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  1. Smoked Arbroath pulled level on points with Inverness as our season disintegrated at Gayfield. A humiliating 3-0 defeat to a well organised part-time outfit will surely have repercussions. Scott Stewart scored in the first half and a second half penalty was converted by Bobby Linn the bin man. The thrashing ended with substitute Omar Kader adding a third with 4 minutes remaining. We remain fourth, by the thickness of our scales..... Inverness were looking to get back on track after a poor performance against Dundee United last week and faced a testing trip to a bright but chilly Gayfield to take on a confident Arbroath who had won three of their last four Championship games. In contrast, the Caley Jags had only one win in their last four, an away win at Palmerston. A couple of injuries and a sickness bug limited Robbo's choices in his 200th game in charge. Shaun Rooney came off injured against United and missed out altogether. Nikolay Todorov started with Jordan White on the bench. Unsurprisingly, Arbroath were unchanged following their recent good run which meant Steven Doris was on the bench. A minutes silence was impeccably observed prior to kick off to remember the fallen, and all those who returned but had made huge sacrifices so the rest would have a better life. Here's a leaked image of the Inverness squad preparing to travel back up the A9 after the game.... Plenty of expectation for both sides as the game kicked off and just two minutes in David Gold had the first effort of the afternoon but missed the target to the left with his header. Following a corner from James Keatings, a Carl Tremarco effort was blocked and the rebound fell to Coll Donaldson, unfortunately his attempt was blocked on the line. A few minutes later the same player headed over the bar after a set piece from Tom Walsh. Mark Ridgers denied Scott Stewart with his feet in the twentieth minute, the ball going out for a corner for the Smokies which came to nothing and at the other end Walsh fired over from distance. The hosts opened the scoring near the half hour when Scott Stewart fired low past Ridgers from the right side of the box. Inverness paying the price for not heeding the earlier warning from the same player. Five minutes later Miles Storey blew a great opportunity for parity, but he shot straight at the keeper when through on goal. Keatings went close with a shot before Gaston saved again, this time from Nikolay Todorov as he headed straight into the keeper from eight yards. Good response by Inverness after falling behind. Inverness picked up a couple of bookings in quick succession as the game got messy just before the break as Donaldson and Todorov were Half Time 1-0 No changes at the interval and Charlie Trafford headed wide as we looked to claw our way back into the game and Walsh had a shot saved. Not an easy task with Dick Campbell's side well organised. However, our task got even more difficult when Brad Mckay pushed Colin Hamilton to concede a penalty and Bobby Linn converted from the spot ten minutes after the break. A bit of a lull in proceedings before a spate of substitutions ensued as our season was heading for the bin and it was Arbroath substitute Steven Doris who came close as he fired a ball across the posts. Omar Kader rubbed salt into the wounds of the Haddies when he slotted in near the end to round off a miserable day for the Caley Jags. This has to be one of the worst results for Inverness Caledonian Thistle since we beat Arbroath 5-2 way back at the start ☹️ More match reaction to follow.......... RIG on Twitter............That was an absolutely disgraceful "performance" from ICT today. Arbroath deservedly won and could have had more. Hard to think of a single positive about today #ICTFC 🥵 A less than ebullient Robbo Have some; tidy stuff..... Date: 09/11/2019 Venue: Gayfield, Arbroath Attendance: 1173 Referee: John Beaton Arbroath: 3 Lineup: Gaston; Stirling, Little, O’Brien, Hamilton, Gold, Whatley, Virtanen, Stewart (McKenna 81), Linn (Doris 68), Donnelly (Kader 68). Subs (not used): Jamieson; Spence, McKenna, Kader, Doris, Murphy, Campbell. Scorers: Stewart (28), Linn (pen 54), Kader (86). Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Zilch, nil, zero, nothing, absolutely feck all. Am I cheesed off - YES... Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Walsh (Doran 79), Carson, Trafford, Storey, Keatings (White 67), Todorov (Curry 68). Subs (not used): C Mackay, Harper, Hyde, Vincent, White, Curry, Doran. Scorers: none Booked: Donaldson (38), Todorov (39), Tremarco (57) Sent Off: none a
  2. SCUNNERED..... Dundee United cruised to victory in the Highlands as disparity on the park mirrored that off the park. United were worthy winners as Inverness struggled to find any momentum and it was left to desperation and Mark Ridgers to keep the score down. Shaun Rooney deflected a forced Paul McMullan cross/shot into the net. A reaction save from Siegrist blocked a James Keatings effort before the break but that was as good as it got for the hosts. Nicky Clark stroked in the second as we unravelled and a cheap penalty saw Lawrence Shankland complete the scoring, but not the agony as we failed to trouble the United keeper with a series of fluffed attempts whilst United looked more likely to increase their lead. A poor day at the office that had the home fans shaking heads long before the end as we lose ground on the three teams above us. Almost 800 Arabs made the trek across the Drumochter Pass to land in the heavenly oasis drenched mirages in the highland capital. Just under 3000 drookit fans in the stadium in time for kick off as League Leaders Dundee United looked to strengthen their grip on the top of the table, and they did that in surprisingly easy fashion as their hosts simply watched in awe. We were all happy to see Paul McMullan get his 100th game for the Arabs, how sweet as we applauded his every move. United were the busier side in the early exchanges and Inverness were forced onto the back foot as McMullan, Clark and Harkes all showed their intent with efforts at goal and blocked shots. Aaron Doran had an effort charged down and just when we looked to be getting to grips with the pace of the game, disaster. We were unconvincing in trying to clear a ball forward and when it found it's way to the right, McMullan was allowed to cut in from the right and hit the ball hard into the ruck, the ball coming off Shaun Rooney just about on the line and ricocheting into the net. Nicky Clark fired a free kick over from a decent position as United continued on the front foot and Calum Butcher was left unchallenged to head wide ten minutes before the break. Our best chance fell to James Keatings as we got the break of the ball for once and he found himself directly in front of Siegrist about 10 yards out. The keeper spread himself and reacted brilliantly to save the point blank effort. And that was our only big chance of the half. Half Time 0-1. United flew out of the blocks at the start of the second half but it was Jordan White that had the first opportunity as he headed tamely at Siegrist before Mark Ridgers had to make a full length diving save from an Ian Harkes strike from distance at the other end. Louis Appere fed Calum Butcher in on goal, and but for another quality save from Ridgers, United would have doubled their advantage. A free kick from Keatings was curled over the bar as we responded to the activity around our box before a double substitution saw Storey and Walsh replace the ineffective mild Curry and twirling Doran around the hour. Shaun Rooney picked up a yellow, moments after getting away with a bit of 'road rage' after not being awarded a free kick and then hunting down his man in a fifty yard dash. He would leave the pitch injured shortly after to be replaced by James Vincent and that further reduced our attacking options as Toddy would remain on the bench. In the 71st minute James Keatings should have made the keeper work after Tom Walsh sent an inviting cross to the back post. However from just outside the sticks some three yards from goal Keatings fluffed his lines and headed down, wide and out. One minute later Nicky Clark was on the end of an incisive move to fire the ball past Ridgers from inside the box and effectively end the contest. Cut open like a tin of corned beef and finished sweetly. However, that didn't stop Miles Storey making a rash challenge in the box allowing Lawrence Shankland to score his 18th goal of the season. He doesn't need any help, but there you go. Calamitous defending. That took the stuffing right out of the turkey's in blue and we were fortunate not to concede any more with Ridgers saving from Cammy Smith and Appere shooting wide when it looked easier to hit the target. Inverness were best served by MotM Charlie Trafford with the only other candidates in blue being the busy David Carson and Mark Ridgers who made three or four crucial stops. The rest were quite frankly an embarrassment. We've had more riches and quality in our first season in the ranks than there was on display yesterday. The real quality came from those in Tangerine with Ian Harkes standing out for me and wee McMullan providing the ammunition for his strikers, unlike our wide players who would have been as well staying at home and keeping dry. General consensus online is that the gaffer could have made different choices with Curry looking particularly weak and Storey being a waste of a jersey, certainly in the wide position he has been played. The big talking point though is why goal scorer Nikolay Todorov is benched in preference to Jordan White as the target man and why do we keep adopting the long ball approach when we don't retain it after the punt. Over to you John! From BBC Sport Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "For the majority of the game there was very little in it. I thought their passing and movement looked a little bit sharper. They deserved to win the game in the end. "Big moments change games and it should have been 1-1 and then in the blink of an eye we were 2-0 down. The penalty allowed United to completely dictate how the game finished by just sitting in." Dundee United head coach Robbie Neilson: "I was pleased. We got the first goal and then in the second-half we were a bit more dominant. We got the second goal and that killed it. "It's a very, very tough place to come. I think a lot of teams will drop three points up here. It's a good three points and we move on to the derby now." No easy to respond when you've been stuffed.... And here is something for the club to chew over. That's more than the fans are getting......... Who ate all the pies? At every single Caley game I see the same routine, Not on the pitch nor the half-time draw, but it's such a woeful scene, The masses queuing for their pies are often left bereft, As the painful cries from the pie stand guys state "sorry, no pies left!" A simple head count every week would seem the best solution, To draw this daft scenario to a quite simple conclusion, The total sum of customers who "missed out" so to speak, Equates to the extra amount of pies you order for next week! (c) Kenny Adie 2019. Date: 02/11/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2902 Referee: Grant Irvine Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney (Vincent 70), Donaldson, McCart Tremarco, Doran (Walsh 61), Carson, Trafford, Curry (Storey 61), Keatings, White. Subs (not used): C Mackay; B Mckay, K McHattie, Todorov. Scorers: none Booked: Tremarco (34), Rooney (62) Sent Off: none Dundee United: 3 Lineup: Siegrist; Smith, Watson, Reynolds, Robson, McMullan (Stanton 69), Butcher, Harkes, Appere, Clark (Connolly 86), Shankland (Sith 79) Subs (not used): Mehmet; Spoŕle, King, Cooney Scorers: Rooney(20 og), Clark(72), Shankland (76 pen) Booked: Harkes (90+2) Sent Off: none a
  3. Hot Toddy warms the 39. Inverness made four changes from the defeat at Greenock as Aaron Doran, Nikolay Todorov, Charlie Trafford and Roddy MacGregor came into the side. Miles Storey, Jordan White, and James Vincent made way with James Keatings sitting this one out on the artificial surface. Queens made one change with Abdul Osman getting his first start, replacing Lewis Kidd in the starting XI. With just over 1200 fans in the stadium and thirty-nine in the away end, it was the hosts that started strongly and Mark Ridgers was forced to deny Stephen Dobbie from a tight angle in the first couple of minutes. David Carson replied for Inverness in the fourth minute but McCrorie saved well in the bottom left corner, and Dobbie once more was dangerous as he shot over after a set piece. It's a frantic start from both sides and Roddy MacGregor shot narrowly over the top right corner. Russell Osman couldn't keep the ball down following a corner as the opportunities continued for both sides. It'll be a miracle if this game remains goalless as Jack Hamilton shoots over. Visiting captain Carl Tremarco took a knock after twenty minutes but continued after treatment. Approaching the half hour and a Nikolay Todorov header was comfortably gathered by McCrorie in the home goal. Hot Toddy.......... Inverness drew first blood when Aaron Doran scored low to the left with a curled effort from the edge of the box after some neat interplay involving Donaldson, MacGregor, Curry and MacGregor again with the penultimate touch before Doran swept the ball beyond the keepers right hand. Just before the break a good run from David Carson brought Inverness a corner but Queens kept the deficit to one goal as the half time whistle sounded. Half Time 0-1 Connor Murray replaced Michael Paton at the start of the second half and within a couple of minutes Dobbie had dragged a shot wide at the back post after good work by El Bakhtaoui. The hosts were looking to to get back on level terms and Kevin Holt had two efforts within a minute that both missed the target. As the pressure mounted on the Inverness defence, Dobbie fired one across the face of the goals that went inches wide. Mark Ridgers denied Jack Hamilton with a superb fingertip save to keep Inverness ahead. The Caley Jags broke the current trend and McCrorie saved from Curry after Roddy MacGregor fed him. Shaun Rooney was the first into the refs book around the hour and Miles Storey entered the fray at the expense of Mitch Curry. McCrorie saved an effort from Carson as Inverness responded to the Queens pressure at the start of the second period and at the other end Dobbie headed over. Scorer Aaron Doran was replaced by Tom Walsh with just over twenty minutes left but it was the hosts that continued to press for the equaliser as Dobbie tried his luck from range, volleying wide. With five minutes left Dobbie sliced one wide and El Bakhtaoui saw an effort saved by Ridgers in the last minute of normal time. Tom Walsh almost added a second for Inverness but McCrorie was equal to it although he had no chance moments later when Nikolay Todorov crashed home a James Vincent feed to end the game and ensure Inverness had an enjoyable journey back up the A9. What a great result after the indifferent form shown against Morton on Saturday. That sets it up nicely for the game on Saturday against Dundee United. Other results tonight Alloa Athletic 0-3 Dundee Dundee Utd 1-0 Partick Thistle Dunfermline 2-0 Arbroath Morton 2-3 Ayr united Match reaction and video........ Caley Stan summed up and threw down the gauntlet to the North Stand............ And we made more noise than the Bridge End on a good day!!! Another good battling performance. We didn't ever have control of the game apart from a couple of spells either side of the opening goal but we were a threat on the break throughout. Trafford played well and Carson was excellent alongside him. Flashes of brilliance from McGregor, but he struggled with the physicality of the game at times. Really well taken goals, Toddy lashed his home with the last kick if the ball. The goals...... Managers reaction from BBC Sport Queen of the South manager Allan Johnston: "We started well first half then Inverness get a goal which is a bit sloppy from our point of view. I thought second half we were on the front foot for the majority of it and probably should have got an equaliser. But the first goal in this league is vital." Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "We had to be lively because Queen's were bubbling after their win here against United. I thought second half Queen's pushed on to us but we defended really well and we looked a threat on the break. We took the chances at one end and didn't make any mistakes at the other." Here he is, Robbo in person..... Date: 29/10/2019 Venue: Palmerston, Dumfries Attendance: 1221 Referee: Steven Kirkland Queen of the South: 0 Lineup: McCrorie; Mercer, Brownlie, Kilday, Holt, Pybus, Paton (Murray 45), Osman, El Bakhtaoui, Dobbie, Hamilton (Oliver 74). Subs (not used): Burns; Murray, McCarthy, Lyon, Semple, Gourlay. Scorers: none Booked: Mercer (67) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Doran (Walsh 68), Carson, Trafford, MacGregor (Vincent 78), Curry (Storey 60), Todorov. Subs (not used): C Mackay; B Mckay, McHattie, Walsh, White. Scorers: Doran (30), Todorov (90+3) Booked: Rooney (60), Tremarco (82) Sent Off: none a
  4. Another chance missed. Inverness slumped to an extremely disappointing defeat at Cappielow as Bob McHugh scored a double to keep Morton's decent home form going and prevented Inverness from making any headway after Ayr United lost to Dundee last night. Mitch Curry levelled the game midway through the first half but a Coll Donaldson error allowed McHugh to steal an unlikely three points for Morton. Despite dominating possession, we were unable to create enough clear openings and went back up the A9 empty handed. Caley Stan was surprisingly philosophical about the event........... I thought we were ok yesterday but we suffered from the fact that Morton, having scored the early goal, were never tempted to open up at any point. We'll never know if the opening goal was offside unless someone else was filming it but the defence has attempted to play him off and he's taken the goal really well. That happens. Terrible mistake from Donaldson for the second - the kind of mistake that he's always got in him - I wonder if Robbo is tempted to bring Brad in on Tuesday as a wake-up call (WAKE UP COLL!). We've got lots of options in the forward areas now, and Robbo started with a surprising combination. Deprived of space, they took a lot of shots from distance and tight angles, struggling to create clear-cut chances. When the subs were made, the shape didn't change but we were on top in the game and the four of them were already playing very high so I'm not sure what else Robbo could do. I felt throughout the second-half that we were more likely to score. We've blown a great chance to cement ourselves in the top 4, but this league is very tight and we could still find ourselves top of it on Saturday night. Date: 26/10/2019 Venue: Cappielow Attendance: 1408 Referee: Euan Anderson Morton: 2 Lineup: Ramsbottom; Welsh (Millar 65), Baird, Grant, Strapp, Jacobs McAlister, Salkeld (Muirhead 79), Lyon, Colville (King 86), McHugh Subs (not used): Rogers, McLean, Nesbitt, Sutton Scorers: McHugh (6, 81) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Storey (MacGregor 84) Carson, Vincent, Curry (Walsh 71), Keatings, White (Todorov 70) Subs (not used): C Mackay, B Mckay, McHatte, Trafford. Scorers: Curry (27) Booked: Todorov (86), Carson (90+4) Sent Off: none a
