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  1. Inverness Pay The Penalty Inverness slumped again when others around them were faltering, this time only drawing with second bottom Alloa. A first half penalty was tucked away by Iain Flannigan after Shaun Rooney and or Brad Mckay rashly bundled Kevin O'Hara over in the box. We eventually equalised through Jordan White on the hour when he held off the defenders challenge in the box to turn and slot home from close range. White should have won the game with the last attack of the match but headed against the bar when it looked easier to score. Despite a dominant second half, Mark Ridgers had to be alert to block an effort from close range on the rare occasion Alloa ventured forth while we squandered numerous opportunities to make debut keeper Wright work too hard. Despite the dropped points, Inverness remain second top, and Alloa remain second bottom. Shaun Rooney appears to be here until the summer and he was on the park at right back. Tom Walsh started with James Keatings out injured, and Brad Mckay and Kevin McHattie filled the Coll & Jamie shaped hole in the heart of our defence. Alloa were without the injured Jamie MacDonald and young debutante Kieran Wright was in goal. Goal shark Kevin O'Hara was the sting in the Wasps attack. Inverness kick started the game but it was Kevin O'Hara that was first to make a keeper work, Ridgers holding on to his long range effort. Inverness responded and a blocked shot from Aaron Doran brought a corner to the hosts and then Tom Walsh had his attempt blocked as well before O'Hara once more tried his lick from distance, the ball deflecting for a corner. The first decent opportunity fell to Jordan White but Kieran Wright grabbed the ball comfortably as White failed to connect properly. Carl Tremarco popped up towards the front of the box at a corner and his header dipped just over the bar as Inverness looked most likely to score. Alloa broke the one way traffic when a Kevin McHattie back header was intercepted by Robert Thomson, thankfully he shot wide, but it was the hosts that mostly held the upper hand. Miles Storey broke down the right side and cut the ball low across the box but Doran smothered his shot and it trundled safely into the arms of the keeper. White saw a header sail over the bar, unfortunately that would be a recurring theme for the big striker. Boom! Out of nowhere, Alloa were afforded room down our right side and when O'Hara broke into the box, a combination of Brad Mckay and Shaun Rooney targeted the Alloa man. It looked as though it was Rooney who unceremoniously barged O'Hara over as Mckay tugged his man and there was no hesitation from Kevin Clancy as he pointed to the spot. Ridgers guessed right, but Iain Flannigan had sufficient power on his spot kick to find the bottom corner, just out of Mark's reach. If it's any consolation to us, Coll Donaldson did likewise for County yesterday. Meh! Almost immediately, we could have equalised. However Storey set a new record for vertical shooting as he lashed a great ball into the box high above the stand, straight out of the Jordan White heading textbook. Trafford fired a shot from twenty-five yards but it was straight down the young keepers throat as he parried then picked up the ball. Storey saw a header saved by Wright but it was at the other end where a goal almost came. Ridgers and or McHattie had to be at their best to deny Cawley after we got in a bit of a scrambulation in and around our own box. Another chance would come our way as White met a deep cross, but as he stretched out to volley the ball he could only knock it tamely into the goalies gloves. Half Time 0-1 We looked more urgent at the start of the second half and pinned Alloa onto the back foot, but a couple of deflected efforts came and went without troubling Wright too much. Sean Welsh made a welcome return to action and on the hour, White would not be denied though and the big lad did well to control an awkward ball into the box from Welsh on the right, hold off his marker and turn the ball into the net from six yards. No more than we deserved at this point in the game. We looked as though we were going to overrun Alloa now as Rooney began to surge forward but his sterling efforts saw no takers in the box, Doran being denied a couple of times. However, Alloa reminded us that they were also on the park when Ridgers had to make a great save to deny O'Hara after James Vincent gift wrapped a loose ball to the visitors. Best moment of the match from the hosts when substitute David Carson skipped across the Alloa defence before shooting just wide. Close but no cigar! In a frantic ending to the game Ridgers made a desperate stop to deny O'Hara or Alan Trouten, White headed over, Doran had a shot saved and right at the death Jordan White smacked the bar with a close range header when he should have been bugling the net. Doh! Mark Ridgers was our MotM with Shaun Rooney having a good second half. Good to see Walsh and Welsh getting up to speed and wee David Carson looked lively when he came on, really unlucky with the rasping shot that fizzed past the corner of the post and bar. Bottom line though is it's more points dropped against teams at the bottom end of the table, and that won't be good enough to keep us in second place should we continue to falter. The goals.... Speaking to BBC Sport Inverness CT assistant manager Barry Wilson: "I'm frustrated. We were chasing the game after the penalty, which we felt was of the soft variety. Results elsewhere went for us but we've not taken our chance to go further ahead." Alloa Athletic manager Peter Grant: "I've been delighted with our performances. We showed another side today the way they had to dig in at a tough place to come." Full Highlights from Caley Jags TV........... Bazza was on post match duty........ Date: 01/02/2020 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1914 Referee: Kevin Clancy Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, McHattie, Tremarco, Doran, Trafford (Welsh 57), Vincent (MacGregor 73), Walsh (Carson 74), Storey, White Subs (not used): C Mackay; Harper, Toshney, Todorov Scorers: White (59) Booked: Storey (45+1) Sent Off: none Alloa Athletic: 1 Lineup: Wright; Taggart, Dick, Deas, Stirling, Hetherington, Cawley, Robertson, Flannigan, O'Hara, Thomson (Trouten (63)) Subs (not used): Wilson, Gilhooley, O'Donnell, Buchanan, Connelly Scorers: Flannigan (30 pen) Booked: Sent Off: none a
  2. Robbo Burns As Rabbie once said to me.... The best laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft a-gley, An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain For promis'd joy. On the day of the Bard of Ayrshire, Inverness faced the Honest Men at Somerset Park with a new look defence after Coll Donaldson jumped ship, with Lewis Toshney joining Tom Walsh and Sean Welsh on the bench. The departing Jamie McCart was also benched again.There was the added incentive of Dundee crashing 2-0 at East End Park last night and three points for either side would be a huge bonus. Stephen Kelly scored the only goal of the game after an hour and both sides hit the woodwork, but it was no more than Ayr deserved as they closed the gap on Inverness to just one point. Our new defence got in a fankle at the goal allowing Kelly to take advantage. From the quill of the Bard himself, and so true...... There is no such uncertainty as a sure thing. RIG was on hand to see the wee sleekit courin timerous beastie, also known as the referee...... I think whilst we were on the end of some pretty debatable calls from the referee, Ayr were the better team throughout the 90 minutes and deserved the win. Kerr seemed to set Ayr up a bit more defensively than previous match ups and they let us carry the ball forward with little pressure but we were swarmed as we entered the Ayr half and forced to thread balls through a well organised Ayr midfield and defence (which we couldn't do) or try and dink a ball up to White and later Todorov (which we also couldn't do). When Ayr seized the ball they broke with real pace and direction quickly feeding the ball wide to Forrest or Moffat on the flanks or looking to play a pass in behind the ICT centre backs and a lot of their good chances game from this. Only a triple block/save combination from McHattie and Ridgers stopped Ayr opening the scoring in the first half which saw wave after wave of attacks threaten the ICT rearguard. Fortunately we held them off and had the ball in the net when Keatings lifted a free kick in for White who beat Doohan to the ball and flicked it in but the referee gave a free kick for a foul by White. Seemed pretty soft but it would have been hard on Ayr had we gone ahead (though thoroughly pleasing obviously). Second half and there seemed to be a strong claim for a penalty when Doran broke into the box and looked like he was pushed in the back sending him to the ground but the referee waved play on. Not long after this Ayr scored. I didn't see what happened but after I had stopped admiring my new trainers I looked up to see Trafford on his arse and Kelly seizing on a loose ball, heading for goal before calmly slotting past Ridgers. No more than Ayr deserved in fairness but frustrating nonetheless from an ICT point of view. Ayr had more chances after this to extend their lead before Doran went down under another challenge however this time he got straight back up to chase the ball before Aitken blew for a foul and cautioned Doran for diving which seemed a bit odd given he didn't seem to be looking for anything. We went with 2 strikers for the final few minutes with Todorov coming on to partner White but we didn't really create anything of note until the final kick of the game when Ayr threw bodies to block a couple of ICT efforts from close range (these might even have been our only shots on target...). Bizarre to see us end the game with a couple of big lads up front and our two best crossers of the ball on the wings yet we persevered with little dinked balls up towards White and Todorov which almost never found them. Any ICT fan not bothered about losing Donaldson AND McCart should be worried after today's defensive showing. Whilst McHattie was solid enough Mckay with the ball at his feet was an absolute bombscare. Vincent was decent for us, possibly closest to ICT MotM. Kerr and Moffat looked good for Ayr and Drinan really gave Mckay and McHattie a torrid time. We have a real battle on to maintain second spot which could be huge come the end of the season.. Highlights from Ayr United TV Eagle4Caley left Crystal Palace behind for the weekend to go to Somerset Park and enjoyed the ambience...... The highlights suggest a close game, although I felt Ayr had more chances, but we hit the bar, and quite why our goal was disallowed is beyond me...White at no time is looking at the goalie only at the ball, and I'm not convinced he even touches him. Also Doran was clearly pushed over in the penalty area, and then next time he gets a booking for going down, when you can see he catches the defender legs and is trying to regain his feet. Their goal was a bit of a bummer, at first I thought that McHattie was at fault but credit to the Ayr player who actually closes Charlie Trafford down very quickly. I thought McHattie had a decent game, as did McKay...strange how quickly our CB pairing has changed (presumably to make ends meet). For me our midfielders were the pick of the bunch, plus Walsh when he came on. Our forwards were very much powder-puff, Doran was quieter than expected, Storey didn't offer much apart from two/three decent crosses, I'm not sure what Keatings was doing and White looks like he is the Centre Forward because he's tall, because he seemed unable to anticipate where high balls were going nor jump at the right time (except for the disallowed goal), he's definitely better with his feet! For me 2nd place is probably between us and Ayr, so this was a disappointing reverse, but I guess we can't win every match against them. Robbo's the man for a' that.... Date: 25/01/2020 Venue: Somerset Park, Ayr Attendance: 1200 Referee: Greg Aitken Ayr United: 1 Lineup: Doohan; Houston, Muirhead, Harvie, Bell, Kerr, Moffat (Rocco 90+3), Forrest (McKenzie 90), Drinan, Docherty, Kelly Subs (not used): Ellis Hare-Reid; Doolan, McCowan, McGuffie, Hewitt Scorers: Kelly (61) Booked: Docherty (85) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, McHattie, Tremarco, Doran, Trafford (Todorov 75), Vincent, Storey (Walsh 66), Keatings (Carson 66), White Subs (not used): C Mackay, Toshney, McCart, Welsh. Scorers: none Booked: B Mckay (71), White (72), Doran (78) Sent Off: none a
  3. Ayr do Back to League business this weekend as Inverness make the journey to Somerset Park to take on Championship play-off contenders, Ayr United. The game kicks off at 3:00pm on Saturday at the same venue where Ross County were dumped out of the Scottish Cup last week. There's only four points separating the sides at the moment and this should be another tight affair. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Match and Travel Information can be found on the OFFICIAL SITE @ ICTFC We're in the money £££ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It's been a rewarding fixture for us in recent seasons, including last season when we beat Ayr in the away leg of the play-off and both league fixtures at Somerset Park. We have already beaten Ayr away this season back in October when goals from James Vincent and Shaun Rooney were enough to earn the points. The second meeting this campaign was another 2-0 win in the Highlands, Jordan White and Miles Storey the scorers. Last time out we were on Cup duty and recorded a hard fought 2-3 win over Alloa Athletic at Recreation Park. We were pegged back twice after Aaron Doran opened the scoring. Jordan White put us ahead again only for Kevin O'Hara to get his second of the game. Charlie Trafford scored the vital winner with only a handful of minutes remaining. Ayr pulled off a minor upset by knocking our neighbours out of the Cup thanks to a powerful headed goal from seasoned professional Steven Bell. Form since we last met in the league Last time we met was back on the 7th of December, and after winning 2-0 in the Highlands we were five points ahead of Ayr. Since then we have won two (Pars & Dundee) and lost two (Partick & Arbroath), plus a win over Alloa in the Scottish Cup. Our game against Queen of the South fell foul of the weather. In December, Ayr had a midweek draw with Arbroath then beat Alloa before losing to Dundee United and Queen of the South. They started January with an away win at Dunfermline, a postponed fixture at Dens Park and beat Ross County in the Scottish Cup. So form is fairly even at the moment at that is mirrored in the League table with Ayr just one place and four points behind Inverness now. Fixtures this weekend Dunfermline v Dundee (Friday) Ayr United v Inverness Arbroath v Partick Thistle Dundee Utd v Morton Queen of Sth v Alloa Robbo said ahead of the game: “We’ve got to go down there and do what we’ve done at Dens Park and Alloa, that’s go down there and be very busy and very proactive with the ball and when we lose it make sure we’re nice and solid. The key to our success all season is our solidity at the back.” Whilst that is very true Robbo, you would wonder why the club can not hold on to the heart of the defence until the end of a possible promotion campaign. Is there enough ambition left at the Caledonian Stadium? Team News It was great to see Tom Walsh back on the park last week after hamstring problems and a further bonus to have Sean Welsh on the bench as he recovers from a second broken foot. These guys have been out for a while now and it will be like having two new signings when they are both back up to speed. Unfortunately the loss of Coll Donaldson is a blow and the impending departure of Jamie McCart adds to our misery. McCart is still here for now unless St Johnstone dig deep into their pockets. It remains to be seen if McCart will be asked to play for the club he wants away from. However, we have to go with what we have and Lewis Toshney will come into defence with Brad Mckay and Kevin McHattie also looking to claim a place. There will be plenty room for them all should Shaun Rooney turn his back on us as well. Mark Kerr has strengthened his squad by signing Grant Gillespie from Hamilton Accies. Jordan Houston has also joined from Rangers. Kerr will be without Craig Moore, Andy Geggan and Andy Murdoch, but Grant Gillespie will be added to the squad. Speaking on Ayr United's official site Kerr said : ”We don’t need reminding that we don’t have the greatest recent record against Inverness, it is just another game and another opportunity to pick up points and continue this wee run we are on. We know what Inverness are all about. They are extremely well organised, everyone knows their jobs and they play good football at times as well. It’s a challenge that we are looking forward to and we’ve been working had on a plan all week to get the best out of the players tomorrow afternoon. The last couple of games have proved that we are able to mix it up now and win games a different way.” Oops, sorry for the reminder Mark. We have some good news and some bad news for you this week First the good news. The club have reached their original investment target of £500K and have issued a statement to that effect. In fact they have exceeded expectations and you can read about it HERE The bad news is the break up of our defence with Coll Donaldson already away and Jamie McCart following him out the door in the summer if not sooner. As expected, after sitting on the bench at Alloa, Jamie McCart is next to go. He will be on his way to Perth in the summer unless we can sell him now for a few pennies. Sometimes life's a bitch! The final blow would be the departure of the much sought after Shaun Rooney who has been in tremendous form for the Caley Jags lately. Sadly Tommy Wright wants to tie up both players before the weekend. With the run in for a play-off place at stake, this is indeed not what the fans want to hear. Scottish Cup Draw Coll Donaldson is now confined to history after he left the building to join Ross County before last weeks Scottish Cup ties. However, unlike his former Inverness team mates, he won't be in the next round of the cup as Ayr sent them homewards, tae think again. Inverness will host Livingston in the next round, the weekend of February the 8th. Now then, that date rings a bell!
