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  1. Dargo and Wyness score again as ICT and Killie battle to a draw. For Dargo it was at least one goal in 7 consecutive SPL games, For Wyness it was 5 in 5 but it was a late equaliser from David Proctor that secured the point. Club Historian Ian Broadfoot reports from the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium. Saturday 11th February 2006 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE 3 (Wyness 34, Dargo 68, Proctor 86) Team: Brown, Proctor, Dods, McCaffrey, Hastings, Wilson, Duncan, Hart (Keogh 79), Golabek (Morgan 76), Dargo, Wyness Subs – Bayne, Parratt, Fox, McAllister & Fraser KILMARNOCK 3 (Naismith 27, Wales 69, Wales 85) Team: Smith, Fowler, Hay, Ford, Wales, Invincible, Johnston, Naismith (Locke 81), Nish, Wright, Wilson (Lilley 89) Subs – Skora, Di Giacomo, Campbell, Loy & Bell Referee K Clark Attendance 3618 Man of the Match C. Dargo (ICT) A cracking match which could easily have gone either way. It was the third draw between these teams this season with fourteen goals shared. Injuries forced a number of changes on Charlie Christie and Stuart McCaffrey continued in central defence in the absence of Grant Munro. Stuart Golabek played in left midfield in place of the injured Roy McBain and, with Ross Tokely also unfit, David Proctor came in and scored a vital goal. Richie Hart was in the starting eleven as was Dennis Wyness. Liam Keogh’s return from long-term injury gave him a bench place and he came on in the 79th minute for his first appearance of the season. It all started at great speed with two early chances. In four minutes Mark Brown saved from Danny Invincible and Steven Naismith touched in the rebound – two Kilmarnock players were however offside and the goal did not count. A minute later it was the visitors turn for a let-off when Graeme Smith saved a close-range effort from Craig Dargo. A Darren Dods header had fooled Smith initially but he recovered when it looked as if Dargo had to score. Kilmarnock took the lead in 27 minutes when Invincible sent the ball in from the right and Naismith swept it first time past Brown from 10 yards. Caley Thistle equalised in 34 minutes when a Stuart Golabek lob into the box should have been cleared by Simon Ford but Dargo nipped in and passed to Dennis Wyness. Wyness neatly sidestepped a defender and hammered it past Smith. This spurred the home side on and they looked the better bet to score again. Three minutes from the break Barry Wilson turned at the edge of the Killie box then hit a great shot just over the bar. The whistle was looming when Killie’s Ford nearly scored an own goal. Wyness crossed from the right and Ford knocked it high over Smith but just wide of the goal. Half Time: 1-1 In 49 minutes Killie’s Lindsay Wilson crossed from the right but Brown took it with three visiting players hovering. A Wilson flick then set Dargo one-on-one with Smith but the keeper saved well. Smith then held a Dargo volley. In 59 minutes Naismith forced a Gary Hay free kick over the line but Brown had been fouled. There was a moment of high controversy in 65 minutes when Brown pushed a Naismith shot high in the air and Nish’s follow-up header was deemed not to be over the line – Jim Jeffries strongly disagreed but the goal did not stand. Three minutes Dargo’s persistence paid off and he made it 2-1. A Richard Hastings cross from the left was touched towards Dargo in the box and he slid in to knock it past Smith. This extended Dargo’s record of scoring in consecutive games to seven. The lead only lasted one minute as an Invincible interception set up a run down the right, a cross into the box and a Wales 12 yard shot which made it 2-2. It was a bad goal to lose after a good ICT period. The last ten minutes were frantic with chances at both ends and two goals. An Alan Morgan shot was blocked with eight minutes left then a Naismith effort was deflected off Dods for a Killie corner. Caley Thistle were stunned with five minutes left when Wales hit a curling shot from the edge of the box to beat Brown and give Killie the lead. Within less than a minute Gary Hay conceded a corner at the other end and Morgan’s inswinger from the right was headed in at the back post by David Proctor. Both keepers made good saves in the dying minutes. Smith saved from Dargo in 87 minutes then in added time Brown dived to save and prevent Wales from completing his hat trick. Full Time: 3-3 The whistle went to end this great advert for the SPL and honours were even. Aberdeen unexpectedly defeated Hearts to gain some ground but ICT remain sixth by one point.
  2. Craig Dargo and Roy McBain score for Caley Thistle but a late (very late !!) penalty for Partick Thistle means this tie will go to a replay on the 14th. Club Historian Ian Broadfoot reports on the match from the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium... Saturday 4h February 2006 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE FC 2 (McBain 59, Dargo 77) Team: Brown, Tokely, Dods, Munro (Fox 46), Hastings, Wilson, Black (Golabek 19), Duncan, McBain, Dargo, Wyness (Bayne 78) Subs – Proctor & Fraser PARTICK THISTLE FC 2 (Roberts 45, 90 pen) Team: Arthur, Murray, McCulloch (Boyd 75), Smyth, Hodge, W Gibson, J Gibson, Gillies (Dodds 83), Ritchie, Roberts, Strachan Subs – Craig, Brady & Stewart Referee C Murray Attendance 3286 Man of the Match Barry Wilson (ICT) A hard game in every sense and disappointment for the home camp. Partick never allowed Caley Thistle to settle into a rhythm and took a 1-0 lead just on half time. After that Caley Thistle improved and at 2-1 looked to have taken the tie. A last gasp controversial penalty changed all that and ensured a replay at Firhill. At the break Ian Black was already on his way to Raigmore Hospital for a foot x-ray, Grant Munro was limping badly and Darren Dods was sporting a large head bandage following a collision and stitches. Munro did not reappear for the second half and a defensive reorganisation was required. Black was only back from suspension for 19 minutes before he was forced to leave the field. Former ICT favourite Paul Ritchie was in the Partick team but he was well policed and rarely had a scoring chance. Ross Tokely made his 350th appearance – the first ICT player to reach that impressive milestone. Munro was hurt in just the 11th minute but grit and determination saw him through to half-time despite obvious pain. Ricky Gillies had the first real shot at goal in 15 minutes but his low ball from 20 yards went wide. Craig Dargo and Barry Wilson interlinked well in 18 minutes but a defender stepped in as Wilson headed for goal. Two minutes later the same combination of events ended in an interception. In 28 minutes a Dennis Wyness shot from 15 yards was deflected for a corner – Wilson’s kick was headed wide by Richard Hastings. Ten minutes later a Russell Duncan effort was similarly deflected for a corner. With 45 minutes on the clock a foul on Jimmy Gibson gave Partick a free kick 25 yards out. Scott McCulloch’s curling ball was turned past Mark Brown by Mark Roberts into the net to give Partick a half time lead. Half Time: 0-1 Three minutes into the second half a Dargo shot was blocked then in 55 minutes a strong penalty claim was rejected when Dargo was fouled by Kenny Arthur. The ‘keeper came out and missed a high ball before clattering into Dargo who was left in pain on the ground. Four minutes later the equaliser came when a long ball from Tokely on the right ran through to Roy McBain. From 15 yards he hammered the ball into the roof of the net. The pressure on Arthur’s goal continued and two minutes later a low dangerous ball from Wyness was headed for a corner by McCulloch. In 67 minutes a Wilson 25 yard shot beat Arthur but came back off the post – Wyness was following up but the offside flag was raised. Tokely was again the provider for the home side’s second goal – his ball from the right was met by Liam Fox but the shot spun to McBain on the left – McBain chipped the ball into the centre and Dargo headed home. Throughout this period Partick rarely troubled Mark Brown and Caley Thistle looked to have the game sewn up. Fox could have put the result beyond doubt with eight minutes left when a Dargo ball through the centre set him up one-on-one with Arthur – Fox’s 12 yard shot was on target but Arthur made the save of the match to keep his side in the cup. The lively Adam Strachan shot low into the home box with two minutes left but Brown collected as Ritchie slid in. The three added minutes were almost up when confusion in the home box led to Roberts going down and a penalty awarded – in the light of the Dargo incident 35 minutes earlier this seemed very harsh. Roberts took it himself and electrified the vocal band of Partick supporters when he made it 2-2. There was only time for the kick-off before the final whistle went. Full Time 2-2 For Caley Thistle the draw tasted like a defeat but Partick were not surprisingly delighted. The winners of the replay go to Edinburgh for a tough but money-spinning quarter final tie against Hearts.
  3. A defeat in Charlie Christie's first official game in charge but a battling performance against Rangers with Craig Dargo and Dennis Wyness on the score sheet yet again Sunday 29th January 2006 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE FC 2 (Dargo 13, Wyness 72) Team: Brown, Tokely, Dods, Munro, Hastings (Bayne 87), Wilson, Fox (Hart 71) , Duncan (Golabek 46), McBain, Dargo, Wyness Subs – McCaffrey, Proctor, McAllister & Fraser RANGERS FC 3 (Boyd 6, 58pen , Andrews 27) Team: Waterreus, Hutton, Andrews, Kyrgiakos, Murray, Burke (Prso 39), Malcolm, Ricksen, Buffel, Boyd (Novo 75), Lovenkrands Subs – A Rae, G Rae, Smith, Carcary & Klos Referee A Freeland Attendance 7380 Man of the Match Mark Brown (ICT) A baptism of fire for the new management team of Charlie Christie & Donald Park. Caley Thistle’s 11 game unbeaten SPL run ended at home to Rangers with the game live on Sky TV. TV pictures showed that Caley Thistle were desperately unlucky on two occasions – one Rangers goal was illegal and a penalty should have been awarded to the home side late in the game. They were however rescued on several occasions by fine saves from Mark Brown. Ian Black missed the game through suspension and was replaced by Liam Fox. For Rangers, Barry Ferguson was absent due to a broken nose sustained in a training collision with Marvin Andrews. Rangers put the Caley Thistle defence under pressure from the off and were rewarded in just six minutes. Chris Burke made a strong run and his defence-splitting pass reached Thomas Buffel on the left of the box. Buffel sent a square ball into the centre and Kris Boyd scored from six yards. Craig Dargo set the home stands alight when he equalised in 13 minutes. A Ross Tokely long ball through the centre ran kindly for Dargo and he hit low past Ronald Waterreus from 12 yards. A curling corner by Peter Lovenkrands from the right and a diving “header” from Marvin Andrews made it 2-1 in 27 minutes but TV evidence later showed that the ball actually came off Andrews’ arm. The goal stood and Rangers pressed to kill off the game. A great save by Mark Brown from Buffel just before the break kept the score at 2-1. Half Time 1-2 The game seemed to go beyond the home side in 58 minutes when Peter Lovenkrands came into the box from the left and was sandwiched – the referee pointed to the penalty spot and Boyd made no mistake. Home heads went down for a while then a Dennis Wyness goal in 72 minutes set up a lively last period. Barry Wilson hit goalwards from 18 yards and Waterreus dived to his right in the direction of the shot – Dennis Wyness reacted quickly and headed the ball into the unattended part of the goal from six yards. A minute later there was controversy when a Wilson ball across goal was nearly turned into his own goal by the arm of Ian Murray but Waterreus made a tremendous save. Penalty claims were turned down but once more TV pictures showed this to be a harsh decision. Alan Hutton blocked a Wyness header from 12 yards in 74 minutes. Three Lovenkrands corners in a row, with eight minutes left, put pressure on the home defence but all were cleared. Full Time 2-3 Despite a strong finish Caley Thistle could not manage an equaliser and Rangers took the points. Caley Thistle remain sixth.
