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  1. Caley Jags weather the storm. Inverness ran out comfortable winners as the game was played out in a mini storm. James Vincent opened the scoring on the half hour from a corner in a dull first half. A brighter second half saw James Keatings score a tremendous swerving free kick from 35 yards before Semple pulled one back for Queens in the middle of a storm. We'll put that one down to the weather. Miles Storey put the game to bed ten minutes from the end when David Carson slid a ball into the box for Storey to poke home off the post. The outcome was never really in doubt and just the tonic on a freezing night when the weather deteriorated as the game went on. Credit to both sets of players for getting through the game without hypothermia setting in. ☃️ Stirling Observer had this to say on CTO............. Good win. Queens were very poor. Took a wee while to settle into the formation but the goal certainly helped. Great corner from Keatings, with whip and dip. Vincent flicked it in. Second goal was a direct free kick from Keatings. It was a Ronaldo-esqe strike through the ball to give it swerve and dip. Keeper appeared to be distracted by this or the runners and messed up his balance. Ball went in quite centrally but moved an awful lot. Good strike from about 35 yards out. 3rd was a good run (again) by Carson. Was fortunate his flick through deflected into the path of Storey who was sharp to pounce and toe poke it in off the far post. Couldn't really see what happened with their goal. <checks video> Defence wasn't overly troubled. Mchattie swept up everything and Toddy won everything in the air. Formation suited most of the players particularly Keatings, Storey and Rooney. Carson had a super game again. Won back so many balls by harassing the opposition. Doran and Walsh seemed to enjoy their cameos off the bench. Corner flag on a bender..... Miles better............ Brrrrrŕrrrrrrrr Date: 10/03/2020 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1811 Referee: Steven Reid Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Todorov, McHattie, Tremarco, Carson, Trafford, Vincent, Harper (Doran 77), Keatings (Walsh 76), Storey (White 88) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Davies, MacGregor, Scorers: Vincent (30), Keatings (57), Storey (79) Booked: Tremarco (29) Sent Off: none Queen of the South: 1 Lineup: Stewart; Ledger, Kilday, Semple, Kidd (Petravicius 39), Lyon, Pybus (Hamilton 75), Wilson, Mercer, Oliver, Dobbie (Paton 62) Subs (not used): Leighfield, Devine, Gourlay. Scorers: Semple (72) Booked: Ledger (88) Sent Off: none a
  2. Queens visit Another Tuesday, another game at the Caledonian Stadium, this time we host Queen of the South looking to get over the disappointment of a poor result at Alloa on Saturday. The game kicks off at 7:45pm. At the weekend, we went down to the Wasps who were absolutely buzzing. Only two goals which flattered Inverness who also saw a host of opportunities wasted. First half goals from Lee Connelly and Kevin O'Hara saw us leave Clackmannanshire empty handed. However, the disappointment was tempered by the fact that we actually gained a point over our nearest challengers over the week as all other sides drew again. I know, I know, it's clutching at straws a wee bit, but it's all we've got to be happy about after a grim week. Queen of the South went ahead in midweek only for Dunfermline Athletic to peg them back with a penalty just after half time. Gary Oliver had put Queens on their way to their first win in nine games but Jonathan Afolabi levelled from the spot. The Doonhamers have slipped into the play-off slot at the wrong end of the league thanks to Alloa beating us. However, we are still closer to them on points than we are to league leaders Dundee United. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Match Info Tickets Sports Bar Official report v Alloa Digital Matchday Programme ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Two other games on Tuesday night Partick Thistle v Dunfermline Athletic Dundee v Ayr United Queen of the South play Ayr United on Friday night. This is the third meeting between the clubs this season with Inverness victorious in the first two games, both 2-0 wins home and away. Queens are close to the relegation danger zone and will be looking to rectify that so expect a tough encounter where on their day, any team is capable of beating anyone in the league. Given our reluctance to beat teams in the bottom half of the league, this will not be an easy task. Hopefully the rude awakening at Alloa will stir the team and get us back on track. Sean Welsh and James Vincent missed the game at Recreation Park and Lewis Toshney came off injured after only three minutes. The news regarding Toshney is not great, he is expected to be out for at least a month with an injury to his quad muscle, and that leaves us wafer thin at the back with the run-in and Chocolate biscuit cup coming up. Once more Queen of the South will be relying heavily on top scorer Stephen Dobbie. Always a threat, Dobbie has eleven goals to his credit this term, meagre by his own standards. However, he is one of the best finishers in the Championship. Ignore him at your peril......... Simon Macdonald RIP The funeral service will take place on Wednesday 11 March at 12.30pm in the Funeral Home of William T Fraser and Son, Culduthel Road, Inverness, IV2 6AB, and thereafter to Kilvean Cemetery. All friends and colleagues past and present welcome. Family flowers only please, and money donations to the Scottish Burned Children’s Club welcome. As a mark of respect for Simon, the Fans will do their own tribute at the Challenge Cup Final against Raith Rovers. We're planning on having a minutes applause in the 44th minute for Simon / Bronson during this game. Something to note for later this month and feel free to make others around you at the game aware.
  3. Wasps Buzzing Inverness had to re-shuffle the back four in the third minute with Lewis Toshney unable to continue, Kevin McHattie replacing him. A deflected shot by Lee Connelly opened the scoring after 12 minutes, the ball entering the net off Brad Mckay. Alloa were on top in the early exchanges but Neil Parry had to make a brilliant save to deny Jordan White midway through the half. Alan Trouten extended the lead before half an hour had gone, scoring from close range. No further scoring after the break, but Alloa were well worth the three points. It should have been more, the woodwork came to inverness' rescue a couple of times in the second half. For Inverness it's a thoroughly disappointing result, undoing the good work in midweek. The only thing in our favour was we only lost one point on everyone else as the rest of the games ended in draws. Therefore, this week saw us gain a point on our nearest challengers. Still, in truth, it's results like this that have cost us big time and left Dundee united alone at the top. One step forward, two steps back! Brad Mckay returned to defence with Kevin McHattie dropping to the bench. James Vincent and Sean Welsh were still out. For Alloa, Ian Flannigan missed out but Neil Parry made his second start between the sticks after returning from injury. Great report on CTO forum from RIG............... Daylight robbery. We should have been absolutely pumped rotten today. I can barely remember troubling Parry until a couple of minutes from the end when Walsh flashed a shot just over / onto the bar. The rest of the game Alloa took us to pieces aided by some lacklustre defending from us. There was no one with the entire mountain range of the Ochils to stop Alloa taking the lead with Connelly having far too much time and space to lash a shot beyond Ridgers. Apparently it took a deflection but it was hard to see for sure from the other end of the ground. Not too long later the second arrived. Harsh free kick against White for handball but again we looked shoddy defending the resultant cross which found Trouten at the back post and he tucked the ball in from close range. There didn't look to be any ICT player in close attendance and if there was there were still other Alloa players unmarked in an apparent breakdown of who was marking who. Our only real chance came when White tried to seize on a knock down but from a couple of yards out he couldn't connect with the ball and Parry gathered. Second half Alloa initially seemed to sit in before quickly realising that a defensive pairing of Brad Mckay and Kevin McHattie can be easily be gotten at, and set up utterly destroying us. Star of the show Scott Banks tested Ridgers when he broke free and curled a lovely shot towards goal but Ridgers leapt across to block it. Alloa then missed what looked like an easy chance to get that third goal. Alloa forced Ridgers into a save but, with the ball bobbling just in front of him, he couldn't hold on and the ball broke free to an onrushing Alloa player who rounded Ridgers but then hit the post from a yard or two out. Banks again showed real class as he did spin after spin to dance through the ICT midfield and defence and he was unlucky to see another good effort go over the bar and Alloa had a further chance when they rattled the crossbar. Our only real second half chance came when Walsh sent a half cross half shot onto the bar but we were well and truly gubbed today. A lot to think about in the coming weeks. Highlights from AlloaTV Honest John..... Date: 07/03/2020 Venue: Recreation Park, Alloa Attendance: 712 Referee: Steven Kirkland Alloa Athletic: 2 Lineup: Parry; Robertson (Buchanan 66), Stirling, Taggart, Dick, Cawley, Hetherington, Trouten, Banks (Brown 86), Connelly (Thomson 76), O'Hara, Subs (not used): Wright; O'Donnell, Scorers: Connelly (12), Trouten (28) Booked: Thomson (78) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Toshney (McHattie 3), B Mckay, Tremarco (Todorov 76), Doran, Carson, Trafford, Walsh, Storey (Keatings 63), White Subs (not used): C Mackay; Harper, MacGregor, Scorers: none Booked: Trafford (60), Sent Off: none a
  4. A spot of Recreation After a good set of results in midweek, the Caley Jags head to Recreation Park Alloa, looking to consolidate their position in second place in the Championship, the game kicking off at 3:00pm. Inverness were the only team to win in midweek as the other four games ended goalless. This will be the sixth meeting between the sides this season, with Inverness having three wins, the other two games were draws. Last time together we struggled to a 1-1 draw against the Wasps. A first half penalty was tucked away by Iain Flannigan but Jordan White rescued our day with a goal on the hour. Last time at Recreation Park we were on Scottish Cup duty and edged out Alloa 2-3 thanks to a late goal from Charlie Trafford. Alloa's top scorer Kevin O'Hara scored twice to square matters after Aaron Doran and Jordan White had Inverness ahead twice. We never find it easy on the artificial surface and I expect it will be no different this time round. Championship fixtures this weekend Aloa Athletic v Inverness CT Ayr United v Dundee Dundee Utd v Partick Thistle Dunfermline v Queen of the South Morton v Arbroath Here's Johnny.............. OFFICIAL PREVIEW Sean Welsh and James Vincent missed out in midweek but Lewis Toshney added some much needed solidarity to our defence. Brad Mckay will be available for selection after his red card against Hibs in the Scottish Cup and Robbo is hopeful Vincent will be added to the squad. Alloa's main threat will be 14 goal Kevin O'Hara although he is not the only player we need to be wary of. Kevin Cawley, and Alan Trouten are well aware how to find the back of the net, and at the other end Neil Parry made a welcome return to the goals, shutting Dundee out with a tremendous performance in midweek. That's some save by Neil Parry in midweek................. Bronson It should be noted that after the passing of the legend that is Bronson, his funeral arrangements have been released. RIP Simon. On behalf Simon’s immediate family, we would like to express our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has been in touch, shared their memories of him and offered their support. It has been truly humbling – we knew he was a great bloke, but this has surpassed even our expectations. His death will leave a huge hole in the hearts and lives of all who knew him. The funeral service will take place on Wednesday 11 March at 12.30pm in the Funeral Home of William T Fraser and Son, Culduthel Road, Inverness, IV2 6AB, and thereafter to Kilvean Cemetery. All friends and colleagues past and present welcome. Family flowers only please, and money donations to the Scottish Burned Children’s Club welcome. Please share this information with anyone else you think would like to know. — feeling heartbroken. As a mark of respect for Simon, the Fans will do their own tribute at the Challenge Cup Final against Raith Rovers. We're planning on having a minutes applause in the 44th minute for Simon / Bronson during this game. Something to note for later this month and feel free to make others around you at the game aware.
