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  1. Semi-Final Joy It was an early start for most Inverness fans on the Saturday morning as they headed to the National Stadium to get behind the Caley Jags. The first train out of Inverness saw some weary eyes on the 05:30 to Queen Street. Wiser ones went down the night before to savour the occasion. Falkirk fans? Well they were subject to a gruelling half hour journey before the scheduled kick-off time of 12:15pm. Alfredo's was a popular choice for pre-match aperitif's before heading in the direction of the National Stadium. Hampden Park was less than a quarter full as these two teams met once again in the Scottish Cup. The winner will go on to the final where either Rangers or Celtic will be the prize for getting there. Inverness were in their first choice home strip and the Bairns were in their dark blue on a brisk but dryish Saturday lunchtime. With a VAR assisted penalty, Billy Mckay opened the scoring early in the first half. Dan Mackay headed in the second from an inviting Jay Henderson Cross. Falkirk had their moments, Callumn Morrison hitting the post after some defensive indecision on the edge of the box. However, we did our own post hitting and Billy Mckay wrapped up the victory in the second half with a well taken finish, his 100th goal for the Caley Jags. That ensured our progress into the final. Nathan Shaw was unfortunate twice off the post and Falkirk were denied a consolation by some dogged defending. All in, comfortable in the end and Hampden calling once more. Key moments: 6th minute: Jay Henderson's cross from the right deflects off the hand of defender Leon McCann. VAR went into action and after a quick check Nick Walsh pointed to the spot. Billy Mckay stepped forward to send a clinical penalty high to the keepers left. 1-0 10th minute: A lofted ball over the head of Devine makes him chase back towards Ridgers. Burrell in hot pursuit forces Devine and Ridgers to hesitate and the keepers clumsy clearance falls to Callumn Morrison. He rolls the ball goalward from outside the angle of the box but it bounces away from goal off the base off the post before Duffy and Deas block and the finger wagging begins in the Inverness defence. 24th minute: Maksym Kucheryavyi heads into Mark Ridgers midrift from the centre of the box. 34th minute: Jay Henderson curls a sumptuous cross into the box and Daniel Mackay heads downwards emphatically into the bottom corner. Spectacular cross and finish. 2-0 57th minute: All over bar the shouting. A long diagonal ball to the far post from Dan Mackay picks out a supercool Billy Mckay who calmly guides the ball behind Kinnear for another superb goal. That's 100 now for Billy Mckay. 63rd minute: Nathan Shaw smacks the post with a deflected shot that has the keeper beaten. Unfortunately it bounces clear. 65th minute: Comedy defending as Inverness try to help Falkirk to a consolation goal. Robbie Deas was short with a pass back as he tried to knee the ball back to his keeper. Gary Oliver picked up the loose ball but his cut back was blocked. It came back to him on the byeline but his second effort was headed clear by Danny Devine who was already lying full length on the deck, his head on the byeline to knock the ball away. 68th minute: Nathan Shaw weaved his way into the box and opened up his body to curl a low shot goalwards. It beat the keeper but bounced off the same post before agonisingly rolling along the line and clear of goal. 77th minute: Last throw of the dice from the Bairns saw Ridgers make a comfortable save from Ola Lawal to keep a clean sheet and the wind was now well and truly out of the Bairns sails. 93rd minute: Nick Walsh closes the game with a few peeps of his whistle. Game over at 3-0, Final v Celtic to come on June 3rd after they beat Rangers 1-0 on the Sunday. Highlights can be seen on BBC Sport Falkirk manager John McGlynn: "You can't give Inverness a goal start. They are the type of team that lap that up. But you can't legislate for such a soft goal as well. I'm not the first to be in this situation [with VAR]. "We had opportunities. I'm proud of the way the players played. But we didn't have the quality Inverness did." Inverness CT striker Billy Mckay: "We're delighted, it couldn't have gone much better. Roll on June. I thought we were ruthless. It's a weird feeling because we could've been out. Now we're in the final. "I knew [the third goal] was my 100th [for the club]. I wanted to stay on for my hat-trick. All round it's a pleasing day." Whist we were at Hampden, some important Championship games were played out. So, it's all to play for in the final league games of the season next Friday night. Friday night: Dundee 0-0 Cove Saturday 3:00pm: Ayr Utd 1-0 Raith Morton 2-1 Queen's Partick 2-0 Arbroath Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts Couldn't be tighter at both ends of the table 1. Dundee 35 16 12 7 61 37 60 2. Queens Park 35 17 7 11 60 47 58 3. Partick Thistle 35 16 8 11 63 43 56 4. Ayr United 35 15 10 10 59 42 55 5. Inverness CT 35 15 10 10 51 45 55 6. Morton 35 14 12 9 51 42 54 7. Raith Rovers 35 11 9 15 44 47 42 8. Arbroath 35 6 15 14 29 47 33 9. Cove Rangers 35 7 10 18 37 73 31 10. Hamilton Ac. 35 7 9 19 31 63 30 Friday night 7:45pm Arbroath v Accies Cove Ran v Morton Inverness CT v Ayr United Queen's v Dundee Rovers v Partick Date: 29/04/2023 Venue: Hampden Park Attendance: 12877 Referee: Nick Walsh Falkirk FC: 0 Manager: John McGlynn Lineup: Kinnear; Williamson (Yeats 67), Donaldson, Mckay, McCann, Henderson (Lawal 77), McGinn, Kucheryavyi, C Morrison (Wright 61), Burrell (Oliver 61), Kennedy (Nesbitt 61) Subs (not used): P Morrison; Rowe, Allan, McGuffie Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 3 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Duffy (Delaney 79), Devine, Deas, Harper, Henderson (Boyd 84), Welsh, Allardice, Shaw (Hyde 85), D Mackay (Doran 73), B Mckay (Samuels 78) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Ram, MacGregor Scorers: Mckay (7 pen, 57), D Mackay (37) Booked: Deas (45+1) Sent Off: none a
  2. 2015 Revisited The last time we played Falkirk at Hampden in front of 37,000 fans, it was a history making event. I don't really need to tell you how that worked out, but for those that were on another planet, we won the Scottish Cup by beating Falkirk 2-1. Since then both clubs have underachieved and hit the skids. Falkirk are now trying to get themselves out of league 1 and we are desperately trying to keep ourselves in the Premiership play-off slot after a horrendous season littered with injuries to the whole squad. A third round struggle past Stirling Albion before we went through to the 5th round by default against Queens Park, but since then have comfortably disposed of Premiership opposition in Livingston and Kilmarnock. Falkirk got here by putting six past Wick Academy before a narrow 2-1 win at Alloa. They then dumped media darlings Darvel 5-1 and in the quarter final put out Ayr United. On paper we will be the bookies favourites. That's not something we are normally comfortable with and I fully expect Falkirk will also fancy their chances in this one, and rightly so. Be warned! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ticket & Bus info from ICTFC Supporters Club Buses Full ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Venue Pld Won Drn Lst For Agst + / - Home 27 8 5 14 35 42 -7 Away 23 7 6 10 29 33 -4 Neutral 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Total 50 15 11 24 64 75 -11 Falkirk are one of the few clubs out with the Premiership that have had the better of us over the years in head 2 head encounters. In the early years since we crossed swords in 1999 we always found Falkirk to be a difficult side to beat. Only 15 wins from 50 encounters is not one of our better stats. We have fared better in recent years with the Cup Final in 2015 being the pinnacle. The 0-2 home defeat shown below in the stats was the first meeting after the Cup Final win. Last 10 Competitive Meetings 0 - 0 (H) 2 - 2 (A) 2 - 3 (H) 1 - 0 (A) 1 - 0 (H) 1 - 3 (A) 4 - 1 (H) 1 - 0 (H) 0 - 0 (A) 0 - 2 (H) Click the link below for our full report from the Scottish Cup Final, brings a tear to a glass eye..... We went in at the break a goal to the good after getting to grips with the game halfway through the first period, Marley Watkins finishing with aplomb after a seven man move. Carl Tremarco was sent packing after 75 minutes after he miscontrolled a ball and then scythed down Blair Alston as he sped goalwards. Schoolboy error from Carl that was punished five minutes later when Peter Grant headed powerfully home from the vacant left back position. However, an unlikely hero came forward and James Vincent applied the finishing touch after Jamie MacDonald spilled a Watkins shot. The rest is history. 2015 Scottish Cup Final May 30th Scottish Cup (Final) 2 - 1 N 37,149 Anyway, back to the future and another tough game is expected against a Falkirk side who will finish second in League 1 and will be looking for promotion through the play-offs. Three former Inverness players in their ranks at the moment. Defenders Coll Donaldson and Brad Mckay along with winger Kai Kennedy who will be a handful. Mckay and Kennedy scored in a 4-1 win over Alloa at the weekend. Kennedy has scored five goals in his last four games. However, League form goes out the window in cup games, especially at Hampden where the vastness of the arena with less than full stands can turn it into a training like atmosphere. The daunting task of beating one of the Old Firm at a packed Hampden does not appeal to many, but it has been done before although the bookies won't be expecting that to happen whoever teachers the final. LAST WEEK Dundee broke our run of six straight wins with a draw at the Caledonian Stadium last Saturday. They opened the scoring through Lyall Cameron before Austin Samuels levelled with fifteen minutes left. A hard earned point in a game where Dundee looked like running away with the points for over an hour. Our late comeback meant that ultimately it was a deserved point but Dundee might disagree with that. Falkirk warmed up by trouncing Alloa Athletic 4-1 at Recreation Park. Brad Mckay, Kai Kennedy and a brace from Liam Henderson did the damage. Kennedy on a good spree just now with some spectacular dead ball strikes this month. Coll Donaldson did his bit. He was booked on half time. The third goal enabled them to rest some legs ahead of this one, unlike us who had to battle hard for the full ninety plus minutes. FanZone The word on the street is that the pre-match watering hole will be Alfredo's. It's known as Alfie's Sports Bar on West Nile Street. Alfie’s is located at 146 West Nile Street, G1 2RQ. This is a few minutes north of Glasgow Queen’s Street and the Bus Station. Apparently it opens around 8:00am. It would be rude not to.... Google Link to Alfies Sports Bar There's also a post match Bar for celebrating or drowning your sorrows. Koelschip Yard 686-688 Pollokshaws Rd, Glasgow G41 2QB Listen to the latest Podcast from The Wyness Shuffle Join Moff, Riley, AY and Wyness Shuffle debutants Sandy Sutherland and Calum MacDonald as they begin the countdown to the big one by looking back at our recent excellent run, hearing from a few familiar voices, and speculating on who will be running out at Hampden next Saturday. Let’s Shuffle to HAMPDEN CALLING That should keep you busy for a while on the train down to Glasgow Latest Team News David Carson is suspended for this one and Lewis Nicolson is cup-tied to add to Sutherland and Walsh who will no doubt be watching from the stands. Our missing souls of Roddy MacGregor and Max Ram might be added to the squad as Billy hints at in his media preview. Sean Welsh missed last week against Dundee with a knock but will return this week. Wallace Duffy made a welcome return last week with the impending suspension of Carson for this game. Falkirk manager John McGlynn had this starting XI against Alloa: Kinnear Williamson Donaldson McKay McCann Henderson McGinn Kucheriavyi Morrison Burrell Kennedy Subs: P Morrison; Rowe, Allan, Nesbitt, McGuffie, Yeats, Wright Oliver, Lawal Callumn Morrison is top scorer this season with 13 goals. Kai Kennedy and striker Rumarn Burrell both have 9 goals.
