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  1. Replay Required Shaun Rooney scored the opening goal six minutes before the break when he headed home a Liam Polworth set piece at the back post to put Inverness ahead. However, Liam Henderson levelled the tie with five minutes left to force a replay for The Citizens. The replay will be held on Tuesday 4th December at 19:45. Mantis was on hand to catch the celebrations after the opening goal. Full report to follow................... Inverness faced a tricky away tie at Ainslie Park in the third round of the Scottish Cup against Edinburgh City. This tie had all the potential ingredients to be the proverbial banana skin match against a side making a name for themselves in League Two on the artificial surface of Ainslie Park. Just ask Alloa who were dumped out of the Challenge Cup after having led The Citizens 2-0. A home tie against East Kilbride awaited the winner of this game. City were without the services of Josh Walker, John Dunn, Danny Handling and Brad Donaldson but Adam Watson was back in the squad. Big striker Blair Henderson would be the main danger for the visiting defence and the experienced former Partick Thistle defender Conrad Balatoni will be tasked with keeping Austin & White out of the box. The Caley Jags started with George Oakley on the bench and Nathan Austin and Jordan White up front. Shaun Rooney returned to full back after injury. No place in the squad for Aaron Doran on the artificial surface. Plenty of youth on the bench as well. RIG was in attendance and was less than impressed with his afternoon's entertainment............. The performance was devoid of creativity, as it has been for weeks on end now. We've been so sluggish in pretty much every game aside from the Derby match for the last couple of months with no real sign of improvement. You could copy and past pretty much everything I have said after games against the likes of Alloa, Dundee United, QotS and so on about our lack of penetration in the final third and passing up the few chances we do create. Today we were again wasteful in the first half and then in the second half we went very defensive and sat back inviting pressure on to us and paid the price. Odd line up. McCart was at left back and did fine. Not sure who was meant to be going on in front of the defence though. Walsh was deployed on the left, Chalmers and Welsh in the middle with Polworth drifting across the pitch behind Austin and White. Having two up helped keep City pinned back for the most part but White was really poor today. Wouldn't have minded seeing Oakley and Austin getting some time up front together. After the subs we seemed to be playing three at the back (Mckay, Donaldson and McCart) with MacKay and Walsh on the left and right flanks respectively, Chalmers, Trafford and Welsh in the middle with Polworth behind Oakley. Looked like Ridgers lost the ball for the City equaliser dropping it at the feet of one of their players but they probably should have scored long before they did testing Ridgers with some decently struck long range efforts prior to that. Massively disappointing from us, particularly in the second half, where we completely took our foot off the pedal and paid the price. We're not good enough to get by on one goal and really should have gone for the jugular. City were barely a threat in the first half so it's concerning how we much let them back into the game and how poor again we were in an attacking sense. A performance that we really shouldn't be happy about and I'm sure Robertson and the players aren't happy either. As you can see in the video, we did squander a couple of guilt end chances, but that's a recurring theme.The second 45 offered little joy and RIG was rightly miffed at the overall performance but not overly surprised at the result. ymip was straight to the point:- "Quite frankly an embarrassment of a performance and result. Could see it coming for much of the second half. We barely troubled their keeper and are badly in need of some creativity. Far too passive and lacking any kind of cutting edge. Very poor." So peeps, not a great deal to enthuse over but at least we get another crack at getting into round 4, but then again, so do Edinburgh City. Here's the highlights from the Ainslie Park debacle........... Date: 25/11/2018 Venue: Ainslie Park, Edinburgh Attendance: 867 Referee: David Munro Edinburgh City: 1 Lineup: Antell; Thomson, Balatoni, L Henderson, McIntyre, Smith, Black, Laird, Taylor (Watson 70), Shepherd (Rodger 84), B Henderson Subs (not used): Morton; Hall, Lumsden, Kennedy. Scorers: L Henderson (86) Booked: Laird (66) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney (Trafford 74), Donaldson, McCart, B Mckay, Chalmers, Welsh, Polworth, Walsh, Austin (Oakley 55), White (D Mackay 71). Subs (not used): Hoban; Brown, Harper, MacGregor Scorers: Rooney (39) Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  2. Scottish Cup time Inverness add a new name and venue to their list of opponents as they take on Edinburgh City in the third round of the Scottish Cup at Ainslie Park, Edinburgh, the game kicking off at 3:00pm on Sunday 25th November. A heads up from Graeme the City man who mentioned he was looking forward to welcoming us all to Ainslie Park on Sunday. "I'd suggest getting there early, there's not many (4) turnstyles, so a fair old queue tends to form for larger crowds". Cheers, However, it's just us that's coming so maybe we don't qualify as a big crowd.............. Ainslie Park is actually the home of Spartans FC, but with Meadowbank undergoing some major refurbishment, City will be ground sharing until Meadowbank has been modified. Incidentally, Hibernian Ladies also play out of Ainslie Park. "The nearest place to the ground to get a pint, (exluding a carry out from Morrisons) is Here " Other than that there's not a lot about, a couple in the other direction towards Granton. Although the grounds not far from Leith/Stockbridge/west end- all probably about 10 minutes in a taxi. Graeme concluded, "Going to enjoy the day whatever happens, splashed out