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  1. Yesterday
  2. New Turf for Betfred Cup Action. Raith Rovers are the visitors on Saturday for our second Betfred group stage game. Both sides will be looking to do better after underwhelming opening results in the competition where Dundee and Peterhead top the group D table with 5 points. We will unveil our newly grassed surface after improvement work on the drainage and soil was undertaken in the closed season. Well done to Dale Stephen and his team for getting the pitch ready for action Here's a wee glimpse of the new grass pictured a week ago, and what a difference they have made in the space of a few weeks. From a sandy lunar surface to the green green grass of home since it was all dug up at the end of last season. Let's hope we can put the grass to good use and start off with a win. We drew 0-0 with Peterhead in our opening group game at Balmoor Stadium. The hosts took the bonus point after an astonishing penalty shoot-out. All the outfield players on the park at full time scored their spot kicks and it boiled down to keepers Mark Ridgers and Greg Fleming. Unfortunately, Ridgers sliced his kick and Fleming made it 11-10 to win the extra point. Raith went down 3-0 to relegated Dundee in their opening game at Starks Park. Raith have always proven to be difficult opponents and I expect no different tomorrow. Let's hope we don't need a 94th minute Richie Foran overhead kick to win the game this time round. In saying that, it's 19 years since they last beat Inverness! Rovers last victory was a 2-1 win in the First Division back in October 2000, and since then, they’ve managed just two draws in 18 meetings. The last time the sides met was in the same competition a year ago, when a late Daniel McKay goal sealed a 2-1 win for the home side after Grant Gillespie had brought Rovers level, following Nathan Austin’s opener. We also face another testing time at home on Tuesday night as new League Two side Cove Rangers come to Inverness. Cove showed their resilience against last seasons Premiership fall guys, Dundee by drawing with them at the Balmoral Stadium. However, they suffered the same fate as us in the penalty shoot-out for the bonus point. We have a number of injury worries ahead of this game. Sean Welsh is still unavailable after breaking his foot last season. Shaun Rooney is out for a couple of months and Brad Mckay was taken off with a hamstring injury at Peterhead. Daniel Mackay and Aaron Doran were also missing on Tuesday night, and Kevin McHattie has reported in injured. Robbo has hinted that we could see more youngsters due to potential injury problems. That could mean a start for Harry Nicolson at right back or maybe Cameron Harper given our defensive issues. It will also be an opportunity for home fans to get a glimpse of our new signings. James Keatings, James Vincent and David Carson are likely starters with Mitchell Curry and Nokolay Todorov maybe getting an airing at some point. And if you haven't already seen young Brazilian Matheus Machado playing, look out for him. He's going to be a star one day and big things are predicted for him along with Roddy MacGregor (he's one of our own). Plenty to ponder for John Robertson who was less than impressed with the way Peterhead dominated large spells of the game last Tuesday night. There was a hastily arranged friendly at Brora on Friday night and the good news is that Daniel Mackay (pictured right) played from the start and on his return from injury scored two goals in the first half, one from the spot. That game ended 2-2. Remember to have a listen to The Wyness Shuffle podcast created by some of our own fans for your pleasure. Here's the Official Preview from ICTFC. Lot of info in there. 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/ Here's the page for INVERNESS v RAITH where FansBet have ICT as big favourites to win. Just click on Scottish League Cup. Let's hope they are right! Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  3. Last week
  4. Rendalls Rambles#8 Another couple of seasons from James' remarkable lookback at our first 25 years in existence, and in his own words, the good, the bad and the ugly............ The Inverness Caledonian Thistle Years #ICT25 No.22 2015/16 (Games 993 to 1053) The Good, the Bad and the quite frankly ugly! Since I became interested in football on the other side of the seas surrounding this island it has been a longstanding dream of mine to watch my team play in Europe. At Meadowbank this was merely a pipe dream, and in 1994 who would have thought it could ever happen for Inverness, but it did. It brought up a JFK moment, I will always remember where I was when the news broke of the Europa League draw, do you?! I was in Salzburg supping coffee ☕ with an Armenian lass, as you do, when a message from home brought the news we were headed to Romania and Giurgiu. I knew the club, but hadn't a clue where it was. St Johnstone had drawn a club from Yerevan as it happens in an earlier round, and I was immediately writing to a colleague in the office to pass information on to my boss regarding getting there and where to stay. He went, had a great time, but in the return leg Alashkert playing their inaugural Euro ties beat St J, who were out before we'd got started. It became apparent that none of my wee ICT gang were going to Romania sadly, but I was determined not to miss out, after all I had been in Denmark for the first friendly! Giurgiu was south of Bucharest, tucked away on the Romanian side of the Danube. My stroke of luck came in the form of a Brazilian friend, Luciano who had a translation buddy in Bucharest who was willing to meet me at the airport and head south. I booked my passage for the day of the game! In the first leg in Inverness, it kind of demonstrated again the lack of any club organisation or undue pride in this momentos occasion. They'd printed half and half scarves for a game versus a Liverpool third string, but when Euro football came to town, it was just like any other game, aside from the usual sized programme being ramped up to a fiver! Odd quirk number one saw a goalkeeper, just signed that day, starting the game! Owain Fon Williams would prove his worth in the coming months, but their still remains a nagging doubt that the goal Astra scored that night was stoppable. They were slightly better on the night, if too willing to take a tumble holding limbs. It was disappointing to have lost at home but at one down, it wasn't an impossible position. Before we headed to Romania, it was known that West Ham or a Maltese side would play the winners, Astra had knocked the Hammers out last season! It was an early flight to Amsterdam and then Bucharest, complete with a loss of two hours in the time difference, making it all the more remarkable that Razvan had time to take me to my Bucharest hotel, before heading south, through Giurgiu into a major roadworks traffic jam to cross the Danube and eat in Ruse in Bulgaria before the game! We managed it easily and joined the away throng in the 'cage'. It was a fantastic away support, circa 600, and we so nearly got the goal that would have forced extra time, but alas despite a few near things, Astra held on for 0-0. It was back to the capital late that evening, but two more games were on my roster, at stadiums where ex-Caley centre forwards were plying there trade!! Going out having failed to score was disappointing, but we could have pride in the away display against a useful and experienced team. Before the season had started Yogi had gone to the board and got them to pay Russell Latpay's contract up until the end and release him. He was hellbent on getting Brian Rice in, and while we didn't know it then, he would oversee some of the worst moments in the club's history. This script gets reproduced on Caleythistleonline and by virtue I am unwilling to regale the tale of what I was told regarding the circumstances of this disturbing replacement of our assistant manager, suffice is to say, it still leaves a bad taste and further diminished my limited admiration of Yogi, who by the season's end did a runner before his stock fell too dramatically, but oddly no one has taken him on since! Post Europe, a 1-1 draw in the league at Perth was a tedious affair, and a chance to trade "what if" stories with another early Euro exitee! Livingston were recovering from financial woes but we saw them off 2-0 down in West Lothian in the League Cup. By November a 3-1 win at Motherwell was a welcome three points, but once again we lost at Partick with me in the stadium! But the year ended with a bizarre 4-3 win at Hamilton. Cruising 2-0 up we nearly blew the whole thing, save Liam Polworth and a late, late pile driver that will stay forever in the memory. By early January, the defending Cup holders trotted out at Stirling Albion and in the end we were hanging on for 0-0! Kilmarnock beat us 2-1 at Rugby Park, a regular away loss, followed by another win at Motherwell by the same score reversed. Dens is rarely a bad hunting ground but merely got a point ahead of a 2-0 loss at Tynecastle. We had been spluttering and the lofty high of last term might have set the bar too high but shambolic displays with no forward thinking prowess was beginning to become common place. Somehow we toughed out a 1-1 draw in the cup at Easter Road, and before the replay in Inverness another toothless loss at Perth was endured. Both these games had seen a huge centre forward from Cambridge called Hughes play, and he was absolutely useless, making Andy Barrowman seem like a great signing a few years back. The growing unrest and disquiet 'boiled' over among the usually calm centre stand crowd at the replay versus Hibs. Remember, they were a Championship team at the time and we were second best for long spells of the game. I have rarely seen such animation at a home game. An incident in the second half involving the Hibs keeper that went on for nearly ten minutes drew foam from our usually passive fans! You know, I am unsure if that goalie ever played again for Hibs! It merely acted as a mask for the discontent of our own teams display, and while some late bluster nearly brought an equaliser, at full time our Cup had gone, not that we expected to retain it, but the manner of the loss drew knives in the angry booos at the end. It was a night that signalled a changing of attitude in my opinion. If Yogi had enjoyed a honeymoon start, it was over now, and he knew it. It all fell flat after that, losses here, there and everywhere. By the summer, doubtlessly unable to find the right players to replace the departing heroes of yesteryear, Yogi blamed the board and scampered. Things were never his fault!! Elsewhere, Kairat Almaty were in Aberdeen on European duty, and I did the programme notes for the Reds magazine, getting a couple of tickets for the game for my trouble. I sat in the back row of the old stand just in front of Richard Gordon and Co in my yellow and black tracksuit top chuffed to bits with how Kairat managed the game, a 1-1 draw and a 2-3 aggregate success for the Kazakhs. Forres Mechanics were at East Kilbride in Cup, so I went through and had the joy of telling the Can Can directors that they had missed the equaliser from Forres, caught over doing the hospitality at half time!! Another Cup tie brought Fort W to Prestonpans, and you will never guess, they won 3-2!! I have a 100% win record with the Fort ☺. Huntly ended up along at Spartans twice, winning a pre season friendly 2-0, but going down 3-0 in December in a cup replay with sixth tier LTHV. Fraserburgh were in the central belt in a later round, but Falkirk were to good, winning 4-1, as were Linlithgow Rose who thrashed Wick 5-1 but some horrible officiating aided the result as Wick ended with 9 men. Hibs, perennial Cup Final blowers did it again, Ross County getting top silverware in winning 2-1, but a trophy that brings no Euro place these days. We will always have that wee extra over them ☺. I was inadvertently at Shires last ever league match, a 3-0 drubbing by Elgin, but I missed the relegation against Edinburgh City as I was on the Faroe Islands! English escapes took me to Holker Street, where Barrow saw off Southport, and an Easter duo, with Accrington beating Orient, and FC Halifax getting the better of Altrincham on a day they thought they'd done enough to survive, but a late missed penalty on the last day sent them down to the sixth tier, a week before the highlight of the Shaymens history. I was at Wembley to see them beat Grimsby to win the FA Trophy amid tears still lingering from the week before. Morpeth thrashed Hereford to win the FA Vase before hand, but the Bulls were the best supported of them all! The day after the Inverness game in Giurgiu, I was at Dinamo Bucharest's stadium, home for Marius Nicolae! Alas, a newly promoted side FC Voluntari from outside the capital were ground sharing while their home was being buffed up. A healthy Voluntari crowd saw a second 0-0 draw for me against Targu Jiu. The following night I was in the national stadium in my Caley shirt hoping to see any ICT stragglers like me, but none were spotted, aside Gregory Tade, rested by Steau ahead of Champions League qualifier versus Partizan Belgrade! This game brought two goals in a 1-1 draw with Cluj. After a few years away I was back in Italy with the top draw, the third tier 'friendly' between Ancona and SPAL, a 1-2 away win that took the Ferrara club to within touching distance of promotion. Ahead of this game I watched a turgid encounter between Bologna and Torino, and followed by Modena thrashing Perugia creating a false dawn before relegation, and a third 0-0 draw on my CV involving Sampdoria, this time at Sassuolo. The curtain on my Euro travels came down in the unlikely village of Stremnes on the Faroes where EB/Streymur beat Giza/Hoyvik 3-0 in the Faroese second tier as Whit Sunday had moved the top tier fixtures to the day I was flying home 😔. The final game of the season was in early June, a first ever Junior league match for me with Kelty Hearts ahead of jumping codes beating Linlithgow. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Inverness Caledonian Thistle Years #ICT25 No. 23 2016/17 (Games 993 to 1,053) New depths: It was a brave move, doubtlessly a cheap option, but the moment we appointed one of our footballing heroes of the modern era, Richie Foran to the lofty position of manager, I knew it was a risk. With no experience, and left with Brian Rice as his only experience, the downward spiral sadly continued. In the end, after the dust settled, down we went, but it ended up frustratingly close! A litany of missed penalties would cost us, as well as Hamilton having gained three points, just, after two St Johnstone players decided to have a fight at the half time whistle! Dundee couldn't do us a favour on the last day, and we were relegated a mere one point behind Accies. The only consolation was we had accumulated the second highest points for a side going down, second to our first demotion!! Yet it all started reasonably well, winning narrowly at bumpy Central Park, Cowdenbeath in the new group stage League Cup, and continued along the road at Dunfermline in a fabulous 5-1. Driving home that night, Richard Gordon on BBC Radio Scotland said, 'Inverness are going to be fun to watch this season'! But while July moments of joy gave rise to possibilities all to briefly, reality hit home came as early as the opening gambits of August! We lost at Partick, again, and even worse, weakly submitted to Alloa, then a third tier team 1-0 in the League Cup, followed by a pathetic 5-1 mauling at Hearts. It wasn't a crisis yet, but Richie hadn't found the secret of getting a better link up between midfield and attack. It was fairly clear we would be fighting a battle at the bottom end of the table, and a crucial joust at Hamilton in October ended 1-1, then post a trip to Italy a return to Lanarkshire saw maybe the high point of the season, an imperious 3-0 win at Motherwell. Had we turned the corner? It spluttered on. In January we had a first competitive game at Elgin as a merged club, a renewal of old rivalries. It was a cracking day, and a competitive game, where we prevailed narrowly 2-1. Losing 3-0 at Hamilton was a sore one, but they showed fighting spirit at Tynecastle in a 1-1 draw. We even managed a similar score at Maryhill, a rare moment for me there where we didn't lose! Wins were needed, and another 1-1 at home to Ross County was further frustration, as was yet another at home to Killie. This sequence of draws would be another reason we went down. At least we weren't losing, but like last season, draws killed us! We couldn't repeat the success at Motherwell, going down 4-2, a too late in the day last hoorah at Kilmarnock failed to bring us a point, losing 2-1. I didn't head north for the last game, I just had lost faith, and with Dundee down so quickly at Hamilton their was no excitement in the possibility of getting the play off place. With my own charges a difficult watch, the wanderlust to other venues was always more relaxing. Hearts and Hibs were both in Europe. The JT struggled to beat FC Infonet Tallinn, who subsequently merged with Levadia in Estonia. Hibs were hosting Brondby, and I was going to the game with one of my Hibby chums. He was late, and as he had tickets I was stood outside as a roar went up to welcome to the teams, followed by immediate silence. I checked my phone, and sure enough the Danes had scored. When we eventually found the right stand, it was a quarter of an hour in, and we'd missed the only goal! There was a giddy week in late August into September, when East Stirlingshire were 7-3 up at HT at CSS, a new high of ten goals in a half! They only scored one more, winning 8-3. The following Saturday Bonnyrigg Rose 🌹 thrashed Burntisland Shipyard in the Scottish Cup 14-0, the biggest win of my football viewing! They only managed nine goals in a half though 😊. Wick were down in Dalbeattie in September, and with a horrendous wind howling down the pitch, it was a game of two halves, with Wick seeing it through 3-1. The next day, Leith Athletic were making a rare Scottish Cup appearance, a 0-0 draw with Cumbernauld. At Christmas time I saw Buckie beat Cove 1-0 as the fishing port town nibbled it's way to a Highland League success sandwiched in between braces by Brora and Cove to come! They would lose out to East Kilbride in the promotion play off, and the west side ran Cowdenbeath very close, but one missed penalty in a downpour saved the Fifers. A quick whisk in land saw Alloa's excellent start to the season count for nothing as Brechin forced penalties as well after a brilliant 4-3 lose, but 5-5 aggregate. City wouldn't necessarily regret going up, but they set a whole bunch of new records! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Thanks James, nearly there.............. You can read all about James' worldwide footballing travels in his own excellent blog FOOTBALL ADVENTURES WITH JAMES RENDALL
