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  1. Storey also starting so 7 changes from last week. Only Rooney, Donaldson and Doran starting who started last week. MacKay Rooney Donaldson McHattie Harper MacGregor Welsh Trafford Doran Storey Todorov Machado and Hyde amongst the subs ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Jack Waddington: Surprised they've gone with Cammy over Mark... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Robert: Very dominant 45 in a sunny stadium. Morton parked the bus until we scored and probably the poorest away first half performance from any visiting team in a while. Cracker from Todorov and second from Doran. Impressed by Harper. More of the same second half, please. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Jack Waddington: The atmosphere seems to have returned in the form of some Czech Tourists... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Robert: Comfortable 3-1 win. Tod had a penalty saved. Good to see Machado get some game time. Shame we can’t play Morton every week! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Jack: 8 goals and 1 conceded in less than a week. Things are looking up... Caley 100: Very comfortable win, should have scored 3 or 4 more, Good to see Welsh playing well, some good performances from fringe players. McGregor had some nice touches but got caught in posetion a few times, Machado is really wee! Jeez , he also needs to work on final ball as this let him down after some good work. Pity about the pen, keeper saved them a few times. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Robert: I really enjoyed this afternoon. In some ways, we were better than last Friday, particularly first half. Just a shame only 1021 of us were there to see it. Morton set out to play 11 behind the ball, trying not to give us space. We patiently held possession and probed for chances. The first goal was a gem from Todorov, a curling strike from at least 20 yards. Doran got a bit lucky for the second when the mall seemed to bounce back to him, but he finished well. That was us 2 up after 30 and only then did Morton start to do anything positive, but we were well on top. Second half was a bit more balanced, but we remained on top and comfortable. Storey ran in from the right and put the ball through the goalie’s legs for the third. Shame we conceded. Looked like we lost their scorer in the box (but I did predict 3-1 on Gringo’s board....). Todorov then had a penalty saved. We had eight changes to last week’s starting line up, so we do seem to have strength in depth this season, so will hopefully cope with injuries and suspensions. MacKay has a comfortable afternoon. Other than the goal, he had a couple of saves and a couple of strong pass backs to deal with. Rooney was less attacking today. He had MacGregor ahead of him initially, but Storey was wide right in the second half. Rooney tended to stay behind them. He was getting less support when defending than he gets from Walsh Harper was impressive at left back. He pushed forward well and had a few decent crosses. He was also our corner kick taker on the right side. Donaldson and McHattie had a comfortable time in central defence, with Coll having a few forays forward and some neat touches. McHattie played very calmly despite being out of position. He will give us another option in central defence. MacGregor started wide right but was switched with Storey and moved up front. He had a quiet first half but was more prominent in the second. Doran had a good game, and was helping Harper also. When subbed, he left from the opposite touchline and was warmly and deservedly applauded all the way back to the dug out. Great to see Welsh back. He was probably the pick of our team today. He takes the pressure off the defence so well and was very positive. Trafford also had a good game, and won the penalty, albeit it looked a bit soft Storey had some good runs, particularly once playing wide right Todorov scored a great goal, just a shame about the penalty. Machedo was very lively when he replaced Doran. He has pace and touch, and should turn into a great asset for us. White replaced Todorov whilst young Hyde got a cameo late on for Storey. We scored 8 goals in 104 minutes from the 42nd minute last weekend to the 56th today, hopefully boosting confidence and we can put a run together Great that our home form seems transformed from last season. Still early days, but 5 wins from 5 in league and cup. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Robert: I agree with that assessment. I’d like to see what the White / Storey combination could do. It may mean a reshuffle given Storey seems best coming in from wide positions as he did best today when playing wide right rather than up front. Its good we are having these discussions as we are looking at how we can build on what we have achieved in the last couple of weeks. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Satan: A bit negative about Toddy there... 😉 I thought he brought more threat to the front line, his movement was excellent, he can fairly move for a big guy, most of his aerial challenges were won, and a lot of his flick ons went to players wearing blue. Didn't notice his first touch being particularly bad but then after watching White for so long there's not much difference. A different type of forward for sure, maybe it's down to the management to select a team to play a certain way, rather than select the same 11 and expect them to play differently. A good run out for a lot of players, liking forward with interest to dunfermline.
  2. CZECH MATES Just over a thousand fans at the Caledonian Stadium were shown how to make a noise for the Caley Thistle boys by our Czech mates as they watched Inverness knock Morton out of the Chocolate Cup by 3-1. They certainly showed the locals how to generate some nose and they seemed to be enjoying themselves. Cheers for the visit and I'm glad we could get some goals for you. Dekuji přátelé Inverness made eight changes to the starting line-up from the team that beat Morton 5-0 the week before in the Championship. With Barry and Scott in charge the fringe players got their chance to show their talent. One of those made his mark with a stunning curler into the top corner in the 25th minute as Nikolay Todorov put Inverness ahead. Aaron Doran added a second goal six minutes later and Miles Storey benefited from every keepers nightmare as his shot from a very tight angle went through his legs into the net. I don't know about Ramsbottom, but he certainly made a horses arse of trying to stop the ball! We were afforded the luxury of a missed penalty when keeper Ramsbottom atoned for his earlier blooper by making a brilliant save to deny Toddy a second goal. Trafford had won the penalty after being brought down by McLean, but Toddy grabbed the ball. Morton got a late consolation but in all honesty were outplayed on the day and can have no complaints at the scoreline. To add to the starting paragraphs, despite the massive changes made by both sides, Inverness looked slick on the immaculate surface at the Caledonian Stadium. The pitch has never looked better for many a year after this summers upgrade and re-lay. Morton on the other hand seemed intent on not losing a goal. Some of our interplay was a joy to behold given that many have not been involved in the first XI most weeks. Morton's keeper looked nervy early on flapping at crosses and with a bit of fortune we could have been three or four up at the interval. Todorov took his goal well, a superb curler from just inside the angle of the box across the top of the keeper. Doran took advantage of the ball bouncing in front of the defender and ran in behind to slip the ball home for the second and well, Storey squeezed the ball in from a very tight angle when the keeper should really be looking to block. The penalty was not so much missed as superbly saved, Ramsbottom guessed right and got down low to his right to keep the ball out. The visitors got a wee lift from that and we experienced some forays into our box thereafter from whence they managed to grab a consolation through Sutton who stabbed home from six yards. Sean Welsh was MotM and he is running away with the votes on CTO for this game. Nothing to complain about to be honest so that's a good thing all round. Here's a great shot of our Czech Mates in action from Caleyjags.com Great backing from our foreign fans who contributed immensely to the atmosphere in a sparsely populated North Stand but managed to get the locals involved in making some noise. Brilliant Match reaction................ One of our Wyness Shufflers liked what he saw Really impressive outing for the young lads. Harper looked like he had been playing LB for years and whilst I suspect Tremarco will regain his place it's good to know that we have a capable deputy there to come in. Hopefully Robbo starts to give Harper some more game time as this could well be Tremarco's last season as a player with us. MacGregor was excellent. Seemed to be playing right midfield for a period in the first half but looked like he came in towards the centre in the second and Machado was a real live wire. Some of his crossing wasn't great but his movement off the ball is excellent. Both MacGregor and Machado were unlucky not to score. I think we've got some real players for the future in those three. Great to see Welsh back as well. He and Trafford both performed well in central midfield and Storey looked lively on the right flank. Worth praising Donaldson and McHattie also. Donaldson had the cigars out for most of the game and McHattie again showed he's a capable back up at this level for us. Yes he's not the greatest defender but we're going to struggle to sell a back up slot to anyone of any real talent so he works well for us based on this. Jaggernaut summed it up perfectly for me: All in all, there were some really good performances. Welsh, Doran, Storey and Todorov stood out for me, and keeper MacKay's distribution was first class. Mchatttie and Donaldson were solid at the back and both full backs put in good shifts up and down the wing and some good crosses. I thought Trafford had a far better second half and MacGregor had some nice touches to link the play. Machado has great feet, and just needs to know when to lay the ball off to a player in a better position, but I love his directness. As I said in a previous post, I think we now have the strongest squad we have had in quite a few seasons. In past seasons we have had a good first eleven and a bench that wasn't as strong, but now we have competition for all areas on the pitch. Good results can breed confidence, so lets hope we can take it into our next game at Dunfermline. Here's the action from Caley Jags TV............. Hot Toddy............... And Scott was pleased................. Dunfermline away next week, Saturday @3:00pm, East End Park. Date: 07/09/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1021 Referee: Willie Collum Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: C Mackay; Rooney, Donaldson, McHattie, Harper, Doran (Machado 65), Trafford, Welsh, MacGregor Todorov (White 80), Storey (Hyde 90) Subs (not used): Ridgers; McCart, Vincent, Keatings. Scorers: Todorov (25), Doran (31), Storey (56). Booked: none Sent Off: none Morton: 1 Lineup: Ramsbottom; McLean (C), Grant, Muirhead, Orsi, Salkeld (Sutton 65), Lyon (Jacobs 62), Blues, Livingstone (Easdale 88), Colville, Baird. Subs (not used): Rodgers; Strapp, Hynes, Garrity Scorers: Sutton (78) Booked: Colville (82) Sent Off: none a
  3. Chocolate Biscuit Cup Morton come back up the A9 this weekend no doubt looking for some revenge after last Friday nights heavy defeat. The Challenge Cup game kicks off at 3:00pm at the Caledonian Stadium with chocolate bars replacing tins of fizzy juice as the sponsors this season. We have had the DIY cup, the whisky, Alba, Ramsdens, Petrofac, and the fizzy pop cup. It's now called the chocolate biscuit cup, and this weekend we entertain Morton once more. I'm sure they will be delighted to be returning North so soon after Friday nights TV drubbing in the Championship. This time it's the Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Cup. I kid you not, that's the new name for the Challenge Cup. Who knew! Last week saw us rack up our biggest win in the Championship with a 5-0 thrashing of Morton, although a dour first half gave little indication of what was about to unfold. Jame Keatings opened the scoring just before the break and scored a second one minute into the second half. Jordan White, Coll Donaldson and Nikolay Todorov added some extra polish to the turd as we ran out convincing winners in the end, and with Morton unable to convert a penalty, Mark Ridgers saved to maintain a clean sheet. Overall it was a dominant performance, although the first half was a bit of a non event. A word of caution however. I don't imagine David Hopkin will let this one slip and I'm sure he will have tightened up all the loose nuts and bolts. Morton were a shambles in the second half but let's not get carried away after one big result. How often have we seen players running in on goal only to see their effort saved or slip by the post. Last Friday all the stars were aligned and every time we went through on goal we scored. 80% of the time that doesn't happen, however, we will take it but I won't be expecting that every week. Robbo has hinted that there may be some subtle changes on the cards as he rotates his squad to give fringe players an outing. That's all good and well, but I hope that's not to detract from the competition and take the opponents too lightly after the previous encounter. I doubt Morton will be feeling the same way and they will probably be looking to exact some revenge for that heavy defeat. In the North of Scotland Cup semi-final in midweek, an Inverness CT XI moved into the final after beating Clach. They will play Brora Rangers in the final on 5th or 6th October. There was game time for some players needing to boost their fitness ................ Given the squad that played in the 4-1 win over Clach in midweek, it looks as though Nikolay Todorov may well start with Miles Storey up front and possibly the exciting young talent of Roddy MacGregor. Matheus Machado could also be worth a shout. Jamie McCart took a bash on his fizzog on Wednesday night but hopefully he is fit if needed. Cameron Harper is scheduled to start this one. Sean Welsh played against Clach and is nearing match sharpness and Kevin McHattie played 45 minutes. So plenty of choice for Robbo, although according to Robbo it's Barry Wilson and Scott Kellacher who will be calling the shots. David Hopkin has brought in two loan signings since last Friday. It's no surprise that both are defenders. Adam Livingstone comes in from Motherwell as a left back for the season. Jack Baird has plenty Premiership experience with St Mirren and will be at Morton up to the January window at least. 26 DREAM RINGS AND 104 FREDOS There's the latest podcast from the Wyness Shufflers. Have a listen to the guys, it's another great effort from them and will Paul McGowan's barber sue........? 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. tm4tj

    NoS Cup v Clach

    ICT 4- 1 CLACH Cammy Mackay has to produce an excellent save to deny Martin MacDonald in the 6th minute. Keatings has the ball in the net soon after but it's flagged for offside. 14: Jordan White opens the scoring with a header after a great assist from Matheus Machado. Keeper saves a header from Keatings and Storey speeds forward but MacLennan saves. 32: James Keatings doubles our lead! He takes down a great ball from McCart and he finishes past MacLennan. 36: Penalty to ICTFC! Welsh is taken down by MacLennan, but the keeper atones and saves the spot kick by Welsh. Half Time 2-0 at Inverness and at Brora it's also 1-0 to the hosts against Ft William Cameron Harper replaces Kevin McHattie as the second half begins. 50: White gets a third goal for Inverness from a Storey cross, and Ft William level at Brora (Ross Gunn) 58: Gillies fires just wide for Clach from range 62: Keatings cross finds its way to Machado in the box but he fires over from close range 65: Clach have one back as Eachainn Miller heads in at the back-post and Brora go back in front at Dudgeon Park 2-1. 69: Bad news for Inverness as Jamie McCart receives treatment and he isn't going to be able to continue. ffs 70: White completes his hat-trick as he taps in from close range after meeting Machado's cross from the left. Brora go to 3-1. Full Time 4-1 at Inverness and 3-1 at Brora Incoming - Inverness CT v Brora Rangers final coming up. 6th October @Mosset Park Forres v Brora Rangers.
