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  1. Duku Derby First home game of the year has third placed and fellow title contenders Raith Rovers coming North to face second place Inverness at the Caledonian Stadium on Saturday. The game is scheduled to kick off at 3:00pm, but given the recent weather and covid restrictions, don't hold your breath. This game has a restricted crowd of 500 Willy Wonka golden tickets allocated. Fear not if you failed to get a hold of a ticket as ICTV will be streaming the game at a mere £15. MATCH INFO OFFICIAL PREVIEW LIVE STREAMING £15 Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts 1. Arbroath 20 10 8 2 33 14 38 2. Inverness CT 19 10 5 4 26 14 35 3. Raith Rovers 20 9 7 4 27 19 34 4. Kilmarnock 19 10 3 6 24 14 33 5. Partick Thistle 18 9 4 5 30 16 31 6. Hamilton Ac. 20 6 5 9 22 34 23 7. Ayr United 19 4 6 9 18 32 18 8. Q.O.S. 19 4 5 10 19 29 17 9. Dunfermline 19 2 9 8 18 31 15 10. Morton 19 2 8 9 17 31 14 Full fixture list scheduled for Saturday 8th January, all 3:00pm. Ayr Utd v Arbroath Accies v Partick Caley Jags v Raith Rovers Queens v Killie Morton v Dunfermline Venue - Head 2 Head Pld Won Drn Lst For Agst + / - Home 18 13 3 2 36 13 +23 Away 14 7 4 3 27 17 +10 Neutral 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Total 32 20 7 5 63 30 +33 The stats are stacked heavily against Rovers who we seem to hold the Indian sign over. All of their wins came in the early years, their last triumph over ninety minutes was a 2-1 win at the Caledonian Stadium back in October 2000. Ian Broadfoot had this report on the game: Injury-hit Caley Thistle lost this game because of a poor first half display. Despite this they nearly took the lead in 13 minutes when a David Bagan shot was blocked by Greig McCulloch and spun over the bar. Raith scored first in 16 minutes when Jim Calder failed to hold a Shaun Dennis cross and Jay Stein hit home the loose ball from six yards. In 21 minutes a poor headed clearance by Stuart McCaffrey was picked up by Andrew Clark and he set up Ivan Mballa and the Frenchman slammed the ball into the net from 12 yards. ICT had a penalty claim turned down in 38 minutes when Charlie Christie was brought down by Paul Browne. After the break the home side improved but Guido Van de Kamp denied them on several occasions. Paul Sheerin pulled one back in 79 minutes when he netted from close range after a good cut back by Roy McBain. Four minutes later Sheerin watched in frustration as Van de Kamp saved his low shot. As time ran out he came close twice more but Raith held on to win. This seasons encounters show that a superb Roddy MacGregor strike was the difference between the sides back in August. MacGregor Stunner: Inverness maintained their winning start to the league campaign, but it took a stunning half volley from substitute Roddy MacGregor to settle the points. It had been a relatively even game with the hosts having slightly the better of it throughout. Jamie MacDonald had pulled off three or four decent saves before Roddy struck from 25 yards, the ball flashing into the net past an outstretched keeper after some neat interplay outside the box involving Sutherland and Duku. Six points from two games, we could not have asked for a better start to the Championship. The return fixture at Starks Park ended all square. And the wait goes on: Plenty of endeavour in the first half at Starks Park but little quality in the final third resulted in a game void of goalmouth action over the first forty-five minutes for both sides. Biggest talking point was the sending off just before the break of Ross Mathews for what looked like a rash studs up challenge. Contentious maybe, but straight red dished out. After the break more space saw more chances created but it was Raith that broke forward and scored through Aidan Connolly. Inverness struggled to get back on level terms but eventually did ten minutes from the end when Sean Welsh drilled home from the edge of the box and that ended the scoring. Raith's quest for a win over Inverness goes into a 22nd year. Killie were the only winners in the Championship and closed the gap to three points but Inverness remain top. There was also a Challenge Cup game at the end of November where both sides made numerous changes. That went to a penalty shoot-out which Raith won 5-4 after a goalless ninety minutes. Last time out Inverness drew at Gayfield in a game dominated by the wind which made the pitch virtually unplayable. Prior to that we have not played since the shambles of the 2-1 home loss to Hamilton Accies on the 18th December. Raith drew 0-0 with Dunfermline on 2nd January as we were being blown around Gayfield. Raith