  3. One goal each from Higdon and Finnigan in each half of this game won it for Falkirk. Barry Wilson did score a penalty for ICT right at the end but it was too little too late. 03/05/08 The Falkirk Stadium, Falkirk FALKIRK 2 Higdon (28), Finnigan (68) Team: Supple, Aafjes, Scobbie, Mitchell, Barr, Cregg, McBride, Arfield (Latapy 59), Moutinho (Moffat 76), Finnigan (Stewert 86), Higdon SUBS: Barrett, Bradley, Ross, Olejnik INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE 1 Wilson (90pen) Team: Fraser, Tokely, Proctor, Hastings, McBain, Wilson, Black (Duncan 56), Cowie, Imrie, Niculae (Vigurs 80), McAllister (Bayne 71) SUBS: Wyness, Hart, Kerr, Malkowski Referee S Somers Attendance 5631 From CTO One team gave a **** about the result and one didn't. Can you tell which was which? Between Wilson's wonderful chance early on and the late penalty, we couldn't have scored in a brothel. The game was a carbon copy of when they beat us at TCS in March. Our tactics against the Bairns are the footballing equivalent of the Munich treaty of 1938 - we gave them huge amounts of territory unnecessarily, which only made them stronger and more dangerous (that's the worst metaphor I've thought of in ages, but I'm sticking to it). The two big differences today was that we missed Munro, and they had Higdon back - I thought he gave Proc a horrible time and he was the best player on the park. It looked like we were trying to play 4-5-1 with Niculae deeper than Rory, but Rory couldn't hold up a baby, let alone a ball. On the rare occasions that we tried putting passes together we had some success, so, true to Brewster Logic, we therefore decided to instead punt long balls. And somehow, despite extra bodies in midfield, Falkirk could have driven a bus down the centre of the pitch without running over anyone. Then in the second half our midfielders kept swapping all over the pitch, and the only consequence was that none of them were there to help when we were defending. The first goal appeared to be hopeless marking; the second one was so easy that a bunch of traffic cones would have made it more difficult for the Falkirk attack than our defence. And it's all I can do to stop myself launching into a tirade about Rory's performance and the decision to play him as a lone striker. The nicest thing I can say about him is that he is a waste of space. He is either lazy, cowardly, incompetent or a combination of the three. And that meant that, on the rare occasion we got the ball up the pitch, we lost it again, quick as a flash. Did Black get injured? It meant we had to put up with the textbook Duncan performance of misplaced passes, poor positioning and multiple shots from distance that endangered only the ballboys behind the goal. Positives? Well, my all day breakfast at the Little Chef North of Stirling was nice. That's the first away game I've done since New Year. God have mercy on those who go to all of these if our performances are anything like this. Tm4tj: Uninspiring stuff. We were poor, and Falkirk were eager and quicker on the break and with the Jambo's being pumped by Killie their mission was accomplished. Barry could have opened the scoring early on but after chasing a ball down the inside right channel he went too far and his attempted chip into the goals from a more acute angle than he would have liked sailed harmlessly high and wide. Grim stuff from us as an attacking force with Rory being the main culprit. I reckon he seems to be scared when challenging defenders as he misses so many balls aimed in his direction and ultimately loses out in any challenge despite some nice touches. Defence looked all at sea yesterday with Granty missing again and Proctors indecision almost cost us dear. Imrie struggled to make headway early on but improved as the game progressed. Cowie was another I thought who lacked an edge and Black was very quiet. Fraser did well and was not to blame for either goal, the second being lashed past him after Roy tangled with his own player in the left half area, and when Falkirk broke forward from there, Finnegan lashed a great shot high into the net from fifteen yards past an exposed Mike. Best that can be said about the game was Bazza becoming the second top ICT scorer on his own after calmly converting a penalty he himself won in the last couple of minutes, cutting along the byeline and being felled as he moved into the box. Hastings posted missing most of the game, leaving the right wing area open to abuse. Marius had some good touches, but playing deeper than Rory would have given him little enthusiasm and nowhere to play the ball to and expect a return pass. He tried a couple of shots which were either blocked or screwed wide, but really not a good day for him overall. I thought Russell looked keen when he came on but the game was lost by then and it was the usual too little too late. Brew was in his suit all day, no intention of playing at all. Some of the guys on the park might have well played with their suits on as well. But lets not be too critical, it was what they call end of season stuff. Best for us on the day..........Fraser, Imrie eventually and Bazza who looks like he is winning the battle to sign a new contract, if ability is anything to go by.
  4. Caley Thistle lose to an 86th minute Billy Clarke goal in a game that could certainly not be described as a classic. That's still only 1 win in 2008 for the Caley Jags and if Gretna go to the wall before the end of the season, that solitary win might even be expunged from the records !!! 15/03/08 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness INVERNESS CT 0 Team: Fraser, Tokely, Munro, McGuire, Hastings, Duncan, Black, Cowie (McAllister 80), McBain (Imrie 80), Niculae, Wyness (Bayne 53) Subs: Proctor, Kerr, Vigurs, Malkowski FALKIRK 1 Clarke (86) Team: Olejnik, Aafjes, Scobbie, Barr, Milne, Cregg (Riera 57), McBride, Arfield, Moutinho (Clarke 70), Barrett, Finnigan (Latapy 57) Subs: Bradley, Stewert, Ross, Supple Referee Calum Murray Attendance 4012 ICT’s wretched run of form continued unabated as Billy Clarke‘s late strike gave visitors Falkirk a deserved win. The visitors had to work rather harder for a victory than Hearts did a fortnight ago, but otherwise there were few positives for Craig Brewster to find after yet another lukewarm, passionless performance. Caley had only a single victory, against Gretna, to show for their first ten matches of 2008 and Brewster reverted to a 4-4-2 after the defeat to the Jambos two weeks previously. Dennis Wyness and Roy McBain were recalled, with Dougie Imrie dropped to the bench and Markus Paatelainen left out of the matchday squad altogether. Falkirk, meanwhile, continued with the same eleven that drew with Motherwell in their last match, with John Hughes continuing to go with an attacking triumvirate of Moutinho, Barrett and Finnigan. Under the backdrop of a clear blue sky and some unseasonable warmth, it was the Bairns who dominated possession throughout the opening period, with Hughes clearly upset that his side, clearly missing the injured Michael Higdon, had few chances to show for it. Carl Finnigan had the best of them, but his stabbed effort from six yards was blocked by a spread-eagled Michael Fraser when a corner caused chaos in Caley’s box. The first forty-five minutes followed a familiar pattern, with Falkirk given licence to knock the ball about and Inverness happy to sit deep and soak up pressure. Robert Olejnik was briefly called into action to turn a Niculae shot round the post, though the shot was drifting wide anyway. That was the exception, though, as the Austrian keeper saw very little action in a first half best described as uninspiring. The only thing the sides had to show for their stalemate was a bit of a suntan. Half Time: 0-0 Unfortunately for the increasingly frustrated home support, there was little change in proceedings after the break, leading both managers to make early substitutions; Caley hooking Wyness for Graham Bayne and Falkirk replacing Cregg and Finnigan with Latapy and Riera. Caley finally found some impetus, with Bayne inches away from reaching McBain’s ball across goal, then somehow managing to head wide from six yards while unmarked. Ultimately, though, it was the introduction by Falkirk of their veteran Trinidadian schemer that decided the game. Caley threw on McAllister and Imrie as they looked to nick the win, but instead got caught on the break. Receiving the ball in the centre circle, Latapy waltzed through the Caley defence, dummied Phil McGuire with a lovely body swerve, and squared the ball for another substitute, Billy Clarke to tap home for his first goal for Falkirk. Clarke was booked for over celebrating, but his delight was understandable with the three points keeping his side in the driving seat for a top six place. In the remaining four minutes Caley never looked like grabbing an unlikely equaliser, and the home support vented their fury at another dour, pointless performance with a cacophony of boos at the final whistle. Full Time: 0-1 They now head to Rugby Park next week with any hopes of finishing in the top half well and truly extinguished, and aware that their campaign is now increasingly in freefall.
  5. Falkirk ended Motherwell's unbeaten run last week, and this week it was their turn to do the same to Caley Thistle with a 1-0 victory at the Falkirk Stadium. The only goal of the game came in the 35th minute from Gerard Aafjes but it was enough for Falkirk to secure the points and leapfrog ICT in the SPL table on goal difference 26/12/07 The Falkirk Stadium, Falkirk FALKIRK 1 (Aafjes 35) Team: Krul, Ross, Holden, Scobbie, Aafjes, Cregg, Thomson, Arfield (Milne 68), Barrett (57), Moutinho, Higdon (Finnigan 82) Subs: Olejnik, Mitchell, Allison, Riera INVERNESS CT 0 Team: Fraser, Tokely, McGuire, Munro, Hastings, Cowie (Wilson 62), Black, Duncan, Rankin, McBain (Bayne 62), Niculae Subs: McAllister, Gillespie, Kerr, McCaffrey, Malkowski Referee Craig Thomson Attendance 5265 ICT's fine winning run came to an end in a tame display at the Falkirk Stadium. While ICT looked very comfortable soaking up Falkirk's pressure in the first half, and hitting on the break, this all changed when the Bairns took the lead 10 minutes before half time. The second half proved to be the opposite of the first, with Falkirk making a good job of defending their lead against a lacklustre ICT side with too many square passes. A full carload from Lothian & Borders arrived at the Cadgers Brae for the pre-match warm-up: Mantis, Naelifts, Caleystan and Wanderer, plus Stephen the Hibby. Naelifts and Caleystan failed a late fitness test as they were discovered to be outside for a smoke. Mantis suffered a wallet strain, and Wanderer's wallet was sold a dummy by Caleystan who ordered a round and disappeared without paying for it. ICT were unchanged from Saturday as Brew decided it wasn't broke, so he sure wasn't going to fix it. However there was a bit of a scare when we arrived at the ground to find the players putting Zibi through his paces with no sign of Mikey anywhere. Craig Thomson got the game underway and both sides seemed to be suffering a reaction from big away wins at the weekend as the match developed into a low-key affair with neither keeper having much to do. However ICT should have taken the lead after about 12 mins when Niculae knocked on a McBain cross only for Rankin to hit the side netting when he could have squared the ball for Cowie. Sadly, this was to set the pattern for wee John's afternoon as he struggled to make a contribution. Meanwhile, Falkirk, despite dominating the midfield, were struggling to make any progress against a confident looking ICT, and often their attacks consisted of Arfield lumping the diagonal ball to the back post, which was easily dealt with by Munro or Fraser. Ian Black was really looking the part in the first half and appeared in most of ICT's creative play, and it looked as though ICT would slowly sap the life out of an unconvincing Bairns side before taking the lead. Niculae wasted another opportunity when he got a McBain pass tangled between his legs with Rankin in space at the far post. Nobody seemed sure whether he was attempting to dummy it or control it. To be fair to Marius, I thought this was one of his better games and for the first time I thought he deserved all those Champions League players around him to read his intentions... Anyway, after the half hour the Guinness and the cold weather took its toll on your correspondent's bladder, and I sauntered off, only to hear a roar, followed by 'Amarillo' being blasted into the toilets at a hellish volume. ***insert description of goal here- that's right, £20 and missed the only goal of the game*** Gerard Aafjes scored with a courageous diving header from a Jack Ross corner Ten minutes before half time Blackie was booked for blootering the ball into the stand. Despite his protests it was obvious that the ball was well out when he kicked it and Russeldinho had to act as peacemaker as Blackie threatened to repeat his episode of last Christmas at the same venue. Half Time: 1-0 The second half was largely uneventful, though there were a few scrambles at the far end as ICT chased an equaliser without much conviction. Too many passes. Nice passes mind you, but too many. Falkirk defended their lead very well and had the best chance of the half when Moutinho was through on Fraser, but Mikey is playing so well these days that it was no surprise when he blocked with his legs. Also sub Latapy wheezed into possession and, with about 4 ICT players holding back, tempted McGuire into a silly foul at the edge of the box. Uncharacteristically Latapy screwed the free kick tamely wide. With half an hour left ICT threw on Wilson and Bayne for Cowie and McBain, but the expected injection of pace from Barry never really happened, and Bayne put himself about as he did on Saturday, but minus the booking and the winning goal. Bayne won a free-kick which Barry took well but it was cleared. Full Time: 1-0 Overall, ICT were worth a point on the day, but the Bairns took their chance when it came. Bizarre moment of the day came when Rosscoe caught a ball which had gone out of play but spun back in. With the whole of the main stand baying for handball Rosscoe calmly accepted the award of a throw-in and was booed for the rest of the game. MotM was Ian Black