  5. An Inverness XI face Clachnacuddin for a place in the final of the North of Scotland Cup against the winner of the Brora Rangers v Fort William semi-final. The final will be played on 5th or 6th October. The Caley Jags beat Forres Mechanics in the last round 3-1 whilst Clach put out Ross County 2-1. Tickets In line with tournament rules regarding minimum prices, the prices for this match will be as follows: Adult: £8 Concessions: £4 The ICTFC Family Sports Bar will be open from 6:30pm and will be serving hot food and beverages Tickets will be available from the ticket office window on the day of the match, with the Main Stand being open for this game. There will be bucket collection for the Pat Munro Foundation at the match. Info about the Pat Munro Foundation can be found HERE
  6. TV Show With BBC TV looking on, Inverness and Morton served up a Friday night first half horror show. Thankfully, in stark contrast, the second half was full of entertainment. In a lifeless first half at the Caledonian Stadium, neither side was able to get the handful of fans inside the ground excited However, just before the interval Aaron Doran made a half yard of space for himself inside the box and fired a wicked shot at Rogers. He parried the shot away and James Keatings guided the loose ball back into the net from ten yards. One minute into the second half and Keatings bagged his second as he rifled the ball home from 12 yards on the right side of the box. The third came about after a good bit of ball retention ended with Jordan White rolling the ball into the net. Mark Ridgers saved a miserable penalty from Nicky Cadden after David Carson handled from an overhead attempt. Coll Donaldson met a corner from Keatings at the front post to nod down into the net to make it four nil. Substitute Nikolay Todorov got into the act and drilled one past Rogers from 18 yards, and there endeth the scoring. John Robertson made one change to his starting personnel by bringing back Jordan White up front with Miles Storey starting on the bench alongside Nikolay Todorov, Roddy MacGregor and Sean Welsh. David Hopkin threw Celtic loan youngster Stephen Welsh straight into his defence with the dangerous Nicky Cadden up front. Robbie Muirhead and Scottish Cup final scorer Peter Grant were on the bench. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Speaking on BBC Sport Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "Morton were hard to break down but we got the opening goal. In the end I don't think it flattered us. Some of our attacking play in the second half was superb. "Tonight was tremendous. I was really pleased with the style of play. It's pass and move. We got our reward for our hard work and some of the finishes were first class." Morton manager David Hopkin: "We tried to get to half-time goalless and we managed to get to 43 minutes. I think it gave the impetus to Inverness and we just continued to give away really sloppy goals. "I'm disappointed with the performance and I'm disappointed with myself. I've told the players in no uncertain that I won't accept it." BBC iPlayer The Dundee derby ended up 6-2 to United as they thrashed their near neighbours Saturdays games are Arbroath v Dunfermline Partick Thistle v Ayr United Queen ot South v Alloa Athletic ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A sparse crowd watched on as the proverbial dull as dishwater game unfolded in an instantly forgettable first 42 minutes. With no atmosphere at the ground it was difficult for players to motivate themselves. There was however one shining light and that came from an unexpected source. Shaun Rooney was dribbling his way into the area reserved for Tokely folklore as he danced his way down the right wing on numerous occasions. The big man is putting his heart and soul into the game and was immense in that first half. His Cruyffesque turns and nutmegs were a joy to behold as the game edged towards the break. The pressure had been mounting on the Morton rearguard and when Tom Walsh pinged a ball into the box, it went as far as Doran. He skipped inside his man and shot at goal but Rogers could only push his shot out and Keatings calmly knocked the loose ball home. Relief at last! Another moment of magic from Rooney saw him fire another great ball into the box but Dorans wee legs were not quite long enough and his header crashed off the bar. What a finish to the half after such a dull opening. Half Time 1-0 We started where we left off and within a minute Keatings grabbed his second goal as he shot across the keeper from the right side of the box after Jamie McCart had sent him clear with an excellent ball forward. We threatened to cut loose now and a Tom Walsh volley from the angle saw Rogers deny him at his near post with a super save. Morton tried to hit back but a McLean header was cleared off the line by David Carson who popped up in the right place at the right time. McCart made a superb tackle to thwart Salkeld advancing as he threatened to go in on goal. We toyed with Morton's defence for a bit but there was an end product this time as James Vincent sent a precise ball through a gap which saw White neatly slide the ball through the keepers legs into the net as he bore down on goal. Two minutes later Morton were awarded a penalty. An overhead kick was sliced onto the flailing arms of Carson who looked as though he was learning the Highland Fling. Nicky Cadden stepped up but he thought he was Messi and chipped the ball straight into the grateful hand of Mark Ridgers. Up stepped big Coll Donaldson at a corner and he headed down Keatings whipped cross behind Rogers for a decisive fourth goal as Morton looked to have capitulated. Todorov came on for White in the 80th minute and before the 81st had scored the fifth goal of the night after he was released through the middle by Carson, and that was his second attempt inside a minute as he drove the ball through the keeper from the edge of the box. What an impact from the big Bulgar, at least I thought that's what my mate said! We saw the game out thereafter and completed a fine 5-0 win. Who knew after such a poor first half. Never in doubt I hear you say..... Difficult to knock any players after such a resounding win. James Keatings was given MotM but Shaun Rooney was also superb with his marauding runs. Jamie McCart's defending and pin point accuracy with his long balls was a joy to behold. Good to see Donaldson getting some reward for his attacking prowess in the box and White scored a tidy goal on the end of some great team play. Toddy was also impressive so great competition for the strikers role. If there is any criticism, it's come from a poor first half where we found it difficult to create and were second to a lot of balls in midfield, our passing below par at times. However after we scored we were different class. RednBlackComeback summed it up neatly: Thought it was quite a scrappy first half, until Rooney made a run from virtually his own corner flag all the way to Morton's penalty spot . It seemed to change the game and we scored shortly after. Second half we got a perfect start and never looked back. Can't remember the last time we won 5-0 at home in the league. Tremendous result! If you can access BBC iPlayer, the whole game can be seen HERE Match video will be uploaded when available............... Robbo is pleased MotM James Keatings talks after his two goals...... Date: 30/08/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1400 Referee: Alan Newlands Inverness CT: 5 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Doran (Storey 74), Carson, Vincent, Walsh, Keatings (MacGregor 82), White (Todorov 79). Subs (not used): C Mackay; Trafford, McHattie, MacGregor, Welsh, Todorov, Storey. Scorers: Keatings (43, 46), White (67), Donaldson (77), Todorov (80) Booked: Rooney (61) Sent Off: none Morton: 0 Lineup: Rogers; Welsh, McLean, Jacobs, Millar, McAlister, Strapp, Colville (Sutton 64), Cadden (Muirhead 81), Nesbitt (Salkeld 53), McHugh. Subs (not used): Ramsbottom; Grant, Blues, Orsi. Scorers: none Booked: Jacobs (34), Salkeld (57) Sent Off: none a
  7. Friday night Footie After what seems like a lifetime, another game comes along this weekend at the Caledonian Stadium. However this one is Friday night footie with Greenock Morton the visitors, the game kicking off at 7:05pm with BBC Scotland cameras looking on. Rumour has it there will be very few away fans as many are boycotting the game due to the scheduling of the match for TV purposes. Last weekend we shared the points with Dundee at Dens Park in a goalless draw. This was a much improved performance from the dull League Cup affair when we went down to a Danny Johnson strike. This time we more than matched Dundee and could easily have taken all three points after creating a number of decent opportunities. Unfortunately we spurned most of them but went very close on a few occasions with keeper Hamilton pulling off a couple of excellent saves as well. Morton are the new TV luvvies with their last game also being televised. They came from 2-0 down to defeat Partick Thistle 3-2. Three goals in an eight minute spell late in the second half from Nicky Cadden, John Sutton and Brian McLean turned the game in their favour and lifted them to second in the Championship. There's also a first Dundee derby taking place on Friday night at Tannadice with United looking to keep their winning start to the season going and Dundee hoping to do everyone else a favour. David Hopkin has replaced Jonatan Johansson as manager at Cappielow, coming back to the club he supported as a kid and began his playing career with. The former Livingston manager joined in the middle of May and has begun shaping his side for his three year tenure. He raided Livvi and took Nicky Cadden with him. He also has a loan deal for Cameron Blues. Other players he will be looking to do a job for him are Keeper Danny Rogers on loan from (Aberdeen), forward Robbie Muirhead (Pars), midfielders Aidan Nesbitt, (Dundee United), Kyle Jacobs (QotS) and Calvin Orsi (Brechin), defender Peter Grant (Carlisle) and 36 year old John Sutton as player coach. They have also just added young Celtic defender Stephen Welsh on loan from Celtic for the season. Amongst the notable departures are forward Gary Oliver and defender Lee Kilday, ( both QotS); Robert Thomson, forward (Alloa Athletic); Derek Gaston, goalkeeper (Arbroath); Charlie Telfer, midfielder (Falkirk); Michael Tidser, midfielder (Falkirk). Greg Kiltie has returned to Kilmarnock and Andrew Dallas has gone back to Rangers. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ OFFICIAL PREVIEW DIGITAL MATCHDAY PROGRAMME ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Robbo will be without Brad McKay for another couple of months after further examination showed he has a cracked vertebrae. Get well soon Brad. Mitch Curry is also sidelined for a few weeks. Sean Welsh was on the bench against Dundee but may not be fully fit yet. Charlie Trafford missed out last week with a knock but should make the squad. David Hopkin had this line-up to choose from in their game against Partick Thistle: Morton (V Partick Th): Rogers; McAlister, McLean, Grant (Colville 68′), Strapp, Jacobs, Lyon (Millar 4′), Blues (Sutton 57′), Cadden, Nesbitt, McHugh Defender Henk Van Schaik has mutually terminated his contract at Morton after joining from Livingston in the summer. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Here's a game coming up for next weeks diary........... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 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." ICT WIN 20/29 - DRAW 14/5 - MORTON WIN 7/2 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.