  5. Betfred Opener is an Eye Opener Despite a record breaking ten penalties scored, Inverness failed to win the bonus point after a no score draw at Balmoor Stadium Peterhead. And it was somewhat ironic that the man who missed the 11th penalty for Inverness was the man who had kept them in the game with a string of superb saves, Mark Ridgers. It was the Blue Toon keeper Greg Fleming that struck the final penalty which Ridgers failed to save to earn them the bonus point in an incredible penalty shoot-out 11-10. John Robertson aired three of his summer signings in David Carson, Mitchell Curry and James Keatings with James Vincent and Nicolay Todorov on the bench. Aaron Doran was rested and Shaun Rooney, Daniel Mackay and Sean Welsh were all missing through injury. Peterhead had former Inverness striker Rory McAllister on the bench. A low key opening to the tie saw Jordan White have the first strike in earnest after 18 minutes but Greg Fleming pushed it wide. Despite plenty of possession for the visitors, Peterhead were comfortable with it as we failed to create clear opportunities. Now where have I heard that before! David Carson had an effort deflected for a corner and from that Brad Mckay went wide at the back post. There followed a series of half chances, blocked shots and misses from the visitors but it was a familiar trend to be honest. Before the break Peterhead began to believe in themselves and Scott Brown flicked over at the near post. Minutes later Brown fired just over and two minutes before the break Gary Fraser went close with a stinging effort that zipped past the post. Half Time 0-0 Brad Mckay was replaced by James Vincent at the interval and the misses continued, James Keatings going wide, Brown doing likewise at the other end. ICT had Mark Ridgers to thank for keeping the score level as Jamie Stevenson thought he might score but Ridgers saved fantastically with his legs to deny him. Vincent came closest to breaking the deadlock but his header hit the post ten minutes into the second half. Keatings again fired over after a Tom Walsh free kick was part cleared and on the hour Ridgers was the hero once more as he saved from Aidan Smith after he cut into the box. Talisman Rory McAllister entered the game and Ridgers made a superb one handed save to deny Jason Brown as Peterhead turned the screw, however Fleming had to make his own superb save to thwart a Tom Walsh cross finding it's intended target of Jordan White. The hosts were gaining in confidence all the time and went close through Brown, Gibson and Michael Dunlop, who saw his header brilliantly saved by Ridgers. Just after that he skimmed the bar when he shot on the half turn. Inverness were now being roasted by the Blue Toon and they forced three corners in quick succession, all to no avail. Inverness responded with a late brace of corners and a booking for Trafford, but the game ended all square and into the penalty shoot-out it was. Full Time 0-0 Suffice to say that all the players left on the park scored their spot kicks until Mark Ridgers made a hash of his and his opposite number Greg Fleming scored the winner. Well done to Peterhead for taking the game to their more fancied opponents and maybe that was the eye opener that Inverness required after a comfortable pre-season. Caley Stan and RIG pretty much agreed about our performance on the night. The conclusion is that we were simply not good enough. STAN: Ridgers was the clear man of the match before sclaffing his penalty wide. It's one thing to draw a flat League Cup tie against a part-time side, quite another to be dominated by one as we were for most of that second half. We set up with Carson and Trafford sitting in front of the back 4, and what looked initially like a dynamic and interchangeable front 4 with Keatings playing as a 10 and Walsh and Curry pushing up high from the wide areas. There was the odd flash of creativity from Keatings - he's probably not match sharp yet. As with the friendlies, it was Tom Walsh that looked our biggest threat and he put a couple of decent balls into the box, one of which White should've connected with - the big man was played in on goal shortly afterwards but didn't have the composure to get a decent shot away. Carson moved to right-back when Vincent replaced McKay at half-time and didn't look comfortable there. But that doesn't explain what happened in the second half and I don't know what does. We were overrun - Peterhead were repeatedly able to pick their pass in the final third, and more often than not they got shots away from inside the box. I hope we get to see footage of the penalties. Charlie Trafford's was the highlight of the night. RIG: In many ways it was reminiscent of last season. First half we had a lot of the ball but struggled to create chances. Peterhead were content to sit in and absorb pressure and try and hit on the counter. White had our best chance of the half when he pulled a shot across goal / it was palmed away by Fleming. Second half and Peterhead were all over us. Our best two chances of the second half came from a Vincent header off the post and a White effort clawed away by Fleming. A truly stunning save (think Mikey Fraser v Celtic). Apart from that the home side dominated and should have been out of sight long before the penalty shoot out. Jamie Stevenson and Aidan Smith seemed to be getting a lot of space on their respective flanks and it was disappointing to see how easily Peterhead were able to create space for themselves in the box or drop a ball in behind our full backs to get a cross in. We looked all over the place defensively and it was only thanks to Ridgers that we went to spot kicks. Neither keeper got near the penalties until Fleming thought he had saved Traffords effort but as he got up to start celebrating the ball fell back down from the bar and spun over the line . Ultimately it came down to the keepers and Ridgers sadly sliced his effort off target before Fleming bagged the bonus point. Not really much to be impressed by from an ICT PoV. Looks like a change of formation is on the cards with a 4-4-2 / 4-4-1-1 played last night. Our only real change throughout the game was to swap Curry and Walsh. Hard to ignore the obvious Polworth shaped hole in our team at the moment. Date: 16/07/2019 Venue: Balmoor Stadium Attendance: 606 Referee: Steven Reid Peterhead: 0 (penalties11) Lineup: Fleming, J Brown, Eadie, Dunlop, Boyle, Ferry, S Brown (Leitch 88), Stevenson, Gibson, Fraser (McAllister 64), Smith (Armour 79) Subs (not used): Henderson, Lyle, Willox, Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 (penalties 10) Lineup: Ridgers, B Mckay (Vincent 45), Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Curry (MacGregor 79), Trafford, Carson, Walsh, Keatings (Todorov 67), White Subs (not used): C Mackay, Nicolson, Brown, Harper, Machado, Scorers: none Booked: Trafford (90+1) Sent Off: none a
  6. Betfred League Cup Opener After a reasonable pre-season the 2019-2020 season kicks off with the Betfred League Cup group stages, where we travel to Balmoor Park, Peterhead for our first competitive game of the new season. Pre-season went well enough with various squads representing the club at Clach, Rothes, Forres, Strathspey Thistle, Buckie and Wick. Stiffer opposition was provided in the final week where we drew with Aberdeen and Hearts before defeating St Johnstone 3-1 last Friday. Plenty of goals scored with all of the strikers finding the back of the net and many of the youngsters making appearances with the big boys and acquitting themselves well. The downside of pre-season is that Shaun Rooney picked up a knock and could be out for a couple of months. Some new faces have signed on and James Keatings, Nikolay Todorov, David Carson, James Vincent and Mitchell Curry have all shown up well. Peterhead began their campaign with a 2-1 defeat of Cove Rangers at the weekend. Derek Lyle and Rory McAllister were the scorers. Difficult to know what to expect in the first few games of a new season as it's all a bit low-key prior to the League campaign starting. Who will make the starting XI? Sean Welsh is not ready for a comeback and Shaun Rooney is injured. Aaron Doran had a slight niggle and could be rested. After that it's anyone's guess who will take to the field. Watch out for rising young stars Roddy MacGregor and Matheus Machado should they feature. A bright future ahead for them and others coming through the ranks. More information can be found on the Official Site regarding ticket prices/preview etc. Here's a new initiative by some of our own fans who have created a new podcast and it's called THE WYNESS SHUFFLE Have a listen. More to come from the guys throughout the season.
  7. Earlier
  8. tm4tj

    Pre-Season 2019-20

    Pre-Season 2019-2020 As it says on the tin with links to official site for further info and results. This article will have all the information and links you need for the summer of 2019 pre-season games. Schedule Saturday 29th June. Clach 0-2 ICT XI (Keatings, Todorov) Strathspey Thistle 3-6 ICT XI (White 2, Trafford, MacGregor, Gamble, Curry Jaggernaut was at the Clach game and here are his observations:- (photo by Donald Cameron, noremacpix) David Carson was the standout for me today against Clach. Always looking for the ball, box to box, chasing back to win the ball back and very energetic, he would certainly be worth a place in midfield in my opinion. Keatings did well, took his goal well and looks a useful player. Todorov scored his goal while he was injured and just about to be subbed, and young Machado was very lively and ran for everything. Clach sat in, and had seven across the back, making it very difficult to find a way through. Good performance from ICT, a lot of younger players finished the game which will help their progress. Tuesday 2nd July (Squads and ticket info for both games) Forres Mechanics 1 -V- 6 ICT XI @Mossett Park 19:45 - (Courier report) Rothes 1 -V- 7 ICT XI @Mackessack Park 19:45 - (report tofollow) Stirling Observer said: Just back from Forres. 4-4-2. Harper and Machado linked well on the left. Really impressed with them both. Walsh was MoM for me, lots of great crosses. Keatings looked sharp enough, Todorov was good in air but a bit predictable on the ground. McCart strolled it. Chalmers and Brown in the middle worked hard. Good run out. Todorov limped off the field of play. At Mackessack Park Rothes, Mitch Curry x2, Aaron Doran x2, Shaun Rooney, Jordan White and Roddy MacGregor were the scorers in a 1-7 win . Click on dates below for more information from Official Site Saturday 6th July ICT XI 1 -V- 1 Aberdeen @Borough Briggs Elgin 15:00 OFFICIAL PREVIEW F/T 1-1. Brad McKay levelling the game after Dons score from the spot through Curtis Main. Report by Will Clark, Inverness Courier. Official Report Shaun Rooney injury update Monday 8th July Hearts XI 1 -V- 1 ICT XI (Angus Beith benefit match) @ Tynecastle 19:30 Goals by Anthony McDonald (Hearts) & Mitchell Curry has teams level @FT. Mark Ridgers in great form denying his old team time & time again. Official Report Wednesday 10th July. Posted on Wick Academy website: Wick Academy 3 v 2 Inverness Caledonian Thistle XI - 7.30pm Roddy Kennedy and Matheus Machado (pen) the scorers for ICTFC. Friday 12th July ICT FC 3 -V- 1 St Johnstone @ Grant Street Park Inverness 19:30 - Official Preview Keatings, Todorov & Machado the ICT scorers. Saturday 13th July Buckie Thistle 3 -V- 4 ICT FC XI @ Victoria Park, Buckie MacGregor, Nicolson, Morison & Harkness scored for the young team in a 4-3 win at Buckie. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Upcoming Betfred Cup games at the Caledonian Stadium on the new surface. These are the first games of the new season and tickets are on sale now. Full Fixture List for Season 2019-2020 Here's the latest signings........
  9. Ohhhh Hokey Cokey It's the Hokey Cokey season where we find out who will be given the task of taking us further and who will be plying their trade elsewhere. We will update this during the pre-season as and when we find out who is in and who is out So, third in the Championship, play off semi, Scottish Cup semi-final and we are still looking to improve. Who will be responsible to help us make a promotion push this season. Header image is a painting by local artist Sophie Robb Let's start at the top. JOHN ROBERTSON is still at the wheel after telling Dundee to do one. Full story HERE Who has left the building LIAM POLWORTH has left the building after he had signed a pre-contract agreement with Motherwell. At Inverness since he was eight, Liam played over 200 games scoring 13 times. He has had a phenomenal number of assists and that was his main attribute, being able to pick a pass. Unfortunately his final game for the Caley Jags will only be remembered for his red card against Dundee United in the play-off first leg. Good luck at Fir Park. JOE CHALMERS was involved in the worse kept secret of the season and makes the short trek over the bridge to Dingwall where the streets are apparently paved with gold. 96 appearances for Inverness and a stunning goal in the cup against the Arabs. NATHAN AUSTIN scored 13 goals in 48 appearances for the club and has joined the maroons at Hearts. Just to clarify, he takes a step down to join Kelty Hearts in the Lowland League where they finished runners up to East Kilbride. They play out of Central Park, Kelty (near Cowdenbeath) where former Rangers and Scotland International Barry Ferguson is their manager. Their average home attendance was 384 last season. He should feel at home then! OWAIN FON WILLIAMS remember him? He's the Welsh painter who has seen out the terms of his contract but has not played in goal for Inverness for over a year, in fact almost two. His contract has now expired and I believe he has upped his brushes and easel and moved on. House for sale, recently painted! It appears that Hamilton Accies are keen to sign the painter keeper. *** Paint has now dried on his Accies contract. He Is now registered @ New Douglas Park*** ANTHONY MCDONALD has returned to Hearts for now after his loan spell at Inverness ended. Anthony made 14 appearances for the Caley Jags and the promising midfielders superb solo goal at Cappielow was nominated for the SPFL goal of the month; his first senior goal and a thing of beauty it was. ANGUS BEITH has sadly left the game. Unable to fully recover from a hip injury forcing him to give up on what was a very promising career. All the best to Angus. ***LATEST RELEASE*** DARREN MCCAULEY has gone over the sea to Ireland. For some reason the club want to thank him for some mediocre performances and allowing him to travel back and fore whilst completing his University degree. Never lived up to his promise. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Who has signed on and is willing to play JAMES KEATINGS, 27, was our first signing announced before the play-offs. James is an exciting prospect having played at Hearts, Hibs and Hamilton where he accumulated 41 goals in total. James joins on a two year deal. DAVID CARSON is a tough tackling 23 year old Geordie midfielder joining from Morpeth Town where he was player of the year as well as Evo Stick East player of the year. He scored fourteen goals last season as Morpeth Town won promotion. It's a two year deal for David as well. Nikolay Todorov is a tall Bulgarian striker who has been at Hearts, Livingston, Queen of the South and Falkirk. He will provide competition for Jordan White for the target man position and is a former Bulgarian u21 international. It's a two year deal for Nikolay. James Vincent is one we know all about and the Scottish Cup hero has returned to Inverness on a two year deal to inject some box to box energy in an area where we have become somewhat pedantic. James has been at Dundee and Dunfermline since he last played for Inverness. Mitchell Curry has signed on loan for the season. He is a pacey 19 year old winger/forward and he has come on loan from Middlesbrough for the season with an option for Middlesbrough to recall him halfway. Signing on again are MARK RIDGERS (2021/2022), SEAN WELSH (2021/2022), KEVIN MCHATTIE (summer 2021), Daniel Hobban (1 year ext), Daniel MacKinnon (2 year ext). Of the first team regulars; COLL DONALDSON, Brad Mckay, Jamie McCart, Carl Tremarco, Charlie Trafford, Shaun Rooney, Darren McCauley, Aaron Doran, Tom Walsh, Jordan White are all still on the books at the moment. Youngsters Daniel Mackay, Roddy MacGregor and Cameron Harper have extended their contracts by another season. Matheus Machedo, the young Brazilian played in the pre-season friendly at Clach. Lastly, it's out with the old and in with the new as we turf the old playing surface in the bin. The pitch was dug up after the end of the season and the drainage will be improved before relaying the grass. Good to see some upgrades off the park as well as on it. We suffered at the hands of the weather this season and hopefully the improvement work on the drainage will see less games in danger. More info on this will appear on the OFFICIAL SITE Here are the 5 new signings and this is what they will be wearing on special occasions..........