  4. The pain of the departure of Craig Brewster, Malky Thomson and a couple of the coaching staff fades as the players prove that its business as usual with a 3-0 win over Paul Lambert's Livingston side. What a week !! Caley Thistle lose a player, manager and 4 coaches in one fell swoop when Craig Brewster and his backroom team agree terms with Dundee United but in typical ICT style, the players proved it was business as usual as they rose above all the turmoil and turned in a winning performance. Saturday 14th January 2006 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE FC 3 (Dargo 26, 57pen), Wyness (59) Team: Brown, Tokely, Dods, Munro, Hastings, Wilson (Proctor 82), Duncan, Black (Hart 73), McBain, Dargo, Wyness (McAllister 69) Subs – Golabek, McCaffrey, Fox & Fraser LIVINGSTON FC 0 Team: McKenzie, MacKay, Pinxten, Strong, McNamee (Walker 68), Dair, Brittain, Lambert (Vincze 46), Hoolahan, Dalglish, Hislop (Dorado 75) Subs – Snodgrass, Dorrans, Tesevic & Roy Referee C Thomson Attendance 3604 Man of the Match Craig Dargo (ICT) There was one piece of important business before the game could begin – a minute’s silence to honour team coach driver Tony Fraser who died last Wednesday. Tony was a long-serving and valued member of the organisation and much more than just a driver. He was there on day one when the club played its first competitive match and he followed the fortunes of the team avidly. His enthusiasm and friendship will be sorely missed by all. With Craig Brewster gone, the management duties were shared, as they were just 14 months ago, by Charlie Christie and John Docherty. The line-up for last week’s cup match was amended to bring back Grant Munro, Richard Hastings, Ian Black and Roy McBain with fit-again Craig Dargo partnering Dennis Wyness up front. Livingston included former Caley Thistle favourite Steve Hislop for his debut after arriving from Gillingham. On with the football and a rather drab first period. The first realistic chance fell to Livi’s David McNamee in 13 minutes when he hit over from 18 yards then McBain hit wide at the other end two minutes later. Mark Brown produced the save of the match in 20 minutes from McNamee. A Paul Lambert free kick from long range was sent goalwards by Wesley Hoolahan and McNamee’s six-yard header looked certain to open the scoring. Brown’s reactions were superb and he touched the ball over the bar. Four minutes later referee Craig Thomson somehow denied the home side a penalty when Dargo was dispatched into the net by McNamee from a few yards out as the striker attempted to latch onto Barry Wilson’s cross. Dargo gained some revenge within two minutes when he rose to head home an excellent Ian Black cross from the right – a rare headed goal from the striker. A 36th minute header from Hislop was blocked in the box then Darren Dods stepped in as Hislop was about to turn a Lambert free kick goalwards. The home side were in control for the rest of the match and it was only a matter of time before their lead was extended. Half Time: 1-0 In 52 minutes a Hastings cross from the right reached Wyness at the back post but a little too high for an accurate header – it went over the bar. Three minutes later Wilson raced into the Livi box and went down under a tackle from Dave MacKay and, after a moment’s hesitation, referee Thomson pointed to the spot. There was delay while the referee attended to protests and, two Livi bookings later, Dargo took the kick and hit low past McKenzie for 2-0. This was Dargo's 9th goal in as many games. In 59 minutes Wyness scored a magnificent goal to seal the victory. McBain passed inside from the left and Wyness turned a defender beautifully before sending a rising angled shot into the roof of the net. Substitute Rory McAllister took on the Livi defence in 76 minutes before setting up Dargo with a hat-trick chance. Dargo made it past McKenzie but stumbled and the ball went over for a goal kick. There were half-hearted claims that McKenzie had impeded him but this was of no interest to the referee. Livi had few second half chances – the best fell to Paul Dalglish in 77 minutes but he headed wide from close range. McAllister hit a low shot just wide in 81 minutes then Livi’s Jason Dair sent a rising ball over the bar from 25 yards. Richard Brittain was stretchered off with five minutes left and the visitors had to see out the remaining minutes with 10 men. Dalglish headed for goal in added time but tripped at the vital moment. The final action was a McAllister effort in the Livi box – he created space on the right of the box but it was intercepted as he was about to shoot. Full Time: 3-0 With Motherwell not playing until Sunday Caley Thistle moved back into the top six and have now gone 10 games undefeated.
  5. Caley Thistle take all three points against Hibs at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium in this boxing day encounter. Craig Dargo scored both goals and is now ICT top scorer for the season so far after a slow start. Caley Thistle’s fine form against the top teams continued with this well deserved 2-0 win over Hibs. This was the club’s 500th senior game since amalgamation and they celebrated in style. Monday 26th December 2005 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE FC 2 (Dargo 8, 11) Team; Brown, Tokely, Dods, Munro, Hastings, Wilson (Hart 76), Duncan, Black, McBain, Dargo (McAllister 70), Brewster (Bayne 58) Subs – Golabek, McCaffrey, Fox & Fraser HIBERNIAN FC 0 Team: Malkowski, Beuzelin, Scott Brown (Konte 74), Caldwell, Fletcher (O’Connor 54), Glass, Riordan, Smith, Sproule, Thomson (Stewart 58), Whittaker Subs – Hogg, McCluskey, McDonald & Simon Brown Referee A Freeland Attendance 7017 Man of the Match Craig Dargo (ICT) Craig Dargo scored both goals although Barry Wilson had a strong claim on the first. With twenty minutes left, Dargo departed the scene with concussion and, at the end, he remembered very little of the game. The home side totally dominated the first half and played some fine football. The second half was more of a battle and the crime count continued to rise – in the end there were a total of nine bookings with Hibs by far the greater sinners. Grant Munro made his 150th appearance in an unchanged team. The opening goal came in eight minutes when Ian Black fed an excellent pass to Barry Wilson on the right and, with Ross Tokely causing a diversion on the overlap, Wilson cut inside. He sent a low angled ball goalwards from long range and Hibs’ keeper Malkowski dived in an effort to save - a touch from Dargo left him helpless. The goal was credited by the press corps to Wilson until Dargo’s vital contribution came to light. Three minutes later a poor goal kick from Malkowski was collected by Dargo 40 yards out and he raced in on goal. Malkowski narrowed the angle but Dargo neatly side-stepped him and hit into the net for 2-0. In 18 minutes Craig Brewster sent Dargo off goalwards and Derek Riordan earned the first yellow card by bringing him down. Just after the half hour mark Brewster once more provided Dargo with a fine pass and he headed towards Malkowski – the keeper came out to face the striker and this time he hit the ball early but just wide. There was very little to report at the other end and in first half added time it could have been 3-0. Dargo was on another strong run when Stephen Glass brought him down – he was lucky to escape with a yellow card. Brewster took the free kick from wide right and it was deflected for a corner. Half Time: 2-0 Hibs were expected to come out fighting after the break and they did spend more time in the ICT half – all to no avail. Mark Brown made a rare save in 55 minutes when he dived low to stop a Scott Brown effort. On 63 minutes Guillaume Beuzelin went down in the box alongside Darren Dods and was promptly booked for diving. Rory McAllister was presented with a chance seconds after coming on in the 70th minute – Wilson sent him on track for goal but he hit early and over. Hibs were reduced to shooting from long range and typically substitute Michael Stewart hit well over from 25 yards in 76 minutes. They should have pulled one back in 79 minutes when Riordan for once got the better of Ross Tokely down the left – Riordan’s low ball into the centre reached Garry O’Connor but from a few yards out he stretched and hit wide. Stewart limped off in 85 minutes leaving Hibs to complete the game a man down. Mark Brown rose high to collect a Riordan free kick a minute later then the same player hit a fine shot from the left – it cleared the bar with perhaps a little help from Brown. A goal kick was given and play headed back towards Malkowski. Graham Bayne touched on a Richie Hart cross but it was deflected for a corner. Into added time and McAllister came up against Steven Whittaker as last man – Bayne was clear on his left but the pass came a fraction late and Bayne was offside. Full Time: 2-0 The whistle went and ICT ended the day still in sixth place but a mere four points behind fifth placed Rangers.
  6. Official report from the League match against Celtic at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium. An almost capacity crowd watches Caley Thistle score in less than a minute but John Hartson grabs a point for Celtic in this entertaining match Sunday 18th December 2005 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE FC 1 (Dargo 31 secs) Team: Brown, Tokely, Dods, Munro, Hastings, Wilson (Hart 90), Duncan, Black, McBain, Dargo (Wyness 88), Brewster Subs – Golabek, McCaffrey, Fox, McAllister & Fraser CELTIC FC 1 (Hartson 21 min) Team: Boruc, Telfer, Wallace, Balde, McManus, Petrov, Lennon, Nakamura, McGeady (Sutton 71), Hartson, Maloney Subs – Lawson, Thompson, Virgo, Pearson, Wei & Marshall Referee S Dougal Attendance 7382 Man of the Match Ian Black (ICT) Gordon Strachan called this a ‘cracking game of football’ and he was absolutely right. A packed stadium watched an enthralling encounter which could have gone either way. Both ‘keepers had great saves, ICT missed a penalty and there were golden chances at both ends. The cold snap necessitated use of the undersoil heating but it did its job well and the pitch was perfect. The week’s press had been dominated by Roy Keane’s arrival at Celtic but he was not eligible for this game. For Caley Thistle David Proctor was ruled unfit and his place was taken by Roy McBain on his return from injury. Darren Dods came back from suspension to make his 50th appearance – at the expense of Stuart McCaffrey who returned to the bench. Club captain Stuart Golabek was on the bench following a lengthy spell on the sidelines through injury. There was dramatic start when Craig Dargo created a new club record with a goal in only 31 seconds. Barry Wilson forced a throw on the right and Ross Tokely found Craig Brewster at the near post – he headed on and Dargo flicked the ball home from six yards. The home stands erupted and another upset was on the cards. Play raged from end to end and the next chance fell to Celtic in 15 minutes. Shaun Maloney centred the ball from the right and Mark Brown made a magnificent save from a John Hartson 10 yard-shot. Maloney should have scored three minutes later when Hartson set him up a few yards out – Hartson could have shot himself from the right but he thought his strike partner was better placed. In the end Maloney did not fully connect and Brown blocked it. The Celtic pressure paid off in 21 minutes when Hartson was given too much room in the box and he volleyed home from 12 yards to equalise. On the half hour mark Brewster sent Dargo through into the box and he was brought down by Stephen McManus – a clear penalty and the referee agreed. Dargo took it himself but there was no real power in the shot and Artur Borac dived to his left and pushed it away. It was 1-1 at half time but could easily have been 2-2. The pace never slackened in the second half and Ross Tokely took the ball off the feet of Aiden McGeady in the box with seconds on the clock. Caley Thistle immediately moved play to the Celtic end and Boruc had to be quick out of his box to clear ahead of Dargo. In 54 minutes Boruc did well to beat away an angled shot from Brewster. Three minutes later McGeady was well placed in the box and all waited for an offside flag. The flag never came but McGeady hit wide. Play was still end to end and in 76 minutes McManus brought down Brewster 25 yards out. Brewster took the kick himself and Boruc dived to his left to push it away – a great shot and a great save. Five minutes from time a Wilson cross from the right reached Russell Duncan at the back of the box - he chose to hit it first time but it cleared the bar. With time running out Brown made two vital saves – he beat down a shot from Maloney then he punched away a 25 yard drive from Stilian Petrov. As the clock moved past the 90 minute mark Hartson went down in the box but a free kick was given to the home side. Maloney then did the same and he was booked for his trouble. Boruc held a Duncan lob two minutes over time and the whistle went. Full Time: 1-1 Brewster was delighted with his team’s performance and he particularly saluted the work rate of Barry Wilson. A fine eight days for ICT – a point earned from each of the top two teams. Next it is third placed Hibs on Boxing Day. Caley Thistle remain sixth and sit a point above Aberdeen.
  7. Official report from the league match at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium against Dundee Utd. Ross Tokely doesn't score many goals... but the equaliser in this 1-1 draw was an absolute cracker !!! Saturday 25th November 2005 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE FC 1 (Tokely 19) Team: Brown, Tokely, Dods, Munro, Hastings, Proctor (Morgan 35), Black, Duncan, Wilson (Hart 87), Dargo (Juanjo 83), Bayne Subs – Wyness, Fox, Brewster & Fraser DUNDEE UTD FC 1 (Miller 6 pen) Team: Stillie, Wilson, McCracken, Archibald, Duff, Samuel, Kerr, Fernandez, Robson, Miller, McIntyre Subs – McInnes, Dodds, Kenneth, Robertson, Cameron, Goodwillie & Samson Referee C Murray Attendance 3239 Man of the Match Ross Tokely (ICT) It was another one of these days when nothing went quite right – except for Ross Tokely’s spectacular equaliser. The defender’s first SPL goal from open play brought Caley Thistle right back into the game after they had conceded an early penalty goal. The winter arrived with a vengeance earlier in the week but by match day the snow had cleared and all that was left was a bitterly cold wind. The proceedings were delayed for a minute’s silence to acknowledge the death of the genius that was George Best. Those of us lucky enough to have seen him in action will long remember his skill and be saddened by both his early retiral from the game and his passing. It was on with the football but there was little to excite in the early stages. The game came alive in the seventh minute when Mark Wilson chipped the ball from the left into the box for Lee Miller. Miller found space ahead of Grant Munro and the Caley Thistle defender brought him down before he could shoot from a good position. Miller dusted himself down and made no mistake from the penalty spot. In 14 minutes a Russell Duncan ball from 25 yards spun over the bar then a Barry Wilson cross caused some chaos in the United box before it was cleared. Tokely’s moment of genius came in 20 minutes when a Wilson corner from the right was headed into the box by Ian Black – Tokely chested it down then sent an overhead kick past Derek Stillie before the ‘keeper even saw it coming. Alan Morgan came on for the injured David Proctor in 35 minutes. In the closing stages of the first half there were a few chances but nothing to really trouble either ‘keeper. Black hit well over in 36 minutes, a Craig Dargo 22 yard shot on the turn was straight at Stillie then Morgan hit low towards goal from the left but it skidded wide. At the other end a Barry Robson free kick in 38 minutes reached the lively Collin Samuel then Mark Wilson but the danger was eventually cleared. Seconds before the whistle for half time Stillie did well to hold an angled 25 yard shot from Dargo. Half Time: 1-1 The second half was not much better than the first with few chances. Stillie held a Graham Bayne flick in 59 minutes then Brown made the save of the day in 66 minutes when he pushed a net-bound Miller header onto the bar. Something special was needed to add sparkle to the proceedings and the home fans chanted Juanjo’s name. He duly came off the bench with seven minutes left but had little time to produce any magic. Barry Wilson was brought down by his former Livingston team-mate David Fernandez just outside the box on the left with five minutes to go and Stillie made a spectacular diving save from Wilson’s curling free kick. The good ICT spell continued when Black made an amazing run into and around the box searching for a space to shoot – he finally crossed and Bayne sent a glancing header past the post. Two minutes over time a cross from Richie Hart on the left was missed by Stillie and amidst the resulting chaos Bayne headed just wide – the assistant referee’s flag was up in any case. Full Time: 1-1 The draw kept ICT in eighth place but Dunfermline’s 1-0 win over Celtic was the result of the day and closed the gap at the foot of the table.