  8. 25 years on On our 25th Anniversary game and a moment to remember the legend that set us on our way, Alan Hercher, many fans were left wondering if those that started it all would have been out of place on a day where the occasion was greater than the game. Inverness fumbled their way to three points thanks to a Miles Storey thunderbolt not dealt with by Arbroath keeper Darren Jamieson with around ten minutes left. It all started well for the Smokies as they took the lead in the 25th minute. A Jason Thomson cross found it's way to Bobby Linn standing all on his own at the far side of the box. He was given ample time to control the ball, tee it up and drive it into the net without being pestered by a defender. Shoddy from Inverness but Linn didn't care. We levelled the game just on half time when James Keatings threaded a great ball into the box and Aaron Doran ran onto it and slid the ball neatly home. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ John Robertson sprung a couple of surprises before kick off. Jordan White retained his place as main striker and Shaun Rooney started at right back after a lengthy lay off through injury in pre-season. Charlie Trafford was benched (huff) with James Vincent starting. Dick Campbell was without Gavin Swankie but danger man Steven Dorris started, however his day only lasted quarter of an hour. Almost 2300 fans welcomed the sides onto the park and with some original legends looking on, there was a rousing minutes applause to remember the legendary Alan Hercher who scored that memorable hat-trick in our opening League game 25 years ago against Arbroath. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Speaking on BBC Sport Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "There was a lot of distractions this week with everything going on - the 25th anniversary, fact it was Arbroath and the launch of the Alan Hercher Enclosure and our tribute to our first ever captain today. "I thought we started well. We lost a goal and it rocked us a bit but then we got a really good equaliser and we kept pressing and pressing and pressing and eventually got the goal." Arbroath manager Dick Campbell: "We are winning 1-0 and we end up losing 2-1 and the second goal is a mistake by the keeper - you would expect him any time to stop that shot. "I've no complaints about the way we are going about our jobs. We've seen in these first two games that we really have to work hard. But the harder you work the luckier you get." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The newly surfaced pitch looked in great condition considering the downpours in recent days and Arbroath were first to have a go but Mark Whatley's free kick went wide with Ridgers watching it closely. Aaron Doran responded at the other end but he shot tamely straight at the keeper and had a second effort stopped in similar fashion minutes later. Bobby Linn was proving to be the visitors best option and with Rooney getting little help from Walsh, he stood off him and that gave Linn the space to probe his way into the box and he saw one effort go over and Mark Ridgers save his second attempt. White headed wide and soon after Dorris was replaced by Michael McKenna, the striker unable to continue after picking up a knock. Inverness started to take control of the game at this point but we passed up on some great opportunities to open the scoring. Carson, Doran, Walsh and Keatings all having goes. The most audacious effort came from Keatings as he connected well with an overhead kick but Jamieson reacted well to save. Shortly after Jordan White headed tamely at Jamieson, Arbroath took the lead. A deep cross found Linn once more in space and he steadied himself before rifling a powerful shot through the keeper and into the net. Two minutes later he was given more space than the fans in the North Stand would have liked him to have but Ridgers saved his effort. However, Inverness worked their way back into the game and just on half time a brilliant ball from James Keatings saw Doran run through the middle to guide the ball home. Half Time 1-1 The second half had barely started when Arbroath almost snatched a second goal but a ball into the box was missed by defenders and forwards alike and the chance was gone. A swift break forward down the right saw Walsh cut a low ball into the path of Doran but his first time shot was somewhat strangled and Jamieson smothered the ball. One of the few incisive breaks forward amongst our mostly casual and pedestrian approach. Jamie McCart headed wide as the pressure mounted on the visiting defence and we would inflict more problems for them when Miles Storey replaced White on the hour. He showed some good pace when he sprinted down the left side on a surge but the move petered out after an Arbroath defender bounced of Storey as he flexed his muscles. Powerful stuff and it would pay off with just under ten minutes to go. Storey got his reward after a thumping shot caught out the keeper, the sheer power of it deceiving him. Maybe he should have been able to keep it out, however, I'll give Miles the benefit of the doubt as he unleashed his shot from around the same area that Linn scored from after Tom Walsh picked up a loose ball and drove across the face of the box before feeding on to Storey. We looked to get a third but some staunch defending kept us at bay and in time added on Mark Ridgers had to be alert to ensure we never turned a win into a draw after he saved a Luke Donnelly shot from close range low down near the post. So, not the classic we saw 25 years ago, but a welcome three points against a well organised Arbroath side who despite having Dorris replaced still caused problems for our disheveled defence with Bobby Linn their star man. Difficult to pick any standouts for Inverness but David Carson put in a good shift and did lots of tidying up so he get's my nod for best on the park. Miles Storey did well when he came on, his bustling style causing problems for the defenders and well done to Mark Ridgers for staying alert right to the final whistle. The real Man of the Match was Alan Hercher. Footage from Caley Jags TV Here's Robbo......... And he's Miles better now............ Date: 10/08/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2298 Referee: Mike Roncone Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers, Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Doran (Todorov 73), Carson, Vincent, Walsh, Keatings, White (Storey 60). Subs (not used): C Mackay; Harper, Machado, MacGregor, Trafford. Scorers: Doran (44), Storey (82) Booked: Donaldson (47) Sent Off: none Arbroath: 1 Lineup: Jamieson; Thomson, Little, O'Brien, Hamilton, Stewart (Donnelly 84), Murphy (Gold 74), Whatley, Linn, Doris (McKenna 16), Spence. Subs (not used): Gaston; Kader, Wilson Scorers: Linn (26) Booked: Spence (5) Sent Off: none a
  9. The Smokies are coming After a slow start at Tannadice last week, 25 years on from the historic visit of Arbroath FC, Inverness welcome the now Championship newcomers Arbroath to the Caledonian Stadium on Saturday in a 3:00pm kick off. We won't mention Bon Accord, or the lack of pies at Gayfield. However we will mention that you cruised to the League 1 title last season, ending seven points clear of Forfar Athletic. Congratulations on that achievement. To celebrate our 25th year in existence, we will be wearing out new 3rd kit with the ICT 25 logo on it. Very smart indeedy. These kits are now on sale at the club shop or you can order them through the official site. Lets hope they can kick start our season in this game which is as close to the 25th year of the one that started it all. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Cast your mind back 25 years to the Glorious 12th. No, not the start of the grouse shooting, but our first home game in the Scottish Football leagues. Caledonian Thistle, as we were known back then, and what a momentous occasion that was. How fitting it was that club captain, hero, legend and all round terrific guy Alan Hercher scored the first three League goals for this club. In midweek, it had all kicked off on 9th August 1994 for Caledonian Thistle with a 2-0 League Cup win at Firs Park, East Stirlingshire where Wilson Robertson and Alan Hercher netted the goals to see us progress to a tie against Dundee. On Saturday August 12th, a crowd of 1700 saw the Caley Jags beat Arbroath 5-2 at Telford Street and the rest is history. Sadly Alan Hercher is no longer with us having been taken too soon, but his memories will live forever in the archives of this club. After Hercher had scored a twenty minute hat-trick, the Lichties hit back with a couple of goals through Brock and Reilly, but further goals from Paul McKenzie and Wilson Robertson put us firmly on the radar. We have gone on to have a wonderful roller coaster of emotions since then culminating in the Scottish Cup win over Falkirk at Hampden Park on 30th May 2015. Here's to the next 25 years! Watch the action here, you might even see yourself in Telford Street............ There's an article on the OFFICIAL SITE regarding the 25th anniversary match. OFFICIAL PREVIEW ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ On matchday one we suffered badly at the hands of a rampant Lawrence of Arabia who scored all four goals for the Arabs with Tom Walsh scoring what turned out to be little more than a consolation for the Caley Jags. By the end of the game we were well beaten, but it could have been a different outcome had we taken some early chances, notably James Keatings hitting the post before United took the lead. As it was, Shankland showed why United are forking out the big money for him. Arbroath entertained a Dobbieless Queen of the South at Gayfield and their opener ended goalless. That was their first game in the Championship for sixteen years and they will be reasonably happy with a point to get their season off and running. Steven Doris passed up on a couple of good opportunities and he will be a handful for any club. Arbroath manager Dick Campbell said: "You would have to be happy with a point when we're playing a full-time team. We're not going to be easy fodder for anybody, because we've got good players." Added to their League 1 winning squad are Derek Gaston, goalkeeper from Morton; Scott Stewart, defender from Airdrie; Robert Wilson, defender from Berwick and James Murphy, who is a midfielder. Brad Mckay was helped off the park at Tannadice, his neck in a brace and he ended up in hospital to get checked out, bruising is the problem. Along with Shaun Rooney, Sean Welsh and Mitch Curry he will miss this weekends game against Arbroath. Rooney and Welsh are reported to be doing light training in their recuperation process. Aaron Doran has been cleared to play after a suspected broken finger has proven to be ok. We have a problem at right back with David Carson filling in, but he's not really filling that role with any conviction. Charlie Trafford has become a liability with a yellow card in the refs pocket with his name on it before a ball is kicked. Choices for Robertson to make. We keep hearing how good some of our youngsters are, so it's about time we actually saw them. However, we won't be seeing Daniel Mackay or Daniel Hoban unless we go to Elgin. They have been loaned out until January. See OFFICIAL SITE. Dick Campbell is as shrewd as they come and he will get the most out of his part-time squad. His new additions will compliment his title winning squad with Steven Doris the main goal threat. Bobby Linn is another with a bit of pedigree and worth keeping the shackles on him. The experienced former Dundee midfielder Gavin Swankie will be a key player for Arbroath. Midfielder Michael McKenna and defender Thomas O'Brien will be looking to start. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Have a listen to the latest podcast from the Wyness Shuffle. This one is entitled A SEAGULL IN A CARRIER BAG. Don't ask me where they get the names from, but well worth a listen and keep up the good work guys. SHAUN ROONEY: MUTILATOR was the opening podcast and it has been well received. In hindsight, maybe it should have been called Shaun Rooney mutilated given his absence through injury picked up in pre-season. Hopefully, Rooney and Welsh will be back sooner rather than later as they begin light training. Fansbet are sponsors of CTO Odds for today. H10/19 - D 3-1 A9/2
  10. Cove Test On Tuesday night 25 year old Inverness Caledonian Thistle welcome the newest club to make the leap into the football leagues. Former Highland League outfit Cove Rangers have stepped up after gaining promotion into League Two since removing Berwick Rangers from the League set-ups. Congratulations to Cove and I'm sure they will make an impact. It's more Betfred action with Inverness looking to recover after a poor start in their opening fixture at Peterhead. We clawed ourselves back into the equation with a 4-1 win over Raith Rovers at the weekend. Goals from Jordan White, Coll Donaldson, Aaron Doran and Nikolay Todorov saw us take the full three points. That sets us up nicely for Tuesday's game against Cove at the Caledonian Stadium. We made life difficult for ourselves against Raith but a couple of swift strikes after they equalised was enough to take the wind out of their sails as we upped the pace and pulled away from them. Despite a lethargic first half, we ended the game well on top with some promising performances. Tom Walsh was the pick of the players on show with three assists, and there were excellent contributions from David Carson, James Keatings Jamie McCart and at times, James Vincent. Overall a deserved win and gives the fans some encouragement for the campaign ahead. The grass looked great as well! Cove began their new chapter with a narrow 2-1 defeat at Peterhead. Only the woodwork, twice, denied Cove from taking something from this game. They went even closer with a 0-0 draw against Dundee before the Premiership relegated Dark Blues took the bonus point after winning the penalty shoot-out 3-2. Daniel Park almost gave Cove the lead but his effort crashed back off the bar. Still, a tremendous performance in front of near 1500 appreciative fans. Sean Welsh and Shaun Rooney are out longer term. Brad Mckay missed the Raith game as did Kevin McHattie, both pulled a sickie. Carl Tremarco took a nasty knock against Raith but it takes a lot to stop the wee man from playing on. Good to see Aaron Doran and Daniel Mackay getting some game time, Mackay scoring twice for a young squad at Brora on Friday night. Cove were without several first choice players against Dundee, notably experienced captain Mitch Megginson. Daniel Higgins just joined the day before the Dundee game and was exceptional in defence. He had previously played under Paul Hartley when at Dens Park. Let's hear it for head groundsman Dale Stephen and his team as they have transformed the playing surface from Wet Sand to the Green Green Grass of Home in the space of six weeks The surface looked in great nick for the opening game against Raith Rovers at the weekend after six weeks of work improving drainage and re-seeding the grass in around 40 days. You can see more of the progress on the official site by clicking HERE And if you have some spare time Dale, my garden is in a bit of a boorach. Just sayin............