  10. RENDALLS RAMBLES #7 And it's here in this threesome, the cup final season from James. He's been everywhere man! And he has been following the Caley Jags from the start. He has put together this fascinating nostalgic recap of Inverness Caledonian Thistle's first 25 years and more, as witnessed through his own eyes. Thanks James, a remarkable commitment to the beautiful game. The Inverness Caledonian Thistle Years #ICT25 No19 (Games 830 to 887) Runaround now!! The wanderlust was starting all over again, but trekking outwith the confines of Britain still hadn't recovered its mojo, and it's only in looking back now, how did such an avid World football fan go two seasons without such adventures? Never again!! The variety on offer however was as ever eclectic ☺. The ICT start to the campaign was fairly dreadful, but their were new names being tried out, and while the quality seemed to suggest we were going to struggle, hey, what do I know!! They say even when playing badly, if you can tough out results then you will succeed, and two horror show 2-2 draws at Edinburgh's duo was case in point. The draw at the Cabbage was especially memorable for one extra moment! Hibs had played us off the park for 40 minutes and led 2-0, but in pulling one back just before half time out of nothing, the Hibs fans booed their team off!! It was hilarious as well as doubtlessly galling for the home players, who never recovered the same superiority and we might have nicked all three points. League Cup progression was equally stuttering seeing off the maroons of Arbroath and Stenhousemuir, 0-2 and 5-6 on penalties after a turgid 1-1 draw. County came to Inverness for the first time in the top league in early October and left with a good 3-1 spanking, complete with a raging Derek Adams, lovely! This was the pivotal moment, confidence started to rise. Dundee were slapped about 4-1 at Dens, and we held Hearts to a 1-1 at home. As Christmas approached I was witness to another of those absolutely remarkable games. Trailing 3-0 in Arabia a Billy Mckay triple and another from Gary Warren put us 4-3 up! Alas, an Arabian took a tumble in the box late in the game (this sounds familiar!) and the conversion made it 4-4. We walked out feeling we'd lost!! An angry Inverness bagged another four versus the other half of Dundee the following week with just two from Billy, but Owain Tudor-Jones and Andrew Shinnie (remember them!) got amongst the goals, whereas the D got merely one 😀. The feeling of joy in Inverness' play was such a contrast to the start of the season the Festive draws with St Midden and Les Johnoise seemed anti-climatic, but we were ticking up the points and the top six, that mythical waste of time engineered merely for the greedy to get more greed was in sight, and when Aberdeen were screaming murder after a 3-0 Highland capital thwacking, ambition nudged into new realms!! Alas the progress to a first ever Big Cup Final was tempered for another season with a third Semi final loss, this time in the League Cup and only going down on penalties 4-5 to Hearts at Fester Road after a 1-1 draw. The moment the last of our penalty takers stepped forward, their was a collective need to hide in our stand. The on loan lad from Arsenal (I have forgotten his name! Or airbrushed it out! ((Phillip)Roberts, I think), an absolutely over confident misfit who was only going to miss, did 😔. The ship wobbled at Les Buddoise who beat us at the Methadome 2-1 in midweek, then Killie and Well added to our misery. These would be important losses at the end of the campaign. We finally got back on the horse 🐴 with a morsel of revenge for the LC loss by seeing off Hearts 2-3 at their own pavilion. Two draws with County and Dees away, was followed by another derby win at home to Moss Co, and we were in the top six, but so were they!! By the time we got a rare home win versus Motherwell in a belter of a last home game, the possibility of finishing 4th and qualifying for Europe seemed on! But on that fateful day, the last game of the season in Dingwall, it almost seemed that the whole thing was too much for the club, and we feebly allowed Moss to beat us in the top flight for the first ever time 1-0. Finishing fifth was the highest we had ever been, but I didn't hang around to applaud at the end, my dream of European football had died, and I felt that we didn't want it, which annoyed me!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Inverness Caledonian Thistle Years #ICT25 No.20 2013/14 (Games 888 to 935) Back on the travel game. While it may be close season for the domestic football game, just in Italy with the last game last night, but our journey through the first twenty five years will nearly be over as ICT step out in the League Cup of 2019/20 and the start of the 26th year of the Empire! The 20th year was another stepping stone on the upwardly mobile progression of Inverness, and we took full advantage of the "natural order" being shot to bits. We even managed to send a Trojan Horse to another club, and by the end of campaign, three of Scotland's biggest clubs were in the second tier! Even the time honoured tradition of being rubbish in August was cast asunder with an opening day trashing of St Midden, followed up by three points at Arabia before ending the month with another win against troubled Hearts, all three without loss of a goal. Terry Butcher's team was beginning to mould wonderful into a solid, and at times, exciting unit. In September, despite a narrow loss at Aberdeen, we thrashed Hibs in Inverness 3-0 by which time our boss was starting to attract attention. Indeed, while I scampered off to Armenia, the curiosities of the Scottish fixtures meant in early November upon my return, we played Hibs away with no manager, as he sat in the stand as Hibs manager in waiting. The small, but vocal away support made sure that he knew he was making a mistake, and the players did it too, winning the game 2-0. By seasons end he'd done it again, taking a 7th placed side post split down, albeit via a Hamilton penalty shoot out success. The winning feeling kept going, seeing off the Johnnies, and the Jambos, but County ruined New Year's Day winning 2-1 at our place, however a rare win at Pittodrie was the perfect tonic. John 'Yogi' Hughes had of course moved in to the hot seat, a relatively easy position to take over as the team were very familiar with each other and the formula was already tried and tested. In many regards, what happened in the next two seasons was built by Butcher, and merely pushed on by Yogi. My own thoughts on his legacy, statistically our most successful boss, but when we needed fresh faces and the unit started breaking up, his ability to replace like with like was at times questionable. By the time we played Hibs in a cup replay, the year after we won the cup, we were a shambles! But I am getting ahead of myself. In his first real test, a groundhog League Cup semi v Hearts at Fester went all the way this time, holding out with nine men valiantly for a penalty shoot out win. We were going to our first 'big' final, but before that, the very next week down at Stair Park, Stranraer, we were brought down to earth having to fight so hard for a 2-2 draw. The League Cup saw a near full Celtic Park a riot of Northern passion and colour for the game with the Dons. Yogi set us up in a very defensive way, a failing he would regularly trot out especially when visiting the same stadium for league action. We took some horror thumping here, and likewise against Aberdeen we rarely threatened. Looking back I can't recall one moment when you could say, 'if only'. We cancelled Aberdeen well, but never looked like scoring, and even in the penalty shoot out we weren't at the races, missing the first two kicks, losing 4-2. This loss shook the confidence and while we made the top six, no mean feat in itself, but it had all been threatening so much more glory laden earlier in the campaign. Undoubtedly expectations had risen, and just being one of the top tier teams didn't seem enough, and yet that was where it was all wrong, we were riding the crest of our own wave, and it was going to get higher yet!! ___________________________________ The season had started with the unique one off double header between Spartans and Threave for a place in the Challenge Cup. This was the start of the Lowland League, a bedding in season before the new pyramid system came into play the following year. Spartans saw off Threave and went on to win the inaugural Lowland League title, and I saw a few of the home games along the way. Brora came down to Clyde in the cup with Munro and Tokely at the back, but lost out narrowly 2-1. Fraserburgh made it one round further but lost heavier 3-0 at Stenhousemuir. Raith Rovers had made the Quarter Finals and hosted St Johnstone in front of a big crowd losing 3-1 as the Perth team went on to win the trophy for the first ever time! Earlier in the season they had a fabulous European win over Rosenborg, a cracking win, the night Malmo were slapping the Cabbage about 7-0!! Having had innumerable treks south over the last two years, this season I only had an Easter scamper, Accrington v Mansfield (1-1), Doncaster v Derby (0-2) and Halifax v Macclesfield (2-1), all entertaining jousts. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Inverness Caledonian Thistle Years #ICT25 No.21 2014/15 (Games 936 to 992) The Castle 🏰 on the Hill: There are seasons in football that are instantly forgettable, but every now and again, an absolute golden nugget of a season comes along, maybe just once in a lifetime. Roy of the Rovers could not have written the script any differently, Inverness reached two incredible milestones, finishing third in the league, and winning the Scottish Cup. Delightfully, in the week leading up to this article, our Cup winning goal hero James Vincent has returned to the club. Wow, just remembering the moment Jamie MacDonald palmed a trundler from Marley into his path. He had ran the length of the field, boof, unbridled joy! We had been in survival mode, a man light, but the spirit of this team was it's gritty determination. Even in the semi, we were pegged back twice against Celtic, but we never stopped believing. Will we ever see the likes again? You know, we can always dream, but it doesn't matter, those who were there will never forget it, and long after we are gone, the longest name in Scottish football will forever be engraved on the Scottish Cup! It was absolutely amazing. Jamie of course entered the pantheon of the Inverness song book, and it is always nice to sing that he won us the cup!! 😀 Right under our name on the trophy sits the name of Hibernian, a club who had craved a cup win for 114 years! That monkey is off their back, and they did it in dramatic style too, but their fans genuinely think winning the cup was a bigger thing than an Inverness success?! I would suggest having to wait that long as one of the lands 'bigger' clubs is more embarrassing than anything! No matter, these two Cup successes were the last before tedium returned to predictable trophy hand outs. At one point, more Scottish teams had won trophies than any other country!! It all started somewhat late for me with a 23rd July friendly at Banff, complete with Mariano, an Argentine chum who'd whisky sampled his way off the A9 along to Deveronvale v ICT for a routine 0-3 win, he was deliriously happy. August didn't start badly either with a 2-0 success at Hamilton, followed by a disappointing 0-0 against strategically placed Dundee dustbins "15 points and you ****ed it up' ringing in their ears, still!! Life was changing for me, my dear mum was starting to need more help, something that continues to this day, so "staying local" has been a necessity of my football ⚽ days, which resulted in less travelling to Inverness. In September we lost to Partick away, we always lose at Firhill when I am there! A 1-1 draw with County in early November suggests we still hadn't kicked into gear, but a month later "15 points" was back in vogue as we won at Dens 2-1, always a good hunting ground for us, but back to back 1-0 losses at Perth and home to the Dons made for a disappointing Christmas. That scoreline was reversed as we saw off the Darling Buds of Chic in the first game of 2015, "our year". Accies were despatched 2-0 again away before those resolute and pesky neighbours ran over the Kessock Bridge 🌉 with another draw. My season is always interspersed with trips abroad, when I can get cover for mum, I am off, and in 2015 after a long 5 year gap I was back in Argentina and Uruguay, meaning by late March when I returned it was back to the Maryhill Magyars, and we lost, again! Dundee held us again. Looking at these repeat games now, every one of them had the same outcome?!! Celtic were beaten in the Scottish Cup for a third time in a third different venue, (do we get to keep them), and the rest is history. My only regret is staying away from the last league games of that remarkable run that got us third place, just so that the Cup Final would be my 500th game! But what a game 🏆 😀. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Here's Graeme Shinnie holding the Scottish Cup aloft as painted by local artist Sophie Robb💗 Eclectic is how you would describe my increasingly here, there and everywhere viewing! With my great Italian friend Stefano we plundered Carlisle for a 0-2 loss to Derby, followed by a similar score as Rochdale lost to PNE. I would be back at Carlisle a few months later for a belter, 4-4 with Wimbledon, and again the day Falkirk beat Hibs in the cup semi. In order to settle cup nerves I watched Carlisle beat Plymouth 2-0. The 4-4 wasn't the biggest goal fest of the season with Bo'ness beating Elgin in the cup 5-4. In late August when I went to the coastal Angus derby at Arbroath, the visitors from Montrose were top of the league having won all three games. By seasons end I was watching them toil to see off Brora in the first ever relegation/promotion play off having finished bottom! St Johnstone provided my sole Scottish Euro encounter, edging out Luzerne 5-4 on pens, but an impressive and rare scalp! Fraserburgh were close by at Linlithgow but went down 2-1 in the cup, and then I was at Elgin v Forres in the cup too, but it ended 0-0. Spartans were regularly viewed, and they caused a shock knocking out Morton, and scoring late to grab a replay with Berwick. I was down at the second game, by which time the winners knew that they were going to Easter Road. A huge Spartans support went down, but the team rarely threatened, losing 1-0. Remarkable to think that this will be a league fixture next season! Edinburgh City, who won the Lowland League hosted Brora twice, losing 2-3 in the cup, and drawing 1-1 in the first ever Lowland v Highland promotion play off! The most eclectic game of the season was the Highland League bottom of the table joust at Rothes, with Strathspey in town, a game that ended 1-1. More wonderful memories in there once again. And there's more to come from James, the next three seasons coming along soon. Prepare yourself for less memorable times. It happens.............. You can read all about James' worldwide footballing travels in his own excellent blog FOOTBALL ADVENTURES WITH JAMES RENDALL
  11. Rendall's Rambles #6 Here's the next three seasons from James. He does get around and he has been following the Caley Jags from the start. He has put together this fascinating nostalgic recap of Inverness Caledonian Thistle's first 25 years as witnessed through his own eyes. Thanks James, a remarkable commitment to the beautiful game. The Inverness Caledonian Thistle Years #ICT25 No. 16 2009/10 (Games 697 to 745) The Charge of the Blue and Red Brigade. Life out of the penthouse suite started reasonably enough, just nibbling by lowly Montrose away in the Challenge Cup wasn't great, but an away 1-0 win at Parslandia showed how much we'd improved since our last inauguration in the second tier, a 4-0 spank that day. It was an August, take it and run!! A home draw to Ayr and a home loss to Moss County wasn't however the form of challengers. September was a mix bag, but a 3-0 win at Greenock was a good result. The likelihood of going straight back up seemed tricky as Dundee were horsing away at the top! Indeed, driving to Ayr, (as I will be on Tuesday once more), bored with how we were performing saw me decide to keep going at the roundabout outside Ayr?! Wick were down the road at Girvan and being a Scorries sympathiser I decided to go and watch this Cup tie! Oh boy did I luck out in terms of seeing Caley Thistle absolutely tonk Ayr, but hey, where else can you find a bottle of Old Pulteney being passed around following the wind assisted quelling of the Ayrshire side 4-1! I scampered to South America for the first of two treks in the season, but when I returned the wins were becoming more regular, alas not before a second El Kessicko loss over the Isle and far away, and also the loss of the Challenge Cup Final to the Dees, 3-2 in a cracking final. However, by the time the dust settled on this particular season, what would we rather have won, this papier-mache gong or a much bigger prize? This was our Trojan Horse 🐴 gift to Dundee, who subsequently self destructed in a swarm of belief in their own greatness! 😀 A draw at Dumfries the following week would set in motion an unbeaten sequence that would go all the way to the end of the season, beating Raith, Airdrie and Partick before I went back to Argentina/Uruguay. Upon my return Morton, Qos and the Pars were all despatched and we were on our way. The night our promotion back to the top table was confirmed and we didn't even kick a ball! Raith sealed Dundee's fate, and I was surprised how few Caley Thistle eyes went to Kirkcaldy to see us promoted, but everyone would be on hand to add salt to the Dees wounds the following week as we hosted them, allowing for the quaint ditty, 'fifteen points and you f***ed it up' to be born and reverberate around the Caledonian Stadium. We duly beat them in this one 1-0, and became the first team in a decade to go straight back up! