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  1. Wasps Sting Themselves... Inverness moved up to second in the table after a 2-0 win over ten man Alloa who had Liam Dick sent off just before the hour. Both goals were scored in the first half with Scott Taggart heading behind his own keeper and Aaron Doran brilliantly volleying home the second from a Jordan White knock down as the half closed. With Dundee United and Ayr United frozen out, we moved into second spot for now and moved a further two points away from Dundee who lost at home to Queen of the South in a dramatic late ending to that game. There were two games called off for frozen pitches. Ayr United -P- Arbroath Morton -P- Dundee United Alloa Athletic 0-2 Inverness CT Dundee 1-2 Queen of the South Dunfermline 5-1 Partick Thistle Immortal Howden Ender has this report for us........... Well at least I am enjoying my Away Days this season. Ayr and Alloa have been good choices. And here I was travelling up in minus temperatures, blue skies and sunshine. And then Radio Scotland announces that two Championship games have been called off. I forgot that the wasps nest is now of the 4G variety. And good to see a fair smattering of the old brigade in a 100+ following. Relaxed train journey with Mantis, into Bobbin John's with the McDonalds - Lynn and Ronald - only to be called to Drysdale's and participation in a PeaPod cast or something like that. And then a late arrival at the Rec but an enjoyable 45 minutes followed by a tolerable second 45. I would have to say that I was impressed by Alloa. Unfortunately their penchant to play football and dispense with the hoof was admirable but may also be their downfall. I don't think that the most staunch of us would have begrudged them a point at the end. The first half made good watching and both teams carved out chances. We also dispensed with the hoof, played football and used the extra wide flanks. I thought that Rooney was exceptional in that half. Ridgers had made a couple of saves, we had wasted at least two half chances before Inspector Taggart became Inspector Clousseau and headed the ball past the man who won us the Scottish Cup. And the eventual match winner came right on the half time whistle. A Rooney cross, exquisite head back by White and Doran curves neatly passed poor old Rod. As good a goal as you will see all season. Half Time 0-2 And then you would have thought that a complete Dick had opened the flood gates with a double footed, red card, over the top tackle on Keatings. But, we appeared to relax and wait for another opportunity. And a few came along but we fluffed the final touch. I felt that we tried to overpass at times. We should have gone nap really. But Alloa improved with 10 men. As is often the case we looked like the team with ten. When an Alloa shot hit the postage stamp corner there was a shiver, not caused by the minus temperature. But we held on and returned to Drysdale's a happy bunch. I will dispense with the smileys but my marks out of 5 are made up of 3's and 4's. Ridgers, Rooney, Coll, Tremarco, Carson and Keatings get the fours. I may also add Roddy McGregor to that list as his pace and movement was terrific when he came on. Carson sneaks in as my MotM - mainly for his defensive display and a developing partnership with Triffid. Let's hope that McCart has only a minor knock. My only other whinge, apart from not scoring more goals was WHY take on Curry if he is on his way out? So Aloha to Clackmannanshire and I may well be back. Have to save up for the Maryhill Caley Away Xmas party 🍺 From BBC Sport Alloa Athletic manager Peter Grant: "The scoreline was very harsh on us. To lose the goals when we did was a double-whammy. "But I was chuffed with the way the players went about their business. Even when we went down to 10 men we were excellent." Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "Both teams carved out really good opportunities. The first goal was really strange, the second was a cracker. "There were more goals if they showed the quality of the final pass, and that's what let us down second-half. We didn't make the extra man count." Extended highlights from Alloa Athletic FC Date: 30/11/2019 Venue: Recreation Park, Alloa Attendance: 721 Referee: Greg Aitken Alloa Athletic: 0 Lineup: MacDonald; Taggart, Graham, Deas, Dick, Robertson, Cawley, Flannigan, Hetherington, Trouten, O'Hara. Subs (not used): Henry; Gilhooley, Malcolm, Gillespie, O'Donnell, Buchanan, Thomson, Scorers: none Booked: Hetherington (70), Flannigan (80) Sent Off: Dick (58) Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart (McHattie 76), Tremarco, Doran, Carson, Trafford, Storey (Curry 72), Keatings (MacGregor 73), White Subs (not used): C Mackay, Harper, Machado, Todorov. Scorers: Taggart (og 38), Doran (45) Booked: Keatings (72), Sent Off: a
  2. Top for four minutes Inverness blew the chance to go top of the table after Alloa scored in the 89th minute to earn a point with a disciplined defensive performance at the Caledonian Stadium. Take nothing away from Alloa, but we were void of ideas as we struggled to break down the Wasps defence in a frustrating second half. Liam Buchanan opened the scoring as early as the fifth minute and that opened the door for Alloa to flood their defence and employ standard hit on the break tactics that worked well for them as we toiled in a poor first forty-five. The second period saw more frustration for the hosts until we scored from an unlikely source with a stunning goal. A Tremarco corner came back to him at a tight angle. Undaunted, he fired the ball high into the net with his left foot for a spectacular goal with an hour played. We huffed and puffed before Jordan White looked to have won the game with a powered finish in the 85th minute. However, there was a sting in the tail of the wasps after Jamie McCart took the wrong option, eventually putting the ball out for a throw when a pass to Mark Ridgers would have been sufficient. From the resultant long throw Alan Trouten found himself in space to knock the ball home to silence the frustrated home support. James Keatings hit the bar with a superb free kick as the clock ticked down but it was too little too late and we were knocked off our four minute perch. Given that every other result went our way, it was a hugely disappointing outcome. Meh! John Robertson was without Tom Walsh, Sean Welsh and Nikolay Todorov. Charlie Trafford started in midfield after a good showing in the Challenge Cup game last week and Roddy MacGregor retained