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  1. United lay down marker Inverness went down 2-0 to Dundee United in a potential warm up game for the play-offs. Pavol Safranko opened the scoring in the 27th minute when he drove a volley past Cammy Mackay from fifteen yards and Paul McMullan scored the second just after the interval when he appeared to handle the ball in his build up to the goal. Whilst the Inverness defence appealed for the foul, McMullan ran across them and scored the goal. Despite plenty of opportunities, Inverness failed to capitalise on any of the breaks and United eased home to keep County waiting for the title celebrations. Nathan Austin did not endear himself to the home fans after failing to make the effort to get on the end of an Anthony McDonald shot after the youngster waltzed into the box. Great effort by McDonald, the same could not be said of Austin who tried to chastise the youngster for his own failure to get on the end of his shot. The end result mattered not as Dunfermline failed to get a point at Dumfries meaning Inverness are assured of a play-off place. Maybe Robbo was keeping some aces up his sleeve with a view to some tough play-off games looming. Coll Donaldson was on the bench but no sign of captain Carl Tremarco or the dislocated fingered keeper Mark Ridgers. Sean Welsh is out for the season. United had plenty in reserve with Paul McMullan and Pavol Safranko the preferred partnership up front. Full Report to follow Date: 20/04/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2971 Referee: Greg Aitken Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: C Mackay; Rooney, B Mckay, McCart, McHattie, Doran (Austin 62), Trafford, Polworth (McCauley 68), Chalmers, Walsh (McDonald 67), White Subs (not used): fon Williams; Donaldson, Harper, MacGregor Scorers: none Booked: B Mckay (90+2) Sent Off: B Mckay (90+2 two yellows) Dundee United: 2 Lineup: Siegrist; Watson, Reynolds, Connolly, Robson, Harkes, Butcher (Bouhenna 75), McMullan, Clark (Nesbitt 64), Pawlett (Booth 46), Safranko Subs (not used): Laidlaw; Gomis, Smith, Fyvie, Scorers: Safranko (27), McMullan (49) Booked: Robson (29), Butcher (43) Sent Off: a
  2. Promotion warm up? With a play-off slot almost secured, one of the challengers for the final Premiership place comes North looking to set a marker for the forthcoming Championship shoot-out. Dundee United are the visitors and it's still mathematically possible for them to win promotion outright, but that all depended on the Staggies who held a six point advantage going into their game at Ayr on Friday night. I suppose we can now offer our congratulations to County who beat Ayr 3-1 and they have all but won the Championship given their massive goal difference over Dundee United. I wonder if that result will have any bearing on the way United now approach this game tomorrow knowing that automatic promotion is now a distant memory. Here is the updated table showing County almost unassailable. The other game tomorrow which could affect our push for promotion is the game at Palmerston between Queen of the South and Dunfermline Athletic. In the bottom half, it's even tighter with Falkirk facing Morton and Partick Thistle at home to Alloa Athletic who are on a four game winning streak. Bums will be squeaking for sure this weekend. There was a somewhat untimely release by the club this week in the build up to the season finale with the news that our chief assistmeister and playmaker Liam Polworth will be a Motherwell FC player next season in the Premiership. Liam has been around Inverness Caledonian Thistle since he was eight years old. He has made 214 appearances scoring nineteen goals so far and I'm sure he will go on to produce many more memorable moments on the park, just not our one. That leaves Caley Thistle Online with the job of finding a new player to sponsor as we have been Liam's sponsor since he was in the squad making up the numbers. He can be seen pointing the way to Fir Park where he will wear the Claret & Amber of Motherwell. All the best for the future to 'one of our own'. Admission prices: Official site TICKET INFO Adult (Grown up chiel) Concession (olde git or 16-25 noisy fekker) u16 (sober kids) Main Stand Adult £22 - Concession £17 - u16 £6 North Stand/Arab Stand Adult £20 - Concession £15 - u16 - £6 We inched our way towards a potential Premiership place by earning a point at Cappielow in midweek. A partly depleted squad came back to level the game with Morton in the 88th minute as substitute Darren McCauley slammed a Liam Polwrth pass into the net. Anthony McDonald had opened the scoring with a tremendous solo goal but Reece Lyon equalised for the Ton. Greg Kiltie put them ahead just before the break from the spot and as Morton went defensive, we searched for a leveller which arrived just before the final whistle. Dundee United have drawn with County in Dingwall having been ahead up to the last few seconds and they defeated Ayr 2-1 last time out, Safranko and McMullan overturning Ayr's lead through Bell. There has been four games against Saturdays opponents already this season. A 1-1 draw at Tannadice was followed by a similar scoreline at the Caledonian Stadium in mid-December. United won the next one at Tannadice by a solitary goal against an understrength Caley Jags. The fourth encounter was the Scottish Cup tie with a stronger side on the park and we bossed that one before winning 2-1 with a late Aaron Doran goal proving decisive. Joe Chalmers got the opener and it was an absolute belter. So good it was voted goal of the round, and so good we can have another look, courtesy of William Hill. Coll Donaldson, Mark Ridgers, Carl Tremarco and Sean Welsh all missed out through injury at Greenock, Welsh being out for the season. Anthony McDonald came back in to good effect scoring a superb goal but also took a heavy knock. Tom Walsh had a bit of a rest on the bench. Good to see Darren McCauley scoring the second goal and he should push on now that he has completed his degree studying nutrition at the University of Ulster. Plenty of tired legs and plenty of important players for what will be an exciting finish to a gruelling campaign where our thin squad has been pushed to the limits on a number of occasions. Robbo will have to choose wisely over the coming weeks to get the best out of our already stretched squad. Latest news is that Donaldson, Tremarco and Brad Mckay are all major doubts. Robbo still playing it cagey....... Robbie Neilson has a big squad to choose from and one man he is looking towards as the run in to the season begins is former Hearts forward Osman Sow. He is approaching full fitness and has been used sparingly since joining the Arabs in January because of a calf injury, but Neilson expects him to play a big part in the next few games. He also has plenty of other quality strikers he can call on, Paul (the diver) McMullan, Pavol Safranko, Nicky Clark, Cammy Smith and Peter Pawlett are all vying for the starting slot, so no matter who gets the nod, it's going to be a tough job for any defence. The Official Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year voting has commenced and you can cast your votes by following the link provided. The nominees are: PotY Coll Donaldson Mark Ridgers Aaron Doran Sean Welsh Joe Chalmers Young PotY Jamie McCart Tom Walsh Shaun Rooney Cameron Harper Roddy MacGregor ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Here is the registration page to sign in to FansBet Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you sign up and 50% of net profits will be returned to CTO If you like a wee flutter, our new enhanced 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. .
  3. Play Off on hold.... A makeshift Inverness XI went ahead after eighteen minutes when Anthony McDonald scored a superb solo goal as he cut into the box, curling in off the post. Reece Lyon responded for Morton before the half hour. Brad Mckay then conceded a penalty after fouling Gregor Buchanan and Greg Kiltie scored from the spot just before the break. 2-1 at the interval with Cammy Mackay being the busier keeper. Morton looked to preserve their lead but were undone with a couple of minutes to go as substitute Darren McCauley drove the ball home. This result puts Inverness in pole position for the play-offs but mathematically they can still be caught. John Robertson was forced into a number of changes as injuries hit the squad hard after the Cup tie with Hearts. Out went Mark the finger Ridgers and Carl Tremarco, in came Cammy Mackay and Kevin McHattie. Coll Donaldson was still injured since the Ayr game and with a bit of shuffling, Anthony McDonald was back in the starting XI. Jonatan Johansson was able to field Michael Tidser from the start after he missed the Alloa game, but it might be one of his last as he has signed a pre-contract agreement with relegation rivals Falkirk who Morton play at the weekend. Awkward! Liam Polworth set the ball rolling on a night that Inverness could possibly secure a play-off place whilst Morton were looking to steer clear of the relegation battle and it was the hosts that made most of the early running, with Michael Tidser dinking an effort just wide after a short corner. Deputising keeper Cammy Mackay had to look smart to save from Gary Oliver as Morton continued to press for an opener and Tidser dragged a shot wide. Oliver flicked one just over the bar as the pressure built on the visitors defence but after 18 minutes Anthony McDonald scored a superb solo goal, cutting in from the right and sending a shot into the net via the post. Reece Lyon tested Mackay and shortly after he was rewarded as he picked up a headed clearance and rifled a low shot into the bottom corner. Inverness responded with Polworth firing over and Shaun Rooney trying from distance but going wide. With the break approaching, Brad Mckay was adjudged to have pulled Buchanan in the box and Kiltie made no mistake from the spot, Mackay going the wrong way, to put Morton ahead just before the break. Half Time 2-1 Kiltie almost added a third for Morton just after the break but his dinked effort was cleared of the line by Rooney. Just after the hour White missed a sitter as he headed over from six yards, the striker holding his head in his hands. He would head wide a few minutes later as Inverness began to dominate without overly exerting the keeper. It was a half of few clear opportunities as Morton looked to hold what they had and they camped close to their 18 yard line. Robertson went for broke with just over ten minutes left with his final two substitutes, Darren McCauley and Nathan Austin, and it eventually paid of when Liam Polworth sent a ball to the far post for McCauley to smash the ball home on the run and on the half volley. Another great goal and a hard earned point as the game fizzled out. Timely substitutions for Inverness and that point may well be enough to secure a play-off place with our goal difference twelve better than Dunfermline with both clubs having three games left. Cammy Mackay can be pleased with his contribution tonight making a couple of fine saves early on to give him a boost. Given our injury list prior to this game then that's a decent point away from home against a club battling hard for every point as they try to recover their league position. Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "The penalty's a strange one because the referee had warned Gregor Buchanan twice about holding on to Brad McKay and yet he gives the penalty the other way. The same's happened in the other box and that's where managers and coaches get annoyed about the consistency levels. "I think we got the point that we deserved for our passing and play and keeping it going. Both teams deserved something. It's a good point for us and it could be a valuable point for Morton as well." Greenock Morton manager Jonatan Johansson: "It's a very sore one and I feel for the players. I thought they fought excellently. There's no point feeling sorry for yourselves. We've got a massive game on Saturday against Falkirk. Robbo's at the wheel.................. Goal footage from Caley Jags TV............ Date: 16/04/2019 Venue: Cappielow Attendance: 1315 Referee: David Lowe Morton: 2 Lineup: McCrorie; Kilday, Buchanan, McAlister, Tumilty, Lyon, Tidser, Telfer, Iredale, Oliver ( Millar 71), Kiltie (Dallas 86) Subs (not used): Gaston; Dykes, O'Connell, McKeown, McGrattan, Scorers: Lyon (27), Kiltie (pen 42) Booked: Tumilty (52), Lyon (84) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: C Mackay; Rooney, B Mckay, McCart, McHattie, Chalmers, Trafford (Austin 78 ), Polworth, McDonald (Walsh 60), Doran (McCauley 78 ), White. Subs (not used): Fon Williams; Harper, Brown, MacGregor, , Scorers: McDonald (18) McCauley (88) Booked: B Mckay (42), McHattie (84) Sent Off: none a
  4. Back down to earth Well almost back down to earth: Greenock awaits. After the hullabaloo of the last couple of weeks it's back to reality, and for those that still have the stomach for it, a trip to Cappielow beckons on Tuesday night. From Hampden to Cappielow in three days. The last bastion of the days of yore are calling the Caley Jags down to Greenock where we could secure a promotion play-off slot by defeating Morton. The ICT Supporters Club are running a bus to this game and you can book on the facebook page HERE or call/text 07462 218717. The bus will leave the Caley Club at 13:30 and the Stadium at 13:45 Prices at Cappielow:- Adults £20 Concession £15 (olde gits, student gits & just gits (18-20)) Child £5 (12-17) Under 12 £1 Free if you are not born yet! With the Scottish Cup put to bed for another season, (ach it's a Mickey Mouse cup anyway ), it's back to the weekly chore. However, it's not so much a chore for Morton who find themselves dragged into the relegation battle as Alloa's run of four wins on the trot has kept everyone on their toes at the bottom end of the table. Even Dunfermline are starting to look over their shoulder at what's going on below them. That will make Morton difficult opponents on Tuesday night. Our last Championship game was a hard fought three points at Somerset Park the week before the Cup game at Hampden. Brad Mckay was on hand to put the ball into the net and we held on for the win. The next game was something of an anti-climax as we ran out of steam against a solid Hearts. All going to plan at the break, that quickly altered as they stepped on the gas and ran out comfortable winners in the end, despite a couple of valiant efforts from Chalmers and McCart who appeared to have been wrongly denied a goal. Meh! Morton drew 1-1 at Palmerston when we were nearby at Ayr, Charlie Telfer getting a second half goal to level the game. They were on the wrong end of a 2-1 defeat from resurgent Alloa who stung the Ton at Cappielow last Tuesday. Kiltie had put Morton ahead from the spot but Alloa were quick to reply through Andy Graham. Jack Hamilton on loan from Livingston scored the winner for the Wasps ten minutes before the end to pull Morton into the mire. They had a day of rest on Saturday, no doubt watching us on the telly. Morton manager Jonatan Johansson on BBC Sport after the Alloa game: "We've had our chances to climb out of it and now we're right in it. Too many games this season we've been soft with simple clearances and set pieces; we need to defend better. "The spirit and desire is there, but since the New Year we've just not been good enough. It'll be a long week now but it's something we have to deal with." Inverness have taken seven points from Morton this season starting with a 1-1 draw back in October. We have since won the next two encounters, 2-1 away and 1-0 at home at the end of February, Carl Tremarco getting the decisive goal in that one. A draw on Tuesday night could be enough to clinch a play-off position but a win would ensure Dunfermline could not overtake us this time. Team News We are back down to the bare bones again after suffering more injuries. Mark Ridgers will be replaced by Cammy Mackay after dislocating a finger against Heart's, oooyahhhh. Mark himself managed to tweet this using his other hand........... "Tough one on Saturday not the result we were after, hopefully now get that play off spot and push for promotion #ICTFC 🔵🔴 fingers crossed won’t be out too long". Coll Donaldson missed the Semi-Final through suspension, but also picked up an injury at Ayr and is a major doubt with a back spasm. Carl Tremarco had to be replaced at Hampden in the second half after he got a boot on the knee and will be a doubt. Sean Welsh is out for the season. Jamie McCart was struggling to make Hampden but managed to play whole game. Trust me, we have some tired legs out there, which could see some changes for this game. Anthony McDonald will be eligible to return after missing the Hearts game and some youth players will make up the squad. And apparently, Owain fon Williams has a groin problem. I'm not sure if there's any truth that it is being caused by his wallet Jonatan Johansson has his own injury worries to contend with. Denny Johnstone, Rory McKeown, Michael Tidser, Bob McHugh and Kerr Waddell all missed the Alloa game through injury.