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Inverness Caledonian Thistle Years #ICT25 No.17 2010/11 (Games 746 to 797) Back in the.....it might as well have been the USSR. Another wanderlust season ensued, a remarkable one really aiding that perennial DNA within me that never allows me to feel unduly comfortable at the top table. That is especially true when the only outcome seems to be bottom six survival. It can be turgid and lacking colour, but like mining for gold, the fans of lesser clubs are always looking out for those little morsels to enliven the campaign. By seasons end I had watched football in seven lands, and ICT had featured in less than half of the games I viewed. The nuggets seemed few, but we did survive, and our days in the sun were just around the corner, but we didn't know that then! It all started so well, a routine 3-0 in the League Cup versus the thinking man's Glasgow, the Spiders, and then a portent for this coming week, a colossal 0-4 stuffing of Arabia in August too! McCann, Duncan, and an Adam Rooney double effected a fire drill at Tannadice! What we would give for one of those on Friday night! We had peaked too early, lured into a false sense of a new dawn, a 0-1 home loss to Hamilton Kaccies brought us down to earth, followed by a mere one point from six from the Edinburgh duo, an especially poor return as in those days we'd beaten Hibs so often, by rights we should have been allowed to keep them 😁. What came next though was a real highlight, we rarely could get the better of Aberdeen at home, but we won 2-0. I cashed out for a while on that win, and upon returning to the ICT fold a commendable 1-1 at Tynie wasn't at all bad, followed by a depressing Boxing Day home loss to Les Buddoise, ouch! This was an especially harsh winter and I recall being mighty peeved at the closure of the A9 for snow preventing me getting to Inverness for the Cup game with old rivals Elgin, who rather embarrassingly had more fans at the game than we did! We won late, and it set up another home joust with Morton, despatched 5-1 and my game roster shows my next game was in the Cilindro versus Boca Juniors! Weeks later my re-appear at a Caley game saw a marginal 1-0 Arabian home win, but a draw with Hearts in the north was followed by a rare 3-0 win versus the Johnnies in Perth and an another away success versus Hamilton, but these latter games were run of the mill bottom six encounters. Not only were seven lands on my football CV (beaten only by this season) but many a visitor from abroad too. A Port Alegre chum, Luciano was on hand to witness the most astonishing goalkeeping display by Stirling Albion's custodian in a remarkable one sided 0-0 at home to the Bairns, who did everything but score in the 120 minutes before submitting to a Zeuss like goalkeeping display in the penalties too, while they did score two, but he saved three!! Next up was my first sighting of an Icelandic side in Scotland since Keflavik opened the floodlights at Old Douglas Park! Reykjavik suburb, Breidablik were playing their European bow at Motherwell, going down narrowly 1-0. My oldest friend from outside Scotland, Andrea from Padova was in Edinburgh for the first and only time so far and we took in the opening day 1-1 at Tynecastle between Hearts and St Johnstone. Elgin were easily cast aside there too, 4-0, before Brora came to town in late September to play Edinburgh University. These were the days when Brora were about as good as Clachnacuddin always near the bottom of the table, not the top! Brora scored an equaliser that day at Peffermill late in the game which I think is still the most amazing goal I have ever seen!! It was struck from just inside the opponents half and if the net wasn't there it might have made Cameron Toll! An absolute rocket! Fabian was at Hartlepool in those days and I went to see him, but unfortunately he didn't play, Peterborough were beaten 2-0. Back on the Highland Cup run next, but as I neared Rosewell the game v Wick was called off, so a quick about turn and off to Prestonpans to see them play Annan, and force replay. Both were non league at the time! Bo'ness were seen off by Buckie and a quick scamper along the road caught Spartans going down to Shire just a few years ahead of this becoming a regular league fixture! Shire then oddly played Buckie and while they won 1-0 they were kicked out of the competition! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Inverness Caledonian Thistle Years #ICT No.18 2011/12 (Games 798 to 829) A piece of driftwood. There was an impoverish driftwood feel to this season, the stark reality of the collapse of my employer and the subsequent, crushing depletion in my 'nest egg' resulted in an immediate pulling in of the belt! South America was off roster and any trips abroad didn't include football for perhaps the only year in this 25 year passage of time! 😱But hey, no sympathy please , as I have been a lucky, lucky boy throughout life, and while this hiatus maybe signalled a changing of the guard, with South America making way after 12 years on the trot for Eastern European trips to come. The football at home didn't brighten the mood, with Hibs winning in Inverness for the first ever time courtesy of a Garry O'Connor horror trundler that just dribbled over the line in agonising fashion in the very last minute for an 0-1 opening day home loss. A couple of draws at Dunfermline 3-3 and at home to the JT, but we weren't playing great football and quite frankly I was bored by Butcher's turgid style. I found myself drifting off to find more local football entertainment for a while, but a game at Tynecastle was never to be missed, always a cracking day out with my posse of ICT chums, but a 2-1 took me to Christmas Eve and a home game with Aberdeen before I would see us win! Stuart Golabek and Gregory Tade got the goals that made sure that the stuffing with the turkey had added spice! Gregory would a few seasons later be sat in the posh seats rested for a forthcoming Champions League game by Steau Bucharest when I pitched up two days after ICT debuted in Europe! It seemed an unlikely gig going into 2012 but not before we nibbled another draw at the Cabbage. A brief rich vein was tapped into as the year began, a rare win at Motherwell was followed by another 1-0 win at home to Hearts. Three wins and a draw in four games viewed, as Natalie Merchant once sang, 'these are days to remember', but merely a pocket of joy in a fraught season. A 1-1 draw in February at Dunfermline and the subsequent closing of the door on being anywhere else other than the bottom six and I had raised the white flag by mid February! Looking back it was a scandalously early departure from the ICT nation! Scottish Cup Highland support has always been part of my viewing, and Edinburgh City's 4-0 thwacking of Brora was in the last days of Brora being a poor side. They would be back at Meadowbank in season's to come with a completely different approach! In the next round I set off for Galashiels to watch that mythical side Golspie Sutherland, only to learn the game had been moved to Hawick?! A good bit further down the road for the Sutherland side, but arriving shortly before kick off, I was never going to get caught in the rush! Another 4-1 for the nominal 'home' side, but Golspie did the North Caledonian league proud. The next day Buckie were back at Shire, a potentially fraught occasion after the exact same fixture resulted in the Falkirk side being kicked out of the cup last season. It had its moments this one, but ended 1-1, with Shire taking the spoils in the replay. Elgin were having one of their best season's and I got caught up in cheering them in the run up to the play offs. They fell short in the play off semi versus Albion Rovers, so I transferred my cheering to my southern Blues, Stranraer, who also lost out to Albion in a dramatic penalty shoot out. However, when the dust settled it had all been for nothing as not only did RBS explode, so did one of Glasgow's bigger sides, and Stranraer stepped up anyway as Rangers slipped from the top league to the basement and everyone else shuffled up one 😎 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ More wonderful memories in there once again. And there's more to come from James, the next three seasons coming along next week. You can read all about James' worldwide footballing travels in his own excellent blog FOOTBALL ADVENTURES WITH JAMES RENDALL
  12. Rendall's Rambles #5 If you have been following James on his ICT journey, here's the next three seasons. He's a well travelled football connoisseur who has been following the Caley Jags from the start. He has put together a fascinating nostalgic recap of Inverness Caledonian Thistle's first 25 years as witnessed through his own eyes. Thanks James, a remarkable commitment to the beautiful game. Inverness Caledonian Thistle Years No.13 #ICT25 Season 2006/07 (Games 512 to 578) A very European feel season. Football in eight countries!! The third season of Caley Thistle at the top table. While the essence of each campaign was survival, the general feeling amongst the fans seemed to be more insistent that cheap Pomagne was traded in for a drop of the proper stuff. Reaching for the fabled top six was the want, but the reality for a brilliantly run club on a shoestring, they can't just switch up and splash the cash. Our 13th season wasn't unlucky but it wasn't one that lives long in the memory. That said, I was here, there and everywhere so I may have missed a classic memorable game or four! Before the season started Neil Warlock brought Sheffield United to Inverness for Ross Tokely's Testimonial. It was a good crowd, a worthy attendance for a wonderful servant of the club, who many years later was poorly dealt with by Terry Butcher. In this game, the Blades were flashing past us, and ran out 3-0 winners. The league didn't start brilliantly, it rarely does, and losing at home to St Mirren was a poor opening gambit. A brave point at Aberdeen, as well as home points versus the green duo steadied the ship somewhat, but it was the 29th September before I saw us win a game, a narrow 1-0 at home to the Pars. Falkirk were then beaten at home 3-2, a rare moment of joy versus the Bairns in the Highland Capital. A bag of struggles ensued, but Christmas came with a morsel of festive cheer, a 2-1 versus Rangers. This remains to this day, the only time I have ever seen Rangers lose!! Darren Dods and a John Rankin screamer won the day. The biggest win of the season that I saw was a 3-0 thumping of Hibs, who rarely enjoyed their trip up the A9. Ultimately it was the bottom six again, but with limited chance of going down, and perhaps with a relaxed, let's enjoy life attitude, we beat Motherwell, Dunfermline and St Mirren before the curtain came down. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Inverness Caledonian Thistle Years #ICT25 No. 14 2007/2008 (Games 579 to 631) Fourth top table safety secured: August is still a month I dread when it comes to ICT even if we have marginally improved in learning to hit the ground running! In this particular season we absolutely hit rock bottom with four straight defeats, two home 0-3 biffings by Rangers and Arabia, with narrower 2-1 losses on the road at Well and Les Buddoise sandwiched in between. I was so hacked off I scampered off to Italy and Doncaster before casting eyes on a win finally, 2-1 on the 22 September at home to Hearts. A bit like buses another win came the following weekend with a 4-2 with over the Bairns also at the Caledonian Stadium. A rare moment of home joy against a team that had previously inflected such painful home losses, but the monkey was far from gone as next season will tell 😥. In truth this season quickly panned out as a walk in the park, even for the less ambitious teams. Gretna had overstretched in too quick a time, and having to play 'home' games at Fir Park for a small village team, it was the financial straw that broke the camels back, and indeed, maybe it exacerbated Miles Brookson's illness. His investments in the USA were collapsing, his health was deteriorating and his family were trying to hold onto what family legacy hadn't been pumped into Gretna, and to a lesser extent Workington. Miles was a good egg, his heart was in the right place, Gretna was the mouse that briefly roared, but despite completing the season, they would fold by the summer. The new Gretna doesn't ever wish to be associated with the old one which I find sad. As mentioned previously seeing Miramar Misiones beat Central Español in Montevideo the previous season, one of the stars of that win would end up at Gretna, Fabian Yantorno. ICT had already thumped them 4-0 away, but when they came to Inverness on the 5th January, my programme article on the Uruguayan game would start a beautiful friendship, and I hope I will get to see him play one last time before he hangs up his boots when I head across to South America in late Feb next year! We won that encounter 3-0 but prior to that from late November, we won four games on the trot making up for August loses to St Mirren and Dundee United before back to back home wins versus the green duo, 2-0 v Hibs and more memorably 3-2 versus the hoops, John Rankin, David Proctor and Don Cowie with the goals. The day before that I had watched third tier Moss County struggle to beat Berwick Rangers 2-1. Ironic that next weekend the Dingwall mob will be promoted to the top table again, and Berwick could well be sent to walk the plank versus East Kilbride or Cove! Scotland could lose it's English club 😉. It kind of dribbled away after that home win v Gretna, I scampered off to South America and Donny again but did catch a close run 3-4 home loss to Aberdeen, but following a 6-1 clubbing of poor Gretna again, the 0-0 last day draw at home to St Mirren kind of summed it all up. There would be no Gretna the following season, were we ready for the fight? Find out in next week's gripping instalment!! My neutral games in Scotland hit an all time low in this season! I never saw any European games, save a Murrayfield friendly between Hearts and Barcelona. I will let you work out who won 😂. I finally got a league game at Borough Briggs Elgin, a 2-1 home win versus Dumbarton. What I didn't know then was that this Sons goal would be the only one I had seen to this day since they pulped Hearts 5-2 at Tynecastle!! There was a fire drill that day 😂. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Inverness Caledonian Thistle Years #ICT25 No.15 - 2008/09 (Games 632 to 696) That sinking feeling! August, usually that perennial bad month for ICT started so well, a 2-0 win at Pittodrie, but a week later, the new boys Hamilton Kaccies, beat us 1-0. However this was to be a different first month of the season, but before any more league hostilities, Liverpool duped 7,000+ at the Caley Stadium for Barry Wilson's Testimonial into thinking an 'XI' might include a star or two, but they were in my opinion disrespectful in sending a bunch of kids, and they got what they deserved in a 5-0 home win! Things settled down nicely, a 1-1 versus Hibs was followed by a rare August win versus Falkirk, albeit away, and it merely acted as a poking of a well oiled bear that would haunt the rest of this season. Sandwiched in between these league games was an uninspiring 2-2 (4-2 pens) win at Arbroath, although Gayfield is always one of the great wee stadium of this land! We were still picking up points here and there, beating Killie 3-1 at home days after getting the better of Morton in the League Cup. Narrow losses at Arabia and at home to Well, who had a cracking record versus us in Inverness in those days, sadly, before we were back at the Bairnabeu for the League Cup Quarter-final, going down 1-0. Somewhere soon after that game Craig Brewster departed, and Terence Butcher arrived! We bounced back in the league with a 2-1 over Hibs at Fester Road. We had a habit of winning there at this juncture, but what is more remarkable is that my mate Fabian played his only full game for Hibs that day! Sorry hombre ☺. The tale end of the year was fairly torrid, Les Jambons, the Darling Buds of Chic, Dons, Arabia and the Castle Greyskull tenants all stuffed us without us even as much as tickling their under carriage so to speak! The new year started in better fettle with a fine 3-0 dismantling of the Maryhill Magyar, before I scampered off to South America a few weeks earlier than normal. Upon my return, a draw at Tannadice and another win against the Cabbage saw us nearing a top six place, but we would fall short, as well as exit the Scottish Cup in a bad tempered home fixture to Falkirk. Two weeks later they murdered us 4-0 down at their place, but we ended the regular campaign comfortably clear of the bottom. Alas, Butcher would experience this post split demise not only with us, but Hibs a few years later. We just couldn't get the win that would keep us safe, and other results conspired to drag us further and further into the muck. Two points from twelve meant we were 11th just above Falkirk going into the last game. They had already thrashed us 4-0 and knocked us out of both cups, the sense of foreboding was prevalent before we kicked a ball. Hughes had moulded a street fighting unit, marshalled by one Steven Pressley, who would fall down holding his head so often after a corner it was embarrassing. When he did it in the cup match and winked at the crowd, the normally passive home crowd were positively foaming. Bad blood was overflowing on the last day, six games in a season playing each other was taking it's toll. Tokely's red card was central belt decision making and the game was up. Hughes ran on the field at the end like a demented flea and we were down. His antics that day never left me, and while he might have overseen ICT highs in latter years, he was never fully embraced by a good number of Caley Thistle fans. The one crumb of comfort from a real fall from grace might have been we were, and still are, the team relegated with the highest ever points total, only ran close by our second relegation! But hey, what fun we had the next season, and it would be years before we ever had to play the Bairns again, and despite having ten men that day too, oh what joy 😂. European games in Scotland numbered two viewings, Hibs were eased aside by Swedish team Elfsborg 2-0 in the Intertoto to kick off the season on the 6th July, but Queen of the South put in a braver effort against Nordsjaelland, going down 0-1 to the Danish outfit on one soggy Airdrie night! South America called me and the curtain came down on futbol Sud America across in Greater Bueños Aires, with Lanus playing out a 1-1 draw with the Goats (Chivas) of Guadalajara in the Libertadores! All done before heading home for the hangman's noose and our first demotion in the fifteen year history of ICT. 'Fifteen points and you f***ed up' next time out 😎 Thanks James, some great memories in there once again. Not all of them enjoyable, but thems the breaks More to come from James, the next three seasons coming along next week. You can read all about James' worldwide footballing travels in his own excellent blog FOOTBALL ADVENTURES WITH JAMES RENDALL
