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  1. Academicals teach us a lesson Accies did inflict the first reverse for Inverness, as the Caley Jags drowned at the fountain of youth, and they did it with ten men for over an hour after Reegan Mimnaugh was sent off for a second bookable offence. They opened the scoring when Lewis Smith thumped the ball into the net after only five minutes. Andy Ryan added a second as Inverness crumbled and failed to trouble the home keeper. 2-0 at the break and Inverness bossed possession after the interval but never made Fulton work for his money. Harper hit the bar as the pressure mounted and Michael Gardyne scored a late consolation in injury time, but it was too little too late. With Raith beating Killie and Arbroath drawing, no major damage was done with Raith and Partick the big winners this weekend. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ With only one win this season, Accies were looking to topple leaders Caley Thistle at the Fountain of Youth and get their season started. Inverness were hoping to keep their great start to the season going and stay ahead of Kilmarnock and Arbroath after a battling win over Queen of the South last weekend. Billy Dodds kept his injuries close to his chest with Aaron Doran and David Carson ruled out and Wallace Duffy and Cameron Harper filling the full back berths. Danny Devine was also absent and we were down to only six on the bench with no defensive cover. Stuart Taylor had David Moyo returning on the bench after injury. Accies took an early lead through a thumping 12 yard shot from Lewis Smith with Mark Ridgers unable to react as the ball flashed past him. Lewis smith smashes the ball home They doubled their lead when Andy Ryan drilled a ball from the edge of the box past the outstretched arms of the keeper. Inverness were thrown a lifeline when Mimnaugh was red carded for a second booking with half an hour gone. It was all we had to grasp onto after an utterly abysmal first half where we created nothing. Half Time: 2-0 Billy McKay replaced the inept Manny Duku at the break, in truth, more than Duku was struggling to perform. As the second half progressed, it was apparent that Inverness were clueless and hapless when it came to creating chances, and with only fifteen minutes left this game was slipping away without troubling Fulton in the Accies goal. Cammy Harper smacked the crossbar from twelve yards in our best opportunity as we dominated possession, but Accies had the most important statistic, a two goal lead. Plenty of action in the final third, but little action in the penalty box, what there was ended up being wasted as our shot shy forwards fired blanks. That was until this happened... Michael Gardyne scored a beauty of a curler after the ninety minutes but would it be too little too late as Inverness laid siege to the home goal. Alas, it was too little too late and Accies got the three points and Inverness got what they deserved, zilch. Gardyne was our most likely player with a decent cameo from MacGregor, but after that it was difficult to pick out anyone who shone above mediocrity. From CTO RIG: Deserved win for Accies. We were rotten for too much of that game to deserve anything. Nice finishes for both of their goals but really poor defending from our point of view. After the sending off it was almost all ICT but we created pretty much nothing of note. Half hearted penalty appeals in the second half and a wonderful strike from Gardyne, easily our best player, were all we had to show for our possession. Accies defended well and easily coped with our timid attempts to get back into the game. We had to lose sometime but I am very disappointed at how poor we were today. More match reaction from BBC Sport Inverness manager Billy Dodds: "We gave away really poor goals. We had a few chances, but we didn't do enough, we didn't bombard them. "When you see the results at full-time, it's disappointing. There was an opportunity that's spurned." Hamilton boss Stuart Taylor: "I'm really happy with the performance. It was tough going over an hour down to ten men, but I thought we defended extremely well." "I'm disappointed for them to lose the goal in the last couple of minutes, but I'm also delighted for them." Dodds trying to understand it all Pld W D L F A +/- Pts 1. Inverness CT 8 6 1 1 10 4 6 19 2. Kilmarnock 8 5 1 2 9 4 5 16 3. Arbroath 8 4 3 1 16 6 10 15 4. Raith Rovers 8 4 2 2 14 10 4 14 5. Partick Thistle 8 4 0 4 17 13 4 12 6. Queen of the South 8 3 0 5 9 12 -3 9 7. Ayr United 8 2 2 4 7 12 -5 8 8. Hamilton Academical 8 2 2 4 8 15 -7 8 9. Morton 8 1 3 4 7 12 -5 6 10. Dunfermline 8 0 4 4 4 13 -9 4 Date: 02/10/21 Venue: New Douglas Park, Hamilton Attendance: 1088 Referee: Euan Anderson Hamilton Accies: 2 Manager: Stuart Taylor Lineup: Fulton; Virtanen, Popescu, Macdonald, Ryan (Moyo 76) Smith, Want (Easton 80), Mullin, Mimnaugh, Matheson, Redfern (Hughes 69) Subs (not used): Hilton; Hamilton, Munro, McGowan Scorers: Smith (5), Ryan (26) Booked: Mimnaugh (7, 30), Redfern (20), Want (45+6), Fulton (79), Hughes (82), Sent Off: Mimnaugh (30) Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers, Duffy (McDonald 66), Broadfoot, Deas, Harper, Gardyne, Welsh, Allardice, Walsh (Sutherland 30), MacGregor, Duku (Mckay 45) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Jamieson, McAlear Scorers: Gardyne (90+2) Booked: Duku (21) Welsh (32) Sent Off: none a
  2. Gardyne volleys us to the top Goals from Sean Welsh and Michael Gardyne were just enough to put Inverness back to the top of the table despite a worldy goal from Lee Connelly for the visitors. Inverness deserved the win but made hard work of it before Gardyne scored a superb volley to win the points and ease the fans nerves. Billy Dodds had Michael Gardyne back from injury but Doran and Sutherland were on the bench after knocks last week. Sean Welsh was in the starting XI as Inverness looked to get back above Kilmarnock after they drew with Arbroath on Friday night. Queen of the South came North on the back of some indifferent form which showed they were better suited to playing away from home. No Dobbie as the prolific striker had left Palmerston after a glittering career. Much travelled former Ross County and Inverness player Alex Cooper was on the bench for the Doonhamers. Mark Ridgers was the first keeper in action as he smothered a weak shot from Lee Connelly with just sixty seconds gone; Connelly would do better later in the game.. Inverness responded with a Scott Allardice drive that fizzed a couple of feet wide in the fifth minute, although the keeper looked to have his post covered. Allardice's next involvement was a booking after a rash tackle out wide as Inverness made heavy weather of making any progress. However, Duku turned his marker and was brought down on the edge of the penalty box arc as David Carson fed the ball to him. Sean Welsh stepped forward and curled a sublime low free kick into the bottom corner from around twenty-five yards, the ball coming off the surface at pace. Tom Walsh almost got on the end of a Gardyne cross after a quick free kick, the ball just out of reach. Minutes later another Gardyne cross found Manny Duku but his header was glanced wide. Duku was causing problems for the defence with his awkward style and direct running, almost finding Walsh after another cut back into the box. Yet another Gardyne cross not connected with Duku's head as the striker passes up on another opportunity. Ten minutes to the break and the hosts are well in control although Queens are not completely out of it so far with only one goal separating the sides as another Gardyne cross evades two forwards in the box. After Gardyne was fouled wide left, a Walsh free kick was headed goalwards but it lacked sufficient power to trouble the keeper as the interval loomed. Half Time: 1-0 The visitors managed to make some progress early in the second half and Mark Ridgers pulled off a superb save and he was not to know it was adjudged offside. Substitute Reece McAlear stung the palms of the keeper as Inverness came back into the game. Broadfoot dollied a header into the keeper and when Johnston broke on the right side for Queens, he got the break of the ball but dragged his shot just wide across the keeper. Billy McKay replaced the hapless Duku around the hour as Inverness looked for the cushion. Clear chances were difficult to come by as the hosts won a couple of corners to no avail, but from the return ball, Walsh's cross bounced back off the corner of the bar. Out of nothing the visitors scored a superb goal through Connelly with a curling shot from the corner of the box high into the net across the keeper. Great strike! Lewis Jamieson replaced Allardice as Dodds decided a second goal was needed. It almost came at the other end as a cleared ball ricocheted off a defender and Ridgers had to look sharp to save. Just when Queens looked the more likely to score, Michael Gardyne volleyed in a beauty after a long through ball from Robbie Deas bounced up nicely for him to chest then volley home with power. Inverness pressed for a third goal and Carson and Gardyne were blocked in the six yard box as the clock ticked towards the ninety. With the hosts in command the referee ended the game to send Inverness back to the top of the table after a deserved win over a gritty Queens. Good performances all over the park with Michael Gardyne the pick of the bunch and honourable mentions for Sean Welsh, Danny Devine and David Carson. From BBC Sport Billy Dodds: "We had to work for it but I thought our attitude was fantastic. My experienced players came up trumps. Sean Welsh with a brilliant free kick and Michael Gardyne with a great finish." Allan Johnston: "The least we should have come away with was a point with the way we played, especially in the second half so we are a little bit frustrated. We have to make sure we learn from that." From CTO Robert: Pretty dominant first half without creating any clear cut chances, but deservedly ahead after a great free kick by Welsh. We failed to kick on after the break and it was no great surprise when the equaliser went in, as they had tested us a few times before it. It was a very good finish. That was the kick up the backside we needed and we got the winner through Gardyne from a long ball by Deas, with Jamieson playing his part by distracting the defence. However, we need to be more clinical and put teams away when we are on top, and stop making it hard for ourselves. Pick for me today was Gardyne, closely followed by Welsh. From CTO RIG: Deserved win. We largely cigared that today save for a period in the second half when Queens got their equaliser and looked like they might steal a point but fortunately we were able to go up a gear and get a deserved winner. Smashing performance from Gardyne. He might be 58<<disclaimer alert>> but he's still as fit as anyone in our squad and still has plenty to offer. Pacey and direct and not afraid to have a crack at goal when some might take an extra touch too many (Duku). Lovely finish for the winner and a deserved MotM. Devine continues to be perhaps our most consistent performer. He almost score a comedy own goal but other than that he was excellent again and stepped out of defence on numerous occasions to intercept balls forward from Queens. Carson was again solid at RB and MacGregor, before his injury, was running the midfield. Walsh was disappointing though and I feel that he's not really hit the height he did in his previous stint with us. Connelly looked useful for Queens who did press and harry us a lot in the first half but seemed to cease after conceding a goal and seemed content to let us knock the ball about looking for an opening. Unfortunately a fair bit of our play broke down in the final third (we definitely lacked a killer pass at times) but I felt we dealt with their few attacking opportunities quite well. Their equaliser was absolutely stunning but fortunately we just upped our game a bit and took a deserved win. All in all, a very pleasing day. Doddsy Here's the goals, three crackers... Date: 25/09/2021 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1184 Referee: Alan Newlands Inverness CT: 2 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Broadfoot, Devine, Deas, Walsh, Welsh, Allardice (Jamieson 76), MacGregor (McAlear 54), Gardyne, Duku (Mckay 63) Subs (not used): Mackay; Harper, Sutherland, Doran Scorers: Welsh (12), Gardyne (81) Booked: Allardice (9) Sent Off: none Queen of the South: 1 Manager: Allan Johnston Lineup: Brynn; Gibson, Mckay, Connelly, Debayo, Liddle (Junior 67), McGrory (Fitzpatrick 73) East, Joseph, Nditi, Johnston (Paton 87), Subs (not used): Cowie; Cooper, Chima, Henderson, Scorers: Connelly (74) Booked: Nditi (85) Sent Off: none a
  3. Table Toppers Both sides had won their opening three fixtures with Killie having the better goal difference. Both sides had yet to concede a goal; something was going to give, and it did after five minutes. This game had the potential to be the toughest test so far in the Billy Dodds era and it was a tight affair but Inverness scored the only goal of the game when Michael Gardyne lashed the ball into the net via the keepers palms. That proved to be the winner. Blair Alston nicked one off the outside of the post before the interval and Mark Ridgers kept Killie out with his 4th clean sheet in a row in the Championship after denying Innes Cameron from point blank range to put the Caley Jags at the top of the table on their own. Tommy Wright was without Chris Stokes but had former Inverness midfielder Liam Polworth in his starting XI and his counterpart Billy Dodds fielded former Killie defender Kirk Broadfoot. Roddy MacGregor continued in midfield, with captain Sean Welsh on the bench amongst other strong attacking options. A bright afternoon and a healthy crowd greeted the teams as the game kicked off and it was only five minutes old when Michael Gardyne lashed the ball into the net via the keepers palms from the left side of the box around twelve yards out, Shane Sutherland with the assist. Immortal Howden Ender is back From CTO: When was the last time that we led a league after 4 matches? That was as good a vocal support at Killie as I have certainly witnessed. RIG sums the action up well but I have been busting to do a Smileymometer. Killie really did not look like scoring and we did look dangerous on the break. The only two negatives were that our final pass was abysmal and we could have racked up 4 or 5 otherwise. And I think that we could have employed swapping Gardyne and |Walsh on a regular basis (or was Gardyne played there because of Burke ?)Gawd do we look solid defensively. A structured back four and three or four making a second line in front and everybody pressing. Killie tried to play football at the back but let themselves down with hoof tactics when they ran out of ideas. It was also a good idea to tag team Burke (WWE style) early doors. And what a bunch of whingers the Killie fans are. It was as if they were expecting a non contact sporting event. RIDGERS * * * Did not really have that much to do but you can sense that his confidence is high and the players in front of him know that he will be there as a practical and reliable sweeper. Commanding is the word. CARSON * * * Still not convinced that he is a wing back. Gives 100% and gets stuck in but needs to learn the role. BROADFOOT * * * * Uses his head and experience to good use. The Killie hoof played to his strengths, DEVINE * * * * Pleasantly surprised as I was unsure about his return but he and Broadfoot complimented each other. DEAS * * * Had the task of shackling Burke. That did not come to fruition in the first 10-15 minutes but Gardyne gave him the support he needed thereafter WALSH * * * Played his role but wasted on the right. Killie evidently sussed that he is very left footed. ALLARDICE * * * Did not notice him at the start but he grew into the game and filled in a few gaps later on and added to the defensive structure playing in the hole in front of B & D. MacGREGOR * * * * * Thought that he was SUPERB, especially in the second half when he played further up. Some of his touches were SUBLIME. MOTM by a country mile GARDYNE * * * * Very impressed. Took goal well. Spent most of the match covering the danger of Burke. Ran his socks off and he an McGregor evidently are on the same wavelength. SUTHERLAND * * * * What he lacks in finesse he makes up for in effort and running, May well soon be a choice between him or Duku to partner Mckay. DUKU * * First time that I have watched him so I presume that he had a bad day at the office. I felt that he did not deal with the physicality. To be able to bring Welsh, Doran and Mckay off the bench - well enuff said Date: 28/08/2021 Venue: Rugby Park (BBSP) Attendance: 5004 Referee: Euan Anderson Kilmarnock: 0 Manager: Tommy Wright Lineup: Hemming; Naismith, E Murray, McGowan, Haunstrup, Alston, McGinn, Polworth (Armstrong 79), McKenzie (F Murray 63), Burke, Robinson (Cameron 30) Subs (not used): Walker; Sanders, Waters, Lyon Scorers: none Booked: Alston (75) McGowan (81) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Devine, Broadfoot, Deas, Gardyne, Allardice, MacGregor, Walsh Doran (69), Sutherland (B Mckay 86), Duku (Welsh 61) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Harper, Jamieson, McAlear Scorers: Gardyne (5) Booked: Devine (24), Sutherland (42), Allardice (88) Sent Off: none a
