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  1. Livi hanging on... Another frustrating afternoon for the home fans as Caley Thistle played well in spells but failed to convert their chances. Relegation-threatened Livingston fought hard and scored the one goal that took the points. ICT started brightly and Roy McBain shot over the bar in just 13 seconds. In the first four minutes Wilson took two free kicks from outside the box - the first was held high by Roddy McKenzie and the second went low and just wide. Stuart Golabek shot wide then a bouncing effort from Bryan Prunty was taken by McKenzie. Livi came close in 21 minutes when a Derek Lilley attempt was headed off the line by Ian Black. Five minutes later Prunty was through and one-on-one with McKenzie but, as the keeper came out, the striker chipped over the bar. Livingston's goal in 29 minutes was deceptively simple. A neat Hassan Kachloul flick over the defence reached the unmarked Jason Dair and he headed home from six yards. Two minutes later Prunty again hit over the bar. Livi captain Burton O'Brien sent a hard shot on target in 42 minutes but Mark Brown held it comfortably. On the whistle Hart found space wide left of the goal but his cross back into the box went over Graham Bayne as he fell to the ground. Half Time: 0-1 Two minutes into a wet and windy second half Livingston nearly doubled their lead when Lilley hit the bar after an O'Brien cross. Russell Duncan then let fly from 25 yards but the rising ball was beaten away by McKenzie. Ross Tokely connected with the resultant corner but it was cleared off the line. Livingston were fighting for their SPL lives and they held firm against all that Caley Thistle could throw at them. The chance of the half fell to Graham Bayne in 70 minutes. Tokely raced down the right and his cross found Bayne faced with an empty goal. Bayne's shot looked a certain goal but somehow McKenzie scrambled back and saved the day. Shots from Hart and Bayne in 78 minutes both seemed to hit Livi hands but the referee ignored protests. The closing stages were dominated by ICT but nothing came off. Substitute Rory McAllister chased a long ball from Stuart Golabek in added time but, despite appearing to be held back, nothing was given. It was the same story seconds later when McAllister headed on for Golabek and the Caley Thistle captain went down under pressure but to no avail. Full Time: 0-1 Livingston took the points and gained a vital step up the league. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness CT: 0 Team: Brown; Tokely, Dods, Munro, Golabek, Wilson (Hart 37), Duncan, Black, McBain (Hastings 64), Bayne, Prunty (McAllister 64) Subs not used: Fraser; Proctor, Fox, Fetai - Booked: Wilson (30) Livingston: 1 (Jason Dair 29) Team: McKenzie; McNamee, Dorado, Deloumeaux, Dair (Easton 61), Bahoken, Vincze, O'Brien, McMenamin, Lilley, Kachloul (Strong 73) Subs not used: Meldrum; Horvath, Brittain, Snodgrass, Dorrans - Booked: Bahoken, Kachloul Attendance: 3021 Referee: Brian Winter
  2. End of season fare A frustrating afternoon all round and some strange decisions. The game was dominated by a soft penalty award for each side. With the rest of the SPL battling for top spot, UEFA places or against relegation there was little to play for here - the only issue was to see who would finish seventh. Killie captain Gary Locke chipped over the bar in eight minutes then a low off-target Stuart Golabek shot was deflected for a corner at the other end. Alan Combe pushed away a Craig Brewster volley in 14 minutes then a 19th minute header from Bryan Prunty hit the net but he was offside. A minute later the visitors took an unexpected lead when Gary Wales sent James Fowler away down the right and his cross was knocked in at the back post by Gary McDonald. In 27 minutes a Barry Wilson corner from the left curled into the area and a penalty was awarded - apparently Darren Dods's shirt was being pulled. Ross Tokely hit the spot kick low past Combe for 1-1. With five minutes of the first half left Brewster drew two defenders and left space for a Golabek shot from 20 yards but it sailed over. Half Time: 1-1 Mark Brown's first real save of the match came in 63 minutes when he held an angled shot from Wales. Seconds later Colin Nish closed in on a through ball and Brown raced to clear. Brown's busy spell continued as he caught a 20 yard Peter Leven shot through a ruck of players. The second bizarre penalty award of the day came in 72 minutes following a free kick from Wales. Another crowded goalmouth, the usual chaos and a penalty awarded for an apparent push by a Caley Thistle player. Leven made no mistake and it was 2-1 to Kilmarnock. Brown prevented what seemed a certain Killie goal in 74 minutes when Wales put Fowler through but the keeper blocked his shot. In 79 minutes Brewster turned neatly in the box and shot from an angle. It looked as if it would creep in but the post came to Combe's rescue. In the ensuing confusion Graham Bayne and Bryan Prunty both hit the bar and a relieved Killie defence cleared. Teenager Rory McAllister came on for the last five minutes in his first appearance after good performances with the reserve side. The youngster was quickly into the thick of the action but nothing quite came off. With a minute left McAllister just managed to keep his feet and pass to Wilson who set up Black but the Man of the Match only managed to hit it well over from long range. Freddy Dindeleux then failed to clear a Dods lob into the box from long range but McAllister could not reach the loose ball. Full Time: 1-2 The three added minutes produced nothing of note and Killie took the points. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness CT: 1 (Tokely 28 pen) Team: Brown; Tokely, Dods, Hastings, Golabek, Proctor (Bayne 62), Black, McBain, Wilson, Brewster, Prunty (McAllister 85). Subs Not Used: Fraser; Duncan, Fox, Fetai - Booked: Tokely (60), McBain (70). Kilmarnock: 2 (McDonald 21, Leven 72 pen) Team: Combe; Fowler, Lilley, Dindeleux, Hay, Invincibile (Greer 60), Locke, McDonald, Leven (Johnston 86), Dargo (Nish 54), Wales. Subs Not Used: Smith; Murray, Dodds, Naismith - Booked: Locke, Hay. Attendance: 3,108 - Referee: Eddie Smith
  3. Below Par Just under six months ago Caley Thistle came here with Donald Park in temporary charge and faced a Dunfermline side which featured Craig Brewster. The visitors had just climbed to ninth and would continue to climb to SPL safety with more than a little help from their player/manager who remains the Pars second top goalscorer despite having left for the north in late November. Brewster returned to East End Park for the first time to play against his old team with Dunfermline joint bottom of the league, on a downward spiral and fighting for their SPL lives. Caley Thistle made just one change from last week , Stuart Golabek came back from suspension and Richard Hastings reverted to the bench. The home side dominated the first half but failed to find a way past the strong Caley Thistle defence. Simon Donnelly was through in the seventh minute but shot straight at Mark Brown then the same player shot over in 15 minutes. Brown tipped over Noel Hunt's deflected cross three minutes later then Andrius Skerla headed wide from the resultant corner. Brown saved Campbell's curling free kick in 23 minutes then Darren Young hit wide. Hunt found the net in 27 minutes but he was offside. There was little action at the other end until close to half time when a strong Barry Wilson run ended with Derek Stillie tipping his shot over the bar. Half Time 0-0 Just after the break a Derek Young header was deflected past the post but nerves began to tell and Dunfermline faded. Caley Thistle came more into it and in 59 minutes Darren Dods latched onto Wilson's free kick but headed wide. Derek Young shot over in 64 minutes and Scott Wilson did the same in the 77th minute, but these were rare second half chances from the home side. ICT substitute Bajram Fetai tried to take advantage of Wilson's deep cross in 70 minutes but missed the ball at the back post. As time ran out Andy Tod shot over Brown's bar and Brewster did the same at the other end. Full Time: 0-0 Honours even but Dunfermline remain firmly in the relegation dog-fight. The head-to-head match next week against Livingston will go a long way to deciding who goes down. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dunfermline: 0 Team: Stillie; Skerla, Wilson, Thomson, Campbell, Donnelly (Tod 79), Dar Young, Mason, Der Young, Hunt (Mehmet 59), Hristov (Christiansen 59) Subs not used: Langfield; Makel, Labonte, Ross - Booked: Hristov (58) Inverness CT: 0 Team: Brown; Tokely, Dods, Munro, Golabek, Wilson, Hart (Fetai 66), Black, McBain, Brewster, Prunty (Bayne 73) Subs not used: Fraser; Hastings, Proctor, Duncan, Fox - Booked: None Attendance: 4481 - Referee: Calum Murray
  4. Almost Mission Accomplished So near yet so far - so near to the top six yet it is hard to credit how far the team has come this season. Caley Thistle needed to win well and hope that Kilmarnock would beat Motherwell. A four-goal difference had to be overcome but in the event, Motherwell scraped a last minute equaliser against Killie and it was all academic. The three points gained here were however enough to mathematically secure SPL football for next season. Richard Hastings came in for the suspended Stuart Golabek, Darren Dods took over the captaincy, Craig Brewster came back into the starting eleven and teenager Rory McAllister was rewarded for excellent reserve performances by gaining a bench place. Caley Thistle started briskly but Dundee could have taken the lead in six minutes when a Callum McDonald stab came off the post and into the arms of a relieved Mark Brown. It was all one-way traffic in the other direction from then apart from a 10-minute spell near the end. After ten minutes a Brewster flick set up Barry Wilson but he shot over. The opening goal came in 17 minutes and it was a three-man effort. Brewster set Ross Tokely on a run down the right, he rounded a defender and found Roy McBain in the box and from 10 yards the midfielder lofted it into the net. A minute later a Brewster turn and shot came off the post. It continued in the same vein until the 37th minute when Neil Barrett brought Wilson down and a penalty was awarded. Wilson's spot-kick was pushed away by Derek Soutar then he parried Wilson's follow-up shot. Bryan Prunty saved Wilson's blushes when he headed home the loose ball for 2-0. Seconds before the break Richie Hart's 100th appearance ended prematurely when he suffered a dead-leg and was replaced by David Proctor. Half Time: 2-0 Another penalty was awarded early in the second half when Prunty was brought down but Soutar guessed correctly and pushed away Wilson's kick. A rare Dundee effort came in 53 minutes when Brown touched over an Iain Anderson shot from all of 35 yards. Brewster hit just wide in 61 minutes but he had more luck three minutes later when he headed in a Wilson free kick to make it 3-0. Then came a Dundee revival. Bobby Mann hit a 25 yard free kick just wide in 70 minutes, much to the relief of the home fans who had watched him score many goals for ICT from set pieces. In 74 minutes a free kick from Dundee's Anderson beat Brown but hit the post but Tam McManus was well-placed to touch it in for 3-1. It was 3-2 with 10 minutes left when a low cross from Anderson was neatly flicked in by John Sutton via the post. The attacks on Soutar's goal then resumed but nothing came off; McBain hit over, Russell Duncan did the same, Soutar held two shots from Graham Bayne and the whistle went for full time. Full Time: 3-2 The pressure is now off and the five remaining games will give the management team the chance to plan for next season. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness CT: 3 (McBain 17, Prunty 38, Brewster 65) Team: Brown; Tokely, Dods, Munro, Hastings, Black (Duncan 66), Wilson, Hart (Proctor 45),McBain, Prunty, Brewster (Bayne 73). Subs Not Used: Fraser; Fox, Fetai, McAllister - Booked: Munro (70), Dods (88), Duncan (89) Dundee: 2 (McManus 74, Sutton 80.) Team: Soutar; Kitamirike, Mann, Sancho, McDonald, Fotheringham (Robertson 63), Barrett (Sutton 76), Caballero, Robb, Lovell (Anderson 36), McManus. Subs Not Used: Dubourdeau; Larsen, Conway - Booked: Barrett. Attendance: 4,786 - Referee: Dougie McDonald
