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  1. Do this for Dawn Scottish Cup action this Saturday as two of the youngest clubs in Scottish football lock horns at the Caledonian Stadium, Inverness. Ten year old East Kilbride from the Lowland Football League take on 25 year old (soon) Inverness Caledonian Thistle for a place in the quarter Finals. Can we ask all fans to support this tribute to Dawn please............ ICT has lost a great friend and supporter with the sad passing of Dawn Sinclair, who would have celebrated her 16th birthday on Saturday 19 January with a party at the stadium following the Scottish Cup tie against East Kilbride. A period of applause in the 16th minute on Saturday will be a fitting tribute to the teenager, who was a familiar face at games and at events run by Supporters, the most recent being a night out at Rollerbowl. She loved wearing her ICT strip and her proudest moment was being at Hampden in May 2015 to see the club lift the Scottish Cup. Tribute to Dawn on the Official ICTFC site. To the game on Saturday. What do we know about East Kilbride FC? Well they play at the K-Park Training Academy in Calderglen Country Park. But there's a lot more to them and they have something in common with us. They have also played Celtic in the Scottish Cup....... The original club were formed in 1871 and folded a number of times in the early days. Their first recorded game was a 1-0 defeat by a Queens Park XI. The present club were formed in May 2010. Jackton Boys Club and Stewartfield F.C. were merged and later EK Diamonds and EK Wanderers were incorporated to form the club as we now know them. The team played in the Scottish Amateur Football League prior to being elected into the senior leagues in June 2013. They were elected to play in the newly formed Lowland League for season 2013/2014. They were granted full SFA membership in April 2014 and therefore could enter the Scottish Cup from season 2014–15. Their first Scottish Cup tie was a 1–0 first round win at Lothian Thistle. East Kilbride won the 2016–17 Lowland League, and progressed to a promotion/relegation playoff with Scottish League Two club Cowdenbeath. They missed out on promotion to the SPFL after losing a penalty shootout. Their big moment on the big stage came in February 2016 when they hosted Celtic in the Scottish Cup at Airdrie's Excelsior Stadium. It took goals from Scotland striker Leigh Griffiths and new signing Kazim-Richards to see off EK 2-0. A great effort from the Lowland League side. They warmed up for this tie with a 5-0 thrashing of Gretna 2008 and as the League table shows they are on course to top the table this season. There's a couple of guys we have definitely heard of. Ex Caley Thistle utility player David Proctor plays for them as does Chris Humphrey the former speedy Motherwell wide player. There's an interesting article in the Daily Record about Proc. Inverness have been without the injured George Oakley and Nathan Austin recently. Coll Donaldson has had groin surgery and will miss out, but our two suspended players, Brad Mckay and Shaun Rooney will return. Our last outing was a 1-0 victory over Ayr United last Saturday when a Jordan White goal secured all three points. You can see Jordan speaking ahead of this cup tie below. Let's do this for Dawn! CTO Sponsors FansBet have a wee opportunity for you to cash in as we're looking to start strongly against East Kilbride in the Scottish Cup. Our partners @Fans_bet have boosted odds of 4/1 on ICT to be leading after 10 minutes. Sign up here http://bit.ly/2OBvlLv & select Caley Thistle Online to help us support the forum and ICT fan causes. Also another odds they have for us ..........Caley Thistle To Win and Both Teams To Score @ 37/20 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.
  2. Ayr Pressure Down Both sides were somewhat diminished with major players either injured, ill or suspended and it was a battle of the walking wounded as Ayr tried to keep the pressure on at the top of the League with County facing a difficult away trip to Palmerston. Inverness had Brad Mckay and Shaun Rooney suspended with strikers George Oakley and Nathan Austin injured. Angus Beith is still missing and this has now been reported to the polis as nobody has seen him yet! Kevin McHattie made his first home start with Carl Tremarco covering at right back. Ayr were without top striker Lawrence Shankland, Jamie Adams, Mark Kerr, Liam Smith and Alan Forrest with Adam Murdoch suspended. An unseasonably mild January afternoon with a touch of a stiff breeze coming in from the West met the teams as they entered the park in front of a 2283 crowd............. Liam Polworth was first to have an opportunity as he fired goalwards from twenty yards but his shot was weak and wide as he dragged it past the post. Michael Moffat broke clear for Ayr at the other end but his low shot was well held by Mark Ridgers from the angle when the striker might have been better squaring the ball. Aaron Doran should have scored when he latched on to a cross from Tom Walsh but his shot from close range cannoned back off the middle of the post and bounced back out of the box to safety. The home side were starting to dominate and Doran was flagged offside as he sprinted on to a good through ball from Polworth. Ayr were still a threat on the break though and Declan McDaid curled a shot over from one such venture forth and at the opposite end Joe Chalmers went close with a strike from distance as Ross Doohan sprawled across his goal line. Back came Ayr and Ross Docherty fired one over the bar as the game panned out. The end to end stuff continued as Polworth created the space to get a shot away after a delightful drag back, but it was always heading too high. Too high was the order of the day as McDaid sent another one over, the ball dipping too late. Best move of the half saw Jordan White miss a golden opportunity after he linked up well with Doran, but the striker shot just past the near post when it looked easier to score. Half Time 0-0 Ayr went close just after the break as Craig Moore met a great cross unchallenged, but his header was just wide of the junction with Ridgers stranded. That seemed to stir Inverness into action and from there on we dominated the game without overly exerting Doohan in the visitors goal. White was becoming more prominent and had an effort saved by the keeper who just got his finger tips to the ball at the expense of a corner. However he would not be denied in the 64th minute. Following a poor miss when he did not get enough contact on a header, the ball was sent back into the box by Sean Welsh and White had dusted himself down quickly enough to send a powerful header into the net with Doohan merely a spectator. The goal had been coming after a good spell of pressure from the home side. Ten minutes later Doran should have wrapped up the points but he skewed his shot just wide when scoring looked the better option. The dreaded 'hold what we had' was in the thoughts of most fans who had only witnessed one previous home League win this season. However, if truth be told we saw out the game in relative comfort thereafter and ran the clock down in style with some keep ball at the end. Full Time 1-0 Great to witness a win after so long, most had forgotten what it felt like. It was a narrow victory though with big Jordan White powering a header home just after the hour. He can jump after all! Aaron Doran missed that great opportunity to make the game comfortable but skewed wide and that led to a slightly tetchy last ten minutes, but we saw it out safely and took all three points with Joe Chalmers getting the sponsors MotM but Jordan White getting the nod from me. Speaking on BBC Sport, the respective managers had this to say....... Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "It was an even first half, but the second half we started to impose ourselves. It was a terrific goal and I'm delighted for Jordan - what a job he does as a lone striker. "We didn't look like we were going to lose a goal. There was a resilience to them and we thoroughly deserved the three points." Ayr United manager Ian McCall: "We had good chances but I thought Inverness deserved to win. I don't think we played very well, nothing to do with injuries I just don't think we played well enough. "I think the first goal was always going to win it. It was a great chance for us, we knew Ross County had a hard game but the league's going to be really, really tight." Highlights from Caley Jags TV If you can access Facebook, then here is Robbo's post match interview...... Date: 12/01/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2283 Referee: Willie Collum Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Tremarco, Donaldson, McCart, McHattie, Polworth (D Mackay 71), Chalmers, Welsh, Doran (Trafford 85), Walsh, White. Subs (not used): C Mackay; Nicolson, MacGregor, Brown, Harper. Scorers: White (64) Booked: none Sent Off: none Ayr United: 0 Lineup: Doohan; Ferguson, Rose, Bell, Harvie, Geggan (McGuffie 67), Docherty, Crawford, McDaid (Higgins 73), Moffat, Moore (McCowan 79). Subs (not used): Hare-Reid; Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  3. Honest Men come North It's heading towards Tam O' Shanter time as the Honest Men head North to tackle the Chapman Billies at the Caledonian Stadium in Inverness. Ayr have been a revelation this term and a breath of fresh Ayr has certainly breathed some life into the Championship with Lawrance Shankland being one of the reasons they sit at the business end of the table. They sit second in the League only three points behind County. Ayr thrashed Dundee United 5-0 at Tannadice at the end of November, but since then they have drawn three and lost last week against Falkirk. Top scorer Lawrance Shankland missed that one and looks like missing out again. Our last two games have ended in defeat. We went down 2-1 in the Highland derby and threw away a lead against Queen of the South last week as two goals in a minute turned the game on it's head. It was a similar tale in the derby where we had the better of the game but ended up losing all three points, sums up the season so far. Due to a postponement at Somerset Park, we have only played Ayr once. That game ended goalless despite Ayr being reduced to ten men when Daniel Harvie was sent off in the first half. Ayr have a plethora of possible call offs which could include Lawrance Shankland, Mark Kerr, and Liam Smith . Andrew Geggan is back after suspension but midfielder Andrew Murdoch has reached the yellow card threshold and misses this game. Jamie Adams and Alan Forrest will definitely be out. For Inverness, Shaun Rooney serves the second of his two match ban and Brad Mckay has to serve a one match ban for accumulated bookings. Rumours also abound that possibly as many as three unnamed players might be down with the flu. Kevin McHattie could be involved given that at least two of our first choice defenders are out. George Oakley is still sidelined. Back up keeper Daniel Hoban has been loaned out to Forfar Athletic for the remainder of the season. Keeper Cammy Mackay has returned from Rothes and will cover for Mark Ridgers when required. Here's Kevin McHattie talking ahead of tomorrow's game. The Official Digital Online Programme is available HERE I asked the Bard for a prediction, he came up with this:- “The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men, Gang aft agley. An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain, For promis'd joy! In other words, it might not go to plan, which might annoy the fans................ Thanks Robbie. Another draw it is then! He also had some advice for Robbo:- “O, wad some Power the giftie gie us To see oursels as others see us! It wad frae monie a blunder free us, An' foolish notion.” Aye, well said Robbie, I'm sure our own Robbo will take that on board bard. Enjoy yer haggis & neeps peeps. If you like a wee flutter, our new partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  4. New Year, Old Habits These two sides have had twenty draws between them this season and it was heading that way until Tom Walsh opened the scoring with twenty minutes left. However, Queens snatched victory from the jaws of defeat when they scored twice inside a minute through Scott Mercer and Stephen Dobbie to take all three points back to Dumfries. I'm afraid we have carried last years bad habits into the New Year and look like a side lacking the confidence to go all the way. Carl Tremarco returned to left back after injury with Brad Mckay moving to right back and Jamie McCart in central defence. George Oakley was still injured and along with Daniel Mackay was not risked. Queens had new signings Nicky Low on from the start with Barry McGuire on the bench and Stephen Dobbie the main striker looking for his 30th goal of the season. The Dumfries men were playing in their Claret and Amber away strip for this game. RIG has seen it all before and here is his match report................... So predictable. The sick twist was obviously conceding a winner but as hard as it was to take it's hard to argue with the result. The usual ICT traits from this season were evident - have a fair amount of the ball, don't create a lot of chances, miss the few chances we do create, score, start to stand off the opposition, defend deeper, defend deeper still, even more deeper, concede, try and get a winner. Queens best chance of the first half came when Todd found himself in a bit of space in the box but his low drive was repelled by Ridgers who got down well to divert the ball round the post. ICT struggled to create much of note as we seldom were able to attack with any real pace and incision and the Queens defence easily stood firm for most of the first half. Polworth did get some space in the box and should have done better than trundle the ball straight at Martin. Shortly after, White found himself 1on1 with Martin but a lack of composure saw the keeper block his shot. The closest ICT came to scoring was when Welsh stood up a cross to the back post and Walsh arrived to header it back towards goal but the ball came off the bar and neither White or Doran were able to force it in from close range before it was cleared. A free kick from Polworth looked like it had gone in but sadly it skimmed the roof of the net. Sit down shut-up! Into the second half and ICT started on the front foot. Chalmers found some space on the left flank and he sent in a lovely cross which just evaded White. An even better chance was passed up by McKay when he somehow failed to connect with a cross at the back post appearing to lose sight of the ball after Donaldson's glanced header had come back off the base of the post and landed at Brad's feet half a yard out. There was then a quite bizarre and hilarious moment when Dykes refused to give the ball back to Donaldson who wrestled with him for a second which left Dykes rolling around on the floor in a heap holding on to the ball. Dykes continued to