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  1. What a surprise, another draw ZZzzzzzzzz.. Inverness produced another text book performance to draw with Dundee United. A first half goal from Tom Walsh was nullified by former Caley Jags player Billy King. It's all become a bit predictable at the Caledonian Stadium and the result was met with plenty of derision by the home support after a gutless second half when the inevitable happened. We all waited for the United winner but it never came. We look like a team short on confidence as we struggled to create anything while United stroked the ball about and were probably unfortunate not to take all three points but for a couple of great saves by Mark Ridgers. Immortal Howden Ender has curtailed his report due to a lack of action on the park, yet he still managed to pick out some moments..... My first home game of the season and so enjoyable - pre and post match !! Good to see so many friends in the Caley Club, the North Stand and the Innes Bar. At least people who know that Johndo is the person and IHE is an alter ego - and neither will go away I have read through the initial posts on the match thread and I could like them all. Apart from the smart, sharp, slick passing move for the Walsh goal and a "worldie" save by Ridgers on the first half whistle there is little else to enthuse about. We went ultra defensive and paid the price. It looked like the tactic was to grab one more on the break but we simply gave the incentive to a team, no better than us, but a team that could pass and sadly looked more passionate and driven to get a result. We practically played 4-3-3 at times and pressed BUT changed it when we scored. And it was soul destroying to see the Arabs out passing us and showing a will to win. If they had netted a second I could not have complained Ridgers Two good stops in the first half and one worldview. Rooney Is it just me but if I was a coach I would have totally bollicked him for his overall attitude. He looks good going forward but his head goes down to easily and he strolls back. Simply not a defender. McKay Let's just say that he looked OK but how much was that due to Coll. Donaldson My MOM - nuff said. McCart Impressive first half followed by an OK second. Polly I feel so sorry for him. I feel that he is our only real true footballer. He is one or two moves ahead of his team mates but my frustration is that instead of getting angry he falls out of games. Chalmers I still think that he has a sweet left foot but a creative midfielder he is not. Another who goes missing. Welsh Disappointed with him today. I would play him just in front of the back four centrally in the Draper role. Doran Has lost that off the mark pace and I feel that he detracts from Polly Walsh He has been in and out of every game I have watched him in. Perhaps we should be just playing him wide on either flank and treating him like a luxury Oakley Another hit or miss although why are we playing a lone striker at home ? Would it not be rash but exciting to see MacGregor and Danny McKay played on a regular basis? I see he has refrained from commenting on White, or maybe he just forgot he came on, like the rest of us??? Here's the action from the Caledonian Stadium with Mark Ridgers keeping ICT in the game. And Robbo on the ICTFC Twitter account Date: 15/12/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2464 Referee: Willie Collum Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Walsh, Polworth, Chalmers, Welsh (Trafford 82), Doran (MacGregor 83), Oakley Subs (not used): Hoban; Harper, Nicolson, Austin. Scorers: Walsh (18) Booked: B Mckay (80) Sent Off: none Dundee United: 1 Lineup: Siegrist; Murdoch, Bouhenna, Frans, Booth, Fyvie (Rabitsch 89), Stanton, Smith (Curran 70), King, Aird (McMullan 63), Safranko Subs (not used): Robson, Watson, Rakovan, Edjenguele Scorers: King (76) Booked: Bouhenna (29) Sent Off: none a
  2. Amber Alert One of the form teams come calling this Saturday as Dundee United head to the Caledonian Stadium boasting thirteen points from their last six Championship games, despite that crushing 0-5 defeat to table toppers Ayr United. Since we last played each other, a 1-1 daw at Tannadice in October, United have won 4 times with that defeat to Ayr United and last weeks draw with Morton. Our stats are less impressive with last weeks first defeat of the season against Falkirk. That was preceded by four draws and a solitary League win over Partick Thistle. Add in the Cup draw at Edinburgh City before we thrashed them in the replay and it's a bit patchy to be honest. Last Friday's game at Somerset Park was called off as high winds were deemed too strong for the game to go ahead. Unfortunately that was only decided about 45 minutes prior to kick off, after Inverness fans had already made the long five hour trek. Just a shambles if you ask me, the weather forecast was not a secret and if they had thought about the fans instead of TV revenue, the game could have been called off on Friday morning. That game will now be played on Tuesday 29th January 2019 at Somerset Park, 19:45 Kick-Off. In their last game United were pegged back by Morton with just over ten minutes left. Gregor Buchanan earned a point for Morton after Frederick Frans had headed United ahead half an hour into the first half. Robbie Neilson was sent to the stand during the game for using foul and abusive language. tsk tsk. We played a Scottish Cup tie last midweek, a replay against Edinburgh City and ran out 6-1 winners after a pretty dour first half. A hat-trick from Jordan White and a brace from Tom Walsh with Aaron Doran scoring the sixth in time added on. United are third in the Championship on 28 points and we moved down one place with Queen of the South drawing at Dingwall. Arabs defender Jamie Robson left himself defenceless after an ill informed fancy dress guise was leaked on instagram. Robbie Neilson has spoken briefly to the player and the club have conducted their own enquiry over the incident where Robson was dressed as a beach vendor with a blackened face. He will be disciplined by the club and will likely not be included in the squad for this weekend. It's not the first time the club has has to question his antics. Have a word with yourself son. John Robertson has a wafer thin squad to juggle around with compared to Robbie Neilson at Tannadice. A couple of injuries for the Caley Jags and we are down to the bare bones. Carl Tremarco has been out for some time now and although he has resumed running he will not be considered for this game. Daniel Mackay has also been out for a few weeks. Jamie McCart has been a decent deputy for Tremarco and another of our young stars, Roddy MacGregor has been given some game time and looks a great prospect. Talking of Roddy MacGregor, he played for the u18 side against Aberdeen on Friday evening. Unfortunately the young Inverness side lost out by 2-1, Donald Morrison scoring for the Caley Jags and they were unlucky not to at least draw this game played at the Highland Rugby Club artificial surface. I expect Inverness to be along similar lines to their last few games with hat-trick scorer Jordan White spearheading the attack and George Oakley and Nathan Austin waiting for their opportunity. Our defence speaks for itself although a couple of slack goals recently need to be addressed. United's last game against Morton the squad looked like this:- Starting XI: Rakovan, Murdoch, Booth, Frans, McMullan, Fyvie, Curran, Stanton, Safranko, Bouhenna, Aird. SUBS: Donaldson, Smith, King, Rabitsch, Edjenguele, Thomas, Watson. Here's the Matchday Programme from the Official Site ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Highland Derby is coming soon Ross County v ICTFC Saturday 29th December 3PM Kick-off Ladbrokes Championship Tickets: Adults- £20, Concession £10 and Under 18's £5 ICTFC fans can secure their tickets for the next Highland Derby online from the following link: TICKETS Supporters should select tickets in section N1-3 or N4-6. These are the North Stand tickets (Away end) Please note ticket for this fixture are available online only right now. The tickets will go on sale from the Stadium for personal callers on 17th December at 2pm.