  5. 200 up for Roy This was billed as a top six showdown and it was Caley Thistle who took the points. The victory was a narrow one but the margin could easily have been greater. For Motherwell it was a disaster; defeat, a red card and two key players injured. Heavy rain left the pitch soggy but referee Brian Cassidy, on his first and last SPL appearance in the middle before retirement, deemed it playable. Craig Brewster rotated the squad and brought in Bryan Prunty instead of himself. Roy McBain made his 200th appearance. For Gordon Marshall it was a night to forget although it did start well when he turned a curling Barry Wilson shot for a corner in 13 minutes. Four minutes later he spilled a seemingly easy ball and it was booted clear by a defender. In 22 minutes Stuart Golabek slid a measured pass to Prunty down the left and Marshall came well out of his goal to block the strikers path. Prunty rolled the ball past the keeper to Graham Bayne six yards out and he touched it home for his seventh and easiest goal of the season. Two minutes later Prunty was through on Marshall and he chipped it past the keeper with the intention of racing on and netting. The goal was virtually certain but Marshall chose to take Prunty out of play just outside the box. The inevitable red card was brandished and Terry Butcher was forced to sacrifice Shaun Fagan for reserve keeper Barry-John Corr. Injuries to Scott McDonald and Kevin McBride meant that Butcher had used all three substitutes by the 37th minute. The ten men dug in and Caley Thistle failed to add to their tally. Half Time: 1-0 Just after the break a poor clearance fell to Wilson but his angled shot sailed wide. The pattern of ICT pressure continued for most of the match and Motherwell never threatened until the closing stages. In 71 minutes Bayne hit low and wide then six minutes later another chance fell to Wilson. He sent in a shot from just outside the area and the home crowd rose to salute goal number two; in the end it grazed the post and went harmlessly wide. In the last ten minutes Motherwell could easily have equalised. In 84 minutes Mark Brown had to be alert when an awkward ball came into his area bound for David Clarkson. Brown caught it well then, in the final minute, a free kick from Steve Hammell dipped wickedly and Brown tipped it over. The final action saw a Jim Paterson shot blocked by the home defence. Full Time: 1-0 The top six places will be decided on Saturday. ICT have to win against Dundee, Kilmarnock have to beat Motherwell and a four goal gap has to be bridged. A tall order but for the Inverness camp it is fantastic just to be in the race. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness CT: 1 (Bayne 20) Team: Brown, Tokely, Dods, Munro, Golabek, Hart, Black, McBain (Duncan 62), Wilson (Proctor 87), Bayne (Fatai 78), Prunty. Subs Not Used: Fraser, McCaffrey, Hastings, Fox - Booked: Black (86) Motherwell: 0 Team: Marshall, Paul Quinn, Craigan, Partridge, Hammell, McBride (Kerr 36), Leitch, Fagan (Corr 24), Paterson, Scott McDonald (Clarkson 16), Hamilton. Subs Not Used: Britton, Foran, Kinniburgh, Fitzpatrick Booked: Partridge (70), Hamilton (84), Craigan (86) - Sent Off: Marshall (23). Attendance: 3,746 - Referee: Brian Cassidy
  6. Rugby Park firsts This first-ever win against Kilmarnock pushed ICT up to a new high of seventh in the SPL. After the disappointment of last week against Aberdeen this was a victory to relish. With Juanjo out injured for the rest of the season some reorganisation was required. Ian Black replaced Russell Duncan in midfield and Graham Bayne partnered Craig Brewster in the striking role. Ross Tokely overtook Charlie Christie's record with his 315th appearance. In the end just one goal separated the sides but chances were missed at both ends. Alan Combe tipped over a Brewster shot in only two minutes and seven minutes later Mark Brown pushed a Peter Leven curling free kick onto the bar. In 13 minutes Combe stopped a Stuart Golabek shot and watched as Graham Bayne's follow-up hit the post. Just after the half-hour mark ICT scored what proved to be the only goal of the match. Freddy Dindeleux hesitated, Brewster stepped in and found Barry Wilson in the clear. He rounded Combe and slotted home his tenth goal of the season from an acute angle. Kilmarnock fought back immediately but Brown saved from Gary Wales and Steven Naismith's angled drive from long range went just wide. Killie pushed hard through to the break but could not find a way through the ICT defence. Half Time: 0-1 The pattern continued into the second half and Brown did well to block a Gary McDonald effort in 50 minutes. Wales should have done better in 57 minutes when he failed to connect properly with a Naismith cross despite being well placed close to goal. Bayne had a chance to double the lead in 78 minutes after being sent through by Brewster but his shot had no power and Combe collected easily. Despite a late surge from Kilmarnock the ICT defence held firm and it ended 1-0. Full Time: 0-1 Caley Thistle continue to look upwards in the league with seven games left as the spectre of relegation continues to recede. There is now a 14 point gap over basement club Dundee United and an outside chance of a top six finish. Motherwell are six points ahead with two games left before the split and have a six-goal advantage. All this adds some spice to Tuesday's visit of the Steelmen to Inverness. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Kilmarnock: 0 Team: Combe; Fowler, Hay, Lilley, Dindeleux, McDonald, Murray, Leven, Naismith (Johnston 65), Boyd, Wales (Nish 62) Subs not used: Smith, Dodds, Greer, Johnstone McGregor - Booked: Lilley Inverness CT: 1 (Wilson 32) Team: Brown; Tokely, Dods, Munro, Golabek, Wilson (Duncan 79), Hart (Fetai 75), Black (Proctor), McBain, Bayne, Brewster Subs not used: Fraser; McCaffrey, Hastings, Prunty - Booked: Brewster (60), Black (70) Attendance: 4862 - Referee: Ian Fyfe
  7. Dons Defeat This was a hard defeat to take after having so much of the play. Stuart Golabek made his 200th appearance and Ross Tokely equalled Charlie Christie's club record when he played for the 314th time. A huge crowd packed the stadium in the Spring sunshine and they saw the home side dominate for most of the game but fail to make the important breakthrough. The pressure on Aberdeen started in the first minute when Ryan Esson smothered the ball at Juanjo's feet then a Craig Brewster effort was deflected over the bar. Russell Duncan shot wide in 16 minutes, Barry Wilson did the same in 21 minutes then just after the half-hour mark a Brewster acrobatic effort was tipped over by Esson. The resultant corner was delayed as Russell Anderson was treated for a facial injury then finally led from the field. The corner reached Roy McBain and his low shot rebounded to Juanjo whose strike from a few yards out was held by Esson. Aberdeen were conspicuous by their attacking absence for most of this period apart from Noel Whelan's header over the bar in 24 minutes and Markus Heikkinen's high shot from 25 yards shortly after. The only goal of the game came in 39 minutes when a ball deflected off Grant Munro to the feet of Whelan who scored from 12 yards. Half Time: 0-1 ICT were less impressive in the second half but they had chances as Aberdeen seemed content to sit on their lead. A long Munro throw on the hour mark was punched away by Esson and scrambled clear. A high cross from Tokely in 66 minutes was met by Brewster but his header went across goal and wide. The closest Aberdeen came was in 74 minutes when a long throw from Richard Foster landed on the top of the bar. Substitute Bajram Fetai latched onto a Brewster flick in 79 minutes but his overhead kick was just off-target. Fetai had two close-range shots blocked close to the end before sub Bryan Prunty nearly equalised. A long Munro throw was headed on by Darren Dods and Brewster before Prunty headed goalwards. It looked net-bound but Esson popped up to push it onto the top of the bar. The last chance was gone and the Dons amazingly took the points. Full Time: 0-1 With three games left before the split ICT remain eighth, 11 points clear of Dundee United in twelfth spot. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness CT: 0 Team: Brown; Tokely, Dods, Munro, Golabek, Wilson, Hart (Fetai 57), Duncan, McBain (Bayne 83), Juanjo (Prunty 71), Brewster Subs not used: Fraser; McCaffrey, Proctor, Hastings - Booked: Golabek (42), Brewster (75) Aberdeen: 1 Team: Esson; Hart, Anderson (McGuire 35), Diamond, Byrne, Winter (Foster 46), Severin, Heikkinen, Clark, Mackie, Whelan (Blaha 73) Subs not used: Preece; Stewart, Morrison, Muirhead - Booked: Clark (47), Whelan (60) Attendance: 7026 - Referee: Alan Freeland
  8. Celtic too strong Caley Thistle's fine unbeaten run ended with defeat at the hands of Celtic. The match was played in front of a record attendance and, despite the result, the home side put up an excellent show. A niggling knee injury kept Craig Brewster out of the ICT side and Graham Bayne took his place. Unlike the famous cup match in Inverness two years ago Celtic were at full strength. Roy McBain shot low from long range in just 26 seconds but Douglas collected easily. A John Hartson 25 yard shot was deflected past in two minutes then Stilian Petrov headed over in nine minutes. Douglas took a Richie Hart cross high at the other end then he also caught a rising Barry Wilson free kick. Despite pressure Celtic could not find the target as first Craig Bellamy headed over in 19 minutes then Hartson headed wide. A neat ICT move in 34 minutes was engineered by Darren Dods. The big defender ventured upfield, played a one-two with Roy McBain then crossed from the right; it strayed towards the corner flag and Bayne's cross back into the box was cleared. Two minutes later Dods headed downwards but wide after a Hart corner. The home defence repelled all danger and there was no score at the interval. Half Time: 0-0 In 49 minutes Alan Thompson came very close with a 20 yard free kick but it was tipped onto the top of the bar by Mark Brown and cleared.. Bellamy raced past three defenders on the hour mark but his 20 yard low shot was smothered by Brown. Three minutes later the Bellamy/Aiden McGeady double act created a decisive goal but not before Wilson hit two 25 yard shots in succession at Douglas' goal, one high and one wide. Bellamy's goal started when he won possession in midfield, passed to McGeady then took the return wide of goal on the right. He sent an angled ball between Brown and the near post for 1-0. Bellamy then shot inches wide with the Celtic fans already on their feet celebrating. In the push for a second goal Bellamy shot over, a Bobo Balde header was cleared by Grant Munro, Dods took the ball off the feet of Hartson and a Petrov shot was held by Brown. There were glimmers of hope when Caley Thistle attacked but nothing came off. Douglas did have to be alert to take a Stuart Golabek high cross in 73 minutes then he smothered the ball at Bayne's feet. It was all over in 84 minutes when Tokely was adjudged to have fouled Bellamy in the box and Thompson made his usual fine job of the penalty. A Thompson free kick into the box a minute from time was headed clear then a Hart run was halted when he passed two men and used a hand to assist passing the third. Full Time: 0-2 The whistle went and the visitors were content with their well-deserved 2-0 victory. ICT heads were held high but it was a sign of the times that all felt bitterly disappointed. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness CT: 0 Team: Brown, Tokely, Dods, Munro, Golabek, Hart, Duncan (Black 89), McBain, Wilson, Bayne (Fatai 78), Juanjo (Prunty 72). Subs Not Used: Fraser, McCaffrey, Hastings, Proctor. Celtic: 2 (Bellamy 63, Thompson 84 pen) Team: Douglas, McNamara, Henchoz, Balde, Laursen, McGeady, Petrov, Lennon, Thompson, Hartson (Beattie 79), Bellamy. Subs Not Used: Marshall, Valgaeren, Pearson, Fernandez, Wallace, McManus. Attendance: 7,045 - Referee: H Dallas
