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  1. It took a Ross Tokely goal to win this game. Unfortunately, the goal was an own goal and it meant Caley Thistle still haven't beaten the Dons as they held on to win it 2-1 One bright spot however was the 58th minute Dennis Wyness goal... a goal that sees him become the first player to hit 100 goals for ICT. 21/10/07 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness INVERNESS CT 1 (Wyness 58) Team: Malkowski, Tokely, McGuire (Proctor 67), Munro, Hastings, McBain, Black (Wilson 81), Duncan, Cowie, Niculae (Bayne 85), Wyness Subs: D McDonald, Vigurs, Kerr, Fraser ABERDEEN 2 (Young 8), Tokely (62 og) Team: Langfield, McNamara, Diamond, Mair, Foster, Nicholson, Severin (Byrne 43), De Visscher (Touzani 79), Young, Miller, Mackie (Lovell 46) Subs: Aluko, Maguire, Smith, Kelly Referee Eddie Smith Attendance 6023 This was the 14th time Caley Thistle had gone head to head with Aberdeen and it was the 14th attempt at notching up the first victory against our East Coast neighbours. Craig Brewster had made some changes to the team that faced Kilmarnock a fortnight ago – Hastings was back in the squad after being out with an injury which also saw him miss out on International duty for Canada recently, Wilson had been relegated to the bench to keep a space for McBain who pushed forward into his more natural roll on the left of midfield, but most noticeable was the change of personal between the sticks with Fraser being replaced by loan keeper Zibi Malkowski. The Caley Jags didn’t get off to the brightest of starts and looked unsettled for the first 25 minutes of the game…this was most apparent in the 8th minute when Ross Tokely was drawn out of position, missed his tackle and let Young of Aberdeen through in a dangerous position. The rest of the defence seemed intent on standing back and allowing him to get the shot off. Unfortunately Malkowski wasn’t able to get down fast enough and the ball squeezed under his body and in to the back of the net, despite opinions that it should have been an easy save. Aberdeen had taken early control of the game and continued to push forward; fortunately for ICT they weren’t able to produce an end product which was causing us any difficulty. Niculae had the first real chance for ICT around the 20 minute mark but unfortunately it went straight in to the hands of Langfield. This seemed to spur on the Caley Jags though and they upped their game, we were on the ascendancy with Niculae, Wyness, Black and Cowie all getting a chance to shoot at goal as the game pushed on towards the half-time whistle. Half Time : Inverness CT 0 – 1 Aberdeen Having replaced Severin just before half time due to an injury, Aberdeen also had to replace Mackie at half time….on came the man who has posed more problems for ICT than the rest of the Aberdeen team together….Steve Lovell. Caley Thistle started the second half brightly and it was our turn to dominate on possession and be making the push towards the Aberdeen goalmouth. However, we seemed to be suffering the problem as Aberdeen had done early in the game and were unable to produce much of a threat on goal. This wasn’t helped by referee Eddie Smith, he hadn’t had much to do the whole game, which was probably just as well as the majority of his calls seemed to be given the wrong way. We were looking the most likely to score the next goal and that couldn’t have arrived in better fashion. A clever run in to the 6 yard box by Wyness was timed perfectly to meet an accurate cross from Hastings. Wyness had escaped his markers and was free to slot the ball confidently beyond Langfield…his 100th goal for ICT, but more importantly an equaliser and (deservedly) a chance for us to take something from this match. Caley Thistle still looked the stronger of the two teams, keeping possession for large spells and still looked most likely to score in the final 30 minutes. In fact, it was an ICT player who was next to net…unfortunately in the wrong end. Ross Tokely jumped to defend against a cross in to the box and seemed to receive a slight nudge which saw him head the ball past Malkowski to make it 1-2 for Aberdeen. McGuire was subbed off shortly afterwards, I had thought he picked up a knock earlier in the game and had been limping, so I’m not sure if he’d been trying to play through it and struggling or if he picked up another bang, but Proctor was to take his place having being brought back to Inverness by Brewster upon his return. Niculae was unlucky to shoot wide around the 70 minute mark and their really wasn’t too much else to talk about us the ball seemed to spend most of its time in the middle third of the pitch. Aberdeen then seemed to come back in to the game and were looking to try and catch us on the break, and had it not been for the slight eagerness of Vischer and Lovell who were both caught offside on separate occasions then Malkowski may have faced a tougher test. Duncan looked like creating a carbon copy of the goal he scored against Falkirk last month when he wellied a right footed volley from about 25 yards out and had it gone anywhere other than straight at Langfield then Duncan would be holding 2 of this seasons top 3 goals for ICT. McBain had been largely ineffective for most of the match and looked like a prime target to be replaced by Wilson who I’d spotted warming up and getting kitted up in preparation for the substitution. I was therefore slightly shocked to see that it was Black who had been signalled to come off the park…he had been struggling a little in the middle, but he’d also looked like one of our greatest threats when we were pushing forward and had a couple of decent shots on goal. A tiring Niculae was replaced shortly afterwards by Bayne. Niculae has been unlucky not to have broken his duck in the SPL this season and he’d put in another good shift in the Blue and Red stripes. Some people remain unconvinced, but I have little doubt that he is making a valuable contribution to the team and will gain rightful recognition in due course. Full Time: 1-2 Other than Duncan getting a yellow card for being unable to keep his trap shut, the game kinda fizzled to a close. Room for improvement on the part of the Caley Jags, but not an altogether bad performance. We face Aberdeen on their turf again in 10 days time – Halloween Night – maybe the Bogeyman can help us put one over on our Bogey Team!!!
  2. Graham Bayne, Barry Wilson and Dennis Wyness were all on the scoresheet tonight as Caley Thistle eased through to the next round of the CIS League Cup with a 3-0 victory over Gretna at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, but it could so easily have been more. Bayne opened the scoring in 21 minutes and goals in 67 minutes from Barry Wilson and in the 80th minute by Dennis Wyness sealed the victory. 25/09/07 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium INVERNESS CT 3 (Bayne 21, Wilson 67, Wyness 80) Team: Malkowski, Tokely, McCaffrey, Munro, Hastings, Wilson (Rankin 79), Duncan, Cowie, Morgan, Bayne (D. McDonald 72), Brewster (Wyness 57) Subs: Proctor & Fraser GRETNA 0 Team: Fleming, Jenkins, Horwood (Skelton 71), Grainger, Collin, McGill, Paartalu, Hogg, McLaren (Yantorno 53), McMenamin (Grady 71), Buscher Subs: McGuffie & Scott Referee A Freeland Attendance 1717 Malkowski made his full ICT debut between the sticks for this fixture, and despite one slight lapse of concentration in the first half, seemed to deal with whatever came to him and cleared his lines well. Graham Bayne, also playing for the full 90, linked well with Brewster up front and put the home team in front midway through the first half, and deservedly so. The midfield of Wilson, Duncan, Cowie and Morgan produced some great flowing football and were quick to track back when called upon. Munro, and Tokely, alongside the returning Stuart McCaffrey and Richard Hastings, made for a strong back 4 which Gretna found hard to break through. Ian Black, Roy McBain and Marius Niculae were to be rested for this tie, with Fraser warming the bench alongside Wyness, McDonald, Proctor and John Rankin. Gretna, shooting towards the North Stand in the first half, produced the first attack of the game when Brenden McGill sent in a cross towards Colin McMenniman, only to be met by a solid defensive set-up. From then on it was all Inverness, and the fans certainly played their part. Barry Wilson made some mazy runs, swapping passes with Craig Brewster with some classy 1-touch football. Wilson was also on hand early on with some decent corners, creating many problems for goalkeeper Gregg Fleming. Inverness made the most of some sloppy play by the Gretna defence, who conceded 5 corners in as many minutes after constant pressure. Don Cowie and Barry Wilson providing an array of quality deliveries into the box, and a 21st minute header from close range was enough to put ICT into the lead. Graham Bayne scoring in his first game since returning from injury. At first, Gretna seemed to try and create an equaliser, but the final pass seemed to elude them some what. Hogg and McGill were unable to get a decent enough cross in for the front pairing of McManniman and Buscher, and Malkowski was set for a trouble free evening in the ICT goal. Inverness started to play very well leading up to half time - the goal obviously a boost to them - and created an opening for a second goal. Don Cowie, settling nicely in his role on the right flank, read the game superbly, and sent in a superb cross towards the far post for Alan Morgan to create an opening. The ball was cut back across goal towards Craig Brewster only for David Cowan to clear once more for Gretna. The half time whistle blew with ICT sitting at 1-0. Would Caley Thistle sit on their lead, or would they go all out to finish off a Gretna side who seemed somewhat weakened after their triumph over Dundee Utd at the weekend? The Second Half was dominated by Caley Thistle pressure, and it was great to see Tokely and Cowie linking well on the right. Rossco did, however, seem to drift out of position on the odd occasion, and Munro did well to cover his tracks. Barry Wilson, again throughout the half, made a nuisance of himself in the midfield, continuously running in and out of position to get the best delivery into the box. His frustration was showing, though, as Gretna managed to clear their line time and time again. 15 minutes into the second half, Inverness made their first substitution of the game, with Player-Manager Craig Brewster taking himself off to be replaced by Dennis Wyness. Brewster had previously received treatment in the first half after a strong tackle from Gretna‘s Daniel Grainger. Wyness first touch of the ball could have put Inverness further ahead, when a splendid delivery from Alan Morgan from the left was met with Wyness’ head. Unfortunately for them, Fleming was well placed to punch clear and Gretna were on the attack. Short lived it was though, as Inverness pushed for a second. Barry Wilson in the 67th minute, the ball falling nicely to him to fire the home side into a 2-0 lead. Fleming pretty much left stranded, with little the defence could do. It was around this time that things in the stand got more interesting than activities on the park, as those who were getting behind their team were soon unable to do so. With 25 minutes of the 90 still to play, and your team winning 2-0 against SPL rivals, there is obviously going to be celebrations and an atmosphere. The latter almost certainly encouraging this changed ICT team to perform well on the pitch. The scenes in Section G were unbelievable and contradicting, bullying and encouraging. Overall, very surreal. The heavy handedness of certain stewards is astounding at a fixture of this nature, and with no malicious intent, racism or rude chants to be heard from anyone, it baffles even the most intelligent minds as to why we get behind our team in the first place. I digress!!! Back to the game and ICT were still dominating. Wyness now making some superb runs as the midfield tried to create an opening, and holding the ball up well to try and create for Bayne. With all three subs now used in the form of Mcdonald (for Bayne 72) and Rankin (for Wilson 79) it was clear their was no way back for the former Unibond Premier outfit. Very little was created for them, and even with the introductions of double subs Skelton and Grady, there was no inspiration to drive forward and create chances. The final nail in the coffin came in the form of a strikers poach. Don Cowie ran down the right flank to swing in a superb cross for Alan Morgan. Morgan tracked back to swing the ball back into the box, and an anticipated run by Ross Tokely saw him get in behind 2 defenders. Across goal went his shot with Fleming well and truly beaten, and all Wyness had to do was tap it in from 3 yards. 2 goals in 2 games now for Dennis Wyness, and there was surely signs of his former self on show. 3-0 it was to finish and it could have been more. Even Dean MacDonald had the ball in the net late on, but he was already judged to have been offside before he struck low into the bottom right corner from just 18 yards. Full Time: 3-0 Man of the Match was Barry Wilson and rightly so. He played extremely well and produced some great passing moves. His awareness was fantastic and he topped of a great night with his first goal of the season. Things looking very very good for ICT on the park, but in the stand - well - it’s going to be a long long season to come!!!