his place in the starting line-up. James Keatings was on the bench with other returnees Mitch Curry and Brad Mckay. Peter Grant's Alloa side saw Robbie Deas return and Steven Hetherington and Blair Malcolm were fit enough to start, however Iain Flannigan was suspended. Just over 2,000 were inside the ground and a fitting minutes applause was offered in memory of former Caley Chairman Hugh Crout who passed away recently. Within five minutes of the start, Alloa took the lead with Liam Buchanan finishing off a tidy move on the left side of our area. Neat interplay sliced us open and Buchanan added an excellent finish. We almost responded immediately but Roddy MacGregor's header was well saved by a diving Jamie MacDonald on his line. Unfortunately, that early goal gave Alloa the opportunity to sit back and soak up what we had to offer, and quite frankly that was very limited and very little. All too often we ran out of ideas and any high balls forward were mopped up by the waiting visitors defence. Carl Tremarco let fly from distance but his low shot fizzed just wide. He would do better later in the game. A couple of headers well over the bar from Jordan White was all we could muster. He would also do better later on. Apart from the goal, there was little to enthuse over in a turgid first half for Inverness with Alloa content to sit on their lead, and why not, they deserved it at the break. Half Time 0-1 If anything, the second half saw the visitors even deeper in their own half as their hosts flattered to deceive. Plenty of possession but too many sideways or backward passes saw the crowd looking for a more direct approach. Alloa on the other hand broke quickly on the few opportunities they got. White almost got a shot away inside the box as he broke through the middle of the defence but was stopped by a solid challenge and John Robertson, yes, the manager, got the first yellow card of the afternoon for showing his displeasure at some poor refereeing decisions. Just when we were beginning to think it was not going to be our day, a goal out of the blue from Captain Carl. And what a strike it was. His corner was cleared out as far as himself on the right side of the box. Tremarco never hesitated and fired a tremendous shot high into the net from 20 yards. Spectacular stuff. The introduction of Mitch Curry and David Carson seemed to liven up our efforts and it looked as though White might have given us all three points when his diving header from a Tremarco cross flew into the net. At that moment, we were top of the league with results elsewhere going in our favour. However, another lapse from the normally reliable Jamie McCart saw him fail to clear up a ball forward when a comfortable pass back to his keeper would have cleared any danger. Instead, he almost gave away a corner but ended up knocking the ball out for a throw in. From the long throw in, the ball landed at Alan Trouten's feet and he promptly tucked it behind Mark Ridgers for a sickener. We almost snatched it in injury time when a curling free kick from James Keatings crashed back off the bar with MacDonald stranded, but the rebound was cleared and a great opportunity passed to head the table. Only ourselves to blame for this after struggling to make headway against a team we beat 3-0 the week before. In saying that, the signs were there in that game that Alloa could cut us open at times and so it came to pass. Difficult to pick any Inverness players for MotM, but Carl Tremarco gets my nod for his superb strike and assist. Jordan White similarly, and he was fed on scraps throughout the game. Substitute David Carson did his prospects no harm and took the game by the scruff of the neck by driving us forward with a bit more tenacity and urgency. Those who will not be getting any awards are those not mentioned, especially McCart who needs to look for better options than scrambling the ball out after miscontrol and brain farts. Col Donaldson was in his early season mode, miffed at not getting a transfer probably and looked disinterested and Shaun Rooney never really got going. Roddy MacGregor wanted to be busy, but the game passed him by and Aaron Doran did his usual wee circles of nothing. Miles Storey, now there's an enigma and James Vincent was more sideways than a crab. No blame attached to Ridgers, although he did make a meal of a shot that bounced just in front of him, the ball squirming away for a corner with Mark staring at the offending blade of grass. If looks could kill! Maybe it's time for a wee shake up Robbo. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ From BBC Sport Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson: "We've let United and Ayr off the hook and that's what disappoints me. To go 2-1 up, if you've got title ambitions you've got to see that out." Alloa manager Peter Grant: "The boys deserved great credit for the way they kept fighting. I'm disappointed to be going down the road with only the one point." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ RIG summed it up like this:- Donaldson and McCart were really poor today. Despite not being put under much pressure their balls out of defence were absolutely rotten, Donaldson especially, and often set up chances for Alloa to break on us. Storey was poor again and had one decent cross from the flanks. He isn't a winger and struggled there at Partick so why we are persisting with him there is bizarre. MacGregor struggled to create much of note in the middle as Alloa packed the midfield and sat deep. There was zero creativity in the ICT side today to break them down and it would have been very harsh, though thoroughly pleasing, had we won that game. With Queens getting a superb result today and Morton possessing an excellent home record the next couple of games are going to be a lot more difficult than they might appear on paper. Did he mean it??? Raging Robbo.... Date: 19/10/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2036 Referee: Mike Roncone Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Doran (Curry 59), Trafford (Carson 70), Vincent, MacGregor (Keatings 75), Storey, White Subs (not used): C Mackay; B Mckay, McHattie, Machado. Scorers: Tremarco (61), White (85). Booked: Rooney (68), Carson (77) John Robertson (manager 53) Sent Off: none Alloa Athletic: 2 Lineup: MacDonald; Taggart, Graham, Deas, Robertson, Cawley, Hetherington, Trouten, Brown, Buchanan (Thomson 81), O'Hara. Subs (not used): Henry; Malcolm, O'Donnell Scorers: Buchanan (5), Trouten (89) Booked: Trouten (77) Sent Off: none a
