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  1. 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 bounce 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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!
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. 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)
  14. 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.
  15. No fizzy pop joy this season. The holders wimped out of the IrnBru cup at the first hurdle in what can best be described as a reserve team game. Both sides made massive changes to their starting line-ups and it was the visitors that went through to the next round after surviving a plethora of Inverness attacks, but holding on to score a break away goal at the end. Both sides fielded fringe players with youth players making up the squads for this IrnBru cup game. John Robertson said the players had been knocking on his door looking for some game time. That wish was granted for some, but Robertson was less than impressed after the game with what he saw on the park. Daniel Hoban was in goal and Jamie McCart and Riccardo Calder came into the back line. Aaron Doran started as did Sean Welsh, Daniel Mackay and Jordan White, all getting the opportunity to stake a claim for a regular game. The Pars fielded a whole new starting line-up with seven debutantes since their defeat to County, giving youth a chance to show their worth, and they certainly responded positively, although much of that was due to the inability of the Inverness players to impress their manager. Similar to the first team squad, chances were created and squandered before Dunfermline opened the scoring in controversial fashion. The Pars broke forward after a poor choice of ball by McCart played Trafford into trouble. He failed to deal with the ball and Andy Ryan broke forward to the edge of the box before being fouled by Brad Mckay. It looked to happen just outside the box given the position of the large divot left on the park. However, penalty was offered and Kallum Higginbotham promptly dispatched the ball low and hard to the keepers right hand side. We struggled to make any impact in a first half dominated by a stiff breeze and the Pars went in at the break one goal ahead as the early threat offered by Daniel Mackay eroded. Half Time 0-1 Robbo saw enough ten minutes into the second half and made changes as we continued to disappoint. Mackay and Trafford made way for Tom Walsh and George Oakley, and that coincided with our best spell of the game as Riccardo Calder began to threaten down the left and get some dangerous crosses in with Walsh doing likewise on the right. After three or four false alarms, Jordan White eventually met an inviting cross from the left, meeting Calder's ball ten yard out to drive it into the net for the equaliser. White was now beginning to get plenty joy in and around the box but unfortunately for him he was unable to direct any headers on target or with sufficient force to seriously trouble the keeper. Similar to Saturday, White landed another looping header on top of the net as our frustration grew. We were undone in the final few minutes when Polworth lost possession around the halfway line. Andy Ryan once more benefiting from our slackness and racing forward before rolling a ball into the box from the left side. Callum Smith was first to it and he knocked it high behind an exposed Hoban. We still managed to miss another couple of attempts, White knocking one over the bar from one yard and another header going over. Full Time 1-2 The experimental squad backfired for us but gave Dunfermline a safe passage into the next round. Was it deserved? Maybe not, but you make your own luck or get help from your opponents, and both of these happened on the night. Robbo has taken his squad to task over the display. I'm in agreement with him, it's time to take the cotton wool wrapping of the players and get them to perform to a higher level. So no fizzy pop joy for us this season, but good luck to Dunfermline in the next round. Wee midfielder Aidan Connolly (8) was a handful for our middlemen. Good control, able to beat a man and pick a pass, something we could have done with. He is the son of former Dundee United player Paddy Connolly and he is my MotM. Date: 14/08/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1046 Referee: Alan Muir Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Hoban; Rooney, B Mckay, McCart, Calder, Polworth, Welsh, Trafford (Walsh 55), Doran, D Mackay (Oakley 55), White Subs (not used): C Mackay; Brown, Harper, Fyffe, Kennedy Scorers: White (60) Booked: B Mckay (23), Rooney (34), Welsh (38) Sent Off: none Dunfermline: 2 Lineup: Gill; Allan, Morrison, Beadling (Jordan 63), Luke, Higginbotham, Todd, Connolly, Smith (Robertson 90), Ryan, McCann Subs (not used): Burt; Swanson, Crosbie, Brown, Sawers Scorers: Higginbotham (Pen 24), Smith (87) Booked: McCann (64) Sent Off: none a