  3. Do-Do-Do-Do...Dennis Wyness scored twice as Caley Thistle made it three victories in seven days. Ru-Ru-Ru-Ru...Russel Duncan takes man of the match for his box to box performance and chipping in with a fantastic goal of his own. Ummm...Ba-Ba-Ba-Ba Ba-Ba Black Sheep...He may have been a bit of a Black Sheep last season but his new found temperament is paying off dividends as he now spends more time on the park than he does off it and is contributing to the score sheet. Some fantastic individual performances today, but not at the expense of the team who played total football for the bulk of the 90 minutes and walked away deserved 4-2 winners. 29/09/07 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness INVERNESS CT 4 Wyness (7, 54), Duncan (18), Black (32) Team: Fraser, Tokely, McGuire, Munro, McBain, Wilson (Morgan 87), Black (Hastings 75), Duncan, Cowie, Niculae (Bayne 87), Wyness Subs: D McDonald, Vigurs, Kerr, Malkowski FALKIRK 2 Milne (28) , Arfield (47) Team: Krul, Holden, Scobbie (Allison 72), Barr, Milne, Arfield, Cregg, Latapy (Wallner 72), Moutinho (Barrett 72), Finnigan, Higdon Subs: Aafjes, Riera, Craig, Olejnik Referee David Somers Attendance 4011 What a week it’s been, and the Caley Jags couldn’t have topped it off any better than they did in today’s match against Falkirk at Tulloch Caledonian Stadium. We’d barely taken to our seats when Don Cowie got in the first shot of the game – a powerful volley which he just couldn’t hold low enough and it went over the bar. Yet again ICT were setting out their stall early and letting the opposition know that they were in for a game and we didn’t have to wait long for the opener. Marius Niculae looked like he was going to get his name on the score sheet first but his shot was deflected, only for it to fall to Dennis Wyness who stuck it away for his 3rd goal in as many games. Caley Thistle were linking some great moves together and providing some entertaining football but I felt they were sitting off Falkirk a little too much and this allowed for a couple of longer ranges efforts which could have, and probably should have troubled Fraser more than they did. Russel Duncan is a player who seems to come in for a little more criticism than most and a few of the fans would have been starting to warm the humble pie around 15 minutes in when Duncan’s strike from the edge of the area left Krul only able to tip it around the post. Duncan wasn’t to be denied with his next shot though, despite the best efforts of the Falkirk defence. He hit a rocket from about 30 yards out which would have been trouble enough for Krul even without the deflection which saw it rise and then dip quickly into the back of the net. ICT were spraying balls into the Falkirk area like there was no tomorrow and everyone seemed to be trying to get in on the action. Ian Black was having a great game alongside Duncan and neither seemed afraid to get forward and have a go, but as I said above, we were affording Falkirk too much space when they were on the attack. I thought Latapy was playing a bit deeper than normal, but with his intelligent play and ability to find himself that extra yard before placing some very nice passes to the front line, he always looked dangerous. Mikey Fraser looked confident between the sticks today and he dealt with crossed balls, and corners well and even though Falkirk had a few shots on target none of them seemed to trouble him too much. Falkirk were next to score though and despite being caught wrong footed Fraser did well to get a hand on the ball and almost succeeded in pushing it wide. Kenny Milne was awarded the goal, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the replay shows it to have come of an ICT boot in an attempt to clear the cross. Ian Black was to restore the 2 goal lead only 5 minutes later and it was a goal that you would have to see to truly appreciate. Niculae headed the ball in towards goal as Black made his run, it looked like an awkward ball and I thought Black had missed it but he cleverly got the outside of his boot to it to send it in to the corner of the net and beyond reach of the outstretched Krul. Even at 3-1 I never felt totally comfortable as I still thought we were sitting off Falkirk a little too much and I would have liked to have seen us put a man on Latapy who time and again managed to get the ball beyond our midfield and defence and had it not been for the fact that the Falkirk front line were struggling to threaten our goal with anything serious then we could have been more troubled. Caley Thistle were creating plenty of their own chances and at the Half Time mark the game could just has easily been 3-3, 5-1, 5-3 or any such thing. It really was reminiscent of the days under Steve Paterson when the philosophy seemed to be if they are going to score then we’ll just have to make sure we score more. Half Time: Inverness CT 3 v 1 Falkirk – but a feeling that either team was capable of scoring a few more. Falkirk started the second half the stronger team and were rewarded for being the quicker off the mark with a goal only a minute after the restart. The ball seemed to rattle uncomfortably around the box, ICT working to clear it as Falkirk struggled to find the connection to put it in the net. When the ball did finally break from the area it dropped right in front of Scot Arfield who didn’t need to think twice before hitting it on the volley from about 20 yards out, a well taken ball sent through a crowded box and beyond the reach of Fraser….3-2 Ross Tokely nearly regained the 2 goal lead within a minute when his header from a Barry Wilson free-kick was saved by Krul and Black was unlucky to go narrowly wide from about 25 yards out. Dennis Wyness had been on form the whole match and as someone commented “He thinks he’s back playing in Div 1” – a comment aimed more at the predatory instinct we witnessed from him in those days as opposed to his standard of play which was undoubtedly top drawer. The drag, shuffle and scoop were all being used to full effect, we could see them coming and so could the Falkirk defence, but they were powerless to counter it. No more so than on 54 minutes when some fancy footwork and a little flick allowed him to sail through the Falkirk defence before placing the ball past the oncoming Krul at a tight angle into the far corner….4-2, a 2 goal lead and 35 minutes left on the clock…the ICT of latter years would have been looking to shut up shop and just play the game to an end, but that was not to be the case. This looked like a team who had a point to prove and for much of the remainder of the game they did just that. For much of the first half and the start of the second it looked like Falkirk could come back at us but we didn’t give them enough of the ball to allow that in the final half hour. Even when they were on the ball the failed to do anything with it and Fraser was on form and picking cross balls out of the air as if this was nothing more than match practice. Barry Wilson was unlucky not to have added his name to the score sheet on a couple of occasions and at times you had to wonder what Niculae had to do to get the ball in the back of the net. Any doubts anyone may have had about the value of his contribution should have been laid firmly to rest after today. He may not have found the net but he set up some great chances for others and on any other day would have bagged a couple for himself. Caley Thistle also pulled off one of the nicest set pieces I have ever seen them do. Faced with a free kick about 30 yards out 3 of them stood over the ball. I thought we were going to see a repeat of an earlier set piece which saw the ball tapped sideways for Niculae who shot just wide but they sold me the dummy and Falkirk were momentarily stunned as well. I can’t remember who did what exactly but it went something like….Cowie runs up and steps over the ball but continues to the edge of the 18 yard box, Wilson looks like he’s going to blast it or tap it off for Niculae but leaves it and Niculae plays the ball to the waiting Cowie who, by this time, had found himself plenty of space on the edge of the area and was unfortunate not to have one of the other players who were running in get on the end of his cross. Hope they show this one in the highlights as it really was very cleverly done. Falkirk went for a triple substitution on 72 minutes – Scobbie, Latapy and Moutinho being replaced by Allison, Wallner and Barret. Latapy had been the only one really threatening ICT and I was glad to see him being replaced. The replacements offered no real threat for the remaining 20 minutes and I think Falkirk may have had only 1 shot on goal between making the subs and the end. This could also have been in part due to our own substitution of Black for Hastings shortly afterwards when it looked like the decision had been made to strangle whatever play we’d allowed Falkirk to have for the bulk of the game. You’d have been forgiven for thinking that the match today was being played without a referee as he was, for the most part, anonymous and let play flow. However, he did make one baffling decision towards the end when Cregg fouled Rossco just inside our own half. Rossco had managed to stay on his feet and had clear space in front of him but instead of allowing the advantage the referee whistled for play to stop and killed the momentum. Niculae, Wilson and Duncan all had half decent, if long range, shots at goal and Niculae even looked like he was through one on one with the keeper but was adjudged to be offside and was very unfortunate to have to watch his header come off the bar shortly before being replaced by Bayne. He and Wilson left the field to a standing ovation (Morgan replaced Wilson). Wyness seemed to get shot shy towards the end and should maybe have been a little more selfish on a couple of occasions but I think we can forgive him that. I think it would be unjust of me to suggest that ICT shut up shop for the final 5 minutes, but they certainly weren’t going to allow Falkirk to have much of the ball. Falkirk scrambled time and time again, but it was to no avail as ICT quite simply proceeded to run rings round them, none more so than Don Cowie who seemed to have the ball glued to his feet at times as he ran up and down the touch line. A stronger team might have punished us for giving them so much space today, but Falkirk weren’t the stronger team and ICT were pretty much in control for the bulk of the 90 minutes. The whole team played well and I don’t think I could fault a single man. Special mentions for Russell Duncan…He was like a man possessed today and despite Black having had one of the best games I’ve seen this season I think Duncan may have just outshone him by the narrowest of margins. Black deserves special mention as well, he apparently wasn’t feeling too well when he took to the field, but it didn’t show, in fact I hope he doesn’t feel too well when he takes to the pitch again next week...lol. And finally Marius Niculae…he gave it everything today, set up some nice chances for others, tracked back well when needed and it was cruel not to see him get on the score sheet. He’s gone a long way towards proving that he provides just as much value in his contributions to others goals as he will when he finally catches a break and starts slotting them away himself in the SPL.
  4. Hearts came into this game on a high after an excellent win against Rangers last week. Caley Thistle on the other hand, despite playing well in spells last week came with a record of 6 defeats in 6 games, the last being a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Celtic. While some may have doubted the appointment of Brewster the manager, no-one had any doubts about his qualities as a player and he showed how valuable he can still be on the pitch with the winning goal against Hearts deep into injury time.... 22/09/07 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness INVERNESS CT 2 Wyness (64), Brewster (90) Team: Fraser, Tokely, McGuire, Munro, McBain, Wilson (Morgan 85), Black, Duncan, Cowie, Niculae (Brewster 86), Wyness Subs: D McDonald, Vigurs, A MacDonald, Hastings, Malkowski HEARTS 1 Black (34og) Team: Banks, Neilson, Berra, Tall, Wallace, Zaliukas, Kingston, Ivaskevicius, Driver (Stewart 46), Ksanavicius (Pospisil 69), Velicka (Elliot 46) Subs: Jonsson, Kancelsku, Goncalves, Kurskis Referee Steve Tumilty Attendance 4918 ICT had played some of their best football of the season in the last two outings against Hibs and Celtic but were still to put any points on the scoreboard. We’d gone down 0-3 to Rangers in our opening game of the season and now faced Hearts, who only last week beat that same Rangers team 4-2. We were still chasing our first points of the season and this wasn’t going to be an easy fixture by any stretch of the imagination. Many were surprised when the team lines were read out and they learned that Brewster had kept himself on the bench for this one. A Striker who had proven he knew where the oppositions net was at Aberdeen before joining us as player/manager. The starting eleven had remained unchanged following last weeks defeat – 5-0 at the hands of Celtic FC – but our bench looked like we were going out there with attack in mind. The early action was reminiscent of our last trip to Easter Road where we pressured from the off and won two corners in the opening 5 minutes. All the pressure was on Hearts for much of the half. Cowie was again proving his worth from set pieces – twice he sent in balls that were met with strong headers, one to the head of Munro and the other to Rossco who were both unlucky to go narrowly wide. Cowie and Niculae both had decent long range efforts…Niculae putting his over the bar and Cowie being unlucky to see his saved by Banks…before an unfortunate break at the opposite ends saw Black divert a crossed ball into our own net to put us a goal down, very much against the run of play. Hearts only other efforts from the half were professionally saved by Fraser. In one last push not long before the HT whistle, Niculae knocked a ball down to Wyness who looked poised to stick it in the net – and if it hadn’t been for a last ditch effort by Tall that’s exactly where it would have gone. Half Time: ICT 0 v 1 Hearts A goal down but the chances were there and we just needed to make better use of them in the second half. Caley Thistle started brightly after the break with a shot from Wyness being saved and a header going narrowly wide. We continued to pressure and Hearts didn’t appear to have many answers. Hearts made a couple of surprise substitutions at half time…Driver had been making life difficult for us on the right and looked like one of the few in the Hearts team who was going to be a real threat and he was replaced by a largely ineffective Michael Stewart. This seemed to give Rossco more opportunity to push forward and create a threat. We had to wait until nearly 20 minutes in to the second half for the equaliser. Wilson hit his volley straight at Banks who could only succeed in parrying it. The ball then fell to Wyness who had the simplest of jobs to brush it into the back of the net. 1-1…Come on ICT!!! McGuire, who was lucky to still be on the pitch given the whinging and moaning he had directed at the ref for most of the game, was to come close about 10 minutes later. It was Cowie once again who sent a great ball in from the corner and on to the head of McGuire who couldn’t have done any better and we watched on with frustration as it was cleared off the line. The game was starting to look very much like finishing 1-1, but Kingston came close for hearts with about 10 minutes left on the clock. ICT had conceded a free-kick on the edge of the box and Kingston send a wonderfully curving ball round the wall only to see it come back off the post. Frustration was setting in among some fans that we had again left it very late in the game before making our substitutions…Brewster and Morgan came on for Niculae and Wilson with barely 5 minutes left in the game. Brewster was immediately in and winning everything coming in his direction and Morgan wasn’t really seeing much of the ball…in fact, I’m not entirely sure he had touched the ball until just before the stroke of 90 minutes when he sent a cross in towards Brewster who caught it on the volley and almost burst the Hearts net. Who knows what happened in the last 2 minutes…and to be honest…who cares!!! Full Time: 2-1 The effort shown by the team in our last 3 outings had finally been rewarded and I don’t think anyone who had watched the match would deny that ICT were the ones who deserved the 3 points. Hey, even if you thought it should have been a draw, then consider it just deserts for having gotten nothing from the Celtic or Hibs games….lol.
