Welsh Likes a Belter
Inverness had their strongest squad of the season for tonight's quarter final against Kilmarnock. Samuels, MacGregor, Woods and Dan Mackay were all on the bench as Dodds went with an unchanged starting XI. Killie had a strong XI with Liam Polworth starting with Armstrong, Donnelly, McKenzie, Vassell and Doidge as attacking threats.
As it happened, it was Inverness that eventually dominated proceedings and are in the Semi-Final after goals from Billy Mckay and Sean Welsh
Inverness got the game underway but two minutes in and from an Armstrong corner the ball ended up in the net behind Ridgers, Vassell credited with the goal after a near post flick on. Disastrous start for the hosts. Billy Mckay forced Walker into a great save from a close range header as Inverness responded in the tenth minute. Sean Welsh skimmed the top of the bar with a header from a superb ball into the box from Jay Henderson. Inverness got the break they deserved though when a Wallace Duffy cross from the right was handled by Joe Wright as he attempted to intercept the ball. Billy Mckay hit the spot kick down the middle as Walker dived to his left, the ball going in off his feet and it was game on. Henderson was played through on goal but his shot was blocked by the now overworked Sam Walker. Carson was harshly booked for bringing Armstrong down as Killie sprung out of defence. Doidge made a hash of a half chance when he found the ball at his feet in the six yard box, but he ran it out of play. Robbie Deas headed over from a corner as Inverness continued to press. Liam Polworth came off second best in a challenge from Deas just before the interval and his day was over.
HALF TIME 1-1
Three minutes into the second half Henderson did well to control the ball and get his shot away but it cannoned back off the post. Moments later, with heavy snow falling; he did it again. Sean Welsh picked the ball up thirty yards from goal. He stepped forward and rifled a low shot into the bottom corner from over twenty-five yards. What a strike. We could have gone further ahead, twice. Once when Shaw made space for himself to get a great delivery in but Welsh was just short of connecting with it in the six yard box. Secondly, Mckay did well to wriggle his way into the box but he was halted a couple of times before the defence cleared. Ridgers then flapped at a ball into the box and had to snatch at he ball as it bounced towards the line. A timely snatch if ever I saw one. Austin Samuels almost grabbed a third with two minutes left when running through on goal but his low shot was saved by Walker. Aaron Doran came on as four minutes of added time was shown by the officials. Inverness saw out the game on top and a thoroughly deserved trip to Hampden is now a reality.
FULL TIME 2-1
What a performance from the Caley Jags. Heroes to a man and well deserving of their trip to Hampden again. For me, Scott Allardice was tremendous with Jay Henderson having a field day in the first half and unlucky not to score at the start of the second. Sean Welsh does likes a strike against Killie from around twenty-seven yards. On another day we might have scored four or five, but for now, two will do. Big shout out for the young team, great noise all night. Come again please.
More match reaction to follow...
Inverness CT manager Billy Dodds on BBC Scotland: "I was quite calm. I trusted my players. I thought we were the better team. Kilmarnock put us under pressure with long balls in the second half. "But I just stood back and enjoyed watching my players tonight. I would like a shot in the Premiership. "A lot of my players could do it. I think that's the case. If you do it [beat a top-flight side] once, people say it's a one off. But if you do it two or three times, it's self explanatory. "I want them to enjoy it and realise what they've done. But we still have an opportunity in the league as well. We want to have a wee go of getting to the play-offs, it'll be difficult but we're capable."
After full time Derek McInnes was still in his dressing room and BBC gave up on his interview
He eventually said: "I'm really disappointed. I expected more from the team. We got off to a good start. "I thought from there on in, we stopped playing. We got too complacent and made too many errors."
Highlights from The Scottish Cup
@ICTFC v @KilmarnockFC— Scottish Cup (@ScottishCup) March 10, 2023
Watch the highlights from a tight game opener to this Men's Scottish Cup Quarter-Final weekend.#ScottishCup pic.twitter.com/cN84e3l1oG
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