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  1. Promotion warm up? With a play-off slot almost secured, one of the challengers for the final Premiership place comes North looking to set a marker for the forthcoming Championship shoot-out. Dundee United are the visitors and it's still mathematically possible for them to win promotion outright, but that all depended on the Staggies who held a six point advantage going into their game at Ayr on Friday night. I suppose we can now offer our congratulations to County who beat Ayr 3-1 and they have all but won the Championship given their massive goal difference over Dundee United. I wonder if that result will have any bearing on the way United now approach this game tomorrow knowing that automatic promotion is now a distant memory. Here is the updated table showing County almost unassailable. The other game tomorrow which could affect our push for promotion is the game at Palmerston between Queen of the South and Dunfermline Athletic. In the bottom half, it's even tighter with Falkirk facing Morton and Partick Thistle at home to Alloa Athletic who are on a four game winning streak. Bums will be squeaking for sure this weekend. There was a somewhat untimely release by the club this week in the build up to the season finale with the news that our chief assistmeister and playmaker Liam Polworth will be a Motherwell FC player next season in the Premiership. Liam has been around Inverness Caledonian Thistle since he was eight years old. He has made 214 appearances scoring nineteen goals so far and I'm sure he will go on to produce many more memorable moments on the park, just not our one. That leaves Caley Thistle Online with the job of finding a new player to sponsor as we have been Liam's sponsor since he was in the squad making up the numbers. He can be seen pointing the way to Fir Park where he will wear the Claret & Amber of Motherwell. All the best for the future to 'one of our own'. Admission prices: Official site TICKET INFO Adult (Grown up chiel) Concession (olde git or 16-25 noisy fekker) u16 (sober kids) Main Stand Adult £22 - Concession £17 - u16 £6 North Stand/Arab Stand Adult £20 - Concession £15 - u16 - £6 We inched our way towards a potential Premiership place by earning a point at Cappielow in midweek. A partly depleted squad came back to level the game with Morton in the 88th minute as substitute Darren McCauley slammed a Liam Polwrth pass into the net. Anthony McDonald had opened the scoring with a tremendous solo goal but Reece Lyon equalised for the Ton. Greg Kiltie put them ahead just before the break from the spot and as Morton went defensive, we searched for a leveller which arrived just before the final whistle. Dundee United have drawn with County in Dingwall having been ahead up to the last few seconds and they defeated Ayr 2-1 last time out, Safranko and McMullan overturning Ayr's lead through Bell. There has been four games against Saturdays opponents already this season. A 1-1 draw at Tannadice was followed by a similar scoreline at the Caledonian Stadium in mid-December. United won the next one at Tannadice by a solitary goal against an understrength Caley Jags. The fourth encounter was the Scottish Cup tie with a stronger side on the park and we bossed that one before winning 2-1 with a late Aaron Doran goal proving decisive. Joe Chalmers got the opener and it was an absolute belter. So good it was voted goal of the round, and so good we can have another look, courtesy of William Hill. Coll Donaldson, Mark Ridgers, Carl Tremarco and Sean Welsh all missed out through injury at Greenock, Welsh being out for the season. Anthony McDonald came back in to good effect scoring a superb goal but also took a heavy knock. Tom Walsh had a bit of a rest on the bench. Good to see Darren McCauley scoring the second goal and he should push on now that he has completed his degree studying nutrition at the University of Ulster. Plenty of tired legs and plenty of important players for what will be an exciting finish to a gruelling campaign where our thin squad has been pushed to the limits on a number of occasions. Robbo will have to choose wisely over the coming weeks to get the best out of our already stretched squad. Latest news is that Donaldson, Tremarco and Brad Mckay are all major doubts. Robbo still playing it cagey....... Robbie Neilson has a big squad to choose from and one man he is looking towards as the run in to the season begins is former Hearts forward Osman Sow. He is approaching full fitness and has been used sparingly since joining the Arabs in January because of a calf injury, but Neilson expects him to play a big part in the next few games. He also has plenty of other quality strikers he can call on, Paul (the diver) McMullan, Pavol Safranko, Nicky Clark, Cammy Smith and Peter Pawlett are all vying for the starting slot, so no matter who gets the nod, it's going to be a tough job for any defence. The Official Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year voting has commenced and you can cast your votes by following the link provided. The nominees are: PotY Coll Donaldson Mark Ridgers Aaron Doran Sean Welsh Joe Chalmers Young PotY Jamie McCart Tom Walsh Shaun Rooney Cameron Harper Roddy MacGregor ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Here is the registration page to sign in to FansBet Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you sign up and 50% of net profits will be returned to CTO If you like a wee flutter, our new enhanced partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies. .
  2. Refereeing Joke Ruins Derby Using the term 'referee' loosely, Nick Walsh ruined any hope that a fair game would be played out as he sent Charlie Trafford off on half time and proceeded to flash yellow cards willy nilly, especially at those in blue and red. The game was ruined by half time and with County 2-1 ahead after a lack lustre first half from Inverness there was little hope that the hosts would get their noses in front, not with Nick useless Walsh trying to dominate the game. Josh Mullin rifled a shot home in eight minutes before Jordan White won and missed a penalty, Scott Fox guessing right and saving. We did draw level when Carl Tremarco headed home but we shot ourselves in the foot by gifting a sloppy second, Boyle taking advantage of joke defending. With Trafford going off that was it for us and County and Walsh held on for all three points as the weather worsened. Results tonight showed no dramatic changes to the table with Ayr -V- Morton and Queens -V- Falkirk both ending in 1-1 draws. Falkirk climb above Partick Thistle on goal difference at the foot of the table but have played one more game. Top of the table clash on Friday night as County play Dundee United. We face a tough trip to Ayr on the Saturday and the Pars visit Partick Thistle. This was a crucial game for both teams and neither side were able to field their full strength squad due to injuries. Robertson was without engine room penalty taking midfielder Sean Welsh who will miss the rest of the season. County had four or five first team squad players out, notable Michael Gardyne and Keith Watson with Iain Vigurs suffering a setback in his recuperation. Such is their depth of squad it made little difference to their playing routines. A decent day gave way to some heavy showers shortly before kick off and the TV cameras restricted the fans in the stadium. The Inverness fans rightly relished this one after some great performances recently and having held the upper hand in most derby's this season although not always getting the right result. Undiminished, the optimism and belief that we could consolidate within the top four was rife, but that would soon crumble after we made a sluggish start to this encounter. From the kick off, it was evident that County were the team that wanted this more and we were on the back foot in the opening minutes as we defended nervously. Josh Mullin had two or three half chances before he opened the scoring in the eighth minute. Joe Chalmers was disposessed in midfield. It looked innocuous enough as Mullin got the ball but he speared a low shot from outside of the box in the inside right position. However, it arrowed it's way across the keeper and nestled in the bottom right of Mark Ridgers' goal despite a despairing dive from the keeper. All looked a bit soft to me, but 1-0 to the visitors it was. We only had ourselves to blame at this stage as our tackling, passing and commitment were all wayward. This stirred us slightly and just over ten minutes later we were awarded a penalty after Jordan White was released on the right side of the box. As he tried to go round Fox he was sent sprawling and he was awarded a penalty. He took it himself but telegraphed it somewhat to Fox who was cunning enough to have guessed the correct direction and saved the less than impressive spot kick to his right. Meh! Fox only got a yellow for his part in the incident. His next play proved to be more profitable as he headed back for Carl Tremarco to score with a header off the underside of the bar to level the match five minutes later after a good spell from the hosts. On the half hour Charlie Trafford would pick up a booking for a minor foul. That would come back to bite him on the bum before the interval. Ten minutes before the break our recovery process was undone after we lost control of the ball and failed to clear our lines effectively. From the corner, Draper hit the ball into the ground and Andrew Boyle was able to nod the ball home from very close range with a number of defenders looking around and waving their arms at the referee in frustration. Shoddy stuff from the Caley Jags. County now looked to be in control as we reverted to loose passing and half hearted challenges as Declan McManus and Mullin fired efforts at goal. Aaron Doran broke the monopoly and Inverness forced three corners in succession which came to nothing. A free kick brought no joy either, Joe Chalmers hitting the wall. The game changer was upon us. Firstly Ross Draper seemed to bundle Liam Polworth to the ground which the 'referee' chose to ignore. Ten yards further away he penalised Charlie Trafford and gave him his second half baked yellow card which saw Trafford sent for an early bath in the first minute of stoppage time at the interval. Half Time 1-2 Draper had done his job and the County management replaced him at the break. Considering that he already had picked up an early booking and was lucky to stay on the park, that was a shrewd move. There was plenty of effort but little guile as we struggled to create clear openings, Brad McKay coming closest with a header. The weather had now turned decidedly nasty and a vicious swirling wind and sleet, hailstones and rain made conditions difficult and almost impossible to play a passing game. Tom Walsh was our most effective player on the break and he curled a low effort just the wrong side of the post from the left edge of the box. Close, but not close enough. White almost made the right contact with a shot from twelve yards but could not get his foot round the ball enough under pressure from the defender and the shot went wide. Looked as though County hit the bar at one point with a close range header by Lindsay amongst some confusion in our ranks. Conditions were still deteriorating and the Nick Walsh I'm in charge booking extravaganza began. it was almost as if bookings were going out of fashion and four Inverness players were booked in the next six minutes. It seemed as though every tackle was not just a foul, but also a yellow card, yet the visitors were not chastised for anything. Polly was booked for dissent, Rooney for throwing the ball softly towards the shins of a visiting player. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness Caley Thistle manger John Robertson on BBC Sport: "The sending off - they both bookable offences. However, our boys are convinced Ross Draper caught Liam Polworth in the build-up and it could easily have been a red the other way. That was a big game-changer." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Nick Walsh take a bow son, you are absolutely useless, the worst referee in the history of worst referees. The ten men were now physically and mentally drained but we did well to deny County any more goals, Brian Graham having a couple of late attempts. Still time for a late ironic cheer from the Caley Jags fans when Sean Kelly was booked in time added on. That was as good as it got in a hugely disappointing game ruined by a small person with the big chip on his shoulder syndrome. Coll Donaldson was again our best performer with Tom Walsh and Tommy Tremarco putting in a shift. However, we only have ourselves to blame for our poor start to the game where we strolled around making error after error giving County the belief and impetus to go on and win the game. Gone was the passion, commitment and desire of the previous derby's. It had been replaced by shirking tackles, misplaced passes and blaming someone else. All this helped by a totally incompetent official. Nuff said. Video footage from SPFL OFFICIAL youtube Our next game is away to Ayr United on Saturday. Play like we did at the start of this game and it could be a long day. Here's the Top Ten reaction on CTO forum All the mentions of terrible officiating makes it sound like sour grapes...………………..It certainly was not, that Ref was the worst of the season if not in history !!!! Completely ruined the match. Ref decided the game and that was very disappointing. Could have maybe nicked an equaliser but lacked ideas towards the end. Good effort despite being down to ten. The wrong Walsh was substituted. ? The refereeing - which is not affecting the score - is now bordering on the ridiculous.Disappointing. Not often I join the ref was a w***** brigade, but where do I join up? Apart from that, our defending at set pieces was poor. Ref killed what was shaping up to be a great game he looked hell bent on booking any player in blue and red for any reason. A new low in refereeing, worse than John McKendrick. I don't believe I've ever witnessed such an inept refereeing performance at any level ever before! It really was a farce. The only tiny mitigating factor might be the fact that the standside linesman was absolutely no help to the ref whatsoever. Geezo we have witnessed some shocking refs through the years, but that must be the worst ever. One word for that.... Shambolic, and I don't mean the players I mean the ref. I'm not one to ever just point fingers at every ref but that was the most incompetent biased and downright laughable officiating I have ever witnessed. The final word will come from this geezer............. Really disappointing. I thought we started poor, got worse, got a lifeline, blew it, got level, fecked up and got a shit ref. Nick Walsh, you are the worst referee ever. Disgusted, North Kessock. With that, I'll let you make your own mind up if the referee was any good! Date: 02/04/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 3795 Referee: Nick Walsh ? Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay (Rooney 75), Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco (McDonald 85), Chalmers, Trafford, Polworth, Doran, Walsh (Austin 72), White. Subs (not used): C Mackay; McHattie, D Mackay, Machado, Scorers: Tremarco (24) Booked: Trafford (29), McCart (77), Polworth (81), Rooney (82), Chalmers (83) Sent Off: Trafford (45+1 second yellow) Ross County: 2 Lineup: Fox; Fraser, Boyle, van der Weg, Kelly, Mullin, Draper (Spence 45), Lindsay, Armstrong (Graham 71), McManus, Stewart Subs (not used): Munro; Semple, Paton, Cowie, Grivosti Scorers: Mullin (8), Boyle (34) Booked: Draper (9), Fox (21), Kelly (90+2) Sent Off: none a
