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    Inverness CT 2-2 Alloa Athletic - Report

    Wasps sting the Jags with late penalty


    With temporary gaffers Barry Wilson and Ryan Esson taking care of proceedings, it was an energetic start for the hosts. However that was disrupted after twenty minutes when Innes Cameron burst through the middle to stroke the ball into the net as Ridgers came off his line. Against the run of play, but the Wasps did not care and they held the advantage to go in at the break one ahead. Not much was happening until Wallace Duffy thundered a left footer from over twenty-five yards high into the net. What a strike for your first senior goal. One minute later and substitute James Keatings was stroking us up to fifth in the table before the late penalty from Alan Trouten brought us back down to earth. Disappointing to throw away the lead, but there's more to be worrying about than a game of football.

    ***It was announced after the game that Neil McCann will take over until Robbo is ready to return***

    A difficult period for the club on and off the park has culminated in manager John Robertson being given compassionate leave by the club due to a family bereavement. I'm sure all who know Robbo will offer their sincere condolences. Assistant manager Scott Kellacher is also recovering from severe illness and he too will require some time to recover and our best wishes go out to our management pairing. With that in mind it was coaches Barry Wilson and Ryan Esson that were in the dugout for tonight's game against Alloa.

    The hosts were without Aaron Doran, Anthony McDonald, Sean Welsh and James Vincent as well as other long term absentees Lewis Toshney and Kevin McHattie. David Carson was the star man at Ayr and he was in the starting XI tonight.

    It had been a wet and windy day and but the weather was taking a break with the wind dropping and showers less frequent as the sides took to the field.

    A bright start to the game for the hosts produced three corners in quick succession for the Caley Jags but the Alloa defence dealt well with the threat and managed to clear their lines.

    Carson continued where he left off at Somerset Park and was driving forward with menace. Cammy Harper floated a ball towards the edge of the box where Roddy MacGregor knocked down for Daniel Mackay but he miscued and the half chance disappeared. The same pairing created another opportunity soon after but the shot lacked power to trouble Neil Parry.

    A free kick to Alloa from Innes Murray range saw Ridgers save easily as Alloa came more into the game and a couple of minutes later they took the lead against the run of play. Ray Grant intercepted the ball in midfield from Devene and fed Innes Cameron who burst clear from midway and ran through to neatly side step and slot the ball past Ridgers as the keeper came out.

    A blow to Inverness and they would need to work a bit harder with Alloa now only two points behind as it stands after twenty minutes. Todorov picked out the run of Carson on the right but his cross come shot drifted just over the bar with 25 minutes gone. 

    Alloa almost doubled their lead but a Cameron shot from around the spot was charged down with the possibility of an arm hitting the ball but nothing given.

    A free kick offered a heading opportunity for the towering Todorov but his downward header just went the wrong side of the post with Parry beaten.

    All the pressure coming from the hosts but a couple of testing balls from Toddy and Mackay saw no takers in the box which is surprising considering we were one down. 

    Despite some intricate play, Neil Parry has not had any serious work to do yet and there's only five minutes before the break as he stretches to pluck a deep cross out of the air with aplomb.

    Carson got the break of the ball on the right and his clipped cross found Todorov at the back post but his header went over junction of post and bar.

    MacGregor picked up a loose ball on the edge of the box and drilled it home, unfortunately the whistle sounded just as he shot and play was taken back for a free kick to Alloa on the edge of the box

    Half Time 0-1

    Like the first half, we forced a couple of quick corners but the pressure was relieved when a foul was given after the second one.

    Slack play was evident as a heavy shower lashed the park and Alloa introduced Innes Murray for Scougall five minutes into the half and Inverness racked up the corner count, Devine winning another corner. Parry had some work to do as he gathered a low shot from Allardice as the pressure continued.

    A rare break forward found substitute Innes Murray at the back post but he slashed his shot well wide of the mark, a let off for the Caley Jags.

    With half an hour left Miles Storey replaced Dan Mackay.

    Too many hapless long hanging balls into the box were collected by Parry with ease as we struggled to create decisive opportunities.

    James Keatings replaced MacGregor as we looked to create more but with less than twenty minutes left, nobody was holding their breath.

    Out of the blue after a couple of fresh air swipes at the ball inside the box, Wallace Duffy strode onto the ball some twenty five yards out and lashed a thumping left footer high behind Parry for his first goal for the Caley Jags and a much needed goal tonight.

    In dramatic fashion, moments later Keatings buried the ball into the bottom of the net to turn this game on it's head. It should have been three minutes later but Storey dollied a penalty into the keeper. Inverness were swarming all over the Wasps now and Keatings flashed a header just wide with Parry scrambling to get there, and again Alloa got the benefit of another 'goal' when a Storey header beat Parry once more.

    The craziness continued when Alloa got a stonewall penalty after Harper tripped Robertson in the box and Trouten did what Storey should have done, scored to make it 2-2.

    A frantic finish saw corners taken and defenders clearing their lines at the expense of more corners and Alloa still trying to break at pace, but alas for the Caley Jags it ended all square.

    Full Time 2-2

    The second half exploded into life with Duffy's thunderous strike and then Keatings' goal. It all looked rosey when we were awarded a penalty but Why Storey took it only he will know. That could have taken the stuffing out of Alloa but they went up the park and got a penalty of their own, and well, Trouten just does not miss.

    ImageA frenetic last twenty minutes livened up a dull game, but the joy of turning this game round was neutralised by Trouten's 12 yard dead ball death strike. At that point we had reached fifth in the table, unfortunately it was not to be and Alloa will be delighted with their point.



    Match reaction from BBC Sport

    Inverness Caley Thistle coach Barry Wilson: "The performance levels were really high tonight - we created chances and dominated the game. Even though we missed the penalty we should still see out the game. It's really frustrating."

    Alloa manager Peter Grant: "I thought we should have been more comfortable at half-time. This group have fantastic spirit and they showed that. I'm delighted to get the point at the end."


    Full highlights from Caley Jags TV



    Date: 23/02/2021  Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 0000 Referee: Grant Irvine 
    Inverness CT: 2

    • Manager: Barry Wilson/Ryan Esson (John Robertson on compassionate leave )
    • Lineup:  Ridgers; Duffy, Deas, Devine, Harper, D Mackay (Storey 61), Carson, Allardice,
    • MacGregor (Keatings 71), Sutherland, Todorov
    • Subs (not used):  C Mackay; Nicolson, Harkness, Hyde, B Mckay.
    • Scorers: Duffy(77), Keatings (78)
    • Booked: none
    • Sent Off: none

    Alloa Athletic: 2

    • Manager: Peter Grant
    • Lineup:  Parry; Taggart, Dick, Graham, Hetherington, Robertson, Cawley (Buchanan 83), Scougall (Murray 53),
    • Grant, Trouten (Jameson 87), Cameron
    • Subs (not used): Wright, Brown, Connelly, Thomson, 
    • Scorers: Cameron (20), Trouten (87 pen)
    • Booked: Graham (73)
    • Sent Off: none


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