  5. Raise a glass for Bronson One of the Championship's form teams venture North on Tuesday night in the shape of Greenock Morton. With 10 points from their last six games, only Arbroath can better that with 12 points. Our tally over the last six is a mere 7 points. The game has a 7:45 kick-off time as our hectic schedule kicks in. We went down heavily at Easter Road as the last Championship side standing. It ended 5-2 and we finished the game down to ten men, beaten, but not bowed. Morton made the most of their Saturday game as they thrashed Queen of the South 4-0. The goals came from Tumilty, Nesbitt, Cadden and McGuffie, that's 12 goals in their last four games including a 2-1 win at Somerset Park. Brad Mckay is suspended and James Keatings and James Vincent are doubts. OFFICIAL PREVIEW Robbo talking pre-match Sadly, football takes a back seat this week after news that one of our own larger than life fans has passed away with so much still to offer. No one saw it coming, no one saw the signs. Everyone thinks that men are so tough they don't give a shit. Well I have news for you. Men do care, men hurt, men cry, men can do all these things. It's OK to be not OK. Men need help as well so please please please tell someone, talk to your best buddy. More people understand than they will tell you. Many of us have felt low at some point. It's not something to be ashamed of, but help is out there, speak about it, please. Rip 'Bronson' a nicer guy you would struggle to find anywhere. It's difficult to come to terms with this. For his family and close friends, this is sad times, but please, be comforted in the knowledge that Simon was well loved and will be sorely missed. Heartbroken is a word used too readily, it is the word to describe the feeling amongst all who had the privilege and honour of being in Simon's company. Gringo posted this lovely heartfelt tribute to Simon. Words can not explain how I feel right now. Today I heard of the passing of one the nicest guys I ever met whilst supporting Inverness Caley Thistle. He was a laugh, a true Caley Thistle fan, a gent and was always in awe at my (our) long distance journeys that were made as a family to follow his (our) team. He was also a founder member of the infamous Highland March and also became the saviour of it too on that very first event. I shared the support bus with him on a number of occasions we're we talked football and rock music. From those halcyon days of the HM, the fun in the Innes Bar, the home matches and the away matches on the supporters bus I will never forget you Simon MacDonald ‘Bronson’ never. With a heavy heart I bid you farewell my friend and may you rest in peace now. My heart also goes out to all your family and friends. A pain unimaginable right now. I hope my words ease that awful pain somehow. 💔💔 Everyone on CTO will echo these thoughts and we all pass on our heartfelt condolences to Simon's family, friends and colleagues. Gone too soon, but will never be forgotten. Simon, you will never walk alone......
  6. Walsh winner dumps Pars Inverness were still without Sean Welsh for the visit to East End Park, but captain Carl Tremarco made his 200th appearance for the club. Lewis Toshney started with Tom Walsh and James Keatings on the bench. The Pars had two former Inverness players in their starting XI, Owain Fon Williams and Danny Devine. Form player Kevin Nisbet was leading the attack. Roddy MacGregor set the ball rolling in front of a decent crowd in his first start for some time, but Dunfermline were soon on the attack with Mark Ridgers palming away a dangerous low cross from Jonathan Afolabi, James Vincent mopped up before Kevin Nisbet could benefit. A few minutes later Ridgers had to deal with an effort from Nisbet inside the box. All the early pressure came from the Pars and James Vincent picked up an early booking as the hosts looked for an early advantage. Dom Thomas shot wide after Afolabi headed the ball down to him. Inverness still to get out of first gear. It's all Dunfermline thus far and in the eleventh minute Nisbet headed wide and moments later Afolabi shot just wide. It looks like it's going to be a long night for the visiting fans. Inverness' first venture forward and an Aaron Doran corner finds Lewis Toshney at the back post but from a tight angle he missed the target. As the visitors began to get to grips with the game Roddy MacGregor won a free kick some twenty yards out. Aaron Doran fired the ball high into the net off the underside of the bar to surprise everyone in the stadium. What a goal from Doran, his ninth of the season. Back came the Pars and Ridgers had to deal with an effort from Thomas and at the other end MacGregor headed wide. Five minutes before the break Nisbet diverted a low cross over the bar. As the half ended Vincent deflected the ball at the expense of a corner which saw a Ryan Dow shot cleared. Ridgers then saved from Kyle Turner, the last action of the first forty-five Half Time 0-1 No changes at the interval and the Pars got the second half underway, kicking towards the home fans in the Norrie McCathie Stand but the first opportunity went to Inverness as Jordan White headed over. Dom Thomas sent an effort goalwards but Ridgers was equal to it saving in the top corner and Dow put the rebound over the bar from a tight angle. Minutes later Ridgers held onto another effort from distance from the lively Thomas. Celtic loanee Jonathan Afolabi was next to try his luck but the youngster fired over the bar, his next effort would be held by Ridgers. James Keatings replaced young MacGregor on the hour and Carl Tremarco got something for his 200th game; a yellow card. Dunfermline level the score with twenty minutes remaining when Dom Thomas fired a tremendous shot into the top corner from outside the box after a poor clearance from Inverness. Substitute Tom Walsh was only on for a couple of minutes when he hit the post from the edge of the box. He would do better two minutes later when he shot low into the net after a White dummy, possibly with the aid of a deflection off Euan Murray. Keatings volleyed over the bar after a White shot was blocked as Inverness looked to put the game to bed. Lewis Martin headed over the bar in stoppage time and a late corner was defended well as Inverness held on for a valuable three points with news that Morton had beaten Ayr United 2-1, so a good night for the Caley Jags who go into second place on their own, three points ahead of Dundee. Here's the goals, a couple of belters. And here's a happy chappy..... Full Highlights from PARS TV Date: 25/02/2020 Venue: East End Park Attendance: 3357 Referee: Gavin Ross Dunfermline: 1 Lineup: Fon Williams; Comrie, Ashcroft (Martin 81), Devine, Murray, Dow (Ross 54), Paton, Turner, Thomas, Nisbet, Afolabi (McGill 68). Subs (not used): Gill; Thomson, Brawling, McCann Scorers: Thomas (70) Booked: Paton (30), Ashcroft (57) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Toshney, B Mckay, Tremarco, Doran (Trafford 80), Carson, Vincent, Macgregor (Keatings 61), Storey (Walsh, 71), White. Subs (not used): C Mackay; Harper, McHattie, Todorov. Scorers: Doran (23), Walsh (77) Booked: Vincent (10), B Mckay (20), Tremarco (61), Toshney (79) Sent Off: none a
  7. 8Steak Bridie time The pitfalls of a wee cup run and some bad weather will be upon us for the next few weeks. On Tuesday night we face Dunfermline Athletic at East End Park, the game kicking off a 7:45pm. That means it's steak bridie time! That will be followed by a Scottish Cup quarter final at Easter Road on Friday night. What a time to be alive! Dundee closed the gap to zero points on Saturday after they beat Queen of the South. We remain above them on goal difference only with Ayr and Arbroath a further one and two behind. Ayr United had their game at Arbroath abandoned at half time with the score level. The table looks like this with one other game tonight, Ayr v Morton. Dunfermline are just off the pace in sixth place and a win would put them right back in the mix. It's all getting rather congested in the race to be the best of the rest as The Arabs disappear into a mirage. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Match Information including ticket prices & Travel Club Info ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We went down 2-1 at Tannadice in an entertaining game played in atrocious conditions. Jordan White scored inbetween counters from Louis Aperre and 28 goal Lawrence Shankland. We ran United close but Shankland was the difference on the night. Dunfermline's game on Saturday fell foul to the weather at Firhill. Here's Johnny..... Sean Welsh won't be attending this time as he is still broken. No reports of fresh injuries that I am aware of, so maybe a similar squad that played United or freshen it up with Lewis Toshney coming in to the back four. He is cup tied anyway so can't play at Easter Road. Dunfermline have had three weeks off prior to this game, their latest game falling foul of the wet weather last week. So they will be fresh as a daisy. Let's not forget, they have Danny Devine in their squad. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Don't forget the Quarter Final of the Scottish Cup is this Friday. Having beaten Livingston in the previous round, the Caley Jags travel to Easter Road to take on Hibernian, the game kicking off at 7:45pm. If you are unable to attend, then BBC Scotland will be screening the match live. Mon the Caley Jags
  8. Tannadice drookit John Robertson was without the injured Sean Welsh who has been out of the side most of his time here. Some say he is made of wafers, but he will be a big miss for us tonight. Former United player Lewis Toshney was on the bench with Brad Mckay coming into the back four. First time back at Tannadice since the departure of Coll Donaldson; who will they vent their anger towards instead? Louis Appere came back into the starting XI with American Ian Harkes dropping to the bench. Former Hamilton Accies striker Rakish Bingham made his home debut. Lawrence Shankland, the scorer of five goals in two games against Inverness was United's main striker. United kicked off with constant rain falling at Tannadice and James Vincent had to charge down an effort on the edge of the box, but moments later Lawrence Shankland should have opened the scoring as he latched onto a ball in the box with just a couple of minutes on the clock but fired just over the bar. Ten minutes gone and the game had turned into a midfield tussle. Or did I speak too soon........ Inverness failed to defend positively when United probed forward and Louis Appere side footed home brilliantly from the edge of the box with Mark Ridgers unable to get an early vision of the shot, the ball nestling in the bottom corner beyond the keepers outstretched hands. Mark Connolly headed over from a corner a minute later as United began to dominate the midfield and Shankland saw a twelve yard shot deflected over the bar for a corner which Ridgers claimed well given the slippery conditions. Inverness responded well and put United on the back foot momentarily before James Keatings dived shot over. Storey dragged a shot well wide as well as we tried to get a foothold. Vincent found himself offside after some neat interplay as we pushed forward. Brad Mckay did well to stop a surging run by Peter Pawlett and as the play went to the other end Jordan White shot over. David Carson robbed Shankland in the visitors half and the move ended when Tom Walsh curled a shot just over the bar. United did likewise as Connolly drove forward and Appere forced Ridgers to save his angled shot low down. Inverness went to the other end and won a corner. Keatings swung a great ball into the near post and big Jordan White put his head in the mix to power a header behind Siegrist to level the score. Some confusion in the home box allowed White to turn and shoot but the ball was deflected agonisingly wide with only five minutes to the interval. The corner showed more indecisiveness in the United box as it was hacked clear. Moments later White tried to get space in the box but United eventually broke the move down. There was no let up in the weather as the break approached and Shankland tried to burst into the box but Brad Mckay once more dominated him. Just on the break a flick goalwards was scooped up by Ridgers and that endeth a decent first forty-five. Half time 1-1 No replacements at the break as the rain continued to dampen the atmosphere. Walsh brought out a save from Siegrist at the start of the half as Inverness continued on the front foot but Carson who was walking a tightrope after a soft booking in the first half upended a United player to the derision of the home support. Another Keatings corner almost brought white into play agfain at the near post but United survived. Robbo thought better of the Carson incident and replaced him with Charlie Trafford as united refreshed as well. Against the run of play, Shankland turned and rammed home from the edge of the box to put United ahead once more with Bingham providing the assist. Great strike from a class striker, his 28th goal of the season. In the 70th minute Inverness wee fortunate to see a Harkes strike deflected for a corner as United looked to kill the game Shaun Rooney almost equalised in the final minutes when he headed just over the corner of the bar as Inverness chased an equaliser. It almost came when a long ball over the top found Tremarco coming in on the blind side but he was only able to find the side netting. A great tackle from Mckay halted Appere as he sprinted forward on the wing, but time ran out for the Caley Jags. The game ended just out of reach for the Caley Jags, but a decent performance all round which could have gained at least a point was the final outcome. Meh!!! Match reaction to follow................. Here's Robbo on BBC Sport "We need to mark Shankland in the box, it's as simple as that. That's why United will win the league - they're more clinical than us and everyone else. "We're too nice. We react to things, we don't anticipate. It's difficult to criticise effort and honesty, but to be a top player, you need to have that extra quality, desire, and that bit more know-how. "We've got masses still to play for. We should, in my eyes, be pretty clear in second place. This is the frustration - we've dropped too many silly points and haven't been clinical and ruthless enough." Match Highlights on BBC Sport Date: 21/02/2020 Venue: Tannadice Park, Dundee Attendance: 7583 Referee: John Beaton Dundee United: 2 Lineup: Siegrist; L Smith, Powers (Harkes 57), Connolly, Pawlett (McMullan), Bingham (Reynolds 87), Robson, Butcher, Shankland, Appere, Watson. Subs (not used): Mehmet, Sporle, Glass, Mochrie Scorers: Appere (12) Shankland (59) Booked: Watson (54) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, McHattie, Tremarco, Keatings, Carson (Trafford 59), Vincent, Walsh (Todorov 86), Storey (Doran 66), White Subs (not used): C Mackay; Harper, Toshney, MacGregor. Scorers: White (32) Booked: Carson (14), McHattie (73) Sent Off: none a