  3. Main Course We had the appetiser last week in the Chocolate cup and this week it's the main course as Alloa come North again on Championship duty. The game kicks off at 3:00pm at the Caledonian Stadium with Inverness looking to consolidate their position at the top end, tucked neatly in behind Dundee United and Ayr United. Last week Inverness made half a dozen changes but still proved to be too strong for the Wasps, despite a late revival by the visitors after going 3-0 down. Mitch Curry scored his first goal for the club just before half time. A deflected Charlie Trafford shot crashed high into the net for number two and Matheus Machado polished the turd when he scored his first senior goal for the Caley Jags. A glimmer of hope for Alloa as they managed to hit the woodwork twice and Cammy Mackay had to be alert to save at the feet of the striker. If there's any criticism of the home team, it comes from some overelaborate play and being wasteful in the final third. However, 3-0 is not to be scoffed at and we went into the hat for the quarter final draw. Here's the goals from the Chocolate Cup game.......... That draw took place on Wednesday and Inverness have been paired with Clyde in the quarter final. Other ties see Raith Rovers host Elgin City, Stenhousemuir take on Patrick Thistle. Solihull or Rangers Colts will play Wrexham. Our last Championship game was an excellent away win at Somerset Park as we beat the Honest Men with goals from James Vincent and Shaun Rooney. That was maybe slightly unexpected given the home defeat to Partick Thistle the previous week. Alloa's last outing in the Championship opened up the table and gave the rest some optimism as they beat league leaders Dundee United 1-0 at Recreation Park. Alloa were deserved winners and Kevin O'Hara finished off a fine move with a great strike. Inverness will be without Sean Welsh for a few months with another broken foot. Tom Walsh has missed the last couple of outings with a hamstring injury. James Keatings is back in full training and could be a surprise addition to the squad after recovering from ankle ligament damage. I imagine we will revert to one of our more familiar line ups with Jordan White returning to lead the line. Charlie Trafford showed up well last week and could be in line for a start. Walsh's injury remains a close guarded secret, should he not return then Roddy MacGregor could continue his run in the team. Peter Grant had made a couple of changes for the Challenge cup game. Jamie MacDonald will continue his emergency loan deal with keeper Neil Parry injured long term. Nathan Gilhooly started last week, but it was his error that led to the opening goal, that could earn him a place on the bench. Liam Dick and Blair Malcolm are still injured. Steven Hetherington could be fit enough for a start after missing the cup game last week which saw Alloa with only three on the bench. To add to their misery, Iain Flannigan was sent off late in the Arabs game and will sit this one out. He was in great form in that game and will be a big miss. Cast your mind back to this one 17 years ago, hat-tricks R us............ 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/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  4. Chocolate cup delight Inverness made a number of changes for this Challenge Cup fourth round tie against Alloa Athletic but still came out on top after a somewhat listless game where errors were more commonplace than slick incisive football. Less than 1000 fans were in attendance as Mitch Curry scored his first goal for the club just before the interval. Debutant Nathan Gilhooly gave away the ball thirty yards out and Curry ran into the box before cutting the ball back across the keeper and into the net. We got a deserved second when Charlie Trafford crashed a shot goalwards. It took a big deflection to fly high into the net with keeper Jamie MacDonald stranded. Alloa hit the woodwork twice through Trouten and Graham before we wrapped the game up. In the last minute Matheus Machado was on hand at the back post to knock a Miles Storey cross into the net for his first senior goal. Brazilliant! Five or six non regulars were given the nod in this one, notably, keeper Cammy Mackay, Cammy Harper, Kevin McHattie and Mitch Curry who returned after injury, his first game in eleven weeks. The Wasps were along more familiar lines and made two or three changes from the side that beat Dundee United last Friday. Nathan Gilhooly was making his first start for the club with Robbie Deas missing. Steven Hetherington also missed out and Liam Buchanan started. It was a low key game and the performance echoed that in terms of urgency. Inverness were dominant in the first half but wasteful in the final third with some preferring to flatter to deceive rather than go for the jugular. Mitchell Curry had a couple of efforts as did Roddy MacGregor but either failed to make the keeper work or made it easy for him to gather the ball comfortably. Shooting practice might be on the agenda this week as Aaron Doran fired harmless efforts well over the bar. Curry opened the scoring just before the break after he cut out a loose ball from Gilhooly. He carried on across and into the box before cutting the ball back across the keeper and into the bottom corner. He wasted an equally good chance within a minute after bursting into the left side of the box but shot weakly with his left peg at the near post where MacDonald gathered the ball with ease. He would have been better opening his body looking for the far post or squaring to the incoming teammates. Half Time 0-1 The second period saw our dominance continue and Jamie MacDonald did well to stop a MacGregor shot on the line after a deflection took a bit of the pace off the ball. Aaron Doran looked as though he had scored with half the North Stand already on their feet. However his dipping volley sliced narrowly wide of the keepers left hand post. Close, but no cigar! Our dominance eventually paid off but it took a deflected shot from Charlie Trafford to get the two goal cushion. He bludgeoned the ball from outside the box and it deflected high into the net with MacDonald stranded. We seemed to stir a hornets nest after the second goal and the wasps almost stung us, three times, with Alan Trouten firstly taking forever to pick his spot. That spot was the post and it rebounded back towards the keeper. Adam Brown tried from distance and Cammy Mackay stopped the shot, but as it bounced away from him Robbie Thomson looked favourite to get