  4. Stalemate It was top versus bottom on the Halbeath Road as Inverness visited Dunfermline Athletic. Unfortunately it was a rather turgid affair that ended goalless and that was down to keeper Mark Ridgers who made two fantastic late saves to deny Nikolay Todorov and Craig Wighton who could have taken the points as the Pars looked to get their season up and running. As it was, it ended all square with Inverness remaining top and Dunfermline staying bottom. Michael Gardyne missed out again as Aaron Doran made his 300th appearance for the Caley Jags. Unfortunately his day was terminated at the interval as The Pars dished out some strong arm tactics, especially in the first half which saw Doran replaced by Harper and Shane Sutherland replaced by Billy Mckay ten minutes before the break. Dunfermline had Fon Williams, Kai Kennedy and Nikolay Todorov on from the start as they went searching for their first win of the season. --------------------- From BBC Sport: Dunfermline Athletic manager Peter Grant: "We've had a tough few weeks with Covid and the results and it's not easy to keep going and keep fighting and they showed the spirit that I know they have." Inverness CT manager Billy Dodds: "It was going to be a battle, I knew they would work hard, I thought we were decent first half and they had the best chance second half. There weren't a lot of great chances in the game, I think a draw was a fair result but we had to battle for it." --------------------- Shane Sutherland saw an effort saved by Fon Williams fifteen minutes in as Inverness made the better start to the game and Mark Ridgers thwarted Nikolay Todorov as the hosts responded. Clear cut chances were at a premium in a dour first half with neither side really catching the eye. The most disappointing aspect of a poor first half was injuries to Sutherland and Doran. Half Time 0-0 After the interval with neither side able to capitalise on some promising build up play the hosts gradually began to assert themselves on the ball and chances were being created. Inverness were looking more vulnerable as the game opened out and offered little clear threat in front of goal, snatching at shots and heading wide without forcing Fon Williams to make a meaningful save. The same could not be said of Mark Ridgers who defied the odds to palm away a fierce diving header from Todorov from point blank range and pounced on the loose ball to deny a certain goal. He then beat away another shot from Craig Wighton as the game entered time added on, these two saves earning him his fifth clean sheet of the Championship. Dunfermline looked a much better side than their recent form had indicated and could easily have taken all three points at the end but for MotM Mark Ridgers who denied them access to his goal. Unfortunately Inverness also looked like they were in a false position at the top of the league as they struggled to impose themselves on the game. Maybe the two first half injuries hindered us somewhat, but in truth, we were not convincing from the start and will feel it's a point gained, and not two points lost. Still top of the league by one point despite Killie closing the gap after beating Partick Thistle and the Smokies still breezing along nicely in third only three points behind the leaders. Queen of the South come North next week with Hamilton Accies to follow. Bring it on. Date: 18/09/2021 Venue: East End Park Attendance: 3158 Referee: David Munro Dunfermline: 0 Manager: Peter Grant Lineup: Williams; Comrie, Watson, Gaspuitis, Edwards, Dow, Dorrans, Pybus (Thomas 68), Kennedy, O'Hara (Wighton 45), Todorov (Cole 81) Subs (not used): Mehmet; Macdonald, Allan, Jones Scorers: none Booked: Pybus (37), Todorov (43), Watson (48), Cole (85) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Broadfoot, Devine, Deas, Doran (Harper 45), MacGregor, Allardice, Walsh, Sutherland (B Mckay 36), Duku (Welsh 70) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Duffy, Jamieson, McAlear Scorers: none Booked: Deas (27) Sent Off: none a
  5. The run goes on Partick Thistle came North with high hopes of ending Inverness' great start to the campaign in the knowledge that they have been scoring at the rate of three goals per game apart from Arbroath where they suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of the Red Lichties. Billy Dodds had food for thought after the cup win over Buckie last week where Billy Mckay and Lewis Jamieson staked their claims for a start after scoring performances over the Highland League side. They started on the bench as he went with the tried and tested so far this season. Ian McCall had old enemy Brian Graham up front with Zac Rudden on the bench and watch out for defender Tunji Akinola who packs a punch with his feet. After a difficult first half, Inverness ran out comfortable winners against Partick Thistle in a second half goal blitz. The visitors dominated the first forty-five and Scott Tiffoney drilled the opener out of nothing as the defence backed off. Manny Duku was denied by a combination of keeper and post but it was Partick that should have scored a second, however Mark Ridgers did well to deny Brian Graham. Harsh talking at the break saw Inverness come out for the second half with the bit between the teeth and Kirk Broadfoot was the unlikely hero as his twenty yard shot evaded the outstretched fingertips of the keeper to level the score. Shane Sutherland did well to drill in the second from an angle after the keeper fluffed his lines allowing Shane to slot in from twenty yards. The third was a peach as Duku stepped over the ball and Aaron Doran fired high into the net for a brilliant goal and game over. That's five wins out of five and the run goes on... Doran with the pick of the goals... Perennial cheat Brian Graham seemed to be involved in an off the ball altercation which left David Carson enraged. He was removed from the park by McCall immediately after. It's about time this thug in a football strip was taken to task. Resident seer Immortal Howden Ender never saw that second half coming... O2B back home. So nice to quaff in the Innes and take my place in the North Stand. What a wonderful day or what a wonderful 45 minutes. As usual I may be brutally direct with my comments BUT we are definitely going in the right direction!! First half was a mare but the eejit McCall decided to defend what they had and did not go for our throat. We were looking all at sea for a while but we were given the chance to get back the control and although the rest of the first half was poor we had gone onto the front foot and never really looked troubled after going a goal down and we morphed into the Kilmarnock system. This was the absolute epitome of a tale of two halves. And it started with a Kirk Broadfoot attack and a drive that went in like a slow motion camera take. But that started a complete control over the proceedings. And so enjoyable to watch and to relax. We went into complete control and it could have been 6 or 7. When was the last time that you heard Ole shouts for 18 consecutive ICT passes. My return home will live forever in the memory. RIDGERS ¥¥¥ Possibly at fault for the goal but assured and rarely troubled. CARSON ¥¥¥ Solid - but sorry - a reliable shoe in but not a wing back. BROADFOOT ¥¥¥¥ Caught out by pace for the goal but untroubled and leading thereafter. Goal brought on the total change in proceedings DEVINE ¥¥¥¥ As good a player as the first time round but minus the lapses in concentration. Building a fine central defensive partnership DEAS ¥¥¥ Another solid performance and keeping Harper at bay. Gives us future options though WALSH ¥¥¥ Has not produced his best and is in danger of benching but again is some player to call on. ALLARDICE ¥¥¥ Jeez does he blow hot and cold but the central midfield warrior that we have lacked. MacGREGOR ¥¥¥ Disappointed after his Killie display but he is a Christie in the making. DORAN ¥¥¥¥ Played out wide in the first half and simply does not have the pace anymore BUT bringing him more central and drifting may have been the tactic to win us the game- and what a sweet strike SUTHERLAND ¥¥¥¥¥ May not be everybody’s cup of vodka but he was the man who shone in BOTH halves. May not be polished but his drive and commitment - and his goal- elevated him above everybody else on the day. DUKU ¥¥¥ Improved in the second half but I am still not convinced. Anyone care to join me in a few “Doddsie” From CTO: RIG Stunning turnaround. Absolutely stunning. Probably the first game this season we have actually gotten out of second gear and we ended up tearing Partick apart. First half was pretty even although Partick had the best chances with the Tiffoney strike and the Graham sitter. Carson seemed well out of position for the opener and Broadfoot and Devine didn't really handle the situation well either but after Ridgers stood up well to deny Graham and we got to half time at 0 - 1 you still felt if we got an early goal then we might go on to get something. And we absolutely did that and then some. The second half performance was just sublime. I can see why Partick felt they could let Broadfoot rumble forward for about 40 yards unchallenged as I don't think anyone in the ground expected him to find the bottom corner with a trundling effort but it's what he did and we again benefitted from another goalkeeping cock up when Sneddon forgot to grab the ball and Sutherland finished well from a narrowing angle. The best was the third with a lovely dummy from Duku and a cracking whipped shot from Doran to complete the turnaround. A utterly fantastic performance! What a shame that less than 2,000 ICT fans were there to see it. Maybe some are concerned with COVID and staying away (and that's fine) but if you know anyone who isn't going along to the stadium on match days then do your best to get them to come along because we have a real shot here at going up. It's probably as strong a squad as we've had in seasons (Billy Mckay on the bench not getting a game FFS!) and when we get going we are playing some excellent stuff. Bring on Dunfermline away! Doddsy Date: 11/09/2021 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2148 Referee: Euan Anderson Inverness CT: 3 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Boadfoot, Devine, Deas, Doran, Allardice, MacGregor (Welsh 79), Walsh (Harper 74), Sutherland, Duku (McAlear 83) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Duffy, Mckay, Jamieson Scorers: Broadfoot (51), Sutherland (68), Doran (71) Booked: Deas (45+2) Sent Off: none Partick Thistle: 1 Manager: Ian McCall Lineup: Sneddon; Foster, Holt, Mayo, Akinola, Tiffoney, Bannigan, Turner (Hastie 69), Docherty, Smith (Rudden 69), Graham (McIver 79), Subs (not used): Stone; MacIver, Gordon, McKenna, Murray Scorers: Tiffoney (17) Booked: Bannigan (55) Docherty (70) Sent Off: none a
  6. Walsh nicks it A slightly damp morning opening out into a muggy but calm afternoon in the Highlands made for near perfect conditions for this game. However, the football did not match the weather in a dour first half and it was goalless at the interval. Ayr rattled the top of the stand at the start of the second half as the game came to life. Tom Walsh looked to have opened the scoring when he bundled an inviting cross from Manny Duku behind the keeper after 54 minutes with Sean McGinty in close proximity trying to clear the ball. Joe Chalmers put a shot across the face of the Inverness goal that went narrowly wide. Walsh missed a glorious chance to double the lead moments later but pulled his shot across the face of the goal as well. Robbie Deas also missed an opportunity for a second goal, firing the ball over the bar from a great position inside the box. The game was more open but Inverness held on for their third 1-0 win of the season and top the league jointly with Killie. Chest a minute, it's definitely Tom's Goal! Inverness were one of three unbeaten sides in the Championship after opening wins over Arbroath and Raith Rovers. The point against Rovers was hard earned and deserved, but it took a wonderful strike from Roddy MacGregor to win the match. We sat third in the table behind promoted Partick Thistle and relegated Kilmarnock before this match with visitors Ayr United. Billy Dodds had few injury worries ahead of this match after last weekend off whilst Ayr were on League Cup duty against Dundee United. Ayr's last win at the Caledonian Stadium was in 2003 when Stewart Kean scored the only goal of the game. Roddy MacGregor kept his place after his stunning goal against Raith Rovers with Reece McAlear dropping to the bench alongside Sean Welsh, Billy Mckay and Aaron Doran. No sign of the injured Wallace Duffy or the recovering Anthony McDonald. Ayr came North with a somewhat depleted squad after routine covid testing unearthed some cases. Still some experience in their ranks though with Tomi Adeloye and Joe Chalmers starting and Michael Moffat on the bench. Roddy MacGregor was first to have a go in the third minute but his drive from the edge of the box was dragged just wide into the side netting. Manny Duku should have done better when he was set up as he burst into the box but he duffed his shot into the hands of a grateful keeper from fifteen yards. Shane Sutherland was the next sinner after a short corner, but the ball sat up as he tried to pick his spot and he lifted it high and wide from a good position. From another corner swung into the front post Robbie Deas went down low to head the ball but his connection was poor and the ball drifted wide of the mark. Ayr's first chance came from a defensive error that saw a shot off target from the right, but it lacked any power or direction. Tom Walsh saw a shot blocked by an elbow as the half time whistle approached but Kevin Clancy was not interested and the first period drew to a close with clear opportunities at a premium. Half Time 0-0 Ayr started the second half by rattling the facing on the top of the stand some 40 feet above the crossbar. Better would come ten minutes into the half. Shane Sutherland hooked a ball over his shoulder for Duku to stretch his legs down the left wing. He drilled the ball across goal where Sean McGinty tried to clear the ball from the fast approaching Tom Walsh. He only succeeded in knocking the ball off Walsh's chest and into the net. Joe Chalmers then missed Ayr's best opportunity, but as the angle narrowed, he placed his shot just wide of the far post. Walsh replicated this at the other end driving just wide from eighteen yards as Inverness searched for a cushion. Robbie Deas squandered the best chance of the game scooping the ball over the bar from six yards following a corner. Aaron Doran saw Ayr keeper Albinson fumble a drive from the edge of the box but he gathered at the second attempt as the game ran away from the Honest Men. Roddy MacGregor will be difficult to shift if he continues to show this form and Manny Duku worked hard for his team mates and it was his speed and ability that set up the goal. Poor first half all round but a much more entertaining second half made up for it with a goal to boot. Three wins on the trot, top of the table and a clash with table toppers Kilmarnock coming up next weekend. What's not to like! OFFICIAL MATCH REPORT Date: 21/08/2021 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2032 Referee: Kevin Clancy Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Devine, Broadfoot, Deas, Walsh (Doran 85), Allardice, MacGregor, Gardyne, Sutherland (Welsh 78), Duku (B Mckay 68) Subs (not used): C Mackay, Harper, McAlear, Jamieson Scorers: Walsh (54) Booked: Carson (70) Deas (73) Sent Off: none Ayr United: 0 Manager: David Hopkin Lineup: Albinson; Houston, McGinty, Murdoch (Salkeld 81), Muirhead, Chalmers (O'Connor 75), Hewit (Afolabi 65), Baird, McKenzie, Adeloye, Fjortoft Subs (not used): Mateusz Miller; Ecrepont, Michael Miller, Moffat Scorers: none Booked: Fjortoft (40), Muirhead (75) Sent Off: none a