  16. No Sweetener for IrnBru Champs It's a tough opening tie for Challenge Cup holders Inverness as we start the defence of our trophy on Tuesday night. However, there's no easy first round tie for the holders with the Pars visiting. Adults: £15 Concessions: £10 Under 16s: £5. Tickets available here Tickets Information for season ticket holders adding the game to their account can be found here How to add to your season ticket Our last involvement in this competition saw us defeat Dumbarton in the final at Perth, a last minute Carl Tremarco goal enough to lift the trophy. It was Championship duty last weekend and we passed up a great opportunity to win all three points against 10 man Ayr United. A penalty amongst other great opportunities went astray and we had to settle for a share of the points with the Honest Men. Inverness looked a bit one paced against Ayr and struggled to make the most of the numerical advantage. At times it was difficult to tell that the visitors were down a man. Nobody took the game by the scruff of the neck and we ultimately paid for our lethargy. Plenty of effort, but not enough guile. The last time the Pars came North they ruined our chances of a play-off slot last season by scoring with seconds left to earn a 2-2 draw in a pulsating game. I fully expect this to be another tough game. Robbo may make some changes for this cup game having gone with the tried and tested over the last few games. We do look as though a bit of pace in the wide areas would be an asset and maybe Elbouzedi or Calder could be more use on the park than on the bench. Daniel Mackay looks certain to make a start in this one. Been a tough week for Liam Polworth with the penalty miss and a minority section of fans getting on his case. Fair play to Liam if he plays through this, but I wouldn't blame him if he were to sit this one out and take stock of everything. Local artist and Caley Jags fan Sophie Robb has sketched this brilliant image of Liam. Let's hope he can put all this behind him and move on with the Caley Jags. Sophie's work can be seen at the stadium, a massive mural on display taken from the IrnBru final against Dumbarton. There's only one Liam Polworth................ The Pars fared worse than us on Saturday as they were unexpectedly beaten 1-3 at East End Park by relegated Ross County. Louis Longridge scored the Pars goal, but County were well worth the three points. Dunfermline might be more interested in the League Cup next weekend and that could lead to both sides fielding one or two fringe players. This was the side that Dunfermline put out at the weekend Robinson; Williamson, Durnan, Ashcroft, Longridge, Craigen, Thomson, Vincent, Longridge, El Bakhtaoui, Hippolyte Subs: Higginbotham, Ryan, Connolly, Gill, Smith, Todd, McCann An excellent digital Preview from the official site can be seen Here
  17. Inverness pay the penalty Inverness were held to a 0-0 draw by newly promoted Ayr United who had been reduced to ten men after half an hour. Despite the numerical superiority we were unable to capitalise and wasted a few good opportunities to take all three points, including a missed penalty. Prior to kick-off, a minutes silence was impeccably held in memory of Alan Hercher who died at the tender age of 52. Alan was our first club captain and scored our first, second and third goals with a hat-trick against Arbroath in 1994. How we could have done with Herchies drive in this game. RIP Alan Hercher 1965 - 2018. The visitors took along a healthy support amongst the 2376 crowd and were looking for wanted man Lawrence Shankland to see them through the game. Inverness were pretty much as expected with Nathan Austin and George Oakley up front and Jordan White, Aaron Doran and Daniel Mackay starting on the bench. The hosts started brightly and buzzed around the visitors box without actually creating too much for keeper Ross Doohan to deal with, Tom Walsh going close but missing the target in the third minute. Unfortunately that would be a recurring theme for the afternoon. Ayr's Daniel Harvie received a yellow card in the 13th minute that would come back to haunt him after half an hour. Robbie Crawford called Mark Ridgers into action as the keeper saved his effort in the 17th minute as Ayr began to get to grips with the pace of the game with their hosts not able to penetrate their defence. Harvie looked to push George Oakley over as he went for a high ball into the box and promptly got his marching orders from Andrew Dallas. Unfortunately Liam Polworth could not take advantage and directed his spot kick well wide of the post with the keeper going the wrong way. Five minutes before the break Nathan Austin should have scored when put through one-on-one with the keeper. He also picked his spot with his shot, but unfortunately that spot was two yards wide of the post. Great opportunity that went abegging. He also managed to hit the keeper right on the break for a frustrating end to the half for the home fans. We should have been at least two up at the break but through our own inability to hit the target Ayr went in at the interval on level terms. Half Time 0-0 Ayr came out of the blocks flying at the start of the second half and dangerman Lawrence Shankland used his strength and speed to good effect, but his angled shot went across the face of the goal with Ridgers scrambling across to cover it. Michael Moffat could also have opened the scoring but like everyone else he shot narrowly wide six minutes into the half. Robbie Crawford followed suit as Ayr looked for the opening goal. Inverness gradually came back into the game and Joe Chalmers stung the