  11. ICT 4-1 Raith First game on the new grass and it we christened it with three points in our Group D game against Raith Rovers to put us third in the table on four points. In the other group game, Dundee earned the bonus penalty point to top the group on seven after a 0-0 draw with Peterhead who have six. Inverness eventually eased past Raith Rovers for their first win in the competition this season. However, despite getting an early opener through the head of Jordan White, we failed to build on that in an underwhelming first half where creating opportunities seemed to be somewhat difficult. Fortunately Raith were in no position to take advantage and the first half ended at 1-0 with Rovers building in confidence. Coll Donaldson picked up a needless booking for kicking the ball away after conceding a free kick in time added on at the break. Doh! The second half was only five minutes in when Rovers equalised after we gave them some space down the left flank. When the ball came in Lewis Allan drove it behind Ridgers from 15 yards, the assist coming from Kieran MacDonald. That stirred the hosts into action and within eight minutes we had scored twice to settle the tie. Firstly Coll Donaldson glanced a header in from a Tom Walsh corner and a few minutes later Aaron Doran rounded off a lovely move down the right and hit Walsh's cross first time into the net after a step over from White. Walsh was the instigator in most things ICT and he ghosted through three or four players before forcing Munro to tip his 25 yard effort over the bar for a corner. But he wasn't finished yet and substitute Nocolay Todorov ended the scoring when he headed Walsh's superb cross home from close range. Here's hot Toddy heading home his first for the club........... It's still early in the season but you can sense some promise on the park. We did appear a little cagey in the first half despite the early goal. David Carson is not a right back but he is very energetic and looks like he will be a good box to box midfielder. Donaldson took his goal well as did Doran, and good to see both striker and understudy score. James Keatings has plenty to offer once he is fully up to speed. My MotM today was Tom Walsh who was the man that made us go through the gears as we eased away from Raith Rovers who were well beaten by the end of the game. Tom talking after his MotM performance against Rovers......... And Robbo gives his thoughts post match............ Footage from Raith TV Date: 20/07/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1054 Referee: Gavin Ross Inverness CT: 4 Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Doran (Curry 83), Trafford, Vincent, Walsh, Keatings (MacGregor 72), White (Todorov 78). Subs (not used): C Mackay, Nicolson, Harper, Brown. Scorers: White, Donaldson, Doran, Todorav Booked: Donaldson (45+1) Sent Off: none Raith Rovers: 1 Lineup: Munro; Miller, Benedictus, Mendy, MacDonald, McKay, Hendry (Tait 89), Davidson, Anderson (Bowie 78), Allan (Vitoria 82), Mathews. Subs (not used): Watson, Smith. Scorers: Allan Booked: Miller (36), Benedictus (20) Sent Off: none a
  12. New Turf for Betfred Cup Action. Raith Rovers are the visitors on Saturday for our second Betfred group stage game. Both sides will be looking to do better after underwhelming opening results in the competition where Dundee and Peterhead top the group D table with 5 points. We will unveil our newly grassed surface after improvement work on the drainage and soil was undertaken in the closed season. Well done to Dale Stephen and his team for getting the pitch ready for action Here's a wee glimpse of the new grass pictured a week ago, and what a difference they have made in the space of a few weeks. From a sandy lunar surface to the green green grass of home since it was all dug up at the end of last season. Let's hope we can put the grass to good use and start off with a win. We drew 0-0 with Peterhead in our opening group game at Balmoor Stadium. The hosts took the bonus point after an astonishing penalty shoot-out. All the outfield players on the park at full time scored their spot kicks and it boiled down to keepers Mark Ridgers and Greg Fleming. Unfortunately, Ridgers sliced his kick and Fleming made it 11-10 to win the extra point. Raith went down 3-0 to relegated Dundee in their opening game at Starks Park. Raith have always proven to be difficult opponents and I expect no different tomorrow. Let's hope we don't need a 94th minute Richie Foran overhead kick to win the game this time round. In saying that, it's 19 years since they last beat Inverness! Rovers last victory was a 2-1 win in the First Division back in October 2000, and since then, they’ve managed just two draws in 18 meetings. The last time the sides met was in the same competition a year ago, when a late Daniel McKay goal sealed a 2-1 win for the home side after Grant Gillespie had brought Rovers level, following Nathan Austin’s opener. We also face another testing time at home on Tuesday night as new League Two side Cove Rangers come to Inverness. Cove showed their resilience against last seasons Premiership fall guys, Dundee by drawing with them at the Balmoral Stadium. However, they suffered the same fate as us in the penalty shoot-out for the bonus point. We have a number of injury worries ahead of this game. Sean Welsh is still unavailable after breaking his foot last season. Shaun Rooney is out for a couple of months and Brad Mckay was taken off with a hamstring injury at Peterhead. Daniel Mackay and Aaron Doran were also missing on Tuesday night, and Kevin McHattie has reported in injured. Robbo has hinted that we could see more youngsters due to potential injury problems. That could mean a start for Harry Nicolson at right back or maybe Cameron Harper given our defensive issues. It will also be an opportunity for home fans to get a glimpse of our new signings. James Keatings, James Vincent and David Carson are likely starters with Mitchell Curry and Nokolay Todorov maybe getting an airing at some point. And if you haven't already seen young Brazilian Matheus Machado playing, look out for him. He's going to be a star one day and big things are predicted for him along with Roddy MacGregor (he's one of our own). Plenty to ponder for John Robertson who was less than impressed with the way Peterhead dominated large spells of the game last Tuesday night. There was a hastily arranged friendly at Brora on Friday night and the good news is that Daniel Mackay (pictured right) played from the start and on his return from injury scored two goals in the first half, one from the spot. That game ended 2-2. Remember to have a listen to The Wyness Shuffle podcast created by some of our own fans for your pleasure. Here's the Official Preview from ICTFC. Lot of info in there. 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/ Here's the page for INVERNESS v RAITH where FansBet have ICT as big favourites to win. Just click on Scottish League Cup. Let's hope they are right! Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  13. Advantage United John Robertson's side were reduced to ten men just after half time and that swung the pendulum towards the visitors. Jordan White headed against the post in the first half, but Liam Polworth was red carded three minutes after the break. Despite the numerical advantage, Inverness made United work hard for their break and it came in the 78th minute after substitute Nicky Clark hit the post and Paul McMullan slotted in the rebound. Harsh on Inverness who had battled really hard to make up for the loss of Polworth. Only half time in the tie though and still all to play for at Tannadice where we won 2-1 in the Scottish Cup. United will know they will be in for a hard time and our lads will give it everything, similar to tonight. Great effort with Shaun Rooney outstanding. Jamie McCart was immense at the back and Mark Ridgers assured dealing with early crosses. Aaron Doran looked lively early on before fading in the second half when we were down to ten. The winners over the two legs will face either St Mirren or Hamilton Accies. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ On BBC Sport:- Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "We don't feel it's a red car. It could easily have sufficed with a yellow. For the referee to change the whole complexion of the game on that incident - we feel hard done by. "I can understand why he's given it - we know the laws of the game. It is what it is. We are 1-0 down. We've won at Tannadice before. We go down there full of confidence." Dundee United manager Robbie Neilson: "Pleased with tonight but by no means are we on easy street now. We've got a tough, tough game coming up. "The sending off has a bearing on the game. I've been delighted with Paul McMullan since I came in. He's got potential to really go far in the game because he's got that pace and he's got the fitness levels as well." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness were without the injured Tom Walsh and Carl Tremarco, with Anthony McDonald and Kevin McHattie starting. Dundee United had a clean bill of health after a ten day break whilst Inverness had battled through two tough games against Ayr United to get here. It was a wonderful sunny evening as United took to the park in front of a healthy and vociferous travelling support of over 1,000, welcoming their team into the Caledonian Stadium as if they had won the world cup itself. The North Stand was sparsely populated and like a morgue in comparison. Apathy rules in the Highland capital I'm afraid. The visitors kicked off and Coll Donaldson was immediately the target of their small minded section who took every opportunity to have a go at him as he won a free kick inside the first minute. Get over him Arabs. Liam Polworth fired a cross into the box which Siegrist parried clear as we made our intentions clear, but it was Mark Ridgers that had to make the first save after Peter Pawlett fed Osman Sow and Ridgers saved down low as the big striker smothered his shot from a good position. Polworth headed on to Joe Chalmers and the Dingwall target fired just wide as the game ebbed and flowed in the evening light. In the 23rd minute, Jordan White almost broke the deadlock as his header back across the keeper bounced off his right post, Siegrist beaten but the rebound was smuggled clear. The hosts were getting on top and a poor clearance by the United keeper almost led to a chance for White and Polworth, but it was snuffed out for a corner. From the clearance, the energetic Shaun Rooney fired a shot from Richie Hart area a couple of yards over the bar. United's main threat was Paul McMullan, he of dubious diving decisions and errant hand balls. Tonight he was simply playing football and his pace was causing Kevin McHattie a torrid time. Ridgers had to be alert to catch a high shot towards goal from the wee neckless hunchback as he demonstrated his menace. Pavol Safranko shot wide from the resultant corner. Siegrist gathered a White header as we pressed for the opener, but it lacked any power to beat the keeper. To the delight of the Dundee United fans, Coll Donaldson was booked for felling Pawlett, the biggest cheer since the teams came out onto the park. Right on half time he foolishly gave away another free kick on the edge of the box, the forward heading away from the box but Coll tested the patience of the referee and brought another round of soccer rage from the vising fans. The free kick came to nothing fortunately and that brought an end to a high tempo first half with both teams having a go. Half Time 0-0 Safranko stayed in the dressing room after the break with Calum Booth replacing him. It made Donaldson lighter as the big forward had now left his pocket. Three minutes into the second period and disaster for Inverness . As Polworth tried to flick his toe towards the ball on the edge of our box, Mark Connelly lowered his head and made a meal of going down and clutching his face. Surely an ambulance would be called. No, instead of blue lights, we got a red card for Polly who could have made his final contribution for the Caley Jags. Surprisingly there seemed to be little if any damage to the Arabs player who was on his feet soon after. The free kick came to nothing, but the red card changed the dynamics of the game. Aaron Doran and big Jordan linked well with White's shot blocked as he pulled the trigger, close call for United as the ten men continued to cause them problems. None moreso than the marauding Shaun Rooney who was like a duracell bunny all night. United were beginning to wear down Inverness, gradually, and substitute Nicky Clark tested Ridgers with a low drive. Cameron Harper had replaced a tiring Doran by now for the hosts. Ten minutes after coming on, the fresh legs of Clark saw United take the lead. McMullan benefited from a McHattie headed clearance that rattled off his chest, he then toe poked the ball to Clark and he fired a low shot back across the keeper from around the penalty spot. It cannoned off the left hand post of Ridgers and as we failed to react quick enough, McMullan buried the ball low into the net off the opposite post. Incredible set of circumstances and very harsh on the ten men of Inverness who had still looked dangerous on the break. Charlie Trafford had a shot saved and Callum Smith shot over as the game just ran away from us, but what an effort from the guys, just a pity so few bothered to turn up to watch the game and preferred watching on TV or washing their hair. Everything to play for at Tannadice and United will be wary of us. Red card or no red card? Well, if you ask the referee to make a decision and put him on the spot then there's every chance they will get it wrong and ruin what was a highly entertaining game up to that point. Many pundits (and Robbo) reckon a yellow would have sufficed, but we are talking third rate Scottish referee's here. Meh! No failures in the red and blue of the Caley Jags who were best served by sponsors MotM Aaron Doran until he tired, Jamie McCart who continues to impress and was a rock at the back, Charlie Trafford who just keeps getting better and the guy that impressed me with his Tokelyesque marauding runs down the flank, Shaun Rooney. Unfortunately United were best served by the three that mattered most, Nicky Clark, the menacing sprinter Paul McMullan, and Siegrist's right hand post. Doh! Here's the action from the SPFL site And here is Robbo................ Date: 14/05/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2604 Referee: Nick Walsh Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, McHattie, Rooney, Trafford, Polworth, Chalmers, Doran (Harper 72), White (Austin 81). Subs (not used): C Mackay, MacGregor, Gunn, McCauley, McDonald. Scorers: none Booked: Donaldson (38), Ridgers (48) Sent Off: Polworth (48) Dundee United: 1 Lineup: Siegrist; Watson, Reynolds, Connelly, Robson, Harkes, Butcher, McMullan (C Smith 85), Pawlett, Sow (Clark 68), Safranko (Booth 45). Subs (not used): Laidlaw; M Smith, Frans, Bouhenna. Scorers: McMullan (78) Booked: Booth (90+1) Sent Off: none a