  7. MacGregor Stunner Inverness maintained their winning start to the league campaign, but it took a stunning half volley from substitute Roddy MacGregor to settle the points. It had been a relatively even game with the hosts having slightly the better of it throughout. Jamie MacDonald had pulled off three or four decent saves before Roddy struck from 25 yards, the ball flashing into the net past an outstretched keeper after some neat interplay outside the box involving Sutherland and Duku. Six points from two games, we could not have asked for a better start to the Championship. Sean Welsh was still missing as were Anthony McDonald and Wallace Duffy. Aaron Doran and Billy Mckay were on the bench alongside Roddy MacGregor with Manny Duku starting up front against his former employers. Lewis Vaughan missed out for Raith, but James Keatings would make the bench for Rovers on his first return to the Caledonian Stadium which was loosely populated with fans as covid restrictions begin to ease. The new and improved stream maybe taking it's toll on the attendance with Auldy Boy and Rossco on the commentary, replays and all! Big downpours ahead of kick-off ensured the pitch was well watered with steady rain being the order of the day as Inverness attacked the South Stand end in the first half. An even opening to the game saw both sides struggle to create any clear cut opportunities. Manny Duku looked most likely to unlock the visitors defence. Could have been a red card before the break for Mathews after Duku pounced on a lofted ball forward, as he broke clear he was upended and Mathews got away with just a yellow for his troubles. Duku missed out from a great ball into the front post from Walsh and later in the half he was unfortunate after Michael Gardyne fed him into the left side of the box only for Berra to make a great interception as he shot, the ball spinning behind for a fruitless corner. Meanwhile, Raith were reduced to shooting from distance although we almost let them in when Broadfoot misjudged the bounce on a through ball but we swept it away eventually. Just on the interval Tom Walsh was close to connecting with a dangerous ball into the box from Gardyne on the left side, but a goal kick was the result. No scoring at the break but Inverness always looked the more likely to get amongst the goals. Sutherland saw a shot gathered by MacDonald with ease, but he was more troubled when Duku got on the end of a ball into the box from Sutherland and shot on the turn, MacDonald saving well to his left. The keeper did well to deny the same player direct from a free kick as he covered his top corner well to prevent the opener. Substitute MacGregor did well down the left to set up Gardyne for a pot at goal but he skied it badly. Ridgers saved comfortably after Raith burst along the left byeline and minutes later he was also fortunate not to be sent packing for a similar offence, bringing down Ethon Varian as he started to break clear, similar to Duku in the first half. When Allardice broke forward from the halfway line, it looked hopeful. Sutherland gathered the ball and shipped it to Duku who laid it off for MacGregor to strike a peach from twenty-five yards on the half volley with a bit of side spin on it. What a hit, what a goal! Rovers still pushed for a breakthrough but never really looked like creating the opportunity they needed and Inverness saw out the game relatively comfortably. The managers speaking to BBC Sport Inverness head coach Billy Dodds: "It wasn't pretty. You knew the first goal was going to win it and it took a pretty spectacular one to do it from Roddy. He responded well to being left out." Raith Rovers manger John McGlynn: "We were well organised. We certainly didn't want to lose four goals like we did last week late on. It took a wonder strike for them to score. We are gutted." Inverness were best served by the hard working Manny Duku with Scott Allardice and Ryan McAlear bossing the midfield. Wee Roddy maybe doesn't score many, but when he does they are pretty special. Best for Rovers were all in defence with keeper Jamie MacDonald making three or for crucial saves and he was certainly the busier keeper. Pld W D L F A +/- Pts 1. Partick Thistle 2 2 0 0 6 2 4 6 2. Kilmarnock 2 2 0 0 3 0 3 6 3. Inverness CT 2 2 0 0 2 0 2 6 4. Morton 2 1 1 0 3 2 1 4 5. Hamilton Academical 2 0 1 1 4 5 -1 1 6. Raith Rovers 2 0 1 1 4 5 -1 1 7. Arbroath 2 0 1 1 2 3 -1 1 8. Ayr United 2 0 1 1 2 4 -2 1 9. Dunfermline 2 0 1 1 2 5 -3 1 10. Queen of the South 2 0 0 2 2 4 -2 0 Roddy on the half volley: Boom!!! Date: 07/08/2021 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1675 Referee: Alan Muir Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Devine, Broadfoot, Deas, Gardyne, Allardice, McAlear (MacGregor 63), Walsh (Doran 81), Sutherland, Duku (Hyde 88) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Harper, B Mckay, Jamieson, Scorers: MacGregor (80) Booked: Devine (28), Ridgers (78) Sent Off: none Raith Rovers: 0 Manager: John McGlynn Lineup: MacDonald; Benedictus, Berra, Lang, Tumilty, Connolly, Mathews, Tait (Riley-Snow 73), Dick, Zanatta (Keatings 85), Poplatnik (Varian 66) Subs (not used): Thomson; Arnott, Mckay, Fotheringham. Scorers: none Booked: Dick (24), Mathews (53) Sent Off: none a
  8. Season ends in stalemate Inverness opened the scoring early through Daniel Mackay in the sixth minute. We were unable to build on that and Ayr levelled before the break when Aaron Muirhead converted a penalty after Baird went down in the box. Level at the break but Sean Welsh bagged a penalty two minutes into the second half only for United to level again through Josh Todd. No further scoring but results elsewhere meant that Ayr were safe and Dundee jumped above Raith Rovers to finish second. The final game of the season for Inverness saw Ayr United come North looking for a point to keep themselves in the Championship as Morton take on Arbroath in the other crucial game at the bottom. For Inverness, we fell just short of a promotion play-off place and Neil McCann would be in charge for his final game as temporary manager. Aaron Doran was on the bench and Scott Allan played the final game of his loan spell for Inverness CT. Tom Walsh was on the visitors bench with veteran forward Michael Moffat fronting the Ayr side. Scott Allan set the ball rolling as Inverness kicked off towards the South stand. Todorov forced the Ayr keeper to hastily knock the ball wide for an attacking throw in the fifth minute as we looked to get forward and it paid off moments later as Daniel Mackay got on the end of a tidy ball into the box from Welsh to slot past Morrison for the opening goal. Not the start the Honest Men were looking for. Ayr got their first corner in the twelfth minute and from the return ball back into the box it almost bounced straight into the net,however it was knocked out for another corner which offered Michael Moffat an opportunity but he was crowded out at the back post. Midway through the half and the visitors had grown into the game as it became a midfield battle with little goalmouth action. Just after the half hour Todorov got his head on a deep cross from Carson but it was too tight an angle to worry Ayr too much and the danger was cleared. Penalty to Ayr seven minutes before the break as Baird went down in the box under some flailing legs, Deas or possibly Carson as he was raging. Despite some serious protests and a booking for Carson, Muirhead buried the ball low into the net. Last action of the half saw Todorov volley a difficult chance over the bar after a great ball through from Allan. Half Time: 1-1 Inverness got a penalty of their own when MacGregor was sent tumbling in the box. Up stepped MotM Sean Welsh to comfortably score to restore our advantage. We almost threw the lead away a minute later as a short pass back put Ridgers in trouble but Ayr were unable to take full advantage and we eventually mopped up. Scott Allan was setting up players at will, but nobody had the clinical finish to put the gloss on the moves. Shane Sutherland was one who received a great ball but he shot over from a great position after cutting inside. That was his last involvement as he was replaced by Arran Lyall. Inverness paid for their profligacy as Ayr equalised again, this time through Josh Todd who drilled through a ruck of legs into the net. A couple of late corners ended with a header from Danny Devine flashing across the visitors goal, but out for a goal kick. A bit of a mix-up in the Ayr box let Ayr off the hook as two Caley-Jags players left the ball for each other after Arran Lyall had created the chance. Ayr saw out the game with neither side trying too hard to win all three points. Full Time 2-2 Surprise surprise, the final game of the season petered out to a 2-2 draw which suited Ayr United as Morton failed to win at Arbroath, which means Ayr stay in the Championship and Morton go into the relegation play off to fight for their survival. A drab affair, typical end of season maybe with Inverness unable to shake off Ayr United overall and a point apiece was just about right. Best on the night was Sean Welsh. That's all from us folks, enjoy the break and see you for the start of the new season More reaction to follow... Date: 30/04/2021 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 0000 Referee: Craig Napier Inverness CT: 2 Manager: Neil McCann (temporary manager, last game) Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Devine, Deas, Harper, D Mackay (Doran 68), Welsh, MacGregor, Sutherland (Lyall 58), Allan, Todorov (Storey 76 ) Subs (not used): C Mackay; McHattie, Vincent, Allardice Scorers: Mackay (6), Welsh (47 pen) Booked: Carson (39), MacGregor (87) Sent Off: none Ayr United: 2 Manager: David Hopkin Lineup: Morrison; Houston, Baird, Roscoe-Byrne, Reading, Todd, Chalmers, Muirhead, Miller (McKenzie 53), McCowan (Murdoch 90+2), Moffat (Walsh 69) Subs (not used): Urminsky; Barjonas, Wright, Zanatta Scorers: Muirhead (39 pen), Todd (67) Booked: Miller (27), Houston (65) Sent Off: none a
  9. Hearts end our season Our season looked over inside ten minutes after Mackay-Steven ran at the defence before drilling a low shot into the bottom corner as the defenders backed off. McEneff doubled the lead with the aid of a deflection in the ninth minute to nestle the ball in the bottom corner again. Mackay-Steven notched his second as he poked his leg in between Deas and Ridgers to kill the game with half an hour gone. The second half was an anti-climax for both sides with no further scoring, and with results elsewhere our challenge has come to an end. ____________________________ After the disappointing draw with Dundee in midweek, our destiny was in the hands of others. All we can do is gather points and hope that others can lend a helping hand by taking points of Dunfermline and Dundee as we visit Tynecastle to take on Champions Hearts. All games kick-off at 3:00pm on Saturday, it's a massive day of football in the Championship. Scott Allardice was cleared to play in this one but Brad Mckay was suspended after the disciplinary committee met on Friday to decide the outcome of the red cards against Dundee. In came Cameron Harper at left back with Miles Storey starting. Roddy MacGregor and Shane Sutherland would be the impact players on the bench. Jamie Walker was not involved at Cappielow and Raith bound Cristophe Berra was also missing. Young defender Harry Cochrane has not signed a new contract and none of them would feature against Inverness. Neilson has twelve players out of contract this summer. Mackay-Steven came back into the side with Naismith and Henderson on the bench. ___________________________ A sunny Tynecastle was echoing with the disturbed sound of silence as The Caley Jags clapped the Champions onto the park as this covid restricted game kicked off with no fans in attendance. Scott Allardice had a shot deflected for a corner in the first minute and from the resultant cut back corner Scott Allan almost opened the scoring, his shot just clearing the bar. Ridgers gathered a header from Gnaduillet but moments later Mackay-Steven was allowed to run at the defence unchallenged before drilling a superb low shot behind Ridgers. The lead was doubled when a slight deflection took the ball out of the keepers reach and right in the bottom corner, McEneff the one with the strike. Gnaduillet almost got on the end of a great Haring cross to the back post as Hearts continued to dominate midway through the half, the ball getting knocked out for a goal kick as Ridgers and his defence closed him down. Game over with half an hour gone when Deas and Ridgers got in a fankle and Mackay-Steven prodded the ball into the net as the keeper came to collect and Deas tried to usher. Nightmare half hour from the Caley Jags! Ridgers saved from McEneff as Hearts threatened to run riot and the same two were involved before the interval as Hearts cigared it. Half Time: 3-0 Roddy MacGregor replaced Scott Allardice at the break and Toddy forced Craig Gordon into a save as he shot from wide right, the keeper saving without spilling. Despite a spirited second half showing especially from young substitute Arran Lyall the visitors failed to get a foothold in the game with Hearts looking more likely to add to their tally. A tidy twisting run forward by Scott Allan ended with a stabbed shot which Gordon gathered comfortably with around ten minutes left. Full Time: 3-0 In truth, we huffed and puffed while Hearts went through the motions without inflicting any further damage. So a late run on the stand side ended at Tynecastle as we fell short of reaching our target of a play off slot. Them's the breaks and it was a familiar scenario of too little too late. On the plus side, there's only one more preview and report to go... From BBC Sport Hearts manager Robbie Neilson: "Delighted, delighted. It's been a tough season for everyone. I'm delighted for the players. "I thought we were great. I'm really pleased with the performance. The game really suited Gary. It was a bit more open and expansive and you see the real Gary Mackay-Steven." Inverness CT interim manager Neil McCann: "We were much better in the second half. That's to be expected because we were so unlike ourselves. I lost my cool. Frustration boiled over. I shouldn't have done that. "Sore one. I feel really sorry for everybody connected to the club. We've just come up short." Date: 24/04/2021 Venue: Tynecastle Park, Edinburgh Attendance: 0000 Referee: Bobby Madden Hearts: 3 Manager: Robbie Neilson Lineup: Gordon; Smith, Souttar, Haring (Irving 40), McEneff, Logan, Halkett, Halliday, Gnanduillet (Naismith 65), Mackay-Steven (Pollock 80) Boyce Subs (not used): Stewart; Popescu, McGill, Henderson Scorers: Mackay-Steven (6), McEneff (9) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Manager: Neil McCann (temporary) Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Deas, Devine, Harper, D Mackay, Welsh, Allardice (MacGregor 45), Allan, Storey (Sutherland 73) Todorov (Lyall 56) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Duffy, McHattie, Vincent Scorers: none Booked: Carson (19), Welsh (57) Sent Off: none a
  10. All but over In a game with so much at stake it was a tentative opening forty five where neither keeper was over exerted on a fiery pitch. Mackay and Sutherland both had efforts saved by Legzdins, but in truth little else happened with defences on top and it remained goalless at the interval. In a crazy spell after the break, Scott Allardice and Brad Mckay were sent off but nine man Inverness took the lead through Daniel Mackay. Unfortunately, Lee Ashcroft equalised minutes later. It had been backs to the wall since we went down to nine men and time ran out with the game ending all square. Not the result we were looking for, but defiant to the end as Dundee's winless streak in Inverness continues on League business. ---------------------------------------------------- With games running out, points were now precious. A win for Inverness would put us back above Dunfermline and only one point behind Dundee. A win for Dundee would all but end our promotion aspirations. A draw would be of little use to us and not much help to Dundee either in their pursuit of second place. Bottom line, both sides are in desperate need of the three points. Inverness are undefeated in their last six Championship games and Dundee are undefeated in their last five Championship games. Something was going to give. Neil McCann started with Shane Sutherland up front with Nikolay Todorov and Miles Storey on the bench. James McPake was without Jordan Marshall from the side that drew with Dunfermline, Cammy Kerr deputising and Jason Cummings and Charlie Adams were on the bench. Paul McGowan was out injured. ---------------------------------------------------- A beautiful night for a game of football as the sides entered the pitch and it was Dundee that set the ball rolling. First effort of note came in the fifth minute as Mullen hooked the ball slowly over the bar after a long throw in found him near the front post. Dan Mackay latched onto a long goal kick from Mark Ridgers but the angle was tight as he cut in from the left and the keeper made the first save of the game, pushing the ball behind for a fruitless corner. Mullen had a shot deflected for a corner from a long throw and the Caley Jags went up the other end with Todorov netting from an offside position. Almost the opener for Inverness but a close range effort from Sutherland was blocked away near the goalline by Legzdins. With half an hour gone, neither side was able to break down the opposition defence and chances were at a premium. Ten minutes before the break Danny Devine headed a yard wide from a deep corner. Play was becoming disjointed and scrappy but a great ball forward set Mackay free on the left as he won a corner. It came to nothing and it was level at the break Half Time: 0-0 Charlie Adams entered the fray at the interval with Afolabi going off. The visitors started with more urgency after the interval and we resorted to hoofing the ball anywhere, and generally the way we were facing. A super run down the right wing saw David Carson whip a ball across the box but it was just too high for Toddy. Scott Allan threaded the ball of the night to Deas running into the left side of the box and a fraction of a second delay in pulling the trigger allowed Legzdins to pull off a great save. Confusion when the linesman flagged Dundee offside and Ridgers made a tremendous save. However play continued and the save was crucial. Minutes later Allardice was sent off for a crunching tackle in midfield. Wtf. We gained a pass-back free kick inside the Dundee box but Todorov's effort was blocked and cleared. I suppose it made it worth the keepers deliberate foul to stop Toddy from getting to the ball for the sake of an indirect free kick on the right side of the box. Meh! Miles Storey and Roddy MacGregor came on for the final twenty minutes. Jason Cummings picked up a loose ball on the edge of the box and forced Ridgers into making a good save as Dundee looked to take advantage of the extra man. The extra man became two when Brad Mckay was left short and had had to lunge in. Red card and down to nine men. It looked worse when Cummings headed into the net but after much debate and celebration in the Dark Blue ranks the 'goal' was ruled out for offside presumably. Unbelievably we went ahead when birthday boy Daniel Mackay brought down a lobbed ball forward from Welsh before clipping the ball neatly behind the keeper to score. Scenes! Another great goal from the young forward, his eighth of the season. Unfortunately it didn't last long though as Lee Ashcroft headed home from a corner to square matters two minutes later and despite some desperate defending at times that's how it ended. Full Time 1-1 Oh well, the run for promotion has all but ended with two games remaining. It's well out of our own hands now and we will need a massive helping hand from the Smokies and the Wasps if we are to sneak into the top four. Going down to nine men scuppered our chances big time but credit to the lads for fighting to the end and getting a draw. Albeit not enough, it still means that Dundee have not won a League game in Inverness. Pld W D L F A +/- Pts 1. Hearts 25 15 6 4 56 24 32 51 2. Raith Rovers 25 12 7 6 44 30 14 43 3. Dundee 25 10 9 6 45 39 6 39 4. Dunfermline 25 9 9 7 34 30 4 36 5. Inverness CT 25 8 11 6 34 26 8 35 Here's Neil post match Date: 20/04/2021 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 0000 Referee: Mike Roncone Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Neil McCann (temporary) Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, B Mckay, Devine, Deas, D Mackay, Welsh, Allardice, Allan (MacGregor 69), Sutherland (Storey 69), Todorov (Harper 83) Subs (not used): C Mackay; McHattie, Vincent, Lyall Scorers: D Mackay (84) Booked: Allardice (25) Sent Off: Allardice (64), B Mckay (79) Dundee FC: 1 Manager: James McPake Lineup: Legzdins, Kerr, Fontaine, McGhee, Mullen Cummings (65), Byrne (Anderson 76), Ashcroft, McDaid, Elliot, McMullan, Afolabi (Adams 45) Subs (not used): Ferrie; Fisher, Jakubiak, Sow Scorers: Ashcroft (86) Booked: Elliot (55) Sent Off: none a