palms of Doohan. His shot had plenty of power but was too direct at the keeper. Robbie Crawford tried his luck again as the game opened out and Coll Donaldson took matters into his own hands and surged forward a couple of times. Plenty of effort from the hosts in the last half hour but we were unable to fashion any really clear opportunities. Donaldson fired a shot just over in one of his runs forward and substitute Jordan White could not quite direct a header on target, the ball landing on the roof of the net. A flurry of corners came and went and Ayr managed to hold on for an excellent point for them. Full Time 0-0 A frustrating afternoon all round and to be honest this felt like a defeat, but credit to Ayr for having a go especially once they went down to ten men. Difficult to select a MotM from an Inverness perspective with nobody catching the eye. Shankland gave our defenders a hard time with his powerful play and quick feet as did Moffat and Crawford. Donaldson might just be our best player on the day after making a couple of early mistakes which he recovered to deal with himself. He was one of the few players to drive forward with any menace and gets my vote. Miserable day for Liam Polworth not helped by some of our own fans venting their displeasure towards him with some unsavoury chants. Clean it up please. Dunfermline visit on Tuesday night in the Challenge Cup. They surprisingly went down 3-1 at home to Ross County on Saturday. Expect a difficult game in midweek. Here's the action from the game............. Date: 11/08/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2376 Referee: Andrew Dallas Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco, Walsh (Doran 70), Trafford (D Mackay 68), Polworth, Chalmers, Oakley, Austin (White 59) Subs (not used): Hoban; McCart, Welsh, Calder. Scorers: none Booked: Tremarco (19), Rooney (49) Sent Off: none Ayr United: 0 Lineup: Doohan; Geggan, Adams, Rose, Harvie, Forrest (Ferguson 31), Crawford, Kerr (Docherty 83), Murdoch, Shankland, Moffat (Bell 74) Subs (not used): Hare-Reid, Moore, McDaid, McGuffie. Scorers: none Booked: Harvie (13), Crawford (70) Sent Off: Harvie (30) a
  18. Ayr visit tinged with sadness Ayr United come North on Saturday to face Inverness at the Caledonian Stadium in the Championship, round two. It should have been a day to renew old acquaintances, but it will be tinged with sadness as news breaks about the passing of former club captain, legend and all round great guy Alan Hercher. The newly promoted Honest Men find themselves at the top of the Championship after matchday one thanks to a 2-0 win over relegated Partick Thistle. Inverness join them on three points along with Ross County and the impressive Dunfermline Athletic. We opened our campaign with a hard fought win at Falkirk thanks to a tenth minute strike from George Oakley. By all accounts a touch fortunate to get all three points, but the new look Falkirk side with seven new starts took a while to get going and never really looked like getting all three points anyway. So, we can look at this one as a bonus win, and considering our dreadful start to life in the Championship last season, we'll take it. Ayr top the table after an early double from hot property Lawrence Shankland secured the points, the first from the penalty spot, the second a strikers goal from ten yards out smashed into the net. We have had some memorable games against Ayr. Who can forget the 7-0 thrashing of Ayr when we got promoted at the first time of asking and Terry Buther's sermon from the main stand at Somerset Park? What about the 7-3 see-saw league game in December 2000 when it seemed that goals were maybe going out of fashion, a Dennis Wyness hat-trick in that one. My personal favourite, the 4-3 Scottish Cup tie at Inverness in January 2001 when Eddie Annand, Mark Campbell and Marvyn Wilson had Ayr three up after thirty-three minutes. However, four second half goals from Paul Sheerin, Bobby Mann, Davide Xausa and Dennis Wyness put us into the fourth round draw. We would go on to a replay at Rugby Park in the fourth round before going down 2-1 against Kilmarnock. Aye, those were the days! Back to the future now and Ayr have strengthened since gaining promotion. In come Daniel Harvie, a defender from Aberdeen, Andy Murdoch a midfielder from Morton and they have a loan keeper from Celtic in Ross Doohan. Robbo went with the tried and tested players last weekend with Nathan Austin and George Oakley up front. Midfield seems to be our problem area with nobody taking ownership and bossing the play. Tom Walsh is a lively addition though and looks to have a bright future here. Col Donaldson was once again our star man showing his defensive attributes to nullify the Bairns. Look for more of the same tomorrow. Very sad news breaking as we prepare for the game against Ayr is that our first club Captain Alan Hercher has passed away at the young age of 52. Herchie scored a hat-trick in our first ever home league game against Arbroath in a 5-2 win at Telford Street in 1994. There is more details on the official site. Alan Hercher Tribute A minutes silence will be observed prior to kick off against Ayr United. Sincere condolences to Alan's family and friends from all at Caley Thistle Online. RIP Herch. Here's a short clip of Herch scoring the winner against Livingston in the Scottish Cup in 1996
