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Entry Level Three Is this by perchance a wee window of opportunity to rest some battle scarred and weary legs as we start our participation in this season's Scottish Cup in the third round. Forget Qatar, forget the World Cup, forget about winning the Scottish Cup. It's more important for us to buy some time in the injury shop and make sure we have enough able bodies ready for action when we resume our Championship challenge at home to Dundee next week. Even that will be too soon for most, but at this stage of our season, it's a more important game than the Stirling Albion one, no disrespect to them. Anyway, we need to get the right balance and try to remain competitive whilst resting some important players. We already know a bit about the Bino's as they performed well against us in last season's League Cup game, winning the penalty shoot-out after a 2-2 draw. Kick-Off is on Saturday at 3:00pm. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ANY GOOD AT WASHING SHIRTS? TICKET/MATCH INFO ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ H2H v Stirling Albion Pld Won Drn Lst For Agst + / - Home 4 2 2 0 9 5 +4 Away 6 3 2 1 13 5 +8 Neutral 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Total 10 5 4 1 22 10 +12 We have not played the Bino's regularly since the early days when we shared a couple of seasons with them in the lower leagues where we enjoyed regular success mostly. More recently we played them in a League Cup group stages encounter where the Bino's prevailed on penalties. Bino's Bonus: 2-2 Stirling win 3-2 on penalties (July 17th 2021) Kevin Rutkiewicz took his Stirling Albion side North for the second group 'A' match for both teams who were looking to continue their winning starts to the League Cup. Something was going to give and it did with the Bino's taking the bonus point after a 2-2 draw. Stirling took an early lead with a superb free kick by Dylan Mackin from twenty-yards. Kieran Moore stunned the hosts on the counter with a second before Roddy Macgregor pulled one back before the Interval. Shane Sutherland levelled the tie early in the second half. Jack Leitch hit the post for the impressive Bino's as they continued to cause problems. Chances went abegging at both ends but the game went to penalties to decide the bonus point, and when Currie brilliantly saved Sutherland's penalty it was the Bino's that prevailed 3-2, and no one could grudge them that. In 2007 we had our biggest win when we went to Forthbank at the same stage of the Scottish Cup and hit them for six. Jan 6th Scottish Cup (Rd 3) 6 - 1 A 1,521 Caley Thistle cantered into the 4th round of the Tennents Scottish Cup with what turned out to be an easy win against Stirling Albion. Charlie Christie went with 3 strikers from the start and this paid off as the Caley Jags managed 6 goals from 5 different scorers. Official Club Historian Ian Broadfoot supplies the match report With Stirling riding high in the Second Division, and having home advantage, Caley Thistle had to be at their professional best going into this match. In the event a fine performance led to a comfortable victory. This was only the Sixth meeting of the clubs and only the second in any cup - Stirling won a League Challenge Cup match 3-1 in August 1996 but never managed a league victory when both were in the Second Division in 1998/99. The Binos were without Dene Shields who has gone back to Gretna from loan and also the injured Ian Cashmore. Richard Hastings missed out for ICT due to injury but Ian Black returned from suspension to take a place on the bench. Craig Dargo came back from injury to take his place in an attacking formation with three at the back and all three main strikers in the starting eleven. With only eight minutes gone it was 1-0 to ICT when John Rankin stepped in as the Stirling defence tried to clear a high header from Graham Bayne - Rankin sent a low ball across goal from the left and Dargo bundled in from a yard out. Five minutes later a Roy McBain cross from the left was knocked-down by Bayne and Dennis Wyness sent a superb left-foot volley from 20 yards past Myles Hogarth to make it 2-0. Two minutes after that Stirling temporarily came back into it when David O'Brien scored from 12 yards via the post. Roy McBain made it 3-1 in 22 minutes when his first shot came back off Wyness and he hammered