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Caley Thistle were crushed by the Dandy Dons in this CIS League Cup quarter-final. 3-0 down at half time, the CaleyJags went on to lose 4-1 thanks in big part to the defence once again conceding penalties... not one this time, but two in 20 minutes, both of which Barry Nicholson slotted home for two thirds of his hat trick. Lee Miller scored the other goal for the Dons and it was Graham Bayne who got a consolation for ICT. 31/10/07 Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen Aberdeen 4 Nicholson (10pen, 21pen, 78) Miller 45 Team: Langfield, Hart, Diamond, Mair, Byrne, Smith (Foster 59), Nicholson, McNamara, Aluko (Considine 72), Young (Clark 30), Miller Subs: Kelly, Maguire INVERNESS CT 1 Bayne (68) Team: Fraser, Tokely, Munro, McCaffrey, Hastings, Wilson (Niculae 79), Duncan, McBain (Rankin 79), Cowie, Bayne, Wyness (Morgan 79). Subs: Malkowski, Proctor. Referee John Underhill Attendance 7270 The Internutters Supporters Bus was full again and spirits remained high following our visit to FirPark and our 4-0 routing of Gretna at the weekend. It appeared that many fans were making the effort to travel to this game for fear of missing out on the opportunity to witness victory against Aberdeen at our 15th time of trying. Traffic on the A96 hadn’t been too bad, but on hitting Aberdeen it seemed that everyone had decided to get out in front of us and the delayed arrival put pay to the pre-match refreshments. I think it’s only right that I point out that I was the only one on the bus who had made the effort to get into the Halloween spirit, although I was slightly more pleased that others at the game had decided to dress up!!! After dropping everyone off I managed to blag my way into a free parking spot in the car park and headed round to join the crew for the match. A quick visit to the tea stalls for a pie and a coffee and we were ready to cheer the team on to victory. Caley Thistle started well enough and although we weren’t pressuring Aberdeen early on we didn’t look to be under any great threat either….but that all went quickly pear-shaped when after only 9 minutes when a clumsy tackle by Hastings on Young inside the area resulted in a Penalty for Aberdeen. Nicholson stepped up and slotted the ball away to leave us chasing the game from the start. Aberdeen looked likely to stretch the lead only a minute later when a Nicholson free-kick found the head of Young only 6 yards out…fortunately for ICT he sent it over the bar. The scenario was repeated in reverse at the other end shortly afterwards when Don Cowie sent a ball in to the head of Tokely, this time the ball went wide, but at least we could chalk up our first attempt on goal. Caley Thistle looked like they had picked themselves up and dusted themselves down following the early penalty and they were playing some smart intelligent football. They were managing to keep hold of the ball when they had it and they were breaking down the Aberdeen attack from a decent distance up the park. That’s why it was even more frustrating when on the 20 minute mark another stupid tackle in the area by McCaffery gifted Aberdeen the second penalty which Nicholson once again put away with ease. Caley Thistle weren’t bereft of opportunities…far from it and Duncan was next to threaten the Aberdeen goal on the half hour. His 30 yard volley is becoming a bit of a trademark and he was unfortunate to see this one miss narrowly to the left. Young was substituted just afterwards and Chris Clark took his place. The opportunities continued to present themselves for ICT. A shot by Down Cowie went straight to the hands of Langfield and a drive by Duncan was tipped round the post for a corner, but the much needed goals continued to elude us. Aberdeen’s 3rd goal was to arrive just before the break, and if the first two had been a gift, then this one came with full wrapping paper and a bow. A totally unnecessary back pass was lofted in to Fraser from about 40 yards out. Despite facing an onrushing Miller, Fraser decided not to let the ball run out and instead try to be a little to cocky and take on the player. In an attempt to jink past the forward Fraser slipped and gifted him the easiest of finishes to make it 3-0 to the home side going in at half-time. Half Time: 3-0 Caley Thistle hadn’t played badly in the first 45 minutes and had it not been for 3 costly errors then I fail to see where Aberdeen would have got any goals or have posed any real threat. In saying that though, when you’re coming out for the second half chasing a 3 