  14. Lets Work Together It'a double header against United this week in the play-off semi-finals, a place in the Premiership still up for grabs after we disposed of Ayr United at the weekend on a 4-2 aggregate score. Its certainly worth the effort to get behind the lads and give them as much backing as possible as we look to take an advantage down to Tannadice for what will be a difficult game considering the gruelling schedule of the play-offs. So, come on now people, lets work together, every boy, girl, woman and man! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ TICKET PRICES FOR Dundee United ARE AS FOLLOWS: Adult: £15 Concession: £8 Tickets can be bought online HERE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Whilst the Arabs have been sitting back relaxing for a couple of weeks, we have been kind of busy. A 3-1 win at Ayr with Charlie Trafford and Jordan White (2) doing the damage to set us up nicely for the return leg four days later. Ayr sniffed an opportunity after scoring a goal in the first leg through Michael Rose to offer them a glimmer of hope, and that hope became reality after Luke McCowan scored early in the first half at the Caledonian Stadium. The home fans were treated to some entertaining football, unfortunately most of that came from the Honest Men. However, we did eradicate the squeaky bums when Coll Donaldson claimed the goal to ease the tension and see us safely through to meet his chums, Dundee United. And breathe. It had been a tremendous season for Ayr, but it was all over for them at the final whistle as their vocal fans were mutually applauded at the end by manager and players alike. They will know that the likes of Michael Rose and top scorer Lawrence Shankland will be moving on, such is the price to pay for relative success in a league where survival is a threat for all but the most affluent of clubs. Shankland has around thirty clubs tracking him. He is a wonderful striker and how I wish we were one of the clubs after him, but I'm afraid he will be looking for a much bigger wage than we could offer so that'll be a no. For Inverness, playing our 50th game of the season, the torture goes on and after a season of draws (15 now), we are still in with a chance of promotion albeit having to do this by the long route. Never before has a team that finished third or fourth been able to get through the punishing schedule designed to assist the top flight teams and run the legs off the rest. I imagine we will line up something like this. We have a couple of worries ahead of this game with Tom Walsh going off before the hour against Ayr feeling his thigh. He looked slightly off the pace on Saturday and might need to rest up. Anthony McDonald replaced him and did very well when he came on, snapping at the heels and making darting runs, something we missed in the first hour. Captain Carl Tremarco was not involved at all as he recovers from a calf injury and rest is the only cure. Other than that no further injuries that Robbo is willing to mention ahead of this encounter. Key players in this tie will be mainly in defence. Mark Ridgers, Coll Donaldson and Jamie McCart will be crucial to our success as a United side brimming with quality players look to avoid the Dundee derby next season. Aaron Doran and Jordan White will be our main goal threat and if ever we needed Liam Polworth to produce his best, then Tuesday night would be a great time for it. Some good news, James Keatings has signed a two year deal with the Caley Jags. He has played for both Hearts and Hibs and was at Celtic in his early days. His most productive days were at the two Edinbutgh clubs and Hamilton Accies where he scored a total of 41 times. Read more on this at ICTFC. Pavol Safranko and Paul McMullan will be on our radar. But incisive midfielders like Peter Pawlett and Nicky Clark are dangerous on the break. We all know that McMullan is prone to fall inside the area, and maybe get away with handing the ball sometimes, but what we also know is that hidden behind his scheming exterior is a quality player with an eye for goal, definitely one to watch. Are you listening ref! The Arabs have had the luxury of a ten day break since losing to Morton on the 4th of May and even then they afforded some of their players the day off as there was nothing at stake for them. Robbie Neilson was happy enough with that given he has no injuries or red cards to deal with ahead of the play-off. That's the luxury that Robbo is not too happy about, but we knew the rules so let's get on with it. Lastly, The Arabs have a secret weapon in their ranks. The lovely Lorraine Kelly has thrown her hat , scarf and knickers into the ring and is firmly behind the Tangerines in their bid to get back into the Premiership. Or is she? Lorraine had been a lifelong fan of United but since we knocked them out of the Scottish Cup she has changed her allegiance to Inverness. Good on you girl, I'll buy you a breakfast for that. An interesting game in Paisley tonight and I'm sure Robertson and Neilson will be keeping an eye on the outcome as one of these teams will be in the play-off final. At the moment St Mirren are favourites to enter the play-offs being four points behind Hamilton with only two games to go. Cue music from the Great Escape! *** UPDATE ST Mirren 2-0 Hamilton. *** Hello George! Another striker made the Championship headlines this season and it's congratulations to the evergreen Stephen Dobbie who scored a hat-trick at the weekend for his 43rd goal of the campaign. That is a seasons best for a Queen of the South player, Nicky Clark and Jimmy Rutherford jointly having the previous best at 41. As big Bob Hite one said to Johndo: Together we stand, divided we fall. So, Lets work together, every boy, girl, woman and man
  15. One down, two to go. Inverness booked their place in the next stage of the play-offs after a rather uncomfortable 1-1 draw with Ayr United. As expected Ayr came out of the blocks flying and deservedly took the lead through Luke McCowan in the 19th minute. It took until the 79th minute before we eased the pain on the supporters when Coll Donaldson claimed he got a touch on Liam Polworth's inviting free kick into the danger area. It mattered not who scored it, but it was a crucial goal that scuppered Ayr's hopes of taking the tie into extra time. Inverness will now play Dundee United on Tuesday night, the return at Tannadice on the Friday night. St Mirren are in pole position to be the Premiership fall guys unless Accies blow a four point lead going into the final two games, Dundee already relegated. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ TICKET PRICES FOR Dundee United ARE AS FOLLOWS: Adult: £15 Concession: £8 Tickets can be bought online HERE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A noisy crowd in the away end met the teams as they came out on a sunny afternoon at the Caledonian Stadium. Carl Tremarco was still injured and Kevin McHattie started again in a familiar looking side for this crucial second leg tie. Ian McCall had Luke McCowan on from the start and Robbie Crawford was deemed fit enough to take his place in the side. Michael Moffat was on the bench for the Honest Men and top scorer Lawrence Shankland would be the man to keep an eye on. Around 2500 watched this one and Ayr started brightly without causing too much concern. However, it was Jordan White who had the first couple of attempts. The first was blocked by Ross Doohan in the visitors goal after White was fed through on the right side, Doohan blocking as White tried to dink the ball behind him. The second effort was a shot on the turn from the edge of the box which the keeper gathered with ease. From that save, Ayr took the lead when a crossfield pass from Shankland found Declan McDaid scampering down the right flank. His cross took a slight deflection off Jamie McCart's leg but it still found McCowan sprinting across the box to fire high into the net from six yards. Ayr were looking slick at this point and their passing game was outdoing the stifled approach from Inverness who looked a little edgy in the opening half. White saw an effort saved and Robbie Crawford could have done better than shoot wide at the other end. As Inverness upped the pace heading to wards the break Aaron Doran shot wide and they ended the half on top, but a goal behind on the day. Half Time 0-1 Inverness were dealt a blow ten minutes into the second half as Tom Walsh left the field feeling his hamstring to be replaced by Anthony McDonald. McDaid shot wide as Ayr looked to level the aggregate score and Mark Ridgers had to look smart to deny a header from Skankland. McDaid and Crawford were next to go wide as Inverness restricted the visitors to trying speculative efforts, but it was an uneasy spell for the hosts. We began to get to grips with the game and Jamie McCart headed wide and a couple of minutes later we were level. Aaron Doran was fouled some thirty yards from goal wide on the left. Liam Polworth curled an inviting ball into the mix and White and Coll Donaldson were left unmarked as they both rose for the ball. There was little doubt where the ball ended up, but Donaldson claimed he touched it with his hair and the relief in the stands was instant as Coll took the plaudits from the North Stand, his first goal this season. Ayr almost went in front again just two minutes later as Andy Murdoch unleashed a thumping shot from outside the box but Ridgers was equal to it. Time was now running out for United to take the game to extra time and their frustration showed as they picked up a couple of late bookings as Inverness looked more assured towards the end of a game they had struggled to control for long spells. Not a classic by any manner or means, but that vital 3-1 win at Somerset Park set Inverness up and enabled them to take it easier than they might have done had the match been all square. Great contributions from MotM Coll Donaldson with his partner Jamie McCart also playing well as we defended in depth at times. Aaron Doran was the pick of the forwards as he twisted and turned his way down the wing and Jordan White showed his worth once more, using his power and height to good effect. All in, not a great spectacle, and Ian McCall seems a bit miffed that his side were the best team over the two legs. I've got news for you Ian, Inverness play Dundee United on Tuesday night and Ayr United's wonderful season has ended. So Caledonian Stadium on Tuesday night and Tannadice on Friday night. A schedule John Robertson has voiced his concerns over preferring the option of Wednesday and Sunday. The winners will play St Mirren or Hamilton who meet on Monday night and that could decide who is in the play-off final. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Here's the managers speaking to BBC Sport Inverness manager John Robertson: "It's a strange situation defending a two-goal lead at home - it's awkward. The players weren't sure whether to go for it or to sit back and we were a bit safe. I thought we looked very nervous in the first 15-20 minutes. Ayr got a beautifully-worked goal and that woke us up a bit. These matches are done over 180 minutes and we've come through it." Ayr manager Ian McCall: "I'm very disappointed. I'm very proud of the players and what they've put in over two years and a lot of them will be leaving us for bigger clubs. I thought we were the better team in both games in terms of playing football and passing the ball but ultimately theses games are about getting through. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Not the best performance ever, but this was all about getting through to the next round of the play-off and so far it's mission accomplished with more difficult games to come. Good backing for the Ayr players must have given them a lift when they came on to the park and the moved the ball around better with Inverness looking edgy trying to protect that two goal cushion. Anyway, job done so far. Here's the goals from yesterdays game. No doubt about the Ayr scorer, but difficult to see who got the final touch although Donaldson is claiming the Inverness goal. Here's Johnny................... Date: 11/05/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2323 Referee: Steven McLean Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay (Rooney 63), Donaldson, McCart, McHattie, Walsh (McDonalld 54), Trafford, Polworth, Chalmers, Doran, White. Subs (not used): C Mackay, Harper, MacGregor, McCauley, Austin. Scorers: Donaldson (79 maybe) Booked: McHattie (89) Sent Off: none Ayr United: 1 Lineup: Doohan; Smith, Muirhead, Rose, Harvie, Crawford, Murdoch, Kerr (Cadden 83), McDaid (Miller 77), Shankland, McCowan (Moffat 65) Subs (not used): Hare-Reid; Forrest, Ecrepont, Docherty. Scorers: McCowan (19) Booked: Muirhead (29), Smith (45+1), Harvie (83), Shankland (87) Sent Off: none a
  16. Opportunity Knocks Inverness have a great opportunity of progressing to the next stage of the play-offs after gaining a 3-1 advantage from the first leg at Somerset Park thanks to goals from Charlie Trafford and a Jordan White brace. Whoever gets through, they will face Dundee United at their own ground on the 14th May, then again at Tannadice on the 17th May. It's a tough schedule and not for the weak. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Just day until we face Ayr United in the Premiership Play-Off Quarter-Final Second-Leg Who's coming along to get behind the Caley Jags in tomorrow's big game? Tickets available online Adult £12/ Concession £6/ Under 12s FREE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Given this week of comebacks of biblical proportions, think Liverpool Tottenham, it's not inconceivable that this tie has a bit to run yet. The first goal will be seen as vital by both clubs. An Inverness goal would virtually kill the tie, a goal for the visitors could well put a spanner in the works. Remember that away goals do not count in the event of the games finishing level over the two legs. The team that scores the most goals over the two legs go through to the next round. If the scores are level over the two legs then there will be extra-time and then penalties if required. What that means is if Ayr were to win 2-0, not absurd by any manner or means given our poor home results, we would be going into extra-time and the possibility of penalties. Bricking it yet? It was a somewhat controversial victory at Ayr with Ian McCall claiming our second goal was offside and the third should not have been a penalty. He always was a greetin faced wee nyaff with a chip on his shoulder if you ask me. It was a hard fought win on Tuesday night. Charlie Trafford broke the deadlock in the first half and Jordan White clipped in the second. Michael Rose pulled one back but White converted a penalty to restore our two goal cushion and that's how it ended. Those goals were White's 15th & 16th of the season. Not a bad return from the big fellow after a slow start. Here's the match video of the goals so you can judge for yourself if McCall was justified in his rant. Inverness have no further injury worries after the first leg. Coll Donaldson came through unscathed after being subbed against Dunfermline the week before. Carl Tremarco missed the game at Ayr with a calf injury with Kevin McHattie stepping up to the plate with ease. The injured Sean Welsh has signed a two year extension to his contract. Good news for Inverness fans and let's hope Sean makes a full and quick recovery from his current broken foot. Team News from Ayr:- Steven Bell, Jamie Adams, Craig Moore and Andy Geggan are out with injuries. Robbie Crawford was replaced at half time in the first leg and will be a doubt One man to be wary of is Lawrence Shankland who collected a new award this week. He picked up the inaugural Ladbrokes Championship Tartan Ball for finishing as top scorer in the league with 24 goals. Amongst that was a four goal haul at Tannadice when Ayr thumped the Arabs 5-0. Here's all his league goals for the season. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you like a wee flutter, 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.