  9. Joy at Jamboland: On Thursday Hearts sought a postponement of this fixture due to a flu epidemic sweeping Tynecastle. With two free Saturdays looming Caley Thistle wanted to avoid another rearranged match so were keen to play. The SPL refused the request and the match went ahead. Craig Brewster came back from injury for ICT with Graham Bayne reverting to the bench. John Robertson's weakened side played some neat passing football, and defended well for most of the game, but never troubled Mark Brown. A rare Hearts first half effort came in eight minutes when former Caley Thistle favourite Dennis Wyness shot high and wide from 22 yards. Juanjo tried an overhead kick at the other end but it went well wide. In 12 minutes Stuart Golabek sent a cross from the left towards the back post and Roy McBain headed powerfully goalwards. Craig Gordon was nowhere and Hearts were only saved by a fine Andy Webster goal-line clearance. Wyness set up Joe Hamill in 24 minutes but his early rising shot cleared the bar. Most of the first half was rather disjointed but things improved after the break. Half Time: 0-0 Wyness headed just over in 53 minutes with the home fans on their feet thinking it was in, but it was Caley Thistle who took the lead two minutes later. Not for the first time Juanjo was fouled on the right and Richie Hart took the free kick. Darren Dods rose high above a static defence to head home his first goal for the club. Hearts nearly equalised a minute later when Ross Tokely's attempted clearance skidded onto the top of the bar and over for a corner. Tokely redeemed himself seconds later with a fine block as Christophe Berra prepared to shoot. It was all over in 72 minutes when Barry Wilson chased a loose ball across the Hearts box and Gordon brought him down. Gordon saw yellow and Wilson hit the resultant penalty past the offending keeper to seal the points. The Hearts fans started to leave and their team spent the rest of the game on the back foot. Caley Thistle were content to play possession football over the final period. Wyness did have a sight of goal in 81 minutes but he hit it straight through to Brown. A Duncan lob into the Hearts box a minute later was taken by Gordon ahead of substitute Bryan Prunty. Full Time: 0-2 In added time Liam Fox made a good run through the middle but hit it too far and Gordon collected. A fine three points, eighth place maintained, seventh place in sight, undefeated in six SPL games, eleven points clear of bottom club Dundee United and all looking good. Celtic up next. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Hearts: 0 Team: Gordon; Hamill, Berra, Webster, Wallace, Cesnauskis (Pereira 64), Thomson, Janczyk (Thorarinsson 69), Miller (Elliot 84), Wyness, Weir Subs not used: Lithgow, Pelosi, Tierney, Moilanen - Booked: Gordon (72) Inverness CT: 2 (Dods 55, Wilson 72 pen) Team: Brown; Tokely, Dods, Munro, Golabek, Wilson (Fox 90), Hart, Duncan, McBain, Juanjo (Prunty 79), Brewster (Bayne 79) Subs not used: Fraser; McCaffrey, Hastings, Fetai - Booked: Golabek(90) Attendance: 9822 - Referee: Craig Thomson
  10. Prunty Shins Gers Another remarkable result in a memorable week. Everyone knew that the team was playing well but few thought Caley Thistle could take anything from the Ibrox cauldron. When Barry Ferguson broke the deadlock in 57 minutes it looked like going according to the script, but Rangers could not kill the visitors off, the home crowd grew restless and Caley Thistle were rewarded for their diligence with a last minute Bryan Prunty equaliser. Prunty's first goal for the club created a sensation nationally and was a severe blow to Rangers title hopes. Caley Thistle made one change from the team that beat Hibs in midweek with the injured Craig Brewster making way for Graham Bayne. Rangers dropped Michael Ball to the bench and brought in Swedish winger Bojan Djordjic. Steven Thompson replaced the suspended Dado Prso. It was Thompson who had the first effort on goal in 13 minutes but he headed wide. This was followed quickly by a Nacho Novo shot that flew wide. Juanjo chipped wide at the other end after turning Marvin Andrews in the box then a Novo drive was beaten away by Mark Brown. Novo hit over in 29 minutes, but little made it past either defence before the interval. With the whistle looming Grant Munro headed wide for ICT. Half Time: 0-0 Rangers pushed forward after the break but Mark Brown saved from Novo, Fernando Ricksen shot over and Novo hit wide before Ferguson gave Rangers the lead in 57 minutes. A pass from Ricksen cleared the Caley Thistle defence and Ferguson neatly sent an angled chip over Mark Brown, his first goal since rejoining Rangers from Blackburn. Richie Hart shot over in 70 minutes then Brown collected from Thomas Buffel. Hart hit wide in 78 minutes and a Novo effort cleared the bar. Waterreus blocked a shot from on loan Ranger Bajram Fetai then a Darren Dods shot was cleared. With four minutes left Novo should have secured a win for Rangers. He was one-on-one with Mark Brown but the former Ibrox keeper saved the day with his legs. Caley Thistle's strong finish earned an equaliser from substitute Bryan Prunty in the dying seconds. A long ball from Grant Munro came off the back of Gregory Vignal and Prunty bundled it home with what appeared to be his shins. Full Time: 1-1 Despite the welcome point, Livingston's win at Dundee reduced the gap between eighth and twelfth to eight points. Livingston share bottom place with Dundee United. On the other hand the optimists will point out that ICT are just two points off seventh spot. Now for Hearts! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Rangers: 1 (Ferguson 57) Team: Waterreus; Ross, Andrews, Kyrgiakos, Vignal, Buffel, Ricksen, Ferguson, Djordjic (Malcolm 53), Novo, Thompson. Subs Not Used: McGregor; Rae, Burke, Ball, Namouchi, McCormack. - Booked: Kyrgiakos (41). Inverness CT: 1 (Prunty 90) Team: Brown; Tokely, Dods, Munro, Golabek, Wilson (Fatai 70), Hart, McBain, Duncan, Juanjo, Bayne (Prunty 74). Subs Not Used: Fraser; McCaffrey, Hastings, Proctor, Black. - Booked: McBain (60), Hart (60). Attendance: 49,345 - Referee: Mike Ritchie
  11. City slickers beaten A thoroughly well-deserved victory for Caley Thistle thanks to a cool finish by Juanjo and converted free kicks from Craig Brewster and Barry Wilson. For high-flying Hibs their first competitive visit to Inverness was a bitter one - bitterly cold and a bitterly disappointing result. In early exchanges Roy McBain shot low and wide in 14 minutes and Ross Tokely blocked an overhead attempt by Derek Riordan in 21 minutes. Just after the half-hour mark a measured pass from Russell Duncan set Stuart Golabek free in the box and one-on-one with Simon Brown. As the ICT captain shot low to the keepers left he made a superb full-length diving save to keep the scoreline blank. The opening goal came in 38 minutes when the Hibs defence failed to clear a Richie Hart corner from the right and Juanjo nipped in, rounded two defenders and hit high into the net from an acute angle. Half Time: 1-0 It stood 1-0 at the break but the visitors should have equalised six minutes into the second half. Riordan seized on a short back-pass and headed for goal. He was forced wide by the diving Mark Brown and his angled shot came off the post. Grant Munro shepherded it away and the danger was past. This proved to be a defining moment as Caley Thistle quickly went two ahead. McBain was brought down by Ian Murray 22 yards out and Brewster's low free kick found the corner of the net. Hibee Garry O'Connor came close in 62 minutes but his 25 yard shot came off the bar. This was a rare effort from the visitors who failed to find the form that had taken them to third in the league. They went three down in 77 minutes after Juanjo had been brought down 19 yards out, left of centre. Barry Wilson's free kick took a deflection of the wall and Simon Brown failed to clear despite the assistance of the post. The referee and his assistant decreed that the ball had crossed the line although many in the stadium were unsure. 3-0 it was and, with a minute left, substitute Graham Bayne nearly made it four. His drive from outside the box hit the post and Simon Brown made a superb save from the strikers follow-up. Full Time: 3-0 A vital and unexpected win in the battle for SPL survival. Livingston beat Kilmarnock so the gap between eighth and twelfth is still ten points. On the other hand ICT are now just three points behind seventh-placed Kilmarnock with two games in hand. Now for Ibrox! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness CT: 3 (Juanjo 38, Brewster 52, Wilson 77) Team: Brown; Tokely, Dods, Munro, Golabek, Wilson, Hart (Proctor 83), Duncan, McBain, Juanjo (Fetai 78), Brewster (Bayne 78) Subs not used: Fraser; McCaffrey, Hastings, Prunty - Booked: None Hibernian: 0 Team: Simon Brown; Whittaker, Caldwell, Smith, I Murray (Shiels 65), Murphy, Orman (Sproule 65), A. Murray (McDonald 46), Scott Brown, O'Connor, Riordan Subs not used: Brown, McCluskey, Morrow, Konte - Booked: None Attendance: 4443 - Referee: John Underhill