have not won in their last three games with their form taking a dip recently. So, fairly uninspiring stuff from both sides ahead of this clash at the top. Latest Team News Billy Dodds has been without Sean Welsh since he was injured in the Scottish Cup tie versus Morton on the 7th December. We will hopefully have more players available after covid struck and isolations hit the club. Aaron Doran has been added to the injury list and will be out for a couple of weeks. One man who will be seen no more is Michael Gardyne who has left the building by mutual consent following some alleged misconduct which had an upsetting effect on the morale in the dressing room. He has appropriately joined the 'Table Endies' at Links Park. Also leaving the club but on better terms, Anthony McDonald's loan deal has expired and after only five appearances he has also left the building. Raith Rovers have signed Hibs forward Jamie Gullan on a two and a half year deal. The 'Hammer' has been on loan at Starks Park three times previously making fifty appearances and already has 14 Rovers goals to his name. Christophe Berra should return to action for Raith. Here's Billy - Where's Wally? View full article
  2. Duku Derby First home game of the year has third placed and fellow title contenders Raith Rovers coming North to face second place Inverness at the Caledonian Stadium on Saturday. The game is scheduled to kick off at 3:00pm, but given the recent weather and covid restrictions, don't hold your breath. This game has a restricted crowd of 500 Willy Wonka golden tickets allocated. Fear not if you failed to get a hold of a ticket as ICTV will be streaming the game at a mere £15. MATCH INFO OFFICIAL PREVIEW LIVE STREAMING £15 Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts 1. Arbroath 20 10 8 2 33 14 38 2. Inverness CT 19 10 5 4 26 14 35 3. Raith Rovers 20 9 7 4 27 19 34 4. Kilmarnock 19 10 3 6 24 14 33 5. Partick Thistle 18 9 4 5 30 16 31 6. Hamilton Ac. 20 6 5 9 22 34 23 7. Ayr United 19 4 6 9 18 32 18 8. Q.O.S. 19 4 5 10 19 29 17 9. Dunfermline 19 2 9 8 18 31 15 10. Morton 19 2 8 9 17 31 14 Full fixture list scheduled for Saturday 8th January, all 3:00pm. Ayr Utd v Arbroath Accies v Partick Caley Jags v Raith Rovers Queens v Killie Morton v Dunfermline Venue - Head 2 Head Pld Won Drn Lst For Agst + / - Home 18 13 3 2 36 13 +23 Away 14 7 4 3 27 17 +10 Neutral 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Total 32 20 7 5 63 30 +33 The stats are stacked heavily against Rovers who we seem to hold the Indian sign over. All of their wins came in the early years, their last triumph over ninety minutes was a 2-1 win at the Caledonian Stadium back in October 2000. Ian Broadfoot had this report on the game: Injury-hit Caley Thistle lost this game because of a poor first half display. Despite this they nearly took the lead in 13 minutes when a David Bagan shot was blocked by Greig McCulloch and spun over the bar. Raith scored first in 16 minutes when Jim Calder failed to hold a Shaun Dennis cross and Jay Stein hit home the loose ball from six yards. In 21 minutes a poor headed clearance by Stuart McCaffrey was picked up by Andrew Clark and he set up Ivan Mballa and the Frenchman slammed the ball into the net from 12 yards. ICT had a penalty claim turned down in 38 minutes when Charlie Christie was brought down by Paul Browne. After the break the home side improved but Guido Van de Kamp denied them on several occasions. Paul Sheerin pulled one back in 79 minutes when he netted from close range after a good cut back by Roy McBain. Four minutes later Sheerin watched in frustration as Van de Kamp saved his low shot. As time ran out he came close twice more but Raith held on to win. This seasons encounters show that a superb Roddy MacGregor strike was the difference between the sides back in August. MacGregor Stunner: Inverness maintained their winning start to the league campaign, but it took a stunning half volley from substitute Roddy MacGregor to settle the points. It had been a relatively even game with the hosts having slightly the better of it throughout. Jamie MacDonald had pulled off three or four decent saves before Roddy struck from 25 yards, the ball flashing into the net past an outstretched keeper after some neat interplay outside the box involving Sutherland and Duku. Six points from two games, we could not have asked for a better start to the Championship. The return fixture at Starks Park ended all square. And the wait goes on: Plenty of endeavour in the first half at Starks Park but little quality in the final third resulted in a game void of goalmouth action over the first forty-five minutes for both sides. Biggest