  5. Craig Brewster's second spell in charge of the club began with a win against third division Arbroath in the CIS Cup. A goal in each half from Marius Niculae and a second half Dennis Wyness effort were enough to see off the Red Lichties who did get on the scoresheet through Bryan Scott. 28/08/07 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium INVERNESS CT 3 Niculae (34,74), Wyness (64) Team: Fraser, Tokely, Watt, McCaffrey, McBain (Morgan 79), Cowie, Black, Duncan, Wilson (Rankin 79), Wyness, Niculae (McAllister 85) Subs: McDonald, Ridgers. ARBROATH 1 Scott (71) Team: Morrison, MacKay, Ferguson, Raeside (Rennie 77), Bishiop, Tully, Hegarty (Webster 62), Scott, Tosh, Sellars, Watson (Reilly 75) Subs: Wight, Black Referee Stephen Finnie Attendance 1246 Before tonight's game, Caley Thistle had only scored two goals in four games and these had come from defence and midfield. Tonight, the strikers finally got into the action with Marius Niculae scoring a double - his first goals for the club - and record scorer Dennis Wyness bagging his 95th for the club. With Grant Munro missing from the lineup due to a minor back strain, on loan defender Steven Watt came into the side and Ross Tokely took over the captaincy and it didn't take long for him to get in on the action... at both ends. First he hit a long range effort from 35 yards that wasn't too far away and then in the 10th minute he was lucky not to have a penalty given against him with a clumsy challenge on Bryan Scott. The ref gave a free-kick and Hegarty put it over the bar. After 20 minutes, Barry Wilson almost got on the scoresheet. His effort from a Don Cowie cross hit the bar. Wyness had a good chance a short time later but found himself surrounded by defenders and goalkeeper Morrison was able to grab the ball. The first goal came in 34 minutes and it was Romanian International Marius Niculae who notched his first for the club. A pass from Dennis Wyness set him up and in the words of one fan it was "a cracking twenty yarder, powerful shot after good turn". That was it for the first half and although only a slim lead, it was still a lead !!! Half Time: 1-0 Into the second half and Barry Wilson was the first to have a serious effort on goal. Roy McBain crossed from the left and Barry attempted a diving header only to see his effort come off the post this time. Five minutes later the lead was doubled and this time it was Dennis Wyness who scored. Craig Brewster, speaking on the official site, was quick to praise the record goalscorer saying how much he enjoyed it. "I think Dennis' goal especially was a great move, a great ball from Don Cowie to Russell Duncan and then Dennis does the rest with a touch, swivel and finish." Caley Thistle sometimes like to make things difficult for themselves - as we all know - and tonight was no different. Barely seven minutes after Dennis had looked to have put the game out of reach, Arbroath scored and were right back in it. A defensive error allowed Bryan Scott to pick up the ball 12 yards out and he easily beat Michael Fraser to reduce the deficit to one with 19 minutes to go. Not to worry though, Marius Niculae, who appears to be improving with every game did put the game out of reach three minutes later. A free kick from 22 yards was expertly hit with spin and swerve and although Morrison may have got a hand to it he couldn't stop it from going in. Full Time: 3-1 So there it is, a win for Craig Brewster in his first game back and a few other positives on the night. Marius Niculae getting his first goal(s) for the club, Dennis Wyness finally getting back on the scoresheet with his first goal since January, Ian Black taking a few hefty knocks and not reacting badly, and Don Cowie also worthy of a mention after another good performance in the midfield. After the start to the season we have experienced and the drama of the last week, its nice to be able to list a few positives and although tonight's match may "only" have been Arbroath its a nice boost going into this weekend's game at Easter Road where Craig Brewster scored twice last week for Aberdeen !
  6. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only." A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens (1812-1870) I couldn't have put it any better, so why even try... 25/08/07 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium INVERNESS CT 0 Team: Fraser, Tokely, McCaffrey, Munro, McBain, Cowie, Black (Wilson 61), Rankin, Duncan, Bayne (McDonald 75), Niculae Subs: Wyness, McAllister, Sutherland, Watt, Ridgers DUNDEE UTD 3 (Dillon 46, Robson 58pen, 81pen) Team: Szamotulkski, Wilkie (Robb 85), Dods, Kenneth, Dillon, Kalvenes, Kerr, Gomis, Bauben, Robson, Hunt Subs: Goodwillie, Cameron, Duff, Robertson, Flood, Mclean Referee John Underhill Attendance 4178 Richard Hastings was sidelined today leaving Roy McBain to fill in at left back, a situation in itself that highlights the need for us to be bringing in players to provide competition and cover for places on the back row. Other than that the team lined up pretty much as expected and Caley Thistle got off to the better start playing some nice football and stringing together some great plays. Dundee Utd were the first to record a shot on target in the 11th minute but the half-volley was taken comfortably by Fraser. ICT seemed to take a grip on the game at this stage however and Utd Goalkeeper Grzegorz Szamotulski had his work cut out for him as he was forced in to some brilliant saves. Graham Bayne had a shot tipped round the post; Marius Niculae got his head on a Ross Tokely cross only for it to be saved at the near post before setting up Stuart McCaffery with a ball which should have ended in the back of the net. The players could be forgiven for feeling a little unlucky going in at half-time without having registered anything on the scoreboard. Half Time: 0-0 It wasn’t long into the second half when the deadlock was broken. The ICT fans watched on in disbelief as a Dillon cross into the box failed to find a chasing Robson or Wilkie…unfortunately it didn’t fail to find the net and it was Inverness CT 0 – 1 Dundee Utd. Bayne had a header saved at the other end, but from this point in it was Utd who were in command of the match. The second goal came by way of a penalty in the 58th minute and ICT were lucky not to have a man sent to the stand. Following a foul on Kerr, referee John Underhill seemed to be only too aware of recent incidents of mistaken identity and preferred to keep his cards in his pocket rather than risk sending the wrong man for an early shower. Robson slotted the ball home from the spot, Inverness CT 0 – 2 Dundee Utd. It was a sick feeling of de-ja-vu 20 minutes later when Grant Munro was adjudged to have brought down Wilkie inside the area. Robson stepped up for the spot kick and sent the ball into the net at the exact same spot as his previous one. Inverness CT 0 – 3 Dundee Utd. The game couldn’t have come to an end quick enough for Caley Thistle and other than a run on goal and a well saved shot from Niculae we had nothing else to show for ourselves. Full Time: 0-3 One can only imagine what must be going through the heads of the players right now and we can only call on the fans to get right behind the team on Tuesday Night when they take to the pitch against Arbroath in the CIS Cup
  7. Caley Thistle took seven points out of a possible nine from Rangers last season but from the very start it didn't look like this would be repeated. A Barry Ferguson double and a Nacho Novo goal gave Rangers an easy victory in front of a record 7711 crowd. 04/08/07 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium INVERNESS CT 0 Team: Fraser, Tokely, McCaffrey, Munro, Hastings, McBain (Hart 70), Wilson, Black, Rankin (McDonald 77), McAllister (Cowie 62), Wyness Subs: Sutherland, Duncan, Morgan, Ridgers RANGERS 3 Ferguson (16,90) Novo (64) Team: McGregor, Hutton, Cuellar, Weir, Papac, Thomson, Ferguson, Hemdani, McCulloch, Beasley, Boyd (Novo 49) Subs: Darcheville, Kinniburgh, Lennon, McMillan, Broadfoot, Carroll Referee Kenny Clarke Attendance 7711 Man of the Match Barry Ferguson Caley Thistle took seven points out of a possible nine from Rangers last season but from the very start it didn't look like this would be repeated. A Barry Ferguson double and a Nacho Novo goal gave Rangers an easy victory in front of a new record crowd at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium of 7711. With three potential first choice strikers out - Graham Bayne (broken toe), Marius Niculae (work permit problems) and Dean McDonald (ankle) - Charlie Christie started with a pairing of Dennis Wyness and Rory McAllister up front. There was no place for Russell Duncan in the opening line-up as McBain, Wilson, Black and Rankin formed the midfield line and only the defence was no surprise as the four most senior defenders - Tokely, Munro, McCaffrey and Hastings - took their normal slots. Walter Smith's Rangers are a different prospect than the side were under Paul Le Guen and much of that seems to be associated with the contribution of Rangers captain Barry Ferguson with whom PLG had a very public fallout. Ferguson was at the heart of everything in this game with a goal in each half and an overall performance that meant Rangers never really felt under much pressure. The first attack of the game came in only three minutes when Beasley was put through by Barry Ferguson but he could only smash the ball of Mike Fraser's legs after the keeper came off his line to block the American. In the 11th minute there was a test of temper for Ian Black when he was fouled badly by Kris Boyd. The midfielder who is often criticised for his short fuse and quick temper, reacted well and the result was that it was only Kris Boyd who made it into the ref's book at this stage. Black, to his credit came through the game without any sanction from the ref. In the 16th minute, Barry Ferguson opened the scoring with a move that went from goalie to goalie in about 4 touches. McGregor hit a long ball which was passed into the path of Ferguson by Lee McCulloch and the Rangers skipper hit it from 20 yards where it went into the net off the post. Touch 4 was Mike Fraser picking it out of the net. Ferguson, at the centre of everything, almost assisted with another goal when he put Boyd clear on the half hour mark but once again Mike Fraser was there and managed to get a foot in the way of the ball which then bounced off the ground, struck the underside of the crossbar and somehow spun wide of the post. A Carlos Cuellar snap shot just before half-time was heading in if it had not been for a good low save by Fraser who turned it round the post. Half Time: 0-1 The second half started slowly and the only action in the early portion of it was Boyd hobbling off in the 49th minute to be replaced by Nacho Novo and a tactical change where Charlie Christie replaced the ineffective Rory McAllister with Don Cowie and put Barry Wilson up front. A minute later and it was 2-0 to Rangers. Defensive lapses allowed Lee McCulloch to setup Nacho Novo and he made no mistake from 16 yards Five minutes after this Richie Hart came on and then and only then did Caley Thistle look like something might happen. Richie put in a sterling effort in the final 20 minutes and had two or three efforts that unfortunately came to nothing. 13 minutes from the end, new signing Dean McDonald came on for John Rankin but he couldn't get ICT back into it either. Ross Tokely will probably hope that this game had ended after 84 minutes as the last five minutes were not his best. After managing to escape bookings on at least two other occasions during the match he was finally booked in the 85th and then as the game drew to a close it was his error on a backpass that allowed Ferguson to nip in, lob the keeper and finish the game off. Full time: 0-3 After the game Charlie Christie blasted the side: "Rangers played longer than they have ever done against us and it was very effective. The annoying thing for me is how much of a problem that was for us." "It showed just how important Graham Bayne is to us. There was no passion and not the requisite desire to win. Make no mistake, there will be changes next week."