  11. Saints go marching on Inverness took the game to their Premiership opponents from the off and there were plenty of opportunities for both sides, but Jak Alnwick was the busier keeper with Ridgers also making a couple of good saves. Scott Allan saw a shot brilliantly tipped onto the outside of the post after a great run by Carson and Dennis had an effort deflected onto Ridgers's crossbar near the interval. Just after the break Nikolay Todorov volleyed in the opener from a deep corner but Kristian Dennis replied two minutes later with a strike from the edge of the box. We were heading for extra time when Marcus Fraser popped up almost on the line to stab home after Jon Obika had hit the post. When the ball came back in from the left Fraser was on hand to tap in. Sutherland, twice almost rescued the tie but was unfortunate with both attempts. Great effort from Inverness and good luck to St Mirren in the next round. The last time these clubs met in the Scottish Cup Inverness beat St Mirren 4-0 after a replay in the Highlands. That turned out to be a good year for the Caley Jags as we went on to beat Falkirk in the final in May 2015. St Mirren have upped their game since then and now ply their trade in the Premiership since 2018 and are well entrenched there. We now find ourselves in the Championship but it's the Scottish Cup. Anything can happen; can't it? Jim Goodwin was banned from the dugout for this game and was without the services of Eamonn Brophy, Ryan Flynn and Colin Quaner. Jon Obika was fit enough to start up front with the dangerous Kristian Dennis and top scorer Jamie McGrath. Neil McCann kept his side under wraps until inside the final hour before revealing all, with James Keatings and Wallace Duffy out but Sean Welsh back in the starting XI with Roddy MacGregor returning to the bench. A beautiful evening in Paisley met the sides as they entered the park with Inverness once more in the pink and a minutes silence was observed for the Duke before Inverness kicked off at the SMISA Stadium. Daniel Mackay appeared to fresh air a lay off in the box from a great position, an opportunity lost as Inverness opened well in the first five minutes. An audacious acrobatic effort from the tricky Durmus went well over the bar from around the penalty spot in the seventh minute. Jamie McGrath picked up a loose ball out of defence but shot wide and at the other end Jak Alnwick had to block a shot from Mackay at the expense of a corner and a second great save followed from the same player as Inverness buzzed around the Buddies box. Ridgers made a super save from Dennis as he entered the left side of the box as the game opened out. Sean Welsh wasted a well won free kick from the left side of the box, firing the ball two yards over the bar as we approached the twenty minute mark. Durmus shot just over as he cut in from the left side, his shot from the edge of the box rising just over. Kristian Dennis had an effort deflected just wide off Brad Mckay for a corner with Ridgers at full stretch covering his post. After a tremendous break and cross down the left from Dan Mackay, Toddy did brilliantly to get a shot away on the turn under pressure but Alnwick produced a fantastic save low down to his right. A fabulous break from defence by David Carson saw Scott Allan get a shot on target but again Alnwick denied Inverness with another great diving save, the ball going for a corner via the post. Doyle-Hayes went off injured six minutes before the break with Richard Tait replacing him. Out of the blue a long ball by McCarthy found Dennis close to goal, he controlled it well but Carson blocked his shot onto the bar and Inverness cleared. Best moment for Saints in a first half mostly dominated by the visitors. Half Time: 0-0 Second half saw Saint's make a substitution before kick off with Macpherson on for McAllister, but it was Alnwick who was straight into action saving well when Dan Mackay volleyed from the edge of the box. From the deep corner, Inverness took the lead as Nikolay Todorov volleyed brilliantly high into the net. St Mirren responded immediately when Kristian Dennis shot home from the edge of the box after McGrath layed the ball off for another excellent goal. Jon Obika unleashed a powerful shot from outside the box but Ridgers did superbly to beat the ball away as the follow up was flagged offside. Saints were pressing forward and Durmus rattled Ridgers' bar with a wonderful dipping shot from distance. A chip back across goal was tipped behind for a corner by Alnwick as Inverness responded to the hosts pressure. Storey set Robbie Deas up with a defence splitting pass but Deas rolled it across the face of goal when a shot might have paid dividends. Minutes later Allardice set Allan through on the right and his low shot whistled narrowly past the keepers far post. Fifteen minutes left and it had been a highly entertaining Cup tie. Deas almost broke the offside trap as he gathered a superb ball from Danny Devine but the flag halted him. Ridgers was fortunate when a long ball into the box was headed onto the base of the post by Durmus and neatly bounced back into the keepers hands. A let off for the visitors. From a cleared corner, Allardice lofted the ball back towards the goal but it went over the bar and Toddy left the field to be replaced by Shane Sutherland. Well well, it was fun while it lasted, but with two minutes to go St Mirren went ahead after Obika hit the post, when the ball came back in Marcus Fraser knocked it in from two yards. Sutherland had a shot blocked as we responded again but time was running out. Sutherland again turned in the box and was a whisker wide in stoppage time but that was the last chance and Saints progress. Full Time: 2-1 What a great cup tie and the visitors can feel aggrieved not to have gone to extra time, but them's the breaks. Jack Alnwick was probably MotM but all in pink can be proud of their contribution tonight in what turned out to be one of the most entertaining games of the season. Back to League duty on Tuesday night as we face Dundee. More match reaction to come... Date: 16/04/2021 Venue: St Mirren Park, Paisley Attendance: 0000 Referee: John Beaton St Mirren: 2 Manager: Jim Goodwin Lineup: Alnwick; Fraser, McCarthy, Shaughnessy, Connolly, McGrath, Doyle-Hayes (Tait 41) McAllister (Macpherson 45),Durmus, Dennis (Mason 75), Obika Subs (not used): Lyness; Finlayson, Reid, Henderson, Erwin Scorers: Dennis (50) Fraser (89) Booked: Dennis (53) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Neil McCann (temporary) Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, B Mckay, Devine, Deas, D Mackay, Welsh (Lyall 90+1), Allardice, Storey, Allan, Todorov (Sutherland 87) Subs (not used): C Mackay; McHattie, Harper, Vincent, Doran, MacGregor Scorers: Todorov (48) Booked: Deas (90+1) Sent Off: none a
  12. Tight as a ducks erse This crucial game ended in stalemate as did the entire Championship fixture list. In a tight first half both keepers had saves to make with Ridgers probably the busier. Queens opened the scoring on the hour when the defence allowed Fitzpatrick to run forty yards unchallenged to fire high past Ridgers. Toddy levelled minutes later from a Storey cross, heading down into the bottom corner for his tenth goal this season. No further scoring with Inverness finishing the game on top but unable to get the winner. Inverness went down to Dumfries for their sixth away game out of the last seven, and more importantly on a winning run of six on the bounce, including two Scottish Cup games. This late run has put Inverness in contention for a top four finish, but one defeat could change all that as we hang on to our ambitions with only four games left. Neil McCann was without the services of Sean Welsh and James Keatings with Brad Mckay as captain and Roddy MacGregor starting. Queen of the South made two changes from the game against Hibs. In come East and Jones with Dobbie and Joseph dropping to the bench and they will go with a front three of Connor Shields, Isaiah Jones and Dapo Mebude. Less than four minutes gone and both keepers were called into action with Ferguson saving from Allan and Ridgers likewise from Shields. It had been a bright opening by both sides with Inverness doing most of the pressing. Ridgers kept the scoresheet blank with a tremendous save after a long free kick found Breen ghosting in behind the defenders. The big keeper dived full length to turn the header behind for a corner which he gathered well to ease the pressure. He had to make another superb save just after the half hour when Shields broke into the box. In an increasingly rare foray forward a deep cross by Mackay saw Ferguson gather the header which was too straight at him. Indiana Jones took a sore one when Allardice challenged for the ball and it cannoned off his neck/face. Ferguson saved a free kick low to his right five minutes before the break and one minute before the forty-five a Todorov header was blocked en-route with big shouts for a penalty falling on deaf ears. A promising free kick right on the interval was skied by Allardice and it remained goalless at the break. Half Time: 0-0 Ridgers was back in action early in the half when he dived low to his left to save a shot on the cut back as he was left wrong footed but got to it at full stretch to make the save. Dan Mackay curled an effort just over on the run and Scott Allan should have done better than shoot wide after substitute James Vincent set him up. Toddy headed a free kick towards goal but Ferguson picked it out of the air comfortably. The deadlock was broken when our defence parted like the Red Sea to allow Fitzpatrick to run through on an exposed keeper to slot home high into the net. The lead lasted only a couple of minutes before Todorov headed a cross to the far post from Storey low into the net under challenge. Entering the final fifteen and Storey fired a left footer from distance but Ferguson was right behind it. Dan Mackay fizzed one just over with ten minutes left. A good run down the right saw a Storey cross dummied for Sutherland to strike from fifteen yards but it was too straight at the keeper again. Chances were getting tight now and defences remained on top as the game drew to a close with Inverness on the offensive but no further goals. Full Time: 1-1 An entertaining and open game could not separate the sides and with all other results ending all square we remain in fourth place, but you can't get a fag paper between the top six sides apart from Hearts who are now confirmed as Champions with Alloa all but relegated. Still all to play for and next up for the Caley Jags in the Championship is Dundee at the Caledonian Stadium. Great display from our defence with Mckay, Ridgers and Devine outstanding and hot Toddy still on a roll with his tenth of the season. Date: 10/04/2021 Venue: Palmerston Park, Dumfries Attendance: 0000 Referee: Grant Irvine Queen of the South: 1 Manager: Allan Johnstone Lineup: Ferguson; Gibson, Breen, Buchanan, Maxwell, Obileye, Dickson, McCabe, Mebude, Shields, Jones (Fitzpatrick 57)) Subs (not used): Leighfield; McKee, Joseph, Pybus, East, Dobbie Scorers: Fitzpatrick (65) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Neil McCann (temporary) Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, B Mckay, Devine, Deas, D Mackay, Allardice, Allan (Sutherland 75), MacGregor (Vincent 58), Storey, Todorov (Harper 85) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Lyall, Duffy, McHattie Scorers: Todorov (68) Booked: MacGregor (26), Deas (87), Storey (89) Sent Off: none a
  13. HOT TODDY SCORES A PEACH This crucial week kicked off at Cappielow and despite the condition of the pitch Inverness managed to score twice in the first half. We benefitted from what looked like an infringement for a pass back seven minutes before the break. Scott Allardice lashed the ball high into the net after much confusion and two minutes later Nikolay Todorov turned in the box to lash the ball into the net after some defensive bloopers. Two up at the break but the next goal could be important and it was Muirhead that gave Morton some hope. However Todorov superbly volleyed home after chesting down the ball to restore our two goal cushion and Danny Mackay scored a tremendous fourth with a curling shot from the edge of the box. Back up to fourth for Inverness with Dundee also winning at Ayr. After the Scottish Cup heroics at Dingwall we went to Cappielow on a more serious mission, to capture three points in our bid for a play-off slot. Morton find themselves in desperate need of points at the other end of the table and something was going to give. Three league defeats on the trot for Morton, three league wins on the trot for Inverness, but Morton were the last side to beat Inverness. Gus MacPherson made four changes from the side that put East Fife out of the cup. In come Luca Colville, Steven McGinn, Gary Oliver and Robbie Muirhead. For Neil McCann, Wallace Duffy and James Keatings disappear without trace as he goes with the same line-up that put County out of the cup. Morton kicked off on a dry but chilly night in Greenock with Inverness playing in their pink away strip with a change before a ball was kicked as Roddy MacGregor replaced Sean Welsh in the starting XI. It was a scrappy opening to the game on a pitch that has seen better days after a testing winter. First opportunity to make a keeper work fell to Todorov from a Scott Allan free kick but it was headed well wide. Ridgers made a comfortable save fifteen minutes in but the pitch was making passing difficult. He made another save a couple of minutes later from a close range header pushing it out for a corner as Morton threatened. However, it was brutal stuff akin to a welfare league match at the Bught Park. Claims for a penalty were dismissed as an Inverness player went down in the box as the ball bobbled around. Storey ballooned a bouncing ball well over the bar from a decent position on the left side of the box as the surface dictated the pace of the game. Friday's goal hero Danny Mackay was fed through on goal by Scott Allan but his initial shot was weak and McAdams blocked it; when the rebound came back to him he lifted it over the bar from close range. Great opportunity missed. Morton then forced a couple of corners that came to nothing although Aidan Nesbitt was looking dangerous wide on the right. Mystery moment in the Morton box soon after as referee Reid picked up the cleared ball and carried it thirty yards back into the hosts penalty box via the linesman. Rumour has it it may have been a pass-back spotted by the line judge. Unperturbed Scott Allan touched it to Scott Allardice and he ended up lashing the ball high into the net from eight yards. Two minutes later another Scott Allan free kick caused havoc in the Morton box and when the ball was headed back in by Daniel Mackay and Colville fresh aired it, Nikolay Todorov swivelled and opened up his body before hammering it into the net from around 15 yards, the keeper rooted to the spot. Half Time: 0-2 The second half saw no changes and it was only two minutes in when Mark Ridgers had to make a crucial block when McGinty burst into the left side of the box. The resultant corner was perilously close to the goal line as well as Morton's urgency looked to get them a foothold in the game. Morton were pressing the Inverness midfield better in this half and the visitors were living dangerously at times as they forced a number of corners. It was little surprise when Morton pulled a goal back on the hour when Robbie Muirhead drilled a loose ball into the net from twelve yards, swiftly followed by two attacking substitutes with scorer Muirhead going off. Shane Sutherland replaced Scott Allan with twenty minutes left as we became increasingly desperate as our composure deserted us momentarily. He made an immediate impact after collecting the ball on the right before fighting a great ball into the box. Todorov scored a goal of the season contender as he chested the ball down from high and volleyed it into the net on the turn from fifteen yards before the ball hit the deck, the ball flashing high past the astounded keeper. What a fekkin strike from a hot Toddy! Danny Mackay got in on the act as he picked up another great ball from Sutherland before curling a beauty into the top of the net from the edge of the box. Another beauty. James Vincent was denied a fifth as McAdams did well to block the substitutes effort from inside the box and Toddy looked for his hat-trick diving low to try and head a cross goalwards. Full Time:1-4 The game was over as a