Backs to the wall win for ten man Caley Jags
Lewis Hyde was a late replacement for Inverness with Danny Devine pulling up in the warm up which prompted a reshuffle of the pack with Delaney covering for Devine and Harper dropping back into defence with Hyde going into midfield. Roddy MacGregor and Wallace Duffy missed out for Inverness but Sean Welsh returned to the midfield. Attacking options of Dan Mackay, Aaron Doran and Austin Samuels were on the bench for the Caley Jags. Partick Thistle had sent a strong squad North with the dangerous Scott Tiffoney and Brian Graham the big threats up front.
After a flat calm afternoon, the heavens opened an hour before kick-off and patches of surface water greeted the teams as they took to the field under the floodlights.
Inverness got the game underway and the first real action came when a long ball forward from Nathan Shaw after six minutes saw Billy Mckay control then offload a shot from the edge of the box which keeper David Mitchell beat away from goal. Good effort, good save. Mckay looked dangerous on a few early occasions and his persistence up front won him a corner after twelve minutes. From the corner the ball fell to Robbie Deas but his volley was gathered under the bar by Mitchell. Mark Ridgers produced a superb save to deny Brian Graham as Partick cut us open through the middle. The big striker was favourite to score as he opened up his body but Ridgers dived full length to his left to get his fingertips to the netbound ball and tip it round the post. Sensational save! There followed a midfield battle until three minutes before the interval when Ridgers blocked a near post effort from Scott Tiffoney and then David Carson made a crucial clearance moments later.
Here's the reason it was goalless at the interval>>>>
HALF TIME 0-0
No changes at the break with Inverness now playing towards the North Stand. In the fiftieth minute Inverness broke down some Partick possession in midfield. Jay Henderson skipped forward and his low cross into the box was converted by Nathan Shaw sliding in ahead of the defender. Either way it was 1-0 to the hosts. Mckay combined with Welsh in the box but he never connected properly with the ball and Mitchell's save was made easier. Moments later Welsh was sensationally sent off as Tiffoney took off down the left and Welsh tripped him late. Grant Irvine saw it as a red and Welsh was off. Ridgers saved a ten yard scuffed shot from Graham on the line as Partick went for broke against the ten men. Could be a long night now for the fans and the defence with over half an hour to go. Partick were piling the pressure on the hosts and Ridgers denied a Graham shot at the expense of a corner with fifteen minutes remaining. Despite Partick pressing hard, the Inverness defence held out for the three points, putting bodies on the line when it mattered and MotM Mark Ridgers kept his sheets clean.
FULL TIME 1-0
Mark Ridgers was MotM with a confident display including one absolutely superb save from Brian Graham in the first half, and when the backs were against the wall he commanded his area taking the pressure off his overworked defenders. Welsh red card looked to be harsh, not heard the last of that yet. Tremendous workrate by everyone who blocked Partick time after time in a desperate second half.
Get in Nathan Shaw>>>
Inverness manager Billy Dodds tells BBC Scotland: "We knew we had to win tonight or the playoff dreams were probably over. "We say the word proud a lot in the dressing rooms but I am tonight as we had to win it the hard way. "We started well, then they took control as we just started launching it straight away, I'd have liked us to pass it a bit more. "We had to hang on. "I don't have to [see the red card challenge again], it’s cynical, it’s a trip. "I want to move on from it as we’ve had a lot of hard luck, and I know everyone had but we probably have more than most, and I'd rather move on as if I say something I'll get into trouble. "We’ll be appealing it."
Straight RED for captain Sean Welsh...— BBC Sport Scotland (@BBCSportScot) March 24, 2023
Inverness CT are down to 10.
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Ayr 3-0 Cove
Queens 0-1 Arbroath
Caley Jags 1-0 Partick Jags