  3. Something in the Ayr tonight GAME OFF due to high wind. Anyone got a kite............. It's our third game within a week as we head to Ayrshire to take on the table topping Honest Men in a Friday night game under the floodlights of Somerset Park, or as Thunderclap Newman used to say, there's something in the Ayr......... Because the revolution's here, and you know it's right. The last few days have seen contrasting fortunes for Inverness. A first defeat of the season to bottom club Falkirk on Saturday was followed up by a crushing Scottish Cup win over Edinburgh City. The Falkirk game was hard to take and it ended our long unbeaten Championship run, an injury time goal sealing the points for the Bairns. The cup replay saw Jordan White claim a hat-trick and Tom Walsh a brace. It was a dour first half, but much better application after the break saw Inverness run out comfortable winners over League Two leaders Edinburgh City. Ayr have been without a game since last Friday when they juiced the Tangerines 5-0 at Tannadice. Lawrence Shankland was the man making the difference with a four goal salvo to keep Ayr at the top of the league ahead of Ross County. In fact it's all going on in Ayrshire with Kilmarnock heading the Premership after the midweek games. In fact there's definitely something in the Ayr. Hotbed of Scottish football just now! The first meeting of the season saw Inverness fail to get the better of ten man Ayr, Liam Polworth missing the target from the spot. We did keep Shankland fairly quiet in that game, but even with ten men Ayr were still a threat on the break, the game ended 0-0. Talking of Shankland, Swansea City are reported to be about to offer £400k for his services in the English Championship. The 26 goal striker is reputed to have around twenty clubs looking for his signature, unfortunately Inverness are not one of them. Ian McCall has nipped all rumours in the bud but accepts that there will be massive interest in his star striker come the January window. Ayr have won ten of their fifteen league games with only two defeats, Ross County (2-1) and Queen of the South (surprisingly 5-0). They have 33 points (to our 22) and are the top scorers in the division with 30 goals ( ICT 21) having conceded only 12 (ICT 16). Despite the doom and gloom of our extended unbeaten run, it's almost a relief to lose that tag as we embark on the next part of the journey. Turning draws into wins was proving to be a stumbling block, but Falkirk have hopefully given us the wake up call to get us back on track. Good to see Roddy MacGregor getting more game time as he looks to have a bright future with his energy and quick feet giving him the ability to drive at defences. Nice wee cameo against Edinburgh City where he set up Aaron Doran for our sixth goal. Sixth goal: Not often we can say that. The Ayr team that faced Dundee United last week can be seen in the image to the right, Striker Craig Moore returns to the Ayr squad after a two game ban. Ian MacCall has fitness doubts over defender Jamie Adams and midfielders Alan Forrest and Mark Kerr. Rumour has it that they will all miss this one. For Inverness, Carl Tremarco is back training but not fit for action yet. Jamie McCart will continue to deputise at left back, he's doing reasonably well there. Sean Welsh missed the midweek cup game, presumably rested. Jordan White will surely be given the nod up front after his striking performance against Edinburgh City. Daniel Mackay has been missing recently for the u18's and first team squad. Ayr Utd v ICTFC Somerset Park, Ayr Friday 19:45pm kick-off. Live on BT Sport Tickets: Adults £17, Concessions £11, Child £6. The ICT Supporters Travel Club is running a bus to the match, book on their Facebook page HERE or on 07462218717 The Car Park closes at 2.50pm, we have allocated spaces for Blue Badge holders, staff and officials only. Public parking is available at Craigie Park. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Young Caley Jags take on @CelticFC tomorrow in their SFA Youth Cup match. Entry is FREE for all Supporters at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium. 2pm kick-off. There will be donation buckets outside the ground with all proceeds going towards the Youth Development Department. The club shop will be open tomorrow from 10am-2pm for a chance to get your gifts in time for Christmas! The u18 game has also fallen foul of the weather, anyone got a boat???
  4. Bottoms Up Bottom club Falkirk claimed the win right at the death when Scott Harrison knocked the ball home after a free kick. Inverness had opened the scoring early when Tom Walsh slotted in before a Zak Rudden double turned the game on it's head. George Oakley stooped to head home from close range with half an hour to go but Inverness were unable to add to that before being hit with the sucker punch. The hosts squandered a raft of chances in the second half after a poor first forty-five and once more paid the price for a lack of composure in front of goal. That late goal ended the worst unbeaten run anywhere in the world where draws became more important than winning. With that monkey off the back, maybe we can go out and play something more entertaining for the fans and hopefully bag a few wins. If not, then we look to be in big trouble and sliding into obscurity. A bright but chilly afternoon with 2260 spectators saw the hosts get off to the perfect start. We played briskly from defence when Sean Welsh passed forward to Liam Polworth, he spun round and threaded a lovely ball into the path of Tom Walsh who took a touch towards the corner of the six yard box then drilled low across the keeper into the bottom corner. Great start but could we build on it? The answer became apparent as Falkirk got to grips with the game and broke forward at pace at every opportunity as we reverted to holding onto the ball at all costs. Their persistence paid off when they burst down the right, three passes and a Petravicius cross later Zac Rudden was left unmarked to nod into the net with Ridgers merely a spectator, helped to watch by Brad Mckay and Shaun Rooney, when maybe they should have been more involved. Good goal from the Bairns point of view, sloppy from ours. Falkirk survived a massive penalty claim when George Oakley was manhandled to the ground by Scott Harrison as he entered the box on the left edge. Referee Colin Steven deemed that the crime started outside the box and a free kick was awarded which we wafted way over the bar, one of many wayward attempts from crosses, corners to free kicks. Aaron Doran was buzzing in and around the visitors box and he had one effort blocked by the legs of Leo Fassan in the Falkirk goal. Falkirk were still looking more direct on the break and it was no big surprise when they scored a second and no surprise it came as a result of more ball watching from Shaun Rooney. A quick free kick saw a long ball floated over the less than alert defender and Rudden capitalised to gather the ball and head goalwards. It was a fairly tight angle but from about three yards out from the bye line he managed to squeeze the ball through Ridgers and in off the far post. Another good goal for Falkirk, another self inflicted disaster from us. Oakley headed well over the bar from a corner when he should have been hitting the target as we tried to get back on level terms before the break, however most of our moves as usual broke down in the final third. Half Time 1-2 More urgency was shown after the interval and Rooney was deployed further up the park where we were hopeful he could make amends for his earlier slackness. At least there was less chance of us conceding when he was at the other end of the park. He did get a useful low ball into the box after ducking in between two players but Oakley's slid attempt just went a foot over the top of the bar as it dipped over. Close, but no cigar. Oakley appeared to be shoved in the back for a second time but the referee chose to ignore this one completely for what looked like a stonewall penalty. A goal was coming for the hosts but not yet. The now familiar sight of Jordan White getting under a cross, leaning back and heading an inviting cross over the bar from inside the six yard box was too much for some to take, an outburst of biblical proportions from some filled the air. Ridgers had been idle for most of the second half but he had to look sharp to get down low to his left post to tip a curling shot round the post from Paton. We would not be denied though and a deep corner was headed back into the mix by Rooney where it bounced kindly for Oakley to stoop and nod the ball in from close range. That goal prompted an assault on the advertising hoarding as two or three jubilant players were fouled by our sponsor McEwan Fraser, but it was not legal. Game on! We pressed hard for the winner and Joe Chalmers curled an effort just over the junction but it was not to be. Tom Walsh tried a low shot to the near post but Fassan parried then a defender blocked the rebound as White tried to turn it in, but it was not to be. Then, out of nothing, deep into stoppage time, a late free kick wide right for Falkirk saw a dangerous ball swing to the back post where Donaldson was the wrong side of Harrison and he bundled the ball in to the delight of the visiting fans. Misery complete for the home fans who had seen enough. So, the unbeaten run ends. Thank Christ we all sigh, now let's get the season started. It could be a make or break week with a tough cup tie on Tuesday and an even tougher trip to Somerset Park on Friday. Our normally reliable defence let us down today but Donaldson and McCart still played well, despite the odd lapse. Ridgers has had better days and the forwards did what we expected, missed loads of chances, so there you have it, run over and beaten by the bottom club. Let's end on a bright note. Roddy MacGregor was a late sub and looks like a bright prospect. 