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  1. Ayr Raid Inverness surged into a three goal lead inside 20 minutes, Nathan Austin bagging the first two goals and Liam Polworth adding the third with a low shot from outside the box. It remained 0-3 at the interval but substitute Lawrence Shankland made his presence felt as he set up Declan McDaid to open Ayr's account eight minutes after the break. Shankland scored from a free kick with five minutes to go to set up a tense finish but Inverness just managed to hold on to take all three points. That's a tremendous result that has put us back into the top four and denied Ayr a return to the top of the table. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ John Robertson made two changes to the team that drew 2-2 at Falkirk. Jambos loanee Anthony McDonald started in place of the injured Aaron Doran and George Oakley replaced Jordan White. Cammy Mackay kept the keepers jersey with Mark Ridgers still out with back pain. Ayr kept faith with Craig Moore and Michael Moffat up front which meant that Lawrence Shankland was on the bench. Nathan Austin started the ball rolling towards the Somerset Road end on a freezing night at Somerset Park in front of 1559 shivering fans. The 76 visiting ones would be warmed up well before half time. Immortal Howden Ender was one of the 76........... To start with a round of applause for the recorded 76 fans who made it to Somerset Park despite the road conditions in both North and South directions. The records also show that there was 1559 in total attendance although it looked more to me. And we were then treated to the best 9 minutes of the season. The first, in the eight minute, had a degree of luck to it. Superb through ball from Polworth and Nathan Austin took it round Rose and Doohan with a little help from Rose but he finished well which has not always been the case this season. And just as one bus leaves another turns up, three minutes later (certainly wasn’t sponsored by ScotRail). A terrible pass by Smith found Oakley who played in Nathan Austin who again rounded the keeper but knocked it in with his left foot. Not sure how the defender on the line missed the clearance but hey-ho. And as most if not every fan in the ground were shaking their heads we go three up. Liam Polworth sweetly stuck a low 20 yarder which went in via the post. As good a strike as I have seen this season. But any chance of a 7-0 Somerset repeat were soon dashed as Ayr appeared to waken up. They could well have got a goal back before half time. A header came off the crossbar and Cammy MacKay made a fine save just on the half time whistle. In many ways it was fortunate for us that we held out as the second half may have been even more arduous. Enter Lawrence Shankland for the second half. It felt that the combination of a McCall bollicking, Shankland enthusing the crowd and Ayr lifting their effort made the second half a very, very long one. The first goal in the 53rd minute was made by Shankland and finished off by McDaid. Although I would have given the “assist” to Jamie McCart – although the ball did appear to hit a divot. There were two penalty claims thereafter although I feel that both being denied were the correct decision. The ball clearly played Tremarco’s hand and Oakley had lost the ball in a rumble in the box. Also in the 58th minute Robbo made his first substitution which basically puzzled me. He hooks Austin whos’ pace was the main worry for the Ayr back four and would have been a bonus on the break. And he brings on White ?!! Trafford replaced McDonald in the 70th minute but that was understandable. McCauley replaced Oakley in the 82nd minute and that was one that may have been better happening 15-20 minutes earlier. And three minutes later the inevitable Shankland goal made us fear that another draw was on the cards. And it was – and you could hear a collective sigh of relief from 76 Highlanders when Muirhead headed over in injury time – although I thought that Tremarco’s presence put him off. Ayr United manager Ian McCall: "You can't give teams a three-goal start. I thought they had 20 minutes, then we dominated, but we couldn't get an equalizer – have to agree. Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "You know if you lose a goal here, the atmosphere can change and it's a brilliant throw back coming here – spot on again. Robbo added - "If we win on Saturday, we're back in the hunt going into the break for the cup. We're just targeting whatever team is directly above us. – who can argue against that ? SMILEYMOMETER MacKay - Young Cammy did well and I thought that his save before half time was a real game saver. top. At the time I was critical of his Alan Rough impersonation for the second goal but the free kick looks as if it took a mean deflection. Rooney – Disappointed me. Always looks good going forward but I felt that most of Ayr’s chances came down their left wing and Rooney lacking pace. McKay 😎– No nonsense and why not. McCart – 🙄As Mckay apart from the 53rd minute Brain Fart (Rigism) Tremarco – Best defender for me and good to see him back at full fitness. Chalmers – 😀 No sign of his