  5. Ayr Raid Inverness beat Ayr 1-0 thanks to a second half goal from substitute Brad Mckay. Early drama when we spurned the chance to go ahead after seven minutes. Unsurprisingly, Aaron Doran missed from the spot, our second failure in two games. Coll Donaldson went off injured to be replaced by goal scorer Mckay. We held out to gain a valuable three points and jump above Ayr in the table. With Dunfermline drawing at Partick, it was a good weekend for the Caley Jags. John Robertson had to make some enforced changes to the side that went down in the Highland derby Out went the suspended Charlie Trafford, out went the injured Jamie McCart and the jaded Brad Mckay dropped to the bench. Little did we know that he would play a major part in the proceedings. In came Shaun Rooney at Right back, Kevin McHattie in central defence and Nathan Austin up front alongside Jordan White. Ian McCall thrust Nicky Cadden into the starting XI with Calvin Miller and Lawrence Shankland up front. Declan McDaid and Michael Moffat were on the bench as he made some bold changes. It's as clear as mud now for the play-off places, but it should become more transparent this week as Ayr host Queen of the South and Ross County host Dunfermline on Tuesday night. Next weekend whilst we travel to Hampden, Dundee United and Ayr clash and on Saturday, Dunfermline play Falkirk. Full report from RIG Huge win in a quite entertaining game if somewhat short on quality at times. One player who certainly isn't short of quality is Polworth and his superb defence splitting pass sent Austin scampering away and he looked to be clipped by Doohan and from seemingly nowhere we had the chance to go one goal up. Sadly, as is the current ICT style, we fluffed the spot kick as Doran sent a weak shot down the middle of the goal and it was kept out by the trailing leg of the Ayr keeper. Austin was involved at the other end when we failed to clear a corner and Miller sent a fierce shot heading towards goal but Austin was on hand to header away. A few folk around me said it was probably going wide but I'm not so sure. Certainly grateful to have Austin there to keep Ayr out. Doran was next to threaten for Inverness when he picked up the ball on the right edge of the box but his shot was just over the bar although Doohan looked to have it covered. Miller again had a great chance to put Ayr ahead when a cross from Cadden, who was roasting Rooney for much of the opening 30 minutes, was deflected into his path but thankfully he sent a poor header high and wide with Ridgers looking stranded. Then came one of the many goalmouth scrambles of the day. Walsh tried to get onto the ball as it bobbled around in the six yard area but when he did swing a foot at the ball his effort wasn't good enough to beat the Ayr keeper. Half Time 0-0 The start of the second half saw Ayr administer an absolute bodying to the ICT defence save from actually scoring. Almost all the Ayr attacks were coming down the ICT right with a number of low crosses flashed across the goal. However it was Craig Thomson who almost helped set up the Ayr opener when a Donaldson clearance crashed off his back and sat up nicely for Geggan but he pulled a volleyed effort wide. Another goalmouth scramble saw Rooney and Tremarco make desperate blocks to keep United out before Geggan somehow hooked an effort well over from only a few yards out as Ayr started to turn the screw and it looked to be only a matter of time before we would concede especially given that we had lost Donaldson to injury by this point. Almost inexplicably we then took the lead Rooney was felled on the right touchline, Chalmers lifted a ball into the box which was missed by the United defence and Brad Mckay was on hand to score a goal of the season contender from 0.3 yards out. Ayr came right back into the game when McDaid cut inside and sent a low drive towards goal but Ridgers got down well to smother the shot. in the final few moments Moffat managed to create some space in the box but he seemed to hook his effort across the face of goal with no team mate on hand to tuck it away. Something of a smash and grab win for us but, as we've found out this season, if you don't take your chances... I was really impressed with the pace and movement of Shankland, Miller and Cadden and then McDaid when he came on. Rooney had a torrid time at right back and it was only a result of really poor finishing from the likes of Miller and Geggan that we didn't concede about 4 goals. For ICT White had a poor game for the first 60 minutes then turned into a colossus for the final 30 mainly due to having a bit more space to work in as mentioned by Caley Stan above. He went from losing every header he went up for to winning just about everything and linking brilliantly with team mates to really take the pressure off the defence. Austin had a good game as well as did Doran (despite the penalty miss) and Polworth. Huge loss for us with Donaldson going off with what looked to be a knee injury. He appeared in the dugout before full time in flip flops so I am hoping he was just looking to boost early to get a Ryanair flight at Prestwick right after kick off......... 😎 A word for the Ayr fans, almost never stopped singing and getting behind their team for pretty much the entire game. I can't recall a home support like that this season. Great effort. Footage from Ayr United Fc TV Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson on BBC Sport: "We had a superb first half, but our Achilles heel came back to haunt us with another missed penalty. I thought Ayr were superb - they were the team on the front foot in the second half - but then we got the goal and that gave us the impetus to defend and see the game out. We had to dig deep. I wouldn't have complained with a draw but its a massive three points for us. Ian McCall was disappointed to lose "I thought the first half after the penalty we were dominant, a draw at half-time was fair. But the second half, for 25 minutes we battered them. There was silence in the stadium after the goal, there was shock - the second half was so once sided, we just couldn't believe it. I wasn't disappointed with the performance - the Somerset Road end was like a real football ground, it was fantastic, then we lost a silly goal. Its a really hard one to take but we've got to go and win all three points to try and clinch the top four." And on twitter, the banter goes on..... Mark Ridgers: Big 3 points today and great shift from the lads, surely not far away from being on the next penalty Anthony McDonald: Huge 3 points for the boys today dug in and got what we deserved! Happy to get back on the pitch after 6 weeks out, safe trip up the road to the fans👏🏻👏🏻 different class💙 RIG agrees with McCall: Ayr miss a great chance to take the lead. Cadden cross headed over by Miller. It's all Ayr second half: Geggan fires over from a few yards out. How we aren't behind is beyond me! They think it's all over: ICT have been rotten this second half. Lucky to still be level and Donaldson going off injured It is now: Goooooooal! Mckay tucks the ball away from close range after Ayr struggle to clear a Chalmers free kick Zogg made it onto the terraces behind enemy lines, good lad! By the way, the u18's don't seem to have a problem with penalties....... Date: 06/04/2019 Venue: Somerset Park Attendance: 1566 Referee: Craig Thomson Ayr United: 0 Lineup: Doohan; Smith, Rose, Bell, Harvey, Geggan (Adams 69), Docherty, Murdoch (Moffat 79), Cadden (McDaid78), Shankland, Miller. Subs (not used): Hare-Reid; Kerr, Crawford, Moore. Scorers: none Booked: Doohan (7) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson (B Mckay 62), Tremarco, McHattie, Walsh (McDonald 70), Polworth, Chalmers, Doran, Austin (McCauley 84), White Subs (not used): C Mackay; Harper, Brown, D Mackay. Scorers: B Mckay (66) Booked: Rooney (66) Sent Off: none a
  6. Fresh Ayr Challenge Somerset Park is the venue this Saturday as the business end of the season approaches and we find ourselves still in with a chance of securing a play-off place, and with it the slim prospect of promotion is still within our own grasp. Last game before Hampden for Inverness, let's hope we can get through this without any further damage to our squad. Don't forget to buy your tickets for the Scottish Cup Semi-Final against Hearts. No tickets will be available on the day. The ICT Supporters Travel Club are running a bus to this match and the leaving times are as follows: Leaving the Caley Club: 8.45am Leaving the Caledonian Stadium: 9am Book through their Facebook page HERE or call/text 07462 218717 Admission at Somerset Park Adults : £17 OAP’s, students and 18-21 year olds £11 Under 18s £6 It's been a frantic month with our stretched squad having had to cope with six games since the 3rd of March. These were mostly successful until it finally caught up with us on Tuesday night and lethargy set in as we went down 2-1 against Ross County and Nick Welsh. That success has brought the dreaded Manager of the Month & Player of the Month awards for March to Inverness with John Robertson and Aaron Doran being the recipients. Four wins and a draw saw the accolades head North. Doran waded in with 4 goals in March, including the vital winner in the Scottish Cup game at Tannadice. Well deserved if you ask me. Unfortunately the curse has already kicked in with defeat to Ross County in the derby. More info on the awards can be found on the OFFICIAL SITE Despite that loss we are clinging on to fourth spot with Dunfermline the nearest challengers and realistically the only ones likely to make the effort. They have a game in hand over us and at the moment are six points adrift. Ayr have only one win in their last five whilst we have three. Second place looks to be out of our reach so it would appear that third or fourth are the targets and either of them would be sufficient to get us into the play-offs. The updated table is shown above after Friday nights draw in Dingwall. Other games on Saturday are Partick -V- Dunfermline, Falkirk -V- Alloa and Queens -V- Morton. As it was the sixth derby between the sides, stalemate was setting in, but County went at it right from the first whistle and deservedly went ahead when a Josh Mullin strike nestled in the bottom corner as we strolled around the pitch in training mode. We missed a penalty but Carl Tremarco drew us level off the bar with a header before Andy Boyle nodded in the winner before the break. Down to ten men just before the interval, we plodded on but to no avail although we minimised the damage and went down 2-1. A result that gives County a five point cushion going into their Friday night game with second placed United. It remained a five point gap after a 1-1 draw in Dingwall, County levelling well into time added on. Here's our man of the moment discussing the derby......... Ayr took all three points as they dominated at Dunfermline last Friday thanks to a Declan McDaid goal but in midweek were held to a 1-1 draw by struggling Morton. A Shankland penalty had them ahead at the break but Greg Kiltie tapped in with twenty minutes to go for a share of the points. Our last visit to Ayr was an odd won. We raced into a three goal lead with three goals in a nine minute spell. By the 18th minute we were in the rare position of being three ahead and didn't know what to do with it. Ayr reshuffled at the break and the introduction of Shankland brought them instant reward, Declan McDaid reducing the deficit. Shankland reduced the lead further from a free kick late on. We held on and the goals from Nathan Austin (2) and Liam Polworth were good enough for all three points. The other two games at Inverness were a 0-0 draw and a 1-0 win for Inverness, Jordan White scoring a second half goal in that one. Ian McCall might ring the changes for this one after the disappointing draw with Morton. He has no injury worries ahead of this game. Here was his starting XI against the Ton. Ian said on the Ayr United official site: “Tuesday night was disappointing, we never really got going or played at the kind of tempo that makes us very dangerous. We were flat and probably in the end slightly fortunate to come away with a point. John Robertson will be without the suspended Charlie Trafford thanks to some refereeing ineptitude. Sean Welsh is a big miss in midfield and Jamie McCart took a heavy knock against County. Some desperately sad news: Twenty-three year old Angus Beith has had to retire from football after being unable to recover from a hip injury. You can read the full story on the Official Site. Angus said “I have done everything possible to recover from injury and to get back playing but, reluctantly I have had to accept that it is just not possible for me to play football any longer. I wish the club every success this season and in the future” I'm sure everyone at Caley Thistle Online wishes Angus all the best for the future, and success in whatever challenges he has ahead of him. Feed the Goose Here's Angus scoring in his loan spell at Stranraer FC, thanks for the footage. Stevie Farrell, the Stranraer FC manager paid tribute on their website:- Farrell was “gutted” for the 23-year-old and said: “You think we are going through a difficult spell, with a hard season and struggling and fighting. “Here is a young lad with his future in front of him. “Regardless of where we are, we always have a Saturday to put right. “Unfortunately, he does not have that. “He was a fantastic player for us and was very, very respectful. “They always say bad things happen to good people and Angus is one of those very good people.