the rebound home from the edge of the box. John Fraser hit the bar for Stirling in 32 minutes but four minutes before the break Craig Dargo scored a tremendous goal to make it 4-1. He played a one-two with Wyness and chipped over Hogarth from 25 yards. Two minutes into the second half Barry Wilson scored with a low shot from 25 yards which went in off the post to make it 5-1. Stirling were by now well and truly out and in 54 minutes it was nearly 6-1 when Bayne hit the post with a low drive. The final goal came in 69 minutes from Alan Morgan just two minutes after he came on for Barry Wilson. He took a pass from Rankin, went past three defenders then scored from an acute angle through Hogarth's legs. A good afternoon's work for ICT and a place in Sunday's fourth round draw. [4th round draw paired ICT at home to either Dundee Utd or St Mirren] Match report written by Ian Broadfoot Stirling Albion are looking good for promotion in League Two sitting in second place, three points behind Dumbarton. They have won nine out of fifteen games with three defeats and three draws. Highlight of their season so far was a 6-0 thrashing of table toppers Dumbarton at the beginning of October. They are the highest scoring team in the division with 33 goals and have conceded only 16. Dale Carrick, the former Hearts, Killie and Livingston player, is the runaway top scorer with 13 goals from 19 games, scoring at a rate of 3/4 a goal per 90 minutes of football. Robert Thomson has 5 goals to his name with Kai Fotheringham on 4. Eck's one to watch>>> On loan from Dundee United FC is 19 year old left winger Kai Fotheringham, considered to be a prospect at United and also has an Under 16 cap to his credit. Previous loan spells were hampered by ankle problems for which he underwent surgery. At Forthbank he seems to have found his feet and has scored 4 goals and is credited with 7 assists in Division 2 this season HOME AWAY POS. P W D L GF GA W D L GF GA GD PTS 1 Dumbarton 15 5 2 0 14 4 5 1 2 13 11 12 33 2 Stirling Albion 15 5 2 1 21 8 4 1 2 12 8 17 30 3 Elgin City 15 3 1 3 11 11 3 3 2 18 16 2 22 4 East Fife 15 2 0 5 7 12 4 3 1 18 12 1 21 Our injury hit season has been well documented and used as part of the reason for our inconsistent form. Unfortunately it has been a major factor but it has also allowed some youngsters the opportunity to get familiar with the matchday experience. That will come in handy this weekend as no doubt some will be called upon to fill some spaces in and around the squad as we get the opportunity to give some of our returning players an extra week to rest up. That said we need to try and remain competitive in the hope that a more lucrative tie will come along. In the bigger picture, it's no big deal should we fail to progress, but more important to have key players ready for the Championship challenge ahead. However, try telling the fans that who will be wanting the best of both. Danny Devine and Sean Welsh played through the pain barrier last week despite being less than 100% and it might be prudent not to risk them this week although they were both insistent on taking to the field last week which has perplexed some. Should David Carson be selected to play that will be his 100th appearance for the Caley Jags since joining from Morpeth Town in 2019. Here's a sobering thought. We have yet to win a competitive game on the 26th of November>>> 22 vs. Stirling Albion (H) Scottish Cup (Third Round) ????? 16 vs. Dundee (A) League 1 - 2 11 vs. Hearts (A) League 1 - 2 05 vs. Dundee Utd (H) League 1 - 1 94 vs. Alloa (H) League ((Div 3)) 2 - 2 Here's all your third round fixtures >>>
Brechin pay the Penalty Prior to today, Brechin had only won twice at Inverness in ten encounters. This was a close one that went to penalties to decide who went into the hat for the fourth round draw. Inverness got off to the perfect start through George Oakley in the fifth minute to open the scoring. However, Kevin McHattie levelled the score with a great strike into the top corner after half an hour. Ten minutes before the break Oakley caught the side netting after being fed through by Duffy. A couple of minutes later Nathan Shaw put the hosts back in front. Half Time 2-1. Oakley scored from the spot just after the break, but it was far from job done. Two late strikes from Grady McGrath and Euan Spark took the game to penalties where Inverness just got over the line 4-3. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The first meeting between the sides since 2018 had a low key approach to it. Inverness had Max Ram back in for a start after an early season injury in the League Cup against Kelty Hearts saw him miss the next two months. Billy & Bazza made a number of changes to the side that beat Dundee a week earlier. Cammy Mackay came in for Mark Ridgers with Nathan Shaw, Lewis Hyde and Dan's younger brother Calum all starting. Keith Bray and Mathew Strachan were part of a strong bench for the hosts (Ridgers; Carson, Deas, Allardice, D Mackay, B Mckay, Boyd, Strachan, Bray). Andy Kirk's Brechin had former Inverness players Kevin McHattie and Anthony McDonald in their squad and will be in confident mood after scoring ten goals in their last two games, both away from home. Good to see both these players back performing well on the park after careers disrupted by serious injuries. Aaron Arnott makes his debut for City after coming in on loan from Raith Rovers and Michael McArthur comes back into the starting XI after missing out last week. McHattie started with McDonald on the bench. An early tap in from George Oakley after a great save by keeper Wilson from a Max Ram header set Inverness up nicely but former Inverness defender Kevin McHattie levelled the scores after half an hour with a great curling strike into the top corner from twenty yards. Ten minutes before the break Nathan Shaw put Inverness ahead after Oakley pressurised defender Nathan Cooney into making a costly error before passing to Shaw to score his second goal for the club and that's how it stood at the interval. HALF TIME: 2-1 Oakley converted from the spot 3 minutes after the interval when Duffy was fouled in the box by Cooney. Shaw did well on a couple of occasions after the break but it was Brechin that pulled a goal back through Grady McGrath when he slotted in after Scott set him up with twenty minutes remaining. With ten minutes left they were level after Euan Spark knocked home following a corner. Inverness searched for a winner but time ran out and it went to penalties. Cammy Mackay made a crucial brilliant save from Ryan McInnes in the shoot out then Robbie Deas blasted home his spot kick, and that was the difference. FULL TIME 3-3 Penalties: Brechin City: Bain, McGrath, Loudon, Inglis, McInnes - 3 Inverness CT: B Mckay, Oakley, Boyd, Allardice, Deas - 4 The opening goal was Oakley's 20th goal for the Caley Jags. Incidentally, his first goal was also against Brechin City in a 3-0 league cup win in July 2017 in the 57th minute. Credit to Brechin for making a come back when heads could have dropped just after the interval when Oakley scored his second goal. By all accounts a miserable performance by a side without a number of first picks starting. The only consolation is that we are in the next round, but performances like that won't see us go far in this competition. School report: Must try harder It's no pretty, but we're in the next round From CTO: Awful performance. At 3-1 I thought like most that it was game over despite our midfield setup being so poor. But to concede 2 goals and almost another was criminal, I can't even think apart from Oakley any player that deserved a pass mark! Lethargic, Clueless wrong tactics and player choice made it difficult viewing for the fans.... Well that was painful. 3-1 up and we throw that away. The whole attitude was wrong today. They thought they just had to turn up. No drive,energy,tempo or hunger to win. Passing woeful. This was a great chance for the fringe players to show what they could do and they blew it... Here's Bazza Date: 24/09/2022 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 832 Referee: Barry Cook Inverness CT: 3 (4 pens) Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: C Mackay; Duffy, Devine (Allardice 45), Ram (D Mackay 62), Delaney, Shaw, Hyde, Harper (Deas 45), Doran (B Mckay 83) Callum Mackay (Boyd 62), Oakley Subs (not used): Ridgers; Carson, Strachan, Bray Scorers: Oakley (6, 47pen), Shaw (38) Booked: none Sent Off: none Brechin City: 3 (3 pens) Manager: Andy Kirk Lineup: Wilson; McHattie, Cooney, Northcott, Spark (90+1), Scott (Inglis 90+2), McArthur (Loudon 25), MacLeod, Cruickshank, Arnott (Bain 67), McGrath Subs (not used): Easton; Thomson, McDonald, Naglik Scorers: McHattie (28), McGrath (72), Spark (78) Booked: none Sent Off: none a
