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  1. League Duty East End Park is the venue for tomorrow's Ladbroke Championship encounter with Dunfermline Athletic, three o'clock is the timeslot, and by five o'clock we should know the outcome. Championship football sandwiched between Scottish Cup derby's, Right eenuff mun. ICTFC Supporters Travel Club Dunfermline bus leaves Caley Club 10.15 Stadium 10.30. Book through Facebook or on 07462 218717. Tickets £18, Concession £12, U12 £5 It's an opportunity for both clubs to make inroads into their seasons target. For Inverness it's a chance to cement their position within the top four. For the Pars they could be in the chasing pack trying to close the gap to the peleton as the end of season sprint nears. This will be the third Championship game between the clubs. The first one saw Inverness win 3-0 at East End Park thanks to second half goals from Shaun Rooney, Liam Polworth and the now departed George Oakley. The return fixture at Inverness ended all square. The visitors went ahead through Aiden Keena. Riccardo Calder levelled only for Keena to score again, but big Jordan White squared the game again. All the goals coming in the first half this time. Our last outing was a fierce Scottish Cup tie at Dingwall where we once more looked the side most likely to win, but once more we were unable to hold onto a lead and Josh Mullin levelled in time added on when he beat the high defensive line we held. Aaron Doran scored a tremendous opener only for substitute Ross Stewart to pull County level. Brad Mckay slammed us in front before the late sickener that leads to a replay on Tuesday night at the Caledonian Stadium. Here's the goals from the cup game.............. The Pars last game was a home defeat at the hands of Ross County. On loan Aberdeen striker Bruce Anderson scored their goal but second half strikes from Billy Mckay and Michael Gardyne turned the game in County's favour. We sit fourth in the table with Dunfermline eight points behind us in seventh place. Defensively we are similar, but we have scored ten goals more. Dunfermline are without a win in their last four, Inverness have two wins. Here's the table. Coll Donaldson limped out of the cup game at Dingwall and must be a doubt. Tom Walsh, Mark Ridgers and Carl Tremarco came through it unscathed although it was a tough shift on a difficult night for football. Twenty six times capped former Scotland International left back Callum Davidson has joined the backroom staff as first team coach at EEP. He has been first team coach at Stoke City recently. Dunfermline had two former Inverness players in their starting XI last time out:- Ryan Scully; Ryan Williamson, Lee Ashcroft (c), Danny Devine, Jackson Longridge, Kallum Higginbotham, James Vincent, Joe Thomson, James Craigen, Bruce Anderson, Faissal El Bakhtaoui Here's Robbo and Anthony McDonald talking before the visit to Dunfermline..........
  2. Comedy of Errors The announcement of the team lines filled us with trepidation. We knew it would be bad, we just never thought it would be this bad. An absolutely shambolic performance from Inverness who have plumbed the depths of the abyss after an encouraging midweek performance at Somerset Park, they lost 2-1 to Partick Thistle. Partick Thistle took full advantage of our depleted error strewn lisltess squad and thanks to our defensive blunders scored twice in possibly the worst ever 45 minutes witnessed at the Caledonian Stadium. Steven Anderson and Aidan Fitzpatrick were the benefactors of our slapstick defending and although substitute Darren McCauley pulled one back it was smply not good enough for the season long suffering fans. There's little to report on from an Inverness point of view. Cammy Mackay made a couple of excellent saves before Partick scored. Unfortunately Anderson had the freedom of the back post to tap-in after a short corner. Nobody in defence was able to stop the cross reaching him and Brad Mckay can hang his head in shame at the second goal. He lost the ball thirty yards from goal and left young Cammy exposed as Fitzpatrick accepted the gift, advanced to the box and drove the ball behind the keeper. Shambles springs to mind. We created little of note throughout until a scramble in the box ended with McCauley knocking home from close range. I'm finding it difficult to find any positives. Cammy Mackay pulled off a couple of brilliant saves, Donaldson as a substitute getting some game time and McCauley will add something once he is up to speed. It's the biggest outpouring of public grief since Princess Di departed. I'll let the fans tell you more about this game, here's some views picked from the forum. They shall remain anonymous in case Robbo comes round.......... *Shell shocked!! What I think I watched yesterday was a bunch of amateurs playing together a game of kick about on a field. Worst performance this season giving the ball away with every second pass, little organisation at the back and complete lack of thrust at the front.. I felt sorry for Donaldson being thrown on when he was obviously out of sorts and not ready in fitness* *Worst performance of the season so far. JR comments shows a complete lack of respect for the fans that turned out to watch that drivel. Route one football and hoping that the ball drops to one of our players. There are no tactics just lump in box and see what happens.* *I too agree with Robbo's comments but he really picked the wrong day to say it! None of what happened yesterday was anyone elses fault but his own. Wrong set up from start and it all went downhill. Caleyaway is a small but loyal band of fans some of whom seldom attend home games. You don't ever hear the criticism/pickiness that I hear week in and out at home. Football at home is mainly a joyless watch. Its not helped by performances like yesterday however.* *Have to agree that was the worst performance at home so far. Lost soft goals and never created any chances. Scrambled goal to give us some hope with 12 mins left however you didn't think we could do it. There keeper didn't have a save to make. Very disappointing following good win at Ayr.* *Getting pretty sick of posting the same comments after almost every home game! That first 45minutes today really was the worst I can remember from an Inverness side. Absolutely pathetic!* *You would be hard pressed to see a worse game of football anywhere today . Absolutely shocking no wonder the stands were empty.* *People keep asking why people are staying away. Half way through the first half I suspect most at the game wish they had.* *Five minutes before the end ,McCauley was announced as the sponsor's MOTM. But he only came on in the 70th minute. I think that rather sums it up!* *Poor team selection, poor tactics, poor application and poor, verging on irrational substitutions. The only comfort we can take is that our rivals for that final play off, which appears now to be our only realistic target, fared no better. However, even that final play off place will be beyond us if we continue to play as badly as that.* *Trying to deflect the blame from himself even though his team selection, tactics and substitutions were horrendous. There was absolutely nothing to get the fans excited about watching that today. Taking on a centre half and defensive midfielder when we are two down hardly helps. Embarrassing comments from the manager.* *That's as bad a performance as I can remember. Just when you think we might have turned the corner, we manage to produce a truly woeful performance. I can't remember their keeper making a save. We were second to every ball and made a poor Partick team look good. And for Robbo to blame the home support is totally unacceptable, give the fans something to shout about and they will react.........* *Another week another poor home game. Robbo can huff and puff about home fans but we've had 2 wins at home in the league what exactly does he expect? So many things wrong with todays performance a lot of which the manager and coaching staff need to take the blame for and some things the players.* *I picked the wrong game to take my 7 year old grandson to: that was woeful, and even he knew that. We started ok, but lost two quick goals, and never really got any control of the match.* *That was the worst game so far this season and I am being polite! Why he kept Brad Mackay on he was rank. And the rest weren't much better. I hope we have some of the injured players back for the County game.* *Not up for the game from the start whole team were awful 1st half. The whole bloody lot of them need to take a look at themselves.* *A shocking performance with Brad Mackay at fault for both goals.Never looked like winning this game. No pass marks for anyone except goalkeeper Mackay who had a couple of great saves * However, lets end on a positive note.............. *Only positives for me were the couple of saves from Cammy Mackay, McCart being solid at the back, even when playing on the right of defence, and McCauley: he is definitely worth a start. * *......he then made a couple of good stops and I think has done a good job coming in at the last minute* Here's the offending comments from our Gaffer. Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson: "I thought victory would still make us outside title challengers, and anything else would mean we are fighting for a play-off spot. "We've got a problem at home. We've won two, lost three and drawn the rest. Away from home, we've got a small band of fans that get right behind the team but at home they don't seem to do that." Partick Thistle manager Gary Caldwell: "We spoke about the characteristics you need to win away from home - resilience, desire, togetherness - and I think we showed that second half. "But in the first half, we showed quality. It could have been more than 2-0 and tactically I thought the boys were outstanding." Here's the wee man himself........... Date: 02/02/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2171 Referee: David Lowe Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: C Mackay; Rooney (Donaldson 45), B Mckay, McCart, McHattie, Polworth, Welsh, Chalmers, McDonald (Trafford 45), Austin (McCauley 70), White. Subs (not used): McKinnon; Tremarco, MacGregor, D Mackay. Scorers: McCauley (77) Booked: Trafford (49) Sent Off: none Partick Thistle: 2 Lineup: Hazard; McMillan, Saunders, Anderson (McCarthy 83), Elliot, Slater, Bannigan, Fitzpatrick (Harkins 72), Penrice, Spittal, Storey (Doolan 90+1) Subs (not used): Sneddon; McGinty, Coulibaly, Mansell. Scorers: Anderson (21), Fitzpatrick (25) Booked: Saunders (51), Bannigan (62) Anderson (68), Harkins (86) Sent Off: none a
  3. By George, he's off Struggling Partick Thistle come North on Saturday to the sponsorless and Georgeless Caledonian Stadium, looking to get themselves away from the relegation battle at the foot of the table. It's a great opportunity for Inverness as well as they look to consolidate their position within the top four and keep on the heels of Dundee United whilst making sure the teams below stay there. One man who won't be at the stadium is George Oakley. He was a surprise departure on the final night of the transfer window, leaving for the metropolis of the Eastern Block landscapes of Hamilton. @George_Oakley23 had this to say to the Inverness fans on twitter. Just want to say a massive thank you to everyone @ICTFC for everything they have done with me for the past year and half! Great club and the fans were amazing for me from the day I joined! But I am looking forward to this new challenge with @acciesfc can’t wait to get started👊🏻🔴 Wow! That's a sign of the times as we can't even compete with Hamilton Accies for the signature of a player. Is this the beginning of the end for Inverness Caledonian Thistle? Have the club really got such a lack of ambition that we can't hold on to one of our three strikers? Has George got the talent to succeed on the plastic pitch at Accies? Or, was it a shrewd bit of business to get rid of an injury prone second rate striker whose contract runs out in the summer and we can get some pennies before it's too late. To be honest, the jury is out on the CTO website. Many blame the board but some are coming round to the fact that it might be for the best. It all depends if your glass is half empty or half full I suppose. Plenty of uncertainty on the forums. Here's a selection of the concerns:- "As we are skint then I'm not surprised we took cash for Oakley, we are however left relying on White and Austin, (if fit), as our senior strikers." "We are skint! Also appears we have no real ambition anymore. Gutted." "Well this is depressing news. Ambition - not..." "Easily the best of our strikers allowed to leave for peanuts no doubt. FFS the squad was small enough already without losing any more players." "Well that’s pretty $hit news. Are we now relying on injury prone Austin. Jordan White and two youngsters in McGregor and Mackay." And some almost positive comments:- "Can’t say I’ve ever found myself thinking that Oakley is too good for this league and should be playing at a higher level." "from what I saw last season I didn't think Oakley was that good a striker. He certainly wasn't the sort of striker who would fire you to the title in this league. He was also out of contract at the end of the season and if we thought he wasn't going to re-sign and isn't a starter then cashing in, even if it'll be pennies in the scheme of things, could be the right thing to do." "Slightly shocked, but he's out of Contract at the end of the season, (and the small fee probably covers the laundry bill) anyway I think McCauley can do a job for us in his place." This one sums it up as far as I am concerned "The fact that players see moving to Accies from us as a step up is hardly a laughing matter and is a sad indictment of where we are these days." Anyway, thanks for the effort George and Good luck at Hamilton, I think you will need it. George Joins Accies The other big talking point this week is that the club are looking for a new sponsor for the Stadium and what it will be named now that ownership has been secured. I don't suppose it will be called the George Oakley Arena now. The Harry Gow Dream Ring is a popular one though. Others already in the bin are The Dump, The Stadium of Shite, The Richie Foran Arena of Excellence, The House of Hughes. Here's the official take on the stadium deal. Read about it HERE Meanwhile, there's a game to be won on Saturday. We played Ayr United on Tuesday night and came away with all three points after we blitzed Ayr in the opening twenty minutes. We found ourselves 3-0 up with goals from Nathan Austin (2) and a Liam Polworth belter. Ian McCall changed his side at the interval and we were immediately on the back foot when the hosts scored early in the second half through Declan McDaid. Lawrence Shankland got the nerves jangling when he banged in a deflected free kick to set up a tense ending but we held on for a valuable three points. That was on the back of a 2-2 draw at Falkirk last Saturday when we were pegged back twice. It could be a great week for us on the park should we take the points tomorrow. Partick won their first League game in six since they beat The Pars 2-0 on the 8th of December. They beat our recent conquerors Queen of the South 2-1 thanks to goals from Joe Cardle and Miles Storey. That moved them off the bottom of the table one point above Falkirk. The games between the sides this season have resulted in six points for Inverness. A 3-2 win in the Highlands was followed by a 1-0 win at Firhill. Both tight games but scorer at Firhill, Tom Walsh is out with a broken foot. We survived a late fightback in the first game after White, Rooney and a Welsh (pen) put us 3-0 ahead. Last ten minute goals from Blair Spittal and Kris Doolan almost snatched a point for Partick but they fell just short. ICT 3-2 Partick from September Inverness will obviously be without Oakley and the injured Coll Donaldson, Tom Walsh and possibly Aaron Doran. Look for new signings Darren McCauley and Anthony McDonlad to be more involved tomorrow. Mark Ridgers has missed the last two games with a back problem with young Cammy Mackay deputising, and he put in a decent performance at Ayr. Here he is talking ahead of the Partick game............. Partick will be without the injured Joe Cardle. Gary Caldwell was speaking on the Partick Thistle website about the ins and outs:- “We set the target before January started of coming out of the window a stronger side than we were when we went into the window and I think we can definitely say that is the case. We have strengthened the core of the side with a goalkeeper, a centre back, a central midfielder and two strikers coming into the Club. On top of that we’ve got some great creativity in Joe Cardle and some additional versatility at the back in the form of Jack McMillan.