  12. Life after Robbo With John Robertson already off to Tynecastle, Donald Park stayed behind to take charge for one game. It was a gutsy performance which saw Caley Thistle head home with a point. ICT started with the same team that beat Livingston. The main talking point of the day was the referee whose decisions led to much criticism and debate. The early exchanges saw the home side have good attempts from Craig Brewster and Billy Mehmet with Mark Brown having to be on top form to tip the latter's 30 yard shot over the bar. Caley Thistle were still finding their feet on the plastic but Juanjo was doing well running at The Pars defence and giving them a hard time of it. Graham Bayne was also working hard and Barry Wilson was making some fine runs down the right wing. But it was the home side who took the lead just before the half hour. Richie Byrne fed a through ball to Craig Brewster who in turn found Billy Mehmet and the midfielder passed the ball to Darren Young and his shot from 25 yards flew into the corner of the net. ICT should have been level moments later when Richie Hart was left in the clear with only the goalkeeper to beat but the midfielder shot high and wide. Minutes later the referee was embroiled in controversy when Scott Wilson brought down Juanjo it took several minutes to sort things out before the free-kick was taken. Half Time: 1-0 No more incidents or goals so the second half began and this time the controversy was in the Caley Thistle box when Barry Nicholson went down after Mark Brown had gone for the ball. The referee obviously thought that Nicholson had taken a dive so gave nothing - strangely there was no yellow card. ICT continued to look for an equaliser and Russell Duncan's fine run and shot and then Bayne's good effort saw Derek Stillie in the home goal having to look lively and make good saves from both efforts. An equaliser was on the cards and it came in the shape of substitute Liam Fox, a goalscoring hero in the recent Kilmarnock fixture. Roy McBain's corner fell to Fox and his fine shot from the edge of the box took a deflection off Ross Tokely and landed in the back of the net. The goal was no more than Caley Thistle deserved for an excellent second half performance on a pitch that was now really tricky due to the incessant rain. Full Time: 1-1 During the game we had a tale of two goalkeeping incidents. Firstly Mark Brown pulled off a tremendous save from a back header from Stuart Golabek which the ICT captain eventually managed to scramble back and clear before the ball finally went out for a corner kick and more bizarrely we had the sight of Pars keeper Derek Stillie doing a juggling act with the ball as he attempted to make sure that Barry Wilson did not find the back of the net. In the end a fine away point. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dunfermline: 1 (Darren Young 28) Team: Stillie; Wilson, Skerla (Byrne 19), Shields, Tod (Derek Young 60), Nicholson, Thomson, Darren Young, Mason, Mehmet (Donnelly 75), Brewster Subs Not Used: Langfield; Labonte, Bradley, Butler - Booked: Wilson (39), Young (51), Donnelly (84) Inverness CT: 1 (Fox 79) Team: Brown; Tokely, Dods, Munro, Golabek, Wilson (Keogh 84), Hart (Fox 71), Duncan (Black 77), McBain, Juanjo, Bayne Subs Not Used: Fraser; McCaffrey, Thomson, Prunty - Booked: (Bayne 9) Attendance: 4921 Referee: Iain Brines
  13. Revenge for opening day defeat Another fantastic result for the club on a day that speculation was rife that John Robertson was off to Hearts. Another fine performance by the team made it a week to remember - seven points from three games. Praise in this game must go to a resolute defence who played superbly well in the second half as they protected our young substitute goalkeeper Michael Fraser, who replaced the injured Mark Brown at half-time, to record their second clean sheet of the season. ICT began the match with the same team that played Dundee. Caley Thistle started well and Juanjo saw his shot eventually cleared by MacKenzie in the away goal. ICT continued to press but most of the action was in midfield. Livingston had a couple of efforts from Lilley and Brittain before the home side opened the scoring through Graham Bayne. Barry Wilson's free-kick was headed on by Ross Tokely and Bayne was on hand to fire a superb shot into the net. Just on the half-time break Wilson's free-kick went inches wide of the target after Juanjo was brought down. Half Time: 1-0 In the second half Michael Fraser was introduced into the action due to a recurrence of Mark Brown's ankle injury. Livingston came more into the game and Derek Lilley saw his 25 yard drive come back off the post with Darren Dods blocking his follow-up. Burton O’Brien’s drive bounced off the bar before Fraser produced a superb save to deny Jim Hamilton then Mark Libbra had a goal disallowed for offside. ICT deservedly netted a second goal with three minutes remaining. Oscar Rubio made an error which allowed Wilson to run in on goal. His first attempt was saved by McKenzie but his second effort crossed the line before the goalkeeper scooped the ball away. Wild celebrations by the ICT fans as they could now rest easy knowing that the three points were secure. Full Time: 2-0 The referee eventually blew for the end of the game after four minutes of added time. Three points, a further two goals scored, a clean sheet, and up to ninth in the league. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness CT: 2 (Bayne 39, Wilson 87) Team: Brown (Fraser 45), Tokely, Dods, Munro, Golabek, Wilson, McBain, Hart (Keogh 74), Duncan, Bayne, Juanjo (Thomson 80). Subs Not Used: McCaffrey, Prunty, Fox, Black - Booked: Duncan (60), Tokely (60). Livingston: 0 Team: McKenzie, McNamee, Rubio, Dorado, Stanic, Brittain, Easton, Lovell (Snodgrass 67), O'Brien, Hamilton, Lilley (Libbra 76). Subs Not Used: Boyack, Snowdon, McLaughlin, McMenamin, Meldrum - Booked: Hamilton, Dorado. Attendance: 1,279 Referee: Mike McCurry
  14. Bayne double dumps Dundee A glorious opening period and ICT deservedly went in 1-0 up at half-time. This was followed by a dogged and determined second period which saw them hold off a late Dundee fightback to take all three points. John Robertson made one change in the starting line-up with Darren Dods making his first appearance of the season in place of the suspended Stuart McCaffrey. Right from the whistle ICT pushed forward and created a number of chances. Barry Wilson moved down the right and put over a fine cross into the penalty area which was half-cleared by ex-ICT captain Bobby Mann to Roy McBain but his right foot drive went wide. Minutes later Juanjo had an effort which again went just wide of the right hand upright. Len Atle Larsen then should have given the Dens Park side the lead when he was through one-on-one with Mark Brown but his weak effort was easily saved by the 'keeper. Caley Thistle continued to press and a terrific move involving Juanjo and Richie Hart saw the latter’s final pass go just over the head of Graham Bayne. ICT’s pressure was rewarded with five minutes remaining in the half. Juanjo fed a through ball which split the Dens Park sides defence wide open and Bayne was on it like a flash to coolly and calmly place the ball wide of Soutar to give Caley Thistle the lead and score his first goal for the club. Half Time: 1-0 ICT increased their lead in 58 minutes when Juanjo’s 25 yard shot deflected off Graham Bayne and into the net. The home support by this time were ecstatic and enjoying a thoroughly professional performance. The goal was originally credited to Juanjo but eventually given to Bayne to take his tally up to two. ICT continued to keep control of the game although the wind and rain started to take its toll. Eventually Dundee pulled one back when Steve Lovell found space on the right to drill a shot past Mark Brown into the far corner of the net. With six minutes remaining Brown went down with a recurrence of the injury he sustained at Rugby Park and he was replaced by Michael Fraser for his first ever appearance. He looked confident in everything that he had to do and, when the final whistle went, ICT celebrated their fourth point in two games after a terrific team performance. Full Time: 2-1 After everyone was predicting a low attendance a crowd of 1254 turned up to witness ICT’s best 90 minutes of the season and hopefully this can now be continued into this Saturday's important game against Livingston. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness CT: 2 (Bayne 40, 58) Team: Brown (Fraser 87), Tokely, Dods, Munro, Golabek, Wilson, Hart (Keogh 78), Duncan, McBain, Bayne (Prunty 90), Juanjo. Subs Not Used: Hastings, Thomson, Fox, Black - Booked: Duncan(60) Dundee Fc: 1 (Lovell 72) Team: Soutar, McNally, Mann, Sancho, Robb, Larsen (Caballero 56), Smith, Brady, Barrett (Fotheringham 64), Lovell, Sutton. Subs Not Used: N Jack, McDonald, Anderson, Hernandez Santos, Jablonski - Booked: Lovell (73) Attendance: 1,254 Referee: Mike Ritchie
  15. Fox rescue's a point for 10 man Caley Jags A pulsating 90 minutes of football with four goals, a sending off and much controversy - the main one being Stuart McCaffrey's red card early in the second half. John Robertson re-instated Juanjo Carricondo into the starting line-up at the expense of Bryan Prunty who moved down to the bench. The home side began well and swarmed about the ICT defence. They were rewarded with a goal four minutes into the game. Stevie Murray picked up Craig Dargo’s pass and his left foot shot went into the net at the near post with Mark Brown seeming to get his foot stuck on the wet surface. The home side continued to press but ICT began to push more into the game and their perseverance was rewarded on the quarter of an hour mark when a short corner from Roy McBain found Barry Wilson and he fired home from the edge of the box. A slight deflection gave Alan Combe no chance. Ross Tokely had a drive well saved and Wilson also had an effort but missed the target by a good distance. The home side regained the lead just before the half hour and once again it was a defensive error that cost ICT dear. Grant Munro should have knocked the ball out for a corner kick but he allowed Danny Invincible to cross to Craig Dargo - his shot was cleared but Gordon Greer knocked the ball home from 14 yards. Half Time: 2-1 The second half got off to a sensational start with the ordering off of Stuart McCaffrey . A through ball was fed to Craig Dargo and he went down after minimal contact from McCaffrey. It looked accidental but the referee disagreed. Juanjo was eventually sacrificed as Richard Hastings was brought in to bolster the defence. ICT continued to push for an equaliser and the next substitutions certainly went a long way to making sure that Caley Thistle would take something from this game. The speed of Liam Keogh and the finesse of Liam Fox were introduced into the game with 15 minutes remaining and they made a massive impact. With eight minutes remaining in the game Liam Fox, making his second substitute appearance for the club, scored a tremendous equalising goal. He moved on to a Barry Wilson through pass inside the box and from a very acute angle fired the ball under Alan Combe for a stunning goal. Full Time 2-2 This gave ICT a share of the spoils and a vital away point. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Kilmarnock: 2 (Murray 5, Greer 27) Team: Combe, Greer, Lilley, Leven, Dindeleux, Locke (Joly 63), Invincibile, McDonald, Murray (Hay 76), Dargo (Naismith 82), Boyd. Subs Not Used: Smith, Fowler, Nish, Ford - Booked: None Inverness CT: 2 (Wilson 16, Fox 83) Team: Brown, Tokely, McCaffrey, Munro, Golabek, Wilson, Hart (Fox 75), Duncan, McBain (Keogh 76), Juanjo (Hastings 57), Bayne. Subs Not Used: Fraser, Prunty, Black, Thomson - Booked: None - Sent Off: McCaffrey (51). Attendance: 4,721 Referee: Craig MacKay
