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  1. 2 points
    Astra-nomical days in Romania People often refer to an extraordinary, yet fleeting occurrence as a JFK moment. When Inverness CT went in a bowl in Switzerland for the Europa League draw in June 2015, it was hardly a life changing event, but I will never forget where I was when the news filtered through from home as to who we had drawn, and where we were headed. I was sitting in a square in Salzburg having lunch as you do! European qualification had already been guaranteed before the Scottish Cup Final, a draw at Dundee clinched our historic third place. Will we ever see the likes again? Perhaps in hindsight I shouldn’t have stayed away from Dens Park, but I was obsessed with my 500th ICT game being the Cup Final, and that was what happened. I wrote about the joy of that Cup Final in an article “It’s my club”, which was printed in Football Weekends magazine in 2016, and can also be found elsewhere on my blog. The first paragraph of that piece is well with recounting here; “A man down, pegged back by an equaliser, Inverness were struggling, it felt like we were on the ropes. Was the Scottish Cup dream about to end? It was Falkirk we were playing after all, a known bogey team in years past. They traditionally beat us in most August encounters and had knocked us out of both cups, as well as relegating us in one season. Indeed that painful occasion was the last game between the two teams in May 2008, seven years ago. However, this was May 2015, a different generation of player with none of the mental blocks that we the fans associate with the name Falkirk! The clock was ticking down on a sun drenched Hampden, when suddenly the ball broke to Marley Watkins, still well inside our half, but he started to run, and run with the ball toward the goal he sped. A little turn inside, he shot, it wasn’t his best ever effort, a trundler, but the pace caught out the Bairns keeper Jamie MacDonald who merely diverted the ball into the path of the on rushing James Vincent, who had sprinted from our box! It fell beautifully for him; Goooooooooal!! We had just won the Scottish Cup! A club just 21 years old at that stage had just won the oldest trophy in world football! (FA Cup is an older competition, but the Scottish Cup trophy is older!). It’s a trophy bigger clubs have craved for 114 years without success, or waited more than 100 years to win for the first time ever”. Nearly five years on it still seems incredible, a boy’s own story, something they can never take away from us. That cup victory was undoubtedly the pinnacle for the club, but for a more global citizen, one obsessed with football in certain lands around the world, getting to see my team in Europe had always been my dream. So much so, when Inverness went to Denmark in 2007 for pre-season training and a couple of games, I had to be there. So one July evening I sped down the railway tracks from Copenhagen to Sjaelland, and the quaint town of Nykobing Falster for the clubs first ever game on foreign soil. We were five strong that night (Don Taylor, his wife and son amongst us) as Liam Fox claimed the first ever ICT goal outside Britain in a 2-1 loss to Nykobing Falster Alliance. A few days later, our number had grown by one as David Proctor scored the only goal of the game against much tougher opponents in FC Nordsjaelland from Farum near the capital, a club who would not only end up playing Queen of the South in Europe five years later, but continue a journey towards being one of Denmark’s top teams. Given I was in Denmark for friendly matches, (I have only ever been at one ICT friendly in Banff!) you can imagine how keyed up I was when I knew my club name was going into a UEFA draw. I was prepared to go almost anywhere (Israel was my only no go at that time, Kosovo has been subsequently added to the list), but I was more dreaming of Almaty in Kazakhstan (as far east as we could go!), or any of our Nordic neighbours especially Iceland or the Faroe Islands, the possibilities were endless, all very exciting as the Welsh would say. Having won the Scottish Cup we were nibbled onto the Second Round directly, and with so many “and/or” potential pitfalls from Round One we could have drawn, it would make for very short notice booking. As it was, I was sitting quaffing a glass of chilled white wine over lunch in the Plaza de Mozart in Salzburg when the news filtered through the Tyrolean mountains to my mobile that we hadn’t drawn and and/or” but Astra Giurgiu. I hadn’t a clue where in România Giurgiu was, but the club name was familiar to me as they’d had a few European outings previously, one with Celtic rang a bell. I also learned that St Johnstone were going to Armenia, information of amusement for the sender as he knew I was travelling with an Armenian lass. My boss back in Edinburgh is a huge St Johnstone fan, both home and away, as well as every European game he could possibly get too (He has only missed one in Minsk, Belarus because of the lack of time to get a visa!). While I had no direct number for him, I was immediately messaging a colleague back home in the office with information to pass on, as St Johnstone were Yerevan bound in just over two weeks, a lot sooner than our tie. He called me that night and took more information and was all booked long before I walked back into the office the following week. I had always regretted that none of my bunch of fellow ICT fans had been up for going to Denmark, but okay those were friendly matches. I was more dismayed that none of them could go to Romania. I knew there was going to be a fine away support but I started to have second thoughts as I didn’t really fancy the Bucharest to the banks of the Danube and Giurgiu on my own, having by then looked at a map and discovered the location of Astra’s home town. Then my luck started to turn, and from a most unlikely source. Luciano, a Brazilian friend from Porto Alegre, who works as a translator for FIFA amongst others, wrote to me to say he had a Romanian colleague who would be more than willing to help me. By the end of that day we hadn’t just arranged that Razvan was picking me up at the airport, but he’d happily drive me down to Giurgiu, nip across to Bulgaria for a meal, as well as share the game with me, and he wasn’t even into football! Wonderful little things like this keep happening to me through life, football opens doors and starts new friendships, I am a lucky man. I went ahead and booked my trip, Thursday to Monday, and as luck would have it, two Romanian top tier games were scheduled for that weekend in the capital, I was going to get my fill of football in a country I had never set foot in before. Romania was a land I was reasonably well versed with courtesy of my dad’s brother and his wife, who worked at the British Embassy in Bucharest during the Ceausescu years, and some of the stories they told left a marked impression on a young lad! One that always amused me was that they used take advantage of the “diplomatic bag” to run a well stocked shop in the basement for the embassy families as the Bucharest shops were largely bereft of anything worthy of eating! I have for a longtime sighted my aunt and uncle as the pioneers of my love for travel. They led a fascinating life, having met and married in Beirut during the ‘50’s, a city they described like Paris back then, as well as working in Baghdad well before it disintegrated. Unfortunately I would only had the pleasure of visiting them at his last posting ahead of his retirement, much nearer to home in Lille, long before the Euro Tunnel had breathed life into this northern French city. Ahead of flying out, the 2015/16 campaign for Scottish clubs had got underway and my boss had enjoyed his time in the Armenian capital even if the heat was searing, but his team had come home with a fine 1-0 win. The following Thursday in Perth though, Scottish football hit a new low when Euro novices Alashkert won 2,1 and went through on the away goal rule. Another week on, and a car load of us sped up the A9 from Edinburgh for the first leg of Inverness v Astra tie. Looking back, it still feels a slightly surreal thing that we hosted European football, but a good crowd had turned out for the occasion. The lack of commercial exploitation of this game, or indeed the cup final has always rankled with me. The club produced a half and half scarf for an embarrassing debacle, when the visitors were some sort of Liverpool kids team, unworthy opponents for the Testimonial of Barry Wilson. A huge crowd turned out that night in the rain, many to pay Barry respects, but others believing they were going to see at least one or two well known Reds players. The Anfield kids got a right good going over with a 5-0 home win! A similar scarf or even a pennant would have been good, a worthy souvenir to mark the game, but instead the club decided to merely ramp up the price of a normal edition of the programme by two pounds, and that was it. Then before the game, we were faced with the slightly odd scenario of a newly signed goalkeeper thrown straight into the team, Owain Fon Williams. Somehow this became the news which rather overshadowed the game itself. Those who’d taken us to glory the season just past were worthy of their moment on the European stage was my opinion, and remains that way to this day! Astra were skillful, cute, streetwise and downright depressing in the art of time wasting and game management, “skills” that developed from periodically tumbles to an almost constant occurrence every time someone got too close or dared to tackle, as we powered up the second half pressure. Astra are not known as Darcii Negri (the black devils) for nothing! Their manager Marius Sumudicahad, (who was subsequently banned for two months that season for his involvement in match fixing) had been a bit mouthy in the run up to the game, and that side of the gamesmanship continued in the days afterwards too. The whole occasion sits with me in the pantheon of dull memories, like the League Cup Final with Aberdeen, both games occasions where the fans didn’t have a whole lot to hold onto and think, “If only”. Yet we were by no means second best, and matched the Romanians in every department without manufacturing any absolutely glaring opportunities, but we did have more shots on target. As it was, the game was decided by a dubious free kick awarded midway through the first half on the edge of our box, where Constantin Budescu, who jostled with our Ryan Christie as man of the match, whipped an exquisitely taken free kick up and over the wall into the net beyond the flailing new keeper. Owain had been too far to one side of the goal, offering Budescu an all too tempting large slice of the goal, but it was a great strike, even if the feeling at the time was this was a goalkeeping error. Before anyone was packing their bag for Romania, the day after the first leg in Inverness, we were back in a pot in Neon for the next round of the competition, part of an “and/or” duo with Astra that paired us with West Ham United. Given this was our first Euro campaign I can honestly say this brought a feeling of disappointment, after all who wanted an Anglo-Scottish clash, albeit a high profile clash! I am sure I wasn’t alone in wanting somewhere more exotic than London, where we’d already been for a friendly with Charlton Athletic. Of course, we could only concern ourselves with any such travel arrangements if we could get by Astra, and that was going to be a tall order. The full Europa League draw had also brought the possibility of my Kazakh charges Kairat coming to Scotland for the first time to play Aberdeen. They had shown St Johnstone the way absolutely thumping Alashkert 3,0 in Almaty and were almost certainly looking to be in the next round. The Dons just had to do their part of the bargain and see off Croatian side Rijeka, a tricky tie without doubt, but they had stunningly won the away leg by a similar score, so the Kazakhs were coming, barring a total collapse by one of the three-nil winners! It was an early morning start with a 6am flight to Amsterdam to catch a connection onward to Bucharest on the morning of the game. With the time difference it was technically an 8am start Romanian time, just 11 hours before the kick off. I have never set off abroad wearing a football shirt before, but the pride in this instance, knowing my team were playing that day in some far off land was wonderful. Sods law of course that the only person who made any comment to me before I boarded the plane was a Falkirk fan, still looking to vent about how we taken their cup away! Once I was in my seat I did see two more Caley Thistle lads board the plane, and I can only assume they were on the next leg too, but I never saw them again! The entire journey had gone without a hitch, and upon clearing customs at Bucharest airport, Razvan was already awaiting my arrival. Timescales even allowed for us to swing by my hotel to check in, drop my luggage in the room etc after all it would be a late return following the game. The drive down to the Danube seemed to whizz by, we had plenty of chat, but burning away within me was anticipation and excitement about the game. Everything had been going smoothly until we hit the city limit