  4. Ayr Raid Inverness surged into a three goal lead inside 20 minutes, Nathan Austin bagging the first two goals and Liam Polworth adding the third with a low shot from outside the box. It remained 0-3 at the interval but substitute Lawrence Shankland made his presence felt as he set up Declan McDaid to open Ayr's account eight minutes after the break. Shankland scored from a free kick with five minutes to go to set up a tense finish but Inverness just managed to hold on to take all three points. That's a tremendous result that has put us back into the top four and denied Ayr a return to the top of the table. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ John Robertson made two changes to the team that drew 2-2 at Falkirk. Jambos loanee Anthony McDonald started in place of the injured Aaron Doran and George Oakley replaced Jordan White. Cammy Mackay kept the keepers jersey with Mark Ridgers still out with back pain. Ayr kept faith with Craig Moore and Michael Moffat up front which meant that Lawrence Shankland was on the bench. Nathan Austin started the ball rolling towards the Somerset Road end on a freezing night at Somerset Park in front of 1559 shivering fans. The 76 visiting ones would be warmed up well before half time. Immortal Howden Ender was one of the 76........... To start with a round of applause for the recorded 76 fans who made it to Somerset Park despite the road conditions in both North and South directions. The records also show that there was 1559 in total attendance although it looked more to me. And we were then treated to the best 9 minutes of the season. The first, in the eight minute, had a degree of luck to it. Superb through ball from Polworth and Nathan Austin took it round Rose and Doohan with a little help from Rose but he finished well which has not always been the case this season. And just as one bus leaves another turns up, three minutes later (certainly wasn’t sponsored by ScotRail). A terrible pass by Smith found Oakley who played in Nathan Austin who again rounded the keeper but knocked it in with his left foot. Not sure how the defender on the line missed the clearance but hey-ho. And as most if not every fan in the ground were shaking their heads we go three up. Liam Polworth sweetly stuck a low 20 yarder which went in via the post. As good a strike as I have seen this season. But any chance of a 7-0 Somerset repeat were soon dashed as Ayr appeared to waken up. They could well have got a goal back before half time. A header came off the crossbar and Cammy MacKay made a fine save just on the half time whistle. In many ways it was fortunate for us that we held out as the second half may have been even more arduous. Enter Lawrence Shankland for the second half. It felt that the combination of a McCall bollicking, Shankland enthusing the crowd and Ayr lifting their effort made the second half a very, very long one. The first goal in the 53rd minute was made by Shankland and finished off by McDaid. Although I would have given the “assist” to Jamie McCart – although the ball did appear to hit a divot. There were two penalty claims thereafter although I feel that both being denied were the correct decision. The ball clearly played Tremarco’s hand and Oakley had lost the ball in a rumble in the box. Also in the 58th minute Robbo made his first substitution which basically puzzled me. He hooks Austin whos’ pace was the main worry for the Ayr back four and would have been a bonus on the break. And he brings on White ?!! Trafford replaced McDonald in the 70th minute but that was understandable. McCauley replaced Oakley in the 82nd minute and that was one that may have been better happening 15-20 minutes earlier. And three minutes later the inevitable Shankland goal made us fear that another draw was on the cards. And it was – and you could hear a collective sigh of relief from 76 Highlanders when Muirhead headed over in injury time – although I thought that Tremarco’s presence put him off. Ayr United manager Ian McCall: "You can't give teams a three-goal start. I thought they had 20 minutes, then we dominated, but we couldn't get an equalizer – have to agree. Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "You know if you lose a goal here, the atmosphere can change and it's a brilliant throw back coming here – spot on again. Robbo added - "If we win on Saturday, we're back in the hunt going into the break for the cup. We're just targeting whatever team is directly above us. – who can argue against that ? SMILEYMOMETER MacKay - Young Cammy did well and I thought that his save before half time was a real game saver. top. At the time I was critical of his Alan Rough impersonation for the second goal but the free kick looks as if it took a mean deflection. Rooney – Disappointed me. Always looks good going forward but I felt that most of Ayr’s chances came down their left wing and Rooney lacking pace. McKay 😎– No nonsense and why not. McCart – 🙄As Mckay apart from the 53rd minute Brain Fart (Rigism) Tremarco – Best defender for me and good to see him back at full fitness. Chalmers – 😀 No sign of his sweet left foot but worked his socks off Welsh – An “old head” which we need at the present time. Looked more like a captain. Polly – My MOM. Super pass for the first goal and super strike for the third goal. Also worked hard which often is lacking at home. McDonald – Thought that Robbo would have played McCauley from the start on physique alone. Has a look of a Doran about him – which we need. Suspect that he will be more effective at home. Austin – Best game in our colours for me. Two good finishes and worked the line very well. So why the hooking in the 58th minute ? White – 😁Actually thought that he was a good out option and he held the ball up quite well. Trafford – Evidently taken on for the Davy Crockett effect McCauley – Wrong game to judge. Here's the footage from Ayr TV Robbo post match on twitter Date: 29/01/2019 Venue: Somerset Park Attendance: 2000 Referee: Nick Walsh Ayr United: 2 Lineup: Doohan; Smith, Bell, Rose, Harvie, Murdoch, Crawford (Muirhead 82), Docherty (Higgins 45), McDaid, Moore (Shankland 45), Moffat Subs (not used): Hare-Reid; Hilton, Ecrepont, McCowan. Scorers: McDaid (53), Shankland (85) Booked: Crawford (79) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: C Mackay; Rooney, B Mckay, J McCart, Tremarco, McDonald (Trafford 70), Polworth, Welsh, Chalmers, Austin (White 58), Oakley (McCauley 82). Subs (not used): MacKinnon; Harper, McHattie, Mackay. Scorers: Austin (9, 12) Polworth (18) Booked: Polworth (36), Oakley (69) Sent Off: none a
  5. Let's go fly a kite.... Somerset Park Ayr is the venue on Tuesday night in this re-arranged fixture after the original date was called off less than an hour before kick-off due to high winds. Unfortunately many Inverness fans had already made the five hour journey only to be met with the news they didn't want to hear. And it could be Deja Vu with a pitch inspection planned for 11:30am after a week of rain in Ayrshire. 🌧️ The ICT Supporters Travel Club is running a bus to this match. The Bus leaves the Caley Club at 13:45 and the Stadium at 14:00. The Bus can be booked by text on 07462218717 or through their Facebook page. The original game was due to be played on the 7th December, but strong winds forced the postponement with teams and fans already at the stadium. Since the postponement, Ayr have had three draws, three defeats and one win on Saturday against Dundee United, Craig Moore scoring early. Falkirk and Inverness were Championship winners but the surprising defeat was to Auchinleck Talbot in the Scottish Cup. Prior to the game that was called off, Ayr were sitting on top of the League. They were knocked off their perch as County turned the screw, but had managed to get back on top before Saturday when County won to regain the lead although Ayr have a game in hand, this one against the Caley Jags. We have blown hot and cold recently and since the postponement have three wins, two defeats and two draws. The biggest win was a 4-0 defeat of Lowland League leaders East Kilbride in the cup. The two disappointing losses were the Highland derby and a home defeat by Queen of the South. The first meeting of the season saw Inverness fail to get the better of ten man Ayr, Liam Polworth missing the target from the spot. We did keep Shankland fairly quiet in that game, but even with ten men Ayr were still a threat on the break, the game ended 0-0. The last time we met a couple of weeks ago we managed to get the better of Ayr thanks to a header from Jordan White, a rare home win for the Caley Jags this term. Inverness fielded their two new signings at the weekend, both coming off the bench in a 2-2 draw at Falkirk. Mark Ridgers was unable to play due to a back spasm and Cammy Mackay deputised in goal. Unfortunately that probably contributed to Falkirk's second goal resulting in a couple of points dropped. Disappointing result really as we led twice but our attacking intent was evident and Aaron Doran's stunning strike was worth all three points. Three of our most influential players were missing at Falkirk. Coll Donaldson and Tom Walsh are out for over a month unfortunately. Ridgers will hopefully be over his back problem soon. The introduction of Darren McCauley and Anthony McDonald will give the squad a lift though and Jamie McCart has proven to be an able deputy for Coll. Aaron Doran pulled up at Falkirk with a possible hamstring injury and might be out for a couple of games. Ayr have scoring sensation Lawrence Shankland back in action after he missed a few games. Craig Moore and Michael Moffat have shown that Ayr are not a one man team though. Geggan and Forrest are out, but Kerr and Adams are almost there. It's a pity Aaron Doran is out as he has been getting back to his best recently. Here's what he is capable of. Here's new Inverness signing Darren McCauley talking ahead of the Ayr United game........... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you like a wee flutter, our new partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  6. All Square at Falkirk It was a depleted Inverness that kicked off with Coll Donaldson, Tom Walsh and Mark Ridgers out and third choice keeper Cammy Mackay in goal. Undaunted, we took the lead after 12 minutes when Shaun Rooney touched in a Joe Chalmers free kick. On the half hour Zak Rudden equalised from close range. Doran restored our lead just on the interval when he volleyed into the top corner in spectacular fashion. Freak goal from McShane levelled the game again 10 minutes into the second half. Inverness had both new signings Darren McCauley and Anthony McDonald available and on the bench for this game, however, we were dealt a blow with Mark Ridgers unable to play because of a back spasm and Fon Williams allegedly with a groin injury. That thrust young Cammy Mackay into the spotlight with Martin MacKinnon as back up on the bench. Nathan Austin and Jordan White started up front with George Oakley on the bench. Falkirk had new keeper from Wolves Harry Burgoyne between the sticks for the first time and prolific scorer Zak Rudden starting. It was a sodden miserable afternoon as Falkirk kicked off in front of nearly 5000 fans, 240 of them supporting the team from the Highlands, Cammy Mackay tasked with keeping the Bairns out. His last game was a month ago, a 2-0 defeat for Rothes in the Highland League against Brora Rangers whilst out on loan. A bright start for the visitors saw Nathan Austin, Aaron Doran and Jamie McCart all make Harry Burgoyne work in the Falkirk goal. Shaun Rooney did even better when he made him pick the ball out of the net in twelve minutes when he diverted a low Joe Chalmers free kick into the net for the opening goal. Great start for the Caley Jags. Austin had a header saved as we pushed for a second and Doran was close with a shot and Sean Welsh dragged another shot wide halfway though the first period. Burgoyne made a tremendous save to deny Doran from distance, fisting the ball away as the visitors continued to dominate and keeping young Cammy Mackay quiet in goal so far. Spoke too soon as out of the blue Zak Rudden tapped in from close range to level the match after good work from Mark Waddington. We fail to convert after a scramble in the Bairns box and soon after Liam Polworth shot wide after a lay-off from White. A quick break from defence saw White's first effort saved and his follow up deflected for a corner. From the corner, Falkirk do likewise as Rudden is denied at the other end. Inverness have had the greater opportunities in the first half and just on the break we regained the lead in spectacular fashion. A Polworth free kick was cleared as far as Doran at the edge of the box, and after taking a touch the wee man smashed the ball into the top corner on the volley, what a strike. Pick that one out Harry! Half Time 1-2 No changes at the break as Inverness set the ball rolling for the second half and we began on the front foot again, Austin doing his best to undo his old club as he drilled a ball across the box but there were no takers. Falkirk were relying on Mackay being in the firing line and they equalised when a corner from Ian McShane deceived the keeper and ended up in the net. Austin tried to reply moments later but his header was too straight and saved by the keeper and Sean Welsh missed from distance. Doran pulled up on a run forward and he had to make way for Darren McCauley to make his debut and it's almost an instant success as his ball is deflected to White and behind for a corner. Jamie McCart took a head knock as well, injuries we don't need at the moment. Substitute George Oakley had a header saved as we looked to get back in front, and Anthony McDonald replaced Jordan White to make his debut. McCauley had an effort blocked as we looked for the winner and at the other end Paul Paton saw Mackay save his shot. Big shouts for a penalty after a McCauley shot is blocked but nothing doing and Rudden blazed a shot over from 8 yards after being played in. That should have clinched it for the hosts. It all ended a bit towsy with a couple of bookings but with no further scoring it finished all square. Inverness will feel it's two points dropped, after having enough chances to win two games, but the injury to Doran could be more worrying. Speaking on BBC Sport Falkirk manager Ray McKinnon: "That's us unbeaten in January but we need to start winning games. It will happen sooner or later, I'm certain of that. "We still need two players. We need someone to hold the ball up front and an experienced centre half. We played a more attacking style but we just weren't clicking in the final third." Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "It was a strange game. Both equalisers come against the run of play. The Falkirk keeper - he was terrific - kept them in the game. "The most disappointing thing was not getting a penalty kick. Their player runs six yards to close down, hands above shoulders, and it comes off both hands. It's a clear a penalty as you'll get." Here's some footage from Falkirk TV on YouTube Where's Harry.............. Here he is............... Date: 26/01/2019 Venue: Falkirk Stadium Attendance: 4843 Referee: David Munro Falkirk: 2 Lineup: Burgoyne; McGhee, Petravicius (Lavery 75), MacLean (Keillor-Dunn 64), Osman, Robson, McShane, Rudden, Dickson, Waddington (Paton 79), McKenna Subs (not used): Mitchell; Kidd, Brough, McKee, Scorers: Rudden (29) McShane (56) Booked: Keillor Dunn (90+2) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: C Mackay; Rooney, B Mckay, McCart, Tremarco, Doran (McCauley 64), Polworth, Welsh, Chalmers, Austin (Oakley 63), White (McDonald 80) Subs (not used): McKinnon; Harper, McHattie, Trafford. Scorers: Rooney (12), Doran (45) Booked: Tremarco (62), Rooney (90+3) Sent Off: none a