  13. CTO Player of the Year 2018/19 - COLL DONALDSON Players of the Month Month Player August R.Calder / Tom Walsh September Mark Ridgers October Coll Donaldson November C.Donaldson / M.Ridgers December Tom Walsh January Tom Walsh February Coll Donaldson March Aaron Doran April Jamie McCart May Charlie Trafford The CaleyThistleOnline.com player of the year awards started back in season 2000-2001, and is one of only two external supporter awards recognised by the club and also recorded in Ian Broadfoot's official club stats. We take great pride in that and continue to seek to ensure the voting process is handled with fairness and integrity. The results over the last 18 years have usually been a pretty good indicator of the season that had just passed and this season's votes seem no different than previous years in that respect. From reading the forums and the supporter assessments of the players on a weekly basis, I would hazard a guess that most fans would easily be able to rhyme off the top 5 or 6 names quite easily. This year however was the first time we had the little wrinkle that is the playoffs to add some spice to the run-in. With a 7 point lead going into the last official league game of the season, last year's runner-up Coll Donaldson was in pole position to take the plaudits. Could he maintain that or could someone catch him? There were a total of 2981 votes cast this season which was an 22% increase on last year. These votes were cast for a total of 23 different players over the course of the season. The season covered 10 months and two players each won 'Player of the Month' three times (Donaldson & Walsh), one player (Ridgers) earned it twice, and 4 other players took it for a single month (Calder, Doran, McCart and Trafford). If you are thinking that that adds up to 12 you are right !!! In August, the Player of the Month plaudits were shared between Walsh and Calder and in November it was shared between Donaldson and Ridgers ! The graphic below shows the number of votes cast each month regardless of 5/3/1 point value. We use this total number of votes cast to determine the player of the month standings. Over the course of the season the player with the highest number of votes cast for them (regardless of the value of the votes 5/3/1) was Coll Donaldson with 390 votes. Last year he finished in second spot with 338 votes so a very consistent young man in his Caley Thistle career so far. Second spot this year goes to Tom Walsh with 282 votes with the next three spots being taken up by Doran, Polworth and Ridgers who are all over the 250 vote mark. We noted last year that Iain Vigurs had been very dominant in pickling up POY points every month and that this wasnt a regular occurence .... Well, as if to prove us wrong, it happened again this year ! Of course it is easy to guess who did it, yup, Coll Donaldson picked up POY points every month and has equalled the Vigurs achievement of last year. A special mention has to go to Jamie McCart though .... Having amassed a grand total of 11 POY points through the first 8 months of the season he earned 26 in the months of April and May to shoot up the rankings and finish fifth. If the season had lasted a month longer he might have even caught up with the leaders. The final total for the year has Coll Donaldson retaining the lead he has held all season and finishing with 62 points. In second place is Aaron Doran with 52 and the next three are Liam Polworth and Tom Walsh in 3rd equal spot and Jamie McCart as mentioned pushing Mark Ridgers out of 5th spot to claim it for himself. Well done Coll, and to all the boys for a season where we almost got there on two fronts ... onwards and upwards and hopefully one step further next year.
  14. Good spot Mantis. That was James' deliberate mistake just to see if anybody is reading his memories.😉
  15. Season Ends Now Whilst the final scoreline looks comfortable enough, the outcome of this game hinged an a dubious penalty offered by Kevin Clancy in first half injury time. It's no shock that we succumbed to a controversial refereeing decision, the first leg went the same way, but it did leave a bitter taste in the mouth for the near 500 away support who were right behind the team. However, that incident on the stroke of half-time took the last embers of resistance out of the players and the second half just emphasised the difference a few grand makes. Nicky Clark scored from the spot and further goals from Osman Sow and Pavol Safranko ended our season, but not the bitterness as John Robertson said what we all knew. Looks like Robbo will be hauled in front of the beaks, but maybe it's about time they investigated their own backyard to see if the people they employ are up to the job. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ On BBC Sport:- Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson branded the "arrogance" of Scottish officials as a "disgrace" after his side were condemned to another season in the Championship. Robertson was sent off after Dundee United were awarded a penalty in his side's 3-0 Scottish Premiership play-off semi-final defeat at Tannadice. The 4-0 aggregate loss loss ends the Highlanders' chances of promotion. "I've had enough; I'm happy to go all the way with it," Robertson said. "This can't be allowed to go on. The inconsistency of the refereeing is incredible. It might sound like sour grapes, and it is a wee bit tonight, but the standard is poor." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Up to the penalty award, Inverness had been the busier side with Tom Walsh Aaron Doran and Joe Chalmers being denied by Siegrist in the Arabs goal. Jordan White headed just over from a corner and all was rosy. Up steps cowboy Kevin Clancy to ruin the entertainment and the rest is history. Nicky Clark hit woodwork twice when it looked much simpler to score, it mattered not, the damage had already been done, thanks Kev. Absolutely titanic effort from the players who gave their all and were out of their feet at the end after being sunk by the iceberg Clancy. It was also a titanic effort by the Caley Away fans, some of them going over and above the call of duty to get behind the team. And when was the last time United had over 8500 fans at Tannadice. Great crowd and I'm sure the Premiership accountants will be glad it's United that progress and not the famous Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Here's one such account from Immortal Howden Ender:- Well I sat in a motorway queue for four feckin hours, made me hit the Forth Road Bridge at rush hour and got to Dungdee 45 minutes before the kick off. Feckin stone cold sober !! Up until that ridiculous penalty decision we were the better team, playing some nice football and looking the team to score by a country mile. But our lack of power and flair up front and the age old inability to take chances let us down again. We really should have been 2 or 3 up and there were scoreable chances for Walsh, White and Doran. The penalty, it's conversion and the timing appeared to simply break our hearts. But we put so much into that first half that it would have been a miracle if we had maintained that level after the second. Only a sniff of a comeback would have possibly riled us up. But the Arabs went for the throat from the start of the second half, pressed higher up the pitch and the second was the beginning of the end. It could well have been 5 or 6 in the end and we never looked like scoring. You would have to say that everybody gave their all but I thought that some showed their flaws. There weren't many who didn't look absolutely flecked 10-15 minutes before the end. Again that is the cruelty of our play off system. I will leave the Smileymometer alone but Ridgers did nothing wrong, Rooney ran and ran and did well before being flecked. McCart was superb and my MotM. Should Coll have been playing when clearly 50 to 60% fit - I would say not. McHattie was caught out for the second goal and struggled defensively. Our midfield ran their socks off but we went for the long, high ball [often diagonal] too often and did not utilise the width and especially Walsh snuffed. Doran played like he did against Hearts and did not come up with the goods. White had little support but did not hold things up enuff and lost too much in the air. Not sure either where Brad McKay was playing but it did look like he was employed to provide cover for the ailing Coll which was a waste of a player. May sound critical but we played well until half time and missing chances killed us again. Some of the officials decisions, other than the penalty, were shocking and there were some ridiculous offsides called. BUT what an away support and not a bad home one either. Glad I was there to the seasons death. Bring on the anguish of 2019-20. Caleytillidie It's All Over Now............. Date: 17/05/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 8540 Referee: Kevin Clancy Dundee United: 3 (4) Lineup: Siegrist; Watson, Connelly, Reynolds, Robson, Bouhenna, Harkes, McMullan, Clark (Stanton 78), Pawlett (Safranko 63), Sow (Booth 73). Subs (not used): Currid; Frans, Chalmers, Smith. Scorers: Clark (45+1 pen), Sow (54), Safranko (89) Booked: Reynolds (33). Sow(58), Safranko (70) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 (0) Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, McHattie, Rooney (Austin 56), Trafford, Chalmers, Walsh (Harper 90), Doran (McDonald 74), White Subs (not used): C Mackay; McCauley, MacGregor, Gunn. Scorers: none Booked: Mckay (45+1), Doran (38) Sent Off: none a0
  16. It's Now or Never Last chance saloon for Inverness Caledonian Thistle as they travel to Tannadice on Friday night to face a Dundee United side who hold a one goal advantage from the first leg. Do we have the desire to summon up the energy for another high tempo game? The players believe, the fans believe, let's hope the board believe as well or it will be another season in the Championship for us if we fail to overcome United. There's no away goals rule in these play-offs so basically whoever scores the most over the two legs wins the tie. In the event of a draw it's extra time and penalties if required. We start the game one goal down so plenty to play for given the pounding we gave United in the Scottish Cup game at Tannadice. Paul McMullan was the man that made the difference on Tuesday night when he took advantage of a rebound off one post to send the ball into the net off the other post. It was an unfortunate set of circumstances surrounding the goal that you couldn't make up. The big talking point however was the sending off of Liam Polworth minutes after the break. High foot or low head, referee Walsh sent of Polly and that was a big game changer. It enabled United to gradually grind Inverness down but not without the hosts putting up a tremendous fight. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ New Signing David Carson has signed a two year deal at the Caledonian Stadium. Carson is a 23 year old midfielder and arrives from Morpeth Town having scored 14 goals this season. More on David on the OFFICIAL SITE. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ For Inverness, nothing much has changed since the game on Tuesday night which Tom Walsh and Carl Tremarco missed through injury. Robbo expects Walsh to be available tonight but Tremarco is out. Liam Polworth will sit this one out through suspension and that's disappointing as we could have seen the last of him in a Caley Jags shirt. Shaun Rooney was the newbie last time out and he performed brilliantly as a dashing wing back with Brad Mckay in the full back position. Kevin McHattie took Tremarco's role. Pavol Safranco came off at half time and is a doubt. Peter Pawlett took a heavy knock as well and Callum Butcher limped off the park. Off to Tannadice now, so you'll have to make up the rest as you go.
  17. Advantage United John Robertson's side were reduced to ten men just after half time and that swung the pendulum towards the visitors. Jordan White headed against the post in the first half, but Liam Polworth was red carded three minutes after the break. Despite the numerical advantage, Inverness made United work hard for their break and it came in the 78th minute after substitute Nicky Clark hit the post and Paul McMullan slotted in the rebound. Harsh on Inverness who had battled really hard to make up for the loss of Polworth. Only half time in the tie though and still all to play for at Tannadice where we won 2-1 in the Scottish Cup. United will know they will be in for a hard time and our lads will give it everything, similar to tonight. Great effort with Shaun Rooney outstanding. Jamie McCart was immense at the back and Mark Ridgers assured dealing with early crosses. Aaron Doran looked lively early on before fading in the second half when we were down to ten. The winners over the two legs will face either St Mirren or Hamilton Accies. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ On BBC Sport:- Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "We don't feel it's a red car. It could easily have sufficed with a yellow. For the referee to change the whole complexion of the game on that incident - we feel hard done by. "I can understand why he's given it - we know the laws of the game. It is what it is. We are 1-0 down. We've won at Tannadice before. We go down there full of confidence." Dundee United manager Robbie Neilson: "Pleased with tonight but by no means are we on easy street now. We've got a tough, tough game coming up. "The sending off has a bearing on the game. I've been delighted with Paul McMullan since I came in. He's got potential to really go far in the game because he's got that pace and he's got the fitness levels as well." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness were without the injured Tom Walsh and Carl Tremarco, with Anthony McDonald and Kevin McHattie starting. Dundee United had a clean bill of health after a ten day break whilst Inverness had battled through two tough games against Ayr United to get here. It was a wonderful sunny evening as United took to the park in front of a healthy and vociferous travelling support of over 1,000, welcoming their team into the Caledonian Stadium as if they had won the world cup itself. The North Stand was sparsely populated and like a morgue in comparison. Apathy rules in the Highland capital I'm afraid. The visitors kicked off and Coll Donaldson was immediately the target of their small minded section who took every opportunity to have a go at him as he won a free kick inside the first minute. Get over him Arabs. Liam Polworth fired a cross into the box which Siegrist parried clear as we made our intentions clear, but it was Mark Ridgers that had to make the first save after Peter Pawlett fed Osman Sow and Ridgers saved down low as the big striker smothered his shot from a good position. Polworth headed on to Joe Chalmers and the Dingwall target fired just wide as the game ebbed and flowed in the evening light. In the 23rd minute, Jordan White almost broke the deadlock as his header back across the keeper bounced off his right post, Siegrist beaten but the rebound was smuggled clear. The hosts were getting on top and a poor clearance by the United keeper almost led to a chance for White and Polworth, but it was snuffed out for a corner. From the clearance, the energetic Shaun Rooney fired a shot from Richie Hart area a couple of yards over the bar. United's main threat was Paul McMullan, he of dubious diving decisions and errant hand balls. Tonight he was simply playing football and his pace was causing Kevin McHattie a torrid time. Ridgers had to be alert to catch a high shot towards goal from the wee neckless hunchback as he demonstrated his menace. Pavol Safranko shot wide from the resultant corner. Siegrist gathered a White header as we pressed for the opener, but it lacked any power to beat the keeper. To the delight of the Dundee United fans, Coll Donaldson was booked for felling Pawlett, the biggest cheer since the teams came out onto the park. Right on half time he foolishly gave away another free kick on the edge of the box, the forward heading away from the box but Coll tested the patience of the referee and brought another round of soccer rage from the vising fans. The free kick came to nothing fortunately and that brought an end to a high tempo first half with both teams having a go. Half Time 0-0 Safranko stayed in the dressing room after the break with Calum Booth replacing him. It made Donaldson lighter as the big forward had now left his pocket. Three minutes into the second period and disaster for Inverness . As Polworth tried to flick his toe towards the ball on the edge of our box, Mark Connelly lowered his head and made a meal of going down and clutching his face. Surely an ambulance would be called. No, instead of blue lights, we got a red card for Polly who could have made his final contribution for the Caley Jags. Surprisingly there seemed to be little if any damage to the Arabs player who was on his feet soon after. The free kick came to nothing, but the red card changed the dynamics of the game. Aaron Doran and big Jordan linked well with White's shot blocked as he pulled the trigger, close call for United as the ten men continued to cause them problems. None moreso than the marauding Shaun Rooney who was like a duracell bunny all night. United were beginning to wear down Inverness, gradually, and substitute Nicky Clark tested Ridgers with a low drive. Cameron Harper had replaced a tiring Doran by now for the hosts. Ten minutes after coming on, the fresh legs of Clark saw United take the lead. McMullan benefited from a McHattie headed clearance that rattled off his chest, he then toe poked the ball to Clark and he fired a low shot back across the keeper from around the penalty spot. It cannoned off the left hand post of Ridgers and as we failed to react quick enough, McMullan buried the ball low into the net off the opposite post. Incredible set of circumstances and very harsh on the ten men of Inverness who had still looked dangerous on the break. Charlie Trafford had a shot saved and Callum Smith shot over as the game just ran away from us, but what an effort from the guys, just a pity so few bothered to turn up to watch the game and preferred watching on TV or washing their hair. Everything to play for at Tannadice and United will be wary of us. Red card or no red card? Well, if you ask the referee to make a decision and put him on the spot then there's every chance they will get it wrong and ruin what was a highly entertaining game up to that point. Many pundits (and Robbo) reckon a yellow would have sufficed, but we are talking third rate Scottish referee's here. Meh! No failures in the red and blue of the Caley Jags who were best served by sponsors MotM Aaron Doran until he tired, Jamie McCart who continues to impress and was a rock at the back, Charlie Trafford who just keeps getting better and the guy that impressed me with his Tokelyesque marauding runs down the flank, Shaun Rooney. Unfortunately United were best served by the three that mattered most, Nicky Clark, the menacing sprinter Paul McMullan, and Siegrist's right hand post. Doh! Here's the action from the SPFL site And here is Robbo................ Date: 14/05/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2604 Referee: Nick Walsh Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, McHattie, Rooney, Trafford, Polworth, Chalmers, Doran (Harper 72), White (Austin 81). Subs (not used): C Mackay, MacGregor, Gunn, McCauley, McDonald. Scorers: none Booked: Donaldson (38), Ridgers (48) Sent Off: Polworth (48) Dundee United: 1 Lineup: Siegrist; Watson, Reynolds, Connelly, Robson, Harkes, Butcher, McMullan (C Smith 85), Pawlett, Sow (Clark 68), Safranko (Booth 45). Subs (not used): Laidlaw; M Smith, Frans, Bouhenna. Scorers: McMullan (78) Booked: Booth (90+1) Sent Off: none a
  18. As always, Mannies comments speak for themselves. And take quite a lot of research to produce and we are the lucky beneficiaries of his hard work. Spiced up a wee bit by the references to the lady fair beyond compare. Switched allegiances, eh? Wow! Smile.