roll away from Donaldson still clutching the ball delaying the free kick. With twenty minutes remaining, Tom Walsh volleyed home after Carl Tremarco got a second bite at crossing into the box. Jordan White's head managed to guide it back into the mix and Walsh finished with aplomb. Walsh had perhaps our best chance to extend our lead, and possibly kill the game, when he drilled a fierce shot that swerved and dipped before the Queens keeper fisted it (oo er) clear. Thereafter it was classic ICT as we decided to sit back as Queens pressured us. Out balls to White and Austin weren't sticking and any clearance from our defence was quickly retrieved and a new attacking phase started. Eventually the Queens pressure told when Marshall skipped down the ICT right and burst into the box and his low cross was met by Mercer who had ghosted in from the right to equalise from close range. Before you knew it Queens had scored a second. McKay contrived to give the ball away in the right back area and Dobbie was on to it like a flash. Cutting inside he then shot back across goal past a despairing Ridgers who flung himself to the right but couldn't stop the ball and suddenly the Doonhamers were 2-1 up. There was a late chance for ICT when White set up Walsh at the edge of the box but his tame effort was easily handled. Right at the death White challenged for a ball on the edge of the box, it fell kindly for Walsh with his back to goal and he whipped a fierce volley just wide and shortly after the whistle went and ICT had, as too often this season, blown a lead and have only themselves to blame. RednBlackComeback said:- Am I trapped in some kind of parallel universe where I've to sit through the same pi$$ poor, action replay, performance every other week? Go 1-0 ahead then proceed to switch off and throw the game away. Does nobody in this team/management learn from their mistakes? Too many of this team look completely disinterested in winning games. The performance again today was ponderous and lethargic and lacked imagination, just as almost every other game I've witnessed this season. No point in raising your game for the local derbies but not bothering your ar$e for the bread-n-butter games! More match reaction and video to follow............... Barry Wilson was left to explain why we lacked conviction and belief..... It goes without saying really, but Gary Naysmith was delighted........... Nicky Low made his debut and was also chuffed................ Date: 05/01/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2225 Referee: Barry Cook Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco (McHattie 88), Walsh, Polworth (MacGregor 88), Chalmers, Doran (Austin 64), Welsh, White Subs (not used): Hoban; Trafford, Nicolson. Scorers: Walsh (69) Booked: McCart (56), Polworth (64) Sent Off: none Queen of the South: 2 Lineup: Martin; Mercer, Fordyce, Semple, Marshall, Low (Frizzell 84), Jacobs,Todd, Doyle (Stirling 74), Dykes, Dobbie (Maguire 88) Subs (not used): Leighfield, Bell, Murray. Scorers: Mercer (83), Dobbie (84) Booked: Marshall (66) Sent Off: none a
  5. Play-Off rivals clash Queen of the South are the first footers on Saturday as the year 2019 comes into view, 2018 proving to be a tentative one for the Caley Jags as they seek to keep themselves in a play-off spot. Along with Morton and Dunfermline, Queens pose an immediate threat to our stuttering chances of achieving our goal and remaining in the top four, although should any of the other clubs go on a run they would also come into contention. Stephen Dobbie has missed a few games recently but returned last Saturday in the 0-0 draw with Ayr United when the Championships top two strikers drew a blank. Gary Naysmith said on the QotS website " I was really happy with the lads last weekend, they showed the great character and spirit that they have and gave their all to grind out a result. Ayr maybe had more of the ball but we had the better chances to score on the day. That's three times we've played Ayr now and still have the upper hand with a win and two draws so the boys deserve a lot of credit. That result coupled with County stealing the Highland derby means that the Dingwall side now head the table by three points from Ayr United with Dundee United third and Inverness clinging on to fourth, just. (We drop down to 5th with Morton beating County 1-0 last night). We wuz robbed! Yes, that's how it felt after the bell went and the dust settled in Dingwall. A late goal from Ross Stewart snatched an unlikely three points for County after Inverness had dominated for long spells. Despite having the better opportunities, our lack of a clinical striker was evident once more and we only managed a first half goal through Jordan White, his 100th senior goal. Billy Mckay must have wanted to score and he did just that, the wee scamp that he is. However, due to Scott Fox having a good day and our forwards having a normal day then we failed to take advantage and it cost us dear. There was also a double sending off for a spot of fisticuffs. Perennial cheat Brian Graham was sent packing for assaulting a couple of Caley Jags players and it appears that Shaun Rooney was caught returning the favour. With that in mind, Rooney will be unavailable to face his old Doonhamer pals. Both of the previous games this season have ended in draws. There were no hints that this fixture could produce some excitement back in September when a Gary Harkins inspired Queens drew with an uninspired Inverness. The return fixture at Palmerston was full of action though as Queens raced into a 3-0 lead on the 17th November. Goals from Lyndon Dykes, Stephen Dobbie and Josh Todd saw them cruising on the hour. Twenty minutes later it was all square as Jamie McCart, Tom Walsh and a Sean Welsh penalty pulled us level and we almost won it at the end. Spectacular stuff and a repeat of that entertainment will please most. Queens and Gary Harkins have parted company. The talented and experienced midfield general has decided that Partick Thistle is where he will see out his time. Former Dundee and Aberdeen midfielder Nicky Low has joined the Doonhamers and he will be seen as a straight replacement for Harkins. Look out, we could be 'on the eve of destruction' as Barry Maguire has also signed on at Palmerston. What! Sorry wrong Barry; this one is a central defender joining from Motherwell and highly thought of at that. If he won't 'destruct' us, then this man is well capable of doing so on his own. Stephen Dobbie has just returned after injury and will be a massive threat. As mentioned earlier, Shaun Rooney will be suspended for his part in the Global Energy UFC bout. Carl Tremarco made the bench that day but was not risked at Dingwall. Unsurprisingly, we now have to move the back four around to cover for Rooney, so I would expect Tremarco to feature at left back with Jamie McCart returning to central defence which will release Brad Mckay to right back. However, we now have a new name to throw into the hat for a starting berth. Kevin McHattie has joined from Derry City. The 25 year old is primarily a left back and has previously played for Hearts, Kilmarnock and Raith Rovers and has had a loan spell at Alloa Athletic. Therefore should Carl Tremarco not be 100% fit then McHattie could make his Caley Jags debut. George Oakley missed the derby after twisting his knee in training but could return to the offense if he has shaken off the injury. Daniel Mackay and Roddy MacGregor could also get more game time as youth begins to surface with the purse strings tightening. tm4tj prediction:- I'd almost given up on doing predictions as a draw was the most likely outcome. We seem to be slightly more suited to playing away from home, therefore if we can keep Stephen Dobbie quiet then I'll go for another draw. The Official Preview & Digital Match Programme can be found HERE 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.
  6. New record for ICT as County cling on for a point All the goals came in a frenetic first half with County equalising just on the break with an own goal from Brad Mckay. Jamie Lindsay opened the scoring out of the blue when he chanced his hand from distance, the ball going well wide of Ridgers but into the bottom corner. Two minutes later George Oakley levelled and Shaun Rooney then put the hosts ahead on the half hour before that unfortunate own goal gave County hope they scarcely deserved. Mark Ridgers pulled off a tremendous Gordon Banks moment denying Billy McKay and it was all square at the break. After the interval Inverness looked to be the only team capable of winning and a number of close calls went unanswered, Ridgers eventually having to make another noteworthy save before the end, but the hosts had passed on a few opportunities to seal all three points. Two dropped for Inverness, one gained for County. Caley Jags manager John Robertson was still without captain Carl Tremarco and Riccardo Calder deputised at left back once more. Joe Chalmers came in for Charlie Trafford and George Oakley was fit enough to start with Jordan White dropping to the bench. Aaron Doran started with Daniel Mackay coming on from the bench later. Former Caley Jags players Billy Mckay, Ross Draper, Iain Vigurs and Don Cowie all started for Ross County who had Marcus Fraser back in the side. A healthy crowd of over 4000 witnessed an excellent Highland derby played out in good condition, with both sides looking for the advantage at every opportunity. Where do you start with that game? From the off it was clear that this was going to be a high octane game. The hosts looking sharp as they took the game to the visitors in the opening exchanges forcing a couple of early corners. Shaun Rooney heading wide from one. County got to grips with the pace of the game and Mark Ridgers saved from Josh Mullin twelve minutes in but five minutes later they scored out of the blue when Jamie Lindsay gathered the ball around thirty yards out. He had space to move forward before rifling a low shot beyond the outstretched arms of Ridgers into the bottom right hand corner of the net. Inverness were level two minutes later when George Oakley brilliantly turned a header back into the box from Walsh into the top of the net, the keeper rooted to the spot. That goal was the culmination of a wonderful move after breaking up a County attack on the half way line. The next goal was equally as good. After a Polworth corner was part cleared, Sean Welsh played a one-two with Joe Chalmers before flicking the ball down the flank to Polworth. He raced into the edge of the box before picking out Rooney who side footed perfectly into the bottom corner for a brilliant goal, Fox once more stuck to his line like a Subbutteo keeper. We continued to press and a Chalmers free kick just evaded Oakley as we looked for a third. Save of the day next when Billy Mckay looked to have levelled for County. However Mark Ridgers managed to claw his close range header away as the ball looked to have bounced behind him. Truly a Gordon Banks/Pele moment. What a save! Two minutes before the break and County were level. Vigurs released Billy Mckay who was right on the shoulder of Donaldson. The wee striker turned and sprinted forward before firing a low ball into the box. Unfortunately Brad Mckay thought he could intercept the delivery but only succeeded in turning the ball into the net with Calder ready to clear the harmless cross. Half Time 2-2 The end to end action continued after the break. There were numerous attempts to score from both sides. Unfortunately the strikers at either end were an inch or two away from completing the task of putting the ball in the net. We should have scored a third, maybe even a fourth or fifth given the amount of dangerous balls we were hurtling into the box, but every one just evaded the despairing lunges of the forwards. Liam Polworth will wonder how he missed the best opportunity when we burst forward on the right through Aaron Doran who unselfishly teed up Liam for a tap-in. However, he screwed the ball goalwards and it hit the base of the post with Fox beaten. A glorious chance to win the game. Doran, McCart and White were unable to stretch far enough to divert balls into the net as we pounded the County lines and at the other end Mark Ridgers had the final say in a superb Highland derby as he saved a Brian Graham header near the end. Wow, what a game and I suppose a point apiece is near the mark although we probably should have taken all three. I can't fault anyone out there today in what was a tremendous advert for Championship football. Mark Ridgers save from Mckay was exceptional, a world class save from the big man. Coll Donaldson and Riccardo Calder were immense, Calder firing crosses into the box like nobody's business. Sean Welsh was a powerhouse in midfield and Liam Polworth had his best game in weeks. I could mention them all, no failures. Two superb goals from Oakley and Rooney, not just the finishes, but the build up play as well. The one disappointment was the own goal which in retrospect was unnecessary. Anyway, to put it into context, that's 23 games unbeaten in the Championship, albeit a run of seven draws, but not many will be complaining after witnessing that game. Ross County TV are first up with the highlights.......... Robbo on facebook George Oakley on facebook The opposition view from Steven Ferguson Date: 03/11/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 5500 Referee: Kevin Clancy Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney (McCart 57), B Mckay, Donaldson, Calder, Walsh (D Mackay 74), Polworth, Chalmers, Welsh, Doran, Oakley (White 61) Subs (not used): Hoban; Austin, McGregor, Trafford Scorers: Oakley(19), Rooney (30) Booked: Calder (45 +1) Walsh (49) Sent Off: none Ross County: 2 Lineup: Fox; Fraser, Kelly, Draper, Lindsay, Vigurs, Cowie (Graham 75), Watson, Keillor-Dunn (McManus 66), Mckay, Mullin (Stewart 85), Subs (not used): Munro; Fontaine, Demetriou, Dingwall Scorers: Lindsay (17), Mckay (og 43) Booked: Vigurs (67), Lindsay (90+3) Sent Off: none a