😂😂😂 RIG sums it up brilliantly in his summary of our first two goals "Awful defending from Mckay for the first Rudden goal. It's almost as if someone playing as ICT on FIFA suddenly loses their controls connection with the PS4 as he just stops dead and doesn't even bother trying to challenge for the ball. As if that wasn't bad enough Rooney then follows it up by getting distracted by a shiny object in the North Stand and forgets to challenge Rudden for the ball and let him ghost past before finishing well past Ridgers." Zak seems to agree with my assessment............. Post Match on BBC Sport website, the managers had different reactions:- Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson: "I'm hugely disappointed. We didn't deserve to lose the game. We created chance after chance after chance and got caught by a sucker punch. "It's cruel on the players. The worst we should have got was a point but we desperately wanted all three." Falkirk manager Ray McKinnon: "I'm really, really happy with the guys. They executed the game plan brilliantly. We got off to a bad start but responded well and right at the end we tried to win the game. "Inverness are a good side that's why they are unbeaten for 25 games. We worked extremely hard and we got the rewards." Here's Robbo on the Official Facebook page Date: 01/12/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2260 Referee: Colin Steven Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Walsh, Polworth, Chalmers, Welsh (Trafford 58), Doran (White 58), Oakley (MacGregor 84) Subs (not used): Hoban; Trafford, White, MacGregor, Nicolson, Brown, Harper. Scorers: Walsh (6), Oakley (61) Booked: Mckay (52), Polworth (90+1) Sent Off: none Falkirk: 3 Lineup: Fasan; Kidd, McGhee, Muirhead, Paton, Petravicius (Haber 77), Sammut (Irving 80), Robson, Harrison, Brough, Rudden (Lewis 90+2) Subs (not used): Mitchell, Dallison, Dumbuya, Russell. Scorers: Rudden (16, 36), Harrison (90+3) Booked: Harrison (21), Muirhead (90+1) Sent Off: none a
  5. Bairns Challenge Bottom club Falkirk head to Inverness on Saturday with their latest manager Ray McKinnon so far unable to motivate the club sufficiently to direct them away from the foot of the table. If we thought our performance in the Scottish Cup was abysmal, and it was, spare a thought for the Bairns suffering fans as they were dumped out of the Scottish Cup by four goals to two. That's bad enough, but it was their lesser fancied League One neighbours Stenhousemuir who inflicted the damage leading to some unsavoury scenes from the stands as angry fans berated their own players. How the mighty have fallen. It's barely three and a half years since these two clubs contested the 2015 Scottish Cup final in front of 37,149 fans with Inverness just coming out on top. Falkirk losing to the Warriors was a poor result for them, but was it any worse than our tepid performance at Ainslie Park in front of 867 hardy souls where we drew with Edinburgh City? I'm not sure there's much between the results. Lack lustre, embarrassing, devoid of creativity, sluggish, lack of penetration were all used on this forum to describe our performance. One sentence really summed it up, "we are the most boring outfit in Scottish Football right now." What's gone wrong? We are finding it increasingly difficult to turn draws into wins. Yes we are unbeaten for half a million games, but the support have seen it all before and long before the draws become reality, the sense of a draw running through the stands is overbearing. Lack of ambition coupled with no budget is restricting what we can do, but it's becoming more obvious that we won't get out of this division with the squad we have just now, they are simply not good enough to sustain a challenge. Our defence is solid enough, but there is little creativity from midfield and our front men are challenging. Challenging the fans enthusiasm to return and watch more of the same. Still, we are unbeaten some say. Oh my, remaining unbeaten has become an obsession and is detrimental to our progress. Last Saturday in the cup was a prime example, an opportunity for the front men to make a few headlines. I know, I know, cup shocks are what makes the competition, we should know we have been involved in some memorable ones over the years. However, those days are long gone and those that witnessed our sorry attempt at Ainslie Park will testify to that. Can you be more upbeat I hear you say. Well, we won't get a better chance to make amends than the visit of a struggling club that has only scored 8 goals in the Championship and conceded 21, not the worst, but 8 more than we have conceded. The Bairns have only two wins this season in the Championship, recently against Dunfermline Athletic and away to Alloa at the end of September. That sees them at the bottom of the table with just 8 points whilst we have 22 in fourth place. We did win the opening game of the season 1-0 at Falkirk thanks to a George Oakley strike, however that was a long time ago now. Ayr United staked their claim to be taken seriously last night with a 5-0 demolition of Dundee United at Tannadice, Lawrence Shankland the main demolition man with four of the five goals. Stunning performance from the Honest men that puts them 5 points clear at the top with today's games to come. Ray McKinnon talking to the Official Falkirk FC website said:- “There’s nothing we can do about last week now other than to learn from it. It’s all about Inverness from as soon as last Saturday’s match was finished and ensuring we prepare properly for the match. “We know where we are, I know where we are. We are going to get inconsistencies, every team has them, we just had a really poor day on Saturday and got punished for it. “I would rather that it didn’t happen, but we now have an opportunity to get back to the form we have shown in the last four games in the league. It’s our bread and butter this season.” Zak Rudden will return and he could have Scott Harrison back for this one, and Mustapha Dumbuya could get on the park. Prince Bauben is also just about ready for action so it could be a very different Bairns from the one that were dumped out of the cup. John Robertson will just have to go with the tried and tested for this one as our wafer thin and fragile squad struggle for fitness. Defensively we can cope, with Jamie McCart doing well since his insertion to the starting XI. Scoring goals is the big issue with lightweight Nathan Austin possibly out. Big opportunity for youth to get a fling, and we might see Daniel Mackay or Roddy MacGregor get some game time. tm4tj prediction:- Draw anyone! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ICTFC v Edinburgh City Tulloch Caledonian Stadium Tuesday 4th December KO 7.45pm Adults: £12 Concessions (Senior and 16-25): £6 Juniors (under 16s): FREE Season ticket holders will, for the first time, be able to use their season card by adding the cup game onto it. Season ticket holders can activate the cup ticket online (up to kick off), or by phoning the ticket office on 01463 222880 or in person up to an hour before kick-off. Please note that even free under 12 seats need to be added to the season card. Get your tickets HERE
  6. Comeback keeps the run going. If Carlsberg did draws, they would probably do them like this................ Inverness left it late and were almost beaten by a Doonhamers side who were three up before we woke up. Lyndon Dykes bundled home on the half hour to give Queen of the South the lead at the interval. They doubled their advantage early in the second half when Dykes fed Stephen Dobbie in on goal for the striker to round Ridgers and slide the ball home. Josh Todd added a third, curling a shot wide of Ridgers as Inverness capitulated. A late fight back saw Jamie McCart and Nathan Austin (or maybe Tom Walsh) score and Sean Welsh converted a late penalty. We almost had the audacity to win the game but Austin was thwarted in the box, and it ended all square at 3-3. Inverness went with the same starting line-up that won all three points at Firhill with George Oakley spearheading the attack, Jordan White was on the bench. No Daniel Mackay to be seen, so we still only had five on the bench including young Roddy MacGregor. Queens had Alan Martin out with young Jack Leighfield replacing the experienced keeper. Stephen Dobbie and Lybdon Dykes were the attacking threat with last weeks goalscorer Connor Murray starting on the bench. As per norm, RIG was in attendance............ As has already been said we only showed up for the last 30 minutes with the game seemingly out of sight. A lot of our players were claiming handball for the first goal with Ridgers seeming to suggest that Dykes bundled it over the line with his hand. Whilst it would be a shame if that's what happened our defending was so abysmal leading up to that goal we probably deserved to concede a goal anyway. The second strike wasn't much better from our point of view. Trafford (I think) lost the ball in the middle and it was quickly launched forward to Dobbie who stole into a massive gap at the back with our players out of position. Ridgers half came, half stayed and Dobbie took advantage of his indecision to slide the ball past him and it was three not long after as we again failed at defending and couldn't clear the ball which was picked up by Todd and he dispatched a beautiful curling shot past Ridgers. Game over as far as I was concerned. But seemingly from nowhere we got back into it when McCart rose highest to head home a free kick and this was followed not long after by Walsh who sent a ball into the box which evaded everyone and nestled in the net. The Queens keeper, having barely been tested all game, was looking exceptionally suspect. The third duly arrived via a Welsh spot kick after he himself had been brought down. Not sure what it was awarded for but the fact that very few QotS players challenged the decision suggests it was a fair decision. We almost won it with perhaps the move of the match as we quickly broke from the back, Welsh, Polworth, MacGregor and White linked to play in Austin but his toepoke of a shot was well saved by Leighfield, his first act of competent keeping at a crucial time in the game. The change to 4 - 4 - 2 saw us make much more use of the wings and removing the possession haemorrhage that was Trafford in the middle left us with a much more effective partnership in the form of Polworth and Welsh. Queens should have been out of sight truth being told but we did exceptionally well to battle back to grab a point. Made the journey home a lot more bearable. Alt Maryhill enjoyed his day out............ That was good crack. Got to admit that I assumed that our chickens were coming home to roost after a few decent results despite dodgy performances recently. We were clearly second best against Dundee Utd, Alloa and in the first half against Partick, and yesterday Queens again played the better football in the first half, and then absolutely tore us apart for about 20 mins at the start of the second. Up until he scored, Dykes didn't impress me all that much, but after that I thought he was superb. When Dobbie finally got his goal against us, I assumed that the unbeaten run was coming to an end, and deservedly so. Ridgers, uncharacteristically, looked shaky, Charlie Trafford's touch and distribution in the middle of the park were miles off (again) and the team as a whole looked like it was scared of taking any risks. It only changed once Trafford and Oakley went off and we went to 4-4-2, and when Walsh and Polworth seemed to start playing without fear after it went to 3-0. Both were superb, and hopefully they'll take that into the Falkirk and Ayr games, as we can't keep starting games so hesitantly and still expect to get results. Great to see young Roddy MacGregor get a run at the end, and he almost helped to set up a winner for Austin at the death after some superb interplay with Polworth cutting through Queens in the middle of the park. Definitely looks a player. John Robertson speaking to BBC Sport:- "For 70 minutes Queen of the South should have been six or seven nothing up. "They were the best team, they outfought us, they outplayed us, they outrun us, they bullied us, they played some magnificent football. "We got a goal out of nothing, and then we get another quick goal and you think we might have a wee chance here, and then we get a penalty." Highlights from the amazing comeback to snatch a point..........then almost win it! Gary Naysmith bewildered.......... Andy Sirling has his say............. Date: 17/11/2018 Venue: Palmerston Attendance: 1233 Referee: Greg Aitken Queen of the South: 3 Lineup: Leighfield; Doyle, Fordyce, Marshall, Semple, Harkins (Murray 86), Jacobs, Todd, Stirling (Norman 82), Dobbie, Dykes. Subs (not used): Gibson; Mercer, Bell, Frizzell, Irving. Scorers: Dykes (31), Dobbie (51), Todd (61) Booked: Stirling (79) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Chalmers, Walsh, Polworth, Trafford (Austin 58), Welsh, Doran (McGregor 87), Oakley (White 57 ) Subs (not used): Hoban; Harper. Scorers: McCart (71), Walsh (74), Welsh (pen 81) Booked: Trafford (42), Welsh (65), Donaldson (79) Sent Off: none a
  7. Palmerston pilgrimage It's the long trek to Palmerston this week, all 234 miles of it, to take on hot-shot Stephen Dobbie and his Queen of the South team mates, where our mission will be to return with our unbeaten run intact. That's no easy task at the moment with Queens sitting mid-table, four points behind Inverness, having taken a point of table topping Ayr United last weekend in the battle of the strikers. Tickets must be purchased from the away ticket office at Palmerston, not at the gate. The ICT Supporters Travel Club are running a bus to this game, book through their Facebook page HERE or by texting your name to 07462218717. The Bus leaves from the Caley Social Club at 8:30am and from the Caledonian Stadium at 8:45am. We broke our sequence of draws last time out, thankfully, with a win over Partick at Firhill. Two main contributors in that result were Tom Walsh who scored a spectacular goal after cutting in from the left to curl a beauty across the keeper into the top corner, a goal fit to win any game. That feat was matched by a superb double penalty save by Mark Ridgers minutes later to ensure he kept a clean sheet and importantly take all three points back up the A9. Fantastic ability from Mark, carrying on from the brilliant 'viral' save against County in the Highland derby. Queens came from behind in the strikers dual to grab a point at Ayr. But neither Shankland or Dobbie were on target in this one, Dobbie going closest with a strike off the post. It was Michael Rose who headed Ayr in front but Connor Murray scored with his first touch ten minutes from the end to ensure Queens were the first side to deny Ayr all three points at home this season. We showed how thin our squad is last week after removing Riccardo Calder from the payroll. With Shaun Rooney and Carl Tremarco injured we were down to five on the bench with three of them being youths, none of which was Daniel Mackay who was missing presumed injured as he never featured in the u18's 9-2 routing of East Fife either. However, it's encouraging to note that the youngsters are having a tremendous season and goals are being scored freely, Roddy Kennedy bagging four and Roddy MacGregor a brace in that u18's game. Whilst Stephen Dobbie is the man that get's all the headlines for Queens, there are other players who can perform well, but their secret ingredient is they all work hard for each other and in Alan Martin they have an experienced keeper. Only Ayr and Ross County have scored more goals than the Doonhamers. Dobbie has scored an amazing 25 goals in 21 appearances with 13 of those coming in the Championship including two hat-tricks and a quadruple against Ayr United. Touch wood, but he has only scored once in his last six games since he hit a treble against Alloa at the beginning of October. The first meeting between the clubs this season ended in stalemate with Dobbie failing to score but he did batter one off the crossbar. It was his veteran team mate Gary Harkins who was the star of the show that day though. Harkins strolled through the game and showed our fragile midfield how to control the pace of a game and stamp your authority all over the match. Tremendous display from Harkins and he was my Man of the Match back at the end of September. Hopefully we have learned from that. Here's a great quote from Robbo off the official preview that puts everything into perspective:- “The unbeaten run is very special, you look at the previous managers here, Terry Butcher achieved 21 matches in this league, Steve Paterson achieved 22 in the third Division, and to break that is very special. The players deserve enormous credit, it’s been tremendous and they’ve all played their part." Maybe it's time to give the wee man the credit he is due. Queens fans will be disappointed to note that Shaun Rooney will not be playing after being injured against Ross County a couple of weeks ago. Carl Tremarco also missed out last week and we deployed a makeshift back line with Riccardo Calder having been given his marching orders. That meant moving Brad Mckay to right back, drafting Jamie McCart in beside Coll Donaldson and pulling back Joe Chalmers to the left wing back role. It worked well enough at Partick, and I would imagine it will be along similar lines should Tremarco fail to be fit enough to start. Queens last line up can be seen on the Official Preview
  8. Walsh stunner stuns Jags Tom Walsh scored the only goal of the game with a brilliant solo goal to earn the Caley Jags all three points. Inverness had Mark Ridgers to thank for keeping another clean sheet as he superbly saved a Blair Spittal penalty with 15 minutes to go. Lest we forget................... John Robertson made a couple of enforced changes from the side that started the Highland derby against Ross County. Out went the disgraced Riccardo Calder who has had his contract terminated and Shaun Rooney has ligament damage and will be out for some time. Carl Tremarco is still out injured. That meant a revamp at the back with Brad Mckay moving to right back, Joe Chalmers to left back and Jamie McCart teaming up with Coll Donaldson at the heart of the defence. Charlie Trafford was drafted into midfield. Gary Caldwell had former Inverness striker Miles Storey on from the start with Jai Quitongo and Kris Doolan backing him up. The impressive Cammy Bell was the man hoping to keep Inverness out, with midfield powerhouse Blair Spittal a key player for the Harry Wraggs. A crowd of around two and a half thousand observed an impeccable silence to remember the fallen before Partick got the match underway, Inverness defending the Glasgow end of Firhill Stadium. Immortal Howden Ender was our man at the match and here is his report.............. Didn’t we have a lovely day the day went to Partick. Well I just about got there and no thanks to yet another Rail strike. But it was well worth it to watch a sublime Tom Walsh curler hit the back of a rain soaked net in the 71st minute of what I can only describe as a turgid affair. Pre match we went “Into the Deep” and I enjoyed a scuba dive with Red Card, RIG, the Moffat Bros and a certain Mr. Oliver. Nice to actually listen to plaudits for the backroom staff and confirmation that a lot is actually been done behind the scenes. Never saw or heard a vulture all day. Anyway to the game and probably a reason to make a more extensive introduction. In a way we were lucky to get away with three points. Partick had the more clear cut chances BUT they looked poor and never really looked like scoring, even from the penalty spot. It isn’t hard to cheer on Caley when you are bombarded with “Come on Thistle / Jags” shouts and chants !! And a paltry crowd of just over 2500 at the ”Energy Check Stadium” just summed up the fall of the Magyars of Firhill. A closed main stand and the barren hill at one end was a rather pitiful sight – especially when the heavens opened. It was another disciplined and well organized defensive display that brought home the points. To be honest we never really tested Cammy Bell until the goal and although it was a sweet strike Bell did appear to flounder – and perhaps we should have had more than four strikes on target from 15 attempts. The first half was rather tedious. It was an open affair but neither side showed that killer touch. It looks like neither outfit have that goal scoring forward. Nice