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  1. Rare win for Inverness gives hope. Inverness threw themselves a slender lifeline with a deserved 2-1 win over Hamilton Accies in the relegation scrap at the foot of the table. It was only our second win in twenty-four games and our fourth of the season. This win closes the gap to Accies and Well to four points with only three games left. We should have been out of site by half time and Accies could have had no complaints had we been four or five up at the break. As it was, an early goal from defender Brad Mckay and a penalty by Greg Tansey was all we had to show from numerous attempts. Accies left a bitter sweet taste in the mouth as they notched a goal through Redmond with the last kick of the game as we got ourselves in a fankle. Pity about that but it was a welcome three points that gives us a glimmer of hope and keeps our premiership status alive for another week at least. Full report to follow......... Date: 06/05/17 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2478 Referee: Andrew Dallas Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Esson, Raven, Warren, Draper, Billy Mckay, Mulraney (King 90+2), Tansey, Fisher (Boden 68), Laing, Brad Mckay (McNaughton 90), Anier Subs (not used): Hoban, Horner, McCart, Cole Scorers: Brad Mckay (10), Tansey (pen.36) Booked: Draper (40), Billy Mckay (51), Tansey (54), Boden (74) Sent Off: none Hamilton: 1 Lineup: Matthews, Mcmann, Sarris, Devlin, Skondras, Imrie, Donati (Crawford 46), Docherty (Brophy 82), MacKinnon, D'Acol, Bingham (Redmond 46) Subs (not used): Woods, Gillespie, Templeton, Adams Scorers: Redmond (94) Booked: Donati (35) Sent Off: none a
  2. Championship contenders clash Hamilton are the visitors on Saturday for an early kick-off as time has all but run out for Inverness in our bid to try to avoid the drop. So far we have been spectacularly unsuccessful in any of our recent head to heads against other relegation candidates, losing to County and Motherwell when it mattered. Our last outing saw us humiliated in Dingwall as County breezed to a 4-0 whitewash with Liam Boyce scoring all four goals. He was ably assisted by Ryan Esson for the first, scored a decent header for the second and topped it off by stroking home two penalties as we finished the game in total disarray and down to ten men. It was clear to all the Inverness fans that our heads have gone down, in fact they appear to have gone about three months ago at least. We had started brightly but as soon as we gifted the first goal that was it, game over and County brushed us aside. They could have played their under nine's and still won this game as we simply folded and looked bereft of ideas. Relegation is now a formality although at the time of writing not officially determined, but having only one win in our last twenty-three league games, I see no reason to believe we can win four in a row to perform a miracle and escape relegation. Accies took over as nearest challengers for the plummet, replacing Dundee who beat Motherwell 3-1. Accies lost 2-0 to Kilmarnock who, like County appear to be safe. For all their possession against Killie, they never looked like taking the points and now find themselves joining us as the most likely candidates for at best the playoffs. In saying that, they still have a 7 point cushion over us with Motherwell on the same points but better goal difference. In our meetings with Accies this season we have managed two score draws and a hugely disappointing 3-0 reverse at Hamilton at the end of January. For many, that was the straw which broke the donkeys back and many were looking for a change of management from here on in. Defeat in this game, and the manner in which we capitulated has epitomised our season. Greg Tansey missed a penalty, a recurring theme this term throughout the side as D'Acol, Gillespie and Bingham ravaged us with ease. That opened up a three point gap from which we have never recovered and we now find ourselves in a desperate situation. After this defeat Foran told BBC Sport: "That puts us into a relegation battle now - forget about top six, we are in a relegation battle now. Some of our players have not got the bottle, they showed that today. We might have been the better side in the first half and their keeper pulled off a great save from the penalty, but some of our boys are hiding and we are in for a fight now. I told them straight, 'I can see who is bottling it, I can see who does not want to take the ball'. It is not them all - I thought Billy Mckay was excellent - but it makes it a massive game for us now on Saturday against Dundee. That was our worst defeat of the season. I'll take my share of the blame, but the players now need to stand up and be counted." Much has been said of our poor form and many fans are heavily criticising the board who have kept faith with Rookie Forlorn for too long. His four year contract looking increasingly ridiculous for a man with no managerial credentials on his CV. The players should shoulder some responsibility for the demise as many are the same players that were good enough for top-six a couple of years ago. It hasn't taken long for us to slip into the championship, two years from Scottish Cup winners, third in the League and European football to the state we are in now is heartbreaking. It'll be all over soon. Anyway, I'm over it now and accept that relegation is imminent so we'll just have to regroup and get on with it. Inverness will be without Liam Polworth as our discipline over the last three months has been deplorable. You tend to find this with relegation candidates as frustration creeps in and discipline goes out the window. I've lost count of the number of players we have had to do without for crucial games due to suspension, notably captain Gary Warren (more than once) and Greg Tansey. Ryan Esson played in goal at