  7. What a surprise, another draw ZZzzzzzzzz.. Inverness produced another text book performance to draw with Dundee United. A first half goal from Tom Walsh was nullified by former Caley Jags player Billy King. It's all become a bit predictable at the Caledonian Stadium and the result was met with plenty of derision by the home support after a gutless second half when the inevitable happened. We all waited for the United winner but it never came. We look like a team short on confidence as we struggled to create anything while United stroked the ball about and were probably unfortunate not to take all three points but for a couple of great saves by Mark Ridgers. Immortal Howden Ender has curtailed his report due to a lack of action on the park, yet he still managed to pick out some moments..... My first home game of the season and so enjoyable - pre and post match !! Good to see so many friends in the Caley Club, the North Stand and the Innes Bar. At least people who know that Johndo is the person and IHE is an alter ego - and neither will go away I have read through the initial posts on the match thread and I could like them all. Apart from the smart, sharp, slick passing move for the Walsh goal and a "worldie" save by Ridgers on the first half whistle there is little else to enthuse about. We went ultra defensive and paid the price. It looked like the tactic was to grab one more on the break but we simply gave the incentive to a team, no better than us, but a team that could pass and sadly looked more passionate and driven to get a result. We practically played 4-3-3 at times and pressed BUT changed it when we scored. And it was soul destroying to see the Arabs out passing us and showing a will to win. If they had netted a second I could not have complained Ridgers Two good stops in the first half and one worldview. Rooney Is it just me but if I was a coach I would have totally bollicked him for his overall attitude. He looks good going forward but his head goes down to easily and he strolls back. Simply not a defender. McKay Let's just say that he looked OK but how much was that due to Coll. Donaldson My MOM - nuff said. McCart Impressive first half followed by an OK second. Polly I feel so sorry for him. I feel that he is our only real true footballer. He is one or two moves ahead of his team mates but my frustration is that instead of getting angry he falls out of games. Chalmers I still think that he has a sweet left foot but a creative midfielder he is not. Another who goes missing. Welsh Disappointed with him today. I would play him just in front of the back four centrally in the Draper role. Doran Has lost that off the mark pace and I feel that he detracts from Polly Walsh He has been in and out of every game I have watched him in. Perhaps we should be just playing him wide on either flank and treating him like a luxury Oakley Another hit or miss although why are we playing a lone striker at home ? Would it not be rash but exciting to see MacGregor and Danny McKay played on a regular basis? I see he has refrained from commenting on White, or maybe he just forgot he came on, like the rest of us??? Here's the action from the Caledonian Stadium with Mark Ridgers keeping ICT in the game. And Robbo on the ICTFC Twitter account Date: 15/12/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2464 Referee: Willie Collum Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Walsh, Polworth, Chalmers, Welsh (Trafford 82), Doran (MacGregor 83), Oakley Subs (not used): Hoban; Harper, Nicolson, Austin. Scorers: Walsh (18) Booked: B Mckay (80) Sent Off: none Dundee United: 1 Lineup: Siegrist; Murdoch, Bouhenna, Frans, Booth, Fyvie (Rabitsch 89), Stanton, Smith (Curran 70), King, Aird (McMullan 63), Safranko Subs (not used): Robson, Watson, Rakovan, Edjenguele Scorers: King (76) Booked: Bouhenna (29) Sent Off: none a
  8. Amber Alert One of the form teams come calling this Saturday as Dundee United head to the Caledonian Stadium boasting thirteen points from their last six Championship games, despite that crushing 0-5 defeat to table toppers Ayr United. Since we last played each other, a 1-1 daw at Tannadice in October, United have won 4 times with that defeat to Ayr United and last weeks draw with Morton. Our stats are less impressive with last weeks first defeat of the season against Falkirk. That was preceded by four draws and a solitary League win over Partick Thistle. Add in the Cup draw at Edinburgh City before we thrashed them in the replay and it's a bit patchy to be honest. Last Friday's game at Somerset Park was called off as high winds were deemed too strong for the game to go ahead. Unfortunately that was only decided about 45 minutes prior to kick off, after Inverness fans had already made the long five hour trek. Just a shambles if you ask me, the weather forecast was not a secret and if they had thought about the fans instead of TV revenue, the game could have been called off on Friday morning. That game will now be played on Tuesday 29th January 2019 at Somerset Park, 19:45 Kick-Off. In their last game United were pegged back by Morton with just over ten minutes left. Gregor Buchanan earned a point for Morton after Frederick Frans had headed United ahead half an hour into the first half. Robbie Neilson was sent to the stand during the game for using foul and abusive language. tsk tsk. We played a Scottish Cup tie last midweek, a replay against Edinburgh City and ran out 6-1 winners after a pretty dour first half. A hat-trick from Jordan White and a brace from Tom Walsh with Aaron Doran scoring the sixth in time added on. United are third in the Championship on 28 points and we moved down one place with Queen of the South drawing at Dingwall. Arabs defender Jamie Robson left himself defenceless after an ill informed fancy dress guise was leaked on instagram. Robbie Neilson has spoken briefly to the player and the club have conducted their own enquiry over the incident where Robson was dressed as a beach vendor with a blackened face. He will be disciplined by the club and will likely not be included in the squad for this weekend. It's not the first time the club has has to question his antics. Have a word with yourself son. John Robertson has a wafer thin squad to juggle around with compared to Robbie Neilson at Tannadice. A couple of injuries for the Caley Jags and we are down to the bare bones. Carl Tremarco has been out for some time now and although he has resumed running he will not be considered for this game. Daniel Mackay has also been out for a few weeks. Jamie McCart has been a decent deputy for Tremarco and another of our young stars, Roddy MacGregor has been given some game time and looks a great prospect. Talking of Roddy MacGregor, he played for the u18 side against Aberdeen on Friday evening. Unfortunately the young Inverness side lost out by 2-1, Donald Morrison scoring for the Caley Jags and they were unlucky not to at least draw this game played at the Highland Rugby Club artificial surface. I expect Inverness to be along similar lines to their last few games with hat-trick scorer Jordan White spearheading the attack and George Oakley and Nathan Austin waiting for their opportunity. Our defence speaks for itself although a couple of slack goals recently need to be addressed. United's last game against Morton the squad looked like this:- Starting XI: Rakovan, Murdoch, Booth, Frans, McMullan, Fyvie, Curran, Stanton, Safranko, Bouhenna, Aird. SUBS: Donaldson, Smith, King, Rabitsch, Edjenguele, Thomas, Watson. Here's the Matchday Programme from the Official Site ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Highland Derby is coming soon Ross County v ICTFC Saturday 29th December 3PM Kick-off Ladbrokes Championship Tickets: Adults- £20, Concession £10 and Under 18's £5 ICTFC fans can secure their tickets for the next Highland Derby online from the following link: TICKETS Supporters should select tickets in section N1-3 or N4-6. These are the North Stand tickets (Away end) Please note ticket for this fixture are available online only right now. The tickets will go on sale from the Stadium for personal callers on 17th December at 2pm.
  9. White Xmas Jordan White bagged a hat-trick as Inverness cruised into the fourth round of the Scottish Cup with an ultimately emphatic win over League Two Edinburgh City on a chilly Highland night with 672 freezing souls in attendance. A Tom Walsh brace and a last minute Aaron Doran goal completed the Inverness scoring and for City Blair Henderson scored early in the first half to cancel out Walsh's opening goal. This was a much needed win for Inverness who had been struggling in front of goal recently. After an uninspiring first half the home side began to cut open the visitors and eased their way to a fourth round tie against East Kilbride. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Much was expected of Inverness tonight after a disappointing last couple of games and after a dreich first half the game came to life in the second period. Tom Walsh opened the scoring in the fifth minute with a replica goal straight out of the Falkirk game, running onto a forward pass from Aaron Doran into the box and drilling home. Alas the lead was short lived and hesitancy in the defence allowed Blair Henderson to pop up between two defenders to equalise a couple of minutes later, the big striker finishing well. There followed a turgid spell where everything broke down before the final third and misplaced passes were commonplace, however Jordan White was on hand to score after fifteen minutes, nodding in from close range. More mediocrity followed right up to the break with neither keeper being called into serious action and Edinburgh were still in the tie as Inverness found it difficult to get in behind their defence. Half Time 2-1 City knew they had nothing to fear at this point after we had toiled for forty-five minutes and they came out of the blocks fast at the start of the second half, Henderson trying his luck once more. Robbo must have been unimpressed by that first half and you could see a bit more urgency about our play. Ten minutes into the half and we sealed the tie when Walsh scored after a mazy burst forward by Donaldson who gave the ball to Polworth to set up Walsh for the finish. Some good possession play along the front of the visitors box saw Shaun Rooney cross low and the ball was met by White in the box, his low drive being too hot for the keeper to handle as the ball squirmed into the net. One minute later and White grabbed his hat-trick as he powered a Liam Polworth corner high into the net from five yards. The introduction of Roddy MacGregor had sparked some life into the Inverness ranks and his quick feet and build up play was creating more chances for the now eager forwards. The scoring ended in stoppage time when we broke down a City attack on the edge of our box. The ball broke to MacGregor who sprinted forward with the ball, jinking across the City defence before releasing a timely ball into the path of Doran who had made good ground and he never broke stride as he placed the ball across the keeper into the bottom corner. So, into the next round we go where we will take on East Kilbride at the Caledonian Stadium. Well done big Jordan White for getting the hat-trick, that will do his confidence the world of good. Still room for improvement though as the big striker could almost have doubled his tally. Tom Walsh seems to have taken to this scoring lark, that's his third in two games, I feel there's plenty more to come from the lively wide player. Ridgers had little to do and Coll Donaldson was neat and tidy again. Charlie Trafford looked sharp in midfield with some tight turns and good distribution. Liam Polworth was involved in some of the goals but was also guilty of some wayward play, especially in a poor first half. Big Shaun Rooney is shaping up as a better wing back than a dedicated full back with some marauding runs in the Ross Tokely style. Special mention for Roddy MacGregor who looks like a tremendous prospect. His quick feet setting him aside from some of our more pedantic players. Overall, a comfortable win after a grim first half. Let's not get carried away though, we are far from the finished article and will find Ayr a much tougher proposition on Friday night. However, let's bask in the glory of scoring six goals and getting into the next round of the cup for now. Next game as mentioned is Friday night at Somerset Park against league leaders Ayr United. Highlights from the game............... Jordan speaking after his treble performance.............. And Robbo has his post match thoughts....................... Date: 04/12/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 672 Referee: David Munro Inverness CT: 6 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart (Harper 69), Doran, Trafford, Polworth (McGregor 64), Chalmers, Walsh, White (Austin 78) Subs (not used): Hoban; Oakley, Nicolson, Brown Scorers: Walsh (5, 53), White (15, 60, 61), Doran (90+1) Booked: Donaldson (41), White (37) Sent Off: none Edinburgh City: 1 Lineup: Antell, Thomson, McIntyre, Black (Watson 49), Balatoni, Laird, Smith (Rodger 64), B. Henderson, Taylor, Shepherd (Hall 80), L. Henderson Subs (not used): Morton, Beveridge, Lumsden. Scorers: B Henderson (7) Booked: Smith (40), Taylor (77) Sent Off: none a
  10. Scottish Cup Replay Hard on the heels of our first defeat since the battle of Hastings, (well it felt like it), we face Edinburgh City in a Scottish Cup replay having drawn 1-1 with the capital club at Ainslie Park last week. This could be a make or break week for the club. Losing to bottom club Falkirk was grave, losing to Edinburgh City could be the straw that breaks the donkeys back. We follow that with a game at Ayr on Friday night and that fills me with fear after their 5-0 pumping of Dundee United at Tannadice last Friday. We were pedantic, profligate and sloppy against Falkirk in equal measures resulting in a brutal 3-2 defeat three minutes into time added on. Tom Walsh gave us hope early on but Zac Rudden benefited from casual defending to score twice before the interval. George Oakley pulled us level on the hour but more schoolboy defending gifted all three points to the Bairns. Meh! City remain top of League Two after a home win over Queens Park, goals from Blair Henderson and Scott Shepherd keeps them two points above Peterhead. Their starting XI for the Spiders game was:- Antell, Thomson, McIntyre, Black, Balatoni, Laird, Smith, B. Henderson, Taylor, Shepherd, L. Henderson. SUBS: Morton, Rodger, Hall, Kennedy, Watson, Lumsden. Here's an excellent Vlog of their win over Queens Park, well done Aaron, great stuff. Our squad is down to the bare bones at the moment and it could be the time has now come to give the youngsters a chance. Roddy MacGregor came on for the last few minutes against Falkirk and his energy was obvious from the moment he came on. Our experienced strikers are lacking in confidence just now and little is going right for them. Oakley did score on Saturday, but a genuine striker might have had a hat-trick. Jordan White came on and did what Jordan White does, he gets under the ball and heads over from close range all too often, his lack of anticipation is criminal. However, it's not all doom and gloom as we were unfortunate at times and a rub of the green might have seen us win comfortably, but Falkirk were up for a battle and I'm sure the Citizens will be fired up for the Cup tie as well. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain and nothing but a convincing win will convince the Inverness fans that their team are heading in the right direction. At the risk of sounding blasé, I expect Inverness to get through this tie. Let's hope we get a performance to go along with a win or the fans will begin to doubt their allegiance, and to be honest, the side are not making it easy to be enthusiastic about going to the games at the moment. I fully expect Edinburgh to prove to be difficult opponents, but come on, they are in League Two, part-time, playing away from home in a midweek Scottish Cup tie against a team that has only lost once since 1066. That's got to be sufficient grounds for the old banana skin cliché to be rolled out. Anyway Citizens, enjoy your day in the Highlands whatever the outcome. Put the fun back into football. Here's how City fan Gordon Sheach managed it.............. Gordon Sheach‏ @GSheach Dec 1 More Today one of my greatest football dreams came true. At the @EdinburghCityFC game the ball bounced into the crowd and despite juggling a 6 year old on my lap I rose and HEADERED IT BACK!!! Football? Completed it mate ICTFC v Edinburgh City Tulloch Caledonian Stadium Tuesday 4th December KO 7.45pm Adults: £12 Concessions (Senior and 16-25): £6 Juniors (under 16s): FREE Season ticket holders will, for the first time, be able to use their season card by adding the cup game onto it. Season ticket holders can activate the cup ticket online (up to kick off), or by phoning the ticket office on 01463 222880 or in person up to an hour before kick-off. Please note that even free under 12 seats need to be added to the season card. Get your tickets HERE
