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Dan's Deelight With both sides able to progress should the game be drawn, one wondered how this one would pan out. Would it be cagey or would the teams look to eliminate the opposition by winning the game outright. All will be revealed. John Robertson added Charlie Trafford to the starting XI with David Carson dropping to the bench. Nikolay Todorov began on the bench. Jake McPake had Josh Meekings captaining the side against his former team mates. New signing Danny Johnson from Motherwell was on from the start and he proved to be decisive. Both sides emerged from the tunnel to bright sunshine in their respective change strips, Dundee in white, Inverness in black. After swapping ends, it was the hosts that set the ball rolling. A scrappy opening to the game was broken in the fifth minute as Brad Mckay swung a great ball into the box, but there were no takers. Similar at the other end soon after but Byrne failed to control an inviting ball into the box and Mark Ridgers gathered the loose ball. Ridgers saved low down as Danny Johnnon shot goalwards and immediately James Keatings forced keeper Hamilton into a diving save as he grappled to clear a dipping shot from the striker and he almost scored from the resulting melee but the ball was forced away for a corner which was headed over by Coll Donaldson. Best chance of the half so far came from Dundee as they managed to get a shot away from inside the box, however Johnson lashed his shot high and wide of the target, similar to Keatings earlier. Keatings was the man causing Dundee problems and he turned and saw a deflected shot brilliantly saved by Hamilton at the expense of a corner. Just after the half hour disaster for Inverness and Mark Ridgers in particular. As James Vincent slipped after chesting the ball down, Dundee took advantage and from a tightish angle a low shot from dangerous Danny Johnson found it's way in at the near post. Ridgers won't want to see that one again. Two minutes later Keatings ruffled the side netting as he tried to sneak a ball in at Hamilton's near post, and Doran was just offside as he neatly controlled a through ball and slotted home as Inverness tried to hit back. Good response from the visitors, but despite our composed effort so far we were one down and heading out of the competition. Keatings once more came close to connecting to a cross but it was scrambled away for a corner as we looked for a way back before the break, forcing a couple of corners. Keatings was sent tumbling on the turn as we kept the pressure on. He took the free kick himself, and had White gambled he may have got on the end of the ball as it fizzed past the post. Dundee managed to hang on at the break and went in ahead, but only just and it wasn't for the want of trying by the visitors. Half Time 1-0 No changes at the break as Inverness continued on the front foot and a White shot was blocked. Mckay floated another great ball to the back post but Doran fresh aired six yards out and the moment was gone. Dundee got off lightly when White was adjudged to have fouled in the box. It looked more like a penalty to me, but Dee got away with that one. Ridgers smothered a low shot from Marshall as Dundee responded to Inverness pressure and Paul McGowan went close when he poked one just wide on the run into the box as the game opened out. A series of bookings followed as the game got a bit towsy, but with twenty minutes left Inverness were not going to progress unless they scored. Nokolay Todorov and Mitch Curry were readied for action with White and Doran being replaced, the last throw of the dice for Inverness. Unfortunately Curry lasted only ten minutes after he was clattered in the box and had to go off injured. Substitute McDaid shot narrowly wide as time ticked away with Dundee defending resolutely as we tried to force a draw. As we pushed forward, Dundee got the break of the ball but Josh Todd shot over on the charge. Good effort from Inverness against one of the teams tipped for the top but we were overall a bit shy to create clear opportunities. However, we created as many efforts on target as Dundee did and possibly could have snatched a draw, but the first half strike from MotM Dangerous Danny won the game and dumped Inverness out of the tournament, East Fife benefiting from our demise. James Keatings was our MotM with Jamie McCart solid in defence. Another to catch the eye was Todorov who looked very active when he came on. Unfortunately Doran, Walsh and White were posted missing and Charlie Trafford was a booking waiting to happen. Liability I'm afraid. Ridgers will have better days as the goal squirmed through him from a tight angle, seconds after Vincent slipped