  19. Late Mackay goal sinks Raith Substitute Daniel Mackay scored the winner with three minutes remaining after Grant Gillespie had scored a screamer to draw Raith level. Nathan Austin had opened the scoring after a goalless first half which Inverness had dominated without over exerting the keeper. Tom Walsh kept his starting place after his two goals at Cowdenbeath with Shaun Rooney at full back. Daniel Mackay was on the bench with Riccardo Calder and Jordan White. Raith had former Inverness giant Nat Wedderburn on the bench with ex-Dundee player Kyle Benedictus on from the start. The hosts started briskly and forced a corner within a minute and continued on the front foot for most of the half. Thompson saved an effort from Walsh but Austin couldn't dig the ball out and get a shot away from the rebound. Oakley turned on a through ball but Thompson saved smartly to deny the striker. Lot's of neat interplay from Inverness but little end product as the half wore on with Raith offering nothing up front. Not surprisingly it ended all square at the break. Half Time 0-0 Second half was only five minutes old when Oakley held up a ball from Polworth to lay it onto Austin who steered a low shot to the keepers right hand side into the net. Smart opening goal and no more than we deserved. Could we kick on from here? Well, the answer was no and out of nowhere Raith scored a scorcher of a goal when Grant Gillespie latched onto a loose ball from a corner some 12 yards out and lashed his shot like a missile into the top corner at junction of post and bar. We struggled to make much headway thereafter until substitute Danny Mackay benefited from a blocked shot from Riccardo Calder on the break to send the fans home happy. Full Time 2-1 Hard work but an overall deserved win over a defensive Raith Rovers. More updates to follow........ ICT: Ridgers, Rooney (), Tremarco, B Mckay, Chalmers, Donaldson, Polworth (), Austin (Calder 81), Doran (White 76), Walsh, Oakley (Mackay 68) Subs not used: Hoban, McCart, Elbouzedi, Trafford Raith: Thompson, Watson, Valentine, Davidson (Wedderburn 45), Murray, Benedictus, Gillespie, Milne (Stevenson 81), Matthews, Nisbet, Mackay. Subs not used: McGuff, Barry. Referee: Colin Steven Attendance: 1295
  20. After the biggest home game comes Raith. League Cup action continues on Tuesday night with a group stage game against Raith Rovers in the Betfred sponsored competition. The game kicks off at 19:45 at the Caledonian Stadium. Admission Information: Adult – £10 Concessions – £5 Under 12 – Free Our first two games have brought us six points after victories over Cove Rangers (2-0) and Cowdenbeath (2-5). There was mixed reaction to the Cowdenbeath result with some fans not overly impressed with the performance whilst welcoming the overall result. Tom Walsh scored an excellent brace and Aaron Doran scrambled a couple as well with substitute George Oakley lashing in the other one. Raith began their League Cup fixtures with a disappointing defeat at Bayview by Cowdenbeath. The tie was played there because Raiths new artificial surface was not ready in time. They followed this up by playing Hearts on Saturday at the same venue and fared much better holding the Premiership side to a 1-1 draw. Hearts went on to win the penalty shoot out to earn the bonus point. Kevin Nisbet had put the Kirkaldy side ahead but Michael Smith levelled the match with twelve minutes remaining. Group C favourites Hearts are in trouble with the beaks after fielding an ineligible player in the 2-1 win over Cove Rangers. The club will face a hearing on Monday after Andrew Irving, 18, came on in the 65th minute. Chief executive Anne Budge spoke of Hearts' "embarrassment" after admitting they failed to register the player's new deal, which he signed in January. According to Anne, new internal processes will be put in place to prevent this from happening again. Oh dear, and Jake thought he was joining a more professional outfit. Meh! The result of that meeting was a rather odd decision by the SPFL to deduct two points from Hearts with a £10,000 fine. Robbo has decisions to make ahead of this game with Tom Walsh looking the part and Jordan White showing up well with a couple of assists. A good dilemma to have I suppose with goals coming from new sources providing competition for places across the park. Daniel Mackay missed out again at Cowdenbeath with a niggle. New signing Sean Welsh is in the bad book though and might have to sit on the naughty step after an eventful debut at Brora in a pre-season friendly. After scoring two goals he was red carded for an alleged head butt/face off. Rovers manager Barry Smith has new recruits Robbie Thomson (GK), Grant Gillespie, Nathan Flannagan, Kevin Nisbet and Chris Duggan available to him. Former Inverness player Nat Wedderburn missed the opener and did not feature against Hearts either. Raith have not beaten Inverness in their last seventeen attempts, but they can be cheered by the fact that Inverness faced their toughest home game of the season at the weekend and only managed to scramble a draw against 100 kids despite having the opposition watched numerous times. Here's the video highlights of the 25 all draw ............