contest and the points were heading North long before the final whistle with Morton lucky not to concede more. Great win for Inverness who keep the pressure on the top six and jump back up to fourth, but Morton are deep in trouble at the bottom. Dundee beat Ayr 3-0 on the night Match reaction and highlights to follow Date: 06/04/2021 Venue: Cappielow Park, Greenock Attendance: 0000 Referee: Steven Reid Morton FC: 1 Manager: Gus MacPherson Lineup: McAdams, Ledger (Orsi 62), McLean, McGinty, McGinn, Strapp, Colville, Hynes, Nisbett, Oliver (McGuffie 72), Muirhead (Sterling 63) Subs (not used): Fjortoft, Jacobs, Blues, Lyon Scorers: Muirhead (61) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 4 Manager: Neil McCann (temporary) Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, B Mackay, Devine, Deas, D Mackay (Harper 81), Allardice, Allan (Sutherland 69), MacGregor, Storey (Vincent 72), Todorov Subs (not used): C Mackay; Lyall, Welsh, McHattie Scorers: Allardice (38), Todorov (40, 71), D Mackay (81) Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  14. Inverness up to fourth... Nikolay Todorov scored the only goal of the game with twenty minutes left in a disappointing encounter where the three points were more important than the performance. Scott Allan made his debut in the second half where Inverness did just enough to move up to a temporary position of fourth in the league ahead of the Dundee v Dunfermline game tonight. Scott Allan was on the bench after much hype about the excellent loan signing from Hibs. Daniel Mackay was declared fit for his 50th appearance and all the big boys returned to the defence with Cameron Harper starting. It was fully fifteen minutes in before anyone had a sight of goal and it was Dale Hilson who dragged a shot wide of Mark Ridgers' post in a rare venture into the hosts box. It was turgid stuff in the opening quarter with both sides struggling to make much headway on a cold but reasonable afternoon for a kickabout. The ball entered the Arbroath net after Danny Devine nodded a free kick towards the goal, and as David Carson appeared on the scene to head into the net the referee signalled for offside or more likely an infringement. Roddy MacGregor burst forward and offloaded from just outside the box but his daisy cutter slid just the wrong side of the post after half an hour. A great turn and pass from Shane Sutherland set Dan Mackay clear down the left but his cross was mopped up by the defence and in the next attack Sutherland got the ball at his feet around the penalty spot but he could not dig it out with his back to goal and once more Arbroath cleared their lines. Four minutes before the break an Arbroath free kick offered the visitors a glimmer of hope but a foul to Inverness was the end product as the ball was whipped into the box. From an Arbroath corner right on the whistle, Ridgers and the defenders had to clear the ball away from the top corner after a good header from Ricky Little looked as if it might creep in. Possibly headed clear by Sean Welsh from just under the bar. Colin Steven brought the half to a close thereafter, presumably to save the ball from further punishment. Half Time:0-0 No surprise when McCann made early changes to the line-up by introducing Miles Storey and Scott Allan for Shane Sutherland and Roddy MacGregor as up until now we had looked impotent. Arbroath looked lively at the start of the second period, in contrast to the Caley Jags who looked rather pedestrian and cumbersome. Todorov was unable to take advantage of a great ball into the box as we looked to get forward. Scott Allan was looking sharp but it looked like he was getting no favours from the officials. Sixty-eight minutes on the clock and a curling Cammy Harper free kick was brilliantly headed home by a stooping Nikolay Todorov to open the scoring. Superb goal and just what we needed, but a defensive disaster for the Smokies. Well I'll be Bulgared, that was Toddy's sixth goal of the season. Hot Toddy opens the scoring... Shortly after the goal a rugby scrum formed in the Caley Jags box and nobody knew where the hell the ball was but a free kick to Inverness was the end result as all around scratched their heads. Substitute Miles Storey latched onto the ball over twenty yards out but Gaston did well to turn it away. He did exactly the same five minutes later from a Scott Allan drive to keep the score the same and denying Allan a debut goal. Hanging on against Arbroath.... How times have changed, but that's what we were doing soaking up waves of attacks until a burst forward by Storey saw Gaston save bravely at his feet, the referee giving a free kick to the keeper and booking Storey for his trouble. Full Time 1-0 However, it was the result that was important, not the performance and three points were secured as Inverness held firm. Up to fourth in the table with Dundee playing Dunfermline tonight. Highlights or lowlights from Caley Jags TV ... Neil.... Scott... Date: 27/03/2021 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 0000 Referee: Colin Steven Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Neil McCann (temporary) Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Deas, Devine, Harper, D Mackay, Welsh, Allardice, MacGregor (Storey 55), Sutherland (Allan 54), Todorov (McHattie 88) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Vincent, Lyall, Keatings Scorers: Todorov (69) Booked: Storey (90+2) Sent Off: none Arbroath FC: 0 Manager: Dick Campbell Lineup: Gaston; Gold, Little, O'Brien, C Hamilton, McKenna (Low 84), Craigen (Stewart 63), Williamson (Whatley 81), Hilson, J Hamilton, Moore Subs (not used): Gallacher; Pignatiello, Doolan, Smith Scorers: none Booked: Craigen (29) Sent Off: none a
  15. Jings, Inverness Squeeze Through This long overdue Scottish Cup encounter went ahead after a nine week delay and it was Inverness that squeezed into the next round after Daniel Mackay scored the winner with five minutes left. James Keatings got the opener in 35 seconds but Jack Murray deservedly headed Buckie level fifteen minutes in. A shot from distance by Sean Welsh restored the visitors advantage but a final flurry of activity saw Callum Murray equalise only for Dan to score two minutes later. Credit to Buckie for making this difficult for the youthful Inverness side and a trip to Dingwall beckons. It could have been worse; just look at the result from Brora where Hearts were dumped out of the cup 2-1 at Dudgeon Park. Now that's a result and that's what the cup is all about. Memories are made of this! This was the first competitive meeting between these sides and it came at the end of a three month lay-off for Buckie Thistle due to the weather and coronavirus restrictions. Buckie's last competitive game was the 3-0 success over Albion Rovers on Boxing day in the first round of the Scottish Cup. Inverness were more prepared for this and were starting to put some decent results on the board with successive away wins at Starks Park and East End Park in the Championship. This game was twice frozen off before the Scottish Cup was put on hold. Unfortunately covid restrictions denied Buckie a night of drama at Victoria Park with no fans allowed in the ground. Live streaming was available from Buckie TV. Buckie's manager is former Caley Thistle midfielder Graeme Stewart who played under John Robertson back in 99/2003 making 38 appearances and scoring twice. His assistant is another former young Caley Jag, Lewis MacKinnon. Great incentive for these guys to put on a performance against their former employers. There were rare starts for a number of Caley Jags players with Cammy Mackay in goal, Harry Nicolson at right back and Ryan Fyffe in defence. Miles Storey also started after being a sub in the last couple on return from injury. Loan Ranger Arron Lyall went straight into the squad and was on the bench with Kane Davies and Ali Riddle. Buckie assistant Lewis MacKinnon was in the starting XI for the hosts. A cold blustery night in Buckie met the sides as Inverness kicked off and James Keatings had the ball into the net in 35 seconds. He turned on a ball around the penalty spot and curled it low into the keepers right. A loose pass out along the back offered a snippet of a chance for Buckie but the ball was stopped en route to goal and the chance lost. Big shout for a penalty after some lively forward play by Buckie with Sam Urquhart prominent down the left but referee Steven Reid was not interested. Jack Murray levelled the game deservedly after a corner went across the face of the box. Lewis MacKinnon retrieved it and returned it onto the head of big Jack who powered his header into the net. Sean Welsh restored the visitors advantage when he drove a powerful shot beyond the reach of keeper Bell from around twenty-five yards. Sam Urquhart was lively and Cammy Mackay was forced into action as he saved his twenty yard shot low down. Good response from Buckie around the half hour. A Keatings free kick was put into the net from close range but the whistle had gone for offside or an infringement. Sam Urquhart again caused problems down the left and his low cross was palmed away by Cammy Mackay but no takers for the loose ball that ran away from everyone. Big Jack was turning players inside out on the right wing like Ronaldo as we struggled to impose ourselves on proceedings. Play was a bit fragmented up to half time but no further scoring before the break. Half Time: 1-2 A quick start to the second half saw Miles Storey try to get a couple of crosses in from the left as we looked to get off to another flyer. However not enough interest shown inside the home box. The blustery conditions were making silky football impossible as most balls were being overhit. An untidy passage of play was interrupted when a deep cross was headed into the side net by Kevin Fraser at the back post. A warning for Inverness to up their game. Cameron Harper made his return from injury fifteen minutes into the second half, replacing Kevin McHattie who looked injured. More scrappy play was once more interrupted by a fierce shot from MacLauchlan that fizzed over the bar from the angle of the 18 yard box. It was the hosts that were looking more likely to score the next goal and from a corner, Cammy Mackay flapped at the ball before a defender hoofed it clear. Lewis MacKinnon went off injured and Inverness sent a couple of efforts well over the bar. A bit of a scramble in the visitors box resulted in a corner and an even bigger scramble before the whistle brought some respite to the defence. Storey broke into the box on the left but went wide and the keeper saved his stabbed effort well as Inverness pushed for the clincher and a free kick from the left was missed by everybody in the box when a touch would have resulted in a goal. Substitute Callum Murray equalised after some sloppy defending allowed Murray to burst into the box and finish well. However a couple of minutes later we went back in front with only five minutes left on the clock when Dan Mackay knocked a loose ball home from ten yards. Credit to Buckie and they went back up the park and a ball across the face of the goal saw no takers. Arron Lyall made his debut in injury time as the clock ran down and time just ran away from Buckie as Inverness edged a five goal cup-tie. Full Time 2-3 So it's Inverness that head to Dingwall in the next round after they were given a stern test by Buckie Thistle who will be delighted to be back on the park performing again. Well done to Buckie and Highland derby here we come! Sam Urquhart was my pick for MotM as he posed problems all night wide on the left. Jack Murray and Max Barry supported well, in fact considering the lack of game time recently, they were all brilliant. Good job by Spider who will be delighted by his teams performance on a difficult night for football. Here's Neil post match Date: 23/03/2021 Venue: Victoria Park, Buckie Attendance: 0000 Referee: Steven Reid Buckie Thistle: 2 Manager: Graeme Stewart Lineup: Bell, Munro, MacKinnon (Morrison 69), J Murray, McGlauchlan, Cowie, Pugh, Barry, Fraser, Urquhart, McLeod(C Murray 75) Subs (not used): Herbert; Wood, Goodall, Davidson, Scorers: J Murray (15), C Murray (84) Booked: Macleod (35) J Murray (90+1) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 3 Manager: Neil McCann (temporary) Lineup: C Mackay; Nicolson, Deas, McHattie (Harper 60), D Mackay (Lyall 90+2), Welsh, Allardice, MacGregor, Fyffe, Keatings (Sutherland 75), Storey Subs (not used): Ridgers; Riddle, Davies, Scorers: Keatings (35 secs), Welsh (27), D Mackay (86) Booked: MacGregor (83) Sent Off: none a
  16. Caley Jags beat Ayr and the weather. Wet and windy was the order of the day as Inverness beat Ayr United with a goal in each half. After half an hour, Daniel Mackay finished off a swift break forward after getting on the end of some neat one touch football. Ten minutes after the break Shane Sutherland did well to control, turn, and fire the ball into the net after Todorov drove the ball goalwards. Both keepers pulled off some excellent saves but Inverness were deserved winners to lift them up above Ayr in the league. Andre Wright missed out for Ayr having picked up a groin strain with Michael Moffat starting up front. Former Caley Jags Tom Walsh and Joe Chalmers were both in the starting XI. Inverness shook their squad a bit after failing to hit the target against Queen of the South in midweek. Miles Storey, James Keatings, Brad Mckay and Sean Welsh found themselves on the bench. There were starts for Roddy MacGregor, David Carson, and Nikolay Todorov with Robbie Deas and Danny Devine back in the heart of the defence. A wet and windy afternoon greeted the players at Somerset Park. At least it's football of sorts I hear you say. A wind assisted Ayr came flying out of the blocks and forced a couple of corners in the first minutes and had Mark Ridgers grasping the ball before Ayr players got on the end of it at one point. It took the visitors fully five minutes before we got our foot on the ball. Dan Mackay did put the ball in the net with a lovely bending finish but the whistle had already gone. An early clearance from Ayr keeper Sinisalo bounced menacingly over Ridgers' bar, the keeper watching it anxiously. Ayr were buzzing around the Inverness defensive zone but neither side were able to test the keepers yet. First test for Sinisalo came after a tidy break forward on the right side. Carson drilled a low ball into the box and a turn and shot from Sutherland saw the keeper save comfortably. Ayr also had the ball in the net when Tom Walsh crossed into the box, but Miller climbed all over the defence to head home. Foul given though. Another turn and shot at the other end, this time from Todorov, another comfortable save for the keeper. Had either of these efforts been struck better we might have troubled the keeper, but both efforts were smothered when striking making it easy for the young keeper. After half an hour the visitors opened the scoring with a swift break and excellent low finish from Daniel Mackay. Danny Devine started it with a ball forward and three or four passes later Danny finished superbly with assists from Toddy and Sutherland. Five minutes before the break McCowan had a snapshot saved at his near post by Ridgers. Two minutes later he produced a brilliant save from the same player as his header bounced down to the keepers left, Ridgers diving full length to turn the ball round the post. Joe Chalmers fired a wind assisted effort from distance that had Ridgers scampering across his line but it flew just wide minutes before the break. Half Time: 0-1 Mackay latched onto the ball some distance out at the start of the second half but shot high over the bar, in fact almost over the stand. The Caley Jags doubled their lead ten minutes into the second forty-five when Shane Sutherland shot home from inside the box after controlling a Todorov drive for goal before turning and drilling behind the keeper. Soon after, Todorov found the angle too tight when through on the keeper who made an important block and moments later Ayr did well to scramble an Allardice free kick from the edge of the box away to safety. A free kick to Ayr was charged down when Chalmers tried for goal from the touch sideways as Ayr struggled to make progress and as the weather worsened Miles Storey replaced Nikolay Todorov. Almost immediately Sinisalo pulled off a tremendous save to deny Robbie Deas who had the goal at his mercy after a pinpoint cross from Cameron Harper. Ridgers did have an important block to make as a powerful shot from close range was pushed away for a corner, Walsh with the strike. Up the other end a Storey surge forward ended with Carson firing over the bar. Ayr were running out of ideas and the pitch was starting to look the worse for wear as we entered the final ten minutes, but Inverness were resolute in defence and restricted Ayr to fleeting glimpses of goal whilst always looking dangerous on the break. Time ran away from the hosts as they searched for a way through the visitors defence, but Danny Devine was calm under pressure and most Ayr raids floundered on the big defender back from injury. A deserving away win for Inverness after a frustrating few weeks and nobody was better than David Carson who was my MotM. Highlights from Ayr TV Here's a more detailed report from RIG An excellent result against potentially very difficult opposition in far from ideal weather conditions. As is usually the case in Ayr the home side started very brightly. We often find ourselves under the cosh early doors at Somerset and today was no different with the windy conditions not helping. Ayr settled quickly and were soon stroking the ball around well looking to hit Walsh and McCowan on their respective flanks. The former, well known to ICT