goal deficit then you don’t need to be the best football brain in the world to recognise that you need to make changes to the formation to increase your attacking threat and go for broke. Despite these thoughts, we returned to the field having made no changes. We did however start the brighter of the two teams and are positive play almost paid off 10 minutes in when a Tokely cross was met by a firm header from Wyness. Yet again Langfield seemed to be in the right place as the ball went straight to his chest for an easy save. Wyness was denied by Langfield yet again on two minutes later when his left foot drive was easily saved and it was the same story for Wilson when his effort was parried by the on-form Langfield and a second effort went narrowly over the bar before Wyness followed suit putting another ball high and in to the stand. Finally we managed to get a ball in the back of the net thanks to the efforts of Bayne. Wyness had caught the Aberdeen defence napping and seized on a ball which he slid through to Bayne for him to knock in to the bottom right corner. 25 minutes to go and 2 goals down, if we could continue the form we had been showing, get a little more clinical in front of goal and cut out the errors then we may just be able to pull this one back. We continued to push forward without much of an end product for the next 10 minutes and with about 15 minutes on the clock Brewster looked to be preparing for a triple substitution. At last, it looked like we were going to put on an extra forward and go hell for leather to try and scrap our way back into it. It wasn’t to be and any thoughts of a fight back were put firmly to bed on the stroke of 77 minutes. A ball by Chris Clark in to space in front of goal was left by McCaffery and Fraser gifting Nicholson the easiest of opportunities to score his hat-trick and he didn’t need asking twice as he stuck it away to make it 4-1. Caley Thistle then made the ritual 80th minute substitutions, although I don’t know what Brewster now expected of them. McBain was replaced by Rankin, Wilson was replaced by Morgan and despite the need for an extra forward Wyness became a straight swap for Niculae. Despite the game being all over bar the shouting you can’t fault the players for keeping it going right to the end. Rankin was the first of the subs to have a go, but his 30 yard shot went narrowly wide. Niculae was up next but he failed to get full contact on the ball and it went straight to the hands of Langfield (where have I used that line before!!). Niculae was to have another go only 2 minutes later only to miss right and again saw himself denied when on the stroke of full-time his downward header failed to beat Langfield. Full Time: Aberdeen 4 v 1 ICT Had it not been for the silly errors which resulted in all 4 goals for Aberdeen this game could have been a whole different story. In fact, if you showed anyone the video for this game and simply removed the goal footage you would forgive them for predicting the result as being the other way round. It was the nature of the goals that left me feeling let down at the end of this game. We’ve played games this season where we were unlucky not to have got a result despite some great play, but we have nobody but ourselves to blame for tonight’s result…yes we were robbed…but we were robbed by our own stupid mistakes.
Graham Bayne, Barry Wilson and Dennis Wyness were all on the scoresheet tonight as Caley Thistle eased through to the next round of the CIS League Cup with a 3-0 victory over Gretna at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, but it could so easily have been more. Bayne opened the scoring in 21 minutes and goals in 67 minutes from Barry Wilson and in the 80th minute by Dennis Wyness sealed the victory. 25/09/07 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium INVERNESS CT 3 (Bayne 21, Wilson 67, Wyness 80) Team: Malkowski, Tokely, McCaffrey, Munro, Hastings, Wilson (Rankin 79), Duncan, Cowie, Morgan, Bayne (D. McDonald 72), Brewster (Wyness 57) Subs: Proctor & Fraser GRETNA 0 Team: Fleming, Jenkins, Horwood (Skelton 71), Grainger, Collin, McGill, Paartalu, Hogg, McLaren (Yantorno 53), McMenamin (Grady 71), Buscher Subs: McGuffie & Scott Referee A Freeland Attendance 1717 Malkowski made his full ICT debut between the sticks for this fixture, and despite one slight lapse of concentration in the first half, seemed to deal with whatever came to him and cleared his lines well. Graham Bayne, also playing for the full 90, linked well with Brewster up front and put the home team in front midway