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  1. Caley Thistle cantered into the 4th round of the Tennents Scottish Cup with what turned out to be an easy win against Stirling Albion. Charlie Christie went with 3 strikers from the start and this paid off as the Caley Jags managed 6 goals from 5 different scorers. Official Club Historian Ian Broadfoot supplies the match report. STIRLING ALBION 1-6 ICT 6th January 2007 Forthbank Stadium, Stirling STIRLING ALBION 1 (O'Brien 15) Team: Hogarth, Hay (Taggart 55), McNally, Graham, Forsyth, Bell, Fraser, Aitken, O'Brien (Devine 76), Tomana (Wilson 55), Cramb Subs: Christie & Malseed INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE 6 (Dargo 8,41, Wyness 13, McBain 22, Wilson 47, Morgan 69) Team:Brown, Tokely (McCaffrey 53), Dods, Munro, Wilson (Morgan 67), Duncan, Rankin, McBain, Wyness, Bayne (McAllister 62), Dargo Subs: Black & Fraser Referee Mike Ritchie Attendance 1521 Man of the Match Craig Dargo (ICT) Charlie Christie said: We're in the next round draw and that was the main priority today... we're just hoping for a decent draw. With Stirling riding high in the Second Division, and having home advantage, Caley Thistle had to be at their professional best going into this match. In the event a fine performance led to a comfortable victory. This was only the Sixth meeting of the clubs and only the second in any cup - Stirling won a League Challenge Cup match 3-1 in August 1996 but never managed a league victory when both were in the Second Division in 1998/99. The Binos were without Dene Shields who has gone back to Gretna from loan and also the injured Ian Cashmore. Richard Hastings missed out for ICT due to injury but Ian Black returned from suspension to take a place on the bench. Craig Dargo came back from injury to take his place in an attacking formation with three at the back and all three main strikers in the starting eleven. With only eight minutes gone it was 1-0 to ICT when John Rankin stepped in as the Stirling defence tried to clear a high header from Graham Bayne - Rankin sent a low ball across goal from the left and Dargo bundled in from a yard out. Five minutes later a Roy McBain cross from the left was knocked-down by Bayne and Dennis Wyness sent a superb left-foot volley from 20 yards past Myles Hogarth to make it 2-0. Two minutes after that Stirling temporarily came back into it when David O'Brien scored from 12 yards via the post. Roy McBain made it 3-1 in 22 minutes when his first shot came back off Wyness and he hammered the rebound home from the edge of the box. John Fraser hit the bar for Stirling in 32 minutes but four minutes before the break Craig Dargo scored a tremendous goal to make it 4-1. He played a one-two with Wyness and chipped over Hogarth from 25 yards. Half Time: 1-4 Two minutes into the second half Barry Wilson scored with a low shot from 25 yards which went in off the post to make it 5-1. Stirling were by now well and truly out and in 54 minutes it was nearly 6-1 when Bayne hit the post with a low drive. The final goal came in 69 minutes from Alan Morgan just two minutes after he came on for Barry Wilson. He took a pass from Rankin, went past three defenders then scored from an acute angle through Hogarth's legs. Full Time: 1-6 A good afternoon's work for ICT and a place in Sunday's fourth round draw. [4th round draw paired ICT at home to either Dundee Utd or St Mirren]
  2. Binos pay the penalty. A blistering hot day in Scotland that would have made new signing Felitciano Zschusschen, (now to be known as Susan from here on in), right at home. The Curaçaoan international started on the bench as Robbo went with a similar line-up to the one that eased past Brechin at the weekend. The Binos made three changes from the team that went down at Falkirk. Lee Hamilton, Andrew Black and Callum Morrison in for Scott Davidson, Liam Caddis and Ross Kavanagh. It would take penalties to separate the sides. Inverness had less rubbish penalties and sneaked back up the A9 with the bonus point. Robbo expected his side to take the game to the hosts and they did some early pressing, Iain Vigurs volleyed wide after three minutes as the visitors looked for that early opening. Five minutes later and Macdonald heads over from a corner at the other end. Gary Warren is booked in the tenth minute as he gives away a free kick on the edge of the box, but Ridgers is equal to the shot from McGeachie after the free kick is taken. Liam Polworth made Cammy Binnie work with a low long range effort, but it's well saved by the keeper. Andrew Black was booked for Stirling after fouling Polworth and soon after Jake Mulraney has to be subbed through injury with Joe Chalmers entering the field. George Oakley ruffled the side netting as he went close to scoring around the half hour. The pressure began to mount on the home goal and Polworth dragged a shot wide after Oakley shot over. Still no goals though with the interval approaching fast. Not the first half Robbo