to the ball first but Cammy dived full length forward to deny the Waspy. Andy Graham also saw a late header come down off the bar as we lost our focus a little. We rallied again and the often wasteful Storey managed to get a cross into the box. Jordan White challenged for it and it was met at the back post by young Matheus Machado who tidily and gleefully knocked it into the net. That's his first senior goal for the club, many more to come methinks. Good end to the contest by the Caley Jags who seemed to be in control but almost undid the good work prior to Alloa's wee revival bid. Overall we were comfortable winners, but had we taken a more urgent approach could have scored half a dozen goals. Unfortunately we were somewhat pedantic at times with Doran going round in circles and Storey often taking the wrong option when he should be using his best asset, his searing pace and power. Good cross for the third goal though. MacGregor is young and comes across as over eager to score. Very busy player though and will be a great asset once he gets off the mark. The goals...... Not easy to spot the MotM. A few contenders with Charlie Trafford in particular having a good day. David Carson was also industrious and at the back Coll Donaldson looks more focussed than he was at the start of the season and Kevin McHattie will be knocking on the managers door very soon. No real failures, but some need to work to their strengths rather than be fancy Dans. Good to be back.......... The draw for the semi-finals will be made at 1:00pm on Wednesday 16th October. Also through along with Inverness are Stenhousemuir, Elgin City, Clyde, Partick Thistle, Raith Rovers, Wrexham and the winners of Solihull Moors v Rangers Colts(Tues 15th). Scott Kellacher talking after the game............ Date: 12/10/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 973 Referee: John McKendrick Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: C Mackay, Rooney, Donaldson, McHattie, Harper, Doran, Carson, Trafford (Vincent 78), Curry (White 75) , MacGregor (Machado 85), Storey. Subs (not used): Ridgers; Tremarco, McCart, Scorers: Curry (42), Trafford (64), Machado (88). Booked: none Sent Off: none Alloa Athletic: 0 Lineup: MacDonald; Taggart, Graham, Cawley, Robertson, Buchanan, Trouten, Flannigan, Brown (O’Donnell 86), Gilhooly, O’Hara (Thomson 65) Subs (not used): Henry; Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  5. Challenging Times Challenging times ahead both on and off the park. Let's concentrate on the park for now as we entertain Alloa Athletic in the Challenge Cup on Saturday as the Wasps come North for a 3:00pm kick off at the Caledonian Stadium. It's the fourth round, or if you prefer, the quarter finals of the Chocolate Biscuit Cup sponsored by Tunnock's Caramel Wafers. If they like it up here, they will be back the week after to face us in the Championship. Bit of Deja Vu there as we also had a double header with Morton which went 8-1 in our favour. In the last round of this competition we put Morton out 3-1 at the Caledonian Stadium the week after pumping them 5-0 in the League. It was a much changed side that took to the field for the second game as Robbo introduced fringe players to the squad and added the returning Sean Welsh to the team to get some game time in his recovery from injury. That went well until last week when it was feared he had broken a metatarsal in his other foot! That has now been confirmed. He will be a big loss as the season unfolds. Anyway, goals by Todorov, Doran and Storey saw us comfortably beat the Ton despite making eight changes from the previous week. Many of them had tasted first team football but not on a regular basis. Cammy Mackay was in goal with the likes of Cameron Harper, Roddy MacGregor, Kevin McHattie and Nikolay Todorov all starting. All in, it was an excellent result given the alterations. Our last competitive match saw us take all three points at Ayr thanks to a rare goal from James Vincent and one from photographer Shaun Rooney with a superb solo goal. Great result from us against one of the form teams in the Championship. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ SPORTS BAR OPEN FROM 1PM TICKET PRICES FOR THIS MATCH ARE AS FOLLOWS Adult: £10 Concessions (Over 65s, 16-25s, Juniors): £5 Under 12s: FREE* when accompanied by a ticket holding adult/concession. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Alloa's progress was less clear cut but they pulled off a tremendous away win at Dunfermline, beating the Pars 1-2. Robert Thomson and Alan Trouten were the scorers as the Wasps came from behind to win this one, but at a cost Keeper Neil Parry was injured and Alloa have since taken Jamie MacDonald on emergency loan from Kilmarnock to cover the position. They finished the game with ten men after Blair Malcolm pulled up but held on to go in to the draw for the next round. Alloa's last outing was an even better performance as they deservedly beat League Leaders Dundee United at Recreation Park. Kevin O'Hara scored the only goal but Alloa were brilliant on the night and the Arabs could have no complaints at the result which could have been greater. They certainly showed the rest of the league how to tackle United. Given that we will tinker with our squad somewhat, I feel that Alloa will be more direct in their approach to this game and will see it as a tremendous opportunity to pick up some silverware, whereas we have bigger fish to fry as the season goes on. That could make it more difficult for us to progress although the squad will be along similar lines to the one that performed so well at Ayr last week. Robbo will draft in some more fringe players and we could see the likes of Tremarco, White and Doran rested. Brad Mckay and Mitch Curry could come into contention for a start, but Sean Welsh is definitely out. Tom Walsh is reportedly suffering from a hamstring injury. This will be a good benchmark for the game next week against the Wasps and any shortcomings will surely be addressed for the Championship encounter. Don't forget to listen to the latest offering from the Wyness Shuffle guys. 