  16. Neighbours do Home & Away Aberdeen’s first ever ‘away’ game at Pittodrie. The heavy pitch survived two inspections and the game went ahead. Once again Caley Thistle gave maximum effort but the need for an out-and-out goalscorer is clear. There was a cracking goal from Roy McBain but numerous missed chances. John Robertson made two changes from the side which drew with Motherwell - Juanjo Carricondo and Liam Keogh were relegated to the bench with Bryan Prunty and Roy McBain on from the start. The game got off to a lively start but both teams had difficulty on what was a very wet pitch. Aberdeen had the better of the early chances with Steve Tosh and Scott Severin both having chances but the early highlight was the superb reaction save from Mark Brown when he managed to tip a great effort from Derek Adams over the bar. The deadlock was broken just before the half hour when Adams worked a fine one-two with Chris Clark, cleverly turned Stuart McCaffrey and slotted the ball home from close range. ICT reacted and captain Stuart Golabek moved upfield and saw his fierce drive tipped round the post by David Preece. Minutes later and joy for the home support as their favourites got right back into the game with a brilliant equalising goal from midfielder Roy McBain who hit a superb drive from 25 yards which went in at the post. Half Time: 1-1 Caley Thistle began the second half in fine form and took the game to the visitors. Richie Hart had a fine effort saved by the goalkeeper and Bryan Prunty was unlucky with a header. Midway through the half and disaster struck when Brown was adjudged to have brought down Darren Mackie inside the box. Adams scored his second goal of the afternoon from the penalty spot. ICT made every effort in an attempt to get back into the game as they searched for an equaliser but they were now finding it very difficult on the heavy pitch. In the final minute of the match Caley Thistle lost a third goal. Golabek was dispossessed in the midfield and in his effort to get back to retrieve the situation he impeded Darren Mackie inside the penalty area. It was a clear penalty and Mackie stepped up to send the ball past Brown. Full Time: 1-3 Another game in which ICT matched the opposition for long spells but defensive errors which cost them dearly. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness CT: 1 (McBain 36) Team: Brown; Tokely, McCaffrey (Keogh 86), Munro, Golabek, Wilson, Hart, Duncan (Black 76), McBain, Bayne, Prunty (Juanjo 70). Subs Not Used: Fraser; Thomson, Fox, Dods. - Booked: Golabek (60), McCaffrey (70), Brown (80) Aberdeen: 3 (Adams 28, 64 pen, Mackie 90 pen) Team: Preece; Hart, Severin, McGuire, McNaughton, Clark (Craig 67), Heikkinen, Tosh, Foster (Pasquinelli 79), Mackie, Adams (Stewart 85). Subs Not Used: Esson; Morrison, Considine. - Booked: Tosh Attendance: 9,530 Referee: Iain Brines
  17. Welcome point for Caley Jags After a "pointless" September this draw was very welcome. It came courtesy of a last minute Stuart McCaffrey goal when another narrow defeat seemed inevitable. The goal might have come in the last minute of the match but what a valuable goal it could turn out to be come the end of the season. With the game heading for another 1-0 defeat, ICT once again surged forward throwing everything at the Motherwell defence and it was central defender McCaffrey who had come up for a corner kick who was on hand to stroke the ball home from six yards. Grant Munro was the only change from the side that narrowly lost down at Tynecastle against Hearts the previous Saturday – he returned from suspension and Richard Hastings was relegated to the bench. Motherwell began the game well and Mark Brown gathered the ball from Fagan¹s cross and minutes later he made a great stop from a MacDonald shot which Ross Tokely eventually cleared. Juanjo was a constant threat for ICT and was fouled on numerous occasions. Mark Brown pulled off another tremendous save after David Clarkson rifled in a 25-yard effort which the Scotland U-21 star tipped over the crossbar. Graham Bayne was getting through a power of work and was unfortunate as he was just about to shoot for goal when Gordon Marshall rushed from his line to block his attempt. Scott McDonald got the better of McCaffrey inside the ICT penalty area but he lost his balance just as he was about to shoot allowing the Caley Thistle defence to clear. The visitors took the lead seven minutes before the break when McDonald scrambled home the opener after a melee inside the ICT box. Half Time: 1-0 Into the second half and ICT went in search of an equaliser. Juanjo was replaced by Scotland U-21 star Bryan Prunty six minutes into the half and ICT enjoyed a good spell of attacking. Liam Keogh headed wide of the goal and Bayne also came close with a header. Keogh was replaced on the hour mark by Roy McBain and Marshall then made a great double save from Bryan Prunty and Richie Hart. Hart was then replaced after a midfield collision and onto the field for his first team debut came ex-Hearts youngster Liam Fox. ICT continued to press hoping that they could get back into the game and their persistence paid off as the Motherwell defence finally buckled after intense pressure. Barry Wilson's corner kick was cleared by the 'Well defence but the ball came back to the ICT frontman and his cross was headed on by Tokely for McCaffrey to sweep the ball high into the net for a well deserved equaliser. Full Time: 1-1 The point was needed as the three teams above all took a point during the weekend and it now sets up the first match of the season against Aberdeen in a fortnight's time. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness CT: 1 (McCaffrey 90) Team: Brown; Tokely, McCaffrey, Munro, Golabek, Wilson, Duncan, Hart (Fox 76), Keogh (McBain 60), Juanjo (Prunty 51), Bayne Subs not used: Fraser; Hastings, Thomson, Black - Booked: McCaffrey (90) Motherwell: 1 (McDonald 38) Team: Marshall; Corrigan, Craigan, Partridge, Hammell, McBride, Fagan, Leitch, Foran (Burns 87), Clarkson (Paterson 60), McDonald (Smith 88) Subs not used: Corr; Quinn, Kinniburgh, Fitzpatrick - Booked: Leitch, McDonald Referee: John Underhill Attendance: 1438 Game played @ Pittodrie
  18. Capital Punishment Caley Thistle travelled to Tynecastle in the hope that they could maintain the excellent form they showed in the game against Rangers and though they did produce another fine display, once again a defensive error was punished and the need to net at the other end let them down. Former ICT player Dennis Wyness was in the Hearts starting line-up and former Hearts star Juanjo Carricondo was in the ICT line-up as the teams kicked off on a beautiful afternoon. Caley Thistle immediately attacked the Hearts goal and in the early stages Stuart Golabek, Juanjo and Russell Duncan all had efforts at goal. Hearts took the lead in 15 minutes when Richard Hastings, making his first appearance of the season for the suspended Grant Munro, took too long to control the ball and Paul Hartley was onto the ball in a flash, moved forward and chipped over Mark Brown. The rest of the half was very even and entertaining and the half-time whistle went with the home side leading by the solitary goal. Half Time: 1-0 At the start of the second period Hartley’s corner was powerfully headed goalwards by Steven Pressley but Liam Keogh did an excellent job on the line and cleared the ball. Caley Thistle took the game to Hearts and Ross Tokely had the best chance of the game when he headed over from inside the six yard box from an excellent cross by Barry Wilson. Richie Hart had to come off with a back spasm after getting Patrick Kisnorbo's knee in the lower back and was replaced by Roy McBain and Steve Hislop replaced Juanjo on the hour mark. ICT continued to press for an equaliser and Tokely and Wilson both failed to hit the target. With 10 minutes remaining, substitute Hislop had to be stretchered off with a leg injury and he was replaced by Bryan Prunty. Caley Thistle kept pressing and Golabek shot wide from the edge of the penalty area. The last real chance of the game fell to substitute Prunty but he headed over from close range. Full Time: 1-0 Once again a tireless performance by the lads but nothing to show for it. Four home games in October will be critical for the team to move off the foot of the table. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Hearts: 1 (Hartley 15) Team: Gordon; Neilson, Pressley, Webster, Maybury, Hamill, Kisnorbo, Hartley, McAllister (Janczyk 83), Stamp (Sloan 83), Wyness (Elliot 63). Subs Not Used: Moilanen; MacFarlane, Berra, Stewart - Booked: McAllister (32), Pressley (58). Inverness CT: 0 Team: Brown; Tokely, McCaffrey, Golabek, Hastings, Wilson, Duncan, Keogh, Hart (McBain 53), Bayne, Juanjo (Hislop 60), Hislop (Prunty 82). Subs Not Used: Fraser; Dods, Thomson, Black - Booked: McBain (60) Att: 10,340 Ref: Kenny Clark
  19. Keeper saves the points for visitors ICT club historian Ian Broadfoot reports from the Tulloch Caledonian stadium on the league match against the reigning SPL champions Rangers. Saturday 6th August 2005 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE 0 {mosimage}Brown, Tokely, Dods, Munro, Hastings, Wilson (Fox 86), Black, McBain (Hart 82), Golabek, Dargo (Hislop 75), Brewster Subs – Duncan, Proctor, Parratt & Fraser RANGERS (Alec McLeish) 1 (Ferguson 69) {mosimage}Waterreus, Ricksen, Buffel, Andrews, Ferguson, Rae (Malcolm 84), Prso (Thompson 72), Novo, FanFan, Murray, Lovenkrands Subs – Rodriguez, Smith, Adam, McCormack & Klos Referee C Murray Attendance 7512 Man of the Match Darren Dods (ICT) Rangers took all three points on their first competitive visit to Inverness but it took two top-class saves from ‘keeper Ronald Waterreus to deny Caley Thistle at least a point. A record crowd of 7512 (plus over 100 freeloaders on the A9 embankment) watched a pulsating game which really could have gone either way. A Dado Prso long shot was blocked by the home defence in four minutes then Peter Lovenkrands hit the first of a number of shots off target. Roy McBain hit high over the Rangers goal in ten minutes then Craig Dargo created a fine opening for Craig Brewster four minutes later - Dargo sent a measured pass to the player/manager 18 yards out but he hit it first time over the bar. Just after the half hour mark a Grant Munro long throw into the Rangers box led to a sequence of headers then a blocked Brewster shot. The clearance fell to Barry Wilson on the right and his cross was headed goalwards by Darren Dods from close range. Somehow Waterreus reached it to deny what looked like a certain goal. Ross Tokely went down in the Rangers box just before the break but play was waved on. Right on the whistle a Barry Ferguson free kick from the left flashed just wide of Mark Brown's post. Half Time: 0-0 A Lovenkrands shot was blocked by Tokely just into the second half then Nacho Novo went down in the box alongside Dods – the vocal Rangers support screamed for a penalty but nothing was given. Rangers continued to press and a Ferguson shot was deflected for a corner just on the hour mark. A Novo angled shot was punched clear by Brown then Waterreus dived to collect a long shot from Stuart Golabek. The winning goal came from a fast break upfield and good work by Prso on the right of the ICT box. He took on two defenders but managed to cut the ball back from the goal-line to Ferguson in support. The Rangers skipper neatly hit it past Brown from a couple of yards out. His celebrations with the crowd behind the goal earned him a yellow card. Novo looked odds-on to score in 74 minutes but he mishit from a good position. The home crowd were livid when Alex Rae took Wilson out of the play in 78 minutes and the referee saw nothing wrong. Lovenkrands shot over with five minutes left then Caley Thistle laid siege to the Rangers box in the last few minutes. A Liam Fox shot was blocked, Golabek shot over from 18 yards then a throw into the box from Munro was cleared amidst chaos. With two minutes of added time gone Ian Black headed down the left, found Fox infield then the ball reached Richie Hart just outside the box – he hammered the ball goalwards but Waterreus produced his second international quality save of the day to deny the equaliser. Hart held his head in despair and the Rangers camp breathed a sigh of relief as the final whistle sounded. Full Time: 0-1 Caley Thistle were beaten and disappointed but they could be proud of a good performance.