  5. Top for four minutes Inverness blew the chance to go top of the table after Alloa scored in the 89th minute to earn a point with a disciplined defensive performance at the Caledonian Stadium. Take nothing away from Alloa, but we were void of ideas as we struggled to break down the Wasps defence in a frustrating second half. Liam Buchanan opened the scoring as early as the fifth minute and that opened the door for Alloa to flood their defence and employ standard hit on the break tactics that worked well for them as we toiled in a poor first forty-five. The second period saw more frustration for the hosts until we scored from an unlikely source with a stunning goal. A Tremarco corner came back to him at a tight angle. Undaunted, he fired the ball high into the net with his left foot for a spectacular goal with an hour played. We huffed and puffed before Jordan White looked to have won the game with a powered finish in the 85th minute. However, there was a sting in the tail of the wasps after Jamie McCart took the wrong option, eventually putting the ball out for a throw when a pass to Mark Ridgers would have been sufficient. From the resultant long throw Alan Trouten found himself in space to knock the ball home to silence the frustrated home support. James Keatings hit the bar with a superb free kick as the clock ticked down but it was too little too late and we were knocked off our four minute perch. Given that every other result went our way, it was a hugely disappointing outcome. Meh! John Robertson was without Tom Walsh, Sean Welsh and Nikolay Todorov. Charlie Trafford started in midfield after a good showing in the Challenge Cup game last week and Roddy MacGregor retained his place in the starting line-up. James Keatings was on the bench with other returnees Mitch Curry and Brad Mckay. Peter Grant's Alloa side saw Robbie Deas return and Steven Hetherington and Blair Malcolm were fit enough to start, however Iain Flannigan was suspended. Just over 2,000 were inside the ground and a fitting minutes applause was offered in memory of former Caley Chairman Hugh Crout who passed away recently. Within five minutes of the start, Alloa took the lead with Liam Buchanan finishing off a tidy move on the left side of our area. Neat interplay sliced us open and Buchanan added an excellent finish. We almost responded immediately but Roddy MacGregor's header was well saved by a diving Jamie MacDonald on his line. Unfortunately, that early goal gave Alloa the opportunity to sit back and soak up what we had to offer, and quite frankly that was very limited and very little. All too often we ran out of ideas and any high balls forward were mopped up by the waiting visitors defence. Carl Tremarco let fly from distance but his low shot fizzed just wide. He would do better later in the game. A couple of headers well over the bar from Jordan White was all we could muster. He would also do better later on. Apart from the goal, there was little to enthuse over in a turgid first half for Inverness with Alloa content to sit on their lead, and why not, they deserved it at the break. Half Time 0-1 If anything, the second half saw the visitors even deeper in their own half as their hosts flattered to deceive. Plenty of possession but too many sideways or backward passes saw the crowd looking for a more direct approach. Alloa on the other hand broke quickly on the few opportunities they got. White almost got a shot away inside the box as he broke through the middle of the defence but was stopped by a solid challenge and John Robertson, yes, the manager, got the first yellow card of the afternoon for showing his displeasure at some poor refereeing decisions. Just when we were beginning to think it was not going to be our day, a goal out of the blue from Captain Carl. And what a strike it was. His corner was cleared out as far as himself on the right side of the box. Tremarco never hesitated and fired a tremendous shot high into the net from 20 yards. Spectacular stuff. The introduction of Mitch Curry and David Carson seemed to liven up our efforts and it looked as though White might have given us all three points when his diving header from a Tremarco cross flew into the net. At that moment, we were top of the league with results elsewhere going in our favour. However, another lapse from the normally reliable Jamie McCart saw him fail to clear up a ball forward when a comfortable pass back to his keeper would have cleared any danger. Instead, he almost gave away a corner but ended up knocking the ball out for a throw in. From the long throw in, the ball landed at Alan Trouten's feet and he promptly tucked it behind Mark Ridgers for a sickener. We almost snatched it in injury time when a curling free kick from James Keatings crashed back off the bar with MacDonald stranded, but the rebound was cleared and a great opportunity passed to head the table. Only ourselves to blame for this after struggling to make headway against a team we beat 3-0 the week before. In saying that, the signs were there in that game that Alloa could cut us open at times and so it came to pass. Difficult to pick any Inverness players for MotM, but Carl Tremarco gets my nod for his superb strike and assist. Jordan White similarly, and he was fed on scraps throughout the game. Substitute David Carson did his prospects no harm and took the game by the scruff of the neck by driving us forward with a bit more tenacity and urgency. Those who will not be getting any awards are those not mentioned, especially McCart who needs to look for better options than scrambling the ball out after miscontrol and brain farts. Col Donaldson was in his early season mode, miffed at not getting a transfer probably and looked disinterested and Shaun Rooney never really got going. Roddy MacGregor wanted to be busy, but the game passed him by and Aaron Doran did his usual wee circles of nothing. Miles Storey, now there's an enigma and James Vincent was more sideways than a crab. No blame attached to Ridgers, although he did make a meal of a shot that bounced just in front of him, the ball squirming away for a corner with Mark staring at the offending blade of grass. If looks could kill! Maybe it's time for a wee shake up Robbo. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ From BBC Sport Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson: "We've let United and Ayr off the hook and that's what disappoints me. To go 2-1 up, if you've got title ambitions you've got to see that out." Alloa manager Peter Grant: "The boys deserved great credit for the way they kept fighting. I'm disappointed to be going down the road with only the one point." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ RIG summed it up like this:- Donaldson and McCart were really poor today. Despite not being put under much pressure their balls out of defence were absolutely rotten, Donaldson especially, and often set up chances for Alloa to break on us. Storey was poor again and had one decent cross from the flanks. He isn't a winger and struggled there at Partick so why we are persisting with him there is bizarre. MacGregor struggled to create much of note in the middle as Alloa packed the midfield and sat deep. There was zero creativity in the ICT side today to break them down and it would have been very harsh, though thoroughly pleasing, had we won that game. With Queens getting a superb result today and Morton possessing an excellent home record the next couple of games are going to be a lot more difficult than they might appear on paper. Did he mean it??? Raging Robbo.... Date: 19/10/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2036 Referee: Mike Roncone Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Doran (Curry 59), Trafford (Carson 70), Vincent, MacGregor (Keatings 75), Storey, White Subs (not used): C Mackay; B Mckay, McHattie, Machado. Scorers: Tremarco (61), White (85). Booked: Rooney (68), Carson (77) John Robertson (manager 53) Sent Off: none Alloa Athletic: 2 Lineup: MacDonald; Taggart, Graham, Deas, Robertson, Cawley, Hetherington, Trouten, Brown, Buchanan (Thomson 81), O'Hara. Subs (not used): Henry; Malcolm, O'Donnell Scorers: Buchanan (5), Trouten (89) Booked: Trouten (77) Sent Off: none a
  6. Chocolate cup delight Inverness made a number of changes for this Challenge Cup fourth round tie against Alloa Athletic but still came out on top after a somewhat listless game where errors were more commonplace than slick incisive football. Less than 1000 fans were in attendance as Mitch Curry scored his first goal for the club just before the interval. Debutant Nathan Gilhooly gave away the ball thirty yards out and Curry ran into the box before cutting the ball back across the keeper and into the net. We got a deserved second when Charlie Trafford crashed a shot goalwards. It took a big deflection to fly high into the net with keeper Jamie MacDonald stranded. Alloa hit the woodwork twice through Trouten and Graham before we wrapped the game up. In the last minute Matheus Machado was on hand at the back post to knock a Miles Storey cross into the net for his first senior goal. Brazilliant! Five or six non regulars were given the nod in this one, notably, keeper Cammy Mackay, Cammy Harper, Kevin McHattie and Mitch Curry who returned after injury, his first game in eleven weeks. The Wasps were along more familiar lines and made two or three changes from the side that beat Dundee United last Friday. Nathan Gilhooly was making his first start for the club with Robbie Deas missing. Steven Hetherington also missed out and Liam Buchanan started. It was a low key game and the performance echoed that in terms of urgency. Inverness were dominant in the first half but wasteful in the final third with some preferring to flatter to deceive rather than go for the jugular. Mitchell Curry had a couple of efforts as did Roddy MacGregor but either failed to make the keeper work or made it easy for him to gather the ball comfortably. Shooting practice might be on the agenda this week as Aaron Doran fired harmless efforts well over the bar. Curry opened the scoring just before the break after he cut out a loose ball from Gilhooly. He carried on across and into the box before cutting the ball back across the keeper and into the bottom corner. He wasted an equally good chance within a minute after bursting into the left side of the box but shot weakly with his left peg at the near post where MacDonald gathered the ball with ease. He would have been better opening his body looking for the far post or squaring to the incoming teammates. Half Time 0-1 The second period saw our dominance continue and Jamie MacDonald did well to stop a MacGregor shot on the line after a deflection took a bit of the pace off the ball. Aaron Doran looked as though he had scored with half the North Stand already on their feet. However his dipping volley sliced narrowly wide of the keepers left hand post. Close, but no cigar! Our dominance eventually paid off but it took a deflected shot from Charlie Trafford to get the two goal cushion. He bludgeoned the ball from outside the box and it deflected high into the net with MacDonald stranded. We seemed to stir a hornets nest after the second goal and the wasps almost stung us, three times, with Alan Trouten firstly taking forever to pick his spot. That spot was the post and it rebounded back towards the keeper. Adam Brown tried from distance and Cammy Mackay stopped the shot, but as it bounced away from him Robbie Thomson looked favourite to get to the ball first but Cammy dived full length forward to deny the Waspy. Andy Graham also saw a late header come down off the bar as we lost our focus a little. We rallied again and the often wasteful Storey managed to get a cross into the box. Jordan White challenged for it and it was met at the back post by young Matheus Machado who tidily and gleefully knocked it into the net. That's his first senior goal for the club, many more to come methinks. Good end to the contest by the Caley Jags who seemed to be in control but almost undid the good work prior to Alloa's wee revival bid. Overall we were comfortable winners, but had we taken a more urgent approach could have scored half a dozen goals. Unfortunately we were somewhat pedantic at times with Doran going round in circles and Storey often taking the wrong option when he should be using his best asset, his searing pace and power. Good cross for the third goal though. MacGregor is young and comes across as over eager to score. Very busy player though and will be a great asset once he gets off the mark. The goals...... Not easy to spot the MotM. A few contenders with Charlie Trafford in particular having a good day. David Carson was also industrious and at the back Coll Donaldson looks more focussed than he was at the start of the season and Kevin McHattie will be knocking on the managers door very soon. No real failures, but some need to work to their strengths rather than be fancy Dans. Good to be back.......... The draw for the semi-finals will be made at 1:00pm on Wednesday 16th October. Also through along with Inverness are Stenhousemuir, Elgin City, Clyde, Partick Thistle, Raith Rovers, Wrexham and the winners of Solihull Moors v Rangers Colts(Tues 15th). Scott Kellacher talking after the game............ Date: 12/10/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 973 Referee: John McKendrick Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: C Mackay, Rooney, Donaldson, McHattie, Harper, Doran, Carson, Trafford (Vincent 78), Curry (White 75) , MacGregor (Machado 85), Storey. Subs (not used): Ridgers; Tremarco, McCart, Scorers: Curry (42), Trafford (64), Machado (88). Booked: none Sent Off: none Alloa Athletic: 0 Lineup: MacDonald; Taggart, Graham, Cawley, Robertson, Buchanan, Trouten, Flannigan, Brown (O’Donnell 86), Gilhooly, O’Hara (Thomson 65) Subs (not used): Henry; Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  7. Ayr Raid There was plenty at stake for both clubs and it was the visitors that opened the scoring in the first half when James Vincent knocked a short clearance into the net. In the second half, Shaun Rooney did a Forrest Gump before scoring a brilliant second just after the hour. With no further scoring Inverness moved to within two points of both Dundee United and Ayr United. Great end to a difficult week for the club. Run Forrest, run......... Apparently when Shaun scored Pikachu said:- There's magic that brought us together. And that magic... is Rooney! John Robertson went with the tried and tested at Somerset Park as Ayr went searching for their sixth win on the trot that would see them top the table on matchday 8 after leaders Dundee United stumbled at Alloa last night. Brad Mckay and Mitch Curry are back in training but not deemed fit enough to start this one, although they could see some action on Sunday in the Nos Cup final. Tom Walsh was still out injured and that saw Roddy MacGregor get his second start. Caretaker boss Sandy Stewart was without the experienced Mark Kerr with Jordan Houston replacing him. That was the only change for Ayr who were looking to top the table after last nights Championship game saw the Wasps sting the Arabs 1-0. A massive three points available and all to play for in this one. A crowd of nearly 2,000 were on hand to see this lively encounter with 148 & Pikachu supporting the Caley Jags. Amongst those was the Immortal Howden Ender and he will bring you his report shortly.................. Me you and Pikachu..... It was the day that the Highland Pokemon prevailed in deepest Ayrshire and I am sure that Pikachu was envious of the lightning strike by Shaun Rooney in the second half. It was my first “live” game of the season and the fare served up by the Caley Jags enthused and surprised me. That was as solid a team performance that I have witnessed for some time. We could have been ahead in the first minute when Miles Storey outpaced the Ayr defence but then dragged his shot slightly wide with the help of the keepers fingertips, corner for ICT. Then came ten minutes of Ayr dominance. I felt that Ridgers kept us in the game three times, especially saves from McCowan and Moffat. Then on the half hour the away support lamented the substitution of Sean Welsh who hobbled off with yet another injury. However, within seconds we were celebrating a contentious opening goal. Not many would have been surprised if the referee had stopped play to allow treatment for the poleaxed Jordan White, lying prostrate in front of the Ayr goal. But the referee played on and JAMES VINCENT appeared to deflect home a Rooney cross. Not exactly a carbon copy of his Hampden clincher but very important none the less. I thought that we controlled the game thereafter. We were wholly solid defensively and looked dangerous on the break. The midfield certainly worked their socks off. Ayr’s final touch or shooting was well off although Ridgers did save us twice more in the second half, especially one save where he appeared to turn himself in the air when the initial shot was deflected. Roddy MacGregor should have notched a second after the break but he hesitated and he who hesitates is lost. And then what must be a contender for goal of the season. In the 64th minute Donaldson punted upfield and SHAUN ROONEY remarkably kept the ball in play, swiveled, sped inside and as cool as a feckin cucumber slotted the ball home. Rooney could have claimed a second late on when Todorov failed to execute the through ball with Rooney sure to overlap again. Doran really should have made it three but slashed at the ball from the penalty spot. That completed another fine away day and the long journey home was worth it. Robbo’s after match comments summed it up and perhaps he really does think that Ayr are more of a danger than the Tannadice bunch - "We are only eight games in, but it is important that we are still there at the top of the table. We faced the best team in the Championship today and we asked the players to put on a performance, show their character and that's what they did in some style." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ From BBC Sport, here's what the gaffers thought Ayr United caretaker manager Sandy Stewart: "I can't fault the team's effort. While I don't think we were as good today as we have been in the last five or six weeks, we still had chances to take something from the game. "People will look at the Dundee United loss to Alloa and be disappointed we did not take advantage today, but it was always going to be a tight race at the top and that has not changed." Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson: "We are only eight games in, but it is important that we are still there at the top of the table. We faced the best team in the Championship today and we asked the players to put on a performance, show their character and that's what they did in some style." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ And so to the Smileymometer and my apologies to the short-sighted Caley Stan !! 😉 RIDGERS (*****) On many a day he would have been MOM but he was outshone on the day by a Ross Tokely lookalike. ROONEY (*****) + Looking forward to seeing a replay of that goal. But apart from that he was solid at the back and always looked a danger when going forward – which he did menacingly on a regular basis. DONALDSON (****) Looked more assured and far much more like his old composed self. Perhaps his fitness has hit the 100% mark ? McCART (***) Tends to play in the shadow of Coll but he also looked assured and that central defence partnership will be a very important building block for the remainder of the season. TREMARCO (***) Appeared to concentrate more on defensive duties which may well be his remit from now on. VINCENT (***) Playmaker in the first half and very effective. Quieter in the second but defensively solid. WELSH (**) Another bitter blow and leg injury allowed only 30 minutes of holding midfield at its best. MacGREGOR (***) Very lively, sharp and pacy. Some nice touches but too easily knocked off the ball. Did look like a wee boy on a pitch of men. But he can only improve and he does have the required potential. DORAN (**) Never does shine when the game is mostly about defending. Has lost some pace and that shows at this level. WHITE (**) Poor Jordan is simply not my cup of tea. His height and presence does attract central defenders but he does nothing in the air and his hold up play is lacking. His main contribution was the first goal assist !! STOREY (***) If only he had that bit of panache and composure to add to the lightning pace – he really would be wearing a magic hat. More effective out wide though. TRAFFORD (****) He more than successfully filled the boots of Welsh. He was winning everything in central midfield. CARSON (***) Evidently taken on to beef up the midfield. The complete opposite of McGregor. No nonsense needed in a game of this ilk. TODOROV (***) Still not the final product but I feel he is more mobile, is a better holder and has more pace than any other forward at the club. Probably a better foil for Storey as well It says that the attendance was 1912 but there looked a lot more than that – although the migration of Honest Men at the start and half time may have confused me. There were not many in the home end at full time though. My thanks to all, on and off the pitch, for making my first away day of the season a very enjoyable and wet one - and that surprisingly includes Kenny McLean Alternative Maryhill added: It was a really disciplined, hardworking performance from ICT. It looks like Robertson and Kellacher are more focused on coaching players on their individual roles than either Foran or Hughes were: Doran is tracking back and covering Tremarco far more then he used to, and Storey did the same really well on the opposite flank and provided real strength there, which is obviously necessary for us when Rooney goes off on his peregrinations. I thought Storey would be absolutely useless if not played through the middle, but he did an excellent job yesterday. Vincent worked his socks off in the middle and Trafford did fine when he came on, although it is going to be a big blow for us if Welsh does turn out to be long-term injured again. I thought Ayr played some lovely stuff going forward - some great interplay between Forrest, Kelly and Moffat, and McCowan looked dangerous too - but Donaldson in particular dealt with them really well. And Rooney is just an absolute force of nature at the moment, and looks like he's loving playing for us. He's probably always going to struggle defensively if he's up against a fast, tricky left winger, but those rampages forward have been getting more and more audacious and basically made the difference between the teams yesterday. It's an absolute nap that he's going to get caught out at some point soon, and some team is going to ruin us on a counter-attack down our right, but it's worth it. Biggest cult hero we've had since Tokely. Here's both goals............. Birthday boy post match............ Nice present for you John. Full match highlights from Caley Jags TV Date: 05/10/2019 Venue: Somerset Park, Ayr. Attendance: 1912 Referee: Steven McLean Ayr United: 0 Lineup: Doohan; Houston, Muirhead, Rosscoe, Harvie, Geggan (Doolan 76), Docherty, Kelly, Moffat, McCowan, Forrest, Subs (not used): Hare-Reid; Moore, Ecrepont, McKenzie, McGuffie. Scorers: none Booked: Geggan (75), Muirhead (79). Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Doran, Welsh (Trafford 30), Vincent, MacGregor (Carson 67), Storey, White (Todorov 70) Subs (not used): C Mackay; B Mckay, McHattie, Machado Scorers: Vincent (31),Rooney (64), Booked: Carson (79), Todorov (79), Trafford (90) Sent Off: none a
  8. McCall off to a flier Inverness shot themselves in the foot by making it easy for Partick to collect all three points in the Highlands. An indifferent and error strewn game by the Caley Jags saw the visitors benefit from our shambolic display and ensure Ian McCall got his first win in his first Championship game after returning to Firhill as they eased off the foot of the table. Dario Zanatta opened the scoring but Jordan White powered home a header from a tremendous cross by Roddy MacGregor. However, we were barely sat down in our seats after the interval when Jamie McCart's error allowed Kenny Miller to run through on goal and slot home. Cammy Palmer rubbed salt in the wound when he scored the third and our day was summed up at the death when we failed to turn a loose ball on the goal line into the net, the time wasting Fox in the box and his defence scrambling the ball to safety eventually and our miserable day was complete. Today's mystery injury seemed to be Tom Walsh as he was nowhere to be seen. Mark Ridgers made his 100th appearance as Roddy MacGregor started with Walsh missing. It was a first for Ian McCall, back at the helm and off to a winning start. Bloody Jobby! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Speaking on BBC Sport Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson: "We said at half-time the first 10 minutes are massive and we felt if we could get our noses in front we could go on and win the game. "Kenny's goal changes the game in an instant and gives Thistle a massive lift. "By not sticking to our passing game they started to cope with it okay and allowed them to play as the Thistle of old. "We can't complain about the result as Thistle thoroughly deserved to win it. Three really well taken goals. For me it was down to attitude - maybe they thought they just had to turn up today." Patrick Thistle manager Ian McCall: "We could have scored more. We were a bit more fluent in the second half and looked a bit more dangerous. We got the ball into good areas. We scored two really good goals. It was a great day for us. "Inverness have won six in a row here so its a really outstanding result. "It's one game and we've got to build on that. It's great to get the three points but we've got to kick on and in this league three or four wins and a draw and you could end up third, fourth or fifth - that's how tight it is." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We started the game brightly enough but a couple of efforts from Aaron Doran and Miles Storey were powderpuff at best with Scott Fox being untroubled in the visitors goal. Ten minutes in and we went a goal down. Doran turned the wrong way (again) and lost the ball just over the halfway line. James Vincent failed to make a tackle and the ball was fed to Dario Zanatta on the left. He was allowed to advance unchallenged and as he stepped inside Coll Donaldson he hit his shot early from 20 yards and it nestled inside the near post of Mark Ridgers. Good goal from Partick's point of view, avoidable from ours. Still, we looked like we would get ourselves back into the game and Storey cut across the defence from the right side only for his 25 yard effort to rise just over the bar. Jordan White headed a long Jamie McCart ball tamely into the keepers arms but at least we were pressing for a foothold in the game. It duly came moments later when Sean Wesh, Storey and MacGregor combined to set up White with a superb ball into the box and a diving Jordan head crunched the ball into the top corner with Fox stranded. Great goal and a great assist from young Roddy. Doran passed on a tremendous opportunity when he found himself on the edge of the box but his first time shot was weaker than a weak thing and and Fox picked it up effortlessly. The final flourish of the first half ended with Roddy MacGregor firing a shot over from just inside the box, the ball just clearing the bar as we ended the half on top. Half Time 1-1 The second period had just started and the slackness continued. McCart who has been so effective in recent games dallied on the ball before being mugged by Jo Jo Cardle. Kenny Miller ran onto the loose ball and calmly stroked it beyond Ridgers and just inside the post. Nightmare from McCart, cool finish from Miller. McCart further ruffled the home fans feathers when he headed high over the bar unchallenged in the box to spurn a great opportunity. He would do so again later in the game. Storey then received the ball on the right and his clipped cross was met by White but the big strikers hooked volley went agonisingly the wrong side of the post, good effort though. Ridgers then saved a certain goal as Zanatta broke down the left but the keeper came out and managed to smother the shot from the eager striker. Minutes later Zanatta proceeded to waltz his way into the box from the left again but his angled shot was blazed over the bar from 8 yards. Partick were full of confidence now having seen us struggle to create much. Donaldson looped a header goalwards but again the time wasting Fox made a comfortable save. Fox's antics would see him booked later as he extended every moment he was in possession. With ten minutes left James Penrice found himself in room on the left and his low ball into the box was met by Cammy Palmer and he side footed across the keeper to make the points safe. Every goal came from that side of the park, something Robbo needs to look at. We failed to get a second goal as the clock ticked away when White was unable to prod the ball home from practically on the goal line, choosing to hit the post and Fox and his defence were able to hack the ball to safety. Miserable day complete, the game came to an end with the visitors enjoying the spoils. Shocker of a day for some, McCart being the pick of the culprits, but he was not alone, Doran and Storey spring to mind as being particularly inept and Shaun Rooney posted missing when we lose the ball high up the park. Too many chose not to deliver when Partick's managerial bounce gave them the edge. Roddy MacGregor 🏆 was the pick of the Inverness players and he and the home fans will remember his wonderful assist on a day when the more experienced around him contributed very little. Highlights from Caley Jags TV Robbo's no happy. Try being a fan! Date: 28/09/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2469 Referee: Don Robertson Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Doran (Carson 64), Welsh, Vincent, MacGregor (Todorov 73), Storey (Machado 87), White. Subs (not used): C Mackay; Harper, McHattie, Trafford. Scorers: White (21) Booked: none Sent Off: none Partick Thistle: 3 Lineup: Fox; Williamson, Saunders (Gordon 46), McGinty, Robson (Penrice 80), O'Ware, Cardle, Palmer (Cole 88), Bannigan, Zanatta, Miller. Subs (not used): Sneddon; Hall, De Vita, Kakay. Scorers: Zanatta (10), Miller (46), Palmer (82) Booked: Zanatta (72), Fox (87), Bannigan (90) Sent Off: none a
  9. W for Welsh, Walsh and Win. Sean Welsh made his first start of the season and with James Keatings unavailable, Miles Storey was up front with Jordan White. Unsurprisingly, Queens went with the same side that beat Morton last week. There was a minutes applause in memory of Fernando Ricksen and Henrik Madej ahead of kick off. Sean Welsh opened the scoring fifteen minutes in after Jordan White laid a ball off to him 25 yards out and he rifled home with his left peg. Tom Walsh volleyed in a second for Inverness after great work by Shaun Rooney down the right. Keeper McCrorie denied Walsh and Welsh second goals with a couple of tremendous saves to keep the score 2-0 at the break. At the start of the second half Jamie McCart headed onto the bar as Inverness continued to dominate with McCrorie keeping the score down and it ended at 2-0. Here's the goals.................... Full highlights to follow when available. RIG saw it like this: In control from basically the first few minutes of the game. Good cross from Walsh and nice lay off by White to tee up Welsh for the opener and a well taken second from Walsh lashing in a loose ball killed the game off as a contest after only 20 odd minutes. Really impressive from Welsh and Vincent each taking turns to push forward and support the attack with the other sitting to protect the defence. Not that it needs much protecting at the minute. That was or 4th clean sheet in the league in a row. The front three behind White were interesting to watch. At times they all seemed to move around and appear on different flanks or play through the centre. Storey and Walsh especially seemed to move between the right flank and central role at will. Queens seemed to struggle to pick them up and when Welsh or Vincent did drive forward they often found themselves in acres of space to move into. Excellent showings from the aforementioned Vincent, Doran, Walsh and Rooney but MotM for me was Welsh. Dictates play beautifully for us and seldom panics when under pressure. He's great at carrying the ball forward from the back and moving it from one side to the other when we're probing for a way through. Defensively he (and Vincent) worked well to snuff out Queens for most of the game before he went off. Little disappointed with Robbo not bringing on Harper or MacGregor for some game time towards the end and obviously the crowd was seriously disappointing as well. As has been said before Robbo has done well to build a really good side with minimal backing but with every passing week it seems our fans just continue to lose interest in the side. Highlights from Caley Jags TV Robbo post match............. Scorer of the second goal, Tom Walsh............ And Mark Ridgers was a happy chappy on twitter with his clean sheet as well................ "Sunny day🌞, 3 points and another clean sheet topped of with a few not a bad Saturday #ICTFC Date: 21/09/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1960 Referee: Alan Newlands Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Doran, Welsh (Carson 82), Vincent, Walsh, Storey (Todorov 66), White. Subs (not used): C Mackay; Harper, McHattie, Trafford, MacGregor. Scorers: Welsh (15), Walsh (19) Booked: Sent Off: none Queen ot South: 0 Lineup: McCrorie; Mercer, Kilday, Brownlie, Holt, Pybus (McCarthy 79), Murray (Hamilton 65), Kidd, Oliver (Paton 55), Dobbie, El Bakhtaoui. Subs (not used): Burns; Lyon, Irving. Scorers: none Booked: Holt (87), Bakhtaoui (89) Sent Off: none a