  4. ***Game off*** There's another preview wasted; meh! It's Dobbie time. Steven Dobbie takes the rest of his entourage North this weekend as Inverness host Queen of the South at the Caledonian Stadium. The game kicks off at 3:00pm and let's hope the wind and rain relents somewhat so we can avoid trampolines and other objects seen hurtling around Inverness this past week. Oh dear, the weather has won, the game has been called off on Friday after a 12:00inspection. Our last game saw a return to form as we ran out comfortable winners over a resurgent Dundee at Dens Park. Two superb first half goals from Aaron Doran and James Keatings gave us the platform to go on and dominate the first forty-five and from there on in we were never in danger. What a difference a week made after the disappointment of the Arbroath defeat to end 2019. The Doonhamers took on the other half of Dundee at Palmerston but narrowly went down 1-0 as Mark Connolly headed the winner early into the second half. After last week's games, Queen of the South find themselves in sixth position, ten points behind second place Inverness but still only three points above the relegation play-off place occupied by Morton. These two teams have a crucial catch up game to play against each other. Lots of players moving back and fore in the January sales and Mitch Curry has returned to Middlesbrough after his injury disrupted spell in the Highlands. I suppose he was more of a Korma than a Vindaloo, but good luck to him for the future. Less pleasing are the strong rumours that Coll Donaldson could be on his way over the bridge on a pre-contract while Shaun Rooney could be heading to Dundee, with St Johnstone showing interest as well. Another in danger of leaving is Tom Walsh, although he would be less of a miss due to recent injury problems, although on his game he can be a match winner. I'm afraid money talks, and we won't be splashing much cash around unless we get contracts bought out now. Anyway, it's all speculation at the moment, but it's no secret that Donaldson and a few others would prefer a bigger wage. In fact, rumours would have it that half our squad are being targeted such is our financial disposition. Cest la vie! Gringo's thoughts.......... Caley Jags are so difficult to predict these days. They blow very hot and cold. This should be a massive three points for us but....I'm struggling to find any confidence that they can do so. Distractions of higher wages and new contracts could have an affect on the minds especially if we concede the first goal. Some guys might get that 'well I'm leaving soon for a higher wage anyway so this game doesn't matter attitude' I'd hope they are more professional than that though. NPL says FT 2-1 Pfffftttt A bit damp around the penalty box
  5. Dens Deelight for Caley Jags Inverness dominated the early exchanges and it was no surprise when Aaron Doran opened the scoring with a wham bam thankyou mam effort from 13 yards. Long ball from McHattie to Rooney and then on to Doran for a brilliant opener. Seven minutes later, James Keatings ran through on to a Rooney pass on the counter and drilled superbly under Hamilton for a second goal in the 24th minute as the visitors dominance continued. The half time stats showed Inverness with seven attempts on target to zero for Dundee. Despite an improved second 45 from the hosts, Inverness were well worth the three points today and remain second in the Championship. John Robertson had threatened wholesale changes after the lethargy displayed against Arbroath with only Ridgers and Storey guaranteed their place in the starting XI. The reality though brought home how fragile our squad is. Sean Welsh and Tom Walsh are back in training but not ready for action yet. So, captain Carl Tremarco back in at left back was a no brainer. However, Jamie McCart was dropped to the bench with Kevin McHattie moving to centre back to replace him. That was more of a surprise. James Vincent returned to midfield in place of David Carson with Nikolay Todorov up front for Jordan White. So, three changes, one surprise. Another pleasant surprise would unfold as the afternoon wore on. Dundee had Josh Meekings in the heart of defence with Dorrans in midfield and Kane Hemmings starting up top. Other Championship results today Alloa 1-1 Partick Thistle Arbroath 1-2 Morton Dunfermline 0-1 Ayr United Queen of South 0-1 Dundee United What the managers said on BBC Sport Dundee manager James McPake: "You go in and you think you've got the consistency in performances, you think everything's starting to click and then bang - you get that start to the game. We were on the back of a half-decent run, we should have been out of the traps really quickly and starting the game well but today we were really poor." Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "Today we showed what we are about - hard working, inventive with the ball, a right good team. To come here and win as comfortably as that is a big fillip for us." Looks like Robbo has signed a new player. Well done big Fillip. Immortal Howden Ender has this report for us, and just look at his face when he saw the team lines. Well I would bet mucho spondoolicks that the 194 ICT supporters who witnessed this performance would rank that first half performance as the most fluent and effective that we have played in a long time. I would class it as entertainment personified and the singing must also class as the loudest and most prolonged in years as well - even though a few idiotic barstewards tried to ruin it. Storey coming off at half time definitely affected the rhythm and Rooney was nowhere near as effective in midfield - although he had done enuff in the first 45 to win the MotM by a country mile. We started off as a 4-2-1-3 but were forced into a 4-4-2 in the second half. I reckon we would have trounced them if it had stayed the same. We totally controlled the first 15 minutes and then we were treated to the goal of the season which will be very difficult match. McHattie fired a pinpoint 60 yard cross field ball which found Rooney in miles of space. He then moves forward and we expect a looping cross. Well he cut it back along the 18 yard line at pace and DORAN smashed it into the corner. And only seven minutes later Rooney is at it again and at the end of a speedy counter attack KEATINGS coolly chipped it home. And we all thought that Storey had smashed in a second but unfortunately it was the side netting that bulged. And as we drew breath we wondered if the second half would be more of the same. Alas Storey going off, presumably injured, we probably lost our system. Brad McKay coming on at right full back and Rooney moving into right midfield. Harsh maybe but I feel that we should have taken on MacGregor. But don't get me wrong - we continued to boss the game. We never really looked like grabbing the third but Dundee never looked like scoring either. We did play a low lying back four but they won nearly everything and our workmanship and pressing was excellent. The only negative is that we may have lost three more squad players but let's hope that none of the injuries are serious and that Welsh and Walsh will return soon. So it is a very happy IHE who sips his post match voddie and let's hope that 2020 brings more of the same. The scores on the doors.......... Ridgers ???? He is becoming a major bonus. Another deserved clean sheet and three tremendous saves. Rooney ????? Simply superb in the first half. Not as effective in the second half when moved forward but covered every blade of grass McHattie ???? Was unsure to begin with but he and Coll looked like a real partnership. And that pass to start the first goal move was "World Class". Donaldson ???? Looked more like the Coll of yore. Won EVERYTHING. Tremarco ??? Solid if not spectacular but Dundee did play mainly down our right flank. Vincent ???? I thought that he was superb and you could see him continually supporting and egging on all around him. Trafford ??? Grafted but defended more than gave anything going forward. Keatings ??? Very well taken goal. I felt that he too suffered from the enforced half time goal. Desperately needs a striker who knows how to be a foil to a number 10. Storey ??? Has so much potential but frustrates me that he does not take people on more often. Still a striker to me and not a winger. Todorov ?? Sorry but had a big chance to make his mark but did little to impress. Simply not a holding target man. Doran ??? What a finish as only Aaron could do. He is the one person who you think could do something impromptu but lacks pace these days BUT still worth a starting place Mckay was a bit of a bomb scare at times, Carson is tireless and White looked good and hopefully continues to look over his shoulder at Toddy. Robbo got it spot on today but I still think that he should have taken on McGregor at halftime but WTF. And even Robbo the Ref gave us far more than he usually does ? ??? The goals courtesy of Sky Sport Scotland........ Robbo in better tune after that great performance. What a difference a week makes. Date: 04/01/2020 Venue: Dens Park, Dundee Attendance: 5040 Referee: Don Robertson Dundee: 0 Lineup: Hamilton; Kerr, McGhee, Meekings, McGowan, Dorrans, Johnson (Cunningham 85), Robertson, Mackie (Todd 62), Marshall, Hemmings. Subs (not used): Ferrie; Foster, Byrne, Moore, Cameron. Scorers: none Booked: Johnson (29), McGhee (64) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McHattie, Tremarco, Doran, Trafford (Carson 55), Vincent, Keatings, Storey (B McKay 46), Todorov (White 72) Subs (not used): C Mackay, McCart, MacGregor, Curry Scorers: Doran (17), Keatings (24) Booked: none Sent Off: none
  6. 2020 Vision We are the first footers at Dens Park in 2020 as second takes on third in the Ladbrokes Championship. So take your piece of coal and a wee Whyte & Mackay with you as we take on Dundee. Last time out, Dundee battled hard for a point at Tannadice on the Friday night whilst a day later we slumped badly at home to Arbroath, going down to a flattering one goal defeat in what has been described as a decade ending debacle. Despite this, a good New Year to you all and our resident seer, Immortal Howden Ender will take us through the first game of 2020. Call it a vision if you like! A seer with a vision. Preview by Immortal Howden Ender Well initially let’s go back to April 20th 2003 and our initial Hampden Park appearance when we met Dundee in the Scottish Cup Semi-Final. We had gone ballistic again in the Quarter Final when a memorable Denis Wyness winner put Celtic to the sword yet again. We were dreaming of our first Scottish Cup Final against the other half of the now extinct “Old Firm” !! In those days we lauded the likes of Wyness, Bobby Mann, Charlie Christie, Richie Hart and Barry Robson. But, in those Mafiosi days, Dundee were fielding Julian Speroni, Fabian Caballero, Georgi Nemsadze, Zurab Khizanishvili and Nacho Novo !!! Unfortunately we went down to a 1-0 defeat but we held our heads high. Dundee may well have done the rest of the division a favour if they had managed to beat their noisy neighbours recently. They probably deserved to win but only came away with a point. There may not be a collection of obscure “superstars” any more but Graham Dorrans and Kane Hemmings are recognizable names and of course their “capitano” is one Josh “VAR” Meekings. This could well be looked at as an undoubtable “six pointer” as an ICT win would put us six points clear whereas Dundee would have to win 3-0 (no chance) to take over second place. Personally I would prefer the former, although a draw would suffice. Other Championship fixtures: Alloa v Partick; Arbroath v Morton; Pars v Ayr; Queens v Arabs We have not enjoyed the best of luck at Dens or bizarrely the “Kilmac Stadium at Dens Park” recently. We fought out a drab, goaless fixture in August but Dundee knocked us out of the Scottish Cup last season and they inflicted a 1-0 defeat on us in the League Cup in late July 2019. Our last meeting resulted in a 1-0 home win in Sneck as a 16th minute Aaron Doran goal won us the three points. There was a frantic, heated last 15 minutes when six yellow cards were shown by the impetuous Davy Munro. This weekend we have Don “Robbo” Robertson in the middle. I can see the starting XI as being pretty close to the team that started at home in late November – apart from Rooney and Keatings starting in preference to McKay and McHattie. Perhaps there may be a James Vincent return to enable him to prove Dundee wrong? Personally I would change the over familiar selection and change the predictable system. Doubt if there is any feckin chance of that though? Ridgers Rooney Donaldson McCart Tremarco Keatings Carson Trafford Doran McGregor Storey So I will be in amongst the thousands of marauding Highlanders in the Bob Shankly Stand !! I presume that the “Trades House” will be the meeting point. I note that the latest review on “Trip Advisor” is not a positive one – “I have attended matches here for years and can honestly say the place is a death trap. Unhygienic dirty and would not recommend a visit.” Sounds great! ***Latest News*** Defender Cameron Harper has gone on loan to Elgin City with keeper Daniel Hoban returning to Inverness from the League 2 side. Sean Welsh and Tom Walsh are back training but neither will feature this weekend. Robbo talking ahead of the game......... If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/
