Craig Dargo and Roy McBain score for Caley Thistle but a late (very late !!) penalty for Partick Thistle means this tie will go to a replay on the 14th. Club Historian Ian Broadfoot reports on the match from the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium...
|Saturday 4h February 2006||Tulloch Caledonian Stadium|
|INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE FC||2 (McBain 59, Dargo 77)|
Team: Brown, Tokely, Dods, Munro (Fox 46), Hastings, Wilson, Black (Golabek 19), Duncan, McBain, Dargo, Wyness (Bayne 78)
Subs – Proctor & Fraser
|PARTICK THISTLE FC||2 (Roberts 45, 90 pen)|
Team: Arthur, Murray, McCulloch (Boyd 75), Smyth, Hodge, W Gibson, J Gibson, Gillies (Dodds 83), Ritchie, Roberts, Strachan
Subs – Craig, Brady & Stewart
|Man of the Match||Barry Wilson (ICT)|
A hard game in every sense and disappointment for the home camp. Partick never allowed Caley Thistle to settle into a rhythm and took a 1-0 lead just on half time. After that Caley Thistle improved and at 2-1 looked to have taken the tie. A last gasp controversial penalty changed all that and ensured a replay at Firhill.
At the break Ian Black was already on his way to Raigmore Hospital for a foot x-ray, Grant Munro was limping badly and Darren Dods was sporting a large head bandage following a collision and stitches. Munro did not reappear for the second half and a defensive reorganisation was required.
Black was only back from suspension for 19 minutes before he was forced to leave the field. Former ICT favourite Paul Ritchie was in the Partick team but he was well policed and rarely had a scoring chance. Ross Tokely made his 350th appearance – the first ICT player to reach that impressive milestone. Munro was hurt in just the 11th minute but grit and determination saw him through to half-time despite obvious pain. Ricky Gillies had the first real shot at goal in 15 minutes but his low ball from 20 yards went wide. Craig Dargo and Barry Wilson interlinked well in 18 minutes but a defender stepped in as Wilson headed for goal. Two minutes later the same combination of events ended in an interception. In 28 minutes a Dennis Wyness shot from 15 yards was deflected for a corner – Wilson’s kick was headed wide by Richard Hastings. Ten minutes later a Russell Duncan effort was similarly deflected for a corner. With 45 minutes on the clock a foul on Jimmy Gibson gave Partick a free kick 25 yards out. Scott McCulloch’s curling ball was turned past Mark Brown by Mark Roberts into the net to give Partick a half time lead.
Half Time: 0-1
Three minutes into the second half a Dargo shot was blocked then in 55 minutes a strong penalty claim was rejected when Dargo was fouled by Kenny Arthur. The ‘keeper came out and missed a high ball before clattering into Dargo who was left in pain on the ground. Four minutes later the equaliser came when a long ball from Tokely on the right ran through to Roy McBain. From 15 yards he hammered the ball into the roof of the net.
The pressure on Arthur’s goal continued and two minutes later a low dangerous ball from Wyness was headed for a corner by McCulloch. In 67 minutes a Wilson 25 yard shot beat Arthur but came back off the post – Wyness was following up but the offside flag was raised. Tokely was again the provider for the home side’s second goal – his ball from the right was met by Liam Fox but the shot spun to McBain on the left – McBain chipped the ball into the centre and Dargo headed home. Throughout this period Partick rarely troubled Mark Brown and Caley Thistle looked to have the game sewn up.
Fox could have put the result beyond doubt with eight minutes left when a Dargo ball through the centre set him up one-on-one with Arthur – Fox’s 12 yard shot was on target but Arthur made the save of the match to keep his side in the cup. The lively Adam Strachan shot low into the home box with two minutes left but Brown collected as Ritchie slid in.
The three added minutes were almost up when confusion in the home box led to Roberts going down and a penalty awarded – in the light of the Dargo incident 35 minutes earlier this seemed very harsh.
Roberts took it himself and electrified the vocal band of Partick supporters when he made it 2-2. There was only time for the kick-off before the final whistle went.
Full Time 2-2
For Caley Thistle the draw tasted like a defeat but Partick were not surprisingly delighted. The winners of the replay go to Edinburgh for a tough but money-spinning quarter final tie against Hearts.