  7. Bairns Bash Inverness travel to second bottom Falkirk on Saturday knowing they will be in for a tough test. The Bairns had come North at the start of December and ended our 25 game unbeaten run by going away with all three points in a five goal tussle. Inverness CT fans will be housed in Section H of the Main Stand for this one at the Bairnabeu. Falkirk Club Shop will be open from 09:00 – Kick Off on Saturday for those wishing to purchase in person. Weather for the Falkirk area is expected to be heavy rain at times with a moderate breeze.🌧️ Falkirks last two results were a 1-0 win at Ayr United and a 1-1 draw against Partick Thistle at Firhill. Rangers loanee Zak Rudden is the man who earned the points with a second half goal against Ayr and an equaliser at Firhill. Rudden had scored twice when Falkirk won 3-2 at the Caledonian Stadium before Scott Harrison won the game with a 93rd minute goal. Tom Walsh and George Oakley were the Inverness scorers. The first encounter of the season was the opening fixture in the Championship. The Caley Jags took the points then as George Oakley fired home after only ten minutes. Would that be the start of a promotion chasing season? Well, maybe not yet, but we are still in the hunt for a play-off place and I'm sure Falkirk would happily exchange places with us given their faltering campaign. Our last league game was a deserved win over title chasing Ayr United thanks to a strike from Jordan White. Last weekend we comfortably disposed of East Kilbride 4-0 in the Scottish Cup. Goals from White, Aaron Doran, Liam Polworth and an og put us into the last sixteen. Falkirk were idle having already been dumped out of the cup in a surprising 4-2 defeat by neighbours Stenhousemuir. Rudden is certainly one to watch. He has scored eight goals this season, including a brace against Inverness. He has also been capped for Scotland at u16/17/19 level. All this and he he was only born two days before we knocked Celtic out of the Scottish Cup in 2000. John Robertson has moved into the transfer market and snapped up the Coleraine wide midfielder Darren MacCauley. The 27 year old scored 20 goals last season for Coleraine with 10 assists. He has scored 7 league goals this term. Darren was once a trainee at Celtic, but we won't hold that against him. Also signing on loan for the rest of the season is Hearts youngster Anthony McDonald pictured in his Jambo's strip. McDonald is 17 years old and is one of the promising young players at Hearts. He has made a total of 21 appearances for the Jam Tarts and has been capped for Scotland at U16 and U17 level. Good luck at the Caley Jags Darren and Anthony Striker Jordan White has been talking about his medical issues in the press and fair play to the big man he has battled through it to get where he is today. Talking on the BBC Sport website, Kenny Crawford has written this article "One night during pre-season, I woke up and just couldn't move my legs." Have a read and maybe we can all understand what Jordan has gone through. Inverness have been dealt a double injury blow with Coll Donaldson (groin) and Tom Walsh (foot) out for over a month. Both missed the win over Ayr United last weekend. Jamie McCart is a ready made replacement for Donaldson and it looks as though Darren McCauley will be able to fill the gap left by the injured Tom Walsh. Anthony McDonald will be available for selection for tomorrow’s trip to Falkirk. Darren's inclusion will depend on whether his international clearance has been received. Falkirk have been busy in the transfer market as they look to get away from the foot of the table. Goalkeeper Harry Burgoyne has signed on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers for the rest of the season. The 6ft 4″ stopper has made a total of seven first team appearances for the Premier League side. Paul Dixon was also brought in before New Year. Former Partick Thistle captain 31 year old Abdul Osman was the second signing after Dixon. Motherwell pair Ross MacLean and Ian McShane soon followed. In fact there are too many to fit on the preview and not even the Bairns fans know what their team looks like now. Viva la Rayvolution! Here's Nathan Austin speaking ahead of the Falkirk clash Latest News The Friday night Championship game at Somerset Park ended Ayr 1-0 Dundee United. That result has put Ayr back to the top of the table on goal difference thanks to a fourth minute goal from Craig Moore. Dundee United ended the game with ten men when Morgaro Gomis was red carded in the 89th minute. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Scottish Cup V Ross County In their wisdom, the powers that be have determined that 7:15 on Monday night the 11th of February will be the date for the Highland Scottish Cup derby at Dingwall. It's not a great choice for the fixture and it looks like the SFA have bowed to the TV companies to fit this tie in for their schedules. Fans aren't given much consideration and I fear this may diminish some of the atmosphere in what should be a cracking game. Prices have been set at Adult £15 Concession £10 Under 12 £5 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you like a wee flutter, our new partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  8. Ayr Pressure Down Both sides were somewhat diminished with major players either injured, ill or suspended and it was a battle of the walking wounded as Ayr tried to keep the pressure on at the top of the League with County facing a difficult away trip to Palmerston. Inverness had Brad Mckay and Shaun Rooney suspended with strikers George Oakley and Nathan Austin injured. Angus Beith is still missing and this has now been reported to the polis as nobody has seen him yet! Kevin McHattie made his first home start with Carl Tremarco covering at right back. Ayr were without top striker Lawrence Shankland, Jamie Adams, Mark Kerr, Liam Smith and Alan Forrest with Adam Murdoch suspended. An unseasonably mild January afternoon with a touch of a stiff breeze coming in from the West met the teams as they entered the park in front of a 2283 crowd............. Liam Polworth was first to have an opportunity as he fired goalwards from twenty yards but his shot was weak and wide as he dragged it past the post. Michael Moffat broke clear for Ayr at the other end but his low shot was well held by Mark Ridgers from the angle when the striker might have been better squaring the ball. Aaron Doran should have scored when he latched on to a cross from Tom Walsh but his shot from close range cannoned back off the middle of the post and bounced back out of the box to safety. The home side were starting to dominate and Doran was flagged offside as he sprinted on to a good through ball from Polworth. Ayr were still a threat on the break though and Declan McDaid curled a shot over from one such venture forth and at the opposite end Joe Chalmers went close with a strike from distance as Ross Doohan sprawled across his goal line. Back came Ayr and Ross Docherty fired one over the bar as the game panned out. The end to end stuff continued as Polworth created the space to get a shot away after a delightful drag back, but it was always heading too high. Too high was the order of the day as McDaid sent another one over, the ball dipping too late. Best move of the half saw Jordan White miss a golden opportunity after he linked up well with Doran, but the striker shot just past the near post when it looked easier to score. Half Time 0-0 Ayr went close just after the break as Craig Moore met a great cross unchallenged, but his header was just wide of the junction with Ridgers stranded. That seemed to stir Inverness into action and from there on we dominated the game without overly exerting Doohan in the visitors goal. White was becoming more prominent and had an effort saved by the keeper who just got his finger tips to the ball at the expense of a corner. However he would not be denied in the 64th minute. Following a poor miss when he did not get enough contact on a header, the ball was sent back into the box by Sean Welsh and White had dusted himself down quickly enough to send a powerful header into the net with Doohan merely a spectator. The goal had been coming after a good spell of pressure from the home side. Ten minutes later Doran should have wrapped up the points but he skewed his shot just wide when scoring looked the better option. The dreaded 'hold what we had' was in the thoughts of most fans who had only witnessed one previous home League win this season. However, if truth be told we saw out the game in relative comfort thereafter and ran the clock down in style with some keep ball at the end. Full Time 1-0 Great to witness a win after so long, most had forgotten what it felt like. It was a narrow victory though with big Jordan White powering a header home just after the hour. He can jump after all! Aaron Doran missed that great opportunity to make the game comfortable but skewed wide and that led to a slightly tetchy last ten minutes, but we saw it out safely and took all three points with Joe Chalmers getting the sponsors MotM but Jordan White getting the nod from me. Speaking on BBC Sport, the respective managers had this to say....... Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "It was an even first half, but the second half we started to impose ourselves. It was a terrific goal and I'm delighted for Jordan - what a job he does as a lone striker. "We didn't look like we were going to lose a goal. There was a resilience to them and we thoroughly deserved the three points." Ayr United manager Ian McCall: "We had good chances but I thought Inverness deserved to win. I don't think we played very well, nothing to do with injuries I just don't think we played well enough. "I think the first goal was always going to win it. It was a great chance for us, we knew Ross County had a hard game but the league's going to be really, really tight." Highlights from Caley Jags TV If you can access Facebook, then here is Robbo's post match interview...... Date: 12/01/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2283 Referee: Willie Collum Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Tremarco, Donaldson, McCart, McHattie, Polworth (D Mackay 71), Chalmers, Welsh, Doran (Trafford 85), Walsh, White. Subs (not used): C Mackay; Nicolson, MacGregor, Brown, Harper. Scorers: White (64) Booked: none Sent Off: none Ayr United: 0 Lineup: Doohan; Ferguson, Rose, Bell, Harvie, Geggan (McGuffie 67), Docherty, Crawford, McDaid (Higgins 73), Moffat, Moore (McCowan 79). Subs (not used): Hare-Reid; Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  9. New Year, Old Habits These two sides have had twenty draws between them this season and it was heading that way until Tom Walsh opened the scoring with twenty minutes left. However, Queens snatched victory from the jaws of defeat when they scored twice inside a minute through Scott Mercer and Stephen Dobbie to take all three points back to Dumfries. I'm afraid we have carried last years bad habits into the New Year and look like a side lacking the confidence to go all the way. Carl Tremarco returned to left back after injury with Brad Mckay moving to right back and Jamie McCart in central defence. George Oakley was still injured and along with Daniel Mackay was not risked. Queens had new signings Nicky Low on from the start with Barry McGuire on the bench and Stephen Dobbie the main striker looking for his 30th goal of the season. The Dumfries men were playing in their Claret and Amber away strip for this game. RIG has seen it all before and here is his match report................... So predictable. The sick twist was obviously conceding a winner but as hard as it was to take it's hard to argue with the result. The usual ICT traits from this season were evident - have a fair amount of the ball, don't create a lot of chances, miss the few chances we do create, score, start to stand off the opposition, defend deeper, defend deeper still, even more deeper, concede, try and get a winner. Queens best chance of the first half came when Todd found himself in a bit of space in the box but his low drive was repelled by Ridgers who got down well to divert the ball round the post. ICT struggled to create much of note as we seldom were able to attack with any real pace and incision and the Queens defence easily stood firm for most of the first half. Polworth did get some space in the box and should have done better than trundle the ball straight at Martin. Shortly after, White found himself 1on1 with Martin but a lack of composure saw the keeper block his shot. The closest ICT came to scoring was when Welsh stood up a cross to the back post and Walsh arrived to header it back towards goal but the ball came off the bar and neither White or Doran were able to force it in from close range before it was cleared. A free kick from Polworth looked like it had gone in but sadly it skimmed the roof of the net. Sit down shut-up! Into the second half and ICT started on the front foot. Chalmers found some space on the left flank and he sent in a lovely cross which just evaded White. An even better chance was passed up by McKay when he somehow failed to connect with a cross at the back post appearing to lose sight of the ball after Donaldson's glanced header had come back off the base of the post and landed at Brad's feet half a yard out. There was then a quite bizarre and hilarious moment when Dykes refused to give the ball back to Donaldson who wrestled with him for a second which left Dykes rolling around on the floor in a heap holding on to the ball. Dykes continued to roll away from Donaldson still clutching the ball delaying the free kick. With twenty minutes remaining, Tom Walsh volleyed home after Carl Tremarco got a second bite at crossing into the box. Jordan White's head managed to guide it back into the mix and Walsh finished with aplomb. Walsh had perhaps our best chance to extend our lead, and possibly kill the game, when he drilled a fierce shot that swerved and dipped before the Queens keeper fisted it (oo er) clear. Thereafter it was classic ICT as we decided to sit back as Queens pressured us. Out balls to White and Austin weren't sticking and any clearance from our defence was quickly retrieved and a new attacking phase started. Eventually the Queens pressure told when Marshall skipped down the ICT right and burst into the box and his low cross was met by Mercer who had ghosted in from the right to equalise from close range. Before you knew it Queens had scored a second. McKay contrived to give the ball away in the right back area and Dobbie was on to it like a flash. Cutting inside he then shot back across goal past a despairing Ridgers who flung himself to the right but couldn't stop the ball and suddenly the Doonhamers were 2-1 up. There was a late chance for ICT when White set up Walsh at the edge of the box but his tame effort was easily handled. Right at the death White challenged for a ball on the edge of the box, it fell kindly for Walsh with his back to goal and he whipped a fierce volley just wide and shortly after the whistle went and ICT had, as too often this season, blown a lead and have only themselves to blame. RednBlackComeback said:- Am I trapped in some kind of parallel universe where I've to sit through the same pi$$ poor, action replay, performance every other week? Go 1-0 ahead then proceed to switch off and throw the game away. Does nobody in this team/management learn from their mistakes? Too many of this team look completely disinterested in winning games. The performance again today was ponderous and lethargic and lacked imagination, just as almost every other game I've witnessed this season. No point in raising your game for the local derbies but not bothering your ar$e for the bread-n-butter games! More match reaction and video to follow............... Barry Wilson was left to explain why we lacked conviction and belief..... It goes without saying really, but Gary Naysmith was delighted........... Nicky Low made his debut and was also chuffed................ Date: 05/01/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2225 Referee: Barry Cook Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco (McHattie 88), Walsh, Polworth (MacGregor 88), Chalmers, Doran (Austin 64), Welsh, White Subs (not used): Hoban; Trafford, Nicolson. Scorers: Walsh (69) Booked: McCart (56), Polworth (64) Sent Off: none Queen of the South: 2 Lineup: Martin; Mercer, Fordyce, Semple, Marshall, Low (Frizzell 84), Jacobs,Todd, Doyle (Stirling 74), Dykes, Dobbie (Maguire 88) Subs (not used): Leighfield, Bell, Murray. Scorers: Mercer (83), Dobbie (84) Booked: Marshall (66) Sent Off: none a