fans of course, was the main focus as he frequently cut inside Duffy on the left flank and looked to hang balls up to the back post for team mates to attack. Whilst Walsh was looking threatening on the Ayr left, on the other side the in form McCowan was being marshalled well by Harper with the Ayr player barely in the game until a tactical switch by Kerr later in the first half saw him move into the middle. Bizarrely the first chance of the game fell to the Ayr keeper Sinisalo when he launched a goal kick forward which caught the wind and almost had Ridgers scrambling to keep it out of harms way. Not too long after this Cammy Smith broke through the ICT defence and cut the ball back for team mate Moffat but the ICT defence was able to clear the danger. Most of our attacks were starting from long balls forward with Toddy displaying some deft control to take in these high balls and link with team mates to relieve the pressure on the Caley Thistle rear-guard. Carson, breaking forward, fired a low pass to the feet of Sutherland just inside inside the penalty area and he rolled his marker and shot straight at the United keeper. Ayr were next to threaten when Walsh, again cutting back onto his right foot, swung a high cross to the back post from the left where Michael Miller met it and found the net but it was correctly ruled out for a push on Harper. Todorov then had a chance with a similar effort to that of Sutherland a few minutes before as he also rolled his marker in the box but he too sent his effort down the keepers throat. Not long after this we opened the scoring with a crisp counter attack. Devine sent a controlled ball to the feet of Todorov who collected the ball and played it across to Sutherland on the Ayr right side. He then laid the ball off to the onrushing MacKay who strode onto it confidently and dispatched his shot beyond the despairing Sinisalo to open the scoring. Ayr responded with a tactical switch moving Walsh to the right, Smith to the left and let McCowan roam in the middle behind Moffat and it almost paid off when McCowan found himself just inside the penalty area in acres of space but he wasn't able to make the best of the opportunity and ICT were able to clear the danger. McCowan then almost scored again when his header from a Walsh cross was beaten round the post at close range by Ridgers. This was to be the last we would see of McCowan in the game as he was completely negated by Allardice and Carson in the second half and whilst Walsh continued to offer a threat on the Ayr right Smith drifted from the game on the opposite flank and this change really curtailed Ayr as a fluent attacking force. Only a few minutes into the second half and we grabbed a vital second goal. Todorov saw his effort blocked by his own team mate Sutherland and it was Caithness Cristiano who was first to the ball to fire it into the net with Ayr players claiming for offside. And it was almost three when Todorov bundled his way into the box and with MacKay unmarked in the centre chose to go it alone but saw his shot suppressed by a late challenge. Allardice was next to threaten for Inverness when he sent a free kick low under the Ayr wall as it jumped and it was partially saved by Sinisalo and United cleared at the second attempt. Again, the next best chance fell the way of ICT when Robbie Deas met a free kick from only a few yards out but his header was right at the Ayr keeper. Ayr almost got a goal back when Walsh, still causing problems for Harper on the ICT left, flashed a ball across goal which MacKenzie latched onto but he sent his low effort wide of the goal with Ridgers stranded. Walsh then had an effort at goal himself when he collected the ball at the back post and leathered an effort towards goal which Ridgers saved with his knee with Devine also lunging in to block. In the end though we hung on for a big three points after an excellent performance that probably should have seen us concede a goal but also should really have been much more comfortable given the chances that were passed up. Big call for Robbo to drop four players from Wednesday but they paid dividends with MacGregor, Todorov and Carson all impressing today. MacGregor offers a much more mobile link between our midfield two in front of the defence and the wide players / forward than Keatings does whilst Carson was tenacious alongside Allardice marshalling McCowan well after he moved inside and also breaking forward to support our counters attacks. Todorov showed some excellent touches holding the ball up and Ridgers pulled off some superb saves particularly from McCowan and Walsh in each half. As mentioned earlier I think Kerr's changes to the three behind Moffat disrupted the fluency of Ayr's attacks and whilst Walsh was still a threat McCowan and Smith were anonymous after the break. They didn't seem to have anything in the centre of the pitch to break up our counter attacks with Murdoch and Chalmers nowhere to be seen at times. Cheers RIG, great in depth report on the game and tactics in action And here's Bazza post match Date: 20/02/2021 Venue: Somerset Park Attendance: 0000 Referee: Peter Stuart Ayr United: 0 Manager: Mark Kerr Lineup: Sinisalo; Muirhead, Murdoch, Ndaba, Baird, Moffat, Smith (Hewitt 75), Miller (McKenzie 58) , Chalmers, McCowan, Walsh (Zanatta 86). Subs (not used): Hare-Reid; Reading, Roscoe, McGavin Scorers: none Booked: McCowan (54), Muirhead (63), Ndaba (68) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Manager: John Robertson Lineup: Ridgers; Duffy, Devine, Deas, Harper, D Mackay (B Mckay 87), Carson, Allardice, MacGregor (Welsh 75), Sutherland, Todorov (Storey 68) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Nicolson, Hyde, Keatings Scorers: D Mackay (31), Sutherland (54) Booked: Todorov (35) Sent Off: none a
  17. Wasps sting the Jags with late penalty With temporary gaffers Barry Wilson and Ryan Esson taking care of proceedings, it was an energetic start for the hosts. However that was disrupted after twenty minutes when Innes Cameron burst through the middle to stroke the ball into the net as Ridgers came off his line. Against the run of play, but the Wasps did not care and they held the advantage to go in at the break one ahead. Not much was happening until Wallace Duffy thundered a left footer from over twenty-five yards high into the net. What a strike for your first senior goal. One minute later and substitute James Keatings was stroking us up to fifth in the table before the late penalty from Alan Trouten brought us back down to earth. Disappointing to throw away the lead, but there's more to be worrying about than a game of football. ***It was announced after the game that Neil McCann will take over until Robbo is ready to return*** A difficult period for the club on and off the park has culminated in manager John Robertson being given compassionate leave by the club due to a family bereavement. I'm sure all who know Robbo will offer their sincere condolences. Assistant manager Scott Kellacher is also recovering from severe illness and he too will require some time to recover and our best wishes go out to our management pairing. With that in mind it was coaches Barry Wilson and Ryan Esson that were in the dugout for tonight's game against Alloa. The hosts were without Aaron Doran, Anthony McDonald, Sean Welsh and James Vincent as well as other long term absentees Lewis Toshney and Kevin McHattie. David Carson was the star man at Ayr and he was in the starting XI tonight. It had been a wet and windy day and but the weather was taking a break with the wind dropping and showers less frequent as the sides took to the field. A bright start to the game for the hosts produced three corners in quick succession for the Caley Jags but the Alloa defence dealt well with the threat and managed to clear their lines. Carson continued where he left off at Somerset Park and was driving forward with menace. Cammy Harper floated a ball towards the edge of the box where Roddy MacGregor knocked down for Daniel Mackay but he miscued and the half chance disappeared. The same pairing created another opportunity soon after but the shot lacked power to trouble Neil Parry. A free kick to Alloa from Innes Murray range saw Ridgers save easily as Alloa came more into the game and a couple of minutes later they took the lead against the run of play. Ray Grant intercepted the ball in midfield from Devene and fed Innes Cameron who burst clear from midway and ran through to neatly side step and slot the ball past Ridgers as the keeper came out. A blow to Inverness and they would need to work a bit harder with Alloa now only two points behind as it stands after twenty minutes. Todorov picked out the run of Carson on the right but his cross come shot drifted just over the bar with 25 minutes gone. Alloa almost doubled their lead but a Cameron shot from around the spot was charged down with the possibility of an arm hitting the ball but nothing given. A free kick offered a heading opportunity for the towering Todorov but his downward header just went the wrong side of the post with Parry beaten. All the pressure coming from the hosts but a couple of testing balls from Toddy and Mackay saw no takers in the box which is surprising considering we were one down. Despite some intricate play, Neil Parry has not had any serious work to do yet and there's only five minutes before the break as he stretches to pluck a deep cross out of the air with aplomb. Carson got the break of the ball on the right and his clipped cross found Todorov at the back post but his header went over junction of post and bar. MacGregor picked up a loose ball on the edge of the box and drilled it home, unfortunately the whistle sounded just as he shot and play was taken back for a free kick to Alloa on the edge of the box Half Time 0-1 Like the first half, we forced a couple of quick corners but the pressure was relieved when a foul was given after the second one. Slack play was evident as a heavy shower lashed the park and Alloa introduced Innes Murray for Scougall five minutes into the half and Inverness racked up the corner count, Devine winning another corner. Parry had some work to do as he gathered a low shot from Allardice as the pressure continued. A rare break forward found substitute Innes Murray at the back post but he slashed his shot well wide of the mark, a let off for the Caley Jags. With half an hour left Miles Storey replaced Dan Mackay. Too many hapless long hanging balls into the box were collected by Parry with ease as we struggled to create decisive opportunities. James Keatings replaced MacGregor as we looked to create more but with less than twenty minutes left, nobody was holding their breath. Out of the blue after a couple of fresh air swipes at the ball inside the box, Wallace Duffy strode onto the ball some twenty five yards out and lashed a thumping left footer high behind Parry for his first goal for the Caley Jags and a much needed goal tonight. In dramatic fashion, moments later Keatings buried the ball into the bottom of the net to turn this game on it's head. It should have been three minutes later but Storey dollied a penalty into the keeper. Inverness were swarming all over the Wasps now and Keatings flashed a header just wide with Parry scrambling to get there, and again Alloa got the benefit of another 'goal' when a Storey header beat Parry once more. The craziness continued when Alloa got a stonewall penalty after Harper tripped Robertson in the box and Trouten did what Storey should have done, scored to make it 2-2. A frantic finish saw corners taken and defenders clearing their lines at the expense of more corners and Alloa still trying to break at pace, but alas for the Caley Jags it ended all square. Full Time 2-2 The second half exploded into life with Duffy's thunderous strike and then Keatings' goal. It all looked rosey when we were awarded a penalty but Why Storey took it only he will know. That could have taken the stuffing out of Alloa but they went up the park and got a penalty of their own, and well, Trouten just does not miss. A frenetic last twenty minutes livened up a dull game, but the joy of turning this game round was neutralised by Trouten's 12 yard dead ball death strike. At that point we had reached fifth in the table, unfortunately it was not to be and Alloa will be delighted with their point. Match reaction from BBC Sport Inverness Caley Thistle coach Barry Wilson: "The performance levels were really high tonight - we created chances and dominated the game. Even though we missed the penalty we should still see out the game. It's really frustrating." Alloa manager Peter Grant: "I thought we should have been more comfortable at half-time. This group have fantastic spirit and they showed that. I'm delighted to get the point at the end." Full highlights from Caley Jags TV Date: 23/02/2021 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 0000 Referee: Grant Irvine Inverness CT: 2 Manager: Barry Wilson/Ryan Esson (John Robertson on compassionate leave ) Lineup: Ridgers; Duffy, Deas, Devine, Harper, D Mackay (Storey 61), Carson, Allardice, MacGregor (Keatings 71), Sutherland, Todorov Subs (not used): C Mackay; Nicolson, Harkness, Hyde, B Mckay. Scorers: Duffy(77), Keatings (78) Booked: none Sent Off: none Alloa Athletic: 2 Manager: Peter Grant Lineup: Parry; Taggart, Dick, Graham, Hetherington, Robertson, Cawley (Buchanan 83), Scougall (Murray 53), Grant, Trouten (Jameson 87), Cameron Subs (not used): Wright, Brown, Connelly, Thomson, Scorers: Cameron (20), Trouten (87 pen) Booked: Graham (73) Sent Off: none a
  18. Too little too late. Dundee manager Jake McPake looked to have tightened his shoogely peg as first half goals from Max Anderson and Jason Cummings put Dundee in at the break two up. Inverness were out of sorts in a poor first forty-five. Nikolay Todorov pulled a goal back with fifteen minutes left heading home a Cammy Harper cross. Inverness mounted a mini-comeback but fell just short as Dundee held on for all three points. Neil McCann returned to Dens Park where he had mixed fortunes as a player and manager. Tonight he would be in the away dugout with John Robertson on compassionate leave. His first game in charge was a 1-1 draw with Hearts on Friday night. Four days later and here we are at Dens Park looking to keep in touch with the teams in the top four. David Carson was on the bench after two MotM performances and Roddy MacGregor was not in the squad, presumably injured. Daniel Mackay and Scott Allardice were in the starting XI. As expected, Dundee were without Charlie Adam due to the results of the positive covid testing at Dens Park. Here's RiG with his match report Grim, grim, grim. Dundee were well on top at the start and although we pushed them back a bit they quickly re-established their dominance. They knew a high press against our back line would work given McCann's preference to play out from the back and players were often caught in possession. Meanwhile, our defence looked haphazard any time a cross or long throw came anywhere near it. McDaid turning Duffy inside out for a good chunk of the first half before he eventually realised he could nullify him by sending him towards the bye line was criminal in how long it took to be employed. By that time though the damage was largely done. McMullan was ripping Harper apart on the ICT left and he sent in a cross that found Max Anderson as he burst into the penalty area and although Ridgers did well to save his first effort the Dee player made no mistake at the second time of asking and put Dundee 1-0 up. We rallied a little to push the home side back a bit and had some half chances but Dundee took a deserved two goal lead when a high ball into the box was missed and it landed at the feet of Cummings who spun round and whipped the ball into the net. Prior to this Dundee had great chances falling the way of Mullen, Cummings and Anderson who all had goal bound efforts blocked by Deas or Ridgers. It was one way traffic in the first half and ICT could count themselves fortunate not to be further behind. Half Time: 2-0 Second half was less eventful overall compared to the first. A suspiciously offside looking Storey broke through the Dundee defence but shot straight at Hamilton as the angle narrowed whilst Sow blazed over after good work by Cummings on a Dundee counter attack. We did get one goal back when Harper sent over a delicious cross from the left touchline to find Toddy at the back post and he thumped a header past the flailing Hamilton. Great goal from the big striker and one wonders what he needs to do to get a start. A similar move almost lead to an ill deserved equaliser but this time the header went wide. Grim performance from us. As has been the case at times this season we are poor for about 75% of the game then improve markedly for the final 15 to 20 minutes or look like we might do something. I know we have important creative players like Doran and McDonald out but we should be still be doing better than we are. We created precious little for most of that game it is extremely concerning going into a very tough game on Saturday against Alloa. Go behind in that and I don't fancy our chances of turning it around into a much needed 3 points. Neil McCann post match Date: 02/03/2021 Venue: Dens park, Dundee Attendance: 0000 Referee: Steven Kirkland Dundee FC: 2 Manager: James McPake Lineup: Hamilton; Fontaine, Elliot, Ashcroft, Marshall, McGowan, McMullan, Mullen (Sow 53), Anderson (Byrne 87), McDaid, Cummings (Aflabi 91) Subs (not used): Legzdins; Kerr, Fagan-Walcott, Robertson Scorers: Anderson (10), Cummings (45) Booked: McGowan (60) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Neil McCann Lineup: Ridgers; Duffy, Deas, Devine (B Mckay 77), Harper, D Mackay (Todorov 61) Welsh, Allardice (Carson 46), Keatings, Sutherland, Storey Subs (not used): C Mackay; Nicolson, Fyffe, Vincent Scorers: Todorov (75) Booked: Deas (63), Welsh (65) Sent Off: none a