  9. Inverness Pay The Penalty Inverness slumped again when others around them were faltering, this time only drawing with second bottom Alloa. A first half penalty was tucked away by Iain Flannigan after Shaun Rooney and or Brad Mckay rashly bundled Kevin O'Hara over in the box. We eventually equalised through Jordan White on the hour when he held off the defenders challenge in the box to turn and slot home from close range. White should have won the game with the last attack of the match but headed against the bar when it looked easier to score. Despite a dominant second half, Mark Ridgers had to be alert to block an effort from close range on the rare occasion Alloa ventured forth while we squandered numerous opportunities to make debut keeper Wright work too hard. Despite the dropped points, Inverness remain second top, and Alloa remain second bottom. Shaun Rooney appears to be here until the summer and he was on the park at right back. Tom Walsh started with James Keatings out injured, and Brad Mckay and Kevin McHattie filled the Coll & Jamie shaped hole in the heart of our defence. Alloa were without the injured Jamie MacDonald and young debutante Kieran Wright was in goal. Goal shark Kevin O'Hara was the sting in the Wasps attack. Inverness kick started the game but it was Kevin O'Hara that was first to make a keeper work, Ridgers holding on to his long range effort. Inverness responded and a blocked shot from Aaron Doran brought a corner to the hosts and then Tom Walsh had his attempt blocked as well before O'Hara once more tried his lick from distance, the ball deflecting for a corner. The first decent opportunity fell to Jordan White but Kieran Wright grabbed the ball comfortably as White failed to connect properly. Carl Tremarco popped up towards the front of the box at a corner and his header dipped just over the bar as Inverness looked most likely to score. Alloa broke the one way traffic when a Kevin McHattie back header was intercepted by Robert Thomson, thankfully he shot wide, but it was the hosts that mostly held the upper hand. Miles Storey broke down the right side and cut the ball low across the box but Doran smothered his shot and it trundled safely into the arms of the keeper. White saw a header sail over the bar, unfortunately that would be a recurring theme for the big striker. Boom! Out of nowhere, Alloa were afforded room down our right side and when O'Hara broke into the box, a combination of Brad Mckay and Shaun Rooney targeted the Alloa man. It looked as though it was Rooney who unceremoniously barged O'Hara over as Mckay tugged his man and there was no hesitation from Kevin Clancy as he pointed to the spot. Ridgers guessed right, but Iain Flannigan had sufficient power on his spot kick to find the bottom corner, just out of Mark's reach. If it's any consolation to us, Coll Donaldson did likewise for County yesterday. Meh! Almost immediately, we could have equalised. However Storey set a new record for vertical shooting as he lashed a great ball into the box high above the stand, straight out of the Jordan White heading textbook. Trafford fired a shot from twenty-five yards but it was straight down the young keepers throat as he parried then picked up the ball. Storey saw a header saved by Wright but it was at the other end where a goal almost came. Ridgers and or McHattie had to be at their best to deny Cawley after we got in a bit of a scrambulation in and around our own box. Another chance would come our way as White met a deep cross, but as he stretched out to volley the ball he could only knock it tamely into the goalies gloves. Half Time 0-1 We looked more urgent at the start of the second half and pinned Alloa onto the back foot, but a couple of deflected efforts came and went without troubling Wright too much. Sean Welsh made a welcome return to action and on the hour, White would not be denied though and the big lad did well to control an awkward ball into the box from Welsh on the right, hold off his marker and turn the ball into the net from six yards. No more than we deserved at this point in the game. We looked as though we were going to overrun Alloa now as Rooney began to surge forward but his sterling efforts saw no takers in the box, Doran being denied a couple of times. However, Alloa reminded us that they were also on the park when Ridgers had to make a great save to deny O'Hara after James Vincent gift wrapped a loose ball to the visitors. Best moment of the match from the hosts when substitute David Carson skipped across the Alloa defence before shooting just wide. Close but no cigar! In a frantic ending to the game Ridgers made a desperate stop to deny O'Hara or Alan Trouten, White headed over, Doran had a shot saved and right at the death Jordan White smacked the bar with a close range header when he should have been bugling the net. Doh! Mark Ridgers was our MotM with Shaun Rooney having a good second half. Good to see Walsh and Welsh getting up to speed and wee David Carson looked lively when he came on, really unlucky with the rasping shot that fizzed past the corner of the post and bar. Bottom line though is it's more points dropped against teams at the bottom end of the table, and that won't be good enough to keep us in second place should we continue to falter. The goals.... Speaking to BBC Sport Inverness CT assistant manager Barry Wilson: "I'm frustrated. We were chasing the game after the penalty, which we felt was of the soft variety. Results elsewhere went for us but we've not taken our chance to go further ahead." Alloa Athletic manager Peter Grant: "I've been delighted with our performances. We showed another side today the way they had to dig in at a tough place to come." Full Highlights from Caley Jags TV........... Bazza was on post match duty........ Date: 01/02/2020 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1914 Referee: Kevin Clancy Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, McHattie, Tremarco, Doran, Trafford (Welsh 57), Vincent (MacGregor 73), Walsh (Carson 74), Storey, White Subs (not used): C Mackay; Harper, Toshney, Todorov Scorers: White (59) Booked: Storey (45+1) Sent Off: none Alloa Athletic: 1 Lineup: Wright; Taggart, Dick, Deas, Stirling, Hetherington, Cawley, Robertson, Flannigan, O'Hara, Thomson (Trouten (63)) Subs (not used): Wilson, Gilhooley, O'Donnell, Buchanan, Connelly Scorers: Flannigan (30 pen) Booked: Sent Off: none a
  10. Robbo Burns As Rabbie once said to me.... The best laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft a-gley, An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain For promis'd joy. On the day of the Bard of Ayrshire, Inverness faced the Honest Men at Somerset Park with a new look defence after Coll Donaldson jumped ship, with Lewis Toshney joining Tom Walsh and Sean Welsh on the bench. The departing Jamie McCart was also benched again.There was the added incentive of Dundee crashing 2-0 at East End Park last night and three points for either side would be a huge bonus. Stephen Kelly scored the only goal of the game after an hour and both sides hit the woodwork, but it was no more than Ayr deserved as they closed the gap on Inverness to just one point. Our new defence got in a fankle at the goal allowing Kelly to take advantage. From the quill of the Bard himself, and so true...... There is no such uncertainty as a sure thing. RIG was on hand to see the wee sleekit courin timerous beastie, also known as the referee...... I think whilst we were on the end of some pretty debatable calls from the referee, Ayr were the better team throughout the 90 minutes and deserved the win. Kerr seemed to set Ayr up a bit more defensively than previous match ups and they let us carry the ball forward with little pressure but we were swarmed as we entered the Ayr half and forced to thread balls through a well organised Ayr midfield and defence (which we couldn't do) or try and dink a ball up to White and later Todorov (which we also couldn't do). When Ayr seized the ball they broke with real pace and direction quickly feeding the ball wide to Forrest or Moffat on the flanks or looking to play a pass in behind the ICT centre backs and a lot of their good chances game from this. Only a triple block/save combination from McHattie and Ridgers stopped Ayr opening the scoring in the first half which saw wave after wave of attacks threaten the ICT rearguard. Fortunately we held them off and had the ball in the net when Keatings lifted a free kick in for White who beat Doohan to the ball and flicked it in but the referee gave a free kick for a foul by White. Seemed pretty soft but it would have been hard on Ayr had we gone ahead (though thoroughly pleasing obviously). Second half and there seemed to be a strong claim for a penalty when Doran broke into the box and looked like he was pushed in the back sending him to the ground but the referee waved play on. Not long after this Ayr scored. I didn't see what happened but after I had stopped admiring my new trainers I looked up to see Trafford on his arse and Kelly seizing on a loose ball, heading for goal before calmly slotting past Ridgers. No more than Ayr deserved in fairness but frustrating nonetheless from an ICT point of view. Ayr had more chances after this to extend their lead before Doran went down under another challenge however this time he got straight back up to chase the ball before Aitken blew for a foul and cautioned Doran for diving which seemed a bit odd given he didn't seem to be looking for anything. We went with 2 strikers for the final few minutes with Todorov coming on to partner White but we didn't really create anything of note until the final kick of the game when Ayr threw bodies to block a couple of ICT efforts from close range (these might even have been our only shots on target...). Bizarre to see us end the game with a couple of big lads up front and our two best crossers of the ball on the wings yet we persevered with little dinked balls up towards White and Todorov which almost never found them. Any ICT fan not bothered about losing Donaldson AND McCart should be worried after today's defensive showing. Whilst McHattie was solid enough Mckay with the ball at his feet was an absolute bombscare. Vincent was decent for us, possibly closest to ICT MotM. Kerr and Moffat looked good for Ayr and Drinan really gave Mckay and McHattie a torrid time. We have a real battle on to maintain second spot which could be huge come the end of the season.. Highlights from Ayr United TV Eagle4Caley left Crystal Palace behind for the weekend to go to Somerset Park and enjoyed the ambience...... The highlights suggest a close game, although I felt Ayr had more chances, but we hit the bar, and quite why our goal was disallowed is beyond me...White at no time is looking at the goalie only at the ball, and I'm not convinced he even touches him. Also Doran was clearly pushed over in the penalty area, and then next time he gets a booking for going down, when you can see he catches the defender legs and is trying to regain his feet. Their goal was a bit of a bummer, at first I thought that McHattie was at fault but credit to the Ayr player who actually closes Charlie Trafford down very quickly. I thought McHattie had a decent game, as did McKay...strange how quickly our CB pairing has changed (presumably to make ends meet). For me our midfielders were the pick of the bunch, plus Walsh when he came on. Our forwards were very much powder-puff, Doran was quieter than expected, Storey didn't offer much apart from two/three decent crosses, I'm not sure what Keatings was doing and White looks like he is the Centre Forward because he's tall, because he seemed unable to anticipate where high balls were going nor jump at the right time (except for the disallowed goal), he's definitely better with his feet! For me 2nd place is probably between us and Ayr, so this was a disappointing reverse, but I guess we can't win every match against them. Robbo's the man for a' that.... Date: 25/01/2020 Venue: Somerset Park, Ayr Attendance: 1200 Referee: Greg Aitken Ayr United: 1 Lineup: Doohan; Houston, Muirhead, Harvie, Bell, Kerr, Moffat (Rocco 90+3), Forrest (McKenzie 90), Drinan, Docherty, Kelly Subs (not used): Ellis Hare-Reid; Doolan, McCowan, McGuffie, Hewitt Scorers: Kelly (61) Booked: Docherty (85) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, McHattie, Tremarco, Doran, Trafford (Todorov 75), Vincent, Storey (Walsh 66), Keatings (Carson 66), White Subs (not used): C Mackay, Toshney, McCart, Welsh. Scorers: none Booked: B Mckay (71), White (72), Doran (78) Sent Off: none a