  21. The Day Football Came Home Inverness eased themselves to a 2-0 win over Cove Rangers in the opening game of the season without over exerting themselves on the very day when football came home. Holidays, cobwebs and rustiness were common words thrown around the stands. It was a sometimes laboured performance from the Championship side and the holiday blues were still evident, with a bit to go before match sharpness kicks in. Nonetheless, two tap-ins from Nathan Austin were enough to see off Cove who for the greater part looked every bit as threatening as did their hosts. A defensive error allowed Austin to benefit from an Oakley cross and some tidy work outside the box saw Shaun Rooney feed a great ball to Polworth who teed up Austin to tap into the empty net. Some great saves by visiting keeper McKenzie kept the score down along with slackness up front by the hosts, but at the same time Mark Ridgers had to earn his crust to keep a sometimes lively Cove side at bay. A win for Inverness and all credit to Cove for plugging away and with a bit of fortune could have bagged a goal. Inverness could have been made to suffer for squandering a hatful of opportunities but we'll put that down to the pre-season feel about this game. Inverness CT 2-0 Cove Rangers Cove: McKenzie, C. Milne, H. Milne, Strachan, Yule, Kelly, Park, Smith, McManus, Brown, Scully. Subs: McCafferty, Masson, Grey, Emmett.
  22. Betfred kicks off the new season. The new season begins this weekend with the group stages of the Scottish League Cup and it's Cove Rangers that are the visitors to the Caledonian Stadium. The Moscow State Circus are using the home car park as their base so parking at the stadium will be at a premium and the club have issued this statement: We would like to make supporters aware of the following information ahead of this Saturday’s Betfred Cup match against Cove Rangers. We’re looking forward to getting the season underway and would like to inform fans about free shuttle buses that will be running from the Caley Club and Railway Terrace to the stadium for the match. This is due to the fact there will be limited parking spaces available at the stadium, as one of the car parks is currently being used by the circus until Tuesday 17th July. Additional car parking has been kindly made available within the Scottish Provincial Press (SPP) Car Park. Please respect SPP’s property if using this facility. The Shuttle Buses will operate on a loop system taking fans to the stadium from the Caley Club and Railway Terrace from 1:00pm onwards on Saturday, and will be in operation post-match as well. The post-match time may change if the match finishes as a draw and goes to penalties so as to ensure supporters are able to see the conclusion of the match. Supporters should also be aware that Saturday’s match is the first with our new ticketing system so we ask everyone to bear with us and remain patient when entering the ground. Thanks for your excellent support and we hope to see as many as you as possible this Saturday for the start of the new season. If you do have to take your car with you on Saturday, please leave yourself more time than usual as there are likely to be delays. Check out the new online match programme shown below at Inverness CT v CoveRangers An excellent addition to the portfolio. It's another new look Caley Jags with Iain Vigurs off over the bridge. That should mean a better disciplanary record for the club and maybe more penalties converted. His undoubted quality will be missed though. Carl Tremarco will be the man to lead us on the pitch as he takes over the captains armband from Vigurs with Aaron Doran as vice captain. Pre-season friendlies bunched together had Inverness playing two sides on the same days but it meant everybody got a game to bring on the match sharpness. Anyones guess as to who will be performing but one or two have shown up well in pre-season. Tom Walsh banged in four against Buckie Thistle. Nathan Austin and Daniel Mackay have also been amongst the goals. Lot of new names to get our heads round this season and I'm sure they will all get a warm welcome from the home fans. Over to you Robbo, the posturing is over, time to see some action. The big spending Highland League side will provide Inverness with tough opposition. They defeated Falkirk in a pre-season friendly last week and narrowly lost to Montrose in their previous game. Cove secured the return of Blair Yule from Arbroath on a 3 year deal and seasoned striker Mitch Megginson. Both these players were much sought after at a higher level, Yule was a Caley Jags target before he went to Arbroath. Midfielder Ryan Strachan is back to full fitness and is looking forward to this one having missed all the games since April being out with ankle ligament damage. Cove will be without captain Eric Watson, Mitch Megginson, Scott Ross and Alan Redford.