  11. Bottoms Up Bottom club Falkirk claimed the win right at the death when Scott Harrison knocked the ball home after a free kick. Inverness had opened the scoring early when Tom Walsh slotted in before a Zak Rudden double turned the game on it's head. George Oakley stooped to head home from close range with half an hour to go but Inverness were unable to add to that before being hit with the sucker punch. The hosts squandered a raft of chances in the second half after a poor first forty-five and once more paid the price for a lack of composure in front of goal. That late goal ended the worst unbeaten run anywhere in the world where draws became more important than winning. With that monkey off the back, maybe we can go out and play something more entertaining for the fans and hopefully bag a few wins. If not, then we look to be in big trouble and sliding into obscurity. A bright but chilly afternoon with 2260 spectators saw the hosts get off to the perfect start. We played briskly from defence when Sean Welsh passed forward to Liam Polworth, he spun round and threaded a lovely ball into the path of Tom Walsh who took a touch towards the corner of the six yard box then drilled low across the keeper into the bottom corner. Great start but could we build on it? The answer became apparent as Falkirk got to grips with the game and broke forward at pace at every opportunity as we reverted to holding onto the ball at all costs. Their persistence paid off when they burst down the right, three passes and a Petravicius cross later Zac Rudden was left unmarked to nod into the net with Ridgers merely a spectator, helped to watch by Brad Mckay and Shaun Rooney, when maybe they should have been more involved. Good goal from the Bairns point of view, sloppy from ours. Falkirk survived a massive penalty claim when George Oakley was manhandled to the ground by Scott Harrison as he entered the box on the left edge. Referee Colin Steven deemed that the crime started outside the box and a free kick was awarded which we wafted way over the bar, one of many wayward attempts from crosses, corners to free kicks. Aaron Doran was buzzing in and around the visitors box and he had one effort blocked by the legs of Leo Fassan in the Falkirk goal. Falkirk were still looking more direct on the break and it was no big surprise when they scored a second and no surprise it came as a result of more ball watching from Shaun Rooney. A quick free kick saw a long ball floated over the less than alert defender and Rudden capitalised to gather the ball and head goalwards. It was a fairly tight angle but from about three yards out from the bye line he managed to squeeze the ball through Ridgers and in off the far post. Another good goal for Falkirk, another self inflicted disaster from us. Oakley headed well over the bar from a corner when he should have been hitting the target as we tried to get back on level terms before the break, however most of our moves as usual broke down in the final third. Half Time 1-2 More urgency was shown after the interval and Rooney was deployed further up the park where we were hopeful he could make amends for his earlier slackness. At least there was less chance of us conceding when he was at the other end of the park. He did get a useful low ball into the box after ducking in between two players but Oakley's slid attempt just went a foot over the top of the bar as it dipped over. Close, but no cigar. Oakley appeared to be shoved in the back for a second time but the referee chose to ignore this one completely for what looked like a stonewall penalty. A goal was coming for the hosts but not yet. The now familiar sight of Jordan White getting under a cross, leaning back and heading an inviting cross over the bar from inside the six yard box was too much for some to take, an outburst of biblical proportions from some filled the air. Ridgers had been idle for most of the second half but he had to look sharp to get down low to his left post to tip a curling shot round the post from Paton. We would not be denied though and a deep corner was headed back into the mix by Rooney where it bounced kindly for Oakley to stoop and nod the ball in from close range. That goal prompted an assault on the advertising hoarding as two or three jubilant players were fouled by our sponsor McEwan Fraser, but it was not legal. Game on! We pressed hard for the winner and Joe Chalmers curled an effort just over the junction but it was not to be. Tom Walsh tried a low shot to the near post but Fassan parried then a defender blocked the rebound as White tried to turn it in, but it was not to be. Then, out of nothing, deep into stoppage time, a late free kick wide right for Falkirk saw a dangerous ball swing to the back post where Donaldson was the wrong side of Harrison and he bundled the ball in to the delight of the visiting fans. Misery complete for the home fans who had seen enough. So, the unbeaten run ends. Thank Christ we all sigh, now let's get the season started. It could be a make or break week with a tough cup tie on Tuesday and an even tougher trip to Somerset Park on Friday. Our normally reliable defence let us down today but Donaldson and McCart still played well, despite the odd lapse. Ridgers has had better days and the forwards did what we expected, missed loads of chances, so there you have it, run over and beaten by the bottom club. Let's end on a bright note. Roddy MacGregor was a late sub and looks like a bright prospect. 😂😂😂 RIG sums it up brilliantly in his summary of our first two goals "Awful defending from Mckay for the first Rudden goal. It's almost as if someone playing as ICT on FIFA suddenly loses their controls connection with the PS4 as he just stops dead and doesn't even bother trying to challenge for the ball. As if that wasn't bad enough Rooney then follows it up by getting distracted by a shiny object in the North Stand and forgets to challenge Rudden for the ball and let him ghost past before finishing well past Ridgers." Zak seems to agree with my assessment............. Post Match on BBC Sport website, the managers had different reactions:- Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson: "I'm hugely disappointed. We didn't deserve to lose the game. We created chance after chance after chance and got caught by a sucker punch. "It's cruel on the players. The worst we should have got was a point but we desperately wanted all three." Falkirk manager Ray McKinnon: "I'm really, really happy with the guys. They executed the game plan brilliantly. We got off to a bad start but responded well and right at the end we tried to win the game. "Inverness are a good side that's why they are unbeaten for 25 games. We worked extremely hard and we got the rewards." Here's Robbo on the Official Facebook page Date: 01/12/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2260 Referee: Colin Steven Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Walsh, Polworth, Chalmers, Welsh (Trafford 58), Doran (White 58), Oakley (MacGregor 84) Subs (not used): Hoban; Trafford, White, MacGregor, Nicolson, Brown, Harper. Scorers: Walsh (6), Oakley (61) Booked: Mckay (52), Polworth (90+1) Sent Off: none Falkirk: 3 Lineup: Fasan; Kidd, McGhee, Muirhead, Paton, Petravicius (Haber 77), Sammut (Irving 80), Robson, Harrison, Brough, Rudden (Lewis 90+2) Subs (not used): Mitchell, Dallison, Dumbuya, Russell. Scorers: Rudden (16, 36), Harrison (90+3) Booked: Harrison (21), Muirhead (90+1) Sent Off: none a
  12. Bairns Challenge Bottom club Falkirk head to Inverness on Saturday with their latest manager Ray McKinnon so far unable to motivate the club sufficiently to direct them away from the foot of the table. If we thought our performance in the Scottish Cup was abysmal, and it was, spare a thought for the Bairns suffering fans as they were dumped out of the Scottish Cup by four goals to two. That's bad enough, but it was their lesser fancied League One neighbours Stenhousemuir who inflicted the damage leading to some unsavoury scenes from the stands as angry fans berated their own players. How the mighty have fallen. It's barely three and a half years since these two clubs contested the 2015 Scottish Cup final in front of 37,149 fans with Inverness just coming out on top. Falkirk losing to the Warriors was a poor result for them, but was it any worse than our tepid performance at Ainslie Park in front of 867 hardy souls where we drew with Edinburgh City? I'm not sure there's much between the results. Lack lustre, embarrassing, devoid of creativity, sluggish, lack of penetration were all used on this forum to describe our performance. One sentence really summed it up, "we are the most boring outfit in Scottish Football right now." What's gone wrong? We are finding it increasingly difficult to turn draws into wins. Yes we are unbeaten for half a million games, but the support have seen it all before and long before the draws become reality, the sense of a draw running through the stands is overbearing. Lack of ambition coupled with no budget is restricting what we can do, but it's becoming more obvious that we won't get out of this division with the squad we have just now, they are simply not good enough to sustain a challenge. Our defence is solid enough, but there is little creativity from midfield and our front men are challenging. Challenging the fans enthusiasm to return and watch more of the same. Still, we are unbeaten some say. Oh my, remaining unbeaten has become an obsession and is detrimental to our progress. Last Saturday in the cup was a prime example, an opportunity for the front men to make a few headlines. I know, I know, cup shocks are what makes the competition, we should know we have been involved in some memorable ones over the years. However, those days are long gone and those that witnessed our sorry attempt at Ainslie Park will testify to that. Can you be more upbeat I hear you say. Well, we won't get a better chance to make amends than the visit of a struggling club that has only scored 8 goals in the Championship and conceded 21, not the worst, but 8 more than we have conceded. The Bairns have only two wins this season in the Championship, recently against Dunfermline Athletic and away to Alloa at the end of September. That sees them at the bottom of the table with just 8 points whilst we have 22 in fourth place. We did win the opening game of the season 1-0 at Falkirk thanks to a George Oakley strike, however that was a long time ago now. Ayr United staked their claim to be taken seriously last night with a 5-0 demolition of Dundee United at Tannadice, Lawrence Shankland the main demolition man with four of the five goals. Stunning performance from the Honest men that puts them 5 points clear at the top with today's games to come. Ray McKinnon talking to the Official Falkirk FC website said:- “There’s nothing we can do about last week now other than to learn from it. It’s all about Inverness from as soon as last Saturday’s match was finished and ensuring we prepare properly for the match. “We know where we are, I know where we are. We are going to get inconsistencies, every team has them, we just had a really poor day on Saturday and got punished for it. “I would rather that it didn’t happen, but we now have an opportunity to get back to the form we have shown in the last four games in the league. It’s our bread and butter this season.” Zak Rudden will return and he could have Scott Harrison back for this one, and Mustapha Dumbuya could get on the park. Prince Bauben is also just about ready for action so it could be a very different Bairns from the one that were dumped out of the cup. John Robertson will just have to go with the tried and tested for this one as our wafer thin and fragile squad struggle for fitness. Defensively we can cope, with Jamie McCart doing well since his insertion to the starting XI. Scoring goals is the big issue with lightweight Nathan Austin possibly out. Big opportunity for youth to get a fling, and we might see Daniel Mackay or Roddy MacGregor get some game time. tm4tj prediction:- Draw anyone! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ICTFC v Edinburgh City Tulloch Caledonian Stadium Tuesday 4th December KO 7.45pm Adults: £12 Concessions (Senior and 16-25): £6 Juniors (under 16s): FREE Season ticket holders will, for the first time, be able to use their season card by adding the cup game onto it. Season ticket holders can activate the cup ticket online (up to kick off), or by phoning the ticket office on 01463 222880 or in person up to an hour before kick-off. Please note that even free under 12 seats need to be added to the season card. Get your tickets HERE