  8. Caley Thistle finally take three points from a match at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium with a 2-1 victory over Dunfermline. Ian Black and David Proctor scored for Caley Thistle, Lee Makel for Dunfermline. Saturday 5th November 2005 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE FC 2 (Black 5, Proctor 9) Team: Brown, Tokely, Dods, Munro, Hastings, Proctor, Black, Duncan, Wilson (Hart 79), Dargo (McAllister 70), Brewster (Wyness 70) Subs – Juanjo, Morgan, Fox & Fraser DUNFERMLINE FC 1 (Makel 73) Team: McGregor, Shields, Darren Young (Burchill 71), Mason, Makel, Tod, Labonte, Campbell, Wilson (Horsted 56), Hunt, Donnelly (McCunnie 80) Subs – Ross, Zambernardi, Tarachulski & Halliwell Referee C Richmond Attendance 3728 Man of the Match Ian Black (ICT) The home hoodoo was finally put to rest with this satisfying win. The team were without a win at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium since April, and during that time had taken only 2 of a possible 27 home points. The margin of victory should have been greater after two early goals but the important thing was the capture of three valuable points. For Dunfermline there was a dreadful start but a consolation goal which gave them a ray of hope – in the end they remained at the foot of the table level with Livingston on five points. Livingston, Caley Thistle's midweek opponents in the CIS Cup, conceded two late goals to lose 1-2 against Hibs at Almondvale. Ian Black was named 'man of the match' last week at Ibrox for an excellent and solid performance but it was Craig Dargo who got all the ICT headlines not only because he scored his first ever goal for the club but the fact that the goal was a spectacular one. Not to be out-done, Black made sure that this week, the headlines were all going to be his. Not only did he get his first goal for the club, which was also a spectacular effort, but was named man of the match for the second week in a row. Mark Brown continues to set a record in each and every game he plays for Caley Thistle. Prior to this game he had played 148 games for Caley Thistle, but what is remarkable is that he has not been out of the starting lineup since he signed and all 148 appearances have been consecutive. He made it 149 with this match and is likely to make his 150th consecutive appearance in the cup game against Livingston in midweek. Richie Hart also reached a milestone when he came on as a sub late in this game to record his 100th league appearance for Caley Thistle. With Graham Bayne suspended Craig Brewster came back into the side and Barry Wilson returned from injury. Alan Morgan stepped back to the bench. The start could not have been better for the home side but not before Darren Young shot wide of Mark Brown’s goal from outside the box. In five minutes a Wilson cross from the left was touched by David Proctor to Ian Black who sent a spectacular half volley into the top corner from 25 yards. This was Black’s first goal for the top team and BBC Radio Scotland summariser Brian Irvine described it as a candidate for ‘Goal of the Season’. Four minutes later Pars’ keeper Allan McGregor failed to hold a Wilson shot from 22 yards and David Proctor was on hand to side-foot it in from just seven yards out. More home goals seemed on the cards but they did not come - not for the want of trying. Just before the break Wilson took a quick free kick as he spotted McGregor out of position but his curling shot went just wide of the post. Seconds later McGregor redeemed himself when he blocked a Craig Dargo chip when the striker was one-on-one with the keeper. Half Time: 2-0 A Ross Tokely header from a Wilson corner came close in 67 minutes but it came off the bar following a touch from Dargo. Dunfermline’s first shot on target paid off in 73 minutes and stunned the home crowd. Lee Makel hit a low bouncing 25 yard drive into the bottom corner to give his side some hope of a point. It never really looked like happening and any further scoring seemed destined for the other end. Dargo hit the bar with a header then in stoppage time Russell Duncan had the ball in the net but offside was called. Even deeper into added time Caley Thistle substitute Rory McAllister took the ball into the corner to count down the clock then decided to head for goal. He reached the edge of the box then let fly with a shot which McGregor spectacularly tipped over the bar. Full Time: 2-1 ICT remain in eighth place on 17 points.
  9. Ian Broadfoot reports from Inverness as the Dons visit. Caley Thistle and Aberdeen share the points in this tussle at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium. Jamie Smith scored for the Dons but Graham Bayne equalised near the end after coming on as a sub. Saturday 15th October 2005 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE 1 (Bayne 73) Team: Brown, Tokely, Dods, Hastings, Morgan, Proctor, Fox (Black 86), Duncan, Wilson (Hart 87), Wyness, Dargo (Bayne 60 ) Subs – Golabek, Parratt, McAllister & Fraser ABERDEEN (Jimmy Calderwood) 1 (Smith 55) Team: Esson, Diamond, Severin, Anderson, McNaughton, Nicholson, Dempsey (Winter 75), Muirhead, Smith, Mackie (Lovell 62), Crawford (Stewart 80) Subs – Foster, Considine, MacAulay & Langfield Referee S Dougal Attendance 6809 Man of the Match Barry Wilson (ICT) An old football cliché summed up the day – Caley Thistle really did get out of jail thanks to substitute Graham Bayne’s 73rd minute equaliser. In the dying minutes a surge towards Ryan Esson’s goal could have led to a winner but a draw was a huge relief after conceding most of the play to a good Aberdeen side. The one thing Aberdeen could not do was shoot on target and Mark Brown had a quiet afternoon. The one exception was Jamie Smith’s 55th minute wonder strike from 30 yards – it was a joy to behold for the visiting fans as it rose into the net and even the home fans acknowledged that it was a goal to remember. With Craig Brewster suspended Craig Dargo came back into the starting line-up and the player/manager was forced to watch from the stand and communicate with the dug-out by mobile phone. A through ball in the first minute reached Dargo but he was ruled offside. Stevie Crawford headed wide at the other end in six minutes then in twelve minutes Kevin McNaughton curled a shot wide after the home defence had blocked shots from McNaughton and Darren Mackie. A foray towards the Aberdeen goal in 17 minutes saw a Dargo ball from the right wing elude the outstretched leg of Dennis Wyness. Back to the ICT end and a Scott Severin header went straight to Brown and a Smith low shot strayed wide. A classic double shuffle from Wyness in 27 minutes made space to send in a curling ball which Dargo flicked into the air and Esson took high. From then until half-time it was mostly Aberdeen apart from a Dargo 25 yard shot which went wide in 39 minutes. Half Time: 0-0 Five minutes into the second half Esson cleared from the left side of his box and it reached Wilson on the half-way line. He attempted the spectacular but it went wide with Esson scrambling back. An Alan Morgan curling free kick was held by Esson in 52 minutes before Smith’s classic strike in 55 minutes gave Aberdeen the lead. The Dons looked for a second but Caley Thistle slowly clawed their way back into the game. Liam Fox shot over in 67 minutes then Morgan hit a long low ball not far wide. As the home crowd grew restless salvation was at hand. In 73 minutes Esson could only parry a David Proctor shot and Bayne hit high into the net from inside the six-yard box. Aberdeen tried to get back on top but Crawford could only shoot wide and McNaughton hit high over the bar. With two minutes left Richie Hart set off down the left past three Aberdeen players then found Wyness inside – his shot was held by Esson. Into added time Wyness was back assisting his defence then broke clear on a run down the left. He set up Hart who was supporting in the middle – as Hart prepared to shoot Russell Anderson stepped in to clear. There was still time for Esson to collect a Russell Duncan free kick amidst futile claims that he had handled outside this box. Full Time: 1-1 A 1-1 draw was much appreciated by the home camp but Aberdeen manager Jimmy Calderwood was furious that his side had not held on for victory.
  10. Keeper saves the points for visitors ICT club historian Ian Broadfoot reports from the Tulloch Caledonian stadium on the league match against the reigning SPL champions Rangers. Saturday 6th August 2005 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE 0 {mosimage}Brown, Tokely, Dods, Munro, Hastings, Wilson (Fox 86), Black, McBain (Hart 82), Golabek, Dargo (Hislop 75), Brewster Subs – Duncan, Proctor, Parratt & Fraser RANGERS (Alec McLeish) 1 (Ferguson 69) {mosimage}Waterreus, Ricksen, Buffel, Andrews, Ferguson, Rae (Malcolm 84), Prso (Thompson 72), Novo, FanFan, Murray, Lovenkrands Subs – Rodriguez, Smith, Adam, McCormack & Klos Referee C Murray Attendance 7512 Man of the Match Darren Dods (ICT) Rangers took all three points on their first competitive visit to Inverness but it took two top-class saves from ‘keeper Ronald Waterreus to deny Caley Thistle at least a point. A record crowd of 7512 (plus over 100 freeloaders on the A9 embankment) watched a pulsating game which really could have gone either way. A Dado Prso long shot was blocked by the home defence in four minutes then Peter Lovenkrands hit the first of a number of shots off target. Roy McBain hit high over the Rangers goal in ten minutes then Craig Dargo created a fine opening for Craig Brewster four minutes later - Dargo sent a measured pass to the player/manager 18 yards out but he hit it first time over the bar. Just after the half hour mark a Grant Munro long throw into the Rangers box led to a sequence of headers then a blocked Brewster shot. The clearance fell to Barry Wilson on the right and his cross was headed goalwards by Darren Dods from close range. Somehow Waterreus reached it to deny what looked like a certain goal. Ross Tokely went down in the Rangers box just before the break but play was waved on. Right on the whistle a Barry Ferguson free kick from the left flashed just wide of Mark Brown's post. Half Time: 0-0 A Lovenkrands shot was blocked by Tokely just into the second half then Nacho Novo went down in the box alongside Dods – the vocal Rangers support screamed for a penalty but nothing was given. Rangers continued to press and a Ferguson shot was deflected for a corner just on the hour mark. A Novo angled shot was punched clear by Brown then Waterreus dived to collect a long shot from Stuart Golabek. The winning goal came from a fast break upfield and good work by Prso on the right of the ICT box. He took on two defenders but managed to cut the ball back from the goal-line to Ferguson in support. The Rangers skipper neatly hit it past Brown from a couple of yards out. His celebrations with the crowd behind the goal earned him a yellow card. Novo looked odds-on to score in 74 minutes but he mishit from a good position. The home crowd were livid when Alex Rae took Wilson out of the play in 78 minutes and the referee saw nothing wrong. Lovenkrands shot over with five minutes left then Caley Thistle laid siege to the Rangers box in the last few minutes. A Liam Fox shot was blocked, Golabek shot over from 18 yards then a throw into the box from Munro was cleared amidst chaos. With two minutes of added time gone Ian Black headed down the left, found Fox infield then the ball reached Richie Hart just outside the box – he hammered the ball goalwards but Waterreus produced his second international quality save of the day to deny the equaliser. Hart held his head in despair and the Rangers camp breathed a sigh of relief as the final whistle sounded. Full Time: 0-1 Caley Thistle were beaten and disappointed but they could be proud of a good performance.
  11. Queens of the ice age frozen off. ***POSTPONED*** Another rearranged game due to go ahead on Saturday afternoon with Queen of the South the visitors. Should snow, ice, covid or road blockages not stop this one, it is scheduled to kick-off at 3:00pm with live streaming available from Caley Jags TV - Pixie Lott for a £10er. However, let's not get ahead of ourselves as the words that we all dread have been uttered by the club. "There will be a pitch inspection at 9am tomorrow morning ahead of the match against Queen of the South". Now there's a surprise! It could be an opportunity for us to bounce back after a disappointing draw against the ten men of Morton. Easier said than done given our lack of game time over the last month. Last 10 Competitive Meetings against Queen of the South back to Jan 13th 2018 3 - 0 (A) 3 - 1 (H) 2 - 0 (A) 2 - 0 (H) 2 - 0 (A) 1 - 2 (H) 3 - 3 (A) 0 - 0 (H) 2 - 0 (A) 3 - 1 (H) At Cappielow we were without Brad Mckay and more importantly striker Miles Storey. With Kai Kennedy off to Raith Rovers, we were bereft of the guile needed to prize open a stubborn defence, and when we did, a lack of composure ensured we would not run away with the game despite the Ton being a man short for over half of the match. All this has not best pleased Robbo who has let them know in no uncertain terms that it's simply not good enough to just turn up and claim the points. You tell them John... Queens are on a bit of a roll since we last played them on December 4th. They took a thrashing at Tynecastle the week after (6-1) then lost to Morton and Dundee. However, since then they beat Raith Rovers 0-2 on 29th December, they have been on the up. Victories over Ayr United, Queens Park and Morton along with a draw against Arbroath have lifted them above Inverness in the table although we do have three games in hand. In fact we have games in hand over everyone, but that does not equate to points in the bag; think Morton in midweek. Connor Shields is the man on form just now and Queens now seem to have enough talent on board to ease away from the relegation area. Shields has nine goals this season, and more worrying for us seven in the last six games since Xmas. Team news not forthcoming but Robbo hinted at some changes after the slackness at Cappielow. I'll keep it short as there is no guarantee the game will go ahead, so look out early morning for any news from ICT FC.
