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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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)
  4. 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.