  13. The Highland Derby It's the second meeting of the clubs this season as Ross County come over the bridge from Over the Bridge to face Inverness Caledonian Thistle at the Caledonian Stadium, the game kicking off at 3:00pm. The first encounter ended in stalemate at the Global Energy Stadium back on the 22nd of September. We had the better of the game for over an hour but failed to score, a now familiar theme, before County staged a late rally to end the game on the ascendancy, but defences came out on top. After that game, Inverness sat second in the league with 12 points, County one point behind in fourth. Since then, County have flexed their money and their muscles and moved to second on 24 points with Inverness in fourth on 17 points. Both sides failed to win last time out. We drew our sixth game on the trot against Dunfermline Athletic, coming from behind twice to draw 2-2 thanks to strikes from Riccardo Calder and the much maligned Jordan White, the target for much advice from the North Stand. County drew with bottom club Falkirk, an Iain Vigurs peach earning them a Point at the Bairnabeau. Jordan White has come in for plenty of criticism recently, yet the big man is still managing to get some goals. I reckon it's about time the angry souls take stock of where we are and what they can expect to see on the park. Granted he's not the most mobile, has limited skill and lacks the searing pace of Allan Wells, but the he's an honest professional plying his trade as a footballer for our club and it's time to cut the him and the others a bit of slack. It's not the players fault he is not Ronaldo or Messi or even Lawrence Shankland, but with the club unable to buy these type of players given our restricted budget then we will have to accept that this is what we will see on the park. You can't blame the players for that, so let's get behind them as we try to battle our way into contention for a play off slot. Carl Tremarco missed out last week and Riccardo Calder deputised well, scoring a goal into the bargain. Daniel Mackay was handed a start but that's a tough gig for the young lad who might be a better impact player off the bench in the last fifteen or so minutes. George Oakley was on the bench against the Pars but was not risked after coming back from injury. Charlie Trafford could be involved, especially if there's a physical midfield battle to be had. Sean Welsh is not shy either. I expect we will see a familiar starting XI with White leading the line. Let's get behind the guys and give them something to feed off. Billy Mckay has been on fine form recently, bagging a hat-trick against Morton. He scores when he wants you know. Liam Fontaine could return and with County's lavish squad they are not short of quality players. Other former Caley Jags players likely to feature will be Ross Draper, Iain Vigurs, and Don Cowie. I can see our run of consecutive draws coming to an end, however, with County on form just now and us more content to preserve our inadequacies, then we could be in for a difficult day. In saying that, we have Coll Donaldson and Mark Ridgers. Draw it is then! To whet your appetite, here's the first ever Highland derby in the big boys leagues from 1994 at Victoria Park Dingwall. For more detail, The Official Match Programme can be found here Match Programme Mon the Caley Jags
  14. 2-2, Who knew? Everyone I should think. That result was as predictable as Xmas is on the 25th of December. Isn't it? Four first half goals ended the entertainment with neither side able to create an opening in a turgid second half at a baltic Caledonian Stadium. Keena put the Pars ahead twice, the second a spectacular effort from thirty yards plus. Calder equalised with a sweet finish first time and White scored our second to make it six draws on the trot. Boo's greeted the players at the end as the fans frustrations grew, a point not lost on Jordan Whyte who replied into the North Stand as angry fans remonstrated with the players, Whyte a particular target of the boo boy brigade. John Robertson shuffled the pack a little in a bid to get out of the cycle of draws. Carl Tremarco was missing through injury and was replaced by Riccardo Calder. Tactical switches saw Charlie Trafford in for midfielder Joe Chalmers and Daniel Mackay replacing Aaron Doran up front. Allan Johnston gave starts to Aidan Connolly, Malaury Martin and Joe Thomson. It was ice cold in Inverness as the Caley Jags kicked off with less than 2000 in the ground. Despite a bright opening from the hosts, it was all undone with one sloppy pass on the halfway line. Sean Welsh passed the ball to the visitors and when it came to Aidan Keena from Myles Hippolyte, the Hearts loan player calmly curled a low shot beyond the outstretched Mark Ridgers in the Caley Jags goal. A sloppy goal to lose, almost a replica of the Brad Mckay gift against Morton. We looked determined to get back on level terms, a couple of headers from Jordan Whyte causing little concern to Robinson in the Pars goal. After Daniel Mackay had won a free kick, Liam Polworth fired a low ball across the box where it was left to run to the left side and the incoming Riccardo Calder fired it home first time as he met the ball for an excellent reply. Keena and Whyte had efforts saved at either end of the ground and the Pars were threatening to open us up as we slithered around. On the half hour the Pars went back in front in spectacular style. Keena picked the ball up some forty yards out and after a few paces forward he sent a vicious shot high into the left hand side of Ridgers' net. No chance for the keeper and a stunning goal for Keena. Five minutes later and it was back level. Polworth fed the ball wide and Tom Walsh fired a low ball into the box where Whyte, under pressure, nicked the ball behind Robinson. An entertaining half ended level as the temperatures kept dropping. Half Time 2-2 More of the same would have been nice in the second period, unfortunately it was a bit of an anti-climax with both sides trying to make the breakthrough. Neither keeper was troubled but with just over ten minutes left, Aidan Connolly skimmed the top of the bar with a free kick, although Ridgers may well have had it covered had it been six inches lower. The nearest Inverness came to grabbing the winner was just after that free kick but Whyte headed over at the back post after failing to get above the ball following a corner. Great chance missed and maybe that just added fuel to the boo boys which led to the angry exchange after the final whistle. Full Time 2-2 Another draw and we fall further behind the leaders. Eight points behind surprise leaders Ayr United. Plenty of effort and a couple of goals were not enough to keep the fans happy. A lack of ambition in the second half undid any positives from the first forty-five. Inverness were best served by Coll Donaldson, Riccardo Calder and Mark Ridgers. However, my MotM is going to Dunfermline's Aidan Keena who exploded that shot behind Ridgers from probably thirty-five yards. Great goal worth seeing in the highlights. Highland derby on Saturday and Inverness will need to up their game if they want to remain unbeaten. Here's the goals from Caley Jags TV And Robbo's aftermatch can be seen on the facebook page Full Highlights from Dunfermline TV Date: 30/10/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1994 Referee: Barry Cook Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, Calder, Welsh, Polworth (Doran 75), Trafford (Chalmers 70), Walsh (Austin 71), D Mackay, White Subs (not used): Hoban; McCart , Oakley, McGregor. Scorers: Calder (20), White (34) Booked: Welsh (62), Rooney (85) Sent Off: none Dunfermline Ath: 2 Lineup: Robinson; Craigen, Ashcroft, Devine, Longridge, Connolly, Martin, Thomson, Longridge, Hippolyte, Ryan, Keena (Muirhead 81) Subs (not used): Gill; Williamson, Martin, HigginBotham, El Bakhtaoui, McCann, Scorers: Keena (10, 29) Booked: Craigen (14) Sent Off: none a
  15. Trick or Treat Dunfermline Athletic are the visitors on Tuesday night for a Championship game that kicks-off at 7:45pm, the day before Halloween. Halloween attire is the order of the day to add some much needed levity to our predicament, but many fans are seeing it more like a trick than a treat. However, if you are in fancy dress, send the pics to the club and tickets for the derby could be yours. Send us your photos in fancy dress tomorrow from your seat as we face @officialdafc The winner will get a Family ticket for Saturday's Highland Derby against @RossCounty! There is also a prize for the best costume in the away end! Last time we played the Pars all was rosy. Well maybe not quite, but at least we won the game and scored three second half goals into the bargain. Shaun Rooney, Liam Polworth and George Oakley scored back on the 1st of September and we were all rubbing our hands in anticipation. Since then we have beaten Partick Thistle 3-2 (just), and then drawn the last five games, scoring only twice. This slump has not gone unnoticed by the fans who are beginning to vent their frustration at the lack of ambition shown on the park, and with some justification I have to add. It could be worse I suppose, we could be Dunfermline. They have had two wins, two draws and two defeats and have been dumped out of the Challenge Cup by Alloa. However, it still equates to the same number of points picked up since the last meeting but the Pars poor start to the season has them five points worse off than Inverness. We have slumped to fifth in the League after our failure to turn draws into wins with Dunfermline struggling in seventh. Our season certainly looked brighter after beating Dunfermline and Partick to sit top of the table. It's gone stale now and an injection of new blood and or tactics is becoming apparent. Dunfermline's demise was the massive clearance at the end of last season and that is still hurting them now. Jordan White is coming in for plenty of stick and the return of George Oakley is seen as a must, sooner rather than later. In White's defence, he has not been getting the best of service and that is down to a pedantic midfield who are less creative than we need. We also need a fair injection of pace, but with money tight I don't see where the improvement is going to come from. Coll Donaldson will return to the heart of the defence after serving his suspension. Carl Tremarco is a doubt and I wonder if Robbo will leave Jamie McCart in central defence and move Brad Mckay to left back. Just a thought, if not then look for Riccardo Calder getting more game time at wing back. George Oakley has been training but my guess is he is nowhere near being ready for a full blown match. I suppose it will be White up top with nobody able to give him any support. Dunfermline will be without Mark Durnan who has just had a hernia operation. This was their starting XI against Dundee United:- Lee Robinson; Ryan Williamson, Lee Ashcroft (c), Danny Devine, Jackson Longridge, James Craigen, Tom Beadling, James Vincent, Louis Longridge, Myles Hippolyte, Faissal El Bakhtaoui Alan Johnston is starting to be a target for the boo boys at East End Park and his counterpart John Robertson is attracting some flak in the Highlands after a series of mind numbing results. Both managers will be desperate for a win but the smart money will be on a no scoring draw with 1-1 being the next best option. Mr Pumkinhead has made his choice and is looking for a home win as another draw will give him a splitting headache..... Happy Halloween everyone.
  16. Not such a gay day It was all hands to the pumps as Inverness hosted the LGBT march, but it was not such a joyous day at the Caledonian Stadium as we let slip another two points in a 1-1 draw with Morton. Charlie Telfer scored early doors for Morton and Jordan White replied just before the interval. Ryan Scully pulled off a string of unbelievable saves to earn a point for the Ton. As Larry Grayson would have commented. "What a gay day", however, not so on the football pitch as Inverness once more struggled to get the better of an average Morton side who shipped five goals at home to Ayr United last weekend. Robbo went unchanged again much to the chagrin of the meagre home support noted at just over 2000. That meant Jordan White started with Daniel Mackay, Nathan Austin and Riccardo Calder on the bench. Morton had Michael Tidser fit enough to start, he had been a doubt prior to the weekend. Similar to last week, Inverness took ten minutes to find their feet. By then we were a goal down after a series of defensive blunders and wayward passes opened the door for Morton to take advantage. They did just that after intercepting Brad Mckay's soft pass and a few deft touches later Charlie Telfer drilled home Michael Tidser's cut back. Sloppy stuff from Inverness as the visitors deservedly went ahead. It was fifteen minutes before we threatened when Donalson headed wide and five minutes later a Mckay effort was deflected wide after a corner by Joe Chalmers. The home support had seen it all before as we struggled to make much headway even when the visitors threat was on the wane. We badly needed an injection of pace and quality in the engine room, but that was sadly lacking once more as our predictability took over. We were beginning to get on top of the game now and Scully did brilliantly to deny Aaron Doran with a low save ten minutes before half time. With the break fast approaching a piece of genuine skill from Jordan White leveled the game. I never thought you would see those two words in the same sentence, but there you go. Coll Donaldson put a ball forward into the heart of the box where big Jordan defied the odds to control the ball, turn and flick it past Scully for a sensational goal. Eat yer heart out Messi! Half Time 1-1 Robbo wasted no time to alter his tactics as he went 4-4-2 by removing Jo Chalmers and introducing Daniel Mackay to the proceedings for the second half. However it was Morton that almost went back in front as Sean Welsh cleared a looping header from Tidser away from the goal line. Riccardo Calder was then brought out, replacing Aaron Doran and the crowd sensed a bit more urgency with the two subs on the park. Unfortunately the final ball still eluded everyone and Ryan Scully was soon to be the chief villain. Donaldson made a tremendous block to deny Gary Oliver a clear shot on target as the visitors took control of the midfield, Inverness reduced to chasing shadows at one point. Half an hour left and we started to get back on the front foot, Calder heading over and Donaldson flashing a shot wide from outside the box. Nathan Austin joined in for a final flourish but Scully was the man of the moment as first he broke Daniel Mackay's heart with a stunning point blank save from the young strikers close range shot. Mackay could not believe it as he covered his head with his hands, Tully flying across goal to keep the ball out. What a save! He would repeat his heroic performance as he touched a Nathan Austin header over the bar when Austin ghosted onto a forward ball almost nicking it over the keeper who finger tipped the ball over for a corner. Great stuff from Scully, the North Stand crowd looking on in disbelief. What a Scullywag! Big penalty shout at the end when Tremarco went down in the box but nothing given although Robbo confirmed after the game that Carl has stud marks down his thigh. Meh! Full Time 1-1 We finished the game well on top but it was another case of too little too late, a bit of a recurring theme at the moment. Morton had come out of the blocks flying and were behind before we ventured forth. I reckon this was certainly an upgrade from the Queens performance, or lack of one. Had Ryan Scully not made three outstanding saves we could have won this game, but credit to the Irish keeper he was on fine form and is my MotM. Once again our best performers were in defence and Coll Donaldson was again outstanding at the back and not afraid to drift forward and have a go. Food for thought again for Robbo and despite his stunning goal, White is maybe a bit ponderous and Austin, D Mackay and Riccardo Calder will be knocking on the managers door looking for a start next time out. By the way, here's how the official Morton twitter account saw Scully's saves:- 84' That is extraordinary from Scully! The Ton goalkeeper somehow manager to flip Daniel Mackay's close-range snapshot up onto the bar and over. A jaw-dropping save. 86' He's at it again! Scully flips Austin's looping header over the top just as it threatens to drop over him and into the net. And a Morton fan commented thus;- "In all fairness. That save Scully made towards the end of the game in top corner from 6 yards has to be one of the best saves I’ve ever seen live. I believe reactions and reflexes! A save that would go viral if he was De Gea or Lloris! Footage now available................. Here's Robbo talking after the game........ Date: 06/10/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2186 Referee: Craig Thomson Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco, Chalmers (D Mackay 45), Polworth, Welsh, White (Austin 79), Doran (Calder 58), Walsh. Subs (not used): Hoban; McCart, Trafford, Mcgregor. Scorers: White (45) Booked: Rooney (70), Tremarco (81) Sent Off: none Morton: 1 Lineup: Scully; Kilday, Buchanan, Waddell, McKeown, McAlister, Telfer, Iredale (McHugh 85), Tidser, Tiffoney (MacLean 54 ), Oliver, Subs (not used): Gaston, Tumilty, Thomson, Armour, Lyon. Scorers: Telfer (10) Booked: Tiffoney (52), Iredale (66) Sent Off: none a