was looking for and it ends goalless. Maybe it'll soon be Susan time......... Half Time 0-0 Six minutes into the second half and Robbo has seen enough, and as Oakley hooks the ball over the bar, Robbo hooks Oakley. Susan makes his debut so soon. Ricardo Calder is closest to opening the scoring in the second period but he pulls his shot wide of the target. Story of the night so far. Binnie then denies Warren and Draper on the follow up as the visitors fail to impress. Baird does manage to get the ball in the net but is adjudged to have fouled the keeper in the process. He also received a booking for his troubles. One or two frantic scrambles in the home end as Warren goes to ground. Play on, but not for Warren as he is soon replaced by final sub Matt Elsdon with just over ten minutes remaining. Iain Vigurs drills a low shot goalwards but Binnie denies him. Susan has the ball in the net but it suffers the same fate as the previous one for Baird. This time high feet from Seedorf ruins the moment. Right at the end, Mark Ridgers is called upon to make a decent save to deny Morrison. Full Time 0-0 Straight to penalties after our inability to score carries on from last season. When will this end? Stirling to start the shoot-out for the bonus point. Dickson - Wide 0-0 Baird - Wide 0-0. (ffs, how narrow are these goals). Morrison - Saved by Ridgers 0-0 Chalmers - Shoots high over 0-0 Smith - Shoots over the bar 0-0 Polworth - Scores, at last 0-1 McMullan - Another over the bar 0-1 (good grief) Vigurs - Scores to seal it 0-2 Shockingly poor penalty shoot-out ends with Inverness picking up the bonus point. More match reaction to follow............... Stirling Albion: 0 Binnie, McGeachie, Noble, Hamilton, McNeil, Black, Morrison, Robertson, McDonald, Smith, Dickson Subs: Foden, Davidson, Banner, McMullan, Caddis, Henderson, Kavanagh Inverness CT: 0 (0-2 after penalties) Ridgers, Warren, Polworth, Draper, Baird, Vigurs, Oakley, Mulraney, Calder, Seedorf, McKay Subs: Esson, Raven, Chalmers, Zschusschen, MacDonald Referee: Mike Roncone Attendance: 591
  3. Susan could feature at Stirling. Inverness opened their Group A, Betfred Cup, account with a comfortable win over Brechin City on Saturday. Gary Warren notched a couple and new striker George Oakley opened his own personal account with a header. One swallow does not a summer make but how good did that feel? Next up a wee Tuesday night jaunt to Stirling to battle with the Binos. John Robertson has said that three wins should be enough to progress so it would be great to meet Falkirk on Saturday sitting with two. Tonight should also see the much anticipated debut of Feliciano Zschusschen, apparently to be known as Susan…. He has a very impressive showreel so hopes are high that the goals this season could be plentiful. Mark Ridgers was very quiet on Saturday and will be hoping for more of the same. I expect the team to line up pretty much as Saturday and my guess is that Oakley will be sacrificed to allow Susan to show us what he can do. The Binos finished mid-table last season in League Two with 47 points, just 5 points short of a play-off slot. Their opening game this season saw them crash to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Falkirk who scored through Nathan Austin, Joe McKee, Alex Harris and Aaron Muirhead. Albion scored a superb late consolation from Darren Smith in a more even second period. Squad changes at Stirling Albion according to the BBC website are - In: Peter MacDonald, forward (Clyde); Steven Noble, defender (Peterhead). Loan: Callum Morrison, midfielder (Hearts). Late additions are defender Lee Hamilton from Bristol Rovers and Keeper Mark Foden from over the bridge. Out: Chris Smith, goalkeeper (Stenhousemuir); Ross Forsyth, defender (Clydebank); Jamie Mills, defender (BSC Glasgow); Ross McMillan, defender (BSC Glasgow); Frazer Wright, defender (retired); Alex Docherty, midfielder; Darren Petrie, midfielder; Jack McCue, midfielder. Loan ended: Dylan Bikey, forward (Hearts); Conor Quigley, defender (Dundee). Stirling Albion had this squad starting against Falkirk:- 1 C Binnie 2 R McGeachie 3 S Noble 4 S Davidson 5 E McNeil 6 W Robertson 8 L Caddis 9 P MacDonald 10 D Smith 11 R Kavanagh 16 S Dickson. Subs:- 7 C Morrison 12 K Banner 14 A Black 15 C McMullan 18 B Henderson 19 R Cameron GK R Fallens Stirling Albion Team News:- Striker Andy Little won’t feature as he continues his recovery from injury and the game is likely to come too soon for defender Ross Smith. Prices for tonight are £10 adults £5 concessions and U16s free. All fans are housed in the West stand according to Stirling twitter. Oh, remember to take yer sun screen factor 50, it's roastie toastie out there. Format: A reminder that all drawn games in the group stage go straight to penalties, with the winners receiving a bonus point. Let’s hope another win is winging its way to Inverness. This Preview was brought to you by Old Caley Girl