  3. Staggies staggering to title The staggering Staggies pop over the bridge to play the Caley Jags in this game postponed from a couple of weeks ago after heavy rain had left the pitch somewhat waterlogged. It's the 6th and final Highland derby coming up on Friday night with BBC Scotland getting in on the action from the Caledonian Stadium with Ross County the visitors for a 7:05pm kick off. Every one of these games has been passionate, enthralling, dramatic and left the fans wanting more. Well, it's here, the next installment. Other games being played on the same night are Ayr -V- Morton and Queen of the South -V- Falkirk, so interest at both ends of the table. After last weekend, we are in fourth place but five points ahead of contenders Dunfermline Athletic. Dundee United also suffered a surprise home defeat at the hands of Queen of the South. County remained top, but the gap has narrowed. Our last game was a laboured no score draw against lowly Falkirk on Saturday. A poor first half livened up after the interval but we never got the break of the ball and had Mark Ridgers to thank for making a point blank save in time added on to ensure we got a point. It was an opportunity sidestepped to put more pressure on the teams above who faltered apart from Ayr United. County went down 1-0 at Alloa thanks to a first half goal from Dario Zanatta. A surprise result but as said before, no easy games now with the bottom five fighting to avoid relegation and the top five vying for promotion. They have also made a visit to the Caledonian Stadium recently and went away with our IrnBru cup. There's a space on the shelf now............ The games between the clubs this season have been a fantastic advert for Championship football in the Highlands. They have had everything. The first two were drawn before County won the New Year derby 2-1 in Dingwall. There followed two tremendous 2-2 draws in Scottish Cup action including extra time with Inverness winning a dramatic penalty shoot out 5-4. Mark Ridgers making one save and Nathan Austin converting the winning kick to send Inverness into the next round. Thanks to that we can now look forward to playing Hearts at Hampden on April 13th in the semi-final. Aaron Doran has been in sparkling form recently with four goals in the last five games, and but for some last ditch Falkirk defending he would have made it five from five. The wee Irishman loves a goal against County as well although he only has one this season so far in the 2-2 cup draw at Dingwall. Aaron has come back from a few injury setbacks and has never been in better form, scoring 11 times this season. Here's a familiar image of Doran wheeling away after scoring yet another goal and captured in this sketch by our own ICT fan and wonderful artist Sophie Robb. You can see these and many more fantastic images on her twitter account or on her ETSY account. Sean Welsh is out after it has been confirmed that he has broken a metatarsal again. Robertson speaking about Welsh said: “Sean has been terrific for us this season – one of the unsung heroes. “He’s in the team every week and he’s in the team every week for a reason, with the job he does for us. He has been brilliant, he’s been consistent and he does what it says on the tin in the middle of the park. He wins the ball, passes it, breaks play up and he also gets forward. He has also become a very reliable penalty-taker to boot, but I think it is his influence on the team. He is one of our experienced players, patrolling the middle of the park and mixing play up. Here's the youngsters against Ayr United in the 5-2 win. Matheus Machado scored a couple of the goals in a 5-2 u18 win over Ayr United He had been drafted into the first team squad recently and it's good to know he has goals in him. Check out his second goal. How about that for a chip. Iain Stewart, eat your heart out! Ross Gunn and Cameron Harper also scored against Ayr as did Daniel Mackay, and he was on the bench against Falkirk as well. Anthony McDonald is a doubt but could make the squad. Another man who seems to relish these games is Liam Polworth who will be an integral part of Robertson's plans. Liam played his 200th game for Inverness on Saturday against Falkirk. Liam has only three goals to his name this season and is due another. Polly is also on Sophie's sketch list, and as they say on Blue Peter, here's one she prepared earlier. County's depth of squad will not present them with any major issues as they stagger towards the Championship tape. Billy Mckay is out for the rest of the season after breaking his arm whilst scoring a hat-trick against Ayr United recently. Mckay had scored 20 goals this season for County and was in fine form. He proved he is still a winner though, even when out injured and he has won the Championship player of the month whilst wristing up with his stookie. Good luck with the recovery Billy. County's management duo will be without defenders Callum Morris and Liam Fontaine who will not feature until next season and Iain Vigurs will likely miss the rest of the season as his foot injury continues to give him problems despite a forty-five minute outing against Kilmarnock reserves. Keith Watson took a knock at Alloa and is out and Michael Gardyne is struggling, but that could be a smoke screen and I expect he will turn up, even if it's just to try and wind up the Caley Jags players. Sean Kelly and Ross Draper made the bench for the trip to Alloa Athletic and should be included again. County's English defender Callum Semple’s Scotiish FA hearing for betting on football matches has been pushed back a fortnight to Thursday, April 11th. Semple was earlier this month given a notice of complaint accused of making bets between the period of July 1 and March 1, in which he also played for Queen of the South on loan from Sheffield United. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Scottish Cup Semi-Final, Hampden Park, Glasgow North and William Hill South Stands - Adults: £30 Concessions*: £15 East and West Stands - Adults: £20 Concessions: £10 *Concessions: Under-16s and 65 years and over................ Don't forget to buy your tickets for the SemiFinal against Hearts at Hampden. This may appear to be an alien concept for some, but always remember this, in space, no one can hear you scream. If you are sitting in your living room passing round the werther's originals and watching on TV, the lads won't be able to hear you. They have been brilliant to get this far in the cup and it's a great day out at the National Stadium. Be there or be square! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  4. Gathering Pace The push for promotion gathers pace after three wins on the bounce and we will be looking for a fourth on Saturday when perennial spoilers Falkirk come North for a 3:00pm kick off at the Caledonian Stadium. I'm sure the players would appreciate a big backing to help get right behind the team and push them on. If you can't make the game, look out for a live audio feed which should appear on the twitter feed as a periscope link. If the gremlins stay away, this should work, fingers crossed................ ps, Please don't be breaking any seats, it's a costly affair and something the club can do without. If you wouldn't do it at home, don't do it here. Read the joint club statement here Yes, three games on the bounce, who knew! Four if you include the cup win at Tannadice, or to put it another way, six out of seven in all competitions. The only defeat in that run was a 1-0 reverse at Tannadice when we were a bit light due to injury. What does it all mean I hear you say? Well it means that we now sit third fourth in the table going into today's game and five points clear of Dunfermline who are the ones most likely to make the push for promotion uncomfortable for us. Ayr have slithered in recent weeks but are not to be discounted yet. The Pars play Ayr on Friday night prior to our game. (Ayr beat Dunfermline 0-1 to go back into third place) There's the updated table above on the left. Other fixtures at the top end are Alloa -V- Ross County and Dundee United -V- Queen of the South. Final fixture is at the other end of the table where Morton play Partick Thistle, a game where Morton could get dragged into the relegation scrap. Our last game was a 3-2 home win over Alloa. Cruising at 3-0, our midfield dynamics changed when Sean Welsh went off injured and Joe Chalmers and Aaron Doran were exchanged. That let Alloa get a foothold and they plugged back a couple of goals through a Trouten penalty and a fortuitous Flannigan deflected shot that wrong footed Ridgers. Doran, Welsh (pen) and dainty feet Jordan White were our scorers. That's eleven for the season for a rejuvenated Aaron Doran who has scored in his last four outings. Great return from the wide midfielder. Dainty feet now has 14 goals in all competitions this season after a slow start to his ICTFC career. Falkirk's last outing was on the 16th of March when they drew with fellow relegation candidates Partick thistle. Ian McShane scored his third of the season to earn the point just before the interval. Previous to that, they went down narrowly at Dingwall (2-1) and beat Ayr United 2-0 at home. Those results show Falkirk sitting third bottom four points above Alloa and it looks as though they are starting to ease away from the dreaded drop. The Bairns are well used to this game of avoiding relegation and are battle hardened to it and will prove to be a tough nut to crack with Zak Rudden in particular a threat. Zak is fresh back from Cyprus where he scored a hat-trick for Scotland u19's. He has also scored three times against Inverness already this season. Another one making an impact is Shayne Lavery. He has two goals in two games after he scored the winner for Northern Ireland U21’s against Mexico last week. As ever, our games against Falkirk have been tough. We started at Falkirk with a 1-0 win back in August thanks to an early George Oakley strike, but he can't help us now. Falkirk came North in December and went away with all three points in a 3-2 win. Walsh and Oakley scored for us but a Zak Rudden double pulled the Bairns level before a late sickener in the third minute of time added on saw Scott Harrison snatch the points. That was the game that ended our unbeaten league run of 25 matches and got the monkey off our back (too many draws). The third encounter was a 2-2 draw at Falkirk as the Bairns twice came from behind (Rudden, McShane) to earn a point after Rooney and Doran had scored for us. John Robertson will have concerns over the fitness of Sean Welsh who was injured against Alloa Athletic. Sean has been a mainstay in midfield recently and his contribution from the spot is reaping rewards after we had tried a series of penalty takers who sadly fell short of the required suitability for the post. Those concerns were justified as it looks like he has cracked a metatarsal. If so he will be out for the rest of the season. Anthony McDonald is not fit enough to return this weekend but could make the squad for the Ross County game. Robbo summed up Sean's contribution perfectly:- “It’s not been confirmed yet but it’s certainly looking that way, we’re just waiting on the scan coming back. That’ll be a blow as Sean has been terrific for us all season and has been one of the unsung heroes, he’s in the team every week and he’s there for a reason because of the job he does for us. Saying that, it’s time for other players to step up now.” Ray McKinnon has no injury worries and had this squad out in the 1-1 draw with Partick. He said this about their current form: "We’ve lost once in our last nine games, our squad is looking good. We are strong and quick, the mentality is good and we’ve just got to go into every game to try and pick something up. We’re in decent form going into the business end of the season, but we’ll be taking absolutely nothing for granted". Don't forget your Scottish Cup semi-final tickets. Don't forget to buy your tickets for the SemiFinal against Hearts at Hampden. This may appear to be an alien concept, but always remember this, in space, no one can hear you scream. If you are sitting in your living room passing round the werther's originals and watching on TV, the lads won't be able to hear you. They have been brilliant to get this far in the cup and it's a great day out at the National Stadium. Be there or be square! Tickets for our William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final will be available for season ticket holders and shareholders on Monday 25th March from 10:00am. General sale will commence on Wednesday 27th March at 9:00am. Tickets will be available from the Club Shop and online from ictfc.tickethour.co.uk. The singing section for this game will be East Stand section G5. South Stand: £30 Adult, Concession £15 East Stand: £20 Adult, Concession £10 Concessions are available for supporters aged over 65 and supporters aged under 16 If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ FansBet have ICT @ 5/8 - Draw @ 11/4 and Falkirk @ 4/1. Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  5. Nothings Easy It wouldn't be the Inverness way if we simply cruised to victory as we suffered a late fright when Alloa launched a last ten comeback that saw them snatch two goals to take the gloss off an otherwise good performance. Aaron Doran continued his goalscoring run to open the scoring followed by a Sean Welsh penalty before the break. Jordan White added a third on the hour to put the game beyond doubt, or was it? Alloa got a penalty with ten minutes remaining and Alan Trouten scored via the post. Iain Flannigan's deflected shot meant for an uncomfortable five minutes but we held on for all three points to move up to third in the table. Alloa remain three points behind Partick at the foot of the table. A chilly night for football saw Alloa pinned back in the early exchanges as Inverness probed for the opening goal. We had a number of early half chances which were mainly from distance but we must have left our shooting boots in the locker room. Liam Polworth came the closest after he created a yard of space to fire a decent effort from twenty-five yards which went a couple of feet over the bar. However, it was that man again, Aaron Doran who opened the scoring with a glancing header into the bottom corner. Sean Welsh swung a curling cross into the heart of the box where Doran met it at the penalty spot to beat Neil Parry from twelve yards for another superb goal from the wee man, his fourth in four games and his eleventh of the season. Suspicion of foul play when Polly and Welsh combined to set big Jordan White free in the box but nothing was awarded as White was brought down left of the six yard box. Mark Ridgers was eventually called into action around the half hour as he gathered a low shot from outside the box. Soon after, Donaldson swung a deep ball into the box where Doran headed it down to White. As the striker tried to turn he was upended in clumsy fashion by Iain Flannigan and there was no dispute about the award this time. Parry dived to his right, unfortunately for him Sean Welsh smashed the ball high down the centre of the goal to double our advantage. Polworth looked as though he almost skimmed the top of the bar with a rasping shot from thirty yards as we continued to play attractive football with Polly and Welsh pulling the strings in midfield. There followed a succession of attempts from outside the box with Joe Chalmers, Kevin McHattie and Jordan White all looking to get in on the act, but the half ended at 2-0 to Inverness. The second period saw little change in the pattern and an inviting cross was inches away from being turned in by dainty feet White. He would not be denied though and he ran onto a through ball from Polworth to neatly dink it over the onrushing Parry. Alloa were still plugging away though and Ridgers had to make a smart save to deny Alan Trouten putting the ball into the top corner after the striker waltzed into our box. White came close to a fourth after shielding the ball well and playing it wide, he then got on the end of the cross but it bounced narrowly wide. Good effort from the big man who is growing into his role well. A needless rash challenge by Jamie McCart threw Alloa a late lifeline when he brought down Trouten who was facing away from goal, but Jamie went through him to give away a penalty. Trouten picked himself up and buried his spot kick into the net off the post. That perked Alloa up and given that our midfield had altered with Wesh, Chalmers and Doran going off Alloa saw an opportunity. We charged forward looking for another and when the move broke down Alloa were presented with a Flannigan shot from outside the box. It looked harmless enough but a massive deflection took it away from Ridgers and that made for a squeaky bum last five minutes. The bums squeaked even louder as Donaldson conceded a corner in the final minute of overtime but we held on to take a valuable three points as Mark Ridgers rose high to collect the ball and end our torture. A tremendous game for 75 minutes then our wheels fell off somewhat. A bit worrying that in form Sean Welsh had to go off injured, hopefully he will recover quickly as we have some crucial games coming up. Aaron Doran was our pick as MotM with great performances from Sean Welsh and Coll Donaldson with Jordan White endearing himself to the hard to please Caley Jags fans with another display showing some deft touches for a big lad. More reaction to follow............ Video action from Caley Jags TV And here is dainty Jordan.............. Date: 26/03/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2006 Referee: Steven Reid Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, McHattie, Chalmers (Walsh 67), Polworth, Trafford, Welsh (Austin 77), Doran (McCauley 75), White Subs (not used): C Mackay; Tremarco, Machado, B Mckay Scorers: Doran (29), Welsh (35 pen), White (61) Booked: none Sent Off: none Alloa Athletic: 2 Lineup: Parry, Taggart, Graham, Dick, Hetherington, Shields, Kirkpatrick (Hamilton 61), Flannigan, Cawley (Brown 73), Zanatta, Trouten Subs (not used): Henry, Goodwin, Karadachki, Peggie, Scorers: Trouten (pen 81), Flannigan (90) Booked: Zanatta (59) Sent Off: none a