  23. Last Gasp Agony Inverness now require a miracle of biblical proportions to make the play-off after a 95th minute goal snatched our destiny from our own hands in a pulsating match against the Pars. It was always going to be a big ask to win our remaining eight games, but we looked to be getting down to the last two until the stoppage time equaliser ruined the day. Nicky Clark did the dastardly deed with almost the last touch of the ball heading home a set piece to spoil our weekend. The Pars had gone ahead after some slack play at the back, Andy Ryan scoring. However, Joe Chalmers found the bottom corner of the goal with a super free kick and when Nathan Austin surged forward to thunder the ball into the net it was looking good until the last few seconds when a draw was snatched from the jaws of victory. Influential playmaker and the voters & players player of the year Iain Vigurs was suspended and in came Charlie Trafford to the midfield. Gary Warren missed out through injury and Collin Seedorf slotted in at right back with Brad Mckay moving alongside Coll Donaldson at the heart of the defence. Carl Tremarco replaces Riccardo Calder in a straight swap at left back. Dunfermline had on form Fraser Aird keeping Jo Cardle on the bench and former Inverness Cup hero James Vincent starting. Nat Wedderburn was also on the bench. A big travelling support boosted the crowd to near three and a half thousand on a bright Saturday afternoon, no chance of this game being called off. The Pars showed they were going to be difficult to beat in the early exchanges as they moved the ball around swiftly but it was Aaron Doran that got the first shot away, saved comfortably by Lee Robinson in the Pars goal. George Oakley tried his luck with a header that missed the target. Dunfermline made the breakthrough after some slack defending on the right side of our defence. Andy Ryan benefitting and beating Ridgers to open the scoring. Kallum Hegginbotham felt the need to hammer the ball into the North Stand in a peculiar sort of celebration and was promptly booked. Brad Mckay had a shot saved by Robinson as we looked to get back on level terms and we did just that a couple of minutes later when Joe Chalmers curled a free kick round the bottom of the wall into the vacant space beside the near post. Great strike and another that was in as soon as it left his laces. Dunfermline are a class act though and continued to play football as did Inverness and the game was moving swiftly from end to end in a great advert for the Championship. Fraser Aird brought out a fine save from Mark Ridgers with both sides probing for an opening and near the interval Nathan Austin broke down the left, cutting into the box but shot from a tight angle when a ball across the box might have been more beneficial. Half Time 1-1 The hosts exploded out of the blocks at the start of the second half and Liam Polworth and George Oakley both went close. We would do even better a minute later. Nathan Austin tussled for a ball around the half way line. He held the troublesome defender at bay for thirty yards and as he entered the box he landed a thumper of a shot which blurred behind the keeper for an absolutely superb goal. Inverness were in total control at this point and looked most likely to extend their lead with Seedorf and Donaldson going close to doing just that. A bit of a delay as a clash of heads saw Oakley being bandaged like Butcher and a Pars player also receiving attention. That would prove costly later. Substitute Jo Cardle went close for the visitors around twenty minutes from the end as Dunfermline got their second wind. Another substitute, Daniel Mackay could have sealed it for Inverness after great work by Aaron Doran down the left. He cut into the box and rolled the ball across to the other side where young Dan had made great strides to get into the box. Unfortunately his first time strike whistled just past the outside of the post. We would pay for that miss deep into injury time when Dunfermline won a simple free kick some forty yards from goal. Cardle swung a dangerous ball into the box and Nicky Clark silenced the home fans and sent the away fans delirious with a header that found it's way into the net for that all important leveller. Full Time 2-2 There was barely time to kick off and that was that. The dream almost done and dusted unless Dumbarton could do us a massive favour by beating the Pars next Saturday. It could all be irrelevant should we fail to win our last two games anyway, starting with Livingston on Tuesday night and ending at Greenock on Saturday. It had been a pulsating game with plenty of slick football from both sides. Inverness probably should have seen this one out having got their noses in front, but credit to the Pars for hanging in there. I suppose nobody could really complain about the final result but it was a hard one to take. Difficult to pick a clear MotM, but Nathan Austin got my vote for that goal alone. What a strike, showing pace, power, skill and determination. He was ably assisted by Liam Polworth, the tireless George Oakley and Aaron Doran who had the beating of the defence and was a threat whenever he went forward. Young Player of the Year Coll Donaldson put in another good shift at the heart of the defence and he would have been my pick for Player of the Year. It's not over until the fat lady sings, but she's on the final verse now. All we can do is beat Livingston and see what happens next Saturday. Unfortunately I fear the worst, but it has been a great comeback to the season after a horrendous start. Brad Mckay agrees with that, and here is his tweet: Agony that, boys have been unbelievable in the last 2 months. Unbeaten in 10 games, bad start to the season cost us dearly in the end. We keep going last two games and see what’s what. Coll Donaldson was just as gutted............ Such a disappointing end to a fantastic run! Means a lot for the team mates to vote me in as this though. Small consolation on a day like today but already looking forward to what we can achieve next year. Match highlights from Caley Jags TV Here's the goal that ruined our weekend................................ Alan Johnston talks after the game Cup Final hero from 2015 James Vincent has his say................ Date: 21/04/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 3316 Referee: Stephen Finnie Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Seedorf, B Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco, Doran (Calder 90), Polworth, Trafford, Chalmers, Austin (D Mackay 60), Oakley Subs (not used): Esson; Mulraney, Bell, Elbouzedi Brown. Scorers: Chalmers (16), Austin (48) Booked: B Mckay (32), Trafford (90), Polworth (90+2) Sent Off: none Dunfermline: 2 Lineup: Robinson; Williamson, Martin, M'Voto, Ashcroft, Higginbotham (McManus 66), Clark, Ryan, Aird (Cardle 60), Vincent, Craigan (Morris 90). Subs (not used): Gill; Wedderburn, Armstrong, Talbot, Scorers: Ryan (13), Clark (90+5) Booked: Higginbotham (13), Williamson (45) Sent Off: none a
  24. Must Win Game Five down, three to go. We have had the must not lose games, well, we are at the stage where it's now a must win game. We have come a long way since Dunfermline hammered us 5-1 back in August. Smith, Ashcroft, Hopkirk and Cardle twice putting us to the sword in a Welcome to the Championship game. Iain Vigurs got a consolation goal for us that day but he will sit this one out after yellow cards caught up with him. These are the two form teams in the Championship just now. Inverness are on a winning run of five in a row, the best by any team this season in the league. The Pars are not far behind with four on the trot and they are the target for Inverness to aim for in the race for a place. Other than the 5-1 thrashing, both sides have enjoyed 1-0 wins. In fact neither side has lost since they last played each other on 13th March when the Pars won 1-0 at East End Park. Something is going to give! Ask the players and they will all tell you the same thing. They are taking it one game at a time over the last month with the games coming thick and fast after a winter of discontent disrupting the fixture list. Every win has taken us closer to the possibility of snatching a play-off place and the one game that keeps the dream in our own hands is here. Robbo will be without the suspended Iain Vigurs for the next two crucial games. His midfield partner Liam Polworth will have to take up the slack and he has been is fine form lately, pointing the way to go. Gary Warren came off after less than half an hour in midweek and is out. I would expect Collin Seedorf to return at right back with Brad Mckay teaming up with Coll Donaldson in central defence. Charlie Trafford will surely come back into midfield with Vigurs suspended. Jake Mulraney is another option and may be used later in the game. Allan Johnston has a settled side at the moment and that has shown in their recent run of results. Fraser Aird is a man on form just now scoring twice against Brechin at the weekend. tm4tj prediction:- This is a tough one. We are not talking about brushing aside part time Brechin or Dumbarton, but full time Dunfermline Athletic, a well established unit who are gearing up for a promotion push. Neither side will be wanting to give anything away and it could be a bit cagey. The Pars have only won twice in Inverness, the last time was in 2007. We did win the last time Dunfermline came North but they defeated Inverness at East End Park. Dunfermline's defensive record is similar to ours but they have scored seven more goals than us. In Jo Cardle they have a pacey wide player who can cause problems. Both sides are on tremendous runs and it's about who has the belief and will go the extra mile to complete the job. We might just edge this one, but part of me believes a draw will be the end product and that will end the dream. I hope I am wrong.
  25. Austin Hat-Trick Inverness went goal crazy against a Dumbarton side they failed to trouble for ninety three minutes in the IrnBru Cup Final a couple of weeks ago. This time we showed no mercy and but for some wayward finishing could have scored more, but we can't be vexed at five surely. Dumbarton, to their credit came to play, unlike the final where they did their best to stop us playing. However, after opening the scoring through Grant Gallagher in the 13th minute, Inverness stepped up the pace and blew the Sons away scoring five going on eight. Aaron Doran replied four minutes later with a superb long range effort flying high into the unguarded area of the net. Four minutes before the break Nathan Austin scored his first of three. Five minutes after the break he added his second and Dumbarton heads went down. The influential Iain Vigurs added a fourth before Austin grabbed the match ball finishing off after a Liam Polworth burst into the box. Look what Fash took home with him after the game. John Robertson was forced into making three changes from the last game with Charlie Trafford, Coll Donaldson and Carl IrnBru Tremarco all suspended. In came Riccardo Calder, Collin Seedorf and Aaron Doran with Brad Mckay and Gary Warren taking up the slack in central defence. Dumbarton did their best to field a team of Gallagher's, three of them starting with the talismanic Froxylias on the bench. We fell behind when Calder dived into a tackle wide right but Andrew Stirling was always first to the ball and he skipped round the mis-timed tackle to cut a dangerous ball into the box where Grant Gallagher smashed it high behind a helpless Mark Ridgers. Excellent goal for the Sons, but all it did