  19. Abysmal, a new low! A stormy evening saw no goals at the break. Todorov came closest when he hit the post just before the interval. Could it get worse? The answer was yes when Aidan Nesbitt drilled a low shot into the net from the edge of the box with Inverness unable to make any headway. With twenty minutes left you could see the game slowly drifting away from the hosts. Sutherland hit the woodwork again and Todorov's follow up 'goal' was ruled out. Morton came North on the back of a poor run of form to meet a side with similar problems, hence both sides are languishing perilously close to the foot of the league. Something was going to give. Neil McCann was still looking for his first win in the Caley Jags dugout in this his fourth game in temporary control. He was without Miles Storey and Cameron Harper with Kevin McHattie making the bench alongside Aaron Doran. No sign of Storey or Lewis Toshney. The visitors were without defender Lewis Strapp, Robbie Muirhead and striker Kalvin Orsi. Anton McElhone shook his squad around but somewhat surprisingly Aidan Nesbitt was in the starting XI. A bitterly cold night saw the sides emerge to a stiff breeze with Morton shooting towards the Kessock Bridge end. And they were first to probe into the box when Sterling slipped past Brad Mckay but the defence mopped up. Sterling's pace looks like it will cause problems and he forced Mark Ridgers into a comfortable save in the early exchanges. A tentative opening quarter to the game saw the keepers underworked at either end of the park. Petty fouls and misplaced passes were the order of the day but Inverness were fortunate when Morton broke on the left but Sterling's header was glanced wide as the rain started to fall. Poor decision making saw most moves break down in the final third as the hosts probed for an opening with half an hour gone. The weather was not helping but it was easy to see how both sides were struggling in a stop start game. Ten minutes before the break a long ball forward by Sutherland found Roddy Macgregor chasing into the box and McAdams was brought into action at last as he saved Roddy's low shot from the right side of the box. Poor keeper must have been frozen prior to that. Four minutes before the break Nikolay Todorov hit the top of the post from close range at the far side of the box after determined play by Keatings created an opening for the big striker who got his shot away at the second attempt. The same player earned a yellow just before the interval when a long ball into the box appeared to be handled by Toddy. As it was the ball bounced over the bar and Toddy was booked. Half Time: 0-0 The stiff breeze had grown into a blustery swirling mini storm with relentless driving rain as the teams came out for the second half. Ridgers was early into action as Nesbitt drilled a low shot goalwards after good work by Sterling but the keeper saved comfortably. Aaron Doran made a welcome return to match action after injury as he replaced Keatings ten minutes into the second half. The much maligned Aidan Nesbitt opened the scoring with a low shot from a similar position to his effort five minutes earlier, the ball drilled low behind Ridgers and against the run of play the visitors were ahead with the Caley Jags ball watching. Wallace Duffy forced a corner with a good burst down the right but it came to nothing, as did most of our feeble efforts. In truth we were struggling badly against a mediocre Morton side who almost doubled their advantage from a corner, but the ball was headed just over with Ridgers spectating. Allardice picked up his sixth booking of the season as we entered the final ten minutes and Deas followed him into the book. As desperation set in Sutherland rifled a low shot straight at the keeper from twenty yards with the game slipping away from us. We almost snatched a draw from the jaws of defeat as Sutherland cracked the ball off the bar and when Toddy followed up and headed into the net his 'goal was ruled offside. Meh! Full Time: 0-1 What a shitfest of a game and result. Absolutely hapless and at the moment we are deserving everything we are getting, and that is zilch. We really look jaded. Forget looking up the table, we need to concentrate on the bottom. This is pretty much a low point after 26 years of giving it a go More reaction to follow.... Date: 09/03/2021 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 0000 Referee: Gavin Ross Inverness CT: 0 Manager: Neil McCann (temporary) Lineup: Ridgers; Duffy, B Mckay, Devine, Deas, MacGregor, Carson (D Mackay 65), Allardice, Keatings (Doran 53), Sutherland, Todorov Subs (not used): Mackay; Nicolson, McHattie, Fyffe, Welsh Scorers: none Booked: B Mckay(38), Todorov (45+1), Carson (60) Allardice (81), Deas (83) Sent Off: none Morton: 1 Manager: Anton McElhone (interim) Lineup: McAdams; Ledger, Fjørtoft, McLean, McGinty, Jacobs, McGuffie, Colville (Omar 89), Lyon (Blues 84), Nesbitt (Salkeld 89), Sterling Subs (not used): Millar, Oliver, Johnson, Hynes Scorers: Nesbitt (56) Booked: Colville (27) Sent Off: none a
  20. Hard earned point Despite some glaring opportunities for both sides, the score remained blank at the interval. Ugwu sinned a couple of times and Musonda too, but the biggest sinner of all was our own Roddy MacGregor who failed to get the ball past the bodies lying on the goalline from three yards. What an opportunity, what a miss and goalless at the interval. More chances went abegging after the interval and Sean Welsh hit the post with a header. Saves misses and good fortune ensured this entertaining game ended all square. It was not the win we wanted, but trust me this was a massive upgrade from the drivel served up against Morton. The guys got their pride back and played with the passion and desire required to stay in this league. Neil McCann was looking for a reaction after the dross on display against Morton, in fact since we returned to action after the glut of postponements. It was going to be difficult with Doran, Harper, Vincent and Storey all out and three youngsters on the bench alongside the departing James Keatings and a recovering Kevin McHattie. Raith had wing wizard Kai Kennedy on from the start but Manny Duku was on the bench with Gozie Ugwu starting. Looks like it could be a long night. The weather was marginally better than it was for the Morton game, but it was still bitterly cold and damp as a depleted Inverness took to the field. Raith kicked off towards the Kessock Bridge end and Inverness were soon on the back foot with their makeshift side. Ugwu should have scored early but he fresh aired the ball two yards from goal. Musonda had an equally good opportunity after a corner fell to his feet twelve yards out but he scooped his shot just over the bar. The first Inverness involvement was almost twenty minutes in when a Todorov header at the back post went over and wide when it looked like he should have done better. Midway through the half the hosts appeared to have weathered the storm and were looking to create something for themselves. We missed an unbelievable opportunity after Kieran Macdonald slid along the goal line and cleared Dan Mackay's effort off the line as it rolled towards the goal. It fell to Roddy MacGregor who turned and shot from inside the six yard box but again the ball was smothered on the line and eventually cleared. What have we got to do to score. More pressure from the hosts and Todorov had a shot charged down for a corner. Good response by our second string. A tempting ball from Kai Kennedy found Ugwu in prime position in front of Ridgers but he headed just over when he should have hit the target. Carson did well at the other end and delivered a good cross into the area but Toddy could not get enough purchase on the ball and Macdonald saved comfortably. Raith forced a couple of corners just before the interval as Inverness made it to the whistle on level terms. Half Time: 0-0 Six minutes into the second half and a Carson clearance inside his own box could have gone anywhere. As it was it slipped past his own post; sigh of relied all round. A free kick invited Robbie Deas to have a go but he was deemed offside. An Allardice free kick had just too much on it as the Caley Jags forwards closed in. A series of fouls saw Inverness get down the left side and Allardice's driven free kick was was bounced behind off Deas for a goal kick. Determined play by MacGregor down the right and a whipped cross by Carson left Sean Welsh with a headed opportunity, but his header bounced down and off the post with the keeper beaten. Moments later Shane Sutherland went through one on one with MacDonald but the experienced keeper stood firm and blocked Shane's shot as he tried to lift it into the net. Good spell by Inverness and unfortunate not to be ahead. Carson not impressed by Kennedy as he went to ground and handbags were exchanged with around 25 minutes left. Dylan Tait lifted a cut back from the left just over the bar with Ridgers rooted to the spot and Robbie Deas took a knock that required treatment. Up the park and a turn and strike from Mackay won us a corner and Todorov almost got on the end of the cross but Benedictus was first to the ball to clear as Toddy fouled him. With ten minutes left the points were still up for grabs by both sides and Ridgers ably assisted by a couple of defenders smothered the ball close to his near post as Raith homed in on his goal along the bye line. The visitors were pressing hard for the winner and Duku replace Ugwu with five minutes left. Some great defending by the home defence ended with a tremendous save by Ridgers and a scrambulation in the box before the ball was knocked wide. Last chance fell to Todorov in injury time but his shot from the right side was not struck cleanly enough and MacDonald gathered at his near post. Full Time 0-0 Well, McCann asked for a response and despite the scoreline he certainly got one. Considering our available squad it was a good point that could easily have been three. David Carson was given MotM by the BBC pundits and few could argue with that. Great contributions from our entire back line and Ridgers was absolutely solid when called into action and took the pressure off the defence with some confidence boosting catches when under pressure. Should we have scored? Yes, probably three or four, but Raith might feel the same. Onward to Tuesday night with more confidence after a much needed boost tonight with the team showing that they are up for the battle. Well done to all who responded. Highlights Positive Neil Here's Carson talking just after releasing Kai Kennedy from his back pocket Date: 12/03/2021 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 0000 Referee: Steven McLean Inverness CT: 0 Manager: Neil McCann (temporary) Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Devine, Deas, Allardice, MacGregor, Carson, Allardice, D Mackay, Sutherland, Todorov Subs (not used): C Mackay; Hyde, Nicolson, Harkness, Duffy, Keatings, McHattie, Scorers: none Booked: Welsh (38) Mckay (60), D Mackay (82), Sent Off: none Raith Rovers: 0 Manager: John McGlynn Lineup: J MacDonald; Tumilty, Benedictus, Hendry, K MacDonald, Kennedy, Tait, Musonda, Ugwu (Duku 85), King (Armstrong 66) Gullan (Mathews 66) Subs (not used): Thomson; Davidson, Abraham, Spencer Scorers: none Booked: Tumilty (2), K MacDonald (60), Mathews (70), Hendry (78), Taut (90+2) Sent Off: none a
  21. McCann breaks his duck Inverness beat ten-man Raith Rovers thanks to a tidy second half goal from Dan Mackay who had controlled a kick out from Ridgers before lifting the ball over keeper MacDonald for the only goal of the game. We were never troubled for long spells but struggled to impose ourselves against the ten men after Iain Davidson was sent off after a midfield clash. A welcome three points and a first win under Neil McCann. After the goalless draw four days earlier, the two sides went toe to toe once more for the fourth time this season. The League Cup encounter ended 3-3 in November, eleven days later at Inverness ended 2-0 for the Caley Jags and Friday's game finished 0-0. Despite the league positions, there was little to choose between the sides at the Caledonian Stadium and both sides were looking for maximum points at different ends of the table. Inverness were somewhat down to the bare bones on Friday and were hoping to have a couple of their missing players back. McCann went with the same starting XI that played the whole game on Friday night and Miles Storey was fit enough to make the bench. John McGlynn had no such problems apart from Fernandy Mendy who is still away on African Nations duty. Ugwu again started up front and there were starts for Armstrong, and Mathews with Duku on the bench alongside Vaughan, Musonda and Tait. Raith set the ball rolling but it was Inverness that started the fastest. A wonderful Allardice header came back off the corner of bar and post from fully fifteen yards and from the resultant return ball into the box it was stabbed into the hands of Jamie MacDonald from four yards by a hesitant Shane Sutherland. Ten minutes in and Iain Davidson was given a straight red after a clash in the middle of the Raith half. That started a wee stushie and Davidson was red carded with Sean Welsh also booked. A great burst down the left by Dan Mackay after twenty minutes ended with keeper MacDonald throwing an arm out to keep the ball out at the expense of a fruitless corner. It was a much faster start by Inverness after we were slow out of the blocks on Friday night but with half an hour gone we were not making the extra man count. In fact we were more impressive when Raith had eleven on the park. A great ball forward found Todorov running into the box but the defender stood his ground to usher the ball clear. Ridgers did well to cut out a great ball in from the left and took a knock as the striker closed in. Some loose passing was restricting our forward play as Rovers dug in. A swift move cut Rovers open but Sutherland was crowded out in the six yard box. As the interval approached Raith were making their way down the touchline with a number of throw-ins as the game turned untidy but it remained goalless at the break. Half Time: 0-0 Macdonald was fortunate that Shane Sutherland was not sharp enough to take advantage of a spilled ball at the edge of the box as it bounced back into his hands off the big forward. Tumilty sent a rasping shot from distance that Ridgers tipped over comfortably. Less than five minutes after the restart the visitors took the lead after a long ball from keeper Ridgers went all the way to the edge of the Raith box where Dan Mackay did brilliantly to get clear of the defender before cheekily lifting the ball over the advancing Macdonald and into the empty net. Great assist from the keeper who brilliantly cut out the cross and sent the ball forward in the same movement. We could have doubled our lead but for a weak finish this time by Mackay as he burst into the left side of the box. From a deep corner, Benedictus lofted a header towards the top of the goal frame and Ridgers took no chances and tipped the ball behind for a corner. Better play from Rovers and their next corner saw a header bounce well wide. A free kick to the Caley Jags ended with a shot being charged down in a crowded defence and Inverness made their first change with Miles Storey replacing Shane Sutherland. Gullan dipped a free kick over with Ridgers watching closely. Rovers were pushing for an equaliser as Ridgers fluffed a punch clear for a corner. A tidy run on the left and cut back by Storey saw a first time effort from Sean Welsh curl just wide with MacDonald beaten. A Keatings free kick found Deas in space inside the box on the left but his clipped shot rolled across the face of the goal and out for a goal kick. Ridgers was forced into a good diving save as Vaughan shot from the edge of the box to remind Inverness how precarious a one goal lead can be with five minutes left on the clock. Full Time: 0-1 However, despite the usual late scares, the Raith ten man challenge petered out and Inverness claimed a valuable three points and manager Neil McCann his first win. What a crucial three points that could be and with Ayr beating Dundee it's getting very tight in the middle section of the table. Highlights from Raith TV Dan's the man First time winner with the Caley Jags... Date: 16/03/2021 Venue: Stark's Park, Kirkaldy Attendance: 0000 Referee: Colin Steven Raith Rovers: 0 Manager: John McGlynn Lineup: J MacDonald; Tumilty, Davidson, Benedictus, K MacDonald, Kennedy (Gullan 66), Armstrong (Musonda 19), Spencer (Vaughan 76), Mathews, Hendry, Ugwu Subs (not used): Thomson; Abraham, Tait, Duku Scorers: none Booked: Mathews (13), Spencer (41), Gullan (89) Sent Off: Armstrong (11) Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Neil McCann (temporary) Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, B Mckay, Devine, Deas, D Mackay, Welsh (Keatings 79 McHattie 91), Allardice, MacGregor, Sutherland (Storey 63), Todorov Subs (not used): C Mackay; Nicolson, Hyde, Duffy Scorers: D Mackay (50) Booked: Welsh (12), Allardice (69) Sent Off: a
