A draw would have been sufficient for Inverness to progress in the Premiership Play-Offs after winning the first leg 2-1 at Firhill. After a cagey opening Austin Samuels scored a superb opening goal when Sutherland fed him into the box. Graham rattled the bar and Ridgers denied the big striker from a goalbound header as Partick came back at their hosts but at the break it was advantage Inverness. Inverness weathered the expected storm after the interval and restricted Partick to half chances and but for Sneddon Inverness could have added another couple of goals, but it's job done and Arbroath up next.
At home to Arbroath was the prize for getting through this game. Inverness carried a slender advantage from the first leg at Firhill into this tie at the Caledonian Stadium. Tom Walsh, Wallace Duffy and Roddy MacGregor were all out for the hosts leaving just six on the bench including the returning from long term injury, Scott Allardice. Cammy Smith and Ricky Foster were in the Partick starting XI with Brian Graham and Scott Tiffoney still the ones to watch.
The game kicked off in bright sunshine and in the third minute Logan Chalmers got the break of the ball off Ricky Foster but he shot over as he approached the corner of the box. Robbie Deas lashed one over from the same area three minutes later as a loose ball came back to him outside the box.
Partick almost got the opener when Scott Tiffoney whipped a great ball into the area where Robbie Crawford met it on the run but it just cleared the bar. Very close but no cigar this time.
Inverness responded and Billy Mckay shot just wide but he won a corner as his effort was deflected. From the corner Sean Welsh had a shot blocked on the edge of the box
The game was littered with loose passing with so much at stake, neither side wanting to make the first error.
Brian Graham turned Kirk Broadfoot well twenty five yards out but his shot curled three yards wide of Ridgers left hand post.
A wayward back header from Ross Docherty gave Inverness a corner but it was curled just behind, possibly off the corner of the bar.
Tiffoney was causing all sorts of problems down the Partick left and he drifted inside but his shot was weak and dragged wide with almost half an hour gone.
Almost against the run of play Inverness opened the scoring when Shane Sutherland sent Samuels into the left side of the box where he lashed a powerful shot high into the net behind Sneddon. Great strike, two important goals in two games for the striker. What a time to start scoring. AUSTIN POWER
Partick struck the bar moments later through Graham when he got the break of the ball off the chest of Welsh after a corner, his shot from ten yards smacking the bar and bouncing clear.
Six minutes before the break an absolutely fantastic save from Ridgers denied Graham as he dived low to his left to save what looked like a certain goal for the big striker. Back up the other end and Samuels almost snatched a second for Inverness but the ball just evaded him.
Partick may be aggrieved to be one down, but Inverness hold a two goal aggregate advantage at the interval. Inverness would be well advised to cut out the loose passing to avoid a nervy ending to the tie.
HALF TIME: 1-0
Immediately after the break Graham gave substitute Jakubiak an opportunity that won them a corner and almost another chance came from that. It was a sluggish start to the half for the hosts.
What a save from Sneddon to deny a Broadfoot header after Carson had won a corner. Great agility from the keeper. Samuels then hit the bar from close range but Mckay was adjudged offside when he clipped the ball across goal.
Ridgers gathered a speculative effort from Tiffoney just before the hour. Deas returned the speculative efforts and his one went wide.
A bit of a lull since the substitutions after sixty five minutes as the game entered the final twelve minutes with Joe Hardy replacing Billy Mckay.
Cammy Harper almost got on the end of a great Sean Welsh ball into the box, Sneddon just beating Harper to the ball to snatch it away from the Inverness player as we broke forward at pace.
Sneddon made another tremendous save as Sutherland shot goalwards after a corner, that would have been game over but for the keepers reflexes.
We appeared to have weathered the mini storm from Partick and their opportunities seemed to have dried up with eighty seven minutes gone.
Decent performance in a tough game where we stood up to Partick and eventually nullified them.
Great goal again from Austin Samuels and some tremendous defending with Carson MotM and Devine a close second.
Onwards to face Arbroath next Tuesday and Friday, another tough tie.
On BBC Sport
Inverness CT manager Billy Dodds told BBC Scotland: “It’s a brilliant result I'm so happy for the boys! “I can't say I enjoyed the game, we weren’t at our best, but I don't want to be downbeat because we're through. It's a tremendous result to get through and have a crack at Arbroath. "We worked our socks off, we always do. I'd have liked another one to go in because you've always got that feeling in case they got one back. "We deserved to go through over the piece."
Inverness' goalscorer Austin Samuels told BBC Scotland: "I thought I took it too wide but the power on the shot took it past the goalkeeper. "Shane is a really reliable player, as long as I've been here he’s always done a job for the team. "We had a tough period but the gaffer always told us to keep positive and that our time was coming, and it looks like our time is now.
On facing Arbroath in the semi-finals, he added: "It’s going to be tough, they’re in the play-offs for a reason, we’ve got to focus on ourselves and hopefully we’ll be in the final after it.
Goal can be seen HERE on BBC Sport BOOM!!!
There are no comments to display.
Create an account or sign in to comment
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
Create an account
Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!Register a new account
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now