we kept the head and saw the game out calmly. Some more positives: - Doran, Polworth and Welsh really trust each other with the ball, they're happy to play it to each other in difficult areas and we're so much more creative as a result. - Trafford and White, two of our most maligned players, are looking increasingly comfortable in their roles, they're playing out of their skins and the fans are responding. Trafford actually looks alright next to Welsh's calming influence. - Rooney came on and played where Chalmers was - it's clear that he's an option up there. Here's the long awaited footage from QotS TV............. Here's Robbo..................... And an under pressure Gary Naysmith...................... Date: 09/03/2019 Venue: Palmerston Attendance: 1066 Referee: David Munro Queen of the South: 0 Lineup: Martin (Leighfield 45), Mercer, Fordyce, Brownlie, Doyle, Stirling, Jacobs, Aird (Murray 76), Wilson (McGrath 76), Dobbie, Dykes Subs (not used): Williams, Maguire. Scorers: none Booked: Aird (43), Wilson (76), Doyle (83). Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Trafford (Rooney 84), Polworth, Welsh, Chalmers, Doran (McCauley 82), White. Subs (not used): C Mackay, Austin, Gamble, Russell. Scorers: Doran (7), B Mckay (20) Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  7. Push for Promotion After the euphoria of a tremendous performance and result in the Scottish Cup win over Dundee United, it's back to the weekly chore of the Championship with a visit to Dumfries to take on Queen of the South. Yes folks, the push for promotion starts right here, right now, as we now find ourselves outside the play-off spot as we enter the final round of fixtures in the Championship. Plenty of action off the field at the Caledonian Stadium with CEO Yvonne Crook departing and our financial plight in the public domain. You can debate that and more on Caley Thistle Online. But we'll stick to the onfield activities just now with some crucial games coming up. Turnstile numbers for visiting fans, section of the ground BDS Digital (East) Stand section 6 has been set aside for away supporters. Turnstile 3 will be in use. Shared catering outlet and toilets in the BDS stand will be available for use. Catering is also available in the Arena café where a full menu is available before kick-off. The bar under the Gates Stand will also be open for refreshments. Please note that the BDS Stand ticket office is a CASH ONLY office. Should spectators wish to pay by card then they should purchase their tickets at the Arena ticket office. Adults - £18, Concessions - £10, Under 16 - £5, Adult Accessible - £8, Concession Accessible - £5, U16 Accessible - £3 It's our final game against Queen of the South for this season and there has been two draws and a win for Queens in the last one at Inverness. The most remarkable game was the 3-3 draw at Palmerston back in November. Lyndon Dykes, Stephen Dobbie and Josh Todd had Queens cigaring it. However, in a 10 minute burst, Inverness snatched a point and could have won it at the death. Goals from Jamie McCart, Nathan Austin and a Sean Welsh penalty squared the game and that was enough for a point. Speaking on the Doonhamers website, Gary Naysmith had this to say "We’ve lost six on the bounce now and that cold statistic doesn’t make good reading but it’s only part of the story because we’ve played well in nearly all of the games. I would be very concerned indeed if the performance levels were poor, but they’re not. The effort and the commitment in the games cannot be questioned. The players put in a really good shift again last weekend but the reoccurring problem is that we are not scoring goals when we are on top." Sounds familiar Gary! The table now shows that Dunfermline are in the final play-off spot after they beat Queens last week whilst we were on cup duty, albeit having played a game more, but it's points in the bag for the Pars. That's four wins on the trot for Dunfermline and they are one of the form teams in the League right now. Queens are the poorest side after six championship defeats in a row. The goals for and against for both clubs are similar, but with Stephen Dobbie in your side, those stats can change quickly. Our last game was the epic tie at Tannadice where we overcame United and a spot of diving to get into the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup where we will face the winners of the Hearts v Partick Thistle replay. Joe Chalmers scored our first with a sublime curling strike into the top corner and Aaron Doran won the game in time added on to stun the big home crowd. It was no more than we deserved though. How I wish we could take our cup passion into the Championship games. John Robertson has doubts over Tom Walsh and Anthony McDonald. Both missed the Arabs game through injury. Gary Naysmith will be without Josh Todd and Nicky Low. Both are out through injury. Robbo and Aaron talking ahead of the visit to Palmerston......... If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  8. KARMA BIG STYLE Inverness opened the scoring when Joe Chalmers cut onto his left foot and curled the ball into the roof of the net from sixteen yards for a sublime goal. Chalmers almost added a second but he volleyed onto the bar from six yards when the ball found him unmarked. The first half ended at 1-0 with Ridgers a virtual spectator. Substitute Paul McMullan blatantly cheated to earn a penalty and Nicky Clark slotted his second in two games. In a dramatic finish, Nathan Austin had a marginal offside decision go against him as he superbly headed home a Polworth free kick, however, Aaron Doran nodded home after a fantastic knock on from Jordan White to win the tie in the second minute of time added on. Hampden here we come..................... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A place in the semi-final beckoned for the winner and an opportunity for some welcome income to go along with the prestige of a kick about at Hampden. It doesn't get much better than that surely! The last time we were at Hampden Park we came home with a nice wee trophy to show for our efforts against Falkirk as local artist Sophie Robb depicts, despite Tommy Tremarco falling over the ball and making us sweat. That was in May 2015. The Arabs have waited a bit longer for Scottish Cup success. They lifted the trophy in 2010 beating the wee team from the Highlands in the final. The olde adage, big team big cup, wee team wee cup still stands today. A big home support were out in force today as they remembered James Jack, a local fan who sadly passed away recently and a minutes applause would break out in the 31st minute in his remembrance. To the game, and John Robertson made three changes from the side that lost at Tannadice on Tuesday night. In came Carl Tremarco, Aaron Doran and Jamie McCart, and on to the bench went Charlie Trafford, and Shaun Rooney with Kevin McHattie and Anthony McDonald out injured. Robbie Neilson has Fraser Fyvie and Cammy Smith back in but Calum Butcher missed out through injury. Frederic Frans is out for around six weeks. Over 7200 fans were on hand to watch this spectacle as United kicked off but it was the visitors that pressed high and forced United onto the back foot in the opening exchanges. Big Jordan White has grown into his role up front for the Caley Jags and he did well to hold up and feed the ball to Aaron Doran who fired the first effort towards goal. Benjamin Siegrist felt the need to push it round the post for a corner. Doran was teasing the United defence and he was brought down on the left side. Liam Polworth flighted a lovely ball into the box but White got under it and headed over from an inviting position. The opening goal would come in the 19th minute and a thing of beauty it was. We won possession on the halfway and Doran linked brilliantly with Polworth, a cheeky wee backheel from the wee man allowing Polly to chip a ball to the left edge of the penalty box where Joe Chalmers gathered. He stepped inside the defender and curled a magnificently sweet shot into the keepers top right corner. It was his first of the season and I doubt he will score a better goal. Three minutes later it could have been two and no more than our dominance deserved. A teasing ball from Doran skimmed off a defender and Chalmers came in behind to crack one off the bar from six yards. What a let-off for United. Tremarco made a trademark 'putting your body on the line' block as Peter Pawlett tried to get a shot away. Tenacious defending from Tommy. The 31st minute saw a rousing round of applause for James Jack as the whole stadium joined in. United had settled into the game a bit more but the Highland rearguard were repelling the feeble United attacks and Mark Ridgers was a mere spectator other than grabbing a few crosses with confidence. The first penalty appeal for United passed without action from the referee. He would be fooled later in the game. A dominant performance by Inverness in the first half who could easily have been three up. However, the strike from Chalmers it was that separated the sides. Half-Time 0-1 The procession continued in the second half and Polly fired one straight at the keeper. Neilson had seen enough rubbish from his side and removed Cammy Smith to replace him by Paul McMullan who would play an active part in their equaliser later in the game. If memory serves me right, this is not the first time same player has managed to con a referee. The one way traffic continued though and Polly and Chalmers threatened to add a second. It was Charlie Trafford who was inches away from it with a thunderous drive that whistled high past the post with maximum power. United had brought on Morgaro Gomis by now and he seemed to add a bit of steel to the Arabs midfield. They managed to create an opening for a strike that was similar to Trafford's effort. This one from McMullan was a legitimate effort that Ridgers had to deal with, diving to his right to beat the ball away, Coll Donaldson completing the clearance at the expense of a corner. From the corner we failed to execute a decisive clearance and United burrowed into the box. White stuck a toe out and McMullan felt a tap on his boot. His delayed reaction told me he thought about it before leaving his two legs behind to con Steven McLean into awarding a penalty. Like Tuesday night, Nicky Clark took it and like Tuesday night he put it behind Ridgers in a replication penalty. Undaunted we took up where we had left off, on the front foot and big Jordan was denied twice as he forced his way into the box, Siegrist doing well to smother after he had turned his marker. Doran also was foiled by the keeper. With ten minutes left Nathan Austin thought he had scored with a magnificent header across the keeper. The celebrations were cut short when the linesman flagged for offside. Wow, that's some eyes that man has as this must have been down to millimetres. Great effort from the Inverness sub. The board showed that there would be three minutes of time added on as the game was heading for a replay. We still looked the most likely to win the game and in the 92nd minute Doran paved the way for Robbo to sprint onto the pitch in joyous celebration. Brad Mckay would take a throw in deep down the right flank. He launched a beauty into the box where big Jordan was in between two defenders. He won the ball cleanly to head flick it into the box and there was Aaron arriving at the right time to head the ball bravely into the net with Siegrist scrambling the other way across his line and a boot almost connecting with Doran's ear. Scenes! Cue wild celebrations from Robbo, the players and the visiting fans. What a climax to the game and you could see what it meant to all involved. That'll be Robbo out of breath for the week after his exertions. Off to Hampden for a semi-final game and a day out for our fantastic support. Also a wee financial boost for the accountants who will be chuffed about this. Rooney and Austin picked up late bookings as we frustrated United into submission. One booking we could have done without was an earlier one for Donaldson at the dubious penalty award. Aaron Doran was MotM, and not just for his goal, his all round game showed he was a menace to United from the start. To be honest you couldn't fault anyone in a total team performance. Jordan White has become a fans favourite after a stuttering start at Inverness and he showed yesterday how important he is to our game plan. Chalmers was incredible as well and Liam Polworth showed his value with some great through balls. Unsung heroes all over the park and none moreso that Charlie Trafford who was immense in the engine room. So, a cup semi-final to look forward too. We will find our destiny after the Partick v Hearts game tonight. Action can be seen on the BBC Sport website Here's an ecstatic Robbo talking after the game......... Enjoy.................. Here's another version of the game............. Date: 03/03/2019 Venue: Tannadice Attendance: 7274 Referee: Steven McLean Dundee United: 1 Lineup: Siegrist; Seaman, Reynolds, Robson, Connolly, Harkes, Fyvie (Gomis 64), Clark, C Smith (McMullan 53), Pawlett, Safranko. Subs (not used): Laidlaw; Watson, Booth, Nesbitt, Stanton Scorers: Clark (pen 67) Booked: Fyvie (58), Safranko (85) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Doran, Polworth (Rooney 90+3), Trafford (Austin 77), Welsh, Chalmers, White. Subs (not used): C Mackay, McCauley, MacGregor,, D Mackay, Hyde Scorers: Chalmers (19), Doran (90+2) Booked: Donaldson (69), Rooney(90+4), Austin(90+5) Sent Off: none a