  7. Bleak House We were hoping for a White Xmas, instead we got a Dickensian novel, Bleak House, as Arbroath deservedly took all three points with a disciplined performance against a complete team of misfits with only Mark Ridgers earning his crust. The goal came just after the break with Luke Donnelly stroking home after we lost the ball near the visitors box. That triggered a terse exchange between Ridgers and his defence with Rooney the brunt of the exchange. All this came after an eye gouging first half which was topped by a more than inept second half with Arbroath more likely to increase their lead without having to try too hard. You can only paper over the cracks for so long and today we were found wanting as part time Arbroath, not for the first time this season, turned us over. It's such a shame that a decade of so many highs has ended with an all time low. Ridgers had to make a great block in the first half and two terrific second half saves to spare our blushes further whilst we were incapable of troubling the keeper who worked harder kicking the mud off his boots on the goal post than dealing with anything Inverness had to offer. On a weekend when every other result was in our favour, we could not help ourselves, and that's a bit of a concern. In fact, we are almost as close to Alloa Athletic as we are to Dundee United, only one point in it. I suggest we will be closer to the team at the bottom come the end of the season. Mark Ridgers was our MotM and that should tell you all you need to know about our inability to trouble Arbroath. I can't think of any outfield player who deserved passmarks other than possibly Miles Storey who at least put in some effort although not always channeling his runs in the right direction or getting an end product with wasteful crosses. Charlie Trafford made less mistakes than others, but played it safe instead of hurting the defence. Otherwise, we were a complete omnishambles. We remain second in the league for now, but unless we kick on, then we won't be there come the end of the season. Take nothing away from Arbroath who will be rightly delighted with the result, but this report is all about our inability to play football at a level required for promotion. In truth, the Smokies cigared this, so well done to them for a very successful year Manager reaction from BBC Sport: Inverness CT manager, John Robertson: "We were horrendous, quite as simple and straightforward as that. From the first whistle we looked lacklustre, didn't have any energy, any zip, didn't move the ball about. It looked like the players thought it's only little old Arbroath - little old Arbroath showed exactly what it takes to be a professional football team." Arbroath manager, Dick Campbell: "Anybody watching the game today would respect what we're about and it wasn't an undeserved result for me. To come up here and score a great goal like we did is fantastic - and I didn't see my keeper having having a lot to do. I couldn't be happier with points, I'm that soft and might give them Tuesday off now." Angry John...... Match reaction on CTO Plenty of unhappy Bunnies. Doofers Dad: I'm finding it hard to understand that a team that has been playing pretty well recently, who could have increased the gap between 2nd & 3rd to 6 points and who should have felt they had a point to prove after a poor 3-0 defeat earlier in the season at Arbroath, can put in such a truly awful performance. They should have been really up for this game. Instead, it looked as if most of them simply couldn't be bothered. And I don't think I can remember a game when possession has been given away so easily so often. It was like watching a 2nd rate pub side at times. It was just dreadful. Jack: I cannot believe the ***** I've just witnessed. We're bloody 2nd in the league and are being played around by a part time team who's main striker works the bin lorry every other day. Muirtown Jaggy: Slow, predictable, lethargic, sloppy....... it was hard to tell who the part time team was !!!!!!! Absolutely woeful, some players really need to be having a word with themselves. Does Robbo have enough about him to sort this out !!!! Not so sure. Caley100: That was a feckin disgrace. Total rubbish from start to finish! You would think Robbo and the coaches would have learned after the last two games against Arbroath what tactics would be an improvement. Rig: That was the first time Arbroath have ever beaten us in Inverness and, based on today, it'll be a long time until we beat them again. A truly shocking performance from ICT. Yngwie: Had a question for you all...... Question: Which spectators sat through both this and the corresponding away defeat? Answer: The ICT outfield! ? Have a great 2020, see you all then. tm4tj and the editorial team Date: 28/12/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2287 Referee: Graham Beaton Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, McHattie, Doran (Curry 64), Carson, Trafford, Storey, Keatings (MacGregor 64), White (Todorov 70) Subs (not used): C Mackay; B Mckay, Tremarco, Vincent, Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none Arbroath: 1 Lineup: Gaston; Whatley, Little, O'Brien, Hamilton, Stewart, Virtanen, Gold (Murphy 83), Linn (Kader 73), McKenna, Donnelly (Spence 77) Subs (not used): Jamieson, Thomson, Swankie, Doris. Scorers: Donnelly (47) Booked: Hamilton (20), Virtanen (76) Sent Off: none a
  8. I'm dreaming of a White Xmas Arbroath will be the visitors this weekend as they head North for this Championship encounter with Inverness at the Caledonian Stadium, 3:00pm will be the kick off time. It's the last game of 2019, so come along and see if we can keep our form going and maybe get some revenge for our last encounter with Arbroath. The Smokies certainly smoked the Caley Jags in the last encounter when they ran away with the game in a deserved 3-0 win at Gayfield. Scott Stewart opened the scoring in the first half and a Bobby Linn penalty was added to by Omar Kader late in the second half to hand Inverness their second 3-0 reverse in a week. In truth, the scoreline that day flattered Inverness although we can point a finger at a virus that was working it's way through the Caledonian Stadium around that time. Since that defeat at the beginning of November we have put together a decent run apart from a setback at Firhill a fortnight ago when we lost 3-1 again to Partick Thistle. It started with another virus induced laboured performance over Clyde (0-0) in the Chocolate Biscuit Cup. It went to penalties where Mark Ridgers made two saves to see us through. Partick apart, we have played four Championship games without conceding a goal whilst scoring seven with wins over rivals Dundee, Ayr United, Alloa and Dunfermline. In that same period, Arbroath have had five Championship games without a win, managing only two points from draws with Dundee and Ayr United. They also needed a replay in the Scottish Cup to see off Auchinleck Talbot after a 1-1 draw at Beechwood Park, Ayrshire. After the 3-0 result at Gayfield, Arbroath found themselves level on 20 points with Inverness, but these results now show a 10 point gap has opened up as we move to second while Arbroath sit in seventh. Last time out we overcame Dunfermline in the Highlands with a hard fought but deserved 2-0 win although we had to thank Mark Ridgers for making two or three crucial blocks to keep the Pars out, or to be more precise Kevin Nisbet from scoring. Otherwise, it was a competent performance with a goal in each half from Shaun Rooney and Jamie McCart. Whilst we were beating the Pars, Arbroath were going down at Palmerston to Queen of the South. A Dan Pybus strike and an own goal from Ricky Little secured the points for the Dumfries side and continued Arbroaths poor run. Championship games this weekend starting with the Dundee derby on Friday night. Yes it's derby weekend all round and Arbroath are our nearest........ Dundee United v Dundee (Friday) Ayr United v Queen of the South Dunfermline Athletic v Alloa Athletic Inverness CT v Arbroath Morton v Partick Thistle Here's our goals from the win over Dunfermline last week. Team News John Robertson has been without Sean Welsh for nearly three months now and Tom Walsh is catching him up as he sits out for another week with his hamstring. Brad Mckay was not in the squad last week either but James Vincent returned to the bench before coming on as a sub. Kevin McHattie deputised for Carl Tremarco last week who had taken a knock the previous week, however, Tremarco, Vincent and Mckay should all be in the squad tomorrow. I'm sure Robbo will be looking for more return from his strikers who had the day off last week with defenders Rooney and McCart doing the business. So, like Gregor, we can all dream of a White Xmas, just like the ones we used to know and hope the big man starts scoring again. Arbroath went with this line-up against Queen of the South at Palmerston and Dick Campbell is happy enough with his sides contribution to the Championship so far. And so he should be, especially the likes of Bobby Linn who likes a goal against the Caley Jags. Arbroath manager Dick Campbell has taken heart from recent performances in some tough games even though he thought they deserved more points. “I will happily admit that we are ahead of where I thought we would be at this stage and if we finish with a couple of teams below us by the end of the season then I will be a very happy man.” If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/
  9. Xmas Cheer Inverness collected all three points with an ultimately deserved win over a persistent Dunfermline Athletic. Despite mostly dominating the first half, we had Mark Ridgers to thank thrice for excellent blocks to deny Kevin Nisbet on each occasion, one just before the break was crucial, and that meant that Shaun Rooney's goal around the half hour gave Inverness the lead at the interval. The Pars were more prominent in the second half without really threatening, but Ridgers had to make another good block to thwart Nisbet again to keep his clean sheet, and a second half header from Jamie McCart sealed the win with ten minutes remaining. This result keeps Inverness four clear in second place with Dundee United disappearing over the horizon. Carl Tremarco was out injured with Kevin McHattie taking his place and Tom Walsh and Brad Mckay missed out again. Stevie Crawford was without the suspended Greg Kiltie, Joe Thomson getting his first start for nine months. Paul Paton and Lewis McCann started with Harry Cochrane and Kyle Turner on the bench alongside former Inverness loan player Anthony McDonald. A tentative opening quarter by both sides with James Keatings shooting just wide early on from inside the box. Mark Ridgers made his first save from Kevin Nisbet after 15 minutes when he spread himself well to deny the on form striker, then grabbed his follow up header. That was slightly against the run of play, but showed that the Pars would be dangerous on the counter. Scully was forced into making a fingertip save from what looked to be a header from one of his own defenders, the ball being tipped behind for a corner after a dangerous cross into the box with Jordan White lurking with intent. Neither keeper was overworked but after half an hour Inverness opened the scoring when Shaun Rooney was on hand to knock a Keatings cross behind Scully from 10 yards after a corner was cleared back to the Caley Jags man out wide. The hosts were now in control of midfield with Charlie Trafford and David Carson prominent and Scully had more to deal with than Ridgers, but on the stroke of half time the big Inverness keeper did well to prevent Nisbet getting an equaliser as he spread himself once more when one on one. Half Time 1-0 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What the managers said on BBC Sport Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson: "On the face of it, it seems the perfect day. As a manager you want the three points, a clean sheet and the performance too. "We were a big threat at set pieces and I think that second goal at the end of the day was deserved. We still had to concentrate, still had to be lively as Dunfermline have players who can hurt you if you don't keep an eye on them." Dunfermline manager Stevie Crawford: "It's a very difficult place to come, we had chances we could've scored from and were punished. "The second-half we huffed and puffed. Inverness managed the game really well, and we never created enough goalscoring chances to get back into the game." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dunfermline looked more determined after the break but with little cutting edge Ridgers was left to deal with the odd cross and a few clearances. The hosts were looking more comfortable as the half wore on and with a bit more composure could have added to their tally. Jamie McCart headed over from a corner with twenty minutes left as the home fans were looking for the cushion of a two goal lead. It would come ten minutes from the end and this time McCart rose unchallenged at the back to loop a header across the keeper into the far corner. Bit of a soft goal for Dunfermline to lose but a vital second goal for Inverness. Still work to do and Ridgers denied Nisbet for a third time with another excellent block to hold on to the clean sheet. The game ran away from the Pars and at the end of the day they can have little complaints after failing to capitalise on three one on ones with Ridgers who stood firm and gets my vote for MotM. Mark was well supported by his back line who were prepared to defend in depth when needed and willing to turn defence into attack with some great out balls. Defensively sound for most of the game that was a great way to get over the defeat at Firhill last week and puts a wee dent in the Pars run towards the play-off places. Shaun Rooney was the sponsors vote and he had a great second half with a couple of trademark bursts down the touchline. Aaron Doran was also lively and kept the visitors defence on their toes. There were some failures, but it's not a day for complaints with three points in the bag and a clean sheet. Here's the goals............ Here's Dunfermlines take on the game..... Robbo match reaction......... Table and Championship scores from yesterday Inverness CT 2-0 Dunfermline Alloa Athletic 0-2 Morton Dundee United 4-0 Ayr United Partick Thistle 0-1 Dundee Queen of the South 2-0 Arbroath Date: 19/12/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2116 Referee: Alan Newlands Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, McHattie, Doran (Todorov 89), Carson, Trafford, Storey, Keatings (Vincent 74), White (Curry 85) Subs (not used): C Mackay, Harper, Machado, MacGregor. Scorers: Rooney (33), McCart (80) Booked: Donaldson (65) Sent Off: none Dunfermline Ath: 0 Lineup: Scully; Comrie, Ashcroft, Devine, Martin, Dow, Beadling (Turner 43), Paton, Thomson (Ryan 74), Nisbet, McCann (McDonald 62) Subs (not used): Gill; Lang, Cochrane, Edwards. Scorers: none Booked: Comrie (35) Sent Off: none a
  10. Festive Fare It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas and Dunfermline Athletic are the visitors on Saturday with both clubs looking to bounce back after disappointing results last weekend. The game will kick off at 3:00pm at the Caledonian Stadium as Xmas shopping start to bite. So, if you want to avoid all the mind numbing festive jingles in the retail park, get yourself down to the Stadium and get behind the Caley Jags as they try to fend off a Dunfermline side who will be challenging for a play-off slot come the end of the season. Once again we slumped to defeat against a Partick side that were thrashed 5-1 by the Pars recently, albeit the Harry Wraggs had a man sent off in the fourth minute. That's a second 3-1 doing from Partick this season. Alex Jones opened the scoring just after the interval but a superb James Keatings overhead kick restored parity before Steve Saunders put the Partick Jags back in front. Dario Zanatta ended the scoring and made the points secure in injury time and left the Inverness fans frustrated by our inability to break down the hosts and take something from the game. Meanwhile, Dunfermline staged a mini comeback with ten men against Dundee after trailing 4-1. A couple of late counters were not quite enough to earn them a point but once more Kevin Nisbet was on the scoresheet. The Pars other scorers were Ryan Dow in the first half and second half goals from Nisbet and Lewis Martin. Greg Kiltie was sent off after an hour which made the fightback all the more remarkable but they fell just short. Kiltie will miss the game against Inverness. Other Championship fixtures this weekend Alloa Athletic v Morton Dundee United v Ayr United Partick Thistle v Dundee Queen of the South v Arbroath Inverness CT v Dunfermline This is the second meeting this season, the first ended in a narrow 1-0 win for Inverness at East End Park. A Danny Devine foul allowing Sean Welsh to score from the spot. Our last ten competitive meetings shows four wins each and two draws. Inverness have won the last two encounters, both by 1-0 scorelines. Five players in the current squads have played for both clubs, Brad Mckay, Jordan White, Shaun Rooney, James Vincent and Danny Devine. Six if Anthony McDonald gets some game time for the Pars. Remember kids, don't let anyone tell you Santa is not for real. Here is Buffy the Vampire Santa all prepared for her day in the press box at the Caledonian Stadium. Prior to the game, she will be in the bar getting tanked up for the day ahead. Busy period for all Santa's. James Vincent returns to the squad on Saturday after a full weeks training although he might have to settle for a place on the bench. No word on Tom Walsh although I suspect he will be missing once more. Brad Mckay was on the bench last week. With the sports bar open from 1:00pm, there's every chance that Santa will be over the limit, watch this space.......... Here's Steveie Crawford ahead of the game this Saturday....