of Giurgiu, (pronounced -jure jew) where the entire inside lane was wall to wall trucks, and this continued in such a line all the way to the Romanian border post just before the bridge across the Danube to Bulgaria. The problem was, this old crossing was in the process of being upgraded, and the road was down to a single track, meaning only one side could move at a time. The odd way they had chosen to do that was to allow traffic to move for around 30 minutes in one direction at a time! While cars weren’t even attempting to go across as much, once we were through passport control it was a case of switching off the engine and waiting for four lanes of traffic to fight it out to merge into one solitary line for the crossing. It was boiling hot, and with the windows down it was no use, thank goodness for the air conditioning. There was no turning back, we were technically in no man’s land between the two countries and I was already fretting that if it was like this on the way back, how ironic would it be to miss the kick off stuck in a traffic jam so close and yet so far. Once it was our turn to move we eventually manoeuvred between two juggernauts, but generally you weren’t going to argue with them. With the border formalities on the Bulgarian side complete, we were off in the direction of nearby Ruse, the town on the opposite bank to Giurgiu. This was first venture to Bulgaria, but little did I know at that time, my next partner would be from here, but not only that, she had spent a lot of her earlier life in Ruse. A little more than fifteen months later she’d be sitting with me at Fir Park, Motherwell cheering on Inverness! The world revolves around small coincidences and fates, making them part of the magic of life. Razvan and I had time to walk around Ruse a little, the centre was nice, if not spectacular, followed by a rather splendid meal sitting outside near the town square, with my one beer of the day! I suspect I was the only fan taking in the pre-match rituals in Bulgaria! I was always conscious of the time, nervous about getting stuck on the bridge going back, but thankfully the queue was considerably less going north and we were headed for the Stadionul Marin Anastasovici with plenty of time to spare. The stadium was actually on the outskirts of Giurgiu, quite close to the main Bulgaria – Bucharest highway, so I never did see any more of the town other than the football ground. We parked up and initially headed round behind the main stand, but the only place for the visiting fans was two caged areas on the opposite side of the ground, so we joined a queue of happy ICT fans to buy our tickets from a wee garden shed at the end of the road. Ticket prices, like the meal in Ruse, were jolly cheap. I have no recollection exactly how early it was that we arrived, maybe 30/45 minutes before kick off, but the whole Invernessian gang were here and in absolutely fine voice they were too. Many were a wee bit worse for wear, as I am sure the combination of beer and the heat had taken its toll a bit on some. I am unsure if anyone actually knows the exact number of visiting fans, somewhere between 500-600 I reckon, maybe circa 500 travelling under official parties, but the Bucharest newspaper the day after put it down as 600. After all, if the club were only counting official party fans we had the odd rogue DIY traveller like me, coupled with my very own Romanian ICT fan for the night in Razvan. The cage was a frustrating nonsense and trying to take some keepsakes was a bit of a nightmare through the wire, but going outside the cage near the pitch only brought admonishment from the stewards if you lingered too long. Thinking about it, were any Astra fans, save the official party in Inverness? They certainly didn’t make themselves heard. Here in Giurgiu, the club quickly realised that bringing souvenirs round from the club shop in the main stand to the juice bar for the away fans was going to render significant sales. We for sure drank the fridge dry and pretty much cleared them out of shirts and scarves! I have to confess as Gary Warren led the team out from the far corner beside the Astra lads (see cover photo), I had a lump in my throat, this occasion was more magical for me than the cup final. Never in my football supporting days, spanning 47 years now, did I ever think I would see my team playing competitively in Europe, and the pride was swelling an emotion within me. The game started at an extraordinarily sedate pace, perhaps given the heat and how early it was in the season, but we settled immediately, passing the ball around without fear or intimidation. Indeed, while Astra fans were here in reasonable numbers, it was the away fans who were making all the noise. In the first half, had VAR been around Warren would have won us a penalty, wrestled to the ground in the box, but as usual the ref just played on in those days. Minutes later, just ahead of half-time, Ryan Christie had a brilliant shot that was just tipped over the crossbar superbly by the keeper. Christie, still a youthful lad, grew into this game and commanded the midfield ahead of more illustrious players on the Astra team. We continued to press for that all important goal to level the aggregate, and a lot of the danger was stemming from Ryan. He found himself sandwiched between two Astra defenders in the second half having taken the ball down exquisitely in the box, but this time it was no penalty. In the end Astra held firm, it ended 0-0.There was absolutely no disgrace in narrowly going out to this Romanian side who were on the way to the greatest season in the clubs history, winning the league title for the first time. West Ham were sent packing in the next round, not just in 2015/16, but the very next year too, and in all 4 games the Hammers couldn’t beat Astra once. The applause at the end of the game for our Euro heroes was loud and passionate, the players came over to thank us and stayed longer than normal applauding back all with a mixture of pride and frustration written all over their faces, we had come that close. It was a relatively quick transfer back to Bucharest, with a hug and all my thanks of gratitude to Razvan, who had been incredible. He would call me occasionally in the coming days to make sure things were going well, and even invited me on a trip to the Carpathian mountains to visit his father, but I needed to see Bucharest before venturing any further. I slept like a log that night, disappointed that we had gone out, but we are still unbeaten away from home in Europe! I had earmarked Friday as my Bucharest culture day, and the city has a lot to enjoy and see. I had read that it has been described as Paris of the East, and aside from a smaller Arc de Triomphe, which was under maintenance scaffolding in 2015, a lot of the central areas buildings had a whiff of Paris. One building that certainly didn’t feel Parisian was the Palace of Parliament, the enormous construction undertaken to appease the megalomania of the Ceaucescu’s, a place that was at one time merely their home! I really enjoyed my days in the city, it had a wonderfully relaxed feel, wonderful restaurants too. On Saturday night I had arranged to meet a longstanding Bucharest friend Alexandra and her partner. While I had danced around many buildings in the area of the old town, I hadn’t been down these narrow streets before I met them, and it was only subsequent to my trip and seeing videos of the Inverness fans that I realise that this was where the Caley Thistle fans had all congregated, enjoying the relaxed traffic free, cafe society and the fine selection of local and International beers, as well as giving the locals a few recitals of the Highlanders song book, “Sweet Caroline” et all. By Saturday night, if any ICT fans were still in the city, I never saw any. Earlier in the day I had met two lads in a cafe who’d actually stayed in Giurgiu and they described it as “dusty”! I was on my way to Dinamo’s stadium when I bumped into them, but they weren’t up for coming to see the Saturday afternoon game between FC Voluntari and Pandurii Targu Jiu! Voluntari were new into the top flight, and although not from Bucharest, they were sharing with Dinamo Bucharest for the season because their own ground didn’t meet the necessary requirements. The Dinamo stadium was where our very own Romanian hero Marius Nicolae was playing his football at the time. The two lads who’d decline a game in the sun were probably the wise ones as this was a horrible 0-0 draw. On Sunday night, I decided to unearth another ICT shirt, wearing it to the Stadionul National to see Steau Bucharest v CFR Cluj. If any ICT fans were still hanging around my shirt would have been a way of starting a conversation, but it also helped to blend in with the Steau faithful whose colour scheme is similar, if a tad more red. Alas I suspect that Sunday night I was maybe the last Inverness fan in the city, as no ICT shirts were spotted, but our TV appearances in Romania had made the locals become familiar with our story, and most spoke great English! I was disappointed when the teams were read out, upon discovering that another Caley Thistle “cult” player of yesteryear, Gregory Tade wasn’t playing. Asking the guy next to me about him, he told me Gregory was being rested by the manager so he could play in the Champion’s League in midweek against Partizan Belgrade! Our Gregory had done well for himself! I still recall him, long before he played for ICT as an awkward lad trying his best up front for Stranraer, but he always seemed to miss more opportunities than he scored. Gregory had just joined Steau that summer having transferred ironically from tonight’s opponents Cluj. I used the zoom on my camera and spotted him loafing in the posh seats in the main stand. It was a pity I hadn’t seen either Marius or Gregory play, but what were the chances of the two big clubs of Bucharest seeing their attacks being led by ex-ICT players at the time we played in Romania! Did either of them head down to Giurgiu to watch us? More likely they watched on TV as it was live in Romania, unlike in Scotland, which was scandalous, but should we be surprised? For the record, I watched my third draw in four days, but at least this time the game had goals in an entertaining 1,1 draw played out in a fantastic stadium. At breakfast in the hotel ahead of going to the airport the next day, the news was playing quietly in the corner and scenes of Inverness fans in Bucharest appeared, as well as clips of us in the stadium in Giurgiu, as part of the morning sports bulletin. I asked the waitress what they were saying, so she stopped and listened to the last seconds of the piece and turned to me and said “they are in awe that so many people had come from such a small city to cheer their team”. I flew out of Bucharest with a very wide smile. The footnote to all these European games in June/July 2015 was two weeks later in Aberdeen, where I had written a piece on Kazakh football for the programme and was given free tickets for the centre stand. I finally got to see and meet some Kairat fans as they held firm amid a Dons whirlwind of efforts near the end to knock the home team out. My yellow and black jacket and broad smile gave me away at the end as people scowled out! Somehow I had played witness to three Scottish teams going out of Europe that summer, and none were as unlucky as Inverness. Will we ever see the likes again? That is why we are football fans, the strength to dream is hidden in the unknown variables of our beautiful game. This piece is dedicated to all the Caley Thistle fans who ventured to Romania, and Denmark in 2007. These were days to remember. Thanks to James Rendall for this look back at our greatest achievement to date. Football adventures with James Rendall And, just for an extra celebration, you can relive the Scottish Cup Final on Saturday as Inverness go to Hampden to play Falkirk. The game can be found on the Inverness Caledonian Thistle facebook page with Kick Off at 15:00
  2. 2 points
    #TogetherNess - The Caley Jags say Thank You to the NHS and Key Workers The Caledonian Stadium lights up to say thank you to the NHS and Key Workers The Caledonian Stadium was an incredible sight to behold in the early hours of this morning as the Main Stand was lit up in stunning blue light to say thank you to the NHS. The club came together with Inverness based KBE Event Services to run a number of stunning smoke and light programmes which entertained the unsuspecting traffic on the A9 and Kessock Bridge. The climax being the NHS tribute in blue. ICT CEO Scot Gardiner commented: "The KBE Event Services team began work at 7pm and on my arrival back at the stadium for the final touches at 11pm, it was still too light due the fantastic clear skies. It was all wrapped up just after 2am as we had to wait for real darkness but it was definitely worth the wait and the results are amazing." "It was just a shame that we couldn't shake hands as we all had to social distance the entire evening. We will have to do that in the future once we get through all of this and get to work with Kai and his team once again in the future. It was worth it to say our small thanks to the NHS and the key workers doing so much for the Highlands and beyond."