  10. Play-Off rivals clash Queen of the South are the first footers on Saturday as the year 2019 comes into view, 2018 proving to be a tentative one for the Caley Jags as they seek to keep themselves in a play-off spot. Along with Morton and Dunfermline, Queens pose an immediate threat to our stuttering chances of achieving our goal and remaining in the top four, although should any of the other clubs go on a run they would also come into contention. Stephen Dobbie has missed a few games recently but returned last Saturday in the 0-0 draw with Ayr United when the Championships top two strikers drew a blank. Gary Naysmith said on the QotS website " I was really happy with the lads last weekend, they showed the great character and spirit that they have and gave their all to grind out a result. Ayr maybe had more of the ball but we had the better chances to score on the day. That's three times we've played Ayr now and still have the upper hand with a win and two draws so the boys deserve a lot of credit. That result coupled with County stealing the Highland derby means that the Dingwall side now head the table by three points from Ayr United with Dundee United third and Inverness clinging on to fourth, just. (We drop down to 5th with Morton beating County 1-0 last night). We wuz robbed! Yes, that's how it felt after the bell went and the dust settled in Dingwall. A late goal from Ross Stewart snatched an unlikely three points for County after Inverness had dominated for long spells. Despite having the better opportunities, our lack of a clinical striker was evident once more and we only managed a first half goal through Jordan White, his 100th senior goal. Billy Mckay must have wanted to score and he did just that, the wee scamp that he is. However, due to Scott Fox having a good day and our forwards having a normal day then we failed to take advantage and it cost us dear. There was also a double sending off for a spot of fisticuffs. Perennial cheat Brian Graham was sent packing for assaulting a couple of Caley Jags players and it appears that Shaun Rooney was caught returning the favour. With that in mind, Rooney will be unavailable to face his old Doonhamer pals. Both of the previous games this season have ended in draws. There were no hints that this fixture could produce some excitement back in September when a Gary Harkins inspired Queens drew with an uninspired Inverness. The return fixture at Palmerston was full of action though as Queens raced into a 3-0 lead on the 17th November. Goals from Lyndon Dykes, Stephen Dobbie and Josh Todd saw them cruising on the hour. Twenty minutes later it was all square as Jamie McCart, Tom Walsh and a Sean Welsh penalty pulled us level and we almost won it at the end. Spectacular stuff and a repeat of that entertainment will please most. Queens and Gary Harkins have parted company. The talented and experienced midfield general has decided that Partick Thistle is where he will see out his time. Former Dundee and Aberdeen midfielder Nicky Low has joined the Doonhamers and he will be seen as a straight replacement for Harkins. Look out, we could be 'on the eve of destruction' as Barry Maguire has also signed on at Palmerston. What! Sorry wrong Barry; this one is a central defender joining from Motherwell and highly thought of at that. If he won't 'destruct' us, then this man is well capable of doing so on his own. Stephen Dobbie has just returned after injury and will be a massive threat. As mentioned earlier, Shaun Rooney will be suspended for his part in the Global Energy UFC bout. Carl Tremarco made the bench that day but was not risked at Dingwall. Unsurprisingly, we now have to move the back four around to cover for Rooney, so I would expect Tremarco to feature at left back with Jamie McCart returning to central defence which will release Brad Mckay to right back. However, we now have a new name to throw into the hat for a starting berth. Kevin McHattie has joined from Derry City. The 25 year old is primarily a left back and has previously played for Hearts, Kilmarnock and Raith Rovers and has had a loan spell at Alloa Athletic. Therefore should Carl Tremarco not be 100% fit then McHattie could make his Caley Jags debut. George Oakley missed the derby after twisting his knee in training but could return to the offense if he has shaken off the injury. Daniel Mackay and Roddy MacGregor could also get more game time as youth begins to surface with the purse strings tightening. tm4tj prediction:- I'd almost given up on doing predictions as a draw was the most likely outcome. We seem to be slightly more suited to playing away from home, therefore if we can keep Stephen Dobbie quiet then I'll go for another draw. The Official Preview & Digital Match Programme can be found HERE If you like a wee flutter, our new partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  11. Domination continues The Caley Jags' domination in this seasons Highland Derby continues, but it's Ross County that take all three points in a game that had everything except the right result. County snatched all the bragging rights with six minutes to go through a Ross Stewart header. Former Inverness striker Billy Mckay was on hand to open the scoring after twenty minutes to tap in after a Ross Draper shot was palmed away by Mark Ridgers but Jordan White levelled from a corner as he smashed in from close range just on the half hour. Inverness were more creative than County but their MotM Scott Fox was in fine form to deny the over eager visitors. Brian Graham and Shaun Rooney were sent packing at the end after an altercation leaving Dallas no option but to send them off as tempers flared around the park John Robertson also found himself sent to the stand in the second half as the tension mounted. Best quote on CTO Forums came from jed5697 "They had a Fox in their box and we didn't have a fox in their box." Inverness were without George Oakley who had picked up a foot injury but Carl Tremarco and Daniel Mackay made the bench. That meant that Jordan White led the line looking for his 100th competitive goal with Jamie McCart still deputising at left back. County were without the injured Iain Vigurs but Michael Gardyne made the starting XI. Callum Morris also returned to the line-up. An excellent crowd of over six thousand were on hand to witness another pulsating derby where no prisoners would be taken, but they all saw the robbery at the end. Full Report to follow......... Judge for yourself.......... On BBC Sport:- Ross County co-manager Steven Ferguson: "There was a bit of everything in that. Again, we didn't feel we played well and sometimes you have to credit the opposition for that. "You have to credit our team and their togetherness. We scored a lot of goals late on in games and that's credit to the players' attitude." John Robertson: "I'm still numb. That's one of the most one-sided derbies I've ever been involved in. From the moment they got their goal we dominated the game. "We destroyed them in terms of passing the ball and moving the ball. I would be gutted to come away with a point but to come away with nothing is just incredible. It's a big lesson learned." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Date: 29/12/2018 Venue: Global Energy Stadium Attendance: 6313 Referee: Andrew Dallas Ross County: 2 Lineup: Fox; Fraser, Morris, Watson, Demetriou (Grivosti 20), Gardyne (McManus 68), Draper, Lindsay, Cowie (Graham 78), Stewart, Mckay Subs (not used): Munro; Keillor-Dunn, Wallace, Kelly. Scorers: Mckay (16), Stewart (84) Booked: Lindsay (21) Morris (25), Mckay (61), Draper (90+2) Sent Off: Graham (90) Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Walsh, Polworth, Chalmers, Welsh (Austin 87), Doran (D Mackay 88), White Subs (not used): Hoban; Tremarco, Trafford, MacGregor, Nicolson. Scorers: White (31) Booked: Donaldson (21), McCart (81), B Mckay (83) Sent Off: Rooney (90+1) a
  12. Derby Day No3 It's the Highland Derby up next where Inverness take on table topping Ross County at Dingwall on Saturday. Ross County climbed to the top of the table last week after beating PartickThistle 2-0 at the Global Energy Stadium. A penalty from Billy Mckay and a late Ross Stewart strike were enough to see off the struggling Glasgow side. Inverness went back into the top four after a narrow 1-2 win at Cappielow, only our fifth League win of the season. An early Tom Walsh goal and a second from Aaron Doran with a header should have opened the floodgates against ten man Morton. However, in typical Caley Jags style we were left hanging on a bit towards the end in a game we dominated earlier and had missed a penalty when Sean Welsh beat the keeper but smacked the post in the first half. So, all to play for in the Highland Derby. There has been two already this season and despite Inverness dominating most of the 180 minutes, both games ended in draws. The first one at Dingwall saw Inverness hold the upper hand for seventy minutes but County finished the game stronger although it ended goalless. The return at the Caledonian Stadium was a pulsating game where a rifled Jamie Lindsay shot opened the scoring. George Oakley drew Inverness level a couple of minutes later with a spectacular volley and Shaun Rooney stroked the Caley Jags back in front. However, fortune favours the brave and Billy Mckay chased a ball down the left before cutting across the bye-line. Unfortunately Brad Mckay thought he could clear it but only succeeded in knocking it behind Mark Ridgers. That all happened in the first half and there was no further scoring after the interval, although Liam Polworth should have done better than hit the post after being teed up by Aaron Doran. The game ended 2-2 and it was a great advert for football in the North. Inverness will be pretty much as they have been for the last few weeks with Jamie McCart successfully covering for the absent Carl Tremarco, although Carl will be included in the squad but is not match fit yet. It's a toss up between George Oakley and Jordan White as to who will lead the line, form seems to be favouring Oakley at the moment Liam Polworth has blossomed in these derby's and was instrumental in the win at Greenock last week. Mark Ridgers has been in tremendous form as well and could be a busy man on Saturday. County have Billy Mckay scoring again, even from the penalty spot, and he is always a handful around the box. Should he be fit, the enigma that is Iain Vigurs could hold the key to which side dominates the midfield. It all depends which one turns up, the silky skillful footballer, or the cynical hatchet man with the petulant attitude. We saw both sides of Vigurs when he played for Inverness. He has a foot injury and may not be available. The other one to cause concern is Michael Gardyne who is also recovering from injury and can cause havoc when running at a defence. Like Tremarco, he might not be fully fit either. It would be a brave man to call this one. County would have to be seen as favourites given the home ground and the wealth of talent at their disposal. Inverness by comparison are being run on a shoe string with barely enough players to fill the bench. However, a draw might be the most likely outcome after witnessing the first two games where Inverness held their own and more. Ross County v ICTFC Saturday 29th December 3PM Kick-off Adults- £20, Concession £10 and Under 18s £5 Our initial allocation for Saturday's Highland Derby against Ross County has now SOLD OUT. Away Tickets will be available on Saturday from 9am at The Global Energy Stadium on a first come first serve basis. If you like a wee flutter, our new partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/  Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  13. New record for ICT as County cling on for a point All the goals came in a frenetic first half with County equalising just on the break with an own goal from Brad Mckay. Jamie Lindsay opened the scoring out of the blue when he chanced his hand from distance, the ball going well wide of Ridgers but into the bottom corner. Two minutes later George Oakley levelled and Shaun Rooney then put the hosts ahead on the half hour before that unfortunate own goal gave County hope they scarcely deserved. Mark Ridgers pulled off a tremendous Gordon Banks moment denying Billy McKay and it was all square at the break. After the interval Inverness looked to be the only team capable of winning and a number of close calls went unanswered, Ridgers eventually having to make another noteworthy save before the end, but the hosts had passed on a few opportunities to seal all three points. Two dropped for Inverness, one gained for County. Caley Jags manager John Robertson was still without captain Carl Tremarco and Riccardo Calder deputised at left back once more. Joe Chalmers came in for Charlie Trafford and George Oakley was fit enough to start with Jordan White dropping to the bench. Aaron Doran started with Daniel Mackay coming on from the bench later. Former Caley Jags players Billy Mckay, Ross Draper, Iain Vigurs and Don Cowie all started for Ross County who had Marcus Fraser back in the side. A healthy crowd of over 4000 witnessed an excellent Highland derby played out in good condition, with both sides looking for the advantage at every opportunity. Where do you start with that game? From the off it was clear that this was going to be a high octane game. The hosts looking sharp as they took the game to the visitors in the opening exchanges forcing a couple of early corners. Shaun Rooney heading wide from one. County got to grips with the pace of the game and Mark Ridgers saved from Josh Mullin twelve minutes in but five minutes later they scored out of the blue when Jamie Lindsay gathered the ball around thirty yards out. He had space to move forward before rifling a low shot beyond the outstretched arms of Ridgers into the bottom right hand corner of the net. Inverness were level two minutes later when George Oakley brilliantly turned a header back into the box from Walsh into the top of the net, the keeper rooted to the spot. That goal was the culmination of a wonderful move after breaking up a County attack on the half way line. The next goal was equally as good. After a Polworth corner was part cleared, Sean Welsh played a one-two with Joe Chalmers before flicking the ball down the flank to Polworth. He raced into the edge of the box before picking out Rooney who side footed perfectly into the bottom corner for a brilliant goal, Fox once more stuck to his line like a Subbutteo keeper. We continued to press and a Chalmers free kick just evaded Oakley as we looked for a third. Save of the day next when Billy Mckay looked to have levelled for County. However Mark Ridgers managed to claw his close range header away as the ball looked to have bounced behind him. Truly a Gordon Banks/Pele moment. What a save! Two minutes before the break and County were level. Vigurs released Billy Mckay who was right on the shoulder of Donaldson. The wee striker turned and sprinted forward before firing a low ball into the box. Unfortunately Brad Mckay thought he could intercept the delivery but only succeeded in turning the ball into the net with Calder ready to clear the harmless cross. Half Time 2-2 The end to end action continued after the break. There were numerous attempts to score from both sides. Unfortunately the strikers at either end were an inch or two away from completing the task of putting the ball in the net. We should have scored a third, maybe even a fourth or fifth given the amount of dangerous balls we were hurtling into the box, but every one just evaded the despairing lunges of the forwards. Liam Polworth will wonder how he missed the best opportunity when we burst forward on the right through Aaron Doran who unselfishly teed up Liam for a tap-in. However, he screwed the ball goalwards and it hit the base of the post with Fox beaten. A glorious chance to win the game. Doran, McCart and White were unable to stretch far enough to divert balls into the net as we pounded the County lines and at the other end Mark Ridgers had the final say in a superb Highland derby as he saved a Brian Graham header near the end. Wow, what a game and I suppose a point apiece is near the mark although we probably should have taken all three. I can't fault anyone out there today in what was a tremendous advert for Championship football. Mark Ridgers save from Mckay was exceptional, a world class save from the big man. Coll Donaldson and Riccardo Calder were immense, Calder firing crosses into the box like nobody's business. Sean Welsh was a powerhouse in midfield and Liam Polworth had his best game in weeks. I could mention them all, no failures. Two superb goals from Oakley and Rooney, not just the finishes, but the build up play as well. The one disappointment was the own goal which in retrospect was unnecessary. Anyway, to put it into context, that's 23 games unbeaten in the Championship, albeit a run of seven draws, but not many will be complaining after witnessing that game. Ross County TV are first up with the highlights.......... Robbo on facebook George Oakley on facebook The opposition view from Steven Ferguson Date: 03/11/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 5500 Referee: Kevin Clancy Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney (McCart 57), B Mckay, Donaldson, Calder, Walsh (D Mackay 74), Polworth, Chalmers, Welsh, Doran, Oakley (White 61) Subs (not used): Hoban; Austin, McGregor, Trafford Scorers: Oakley(19), Rooney (30) Booked: Calder (45 +1) Walsh (49) Sent Off: none Ross County: 2 Lineup: Fox; Fraser, Kelly, Draper, Lindsay, Vigurs, Cowie (Graham 75), Watson, Keillor-Dunn (McManus 66), Mckay, Mullin (Stewart 85), Subs (not used): Munro; Fontaine, Demetriou, Dingwall Scorers: Lindsay (17), Mckay (og 43) Booked: Vigurs (67), Lindsay (90+3) Sent Off: none a