Dingwall but the errors kept coming, gifting the opening goal. Looks like he'll have to play tomorrow as Fon Williams is rumoured to be injured. Carl Tremarco is out along with Josh Meekings and Aaron Doran. It's anyone's guess who Richie Foran will select for this one and where he will deploy them. Gary Warren returns after suspension. Hamilton will know that a win here will ensure their safety from the immediate drop. Darian MacKinnon and Giannis Skondoras return after suspension. Grant Gillespie should be fit after injury but Louis Longridge is doubtful. Craig Watson has an illness and is out. tm4tj prediction:- It gives me no pleasure to predict this, but I'll go as far as to say Accies will turn us over and Motherwell will win and that will rubber stamp our relegation. If nothing else, it will be good to get this off our chest as it's been hanging around for too long now. That's just the start of our problems. Where do we go from here? With the present incumbents, I don't see much changing and I doubt we will bounce back like we did before. You need heart to do that and the present team are the worst in the clubs history.
  3. Winning Ugly Will Do Due to results last week, we find ourselves looking up the table at the rest of the teams in the league and the visit of Hamilton takes on a bit more significance given the respective position of both teams. It doesn't have to be pretty, it's points that matter. We have hit rock bottom after defeat at Perth and from here on, the only way is up. It's still early days, but given our indifferent form and injury problems then it's difficult to see an instant solution to the mini crisis that we find ourselves in. Of course, we are not helping our cause by having key players suspended at a time when injuries are wreaking havoc with our continuity. Greg Tansey, Lewis Horner and now Gary Warren have all fallen foul of the beaks in the last few weeks and that was on top of injuries robbing us of Liam Polworth in midfield and with defenders David Raven and Brad Mckay out it has left us struggling to fill the vacancies. Last time out we went down after an insipid display in Perth. It ended 3-0 to St Johnstone and we can have no complaints after Gary Warren was stupidly sent packing. Luxury midfielder Iain Vigurs has been taking some flak for his lackadaisical approach and inability to track back after giving away possession. This has been well documented in recent topics on the forum and it's something that needs addressed. The lack of protection for our overworked defence is one reason we are conceding more goals than ever. As for the Accies, they once more let a lead slip after Alex D'Acol opened the scoring 15 minutes in. As is their trademark this season, they turned three points into one when Partick equalised through Welsh on the hour. We think our season is bad with only three wins to date, Well Accies can top that with just two wins. The reason they are above us is nine draws. They have the ability to turn defeats into draws, whereas we manage to turn draws into defeats. In saying that, there is only one point between the clubs. The league is so congested we could jump from 12th to 6th depending on other results provided we can beat Accies. On the other hand, defeat would be a bit of a mini disaster. The first meeting between the clubs this season ended in stalemate but it took a very late Liam Polworth strike to snatch a point after D'Acol scored in the eighteenth minute. That ended a six game winning sequence at New Douglas Park for us and it was the second time in a week that Accies had thrown away a winning advantage. Times have changed though and since Richie Foran won the manager of the month award in September, the curse has struck and we find ourselves floundering at the bottom, unable to stick together a run of results to steer clear of problems. It's the same for all the clubs in the lower part of the league though as only the top five are making any headway with Celtic the clear winners at this stage. They did everybody else a favour last night by beating Partick Thistle. A chink of light at the end of the injury tunnel as news that Liam Polworth is making better than expected progress on his injured ankle and could return within the month or sooner. Even better news is that Brad Mckay could return against Accies to ease our defensive problems and on top of that Lewis Horner is free from suspension, albeit he is just a stop gap defender at the moment, but this will be seen as an opportunity to further his case for inclusion every week with David Raven out for at least another month. Gary Warren is suspended and that's a blow as our defence has been creaking all season. Up front Alex Fisher and Scott Boden are both out and that leaves big Lonsana Doumbouya on his lonesome again. Accies have midfielder Gramos Kurtaj out for around a month with an ankle knock. Also out are long term absentees Remi Mathews (GK), Jesus Garcia and Craig Watson. tm4tj prediction:- Oh dear, if ever we needed a morale boosting win, it has to be today against one of the other seven sides in fear of relegation. Below St Johnstone, nobody is safe and any side that can get a winning run going will feel an awful lot better. We are terrible at the back this season with an unsettled formation due to injuries and suspension. Our midfield is depleted and work shy and up front it's the same old same old with a lone striker and underachieving wide players I don't see much changing to be honest as we struggle to get players on the park. Accies have always given youth a chance and in Ali Crawford they have a match winner worth watching closely. We have never found it easy to get the better of Hamilton in the Highlands and I don't see it being any different today. As we find it embarrassingly difficult to keep a clean sheet, I'm going for a score draw as Accies dig in. Nothing new there.