but ineffective tippy-tappy stuff but always either a poor last touch or a failed through ball. Plastic Whistle probably had the best opportunities when Ridgers saved from Quitongo and Doolan fluffed a half chance. We appeared to move up a gear at the start of the second half and Oakley squandered a couple of chances from corner kick ploys. And then Thistle IMHO made a major error in hooking Miles Storey who had evidently been buoyed by facing his old team but his magic hat vanished and Gary Calwell displayed some of his tactical magic once again. And then on 71 minutes TOM WALSH successfully pulled a rabbit out of the hat. Picking up the ball on the left, neatly cut inside and curled a beauty via a sweeter right foot. But it was only three minutes later when we could have fecked it up. IMHO it was never a penalty but officials have a tendency to make such rewards when the ball accidentally is fired at a defenders flailing arm. But Ridgers stood tall and showered himself with a Calderesque (Jim by the way) slap off the crossbar, through himself to his left and tapped the ball round the post. He is definitely “One of our own”. And the Plastic boys then went all out to save the game but Ridgers, Coll and McCart stood firm and were abetted by the substitute Fitzpatrick of Partick who missed a 1-1 chance and never even tested Ridgers. So our unbeaten run continued and Thistle slumped to their seventh consecutive defeat. And the relief from our players was clearly displayed as to a man plus Robbo they hailed the travelling support. SMILEYMOMETER RIDGERS 😀 😀 😀😀 😀– I suspect that many will award him MotM. Well to me he was a very close second. But he has come on leaps and bounds and must be as good a custodian as anyone else in Scotland. Perhaps Tin-Tin Mcleish should have a wee gander. McKAY 😀 😀 😀– Well he basically did his job defensively but rarely went forward apart from dead ball situations. DONALDSON 😀 😀 😀😀 😀– MotM with a superb display. Made one bad error but more than made up for it. His calmness and distribution was a joy to behold. McCART 😀 😀 😀😀 - Now that was a very solid looking central defence pairing. McCart was more of a get rid / hoof type performance but almost as effective as Coll. CHALMERS 😀 😀 😀– Has not played at full back for some time but did a good job. Evidently was thinking defence and like Brad rarely foraged forward. POLWORTH 😀 😀 😀 - Well he ran and ran and ran. Clearly designated as the play maker but his good touches and good deliveries were almost the same ratio as the flawed ones. But he really did not have many moving targets. Perhaps Doran should be taking more of the dead ball ploys. TRAFFORD 😀 😀 😀– Stood his ground, didn’t make any mistakes but had a quiet 90 minutes. WELSH – 😀 😀 😀Did a good job as the defending midfielder. Clearly thinks a good game and was leading others around him. DORAN – 😀 😀 😀 not sure exactly where he was playing. Perhaps it was supposed to have been as a Number 10 but it looked more like an extra midfielder to me. I far prefer him playing out wider. WALSH – 😀 😀 😀😀Apart from the goal he looked the man most likely to produce chances. The only flaw was his reluctance to take on defenders and play the through ball 20-30 yards out instead of hitting the bye line. OAKLEY – 😀 😀 Basically up front on his Jack Jones and really should have scored from the one heading chance that came his way. WHITE – Never really got a chance to show anything as he came on when we were under the cosh. But perhaps he should have started as his height may well have been more effective. And we only had four outfield players on the bench including McGregor and Harper. So three points was more deserving for a depleted squad. So lets roll on to Dumbfries and plunder another three points from the Doon Hammers. Here's a wee summary from Caley Stan.. Typical performance from us. Solid, organised, lacking creativity, but full of spirit. A real moment of magic from Tom Walsh and an excellent penalty save from Ridgers won us the game. McCart and Donaldson played very well but it looked like Coll was carrying an injury for much of the second half. Polworth also had a good game - great to see him finding pockets of space in wide and deep areas and using his ability to keep the ball - he's growing as a player. And Ridgers was excellent throughout, giving it big licks at the end too. What a season he's having. Walsh's superb goal and Mark's brilliant penalty save............. Robbo aftermatch at Partick. Here's Tom Walsh talking post match............. Date: 10/11/2018 Venue: Firhill, Partick Attendance: 2509 Referee: Steven Kirkland Partick Thistle: 0 Lineup: Bell; Elliott, Penrice, Keown, McGinty, Spittal, Bannigan, Doolan, Slater, Storey (Fitzpatrick 66), Quitongo Subs (not used): Storer, McCarthy, Wilson, Sneddon, Scobbie, Ntambwe Scorers: none Booked: Slater (69), Quitongo (78) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Mckay, McCart, Donaldson, Chalmers, Doran, Polworth, Trafford, Welsh, Walsh, Oakley (White 68) Subs (not used): Hoban; Harper, McGregor, Austin Scorers: Walsh (71) Booked: Trafford (39), Chalmers (90+2) Sent Off: none a
  9. Thistle be the day Draw specialists Inverness head to Firhill on Saturday to take on Partick Thistle in the Championship. Last weeks draw against Ross County was the seventh in a row and that extended the unbeaten run to a record twenty-three games. It wasn't for the want of trying in the derby but few watching could be disappointed in the manner with which we applied ourselves and we were unfortunate not to take all three points. Caley Stan has checked out the opposition and he has this informative preview for us........... On my way home from Waitrose the other day, I stopped for a coffee in Artisan Roast Stockbridge and quietly pondered some way to construct an opening to this preview that included a disparaging reference to Partick Thistle fans’ middle-class, hipster, bohemian, pseudo-intellectual pretensions, when who should appear out of the Mellis Cheesemonger sporting the famous red and yellow hoops, but The Hoff himself. Beyond parody. Hassellhoff has previously sought to justify his support for Thistle on the grounds that they represent something beyond geographical or tribal identity, and they must have picked up a few fans over the years by simple virtue of not being Rangers or Celtic. But with attendances at Firhill starting to sink below the 3,000 mark, I suspect we won’t see many of those folk tomorrow. I might be wrong, but I assume most Partick Thistle fans, like the rest of us, identify with the club because they grew up near the ground, or their dad came from round there. One thing’s for sure, they’re not glory hunters. With just two major honours to show in a 142-year history (the 1921 Scottish Cup, and the 1971 League Cup), they haven’t been in a major final for sixty years. This is particularly surprising when you consider that they played in the top league for most of the 20th Century, never experiencing a sustained period in the second tier until the late 1980’s. History of the Fixture Won 11 Drawn 10 Lost 13 The teams first met in the opening game of the 1998/99 Second Division season. The Maryhill club were playing in the third tier for the first time in their history, and we came into it off the back of a mid-table debut season at that level. It was a tense affair with one moment of true quality on the hour mark when a delightful through ball from Charlie Christie was buried from an acute angle by Barry Wilson. We rode our luck for the reminder of the game, Jim Calder making a number of decent saves, and departed to a stream of Highlandphobic abuse from a home support whose club had just reached a new low. Their true nadir was to come later in that season when they avoided another relegation by a single point. Meanwhile, we were promoted comfortably, winning 3 of the 4 games against them in the process. It was another 2 years before we saw Partick again, and by the end of that 2001/02 season we were glad to see the back of them as they ruthlessly re-established themselves as Scotland’s premier Thistle, winning 3 out of the 4 league games with our solitary victory coming after they had already won the First Division. We also played them in both cups, coming out on top in the League Cup 2nd Round in Inverness on penalties after a 3-3 draw – Barry Robson notching a double and scoring the winning penalty. But it was the was Scottish Cup Quarter-Final of that season that will be remembered most of all. These were the biggest games the fixture has seen, with a crowd of 8,700 taking in the 2-2 draw at Firhill and over 5,000 attending the replay despite the SFA’s controversial decision to stage the game underwater. Maryhill Mod Scott Paterson scored the only goal, a decent free-kick in fairness, though I’d like to see Nicky Walker’s starting position. After a brief skirmish in the Court of Session in the summer of 2004, the clubs reconvened on the pitch for the 4th Round of the 2005/06 Scottish Cup. The tables had turned once again, we were enjoying a second season in the SPL while they were back in the third tier after successive relegations. They came up to Inverness and kicked us off the park before Mark Roberts scored an underserved equaliser with a 93rd minute penalty that he had dived to win. The replay was turgid, on TV, and we went out on penalties. The next meeting, another 4th Round Scottish Cup tie in 2009, saw a very different Caley team run out 3-0 home winners – Felipe Morais scoring a double. That stands out as a very strange result in retrospect – Partick were having a decent season in the First Division, and we were coming into it off the back of six straight league defeats – it was the week before ‘shoes off’, a seventh defeat at Hamilton, and the final departure of Craig Brewster. The following season we shared a league for the first time in eight years, losing the first two and winning the second two in line with our form that year, and Partick joined us in the top flight for four years in 2013. Over that spell we won just two of the thirteen league ties between the sides, despite finishing above them in three of the four