Keeper in the spotlight again
Inverness won the game but all credit to East Fife for making this a tough tie. It took a penalty save by Cammy Mackay in stoppage time to keep us ahead after Shane Sutherland had opened the scoring in the second half. We had Mackay to thank for a wonderful save in the first half as well and he was my MotM.
The final Betfred League Cup group A game was played out at an empty Caledonian Stadium with East Fife the visitors in our tier 1 covid restricted tie. The Fifers came North after losing narrowly to Hearts in midweek whilst we drew 3-3 with Raith Rovers. Hearts would progress to the next round from this group with Raith Rovers just missing out, let's find out what happened here....
The stream for todays game was free for everyone with Andy Bannerman on commentary and a cameraman controlling the camera. What a difference this made to the viewing experience. Well done ICTFC for getting this sorted.
Brad Mckay, James Vincent, Wallace Duffy, Lewis Toshney, Kevin McHattie and Sean Welsh were all missing. Miles Storey made the subs bench after injuring his hamstring over a month ago. In comes Cammy Mackay and Harry Nicolson makes his competitive debut as Shane Sutherland gets more game time up front with Nicolay Todorov.
East Fife's danger men were up front in Jack Hamilton and Ryan Wallace with eight goals between them this season.
East Fife got the game underway in a vacant stadium, kicking towards the North Stand.
Almost six minutes on the clock when a tidy dummy saw Kai Kennedy take the ball into the box but he couldn't get enough power on the shot and the keeper smothered the ball. Toddy was next to break into the box but was crowded out as he tried to get the ball away.
Cameron Harper headed a dangerous ball to the back post behind for a corner in East Fife's first foray forward, but the defence cleared comfortably.
Shane Sutherland snatched at a shot on the right side of the box but he dragged it across the goal and wide.
A flurry of activity by the visitors saw Scott Allardice head clear but the follow up volley by Ryan Wallace was lashed well over the bar, high and wide. Good spell for the Fife side and they fired another long range effort a couple of yards over the bar.
Toddy was thwarted on the eighteen yard line by a strong challenge by a Fifers defender. Series of good blocks by the Fife defence denies Inverness and it ends with MacGregor's shot taking a deflection and looping into the keepers arms.
What a save from Cammy Mackay from point blank range to keep the score level. A header by Chris Higgins from six yards in a crowded box looked certain to score, great reactions from Mackay kept the ball out.
Kai Kennedy was roving around the flanks causing problems for the defenders, winning free kicks wide right, but there were no takers for the crosses into the box as East Fife defend well. Aaron Doran did well to step inside his marker five minutes before the break but his shot from the edge of the box was well over. Most of the pressing coming from the home side but the Fife defence standing firm so far.
Despite having plenty of the ball, it was the visitors that had the best chance of the half when they were denied by Cammy Mackay. In truth, Inverness looked void of ideas in trying to get behind a well drilled East Fife bus.
Half Time 0-0
Striker Ryan Wallace was replaced at the interval by Thomas Collins. Probably bored by the game.
Sutherland got a shot on target three minutes into the second half but it was too easy for the keeper then up the other end the Fifers headed narrowly over with a looping effort.
Kennedy shot wide from around twenty-five yards but it fell away to the keepers left.
Annoyingly, East Fife looked more dangerous than us at the start of the second half.
However, the deadlock was broken when Sutherland rose highest to send a powerful header into the top of the net off a Cameron Harper corner.
Back came the Fifers and a ball bobbled around our box before Mackay was able to gather. Mackay was quick off his line to save at the feet of the oncoming forward as the visitors stormed forward once more.
The hosts then looked to get on top of the game and Kennedy sliced a volley over before he was replaced by James Keatings.
Miles Storey made a complete arse of an effort when he went through looking suspiciously offside, but he sand danced around and lost the opportunity. What a numpty.
A curling effort by Davidson went just over the bar as East Fife kept plugging away, still looking likely to get something out of this game. It's beginning to look a bit like watching Scotland play.
We ended the game on the back foot, throwing bodies in the way and scrambling the ball away for a corner. But all was not lost as they were awarded a penalty in the 91st minute when Jack Hamilton was brought down by Robbie Deas. As I said, just like watching Scotland. And just like Scotland, the keeper saved the penalty from Hamilton brilliantly. What a save by Cammy low down to his left, similar to David Marshall, to earn the points as the game ended.
Keepers are big news this week and Cammy Mackay was our hero with a crucial point blank save in the first half and a tremendous penalty save in time added on. Brilliant from young Cammy.
Good performance from birthday boy Cameron Harper as well and a well taken header by Shane Sutherland won the game for us where we toiled to create for long spells.