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Five in a row Inverness recorded their fifth clean sheet in a row to beat Dunfermline 1-0 thanks to a Connor Bell tap in in the 23rd minute after some tidy play down the right flank involving Raven, Baird, Polworth and Mulraney. No surprises in the starting eleven for Inverness as the impressive Coll Donaldson and Brad Mckay continued at the heart of the defence with Joe Chalmers further forward. Gary Warren and Charlie Trafford were on the bench. Goal shy striker John Baird led the line with on fire Jake Mulraney wide right on a bitter and blustery afternoon. Dunfermline started with Fraser Aird keeping Joe Cardle on the bench, but still had plenty of fire power in Kallum Higginbotham, Nicky Clark and Callum Smith all on from the start. Inverness started brightest with the visitors looking content to bide their time. Iain Vigurs tested keeper Sean Murdoch after just four minutes with a rasping shot that seemed to move on it's way to the target, the goalie pulling off a tremendous diving save to deny Vigurs. Fraser Aird replied for the Pars but he shot over as they came out of their shell to check out the other end of the park, and John Baird had a similar attempt in front of the South Stand. Vigurs saw a close range header blocked close to the line as we held the upper hand and it only looked to be a matter of time before we scored the opener. Baird missed the target again but soon after we got our just reward. From a throw in on the right midway through the half, some tidy interplay set Mulraney sprinting along the line before drilling a low cross into the box. An outstretched defending leg only succeeded in teeing up the effervescent Connor Bell who accepted the gift and tapped home. Liam Polworth brought out another fine save from Murdoch as we searched for a second goal, but it was at the other end that an unlikely goal almost came along. An error deep in Inverness territory by Brad McKay let Callum Smith run in on goal from the inside right position. Fortunately for McKay, he scuffed his shot badly and it dribbled well wide of Ridgers' right hand post. It was equal to the effort David Raven tried moments earlier, which looked more like a pass back than a shot from a promising position, meh! Pars had a couple booked in the first half due to there clumsy efforts to stop us overrunning them. Half Time 1-0 Mark Ridgers had to deal with a swirling cross that floated close to his crossbar, Ridgers acrobatically tipping the ball behind for a corner as the ball got caught in the gusty wind. Dunfermline were racking up the bookings by now as the game turned towsy, the visitors resorting to some rough house tactics. The home side had enough of this and retaliated with a couple of bookings of their own. Undaunted, Higginbotham won the fifth booking for Pars shortly after. There followed a spate of substitutions for Dunfermline, playing all their cards within a few minutes. Nicky Clark and Liam Polworth exchanged shots over the bar as we returned to some footballing action and John Baird spurned a couple of great opportunities to seal the points, Murdoch blocking the first volley well. His second misdemeanour brought a stiff rebuke from Polworth who was less than happy at Baird's reluctance to shoot for goal. Polworth should have scored from close range after a scrambulation in the box. A bit of composure would have won the day but he chose to smash the ball home. However, his shot smacked off the bar. A late flurry from Dunfermline saw some jitters run through the stands, but we dealt with it comfortably and the visitors were unable to fashion out any decent attempts throughout the full 96 minutes of play. Full Time 1-0 A gritty display from Inverness and we should have won at a canter had we taken the number of chances that came our way. The Pars started off a bit cagey and pressed higher after the break, but we remained untroubled and should have added to our tally. Comfortable win in the end despite their presence around our box late in the game which could have seen them picked off on the break had our final ball been better. We could also have benefited from some better refereeing decisions and on another day might have been awarded a couple of penalties. A few contenders for MotM. Coll Donaldson was once more pretty solid at the back, one or two loose moments apart. Mark Ridgers looks more confident by the game and another clean sheet will add to that. Iain Vigurs was totally dominant in midfield, spraying the ball at will. Liam Polworth and Jake Mulraney beavered away, Liam unfortunate not to score and Jake skinning defenders with his searing pace and trickery. However, my choice this week goes to a giant amongst men. Well, maybe not, but Connor Bell gets the nod for his Duracell Bunny impression and goal. His work rate was second to none, in attack and defence. What a find he has been. That result lifted us into seventh place in the league. The next target will be Morton who sit four points above us. Off to Livingston next week, another tough game against an in form team. Goal highlights and Robbo interview from Caley Jags TV Date: 28/10/2017 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2948 Referee: Kevin Clancy Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers, Raven, Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco, Chalmers, Vigurs, Polworth, Bell (Warren, 90), Mulraney (Calder, 72), Baird (Oakley, 78). Subs (not used): Esson, Elsdon, Trafford, Mackay. Scorers: Connor Bell (23) Booked: Baird (57), Tremarco (60). Sent Off: none Dunfermline: 0 Lineup: Murdoch, Williamson, Morris, Ashcroft, Talbot, Splaine (Shiels, 76), Wedderburn, Aird (Cardle, 67), Higginbotham, Clark, Smith (McManus, 67). Subs (not used): Gill, Martin, M'Voto, Ryan. Scorers: none Booked: Morris, Splaine (45), Williamson (52), Clark (53), Higginbotham (65). Sent Off: none a