  9. Preparations underway for departure. A win today? Yes please 🤞
  10. Tannadice woe. Dundee United would inflict further woe on cash strapped Inverness after a close encounter of the third kind. A Nicky Clark penalty was sufficient to swing the game towards United with Inverness just failing to get back on level terms. John Robertson would rest Carl Tremarco and Aaron Doran, although Jamie McCart made the bench, but Tom Walsh and Anthony McDonald were out injured. United kicked off with over 4700 watching and immediately put Inverness onto the back foot creating three or four openings inside the first ten minutes. Peter Pawlett and Charlie Seaman narrowly missing the target from great positions inside the box and Nicky Clark heading tamely wide. Kevin McHattie was booked in the 17th minute as the Inverness defence came under sustained pressure. It took Inverness half an hour to fashion out a decent opportunity and Shaun Rooney headed over. Nathan Austin then drove into the box but his shot had the sting taken out of it and Ben Siegrist gathered. Coll Donaldson followed that up by heading over from close range as we began to threaten the home defence. Pawlett was the Arabs danger man as he drove forward and at the other end a Connolly error almost led to Austin getting in on goal. It was Pawlett that was causing most problems for the visitors, but at the break it was all square. Half-Time 0-0 There were no changes at the start of the second half as Liam Polworth kicked off. United were first to try after the break but Ridgers easily mopped up an effort from Clark. Inverness responded with Polworth firing over from outside the box and Austin almost flicked on to White, but United got it clear. Harkes had to clear one away from the line after some confusion in the Arabs ranks. Inverness were having a good spell and a Rooney cross was headed over by Austin................ However, It's the kiss of death and United get a penalty awarded after Coll Donaldson tripped Nicky Clark in the box, Clark converting from the spot. Three minutes later, the problematic Pawlett became a problem for United as he was sent off for a second bookable offence. Charlie Trafford shot just wide from outside the box as we looked to get back on level terms and an Austin header and a Chalmers shot had to be saved by Siegrist. Plenty of Caley Jags pressure in the final ten minutes with United down to ten men and the last fling is Daniel Mackay replacing Joe Chalmers as the clock ticked past ninety minutes. Safranko passed on a great chance to seal the points at the end but he blazed the ball over the bar and Donaldson saw a deflected effort tipped over, but it was too little too late as United held on for all three points. After tonights results, Dunfermline closed the gap to two points behind Inverness after a 3-0 win over Partick Thistle, Morton a further point behind after they beat Queen of the South and Ross County stretched their lead at the top by beating Ayr United thanks to a Billy Mckay hat-trick. Stirling Observer observed thus on CTO:- Entertaining game for one we didn't manage to score. Took a while to settle to the diamond midfield and Utd could have been out of sight. Gradually worked our way into the game and were arguably on top despite not creating much. Second half was really open and end to end. They were on top for a spell when they won the pen. I would have said it was a fair award. Coll lunged in to block the shot but took the players legs before the ball. Mchattie took an awful touch to draw Pawlett into a rash challenge for his second booking. This killed the game as our lack of creativity against there solid unit meant the classic sit deep and let us punt it. Coll's last second deflected shot was the closest I think we got, but Safranko did miss a great chance late on. Speaking to BBC Sport the managers had this to say:- Dundee United head coach Robbie Neilson: "I thought the first half we played well but couldn't get the ball over the line. "It's massive for us. It takes us a step further and now second in the league." Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson: "I'm disappointed. I thought United started very well. Coming down the slope, they got at us with good chances, but then we settled. "We changed our system a bit tonight by playing a diamond in there just to upset them." Action from Tannadice.............. Date: 26/02/2019 Venue: Tannadice Attendance: 4737 Referee: Barry Cook Dundee United: 1 Lineup: Siegrist; McMullan (Nesbitt 59), Clark (Gomis 78), Reynolds, Robson, Butcher, Seaman (Watson 84), Connolly, Harkes, Safranko, Pawlett. Subs (not used): Laidlaw, Fyvie, Sow, Smith. Scorers: Clark (pen 68) Booked: Connolly (32), Pawlett (48, 72), Safranko (82) Sent Off: Pawlett (72) Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, McHattie (Doran 76), Austin, Trafford (McCauley 82), Polworth, Welsh, Chalmers (D Mackay), White. Subs (not used): C Mackay, Tremarco, McCart, MacGregor. Scorers: none Booked: McHattie (17), Rooney (47) Sent Off: none a
  11. Arabfest First game of the Dundee United double header tonight as we head to Tannadice on League business. The recent hectic schedule has been taking it's toll and our wafer thin squad is being stretched to the limit after some physically draining games since the turn of the year. Nonetheless we will need to protect our position within the play-off zone as we near the final rounds of Championship games. Off the field of play the financial side of things has taken a battering. On the park we are faring slightly better. Fourth in the table and a cup quarter final to look forward to. It's the 25th anniversary of Inverness Caledonian Thistle, but unfortunately, the off field financial situation is grabbing all the headlines at the moment with a massive loss of £810,000 being reported for season 2017/2018. It looks more like a Go Fund Me page will be incoming soon, and that's not really a joke. If you ask me, Robbo has worked wonders on a shoe-string budget and it looks as though that will get worse before it gets better. Chairmans Message The sides have met twice this season, both games ending in 1-1 draws. Safranko opened the scoring in the first game but Jordan White levelled with twenty minutes to go. Coll Donaldson was sent packing ten minutes from the end as we held on for a point. In the next fixture at Inverness in mid December Tom Walsh scored early for Inverness but former Caley Jags player Billy King equalised with quarter of an hour to go. Meh! Our last game was a 1-0 win over Morton. The result was better than the performance with Carl Tremarco notching the goal. United faltered against Dundee United at the weekend with the Bairns coming from behind to grab a draw. Cammie Smith had put United in front just after the break but Falkirk got their point when Ciaran McKenna's header powered home with five minutes remaining. Ross County face Ayr United tonight in a top of the table clash. Inverness will wait to see who is fit enough to start in this game. The Cup game follows on Sunday and that could be seen as more lucrative for Inverness, given the financial benefits of a Cup run to Hampden situation. With a five point cushion in fourth spot, that could pave the way for one or two to be rested tonight. Tom Walsh missed out against Morton and Jamie McCart went off injured. Coll Donaldson was supposed to be resting but was called into action and he too took a couple of heavy knocks. Maybe a chance for some of the youngsters that Mr Rae is talking about to stake a claim for a start. Dundee United have sufficient resources to not have to worry about who will be fit enough to start. Recent acquisition Peter Pawlett will feature tonight. Here's Robbo talking ahead of the Arabs Championship clash.
  12. No rest for Coll The gruelling recent schedule was taking it's toll as Inverness played out a slender one goal win against Morton. Carl Tremarco glanced an early header home with what proved to be the only goal of the game. The final result was closer than it could have been, but given our recent exertions, then we'll take a narrow win over the Greenock side any day as we tried to conserve our energy levels. This win gives us a five point cushion in fourth place in the quest for a play-off slot, with Dunfermline emerging as the next best placed team to mount a challenge. Queen of the South and Morton are a further point behind the Pars. So it's still all to play for as we get down to the business end of the season with Ross County looking most likely to top the table after a great 4-2 win at Partick who hit the bottom. John Robertson tried to protect some players by giving Shaun Rooney a start at right back and moving Brad Mckay alongside Jamie McCart in central defence whilst resting Coll Donaldson. That plan went pear shaped when McCart had to leave the field after sustaining an injury on the half hour which meant no day of rest for Coll Donaldson. Tom Walsh missed out after picking up an injury against County in the cup and Anthony McDonald took his place. The more mundane atmosphere of the Championship fixture barely whispered round the ground with only a busload or two in the away end amongst some 2400 fans in the stadium. Liam Polworth set the ball rolling as we kicked off towards the away end. Nothing of note in the opening exchanges as both sides jockeyed for position, but Captain Carl would break the deadlock in the eleventh minute as he met a Liam Polworth corner at the near post to send the ball behind keeper McCrorie. The visitors responded and Mark Ridgers had to tip an effort from Chris Millar behind for a corner a couple of minutes after the goal. The ball looked like it might just be heading for the outside of the woodwork, but Mark took no chances and dealt with it accordingly. Brad McKay missed an opportunity after a ball found him in the box. Unfortunately it was more of the ball hitting Brad than Brad hitting the ball and the chance was missed. The game had little flow about it as players from both sides looked too eager to impress, nobody willing to put their foot on the ball and control proceedings. Jamie McCart went down and had to be replaced by courageous Coll on the half hour. Jordan White knocked a header forward but it just evaded the strikers as it ran through to the box after Polly passed on. We saw out the half with little coming from Morton in an attacking sense, the hosts doing just enough to keep their advantage. Half-Time 1-0 Darren McCauley replaced the injured Anthony McDonald at the interval and it was more of the same after the break. Morton struggling to create, Inverness happy with the reprieve. In the 57th minute Tremarco almost got his second goal but his header was cleared off the line by Buchanan to deny the captain as he met a great ball in from Sean Welsh. There followed a spell of Inverness pressure where we threatened to run a way with the game, but some last ditch defending and wayward shooting kept the score at 1-0. The second half was fast becoming an anti-climax as we were content to give the lightweight Morton offence the ball, and fortunately they had little idea what to do with it. Donaldson received more treatment towards the end after going down injured, but he is made of strong stuff is Coll and he resumed after being repaired. As the clock ticked away, we sat deeper and deeper allowing the visitors the freedom of the park. We did counter on a few occasions but in all honesty neither side looked likely to get another goal. The game ended with Morton frantically trying to put pressure on our defence, but we held out comfortably enough to record only our third home win in the Championship. It was a much needed low key encounter and a welcome three points that boosts our play-off chances. Carl Tremarco is the proverbial