  12. Weather & Covid permitting... Another one bites the dust...... Frozen area of pitch. Inverness are due to play Alloa Athletic this weekend, covid and weather permitting. The game is scheduled to kick-off at 3:00pm on Saturday 23rd January. Should it go ahead that will be our first game since 29th December when Dunfermline Athletic came North. There is of course no guarantee's these days with Scotland in lockdown and snow threatening to disrupt sporting events across the country. The aforementioned Dunfermline game ended all square at one apiece. Kerr McInroy rifled the Pars ahead before a second half spectacular twenty-five yarder from Miles Storey earned Inverness a point. Our previous game to that one was an away defeat to the very team we face on Saturday. It ended 2-1 for Alloa despite Inverness taking an early lead through Brad McKay. Unable to build on that, the Wasps sussed us out and once Innes Murray scored with a superb free kick there would only be one winner. The winning goal was gift wrapped by Mark Ridgers. It was an early Christmas present for Robbie Thomson, when from his volley a routine save turned into a blooper when the ball squirmed from his grasp and into the net. Since then we have lost the services of young Kai Kennedy after his loan deal expired. He has since joined Raith Rovers. On top of that Aaron Doran was rendered unavailable after suffering concussion against Dunfermline. However, our inactivity might see Doran declared fit to face Alloa. The Wasps have been pumped by Raith Rovers (2-5), Dundee (3-1) and Hearts (1-3)since our last meeting. They picked up their only point with a 1-1 draw at home to Morton. Defeat against Hearts had a price tag, Lucas Williamson was red carded late in the game and will miss the game against us. Last 10 Competitive Meetings 1 - 2 (A) 0 - 2 (A) 1 - 1 (H) 3 - 2 (A) 2 - 0 (A) 2 - 2 (H) 3 - 0 (H) 2 - 1 (A) 3 - 2 (H) 0 - 0 (A) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ LIVE STREAMING £10 OFFICIAL PREVIEW ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Manager John Robertson opened up about his own struggles throughout the pandemic and gave everyone food for thought. If someone as effervescent as Robbo is plumbing the depths then we all need to be careful and look out for each other. There has been plenty of reaction to Robbo's thoughts and everyone here at CTO wishes him all the best in what he describes himself as "the hardest year to manage... Things have been so tough during the pandemic that the Caley Thistle boss has even considered walking away from football Taken from a press interview, Robbo said: “It’s been the hardest year to manage: “I’m sure other managers would say the same. My concern is my players’ health and wellbeing. It’s been difficult. “As a manager, you deal with a lot — fallouts with their partners, financial problems, their cars breaking down. A million and one things. “Add all that together and throw in a pandemic that is claiming lives and it’s very difficult. “We’ve had players here who haven’t seen their families for ten months. “I haven’t seen my own children for ten months, or my granddaughter, who was born in November. “We all accept that and get on with it, but it has been very difficult. “I’ve been very down at times. I’ve struggled with my mental health because I’ve had all these added pressures to deal with. “As a manager, I do my best to try and help my players, but who helps me? “I’ve got to go home and chat to my wife about it, but who manages the managers? “I’m lucky I’ve a great relationship with the board and the chief executive and we have chats. “But there have been half a dozen times since March where I’ve felt really low. “Sometimes I have questioned whether I want to keep going because it’s just been so hard seeing what’s happening in the world at the moment. “It doesn’t last very long, you go again. “But I’d be a liar to say it has not affected me.” Championship fixtures this weekend Arbroath 1-1 Dundee (Friday) Dunfermline v Ayr United Hearts v Raith Rovers ICT FC v Alloa Athletic Queen of the South v Morton ***Latest Team News*** With our winter holidays since 29th December, I expect to see duracell bunny David Carson getting close to some game time and the same should apply to defender Wallace Duffy. Aaron Doran could be good to go after his enforced down time through concussion. Kevin McHattie and Lewis Toshney will need more time off to fully recover. Robbo has hinted that there are a couple of guys struggling to make this one: "“We’ve got a couple of niggles, the boys have been training very hard. We’ve got a couple of players that we’ll look at on Friday, they may make it but we may not take the chance with the amount of games coming up.” Peter Grant will be without the suspended Lucas Williamson. Kevin Cawley Alan Trouten and Liam Buchanan all offer a goal threat and Innes Murray showed what he can do with a dead ball. Neil Parry was the top shot stopper last season and is a difficult man to get the better of. All in, a tough game on our hands against a team that know how to beat us; hosts beware!
  13. Chocolate cup delight Inverness made a number of changes for this Challenge Cup fourth round tie against Alloa Athletic but still came out on top after a somewhat listless game where errors were more commonplace than slick incisive football. Less than 1000 fans were in attendance as Mitch Curry scored his first goal for the club just before the interval. Debutant Nathan Gilhooly gave away the ball thirty yards out and Curry ran into the box before cutting the ball back across the keeper and into the net. We got a deserved second when Charlie Trafford crashed a shot goalwards. It took a big deflection to fly high into the net with keeper Jamie MacDonald stranded. Alloa hit the woodwork twice through Trouten and Graham before we wrapped the game up. In the last minute Matheus Machado was on hand at the back post to knock a Miles Storey cross into the net for his first senior goal. Brazilliant! Five or six non regulars were given the nod in this one, notably, keeper Cammy Mackay, Cammy Harper, Kevin McHattie and Mitch Curry who returned after injury, his first game in eleven weeks. The Wasps were along more familiar lines and made two or three changes from the side that beat Dundee United last Friday. Nathan Gilhooly was making his first start for the club with Robbie Deas missing. Steven Hetherington also missed out and Liam Buchanan started. It was a low key game and the performance echoed that in terms of urgency. Inverness were dominant in the first half but wasteful in the final third with some preferring to flatter to deceive rather than go for the jugular. Mitchell Curry had a couple of efforts as did Roddy MacGregor but either failed to make the keeper work or made it easy for him to gather the ball comfortably. Shooting practice might be on the agenda this week as Aaron Doran fired harmless efforts well over the bar. Curry opened the scoring just before the break after he cut out a loose ball from Gilhooly. He carried on across and into the box before cutting the ball back across the keeper and into the bottom corner. He wasted an equally good chance within a minute after bursting into the left side of the box but shot weakly with his left peg at the near post where MacDonald gathered the ball with ease. He would have been better opening his body looking for the far post or squaring to the incoming teammates. Half Time 0-1 The second period saw our dominance continue and Jamie MacDonald did well to stop a MacGregor shot on the line after a deflection took a bit of the pace off the ball. Aaron Doran looked as though he had scored with half the North Stand already on their feet. However his dipping volley sliced narrowly wide of the keepers left hand post. Close, but no cigar! Our dominance eventually paid off but it took a deflected shot from Charlie Trafford to get the two goal cushion. He bludgeoned the ball from outside the box and it deflected high into the net with MacDonald stranded. We seemed to stir a hornets nest after the second goal and the wasps almost stung us, three times, with Alan Trouten firstly taking forever to pick his spot. That spot was the post and it rebounded back towards the keeper. Adam Brown tried from distance and Cammy Mackay stopped the shot, but as it bounced away from him Robbie Thomson looked favourite to get to the ball first but Cammy dived full length forward to deny the Waspy. Andy Graham also saw a late header come down off the bar as we lost our focus a little. We rallied again and the often wasteful Storey managed to get a cross into the box. Jordan White challenged for it and it was met at the back post by young Matheus Machado who tidily and gleefully knocked it into the net. That's his first senior goal for the club, many more to come methinks. Good end to the contest by the Caley Jags who seemed to be in control but almost undid the good work prior to Alloa's wee revival bid. Overall we were comfortable winners, but had we taken a more urgent approach could have scored half a dozen goals. Unfortunately we were somewhat pedantic at times with Doran going round in circles and Storey often taking the wrong option when he should be using his best asset, his searing pace and power. Good cross for the third goal though. MacGregor is young and comes across as over eager to score. Very busy player though and will be a great asset once he gets off the mark. The goals can be seen here https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=392555228366434 Not easy to spot the MotM. A few contenders with Charlie Trafford in particular having a good day. David Carson was also industrious and at the back Coll Donaldson looks more focussed than he was at the start of the season and Kevin McHattie will be knocking on the managers door very soon. No real failures, but some need to work to their strengths rather than be fancy Dans. Good to be back.......... The draw for the semi-finals will be made at 1:00pm on Wednesday 16th October. Also through along with Inverness are Stenhousemuir, Elgin City, Clyde, Partick Thistle, Raith Rovers, Wrexham and the winners of Solihull Moors v Rangers Colts(Tues 15th). Date: 12/10/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 973 Referee: John McKendrick Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: C Mackay, Rooney, Donaldson, McHattie, Harper, Doran, Carson, Trafford (Vincent 78), Curry (White 75) , MacGregor (Machado 85), Storey. Subs (not used): Ridgers; Tremarco, McCart, Scorers: Curry (42), Trafford (64), Machado (88). Booked: none Sent Off: none Alloa Athletic: 0 Lineup: MacDonald; Taggart, Graham, Cawley, Robertson, Buchanan, Trouten, Flannigan, Brown (O’Donnell 86), Gilhooly, O’Hara (Thomson 65) Subs (not used): Henry; Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  14. until
    Inverness CT -V- Queen of the South ***Match moved from January 12th Caledonian Stadium, Inverness Saturday 30th January @ 3:00pm Championship Football Covid restrictions apply Live Streaming available
  15. Yogi makes a Boo Boo. A shambolic team selection and performance saw Inverness gift Hibs safe passage into the semi-final with a deserved 1-2 win at Inverness, as Yogi goes from hero to zero in less than a year. Hughes kept all his attacking options on the bench for reasons only he will know and at the back we handed Hibs the opportunity to advance, and they did so with Anthony Stokes capitalising twice. That left Inverness with too much to do in the second half and we fell short despite getting one goal back through Iain Vigurs with almost fifteen minutes left. Hibernian took a large following to the Highland capital for this cup replay despite the disappointment of losing the League Cup final to Ross County on the Sunday. They had Jason Cummings up front with Anthony Stokes backing him up. Dylan McGeough failed to make the squad. John Hughes' line-up was the subject of much ridicule and probably one of the main reasons we are out of the cup. Despite the fact that we have struggled to score goals of late, Yogi chose to leave attacking options Miles Storey, Jordan Roberts, Danny Williams and to a lesser extent Liam Polworth on the bench. Instead we had Richie Foran starting after months out, Liam Hughes an almost untried midfielder at centre forward and Josh Meekings at right back for his first start in ages. Andrea Mutombo was not fit enough to make the squad. It was our defence of the trophy and surely we would take the game to Hibs to try and retain the trophy against the Championship side who have not won in five games. We began by getting forward well, but as is our frustrating habit of late we were soon void of attacking intent as Hibs got to grip with the game, realising that we were not an attacking threat. By playing Hughes up front, we seemed to abandon our sideways passing game and opt for route one, but more often than not the long balls were floundering on the heads of the visiting defenders. Hibernian went ahead after Stokes benefitted from a defensive cock-up. A decent ball in by Lewis Stevenson from the Hibs left saw Devine and Tremarco go for the same ball. Devine got a touch which flicked it over Tremarco and Stokes was on hand to receive the gift and stroke the ball home from eight yards. Five minutes later and the Cup was back in it's box ready for sending South. Danny Devine has become the master of disaster recently and he messed up trying to pass the ball out of defence. He scuffed his clearing pass five yards into the path of the impressive Liam Henderson who sped into the box before cutting it back to Jason Cummings. He got his shot away and Fon Williams saved brilliantly, but the ball fell nicely for Stokes who won't score an easier double than this. What were Inverness doing while all this was happening? Well, nothing really apart from a comedy of errors, and the half ended with boo's ringing in the ears of the home side, the away fans in fine voice though. Half Time 0-2 Another feeble first half would surely see a couple of changes at the interval, but no, Yogi persevered with his starting choice. Desperation was evident as we surged forward and Tremarco should have done better than stab a deep cross well over from five yards at the back post. Iain Vigurs hit a sweet right footer from 25 yards but Oxley was well placed to save as Inverness struggled to create the clear opening they needed. The cumbersome Nat Wedderburn was booked and substituted two minutes later and Lewis Horner went the same way. Attacking flair was introduce at last with Danny Williams and top scorer Miles Storey entering the field of play. Fifteen minutes later, the Inverness pressure paid off when Iain Vigurs was on hand to knock in a Foran header back across the box. Five minutes later and more comedy gold when Oxley clashed with Hughes as he blocked the makeshift strikers stab at goal. There followed a series of calls for medical attention for the keeper seemingly unable to see properly after dislodging one of his contact lenses. A booking for time wasting followed before he slumped to the ground, eventually being substituted. Seven minutes of added time resulted from that farce but we huffed and puffed without blowing the house down. In fact, Hibs could have scored a third or fourth as we threw everyone forward in an attempt to salvage something from he wreck, but good goalkeeping and poor finishing saw the game end 2-1 in Hibs favour and our defence of the cup was over. Full Time 1-2 Oh dear Yogi, what have you done. Seriously cheesed off lots of fans tonight with the team selection and tactics. Hibs at least tried to play football while we looked like a Highland League outfit. We missed a tremendous chance to get into another final and it has been snubbed as the players struggled to find any momentum. Fair play to Hibs, they did what they had to and I'm afraid the buck stops with John Hughes for that performance. His player selection was absolutely horrendous and one wonders what he was thinking about. We were the home side and we needed to go out and take the game to Hibs. Playing without forward minded players was not the right thing to do. MotM. I don't think I could pick one player from that shambles. I suppose Owain Fon Wiliams did nothing wrong and he did make a couple of excellent saves so he is my choice. Those certainly not considered were Liam Hughes, Carl Tremarco, Danny Devine, Josh Meekings, Lewis Horner, Ross Draper or Nat Wedderburn. Richie Foran, Gary Warren and Iain Vigurs get pass marks for neatness. We looked slightly more dangerous with the introduction of Storey, Williams and Polworth, but the horse had bolted by then and like lots of games this season, it was too little too late. Next up is County away. I'm not sure quite so many fans have the stomach to take this one in given our recent demise. Date: 16/03/16 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 3207 Referee: Stephen Finnie Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Fon Williams, Meekings, Warren, Devine, Tremarco (Polworth 73), Horner (Storey 62), Draper, Wedderburn (D.Williams 62), Vigurs, Foran, Hughes Subs (not used): Esson, R.Williams, Roberts Scorers: Vigurs (77) Booked: Wedderburn (60), Meekings (64) Sent Off: none Hibernian: 2 Lineup: Oxley (Virtanen 88), Gray, McGregor, Fontaine, Stevenson, Bartley, McGinn, Henderson, Keatings, Cummings, Stokes Subs (not used): El Alagui, Handling, Boyle, Gunnarsson, Dagnall, Thomson Scorers: Stokes (36, 41) Booked: Keatings (69), Gray (83), Oxley (87) Sent Off: none 0