  6. Do-Do-Do-Do...Dennis Wyness scored twice as Caley Thistle made it three victories in seven days. Ru-Ru-Ru-Ru...Russel Duncan takes man of the match for his box to box performance and chipping in with a fantastic goal of his own. Ummm...Ba-Ba-Ba-Ba Ba-Ba Black Sheep...He may have been a bit of a Black Sheep last season but his new found temperament is paying off dividends as he now spends more time on the park than he does off it and is contributing to the score sheet. Some fantastic individual performances today, but not at the expense of the team who played total football for the bulk of the 90 minutes and walked away deserved 4-2 winners. 29/09/07 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness INVERNESS CT 4 Wyness (7, 54), Duncan (18), Black (32) Team: Fraser, Tokely, McGuire, Munro, McBain, Wilson (Morgan 87), Black (Hastings 75), Duncan, Cowie, Niculae (Bayne 87), Wyness Subs: D McDonald, Vigurs, Kerr, Malkowski FALKIRK 2 Milne (28) , Arfield (47) Team: Krul, Holden, Scobbie (Allison 72), Barr, Milne, Arfield, Cregg, Latapy (Wallner 72), Moutinho (Barrett 72), Finnigan, Higdon Subs: Aafjes, Riera, Craig, Olejnik Referee David Somers Attendance 4011 What a week it’s been, and the Caley Jags couldn’t have topped it off any better than they did in today’s match against Falkirk at Tulloch Caledonian Stadium. We’d barely taken to our seats when Don Cowie got in the first shot of the game – a powerful volley which he just couldn’t hold low enough and it went over the bar. Yet again ICT were setting out their stall early and letting the opposition know that they were in for a game and we didn’t have to wait long for the opener. Marius Niculae looked like he was going to get his name on the score sheet first but his shot was deflected, only for it to fall to Dennis Wyness who stuck it away for his 3rd goal in as many games. Caley Thistle were linking some great moves together and providing some entertaining football but I felt they were sitting off Falkirk a little too much and this allowed for a couple of longer ranges efforts which could have, and probably should have troubled Fraser more than they did. Russel Duncan is a player who seems to come in for a little more criticism than most and a few of the fans would have been starting to warm the humble pie around 15 minutes in when Duncan’s strike from the edge of the area left Krul only able to tip it around the post. Duncan wasn’t to be denied with his next shot though, despite the best efforts of the Falkirk defence. He hit a rocket from about 30 yards out which would have been trouble enough for Krul even without the deflection which saw it rise and then dip quickly into the back of the net. ICT were spraying balls into the Falkirk area like there was no tomorrow and everyone seemed to be trying to get in on the action. Ian Black was having a great game alongside Duncan and neither seemed afraid to get forward and have a go, but as I said above, we were affording Falkirk too much space when they were on the attack. I thought Latapy was playing a bit deeper than normal, but with his intelligent play and ability to find himself that extra yard before placing some very nice passes to the front line, he always looked dangerous. Mikey Fraser looked confident between the sticks today and he dealt with crossed balls, and corners well and even though Falkirk had a few shots on target none of them seemed to trouble him too much. Falkirk were next to score though and despite being caught wrong footed Fraser did well to get a hand on the ball and almost succeeded in pushing it wide. Kenny Milne was awarded the goal, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the replay shows it to have come of an ICT boot in an attempt to clear the cross. Ian Black was to restore the 2 goal lead only 5 minutes later and it was a goal that you would have to see to truly appreciate. Niculae headed the ball in towards goal as Black made his run, it looked like an awkward ball and I thought Black had missed it but he cleverly got the outside of his boot to it to send it in to the corner of the net and beyond reach of the outstretched Krul. Even at 3-1 I never felt totally comfortable as I still thought we were sitting off Falkirk a little too much and I would have liked to have seen us put a man on Latapy who time and again managed to get the ball beyond our midfield and defence and had it not been for the fact that the Falkirk front line were struggling to threaten our goal with anything serious then we could have been more troubled. Caley Thistle were creating plenty of their own chances and at the Half Time mark the game could just has easily been 3-3, 5-1, 5-3 or any such thing. It really was reminiscent of the days under Steve Paterson when the philosophy seemed to be if they are going to score then we’ll just have to make sure we score more. Half Time: Inverness CT 3 v 1 Falkirk – but a feeling that either team was capable of scoring a few more. Falkirk started the second half the stronger team and were rewarded for being the quicker off the mark with a goal only a minute after the restart. The ball seemed to rattle uncomfortably around the box, ICT working to clear it as Falkirk struggled to find the connection to put it in the net. When the ball did finally break from the area it dropped right in front of Scot Arfield who didn’t need to think twice before hitting it on the volley from about 20 yards out, a well taken ball sent through a crowded box and beyond the reach of Fraser….3-2 Ross Tokely nearly regained the 2 goal lead within a minute when his header from a Barry Wilson free-kick was saved by Krul and Black was unlucky to go narrowly wide from about 25 yards out. Dennis Wyness had been on form the whole match and as someone commented “He thinks he’s back playing in Div 1” – a comment aimed more at the predatory instinct we witnessed from him in those days as opposed to his standard of play which was undoubtedly top drawer. The drag, shuffle and scoop were all being used to full effect, we could see them coming and so could the Falkirk defence, but they were powerless to counter it. No more so than on 54 minutes when some fancy footwork and a little flick allowed him to sail through the Falkirk defence before placing the ball past the oncoming Krul at a tight angle into the far corner….4-2, a 2 goal lead and 35 minutes left on the clock…the ICT of latter years would have been looking to shut up shop and just play the game to an end, but that was not to be the case. This looked like a team who had a point to prove and for much of the remainder of the game they did just that. For much of the first half and the start of the second it looked like Falkirk could come back at us but we didn’t give them enough of the ball to allow that in the final half hour. Even when they were on the ball the failed to do anything with it and Fraser was on form and picking cross balls out of the air as if this was nothing more than match practice. Barry Wilson was unlucky not to have added his name to the score sheet on a couple of occasions and at times you had to wonder what Niculae had to do to get the ball in the back of the net. Any doubts anyone may have had about the value of his contribution should have been laid firmly to rest after today. He may not have found the net but he set up some great chances for others and on any other day would have bagged a couple for himself. Caley Thistle also pulled off one of the nicest set pieces I have ever seen them do. Faced with a free kick about 30 yards out 3 of them stood over the ball. I thought we were going to see a repeat of an earlier set piece which saw the ball tapped sideways for Niculae who shot just wide but they sold me the dummy and Falkirk were momentarily stunned as well. I can’t remember who did what exactly but it went something like….Cowie runs up and steps over the ball but continues to the edge of the 18 yard box, Wilson looks like he’s going to blast it or tap it off for Niculae but leaves it and Niculae plays the ball to the waiting Cowie who, by this time, had found himself plenty of space on the edge of the area and was unfortunate not to have one of the other players who were running in get on the end of his cross. Hope they show this one in the highlights as it really was very cleverly done. Falkirk went for a triple substitution on 72 minutes – Scobbie, Latapy and Moutinho being replaced by Allison, Wallner and Barret. Latapy had been the only one really threatening ICT and I was glad to see him being replaced. The replacements offered no real threat for the remaining 20 minutes and I think Falkirk may have had only 1 shot on goal between making the subs and the end. This could also have been in part due to our own substitution of Black for Hastings shortly afterwards when it looked like the decision had been made to strangle whatever play we’d allowed Falkirk to have for the bulk of the game. You’d have been forgiven for thinking that the match today was being played without a referee as he was, for the most part, anonymous and let play flow. However, he did make one baffling decision towards the end when Cregg fouled Rossco just inside our own half. Rossco had managed to stay on his feet and had clear space in front of him but instead of allowing the advantage the referee whistled for play to stop and killed the momentum. Niculae, Wilson and Duncan all had half decent, if long range, shots at goal and Niculae even looked like he was through one on one with the keeper but was adjudged to be offside and was very unfortunate to have to watch his header come off the bar shortly before being replaced by Bayne. He and Wilson left the field to a standing ovation (Morgan replaced Wilson). Wyness seemed to get shot shy towards the end and should maybe have been a little more selfish on a couple of occasions but I think we can forgive him that. I think it would be unjust of me to suggest that ICT shut up shop for the final 5 minutes, but they certainly weren’t going to allow Falkirk to have much of the ball. Falkirk scrambled time and time again, but it was to no avail as ICT quite simply proceeded to run rings round them, none more so than Don Cowie who seemed to have the ball glued to his feet at times as he ran up and down the touch line. A stronger team might have punished us for giving them so much space today, but Falkirk weren’t the stronger team and ICT were pretty much in control for the bulk of the 90 minutes. The whole team played well and I don’t think I could fault a single man. Special mentions for Russell Duncan…He was like a man possessed today and despite Black having had one of the best games I’ve seen this season I think Duncan may have just outshone him by the narrowest of margins. Black deserves special mention as well, he apparently wasn’t feeling too well when he took to the field, but it didn’t show, in fact I hope he doesn’t feel too well when he takes to the pitch again next week...lol. And finally Marius Niculae…he gave it everything today, set up some nice chances for others, tracked back well when needed and it was cruel not to see him get on the score sheet. He’s gone a long way towards proving that he provides just as much value in his contributions to others goals as he will when he finally catches a break and starts slotting them away himself in the SPL.
  7. Carl Finnigan scored the only goal of this game in the 78th minute. This was a game where the most sustained piece of action came in a three minute spell that saw Falkirk made three substitutions and then score a goal !! Other than that, you would never guess that each league finishing spot was worth a reputed 80K more than the one below as this was typical end of season fare (from both sides) that is best forgotten. Club Historian Ian Broadfoot reports on the match. FALKIRK 1-0 ICT 5th May 2007 Falkirk Stadium, Falkirk FALKIRK 1 (Finnigan 78) Team: Schmeichel, Ross, Scobbie, Barr, Milne, Lima, Latapy (Uras 77), Craig, Stewart (McStay 77), Finnigan, Gow (Moutinho 75) Subs: O'Donnell, Twaddle, Holden & Lambers INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE FC 0 Team: Fraser, McCaffrey (Paatelainen 82), Dods, Munro, Hastings, Rankin (Wilson 66), Duncan, McBain, Hart, Dargo, Bayne Subs: Tokely, Black, Sutherland, Wood & Ridgers Referee Stephen Finnie Attendance 3129 Man of the Match When these two sides meet you can usually expect goals. In four 2006/07 matches to date they had shared twelve goals but this was to be an exception – just one freak goal separated the sides. Both Barry Wilson and Ross Tokely were free from suspension but could only make the ICT bench as Charlie Christie retained most of the team from Tannadice. Craig Dargo came back from injury to replace Markus Paatelainen in the starting eleven and resume his striking partnership with Graham Bayne. Falkirk made one change with Patrick Cregg being replaced by Vitor Lima. Rangers-bound Alan Gow played for Falkirk but the home supporters were clearly impatient with his performance and it was no surprise when he was substituted with fifteen minutes left. It was not a match to remember but the second half was an improvement on the first. Falkirk ’s John Stewart headed wide in six minutes then two minutes later Richie Hart hit just off target following a knock-on by Bayne. In 13 minutes Mike Fraser saved from Gow after a good run past the ICT defence. Hart was in fine form and in 28 minutes he took a Roy McBain pass but shot wide of the target. Six minutes later Craig Dargo sent a back-post header wide from a Hart cross. In 35 minutes Mike Fraser was called into action when Vitor Lima tried his luck from 35 yards but the ‘keeper touched it over the bar. Half Time: 0-0 Into the second half and Carl Finnigan missed the chance of the match in 48 minutes when Stewart headed into his path and he somehow hit the underside of the visitors’ bar from a few yards out. At the other end a Hart free kick was met bravely by the diving Bayne but his header went wide. Another Hart strong effort on the hour mark went wide from 18 yards. The goal that broke the deadlock came in 78 minutes when Falkirk ‘keeper Kasper Schmeichel sent a 70 yard free kick into the heart of the ICT box. Finnigan stuck out a foot and it looped over Mike Fraser and into the net. Paatelainen was sent on for Stuart McCaffrey with eight minutes left to push for at least an equaliser but it did not happen. Full Time: 1-0 A disappointing 1-0 defeat with two games left and a chance to climb the table missed. Falkirk stay seventh and Caley Thistle ninth. The relegation battle goes on with St Mirren taking three precious points at Tannadice and Dunfermline having all to play for against Motherwell on Monday.