  4. Forthbank Stalemate Stirling Albion rightly took all the plaudits in this fourth round tie as Scottish Cup champions Inverness Caledonian Thistle were made to look more like chumps as they struggled to a scoreless draw against the League Two part timers. The weather relented sufficiently for this game to go ahead as Inverness began the defence of their trophy in Stirling. The last time the clubs met here in the cup Inverness trounced the Bino's 6-1. There would be no such outcome this time as the home side had done their homework and negated anything the visitors had to offer, which in truth was very little. An encouraging away support were on hand to witness our opening defence and many left disappointed at our inability to create anything resembling a chance, although everyone was grateful for the opportunity to rectify this in the replay on Tuesday 19th of January. New signing Alex Fisher started on the bench along with Andrea Mutombo and perennial bench warmer Jordan Roberts. Danny Williams filled the vacant left back position in Carl Tremarco's enforced absence. Stirling made three changes from the side that flopped against East Stirling the previous week. Out went Ross McGeachie, David Verlaque and Mark Lamont, and in came Ross Smith, Craig Comrie and Phil Johnston. Craig Beattie was on the bench. A relatvely lively opening from the visitors saw little happening but Danny Williams had a shot well saved by Chris Smith in the eighth minute after linking neatly with Liam Polworth. It would go on to be a dreadful first half with Inverness allowing their opponents to get bodies behind the ball with their painstakingly slow build up play which made for little entertainment for the crowd. The first half came and went without much ado as the fans waited for something to happen. Half Time 0-0 Yogi had seen enough of the ineffective and out of position Nat Wedderburn and pulled him off at the break, replacing him with Alex Fisher in the hope that this would inject a bit more urgency about events. Miles Storey, David Raven and Danny Devine all came close in a more up tempo second half, but we were still too intent on boring Stirling Albion into submission, but the Bino's were having none of it and were probing well on the break. Darren Smith fired over the bar five minutes after the interval and that was a warning shot for Inverness. But our pedantic style was inviting a shock and Owain Fon Williams denied Willie Robertson after the hour. Craig Beattie entered the fray as the game trudged towards a climax and you could smell the banana skin being peeled. We almost stood on it and Gary Warren prevented the slip when he blocked a Steven Doris effort which looked as if it might have gone in. Greg Tansey fired one just wide but we could not put ourselves into the hat on our own and Stirling Albion deservedly joined us. Full Time 0-0 This was not about what we didn't do, it was all about what Stirling Albion did and they thoroughly deserved another crack at us. We should not be taking this lightly and can consider ourselves fortunate to get another chance to right the many wrongs. The MotM were all wearing Bino's white and red and they collect that accolade as a team. Congratulations to Stirling Albion. For Inverness, it's time to take stock and ask ourselves if we really did enough against a team 32 places below us in the Scottish Football tier system. I think we all know the answer. Alternative Maryhill was at the game and made these observations:- Disappointing performance. I know that our default strategy is to sit deep and build from the back, but I thought that yesterday would be an opportunity, against part-time players from a league below, to press higher up the park and try to overwhelm them early in the game. For the first ten minutes it looked like we were going to do that, with Storey and Williams both looking particularly lively, and Stirling's left back looking vulnerable. However, we then reverted to the deep-lying, low-tempo approach and created next to nothing for the rest of the half. Stirling were quick and direct down the right hand side, and looked threatening on a couple of occasions, although their moves tended to fall apart when they got to the edge of our box. We had a few more chances and close shaves in the second half, but rarely forced the Stirling keeper into saves. Fisher doesn't seem to have much pace, although he may need time to get up to the pace of competitive games, but he did add a bit of presence up front, and it may be that, if they play together, Storey starts to play a more roaming role, dropping deeper to collect the ball and taking it out wide when required - he was doing that anyway yesterday, but there was rarely any support for him until Fisher arrived. I don't have too many fears for the replay, but we will need much more of a cutting edge and more ability to press teams if we are going to get anywhere near where we did last season. Players of the calibre and directness of Watkins and Shinnie were sorely missed yesterday. Stirling Albion: 0 C Smith, Mazel, McKinlay (McGeachie 12), Forsyth, R Smith, Robertson, Johnston (Lamont 62), Comrie (Beattie 79), Doris, D Smith, Dickson. Subs (not used): Verlaque, Cunningham, Kouider-Aissa, Binnie (GK). Inverness CT: 0 O F Williams, Raven, Warren, Devine, Wedderburn (Fisher 46), Tansey, D Williams, Polworth, Draper, Vigurs (Mbuyi-Mutombo 79), Storey. Subs (not used): Roberts, Brown, Sutherland, MacRae, Esson (GK). Referee: Mat Northcroft Crowd: 1,224