Auld Enemies League Cup duty beckons on Tuesday night as Inverness lock horns with an old enemy in the shape of Livingston FC at the Tony Macaroni Arena. (I kid you not). For most of us, it is better known as the Almondvale Stadium. We have had many a tussle with Livingston over the years as both clubs came through the divisions together. Our first SPL game was a steep learning curve with a 3-0 defeat at Livingston. We did learn quickly though. Many familiar names playing for both sides back then in August 2004. Fortunes have changed since then and Livingston find themselves struggling at the foot of the Championship with only one point from seven games while we have the Scottish Cup in our trophy cabinet. Here's how the sides lined up back then. Livingston: McKenzie, McNamee, Rubio, Dorado, McLaughlin, Boyack, O'Brien, Easton, Lovell, Lilley, Libbra (Hamilton 65). Subs Not Used: Meldrum, McMenamin, Dair, Brittain, Snowdon, Bahoken. Goals: O'Brien 44, Easton 57, Lovell 66. Booked: Lovell, McNamee. Inverness CT: Brown, Tokely, McCaffrey, Munro, Golabek, Wilson, Duncan (Hart 58), Keogh, McBain (Black 65), Hislop (Juanjo 58), Bayne. Subs Not Used: Fraser, Dods, Proctor, Prunty. Ach, nostalgia, it's not what it used to be. Back to the future though and it's the 3rd Round of the competition. It's our first game in the event this season but for Livi, it's their third game. They saw off Clyde 1-0 in the first round, but it took extra time to do it, Jordan White scoring the all important goal. The second round saw them travel to Paisley and they came away with an excellent 3-2 win after a fiery encounter with the Buddies. It was not without controversy and they had six players booked and ended the game with ten men after Daniel Mullen was red carded. But after eight minutes of added time, it was Livingston that went into the draw thanks to goals from Liam Buchanan, Daniel Mullen and Declan Gallagher. That will be the same Liam Buchanan who had been around a bit and played for Partick Thistle and Dunfermline in the top flight, and the same lad has scored 125 goals in a 13 year senior career. Livi have had a disastrous start to the season with only one point from seven games. Their goal difference is the worst in the League at -11 having scored only 4 times. Their solitary point came in a 1-1 draw at home to St Mirren, although there were encouraging signs for manager Mark Burchill in their last League game, a 1-0 defeat by Hibernian. A word of warning however. Livingston have won this trophy before. They beat Hibernian 2-0 in the 2004 final and we normally make hard work in taking anything away from the Almondvale Macaroni Park in the pasta. Our own form is nothing to write home about with only one win so far from eight games. We have something in common with Livi, we are struggling to score goals as well, with only seven from our eight games. We are unbeaten in our last three as our injury list eases slightly. Richie Foran has been on the bench for the last couple of games but he needs game time to get up to speed. Iain Vigurs is out having injured himself against Clach and Tobi Sho-Silva was a late withdrawal at Tannadice. Warren, Doran and Brill are all out but Andrea Mutombo could be considered having served his two game ban. Burchill will be without the suspended Daniel Mullen. tm4tj prediction:- I predict us struggling to get into the next round. We don't do anything the easy way and if our performances this season are anything to go by then we could be in for extra-time to settle this one. We have looked more solid at the back with Meekings returning to the heart of the defence and new runner Miles Storey has pace to burn. He was quieter against United at the weekend but he was the lone player for long spells and will benefit from some company. Maybe this game will allow us to open up a bit and Ryan Christie could be a key figure. I'll go for a win to get us into the next round, ugly or otherwise, but as it's a cup game, that doesn't matter much.
"The team sheet for this game will be interesting reading as media reports differ. The BBC expects Terry to rotate his starting XI and there is no better time for a minibus load of fringe players to finally make their mark." http://caleythistleonline.com/page/index.html/_/previews-2013-14/dundee-v-inverness-ct-lc-preview-r1073 Preview courtesy of a bored Kirishima