The opening game of the new Championship season saw Inverness travel to Falkirk and recorded their first points of the season when a George Oakley strike after 10 minutes was enough to settle the affair.
John Robertson opted for a front pairing of Nathan Austin and George Oakley with Aaron Doran and Jordan White on the bench. Captain Carl Tremarco got over his knock from Tynecastle and took his place at left back.
Paul Hartley had former Livingston striker Dylan Mackin on the bench with on loan Dundee forward Marcus Haber starting. Leo Fasan was between the sticks.
Falkirk got the season underway in front of an excellent support of over four and a half thousand.
Rig & Immortal Howden Ender will take it from here with this dual report ................
"As IHE says it was a 442 / 4411 for most of the game. Polworth spent most of the game tucking inside which brutally exposed Rooney on a number of occasions and led to Mckay getting dragged out of the middle to cover when he (Rooney) was taken apart. Left side was more impressive with Tremarco and Walsh getting a lot more joy especially in the first half with the latter sending over a number of good crosses and setting up the goal. When Walsh went off for Welsh Chalmers was moved to left midfield and Welsh slotted into the centre with Trafford. Austin and Oakley played as a two up front with Oakley often dropping slightly deeper to challenge for high balls.
We got very lucky today. Despite a good start we regressed more and more as the game wore on. Falkirk really came to dominate things as the match wore on but more often than not they ran out of ideas as they got closer to our goal. Walsh, as mentioned above, started well down the left and he set up the opener with a ball across the box sent in from the left and Oakley found a bit of space to divert the ball back across goal and into the net. We should have killed the game off when Austin found himself with a free run on goal after a defensive mix up but he never looked like he would score and he was smothered by the onrushing Falkirk keeper.
Falkirk thought they pulled level when a high free kick was headed beyond Ridgers but after a loooong delay, and with the players about to take the kick off, it was suddenly pulled back. I've no idea why the Falkirk goal was chopped off but I'm guessing it was a foul on one of Rooney, Donaldson or Mckay as they all ended up in a heap when the ball was floated in. The referee hadn't given anything but it seemed the linesman was the one who saw something wrong.
Following on from that we resorted to brutal route one football with aimless hoofs up the park for Oakley and later White to try and chase. Bizarrely we even seemed to be targeting Mckay with these long balls rather than White and these high balls were easily mopped up by the defenders. The one occasion we did get the ball down and pass it around we looked good. Chalmers, Welsh and Trafford quickly played the ball around 3 or 4 home players who were left chasing shadows so it was disappointing that we seemed to lack the composure to do this more often though perhaps that was more to Falkirk closing us down a lot better in the second half than the first.
Falkirk look exactly what we were like this time last season, a team clearly lacking cohesion due to so many new faces so we definitely got them at a good time. Whilst it's a very encouraging result I think we need to be cautious given how poor we were in the second half. Donaldson, Tremarco, Walsh and Oakley were probably my picks from today. Donaldson was excellent at the back although there were a couple of lapses on occasions. Tremarco and Walsh linked well down the left and the latter offered good defensive cover as well. Oakley was a handful up front but faded as the game went on. "
RIDGERS Never actually looked troubled, went for most crosses and evidently promotes confidence in front of him.
ROONEY 🤣 Wow does this lad have potential but he is a Jekyll and feckin Hyde. 80% positive but he has the same reaction at times as my grandson has to a feckin Slush Puppie.
McKAY 🙄 Protected more by Donaldson. Did nothing wrong but still worries me.
DONALDSON 🥃 MOM
TREMARCO "You will never get past Tremarco" - enuff said.
POLWORTH 😪 Totally wasted IMHO playing wide. Lets give him the playmaker role.
CHALMERS 🙄 Welsh is the better option but he always competes.
TRAFFORD 🙄 Works hard but suspect that he may make way for Welsh and Doran.
WALSH Looks class. Hope that he shows that more at home games.
AUSTIN 🤣 Should have finished it at 2-0. Not at his best but has potential.
OAKLEY 😎 Worked and worked and played for the shirt - RESPECT
Here's the action from Falkirk