  19. One down, two to go. Inverness booked their place in the next stage of the play-offs after a rather uncomfortable 1-1 draw with Ayr United. As expected Ayr came out of the blocks flying and deservedly took the lead through Luke McCowan in the 19th minute. It took until the 79th minute before we eased the pain on the supporters when Coll Donaldson claimed he got a touch on Liam Polworth's inviting free kick into the danger area. It mattered not who scored it, but it was a crucial goal that scuppered Ayr's hopes of taking the tie into extra time. Inverness will now play Dundee United on Tuesday night, the return at Tannadice on the Friday night. St Mirren are in pole position to be the Premiership fall guys unless Accies blow a four point lead going into the final two games, Dundee already relegated. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ TICKET PRICES FOR Dundee United ARE AS FOLLOWS: Adult: £15 Concession: £8 Tickets can be bought online HERE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A noisy crowd in the away end met the teams as they came out on a sunny afternoon at the Caledonian Stadium. Carl Tremarco was still injured and Kevin McHattie started again in a familiar looking side for this crucial second leg tie. Ian McCall had Luke McCowan on from the start and Robbie Crawford was deemed fit enough to take his place in the side. Michael Moffat was on the bench for the Honest Men and top scorer Lawrence Shankland would be the man to keep an eye on. Around 2500 watched this one and Ayr started brightly without causing too much concern. However, it was Jordan White who had the first couple of attempts. The first was blocked by Ross Doohan in the visitors goal after White was fed through on the right side, Doohan blocking as White tried to dink the ball behind him. The second effort was a shot on the turn from the edge of the box which the keeper gathered with ease. From that save, Ayr took the lead when a crossfield pass from Shankland found Declan McDaid scampering down the right flank. His cross took a slight deflection off Jamie McCart's leg but it still found McCowan sprinting across the box to fire high into the net from six yards. Ayr were looking slick at this point and their passing game was outdoing the stifled approach from Inverness who looked a little edgy in the opening half. White saw an effort saved and Robbie Crawford could have done better than shoot wide at the other end. As Inverness upped the pace heading to wards the break Aaron Doran shot wide and they ended the half on top, but a goal behind on the day. Half Time 0-1 Inverness were dealt a blow ten minutes into the second half as Tom Walsh left the field feeling his hamstring to be replaced by Anthony McDonald. McDaid shot wide as Ayr looked to level the aggregate score and Mark Ridgers had to look smart to deny a header from Skankland. McDaid and Crawford were next to go wide as Inverness restricted the visitors to trying speculative efforts, but it was an uneasy spell for the hosts. We began to get to grips with the game and Jamie McCart headed wide and a couple of minutes later we were level. Aaron Doran was fouled some thirty yards from goal wide on the left. Liam Polworth curled an inviting ball into the mix and White and Coll Donaldson were left unmarked as they both rose for the ball. There was little doubt where the ball ended up, but Donaldson claimed he touched it with his hair and the relief in the stands was instant as Coll took the plaudits from the North Stand, his first goal this season. Ayr almost went in front again just two minutes later as Andy Murdoch unleashed a thumping shot from outside the box but Ridgers was equal to it. Time was now running out for United to take the game to extra time and their frustration showed as they picked up a couple of late bookings as Inverness looked more assured towards the end of a game they had struggled to control for long spells. Not a classic by any manner or means, but that vital 3-1 win at Somerset Park set Inverness up and enabled them to take it easier than they might have done had the match been all square. Great contributions from MotM Coll Donaldson with his partner Jamie McCart also playing well as we defended in depth at times. Aaron Doran was the pick of the forwards as he twisted and turned his way down the wing and Jordan White showed his worth once more, using his power and height to good effect. All in, not a great spectacle, and Ian McCall seems a bit miffed that his side were the best team over the two legs. I've got news for you Ian, Inverness play Dundee United on Tuesday night and Ayr United's wonderful season has ended. So Caledonian Stadium on Tuesday night and Tannadice on Friday night. A schedule John Robertson has voiced his concerns over preferring the option of Wednesday and Sunday. The winners will play St Mirren or Hamilton who meet on Monday night and that could decide who is in the play-off final. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Here's the managers speaking to BBC Sport Inverness manager John Robertson: "It's a strange situation defending a two-goal lead at home - it's awkward. The players weren't sure whether to go for it or to sit back and we were a bit safe. I thought we looked very nervous in the first 15-20 minutes. Ayr got a beautifully-worked goal and that woke us up a bit. These matches are done over 180 minutes and we've come through it." Ayr manager Ian McCall: "I'm very disappointed. I'm very proud of the players and what they've put in over two years and a lot of them will be leaving us for bigger clubs. I thought we were the better team in both games in terms of playing football and passing the ball but ultimately theses games are about getting through. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Not the best performance ever, but this was all about getting through to the next round of the play-off and so far it's mission accomplished with more difficult games to come. Good backing for the Ayr players must have given them a lift when they came on to the park and the moved the ball around better with Inverness looking edgy trying to protect that two goal cushion. Anyway, job done so far. Here's the goals from yesterdays game. No doubt about the Ayr scorer, but difficult to see who got the final touch although Donaldson is claiming the Inverness goal. Here's Johnny................... Date: 11/05/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2323 Referee: Steven McLean Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay (Rooney 63), Donaldson, McCart, McHattie, Walsh (McDonalld 54), Trafford, Polworth, Chalmers, Doran, White. Subs (not used): C Mackay, Harper, MacGregor, McCauley, Austin. Scorers: Donaldson (79 maybe) Booked: McHattie (89) Sent Off: none Ayr United: 1 Lineup: Doohan; Smith, Muirhead, Rose, Harvie, Crawford, Murdoch, Kerr (Cadden 83), McDaid (Miller 77), Shankland, McCowan (Moffat 65) Subs (not used): Hare-Reid; Forrest, Ecrepont, Docherty. Scorers: McCowan (19) Booked: Muirhead (29), Smith (45+1), Harvie (83), Shankland (87) Sent Off: none a
  20. Opportunity Knocks Inverness have a great opportunity of progressing to the next stage of the play-offs after gaining a 3-1 advantage from the first leg at Somerset Park thanks to goals from Charlie Trafford and a Jordan White brace. Whoever gets through, they will face Dundee United at their own ground on the 14th May, then again at Tannadice on the 17th May. It's a tough schedule and not for the weak. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Just day until we face Ayr United in the Premiership Play-Off Quarter-Final Second-Leg Who's coming along to get behind the Caley Jags in tomorrow's big game? Tickets available online Adult £12/ Concession £6/ Under 12s FREE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Given this week of comebacks of biblical proportions, think Liverpool Tottenham, it's not inconceivable that this tie has a bit to run yet. The first goal will be seen as vital by both clubs. An Inverness goal would virtually kill the tie, a goal for the visitors could well put a spanner in the works. Remember that away goals do not count in the event of the games finishing level over the two legs. The team that scores the most goals over the two legs go through to the next round. If the scores are level over the two legs then there will be extra-time and then penalties if required. What that means is if Ayr were to win 2-0, not absurd by any manner or means given our poor home results, we would be going into extra-time and the possibility of penalties. Bricking it yet? It was a somewhat controversial victory at Ayr with Ian McCall claiming our second goal was offside and the third should not have been a penalty. He always was a greetin faced wee nyaff with a chip on his shoulder if you ask me. It was a hard fought win on Tuesday night. Charlie Trafford broke the deadlock in the first half and Jordan White clipped in the second. Michael Rose pulled one back but White converted a penalty to restore our two goal cushion and that's how it ended. Those goals were White's 15th & 16th of the season. Not a bad return from the big fellow after a slow start. Here's the match video of the goals so you can judge for yourself if McCall was justified in his rant. Inverness have no further injury worries after the first leg. Coll Donaldson came through unscathed after being subbed against Dunfermline the week before. Carl Tremarco missed the game at Ayr with a calf injury with Kevin McHattie stepping up to the plate with ease. The injured Sean Welsh has signed a two year extension to his contract. Good news for Inverness fans and let's hope Sean makes a full and quick recovery from his current broken foot. Team News from Ayr:- Steven Bell, Jamie Adams, Craig Moore and Andy Geggan are out with injuries. Robbie Crawford was replaced at half time in the first leg and will be a doubt One man to be wary of is Lawrence Shankland who collected a new award this week. He picked up the inaugural Ladbrokes Championship Tartan Ball for finishing as top scorer in the league with 24 goals. Amongst that was a four goal haul at Tannadice when Ayr thumped the Arabs 5-0. Here's all his league goals for the season. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you like a wee flutter, 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.