  3. 2 points
    Wasps Sting Themselves... Inverness moved up to second in the table after a 2-0 win over ten man Alloa who had Liam Dick sent off just before the hour. Both goals were scored in the first half with Scott Taggart heading behind his own keeper and Aaron Doran brilliantly volleying home the second from a Jordan White knock down as the half closed. With Dundee United and Ayr United frozen out, we moved into second spot for now and moved a further two points away from Dundee who lost at home to Queen of the South in a dramatic late ending to that game. There were two games called off for frozen pitches. Ayr United -P- Arbroath Morton -P- Dundee United Alloa Athletic 0-2 Inverness CT Dundee 1-2 Queen of the South Dunfermline 5-1 Partick Thistle Immortal Howden Ender has this report for us........... Well at least I am enjoying my Away Days this season. Ayr and Alloa have been good choices. And here I was travelling up in minus temperatures, blue skies and sunshine. And then Radio Scotland announces that two Championship games have been called off. I forgot that the wasps nest is now of the 4G variety. And good to see a fair smattering of the old brigade in a 100+ following. Relaxed train journey with Mantis, into Bobbin John's with the McDonalds - Lynn and Ronald - only to be called to Drysdale's and participation in a PeaPod cast or something like that. And then a late arrival at the Rec but an enjoyable 45 minutes followed by a tolerable second 45. I would have to say that I was impressed by Alloa. Unfortunately their penchant to play football and dispense with the hoof was admirable but may also be their downfall. I don't think that the most staunch of us would have begrudged them a point at the end. The first half made good watching and both teams carved out chances. We also dispensed with the hoof, played football and used the extra wide flanks. I thought that Rooney was exceptional in that half. Ridgers had made a couple of saves, we had wasted at least two half chances before Inspector Taggart became Inspector Clousseau and headed the ball past the man who won us the Scottish Cup. And the eventual match winner came right on the half time whistle. A Rooney cross, exquisite head back by White and Doran curves neatly passed poor old Rod. As good a goal as you will see all season. Half Time 0-2 And then you would have thought that a complete Dick had opened the flood gates with a double footed, red card, over the top tackle on Keatings. But, we appeared to relax and wait for another opportunity. And a few came along but we fluffed the final touch. I felt that we tried to overpass at times. We should have gone nap really. But Alloa improved with 10 men. As is often the case we looked like the team with ten. When an Alloa shot hit the postage stamp corner there was a shiver, not caused by the minus temperature. But we held on and returned to Drysdale's a happy bunch. I will dispense with the smileys but my marks out of 5 are made up of 3's and 4's. Ridgers, Rooney, Coll, Tremarco, Carson and Keatings get the fours. I may also add Roddy McGregor to that list as his pace and movement was terrific when he came on. Carson sneaks in as my MotM - mainly for his defensive display and a developing partnership with Triffid. Let's hope that McCart has only a minor knock. My only other whinge, apart from not scoring more goals was WHY take on Curry if he is on his way out? So Aloha to Clackmannanshire and I may well be back. Have to save up for the Maryhill Caley Away Xmas party ? From BBC Sport Alloa Athletic manager Peter Grant: "The scoreline was very harsh on us. To lose the goals when we did was a double-whammy. "But I was chuffed with the way the players went about their business. Even when we went down to 10 men we were excellent." Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "Both teams carved out really good opportunities. The first goal was really strange, the second was a cracker. "There were more goals if they showed the quality of the final pass, and that's what let us down second-half. We didn't make the extra man count." Extended highlights from Alloa Athletic FC Date: 30/11/2019 Venue: Recreation Park, Alloa Attendance: 721 Referee: Greg Aitken Alloa Athletic: 0 Lineup: MacDonald; Taggart, Graham, Deas, Dick, Robertson, Cawley, Flannigan, Hetherington, Trouten, O'Hara. Subs (not used): Henry; Gilhooley, Malcolm, Gillespie, O'Donnell, Buchanan, Thomson, Scorers: none Booked: Hetherington (70), Flannigan (80) Sent Off: Dick (58) Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart (McHattie 76), Tremarco, Doran, Carson, Trafford, Storey (Curry 72), Keatings (MacGregor 73), White Subs (not used): C Mackay, Harper, Machado, Todorov. Scorers: Taggart (og 38), Doran (45) Booked: Keatings (72), Sent Off: a
  4. 2 points
    Ayr we go Ayr we go Ayr we go..... Saturday 5th October sees Inverness Caledonian Thistle make the trip south to Somerset Park to face Ayr United in the league. At 205 miles it marks the second longest journey ICT and their home based fans face on league business, only seconded by trips to Dumfries. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Supporters bus to Ayr Bus to Ayr leaves Caley Club 8.45 ...Stadium 9.00 ....Sat5th Oct . Book on Facebook or 07462 218717 HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROBBO55 years young ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Mr Caley Jag is our scribe this week with this Preview for you....... On that travel basis alone their fans will undoubtedly be hoping for a better showing than the last display their team put on against Patrick Thistle when they were roundly defeated 3-1 at the Caledonian Stadium, some professing that the team didn’t turn up at all. That defeat brought the team and fans firmly back down to earth with a bang and the reality of another hard slog in the Championship hit home. Form Up until that point the Caley Jags were unbeaten in 6 games in all competitions recording 5 wins and 1 draw while Partick had only recorded wins in the league cup and 2 draws in the league, so form was firmly turned on its head. Our current points total of 13 from a possible 21 sees us sitting in third spot in the league 4 points clear of Dundee but 5 points behind Ayr Utd. In stark contrast Ayr United sit second on goal difference behind Dundee Utd having gone on a 5 game winning run in the league and recording only one defeat at the hands of Dundee back on the 10th August. Somerset Park has become a daunting venue for teams to visit this season and none to date have come up with any answers and walk away with any points. Ayr lost manager Ian McCall to Championship rivals Partick Thistle a couple of weeks ago and it was he who guided Partick to that win over the Caley Jags last weekend. Sandy Stewart is the caretaker boss of the Honest Men and McCall reckons he is the man who should get the permanent position at Somerset Park. He also reckons that Ayr are the best team in the Championship, but their size of squad will curtail their ambitions. Anyway, not his problem now that he has fecked off to the big money at Firhill, bloody wee Jobby. All competitions since start of the League cup on 13th July over 90mins. Ayr: WLWDWLWWDWW ICT: DWWLLWDWWWWL It’s certainly not a game to pick for your coupon that’s for sure unless you’re chasing the odds with the bookies only slightly favouring Ayr United arguably on their recent league form and the fact they are at home. Teams Inverness welcomed Brad McKay and Mitch Curry back to training last week following bouts out with injury and it remains to be seen if they’ll be fit enough to feature in any capacity. If not, they may get a run out against Brora Rangers on Sunday in the NoS Cup final. James Keatings remains out with ankle ligament damage while we await news on whether Tom Walsh will back in the team line up after he missed out against Partick. There’s no new injury concerns since the defeat to Partick unless the weekly mystery injury strikes. Ayr Utd – Life after Lawrence Shankland seems to be doing just fine at Somerset Park. With 5 wins on the bounce, Ayr would appear to have little worries ahead of this encounter. We do seem to be a bit of an Achilles Heel for the Honest Men, but that can't go on forever. Stevie Bell will be another couple of weeks before he is ready and the experienced Mark Kerr is a major doubt. Jamie Adams, Frank Ross, and Andy Murdoch are out with injuries. Other than that I expect United to be on similar lines to the last few weeks, and why not, it's working well. Here's Robbo ahead of the trip to Ayr. Championship fixtures this weekend Alloa Athletic 1-0 Dundee United Ayr united v Inverness CT Dundee v Arbroath Morton v Dunfermline Partick Thistle v Queen of the South ICT News Chief Executive Scot Gardiner sheds some light on the clubs financial situation ahead of the EGM on the 3rd October on BBC Sport Former director Graeme Bennett on what he hopes to hear/see from the forthcoming EGM can be seen in the Press & Journal ICT EGM – 3rd Oct Here's the Inverness Courier story after last nights meeting. On the back of the EGM, there will be a SUPPORTERS OPEN MEETING to be held on Tuesday 8th October, with arrival from 7pm for a 7:30pm start. Trip down memory lane 24th April 2010 Ayr United 0 - 7 Inverness Caledonian Thistle Team: Esson, Proctor, Munro, McBain (Bulvitis 26), Tokely, Hayes, Morrison, Duncan, Foran (Sanchez 64), Odhiambo (Eagle 71), Rooney Scorers: Hayes, Rooney, Foran, Odhiambo, Sanchez, Eagle, Morrison For me, this is arguably one of the best away games I have attended as a football fan and one of the best Caleyjag and I have been to together. Second last day of the season saw us guarantee the title and a return to the top flight at the first attempt under the tutelage of Terry Butcher. Chants of 'shoes up for the Caley Jags' while holding our shoes over our heads was a particular laughing point for me along with being on the pitch after the game calling out for TB to appear and address us. Aye, the sermon from the stand was brilliant! Sad news breaking with the passing of Hugh Crout, the former Caledonian FC President. “His partnership with his close friend, the late Alex Main, as team manager, was a winning combination at Telford Street. He was a real gentleman and made many friends in football, continuing his love for football by supporting ICT right up till the end. The highlight was seeing the club lift the Scottish Cup in 2015. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.” Some more sad news coming from Greg Tansey is that he will have to retire from football due to ongoing injury problems. You can read more on this in the Press & Journal. Greg played a major part in the making of Inverness Caledonian Thistle, the Scottish Cup Winners, and he was one of the sweetest striker of a ball in the game. We wish Greg all the best for his future, wherever that will take him. Thanks for the memories Greg. Here's how Greg announced it on twitter....... Every footballer knows when they sign their first professional contract that it will eventually come to an end. Today is that day for me, an injury that I have been fighting for 2 years now has ended my career. On Sunday, The Pat Munro North of Scotland Cup Final against Brora Rangers FC ?3pm kick-off ?️Mosset Park, Forres ?️Adults: £10, Concessions: £5, Stand Entry: £2 Tickets available from the turnstiles on the day of the match (Cash Only) Info ? https://ictfc.com/match-info-north-of-scotland-cup-final-20… If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  5. 2 points