  8. With St Mirren winning at Motherwell, and Caley Thistle scoring a couple of late goals to win this game, Dunfermline are officially relegated from the Scottish Premier League. Club Historian Ian Broadfoot reports from the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium. ICT 2-1 DUNFERMLINE 12th May 2007 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE FC 2 (Hastings 76, McAllister 88) Team: Fraser, Tokely, Dods, Munro (McAllister 75), Hastings, Hart, Black, McBain (Sutherland 68), Paatelainen (Wilson 61), Dargo, Bayne Subs: McCaffrey, Duncan, Rankin & Ridgers DUNFERMLINE 1 (McIntyre 37) Team: De Vries, Shields, Bamba, McGuire, Muirhead, Mason, Glass (Morrison 81), Hammill (McCunnie 66), O' Brien (Burchill, 81), McManus, McIntyre Subs: Hamilton, Young, Woods & McKenzie Referee Mike Ritchie Attendance 6464 Man of the Match Richard Hastings (ICT) It was a day of high drama as Dunfermline came north hoping to keep their fine run going and at least take the relegation battle to the wire. They brought a large vocal support and the team fought for every ball, but in the end it was not enough. At Fir Park the other possible candidates for the drop, Motherwell and St Mirren, were playing each other and there were many possible permutations after the final whistles. In the event St Mirren fought back from 2-0 down to win 3-2, but the 2-1 win for Caley Thistle meant it did not matter. Dunfermline were relegated. Two months ago Caley Thistle were 1-0 up on Dunfermline at half time then surrendered the second half to lose 3-1. Today it was 1-0 to the Pars at half time and it was Caley Thistle who came back to win. There were two milestones as Ross Tokely became the first player to reach the 400 appearance mark and Darren Dods played his 100th league match for ICT. The end of the season is often a time to give fringe players a run but, with relegation at stake, it would have been unfair to go down this route. Charlie Christie did shuffle his pack but with no loss of strength - John Rankin, Stuart McCaffrey and Russell Duncan dropped to the bench and Ross Tokely, Ian Black and Markus Paatelainen came back to start the match. The newly-blond Barry Wilson returned from suspension and injury to the bench. It was frantic from the off and play surged from end to end. There was no danger however until the twelfth minute when Dunfermline ’s Jim McIntyre sent a low angled ball skidding past the post from the right. Five minutes later the first ICT effort came when Craig Dargo latched onto a long Grant Munro throw but his angled shot was held well by Dorus De Vries. Caley Thistle began to create openings but could not make them pay. In 28 minutes a Richie Hart free kick from the right reached Graham Bayne but his header from the back of the box was held by De Vries. Three minutes later a clearance from the ‘keeper reached Hart 40 yards out with the goal vacated – Hart hesitated and was closed down before he could try for a spectacular goal. The opening came at the other end in 37 minutes when Tam McManus headed into the path of McIntyre and he volleyed home from just inside the home box. Half Time: 0-1 With St Mirren trailing to Motherwell the Dunfermline fans began to sing ‘We’re staying up’ but their optimism was premature. The second half started bizarrely when a Dods attempted clearance was stabbed goalwards and Mike Fraser had to be alert to tip it over. Nothing came off at either end and Dunfermline began to slow things down to retain their lead. In 71 minutes a poor back pass towards De Vries allowed substitute Wilson to nip in and steal the ball but he was forced wide and could only chip it to the centre of the box with no one following up. With fifteen minutes left Charlie Christie went for broke when he replaced defender Grant Munro with striker Rory McAllister. It was to prove decisive as within a minute McAllister was brought down by Sol Bamba 25 yards out on the right. Richard Hastings took the free kick and its power was too much for De Vries as he dropped it over the line – this was only the defender’s third goal for the club with the others coming in October and November 1995. Zander Sutherland did well down the left in 84 minutes and found McAllister inside – he ran on and blasted just wide from 25 yards. With two minutes of regular time left Wilson beat Phil McGuire to the ball and passed to McAllister who once more struck for goal from 25 yards. This time it took a deflection to fool De Vries and give ICT a 2-1 lead. The three added minutes stretched to four and Dunfermline pushed hard. De Vries joined the attack for the final few minutes to try to make amends for his error but it all came to nothing. Full Time: 2-1 The whistle went and the Dunfermline players slumped to the ground despondent. It had been a brave fight but the Pars were down and out. For Caley Thistle there was a one spot climb to eighth and just one game left away to St Mirren.
  9. A Dargo double in the first half was enough to secure all three points against Motherwell in a typical 'end of season' match where home keeper Michael Fraser was rarely troubled. Club Historian Ian Broadfoot provides the match report from Tulloch Caledonian Stadium. ICT 2-0 MOTHERWELL 21st April 2007 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE FC 2 (Dargo 14,44) Team: Fraser, McCaffrey, Dods, Munro, Hastings, Hart, Duncan, Rankin, Paatelainen, Bayne, Dargo (McBain 69) Subs: McAllister, Sutherland, McSwegan, Soane, Duff & Ridgers MOTHERWELL 0 Team: Smith, Corrigan, Craigan, Reynolds, Murphy (Quinn 46), Kerr, Vadocz, McBride (McGarry 20), Paterson, McDonald, Clarkson (Smith 75) Subs: McCormack, Fitzpatrick, Molloy & Meldrum Referee Craig MacKay Attendance 3804 Man of the Match Richard Hastings (ICT) A comfortable win for Caley Thistle in the race to be the best of the rest. Importantly the result of this first post-split match ensured that any lingering relegation worries were arithmetically over. Darren Dods came back from suspension but Ian Black remained in the sin bin and was joined by Barry Wilson and Ross Tokely. Young defender Jamie Duff took a place on the bench for the first time and Graham Bayne became the 27th ICT player to join the 100-appearance club. Bayne’s strike partner Craig Dargo played despite being under the weather and he put the finishing touch to good moves by scoring twice. The first real chance came in 13 minutes when a long Grant Munro throw from the left fell for Markus Paatelainen and he shot strongly through the pack in a crowded box – Graeme Smith saw it late but produced a fine save. Within a minute Paatelainen was the provider for the opening goal when he touched the ball from the centre to Dargo racing in for the right - he took it in his stride and his angled shot took a slight deflection as it went past Smith. The pressure on Smith continued and he did well to hold an awkward bouncing 25 yard shot from Richie Hart. Motherwell were forced into a 20th minute substitution when Kevin McBride limped off and Steve McGarry came on. Close to the half-hour mark Scott MacDonald had two rare Motherwell chances but his shots on the turn were easily collected by Mike Fraser. Five minutes from half time Caley Thistle produced arguably the move of the season. Breathtaking interplay amongst four players resulted in Munro heading into the Motherwell box from the left – unselfishly he laid the ball off to Hart but he blasted over the bar from the penalty spot. A minute from the break a high Stuart McCaffrey free kick into the box was head-flicked by Bayne to the feet of Dargo and he sent an angled shot past Smith for his second goal. Half Time: 2-0 The second half was rather pedestrian and there were few chances. In 52 minutes Smith saved a low shot from Bayne after a fine move then Fraser held an overhead kick by Krisztian Vodocz in the home box on 74 minutes. Ten minutes from time a Bayne back-header from a John Rankin chip sailed over the bar. Six minutes later ICT came close to a further goal - a Rankin high free kick into the Motherwell box was knocked back out to him by Dods and Rankin sent a long range shot just wide of the top right corner of the woodwork. Full Time: 2-0 It ended 2-0 and ICT moved up a notch to ninth place. Bottom club Dunfermline beat Dundee United 1-0 and now sit just a point below St Mirren who play Falkirk on Monday. A very interesting relegation battle but thankfully Caley Thistle fans can watch it from the outside.
  10. A pretty even match finishes as a 1-1 draw. Falkirk scored in the 80th minute but John Rankin equalised 6 minutes later (his 4th against Falkirk this season) to save a point for Caley Thistle. Club Historian Ian Broadfoot reports on the game from the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium. ICT 1-1 FALKIRK 7th April 2007 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE FC 1 (Rankin 86) Team: Fraser, Tokely, McCaffrey, Munro, Hastings, Wilson (McBain 66), Duncan (McAllister 82), Hart, Rankin, Dargo, Bayne Subs: Paatelainen, Wood, Soane, Sutherland & Ridgers FALKIRK 1 (Finnigan 80) Team: Schmeichel, Ross, Holden (Scobbie 48), Barr, Milne, Cregg, Latapy (Craig 75), Thomson, O'Donnell, Moutinho (Finnigan 68), Gow Subs: Lima, McStay, Uras & Lambers Referee Crawford Allan Attendance 4435 Man of the Match Richie Hart (ICT) Not a great game but it had its exciting moments. Caley Thistle could have had it sewn up by half time but nothing quite came off and it was Falkirk who opened the scoring with ten minutes left. John Rankin came to the rescue with a late equaliser. Ian Black’s suspension continued and Darren Dods missed one game as a result of his red card at Ibrox. Stuart McCaffrey came into central defence, Markus Paatelainen dropped to the bench, Barry Wilson came back into the starting eleven, Richie Hart continued in midfield, Roy McBain returned from injury to a bench slot and young striker Garry Wood joined the squad for the first time. Falkirk striker Carl Finnigan came back from suspension but started on the bench. ICT could have taken the lead in two minutes when an attack led to a loose ball which broke well for Wilson and left him one-on-one with Kasper Schmeichel – his low shot was saved by the legs of the ‘keeper and Wilson hit the rebound wide. A minute later and there could have been a goal at the other end. Alan Gow sent a high free kick from the right and Dean Holden headed goalwards from the back post. It ran parallel to the goal line and over for a goal kick at the far side. Schmeichel once more rescued Falkirk in 14 minutes when he tipped over a 25 yard dipping volley from Hart. In 34 minutes Rankin produced the shot of the match when he sent an angled ball from long distance on the left towards the top right corner. It curled beautifully but went just past the angle of the bar. Half Time: 0-0 Falkirk had clearly been spoken to firmly at half time as they came out with more determination. Despite this Mike Fraser had little to do as the defence held firm under early second-half pressure. In 59 minutes Schmeichel did well to dive and hold a Hart ball across goal then in 69 minutes a good home move led to a blocked Craig Dargo shot from 20 yards. The Bairns took the lead with ten minutes left when substitute Finnigan took a pass on the right wing and was allowed to continue despite strong offside claims. He raced ahead and hit an angled shot low into the net for 1-0. Rory McAllister was sent on for Russell Duncan as the home side played three up front in search of an equaliser. It came in 86 minutes when a long Grant Munro throw from the left was returned to him and he sent a high ball into the box – Rankin managed to get a good touch on it and send the ball into the top corner for the equaliser. There was a hectic finish and Caley Thistle nearly snatched a late winner when Dargo rounded Schmeichel on the left but a defender cleared the danger. Twice in added time Schmeichel had to punch clear but the final whistle went and it ended 1-1. Full Time: 1-1 Caley Thistle moved up one place to ninth. Dunfermline beat Hibs 1-0 and the relegation issue has not quite been settled.
  11. Stephen Kenny will no doubt enjoy the rest of his St Patrick's day after this victory threw the Pars an SPL survival lifeline !! The Dunfermline manager hadn't seen his side win in sixteen games but this victory had nothing to do with luck as the Pars broke that unenviable record convincingly. Surprisingly enough, this was also Dunfermline's first ever SPL victory against ICT. Club Historian Ian Broadfoot provides the official report from the game. ICT 1-3 DUNFERMLINE 17th March 2007 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE FC 1 (Paatelainen 23) Team: Fraser, Tokely, McCaffrey, Dods, Hastings, Wilson, Duncan (Rankin 63), Black, Paatelainen, McSwegan (Dargo 63), Bayne Subs: Hart, Morgan, Sutherland, McAllister & Ridgers DUNFERMLINE 3 (Glass 47, 78pen , McIntyre 60) Team: De Vries, Ross, McGuire, Wilson (Harris 80), S. Morrison, O'Brien, Mason, Glass, Hammill (Muirhead 86), McManus, McIntyre Subs - McCunnie, O. Morrison, Crawford, Hamilton & McKenzie Referee Chris Boyle Attendance 4447 Man of the Match Markus Paatelainen (ICT) Bitter disappointment for Caley Thistle but all credit to Dunfermline for a spirited second half fight back. It was 1-0 to ICT at half time and all looked well. Dunfermline scored two goals in the second half then a very controversial penalty award led to a third and the match was over. Dunfermline are almost down and out of the SPL but more victories like this and all that could change. ICT’s defeat means that a top six finish is impossible and the SPL split is finally decided. With Grant Munro still suspended Stuart McCaffrey again partnered Darren Dods in central defence. Markus Paatelainen continued in midfield instead of the injured Roy McBain and Gary McSwegan started up front. Craig Dargo came back from injury to a bench spot and he came on for 27 minutes. Charlie Christie was scathing in his appraisal: "The players have to take responsibility for performances like that along with myself, we like to take the plaudits when we do well so we must take the brunt of it when we don't do well." A bitterly cold wind dominated the day but Caley Thistle started well. In six minutes strong shots from Ian Black and Gary McSwegan were blocked then four minutes later danger was averted at the other end by Stuart McCaffrey’s timely tackle on Adam Hammill. In 19 minutes a Barry Wilson free kick from 25 yards deflected off the wall and Graham Bayne just failed to touch it past Dorus De Vries. The opening goal came in 23 minutes when a Ross Tokely high ball from the right bounced about in the box before Paatelainen blasted it in from 12 yards. Despite continuing to dominate the home side could not find another goal – an angled Ian Black snap shot was taken well by De Vries in 36 minutes then the keeper tipped over a Wilson cross just before the break. Half Time: 1-0 Just two minutes into the second half Dunfermline came right back into it. A Jim O’Brien cross was volleyed past Mike Fraser from 15 yards by Stephen Glass with the home defence absent. Another O’Brien cross was deflected to Jim McIntyre on the hour mark and he touched it in from close range for 2-1. A Paatelainen ball from the left was tipped over by De Vries in 76 minutes as Caley Thistle tried to claw their way back into the game. The final nail in the coffin came two minutes later when Hammill went down in a clash with Hastings on the edge of the box. The home fans were livid when the referee pointed to the spot. Glass ignored the controversy and hit low into the net despite Mike Fraser guessing correctly and getting a hand to it. In 83 minutes the controversy moved to the other end when Wilson was brought down by Scott Morrison – Wilson landed in the box but the offence was decreed to have happened just outside. The scoring was over but not the drama. A minute over time Tom McManus came in heavily on Black and a straight red was shown. Full Time: 1-3 It made no difference as the match was effectively over. Caley Thistle moved to eighth and Dunfermline gained three points on the rest of lower teams.