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/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  6. Comeback earns Status Quo Alan Trouten gave Alloa hope of the great escape after converting a first half penalty. Inverness showed more urgency after the break and two goals in five minutes put the Wasps back into the mire. Shaun Rooney rattled in the first for the visitors from the edge of the box and Charlie Trafford was on hand to score his first goal for the club and snatch all three points. We didn't quite roll over lay down, but maybe it could be down down for Alloa...... With Ayr United winning and Falkirk losing, it's as you were for both clubs and that means that third position is still up for grabs. For Alloa, it means that Falkirk remain three points behind them although Queen of the South and Partick Thistle are still in their sights above them. The only thing that has been decided is that the village club from the quaint market town of Dingwall have now won the Championship. Robbo hinted that the extra cash would be the driver for Inverness ahead of the play-offs and so it was as he put out as strong a team as possible. That meant a return to defence for Coll Donaldson with Brad Mckay suspended. Cammy Mackay continued in goal with Mark Ridgers recovering from his dislocated finger. Carl Tremarco came back in at left back, but that one backfired as he came off injured leaving us with only ten men as all substitutes had been used. Alloa were desperate for points and had Alan Trouten and Dario Zanatta spearheading their attack as they looked to keep the pressure on those above them and keep Falkirk below them. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ RIG was with CaleyAway and here's his excellent report:- As others have said, the first half performance was pretty rotten. We tried to force our way through the middle of the pitch a lot of the time which was pointless as Alloa frequently had nine men behind the ball and were very disciplined defensively and broke with real pace whenever our attacks broke down which was quite often. The likes of Polworth and Chalmers tried to force balls through to White or Doran / MacDonald cutting in from the flanks but they never found their man. Our best chance probably came when Doran chipped a ball in from the left flank but it evaded White and MacDonald. Prior to this Alloa had taken the lead from the penalty spot when Donaldson bundled over Zanatta and Trouten easily found the net sending MacKay the wrong way. We were lucky to just be one down at the break but Robbo shuffled the pack taking Polworth and MacDonald off for Austin and McCauley and going two up front with Austin slightly withdrawn off White. With this change we were a lot better and started to find a bit of space in wide areas to send a few decent crosses in which Alloa struggled to deal with at times. A Rooney header at the back post was a sign of things to come as Alloa started to struggle with our balls in from the flanks. Chalmers found himself with a bit of time on the left side to loft the ball into the area which Alloa only partially cleared and Rooney strode on to the loose ball to blast in the equaliser. White almost bagged a second goal moments later but Parry was equal to his effort. However we weren't to be denied with Chalmers again the provider. A low corner was hooked into the box by Chalmers and Trafford arrived at the near post to flick the ball into the net. Alloa nearly drew level late on when MacKay spilled a long range effort but was alert to get up and fist the loose ball away before any of the home teams players could seize on the opportunity. There then came a penalty appeal when Graham (?) fell over under pressure from McCart who was clearly incensed and his anger set off a bit of a stramash between the sides but ended with McCart going into the book. Fortunately we hung on. Not our finest performance of the season but it could be a vital win for us. The extra money from 3rd place would be very welcome as Robbo has said already this week. McCart was an absolute stand out for us and a clear MotM. We'll need to improve a lot if we want to progress through the play offs. Cheers Rig, great report from Recreation Park. Here's the goals from Recreation Park........... And Robbo's reaction........... Date: 27/04/2019 Venue: Recreation Park, Alloa Attendance: 826 Referee: Mike Roncone Alloa Athletic: 1 Lineup: Parry; Robertson, Graham, Taggart, Dick, Hetherington, Flannigan, Cawley (Kirkpatrick 75), Trouten (Hamilton 75), Zanatta, Aitchison (Shields) Subs (not used): Henry, Rosscoe, Brown, Peggie. Scorers: Trouten (pen 27) Booked: Zanatta (81), Robertson (90+2), Graham (90+4) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: C Mackay; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, McDonald (McCauley 46), Trafford, Polworth (Austin 46), Chalmers, Doran (Walsh 72), White. Subs (not used): Fon Williams; McHattie, Harper, MacGregor Scorers: Rooney (68), Trafford (73) Booked: Trafford (34), McCart (90+2) Sent Off: none a
  7. Nothings Easy It wouldn't be the Inverness way if we simply cruised to victory as we suffered a late fright when Alloa launched a last ten comeback that saw them snatch two goals to take the gloss off an otherwise good performance. Aaron Doran continued his goalscoring run to open the scoring followed by a Sean Welsh penalty before the break. Jordan White added a third on the hour to put the game beyond doubt, or was it? Alloa got a penalty with ten minutes remaining and Alan Trouten scored via the post. Iain Flannigan's deflected shot meant for an uncomfortable five minutes but we held on for all three points to move up to third in the table. Alloa remain three points behind Partick at the foot of the table. A chilly night for football saw Alloa pinned back in the early exchanges as Inverness probed for the opening goal. We had a number of early half chances which were mainly from distance but we must have left our shooting boots in the locker room. Liam Polworth came the closest after he created a yard of space to fire a decent effort from twenty-five yards which went a couple of feet over the bar. However, it was that man again, Aaron Doran who opened the scoring with a glancing header into the bottom corner. Sean Welsh swung a curling cross into the heart of the box where Doran met it at the penalty spot to beat Neil Parry from twelve yards for another superb goal from the wee man, his fourth in four games and his eleventh of the season. Suspicion of foul play when Polly and Welsh combined to set big Jordan White free in the box but nothing was awarded as White was brought down left of the six yard box. Mark Ridgers was eventually called into action around the half hour as he gathered a low shot from outside the box. Soon after, Donaldson swung a deep ball into the box where Doran headed it down to White. As the striker tried to turn he was upended in clumsy fashion by