  20. Ten man Ton grab a point An early goal from Sean McGinty was cancelled out in the fourth minute by a Shane Sutherland strike. Daniel Mackay put the visitors ahead after fifteen minutes. Morton were reduced to ten men with half an hour gone after Rabin Omar stopped a break forward and picked up a second yellow. That seemed to spur Morton on and they had a 'goal' chalked off for climbing ten minutes before the break. no surprise when Morton grabbed a share of the points when Cameron Blue knocked home after sterling work by Gary Oliver. No more scoring and a couple of points missed out on by Inverness against ten men for over half a game. After a prolonged break for various reasons, the Caley Jags played their first game since drawing with Dunfermline on 29th December 2020. The enforced lay-off meant that our match sharpness would be questioned by a Morton side that have played three games since then, drawing twice and losing their last outing at Palmerston. It was an early kick-off at Cappielow, 6:30pm with live streaming available from Morton TV. Miles Storey was one of the players who failed to make it and Brad Mckay was nowhere to be seen either. Daniel Mackay getting a rare start and Wallace Duffy returning to right back with Brad out. David Carson was on the bench along with regulars James Keatings, Nikolay Todorov and Roddy Macgregor. Anton McElhone had Orsi, Salkeld, Lyon and McAlister on the bench with McGuffie, Oliver and Omar stating tonight. The winter weather looked to have taken it's toll on the Cappielow turf, some areas looking heavy before a ball was kicked in earnest. We didn't have long to wait for the opening goal as Sean McGinty fired high into the net with only three minutes on the clock. The visitors replied immediately, if not sooner when Shane Sutherland slotted home a minute later. Daniel Mackay then put Inverness ahead with a fine finish after a through ball from Aaron Doran, easing round the keeper to score neatly. Disaster for Ton after twenty-eight minutes when Rabin Omar stopped Sutherland bursting forward in the middle of the park and picked up his second yellow card of the night. He was sent packing for his troubles. That seemed to inject some urgency into the hosts and from a corner Morton McGinty had the ball in the net again but climbing was deemed to have occurred and the Inverness defence breathed a sigh of relief. Robbie Deas saw a shot saved as the Caley Jags looked for a cushion before the break, and just before the interval it was Morton that were sighing as Inverness had a 'goal' ruled out as well. Half Time 1-2 No changes at the break and five minutes in Morton survived a penalty claim when it looked like an arm was used to bring the ball under control in the box. Referee Stuart saw it as accidental after a long hard look at the incident. With heavy drizzle dampening the occasion errors were always going to be a danger. A long throw in from Strapp was returned to him and he launched a fierce shot that fizzed over the bar. An Inverness corner caused some concern in the home box but it was scrambled clear by the defence before Sutherland found himself shooting from an offside position. Morton almost levelled from a set piece when a Nesbitt free kick to the back post was knocked back almost onto the goal line, and with our defence ball watching Ledger tried to force it home. It was scrambled clear and when we eventually made our way to the far end Sean Welsh rasped a long range shot over the bar. Both keepers made routine saves thereafter before Sutherland made a hash of striking goalwards from a good position on the right side. Plenty of life still in Morton as we looked uncomfortable dealing with balls into the box. No sooner said than done! A good burst forward by Gary Oliver saw Cameron Blues knock the ball home from his cross eight yards out. Twelve minutes to go and a dribbler of a shot from Sutherland is cleared from the Morton line and substitute James Keatings' follow up volley is cleared. Morton are working so hard it's difficult to know if they have actually had a man sent off. A lung bursting run from Lyon allowed Strapp to cause more havoc in our defence as Morton looked to get a winner with five minutes of the ninety left. A late corner saw another one given as the clock passed ninety minutes but Morton clear well before Todorov appeared to miss a tap in as the ball bounced past him. McAdams did well to tip a deflected cross come shot away for a corner which ended the contest in a draw after more climbing at the back post was penalised. Full Time 2-2 A couple of points dropped against the ten men as we managed to get on a pitch for the first time in a month. Good to get amongst the goals but we looked vulnerable when Morton came forward. Maybe conditions and the lay off played a part but there's no rest for the wicked as Queen of the South come North at the weekend Here's what was said on BBC Sport Morton manager Anton McElhone: "Tremendous performance from the guys. It shows the determination, hunger and desire. "We knew that on the transition we could catch them out and the run from Cameron Blues was excellent. We are trying to strengthen; we've got a few more days and we are trying to do stuff." Inverness CT scorer Daniel MacKay: "It was good to get back in the team and get the goal - it was a brilliant ball through from Aaron Doran. "But it's about the result and from it nearly being a really good three points, to it just being the one point is disappointing." Match highlights can be seen here Date: 27/01/2001 Venue: Cappielow, Greenock Attendance: 000 Referee: Peter Stuart Morton: 2 Manager: Anton McElhone Lineup: McAdams; Ledger, Fjortoft, McGinty, Nesbitt, Oliver (Salkeld 79), McGuffie (Millar 63), Strapp, Blues (Lyon 73), Colville, Omar Subs (not used): McLean, McAlister, Muirhead, Orsi. Scorers: McGinty (3), Blues (66) Booked: Omar (19), Oliver (74) Sent Off: Omar (28) Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Duffy, Deas, Devine, Harper, Doran (Keatings 70), Welsh, Allardice (Todorov 70) Vincent, Sutherland, D Mackay (MacGregor 83) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Nicolson, Hyde, Carson. Scorers: Sutherland (4), D Mackay (15) Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  21. Chocolate cup delight Inverness made a number of changes for this Challenge Cup fourth round tie against Alloa Athletic but still came out on top after a somewhat listless game where errors were more commonplace than slick incisive football. Less than 1000 fans were in attendance as Mitch Curry scored his first goal for the club just before the interval. Debutant Nathan Gilhooly gave away the ball thirty yards out and Curry ran into the box before cutting the ball back across the keeper and into the net. We got a deserved second when Charlie Trafford crashed a shot goalwards. It took a big deflection to fly high into the net with keeper Jamie MacDonald stranded. Alloa hit the woodwork twice through Trouten and Graham before we wrapped the game up. In the last minute Matheus Machado was on hand at the back post to knock a Miles Storey cross into the net for his first senior goal. Brazilliant! Five or six non regulars were given the nod in this one, notably, keeper Cammy Mackay, Cammy Harper, Kevin McHattie and Mitch Curry who returned after injury, his first game in eleven weeks. The Wasps were along more familiar lines and made two or three changes from the side that beat Dundee United last Friday. Nathan Gilhooly was making his first start for the club with Robbie Deas missing. Steven Hetherington also missed out and Liam Buchanan started. It was a low key game and the performance echoed that in terms of urgency. Inverness were dominant in the first half but wasteful in the final third with some preferring to flatter to deceive rather than go for the jugular. Mitchell Curry had a couple of efforts as did Roddy MacGregor but either failed to make the keeper work or made it easy for him to gather the ball comfortably. Shooting practice might be on the agenda this week as Aaron Doran fired harmless efforts well over the bar. Curry opened the scoring just before the break after he cut out a loose ball from Gilhooly. He carried on across and into the box before cutting the ball back across the keeper and into the bottom corner. He wasted an equally good chance within a minute after bursting into the left side of the box but shot weakly with his left peg at the near post where MacDonald gathered the ball with ease. He would have been better opening his body looking for the far post or squaring to the incoming teammates. Half Time 0-1 The second period saw our dominance continue and Jamie MacDonald did well to stop a MacGregor shot on the line after a deflection took a bit of the pace off the ball. Aaron Doran looked as though he had scored with half the North Stand already on their feet. However his dipping volley sliced narrowly wide of the keepers left hand post. Close, but no cigar! Our dominance eventually paid off but it took a deflected shot from Charlie Trafford to get the two goal cushion. He bludgeoned the ball from outside the box and it deflected high into the net with MacDonald stranded. We seemed to stir a hornets nest after the second goal and the wasps almost stung us, three times, with Alan Trouten firstly taking forever to pick his spot. That spot was the post and it rebounded back towards the keeper. Adam Brown tried from distance and Cammy Mackay stopped the shot, but as it bounced away from him Robbie Thomson looked favourite to get to the ball first but Cammy dived full length forward to deny the Waspy. Andy Graham also saw a late header come down off the bar as we lost our focus a little. We rallied again and the often wasteful Storey managed to get a cross into the box. Jordan White challenged for it and it was met at the back post by young Matheus Machado who tidily and gleefully knocked it into the net. That's his first senior goal for the club, many more to come methinks. Good end to the contest by the Caley Jags who seemed to be in control but almost undid the good work prior to Alloa's wee revival bid. Overall we were comfortable winners, but had we taken a more urgent approach could have scored half a dozen goals. Unfortunately we were somewhat pedantic at times with Doran going round in circles and Storey often taking the wrong option when he should be using his best asset, his searing pace and power. Good cross for the third goal though. MacGregor is young and comes across as over eager to score. Very busy player though and will be a great asset once he gets off the mark. The goals can be seen here https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=392555228366434 Not easy to spot the MotM. A few contenders with Charlie Trafford in particular having a good day. David Carson was also industrious and at the back Coll Donaldson looks more focussed than he was at the start of the season and Kevin McHattie will be knocking on the managers door very soon. No real failures, but some need to work to their strengths rather than be fancy Dans. Good to be back.......... The draw for the semi-finals will be made at 1:00pm on Wednesday 16th October. Also through along with Inverness are Stenhousemuir, Elgin City, Clyde, Partick Thistle, Raith Rovers, Wrexham and the winners of Solihull Moors v Rangers Colts(Tues 15th). Date: 12/10/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 973 Referee: John McKendrick Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: C Mackay, Rooney, Donaldson, McHattie, Harper, Doran, Carson, Trafford (Vincent 78), Curry (White 75) , MacGregor (Machado 85), Storey. Subs (not used): Ridgers; Tremarco, McCart, Scorers: Curry (42), Trafford (64), Machado (88). Booked: none Sent Off: none Alloa Athletic: 0 Lineup: MacDonald; Taggart, Graham, Cawley, Robertson, Buchanan, Trouten, Flannigan, Brown (O’Donnell 86), Gilhooly, O’Hara (Thomson 65) Subs (not used): Henry; Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  22. Roberts Stunner Puts Caley Jags Through With Late Winner. Number 39 scored in the 39th minute to put Inverness ahead before the break. Miles Storey it was that claimed the goal to give the visitors the lead with Stephen McManus in close proximity. We were down to one hand on the trophy when Scott McDonald equalised after the break