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ FansBet have Ayr 6/5 - Draw 23/10 - ICT 43/20 Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  7. Refereeing Joke Ruins Derby Using the term 'referee' loosely, Nick Walsh ruined any hope that a fair game would be played out as he sent Charlie Trafford off on half time and proceeded to flash yellow cards willy nilly, especially at those in blue and red. The game was ruined by half time and with County 2-1 ahead after a lack lustre first half from Inverness there was little hope that the hosts would get their noses in front, not with Nick useless Walsh trying to dominate the game. Josh Mullin rifled a shot home in eight minutes before Jordan White won and missed a penalty, Scott Fox guessing right and saving. We did draw level when Carl Tremarco headed home but we shot ourselves in the foot by gifting a sloppy second, Boyle taking advantage of joke defending. With Trafford going off that was it for us and County and Walsh held on for all three points as the weather worsened. Results tonight showed no dramatic changes to the table with Ayr -V- Morton and Queens -V- Falkirk both ending in 1-1 draws. Falkirk climb above Partick Thistle on goal difference at the foot of the table but have played one more game. Top of the table clash on Friday night as County play Dundee United. We face a tough trip to Ayr on the Saturday and the Pars visit Partick Thistle. This was a crucial game for both teams and neither side were able to field their full strength squad due to injuries. Robertson was without engine room penalty taking midfielder Sean Welsh who will miss the rest of the season. County had four or five first team squad players out, notable Michael Gardyne and Keith Watson with Iain Vigurs suffering a setback in his recuperation. Such is their depth of squad it made little difference to their playing routines. A decent day gave way to some heavy showers shortly before kick off and the TV cameras restricted the fans in the stadium. The Inverness fans rightly relished this one after some great performances recently and having held the upper hand in most derby's this season although not always getting the right result. Undiminished, the optimism and belief that we could consolidate within the top four was rife, but that would soon crumble after we made a sluggish start to this encounter. From the kick off, it was evident that County were the team that wanted this more and we were on the back foot in the opening minutes as we defended nervously. Josh Mullin had two or three half chances before he opened the scoring in the eighth minute. Joe Chalmers was disposessed in midfield. It looked innocuous enough as Mullin got the ball but he speared a low shot from outside of the box in the inside right position. However, it arrowed it's way across the keeper and nestled in the bottom right of Mark Ridgers' goal despite a despairing dive from the keeper. All looked a bit soft to me, but 1-0 to the visitors it was. We only had ourselves to blame at this stage as our tackling, passing and commitment were all wayward. This stirred us slightly and just over ten minutes later we were awarded a penalty after Jordan White was released on the right side of the box. As he tried to go round Fox he was sent sprawling and he was awarded a penalty. He took it himself but telegraphed it somewhat to Fox who was cunning enough to have guessed the correct direction and saved the less than impressive spot kick to his right. Meh! Fox only got a yellow for his part in the incident. His next play proved to be more profitable as he headed back for Carl Tremarco to score with a header off the underside of the bar to level the match five minutes later after a good spell from the hosts. On the half hour Charlie Trafford would pick up a booking for a minor foul. That would come back to bite him on the bum before the interval. Ten minutes before the break our recovery process was undone after we lost control of the ball and failed to clear our lines effectively. From the corner, Draper hit the ball into the ground and Andrew Boyle was able to nod the ball home from very close range with a number of defenders looking around and waving their arms at the referee in frustration. Shoddy stuff from the Caley Jags. County now looked to be in control as we reverted to loose passing and half hearted challenges as Declan McManus and Mullin fired efforts at goal. Aaron Doran broke the monopoly and Inverness forced three corners in succession which came to nothing. A free kick brought no joy either, Joe Chalmers hitting the wall. The game changer was upon us. Firstly Ross Draper seemed to bundle Liam Polworth to the ground which the 'referee' chose to ignore. Ten yards further away he penalised Charlie Trafford and gave him his second half baked yellow card which saw Trafford sent for an early bath in the first minute of stoppage time at the interval. Half Time 1-2 Draper had done his job and the County management replaced him at the break. Considering that he already had picked up an early booking and was lucky to stay on the park, that was a shrewd move. There was plenty of effort but little guile as we struggled to create clear openings, Brad McKay coming closest with a header. The weather had now turned decidedly nasty and a vicious swirling wind and sleet, hailstones and rain made conditions difficult and almost impossible to play a passing game. Tom Walsh was our most effective player on the break and he curled a low effort just the wrong side of the post from the left edge of the box. Close, but not close enough. White almost made the right contact with a shot from twelve yards but could not get his foot round the ball enough under pressure from the defender and the shot went wide. Looked as though County hit the bar at one point with a close range header by Lindsay amongst some confusion in our ranks. Conditions were still deteriorating and the Nick Walsh I'm in charge booking extravaganza began. it was almost as if bookings were going out of fashion and four Inverness players were booked in the next six minutes. It seemed as though every tackle was not just a foul, but also a yellow card, yet the visitors were not chastised for anything. Polly was booked for dissent, Rooney for throwing the ball softly towards the shins of a visiting player. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness Caley Thistle manger John Robertson on BBC Sport: "The sending off - they both bookable offences. However, our boys are convinced Ross Draper caught Liam Polworth in the build-up and it could easily have been a red the other way. That was a big game-changer." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Nick Walsh take a bow son, you are absolutely useless, the worst referee in the history of worst referees. The ten men were now physically and mentally drained but we did well to deny County any more goals, Brian Graham having a couple of late attempts. Still time for a late ironic cheer from the Caley Jags fans when Sean Kelly was booked in time added on. That was as good as it got in a hugely disappointing game ruined by a small person with the big chip on his shoulder syndrome. Coll Donaldson was again our best performer with Tom Walsh and Tommy Tremarco putting in a shift. However, we only have ourselves to blame for our poor start to the game where we strolled around making error after error giving County the belief and impetus to go on and win the game. Gone was the passion, commitment and desire of the previous derby's. It had been replaced by shirking tackles, misplaced passes and blaming someone else. All this helped by a totally incompetent official. Nuff said. Video footage from SPFL OFFICIAL youtube Our next game is away to Ayr United on Saturday. Play like we did at the start of this game and it could be a long day. Here's the Top Ten reaction on CTO forum All the mentions of terrible officiating makes it sound like sour grapes...………………..It certainly was not, that Ref was the worst of the season if not in history !!!! Completely ruined the match. Ref decided the game and that was very disappointing. Could have maybe nicked an equaliser but lacked ideas towards the end. Good effort despite being down to ten. The wrong Walsh was substituted. 😂 The refereeing - which is not affecting the score - is now bordering on the ridiculous.Disappointing. Not often I join the ref was a w***** brigade, but where do I join up? Apart from that, our defending at set pieces was poor. Ref killed what was shaping up to be a great game he looked hell bent on booking any player in blue and red for any reason. A new low in refereeing, worse than John McKendrick. I don't believe I've ever witnessed such an inept refereeing performance at any level ever before! It really was a farce. The only tiny mitigating factor might be the fact that the standside linesman was absolutely no help to the ref whatsoever. Geezo we have witnessed some shocking refs through the years, but that must be the worst ever. One word for that.... Shambolic, and I don't mean the players I mean the ref. I'm not one to ever just point fingers at every ref but that was the most incompetent biased and downright laughable officiating I have ever witnessed. The final word will come from this geezer............. Really disappointing. I thought we started poor, got worse, got a lifeline, blew it, got level, fecked up and got a shit ref. Nick Walsh, you are the worst referee ever. Disgusted, North Kessock. With that, I'll let you make your own mind up if the referee was any good! Date: 02/04/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 3795 Referee: Nick Walsh 😂 Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay (Rooney 75), Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco (McDonald 85), Chalmers, Trafford, Polworth, Doran, Walsh (Austin 72), White. Subs (not used): C Mackay; McHattie, D Mackay, Machado, Scorers: Tremarco (24) Booked: Trafford (29), McCart (77), Polworth (81), Rooney (82), Chalmers (83) Sent Off: Trafford (45+1 second yellow) Ross County: 2 Lineup: Fox; Fraser, Boyle, van der Weg, Kelly, Mullin, Draper (Spence 45), Lindsay, Armstrong (Graham 71), McManus, Stewart Subs (not used): Munro; Semple, Paton, Cowie, Grivosti Scorers: Mullin (8), Boyle (34) Booked: Draper (9), Fox (21), Kelly (90+2) Sent Off: none a
  8. Staggies staggering to title The staggering Staggies pop over the bridge to play the Caley Jags in this game postponed from a couple of weeks ago after heavy rain had left the pitch somewhat waterlogged. It's the 6th and final Highland derby coming up on Friday night with BBC Scotland getting in on the action from the Caledonian Stadium with Ross County the visitors for a 7:05pm kick off. Every one of these games has been passionate, enthralling, dramatic and left the fans wanting more. Well, it's here, the next installment. Other games being played on the same night are Ayr -V- Morton and Queen of the South -V- Falkirk, so interest at both ends of the table. After last weekend, we are in fourth place but five points ahead of contenders Dunfermline Athletic. Dundee United also suffered a surprise home defeat at the hands of Queen of the South. County remained top, but the gap has narrowed. Our last game was a laboured no score draw against lowly Falkirk on Saturday. A poor first half livened up after the interval but we never got the break of the ball and had Mark Ridgers to thank for making a point blank save in time added on to ensure we got a point. It was an opportunity sidestepped to put more pressure on the teams above who faltered apart from Ayr United. County went down 1-0 at Alloa thanks to a first half goal from Dario Zanatta. A surprise result but as said before, no easy games now with the bottom five fighting to avoid relegation and the top five vying for promotion. They have also made a visit to the Caledonian Stadium recently and went away with our IrnBru cup. There's a space on the shelf now............ The games between the clubs this season have been a fantastic advert for Championship football in the Highlands. They have had everything. The first two were drawn before County won the New Year derby 2-1 in Dingwall. There followed two tremendous 2-2 draws in Scottish Cup action including extra time with Inverness winning a dramatic penalty shoot out 5-4. Mark Ridgers making one save and Nathan Austin converting the winning kick to send Inverness into the next round. Thanks to that we can now look forward to playing Hearts at Hampden on April 13th in the semi-final. Aaron Doran has been in sparkling form recently with four goals in the last five games, and but for some last ditch Falkirk defending he would have made it five from five. The wee Irishman loves a goal against County as well although he only has one this season so far in the 2-2 cup draw at Dingwall. Aaron has come back from a few injury setbacks and has never been in better form, scoring 11 times this season. Here's a familiar image of Doran wheeling away after scoring yet another goal and captured in this sketch by our own ICT fan and wonderful artist Sophie Robb. You can see these and many more fantastic images on her twitter account or on her ETSY account. Sean Welsh is out after it has been confirmed that he has broken a metatarsal again. Robertson speaking about Welsh said: “Sean has been terrific for us this season – one of the unsung heroes. “He’s in the team every week and he’s in the team every week for a reason, with the job he does for us. He has been brilliant, he’s been consistent and he does what it says on the tin in the middle of the park. He wins the ball, passes it, breaks play up and he also gets forward. He has also become a very reliable penalty-taker to boot, but I think it is his influence on the team. He is one of our experienced players, patrolling the middle of the park and mixing play up. Here's the youngsters against Ayr United in the 5-2 win. Matheus Machado scored a couple of the goals in a 5-2 u18 win over Ayr United He had been drafted into the first team squad recently and it's good to know he has goals in him. Check out his second goal. How about that for a chip. Iain Stewart, eat your heart out! Ross Gunn and Cameron Harper also scored against Ayr as did Daniel Mackay, and he was on the bench against Falkirk as well. Anthony McDonald is a doubt but could make the squad. Another man who seems to relish these games is Liam Polworth who will be an integral part of Robertson's plans. Liam played his 200th game for Inverness on Saturday against Falkirk. Liam has only three goals to his name this season and is due another. Polly is also on Sophie's sketch list, and as they say on Blue Peter, here's one she prepared earlier. County's depth of squad will not present them with any major issues as they stagger towards the Championship tape. Billy Mckay is out for the rest of the season after breaking his arm whilst scoring a hat-trick against Ayr United recently. Mckay had scored 20 goals this season for County and was in fine form. He proved he is still a winner though, even when out injured and he has won the Championship player of the month whilst wristing up with his stookie. Good luck with the recovery Billy. County's management duo will be without defenders Callum Morris and Liam Fontaine who will not feature until next season and Iain Vigurs will likely miss the rest of the season as his foot injury continues to give him problems despite a forty-five minute outing against Kilmarnock reserves. Keith Watson took a knock at Alloa and is out and Michael Gardyne is struggling, but that could be a smoke screen and I expect he will turn up, even if it's just to try and wind up the Caley Jags players. Sean Kelly and Ross Draper made the bench for the trip to Alloa Athletic and should be included again. County's English defender Callum Semple’s Scotiish FA hearing for betting on football matches has been pushed back a fortnight to Thursday, April 11th. Semple was earlier this month given a notice of complaint accused of making bets between the period of July 1 and March 1, in which he also played for Queen of the South on loan from Sheffield United. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Scottish Cup Semi-Final, Hampden Park, Glasgow North and William Hill South Stands - Adults: £30 Concessions*: £15 East and West Stands - Adults: £20 Concessions: £10 *Concessions: Under-16s and 65 years and over................ Don't forget to buy your tickets for the SemiFinal against Hearts at Hampden. This may appear to be an alien concept for some, but always remember this, in space, no one can hear you scream. If you are sitting in your living room passing round the werther's originals and watching on TV, the lads won't be able to hear you. They have been brilliant to get this far in the cup and it's a great day out at the National Stadium. Be there or be square! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  9. Bore draw Defences were on top at the Caledonian Stadium as Falkirk came North with a clear game plan; do not concede. It worked as Inverness struggled to break them down with former Partick player Abdul Osman outstanding for Falkirk, and combined with our wayward shooting that ensured the battling Bairns went home with a point. Chances were at a premium in an instantly forgettable first half. The tempo improved in the second but despite some near misses around the Falkirk box it was left to Mark Ridgers to ensure we also took a point as he blocked a late effort from substitute Shayne Lavery from six yards. Some odd results today with County, Dundee United and Dunfermline losing we actually moved further away from the Pars in fifth place. A decent visiting crowd were on hand to see if they could lift the Bairns out of the relegation scrap with a total of over 2800 in attendance on a brisk and blustery afternoon in the Highland Capital. As mentioned above, it was an instantly forgettable first forty-five with the most apt description coming from AJS as he slithered and shivered down the stairs at the interval. Bland! Enough said Sandy. The only plus points for me were that Coll Donaldson was immense at the back for us mopping up every ball forward from Falkirk and Abdul Osman did likewise at the other end to ensure it was a total stalemate. In our defence, the Bairns probably had more to gain from keeping it tight and their tenacity and close shackling of our players made for a dull first half. The pace of the game quickened after the break as Inverness drove towards the North Stand and Charlie Trafford shot wide as more urgency came into our play. Harry Burgoyne saved from man of the moment Aaron Doran as he looked for his fifth goal in as many games, but like his team mates, most efforts were not causing the big keeper too many issues. Harry again denying Doran and a succession of three corners came to nothing. Kevin McHattie had one of our best moments when he flashed a volley just wide from the edge of the box when it looked as though it might find the bottom corner, the ball going agonisingly the wrong side of the post. Brad Mckay met a Chalmers corner from the right but it flashed just wide of the post with defenders relieved to see it miss, the ball rolling out for a corner off Edjenguele's shins . White directed a header well wide on the run under pressure from the two centre backs, the ball just not running for the big man today. Doran came closest of all when he appeared on the left side of the box as he collected a disguised pass from Polworth, but his goalbound shot was cleared away from inside the six yard box by Jordan McGhee. Polly then guided the clearance just wide under pressure from the defender. That could easily have been the opener but for a fortunate block by Edjenguele on Polly, the ball going for a corner. A wonderful jinky run into the box by Trafford almost set up a chance for Tom Walsh but he wanted to take an extra touch to be sure and his right footed effort was subsequently blocked. Would have been nice for Polworth to get one on his 200th appearance but he will need to be sharper if he wants to hit the back of the net. Too ponderous around the box for my liking although he was always looking to create something for others, especially in the second half. The customary late flurry brought little reward for Inverness and right at the death Falkirk almost stole it. Substitute Shayne Lavery pounced on the ball plumb in front of Mark Ridgers but the Inverness stopper stood firm as his shot went into his chest to avoid us losing another sore one to the Bairns. It would have been nothing short of robbery had defence minded Falkirk stolen all three points as they did last time they were here. It was miserable enough dropping two points but as it turned out we lost no ground and as for Falkirk, they actually dropped to second bottom after Partick whipped Morton 3-0. Man of the Match for Inverness was Coll Donaldson. Boy are we going to miss you in the Semi-Final. Abdul Osman was the same for Falkirk proving to be a big obstacle and dominated everything in the air at his end. He's a big unit. Here's the footage from Caley Jags TV Inverness CT manager John Robertson said on BBC Sport: "It was disappointing because we had by far the better chances in the second half. The first half was a total non-event. I don't think people realise how bad the wind was. It was really, really strong blowing straight through the park." Date: 30/03/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2817 Referee: Gavin Ross Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Trafford, Polworth, McHattie, Chalmers (Walsh 65), Doran, White (Austin 77) Subs (not used): C Mackay, Rooney, McCauley, D Mackay, Machado. Scorers: none Booked: Trafford (61), B Mckay (89), Sent Off: none Falkirk FC: 0 Lineup: Burgoyne, McGhee, McKenna, Edjenguele, Osman, Dixon, Paton, McShane, Petravicius (Jarvis 74), Keillor-Dunn (MacLean 62), Rudden (Lavery 86) Subs (not used): Mitchell; Waddington, O'Hara, Robson Scorers: none Booked: Dixon (28) Sent Off: none a
  10. Gathering Pace The push for promotion gathers pace after three wins on the bounce and we will be looking for a fourth on Saturday when perennial spoilers Falkirk come North for a 3:00pm kick off at the Caledonian Stadium. I'm sure the players would appreciate a big backing to help get right behind the team and push them on. If you can't make the game, look out for a live audio feed which should appear on the twitter feed as a periscope link. If the gremlins stay away, this should work, fingers crossed................ ps, Please don't be breaking any seats, it's a costly affair and something the club can do without. If you wouldn't do it at home, don't do it here. Read the joint club statement here Yes, three games on the bounce, who knew! Four if you include the cup win at Tannadice, or to put it another way, six out of seven in all competitions. The only defeat in that run was a 1-0 reverse at Tannadice when we were a bit light due to injury. What does it all mean I hear you say? Well it means that we now sit third fourth in the table going into today's game and five points clear of Dunfermline who are the ones most likely to make the push for promotion uncomfortable for us. Ayr have slithered in recent weeks but are not to be discounted yet. The Pars play Ayr on Friday night prior to our game. (Ayr beat Dunfermline 0-1 to go back into third place) There's the updated table above on the left. Other fixtures at the top end are Alloa -V- Ross County and Dundee United -V- Queen of the South. Final fixture is at the other end of the table where Morton play Partick Thistle, a game where Morton could get dragged into the relegation scrap. Our last game was a 3-2 home win over Alloa. Cruising at 3-0, our midfield dynamics changed when Sean Welsh went off injured and Joe Chalmers and Aaron Doran were exchanged. That let Alloa get a foothold and they plugged back a couple of goals through a Trouten penalty and a fortuitous Flannigan deflected shot that wrong footed Ridgers. Doran, Welsh (pen) and dainty feet Jordan White were our scorers. That's eleven for the season for a rejuvenated Aaron Doran who has scored in his last four outings. Great return from the wide midfielder. Dainty feet now has 14 goals in all competitions this season after a slow start to his ICTFC career. Falkirk's last outing was on the 16th of March when they drew with fellow relegation candidates Partick thistle. Ian McShane scored his third of the season to earn the point just before the interval. Previous to that, they went down narrowly at Dingwall (2-1) and beat Ayr United 2-0 at home. Those results show Falkirk sitting third bottom four points above Alloa and it looks as though they are starting to ease away from the dreaded drop. The Bairns are well used to this game of avoiding relegation and are battle hardened to it and will prove to be a tough nut to crack with Zak Rudden in particular a threat. Zak is fresh back from Cyprus where he scored a hat-trick for Scotland u19's. He has also scored three times against Inverness already this season. Another one making an impact is Shayne Lavery. He has two goals in two games after he scored the winner for Northern Ireland U21’s against Mexico last week. As ever, our games against Falkirk have been tough. We started at Falkirk with a 1-0 win back in August thanks to an early George Oakley strike, but he can't help us now. Falkirk came North in December and went away with all three points in a 3-2 win. Walsh and Oakley scored for us but a Zak Rudden double pulled the Bairns level before a late sickener in the third minute of time added on saw Scott Harrison snatch the points. That was the game that ended our unbeaten league run of 25 matches and got the monkey off our back (too many draws). The third encounter was a 2-2 draw at Falkirk as the Bairns twice came from behind (Rudden, McShane) to earn a point after Rooney and Doran had scored for us. John Robertson will have concerns over the fitness of Sean Welsh who was injured against Alloa Athletic. Sean has been a mainstay in midfield recently and his contribution from the spot is reaping rewards after we had tried a series of penalty takers who sadly fell short of the required suitability for the post. Those concerns were justified as it looks like he has cracked a metatarsal. If so he will be out for the rest of the season. Anthony McDonald is not fit enough to return this weekend but could make the squad for the Ross County game. Robbo summed up Sean's contribution perfectly:- “It’s not been confirmed yet but it’s certainly looking that way, we’re just waiting on the scan coming back. That’ll be a blow as Sean has been terrific for us all season and has been one of the unsung heroes, he’s in the team every week and he’s there for a reason because of the job he does for us. Saying that, it’s time for other players to step up now.” Ray McKinnon has no injury worries and had this squad out in the 1-1 draw with Partick. He said this about their current form: "We’ve lost once in our last nine games, our squad is looking good. We are strong and quick, the mentality is good and we’ve just got to go into every game to try and pick something up. We’re in decent form going into the business end of the season, but we’ll be taking absolutely nothing for granted". Don't forget your Scottish Cup semi-final tickets. Don't forget to buy your tickets for the SemiFinal against Hearts at Hampden. This may appear to be an alien concept, but always remember this, in space, no one can hear you scream. If you are sitting in your living room passing round the werther's originals and watching on TV, the lads won't be able to hear you. They have been brilliant to get this far in the cup and it's a great day out at the National Stadium. Be there or be square! Tickets for our William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final will be available for season ticket holders and shareholders on Monday 25th March from 10:00am. General sale will commence on Wednesday 27th March at 9:00am. Tickets will be available from the Club Shop and online from ictfc.tickethour.co.uk. The singing section for this game will be East Stand section G5. South Stand: £30 Adult, Concession £15 East Stand: £20 Adult, Concession £10 Concessions are available for supporters aged over 65 and supporters aged under 16 If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ FansBet have ICT @ 5/8 - Draw @ 11/4 and Falkirk @ 4/1. Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  11. Nothings Easy It wouldn't be the Inverness way if we simply cruised to victory as we suffered a late fright when Alloa launched a last ten comeback that saw them snatch two goals to take the gloss off an otherwise good performance. Aaron Doran continued his goalscoring run to open the scoring followed by a Sean Welsh penalty before the break. Jordan White added a third on the hour to put the game beyond doubt, or was it? Alloa got a penalty with ten minutes remaining and Alan Trouten scored via the post. Iain Flannigan's deflected shot meant for an uncomfortable five minutes but we held on for all three points to move up to third in the table. Alloa remain three points behind Partick at the foot of the table. A chilly night for football saw Alloa pinned back in the early exchanges as Inverness probed for the opening goal. We had a number of early half chances which were mainly from distance but we must have left our shooting boots in the locker room. Liam Polworth came the closest after he created a yard of space to fire a decent effort from twenty-five yards which went a couple of feet over the bar. However, it was that man again, Aaron Doran who opened the scoring with a glancing header into the bottom corner. Sean Welsh swung a curling cross into the heart of the box where Doran met it at the penalty spot to beat Neil Parry from twelve yards for another superb goal from the wee man, his fourth in four games and his eleventh of the season. Suspicion of foul play when Polly and Welsh combined to set big Jordan White free in the box but nothing was awarded as White was brought down left of the six yard box. Mark Ridgers was eventually called into action around the half hour as he gathered a low shot from outside the box. Soon after, Donaldson swung a deep ball into the box where Doran headed it down to White. As the striker tried to turn he was upended in clumsy fashion by Iain Flannigan and there was no dispute about the award this time. Parry dived to his right, unfortunately for him Sean Welsh smashed the ball high down the centre of the goal to double our advantage. Polworth looked as though he almost skimmed the top of the bar with a rasping shot from thirty yards as we continued to play attractive football with Polly and Welsh pulling the strings in midfield. There followed a succession of attempts from outside the box with Joe Chalmers, Kevin McHattie and Jordan White all looking to get in on the act, but the half ended at 2-0 to Inverness. The second period saw little change in the pattern and an inviting cross was inches away from being turned in by dainty feet White. He would not be denied though and he ran onto a through ball from Polworth to neatly dink it over the onrushing Parry. Alloa were still plugging away though and Ridgers had to make a smart save to deny Alan Trouten putting the ball into the top corner after the striker waltzed into our box. White came close to a fourth after shielding the ball well and playing it wide, he then got on the end of the cross but it bounced narrowly wide. Good effort from the big man who is growing into his role well. A needless rash challenge by Jamie McCart threw Alloa a late lifeline when he brought down Trouten who was facing away from goal, but Jamie went through him to give away a penalty. Trouten picked himself up and buried his spot kick into the net off the post. That perked Alloa up and given that our midfield had altered with Wesh, Chalmers and Doran going off Alloa saw an opportunity. We charged forward looking for another and when the move broke down Alloa were presented with a Flannigan shot from outside the box. It looked harmless enough but a massive deflection took it away from Ridgers and that made for a squeaky bum last five minutes. The bums squeaked even louder as Donaldson conceded a corner in the final minute of overtime but we held on to take a valuable three points as Mark Ridgers rose high to collect the ball and end our torture. A tremendous game for 75 minutes then our wheels fell off somewhat. A bit worrying that in form Sean Welsh had to go off injured, hopefully he will recover quickly as we have some crucial games coming up. Aaron Doran was our pick as MotM with great performances from Sean Welsh and Coll Donaldson with Jordan White endearing himself to the hard to please Caley Jags fans with another display showing some deft touches for a big lad. More reaction to follow............ Video action from Caley Jags TV And here is dainty Jordan.............. Date: 26/03/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2006 Referee: Steven Reid Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, McHattie, Chalmers (Walsh 67), Polworth, Trafford, Welsh (Austin 77), Doran (McCauley 75), White Subs (not used): C Mackay; Tremarco, Machado, B Mckay Scorers: Doran (29), Welsh (35 pen), White (61) Booked: none Sent Off: none Alloa Athletic: 2 Lineup: Parry, Taggart, Graham, Dick, Hetherington, Shields, Kirkpatrick (Hamilton 61), Flannigan, Cawley (Brown 73), Zanatta, Trouten Subs (not used): Henry, Goodwin, Karadachki, Peggie, Scorers: Trouten (pen 81), Flannigan (90) Booked: Zanatta (59) Sent Off: none a
  12. Opportunity Knocks After back to back wins in the League plus a cup win over Dundee United, we welcome Clackmannanshire's finest, Alloa Athletic to the Caledonian Stadium. We will be looking to consolidate within the play-off places as Alloa try to extricate themselves from the foot of the table. The games are coming thick and fast at this time of the season as clubs play catch up due to the grim weather and fixture congestion. The Alloa game represents a great opportunity to knock on Ayr United's door for third spot, although the games against the Wasps have been tight affairs so far this season. After this one we have Falkirk, Ross County and Ayr United before we head to Hampden for the Scottish Cup semi-final against Hearts. Last game for us was a fine 2-1 win at Firhill where a Tom Walsh stunner saw us take all three points after Stuart Brannigan had equalised for Partick. Aaron Doran had opened the scoring with a well worked goal involving Jordan White and Aaron played a big part in the winner with a superb back flick for Walsh to volley home in spectacular style. Check out these goals......... Alloa battled hard at the weekend but came away with nothing when Nicky Clark scored a late winner for the Arabs to add to the own goal Andy Graham conceded in the first half. Jordan Kirkpatrick scored the opening goal for the Wasps early in the first half. After last weekends results, Inverness are now back in the top four with Dunfermline the nearest contender only two points behind. Alloa are battling it out at the wrong end of the table with four other teams trying to avoid the drop. Dunfermline v Dundee United play Tuesday night as well and it's Dunfermline v Ayr on Friday (TV) Somethings going to give The two games between the sides have ended in draws with our home game in August producing four goals, three penalties, an own goal, woodwork hit and a sending off. Aye it all happened here, and one of the penalties was missed (Coll hit the bar). Brad Mckay and Sean Welsh (pen) scored for Inverness and a George Oakley own goal and a late Iain Flannigan penalty gave Alloa a share of the spoils. And, just when you think it can't get any worse, ICTFC & Ross County fined £2500. Add to that some broken seats after the IrnBru Cup final thanks to Ross County fans then you just wonder where it's all going to end. We welcomed back Kevin McHattie and Tom Walsh to great effect against Partick with Walsh coming off the bench to score the winner. Nathan Austin has been used sparingly of late and could play a part. Alloa lined up like this against Dundee United :- Parry Robertson Taggart Graham Dick Shields Heatherington Flannigan Kirkpatrick Trouten Zanatta If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies. Don't forget to buy your tickets for the SemiFinal against Hearts at Hampden. Remember, no one can hear you scream if you are sitting in your living room passing round the werther's originals. The lads have been brilliant to get this far in the cup and it's a great day out at the National Stadium. Tickets for our William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final will be available for season ticket holders and shareholders on Monday 25th March from 10:00am. General sale will commence on Wednesday 27th March at 9:00am. Tickets will be available from the Club Shop and online from ictfc.tickethour.co.uk. The singing section for this game will be East Stand section G5. South Stand: £30 Adult, Concession £15 East Stand: £20 Adult, Concession £10 Concessions are available for supporters aged over 65 and supporters aged under 16
  13. Moving on up Inverness jumped back into the top four momentarily after second half goals from Aaron Doran and Tom Walsh plunged Partick further into the relegation battle. Stuart Bannigan had levelled for Partick before substitute Walsh leathered home a superb volley with ten minutes to go. Only Dundee United v Alloa on this weekend and we play the Wasps on Tuesday night to see if we can take further advantage of the situation. Should Alloa take full points from their two games in hand over Partick, then they will jump to seventh and the Harry Wraggs will slump to the bottom. It's that tight! Inverness had Tom Walsh and Kevin McHattie on the bench after injury alongside Nathan Austin with young prospect Matheus Machado joining the squad after recent impressive performances in training. Partick Thistle had Gary Harkins and Scott McDonald starting with Blair Spittal warming the bench along with Miles Storey, the former Inverness enigma. Keeper Conor Hazard was on international duty with Northern Ireland and Jamie Sneddon replaced him. A wet and miserable night met the players as they came out in front of a sparse crowd and Scott McDonald started the ball rolling in this televised game. It was ten minutes before Carl Tremarco had the first attempt, but his sneaky curler lacked power with better options available. It was a midfield battle at this point with neither side able to get to grips with the conditions. Partick forced a couple of corners and the second one produced a moment of uncertainty in the visitors defence but the ball was hacked to safety eventually from almost on the goal line. Similar followed at the other end after Charlie Trafford won a free kick, but defences prevailed. Another free kick saw the ball fired over the bar by Sean Welsh after Joe Chalmers had been fouled. Aaron Doran drew a booking from Steven Anderson as the Caley Jags player broke over the halfway line. Doran did slide the ball into the net shortly after but was offside. Most of the possession was coming from the visitors midway through the half, but chances were at a premium. Anderson headed over Mark Ridgers' bar after a corner but it was an untidy game so far and Lewis Mansell was booked for fouling Jamie McCart. The first positive action of the half saw Inverness break at speed and Chalmers brought out a good save from Jamie Sneddon at the expense of a corner. Moments later, Doran slid a teasing ball across goal but it was neither a shot or a cross and the chance went abegging. Five minutes before the break another opportunity arose in the Partick box but it was tidied up and chested back to the keeper on the goal line. Inverness almost broke the deadlock but for a superb save by Sneddon from a Brad Mckay header, the rebound being hustled out of play by a sliding Tremarco. Close, but no cigar. Sneddon was the only man keeping the eager Inverness players out and he had already produced two or three excellent stops It had been a brutal first 45 with Inverness looking the most likely to score, but Partick's robust tactics saw them go in level at the break but leading 4-0 in bookings as John Beaton pointed to the dressing rooms. The brutal fare continued at the start of the second half with Partick not shy to stop the game at the expense of free kicks, carefully taking it in turn to foul the visiting players to avoid an inevitable red card. Suddenly, they realised they could play football and it was game on as the play opened out, the tempo of the game increased dramatically and the first half was soon forgotten. Saunders did find the net but it was ruled out for offsides after a Slater volley had been deflected for a corner. Ridgers scooped up a low strike from Slater that went straight at him as Partick decided to have a go and at the other end Doran created a bit of space to fire at goal but Sneddon was untroubled as he gathered. Liam Polworth seriously needs some shooting practice as he fired his nth effort well wide of the target. McDonald must have been studying Liam and he shot twenty yards wide at the other end. Substitute Miles Storey's power and pace was causing some