Iain Flannigan and there was no dispute about the award this time. Parry dived to his right, unfortunately for him Sean Welsh smashed the ball high down the centre of the goal to double our advantage. Polworth looked as though he almost skimmed the top of the bar with a rasping shot from thirty yards as we continued to play attractive football with Polly and Welsh pulling the strings in midfield. There followed a succession of attempts from outside the box with Joe Chalmers, Kevin McHattie and Jordan White all looking to get in on the act, but the half ended at 2-0 to Inverness. The second period saw little change in the pattern and an inviting cross was inches away from being turned in by dainty feet White. He would not be denied though and he ran onto a through ball from Polworth to neatly dink it over the onrushing Parry. Alloa were still plugging away though and Ridgers had to make a smart save to deny Alan Trouten putting the ball into the top corner after the striker waltzed into our box. White came close to a fourth after shielding the ball well and playing it wide, he then got on the end of the cross but it bounced narrowly wide. Good effort from the big man who is growing into his role well. A needless rash challenge by Jamie McCart threw Alloa a late lifeline when he brought down Trouten who was facing away from goal, but Jamie went through him to give away a penalty. Trouten picked himself up and buried his spot kick into the net off the post. That perked Alloa up and given that our midfield had altered with Wesh, Chalmers and Doran going off Alloa saw an opportunity. We charged forward looking for another and when the move broke down Alloa were presented with a Flannigan shot from outside the box. It looked harmless enough but a massive deflection took it away from Ridgers and that made for a squeaky bum last five minutes. The bums squeaked even louder as Donaldson conceded a corner in the final minute of overtime but we held on to take a valuable three points as Mark Ridgers rose high to collect the ball and end our torture. A tremendous game for 75 minutes then our wheels fell off somewhat. A bit worrying that in form Sean Welsh had to go off injured, hopefully he will recover quickly as we have some crucial games coming up. Aaron Doran was our pick as MotM with great performances from Sean Welsh and Coll Donaldson with Jordan White endearing himself to the hard to please Caley Jags fans with another display showing some deft touches for a big lad. More reaction to follow............ Video action from Caley Jags TV And here is dainty Jordan.............. Date: 26/03/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2006 Referee: Steven Reid Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, McHattie, Chalmers (Walsh 67), Polworth, Trafford, Welsh (Austin 77), Doran (McCauley 75), White Subs (not used): C Mackay; Tremarco, Machado, B Mckay Scorers: Doran (29), Welsh (35 pen), White (61) Booked: none Sent Off: none Alloa Athletic: 2 Lineup: Parry, Taggart, Graham, Dick, Hetherington, Shields, Kirkpatrick (Hamilton 61), Flannigan, Cawley (Brown 73), Zanatta, Trouten Subs (not used): Henry, Goodwin, Karadachki, Peggie, Scorers: Trouten (pen 81), Flannigan (90) Booked: Zanatta (59) Sent Off: none a
  8. Opportunity Knocks After back to back wins in the League plus a cup win over Dundee United, we welcome Clackmannanshire's finest, Alloa Athletic to the Caledonian Stadium. We will be looking to consolidate within the play-off places as Alloa try to extricate themselves from the foot of the table. The games are coming thick and fast at this time of the season as clubs play catch up due to the grim weather and fixture congestion. The Alloa game represents a great opportunity to knock on Ayr United's door for third spot, although the games against the Wasps have been tight affairs so far this season. After this one we have Falkirk, Ross County and Ayr United before we head to Hampden for the Scottish Cup semi-final against Hearts. Last game for us was a fine 2-1 win at Firhill where a Tom Walsh stunner saw us take all three points after Stuart Brannigan had equalised for Partick. Aaron Doran had opened the scoring with a well worked goal involving Jordan White and Aaron played a big part in the winner with a superb back flick for Walsh to volley home in spectacular style. Check out these goals......... Alloa battled hard at the weekend but came away with nothing when Nicky Clark scored a late winner for the Arabs to add to the own goal Andy Graham conceded in the first half. Jordan Kirkpatrick scored the opening goal for the Wasps early in the first half. After last weekends results, Inverness are now back in the top four with Dunfermline the nearest contender only two points behind. Alloa are battling it out at the wrong end of the table with four other teams trying to avoid the drop. Dunfermline v Dundee United play Tuesday night as well and it's Dunfermline v Ayr on Friday (TV) Somethings going to give The two games between the sides have ended in draws with our home game in August producing four goals, three penalties, an own goal, woodwork hit and a sending off. Aye it all happened here, and one of the penalties was missed (Coll hit the bar). Brad Mckay and Sean Welsh (pen) scored for Inverness and a George Oakley own goal and a late Iain Flannigan penalty gave Alloa a share of the spoils. And, just when you think it can't get any worse, ICTFC & Ross County fined £2500. Add to that some broken seats after the IrnBru Cup final thanks to Ross County fans then you just wonder where it's all going to end. We welcomed back Kevin McHattie and Tom Walsh to great effect against Partick with Walsh coming off the bench to score the winner. Nathan Austin has been used sparingly of late and could play a part. Alloa lined up like this against Dundee United :- Parry Robertson Taggart Graham Dick Shields Heatherington Flannigan Kirkpatrick Trouten Zanatta 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/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies. Don't forget to buy your tickets for the SemiFinal against Hearts at Hampden. Remember, no one can hear you scream if you are sitting in your living room passing round the werther's originals. The lads have been brilliant to get this far in the cup and it's a great day out at the National Stadium. 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