    McCall's at the wheel..... Its been a turbulent week or two at both clubs as Partick Thistle come North on Saturday, bottom of the Championship, to face Inverness Caledonian Thistle at the Caledonian Stadium in a 3:00pm kick-off. Gary Caldwell was, unsurprisingly, the first managerial casualty in the Championship. Only six games in, but the board at Partick had seen enough and replaced him with Ayr United manager Ian McCall who has led the Firhill side before. Wow! McCall has gone from second top to bottom overnight, that's some drop. Alan Archibald also returns to Firhill as McCall's second in command. And, surprise surprise, we host McCall's Partick on Saturday as they languish bottom of the Championship with no wins in six games and only two points. Good enough reason to sack Caldwell if you ask me? To add injury to insult, they were dumped out of the League Cup in midweek by Celtic who put five past the Maryhill Magyars. No surprise there, but really! On top of all that, a Partick Thistle fans group - backed by ££££££ EuroMillions ££££££ winner Colin Weir - says it has made an offer to take control of the Championship club. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ***LATEST ICT NEWS*** It's been a hectic couple of weeks off the park at the Caledonian Stadium as well with an EGM being called and Chairman Graeme Rae resigning along with Director Alan McPhee. Full statements can be read on the Official ICTFC site EGM ~~ CHAIRMAN OFFICIAL PREVIEW Congratulations to Mark Ridgers who hits another ton today. 100 not out for Mark! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Back on the park, Caley Stan is yer man this week as he shuffles the pack for us...... And he said, don't forget to get your WYNESS SHUFFLE fix is right HERE Ian Holland McCall, known as ‘Corky’ or ‘Jobby’ depending on your perspective, walked off down Maryhill Road in April 2011 to confront his personal demons. He had left behind a Thistle side that was ready to push for promotion, but wasn’t able to hang around to enjoy the culmination of his ‘five year plan’. Jobby found himself out of the game for three and a half years, resurfacing at an Ayr side who were languishing in ninth place in League One in January of 2015 and taking them up through the play-offs in that same season. They went straight back down, but returned a year later as champions, much stronger, and raced to the top of the Championship where they remained in contention until the end of February. With one of the lowest budgets in the league, and bereft of the core of last season’s team, learned observers were unanimous in their conviction that Ayr would not come flying out of the traps again this year. But they did, and with five wins in their opening six matches, Corky’s star approached the heights it had reached back in 2003, when the man became too big for the club. An old flame came calling, and he strolled back up Maryhill Road into her welcoming arms. Caley v Jobby McCall may or may not have defecated in Simond Stainrod’s suede brogues, but Caley Thistle have definitely been shitting all over Jobby's teams for the past 22 years. Honours started out evenly with two draws and a win apiece in season 1997/98 - 33 year-old McCall took Clydebank up that season while Steve Paterson, five years his senior, got to grips with the third tier. Rivalries renewed a year later when we joined the Bankies in the old Division One, but they were on their knees and we had beaten them four times before McCall jumped ship to Morton – the last of those a 4-1 win in which Barry Wilson scored the last Scottish league or cup goal of the 20th Century. A 2-0 win at Cappielow in the spring saw us do the clean sweep over Jobby that season, and it is a damning indictment of our marketing department that we didn’t secure a lucrative sponsorship deal with Andrex as a result. Revenge was to follow, as McCall’s journey round Scotland’s lower league crisis clubs concluded with a 13-month stint at Airdrie during which his side won three of the five ties against us, including a painful 6-0. Airdrie went on to finish second whilst hurtling towards liquidation - an incredible achievement for which McCall was rewarded with a proper job at Falkirk. McCall assembled an excellent side at Falkirk in 2002/03 with a frontline of Lee Miller, Owen Coyle and Collin Samuel and snatched three points early in the season in Inverness when two late goals overturned Ross Tokely’s opener. But as the season progressed, it became clear that Steve Paterson’s side of Mann, Robson, Christie and Wyness were well equipped to challenge them for the title. By the time the two sides were due to meet again at Brockville in December, we were just a point behind them at the top with a further ten points separating the nearest challengers. Sadly, the football public was to be deprived of the spectacle of these two men, with their unbending commitment to attacking football, facing off against each other for the Division One title. Both had rejected the advances of newly installed Dundee United chairman Eddie Thompson the previous month, but Paterson joined Aberdeen in the run up to that Brockville tie, with McCall accepting an improved offer from Thompson the following month. At this point, i would like to inroduce this never before seen footage of Steve Paterson and Ian McCall together at the height of their rivalry: When Jobby Met Pele. John Docherty and Graeme Bennett took charge of the 1-1 draw that followed, and we didn’t see Corky again until we joined him in the SPL 18 months later in the dying days of his brief flirtation with the top flight. We stayed up while he stayed down, we gave him a wave on our ‘First Division Tour’, and didn’t clap eyes on him again until last season when we thoroughly owned his Ayr side with five wins and two draws. All of that gives us an all-time score of Caley 15, Jobby 8, with 8 draws, and the fecker still owes us for the pot of paint he kicked all over the tunnel in 1997. Partick Thistle I cover the history of this fixture here. Last season the games were tight, we won three of them with our sole defeat largely self-inflicted. On paper, Caldwell did decent business over the summer, bringing Scott Fox, Kenny Miller and Dario Zanatta among others, but he left them at the foot of the table with just two points from five games. By all accounts, he had lost the dressing room after a series of fall-outs with senior players and in those circumstances you might expect to see an immediate bounce following the removal of the manger, but Thistle were done 3-0 at home to Dunfermline under the caretakers. McCall took charge of his new side for the League Cup Quarter Final tie at Parkhead on Wednesday night - the 5-0 drubbing that resulted is largely irrelevant to our game on Saturday. Boardroom Banter Both clubs are either going to the wall or on the verge of being taken over by Russian oligarchs depending on who you believe. Go to the pub and speak to Grassa Bennett’s/Gerry Britton’s mates for details. ICT Team News and Tactics James Keatings remains out after tearing ankle ligaments while Brad McKay and Mitch Curry have returned to training. The absence of Keatings prompted Robbo to tweak the shape to accommodate Miles Storey rather than bringing in Roddy McGregor as a like-for-like replacement. While this frustrated some fans, I would expect him to put out the same team and shape that dominated Queen of the South last week, with Sean Welsh and James Vincent in the centre of the park and Storey running channels to create space for Walsh and Doran. Jordan White will be Jordan White. Please be nice to him. Prediction Inverness Caledonian Thistle 0 Partick Thistle 1 Why? Jobby If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  6. 1 point
    A spot of Recreation After a good set of results in midweek, the Caley Jags head to Recreation Park Alloa, looking to consolidate their position in second place in the Championship, the game kicking off at 3:00pm. Inverness were the only team to win in midweek as the other four games ended goalless. This will be the sixth meeting between the sides this season, with Inverness having three wins, the other two games were draws. Last time together we struggled to a 1-1 draw against the Wasps. A first half penalty was tucked away by Iain Flannigan but Jordan White rescued our day with a goal on the hour. Last time at Recreation Park we were on Scottish Cup duty and edged out Alloa 2-3 thanks to a late goal from Charlie Trafford. Alloa's top scorer Kevin O'Hara scored twice to square matters after Aaron Doran and Jordan White had Inverness ahead twice. We never find it easy on the artificial surface and I expect it will be no different this time round. Championship fixtures this weekend Aloa Athletic v Inverness CT Ayr United v Dundee Dundee Utd v Partick Thistle Dunfermline v Queen of the South Morton v Arbroath Here's Johnny.............. OFFICIAL PREVIEW Sean Welsh and James Vincent missed out in midweek but Lewis Toshney added some much needed solidarity to our defence. Brad Mckay will be available for selection after his red card against Hibs in the Scottish Cup and Robbo is hopeful Vincent will be added to the squad. Alloa's main threat will be 14 goal Kevin O'Hara although he is not the only player we need to be wary of. Kevin Cawley, and Alan Trouten are well aware how to find the back of the net, and at the other end Neil Parry made a welcome return to the goals, shutting Dundee out with a tremendous performance in midweek. That's some save by Neil Parry in midweek................. Bronson It should be noted that after the passing of the legend that is Bronson, his funeral arrangements have been released. RIP Simon. On behalf Simon’s immediate family, we would like to express our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has been in touch, shared their memories of him and offered their support. It has been truly humbling – we knew he was a great bloke, but this has surpassed even our expectations. His death will leave a huge hole in the hearts and lives of all who knew him. The funeral service will take place on Wednesday 11 March at 12.30pm in the Funeral Home of William T Fraser and Son, Culduthel Road, Inverness, IV2 6AB, and thereafter to Kilvean Cemetery. All friends and colleagues past and present welcome. Family flowers only please, and money donations to the Scottish Burned Children’s Club welcome. Please share this information with anyone else you think would like to know. — feeling heartbroken. As a mark of respect for Simon, the Fans will do their own tribute at the Challenge Cup Final against Raith Rovers. We're planning on having a minutes applause in the 44th minute for Simon / Bronson during this game. Something to note for later this month and feel free to make others around you at the game aware.
  7. 1 point
    Raise a glass for Bronson One of the Championship's form teams venture North on Tuesday night in the shape of Greenock Morton. With 10 points from their last six games, only Arbroath can better that with 12 points. Our tally over the last six is a mere 7 points. The game has a 7:45 kick-off time as our hectic schedule kicks in. We went down heavily at Easter Road as the last Championship side standing. It ended 5-2 and we finished the game down to ten men, beaten, but not bowed. Morton made the most of their Saturday game as they thrashed Queen of the South 4-0. The goals came from Tumilty, Nesbitt, Cadden and McGuffie, that's 12 goals in their last four games including a 2-1 win at Somerset Park. Brad Mckay is suspended and James Keatings and James Vincent are doubts. OFFICIAL PREVIEW Robbo talking pre-match Sadly, football takes a back seat this week after news that one of our own larger than life fans has passed away with so much still to offer. No one saw it coming, no one saw the signs. Everyone thinks that men are so tough they don't give a shit. Well I have news for you. Men do care, men hurt, men cry, men can do all these things. It's OK to be not OK. Men need help as well so please please please tell someone, talk to your best buddy. More people understand than they will tell you. Many of us have felt low at some point. It's not something to be ashamed of, but help is out there, speak about it, please. Rip 'Bronson' a nicer guy you would struggle to find anywhere. It's difficult to come to terms with this. For his family and close friends, this is sad times, but please, be comforted in the knowledge that Simon was well loved and will be sorely missed. Heartbroken is a word used too readily, it is the word to describe the feeling amongst all who had the privilege and honour of being in Simon's company. Gringo posted this lovely heartfelt tribute to Simon. Words can not explain how I feel right now. Today I heard of the passing of one the nicest guys I ever met whilst supporting Inverness Caley Thistle. He was a laugh, a true Caley Thistle fan, a gent and was always in awe at my (our) long distance journeys that were made as a family to follow his (our) team. He was also a founder member of the infamous Highland March and also became the saviour of it too on that very first event. I shared the support bus with him on a number of occasions we're we talked football and rock music. From those halcyon days of the HM, the fun in the Innes Bar, the home matches and the away matches on the supporters bus I will never forget you Simon MacDonald ‘Bronson’ never. With a heavy heart I bid you farewell my friend and may you rest in peace now. My heart also goes out to all your family and friends. A pain unimaginable right now. I hope my words ease that awful pain somehow. 💔💔 Everyone on CTO will echo these thoughts and we all pass on our heartfelt condolences to Simon's family, friends and colleagues. Gone too soon, but will never be forgotten. Simon, you will never walk alone......