as McManus powered a header goalward. Jordan Roberts restored two hands on the trophy with a fantastic winner in the 91st minute and it's Inverness that go into the quarter finals after a hard fought game. Inverness travelled to Fir Park to take on Motherwell after being paired with the Lanarkshire club in the last sixteen of this seasons Scottish Cup and came away with the trophy still in their grasp for now. Much had been made of the young guns being kept off the buses, but there was still enough away fans to encourage the side to defend the trophy, and substitute Jordan Roberts became an instant hero with a spectacular winner as the game entered injury time. Inverness went unchanged with Carl Tremarco at full back and Danny Williams in a more attack minded midfield position. New signings Liam Hughes and Ryan Williams joined Jordan Roberts on the bench. Mark McGhee riled the home support before a ball was kicked by leaving top scorer Louis Moult on the bench, but veteran striker Scott McDonald led the attack. First to have a crack at scoring was our man in the news this week, Aberdeen target Greg Tansey who tried his luck from 35 yards with a free kick, but Ripley gathered reasonably comfortably as the ball curled round the wall, the ball bouncing into the keepers arms. Ripley didn't look so comfortable when an unlikely scorer Carl Tremarco looped a header goalwards, the keeper scrambling backwards to tip the ball onto the bar before eventually grasping the ball as it bounced to safety. Scott McDonald hit woodwork for the Steelmen when a brilliant cross from Cadden was glanced onto the top of the bar with Fon Williams beaten, the ball bouncing up and over for a goal kick A let off for the Cup holders and they rubbed salt into the wound by going straight up the park to open the scoring. Mutombo did well chesting down the long ball forward before slipping a ball wide down the left. Carl Tremarco was well advanced and raced onto the ball before firing a low ball across goal. Miles Storey was closely followed by Stephen McManus and it appears as though the big defender got the final touch as the ball bounced into the net in the 39th minute. That goal was all about the quality down the left from Tremarco who was having an excellent game. As the half drew to a close, Fon Williams plucked an effort from Cadden out of the air but it was the visitors who held the upper hand. Half Time 0-1 McDonald brought out a regulation save from Fon Williams as Motherwell looked to get back into the tie. Mutombo was booked as he looked to be fading out of the game and was subbed soon after, Jordan Roberts at last getting a fair crack of the whip, I wonder what he can do. Motherwell striker Scott McDonald was willing to shoot on sight when it wasn't really the best option, Fon Williams once more gathering comfortably. Stephen Pearson fresh aired what looked like a glorious chance to score and Danny Williams brought out a reflex save from Ripley at the other end as Inverness looked to extend their lead. On 66 minutes, Devine was booked after bringing down Chris Cadden as he broke clear. Devine not convinced it was a free kick and neither was I. However, from the corner that followed the aftermath of the free kick McMannus powered a header on target and Scott McDonald was handily placed to divert the ball into the net away from the keeper. Game on! Motherwell fans frustration eventually won the day as McGhee eventually brought on Louis Moult with around ten minutes of play left. However, it was another substitute that produced the goods to shatter the Steelmen. As the game entered time added on, Jordan Roberts outmuscled Morgaro Gomis just inside the Inverness half. He strode forward and jinked onto his left foot before unleashing a thunderbolt that flashed behind a diving Ripley into the keepers top right corner, the net just doing enough to stop the progress of the ball. What a goal and a great way to get off the mark for Roberts who has had his season badly curtailed through injury. The timing of the goal was of course, impeccable leaving Motherwell only time to wonder at the strike but not enough to be able to do anything about it and it was game over. Full Time 1-2 Well well Well, what a way to get into the next round. We probably just deserved to edge it but as expected, there was little between the sides and it was fitting that it took an exceptional strike to win the tie. A couple of paragraphs from our onsite viewers who saw the game like this and concurred that we deserve to be in the hat. Rig thought so as well and gave Tremarco top points:- "Anyway, might not have been the best game but I think we deserved that. I felt we created the better chances overall and whilst Motherwell edged the first half we were the better side in the second. Great play by Tremarco to make the first goal. Not seen him show that kind of speed, well, ever! Perhaps an error by the Well defence thinking they had more time or another man over but credit Tremarco for getting to it and then playing in such a good ball to Storey. So it went in off McManus but we'll take it. Disappointing goal to concede. Devine didn't cover himself in glory with a rash challenge when Motherwell broke which led to the corner from which they scored but we really need to defend set pieces better. I thought Tremarco was perhaps our best player. He was good defensively and offered a good bit of support going forward. Devine had a game that encapsulated his season. Some heroic defending one minute and then he was losing his man which nearly saw us concede. Mutumbo started well but faded quite a lot. Didn't give Raven much help defensively and, like Williams on the left, had a habit of coming inside a lot meaning we weren't playing with a lot of width for most of the game. Jordan Roberts showed some very nice touches when he came on and hopefully we'll see him starting in games in the near future. Looks a good one." Alternative Maryhill was as ever, more philosophical, but agreed that we shaded it:- "Not a vintage performance, but we did deserve the win. Both full backs played well, and I thought Draper was the pick of the midfielders and that Danny Williams looked our most dangerous attacking player: some excellent movement, particularly at the start of the second half, and he had one clever flick that Ripley saved at his near post. Mutombo started well, but I thought he faded before the end of the first half was over, and he does still look a little lightweight, both in possession and when trying to close down opponents - I'd like to see him work a bit harder in the latter respect. There's clearly talent in there, but he does still look a bit of a luxury. Not as much, though, as Vigurs, who I thought was extremely disappointing. He was ponderous in possession, didn't close down enough or fight for the ball when he lost possession, and was frequently negative in his passing. Tremarco's run and cross for the opener was about the first really decisive piece of play that we had managed, despite a few passages of neat interplay. The second half was better, although we did lose our way for a while around the time of the Motherwell goal, something that wasn't helped by the substitution of Storey for Polworth, when Vigurs would have been a far more obvious candidate to be replaced. In a way though, it was good that Motherwell scored, because it made the impact of Roberts' goal all the sweeter. What a strike. If you weren't there, you'll enjoy seeing it on TV. The Motherwell Twitter account, from deep in a well of its own salty tears, described it as 'speculative'. How bitter." Date: 06/02/16 Venue: Fir Park, Motherwell Attendance: 3907 Referee: Steven McLean Motherwell: 1 Lineup: Ripley, Hammell, McManus, Kennedy, Law, Pearson, Lasley (Moult 83), Gomis, Johnson, Cadden, McDonald (Ainsworth 88) Subs (not used): Samson, Laing, Chalmers, Leitch, Thomas Scorers: McDonald (67) Booked: Pearson (76) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Fon Williams, Raven, Tremarco, Warren, Draper, Devine, Tansey, D.Williams, Vigurs (Hughes 88), Mbuyi-Mutombo (Roberts 56), Storey (Polworth 70) Subs (not used): Esson, R.Williams, Wedderburn, Brown Scorers: Storey (39), Roberts (91) Booked: Mbuyi-Mutombo (54), Devine (65) Sent Off: none
  23. Astra scrape through It was Blue Danube for the Caley Jags fans as Inverness Caledonian Thistle bowed out of Europe after a goalless draw in Romania, by the banks of the majestic river, was not enough to get them through to an all British clash with West Ham United. Constantin Budescu's first leg goal was all that separated the sides as Inverness tried to draw the tie level, but despite an excellent performance, the lack of a proven goal scorer would haunt Inverness in Giurgiu in front of an amazing 550 touring fans who gave the club tremendous backing throughout. The fans made magnificent sacrifices to get over to Romania to back the Scottish Cup winners and the journey was enjoyed by everyone in the old city of Bucharest as red and blue took over the side streets of the Romanian capital, kilts aplenty. Most fans made it back in one piece and they were all a credit to Inverness and the club. The temperature at kick off had dropped slightly, but sufficient to say it was much hotter than Inverness on a good day. Astra were in a bit of turmoil, a 5-1 thrashing by ASA Targu Mures last weekend and a couple of their top players being poached by Steaua Bucharest gave Inverness hope that they could add further misery to the Romanian camp. David Raven replaced Ross Draper in the starting eleven, playing at left back. It was another cagey opening to the tie as expected, Inverness not wanting to give anything away and Astra content to sit on their first leg lead. The only notable attempt in the first half was a tremendous shot from Ryan Christie just before the interval that Silviu Lung Jr in the Astra goal brilliantly kept out of the top corner. Half Time 0-0 The first leg villain Owain Fon Williams had nothing to deal with in a low key first half but gathered a low shot from danger man Budescu almost ten minutes into the second period. Moments later Williams made an excellent save beating out a Budescu shot from 25 yards as the Romanian side came forward. A Junior Morais attempt was tipped over by Fon Williams as Astra looked to kill the tie and a header from Geraldo Alves went wide as the game came to life. The lack of a main striker was proving difficult for Inverness to overcome, Lopez dropping deeper to try and get on the ball and Inverness struggling to make headway in the final third. With fifteen minutes remaining, Aaron Doran spurned a great chance for the Highlanders when he hit a shot into the turf and that took the sting out of it as Lung gathered easily. With Inverness now probing for a leveller, Budescu should have done better as we were caught chasing the game but passed up two glorious chances to ensure victory. Foran and Draper made late entrances, but for Inverness it was not quite enough, but it wasn't for a lack of effort or class as Astra saw out the game, Lung booked for taking the proverbial eternity. It might have been different earlier in the game if Christie had been given the penalty his assault deserved, but alas the referee never looked interested. Full Time 0-0 Aggregate 1-0. Astra through to meet West Ham United, good luck to them. Ryan Christie shone bright over both legs and was our star player, with Budescu being the prominent driver for Astra. Ach well, great while it lasted and I'm sure everybody that went along will be looking for a repeat next year. Domestic business as usual starts again on 1st August with a home game against Motherwell. This team deserves a massive welcome home, so let's turn out in force. Full match video Fans footage from youTube from Ross Lyall Fan Footage from beatonio FC Astra:- Lung; Queiros, G. Alves, Gaman, Morais, Boldrin (Dandea, 84), Seto, Teixeira, Amorim, Enache (Florea, 80), Budescu (Lovin, 89). Subs unused:- Gavrilas, Oros, R. Alves, Stan. Booked:- Lung. Inverness CT:- Fon Williams; Meekings, Warren, Devine, Raven, Wedderburn (Draper, 79), Christie, Williams (Foran, 78), Doran, Tansey, Lopez. Subs unused:- Esson, Horner, Polworth, Brown. Booked:- Raven, Williams, Lopez. Venue:- Stadium Marin Anastasovici, Giurgiu. Attendance:- 3067 Referee:- A Kuchin.