  11. Firhill for thrills..... This Saturday it's the battle of the Jags as Caley Thistle face Partick Thistle, second top versus second bottom with Firhill the venue, 15:00 the time. First time round this season it was the Partick Jags that came out on top in the Highlands but Inverness have put together a tidy wee run of three to bounce back to second in the table whilst the Firhill men are struggling to get away from the bottom end. All to play for on Saturday with a crucial three points for either team available. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ticket Info Adults: £20, Under 16s: £5 Concessions: (Over 65s*, students, disabled supporter including carer, 16-18 year olds) £15 Tickets available from Firhill on the day of the match. Cash gates will be available at turnstiles 40&41 and located in the Jackie Husband Stand. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The new manager bounce is long gone for the Maryhill Magyars, but when Ian McCall had his first game back in charge they were whipped 5-0 by Celtic in the League Cup. However, move forward three days to the Caledonian Stadium and the team with the greater desire on that day ran out comfortable winners as Inverness shot themselves in the foot......twice. It ended 3-1 to Patrick with Inverness the architects of their own downfall. Dario Zanatta opened the scoring early but Jordan White levelled ten minutes later. Kenny Miller benefited from some poor defensive play just after the break to put Patrick back in front and a late goal from Cammy Palmer secured the points. However since beating Inverness on the 28th of September, Partick have struggled to put a run together and still find themselves second bottom of the League with some indifferent performances. Three wins, five defeats and a draw plus 2 wins in the Chocolate cup and a narrow defeat of Penicuik Athletic in the Scottish Cup are the stats. A couple of really low points in that run were the 4-1 humbling from McCalls old team, get it right up ya, and an absolute 5-1 humping from Dunfermline with a 4th minute red card thrown in for good measure for Tam O'Ware. Speaking to BBC Sport after the Pars mauling, Ian McCall said: "We were very confident to come here and win but after four minutes everything changes. I think everybody was in shock, it's inexcusable."We didn't give ourselves an opportunity to win it and it was too easy for Dunfermline. I felt for the fans because it was a non-contest." Their last outing saw them come from behind to beat the inconsistent Queen of the South 2-1. Joe Cardle had pulled Thistle level after Connor Murray opened the scoring for Queens and a late Reece Cole goal nicked the points for McCall's men. How festive, goal king Cole! He's a merry olde soul apparently. Inverness are on a three game winning streak in the Championship, the latest win was a merited 2-0 victory over Ayr United in the Highlands. Superb strikes from Jordan White and a rejuvenated Miles Storey were enough to see off McCalls old side. Previous victories over Alloa and Dundee took us out of the doldrums with a virus possibly partly responsible for defeats by Arbroath and Dundee United. Not so much the fact that we were losing, but the lethargy was palpable. With all the catch up games played in midweek, the table now looks like this after 16 games. Arbroath v Dundee United Ayr United v Alloa Athletic Dundee v Dunfermline Morton v Queen of the South Partick Thistle v Inverness CT Immortal Howden Ender will be Previewing and Reporting on this game for us.......... The Magic Hat derby What is happening? Four clean sheets on the trot – Challenge Cup Semi Final, three vital wins, nine points taking us to second in the league. And there is more – Positive posts galore on CTO and not just the Happy Clappers. Are we going to have a very Merry Christmas or is the bauble going to shatter. Let’s enjoy our trip to Maryhill, let’s take something from the on-form Pars, enjoy Xmas and then gain revenge against the Smokies and enjoy a New Year that we surely could not have envisaged as the dark days of Winter brought initial gloom and doom to Inversneckie. But as the old adage goes “Let’s take one game at a time” so it is off to see the Hipsters of the West End of Glasgow. The Plastic Thistle are more unpredictable than us !! They get hammered by the Pars and then they turn up and turn over the Doonhamers in Dumfries. The one thing that you have to be envious of is the presence of a “Sugar Daddy” in the form of Lottery Winner – Colin Weir. He is the major shareholder, has a holding in the land at Firhill, is going to hand over “ownership” to a Fan Group by April 2020 and is funding a new Youth Academy. But Mr. Weir does not appear to be widely backed by the Magyar diehards and I don’t think that the potential of Jacqui Low and Alan Rough taking control is being heralded. It looks like they are putting a lot of faith in Kakay, Zanatta and Cole but are bemoaning a pedestrian back four which should be good news for us. Weir and McCall will need to dive into the transfer market and may well do in the New Year sales so we need to ensure that we take those three points back with us this weekend. Revenge is needed for the Ian McCall “first game back” defeat at Sneck in late September. That was well and truly three points chucked away and a performance only just worse than the Gayfield gutting. History would suggest that we usually take something away from Firhill and we don’t give away many goals either. Let’s hope that there is a 17-point gap between us come Saturday night. Robbo recently echoed the Seer recently and let’s hope it is an end of 2019 prophecy – John Robertson says Caley Thistle’s ability to string a run of wins together will decide if they are good enough to challenge for the Championship title. “Our problem this season is that we have not put a run together. If you look at Dundee United and Ayr they have managed to put five straight victories together. That is something that we need to do to get ourselves back in there. But I said to the lads find a way to keep winning games, pushing up the table and see where that takes us.” As for our starting 11 – well it is simply a case of “Same Again Please. To me that is not surprising given our injury list but I am surprised, albeit delighted, that our back five appear to have got back their mean defending after a leaky spell – Carson and Trafford have blended and are bossing the midfield – Keatings has returned to form and White has also shown signs of improvement and hopefully will be adding to his goal tally before 2020 as well. But the player who may well shine on Saturday is Miles Storey. The last time that I was in Maryhill we were giving him pelters – so lets hope that this time it will be adulation and applause. This is only my third away day this season, following Ayr and Alloa. Lets hope that it will bring about a hat-trick - another entertaining match and a 2-0 victory. And if we don’t I will eat his Magic Hat. Team News Sean Welsh is still out but recovering well from his broken foot. Carl Tremarco was injured last week and is a doubt. Kevin McHattie will be a ready made replacement should Tremarco not make it. Tom Walsh has missed the last few games with a hamstring problem and misses out along with James Vincent and Brad Mckay. ***Latest News*** Inverness u18 players Millar Gamble and Lewis Nicolson have been called up to the Scottish Schools FA Under 18 Centenary Shield Squad. Both players attend Culloden Academy. Congratulations to them both.
  12. Storey is Miles better.... Inverness did what they had to do to remain in second place, and they did it in style. A fine finish from Jordan White in the 20th minute was built upon by born again Miles Storey after the break who sprinted from ten yards inside the halfway line before drilling the ball through keeper Doohan who will feel he should have done better on that occasion. However, Doohan was the reason that the score remained closer than it should have been with a handful of excellent saves to deny the eager Caley Jags men who thouroughly deserved the win to keep them behind leaders Dundee United. Inverness went unchanged from last weeks win over Alloa Athletic whilst Ayr United were likewise with Steven Bell coming on to the bench. Inverness were looking for their third win on the trot and in contrast Ayr were looking to avoid a hat-trick of defeats on the bounce. A crowd of under 2000 were on hand to watch this game as the miserable weather continued with a blustery wind adding to the clilled downpours. The hosts started in confident mode and Jordan White headed a James Keatings corner over in the fifth minute. Aaron Doran was poleaxed on the edge of the box a minute later but the referee was not interested. The first of many frustrating calls by a referee out of his depth. Keatings volleyed across the box but it narrowly missed the keepers left hand post as the pressure mounted on the Ayr goal. A free kick over and another effort from Keatings showed our intent and a goal was imminent. Ayr's one fleeting glimpse of goal in the first half came when a long ball forward saw Mark Ridgers come thirty yards off his line only to miss the tackle. However, by the time Ayr got the ball under control and lofted it towards the box Inverness had bodies back and the opportunity fizzled out. David Carson picked up the ball in an attacking area inside the centre circle and drove forward before feeding White just outside the box. The big man took one touch then offloaded early as a defender tried to block. This seemed to wrong foot the keeper and the ball was tucked into the bottom corner with Ross Doohan stranded. Great goal from the big striker and no more than Inverness deserved. Miles Storey was beginning to see more of the ball after a sloppy start to the game with some wasted opportunities to deliver a telling ball. He got on the end of a long clearance from Ridgers but Doohan saved comfortably low down. He forced Doohan to earn his money shortly before the break after we dispossessed Ayr near the centre circly. The ball fell to Storey and he strode forward before unleashing atesting 25 yard effort that the keeper did well to claw away with a diving save. Half Time 1-0 Ayr began the second half on the front foot as the Caley Jags looked content to weather the storm, however Ayr got the break of the ball after a clearance fell kindly to them off the back of a defender but Alan Forrest shot across the face of the goal sneaked just wide of the post. Storey was looking sharper as the game wore on and when a clearance from a corner came to him some 15 yards inside his own half he did what he can do best. He sprinted clear with pace and power before deciding whether to cross or shoot. He elected to shoot and the ball squirmed away from Doohan and rolled slowly into the net for a superb individual goal. That eased the pressure in the home stands and gave us a cushion to work with. That second goal seemed to take the wind out of the Ayr sails and we looked most likely to add to our tally. Carl Tremarco went off injured to be replace by Kevin McHattie just after the hour. With twenty minutes left, Keatings and Doran linked well around the box and when Keatings returned the pass to Doran it took a superb reaction save from Doohan to keep the score at 2-0 after Doran's shot from 10 yards was goalbound. Storey was now in full flow and when he burst down the right flank, his cross was met first time by Keatings only for Doohan to pull off another tremendous save low down to his left. Ayr's best moment came soon after when Ridgers did well to spread himself and block an effort from Mark McKenzie after he was set clear on the right side of the box. The Doran and Keatings double act linked well again and after Doran jinked his way into the box it was left to Doohan to once more deny Inverness a third goal with five minutes left. We finished the game on the front foot and Todorov saw a header booted off the line as the game ran away from Ayr. Good afternoons entertainment despite the horrendous conditions and a well deserved three points for the hosts. Miles Storey was given the sponsors MotM award and few could complain about that although David Carson has picked up most votes on the CTO voting. No failures today with the defence once more back to their best, three wins and three clean sheets. Carson and Charlie Trafford were in control of the midfield and Miles Storey used his power to good effect, especially in the second half. James Keating was unfortunate not to score today and but for some heroics from Ross Doohan, Inverness could have gone nap! Weekend Scores in the Championship Inverness CT 2-0 Ayr United Arbroath 1-1 Dundee Dundee Utd 2-1 Alloa Dunfermline 3-1 Morton Queen ot South 1-2 Partick Miles Better...........MotM Robbo impressed........... Match highlights from Caley Jags TV Date: 07/12/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1833 Referee: Gavin Ross Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco (McHattie 64), Doran, Carson, Trafford, Storey, Keatings (MacGregor 85), White (Todorov 86) Subs (not used): C Mackay; B Mckay, Harper, Curry Scorers: White (20), Storey (63) Booked: Rooney (39) Sent Off: none Ayr United: 0 Lineup: Doohan; Houston, Muirhead, Byrne, Harvie, Geggan (McKenzie 68), Docherty, Kelly, Moffat (Kerr 78), Moore, Forrest (McGuffie 69) Subs (not used): Hare-Reid; Bell, Ecrepont. Scorers: none Booked: McKenzie (90+2) Sent Off: none a
  13. Ayr Pressure Ayr United will try to keep the pressure on Inverness in this top end clash this weekend as the Honest Men come North looking for three points after their midweek loss to the Pars, whilst the Caley Jags will be hoping to make it three wins on the bounce. It's second versus third in the Championship and an opportunity for the hosts to consolidate their position within the top four whilst doing some damage to the other contenders. Ayr United lost 1-0 at Somerset Park to Dunfermline Athletic thanks to a strike from Kevin Nisbet, his ninth goal in five games. Inverness remained in second place and this game would be the perfect time to lay down a marker and state our intentions. Defeat would be a blow and undo the good work of the last couple of weeks and hand Ayr, Dundee and Dunfermline the impetus to get right in the mix for second place. We overcame a difficult hurdle last week by beating Alloa Athletic 2-0 at the Indodrill Stadium. It took a fortuitous Scott Taggart own goal to get us going but there was nothing fortunate about Aaron Doran's half volley from 17 yards after Jordan White layed off the ball to him just on the break. No further scoring after the interval but the Wasps had a Dick sent off for a rash challenge on James Keatings. The week before, we had battled hard for a narrow win over Dundee, Doran scoring the winner in that game. It's good to see Doran getting back amongst the goals. He is the top scorer in our squad with 44 goals in 263 appearances and has scored four times this season. His form has picked up recently and he is starting to look a lot sharper than he was at the start of the season. The sketch is one by local artist Sophie Robb. There's been a murder & Pick that one out...... Here's the goals from the Rooney show @ Somerset Park... Team News from Ayr United web site: Steven Bell returns to the squad after illness but Kris Doolan and long-term absentees Jamie Adams and Andy Murdoch remain on the sidelines. Luke McCowan serves the second game of his two match ban. Mark Kerr said: “We were extremely disappointed on Tuesday night with the result and the performance so it’s good to have another game quickly to try and rectify that. It is never easy playing against Inverness but we have a big incentive knowing a win will put us back into second place. We are heading up this morning (Friday) and training this afternoon so we will be well prepared.” Championship games on Saturday 14th December Inverness CT v Ayr United Arbroath v Dundee Dundee United v Alloa Athletic Dunfermline v Morton Queen of the South v Partick Thistle Heeeeeeeere's Johnny............ And here's a man on good form just now.............. If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ .
  14. Wasps Sting Themselves... Inverness moved up to second in the table after a 2-0 win over ten man Alloa who had Liam Dick sent off just before the hour. Both goals were scored in the first half with Scott Taggart heading behind his own keeper and Aaron Doran brilliantly volleying home the second from a Jordan White knock down as the half closed. With Dundee United and Ayr United frozen out, we moved into second spot for now and moved a further two points away from Dundee who lost at home to Queen of the South in a dramatic late ending to that game. There were two games called off for frozen pitches. Ayr United -P- Arbroath Morton -P- Dundee United Alloa Athletic 0-2 Inverness CT Dundee 1-2 Queen of the South Dunfermline 5-1 Partick Thistle Immortal Howden Ender has this report for us........... Well at least I am enjoying my Away Days this season. Ayr and Alloa have been good choices. And here I was travelling up in minus temperatures, blue skies and sunshine. And then Radio Scotland announces that two Championship games have been called off. I forgot that the wasps nest is now of the 4G variety. And good to see a fair smattering of the old brigade in a 100+ following. Relaxed train journey with Mantis, into Bobbin John's with the McDonalds - Lynn and Ronald - only to be called to Drysdale's and participation in a PeaPod cast or something like that. And then a late arrival at the Rec but an enjoyable 45 minutes followed by a tolerable second 45. I would have to say that I was impressed by Alloa. Unfortunately their penchant to play football and dispense with the hoof was admirable but may also be their downfall. I don't think that the most staunch of us would have begrudged them a point at the end. The first half made good watching and both teams carved out chances. We also dispensed with the hoof, played football and used the extra wide flanks. I thought that Rooney was exceptional in that half. Ridgers had made a couple of saves, we had wasted at least two half chances before Inspector Taggart became Inspector Clousseau and headed the ball past the man who won us the Scottish Cup. And the eventual match winner came right on the half time whistle. A Rooney cross, exquisite head back by White and Doran curves neatly passed poor old Rod. As good a goal as you will see all season. Half Time 0-2 And then you would have thought that a complete Dick had opened the flood gates with a double footed, red card, over the top tackle on Keatings. But, we appeared to relax and wait for another opportunity. And a few came along but we fluffed the final touch. I felt that we tried to overpass at times. We should have gone nap really. But Alloa improved with 10 men. As is often the case we looked like the team with ten. When an Alloa shot hit the postage stamp corner there was a shiver, not caused by the minus temperature. But we held on and returned to Drysdale's a happy bunch. I will dispense with the smileys but my marks out of 5 are made up of 3's and 4's. Ridgers, Rooney, Coll, Tremarco, Carson and Keatings get the fours. I may also add Roddy McGregor to that list as his pace and movement was terrific when he came on. Carson sneaks in as my MotM - mainly for his defensive display and a developing partnership with Triffid. Let's hope that McCart has only a minor knock. My only other whinge, apart from not scoring more goals was WHY take on Curry if he is on his way out? So Aloha to Clackmannanshire and I may well be back. Have to save up for the Maryhill Caley Away Xmas party ? From BBC Sport Alloa Athletic manager Peter Grant: "The scoreline was very harsh on us. To lose the goals when we did was a double-whammy. "But I was chuffed with the way the players went about their business. Even when we went down to 10 men we were excellent." Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "Both teams carved out really good opportunities. The first goal was really strange, the second was a cracker. "There were more goals if they showed the quality of the final pass, and that's what let us down second-half. We didn't make the extra man count." Extended highlights from Alloa Athletic FC Date: 30/11/2019 Venue: Recreation Park, Alloa Attendance: 721 Referee: Greg Aitken Alloa Athletic: 0 Lineup: MacDonald; Taggart, Graham, Deas, Dick, Robertson, Cawley, Flannigan, Hetherington, Trouten, O'Hara. Subs (not used): Henry; Gilhooley, Malcolm, Gillespie, O'Donnell, Buchanan, Thomson, Scorers: none Booked: Hetherington (70), Flannigan (80) Sent Off: Dick (58) Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart (McHattie 76), Tremarco, Doran, Carson, Trafford, Storey (Curry 72), Keatings (MacGregor 73), White Subs (not used): C Mackay, Harper, Machado, Todorov. Scorers: Taggart (og 38), Doran (45) Booked: Keatings (72), Sent Off: a
  15. Alloa, chapter three We are off to Recreation Park Alloa this Saturday to face the Wasps on match day 15 in the Championship. The Wasps will be well acquainted with the Caley Jags before the end of the season as we will have met a minimum of six times after we have been drawn against each other in the Challenge Cup and the Scottish Cup. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ CLUB NEWS Annual General Meeting (AGM): The AGM of Inverness Thistle and Caledonian FC Ltd will be held at Caledonian Stadium on Thursday 19th December at 7.30pm and today we have issued notice to shareholders, which includes the Club’s annual report and financial statements. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Before I let Johndo loose with his nostalgiaitis, here's the tale of the tape so far this season. The first encounter this season saw a much changed Inverness get a somewhat flattering 3-0 win in the Challenge Cup game with Alloa hitting woodwork twice. The league game a week later saw us struggle to get a draw after our defence went AWOL, allowing Alan Trouten space and time to level the game at 2-2. We had fought back from an early Buchanan goal but found it difficult to break down a well organised Wasps defence. After getting our noses in front four minutes from the end through a Carl Tremaro special and an excellent Jordan White flying header, which incidentally put us top of the league for four minutes, we then proceeded to shoot ourselves in the foot. Such is life! It's been mostly downhill since then until we put in the effort to record a good 1-0 win over Dundee last week, Aaron Doran the scorer. Other games this weekend: Ayr v Arbroath Dundee v Queen of the South Dunfermline v Partick Thistle Morton v Dundee United Now pin yer ears back and listen to the Immortal Howden Ender So it is a sojourn to Clackmannanshire and the grand olde Recreation Park, on St Andrews Day, to face Alloa Athletic. Will our depleted, flu stricken squad have recovered well enough to bring back a well needed three point haul and maintain our renewed place in the Top Four. Lets hope that the Wasps are slumbering in their Winter hibernation and do not have enough sting left to inflict another defeat on us. Perhaps two games in a week may be too much for them as well ? It would be nice to hear of others Away Day experiences at the Recreation Park. Was anyone in attendance during our first season (September 1994) when we came away with a point in a 1-1 draw ? My first Alloa Away experience (or non-experience) was in December 1996 and also one of my early returns from Refusnikism. Drove all the way from Lancashire in blue skies, sunshine and mild temperatures – grooving to the recently released “Bring It On Home” – then sitting in the pub to be informed that the game had been called off. Were you there? And then on to November 1999 and probably the most disappointed and gutted that I have felt at the final whistle. Airdrie was the venue for the Challenge Cup Final with Alloa. We were strong favourites and had amassed a following of 2000 + Highlanders. It may have been a great game for neutrals but 4-4 after extra time led to a 5-4 defeat from the penalty spot. I still have an image of the skinhead (Martin Cameron) clenching his fist at the end. October 2002 was the opposite and as good an away performance as there has been over the years. A hat-trick each for Paul Ritchie and Denis Wyness landed us a very enjoyable 6-0 thrashing. And I know of a few who lamented our League Cup exit in August 2016 when we lost 1-0 – again despite being clear favourites. There always seems to be goals at Alloa – apart from the 0-0 draw next season. So being a betting man I would go for an ICT Win with Both Teams To Score. BUT our rollercoaster displays this season means that we cannot predict what kind of performance will be produced. In the league this season we beat them 3-0 at home in the Chocolate Biscuit Trophy with a “weakened” team but then drew 2-2 at home in the next game with the “preferred starting X1”. As for Alloa I have to congratulate then for hoofing Hellgin out of the Scottish Cup. And I also have to admit that I have always had a “liking” for Peter Grant, both as a player and a coach. To be blunt I would have thought that Alloa was below his potential. Alloa are capable of grabbing points at home from anyone, as they proved against us and Plastic Whistle. Being in a tight relegation zone probably makes them more dangerous - and Alloa has no links to any Lottery Winners. It looks like the players to look out for against us are Alan Trouten, Kevin O’Hara and Kevin Cawley. Although the one time ICT “target” (Liam Buchanan) is still alive and kicking and unfortunately still capable of netting against Inverness. Alloa are once more showing their resilience and earned a point in midweek at Firhill. They led Patrick Thistle early in the first half through Alan Trouten before former player Dario Zanatta equalised before the break. Despite Thistle dominating, there was no further scoring with on loan keeper Jamie MacDonald denying Partick a few times. That saw the points shared at the relegation end of the table and it keeps Patrick at the bottom with Alloa two points above them. It has become more of a case of picking 11 players fit enuff to play rather than the preferred first choices. It may well be a case of few changes from the starting 11 against Dundee. The potential changes could be Rooney back in for Brad McKay and possibly Keatings for McHattie. Tremarco has trained all week and MacGregor and Curry will come back into contention. Robbo appears to have felt that we tactically outsmarted Dundee and heralded a 4-1-4-1 formation. Hopefully that will not be followed at Alloa and we discard the “hoof” tactics that appear to be unfortunately followed away from home. So I will be travelling by train from Stirling, having a pre-match aperitif in “Bobbing Johns” and an Asda carryoot on the way home. Hopefully the 90 + minutes on the terraces will be as enjoyable as the rest of the day. Like Johndo, I'm sure we will all be looking to consolidate on the hard earned points from last weekend against Dundee that ended a run of poor results and performances. Something to build on, at least the passion was back and maybe, just maybe, this virus is on it's way out of the Caledonian Stadium. If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  16. Getting better! Inverness edged above Dundee in the table after a hard fought 1-0 victory in the Highlands. An Aaron Doran goal in the 16th minute was enough to take all three points in a game that Dundee enjoyed the possession but it was their hosts that created the better chances although we had Carl Tremarco to thank for a wonderful headed clearance to prevent the ball from ending up in the net before the interval. We weathered a Dundee fightback and should have added a second when Doran was clean through but dallied on the ball which allowed Hazard to snatch the ball from his feet when he really should have been bulging the net. However, his early counter was sufficient to move us into third place in the Championship. With the virus on the wane, we managed to get one or two back on the park but were still without James Vincent, Mitch Curry, Roddy MacGregor, Tom Walsh and Sean Welsh with Shaun Rooney and James Keatings making the bench. Dundee had Josh Meekings on from the start but there was no room for Danny Johnson who started on the Dark Blues bench. The hosts brought out the first save of the game when Conor Hazard comfortably denied Aaron Doran in the third minute from a free kick. Declan McDaid was looking dangerous for the visitors but the final ball was proving to be elusive despite Dundee enjoying the lions share of possession. David Carson had a shot blocked but in the sixteenth minute he would be the provider for Doran to score from a very tight angle as he met Carson's cross outside the back post. The wee man tucked the ball away brilliantly into the roof of the net to open the scoring. Carson's next attempt will probably enter the Guinness Book of Records for the wildest sliced shot in the history of the game; ever. We were living somewhat dangerously at times but the lads were putting in some effort as we kept Dundee at arms length with Mark Ridgers having little to do other than gather a few crosses comfortably. For all their possession, we were untroubled at the back until captain Carl Tremarco appeared from nowhere on the line to make a diving headed clearance from one of his own defenders (McCart) with Ridgers caught in no mans land a couple of minutes before the break. Where did he come from??? Half Time 1-0 No changes at the interval and the pattern continued, Dundee with the ball, Inverness with the determination to keep them out. Around the hour and Inverness passed on a glorious chance to seal the points. Doran was sent clean through on goal from the halfway line, but as he decided what to do, Hazard stole the ball off him before he made his mind up when it looked simple enough to shoot into the net. Great opportunity gone for a two goal cushion. The flow of the game was changing now as we became more visible around the visitors box and it was Dundee who were now looking to hit on the break as we flashed a number of balls across their box, but no takers for them. Fortunately our defensive unit was in solid formation and everyone was doing their job which restricted Dundee to fleeting glimpses of our penalty box with some great last ditch tackling preventing Dundee on the few occasions they tried to progress. It had been an edgy afternoon for the fans in the North stand, but we played out the final ten minutes at the right end of the park and Doran should have made the keeper work but his curled effort from the edge of the box dipped over the bar. Keatings did similar with a free kick as we ended the game on top and claimed all three points. This was a much improved performance from the one that saw the side slated for a lack of everything against Clyde in the Challenge cup a week ago. Tremendous effort all over the park although it took Miles Story about 85 minutes to burst into life. David Carson won the sponsors MotM, but today there were a few candidates all over the park. Great to see the defence keep a clean sheet and my MotM is going to Coll Donaldson who along with Carl Tremarco put their bodies on the line time and time again. What a captains clearance from Tommy to keep us ahead at the interval and Donaldson and McCart were back to their best and singing from the same hymn sheets today. Aaron Doran put in some shift, especially in the second half when he back tracked numerous times, much better from the wee man who scored his fourth goal of the season. Good all round effort from everyone, but it will be in vain if we can't keep up the same energy levels when playing the Alloa's and Arbroath's of this league. We have played better, but let's not forget that Dundee were expected to be at the top end of the league, so to take all three points from a tough encounter is pleasing. ? Doran's goal with Carson's assist Match reaction from BBC Sport Inverness CT manger John Robertson: "Our game plan was excellent and we had a real threat on the break. Our tactics were spot on today and we were competitive over the park for 70 minutes. "If we'd been a wee bit more clinical we could have won by a couple in the end. "It's a pleasing win. We felt we could keep getting at them. In the end I think we deserved the win and did enough to merit all three points." Dundee manager James McPake: "There wasn't much between the teams but we just didn't perform to the levels we've shown we can get to. "I think we were very wasteful. We had a lot of possession but not in the right areas where we should be hurting teams." Date: 23/11/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2184 Referee: David Munro Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay (Rooney 71), Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco (Keatings 82), Doran, Carson, Trafford, McHattie, Storey, White (Todorov 64) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Harper, Machado, Hyde Scorers: Doran (16) Booked: Todorov (74), Donaldson(75), Doran (83),Trafford (90) Sent Off: none Dundee: 0 Lineup: Hazard; McGhee (Kerr 70), Forster, Meekings, Mackie, Byrne (Todd 61), Dorrans, Ness, McGowan (Johnson 61), Hemmings, McDaid. Subs (not used): Ferrie; McPake, Robertson, Moore. Scorers: none Booked: Hemmings (75), Dorrans (90+1). Sent Off: none a