  16. The sheep are not on fire Inverness came from behind to defeat Aberdeen 3-1 as the sheep were doused whilst Inverness burned their own smoke filled chimney. Apparently a wee fault with the central heating generator filled the stadium with smoke in the second half as goals from Vigurs, Tansey (pen) and Tremarco overshadowed Adam Rooney's opener. A bitter night in Inverness for the Monday night game which was also televised restricted the crowd somewhat. The Inverness fans had some bad news prior to kick off as Danny Williams would miss out due to family reasons and David Raven was carrying a knock and would not be risked. That left Lewis Horner at right back and Jordan Roberts started after his game winning cameo at Motherwell. Adam Rooney spearheaded the Aberdeen attack with Jonny Hayes one of the providers and former Inverness captain Graeme Shinnie was at left back with the Dons' armband. Andrew Considine and Willo Flood only made the bench with new signing Simon Church on from the start. Aberdeen made the brightest start to the game but both sides looked to get forward at every opportunity, Inverness winning the first corner of the game but it came to nothing. In the seventh minute Inverness had to thank Owain Fon Williams as he tipped a vicious Graeme Shinnie shot onto the top of the crossbar as the full back burst into the box on the left side. To top it all, drastic referee Willie Collum gave a goal kick. Maybe that helped Aberdeen as from the goal kick, Storey chested the ball down but Vigurs never got it. The Dons broke forward at pace and Craig Storie fed Rooney as the defence backed off and he rifled the ball through Devine into the net. The Dons looked to be buoyed by this and started to dictate the pace of the game, but Inverness were starting to get forward and saw a bit more of the ball. In the eighteenth minute Inverness got the break they were looking for as Ash Taylor made a hash of defending and Iain Vigurs accepted the gift, strolled forward and drove the ball behind the exposed keeper. This stirred Aberdeen into action again and McGinn fired over and did the same a few minutes later as the Dons looked to up their title challenge, but Carl Tremarco headed just wide at the other end. With almost half an hour gone one of Aberdeens main threats went off injured. Jonny Hayes left the field to be replaced by Peter Pawlett. Aberdeen target Greg Tansey fired a free kick wide as the game entered a scrappy phase with free kicks coming back in fashion as Collum stopped the game at every opportunity, however there was no more scoring as the half ended. Half Time 1-1 The second half began as the first ended, fouls galore, but one crucial one given to Inverness was deemed to be a penalty by Collum much to everyone's surprise. But hey ho; we have been on the wrong end of these many times. After Draper bit the turf, Greg Tansey, who else, strode forward and despatched the spot kick with ease to put Inverness ahead. Almost on the hour and Ash Taylor almost made amends with a header but he headed narrowly wide. Players were going down like ninepins and the crime count was mounting, but in 65 minutes Inverness went further ahead after some divine intervention by Willie Collum. Jordan Roberts clipped a ball in from the right and the cross was headed to the back post where Tremarco turned up to head home. The linesman flagged for offside thinking the head on was by an Inverness player, but it was off a defender, probably the hapless donkey that is Ash Taylor, and Collum rightly awarded the goal after a short discussion with the linesman. For the remainder of the game it was the hosts that looked likeliest to add to their tally as Aberdeen looked shell shocked, Miles Storey making a number of superb breaks forward and only the final ball denying Inverness a goal on a few occasions. Three minutes of added time came and went as Inverness denied the Dons with consummate ease and at the final whistle Aberdeens title challenge took a knock as Inverness went back into the top six. Full Time 3-1 Well deserved victory for Inverness with Aberdeen resorting to shouting for penalties every time they entered our box. Mind you, one or two of the challenges looked more worthy that the one Draper got. Baaa, what a shame Great performance all round from Inverness with the defence outstanding and in Miles Storey a tremendous outlet for the back line when under pressure. Jordan Roberts put in a great shift as well before being replaced and Carl Tremarco continued his good run and got a goal to boot. Gary Warren was immense and won the aerial battle along with his partner Danny Devine. Willie watch. Well, he got some things right, and some things wrong, but you won't find me complaining when he awarded the goal after the linesman flagged it offside. The linesman got it wrong and fair play to Willie for spotting that. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rS5IIhHgyhA Date: 15/02/16 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 4544 Referee: Willie Collum Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: Fon Williams, Tremarco, Warren, Draper, Roberts (Mbuyi-Mutombo 80), Devine, Tansey, Horner (Hughes 88), Polworth, Vigurs, Storey (R.Williams 90) Subs (not used): Esson, Wedderburn, Brown Scorers: Vigurs (18), Tansey (pen.51), Tremarco (65) Booked: Tremarco (22), Roberts (53), Draper (61), Devine (63) Sent Off: none Aberdeen: 1 Lineup: Brown, Logan, Taylor, Reynolds, Shinnie, Rooney, Storie, McLean, Hayes (Pawlett 28), McGinn, Church (Smith 67) Subs (not used): Collin, Considine, Flood, Robson, Ross Scorers: Rooney (7) Booked: Taylor (45), Reynolds (67) Sent Off: none
  17. Tale of two penalties This game was decided by two penalties and a sending off as the sides had to settle for a point apiece in a 1-1 draw at the Caledonian Stadium. Rory Loy slotted Dundee's penalty home to take the lead after David Raven was sent packing, but Greg Tansey returned the favour just after the hour. That ended the scoring but not the chances, with Liam Polworth left pounding the turf after dragging a glorious opportunity wide late in the game. As expected, our injury situation dictated how we approached this game and the addition of Miles Storey to the casualty list saw Iain Vigurs start wide left with the versatile Danny Williams helping out up front. Gary Warren was a welcome addition to the bench, even if he might still be on crutches. Dundee began with the side that ended the Kilmarnock game. That meant there was no starts for Gary Harkins, Kane Hemmings or Darryll Meggatt. They made way for Thomas Konrad, Paul McGowan and Nicky Low. Heavy overnight wind and rain gave way to a pleasant Saturday afternoon and just under 3000 turned up to see if our fortunes could change. As is traditional, we started brightly without threatening and the game soon settled into a midfield tussle with neither keeper being troubled. There were a few half snippets, but everything would fizzle out before the keepers were made to work. We did find the net once our wide players worked out how to get the ball beyond the first defender, but unfortunately Josh Meekings was flagged for offside as he headed smartly into the net. I suppose the best chance of the half fell to Ryan Christie, but he elected to chest down a long cross rather than use his head, in doing so he was closed down before shooting. What were Dundee doing while we plugged away? Well, virtually nothing, that'll be why Hartley had them warming up on the pitch five minutes before the second half started. Half Time 0-0 Well, it seemed to work as Dundee raced to the opposition box right from the restart. Only five minutes into the second period David Raven tackled Greg Stewart as he was about to shoot and referee Brian Colvin who was handily placed had no doubt it was a spot kick and to make things worse, he sent Raven for an early bath for his troubles . Rory Loy converted from twelve yards as Fon-Williams tried to cover the opposite side of the goal frame. Things looked bleak for Inverness and we expected the worst. The sending off left acres of space for Dundee to exploit and we were now under the cosh. Nicky Low had a shot deflected for a corner and from he resultant ball into the box, Healey headed wide from a good position. Despite Dundee's dominance since Raven walked, Inverness drew level after 65 minutes. A decent break forward saw Polworth hitting the turf out wide in the box as he tried to cut back inside. It looked like a penalty, but play raged on and Ryan Christie spotted his chance. He burst onto the loose ball trying to head towards the corner flag, and before you could say for fecks sake ref, Colvin pointed to the spot as Christie was upended. Fair enough, one penalty from two shouts and when the dust settled, Greg Tansey tucked the ball into the bottom corner. That sparked Dundee into more activity around our box but again most moves were breaking down without Fon-Williams being pestered. Ricardo Calder and Kane Hemmings upped the pace when they were introduced and we did well to prevent Dundee from getting ahead. Healey and Hemmings had forced Fon-Williams into making tremendous stops but it was at the other end where the points should have been won. Josh Meekings saw the headlines in the Courier as he burst into the box wide on the right side, but he blazed his shot high and not very handsomely into the North Stand. Well at least that's where I thought it ended up. We received a boost when Gary Warren made a surprise return to action after his leg break and that locked the back door. We ventured forward, and after some neat interplay the ball looked to sit up nicely for Liam Polworth, but the midfielder dragged his shot across the goal from around twelve yards and that endeth the opportunities for the home side. Dundee would still pressure our defence, but with Warren in there we looked impenetrable and held on for a welcome point, much to Dundee's frustration, especially with us being reduced to 10 men for most of the second half. Full Time 1-1 It was a game of two penalties, simple as that. Neither side looked capable of carving out their own chances and it was probably fitting that the outcome was decided on penalties. Dundee will feel disappointed that they could not get the better of the ten men, but in all honesty they were atrocious in the first half and they could not take full advantage of a side reduced in numbers. Sounds familiar. A point each was probably a fair reflection on the overall play and neither side looked as if they were worth more than that. For us, it's a step in the right direction, even with more injuries to contend with and a sending off for Raven, but the biggest cheer of the day was reserved for ooooohhh Gary Warren. MotM could be nobody else but Ryan Christie, who at times looked like the only home player tying to achieve something. His work rate was simply tremendous and some of his touches were sublime, fitting that he won the penalty that gave us a point. He was well backed up by Owain Fon-Williams in goal and Josh Meekings at the back. One or two others need to up their work rate though and Iain Vigurs will need to know that his honeymoon period is over and he must knuckle down to some serious hard graft. We have no room for luxury players at the moment. James Vincent's goal in the cup final seems like a lifetime away now as he struggles to create anything. I'll put it down to a shortage of players and some guys having to play unaccustomed roles. Welcome back Gary. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lm8oRPZjnwo&t=11s Date: 31/10/15 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2940 Referee: Brian Colvin Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Fon Williams, Raven, Tremarco, Vincent, Meekings, Devine, Tansey, Williams (Warren 79) , Polworth, Christie, Vigurs (Sutherland 66) Subs (not used): Esson, Wedderburn, Horner, MacRae Scorers: Tansey (pen.64) Booked: none Sent Off: Raven (50) Dundee: 1 Lineup: Bain, Holt, Konrad, Stewart, Low (Calder 70), Loy (Hemmings 71), Ross, McGowan, McGinn, Healey, Gadzgalov Subs (not used): Mitchell, Irvine, Meggatt, Harkins, Skelly Scorers: Loy (50) Booked: none Sent Off: none
