Roberts Stunner Puts Caley Jags Through With Late Winner.
Number 39 scored in the 39th minute to put Inverness ahead before the break. Miles Storey it was that claimed the goal to give the visitors the lead with Stephen McManus in close proximity. We were down to one hand on the trophy when Scott McDonald equalised after the break as McManus powered a header goalward. Jordan Roberts restored two hands on the trophy with a fantastic winner in the 91st minute and it's Inverness that go into the quarter finals after a hard fought game.
Inverness travelled to Fir Park to take on Motherwell after being paired with the Lanarkshire club in the last sixteen of this seasons Scottish Cup and came away with the trophy still in their grasp for now.
Much had been made of the young guns being kept off the buses, but there was still enough away fans to encourage the side to defend the trophy, and substitute Jordan Roberts became an instant hero with a spectacular winner as the game entered injury time.
Inverness went unchanged with Carl Tremarco at full back and Danny Williams in a more attack minded midfield position. New signings Liam Hughes and Ryan Williams joined Jordan Roberts on the bench.
Mark McGhee riled the home support before a ball was kicked by leaving top scorer Louis Moult on the bench, but veteran striker Scott McDonald led the attack.
First to have a crack at scoring was our man in the news this week, Aberdeen target Greg Tansey who tried his luck from 35 yards with a free kick, but Ripley gathered reasonably comfortably as the ball curled round the wall, the ball bouncing into the keepers arms.
Ripley didn't look so comfortable when an unlikely scorer Carl Tremarco looped a header goalwards, the keeper scrambling backwards to tip the ball onto the bar before eventually grasping the ball as it bounced to safety.
Scott McDonald hit woodwork for the Steelmen when a brilliant cross from Cadden was glanced onto the top of the bar with Fon Williams beaten, the ball bouncing up and over for a goal kick
A let off for the Cup holders and they rubbed salt into the wound by going straight up the park to open the scoring. Mutombo did well chesting down the long ball forward before slipping a ball wide down the left. Carl Tremarco was well advanced and raced onto the ball before firing a low ball across goal. Miles Storey was closely followed by Stephen McManus and it appears as though the big defender got the final touch as the ball bounced into the net in the 39th minute. That goal was all about the quality down the left from Tremarco who was having an excellent game.
As the half drew to a close, Fon Williams plucked an effort from Cadden out of the air but it was the visitors who held the upper hand.
Half Time 0-1
McDonald brought out a regulation save from Fon Williams as Motherwell looked to get back into the tie. Mutombo was booked as he looked to be fading out of the game and was subbed soon after, Jordan Roberts at last getting a fair crack of the whip, I wonder what he can do.
Motherwell striker Scott McDonald was willing to shoot on sight when it wasn't really the best option, Fon Williams once more gathering comfortably.
Stephen Pearson fresh aired what looked like a glorious chance to score and Danny Williams brought out a reflex save from Ripley at the other end as Inverness looked to extend their lead.
On 66 minutes, Devine was booked after bringing down Chris Cadden as he broke clear. Devine not convinced it was a free kick and neither was I. However, from the corner that followed the aftermath of the free kick McMannus powered a header on target and Scott McDonald was handily placed to divert the ball into the net away from the keeper. Game on!
Motherwell fans frustration eventually won the day as McGhee eventually brought on Louis Moult with around ten minutes of play left. However, it was another substitute that produced the goods to shatter the Steelmen.
As the game entered time added on, Jordan Roberts outmuscled Morgaro Gomis just inside the Inverness half. He strode forward and jinked onto his left foot before unleashing a thunderbolt that flashed behind a diving Ripley into the keepers top right corner, the net just doing enough to stop the progress of the ball.
What a goal and a great way to get off the mark for Roberts who has had his season badly curtailed through injury. The timing of the goal was of course, impeccable leaving Motherwell only time to wonder at the strike but not enough to be able to do anything about it and it was game over.
Full Time 1-2
Well well Well, what a way to get into the next round. We probably just deserved to edge it but as expected, there was little between the sides and it was fitting that it took an exceptional strike to win the tie. A couple of paragraphs from our onsite viewers who saw the game like this and concurred that we deserve to be in the hat.
Rig thought so as well and gave Tremarco top points:-
"Anyway, might not have been the best game but I think we deserved that. I felt we created the better chances overall and whilst Motherwell edged the first half we were the better side in the second. Great play by Tremarco to make the first goal. Not seen him show that kind of speed, well, ever! Perhaps an error by the Well defence thinking they had more time or another man over but credit Tremarco for getting to it and then playing in such a good ball to Storey. So it went in off McManus but we'll take it. Disappointing goal to concede. Devine didn't cover himself in glory with a rash challenge when Motherwell broke which led to the corner from which they scored but we really need to defend set pieces better.
I thought Tremarco was perhaps our best player. He was good defensively and offered a good bit of support going forward. Devine had a game that encapsulated his season. Some heroic defending one minute and then he was losing his man which nearly saw us concede. Mutumbo started well but faded quite a lot. Didn't give Raven much help defensively and, like Williams on the left, had a habit of coming inside a lot meaning we weren't playing with a lot of width for most of the game. Jordan Roberts showed some very nice touches when he came on and hopefully we'll see him starting in games in the near future. Looks a good one."
Alternative Maryhill was as ever, more philosophical, but agreed that we shaded it:-
"Not a vintage performance, but we did deserve the win. Both full backs played well, and I thought Draper was the pick of the midfielders and that Danny Williams looked our most dangerous attacking player: some excellent movement, particularly at the start of the second half, and he had one clever flick that Ripley saved at his near post. Mutombo started well, but I thought he faded before the end of the first half was over, and he does still look a little lightweight, both in possession and when trying to close down opponents - I'd like to see him work a bit harder in the latter respect. There's clearly talent in there, but he does still look a bit of a luxury. Not as much, though, as Vigurs, who I thought was extremely disappointing. He was ponderous in possession, didn't close down enough or fight for the ball when he lost possession, and was frequently negative in his passing. Tremarco's run and cross for the opener was about the first really decisive piece of play that we had managed, despite a few passages of neat interplay. The second half was better, although we did lose our way for a while around the time of the Motherwell goal, something that wasn't helped by the substitution of Storey for Polworth, when Vigurs would have been a far more obvious candidate to be replaced.
In a way though, it was good that Motherwell scored, because it made the impact of Roberts' goal all the sweeter. What a strike. If you weren't there, you'll enjoy seeing it on TV. The Motherwell Twitter account, from deep in a well of its own salty tears, described it as 'speculative'. How bitter."