  11. Ayr do Back to League business this weekend as Inverness make the journey to Somerset Park to take on Championship play-off contenders, Ayr United. The game kicks off at 3:00pm on Saturday at the same venue where Ross County were dumped out of the Scottish Cup last week. There's only four points separating the sides at the moment and this should be another tight affair. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Match and Travel Information can be found on the OFFICIAL SITE @ ICTFC We're in the money £££ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It's been a rewarding fixture for us in recent seasons, including last season when we beat Ayr in the away leg of the play-off and both league fixtures at Somerset Park. We have already beaten Ayr away this season back in October when goals from James Vincent and Shaun Rooney were enough to earn the points. The second meeting this campaign was another 2-0 win in the Highlands, Jordan White and Miles Storey the scorers. Last time out we were on Cup duty and recorded a hard fought 2-3 win over Alloa Athletic at Recreation Park. We were pegged back twice after Aaron Doran opened the scoring. Jordan White put us ahead again only for Kevin O'Hara to get his second of the game. Charlie Trafford scored the vital winner with only a handful of minutes remaining. Ayr pulled off a minor upset by knocking our neighbours out of the Cup thanks to a powerful headed goal from seasoned professional Steven Bell. Form since we last met in the league Last time we met was back on the 7th of December, and after winning 2-0 in the Highlands we were five points ahead of Ayr. Since then we have won two (Pars & Dundee) and lost two (Partick & Arbroath), plus a win over Alloa in the Scottish Cup. Our game against Queen of the South fell foul of the weather. In December, Ayr had a midweek draw with Arbroath then beat Alloa before losing to Dundee United and Queen of the South. They started January with an away win at Dunfermline, a postponed fixture at Dens Park and beat Ross County in the Scottish Cup. So form is fairly even at the moment at that is mirrored in the League table with Ayr just one place and four points behind Inverness now. Fixtures this weekend Dunfermline v Dundee (Friday) Ayr United v Inverness Arbroath v Partick Thistle Dundee Utd v Morton Queen of Sth v Alloa Robbo said ahead of the game: “We’ve got to go down there and do what we’ve done at Dens Park and Alloa, that’s go down there and be very busy and very proactive with the ball and when we lose it make sure we’re nice and solid. The key to our success all season is our solidity at the back.” Whilst that is very true Robbo, you would wonder why the club can not hold on to the heart of the defence until the end of a possible promotion campaign. Is there enough ambition left at the Caledonian Stadium? Team News It was great to see Tom Walsh back on the park last week after hamstring problems and a further bonus to have Sean Welsh on the bench as he recovers from a second broken foot. These guys have been out for a while now and it will be like having two new signings when they are both back up to speed. Unfortunately the loss of Coll Donaldson is a blow and the impending departure of Jamie McCart adds to our misery. McCart is still here for now unless St Johnstone dig deep into their pockets. It remains to be seen if McCart will be asked to play for the club he wants away from. However, we have to go with what we have and Lewis Toshney will come into defence with Brad Mckay and Kevin McHattie also looking to claim a place. There will be plenty room for them all should Shaun Rooney turn his back on us as well. Mark Kerr has strengthened his squad by signing Grant Gillespie from Hamilton Accies. Jordan Houston has also joined from Rangers. Kerr will be without Craig Moore, Andy Geggan and Andy Murdoch, but Grant Gillespie will be added to the squad. Speaking on Ayr United's official site Kerr said : ”We don’t need reminding that we don’t have the greatest recent record against Inverness, it is just another game and another opportunity to pick up points and continue this wee run we are on. We know what Inverness are all about. They are extremely well organised, everyone knows their jobs and they play good football at times as well. It’s a challenge that we are looking forward to and we’ve been working had on a plan all week to get the best out of the players tomorrow afternoon. The last couple of games have proved that we are able to mix it up now and win games a different way.” Oops, sorry for the reminder Mark. We have some good news and some bad news for you this week First the good news. The club have reached their original investment target of £500K and have issued a statement to that effect. In fact they have exceeded expectations and you can read about it HERE The bad news is the break up of our defence with Coll Donaldson already away and Jamie McCart following him out the door in the summer if not sooner. As expected, after sitting on the bench at Alloa, Jamie McCart is next to go. He will be on his way to Perth in the summer unless we can sell him now for a few pennies. Sometimes life's a bitch! The final blow would be the departure of the much sought after Shaun Rooney who has been in tremendous form for the Caley Jags lately. Sadly Tommy Wright wants to tie up both players before the weekend. With the run in for a play-off place at stake, this is indeed not what the fans want to hear. Scottish Cup Draw Coll Donaldson is now confined to history after he left the building to join Ross County before last weeks Scottish Cup ties. However, unlike his former Inverness team mates, he won't be in the next round of the cup as Ayr sent them homewards, tae think again. Inverness will host Livingston in the next round, the weekend of February the 8th. Now then, that date rings a bell!
  12. ***Game off*** There's another preview wasted; meh! It's Dobbie time. Steven Dobbie takes the rest of his entourage North this weekend as Inverness host Queen of the South at the Caledonian Stadium. The game kicks off at 3:00pm and let's hope the wind and rain relents somewhat so we can avoid trampolines and other objects seen hurtling around Inverness this past week. Oh dear, the weather has won, the game has been called off on Friday after a 12:00inspection. Our last game saw a return to form as we ran out comfortable winners over a resurgent Dundee at Dens Park. Two superb first half goals from Aaron Doran and James Keatings gave us the platform to go on and dominate the first forty-five and from there on in we were never in danger. What a difference a week made after the disappointment of the Arbroath defeat to end 2019. The Doonhamers took on the other half of Dundee at Palmerston but narrowly went down 1-0 as Mark Connolly headed the winner early into the second half. After last week's games, Queen of the South find themselves in sixth position, ten points behind second place Inverness but still only three points above the relegation play-off place occupied by Morton. These two teams have a crucial catch up game to play against each other. Lots of players moving back and fore in the January sales and Mitch Curry has returned to Middlesbrough after his injury disrupted spell in the Highlands. I suppose he was more of a Korma than a Vindaloo, but good luck to him for the future. Less pleasing are the strong rumours that Coll Donaldson could be on his way over the bridge on a pre-contract while Shaun Rooney could be heading to Dundee, with St Johnstone showing interest as well. Another in danger of leaving is Tom Walsh, although he would be less of a miss due to recent injury problems, although on his game he can be a match winner. I'm afraid money talks, and we won't be splashing much cash around unless we get contracts bought out now. Anyway, it's all speculation at the moment, but it's no secret that Donaldson and a few others would prefer a bigger wage. In fact, rumours would have it that half our squad are being targeted such is our financial disposition. Cest la vie! Gringo's thoughts.......... Caley Jags are so difficult to predict these days. They blow very hot and cold. This should be a massive three points for us but....I'm struggling to find any confidence that they can do so. Distractions of higher wages and new contracts could have an affect on the minds especially if we concede the first goal. Some guys might get that 'well I'm leaving soon for a higher wage anyway so this game doesn't matter attitude' I'd hope they are more professional than that though. NPL says FT 2-1 Pfffftttt A bit damp around the penalty box
  13. Dens Deelight for Caley Jags Inverness dominated the early exchanges and it was no surprise when Aaron Doran opened the scoring with a wham bam thankyou mam effort from 13 yards. Long ball from McHattie to Rooney and then on to Doran for a brilliant opener. Seven minutes later, James Keatings ran through on to a Rooney pass on the counter and drilled superbly under Hamilton for a second goal in the 24th minute as the visitors dominance continued. The half time stats showed Inverness with seven attempts on target to zero for Dundee. Despite an improved second 45 from the hosts, Inverness were well worth the three points today and remain second in the Championship. John Robertson had threatened wholesale changes after the lethargy displayed against Arbroath with only Ridgers and Storey guaranteed their place in the starting XI. The reality though brought home how fragile our squad is. Sean Welsh and Tom Walsh are back in training but not ready for action yet. So, captain Carl Tremarco back in at left back was a no brainer. However, Jamie McCart was dropped to the bench with Kevin McHattie moving to centre back to replace him. That was more of a surprise. James Vincent returned to midfield in place of David Carson with Nikolay Todorov up front for Jordan White. So, three changes, one surprise. Another pleasant surprise would unfold as the afternoon wore on. Dundee had Josh Meekings in the heart of defence with Dorrans in midfield and Kane Hemmings starting up top. Other Championship results today Alloa 1-1 Partick Thistle Arbroath 1-2 Morton Dunfermline 0-1 Ayr United Queen of South 0-1 Dundee United What the managers said on BBC Sport Dundee manager James McPake: "You go in and you think you've got the consistency in performances, you think everything's starting to click and then bang - you get that start to the game. We were on the back of a half-decent run, we should have been out of the traps really quickly and starting the game well but today we were really poor." Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "Today we showed what we are about - hard working, inventive with the ball, a right good team. To come here and win as comfortably as that is a big fillip for us." Looks like Robbo has signed a new player. Well done big Fillip. Immortal Howden Ender has this report for us, and just look at his face when he saw the team lines. Well I would bet mucho spondoolicks that the 194 ICT supporters who witnessed this performance would rank that first half performance as the most fluent and effective that we have played in a long time. I would class it as entertainment personified and the singing must also class as the loudest and most prolonged in years as well - even though a few idiotic barstewards tried to ruin it. Storey coming off at half time definitely affected the rhythm and Rooney was nowhere near as effective in midfield - although he had done enuff in the first 45 to win the MotM by a country mile. We started off as a 4-2-1-3 but were forced into a 4-4-2 in the second half. I reckon we would have trounced them if it had stayed the same. We totally controlled the first 15 minutes and then we were treated to the goal of the season which will be very difficult match. McHattie fired a pinpoint 60 yard cross field ball which found Rooney in miles of space. He then moves forward and we expect a looping cross. Well he cut it back along the 18 yard line at pace and DORAN smashed it into the corner. And only seven minutes later Rooney is at it again and at the end of a speedy counter attack KEATINGS coolly chipped it home. And we all thought that Storey had smashed in a second but unfortunately it was the side netting that bulged. And as we drew breath we wondered if the second half would be more of the same. Alas Storey going off, presumably injured, we probably lost our system. Brad McKay coming on at right full back and Rooney moving into right midfield. Harsh maybe but I feel that we should have taken on MacGregor. But don't get me wrong - we continued to boss the game. We never really looked like grabbing the third but Dundee never looked like scoring either. We did play a low lying back four but they won nearly everything and our workmanship and pressing was excellent. The only negative is that we may have lost three more squad players but let's hope that none of the injuries are serious and that Welsh and Walsh will return soon. So it is a very happy IHE who sips his post match voddie and let's hope that 2020 brings more of the same. The scores on the doors.......... Ridgers ???? He is becoming a major bonus. Another deserved clean sheet and three tremendous saves. Rooney ????? Simply superb in the first half. Not as effective in the second half when moved forward but covered every blade of grass McHattie ???? Was unsure to begin with but he and Coll looked like a real partnership. And that pass to start the first goal move was "World Class". Donaldson ???? Looked more like the Coll of yore. Won EVERYTHING. Tremarco ??? Solid if not spectacular but Dundee did play mainly down our right flank. Vincent ???? I thought that he was superb and you could see him continually supporting and egging on all around him. Trafford ??? Grafted but defended more than gave anything going forward. Keatings ??? Very well taken goal. I felt that he too suffered from the enforced half time goal. Desperately needs a striker who knows how to be a foil to a number 10. Storey ??? Has so much potential but frustrates me that he does not take people on more often. Still a striker to me and not a winger. Todorov ?? Sorry but had a big chance to make his mark but did little to impress. Simply not a holding target man. Doran ??? What a finish as only Aaron could do. He is the one person who you think could do something impromptu but lacks pace these days BUT still worth a starting place Mckay was a bit of a bomb scare at times, Carson is tireless and White looked good and hopefully continues to look over his shoulder at Toddy. Robbo got it spot on today but I still think that he should have taken on McGregor at halftime but WTF. And even Robbo the Ref gave us far more than he usually does ? ??? The goals courtesy of Sky Sport Scotland........ Robbo in better tune after that great performance. What a difference a week makes. Date: 04/01/2020 Venue: Dens Park, Dundee Attendance: 5040 Referee: Don Robertson Dundee: 0 Lineup: Hamilton; Kerr, McGhee, Meekings, McGowan, Dorrans, Johnson (Cunningham 85), Robertson, Mackie (Todd 62), Marshall, Hemmings. Subs (not used): Ferrie; Foster, Byrne, Moore, Cameron. Scorers: none Booked: Johnson (29), McGhee (64) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McHattie, Tremarco, Doran, Trafford (Carson 55), Vincent, Keatings, Storey (B McKay 46), Todorov (White 72) Subs (not used): C Mackay, McCart, MacGregor, Curry Scorers: Doran (17), Keatings (24) Booked: none Sent Off: none