  18. Miles Better Inverness bagged their first win of the season against early pacesetters Hearts in an ultimately deserved 2-0 victory. It took a long time coming but we grew in confidence as the game went on and we were able to complete the job with a late clincher. James Vincent opened the scoring after 49 minutes and debut striker Miles Storey capped a whirlwind display with an Andy Shinnie like finish in the final minute. This was no more than we deserved as we finished the game with a flourish, Hearts on the other hand finished the game with ten men after Oshaniwa appeared to raise his fist against the napper of our other new face Tobi Sho-Silva. A very healthy away support swelled the attendance over the four thousand mark, no doubt looking to see if the Jambos could hit the top of the league, even if it might just be for one night ahead of the top of the table clash at Pittodrie. It was great to have James Vincent and Josh Meekings back in the side to stabilise the erratic recent performances and newbie Miles Storey was plunged in at the sharp end to address our lack of goals. On loan midfielder Ryan Christie started and Carl Tremarco was at left back with Danny Williams floating further forward. This looked to be our best starting eleven available given our injury problems. Iain Vigurs was on the bench along with another new signing, Tobi Sho-Silva and club captain Richie Foran. The visitors were pretty much at full strength and handed Danny Swanson his first start for his new club. Jamie Walker, Billy King and Gavin Reilly started on the bench. A bright evening saw Inverness strut their stuff on a well manicured pitch, and it was the home side that started better, but as in previous games, lacking any goalmouth action. One obvious difference was the pace shown by Miles Storey who was chasing balls, giving us another dimension that had been previously lacking. Hearts came more into the game after the first quarter and it looked as though it would be a repeat of the Hamilton game as errors began to creep into our play, offering Hearts the chances to get forward. If truth be told, whilst it was an entertaining enough encounter, the big away support was probably all that was keeping this game from slipping below mediocrity as both sides struggled to get behind defensive barriers and I imagine some stern words would be spoken by both managers at the break. Few first half highlights to report. Juanma tried to convince the referee he had been impeded in the box, aye right, and an appeal for handball against Ryan Christie who got in the way of a shot from a couple of yard distance on the edge of the box. Rightly dismissed and half time came without either keeper getting his hands dirty. Half Time 0-0 The pep talks seemed to get the message across that more was required and Inverness looked a yard smarter after the interval. We worked the ball down the left through Danny Wiliams but he was denied a cross into the box. He then back tackled the defender and Christie picked up the loose ball. He flicked it between two Hearts players and surged past them before arrowing a low ball into the box. Plenty to do yet, but James Vincent has done this before getting in ahead of the defender to ram the ball into the net for our first goal at home this season. Relief all round and joy in the North Stand. The game opened out after this but Fon Williams was still untroubled as Hearts were reduced to striking from distance, and striking them poorly at that. trundling a few wide of the mark. It was similar at the other end as we looked to add the killer second goal, but there were plenty of stoppages for niggly fouls and play was being repeatedly halted. At 1-0 there was always going to be the danger of losing the lead, something we have done twice already, but Yogi had other ideas and went for glory. Hearts sub Jamie Walker was lively when he came on and had a couple of attempts go wide and a jinking run into the box saw him prod the ball over. Yogi had seen enough and replaced Christie with Tobi in a bold move to get more out of this game. He had a dramatic impact after entering the fray, flashing a header over the bar when he could easily have scored. The tall striker certainly looks to be one to watch as he was winning headers and going on mazy runs, dragging the tiring defenders around the park. Hearts were still in it though and more misplaced efforts kept Inverness ahead as Iain Vigurs came on with fifteen to go, replacing scorer James Vincent. Ross Draper almost became an unlikely hero as he drifted forward, leaving defenders in his wake, but unfortunately he could not pick out Storey or get his shot away and the moment was gone. Great work by the big man though. You could sense something was going to give and it almost did in a goalmouth melee, Storey involved amongst others, but too many bodies got in the way and the ball was hacked off the line eventually. Oshaniwa saw red after clashing with Tobi on the goal line whilst waiting for a corner to be taken. I hope Gary Cornish has a better chin than Tobi, but no excuse for the defender pushing his fist onto Tobi's head. From the corner that ensued he almost headed the second, but Bauben got in the way in front of the line and the ball deflected off him just wide. We would not be denied though and Vigurs sent over a tantalising ball similar to Christie's for the opener and Storey picked up at the back edge of the six yard box. He shimmied and thrashed a left footer home from eight yards to settle the points and the jangling nerves. Still time for Hearts to salvage some pride, but Patterson headed wide and the game had passed the Jambos by as Inverness recorded their first win of the season. Full Time 2-0 tm4tj MotM:- Tough one to call with a few players performing well. James Vincent got the sponsors award, probably for his goal on his comeback from injury, but he did have a decent game. Most of the plus performances came in a better second half and Christie, showed why Celtic bought him as he set up the opener. Carl Tremarco was another who showed up well, linking defending with providing the extra man wide left. New strikers Miles Storey and Tobi indicated that they will be a handful for the best of them and look to be an exciting prospect. Storey might even be quicker than Marley Watkins, but for me, MotM goes to Ross Draper for his industry up front and at the back, not to mention his Diego Maradona impression where he burst through the Hearts midfield into the box. Deserved better, but he is my choice for Man of the Match. Date: 11/09/15 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 4160 Referee: Steven McLean Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Fon Williams, Raven, Meekings, Devine, Tremarco, Draper, Tansey, Vincent (Vigurs 76), Christie (Sho-Silva 72), Williams, Storey Subs (not used): Esson, Lopez, Foran, Wedderburn, Horner Scorers: Vincent (49), Storey (89) Booked: Devine (51), Tansey (82) Sent Off: none Hearts: 0 Lineup: Alexander, Paterson, Ozturk, Rossi, Oshaniwa, Buaben, McKirdy (Reilly 77), Nicholson, Sow (King 59), Swanson (Walker 67), Delgado Subs (not used): Hamilton, Augustyn, Pallardo, McGee Scorers: none Booked: Paterson (43), Delgado (90) Sent Off: Oshaniwa (86)
  19. Rank rotten Hamilton Accies deservedly went home with all three points against a shambolic Inverness who are still under strength due to injuries to key players. Goals in each half where Hamilton profited from Inverness errors saw them leave the Caley Jags without a win since the Scottish Cup final. Carlton Morris and Louis Longridge did the damage after Inverness failed to capitalise on a bright opening where Dani Lopez failed to take any of his three excellent opportunities. A bright day at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium would soon be overshadowed by the bleak display on the park as Inverness toiled whilst Accies spoiled. A small band of visitors would leave the ground merry, the majority would vent their anguish and frustration at another inept display. Read on. Yogi gave starts to Ryan Christie and Dani Lopez in the hope that they could ease our striking problems, but, as would be revealed, the broken record continues with no cutting edge in the final third. Hamilton had not beaten Inverness last season, that was about to change. The home side got off to the better start and it looked as though it was only a matter of time before we would open the scoring. Christie, Mutombo and Lopez were linking well and creating chances. Lopez fired a shot across goal in his first attempt, narrowly missing the target and soon after he headed a Draper cross goalwards, but his effort lacked the power and direction to beat McGovern who dived low to his right to save well. His third effort should have resulted in the opening goal but somehow he could not direct the ball into the net from close range after good work down the wing by Mutombo. The fans were applauding every move as we danced our way forward. Those same fans were not so pleased at the end of the game. Accies were starting to get to grips with our play after fifteen minutes and Grant Gillespie came close with a long range shot which had Williams diving across goal, but the ball fizzed past the wrong side of the post. That warning was not heeded though and after eighteen minutes, Hamilton went ahead. We gave away cheap possession half way up the park. Crawford set Morris on his way and he kept his head to slot the ball easily behind Fon Williams for the opening goal. That might have been harsh on Inverness, but the lack of a proven striker is damning to say the least. From there on in, Hamilton were never really troubled and Inverness would do well to keep the score to one at the break as we fell out of the game. Gramoz Kurtaj had a shot blocked by Fon Williams and Ali Crawford could not adjust his wee feet quick enough to tap the ball into the net and the chance was gone. Lucky break for Inverness. Half Time 0-1 Would the second half bring some joy to the fizzogs of the home fans. Well, no would be the answer. Lopez did try to curl one into the top left corner from outside the box, but it was all a bit choreographed as McGovern clutched the ball comfortably. Not enough pace on the shot to beat the keeper although it was on target and Dani had another on target later, but it was a trundler that the former County keeper collected with ease. Hamilton were content to hold their advantage and we did our best to keep it that way as time after time moves broke down on the right side with David Raven in particular having an off day. The wine must have been extra strong in the hospitality suite as they awarded him the sponsors man of the match. My word! We did have a bit more joy on the left side after Wedderburn and Tremarco were introduced but there were no takers for a couple of inviting crosses into the penalty box, not helped of course when a fresh air shot sums up our day. Meh! The icing was on the Accies cake when they caught us out again right at the end and Longridge put the final nail in our coffin, game over. Full Time 0-2 Plenty of room for improvement as our poor start to the season continues, and at this moment it is difficult to see when or if their will be any change to that. Injuries of course are the big talking point, but lack of firepower is lingering long. In truth, we matched Hamilton in most aspects of the game without causing them too many problems. Both goals were the result of our own mistakes and unfortunately for us we were punished on both occasions. Difficult to pick out anybody after such a poor overall performance, but I suppose Fon Williams did what he had to do and when Wedderburn and Tremarco came on we looked better balanced. Time to get Tremarco in at left back and let the more creative Danny Williams forage further forward. Plenty of disgruntled fans leaving the stadium and the boos are getting more audible as the plight darkens. Next up we are away to Nick Ross and Dundee. Oh dear, it looks like it's going to be a long season if our fortunes don't change soon. Last year is history, time to start this campaign. Date: 22/08/15 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 3003 Referee: Euan Anderson Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Fon Williams, Raven, Draper, Devine, Williams, Tansey (Tremarco 66), Polworth, Mbuyi-Mutombo, Christie, Vigurs (Wedderburn 76), Lopez (Horner 77) Subs (not used): Esson, Ferguson, Brown, Sutherland Scorers: none Booked: Devine (30), Tremarco (81) Sent Off: none Hamilton Acc: 2 Lineup: McGovern, Gordon, Tena, Tagliapietra, Kurakins, Gillespie (Docherty 63), Imrie, Crawford, MacKinnon, Kurtaj (Longridge 91), Morris (Nade 79) Subs (not used): Martin, MacDonald, Watson, Boyd Scorers: Morris (18), Longridge (91) Booked: Crawford (35), MacKinnon (43), Morris (60) Sent Off: none
  20. Derby joy for County. Iain Vigurs started in the only change from last weekend with Danny Williams starting on the bench. The usual low attendance for a League Cup televised game was evident and the other change was our strip, playing in our away colours. A bright opening for the home side as they tried to banish the blues after a dreary ninety minues against St Johnstone. After ten minutes, Storey broke into the box from a ball slipped through the defence by Polworth, but as the keeper stood tall, Storey shot weakly at him and the chance was gone. Great opportunity to open the scoring and the young striker will be aggrieved that he never did better. Inverness were dominating the possession and Tremarco broke on the left. His cross was back headed by Storey but the defender was right behind him to block it. More persistence saw Inverness gain a free kick on their left side and Tansey's effort was deflected for a corner which came to nothing. Fifteen minutes gone and more had happened in this game so far than the entire ninety minutes last Saturday. Ryan Christie was prominent at the heart of every Caley Jags probing and was always looking to thread someone in. A quick throw out saw Polworth stumble on the ball as it hit his heels and Woods got a shot away, but it was deflected for a corner. Boyce could have done better with a header after 20 minutes, but he angled it just wide as County got to grips with the game, and Fon-Williams had to look sharp to deny the eager County strikers from a dangerous cross as he stooped to gather it. Martin Woods was denied by the bar with a stunning strike from thirty yards which dipped and sliced over Fon-Williams but smashed down off the bar and away to safety. A bolt from the blue and it almost broke the deadlock. The game was racing from end to end and there was plenty of action to keep the fans entertained. Half an hour gone and the game had evened out with both sides giving it a go, Ryan Christie receiving some rough treatment from the County midfielders. Iain Vigurs took some retribution and a deserved booking for a clumsy tackle on Gardyne but the free kick was easily cleared. The game was getting broken up with some petty fouling as the half time whistle approached and the crisp passing from the first quarter had disappeared. We really need to do something about our quality at throw-ins. Another one taking an eternity to see through and once more the ball lost cheaply. It's almost an advantage for the opposition when we gat a throw-in. Carl Tremarco gave away a free kick five minutes before the break and Christie skimmed a header behind for a corner. From the corner, Jackson Irvine stooped to head cleanly into the net as the defence stood watching with nobody on the back post. Criminal! Good goal for County, sloppy from Inverness. You have to say that goal was coming before the break as County were getting on top of the midfield as we ran out of ideas early. Half Time 0-1 Liam Boyce was first to try his luck after the break as he created a yard of space but fired over the bar from a tightish angle. But the warning signs are there and moments later a Gardyne shot is deflected behind Fon-Williams by Danny Devine after the keeper looked to have it covered. Game over, and Dingwall almost sealed it with a flashing header that went just over. Storey burst down the right but his cut back was missed by Vincent and straight to the other end where Fon-Williams fingertipped a shot behind at the expense of a goal kick. Meh. Devine almost gifted a third for County losing the ball in the right back position. When County worked it into the box, Gardyne was