through the first half, and deservedly so. The midfield of Wilson, Duncan, Cowie and Morgan produced some great flowing football and were quick to track back when called upon. Munro, and Tokely, alongside the returning Stuart McCaffrey and Richard Hastings, made for a strong back 4 which Gretna found hard to break through. Ian Black, Roy McBain and Marius Niculae were to be rested for this tie, with Fraser warming the bench alongside Wyness, McDonald, Proctor and John Rankin. Gretna, shooting towards the North Stand in the first half, produced the first attack of the game when Brenden McGill sent in a cross towards Colin McMenniman, only to be met by a solid defensive set-up. From then on it was all Inverness, and the fans certainly played their part. Barry Wilson made some mazy runs, swapping passes with Craig Brewster with some classy 1-touch football. Wilson was also on hand early on with some decent corners, creating many problems for goalkeeper Gregg Fleming. Inverness made the most of some sloppy play by the Gretna defence, who conceded 5 corners in as many minutes after constant pressure. Don Cowie and Barry Wilson providing an array of quality deliveries into the box, and a 21st minute header from close range was enough to put ICT into the lead. Graham Bayne scoring in his first game since returning from injury. At first, Gretna seemed to try and create an equaliser, but the final pass seemed to elude them some what. Hogg and McGill were unable to get a decent enough cross in for the front pairing of McManniman and Buscher, and Malkowski was set for a trouble free evening in the ICT goal. Inverness started to play very well leading up to half time - the goal obviously a boost to them - and created an opening for a second goal. Don Cowie, settling nicely in his role on the right flank, read the game superbly, and sent in a superb cross towards the far post for Alan Morgan to create an opening. The ball was cut back across goal towards Craig Brewster only for David Cowan to clear once more for Gretna. The half time whistle blew with ICT sitting at 1-0. Would Caley Thistle sit on their lead, or would they go all out to finish off a Gretna side who seemed somewhat weakened after their triumph over Dundee Utd at the weekend? The Second Half was dominated by Caley Thistle pressure, and it was great to see Tokely and Cowie linking well on the right. Rossco did, however, seem to drift out of position on the odd occasion, and Munro did well to cover his tracks. Barry Wilson, again throughout the half, made a nuisance of himself in the midfield, continuously running in and out of position to get the best delivery into the box. His frustration was showing, though, as Gretna managed to clear their line time and time again. 15 minutes into the second half, Inverness made their first substitution of the game, with Player-Manager Craig Brewster taking himself off to be replaced by Dennis Wyness. Brewster had previously received treatment in the first half after a strong tackle from Gretna‘s Daniel Grainger. Wyness first touch of the ball could have put Inverness further ahead, when a splendid delivery from Alan Morgan from the left was met with Wyness’ head. Unfortunately for them, Fleming was well placed to punch clear and Gretna were on the attack. Short lived it was though, as Inverness pushed for a second. Barry Wilson in the 67th minute, the ball falling nicely to him to fire the home side into a 2-0 lead. Fleming pretty much left stranded, with little the defence could do. It was around this time that things in the stand got more interesting than activities on the park, as those who were getting behind their team were soon unable to do so. With 25 minutes of the 90 still to play, and your team winning 2-0 against SPL rivals, there is obviously going to be celebrations and an atmosphere. The latter almost certainly encouraging this changed ICT team to perform well on the pitch. The scenes in Section G were unbelievable and contradicting, bullying and encouraging. Overall, very surreal. The heavy handedness of certain stewards is astounding at a fixture of this nature, and with no malicious intent, racism or rude chants to be heard from anyone, it baffles even the most intelligent minds as to why we get behind our team in the first place. I digress!!! Back to the game and ICT were still dominating. Wyness now making some superb runs as the midfield tried to create an opening, and holding the ball up well to try and create for Bayne. With all three subs now used in the form of Mcdonald (for Bayne 72) and Rankin (for Wilson 79) it was clear their was no way back for the former Unibond Premier outfit. Very little was created for them, and even with the introductions of double subs Skelton and Grady, there was no inspiration to drive forward and create chances. The final nail in the coffin came in the form of a strikers poach. Don Cowie ran down the right flank to swing in a superb cross for Alan Morgan. Morgan tracked back to swing the ball back into the box, and an anticipated run by Ross Tokely saw him get in behind 2 defenders. Across goal went his shot with Fleming well and truly beaten, and all Wyness had to do was tap it in from 3 yards. 