Duracell Bunny and he gets my nod for MotM. That was his first goal this term and it was good enough to win all three points. The future is bright, the future is orange. It's a difficult week coming up with two visits to Tannadice. On Wednesday it's Championship night and Sunday is the quarter final of the Scottish Cup, so no let up in the intensity and challenges for our stretched squad. From BBC Sport Inverness CT boss John Robertson: "We created plenty of chances today but we had to hang on. The last five or six minutes we decided to just take what we had. I cannot praise the players highly enough for their attitude and application. "They gave it everything and they gave absolutely everything they had on Tuesday, and absolutely everything today so it's a wonderful three points. It was a massive performance from them." Morton manager Jonatan Johansson: "I'm disappointed with the result obviously and I'm also disappointed in the way we lost the goal - another set-play. I know we are a small team but we need to be better at defensive set plays - they've been costing us for a while now. "Before that I felt everything was going alright. I think we played some nice passing football but in the final third we didn't have the spark or belief and it was powder-puff at times. We never really threatened them." Match Highlights from Caley Jags TV Yesterday's goal hero, Tommy Tremarco................. Date: 23/02/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2413 Referee: Steven Reid Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, McCart (Donaldson 32), Tremarco, McDonald (McCauley 45), Polworth (Trafford 83), Welsh, Chalmers, Doran, White Subs (not used): C Mackay, McHattie, Austin, D Mackay. Scorers: Tremarco (11) Booked: Tremarco (36) Sent Off: none Morton FC: 0 Lineup: McCrorie; McAlister, Waddell, Buchanan, Iredale, Millar, Telfer (Tidser 60), Dykes (Lyon 70), O'Connell (Tumilty 59), McHugh, Kiltie Subs (not used): Gaston; Kilday, Thomson, Dallas. Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  13. Back to the weekly chore. Back to the mundane weekly chore on Saturday as Morton come North hoping we don't think they are Ross County. If only we could play Ross County every week. It was an exciting time to be alive on Tuesday night as Inverness finally got one over our dear friends and near neighbours in the Scottish Cup. It might have taken extra-time and penalties, but we got there in the end and dumped County out of the cup. Big team big cup, wee team wee cup. We will now face Dundee United at Tannadice in the Quarter Finals of the Scottish Cup on Sunday 3rd March, 15.30 kick-off. Adults £15, Concessions (Over 65s, Students, Under 18s and Under 12s) £5. Get your tickets HERE What an intense experience that was. Noisy crowd, four goals, eight bookings, a fracas in extra-time and Nathan Austin squeezing home the final penalty to win the tie. We have had greater achievements, but for sheer drama, this one will take a lot of beating. There has been nothing between the sides in all five games this season and the tension was palpable as the sides took to the field. County went ahead when Ross Stewart bounced in a header only for Jordan White to power one of his own behind Fox. Gobby Gardyne put County back in front but Jordan stroked in his second of the night. An extra thirty minutes failed to separate the sides although Carl Tremarco hit the junction of post and bar with a hooked shot and it was down to penalties. Mark Ridgers made the breakthrough as he saved McManus' spot kick and we slotted all five to put a smile back on the Caley Jags fans dials. The young team were our secret weapon as they rallied the troops in the North Stand. Overall it was a great night and here's hoping we can recreate the derby experience in a run of the mill Championship game. Morton limbered up for this game with a goalless draw against Ayr United last weekend whilst we were suffering at East End Park in a dire performance, going down to a Joe Thomson strike. Those results coupled with Queen of the South losing to Dundee United saw our play-off hopes suffer little damage and a win this weekend would put some more daylight between us and Morton who are only three points behind us at the moment. The cup tie in midweek was a hard battle and Tom Walsh was injured early on. It looks like he will miss this one with a groin injury although that has not been confirmed yet. The pace of the game took it's toll on the players and it was a survival of the fittest, both mentally and physically. Don't be surprised if one or two require more time to get over that game. Donaldson took a few knocks but was last man standing at the end. The heavy pitch took it's toll as well, so it's up to Robbo to see who has the desire, mental and physical ability to get back on the park again. Morton had this starting XI against Ayr United:- 23. McCrorie 8. McAlister 5. Waddell 4. Buchanan 3. Iredale 7. Millar 6. Telfer 15. Dykes 44. Dallas 11. McHugh 20. Kiltie Subs used: 17. O’Connell (for Dallas, 67), and 32. R.Lyon (for Dykes, 90+1) Here's another date for your diary. The IrnBru Cup Final will be played at the Caledonian Stadium on Saturday 23rd March with a 16:30 kick off. I suppose it's handy as the Cup is in our trophy cabinet anyway. The final will be between Ross County who will have to make the arduous 12 mile journey over the Kessock Bridge, and Connah's Quay Nomads from Wales who will only have to make the 400 mile trip which will take six and a half hours by car. Seems fair enough to me. Just so they know where they are going, here's Sophie's painting of our stadium. Here's a wee song to while away the hours for all the travelling folk. Our site sponsors FansBet will have some good odds for you to take advantage of this weekend. If you like a wee flutter, our new partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  14. Inverness progress after dramatic shootout Inverness went through on a night of high drama after the game ended all square at 2-2. It was another bruising encounter and extra-time saw no further goals and penalties it was. Mark Ridgers saved one penalty and that was enough as Inverness went on to convert all five of their spot kicks, Nathan Austin with the final one. Jordan White was the local hero in normal time with both Inverness goals, twice coming from behind after Ross Stewart opened the scoring and Michael Gardyne grabbed a second for County. County resorted to type, some bare knuckle fighting broke out before the end when Van der Weg should have been sent off. Groundhog Derby stirs the passion. John Robertson made three changes from the side that slumped at East End Park. In came Coll Donaldson, Liam Polworth and Sean Welsh. On to the bench went Charlie Trafford, Shaun Rooney and Darren McCauley. County brought back five players that did not start against East Fife in the Challenge Cup. All the big boys were back in, with Scott Fox, Michael Gardyne, Billy Mckay, Keith Watson and Lewis Spence all starting. A great atmosphere greeted the players from both sides as they took to the park on a damp night, over 3600 were about to witness a night of high drama in the Groundhog Derby. The hosts started brightly and Tom Walsh fired a warning shot high over the bar in the second minute. Little did he know his night would be cut short in the 15th minute as he was replaced by Anthony McDonald after picking up an injury. Liam Polworth also fired wide as we gathered momentum. In the 22nd minute Inverness were undone as County surged down the right wing after winning the ball on the halfway line. Josh Mullin received the ball after good work by Marcus Fraser on the right and sent in a tantalising cross. Serial derby scorer Ross Stewart met the ball at the front post to head powerfully down and up and into the net via the crossbar. Good finish by Stewart, slightly against the run of play at that point. Inverness responded well to going behind and the game was being played at a frantic pace with no quarter asked or given. Substitute Anthony McDonald dragged a shot wide from the left side of the box as we searched for a way back into the tie, a corner given for that effort. Jamie McCart missed the best chance so far as he headed over from eight yards unchallenged, he maybe should have at least made the keeper work. Mark Ridgers was looking assured at corners and he had to save from Mullin as County tried to double their advantage. This game was not for the faint hearted and the half time whistle went with County holding a slender lead. Half Time 0-1 The sides swapped corners at the start of the second period and it was from another corner that Inverness were level. Joe Chalmers sent a curling ball into the heart of the box and big Jordan White rose highest to power a great header into the top corner. The North Stand liked that one, John Beaton not so much and he booked White for his celebration with the young team. Just after the hour, Scott Fox pulled off a tremendous save low down to his right as he saved a thumping shot from Liam Polworth. Similar to Doran's goal in the first game, but this time he kept it out with some assistance from the post. Five minutes later and County went back in front when Michael Gardyne picked up a loose headed clearance. He prodded the ball past two players before thrashing a low shot behind Ridgers from ten yards. A bit sloppy from Inverness but another good finish by Gardyne. White was now relishing the challenge and looked like he was enjoying himself as he played his best game since joining the Caley Jags, challenging well and laying off to fellow players. He got another header on target but Fox was well positioned to grab it out of the air. However, Jordan would not be denied and when Doran cut inside and fed Polly, he slid a great ball into the path of White who took a touch before finding the bottom corner from 15 yards. Superb goal and heading for extra time. Nathan Austin was creating havoc around the County defence with his awkward style as he poked his legs between defenders and sprinted forward. He headed one over from an inviting cross as we pressed for a winner. It looked like there was only going to be one winner before the end of the ninety minutes as we took charge. Coll Donaldson was absolutely bossing the County forwards, strolling around like Franz Beckenbauer, and why not. Jamie McCart was his able assistant and between them County were rendered ineffective. The ninety ended too soon for Inverness as they harassed the visitors in their own box, Fox fortunate not to concede a goal as he juggled with a ball facing his own goal, the post helping out again. Ninety Minutes 2-2 Extra time was slightly less eventful as both sides held what they had. In the second period Coll went down injured, but he was having none of that and he returned to the battle as tackles were flying in like they were going out of fashion. Carl Tremarco almost won it before the penalty shoot-out, his effort crashing off the bar after a scrambulation in and around the County box, great effort by the wee man and a let-off for County with Fox beaten. A couple of late free kicks for County were wasted as referee John Beaton went card happy. Gardyne started a brawl after a bit of man hugging with Charlie Trafford as they laid on the ground. Needless stuff, but Kenny van der Weg rushed in from nowhere to start some rather dangerous shoving and pushing. For me he should have been red carded for this assault. If he did that at an Inverness night club he would be in the cells. It seems that they must get this coaching from above, what with Stuart Kettlewell sitting in the main stand and Iain Vigurs in the South Stand. Brian Graham was out though as he appeared as a second half substitute. Anyway, I digress. After the dust settled the failure that is a Scottish referee booked van der Weg and Coll Donaldson when all around were squaring up to each other. Bare knuckle fighting on the park, but it was County that would be dealt the knock-out blow. Anyway, penalties it was. The winner will travel to Tannadice to take on Dundee United in the Quarter Final on the weekend of 2/3 March Here's how it went, County started the process in front of the away end. Gardyne 1-0 White 1-1 Fraser 2-1 Donaldson 2-2 McManus, penalty brilliantly saved by Mark Ridgers, 2-2 Welsh 2-3 Graham 3-3 Polworth 3-4 Draper 4-4 Austin for game set and match.They think it's all over..........it is now. 4-5 Coll Donaldson was my MotM for absolutely cigaring his way through the game. Jordan White was magnificent with his goals and general all round battling display. Liam Polworth was classy and showed it in abundance. Jamie McCart put in a great shift. Nathan Austin was sensational when he came on and caused County no end of problems. To be honest everyone did the fans proud and the celebrations at the end epitomised the desire and effort shown by the players. This was much appreciated by the fans who returned the favour with tremendous vocal backing, especially the young team in the North Stand. So, everybody, give yourselves a round of applause. We have had greater achievements, but this was drama of the highest order and the intensity and passion shown by both sets of players made this one of the best nights of football ever seen at the Caledonian Stadium. Players were almost on their knees long before the end of extra time and it was great to see the passion shown by our players after this well deserved win. Passion. I'll show you some passion said Coll........ Speaking on BBC Sport Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "We had the better of the game, we had the better chances. We've hit the post, we've hit the bar. There's two off the line in the last minute. Scott Fox has produced a wonder save. "We have been horrendous at penalties this season. We practised them yesterday. We actually had the players taking penalties from 15 yards out because if they can score from 15 yards, they can certainly score from 12 and all five of them scored." Robbo was delighted with the home fans contribution..... Ross County co-manager Steven Ferguson: "Proud of our team. It was a great cup tie and when it goes to penalties, it becomes that little bit of a lottery and somebody has to miss and it happens to be us. We accept it and we move on. "It's always disappointing to lose the lead. When it's a cup tie like that, it's to-ing and fro-ing all the time and we could've scored again and Caley could've scored again. As far as a cup tie goes, I think everything was squeezed into that." Two goal Jordan White talking after the game......... Night of high drama, have a look. Date: 19/02/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 3608 Referee: John Beaton Inverness CT: 2 - Inverness through 5-4 after penalties. Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Doran (Trafford 101), Polworth, Welsh, Chalmers (Austin 76), Walsh (McDonald 15, McCauley 105), White. Subs (not used): C Mackay; Rooney, McHattie Scorers: Jordan White (56, 81) Booked: White (57), McDonald (58), Doran (66), Tremarco (84), Donaldson (120) Sent Off: none Ross County: 2 Lineup: Fox; Fraser, Draper, Watson, Boyle, Van der Weg, Draper, Mullin (McManus 78), Spence (Lindsay 66), Gardyne, Stewart (Graham 100), Mckay (Wallace 112). Subs (not used): Munro; Grivosti, Murray. Scorers: Ross Stewart (22), Michael Gardyne (67) Booked: Draper (89), Gardyne (90+2), Van der Weg (120) Sent Off: none a
  15. Dunfermline was poor and Mar would probably be the first to admit a wee slip up. But given his performances recently, I think we can all forgive him one wee error. That was Saturday, today is today - let's get behind the team and see if we can't spur them to victory. We are due one against the gadgies (small g intentional) and I'm going 3-1...... And no, I'm not on IHE's vodka diet..... 🤣😎
  16. Par for the course It was pretty much Par for the course as we slumped to another defeat in the league. It would appear that our league form is not as good as our cup form, or maybe it's just the local derby's we get our act together for. Whatever is the issue, it's a disappointing trend and Dunfermline were untroubled for most of the game with Joe Thomson getting the only goal of a scrappy game. Mark Ridgers will feel he might have done better at the goal. Aidan Connolly smacked the bar, but a late flurry from Inverness produced little of note in another hapless display, the team looking somewhat jaded. John Robertson made several changes after the bruising cup tie at Dingwall last Monday. Liam Polworth was injured and Coll Donaldson and Sean Welsh got some bench time. That meant that Darren McCauley and Charlie Trafford started and Shaun Rooney came back in at right back. RIG was as usual in the away end with Caley Away and here is his report. Hands down one of the worst performances from an ICT that I can recall in a long time, especially that first 45 minutes. We were all over the shop. McCart, who until recently had been a very solid performer, was uncharacteristically sloppy with a number of sliced clearances and slack passes but he got better as the game wore on as did the likes of Trafford who was something of a headless chicken until we went to 442 and he seemed to be a lot more effective. White struggled badly until Austin came on. He (White) didn't get much service and when the ball did come his way he was largely dominated by Ashcroft who was excellent yesterday as were Connolly and Vincent for the home side. McCauley should have been sent off. After he was booked he committed two needless fouls that both could have resulted in a second booking so it was no surprise when Robbo took him off for MacDonald. Pars had a weak penalty claim when Anderson seemed to go down quite easily. Maybe any highlights will show something different but I wasn't convinced at the time. Second half Dunfermline started much the better side. I don't know what Robbo said to the players at the break but most seemed to be still sleepwalking when Thomson dribbled across goal then lashed a shot past Ridgers who seemed to be caught by a deflection or by McCart ducking out of the way or something. In Mark's defence, it appears that he may have been slightly unsighted and the ball also appears to swerve a bit. Meh! Disappointing goal to concede but we were lucky not to be two down when Connolly battered the crossbar with a lovely shot just outside the area. We started to come back into the game when Doran went off and Austin came on giving White a bit more support up front and we started to create some half chances. Walsh had perhaps the best opportunity for an equaliser when he drove towards goal and was afforded a lot of time and space to shoot from about 20 yards but he sent the ball well over. White and Mckay passed up a couple of decent chances to bring us back on level terms but they shot wide of / over the goal. A seriously disappointing performance after what was a good showing on Monday night against County. We were missing arguably three of our most important players in Donaldson, Polworth and Welsh however if we want to stay in the play-off spot we need to improve our performances quickly. Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson was speaking to BBC Sport: "I'm massively disappointed. It was straightforward - Dunfermline showed more hunger, energy and work-rate in first 10 minutes of each half. "I felt they were up for the taking, but they got their goal - Ridgers should've saved it. It was mistake from him. "Then the penny dropped and in the last 15 minutes we were camped in their half, but we had chances through Brad McKay and Shaun Rooney. "It's a missed opportunity because, if we win, we get a wee gap and we start pushing above us. "We're now in a hell of a scrap with Queen of the South, Morton, Partick, Falkirk. What they've done now is give me a blank sheet of paper for Tuesday night because there will be changes." Caley Stan was less than impressed with the value for money That's the worst away performance I've seen this season. We missed Coll and Polly as you would expect, but the absence of Sean Welsh had the most impact, his replacement charged and lunged his way around the park in a way that seemed to unsettle his teammates as much as the opposition. We didn't get the forward midfield 3 into the game at all, and when we finally went to 4-4-2 we looked slightly more threatening but without creating clear-cut chances. It could've been worse - McCauley should've been sent off and a better side would've added to their tally in the second half. We are a very poor side without those 3 players. Yngwie was more supportive to the keeper................ What actually happened with Ridgers for the goal? Routine looking save but the shot went through him. You know it’s not your day when even your most dependable player messes up. Look away now Marky boy............. Site Admin Scotty has this to add from our site sponsors FANSBET Ahead of our replay against County, Fansbet are allowing CTO users to suggest what the special bet to be promoted on their site should be for the game next week ? If you want a specific special listed please put them in the thread on CTO and they will chose one at random, assign it odds and feature it before the game in the fan boosts section. : https://www.fansbet.com/en/betting/sports/fan-boosts/ Here's the full highlights................ Date: 16/02/2019 Venue: East End Park Attendance: 4497 Referee: Steven Kirkland Dunfermline: 1 Lineup: Scully; Craigen, Ashcroft, Devine, Longridge, Vincent, Beadling, Thomson, Blair (Williamson 78), Connolly (Longridge 70) Anderson (Durnan 90+1) Subs (not used): Gill; Todd, Hippolyte, Higginbotham Scorers: Thomson (47) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, McCart, Tremarco (Welsh 88), Walsh, Trafford, McCauley (McDonald 34), Chalmers, Doran (Austin 64), White Subs (not used): C Mackay, Donaldson, McHattie, MacGregor, Scorers: none Booked: McCauley (27), Trafford (55), Rooney (81) Sent Off: none a
  17. League Duty East End Park is the venue for tomorrow's Ladbroke Championship encounter with Dunfermline Athletic, three o'clock is the timeslot, and by five o'clock we should know the outcome. Championship football sandwiched between Scottish Cup derby's, Right eenuff mun. ICTFC Supporters Travel Club Dunfermline bus leaves Caley Club 10.15 Stadium 10.30. Book through Facebook or on 07462 218717. Dunfermline game -Tickets £18 - Concession £12 - U12 £5 It's an opportunity for both clubs to make inroads into their seasons target. For Inverness it's a chance to cement their position within the top four. For the Pars they could be in the peloton trying to close the gap to the pace setters as the end of season sprint nears. This will be the third Championship game between the clubs. The first saw Inverness win 3-0 at East End Park thanks to second half goals from Shaun Rooney, Liam Polworth and the now departed George Oakley. The return fixture at Inverness ended all square. The visitors went ahead through Aiden Keena. Riccardo Calder levelled only for Keena to score again, but big Jordan White squared the game again. All the goals coming in the first half this time. Our last outing was a fierce Scottish Cup tie at Dingwall where we once more looked the side most likely to win, but once more we were unable to hold onto a lead and Josh Mullin levelled in time added on when he beat the high defensive line we held. Aaron Doran scored a tremendous opener only for substitute Ross Stewart to pull County level. Brad Mckay slammed us in front before the late sickener that leads to a replay on Tuesday night at the Caledonian Stadium. Here's the goals from the cup game.............. The Pars last game was a home defeat at the hands of Ross County. On loan Aberdeen striker Bruce Anderson scored their goal but second half strikes from Billy Mckay and Michael Gardyne turned the game in County's favour. We sit fourth in the table with Dunfermline eight points behind us in seventh place. Defensively we are similar, but we have scored ten goals more. Dunfermline are without a win in their last four, Inverness have two wins. Here's the table. Coll Donaldson limped out of the cup game at Dingwall and must be a doubt. Tom Walsh, Mark Ridgers and Carl Tremarco came through it unscathed although it was a tough shift on a difficult night for football. Robbo was being a bit coy on the injury situation, but reading between the lines I would expect two or three changes to the line-up, given the cup game forthcoming on Tuesday night. Twenty six times capped former Scotland International left back Callum Davidson has joined the backroom staff as first team coach at EEP. He has been first team coach at Stoke City recently. Dunfermline had two former Inverness players in their starting XI last time out:- Ryan Scully; Ryan Williamson, Lee Ashcroft (c), Danny Devine, Jackson Longridge, Kallum Higginbotham, James Vincent, Joe Thomson, James Craigen, Bruce Anderson, Faissal El Bakhtaoui Here's Robbo and Anthony McDonald talking before the visit to Dunfermline.......... If you fancy some Matchday Hospitality at the Scottish Cup replay against @RossCounty on Tuesday 19th February, 19:45 kick-off, for £40pp including a welcome drink, curry with accompaniments and main stand seats from which to enjoy what is sure to be another great Derby! So, hurry for your curry!