  17. Morton test for unbeaten Jags Morton are the visitors this Saturday on matchday eight with Inverness hoping to stretch their unbeaten run to nineteen League games and looking to add a bit of sparkle to the performance. Despite our relatively solid start to the campaign, there's only four points between the sides after seven games. Morton are not to be taken lightly as we found out last season when they came North and won 2-0 in February having drawn the other game at the Caledonian Stadium back in August. After an encouraging draw and performance in the derby, it was back to square one for the Caley Jags with an inept home display against Queen of the South at the Caledonian Stadium. We never managed to make Martin in the Queens goal work too hard to earn his crust and that was the most disappointing factor of an insipid performance in a 0-0 draw. On the plus side, Coll Donaldson was immense and we kept Stephen Dobbie relatively quiet. Morton suffered a late blow against Dundee United a couple of weekends ago when Fraser Fyvie scored deep into time added on. Michael Tidser had scored from the spot early in the first half to give the visitors the lead at Tannadice. They got lucky against Dunfermline when keeper Lee Robinson blundered to allow a Scott Tiffoney shot to slip through his grasp with ten minutes to go to earn a point. However they got telt by Ayr United last Saturday when they were cuffed 1-5. Swings and roundabouts I suppose. Morton had a bit of a clear out after last season, including managers Jim Duffy and Ray Mackinnon. Prominent players like Gary Harkins, Jai Quitongo, Ricky Lamie and Thomas O'Ware all departed. Morton picked up Reghan Tumilty from County and Connor Bell from the Caley Jags. Keeper Ryan Scully comes in from Partick Thistle with defenders Gregor Buchanan and Rory McKeown. Forward Denny Johnstone arrives from Colchester. Jonatan Johansson is the man in charge of the Greenock men after Ray Mackinnon went to Falkirk. Ayr United lead the pack on sixteen points after that thrashing of Morton and a Billy Mckay hat-trick saw Ross County thump Dundee United by the same score. That was the last action for Csaba Laszlo as he was then sacked by Dundee United after a string of mediocre results considering the money they have wasted. Inverness are third, three points behind the leaders with Dundee United a further two points behind in fourth. Ayr take on United on Saturday whilst County are away to Partick. Team News Striker George Oakley is out for a couple of months with a hamstring injury. Nathan Austin made a start last week after missing the derby. It could be time for a change up front with Jordan White failing to inspire the fans after two blank games for Inverness. Morton will be without Connor Bell and Robert Thomson while Michael Tidser, Chris Millar and Denny Johnstone are all doubts. Here's Tidser talking to Morton TV and sounding hopeful of making the game............ There's another game on Sunday at Grant Street Park, the home of Inverness Clachnacuddin. Grant Street hosts the North of Scotland Cup Final which will be contested between Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Ross County. The final should feature many of the young stars from both sides with a smattering of fringe players involved as well. Tickets can be bought at the ground on the day. Inverness CT v Ross County Sunday October 7th 2018 Grant Street, Inverness. ICTFC take on Ross County in the North of Scotland Cup semi-final on Sunday October 7th, with the game kicking off at 3pm and taking place at Grant Street. Caley Thistle advanced to the final after beating Forres Mechanics 4-0 in the semi-final, thanks to a brace from Daniel Mackay and goals from Roddy MacGregor and Jack Brown. Ticket Prices for this game: Adults: £10 Concession: £5 Also, on Sunday, there's a programme & memorabilia fair at the Caledonian Stadium. This Sunday we are excited to host the first annual Inverness Programme and Memorabilia Fair, organised by, local man, Easton Thain. The event will run between 10.30AM and 1.30PM, head down before our North of Scotland Cup Final against Ross County!
  18. Dire Inverness and Queen of the South played out a boring 0-0 draw at a blustery Caledonian Stadium where the sides cancelled each other out with some mind numbingly boring football with neither keeper being over exerted. A Stephen Dobbie shot hit the bar after a free kick but that was about it. Sean Welsh went close with a shot from distance but the least said about this game the better. Inverness and Queens were unchanged from the previous week. The Doonhamers were in a sort of claret and amber strip with top striker Stephen Dobbie spearheading their attack. We were going with Jordan White as our target man but that approach is wearing thin. Carl Tremarco made his 150th appearance for the Caley Jags today and was given a wee presentation prior to kick-off. Unfortunately that would be the highlight of an uncomfortable first half for the hosts as the visitors took the game to them. Blustery conditions around the park but Queen of the South coped better than us in the early exchanges, the game kicking off with just over 2000 in the stadium. Lyndon Dykes tested Mark Ridgers after five minutes and Coll Donaldson had to look sharp to deny goal machine Stephen Dobbie an early opportunity to strike for goal. It was ten minutes in before Inverness ventured forward but like most, Rooney's cross was well off target. Aaron Doran beavered away and fired one shot from distance which forced Martin to beat it away, but not enough was direct enough as the visiting defence ushered him across the park and most attacks simply petered out. The wind was causing much grief but Queens effort to work hard and play the ball on the deck was giving them much more success and possession than our wayward tactics and loose play. In truth, there was little to enthuse over in a drab first 45, Polworth coming closest with a long range effort, but even that was a couple of yards high and wide. Half-Time 0-0 The second period was only a couple of minutes old when Queens should have done better than to head over from a corner. Semple was left alone in the box and his header was just over the bar when he really should have hit the target. Dobbie was being marshalled well for the most part, but his shoulder drops and turns were always giving him a yard of space to get a shot away and he drilled one well wide from the angle of the box. Best attempt for Inverness came on the hour when Sean Welsh latched onto the ball around thirty yards out but his dipping shot whistled just outside the junction of bar and post. Close call but no cigar this time. Gary Harkins was the man responsible for orchestrating the visitors attacks and he simply strolled through the game completely bossing our whole midfield and nullifying Liam Polworth who looked intimidated by Harkins' presence. It looked like a combination of Mark Ridgers and his crossbar kept out a fierce 35 yard strike from Dobbie after a free kick, the ball crashing back off the crossbar, the rebound being gathered by Ridgers after the ball was knocked towards him by Lyndon Dykes in the six yard box. The game changed slightly after a couple of managerial decisions. Riccardo Calder came on for the disappearing Doran and soon after Man of the Match Gary Harkins was subbed. Calder immediately gave us another option wide left and he was able to get some joy down the flank. However the final ball was still not good enough to create anything of note. We had a whisky moment late on. A short White & Mackay moment. Young Daniel replaced the totally inept Jordan White with ten minutes remaining. However, as we increased our intensity in a final flurry, Queens resorted to breaking up play with some cynical fouling that Iain Vigurs would have been proud of. Alas we were still unable to make Martin in the Queens goal work for his crust and the game ended in a dismal stalemate. Full-Time 0-0 Oh dear. Much was expected after a good performance last week in the Dinwall derby but I'm afraid this was simply rubbish of the highest order. It's as plain as the nose on your face that White is not the striker we are looking for. Tom Walsh flattered to deceive, Shaun Rooney passed to more of his ex-team mates than he did to his new ones. Liam Polworth was completely overshadowed by Gary Harkins. There were one or two exceptions. Coll Donaldson was outstanding for us, shored up the defence and still found time to maraud forward on occasion. Sean Welsh was the pick of our midfield, battled hard but took a nasty knock in his googles late on. Our defence was the brightest aspect of our day but going forward we were too slow and ponderous. Anyway, our best was Donaldson, but the real MotM was Gary Harkins who was a class above everyone else on display. His skill and vision was impeccable and able to get down and dirty when required. Footage now online........... Dougie Anderson of Queen of the South was encouraged by his teams performance. Date: 29/09/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2029 Referee: Alan Muir Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco, Chalmers, Polworth, Welsh, White (Mackay 81), Doran (Calder 76), Walsh (Austin 63) Subs (not used): Hoban; McCart, Trafford, Brown Scorers: none Booked: B Mckay (66), Doran (74) Sent Off: none Queen of the South: 0 Lineup: Martin; Mercer, Doyle, Semple, Marshall, Stirling (Frizzell 77), Jacobs, Todd, Harkins (Norman 83), Dobbie, Dykes. Subs (not used): Murray, Bell, Leighfield, Harvey. Scorers: none Booked: Dykes (52), Jacobs (90+4), Semple (90 +1) Sent Off: none a
  19. Queen Dobbie is the Goal King The Stephen Dobbie goal show comes to town on Saturday as Inverness take on high scoring Queen of the South. Who is going to stop him? Coll Donaldson and Mark Ridgers of course as Inverness face Queens at the Caledonian Stadium, the game kicking off at 15:00. Our last outing was the derby draw at Dingwall. Despite our superiority in the first half we failed to get past Scott Fox and County finished the game strongly. A point apiece was a fair enough score but Robbo would be the better pleased manager after witnessing our domination for over an hour. Liam Polworth was the victim of some cynical fouls by former team mate Iain Vigurs, ending the game holding his shoulder. We slipped off the top of the League after that game, but we are still unbeaten after 17 games in the Championship. Ayr United find themselves at the top with Lawrence Shankland hitting the two goals that put them there after they beat Alloa Athletic 2-0. Despite being the top scorers in the League (13 goals), Queens sit seventh after six games with two wins, two draws and two defeats. Their last outing saw Partick Thistle come from behind twice to win 3-2. Stephen Dobbie and Josh Todd had Queens ahead twice in the first half but Kris Doolan and a brace from Blair Spittal before the interval won the game for the Jags. Queens have beaten Ayr United and Falkirk, drawn with Ross County and Morton and lost to Dundee United and Partick. So, what is this Dobbie phenomenon? He scores one goal for every hour he plays. He has nine League goals so far including a hat-trick against Falkirk and four against Ayr United. He also scored a couple in the Challenge cup game against Crusaders in the first half. This guy knows how to score and needs watching. He's in the twilight of his career at 35 years old and is a man of many clubs. His most prolific periods have come in two spells at Palmerston. He scored 47 times between 2007-2009 in 84 appearances and this time around has 46 goals since 2016 from 76 games. He also scored 13 goals in four separate loan spells at Blackpool and 9 whilst at Swansea. That's a terrific return by any standards. Who are his new team mates entrusted with supplying him with the scoring opportunities? Well, they managed to acquire arguably the most gifted midfielder in the division, Glorious Gary Harkins from Morton. Another quality capture is Adam Frizzell, a midfielder from Kilmarnock who has arrived on loan. Michael Doyle, defender (Morton); Josh Todd, midfielder (St Mirren, loan to permanent). David Norman Junior, midfielder (Vancouver Whitecaps); Callum Semple, defender (Sheffield United) are their other new recruits. The Doonhamers made room for these new guys by shipping amongst others, Shaun Rooney to Inverness. Captain John Rankin went to Clyde, experienced striker Derek Lyle (Peterhead). Loans ended for Myles Beerman, defender (Rangers); Nikolay Todorov, forward (Heart of Midlothian); Kyle Cameron, defender (Newcastle United); Joe Thomson, midfielder (Celtic); Curtis Lyle, goalkeeper (Kilmarnock). Team News John Robertson will be without George Oakley who is ruled out for two months with a hamstring injury. Liam Polworth took a few knocks courtesy of Iain Vigurs and could be a doubt. Nathan Austin missed the derby with mild concussion but should be ready for action. Gary Naysmith said:- "we will have the same squad as last weekend as Darren Brownlie is still in rehab and although Callum Fordyce is back training, it is still touch and go if he will be ready for this weekend". He went with this starting XI last time out with Adam Frizzell on the bench:- Martin; Mercer, Doyle, Semple, Marshall, Stirling, Jacobs, Todd, Harkins, Dobbie, Dykes. Here's Robbo talking to the press ahead of this encounter with the Queens. In last night Championship game at East End Park, Dunfermline beat Partick Thistle 1-0 thanks to a goal from Aidan Connolly.