thwarted by a diving save from the home keeper. Another let off for a struggling Inverness. Martin Woods caught a booking for clipping Christie as Inverness tried to respond and Devine nodded a Tansey free kick just behind. Jackson Irvine was leading our midfield a merry dance as he strutted his stuff and drove County forward at every opportunity. Horrendous phase of the game for Inverness and Fon-Williams joined in the comedy as he let the ball fall from his grasp as he tried to throw it out then changed his mind. It's difficult to watch now as County look more likely to score a few more goals. Storey shot tamely into the keepers hands as he tried a rare shot, but it was not going to trouble anyone before County continued their dominance. Disaster struck once more as Miles Storey went down clutching his leg after a challenge from Robertson and everyone held their breath, but he was able to continue after some treatment. Tansey was next for the fresh air shot as he acrobatically missed an overhead kick. Oh how the County fans were enjoying this. Substitute Danny Williams fired a low ball into the box and a Ryan Christie flick almost went in, but it hit the base of the post and bounced into the keepers arms. Better from Inverness though. More punishment for Christie in midfield as he was once again targeted. With fifteen minutes left, it looked as though Inverness were out of the competition. Some good work by Williams and Storey on the left saw Inverness win a corner as Christie was manhandled to the ground once more. Nothing came from the corner, but once more we worked hard on the left and when the ball arrived at Tansey's feet some thirty yards out, the folk in row P in the North Stand ducked. No need to though as Greg hit a daisy cutter into the bottom corner. Inverness had woken up and another run forward by Christie saw him upended thirty yards out but nothing given. Plenty to play for as one more goal would set up extra-time. Christie was again clattered by Davies as Inverness searched for a leveller, but Tansey's free kick was too high for Devine who was adjudged to have been fouling anyway. Into the last ten minutes and the hosts had the impetus now, but one more for County would finish it and they knew it as they slowed the pace of the game making time wasting substitutions to eat away some valuable seconds. Tansey went close as he drove towards the box on the right side, however his shot across the keeper went a yard wide. A corner went abegging as well as the game went into 4 minutes of time added on and County used their noodle to waste more time near the corner flag. Woods blasted a free kick well over as time slipped away from Inverness and when Tremarco fell over the ball again the game was up. Full Time 1-2 Too little too late from Inverness and County deserved to go through against our makeshift side. We started well, finished well, but had little to offer in the middle hour of the game. Slack marking allowed Irvine his free header and a bit of misfortune for the second, but we could not complain at being only two down as County dominated the middle section of the game. Great finish from Tansey but overall, we did not do enough to take the game to another half hour. A not unexpected result, but nonetheless still hard to take given our recent troubles and little light at the end of the tunnel. MotM for Inverness was Ryan Christie who took a lot of stick from the robust County markers and was unlucky not to score with a neat flick late on. Where now for Inverness as County go into the hat along with St Johnstone. Well, it's league action on Saturday in what is looking like a must win game for us as our season disintegrates. Date: 27/10/15 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: ???? Referee: Steven McLean Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Fon Williams, Raven, Tremarco, Vincent, Meekings, Devine, Tansey, Polworth, Christie, Vigurs, Storey Subs (not used): Esson, Wedderburn, Horner, Williams, Sutherland Scorers: Tansey (78) Booked: Vigurs (31) Raven (74) Sent Off: none Ross County: 2 Lineup: G.Woods, Fraser, Robertson, Davies, Reckord, Dingwall, M.Woods, Irvine, Gardyne, Boyce, Curran. Subs (not used): Severn, Boyd, Graham, Foster, Franks, Murdoch, Schalk Scorers: Irvine (41) Gardyne(48) Booked: Woods (57) Davies (80) Sent Off: none
  21. We're bottom of the league and you're no Inverness were embarrassed for the third time in a week as local rivals Ross County won the Highland derby 3-2 at the Caledonian Stadium. Inverness were a shambles in the first half as County went two goals ahead through a Liam Boyce double, assisted by an absent defence. Scott Boden scored a hotly disputed goal for Inverness just before the break. However, Boyce completed his hat-trick in the second minute of the second half with his markers deserting their posts once more. Ross Draper reduced the deficit after 65 minutes, but County held on to earn a deserved victory and leave Inverness rooted to the foot of the table after two games. hislopsoffsideagain posted this on the forum, and it's too accurate not to use. If you weren't at the match, don't let the scoreline fool you into thinking this was a close game. 3-2 flattered us; if County had won by three or four there would have been little to complain about. Other than the abysmal performance, of course... We looked completely unprepared for this game. County always press us high up the pitch right at the start..yet we didn't seem to have anticipated this at all. We barely got out of our own half in the first quarter of the game, because we kept giving the ball away or having to punt aimless long balls. All of the goals we conceded were dreadful in their own way. We may as well have not had any defenders on the park at the first goal. Gardyne was allowed lots of space and time to cross and Boyce was inexplicably unmarked about eight yards out. McNaughton had been marking him, yet ended up about three yards away from him and miles underneath the ball. The second goal might have been prevented had we not taken so long over substituting McNaughton (who took ages to limp off) that we had to play with 10 men. It was a great first touch and finish by Boyce though, but if we'd not been playing a defender short it probably would have been preventable. Despite the fact that McNaughton clearly couldn't continue, Foran didn't bother summoning Horner for a good minute or two afterward. Amateurish. For what it's worth, Raven (who Gardyne had on toast in the opening 15 mins) was a far better centre-back than McNaughton. The third goal, the obligatory soft-goal-conceded-from-a-set-piece (three games in a row now!) was completely deflating, coming right at the start of the second half. The long punt forward hung in the air for aeons. Any half-decent keeper, and most lousy ones, would have come for it and claimed it. Fon Williams stayed rooted to his line. Worryingly, Warren was beaten remarkably easily in the air by Boyce. Earlier, Fon Williams handled outside his box, but the ref played advantage and County inexplicably missed with the goal gaping. Had it not been for the advantage, the keeper might have seen red instead of the subsequent yellow. As for us, it sounds like our first goal was extremely fortunate, as County fans (and a few ICT ones) are saying the ref blew his whistle for an apparent infringement before Boden scored, only to change his mind after the ball went in and he'd spoken to his linesman. The County players were absolutely incensed. The second was a great hit by Draper, but apart from a goalline clearance from Cikos shortly after, we didn't really look like scoring. Full Time 2-3 Lots and lots and lots to worry about. The body language from the players was terrible. It was striking that, during stoppages from injuries, the County players were receiving instruction and encouragement from their bench, whilst our management team stood with arms folded and our players wandered away from each other with hands on hips and heads down. No-one looked like they wanted the ball except Boden, who rarely got it within about ten yards of where he was, and Tremarco, who was the only other player worth a pass mark. We had four very decent midfielders on the pitch - Draper, Tansey, Polworth and Vigurs - all of whom were really poor in possession. Anyone watching that fiasco could make the mistake of thinking that we had a rookie manager who was way out of his depth... ps, if you notice I have Andrew Dallas down as the referee. I'm not so sure he is one after a totally incompetent performance from an official who had no understanding or control over the game. In a display of total inadequacy he booked nine players overall in what was not a dirty game. Shame on you Dallas. From County TV --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Inverness CT - 2 - Boden (45) Draper (65) Fon Williams, Raven, Tremarco, McNaughton (Horner 27), Warren, Polworth, Draper, Vigurs (Doran 75), Tansey, Boden, King (Mulraney 56). Subs not used: Esson (GK), Brown, Fisher, Sutherland. Ross County: - 3 - Boyce (7, 26, 47) Fox, Cikos, Routis, McEveley, Gardyne (Franks 90), Woods, Boyce (McShane 90), Curran (Schalk 87), Foster, Davies, Quinn. Subs not used: McCarey (GK), Dingwall, Graham, van der Weg. Referee: Andrew Dallas. Attendance: 4204.
  22. Bore draw Defences were on top at the Caledonian Stadium as Falkirk came North with a clear game plan; do not concede. It worked as Inverness struggled to break them down with former Partick player Abdul Osman outstanding for Falkirk, and combined with our wayward shooting that ensured the battling Bairns went home with a point. Chances were at a premium in an instantly forgettable first half. The tempo improved in the second but despite some near misses around the Falkirk box it was left to Mark Ridgers to ensure we also took a point as he blocked a late effort from substitute Shayne Lavery from six yards. Some odd results today with County, Dundee United and Dunfermline losing we actually moved further away from the Pars in fifth place. A decent visiting crowd were on hand to see if they could lift the Bairns out of the relegation scrap with a total of over 2800 in attendance on a brisk and blustery afternoon in the Highland Capital. As mentioned above, it was an instantly forgettable first forty-five with the most apt description coming from AJS as he slithered and shivered down the stairs at the interval. Bland! Enough said Sandy. The only plus points for me were that Coll Donaldson was immense at the back for us mopping up every ball forward from Falkirk and Abdul Osman did likewise at the other end to ensure it was a total stalemate. In our defence, the Bairns probably had more to gain from keeping it tight and their tenacity and close shackling of our players made for a dull first half. The pace of the game quickened after the break as Inverness drove towards the North Stand and Charlie Trafford shot wide as more urgency came into our play. Harry Burgoyne saved from man of the moment Aaron Doran as he looked for his fifth goal in as many games, but like his team mates, most efforts were not causing the big keeper too many issues. Harry again denying Doran and a succession of three corners came to nothing. Kevin McHattie had one of our best moments when he flashed a volley just wide from the edge of the box when it looked as though it might find the bottom corner, the ball going agonisingly the wrong side of the post. Brad Mckay met a Chalmers corner from the right but it flashed just wide of the post with defenders relieved to see it miss, the ball rolling out for a corner off Edjenguele's shins . White directed a header well wide on the run under pressure from the two centre backs, the ball just not running for the big man today. Doran came closest of all when he appeared on the left side of the box as he collected a disguised pass from Polworth, but his goalbound shot was cleared away from inside the six yard box by Jordan McGhee. Polly then guided the clearance just wide under pressure from the defender. That could easily have been the opener but for a fortunate block by Edjenguele on Polly, the ball going for a corner. A wonderful jinky run into the box by Trafford almost set up a chance for Tom Walsh but he wanted to take an extra touch to be sure and his right footed effort was subsequently blocked. Would have been nice for Polworth to get one on his 200th appearance but he will need to be sharper if he wants to hit the back of the net. Too ponderous around the box for my liking although he was always looking to create something for others, especially in the second half. The customary late flurry brought little reward for Inverness and right at the death Falkirk almost stole it. Substitute Shayne Lavery pounced on the ball plumb in front of Mark Ridgers but the Inverness stopper stood firm as his shot went into his chest to avoid us losing another sore one to the Bairns. It would have been nothing short of robbery had defence minded Falkirk stolen all three points as they did last time they were here. It was miserable enough dropping two points but as it turned out we lost no ground and as for Falkirk, they actually dropped to second bottom after Partick whipped Morton 3-0. Man of the Match for Inverness was Coll Donaldson. Boy are we going to miss you in the Semi-Final. Abdul Osman was the same for Falkirk proving to be a big obstacle and dominated everything in the air at his end. He's a big unit. Here's the footage from Caley Jags TV Inverness CT manager John Robertson said on BBC Sport: "It was disappointing because we had by far the better chances in the second half. The first half was a total non-event. I don't think people realise how bad the wind was. It was really, really strong blowing straight through the park." Date: 30/03/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2817 Referee: Gavin Ross Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Trafford, Polworth, McHattie, Chalmers (Walsh 65), Doran, White (Austin 77) Subs (not used): C Mackay, Rooney, McCauley, D Mackay, Machado. Scorers: none Booked: Trafford (61), B Mckay (89), Sent Off: none Falkirk FC: 0 Lineup: Burgoyne, McGhee, McKenna, Edjenguele, Osman, Dixon, Paton, McShane, Petravicius (Jarvis 74), Keillor-Dunn (MacLean 62), Rudden (Lavery 86) Subs (not used): Mitchell; Waddington, O'Hara, Robson Scorers: none Booked: Dixon (28) Sent Off: none a