  14. 2020 Vision We are the first footers at Dens Park in 2020 as second takes on third in the Ladbrokes Championship. So take your piece of coal and a wee Whyte & Mackay with you as we take on Dundee. Last time out, Dundee battled hard for a point at Tannadice on the Friday night whilst a day later we slumped badly at home to Arbroath, going down to a flattering one goal defeat in what has been described as a decade ending debacle. Despite this, a good New Year to you all and our resident seer, Immortal Howden Ender will take us through the first game of 2020. Call it a vision if you like! A seer with a vision. Preview by Immortal Howden Ender Well initially let’s go back to April 20th 2003 and our initial Hampden Park appearance when we met Dundee in the Scottish Cup Semi-Final. We had gone ballistic again in the Quarter Final when a memorable Denis Wyness winner put Celtic to the sword yet again. We were dreaming of our first Scottish Cup Final against the other half of the now extinct “Old Firm” !! In those days we lauded the likes of Wyness, Bobby Mann, Charlie Christie, Richie Hart and Barry Robson. But, in those Mafiosi days, Dundee were fielding Julian Speroni, Fabian Caballero, Georgi Nemsadze, Zurab Khizanishvili and Nacho Novo !!! Unfortunately we went down to a 1-0 defeat but we held our heads high. Dundee may well have done the rest of the division a favour if they had managed to beat their noisy neighbours recently. They probably deserved to win but only came away with a point. There may not be a collection of obscure “superstars” any more but Graham Dorrans and Kane Hemmings are recognizable names and of course their “capitano” is one Josh “VAR” Meekings. This could well be looked at as an undoubtable “six pointer” as an ICT win would put us six points clear whereas Dundee would have to win 3-0 (no chance) to take over second place. Personally I would prefer the former, although a draw would suffice. Other Championship fixtures: Alloa v Partick; Arbroath v Morton; Pars v Ayr; Queens v Arabs We have not enjoyed the best of luck at Dens or bizarrely the “Kilmac Stadium at Dens Park” recently. We fought out a drab, goaless fixture in August but Dundee knocked us out of the Scottish Cup last season and they inflicted a 1-0 defeat on us in the League Cup in late July 2019. Our last meeting resulted in a 1-0 home win in Sneck as a 16th minute Aaron Doran goal won us the three points. There was a frantic, heated last 15 minutes when six yellow cards were shown by the impetuous Davy Munro. This weekend we have Don “Robbo” Robertson in the middle. I can see the starting XI as being pretty close to the team that started at home in late November – apart from Rooney and Keatings starting in preference to McKay and McHattie. Perhaps there may be a James Vincent return to enable him to prove Dundee wrong? Personally I would change the over familiar selection and change the predictable system. Doubt if there is any feckin chance of that though? Ridgers Rooney Donaldson McCart Tremarco Keatings Carson Trafford Doran McGregor Storey So I will be in amongst the thousands of marauding Highlanders in the Bob Shankly Stand !! I presume that the “Trades House” will be the meeting point. I note that the latest review on “Trip Advisor” is not a positive one – “I have attended matches here for years and can honestly say the place is a death trap. Unhygienic dirty and would not recommend a visit.” Sounds great! ***Latest News*** Defender Cameron Harper has gone on loan to Elgin City with keeper Daniel Hoban returning to Inverness from the League 2 side. Sean Welsh and Tom Walsh are back training but neither will feature this weekend. Robbo talking ahead of the game......... If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/
  15. Bleak House We were hoping for a White Xmas, instead we got a Dickensian novel, Bleak House, as Arbroath deservedly took all three points with a disciplined performance against a complete team of misfits with only Mark Ridgers earning his crust. The goal came just after the break with Luke Donnelly stroking home after we lost the ball near the visitors box. That triggered a terse exchange between Ridgers and his defence with Rooney the brunt of the exchange. All this came after an eye gouging first half which was topped by a more than inept second half with Arbroath more likely to increase their lead without having to try too hard. You can only paper over the cracks for so long and today we were found wanting as part time Arbroath, not for the first time this season, turned us over. It's such a shame that a decade of so many highs has ended with an all time low. Ridgers had to make a great block in the first half and two terrific second half saves to spare our blushes further whilst we were incapable of troubling the keeper who worked harder kicking the mud off his boots on the goal post than dealing with anything Inverness had to offer. On a weekend when every other result was in our favour, we could not help ourselves, and that's a bit of a concern. In fact, we are almost as close to Alloa Athletic as we are to Dundee United, only one point in it. I suggest we will be closer to the team at the bottom come the end of the season. Mark Ridgers was our MotM and that should tell you all you need to know about our inability to trouble Arbroath. I can't think of any outfield player who deserved passmarks other than possibly Miles Storey who at least put in some effort although not always channeling his runs in the right direction or getting an end product with wasteful crosses. Charlie Trafford made less mistakes than others, but played it safe instead of hurting the defence. Otherwise, we were a complete omnishambles. We remain second in the league for now, but unless we kick on, then we won't be there come the end of the season. Take nothing away from Arbroath who will be rightly delighted with the result, but this report is all about our inability to play football at a level required for promotion. In truth, the Smokies cigared this, so well done to them for a very successful year Manager reaction from BBC Sport: Inverness CT manager, John Robertson: "We were horrendous, quite as simple and straightforward as that. From the first whistle we looked lacklustre, didn't have any energy, any zip, didn't move the ball about. It looked like the players thought it's only little old Arbroath - little old Arbroath showed exactly what it takes to be a professional football team." Arbroath manager, Dick Campbell: "Anybody watching the game today would respect what we're about and it wasn't an undeserved result for me. To come up here and score a great goal like we did is fantastic - and I didn't see my keeper having having a lot to do. I couldn't be happier with points, I'm that soft and might give them Tuesday off now." Angry John...... Match reaction on CTO Plenty of unhappy Bunnies. Doofers Dad: I'm finding it hard to understand that a team that has been playing pretty well recently, who could have increased the gap between 2nd & 3rd to 6 points and who should have felt they had a point to prove after a poor 3-0 defeat earlier in the season at Arbroath, can put in such a truly awful performance. They should have been really up for this game. Instead, it looked as if most of them simply couldn't be bothered. And I don't think I can remember a game when possession has been given away so easily so often. It was like watching a 2nd rate pub side at times. It was just dreadful. Jack: I cannot believe the ***** I've just witnessed. We're bloody 2nd in the league and are being played around by a part time team who's main striker works the bin lorry every other day. Muirtown Jaggy: Slow, predictable, lethargic, sloppy....... it was hard to tell who the part time team was !!!!!!! Absolutely woeful, some players really need to be having a word with themselves. Does Robbo have enough about him to sort this out !!!! Not so sure. Caley100: That was a feckin disgrace. Total rubbish from start to finish! You would think Robbo and the coaches would have learned after the last two games against Arbroath what tactics would be an improvement. Rig: That was the first time Arbroath have ever beaten us in Inverness and, based on today, it'll be a long time until we beat them again. A truly shocking performance from ICT. Yngwie: Had a question for you all...... Question: Which spectators sat through both this and the corresponding away defeat? Answer: The ICT outfield! ? Have a great 2020, see you all then. tm4tj and the editorial team Date: 28/12/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2287 Referee: Graham Beaton Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, McHattie, Doran (Curry 64), Carson, Trafford, Storey, Keatings (MacGregor 64), White (Todorov 70) Subs (not used): C Mackay; B Mckay, Tremarco, Vincent, Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none Arbroath: 1 Lineup: Gaston; Whatley, Little, O'Brien, Hamilton, Stewart, Virtanen, Gold (Murphy 83), Linn (Kader 73), McKenna, Donnelly (Spence 77) Subs (not used): Jamieson, Thomson, Swankie, Doris. Scorers: Donnelly (47) Booked: Hamilton (20), Virtanen (76) Sent Off: none a
  16. I'm dreaming of a White Xmas Arbroath will be the visitors this weekend as they head North for this Championship encounter with Inverness at the Caledonian Stadium, 3:00pm will be the kick off time. It's the last game of 2019, so come along and see if we can keep our form going and maybe get some revenge for our last encounter with Arbroath. The Smokies certainly smoked the Caley Jags in the last encounter when they ran away with the game in a deserved 3-0 win at Gayfield. Scott Stewart opened the scoring in the first half and a Bobby Linn penalty was added to by Omar Kader late in the second half to hand Inverness their second 3-0 reverse in a week. In truth, the scoreline that day flattered Inverness although we can point a finger at a virus that was working it's way through the Caledonian Stadium around that time. Since that defeat at the beginning of November we have put together a decent run apart from a setback at Firhill a fortnight ago when we lost 3-1 again to Partick Thistle. It started with another virus induced laboured performance over Clyde (0-0) in the Chocolate Biscuit Cup. It went to penalties where Mark Ridgers made two saves to see us through. Partick apart, we have played four Championship games without conceding a goal whilst scoring seven with wins over rivals Dundee, Ayr United, Alloa and Dunfermline. In that same period, Arbroath have had five Championship games without a win, managing only two points from draws with Dundee and Ayr United. They also needed a replay in the Scottish Cup to see off Auchinleck Talbot after a 1-1 draw at Beechwood Park, Ayrshire. After the 3-0 result at Gayfield, Arbroath found themselves level on 20 points with Inverness, but these results now show a 10 point gap has opened up as we move to second while Arbroath sit in seventh. Last time out we overcame Dunfermline in the Highlands with a hard fought but deserved 2-0 win although we had to thank Mark Ridgers for making two or three crucial blocks to keep the Pars out, or to be more precise Kevin Nisbet from scoring. Otherwise, it was a competent performance with a goal in each half from Shaun Rooney and Jamie McCart. Whilst we were beating the Pars, Arbroath were going down at Palmerston to Queen of the South. A Dan Pybus strike and an own goal from Ricky Little secured the points for the Dumfries side and continued Arbroaths poor run. Championship games this weekend starting with the Dundee derby on Friday night. Yes it's derby weekend all round and Arbroath are our nearest........ Dundee United v Dundee (Friday) Ayr United v Queen of the South Dunfermline Athletic v Alloa Athletic Inverness CT v Arbroath Morton v Partick Thistle Here's our goals from the win over Dunfermline last week. Team News John Robertson has been without Sean Welsh for nearly three months now and Tom Walsh is catching him up as he sits out for another week with his hamstring. Brad Mckay was not in the squad last week either but James Vincent returned to the bench before coming on as a sub. Kevin McHattie deputised for Carl Tremarco last week who had taken a knock the previous week, however, Tremarco, Vincent and Mckay should all be in the squad tomorrow. I'm sure Robbo will be looking for more return from his strikers who had the day off last week with defenders Rooney and McCart doing the business. So, like Gregor, we can all dream of a White Xmas, just like the ones we used to know and hope the big man starts scoring again. Arbroath went with this line-up against Queen of the South at Palmerston and Dick Campbell is happy enough with his sides contribution to the Championship so far. And so he should be, especially the likes of Bobby Linn who likes a goal against the Caley Jags. Arbroath manager Dick Campbell has taken heart from recent performances in some tough games even though he thought they deserved more points. “I will happily admit that we are ahead of where I thought we would be at this stage and if we finish with a couple of teams below us by the end of the season then I will be a very happy man.” If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/