  5. Title defence begins Inverness start the defence of their trophy in the 4th round of the Scottish Cup on Saturday against Stirling Albion at Forthbank Stadium with a 15:00 kick off. We have played there before in the cup, and in January 2007 ran out big winners with a 6-1 scoreline. Craig Dargo grabbed a couple and Dennis Wyness, Roy McBain, Barry Wilson and Alan Morgan completed the Inverness scoring. David O'Brien got the Bino's goal, but it was the Highlanders that cruised into the next round. 1521 attended that game, I wonder how the crowds will fare for this one? We put Dundee United out in the fourth round thanks to a Russell Duncan screamer but we fell foul to two late goals by Celtic in the quarter final. We had led through a Graham Bayne goal after 18 minutes, but were caught out as Celtic equalised through Steven Pressley in the 89th minute. We had our thoughts on a replay but Kenny Miller stunned the Inverness fans by scoring in the 91st minute to send us crashing out of the competition. Just goes to show that losing late goals is nothing new for us. Celtic went on to lift the trophy that year. The clubs have met six times, mostly in our early days in the Second Division. Inverness have won four, Stirling one and the other game was a 2-2 draw in Inverness. We have scored 12 goals at Stirling in three games, conceding only twice. The tie Stirling Albion won was a Challenge Cup game at Forthbank in 96/97 when they won 3-1. Back to the future though and Stirling Albion have made their way to this game by beating East Fife 1-0 after a goalless draw nine days earlier. In the third round, the Bino's trounced lowland league side Cumbernauld Colts 6-0. Steven Doris and Craig Beattie both scored braces and Kyle Lander and Sean Dickson completed the scoring. With most of Scotland suffering from serious flooding and snow issues plenty of folk will be keeping an eye on the weather forecast prior to this game. Stirling Albion have tried their best to re-assure everyone that the weather and pitch should be OK, but as we know, that can change swiftly. Ross McMillan is out for Stirling Albion with a hamstring problem and he should be the only absentee. The Cup holders will be without Carl Tremarco who was sent off after stumbling over the ball in last seasons final before bringing down the Falkirk player in attempting to rectify his error. Josh Meekings has missed recent games and Jordan Roberts has not been tried out although he has been on the bench. Otherwise, Inverness will be on familiar lines as recent weeks, although Tobi Sho-Silva has left the building. tm4tj Prediction:- Stirling Albion come into this game off the back of a surprise 3-2 defeat to struggling East Stirling who are propping up League Two and they were also beaten 3-1 by East Fife in the previous game. Stirling sit just outside the play off position in fifth place. Inverness are on a high after an excellent derby win over Ross County and are unbeaten in five now having entered the top-six. No disrespect to The Bino's who are having a solid season, but if we can't get ourselves into the draw for the fifth round then there's something wrong. Miles Storey is looking to get back on a scoring run, and who would bet against him notching our 1500th competitive goal. Now that he is staying at Inverness for the rest of the season, watch him go! I doubt this will be as easy as some would have us believe, but we should be strong enough to progress. Away win for me and Inverness' ball to be in Gary Anderson's hand soon. ***Latest News*** Inverness have added six foot three Englishman Alex Fisher to their squad and the 25 year old is apparently eligible to be included in todays team if seleced. Fisher is an out of contract striker signed after leaving Torquay United by mutual consent. He had scored 7 goals in 22 appearances for the Gulls. His arrival could open the ICT exit door for another out of favour striker at Inverness in the shape of Dani Lopez. Partick Thistle are the first side through to the next round of the cup after they knocked out St Mirren 2-1 last night. From Bino's website Admission: Adults £15, Seniors & Students £10, U16s £5. Cash at the turnstiles. Fans: Albion supporters should use turnstiles 1, 2 3, & 4 in the West Stand. Turnstiles 7, 8, 9 & 10 will be open in the East Stand for ICT fans. Replay date: If the game ends in a draw, the replay will take place at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium on Tuesday January 19.
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