sweet left foot but worked his socks off Welsh – An “old head” which we need at the present time. Looked more like a captain. Polly – My MOM. Super pass for the first goal and super strike for the third goal. Also worked hard which often is lacking at home. McDonald – Thought that Robbo would have played McCauley from the start on physique alone. Has a look of a Doran about him – which we need. Suspect that he will be more effective at home. Austin – Best game in our colours for me. Two good finishes and worked the line very well. So why the hooking in the 58th minute ? White – 😁Actually thought that he was a good out option and he held the ball up quite well. Trafford – Evidently taken on for the Davy Crockett effect McCauley – Wrong game to judge. Here's the footage from Ayr TV Robbo post match on twitter Date: 29/01/2019 Venue: Somerset Park Attendance: 2000 Referee: Nick Walsh Ayr United: 2 Lineup: Doohan; Smith, Bell, Rose, Harvie, Murdoch, Crawford (Muirhead 82), Docherty (Higgins 45), McDaid, Moore (Shankland 45), Moffat Subs (not used): Hare-Reid; Hilton, Ecrepont, McCowan. Scorers: McDaid (53), Shankland (85) Booked: Crawford (79) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: C Mackay; Rooney, B Mckay, J McCart, Tremarco, McDonald (Trafford 70), Polworth, Welsh, Chalmers, Austin (White 58), Oakley (McCauley 82). Subs (not used): MacKinnon; Harper, McHattie, Mackay. Scorers: Austin (9, 12) Polworth (18) Booked: Polworth (36), Oakley (69) Sent Off: none a
  2. Let's go fly a kite.... Somerset Park Ayr is the venue on Tuesday night in this re-arranged fixture after the original date was called off less than an hour before kick-off due to high winds. Unfortunately many Inverness fans had already made the five hour journey only to be met with the news they didn't want to hear. And it could be Deja Vu with a pitch inspection planned for 11:30am after a week of rain in Ayrshire. 🌧️ The ICT Supporters Travel Club is running a bus to this match. The Bus leaves the Caley Club at 13:45 and the Stadium at 14:00. The Bus can be booked by text on 07462218717 or through their Facebook page. The original game was due to be played on the 7th December, but strong winds forced the postponement with teams and fans already at the stadium. Since the postponement, Ayr have had three draws, three defeats and one win on Saturday against Dundee United, Craig Moore scoring early. Falkirk and Inverness were Championship winners but the surprising defeat was to Auchinleck Talbot in the Scottish Cup. Prior to the game that was called off, Ayr were sitting on top of the League. They were knocked off their perch as County turned the screw, but had managed to get back on top before Saturday when County won to regain the lead although Ayr have a game in hand, this one against the Caley Jags. We have blown hot and cold recently and since the postponement have three wins, two defeats and two draws. The biggest win was a 4-0 defeat of Lowland League leaders East Kilbride in the cup. The two disappointing losses were the Highland derby and a home defeat by Queen of the South. The first meeting of the season saw Inverness fail to get the better of ten man Ayr, Liam Polworth missing the target from the spot. We did keep Shankland fairly quiet in that game, but even with ten men Ayr were still a threat on the break, the game ended 0-0. The last time we met a couple of weeks ago we managed to get the better of Ayr thanks to a header from Jordan White, a rare home win for the Caley Jags this term. Inverness fielded their two new signings at the weekend, both coming off the bench in a 2-2 draw at Falkirk. Mark Ridgers was unable to play due to a back spasm and Cammy Mackay deputised in goal. Unfortunately that probably contributed to Falkirk's second goal resulting in a couple of points dropped. Disappointing result really as we led twice but our attacking intent was evident and Aaron Doran's stunning strike was worth all three points. Three of our most influential players were missing at Falkirk. Coll Donaldson and Tom Walsh are out for over a month unfortunately. Ridgers will hopefully be over his back problem soon. The introduction of Darren McCauley and Anthony McDonald will give the squad a lift though and Jamie McCart has proven to be an able deputy for Coll. Aaron Doran pulled up at Falkirk with a possible hamstring injury and might be out for a couple of games. Ayr have scoring sensation Lawrence Shankland back in action after he missed a few games. Craig Moore and Michael Moffat have shown that Ayr are not a one man team though. Geggan and Forrest are out, but Kerr and Adams are almost there. It's a pity Aaron Doran is out as he has been getting back to his best recently. Here's what he is capable of. Here's new Inverness signing Darren McCauley talking ahead of the Ayr United game........... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you like a wee flutter, our new partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  3. Ayr Pressure Down Both sides were somewhat diminished with major players either injured, ill or suspended and it was a battle of the walking wounded as Ayr tried to keep the pressure on at the top of the League with County facing a difficult away trip to Palmerston. Inverness had Brad Mckay and Shaun Rooney suspended with strikers George Oakley and Nathan Austin injured. Angus Beith is still missing and this has now been reported to the polis as nobody has seen him yet! Kevin McHattie made his first home start with Carl Tremarco covering at right back. Ayr were without top striker Lawrence Shankland, Jamie Adams, Mark Kerr, Liam Smith and Alan Forrest with Adam Murdoch suspended. An unseasonably mild January afternoon with a touch of a stiff breeze coming in from the West met the teams as they entered the park in front of a 2283 crowd............. Liam Polworth was first to have an opportunity as he fired goalwards from twenty yards but his shot was weak and wide as he dragged it past the post. Michael Moffat broke clear for Ayr at the other end but his low shot was well held by Mark Ridgers from the angle when the striker might have been better squaring the ball. Aaron Doran should have scored when he latched on to a cross from Tom Walsh but his shot from close range cannoned back off the middle of the post and bounced back out of the box to safety. The home side were starting to dominate and Doran was flagged offside as he sprinted on to a good through ball from Polworth. Ayr were still a threat on the break though and Declan McDaid curled a shot over from one such venture forth and at the opposite end Joe Chalmers went close with a strike from distance as Ross Doohan sprawled across his goal line. Back came Ayr and Ross Docherty fired one over the bar as the game panned out. The end to end stuff continued as Polworth created the space to get a shot away after a delightful drag back, but it was always heading too high. Too high was the order of the day as McDaid sent another one over, the ball dipping too late. Best move of the half saw Jordan White miss a golden opportunity after he linked up well with Doran, but the striker shot just past the near post when it looked easier to score. Half Time 0-0 Ayr went close just after the break as Craig Moore met a great cross unchallenged, but his header was just wide of the junction with Ridgers stranded. That seemed to stir Inverness into action and from there on we dominated the game without overly exerting Doohan in the visitors goal. White was becoming more prominent and had an effort saved by the keeper who just got his finger tips to the ball at the expense of a corner. However he would not be denied in the 64th minute. Following a poor miss when he did not get enough contact on a header, the ball was sent back into the box by Sean Welsh and White had dusted himself down quickly enough to send a powerful header into the net with Doohan merely a spectator. The goal had been coming after a good spell of pressure from the home side. Ten minutes later Doran should have wrapped up the points but he skewed his shot just wide when scoring looked the better option. The dreaded 'hold what we had' was in the thoughts of most fans who had only witnessed one previous home League win this season. However, if truth be told we saw out the game in relative comfort thereafter and ran the clock down in style with some keep ball at the end. Full Time 1-0 Great to witness a win after so long, most had forgotten what it felt like. It was a narrow victory though with big Jordan White powering a header home just after the hour. He can jump after all! Aaron Doran missed that great opportunity to make the game comfortable but skewed wide and that led to a slightly tetchy last ten minutes, but we saw it out safely and took all three points with Joe Chalmers getting the sponsors MotM but Jordan White getting the nod from me. Speaking on BBC Sport, the respective managers had this to say....... Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "It was an even first half, but the second half we started to impose ourselves. It was a terrific goal and I'm delighted for Jordan - what a job he does as a lone striker. "We didn't look like we were going to lose a goal. There was a resilience to them and we thoroughly deserved the three points." Ayr United manager Ian McCall: "We had good chances but I thought Inverness deserved to win. I don't think we played very well, nothing to do with injuries I just don't think we played well enough. "I think the first goal was always going to win it. It was a great chance for us, we knew Ross County had a hard game but the league's going to be really, really tight." Highlights from Caley Jags TV If you can access Facebook, then here is Robbo's post match interview...... Date: 12/01/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2283 Referee: Willie Collum Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Tremarco, Donaldson, McCart, McHattie, Polworth (D Mackay 71), Chalmers, Welsh, Doran (Trafford 85), Walsh, White. Subs (not used): C Mackay; Nicolson, MacGregor, Brown, Harper. Scorers: White (64) Booked: none Sent Off: none Ayr United: 0 Lineup: Doohan; Ferguson, Rose, Bell, Harvie, Geggan (McGuffie 67), Docherty, Crawford, McDaid (Higgins 73), Moffat, Moore (McCowan 79). Subs (not