  17. Xmas Cheer Inverness collected all three points with an ultimately deserved win over a persistent Dunfermline Athletic. Despite mostly dominating the first half, we had Mark Ridgers to thank thrice for excellent blocks to deny Kevin Nisbet on each occasion, one just before the break was crucial, and that meant that Shaun Rooney's goal around the half hour gave Inverness the lead at the interval. The Pars were more prominent in the second half without really threatening, but Ridgers had to make another good block to thwart Nisbet again to keep his clean sheet, and a second half header from Jamie McCart sealed the win with ten minutes remaining. This result keeps Inverness four clear in second place with Dundee United disappearing over the horizon. Carl Tremarco was out injured with Kevin McHattie taking his place and Tom Walsh and Brad Mckay missed out again. Stevie Crawford was without the suspended Greg Kiltie, Joe Thomson getting his first start for nine months. Paul Paton and Lewis McCann started with Harry Cochrane and Kyle Turner on the bench alongside former Inverness loan player Anthony McDonald. A tentative opening quarter by both sides with James Keatings shooting just wide early on from inside the box. Mark Ridgers made his first save from Kevin Nisbet after 15 minutes when he spread himself well to deny the on form striker, then grabbed his follow up header. That was slightly against the run of play, but showed that the Pars would be dangerous on the counter. Scully was forced into making a fingertip save from what looked to be a header from one of his own defenders, the ball being tipped behind for a corner after a dangerous cross into the box with Jordan White lurking with intent. Neither keeper was overworked but after half an hour Inverness opened the scoring when Shaun Rooney was on hand to knock a Keatings cross behind Scully from 10 yards after a corner was cleared back to the Caley Jags man out wide. The hosts were now in control of midfield with Charlie Trafford and David Carson prominent and Scully had more to deal with than Ridgers, but on the stroke of half time the big Inverness keeper did well to prevent Nisbet getting an equaliser as he spread himself once more when one on one. Half Time 1-0 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What the managers said on BBC Sport Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson: "On the face of it, it seems the perfect day. As a manager you want the three points, a clean sheet and the performance too. "We were a big threat at set pieces and I think that second goal at the end of the day was deserved. We still had to concentrate, still had to be lively as Dunfermline have players who can hurt you if you don't keep an eye on them." Dunfermline manager Stevie Crawford: "It's a very difficult place to come, we had chances we could've scored from and were punished. "The second-half we huffed and puffed. Inverness managed the game really well, and we never created enough goalscoring chances to get back into the game." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dunfermline looked more determined after the break but with little cutting edge Ridgers was left to deal with the odd cross and a few clearances. The hosts were looking more comfortable as the half wore on and with a bit more composure could have added to their tally. Jamie McCart headed over from a corner with twenty minutes left as the home fans were looking for the cushion of a two goal lead. It would come ten minutes from the end and this time McCart rose unchallenged at the back to loop a header across the keeper into the far corner. Bit of a soft goal for Dunfermline to lose but a vital second goal for Inverness. Still work to do and Ridgers denied Nisbet for a third time with another excellent block to hold on to the clean sheet. The game ran away from the Pars and at the end of the day they can have little complaints after failing to capitalise on three one on ones with Ridgers who stood firm and gets my vote for MotM. Mark was well supported by his back line who were prepared to defend in depth when needed and willing to turn defence into attack with some great out balls. Defensively sound for most of the game that was a great way to get over the defeat at Firhill last week and puts a wee dent in the Pars run towards the play-off places. Shaun Rooney was the sponsors vote and he had a great second half with a couple of trademark bursts down the touchline. Aaron Doran was also lively and kept the visitors defence on their toes. There were some failures, but it's not a day for complaints with three points in the bag and a clean sheet. Here's the goals............ Here's Dunfermlines take on the game..... Robbo match reaction......... Table and Championship scores from yesterday Inverness CT 2-0 Dunfermline Alloa Athletic 0-2 Morton Dundee United 4-0 Ayr United Partick Thistle 0-1 Dundee Queen of the South 2-0 Arbroath Date: 19/12/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2116 Referee: Alan Newlands Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, McHattie, Doran (Todorov 89), Carson, Trafford, Storey, Keatings (Vincent 74), White (Curry 85) Subs (not used): C Mackay, Harper, Machado, MacGregor. Scorers: Rooney (33), McCart (80) Booked: Donaldson (65) Sent Off: none Dunfermline Ath: 0 Lineup: Scully; Comrie, Ashcroft, Devine, Martin, Dow, Beadling (Turner 43), Paton, Thomson (Ryan 74), Nisbet, McCann (McDonald 62) Subs (not used): Gill; Lang, Cochrane, Edwards. Scorers: none Booked: Comrie (35) Sent Off: none a
  18. Festive Fare It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas and Dunfermline Athletic are the visitors on Saturday with both clubs looking to bounce back after disappointing results last weekend. The game will kick off at 3:00pm at the Caledonian Stadium as Xmas shopping start to bite. So, if you want to avoid all the mind numbing festive jingles in the retail park, get yourself down to the Stadium and get behind the Caley Jags as they try to fend off a Dunfermline side who will be challenging for a play-off slot come the end of the season. Once again we slumped to defeat against a Partick side that were thrashed 5-1 by the Pars recently, albeit the Harry Wraggs had a man sent off in the fourth minute. That's a second 3-1 doing from Partick this season. Alex Jones opened the scoring just after the interval but a superb James Keatings overhead kick restored parity before Steve Saunders put the Partick Jags back in front. Dario Zanatta ended the scoring and made the points secure in injury time and left the Inverness fans frustrated by our inability to break down the hosts and take something from the game. Meanwhile, Dunfermline staged a mini comeback with ten men against Dundee after trailing 4-1. A couple of late counters were not quite enough to earn them a point but once more Kevin Nisbet was on the scoresheet. The Pars other scorers were Ryan Dow in the first half and second half goals from Nisbet and Lewis Martin. Greg Kiltie was sent off after an hour which made the fightback all the more remarkable but they fell just short. Kiltie will miss the game against Inverness. Other Championship fixtures this weekend Alloa Athletic v Morton Dundee United v Ayr United Partick Thistle v Dundee Queen of the South v Arbroath Inverness CT v Dunfermline This is the second meeting this season, the first ended in a narrow 1-0 win for Inverness at East End Park. A Danny Devine foul allowing Sean Welsh to score from the spot. Our last ten competitive meetings shows four wins each and two draws. Inverness have won the last two encounters, both by 1-0 scorelines. Five players in the current squads have played for both clubs, Brad Mckay, Jordan White, Shaun Rooney, James Vincent and Danny Devine. Six if Anthony McDonald gets some game time for the Pars. Remember kids, don't let anyone tell you Santa is not for real. Here is Buffy the Vampire Santa all prepared for her day in the press box at the Caledonian Stadium. Prior to the game, she will be in the bar getting tanked up for the day ahead. Busy period for all Santa's. James Vincent returns to the squad on Saturday after a full weeks training although he might have to settle for a place on the bench. No word on Tom Walsh although I suspect he will be missing once more. Brad Mckay was on the bench last week. With the sports bar open from 1:00pm, there's every chance that Santa will be over the limit, watch this space.......... Here's Steveie Crawford ahead of the game this Saturday....
  19. Firhill for thrills..... This Saturday it's the battle of the Jags as Caley Thistle face Partick Thistle, second top versus second bottom with Firhill the venue, 15:00 the time. First time round this season it was the Partick Jags that came out on top in the Highlands but Inverness have put together a tidy wee run of three to bounce back to second in the table whilst the Firhill men are struggling to get away from the bottom end. All to play for on Saturday with a crucial three points for either team available. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ticket Info Adults: £20, Under 16s: £5 Concessions: (Over 65s*, students, disabled supporter including carer, 16-18 year olds) £15 Tickets available from Firhill on the day of the match. Cash gates will be available at turnstiles 40&41 and located in the Jackie Husband Stand. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The new manager bounce is long gone for the Maryhill Magyars, but when Ian McCall had his first game back in charge they were whipped 5-0 by Celtic in the League Cup. However, move forward three days to the Caledonian Stadium and the team with the greater desire on that day ran out comfortable winners as Inverness shot themselves in the foot......twice. It ended 3-1 to Patrick with Inverness the architects of their own downfall. Dario Zanatta opened the scoring early but Jordan White levelled ten minutes later. Kenny Miller benefited from some poor defensive play just after the break to put Patrick back in front and a late goal from Cammy Palmer secured the points. However since beating Inverness on the 28th of September, Partick have struggled to put a run together and still find themselves second bottom of the League with some indifferent performances. Three wins, five defeats and a draw plus 2 wins in the Chocolate cup and a narrow defeat of Penicuik Athletic in the Scottish Cup are the stats. A couple of really low points in that run were the 4-1 humbling from McCalls old team, get it right up ya, and an absolute 5-1 humping from Dunfermline with a 4th minute red card thrown in for good measure for Tam O'Ware. Speaking to BBC Sport after the Pars mauling, Ian McCall said: "We were very confident to come here and win but after four minutes everything changes. I think everybody was in shock, it's inexcusable."We didn't give ourselves an opportunity to win it and it was too easy for Dunfermline. I felt for the fans because it was a non-contest." Their last outing saw them come from behind to beat the inconsistent Queen of the South 2-1. Joe Cardle had pulled Thistle level after Connor Murray opened the scoring for Queens and a late Reece Cole goal nicked the points for McCall's men. How festive, goal king Cole! He's a merry olde soul apparently. Inverness are on a three game winning streak in the Championship, the latest win was a merited 2-0 victory over Ayr United in the Highlands. Superb strikes from Jordan White and a rejuvenated Miles Storey were enough to see off McCalls old side. Previous victories over Alloa and Dundee took us out of the doldrums with a virus possibly partly responsible for defeats by Arbroath and Dundee United. Not so much the fact that we were losing, but the lethargy was palpable. With all the catch up games played in midweek, the table now looks like this after 16 games. Arbroath v Dundee United Ayr United v Alloa Athletic Dundee v Dunfermline Morton v Queen of the South Partick Thistle v Inverness CT Immortal Howden Ender will be Previewing and Reporting on this game for us.......... The Magic Hat derby What is happening? Four clean sheets on the trot – Challenge Cup Semi Final, three vital wins, nine points taking us to second in the league. And there is more – Positive posts galore on CTO and not just the Happy Clappers. Are we going to have a very Merry Christmas or is the bauble going to shatter. Let’s enjoy our trip to Maryhill, let’s take something from the on-form Pars, enjoy Xmas and then gain revenge against the Smokies and enjoy a New Year that we surely could not have envisaged as the dark days of Winter brought initial gloom and doom to Inversneckie. But as the old adage goes “Let’s take one game at a time” so it is off to see the Hipsters of the West End of Glasgow. The Plastic Thistle are more unpredictable than us !! They get hammered by the Pars and then they turn up and turn over the Doonhamers in Dumfries. The one thing that you have to be envious of is the presence of a “Sugar Daddy” in the form of Lottery Winner – Colin Weir. He is the major shareholder, has a holding in the land at Firhill, is going to hand over “ownership” to a Fan Group by April 2020 and is funding a new Youth Academy. But Mr. Weir does not appear to be widely backed by the Magyar diehards and I don’t think that the potential of Jacqui Low and Alan Rough taking control is being heralded. It looks like they are putting a lot of faith in Kakay, Zanatta and Cole but are bemoaning a pedestrian back four which should be good news for us. Weir and McCall will need to dive into the transfer market and may well do in the New Year sales so we need to ensure that we take those three points back with us this weekend. Revenge is needed for the Ian McCall “first game back” defeat at Sneck in late September. That was well and truly three points chucked away and a performance only just worse than the Gayfield gutting. History would suggest that we usually take something away from Firhill and we don’t give away many goals either. Let’s hope that there is a 17-point gap between us come Saturday night. Robbo recently echoed the Seer recently and let’s hope it is an end of 2019 prophecy – John Robertson says Caley Thistle’s ability to string a run of wins together will decide if they are good enough to challenge for the Championship title. “Our problem this season is that we have not put a run together. If you look at Dundee United and Ayr they have managed to put five straight victories together. That is something that we need to do to get ourselves back in there. But I said to the lads find a way to keep winning games, pushing up the table and see where that takes us.” As for our starting 11 – well it is simply a case of “Same Again Please. To me that is not surprising given our injury list but I am surprised, albeit delighted, that our back five appear to have got back their mean defending after a leaky spell – Carson and Trafford have blended and are bossing the midfield – Keatings has returned to form and White has also shown signs of improvement and hopefully will be adding to his goal tally before 2020 as well. But the player who may well shine on Saturday is Miles Storey. The last time that I was in Maryhill we were giving him pelters – so lets hope that this time it will be adulation and applause. This is only my third away day this season, following Ayr and Alloa. Lets hope that it will bring about a hat-trick - another entertaining match and a 2-0 victory. And if we don’t I will eat his Magic Hat. Team News Sean Welsh is still out but recovering well from his broken foot. Carl Tremarco was injured last week and is a doubt. Kevin McHattie will be a ready made replacement should Tremarco not make it. Tom Walsh has missed the last few games with a hamstring problem and misses out along with James Vincent and Brad Mckay. ***Latest News*** Inverness u18 players Millar Gamble and Lewis Nicolson have been called up to the Scottish Schools FA Under 18 Centenary Shield Squad. Both players attend Culloden Academy. Congratulations to them both.