  17. Dark Blue test Crunch game coming up and the Xmas trees are not even up in living rooms across the North. Dundee venture forth to the Highland capital on Saturday as we look to get back on track after a disastrous run of results that has yielded only one win in our last six games. Kick off is at 3:00pm. Crushing defeats to Dundee United and Arbroath were particular lowlights, but the manner of our performance against League 1 Clyde in the Challenge Cup left a lot to be desired. We looked as uncomfortable as Prince Andrew at an interview but thankfully our penalty kicks were emphatic enough to see us through. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ League Match Ticket Prices Adult Senior Citizen 16-25 Under 16 Main £22 £17 £17 £6 North/Away £20 £15 £15 £6 Tickets available from the Club Shop, over the phone on 01463 222880 and online HERE All Armed Forces personnel can gain entry to Saturday’s game against Dundee for the discounted price of £10. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Having picked up only four points from a possible fifteen in our last five Championship games, we find ourselves above Arbroath on goal difference only and one point behind this week's visitors Dundee with their neighbours United looking likely to run away with the title. This is the only Championship game on this weekend with others involved in the Scottish Cup Dundee have been indifferent lately, but nine points from their last five games have seen them climb above us in the table after an inauspicious start to the season. Two defeats to Partick Thistle and the Arabs were countered by wins over Morton, Alloa and Ayr United. Inverness have suffered badly over the last few weeks as a sickness bug took it's toll on the playing staff and management team. That could explain our recent dip in performances since we beat Queen of the South 2-0 at Palmerston at the end of October. Tom Walsh, Roddy MacGregor and Shaun Rooney will miss out along with Sean Welsh. Here's Robbo talking ahead of tomorrows game. Dundee boss James McPake had this team for the Dundee derby last time out:- Dundee (V Dundee Utd): Hazard, Kerr, Forster, McGhee, Mackie, Byrne, Dorrans, McGowan (Johnson 64′), McDaid, Nelson (McPake 66′), Hemmings. Dundee have a full squad other than keeper Jack Hamilton who misses out through illness.
  18. Smoked Arbroath pulled level on points with Inverness as our season disintegrated at Gayfield. A humiliating 3-0 defeat to a well organised part-time outfit will surely have repercussions. Scott Stewart scored in the first half and a second half penalty was converted by Bobby Linn the bin man. The thrashing ended with substitute Omar Kader adding a third with 4 minutes remaining. We remain fourth, by the thickness of our scales..... Inverness were looking to get back on track after a poor performance against Dundee United last week and faced a testing trip to a bright but chilly Gayfield to take on a confident Arbroath who had won three of their last four Championship games. In contrast, the Caley Jags had only one win in their last four, an away win at Palmerston. A couple of injuries and a sickness bug limited Robbo's choices in his 200th game in charge. Shaun Rooney came off injured against United and missed out altogether. Nikolay Todorov started with Jordan White on the bench. Unsurprisingly, Arbroath were unchanged following their recent good run which meant Steven Doris was on the bench. A minutes silence was impeccably observed prior to kick off to remember the fallen, and all those who returned but had made huge sacrifices so the rest would have a better life. Here's a leaked image of the Inverness squad preparing to travel back up the A9 after the game.... Plenty of expectation for both sides as the game kicked off and just two minutes in David Gold had the first effort of the afternoon but missed the target to the left with his header. Following a corner from James Keatings, a Carl Tremarco effort was blocked and the rebound fell to Coll Donaldson, unfortunately his attempt was blocked on the line. A few minutes later the same player headed over the bar after a set piece from Tom Walsh. Mark Ridgers denied Scott Stewart with his feet in the twentieth minute, the ball going out for a corner for the Smokies which came to nothing and at the other end Walsh fired over from distance. The hosts opened the scoring near the half hour when Scott Stewart fired low past Ridgers from the right side of the box. Inverness paying the price for not heeding the earlier warning from the same player. Five minutes later Miles Storey blew a great opportunity for parity, but he shot straight at the keeper when through on goal. Keatings went close with a shot before Gaston saved again, this time from Nikolay Todorov as he headed straight into the keeper from eight yards. Good response by Inverness after falling behind. Inverness picked up a couple of bookings in quick succession as the game got messy just before the break as Donaldson and Todorov were Half Time 1-0 No changes at the interval and Charlie Trafford headed wide as we looked to claw our way back into the game and Walsh had a shot saved. Not an easy task with Dick Campbell's side well organised. However, our task got even more difficult when Brad Mckay pushed Colin Hamilton to concede a penalty and Bobby Linn converted from the spot ten minutes after the break. A bit of a lull in proceedings before a spate of substitutions ensued as our season was heading for the bin and it was Arbroath substitute Steven Doris who came close as he fired a ball across the posts. Omar Kader rubbed salt into the wounds of the Haddies when he slotted in near the end to round off a miserable day for the Caley Jags. This has to be one of the worst results for Inverness Caledonian Thistle since we beat Arbroath 5-2 way back at the start ☹️ More match reaction to follow.......... RIG on Twitter............That was an absolutely disgraceful "performance" from ICT today. Arbroath deservedly won and could have had more. Hard to think of a single positive about today #ICTFC ? A less than ebullient Robbo Have some; tidy stuff..... Date: 09/11/2019 Venue: Gayfield, Arbroath Attendance: 1173 Referee: John Beaton Arbroath: 3 Lineup: Gaston; Stirling, Little, O’Brien, Hamilton, Gold, Whatley, Virtanen, Stewart (McKenna 81), Linn (Doris 68), Donnelly (Kader 68). Subs (not used): Jamieson; Spence, McKenna, Kader, Doris, Murphy, Campbell. Scorers: Stewart (28), Linn (pen 54), Kader (86). Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Zilch, nil, zero, nothing, absolutely feck all. Am I cheesed off - YES... Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Walsh (Doran 79), Carson, Trafford, Storey, Keatings (White 67), Todorov (Curry 68). Subs (not used): C Mackay, Harper, Hyde, Vincent, White, Curry, Doran. Scorers: none Booked: Donaldson (38), Todorov (39), Tremarco (57) Sent Off: none a
  19. Smokies and the Bandits Inverness are off to Aberbrothock on Saturday with a trip to the shows on offer near Gayfield, the home of Arbroath FC and the famous smokies. It's a 3:00pm kick-off with only three points separating the two sides. Arbroath have had a great season so far and after the first round of fixtures they find themselves comfortably away from the relegation zone and just three points behind ourselves. Not bad for a team who were playing in League one last season. Dick Campbell has done a great job at Gayfield and in Bobby Linn he has an experienced player who is relishing the task in hand and flourishing in the Championship, scoring five goals this campaign, including one at Inverness back in August. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ TICKET INFO £18 – Adults £10 – Concessions (Child, Students, OAP 65+, Disability Entry with a free carer) £20 – Adult and Child Gate Arbroath operate cash only operated turnstiles. You do not need to buy a ticket in advance. ICT SUPPORTERS TRAVEL CLUB The ICT Supporters Travel Club is running a bus to Gayfield, Bus leaves Social Club at 10.15am Stadium 10.30am Book through their Facebook page or on 07462218717 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Last time out the Smokies edged out Alloa Athletic with Linn scoring the opener followed by Luke Donnelly. Alan Trouten pulled one back in the second half but their hosts held on comfortably to move to fifth in the table. The second fixture of this season was a 2-1 win for Inverness in the Highlands. Miles Storey scored the winner when his flashing shot deceived the keeper to end up in the net. Bobby Linn had opened the scoring before Aaron Doran levelled just on the interval. It took until ten minutes before the end for Inverness to eventually break down the resilience of the Smokies as the bandits snatched the points. Here's Bandit Storey pinching the points in August ...... Our last outing saw us demolished 0-3 by Championship favourites Dundee United who will be mystified as to why we performed so poorly against them when lesser teams seem to be able to cope. We barely mustered any clear opportunities although James Keatings will wonder how Ben Siegrist saved his point blank effort from around eight yards just before the interval. In truth, United won at a canter and could have scored double that had it not been for some excellent blocks by Mark Ridgers. It's almost as though we don't actually believe in our own ability and the performance certainly backed that up as we stood off United and allowed them to dominate. The home fans were not a happy bunch after we expected much more from our side. However, in our favour, our away form has been mostly decent with excellent wins at Queen of the South and Ayr papering over the cracks in the home form. Shaun Rooney came off injured against the Arabs and is a doubt with Brad Mckay surely ready to make a start. Sean Welsh will return to training soon after having his broken foot boot removed. Roddy MacGregor missed out last week with a thumb injury which will sideline him for a couple of weeks. Thats all the alleged physical injuries, however, there is also a report of a sickness bug doing the rounds at the stadium. That has already affected some with more feeling unwell as the week goes on. That's all we need with a tough visit to Gayfield coming up on what will possibly be a chilly afternoon. Great! Arbroath have been without Gavin Swankie for some time now and he is not ready for inclusion in the squad yet. The general opinion is that Arbroath will most likely field an unchanged side after three wins in their last four Championship fixtures. Bobby Linn and Luke Donnelly are major threats for the Smokies and will need to be shackled early. Arbroath (V Alloa): Gaston, Stirling, Little, O’Brien, Hamilton, Gold, Whatley, Virtanen, Stewart (Kader 78′), Linn (McKenna 78′), Donnelly (Spence 67′) Other fixtures this weekend Dundee 0 - 2 Dundee United (Fri. 11,233) Alloa Athletic v Dunfermline Athletic PartickThistle v Morton Queen of the South v Ayr United If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  20. SCUNNERED..... Dundee United cruised to victory in the Highlands as disparity on the park mirrored that off the park. United were worthy winners as Inverness struggled to find any momentum and it was left to desperation and Mark Ridgers to keep the score down. Shaun Rooney deflected a forced Paul McMullan cross/shot into the net. A reaction save from Siegrist blocked a James Keatings effort before the break but that was as good as it got for the hosts. Nicky Clark stroked in the second as we unravelled and a cheap penalty saw Lawrence Shankland complete the scoring, but not the agony as we failed to trouble the United keeper with a series of fluffed attempts whilst United looked more likely to increase their lead. A poor day at the office that had the home fans shaking heads long before the end as we lose ground on the three teams above us. Almost 800 Arabs made the trek across the Drumochter Pass to land in the heavenly oasis drenched mirages in the highland capital. Just under 3000 drookit fans in the stadium in time for kick off as League Leaders Dundee United looked to strengthen their grip on the top of the table, and they did that in surprisingly easy fashion as their hosts simply watched in awe. We were all happy to see Paul McMullan get his 100th game for the Arabs, how sweet as we applauded his every move. United were the busier side in the early exchanges and Inverness were forced onto the back foot as McMullan, Clark and Harkes all showed their intent with efforts at goal and blocked shots. Aaron Doran had an effort charged down and just when we looked to be getting to grips with the pace of the game, disaster. We were unconvincing in trying to clear a ball forward and when it found it's way to the right, McMullan was allowed to cut in from the right and hit the ball hard into the ruck, the ball coming off Shaun Rooney just about on the line and ricocheting into the net. Nicky Clark fired a free kick over from a decent position as United continued on the front foot and Calum Butcher was left unchallenged to head wide ten minutes before the break. Our best chance fell to James Keatings as we got