problems and from one burst forward he slid a dangerous ball into the box but thankfully it went behind all the forwards and was cleared. Partick were beginning to look more dangerous since the substitutions but it was Inverness that made the breakthrough. Aaron Doran raced onto a tremendous ball through the middle from Joe Chalmers and a wee dummy from big Jordan White created the space for Doran to fire behind Sneddon. Well worked and well deserved. However, it didn't take long for Partick to level as Stuart Bannigan curled a low effort behind Ridgers from the edge of the box three minutes later. Tom Walsh replaced Charlie Trafford and Coll Donaldson had to look sharp to thwart Storey as he broke forward. Substitute Blair Spittal looked as though he rattled the back edge of the post as Partick broke forward although Ridgers looked to have it covered. Inverness went back in front when Polworth chipped a ball into the box and a cheeky flick from Doran saw substitute Tom Walsh lash a left foot volley home from fifteen yards with ten minutes left. Tremendous goal by Walsh who had scored the winner last time Inverness were here with an equally stunning strike. It could have been three soon after but Sneddon did well to smother an effort from Doran as he closed in on goal. Inverness began to look more composed after getting their noses in front again and took the ball for a walk to the corners to see out the game. Coll Donaldson picked up a booking late on as Partick tried to surge forward but Inverness held firm for all three points in a deserved win at Firhill. Aaron Doran was deserving of his Man of the Match award and he was ably backed up by the fleet footed Jordan White (not a phrase I use often so enjoy it), a wonderful assist for the opening goal by the big striker. Coll Donaldson held the defence together and Tom Walsh's goal was simply stunning. This is not a win to be scoffed at with Partick battling for points to avoid the drop. Our own Stirling Observer saw it like this.......... Was a very intriguing game, conditions were difficult in the first half but we seemed to deal with it much better and were more confident on the ball. Whilst we were the better team we were too slow moving the ball. We made two decent chances in the last 5 mins of the half. Second half the conditions calmed and McDonald starting dropping deep more and more, when they brought on storey his running caused us a bit of danger and opened the game up. All three goals were excellent. The final goal killed Partick and they visibly gave up after it. Think we deserved to win but it was a hard fought one. Thought everyone played their part. Playing Chalmers wide means his natural instinct in the check back or run into the middle and not go beyond the opposition defence like Doran does. Whilst Chalmers did well it harms out forward opportunities. It's harsh to drop Chalmers or Trafford but think it's for the greater good to get Walsh back into the starting 11. Special mentions to Doran, Welsh and White. More reaction and footage to follow........... Inverness boss John Robertson said on BBC SPORT: "It was a great first goal; great ball through by Joe Chalmers and a beautiful step-over from Jordan White, and the finish by Aaron Doran. "But then we fell asleep, Thistle upped the tempo and got their equaliser. We weathered the storm and got another brilliant finish. It was a deserved three points. "The next few weeks are a big ask but we showed tonight we have the players to handle it." If you can access BBC SPORT, here's the winner from Walsh............. If not, try this............. Aye Tom, she's a belter Robbo was pleased.............. And here is the man of the moment, Walsh the Walloper............. Date: 22/03/2019 Venue: Firhill, Glasgow. Attendance: 2149 Referee: John Beaton Partick Thistle: 1 Lineup: Sneddon, Elliott (Cardle 72), Penrice, Anderson, Bannigan, McDonald, Harkins (Spittal 61), Slater, Mansell (Storey 55), McMillian, Saunders. Subs (not used): Lennox, McGinty, Doolan, Fitzpatrick.. Scorers: Bannigan (68) Booked: Anderson (23), Mansell (33), Saunders (43), McMillan (45) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers, B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Chalmers, Polworth, Trafford (Walsh 69), Welsh, Doran (Rooney 86), White. Subs (not used): C Mackay, McCauley, Austin, McHattie, Machado. Scorers: Doran (65), Walsh (81) Booked: Trafford (62), Donaldson (90+2) Sent Off: none a
  14. Firhill for Thrills Final trip to Firhill for the season coming up on Friday night in the Championship, and if you can't get along to the game, fear not for BBC Scotland will be covering the game live with the action kicking off at 19:05. It won't be our last run to Glasgow though as we have a Scottish Cup semi-final to play at Hampden on April13th with a 12:15 kick-off. Who knew! Anyway, this is League business, a totally different beast. ICT Supporters Travel Club The ICT Supporters Travel Club are running a bus to this match and the leaving times are as follows: Leaving the Caley Club: 1.45PM Leaving the Caledonian Stadium: 2PM Book on through their Facebook page or call/text 07462 218717 Unfortunately, our off-field antics are fast becoming known as the 'banter years'. The AGM has just occurred and judging by the sound of silence coming from the board, it's more Disturbed than Simon & Garfunkel. In fact it could even be a Bridge over troubled waters. Chief executive officer Yvonne Crook gone. Academy director Danny MacDonald gone. Youth coach and head of recruitment Ronnie Duncan gone. Club Secretary Jim Falconer going................ With rumours that we are heading towards a one million pound debt, what is going on inside the Boardroom and what is going to be done about it? It's at this stage of the season that there are no such things as an easy game with teams either looking for promotion or trying to avoid relegation. This is when teams in the lower half tighten their defences and battle for everything. A drop into league two would be a disaster for most clubs. At the top end, it seems to be all over bar the shouting, but United made it more interesting with a win over County in midweek. As it stands at the moment, we are just outside the play-off's albeit with a home game in hand over the Pars, (Alloa). In our absence last weekend, Dunfermline were supposed to take on Dundee United at East End Park but the weather decimated the Championship fixtures. Our realistic goal is to make the top four although it's well within the grasp of Dunfermline and ourselves to topple Ayr should they continue to falter. Incidentally, out of our grasp but, Dundee United closed the gap at the top to eight points after beating Ross County at Tannadice thanks to an early headed goal from Calum Butcher. With County playing in the fizzy pop final this weekend, there is the potential for that gap to be further reduced. Getting interesting up there. Partick's last game saw them in a relegation threatened tussle with Falkirk, the only game to beat the weather and it ended in stalemate at 1-1. Scott McDonald put Partick ahead but Ian McShane squared it for the Bairns. Partick have also bowed out of the Scottish Cup, narrowly losing 2-1 in the replay against our next opponents, Hearts. The previous games this season will show that we hold the upper hand, just. A 3-2 home win back in September was followed by a barely deserved 1-0 win at Firhill in November, Tom Walsh nicking the winner in the 71st minute and Mark Ridgers making a penalty save. Partick came North at the beginning of February and first half goals from loan signing Steven Anderson and Aiden Fitzpatrick was just enough for them to edge the game 2-1 despite a late Darren McCauley goal. Here's the Walsh goal last time at Firhill The only good to come out of last weekends downtime is that our injured players had more recovery time. So Tom Walsh, Anthony McDonald, Kevin McHattie and Daniel Mckay let's be havin you, we have a Scottish Cup Semi coming up! Young Brazilian wing back Matheus Machado has shown up well in the Turkish training camp and will be included in the squad. Also returning after injury are Tom Walsh and Kevin McHattie. Partick's recent get out of jail signing 35 year old Scott McDonald has been doing his best to help Partick beat the drop and scored his third goal in six appearances. His experience will present a danger to our stuttering promotion aspirations. Gary Harkins is another experienced player drafted in to take the strain and he has skill in abundance. In our favour, they still have the misfiring Miles Storey. Here's what Partick Manager Gary Caldwell had to say to BBC Sport after the Falkirk game............. "That was frustrating because we played better than Falkirk and should have been more than one goal in front before losing a sloppy goal. "We were the only team trying to win the game in the second half, but we created our own problems. There was a lack of cutting edge from us and a lack of killing a team off when were were on top." Ooft, sounds familiar Gary........... If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Draw with goals 3/1.............. fair bet! Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  15. The Final installment GAME OFF! Another local derby coming up on Friday night with BBC Scotland getting in on the action from the Caledonian Stadium with Ross County the visitors for a 7:05pm kick off. It's the 6th and final Highland derby this season and every one of these games has been passionate, enthralling, dramatic and left the fans wanting more. Well, it's here, the next installment. There has been a pitch inspection asked for ahead of this game at 12:30 today after a week of constant rain has left the pitch the worse for wear. Here you can see a touch of dampness around the goalmouth which has affected the bounce of the ball...... AND IT'S GAME OFF. Our last game was a rewarding away fixture at Dumfries where we held Queen of the South at bay in the second half after we had come out of the blocks flying before the interval. Goals from Aaron Doran and Brad Mckay gave us a platform to build on but that never happened so we consolidated and kept Queens out with Mark Ridgers performing heroics in a challenging second half. That win was only good enough to keep us in fifth place with Dunfermline also winning to hold onto fourth position. Our Championship form has been somewhat patchy and that is why we have dropped out of the top four with Pars on a run akin to County's surge. Ross County have all but won the Championship and the teams below them are all playing for either a play-off place or relegation avoidance. A 2-0 home win over Morton at the weekend put them further ahead of second place Dundee United. Second half goals from Josh Mullin and Brian Graham secured the points. County faced a resurgent Falkirk on Tuesday night and raced into a 2-0 lead after twenty minutes with Brian Graham and Keith Watson both scoring headers. A late Falkirk penalty and Grivosti sending off made for a tense finale but County held on for all three points. That midweek victory over Falkirk gives County six wins on the bounce in the Championship. They have now opened up an eleven point gap to second placed Dundee United. Add to that, a win at Motherwell in the Scottish Cup and a couple of draws with us as well as a Challenge Cup win over East Fife, then it's easy to see why they are heading back to the Premiership. Their last league defeat was a 4-0 thrashing at Palmerston in mid-January. Our squad has been at the thin edge of the wedge recently with injuries to Kevin McHattie, Tom Walsh and Anthony McDonald. That has meant moving players around within our first choice squad. Joe Chalmers is one player who has benefited from his latest role coming in from the right and on to his sweet left foot as displayed by his stunning strike against Dundee United in the cup. County's depth of squad will not present them with any major issues as they sprint for the Championship tape. Billy Mckay is out for the rest of the season after breaking his arm whilst scoring a hat-trick against Ayr United recently. Mckay had scored 20 goals this season for County and was in fine form. He also won the Championship player of the month whilst wristing up with his stookie. Good luck with the recovery Billy. Iain Vigurs has been out for a few weeks and Tom Grivosti will be suspended. Callum Semple is a good bet to be in the squad. His gambling activities have been brought to the attention of the governing bodies and he will face a disciplinary hearing on March 28th. Street fighting, gambling, managers banned, inappropriate dressing room behaviour............It's all going down in Dingwall. There'll be a Netflix documentary out soon! Here's Polly looking ahead to tonight's game Good news is on short supply from the club at the moment, but here's some. Daniel McKay has penned a new three year deal at Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Daniel is one of the hot properties in the Scotland youth set-up and as John Robertson acknowledged on the Official Site he is a tremendous prospect. Robertson said: “Negotiations kicked in after he played his 25th game for the club. We’ve sat down with his agent and his parents to negotiate a new three year deal which will see Daniel continue to play his football in the Highlands.” “It’s another step which shows the youngsters are in our thoughts. It’s been an unlucky season for Dan, he’s picked up a lot of small injuries and he’s struggling a bit with a strain in his knee right now but hopefully this will give him a boost.” “He will be involved between now and the end of the season, and we hope he can kick on because we feel he is a tremendous prospect for the future.”