to the turf after chesting the ball down. A calamity of errors that we paid the price for. Despite the effort, many visiting fans were not impressed with the performance and RIG summed it up like this: Can't think of a single positive for ICT today. Dundee fully deserved their win. Rock solid at the back and plenty of good attacking play in the first half with McGowan defying his years and abysmal hairline to dominate the middle of the pitch and link well with Nelson and Johnson. Probably should have been up by more than one goal at halftime though I felt we had a couple of decent chances to get on the scoresheet. Second half was just rotten from us with Dundee easily holding us at bay. Meekings looked class. Still can't believe that we didn't get a penalty for what looked to be a clear foul on White but the way we were playing we probably would have missed it. OFFICIAL REPORT John Robertson said: “When you look back at it, I have no complaints, I think Dundee deserved to win the game today because they were slightly better at everything. They were slightly better at moving the ball, they were slightly better at passing it, they were slightly more clinical and they were slightly better at defending. If you put all that together then I think that Dundee deserved to go through.” Here's Keatings effort spectacularly cleared by a head lying on the ground. Meh! Date: 28/07/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2066 Referee: Nick Walsh Dundee: 1 Lineup: Hamilton; Kerr, McGhee, Foster, Meekings, Byrne, Nelson (Mulligan 90+1), McGowan (McDaid 79), Johnson (Todd 67), Robertson, Marshall. Subs (not used): Ferrie; Moore, Cameron, Cunningham. Scorers: Johnson (33) Booked: McGhee (55) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Doran (Curry 78), Trafford (Carson 56), Vincent, Walsh, Keatings, White (Todorov 78). Subs (not used): C Mackay, McHattie, Harper, MacGregor. Scorers: none Booked: Trafford (38), McCart (66), Donaldson (69) Sent Off: none a
ICT Edge Out Cove A minutes silence was held ahead of kick-off for John Beaton, who has sadly passed away. John had devoted his life to football in this area for some 50 years and will be sadly missed. More about John on OFFICIAL SITE. John Robertson made only one change from the side that started against Raith Rovers with fit again Brad Mckay returning to right back with David Carson moving to midfield. Charlie Trafford dropped to the bench to accommodate this. Inverness came from behind to squeeze past Cove after an entertaining encounter in the tropical heat at the Caledonian Stadium. Jordan White, James Keatings and substitute Nicolay Todorov were on target for the Caley Jags with Mitch Megginson netting twice for Cove. He was a busy lad and was also red carded before the end of an eventful night. All the best to Connor Scully who had to leave the field after damaging his ankle. He was taken to Raigmore for an X-Ray to determine the extent of his injury. Results last night leave the table looking like this with Raith Rovers beating Peterhead 3-1 and Dundee idle. Inverness face Dundee at Dens Park on Sunday in a game which will decide the Group D winners. Mitch Megginson returned after injury to lead Cove onto the pitch on a roaster of a night in the Highland capital. James Keatings was first to show as he dragged a shot wide in the third minute. Jordan White also missed the target as he volleyed over after Coll Donaldson and Aaron Doran contrived to create the opening for him. Twenty minutes gone and first real threat from Cove as Jamie Masson's effort is blocked for a corner. Daniel Higgins header is flicked wide. Mark Ridgers was called into action to deny Megginson and at the other end on the half hour White headed onto the post from Doran's cross, the closest of the game so far. He would not be denied soon, although he maybe knew little about it. Jordan White opened the scoring when a Mckay header cannoned off him and into the net. White, Jamie McCart and Tom Walsh all had decent efforts but the game was level ten minutes later when Megginson scored just on the interval. Half Time 1-1 Worse was to follow for the hosts just after the break when Megginson scored again, but Keatings squared the game ten minutes later from close range. It was nip and tuck now with both sides going close. Megginson almost nabbed a hat-trick as he tried to chip Ridgers but the keeper stood tall to deny him. Walsh brought out a superb save by keeper McKenzie as he drove into the right side of the box as Inverness probed for the winner. It came from substitute Nikolay Todorov as he headed in another great cross from Walsh to put the Championship side ahead. A Red card was shown to Megginson for a late challenge on James Vincent