the break of the ball for once and he found himself directly in front of Siegrist about 10 yards out. The keeper spread himself and reacted brilliantly to save the point blank effort. And that was our only big chance of the half. Half Time 0-1. United flew out of the blocks at the start of the second half but it was Jordan White that had the first opportunity as he headed tamely at Siegrist before Mark Ridgers had to make a full length diving save from an Ian Harkes strike from distance at the other end. Louis Appere fed Calum Butcher in on goal, and but for another quality save from Ridgers, United would have doubled their advantage. A free kick from Keatings was curled over the bar as we responded to the activity around our box before a double substitution saw Storey and Walsh replace the ineffective mild Curry and twirling Doran around the hour. Shaun Rooney picked up a yellow, moments after getting away with a bit of 'road rage' after not being awarded a free kick and then hunting down his man in a fifty yard dash. He would leave the pitch injured shortly after to be replaced by James Vincent and that further reduced our attacking options as Toddy would remain on the bench. In the 71st minute James Keatings should have made the keeper work after Tom Walsh sent an inviting cross to the back post. However from just outside the sticks some three yards from goal Keatings fluffed his lines and headed down, wide and out. One minute later Nicky Clark was on the end of an incisive move to fire the ball past Ridgers from inside the box and effectively end the contest. Cut open like a tin of corned beef and finished sweetly. However, that didn't stop Miles Storey making a rash challenge in the box allowing Lawrence Shankland to score his 18th goal of the season. He doesn't need any help, but there you go. Calamitous defending. That took the stuffing right out of the turkey's in blue and we were fortunate not to concede any more with Ridgers saving from Cammy Smith and Appere shooting wide when it looked easier to hit the target. Inverness were best served by MotM Charlie Trafford with the only other candidates in blue being the busy David Carson and Mark Ridgers who made three or four crucial stops. The rest were quite frankly an embarrassment. We've had more riches and quality in our first season in the ranks than there was on display yesterday. The real quality came from those in Tangerine with Ian Harkes standing out for me and wee McMullan providing the ammunition for his strikers, unlike our wide players who would have been as well staying at home and keeping dry. General consensus online is that the gaffer could have made different choices with Curry looking particularly weak and Storey being a waste of a jersey, certainly in the wide position he has been played. The big talking point though is why goal scorer Nikolay Todorov is benched in preference to Jordan White as the target man and why do we keep adopting the long ball approach when we don't retain it after the punt. Over to you John! From BBC Sport Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "For the majority of the game there was very little in it. I thought their passing and movement looked a little bit sharper. They deserved to win the game in the end. "Big moments change games and it should have been 1-1 and then in the blink of an eye we were 2-0 down. The penalty allowed United to completely dictate how the game finished by just sitting in." Dundee United head coach Robbie Neilson: "I was pleased. We got the first goal and then in the second-half we were a bit more dominant. We got the second goal and that killed it. "It's a very, very tough place to come. I think a lot of teams will drop three points up here. It's a good three points and we move on to the derby now." No easy to respond when you've been stuffed.... And here is something for the club to chew over. That's more than the fans are getting......... Who ate all the pies? At every single Caley game I see the same routine, Not on the pitch nor the half-time draw, but it's such a woeful scene, The masses queuing for their pies are often left bereft, As the painful cries from the pie stand guys state "sorry, no pies left!" A simple head count every week would seem the best solution, To draw this daft scenario to a quite simple conclusion, The total sum of customers who "missed out" so to speak, Equates to the extra amount of pies you order for next week! (c) Kenny Adie 2019. Date: 02/11/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2902 Referee: Grant Irvine Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney (Vincent 70), Donaldson, McCart Tremarco, Doran (Walsh 61), Carson, Trafford, Curry (Storey 61), Keatings, White. Subs (not used): C Mackay; B Mckay, K McHattie, Todorov. Scorers: none Booked: Tremarco (34), Rooney (62) Sent Off: none Dundee United: 3 Lineup: Siegrist; Smith, Watson, Reynolds, Robson, McMullan (Stanton 69), Butcher, Harkes, Appere, Clark (Connolly 86), Shankland (Sith 79) Subs (not used): Mehmet; Spoŕle, King, Cooney Scorers: Rooney(20 og), Clark(72), Shankland (76 pen) Booked: Harkes (90+2) Sent Off: none a
  21. Chirpy Chirpy Cheap Cheap? Where's yer money gone........ where's yer money gone, far far away. Middle of the road and this early in the season sees our first six-pointer as table toppers and financial deficit champions Dundee United visit the Caledonian Stadium in the Ladbrokes Championship. That's only £3 million more than ours. It's a top end clash where a home victory would put the cat back amongst the pigeons. Defeat will be not welcomed and a draw will keep the status quo. Where's yer money gone........ where's yer money gone, far far away Ogren or Ogre? Whilst we find it difficult to bring players North on our paltry wage offers and poor crowds, United are being heavily backed to get into the Premiership this time round with wages of £4m at Tannadice alone accounting for a 39% increase of £1.13m. At least they get reasonable backing in the stands to help, but it's still well short of what they are dishing out to keep the likes of Shankland, McMullan, Reynolds, Sow and Pawlett on the books. In fact, Shankland's wages are allegedly not on this deficit as he signed in July. At least he will be a saleable assett when he gets them to where they want to be before being whisked away by a bigger cheque book. Staggering to think what he is costing££££££. You can read more about the financial disparity between the clubs on the report from BBC Sport https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/50214653 A week ago we had a disappointing day at Greenock going down 2-1 to a Bob McHugh brace while Mitch Curry countered for us. That was a great chance to get right on the heels of United but we blew it in spectacular error strewn fashion. However, last time out we recorded an excellent 2-0 win at Palmerston, a venue that United were thrashed 4-0 at 10 days earlier. Well taken goals from Aaron Doran and Nikolay Todorov sealed the points in a difficult encounter where the defence turned up and the forwards did what forwards are supposed to do. Check these out..........BOOM BOOM! United had a difficult time overcoming Dunfermline Athletic last weekend when we were struggling at Greenock, but they saw off the Pars 2-0, thanks to first half goals from £awrence Shankland and Nicky C£ark. The Pars came back strongly and had plenty of possession, hitting the crossbar, but United held on for the points. On Tuesday night they overcame Partick Thistle and who else but £awrence Shankland did the damage, his 17th goal of the season already, although once again their opponents had the lions share of the ball and created plenty of opportunities to take something from the game. So, even at home, United are content to forego possession and hit on the break. Be warned, that's what undid us in the play-offs. Here's something for you to watch while your tatties are boiling..... Take a bow Ross Grant Sean Welsh is out long term. James Keatings missed out at Palmerston with no news prior to that game of any injuries, so presumably he was rested with the artificial surface forcing him to take a sabbatical. Those who saw him at Morton thought he was not fully 100%, so that makes sense. He will be available for the United game. Coll Donaldson will play with ear muffs as the sad Arabs prepare to boo him when the ball goes withing 25 metres of him. The Arabs have money to burn apparently. Well it's nearly time for Guy Fawkes, so lets build a bonfire. Plenty of options for them with their big squad so won't make much difference who is in and who is out....... unless it's £awrence Shankland I suppose. However, defender Troy Brown missed out last week but could return although Mark Conno££y is not fully fit yet. Other fixtures this weekend Dundee 2-1 Morton (Friday) Arbroath v Alloa Athletic Ayr United v Partick Thistle Dunfermline v Queen of the South If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  22. Hot Toddy warms the 39. Inverness made four changes from the defeat at Greenock as Aaron Doran, Nikolay Todorov, Charlie Trafford and Roddy MacGregor came into the side. Miles Storey, Jordan White, and James Vincent made way with James Keatings sitting this one out on the artificial surface. Queens made one change with Abdul Osman getting his first start, replacing Lewis Kidd in the starting XI. With just over 1200 fans in the stadium and thirty-nine in the away end, it was the hosts that started strongly and Mark Ridgers was forced to deny Stephen Dobbie from a tight angle in the first couple of minutes. David Carson replied for Inverness in the fourth minute but McCrorie saved well in the bottom left corner, and Dobbie once more was dangerous as he shot over after a set piece. It's a frantic start from both sides and Roddy MacGregor shot narrowly over the top right corner. Russell Osman couldn't keep the ball down following a corner as the opportunities continued for both sides. It'll be a miracle if this game remains goalless as Jack Hamilton shoots over. Visiting captain Carl Tremarco took a knock after twenty minutes but continued after treatment. Approaching the half hour and a Nikolay Todorov header was comfortably gathered by McCrorie in the home goal. Hot Toddy.......... Inverness drew first blood when Aaron Doran scored low to the left with a curled effort from the edge of the box after some neat interplay involving Donaldson, MacGregor, Curry and MacGregor again with the penultimate touch before Doran swept the ball beyond the keepers right hand. Just before the break a good run from David Carson brought Inverness a corner but Queens kept the deficit to one goal as the half time whistle sounded. Half Time 0-1 Connor Murray replaced Michael Paton at the start of the second half and within a couple of minutes Dobbie had dragged a shot wide at the back post after good work by El Bakhtaoui. The hosts were looking to to get back on level terms and Kevin Holt had two efforts within a minute that both missed the target. As the pressure mounted on the Inverness defence, Dobbie fired one across the face of the goals that went inches wide. Mark Ridgers denied Jack Hamilton with a superb fingertip save to keep Inverness ahead. The Caley Jags broke the current trend and McCrorie saved from Curry after Roddy MacGregor fed him. Shaun Rooney was the first into the refs book around the hour and Miles Storey entered the fray at the expense of Mitch Curry. McCrorie saved an effort from Carson as Inverness responded to the Queens pressure at the start of the second period and at the other end Dobbie headed over. Scorer Aaron Doran was replaced by Tom Walsh with just over twenty minutes left but it was the hosts that continued to press for the equaliser as Dobbie tried his luck from range, volleying wide. With five minutes left Dobbie sliced one wide and El Bakhtaoui saw an effort saved by Ridgers in the last minute of normal time. Tom Walsh almost added a second for Inverness but McCrorie was equal to it although he had no chance moments later when Nikolay Todorov crashed home a James Vincent feed to end the game and ensure Inverness had an enjoyable journey back up the A9. What a great result after the indifferent form shown against Morton on Saturday. That sets it up nicely for the game on Saturday against Dundee United. Other results tonight Alloa Athletic 0-3 Dundee Dundee Utd 1-0 Partick Thistle Dunfermline 2-0 Arbroath Morton 2-3 Ayr united Match reaction and video........ Caley Stan summed up and threw down the gauntlet to the North Stand............ And we made more noise than the Bridge End on a good day!!! Another good battling performance. We didn't ever have control of the game apart from a couple of spells either side of the opening goal but we were a threat on the break throughout. Trafford played well and Carson was excellent alongside him. Flashes of brilliance from McGregor, but he struggled with the physicality of the game at times. Really well taken goals, Toddy lashed his home with the last kick if the ball. The goals...... Managers reaction from BBC Sport Queen of the South manager Allan Johnston: "We started well first half then Inverness get a goal which is a bit sloppy from our point of view. I thought second half we were on the front foot for the majority of it and probably should have got an equaliser. But the first goal in this league is vital." Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "We had to be lively because Queen's were bubbling after their win here against United. I thought second half Queen's pushed on to us but we defended really well and we looked a threat on the break. We took the chances at one end and didn't make any mistakes at the other." Here he is, Robbo in person..... Date: 29/10/2019 Venue: Palmerston, Dumfries Attendance: 1221 Referee: Steven Kirkland Queen of the South: 0 Lineup: McCrorie; Mercer, Brownlie, Kilday, Holt, Pybus, Paton (Murray 45), Osman, El Bakhtaoui, Dobbie, Hamilton (Oliver 74). Subs (not used): Burns; Murray, McCarthy, Lyon, Semple, Gourlay. Scorers: none Booked: Mercer (67) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Doran (Walsh 68), Carson, Trafford, MacGregor (Vincent 78), Curry (Storey 60), Todorov. Subs (not used): C Mackay; B Mckay, McHattie, Walsh, White. Scorers: Doran (30), Todorov (90+3) Booked: Rooney (60), Tremarco (82) Sent Off: none a