  12. A Barry Wilson goal right at the death wins all three points for Caley Thistle. The goal came moments after Grant Munro, making his 200th appearance for the club, received a straight red card for a tackle on Barry Robson. Club Historian Ian Broadfoot reports from the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium. ICT 1-0 DUNDEE UNITED 3rd March 2007 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE FC 1 (Wilson 90) Team: Fraser, Tokely, Dods, Munro, Hastings, Wilson, Black, Duncan, Rankin (Paatelainen 74), McAllister (McSwegan 64), Bayne Subs: McCaffrey, Morgan, Hart, Sutherland & Ridgers DUNDEE UNITED 0 Team: Stillie, Dillon, McCracken, Wilkie, Kalvenes, Kerr, Gomis, Robson, Robertson (Samuel 46), Daly (Robb 73), Hunt (Goodwillie 81) Subs: McCord, Watson, Mair & Mclean Referee Steven Finnie Attendance 3901 Man of the Match Darren Dods (ICT) Up until the last three minutes this game was totally forgettable – two off-form teams producing very little. The match was punctuated by free kick after free kick and chances were few. With a minute of normal time left Grant Munro tackled Barry Robson on the half way line and the referee deemed it reckless – a straight red card was shown and Munro’s 200th appearance was spoiled. With a full two minutes of added time on the clock Barry Wilson scored dramatically to keep the points in Inverness . This was reminiscent of the closing period of last Sunday’s Celtic game but there the similarity of the matches ended. Roy McBain dropped out of the ICT team from last week due to both injury and suspension and Rory McAllister came in to partner Graham Bayne up front. Charli Christie said: "We weren't at our best today, I think that was apparent to everyone but we showed some great resolve which is vitally important in football". It was Bayne who created some excitement in the first minute when he blocked a David McCracken clearance but it bounced back to a grateful Derek Stillie. With four minutes gone United’s Sean Dillon sent over a cross from the right and Jon Daly hit it first time past the post from close range. In 23 minutes Mike Fraser dived to his right and touched a 25 yard Barry Robson shot past for a corner. Ross Tokely headed over in 32 minutes then, with five minutes of the half left, Richard Hastings came close with a header that was cleared off the line.I think that is only the second game of the season that we have taken more points than we deserved. Half Time: 0-0 Things did not really improve after the break but home hopes were lifted when Rory McAllister robbed a defender inside the United half after 47 minutes but he hesitated and the defence regrouped before he could make the chance count. Robson netted a minute later for the visitors but the whistle had long gone. United full back Christian Kalvenes crossed high from the left in 62 minutes but Noel Hunt just failed to connect at the back post. A repeat of this cross in 69 minutes led to a Collin Samuel bouncing header which went not far wide. With six minutes left Bayne knocked the ball to substitute Gary McSwegan who chested it down and shot on the turn but it was blocked. It went out to Russell Duncan on the left but he shot wide of the target. United’s best effort of the match came in 85 minutes when Robson curled a shot low from 18 yards but Fraser was equal to the task and dived to push it for a corner. Then came the dramatic last three minutes. Munro’s red card seemed to spur on the home side and an excellent move produced a late late winner. An Ian Black chip set Barry Wilson down the right – he cut inside and shot low for goal. Stillie spilled it, Bayne stepped in to touch it Markus Paatelainen and he found Wilson 18 yards out. Despite the pressure Wilson hit it neatly past Stillie to stun the travelling support and grab the points. Full Time: 1-0 Wilson was engulfed by his colleagues and the match was over. As a result ICT leapfrogged United to a healthy seventh place.
  13. Leading 1-0 with just over two minutes to go things looked good for ICT. However Steven Pressley and Kenny Miller put paid to that with goals in 88 and 90 minutes to send ICT crashing out of the cup. Club Historian Ian Broadfoot supplies the official report from this game. 28th January 2007 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE 1 (Bayne 18) Team: Fraser, Tokely, Dods, Munro, Hastings, Rankin, Black (McSwegan 77), Duncan, McBain (Hart 46), Wilson (McAllister 86), Bayne Subs: McCaffrey & Ridgers CELTIC 2 (Pressley, Miller 90) Team: Boruc, Wilson (Sheridan 73), Naylor, Pressley, McManus, Nakamura, Lennon, Hartley, Sno (Graveson 78), Jarosik (McGeady 65), Miller Subs: Telfer & McGovern Referee Dougie McDonald Attendance 7119 Man of the Match Graham Bayne (ICT) This was not just robbery – it was grand larceny! Just when it looked as if Caley Thistle were about to inflict a third Scottish Cup victory over Celtic – and a well deserved one – up popped Steven Pressley to head an equaliser two minutes from time. That was bad enough but Kenny Miller’s strike 50 seconds over time was devastating. Charlie Christie: "It's an understatement to say I am gutted we are out of the cup... It's a real sore one to take, even a draw would have been sore enough". The home side matched Celtic in every department and their 18th minute lead was no real surprise. If Graham Bayne’s second goal in 28 minutes had not been ruled out for offside it would have been all over. Not surprisingly there was a strong build up to this third Scottish Cup meeting of the sides with great debate as to whether lightning could strike for a third time. With ICT wins in 2000 and 2003 Celtic clearly were taking nothing for granted and they travelled up two days ahead of the game. Celtic absentees were the injured Craig Beattie, Maceij Zarowski and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink. In addition Mark Brown was cup tied. Caley Thistle were still missing the injured Craig Dargo and Dennis Wyness. In a surprise move Charlie Christie played Barry Wilson up front with Graham Bayne and Ian Black was recalled to midfield at the expense of Rory McAllister. Ian Black hit a long range effort well wide in the second minute then Kenny Miller had a run through but his final shot was blocked by Mike Fraser’s legs. This was to be Celtic’s best first half chance. After half-chances at both ends the home side took an 18th minute lead after a fine move. Black strode through the centre, found Barry Wilson on the left wing and he slipped the ball cleverly past Steven Pressley before sending it low across goal – Graham Bayne was first to react and he touched it home virtually unchallenged from six yards. A Nakamura 15 yard shot was pushed away by Fraser in 25 minutes then three minutes later it was nearly 2-0. A long range Black shot was deflected and Artur Boruc could not hold it – Bayne slid in to score but offside was called. TV pictures confirmed that Bayne was a couple of feet offside when Black shot. Just before the break a Nakamura free kick from the right reached a well-positioned Jiri Jarosik but he miskicked badly. Half Time: 1-0 Into the second half and more of the same – Caley Thistle keeping Celtic at bay, creating chances and not in the least bit overawed. Celtic had a great chance to equalise in 54 minutes but Nakamura’s angled strike from the left thundered off the bar. The pattern continued until a dramatic last few minutes. Two minutes from the end of the regulation 90 a Nakamura corner from the left was headed goalwards by Stephen McManus from 6 yards and Steven Pressley finished the job by heading in from a yard out. There was worse to come a minute into the two minutes of added time. Nakamura sent a through ball to Miller, he played a one-two with Cillian Sheridan and Miller hit a curling low shot from 24 yards into the bottom corner for an amazing winner. He was booked for celebrating with the crowd but it was all over and a stunned Caley Thistle were out of the cup. Full Time: 1-2 unbelievable There was disbelief all round and not a few tears Sadly it has to be back to the league.
  14. Russell Duncan scored his first goal of the season in the 16th minute of this game. Not only was it an absolute cracker but it was also enough to take Caley Thistle through to the last 8 of the cup. Club Historian Ian Broadfoot supplies the match report of this game. ICT 1-0 DUNDEE UTD 3rd February 2007 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE FC 1 (Duncan 16) Team: Fraser, Tokely, Dods, Munro, Hastings, Wilson, Duncan, McBain, Rankin, Bayne, McAllister (McSwegan 66) Subs: McCaffrey, Black, Morgan & Ridgers DUNDEE UNITED 0 Team: Stillie, Dillon, Wilkie, McCracken, Kalvenes, Kerr, Robertson, Robson, Samuel (Duff 74), Daly (Hunt 60), Conway Subs: Robb, Kenneth & McLean Referee Stuart Dougal Attendance 3402 Man of the Match Russell Duncan (ICT) Russell Duncan does not score many goals but when he does they are usually crackers. His 16th minute wonder goal – Duncan ’s first of the season – was one from the top drawer and a fitting match winner. The home side dominated the first half but had just one goal to show for their superiority. United came back in the second, finished particularly strongly but could not find a way through the home defence. Strikers Craig Dargo and Dennis Wyness missed out for Caley Thistle with shoulder injuries and new recruit Markus Paatelainen was cup-tied. United welcomed back Barry Robson from suspension to face his former club and Lee Mair was out through injury. Having signed a pre-contract agreement Darren Dods was in the unusual position of playing against the side that will gain his services in the summer. These sides last met in the Tennent’s Scottish Cup in February 1998 and it was an epic. ICT were languishing in ninth place in the second division but they took their SPL opponents all the way before succumbing in extra time after a replay. Richard Hastings and Barry Wilson played for Caley Thistle in both games and Barry Robson, now United’s skipper, made a substitute appearance in the second match. Current ICT striker Gary McSwegan played in both matches for United. Today it was a meeting of SPL equals but with Caley Thistle just ahead in the league. Two early efforts from Barry Wilson signalled the home side’s attacking intentions – in the fifth minute he shot wide from 25 yards then five minutes later Derek Stillie collect an angled shot from the left at his near post. The goal that proved to be the winner came in 16 minutes when a long Grant Munro throw from the left was headed away by Lee Wilkie but only as far as Duncan – he took a touch and from over 25 yards sent a dipping shot into the top corner. In 29 minutes Rory McAllister had a chance to extend the lead when he latched onto a Wilson cross from the right but from a few yards out he headed over. As half time approached United had a couple of chances with David Robertson hooking wide from inside the box and Mark Kerr hitting just wide from the edge of the penalty area. United had clearly been given verbal encouragement at the interval and they had much more of the play in the second half. Half Time: 1-0 David Robertson did find the net in 48 minutes with a header but he was well offside. Samuel netted in 70 minutes but Lee Wilkie was penalised (and booked) for a strong challenge on Mike Fraser. With six minutes left Ross Tokely produced a mesmeric run to beat four defenders and set himself up for a shot but he hit the side netting. Two minutes later substitute McSwegan hit low and wide of the mark. In the dying seconds United had a realistic chance to force a replay when a Robson shot from wide right was beaten away by Fraser - no United player was there to cash in and it came back to the ‘keeper via Dods and Munro. Full Time: 1-0 The final whistle sounded and Caley Thistle were through to the quarter final draw.
  15. Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink scored the winner in injury time and then received a second yellow for over-zealous celebrating with the away fans as Caley Thistle lost out 2-1 to Celtic at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium. Club Historian Ian Broadfoot supplies the match report. Inverness CT 1-2 CELTIC 28th January 2007 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE FC 1 (Bayne 57) Team: Fraser, Tokely, Dods, Munro, Hastings, Wilson, Duncan (Black 74), McBain, Rankin, Wyness (McAllister 2 (Paatelainen 84)), Bayne Subs: McCaffrey, Morgan, Soane & Ridgers Celtic 1 (Riordan 37, Vennegoor of Hesselink 90) Team: Boruc, Telfer, Naylor, Pressley (O'Dea 38), McManus, Nakamura, Lennon, Graveson, Riordan, Beattie (Miller 45 (Jarosik 60)), Vennegoor of Hesselink, Beattie Subs: McGeady , Sno, Maloney & Brown Referee Iain Brines Attendance 7484 Man of the Match Barry Wilson (ICT) It was twilight robbery! Caley Thistle matched Celtic all the way, had come back from a goal down and were pushing for a second goal when Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink stepped in to score the winner with 90 minutes on the clock. The game marked a year (and 46 matches) in charge for Charlie Christie and was Darren Dods’ 100th appearance. With Mark Brown now on the Celtic bench, Caley Thistle brought back Ally Ridgers from Clach on loan to act as back-up to Mike Fraser. It started badly for the home side when, after just 30 seconds, Dennis Wyness went down 20 yards out after a one-two with Graham Bayne – it looked like a foul but nothing was given. There was worse to follow as Wyness left the field with a dislocated shoulder and headed for Raigmore Hospital. Rory McAllister came on and proved to be a fine deputy. He had the first ICT shot in seven minutes when he fired from 25 yards and Artur Boruc had to be sharp to push it for a corner. Dods diverted a Craig Beattie shot for a corner in 16 minutes then Shunsuke Nakamura hit over the bar. Fraser confidently held a low Thomas Gravesen shot in 19 minutes. McAllister hit low past the Celtic goal in 33 minutes and Barry Wilson did the same a minute later. In 37 minutes Celtic carved out an opening goal in strange circumstances. A Roy McBain sliced clearance came off the bar and Derek Riordan had an easy task to score from close range. Five minutes from the break McBain went down in the Celtic box but play was waved on then a Graham Bayne header went wide. Half Time: 0-1 The home side came out fighting in the second half and could have scored in 54 minutes when Wilson robbed Gravesen and raced goalwards – his 25 yard shot was spilled by Boruc, McBain ran onto it but his shot was deflected for a corner – surprisingly a goal kick was given. The pressure was rewarded three minutes later when a quick John Rankin throw on the left found Grant Munro and his cross was headed home by Graham Bayne to the delight of the home fans. It was no more than Caley Thistle deserved and they continued to press. In 70 minutes McAllister robbed Neil Lennon, then ran on and found Bayne on the right – the striker’s shot went wide. A McAllister 22 yard shot in 73 minutes was deflected for a corner then five minutes later Bayne went down in the box to no avail. Vennegoor came close at the other end with ten minutes left when his angled shot from the right was beaten away by Fraser. It rebounded kindly for the Celtic striker but he hit wildly over the bar. Substitute Ian Black hit too high from 25 yards in 81 minutes before the final drama. The fourth official had just signalled two added minutes when an attempted Darren Dods clearance was sliced up in the air, it fell to Vennegoor and he hammered in despite Fraser getting a hand to it. Full Time: 1-2 The scorer ran to the Celtic fans to celebrate, received a second yellow card and was off. It made no difference as the two extra minutes produced nothing and Celtic took the points. Caley Thistle remain eighth and Celtic lead the table by 19 points from Rangers.