  9. Wasps sting lavish Jags Inverness were held to a 2-2 draw by ten man Alloa after Karadachki was sent packing just after the break. Brad Mckay had headed the opener in the first half but Alloa levelled through possibly the back of Oakley's head, Graham credited at the moment with the goal. We went ahead when Walsh scored a penalty at the Karadachki incident but the visitors got an unlikely equaliser late in the game with a penalty of their own, Flannigan scoring from the spot. Old Caley Girl has this report for us ............. Let me start by saying that this should have been a totally different match report. In fact, one in which we were joint top of the league with 3 points in the bag! I digress though as a totally different scenario played out. A reasonable crowd (these days) of over 2000 sat down on a sunny afternoon at the TCS looking for an entertaining and profitable afternoon. We started off brightly with several goal opportunities early on including a blocked shot by Tom Walsh in 7 minutes. This led onto the opening goal in 10 minutes. A Polworth corner found Brad McKay in the centre of the box, and he headed powerfully into the net. There then followed chance after chance to go further ahead without reward. At this point it looked like we would go on to score at will and felt comfortable. There were several scrappy fouls committed by both sides and in 25 mins Zanatta engineered a foul by getting squashed between Polworth and another ICT player gaining a free kick just outside the box. This led to the equaliser with it looking like a deflection off Oakley to me from behind the goal. However, the news outlets awarded the goal to Andy Graham from a header? From then till half time nothing much of note happened except a succession of fouls again from both sides. It felt like the wind was taken out of our sales after the equaliser. HALF TIME 1-1 The second half was a tale of 3 penalties! Just after half time Karadachki was booked for a foul on Oakley. This led to further madness on his part at the ensuing free kick as he wrestled with Donaldson which led to Donaldson being dragged to the ground. Second yellow meant red and a penalty. I’m sure I was not alone in watching through my hands as Welsh stepped up. There was nothing to worry about here, though, as Welsh coolly stuck the ball into the bottom right hand corner. Smiles all round as word came through that County losing at Morton and the top of the table beckoning for us. It didn’t go like that though despite opportunity after opportunity and good saves from Parry in the Alloa goal. In 56 minutes White replaced Austin and Calder replaced Welsh. In 71 minutes, Calder was clipped in our box and a 2nd penalty was awarded. From my seat there was contact, but it appeared a tad soft. However, penalty it was and what a disaster that turned out to be! Welsh had gone off and no-one seemed to want this task so up stepped a very nervous looking Coll Donaldson to smash it off the bar instead of into the net. Is it just me that thinks it shameful our strikers hid at this particular moment? Shortly afterwards Doran replaced Oakley and did look livelier than of late but to no avail. It looked like we would carry on over the finishing line at this point but then up stepped Shaun Rooney into the spotlight. He tried to foul the Alloa player several times until finally deciding to bundle him over in the box whilst heading towards the by-line. One of the most clueless decisions ever. Up stepped Flannigan to literally steal a point with a thank you very much! FULL TIME 2-2 We are still unbeaten in the league, but this certainly was 2 points dropped not a point gained. The failure to finish off 10 man teams twice this early in the season is worrying and we should be 4 points better off than we really are. We are making chances but being punished for not taking them and it is clear we do not know what our best striking partnership is. Yet again we persist with a narrow formation for a good part of the game and surely everyone, including management, can see Polworth is not and never will be a winger! Calder coming on did create width and as I stated earlier there was glimpses of the old Doran on show during his short appearance yesterday. All 3 substitutions seemed wrong. Is tightening up and seeing a game out not possible for us these days. Robbo was quick to blame the players post-match and yes, we were not clinical enough, but I do feel he has to step up and admit his share of blame as they play to his instructions. There appears a real lack of leadership on the park as well. Tremarco seems very flat and out of sorts to me. I know some wont like me saying this, but we are missing Iain Vigurs terribly. Some players seem totally bombproof as well such as Chalmers whilst others like Trafford and Calder are given little opportunity to shine. Final word of the day is disappointing. Dunfermline away next. They will be smarting from a heavy defeat against Ayr yesterday and 3 points for us is a must. Do I feel confident this team can do that? I’m not so sure sadly. OCG MOTM – A hard one really. Going with Coll Donaldson despite his awful penalty blunder. He showed leadership when there wasn’t much on show by stepping forward and had a steady game overall. RIG summed up his thoughts along similar lines................... All too familiar a tale for ICT fans. Dominate the game in terms of possession but tend not to create much and when we do we are wasteful in taking those chances. Very little width for most of the game until Calder came on and gave Tremarco someone to link with ahead of him instead of having to turn back inside all the time. Welsh had a decent game and we definitely lost a bit of composure in midfield when he went off (presumably due to fitness issues). Donaldson, penalty miss aside, was good at the back but the rest of the squad is quite poor. Austin, Oakley and White all continue to work hard up front but none of them look like they will be particularly prolific for us this season. Rooney was really poor. Defensively naive and poor bringing the ball out from the back. Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson speaking to BBC Sport: "It's inexcusable. You cannot create 15, 16, 17 clear-cut chances and miss them. "We should be sitting comfortably on nine points with a good goal difference but we are now stuck in the middle of the table because we simply haven't been clinical enough at either end. "We've got very good youngsters who may well start to come into plans. We've been loyal to the team that started the vast majority of last season and players who have done well for the club but now maybe we need to start looking to shake it up a bit." Here's the highlights from the game............... Date: 25/08.2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2269 Referee: Barry Cook Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco, Polworth, Welsh (Calder 64), Chalmers, Walsh, Austin (White 55), Oakley (Doran 72) Subs (not used): Hoban; McCart, D Mackay, Trafford Scorers: Mckay (10), Welsh (pen 48) Booked: Oakley (24), Walsh (32) Sent Off: none Alloa Athletic: 2 Lineup: Parry; Taggart, Graham, Karadachki, Dick, Hastie, Heatherington (Burt 78), Flannigan, Cawley (Brown 65), Zanatta, Spence (Peggie 49) Subs (not used): Henry, Trouten, Goodwin Scorers: Graham (35), Flannigan (87) Booked: Karadachki (46) Sent Off: Karadachki (48)
