Derby Day No3
It's the Highland Derby up next where Inverness take on table topping Ross County at Dingwall on Saturday.
Ross County climbed to the top of the table last week after beating PartickThistle 2-0 at the Global Energy Stadium. A penalty from Billy Mckay and a late Ross Stewart strike were enough to see off the struggling Glasgow side.
Inverness went back into the top four after a narrow 1-2 win at Cappielow, only our fifth League win of the season. An early Tom Walsh goal and a second from Aaron Doran with a header should have opened the floodgates against ten man Morton. However, in typical Caley Jags style we were left hanging on a bit towards the end in a game we dominated earlier and had missed a penalty when Sean Welsh beat the keeper but smacked the post in the first half.
So, all to play for in the Highland Derby. There has been two already this season and despite Inverness dominating most of the 180 minutes, both games ended in draws. The first one at Dingwall saw Inverness hold the upper hand for seventy minutes but County finished the game stronger although it ended goalless. The return at the Caledonian Stadium was a pulsating game where a rifled Jamie Lindsay shot opened the scoring. George Oakley drew Inverness level a couple of minutes later with a spectacular volley and Shaun Rooney stroked the Caley Jags back in front. However, fortune favours the brave and Billy Mckay chased a ball down the left before cutting across the bye-line. Unfortunately Brad Mckay thought he could clear it but only succeeded in knocking it behind Mark Ridgers. That all happened in the first half and there was no further scoring after the interval, although Liam Polworth should have done better than hit the post after being teed up by Aaron Doran. The game ended 2-2 and it was a great advert for football in the North.
Inverness will be pretty much as they have been for the last few weeks with Jamie McCart successfully covering for the absent Carl Tremarco, although Carl will be included in the squad but is not match fit yet. It's a toss up between George Oakley and Jordan White as to who will lead the line, form seems to be favouring Oakley at the moment Liam Polworth has blossomed in these derby's and was instrumental in the win at Greenock last week. Mark Ridgers has been in tremendous form as well and could be a busy man on Saturday.
County have Billy Mckay scoring again, even from the penalty spot, and he is always a handful around the box. Should he be fit, the enigma that is Iain Vigurs could hold the key to which side dominates the midfield. It all depends which one turns up, the silky skillful footballer, or the cynical hatchet man with the petulant attitude. We saw both sides of Vigurs when he played for Inverness. He has a foot injury and may not be available. The other one to cause concern is Michael Gardyne who is also recovering from injury and can cause havoc when running at a defence. Like Tremarco, he might not be fully fit either.
It would be a brave man to call this one. County would have to be seen as favourites given the home ground and the wealth of talent at their disposal. Inverness by comparison are being run on a shoe string with barely enough players to fill the bench. However, a draw might be the most likely outcome after witnessing the first two games where Inverness held their own and more.
Ross County v ICTFC
Saturday 29th December 3PM Kick-off
Adults- £20, Concession £10 and Under 18s £5
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