  16. Craig Dargo opened the scoring in 20 minutes and Roy McBain and Barry Wilson both scored before half time as Caley Thistle strolled to a comfortable 3-0 victory. Club Historian Ian Broadfoot provides the official report from the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium. ICT 3-0 HIBERNIAN 21st January 2007 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE FC 3 (Dargo 20, McBain 30, Wilson 42) Team: Fraser, Tokely, Dods, Munro, Hastings, Wilson (Paatelainen 80), Duncan (Black 77), McBain, Rankin, Dargo (Bayne 70), Wyness Subs: McCaffrey, Soane, McAllister & Smith HIBERNIAN 0 Team: McNeil, Whittaker, Jones, Hogg, Stewart, Murphy, Brown, Thomson (Fletcher 46), Beuzelin (Stevenson 46), Benjelloun, Campbell (Sproule 46) Subs: McCann, Glass, Martis & (Simon) Brown Referee William Collum Attendance 4577 Man of the Match Craig Dargo (ICT) A first half three-goal blitz gave Caley Thistle a well deserved win against a Hibs side that surprisingly created very little. The Hibs/Aberdeen cup tie on Thursday led to this game being postponed by 24 hours as John Collins brought his side to Inverness for the first time. He was without the injured Chris Killen and Merouane Zemmama but, despite a doubt, Michael Stewart played. With Mark Brown having left for Celtic, the ICT goalkeeping position was wide open for the patient Mike Fraser to step in after 165 bench slots, two starts and three substitute appearances. He handled everything confidently but was never seriously troubled. New signing Markus Paatelainen from Cowdenbeath was on the bench and came on for the last ten minutes. The first 45 minutes were some of the best ever seen at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium as the home side swept forward and Hibs did not know what had hit them. In six minutes John Rankin robbed Steven Whittaker on the left, sent the ball across goal and Barry Wilson shot from an angle – Andrew McNeil got a touch and just managed to claw it back before it trickled over the line. McNeil spilled a Wilson shot two minutes later but Craig Dargo’s follow up touch went past. The lively Abdessalam Benjelloun (Benji) was through on the right in 11 minutes but Darren Dods blocked for a corner. Rankin shot over in 18 minutes then two minutes later the deserved opening arrived. The creator was Dennis Wyness who intercepted on the right then found Craig Dargo 15 yards out – he hit it first time into the net with the outside of his right foot as McNeil scrambled back in vain. On the half hour mark it was 2-0 when Ross Tokely intercepted down the right wing, slipped it to Roy McBain in the centre and he sent it neatly past the helpless McNeil for his second goal of the season. The closest Hibs came in the first half was when Scott Brown netted in 34 minutes but the whistle for offside had long gone. With three minutes of the first half remaining Barry Wilson brought the home crowd to its feet when he sent a tremendous 25 yard angled shot past McNeil from the right to make it 3-0. Half Time: 3-0 It was all change after the break as Hibs threw on three substitutes in an attempt to retrieve something from the game. They pushed hard for 20 minutes but the home defence held firm. In 62 minutes there was a moment of alarm as a Steven Fletcher free kick seemed on target but Fraser saw it safely past the post. At the other end a Wyness shot was charged down by Chris Hogg in 64 minutes then a Ross Tokely effort was deflected for a corner. The only black spot of the afternoon came in 70 minutes when Craig Dargo dislocated his shoulder after a simple challenge and he was replaced by Graham Bayne. With four minutes left Mike Fraser punched clear a David Murphy shot then an Ian Black 25 yard drive went wide at the other end. The last action was a long range attempt by Graham Bayne but it was wide of the mark. Full Time: 3-0 A fine victory for Charlie Christie ’s men, eighth place retained and the top six within sight.
  17. ICT 2-1 ST MIRREN Goals from Graham Bayne in 5 minutes and Dennis Wyness in the 21st minute were enough to win this game for Caley Thistle. Kirk Broadfoot scored for the Buddies in 77 minutes and Mark Brown made a spectacular save near the end to make sure all three points stay in Inverness. Club Historian Ian Broadfoot reports from the game. 1st January 2007 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE FC 2 (Bayne 5, Wyness 21) Team: Brown, Tokely, Dods, Munro, Hastings, Wilson (McCaffrey 88), Duncan (Morgan 84), McBain, Rankin, Bayne, Wyness Subs – McAllister, Sutherland, Soane, Dargo & Fraser ST MIRREN 1 (Broadfoot 77) Team: Bullock, McGowne, Potter (Gemmill 87), Broadfoot, Zanten, Reid (McCay 65), Corcoran, Brittain, Brady, McKenna (McGinn 46), Sutton Subs: Docherty, Maxwell, Millen & Smith Referee Alan Freeland Attendance 4246 Man of the Match Graham Bayne (ICT) A good start to 2007 for Caley Thistle, a well-earned three points and revenge for the defeat by St Mirren on the opening day of the season. By half-time they could have been more than two up and were put under pressure when Saints improved after the break. The visitors eventually pulled one back through Kirk Broadfoot and there was a nervous finish for the home fans. Heavy rain throughout the country threatened sporting fixtures but Inverness was spared the worst of it and all was well. Ian Black dropped out of the home side through suspension and Russell Duncan came in. Barry Wilson returned and Alan Morgan reverted to the bench. St Mirren were without Simon Lappin and Hugh Murray. Bullock was under pressure from the start and in just two minutes Graham Bayne sent an angled ball across goal but wide of the mark. The first goal came in five minutes when Bayne passed to Roy McBain, moved to the centre and was there to expertly head home McBain’s cross from the right. This was just what ICT needed and they took control of the game. Saints however nearly pulled one back in nine minutes when Mark Brown dived to push a low ball from David McKenna over for a corner. Dennis Wyness scored his first SPL goal of the season in 21 minutes and it was a great strike. McBain powered goalwards then found Richard Hastings on the left - the defender’s cross reached Wyness in the box, he chested it down then hammered it into the net giving Bullock no chance. A Wilson free kick in 29 minutes troubled the defence as it bounced towards goal but Bullock pushed it for a corner. John Rankin had a chance in 33 minutes from his favourite position 25 yards out but it was on his right foot and he sliced it wide. A Wilson corner in 44 minutes reached Darren Dods at the back of the box but he was off-balance and failed to connect. Half Time: 2-0 Just after the break Bayne went down just inside the St Mirren box but nothing was given. Kirk Broadfoot tested Brown in 52 minutes from wide left but the ‘keeper held it. Bullock saved from Rankin in 55 minutes then pushed the ball for a corner as Wilson closed in for the rebound. Bullock saved well from Bayne in 62 minutes then Wyness hit over the bar in 67 minutes. Saints began to gain confidence and they scored in 76 minutes when Broadfoot ran in to head home Richard Brittain’s corner from the left. Garry Brady nearly managed an equaliser three minutes later but Brown dived to his left to push it away. Mark Corcoran then hit the bar from an angle on the right. With four minutes left Saints were awarded a free kick 19 yards out for hand ball amidst claims that it had been in the box. The kick came to nothing but the ICT fans feared the worst as Saints continued to press. There was an almighty scramble in the home box in the closing minute but Alan Morgan finally booted clear and it hit off a St Mirren player for a goal kick. That was enough to settle things down and the whistle went. Full Time: 2-1 In the topsy-turvy world at the foot of the SPL this win pushed ICT back up to eighth on 27 points. Dunfermline remain rooted at the foot on 14 points.
  18. Darren Dods scored just before half time to level an earlier penalty from Rangers (Novo) but it was John Rankin who scored an injury time winner to beat the Gers and end Caley Thistle's 9 game run without a win. Club Historian Ian Broadfoot reports from Tulloch Caledonian Stadium. ICT 2-1 RANGERS 27th December 2006 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE FC 2 (Dods 41, Rankin 90) Team: Brown, Tokely, Dods, Munro, Hastings, Wilson (Morgan 78), Rankin, Black, McBain, Dargo, Bayne, Wyness Subs: McAllister, Sutherland, McSwegan, Duncan, McCaffrey & Fraser RANGERS 1 Novo (21 pen) Team: McGregor, Hutton, Svensson, Papac, Hemdani, Sionko (Burke 72), Ferguson, Clement, Adam, Novo (Lennon 83), Sebo Subs: Stanger, N'Diaye, Murray, Rae & Klos Referee Craig Thomson Attendance 7522 Man of the Match Dennis Wyness (ICT) A dramatic injury-time goal from John Rankin earned all three points for Caley Thistle, continued their 100% league record against Rangers this season and gave them a tremendous confidence boost after a disappointing run. Pre-match Rangers manager Paul Le Guen made no secret of his desire to avenge the October result at Ibrox but he was to be bitterly disappointed. His side was without the injured Dado Prso and Caley Thistle also had Craig Dargo sidelined. Graham Bayne partnered Dennis Wyness up front and they worked their socks off for the home cause. Otherwise the home side was unchanged. A new record crowd of 7522 settled down to watch the action – a vocal away support expecting to see their side’s revival continue and a home crowd hoping for that elusive win. Caley Thistle started at pace and earned a corner in the second minute. Barry Wilson’s kick came off a defender and hand ball was claimed to no avail. An excellent Wyness flick in four minutes set up a John Rankin shot in the Rangers box but he hit first time over the bar. The first real chance for Rangers came in eleven minutes when Mark Brown had to be alert to beat the ball away from the feet of Nacho Novo. Four minutes later Brown held a low shot from Charlie Adam. The game took a turn Rangers way in 21 minutes when Barry Ferguson went down alongside Roy McBain in the home box. TV pictures confirmed minimum contact but it was a penalty and Novo sent Brown the wrong way for 1-0. The home side continued to hold their own in defence and to create chances at the other end. In 26 minutes Ross Tokely and Roy McBain combined to set up Wilson but McGregor saved his low shot. With four minutes of the first half left Tokely found Darren Dods just inside the Rangers box and McGregor parried the captain’s shot – it fell neatly back to Dods and he hit it high into the net for a very welcome equaliser. Half Time: 1-1 This set up a lively second half with Allan McGregor the busier ‘keeper. In 65 minutes Wilson sent a ball across goal from the right which had McGregor scrambling - it reached Rankin beyond the far post but his effort from an acute angle was not quite on target. Two minutes later Grant Munro did well to rob Filip Sebo as he poised to shoot. McGregor saved an excellent Ian Black angled shot in 69 minutes then seconds later he did the same from Wyness before stopping Graham Bayne’s headed follow-up. Brown took the ball off Sebo’s feet in 76 minutes then a minute later he safely took a Ferguson rising free kick. Ten minutes from time Black sent a long ball to Bayne down the right and McGregor raced out of his goal to clear for a throw-in. Chris Burke had come on as a substitute for Rangers in 72 minutes and he was proving a handful. His speed down the right wing was creating danger but the home defence stuck to its task well. Burke had a chance in 84 minutes but he hit over the bar. With two minutes left, Wyness flicked the ball to Rankin close to the Rangers goal but his low shot was held by McGregor. Into added time and a draw looked inevitable. The away fans started to head for their buses but were stopped in their tracks when Rankin struck. A neat pass from substitute Alan Morgan sent Rankin off from the halfway line towards McGregor’s goal. From 25 yards out he sent a high ball goalwards – the ‘keeper (and most of the crowd) thought it was going to clear the bar but it dipped and nestled in the net. There was still time for one last Rangers attack through Alan Hutton but Munro cleared the ball and the whistle went. Full Time: 2-1 A fine way to end a long run without a victory. Boxing Day results elsewhere had sent ICT down to eleventh but these three points propelled them up to eighth.