  10. Devine intervention. It almost literally was a Devine intervention as the former Inverness player was adjudged to have handled the ball late on in what had been a difficult watch in difficult conditions. Penalty it was and returning hero Sean Welsh scored from the spot to win all three points in a game that really neither side deserved anything from. We'll take it though on a day where Ayr United gave everyone else hope after beating Dundee United 2-0. Inverness kept it quiet, but James Keatings was nowhere to be seen as they reverted to the squad that thumped Morton in the Championship, with Miles Storey starting up front with Jordan White. Apparently James had picked up an injury in training late in the week and will undergo tests to see the extent of his injury. Dunfermline had new signing Greg Kiltie starting his first Championship game for them and Cammy Gill was in the sticks in preference to Ryan Scully. Loan signing Harry Cochrane from Hearts was on the bench but Anthony McDonald missed out with an ongoing back problem. Former ICT defender Danny Devine was on the bench for the Pars. It was a very windy East End Park that greeted fans and players alike as they took to the park for this Championship encounter in front of around 3,500 hardy souls. Miles Storey set the ball rolling as we kicked off at 3:00pm. Never mind, the steak bridies will keep you going til the end. Kevin Nisbet had the first attempt in the second minute but shot well wide. Greg Kiltie then saw a shot blocked for a corner and Carl Tremarco managed to scramble it clear as the Pars opened the game on the front foot. Inverness responded and Tom Walsh had an effort blocked by Paul Paton. Tremarco then got a header on target but Cammy Gill was well placed to stop it. Midway through the half and it's the hosts that are controlling possession but there's no clear cut opportunities of note in the difficult windy conditions. Play continued this way up to the interval with neither side able to take the initiative and at the orange slices the wind was the only winner as many were struggling to recall a worse forty-five minutes of football. Half Time 0-0 No changes at the break, here's hoping there's something to cheer in the second period. Nisbet went through the middle but he shot wide as was befitting a game of this lack of quality. Lewis McCann had an effort blocked and then shot over the bar as Inverness seemed content to afford the Pars plenty of possession, dangerous ploy if you ask me. Turner and McCann tried to get shots away and won another corner. On the hour and Robbo had seen enough of this rubbish and replaced David Carson with Sean Welsh in a bid to get to grips with the midfield and Jordan White was removed in favour of Nikolay Todorov. Almost immediately we responded to the threat of someone else being subbed and Miles Storey realised he was on the park but shot wide from inside the box after Tremarco got a ball through to him. The final sub for Inverness saw the lively Roddy MacGregor replace Tom Walsh, and a minute later Dunfermline shuffled their pack in a bid to win all three points. Danny Devine was the final sub of the day and that's when we knew the points were safe....... A bit more action in the final ten minutes and Aaron Dorran had a twenty yard shot parried away by Gill. With five minutes to go Inverness were awarded a penalty when Danny Devine was penalised for hand ball as James Vincent burst into the box. Up stepped Sean Welsh to score from the spot as he smashed it straight down the middle. Cheers Danny, we owe you one........... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ From BBC Sport Dunfermline manager Stevie Crawford: "It was a game we certainly didn't deserve to lose. In terms of effort and commitment I can't fault them today and it's bitterly disappointing that we've lost to a penalty kick late on." Inverness Caley Thistle manager John Robertson: "From 20 minutes in you could have had your money on a 0-0 draw. We turned a draw into a win and it sums up Dunfermline's luck at the moment because they didn't deserve to lose." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Caley Jags TV have these highlights up................(using the word highlights generously) Our own RIG was less than impressed with the game but pleased with the outcome An absolutely awful game of football. Aimless hurried balls forward for the most part coupled with poor balls in from the wide areas meant there was nothing to get excited about for the first hour or so. Todorov offered surprisingly little when he came on but MacGregor really helped drive us forward and Welsh showed Carson and to a lesser extent Vincent how to properly keep the ball moving through midfield recycling it well and ensuring continual movement across the pitch as we probed for a way through. Doran had our best chance when a wild swerving effort was stopped by Gill before Devine was punished for a handball in the box and Welsh dispatched the spot kick with confidence. Dunfermline were howling but we were far from impressive ourselves. Still, win when you're playing badly is the sign of champions right...? Barry Wilson talking to the media after the game........... Date: 14/09/2019 Venue: East End Park, Dunfermline Attendance: 3426 Referee: Nick Walsh Dunfermline Ath: 0 Lineup: Gill; Comrie, Martin, Ashcroft, Edwards (Devine 78), Turner (Cochrane 72), Paton, Beadling, Kiltie, Nisbet, McCann (Coley 72) Subs (not used): Scully; Todd, Ryan, McGill. Scorers: none Booked: Turner (31) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Doran, Carson (Welsh 61), Vincent, Walsh (MacGregor 71), Storey, White (Todorov 62) Subs (not used): C Mackay; McHattie, Harper, Trafford. Scorers: Welsh (87 pen) Booked: MacGregor (89) Sent Off: none a
  11. 25 years on On our 25th Anniversary game and a moment to remember the legend that set us on our way, Alan Hercher, many fans were left wondering if those that started it all would have been out of place on a day where the occasion was greater than the game. Inverness fumbled their way to three points thanks to a Miles Storey thunderbolt not dealt with by Arbroath keeper Darren Jamieson with around ten minutes left. It all started well for the Smokies as they took the lead in the 25th minute. A Jason Thomson cross found it's way to Bobby Linn standing all on his own at the far side of the box. He was given ample time to control the ball, tee it up and drive it into the net without being pestered by a defender. Shoddy from Inverness but Linn didn't care. We levelled the game just on half time when James Keatings threaded a great ball into the box and Aaron Doran ran onto it and slid the ball neatly home. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ John Robertson sprung a couple of surprises before kick off. Jordan White retained his place as main striker and Shaun Rooney started at right back after a lengthy lay off through injury in pre-season. Charlie Trafford was benched (huff) with James Vincent starting. Dick Campbell was without Gavin Swankie but danger man Steven Dorris started, however his day only lasted quarter of an hour. Almost 2300 fans welcomed the sides onto the park and with some original legends looking on, there was a rousing minutes applause to remember the legendary Alan Hercher who scored that memorable hat-trick in our opening League game 25 years ago against Arbroath. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Speaking on BBC Sport Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "There was a lot of distractions this week with everything going on - the 25th anniversary, fact it was Arbroath and the launch of the Alan Hercher Enclosure and our tribute to our first ever captain today. "I thought we started well. We lost a goal and it rocked us a bit but then we got a really good equaliser and we kept pressing and pressing and pressing and eventually got the goal." Arbroath manager Dick Campbell: "We are winning 1-0 and we end up losing 2-1 and the second goal is a mistake by the keeper - you would expect him any time to stop that shot. "I've no complaints about the way we are going about our jobs. We've seen in these first two games that we really have to work hard. But the harder you work the luckier you get." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The newly surfaced pitch looked in great condition considering the downpours in recent days and Arbroath were first to have a go but Mark Whatley's free kick went wide with Ridgers watching it closely. Aaron Doran responded at the other end but he shot tamely straight at the keeper and had a second effort stopped in similar fashion minutes later. Bobby Linn was proving to be the visitors best option and with Rooney getting little help from Walsh, he stood off him and that gave Linn the space to probe his way into the box and he saw one effort go over and Mark Ridgers save his second attempt. White headed wide and soon after Dorris was replaced by Michael McKenna, the striker unable to continue after picking up a knock. Inverness started to take control of the game at this point but we passed up on some great opportunities to open the scoring. Carson, Doran, Walsh and Keatings all having goes. The most audacious effort came from Keatings as he connected well with an overhead kick but Jamieson reacted well to save. Shortly after Jordan White headed tamely at Jamieson, Arbroath took the lead. A deep cross found Linn once more in space and he steadied himself before rifling a powerful shot through the keeper and into the net. Two minutes later he was given more space than the fans in the North Stand would have liked him to have but Ridgers saved his effort. However, Inverness worked their way back into the game and just on half time a brilliant ball from James Keatings saw Doran run through the middle to guide the ball home. Half Time 1-1 The second half had barely started when Arbroath almost snatched a second goal but a ball into the box was missed by defenders and forwards alike and the chance was gone. A swift break forward down the right saw Walsh cut a low ball into the path of Doran but his first time shot was somewhat strangled and Jamieson smothered the ball. One of the few incisive breaks forward amongst our mostly casual and pedestrian approach. Jamie McCart headed wide as the pressure mounted on the visiting defence and we would inflict more problems for them when Miles Storey replaced White on the hour. He showed some good pace when he sprinted down the left side on a surge but the move petered out after an Arbroath defender bounced of Storey as he flexed his muscles. Powerful stuff and it would pay off with just under ten minutes to go. Storey got his reward after a thumping shot caught out the keeper, the sheer power of it deceiving him. Maybe he should have been able to keep it out, however, I'll give Miles the benefit of the doubt as he unleashed his shot from around the same area that Linn scored from after Tom Walsh picked up a loose ball and drove across the face of the box before feeding on to Storey. We looked to get a third but some staunch defending kept us at bay and in time added on Mark Ridgers had to be alert to ensure we never turned a win into a draw after he saved a Luke Donnelly shot from close range low down near the post. So, not the classic we saw 25 years ago, but a welcome three points against a well organised Arbroath side who despite having Dorris replaced still caused problems for our disheveled defence with Bobby Linn their star man. Difficult to pick any standouts for Inverness but David Carson put in a good shift and did lots of tidying up so he get's my nod for best on the park. Miles Storey did well when he came on, his bustling style causing problems for the defenders and well done to Mark Ridgers for staying alert right to the final whistle. The real Man of the Match was Alan Hercher. Footage from Caley Jags TV Here's Robbo......... And he's Miles better now............ Date: 10/08/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2298 Referee: Mike Roncone Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers, Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Doran (Todorov 73), Carson, Vincent, Walsh, Keatings, White (Storey 60). Subs (not used): C Mackay; Harper, Machado, MacGregor, Trafford. Scorers: Doran (44), Storey (82) Booked: Donaldson (47) Sent Off: none Arbroath: 1 Lineup: Jamieson; Thomson, Little, O'Brien, Hamilton, Stewart (Donnelly 84), Murphy (Gold 74), Whatley, Linn, Doris (McKenna 16), Spence. Subs (not used): Gaston; Kader, Wilson Scorers: Linn (26) Booked: Spence (5) Sent Off: none a
  12. New Striker nets the goals. Unfortunately for Inverness it was United's new man Lawrence Shankland that grabbed a brace of headers in the first half to put the Arabs into the break 2-1 ahead. Tom Walsh had levelled for Inverness but that only lasted for a couple of minutes before Shankland restored United's advantage. James Keatings had hit the post before the opening goal came along. Brad Mckay was stretchered off midway through the half with Carson moving to right back and James Vincent coming on. Shankland completed his headed hat-trick in the 53rd minute. Jordan White and James Vincent went close for the visitors and Vincent cleared one off his own line. However, Shankland completed the misery for Inverness when he scored a fourth with five minutes left. Nearly 200 visiting fans saw new signing Miles Storey make the bench for Inverness and James Vincent and Nikolay Todorov sat beside him with David Carson starting. Top striker Lawrence Shankland started and it wouldn't take him long to make his mark........... A frantic start saw Inverness survive a melee in their own box and then James Keatings hit the post from twelve yards after a ball in from Jordan White with the keeper beaten. Lawrence Shankland was brought in to score goals and he opened his Championship accounts in the seventh minute as he headed a Louis Appere cross behind Mark Ridgers. Keatings forced Siegrist into making a save as Inverness hit back two minutes later and at the other end Nicky Clark shot over on the break. A sore one for Brad Mckay as he is helped from the park in a neck brace after falling awkwardly, James Vincent replacing him with David Carson moving to cover at right back. The visitors were gaining a foothold in the match and following a couple of corners, Tom Walsh was on hand to knock the loose ball home after a Jamie McCart header rebounded near him. Sadly, we never got time to settle on that leveller and Shankland headed his second of the game within a minute of Walsh scoring, Paul McMullan the provider. We steadied the ship once more but at the break United had a slender but not insurmountable lead. Half-Time 2-1 Eight minutes into the second forty-five and 'Lawrence of Arabia' notched his third goal of the afternoon. Another cross from Appere, another header from Shankland, another goal for United. What on earth have our defenders been doing in training? Big turning point came a couple of minutes after the goal when Jordan White missed a great opportunity to get us back into contention, but he missed the target from close range. And that my friends is the difference between success and failure. Keatings also shot over as we came to terms with our predicament and soon after a double substitution, but it was the same olde story (no pun intended). Doran came close to connecting to a ball from Walsh at the back post but the final nail in the coffin was coming. Cammy Smith saw an effort hacked clear as United went for a fourth to kill the game off and it duly came with around five minutes left on the clock. Who else but Man of the Match Lawrence Shankland who will be given the freedom of the city before the end of the season as he turned and shot past Ridgers effortlessly from inside the box before Inverness were spared any further punishment as Shanks was subbed. Predictably, our familiar slow start to a season continues to haunt us and it looks like the long ball approach is not going to get us far in this division given that every team has seen it coming for the last couple of years. Time to knuckle down and start playing football before we get left behind once more. Our normally reliable defence has taken a battering of late and that's three right backs down now. Coll Donaldson needs to re-focus and get back to his player of the year status. It appears that his performances are suffering recently. If anyone finds his mojo, please return it to John Robertson, c/o The Caledonian Stadium, Inverness (for now anyway). ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Speaking to BBC Sport Dundee United head coach Robbie Neilson: "I was delighted with the performance right from the start. I thought to a man they played very well. "Shankland has been great since he came in. I think the other players have got to take credit for the as well because they brought him into the group and you can see he's getting the benefits." Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "There were key parts of the game where we felt that had we defended properly first we'd have kept in it, but we missed good opportunities at the wrong time. "And they had a man who they paid big money for and that's exactly why they've done it, that was a masterclass in finishing." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Caley Stan was a touch more lenient to the cause: "So, a painful watch - United were better than us in every department but i still think the main issue is in the centre of the park - there isn't a combination among Trafford/Carson/Vincent that either protects the back 4 or provides a platform for the creative players to get into the game. The long ball is a necessity as a result, and Doran and Keatings are wasted without balls to feet. We have to hope United are just way too good for this league and we're having our usual slow start. Video footage will be added when available. We've had better days.............. Man of the Match................I'll have to think about that one............. No doubt about it, it's Lawrence of Arabia with his four goal performance. What a start to his United career as he takes the plaudits. Shanks very much. Here's Robbo talking after the game Here's another Storey for you........... Date: 03/08/2019 Venue: Tannadice Park Attendance: 7023 Referee: Steven McLean Dundee United: 4 Lineup: Siegrist, L Smith, Connolly, Reynolds, Robson, McMullan, Stanton (Harkes 76), Butcher, Appere, Shankland (Banks 88), Clark (C Smith 65) Subs (not used): Mehmet; Chalmers, King, Banks, Watson Scorers: Shankland (7, 31, 53, 86) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay (Vincent ), Donaldson, McCart., Tremarco, Trafford, Carson, Doran, Keatings (Storey 71), Walsh, White (Todorov 71) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Harper, McHattie, MacGregor. Scorers: Walsh (30) Booked: Carson (61), Trafford (77) Sent Off: none a