seasons, and, of course, knocking them out in the 5th Round of the 2014/15 Scottish Cup……. Teams and Tactics Partick Thistle fans seem to have given up trying to analyse performances recently and spend their time online howling for players to be removed/imprisoned/murdered etc. so it’s been tricky to work out how they line up. From what I can gather, Caldwell’s been playing some kind of 4-5-1. The persistence with a misfiring Miles Storey has been a particular source of frustration, while a recent injury to Kris Doolan has given opportunities to Jai Quitongo and our old friend Andrea Mutumbo, with neither making much of an impact. Robbo has persisted with the 4-2-3-1, although he’s always keen to bring on a second striker and go more direct when we’re not creating. With Oakley and Austin now fit, he may find it increasingly tempting to return to the shape that he started the season with. The termination of Riccardo Calder’s contract and the ongoing absence of Carl Tremarco with a thigh injury leaves us without an experienced left back for tomorrow’s game. Joe Chalmers has played there before, but it wasn’t pretty, and Cameron Harper’s first team experience is limited to a farcical four-minute appearance at East End Park following a team-sheet error. Robbo has stated in the past that he feels Harper is ready to step in if needed, but in the aftermath of Calder’s dismissal this week, he suggested that the club may look to recruit a free agent to cover the position. Shaun Rooney has not recovered from the knock that forced him off in the derby. The Riccardo Calder situation has been dealt with by the club and they released This Statement. In effect Riccardo has left the building. The Official Site has a Preview with more detail and Robbo chat..... League Form Thistle: LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL Thistle: DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD Prediction: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. Draws R us Inverness Caley Thistle remained unbeaten after a 0-0 draw with the Wasps who will feel aggrieved that they never took all three points after a backs to the wall performance from the draw specialists. Only Sophie has drawn more times than the Caley Jags Little to report from an Inverness point of view, but we will try and come up with some positives when the report is ready. Jamie McCart replaced the suspended Coll Donaldson and Aaron Doran started ahead of Riccardo Calder while the Wasps unsurprisingly went unchanged from the side that beat Partick Thistle. Grim stuff from Inverness as Alloa took the game to us from the start. Dario Zanatta and Kevin Cawley were prominent early on for the Wasps as they buzzed around the visitors box, both bringing saves out of Mark Ridgers. Alloa were well on top in the first half and it was half an hour before Tom Walsh made Neil Parry work. Shortly after this Carl Tremarco went off with a thigh injury to be replaced by Riccardo Calder. There followed a succession of Alloa attacks that we were able to thwart, but the one way traffic continued until half time when Brad Mckay narrowly missed the target right on the interval. Words must have been exchanged at the oranges and we came out a bit more positive on the resumption although the hosts looked the more likely to break the deadlock. Zanatta almost did with fifteen minutes to go when he hit the crossbar with an effort from inside the box but that was the closest anyone would get to scoring. The introduction of Nathan Austin brought about a few attempts from Inverness and as we pressed for a goal in the final few minutes Alloa seemed content to settle for the point after giving us a hard time for eighty minutes. The final few minutes of time added on saw a flurry of cards as Alloa blocked everything and deservedly kept out our weak attacking intent. I'll let the fans that were there have the final words. Prepare yourself for some direct talking from the disgruntled Caley Jags support. Mantis has turned into the Grim Reaper for Halloween and paints a gloomy future for us................. A truly arctic experience at the Indesit, sorry Indodrill gazebo this afternoon. Apart from a couple of years in the noughties, the Recs has never been an easy place to visit and so it proved. Alloa have been stuffy and hard to break down this season but they have what we lack (sorry, ONE of the things we lack) - a bit of pace on the break. They actually got down both flanks and got crosses in. They were the better team by a distance in the first half. Second half we dominated the possession as Alloa appeared to just want to hold what they had, but it was the usual overplaying, square balls from big Joe, and a lacklustre Polly trying to make a telling pass. Welsh was almost decent, but Doran was invisible again and Walsh just appears too lightweight most of the time. Calder slotted in reasonably well when Tremarco went off, but Brad continues to be a bit of a bombscare. We could have lost it late on when the Jambo rattled the bar with Ridgers a spectator. Apart from one season with Livi, Jordan White has never scored goals. The white Doumbaya. I’ve never felt that Daniel Mackay was quite ready for this level any time I’ve seen him, and I can understand Robbo giving him some game time, but what about winning the match? With Coll our talisman back, I think we’ll do a bit better next week than some are predicting, but scoring goals looks beyond us at the moment. Even if big George makes an appearance he’s never going to be match fit. Truly dire, dire times for us. Ymip was not impressed either ............... Utterly dire again this week. All well and good keeping clean sheets but we are absolutely woeful in the final third and Robbo's substitutions are frankly mystifying in the face of irrefutable evidence that his first choice striker is not up to scratch. A carbon copy of last season when he stuck with Baird for way too long when it was patently obvious that he wasn't the answer. Praying that Oakley is fit soon and back amongst the goals. RIG was a bit more protective, but also struggling for positives........... Not much point having a goal scorer on the pitch if we, erm, don't create goal scoring chances. That was dire today. Narrow pitch or not players like Doran and Walsh failed to provide any meaningful chances for White who is unfairly getting pelters on here. He really doesn't have much to work with most of the time. He's the kind of striker that plays with his back to goal so coming up against a team like Alloa that sits very deep he isn't going to get a lot of opportunities to score. We never stretched the play, we never managed to attack with any kind of pace or incision that allowed us to get in behind the home defence. We were just meh all over the park. MacKay probably had the best chance for us when, in the second half, he gambled on a ball being played in and Parry rushed out smartly to smother the shot. Aside from that we were desperately poor. Sadly, John Robertson appears to agree with the fans as he spoke to BBC Sport "Today was a great point because we didn't deserve to take anything from the match. Alloa were bright and bubbly. "Stout defending kept us in the game. The sharpness in our forward play is gone at the moment. We might need to change formation or look at different personnel to get a spark." Here's Robbo talking frankly and apologising to the fans for that performance on the facebook page..... And here is the footage of the game, courtesy of Alloa FC on YouTube Date: 27/10/2018 Venue: Recreation Park, Alloa Attendance: 644 Referee: Mike Roncone Alloa Athletic:0 Lineup: Parry, Taggart, Dick, Roscoe, Graham, Cawley (Hastie 64), Robertson, Trouten (Hetherington 78), Flannigan, Zanatta, Shields (Brown 78). Subs (not used): Burt, Peggie, Spence, Henry. Scorers: none Booked: Taggart (68), Roscoe (82), Robertson (90+2), Hastie (90+3) Sent Off: none Inverness CT:0 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, McCart, Tremarco (Calder 32), Walsh (Austin 79), Polworth, Chalmers, Welsh, Doran (D Mackay 63), White Subs (not used): Hoban; Trafford, Harper, Fyffe. Scorers: none Booked: D Mackay (90+4) Sent Off: none a
  15. Recreation time Or to put it more accurately, we are off to Alloa on Saturday for matchday ten against the Wasps followed closely by matchday eleven against Dunfermline Athletic on Tuesday night. But firstly, we have to concentrate on getting the better of Alloa, something we failed to do earlier in the season when they came North and went away with a credible draw even though they finished the game with ten men. Brad Mckay opened the scoring early on but Alloa were gifted an own goal off the back of the unfortunate George Oakley's head. We went ahead just after the break when Welsh slotted a penalty after Zdravko Karadachki was penalised and dismissed. Despite playing almost the entire second half with ten men, Alloa still managed to snatch a point when Ian Flannigan scored a late penalty. Day to forget for Inverness was summed up when Coll Donaldson passed up a great opportunity to score before the equaliser when he smashed a spot-kick off the bar. Our last visit to Alloa ended in a dismal 1-0 defeat in the league cup during the Richie Foran era. Some described it as an all time low at the time with Jason Marr scoring the winner in the first half. Last time out Alloa got their first League win of the season as they dumped Partick Thistle thanks to a goal from Dario Zanatta. Inverness remain unbeaten, but that statistic is turning into a bit of a millstone around our necks as we appear determined not to lose rather than to go on and try to win games. That's now six draws and three wins this season which gives us fifteen points, eight better off than Alloa. We sit third in the table with Alloa in second bottom. Team News Robbo will be without superhero Coll Donaldson for this one. Big Coll was sent off at last week for a second yellow offence and Jamie McCart who replaced him at Tannadice will fill the gap. George Oakley is back training but it's too early for him to get on the park. Jordan White bagged the goal last week and will be most likely to continue up front with Nathan Austin and Daniel Mackay on the bench. Wasps manager Jim Goodwin sent this XI out against Partick Thistle:- Parry, Taggart, Roscoe, Graham, Dick, Robertson, Flanniagan, Cawley, Trouten , Zanatta, Shields. Info for away fans:- Turnstiles are located in Hilton Road, behind KFC. The ICT Supporters Travel Club are running a bus to this game, book through their Facebook page or by texting your name to 07462218717.The Buses leaves from the Caley Social Club at 9:45am and from the Caledonian Stadium at 10:00am Prices for the Bus: Adults £20, Concession £15 and Under 16s £10