  17. Third it is After all the speculation as to where we would finish in the league, a 1-0 victory over Dunfermline coupled with Ayr drawing with Alloa ensured we would finish third in the table. That means that the first play-off game will be on Tuesday night at Somerset Park with the return leg at the Caledonian Stadium the following Saturday. Ticket prices have been set at £12 for this game. We achieved this by virtue of a 1-0 defeat of the Pars in a low key game, but one that had an extra £75K bonus for finishing third tagged on to it. Nathan Austin tapped in the winner after a couple of bloopers saw him pick up the loose ball to score easily. Stuart Morrison's chest high pass back was not cleared successfully by keeper Cammy Gill and Austin was left with the simple task of rolling the ball into the net. Simples. John Robertson was without the injured Carl Tremarco and Sean Welsh. Mark Ridgers returned between the sticks after his finger dislocation at Hampden and Jamie McCart, Aaron Doran and Liam Polworth were all benched to give them a break. Darren McCauley and Nathan Austin had rare starts and Kevin McHattie deputised for Tremarco. Jordan White headed wide in the opening minutes and Nathan Austin shot past as we looked to open the scoring. It was however a bit like an end of season game. Wait a minute, that's exactly what it was. Tom Walsh and Austin had further attempts to score and at the other end Mark Ridgers was called into action to deny Bruce Anderson with a comfortable save, the shot lacking any real conviction. Joe Chalmers fired a free kick narrowly over, the ball rippling the roof of the net as it dipped just over the bar and one minute later Inverness broke the deadlock. Stuart Morrison was in no danger when he tried to pass back to keeper Cammy Gill. Unfortunately for Cammy, the ball arrived around head height. He tried to chest it down before hoofing it clear but it bounced off him and Austin reacted well to nick the ball and roll it into the empty net. Calamitous defending but a welcome goal for Austin and the home fans. James Craigen had an effort saved by Ridgers as the Pars tried to respond but we saw out the half to go in at the interval ahead. One worrying moment just on the half time whistle when Caley Thistle Online player of the year Coll Donaldson stretched low to thigh the ball back to Ridgers and looked as though he might have tweaked his thigh muscle slightly. Half Time 1-0 Our fears were confirmed after the break when Jamie McCart replaced Coll, hopefully just a precaution and CTO PotY Donaldson was subbed for Jamie McCart the CTO joint Young Player of the Year (with Tom Walsh). The visitors looked lively at the restart and Kallum Higginbotham's effort was well saved by Ridgers in the top half of the goal. To be honest, it was an uncomfortable second half display by the hosts who were not over exerting themselves, and with Dunfermline unable to take advantage it descended into the proverbial end of season fare. One bright spot was Tom Walsh thumping a shot off the post, the keeper doing well to push the ball onto the wood. We did just enough to hold onto the three points and the result from somerset Park confirmed our third position. Not the most exciting of games, but one with plenty of connotations, and they have been all sorted out now, so Ayr it is on Tuesday night and the prospect of a high energy game back at the Caledonian Stadium next Saturday, and for just £12. Bargain, see you all there. Lots of accolades dished out after the final whistle with Aaron Doran being awarded the Official player of the year by the fans and Tom Walsh the Young Player of the Year. 🏆 Final game, Cammy Gill, look away now..................... Scott Kellacher talking after the game....... OFFICIAL REPORT can be found HERE at ICTFC. Early casualties even before the games kicked off yesterday. Morton parted company with Jonatan Johansson two hours before kick off. A strange one at Palmerston as Queen of the South removed Gary Naysmith at their end of season do, and they still have the play-off's to contend with. WTF! Congratulations are also due to Alloa. Not only did they enable us to climb to third, they have avoided relegation and all done on a shoestring budget. Spare a thought for the Bairns. Scottish cup final in 2015, Scottish third tier 2019/2020 👶 Date: 04/05/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2828 Referee: Graham Beaton Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson (McCart 45), Mckay, McHattie, Chalmers, Trafford (Polworth 65), McCauley, Walsh, Austin (Doran 73), White Subs (not used): Mackay; Harper, McDonald, Machado Scorers: Austin (35) Booked: none Sent Off: none Dunfermline Ath: 0 Lineup: Gill; Durnan, Devine, Ashcroft, Craigen, Morrison, Blair (Todd 62), Longridge (Ryan 73), Martin, Higginbotham (McCann 78), Anderson. Subs (not used): Burt; Allan, El Bakhtaoui, Hippolyte. Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  18. Just the Ticket! The final game of the scheduled season will see us play Dunfermline Athletic at the Caledonian Stadium. However, we will have at least another two games and a possible six should we make our way to the play-off final, fingers crossed. All this could see our season extended to Sunday 26th May where we will find out who will join Ross County in the Premiership next season. As well as the play-offs, there is a great ticket offer for next season to be released on 6th May, so no excuses, get yourself sorted and get behind the Caley Jags next season. Your club needs you............ It's been a bit of a slog, but we managed to get ourselves a second chance at promotion after a slow burner of a season where draws were the order of the day for ICT. We are the draw specialists, Morton running us close, but at 14 draws our run for promotion was seriously curtailed. However, despite being interspersed with some excellent results and mediocre performances, we have managed to stay in touch with the play-off zone for most of the season and we will get our opportunity to progress as a reward for our perseverance. Last time out we had a tough time at Alloa before overhauling them with two rapid goals in the second half. Shaun Rooney rifling home from the edge of the box and Charlie Trafford weighing in with his first goal for the club. That was enough to secure the points after a first half penalty had been scored by Alan Trouten. Worryingly, Carl Tremarco had to come off injured before the end and that is bad news with the extra games looming. Dunfermline's season frittered away after a promising spell when they won a shitload of games to jump above us a couple of months ago. They stuttered badly in the run-in and they have now dropped to sixth, two points below Morton who beat the Pars 2-1 at the weekend. So tight has been the bottom half of the league they could plummet even further if results go against them this weekend. Other games on matchday 36 are Ayr United -V- Alloa, Falkirk -V- Ross County, Morton -V- Dundee United, Queen of the South -V- Partick Thistle. Final day of the season and still lots to be decided. Dunfermline were the side that scuppered our progress last season with a goal late into time added on to time added on. So be it. I won't dwell too much on the game on Saturday, suffice to say we have qualified for the promotion play-offs after a roller coaster season, a Scottish Cup semi-final and some rip roaring derby's in the Highlands. The carrot is dangling if we want more next season. For your information, here are the Play-Off dates, times and TV coverage. ** Tuesday May 7 or Wednesday May 8, 2019 Premiership play-off quarter-final, 1st leg 4th in Championship v 3rd in Championship ** Tuesday May 7 if Ayr United finish fourth ** Wednesday May 8 if Inverness CT finish fourth Saturday May 11, 2019 Premiership play-off quarter-final, 2nd leg 3rd in Championship v 4th in Championship Tuesday May 14, 2019 Premiership play-off semi-final, 1st leg 3rd or 4th in Championship v 2nd in Championship (Dundee United) Live on BT Sport, kick-off 7.45pm Friday May 17, 2019 Premiership play-off semi-final, 2nd leg 2nd in Championship (Dundee United) v 3rd or 4th in Championship Live on BT Sport, kick-off 7.45pm Thursday May 23, 2019 Premiership play-off final, 1st leg 2nd or 3rd or 4th in Championship v 11th in Premiership Live on BT Sport, kick-off 7.45pm Sunday May 26, 2019 Premiership play-off final, 2nd leg 11th in Premiership v 2nd or 3rd or 4th in Championship Live on BT Sport, kick-off 3.00pm Play off prices on Official Site Pars boss Stevie Crawford has Jackson Longridge suspended after a red card last week. Striker Andy Ryan and defender Lewis Martin have made comebacks recently and will be looking for a start. Robbo had talked about keeping the momentum going ahead of the play-offs and the extra £75K will come in handy, but self preservation will also be important and I see little point in wearing out our already knackered first choice squad with crucial games ahead. May the fourth be with you Robbo........... Mark Ridgers has been recovering from his dislocated finger, and it's fantastic news for the fans and the club that Mark has signed a new deal to keep him at Inverness for another couple of years. Hope yer finger is better. Sean Welsh is out with a broken foot. Carl Tremarco was injured at Recreation Park and will miss out with a possible calf tear. Others are flagging as our thin squad gets stretched every week. Robbo will have options though. Coll Donaldson made a welcome return last week and Brad Mckay will return after suspension. Cammy Mackay has deputised well for the injured Ridgers and Kevin McHattie is a ready made replacement for Tremarco. He could also look to the youth set-up where we have some wonderful players emerging and they are fresh from securing the Under 18's Progressive Tier title. Top bananas to these guys. They trounced none other than Ross County 4-0 on Tuesday afternoon. A full report can be found on the OFFICIAL SITE. Caley Thistle Under 18s secured the Under 18s Progressive Tier title in style as they beat Ross County 4-0 at the Caledonian Stadium thanks to a brace from Roddy MacGregor and goals from Donald Morrison and Matheus Machado. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Just the Ticket Coming soon, there's a great offer for you on the official site if you want to get your season ticket at this years prices, regardless of which division we find ourselves in. Here's hoping it's the Premiership, but the price remains the same. Early Bird Season Tickets for 2019/20 season will go on sale from Monday 6th May. The club would would like to thank everyone who bought a season ticket for season 2018/19 and as we come to the climax of an exciting season with a day in the Hampden sun behind us and with the Premiership Play-Offs looming, the club is pleased to be able to announce that Season Ticket prices have been frozen for those wishing to purchase early. _________________________________________________________________________ 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.
  19. United lay down marker Inverness went down 2-0 to Dundee United in a potential warm up game for the play-offs. Pavol Safranko opened the scoring in the 27th minute when he drove a volley past Cammy Mackay from fifteen yards and Paul McMullan scored the second just after the interval when he appeared to handle the ball in his build up to the goal. Whilst the Inverness defence appealed for the foul, McMullan ran across them and scored the goal. Despite plenty of opportunities, Inverness failed to capitalise on any of the breaks and United eased home to keep County waiting for the title celebrations. Nathan Austin did not endear himself to the home fans after failing to make the effort to get on the end of an Anthony McDonald shot after the youngster waltzed into the box. Great effort by McDonald, the same could not be said of Austin who tried to chastise the youngster for his own failure to get on the end of his shot. The end result mattered not as Dunfermline failed to get a point at Dumfries meaning Inverness are assured of a play-off place. Maybe Robbo was keeping some aces up his sleeve with a view to some tough play-off games looming. Coll Donaldson was on the bench but no sign of captain Carl Tremarco or the dislocated fingered keeper, Mark Ridgers. Sean Welsh is out for the season. United had plenty in reserve with Paul McMullan and Pavol Safranko the preferred partnership up front. It all looked fairly promising for the hosts in the opening exchanges and Jordan White got a header away in the fifth minute but it was well over the bar. United forced a couple of corners which came to nothing and Tom Walsh brought out a save from Siegrist at the other end. Shortly after this Cammy Mackay dived low to his left to ensure a stifled shot from Safranko stayed outside his posts. Jamie McCart was doing well keeping the back line in order with Coll Donaldson out and Inverness were looking the most likely to open the scoring. Aaron Doran saw Siegrist save his header and Tom Walsh fired a terrific shot from thirty yards which the keeper saved well in the top corner as he managed to push the ball behind for a corner kick. Out of the blue, United scored when Peter Pawlett flicked the ball to Pavol Safranko who volleyed low past a helpless Cammy Mackay from the edge of the box. Good strike and the move was similar to the one Inverness did at Partick when Walsh crashed the ball home. On the half hour Jamie McCart went close with a header, but one minute later we had the crossbar to thank when Paul Watson smacked a header off the woodwork, Mackay looking like he had it covered had it tried to sneak under the bar. Joe Chalmers cleared the rebound away with a header from under the bar. Chalmers was next up with a shot from distance on the right side, the ball almost catching the United keeper out as it bounced in front of him but he reacted well to keep it out somehow. Motherwell bound Liam Polworth also broke on the right side but his effort was neither a cross or a shot an Siegrist gathered. We finished the half strongly but an equaliser eluded us and Inited went in 1-0 ahead. Half Time 0-1 We were left chasing the game five minutes into the second half when Paul McMullan appeared to use an arm to control the ball as he ran across the face of our defence. As we appealed for the free kick, McMullan kept going and tucked the ball behind Mackay for a schoolboy error sickener. We went again and after some tidy build up play Doran found himself in space on the left side of the box. Unfortunately his effort was blocked and the chance went begging. Polly went on a decent run and his parting shot had plenty power but rose over the bar. At the other end, Mackay beat away a sizzling shot from Jamie Robson as United were able to hit effectively on the break. Substitute Nathan Austin was somewhat selfish as he shot weakly from an angle. His memory was substandard as soon after he berated Anthony McDonald for doing exactly the same. In McDonald's case he put in the effort to get his shot away and if Austin had bothered his arse he might well have got on the end of it as he watched it slide the wrong side of the post. This exchange brought about an angry reaction from the North Stand, and deservedly so, but for some it extended too far. United would have scored a third on the break as we continued to chase the game but for a brilliant goal line clearance by Shaun Rooney after some trickery on the right flank and a Robson shot driven to the goal. Three corners came and went for Inverness as we tried to get something from the game, but to no avail. In a final flourish we rained efforts towards the North Stand, unfortunately that's where most of them ended. Bizarrely, Brad Mckay was dismissed given two yellow cards for seemingly being tripped in the box, the inept referee booking Brad for diving I presume then his angry reaction to the yellow brought about another one. What did he expect? 'Oh that's OK ref, just one of those things'. Aye right. Jordan White almost got a late consolation as he turned and shot in the box but Siegrist dived full length to deny the striker. He was denied again just before the final whistle as he powered a good header goalwards, Siegrist again thwarting him with another good save. The United keeper could make a claim to say he was their Man of the Match. It was just one of those days I'm afraid. We had plenty of opportunities but spurned them all through poor shooting and good goal keeping. Jamie McCart was outstanding and get's my vote for Man of the Match. He was well supported by Shaun Rooney, Kevin McHattie and Cammy Mackay in our hastily rearranged defence with Ridgers, Donaldson and Tremarco missing. With Dunfermline also losing, that means we can now relax for the next couple of matches ahead of the play-off games. The other good thing was that the title was not won on our patch. Maybe that was the plan! Match footage from Caley Jags TV Inverness Caley Thistle boss John Robertson on BBC Sport: "We spoke to Paul after it and he was honest enough to admit it hit his arm. Six of our defenders appealed for handball but they've made the cardinal sin of stopping and waiting for the whistle to go. The referee got it poorly wrong." Date: 20/04/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2971 Referee: Greg Aitken Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: C Mackay; Rooney, B Mckay, McCart, McHattie, Doran (Austin 62), Trafford, Polworth (McCauley 68), Chalmers, Walsh (McDonald 67), White Subs (not used): fon Williams; Donaldson, Harper, MacGregor Scorers: none Booked: B Mckay (90+2) Sent Off: B Mckay (90+2 two yellows) Dundee United: 2 Lineup: Siegrist; Watson, Reynolds, Connolly, Robson, Harkes, Butcher (Bouhenna 75), McMullan, Clark (Nesbitt 64), Pawlett (Booth 46), Safranko Subs (not used): Laidlaw; Gomis, Smith, Fyvie, Scorers: Safranko (27), McMullan (49) Booked: Robson (29), Butcher (43) Sent Off: a
  20. Promotion warm up? With a play-off slot almost secured, one of the challengers for the final Premiership place comes North looking to set a marker for the forthcoming Championship shoot-out. Dundee United are the visitors and it's still mathematically possible for them to win promotion outright, but that all depended on the Staggies who held a six point advantage going into their game at Ayr on Friday night. I suppose we can now offer our congratulations to County who beat Ayr 3-1 and they have all but won the Championship given their massive goal difference over Dundee United. I wonder if that result will have any bearing on the way United now approach this game tomorrow knowing that automatic promotion is now a distant memory. Here is the updated table showing County almost unassailable. The other game tomorrow which could affect our push for promotion is the game at Palmerston between Queen of the South and Dunfermline Athletic. In the bottom half, it's even tighter with Falkirk facing Morton and Partick Thistle at home to Alloa Athletic who are on a four game winning streak. Bums will be squeaking for sure this weekend. There was a somewhat untimely release by the club this week in the build up to the season finale with the news that our chief assistmeister and playmaker Liam Polworth will be a Motherwell FC player next season in the Premiership. Liam has been around Inverness Caledonian Thistle since he was eight years old. He has made 214 appearances scoring nineteen goals so far and I'm sure he will go on to produce many more memorable moments on the park, just not our one. That leaves Caley Thistle Online with the job of finding a new player to sponsor as we have been Liam's sponsor since he was in the squad making up the numbers. He can be seen pointing the way to Fir Park where he will wear the Claret & Amber of Motherwell. All the best for the future to 'one of our own'. Admission prices: Official site TICKET INFO Adult (Grown up chiel) Concession (olde git or 16-25 noisy fekker) u16 (sober kids) Main Stand Adult £22 - Concession £17 - u16 £6 North Stand/Arab Stand Adult £20 - Concession £15 - u16 - £6 We inched our way towards a potential Premiership place by earning a point at Cappielow in midweek. A partly depleted squad came back to level the game with Morton in the 88th minute as substitute Darren McCauley slammed a Liam Polwrth pass into the net. Anthony McDonald had opened the scoring with a tremendous solo goal but Reece Lyon equalised for the Ton. Greg Kiltie put them ahead just before the break from the spot and as Morton went defensive, we searched for a leveller which arrived just before the final whistle. Dundee United have drawn with County in Dingwall having been ahead up to the last few seconds and they defeated Ayr 2-1 last time out, Safranko and McMullan overturning Ayr's lead through Bell. There has been four games against Saturdays opponents already this season. A 1-1 draw at Tannadice was followed by a similar scoreline at the Caledonian Stadium in mid-December. United won the next one at Tannadice by a solitary goal against an understrength Caley Jags. The fourth encounter was the Scottish Cup tie with a stronger side on the park and we bossed that one before winning 2-1 with a late Aaron Doran goal proving decisive. Joe Chalmers got the opener and it was an absolute belter. So good it was voted goal of the round, and so good we can have another look, courtesy of William Hill. Coll Donaldson, Mark Ridgers, Carl Tremarco and Sean Welsh all missed out through injury at Greenock, Welsh being out for the season. Anthony McDonald came back in to good effect scoring a superb goal but also took a heavy knock. Tom Walsh had a bit of a rest on the bench. Good to see Darren McCauley scoring the second goal and he should push on now that he has completed his degree studying nutrition at the University of Ulster. Plenty of tired legs and plenty of important players for what will be an exciting finish to a gruelling campaign where our thin squad has been pushed to the limits on a number of occasions. Robbo will have to choose wisely over the coming weeks to get the best out of our already stretched squad. Latest news is that Donaldson, Tremarco and Brad Mckay are all major doubts. Robbo still playing it cagey....... Robbie Neilson has a big squad to choose from and one man he is looking towards as the run in to the season begins is former Hearts forward Osman Sow. He is approaching full fitness and has been used sparingly since joining the Arabs in January because of a calf injury, but Neilson expects him to play a big part in the next few games. He also has plenty of other quality strikers he can call on, Paul (the diver) McMullan, Pavol Safranko, Nicky Clark, Cammy Smith and Peter Pawlett are all vying for the starting slot, so no matter who gets the nod, it's going to be a tough job for any defence. The Official Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year voting has commenced and you can cast your votes by following the link provided. The nominees are: PotY Coll Donaldson Mark Ridgers Aaron Doran Sean Welsh Joe Chalmers Young PotY Jamie McCart Tom Walsh Shaun Rooney Cameron Harper Roddy MacGregor ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Here is the registration page to sign in to FansBet Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you sign up and 50% of net profits will be returned to CTO If you like a wee flutter, our new enhanced 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. .