Well Well Well. Wednesday night in Lanarkshire and Inverness were the visitors to Fir Park under the floodlights with both clubs hovering just outside the top-six. It was the visitors that took all three points with an ultimately convincing win, although it never looked that way at the break. Tremarco, Doumbouya and Polworth scored the goals as Motherwell capitulated in the second half. Richie Foran elected to start with Aaron Doran wide replacing Jake Mulraney who drops to the bench. Lonsana Doumbouya retained the strikers jersey. Mark McGhee had Lionel Ainsworth, James McFadden and Scott McDonald on the bench, opting for the youth of Ross McLean and Jack McMillan with Louis Moult the danger man. A promising start for the visitors and a couple of headers go off target, Doumbouya rising highest in the box from a corner but not finding the target. A clash of heads has Carl Tremarco and Richard Tait receiving treatment, the Inverness player donning a bandage before continuing. Soon after this, Liam Polworth hit a long range effort that goes just wide and Motherwell's Craig Clay does likewise at the other end. It's tit for tat stuff halfway through the first half and although the visitors are getting their fair share of the ball, they lack penetration, Brad Mckay foraging well on the right though. Louis Moult made his first telling contribution but his shot hits the side netting on the half hour, and at the other end Doumbouya heads just wide again. Shortly after, Doumbouya and Vigurs combine, but the latter fires over. Just before the break a bit of a cufuffle around our box as Cadden strikes from range. The deflection finds Moult but Mckay recovers to clear. Neither keeper has been seriously tested in a cautious first forty-five and one added minute brings the half to a close. Half Time 0-0 Moult squanders the first chance of the second period as a deep cross is headed over Fon Williams' bar, and Mckay continues where he left off in the first half, but no takers for his cross that fizzes across the box. However, his persistence pays off as he pings another cross into the box and Carl Tremarco meets it on the slide six yards out to knock it in off the underside of the bar. Billy King replaced Doran just after the hour, the Irishman not best pleased by that decision from the gaffer, rightly so as he had been fairly promising all night. The home side react by bringing on Scott McDonald for Bowman as they search for an equaliser. But it's the visitors that take the game forward and Samson has to tip a Polworth shot round the post for a corner. Tremarco and Warren combine well........ in attack, and win a corner. Total football mun. From the corner, the much maligned Doumbouya knocks home from the centre of the six yard box when the ball fell to him, his initial header blocked and dropping at his feet. Great reply from the big man after taking some stick over the last couple of weeks for missing a couple of relatively simple chances. Motherwell clutching at straws now and desperately firing a couple of shots from distance but they don't trouble Fon Williams and with around fifteen minutes to go McGhee makes his last throw of the dice and on come McFadden and Ainsworth for Clay and Maclean. Moult does find the net but is adjudged to be off side, much relief in the visitors ranks. Could be a testing last quarter of the game. Doumbouya should have scored his second of the night but his downward header from three yards bounced up and over the crossbar after a delightful flighted cross from Polworth. However, Liam Polworth had other ideas about a Well revival and rifled a low shot from twenty-five yards to kill off any thoughts of a Motherwell revival. Thumping shot from Polly who makes a habit of this at times, the ball finding the bottom corner with the keeper diving full length to his right. Billy King was the provider for Liam to slash the ball home. A couple of efforts either end after the goal but the result is a formality now and Inverness keep a clean sheet into the bargain to record an excellent away win to push us back into the top-six. Full Time 0-3 A somewhat unexpected but welcome win, and after a dour first half, we swept Motherwell away with some clinical finishing. That's three wins on the trot at Fir Park. We should play there every week. Much improved performance all round and great to see Doumbouya grab another goal, that will do his confidence no harm. Fon Williams kept a clean sheet, although he was relatively untroubled Tremarco keeps on giving and Polly back on the goal trail. All good at Fir Park. Manager Richie Foran had this to say " "There was some great play all over the park, our fitness levels were spot on, and once again we're finishing the game stronger, we're going right to the final whistle, so it was good. I'm delighted for the back four getting that clean sheet". Match video from SPFL Website Date: 26/10/16 Venue: Fir Park, Motherwell Attendance: 3131 Referee: Don Robertson Motherwell: 0 Lineup: Samson, Tait, Heneghan, McManus, Moult, Bowman (McDonald 64), Cadden, Lasley, Clay (McFadden 77), MacLean (Ainsworth 78), McMillan Subs (not used): Brill, Lucas, Ferguson, Hastie Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: Fon-Williams, Tremarco, Warren, Meekings (Raven 86), Polworth, Draper, Doran (King 62), Vigurs, Tansey, McKay, Doumbouya (Boden 89) Subs (not used): MacKay, Mulraney, Horner Scorers: Tremarco (57), Doumbouya (71), Polworth (83) Booked: Tremarco (85) Sent Off: none a