  6. Opportunity Knocks After back to back wins in the League plus a cup win over Dundee United, we welcome Clackmannanshire's finest, Alloa Athletic to the Caledonian Stadium. We will be looking to consolidate within the play-off places as Alloa try to extricate themselves from the foot of the table. The games are coming thick and fast at this time of the season as clubs play catch up due to the grim weather and fixture congestion. The Alloa game represents a great opportunity to knock on Ayr United's door for third spot, although the games against the Wasps have been tight affairs so far this season. After this one we have Falkirk, Ross County and Ayr United before we head to Hampden for the Scottish Cup semi-final against Hearts. Last game for us was a fine 2-1 win at Firhill where a Tom Walsh stunner saw us take all three points after Stuart Brannigan had equalised for Partick. Aaron Doran had opened the scoring with a well worked goal involving Jordan White and Aaron played a big part in the winner with a superb back flick for Walsh to volley home in spectacular style. Check out these goals......... Alloa battled hard at the weekend but came away with nothing when Nicky Clark scored a late winner for the Arabs to add to the own goal Andy Graham conceded in the first half. Jordan Kirkpatrick scored the opening goal for the Wasps early in the first half. After last weekends results, Inverness are now back in the top four with Dunfermline the nearest contender only two points behind. Alloa are battling it out at the wrong end of the table with four other teams trying to avoid the drop. Dunfermline v Dundee United play Tuesday night as well and it's Dunfermline v Ayr on Friday (TV) Somethings going to give The two games between the sides have ended in draws with our home game in August producing four goals, three penalties, an own goal, woodwork hit and a sending off. Aye it all happened here, and one of the penalties was missed (Coll hit the bar). Brad Mckay and Sean Welsh (pen) scored for Inverness and a George Oakley own goal and a late Iain Flannigan penalty gave Alloa a share of the spoils. And, just when you think it can't get any worse, ICTFC & Ross County fined £2500. Add to that some broken seats after the IrnBru Cup final thanks to Ross County fans then you just wonder where it's all going to end. We welcomed back Kevin McHattie and Tom Walsh to great effect against Partick with Walsh coming off the bench to score the winner. Nathan Austin has been used sparingly of late and could play a part. Alloa lined up like this against Dundee United :- Parry Robertson Taggart Graham Dick Shields Heatherington Flannigan Kirkpatrick Trouten Zanatta If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies. Don't forget to buy your tickets for the SemiFinal against Hearts at Hampden. Remember, no one can hear you scream if you are sitting in your living room passing round the werther's originals. The lads have been brilliant to get this far in the cup and it's a great day out at the National Stadium. Tickets for our William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final will be available for season ticket holders and shareholders on Monday 25th March from 10:00am. General sale will commence on Wednesday 27th March at 9:00am. Tickets will be available from the Club Shop and online from ictfc.tickethour.co.uk. The singing section for this game will be East Stand section G5. South Stand: £30 Adult, Concession £15 East Stand: £20 Adult, Concession £10 Concessions are available for supporters aged over 65 and supporters aged under 16
  7. The Final installment GAME OFF! Another local derby coming up on Friday night with BBC Scotland getting in on the action from the Caledonian Stadium with Ross County the visitors for a 7:05pm kick off. It's the 6th and final Highland derby this season and every one of these games has been passionate, enthralling, dramatic and left the fans wanting more. Well, it's here, the next installment. There has been a pitch inspection asked for ahead of this game at 12:30 today after a week of constant rain has left the pitch the worse for wear. Here you can see a touch of dampness around the goalmouth which has affected the bounce of the ball...... AND IT'S GAME OFF. Our last game was a rewarding away fixture at Dumfries where we held Queen of the South at bay in the second half after we had come out of the blocks flying before the interval. Goals from Aaron Doran and Brad Mckay gave us a platform to build on but that never happened so we consolidated and kept Queens out with Mark Ridgers performing heroics in a challenging second half. That win was only good enough to keep us in fifth place with Dunfermline also winning to hold onto fourth position. Our Championship form has been somewhat patchy and that is why we have dropped out of the top four with Pars on a run akin to County's surge. Ross County have all but won the Championship and the teams below them are all playing for either a play-off place or relegation avoidance. A 2-0 home win over Morton at the weekend put them further ahead of second place Dundee United. Second half goals from Josh Mullin and Brian Graham secured the points. County faced a resurgent Falkirk on Tuesday night and raced into a 2-0 lead after twenty minutes with Brian Graham and Keith Watson both scoring headers. A late Falkirk penalty and Grivosti sending off made for a tense finale but County held on for all three points. That midweek victory over Falkirk gives County six wins on the bounce in the Championship. They have now opened up an eleven point gap to second placed Dundee United. Add to that, a win at Motherwell in the Scottish Cup and a couple of draws with us as well as a Challenge Cup win over East Fife, then it's easy to see why they are heading back to the Premiership. Their last league defeat was a 4-0 thrashing at Palmerston in mid-January. Our squad has been at the thin edge of the wedge recently with injuries to Kevin McHattie, Tom Walsh and Anthony McDonald. That has meant moving players around within our first choice squad. Joe Chalmers is one player who has benefited from his latest role coming in from the right and on to his sweet left foot as displayed by his stunning strike against Dundee United in the cup. County's depth of squad will not present them with any major issues as they sprint for the Championship tape. Billy Mckay is out for the rest of the season after breaking his arm whilst scoring a hat-trick against Ayr United recently. Mckay had scored 20 goals this season for County and was in fine form. He also won the Championship player of the month whilst wristing up with his stookie. Good luck with the recovery Billy. Iain Vigurs has been out for a few weeks and Tom Grivosti will be suspended. Callum Semple is a good bet to be in the squad. His gambling activities have been brought to the attention of the governing bodies and he will face a disciplinary hearing on March 28th. Street fighting, gambling, managers banned, inappropriate dressing room behaviour............It's all going down in Dingwall. There'll be a Netflix documentary out soon! Here's Polly looking ahead to tonight's game Good news is on short supply from the club at the moment, but here's some. Daniel McKay has penned a new three year deal at Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Daniel is one of the hot properties in the Scotland youth set-up and as John Robertson acknowledged on the Official Site he is a tremendous prospect. Robertson said: “Negotiations kicked in after he played his 25th game for the club. We’ve sat down with his agent and his parents to negotiate a new three year deal which will see Daniel continue to play his football in the Highlands.” “It’s another step which shows the youngsters are in our thoughts. It’s been an unlucky season for Dan, he’s picked up a lot of small injuries and he’s struggling a bit with a strain in his knee right now but hopefully this will give him a boost.” “He will be involved between now and the end of the season, and we hope he can kick on because we feel he is a tremendous prospect for the future.”
  8. Inverness progress after dramatic shootout Inverness went through on a night of high drama after the game ended all square at 2-2. It was another bruising encounter and extra-time saw no further goals and penalties it was. Mark Ridgers saved one penalty and that was enough as Inverness went on to convert all five of their spot kicks, Nathan Austin with the final one. Jordan White was the local hero in normal time with both Inverness goals, twice coming from behind after Ross Stewart opened the scoring and Michael Gardyne grabbed a second for County. County resorted to type, some bare knuckle fighting broke out before the end when Van der Weg should have been sent off. Groundhog Derby stirs the passion. John Robertson made three changes from the side that slumped at East End Park. In came Coll Donaldson, Liam Polworth and Sean Welsh. On to the bench went Charlie Trafford, Shaun Rooney and Darren McCauley. County brought back five players that did not start against East Fife in the Challenge Cup. All the big boys were back in, with Scott Fox, Michael Gardyne, Billy Mckay, Keith Watson and Lewis Spence all starting. A great atmosphere greeted the players from both sides as they took to the park on a damp night, over 3600 were about to witness a night of high drama in the Groundhog Derby. The hosts started brightly and Tom Walsh fired a warning shot high over the bar in the second minute. Little did he know his night would be cut short in the 15th minute as he was replaced by Anthony McDonald after picking up an injury. Liam Polworth also fired wide as we gathered momentum. In the 22nd minute Inverness were undone as County surged down the right wing after winning the ball on the halfway line. Josh Mullin received the ball after good work by Marcus Fraser on the right and sent in a tantalising cross. Serial derby scorer Ross Stewart met the ball at the front post to head powerfully down and up and into the net via the crossbar. Good finish by Stewart, slightly against the run of play at that point. Inverness responded well to going behind and the game was being played at a frantic pace with no quarter asked or given. Substitute Anthony McDonald dragged a shot wide from the left side of the box as we searched for a way back into the tie, a corner given for that effort. Jamie McCart missed the best chance so far as he headed over from eight yards unchallenged, he maybe should have at least made the keeper work. Mark Ridgers was looking assured at corners and he had to save from Mullin as County tried to double their advantage. This game was not for the faint hearted and the half time whistle went with County holding a slender lead. Half Time 0-1 The sides swapped corners at the start of the second period and it was from another corner that Inverness were level. Joe Chalmers sent a curling ball into the heart of the box and big Jordan White rose highest to power a great header into the top corner. The North Stand liked that one, John Beaton not so much and he booked White for his celebration with the young team. Just after the hour, Scott Fox pulled off a tremendous save low down to his right as he saved a thumping shot from Liam Polworth. Similar to Doran's goal in the first game, but this time he kept it out with some assistance from the post. Five minutes later and County went back in front when Michael Gardyne picked up a loose headed clearance. He prodded the ball past two players before thrashing a low shot behind Ridgers from ten yards. A bit sloppy from Inverness but another good finish by Gardyne. White was now relishing the challenge and looked like he was enjoying himself as he played his best game since joining the Caley Jags, challenging well and laying off to fellow players. He got another header on target but Fox was well positioned to grab it out of the air. However, Jordan would not be denied and when Doran cut inside and fed Polly, he slid a great ball into the path of White who took a touch before finding the bottom corner from 15 yards. Superb goal and heading for extra time. Nathan Austin was creating havoc around the County defence with his awkward style as he poked his legs between defenders and sprinted forward. He headed one over from an inviting cross as we pressed for a winner. It looked like there was only going to be one winner before the end of the ninety minutes as we took charge. Coll Donaldson was absolutely bossing the County forwards, strolling around like Franz Beckenbauer, and why not. Jamie McCart was his able assistant and between them County were rendered ineffective. The ninety ended too soon for Inverness as they harassed the visitors in their own box, Fox fortunate not to concede a goal as he juggled with a ball facing his own goal, the post helping out again. Ninety Minutes 2-2 Extra time was slightly less eventful as both sides held what they had. In the second period Coll went down injured, but he was having none of that and he returned to the battle as tackles were flying in like they were going out of fashion. Carl Tremarco almost won it before the penalty shoot-out, his effort crashing off the bar after a scrambulation in and around the County box, great effort by the wee man and a let-off for County with Fox beaten. A couple of late free kicks for County were wasted as referee John Beaton went card happy. Gardyne started a brawl after a bit of man hugging with Charlie Trafford as they laid on the ground. Needless stuff, but Kenny van der Weg rushed in from nowhere to start some rather dangerous shoving and pushing. For me he should have been red carded for this assault. If he did that at an Inverness night club he would be in the cells. It seems that they must get this coaching from above, what with Stuart Kettlewell sitting in the main stand and Iain Vigurs in the South Stand. Brian Graham was out though as he appeared as a second half substitute. Anyway, I digress. After the dust settled the failure that is a Scottish referee booked van der Weg and Coll Donaldson when all around were squaring up to each other. Bare knuckle fighting on the park, but it was County that would be dealt the knock-out blow. Anyway, penalties it was. The winner will travel to Tannadice to take on Dundee United in the Quarter Final on the weekend of 2/3 March Here's how it went, County started the process in front of the away end. Gardyne 1-0 White 1-1 Fraser 2-1 Donaldson 2-2 McManus, penalty brilliantly saved by Mark Ridgers, 2-2 Welsh 2-3 Graham 3-3 Polworth 3-4 Draper 4-4 Austin for game set and match.They think it's all over..........it is now. 4-5 Coll Donaldson was my MotM for absolutely cigaring his way through the game. Jordan White was magnificent with his goals and general all round battling display. Liam Polworth was classy and showed it in abundance. Jamie McCart put in a great shift. Nathan Austin was sensational when he came on and caused County no end of problems. To be honest everyone did the fans proud and the celebrations at the end epitomised the desire and effort shown by the players. This was much appreciated by the fans who returned the favour with tremendous vocal backing, especially the young team in the North Stand. So, everybody, give yourselves a round of applause. We have had greater achievements, but this was drama of the highest order and the intensity and passion shown by both sets of players made this one of the best nights of football ever seen at the Caledonian Stadium. Players were almost on their knees long before the end of extra time and it was great to see the passion shown by our players after this well deserved win. Passion. I'll show you some passion said Coll........ Speaking on BBC Sport Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "We had the better of the game, we had the better chances. We've hit the post, we've hit the bar. There's two off the line in the last minute. Scott Fox has produced a wonder save. "We have been horrendous at penalties this season. We practised them yesterday. We actually had the players taking penalties from 15 yards out because if they can score from 15 yards, they can certainly score from 12 and all five of them scored." Robbo was delighted with the home fans contribution..... Ross County co-manager Steven Ferguson: "Proud of our team. It was a great cup tie and when it goes to penalties, it becomes that little bit of a lottery and somebody has to miss and it happens to be us. We accept it and we move on. "It's always disappointing to lose the lead. When it's a cup tie like that, it's to-ing and fro-ing all the time and we could've scored again and Caley could've scored again. As far as a cup tie goes, I think everything was squeezed into that." Two goal Jordan White talking after the game......... Night of high drama, have a look. Date: 19/02/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 3608 Referee: John Beaton Inverness CT: 2 - Inverness through 5-4 after penalties. Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Doran (Trafford 101), Polworth, Welsh, Chalmers (Austin 76), Walsh (McDonald 15, McCauley 105), White. Subs (not used): C Mackay; Rooney, McHattie Scorers: Jordan White (56, 81) Booked: White (57), McDonald (58), Doran (66), Tremarco (84), Donaldson (120) Sent Off: none Ross County: 2 Lineup: Fox; Fraser, Draper, Watson, Boyle, Van der Weg, Draper, Mullin (McManus 78), Spence (Lindsay 66), Gardyne, Stewart (Graham 100), Mckay (Wallace 112). Subs (not used): Munro; Grivosti, Murray. Scorers: Ross Stewart (22), Michael Gardyne (67) Booked: Draper (89), Gardyne (90+2), Van der Weg (120) Sent Off: none a