  8. A pretty even match finishes as a 1-1 draw. Falkirk scored in the 80th minute but John Rankin equalised 6 minutes later (his 4th against Falkirk this season) to save a point for Caley Thistle. Club Historian Ian Broadfoot reports on the game from the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium. ICT 1-1 FALKIRK 7th April 2007 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE FC 1 (Rankin 86) Team: Fraser, Tokely, McCaffrey, Munro, Hastings, Wilson (McBain 66), Duncan (McAllister 82), Hart, Rankin, Dargo, Bayne Subs: Paatelainen, Wood, Soane, Sutherland & Ridgers FALKIRK 1 (Finnigan 80) Team: Schmeichel, Ross, Holden (Scobbie 48), Barr, Milne, Cregg, Latapy (Craig 75), Thomson, O'Donnell, Moutinho (Finnigan 68), Gow Subs: Lima, McStay, Uras & Lambers Referee Crawford Allan Attendance 4435 Man of the Match Richie Hart (ICT) Not a great game but it had its exciting moments. Caley Thistle could have had it sewn up by half time but nothing quite came off and it was Falkirk who opened the scoring with ten minutes left. John Rankin came to the rescue with a late equaliser. Ian Black’s suspension continued and Darren Dods missed one game as a result of his red card at Ibrox. Stuart McCaffrey came into central defence, Markus Paatelainen dropped to the bench, Barry Wilson came back into the starting eleven, Richie Hart continued in midfield, Roy McBain returned from injury to a bench slot and young striker Garry Wood joined the squad for the first time. Falkirk striker Carl Finnigan came back from suspension but started on the bench. ICT could have taken the lead in two minutes when an attack led to a loose ball which broke well for Wilson and left him one-on-one with Kasper Schmeichel – his low shot was saved by the legs of the ‘keeper and Wilson hit the rebound wide. A minute later and there could have been a goal at the other end. Alan Gow sent a high free kick from the right and Dean Holden headed goalwards from the back post. It ran parallel to the goal line and over for a goal kick at the far side. Schmeichel once more rescued Falkirk in 14 minutes when he tipped over a 25 yard dipping volley from Hart. In 34 minutes Rankin produced the shot of the match when he sent an angled ball from long distance on the left towards the top right corner. It curled beautifully but went just past the angle of the bar. Half Time: 0-0 Falkirk had clearly been spoken to firmly at half time as they came out with more determination. Despite this Mike Fraser had little to do as the defence held firm under early second-half pressure. In 59 minutes Schmeichel did well to dive and hold a Hart ball across goal then in 69 minutes a good home move led to a blocked Craig Dargo shot from 20 yards. The Bairns took the lead with ten minutes left when substitute Finnigan took a pass on the right wing and was allowed to continue despite strong offside claims. He raced ahead and hit an angled shot low into the net for 1-0. Rory McAllister was sent on for Russell Duncan as the home side played three up front in search of an equaliser. It came in 86 minutes when a long Grant Munro throw from the left was returned to him and he sent a high ball into the box – Rankin managed to get a good touch on it and send the ball into the top corner for the equaliser. There was a hectic finish and Caley Thistle nearly snatched a late winner when Dargo rounded Schmeichel on the left but a defender cleared the danger. Twice in added time Schmeichel had to punch clear but the final whistle went and it ended 1-1. Full Time: 1-1 Caley Thistle moved up one place to ninth. Dunfermline beat Hibs 1-0 and the relegation issue has not quite been settled.
  9. A 12 minute hat-trick from Anthony Stokes just before half-time and two yellow cards for Ian Black for kicking the ball away after the half-time whistle had gone, sum up this match. It was small consolation that John Rankin scored another cracker right at the death. Official Club Historian Ian Broadfoot reports from the last match of 2006 which took place at the Falkirk Stadium. FALKIRK 3-1 ICT 30th December 2006 Falkirk Stadium, Falkirk FALKIRK 3 (Stokes 33,37,45) Team: Lambers, Ross, Dodd, Uras, Barr, Milne (Twaddle 65), Cregg, Lima (Thomson 72), O'Donnell, Latapy (Stewart 78), Stokes Subs: McManus, Craig, Scobbie & Higgins INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE 1 (Rankin 90) Brown, Tokely, Dods, Munro, Hastings, Rankin, Black, McBain, Morgan (Duncan 70), Wyness (McAllister 78), Bayne (McSwegan 76) Subs: McCaffrey, Wilson, Sutherland & Fraser Referee Mike Tumilty Attendance 4516 Man of the Match Anthony Stokes (Falkirk) A disappointing end to 2006 for Caley Thistle and what a difference three days can make in football. The victory over Rangers will never be forgotten but the glow was dimmed somewhat by this defeat at the hands of Falkirk. This was the Anthony Stokes show as the on-loan Arsenal youngster scored yet another hat-trick in a 13 minute spell. The visitors were without the rested Barry Wilson and Alan Morgan came in for his first league start of the season. Goalkeeper Mark Brown made his 200th appearance in just five seasons. Falkirk were without striker Alan Gow due to flu and defender Cedric Uras made his debut. Today was a massive disappointment after Wednesday night. The visitors started well and in the fourth minute an Ian Black 25 yard free kick curled just wide. Darren Dods did well to track back and challenge Stokes in 20 minutes - the teenager did manage a shot but he was off balance and the ball went across the face of the goal. In 28 minutes Grant Munro took the ball off Stokes in a dangerous position after a good Falkirk move involving Russell Latapy. On the half hour mark home ‘keeper Jeroen Lambers tipped over a 30 yard free kick from Morgan. Stokes took over after that and scored his first in 33 minutes. Kenny Milne found Latapy and he sent a neat through pass which set Stokes up on a straight run to goal. He hit it past Brown then repeated the finish from a tight angle four minutes later after a one-two with Vito Lima. As half time approached Stokes completed his hat trick from close range after a cutback from Milne. Half Time 3-0 After the half-time whistle Caley Thistle’s Ian Black incurred the wrath of the referee by kicking a ball away twice and receiving two yellow cards in succession. The first was clearly the match ball but some claim the second was a club warm-up ball. No matter the rights and wrongs of the dismissal it left the visitors to face the second half three goals and a man down. The visitors battled on in the second half but they could have lost a fourth in 68 minutes when Darren Barr hit the bar from 20 yards. Brown parried a Lima shot from 12 yards in 70 minutes when another goal was a strong possibility. There was never going to be a realistic way back but in the last minute John Rankin restored some pride when he took a Gary McSwegan pass and sent a 20 yard dipping shot over the ‘keeper. This repeat of Rankin’s feat on Wednesday was merely a consolation and the points were left behind in Falkirk. Full Time: 3-1 Results elsewhere led to a drop to tenth.
  10. Inverness CT 3-2 Falkirk Caley Thistle looked down and out after Anthony Stokes had scored either side of half-time but a second half goal from Craig Dargo and a two excellent free kicks from John Rankin meant it was Caley Thistle who snatched all three points. ICT Club historian Ian Broadfoot reports from the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium 21st October 2006 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium Inverness Caledonian Thistle 3 (Dargo 70, Rankin 81, 85) Team: Brown, Tokely, Dods, Munro, Hastings (Wyness 56), Wilson, Black, McBain (Hart 56), Rankin, Dargo (Duncan 88), Bayne Subs: McCaffrey, Sutherland, McAllister & Fraser Falkirk 2 (Stokes 40, 51) Team: Higgins, Ross, Barr, Milne, Twaddle, Cregg, Thomson, O'Donnell (Stewart 90), Dodd (Gow 90), Stokes, Latapy Subs: Lambers, Scobbie, Lima, Craig & Mountinho Referee Stuart Dougal Attendance 3749 Man of the Match Craig Dargo (ICT) John Rankin’s first senior goals for Caley Thistle proved decisive as they helped turn a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 win. Not surprisingly Charlie Christie stood by the same side that beat Rangers but things did not go right until major personnel and formation changes in 56 minutes. With three at the back and three strikers it was all-out attack and this paid off. Not much happened in the first half but Falkirk, with Russell Latapy’s electric pace, looked more likely to score. Latapy hit over from 22 yards in eleven minutes then in 18 minutes he drove a 30 yard free kick just wide left. At the other end Ian Black shot over the bar in the early minutes, Graham Bayne did the same and Craig Dargo headed high in 33 minutes. Falkirk’s Anthony Stokes looked to have put Falkirk in a winning position with goals either side of the break. In 40 minutes he raced in on goal from the right, Grant Munro slipped and he hit the ball under the advancing Mark Brown. Half Time: 0-1 In 51 minutes Stokes did it again after a great Latapy build-up – Latapy ran across the box leaving defenders helpless then slipped it to Stokes who scored easily at the left post. Five minutes later came the decisive changes. Richard Hastings was sacrificed for Dennis Wyness, making his 200th appearance, and Richie Hart provided fresh legs to replace Roy McBain. The new formation settled down and ICT started to make inroads on the Falkirk defence. It all paid off in 70 minutes when Scott Higgins scrambled a Grant Munro shot for a corner on the right. John Rankin’s kick led to an almighty scramble and a Graham Bayne shot which Craig Dargo headed onto the bar. It bounced down over the line, the goal was given and Darren Dods hammered the loose ball into the net to make sure. The crowd were now treated to one of the best 20 minutes of home action seen in a long time. With nine minutes left Dennis Wyness was brought down a yard outside the box and John Rankin took the free kick. He curled it low to the left, round the wall and in for 2-2. This was the midfielder’s first goal for the club and his second was only four minutes away. Ross Tokely was brought down on the right some 30 yards out and this time Rankin sent the free kick high and left into the net for 3-2. There was no way back for Falkirk but they did throw on two substitutes for the two minutes added time. Full Time: 3-2 Stuart Dougal blew the final whistle and the home team was cheered off the pitch. Three wins in a row and up to a heady fourth.
