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Capital Tester Most difficult fixture on the calendar coming up this weekend as we head to Gorgie to take on overwhelming Championship favourites Hearts. Another covid restricted game which kicks off at 15:00 on Saturday afternoon with Hearts one game behind leaders Dunfermline and Raith Rovers, having been at Hampden last weekend knocking Capital rivals Hibs out of the Scottish Cup. Hearts will be streaming the game live and I'm sure it will be superior quality to the "linesmans head" guff that we have been subject to at the Caledonian Stadium. However, many fans will draw the line at the price of the Tynecastle stream. £18.50 is taking the pi55. Have a word with yourself Hearts. Sad news this week as it was announced that former Hearts player Marius Zaliukas has passed away after battling with Motor Neuron Disease. Lithuanian Marius was the captain when Hearts won the Scottish Cup in 2012 beating Hibs 5-1. Taken too soon at the tender age of just 36. RIP Marius. The club's met at Tynecastle a few weeks ago in the group stages of the Betfred League Cup. An injury stricken Inverness side went down narrowly to the Jambos. Despite having to field many youngsters, we created a couple of great chances but it was a harsh penalty incident that saw Jamie Walker score from the spot. Hot Toddy missed a late chance to level but Hearts took the points. The opening game of the Championship season saw Hearts crush Dundee 6-2 with an outstanding performance. They followed that up with an edgy 1-0 win at Gayfield. Last week they dumped Hibs out of the Scottish Cup at Hampden to reach the final, Wighton and Boyce from the spot ending the interest of the Leith club. Keeper Craig Gordon was once again in top form to deny Hibs and will be a difficult man to get the ball past this season. Daniel Mackay opened his account for the season with this header just after the break against Arbroath. Other Championship games this weekend Alloa Ath v Dundee (Friday night) Arbroath v Queen of the South Ayr United v Dunfermline Ath Raith Rvrs v Greenock Morton ***LATEST TEAM NEWS*** Great to have Aaron Doran stretching his legs last week, albeit for only the last five minutes but it's a step in the right direction. Some are still a few weeks away from returning. Strikers Miles Storey and Shane Sutherland are out with hamstring injuries. Defenders Kevin McHattie and Lewis Toshney are out and Daniel Devine has been used sparingly. Midfielders David Carson and James Vincent were missing against Arbroath, Carson seemingly longer term. Sean Welsh and Robbie Deas returned to the starting XI last week and hopefully they showed no reaction to what turned out to be a rather gruelling match in Siberian conditions. Robbie Neilson has the luxury of a large squad to select from. Josh Ginnelly was outstanding in the League Cup encounter but was injured at Arbroath and missed the cup tie against Hibs. Jordan Roberts came in to replace him, but he is now a doubt. Such is the depth of the Jambos squad they can afford the luxury of Steven Naismith on the bench. And why not when former Dundee striker Craig Wighton is scoring goals. Liam Boyce is back as well so it's a strong Hearts team that will be looking to keep up with the leaders. They have their own injury problems with long term absentees like John Souttar (Ruptured Achilles) and Cristophe Berra (Torn Achilles) to contend with but the depth of talent at Tynecastle will minimise the damage by their absence. Peter Haring is building towards full fitness and Jamie Walker might need a late assessment. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ OFFICIAL PREVIEW £££ PPV Streaming £££ Aye Right! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Don't forget to have a listen to the Wyness Shuffle. There's plenty to get your teeth into in the Podcasts and they have managed to get some Caley Jags legends to talk to them over the months. Hear from real life legends like Charlie Christie and his loon Ryan, Greg Tansey, Gary Warren, Barry Wilson, Carl Tremarco, James Keatings, Josh Meekings... The list goes on right down to the marmite of Yogi Bear, The Magic Roundabout a seagull in a carrier bag and even Marge Simpson's mother! Robbo talking ahead of the trip to Tynecastle
Smokies Smoked The visitors opened the scoring midway through the first half while Pixellot were looking elsewhere. Apparently Kris Doolan scored somehow. In the middle of a hurricane, Daniel Mackay levelled matters with a header early in the second half. Scott Allardice scored a thumping goal from near thirty yards out to put the hosts ahead. Nikolay Todorov secured the points with ten minutes left for our first win of the season. Well done to both teams for weathering the storm..... Still without a host of regular picks, John Robertson put his faith in the young guns to continue the good work they have put in over the opening two games of the Championship season despite the lack of a win. Arbroath come North searching for their first point after a difficult first two games for the Lichties. They had the measure of Inverness last season with two wins out of the three games played, one of those at the Caledonian Stadium. PPV streaming was available and with covid19 restrictions in place an empty Stadium would greet the teams, Inverness emerging from the tunnel, The Smokies coming from the tradesman's entrance at the South end of the ground. Here's how it played out on another damp and blustery afternoon in the Highlands. Robbo had a couple surprises up his sleeve with Sean Welsh and Robbie Deas starting with Aaron Doran on the bench alongside James Keatings and Daniel Devine. A horrendous afternoon greeted the sides and this impacted on the whole game. There would be only one winner on a windy afternoon in the Highland Capital, and that was Aiden, whose 50mph swirling gusts ensured it would be a difficult afternoon for both sides. The Lichties opened the scoring midway through the first half making the most of any advantage Aiden would provide. It was engineered and executed by two veterans. Bobby Linn broke on the left after Aiden intercepted the ball and when bin man Linn crossed into the box Kris Doolan was on hand to knock it home. The hosts struggled to make much headway as Aiden repelled every attack. The visitors would experience the same problems after the break. Half Time 0-1 It only took a couple of minutes for the Lichties to realise whose side Aiden was on in the second half as Daniel Mackay headed in the equaliser after good work by Kai Kennedy and Wallace Duffy. Aiden and abetting would then combine to give Scott Allardice the chance to sidefoot home effortlessly from nearly thirty yards, the ball flying high past a startled Gaston in goal. What a way to open your account in a Caley Jags strip. The visitors were rarely seen in the second half and it was no surprise when it opened up for Nikolay Todorov to stroke the ball into the net to seal the points ten minutes from the end. If truth be told, Arbroath were blown away in the second half as Inverness claimed their first win of the season, the Smokies still looking for their first points. Credit to both sets of players for staying on the park for 90 minutes in the middle of a storm. One of the main highlights was the sight of Aaron Doran on the pitch for the final five minutes. Great to see him back and hopefully he will build up to full speed in the next few weeks. FULL TIME 3-1 OFFICIAL REPORT from ICTFC Here's the managers talking on BBC Sport Inverness manager John Robertson: "That game should never have been played. It was impossible to find our rhythm in a 50mph wind in the first half." Arbroath assistant manager Ian Campbell: "We were on top and at half-time we went in 1-0 up deservedly. Second half, the wind caused us a lot of bother and John's game plan worked." Date: 31/10/2020 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 0 Referee: Colin Steven Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: Ridgers; Duffy, B Mckay, Deas, Harper, MacGregor (Doran 86), Welsh, Allardice, Kennedy (Keatings 79), D Mackay, Todorov (Devine (90+1) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Hyde, Fyffe, Nicolson. Scorers: D Mackay (47), Allardice (71),Todorov (79) Booked: B Mckay (63) Sent Off: none Arbroath FC: 1 Lineup: Gaston; Thomson, Hamilton, Little, O'Brien, Gold, Linn (Donnelly 75) Ruth, Smith (McKenna 76) Doolan (Hilson 75), Virtanen Subs (not used): Douglas; Whatley, Swankie, Stewart. Scorers: none Doolan (24) Booked: none Sent Off: none a