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Smoked by the Smokies A visit to Arbroath in the SPFL Trust Trophy saw both sides make a few changes from their Championship personnel. It would appear that Arbroath were taking this more seriously than Inverness although Campbell made four changes to the starting line up this week with Adams replacing Gaston in goals and Jacobs, Hylton and Baldé starting in place of Slater, Dow and the injured Bird. Inverness made eight changes to their side in the spirit of the competition and rested Billy Mckay, Max Anderson and Danny Devine with Doran in for his experience along with youngsters Brooks, Bray and Thompson with Big Harry on the bench. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Little to talk about in the opening exchanges but Arbroath were looking the hungrier side and trying to create with the visitors lacking penetration. David Gold opened the scoring ten minutes before the break smashing the ball in from a Hylton cross. A second followed just before the break after Cammy Mackay produced a spectacular save to deny a Turan header, but from the corner Tam O'Brien tapped in at the second attempt after a scramble in the box. That prompted a rapid response from Inverness when Adam Brooks replied for the visitors two minutes later after goog possession and a cross from Longstaff. Before the whistle Wallace Duffy left the field to be replaced by Cammy Harper in stoppage time. Half Time: 2-1 Charlie Gilmour replaced Austin Samuels at the interval but it was the hosts that went straight onto the front foot. On the hour Doran hit the crossbar after he got on the end of a Longstaff cross to volley from six yards. Big Harry and Nathan Shaw were introduced with Bray and Doran making way with around half an hour remaining. Harry's game was short. He was sent off a couple of minutes after coming on for a reckless challenge on McKenna, lordy lordy Ross Stewart restored the two goal cushion with a vicious strike from just outside the box in the 70th minute. Aaron Steele knocked in the fourth in another melee in the box as we struggled to stop the rot. The smokies could have had a fifth when substitute Slater beat Mackay from eighteen yards but his shot bounced off the post and across the face of the goal. Lewis Hyde reduced the deficit in the final minutes with a header off a Harper free kick to end the scoring. An eventful but unsuccessful afternoon for the Caley Jags. Do I hear the word untennable being passed around? Full Time: 4-2 Regardless of the eight changes made, it was another poor day at the office... The stats don't lie no matter what team you put on the park. That's now seven defeats and one draw in our last eight big boy games (excluding the Inverness Cup Final). Where does Billy Dodds go from here? Most fans, if not all, are bringing out the untennable option. And along with Dodds, is it time for the whole board to resign. By the end of October, it should be clearer. We face Raith Rovers (a), Dundee United (h) and Arbroath (a) again. If we take nothing from these games, then there will be only one option. Date: 09/09/2023 Venue: Gayfield Park, Arbroath Attendance: 780 Referee: Steven McLean Arbroath: 4 Manager: Dick Campbell Lineup: Adams; Steel, O'Brien, Little, Stewart, Jacobs (Slater 72), Cande Balde (Dow 58), Hylton (Stowe 72), McKenna, Gold (Norey 79), Turan (McIntosh 72) Subs (not used): Gaston; Scorers: Gold (34), O'Brien (41), Stewart (70), Steele (84) Booked: O'Brien (75) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Manager: Billy Dodds/Barry Wilson Lineup: C Mackay; Davidson, Duffy (Harper 45+4), Boyes, Delaney, Thompson (Hyde 74), Doran (Shaw 61), Bray (Lodovica 61), Longstaff, Brooks, Samuels (Gilmour 45) Subs (not used): Ridgers; Scorers: Brooks (43), Hyde (90+2) Booked: Boyes (83) Sent Off: Lodovica (63) a
Caley Jags through We did it! If you thought the first half at Inverness was poor, then step forward the first half from Gayfield. Shockingly poor forty five from both sides as Inverness struggled to get out of their own half into the face of a stiff breeze. On the other hand Arbroath did absolutely nothing either. The second half saw Danny Devine sent off, Shane Sutherland stretchered off and later on Wallace Duffy sent off as we ended the game with nine men. Farcical stuff. However, we got through to the play off final after a 5-3 penalty shoot out win. Bobby Linn of all players having his spot kick saved by Mark Ridgers and Kirk Broadfoot with the final winning penalty after that save. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ After a goalless draw in the first leg, the Caley Jags went to Gayfield to conclude the Premiership play off semi-final. The prize in a winner takes all game was a crack at St Johnstone in a two leg finale to the season and promotion to the Premiership for the victor. Logan Chalmers and Austin Samuels came closest to breaking the deadlock in the first leg in a game of limited opportunities. Who will prevail? All would be revealed around 10:00pm on Friday the 13th. Billy Mckay was benched for this one after cutting a lone figure in the first leg. Aaron Doran replaced the striker in the starting XI. Arbroath were unchanged from Tuesday night. A big crowd greeted the teams onto the pitch with similar conditions to the first leg prevalent. Inverness kicked off into the wind and that was the highlight of the first forty-five, apart from Aaron Doran breaking into the box but unable to dig the ball out from under his feet and Scott Stewart firing over the bar from the edge of the box. The only other thing of note was a booking for David Carson . Some things never change. HALF TIME: 0-0 Billy Mckay replaced Austin Samuels at the interval. Shane Sutherland got the break of the ball and burst into the edge of the box on the left side but his shot rippled the side netting. Carson shot over the stand minutes later as the visitors pushed forward. Better spell for Inverness and a wee melee in the box saw Arbroath clear the danger. Out of nothing, Danny Devine was red carded for next to nothing as he challenged for a high ball with Jack Hamilton. What a joke decision that was. Worse was to follow when Shane Sutherland left the field on a stretcher after looking like he has damaged his knee when pulling up. Hardy dribbled forward into the hosts box after the ninety but as the tackle came in his shot was lifted over the bar. A flurry of activity round our box in time added on as the nine men tried to hold out for extra time. We did that so on to another thirty minutes. 0-0 after ninety minutes. Inverness were back up to ten men with Lewis Hyde coming on in extra time. Mark Ridgers kept Inverness in the game when he blocked an effort from Jack Hamilton as he went one on one with the keeper. Colin Hamilton went close with a header after Low recycled a corner back into the box, the ball going just the wrong side of the post. Inverness wasted a free kick and corner just on the break and it was still 0-0 with the final fifteen minutes coming up. Wallace Duffy was given a dubious second yellow and we were back down to nine men for the final five minutes of extra time and Michael McKenna drifted a shot wide after a corner. A Nicky Low cross saw Colin Hamilton head across goal and the ball came back off the crossbar as Arbroath went for the jugular, and after yet another corner was cleared, blundering referee Willie Collum ended the tie and it's on to penalties. FULL TIME (after extra time): 0-0 Penalty Shoot Out B Mckay , Hardy Welsh Harper Broadfoot McKenna Low Colin Hamilton Linn Inverness through to Play Off Final after 5-3 shoot out win. Brilliant save from Mark Ridgers From BBC Sport Arbroath manager Dick Campbell: "Anybody who knows anything about football knows we were way, way in front. But I've seen it happen in the play-offs. We had 600 passes, they had 300-odd. "We're not ones to feel sorry for ourselves. The whole season has been a fairy tale, it'll be memorable. We were close to immortality. We've got to repeat that next year. Christmas has come early for Inverness tonight I wish them all the best." Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager Billy Dodds: "It wasn't about us getting through tonight, it was the circumstances we did it in. I have my feelings - I'm just keeping quiet because I'll get myself into trouble. "My boys gave me absolutely everything. We had to work our socks off That's the best bunch of boys I've worked with. I would have been proud of every one of them if we lost the penalty shootout tonight." Date: 13/05/2022 Venue: Gayfield Park, Arbroath Attendance: 5154 Referee: Willie Collum Arbroath: 0 (3 pens) Manager: Dick Campbell Lineup: Gaston; Thomson (Donnelly 90), Little, O'Brien (Henderson 105), Colin Hamilton, Stewart, Low, Chris Hamilton (Gold 105), McKenna, Craigen (Linn 76), J Hamilton (Wighton 111) Subs (not used): Antell; Swankie, Ford, Bakare Scorers: none Booked: Colin Hamilton (55), Chris Hamilton (73), Wighton (120) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 (5 pens) Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Broadfoot, Devine, Deas, Samuels (B Mckay 45), Welsh, McAlear (Duffy 74), Chalmers (Harper 68), Doran (Hardy 60), Sutherland (Hyde 90), Subs (not used): C Mackay; Allardice Scorers: none Booked: Carson (27), Duffy (95, 113), B Mckay (115), Hyde (118), Deas (120) Sent Off: Devine (66), Duffy (113) a