  11. Inverness CT 0 - 1 Falkirk The Curse of the Caledonian Stadium strikes again as Caley Thistle just cant get a decent result at home and are sent crashing out of the CIS cup. Falkirk progress to the next round courtesy of a second half strike from Anthony Stokes in the 60th minute. Tuesday 19th September 2006 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE FC 0 Team: Brown, Tokely, Dods, Munro, Hastings (McAllister 73), Wilson, Duncan (Morgan 62), Keogh, McBain, Dargo (Hart 80), Bayne Subs: McCaffrey, Fraser FALKIRK 1 (Stokes 60) Team: Higgins, Thomson, Twaddle, Cregg, Ross, Milne, Dodd, O’Donnell (Craig 20), Gow, Barr, Stokes (Mountinho 74) Subs: Latapy, Scobbie & Lambers Referee Dougie McDonald Attendance 1198 Man of the Match Anthony Stokes (Falkirk) An eagerly anticipated cup tie against a fellow SPL side but in the end disappointment. In truth it was rather a bland game with neither side making much impact on the other’s goal. Caley Thistle’s best spell came in the last 15 minutes but they could not make the late pressure count. Falkirk held on to their one goal lead and moved into the fourth round. The first shot on goal was Liam Keogh’s 30 yard low effort in the fifth minute but it was well wide. The prize for highest of the day went to Stephen O’Donnell in the eighth minute when he shot from 20 yards over the bar and the north stand. Falkirk were forced into an early substitution when O’Donnell went off injured in the 20th minute and was replaced by the lively Liam Craig. Seconds later a Barry Wilson corner from the left reached Darren Dods just in front of the ‘keeper but his header went over the bar. A Craig corner in 27 minutes caused danger in the ICT box and Russell Duncan was forced to head off the line. The best home effort in the first half came in 33 minutes when Craig Dargo took a touch on the right of the box then turned and shot on the volley – it went high but it was a good move. Half Time: 0-0 Into the second half and the expected Caley Thistle improvement was a long time in coming. It was Falkirk that took charge and they were rewarded with the only goal of the match on the hour mark. It was created and scored by ‘Man of the Match’ Anthony Stokes. He raced down the left, cut inside, the ball took a couple of deflections into his path then he hammered it past Mark Brown. Hard-working Graham Bayne was foiled by Falkirk ‘keeper Scott Higgins in 65 minutes when his header was held. Rory McAllister replaced Richard Hastings in 73 minutes to give Caley Thistle an extra attacker and it did lead to a more exciting last 15 minutes for the sparse home support. McAllister was only on the pitch for two minutes before he had a chance. A Wilson cross from the right reached the young striker just beyond the back post but he stretched and hit it just wide. An Alan Morgan low shot from 20 yards was blocked in 81 minutes then a McAllister header was cleared by a defender. Higgins then held a Wilson header and, with five minutes left, a trademark long range Richie Hart drive dipped just over the bar. In added time a long throw from Grant Munro bounced into the Falkirk box and Bayne dived to head over. A good chance but it was to be the last one for the home side. Full Time: 0-1 Falkirk march on in the CIS Insurance Cup. For ICT – back to the league.
  12. Barry Wilson turns in a superb performance with a role in all 4 Caley Thistle goals. The veteran scored one and set up or provided the ball for the other three. An emphatic win against struggling Falkirk and three-in-a-row for caretaker managers John Docherty and Charlie Christie. It was also eleven SPL games undefeated since Falkirk came to Inverness in October and won 3-0 against the odds. Saturday 21st January 2006 Falkirk Stadium FALKIRK FC 1 (Ireland 10) Team: Ferguson, Lawrie, Milne, Rodrigues, Ireland (Moutinho 64), Lima (Cregg 69), Thomson, O’Donnell (Craig 62), Latapy, McBreen, Gow Subs – Ross, Barr, McPherson & Glennon INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE FC 4 (Wilson 2, Wyness 18, Dargo 38 (pen), Tokely 56) Team: Brown, Tokely (Proctor 79), Dods, Munro, Hastings, Wilson (Hart 85), Black (Golabek 66), Duncan, McBain, Dargo, Wyness Subs – McCaffrey, Fox, McAllister & Fraser Referee J Underhill Attendance 4772 Man of the Match Liam Craig (Falkirk) Barry Wilson was the hero of the day with one goal and three assists. Falkirk manager John Hughes acknowledged the fans boos and agreed they had been well beaten. Christie thought his side was ‘fabulous’. Russell Latapy shot over the Caley Thistle bar in the first minute but it was the visitors who took the lead in just two minutes after Craig Dargo collected the ball in midfield and found Wilson on the right. The winger headed goalwards and shot low past Allan Ferguson from 18 yards for his third goal of the season. Alan Gow should have equalised two minutes later but Mark Brown blocked his effort with his legs. In the eighth minute Craig Dargo hit straight at Allan Ferguson from point blank range and two minutes after that Falkirk equalised. Gow’s free kick was not cleared by the ICT defence and Craig Ireland rose to head home. The Inverness side regained the lead in 18 minutes when Dennis Wyness was set up by Wilson and he carefully slid the ball past Ferguson from 12 yards. Falkirk pushed for another equaliser and Brown brilliantly turned away a Russell Latapy free kick in 31 minutes. The points began to look safe in 38 minutes when a Wilson cross was handled by Tiago Rodrigues and Dargo slotted home the penalty – his third penalty goal in three matches. Half Time: 1-3 Into the second half and the visitors were clearly in control. In 51 minutes Dargo hit the bar from 18 yards then Ian Black hit wide with just Ferguson to beat. Goal number four came in 56 minutes when a Wilson corner was headed home by Ross Tokely at the near post – his second goal of the season’s SPL campaign. Falkirk now had a mountain to climb. The team did not give up but many of their fans decided to head for home. The closest Falkirk came was when substitute Liam Craig hit the bar in the closing stages. Full Time: 1-4 For Caley Thistle the job was done and they fully deserved the three points. Sixth place was retained and minds now turned to the visit of Rangers on the 29th.
  13. Bore draw Defences were on top at the Caledonian Stadium as Falkirk came North with a clear game plan; do not concede. It worked as Inverness struggled to break them down with former Partick player Abdul Osman outstanding for Falkirk, and combined with our wayward shooting that ensured the battling Bairns went home with a point. Chances were at a premium in an instantly forgettable first half. The tempo improved in the second but despite some near misses around the Falkirk box it was left to Mark Ridgers to ensure we also took a point as he blocked a late effort from substitute Shayne Lavery from six yards. Some odd results today with County, Dundee United and Dunfermline losing we actually moved further away from the Pars in fifth place. A decent visiting crowd were on hand to see if they could lift the Bairns out of the relegation scrap with a total of over 2800 in attendance on a brisk and blustery afternoon in the Highland Capital. As mentioned above, it was an instantly forgettable first forty-five with the most apt description coming from AJS as he slithered and shivered down the stairs at the interval. Bland! Enough said Sandy. The only plus points for me were that Coll Donaldson was immense at the back for us mopping up every ball forward from Falkirk and Abdul Osman did likewise at the other end to ensure it was a total stalemate. In our defence, the Bairns probably had more to gain from keeping it tight and their tenacity and close shackling of our players made for a dull first half. The pace of the game quickened after the break as Inverness drove towards the North Stand and Charlie Trafford shot wide as more urgency came into our play. Harry Burgoyne saved from man of the moment Aaron Doran as he looked for his fifth goal in as many games, but like his team mates, most efforts were not causing the big keeper too many issues. Harry again denying Doran and a succession of three corners came to nothing. Kevin McHattie had one of our best moments when he flashed a volley just wide from the edge of the box when it looked as though it might find the bottom corner, the ball going agonisingly the wrong side of the post. Brad Mckay met a Chalmers corner from the right but it flashed just wide of the post with defenders relieved to see it miss, the ball rolling out for a corner off Edjenguele's shins . White directed a header well wide on the run under pressure from the two centre backs, the ball just not running for the big man today. Doran came closest of all when he appeared on the left side of the box as he collected a disguised pass from Polworth, but his goalbound shot was cleared away from inside the six yard box by Jordan McGhee. Polly then guided the clearance just wide under pressure from the defender. That could easily have been the opener but for a fortunate block by Edjenguele on Polly, the ball going for a corner. A wonderful jinky run into the box by Trafford almost set up a chance for Tom Walsh but he wanted to take an extra touch to be sure and his right footed effort was subsequently blocked. Would have been nice for Polworth to get one on his 200th appearance but he will need to be sharper if he wants to hit the back of the net. Too ponderous around the box for my liking although he was always looking to create something for others, especially in the second half. The customary late flurry brought little reward for Inverness and right at the death Falkirk almost stole it. Substitute Shayne Lavery pounced on the ball plumb in front of Mark Ridgers but the Inverness stopper stood firm as his shot went into his chest to avoid us losing another sore one to the Bairns. It would have been nothing short of robbery had defence minded Falkirk stolen all three points as they did last time they were here. It was miserable enough dropping two points but as it turned out we lost no ground and as for Falkirk, they actually dropped to second bottom after Partick whipped Morton 3-0. Man of the Match for Inverness was Coll Donaldson. Boy are we going to miss you in the Semi-Final. Abdul Osman was the same for Falkirk proving to be a big obstacle and dominated everything in the air at his end. He's a big unit. Here's the footage from Caley Jags TV Inverness CT manager John Robertson said on BBC Sport: "It was disappointing because we had by far the better chances in the second half. The first half was a total non-event. I don't think people realise how bad the wind was. It was really, really strong blowing straight through the park." Date: 30/03/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2817 Referee: Gavin Ross Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Trafford, Polworth, McHattie, Chalmers (Walsh 65), Doran, White (Austin 77) Subs (not used): C Mackay, Rooney, McCauley, D Mackay, Machado. Scorers: none Booked: Trafford (61), B Mckay (89), Sent Off: none Falkirk FC: 0 Lineup: Burgoyne, McGhee, McKenna, Edjenguele, Osman, Dixon, Paton, McShane, Petravicius (Jarvis 74), Keillor-Dunn (MacLean 62), Rudden (Lavery 86) Subs (not used): Mitchell; Waddington, O'Hara, Robson Scorers: none Booked: Dixon (28) Sent Off: none a
  14. THE MATCHDAY THREAD Discuss ICT & other games in this thread as they happen Inverness CT -V- Falkirk PREVIEW 30th March 2019 @ 3PM, Caledonian Stadium Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook Go to the Chatroom Media Coverage AUDIO COVERAGE BBC Sportsound BBC Sportsound [UK Only] Club Twitter Feed should have live audio for this game. see below for link when available. LIVE TEXT (ONLINE) Sporting Life BBC VIDEO SPFL YouTube Channel ICT Official YouTube Channel TEAM LINEUPS TO FOLLOW Tweets by @ICTFC Tweets by @ICTFC