  20. Storey is Miles better.... Inverness did what they had to do to remain in second place, and they did it in style. A fine finish from Jordan White in the 20th minute was built upon by born again Miles Storey after the break who sprinted from ten yards inside the halfway line before drilling the ball through keeper Doohan who will feel he should have done better on that occasion. However, Doohan was the reason that the score remained closer than it should have been with a handful of excellent saves to deny the eager Caley Jags men who thouroughly deserved the win to keep them behind leaders Dundee United. Inverness went unchanged from last weeks win over Alloa Athletic whilst Ayr United were likewise with Steven Bell coming on to the bench. Inverness were looking for their third win on the trot and in contrast Ayr were looking to avoid a hat-trick of defeats on the bounce. A crowd of under 2000 were on hand to watch this game as the miserable weather continued with a blustery wind adding to the clilled downpours. The hosts started in confident mode and Jordan White headed a James Keatings corner over in the fifth minute. Aaron Doran was poleaxed on the edge of the box a minute later but the referee was not interested. The first of many frustrating calls by a referee out of his depth. Keatings volleyed across the box but it narrowly missed the keepers left hand post as the pressure mounted on the Ayr goal. A free kick over and another effort from Keatings showed our intent and a goal was imminent. Ayr's one fleeting glimpse of goal in the first half came when a long ball forward saw Mark Ridgers come thirty yards off his line only to miss the tackle. However, by the time Ayr got the ball under control and lofted it towards the box Inverness had bodies back and the opportunity fizzled out. David Carson picked up the ball in an attacking area inside the centre circle and drove forward before feeding White just outside the box. The big man took one touch then offloaded early as a defender tried to block. This seemed to wrong foot the keeper and the ball was tucked into the bottom corner with Ross Doohan stranded. Great goal from the big striker and no more than Inverness deserved. Miles Storey was beginning to see more of the ball after a sloppy start to the game with some wasted opportunities to deliver a telling ball. He got on the end of a long clearance from Ridgers but Doohan saved comfortably low down. He forced Doohan to earn his money shortly before the break after we dispossessed Ayr near the centre circly. The ball fell to Storey and he strode forward before unleashing atesting 25 yard effort that the keeper did well to claw away with a diving save. Half Time 1-0 Ayr began the second half on the front foot as the Caley Jags looked content to weather the storm, however Ayr got the break of the ball after a clearance fell kindly to them off the back of a defender but Alan Forrest shot across the face of the goal sneaked just wide of the post. Storey was looking sharper as the game wore on and when a clearance from a corner came to him some 15 yards inside his own half he did what he can do best. He sprinted clear with pace and power before deciding whether to cross or shoot. He elected to shoot and the ball squirmed away from Doohan and rolled slowly into the net for a superb individual goal. That eased the pressure in the home stands and gave us a cushion to work with. That second goal seemed to take the wind out of the Ayr sails and we looked most likely to add to our tally. Carl Tremarco went off injured to be replace by Kevin McHattie just after the hour. With twenty minutes left, Keatings and Doran linked well around the box and when Keatings returned the pass to Doran it took a superb reaction save from Doohan to keep the score at 2-0 after Doran's shot from 10 yards was goalbound. Storey was now in full flow and when he burst down the right flank, his cross was met first time by Keatings only for Doohan to pull off another tremendous save low down to his left. Ayr's best moment came soon after when Ridgers did well to spread himself and block an effort from Mark McKenzie after he was set clear on the right side of the box. The Doran and Keatings double act linked well again and after Doran jinked his way into the box it was left to Doohan to once more deny Inverness a third goal with five minutes left. We finished the game on the front foot and Todorov saw a header booted off the line as the game ran away from Ayr. Good afternoons entertainment despite the horrendous conditions and a well deserved three points for the hosts. Miles Storey was given the sponsors MotM award and few could complain about that although David Carson has picked up most votes on the CTO voting. No failures today with the defence once more back to their best, three wins and three clean sheets. Carson and Charlie Trafford were in control of the midfield and Miles Storey used his power to good effect, especially in the second half. James Keating was unfortunate not to score today and but for some heroics from Ross Doohan, Inverness could have gone nap! Weekend Scores in the Championship Inverness CT 2-0 Ayr United Arbroath 1-1 Dundee Dundee Utd 2-1 Alloa Dunfermline 3-1 Morton Queen ot South 1-2 Partick Miles Better...........MotM Robbo impressed........... Match highlights from Caley Jags TV Date: 07/12/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1833 Referee: Gavin Ross Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco (McHattie 64), Doran, Carson, Trafford, Storey, Keatings (MacGregor 85), White (Todorov 86) Subs (not used): C Mackay; B Mckay, Harper, Curry Scorers: White (20), Storey (63) Booked: Rooney (39) Sent Off: none Ayr United: 0 Lineup: Doohan; Houston, Muirhead, Byrne, Harvie, Geggan (McKenzie 68), Docherty, Kelly, Moffat (Kerr 78), Moore, Forrest (McGuffie 69) Subs (not used): Hare-Reid; Bell, Ecrepont. Scorers: none Booked: McKenzie (90+2) Sent Off: none a
  21. Ayr Pressure Ayr United will try to keep the pressure on Inverness in this top end clash this weekend as the Honest Men come North looking for three points after their midweek loss to the Pars, whilst the Caley Jags will be hoping to make it three wins on the bounce. It's second versus third in the Championship and an opportunity for the hosts to consolidate their position within the top four whilst doing some damage to the other contenders. Ayr United lost 1-0 at Somerset Park to Dunfermline Athletic thanks to a strike from Kevin Nisbet, his ninth goal in five games. Inverness remained in second place and this game would be the perfect time to lay down a marker and state our intentions. Defeat would be a blow and undo the good work of the last couple of weeks and hand Ayr, Dundee and Dunfermline the impetus to get right in the mix for second place. We overcame a difficult hurdle last week by beating Alloa Athletic 2-0 at the Indodrill Stadium. It took a fortuitous Scott Taggart own goal to get us going but there was nothing fortunate about Aaron Doran's half volley from 17 yards after Jordan White layed off the ball to him just on the break. No further scoring after the interval but the Wasps had a Dick sent off for a rash challenge on James Keatings. The week before, we had battled hard for a narrow win over Dundee, Doran scoring the winner in that game. It's good to see Doran getting back amongst the goals. He is the top scorer in our squad with 44 goals in 263 appearances and has scored four times this season. His form has picked up recently and he is starting to look a lot sharper than he was at the start of the season. The sketch is one by local artist Sophie Robb. There's been a murder & Pick that one out...... Here's the goals from the Rooney show @ Somerset Park... Team News from Ayr United web site: Steven Bell returns to the squad after illness but Kris Doolan and long-term absentees Jamie Adams and Andy Murdoch remain on the sidelines. Luke McCowan serves the second game of his two match ban. Mark Kerr said: “We were extremely disappointed on Tuesday night with the result and the performance so it’s good to have another game quickly to try and rectify that. It is never easy playing against Inverness but we have a big incentive knowing a win will put us back into second place. We are heading up this morning (Friday) and training this afternoon so we will be well prepared.” Championship games on Saturday 14th December Inverness CT v Ayr United Arbroath v Dundee Dundee United v Alloa Athletic Dunfermline v Morton Queen of the South v Partick Thistle Heeeeeeeere's Johnny............ And here's a man on good form just now.............. If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ .
  22. Wasps Sting Themselves... Inverness moved up to second in the table after a 2-0 win over ten man Alloa who had Liam Dick sent off just before the hour. Both goals were scored in the first half with Scott Taggart heading behind his own keeper and Aaron Doran brilliantly volleying home the second from a Jordan White knock down as the half closed. With Dundee United and Ayr United frozen out, we moved into second spot for now and moved a further two points away from Dundee who lost at home to Queen of the South in a dramatic late ending to that game. There were two games called off for frozen pitches. Ayr United -P- Arbroath Morton -P- Dundee United Alloa Athletic 0-2 Inverness CT Dundee 1-2 Queen of the South Dunfermline 5-1 Partick Thistle Immortal Howden Ender has this report for us........... Well at least I am enjoying my Away Days this season. Ayr and Alloa have been good choices. And here I was travelling up in minus temperatures, blue skies and sunshine. And then Radio Scotland announces that two Championship games have been called off. I forgot that the wasps nest is now of the 4G variety. And good to see a fair smattering of the old brigade in a 100+ following. Relaxed train journey with Mantis, into Bobbin John's with the McDonalds - Lynn and Ronald - only to be called to Drysdale's and participation in a PeaPod cast or something like that. And then a late arrival at the Rec but an enjoyable 45 minutes followed by a tolerable second 45. I would have to say that I was impressed by Alloa. Unfortunately their penchant to play football and dispense with the hoof was admirable but may also be their downfall. I don't think that the most staunch of us would have begrudged them a point at the end. The first half made good watching and both teams carved out chances. We also dispensed with the hoof, played football and used the extra wide flanks. I thought that Rooney was exceptional in that half. Ridgers had made a couple of saves, we had wasted at least two half chances before Inspector Taggart became Inspector Clousseau and headed the ball past the man who won us the Scottish Cup. And the eventual match winner came right on the half time whistle. A Rooney cross, exquisite head back by White and Doran curves neatly passed poor old Rod. As good a goal as you will see all season. Half Time 0-2 And then you would have thought that a complete Dick had opened the flood gates with a double footed, red card, over the top tackle on Keatings. But, we appeared to relax and wait for another opportunity. And a few came along but we fluffed the final touch. I felt that we tried to overpass at times. We should have gone nap really. But Alloa improved with 10 men. As is often the case we looked like the team with ten. When an Alloa shot hit the postage stamp corner there was a shiver, not caused by the minus temperature. But we held on and returned to Drysdale's a happy bunch. I will dispense with the smileys but my marks out of 5 are made up of 3's and 4's. Ridgers, Rooney, Coll, Tremarco, Carson and Keatings get the fours. I may also add Roddy McGregor to that list as his pace and movement was terrific when he came on. Carson sneaks in as my MotM - mainly for his defensive display and a developing partnership with Triffid. Let's hope that McCart has only a minor knock. My only other whinge, apart from not scoring more goals was WHY take on Curry if he is on his way out? So Aloha to Clackmannanshire and I may well be back. Have to save up for the Maryhill Caley Away Xmas party ? From BBC Sport Alloa Athletic manager Peter Grant: "The scoreline was very harsh on us. To lose the goals when we did was a double-whammy. "But I was chuffed with the way the players went about their business. Even when we went down to 10 men we were excellent." Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "Both teams carved out really good opportunities. The first goal was really strange, the second was a cracker. "There were more goals if they showed the quality of the final pass, and that's what let us down second-half. We didn't make the extra man count." Extended highlights from Alloa Athletic FC Date: 30/11/2019 Venue: Recreation Park, Alloa Attendance: 721 Referee: Greg Aitken Alloa Athletic: 0 Lineup: MacDonald; Taggart, Graham, Deas, Dick, Robertson, Cawley, Flannigan, Hetherington, Trouten, O'Hara. Subs (not used): Henry; Gilhooley, Malcolm, Gillespie, O'Donnell, Buchanan, Thomson, Scorers: none Booked: Hetherington (70), Flannigan (80) Sent Off: Dick (58) Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart (McHattie 76), Tremarco, Doran, Carson, Trafford, Storey (Curry 72), Keatings (MacGregor 73), White Subs (not used): C Mackay, Harper, Machado, Todorov. Scorers: Taggart (og 38), Doran (45) Booked: Keatings (72), Sent Off: a