  16. White earns point for Caley Jags Inverness came from behind to take a hard earned point away from Tannadice in Robbie Neilson's first home game in charge of Dundee United. It was a hard fought point for the visitors after Safranko headed the Arabs in front after the break. Inverness levelled when a Liam Polworth free kick was headed into the top corner. Jordan White wants it but Coll Donaldson was not so sure that he was the scorer, both players claiming it. Either way, a goal it was and that ended the scoring but for Donaldson his day still had a bit to run as he was red carded with around ten minutes left. A decent day in Dundee saw over five and a half thousand welcome Robbie Neilson to Tannadice, with around two hundred and eighty visiting fans in the Shed to see if Inverness could remain unbeaten. Riccardo Calder has had some impressive outings off the bench recently and he was handed a start with Aaron Doran on the bench. Joining Aaron was Daniel Mackay fresh from scoring a brace for the under 18's at Rugby Park the day before and fellow striker Nathan Austin. It was the proverbial stalemate in the first half with neither defences giving much away and it was fully twenty minutes before a keeper was asked to do anything meaningful, Ridgers saving from McMullan. Rachid Bouhenna headed wide as United began to get the better of proceedings but Ridgers was never seriously threatened. Joe Chalmers had our first attempt, a shot from distance saved low by Siegrist, and at the other end Safranko brought Ridgers back into action as he saved his shot. Billy King was next to have a pop and as the half wore on Inverness were being pushed further back, Safranko being prominent in most things United. Brad Mckay made a tremendous block to deny a certain goal as Ridgers scrambled back across his goal. The half time whistle was a welcome sound to the ears of the visitors as we defended deeper and deeper. Half Time 0-0 Jordan White headed high over just after the break and Safranko went close with a header at the opposite end. However, two minutes later he would enjoy more success as he headed powerfully past a helpless Ridgers from an inviting Fraser Aird cross. No more than United deserved at this point and it was going to be an uncomfortable half hour for the visitors as United looked to extend their lead. Donaldson picked up a booking before the hour and that would come back to bite him on the bum before the end. The game turned a bit towsey and yellow cards were dished out at will as we held on to our one goal deficit. With twenty minutes remaining, Inverness won a free kick wide right. Liam Polworth curled a luscious ball into the danger area and someone headed it high into the net from a bundle of players. Jordan White wants it, but so does Coll Donaldson. It matters not one bit, what did matter was that we were back on level terms. With ten minutes left, White could have won the game as he turned on a ball in the box fed through neatly by Polworth but he couldn't wrap his foot round the ball properly and it went by the post. United made a late surge to try and win all three points and Donaldson was shown a second yellow for fouling Nicky Clark. Jamie McCart replaced Coll with Sean Welsh being made the scapegoat for Coll's misdemeanours. Despite a late flurry of activity around the visitors box, the wasteful United attacks came to nothing as their desperation to score grew and Inverness held on to take a hard earned point back North. Full Time 1-1 Still unbeaten and with all the signs pointing towards a home win, this was an excellent point against a United side who had the added boost of the new manager adrenaline rush. The United fans love to hate Coll Donaldson, maybe that's why he wanted to claim the goal. What a guy and he's my Man of the Match just for his nuisance value. He'll have a job convincing White that it's his goal having watched this footage. Mark Ridgers was solid in goal and Sean Welsh and Liam Polworth put in a good shift. Here's all the action from Tannadice.......... Robbo was delighted with the point and acknowledges that either side could have won, Robbo aftermatch reaction.... Date: 20/10/2018 Venue: Tannadice Attendance: 5628 Referee: Euan Anderson Dundee United: 1 Lineup: Siegrist; Murdoch, Bouhenna, Frans, Booth, Aird (Loemba 84), Stanton, Fyvie, King (Clark 75), McMullan, Safranko Subs (not used): Barton; Smith, Robson, Rabitch, Rakovan, Scorers: Safranko (55) Booked: Fyvie (64) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco, Walsh (Mackay 70), Polworth, Chalmers, Welsh (McCart 83), Calder (Doran 57), White Subs (not used): Hoban; Austin, Trafford, Harper Scorers: White or Donaldson (72) (to be confirmed) Booked: Chalmers (40), Donaldson (57), B Mckay (63), Polworth (65), Rooney (90+2) Sent Off: Donaldson (82) a
  17. Tannadice test Inverness head to Tannadice this weekend and Caley Stan is yer man with a Preview to set up this clash for you. Dundee United are now spending a third consecutive season in the second tier of Scottish football. It feels weird to write that. Even though I don’t remember much about the eighties (youth not drugs), their incredible achievements throughout that decade (League Champions, UEFA Cup finalists, European Cup semi-finalists, perennial conquerors of FC Barcelona) formed a veneer of great stature around the club that barely seemed to diminish through the many years of mediocrity that followed. But relegation, boardroom wrangling, falling crowds and home defeats to the likes of Dumbarton and Ross County have taken their toll. Csaba Laszlo was sacked with the club on its knees, staring down the barrel of a fourth year out of the top flight, their grand history looking more and more like a curiosity, the answer to an obscure quiz question. Dundee were once European Cup semi-finalists too, you know. Isn’t that funny. History of the Fixture Won 16 Drawn 17 Lost 18 We first played Dundee United in the Scottish Cup Fourth Round of 1998 when a Paul Sheerin goal saw us lead at for the best part of an hour at Tannadice before a late Kjell Oloffson strike forced a replay. The replay was unforgettable – Gary McSwegan appeared to have finished the tie when he put United 2-0 up in the 85th minute. Then, in a turn of events that was typical of the Pele era, a quickfire Brian Thomson goal was followed, in the dying seconds, by the best goal of all time from Mark McCulloch. Lars Zetterlund won it for United in extra time, but the crowd of almost 6000 (yes, 6000 for a midweek replay) left elated – we had just gone toe-to-toe with an established top tier side for the first time in our history. The two sides didn’t meet again until 2004, and we failed to get the better of them in our first six attempts following promotion, though goals from Liam Fox and Barry Wilson saw us come out on top in a 2005 League Cup tie in Inverness. Our maiden league victory over United took place at Tannadice in February of the following year, and in some style. Craig Brewster had left Caley to take over there just a month before, threatening to take some of our best players (and David Proctor) with him. But Charlie Christie had us purring at the time, and while United led twice through two stunning free-kicks from Charlie Mulgrew, Darren Dodds headed home in between to keep us in the game before Wyness and Dargo ran riot - each getting on the scoresheet before Alan Morgan sealed the 4-2 victory. There have been some cracking encounters since, like this 4-0 stroll in the Caley Park, the time we went 3-0 down after 8 minutes but still felt gutted to leave with a point, and another time we did them 4-0 at Tannadice that I can’t find on youtube. League Form Dundee United Last 6: DDWLLW ICT Last 6: DWWDDD The two sides are tied on 14 points, though we have a game in hand and a superior goal difference. Our 19-game unbeaten run started 7 months ago with a 1-1 draw at Tannadice, but it’s starting to look tired. United won at Firhill last week in Robbie Nielson’s first game in charge after consecutive defeats put Laszlo out of his misery. With over a thousand Arabs making the trip to Maryhill, and a big crowd expected to welcome the new manager, it feels like circumstances might matter more than form on this occasion. Basically, it’s a crap time for us to be going there. Teams and Tactics Robbos’s faith in the White-headed 4-2-3-1 that was so effective at Dunfermline seemed to finally waver in the second half last week, with the half-time introduction of Daniel MacKay and subsequent sightings of Calder and Austin. However, I still fully expect to see the same starting eleven and shape – it’s at its best away from home against proactive opponents and is therefore ideal for this game. George Oakley is back in training but won’t feature tomorrow, while the existence of Angus Beith remains unconfirmed . Neilson played a 4-4-1-1 last week with Fraser Aird and Billy King in the wide positions and Paul McMullan playing off Slovakian internationalist, Pavlov Safranko. On paper, they look a cut above the rest of the league, with Fraser Fyvie anchoring the midfield and an enormous centre-half pairing of francophones Rachid Bouhenna and Frederic Frans, combined height – 12 feet and 7 inches. The Shed We’ll be back in ‘The Shed’ tomorrow, a wonderful throwback to a different era of stadia, with a sixty year-old corrugated iron roof that acts as effective amplifier and visible reminders of the terracing that once stood beneath it. Prediction Ach, it’s only a game. Win, lose or draw you’ll get home to your bed just the same.
