Bucharest to Brechin in two years.
It's only taken two years, but Inverness have swapped European football in Romania for the Scottish Championship and the more sedate, but ever so enchanting surroundings of the Glebe Park stadium Brechin.
Inverness venture forth into Angus to face Brechin City at Glebe Park, a ground we have not visited on league busines for thirteen years. Our last League game there saw us come out on top 2-4 en-route to winning the First Division title in 2004. That game saw a rare goal from Darran Thomson, a trademark Paul Ritchie strike, a tidy finish from David Bingham and a belter from Russell Duncan. They were enough to see off a brace from Daryll Duffy. John Robertson was manager that day and it's his task to revitalise a side that has lost it's way recently.
Last week a Gary Warren strike was cancelled out by a Robbie Thomson header as Morton left the Highlands with a deserved point in the proverbial game of two halves. It looked good early doors for Inverness but Morton grew into this game and deservedly levelled. They looked the likeliest to go on to win the game but Inverness passed up on the best chance when George Oakley should have scored with a close range header near the end. Still, a point is better than none, but it keeps us bottom of the league just now, level with Brechin and Falkirk.
Our opponents, Brechin went down narrowly at Tannadice as they showed they will be no pushovers, and by all accounts were deserving of a point. It took a late strike from Scott McDonald to seal the points that left Brechin with one point from three games. City had hit the woodwork earlier in the game and Jordan Sinclair saw a great effort tipped over. Like us, a narrow defeat to Dundee United who are maybe not as good as many predicted.
We have of course already played Brechin this season. We came out on top in the Highlands with a 3-0 win in the group stages of the League Cup. Two goals from Gary Warren and one from George Oakley secured the win. I fully expect Brechin to be a much sterner test this time round as they were struggling for numbers in that one and Dods has a more balanced squad to choose from this time round.
Ricardo Calder limped out of the Morton clash and is doubtful for this encounter. He's not the only one with Gary Warren and Brad Mckay both struggling with ongoing niggling injuries. Charlie Trafford, pictured on the left had a decent debut last week, but he also took a knock against Morton. The big Canadian will improve with more game time with his team mates. He looks to be a solid replacement for Ross Draper. (Who? I hear you say already). Up front, Connor Bell is champing at the bit for a start, and he could well get his opportunity as neither George Oakley or John Baird are exactly firing on all cylinders yet. Collin Seedorf will be suspended after his red card and that could open the door for out of favour defender David Raven to play. All this on top of our long term injured of Carl Tremarco, Aaron Doran and Zak Elbouzedi with Felitciano Zschusschen joining them on the missing list. The Morton casualties will be given late tests on Friday to assess their chances of playing.
Brechin gaffer Darren 'Machine' Dods will be without Ryan McGeever and Gary Fusco is a doubt. Last time out Brechin City fielded this XI :- Graeme Smith, Aron Lynas (Chris O’Neil 86), Sean Crighton, Paul McLean, Willie Dyer, James Dale, Jordan Sinclair, Kalvin Orsi, Finn Graham, Euan Spark (Liam Watt 72), Andy Jackson (Isaac Layne 81).
A clear the air meeting with fans was held at the stadium this week and new Chairman Graham Rae responded to some challenging questions directed at the club. It was mainly felt that the club were beginning to take the fans grievances on board and are making the right noises and looking to move in the right direction. Another statement came from the board after the meeting and can be found on the official ICTFC Website
So, positive movement off the field and there were positive signs on it last week as well. It's maybe time to cut the club a bit of slack and get right behind the team. Remember, they might be down a division, but it's our team, through thick and thin. This is the thin end, time to put that right. I'll start of the positive vibes and go for a hard earned point at Brechin.