  14. Xmas Cheer Tom Walsh does like an early goal and he did it again scoring the opener after 17 minutes to put the visitors ahead. It should have been two moments later but Brad Mckay headed just wide from close range. Sean Welsh hit the post from the spot after Kerr Waddell was sent off. Just after the interval Aaron Doran headed home via the crossbar after a short corner had been taken. Scott Tiffoney pulled a goal back for Morton who perked up after a double substitution just after the hour. Mark Ridgers produced a wonder save to deny Reece Lyon an equaliser with ten minutes left. Inverness held on thereafter to record a 2-1 win. Inverness were unchanged from last weeks starting XI which meant George Oakley started up front with Jordan White on the bench. Morton had Kerr Waddell in for the injured Buchannan, but his day was cut short when he was red carded after 34 minutes for fouling George Oakley in the box. Full Report to follow.............. Caley Stan summed it up neatly:- While it was a shame to see us reduced to clear at all costs after such a composed first half performance, I suppose it was at least another demonstration of the great spirit that this side possesses. And it was a crucial 3 points that gives us a wee cushion in 4th place - I'd be delighted with that come May. A word for Cappielow, a delicious relic full of really sound folk. Always a great welcome for the kids (who paid £1 each) and a wide range of well priced sweets. Not complaining about the leg-room, but I'd love to get my feet on that terracing someday. Here's the match footage from Cappielow.......... Here's Robbo on the Official Facebook page talking post Morton..... Jonatan Johansson was disappointed with the outcome but happy with the commitment shown by his 10 men. And to round off our Xmas, thanx for the three points and have a wee sing song with these wonderful singers. Date: 22/12/2018 Venue: Cappielow Attendance: 1608 Referee: Steven Reid Morton: 1 Lineup: Gaston; McKeown, Kilday, Waddell, Tumilty, McAlister, Millar, Tidser (MacLean 84), Telfer (Lyon 62), McHugh, Thomson (Tiffoney 62) Subs (not used): Scully; Bell, Armour, Eardley. Scorers: Tiffoney (73) Booked: Millar (90+2) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Walsh, Welsh (MacGregor 85), Chalmers, Doran (Trafford 76), Polworth, Oakley (White 45) Subs (not used): Hoban, Austin, Nicholson Scorers: Walsh (17), Doran (49) Booked: Oakley (30), Rooney (66), Macgregor (90+2), Polworth (90+2) Sent Off: none a
  15. Tis the season to be jolly Off to Cappielow this weekend where Inverness visit Greenock Morton as the sides battle it out for mid table supremacy with only one point separating the sides. Yes, it's Xmas time and everyone's letting their hair down a bit, but bah humbug, there's always someone who spoils it for the rest. Yep, even the Caley Jags players have been chastised for some offensive carol singing and don't be looking for your Xmas card this year, Scrooge has tied the purse strings........... The ICT Supporters Travel Club are running a bus to this game. It leaves the Caley Club 9.45 Stadium 10.00, book on their Facebook page HERE or text your name to 07462218717. For Inverness fans travelling to Cappielow from Greenock Morton Wheelchair users pay concession but carer is free. One carer per wheelchair user unless there are special requirements for another carer. This is due to limited space. Wheelchair users and carers enter via main stand entrance in Sinclair Street. The wheelchair area is shared with home fans and is under cover although rain can enter depending on wind direction. Supporters will be accommodated in Sections F&G of the Main Stand. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket booth beside the Main Stand turnstiles in Sinclair Street. Supporters buses drop-off and pick-up is East Hamilton Street (A8 dual carriageway) outside Arnold Clark showroom. Supporters buses can park free within the main car park accessed from the A8/Sinclair Street junction. Bus drivers must ensure they leave the main car park at least 15 minutes prior to the end of match to uplift supporters on East Hamilton Street outside Arnold Clark’s showroom. Car parking is charged at £3 and accessed from the above entrance. Please note that all vehicles (except coaches) will require to turn left on exiting the car park and travel south on Sinclair Street under the railway bridge. Drivers can then take second left (Weir Street) and follow road to the end. At T –junction, turn left (Gibshill Road) and re-join the A8 East Hamilton Street. Weather forecast for Greenock is showery. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It's also time for my Xmas night out so I'll be brief with this preview........... Merry Christmas X However, there's a game to play and both teams are flirting on the edges of the play-off places, the fourth position currently occupied by Queen of the South. Morton played out a goalless draw with Falkirk at the weekend in a turgid affair and it was much the same at the Caledonian Stadium where Inverness and Dundee United drew 1-1. Tom Walsh scored his now trademark goal running into the box on the inside right position and slotting the ball low across the keeper before Billy King replied in the second half for United. The home fans were less than impressed with Inverness' second half performance as the Tangerines took the game to their hosts. Mark Ridgers was in fine form though and made three or four excellent stops to keep Inverness in the game and earn them a point. The previous encounter this season ended in stalemate, Jordan White levelling after Telfer had scored early for Morton. Even back then in October the cracks were showing and Inverness manager John Robertson said to BBC Sport after the game: "The unbeaten thing is annoying me now - I think that's affecting us. We had a spell last year when we had seven clean sheets on the bounce and it looked like that's all we wanted to do - just protect the clean-sheet record. "I just wonder at times do we get into a position where, instead of going on to win the match, we are happy not to lose it - that's just a theory." Sounds about right Robbo. Well, Falkirk broke the unbeaten sequence a couple of weeks ago but the belief does not appear to be running through the squad with any conviction as we struggled to build on our early lead against the Bairns and once more against Dundee United. This lack of belief is now firmly entrenched in the stands and that's going to be a difficult job to raise morale amongst a dwindling fanbase. John Robertson has Carl Tremarco back training but he is not ready for a game yet. No other team news available at time of publishing. This was our starting XI against Dundee United Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Walsh, Polworth, Chalmers, Welsh, Doran, Oakley For Morton, Gregor Buchanan‘s knee injury does not appear to be as serious as first thought, however he will be unavailable for this clash. This is how Morton lined up against Falkirk:- Gaston Tumilty Kilday Buchanan McKeown Millar McAlister Tidser Telfer McHugh Thomson Morton gaffer Jonatan Johansson was speaking ahead of this clash and is aware of his own clubs limitations........ Official Preview can be found Here If you like a wee flutter, our new partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/  Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  16. What a surprise, another draw ZZzzzzzzzz.. Inverness produced another text book performance to draw with Dundee United. A first half goal from Tom Walsh was nullified by former Caley Jags player Billy King. It's all become a bit predictable at the Caledonian Stadium and the result was met with plenty of derision by the home support after a gutless second half when the inevitable happened. We all waited for the United winner but it never came. We look like a team short on confidence as we struggled to create anything while United stroked the ball about and were probably unfortunate not to take all three points but for a couple of great saves by Mark Ridgers. Immortal Howden Ender has curtailed his report due to a lack of action on the park, yet he still managed to pick out some moments..... My first home game of the season and so enjoyable - pre and post match !! Good to see so many friends in the Caley Club, the North Stand and the Innes Bar. At least people who know that Johndo is the person and IHE is an alter ego - and neither will go away I have read through the initial posts on the match thread and I could like them all. Apart from the smart, sharp, slick passing move for the Walsh goal and a "worldie" save by Ridgers on the first half whistle there is little else to enthuse about. We went ultra defensive and paid the price. It looked like the tactic was to grab one more on the break but we simply gave the incentive to a team, no better than us, but a team that could pass and sadly looked more passionate and driven to get a result. We practically played 4-3-3 at times and pressed BUT changed it when we scored. And it was soul destroying to see the Arabs out passing us and showing a will to win. If they had netted a second I could not have complained Ridgers Two good stops in the first half and one worldview. Rooney Is it just me but if I was a coach I would have totally bollicked him for his overall attitude. He looks good going forward but his head goes down to easily and he strolls back. Simply not a defender. McKay Let's just say that he looked OK but how much was that due to Coll. Donaldson My MOM - nuff said. McCart Impressive first half followed by an OK second. Polly I feel so sorry for him. I feel that he is our only real true footballer. He is one or two moves ahead of his team mates but my frustration is that instead of getting angry he falls out of games. Chalmers I still think that he has a sweet left foot but a creative midfielder he is not. Another who goes missing. Welsh Disappointed with him today. I would play him just in front of the back four centrally in the Draper role. Doran Has lost that off the mark pace and I feel that he detracts from Polly Walsh He has been in and out of every game I have watched him in. Perhaps we should be just playing him wide on either flank and treating him like a luxury Oakley Another hit or miss although why are we playing a lone striker at home ? Would it not be rash but exciting to see MacGregor and Danny McKay played on a regular basis? I see he has refrained from commenting on White, or maybe he just forgot he came on, like the rest of us??? Here's the action from the Caledonian Stadium with Mark Ridgers keeping ICT in the game. And Robbo on the ICTFC Twitter account Date: 15/12/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2464 Referee: Willie Collum Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Walsh, Polworth, Chalmers, Welsh (Trafford 82), Doran (MacGregor 83), Oakley Subs (not used): Hoban; Harper, Nicolson, Austin. Scorers: Walsh (18) Booked: B Mckay (80) Sent Off: none Dundee United: 1 Lineup: Siegrist; Murdoch, Bouhenna, Frans, Booth, Fyvie (Rabitsch 89), Stanton, Smith (Curran 70), King, Aird (McMullan 63), Safranko Subs (not used): Robson, Watson, Rakovan, Edjenguele Scorers: King (76) Booked: Bouhenna (29) Sent Off: none a
  17. Amber Alert One of the form teams come calling this Saturday as Dundee United head to the Caledonian Stadium boasting thirteen points from their last six Championship games, despite that crushing 0-5 defeat to table toppers Ayr United. Since we last played each other, a 1-1 daw at Tannadice in October, United have won 4 times with that defeat to Ayr United and last weeks draw with Morton. Our stats are less impressive with last weeks first defeat of the season against Falkirk. That was preceded by four draws and a solitary League win over Partick Thistle. Add in the Cup draw at Edinburgh City before we thrashed them in the replay and it's a bit patchy to be honest. Last Friday's game at Somerset Park was called off as high winds were deemed too strong for the game to go ahead. Unfortunately that was only decided about 45 minutes prior to kick off, after Inverness fans had already made the long five hour trek. Just a shambles if you ask me, the weather forecast was not a secret and if they had thought about the fans instead of TV revenue, the game could have been called off on Friday morning. That game will now be played on Tuesday 29th January 2019 at Somerset Park, 19:45 Kick-Off. In their last game United were pegged back by Morton with just over ten minutes left. Gregor Buchanan earned a point for Morton after Frederick Frans had headed United ahead half an hour into the first half. Robbie Neilson was sent to the stand during the game for using foul and abusive language. tsk tsk. We played a Scottish Cup tie last midweek, a replay against Edinburgh City and ran out 6-1 winners after a pretty dour first half. A hat-trick from Jordan White and a brace from Tom Walsh with Aaron Doran scoring the sixth in time added on. United are third in the Championship on 28 points and we moved down one place with Queen of the South drawing at Dingwall. Arabs defender Jamie Robson left himself defenceless after an ill informed fancy dress guise was leaked on instagram. Robbie Neilson has spoken briefly to the player and the club have conducted their own enquiry over the incident where Robson was dressed as a beach vendor with a blackened face. He will be disciplined by the club and will likely not be included in the squad for this weekend. It's not the first time the club has has to question his antics. Have a word with yourself son. John Robertson has a wafer thin squad to juggle around with compared to Robbie Neilson at Tannadice. A couple of injuries for the Caley Jags and we are down to the bare bones. Carl Tremarco has been out for some time now and although he has resumed running he will not be considered for this game. Daniel Mackay has also been out for a few weeks. Jamie McCart has been a decent deputy for Tremarco and another of our young stars, Roddy MacGregor has been given some game time and looks a great prospect. Talking of Roddy MacGregor, he played for the u18 side against Aberdeen on Friday evening. Unfortunately the young Inverness side lost out by 2-1, Donald Morrison scoring for the Caley Jags and they were unlucky not to at least draw this game played at the Highland Rugby Club artificial surface. I expect Inverness to be along similar lines to their last few games with hat-trick scorer Jordan White spearheading the attack and George Oakley and Nathan Austin waiting for their opportunity. Our defence speaks for itself although a couple of slack goals recently need to be addressed. United's last game against Morton the squad looked like this:- Starting XI: Rakovan, Murdoch, Booth, Frans, McMullan, Fyvie, Curran, Stanton, Safranko, Bouhenna, Aird. SUBS: Donaldson, Smith, King, Rabitsch, Edjenguele, Thomas, Watson. Here's the Matchday Programme from the Official Site ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Highland Derby is coming soon Ross County v ICTFC Saturday 29th December 3PM Kick-off Ladbrokes Championship Tickets: Adults- £20, Concession £10 and Under 18's £5 ICTFC fans can secure their tickets for the next Highland Derby online from the following link: TICKETS Supporters should select tickets in section N1-3 or N4-6. These are the North Stand tickets (Away end) Please note ticket for this fixture are available online only right now. The tickets will go on sale from the Stadium for personal callers on 17th December at 2pm.