  19. Caley Thistle Club Historian Ian Broadfoot reports from the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium where Caley Thistle come out the losers as seven goals are shared in this match. ICT 3-4 KILMARNOCK 16th December 2006 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE FC 3 Dods (6,38), Dargo (pen45) Team: Brown, Tokely (Bayne 74), Dods, Munro, Hastings (McCaffrey 46), Wilson (Sutherland 66), Rankin, Black, McBain, Dargo, Wyness Subs: McAllister, Duncan, Morgan & Fraser KILMARNOCK 4 Naismith (29, 68pen), Nish (35, 50) Team: Smith, Greer, Wright, Murray, Hay, Fowler, Invincible, Johnston (Ford 85), Nish, Naismith, Di Giacomo Subs: Wales, Leven, Dodds, Campbell, Hamill, Harpur Referee John Underhill Attendance 3728 Man of the Match Darren Dods (ICT) The home fans have been crying out for goals and this week they got them – sadly the best out of seven went Kilmarnock’s way. It was a cracking match and quite an afternoon for ICT central defender Darren Dods - he returned for ICT from suspension, resumed the captaincy and scored twice. Dennis Wyness also came into the starting line-up with Graham Bayne dropping to the bench. The pitch was in excellent condition despite days of heavy rain – the return of cold weather over the preceding 24 hours gave valuable time for some drying out. Caley Thistle had a tremendous first half spoiled only by losing two soft goals. Killie played some good football in the second half but were still fortunate to come away with all three points. With five minutes gone Craig Dargo turned Gordon Greer and watched as his shot deflected and nearly fooled Graeme Smith – Smith recovered well to touch it over for a corner. The home side took the lead a minute later when a Barry Wilson free kick from the left curled into the box and Dods volleyed it past Smith from a few yards out. The ‘keeper turned a Wyness shot past for a corner in 13 minutes then did the same from a John Rankin free kick two minutes later. A Greer cross in 28 minutes was headed by Richard Hastings for a corner and this led to the equaliser. Gary Hay’s kick was flicked on by Greer and Steven Naismith was well placed to head home from close to the line. Killie took a 2-1 lead in 34 minutes with a simple goal as the home defence was once more caught out. A Naismith ball from the left reached Colin Nish via Paul Di Giacomo and it was hit in from six yards out. The excitement continued and in 38 minutes Dods scored his second just moments after a Wyness header beat Smith but came off the post. A Rankin free kick from long distance was spilled by Smith and Dods was in the box to touch it home. Just before the break Dargo earned a corner on the left and Wilson’s kick into the box resulted in a handball verdict as Dods challenged. Dargo stepped up to take the penalty and blasted it high into the net to make amends for his miss last week. The crowd was buzzing from the first half excitement and all the speculation was on how high the score would go. Half Time: 3-2 At half time the injured Hastings was replaced by Stuart McCaffrey and the back four reorganise. With just four minutes of the second half gone it was 3-3. Another simple effort saw Di Giacomo race past Dods down the left, whip in a low cross and Nish touched it in. At the other end Smith pushed an Ian Black shot for a corner in 53 minutes then in 58 minutes a strong Ross Tokely shot hit off Wyness and ran to safety. Zander Sutherland replaced Barry Wilson in 66 minutes and within a minute the youngster conceded a penalty with a push on Naismith. Naismith took the kick himself and hit it cleanly past Mark Brown to give Killie a 4-3 lead. A Rankin free kick in 71 minutes was dummied by two ICT players but Smith continued his up and down afternoon by pushing it for a corner. Wyness was booked for an alleged dive in 77 minutes as the home side pressed hard to take something from the game. Dargo went down inside the box with three minutes left as he latched onto a Sutherland cross but nothing was given despite strong penalty claims. Full Time: 3-4 Pressure over the closing minutes from the home side produced no reward and it ended a remarkable 4-3 to the visitors. As a result Caley Thistle slipped to ninth with Dunfermline still propping up the rest.
  20. Inverness CT 0 - 1 Falkirk The Curse of the Caledonian Stadium strikes again as Caley Thistle just cant get a decent result at home and are sent crashing out of the CIS cup. Falkirk progress to the next round courtesy of a second half strike from Anthony Stokes in the 60th minute. Tuesday 19th September 2006 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE FC 0 Team: Brown, Tokely, Dods, Munro, Hastings (McAllister 73), Wilson, Duncan (Morgan 62), Keogh, McBain, Dargo (Hart 80), Bayne Subs: McCaffrey, Fraser FALKIRK 1 (Stokes 60) Team: Higgins, Thomson, Twaddle, Cregg, Ross, Milne, Dodd, O’Donnell (Craig 20), Gow, Barr, Stokes (Mountinho 74) Subs: Latapy, Scobbie & Lambers Referee Dougie McDonald Attendance 1198 Man of the Match Anthony Stokes (Falkirk) An eagerly anticipated cup tie against a fellow SPL side but in the end disappointment. In truth it was rather a bland game with neither side making much impact on the other’s goal. Caley Thistle’s best spell came in the last 15 minutes but they could not make the late pressure count. Falkirk held on to their one goal lead and moved into the fourth round. The first shot on goal was Liam Keogh’s 30 yard low effort in the fifth minute but it was well wide. The prize for highest of the day went to Stephen O’Donnell in the eighth minute when he shot from 20 yards over the bar and the north stand. Falkirk were forced into an early substitution when O’Donnell went off injured in the 20th minute and was replaced by the lively Liam Craig. Seconds later a Barry Wilson corner from the left reached Darren Dods just in front of the ‘keeper but his header went over the bar. A Craig corner in 27 minutes caused danger in the ICT box and Russell Duncan was forced to head off the line. The best home effort in the first half came in 33 minutes when Craig Dargo took a touch on the right of the box then turned and shot on the volley – it went high but it was a good move. Half Time: 0-0 Into the second half and the expected Caley Thistle improvement was a long time in coming. It was Falkirk that took charge and they were rewarded with the only goal of the match on the hour mark. It was created and scored by ‘Man of the Match’ Anthony Stokes. He raced down the left, cut inside, the ball took a couple of deflections into his path then he hammered it past Mark Brown. Hard-working Graham Bayne was foiled by Falkirk ‘keeper Scott Higgins in 65 minutes when his header was held. Rory McAllister replaced Richard Hastings in 73 minutes to give Caley Thistle an extra attacker and it did lead to a more exciting last 15 minutes for the sparse home support. McAllister was only on the pitch for two minutes before he had a chance. A Wilson cross from the right reached the young striker just beyond the back post but he stretched and hit it just wide. An Alan Morgan low shot from 20 yards was blocked in 81 minutes then a McAllister header was cleared by a defender. Higgins then held a Wilson header and, with five minutes left, a trademark long range Richie Hart drive dipped just over the bar. In added time a long throw from Grant Munro bounced into the Falkirk box and Bayne dived to head over. A good chance but it was to be the last one for the home side. Full Time: 0-1 Falkirk march on in the CIS Insurance Cup. For ICT – back to the league.
  21. Inverness CT 0-0 Dundee Utd After a summer of transfer trauma between the clubs this was billed by the media as a Christie versus Brewster grudge match. It was nothing like that and the only heat generated was from the strong sun. Apart from a few boos it was just another SPL match between two lively teams but it could have done with some goals. Club Historian Ian Broadfoot reports from the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium... 16th September 2006 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium Inverness Caledonian Thistle 0 Team: Brown, Tokely, Dods, Munro, Hastings, Wilson (Keogh 71), Black (Morgan 78), Rankin, McBain, Dargo (McAllister 84), Bayne. Subs: McCaffrey, Duncan, Sutherland & Fraser. Dundee Utd 0 Team: Stillie, Proctor, Kenneth, Archibald, Kalvenes, Robson, Kerr (Brewster 53), Duff (Robb 71), Cameron, Conway, Samuel (Hunt 46) Subs: Mair, Easton, Robertson & McLean. Referee Kenny Clark Attendance 3586 Man of the Match Roy McBain (ICT) After a summer of transfer trauma between the clubs this was billed by the media as a Christie versus Brewster grudge match. It was nothing like that and the only heat generated was from the strong sun. Apart from a few boos it was just another SPL match between two lively teams but it could have done with some goals. United’s new captain Barry Robson returned from suspension and received his share of heckling from his former fans and the visitors also included recent signing David Proctor, returning for the first time to his former home. Caley Thistle retained the same team as last week with Dennis Wyness still on the sidelines. Caley Thistle had most of the play in the first half but Craig Conway came closest to a goal at the other end when he rattled the crossbar in the ninth minute. Before that Derek Stillie saved a Craig Dargo header and a first-time shot on the turn by Graham Bayne. Stillie dived to save from Bayne in the twelfth minute then two minutes later Bayne headed wide. A John Rankin bouncing shot from 20 yards went wide in 31 minutes then Bayne had his best chance of the game in 37 minutes. He was set up by a Rankin interception but his on-target effort was blocked by Stillie. Seconds later a strong Ross Tokely run set up another chance. Tokely’s shot was off target but Dargo latched onto it and scored from six yards – the offside flag was up however before the ball hit the back of the net. Half Time: 0-0 Another Rankin effort from just outside the box went wide just after the break and United then began to push forward. Lone striker Collin Samuel was replaced at the interval by Noel Hunt and he was joined up front in 53 minutes by Craig Brewster. This added some spice to the game – particularly as he was in direct opposition to his signing target Darren Dods. Dods came out on top most of the time and Brewster had few sights of goal. He was close to a shot in 61 minutes but Grant Munro stepped in with a trademark timely tackle. Brewster did net in 67 minutes but he was well offside. In 73 minutes he latched onto a Robson bouncing ball but his flick was easily taken by Brown. Brewster robbed Dods seven minutes from time then found Hunt in the box – Hunt went down claiming a penalty but Kenny Clark did not agree. The defining moment of the match came with five minutes left when Steven Robb crossed and Barry Robson dived to head goalwards. It looked net bound but Mark Brown dived to produce the save of the match and push the ball away. It would have been a bitter blow to the home side. An Alan Morgan free kick flew just over Stillie’s bar as time ran out and it ended zero-zero. Full Time: 0-0 The two teams are now level on seven points but Caley Thistle edged up to eighth spot on goal difference.