  9. No rest for Coll The gruelling recent schedule was taking it's toll as Inverness played out a slender one goal win against Morton. Carl Tremarco glanced an early header home with what proved to be the only goal of the game. The final result was closer than it could have been, but given our recent exertions, then we'll take a narrow win over the Greenock side any day as we tried to conserve our energy levels. This win gives us a five point cushion in fourth place in the quest for a play-off slot, with Dunfermline emerging as the next best placed team to mount a challenge. Queen of the South and Morton are a further point behind the Pars. So it's still all to play for as we get down to the business end of the season with Ross County looking most likely to top the table after a great 4-2 win at Partick who hit the bottom. John Robertson tried to protect some players by giving Shaun Rooney a start at right back and moving Brad Mckay alongside Jamie McCart in central defence whilst resting Coll Donaldson. That plan went pear shaped when McCart had to leave the field after sustaining an injury on the half hour which meant no day of rest for Coll Donaldson. Tom Walsh missed out after picking up an injury against County in the cup and Anthony McDonald took his place. The more mundane atmosphere of the Championship fixture barely whispered round the ground with only a busload or two in the away end amongst some 2400 fans in the stadium. Liam Polworth set the ball rolling as we kicked off towards the away end. Nothing of note in the opening exchanges as both sides jockeyed for position, but Captain Carl would break the deadlock in the eleventh minute as he met a Liam Polworth corner at the near post to send the ball behind keeper McCrorie. The visitors responded and Mark Ridgers had to tip an effort from Chris Millar behind for a corner a couple of minutes after the goal. The ball looked like it might just be heading for the outside of the woodwork, but Mark took no chances and dealt with it accordingly. Brad McKay missed an opportunity after a ball found him in the box. Unfortunately it was more of the ball hitting Brad than Brad hitting the ball and the chance was missed. The game had little flow about it as players from both sides looked too eager to impress, nobody willing to put their foot on the ball and control proceedings. Jamie McCart went down and had to be replaced by courageous Coll on the half hour. Jordan White knocked a header forward but it just evaded the strikers as it ran through to the box after Polly passed on. We saw out the half with little coming from Morton in an attacking sense, the hosts doing just enough to keep their advantage. Half-Time 1-0 Darren McCauley replaced the injured Anthony McDonald at the interval and it was more of the same after the break. Morton struggling to create, Inverness happy with the reprieve. In the 57th minute Tremarco almost got his second goal but his header was cleared off the line by Buchanan to deny the captain as he met a great ball in from Sean Welsh. There followed a spell of Inverness pressure where we threatened to run a way with the game, but some last ditch defending and wayward shooting kept the score at 1-0. The second half was fast becoming an anti-climax as we were content to give the lightweight Morton offence the ball, and fortunately they had little idea what to do with it. Donaldson received more treatment towards the end after going down injured, but he is made of strong stuff is Coll and he resumed after being repaired. As the clock ticked away, we sat deeper and deeper allowing the visitors the freedom of the park. We did counter on a few occasions but in all honesty neither side looked likely to get another goal. The game ended with Morton frantically trying to put pressure on our defence, but we held out comfortably enough to record only our third home win in the Championship. It was a much needed low key encounter and a welcome three points that boosts our play-off chances. Carl Tremarco is the proverbial Duracell Bunny and he gets my nod for MotM. That was his first goal this term and it was good enough to win all three points. The future is bright, the future is orange. It's a difficult week coming up with two visits to Tannadice. On Wednesday it's Championship night and Sunday is the quarter final of the Scottish Cup, so no let up in the intensity and challenges for our stretched squad. From BBC Sport Inverness CT boss John Robertson: "We created plenty of chances today but we had to hang on. The last five or six minutes we decided to just take what we had. I cannot praise the players highly enough for their attitude and application. "They gave it everything and they gave absolutely everything they had on Tuesday, and absolutely everything today so it's a wonderful three points. It was a massive performance from them." Morton manager Jonatan Johansson: "I'm disappointed with the result obviously and I'm also disappointed in the way we lost the goal - another set-play. I know we are a small team but we need to be better at defensive set plays - they've been costing us for a while now. "Before that I felt everything was going alright. I think we played some nice passing football but in the final third we didn't have the spark or belief and it was powder-puff at times. We never really threatened them." Match Highlights from Caley Jags TV Yesterday's goal hero, Tommy Tremarco................. Date: 23/02/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2413 Referee: Steven Reid Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, McCart (Donaldson 32), Tremarco, McDonald (McCauley 45), Polworth (Trafford 83), Welsh, Chalmers, Doran, White Subs (not used): C Mackay, McHattie, Austin, D Mackay. Scorers: Tremarco (11) Booked: Tremarco (36) Sent Off: none Morton FC: 0 Lineup: McCrorie; McAlister, Waddell, Buchanan, Iredale, Millar, Telfer (Tidser 60), Dykes (Lyon 70), O'Connell (Tumilty 59), McHugh, Kiltie Subs (not used): Gaston; Kilday, Thomson, Dallas. Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  10. Back to the weekly chore. Back to the mundane weekly chore on Saturday as Morton come North hoping we don't think they are Ross County. If only we could play Ross County every week. It was an exciting time to be alive on Tuesday night as Inverness finally got one over our dear friends and near neighbours in the Scottish Cup. It might have taken extra-time and penalties, but we got there in the end and dumped County out of the cup. Big team big cup, wee team wee cup. We will now face Dundee United at Tannadice in the Quarter Finals of the Scottish Cup on Sunday 3rd March, 15.30 kick-off. Adults £15, Concessions (Over 65s, Students, Under 18s and Under 12s) £5. Get your tickets HERE What an intense experience that was. Noisy crowd, four goals, eight bookings, a fracas in extra-time and Nathan Austin squeezing home the final penalty to win the tie. We have had greater achievements, but for sheer drama, this one will take a lot of beating. There has been nothing between the sides in all five games this season and the tension was palpable as the sides took to the field. County went ahead when Ross Stewart bounced in a header only for Jordan White to power one of his own behind Fox. Gobby Gardyne put County back in front but Jordan stroked in his second of the night. An extra thirty minutes failed to separate the sides although Carl Tremarco hit the junction of post and bar with a hooked shot and it was down to penalties. Mark Ridgers made the breakthrough as he saved McManus' spot kick and we slotted all five to put a smile back on the Caley Jags fans dials. The young team were our secret weapon as they rallied the troops in the North Stand. Overall it was a great night and here's hoping we can recreate the derby experience in a run of the mill Championship game. Morton limbered up for this game with a goalless draw against Ayr United last weekend whilst we were suffering at East End Park in a dire performance, going down to a Joe Thomson strike. Those results coupled with Queen of the South losing to Dundee United saw our play-off hopes suffer little damage and a win this weekend would put some more daylight between us and Morton who are only three points behind us at the moment. The cup tie in midweek was a hard battle and Tom Walsh was injured early on. It looks like he will miss this one with a groin injury although that has not been confirmed yet. The pace of the game took it's toll on the players and it was a survival of the fittest, both mentally and physically. Don't be surprised if one or two require more time to get over that game. Donaldson took a few knocks but was last man standing at the end. The heavy pitch took it's toll as well, so it's up to Robbo to see who has the desire, mental and physical ability to get back on the park again. Morton had this starting XI against Ayr United:- 23. McCrorie 8. McAlister 5. Waddell 4. Buchanan 3. Iredale 7. Millar 6. Telfer 15. Dykes 44. Dallas 11. McHugh 20. Kiltie Subs used: 17. O’Connell (for Dallas, 67), and 32. R.Lyon (for Dykes, 90+1) Here's another date for your diary. The IrnBru Cup Final will be played at the Caledonian Stadium on Saturday 23rd March with a 16:30 kick off. I suppose it's handy as the Cup is in our trophy cabinet anyway. The final will be between Ross County who will have to make the arduous 12 mile journey over the Kessock Bridge, and Connah's Quay Nomads from Wales who will only have to make the 400 mile trip which will take six and a half hours by car. Seems fair enough to me. Just so they know where they are going, here's Sophie's painting of our stadium. Here's a wee song to while away the hours for all the travelling folk. Our site sponsors FansBet will have some good odds for you to take advantage of this weekend. If you like a wee flutter, our new partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  11. The Groundhog Derby Yes, it's time for the Groundhog Derby. It's the fifth time these two clubs have met this season, and despite Inverness having played some of their best football of the campaign, we have only three draws and a defeat to show for our efforts. I fully expect Bill Murray to appear at one of these games with Sonny & Cher blaring out of the tannoy........They say we're young and we don't know, we won't find out till we grow............ This replay has come about after a thrilling 2-2 draw at Dingwall when Inverness were pegged back in time added on having led the Gadgies twice. Aaron Doran gave the visitors the lead but Ross Stewart levelled before Brad McKay restored our advantage. Josh Mullin was the man that broke the Caley Jags' hearts with that 91st minute equaliser which takes us back to the Caledonian Stadium for this replay......................I got you babe............... County are the team to beat in the Championship, and the IrnBru Cup. They are going along nicely with big spending Roy keeping them in credit whilst Inverness are the poor relations at the moment. That is beginning to show somewhat with the better depth of squad at Dingwall. We are a bit thin on the ground, and once you take three or four regulars out of the equation we struggle badly as at East End Park at the weekend. Fourth place in the league looks to be our target and that would be sufficient to get a play-off slot. Coll Donaldson and Liam Polworth missed the game at Dunfermline although Donaldson made the bench but was rested. Sean Welsh was benched for the most part, coming on with a couple of minutes left. We are having to play some players through the pain barrier with our replacements a bit off the pace at the moment. Darren McCauley is one of the strugglers and he was replaced for his own good after picking up an early booking and threatening to get a second before being subbed in the first half. County played an IrnBru Cup game against East Fife and that enabled them to rest one or two with this cup tie in mind. Their XI were just strong enough to get by East Fife and that puts County into the fizzy pop final. Maybe they can keep the cup in the Highlands. Robbo was not happy with our application at East End Park and has threatened changes, but that is not likely to be a major event given our lack of resources and the changes will probably involve the regular senior players starting. Mark Ridgers was partly at fault after an uncharacteristic error, but I would expect him to be in goal for this one. Hopefully Coll Donaldson will be back in central defence with Jamie McCart alongside him. That looks to be our best pairing and that will leave Shaun Rooney and Carl Tremarco as our wing backs. We really missed Polly at the weekend and fingers crossed he will return for the cup game. Chalmers, Welsh, Walsh and Doran are the next best across the midfield and wide areas with Jordan White and or Nathan Austin up front. That is an area of concern as strikers scoring goals is not a common feature for us at the moment. Daniel Mackay featured in a couple of u19 internationals last week. Maybe he could get a chance to feature at Inverness with our other strikers firing blanks just now. County have no major concerns ahead of this game. Site Admin Scotty has this to add from our site sponsors FANSBET Ahead of our replay against County, Fansbet are allowing CTO users to suggest what the special bet to be promoted on their site should be for the game next week ? If you want a specific special listed please put them in the thread on CTO and they will chose one at random, assign it odds and feature it before the game in the fan boosts section. : https://www.fansbet.com/en/betting/sports/fan-boosts/
  12. Comedy of Errors The announcement of the team lines filled us with trepidation. We knew it would be bad, we just never thought it would be this bad. An absolutely shambolic performance from Inverness who have plumbed the depths of the abyss after an encouraging midweek performance at Somerset Park, they lost 2-1 to Partick Thistle. Partick Thistle took full advantage of our depleted error strewn lisltess squad and thanks to our defensive blunders scored twice in possibly the worst ever 45 minutes witnessed at the Caledonian Stadium. Steven Anderson and Aidan Fitzpatrick were the benefactors of our slapstick defending and although substitute Darren McCauley pulled one back it was smply not good enough for the season long suffering fans. There's little to report on from an Inverness point of view. Cammy Mackay made a couple of excellent saves before Partick scored. Unfortunately Anderson had the freedom of the back post to tap-in after a short corner. Nobody in defence was able to stop the cross reaching him and Brad Mckay can hang his head in shame at the second goal. He lost the ball thirty yards from goal and left young Cammy exposed as Fitzpatrick accepted the gift, advanced to the box and drove the ball behind the keeper. Shambles springs to mind. We created little of note throughout until a scramble in the box ended with McCauley knocking home from close range. I'm finding it difficult to find any positives. Cammy Mackay pulled off a couple of brilliant saves, Donaldson as a substitute getting some game time and McCauley will add something once he is up to speed. It's the biggest outpouring of public grief since Princess Di departed. I'll let the fans tell you more about this game, here's some views picked from the forum. They shall remain anonymous in case Robbo comes round.......... *Shell shocked!! What I think I watched yesterday was a bunch of amateurs playing together a game of kick about on a field. Worst performance this season giving the ball away with every second pass, little organisation at the back and complete lack of thrust at the front.. I felt sorry for Donaldson being thrown on when he was obviously out of sorts and not ready in fitness* *Worst performance of the season so far. JR comments shows a complete lack of respect for the fans that turned out to watch that drivel. Route one football and hoping that the ball drops to one of our players. There are no tactics just lump in box and see what happens.* *I too agree with Robbo's comments but he really picked the wrong day to say it! None of what happened yesterday was anyone elses fault but his own. Wrong set up from start and it all went downhill. Caleyaway is a small but loyal band of fans some of whom seldom attend home games. You don't ever hear the criticism/pickiness that I hear week in and out at home. Football at home is mainly a joyless watch. Its not helped by performances like yesterday however.* *Have to agree that was the worst performance at home so far. Lost soft goals and never created any chances. Scrambled goal to give us some hope with 12 mins left however you didn't think we could do it. There keeper didn't have a save to make. Very disappointing following good win at Ayr.* *Getting pretty sick of posting the same comments after almost every home game! That first 45minutes today really was the worst I can remember from an Inverness side. Absolutely pathetic!* *You would be hard pressed to see a worse game of football anywhere today . Absolutely shocking no wonder the stands were empty.* *People keep asking why people are staying away. Half way through the first half I suspect most at the game wish they had.* *Five minutes before the end ,McCauley was announced as the sponsor's MOTM. But he only came on in the 70th minute. I think that rather sums it up!* *Poor team selection, poor tactics, poor application and poor, verging on irrational substitutions. The only comfort we can take is that our rivals for that final play off, which appears now to be our only realistic target, fared no better. However, even that final play off place will be beyond us if we continue to play as badly as that.