used): Hare-Reid; Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  4. Honest Men come North It's heading towards Tam O' Shanter time as the Honest Men head North to tackle the Chapman Billies at the Caledonian Stadium in Inverness. Ayr have been a revelation this term and a breath of fresh Ayr has certainly breathed some life into the Championship with Lawrance Shankland being one of the reasons they sit at the business end of the table. They sit second in the League only three points behind County. Ayr thrashed Dundee United 5-0 at Tannadice at the end of November, but since then they have drawn three and lost last week against Falkirk. Top scorer Lawrance Shankland missed that one and looks like missing out again. Our last two games have ended in defeat. We went down 2-1 in the Highland derby and threw away a lead against Queen of the South last week as two goals in a minute turned the game on it's head. It was a similar tale in the derby where we had the better of the game but ended up losing all three points, sums up the season so far. Due to a postponement at Somerset Park, we have only played Ayr once. That game ended goalless despite Ayr being reduced to ten men when Daniel Harvie was sent off in the first half. Ayr have a plethora of possible call offs which could include Lawrance Shankland, Mark Kerr, and Liam Smith . Andrew Geggan is back after suspension but midfielder Andrew Murdoch has reached the yellow card threshold and misses this game. Jamie Adams and Alan Forrest will definitely be out. For Inverness, Shaun Rooney serves the second of his two match ban and Brad Mckay has to serve a one match ban for accumulated bookings. Rumours also abound that possibly as many as three unnamed players might be down with the flu. Kevin McHattie could be involved given that at least two of our first choice defenders are out. George Oakley is still sidelined. Back up keeper Daniel Hoban has been loaned out to Forfar Athletic for the remainder of the season. Keeper Cammy Mackay has returned from Rothes and will cover for Mark Ridgers when required. Here's Kevin McHattie talking ahead of tomorrow's game. The Official Digital Online Programme is available HERE I asked the Bard for a prediction, he came up with this:- “The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men, Gang aft agley. An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain, For promis'd joy! In other words, it might not go to plan, which might annoy the fans................ Thanks Robbie. Another draw it is then! He also had some advice for Robbo:- “O, wad some Power the giftie gie us To see oursels as others see us! It wad frae monie a blunder free us, An' foolish notion.” Aye, well said Robbie, I'm sure our own Robbo will take that on board bard. Enjoy yer haggis & neeps peeps. If you like a wee flutter, our new partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  5. Something in the Ayr tonight GAME OFF due to high wind. Anyone got a kite............. It's our third game within a week as we head to Ayrshire to take on the table topping Honest Men in a Friday night game under the floodlights of Somerset Park, or as Thunderclap Newman used to say, there's something in the Ayr......... Because the revolution's here, and you know it's right. The last few days have seen contrasting fortunes for Inverness. A first defeat of the season to bottom club Falkirk on Saturday was followed up by a crushing Scottish Cup win over Edinburgh City. The Falkirk game was hard to take and it ended our long unbeaten Championship run, an injury time goal sealing the points for the Bairns. The cup replay saw Jordan White claim a hat-trick and Tom Walsh a brace. It was a dour first half, but much better application after the break saw Inverness run out comfortable winners over League Two leaders Edinburgh City. Ayr have been without a game since last Friday when they juiced the Tangerines 5-0 at Tannadice. Lawrence Shankland was the man making the difference with a four goal salvo to keep Ayr at the top of the league ahead of Ross County. In fact it's all going on in Ayrshire with Kilmarnock heading the Premership after the midweek games. In fact there's definitely something in the Ayr. Hotbed of Scottish football just now! The first meeting of the season saw Inverness fail to get the better of ten man Ayr, Liam Polworth missing the target from the spot. We did keep Shankland fairly quiet in that game, but even with ten men Ayr were still a threat on the break, the game ended 0-0. Talking of Shankland, Swansea City are reported to be about to offer £400k for his services in the English Championship. The 26 goal striker is reputed to have around twenty clubs looking for his signature, unfortunately Inverness are not one of them. Ian McCall has nipped all rumours in the bud but accepts that there will be massive interest in his star striker come the January window. Ayr have won ten of their fifteen league games with only two defeats, Ross County (2-1) and Queen of the South (surprisingly 5-0). They have 33 points (to our 22) and are the top scorers in the division with 30 goals ( ICT 21) having conceded only 12 (ICT 16). Despite