  13. Dan's Deelight With both sides able to progress should the game be drawn, one wondered how this one would pan out. Would it be cagey or would the teams look to eliminate the opposition by winning the game outright. All will be revealed. John Robertson added Charlie Trafford to the starting XI with David Carson dropping to the bench. Nikolay Todorov began on the bench. Jake McPake had Josh Meekings captaining the side against his former team mates. New signing Danny Johnson from Motherwell was on from the start and he proved to be decisive. Both sides emerged from the tunnel to bright sunshine in their respective change strips, Dundee in white, Inverness in black. After swapping ends, it was the hosts that set the ball rolling. A scrappy opening to the game was broken in the fifth minute as Brad Mckay swung a great ball into the box, but there were no takers. Similar at the other end soon after but Byrne failed to control an inviting ball into the box and Mark Ridgers gathered the loose ball. Ridgers saved low down as Danny Johnnon shot goalwards and immediately James Keatings forced keeper Hamilton into a diving save as he grappled to clear a dipping shot from the striker and he almost scored from the resulting melee but the ball was forced away for a corner which was headed over by Coll Donaldson. Best chance of the half so far came from Dundee as they managed to get a shot away from inside the box, however Johnson lashed his shot high and wide of the target, similar to Keatings earlier. Keatings was the man causing Dundee problems and he turned and saw a deflected shot brilliantly saved by Hamilton at the expense of a corner. Just after the half hour disaster for Inverness and Mark Ridgers in particular. As James Vincent slipped after chesting the ball down, Dundee took advantage and from a tightish angle a low shot from dangerous Danny Johnson found it's way in at the near post. Ridgers won't want to see that one again. Two minutes later Keatings ruffled the side netting as he tried to sneak a ball in at Hamilton's near post, and Doran was just offside as he neatly controlled a through ball and slotted home as Inverness tried to hit back. Good response from the visitors, but despite our composed effort so far we were one down and heading out of the competition. Keatings once more came close to connecting to a cross but it was scrambled away for a corner as we looked for a way back before the break, forcing a couple of corners. Keatings was sent tumbling on the turn as we kept the pressure on. He took the free kick himself, and had White gambled he may have got on the end of the ball as it fizzed past the post. Dundee managed to hang on at the break and went in ahead, but only just and it wasn't for the want of trying by the visitors. Half Time 1-0 No changes at the break as Inverness continued on the front foot and a White shot was blocked. Mckay floated another great ball to the back post but Doran fresh aired six yards out and the moment was gone. Dundee got off lightly when White was adjudged to have fouled in the box. It looked more like a penalty to me, but Dee got away with that one. Ridgers smothered a low shot from Marshall as Dundee responded to Inverness pressure and Paul McGowan went close when he poked one just wide on the run into the box as the game opened out. A series of bookings followed as the game got a bit towsy, but with twenty minutes left Inverness were not going to progress unless they scored. Nokolay Todorov and Mitch Curry were readied for action with White and Doran being replaced, the last throw of the dice for Inverness. Unfortunately Curry lasted only ten minutes after he was clattered in the box and had to go off injured. Substitute McDaid shot narrowly wide as time ticked away with Dundee defending resolutely as we tried to force a draw. As we pushed forward, Dundee got the break of the ball but Josh Todd shot over on the charge. Good effort from Inverness against one of the teams tipped for the top but we were overall a bit shy to create clear opportunities. However, we created as many efforts on target as Dundee did and possibly could have snatched a draw, but the first half strike from MotM Dangerous Danny won the game and dumped Inverness out of the tournament, East Fife benefiting from our demise. James Keatings was our MotM with Jamie McCart solid in defence. Another to catch the eye was Todorov who looked very active when he came on. Unfortunately Doran, Walsh and White were posted missing and Charlie Trafford was a booking waiting to happen. Liability I'm afraid. Ridgers will have better days as the goal squirmed through him from a tight angle, seconds after Vincent slipped to the turf after chesting the ball down. A calamity of errors that we paid the price for. Despite the effort, many visiting fans were not impressed with the performance and RIG summed it up like this: Can't think of a single positive for ICT today. Dundee fully deserved their win. Rock solid at the back and plenty of good attacking play in the first half with McGowan defying his years and abysmal hairline to dominate the middle of the pitch and link well with Nelson and Johnson. Probably should have been up by more than one goal at halftime though I felt we had a couple of decent chances to get on the scoresheet. Second half was just rotten from us with Dundee easily holding us at bay. Meekings looked class. Still can't believe that we didn't get a penalty for what looked to be a clear foul on White but the way we were playing we probably would have missed it. OFFICIAL REPORT John Robertson said: “When you look back at it, I have no complaints, I think Dundee deserved to win the game today because they were slightly better at everything. They were slightly better at moving the ball, they were slightly better at passing it, they were slightly more clinical and they were slightly better at defending. If you put all that together then I think that Dundee deserved to go through.” Here's Keatings effort spectacularly cleared by a head lying on the ground. Meh! Date: 28/07/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2066 Referee: Nick Walsh Dundee: 1 Lineup: Hamilton; Kerr, McGhee, Foster, Meekings, Byrne, Nelson (Mulligan 90+1), McGowan (McDaid 79), Johnson (Todd 67), Robertson, Marshall. Subs (not used): Ferrie; Moore, Cameron, Cunningham. Scorers: Johnson (33) Booked: McGhee (55) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Doran (Curry 78), Trafford (Carson 56), Vincent, Walsh, Keatings, White (Todorov 78). Subs (not used): C Mackay, McHattie, Harper, MacGregor. Scorers: none Booked: Trafford (38), McCart (66), Donaldson (69) Sent Off: none a
  14. ICT Edge Out Cove A minutes silence was held ahead of kick-off for John Beaton, who has sadly passed away. John had devoted his life to football in this area for some 50 years and will be sadly missed. More about John on OFFICIAL SITE. John Robertson made only one change from the side that started against Raith Rovers with fit again Brad Mckay returning to right back with David Carson moving to midfield. Charlie Trafford dropped to the bench to accommodate this. Inverness came from behind to squeeze past Cove after an entertaining encounter in the tropical heat at the Caledonian Stadium. Jordan White, James Keatings and substitute Nicolay Todorov were on target for the Caley Jags with Mitch Megginson netting twice for Cove. He was a busy lad and was also red carded before the end of an eventful night. All the best to Connor Scully who had to leave the field after damaging his ankle. He was taken to Raigmore for an X-Ray to determine the extent of his injury. Results last night leave the table looking like this with Raith Rovers beating Peterhead 3-1 and Dundee idle. Inverness face Dundee at Dens Park on Sunday in a game which will decide the Group D winners. Mitch Megginson returned after injury to lead Cove onto the pitch on a roaster of a night in the Highland capital. James Keatings was first to show as he dragged a shot wide in the third minute. Jordan White also missed the target as he volleyed over after Coll Donaldson and Aaron Doran contrived to create the opening for him. Twenty minutes gone and first real threat from Cove as Jamie Masson's effort is blocked for a corner. Daniel Higgins header is flicked wide. Mark Ridgers was called into action to deny Megginson and at the other end on the half hour White headed onto the post from Doran's cross, the closest of the game so far. He would not be denied soon, although he maybe knew little about it. Jordan White opened the scoring when a Mckay header cannoned off him and into the net. White, Jamie McCart and Tom Walsh all had decent efforts but the game was level ten minutes later when Megginson scored just on the interval. Half Time 1-1 Worse was to follow for the hosts just after the break when Megginson scored again, but Keatings squared the game ten minutes later from close range. It was nip and tuck now with both sides going close. Megginson almost nabbed a hat-trick as he tried to chip Ridgers but the keeper stood tall to deny him. Walsh brought out a superb save by keeper McKenzie as he drove into the right side of the box as Inverness probed for the winner. It came from substitute Nikolay Todorov as he headed in another great cross from Walsh to put the Championship side ahead. A Red card was shown to Megginson for a late challenge on James Vincent with a little over quarter of an hour to go. Kicking the ball away in the first half doesn't seem like such a good idea now Mitch. Doh! Donaldson headed another Walsh cross wide as the game edged towards a close and a late surge by Cove saw the ball in the net although it was ruled out for hand ball just before the final whistle ended the contest. Phew! As expected, Cove were not coming along to make up the numbers and Inverness were forced to up their game to get through this tie. Tom Walsh was once again a constant threat and Nicolay Todorov scored again coming off the bench. Caley100 had this to say after the game: 'Best thing about tonight is the result, And..... the subs! We looked like we were playing in 2nd gear! Really! Cove looked sharper for most of the first half and probably should have been leading. Our goal was a wayward header from Mackay that i'm pretty sure came off White's ass'. Uncharacteristically, he did see some positives though: 'Subs, including Macgregor who was so direct and almost scored a beaut, Walsh was dangerous, the rest were pretty ordinary.............. More match reaction. Robbo Quote "Space doesn't score goals" Date: 23/07/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1000 Referee: David Lowe Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco (C), Doran (Curry 64), Carson, Vincent, Walsh, Keatings (MacGregor 69), White (Todorov 63). Subs (not used): C Mackay; Harper, Brown, Trafford. Scorers: White (38), Keatings (55), Todorov (71) Booked: MacGregor (90) Sent Off: none Cove Rangers: 2 Lineup: McKenzie; Yule, Milne, Redford, Higgins, Scully (Brown 81), Park (Burnett 80), Glass, Megginson (C), Scott, Masson. Subs (not used): McCafferty, Wood. Scorers: Megginson (45, 46) Booked: Megginson (52), Redford (84) Sent Off: Megginson (73 ) a
  15. ICT 4-1 Raith First game on the new grass and it we christened it with three points in our Group D game against Raith Rovers to put us third in the table on four points. In the other group game, Dundee earned the bonus penalty point to top the group on seven after a 0-0 draw with Peterhead who have six. Inverness eventually eased past Raith Rovers for their first win in the competition this season. However, despite getting an early opener through the head of Jordan White, we failed to build on that in an underwhelming first half where creating opportunities seemed to be somewhat difficult. Fortunately Raith were in no position to take advantage and the first half ended at 1-0 with Rovers building in confidence. Coll Donaldson picked up a needless booking for kicking the ball away after conceding a free kick in time added on at the break. Doh! The second half was only five minutes in when Rovers equalised after we gave them some space down the left flank. When the ball came in Lewis Allan drove it behind Ridgers from 15 yards, the assist coming from Kieran MacDonald. That stirred the hosts into action and within eight minutes we had scored twice to settle the tie. Firstly Coll Donaldson glanced a header in from a Tom Walsh corner and a few minutes later Aaron Doran rounded off a lovely move down the right and hit Walsh's cross first time into the net after a step over from White. Walsh was the instigator in most things ICT and he ghosted through three or four players before forcing Munro to tip his 25 yard effort over the bar for a corner. But he wasn't finished yet and substitute Nocolay Todorov ended the scoring when he headed Walsh's superb cross home from close range. Here's hot Toddy heading home his first for the club........... It's still early in the season but you can sense some promise on the park. We did appear a little cagey in the first half despite the early goal. David Carson is not a right back but he is very energetic and looks like he will be a good box to box midfielder. Donaldson took his goal well as did Doran, and good to see both striker and understudy score. James Keatings has plenty to offer once he is fully up to speed. My MotM today was Tom Walsh who was the man that made us go through the gears as we eased away from Raith Rovers who were well beaten by the end of the game. Tom talking after his MotM performance against Rovers......... And Robbo gives his thoughts post match............ Footage from Raith TV Date: 20/07/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1054 Referee: Gavin Ross Inverness CT: 4 Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Doran (Curry 83), Trafford, Vincent, Walsh, Keatings (MacGregor 72), White (Todorov 78). Subs (not used): C Mackay, Nicolson, Harper, Brown. Scorers: White, Donaldson, Doran, Todorav Booked: Donaldson (45+1) Sent Off: none Raith Rovers: 1 Lineup: Munro; Miller, Benedictus, Mendy, MacDonald, McKay, Hendry (Tait 89), Davidson, Anderson (Bowie 78), Allan (Vitoria 82), Mathews. Subs (not used): Watson, Smith. Scorers: Allan Booked: Miller (36), Benedictus (20) Sent Off: none a
  16. Betfred Opener is an Eye Opener Despite a record breaking ten penalties scored, Inverness failed to win the bonus point after a no score draw at Balmoor Stadium Peterhead. And it was somewhat ironic that the man who missed the 11th penalty for Inverness was the man who had kept them in the game with a string of superb saves, Mark Ridgers. It was the Blue Toon keeper Greg Fleming that struck the final penalty which Ridgers failed to save to earn them the bonus point in an incredible penalty shoot-out 11-10. John Robertson aired three of his summer signings in David Carson, Mitchell Curry and James Keatings with James Vincent and Nicolay Todorov on the bench. Aaron Doran was rested and Shaun Rooney, Daniel Mackay and Sean Welsh were all missing through injury. Peterhead had former Inverness striker Rory McAllister on the bench. A low key opening to the tie saw Jordan White have the first strike in earnest after 18 minutes but Greg Fleming pushed it wide. Despite plenty of possession for the visitors, Peterhead were comfortable with it as we failed to create clear opportunities. Now where have I heard that before! David Carson had an effort deflected for a corner and from that Brad Mckay went wide at the back post. There followed a series of half chances, blocked shots and misses from the visitors but it was a familiar trend to be honest. Before the break Peterhead began to believe in themselves and Scott Brown flicked over at the near post. Minutes later Brown fired just over and two minutes before the break Gary Fraser went close with a stinging effort that zipped past the post. Half Time 0-0 Brad Mckay was replaced by James Vincent at the interval and the misses continued, James Keatings going wide, Brown doing likewise at the other end. ICT had Mark Ridgers to thank for keeping the score level as Jamie Stevenson thought he might score but Ridgers saved fantastically with his legs to deny him. Vincent came closest to breaking the deadlock but his header hit the post ten minutes into the second half. Keatings again fired over after a Tom Walsh free kick was part cleared and on the hour Ridgers was the hero once more as he saved from Aidan Smith after he cut into the box. Talisman Rory McAllister entered the game and Ridgers made a superb one handed save to deny Jason Brown as Peterhead turned the screw, however Fleming had to make his own superb save to thwart a Tom Walsh cross finding it's intended target of Jordan White. The hosts were gaining in confidence all the time and went close through Brown, Gibson and Michael Dunlop, who saw his header brilliantly saved by Ridgers. Just after that he skimmed the bar when he shot on the half turn. Inverness were now being roasted by the Blue Toon and they forced three corners in quick succession, all to no avail. Inverness responded with a late brace of corners and a booking for Trafford, but the game ended all square and into the penalty shoot-out it was. Full Time 0-0 Suffice to say that all the players left on the park scored their spot kicks until Mark Ridgers made a hash of his and his opposite number Greg Fleming scored the winner. Well done to Peterhead for taking the game to their more fancied opponents and maybe that was the eye opener that Inverness required after a comfortable pre-season. Caley Stan and RIG pretty much agreed about our performance on the night. The conclusion is that we were simply not good enough. STAN: Ridgers was the clear man of the match before sclaffing his penalty wide. It's one thing to draw a flat League Cup tie against a part-time side, quite another to be dominated by one as we were for most of that second half. We set up with Carson and Trafford sitting in front of the back 4, and what looked initially like a dynamic and interchangeable front 4 with Keatings playing as a 10 and Walsh and Curry pushing up high from the wide areas. There was the odd flash of creativity from Keatings - he's probably not match sharp yet. As with the friendlies, it was Tom Walsh that looked our biggest threat and he put a couple of decent balls into the box, one of which White should've connected with - the big man was played in on goal shortly afterwards but didn't have the composure to get a decent shot away. Carson moved to right-back when Vincent replaced McKay at half-time and didn't look comfortable there. But that doesn't explain what happened in the second half and I don't know what does. We were overrun - Peterhead were repeatedly able to pick their pass in the final third, and more often than not they got shots away from inside the box. I hope we get to see footage of the penalties. Charlie Trafford's was the highlight of the night. RIG: In many ways it was reminiscent of last season. First half we had a lot of the ball but struggled to create chances. Peterhead were content to sit in and absorb pressure and try and hit on the counter. White had our best chance of the half when he pulled a shot across goal / it was palmed away by Fleming. Second half and Peterhead were all over us. Our best two chances of the second half came from a Vincent header off the post and a White effort clawed away by Fleming. A truly stunning save (think Mikey Fraser v Celtic). Apart from that the home side dominated and should have been out of sight long before the penalty shoot out. Jamie Stevenson and Aidan Smith seemed to be getting a lot of space on their respective flanks and it was disappointing to see how easily Peterhead were able to create space for themselves in the box or drop a ball in behind our full backs to get a cross in. We looked all over the place defensively and it was only thanks to Ridgers that we went to spot kicks. Neither keeper got near the penalties until Fleming thought he had saved Traffords effort but as he got up to start celebrating the ball fell back down from the bar and spun over the line . Ultimately it came down to the keepers and Ridgers sadly sliced his effort off target before Fleming bagged the bonus point. Not really much to be impressed by from an ICT PoV. Looks like a change of formation is on the cards with a 4-4-2 / 4-4-1-1 played last night. Our only real change throughout the game was to swap Curry and Walsh. Hard to ignore the obvious Polworth shaped hole in our team at the moment. Date: 16/07/2019 Venue: Balmoor Stadium Attendance: 606 Referee: Steven Reid Peterhead: 0 (penalties11) Lineup: Fleming, J Brown, Eadie, Dunlop, Boyle, Ferry, S Brown (Leitch 88), Stevenson, Gibson, Fraser (McAllister 64), Smith (Armour 79) Subs (not used): Henderson, Lyle, Willox, Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 (penalties 10) Lineup: Ridgers, B Mckay (Vincent 45), Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Curry (MacGregor 79), Trafford, Carson, Walsh, Keatings (Todorov 67), White Subs (not used): C Mackay, Nicolson, Brown, Harper, Machado, Scorers: none Booked: Trafford (90+1) Sent Off: none a