* *Trying to deflect the blame from himself even though his team selection, tactics and substitutions were horrendous. There was absolutely nothing to get the fans excited about watching that today. Taking on a centre half and defensive midfielder when we are two down hardly helps. Embarrassing comments from the manager.* *That's as bad a performance as I can remember. Just when you think we might have turned the corner, we manage to produce a truly woeful performance. I can't remember their keeper making a save. We were second to every ball and made a poor Partick team look good. And for Robbo to blame the home support is totally unacceptable, give the fans something to shout about and they will react.........* *Another week another poor home game. Robbo can huff and puff about home fans but we've had 2 wins at home in the league what exactly does he expect? So many things wrong with todays performance a lot of which the manager and coaching staff need to take the blame for and some things the players.* *I picked the wrong game to take my 7 year old grandson to: that was woeful, and even he knew that. We started ok, but lost two quick goals, and never really got any control of the match.* *That was the worst game so far this season and I am being polite! Why he kept Brad Mackay on he was rank. And the rest weren't much better. I hope we have some of the injured players back for the County game.* *Not up for the game from the start whole team were awful 1st half. The whole bloody lot of them need to take a look at themselves.* *A shocking performance with Brad Mackay at fault for both goals.Never looked like winning this game. No pass marks for anyone except goalkeeper Mackay who had a couple of great saves * However, lets end on a positive note.............. *Only positives for me were the couple of saves from Cammy Mackay, McCart being solid at the back, even when playing on the right of defence, and McCauley: he is definitely worth a start. * *......he then made a couple of good stops and I think has done a good job coming in at the last minute* Here's the offending comments from our Gaffer. Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson: "I thought victory would still make us outside title challengers, and anything else would mean we are fighting for a play-off spot. "We've got a problem at home. We've won two, lost three and drawn the rest. Away from home, we've got a small band of fans that get right behind the team but at home they don't seem to do that." Partick Thistle manager Gary Caldwell: "We spoke about the characteristics you need to win away from home - resilience, desire, togetherness - and I think we showed that second half. "But in the first half, we showed quality. It could have been more than 2-0 and tactically I thought the boys were outstanding." Here's the wee man himself........... Date: 02/02/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2171 Referee: David Lowe Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: C Mackay; Rooney (Donaldson 45), B Mckay, McCart, McHattie, Polworth, Welsh, Chalmers, McDonald (Trafford 45), Austin (McCauley 70), White. Subs (not used): McKinnon; Tremarco, MacGregor, D Mackay. Scorers: McCauley (77) Booked: Trafford (49) Sent Off: none Partick Thistle: 2 Lineup: Hazard; McMillan, Saunders, Anderson (McCarthy 83), Elliot, Slater, Bannigan, Fitzpatrick (Harkins 72), Penrice, Spittal, Storey (Doolan 90+1) Subs (not used): Sneddon; McGinty, Coulibaly, Mansell. Scorers: Anderson (21), Fitzpatrick (25) Booked: Saunders (51), Bannigan (62) Anderson (68), Harkins (86) Sent Off: none a
  13. By George, he's off Struggling Partick Thistle come North on Saturday to the sponsorless and Georgeless Caledonian Stadium, looking to get themselves away from the relegation battle at the foot of the table. It's a great opportunity for Inverness as well as they look to consolidate their position within the top four and keep on the heels of Dundee United whilst making sure the teams below stay there. One man who won't be at the stadium is George Oakley. He was a surprise departure on the final night of the transfer window, leaving for the metropolis of the Eastern Block landscapes of Hamilton. @George_Oakley23 had this to say to the Inverness fans on twitter. Just want to say a massive thank you to everyone @ICTFC for everything they have done with me for the past year and half! Great club and the fans were amazing for me from the day I joined! But I am looking forward to this new challenge with @acciesfc can’t wait to get started??? Wow! That's a sign of the times as we can't even compete with Hamilton Accies for the signature of a player. Is this the beginning of the end for Inverness Caledonian Thistle? Have the club really got such a lack of ambition that we can't hold on to one of our three strikers? Has George got the talent to succeed on the plastic pitch at Accies? Or, was it a shrewd bit of business to get rid of an injury prone second rate striker whose contract runs out in the summer and we can get some pennies before it's too late. To be honest, the jury is out on the CTO website. Many blame the board but some are coming round to the fact that it might be for the best. It all depends if your glass is half empty or half full I suppose. Plenty of uncertainty on the forums. Here's a selection of the concerns:- "As we are skint then I'm not surprised we took cash for Oakley, we are however left relying on White and Austin, (if fit), as our senior strikers." "We are skint! Also appears we have no real ambition anymore. Gutted." "Well this is depressing news. Ambition - not..." "Easily the best of our strikers allowed to leave for peanuts no doubt. FFS the squad was small enough already without losing any more players." "Well that’s pretty $hit news. Are we now relying on injury prone Austin. Jordan White and two youngsters in McGregor and Mackay." And some almost positive comments:- "Can’t say I’ve ever found myself thinking that Oakley is too good for this league and should be playing at a higher level." "from what I saw last season I didn't think Oakley was that good a striker. He certainly wasn't the sort of striker who would fire you to the title in this league. He was also out of contract at the end of the season and if we thought he wasn't going to re-sign and isn't a starter then cashing in, even if it'll be pennies in the scheme of things, could be the right thing to do." "Slightly shocked, but he's out of Contract at the end of the season, (and the small fee probably covers the laundry bill) anyway I think McCauley can do a job for us in his place." This one sums it up as far as I am concerned "The fact that players see moving to Accies from us as a step up is hardly a laughing matter and is a sad indictment of where we are these days." Anyway, thanks for the effort George and Good luck at Hamilton, I think you will need it. George Joins Accies The other big talking point this week is that the club are looking for a new sponsor for the Stadium and what it will be named now that ownership has been secured. I don't suppose it will be called the George Oakley Arena now. The Harry Gow Dream Ring is a popular one though. Others already in the bin are The Dump, The Stadium of Shite, The Richie Foran Arena of Excellence, The House of Hughes. Here's the official take on the stadium deal. Read about it HERE Meanwhile, there's a game to be won on Saturday. We played Ayr United on Tuesday night and came away with all three points after we blitzed Ayr in the opening twenty minutes. We found ourselves 3-0 up with goals from Nathan Austin (2) and a Liam Polworth belter. Ian McCall changed his side at the interval and we were immediately on the back foot when the hosts scored early in the second half through Declan McDaid. Lawrence Shankland got the nerves jangling when he banged in a deflected free kick to set up a tense ending but we held on for a valuable three points. That was on the back of a 2-2 draw at Falkirk last Saturday when we were pegged back twice. It could be a great week for us on the park should we take the points tomorrow. Partick won their first League game in six since they beat The Pars 2-0 on the 8th of December. They beat our recent conquerors Queen of the South 2-1 thanks to goals from Joe Cardle and Miles Storey. That moved them off the bottom of the table one point above Falkirk. The games between the sides this season have resulted in six points for Inverness. A 3-2 win in the Highlands was followed by a 1-0 win at Firhill. Both tight games but scorer at Firhill, Tom Walsh is out with a broken foot. We survived a late fightback in the first game after White, Rooney and a Welsh (pen) put us 3-0 ahead. Last ten minute goals from Blair Spittal and Kris Doolan almost snatched a point for Partick but they fell just short. ICT 3-2 Partick from September Inverness will obviously be without Oakley and the injured Coll Donaldson, Tom Walsh and possibly Aaron Doran. Look for new signings Darren McCauley and Anthony McDonlad to be more involved tomorrow. Mark Ridgers has missed the last two games with a back problem with young Cammy Mackay deputising, and he put in a decent performance at Ayr. Here he is talking ahead of the Partick game............. Partick will be without the injured Joe Cardle. Gary Caldwell was speaking on the Partick Thistle website about the ins and outs:- “We set the target before January started of coming out of the window a stronger side than we were when we went into the window and I think we can definitely say that is the case. We have strengthened the core of the side with a goalkeeper, a centre back, a central midfielder and two strikers coming into the Club. On top of that we’ve got some great creativity in Joe Cardle and some additional versatility at the back in the form of Jack McMillan.
  14. Quick start settles tie Inverness eased into the last sixteen of the Scottish Cup after removing Lowland League side East Kilbride from the competition. The opening half hour ended the tie as a contest as goals from Jordan White, Aaron Doran and Liam Polworth put the hosts three up before the break. Craig Reid unfortunately turned a cross into his own net to end the scoring midway through the second half. Suspended duo Shaun Rooney and Brad Mckay returned to the starting XI, as did George Oakley who partnered Jordan White up top in a 4-4-2. Tom Walsh is out with a broken foot and Coll Donaldson has had groin surgery, Jamie McCart deputised in central defence. East Kilbride had a couple of familiar faces, David Proctor and Chris Humphrey both started for Kilby. It was a brisk afternoon as just under 1200 welcomed the teams onto the park with the 16th minute on the minds of many. Inverness wanted to get off to a flier and they did just that. Shaun Rooney had already tested keeper McGinley and a minute later Jordan White was on hand to open the scoring when the ball found him in the box and he slotted home. That warmed the palms of the fans but in the sixteenth minute the palms were roasting when a tribute for Dawn Sinclair filled the stadium with applause. Lovely tribute from everyone in the stadium for the youngster who sadly passed away recently. That lifted the players once more and in the 21st minute Aaron Doran tidily dispatched the ball behind the keeper as he guided a low shot from beyond the edge of the box into the bottom corner. The hosts were in full flow with White and Polly going close and it was no surprise that a third goal was added when Liam Polworth finished with aplomb, firing high into the net from ten yards in the 27th minute. McGinley made a fantastic save to deny a lively George Oakley, the keeper flying high across his goal to keep out a roaster from George who had turned his marker brilliantly before unleashing a shot from around twenty yards. Former Motherwell winger Chris Humphrey tested Mark Ridgers with a high strike, but the keeper was able to palm it away. That was East Kilbride's best moment of the half. Half Time 3-0 Ex-Inverness player David Proctor had to retire five minutes after the break and was given a warm reception as he left the field to be replaced by Scott Stevenson. Inverness passed up on a great opportunity as Brad Mckay, in his 100th game for the Caley Jags, skied one from close range when he should have scored. The urgency had gone from the Caley Jags and East Kilbride enjoyed their fair share of the ball without really troubling Ridgers. With twenty minutes left Craig Reid diverted a harmless cross into the net to make it 4-0 with McGinley stranded, the cross looking to be heading nowhere until Reid stuck a leg out. There would be no further scoring and only Nathan Austin will be able to explain why he delayed long enough to allow McGinley to block his point-blank effort when he should have bulged the net. It mattered not as the game played out and ended with Inverness going into the pot for the last sixteen. It was a comfortable afternoon for Inverness but East Kilbride can be heartened by their second half display where Inverness were unable to punish them with any authority although a couple of howlers could have added some polish to the result. Speaking on BBC Sport, Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson said: "It was comfortable but we made it comfortable by a very, very fast start. "I'd like a winnable home tie. We want to progress. We've got a proud record in this competition and just four years ago we won it." His counterpart, East Kilbride manager Stuart Malcolm said: "It's a huge step up for us going from the Lowland League to play against Inverness. We didn't start overly well and they put us to the sword. "The second half was much better. We had a couple of half chances. Inverness were excellent. They are entirely professional and did a good job." Here's the highlights from Caley Jags TV And to round off a good day, did you all cash in with the superb offer from CTO Sponsors FansBet We're looking to start strongly against East Kilbride in the Scottish Cup. Our partners @Fans_bet have boosted odds of 4/1 on ICT to be leading after 10 minutes. Sign up here http://bit.ly/2OBvlLv & select Caley Thistle Online to help us support the forum and ICT fan causes. And would you believe it, another Highland derby in the Scottish Cup. Date: 19/01/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1196 Referee: Mike Roncone Inverness CT: 4 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, McCart, Tremarco, Polworth, Chalmers, Welsh, Doran (MacGregor 85), White (Austin 62), Oakley (D Mackay 70) Subs (not used): C Mackay, Harper, Trafford, McHattie, Scorers: White (6), Doran (21), Polworth (27), Reid (71, og) Booked: none Sent Off: none East Kilbride: 0 Lineup: McGinley, Reid, Proctor (Stevenson 49), Howie (Russell 87), Coll, Humphrey (McNeil 71), Brady, Holmes, Anderson, Malcolm, Woods Subs (not used): Kean; Craig, Longworth, Winter. Scorers: none Booked: Woods (60) Brady (80), Sent Off: none a