  18. Cup of Cheer In a pulsating Cup derby Aaron Doran put the visitors ahead with a fantastic goal after thirteen minutes, firing home from range. It remained that way at the interval but substitute Ross Stewart pulled the tie level soon after coming on. Brad McKay lashed Inverness ahead but Josh Mullin squared it in time added on to send this tie to a replay on Tuesday 19th February. The draw took place after this game and here are the fixtures. Aberdeen v Rangers/Kilmarnock Dundee United v Inverness /Ross County Partick Thistle v Hearts Hibs v Celtic ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness boss John Robertson sprang a handful of surprises by giving starts to recent injury victims Mark Ridgers, Tom Walsh, Coll Donaldson, Carl Tremarco and Aaron Doran. Jordan White would spearhead the attack. Shaun Rooney made the bench along with Nathan Austin, and Darren McCauley. County's former Inverness players Billy Mckay and Ross Draper started for County along with Kenny Van Der Weg. The effervescent Michael Gardyne would be the provider with Brian Graham the target man. Josh Mullin and Declan McManus were on the bench. A cagey opening few minutes as both sides jockeyed for position was ended when Billy Mckay dipped an angled volley over the bar after five minutes. Inverness responded by winning a corner but the ball to the back post produced nothing and Michael Gardyne looked to be the danger man for the hosts as he forced a corner at the other end after a good run forward. Jamie Lindsay drilled a deep cross wide of the target from the corner. A bit of a midfield battle ensued as the sides struggled to get to grips with the game and Liam Polworth won a free kick as Van Der Weg handled on the edge of the box. Joe Chalmers forced Fox into an excellent save as he curled low to the near post, however the visitors kept the ball around the County box, and when Aaron Doran latched onto a headed pass forward from Tremarco some 25 yards out. He turned and whipped a vicious half volley low behind the outstretched Fox for a superb opening goal. Gardyne broke into the box after 25 minutes but his shot was blocked at the expense of a corner. Gardyne took it himself but Mark Ridgers came out to gather the cross confidently. Gardyne was at it again and his floated cross caused problems but was turned behind for a corner which Ridgers gathered again. It was Gardyne against Ridgers now and Mark turned a stabbed effort behind for a corner, diving low to his right. Inverness broke forward and Tom Walsh almost emulated Doran's strike but Fox made a brilliant diving save to deny Walsh a second Inverness goal. County were racking up the corners after a Brian Graham shot was deflected wide but again it came to nothing better than a free kick for the visitors. A ball forward saw Fox have to block from Tom Walsh as the Inverness wide player sped into the box and flicked the ball goalwards. A few moments later Walsh saw an effort deflected for a corner as the Caley Jags pressed for a second goal before the break. Yet another great break forward by Doran who fed Brad McKay but the wing back saw his cross cut out for a corner. As Inverness gathered momentum once more, the first half drew to a close with the visitors on top. Half Time 0-1 There were no changes at the interval and County would be playing towards the Jailend after the break, and that usually inspires them to greater things. Scott Fox had to make an unorthodox stop to deny a piledriver from Carl Tremarco, the keeper eventually keeping the ball out with his knees as the ball fizzed goalwards. Great effort from Tommy. Ross Stewart replaced the ineffective Brian Graham and within a couple of minutes he drew County level after some untidy midfield play saw Gardyne drive the ball into the box where Stewart volleyed home. Doran spurned a glorious chance to put Inverness back in front but he mistimed his header and sent it wide when he should have hit the target. It was end to end stuff now in typical derby cup-tie fashion. Liam Polworth flashed a powerful shot towards the County goal that was head deflected for a corner. From the resultant corner Brad McKay found the ball at his feet a few yards out and he smashed it high into the net. Walsh broke down the left but his shot was a bit ambitious and it went well wide. County won a free kick just outside the box after Chalmers upended the dangerous Gardyne, but after the shot was blocked County were penalised and the danger was over. Carl Tremarco was having a magnificent game at the back and was putting his body on the line time and time again as County threw balls into the box, but the wee man stood firm. Substitution for Inverness as Doran was replaced by former Coleraine player Darren McCauley as Ridgers mopped up another ball into the box. Almost a chance to get a third as a ball is flicked into the six yard box but it runs through to Fox. And as the rain started to fall a mistake at the back by County let Walsh speed forward. He lashed a shot to the top corner but Fox pulled off another great save to deny the Inverness man. Shaun Rooney had replaced the injured Coll Donaldson by now and we re-jigged at the back with Brad moving inside. A loose ball some 30 yards out found Chalmers but it was wasted and McManus wasted an effort at the other end. They would not be denied though as our defence parted and Substitute Josh Mullin squeezed the ball through the exposed Ridgers in time added on. A dangerous free kick by County was wasted as they looked to get ahead in added time with Inverness now hanging on a tad, but the late comeback by County was just enough to earn the Dingwall side a replay as time ran out. Inverness were best served by Aaron Doran, Tom Walsh, Coll Donaldson and Jamie McCart, but none better than Carl Tremarco. The biased Bill Dodds gave the TV MotM to Michael Gardyne who was undoubtedly County's most influential player. Another frustrating night for Inverness who have held the upper hand in all four derby's this season with little to show for it. On BBC Sport:- Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "It's just about being street-smart. They stopped. "You just keep defending but they've let Josh Mullin through and he's scored. That sums up our season. We've been in the lead and given away a goal at the end. We now have a replay to play so we'll just get on with it. "We felt we were getting close to that third goal which would have finished the game off. We didn't see where their goal was going to come from. That's the difference. That's why we're fourth in the league and County are top." Ross County co-manager Steven Ferguson: "We always felt there would be one more chance in the game. Josh is well onside and does great to finish it. "The players never know when they're beaten. Sometimes it's not pretty and you have to put your shoulder to the wheel and the players deserve all the credit for that. "I don't think either us would have wanted a replay. We're delighted we're still in the hat." Robbo after the event.............. Date: 11/02/2019 Venue: Global Energy Stadium, Dingwall Attendance: 2800 Referee: John Beaton Ross County: 2 Lineup: Fox; Fraser, Boyle, Watson, Draper, Lindsay (McManus 86), Van Der Weg, Gardyne, Spence (Mullin 67), Graham (Stewart 55), Mckay. Subs (not used): Munro; Grivosti, Murray, Wallace, Scorers: Stewart (55), Mullin (90+1) Booked: Watson (68) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson (Rooney 80), McCart, Tremarco, Chalmers, Walsh (Trafford 85), Polworth, Welsh, Doran (McCauley 77), White Subs (not used): C Mackay; McHattie, Austin, MacGregor, . Scorers: Doran (13), B Mckay (65) Booked: Welsh (25), Chalmers (77) Sent Off: none a
  19. CUP DERBY AGAIN How about that, another chance to relive the 2012 Highland derby cup game at Dingwall where many a pundit had the game all over after 93 minutes when Richard Brittain put the Staggies ahead. Butcher's boys had other ideas and Richie Foran had the last laugh when he knocked in the equaliser two minutes later. Inverness would go on to win the replay at the Caledonian Stadium. That game saw Billy Mckay score a superb volley to open the scoring for Inverness. Rocco Quinn levelled with a dipping 20 yard strike. Inverness went back in front when Mckay's shot deflected off Foran's bottom. He made an arse of a few things did Richie, but he had the cheek to get that one right. Bad boy Iain Vigurs restored parity when his effort took a massive deflection to go up and over the keeper and into the net. Foran's equaliser did not best please Derek Adams, the Inverness support were delighted though. Of course it's just past the 19th anniversary of the Parkhead SuperCaleywentballistic evening when we put Celtic out of the Scottish Cup on their own patch. We would go on to put them out of the cup twice more since then and go on to win the trophy, something County have yet to achieve. County are looking like title favourites in the Championship and have taken five points out of nine in the derby's this season with Inverness managing only two despite dominating for large parts in all three games. Inverness look like they might hang on to the final play-off position in fourth place. That seems to be our best option given our smaller squad. However, this is cup football and anything can happen as Ellie Goulding would say. Home advantage won't count for much as the Inverness travelling support at Dingwall is always very vocal and committed to the cause. Injuries have disrupted our climb up the league of late and our display against Partick Thistle last weekend was nothing short of criminal. An error strewn first half gifted Partick a two goal cushion that we never quite managed to overhaul. Other results below us meant we remained in fourth place. County sit top of the table by three points after a 2-1 win at East End Park, goals by Billy Mckay and Michael Gardyne overcoming a half-time deficit. John Robertson will be hoping that his injury list is shrinking. Mark Ridgers could return to action and Coll Donaldson will be looking to start this week after playing 45 minutes against Partick. Tom Walsh could be a surprise inclusion to the squad. Darren McCauley got off the mark against Partick but is maybe not up to full speed yet. Aaron Doran missed out last week as did Daniel Mackay. I suspect Iain Vigurs won't feature after his misdemeanour at an Inverness nightclub, allegedly. One of his bosses will be joining him in the stands as Stuart Kettlewell has a six game ban for his disgraceful behaviour at Greenock. What on earth are they teaching them in Dingwall? County have a riches of depth to their squad and any missing players will be easily replaced. Here's Mark the goalie talking ahead of the cup clash...... We are ahead already. Crossbar Challenge, we'll take it. Robbo's no speaking to the fans, so here's Scott Kellacher.........
  20. Comedy of Errors The announcement of the team lines filled us with trepidation. We knew it would be bad, we just never thought it would be this bad. An absolutely shambolic performance from Inverness who have plumbed the depths of the abyss after an encouraging midweek performance at Somerset Park, they lost 2-1 to Partick Thistle. Partick Thistle took full advantage of our depleted error strewn lisltess squad and thanks to our defensive blunders scored twice in possibly the worst ever 45 minutes witnessed at the Caledonian Stadium. Steven Anderson and Aidan Fitzpatrick were the benefactors of our slapstick defending and although substitute Darren McCauley pulled one back it was smply not good enough for the season long suffering fans. There's little to report on from an Inverness point of view. Cammy Mackay made a couple of excellent saves before Partick scored. Unfortunately Anderson had the freedom of the back post to tap-in after a short corner. Nobody in defence was able to stop the cross reaching him and Brad Mckay can hang his head in shame at the second goal. He lost the ball thirty yards from goal and left young Cammy exposed as Fitzpatrick accepted the gift, advanced to the box and drove the ball behind the keeper. Shambles springs to mind. We created little of note throughout until a scramble in the box ended with McCauley knocking home from close range. I'm finding it difficult to find any positives. Cammy Mackay pulled off a couple of brilliant saves, Donaldson as a substitute getting some game time and McCauley will add something once he is up to speed. It's the biggest outpouring of public grief since Princess Di departed. I'll let the fans tell you more about this game, here's some views picked from the forum. They shall remain anonymous in case Robbo comes round.......... *Shell shocked!! What I think I watched yesterday was a bunch of amateurs playing together a game of kick about on a field. Worst performance this season giving the ball away with every second pass, little organisation at the back and complete lack of thrust at the front.. I felt sorry for Donaldson being thrown on when he was obviously out of sorts and not ready in fitness* *Worst performance of the season so far. JR comments shows a complete lack of respect for the fans that turned out to watch that drivel. Route one football and hoping that the ball drops to one of our players. There are no tactics just lump in box and see what happens.* *I too agree with Robbo's comments but he really picked the wrong day to say it! None of what happened yesterday was anyone elses fault but his own. Wrong set up from start and it all went downhill. Caleyaway is a small but loyal band of fans some of whom seldom attend home games. You don't ever hear the criticism/pickiness that I hear week in and out at home. Football at home is mainly a joyless watch. Its not helped by performances like yesterday however.