  23. What's the Storey, Miles Glory. Inverness fell behind after twenty minutes when some pinball ended with McInroy drilling the ball home from inside the box. Sutherland was unlucky when his header crashed off the bar with the keeper beaten. Miles Storey scored with a stunning left foot shot high past a despairing Fon Williams to level the game with around 25 minutes left and that's how it ended, all square in the final game of 2020, a year we all want to forget. Happy New Year when it comes. Second placed Dunfermline Athletic came North for this 6:30pm kick-off at the Caledonian Stadium as we moved into the second phase of this seasons shortened Championship. No fans of course as we have now been plunged into tier 4 for covid 19, but live streaming was available from ICTFC. The Pars were looking to build on some good results which has them second in the Championship behind Hearts, we were looking to get back on track after a poor performance at Alloa and a day off last Saturday when we should have been at Cappielow. John Robertson went for a more experienced squad with Sean Welsh, Aaron Doran and James Vincent returning to the starting XI. James Keatings missed out with a thigh strain. Wallace Duffy and Davis Carson were on the bench with young guns Roddy MacGregor and Kai Kennedy Kevin O'Hara started this one with DecLan McManus on the bench along with Fraser Murray and Ryan Dow. After a minute silence in memory of Jim McLean the game went ahead and it was five minutes in before Robbie Deas broke forward on the left side before firing a shot from distance which was easy enough for Fon Williams to gather. Euan Murray was next to try his luck but he headed over. Captain Murray was always going to be a threat from set pieces. A great ball into the box from Cammy Harper saw no takers as the game approached 15 minutes with defences on top in an open game. The Pars opened the scoring with a rather fortunate goal. Nothing wrong with the strike, but the ball fell kindly for them twice before it was put behind Ridgers by Kyle Turner just after 20 minutes. Moments later, Kerr McInroy flashed a snapshot wide as we all held our breath, the ball whistling just wide. We almost responded immediately but a tremendous cross from Harper was headed strongly off the bar by Shane Sutherland with the keeper well beaten. He rose well to power his header but it was a fraction too high and smacked the crossbar. Sutherland brought out a brilliant one handed diving save from the keeper soon after as he shot from distance following a defensive slip by the Pars, the ball being tipped over for a fruitless corner. Ten minutes before the break we had a Devine intervention in the six yard box to deny a certain tap-in goal at the back post as a low ball across the box was cleared over the bar at full stretch by Danny Boy with Kevin O'Hara lurking with intent. The goal apart, there was little between the sides as the interval approached with Inverness winning a couple of corners and a header went harmlessly wide from the returning ball into the box after the second corner. A rare burst forward after we gave away the ball in the visitors half saw Kevin O'Hara test Ridgers right on the break, the big keeper down quickly to his low shot from the edge of the box to save comfortably. HALF TIME 0-1 Kai Kennedy replaced Aaron Doran at the interval. Doran had taken a knock in the first half and continued after treatment but had remained in the dressing room. Ridgers saved a deflected shot eight minutes into the second half as The Pars looked dangerous on the break at the start of the half. Sean Welsh fired wide as the hosts responded but the play was getting untidy and Miles Storey might have done better when he was set free inside the left side of the penalty box, instead his half hit shot rolled meekly into the keepers hands. However, his next major involvement was stunning when it came along. Fon Williams cut out a dangerous cross after good work down the left flank, Kennedy injecting a bit of urgency about proceedings since he was introduced after the interval. Sean Welsh entered the referees book for a scything tackle in midfield as we looked to break down a resolute Pars defence but with around half an jour left it was not looking too good. Out of the blue, Inverness scored a screamer with 66 minutes on the clock. Miles Storey turned on a long throw-in from Brad Mckay just outside the box and lashed a powerhouse of a shot into the keepers top right corner. What a strike by Storey from around 25 yards across the keeper and into the roof of the net with Fon Williams clutching at thin air. A bit of ball flapping in the home box led to a corner as Allardice deflected the eventual strike for the Pars but the ball was headed tamely over from the set piece. Into the final ten minutes and still all to play for as the Pars pushed for a winner. The visitors pressed hard as the clock ticked down and with Danny Devine going off injured it was backs to the wall in a frantic finish. A couple of yellow cards later and it was all over, a hard earned point for both sides. What the managers said on BBC Sport Dunfermline manager Stevie Crawford: "Really pleased with the first-half performance. We created a number of chances. Inverness had a decent spell and put us under pressure in the second half, but we responded well and tried to win the game." Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "It was a very good game. We started slowly and didn't quite get going. We battled back into it. We tweaked the system at half-time and it was a different game, we totally dominated the second half." Match Highlights, look out for the Glory Storey thunderball @66mins A point each right eenuff... Date: 29/12/2020 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 000 Referee: Euan Anderson Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Deas, Devine, Harper, Doran (Kennedy 45), Welsh, Allardice, Vincent, Sutherland (D Mackay 88), Storey (Todorov 85) Subs (not used): C Mackay, Duffy, Carson, MacGregor Scorers: Storey (67) Booked: Welsh (64), B Mckay (87), D Mackay (90+4) Sent Off: none Dunfermline Ath: 1 Lineup: Fon Williams; Comrie, Mayo, Watson, E Murray, Edwards, Wilson, McInroy (Dow 66), McCann (McManus 69), Turner, O'Hara (Thomas 80) Subs (not used): Gill; Whittaker, Berry, F Murray Scorers: Turner (23), Booked: Turner (90+5) Sent Off: none a
  24. Pars visit Second placed Dunfermline Athletic head North on Tuesday 29th December for a 6:30pm kick-off at the Caledonian Stadium as we move into the second phase of this seasons shortened Championship. No fans of course as we have now been plunged into tier 4 for covid 19. The game can be streamed live, see tweet below from ICTFC. Sad news this week with the passing of Jim McLean. Former Dundee United manager who dared to build a team that Would go on to beat Barcelona home and away twice. Condolences to his family and friends and the extended football world who knew his worth. One of the great managers to grace the Scottish game. RIP It all started back in October when we went to East End Park for the first game of the season under covid19 restrictions. The Pars proved to be too strong for an injury decimated Caley Jags who conceded two goals in the final twelve minutes to take the points in a 3-1 win. Nikolay Todorov had given Inverness a second minute lead before captain Euan Murray levelled after twenty. Unfortunately two goals saw the Pars run out winners, Ryan Dow and Declan McManus with a belter were the late scorers. We were inactive on Boxing Day as storm Bella drenched Cappielow and the game was called off around 10:00am. The previous week we earned zero points as we slumped at Recreation Park after taking an early lead through Brad Mckay. A stunning free kick from Innes Murray drew the Wasps level before a Mark Ridgers blunder gift wrapped the points for Alloa after Robbie Thomson volleyed towards goal. Whilst we were undermining our recent recovery, the Pars took four points from their last two games. A tremendous three goal comeback at Dens Park was backed up by a hard earned win over Arbroath on Boxing Day, Kevin O'Hara with a 91st minute winner as Owain Fon Williams kept the Red Lichties at bay. At Dens Park the hosts had taken a three goal lead which they held until the 78th minute. Goals from Watson, McManus and a 93rd minute equaliser from man of the moment Kevin O'Hara earned a point for the Fifers. What a signing he has been. With our game against Morton having been postponed, I would hazard a guess that Robbo will still be looking at making one or two changes with Wallace Duffy now ready to return to action. I doubt there will be sweeping changes although starting Aaron Doran might be an option with Kai Kennedy being kept quiet over the last couple of weeks and could be more of an impact player later in the game. Dunfermline will not need to alter much, if it's not broken, don't fix it. Here's their starting XI for the Arbroath game. 1 Owain Fôn Williams; 22 Lewis Mayo, 44 Paul Watson, 5 Euan Murray (c), 3 Josh Edwards, 16 Steven Whittaker, 11 Ryan Dow, 8 Kyle Turner, 15 Iain Wilson, 23 Dom Thomas, 10 Declan McManus. At the moment, this is how I see it. The Pars look likeliest to keep second place for themselves with Dundee shaping up for third. That leaves Raith, Ayr, Morton and ourselves scrapping for the final play-off position. A lot can change between now and the end of the season, but you would expect Dundee and Pars being able to strengthen as required and us and the rest having to make do with what we have. As a distraction to the weekly Championship games, the second round draw for the Scottish Cup takes place on Tuesday evening. The 2020/21 Second Round draw takes place tomorrow at 7:15pm on the ScottishCup YouTube and Facebook page. ICTFC will be ball number 27 in the draw...aaaand we are away to ball 8 Any further team news will be added to preview when available. Here's a wee tune to see us through the winter of woe...
  25. Dee grab late point After a pulsating game at the Caledonian Stadium it ended all square. Liam Fontaine opened the scoring just before the interval reacting quickest to a rebound from the crossbar. Robbie Deas deservedly equalised with twenty minutes left and James Keatings put the hosts ahead three minutes later only for Jordan McGhee to peg us back again eight minutes from the end. No damage done to either club although with Dunfermline losing to Morton, it tightens up in the middle of the table. Hearts pumped Queens 6-1 to move further ahead at the top. Matchday 7 and Dundee were the visitors to the Caledonian Stadium to take on the Caley Jags in a battle for mid-table supremacy. The game kicked off at 3:00pm with a hand picked crowd of just 300 in attendance to this game. Both sides had got off to an inauspicious start to the campaign but were edging upwards recently. Something had to give. The last time the clubs met was in front of over 5,000 fans at Dens Park when first half goals from Aaron Doran and James Keatings put Inverness second in the table with Dundee six points behind in fourth. All this was in a previous life before covid19 came along and closed the world. The atmosphere was less raucous today, (muffled cheering and polite hand clapping), with only the chosen few allowed entry in a tier 1 covid zone. How would it pan out today?... Both sides were near to full strength, Inverness still without Kevin McHattie, Lewis Toshney and the likes of David Carson who needs match fitness along with three or four others who are being eased back up to speed. Dundee were reported to be at full strength with on loan Celt Jonathan Afolabi back in the squad after he missed the Arbroath game. That will be competition for Danny Mullen and Osman Sow. Jordan Foster and Callum Moore are both back in training but will be doubtful if they make the bench today. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Speaking to BBC Sport Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "I'm very disappointed. Their goalkeeper Jack Hamilton's had seven or eight great saves and we missed two sitters. We got ourselves in front and then a lack of communication has cost a second goal." Dundee manager James McPake: "Their second goal was clearly offside. I'm proud of my players but gutted for them as it should be three points. You always need to battle when you come up here - we handled that side of things really well and gave as good as we got." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dundee kicked off towards the North Stand on a dour afternoon but it would make for better viewing on Pixie Lott, the skies overcast, the ground wet after days of rain. The league record for the Dark Blues in Inverness reads five draws and seven defeats in 12 trips up the A9... Dundee were first to show when Jakubiak volleyed wide with Ridgers a spectator. The hosts first opportunity fell to Shane Sutherland who also volleyed wide after great work by Miles Storey down the left, the shot flashing past the keepers right hand post. Great save by Hamilton after 20 minutes to deny Roddy MacGregor from the edge of the box after some good pressure from the Caley Jags. Danny Mullen broke forward on the Dundee right but the flag stayed down. It took a massive blocking tackle from Danny Devine to to stop him just as he pulled the trigger. Mullen stayed down for fully five minutes before getting back to his feet. He continued after more treatment. The game evolved into a tense midfield battle with defences on top. Ten minutes before the break Jordan McGhee powered a header off the crossbar from a corner and Liam Fontaine scrambled the loose ball into the net through a ruck of players in the six yard box. We almost responded immediately but a simple tap in ended with Dundee scrambling the ball to safety. Looked like Keatings blocked from close range. Another foray forward saw a header over the bar and soon after Storey delayed his effort and Hamilton got down to block with Sutherland in a promising position. Dundee once more scrambled the ball away just before the interval as Inverness pressed for a leveller, the ball just not quite rolling for us. Half Time 0-1 Five minutes into the half and from a corner Mullen lashed the ball just over the bar at the back post. Robbie Deas should have scored when the ball landed at his feet six yards from goal, but he inexplicably dollied it into Hamilton's body as the keeper sprawled across his line. Storey made a superb break down the right before a half cleared ball was headed goalwards by substitute Aaron Doran, but Hamilton saved down low. Plenty of home pressure now and Robbie Deas popped up at the back post to hammer the ball home after a corner from the left was flicked on to make amends for his earlier miss. Inverness turned the game on its head few minutes later when Sutherland headed on and James Keatings struck a low shot into the net. Jordan McGhee equalised minutes later after substitute Osman Sow knocked the ball into his path. Meh! In a frantic ending to the game substitute Nikolay Todorov had the ball in the net but it was ruled offside and that's how it ended, all square after an entertaining match where no quarter was given or asked. Dundee will be delighted with the point and Inverness will rue some missed sitters. Hamilton was probably Dundee's busiest man with some crucial stops. Both managers feel they deserved all three points. My money is on Robbo for the honesty bonus. McPake is lying through his teeth desperate to keep his job. Downside to all this was an injury to Shane Sutherland late in the game. OFFICIAL REPORT Robbo talking after the game... Date: 12/12/2020 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 300 Referee: Craig Napier Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Deas, Devine, Harper, Kennedy (Doran 67), Allardice, MacGregor, Sutherland (Todorov 81), Keatings, Storey Subs (not used): C Mackay; Duffy, Vincent, D Mackay, Welsh. Scorers: Deas (72), Keatings (75) Booked: Deas (45+1), Allardice (50), Keatings (90), B Mckay (90+4) Sent Off: none Dundee FC: 2 Lineup: Hamilton; McGhee, Fontaine, Jakubiak (Anderson 72), Byrne, Mullen (Sow 64), McGowan (McDaid 68), Ashcroft, Elliot, Marshall, Adam Subs (not used): Ferrie; Kerr, Forster, Robertson. Scorers: Fontaine (37) McGhee (82), Booked: Adam (84), Byrne (90+1) Sent Off: none a
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