Inverness CT 1 (5)-1 (3) Cove Rangers - LC - Report
Group G Sorted
Inverness played the first of five scheduled meetings with Cove Rangers today in the last of the group G qualifiers for the knock out stages of the League Cup. Inverness won the penalty shoot-out 5-3 after Fraser Fyvie saw his weak effort saved by Mark Ridgers. Inverness will now face an away tie at Motherwell in the knock-out stages.
Roddy MacGregor opened the scoring in the thirteenth minute when he headed a Nathan Shaw cross into the top corner of the net. Mitch Megginson was left unattended to level the game after twenty minutes and it stayed that way at the break. A relatively uneventful second half saw the game go to penalties to decide the bonus point but as it stood, Inverness topped the group G to enter the knock out stages.
Our reward for qualifying is an away tie at Motherwell in midweek. Not the most romantic of games, however given their poor performance against Sligo Rovers, then anything is possible. This season is taking the same shape as thirteen years ago.
A bright afternoon saw George Oakley Zak Delaney and Nathan Shaw start for the hosts with Mark Ridgers back between the sticks.
Roddy MacGregor opened the scoring in the thirteenth minute when he headed a Nathan Shaw cross into the top corner of the net. Mitch Megginson was left unattended to level the game when he scooped the ball behind Ridgers after twenty minutes.
Just after the half hour Daniel Mackay turned and shot from the edge of the box, but the keeper saved low to deny Dan.
George Oakley was put through by Robbie Deas but Kyle Gourlay pulled off a good save just before the break.
HALF TIME: 1-1
After a slow start to the second half, Megginson headed over following a corner and at the other end Cammy Harper put a free kick just over and then Deas diverted a Leighton McIntosh effort wide of the target.
Billy Mckay went close to a winner but it went to penalties after ninety minutes and the Caley Jags prevailed 5-3 on penalties with Ridgers saving a weak spot kick from Fraser Fyvie
From Robert on CTO
Our goal was excellent. Good play by Oakley to put Shaw free and a great cross for MacGregor to score with a rare header.
Cove’s equaliser came when we were temporarily down to ten as Duffy took a heavy knock and we seemed disorganised at the back as a result and it was too easy for the Cove player to hit the target.
Cove had the best of the early part of the second half but we finished more strongly.
I felt we just about shaded it but a draw was probably fair enough. It was good to at least win on penalties.
Unfortunately that was not enough and we will be unseeded in the draw.
I was disappointed with Cove’s approach. They approached the match in a cynical manner, trying to buy free kicks with play acting. They also tried to run the clock down when even. We have enough teams like that in the Championship already and I had expected more from them. I think our medical staff had to give treatment to players at least four times, generally due to the aggression of Cove.
Some of their big names were worst, such as Logan and Fyvie, so justice was done when Fyvie‘s penalty was saved by Ridgers.
Shortly after Samuels was harshly booked, a Cove player blatantly dived to try to get him sent off. The ref gave a foul but at least did not produce a red card.
Of the new signings, I thought Oakley’s holding up play and distribution was good. Shaw was lively and could develop into an important player for us. Delaney is a calm defender despite playing on the wrong side for a left sided defender. Boyd had a couple of efforts when he came on.
At times it felt like a pre-season game again, so hopefully when the league starts next week we get off to a winning start.