  23. Alloa, chapter three We are off to Recreation Park Alloa this Saturday to face the Wasps on match day 15 in the Championship. The Wasps will be well acquainted with the Caley Jags before the end of the season as we will have met a minimum of six times after we have been drawn against each other in the Challenge Cup and the Scottish Cup. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ CLUB NEWS Annual General Meeting (AGM): The AGM of Inverness Thistle and Caledonian FC Ltd will be held at Caledonian Stadium on Thursday 19th December at 7.30pm and today we have issued notice to shareholders, which includes the Club’s annual report and financial statements. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Before I let Johndo loose with his nostalgiaitis, here's the tale of the tape so far this season. The first encounter this season saw a much changed Inverness get a somewhat flattering 3-0 win in the Challenge Cup game with Alloa hitting woodwork twice. The league game a week later saw us struggle to get a draw after our defence went AWOL, allowing Alan Trouten space and time to level the game at 2-2. We had fought back from an early Buchanan goal but found it difficult to break down a well organised Wasps defence. After getting our noses in front four minutes from the end through a Carl Tremaro special and an excellent Jordan White flying header, which incidentally put us top of the league for four minutes, we then proceeded to shoot ourselves in the foot. Such is life! It's been mostly downhill since then until we put in the effort to record a good 1-0 win over Dundee last week, Aaron Doran the scorer. Other games this weekend: Ayr v Arbroath Dundee v Queen of the South Dunfermline v Partick Thistle Morton v Dundee United Now pin yer ears back and listen to the Immortal Howden Ender So it is a sojourn to Clackmannanshire and the grand olde Recreation Park, on St Andrews Day, to face Alloa Athletic. Will our depleted, flu stricken squad have recovered well enough to bring back a well needed three point haul and maintain our renewed place in the Top Four. Lets hope that the Wasps are slumbering in their Winter hibernation and do not have enough sting left to inflict another defeat on us. Perhaps two games in a week may be too much for them as well ? It would be nice to hear of others Away Day experiences at the Recreation Park. Was anyone in attendance during our first season (September 1994) when we came away with a point in a 1-1 draw ? My first Alloa Away experience (or non-experience) was in December 1996 and also one of my early returns from Refusnikism. Drove all the way from Lancashire in blue skies, sunshine and mild temperatures – grooving to the recently released “Bring It On Home” – then sitting in the pub to be informed that the game had been called off. Were you there? And then on to November 1999 and probably the most disappointed and gutted that I have felt at the final whistle. Airdrie was the venue for the Challenge Cup Final with Alloa. We were strong favourites and had amassed a following of 2000 + Highlanders. It may have been a great game for neutrals but 4-4 after extra time led to a 5-4 defeat from the penalty spot. I still have an image of the skinhead (Martin Cameron) clenching his fist at the end. October 2002 was the opposite and as good an away performance as there has been over the years. A hat-trick each for Paul Ritchie and Denis Wyness landed us a very enjoyable 6-0 thrashing. And I know of a few who lamented our League Cup exit in August 2016 when we lost 1-0 – again despite being clear favourites. There always seems to be goals at Alloa – apart from the 0-0 draw next season. So being a betting man I would go for an ICT Win with Both Teams To Score. BUT our rollercoaster displays this season means that we cannot predict what kind of performance will be produced. In the league this season we beat them 3-0 at home in the Chocolate Biscuit Trophy with a “weakened” team but then drew 2-2 at home in the next game with the “preferred starting X1”. As for Alloa I have to congratulate then for hoofing Hellgin out of the Scottish Cup. And I also have to admit that I have always had a “liking” for Peter Grant, both as a player and a coach. To be blunt I would have thought that Alloa was below his potential. Alloa are capable of grabbing points at home from anyone, as they proved against us and Plastic Whistle. Being in a tight relegation zone probably makes them more dangerous - and Alloa has no links to any Lottery Winners. It looks like the players to look out for against us are Alan Trouten, Kevin O’Hara and Kevin Cawley. Although the one time ICT “target” (Liam Buchanan) is still alive and kicking and unfortunately still capable of netting against Inverness. Alloa are once more showing their resilience and earned a point in midweek at Firhill. They led Patrick Thistle early in the first half through Alan Trouten before former player Dario Zanatta equalised before the break. Despite Thistle dominating, there was no further scoring with on loan keeper Jamie MacDonald denying Partick a few times. That saw the points shared at the relegation end of the table and it keeps Patrick at the bottom with Alloa two points above them. It has become more of a case of picking 11 players fit enuff to play rather than the preferred first choices. It may well be a case of few changes from the starting 11 against Dundee. The potential changes could be Rooney back in for Brad McKay and possibly Keatings for McHattie. Tremarco has trained all week and MacGregor and Curry will come back into contention. Robbo appears to have felt that we tactically outsmarted Dundee and heralded a 4-1-4-1 formation. Hopefully that will not be followed at Alloa and we discard the “hoof” tactics that appear to be unfortunately followed away from home. So I will be travelling by train from Stirling, having a pre-match aperitif in “Bobbing Johns” and an Asda carryoot on the way home. Hopefully the 90 + minutes on the terraces will be as enjoyable as the rest of the day. Like Johndo, I'm sure we will all be looking to consolidate on the hard earned points from last weekend against Dundee that ended a run of poor results and performances. Something to build on, at least the passion was back and maybe, just maybe, this virus is on it's way out of the Caledonian Stadium. If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  24. Getting better! Inverness edged above Dundee in the table after a hard fought 1-0 victory in the Highlands. An Aaron Doran goal in the 16th minute was enough to take all three points in a game that Dundee enjoyed the possession but it was their hosts that created the better chances although we had Carl Tremarco to thank for a wonderful headed clearance to prevent the ball from ending up in the net before the interval. We weathered a Dundee fightback and should have added a second when Doran was clean through but dallied on the ball which allowed Hazard to snatch the ball from his feet when he really should have been bulging the net. However, his early counter was sufficient to move us into third place in the Championship. With the virus on the wane, we managed to get one or two back on the park but were still without James Vincent, Mitch Curry, Roddy MacGregor, Tom Walsh and Sean Welsh with Shaun Rooney and James Keatings making the bench. Dundee had Josh Meekings on from the start but there was no room for Danny Johnson who started on the Dark Blues bench. The hosts brought out the first save of the game when Conor Hazard comfortably denied Aaron Doran in the third minute from a free kick. Declan McDaid was looking dangerous for the visitors but the final ball was proving to be elusive despite Dundee enjoying the lions share of possession. David Carson had a shot blocked but in the sixteenth minute he would be the provider for Doran to score from a very tight angle as he met Carson's cross outside the back post. The wee man tucked the ball away brilliantly into the roof of the net to open the scoring. Carson's next attempt will probably enter the Guinness Book of Records for the wildest sliced shot in the history of the game; ever. We were living somewhat dangerously at times but the lads were putting in some effort as we kept Dundee at arms length with Mark Ridgers having little to do other than gather a few crosses comfortably. For all their possession, we were untroubled at the back until captain Carl Tremarco appeared from nowhere on the line to make a diving headed clearance from one of his own defenders (McCart) with Ridgers caught in no mans land a couple of minutes before the break. Where did he come from??? Half Time 1-0 No changes at the interval and the pattern continued, Dundee with the ball, Inverness with the determination to keep them out. Around the hour and Inverness passed on a glorious chance to seal the points. Doran was sent clean through on goal from the halfway line, but as he decided what to do, Hazard stole the ball off him before he made his mind up when it looked simple enough to shoot into the net. Great opportunity gone for a two goal cushion. The flow of the game was changing now as we became more visible around the visitors box and it was Dundee who were now looking to hit on the break as we flashed a number of balls across their box, but no takers for them. Fortunately our defensive unit was in solid formation and everyone was doing their job which restricted Dundee to fleeting glimpses of our penalty box with some great last ditch tackling preventing Dundee on the few occasions they tried to progress. It had been an edgy afternoon for the fans in the North stand, but we played out the final ten minutes at the right end of the park and Doran should have made the keeper work but his curled effort from the edge of the box dipped over the bar. Keatings did similar with a free kick as we ended the game on top and claimed all three points. This was a much improved performance from the one that saw the side slated for a lack of everything against Clyde in the Challenge cup a week ago. Tremendous effort all over the park although it took Miles Story about 85 minutes to burst into life. David Carson won the sponsors MotM, but today there were a few candidates all over the park. Great to see the defence keep a clean sheet and my MotM is going to Coll Donaldson who along with Carl Tremarco put their bodies on the line time and time again. What a captains clearance from Tommy to keep us ahead at the interval and Donaldson and McCart were back to their best and singing from the same hymn sheets today. Aaron Doran put in some shift, especially in the second half when he back tracked numerous times, much better from the wee man who scored his fourth goal of the season. Good all round effort from everyone, but it will be in vain if we can't keep up the same energy levels when playing the Alloa's and Arbroath's of this league. We have played better, but let's not forget that Dundee were expected to be at the top end of the league, so to take all three points from a tough encounter is pleasing. ? Doran's goal with Carson's assist Match reaction from BBC Sport Inverness CT manger John Robertson: "Our game plan was excellent and we had a real threat on the break. Our tactics were spot on today and we were competitive over the park for 70 minutes. "If we'd been a wee bit more clinical we could have won by a couple in the end. "It's a pleasing win. We felt we could keep getting at them. In the end I think we deserved the win and did enough to merit all three points." Dundee manager James McPake: "There wasn't much between the teams but we just didn't perform to the levels we've shown we can get to. "I think we were very wasteful. We had a lot of possession but not in the right areas where we should be hurting teams." Date: 23/11/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2184 Referee: David Munro Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay (Rooney 71), Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco (Keatings 82), Doran, Carson, Trafford, McHattie, Storey, White (Todorov 64) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Harper, Machado, Hyde Scorers: Doran (16) Booked: Todorov (74), Donaldson(75), Doran (83),Trafford (90) Sent Off: none Dundee: 0 Lineup: Hazard; McGhee (Kerr 70), Forster, Meekings, Mackie, Byrne (Todd 61), Dorrans, Ness, McGowan (Johnson 61), Hemmings, McDaid. Subs (not used): Ferrie; McPake, Robertson, Moore. Scorers: none Booked: Hemmings (75), Dorrans (90+1). Sent Off: none a
  25. Dark Blue test Crunch game coming up and the Xmas trees are not even up in living rooms across the North. Dundee venture forth to the Highland capital on Saturday as we look to get back on track after a disastrous run of results that has yielded only one win in our last six games. Kick off is at 3:00pm. Crushing defeats to Dundee United and Arbroath were particular lowlights, but the manner of our performance against League 1 Clyde in the Challenge Cup left a lot to be desired. We looked as uncomfortable as Prince Andrew at an interview but thankfully our penalty kicks were emphatic enough to see us through. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ League Match Ticket Prices Adult Senior Citizen 16-25 Under 16 Main £22 £17 £17 £6 North/Away £20 £15 £15 £6 Tickets available from the Club Shop, over the phone on 01463 222880 and online HERE All Armed Forces personnel can gain entry to Saturday’s game against Dundee for the discounted price of £10. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Having picked up only four points from a possible fifteen in our last five Championship games, we find ourselves above Arbroath on goal difference only and one point behind this week's visitors Dundee with their neighbours United looking likely to run away with the title. This is the only Championship game on this weekend with others involved in the Scottish Cup Dundee have been indifferent lately, but nine points from their last five games have seen them climb above us in the table after an inauspicious start to the season. Two defeats to Partick Thistle and the Arabs were countered by wins over Morton, Alloa and Ayr United. Inverness have suffered badly over the last few weeks as a sickness bug took it's toll on the playing staff and management team. That could explain our recent dip in performances since we beat Queen of the South 2-0 at Palmerston at the end of October. Tom Walsh, Roddy MacGregor and Shaun Rooney will miss out along with Sean Welsh. Here's Robbo talking ahead of tomorrows game. Dundee boss James McPake had this team for the Dundee derby last time out:- Dundee (V Dundee Utd): Hazard, Kerr, Forster, McGhee, Mackie, Byrne, Dorrans, McGowan (Johnson 64′), McDaid, Nelson (McPake 66′), Hemmings. Dundee have a full squad other than keeper Jack Hamilton who misses out through illness.