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    Inverness CT -V- Ayr United - Preview

    Ayr Pressure


    With our Premiership aspirations hanging by a thread, we entertain Ayr United on Saturday with our winless run having been extended to eight games after the 3-3 draw with Partick Thistle, albeit an improved performance, but the end result all too familiar recently. The game is scheduled for 3:00pm on Saturday, weather permitting, with storms due in midweek. Dudley seems to have bypassed Inverness, but Eunice is coming, so fingers crossed it misses us as well, however, snow is forecast so beware. Storm Ayr are coming North fresh from retaining the bragging rights after their excellent derby win over Killie; no pressure then.

    Weather update: Snowing fairly heavy in Sneck on Friday morning, so if it's starting to lie here then the A9 will be worse. Take care out there if you are travelling to the game and keep checking for updates. ❄️




    Venue - Head2Head Pld Won Drn Lst For Agst + / -
    Home 21 10 10 1 35 20 +15
    Away 22 10 5 7 42 28 +14
    Neutral 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Total 43 20 15 8 77 48 +29
    Last 10 Competitive Meetings
    2 - 2
    1 - 0
    2 - 2
    2 - 0
    1 - 1
    0 - 1
    2 - 0
    2 - 0
    1 - 1
    3 - 1

    Loaded heavily in our favour, the stats don't lie, or do they? Only one defeat to Ayr at home on all competitions would seem to make Inverness odds on favourites to win this one. Unfortunately, we, the fans, know better. Our recent form has been poor and we are winless in eight.

    The previous encounters this season show a 1-0 win towards the end of August during our opening gambit of the season.

    CTO summary: Walsh nicks it: A slightly damp morning opening out into a muggy but calm afternoon in the Highlands made for near perfect conditions for this game. However, the football did not match the weather in a dour first half and it was goalless at the interval. Ayr rattled the top of the stand at the start of the second half as the game came to life. Tom Walsh looked to have opened the scoring when he bundled an inviting cross from Manny Duku behind the keeper after 54 minutes with Sean McGinty in close proximity trying to clear the ball. Joe Chalmers put a shot across the face of the Inverness goal that went narrowly wide. Walsh missed a glorious chance to double the lead moments later but pulled his shot across the face of the goal as well. Robbie Deas also missed an opportunity for a second goal, firing the ball over the bar from a great position inside the box. The game was more open but Inverness held on for their third 1-0 win of the season and top the league jointly with Killie.

    In the return fixture at Somerset Park we threw away an early advantage to draw 2-2, the slump was well and trully on. 

    Another opportunity missed! At a windy Somerset Park, Inverness took the lead early on when Sean Welsh met a Tom Walsh cross at the back post unchallenged to head into the net. The lead only lasted a couple of minutes as Joe Chalmers scored after a corner with a couple of defenders being grappled to the ground as Chalmers slotted home. Gardyne was causing all sorts of problems and his next angled cross into the box was missed by Mckay but it bounced through and into the goal to give the visitors the advantage at the break. Reading levelled with a low shot eight minutes into the second half, Ridgers not covering his near post sufficiently. No more scoring partly due to Aidan McAdams in the home goal and another great opportunity to get back on top went abegging with Partick winning 1-0 at Rugby Park.

    Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts
    Pars v Partick postponed
    1. Arbroath 24 12 9 3 38 18 45
    2. Kilmarnock 25 13 4 8 31 19 43
    3. Inverness CT 25 10 9 6 33 23 39
    4. Raith Rovers 25 9 11 5 34 27 38
    5. Partick Thistle 22 10 7 5 37 22 37
    6. Morton 24 6 9 9 29 34 27
    7. Hamilton Ac. 25 6 9 10 27 40 27
    8. Ayr United 25 6 8 11 23 38 26
    9. Dunfermline 25 4 11 10 24 40 23
    10. Q.O.S. 24 4 7 13 25 40 19


    Dunfermline P v P Partick Thistle


    Hamilton v Morton   

    Caley Jags v Ayr United

        Kilmarnock v Raith Rovers

    Queen Sth v Arbroath

    Last time out

    Inverness came from behind three times to secure a point against an impressive Partick Thistle. Brian Graham was a thorn in our side again, claiming a hat-trick although the first one appeared to come off the shins of Wallace Duffy. We hit back through Billy Mckay, Shane Sutherland and a last gasp header from the enterprising Kirk.

    Ayr United won the Ayrshire derby as they came from behind to beat Kilmarnock 2-1 at Rugby Park to stun title favourites Killie. Fraser Murray had opened the scoring early in the first half but Ayr levelled soon after through Sean McGinty and he scored the winner with ten minutes left to stun their hosts.

    Latest Team News

    Billy Dodds will definitely be without Scott Allardice and Danny Devine. Somehow, Roddy MacGregor has disappeared from earth, possibly been abducted by a Chinese tennis player. If anyone spots him, can they call MacGregors Bar to let us know that he's safe and well. Thanks in advance. Aaron Doran has missed the last month but is back in full training and Tom Walsh has thrown his hat into the injured squad over the last couple of weeks. Thankfully we are covered up front with Sam Pearson looking good last week, but for some unknown reason we never looked at bringing in defensive cover from the start of the season, we'll soon be going with one at the back.

    New Ayr manager Lee Bullen will be looking for more of the same attitude displayed in the derby win over Killie. Here's his starting XI from the Killie game played in front of 7,560 fans. Adeloye and Rowe came on as second half subs, with Ayr playing a 4-4-1-1 formation.


    There's been a lot of changes at Somerset Park since we last played Ayr. Our own Eric has been busy checking out their latest coming and goings. So, basically, a new look Ayr United will be here looking to improve their poor record at Inverness.


    Cameron Salkeld - forward -has left the club due to long term injury

    Nick McAllister - back - on loan to Clyde FC until end of season

    Michael Miller - midfield - on loan to Stenhousemuir FC until end of season

    Joe Chalmers - midfield - Transferred to Dunfermline FC.

    Jonathon Afolabi - forward - was on loan from Celtic recalled and now at Airdrieonians Fc

    Steven Bradley - forward - was on loan from Hibs recalled and now at Dundalk FC



    Blaine Rowe - right back - on loan from Coventry FC U23 until end of season.

    Kerr McInroy - defensive midfield - on loan from Celtic FC until end of season

    Ben Dempsey - attacking midfield - on loan from Charlton FC U23 until end of season

    Ryan Gondoh - left wing - the Ghanaian has signed from Wealdstone FC until May 2023

    Paul Smith - centre forward - has returned after loan spell at Cumnock Juniors FC ( that should have toughened him up a bit )

    Sam Ashworth - centre forward - signed from Crawley Town FC until May 2023

    Fraser Brydon - centre forward - has been promoted to first team from Ayr U18s



    Lee Bullen has had several spells as Caretaker manager of Sheffield Wednesday FC and was recently manager or their U23 side

    Age: 50 Years 
    Appointed: Jan 7, 2022
    Contract expires: May 31, 2024



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