  22. Grant Munro scores a late equaliser at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium to cancel out Stephen Pearson's first half strike. Club Historian Ian Broadfoot supplies the official report. Inverness CT 1-1 Celtic 16th September 2006 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium Inverness Caledonian Thistle 1 Munro (80) Team: Brown, Tokely, Dods, Munro, Hastings, Keogh, Black, Rankin (Duncan 90), McBain (Hart 79), Dargo, Wyness (Bayne 69). Subs: Fraser, McCaffrey, Sutherland, McAllister. Celtic 1 (Pearson 26) Team: Boruc (Marshall 45), Wilson, Caldwell, McManus, Wallace, Nakamura, Jarosik (Zurawski 60), Lennon, Pearson (Beattie 85), Miller, McGeady. Subs: Telfer, Sno, Varga, Cuthbert. Referee Craig Thomson Attendance 7332 Man of the Match Grant Munro’s fourth club goal, ten minutes from time, earned Caley Thistle a well deserved draw – particularly on their excellent second half performance. The match was live on Setanta TV and Celtic manager Gordon Strachan was forced to watch it from the stand as he started a two-match banishment. Charlie Christie made one enforced change with Liam Keogh making his 100th appearance in place of the injured Barry Wilson. As usual the visit of either of the Old Firm leads to a capacity crowd and this was no different. 50 freeloaders also enjoyed the match from the A9 embankment. Celtic had the better of the first half but could not make their superiority really count. The first serious chance of the game came in 15 minutes when Celtic’s Jiri Jarosik turned and shot from 20 yards. Mark Brown was equal to the task and made a good save. In 23 minutes a John Rankin 30 yard free kick rebounded off Neil Lennon and safely back to Artur Boruc. The opening goal came three minutes later from a long clearance following an ICT attack. Shunsuke Nakamura found Kenny Miller and, with the defence short handed, he flicked the ball low from the right of the box past Darren Dods and Stephen Pearson slid in to put the ball behind Mark Brown. Celtic looked well in control for the rest of the half but Rankin did have two good strikes as the half time whistle loomed. His first was a 25 yard rising effort which Boruc dived to touch over the bar. He then tried a low shot from the same distance but this time it went just wide. Half Time: 0-1 David Marshall replaced the injured Boruc at half time and he had to face a rejuvenated Caley Thistle. Kenny Miller did have the space and time to put Celtic two up in 58 minutes but he shot early from the left side of the box and Brown collected easily. A Dennis Wyness lob from 18 yards just cleared the Celtic bar in 64 minutes and this was the striker’s last touch before Graham Bayne took his place. Bayne was immediately put through by Rankin, after good build up play from Craig Dargo, but his angled shot was held by the diving Marshall. In 68 minutes a Bayne flick set up a Dargo chip which went over the advancing Marshall but just wide. Celtic substitute ‘Magic’ Zurawski took a Gary Caldwell pass on the right of the home box in 71 minutes but shot over the bar. A McGeady low shot was held by Brown in 77 minutes then the equaliser came three minutes later. Substitute Richie Hart’s first touch was a corner from the left which came off the head of Darren Dods and seemed destined to run for a goal kick. Bayne had other ideas and did well to keep it in play before crossing into the box. It deflected into the path of Grant Munro 18 yards out and he powered it past the helpless Marshall to set the home section of the stadium alight. The Celtic backlash was inevitable and it nearly paid off two minutes later – Miller stretched for a cross from the right just a couple of yards out but he was off balance and it went wide. Brown held a McGeady chip then into added time Pearson blasted wide from 20 yards. The home side could just have sneaked it in the final two minutes. Dargo and Hart combined to give Bayne a sight of goal but he hit wide. Then, with seconds left, a long ball out of the Caley Thistle defence was chased by Bayne and Marshall. Bayne stretched to get a touch 30 yards out but it had no power and the defence recovered to clear. Full Time: 1-1 Disappointment for Celtic, a fine point for the home side and tenth place retained.
  23. Caley Thistle fans could be excused for feeling confident that they would get a result, especially after going 5 games unbeaten at the end of last season, having had no major squad rebuilding issues in the close season, and facing the prospect of playing a side they hadn't lost to in 12 games. Unfortunately however, someone forgot to tell Gus McPherson and most of the ICT players that an ICT victory was expected as the Buddies deservedly won this match. Club Historian Ian Broadfoot reports from Tulloch Caledonian Stadium 29th July 2006 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness Inverness Caledonian Thistle 1 (Dargo 48) Team: Brown, McCaffrey, Dods, Munro, Golabek (Bayne 78), Wilson, Duncan (Keogh 65), Black, Rankin, Dargo, Wyness Subs – Hart, Morgan, Soane, Sutherland & Fraser St Mirren 2 (Kean 55, Sutton 75) Team: Smith, Van Zanten, Broadfoot, McGowne, Potter, Murray, Lappin, Sutton, Kean, Brady (Brittain 69), Molloy Subs – Burke, Corcoran, Maxwell, McCay, McKenna & Bullock Referee Alan Freeland Attendance 4267 Man of the Match John Rankin A very disappointing start to the season for Caley Thistle but SPL newcomers St Mirren were understandably delighted. Two goals from John Sutton (but with Stewart Kean still claiming the first) saw them come from behind to take the points in a match that only came to life in the second half. With Ross Tokely sidelined Stuart McCaffrey occupied the right back spot in the home side and new signing John Rankin started in left midfield. The Saints defence was under pressure for the first 15 minutes but nothing quite came off. Barry Wilson took a quick free kick from long distance in six minutes with ‘keeper Chris Smith out of position but he struck it over the bar. A high ball from Rankin in 15 minutes reached Dennis Wyness but he shot wide from 20 yards. Sutton almost broke through for Saints in 20 minutes but McCaffrey saved the day with a fine tackle. Wilson then cleared from David Van Zanten as he headed for goal before Craig Dargo went down 19 yards out at the other end. It was too theatrical for Alan Freeland and play was waved on. Play was generally scrappy with few moments of interest. One of these came in 37 minutes when Wilson did well to set Dargo on track – he crossed from the right for Ian Black but the defence cleared. An angled shot from Dargo just before the break was cleared for a corner by Kirk Broadfoot but otherwise the half petered out. Half Time: 0-0 The second half was much better and a minute after the restart a Russell Duncan sidefoot shot was diverted for a corner. Smith failed to hold Rankin’s flag kick and the ball broke back to him – he found Wilson but his chip went wide. The opening goal came in 48 minutes when an inch-perfect Rankin cross from the left was met by a fine Dargo header from close range. It was now looking good for ICT but that changed in 55 minutes. A ball sent left to right just eluded Stuart Golabek and Craig Molloy had a clear shot on goal from just inside the box. Mark Brown did well to push it away but Sutton and Kean between them scored from the rebound. An Ian Black acrobatic shot in 61 minutes was held by Smith then in 70 minutes Broadfoot headed over a Simon Lappin free kick. Saints’ winner came out of nothing. A long bouncing clearance from Smith looked harmless as it headed towards the ICT goal but with the central defenders hesitating Sutton stepped in to touch it past Brown. Caley Thistle fought hard to equalise after this blow but failed - Wilson hit a 20 yard shot at Smith, Wyness sent an angled ball over after a good Wilson/Dargo move then Smith held a Black chip. Into added time and Saints were content to hold the ball in the corner and count down the seconds. The final move was a Graham Bayne attempt to intercept a Smith clearance but it flew to safety. Full Time: 1-2
  24. ICT staff and supporters worked hard to make sure the pitch was playable, but it was Motherwell who took full advantage and all three points. A Richie Foran penalty was all that separated the sides. Club Historian Ian Broadfoot reports from the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium... Saturday 4th March 2006 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC 0 Team: Brown, Tokely, Dods, Munro, Hastings (Bayne 80), Proctor (Morgan 24), Black, Duncan (Keogh 70), Hart, Wyness, Dargo Subs - Golabek, McCaffrey, Fox & Fraser Motherwell FC 1 (Foran 51pen) Team: Meldrum, Corrigan, Hammell, Kerr, Craigan, McCormack, McDonald (McGarry 83), Foran (Paterson 86), McBride (O'Donnell 80), Clarkson, McLean Subs - Hamilton, Fagan, Kinniburgh & Alexiou Referee S Conroy Attendance 3183 Man of the Match Ross Tokely (ICT) A poor game overall, very few accurate shots and just one goal. Sadly for the home support it was scored by Motherwell's Richie Foran from the penalty spot. Barry Wilson was missing from the Caley Thistle line-up following keyhole surgery on his knee but he was also suspended. David Proctor replaced Wilson but his match ended after 24 minutes when he was taken to hospital with a dislocated shoulder. Heavy snow over the preceding two days had led to a major clearance operation but it was successful and the match went ahead. The pitch was however heavy and mistakes were plentiful. There was barely a minute gone when a Ross Tokely cross from the right reached Ian Black via Richie Hart and Craig Dargo and it was nearly 1-0. Black sent a looping header over ‘keeper Colin Meldrum which looked in but was cleared off the line. A botched pass-back to Meldrum in the fifth minute was intercepted by Dargo on the left and he tried to curl the ball over the ‘keeper and into the net - he came close but it was wide. These two chances were to prove amongst the home side's best of the match. The frantic first five minutes also included two blocked shots from Motherwell's Brian Kerr and a dangerous cross from Kevin McBride which was headed for a corner by Darren Dods. Play began to verge on the reckless but referee Steve Conroy chose not to flourish the yellow card. This tough spell culminated in a 24th minute hefty challenge on David Proctor which led to his departure from the field en route to Raigmore Hospital. Alan Morgan came on to play on the left with Hart moving to the right. Dennis Wyness curled the ball just wide in 27 minutes from 25 yards then seven minutes later Meldrum brought out the save of the match when Hart crossed from the right and Dargo's on-target shot was blocked. The save was also significant because it was the only real test of either ‘keeper all afternoon. With five minutes of the first half remaining Alan McCormack went down in the Caley Thistle box alongside Grant Munro but play was waved on and the referee ignored any suggestion of a dive. Half Time: 0-0 Two minutes into the second half Alan Morgan similarly went down in the Motherwell box and was booked. The home crowd became restless as they could see no difference between the incidents. There was no real protest however in the 50th minute when Tokely tripped McCormack and a penalty was awarded. Tokely was perhaps fortunate to only receive a yellow card but he was deemed not to be the last defender. Richie Foran stepped up to net the spot kick and received a yellow card for an over exuberant celebration. On the hour mark the home crowd was once more left puzzled when Scott McDonald claimed Mark Brown had tripped him in the box but a penalty was refused and again referee Steve Conroy ruled that no card was appropriate. As the second half wore on the home side searched for an equaliser and even replaced defender Richard Hastings with striker Graham Bayne. This left some exposure at the back and a Motherwell breakaway with nine minutes left was only ended by an excellent Grant Munro interception. David Clarkson broke away a minute later but Steve McGarry was offside when the final pass came. With a minute left of the statutory 90 Motherwell substitute James Paterson headed over the bar then into added time Wyness came close at the other end. A classic double shuffle on the left of the box took him past two defenders but his angled shot hit the side netting. There was still time for McCormack to send a long range shot just wide and Motherwell managed to see out the three added minutes safely to earn all three points. Full Time: 0-1 Despite this set back Caley Thistle remain sixth but Aberdeen and Motherwell are in hot pursuit.
  25. Caley Thistle make it through to the quarter final of the CIS Cup despite a severely depleted squad. A 2-0 victory against Dundee United with goals from Liam Fox and Barry Wilson in the first half sealed United's fate. United came close but could only hit the woodwork and not the back of the net. Tueday 20th September 2005 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE 2 (Fox 2, Wilson 40) Team: Brown, Proctor, Dods, Munro, Morgan, Hart, Fox, Duncan, Wilson, Wyness, McAllister (Black 85) Subs – Parratt, Brewster, Finnigan & Fraser DUNDEE UTD 0 Team: Stillie, Wilson, McCracken, Ritchie, Archibald, Canero (McInnes 75), Duff (Samuel 46), Brebner, Miller (McIntyre 66), Fernandez, Robson Subs – Kenneth & McLean Referee J Underhill Attendance 1919 Man of the Match Liam Fox (ICT) In the end a comfortable win but United had their chances. A little piece of history was created – this was the first time that Caley Thistle have beaten Dundee United in eight attempts. History may have been on United’s side but the woodwork proved to be a valuable twelfth man for ICT. Former home favourite Barry Robson was given a hard time by the fans – memories of a disputed penalty on the last day of 2004/05 had not faded and, when he hit the post twice and the bar once with headers, ironic cheers rang out. Craig Brewster was forced to make changes due to injuries and he opted to leave himself on the bench. Rory McAllister and Alan Morgan made their first starts and the starting eleven also included Richie Hart, Russell Duncan and Dennis Wyness. United were virtually at full strength. There was a dream start for the home side as Liam Fox took a Wyness pass in the second minute and neatly lobbed Derek Stillie from all of 30 yards. Lee Miller let fly at the other end in four minutes but he was wide of the target. Three minutes later Robson had a free header in the box but inexplicably hit the post. Stillie beat out a Barry Wilson shot in 13 minutes and Morgan’s follow-up went across the goal. On the half-hour mark Robson came close again but this time he headed onto the bar. Caley Thistle pushed for a second goal and it came five minutes before the break. A Wyness pass was chased down by Wilson but he was grounded as he rounded Stillie – a penalty was a possibility but Wilson headed on and managed to nudge the ball over the line. Half Time: 2-0 United introduced Collin Samuel in the second half and his speed caused a few problems. The visitors had a good spell just after the interval and David Fernandez forced a diving save from Mark Brown in just 25 seconds. United did have the ball in the net a minute later but the flag was up. Brown held a Robson header in 53 minutes then a Fernandez on-target shot hit Samuel – the striker was offside anyway. The home side were rarely threatened and McAllister came close in 70 minutes. He headed the ball down in the box to give himself a clear shot but hit it over the bar. Mark Wilson sent in a cross from the right in 73 minutes and Robson’s header came back off the post – it was just not his day. Jim McIntyre made a good break through the middle in 77 minutes but somehow he hit it very wide. In the dying seconds a Hart low drive went just wide then a Duncan shot from 30 yards was saved by Stillie at the post. Full Time: 2-0 A good result, a place in the quarter final draw, some fine performances and a few selection headaches for the manager as regular first team players come back to fitness.
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