  18. Something in the Ayr tonight GAME OFF due to high wind. Anyone got a kite............. It's our third game within a week as we head to Ayrshire to take on the table topping Honest Men in a Friday night game under the floodlights of Somerset Park, or as Thunderclap Newman used to say, there's something in the Ayr......... Because the revolution's here, and you know it's right. The last few days have seen contrasting fortunes for Inverness. A first defeat of the season to bottom club Falkirk on Saturday was followed up by a crushing Scottish Cup win over Edinburgh City. The Falkirk game was hard to take and it ended our long unbeaten Championship run, an injury time goal sealing the points for the Bairns. The cup replay saw Jordan White claim a hat-trick and Tom Walsh a brace. It was a dour first half, but much better application after the break saw Inverness run out comfortable winners over League Two leaders Edinburgh City. Ayr have been without a game since last Friday when they juiced the Tangerines 5-0 at Tannadice. Lawrence Shankland was the man making the difference with a four goal salvo to keep Ayr at the top of the league ahead of Ross County. In fact it's all going on in Ayrshire with Kilmarnock heading the Premership after the midweek games. In fact there's definitely something in the Ayr. Hotbed of Scottish football just now! The first meeting of the season saw Inverness fail to get the better of ten man Ayr, Liam Polworth missing the target from the spot. We did keep Shankland fairly quiet in that game, but even with ten men Ayr were still a threat on the break, the game ended 0-0. Talking of Shankland, Swansea City are reported to be about to offer £400k for his services in the English Championship. The 26 goal striker is reputed to have around twenty clubs looking for his signature, unfortunately Inverness are not one of them. Ian McCall has nipped all rumours in the bud but accepts that there will be massive interest in his star striker come the January window. Ayr have won ten of their fifteen league games with only two defeats, Ross County (2-1) and Queen of the South (surprisingly 5-0). They have 33 points (to our 22) and are the top scorers in the division with 30 goals ( ICT 21) having conceded only 12 (ICT 16). Despite the doom and gloom of our extended unbeaten run, it's almost a relief to lose that tag as we embark on the next part of the journey. Turning draws into wins was proving to be a stumbling block, but Falkirk have hopefully given us the wake up call to get us back on track. Good to see Roddy MacGregor getting more game time as he looks to have a bright future with his energy and quick feet giving him the ability to drive at defences. Nice wee cameo against Edinburgh City where he set up Aaron Doran for our sixth goal. Sixth goal: Not often we can say that. The Ayr team that faced Dundee United last week can be seen in the image to the right, Striker Craig Moore returns to the Ayr squad after a two game ban. Ian MacCall has fitness doubts over defender Jamie Adams and midfielders Alan Forrest and Mark Kerr. Rumour has it that they will all miss this one. For Inverness, Carl Tremarco is back training but not fit for action yet. Jamie McCart will continue to deputise at left back, he's doing reasonably well there. Sean Welsh missed the midweek cup game, presumably rested. Jordan White will surely be given the nod up front after his striking performance against Edinburgh City. Daniel Mackay has been missing recently for the u18's and first team squad. Ayr Utd v ICTFC Somerset Park, Ayr Friday 19:45pm kick-off. Live on BT Sport Tickets: Adults £17, Concessions £11, Child £6. The ICT Supporters Travel Club is running a bus to the match, book on their Facebook page HERE or on 07462218717 The Car Park closes at 2.50pm, we have allocated spaces for Blue Badge holders, staff and officials only. Public parking is available at Craigie Park. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Young Caley Jags take on @CelticFC tomorrow in their SFA Youth Cup match. Entry is FREE for all Supporters at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium. 2pm kick-off. There will be donation buckets outside the ground with all proceeds going towards the Youth Development Department. The club shop will be open tomorrow from 10am-2pm for a chance to get your gifts in time for Christmas! The u18 game has also fallen foul of the weather, anyone got a boat???
  19. Bottoms Up Bottom club Falkirk claimed the win right at the death when Scott Harrison knocked the ball home after a free kick. Inverness had opened the scoring early when Tom Walsh slotted in before a Zak Rudden double turned the game on it's head. George Oakley stooped to head home from close range with half an hour to go but Inverness were unable to add to that before being hit with the sucker punch. The hosts squandered a raft of chances in the second half after a poor first forty-five and once more paid the price for a lack of composure in front of goal. That late goal ended the worst unbeaten run anywhere in the world where draws became more important than winning. With that monkey off the back, maybe we can go out and play something more entertaining for the fans and hopefully bag a few wins. If not, then we look to be in big trouble and sliding into obscurity. A bright but chilly afternoon with 2260 spectators saw the hosts get off to the perfect start. We played briskly from defence when Sean Welsh passed forward to Liam Polworth, he spun round and threaded a lovely ball into the path of Tom Walsh who took a touch towards the corner of the six yard box then drilled low across the keeper into the bottom corner. Great start but could we build on it? The answer became apparent as Falkirk got to grips with the game and broke forward at pace at every opportunity as we reverted to holding onto the ball at all costs. Their persistence paid off when they burst down the right, three passes and a Petravicius cross later Zac Rudden was left unmarked to nod into the net with Ridgers merely a spectator, helped to watch by Brad Mckay and Shaun Rooney, when maybe they should have been more involved. Good goal from the Bairns point of view, sloppy from ours. Falkirk survived a massive penalty claim when George Oakley was manhandled to the ground by Scott Harrison as he entered the box on the left edge. Referee Colin Steven deemed that the crime started outside the box and a free kick was awarded which we wafted way over the bar, one of many wayward attempts from crosses, corners to free kicks. Aaron Doran was buzzing in and around the visitors box and he had one effort blocked by the legs of Leo Fassan in the Falkirk goal. Falkirk were still looking more direct on the break and it was no big surprise when they scored a second and no surprise it came as a result of more ball watching from Shaun Rooney. A quick free kick saw a long ball floated over the less than alert defender and Rudden capitalised to gather the ball and head goalwards. It was a fairly tight angle but from about three yards out from the bye line he managed to squeeze the ball through Ridgers and in off the far post. Another good goal for Falkirk, another self inflicted disaster from us. Oakley headed well over the bar from a corner when he should have been hitting the target as we tried to get back on level terms before the break, however most of our moves as usual broke down in the final third. Half Time 1-2 More urgency was shown after the interval and Rooney was deployed further up the park where we were hopeful he could make amends for his earlier slackness. At least there was less chance of us conceding when he was at the other end of the park. He did get a useful low ball into the box after ducking in between two players but Oakley's slid attempt just went a foot over the top of the bar as it dipped over. Close, but no cigar. Oakley appeared to be shoved in the back for a second time but the referee chose to ignore this one completely for what looked like a stonewall penalty. A goal was coming for the hosts but not yet. The now familiar sight of Jordan White getting under a cross, leaning back and heading an inviting cross over the bar from inside the six yard box was too much for some to take, an outburst of biblical proportions from some filled the air. Ridgers had been idle for most of the second half but he had to look sharp to get down low to his left post to tip a curling shot round the post from Paton. We would not be denied though and a deep corner was headed back into the mix by Rooney where it bounced kindly for Oakley to stoop and nod the ball in from close range. That goal prompted an assault on the advertising hoarding as two or three jubilant players were fouled by our sponsor McEwan Fraser, but it was not legal. Game on! We pressed hard for the winner and Joe Chalmers curled an effort just over the junction but it was not to be. Tom Walsh tried a low shot to the near post but Fassan parried then a defender blocked the rebound as White tried to turn it in, but it was not to be. Then, out of nothing, deep into stoppage time, a late free kick wide right for Falkirk saw a dangerous ball swing to the back post where Donaldson was the wrong side of Harrison and he bundled the ball in to the delight of the visiting fans. Misery complete for the home fans who had seen enough. So, the unbeaten run ends. Thank Christ we all sigh, now let's get the season started. It could be a make or break week with a tough cup tie on Tuesday and an even tougher trip to Somerset Park on Friday. Our normally reliable defence let us down today but Donaldson and McCart still played well, despite the odd lapse. Ridgers has had better days and the forwards did what we expected, missed loads of chances, so there you have it, run over and beaten by the bottom club. Let's end on a bright note. Roddy MacGregor was a late sub and looks like a bright prospect. 😂😂😂 RIG sums it up brilliantly in his summary of our first two goals "Awful defending from Mckay for the first Rudden goal. It's almost as if someone playing as ICT on FIFA suddenly loses their controls connection with the PS4 as he just stops dead and doesn't even bother trying to challenge for the ball. As if that wasn't bad enough Rooney then follows it up by getting distracted by a shiny object in the North Stand and forgets to challenge Rudden for the ball and let him ghost past before finishing well past Ridgers." Zak seems to agree with my assessment............. Post Match on BBC Sport website, the managers had different reactions:- Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson: "I'm hugely disappointed. We didn't deserve to lose the game. We created chance after chance after chance and got caught by a sucker punch. "It's cruel on the players. The worst we should have got was a point but we desperately wanted all three." Falkirk manager Ray McKinnon: "I'm really, really happy with the guys. They executed the game plan brilliantly. We got off to a bad start but responded well and right at the end we tried to win the game. "Inverness are a good side that's why they are unbeaten for 25 games. We worked extremely hard and we got the rewards." Here's Robbo on the Official Facebook page Date: 01/12/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2260 Referee: Colin Steven Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Walsh, Polworth, Chalmers, Welsh (Trafford 58), Doran (White 58), Oakley (MacGregor 84) Subs (not used): Hoban; Trafford, White, MacGregor, Nicolson, Brown, Harper. Scorers: Walsh (6), Oakley (61) Booked: Mckay (52), Polworth (90+1) Sent Off: none Falkirk: 3 Lineup: Fasan; Kidd, McGhee, Muirhead, Paton, Petravicius (Haber 77), Sammut (Irving 80), Robson, Harrison, Brough, Rudden (Lewis 90+2) Subs (not used): Mitchell, Dallison, Dumbuya, Russell. Scorers: Rudden (16, 36), Harrison (90+3) Booked: Harrison (21), Muirhead (90+1) Sent Off: none a
  20. Bairns Challenge Bottom club Falkirk head to Inverness on Saturday with their latest manager Ray McKinnon so far unable to motivate the club sufficiently to direct them away from the foot of the table. If we thought our performance in the Scottish Cup was abysmal, and it was, spare a thought for the Bairns suffering fans as they were dumped out of the Scottish Cup by four goals to two. That's bad enough, but it was their lesser fancied League One neighbours Stenhousemuir who inflicted the damage leading to some unsavoury scenes from the stands as angry fans berated their own players. How the mighty have fallen. It's barely three and a half years since these two clubs contested the 2015 Scottish Cup final in front of 37,149 fans with Inverness just coming out on top. Falkirk losing to the Warriors was a poor result for them, but was it any worse than our tepid performance at Ainslie Park in front of 867 hardy souls where we drew with Edinburgh City? I'm not sure there's much between the results. Lack lustre, embarrassing, devoid of creativity, sluggish, lack of penetration were all used on this forum to describe our performance. One sentence really summed it up, "we are the most boring outfit in Scottish Football right now." What's gone wrong? We are finding it increasingly difficult to turn draws into wins. Yes we are unbeaten for half a million games, but the support have seen it all before and long before the draws become reality, the sense of a draw running through the stands is overbearing. Lack of ambition coupled with no budget is restricting what we can do, but it's becoming more obvious that we won't get out of this division with the squad we have just now, they are simply not good enough to sustain a challenge. Our defence is solid enough, but there is little creativity from midfield and our front men are challenging. Challenging the fans enthusiasm to return and watch more of the same. Still, we are unbeaten some say. Oh my, remaining unbeaten has become an obsession and is detrimental to our progress. Last Saturday in the cup was a prime example, an opportunity for the front men to make a few headlines. I know, I know, cup shocks are what makes the competition, we should know we have been involved in some memorable ones over the years. However, those days are long gone and those that witnessed our sorry attempt at Ainslie Park will testify to that. Can you be more upbeat I hear you say. Well, we won't get a better chance to make amends than the visit of a struggling club that has only scored 8 goals in the Championship and conceded 21, not the worst, but 8 more than we have conceded. The Bairns have only two wins this season in the Championship, recently against Dunfermline Athletic and away to Alloa at the end of September. That sees them at the bottom of the table with just 8 points whilst we have 22 in fourth place. We did win the opening game of the season 1-0 at Falkirk thanks to a George Oakley strike, however that was a long time ago now. Ayr United staked their claim to be taken seriously last night with a 5-0 demolition of Dundee United at Tannadice, Lawrence Shankland the main demolition man with four of the five goals. Stunning performance from the Honest men that puts them 5 points clear at the top with today's games to come. Ray McKinnon talking to the Official Falkirk FC website said:- “There’s nothing we can do about last week now other than to learn from it. It’s all about Inverness from as soon as last Saturday’s match was finished and ensuring we prepare properly for the match. “We know where we are, I know where we are. We are going to get inconsistencies, every team has them, we just had a really poor day on Saturday and got punished for it. “I would rather that it didn’t happen, but we now have an opportunity to get back to the form we have shown in the last four games in the league. It’s our bread and butter this season.” Zak Rudden will return and he could have Scott Harrison back for this one, and Mustapha Dumbuya could get on the park. Prince Bauben is also just about ready for action so it could be a very different Bairns from the one that were dumped out of the cup. John Robertson will just have to go with the tried and tested for this one as our wafer thin and fragile squad struggle for fitness. Defensively we can cope, with Jamie McCart doing well since his insertion to the starting XI. Scoring goals is the big issue with lightweight Nathan Austin possibly out. Big opportunity for youth to get a fling, and we might see Daniel Mackay or Roddy MacGregor get some game time. tm4tj prediction:- Draw anyone! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ICTFC v Edinburgh City Tulloch Caledonian Stadium Tuesday 4th December KO 7.45pm Adults: £12 Concessions (Senior and 16-25): £6 Juniors (under 16s): FREE Season ticket holders will, for the first time, be able to use their season card by adding the cup game onto it. Season ticket holders can activate the cup ticket online (up to kick off), or by phoning the ticket office on 01463 222880 or in person up to an hour before kick-off. Please note that even free under 12 seats need to be added to the season card. Get your tickets HERE