  10. The wasps are coming Player manager Jim Goodwin will take his Alloa Athletic side North on Saturday to face Inverness at the Caledonian Stadium in the Championship. It's a 3:00pm kick off with Inverness looking to remain unbeaten and keep the Wasps winless. I notice that Alloa have the most appropriately named keeper in the league. You've guessed it, his name is Parry, but let's not dwell on that. Keeper Neil Parry was voted onto the League one team having completed 13 clean sheets last season. That aside, what an appropriate name for a keeper........ just saying. Caley Stan has been doing his homework and the result is this informative Preview for us all to read.................... Alloa, known globally not just for its brewing but as the unlikely setting for a popular sitcom set during the French Resistance, lies on the north bank of the Forth where some say it ceases to be the River Forth and becomes the Firth of Forth. Fittingly, the town’s football club continually refuses to accept the place in the Seaside League that usually serves as the pinnacle for a club of its size. Under the chairmanship of local tycoon Mike Mulraney, The Wasps have enjoyed a period of unprecedented success, beginning with the appointment of Paul Hartley as manager in the summer of 2011. Hartley oversaw successive promotions and Alloa went on to spend 3 consecutive seasons in the second tier. Now Player-Manger-Master of the Dark Arts, Jim Goodwin, has led them back up at the second attempt with victories over Raith Rovers and Dumbarton in the play-offs. History of the Fixture Won 14 Drawn 10 Lost 6 We played Alloa 28 times in the first 9 seasons of our history and have faced them just twice since. Our first victory came at the fifth attempt – a 5-0 win at Recreation Park in which a Charlie Christie hat-trick and an Ian Stewart brace provided the first sign of the free-scoring fun that was to follow over the next 7 and a half years. By the end of that glorious period, Alloa had been the recipients of a series of unremitting pumpings, and Pele’s last visit to ‘The Recs’ fittingly saw us run out 6-0 winners, with hat-tricks from both Dennis Wyness and Paul Ritchie. I’ve always wondered who got to keep the ball. For all that, it’s a defeat that lingers most vividly in the memory. The 1999 Challenge Cup Final in Airdrie was an epic 4-4 draw that saw The Wasps victorious after a penalty shoot-out. Paul Sheerin, whose hat-trick in the game had included 2 from the spot, missed our opening penalty in the shoot-out and the loss was complete when Mike Teasdale had his saved. To add insult to injury, Alloa keeper Mark Cairns who saved Teasdale's penalty, scored the one before it. It may be difficult to imagine now, but it was a gut-wrenching defeat at the time – just 5 years into our history and in our debut season in the First Division, we were competing in our first final, bringing around 3000 fans down to a less than neutral venue. But in retrospect, with everything we’ve gone on to achieve, it’s difficult to begrudge Alloa a success that takes pride of place in their 140 year-old honours list. And lest we forget, it was not just a victory for Alloa Athletic Football Club, but a significant milestone in the integration of duffel coat wearing headmasters into mainstream society. The teams last met in the Second Round of the League Cup 2 years ago, with Alloa running out 1-0 winners. The defeat turned out to be a harbinger of things to come under the stewardship of Richie Foran and our descent since then has been steep. A maiden victory for Alloa at the Caledonian Stadium would represent a new low. Form Alloa Last 7: WDWLLLW ICT Last 7: WWWLWDL Form is in the eye of the beholder here, as it can be argued that the all competitions figures above don’t tell us much about confidence in the respective squads. Although Alloa have lost their opening two league fixtures, those games have been tight and they have performed well in the cups. There’s little to suggest that they will suffer as Brechin did. From our end, we remain unbeaten in the league since the 13th March, a run of 13 games, but the manner of our departures from the cups, combined with the failure to score against an Ayr side that played over an hour with 10 men, leave the impression that all may not be well. Teams & Tactics Like Dumbarton before them, Alloa’s chances of staying in this division are largely dependent on their ability to supplement a part-time squad with full-time loan signings. That makes August a tricky month, with clubs reluctant to loan players out before the transfer window closes. However, that process has stepped up this week with the loan additions of midfielder Liam Burt from Rangers and forward Dario Zanatta from Hearts. All accounts suggest that Alloa are playing a stuffy, narrow 4-4-1-1, with experienced lower league journeyman Alan Trouten in support of Greig Spence up top. At the back, captain Andy Graham has decent experience at this level and his partnership with Bulgarian Zdravko Karadachki has impressed so far this season. We also seem to be playing a narrow 4-4-2, with a settled back 4 that sees Shaun Rooney pushing up high on the right when we’re in possession. Tom Walsh has made a bright start to the season on the left of midfield, while Liam Polworth and Joe Chalmers are fixtures in Robbo’s starting line-ups. That leaves 3 places up for grabs with Charlie Trafford and Sean Welsh competing for the remaining berth in the centre of midfield, and Nathan Austin, George Oakley and Jordan White all in contention to play up front. It’s difficult to see where Aaron Doran fits into this system and Robbo has made it clear that he sees Daniel MacKay as an impact sub at this time. Angus Beith remains injured and Zak Elbouzedi was absent from the bench for our last match.