  8. 1 point
    Walsh winner dumps Pars Inverness were still without Sean Welsh for the visit to East End Park, but captain Carl Tremarco made his 200th appearance for the club. Lewis Toshney started with Tom Walsh and James Keatings on the bench. The Pars had two former Inverness players in their starting XI, Owain Fon Williams and Danny Devine. Form player Kevin Nisbet was leading the attack. Roddy MacGregor set the ball rolling in front of a decent crowd in his first start for some time, but Dunfermline were soon on the attack with Mark Ridgers palming away a dangerous low cross from Jonathan Afolabi, James Vincent mopped up before Kevin Nisbet could benefit. A few minutes later Ridgers had to deal with an effort from Nisbet inside the box. All the early pressure came from the Pars and James Vincent picked up an early booking as the hosts looked for an early advantage. Dom Thomas shot wide after Afolabi headed the ball down to him. Inverness still to get out of first gear. It's all Dunfermline thus far and in the eleventh minute Nisbet headed wide and moments later Afolabi shot just wide. It looks like it's going to be a long night for the visiting fans. Inverness' first venture forward and an Aaron Doran corner finds Lewis Toshney at the back post but from a tight angle he missed the target. As the visitors began to get to grips with the game Roddy MacGregor won a free kick some twenty yards out. Aaron Doran fired the ball high into the net off the underside of the bar to surprise everyone in the stadium. What a goal from Doran, his ninth of the season. Back came the Pars and Ridgers had to deal with an effort from Thomas and at the other end MacGregor headed wide. Five minutes before the break Nisbet diverted a low cross over the bar. As the half ended Vincent deflected the ball at the expense of a corner which saw a Ryan Dow shot cleared. Ridgers then saved from Kyle Turner, the last action of the first forty-five Half Time 0-1 No changes at the interval and the Pars got the second half underway, kicking towards the home fans in the Norrie McCathie Stand but the first opportunity went to Inverness as Jordan White headed over. Dom Thomas sent an effort goalwards but Ridgers was equal to it saving in the top corner and Dow put the rebound over the bar from a tight angle. Minutes later Ridgers held onto another effort from distance from the lively Thomas. Celtic loanee Jonathan Afolabi was next to try his luck but the youngster fired over the bar, his next effort would be held by Ridgers. James Keatings replaced young MacGregor on the hour and Carl Tremarco got something for his 200th game; a yellow card. Dunfermline level the score with twenty minutes remaining when Dom Thomas fired a tremendous shot into the top corner from outside the box after a poor clearance from Inverness. Substitute Tom Walsh was only on for a couple of minutes when he hit the post from the edge of the box. He would do better two minutes later when he shot low into the net after a White dummy, possibly with the aid of a deflection off Euan Murray. Keatings volleyed over the bar after a White shot was blocked as Inverness looked to put the game to bed. Lewis Martin headed over the bar in stoppage time and a late corner was defended well as Inverness held on for a valuable three points with news that Morton had beaten Ayr United 2-1, so a good night for the Caley Jags who go into second place on their own, three points ahead of Dundee. Here's the goals, a couple of belters. And here's a happy chappy..... Full Highlights from PARS TV Date: 25/02/2020 Venue: East End Park Attendance: 3357 Referee: Gavin Ross Dunfermline: 1 Lineup: Fon Williams; Comrie, Ashcroft (Martin 81), Devine, Murray, Dow (Ross 54), Paton, Turner, Thomas, Nisbet, Afolabi (McGill 68). Subs (not used): Gill; Thomson, Brawling, McCann Scorers: Thomas (70) Booked: Paton (30), Ashcroft (57) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Toshney, B Mckay, Tremarco, Doran (Trafford 80), Carson, Vincent, Macgregor (Keatings 61), Storey (Walsh, 71), White. Subs (not used): C Mackay; Harper, McHattie, Todorov. Scorers: Doran (23), Walsh (77) Booked: Vincent (10), B Mckay (20), Tremarco (61), Toshney (79) Sent Off: none a
  9. 1 point
    Chocolate Biscuit action Hold your horses, we play Rangers Colts in the Chocolate Biscuit Cup semi-final this Sunday at the Caledonian Stadium, Inverness. I bet you all forgot about this competition. Kick off for this one is 16:10 with the P&J Lounge within the stadium being open for a day of televised football, the drinks starting to flow at 12 midday. Ross County are the current holders of the Challenge Cup having beaten Connagh's Quay 3-1 in the final last season. The last round of the competition was played three months ago, I kid you not. So, back in November, we knocked out Clyde after a penalty shoot-out and Rangers u21's beat Wrexham 2-0. The other semi-final will be between Partick Thistle and Raith Rovers which will be played on the Friday night ahead of our game on the Sabbath. (Raith Rovers wait for the winners of this tie after they beat Partick Thistle 2-1. It was a frantic end to the game as Partick went two down with 15 minutes to go but they fell just short and hit the post as Raith hung on. They'll be dancing in the streets of Raith etc......) We have been in the final of this competition four times, winning the Challenge cup twice. To be honest it's an event that does not really come to life until the final stages for many fans. So here we are in the semi's against Ranger's finest youngsters and the opportunity to go further and gain some confidence as the league campaign gets to the business end. It's not for everyone, but our last final against Dumbarton showed what it meant to them and their fans as they lit up the day in Perth, their first final since the bronze age. Here's how we won the trophy two seasons ago......... Who are Rangers u21's/Colts. I imagine they are the finest hand picked youngsters who have been gathered from around the country and tied to Rangers on contracts that our players can only dream about. Add in a couple of seasoned professionals and there you have it. A team capable of challenging those outside the premiership in a trophy for the best of the rest. Rangers senior side won this competition in 2016. Rangers Team for the 2-0 win over Wrexham Wright; Patterson (Young-Coombes 31), Edmundson, Breen, Flanagan, Mayo, Barjonas, Maxwell, Dickson (Butterworth 87), Atakayi (Lyall 76), Kennedy. Subs not used: Budinaukas; Williamson, O'Connor, Miller. Goals: Jamie Barjonas (35), Nathan Young-Coombes (71) ***Inverness Team News*** John Robertson has fitness doubts over Aaron Doran and Lewis Toshney. Doran took a knock late in the home game against Alloa Athletic and Toshney, who had been cup-tied, has fluid on the knee which requires attention. Otherwise, it should be business as usual. Robbo insists that he has had The Rangers Colts watched a couple of times but admits it's difficult to know which players they will choose their squad from due to the nature of the competition. It could be a case of perm any XI from a possible thirty or so players. Good luck with that John. ***LATE NEWS*** The dates for the Scottish Cup game at Easter Road have been set and it's Friday night football for the Caley Jags. The game will also be televised live on BBC Scotland with a 7:45pm kick off ?Our @ScottishCup Quarter Final against @HibernianFC will take place on Friday 28th February at 19:45pm and will be shown live on @BBCScotland Ticket Information for Inverness fans will be announced over the weekend ? https://t.co/xPUhTigW3k
  10. 1 point
    Scottish Cup 4th round Since winning the Scottish Cup in May 2015, it has been all downhill for Inverness. Relegation from the Premiership followed in season 2016/2017 and we find ourselves now in our third season in the Championship watching Dundee United disappear into the distance with a play-off place our only hope of getting back into the promised land. However, it's time for a break as it's Scottish Cup weekend. Who is going to take the trophy away from Parkhead? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Match info and Travel Club details can be found on ICTFC ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ For The Caley Jags it's a tricky trip to Clackmannanshire to face Alloa Athletic on the synthetic surface, a surface that fell foul of the weather last weekend as rain lashed the whole of Scotland with postponements curtailing the fixture lists. The cup game kicks off at 3:00pm at Recreation Park, or if the sponsors want to be heard, then it's the Indodrill Stadium. Robbo will have his work cut out to motivate the squad with all the transfer talk and that could have an effect on his squad for this game. Coll Donaldson has left the building already, others will follow as money talks. Look for Lewis Toshney coming in to the squad for the Championship games. Brad Mckay and Kevin McHattie already having some game time in central defence will surely replace Coll Donaldson this weekend with Toshney cuptied, having played for Falkirk already in the competition. At least we still have the top shut-out keeper in the Championship in Mark Ridgers. He likes to keep his sheets clean and has racked up 11 so far this season. That's better than Siegrist (Dundee United), MacGregor (Rangers) and Forster (Celtic). Mark has made 60 saves from 20 appearances. Incidentally, our opposition keeper this week, Jamie MacDonald has made the most saves so far with 78 from 16 games. Busy man, let's hope we keep him busy this weekend. Robbo has confirmed that Tom Walsh is available for selection after a prolonged hamstring injury and Sean Welsh is close to making a comeback after his second broken foot. Gringo's Gripe: Super Caley have a great cup pedigree but, as you point out, the squad could be side tracked by on going transfer talk and unsettled players. Dreams of a higher wage and a 'well-I'm-leaving-soon-anyway' attitude may take it's toll if we concede the first goal. On paper we should win this tie but if the paper is soggy we could slip up on the banana skins on the plastic pitch. Tommy Tremarco said pick that one out Jamie..... Scottish Cup 4th round Should be some entertaining ties coming up and at least one non league side will be in the draw with East Kilbride playing BSC Glasgow. BSC put East Fife out of the cup in the previous round with an excellent 3-4 win. Brora Rangers were the last Highland league side to go out of the competition this year after a 3-1 defeat to Morton in a replay at Dudgeon Park. The action kicks off on Friday night when Rangers entertain Stranraer and ends on Sunday evening when runaway Championship side Dundee United host Hibernian. Holders Celtic begin their defence of the trophy with an all Glasgow tie against championship strugglers Partick Thistle on Saturday evening. Alloa have only made the fifth round once in the last 13 seasons. Inverness have made it that far in nine of the last ten seasons. Here's the best goals from the previous round..... The January Sales. The sales are in full swing and the rumour mill is working overtime. Mitch Curry has already returned to Middlesbrough and Cameron Harper has gone to Elgin City. Coming back to Inverness on a pre-contract is striker Shane Sutherland unless we feel the need to get him in sooner. Shane left Inverness in 2013 to play at Borough Briggs having previously been on loan there. As it looks like we will need to re-assemble almost our entire defence, Robbo has made a shrewd signing in 27 year old defender Lewis Toshney who last played for Falkirk. Money does talk, and rumours of major departures from the Caley Jags seem to be surrounding our defence with Coll Donaldson already heading over the bridge with immediate effect. He has gone to Roy for an undisclosed fee, maybe he will show some interest now that his wages have increased, something we were unable to offer due to our financial plight. Maybe our paths will cross in the promotion play-offs, now that would be fun. Shaun Rooney and Jamie McCart are also attracting a lot of attention with St Johnstone, Dundee and Partick Thistle allegedly courting these players. The departures will open the door for Lewis Toshney, Brad Mckay and Kevin McHattie to stake their claim for a regular start. Well, there's nobody else in the way now.
