Banana Skin Avoided
A potential banana skin encounter was made all the more plausible given the 2015 Scottish Cup winners permanent injury crisis. Stirling Albion are on a roll at the top end of League Two whilst we are struggling to get players on the park recently. With that in mind we made a late swoop into the transfer market to snap up right back Ryan Barrett on a short term loan until January. He was thrust into the squad for this Scottish Cup game having been training with the squad this week. Dale Carrick scored a first half brace with Wallace Duffy and Max Ram replying for Inverness who only woke up after the opening goal. After the break Aaron Doran restored the hosts lead and we held on to go into the draw for the fourth round. Not pretty, but we got there.
New loan signing Ryan Barrett was on the bench alongside Dan Mackay who was reappearing after injury. Sean Welsh was given more recovery time. Dale Carrick would spearhead the Binos attack and hot prospect Kai Fotheringham would be one to watch. One change from last week as Harrison Clark comes in to replace Ross Davidson. Robert Thomson returns to the bench after serving his suspension. Cammy Clark remains suspended.
After the heavy rain and wind earlier in the week it was a pleasantly calm and mild afternoon for a kick-about.
Thirteen goal striker Dale Carrick was prominent early on as he shot wide, but it was a low key start to the game. Kai Fotheringham sliced wide after twenty-five minutes with the hosts not really threatening.
A couple of corners for the visitors brought about the opening goal when Carrick bulleted a header high into the net after Fotheringham had chipped a ball into the box. No surprise really given our negative start to the match as we have offered very little so far. Was there a shock on the cards?
Maybe not, the lead lasted little more than five minutes as Wallace Duffy levelled the tie from a Nathan Shaw cross with an excellent headed goal of his own, his downward header bouncing high into the net.
Fotheringham and Aaron Doran exchanged efforts with Currie called into action to deny Doran before Max Ram put us ahead five minutes before the interval as he shot into the bottom corner from close range assisted by Billy Mckay.
We can't hold on to the lead either and Dale Carrick scored his second of the game in stoppage time before the whistle as he slotted the ball past Cammy Mackay from close range after a defensive blunder by the recovering Devine.
HALF TIME 2-2
A couple of early second half corners came to nothing for the hosts. Ten minutes after the break the tricky Fotheringham went close again with an effort from outside the box. The Bino's were fancying this one with Inverness not looking particularly threatening.
George Oakley replaced Steven Boyd on the hour and Dan Mackay replaced Billy Mckay soon after. His first contribution was a header that went wide, which was more positive than Oakley who conceded a foul inside a minute of entering the park.
Inverness retook the lead when Aaron Doran scored from close range with twenty minutes left, Shaw again with the assist as he cut along the byeline before picking out Doran.
Mackay saved from Fotheringham, tipping the ball over as Stirling looked to stay in the tie and Harrison Clark had an effort blocked as we struggled to contain the Binos who were forcing their hosts onto the back foot as they gave away more corners. It was going to be a long last ten minutes for the home fans.
Ryan Barrett made his debut with ten minutes to go with Max Ram giving way and still we looked fragile as Stirling tried to force an equaliser with Mackay denying Davidson's deflected shot and Carrick. Obligatory booking for David Carson as we clung on to what we had. And we just got over the line...
MotM for Inverness was Nathan Shaw once more with Cammy Mackay also ensuring we went into the hat for the 4th round draw.