talking point was the sending off just before the break of Ross Mathews for what looked like a rash studs up challenge. Contentious maybe, but straight red dished out. After the break more space saw more chances created but it was Raith that broke forward and scored through Aidan Connolly. Inverness struggled to get back on level terms but eventually did ten minutes from the end when Sean Welsh drilled home from the edge of the box and that ended the scoring. Raith's quest for a win over Inverness goes into a 22nd year. Killie were the only winners in the Championship and closed the gap to three points but Inverness remain top. There was also a Challenge Cup game at the end of November where both sides made numerous changes. That went to a penalty shoot-out which Raith won 5-4 after a goalless ninety minutes. Last time out Inverness drew at Gayfield in a game dominated by the wind which made the pitch virtually unplayable. Prior to that we have not played since the shambles of the 2-1 home loss to Hamilton Accies on the 18th December. Raith drew 0-0 with Dunfermline on 2nd January as we were being blown around Gayfield. Raith have not won in their last three games with their form taking a dip recently. So, fairly uninspiring stuff from both sides ahead of this clash at the top. Latest Team News Billy Dodds has been without Sean Welsh since he was injured in the Scottish Cup tie versus Morton on the 7th December. We will hopefully have more players available after covid struck and isolations hit the club. Aaron Doran has been added to the injury list and will be out for a couple of weeks. One man who will be seen no more is Michael Gardyne who has left the building by mutual consent following some alleged misconduct which had an upsetting effect on the morale in the dressing room. He has appropriately joined the 'Table Endies' at Links Park. Also leaving the club but on better terms, Anthony McDonald's contract has expired and after only five appearances this season he has also left the building and has signed on at Edinburgh City. Raith Rovers have signed Hibs forward Jamie Gullan on a two and a half year deal. The 'Hammer' has been on loan at Starks Park three times previously making fifty appearances and already has 14 Rovers goals to his name. McGlynn has moved early in the market and midfielder Ben Williamson comes in on loan from Rangers and Sam Stanton from Dundalk. Christophe Berra should return to action for Raith, but Lewis Vaughan and Brad Spencer are out long term. Here's Billy - Where's Wally?
  3. Rovers still waiting after 22 years Title challengers clashed at the Caledonian Stadium for the second time this season and it was only Killie that benefitted after a score draw in the Highlands. A spectacular strike from Ethan Ross put Raith in front as the hosts struggled to create anything. Mark Ridgers had to be alert to deny Ross Mathews a second goal to keep it at one before the interval. We upped the pace after the interval, but chances were still at a premium early on. However, our pressure paid off when Reece McAlear lashed a low shot behind the outstretched Jamie Macdonald from near thirty yards to level the game, and despite efforts from both sides it remained 1-1 at full time. ÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷ Inverness were without Aaron Doran although Sean Welsh made the bench. Anthony McDonald and Michael Gardyne were already out the door, one of them with the well wishes from ICTFC. Raith had long term absentees in Lewis Vaughan and Brad Spencer but Christophe Berra returned after suspension and recent additions Ben Williamson, Sam Stanton and Jamie Gullan were all in the squad. It was an excellent afternoon for a game of football, a flat calm after the horrendous conditions of last week. Game on! It was a cagey opening quarter to the game as both sides probed for an opening. Sam Stanton and Ben Williamson were looking sharp for the visitors who looked to carry more direct threat when they went forward whilst the hosts flattered to deceive as they strolled around the park as if it was a Sunday League kick about. The best Inverness could muster was a blocked Billy Mckay shot from a very tight angle where there was virtually no hope of finding the net. In contrast the visitors movement and pace was a joy to behold, then I remembered they were the opposition. The goal was a prime example of the different approach the teams had to attacking football. Mark Ridgers quickly threw the ball out to Tom Walsh who ran thirty yards with the ball before being halted on the edge of the box, seemingly exhausted by his effort. Jamie MacDonald gathered the ball and sent it up the park to