  16. Doonhamers Hammered Doon John Robertson was without the injured Tom Walsh, Anthony McDonald and Kevin McHattie. The bench was thin, with youngsters Millar Gamble and Fraser Russell in the squad. A win for Inverness could put us back into the top four. Queen of the South went into this one on the back of six straight Championship defeats, and that was reflected in the poor crowd and you could see why they had been struggling of late. They fell behind after only seven minutes when Aaron Doran intercepted and scored. B Mckay muscled in at a corner to get the second goal after twenty minutes. Queens had a go after the break and Mark Ridgers had to be at his best to deny Dobbie and Dykes as the hosts threatened to get back into the game. The big keeper pulled off a hatful of brilliant saves to keep Queens at bay as we seemed content to hold what we had. Jordan White almost made it three but was denied by Leighfield in goal with five minutes left and the game just ran away from Queens as it finished 0-2 for Inverness. With Dunfermline also winning, we remain fifth in the league. RIG was in the away day crowd and here are his thoughts on the game............ Easy win yesterday. Despite Queens being on a bad run I still expected us to stumble a bit here so it was a nice surprise to see us easily secure the three points save for a pretty shoddy opening to the second half. Very well taken goal by Doran to open the scoring. I see some reports have stated it was a poor backpass but I thought it was an overhit through ball from one of our players (clearly I wasn't paying that much attention). Anyway, Doran did well to get onto it and round the keeper before finishing well from a pretty tight angle. I thought he might have taken it too wide but he did well to squeeze it in (ooooer). Mckay got the second when he met a corner and found the net via a big deflection off his marker. We should have had a third goal when Polworth saw his shot turned wide and then from his corner McCart (I think) headed against the bar and White shot over. Queens seldom threatened but they were much better after the break and we were fortunate not to concede at least one goal with Ridgers denying Dobbie, Dykes and then Dobbie again as we struggled to get going again. Gone was the nice crisp passing play replaced by hurried balls lumped forward to no one in particular. Only Doran seemed to have the intelligence to try and get the ball down on the ground and start knocking it about again. Once we did that we started to gain a foothold and should have extended our lead when Welsh and the Polworth again shot wide from distance. Great performances from the likes of Doran, Polworth, McCart and Tremarco. Ridgers didn't have too much to do in the first half but made three terrific saves to maintain our two goal lead in the second. Had one of those gone in who knows what might have happened. Caley Stan pretty much agreed with RIG.............. That was very comfortable in the end, a strange feeling. We came flying out of the blocks and maintained a really high intensity for the whole of the first half - Queens had chances on the break but we could easily have put the game to bed before half time. They had a period of pressure after half-time, Dobbie got a few shots away and Ridgers made a number of decent saves. Then came the most pleasing aspect of the performance, the thing that's been missing from our season - we kept the head and saw the game out calmly. Some more positives: - Doran, Polworth and Welsh really trust each other with the ball, they're happy to play it to each other in difficult areas and we're so much more creative as a result. - Trafford and White, two of our most maligned players, are looking increasingly comfortable in their roles, they're playing out of their skins and the fans are responding. Trafford actually looks alright next to Welsh's calming influence. - Rooney came on and played where Chalmers was - it's clear that he's an option up there. Here's the long awaited footage from QotS TV............. Here's Robbo..................... And an under pressure Gary Naysmith...................... Date: 09/03/2019 Venue: Palmerston Attendance: 1066 Referee: David Munro Queen of the South: 0 Lineup: Martin (Leighfield 45), Mercer, Fordyce, Brownlie, Doyle, Stirling, Jacobs, Aird (Murray 76), Wilson (McGrath 76), Dobbie, Dykes Subs (not used): Williams, Maguire. Scorers: none Booked: Aird (43), Wilson (76), Doyle (83). Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Trafford (Rooney 84), Polworth, Welsh, Chalmers, Doran (McCauley 82), White. Subs (not used): C Mackay, Austin, Gamble, Russell. Scorers: Doran (7), B Mckay (20) Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  17. Push for Promotion After the euphoria of a tremendous performance and result in the Scottish Cup win over Dundee United, it's back to the weekly chore of the Championship with a visit to Dumfries to take on Queen of the South. Yes folks, the push for promotion starts right here, right now, as we now find ourselves outside the play-off spot as we enter the final round of fixtures in the Championship. Plenty of action off the field at the Caledonian Stadium with CEO Yvonne Crook departing and our financial plight in the public domain. You can debate that and more on Caley Thistle Online. But we'll stick to the onfield activities just now with some crucial games coming up. Turnstile numbers for visiting fans, section of the ground BDS Digital (East) Stand section 6 has been set aside for away supporters. Turnstile 3 will be in use. Shared catering outlet and toilets in the BDS stand will be available for use. Catering is also available in the Arena café where a full menu is available before kick-off. The bar under the Gates Stand will also be open for refreshments. Please note that the BDS Stand ticket office is a CASH ONLY office. Should spectators wish to pay by card then they should purchase their tickets at the Arena ticket office. Adults - £18, Concessions - £10, Under 16 - £5, Adult Accessible - £8, Concession Accessible - £5, U16 Accessible - £3 It's our final game against Queen of the South for this season and there has been two draws and a win for Queens in the last one at Inverness. The most remarkable game was the 3-3 draw at Palmerston back in November. Lyndon Dykes, Stephen Dobbie and Josh Todd had Queens cigaring it. However, in a 10 minute burst, Inverness snatched a point and could have won it at the death. Goals from Jamie McCart, Nathan Austin and a Sean Welsh penalty squared the game and that was enough for a point. Speaking on the Doonhamers website, Gary Naysmith had this to say "We’ve lost six on the bounce now and that cold statistic doesn’t make good reading but it’s only part of the story because we’ve played well in nearly all of the games. I would be very concerned indeed if the performance levels were poor, but they’re not. The effort and the commitment in the games cannot be questioned. The players put in a really good shift again last weekend but the reoccurring problem is that we are not scoring goals when we are on top." Sounds familiar Gary! The table now shows that Dunfermline are in the final play-off spot after they beat Queens last week whilst we were on cup duty, albeit having played a game more, but it's points in the bag for the Pars. That's four wins on the trot for Dunfermline and they are one of the form teams in the League right now. Queens are the poorest side after six championship defeats in a row. The goals for and against for both clubs are similar, but with Stephen Dobbie in your side, those stats can change quickly. Our last game was the epic tie at Tannadice where we overcame United and a spot of diving to get into the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup where we will face the winners of the Hearts v Partick Thistle replay. Joe Chalmers scored our first with a sublime curling strike into the top corner and Aaron Doran won the game in time added on to stun the big home crowd. It was no more than we deserved though. How I wish we could take our cup passion into the Championship games. John Robertson has doubts over Tom Walsh and Anthony McDonald. Both missed the Arabs game through injury. Gary Naysmith will be without Josh Todd and Nicky Low. Both are out through injury. Robbo and Aaron talking ahead of the visit to Palmerston......... If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  18. Tannadice woe. Dundee United would inflict further woe on cash strapped Inverness after a close encounter of the third kind. A Nicky Clark penalty was sufficient to swing the game towards United with Inverness just failing to get back on level terms. John Robertson would rest Carl Tremarco and Aaron Doran, although Jamie McCart made the bench, but Tom Walsh and Anthony McDonald were out injured. United kicked off with over 4700 watching and immediately put Inverness onto the back foot creating three or four openings inside the first ten minutes. Peter Pawlett and Charlie Seaman narrowly missing the target from great positions inside the box and Nicky Clark heading tamely wide. Kevin McHattie was booked in the 17th minute as the Inverness defence came under sustained pressure. It took Inverness half an hour to fashion out a decent opportunity and Shaun Rooney headed over. Nathan Austin then drove into the box but his shot had the sting taken out of it and Ben Siegrist gathered. Coll Donaldson followed that up by heading over from close range as we began to threaten the home defence. Pawlett was the Arabs danger man as he drove forward and at the other end a Connolly error almost led to Austin getting in on goal. It was Pawlett that was causing most problems for the visitors, but at the break it was all square. Half-Time 0-0 There were no changes at the start of the second half as Liam Polworth kicked off. United were first to try after the break but Ridgers easily mopped up an effort from Clark. Inverness responded with Polworth firing over from outside the box and Austin almost flicked on to White, but United got it clear. Harkes had to clear one away from the line after some confusion in the Arabs ranks. Inverness were having a good spell and a Rooney cross was headed over by Austin................ However, It's the kiss of death and United get a penalty awarded after Coll Donaldson tripped Nicky Clark in the box, Clark converting from the spot. Three minutes later, the problematic Pawlett became a problem for United as he was sent off for a second bookable offence. Charlie Trafford shot just wide from outside the box as we looked to get back on level terms and an Austin header and a Chalmers shot had to be saved by Siegrist. Plenty of Caley Jags pressure in the final ten minutes with United down to ten men and the last fling is Daniel Mackay replacing Joe Chalmers as the clock ticked past ninety minutes. Safranko passed on a great chance to seal the points at the end but he blazed the ball over the bar and Donaldson saw a deflected effort tipped over, but it was too little too late as United held on for all three points. After tonights results, Dunfermline closed the gap to two points behind Inverness after a 3-0 win over Partick Thistle, Morton a further point behind after they beat Queen of the South and Ross County stretched their lead at the top by beating Ayr United thanks to a Billy Mckay hat-trick. Stirling Observer observed thus on CTO:- Entertaining game for one we didn't manage to score. Took a while to settle to the diamond midfield and Utd could have been out of sight. Gradually worked our way into the game and were arguably on top despite not creating much. Second half was really open and end to end. They were on top for a spell when they won the pen. I would have said it was a fair award. Coll lunged in to block the shot but took the players legs before the ball. Mchattie took an awful touch to draw Pawlett into a rash challenge for his second booking. This killed the game as our lack of creativity against there solid unit meant the classic sit deep and let us punt it. Coll's last second deflected shot was the closest I think we got, but Safranko did miss a great chance late on. Speaking to BBC Sport the managers had this to say:- Dundee United head coach Robbie Neilson: "I thought the first half we played well but couldn't get the ball over the line. "It's massive for us. It takes us a step further and now second in the league." Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson: "I'm disappointed. I thought United started very well. Coming down the slope, they got at us with good chances, but then we settled. "We changed our system a bit tonight by playing a diamond in there just to upset them." Action from Tannadice.............. Date: 26/02/2019 Venue: Tannadice Attendance: 4737 Referee: Barry Cook Dundee United: 1 Lineup: Siegrist; McMullan (Nesbitt 59), Clark (Gomis 78), Reynolds, Robson, Butcher, Seaman (Watson 84), Connolly, Harkes, Safranko, Pawlett. Subs (not used): Laidlaw, Fyvie, Sow, Smith. Scorers: Clark (pen 68) Booked: Connolly (32), Pawlett (48, 72), Safranko (82) Sent Off: Pawlett (72) Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, McHattie (Doran 76), Austin, Trafford (McCauley 82), Polworth, Welsh, Chalmers (D Mackay), White. Subs (not used): C Mackay, Tremarco, McCart, MacGregor. Scorers: none Booked: McHattie (17), Rooney (47) Sent Off: none a
  19. Arabfest First game of the Dundee United double header tonight as we head to Tannadice on League business. The recent hectic schedule has been taking it's toll and our wafer thin squad is being stretched to the limit after some physically draining games since the turn of the year. Nonetheless we will need to protect our position within the play-off zone as we near the final rounds of Championship games. Off the field of play the financial side of things has taken a battering. On the park we are faring slightly better. Fourth in the table and a cup quarter final to look forward to. It's the 25th anniversary of Inverness Caledonian Thistle, but unfortunately, the off field financial situation is grabbing all the headlines at the moment with a massive loss of £810,000 being reported for season 2017/2018. It looks more like a Go Fund Me page will be incoming soon, and that's not really a joke. If you ask me, Robbo has worked wonders on a shoe-string budget and it looks as though that will get worse before it gets better. Chairmans Message The sides have met twice this season, both games ending in 1-1 draws. Safranko opened the scoring in the first game but Jordan White levelled with twenty minutes to go. Coll Donaldson was sent packing ten minutes from the end as we held on for a point. In the next fixture at Inverness in mid December Tom Walsh scored early for Inverness but former Caley Jags player Billy King equalised with quarter of an hour to go. Meh! Our last game was a 1-0 win over Morton. The result was better than the performance with Carl Tremarco notching the goal. United faltered against Dundee United at the weekend with the Bairns coming from behind to grab a draw. Cammie Smith had put United in front just after the break but Falkirk got their point when Ciaran McKenna's header powered home with five minutes remaining. Ross County face Ayr United tonight in a top of the table clash. Inverness will wait to see who is fit enough to start in this game. The Cup game follows on Sunday and that could be seen as more lucrative for Inverness, given the financial benefits of a Cup run to Hampden situation. With a five point cushion in fourth spot, that could pave the way for one or two to be rested tonight. Tom Walsh missed out against Morton and Jamie McCart went off injured. Coll Donaldson was supposed to be resting but was called into action and he too took a couple of heavy knocks. Maybe a chance for some of the youngsters that Mr Rae is talking about to stake a claim for a start. Dundee United have sufficient resources to not have to worry about who will be fit enough to start. Recent acquisition Peter Pawlett will feature tonight. Here's Robbo talking ahead of the Arabs Championship clash.