  20. tm4tj

    NoS Cup v Forres

    ICTFC v Forres Mechanics Tuesday 11th September 8PM KO Tulloch Caledonian Stadium North of Scotland Cup Inverness Caledonian Thistle will play Forres Mechanics in the semi-final of the North of Scotland Cup on Tuesday 11th September with the game kicking off at 8pm at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium. ICTFC have advanced to the semi-final after a 16-0 over Fort William in the first round and a 6-0 victory over Lossiemouth in the quarter-finals, with a blend of first-team players and the U18s squad featuring in the games so far. Ross County host Brora Rangers in the other semi-final. As per North of Scotland Cup rules on minimum prices, the admission price for this game will be: Adults: £8 Concession (OAP/Under 16s): £4
  21. Game of two halves It was the proverbial game of two halves. Inverness winning the first half 3-0 and Partick the second 2-0. When the dust settled it ended 3-2 for Inverness which was sufficient to move the Caley Jags to the top of the Championship. Three first half goals from Jordan White, Shaun Rooney and a penalty from Sean Welsh had the home side cruising at the break. However, we sat too deep in the second half and it was no surprise when Partick scored through Blair Spittal. They fell just short with a last gasp counter from Kris Doolan but the Caley Jags held on to take all three points and sit top of the division with Ross County drawing with Queen of the South. At the end of the action, the Caley Jags can be thankful for a penalty save by Mark Ridgers at the end of the first half. That became more important as the second half unfolded. No surprises in the Inverness starting XI, Jordan White chosen as target man with George Oakley and Nathan Austin on the bench. Partick had former Inverness players Miles Storey and Andrea Mutombo on from the start with Kris Doolan and Jai Quitongo making the bench. Old Caley Girl has this report for us, see what she had to say about the game. We’re top of the league and you’re no! Only 5 games in granted but certainly feels good and it’s been a long time coming. We got there in a very odd way to be honest. Summed up by a quote on twitter by our own Renegade “The first half was probably the best Caley Thistle have played all season. The second half was easily the worst”. Partick appeared to start brightly but as the first half went on it was clear this is a team that, like us last season, are a bit shell-shocked after relegation and have yet to gel. With ex-Caley jags men Miles Storey and Mutumbo in the Partick line up there was a bit of extra interest from the home fans with Storey especially getting attention from the boo boys in the north stand. Blair Spittal had a good chance 4 minutes in which was ably saved by Ridgers. However, it was the home fans who were cheering in 11 minutes with Jordan White opening our account. The ball found its way to Polworth who put in a great run and launched a thundering shot from about 20yds out. This hit the post and fell to White who made no mistake in popping it in the net. This was the start of a great spell for the home side with some tidy football on display and in 23 minutes we were 2 up. A Polworth corner was headed down to Sean Rooney who made no mistake with a right footed volley into the net. We were cruising, and the home fans were lapping it up. Walsh and Polworth had further chances to extend our lead and Slater came close at the other end. Just over half an hour in and Polworth broke free on goal to be hauled down in the box by Ntambwe and a penalty was awarded. Madness on the Partick players part and he was extremely lucky to be awarded a yellow and not a red. His manager clearly agrees with me as minutes later he was substituted. Anyway, back to the penalty. Up stepped Sean Walsh and he netted with a calmly despatched shot right down the centre of the goal past Bell. At last we appear to have found the competent penalty taker we have craved since Tansey left. In 41 minutes, referee Greg Aitken enraged the home support with what looked like a very dubious penalty award to Partick. Sean Welsh was judged to have fouled Miles Storey right on the edge of the penalty area. It didn’t even look like a foul to most of us and was arguably not even in the box. As usual the protesting players were not listened to and up stepped Storey only for Mark Ridgers to save in his bottom right corner with the hapless Storey even managing to miss a header from the rebound. Just on half time Rooney was replaced by McCart with the former going off injured. Half Time 3-0 The second half was a total contrast from our point of view. The referee decided to take a starring role and infuriate the home support. There were several bookings for both sides for not very much. The Partick defenders always seeming to get the benefit of the doubt in 50/50 tussles and the game frustratingly very stop start. Oakley replaced White and Calder replaced Doran. We staggered on with too much sitting back for my liking until 82 minutes when Blair Spittal managed to get one back for the visitors. It still felt frustrating but comfortable to be honest. A few players appear to be carrying slight knocks with Polworth limping his way through last 10 minutes or so as we had no subs left. More worryingly Oakley had to leave the park (88mins), in agony, after going down whilst chasing on the main stand side towards goal. As all subs were used we were down to 10 men and in reality, 9 as Polworth was struggling badly and managed to pick up a yellow in 90 mins. In the dying seconds Doolan managed to get Partick a second. That was that though and the players went off to big cheers and the morale boosting news of being top of the league. Full Time 3-2 So, a tale of two halves but a win is a win and we are now 18 league games unbeaten. Off to Dingwall we go next week and that is looking like a tasty fixture now with our neighbours snapping at our heels one point behind. Our second half performance was worrying, and we cannot allow, ourselves to sit back next week or disaster will surely ensue. The Mallard and haggis pies await and hopefully another 3 points. We will have to play at our absolute best and I hope the experienced players such as Tremarco are drumming into the newbies how important this fixture is. More worryingly are injuries to Rooney going off in first half and Polworth struggling. Oakley however appears to be the most serious and I doubt we will see him for a while sadly. OCG MOTM – Id say everyone yesterday got pass marks so a hard choice. Ridgers a contender for that great penalty save and its fab to see Welsh despatch another penalty. However, for me it must be Polworth for his first half performance alone. Was involved in everything and we would be a much poorer team without him. I hope this performance gave the boo boys in our support something to ponder over. Special mention to the match officials. Very inconsistent and pernickety. Partick penalty award looked outside box to me. Standside assistant appeared to stand and watch Doolan elbow Donaldson in the face and do nothing and fans on twitter reporting one of the assistants had to answer his phone mid game to switch it off!!! Doesn’t do much to enhance the reputation Scottish officials are gaining this season. Robbo in this post-match interview was disappointed we only went in 3 up at half time and also felt the 2nd Partick goal took a bit of shine off the day. Sentiments I agree with. Archibald felt his side were hard done by and always a threat? Hmmmm not so sure what he was watching. Always felt comfortable even in the dying minutes for me. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ After the dust settled, here's what we thought of it all on CTO. Despite a grim second half, there were some heartening moments after the break. Inverwegian picked out this one:- "Why has no one mentioned the best thing about the second half?? The Partick keeper falling over the advertising boards! Really, you’ve got to take what you can from that second half and that was mine." Caman was straight to the point:- "2nd half kinda sucked, but three points, still unbeaten and top of the league. Could be worse I suppose!!! " And The Long Man summed it up nicely while looking ahead to next weekend:- "Good Stuff. Remember the doom and gloom after Hearts - now look where both clubs are. Sets up next week beautifully." Rig was feeling sentimental towards the 'Magic Hat' man:- "Great to see them capturing Mckay dishing out some telt to Storey after his penalty miss though I did feel for him a wee bit with the abuse he was getting." You can feel the love😍 See you all in Dingwall next week! Here's the action from Caley Jags TV Date: 15/09/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2424 Referee: Greg Aitken Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney (McCart 43), Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco, Doran (Calder 76), Polworth, Welsh, Chalmers, White (Oakley 69), Walsh Subs (not used): Hoban, Trafford, Austin, Mackay Scorers: White (11), Rooney (23), Welsh (pen 32) Booked: Chalmers (48), Polworth (90+2) Sent Off: none Partick Thistle: 2 Lineup: Bell; Elliot, Keown, McGinty, Penrice, Mutombo ( Doolan 56), Ntambwe (Bannigan 37), Slater, Spittal, Storey (Quitongo 71) Subs (not used): Sneddon, Melbourne, Fitzpatrick, Jefferies Scorers: Spittal (82), Doolan (90+3) Booked: Ntambwe (32), Bannigan (72) Sent Off: none a
  22. Thistle Test for Caley Jags Relegated Partick Thistle are the visitors on Saturday in a Championship encounter at the Caledonian Stadium to face the only unbeaten team in the league, the game kicking off at 3:00pm. This will be a good test to see where we are at the moment. Prior to the International break, the Caley Jags recorded their best result of the season with a 3-0 win over Dunfermline at East End Park. Three second half goals from Shaun Rooney, Liam Polworth and George Oakley sent the visiting fans home happy and that result moved Inverness up to second place in the table, one point below current leaders Ross County. The Harry Wraggs beat Morton last time out thanks to a goal from Chris Erskine. The game was notable for another 'goal' that was not given when the ball appeared to go into the net off the underside of the bar after Kris Doolan shot from the edge of the box. The referee and his assistant saw otherwise and awarded a throw in. How bizarre. That win puts Partick on six points after four games. With relegation comes the inevitable movement of players and Partick are no different to other sides that faced the drop. Out went keepers Tomas Cerny and Ryan Scully, Ryan Edwards, Steven Lawless, Paul McGinn, former ICT defender Danny Devine, Adam Barton, Callum Booth, Kevin Nisbett, Abdul Osman, the list is endless. Connor Sammon's loan deal ended and he is now loaned out from Hearts to Motherwell. They have made an excellent signing in goalkeeper Cammy Bell and he is backed up by former Raith Rovers keeper Aaron Lennox. Experienced defender Tam Scobbie joins from the Arabs. Mortons Thomas O'Ware has signed on and midfielders Brice Ntambwe, Craig Slater and loanee Shea Gordon from Motherwell. It's up front that Partick have invested well with Morton's Jai Quitongo alongside Souleymane Coulibaly, he of spectacular goal fame. Another interesting late addition is former Inverness midfielder Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo, another who likes a spectacular goal. Partick have two wins and two defeats in their opening four games. They lost to Ayr United and Dundee United but have beaten Falkirk and Morton. We are undefeated in the League, but let's not paper over the cracks. The two draws were against both promoted sides who had been reduced to ten men. Missed penalties are a recurring theme but last weeks win over Dunfermline was a welcome one adding to the opening day win at Falkirk. East Fife surprisingly knocked Partick Thistle out of the IrnBru Challenge Cup after coming from behind to dump the Jags out of the competition. Mutombo scored in the 2-1 defeat with Partick having a relatively strong side out. Inverness played a North of Scotland cup semi-final over Forres Mechanics in midweek and progressed to the final with a 4-0 win over the Can Cans. A side based on squad players and youth were enough to see off Forres and Daniel Mackay put a spanner in the Mechanics work with two goals. Roddy MacGregor and Jack Brown were the other scorers. Squad players George Oakley, Jamie McCart, Riccardo Calder and Charlie Trafford also featured. The final will be against Ross County who edged out Brora Rangers by 2-1. The venue has still to be decided but it will take place on October 6th or 7th. It was however a sad day for North football and journalism as it was announced that former Caley manager Alex Main, who amassed 14 trophies including 4 Highland League titles at Telford Street, had passed away at the age of 86. A tribute to Alex can be found on the Official Site. RIP Alex. Team News John Robertson has no major worries ahead of this game and took a few positives from the NoS cup tie against Forres Mechanics with Daniel Mackay doing his prospects no harm at all. He also scored for the u18's against St Johnstone on Friday evening. Busy lad. Alan Archibald was speaking on the Partick Thistle website and said:- “Miles Storey will come back into the squad for the game. He had a bit of swelling on his knee so we wouldn’t even have risked him for a league game last Saturday but he’s trained all week and comes back in for tomorrow. Stuart Bannigan will come back in on the grass which will be a boost and Jai Quitongo has a chance of making the squad. That should mean we have a much stronger bench than we did last week which can only be good thing for myself.” Here's a wee video that made me chuckle........... rude words within. How will he manage on the short trip to Dingwall.