2 goals in 2 games now for Dennis Wyness, and there was surely signs of his former self on show. 3-0 it was to finish and it could have been more. Even Dean MacDonald had the ball in the net late on, but he was already judged to have been offside before he struck low into the bottom right corner from just 18 yards. Full Time: 3-0 Man of the Match was Barry Wilson and rightly so. He played extremely well and produced some great passing moves. His awareness was fantastic and he topped of a great night with his first goal of the season. Things looking very very good for ICT on the park, but in the stand - well - it’s going to be a long long season to come!!!
Goals from Wyness, Bayne and McAllister saw off Dumbarton and allowed Caley Thistle to advance to the 3rd Round of the CIS cup. Wednesday 23rd August 2006 Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE FC 3 (Wyness 6, Bayne 54, McAllister 72) Team: Brown, Tokely (McBain 78), McCaffery, Munro, Golabek, Wilson, Hart (Keogh 61), Duncan, Morgan, Bayne, Wyness (McAllister 67) Subs: Rankin, Fraser DUMBARTON FC 1 (Dobbie 30) Team: Grindlay, Geggins (Boyle 47), Craig, Brittain (McKeever 89), Canning, Dillon, Bagan, Gentle, Borris, McNaught, Dobbie (Quitongo 82) Subs: McCann, Shaw Referee Calum Murray Attendance 1085 Man of the Match Graham Bayne Caley Thistle moved into the third round of the CIS Cup with this 3-1 win but it was not all plain sailing. Aberdeen’s defeat at the hands of Queen’s Park the night before was a lesson to all that lower division opponents must be taken seriously – but there was never any chance that Dumbarton would be treated lightly. In the event they put up a good fight until the home side’s third goal went in 20 minutes from time. Barry Wilson returned to the ICT starting line-up after missing the Celtic match and Craig Dargo dropped out through injury. Graham Bayne partnered Dennis Wyness up front and there were also starts for Stuart McCaffrey, Stuart Golabek, Richie Hart, Russell Duncan and Alan Morgan. Dumbarton featured ex ICT favourite David Bagan and new loan signing Stephen Dobbie from St Johnstone. Caley Thistle started well and took the lead in just five minutes. An Alan Morgan corner on the right was mishandled by ‘keeper Stephen Grindlay and Dennis Wyness took it on the turn from close range – he found the net via a touch from defender Mark Canning. ICT pressure continued but nothing quite came off. Dumbarton crept back into it and in 28 minutes a Bagan rising shot from 18 yards was touched for a corner. A minute later Dobbie raced past the home defence amidst futile offside claims and fired an angled shot past Mark Brown from the left side of the box. Dumbarton pushed for a second and in 32 minutes Chris Gentile slid onto a ball eight yards out but it crept past the post. Caley Thistle had chances close to the half time whistle with a Wyness overhead shot cleared, a Graham Bayne effort blocked then a Ross Tokely header turned for a corner. Half Time: 1-1 The home side regained the lead in 53 minutes when a Wilson free kick into the box was headed low past Grindlay by Bayne. Russell Duncan hit over the bar on the hour mark then, after further Caley Thistle pressure, substitute Rory McAllister scored the goal of the match in 70 minutes. Liam Keogh intercepted a half clearance then found McAllister 25 yards out – with no hesitation the striker lobbed it past Grindlay for only his second senior goal. There was no way back for a tiring Dumbarton side but they did manage to prevent further damage. Bayne hit over the bar in 74 minutes then with five minutes left a confident McAllister tried a first time shot from six yards but he was off balance and it also cleared the bar. In the final minute ‘Man of the Match’ Graham Bayne headed goalwards but it was blocked and his follow up shot went wide right. A good evening’s work – a potential banana skin avoided and a place earned in the third round of the cup.