the doom and gloom of our extended unbeaten run, it's almost a relief to lose that tag as we embark on the next part of the journey. Turning draws into wins was proving to be a stumbling block, but Falkirk have hopefully given us the wake up call to get us back on track. Good to see Roddy MacGregor getting more game time as he looks to have a bright future with his energy and quick feet giving him the ability to drive at defences. Nice wee cameo against Edinburgh City where he set up Aaron Doran for our sixth goal. Sixth goal: Not often we can say that. The Ayr team that faced Dundee United last week can be seen in the image to the right, Striker Craig Moore returns to the Ayr squad after a two game ban. Ian MacCall has fitness doubts over defender Jamie Adams and midfielders Alan Forrest and Mark Kerr. Rumour has it that they will all miss this one. For Inverness, Carl Tremarco is back training but not fit for action yet. Jamie McCart will continue to deputise at left back, he's doing reasonably well there. Sean Welsh missed the midweek cup game, presumably rested. Jordan White will surely be given the nod up front after his striking performance against Edinburgh City. Daniel Mackay has been missing recently for the u18's and first team squad. Ayr Utd v ICTFC Somerset Park, Ayr Friday 19:45pm kick-off. Live on BT Sport Tickets: Adults £17, Concessions £11, Child £6. The ICT Supporters Travel Club is running a bus to the match, book on their Facebook page HERE or on 07462218717 The Car Park closes at 2.50pm, we have allocated spaces for Blue Badge holders, staff and officials only. Public parking is available at Craigie Park. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Young Caley Jags take on @CelticFC tomorrow in their SFA Youth Cup match. Entry is FREE for all Supporters at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium. 2pm kick-off. There will be donation buckets outside the ground with all proceeds going towards the Youth Development Department. The club shop will be open tomorrow from 10am-2pm for a chance to get your gifts in time for Christmas! The u18 game has also fallen foul of the weather, anyone got a boat???
  6. Inverness pay the penalty Inverness were held to a 0-0 draw by newly promoted Ayr United who had been reduced to ten men after half an hour. Despite the numerical superiority we were unable to capitalise and wasted a few good opportunities to take all three points, including a missed penalty. Prior to kick-off, a minutes silence was impeccably held in memory of Alan Hercher who died at the tender age of 52. Alan was our first club captain and scored our first, second and third goals with a hat-trick against Arbroath in 1994. How we could have done with Herchies drive in this game. RIP Alan Hercher 1965 - 2018. The visitors took along a healthy support amongst the 2376 crowd and were looking for wanted man Lawrence Shankland to see them through the game. Inverness were pretty much as expected with Nathan Austin and George Oakley up front and Jordan White, Aaron Doran and Daniel Mackay starting on the bench. The hosts started brightly and buzzed around the visitors box without actually creating too much for keeper Ross Doohan to deal with, Tom Walsh going close but missing the target in the third minute. Unfortunately that would be a recurring theme for the afternoon. Ayr's Daniel Harvie received a yellow card in the 13th minute that would come back to haunt him after half an hour. Robbie Crawford called Mark Ridgers into action as the keeper saved his effort in the 17th minute as Ayr began to get to grips with the pace of the game with their hosts not able to penetrate their defence. Harvie looked to push George Oakley over as he went for a high ball into the box and promptly got his marching orders from Andrew Dallas. Unfortunately Liam Polworth could not take advantage and directed his spot kick well wide of the post with the keeper going the wrong way. Five minutes before the break Nathan Austin should have scored when put through one-on-one with the keeper. He also picked his spot with his shot, but unfortunately that spot was two yards wide of the post. Great opportunity that went abegging. He also managed to hit the keeper right on the break for a frustrating end to the half for the home fans. We should have been at least two up at the break but through our own inability to hit the target Ayr went in at the interval on level terms. Half Time 0-0 Ayr came out of the blocks flying at the start of the second half and dangerman Lawrence Shankland used his strength and speed to good effect, but his angled shot went across the face of the goal with Ridgers scrambling across to cover it. Michael Moffat could also have opened the scoring but like everyone else he shot narrowly wide six minutes into the half. Robbie Crawford followed suit as Ayr looked for the opening goal. Inverness gradually came back into the game and Joe Chalmers stung the palms of Doohan. His shot had plenty of power but was too direct at the keeper. Robbie Crawford tried his luck again as the game opened out and Coll Donaldson took matters into his own hands and surged forward