  23. Can Cans Can't Stop Mackay A damp and blustery night greeted the semi-final of the North of Scotland Cup on a sad day for North football and journalism as it was announced that former Caley manager Alex Main, who amassed 14 trophies including 4 Highland League titles at Telford Street, had passed away at the age of 86. A tribute to Alex can be found on the Official Site. RIP Alex. John Robertson had indicated he would give a handful of squad players a game and Charlie Trafford, Riccardo Calder, Daniel Mackay and Jamie McCart were joined by striker George Oakley in the starting XI. George Oakley got the game underway and it only took five minutes for Inverness to get themselves in front. Daniel Mackay made his way down the right and crossed into the six yard box where Roddy MacGregor headed home. Forres steadied the ship and Milne headed a Duncanson cross wide after 18 minutes, at the other end Daniel Mackay shot over from distance. Halfway through the first half and Knight had to look sharp to come off his line and block George Oakley as he raced through on goal. Former Inverness player Stuart Soane went close with a header from a corner as we neared the interval. Half Time 1-0 The second half brought no changes, but three minutes in and Mackay volleyed home from ten yards after a Gabriel Hastings cross was part cleared by the visiting defence. Charlie Trafford was booked for a late challenge and moments later Daniel Hoban was called into action to deny Soane who had headed goalwards. Inverness stepping up a gear now and Jack Brown wins a corner that is cleared, but it's that boy again as Daniel Mackay scored his second and Caley Jags third after Oakley sent him through on the keeper. Mackay rounded Knight to score. Mackay tried to return the favour to Oakley but he could not take full advantage of the opening. Jack Brown got in on the act as he rounded Knight to score the Caley Jags fourth of the night and put the result beyond doubt. Right at the death, Riccardo Calder went close with a tremendous effort, but there was no more scoring as the ref brought the game to a halt. Full Time 4-0 Inverness progress to the final and await the winner of the Ross County v Brora Rangers tie which will be played tomorrow night. Date: 11/09/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: ???? Referee: Billy Baxter Inverness CT: 4 Lineup: Hoban, Hastings, Harper, Trafford (Gunn 64), Fyffe, McCart, Mackay, Brown (Hyde 85) Oakley (Kennedy 74), MacGregor, Calder. Subs (not used): Mackinnon, Nicolson, Harkness Scorers: MacGregor (6), Mackay (48, 62), Brown (70) Booked: Trafford (53) Sent Off: none Forres Mechanics: 0 Lineup: Knight, MacPherson, Fraser, Groat (Allan 65), Moore, Milne, Pollock (MacPhee 65) , MacRae, Duncanson (Taylor 70), Howarth, Soane Subs (not used): Brown, MacGillivray, Paterson, Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  24. Wasps sting lavish Jags Inverness were held to a 2-2 draw by ten man Alloa after Karadachki was sent packing just after the break. Brad Mckay had headed the opener in the first half but Alloa levelled through possibly the back of Oakley's head, Graham credited at the moment with the goal. We went ahead when Walsh scored a penalty at the Karadachki incident but the visitors got an unlikely equaliser late in the game with a penalty of their own, Flannigan scoring from the spot. Old Caley Girl has this report for us ............. Let me start by saying that this should have been a totally different match report. In fact, one in which we were joint top of the league with 3 points in the bag! I digress though as a totally different scenario played out. A reasonable crowd (these days) of over 2000 sat down on a sunny afternoon at the TCS looking for an entertaining and profitable afternoon. We started off brightly with several goal opportunities early on including a blocked shot by Tom Walsh in 7 minutes. This led onto the opening goal in 10 minutes. A Polworth corner found Brad McKay in the centre of the box, and he headed powerfully into the net. There then followed chance after chance to go further ahead without reward. At this point it looked like we would go on to score at will and felt comfortable. There were several scrappy fouls committed by both sides and in 25 mins Zanatta engineered a foul by getting squashed between Polworth and another ICT player gaining a free kick just outside the box. This led to the equaliser with it looking like a deflection off Oakley to me from behind the goal. However, the news outlets awarded the goal to Andy Graham from a header? From then till half time nothing much of note happened except a succession of fouls again from both sides. It felt like the wind was taken out of our sales after the equaliser. HALF TIME 1-1 The second half was a tale of 3 penalties! Just after half time Karadachki was booked for a foul on Oakley. This led to further madness on his part at the ensuing free kick as he wrestled with Donaldson which led to Donaldson being dragged to the ground. Second yellow meant red and a penalty. I’m sure I was not alone in watching through my hands as Welsh stepped up. There was nothing to worry about here, though, as Welsh coolly stuck the ball into the bottom right hand corner. Smiles all round as word came through that County losing at Morton and the top of the table beckoning for us. It didn’t go like that though despite opportunity after opportunity and good saves from Parry in the Alloa goal. In 56 minutes White replaced Austin and Calder replaced Welsh. In 71 minutes, Calder was clipped in our box and a 2nd penalty was awarded. From my seat there was contact, but it appeared a tad soft. However, penalty it was and what a disaster that turned out to be! Welsh had gone off and no-one seemed to want this task so up stepped a very nervous looking Coll Donaldson to smash it off the bar instead of into the net. Is it just me that thinks it shameful our strikers hid at this particular moment? Shortly afterwards Doran replaced Oakley and did look livelier than of late but to no avail. It looked like we would carry on over the finishing line at this point but then up stepped Shaun Rooney into the spotlight. He tried to foul the Alloa player several times until finally deciding to bundle him over in the box whilst heading towards the by-line. One of the most clueless decisions ever. Up stepped Flannigan to literally steal a point with a thank you very much! FULL TIME 2-2 We are still unbeaten in the league, but this certainly was 2 points dropped not a point gained. The failure to finish off 10 man teams twice this early in the season is worrying and we should be 4 points better off than we really are. We are making chances but being punished for not taking them and it is clear we do not know what our best striking partnership is. Yet again we persist with a narrow formation for a good part of the game and surely everyone, including management, can see Polworth is not and never will be a winger! Calder coming on did create width and as I stated earlier there was glimpses of the old Doran on show during his short appearance yesterday. All 3 substitutions seemed wrong. Is tightening up and seeing a game out not possible for us these days. Robbo was quick to blame the players post-match and yes, we were not clinical enough, but I do feel he has to step up and admit his share of blame as they play to his instructions. There appears a real lack of leadership on the park as well. Tremarco seems very flat and out of sorts to me. I know some wont like me saying this, but we are missing Iain Vigurs terribly. Some players seem totally bombproof as well such as Chalmers whilst others like Trafford and Calder are given little opportunity to shine. Final word of the day is disappointing. Dunfermline away next. They will be smarting from a heavy defeat against Ayr yesterday and 3 points for us is a must. Do I feel confident this team can do that? I’m not so sure sadly. OCG MOTM – A hard one really. Going with Coll Donaldson despite his awful penalty blunder. He showed leadership when there wasn’t much on show by stepping forward and had a steady game overall. RIG summed up his thoughts along similar lines................... All too familiar a tale for ICT fans. Dominate the game in terms of possession but tend not to create much and when we do we are wasteful in taking those chances. Very little width for most of the game until Calder came on and gave Tremarco someone to link with ahead of him instead of having to turn back inside all the time. Welsh had a decent game and we definitely lost a bit of composure in midfield when he went off (presumably due to fitness issues). Donaldson, penalty miss aside, was good at the back but the rest of the squad is quite poor. Austin, Oakley and White all continue to work hard up front but none of them look like they will be particularly prolific for us this season. Rooney was really poor. Defensively naive and poor bringing the ball out from the back. Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson speaking to BBC Sport: "It's inexcusable. You cannot create 15, 16, 17 clear-cut chances and miss them. "We should be sitting comfortably on nine points with a good goal difference but we are now stuck in the middle of the table because we simply haven't been clinical enough at either end. "We've got very good youngsters who may well start to come into plans. We've been loyal to the team that started the vast majority of last season and players who have done well for the club but now maybe we need to start looking to shake it up a bit." Here's the highlights from the game............... Date: 25/08.2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2269 Referee: Barry Cook Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco, Polworth, Welsh (Calder 64), Chalmers, Walsh, Austin (White 55), Oakley (Doran 72) Subs (not used): Hoban; McCart, D Mackay, Trafford Scorers: Mckay (10), Welsh (pen 48) Booked: Oakley (24), Walsh (32) Sent Off: none Alloa Athletic: 2 Lineup: Parry; Taggart, Graham, Karadachki, Dick, Hastie, Heatherington (Burt 78), Flannigan, Cawley (Brown 65), Zanatta, Spence (Peggie 49) Subs (not used): Henry, Trouten, Goodwin Scorers: Graham (35), Flannigan (87) Booked: Karadachki (46) Sent Off: Karadachki (48)
  25. The wasps are coming Player manager Jim Goodwin will take his Alloa Athletic side North on Saturday to face Inverness at the Caledonian Stadium in the Championship. It's a 3:00pm kick off with Inverness looking to remain unbeaten and keep the Wasps winless. I notice that Alloa have the most appropriately named keeper in the league. You've guessed it, his name is Parry, but let's not dwell on that. Keeper Neil Parry was voted onto the League one team having completed 13 clean sheets last season. That aside, what an appropriate name for a keeper........ just saying. Caley Stan has been doing his homework and the result is this informative Preview for us all to read.................... Alloa, known globally not just for its brewing but as the unlikely setting for a popular sitcom set during the French Resistance, lies on the north bank of the Forth where some say it ceases to be the River Forth and becomes the Firth of Forth. Fittingly, the town’s football club continually refuses to accept the place in the Seaside League that usually serves as the pinnacle for a club of its size. Under the chairmanship of local tycoon Mike Mulraney, The Wasps have enjoyed a period of unprecedented success, beginning with the appointment of Paul Hartley as manager in the summer of 2011. Hartley oversaw successive promotions and Alloa went on to spend 3 consecutive seasons in the second tier. Now Player-Manger-Master of the Dark Arts, Jim Goodwin, has led them back up at the second attempt with victories over Raith Rovers and Dumbarton in the play-offs. History of the Fixture Won 14 Drawn 10 Lost 6 We played Alloa 28 times in the first 9 seasons of our history and have faced them just twice since. Our first victory came at the fifth attempt – a 5-0 win at Recreation Park in which a Charlie Christie hat-trick and an Ian Stewart brace provided the first sign of the free-scoring fun that was to follow over the next 7 and a half years. By the end of that glorious period, Alloa had been the recipients of a series of unremitting pumpings, and Pele’s last visit to ‘The Recs’ fittingly saw us run out 6-0 winners, with hat-tricks from both Dennis Wyness and Paul Ritchie. I’ve always wondered who got to keep the ball. For all that, it’s a defeat that lingers most vividly in the memory. The 1999 Challenge Cup Final in Airdrie was an epic 4-4 draw that saw The Wasps victorious after a penalty shoot-out. Paul Sheerin, whose hat-trick in the game had included 2 from the spot, missed our opening penalty in the shoot-out and the loss was complete when Mike Teasdale had his saved. To add insult to injury, Alloa keeper Mark Cairns who saved Teasdale's penalty, scored the one before it. It may be difficult to imagine now, but it was a gut-wrenching defeat at the time – just 5 years into our history and in our debut season in the First Division, we were competing in our first final, bringing around 3000 fans down to a less than neutral venue. But in retrospect, with everything we’ve gone on to achieve, it’s difficult to begrudge Alloa a success that takes pride of place in their 140 year-old honours list. And lest we forget, it was not just a victory for Alloa Athletic Football Club, but a significant milestone in the integration of duffel coat wearing headmasters into mainstream society. The teams last met in the Second Round of the League Cup 2 years ago, with Alloa running out 1-0 winners. The defeat turned out to be a harbinger of things to come under the stewardship of Richie Foran and our descent since then has been steep. A maiden victory for Alloa at the Caledonian Stadium would represent a new low. Form Alloa Last 7: WDWLLLW ICT Last 7: WWWLWDL Form is in the eye of the beholder here, as it can be argued that the all competitions figures above don’t tell us much about confidence in the respective squads. Although Alloa have lost their opening two league fixtures, those games have been tight and they have performed well in the cups. There’s little to suggest that they will suffer as Brechin did. From our end, we remain unbeaten in the league since the 13th March, a run of 13 games, but the manner of our departures from the cups, combined with the failure to score against an Ayr side that played over an hour with 10 men, leave the impression that all may not be well. Teams & Tactics Like Dumbarton before them, Alloa’s chances of staying in this division are largely dependent on their ability to supplement a part-time squad with full-time loan signings. That makes August a tricky month, with clubs reluctant to loan players out before the transfer window closes. However, that process has stepped up this week with the loan additions of midfielder Liam Burt from Rangers and forward Dario Zanatta from Hearts. All accounts suggest that Alloa are playing a stuffy, narrow 4-4-1-1, with experienced lower league journeyman Alan Trouten in support of Greig Spence up top. At the back, captain Andy Graham has decent experience at this level and his partnership with Bulgarian Zdravko Karadachki has impressed so far this season. We also seem to be playing a narrow 4-4-2, with a settled back 4 that sees Shaun Rooney pushing up high on the right when we’re in possession. Tom Walsh has made a bright start to the season on the left of midfield, while Liam Polworth and Joe Chalmers are fixtures in Robbo’s starting line-ups. That leaves 3 places up for grabs with Charlie Trafford and Sean Welsh competing for the remaining berth in the centre of midfield, and Nathan Austin, George Oakley and Jordan White all in contention to play up front. It’s difficult to see where Aaron Doran fits into this system and Robbo has made it clear that he sees Daniel MacKay as an impact sub at this time. Angus Beith remains injured and Zak Elbouzedi was absent from the bench for our last match.