Ayr today, gone tomorrow
It's matchday two this weekend in the Ladbrokes Championship and the visitors to the Caledonian Stadium are Ayr United who have two former Caley Jags players in their ranks. Tom Walsh and Joe Chalmers joined the Honest Men in the summer and could be in the squad this weekend for the game that kicks off at 3:00pm. It is of course another covid restricted game played behind closed doors, with Alan Muir the man in charge of proceedings. Ayr's one and only win at the Caledonian Stadium came in 2003. That's seventeen years ago, and since then it has been five draws and four defeats for the Honest Men.
Live streaming is available for all home Championship games through your season ticket or PPV for any game. The Ayr game will be our first broadcast match and can be viewed through the SPFL Portal. Let's hope it all runs smoothly. The link below takes you to the SPFL Portal from where you can view the games. You must have already registered to gain access to this portal.
All live matches available on the platform are broadcast from a Pixellot camera, one of which has been installed at each Scottish Championship ground. The camera is unmanned and uses ball tracking technology. These cameras will produce 1080p (HD) footage and the broadcast will come with commentary.
What could possibly go wrong......
The opening fixtures saw mixed fortunes for the teams with Inverness going down 3-1 at East End Park. Nikolay Todorov had given us the lead in 88 seconds, converting a tantalising cross from Daniel Mackay. Unfortunately Pars captain Euan Murray scored his 4th goal of the season, all with the head, to level matters. Ryan Dow prodded home from close range as we failed to clear our lines in the last quarter of an hour and Declan McManus fired a superb strike into the top corner across keeper Mark Ridgers to seal the points. A disappointing outcome where we matched the home side for long spells but slackness at the back benefited Dunfermline who took full advantage and all three points with two goals in the final twelve minutes. To compound matters, goalscorer Todorov had to leave the pitch twenty minutes in after a nasty collision with Euan Murray where he took a heavy knock from which he never recovered. That's all three strikers crocked one game into the season to add to four other regulars that were unavailable. Meh!
Here's the early strike from Toddy before he joined the crocked list......
Ayr opened their account by beating Queen of the South 2-1 at Somerset Park. Defender Michael Miller scored both goals with Stephen Dobbie grabbing a penalty for the Doonhamers. Both sides ended the game with ten men as Luke McCowan was sent off in stoppage time for Ayr with James Maxwell likewise for Queens just after the hour. Ayr had to thank nineteen year old Finnish keeper Viljami Sinisalo for making a magnificent save to deny Gregor Buchanan in the dying embers of time added on. A hard earned three points for Ayr, but it's three more than we got.
Our injury woes are well documented with Miles Storey, Nikolay Todorov and Shane Sutherland all injured. David Carson, Lewis Toshney, Aaron Doran and Danny Devine all missed the Pars game although Devine was an unused sub. Kai Kennedy should be available after his isolation from the Scotland u19 squad covid problems. Dorans sketch is all we have seen of him so far this season.
Here's the breakdown on the broken players: Lewis Toshney (hip flexor), Kevin McHattie (hip), David Carson (muscle), Miles Storey (torn hamstring), Nikolay Todorov (rib and lung bruising), Aaron Doran (knee) and Shane Sutherland (hamstring strain).
Dario Zanatta was rested for the opener and Tom Walsh also missed out. Walsh has the Caley Jags jinx, hamstring problems. However, Joe Chalmers played and Patrick Reading made his competitive debut. Bruce Anderson and Michael Miller also featured and young Finnish keeper Sinisalo had a good afternoon.
Other Championship fixtures this weekend.
ARBROATH 0-1 HEARTS (Fri)
ALLOA v DUNFERMLINE
DUNDEE v MORTON
QUEENS v RAITH
***LATEST TEAM NEWS***
John Robertson is without a number of players, particularly up front with Miles Storey and Nikolay Todorov out. Shane Sutherland is struggling to be ready in time and will be assessed late. Aaron Doran and David Carson have not featured in pre-season and Lewis Toshney was injured during it. Kai Kennedy has met his new pals and will enter the squad. Hopefully he will get some time on the park. Danny Devine will be fit enough to be included as he made the bench last week. Brad Mckay and Kevin McHattie have had to play in the opening games despite not being up to speed yet after a disjointed pre-season. Jesus Christ, he's like buses. Nothing for eight months then two images at the same time. Hi Aaron, hiya pal!
Remember, all will be revealed soon as we enter the age of streaming where video will be the order of the day, so stay tuned to any statements coming from ICTFC or any of their media outlets such as Facebook or Twitter.
Ayr signed Dundee United midfielder Cammy Smith on loan two days before they came North and he will go straight into their squad. He is signed until January, as is striker Innes Cameron who comes in on loan from Kilmarnock ahead of the trip North. Jordan Houston could return along with Zanatta, but Walsh looks set for another week or two on the sidelines. Luke McCowan is suspended after his late sending off against Queen of the South last Saturday. The evergreen Michael Moffat will be a threat as always. The 35 year old is still one to be watched and along with Cammy Smith will provide the pace and ammunition for the rest.
Don't forget to check out all the latest from the fabulous Wyness Shuffle guys....