  15. Do this for Dawn Scottish Cup action this Saturday as two of the youngest clubs in Scottish football lock horns at the Caledonian Stadium, Inverness. Ten year old East Kilbride from the Lowland Football League take on 25 year old (soon) Inverness Caledonian Thistle for a place in the last sixteen. Can we ask all fans to support this tribute to Dawn please............ ICT has lost a great friend and supporter with the sad passing of Dawn Sinclair, who would have celebrated her 16th birthday on Saturday 19 January with a party at the stadium following the Scottish Cup tie against East Kilbride. A period of applause in the 16th minute on Saturday will be a fitting tribute to the teenager, who was a familiar face at games and at events run by Supporters, the most recent being a night out at Rollerbowl. She loved wearing her ICT strip and her proudest moment was being at Hampden in May 2015 to see the club lift the Scottish Cup. Tribute to Dawn on the Official ICTFC site. To the game on Saturday. What do we know about East Kilbride FC? Well they play at the K-Park Training Academy in Calderglen Country Park. But there's a lot more to them and they have something in common with us. They have also played Celtic in the Scottish Cup....... The original club were formed in 1871 and folded a number of times in the early days. Their first recorded game was a 1-0 defeat by a Queens Park XI. The present club were formed in May 2010. Jackton Boys Club and Stewartfield F.C. were merged and later EK Diamonds and EK Wanderers were incorporated to form the club as we now know them. The team played in the Scottish Amateur Football League prior to being elected into the senior leagues in June 2013. They were elected to play in the newly formed Lowland League for season 2013/2014. They were granted full SFA membership in April 2014 and therefore could enter the Scottish Cup from season 2014–15. Their first Scottish Cup tie was a 1–0 first round win at Lothian Thistle. East Kilbride won the 2016–17 Lowland League, and progressed to a promotion/relegation playoff with Scottish League Two club Cowdenbeath. They missed out on promotion to the SPFL after losing a penalty shootout. Their big moment on the big stage came in February 2016 when they hosted Celtic in the Scottish Cup at Airdrie's Excelsior Stadium. It took goals from Scotland striker Leigh Griffiths and new signing Kazim-Richards to see off EK 2-0. A great effort from the Lowland League side. They warmed up for this tie with a 5-0 thrashing of Gretna 2008 and as the League table shows they are on course to top the table this season. There's a couple of guys we have definitely heard of. Ex Caley Thistle utility player David Proctor plays for them as does Chris Humphrey the former speedy Motherwell wide player. There's an interesting article in the Daily Record about Proc. Inverness have been without the injured George Oakley and Nathan Austin recently. Coll Donaldson has had groin surgery and will miss out, but our two suspended players, Brad Mckay and Shaun Rooney will return. Our last outing was a 1-0 victory over Ayr United last Saturday when a Jordan White goal secured all three points. You can see Jordan speaking ahead of this cup tie below. Let's do this for Dawn! CTO Sponsors FansBet have a wee opportunity for you to cash in as we're looking to start strongly against East Kilbride in the Scottish Cup. Our partners @Fans_bet have boosted odds of 4/1 on ICT to be leading after 10 minutes. Sign up here http://bit.ly/2OBvlLv & select Caley Thistle Online to help us support the forum and ICT fan causes. Also another odds they have for us ..........Caley Thistle To Win and Both Teams To Score @ 37/20 If you like a wee flutter, our new partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  16. Ayr Pressure Down Both sides were somewhat diminished with major players either injured, ill or suspended and it was a battle of the walking wounded as Ayr tried to keep the pressure on at the top of the League with County facing a difficult away trip to Palmerston. Inverness had Brad Mckay and Shaun Rooney suspended with strikers George Oakley and Nathan Austin injured. Angus Beith is still missing and this has now been reported to the polis as nobody has seen him yet! Kevin McHattie made his first home start with Carl Tremarco covering at right back. Ayr were without top striker Lawrence Shankland, Jamie Adams, Mark Kerr, Liam Smith and Alan Forrest with Adam Murdoch suspended. An unseasonably mild January afternoon with a touch of a stiff breeze coming in from the West met the teams as they entered the park in front of a 2283 crowd............. Liam Polworth was first to have an opportunity as he fired goalwards from twenty yards but his shot was weak and wide as he dragged it past the post. Michael Moffat broke clear for Ayr at the other end but his low shot was well held by Mark Ridgers from the angle when the striker might have been better squaring the ball. Aaron Doran should have scored when he latched on to a cross from Tom Walsh but his shot from close range cannoned back off the middle of the post and bounced back out of the box to safety. The home side were starting to dominate and Doran was flagged offside as he sprinted on to a good through ball from Polworth. Ayr were still a threat on the break though and Declan McDaid curled a shot over from one such venture forth and at the opposite end Joe Chalmers went close with a strike from distance as Ross Doohan sprawled across his goal line. Back came Ayr and Ross Docherty fired one over the bar as the game panned out. The end to end stuff continued as Polworth created the space to get a shot away after a delightful drag back, but it was always heading too high. Too high was the order of the day as McDaid sent another one over, the ball dipping too late. Best move of the half saw Jordan White miss a golden opportunity after he linked up well with Doran, but the striker shot just past the near post when it looked easier to score. Half Time 0-0 Ayr went close just after the break as Craig Moore met a great cross unchallenged, but his header was just wide of the junction with Ridgers stranded. That seemed to stir Inverness into action and from there on we dominated the game without overly exerting Doohan in the visitors goal. White was becoming more prominent and had an effort saved by the keeper who just got his finger tips to the ball at the expense of a corner. However he would not be denied in the 64th minute. Following a poor miss when he did not get enough contact on a header, the ball was sent back into the box by Sean Welsh and White had dusted himself down quickly enough to send a powerful header into the net with Doohan merely a spectator. The goal had been coming after a good spell of pressure from the home side. Ten minutes later Doran should have wrapped up the points but he skewed his shot just wide when scoring looked the better option. The dreaded 'hold what we had' was in the thoughts of most fans who had only witnessed one previous home League win this season. However, if truth be told we saw out the game in relative comfort thereafter and ran the clock down in style with some keep ball at the end. Full Time 1-0 Great to witness a win after so long, most had forgotten what it felt like. It was a narrow victory though with big Jordan White powering a header home just after the hour. He can jump after all! Aaron Doran missed that great opportunity to make the game comfortable but skewed wide and that led to a slightly tetchy last ten minutes, but we saw it out safely and took all three points with Joe Chalmers getting the sponsors MotM but Jordan White getting the nod from me. Speaking on BBC Sport, the respective managers had this to say....... Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "It was an even first half, but the second half we started to impose ourselves. It was a terrific goal and I'm delighted for Jordan - what a job he does as a lone striker. "We didn't look like we were going to lose a goal. There was a resilience to them and we thoroughly deserved the three points." Ayr United manager Ian McCall: "We had good chances but I thought Inverness deserved to win. I don't think we played very well, nothing to do with injuries I just don't think we played well enough. "I think the first goal was always going to win it. It was a great chance for us, we knew Ross County had a hard game but the league's going to be really, really tight." Highlights from Caley Jags TV If you can access Facebook, then here is Robbo's post match interview...... Date: 12/01/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2283 Referee: Willie Collum Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Tremarco, Donaldson, McCart, McHattie, Polworth (D Mackay 71), Chalmers, Welsh, Doran (Trafford 85), Walsh, White. Subs (not used): C Mackay; Nicolson, MacGregor, Brown, Harper. Scorers: White (64) Booked: none Sent Off: none Ayr United: 0 Lineup: Doohan; Ferguson, Rose, Bell, Harvie, Geggan (McGuffie 67), Docherty, Crawford, McDaid (Higgins 73), Moffat, Moore (McCowan 79). Subs (not used): Hare-Reid; Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  17. Honest Men come North It's heading towards Tam O' Shanter time as the Honest Men head North to tackle the Chapman Billies at the Caledonian Stadium in Inverness. Ayr have been a revelation this term and a breath of fresh Ayr has certainly breathed some life into the Championship with Lawrance Shankland being one of the reasons they sit at the business end of the table. They sit second in the League only three points behind County. Ayr thrashed Dundee United 5-0 at Tannadice at the end of November, but since then they have drawn three and lost last week against Falkirk. Top scorer Lawrance Shankland missed that one and looks like missing out again. Our last two games have ended in defeat. We went down 2-1 in the Highland derby and threw away a lead against Queen of the South last week as two goals in a minute turned the game on it's head. It was a similar tale in the derby where we had the better of the game but ended up losing all three points, sums up the season so far. Due to a postponement at Somerset Park, we have only played Ayr once. That game ended goalless despite Ayr being reduced to ten men when Daniel Harvie was sent off in the first half. Ayr have a plethora of possible call offs which could include Lawrance Shankland, Mark Kerr, and Liam Smith . Andrew Geggan is back after suspension but midfielder Andrew Murdoch has reached the yellow card threshold and misses this game. Jamie Adams and Alan Forrest will definitely be out. For Inverness, Shaun Rooney serves the second of his two match ban and Brad Mckay has to serve a one match ban for accumulated bookings. Rumours also abound that possibly as many as three unnamed players might be down with the flu. Kevin McHattie could be involved given that at least two of our first choice defenders are out. George Oakley is still sidelined. Back up keeper Daniel Hoban has been loaned out to Forfar Athletic for the remainder of the season. Keeper Cammy Mackay has returned from Rothes and will cover for Mark Ridgers when required. Here's Kevin McHattie talking ahead of tomorrow's game. The Official Digital Online Programme is available HERE I asked the Bard for a prediction, he came up with this:- “The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men, Gang aft agley. An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain, For promis'd joy! In other words, it might not go to plan, which might annoy the fans................ Thanks Robbie. Another draw it is then! He also had some advice for Robbo:- “O, wad some Power the giftie gie us To see oursels as others see us! It wad frae monie a blunder free us, An' foolish notion.” Aye, well said Robbie, I'm sure our own Robbo will take that on board bard. Enjoy yer haggis & neeps peeps. If you like a wee flutter, our new partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  18. New Year, Old Habits These two sides have had twenty draws between them this season and it was heading that way until Tom Walsh opened the scoring with twenty minutes left. However, Queens snatched victory from the jaws of defeat when they scored twice inside a minute through Scott Mercer and Stephen Dobbie to take all three points back to Dumfries. I'm afraid we have carried last years bad habits into the New Year and look like a side lacking the confidence to go all the way. Carl Tremarco returned to left back after injury with Brad Mckay moving to right back and Jamie McCart in central defence. George Oakley was still injured and along with Daniel Mackay was not risked. Queens had new signings Nicky Low on from the start with Barry McGuire on the bench and Stephen Dobbie the main striker looking for his 30th goal of the season. The Dumfries men were playing in their Claret and Amber away strip for this game. RIG has seen it all before and here is his match report................... So predictable. The sick twist was obviously conceding a winner but as hard as it was to take it's hard to argue with the result. The usual ICT traits from this season were evident - have a fair amount of the ball, don't create a lot of chances, miss the few chances we do create, score, start to stand off the opposition, defend deeper, defend deeper still, even more deeper, concede, try and get a winner. Queens best chance of the first half came when Todd found himself in a bit of space in the box but his low drive was repelled by Ridgers who got down well to divert the ball round the post. ICT struggled to create much of note as we seldom were able to attack with any real pace and incision and the Queens defence easily stood firm for most of the first half. Polworth did get some space in the box and should have done better than trundle the ball straight at Martin. Shortly after, White found himself 1on1 with Martin but a lack of composure saw the keeper block his shot. The closest ICT came to scoring was when Welsh stood up a cross to the back post and Walsh arrived to header it back towards goal but the ball came off the bar and neither White or Doran were able to force it in from close range before it was cleared. A free kick from Polworth looked like it had gone in but sadly it skimmed the roof of the net. Sit down shut-up! Into the second half and ICT started on the front foot. Chalmers found some space on the left flank and he sent in a lovely cross which just evaded White. An even better chance was passed up by McKay when he somehow failed to connect with a cross at the back post appearing to lose sight of the ball after Donaldson's glanced header had come back off the base of the post and landed at Brad's feet half a yard out. There was then a quite bizarre and hilarious moment when Dykes refused to give the ball back to Donaldson who wrestled with him for a second which left Dykes rolling around on the floor in a heap holding on to the ball. Dykes continued to roll away from Donaldson still clutching the ball delaying the free kick. With twenty minutes remaining, Tom Walsh volleyed home after Carl Tremarco got a second bite at crossing into the box. Jordan White's head managed to guide it back into the mix and Walsh finished with aplomb. Walsh had perhaps our best chance to extend our lead, and possibly kill the game, when he drilled a fierce shot that swerved and dipped before the Queens keeper fisted it (oo er) clear. Thereafter it was classic ICT as we decided to sit back as Queens pressured us. Out balls to White and Austin weren't sticking and any clearance from our defence was quickly retrieved and a new attacking phase started. Eventually the Queens pressure told when Marshall skipped down the ICT right and burst into the box and his low cross was met by Mercer who had ghosted in from the right to equalise from close range. Before you knew it Queens had scored a second. McKay contrived to give the ball away in the right back area and Dobbie was on to it like a flash. Cutting inside he then shot back across goal past a despairing Ridgers who flung himself to the right but couldn't stop the ball and suddenly the Doonhamers were 2-1 up. There was a late chance for ICT when White set up Walsh at the edge of the box but his tame effort was easily handled. Right at the death White challenged for a ball on the edge of the box, it fell kindly for Walsh with his back to goal and he whipped a fierce volley just wide and shortly after the whistle went and ICT had, as too often this season, blown a lead and have only themselves to blame. RednBlackComeback said:- Am I trapped in some kind of parallel universe where I've to sit through the same pi$$ poor, action replay, performance every other week? Go 1-0 ahead then proceed to switch off and throw the game away. Does nobody in this team/management learn from their mistakes? Too many of this team look completely disinterested in winning games. The performance again today was ponderous and lethargic and lacked imagination, just as almost every other game I've witnessed this season. No point in raising your game for the local derbies but not bothering your ar$e for the bread-n-butter games! More match reaction and video to follow............... Barry Wilson was left to explain why we lacked conviction and belief..... It goes without saying really, but Gary Naysmith was delighted........... Nicky Low made his debut and was also chuffed................ Date: 05/01/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2225 Referee: Barry Cook Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco (McHattie 88), Walsh, Polworth (MacGregor 88), Chalmers, Doran (Austin 64), Welsh, White Subs (not used): Hoban; Trafford, Nicolson. Scorers: Walsh (69) Booked: McCart (56), Polworth (64) Sent Off: none Queen of the South: 2 Lineup: Martin; Mercer, Fordyce, Semple, Marshall, Low (Frizzell 84), Jacobs,Todd, Doyle (Stirling 74), Dykes, Dobbie (Maguire 88) Subs (not used): Leighfield, Bell, Murray. Scorers: Mercer (83), Dobbie (84) Booked: Marshall (66) Sent Off: none a