a couple of times. Plenty of effort from the hosts in the last half hour but we were unable to fashion any really clear opportunities. Donaldson fired a shot just over in one of his runs forward and substitute Jordan White could not quite direct a header on target, the ball landing on the roof of the net. A flurry of corners came and went and Ayr managed to hold on for an excellent point for them. Full Time 0-0 A frustrating afternoon all round and to be honest this felt like a defeat, but credit to Ayr for having a go especially once they went down to ten men. Difficult to select a MotM from an Inverness perspective with nobody catching the eye. Shankland gave our defenders a hard time with his powerful play and quick feet as did Moffat and Crawford. Donaldson might just be our best player on the day after making a couple of early mistakes which he recovered to deal with himself. He was one of the few players to drive forward with any menace and gets my vote. Miserable day for Liam Polworth not helped by some of our own fans venting their displeasure towards him with some unsavoury chants. Clean it up please. Dunfermline visit on Tuesday night in the Challenge Cup. They surprisingly went down 3-1 at home to Ross County on Saturday. Expect a difficult game in midweek. Here's the action from the game............. Date: 11/08/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2376 Referee: Andrew Dallas Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco, Walsh (Doran 70), Trafford (D Mackay 68), Polworth, Chalmers, Oakley, Austin (White 59) Subs (not used): Hoban; McCart, Welsh, Calder. Scorers: none Booked: Tremarco (19), Rooney (49) Sent Off: none Ayr United: 0 Lineup: Doohan; Geggan, Adams, Rose, Harvie, Forrest (Ferguson 31), Crawford, Kerr (Docherty 83), Murdoch, Shankland, Moffat (Bell 74) Subs (not used): Hare-Reid, Moore, McDaid, McGuffie. Scorers: none Booked: Harvie (13), Crawford (70) Sent Off: Harvie (30) a
  7. Ayr visit tinged with sadness Ayr United come North on Saturday to face Inverness at the Caledonian Stadium in the Championship, round two. It should have been a day to renew old acquaintances, but it will be tinged with sadness as news breaks about the passing of former club captain, legend and all round great guy Alan Hercher. The newly promoted Honest Men find themselves at the top of the Championship after matchday one thanks to a 2-0 win over relegated Partick Thistle. Inverness join them on three points along with Ross County and the impressive Dunfermline Athletic. We opened our campaign with a hard fought win at Falkirk thanks to a tenth minute strike from George Oakley. By all accounts a touch fortunate to get all three points, but the new look Falkirk side with seven new starts took a while to get going and never really looked like getting all three points anyway. So, we can look at this one as a bonus win, and considering our dreadful start to life in the Championship last season, we'll take it. Ayr top the table after an early double from hot property Lawrence Shankland secured the points, the first from the penalty spot, the second a strikers goal from ten yards out smashed into the net. We have had some memorable games against Ayr. Who can forget the 7-0 thrashing of Ayr when we got promoted at the first time of asking and Terry Buther's sermon from the main stand at Somerset Park? What about the 7-3 see-saw league game in December 2000 when it seemed that goals were maybe going out of fashion, a Dennis Wyness hat-trick in that one. My personal favourite, the 4-3 Scottish Cup tie at Inverness in January 2001 when Eddie Annand, Mark Campbell and Marvyn Wilson had Ayr three up after thirty-three minutes. However, four second half goals from Paul Sheerin, Bobby Mann, Davide Xausa and Dennis Wyness put us into the fourth round draw. We would go on to a replay at Rugby Park in the fourth round before going down 2-1 against Kilmarnock. Aye, those were the days! Back to the future now and Ayr have strengthened since gaining promotion. In come Daniel Harvie, a defender from Aberdeen, Andy Murdoch a midfielder from Morton and they have a loan keeper from Celtic in Ross Doohan. Robbo went with the tried and tested players last weekend with Nathan Austin and George Oakley up front. Midfield seems to be our problem area with nobody taking ownership and bossing the play. Tom Walsh is a lively addition though and looks to have a bright future here. Col Donaldson was once again our star man showing his defensive attributes to nullify the Bairns. Look for more of the same tomorrow. Very sad news breaking as we prepare for the game against Ayr is that our first club Captain Alan Hercher has passed away at the young age of 52. Herchie scored a hat-trick in our first ever home league game against Arbroath in a 5-2 win at Telford Street in 1994. There is more details on the official site. Alan Hercher Tribute A minutes silence will be observed prior to kick off against Ayr United. Sincere condolences to Alan's family and friends from all at Caley Thistle Online. RIP Herch. Here's a short clip of Herch scoring the winner against Livingston in the Scottish Cup in 1996