  21. Comeback keeps the run going. If Carlsberg did draws, they would probably do them like this................ Inverness left it late and were almost beaten by a Doonhamers side who were three up before we woke up. Lyndon Dykes bundled home on the half hour to give Queen of the South the lead at the interval. They doubled their advantage early in the second half when Dykes fed Stephen Dobbie in on goal for the striker to round Ridgers and slide the ball home. Josh Todd added a third, curling a shot wide of Ridgers as Inverness capitulated. A late fight back saw Jamie McCart and Nathan Austin (or maybe Tom Walsh) score and Sean Welsh converted a late penalty. We almost had the audacity to win the game but Austin was thwarted in the box, and it ended all square at 3-3. Inverness went with the same starting line-up that won all three points at Firhill with George Oakley spearheading the attack, Jordan White was on the bench. No Daniel Mackay to be seen, so we still only had five on the bench including young Roddy MacGregor. Queens had Alan Martin out with young Jack Leighfield replacing the experienced keeper. Stephen Dobbie and Lybdon Dykes were the attacking threat with last weeks goalscorer Connor Murray starting on the bench. As per norm, RIG was in attendance............ As has already been said we only showed up for the last 30 minutes with the game seemingly out of sight. A lot of our players were claiming handball for the first goal with Ridgers seeming to suggest that Dykes bundled it over the line with his hand. Whilst it would be a shame if that's what happened our defending was so abysmal leading up to that goal we probably deserved to concede a goal anyway. The second strike wasn't much better from our point of view. Trafford (I think) lost the ball in the middle and it was quickly launched forward to Dobbie who stole into a massive gap at the back with our players out of position. Ridgers half came, half stayed and Dobbie took advantage of his indecision to slide the ball past him and it was three not long after as we again failed at defending and couldn't clear the ball which was picked up by Todd and he dispatched a beautiful curling shot past Ridgers. Game over as far as I was concerned. But seemingly from nowhere we got back into it when McCart rose highest to head home a free kick and this was followed not long after by Walsh who sent a ball into the box which evaded everyone and nestled in the net. The Queens keeper, having barely been tested all game, was looking exceptionally suspect. The third duly arrived via a Welsh spot kick after he himself had been brought down. Not sure what it was awarded for but the fact that very few QotS players challenged the decision suggests it was a fair decision. We almost won it with perhaps the move of the match as we quickly broke from the back, Welsh, Polworth, MacGregor and White linked to play in Austin but his toepoke of a shot was well saved by Leighfield, his first act of competent keeping at a crucial time in the game. The change to 4 - 4 - 2 saw us make much more use of the wings and removing the possession haemorrhage that was Trafford in the middle left us with a much more effective partnership in the form of Polworth and Welsh. Queens should have been out of sight truth being told but we did exceptionally well to battle back to grab a point. Made the journey home a lot more bearable. Alt Maryhill enjoyed his day out............ That was good crack. Got to admit that I assumed that our chickens were coming home to roost after a few decent results despite dodgy performances recently. We were clearly second best against Dundee Utd, Alloa and in the first half against Partick, and yesterday Queens again played the better football in the first half, and then absolutely tore us apart for about 20 mins at the start of the second. Up until he scored, Dykes didn't impress me all that much, but after that I thought he was superb. When Dobbie finally got his goal against us, I assumed that the unbeaten run was coming to an end, and deservedly so. Ridgers, uncharacteristically, looked shaky, Charlie Trafford's touch and distribution in the middle of the park were miles off (again) and the team as a whole looked like it was scared of taking any risks. It only changed once Trafford and Oakley went off and we went to 4-4-2, and when Walsh and Polworth seemed to start playing without fear after it went to 3-0. Both were superb, and hopefully they'll take that into the Falkirk and Ayr games, as we can't keep starting games so hesitantly and still expect to get results. Great to see young Roddy MacGregor get a run at the end, and he almost helped to set up a winner for Austin at the death after some superb interplay with Polworth cutting through Queens in the middle of the park. Definitely looks a player. John Robertson speaking to BBC Sport:- "For 70 minutes Queen of the South should have been six or seven nothing up. "They were the best team, they outfought us, they outplayed us, they outrun us, they bullied us, they played some magnificent football. "We got a goal out of nothing, and then we get another quick goal and you think we might have a wee chance here, and then we get a penalty." Highlights from the amazing comeback to snatch a point..........then almost win it! Gary Naysmith bewildered.......... Andy Sirling has his say............. Date: 17/11/2018 Venue: Palmerston Attendance: 1233 Referee: Greg Aitken Queen of the South: 3 Lineup: Leighfield; Doyle, Fordyce, Marshall, Semple, Harkins (Murray 86), Jacobs, Todd, Stirling (Norman 82), Dobbie, Dykes. Subs (not used): Gibson; Mercer, Bell, Frizzell, Irving. Scorers: Dykes (31), Dobbie (51), Todd (61) Booked: Stirling (79) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Chalmers, Walsh, Polworth, Trafford (Austin 58), Welsh, Doran (McGregor 87), Oakley (White 57 ) Subs (not used): Hoban; Harper. Scorers: McCart (71), Walsh (74), Welsh (pen 81) Booked: Trafford (42), Welsh (65), Donaldson (79) Sent Off: none a
  22. Palmerston pilgrimage It's the long trek to Palmerston this week, all 234 miles of it, to take on hot-shot Stephen Dobbie and his Queen of the South team mates, where our mission will be to return with our unbeaten run intact. That's no easy task at the moment with Queens sitting mid-table, four points behind Inverness, having taken a point of table topping Ayr United last weekend in the battle of the strikers. Tickets must be purchased from the away ticket office at Palmerston, not at the gate. The ICT Supporters Travel Club are running a bus to this game, book through their Facebook page HERE or by texting your name to 07462218717. The Bus leaves from the Caley Social Club at 8:30am and from the Caledonian Stadium at 8:45am. We broke our sequence of draws last time out, thankfully, with a win over Partick at Firhill. Two main contributors in that result were Tom Walsh who scored a spectacular goal after cutting in from the left to curl a beauty across the keeper into the top corner, a goal fit to win any game. That feat was matched by a superb double penalty save by Mark Ridgers minutes later to ensure he kept a clean sheet and importantly take all three points back up the A9. Fantastic ability from Mark, carrying on from the brilliant 'viral' save against County in the Highland derby. Queens came from behind in the strikers dual to grab a point at Ayr. But neither Shankland or Dobbie were on target in this one, Dobbie going closest with a strike off the post. It was Michael Rose who headed Ayr in front but Connor Murray scored with his first touch ten minutes from the end to ensure Queens were the first side to deny Ayr all three points at home this season. We showed how thin our squad is last week after removing Riccardo Calder from the payroll. With Shaun Rooney and Carl Tremarco injured we were down to five on the bench with three of them being youths, none of which was Daniel Mackay who was missing presumed injured as he never featured in the u18's 9-2 routing of East Fife either. However, it's encouraging to note that the youngsters are having a tremendous season and goals are being scored freely, Roddy Kennedy bagging four and Roddy MacGregor a brace in that u18's game. Whilst Stephen Dobbie is the man that get's all the headlines for Queens, there are other players who can perform well, but their secret ingredient is they all work hard for each other and in Alan Martin they have an experienced keeper. Only Ayr and Ross County have scored more goals than the Doonhamers. Dobbie has scored an amazing 25 goals in 21 appearances with 13 of those coming in the Championship including two hat-tricks and a quadruple against Ayr United. Touch wood, but he has only scored once in his last six games since he hit a treble against Alloa at the beginning of October. The first meeting between the clubs this season ended in stalemate with Dobbie failing to score but he did batter one off the crossbar. It was his veteran team mate Gary Harkins who was the star of the show that day though. Harkins strolled through the game and showed our fragile midfield how to control the pace of a game and stamp your authority all over the match. Tremendous display from Harkins and he was my Man of the Match back at the end of September. Hopefully we have learned from that. Here's a great quote from Robbo off the official preview that puts everything into perspective:- “The unbeaten run is very special, you look at the previous managers here, Terry Butcher achieved 21 matches in this league, Steve Paterson achieved 22 in the third Division, and to break that is very special. The players deserve enormous credit, it’s been tremendous and they’ve all played their part." Maybe it's time to give the wee man the credit he is due. Queens fans will be disappointed to note that Shaun Rooney will not be playing after being injured against Ross County a couple of weeks ago. Carl Tremarco also missed out last week and we deployed a makeshift back line with Riccardo Calder having been given his marching orders. That meant moving Brad Mckay to right back, drafting Jamie McCart in beside Coll Donaldson and pulling back Joe Chalmers to the left wing back role. It worked well enough at Partick, and I would imagine it will be along similar lines should Tremarco fail to be fit enough to start. Queens last line up can be seen on the Official Preview
  23. Walsh stunner stuns Jags Tom Walsh scored the only goal of the game with a brilliant solo goal to earn the Caley Jags all three points. Inverness had Mark Ridgers to thank for keeping another clean sheet as he superbly saved a Blair Spittal penalty with 15 minutes to go. Lest we forget................... John Robertson made a couple of enforced changes from the side that started the Highland derby against Ross County. Out went the disgraced Riccardo Calder who has had his contract terminated and Shaun Rooney has ligament damage and will be out for some time. Carl Tremarco is still out injured. That meant a revamp at the back with Brad Mckay moving to right back, Joe Chalmers to left back and Jamie McCart teaming up with Coll Donaldson at the heart of the defence. Charlie Trafford was drafted into midfield. Gary Caldwell had former Inverness striker Miles Storey on from the start with Jai Quitongo and Kris Doolan backing him up. The impressive Cammy Bell was the man hoping to keep Inverness out, with midfield powerhouse Blair Spittal a key player for the Harry Wraggs. A crowd of around two and a half thousand observed an impeccable silence to remember the fallen before Partick got the match underway, Inverness defending the Glasgow end of Firhill Stadium. Immortal Howden Ender was our man at the match and here is his report.............. Didn’t we have a lovely day the day went to Partick. Well I just about got there and no thanks to yet another Rail strike. But it was well worth it to watch a sublime Tom Walsh curler hit the back of a rain soaked net in the 71st minute of what I can only describe as a turgid affair. Pre match we went “Into the Deep” and I enjoyed a scuba dive with Red Card, RIG, the Moffat Bros and a certain Mr. Oliver. Nice to actually listen to plaudits for the backroom staff and confirmation that a lot is actually been done behind the scenes. Never saw or heard a vulture all day. Anyway to the game and probably a reason to make a more extensive introduction. In a way we were lucky to get away with three points. Partick had the more clear cut chances BUT they looked poor and never really looked like scoring, even from the penalty spot. It isn’t hard to cheer on Caley when you are bombarded with “Come on Thistle / Jags” shouts and chants !! And a paltry crowd of just over 2500 at the ”Energy Check Stadium” just summed up the fall of the Magyars of Firhill. A closed main stand and the barren hill at one end was a rather pitiful sight – especially when the heavens opened. It was another disciplined and well organized defensive display that brought home the points. To be honest we never really tested Cammy Bell until the goal and although it was a sweet strike Bell did appear to flounder – and perhaps we should have had more than four strikes on target from 15 attempts. The first half was rather tedious. It was an open affair but neither side showed that killer touch. It looks like neither outfit have that goal scoring forward. Nice but ineffective tippy-tappy stuff but always either a poor last touch or a failed through ball. Plastic Whistle probably had the best opportunities when