  17. Season Ends Now Whilst the final scoreline looks comfortable enough, the outcome of this game hinged an a dubious penalty offered by Kevin Clancy in first half injury time. It's no shock that we succumbed to a controversial refereeing decision, the first leg went the same way, but it did leave a bitter taste in the mouth for the near 500 away support who were right behind the team. However, that incident on the stroke of half-time took the last embers of resistance out of the players and the second half just emphasised the difference a few grand makes. Nicky Clark scored from the spot and further goals from Osman Sow and Pavol Safranko ended our season, but not the bitterness as John Robertson said what we all knew. Looks like Robbo will be hauled in front of the beaks, but maybe it's about time they investigated their own backyard to see if the people they employ are up to the job. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ On BBC Sport:- Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson branded the "arrogance" of Scottish officials as a "disgrace" after his side were condemned to another season in the Championship. Robertson was sent off after Dundee United were awarded a penalty in his side's 3-0 Scottish Premiership play-off semi-final defeat at Tannadice. The 4-0 aggregate loss loss ends the Highlanders' chances of promotion. "I've had enough; I'm happy to go all the way with it," Robertson said. "This can't be allowed to go on. The inconsistency of the refereeing is incredible. It might sound like sour grapes, and it is a wee bit tonight, but the standard is poor." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Up to the penalty award, Inverness had been the busier side with Tom Walsh Aaron Doran and Joe Chalmers being denied by Siegrist in the Arabs goal. Jordan White headed just over from a corner and all was rosy. Up steps cowboy Kevin Clancy to ruin the entertainment and the rest is history. Nicky Clark hit woodwork twice when it looked much simpler to score, it mattered not, the damage had already been done, thanks Kev. Absolutely titanic effort from the players who gave their all and were out of their feet at the end after being sunk by the iceberg Clancy. It was also a titanic effort by the Caley Away fans, some of them going over and above the call of duty to get behind the team. And when was the last time United had over 8500 fans at Tannadice. Great crowd and I'm sure the Premiership accountants will be glad it's United that progress and not the famous Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Here's one such account from Immortal Howden Ender:- Well I sat in a motorway queue for four feckin hours, made me hit the Forth Road Bridge at rush hour and got to Dungdee 45 minutes before the kick off. Feckin stone cold sober !! Up until that ridiculous penalty decision we were the better team, playing some nice football and looking the team to score by a country mile. But our lack of power and flair up front and the age old inability to take chances let us down again. We really should have been 2 or 3 up and there were scoreable chances for Walsh, White and Doran. The penalty, it's conversion and the timing appeared to simply break our hearts. But we put so much into that first half that it would have been a miracle if we had maintained that level after the second. Only a sniff of a comeback would have possibly riled us up. But the Arabs went for the throat from the start of the second half, pressed higher up the pitch and the second was the beginning of the end. It could well have been 5 or 6 in the end and we never looked like scoring. You would have to say that everybody gave their all but I thought that some showed their flaws. There weren't many who didn't look absolutely flecked 10-15 minutes before the end. Again that is the cruelty of our play off system. I will leave the Smileymometer alone but Ridgers did nothing wrong, Rooney ran and ran and did well before being flecked. McCart was superb and my MotM. Should Coll have been playing when clearly 50 to 60% fit - I would say not. McHattie was caught out for the second goal and struggled defensively. Our midfield ran their socks off but we went for the long, high ball [often diagonal] too often and did not utilise the width and especially Walsh snuffed. Doran played like he did against Hearts and did not come up with the goods. White had little support but did not hold things up enuff and lost too much in the air. Not sure either where Brad McKay was playing but it did look like he was employed to provide cover for the ailing Coll which was a waste of a player. May sound critical but we played well until half time and missing chances killed us again. Some of the officials decisions, other than the penalty, were shocking and there were some ridiculous offsides called. BUT what an away support and not a bad home one either. Glad I was there to the seasons death. Bring on the anguish of 2019-20. Caleytillidie It's All Over Now............. Date: 17/05/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 8540 Referee: Kevin Clancy Dundee United: 3 (4) Lineup: Siegrist; Watson, Connelly, Reynolds, Robson, Bouhenna, Harkes, McMullan, Clark (Stanton 78), Pawlett (Safranko 63), Sow (Booth 73). Subs (not used): Currid; Frans, Chalmers, Smith. Scorers: Clark (45+1 pen), Sow (54), Safranko (89) Booked: Reynolds (33). Sow(58), Safranko (70) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 (0) Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, McHattie, Rooney (Austin 56), Trafford, Chalmers, Walsh (Harper 90), Doran (McDonald 74), White Subs (not used): C Mackay; McCauley, MacGregor, Gunn. Scorers: none Booked: Mckay (45+1), Doran (38) Sent Off: none a0
  18. Advantage United John Robertson's side were reduced to ten men just after half time and that swung the pendulum towards the visitors. Jordan White headed against the post in the first half, but Liam Polworth was red carded three minutes after the break. Despite the numerical advantage, Inverness made United work hard for their break and it came in the 78th minute after substitute Nicky Clark hit the post and Paul McMullan slotted in the rebound. Harsh on Inverness who had battled really hard to make up for the loss of Polworth. Only half time in the tie though and still all to play for at Tannadice where we won 2-1 in the Scottish Cup. United will know they will be in for a hard time and our lads will give it everything, similar to tonight. Great effort with Shaun Rooney outstanding. Jamie McCart was immense at the back and Mark Ridgers assured dealing with early crosses. Aaron Doran looked lively early on before fading in the second half when we were down to ten. The winners over the two legs will face either St Mirren or Hamilton Accies. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ On BBC Sport:- Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "We don't feel it's a red car. It could easily have sufficed with a yellow. For the referee to change the whole complexion of the game on that incident - we feel hard done by. "I can understand why he's given it - we know the laws of the game. It is what it is. We are 1-0 down. We've won at Tannadice before. We go down there full of confidence." Dundee United manager Robbie Neilson: "Pleased with tonight but by no means are we on easy street now. We've got a tough, tough game coming up. "The sending off has a bearing on the game. I've been delighted with Paul McMullan since I came in. He's got potential to really go far in the game because he's got that pace and he's got the fitness levels as well." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness were without the injured Tom Walsh and Carl Tremarco, with Anthony McDonald and Kevin McHattie starting. Dundee United had a clean bill of health after a ten day break whilst Inverness had battled through two tough games against Ayr United to get here. It was a wonderful sunny evening as United took to the park in front of a healthy and vociferous travelling support of over 1,000, welcoming their team into the Caledonian Stadium as if they had won the world cup itself. The North Stand was sparsely populated and like a morgue in comparison. Apathy rules in the Highland capital I'm afraid. The visitors kicked off and Coll Donaldson was immediately the target of their small minded section who took every opportunity to have a go at him as he won a free kick inside the first minute. Get over him Arabs. Liam Polworth fired a cross into the box which Siegrist parried clear as we made our intentions clear, but it was Mark Ridgers that had to make the first save after Peter Pawlett fed Osman Sow and Ridgers saved down low as the big striker smothered his shot from a good position. Polworth headed on to Joe Chalmers and the Dingwall target fired just wide as the game ebbed and flowed in the evening light. In the 23rd minute, Jordan White almost broke the deadlock as his header back across the keeper bounced off his right post, Siegrist beaten but the rebound was smuggled clear. The hosts were getting on top and a poor clearance by the United keeper almost led to a chance for White and Polworth, but it was snuffed out for a corner. From the clearance, the energetic Shaun Rooney fired a shot from Richie Hart area a couple of yards over the bar. United's main threat was Paul McMullan, he of dubious diving decisions and errant hand balls. Tonight he was simply playing football and his pace was causing Kevin McHattie a torrid time. Ridgers had to be alert to catch a high shot towards goal from the wee neckless hunchback as he demonstrated his menace. Pavol Safranko shot wide from the resultant corner. Siegrist gathered a White header as we pressed for the opener, but it lacked any power to beat the keeper. To the delight of the Dundee United fans, Coll Donaldson was booked for felling Pawlett, the biggest cheer since the teams came out onto the park. Right on half time he foolishly gave away another free kick on the edge of the box, the forward heading away from the box but Coll tested the patience of the referee and brought another round of soccer rage from the vising fans. The free kick came to nothing fortunately and that brought an end to a high tempo first half with both teams having a go. Half Time 0-0 Safranko stayed in the dressing room after the break with Calum Booth replacing him. It made Donaldson lighter as the big forward had now left his pocket. Three minutes into the second period and disaster for Inverness . As Polworth tried to flick his toe towards the ball on the edge of our box, Mark Connelly lowered his head and made a meal of going down and clutching his face. Surely an ambulance would be called. No, instead of blue lights, we got a red card for Polly who could have made his final contribution for the Caley Jags. Surprisingly there seemed to be little if any damage to the Arabs player who was on his feet soon after. The free kick came to nothing, but the red card changed the dynamics of the game. Aaron Doran and big Jordan linked well with White's shot blocked as he pulled the trigger, close call for United as the ten men continued to cause them problems. None moreso than the marauding Shaun Rooney who was like a duracell bunny all night. United were beginning to wear down Inverness, gradually, and substitute Nicky Clark tested Ridgers with a low drive. Cameron Harper had replaced a tiring Doran by now for the hosts. Ten minutes after coming on, the fresh legs of Clark saw United take the lead. McMullan benefited from a McHattie headed clearance that rattled off his chest, he then toe poked the ball to Clark and he fired a low shot back across the keeper from around the penalty spot. It cannoned off the left hand post of Ridgers and as we failed to react quick enough, McMullan buried the ball low into the net off the opposite post. Incredible set of circumstances and very harsh on the ten men of Inverness who had still looked dangerous on the break. Charlie Trafford had a shot saved and Callum Smith shot over as the game just ran away from us, but what an effort from the guys, just a pity so few bothered to turn up to watch the game and preferred watching on TV or washing their hair. Everything to play for at Tannadice and United will be wary of us. Red card or no red card? Well, if you ask the referee to make a decision and put him on the spot then there's every chance they will get it wrong and ruin what was a highly entertaining game up to that point. Many pundits (and Robbo) reckon a yellow would have sufficed, but we are talking third rate Scottish referee's here. Meh! No failures in the red and blue of the Caley Jags who were best served by sponsors MotM Aaron Doran until he tired, Jamie McCart who continues to impress and was a rock at the back, Charlie Trafford who just keeps getting better and the guy that impressed me with his Tokelyesque marauding runs down the flank, Shaun Rooney. Unfortunately United were best served by the three that mattered most, Nicky Clark, the menacing sprinter Paul McMullan, and Siegrist's right hand post. Doh! Here's the action from the SPFL site And here is Robbo................ Date: 14/05/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2604 Referee: Nick Walsh Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, McHattie, Rooney, Trafford, Polworth, Chalmers, Doran (Harper 72), White (Austin 81). Subs (not used): C Mackay, MacGregor, Gunn, McCauley, McDonald. Scorers: none Booked: Donaldson (38), Ridgers (48) Sent Off: Polworth (48) Dundee United: 1 Lineup: Siegrist; Watson, Reynolds, Connelly, Robson, Harkes, Butcher, McMullan (C Smith 85), Pawlett, Sow (Clark 68), Safranko (Booth 45). Subs (not used): Laidlaw; M Smith, Frans, Bouhenna. Scorers: McMullan (78) Booked: Booth (90+1) Sent Off: none a
  19. One down, two to go. Inverness booked their place in the next stage of the play-offs after a rather uncomfortable 1-1 draw with Ayr United. As expected Ayr came out of the blocks flying and deservedly took the lead through Luke McCowan in the 19th minute. It took until the 79th minute before we eased the pain on the supporters when Coll Donaldson claimed he got a touch on Liam Polworth's inviting free kick into the danger area. It mattered not who scored it, but it was a crucial goal that scuppered Ayr's hopes of taking the tie into extra time. Inverness will now play Dundee United on Tuesday night, the return at Tannadice on the Friday night. St Mirren are in pole position to be the Premiership fall guys unless Accies blow a four point lead going into the final two games, Dundee already relegated. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ TICKET PRICES FOR Dundee United ARE AS FOLLOWS: Adult: £15 Concession: £8 Tickets can be bought online HERE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A noisy crowd in the away end met the teams as they came out on a sunny afternoon at the Caledonian Stadium. Carl Tremarco was still injured and Kevin McHattie started again in a familiar looking side for this crucial second leg tie. Ian McCall had Luke McCowan on from the start and Robbie Crawford was deemed fit enough to take his place in the side. Michael Moffat was on the bench for the Honest Men and top scorer Lawrence Shankland would be the man to keep an eye on. Around 2500 watched this one and Ayr started brightly without causing too much concern. However, it was Jordan White who had the first couple of attempts. The first was blocked by Ross Doohan in the visitors goal after White was fed through on the right side, Doohan blocking as White tried to dink the ball behind him. The second effort was a shot on the turn from the edge of the box which the keeper gathered with ease. From that save, Ayr took the lead when a crossfield pass from Shankland found Declan McDaid scampering down the right flank. His cross took a slight deflection off Jamie McCart's leg but it still found McCowan sprinting across the box to fire high into the net from six yards. Ayr were looking slick at this point and their passing game was outdoing the stifled approach from Inverness who looked a little edgy in the opening half. White saw an effort saved and Robbie Crawford could have done better than shoot wide at the other end. As Inverness upped the pace heading to wards the break Aaron Doran shot wide and they ended the half on top, but a goal behind on the day. Half Time 0-1 Inverness were dealt a blow ten minutes into the second half as Tom Walsh left the field feeling his hamstring to be replaced by Anthony McDonald. McDaid shot wide as Ayr looked to level the aggregate score and Mark Ridgers had to look smart to deny a header from Skankland. McDaid and Crawford were next to go wide as Inverness restricted the visitors to trying speculative efforts, but it was an uneasy spell for the hosts. We began to get to grips with the game and Jamie McCart headed wide and a couple of minutes later we were level. Aaron Doran was fouled some thirty yards from goal wide on the left. Liam Polworth curled an inviting ball into the mix and White and Coll Donaldson were left unmarked as they both rose for the ball. There was little doubt where the ball ended up, but Donaldson claimed he touched it with his hair and the relief in the stands was instant as Coll took the plaudits from the North Stand, his first goal this season. Ayr almost went in front again just two minutes later as Andy Murdoch unleashed a thumping shot from outside the box but Ridgers was equal to it. Time was now running out for United to take the game to extra time and their frustration showed as they picked up a couple of late bookings as Inverness looked more assured towards the end of a game they had struggled to control for long spells. Not a classic by any manner or means, but that vital 3-1 win at Somerset Park set Inverness up and enabled them to take it easier than they might have done had the match been all square. Great contributions from MotM Coll Donaldson with his partner Jamie McCart also playing well as we defended in depth at times. Aaron Doran was the pick of the forwards as he twisted and turned his way down the wing and Jordan White showed his worth once more, using his power and height to good effect. All in, not a great spectacle, and Ian McCall seems a bit miffed that his side were the best team over the two legs. I've got news for you Ian, Inverness play Dundee United on Tuesday night and Ayr United's wonderful season has ended. So Caledonian Stadium on Tuesday night and Tannadice on Friday night. A schedule John Robertson has voiced his concerns over preferring the option of Wednesday and Sunday. The winners will play St Mirren or Hamilton who meet on Monday night and that could decide who is in the play-off final. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Here's the managers speaking to BBC Sport Inverness manager John Robertson: "It's a strange situation defending a two-goal lead at home - it's awkward. The players weren't sure whether to go for it or to sit back and we were a bit safe. I thought we looked very nervous in the first 15-20 minutes. Ayr got a beautifully-worked goal and that woke us up a bit. These matches are done over 180 minutes and we've come through it." Ayr manager Ian McCall: "I'm very disappointed. I'm very proud of the players and what they've put in over two years and a lot of them will be leaving us for bigger clubs. I thought we were the better team in both games in terms of playing football and passing the ball but ultimately theses games are about getting through. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Not the best performance ever, but this was all about getting through to the next round of the play-off and so far it's mission accomplished with more difficult games to come. Good backing for the Ayr players must have given them a lift when they came on to the park and the moved the ball around better with Inverness looking edgy trying to protect that two goal cushion. Anyway, job done so far. Here's the goals from yesterdays game. No doubt about the Ayr scorer, but difficult to see who got the final touch although Donaldson is claiming the Inverness goal. Here's Johnny................... Date: 11/05/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2323 Referee: Steven McLean Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay (Rooney 63), Donaldson, McCart, McHattie, Walsh (McDonalld 54), Trafford, Polworth, Chalmers, Doran, White. Subs (not used): C Mackay, Harper, MacGregor, McCauley, Austin. Scorers: Donaldson (79 maybe) Booked: McHattie (89) Sent Off: none Ayr United: 1 Lineup: Doohan; Smith, Muirhead, Rose, Harvie, Crawford, Murdoch, Kerr (Cadden 83), McDaid (Miller 77), Shankland, McCowan (Moffat 65) Subs (not used): Hare-Reid; Forrest, Ecrepont, Docherty. Scorers: McCowan (19) Booked: Muirhead (29), Smith (45+1), Harvie (83), Shankland (87) Sent Off: none a
  20. So far so good The Caley Jags take a two goal advantage back to the Caledonian Stadium on Saturday after beating Ayr United 3-1 at Somerset Park in the first leg of the play-off. An entertaining game saw Charlie Trafford open the scoring in the first half with a powerful header. Jordan White doubled the advantage in the second half, Ayr claiming for offside. Coventry City signing Michael Rose headed Ayr back into the game but a Jordan White penalty ended the scoring in favour of the Caley Jags. A place in the Premiership is the prize for the team that can battle their way through the play-offs and that journey started last night at Somerset Park, Ayr. Whoever manages to get into the play-off final will be facing either St Mirren or Hamilton Accies who face each other this weekend. John Robertson was still without captain Carl Tremarco with Kevin McHattie replacing him. Other than that it was a fairly strong starting XI with Coll Donaldson fit enough to resume at centre back. Ian McCall had Liam Smith on from the start with Michael Moffat and Lawrence Shankland up front keeping young star Luke McCowan on the bench. A crowd of nearly 2200 were on hand to watch the first leg with just over 200 away fans making the long trek, and on a school night too. Here's the main talking points from the game. The visitors opened the scoring just after the half hour when Tom Walsh won a corner on the right. Charlie Trafford was first to the ball from the boot of Joe Chalmers and he wanted it most. His powerful header went high into the net with Doohan stranded. Ayr and Ian McCall were left raging when Jordan White doubled our advantage after the linesman failed to give offside against the big striker when Aaron Doran poked a ball through to him on the edge of the box. Jordan carried on and deftly chipped it over the onrushing keeper, a superb finish for a big lad, the defence not happy at the decision. Ayr won a free kick some twenty-five yards out. The ball was rolled to Lawrence Shankland who put his laces through the ball but Mark Ridgers pulled off a tremendous save at the expense of a corner. From the resultant corner, Michael Rose got the run on the defence as Coll Donaldson ball watched. We all then ball watched as it powered into the net to give the Honest men some hope. Another debatable decision would go against United as Mark Kerr was adjudged to have bundled over Jamie McCart as he went for a header in the box. Difficult to spot, but the referee was on hand and White made no mistake from the spot, emphatically firing the ball high to the keepers left. Doohan had already made his mind up that the ball was going to his right. Big stramash near the end which resulted in Jordan White being booked with Shankland and his Ayr cohorts doing their best to get him red carded. Luke McCowan had the final chance to salvage something for Ayr, but Inverness held out and take the the advantage back up the A9 with Trafford, White and Ridgers getting the plaudits. More to come............... Action from the game courtesy of AyrUnitedFCTV............. Here's Johnny............... Two goal hero Jordan White talking on BBC Sport Managers reaction talking on BBC Sport Ayr United manager Ian McCall: "He is a yard offside and it is nowhere near a penalty kick. "We always knew the physicality from Inverness would be a problem, albeit they have a lot of good footballers. Inverness boss John Robertson: "We have said to the players it is a really good away performance. "But the job is not finished. This is a team that knocked five by Dundee United earlier this season. We will prepare for another battle on Saturday." Date: 07/05/2019 Venue: Somerset Park, Ayr Attendance: 2171 Referee: Alan Muir Ayr United: 1 Lineup: Doohan; Smith, Muirhead, Rose, Harvey, Docherty, Crawford (Kerr 45), Murdoch, McDaid (Forrest 80), Moffat (McCowan 62), Shankland Subs (not used): Hare-Reid; Ecrepont, Cadden, Miller. Scorers: Rose (65) Booked: Crawford (42), Kerr (75) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, McHattie, Walsh (Rooney 79), Trafford, Chalmers, Polworth (McDonald 88), Doran (McCauley 78), White Subs (not used): C Mackay, Harper, MacGregor, Austin. Scorers: Trafford (33), White (51, 76 pen) Booked: Trafford (68), White (90+1) Sent Off: none a
  21. Third it is After all the speculation as to where we would finish in the league, a 1-0 victory over Dunfermline coupled with Ayr drawing with Alloa ensured we would finish third in the table. That means that the first play-off game will be on Tuesday night at Somerset Park with the return leg at the Caledonian Stadium the following Saturday. Ticket prices have been set at £12 for this game. We achieved this by virtue of a 1-0 defeat of the Pars in a low key game, but one that had an extra £75K bonus for finishing third tagged on to it. Nathan Austin tapped in the winner after a couple of bloopers saw him pick up the loose ball to score easily. Stuart Morrison's chest high pass back was not cleared successfully by keeper Cammy Gill and Austin was left with the simple task of rolling the ball into the net. Simples. John Robertson was without the injured Carl Tremarco and Sean Welsh. Mark Ridgers returned between the sticks after his finger dislocation at Hampden and Jamie McCart, Aaron Doran and Liam Polworth were all benched to give them a break. Darren McCauley and Nathan Austin had rare starts and Kevin McHattie deputised for Tremarco. Jordan White headed wide in the opening minutes and Nathan Austin shot past as we looked to open the scoring. It was however a bit like an end of season game. Wait a minute, that's exactly what it was. Tom Walsh and Austin had further attempts to score and at the other end Mark Ridgers was called into action to deny Bruce Anderson with a comfortable save, the shot lacking any real conviction. Joe Chalmers fired a free kick narrowly over, the ball rippling the roof of the net as it dipped just over the bar and one minute later Inverness broke the deadlock. Stuart Morrison was in no danger when he tried to pass back to keeper Cammy Gill. Unfortunately for Cammy, the ball arrived around head height. He tried to chest it down before hoofing it clear but it bounced off him and Austin reacted well to nick the ball and roll it into the empty net. Calamitous defending but a welcome goal for Austin and the home fans. James Craigen had an effort saved by Ridgers as the Pars tried to respond but we saw out the half to go in at the interval ahead. One worrying moment just on the half time whistle when Caley Thistle Online player of the year Coll Donaldson stretched low to thigh the ball back to Ridgers and looked as though he might have tweaked his thigh muscle slightly. Half Time 1-0 Our fears were confirmed after the break when Jamie McCart replaced Coll, hopefully just a precaution and CTO PotY Donaldson was subbed for Jamie McCart the CTO joint Young Player of the Year (with Tom Walsh). The visitors looked lively at the restart and Kallum Higginbotham's effort was well saved by Ridgers in the top half of the goal. To be honest, it was an uncomfortable second half display by the hosts who were not over exerting themselves, and with Dunfermline unable to take advantage it descended into the proverbial end of season fare. One bright spot was Tom Walsh thumping a shot off the post, the keeper doing well to push the ball onto the wood. We did just enough to hold onto the three points and the result from somerset Park confirmed our third position. Not the most exciting of games, but one with plenty of connotations, and they have been all sorted out now, so Ayr it is on Tuesday night and the prospect of a high energy game back at the Caledonian Stadium next Saturday, and for just £12. Bargain, see you all there. Lots of accolades dished out after the final whistle with Aaron Doran being awarded the Official player of the year by the fans and Tom Walsh the Young Player of the Year. 🏆 Final game, Cammy Gill, look away now..................... Scott Kellacher talking after the game....... OFFICIAL REPORT can be found HERE at ICTFC. Early casualties even before the games kicked off yesterday. Morton parted company with Jonatan Johansson two hours before kick off. A strange one at Palmerston as Queen of the South removed Gary Naysmith at their end of season do, and they still have the play-off's to contend with. WTF! Congratulations are also due to Alloa. Not only did they enable us to climb to third, they have avoided relegation and all done on a shoestring budget. Spare a thought for the Bairns. Scottish cup final in 2015, Scottish third tier 2019/2020 👶 Date: 04/05/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2828 Referee: Graham Beaton Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson (McCart 45), Mckay, McHattie, Chalmers, Trafford (Polworth 65), McCauley, Walsh, Austin (Doran 73), White Subs (not used): Mackay; Harper, McDonald, Machado Scorers: Austin (35) Booked: none Sent Off: none Dunfermline Ath: 0 Lineup: Gill; Durnan, Devine, Ashcroft, Craigen, Morrison, Blair (Todd 62), Longridge (Ryan 73), Martin, Higginbotham (McCann 78), Anderson. Subs (not used): Burt; Allan, El Bakhtaoui, Hippolyte. Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  22. Comeback earns Status Quo Alan Trouten gave Alloa hope of the great escape after converting a first half penalty. Inverness showed more urgency after the break and two goals in five minutes put the Wasps back into the mire. Shaun Rooney rattled in the first for the visitors from the edge of the box and Charlie Trafford was on hand to score his first goal for the club and snatch all three points. We didn't quite roll over lay down, but maybe it could be down down for Alloa...... With Ayr United winning and Falkirk losing, it's as you were for both clubs and that means that third position is still up for grabs. For Alloa, it means that Falkirk remain three points behind them although Queen of the South and Partick Thistle are still in their sights above them. The only thing that has been decided is that the village club from the quaint market town of Dingwall have now won the Championship. Robbo hinted that the extra cash would be the driver for Inverness ahead of the play-offs and so it was as he put out as strong a team as possible. That meant a return to defence for Coll Donaldson with Brad Mckay suspended. Cammy Mackay continued in goal with Mark Ridgers recovering from his dislocated finger. Carl Tremarco came back in at left back, but that one backfired as he came off injured leaving us with only ten men as all substitutes had been used. Alloa were desperate for points and had Alan Trouten and Dario Zanatta spearheading their attack as they looked to keep the pressure on those above them and keep Falkirk below them. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ RIG was with CaleyAway and here's his excellent report:- As others have said, the first half performance was pretty rotten. We tried to force our way through the middle of the pitch a lot of the time which was pointless as Alloa frequently had nine men behind the ball and were very disciplined defensively and broke with real pace whenever our attacks broke down which was quite often. The likes of Polworth and Chalmers tried to force balls through to White or Doran / MacDonald cutting in from the flanks but they never found their man. Our best chance probably came when Doran chipped a ball in from the left flank but it evaded White and MacDonald. Prior to this Alloa had taken the lead from the penalty spot when Donaldson bundled over Zanatta and Trouten easily found the net sending MacKay the wrong way. We were lucky to just be one down at the break but Robbo shuffled the pack taking Polworth and MacDonald off for Austin and McCauley and going two up front with Austin slightly withdrawn off White. With this change we were a lot better and started to find a bit of space in wide areas to send a few decent crosses in which Alloa struggled to deal with at times. A Rooney header at the back post was a sign of things to come as Alloa started to struggle with our balls in from the flanks. Chalmers found himself with a bit of time on the left side to loft the ball into the area which Alloa only partially cleared and Rooney strode on to the loose ball to blast in the equaliser. White almost bagged a second goal moments later but Parry was equal to his effort. However we weren't to be denied with Chalmers again the provider. A low corner was hooked into the box by Chalmers and Trafford arrived at the near post to flick the ball into the net. Alloa nearly drew level late on when MacKay spilled a long range effort but was alert to get up and fist the loose ball away before any of the home teams players could seize on the opportunity. There then came a penalty appeal when Graham (?) fell over under pressure from McCart who was clearly incensed and his anger set off a bit of a stramash between the sides but ended with McCart going into the book. Fortunately we hung on. Not our finest performance of the season but it could be a vital win for us. The extra money from 3rd place would be very welcome as Robbo has said already this week. McCart was an absolute stand out for us and a clear MotM. We'll need to improve a lot if we want to progress through the play offs. Cheers Rig, great report from Recreation Park. Here's the goals from Recreation Park........... And Robbo's reaction........... Date: 27/04/2019 Venue: Recreation Park, Alloa Attendance: 826 Referee: Mike Roncone Alloa Athletic: 1 Lineup: Parry; Robertson, Graham, Taggart, Dick, Hetherington, Flannigan, Cawley (Kirkpatrick 75), Trouten (Hamilton 75), Zanatta, Aitchison (Shields) Subs (not used): Henry, Rosscoe, Brown, Peggie. Scorers: Trouten (pen 27) Booked: Zanatta (81), Robertson (90+2), Graham (90+4) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: C Mackay; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, McDonald (McCauley 46), Trafford, Polworth (Austin 46), Chalmers, Doran (Walsh 72), White. Subs (not used): Fon Williams; McHattie, Harper, MacGregor Scorers: Rooney (68), Trafford (73) Booked: Trafford (34), McCart (90+2) Sent Off: none a