  11. 1 point
    I'm dreaming of a White Xmas Arbroath will be the visitors this weekend as they head North for this Championship encounter with Inverness at the Caledonian Stadium, 3:00pm will be the kick off time. It's the last game of 2019, so come along and see if we can keep our form going and maybe get some revenge for our last encounter with Arbroath. The Smokies certainly smoked the Caley Jags in the last encounter when they ran away with the game in a deserved 3-0 win at Gayfield. Scott Stewart opened the scoring in the first half and a Bobby Linn penalty was added to by Omar Kader late in the second half to hand Inverness their second 3-0 reverse in a week. In truth, the scoreline that day flattered Inverness although we can point a finger at a virus that was working it's way through the Caledonian Stadium around that time. Since that defeat at the beginning of November we have put together a decent run apart from a setback at Firhill a fortnight ago when we lost 3-1 again to Partick Thistle. It started with another virus induced laboured performance over Clyde (0-0) in the Chocolate Biscuit Cup. It went to penalties where Mark Ridgers made two saves to see us through. Partick apart, we have played four Championship games without conceding a goal whilst scoring seven with wins over rivals Dundee, Ayr United, Alloa and Dunfermline. In that same period, Arbroath have had five Championship games without a win, managing only two points from draws with Dundee and Ayr United. They also needed a replay in the Scottish Cup to see off Auchinleck Talbot after a 1-1 draw at Beechwood Park, Ayrshire. After the 3-0 result at Gayfield, Arbroath found themselves level on 20 points with Inverness, but these results now show a 10 point gap has opened up as we move to second while Arbroath sit in seventh. Last time out we overcame Dunfermline in the Highlands with a hard fought but deserved 2-0 win although we had to thank Mark Ridgers for making two or three crucial blocks to keep the Pars out, or to be more precise Kevin Nisbet from scoring. Otherwise, it was a competent performance with a goal in each half from Shaun Rooney and Jamie McCart. Whilst we were beating the Pars, Arbroath were going down at Palmerston to Queen of the South. A Dan Pybus strike and an own goal from Ricky Little secured the points for the Dumfries side and continued Arbroaths poor run. Championship games this weekend starting with the Dundee derby on Friday night. Yes it's derby weekend all round and Arbroath are our nearest........ Dundee United v Dundee (Friday) Ayr United v Queen of the South Dunfermline Athletic v Alloa Athletic Inverness CT v Arbroath Morton v Partick Thistle Here's our goals from the win over Dunfermline last week. Team News John Robertson has been without Sean Welsh for nearly three months now and Tom Walsh is catching him up as he sits out for another week with his hamstring. Brad Mckay was not in the squad last week either but James Vincent returned to the bench before coming on as a sub. Kevin McHattie deputised for Carl Tremarco last week who had taken a knock the previous week, however, Tremarco, Vincent and Mckay should all be in the squad tomorrow. I'm sure Robbo will be looking for more return from his strikers who had the day off last week with defenders Rooney and McCart doing the business. So, like Gregor, we can all dream of a White Xmas, just like the ones we used to know and hope the big man starts scoring again. Arbroath went with this line-up against Queen of the South at Palmerston and Dick Campbell is happy enough with his sides contribution to the Championship so far. And so he should be, especially the likes of Bobby Linn who likes a goal against the Caley Jags. Arbroath manager Dick Campbell has taken heart from recent performances in some tough games even though he thought they deserved more points. “I will happily admit that we are ahead of where I thought we would be at this stage and if we finish with a couple of teams below us by the end of the season then I will be a very happy man.” If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/
  12. 1 point
    Festive Fare It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas and Dunfermline Athletic are the visitors on Saturday with both clubs looking to bounce back after disappointing results last weekend. The game will kick off at 3:00pm at the Caledonian Stadium as Xmas shopping start to bite. So, if you want to avoid all the mind numbing festive jingles in the retail park, get yourself down to the Stadium and get behind the Caley Jags as they try to fend off a Dunfermline side who will be challenging for a play-off slot come the end of the season. Once again we slumped to defeat against a Partick side that were thrashed 5-1 by the Pars recently, albeit the Harry Wraggs had a man sent off in the fourth minute. That's a second 3-1 doing from Partick this season. Alex Jones opened the scoring just after the interval but a superb James Keatings overhead kick restored parity before Steve Saunders put the Partick Jags back in front. Dario Zanatta ended the scoring and made the points secure in injury time and left the Inverness fans frustrated by our inability to break down the hosts and take something from the game. Meanwhile, Dunfermline staged a mini comeback with ten men against Dundee after trailing 4-1. A couple of late counters were not quite enough to earn them a point but once more Kevin Nisbet was on the scoresheet. The Pars other scorers were Ryan Dow in the first half and second half goals from Nisbet and Lewis Martin. Greg Kiltie was sent off after an hour which made the fightback all the more remarkable but they fell just short. Kiltie will miss the game against Inverness. Other Championship fixtures this weekend Alloa Athletic v Morton Dundee United v Ayr United Partick Thistle v Dundee Queen of the South v Arbroath Inverness CT v Dunfermline This is the second meeting this season, the first ended in a narrow 1-0 win for Inverness at East End Park. A Danny Devine foul allowing Sean Welsh to score from the spot. Our last ten competitive meetings shows four wins each and two draws. Inverness have won the last two encounters, both by 1-0 scorelines. Five players in the current squads have played for both clubs, Brad Mckay, Jordan White, Shaun Rooney, James Vincent and Danny Devine. Six if Anthony McDonald gets some game time for the Pars. Remember kids, don't let anyone tell you Santa is not for real. Here is Buffy the Vampire Santa all prepared for her day in the press box at the Caledonian Stadium. Prior to the game, she will be in the bar getting tanked up for the day ahead. Busy period for all Santa's. James Vincent returns to the squad on Saturday after a full weeks training although he might have to settle for a place on the bench. No word on Tom Walsh although I suspect he will be missing once more. Brad Mckay was on the bench last week. With the sports bar open from 1:00pm, there's every chance that Santa will be over the limit, watch this space.......... Here's Steveie Crawford ahead of the game this Saturday....
  13. 1 point
    Alloa, chapter three We are off to Recreation Park Alloa this Saturday to face the Wasps on match day 15 in the Championship. The Wasps will be well acquainted with the Caley Jags before the end of the season as we will have met a minimum of six times after we have been drawn against each other in the Challenge Cup and the Scottish Cup. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ CLUB NEWS Annual General Meeting (AGM): The AGM of Inverness Thistle and Caledonian FC Ltd will be held at Caledonian Stadium on Thursday 19th December at 7.30pm and today we have issued notice to shareholders, which includes the Club’s annual report and financial statements. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Before I let Johndo loose with his nostalgiaitis, here's the tale of the tape so far this season. The first encounter this season saw a much changed Inverness get a somewhat flattering 3-0 win in the Challenge Cup game with Alloa hitting woodwork twice. The league game a week later saw us struggle to get a draw after our defence went AWOL, allowing Alan Trouten space and time to level the game at 2-2. We had fought back from an early Buchanan goal but found it difficult to break down a well organised Wasps defence. After getting our noses in front four minutes from the end through a Carl Tremaro special and an excellent Jordan White flying header, which incidentally put us top of the league for four minutes, we then proceeded to shoot ourselves in the foot. Such is life! It's been mostly downhill since then until we put in the effort to record a good 1-0 win over Dundee last week, Aaron Doran the scorer. Other games this weekend: Ayr v Arbroath Dundee v Queen of the South Dunfermline v Partick Thistle Morton v Dundee United Now pin yer ears back and listen to the Immortal Howden Ender So it is a sojourn to Clackmannanshire and the grand olde Recreation Park, on St Andrews Day, to face Alloa Athletic. Will our depleted, flu stricken squad have recovered well enough to bring back a well needed three point haul and maintain our renewed place in the Top Four. Lets hope that the Wasps are slumbering in their Winter hibernation and do not have enough sting left to inflict another defeat on us. Perhaps two games in a week may be too much for them as well ? It would be nice to hear of others Away Day experiences at the Recreation Park. Was anyone in attendance during our first season (September 1994) when we came away with a point in a 1-1 draw ? My first Alloa Away experience (or non-experience) was in December 1996 and also one of my early returns from Refusnikism. Drove all the way from Lancashire in blue skies, sunshine and mild temperatures – grooving to the recently released “Bring It On Home” – then sitting in the pub to be informed that the game had been called off. Were you there? And then on to November 1999 and probably the most disappointed and gutted that I have felt at the final whistle. Airdrie was the venue for the Challenge Cup Final with Alloa. We were strong favourites and had amassed a following of 2000 + Highlanders. It may have been a great game for neutrals but 4-4 after extra time led to a 5-4 defeat from the penalty spot. I still have an image of the skinhead (Martin Cameron) clenching his fist at the end. October 2002 was the opposite and as good an away performance as there has been over the years. A hat-trick each for Paul Ritchie and Denis Wyness landed us a very enjoyable 6-0 thrashing. And I know of a few who lamented our League Cup exit in August 2016 when we lost 1-0 – again despite being clear favourites. There always seems to be goals at Alloa – apart from the 0-0 draw next season. So being a betting man I would go for an ICT Win with Both Teams To Score. BUT our rollercoaster displays this season means that we cannot predict what kind of performance will be produced. In the league this season we beat them 3-0 at home in the Chocolate Biscuit Trophy with a “weakened” team but then drew 2-2 at home in the next game with the “preferred starting X1”. As for Alloa I have to congratulate then for hoofing Hellgin out of the Scottish Cup. And I also have to admit that I have always had a “liking” for Peter Grant, both as a player and a coach. To be blunt I would have thought that Alloa was below his potential. Alloa are capable of grabbing points at home from anyone, as they proved against us and Plastic Whistle. Being in a tight relegation zone probably makes them more dangerous - and Alloa has no links to any Lottery Winners. It looks like the players to look out for against us are Alan Trouten, Kevin O’Hara and Kevin Cawley. Although the one time ICT “target” (Liam Buchanan) is still alive and kicking and unfortunately still capable of netting against Inverness. Alloa are once more showing their resilience and earned a point in midweek at Firhill. They led Patrick Thistle early in the first half through Alan Trouten before former player Dario Zanatta equalised before the break. Despite Thistle dominating, there was no further scoring with on loan keeper Jamie MacDonald denying Partick a few times. That saw the points shared at the relegation end of the table and it keeps Patrick at the bottom with Alloa two points above them. It has become more of a case of picking 11 players fit enuff to play rather than the preferred first choices. It may well be a case of few changes from the starting 11 against Dundee. The potential changes could be Rooney back in for Brad McKay and possibly Keatings for McHattie. Tremarco has trained all week and MacGregor and Curry will come back into contention. Robbo appears to have felt that we tactically outsmarted Dundee and heralded a 4-1-4-1 formation. Hopefully that will not be followed at Alloa and we discard the “hoof” tactics that appear to be unfortunately followed away from home. So I will be travelling by train from Stirling, having a pre-match aperitif in “Bobbing Johns” and an Asda carryoot on the way home. Hopefully the 90 + minutes on the terraces will be as enjoyable as the rest of the day. Like Johndo, I'm sure we will all be looking to consolidate on the hard earned points from last weekend against Dundee that ended a run of poor results and performances. Something to build on, at least the passion was back and maybe, just maybe, this virus is on it's way out of the Caledonian Stadium. If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  14. 1 point
    Dark Blue test Crunch game coming up and the Xmas trees are not even up in living rooms across the North. Dundee venture forth to the Highland capital on Saturday as we look to get back on track after a disastrous run of results that has yielded only one win in our last six games. Kick off is at 3:00pm. Crushing defeats to Dundee United and Arbroath were particular lowlights, but the manner of our performance against League 1 Clyde in the Challenge Cup left a lot to be desired. We looked as uncomfortable as Prince Andrew at an interview but thankfully our penalty kicks were emphatic enough to see us through. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ League Match Ticket Prices Adult Senior Citizen 16-25 Under 16 Main £22 £17 £17 £6 North/Away £20 £15 £15 £6 Tickets available from the Club Shop, over the phone on 01463 222880 and online HERE All Armed Forces personnel can gain entry to Saturday’s game against Dundee for the discounted price of £10. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Having picked up only four points from a possible fifteen in our last five Championship games, we find ourselves above Arbroath on goal difference only and one point behind this week's visitors Dundee with their neighbours United looking likely to run away with the title. This is the only Championship game on this weekend with others involved in the Scottish Cup Dundee have been indifferent lately, but nine points from their last five games have seen them climb above us in the table after an inauspicious start to the season. Two defeats to Partick Thistle and the Arabs were countered by wins over Morton, Alloa and Ayr United. Inverness have suffered badly over the last few weeks as a sickness bug took it's toll on the playing staff and management team. That could explain our recent dip in performances since we beat Queen of the South 2-0 at Palmerston at the end of October. Tom Walsh, Roddy MacGregor and Shaun Rooney will miss out along with Sean Welsh. Here's Robbo talking ahead of tomorrows game. Dundee boss James McPake had this team for the Dundee derby last time out:- Dundee (V Dundee Utd): Hazard, Kerr, Forster, McGhee, Mackie, Byrne, Dorrans, McGowan (Johnson 64′), McDaid, Nelson (McPake 66′), Hemmings. Dundee have a full squad other than keeper Jack Hamilton who misses out through illness.