  21. Refereeing Joke Ruins Derby Using the term 'referee' loosely, Nick Walsh ruined any hope that a fair game would be played out as he sent Charlie Trafford off on half time and proceeded to flash yellow cards willy nilly, especially at those in blue and red. The game was ruined by half time and with County 2-1 ahead after a lack lustre first half from Inverness there was little hope that the hosts would get their noses in front, not with Nick useless Walsh trying to dominate the game. Josh Mullin rifled a shot home in eight minutes before Jordan White won and missed a penalty, Scott Fox guessing right and saving. We did draw level when Carl Tremarco headed home but we shot ourselves in the foot by gifting a sloppy second, Boyle taking advantage of joke defending. With Trafford going off that was it for us and County and Walsh held on for all three points as the weather worsened. Results tonight showed no dramatic changes to the table with Ayr -V- Morton and Queens -V- Falkirk both ending in 1-1 draws. Falkirk climb above Partick Thistle on goal difference at the foot of the table but have played one more game. Top of the table clash on Friday night as County play Dundee United. We face a tough trip to Ayr on the Saturday and the Pars visit Partick Thistle. This was a crucial game for both teams and neither side were able to field their full strength squad due to injuries. Robertson was without engine room penalty taking midfielder Sean Welsh who will miss the rest of the season. County had four or five first team squad players out, notable Michael Gardyne and Keith Watson with Iain Vigurs suffering a setback in his recuperation. Such is their depth of squad it made little difference to their playing routines. A decent day gave way to some heavy showers shortly before kick off and the TV cameras restricted the fans in the stadium. The Inverness fans rightly relished this one after some great performances recently and having held the upper hand in most derby's this season although not always getting the right result. Undiminished, the optimism and belief that we could consolidate within the top four was rife, but that would soon crumble after we made a sluggish start to this encounter. From the kick off, it was evident that County were the team that wanted this more and we were on the back foot in the opening minutes as we defended nervously. Josh Mullin had two or three half chances before he opened the scoring in the eighth minute. Joe Chalmers was disposessed in midfield. It looked innocuous enough as Mullin got the ball but he speared a low shot from outside of the box in the inside right position. However, it arrowed it's way across the keeper and nestled in the bottom right of Mark Ridgers' goal despite a despairing dive from the keeper. All looked a bit soft to me, but 1-0 to the visitors it was. We only had ourselves to blame at this stage as our tackling, passing and commitment were all wayward. This stirred us slightly and just over ten minutes later we were awarded a penalty after Jordan White was released on the right side of the box. As he tried to go round Fox he was sent sprawling and he was awarded a penalty. He took it himself but telegraphed it somewhat to Fox who was cunning enough to have guessed the correct direction and saved the less than impressive spot kick to his right. Meh! Fox only got a yellow for his part in the incident. His next play proved to be more profitable as he headed back for Carl Tremarco to score with a header off the underside of the bar to level the match five minutes later after a good spell from the hosts. On the half hour Charlie Trafford would pick up a booking for a minor foul. That would come back to bite him on the bum before the interval. Ten minutes before the break our recovery process was undone after we lost control of the ball and failed to clear our lines effectively. From the corner, Draper hit the ball into the ground and Andrew Boyle was able to nod the ball home from very close range with a number of defenders looking around and waving their arms at the referee in frustration. Shoddy stuff from the Caley Jags. County now looked to be in control as we reverted to loose passing and half hearted challenges as Declan McManus and Mullin fired efforts at goal. Aaron Doran broke the monopoly and Inverness forced three corners in succession which came to nothing. A free kick brought no joy either, Joe Chalmers hitting the wall. The game changer was upon us. Firstly Ross Draper seemed to bundle Liam Polworth to the ground which the 'referee' chose to ignore. Ten yards further away he penalised Charlie Trafford and gave him his second half baked yellow card which saw Trafford sent for an early bath in the first minute of stoppage time at the interval. Half Time 1-2 Draper had done his job and the County management replaced him at the break. Considering that he already had picked up an early booking and was lucky to stay on the park, that was a shrewd move. There was plenty of effort but little guile as we struggled to create clear openings, Brad McKay coming closest with a header. The weather had now turned decidedly nasty and a vicious swirling wind and sleet, hailstones and rain made conditions difficult and almost impossible to play a passing game. Tom Walsh was our most effective player on the break and he curled a low effort just the wrong side of the post from the left edge of the box. Close, but not close enough. White almost made the right contact with a shot from twelve yards but could not get his foot round the ball enough under pressure from the defender and the shot went wide. Looked as though County hit the bar at one point with a close range header by Lindsay amongst some confusion in our ranks. Conditions were still deteriorating and the Nick Walsh I'm in charge booking extravaganza began. it was almost as if bookings were going out of fashion and four Inverness players were booked in the next six minutes. It seemed as though every tackle was not just a foul, but also a yellow card, yet the visitors were not chastised for anything. Polly was booked for dissent, Rooney for throwing the ball softly towards the shins of a visiting player. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness Caley Thistle manger John Robertson on BBC Sport: "The sending off - they both bookable offences. However, our boys are convinced Ross Draper caught Liam Polworth in the build-up and it could easily have been a red the other way. That was a big game-changer." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Nick Walsh take a bow son, you are absolutely useless, the worst referee in the history of worst referees. The ten men were now physically and mentally drained but we did well to deny County any more goals, Brian Graham having a couple of late attempts. Still time for a late ironic cheer from the Caley Jags fans when Sean Kelly was booked in time added on. That was as good as it got in a hugely disappointing game ruined by a small person with the big chip on his shoulder syndrome. Coll Donaldson was again our best performer with Tom Walsh and Tommy Tremarco putting in a shift. However, we only have ourselves to blame for our poor start to the game where we strolled around making error after error giving County the belief and impetus to go on and win the game. Gone was the passion, commitment and desire of the previous derby's. It had been replaced by shirking tackles, misplaced passes and blaming someone else. All this helped by a totally incompetent official. Nuff said. Video footage from SPFL OFFICIAL youtube Our next game is away to Ayr United on Saturday. Play like we did at the start of this game and it could be a long day. Here's the Top Ten reaction on CTO forum All the mentions of terrible officiating makes it sound like sour grapes...………………..It certainly was not, that Ref was the worst of the season if not in history !!!! Completely ruined the match. Ref decided the game and that was very disappointing. Could have maybe nicked an equaliser but lacked ideas towards the end. Good effort despite being down to ten. The wrong Walsh was substituted. 😂 The refereeing - which is not affecting the score - is now bordering on the ridiculous.Disappointing. Not often I join the ref was a w***** brigade, but where do I join up? Apart from that, our defending at set pieces was poor. Ref killed what was shaping up to be a great game he looked hell bent on booking any player in blue and red for any reason. A new low in refereeing, worse than John McKendrick. I don't believe I've ever witnessed such an inept refereeing performance at any level ever before! It really was a farce. The only tiny mitigating factor might be the fact that the standside linesman was absolutely no help to the ref whatsoever. Geezo we have witnessed some shocking refs through the years, but that must be the worst ever. One word for that.... Shambolic, and I don't mean the players I mean the ref. I'm not one to ever just point fingers at every ref but that was the most incompetent biased and downright laughable officiating I have ever witnessed. The final word will come from this geezer............. Really disappointing. I thought we started poor, got worse, got a lifeline, blew it, got level, fecked up and got a shit ref. Nick Walsh, you are the worst referee ever. Disgusted, North Kessock. With that, I'll let you make your own mind up if the referee was any good! Date: 02/04/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 3795 Referee: Nick Walsh 😂 Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay (Rooney 75), Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco (McDonald 85), Chalmers, Trafford, Polworth, Doran, Walsh (Austin 72), White. Subs (not used): C Mackay; McHattie, D Mackay, Machado, Scorers: Tremarco (24) Booked: Trafford (29), McCart (77), Polworth (81), Rooney (82), Chalmers (83) Sent Off: Trafford (45+1 second yellow) Ross County: 2 Lineup: Fox; Fraser, Boyle, van der Weg, Kelly, Mullin, Draper (Spence 45), Lindsay, Armstrong (Graham 71), McManus, Stewart Subs (not used): Munro; Semple, Paton, Cowie, Grivosti Scorers: Mullin (8), Boyle (34) Booked: Draper (9), Fox (21), Kelly (90+2) Sent Off: none a
  22. Staggies staggering to title The staggering Staggies pop over the bridge to play the Caley Jags in this game postponed from a couple of weeks ago after heavy rain had left the pitch somewhat waterlogged. It's the 6th and final Highland derby coming up on Friday night with BBC Scotland getting in on the action from the Caledonian Stadium with Ross County the visitors for a 7:05pm kick off. Every one of these games has been passionate, enthralling, dramatic and left the fans wanting more. Well, it's here, the next installment. Other games being played on the same night are Ayr -V- Morton and Queen of the South -V- Falkirk, so interest at both ends of the table. After last weekend, we are in fourth place but five points ahead of contenders Dunfermline Athletic. Dundee United also suffered a surprise home defeat at the hands of Queen of the South. County remained top, but the gap has narrowed. Our last game was a laboured no score draw against lowly Falkirk on Saturday. A poor first half livened up after the interval but we never got the break of the ball and had Mark Ridgers to thank for making a point blank save in time added on to ensure we got a point. It was an opportunity sidestepped to put more pressure on the teams above who faltered apart from Ayr United. County went down 1-0 at Alloa thanks to a first half goal from Dario Zanatta. A surprise result but as said before, no easy games now with the bottom five fighting to avoid relegation and the top five vying for promotion. They have also made a visit to the Caledonian Stadium recently and went away with our IrnBru cup. There's a space on the shelf now............ The games between the clubs this season have been a fantastic advert for Championship football in the Highlands. They have had everything. The first two were drawn before County won the New Year derby 2-1 in Dingwall. There followed two tremendous 2-2 draws in Scottish Cup action including extra time with Inverness winning a dramatic penalty shoot out 5-4. Mark Ridgers making one save and Nathan Austin converting the winning kick to send Inverness into the next round. Thanks to that we can now look forward to playing Hearts at Hampden on April 13th in the semi-final. Aaron Doran has been in sparkling form recently with four goals in the last five games, and but for some last ditch Falkirk defending he would have made it five from five. The wee Irishman loves a goal against County as well although he only has one this season so far in the 2-2 cup draw at Dingwall. Aaron has come back from a few injury setbacks and has never been in better form, scoring 11 times this season. Here's a familiar image of Doran wheeling away after scoring yet another goal and captured in this sketch by our own ICT fan and wonderful artist Sophie Robb. You can see these and many more fantastic images on her twitter account or on her ETSY account. Sean Welsh is out after it has been confirmed that he has broken a metatarsal again. Robertson speaking about Welsh said: “Sean has been terrific for us this season – one of the unsung heroes. “He’s in the team every week and he’s in the team every week for a reason, with the job he does for us. He has been brilliant, he’s been consistent and he does what it says on the tin in the middle of the park. He wins the ball, passes it, breaks play up and he also gets forward. He has also become a very reliable penalty-taker to boot, but I think it is his influence on the team. He is one of our experienced players, patrolling the middle of the park and mixing play up. Here's the youngsters against Ayr United in the 5-2 win. Matheus Machado scored a couple of the goals in a 5-2 u18 win over Ayr United He had been drafted into the first team squad recently and it's good to know he has goals in him. Check out his second goal. How about that for a chip. Iain Stewart, eat your heart out! Ross Gunn and Cameron Harper also scored against Ayr as did Daniel Mackay, and he was on the bench against Falkirk as well. Anthony McDonald is a doubt but could make the squad. Another man who seems to relish these games is Liam Polworth who will be an integral part of Robertson's plans. Liam played his 200th game for Inverness on Saturday against Falkirk. Liam has only three goals to his name this season and is due another. Polly is also on Sophie's sketch list, and as they say on Blue Peter, here's one she prepared earlier. County's depth of squad will not present them with any major issues as they stagger towards the Championship tape. Billy Mckay is out for the rest of the season after breaking his arm whilst scoring a hat-trick against Ayr United recently. Mckay had scored 20 goals this season for County and was in fine form. He proved he is still a winner though, even when out injured and he has won the Championship player of the month whilst wristing up with his stookie. Good luck with the recovery Billy. County's management duo will be without defenders Callum Morris and Liam Fontaine who will not feature until next season and Iain Vigurs will likely miss the rest of the season as his foot injury continues to give him problems despite a forty-five minute outing against Kilmarnock reserves. Keith Watson took a knock at Alloa and is out and Michael Gardyne is struggling, but that could be a smoke screen and I expect he will turn up, even if it's just to try and wind up the Caley Jags players. Sean Kelly and Ross Draper made the bench for the trip to Alloa Athletic and should be included again. County's English defender Callum Semple’s Scotiish FA hearing for betting on football matches has been pushed back a fortnight to Thursday, April 11th. Semple was earlier this month given a notice of complaint accused of making bets between the period of July 1 and March 1, in which he also played for Queen of the South on loan from Sheffield United. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Scottish Cup Semi-Final, Hampden Park, Glasgow North and William Hill South Stands - Adults: £30 Concessions*: £15 East and West Stands - Adults: £20 Concessions: £10 *Concessions: Under-16s and 65 years and over................ Don't forget to buy your tickets for the SemiFinal against Hearts at Hampden. This may appear to be an alien concept for some, but always remember this, in space, no one can hear you scream. If you are sitting in your living room passing round the werther's originals and watching on TV, the lads won't be able to hear you. They have been brilliant to get this far in the cup and it's a great day out at the National Stadium. Be there or be square! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 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.
  23. Bore draw Defences were on top at the Caledonian Stadium as Falkirk came North with a clear game plan; do not concede. It worked as Inverness struggled to break them down with former Partick player Abdul Osman outstanding for Falkirk, and combined with our wayward shooting that ensured the battling Bairns went home with a point. Chances were at a premium in an instantly forgettable first half. The tempo improved in the second but despite some near misses around the Falkirk box it was left to Mark Ridgers to ensure we also took a point as he blocked a late effort from substitute Shayne Lavery from six yards. Some odd results today with County, Dundee United and Dunfermline losing we actually moved further away from the Pars in fifth place. A decent visiting crowd were on hand to see if they could lift the Bairns out of the relegation scrap with a total of over 2800 in attendance on a brisk and blustery afternoon in the Highland Capital. As mentioned above, it was an instantly forgettable first forty-five with the most apt description coming from AJS as he slithered and shivered down the stairs at the interval. Bland! Enough said Sandy. The only plus points for me were that Coll Donaldson was immense at the back for us mopping up every ball forward from Falkirk and Abdul Osman did likewise at the other end to ensure it was a total stalemate. In our defence, the Bairns probably had more to gain from keeping it tight and their tenacity and close shackling of our players made for a dull first half. The pace of the game quickened after the break as Inverness drove towards the North Stand and Charlie Trafford shot wide as more urgency came into our play. Harry Burgoyne saved from man of the moment Aaron Doran as he looked for his fifth goal in as many games, but like his team mates, most efforts were not causing the big keeper too many issues. Harry again denying Doran and a succession of three corners came to nothing. Kevin McHattie had one of our best moments when he flashed a volley just wide from the edge of the box when it looked as though it might find the bottom corner, the ball going agonisingly the wrong side of the post. Brad Mckay met a Chalmers corner from the right but it flashed just wide of the post with defenders relieved to see it miss, the ball rolling out for a corner off Edjenguele's shins . White directed a header well wide on the run under pressure from the two centre backs, the ball just not running for the big man today. Doran came closest of all when he appeared on the left side of the box as he collected a disguised pass from Polworth, but his goalbound shot was cleared away from inside the six yard box by Jordan McGhee. Polly then guided the clearance just wide under pressure from the defender. That could easily have been the opener but for a fortunate block by Edjenguele on Polly, the ball going for a corner. A wonderful jinky run into the box by Trafford almost set up a chance for Tom Walsh but he wanted to take an extra touch to be sure and his right footed effort was subsequently blocked. Would have been nice for Polworth to get one on his 200th appearance but he will need to be sharper if he wants to hit the back of the net. Too ponderous around the box for my liking although he was always looking to create something for others, especially in the second half. The customary late flurry brought little reward for Inverness and right at the death Falkirk almost stole it. Substitute Shayne Lavery pounced on the ball plumb in front of Mark Ridgers but the Inverness stopper stood firm as his shot went into his chest to avoid us losing another sore one to the Bairns. It would have been nothing short of robbery had defence minded Falkirk stolen all three points as they did last time they were here. It was miserable enough dropping two points but as it turned out we lost no ground and as for Falkirk, they actually dropped to second bottom after Partick whipped Morton 3-0. Man of the Match for Inverness was Coll Donaldson. Boy are we going to miss you in the Semi-Final. Abdul Osman was the same for Falkirk proving to be a big obstacle and dominated everything in the air at his end. He's a big unit. Here's the footage from Caley Jags TV Inverness CT manager John Robertson said on BBC Sport: "It was disappointing because we had by far the better chances in the second half. The first half was a total non-event. I don't think people realise how bad the wind was. It was really, really strong blowing straight through the park." Date: 30/03/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2817 Referee: Gavin Ross Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Trafford, Polworth, McHattie, Chalmers (Walsh 65), Doran, White (Austin 77) Subs (not used): C Mackay, Rooney, McCauley, D Mackay, Machado. Scorers: none Booked: Trafford (61), B Mckay (89), Sent Off: none Falkirk FC: 0 Lineup: Burgoyne, McGhee, McKenna, Edjenguele, Osman, Dixon, Paton, McShane, Petravicius (Jarvis 74), Keillor-Dunn (MacLean 62), Rudden (Lavery 86) Subs (not used): Mitchell; Waddington, O'Hara, Robson Scorers: none Booked: Dixon (28) Sent Off: none a
  24. Gathering Pace The push for promotion gathers pace after three wins on the bounce and we will be looking for a fourth on Saturday when perennial spoilers Falkirk come North for a 3:00pm kick off at the Caledonian Stadium. I'm sure the players would appreciate a big backing to help get right behind the team and push them on. If you can't make the game, look out for a live audio feed which should appear on the twitter feed as a periscope link. If the gremlins stay away, this should work, fingers crossed................ ps, Please don't be breaking any seats, it's a costly affair and something the club can do without. If you wouldn't do it at home, don't do it here. Read the joint club statement here Yes, three games on the bounce, who knew! Four if you include the cup win at Tannadice, or to put it another way, six out of seven in all competitions. The only defeat in that run was a 1-0 reverse at Tannadice when we were a bit light due to injury. What does it all mean I hear you say? Well it means that we now sit third fourth in the table going into today's game and five points clear of Dunfermline who are the ones most likely to make the push for promotion uncomfortable for us. Ayr have slithered in recent weeks but are not to be discounted yet. The Pars play Ayr on Friday night prior to our game. (Ayr beat Dunfermline 0-1 to go back into third place) There's the updated table above on the left. Other fixtures at the top end are Alloa -V- Ross County and Dundee United -V- Queen of the South. Final fixture is at the other end of the table where Morton play Partick Thistle, a game where Morton could get dragged into the relegation scrap. Our last game was a 3-2 home win over Alloa. Cruising at 3-0, our midfield dynamics changed when Sean Welsh went off injured and Joe Chalmers and Aaron Doran were exchanged. That let Alloa get a foothold and they plugged back a couple of goals through a Trouten penalty and a fortuitous Flannigan deflected shot that wrong footed Ridgers. Doran, Welsh (pen) and dainty feet Jordan White were our scorers. That's eleven for the season for a rejuvenated Aaron Doran who has scored in his last four outings. Great return from the wide midfielder. Dainty feet now has 14 goals in all competitions this season after a slow start to his ICTFC career. Falkirk's last outing was on the 16th of March when they drew with fellow relegation candidates Partick thistle. Ian McShane scored his third of the season to earn the point just before the interval. Previous to that, they went down narrowly at Dingwall (2-1) and beat Ayr United 2-0 at home. Those results show Falkirk sitting third bottom four points above Alloa and it looks as though they are starting to ease away from the dreaded drop. The Bairns are well used to this game of avoiding relegation and are battle hardened to it and will prove to be a tough nut to crack with Zak Rudden in particular a threat. Zak is fresh back from Cyprus where he scored a hat-trick for Scotland u19's. He has also scored three times against Inverness already this season. Another one making an impact is Shayne Lavery. He has two goals in two games after he scored the winner for Northern Ireland U21’s against Mexico last week. As ever, our games against Falkirk have been tough. We started at Falkirk with a 1-0 win back in August thanks to an early George Oakley strike, but he can't help us now. Falkirk came North in December and went away with all three points in a 3-2 win. Walsh and Oakley scored for us but a Zak Rudden double pulled the Bairns level before a late sickener in the third minute of time added on saw Scott Harrison snatch the points. That was the game that ended our unbeaten league run of 25 matches and got the monkey off our back (too many draws). The third encounter was a 2-2 draw at Falkirk as the Bairns twice came from behind (Rudden, McShane) to earn a point after Rooney and Doran had scored for us. John Robertson will have concerns over the fitness of Sean Welsh who was injured against Alloa Athletic. Sean has been a mainstay in midfield recently and his contribution from the spot is reaping rewards after we had tried a series of penalty takers who sadly fell short of the required suitability for the post. Those concerns were justified as it looks like he has cracked a metatarsal. If so he will be out for the rest of the season. Anthony McDonald is not fit enough to return this weekend but could make the squad for the Ross County game. Robbo summed up Sean's contribution perfectly:- “It’s not been confirmed yet but it’s certainly looking that way, we’re just waiting on the scan coming back. That’ll be a blow as Sean has been terrific for us all season and has been one of the unsung heroes, he’s in the team every week and he’s there for a reason because of the job he does for us. Saying that, it’s time for other players to step up now.” Ray McKinnon has no injury worries and had this squad out in the 1-1 draw with Partick. He said this about their current form: "We’ve lost once in our last nine games, our squad is looking good. We are strong and quick, the mentality is good and we’ve just got to go into every game to try and pick something up. We’re in decent form going into the business end of the season, but we’ll be taking absolutely nothing for granted". Don't forget your Scottish Cup semi-final tickets. Don't forget to buy your tickets for the SemiFinal against Hearts at Hampden. This may appear to be an alien concept, but always remember this, in space, no one can hear you scream. If you are sitting in your living room passing round the werther's originals and watching on TV, the lads won't be able to hear you. They have been brilliant to get this far in the cup and it's a great day out at the National Stadium. Be there or be square! 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 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/ FansBet have ICT @ 5/8 - Draw @ 11/4 and Falkirk @ 4/1. Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  25. 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