  19. Play-Off rivals clash Queen of the South are the first footers on Saturday as the year 2019 comes into view, 2018 proving to be a tentative one for the Caley Jags as they seek to keep themselves in a play-off spot. Along with Morton and Dunfermline, Queens pose an immediate threat to our stuttering chances of achieving our goal and remaining in the top four, although should any of the other clubs go on a run they would also come into contention. Stephen Dobbie has missed a few games recently but returned last Saturday in the 0-0 draw with Ayr United when the Championships top two strikers drew a blank. Gary Naysmith said on the QotS website " I was really happy with the lads last weekend, they showed the great character and spirit that they have and gave their all to grind out a result. Ayr maybe had more of the ball but we had the better chances to score on the day. That's three times we've played Ayr now and still have the upper hand with a win and two draws so the boys deserve a lot of credit. That result coupled with County stealing the Highland derby means that the Dingwall side now head the table by three points from Ayr United with Dundee United third and Inverness clinging on to fourth, just. (We drop down to 5th with Morton beating County 1-0 last night). We wuz robbed! Yes, that's how it felt after the bell went and the dust settled in Dingwall. A late goal from Ross Stewart snatched an unlikely three points for County after Inverness had dominated for long spells. Despite having the better opportunities, our lack of a clinical striker was evident once more and we only managed a first half goal through Jordan White, his 100th senior goal. Billy Mckay must have wanted to score and he did just that, the wee scamp that he is. However, due to Scott Fox having a good day and our forwards having a normal day then we failed to take advantage and it cost us dear. There was also a double sending off for a spot of fisticuffs. Perennial cheat Brian Graham was sent packing for assaulting a couple of Caley Jags players and it appears that Shaun Rooney was caught returning the favour. With that in mind, Rooney will be unavailable to face his old Doonhamer pals. Both of the previous games this season have ended in draws. There were no hints that this fixture could produce some excitement back in September when a Gary Harkins inspired Queens drew with an uninspired Inverness. The return fixture at Palmerston was full of action though as Queens raced into a 3-0 lead on the 17th November. Goals from Lyndon Dykes, Stephen Dobbie and Josh Todd saw them cruising on the hour. Twenty minutes later it was all square as Jamie McCart, Tom Walsh and a Sean Welsh penalty pulled us level and we almost won it at the end. Spectacular stuff and a repeat of that entertainment will please most. Queens and Gary Harkins have parted company. The talented and experienced midfield general has decided that Partick Thistle is where he will see out his time. Former Dundee and Aberdeen midfielder Nicky Low has joined the Doonhamers and he will be seen as a straight replacement for Harkins. Look out, we could be 'on the eve of destruction' as Barry Maguire has also signed on at Palmerston. What! Sorry wrong Barry; this one is a central defender joining from Motherwell and highly thought of at that. If he won't 'destruct' us, then this man is well capable of doing so on his own. Stephen Dobbie has just returned after injury and will be a massive threat. As mentioned earlier, Shaun Rooney will be suspended for his part in the Global Energy UFC bout. Carl Tremarco made the bench that day but was not risked at Dingwall. Unsurprisingly, we now have to move the back four around to cover for Rooney, so I would expect Tremarco to feature at left back with Jamie McCart returning to central defence which will release Brad Mckay to right back. However, we now have a new name to throw into the hat for a starting berth. Kevin McHattie has joined from Derry City. The 25 year old is primarily a left back and has previously played for Hearts, Kilmarnock and Raith Rovers and has had a loan spell at Alloa Athletic. Therefore should Carl Tremarco not be 100% fit then McHattie could make his Caley Jags debut. George Oakley missed the derby after twisting his knee in training but could return to the offense if he has shaken off the injury. Daniel Mackay and Roddy MacGregor could also get more game time as youth begins to surface with the purse strings tightening. tm4tj prediction:- I'd almost given up on doing predictions as a draw was the most likely outcome. We seem to be slightly more suited to playing away from home, therefore if we can keep Stephen Dobbie quiet then I'll go for another draw. The Official Preview & Digital Match Programme can be found HERE If you like a wee flutter, our new partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  20. New record for ICT as County cling on for a point All the goals came in a frenetic first half with County equalising just on the break with an own goal from Brad Mckay. Jamie Lindsay opened the scoring out of the blue when he chanced his hand from distance, the ball going well wide of Ridgers but into the bottom corner. Two minutes later George Oakley levelled and Shaun Rooney then put the hosts ahead on the half hour before that unfortunate own goal gave County hope they scarcely deserved. Mark Ridgers pulled off a tremendous Gordon Banks moment denying Billy McKay and it was all square at the break. After the interval Inverness looked to be the only team capable of winning and a number of close calls went unanswered, Ridgers eventually having to make another noteworthy save before the end, but the hosts had passed on a few opportunities to seal all three points. Two dropped for Inverness, one gained for County. Caley Jags manager John Robertson was still without captain Carl Tremarco and Riccardo Calder deputised at left back once more. Joe Chalmers came in for Charlie Trafford and George Oakley was fit enough to start with Jordan White dropping to the bench. Aaron Doran started with Daniel Mackay coming on from the bench later. Former Caley Jags players Billy Mckay, Ross Draper, Iain Vigurs and Don Cowie all started for Ross County who had Marcus Fraser back in the side. A healthy crowd of over 4000 witnessed an excellent Highland derby played out in good condition, with both sides looking for the advantage at every opportunity. Where do you start with that game? From the off it was clear that this was going to be a high octane game. The hosts looking sharp as they took the game to the visitors in the opening exchanges forcing a couple of early corners. Shaun Rooney heading wide from one. County got to grips with the pace of the game and Mark Ridgers saved from Josh Mullin twelve minutes in but five minutes later they scored out of the blue when Jamie Lindsay gathered the ball around thirty yards out. He had space to move forward before rifling a low shot beyond the outstretched arms of Ridgers into the bottom right hand corner of the net. Inverness were level two minutes later when George Oakley brilliantly turned a header back into the box from Walsh into the top of the net, the keeper rooted to the spot. That goal was the culmination of a wonderful move after breaking up a County attack on the half way line. The next goal was equally as good. After a Polworth corner was part cleared, Sean Welsh played a one-two with Joe Chalmers before flicking the ball down the flank to Polworth. He raced into the edge of the box before picking out Rooney who side footed perfectly into the bottom corner for a brilliant goal, Fox once more stuck to his line like a Subbutteo keeper. We continued to press and a Chalmers free kick just evaded Oakley as we looked for a third. Save of the day next when Billy Mckay looked to have levelled for County. However Mark Ridgers managed to claw his close range header away as the ball looked to have bounced behind him. Truly a Gordon Banks/Pele moment. What a save! Two minutes before the break and County were level. Vigurs released Billy Mckay who was right on the shoulder of Donaldson. The wee striker turned and sprinted forward before firing a low ball into the box. Unfortunately Brad Mckay thought he could intercept the delivery but only succeeded in turning the ball into the net with Calder ready to clear the harmless cross. Half Time 2-2 The end to end action continued after the break. There were numerous attempts to score from both sides. Unfortunately the strikers at either end were an inch or two away from completing the task of putting the ball in the net. We should have scored a third, maybe even a fourth or fifth given the amount of dangerous balls we were hurtling into the box, but every one just evaded the despairing lunges of the forwards. Liam Polworth will wonder how he missed the best opportunity when we burst forward on the right through Aaron Doran who unselfishly teed up Liam for a tap-in. However, he screwed the ball goalwards and it hit the base of the post with Fox beaten. A glorious chance to win the game. Doran, McCart and White were unable to stretch far enough to divert balls into the net as we pounded the County lines and at the other end Mark Ridgers had the final say in a superb Highland derby as he saved a Brian Graham header near the end. Wow, what a game and I suppose a point apiece is near the mark although we probably should have taken all three. I can't fault anyone out there today in what was a tremendous advert for Championship football. Mark Ridgers save from Mckay was exceptional, a world class save from the big man. Coll Donaldson and Riccardo Calder were immense, Calder firing crosses into the box like nobody's business. Sean Welsh was a powerhouse in midfield and Liam Polworth had his best game in weeks. I could mention them all, no failures. Two superb goals from Oakley and Rooney, not just the finishes, but the build up play as well. The one disappointment was the own goal which in retrospect was unnecessary. Anyway, to put it into context, that's 23 games unbeaten in the Championship, albeit a run of seven draws, but not many will be complaining after witnessing that game. Ross County TV are first up with the highlights.......... Robbo on facebook George Oakley on facebook The opposition view from Steven Ferguson Date: 03/11/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 5500 Referee: Kevin Clancy Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney (McCart 57), B Mckay, Donaldson, Calder, Walsh (D Mackay 74), Polworth, Chalmers, Welsh, Doran, Oakley (White 61) Subs (not used): Hoban; Austin, McGregor, Trafford Scorers: Oakley(19), Rooney (30) Booked: Calder (45 +1) Walsh (49) Sent Off: none Ross County: 2 Lineup: Fox; Fraser, Kelly, Draper, Lindsay, Vigurs, Cowie (Graham 75), Watson, Keillor-Dunn (McManus 66), Mckay, Mullin (Stewart 85), Subs (not used): Munro; Fontaine, Demetriou, Dingwall Scorers: Lindsay (17), Mckay (og 43) Booked: Vigurs (67), Lindsay (90+3) Sent Off: none a
  21. What a surprise, another draw ZZzzzzzzzz.. Inverness produced another text book performance to draw with Dundee United. A first half goal from Tom Walsh was nullified by former Caley Jags player Billy King. It's all become a bit predictable at the Caledonian Stadium and the result was met with plenty of derision by the home support after a gutless second half when the inevitable happened. We all waited for the United winner but it never came. We look like a team short on confidence as we struggled to create anything while United stroked the ball about and were probably unfortunate not to take all three points but for a couple of great saves by Mark Ridgers. Immortal Howden Ender has curtailed his report due to a lack of action on the park, yet he still managed to pick out some moments..... My first home game of the season and so enjoyable - pre and post match !! Good to see so many friends in the Caley Club, the North Stand and the Innes Bar. At least people who know that Johndo is the person and IHE is an alter ego - and neither will go away I have read through the initial posts on the match thread and I could like them all. Apart from the smart, sharp, slick passing move for the Walsh goal and a "worldie" save by Ridgers on the first half whistle there is little else to enthuse about. We went ultra defensive and paid the price. It looked like the tactic was to grab one more on the break but we simply gave the incentive to a team, no better than us, but a team that could pass and sadly looked more passionate and driven to get a result. We practically played 4-3-3 at times and pressed BUT changed it when we scored. And it was soul destroying to see the Arabs out passing us and showing a will to win. If they had netted a second I could not have complained Ridgers Two good stops in the first half and one worldview. Rooney Is it just me but if I was a coach I would have totally bollicked him for his overall attitude. He looks good going forward but his head goes down to easily and he strolls back. Simply not a defender. McKay Let's just say that he looked OK but how much was that due to Coll. Donaldson My MOM - nuff said. McCart Impressive first half followed by an OK second. Polly I feel so sorry for him. I feel that he is our only real true footballer. He is one or two moves ahead of his team mates but my frustration is that instead of getting angry he falls out of games. Chalmers I still think that he has a sweet left foot but a creative midfielder he is not. Another who goes missing. Welsh Disappointed with him today. I would play him just in front of the back four centrally in the Draper role. Doran Has lost that off the mark pace and I feel that he detracts from Polly Walsh He has been in and out of every game I have watched him in. Perhaps we should be just playing him wide on either flank and treating him like a luxury Oakley Another hit or miss although why are we playing a lone striker at home ? Would it not be rash but exciting to see MacGregor and Danny McKay played on a regular basis? I see he has refrained from commenting on White, or maybe he just forgot he came on, like the rest of us??? Here's the action from the Caledonian Stadium with Mark Ridgers keeping ICT in the game. And Robbo on the ICTFC Twitter account Date: 15/12/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2464 Referee: Willie Collum Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Walsh, Polworth, Chalmers, Welsh (Trafford 82), Doran (MacGregor 83), Oakley Subs (not used): Hoban; Harper, Nicolson, Austin. Scorers: Walsh (18) Booked: B Mckay (80) Sent Off: none Dundee United: 1 Lineup: Siegrist; Murdoch, Bouhenna, Frans, Booth, Fyvie (Rabitsch 89), Stanton, Smith (Curran 70), King, Aird (McMullan 63), Safranko Subs (not used): Robson, Watson, Rakovan, Edjenguele Scorers: King (76) Booked: Bouhenna (29) Sent Off: none a
  22. Amber Alert One of the form teams come calling this Saturday as Dundee United head to the Caledonian Stadium boasting thirteen points from their last six Championship games, despite that crushing 0-5 defeat to table toppers Ayr United. Since we last played each other, a 1-1 daw at Tannadice in October, United have won 4 times with that defeat to Ayr United and last weeks draw with Morton. Our stats are less impressive with last weeks first defeat of the season against Falkirk. That was preceded by four draws and a solitary League win over Partick Thistle. Add in the Cup draw at Edinburgh City before we thrashed them in the replay and it's a bit patchy to be honest. Last Friday's game at Somerset Park was called off as high winds were deemed too strong for the game to go ahead. Unfortunately that was only decided about 45 minutes prior to kick off, after Inverness fans had already made the long five hour trek. Just a shambles if you ask me, the weather forecast was not a secret and if they had thought about the fans instead of TV revenue, the game could have been called off on Friday morning. That game will now be played on Tuesday 29th January 2019 at Somerset Park, 19:45 Kick-Off. In their last game United were pegged back by Morton with just over ten minutes left. Gregor Buchanan earned a point for Morton after Frederick Frans had headed United ahead half an hour into the first half. Robbie Neilson was sent to the stand during the game for using foul and abusive language. tsk tsk. We played a Scottish Cup tie last midweek, a replay against Edinburgh City and ran out 6-1 winners after a pretty dour first half. A hat-trick from Jordan White and a brace from Tom Walsh with Aaron Doran scoring the sixth in time added on. United are third in the Championship on 28 points and we moved down one place with Queen of the South drawing at Dingwall. Arabs defender Jamie Robson left himself defenceless after an ill informed fancy dress guise was leaked on instagram. Robbie Neilson has spoken briefly to the player and the club have conducted their own enquiry over the incident where Robson was dressed as a beach vendor with a blackened face. He will be disciplined by the club and will likely not be included in the squad for this weekend. It's not the first time the club has has to question his antics. Have a word with yourself son. John Robertson has a wafer thin squad to juggle around with compared to Robbie Neilson at Tannadice. A couple of injuries for the Caley Jags and we are down to the bare bones. Carl Tremarco has been out for some time now and although he has resumed running he will not be considered for this game. Daniel Mackay has also been out for a few weeks. Jamie McCart has been a decent deputy for Tremarco and another of our young stars, Roddy MacGregor has been given some game time and looks a great prospect. Talking of Roddy MacGregor, he played for the u18 side against Aberdeen on Friday evening. Unfortunately the young Inverness side lost out by 2-1, Donald Morrison scoring for the Caley Jags and they were unlucky not to at least draw this game played at the Highland Rugby Club artificial surface. I expect Inverness to be along similar lines to their last few games with hat-trick scorer Jordan White spearheading the attack and George Oakley and Nathan Austin waiting for their opportunity. Our defence speaks for itself although a couple of slack goals recently need to be addressed. United's last game against Morton the squad looked like this:- Starting XI: Rakovan, Murdoch, Booth, Frans, McMullan, Fyvie, Curran, Stanton, Safranko, Bouhenna, Aird. SUBS: Donaldson, Smith, King, Rabitsch, Edjenguele, Thomas, Watson. Here's the Matchday Programme from the Official Site ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Highland Derby is coming soon Ross County v ICTFC Saturday 29th December 3PM Kick-off Ladbrokes Championship Tickets: Adults- £20, Concession £10 and Under 18's £5 ICTFC fans can secure their tickets for the next Highland Derby online from the following link: TICKETS Supporters should select tickets in section N1-3 or N4-6. These are the North Stand tickets (Away end) Please note ticket for this fixture are available online only right now. The tickets will go on sale from the Stadium for personal callers on 17th December at 2pm.