  23. It's Dobbie Time Inverness face another daunting long distance trip three days after struggling at Greenock. This time it's off to Dumfries to take on a side on a bit of a resurgence after a poor start to the season. Queen of the South await the arrival of the Caley Jags at Palmerston, the game kicking off at 7:45pm on Tuesday night. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ICT SUPPORTERS TRAVEL CLUB The ICT Supporters Travel Club are running a bus to the game Book on their Facebook page HERE or on 07462218717 Entry is by ticket only. Tickets should be purchased from the ticket offices before arriving at the turnstiles. The ticket office within the QOS Arena will be open from 5.30 pm with the BDS Stand Away section ticket office opening an hour later. Please note that the BDS Stand ticket office is CASH ONLY. If you wish to purchase your ticket by card then you should use the Arena ticket office. Ticket prices are as follows:- Adults: £18 OAP/Concessions/ Students/ 16-21 year olds: £10 Under 16’s: £5 - Pre-School Kids: FREE Accessible tickets are available at £8, £5 and £3. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We lost out at Greenock after Morton's Bob McHugh scored couple of goals with assists from our own defence. The first looking suspiciously offside from a hoof forward, the second Coll Donaldson will not want to see again. A Mitch Curry goal was sandwiched between these goals but despite dominating most of the game we never created enough clear chances to say we deserved victory. A worrying trend that has followed us for a few seasons now. Queens will be disappointed to have thrown away a two goal lead at the weekend as Alloa came back to take a point at Recreation Park. Two quickfire goals in a minute saw the Doonhamers lead at the break. Who else but Stephen Dobbie, followed a minute later by Jack Hamilton. Alloa returned the favour in exactly the same manner in the second half with Alan Trouten and Kevin O'Hara scoring in the 64th and 65th minute. Like ourselves, Queen of the South would rue missed opportunities. They have been in good form recently though, a 4-0 mauling of Dundee United the highlight. Since losing 2-0 to Inverness in the Highlands, they have drawn with Dundee, beaten Patrick Thistle in McCall's return to Firhill, thrashed United and drawn at Alloa. Incidentally, Queens were knocked out of the Challenge Cup by our next opponents in the quarter final, Clyde. In contrast, since that game on September 21st, we have taken only one point from the bottom three clubs with our highlight being the 2-0 win at Somerset Park. We also dished out a flattering 3-0 defeat to Alloa the week before we struggled to take a point off them in the Challenge Cup. It really is a mixed bag and difficult for the supporters to see any indication that we will challenge for the title with such indifferent form. Sean Welsh appears to be the only long term absentee but Aaron Doran was not involved last week and might be unlikely to be risked at Palmerston either on the artificial surface. Robbo has decisions to make. Our solid defence has become something of a 12th man for the opposition lately. Maybe it's time for Brad Mckay and Kevin McHattie to get a start and put some pressure on those who think it's ok just to turn up every week and get a game. Up front we need someone who is clinical. Mitch Curry has done well with limited game time, maybe he could lead the line and avoid us having to lump hopeless balls forward only for defences to mop up everything. One things for sure, it's not working great the way it is. Tom Walsh should be in line for a return to starting action after his injury lay off, he was a sub at Morton. Miles Storey must be doing something in training as he keeps getting picked, lets hope he can use his talent in a match one day. Midfield is where we are struggling to dominate teams and Robbo needs to find his best option to make the most of what's at his disposal. Maybe, Walsh, Carson, Vincent, MacGregor or maybe even throw in Trafford. Hopefully James Keatings will start and add some quality to assist the main striker. Nothing coming from Palmerston regarding injuries so we'll assume everything is OK down Dumfries way. Here's their last XI and they normally go with a 4-1-3-2 formation:- McCrorie; Mercer, Brownlie, Kilday, Holt, Pybus, Kidd, El Bakhtaoui, Paton, Hamilton, Dobbie. That's the same team that whipped United. Other fixtures on Tuesday night, all 7:45pm Kick Off Alloa Athletic v Dundee Dundee United v Partick Thistle Dunfermline v Arbroath Morton v Ayr United Referee for Palmerston - Steven Kirkland Assistants - Joseph Lawson & Kevin Lindsay. Might as well boo them now.
  24. Top for four minutes Inverness blew the chance to go top of the table after Alloa scored in the 89th minute to earn a point with a disciplined defensive performance at the Caledonian Stadium. Take nothing away from Alloa, but we were void of ideas as we struggled to break down the Wasps defence in a frustrating second half. Liam Buchanan opened the scoring as early as the fifth minute and that opened the door for Alloa to flood their defence and employ standard hit on the break tactics that worked well for them as we toiled in a poor first forty-five. The second period saw more frustration for the hosts until we scored from an unlikely source with a stunning goal. A Tremarco corner came back to him at a tight angle. Undaunted, he fired the ball high into the net with his left foot for a spectacular goal with an hour played. We huffed and puffed before Jordan White looked to have won the game with a powered finish in the 85th minute. However, there was a sting in the tail of the wasps after Jamie McCart took the wrong option, eventually putting the ball out for a throw when a pass to Mark Ridgers would have been sufficient. From the resultant long throw Alan Trouten found himself in space to knock the ball home to silence the frustrated home support. James Keatings hit the bar with a superb free kick as the clock ticked down but it was too little too late and we were knocked off our four minute perch. Given that every other result went our way, it was a hugely disappointing outcome. Meh! John Robertson was without Tom Walsh, Sean Welsh and Nikolay Todorov. Charlie Trafford started in midfield after a good showing in the Challenge Cup game last week and Roddy MacGregor retained his place in the starting line-up. James Keatings was on the bench with other returnees Mitch Curry and Brad Mckay. Peter Grant's Alloa side saw Robbie Deas return and Steven Hetherington and Blair Malcolm were fit enough to start, however Iain Flannigan was suspended. Just over 2,000 were inside the ground and a fitting minutes applause was offered in memory of former Caley Chairman Hugh Crout who passed away recently. Within five minutes of the start, Alloa took the lead with Liam Buchanan finishing off a tidy move on the left side of our area. Neat interplay sliced us open and Buchanan added an excellent finish. We almost responded immediately but Roddy MacGregor's header was well saved by a diving Jamie MacDonald on his line. Unfortunately, that early goal gave Alloa the opportunity to sit back and soak up what we had to offer, and quite frankly that was very limited and very little. All too often we ran out of ideas and any high balls forward were mopped up by the waiting visitors defence. Carl Tremarco let fly from distance but his low shot fizzed just wide. He would do better later in the game. A couple of headers well over the bar from Jordan White was all we could muster. He would also do better later on. Apart from the goal, there was little to enthuse over in a turgid first half for Inverness with Alloa content to sit on their lead, and why not, they deserved it at the break. Half Time 0-1 If anything, the second half saw the visitors even deeper in their own half as their hosts flattered to deceive. Plenty of possession but too many sideways or backward passes saw the crowd looking for a more direct approach. Alloa on the other hand broke quickly on the few opportunities they got. White almost got a shot away inside the box as he broke through the middle of the defence but was stopped by a solid challenge and John Robertson, yes, the manager, got the first yellow card of the afternoon for showing his displeasure at some poor refereeing decisions. Just when we were beginning to think it was not going to be our day, a goal out of the blue from Captain Carl. And what a strike it was. His corner was cleared out as far as himself on the right side of the box. Tremarco never hesitated and fired a tremendous shot high into the net from 20 yards. Spectacular stuff. The introduction of Mitch Curry and David Carson seemed to liven up our efforts and it looked as though White might have given us all three points when his diving header from a Tremarco cross flew into the net. At that moment, we were top of the league with results elsewhere going in our favour. However, another lapse from the normally reliable Jamie McCart saw him fail to clear up a ball forward when a comfortable pass back to his keeper would have cleared any danger. Instead, he almost gave away a corner but ended up knocking the ball out for a throw in. From the long throw in, the ball landed at Alan Trouten's feet and he promptly tucked it behind Mark Ridgers for a sickener. We almost snatched it in injury time when a curling free kick from James Keatings crashed back off the bar with MacDonald stranded, but the rebound was cleared and a great opportunity passed to head the table. Only ourselves to blame for this after struggling to make headway against a team we beat 3-0 the week before. In saying that, the signs were there in that game that Alloa could cut us open at times and so it came to pass. Difficult to pick any Inverness players for MotM, but Carl Tremarco gets my nod for his superb strike and assist. Jordan White similarly, and he was fed on scraps throughout the game. Substitute David Carson did his prospects no harm and took the game by the scruff of the neck by driving us forward with a bit more tenacity and urgency. Those who will not be getting any awards are those not mentioned, especially McCart who needs to look for better options than scrambling the ball out after miscontrol and brain farts. Col Donaldson was in his early season mode, miffed at not getting a transfer probably and looked disinterested and Shaun Rooney never really got going. Roddy MacGregor wanted to be busy, but the game passed him by and Aaron Doran did his usual wee circles of nothing. Miles Storey, now there's an enigma and James Vincent was more sideways than a crab. No blame attached to Ridgers, although he did make a meal of a shot that bounced just in front of him, the ball squirming away for a corner with Mark staring at the offending blade of grass. If looks could kill! Maybe it's time for a wee shake up Robbo. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ From BBC Sport Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson: "We've let United and Ayr off the hook and that's what disappoints me. To go 2-1 up, if you've got title ambitions you've got to see that out." Alloa manager Peter Grant: "The boys deserved great credit for the way they kept fighting. I'm disappointed to be going down the road with only the one point." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ RIG summed it up like this:- Donaldson and McCart were really poor today. Despite not being put under much pressure their balls out of defence were absolutely rotten, Donaldson especially, and often set up chances for Alloa to break on us. Storey was poor again and had one decent cross from the flanks. He isn't a winger and struggled there at Partick so why we are persisting with him there is bizarre. MacGregor struggled to create much of note in the middle as Alloa packed the midfield and sat deep. There was zero creativity in the ICT side today to break them down and it would have been very harsh, though thoroughly pleasing, had we won that game. With Queens getting a superb result today and Morton possessing an excellent home record the next couple of games are going to be a lot more difficult than they might appear on paper. Did he mean it??? Raging Robbo.... Date: 19/10/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2036 Referee: Mike Roncone Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Doran (Curry 59), Trafford (Carson 70), Vincent, MacGregor (Keatings 75), Storey, White Subs (not used): C Mackay; B Mckay, McHattie, Machado. Scorers: Tremarco (61), White (85). Booked: Rooney (68), Carson (77) John Robertson (manager 53) Sent Off: none Alloa Athletic: 2 Lineup: MacDonald; Taggart, Graham, Deas, Robertson, Cawley, Hetherington, Trouten, Brown, Buchanan (Thomson 81), O'Hara. Subs (not used): Henry; Malcolm, O'Donnell Scorers: Buchanan (5), Trouten (89) Booked: Trouten (77) Sent Off: none a
  25. Main Course We had the appetiser last week in the Chocolate cup and this week it's the main course as Alloa come North again on Championship duty. The game kicks off at 3:00pm at the Caledonian Stadium with Inverness looking to consolidate their position at the top end, tucked neatly in behind Dundee United and Ayr United. Last week Inverness made half a dozen changes but still proved to be too strong for the Wasps, despite a late revival by the visitors after going 3-0 down. Mitch Curry scored his first goal for the club just before half time. A deflected Charlie Trafford shot crashed high into the net for number two and Matheus Machado polished the turd when he scored his first senior goal for the Caley Jags. A glimmer of hope for Alloa as they managed to hit the woodwork twice and Cammy Mackay had to be alert to save at the feet of the striker. If there's any criticism of the home team, it comes from some overelaborate play and being wasteful in the final third. However, 3-0 is not to be scoffed at and we went into the hat for the quarter final draw. Here's the goals from the Chocolate Cup game.......... That draw took place on Wednesday and Inverness have been paired with Clyde in the quarter final. Other ties see Raith Rovers host Elgin City, Stenhousemuir take on Patrick Thistle. Solihull or Rangers Colts will play Wrexham. Our last Championship game was an excellent away win at Somerset Park as we beat the Honest Men with goals from James Vincent and Shaun Rooney. That was maybe slightly unexpected given the home defeat to Partick Thistle the previous week. Alloa's last outing in the Championship opened up the table and gave the rest some optimism as they beat league leaders Dundee United 1-0 at Recreation Park. Alloa were deserved winners and Kevin O'Hara finished off a fine move with a great strike. Inverness will be without Sean Welsh for a few months with another broken foot. Tom Walsh has missed the last couple of outings with a hamstring injury. James Keatings is back in full training and could be a surprise addition to the squad after recovering from ankle ligament damage. I imagine we will revert to one of our more familiar line ups with Jordan White returning to lead the line. Charlie Trafford showed up well last week and could be in line for a start. Walsh's injury remains a close guarded secret, should he not return then Roddy MacGregor could continue his run in the team. Peter Grant had made a couple of changes for the Challenge cup game. Jamie MacDonald will continue his emergency loan deal with keeper Neil Parry injured long term. Nathan Gilhooly started last week, but it was his error that led to the opening goal, that could earn him a place on the bench. Liam Dick and Blair Malcolm are still injured. Steven Hetherington could be fit enough for a start after missing the cup game last week which saw Alloa with only three on the bench. To add to their misery, Iain Flannigan was sent off late in the Arabs game and will sit this one out. He was in great form in that game and will be a big miss. Cast your mind back to this one 17 years ago, hat-tricks R us............ If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.