  15. Gathering Pace The push for promotion gathers pace after three wins on the bounce and we will be looking for a fourth on Saturday when perennial spoilers Falkirk come North for a 3:00pm kick off at the Caledonian Stadium. I'm sure the players would appreciate a big backing to help get right behind the team and push them on. If you can't make the game, look out for a live audio feed which should appear on the twitter feed as a periscope link. If the gremlins stay away, this should work, fingers crossed................ ps, Please don't be breaking any seats, it's a costly affair and something the club can do without. If you wouldn't do it at home, don't do it here. Read the joint club statement here Yes, three games on the bounce, who knew! Four if you include the cup win at Tannadice, or to put it another way, six out of seven in all competitions. The only defeat in that run was a 1-0 reverse at Tannadice when we were a bit light due to injury. What does it all mean I hear you say? Well it means that we now sit third fourth in the table going into today's game and five points clear of Dunfermline who are the ones most likely to make the push for promotion uncomfortable for us. Ayr have slithered in recent weeks but are not to be discounted yet. The Pars play Ayr on Friday night prior to our game. (Ayr beat Dunfermline 0-1 to go back into third place) There's the updated table above on the left. Other fixtures at the top end are Alloa -V- Ross County and Dundee United -V- Queen of the South. Final fixture is at the other end of the table where Morton play Partick Thistle, a game where Morton could get dragged into the relegation scrap. Our last game was a 3-2 home win over Alloa. Cruising at 3-0, our midfield dynamics changed when Sean Welsh went off injured and Joe Chalmers and Aaron Doran were exchanged. That let Alloa get a foothold and they plugged back a couple of goals through a Trouten penalty and a fortuitous Flannigan deflected shot that wrong footed Ridgers. Doran, Welsh (pen) and dainty feet Jordan White were our scorers. That's eleven for the season for a rejuvenated Aaron Doran who has scored in his last four outings. Great return from the wide midfielder. Dainty feet now has 14 goals in all competitions this season after a slow start to his ICTFC career. Falkirk's last outing was on the 16th of March when they drew with fellow relegation candidates Partick thistle. Ian McShane scored his third of the season to earn the point just before the interval. Previous to that, they went down narrowly at Dingwall (2-1) and beat Ayr United 2-0 at home. Those results show Falkirk sitting third bottom four points above Alloa and it looks as though they are starting to ease away from the dreaded drop. The Bairns are well used to this game of avoiding relegation and are battle hardened to it and will prove to be a tough nut to crack with Zak Rudden in particular a threat. Zak is fresh back from Cyprus where he scored a hat-trick for Scotland u19's. He has also scored three times against Inverness already this season. Another one making an impact is Shayne Lavery. He has two goals in two games after he scored the winner for Northern Ireland U21’s against Mexico last week. As ever, our games against Falkirk have been tough. We started at Falkirk with a 1-0 win back in August thanks to an early George Oakley strike, but he can't help us now. Falkirk came North in December and went away with all three points in a 3-2 win. Walsh and Oakley scored for us but a Zak Rudden double pulled the Bairns level before a late sickener in the third minute of time added on saw Scott Harrison snatch the points. That was the game that ended our unbeaten league run of 25 matches and got the monkey off our back (too many draws). The third encounter was a 2-2 draw at Falkirk as the Bairns twice came from behind (Rudden, McShane) to earn a point after Rooney and Doran had scored for us. John Robertson will have concerns over the fitness of Sean Welsh who was injured against Alloa Athletic. Sean has been a mainstay in midfield recently and his contribution from the spot is reaping rewards after we had tried a series of penalty takers who sadly fell short of the required suitability for the post. Those concerns were justified as it looks like he has cracked a metatarsal. If so he will be out for the rest of the season. Anthony McDonald is not fit enough to return this weekend but could make the squad for the Ross County game. Robbo summed up Sean's contribution perfectly:- “It’s not been confirmed yet but it’s certainly looking that way, we’re just waiting on the scan coming back. That’ll be a blow as Sean has been terrific for us all season and has been one of the unsung heroes, he’s in the team every week and he’s there for a reason because of the job he does for us. Saying that, it’s time for other players to step up now.” Ray McKinnon has no injury worries and had this squad out in the 1-1 draw with Partick. He said this about their current form: "We’ve lost once in our last nine games, our squad is looking good. We are strong and quick, the mentality is good and we’ve just got to go into every game to try and pick something up. We’re in decent form going into the business end of the season, but we’ll be taking absolutely nothing for granted". Don't forget your Scottish Cup semi-final tickets. Don't forget to buy your tickets for the SemiFinal against Hearts at Hampden. This may appear to be an alien concept, but always remember this, in space, no one can hear you scream. If you are sitting in your living room passing round the werther's originals and watching on TV, the lads won't be able to hear you. They have been brilliant to get this far in the cup and it's a great day out at the National Stadium. Be there or be square! Tickets for our William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final will be available for season ticket holders and shareholders on Monday 25th March from 10:00am. General sale will commence on Wednesday 27th March at 9:00am. Tickets will be available from the Club Shop and online from ictfc.tickethour.co.uk. The singing section for this game will be East Stand section G5. South Stand: £30 Adult, Concession £15 East Stand: £20 Adult, Concession £10 Concessions are available for supporters aged over 65 and supporters aged under 16 If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ FansBet have ICT @ 5/8 - Draw @ 11/4 and Falkirk @ 4/1. Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  16. THE MATCHDAY THREAD Discuss ICT & other games in this thread as they happen Falkirk -V- Inverness CT PREVIEW 26th January 2019 @ 3PM, Falkirk Stadium Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook Go to the Chatroom Media Coverage AUDIO COVERAGE BBC Sportsound BBC Sportsound [UK Only] LIVE TEXT (ONLINE) Sporting Life BBC VIDEO SPFL YouTube Channel ICT Official YouTube Channel TEAM LINEUPS TO FOLLOW Tweets by @ICTFC Tweets by @ICTFC
  17. All Square at Falkirk It was a depleted Inverness that kicked off with Coll Donaldson, Tom Walsh and Mark Ridgers out and third choice keeper Cammy Mackay in goal. Undaunted, we took the lead after 12 minutes when Shaun Rooney touched in a Joe Chalmers free kick. On the half hour Zak Rudden equalised from close range. Doran restored our lead just on the interval when he volleyed into the top corner in spectacular fashion. Freak goal from McShane levelled the game again 10 minutes into the second half. Inverness had both new signings Darren McCauley and Anthony McDonald available and on the bench for this game, however, we were dealt a blow with Mark Ridgers unable to play because of a back spasm and Fon Williams allegedly with a groin injury. That thrust young Cammy Mackay into the spotlight with Martin MacKinnon as back up on the bench. Nathan Austin and Jordan White started up front with George Oakley on the bench. Falkirk had new keeper from Wolves Harry Burgoyne between the sticks for the first time and prolific scorer Zak Rudden starting. It was a sodden miserable afternoon as Falkirk kicked off in front of nearly 5000 fans, 240 of them supporting the team from the Highlands, Cammy Mackay tasked with keeping the Bairns out. His last game was a month ago, a 2-0 defeat for Rothes in the Highland League against Brora Rangers whilst out on loan. A bright start for the visitors saw Nathan Austin, Aaron Doran and Jamie McCart all make Harry Burgoyne work in the Falkirk goal. Shaun Rooney did even better when he made him pick the ball out of the net in twelve minutes when he diverted a low Joe Chalmers free kick into the net for the opening goal. Great start for the Caley Jags. Austin had a header saved as we pushed for a second and Doran was close with a shot and Sean Welsh dragged another shot wide halfway though the first period. Burgoyne made a tremendous save to deny Doran from distance, fisting the ball away as the visitors continued to dominate and keeping young Cammy Mackay quiet in goal so far. Spoke too soon as out of the blue Zak Rudden tapped in from close range to level the match after good work from Mark Waddington. We fail to convert after a scramble in the Bairns box and soon after Liam Polworth shot wide after a lay-off from White. A quick break from defence saw White's first effort saved and his follow up deflected for a corner. From the corner, Falkirk do likewise as Rudden is denied at the other end. Inverness have had the greater opportunities in the first half and just on the break we regained the lead in spectacular fashion. A Polworth free kick was cleared as far as Doran at the edge of the box, and after taking a touch the wee man smashed the ball into the top corner on the volley, what a strike. Pick that one out Harry! Half Time 1-2 No changes at the break as Inverness set the ball rolling for the second half and we began on the front foot again, Austin doing his best to undo his old club as he drilled a ball across the box but there were no takers. Falkirk were relying on Mackay being in the firing line and they equalised when a corner from Ian McShane deceived the keeper and ended up in the net. Austin tried to reply moments later but his header was too straight and saved by the keeper and Sean Welsh missed from distance. Doran pulled up on a run forward and he had to make way for Darren McCauley to make his debut and it's almost an instant success as his ball is deflected to White and behind for a corner. Jamie McCart took a head knock as well, injuries we don't need at the moment. Substitute George Oakley had a header saved as we looked to get back in front, and Anthony McDonald replaced Jordan White to make his debut. McCauley had an effort blocked as we looked for the winner and at the other end Paul Paton saw Mackay save his shot. Big shouts for a penalty after a McCauley shot is blocked but nothing doing and Rudden blazed a shot over from 8 yards after being played in. That should have clinched it for the hosts. It all ended a bit towsy with a couple of bookings but with no further scoring it finished all square. Inverness will feel it's two points dropped, after having enough chances to win two games, but the injury to Doran could be more worrying. Speaking on BBC Sport Falkirk manager Ray McKinnon: "That's us unbeaten in January but we need to start winning games. It will happen sooner or later, I'm certain of that. "We still need two players. We need someone to hold the ball up front and an experienced centre half. We played a more attacking style but we just weren't clicking in the final third." Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "It was a strange game. Both equalisers come against the run of play. The Falkirk keeper - he was terrific - kept them in the game. "The most disappointing thing was not getting a penalty kick. Their player runs six yards to close down, hands above shoulders, and it comes off both hands. It's a clear a penalty as you'll get." Here's some footage from Falkirk TV on YouTube Where's Harry.............. Here he is............... Date: 26/01/2019 Venue: Falkirk Stadium Attendance: 4843 Referee: David Munro Falkirk: 2 Lineup: Burgoyne; McGhee, Petravicius (Lavery 75), MacLean (Keillor-Dunn 64), Osman, Robson, McShane, Rudden, Dickson, Waddington (Paton 79), McKenna Subs (not used): Mitchell; Kidd, Brough, McKee, Scorers: Rudden (29) McShane (56) Booked: Keillor Dunn (90+2) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: C Mackay; Rooney, B Mckay, McCart, Tremarco, Doran (McCauley 64), Polworth, Welsh, Chalmers, Austin (Oakley 63), White (McDonald 80) Subs (not used): McKinnon; Harper, McHattie, Trafford. Scorers: Rooney (12), Doran (45) Booked: Tremarco (62), Rooney (90+3) Sent Off: none a
  18. Bairns Bash Inverness travel to second bottom Falkirk on Saturday knowing they will be in for a tough test. The Bairns had come North at the start of December and ended our 25 game unbeaten run by going away with all three points in a five goal tussle. Inverness CT fans will be housed in Section H of the Main Stand for this one at the Bairnabeu. Falkirk Club Shop will be open from 09:00 – Kick Off on Saturday for those wishing to purchase in person. Weather for the Falkirk area is expected to be heavy rain at times with a moderate breeze.?️ Falkirks last two results were a 1-0 win at Ayr United and a 1-1 draw against Partick Thistle at Firhill. Rangers loanee Zak Rudden is the man who earned the points with a second half goal against Ayr and an equaliser at Firhill. Rudden had scored twice when Falkirk won 3-2 at the Caledonian Stadium before Scott Harrison won the game with a 93rd minute goal. Tom Walsh and George Oakley were the Inverness scorers. The first encounter of the season was the opening fixture in the Championship. The Caley Jags took the points then as George Oakley fired home after only ten minutes. Would that be the start of a promotion chasing season? Well, maybe not yet, but we are still in the hunt for a play-off place and I'm sure Falkirk would happily exchange places with us given their faltering campaign. Our last league game was a deserved win over title chasing Ayr United thanks to a strike from Jordan White. Last weekend we comfortably disposed of East Kilbride 4-0 in the Scottish Cup. Goals from White, Aaron Doran, Liam Polworth and an og put us into the last sixteen. Falkirk were idle having already been dumped out of the cup in a surprising 4-2 defeat by neighbours Stenhousemuir. Rudden is certainly one to watch. He has scored eight goals this season, including a brace against Inverness. He has also been capped for Scotland at u16/17/19 level. All this and he he was only born two days before we knocked Celtic out of the Scottish Cup in 2000. John Robertson has moved into the transfer market and snapped up the Coleraine wide midfielder Darren MacCauley. The 27 year old scored 20 goals last season for Coleraine with 10 assists. He has scored 7 league goals this term. Darren was once a trainee at Celtic, but we won't hold that against him. Also signing on loan for the rest of the season is Hearts youngster Anthony McDonald pictured in his Jambo's strip. McDonald is 17 years old and is one of the promising young players at Hearts. He has made a total of 21 appearances for the Jam Tarts and has been capped for Scotland at U16 and U17 level. Good luck at the Caley Jags Darren and Anthony Striker Jordan White has been talking about his medical issues in the press and fair play to the big man he has battled through it to get where he is today. Talking on the BBC Sport website, Kenny Crawford has written this article "One night during pre-season, I woke up and just couldn't move my legs." Have a read and maybe we can all understand what Jordan has gone through. Inverness have been dealt a double injury blow with Coll Donaldson (groin) and Tom Walsh (foot) out for over a month. Both missed the win over Ayr United last weekend. Jamie McCart is a ready made replacement for Donaldson and it looks as though Darren McCauley will be able to fill the gap left by the injured Tom Walsh. Anthony McDonald will be available for selection for tomorrow’s trip to Falkirk. Darren's inclusion will depend on whether his international clearance has been received. Falkirk have been busy in the transfer market as they look to get away from the foot of the table. Goalkeeper Harry Burgoyne has signed on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers for the rest of the season. The 6ft 4″ stopper has made a total of seven first team appearances for the Premier League side. Paul Dixon was also brought in before New Year. Former Partick Thistle captain 31 year old Abdul Osman was the second signing after Dixon. Motherwell pair Ross MacLean and Ian McShane soon followed. In fact there are too many to fit on the preview and not even the Bairns fans know what their team looks like now. Viva la Rayvolution! Here's Nathan Austin speaking ahead of the Falkirk clash Latest News The Friday night Championship game at Somerset Park ended Ayr 1-0 Dundee United. That result has put Ayr back to the top of the table on goal difference thanks to a fourth minute goal from Craig Moore. Dundee United ended the game with ten men when Morgaro Gomis was red carded in the 89th minute. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Scottish Cup V Ross County In their wisdom, the powers that be have determined that 7:15 on Monday night the 11th of February will be the date for the Highland Scottish Cup derby at Dingwall. It's not a great choice for the fixture and it looks like the SFA have bowed to the TV companies to fit this tie in for their schedules. Fans aren't given much consideration and I fear this may diminish some of the atmosphere in what should be a cracking game. Prices have been set at Adult £15 Concession £10 Under 12 £5 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you like a wee flutter, our new partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  19. Bottoms Up Bottom club Falkirk claimed the win right at the death when Scott Harrison knocked the ball home after a free kick. Inverness had opened the scoring early when Tom Walsh slotted in before a Zak Rudden double turned the game on it's head. George Oakley stooped to head home from close range with half an hour to go but Inverness were unable to add to that before being hit with the sucker punch. The hosts squandered a raft of chances in the second half after a poor first forty-five and once more paid the price for a lack of composure in front of goal. That late goal ended the worst unbeaten run anywhere in the world where draws became more important than winning. With that monkey off the back, maybe we can go out and play something more entertaining for the fans and hopefully bag a few wins. If not, then we look to be in big trouble and sliding into obscurity. A bright but chilly afternoon with 2260 spectators saw the hosts get off to the perfect start. We played briskly from defence when Sean Welsh passed forward to Liam Polworth, he spun round and threaded a lovely ball into the path of Tom Walsh who took a touch towards the corner of the six yard box then drilled low across the keeper into the bottom corner. Great start but could we build on it? The answer became apparent as Falkirk got to grips with the game and broke forward at pace at every opportunity as we reverted to holding onto the ball at all costs. Their persistence paid off when they burst down the right, three passes and a Petravicius cross later Zac Rudden was left unmarked to nod into the net with Ridgers merely a spectator, helped to watch by Brad Mckay and Shaun Rooney, when maybe they should have been more involved. Good goal from the Bairns point of view, sloppy from ours. Falkirk survived a massive penalty claim when George Oakley was manhandled to the ground by Scott Harrison as he entered the box on the left edge. Referee Colin Steven deemed that the crime started outside the box and a free kick was awarded which we wafted way over the bar, one of many wayward attempts from crosses, corners to free kicks. Aaron Doran was buzzing in and around the visitors box and he had one effort blocked by the legs of Leo Fassan in the Falkirk goal. Falkirk were still looking more direct on the break and it was no big surprise when they scored a second and no surprise it came as a result of more ball watching from Shaun Rooney. A quick free kick saw a long ball floated over the less than alert defender and Rudden capitalised to gather the ball and head goalwards. It was a fairly tight angle but from about three yards out from the bye line he managed to squeeze the ball through Ridgers and in off the far post. Another good goal for Falkirk, another self inflicted disaster from us. Oakley headed well over the bar from a corner when he should have been hitting the target as we tried to get back on level terms before the break, however most of our moves as usual broke down in the final third. Half Time 1-2 More urgency was shown after the interval and Rooney was deployed further up the park where we were hopeful he could make amends for his earlier slackness. At least there was less chance of us conceding when he was at the other end of the park. He did get a useful low ball into the box after ducking in between two players but Oakley's slid attempt just went a foot over the top of the bar as it dipped over. Close, but no cigar. Oakley appeared to be shoved in the back for a second time but the referee chose to ignore this one completely for what looked like a stonewall penalty. A goal was coming for the hosts but not yet. The now familiar sight of Jordan White getting under a cross, leaning back and heading an inviting cross over the bar from inside the six yard box was too much for some to take, an outburst of biblical proportions from some filled the air. Ridgers had been idle for most of the second half but he had to look sharp to get down low to his left post to tip a curling shot round the post from Paton. We would not be denied though and a deep corner was headed back into the mix by Rooney where it bounced kindly for Oakley to stoop and nod the ball in from close range. That goal prompted an assault on the advertising hoarding as two or three jubilant players were fouled by our sponsor McEwan Fraser, but it was not legal. Game on! We pressed hard for the winner and Joe Chalmers curled an effort just over the junction but it was not to be. Tom Walsh tried a low shot to the near post but Fassan parried then a defender blocked the rebound as White tried to turn it in, but it was not to be. Then, out of nothing, deep into stoppage time, a late free kick wide right for Falkirk saw a dangerous ball swing to the back post where Donaldson was the wrong side of Harrison and he bundled the ball in to the delight of the visiting fans. Misery complete for the home fans who had seen enough. So, the unbeaten run ends. Thank Christ we all sigh, now let's get the season started. It could be a make or break week with a tough cup tie on Tuesday and an even tougher trip to Somerset Park on Friday. Our normally reliable defence let us down today but Donaldson and McCart still played well, despite the odd lapse. Ridgers has had better days and the forwards did what we expected, missed loads of chances, so there you have it, run over and beaten by the bottom club. Let's end on a bright note. Roddy MacGregor was a late sub and looks like a bright prospect. ??? RIG sums it up brilliantly in his summary of our first two goals "Awful defending from Mckay for the first Rudden goal. It's almost as if someone playing as ICT on FIFA suddenly loses their controls connection with the PS4 as he just stops dead and doesn't even bother trying to challenge for the ball. As if that wasn't bad enough Rooney then follows it up by getting distracted by a shiny object in the North Stand and forgets to challenge Rudden for the ball and let him ghost past before finishing well past Ridgers." Zak seems to agree with my assessment............. Post Match on BBC Sport website, the managers had different reactions:- Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson: "I'm hugely disappointed. We didn't deserve to lose the game. We created chance after chance after chance and got caught by a sucker punch. "It's cruel on the players. The worst we should have got was a point but we desperately wanted all three." Falkirk manager Ray McKinnon: "I'm really, really happy with the guys. They executed the game plan brilliantly. We got off to a bad start but responded well and right at the end we tried to win the game. "Inverness are a good side that's why they are unbeaten for 25 games. We worked extremely hard and we got the rewards." Here's Robbo on the Official Facebook page Date: 01/12/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2260 Referee: Colin Steven Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Walsh, Polworth, Chalmers, Welsh (Trafford 58), Doran (White 58), Oakley (MacGregor 84) Subs (not used): Hoban; Trafford, White, MacGregor, Nicolson, Brown, Harper. Scorers: Walsh (6), Oakley (61) Booked: Mckay (52), Polworth (90+1) Sent Off: none Falkirk: 3 Lineup: Fasan; Kidd, McGhee, Muirhead, Paton, Petravicius (Haber 77), Sammut (Irving 80), Robson, Harrison, Brough, Rudden (Lewis 90+2) Subs (not used): Mitchell, Dallison, Dumbuya, Russell. Scorers: Rudden (16, 36), Harrison (90+3) Booked: Harrison (21), Muirhead (90+1) Sent Off: none a
  20. Bairns Challenge Bottom club Falkirk head to Inverness on Saturday with their latest manager Ray McKinnon so far unable to motivate the club sufficiently to direct them away from the foot of the table. If we thought our performance in the Scottish Cup was abysmal, and it was, spare a thought for the Bairns suffering fans as they were dumped out of the Scottish Cup by four goals to two. That's bad enough, but it was their lesser fancied League One neighbours Stenhousemuir who inflicted the damage leading to some unsavoury scenes from the stands as angry fans berated their own players. How the mighty have fallen. It's barely three and a half years since these two clubs contested the 2015 Scottish Cup final in front of 37,149 fans with Inverness just coming out on top. Falkirk losing to the Warriors was a poor result for them, but was it any worse than our tepid performance at Ainslie Park in front of 867 hardy souls where we drew with Edinburgh City? I'm not sure there's much between the results. Lack lustre, embarrassing, devoid of creativity, sluggish, lack of penetration were all used on this forum to describe our performance. One sentence really summed it up, "we are the most boring outfit in Scottish Football right now." What's gone wrong? We are finding it increasingly difficult to turn draws into wins. Yes we are unbeaten for half a million games, but the support have seen it all before and long before the draws become reality, the sense of a draw running through the stands is overbearing. Lack of ambition coupled with no budget is restricting what we can do, but it's becoming more obvious that we won't get out of this division with the squad we have just now, they are simply not good enough to sustain a challenge. Our defence is solid enough, but there is little creativity from midfield and our front men are challenging. Challenging the fans enthusiasm to return and watch more of the same. Still, we are unbeaten some say. Oh my, remaining unbeaten has become an obsession and is detrimental to our progress. Last Saturday in the cup was a prime example, an opportunity for the front men to make a few headlines. I know, I know, cup shocks are what makes the competition, we should know we have been involved in some memorable ones over the years. However, those days are long gone and those that witnessed our sorry attempt at Ainslie Park will testify to that. Can you be more upbeat I hear you say. Well, we won't get a better chance to make amends than the visit of a struggling club that has only scored 8 goals in the Championship and conceded 21, not the worst, but 8 more than we have conceded. The Bairns have only two wins this season in the Championship, recently against Dunfermline Athletic and away to Alloa at the end of September. That sees them at the bottom of the table with just 8 points whilst we have 22 in fourth place. We did win the opening game of the season 1-0 at Falkirk thanks to a George Oakley strike, however that was a long time ago now. Ayr United staked their claim to be taken seriously last night with a 5-0 demolition of Dundee United at Tannadice, Lawrence Shankland the main demolition man with four of the five goals. Stunning performance from the Honest men that puts them 5 points clear at the top with today's games to come. Ray McKinnon talking to the Official Falkirk FC website said:- “There’s nothing we can do about last week now other than to learn from it. It’s all about Inverness from as soon as last Saturday’s match was finished and ensuring we prepare properly for the match. “We know where we are, I know where we are. We are going to get inconsistencies, every team has them, we just had a really poor day on Saturday and got punished for it. “I would rather that it didn’t happen, but we now have an opportunity to get back to the form we have shown in the last four games in the league. It’s our bread and butter this season.” Zak Rudden will return and he could have Scott Harrison back for this one, and Mustapha Dumbuya could get on the park. Prince Bauben is also just about ready for action so it could be a very different Bairns from the one that were dumped out of the cup. John Robertson will just have to go with the tried and tested for this one as our wafer thin and fragile squad struggle for fitness. Defensively we can cope, with Jamie McCart doing well since his insertion to the starting XI. Scoring goals is the big issue with lightweight Nathan Austin possibly out. Big opportunity for youth to get a fling, and we might see Daniel Mackay or Roddy MacGregor get some game time. tm4tj prediction:- Draw anyone! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ICTFC v Edinburgh City Tulloch Caledonian Stadium Tuesday 4th December KO 7.45pm Adults: £12 Concessions (Senior and 16-25): £6 Juniors (under 16s): FREE Season ticket holders will, for the first time, be able to use their season card by adding the cup game onto it. Season ticket holders can activate the cup ticket online (up to kick off), or by phoning the ticket office on 01463 222880 or in person up to an hour before kick-off. Please note that even free under 12 seats need to be added to the season card. Get your tickets HERE