Ridgers saved from Quitongo and Doolan fluffed a half chance. We appeared to move up a gear at the start of the second half and Oakley squandered a couple of chances from corner kick ploys. And then Thistle IMHO made a major error in hooking Miles Storey who had evidently been buoyed by facing his old team but his magic hat vanished and Gary Calwell displayed some of his tactical magic once again. And then on 71 minutes TOM WALSH successfully pulled a rabbit out of the hat. Picking up the ball on the left, neatly cut inside and curled a beauty via a sweeter right foot. But it was only three minutes later when we could have fecked it up. IMHO it was never a penalty but officials have a tendency to make such rewards when the ball accidentally is fired at a defenders flailing arm. But Ridgers stood tall and showered himself with a Calderesque (Jim by the way) slap off the crossbar, through himself to his left and tapped the ball round the post. He is definitely “One of our own”. And the Plastic boys then went all out to save the game but Ridgers, Coll and McCart stood firm and were abetted by the substitute Fitzpatrick of Partick who missed a 1-1 chance and never even tested Ridgers. So our unbeaten run continued and Thistle slumped to their seventh consecutive defeat. And the relief from our players was clearly displayed as to a man plus Robbo they hailed the travelling support. SMILEYMOMETER RIDGERS 😀 😀 😀😀 😀– I suspect that many will award him MotM. Well to me he was a very close second. But he has come on leaps and bounds and must be as good a custodian as anyone else in Scotland. Perhaps Tin-Tin Mcleish should have a wee gander. McKAY 😀 😀 😀– Well he basically did his job defensively but rarely went forward apart from dead ball situations. DONALDSON 😀 😀 😀😀 😀– MotM with a superb display. Made one bad error but more than made up for it. His calmness and distribution was a joy to behold. McCART 😀 😀 😀😀 - Now that was a very solid looking central defence pairing. McCart was more of a get rid / hoof type performance but almost as effective as Coll. CHALMERS 😀 😀 😀– Has not played at full back for some time but did a good job. Evidently was thinking defence and like Brad rarely foraged forward. POLWORTH 😀 😀 😀 - Well he ran and ran and ran. Clearly designated as the play maker but his good touches and good deliveries were almost the same ratio as the flawed ones. But he really did not have many moving targets. Perhaps Doran should be taking more of the dead ball ploys. TRAFFORD 😀 😀 😀– Stood his ground, didn’t make any mistakes but had a quiet 90 minutes. WELSH – 😀 😀 😀Did a good job as the defending midfielder. Clearly thinks a good game and was leading others around him. DORAN – 😀 😀 😀 not sure exactly where he was playing. Perhaps it was supposed to have been as a Number 10 but it looked more like an extra midfielder to me. I far prefer him playing out wider. WALSH – 😀 😀 😀😀Apart from the goal he looked the man most likely to produce chances. The only flaw was his reluctance to take on defenders and play the through ball 20-30 yards out instead of hitting the bye line. OAKLEY – 😀 😀 Basically up front on his Jack Jones and really should have scored from the one heading chance that came his way. WHITE – Never really got a chance to show anything as he came on when we were under the cosh. But perhaps he should have started as his height may well have been more effective. And we only had four outfield players on the bench including McGregor and Harper. So three points was more deserving for a depleted squad. So lets roll on to Dumbfries and plunder another three points from the Doon Hammers. Here's a wee summary from Caley Stan.. Typical performance from us. Solid, organised, lacking creativity, but full of spirit. A real moment of magic from Tom Walsh and an excellent penalty save from Ridgers won us the game. McCart and Donaldson played very well but it looked like Coll was carrying an injury for much of the second half. Polworth also had a good game - great to see him finding pockets of space in wide and deep areas and using his ability to keep the ball - he's growing as a player. And Ridgers was excellent throughout, giving it big licks at the end too. What a season he's having. Walsh's superb goal and Mark's brilliant penalty save............. Robbo aftermatch at Partick. Here's Tom Walsh talking post match............. Date: 10/11/2018 Venue: Firhill, Partick Attendance: 2509 Referee: Steven Kirkland Partick Thistle: 0 Lineup: Bell; Elliott, Penrice, Keown, McGinty, Spittal, Bannigan, Doolan, Slater, Storey (Fitzpatrick 66), Quitongo Subs (not used): Storer, McCarthy, Wilson, Sneddon, Scobbie, Ntambwe Scorers: none Booked: Slater (69), Quitongo (78) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Mckay, McCart, Donaldson, Chalmers, Doran, Polworth, Trafford, Welsh, Walsh, Oakley (White 68) Subs (not used): Hoban; Harper, McGregor, Austin Scorers: Walsh (71) Booked: Trafford (39), Chalmers (90+2) Sent Off: none a
  24. Thistle be the day Draw specialists Inverness head to Firhill on Saturday to take on Partick Thistle in the Championship. Last weeks draw against Ross County was the seventh in a row and that extended the unbeaten run to a record twenty-three games. It wasn't for the want of trying in the derby but few watching could be disappointed in the manner with which we applied ourselves and we were unfortunate not to take all three points. Caley Stan has checked out the opposition and he has this informative preview for us........... On my way home from Waitrose the other day, I stopped for a coffee in Artisan Roast Stockbridge and quietly pondered some way to construct an opening to this preview that included a disparaging reference to Partick Thistle fans’ middle-class, hipster, bohemian, pseudo-intellectual pretensions, when who should appear out of the Mellis Cheesemonger sporting the famous red and yellow hoops, but The Hoff himself. Beyond parody. Hassellhoff has previously sought to justify his support for Thistle on the grounds that they represent something beyond geographical or tribal identity, and they must have picked up a few fans over the years by simple virtue of not being Rangers or Celtic. But with attendances at Firhill starting to sink below the 3,000 mark, I suspect we won’t see many of those folk tomorrow. I might be wrong, but I assume most Partick Thistle fans, like the rest of us, identify with the club because they grew up near the ground, or their dad came from round there. One thing’s for sure, they’re not glory hunters. With just two major honours to show in a 142-year history (the 1921 Scottish Cup, and the 1971 League Cup), they haven’t been in a major final for sixty years. This is particularly surprising when you consider that they played in the top league for most of the 20th Century, never experiencing a sustained period in the second tier until the late 1980’s. History of the Fixture Won 11 Drawn 10 Lost 13 The teams first met in the opening game of the 1998/99 Second Division season. The Maryhill club were playing in the third tier for the first time in their history, and we came into it off the back of a mid-table debut season at that level. It was a tense affair with one moment of true quality on the hour mark when a delightful through ball from Charlie Christie was buried from an acute angle by Barry Wilson. We rode our luck for the reminder of the game, Jim Calder making a number of decent saves, and departed to a stream of Highlandphobic abuse from a home support whose club had just reached a new low. Their true nadir was to come later in that season when they avoided another relegation by a single point. Meanwhile, we were promoted comfortably, winning 3 of the 4 games against them in the process. It was another 2 years before we saw Partick again, and by the end of that 2001/02 season we were glad to see the back of them as they ruthlessly re-established themselves as Scotland’s premier Thistle, winning 3 out of the 4 league games with our solitary victory coming after they had already won the First Division. We also played them in both cups, coming out on top in the League Cup 2nd Round in Inverness on penalties after a 3-3 draw – Barry Robson notching a double and scoring the winning penalty. But it was the was Scottish Cup Quarter-Final of that season that will be remembered most of all. These were the biggest games the fixture has seen, with a crowd of 8,700 taking in the 2-2 draw at Firhill and over 5,000 attending the replay despite the SFA’s controversial decision to stage the game underwater. Maryhill Mod Scott Paterson scored the only goal, a decent free-kick in fairness, though I’d like to see Nicky Walker’s starting position. After a brief skirmish in the Court of Session in the summer of 2004, the clubs reconvened on the pitch for the 4th Round of the 2005/06 Scottish Cup. The tables had turned once again, we were enjoying a second season in the SPL while they were back in the third tier after successive relegations. They came up to Inverness and kicked us off the park before Mark Roberts scored an underserved equaliser with a 93rd minute penalty that he had dived to win. The replay was turgid, on TV, and we went out on penalties. The next meeting, another 4th Round Scottish Cup tie in 2009, saw a very different Caley team run out 3-0 home winners – Felipe Morais scoring a double. That stands out as a very strange result in retrospect – Partick were having a decent season in the First Division, and we were coming into it off the back of six straight league defeats – it was the week before ‘shoes off’, a seventh defeat at Hamilton, and the final departure of Craig Brewster. The following season we shared a league for the first time in eight years, losing the first two and winning the second two in line with our form that year, and Partick joined us in the top flight for four years in 2013. Over that spell we won just two of the thirteen league ties between the sides, despite finishing above them in three of the four seasons, and, of course, knocking them out in the 5th Round of the 2014/15 Scottish Cup……. Teams and Tactics Partick Thistle fans seem to have given up trying to analyse performances recently and spend their time online howling for players to be removed/imprisoned/murdered etc. so it’s been tricky to work out how they line up. From what I can gather, Caldwell’s been playing some kind of 4-5-1. The persistence with a misfiring Miles Storey has been a particular source of frustration, while a recent injury to Kris Doolan has given opportunities to Jai Quitongo and our old friend Andrea Mutumbo, with neither making much of an impact. Robbo has persisted with the 4-2-3-1, although he’s always keen to bring on a second striker and go more direct when we’re not creating. With Oakley and Austin now fit, he may find it increasingly tempting to return to the shape that he started the season with. The termination of Riccardo Calder’s contract and the ongoing absence of Carl Tremarco with a thigh injury leaves us without an experienced left back for tomorrow’s game. Joe Chalmers has played there before, but it wasn’t pretty, and Cameron Harper’s first team experience is limited to a farcical four-minute appearance at East End Park following a team-sheet error. Robbo has stated in the past that he feels Harper is ready to step in if needed, but in the aftermath of Calder’s dismissal this week, he suggested that the club may look to recruit a free agent to cover the position. Shaun Rooney has not recovered from the knock that forced him off in the derby. The Riccardo Calder situation has been dealt with by the club and they released This Statement. In effect Riccardo has left the building. The Official Site has a Preview with more detail and Robbo chat..... League Form Thistle: LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL Thistle: DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD Prediction: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
  25. The Highland Derby It's the second meeting of the clubs this season as Ross County come over the bridge from Over the Bridge to face Inverness Caledonian Thistle at the Caledonian Stadium, the game kicking off at 3:00pm. The first encounter ended in stalemate at the Global Energy Stadium back on the 22nd of September. We had the better of the game for over an hour but failed to score, a now familiar theme, before County staged a late rally to end the game on the ascendancy, but defences came out on top. After that game, Inverness sat second in the league with 12 points, County one point behind in fourth. Since then, County have flexed their money and their muscles and moved to second on 24 points with Inverness in fourth on 17 points. Both sides failed to win last time out. We drew our sixth game on the trot against Dunfermline Athletic, coming from behind twice to draw 2-2 thanks to strikes from Riccardo Calder and the much maligned Jordan White, the target for much advice from the North Stand. County drew with bottom club Falkirk, an Iain Vigurs peach earning them a Point at the Bairnabeau. Jordan White has come in for plenty of criticism recently, yet the big man is still managing to get some goals. I reckon it's about time the angry souls take stock of where we are and what they can expect to see on the park. Granted he's not the most mobile, has limited skill and lacks the searing pace of Allan Wells, but the he's an honest professional plying his trade as a footballer for our club and it's time to cut the him and the others a bit of slack. It's not the players fault he is not Ronaldo or Messi or even Lawrence Shankland, but with the club unable to buy these type of players given our restricted budget then we will have to accept that this is what we will see on the park. You can't blame the players for that, so let's get behind them as we try to battle our way into contention for a play off slot. Carl Tremarco missed out last week and Riccardo Calder deputised well, scoring a goal into the bargain. Daniel Mackay was handed a start but that's a tough gig for the young lad who might be a better impact player off the bench in the last fifteen or so minutes. George Oakley was on the bench against the Pars but was not risked after coming back from injury. Charlie Trafford could be involved, especially if there's a physical midfield battle to be had. Sean Welsh is not shy either. I expect we will see a familiar starting XI with White leading the line. Let's get behind the guys and give them something to feed off. Billy Mckay has been on fine form recently, bagging a hat-trick against Morton. He scores when he wants you know. Liam Fontaine could return and with County's lavish squad they are not short of quality players. Other former Caley Jags players likely to feature will be Ross Draper, Iain Vigurs, and Don Cowie. I can see our run of consecutive draws coming to an end, however, with County on form just now and us more content to preserve our inadequacies, then we could be in for a difficult day. In saying that, we have Coll Donaldson and Mark Ridgers. Draw it is then! To whet your appetite, here's the first ever Highland derby in the big boys leagues from 1994 at Victoria Park Dingwall. For more detail, The Official Match Programme can be found here Match Programme Mon the Caley Jags