was wake up Inverness. Four minutes later and Doran crashed a swerving shot from all of thirty yards high into the net. What a strike from the wee man, goal as soon as it left his boot. Polworth almost matched it soon after as the ball sat up but his volley just dipped wide of the mark. His next contribution proved more fruitful as he lifted a ball wide to Doran who saw the run of Austin to the near post. He picked him out effortlessly and Nathan stepped round the keeper to tap in for an excellent finish to a tidy move. Half Time 2-1 Polly's next moment was less productive. After he broke down a clearance from defence, Polworth danced across the box delaying the finish a couple of times before cutting the ball cutely back across the keeper. Unfortunately he cut it back wide of the post as well when it looked easier to score. Gives the boo boys something to moan about I suppose. Great effort from Liam though. His assist rate is second to none though and after bursting into the box he chipped the ball goalwards where Austin was on hand to finish the task. Iain Vigurs showed his midfield companion how to cut the ball behind the keeper in a tight spot from close range as he did just that, Polworth again involved in the goal Austin grabbed his hat-trick after some neat play down the left, the striker guiding a low cross into the net after Calder drove forward, another good team goal finished by a player on song. Connor Bell had a couple of efforts late in the game which could have produced more after the tireless George Oakley did the spade work, but his wee leggies would not get him to the ball soon enough and when Mulraney met the loose ball Gallagher parried away his shot. Full Time 5-1 Biggest win for some time in a league game, probably since scoring six at Kilmarnock in 2011 (double hat-tricks that day from A Shinnie and Tade). First league hat-trick for a long time too, Billy Mckay bagging one against Motherwell in 2013. The statisticians will no doubt have more but it's good to get a couple of monkeys of the back on the same day. Great performance from Nathan Austin who is my MotM, but some unselfish work by others allowing him to flourish in front of goal. Notable grafters were Liam Polworth, Iain Vigurs, George Oakley and Aaron Doran who scored a beaut. All to do again on Tuesday night at Dumbarton where I doubt the home defence will be so generous. Ooooops, nearly forgot, congratulations to St Mirren who are on their way into the Premiership after clinching the title with a draw against Livingston who have secured their play-off place as well. Congrats all round and we hope to join you there. Here's the action from the game............ Johndo made the game and here are the marks from our Chorley scribe with his infamous Smileymometer..... Ridgers 😀😀😀 Must have appreciated the rest. No chance with the goal which was a screamer Seedorf 😀😀😀 some nice touches, especially one showboat that Clarence would have been proud of. But a right back or wing back he is not. And I suspect that his attacking capability is stifled. Warren 😀😀😀Solid but he is no playmaker McKay 😀😀😀 Again solid but again not a playmaker and clear why we missed Donaldson. Fortunately Gary and Brad usually had Polly or Vigurs in space. Calder 😀😀😀 Not a defender either and dived in completely in the run up to the Sons opener. Unlike Seedorf he has attacking flair and was always ready to take on the defender and hit the line in an old winger style that I still appreciated Polworth 😀😀😀 Gawd does that poor lad get some stick or what ? He ran and ran and ran, some of his touches were sublime. He has got bad press for two second half errors. From my perspective if he had completed the final touch on both occasions it would have been a goal of the season contender and he would have walked off with the MOM. Chalmers 😀😀😀 The man with the sweet left foot also appears to be the boo boys target. He basically sat and covered for Vigurs and Polly.I would have said that he was quietly effective. Vigurs 😀😀😀😀 Provided a master class for an hour, pinging balls accurately all over the pitch. I thought he could have been carded for one horrendous follow through tackle in the first half and he clearly tired at the end Doran 😀😀😀 Has lost a bit of pace but he is another with a high skill ability. Cracker of a goal. Oakley 😀😀😀 I thought he had a lazy, lacklustre first half but a real old centre forward second half display. Appears to Be the boo boys favourite as he made more errors than Polly. But he would have been in my top three Austin 😀😀😀😀 Well we have been asking for a goal scorer and he certainly fitted the role. Good turn of pace of the mark and good finisher to boot. I was surprised the he was hooked but I was told that it was a mistake and it was supposed to be Seedorf. Amateurish if correct. As DD alluded to Elbouzedhi looked sharp and I would like to see more. Disappointed that Robbo sent on Bell and not young McKay. Some of the refereeing decisions were bizarre. Good crowd and the Young Team were a credit. My first home game of the season and I can't understand what everybody has been complaining about 😛 Date: 14/04/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2355 Referee: Gavin duncan Inverness CT: 5 Lineup: Ridgers; Seedorf, B Mckay, Warren, Calder, Doran (Elbouzedi 64), Polworth, Vigurs (Mulraney 71), Chalmers, Oakley, Austin (Bell 69). Subs (not used): Esson, D Mackay, Brown, Harper Scorers: Doran (17), Austin (41, 50, 66), Vigurs (63) Booked: B Mckay (22) Sent Off: none Dumbarton: 1 Lineup: Gallagher; Gallagher (Hill 75), Barr, Dowie, McGlaughlin, Nisbet, Wilson (Burt 58) , Hutton, Stirling, Handling, Gallagher (Stewart 67) Subs (not used): Walsh, Ewings, Froxylias. Scorers: G Gallagher (13) Booked: Barr (62), Stewart (76), Hutton (90) Sent Off: none a