  21. Championship begins with visit to Bairns Here we go, matchday one in the Championship and we are off to Falkirk to kick off the new campaign on Saturday. The ball starts rolling at 3:00pm at the Falkirk Stadium. Falkirk have signed a barrowload of players over the summer break. The enigmatic Greek born midfielder Dimitris Froxylias is one to watch out for. The former Dumbarton player was capped by Cyprus towards the end of last season and is a big danger at set pieces. Striker Dylan Mackin comes in after being on loan at Brechin City last season. Deimantas Petravicius a striker from Motherwell has signed on. Experienced Paul Paton has joined up. The one time Dundee United midfielder comes in from Plymouth. Keeper Leo Fasan moves to the Bairns having played for Udinese and Port Vale amongst other clubs. A late signing has been that of Marcus Haber. The Canadian striker joins the Bairns on a season long loan from Dundee. In their last couple of League Cup games, Falkirk narrowly lost out to St Johnstone (1-0) before ending their group games with a 2-1 defeat of East Fife. They came from behind in this one with two second half goals from Dylan Mackin seeing them prevail. However, like us, it was not enough to sustain their interest in the competition. Inverness were dumped out of the Betfred League Cup last weekend and suffered a humiliating 5-0 reverse. Anything more than a three goal defeat and we were out and I'm afraid we were outplayed after losing three goals in as many minutes in the first half. A further two goals sealed our fate and our demise saw Partick Thistle take our place in the draw. A bit of retribution for the Harry Wraggs I suppose. Pastures new for some stalwarts of recent seasons. Most notably, club captain Gary Warren who has returned South and signed for Yeovil Town. Gary has been a great servant and fans favourite in his six years and 218 appearances. He missed out on two cup final appearances through injury and suspension, but he finally got his hands on a trophy last season as we picked up the IrnBru Challenge Cup. Iain Vigurs is another club captain who has left to re-join Ross County. A very talented player but occasionally let down by his temperament, however his midfield qualities will be missed this season. Jake Mulraney has gone to Tynecastle and the popular Connor Bell is now at Cappielow. We have some new faces at the Caledonian Stadium though with defender Jamie McCart coming back to Inverness having previously been here on loan. Shaun Rooney arrives as a marauding right back from Queen of the South. Striker Jordan White comes in from Barrow to compliment our other strikers and Sean Welsh is a midfielder from Falkirk, not to be confused with Tom Walsh a wide player who was at Dumbarton. Angus Beith is here somewhere after joining from Hearts but he is injured at present. Paul Hartley has brought in around fifteen players since the end of last season, the more prominent ones already mentioned above. To accommodate them, Falkirk released thousands of players too. In the departure lounge were Craig Sibbald, Tom Taiwo, Paul Watson, Louis Longridge, Robbie Thomson, and Rory Loy with five loanees returning to their parent clubs. The Bairns last starting XI against East Fife: Fasan, Kidd, Muirhead, Dallison, McGhee, Petravicius, Sammut, Brough, Mackin, Lewis,Turner. John Robertson was disappointed with the performance of his defence at Tynecastle as we conceded four goals from crosses into the box and one from a superb free kick although the play leading up to the free kick left a lot to be desired. Carl Tremarco took a knock at Tynecastle. Sean Welsh could come off the naughty step having served his suspension. Plenty of options for Inverness this early in the season with Robbo still trying to get the most out of the players at his disposal. More detail on the Official Site with their Preview.
  22. THE MATCHDAY THREAD Discuss ICT & other games in this thread as they happen Inverness CT -V- Falkirk PREVIEW 10th April, 2018 @ 7:45PM, Caledonian Stadium Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook Go to the Chatroom Media Coverage AUDIO COVERAGE NONE LIVE TEXT (ONLINE) Sporting Life BBC Livescore.com VIDEO SPFL YouTube Channel ICT Official YouTube Channel TEAM LINEUPS Tweets by @ICTFC Tweets by @ICTFC
  23. Jake makes amends. Inverness kept their faint play-off hopes alive with a late winner from substitute Jake Mulraney. Sweet moment for Jake who had been red-carded in the away fixture at Falkirk earlier in the season which led to Inverness being turned over by the Bairns. This was another must win game for Inverness and after a dour first half they battled hard to get the points in a tough contest with Falkirk. John Robertson went pretty much with the same starting XI that did so well at Palmerston at the weekend. That meant another start for Nathan Austin who would feature against former club Falkirk. The Bairns were without Andrew Nelson and Peter Grant and that saw Tom Taiwo and Paul Watson start with Grant on the bench along with Alex Harris. It had been a pretty miserable day in the Highlands and the evening was no different as the sides took to the park with just over 2000 in attendance. Inverness were on a healthy run and looking to keep the pressure on the teams above them in the race for a play-off place. Falkirk had been seven Championship games unbeaten but lost at the weekend to big rivals Dunfermline. The game kicked off in damp conditions with Inverness playing in the unaccustomed direction of the North Stand for the first forty-five and Iain Vigurs tested his rangefinder with a shot that went wide. Some adjustment needed by the looks of it. Charlie Trafford gave away a free kick in a dangerous position but Mark Ridgers was equal to the shot by Sean Welsh and as the game opened up, Liam Polworth fed Nathan Austin but he volleyed wide. With Inverness keeping the pressure on the Falkirk defence, there were no takers for an excellent Brad Mckay cross to the far post but the defenders got it clear. Polworth fired over a corner and Gary Warren saw his header deflected for another. Mckay's header came back off the bar and Austin saw his effort cleared off the line as the hosts looked for the opener. The game became a bit towsy and bogged down in midfield with a number of petty fouls, neither side able to create the clear opening they were hoping for, but, if anything, the visitors were beginning to get to grips with the pace of the game and Welsh headed wide just after the half hour. Just on the break Polworth was denied by a great block by Watson but in all honesty it was a fairly innocuous opening half with defences rarely tested. Half Time 0-0 The first dangerous moment of the second period saw a Paul Watson header cleared off the line and at the other end just when it looked as though it was opening up for Polworth, he saw his effort blocked en-route to goal. Another Falkirk header from Watson cleared away from goal, this time it's Tremarco doing the mopping up. Ridgers holds an effort from Longridge as Falkirk up the pace. As in the first half, a bit of stalemate and a spate of substitutions by both sides as they tried to break the defensive shackles. Hazard managed to thwart Mulraney and his clearance fell to Mckay, but his effort was cleared by Muirhead. Oakley thought he had opened the scoring but he was ruled offside, however moments later substitute Jake Mulraney scored from inside the box after cutting in and firing low behind Hazard with ten minutes remaining. Sweet revenge for Jake who red misted in the away game. In the final minute, Mark Ridgers made a vital one handed save to deny Jordan McGhee with Peter Grant firing over. Inverness held on to take all three points in a really close encounter, but the all important three points stay in Inverness and the run continues. Full Time 1-0 Another vital win for Inverness which keeps us on track, just, for a shot at the play-offs. With Dumbarton losing a late goal to Morton, we now only need to concentrate on the top end of the Championship. Tonight's win was vital as both Morton and Dundee United picked up full points. We now have a double header coming up against Dumbarton and the possibility of six points that would bring us right back into the mix is making for in interesting finale to the season. All the action.............. Robbo delighted to take all three points Hartley miffed........... Date: 10/04/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2053 Referee: Nick Walsh Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Warren Donaldson, Tremarco, Polworth, Trafford (Mulraney 69), Vigurs, Chalmers, Oakley, Austin (Doran 69). Subs (not used): Esson; Seedorf, Calder, Bell, D Mackay. Scorers: Mulraney (81) Booked: Oakley (50) Sent Off: none Falkirk: 0 Lineup: Hazard; McGhee, Muirhead, Tumilty (O'Hara 89), Watson, Sibbald, Robson (Grant 73), Taiwo (Kidd 74), Welsh, Jakubiak, Longridge Subs (not used): Thomson; McKee, Harris, Blair. Scorers: none Booked: Longridge (60) Sent Off: none a
  24. I don't like Tuesday's It's just a typical Tuesday, another game, another must win scenario and another six-pointer as Paul Hartley brings his Grangemouth revival squad North on the back of seven games unbeaten in the Championship since Livingston won 3-1 at the Bairnabéu Stadium. That was until Dunfermline pipped them at the weekend. Inverness were at Palmerston on Saturday trying to keep our slim chances of a play-off place alive and we came away with an excellent 2-0 win after Nathan Austin opened his account at Inverness. George Oakley added a second and that was George's 10th of the season. Whilst we were playing Queens, the Bairns were hosting Dunfermline but left it too late in their comeback. Kallum Higginbotham and Fraser Aird had the Fifers two up but Aaron Muirhead reduced the deficit with a penalty ten minutes before the end. However the Pars held on for an important win that keeps them in a play off position. These sides have met five times already this season. We started by losing 2-0 in the League Cup group game and followed that with a no scoring draw away from home before winning the IrnBru cup game 1-0. The next Championship game saw us rout Falkirk at home 4-1, but when we went South in the next one we lost 3-1 after Jake saw red. Both sides are capable of winning this one but we are coming together at the right time and it would be a brave man to put their money on a Falkirk win. There's little between the sides in goals for, Inverness just edging it by three (40) but we are ten better off in defence (34). That shows us just three points above Falkirk with one game in hand. John Robertson should have a full squad to choose from and Coll Donaldson came through the game at Palmerston without any further niggles. Good to see Nathan Austin get off the mark with the opener against Queens and fellow striker George Oakley beginning to show his worth with ten goals to his name. Paul Hartley has been building well recently, seven unbeaten until the loss to Dunfermline at the weekend. Here's the starting XI from that defeat to Dunfermline: Hazard, Muirhead, Grant, Watson, McGhee, Sibbald, Robson, Nelson, Welsh, Jakubiak, Longridge. tm4tj prediction:- We are building a bit of momentum at the right time and the win at Palmerston was a massive boost Falkirk had been on a run until the Pars pipped them at the weekend. Usually tight games to call but with Coll Donaldson showing his class at the back, Mark Ridgers high on confidence and George Oakley into double figures then I'm looking for a home win to continue our good run. Good cameraderie amongst the squad at the moment, here's hoping that continues tonight.
  25. THE MATCHDAY THREAD Discuss ICT & other games in this thread as they happen Falkirk -V- Inverness CT PREVIEW 27th Jan @ 3PM, Falkirk Stadium, Falkirk Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook Go to the Chatroom Media Coverage AUDIO COVERAGE BBC Sportsound BBC Sportsound [UK Only] LIVE TEXT (ONLINE) Sporting Life BBC VIDEO SPFL YouTube Channel ICT Official YouTube Channel TEAM LINEUPS TO FOLLOW Tweets by @ICTFC Tweets by @ICTFC
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