* *Have to agree that was the worst performance at home so far. Lost soft goals and never created any chances. Scrambled goal to give us some hope with 12 mins left however you didn't think we could do it. There keeper didn't have a save to make. Very disappointing following good win at Ayr.* *Getting pretty sick of posting the same comments after almost every home game! That first 45minutes today really was the worst I can remember from an Inverness side. Absolutely pathetic!* *You would be hard pressed to see a worse game of football anywhere today . Absolutely shocking no wonder the stands were empty.* *People keep asking why people are staying away. Half way through the first half I suspect most at the game wish they had.* *Five minutes before the end ,McCauley was announced as the sponsor's MOTM. But he only came on in the 70th minute. I think that rather sums it up!* *Poor team selection, poor tactics, poor application and poor, verging on irrational substitutions. The only comfort we can take is that our rivals for that final play off, which appears now to be our only realistic target, fared no better. However, even that final play off place will be beyond us if we continue to play as badly as that.* *Trying to deflect the blame from himself even though his team selection, tactics and substitutions were horrendous. There was absolutely nothing to get the fans excited about watching that today. Taking on a centre half and defensive midfielder when we are two down hardly helps. Embarrassing comments from the manager.* *That's as bad a performance as I can remember. Just when you think we might have turned the corner, we manage to produce a truly woeful performance. I can't remember their keeper making a save. We were second to every ball and made a poor Partick team look good. And for Robbo to blame the home support is totally unacceptable, give the fans something to shout about and they will react.........* *Another week another poor home game. Robbo can huff and puff about home fans but we've had 2 wins at home in the league what exactly does he expect? So many things wrong with todays performance a lot of which the manager and coaching staff need to take the blame for and some things the players.* *I picked the wrong game to take my 7 year old grandson to: that was woeful, and even he knew that. We started ok, but lost two quick goals, and never really got any control of the match.* *That was the worst game so far this season and I am being polite! Why he kept Brad Mackay on he was rank. And the rest weren't much better. I hope we have some of the injured players back for the County game.* *Not up for the game from the start whole team were awful 1st half. The whole bloody lot of them need to take a look at themselves.* *A shocking performance with Brad Mackay at fault for both goals.Never looked like winning this game. No pass marks for anyone except goalkeeper Mackay who had a couple of great saves * However, lets end on a positive note.............. *Only positives for me were the couple of saves from Cammy Mackay, McCart being solid at the back, even when playing on the right of defence, and McCauley: he is definitely worth a start. * *......he then made a couple of good stops and I think has done a good job coming in at the last minute* Here's the offending comments from our Gaffer. Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson: "I thought victory would still make us outside title challengers, and anything else would mean we are fighting for a play-off spot. "We've got a problem at home. We've won two, lost three and drawn the rest. Away from home, we've got a small band of fans that get right behind the team but at home they don't seem to do that." Partick Thistle manager Gary Caldwell: "We spoke about the characteristics you need to win away from home - resilience, desire, togetherness - and I think we showed that second half. "But in the first half, we showed quality. It could have been more than 2-0 and tactically I thought the boys were outstanding." Here's the wee man himself........... Date: 02/02/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2171 Referee: David Lowe Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: C Mackay; Rooney (Donaldson 45), B Mckay, McCart, McHattie, Polworth, Welsh, Chalmers, McDonald (Trafford 45), Austin (McCauley 70), White. Subs (not used): McKinnon; Tremarco, MacGregor, D Mackay. Scorers: McCauley (77) Booked: Trafford (49) Sent Off: none Partick Thistle: 2 Lineup: Hazard; McMillan, Saunders, Anderson (McCarthy 83), Elliot, Slater, Bannigan, Fitzpatrick (Harkins 72), Penrice, Spittal, Storey (Doolan 90+1) Subs (not used): Sneddon; McGinty, Coulibaly, Mansell. Scorers: Anderson (21), Fitzpatrick (25) Booked: Saunders (51), Bannigan (62) Anderson (68), Harkins (86) Sent Off: none a
  21. By George, he's off Struggling Partick Thistle come North on Saturday to the sponsorless and Georgeless Caledonian Stadium, looking to get themselves away from the relegation battle at the foot of the table. It's a great opportunity for Inverness as well as they look to consolidate their position within the top four and keep on the heels of Dundee United whilst making sure the teams below stay there. One man who won't be at the stadium is George Oakley. He was a surprise departure on the final night of the transfer window, leaving for the metropolis of the Eastern Block landscapes of Hamilton. @George_Oakley23 had this to say to the Inverness fans on twitter. Just want to say a massive thank you to everyone @ICTFC for everything they have done with me for the past year and half! Great club and the fans were amazing for me from the day I joined! But I am looking forward to this new challenge with @acciesfc can’t wait to get started👊🏻🔴 Wow! That's a sign of the times as we can't even compete with Hamilton Accies for the signature of a player. Is this the beginning of the end for Inverness Caledonian Thistle? Have the club really got such a lack of ambition that we can't hold on to one of our three strikers? Has George got the talent to succeed on the plastic pitch at Accies? Or, was it a shrewd bit of business to get rid of an injury prone second rate striker whose contract runs out in the summer and we can get some pennies before it's too late. To be honest, the jury is out on the CTO website. Many blame the board but some are coming round to the fact that it might be for the best. It all depends if your glass is half empty or half full I suppose. Plenty of uncertainty on the forums. Here's a selection of the concerns:- "As we are skint then I'm not surprised we took cash for Oakley, we are however left relying on White and Austin, (if fit), as our senior strikers." "We are skint! Also appears we have no real ambition anymore. Gutted." "Well this is depressing news. Ambition - not..." "Easily the best of our strikers allowed to leave for peanuts no doubt. FFS the squad was small enough already without losing any more players." "Well that’s pretty $hit news. Are we now relying on injury prone Austin. Jordan White and two youngsters in McGregor and Mackay." And some almost positive comments:- "Can’t say I’ve ever found myself thinking that Oakley is too good for this league and should be playing at a higher level." "from what I saw last season I didn't think Oakley was that good a striker. He certainly wasn't the sort of striker who would fire you to the title in this league. He was also out of contract at the end of the season and if we thought he wasn't going to re-sign and isn't a starter then cashing in, even if it'll be pennies in the scheme of things, could be the right thing to do." "Slightly shocked, but he's out of Contract at the end of the season, (and the small fee probably covers the laundry bill) anyway I think McCauley can do a job for us in his place." This one sums it up as far as I am concerned "The fact that players see moving to Accies from us as a step up is hardly a laughing matter and is a sad indictment of where we are these days." Anyway, thanks for the effort George and Good luck at Hamilton, I think you will need it. George Joins Accies The other big talking point this week is that the club are looking for a new sponsor for the Stadium and what it will be named now that ownership has been secured. I don't suppose it will be called the George Oakley Arena now. The Harry Gow Dream Ring is a popular one though. Others already in the bin are The Dump, The Stadium of Shite, The Richie Foran Arena of Excellence, The House of Hughes. Here's the official take on the stadium deal. Read about it HERE Meanwhile, there's a game to be won on Saturday. We played Ayr United on Tuesday night and came away with all three points after we blitzed Ayr in the opening twenty minutes. We found ourselves 3-0 up with goals from Nathan Austin (2) and a Liam Polworth belter. Ian McCall changed his side at the interval and we were immediately on the back foot when the hosts scored early in the second half through Declan McDaid. Lawrence Shankland got the nerves jangling when he banged in a deflected free kick to set up a tense ending but we held on for a valuable three points. That was on the back of a 2-2 draw at Falkirk last Saturday when we were pegged back twice. It could be a great week for us on the park should we take the points tomorrow. Partick won their first League game in six since they beat The Pars 2-0 on the 8th of December. They beat our recent conquerors Queen of the South 2-1 thanks to goals from Joe Cardle and Miles Storey. That moved them off the bottom of the table one point above Falkirk. The games between the sides this season have resulted in six points for Inverness. A 3-2 win in the Highlands was followed by a 1-0 win at Firhill. Both tight games but scorer at Firhill, Tom Walsh is out with a broken foot. We survived a late fightback in the first game after White, Rooney and a Welsh (pen) put us 3-0 ahead. Last ten minute goals from Blair Spittal and Kris Doolan almost snatched a point for Partick but they fell just short. ICT 3-2 Partick from September Inverness will obviously be without Oakley and the injured Coll Donaldson, Tom Walsh and possibly Aaron Doran. Look for new signings Darren McCauley and Anthony McDonlad to be more involved tomorrow. Mark Ridgers has missed the last two games with a back problem with young Cammy Mackay deputising, and he put in a decent performance at Ayr. Here he is talking ahead of the Partick game............. Partick will be without the injured Joe Cardle. Gary Caldwell was speaking on the Partick Thistle website about the ins and outs:- “We set the target before January started of coming out of the window a stronger side than we were when we went into the window and I think we can definitely say that is the case. We have strengthened the core of the side with a goalkeeper, a centre back, a central midfielder and two strikers coming into the Club. On top of that we’ve got some great creativity in Joe Cardle and some additional versatility at the back in the form of Jack McMillan.
  22. Ayr Raid Inverness surged into a three goal lead inside 20 minutes, Nathan Austin bagging the first two goals and Liam Polworth adding the third with a low shot from outside the box. It remained 0-3 at the interval but substitute Lawrence Shankland made his presence felt as he set up Declan McDaid to open Ayr's account eight minutes after the break. Shankland scored from a free kick with five minutes to go to set up a tense finish but Inverness just managed to hold on to take all three points. That's a tremendous result that has put us back into the top four and denied Ayr a return to the top of the table. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ John Robertson made two changes to the team that drew 2-2 at Falkirk. Jambos loanee Anthony McDonald started in place of the injured Aaron Doran and George Oakley replaced Jordan White. Cammy Mackay kept the keepers jersey with Mark Ridgers still out with back pain. Ayr kept faith with Craig Moore and Michael Moffat up front which meant that Lawrence Shankland was on the bench. Nathan Austin started the ball rolling towards the Somerset Road end on a freezing night at Somerset Park in front of 1559 shivering fans. The 76 visiting ones would be warmed up well before half time. Immortal Howden Ender was one of the 76........... To start with a round of applause for the recorded 76 fans who made it to Somerset Park despite the road conditions in both North and South directions. The records also show that there was 1559 in total attendance although it looked more to me. And we were then treated to the best 9 minutes of the season. The first, in the eight minute, had a degree of luck to it. Superb through ball from Polworth and Nathan Austin took it round Rose and Doohan with a little help from Rose but he finished well which has not always been the case this season. And just as one bus leaves another turns up, three minutes later (certainly wasn’t sponsored by ScotRail). A terrible pass by Smith found Oakley who played in Nathan Austin who again rounded the keeper but knocked it in with his left foot. Not sure how the defender on the line missed the clearance but hey-ho. And as most if not every fan in the ground were shaking their heads we go three up. Liam Polworth sweetly stuck a low 20 yarder which went in via the post. As good a strike as I have seen this season. But any chance of a 7-0 Somerset repeat were soon dashed as Ayr appeared to waken up. They could well have got a goal back before half time. A header came off the crossbar and Cammy MacKay made a fine save just on the half time whistle. In many ways it was fortunate for us that we held out as the second half may have been even more arduous. Enter Lawrence Shankland for the second half. It felt that the combination of a McCall bollicking, Shankland enthusing the crowd and Ayr lifting their effort made the second half a very, very long one. The first goal in the 53rd minute was made by Shankland and finished off by McDaid. Although I would have given the “assist” to Jamie McCart – although the ball did appear to hit a divot. There were two penalty claims thereafter although I feel that both being denied were the correct decision. The ball clearly played Tremarco’s hand and Oakley had lost the ball in a rumble in the box. Also in the 58th minute Robbo made his first substitution which basically puzzled me. He hooks Austin whos’ pace was the main worry for the Ayr back four and would have been a bonus on the break. And he brings on White ?!! Trafford replaced McDonald in the 70th minute but that was understandable. McCauley replaced Oakley in the 82nd minute and that was one that may have been better happening 15-20 minutes earlier. And three minutes later the inevitable Shankland goal made us fear that another draw was on the cards. And it was – and you could hear a collective sigh of relief from 76 Highlanders when Muirhead headed over in injury time – although I thought that Tremarco’s presence put him off. Ayr United manager Ian McCall: "You can't give teams a three-goal start. I thought they had 20 minutes, then we dominated, but we couldn't get an equalizer – have to agree. Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "You know if you lose a goal here, the atmosphere can change and it's a brilliant throw back coming here – spot on again. Robbo added - "If we win on Saturday, we're back in the hunt going into the break for the cup. We're just targeting whatever team is directly above us. – who can argue against that ? SMILEYMOMETER MacKay - Young Cammy did well and I thought that his save before half time was a real game saver. top. At the time I was critical of his Alan Rough impersonation for the second goal but the free kick looks as if it took a mean deflection. Rooney – Disappointed me. Always looks good going forward but I felt that most of Ayr’s chances came down their left wing and Rooney lacking pace. McKay 😎– No nonsense and why not. McCart – 🙄As Mckay apart from the 53rd minute Brain Fart (Rigism) Tremarco – Best defender for me and good to see him back at full fitness. Chalmers – 😀 No sign of his sweet left foot but worked his socks off Welsh – An “old head” which we need at the present time. Looked more like a captain. Polly – My MOM. Super pass for the first goal and super strike for the third goal. Also worked hard which often is lacking at home. McDonald – Thought that Robbo would have played McCauley from the start on physique alone. Has a look of a Doran about him – which we need. Suspect that he will be more effective at home. Austin – Best game in our colours for me. Two good finishes and worked the line very well. So why the hooking in the 58th minute ? White – 😁Actually thought that he was a good out option and he held the ball up quite well. Trafford – Evidently taken on for the Davy Crockett effect McCauley – Wrong game to judge. Here's the footage from Ayr TV Robbo post match on twitter Date: 29/01/2019 Venue: Somerset Park Attendance: 2000 Referee: Nick Walsh Ayr United: 2 Lineup: Doohan; Smith, Bell, Rose, Harvie, Murdoch, Crawford (Muirhead 82), Docherty (Higgins 45), McDaid, Moore (Shankland 45), Moffat Subs (not used): Hare-Reid; Hilton, Ecrepont, McCowan. Scorers: McDaid (53), Shankland (85) Booked: Crawford (79) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: C Mackay; Rooney, B Mckay, J McCart, Tremarco, McDonald (Trafford 70), Polworth, Welsh, Chalmers, Austin (White 58), Oakley (McCauley 82). Subs (not used): MacKinnon; Harper, McHattie, Mackay. Scorers: Austin (9, 12) Polworth (18) Booked: Polworth (36), Oakley (69) Sent Off: none a
  23. Let's go fly a kite.... Somerset Park Ayr is the venue on Tuesday night in this re-arranged fixture after the original date was called off less than an hour before kick-off due to high winds. Unfortunately many Inverness fans had already made the five hour journey only to be met with the news they didn't want to hear. And it could be Deja Vu with a pitch inspection planned for 11:30am after a week of rain in Ayrshire. 🌧️ The ICT Supporters Travel Club is running a bus to this match. The Bus leaves the Caley Club at 13:45 and the Stadium at 14:00. The Bus can be booked by text on 07462218717 or through their Facebook page. The original game was due to be played on the 7th December, but strong winds forced the postponement with teams and fans already at the stadium. Since the postponement, Ayr have had three draws, three defeats and one win on Saturday against Dundee United, Craig Moore scoring early. Falkirk and Inverness were Championship winners but the surprising defeat was to Auchinleck Talbot in the Scottish Cup. Prior to the game that was called off, Ayr were sitting on top of the League. They were knocked off their perch as County turned the screw, but had managed to get back on top before Saturday when County won to regain the lead although Ayr have a game in hand, this one against the Caley Jags. We have blown hot and cold recently and since the postponement have three wins, two defeats and two draws. The biggest win was a 4-0 defeat of Lowland League leaders East Kilbride in the cup. The two disappointing losses were the Highland derby and a home defeat by Queen of the South. The first meeting of the season saw Inverness fail to get the better of ten man Ayr, Liam Polworth missing the target from the spot. We did keep Shankland fairly quiet in that game, but even with ten men Ayr were still a threat on the break, the game ended 0-0. The last time we met a couple of weeks ago we managed to get the better of Ayr thanks to a header from Jordan White, a rare home win for the Caley Jags this term. Inverness fielded their two new signings at the weekend, both coming off the bench in a 2-2 draw at Falkirk. Mark Ridgers was unable to play due to a back spasm and Cammy Mackay deputised in goal. Unfortunately that probably contributed to Falkirk's second goal resulting in a couple of points dropped. Disappointing result really as we led twice but our attacking intent was evident and Aaron Doran's stunning strike was worth all three points. Three of our most influential players were missing at Falkirk. Coll Donaldson and Tom Walsh are out for over a month unfortunately. Ridgers will hopefully be over his back problem soon. The introduction of Darren McCauley and Anthony McDonald will give the squad a lift though and Jamie McCart has proven to be an able deputy for Coll. Aaron Doran pulled up at Falkirk with a possible hamstring injury and might be out for a couple of games. Ayr have scoring sensation Lawrence Shankland back in action after he missed a few games. Craig Moore and Michael Moffat have shown that Ayr are not a one man team though. Geggan and Forrest are out, but Kerr and Adams are almost there. It's a pity Aaron Doran is out as he has been getting back to his best recently. Here's what he is capable of. Here's new Inverness signing Darren McCauley talking ahead of the Ayr United game........... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you like a wee flutter, our new partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  24. All Square at Falkirk It was a depleted Inverness that kicked off with Coll Donaldson, Tom Walsh and Mark Ridgers out and third choice keeper Cammy Mackay in goal. Undaunted, we took the lead after 12 minutes when Shaun Rooney touched in a Joe Chalmers free kick. On the half hour Zak Rudden equalised from close range. Doran restored our lead just on the interval when he volleyed into the top corner in spectacular fashion. Freak goal from McShane levelled the game again 10 minutes into the second half. Inverness had both new signings Darren McCauley and Anthony McDonald available and on the bench for this game, however, we were dealt a blow with Mark Ridgers unable to play because of a back spasm and Fon Williams allegedly with a groin injury. That thrust young Cammy Mackay into the spotlight with Martin MacKinnon as back up on the bench. Nathan Austin and Jordan White started up front with George Oakley on the bench. Falkirk had new keeper from Wolves Harry Burgoyne between the sticks for the first time and prolific scorer Zak Rudden starting. It was a sodden miserable afternoon as Falkirk kicked off in front of nearly 5000 fans, 240 of them supporting the team from the Highlands, Cammy Mackay tasked with keeping the Bairns out. His last game was a month ago, a 2-0 defeat for Rothes in the Highland League against Brora Rangers whilst out on loan. A bright start for the visitors saw Nathan Austin, Aaron Doran and Jamie McCart all make Harry Burgoyne work in the Falkirk goal. Shaun Rooney did even better when he made him pick the ball out of the net in twelve minutes when he diverted a low Joe Chalmers free kick into the net for the opening goal. Great start for the Caley Jags. Austin had a header saved as we pushed for a second and Doran was close with a shot and Sean Welsh dragged another shot wide halfway though the first period. Burgoyne made a tremendous save to deny Doran from distance, fisting the ball away as the visitors continued to dominate and keeping young Cammy Mackay quiet in goal so far. Spoke too soon as out of the blue Zak Rudden tapped in from close range to level the match after good work from Mark Waddington. We fail to convert after a scramble in the Bairns box and soon after Liam Polworth shot wide after a lay-off from White. A quick break from defence saw White's first effort saved and his follow up deflected for a corner. From the corner, Falkirk do likewise as Rudden is denied at the other end. Inverness have had the greater opportunities in the first half and just on the break we regained the lead in spectacular fashion. A Polworth free kick was cleared as far as Doran at the edge of the box, and after taking a touch the wee man smashed the ball into the top corner on the volley, what a strike. Pick that one out Harry! Half Time 1-2 No changes at the break as Inverness set the ball rolling for the second half and we began on the front foot again, Austin doing his best to undo his old club as he drilled a ball across the box but there were no takers. Falkirk were relying on Mackay being in the firing line and they equalised when a corner from Ian McShane deceived the keeper and ended up in the net. Austin tried to reply moments later but his header was too straight and saved by the keeper and Sean Welsh missed from distance. Doran pulled up on a run forward and he had to make way for Darren McCauley to make his debut and it's almost an instant success as his ball is deflected to White and behind for a corner. Jamie McCart took a head knock as well, injuries we don't need at the moment. Substitute George Oakley had a header saved as we looked to get back in front, and Anthony McDonald replaced Jordan White to make his debut. McCauley had an effort blocked as we looked for the winner and at the other end Paul Paton saw Mackay save his shot. Big shouts for a penalty after a McCauley shot is blocked but nothing doing and Rudden blazed a shot over from 8 yards after being played in. That should have clinched it for the hosts. It all ended a bit towsy with a couple of bookings but with no further scoring it finished all square. Inverness will feel it's two points dropped, after having enough chances to win two games, but the injury to Doran could be more worrying. Speaking on BBC Sport Falkirk manager Ray McKinnon: "That's us unbeaten in January but we need to start winning games. It will happen sooner or later, I'm certain of that. "We still need two players. We need someone to hold the ball up front and an experienced centre half. We played a more attacking style but we just weren't clicking in the final third." Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "It was a strange game. Both equalisers come against the run of play. The Falkirk keeper - he was terrific - kept them in the game. "The most disappointing thing was not getting a penalty kick. Their player runs six yards to close down, hands above shoulders, and it comes off both hands. It's a clear a penalty as you'll get." Here's some footage from Falkirk TV on YouTube Where's Harry.............. Here he is............... Date: 26/01/2019 Venue: Falkirk Stadium Attendance: 4843 Referee: David Munro Falkirk: 2 Lineup: Burgoyne; McGhee, Petravicius (Lavery 75), MacLean (Keillor-Dunn 64), Osman, Robson, McShane, Rudden, Dickson, Waddington (Paton 79), McKenna Subs (not used): Mitchell; Kidd, Brough, McKee, Scorers: Rudden (29) McShane (56) Booked: Keillor Dunn (90+2) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: C Mackay; Rooney, B Mckay, McCart, Tremarco, Doran (McCauley 64), Polworth, Welsh, Chalmers, Austin (Oakley 63), White (McDonald 80) Subs (not used): McKinnon; Harper, McHattie, Trafford. Scorers: Rooney (12), Doran (45) Booked: Tremarco (62), Rooney (90+3) Sent Off: none a
  25. Cheap price for a Scottish Cup match. Ochj