on hospitality. it's a pity the games been moved to the Sunday. Have the utmost respect for fans travelling out with the central belt".... Thanks Graeme, have a great day whatever. Caley Stan is yer man for the millennium man Preview, (yuppies for you Scarlet) and he has not disappointed with this one................... Who the feck are Edinburgh City? It’s a legitimate question without a straightforward answer. An amateur team called Edinburgh City existed between 1928 and 1955, including a period in the Scottish League and a 3-2 victory away to Hibs in the 1937/38 Scottish Cup First Round. The Edinburgh City Social Club continued to trade thereafter, and in 1986 gave permission for Postal United (an East of Scotland League side formed in 1966) to revive the name. The new club hopped around various Edinburgh locations before settling at Meadowbank Stadium in 1996 following the demise of Meadowbank Thistle (formerly Ferranti Thistle, without whom Inverness Caledonian Thistle would not exist!). Postal United/Edinburgh City had an undistinguished existence in the EOL, winning it only once, in 2006, but the team kicked into gear at the perfect moment with the formation of the Lowland League and its accompanying pyramid play-off in 2014. City had harboured a longing for Scottish League membership since the turn of the century, failing with bids for vacant spots in 2002 and 2008, and seized upon the opportunity to win that place on the park. They won the title in its second season by a 19-point margin but lost the pyramid semi on penalties to Brora Rangers, a certain Stuart Kettlewell with the decisive strike. The following season they horsed the league again - a 15-point margin this time and followed it up by defeating Cove Rangers and East Stirlingshire to claim a place in the SPFL. They finished 7th and 9th in their first two seasons in League Two, largely retaining the squad that had taken them up. They sound like a bunch of non-league haddies, we’ll pump them stupid, right? A year ago, maybe. But something has happened since then. Edinburgh City are on an outrageous run of form, winning 10 out of their 12 league games this season (with no draws!) and sitting top of League Two. Last week, they progressed to the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup with a penalties win over Alloa. What changed? They brought in a fair few players with full-time experience. At the back, Craig Thomson has played over 100 games at that level between Hearts and exile in Lithuania, and Conrad Balatoni played around 200 before joining City in the summer - both are just 27. Midfielders Marc Laird and Josh Walker have spent most of their careers in the English League Two, while up front, Danny Handling and Scott Shephard have significant top-level experience with Hibs and Falkirk respectively. But its Blair Henderson who’s been the star of the show this season - the 24 year-old striker was scoring a goal in every other game for Annan and Berwick but has upped that this season scoring 18 goals in 21 appearances in all competitions. Manager James McDonaugh has not been shy about taking credit for Henderson’s run, and indeed, the progress that City have made since he took over a year ago – see this interview at about 41mins on the Totally Scottish Football Show. McDonaugh, without any playing career of note, came through the ranks of the Hibs youth coaching system which means he must be a protégé of our own Donald Park. Jim Jeffries is also working for City as Technical Director. There must be money involved here but I haven’t found it. OK, but we have a glorious history in this competition, we pretty much are this competition, why the hell are we playing these no-marks in November? I thought the Scottish Cup started in January anyway. Our star has fallen, my friend. And they keep messing about with the early rounds of the Cup. This game, falling on November the 25th, will be the earliest we have ever started a Scottish Cup season and it’s the first time we’ve entered before the rest of the elite since 1999. The bookie that sponsors the competition was tweeting earlier in the week that we haven’t lost a 3rd round tie since 1999, and while that is technically true, we have fallen at the first hurdle on two occasions since then, albeit in what is now called the 4th Round (Hibs in 06/07 and Dundee last season). Someone will write a book about our exploits in the Scottish Cup someday (hopefully not that guy who wrote ‘Against All Odds’, that was pish), but the message here is clear: We don’t lose these games. Don’t say that, I’m getting worried now. What will Robbo do? Every time I write a preview I drop a heavy hint that I think Robbo will start with a 4-4-2 and he never does but this time I’m happy to predict that Robbo WILL start with a 4-4-2. It’s how he chose to start the season, all our strikers are fit now, and it’s how we mounted our wonderful comeback last week. I’ll be genuinely shocked if two out of Oakley/White/Austin don’t start. He’s stated that we will play our strongest available team, and with Shaun Rooney back in the squad, there will be decisions to make at the back. I’m going to need a drink before this, good thing Meadowbank has loads of good pubs nearby. Hard lines. Meadowbank is closed for refurbishment and City are groundsharing with Spartans at Ainslie Park for the next three seasons. This is fitting in a way given that City/Postal, Ferranti and the old Edinburgh City spent much of their time at the nearby but now defunct ‘City Ground’, often sharing with Spartans. Ainslie Park is a bit weird for lower league travellers - it’s a thoroughly modern facility with two 3G pitches and a five-a-side cage. With no pubs within staggering distance, and a limited number of turnstiles, some of the more boisterous elements among our away support may struggle to make the first half. Edinburgh City are stressing the importance of arriving early, the game is well-priced at £12/6 with under 12’s Free, and I hear the macaroni pies are delicious. As Noddy Holder used to say, My friend Stan got a funny old man............... 😂