  21. So far so good The Caley Jags take a two goal advantage back to the Caledonian Stadium on Saturday after beating Ayr United 3-1 at Somerset Park in the first leg of the play-off. An entertaining game saw Charlie Trafford open the scoring in the first half with a powerful header. Jordan White doubled the advantage in the second half, Ayr claiming for offside. Coventry City signing Michael Rose headed Ayr back into the game but a Jordan White penalty ended the scoring in favour of the Caley Jags. A place in the Premiership is the prize for the team that can battle their way through the play-offs and that journey started last night at Somerset Park, Ayr. Whoever manages to get into the play-off final will be facing either St Mirren or Hamilton Accies who face each other this weekend. John Robertson was still without captain Carl Tremarco with Kevin McHattie replacing him. Other than that it was a fairly strong starting XI with Coll Donaldson fit enough to resume at centre back. Ian McCall had Liam Smith on from the start with Michael Moffat and Lawrence Shankland up front keeping young star Luke McCowan on the bench. A crowd of nearly 2200 were on hand to watch the first leg with just over 200 away fans making the long trek, and on a school night too. Here's the main talking points from the game. The visitors opened the scoring just after the half hour when Tom Walsh won a corner on the right. Charlie Trafford was first to the ball from the boot of Joe Chalmers and he wanted it most. His powerful header went high into the net with Doohan stranded. Ayr and Ian McCall were left raging when Jordan White doubled our advantage after the linesman failed to give offside against the big striker when Aaron Doran poked a ball through to him on the edge of the box. Jordan carried on and deftly chipped it over the onrushing keeper, a superb finish for a big lad, the defence not happy at the decision. Ayr won a free kick some twenty-five yards out. The ball was rolled to Lawrence Shankland who put his laces through the ball but Mark Ridgers pulled off a tremendous save at the expense of a corner. From the resultant corner, Michael Rose got the run on the defence as Coll Donaldson ball watched. We all then ball watched as it powered into the net to give the Honest men some hope. Another debatable decision would go against United as Mark Kerr was adjudged to have bundled over Jamie McCart as he went for a header in the box. Difficult to spot, but the referee was on hand and White made no mistake from the spot, emphatically firing the ball high to the keepers left. Doohan had already made his mind up that the ball was going to his right. Big stramash near the end which resulted in Jordan White being booked with Shankland and his Ayr cohorts doing their best to get him red carded. Luke McCowan had the final chance to salvage something for Ayr, but Inverness held out and take the the advantage back up the A9 with Trafford, White and Ridgers getting the plaudits. More to come............... Action from the game courtesy of AyrUnitedFCTV............. Here's Johnny............... Two goal hero Jordan White talking on BBC Sport Managers reaction talking on BBC Sport Ayr United manager Ian McCall: "He is a yard offside and it is nowhere near a penalty kick. "We always knew the physicality from Inverness would be a problem, albeit they have a lot of good footballers. Inverness boss John Robertson: "We have said to the players it is a really good away performance. "But the job is not finished. This is a team that knocked five by Dundee United earlier this season. We will prepare for another battle on Saturday." Date: 07/05/2019 Venue: Somerset Park, Ayr Attendance: 2171 Referee: Alan Muir Ayr United: 1 Lineup: Doohan; Smith, Muirhead, Rose, Harvey, Docherty, Crawford (Kerr 45), Murdoch, McDaid (Forrest 80), Moffat (McCowan 62), Shankland Subs (not used): Hare-Reid; Ecrepont, Cadden, Miller. Scorers: Rose (65) Booked: Crawford (42), Kerr (75) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, McHattie, Walsh (Rooney 79), Trafford, Chalmers, Polworth (McDonald 88), Doran (McCauley 78), White Subs (not used): C Mackay, Harper, MacGregor, Austin. Scorers: Trafford (33), White (51, 76 pen) Booked: Trafford (68), White (90+1) Sent Off: none a
  22. Play Off 1st Leg at Ayr. Having qualified for the Premiership Play-Offs, we have the daunting task of playing Ayr United once more. By virtue of finishing third in the table, we get the benefit of a home tie in the second leg. Some say that's not maybe for the best given our random home form, and even moreso as Ayr have proved to be better away from Somerset park as well. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ICT Supporters Travel Club 🚌 🚌 🚌 PLAYOFF BUS TO AYR ON TUES 7TH MAY LEAVES ...CALEY CLUB 1.45 & STADIUM 2Pm BOOK ON FACEBOOK OR PHONE/TEXT 07462 218717 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Matchday 36 ended with a wee present from Dunfermline. They gifted us a goal to help us into third place and Alloa Athletic did the rest by drawing with Ayr. Nathan Austin was the beneficiary of a defensive mistake that saw a suicidal head high pass back bouncing off keeper Cammy Gill into the path of Austin who accepted the gift and stroked the ball into the empty net. One sour note was that Coll Donaldson came off at half time feeling his thigh and Jamie McCart replaced him for the second half. Whilst we were beating Dunfermline, Ayr United were being held to a 1-1 draw at home by Championship team of the season Alloa Athletic. Connor Shields opened the scoring for the Wasps but top striker Lawrence Shankland levelled four minutes later and that's how it ended, leaving Inverness third with United dropping down to fourth. So it all boils down to this, the play-offs, where it's all designed to favour the teams in the order they finished in the league. That means home advantage in the return leg, and the 3rd & 4th placed teams having the most to do. Another thing to remember is that away goals do not count in the event of the games finishing level over the two legs. The team that scores the most goals over the two legs goes through to the next round. If the scores are level over the two legs then there will be extra-time and then penalties if required. In the four meetings between the clubs this season, there has been one draw and three wins for Inverness. The first game in the Highlands saw newly promoted Ayr come away with a deserved 0-0 draw. The next game at Ayr was postponed in December due to high winds before we played them again in the North, running out winners thanks to a Jordan White goal. Down to Somerset Park at the end of January where we won an extraordinary game 3-2, having led 3-0 after 18 minutes. A Nathan Austin brace and a Liam Polworth goal had us cruising, but goals from Declan McDaid and Lawrence Shankland made it a tense finish. The final game was played only four weeks ago and a Brad Mckay goal was enough to win the points. So, Inverness getting the better of these games, but to be honest, very little between the sides. There's not much more to be said regarding the onfield news. Carl Tremarco missed the Dunfermline game with a calf injury. Coll Donaldson strained his hammy and was replaced, hopefully just precautionary but Sean Welsh is out long term. Mark Ridgers returned at the weekend and came through the game without concern. Kevin McHattie will replace Tremarco should he not make it. Ayr had Lawrence Shankland in their team against Alloa, and that is a worry for any defence. Manager Ian McCall has some concerns over a few players. Steven Bell and Craig Moore are out for the season. Defender Liam Smith has tweaked his hamstring and midfielders Jamie Adams and Andy Geggan are in the doubtful category. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ticket prices for the games home and away against Ayr have been set at £12, the minimum price dictated by the SPFL rules. Further Information can be found on the OFFICIAL SITE. Here's another tidy offer. Hospitality is £35 plus VAT at the Caledonian Stadium. Unfortunately, there is no season ticket discount rate as the SPFL have confirmed we have to charge for every ticket. Boooo @ spfl Email [email protected] to book your place or call the club on 01463 222880 With a new season looming, the club have opened the early bird offers for Season tickets. If purchased within the window allocated, season tickets will be frozen at last years prices and any tickets bought now will be honoured for the Premiership should we be successful in the Play-Off finals. At present, the window is 6th May to 26th May. See OFFICIAL SITE for detailed information regarding season tickets. It's been a challenging season for all at Inverness this year and it's pastures new for some, notably Liam Polworth heading to Motherwell after eight seasons with us. Others are sure to follow as money talks and Roy comes calling with cheque book in hand. Mark Ridgers is one that will be staying for another couple of seasons and local lad Mark has had a tremendous season after winning over the fans with some breathtaking saves to become one of the top keepers in the Championship. PLAYER of the YEAR awards were handed out after the Dunfermline game. Various trophy's dished out and you can see the full array of photo's taken by CaleyJags.com. on the Official Site. Here's the gist of it below, but head over to ICTFC for full details. Aaron Doran was voted the Fans PotY. Tom Walsh was voted the fans Young PotY Sean Welsh & Joe Chalmers were voted Players PotY Jamie McCart was voted Players Young PotY Roddy MacGregor was voted u18 PotY Coll Donaldson was voted Caley Jags Away PotY Joe Chalmers was voted Press PotY Coll Donaldson can be seen receiving his trophy from CTO and Caley Jags Away member Adamskibeats. Coll is also the front runner in the CTO polls. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 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.
  23. Have read all--very satisfying ,especially the full reports from our excellent reporters. 3rd place is fantastic. Manny has mann-aged to get the match video so that was just super for me since I am now sitting here at my computer at 9 o'clock in the morning, relishing that and all the prose. Hearty thanks to you, Manfer, for all your dedication and hard work to produce such skilful and interesting reports throughout the season. Looking forward to Tuesday evening. If that game starts at 7.p.m then that will be 11 a.m here in Vancouver in Western Canada. Great Mun. Alan S …..dinna worry about the negative naysayers --I sneakingly think they are jealous of your unique perspective on all things Caley. I find you a breath of fresh air, anyways. Hope you are not wearing a man's perfume though.
  24. Just the Ticket! The final game of the scheduled season will see us play Dunfermline Athletic at the Caledonian Stadium. However, we will have at least another two games and a possible six should we make our way to the play-off final, fingers crossed. All this could see our season extended to Sunday 26th May where we will find out who will join Ross County in the Premiership next season. As well as the play-offs, there is a great ticket offer for next season to be released on 6th May, so no excuses, get yourself sorted and get behind the Caley Jags next season. Your club needs you............ It's been a bit of a slog, but we managed to get ourselves a second chance at promotion after a slow burner of a season where draws were the order of the day for ICT. We are the draw specialists, Morton running us close, but at 14 draws our run for promotion was seriously curtailed. However, despite being interspersed with some excellent results and mediocre performances, we have managed to stay in touch with the play-off zone for most of the season and we will get our opportunity to progress as a reward for our perseverance. Last time out we had a tough time at Alloa before overhauling them with two rapid goals in the second half. Shaun Rooney rifling home from the edge of the box and Charlie Trafford weighing in with his first goal for the club. That was enough to secure the points after a first half penalty had been scored by Alan Trouten. Worryingly, Carl Tremarco had to come off injured before the end and that is bad news with the extra games looming. Dunfermline's season frittered away after a promising spell when they won a shitload of games to jump above us a couple of months ago. They stuttered badly in the run-in and they have now dropped to sixth, two points below Morton who beat the Pars 2-1 at the weekend. So tight has been the bottom half of the league they could plummet even further if results go against them this weekend. Other games on matchday 36 are Ayr United -V- Alloa, Falkirk -V- Ross County, Morton -V- Dundee United, Queen of the South -V- Partick Thistle. Final day of the season and still lots to be decided. Dunfermline were the side that scuppered our progress last season with a goal late into time added on to time added on. So be it. I won't dwell too much on the game on Saturday, suffice to say we have qualified for the promotion play-offs after a roller coaster season, a Scottish Cup semi-final and some rip roaring derby's in the Highlands. The carrot is dangling if we want more next season. For your information, here are the Play-Off dates, times and TV coverage. ** Tuesday May 7 or Wednesday May 8, 2019 Premiership play-off quarter-final, 1st leg 4th in Championship v 3rd in Championship ** Tuesday May 7 if Ayr United finish fourth ** Wednesday May 8 if Inverness CT finish fourth Saturday May 11, 2019 Premiership play-off quarter-final, 2nd leg 3rd in Championship v 4th in Championship Tuesday May 14, 2019 Premiership play-off semi-final, 1st leg 3rd or 4th in Championship v 2nd in Championship (Dundee United) Live on BT Sport, kick-off 7.45pm Friday May 17, 2019 Premiership play-off semi-final, 2nd leg 2nd in Championship (Dundee United) v 3rd or 4th in Championship Live on BT Sport, kick-off 7.45pm Thursday May 23, 2019 Premiership play-off final, 1st leg 2nd or 3rd or 4th in Championship v 11th in Premiership Live on BT Sport, kick-off 7.45pm Sunday May 26, 2019 Premiership play-off final, 2nd leg 11th in Premiership v 2nd or 3rd or 4th in Championship Live on BT Sport, kick-off 3.00pm Play off prices on Official Site Pars boss Stevie Crawford has Jackson Longridge suspended after a red card last week. Striker Andy Ryan and defender Lewis Martin have made comebacks recently and will be looking for a start. Robbo had talked about keeping the momentum going ahead of the play-offs and the extra £75K will come in handy, but self preservation will also be important and I see little point in wearing out our already knackered first choice squad with crucial games ahead. May the fourth be with you Robbo........... Mark Ridgers has been recovering from his dislocated finger, and it's fantastic news for the fans and the club that Mark has signed a new deal to keep him at Inverness for another couple of years. Hope yer finger is better. Sean Welsh is out with a broken foot. Carl Tremarco was injured at Recreation Park and will miss out with a possible calf tear. Others are flagging as our thin squad gets stretched every week. Robbo will have options though. Coll Donaldson made a welcome return last week and Brad Mckay will return after suspension. Cammy Mackay has deputised well for the injured Ridgers and Kevin McHattie is a ready made replacement for Tremarco. He could also look to the youth set-up where we have some wonderful players emerging and they are fresh from securing the Under 18's Progressive Tier title. Top bananas to these guys. They trounced none other than Ross County 4-0 on Tuesday afternoon. A full report can be found on the OFFICIAL SITE. Caley Thistle Under 18s secured the Under 18s Progressive Tier title in style as they beat Ross County 4-0 at the Caledonian Stadium thanks to a brace from Roddy MacGregor and goals from Donald Morrison and Matheus Machado. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Just the Ticket Coming soon, there's a great offer for you on the official site if you want to get your season ticket at this years prices, regardless of which division we find ourselves in. Here's hoping it's the Premiership, but the price remains the same. Early Bird Season Tickets for 2019/20 season will go on sale from Monday 6th May. The club would would like to thank everyone who bought a season ticket for season 2018/19 and as we come to the climax of an exciting season with a day in the Hampden sun behind us and with the Premiership Play-Offs looming, the club is pleased to be able to announce that Season Ticket prices have been frozen for those wishing to purchase early. _________________________________________________________________________ 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. 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  25. Comeback earns Status Quo Alan Trouten gave Alloa hope of the great escape after converting a first half penalty. Inverness showed more urgency after the break and two goals in five minutes put the Wasps back into the mire. Shaun Rooney rattled in the first for the visitors from the edge of the box and Charlie Trafford was on hand to score his first goal for the club and snatch all three points. We didn't quite roll over lay down, but maybe it could be down down for Alloa...... With Ayr United winning and Falkirk losing, it's as you were for both clubs and that means that third position is still up for grabs. For Alloa, it means that Falkirk remain three points behind them although Queen of the South and Partick Thistle are still in their sights above them. The only thing that has been decided is that the village club from the quaint market town of Dingwall have now won the Championship. Robbo hinted that the extra cash would be the driver for Inverness ahead of the play-offs and so it was as he put out as strong a team as possible. That meant a return to defence for Coll Donaldson with Brad Mckay suspended. Cammy Mackay continued in goal with Mark Ridgers recovering from his dislocated finger. Carl Tremarco came back in at left back, but that one backfired as he came off injured leaving us with only ten men as all substitutes had been used. Alloa were desperate for points and had Alan Trouten and Dario Zanatta spearheading their attack as they looked to keep the pressure on those above them and keep Falkirk below them. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ RIG was with CaleyAway and here's his excellent report:- As others have said, the first half performance was pretty rotten. We tried to force our way through the middle of the pitch a lot of the time which was pointless as Alloa frequently had nine men behind the ball and were very disciplined defensively and broke with real pace whenever our attacks broke down which was quite often. The likes of Polworth and Chalmers tried to force balls through to White or Doran / MacDonald cutting in from the flanks but they never found their man. Our best chance probably came when Doran chipped a ball in from the left flank but it evaded White and MacDonald. Prior to this Alloa had taken the lead from the penalty spot when Donaldson bundled over Zanatta and Trouten easily found the net sending MacKay the wrong way. We were lucky to just be one down at the break but Robbo shuffled the pack taking Polworth and MacDonald off for Austin and McCauley and going two up front with Austin slightly withdrawn off White. With this change we were a lot better and started to find a bit of space in wide areas to send a few decent crosses in which Alloa struggled to deal with at times. A Rooney header at the back post was a sign of things to come as Alloa started to struggle with our balls in from the flanks. Chalmers found himself with a bit of time on the left side to loft the ball into the area which Alloa only partially cleared and Rooney strode on to the loose ball to blast in the equaliser. White almost bagged a second goal moments later but Parry was equal to his effort. However we weren't to be denied with Chalmers again the provider. A low corner was hooked into the box by Chalmers and Trafford arrived at the near post to flick the ball into the net. Alloa nearly drew level late on when MacKay spilled a long range effort but was alert to get up and fist the loose ball away before any of the home teams players could seize on the opportunity. There then came a penalty appeal when Graham (?) fell over under pressure from McCart who was clearly incensed and his anger set off a bit of a stramash between the sides but ended with McCart going into the book. Fortunately we hung on. Not our finest performance of the season but it could be a vital win for us. The extra money from 3rd place would be very welcome as Robbo has said already this week. McCart was an absolute stand out for us and a clear MotM. We'll need to improve a lot if we want to progress through the play offs. Cheers Rig, great report from Recreation Park. Here's the goals from Recreation Park........... And Robbo's reaction........... Date: 27/04/2019 Venue: Recreation Park, Alloa Attendance: 826 Referee: Mike Roncone Alloa Athletic: 1 Lineup: Parry; Robertson, Graham, Taggart, Dick, Hetherington, Flannigan, Cawley (Kirkpatrick 75), Trouten (Hamilton 75), Zanatta, Aitchison (Shields) Subs (not used): Henry, Rosscoe, Brown, Peggie. Scorers: Trouten (pen 27) Booked: Zanatta (81), Robertson (90+2), Graham (90+4) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: C Mackay; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, McDonald (McCauley 46), Trafford, Polworth (Austin 46), Chalmers, Doran (Walsh 72), White. Subs (not used): Fon Williams; McHattie, Harper, MacGregor Scorers: Rooney (68), Trafford (73) Booked: Trafford (34), McCart (90+2) Sent Off: none a
  26. Play-Off practice We have a couple of games of the standard season left to help us prepare for the extended version, the play-offs, where the prize for success will be a place in the premiership next season. Our first game is this Saturday when we visit Recreation Park to take on one of the teams of the season, Alloa Athletic. We may have little to gain in this game other than keeping players fully fit for the task ahead, but for Alloa, their survival in the Championship will go down to the wire as they and half the division battle to avoid relegation. We can still overhaul Ayr United and gain some much needed cash and that will also be on the mind of the Caley Jags, but the bigger picture must surely be ensuring we have our best available XI on the park when the play off games come around. John Robertson still maintains that winning games is vital to build momentum, not to mention the extra £75K for finishing third. The title has all but gone to the quaint market town of Dingwall unless Dundee United can overturn an 18 goal deficit whilst winning their two remaining games with County losing theirs. A bit of a tall order if you ask me. Ayr though are very much catchable and will be a target whilst preserving the fitness of our thin squad. ***Latest news*** Ross County romped home with a win over Queen of the South on Friday night to win the Championship. Right eenuff for County; Queen of the South are now deep in the scheisse. A win for Alloa would certainly put them even deeper. We slumped to a 2-0 defeat at home to contender favourites Dundee United last weekend. Not good I hear you say. However, the bigger picture shows that we left Coll Donaldson on the bench to give him more recovery time and Mark Ridgers and Carl Tremarco were both out injured and in need of much rest. We have been running on empty for a few weeks now and conserving energy is a priority. Much has been said of our performance last week but in reality we could have taken something from the game had perennial cheat Paul McMullan not been up to his old tricks again. A new one this time, hand ball in the build up to the second goal. The first was a beaut as Pavol Safranko blasted a volley home in the first half. Much has been made of this one as the ball never touched the ground from the goalkeeper until it went into the net four touches later. A classy route four goal if ever I saw one. After four wins on the bounce, Alloa were looking good leading Partick Thistle early on, however two goals from the Harry Wraggs eased their plight and put Alloa back into the mix in second bottom. Aitchison opened for Alloa in the first half but second half goals from Scott McDonald and Joe Cardle saw Partick climb the table. They have since gone further away from the drop by beating Ayr United in midweek. Notably, Lawrance Shankland was not playing for the Honest Men, no doubt being kept for bigger games, making them Dishonest Men. A glance at the table will still reveal that Alloa are the form team over the last five games with four wins and that defeat to Partick. No team news readily available at the moment, but my guess is we need to rest guys ahead of the play-offs. Sean Welsh is definitely out. Mark Ridgers should need more rest for his dislocated finger. Coll Donaldson was on the bench and will be available. Brad Mckay is suspended after last weeks double quick yellow cards. Plastic pitches are not on Aaron Doran's Xmas card list and he could sit this one out. It's our final away game of the season prior to the play-offs. Here's how we have done so far ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Official Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year voting has commenced and you can cast your votes by following the link provided. The nominees are: Player of the Year Coll Donaldson Mark Ridgers Aaron Doran Sean Welsh Joe Chalmers Young PotY Jamie McCart Tom Walsh Shaun Rooney Cameron Harper Roddy MacGregor Here is the registration page to sign in to FansBet Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you sign up and 50% of net profits will be returned to CTO If you like a wee flutter, our new enhanced 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.