  4. I make no apologies for this report. It's a football forum, deal with it. Cheers Johndo.
  5. Accies, Last Trip of the Season It's the penultimate game of a torrid, or should that be horrid, season for Inverness Caledonian Thistle as we visit New Douglas Park, Hamilton, to take on fellow survivors Hamilton Academical on Wednesday night in a 7:45 kick off. This was the scene of one of the more memorable games of the season where Inverness threw away a two goal lead only for Accies to draw level before Liam Polworth scored a spectacular winner in injury time. That game was littered with stunning goals as Inverness took all three points after coming out on top 3-4. However, Hamilton came North and went home with all three points in March after a 1-0 win at the Caledonian Stadium. Both sides have done just enough to stave off the threat of relegation and avoid the play-off place which this season goes to Kilmarnock with Dundee United in the automatic drop slot. Since the break, Accies have beaten both Dundee sides but were soundly thrashed by Killie. We have beaten Killie and Partick but went down rather tamely to United last Friday having been three down before losing 3-2. Revolving doors spring to mind! There are only four points between the sides although Inverness have a vastly superior goal difference and will be looking to overhaul Dundee who are one point better off than us. Plenty of cash still to be won by climbing another place in the league and contracts can still be won or lost. Well, if your face fits at least. With Dundee United clawing back two late goals to draw with Partick tonight, a win for Inverness at Hamilton will see us finish no lower than eighth. Should be enough incentive to have a go, but I'm no holding my breath. David Raven looks to be out of favour with Manager of the Month John Hughes as he is still reluctant to put him on the park despite playing Josh Meekings at right back and Danny Devine at center back, a scenario that is not best pleasing the Inverness fans. On the bright side, Liam Polworth has signed on for another three years and more are expected to follow. Yogi talks about his MotM Award https://audioboom.com/boos/4547978-ictfc-john-hughes-manager-of-the-month-for-april?t=0 Owain Fon Williams has been included in the Welsh squad for the European Championships this summer, a tremendous boost for the Welsh keeper who has been in great form for most of the season. Inverness can call on Iain Vigurs who will return after serving a two match ban. Ahem, David Raven is fit should Yogi decide to play him and Jordan Roberts is also hopefully fit after his excellent performances in the last few games. Accies will be without former Inverness player Dougie Imrie and lively forward Ali Crawford through suspension. One or two others are expected to shake off knocks after the win against Dundee. tm4tj prediction:- We can be a bit hit or miss against teams like Hamilton although we tend to do better away from home, as do Accies at Inverness. If we are as lethargic as we were in the first half against Dundee United then we will struggle to get anything. We need our playmakers to get on the ball and take on the defender. Jordan Roberts is one who can deliver and it's also encouraging that he would like to stay here. Miles Storey is another and he will do his prospects no harm if he puts in a good shift. The David Raven enigma needs resolved. Yogi looks to have dug his heels in and that is against the wishes of the support. If that's the case then it's sheer stubbornness and to the detriment of the team. Why split up our best center back pairing just to give Devine a game and keep our preferred right back out of the side. Baffling decision, and not one which has won him the Manager of the Month award. I'm taking us not to lose, but if we are to harbour any thoughts of climbing above Dundee, then we need to turn a draw into a win and not rely on others to help us out. Three points for Inverness in a towsy game littered with bookings and misplaced passes.