Ross who shrugged off a challenge, drove forward and powered a shot into the top corner. I rest my case. After twenty minutes of anti-football, the game exploded into life with a stunning strike from Ethan Ross. He gathered the ball just inside the Inverness half and easily turned his marker. He drove into space twenty yards further forward before unleashing an unstoppable shot high into Ridgers' right side from around thirty-yards. What a goal that was, and you could only applaud the strike, although questions should be asked about the space afforded to Ross. Billy Mckay looked to have levelled matters but his strike from six yards was ruled to be offside after he latched onto the ball when it was lobbed back into the box. Ten minutes before the break Mathew Ross forced Ridgers to dive low to his left to keep out a speculative twenty-five yard effort that was creeping in at the near post, the keeper turning the ball round the post for a corner. After his stunning goal, Ross must have been hugely disappointed to drag a shot wide from fifteen yards seven minutes before the break. Half Time 0-1 Dodds had seen enough and changed things around at the interval, hooking the ineffective David Carson and right back Wallace Duffy for Reece McAlear and Manny Duku. Despite the changes, Raith were still on top although there appeared to be more urgency about our play and Frankie Musonda headed over before Ethan Varion shot wide. Duku was looking to be a handful for the Raith defenders with his awkward style and he had a pop at goal from the edge of the box but it lacked the power to beat MacDonald and he held it comfortably. However, the tide was slowly turning and a weak Mckay header went wide before McAlear volleyed over the bar from inside the box. Reghan Tumilty missed a great opportunity to put some distance between the sides after a run down the right, but his cross come shot missed the target and his strikers and the chance was wasted. Musonda saw Ridgers save and at the other end Mckay headed weakly again. nonetheless the raids on the visitors goal were becoming more intensified. Half time substitute Reece McAlear squared the game with another superb finish from a similar position that Mathews tried from before the interval. The on loan midfielder fired a vicious low shot that skidded before bouncing across MacDonald into the bottom corner. Another superb goal from Reece, his second for the club. There was still time for the keepers to deny Aaron Arnott and Billy Mckay before time ran out and the points were shared as the game ended in frantic mode. Overall a draw was just about right. After an infuriatingly frustrating first half we got to grips with the pace of the game and two tremendous strikes maintained the status quo at the head of the table with Arbroath going down to Ayr united and Accies drawing with Partick. Killie tightened it all up after beating Queen of the South 2-0 in Dumfries. Best for Inverness were goal hero McAlear with Mark Ridgers making crucial saves to help us earn the point. From BBC Sport Inverness CT head coach Billy Dodds: "We didn't have our best day in the first half. The subs that came on did really well, not just because Reece scored. They just had an impact and that's what I needed. "I thought we deserved a draw in the end but I would have loved three points. We worked hard, created a few chances and could have stolen it." Raith Rovers manager, John McGlynn: "We are a bit gutted for the players who put so much effort into the game. We attacked really well, much better than we have been doing recently. Great goal by Ethan Ross and I've got to say their strike was a great goal as well. "It's never an easy place to come. We've not got a great record here. Although we are disappointed we take the point - we take the positives and dust ourselves down for next week." Dodds talking after the game... Reece McAlear Full Highlights from ICTV Date: 08/01/2022 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 478 Referee: Don Robertson Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Duffy (McAlear 45), Broadfoot, Devine, Deas, Walsh, Carson (Duku 45), Allardice Welsh (73), Harper, Sutherland, Mckay Subs (not used): Esson; L Nicholson, Jamieson, MacGregor Scorers: McAlear (86) Booked: Devine (47) Sent Off: none Raith Rovers: 1 Manager: John McGlynn Lineup: MacDonald; Tumilty, Musonda, Berra, Dick, Mathews, Benedictus, Stanton, Varian (Poplatnik 76), Williamson (Arnott 84), Ross (Gullan 51) Subs (not used): Thomson, Lang, Zanatta, Connolly Scorers: Ross (24) Booked: Williamson (31), Dick (73), Gullan (80), Berra (81) Sent Off: none a
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