  23. White Xmas Jordan White bagged a hat-trick as Inverness cruised into the fourth round of the Scottish Cup with an ultimately emphatic win over League Two Edinburgh City on a chilly Highland night with 672 freezing souls in attendance. A Tom Walsh brace and a last minute Aaron Doran goal completed the Inverness scoring and for City Blair Henderson scored early in the first half to cancel out Walsh's opening goal. This was a much needed win for Inverness who had been struggling in front of goal recently. After an uninspiring first half the home side began to cut open the visitors and eased their way to a fourth round tie against East Kilbride. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Much was expected of Inverness tonight after a disappointing last couple of games and after a dreich first half the game came to life in the second period. Tom Walsh opened the scoring in the fifth minute with a replica goal straight out of the Falkirk game, running onto a forward pass from Aaron Doran into the box and drilling home. Alas the lead was short lived and hesitancy in the defence allowed Blair Henderson to pop up between two defenders to equalise a couple of minutes later, the big striker finishing well. There followed a turgid spell where everything broke down before the final third and misplaced passes were commonplace, however Jordan White was on hand to score after fifteen minutes, nodding in from close range. More mediocrity followed right up to the break with neither keeper being called into serious action and Edinburgh were still in the tie as Inverness found it difficult to get in behind their defence. Half Time 2-1 City knew they had nothing to fear at this point after we had toiled for forty-five minutes and they came out of the blocks fast at the start of the second half, Henderson trying his luck once more. Robbo must have been unimpressed by that first half and you could see a bit more urgency about our play. Ten minutes into the half and we sealed the tie when Walsh scored after a mazy burst forward by Donaldson who gave the ball to Polworth to set up Walsh for the finish. Some good possession play along the front of the visitors box saw Shaun Rooney cross low and the ball was met by White in the box, his low drive being too hot for the keeper to handle as the ball squirmed into the net. One minute later and White grabbed his hat-trick as he powered a Liam Polworth corner high into the net from five yards. The introduction of Roddy MacGregor had sparked some life into the Inverness ranks and his quick feet and build up play was creating more chances for the now eager forwards. The scoring ended in stoppage time when we broke down a City attack on the edge of our box. The ball broke to MacGregor who sprinted forward with the ball, jinking across the City defence before releasing a timely ball into the path of Doran who had made good ground and he never broke stride as he placed the ball across the keeper into the bottom corner. So, into the next round we go where we will take on East Kilbride at the Caledonian Stadium. Well done big Jordan White for getting the hat-trick, that will do his confidence the world of good. Still room for improvement though as the big striker could almost have doubled his tally. Tom Walsh seems to have taken to this scoring lark, that's his third in two games, I feel there's plenty more to come from the lively wide player. Ridgers had little to do and Coll Donaldson was neat and tidy again. Charlie Trafford looked sharp in midfield with some tight turns and good distribution. Liam Polworth was involved in some of the goals but was also guilty of some wayward play, especially in a poor first half. Big Shaun Rooney is shaping up as a better wing back than a dedicated full back with some marauding runs in the Ross Tokely style. Special mention for Roddy MacGregor who looks like a tremendous prospect. His quick feet setting him aside from some of our more pedantic players. Overall, a comfortable win after a grim first half. Let's not get carried away though, we are far from the finished article and will find Ayr a much tougher proposition on Friday night. However, let's bask in the glory of scoring six goals and getting into the next round of the cup for now. Next game as mentioned is Friday night at Somerset Park against league leaders Ayr United. Highlights from the game............... Jordan speaking after his treble performance.............. And Robbo has his post match thoughts....................... Date: 04/12/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 672 Referee: David Munro Inverness CT: 6 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart (Harper 69), Doran, Trafford, Polworth (McGregor 64), Chalmers, Walsh, White (Austin 78) Subs (not used): Hoban; Oakley, Nicolson, Brown Scorers: Walsh (5, 53), White (15, 60, 61), Doran (90+1) Booked: Donaldson (41), White (37) Sent Off: none Edinburgh City: 1 Lineup: Antell, Thomson, McIntyre, Black (Watson 49), Balatoni, Laird, Smith (Rodger 64), B. Henderson, Taylor, Shepherd (Hall 80), L. Henderson Subs (not used): Morton, Beveridge, Lumsden. Scorers: B Henderson (7) Booked: Smith (40), Taylor (77) Sent Off: none a
  24. Scottish Cup Replay Hard on the heels of our first defeat since the battle of Hastings, (well it felt like it), we face Edinburgh City in a Scottish Cup replay having drawn 1-1 with the capital club at Ainslie Park last week. This could be a make or break week for the club. Losing to bottom club Falkirk was grave, losing to Edinburgh City could be the straw that breaks the donkeys back. We follow that with a game at Ayr on Friday night and that fills me with fear after their 5-0 pumping of Dundee United at Tannadice last Friday. We were pedantic, profligate and sloppy against Falkirk in equal measures resulting in a brutal 3-2 defeat three minutes into time added on. Tom Walsh gave us hope early on but Zac Rudden benefited from casual defending to score twice before the interval. George Oakley pulled us level on the hour but more schoolboy defending gifted all three points to the Bairns. Meh! City remain top of League Two after a home win over Queens Park, goals from Blair Henderson and Scott Shepherd keeps them two points above Peterhead. Their starting XI for the Spiders game was:- Antell, Thomson, McIntyre, Black, Balatoni, Laird, Smith, B. Henderson, Taylor, Shepherd, L. Henderson. SUBS: Morton, Rodger, Hall, Kennedy, Watson, Lumsden. Here's an excellent Vlog of their win over Queens Park, well done Aaron, great stuff. Our squad is down to the bare bones at the moment and it could be the time has now come to give the youngsters a chance. Roddy MacGregor came on for the last few minutes against Falkirk and his energy was obvious from the moment he came on. Our experienced strikers are lacking in confidence just now and little is going right for them. Oakley did score on Saturday, but a genuine striker might have had a hat-trick. Jordan White came on and did what Jordan White does, he gets under the ball and heads over from close range all too often, his lack of anticipation is criminal. However, it's not all doom and gloom as we were unfortunate at times and a rub of the green might have seen us win comfortably, but Falkirk were up for a battle and I'm sure the Citizens will be fired up for the Cup tie as well. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain and nothing but a convincing win will convince the Inverness fans that their team are heading in the right direction. At the risk of sounding blasé, I expect Inverness to get through this tie. Let's hope we get a performance to go along with a win or the fans will begin to doubt their allegiance, and to be honest, the side are not making it easy to be enthusiastic about going to the games at the moment. I fully expect Edinburgh to prove to be difficult opponents, but come on, they are in League Two, part-time, playing away from home in a midweek Scottish Cup tie against a team that has only lost once since 1066. That's got to be sufficient grounds for the old banana skin cliché to be rolled out. Anyway Citizens, enjoy your day in the Highlands whatever the outcome. Put the fun back into football. Here's how City fan Gordon Sheach managed it.............. Gordon Sheach‏ @GSheach Dec 1 More Today one of my greatest football dreams came true. At the @EdinburghCityFC game the ball bounced into the crowd and despite juggling a 6 year old on my lap I rose and HEADERED IT BACK!!! Football? Completed it mate ICTFC v Edinburgh City Tulloch Caledonian Stadium Tuesday 4th December KO 7.45pm Adults: £12 Concessions (Senior and 16-25): £6 Juniors (under 16s): FREE Season ticket holders will, for the first time, be able to use their season card by adding the cup game onto it. Season ticket holders can activate the cup ticket online (up to kick off), or by phoning the ticket office on 01463 222880 or in person up to an hour before kick-off. Please note that even free under 12 seats need to be added to the season card. Get your tickets HERE
  25. Bottoms Up Bottom club Falkirk claimed the win right at the death when Scott Harrison knocked the ball home after a free kick. Inverness had opened the scoring early when Tom Walsh slotted in before a Zak Rudden double turned the game on it's head. George Oakley stooped to head home from close range with half an hour to go but Inverness were unable to add to that before being hit with the sucker punch. The hosts squandered a raft of chances in the second half after a poor first forty-five and once more paid the price for a lack of composure in front of goal. That late goal ended the worst unbeaten run anywhere in the world where draws became more important than winning. With that monkey off the back, maybe we can go out and play something more entertaining for the fans and hopefully bag a few wins. If not, then we look to be in big trouble and sliding into obscurity. A bright but chilly afternoon with 2260 spectators saw the hosts get off to the perfect start. We played briskly from defence when Sean Welsh passed forward to Liam Polworth, he spun round and threaded a lovely ball into the path of Tom Walsh who took a touch towards the corner of the six yard box then drilled low across the keeper into the bottom corner. Great start but could we build on it? The answer became apparent as Falkirk got to grips with the game and broke forward at pace at every opportunity as we reverted to holding onto the ball at all costs. Their persistence paid off when they burst down the right, three passes and a Petravicius cross later Zac Rudden was left unmarked to nod into the net with Ridgers merely a spectator, helped to watch by Brad Mckay and Shaun Rooney, when maybe they should have been more involved. Good goal from the Bairns point of view, sloppy from ours. Falkirk survived a massive penalty claim when George Oakley was manhandled to the ground by Scott Harrison as he entered the box on the left edge. Referee Colin Steven deemed that the crime started outside the box and a free kick was awarded which we wafted way over the bar, one of many wayward attempts from crosses, corners to free kicks. Aaron Doran was buzzing in and around the visitors box and he had one effort blocked by the legs of Leo Fassan in the Falkirk goal. Falkirk were still looking more direct on the break and it was no big surprise when they scored a second and no surprise it came as a result of more ball watching from Shaun Rooney. A quick free kick saw a long ball floated over the less than alert defender and Rudden capitalised to gather the ball and head goalwards. It was a fairly tight angle but from about three yards out from the bye line he managed to squeeze the ball through Ridgers and in off the far post. Another good goal for Falkirk, another self inflicted disaster from us. Oakley headed well over the bar from a corner when he should have been hitting the target as we tried to get back on level terms before the break, however most of our moves as usual broke down in the final third. Half Time 1-2 More urgency was shown after the interval and Rooney was deployed further up the park where we were hopeful he could make amends for his earlier slackness. At least there was less chance of us conceding when he was at the other end of the park. He did get a useful low ball into the box after ducking in between two players but Oakley's slid attempt just went a foot over the top of the bar as it dipped over. Close, but no cigar. Oakley appeared to be shoved in the back for a second time but the referee chose to ignore this one completely for what looked like a stonewall penalty. A goal was coming for the hosts but not yet. The now familiar sight of Jordan White getting under a cross, leaning back and heading an inviting cross over the bar from inside the six yard box was too much for some to take, an outburst of biblical proportions from some filled the air. Ridgers had been idle for most of the second half but he had to look sharp to get down low to his left post to tip a curling shot round the post from Paton. We would not be denied though and a deep corner was headed back into the mix by Rooney where it bounced kindly for Oakley to stoop and nod the ball in from close range. That goal prompted an assault on the advertising hoarding as two or three jubilant players were fouled by our sponsor McEwan Fraser, but it was not legal. Game on! We pressed hard for the winner and Joe Chalmers curled an effort just over the junction but it was not to be. Tom Walsh tried a low shot to the near post but Fassan parried then a defender blocked the rebound as White tried to turn it in, but it was not to be. Then, out of nothing, deep into stoppage time, a late free kick wide right for Falkirk saw a dangerous ball swing to the back post where Donaldson was the wrong side of Harrison and he bundled the ball in to the delight of the visiting fans. Misery complete for the home fans who had seen enough. So, the unbeaten run ends. Thank Christ we all sigh, now let's get the season started. It could be a make or break week with a tough cup tie on Tuesday and an even tougher trip to Somerset Park on Friday. Our normally reliable defence let us down today but Donaldson and McCart still played well, despite the odd lapse. Ridgers has had better days and the forwards did what we expected, missed loads of chances, so there you have it, run over and beaten by the bottom club. Let's end on a bright note. Roddy MacGregor was a late sub and looks like a bright prospect. ??? RIG sums it up brilliantly in his summary of our first two goals "Awful defending from Mckay for the first Rudden goal. It's almost as if someone playing as ICT on FIFA suddenly loses their controls connection with the PS4 as he just stops dead and doesn't even bother trying to challenge for the ball. As if that wasn't bad enough Rooney then follows it up by getting distracted by a shiny object in the North Stand and forgets to challenge Rudden for the ball and let him ghost past before finishing well past Ridgers." Zak seems to agree with my assessment............. Post Match on BBC Sport website, the managers had different reactions:- Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson: "I'm hugely disappointed. We didn't deserve to lose the game. We created chance after chance after chance and got caught by a sucker punch. "It's cruel on the players. The worst we should have got was a point but we desperately wanted all three." Falkirk manager Ray McKinnon: "I'm really, really happy with the guys. They executed the game plan brilliantly. We got off to a bad start but responded well and right at the end we tried to win the game. "Inverness are a good side that's why they are unbeaten for 25 games. We worked extremely hard and we got the rewards." Here's Robbo on the Official Facebook page Date: 01/12/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2260 Referee: Colin Steven Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Walsh, Polworth, Chalmers, Welsh (Trafford 58), Doran (White 58), Oakley (MacGregor 84) Subs (not used): Hoban; Trafford, White, MacGregor, Nicolson, Brown, Harper. Scorers: Walsh (6), Oakley (61) Booked: Mckay (52), Polworth (90+1) Sent Off: none Falkirk: 3 Lineup: Fasan; Kidd, McGhee, Muirhead, Paton, Petravicius (Haber 77), Sammut (Irving 80), Robson, Harrison, Brough, Rudden (Lewis 90+2) Subs (not used): Mitchell, Dallison, Dumbuya, Russell. Scorers: Rudden (16, 36), Harrison (90+3) Booked: Harrison (21), Muirhead (90+1) Sent Off: none a
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