  6. Down Down Deeper and Down. A Status Quo song kept coming into my head after watching us slip to another defeat against one of the relegation contenders. Yes, we really are in the shit. Hamilton somehow won the game 0-1 despite us having numerous chances to score but as is the norm these days, we failed to trouble the keeper and paid the price for over elaboration around our own box. Carlton Morris notched the only goal of the game as the visitors broke forward after Ross Draper lost the ball. A crowd pulling initiative brought plenty of youngsters to the game with the away end sparsely populated, the Accies fans reluctant to travel far to watch this drivel. I don't blame them to be honest. Yogi's hands are tied at the moment with suspension and injury robbing Inverness of a settled side. Warren and Tremarco were suspended and Meekings, Raven, Vincent, Doran, Mutombo, Brill, Fisher and Co remained sidelined. This meant a big shuffle for Yogi and he went with three at the back in a bid to accommodate those that were available. As expected the game would turn out to be a non spectacle in the first half, although I have seen worse this season. We did start the better side but it did not take long for the visitors to keep the ball and restrict our forward intentions. However we did forage up the park after fifteen minutes but Liam Polworth blazed a shot over the bar from outside the box when he possibly could have gone deeper into the Accies area. It started to look promising and Jordan Roberts did likewise a minute later. Here we go! Gramoz Kurtaj had Accies first chance of note after twenty-two minutes when he shot just wide, and just before the half hour Michael Devlin might have done better than miss the target with a header. A tribute for Ross Lyall was observed on the thirty minute mark, one minute for every year that Ross lit up this planet with his zest for life. The sixty second applause ringing round the stadium. The game was dire and the play was littered with petty fouls all over the park as both teams struggled to fashion out any clear opportunities, however, just before the interval Dougie Imrie latched onto the ball some 35 plus yards out and his vicious shot whizzed a couple of yards over the bar. Plenty of power as you would expect from the wee man, but not the accuracy. The half ended with Jordan Roberts firing over the bar in an instantly forgettable dirge of a game. Half Time 0-0 We again started the better and Iain Vigurs should have scored with a header after the ball was planted on his head from a Williamsr cross on the left, alas, he tried to glance his header and it went well wide of the keepers left hand post. Inverness were on top of the game since the break but Kurtaj sent a warning as he headed over when Accies broke away. The warning was not heeded though and on the hour Hamilton scored when we lost the ball and Carlton Morris benefited from a Greg Docherty pass to score across the keeper and in off the far post. That was a disaster for Inverness as we all knew what would happen now. Time wasting was a top priority for Hamilton and you can hardly blame them in their predicament, but our inability to put the ball in the net is worrying, in fact we need to get the ball on target before we can dream of scoring. Tansey shot over as our urgency began to sink in and Yogi shuffled the already shuffled pack once more. Jordan Roberts being replaced by Richie Foran. Miles Storey would be next to come on as Liam Polworth was hooked, but Accies were doing their level best to disrupt play at all costs. Petty fouls and substitutions were the only things that broke the monotony of time wasting as McGovern took every goal kick to the opposite side of the box and Imrie getting as far away from the dugout before being subbed. Yawn! With Foran on we looked a bit more direct but were always going to be susceptible to the odd breakaway and we had Fon Williams to thank for keeping out one such attack as he blocked a low shot from sub Darren Lyon. We went for broke in the last quarter but a couple of times the ball would just not roll for us in the box. A couple of melee's and stramashes followed but nobody was able to dig the ball out from the congested Accies penalty box. The final straw came in another scrambulation (I like that new word) when Nat Wedderburn poked his toe at one such bobbling ball in the box, but it bounced off the keepers left post and that was the straw that broke the donkeys back. Fair play to us, we kept going to the end but it was apparent our luck was out today as Tansey blazed over, as did Draper and a Devine header sealed our fate. Full Time 0-1 Well done Hamilton, the masters of time wasting, niggly fouling, timely play acting and disruption. I'm not being bitter, just realistic. We have brought all of this on ourselves and nobody