  27. Rendall's Rambles #3 If you have been following James on his ICT journey, here's the next three seasons. He's a well travelled football connoisseur who has been following the Caley Jags from the start. He has put together a fascinating nostalgic review of Inverness Caledonian Thistle's first 25 years as witnessed through his own eyes. Thanks James, a remarkable commitment to the beautiful game. The Inverness Caledonian Thistle Years #ICT25 No. 7 2000/01 (Games 216 to 252) Bedding into the second tier: In the second season of life in Division One as it was known, was largely a dull mid table affair, but there were a few highs, one controversy and one angst ridden end. The first full season of the noughties was upon us, and it brought two new clubs to the league in Elgin City and Peterhead, amongst the last clubs to be 'voted' in following a summer of tweaking the roster. I was at the first Elgin game at Glebe Park, Brechin a 2-1 loss for the new boys. Indeed, edging close to twenty years in the league, Elgin have never kicked on, stuck perpetually in the bottom tier, which is a shame as they have true fan based potential to be a northern Queen of the South. The centre pieces of an up and down ICT season was our never say die attitude, especially in the New Year derby at home to County, when we trailed 3-1 going into injury time. Three minutes later, a Dennis Wyness brace had the regularly morgue like Caledonian Stadium in a lather! A little bit of payback on one of the Falkirk hammers of Caley in any given August (yes we lost 2-3 this season), Owen Coyle, tried to dribble to the corner flag at 2-3, he lost the ball, belted forward and our very own deadly Dennis the menace did the rest 😊. A few weeks later we were at it again! Ayr United raced away to a three nil lead in the Scottish Cup, taking advantage of our hopeless cross catching/line glued goalie Les Fridge. The chap beside me was so disgusted he left at half time! But this was the last hoorah days of our increasingly alcohol fuelled boss Steve Paterson, and his sides never knew when they were beaten. Paul Sheerin, Davide Xausa, Bobby Mann and Dennis 'he used to be shite, but now he's alright' had us in a Wyness wonderland!! We were 4-3 up with 25 minutes to play!! This win brought us a home game with the other Ayrshire mob, Kilmarnock, and after a 1-1 draw the replay brought another shocking top flight howler, a midweek abandonment because Killie switched off their undersoil heating so as not to disturb the neighbours!! The re-run a week later saw us narrowly knocked out 2-1. The season fizzled out and in the "what goes around, comes around" fashion, Livingston got a secondary doze of revenge for us denying them a promotion four years earlier. This time a 2-3 away win saw them clinch promotion to the top table for the first time. I rarely leave early, but a club wearing my old teams shirt with Livingston written over Meadowbank in crayon, I wasn't for watching them celebrate on our patch. Meadowbank under its own steam came within a whiff of the Premier League, but the SFA sent a ref to a home game with Clyde to clip our wings, and second top was the giddy high we achieved. The Inverness Caledonian Thistle Years #ICT25 No.8 2001/02 (Games 253 to 289) A tale more of travels: It was almost as if I had foreseen a quiet season on the horizon for ICT as I was on the move around the globe more in this season than at any other point in my life, see below. Somethings were never changing, and August had developed into a real stumbling block for the club. The annual late loss to Falkirk was there, 1-2, as well as a loss to Partick, a place I have rarely ever seen us win, and a couple of draws at Clyde and St Mirren, oh, and a Challenge Cup loss to Alloa, again!! Before the season hit a true low with a league record 6-0 horsing at Airdrie, I was at a game that spooks me to this day! 11th September 2001 will go down in history as one of the worst days ever, the day of the Twin Towers collapse and terror was everywhere across the pond. I knew it had happened, and post work, I listened intently on the radio as I drove to Coatbridge, but only after a fairly routine 2-0 Caley Thistle win, seeing it on the TV back home, did the full horror sink in. All games were cancelled the next night, and while Cliftonhill is never a throng of lively atmosphere, that night it was eerily quiet and the players seemed to be just going through the motions. On a more positive note, three days earlier I took my nephew to his first ever game of football, a 5-1 first win of the season at home to Arbroath. When we scored initially the poor lad got a fright when everybody stood up cheering, and then he sat on the ground failing to realise the seat had sprung up! In time he would choose rugby as his sport, but he may have a rare claim to fame in that he has seen more football in Uruguay than anywhere else in the world!! The highlight of the season was winning our first ever game as a club in Edinburgh, a 3-1 win at Hearts on a dreich day in the Scottish Cup. Indeed, with such a sizeable following Martin and I were stuck in our third row seats getting soaked! A first ever game in my own city, a big win, and I ended up home under the shower to warm up by 5:30!! Mid table and a cup Quarter Final was as good as the season got. The Inverness Caledonian Thistle Years No9 #ICT25 2002/03 (Games 290 to 343) A Semi-final season: By now we were a well established second tier side, and in this our 4th season in the Championship as it is now, we were starting to knock on the door of the top end. It didn't start well losing our only ever game at Berwick Rangers, 1-0 in the Challenge Cup, followed by a first ever league win in the first encounter versus St Johnstone, also 1-0, and then the obligatory fifth season on the trot August home loss to Falkirk 1-2, who then won the second in Inverness 3-4! Beating St Mirren 4-0 was a real treat, then Arbroath were despatched 5-0 before two hat tricks by Paul Ritchie and Dennis Wyness saw us run riot 6-0 at Alloa, and we'd win 5-1 there later in the campaign. It was maybe another great Scottish Cup run that took our focus away from the league, first we beat Raith 2-0, and while I was in South America for the next round, I was in my seat for a 6:30 ko on a Sunday night for the Quarter Final versus Celtic. They had a shed load of chances, Larsson et all, but we did it again, with Dennis blasting the club into a first ever Scottish Cup Semi Final. One sour note was bad tempered Martin O'Neil's refusal to shake John Robertson and Donald Park's hands, he just stormed down the tunnel!! The semi final versus Dundee at Hampden was the wrong venue in terms of the size of the crowd, but it was good to be involved in such a prestigious event. We lost 1-0 and we didn't do ourselves justice, but little did I know then we'd get a few more opportunities! Thanks James, some great memories in there. More to come from James, the next three seasons coming along next week. You can read all about James' worldwide footballing travels in his own excellent blog FOOTBALL ADVENTURES WITH JAMES RENDALL
  28. United lay down marker Inverness went down 2-0 to Dundee United in a potential warm up game for the play-offs. Pavol Safranko opened the scoring in the 27th minute when he drove a volley past Cammy Mackay from fifteen yards and Paul McMullan scored the second just after the interval when he appeared to handle the ball in his build up to the goal. Whilst the Inverness defence appealed for the foul, McMullan ran across them and scored the goal. Despite plenty of opportunities, Inverness failed to capitalise on any of the breaks and United eased home to keep County waiting for the title celebrations. Nathan Austin did not endear himself to the home fans after failing to make the effort to get on the end of an Anthony McDonald shot after the youngster waltzed into the box. Great effort by McDonald, the same could not be said of Austin who tried to chastise the youngster for his own failure to get on the end of his shot. The end result mattered not as Dunfermline failed to get a point at Dumfries meaning Inverness are assured of a play-off place. Maybe Robbo was keeping some aces up his sleeve with a view to some tough play-off games looming. Coll Donaldson was on the bench but no sign of captain Carl Tremarco or the dislocated fingered keeper, Mark Ridgers. Sean Welsh is out for the season. United had plenty in reserve with Paul McMullan and Pavol Safranko the preferred partnership up front. It all looked fairly promising for the hosts in the opening exchanges and Jordan White got a header away in the fifth minute but it was well over the bar. United forced a couple of corners which came to nothing and Tom Walsh brought out a save from Siegrist at the other end. Shortly after this Cammy Mackay dived low to his left to ensure a stifled shot from Safranko stayed outside his posts. Jamie McCart was doing well keeping the back line in order with Coll Donaldson out and Inverness were looking the most likely to open the scoring. Aaron Doran saw Siegrist save his header and Tom Walsh fired a terrific shot from thirty yards which the keeper saved well in the top corner as he managed to push the ball behind for a corner kick. Out of the blue, United scored when Peter Pawlett flicked the ball to Pavol Safranko who volleyed low past a helpless Cammy Mackay from the edge of the box. Good strike and the move was similar to the one Inverness did at Partick when Walsh crashed the ball home. On the half hour Jamie McCart went close with a header, but one minute later we had the crossbar to thank when Paul Watson smacked a header off the woodwork, Mackay looking like he had it covered had it tried to sneak under the bar. Joe Chalmers cleared the rebound away with a header from under the bar. Chalmers was next up with a shot from distance on the right side, the ball almost catching the United keeper out as it bounced in front of him but he reacted well to keep it out somehow. Motherwell bound Liam Polworth also broke on the right side but his effort was neither a cross or a shot an Siegrist gathered. We finished the half strongly but an equaliser eluded us and Inited went in 1-0 ahead. Half Time 0-1 We were left chasing the game five minutes into the second half when Paul McMullan appeared to use an arm to control the ball as he ran across the face of our defence. As we appealed for the free kick, McMullan kept going and tucked the ball behind Mackay for a schoolboy error sickener. We went again and after some tidy build up play Doran found himself in space on the left side of the box. Unfortunately his effort was blocked and the chance went begging. Polly went on a decent run and his parting shot had plenty power but rose over the bar. At the other end, Mackay beat away a sizzling shot from Jamie Robson as United were able to hit effectively on the break. Substitute Nathan Austin was somewhat selfish as he shot weakly from an angle. His memory was substandard as soon after he berated Anthony McDonald for doing exactly the same. In McDonald's case he put in the effort to get his shot away and if Austin had bothered his arse he might well have got on the end of it as he watched it slide the wrong side of the post. This exchange brought about an angry reaction from the North Stand, and deservedly so, but for some it extended too far. United would have scored a third on the break as we continued to chase the game but for a brilliant goal line clearance by Shaun Rooney after some trickery on the right flank and a Robson shot driven to the goal. Three corners came and went for Inverness as we tried to get something from the game, but to no avail. In a final flourish we rained efforts towards the North Stand, unfortunately that's where most of them ended. Bizarrely, Brad Mckay was dismissed given two yellow cards for seemingly being tripped in the box, the inept referee booking Brad for diving I presume then his angry reaction to the yellow brought about another one. What did he expect? 'Oh that's OK ref, just one of those things'. Aye right. Jordan White almost got a late consolation as he turned and shot in the box but Siegrist dived full length to deny the striker. He was denied again just before the final whistle as he powered a good header goalwards, Siegrist again thwarting him with another good save. The United keeper could make a claim to say he was their Man of the Match. It was just one of those days I'm afraid. We had plenty of opportunities but spurned them all through poor shooting and good goal keeping. Jamie McCart was outstanding and get's my vote for Man of the Match. He was well supported by Shaun Rooney, Kevin McHattie and Cammy Mackay in our hastily rearranged defence with Ridgers, Donaldson and Tremarco missing. With Dunfermline also losing, that means we can now relax for the next couple of matches ahead of the play-off games. The other good thing was that the title was not won on our patch. Maybe that was the plan! Match footage from Caley Jags TV Inverness Caley Thistle boss John Robertson on BBC Sport: "We spoke to Paul after it and he was honest enough to admit it hit his arm. Six of our defenders appealed for handball but they've made the cardinal sin of stopping and waiting for the whistle to go. The referee got it poorly wrong." Date: 20/04/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2971 Referee: Greg Aitken Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: C Mackay; Rooney, B Mckay, McCart, McHattie, Doran (Austin 62), Trafford, Polworth (McCauley 68), Chalmers, Walsh (McDonald 67), White Subs (not used): fon Williams; Donaldson, Harper, MacGregor Scorers: none Booked: B Mckay (90+2) Sent Off: B Mckay (90+2 two yellows) Dundee United: 2 Lineup: Siegrist; Watson, Reynolds, Connolly, Robson, Harkes, Butcher (Bouhenna 75), McMullan, Clark (Nesbitt 64), Pawlett (Booth 46), Safranko Subs (not used): Laidlaw; Gomis, Smith, Fyvie, Scorers: Safranko (27), McMullan (49) Booked: Robson (29), Butcher (43) Sent Off: a
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