  23. United lay down marker Inverness went down 2-0 to Dundee United in a potential warm up game for the play-offs. Pavol Safranko opened the scoring in the 27th minute when he drove a volley past Cammy Mackay from fifteen yards and Paul McMullan scored the second just after the interval when he appeared to handle the ball in his build up to the goal. Whilst the Inverness defence appealed for the foul, McMullan ran across them and scored the goal. Despite plenty of opportunities, Inverness failed to capitalise on any of the breaks and United eased home to keep County waiting for the title celebrations. Nathan Austin did not endear himself to the home fans after failing to make the effort to get on the end of an Anthony McDonald shot after the youngster waltzed into the box. Great effort by McDonald, the same could not be said of Austin who tried to chastise the youngster for his own failure to get on the end of his shot. The end result mattered not as Dunfermline failed to get a point at Dumfries meaning Inverness are assured of a play-off place. Maybe Robbo was keeping some aces up his sleeve with a view to some tough play-off games looming. Coll Donaldson was on the bench but no sign of captain Carl Tremarco or the dislocated fingered keeper, Mark Ridgers. Sean Welsh is out for the season. United had plenty in reserve with Paul McMullan and Pavol Safranko the preferred partnership up front. It all looked fairly promising for the hosts in the opening exchanges and Jordan White got a header away in the fifth minute but it was well over the bar. United forced a couple of corners which came to nothing and Tom Walsh brought out a save from Siegrist at the other end. Shortly after this Cammy Mackay dived low to his left to ensure a stifled shot from Safranko stayed outside his posts. Jamie McCart was doing well keeping the back line in order with Coll Donaldson out and Inverness were looking the most likely to open the scoring. Aaron Doran saw Siegrist save his header and Tom Walsh fired a terrific shot from thirty yards which the keeper saved well in the top corner as he managed to push the ball behind for a corner kick. Out of the blue, United scored when Peter Pawlett flicked the ball to Pavol Safranko who volleyed low past a helpless Cammy Mackay from the edge of the box. Good strike and the move was similar to the one Inverness did at Partick when Walsh crashed the ball home. On the half hour Jamie McCart went close with a header, but one minute later we had the crossbar to thank when Paul Watson smacked a header off the woodwork, Mackay looking like he had it covered had it tried to sneak under the bar. Joe Chalmers cleared the rebound away with a header from under the bar. Chalmers was next up with a shot from distance on the right side, the ball almost catching the United keeper out as it bounced in front of him but he reacted well to keep it out somehow. Motherwell bound Liam Polworth also broke on the right side but his effort was neither a cross or a shot an Siegrist gathered. We finished the half strongly but an equaliser eluded us and Inited went in 1-0 ahead. Half Time 0-1 We were left chasing the game five minutes into the second half when Paul McMullan appeared to use an arm to control the ball as he ran across the face of our defence. As we appealed for the free kick, McMullan kept going and tucked the ball behind Mackay for a schoolboy error sickener. We went again and after some tidy build up play Doran found himself in space on the left side of the box. Unfortunately his effort was blocked and the chance went begging. Polly went on a decent run and his parting shot had plenty power but rose over the bar. At the other end, Mackay beat away a sizzling shot from Jamie Robson as United were able to hit effectively on the break. Substitute Nathan Austin was somewhat selfish as he shot weakly from an angle. His memory was substandard as soon after he berated Anthony McDonald for doing exactly the same. In McDonald's case he put in the effort to get his shot away and if Austin had bothered his arse he might well have got on the end of it as he watched it slide the wrong side of the post. This exchange brought about an angry reaction from the North Stand, and deservedly so, but for some it extended too far. United would have scored a third on the break as we continued to chase the game but for a brilliant goal line clearance by Shaun Rooney after some trickery on the right flank and a Robson shot driven to the goal. Three corners came and went for Inverness as we tried to get something from the game, but to no avail. In a final flourish we rained efforts towards the North Stand, unfortunately that's where most of them ended. Bizarrely, Brad Mckay was dismissed given two yellow cards for seemingly being tripped in the box, the inept referee booking Brad for diving I presume then his angry reaction to the yellow brought about another one. What did he expect? 'Oh that's OK ref, just one of those things'. Aye right. Jordan White almost got a late consolation as he turned and shot in the box but Siegrist dived full length to deny the striker. He was denied again just before the final whistle as he powered a good header goalwards, Siegrist again thwarting him with another good save. The United keeper could make a claim to say he was their Man of the Match. It was just one of those days I'm afraid. We had plenty of opportunities but spurned them all through poor shooting and good goal keeping. Jamie McCart was outstanding and get's my vote for Man of the Match. He was well supported by Shaun Rooney, Kevin McHattie and Cammy Mackay in our hastily rearranged defence with Ridgers, Donaldson and Tremarco missing. With Dunfermline also losing, that means we can now relax for the next couple of matches ahead of the play-off games. The other good thing was that the title was not won on our patch. Maybe that was the plan! Match footage from Caley Jags TV Inverness Caley Thistle boss John Robertson on BBC Sport: "We spoke to Paul after it and he was honest enough to admit it hit his arm. Six of our defenders appealed for handball but they've made the cardinal sin of stopping and waiting for the whistle to go. The referee got it poorly wrong." Date: 20/04/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2971 Referee: Greg Aitken Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: C Mackay; Rooney, B Mckay, McCart, McHattie, Doran (Austin 62), Trafford, Polworth (McCauley 68), Chalmers, Walsh (McDonald 67), White Subs (not used): fon Williams; Donaldson, Harper, MacGregor Scorers: none Booked: B Mckay (90+2) Sent Off: B Mckay (90+2 two yellows) Dundee United: 2 Lineup: Siegrist; Watson, Reynolds, Connolly, Robson, Harkes, Butcher (Bouhenna 75), McMullan, Clark (Nesbitt 64), Pawlett (Booth 46), Safranko Subs (not used): Laidlaw; Gomis, Smith, Fyvie, Scorers: Safranko (27), McMullan (49) Booked: Robson (29), Butcher (43) Sent Off: a
  24. Play Off on hold.... A makeshift Inverness XI went ahead after eighteen minutes when Anthony McDonald scored a superb solo goal as he cut into the box, curling in off the post. Reece Lyon responded for Morton before the half hour. Brad Mckay then conceded a penalty after fouling Gregor Buchanan and Greg Kiltie scored from the spot just before the break. 2-1 at the interval with Cammy Mackay being the busier keeper. Morton looked to preserve their lead but were undone with a couple of minutes to go as substitute Darren McCauley drove the ball home. This result puts Inverness in pole position for the play-offs but mathematically they can still be caught. John Robertson was forced into a number of changes as injuries hit the squad hard after the Cup tie with Hearts. Out went Mark the finger Ridgers and Carl Tremarco, in came Cammy Mackay and Kevin McHattie. Coll Donaldson was still injured since the Ayr game and with a bit of shuffling, Anthony McDonald was back in the starting XI. Jonatan Johansson was able to field Michael Tidser from the start after he missed the Alloa game, but it might be one of his last as he has signed a pre-contract agreement with relegation rivals Falkirk who Morton play at the weekend. Awkward! Liam Polworth set the ball rolling on a night that Inverness could possibly secure a play-off place whilst Morton were looking to steer clear of the relegation battle and it was the hosts that made most of the early running, with Michael Tidser dinking an effort just wide after a short corner. Deputising keeper Cammy Mackay had to look smart to save from Gary Oliver as Morton continued to press for an opener and Tidser dragged a shot wide. Oliver flicked one just over the bar as the pressure built on the visitors defence but after 18 minutes Anthony McDonald scored a superb solo goal, cutting in from the right and sending a shot into the net via the post. Reece Lyon tested Mackay and shortly after he was rewarded as he picked up a headed clearance and rifled a low shot into the bottom corner. Inverness responded with Polworth firing over and Shaun Rooney trying from distance but going wide. With the break approaching, Brad Mckay was adjudged to have pulled Buchanan in the box and Kiltie made no mistake from the spot, Mackay going the wrong way, to put Morton ahead just before the break. Half Time 2-1 Kiltie almost added a third for Morton just after the break but his dinked effort was cleared of the line by Rooney. Just after the hour White missed a sitter as he headed over from six yards, the striker holding his head in his hands. He would head wide a few minutes later as Inverness began to dominate without overly exerting the keeper. It was a half of few clear opportunities as Morton looked to hold what they had and they camped close to their 18 yard line. Robertson went for broke with just over ten minutes left with his final two substitutes, Darren McCauley and Nathan Austin, and it eventually paid of when Liam Polworth sent a ball to the far post for McCauley to smash the ball home on the run and on the half volley. Another great goal and a hard earned point as the game fizzled out. Timely substitutions for Inverness and that point may well be enough to secure a play-off place with our goal difference twelve better than Dunfermline with both clubs having three games left. Cammy Mackay can be pleased with his contribution tonight making a couple of fine saves early on to give him a boost. Given our injury list prior to this game then that's a decent point away from home against a club battling hard for every point as they try to recover their league position. Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "The penalty's a strange one because the referee had warned Gregor Buchanan twice about holding on to Brad McKay and yet he gives the penalty the other way. The same's happened in the other box and that's where managers and coaches get annoyed about the consistency levels. "I think we got the point that we deserved for our passing and play and keeping it going. Both teams deserved something. It's a good point for us and it could be a valuable point for Morton as well." Greenock Morton manager Jonatan Johansson: "It's a very sore one and I feel for the players. I thought they fought excellently. There's no point feeling sorry for yourselves. We've got a massive game on Saturday against Falkirk. Robbo's at the wheel.................. Goal footage from Caley Jags TV............ Date: 16/04/2019 Venue: Cappielow Attendance: 1315 Referee: David Lowe Morton: 2 Lineup: McCrorie; Kilday, Buchanan, McAlister, Tumilty, Lyon, Tidser, Telfer, Iredale, Oliver ( Millar 71), Kiltie (Dallas 86) Subs (not used): Gaston; Dykes, O'Connell, McKeown, McGrattan, Scorers: Lyon (27), Kiltie (pen 42) Booked: Tumilty (52), Lyon (84) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: C Mackay; Rooney, B Mckay, McCart, McHattie, Chalmers, Trafford (Austin 78 ), Polworth, McDonald (Walsh 60), Doran (McCauley 78 ), White. Subs (not used): Fon Williams; Harper, Brown, MacGregor, , Scorers: McDonald (18) McCauley (88) Booked: B Mckay (42), McHattie (84) Sent Off: none a
  25. Ayr Raid Inverness beat Ayr 1-0 thanks to a second half goal from substitute Brad Mckay. Early drama when we spurned the chance to go ahead after seven minutes. Unsurprisingly, Aaron Doran missed from the spot, our second failure in two games. Coll Donaldson went off injured to be replaced by goal scorer Mckay. We held out to gain a valuable three points and jump above Ayr in the table. With Dunfermline drawing at Partick, it was a good weekend for the Caley Jags. John Robertson had to make some enforced changes to the side that went down in the Highland derby Out went the suspended Charlie Trafford, out went the injured Jamie McCart and the jaded Brad Mckay dropped to the bench. Little did we know that he would play a major part in the proceedings. In came Shaun Rooney at Right back, Kevin McHattie in central defence and Nathan Austin up front alongside Jordan White. Ian McCall thrust Nicky Cadden into the starting XI with Calvin Miller and Lawrence Shankland up front. Declan McDaid and Michael Moffat were on the bench as he made some bold changes. It's as clear as mud now for the play-off places, but it should become more transparent this week as Ayr host Queen of the South and Ross County host Dunfermline on Tuesday night. Next weekend whilst we travel to Hampden, Dundee United and Ayr clash and on Saturday, Dunfermline play Falkirk. Full report from RIG Huge win in a quite entertaining game if somewhat short on quality at times. One player who certainly isn't short of quality is Polworth and his superb defence splitting pass sent Austin scampering away and he looked to be clipped by Doohan and from seemingly nowhere we had the chance to go one goal up. Sadly, as is the current ICT style, we fluffed the spot kick as Doran sent a weak shot down the middle of the goal and it was kept out by the trailing leg of the Ayr keeper. Austin was involved at the other end when we failed to clear a corner and Miller sent a fierce shot heading towards goal but Austin was on hand to header away. A few folk around me said it was probably going wide but I'm not so sure. Certainly grateful to have Austin there to keep Ayr out. Doran was next to threaten for Inverness when he picked up the ball on the right edge of the box but his shot was just over the bar although Doohan looked to have it covered. Miller again had a great chance to put Ayr ahead when a cross from Cadden, who was roasting Rooney for much of the opening 30 minutes, was deflected into his path but thankfully he sent a poor header high and wide with Ridgers looking stranded. Then came one of the many goalmouth scrambles of the day. Walsh tried to get onto the ball as it bobbled around in the six yard area but when he did swing a foot at the ball his effort wasn't good enough to beat the Ayr keeper. Half Time 0-0 The start of the second half saw Ayr administer an absolute bodying to the ICT defence save from actually scoring. Almost all the Ayr attacks were coming down the ICT right with a number of low crosses flashed across the goal. However it was Craig Thomson who almost helped set up the Ayr opener when a Donaldson clearance crashed off his back and sat up nicely for Geggan but he pulled a volleyed effort wide. Another goalmouth scramble saw Rooney and Tremarco make desperate blocks to keep United out before Geggan somehow hooked an effort well over from only a few yards out as Ayr started to turn the screw and it looked to be only a matter of time before we would concede especially given that we had lost Donaldson to injury by this point. Almost inexplicably we then took the lead Rooney was felled on the right touchline, Chalmers lifted a ball into the box which was missed by the United defence and Brad Mckay was on hand to score a goal of the season contender from 0.3 yards out. Ayr came right back into the game when McDaid cut inside and sent a low drive towards goal but Ridgers got down well to smother the shot. in the final few moments Moffat managed to create some space in the box but he seemed to hook his effort across the face of goal with no team mate on hand to tuck it away. Something of a smash and grab win for us but, as we've found out this season, if you don't take your chances... I was really impressed with the pace and movement of Shankland, Miller and Cadden and then McDaid when he came on. Rooney had a torrid time at right back and it was only a result of really poor finishing from the likes of Miller and Geggan that we didn't concede about 4 goals. For ICT White had a poor game for the first 60 minutes then turned into a colossus for the final 30 mainly due to having a bit more space to work in as mentioned by Caley Stan above. He went from losing every header he went up for to winning just about everything and linking brilliantly with team mates to really take the pressure off the defence. Austin had a good game as well as did Doran (despite the penalty miss) and Polworth. Huge loss for us with Donaldson going off with what looked to be a knee injury. He appeared in the dugout before full time in flip flops so I am hoping he was just looking to boost early to get a Ryanair flight at Prestwick right after kick off......... 😎 A word for the Ayr fans, almost never stopped singing and getting behind their team for pretty much the entire game. I can't recall a home support like that this season. Great effort. Footage from Ayr United Fc TV Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson on BBC Sport: "We had a superb first half, but our Achilles heel came back to haunt us with another missed penalty. I thought Ayr were superb - they were the team on the front foot in the second half - but then we got the goal and that gave us the impetus to defend and see the game out. We had to dig deep. I wouldn't have complained with a draw but its a massive three points for us. Ian McCall was disappointed to lose "I thought the first half after the penalty we were dominant, a draw at half-time was fair. But the second half, for 25 minutes we battered them. There was silence in the stadium after the goal, there was shock - the second half was so once sided, we just couldn't believe it. I wasn't disappointed with the performance - the Somerset Road end was like a real football ground, it was fantastic, then we lost a silly goal. Its a really hard one to take but we've got to go and win all three points to try and clinch the top four." And on twitter, the banter goes on..... Mark Ridgers: Big 3 points today and great shift from the lads, surely not far away from being on the next penalty Anthony McDonald: Huge 3 points for the boys today dug in and got what we deserved! Happy to get back on the pitch after 6 weeks out, safe trip up the road to the fans👏🏻👏🏻 different class💙 RIG agrees with McCall: Ayr miss a great chance to take the lead. Cadden cross headed over by Miller. It's all Ayr second half: Geggan fires over from a few yards out. How we aren't behind is beyond me! They think it's all over: ICT have been rotten this second half. Lucky to still be level and Donaldson going off injured It is now: Goooooooal! Mckay tucks the ball away from close range after Ayr struggle to clear a Chalmers free kick Zogg made it onto the terraces behind enemy lines, good lad! By the way, the u18's don't seem to have a problem with penalties....... Date: 06/04/2019 Venue: Somerset Park Attendance: 1566 Referee: Craig Thomson Ayr United: 0 Lineup: Doohan; Smith, Rose, Bell, Harvey, Geggan (Adams 69), Docherty, Murdoch (Moffat 79), Cadden (McDaid78), Shankland, Miller. Subs (not used): Hare-Reid; Kerr, Crawford, Moore. Scorers: none Booked: Doohan (7) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson (B Mckay 62), Tremarco, McHattie, Walsh (McDonald 70), Polworth, Chalmers, Doran, Austin (McCauley 84), White Subs (not used): C Mackay; Harper, Brown, D Mackay. Scorers: B Mckay (66) Booked: Rooney (66) Sent Off: none a