  15. 1 point
    Clyde pay the penalty Clyde were the visitors for the quarter final tie in the Chocolate Biscuit Cup and it was literally survival of the fittest for both sides who had depleted squads. A sickness bug at the Caledonian Stadium has been doing the rounds on and off the park and Clyde were somewhat diminished with an injury ravaged squad. Strangely, Inverness fielded what on paper was almost a regular first team squad. Not necessarily a good thing to be honest. Clyde were without top scorer David Goodwillie amongst others. Let's be frank, this was a rank rotten performance with Inverness looking like a second division Welfare team. That's maybe doing Welfare league sides a disservice such was our inability to play football. We struggled badly to create anything worthy of note and Clyde looked more likely to score from open play than us. We had MotM Mark Ridgers to thank for a couple of great saves, one in particular warming the palms of the home fans when McStay let fly from 25 yards. We couldn't muster any decent chances in 93 minutes of football. Thankfully, our penalty kicks were brilliant, absolutely clinical and with Ridgers making two superb saves we go into the semi-finals with Raith Rovers, Patrick Thistle and the Rangers u21 team. Our penalty takers were Todorov, Tremarco, Donaldson and Keatings. Grant and McMullin were the Clyde scorers. Nothing to see here, move along............ Bazza after the game.......... Danny Lennon: "Regardless of going out, which is disappointing, we took a lot from the game today. To come and play a team going well in the Championship and compete - and how we did in the second half was absolutely fantastic. We had probably the best two or three chances." "We can take confidence from how well we acquitted ourselves. What's pleasing is how we started the game - that's something that's been indifferent for us in recent weeks. We're stretched at the moment but the players that came in did very well." "Our fans (126) were there to be seen and heard today and I thank all of them for making the journey. Although we're disappointed not to be in the semi-final, we can take a lot of positives from the game and I'm sure the fans - like us - want to see that on a regular basis." Date: 16/11/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1066 Referee: Gavin Ross Inverness CT: 0 (4 pens) Lineup: Ridgers; B McKay, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Doran, Trafford (Carson 81), Vincent, Curry (Keatings 63), Storey, White (Todorov 70) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Harper, Machado, Scorers: Penalty shoot-out: Todorov, Tremarco, Donaldson, Keatings. Booked: Carson (83) Sent Off: none Clyde FC: 0 (2 pens) Lineup: Mitchell, Duffie, McNiff, Howie, Rumsby, Grant, Wallace, McStay, Smith (Lamont 72), Cuddihy, Lyon (McMullin 83). Subs (not used): McGee, Allison, McNiven, . Scorers: Penalty shoot-out: Grant, McMullin. Booked: Duffie (33), Wallace (73). Sent Off: none a
  16. 1 point
    Chocolate Cup weekend Bully-off against the Bully Wee on Saturday is at 3:00pm at the Caledonian Stadium with the visitors in the middle section of League1 and Inverness in the middle of a shocking slump. I don't even think we can blame HMRC. It's a break from League business though as we enter the quarter finals of the Challenge Cup, this year sponsored by Tunnock's Caramel Wafers and if you are quick off the mark you might even get some freebies prior to kick-off. Why the Bully Wee? From the Clyde FC Official Website:- As nicknames go, "The Bully Wee" is quirky and affectionate. It's not clear when it was first coined, or by whom, but it has been synonymous with Clyde. There appear to be three main theories how the name originated. The first refers to the fact that Clyde's support and possibly players were drawn from the Bridgeton area. Renowned for their pugnacious character the support were 'wee bullies' and hence the Bully Wee. The second theory takes a European dimension. Apparently some Frenchmen were at Barrowfield around 1900. Upon a disputed goal they cried: "But il'y, oui?" This translates as: "Their goal, yes", but sounds very like "Bully Wee". Our third and by far the most credible theory is that "Bully" was a Victorian synonym for first-rate/good/worthy. As Clyde were a small club it seems obvious that "Bully Wee Clyde" must have rolled off the tongue. The Bully Wee began life at Barrowfield Park in 1877 before moving to Shawfield in 1898. Their record attendance at Shawfield was for a game against Rangers in 1908 when 52,000 were at the game. That puts Shawfield at sixth place in the record attendances for Scottish football grounds. Clyde have come a long way since they were kicked out of Shawfield in 1986. 15.3 miles in fact and they now play out of Broadwood, Cumbernauld, the scene of one of our great achievements when we beat Clyde 2-1 to top the First Division before going on to promotion the following week on helicopter Saturday. What a day that was back on the 8th of May 2004. Goals from Liam Keogh and Stevie Hislop were enough to edge out Clyde who had levelled the score through an Ian Harty penalty until Hissy headed into the top corner with 10 minutes to go: Scenes! Turn the clock back Robbo, you were in charge then as well! Back to the future It's a chocolate themed weekend coming up with Inverness playing in the Chocolate Biscuit Cup and ironically we are as much use as a chocolate teapot just now. We are absolutely Tunnock's at the moment with only one win in our last five matches. It doesn't help when we have a Willy Wonka at the helm (according to some) but we certainly need a golden ticket to get us out of this mess. Now that takes the biscuit, crackers isn't it! We could really do with a boost as we are a bit flakey just now. Last week was one of the worst results in the history of the club since it joined the Leagues some 25 years ago. The 5-2 thrashing of Arbroath seems a long time ago now as the Smokies absolutely binned us last week with a comfortable 3-0 win over an uninspired Inverness who seem to have lost the plot. These players need to take a long hard look at themselves and ask if they actually give a feck whether they pull on the jersey or not. Wouldn't have happened on Hercher's shift! Even Bobby Mann had more pace than half of the current squad. Most of them lack the quality, the passion, the drive, the focus, the invention, in fact the basic skills of the game. If we were not in such a poor financial state, I doubt many would be retained. I suppose you only get what you pay for (buttons), let's hope we don't pay too much for the current squad. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Thanks to competition sponsors Tunnock’s there will be a limited stock of FREE Caramel Wafer Biscuits to supporters attending the match. The offer is one per person and while stocks last, so get down early! TICKET INFO Adult: £10 - Concessions (Over 65s, 16-25s, Juniors): £5 Under 12s: FREE (With an accompanying ticket holding adult or concession). ***Club Statement*** Two directors join the board. David Cameron (no not that one) and Allan Munro ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Our last Tunnock's game saw us defeat Alloa Athletic 3-0, just one week before we struggled to a 2-2 draw against the same side in the Championship. We have made many changes to the starting XI for these ties and hopefully this game will not be an exception as the guys that played at Arbroath have lost something. Rumours of an advert circulating on facebook in the Arbroath Neighbourhood Watch pages are so far unfounded. The advert is alleged to have been from a man who went only by the name of John. He said that whilst in Arbroath at the weekend with his mates an entire football team had lost it's mojo. It may be reluctant to be returned to it's rightful owners, but if found could you please contact Inverness Caledonian Thistle football club, the Caledonian Stadium, Inverness. Thanks, John. Meanwhile, back to the task in hand, maybe a change of personnel will see players who want to put in the effort and pull on the jersey. Cammy Mackay has been between the sticks for these games so far and should continue, although Mark Ridgers is one of the few who are not to blame for our demise. If the manager has any ideas left, surely the likes of Storey, will be binned, he has been a waste of space since he came back, flattering to deceive. He must be doing something in training, but we never see it on a matchday. Have the likes of Doran and Tremarco seen better days? Get the young team on the park with Harper, McHattie, MacGregor, Machado surely having as much to offer as the impostors that get the regular games. ***Latest News*** The sickness bug that has been lurking around the Stadium for a week or two now is still lingering on and James Keatings seems to be suffering at the moment. John Robertson, Scott Kellacher, Barry Wilson Ryan Esson will possibly be in charge of the squad and other unnamed players are also suffering but he expects the squad to be along familiar lines with a couple of exceptions. It's not looking great down at the stadium with this bug running through the team, that might explain the lethargy shown over the last month as performance on the park has certainly dipped from being top of the League for four minutes to losing three of the last four games and conceding six goals in our last two whilst scoring zero! Raith Rovers are the first team through to the Semi-Finals after beating 10 man Elgin City 3-2 last night. Shane Sutherland scored for Elgin and good to see Daniel Mackay back on the park after his recent injury. Defender Mathew Cooper was also in the Elgin ranks as they played the last half hour with 10 men. Other Q/F ties Rangers u21 v Wrexham Stenhousemuir v Partick Thistle Here's Machado opening his account against Alloa.... Clyde lost 1-2 against Peterhead in League 1 last Saturday, Two goals from former Inverness striker Rory McAllister (remember when we all slagged him off ), were enough to see off Clyde who scored late on through defender Scott Rumsby. To put our humiliation into perspective, it was Clyde that knocked Arbroath out of the competition at Gayfield with a 2-0 win. An own goal and one from Chris Johnston set Clyde up for this tie against Inverness. Just let that sink in for a moment. Former St Mirren manager Danny Lennon is the man in charge of Clyde and he reckons he has similar problems to Inverness judging by his comments after the Peterhead game. Danny: "At half-time we asked the players to install a bit of pride and reminded them that their reputation, every time they take to the pitch in a Clyde jersey, is under the microscope. It's a response that I'm asking for too often at the moment." Rumour has it that David Goodwillie could well miss this game through injury and Clyde are down to the bare bones. Should make it an even game then. Danny Lennon might even have to list himself on the bench such is the plight of the Broadwood side. If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog. Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  17. 1 point