with a little over quarter of an hour to go. Kicking the ball away in the first half doesn't seem like such a good idea now Mitch. Doh! Donaldson headed another Walsh cross wide as the game edged towards a close and a late surge by Cove saw the ball in the net although it was ruled out for hand ball just before the final whistle ended the contest. Phew! As expected, Cove were not coming along to make up the numbers and Inverness were forced to up their game to get through this tie. Tom Walsh was once again a constant threat and Nicolay Todorov scored again coming off the bench. Caley100 had this to say after the game: 'Best thing about tonight is the result, And..... the subs! We looked like we were playing in 2nd gear! Really! Cove looked sharper for most of the first half and probably should have been leading. Our goal was a wayward header from Mackay that i'm pretty sure came off White's ass'. Uncharacteristically, he did see some positives though: 'Subs, including Macgregor who was so direct and almost scored a beaut, Walsh was dangerous, the rest were pretty ordinary.............. More match reaction. Robbo Quote "Space doesn't score goals" Date: 23/07/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1000 Referee: David Lowe Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco (C), Doran (Curry 64), Carson, Vincent, Walsh, Keatings (MacGregor 69), White (Todorov 63). Subs (not used): C Mackay; Harper, Brown, Trafford. Scorers: White (38), Keatings (55), Todorov (71) Booked: MacGregor (90) Sent Off: none Cove Rangers: 2 Lineup: McKenzie; Yule, Milne, Redford, Higgins, Scully (Brown 81), Park (Burnett 80), Glass, Megginson (C), Scott, Masson. Subs (not used): McCafferty, Wood. Scorers: Megginson (45, 46) Booked: Megginson (52), Redford (84) Sent Off: Megginson (73 ) a
Cove Test On Tuesday night 25 year old Inverness Caledonian Thistle welcome the newest club to make the leap into the football leagues. Former Highland League outfit Cove Rangers have stepped up after gaining promotion into League Two since removing Berwick Rangers from the League set-ups. Congratulations to Cove and I'm sure they will make an impact. It's more Betfred action with Inverness looking to recover after a poor start in their opening fixture at Peterhead. We clawed ourselves back into the equation with a 4-1 win over Raith Rovers at the weekend. Goals from Jordan White, Coll Donaldson, Aaron Doran and Nikolay Todorov saw us take the full three points. That sets us up nicely for Tuesday's game against Cove at the Caledonian Stadium. We made life difficult for ourselves against Raith but a couple of swift strikes after they equalised was enough to take the wind out of their sails as we upped the pace and pulled away from them. Despite a lethargic first half, we ended the game well on top with some promising performances. Tom Walsh was the pick of the players on show with three assists, and there were excellent contributions from David Carson, James Keatings Jamie McCart and at times, James Vincent. Overall a deserved win and gives the fans some encouragement for the campaign ahead. The grass looked great as well! Cove began their new chapter with a narrow 2-1 defeat at Peterhead. Only the woodwork, twice, denied Cove from taking something from this game. They went even closer with a 0-0 draw against Dundee before the Premiership relegated Dark Blues took the bonus point after winning the penalty shoot-out 3-2. Daniel Park almost gave Cove the lead but his effort crashed back off the bar. Still, a tremendous performance in front of near 1500 appreciative fans. Sean Welsh and Shaun Rooney are out longer term. Brad Mckay missed the Raith game as did Kevin McHattie, both pulled a sickie. Carl Tremarco took a nasty knock against Raith but it takes a lot to stop the wee man from playing on. Good to see Aaron Doran and Daniel Mackay getting some game time, Mackay scoring twice for a young squad at Brora on Friday night. Cove were without several first choice players against Dundee, notably experienced captain Mitch Megginson. Daniel Higgins just joined the day before the Dundee game and was exceptional in defence. He had previously played under Paul Hartley when at Dens Park. Let's hear it for head groundsman Dale Stephen and his team as they have transformed the playing surface from Wet Sand to the Green Green Grass of Home in the space of six weeks The surface looked in great nick for the opening game against Raith Rovers at the weekend after six weeks of work improving drainage and re-seeding the grass in around 40 days. You can see more of the progress on the official site by clicking HERE And if you have some spare time Dale, my garden is in a bit of a boorach. Just sayin............