  20. No rest for Coll The gruelling recent schedule was taking it's toll as Inverness played out a slender one goal win against Morton. Carl Tremarco glanced an early header home with what proved to be the only goal of the game. The final result was closer than it could have been, but given our recent exertions, then we'll take a narrow win over the Greenock side any day as we tried to conserve our energy levels. This win gives us a five point cushion in fourth place in the quest for a play-off slot, with Dunfermline emerging as the next best placed team to mount a challenge. Queen of the South and Morton are a further point behind the Pars. So it's still all to play for as we get down to the business end of the season with Ross County looking most likely to top the table after a great 4-2 win at Partick who hit the bottom. John Robertson tried to protect some players by giving Shaun Rooney a start at right back and moving Brad Mckay alongside Jamie McCart in central defence whilst resting Coll Donaldson. That plan went pear shaped when McCart had to leave the field after sustaining an injury on the half hour which meant no day of rest for Coll Donaldson. Tom Walsh missed out after picking up an injury against County in the cup and Anthony McDonald took his place. The more mundane atmosphere of the Championship fixture barely whispered round the ground with only a busload or two in the away end amongst some 2400 fans in the stadium. Liam Polworth set the ball rolling as we kicked off towards the away end. Nothing of note in the opening exchanges as both sides jockeyed for position, but Captain Carl would break the deadlock in the eleventh minute as he met a Liam Polworth corner at the near post to send the ball behind keeper McCrorie. The visitors responded and Mark Ridgers had to tip an effort from Chris Millar behind for a corner a couple of minutes after the goal. The ball looked like it might just be heading for the outside of the woodwork, but Mark took no chances and dealt with it accordingly. Brad McKay missed an opportunity after a ball found him in the box. Unfortunately it was more of the ball hitting Brad than Brad hitting the ball and the chance was missed. The game had little flow about it as players from both sides looked too eager to impress, nobody willing to put their foot on the ball and control proceedings. Jamie McCart went down and had to be replaced by courageous Coll on the half hour. Jordan White knocked a header forward but it just evaded the strikers as it ran through to the box after Polly passed on. We saw out the half with little coming from Morton in an attacking sense, the hosts doing just enough to keep their advantage. Half-Time 1-0 Darren McCauley replaced the injured Anthony McDonald at the interval and it was more of the same after the break. Morton struggling to create, Inverness happy with the reprieve. In the 57th minute Tremarco almost got his second goal but his header was cleared off the line by Buchanan to deny the captain as he met a great ball in from Sean Welsh. There followed a spell of Inverness pressure where we threatened to run a way with the game, but some last ditch defending and wayward shooting kept the score at 1-0. The second half was fast becoming an anti-climax as we were content to give the lightweight Morton offence the ball, and fortunately they had little idea what to do with it. Donaldson received more treatment towards the end after going down injured, but he is made of strong stuff is Coll and he resumed after being repaired. As the clock ticked away, we sat deeper and deeper allowing the visitors the freedom of the park. We did counter on a few occasions but in all honesty neither side looked likely to get another goal. The game ended with Morton frantically trying to put pressure on our defence, but we held out comfortably enough to record only our third home win in the Championship. It was a much needed low key encounter and a welcome three points that boosts our play-off chances. Carl Tremarco is the proverbial Duracell Bunny and he gets my nod for MotM. That was his first goal this term and it was good enough to win all three points. The future is bright, the future is orange. It's a difficult week coming up with two visits to Tannadice. On Wednesday it's Championship night and Sunday is the quarter final of the Scottish Cup, so no let up in the intensity and challenges for our stretched squad. From BBC Sport Inverness CT boss John Robertson: "We created plenty of chances today but we had to hang on. The last five or six minutes we decided to just take what we had. I cannot praise the players highly enough for their attitude and application. "They gave it everything and they gave absolutely everything they had on Tuesday, and absolutely everything today so it's a wonderful three points. It was a massive performance from them." Morton manager Jonatan Johansson: "I'm disappointed with the result obviously and I'm also disappointed in the way we lost the goal - another set-play. I know we are a small team but we need to be better at defensive set plays - they've been costing us for a while now. "Before that I felt everything was going alright. I think we played some nice passing football but in the final third we didn't have the spark or belief and it was powder-puff at times. We never really threatened them." Match Highlights from Caley Jags TV Yesterday's goal hero, Tommy Tremarco................. Date: 23/02/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2413 Referee: Steven Reid Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, McCart (Donaldson 32), Tremarco, McDonald (McCauley 45), Polworth (Trafford 83), Welsh, Chalmers, Doran, White Subs (not used): C Mackay, McHattie, Austin, D Mackay. Scorers: Tremarco (11) Booked: Tremarco (36) Sent Off: none Morton FC: 0 Lineup: McCrorie; McAlister, Waddell, Buchanan, Iredale, Millar, Telfer (Tidser 60), Dykes (Lyon 70), O'Connell (Tumilty 59), McHugh, Kiltie Subs (not used): Gaston; Kilday, Thomson, Dallas. Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  21. Back to the weekly chore. Back to the mundane weekly chore on Saturday as Morton come North hoping we don't think they are Ross County. If only we could play Ross County every week. It was an exciting time to be alive on Tuesday night as Inverness finally got one over our dear friends and near neighbours in the Scottish Cup. It might have taken extra-time and penalties, but we got there in the end and dumped County out of the cup. Big team big cup, wee team wee cup. We will now face Dundee United at Tannadice in the Quarter Finals of the Scottish Cup on Sunday 3rd March, 15.30 kick-off. Adults £15, Concessions (Over 65s, Students, Under 18s and Under 12s) £5. Get your tickets HERE What an intense experience that was. Noisy crowd, four goals, eight bookings, a fracas in extra-time and Nathan Austin squeezing home the final penalty to win the tie. We have had greater achievements, but for sheer drama, this one will take a lot of beating. There has been nothing between the sides in all five games this season and the tension was palpable as the sides took to the field. County went ahead when Ross Stewart bounced in a header only for Jordan White to power one of his own behind Fox. Gobby Gardyne put County back in front but Jordan stroked in his second of the night. An extra thirty minutes failed to separate the sides although Carl Tremarco hit the junction of post and bar with a hooked shot and it was down to penalties. Mark Ridgers made the breakthrough as he saved McManus' spot kick and we slotted all five to put a smile back on the Caley Jags fans dials. The young team were our secret weapon as they rallied the troops in the North Stand. Overall it was a great night and here's hoping we can recreate the derby experience in a run of the mill Championship game. Morton limbered up for this game with a goalless draw against Ayr United last weekend whilst we were suffering at East End Park in a dire performance, going down to a Joe Thomson strike. Those results coupled with Queen of the South losing to Dundee United saw our play-off hopes suffer little damage and a win this weekend would put some more daylight between us and Morton who are only three points behind us at the moment. The cup tie in midweek was a hard battle and Tom Walsh was injured early on. It looks like he will miss this one with a groin injury although that has not been confirmed yet. The pace of the game took it's toll on the players and it was a survival of the fittest, both mentally and physically. Don't be surprised if one or two require more time to get over that game. Donaldson took a few knocks but was last man standing at the end. The heavy pitch took it's toll as well, so it's up to Robbo to see who has the desire, mental and physical ability to get back on the park again. Morton had this starting XI against Ayr United:- 23. McCrorie 8. McAlister 5. Waddell 4. Buchanan 3. Iredale 7. Millar 6. Telfer 15. Dykes 44. Dallas 11. McHugh 20. Kiltie Subs used: 17. O’Connell (for Dallas, 67), and 32. R.Lyon (for Dykes, 90+1) Here's another date for your diary. The IrnBru Cup Final will be played at the Caledonian Stadium on Saturday 23rd March with a 16:30 kick off. I suppose it's handy as the Cup is in our trophy cabinet anyway. The final will be between Ross County who will have to make the arduous 12 mile journey over the Kessock Bridge, and Connah's Quay Nomads from Wales who will only have to make the 400 mile trip which will take six and a half hours by car. Seems fair enough to me. Just so they know where they are going, here's Sophie's painting of our stadium. Here's a wee song to while away the hours for all the travelling folk. Our site sponsors FansBet will have some good odds for you to take advantage of this weekend. 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.
  22. Par for the course It was pretty much Par for the course as we slumped to another defeat in the league. It would appear that our league form is not as good as our cup form, or maybe it's just the local derby's we get our act together for. Whatever is the issue, it's a disappointing trend and Dunfermline were untroubled for most of the game with Joe Thomson getting the only goal of a scrappy game. Mark Ridgers will feel he might have done better at the goal. Aidan Connolly smacked the bar, but a late flurry from Inverness produced little of note in another hapless display, the team looking somewhat jaded. John Robertson made several changes after the bruising cup tie at Dingwall last Monday. Liam Polworth was injured and Coll Donaldson and Sean Welsh got some bench time. That meant that Darren McCauley and Charlie Trafford started and Shaun Rooney came back in at right back. RIG was as usual in the away end with Caley Away and here is his report. Hands down one of the worst performances from an ICT that I can recall in a long time, especially that first 45 minutes. We were all over the shop. McCart, who until recently had been a very solid performer, was uncharacteristically sloppy with a number of sliced clearances and slack passes but he got better as the game wore on as did the likes of Trafford who was something of a headless chicken until we went to 442 and he seemed to be a lot more effective. White struggled badly until Austin came on. He (White) didn't get much service and when the ball did come his way he was largely dominated by Ashcroft who was excellent yesterday as were Connolly and Vincent for the home side. McCauley should have been sent off. After he was booked he committed two needless fouls that both could have resulted in a second booking so it was no surprise when Robbo took him off for MacDonald. Pars had a weak penalty claim when Anderson seemed to go down quite easily. Maybe any highlights will show something different but I wasn't convinced at the time. Second half Dunfermline started much the better side. I don't know what Robbo said to the players at the break but most seemed to be still sleepwalking when Thomson dribbled across goal then lashed a shot past Ridgers who seemed to be caught by a deflection or by McCart ducking out of the way or something. In Mark's defence, it appears that he may have been slightly unsighted and the ball also appears to swerve a bit. Meh! Disappointing goal to concede but we were lucky not to be two down when Connolly battered the crossbar with a lovely shot just outside the area. We started to come back into the game when Doran went off and Austin came on giving White a bit more support up front and we started to create some half chances. Walsh had perhaps the best opportunity for an equaliser when he drove towards goal and was afforded a lot of time and space to shoot from about 20 yards but he sent the ball well over. White and Mckay passed up a couple of decent chances to bring us back on level terms but they shot wide of / over the goal. A seriously disappointing performance after what was a good showing on Monday night against County. We were missing arguably three of our most important players in Donaldson, Polworth and Welsh however if we want to stay in the play-off spot we need to improve our performances quickly. Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson was speaking to BBC Sport: "I'm massively disappointed. It was straightforward - Dunfermline showed more hunger, energy and work-rate in first 10 minutes of each half. "I felt they were up for the taking, but they got their goal - Ridgers should've saved it. It was mistake from him. "Then the penny dropped and in the last 15 minutes we were camped in their half, but we had chances through Brad McKay and Shaun Rooney. "It's a missed opportunity because, if we win, we get a wee gap and we start pushing above us. "We're now in a hell of a scrap with Queen of the South, Morton, Partick, Falkirk. What they've done now is give me a blank sheet of paper for Tuesday night because there will be changes." Caley Stan was less than impressed with the value for money That's the worst away performance I've seen this season. We missed Coll and Polly as you would expect, but the absence of Sean Welsh had the most impact, his replacement charged and lunged his way around the park in a way that seemed to unsettle his teammates as much as the opposition. We didn't get the forward midfield 3 into the game at all, and when we finally went to 4-4-2 we looked slightly more threatening but without creating clear-cut chances. It could've been worse - McCauley should've been sent off and a better side would've added to their tally in the second half. We are a very poor side without those 3 players. Yngwie was more supportive to the keeper................ What actually happened with Ridgers for the goal? Routine looking save but the shot went through him. You know it’s not your day when even your most dependable player messes up. Look away now Marky boy............. Site Admin Scotty has this to add from our site sponsors FANSBET Ahead of our replay against County, Fansbet are allowing CTO users to suggest what the special bet to be promoted on their site should be for the game next week ? If you want a specific special listed please put them in the thread on CTO and they will chose one at random, assign it odds and feature it before the game in the fan boosts section. : https://www.fansbet.com/en/betting/sports/fan-boosts/ Here's the full highlights................ Date: 16/02/2019 Venue: East End Park Attendance: 4497 Referee: Steven Kirkland Dunfermline: 1 Lineup: Scully; Craigen, Ashcroft, Devine, Longridge, Vincent, Beadling, Thomson, Blair (Williamson 78), Connolly (Longridge 70) Anderson (Durnan 90+1) Subs (not used): Gill; Todd, Hippolyte, Higginbotham Scorers: Thomson (47) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, McCart, Tremarco (Welsh 88), Walsh, Trafford, McCauley (McDonald 34), Chalmers, Doran (Austin 64), White Subs (not used): C Mackay, Donaldson, McHattie, MacGregor, Scorers: none Booked: McCauley (27), Trafford (55), Rooney (81) Sent Off: none a
  23. 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. Dunfermline game -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 peloton trying to close the gap to the pace setters as the end of season sprint nears. This will be the third Championship game between the clubs. The first 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. Robbo was being a bit coy on the injury situation, but reading between the lines I would expect two or three changes to the line-up, given the cup game forthcoming on Tuesday night. 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.......... If you fancy some Matchday Hospitality at the Scottish Cup replay against @RossCounty on Tuesday 19th February, 19:45 kick-off, for £40pp including a welcome drink, curry with accompaniments and main stand seats from which to enjoy what is sure to be another great Derby! So, hurry for your curry!
  24. 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
  25. 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.