    Hot Toddy warms the 39. Inverness made four changes from the defeat at Greenock as Aaron Doran, Nikolay Todorov, Charlie Trafford and Roddy MacGregor came into the side. Miles Storey, Jordan White, and James Vincent made way with James Keatings sitting this one out on the artificial surface. Queens made one change with Abdul Osman getting his first start, replacing Lewis Kidd in the starting XI. With just over 1200 fans in the stadium and thirty-nine in the away end, it was the hosts that started strongly and Mark Ridgers was forced to deny Stephen Dobbie from a tight angle in the first couple of minutes. David Carson replied for Inverness in the fourth minute but McCrorie saved well in the bottom left corner, and Dobbie once more was dangerous as he shot over after a set piece. It's a frantic start from both sides and Roddy MacGregor shot narrowly over the top right corner. Russell Osman couldn't keep the ball down following a corner as the opportunities continued for both sides. It'll be a miracle if this game remains goalless as Jack Hamilton shoots over. Visiting captain Carl Tremarco took a knock after twenty minutes but continued after treatment. Approaching the half hour and a Nikolay Todorov header was comfortably gathered by McCrorie in the home goal. Hot Toddy.......... Inverness drew first blood when Aaron Doran scored low to the left with a curled effort from the edge of the box after some neat interplay involving Donaldson, MacGregor, Curry and MacGregor again with the penultimate touch before Doran swept the ball beyond the keepers right hand. Just before the break a good run from David Carson brought Inverness a corner but Queens kept the deficit to one goal as the half time whistle sounded. Half Time 0-1 Connor Murray replaced Michael Paton at the start of the second half and within a couple of minutes Dobbie had dragged a shot wide at the back post after good work by El Bakhtaoui. The hosts were looking to to get back on level terms and Kevin Holt had two efforts within a minute that both missed the target. As the pressure mounted on the Inverness defence, Dobbie fired one across the face of the goals that went inches wide. Mark Ridgers denied Jack Hamilton with a superb fingertip save to keep Inverness ahead. The Caley Jags broke the current trend and McCrorie saved from Curry after Roddy MacGregor fed him. Shaun Rooney was the first into the refs book around the hour and Miles Storey entered the fray at the expense of Mitch Curry. McCrorie saved an effort from Carson as Inverness responded to the Queens pressure at the start of the second period and at the other end Dobbie headed over. Scorer Aaron Doran was replaced by Tom Walsh with just over twenty minutes left but it was the hosts that continued to press for the equaliser as Dobbie tried his luck from range, volleying wide. With five minutes left Dobbie sliced one wide and El Bakhtaoui saw an effort saved by Ridgers in the last minute of normal time. Tom Walsh almost added a second for Inverness but McCrorie was equal to it although he had no chance moments later when Nikolay Todorov crashed home a James Vincent feed to end the game and ensure Inverness had an enjoyable journey back up the A9. What a great result after the indifferent form shown against Morton on Saturday. That sets it up nicely for the game on Saturday against Dundee United. Other results tonight Alloa Athletic 0-3 Dundee Dundee Utd 1-0 Partick Thistle Dunfermline 2-0 Arbroath Morton 2-3 Ayr united Match reaction and video........ Caley Stan summed up and threw down the gauntlet to the North Stand............ And we made more noise than the Bridge End on a good day!!! Another good battling performance. We didn't ever have control of the game apart from a couple of spells either side of the opening goal but we were a threat on the break throughout. Trafford played well and Carson was excellent alongside him. Flashes of brilliance from McGregor, but he struggled with the physicality of the game at times. Really well taken goals, Toddy lashed his home with the last kick if the ball. The goals...... Managers reaction from BBC Sport Queen of the South manager Allan Johnston: "We started well first half then Inverness get a goal which is a bit sloppy from our point of view. I thought second half we were on the front foot for the majority of it and probably should have got an equaliser. But the first goal in this league is vital." Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "We had to be lively because Queen's were bubbling after their win here against United. I thought second half Queen's pushed on to us but we defended really well and we looked a threat on the break. We took the chances at one end and didn't make any mistakes at the other." Here he is, Robbo in person..... Date: 29/10/2019 Venue: Palmerston, Dumfries Attendance: 1221 Referee: Steven Kirkland Queen of the South: 0 Lineup: McCrorie; Mercer, Brownlie, Kilday, Holt, Pybus, Paton (Murray 45), Osman, El Bakhtaoui, Dobbie, Hamilton (Oliver 74). Subs (not used): Burns; Murray, McCarthy, Lyon, Semple, Gourlay. Scorers: none Booked: Mercer (67) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Doran (Walsh 68), Carson, Trafford, MacGregor (Vincent 78), Curry (Storey 60), Todorov. Subs (not used): C Mackay; B Mckay, McHattie, Walsh, White. Scorers: Doran (30), Todorov (90+3) Booked: Rooney (60), Tremarco (82) Sent Off: none a
  18. 1 point
    Top for four minutes Inverness blew the chance to go top of the table after Alloa scored in the 89th minute to earn a point with a disciplined defensive performance at the Caledonian Stadium. Take nothing away from Alloa, but we were void of ideas as we struggled to break down the Wasps defence in a frustrating second half. Liam Buchanan opened the scoring as early as the fifth minute and that opened the door for Alloa to flood their defence and employ standard hit on the break tactics that worked well for them as we toiled in a poor first forty-five. The second period saw more frustration for the hosts until we scored from an unlikely source with a stunning goal. A Tremarco corner came back to him at a tight angle. Undaunted, he fired the ball high into the net with his left foot for a spectacular goal with an hour played. We huffed and puffed before Jordan White looked to have won the game with a powered finish in the 85th minute. However, there was a sting in the tail of the wasps after Jamie McCart took the wrong option, eventually putting the ball out for a throw when a pass to Mark Ridgers would have been sufficient. From the resultant long throw Alan Trouten found himself in space to knock the ball home to silence the frustrated home support. James Keatings hit the bar with a superb free kick as the clock ticked down but it was too little too late and we were knocked off our four minute perch. Given that every other result went our way, it was a hugely disappointing outcome. Meh! John Robertson was without Tom Walsh, Sean Welsh and Nikolay Todorov. Charlie Trafford started in midfield after a good showing in the Challenge Cup game last week and Roddy MacGregor retained his place in the starting line-up. James Keatings was on the bench with other returnees Mitch Curry and Brad Mckay. Peter Grant's Alloa side saw Robbie Deas return and Steven Hetherington and Blair Malcolm were fit enough to start, however Iain Flannigan was suspended. Just over 2,000 were inside the ground and a fitting minutes applause was offered in memory of former Caley Chairman Hugh Crout who passed away recently. Within five minutes of the start, Alloa took the lead with Liam Buchanan finishing off a tidy move on the left side of our area. Neat interplay sliced us open and Buchanan added an excellent finish. We almost responded immediately but Roddy MacGregor's header was well saved by a diving Jamie MacDonald on his line. Unfortunately, that early goal gave Alloa the opportunity to sit back and soak up what we had to offer, and quite frankly that was very limited and very little. All too often we ran out of ideas and any high balls forward were mopped up by the waiting visitors defence. Carl Tremarco let fly from distance but his low shot fizzed just wide. He would do better later in the game. A couple of headers well over the bar from Jordan White was all we could muster. He would also do better later on. Apart from the goal, there was little to enthuse over in a turgid first half for Inverness with Alloa content to sit on their lead, and why not, they deserved it at the break. Half Time 0-1 If anything, the second half saw the visitors even deeper in their own half as their hosts flattered to deceive. Plenty of possession but too many sideways or backward passes saw the crowd looking for a more direct approach. Alloa on the other hand broke quickly on the few opportunities they got. White almost got a shot away inside the box as he broke through the middle of the defence but was stopped by a solid challenge and John Robertson, yes, the manager, got the first yellow card of the afternoon for showing his displeasure at some poor refereeing decisions. Just when we were beginning to think it was not going to be our day, a goal out of the blue from Captain Carl. And what a strike it was. His corner was cleared out as far as himself on the right side of the box. Tremarco never hesitated and fired a tremendous shot high into the net from 20 yards. Spectacular stuff. The introduction of Mitch Curry and David Carson seemed to liven up our efforts and it looked as though White might have given us all three points when his diving header from a Tremarco cross flew into the net. At that moment, we were top of the league with results elsewhere going in our favour. However, another lapse from the normally reliable Jamie McCart saw him fail to clear up a ball forward when a comfortable pass back to his keeper would have cleared any danger. Instead, he almost gave away a corner but ended up knocking the ball out for a throw in. From the long throw in, the ball landed at Alan Trouten's feet and he promptly tucked it behind Mark Ridgers for a sickener. We almost snatched it in injury time when a curling free kick from James Keatings crashed back off the bar with MacDonald stranded, but the rebound was cleared and a great opportunity passed to head the table. Only ourselves to blame for this after struggling to make headway against a team we beat 3-0 the week before. In saying that, the signs were there in that game that Alloa could cut us open at times and so it came to pass. Difficult to pick any Inverness players for MotM, but Carl Tremarco gets my nod for his superb strike and assist. Jordan White similarly, and he was fed on scraps throughout the game. Substitute David Carson did his prospects no harm and took the game by the scruff of the neck by driving us forward with a bit more tenacity and urgency. Those who will not be getting any awards are those not mentioned, especially McCart who needs to look for better options than scrambling the ball out after miscontrol and brain farts. Col Donaldson was in his early season mode, miffed at not getting a transfer probably and looked disinterested and Shaun Rooney never really got going. Roddy MacGregor wanted to be busy, but the game passed him by and Aaron Doran did his usual wee circles of nothing. Miles Storey, now there's an enigma and James Vincent was more sideways than a crab. No blame attached to Ridgers, although he did make a meal of a shot that bounced just in front of him, the ball squirming away for a corner with Mark staring at the offending blade of grass. If looks could kill! Maybe it's time for a wee shake up Robbo. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ From BBC Sport Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson: "We've let United and Ayr off the hook and that's what disappoints me. To go 2-1 up, if you've got title ambitions you've got to see that out." Alloa manager Peter Grant: "The boys deserved great credit for the way they kept fighting. I'm disappointed to be going down the road with only the one point." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ RIG summed it up like this:- Donaldson and McCart were really poor today. Despite not being put under much pressure their balls out of defence were absolutely rotten, Donaldson especially, and often set up chances for Alloa to break on us. Storey was poor again and had one decent cross from the flanks. He isn't a winger and struggled there at Partick so why we are persisting with him there is bizarre. MacGregor struggled to create much of note in the middle as Alloa packed the midfield and sat deep. There was zero creativity in the ICT side today to break them down and it would have been very harsh, though thoroughly pleasing, had we won that game. With Queens getting a superb result today and Morton possessing an excellent home record the next couple of games are going to be a lot more difficult than they might appear on paper. Did he mean it??? Raging Robbo.... Date: 19/10/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2036 Referee: Mike Roncone Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Doran (Curry 59), Trafford (Carson 70), Vincent, MacGregor (Keatings 75), Storey, White Subs (not used): C Mackay; B Mckay, McHattie, Machado. Scorers: Tremarco (61), White (85). Booked: Rooney (68), Carson (77) John Robertson (manager 53) Sent Off: none Alloa Athletic: 2 Lineup: MacDonald; Taggart, Graham, Deas, Robertson, Cawley, Hetherington, Trouten, Brown, Buchanan (Thomson 81), O'Hara. Subs (not used): Henry; Malcolm, O'Donnell Scorers: Buchanan (5), Trouten (89) Booked: Trouten (77) Sent Off: none a
  19. 0 points
    Time for change? The club has today announced that the Chairman of Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC, Mr Graham Rae, has stepped down with immediate effect. Director Alan McPhee has also left the Board............ Full statement can be read HERE This comes hot on the heels of an Extraordinary General Meeting having been called by the club seven days earlier to be held on 3rd October. EGM full statement can be read HERE. These are worrying times for Inverness Caledonian Thistle and it's generating lots of speculation regarding the sustainability of the club. Hopefully the EGM will be able to provide some answers. It is also the clubs intention to host at least one public meeting shortly after the EGM to allow fans who are not currently Shareholders to come along and be furnished with the same information and opportunities.
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