  22. Points from Pars as Carson strikes A fortunate goal line clearance after Sutherland hit a defender standing on the line was the best opportunity of a close first half that Inverness just edged, but there was no scoring at the break. The visitors opened the scoring ten minutes from time when MotM David Carson cut in from the right, jinked inside and smashed a right footer off the post and into the net. That was Carson's first goal for the club in his 47th appearance and a vital one it was too. Inverness held on comfortably thereafter to take all three points North and move up to fifth in the table. After an encouraging win at Stark's Park in midweek the Neil McCann entourage were looking for their second win in a week, but it was a tough ask to go to East End Park with the Pars sitting second in the table and try to take all three points back up the A9. This would be McCann's seventh game at the wheel as he tries to steer us clear of the relegation zone whilst still maintaining an interest in the top four play-off places. He would have to do it without the injured Aron Doran, Cameron Harper, Lewis Toshney, Anthony MacDonald, James Keatings and James Vincent who is on compassionate leave after a family bereavement. Condolences to James. Stevie Crawford has an extensive squad with a strong bench so no hassle for him to make his team selections. An ominously strong looking bench for the Pars with O'Hara and McManus lying in wait. Craig Wighton started up front with Scott Banks in midfield. So, both teams unchanged from last time out and it was game on. It was a cagey opening and fully ten minutes before Ridgers had anything to deal with as he pulled a mishit shot from Murray out of the air. An Inverness free kick off the training ground produced a corner and from that a close range shot from Sutherland hit a defender on the line in the nether region (Comrie) before Fon Williams grabbed the loose ball. Craig Wighton slipped the ball into the net from a tight angle soon after but was adjudged to be offside. Moments later Sean Welsh fed MacGregor on the edge of the box but he smothered his shot and the keeper saved comfortably. Half an hour gone and neither side were able to impose themselves on the proceedings as Scott Allardice skied a shot from a corner as Toddy got in his way. A Welsh free kick from thirty yards was straight down the keepers throat with five minutes left to the interval, but it ended goalless at the break. Half Time: 0-0 The visitors got the second half going as the Skids faded out. A great defensive tackle saw Dan Mackay burst forward on the left before cutting in, alas his shot was wayward. Some good pressure from the visitors saw opportunities for offloading shots and Roddy Macgregor's effort had Fon Williams scrambling across his line as the ball slipped past the post. Toddy then saw a shot hit the roof of the net as the hosts were pressed back. Another scramble ensued after MacGregor drilled a ball into the box, the defence eventually blocking and clearing. Poor defending allowed Whittaker an opportunity but Mark Ridgers made a tremendous save low down at full stretch. The game had opened up now as The Pars were getting to grips with the second half and both keepers were called into routine action. Welsh brought out another save from the keeper with another free kick. The visitors opened the scoring ten minutes from time when MotM David Carson cut in from the right, jinked inside and smashed a right footer off the post and into the net. We held on comfortably thereafter to take all three points North and move up to fifth in the table. Full Time: 0-1 That was a solid performance from the Caley Jags to give temporary boss Neil McCann his second win in four days against the second and third placed sides. Brilliant first goal for David Carson who excelled again and a second clean sheet in four days away from home at difficult locations. What a difference a week makes! Match reaction from Neil McCann: Read full story at ICTFC “I don’t think anyone can say we didn’t deserve that today. We got the three points from an unbelievable goal from David Carson, who I though was magnificent today.” “I thought all round we looked a proper unit and a team that was prepared to do everything for each other. I’m delighted today.” “The boys have turned it around. We’ve changed our shape because I looked at them and thought they needed something a little different. It’s just one that makes them feel secure out of possession.” David Carson after his first goal for the club Full highlights from Pars TV Date: 20/03/2021 Venue: East End Park, Dunfermline Attendance: 0000 Referee: Peter Stuart Dunfermline: 0 Manager: Stevie Crawford Lineup: Fon Williams; Comrie, Watson (Gaspuitis 72), E Murray, MacDonald, Whittaker, Wilson (Mayo 57), Banks (McManus 68), F Murray, Thomas, Wighton Subs (not used): Gill; Edwards, McCann, O'Hara Scorers: none Booked: Watson (14), Wighton (79), McManus (82) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Neil McCann (temporary) Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, B Mckay, Devine, Deas, D Mackay (McHattie 87), Welsh, Allardice, MacGregor, Sutherland, Todorov (Storey 60) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Nicolson, Hyde, Harkness, Duffy Scorers: Carson (81) Booked: Carson (74) Sent Off: none a
  23. Toddy earns the point Alloa's man of the moment Innes Cameron opened the scoring in the 17th minute driving home from fifteen yards before Nikolay Todorov levelled with an equally tidy finish ten minutes later. Alloa had the better of the chances thereafter but it was level at the break. Inverness ramped up the performance after the interval but were unable to get the winner. James Keatings and Shane Sutherland brought out great saves from Parry but it finished a point apiece. Alan Trouten was sent off in time added on for a possible off the ball incident. Straight red! Nikolay Todorov started up front with Miles Storey and Roddy MacGregor was deemed fit enough to start. Danny Devine was on the bench with the forever injured Lewis Toshney and Raith Rovers bound James Keatings. Alloa had loanee man of the moment Innes Cameron starting with the ever present Alan Trouten and goal threat Kevin Cawley. With Neil McCann still in charge, the order of the day for the Caley Jags would have been to retain possession from your own box out, such has been his approach from previous managerial duties. Dundee knew this and Alloa quickly cottoned on to our strategy and took control of the early exchanges after ten minutes into the game. Lee Connelly was first to threaten but ended up getting booked for diving as Mark Ridgers went to close him down. David Carson tested Neil Parry with a low controlled shot from the edge of the box but Parry smothered it at the second attempt. A minute later Innes Cameron benefitted from a superb through ball from Kevin Cawley. He took control outside the box and drove forward like an inside left before hammering a fifteen yard shot behind the exposed Ridgers. Ten minutes later some loose play in midfield offered an opportunity for Steven Heatherington, he played in Alan Trouten but the angle was tight and Ridgers blocked his effort with his feet. The wasps were swarming all over us at this point as we struggled to make any headway. However, ten minutes after the opener we were level. After Carson was robbed in midfield, the ball came back to Sean Welsh who threaded a low ball forward to Shane Sutherland. He in turn touched it deftly to Nikolay Todorov who stepped onto the pass and drilled it into the bottom corner. Connelly found himself with the ball at his feet similar to Cameron's opening goal but his shot lacked power and as Ridgers had anticipated his arrival he blocked well. Thirty seconds later a blooper from the keeper saw him pass the ball out to the edge of the box. Now total football is fine, but you need to pass it to your own players. Cameron spotted the error and stepped onto the pass but fortunately for a red faced Mark he drove the ball over the bar from twenty yards with the goals vacant. We ventured forward before the break but our indecision saw Alloa nick the ball from us on the edge of their box. Robertson wasted no time in launching a long ball forward where Cameron did well to control and shoot under pressure to force Ridgers into an excellent save to keep out his powerful effort. Half Time: 1-1 Just after the break his touch deserted him six yards out after a Jon Robertson cross found him loose inside the area. Again Ridgers was quick to shut him down. Miles Storey crossed from the left and Robbie Deas slashed at an attempted volley. The ball landed at Sutherland but his effort was more akin to three points at Murrayfield. Alloa then made their own blooper and offered Sutherland another go, this time Parry pulled off a tremendous one-handed save to deny the striker. Inverness were having a much more successful second forty-five and it was Sutherland who should have put the visitors ahead. On the hour, he beat the offside trap and ran through on goal, unfortunately he also beat the post as he curled the ball low past Parry as he came out and past the wrong side of the post. Great opportunity missed. Trouten tried an overhead but it lacked power and Ridgers had it covered and moments later he had to react quicker to push away a Scott Taggart free kick from just under the bar as Alloa came back into the game. Big Andy Graham thought he was Ronaldo at one point, dancing and skipping his way down the wing. Great effort from the big man! Daniel Mackay's cross from the left ended at the feet of James Keatings and his blistering shot was, well, parried well by Parry I suppose. As the clock ticked down there was one more mystery to be solved. All will be revealed. An Alloa attack was halted on the left side of our box and Alan Trouten received a straight red card. No, it wasn't for scoring the penalty against us last week but the video shows that he deliberately kicked his marker on the edge of the box to free up space for himself. Old dogs old tricks, but it was well spotted and Trouten was in the bath a couple of minutes earlier than everyone else. Still time for Ridgers to gather an awkward shot from distance just before the final whistle but that was it, all square. Full Time: 1-1 So the game ended in controversy but overall it had been an open and entertaining game with a draw just about right. Alloa dominated the first half with Inverness more prominent after the break. Both keepers made some super saves two tidy goals and a red card. Joint Men of the Match, Parry & Ridgers. I imagine there will be a few sniffing around Innes Cameron, big, strong athletic and a goal scorer, what's not to like. That's what Saturday's are for! Interim Inverness CT manager Neil McCann: "I think maybe a draw was a fair result. I thought we were a bit sloppy and we're better than that. "You have to start putting a run together and showing you're good players. They're a really good group that have had to deal with stuff off the pitch too - that has a negative effect on the group." Alloa Athletic manager Peter Grant: "We deserved the points. We played really well and created chances- we just didn't have luck in front of goal. "The hardest way to play football is the way we play - especially when you're bottom of the league." Full Highlights from Alloa TV Neil McCann post match Date: 06/03/2021 Venue: Recreation Park, Alloa Attendance: 0000 Referee: Alan Muir Alloa Athletic: 1 Manager: Peter Grant Lineup: Parry; Taggart, Graham, Dick, Hetherington, Grant, Robertson, Connelly (O'Donnell 58) Trouten, Cawley, Cameron, Subs (not used): Willison; Buchanan, Brown, Jamieson, Malcolm, Murray Scorers: Cameron (17) Booked: Connelly (14) Sent Off: Trouten (90+1) Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Neil McCann (temp) Lineup: Ridgers; Duffy, B Mckay, Deas, Harper (Devine 50), MacGregor, Carson, Welsh, Sutherland, Storey ( D Mackay), Todorov (Keatings 78)) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Toshney, Vincent, Allardice, Scorers: Todorov (27) Booked: D Mackay (74), Devine (90+2) Sent Off: none a
  24. Arabs avoid relegation The south stand at Tulloch Caledonian Stadium was a sea of orange as 2400 Dundee United fans tried to sing and shout their team to SPL survival. Livingston, Dundee and Dundee United were all in the relegation frame and the permutations were discussed at length around the country. Hold-ups on the A9 delayed the Inverness kick-off by ten minutes. For Caley Thistle it was a strange afternoon. Seventh place was looking unlikely but it was still possible if Dunfermline beat Kilmarnock. In the end Killie won 4-0. This was never going to be a football classic but there was plenty of effort. United's Grant Brebner headed over in two minutes and in nine minutes former Caley Thistle favourite Barry Robson ran down the left and set up Mark Kerr but his low shot was pushed away by Mark Brown. At the United end last weeks goal hero Liam Fox took a Bryan Prunty pass and tried a 20 yard volley in the 18th minute, it dipped goalwards but went just over. A Robson free kick in 24 minutes seemed to go over for a goal kick but Alan Archibald headed it back across goal and Brown was forced to tip it over for a corner and the corner stood despite protests. Just before the break a Mark Wilson ball from the right crossed the ICT area and reached Robson - his first time goal-bound shot was held by Brown. Half Time: 0-0 Richie Hart low shot was blocked in 49 minutes then a Hart 30 yard free kick went straight through to Tony Bullock. A good move in 53 minutes ended when a Brewster chip across goal was headed clear by Garry Kenneth. Brewster came close in 65 minutes when Bullock missed an Ian Black corner from the right but the player/managers header crept past the empty goal. A goal-less draw looked on the cards until the 82nd minute when Robson went down in the box after a brush with Ross Tokely. There seemed nothing in it but Alan Freeland gave a penalty. Robson scored and the stewards were helpless to prevent an orange pitch invasion. When order was restored United fans started a celebratory conga in the stand as their side held on to win. In added time Robson went down alongside Darren Dods but it was clearly a dive. Robson had been booked for dissent in the first half so a second yellow led inevitably to the long walk. The whistle went, United were safe and a second pitch invasion began. Full Time: 0-1 The Caley Thistle fans were disappointed to take so little from the five matches since the split but the job had been completed. SPL football would be back in Inverness next season and the players could head off for a well deserved holiday in Magaluf. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness CT: 0 Team: Brown; Tokely, Dods, Munro, Hastings, Hart (McAllister 73), Black, Fox, Golabek, Prunty (Wilson 60), Bayne (Brewster 33). Subs Not Used: Fraser; McBain, Duncan, Proctor - Booked: Black (90) Dundee Utd: 1 (Robson 82 pen) Team: Bullock; Kenneth, McCracken, Archibald, Wilson, McInnes, Kerr, Brebner (Duff 63), Robson, McIntyre (Grady 86), Crawford (Scotland 57). Subs Not Used: Colgan; Samuel, Dodds, Cameron. Booked: Brebner (30), Robson (37) - Sent off: Robson 90 Attendance: 5,479 - Referee: Alan Freeland
  25. Fox in the box earns Dens draw For the third time in his short Caley Thistle career Liam Fox came off the bench and snatched an equalising goal. The Dundee fans were stunned as they thought that three precious points were in the bag. Dundee certainly had the chances and were twice denied by the woodwork. ICT played excellent flowing football but lacked the killer touch. The atmosphere was very tense as the Dundee fans faced relegation. Derek Soutar held a Stuart Golabek effort in the opening seconds but the best early chance fell to Dundee in the eighth minute. A Tam McManus corner landed in a crowded box and, after penalty claims, Mark Brown dived to save a close-range shot from Callum MacDonald. Two minutes later Graham Bayne latched onto a Richie Hart corner but his clever near-post header crept over. Brown blocked a McManus angled shot in 16 minutes then the keeper watched helplessly as a McManus free kick from the left raced low across goal and came off the far post. An Iain Anderson low free kick in 35 minutes headed goalwards but Brown turned it for a corner. Half Time: 0-0 Fabian Caballero came on at half-time for Dundee and within a minute he headed wide. Dundee finally made a breakthrough in 49 minutes when Sancho headed in a McManus corner. The home fans saw light at the end of the SPL tunnel but Caley Thistle began to dominate the match. Dundee defended in depth but did come very close on the break in 64 minutes. Steve Lovell ran onto a through ball but his shot came off the bar. ICT substitute Rory McAllister tested Soutar in 73 minutes with a header to the top corner. Lovell tried again in 77 minutes when he chased a pass down the right. Brown came out to narrow the angle and slipped. Lovell failed to take advantage as his lob crossed the face of the goal and was cleared. With two minutes left Grant Munro sent a trademark long throw from the left and it fell for Golabek. His shot was blocked by Sancho but Fox was well positioned to collect the rebound and hit home the equaliser. As the clock ticked into overtime Dundee were awarded a free kick 25 yards out. Mann stepped up to take it; reminiscent of his Inverness days, but his high shot was held by Brown. Russell Duncan quickly led a breakaway and set up Craig Brewster on the left. The player/manager bore down on Soutar but shot wide. Full Time: 1-1 The relegation battle now goes to the last day. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dundee: 1 (Sancho 49) Team: Soutar; Robertson (McNally 37), Mann, Sancho, Robb, McDonald, Brady (Caballero 45), Smith, Anderson, McManus, Lovell (Barrett 82). Subs Not Used: Dubourdeau; Larsen, Fotheringham, Sutton - Booked: Sancho (50). Inverness CT: 1 (Fox 88) Team: Brown; Tokely, Dods, Munro, Golabek, Hastings, Duncan, Hart, McBain (Fox 71), Prunty (Brewster 63), Bayne (McAllister 71). Subs Not Used: Fraser; Proctor, Black - Booked: None Attendance: 6,691 - Referee: Craig Thomson
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