  26. Quick start settles tie Inverness eased into the last sixteen of the Scottish Cup after removing Lowland League side East Kilbride from the competition. The opening half hour ended the tie as a contest as goals from Jordan White, Aaron Doran and Liam Polworth put the hosts three up before the break. Craig Reid unfortunately turned a cross into his own net to end the scoring midway through the second half. Suspended duo Shaun Rooney and Brad Mckay returned to the starting XI, as did George Oakley who partnered Jordan White up top in a 4-4-2. Tom Walsh is out with a broken foot and Coll Donaldson has had groin surgery, Jamie McCart deputised in central defence. East Kilbride had a couple of familiar faces, David Proctor and Chris Humphrey both started for Kilby. It was a brisk afternoon as just under 1200 welcomed the teams onto the park with the 16th minute on the minds of many. Inverness wanted to get off to a flier and they did just that. Shaun Rooney had already tested keeper McGinley and a minute later Jordan White was on hand to open the scoring when the ball found him in the box and he slotted home. That warmed the palms of the fans but in the sixteenth minute the palms were roasting when a tribute for Dawn Sinclair filled the stadium with applause. Lovely tribute from everyone in the stadium for the youngster who sadly passed away recently. That lifted the players once more and in the 21st minute Aaron Doran tidily dispatched the ball behind the keeper as he guided a low shot from beyond the edge of the box into the bottom corner. The hosts were in full flow with White and Polly going close and it was no surprise that a third goal was added when Liam Polworth finished with aplomb, firing high into the net from ten yards in the 27th minute. McGinley made a fantastic save to deny a lively George Oakley, the keeper flying high across his goal to keep out a roaster from George who had turned his marker brilliantly before unleashing a shot from around twenty yards. Former Motherwell winger Chris Humphrey tested Mark Ridgers with a high strike, but the keeper was able to palm it away. That was East Kilbride's best moment of the half. Half Time 3-0 Ex-Inverness player David Proctor had to retire five minutes after the break and was given a warm reception as he left the field to be replaced by Scott Stevenson. Inverness passed up on a great opportunity as Brad Mckay, in his 100th game for the Caley Jags, skied one from close range when he should have scored. The urgency had gone from the Caley Jags and East Kilbride enjoyed their fair share of the ball without really troubling Ridgers. With twenty minutes left Craig Reid diverted a harmless cross into the net to make it 4-0 with McGinley stranded, the cross looking to be heading nowhere until Reid stuck a leg out. There would be no further scoring and only Nathan Austin will be able to explain why he delayed long enough to allow McGinley to block his point-blank effort when he should have bulged the net. It mattered not as the game played out and ended with Inverness going into the pot for the last sixteen. It was a comfortable afternoon for Inverness but East Kilbride can be heartened by their second half display where Inverness were unable to punish them with any authority although a couple of howlers could have added some polish to the result. Speaking on BBC Sport, Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson said: "It was comfortable but we made it comfortable by a very, very fast start. "I'd like a winnable home tie. We want to progress. We've got a proud record in this competition and just four years ago we won it." His counterpart, East Kilbride manager Stuart Malcolm said: "It's a huge step up for us going from the Lowland League to play against Inverness. We didn't start overly well and they put us to the sword. "The second half was much better. We had a couple of half chances. Inverness were excellent. They are entirely professional and did a good job." Here's the highlights from Caley Jags TV And to round off a good day, did you all cash in with the superb offer from CTO Sponsors FansBet We're looking to start strongly against East Kilbride in the Scottish Cup. Our partners @Fans_bet have boosted odds of 4/1 on ICT to be leading after 10 minutes. Sign up here http://bit.ly/2OBvlLv & select Caley Thistle Online to help us support the forum and ICT fan causes. And would you believe it, another Highland derby in the Scottish Cup. Date: 19/01/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1196 Referee: Mike Roncone Inverness CT: 4 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, McCart, Tremarco, Polworth, Chalmers, Welsh, Doran (MacGregor 85), White (Austin 62), Oakley (D Mackay 70) Subs (not used): C Mackay, Harper, Trafford, McHattie, Scorers: White (6), Doran (21), Polworth (27), Reid (71, og) Booked: none Sent Off: none East Kilbride: 0 Lineup: McGinley, Reid, Proctor (Stevenson 49), Howie (Russell 87), Coll, Humphrey (McNeil 71), Brady, Holmes, Anderson, Malcolm, Woods Subs (not used): Kean; Craig, Longworth, Winter. Scorers: none Booked: Woods (60) Brady (80), Sent Off: none a
  27. Do this for Dawn Scottish Cup action this Saturday as two of the youngest clubs in Scottish football lock horns at the Caledonian Stadium, Inverness. Ten year old East Kilbride from the Lowland Football League take on 25 year old (soon) Inverness Caledonian Thistle for a place in the last sixteen. Can we ask all fans to support this tribute to Dawn please............ ICT has lost a great friend and supporter with the sad passing of Dawn Sinclair, who would have celebrated her 16th birthday on Saturday 19 January with a party at the stadium following the Scottish Cup tie against East Kilbride. A period of applause in the 16th minute on Saturday will be a fitting tribute to the teenager, who was a familiar face at games and at events run by Supporters, the most recent being a night out at Rollerbowl. She loved wearing her ICT strip and her proudest moment was being at Hampden in May 2015 to see the club lift the Scottish Cup. Tribute to Dawn on the Official ICTFC site. To the game on Saturday. What do we know about East Kilbride FC? Well they play at the K-Park Training Academy in Calderglen Country Park. But there's a lot more to them and they have something in common with us. They have also played Celtic in the Scottish Cup....... The original club were formed in 1871 and folded a number of times in the early days. Their first recorded game was a 1-0 defeat by a Queens Park XI. The present club were formed in May 2010. Jackton Boys Club and Stewartfield F.C. were merged and later EK Diamonds and EK Wanderers were incorporated to form the club as we now know them. The team played in the Scottish Amateur Football League prior to being elected into the senior leagues in June 2013. They were elected to play in the newly formed Lowland League for season 2013/2014. They were granted full SFA membership in April 2014 and therefore could enter the Scottish Cup from season 2014–15. Their first Scottish Cup tie was a 1–0 first round win at Lothian Thistle. East Kilbride won the 2016–17 Lowland League, and progressed to a promotion/relegation playoff with Scottish League Two club Cowdenbeath. They missed out on promotion to the SPFL after losing a penalty shootout. Their big moment on the big stage came in February 2016 when they hosted Celtic in the Scottish Cup at Airdrie's Excelsior Stadium. It took goals from Scotland striker Leigh Griffiths and new signing Kazim-Richards to see off EK 2-0. A great effort from the Lowland League side. They warmed up for this tie with a 5-0 thrashing of Gretna 2008 and as the League table shows they are on course to top the table this season. There's a couple of guys we have definitely heard of. Ex Caley Thistle utility player David Proctor plays for them as does Chris Humphrey the former speedy Motherwell wide player. There's an interesting article in the Daily Record about Proc. Inverness have been without the injured George Oakley and Nathan Austin recently. Coll Donaldson has had groin surgery and will miss out, but our two suspended players, Brad Mckay and Shaun Rooney will return. Our last outing was a 1-0 victory over Ayr United last Saturday when a Jordan White goal secured all three points. You can see Jordan speaking ahead of this cup tie below. Let's do this for Dawn! CTO Sponsors FansBet have a wee opportunity for you to cash in as we're looking to start strongly against East Kilbride in the Scottish Cup. Our partners @Fans_bet have boosted odds of 4/1 on ICT to be leading after 10 minutes. Sign up here http://bit.ly/2OBvlLv & select Caley Thistle Online to help us support the forum and ICT fan causes. Also another odds they have for us ..........Caley Thistle To Win and Both Teams To Score @ 37/20 If you like a wee flutter, our new partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  28. Ayr Pressure Down Both sides were somewhat diminished with major players either injured, ill or suspended and it was a battle of the walking wounded as Ayr tried to keep the pressure on at the top of the League with County facing a difficult away trip to Palmerston. Inverness had Brad Mckay and Shaun Rooney suspended with strikers George Oakley and Nathan Austin injured. Angus Beith is still missing and this has now been reported to the polis as nobody has seen him yet! Kevin McHattie made his first home start with Carl Tremarco covering at right back. Ayr were without top striker Lawrence Shankland, Jamie Adams, Mark Kerr, Liam Smith and Alan Forrest with Adam Murdoch suspended. An unseasonably mild January afternoon with a touch of a stiff breeze coming in from the West met the teams as they entered the park in front of a 2283 crowd............. Liam Polworth was first to have an opportunity as he fired goalwards from twenty yards but his shot was weak and wide as he dragged it past the post. Michael Moffat broke clear for Ayr at the other end but his low shot was well held by Mark Ridgers from the angle when the striker might have been better squaring the ball. Aaron Doran should have scored when he latched on to a cross from Tom Walsh but his shot from close range cannoned back off the middle of the post and bounced back out of the box to safety. The home side were starting to dominate and Doran was flagged offside as he sprinted on to a good through ball from Polworth. Ayr were still a threat on the break though and Declan McDaid curled a shot over from one such venture forth and at the opposite end Joe Chalmers went close with a strike from distance as Ross Doohan sprawled across his goal line. Back came Ayr and Ross Docherty fired one over the bar as the game panned out. The end to end stuff continued as Polworth created the space to get a shot away after a delightful drag back, but it was always heading too high. Too high was the order of the day as McDaid sent another one over, the ball dipping too late. Best move of the half saw Jordan White miss a golden opportunity after he linked up well with Doran, but the striker shot just past the near post when it looked easier to score. Half Time 0-0 Ayr went close just after the break as Craig Moore met a great cross unchallenged, but his header was just wide of the junction with Ridgers stranded. That seemed to stir Inverness into action and from there on we dominated the game without overly exerting Doohan in the visitors goal. White was becoming more prominent and had an effort saved by the keeper who just got his finger tips to the ball at the expense of a corner. However he would not be denied in the 64th minute. Following a poor miss when he did not get enough contact on a header, the ball was sent back into the box by Sean Welsh and White had dusted himself down quickly enough to send a powerful header into the net with Doohan merely a spectator. The goal had been coming after a good spell of pressure from the home side. Ten minutes later Doran should have wrapped up the points but he skewed his shot just wide when scoring looked the better option. The dreaded 'hold what we had' was in the thoughts of most fans who had only witnessed one previous home League win this season. However, if truth be told we saw out the game in relative comfort thereafter and ran the clock down in style with some keep ball at the end. Full Time 1-0 Great to witness a win after so long, most had forgotten what it felt like. It was a narrow victory though with big Jordan White powering a header home just after the hour. He can jump after all! Aaron Doran missed that great opportunity to make the game comfortable but skewed wide and that led to a slightly tetchy last ten minutes, but we saw it out safely and took all three points with Joe Chalmers getting the sponsors MotM but Jordan White getting the nod from me. Speaking on BBC Sport, the respective managers had this to say....... Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "It was an even first half, but the second half we started to impose ourselves. It was a terrific goal and I'm delighted for Jordan - what a job he does as a lone striker. "We didn't look like we were going to lose a goal. There was a resilience to them and we thoroughly deserved the three points." Ayr United manager Ian McCall: "We had good chances but I thought Inverness deserved to win. I don't think we played very well, nothing to do with injuries I just don't think we played well enough. "I think the first goal was always going to win it. It was a great chance for us, we knew Ross County had a hard game but the league's going to be really, really tight." Highlights from Caley Jags TV If you can access Facebook, then here is Robbo's post match interview...... Date: 12/01/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2283 Referee: Willie Collum Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Tremarco, Donaldson, McCart, McHattie, Polworth (D Mackay 71), Chalmers, Welsh, Doran (Trafford 85), Walsh, White. Subs (not used): C Mackay; Nicolson, MacGregor, Brown, Harper. Scorers: White (64) Booked: none Sent Off: none Ayr United: 0 Lineup: Doohan; Ferguson, Rose, Bell, Harvie, Geggan (McGuffie 67), Docherty, Crawford, McDaid (Higgins 73), Moffat, Moore (McCowan 79). Subs (not used): Hare-Reid; Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none a
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