else is to blame. I understand our plight with injuries suspensions etc, but we do have players capable of better. Our back line would not have started today had we had all of our players fit. That's football and we have to get on with it I'm afraid. In saying that, we have played worse and won, but it was back to the typical Hamilton v Inverness encounter after the last one broke the mould. Best of a bad bunch were unlikely contenders in Nat Wedderburn, thrown in at centre back but stuck to his task and always tried to play football. Lewis Horner who is growing on me and Ross Draper who will be disappointed at the goal. Fon Williams did well but was left exposed at the goal. Foran injected some urgency once he came on but it was too little too late. That result leaves us in the mire. Accies have drawn level on points with us and with Killie losing they stay five points adrift in the relegation play off place. Yes, that word relegation has overtaken the top-six word. We can do better, but that needs to start right now, beginning with a result in the Cup against Hibernian to boost our confidence, however avoiding relegation is the important thing here or it will be a bit of Status Quo whether we like it or not. Video from Caley Jags TV...................... Date: 12/03/16 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 3510 Referee: Steven McLean Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Fon Williams, Horner, Wedderburn, Devine, D.Williams, Draper, Tansey, Polworth (Storey 71), Roberts (Foran 64), Vigurs, Hughes Subs (not used): Esson, R.Williams, Brown, Maclennan Scorers: none Booked: Devine (48) Sent Off: none Hamilton Acc: 1 Lineup: McGovern, Gordon, Devlin, Tagliapietra, Kurakins, Imrie (Boyd 86), Gillespie (Lyon 69), MacKinnon, Kurtaj (Redmond 73), Docherty, Morris Subs (not used): Martin, Diaby, D'Acol, Brophy Scorers: Morris (59) Booked: Imrie (62), Gillespie (62), McGovern (93) Sent Off: none
  7. Striking problem Matchday five this weekend as free scoring Hamilton come North to take on this seasons fall guys at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium. In truth, they kept the best for last weekend and scored all of their goal tally for this season in the one game, a 4-0 hammering of Dundee United. The Accies have been busy strengthening their squad for this season and they have parted company with a few regulars since we last played them. Out has gone proven strikers Nigel Hasselbaink and Jason Scotland. Other notable departees are Stephen Hendrie, Jon Routledge and Darren Smith. Christian Nade returns to the Scottish Premiership from Raith Rovers and defender Antons Kurakins arrives from Ventspils. Midfielders Gramoz Kurtaj and Chris Turner have signed on along with keeper Alan Martin from Clyde. Carlton Morris comes in on loan from Norwich City. Hamilton have only played three games so far with one win, one draw and one defeat. They drew the seasons opener against Partick Thistle (0-0). Their next game was at Dingwall where they went down 2-0 to Ross County and there was no reason to believe they would come up with that convincing score against Dundee United. Their goals came from the tricky Ali Crawford, a header from Lucas Tagliapietra, on loan Carlton Morris from Norwich and a very late Cristian Nade strike. Our lack of fire power has been well documented so it was a welcome couple of goals that were scored at Parkhead, albeit after the points had gone when Celtic took their eye off the ball a little. Still, it was good to see Dani Lopez get off the mark and the talented Ryan Christie scoring his second of the campaign. John Hughes has been actively trying to get his hands on another striker and we have had Portadown's Darren Murray on trial all week. Yogi was reasonably impressed, but their may be a fee involved if we were to further our interest and the lad would need time to get up to speed. Inverness will have a similar squad to last week, so no returns for Aaron Doran, James Vincent, Jordan Roberts and Josh Meekings. Longer term injuries will keep Dean Brill, Richie Foran and Gary Waren out. Hamilton are in better condition, and Danny Redmond should return to the squad. Gaffer Martin Canning is not fit enough to feature though. tm4tj prediction:- We dominated all three games against the Accies last season but it looks as though the encounters will be a lot tougher this time round. Accies surprise routing of Dundee United has raised eyebrows and our lack of attacking options is restricting our progress somewhat. The Inverness fans are desperate to get the first win under the belt and would like that to begin tomorrow. I'm not so sure that we are ready yet with our side badly depleted and maybe we will have to be content with not losing. I'll go for a no scoring draw.
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