  18. 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
  19. 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!
  20. 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
  21. 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.
  22. County hold rampant Caley Jags Ross County held Inverness to a scoreless draw at the Global Energy Stadium in front of a bumper crowd of nearly six and a half thousand. Inverness almost blew County away in a totally dominant first half. As the game wore on, County came back into the picture and Mark Ridgers kept the score sheet blank with a superb double save to deny McManus and Billy Mckay. Shaun Rooney and Liam Polworth were fit enough to start but George Oakley missed out through injury. No sign of Nathan Austin anywhere, apparently suffering from slight concussion picked up in training. Iain Vigurs was on the bench for County and would be introduced later in the game to try and disable Polworth with a series of cynical tackles on the controlling Inverness midfielder. Billy Mckay, Ross Draper and Don Cowie all started. Ginger Jaggy has penned this report for us.................. The game may have ended in a draw but there is only one team that will go away satisfied by the first Highland Derby of the Championship Season. Before the game the talk of some fans was about going to Dingwall to make a statement on enemy turf. Although the result didn’t reflect it, there definitely was a statement made. There was only one team playing football and it wasn’t the team in Dark Blue as Caley Thistle from kick off dominated the ball and played some excellent easy on the eye football. Liam Polworth was the standout player pulling all the strings and it was he who had the first chance early on but dragged his shot wide when in a good position. For all County’s money that has allowed them to build the strongest squad on paper, they lacked any cohesion as a team with the CaleyJags looking more fluent and fluid in possession. Goes to show you that football is not all about what’s on paper! Mark Ridgers was unemployed in the first half but his counterpart at the other end was pulling off numerous saves to keep his side in it. Scott Fox won man of the match and it was little wonder with some outstanding saves as he became last man standing in the way of the Caley Thistle juggernaut. He first kept out Aaron Doran with a fantastic one-handed tip over before pulling off another brilliant block from the same player and recovering as fast as lightening to block Jordan White’s rebound – to the astonishment of White who thought he had an easy tap in. White had a couple more half chances, but the score remained goalless at half time with only a harmless Michael Gardyne curler wide of goal the only chance of note for the home side. Half Time 0-0 The second half continued in the same fashion as Polworth went close with a dipping overhit cross that had Fox scrambling but landing just on the roof of the net. For the first hour it had all been the Caley Jags with County looking edgy and uncoordinated at the back as a long-range Chalmers shot had all the sting taken out of it and was rolling harmlessly to Fox before a panicked County defender booted it out for a throw in. Sean Welsh should have done better in the closing stages when a deflected Polworth shot landed perfectly into his path but instead of showing composure he lent back and hammered it high into the travelling supporters. County had made all their subs early in the half, while Inverness had failed to make one as the lack of fresh legs started to take their toll in the final 10 minutes. Gardyne was their main man with the late chances as he continued to shoot with most going miles too high that disappeared over the jail end although one did only just skim over the bar – a warning shot. Their best chance fell late on when Declan McManus got the break of the ball on the edge of the box and fired powerfully at goal, which Ridgers did well to stop before recovering to smother the resultant rebound and collect under pressure from Mckay. Full Time 0-0 County’s late rally only really happened as Inverness tired but a point apiece was just about right with chances for both teams but for an hour at least Caley Thistle were on top and playing some lovely stuff. The unbeaten run continues for another week and although it wasn’t a win, a statement has been well and truly made that Inverness will compete and are likely to be right up there come the business end of the season. That result saw Inverness toppled from the head of the table, Ayr United are the new leaders. Here's something you don't often see in the same sentence. Willie Collum and the word praise, but Old Caley Girl managed it. Congratulations! "Word of praise for Willie Collum who let the game flow and was restrained with the cards Different class to Aitken last week." And Polly was also singled out by OCG and he was our MotM. "How good was Polly running things in the middle. His best position and yesterday proved it. Happy with a point and we remain unbeaten." Here's the footage from Caley Jags TV with the Robbo interview following........ Official Report can be found here Date: 22/09/2018 Venue: Global Energy Stadium, Dingwall. Attendance: 6402 Referee: Willie Collum Ross County: 0 Lineup: Fox; Watson, Morris, Fontaine, Kelly, Cowie (Mullin 65), Lindsay, Draper (Vigurs 65), Gardyne, Mckay, Graham (McManus 81) Subs (not used): Munro; Demetriou, Stewart, Keillor-Dunn Scorers: none Booked: Kelly (72) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco, Chalmers, Polworth, Welsh, White, Doran, Walsh (Mackay 88) Subs (not used): Hoban; McCart, Calder, Trafford, McGregor, Brown. Scorers: none Booked: Donaldson (89) Sent Off: none a
  23. gingerjaggy

    Inverness CT v Ross County Preview

    Derby Day is here! The first Derby of the season kicks off at 3:00pm in Dingwall on Saturday. Tickets for Inverness fans can be bought on the day from the matchday ticket offices at the ground. Ginger Jaggy has written this weeks preview ahead of the derby and here is what he has to say.... It is always a fixture that fans look too on fixture release day with the first of four instalments taking place in Dingwall on Saturday. And if a derby is not enough spice then throw into the equation it being a top of the table clash against a County side boasting several ex-Caleyjag players to get the juices flowing. For myself the excitement can’t get any greater having not attended a game since the ill-fated final season in the top flight and I have not been back to Dingwall since the old away terracing was done away with. County started the season as favourites, who would bet against a side that still boasts Premiership quality and one of the biggest budgets. But they haven’t set the league alight and currently sit behind us by a point as we look to make a statement of intent on enemy territory. If John Robertson can get the Caley Jags promoted it will go down as probably the biggest achievement in his managerial career. He has had an ever-shrinking budget and is almost rebuilding the club on his own by creating a new squad good enough to get back into the top flight. And so far, the omens look good. Since it eventually clicked last season the Caley Jags have now gone an impressive 17 league games unbeaten including the first five of this term. Although home draws against Alloa and Ayr were poor results considering both played at least a full half with 10 men, Inverness have continued to be hard to beat and carry on picking up points. But either side of the international break we have scored three times against Dunfermline and Partick - two expected rivals for promotion - setting us up nicely for the trip to Dingwall. Ross County have reported strong sales for the match so far and with a large away following expected it should be a cracking atmosphere. Here's hoping that the points get brought back across the Kessock Bridge that will give us the early bragging rights but more importantly puts us further clear at the summit. Team News John Robertson will be without George Oakley who was injured late in the game against Partick Thistle. It is understood he will be out for a few weeks. Shaun Rooney is a major concern although he has allegedly been training all week since coming off before half-time in the same fixture. Jamie McCart will be an option should Rooney fail to make the squad with Brad Mckay moving to right back. Young Daniel Mackay will move up the pecking order with Oakley sidelined. Liam Polworth is another who carried a knock forward after the Partick game but he is likely to be fit. Stuart Kettlewell & Steve Ferguson were given a boost with the news that Marcus Fraser and Keith Watson should be available. County could possibly have four former Caley Jags players in their line-up. Don Cowie, Ross Draper, Iain Vigurs and Billy Mckay. Brian Graham has been in goal scoring form recently and the big striker will present a tough test for Coll Donaldson and his cohorts. Other new names to the County squad are forwards Declan McManus (Dunfermline) and Ross Stewart (St Mirren), midfielders Josh Mullin (Livingston), Harry Paton (Hearts) and defenders Keith Watson (St Johnstone), Stelios Demetriou (St Mirren) and Callum Morris, (Dunfermline). Out went some crowd favourites like captain Andrew Davies, Alex Schalke, Christoper Routis, Jaison Naismith, Thomas Mikkelsen, Craig Curran, Reghan Tumilty, and Tim Chow. Just to whet the appetite............. More detail can be found on the Official Website Preview Who put the O and Y in County! Who put the O and Y in County! Who put the O and Y in County! Dirty ...................
  24. 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
  25. 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.