  24. Grim Stuff. Our miserable form continues as Hearts swept us aside in a comfortable 2-0 win for the Jambos. It was another uninspiring performance from Inverness, although it's hardly surprising with nine players receiving treatment and Ross Draper suspended. A goal in either half from Jamie Walker and Abiola Dauda condemned us to life outside the top-six for now. With another trip to Edinburgh on Sunday for the Scottish Cup tie at Easter Road, it could be a grim week for the Caley Jags unless Yogi can lift he team for the defence of our trophy. Here's a report from a Hearts perspective: Jamie Walker on scoresheet again as Hearts beat Inverness: Jamie Walker continued his goalscoring streak as Hearts moved to 50 points for the season with a comfortable 2-0 win over Inverness. The midfielder netted in his fourth consecutive Ladbrokes Premiership game after latching on to Arnaud Djoum's searching pass to get in behind a packed Caley Thistle defence in the 35th minute at Tynecastle. Inverness had not got going as an attacking force before Abiola Dauda capitalised on Greg Tansey's mistake to give the home side a cushion within eight minutes of the restart. The victory moves Hearts six points behind second-placed Aberdeen while Caley Thistle remain in the bottom six. Inverness looked content to sit in from the start and they frustrated Hearts for long spells of the first half. The first chance fell for Dauda after Walker had brought down Alim Ozturk's diagonal ball, but Danny Devine threw himself in the way of the striker's shot. Hearts continued to probe patiently. Prince Buaben had a shot saved and right-back Liam Smith - deputising impressively for the injured Callum Paterson - played a one-two with Gavin Reilly and fired a left-footed shot from 20 yards which just cleared the bar. A touch of desperation crept into the home side when Ozturk shot from the edge of the centre circle, although Owain Fon Williams had to watch the bounce carefully before clutching the ball. The breakthrough came following another diagonal ball to Walker, who took down Djoum's 50-yard pass on his foot, kept it away from two Inverness defenders, nipped round Williams and squeezed a shot inside the near post. Caley Thistle had to come out and attack after the interval but they were caught out after one of their first attempts broke down. Tansey tried to play the ball back to Williams from the halfway line but under-hit the pass and Dauda pounced before rounding the goalkeeper and finding the empty net. Inverness, who missed the suspended Ross Draper, plugged away without looking like getting back in the game. Jordan Roberts shot weakly at home goalkeeper Neil Alexander and Dauda had a good chance to score his fourth Hearts goal, but side-footed straight at Williams after being set up by Sam Nicholson. Alexander was busier in the final 10 minutes, saving from Carl Tremarco and Iain Vigurs, but it was too little, too late from the visitors. Date: 01/03/16 Venue: Tynecastle Stadium, Edinburgh Attendance: 15767 Referee: Alan Muir Hearts: 2 Lineup: Alexander, Smith, Ozturk, Souttar, Rossi (McGhee 80), Nicholson, Buaben, Sutchuin, Walker (Zanatta 66), Reilly, Dauda (Cowie 78) Subs (not used): Hamilton, Augustyn, Pallardo, Delgado Scorers: Walker (35), Dauda (53) Booked: Sutchuin (54) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Fon Williams, Horner (Hughes 82), Warren, Devine, Tremarco, Tansey, Polworth, D.Williams, Roberts (R.Williams 70), Vigurs, Storey Subs (not used): Esson, Brown, Maclennan Scorers: none Booked: Roberts (53), Vigurs (59) Sent Off: none
  25. The sheep are not on fire Inverness came from behind to defeat Aberdeen 3-1 as the sheep were doused whilst Inverness burned their own smoke filled chimney. Apparently a wee fault with the central heating generator filled the stadium with smoke in the second half as goals from Vigurs, Tansey (pen) and Tremarco overshadowed Adam Rooney's opener. A bitter night in Inverness for the Monday night game which was also televised restricted the crowd somewhat. The Inverness fans had some bad news prior to kick off as Danny Williams would miss out due to family reasons and David Raven was carrying a knock and would not be risked. That left Lewis Horner at right back and Jordan Roberts started after his game winning cameo at Motherwell. Adam Rooney spearheaded the Aberdeen attack with Jonny Hayes one of the providers and former Inverness captain Graeme Shinnie was at left back with the Dons' armband. Andrew Considine and Willo Flood only made the bench with new signing Simon Church on from the start. Aberdeen made the brightest start to the game but both sides looked to get forward at every opportunity, Inverness winning the first corner of the game but it came to nothing. In the seventh minute Inverness had to thank Owain Fon Williams as he tipped a vicious Graeme Shinnie shot onto the top of the crossbar as the full back burst into the box on the left side. To top it all, drastic referee Willie Collum gave a goal kick. Maybe that helped Aberdeen as from the goal kick, Storey chested the ball down but Vigurs never got it. The Dons broke forward at pace and Craig Storie fed Rooney as the defence backed off and he rifled the ball through Devine into the net. The Dons looked to be buoyed by this and started to dictate the pace of the game, but Inverness were starting to get forward and saw a bit more of the ball. In the eighteenth minute Inverness got the break they were looking for as Ash Taylor made a hash of defending and Iain Vigurs accepted the gift, strolled forward and drove the ball behind the exposed keeper. This stirred Aberdeen into action again and McGinn fired over and did the same a few minutes later as the Dons looked to up their title challenge, but Carl Tremarco headed just wide at the other end. With almost half an hour gone one of Aberdeens main threats went off injured. Jonny Hayes left the field to be replaced by Peter Pawlett. Aberdeen target Greg Tansey fired a free kick wide as the game entered a scrappy phase with free kicks coming back in fashion as Collum stopped the game at every opportunity, however there was no more scoring as the half ended. Half Time 1-1 The second half began as the first ended, fouls galore, but one crucial one given to Inverness was deemed to be a penalty by Collum much to everyone's surprise. But hey ho; we have been on the wrong end of these many times. After Draper bit the turf, Greg Tansey, who else, strode forward and despatched the spot kick with ease to put Inverness ahead. Almost on the hour and Ash Taylor almost made amends with a header but he headed narrowly wide. Players were going down like ninepins and the crime count was mounting, but in 65 minutes Inverness went further ahead after some divine intervention by Willie Collum. Jordan Roberts clipped a ball in from the right and the cross was headed to the back post where Tremarco turned up to head home. The linesman flagged for offside thinking the head on was by an Inverness player, but it was off a defender, probably the hapless donkey that is Ash Taylor, and Collum rightly awarded the goal after a short discussion with the linesman. For the remainder of the game it was the hosts that looked likeliest to add to their tally as Aberdeen looked shell shocked, Miles Storey making a number of superb breaks forward and only the final ball denying Inverness a goal on a few occasions. Three minutes of added time came and went as Inverness denied the Dons with consummate ease and at the final whistle Aberdeens title challenge took a knock as Inverness went back into the top six. Full Time 3-1 Well deserved victory for Inverness with Aberdeen resorting to shouting for penalties every time they entered our box. Mind you, one or two of the challenges looked more worthy that the one Draper got. Baaa, what a shame Great performance all round from Inverness with the defence outstanding and in Miles Storey a tremendous outlet for the back line when under pressure. Jordan Roberts put in a great shift as well before being replaced and Carl Tremarco continued his good run and got a goal to boot. Gary Warren was immense and won the aerial battle along with his partner Danny Devine. Willie watch. Well, he got some things right, and some things wrong, but you won't find me complaining when he awarded the goal after the linesman flagged it offside. The linesman got it wrong and fair play to Willie for spotting that. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rS5IIhHgyhA Date: 15/02/16 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 4544 Referee: Willie Collum Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: Fon Williams, Tremarco, Warren, Draper, Roberts (Mbuyi-Mutombo 80), Devine, Tansey, Horner (Hughes 88), Polworth, Vigurs, Storey (R.Williams 90) Subs (not used): Esson, Wedderburn, Brown Scorers: Vigurs (18), Tansey (pen.51), Tremarco (65) Booked: Tremarco (22), Roberts (53), Draper (61), Devine (63) Sent Off: none Aberdeen: 1 Lineup: Brown, Logan, Taylor, Reynolds, Shinnie, Rooney, Storie, McLean, Hayes (Pawlett 28), McGinn, Church (Smith 67) Subs (not used): Collin, Considine, Flood, Robson, Ross Scorers: Rooney (7) Booked: Taylor (45), Reynolds (67) Sent Off: none
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