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Inverness CT -V- Partick Th - Report
tm4tj posted an article in Reports 2015-16Isn't It Ironic As Alanis Morrisette once said, "Isn't It Ironic". We produce an utter borefest of a performance (0-0), and still creep into the top-six once more as others around us falter. Some people say that not all 0-0 games are boring. Well, this one topped the table in terms of boredom, mistakes, lack of creativity, lack of incident and a total lack of entertainment. Yes it was simply rubbish, even if you did pay what you can, you might be entitled to a refund. A great initiative by the club undermined by the dreadful fare on display. Andrea Mutombo started again after a dazzling one man show against Stirling Albion in the cup and Danny Williams was in with Liam Polworth on the bench. The crowd initiative drew in a few extra bodies hoping to be entertained. Sadly, entertainment was not on the menu so they had to make their own, and fair play to them, they kept chanting and dancing to the end, something the players should be thankful for. To be fair to the Caley Jags, it was us that looked the more interested early on with Mutombo continuing where he left off, running and twisting his way towards the defenders, a one man box of tricks. He fired one high and wide six minutes into the game. Sadly, he would run out of tricks before the break as Thistle began to suss him out. Miles Storey tested the keeper soon after but it was all too easy for the keeper. We were dominating the early possession, but as per usual, with little threat to the opposition goal. Iain Vigurs also shot over in a rare moment of movement from the luxury midfielder, but chances were at a premium for the rest of the half as Partick seemed to know that we lacked any punch up front which was indicative of our pedantic style of possession boredom. Ten minutes before the break and Gary Warren found himself outside the penalty box. He elected to shoot, maybe not his strongest point and the ball went high over the bar. This was swiftly followed by a cushioned header from Mutombo that went wide, and at the other end Steven Lawless dollied a shot into the hands of the untested Owain Fon Williams. Vigurs was yellow carded before the break and Ross Draper passed up the best chance of the half but tamely headed over. That was about the last action of a lifeless first half and Partick would be better pleased to be going in level. Half Time 0-0 It had been a shocker of a first half, unfortunately, the second wasn't any better. If anything, it looked worse as Partick began the process of levelling out the possession percentages. Mutombo earned a booking probably due to frustration as he was not getting beyond the defenders any more as the game entered a scrappy phase. Not a lot happened until Miles Storey brought out a finger tip save just under the crossbar to tip over his 25 yard shot. That managed to get the crowd off their mobiles to look up and see what all the commotion was about. However it never lasted and most were back to looking at twitter or posting status' on facebook. Liam Polworth had entered the scene, but unfortunately for him he would not be best pleased by his contribution. Storey did well down the left flank, skinning the full back and cutting the ball back to the feet of Polworth six yards out. He took a touch but could not dig the ball out from his feet and he ended up sclaffing the ball just wide of the post in the games best opportunity to make the fans happy. Full Time 0-0 What an absolute anti football game that was. If clubs want to increase attendances, then they are going about it the wrong way as teams are frightened to open out and be a bit more creative. Partick got what they came for, Inverness got what they deserved. On the park, Inverness were best served by new extended contract Captain Gary Warren, with Miles Storey looking better after the break and Danny Williams doing his best to help out. Regardless, the young fans behind the goal in the North Stand did their best to liven the atmosphere and they can go home with their heads held high as they take the MotM award for singing, dancing and drumming up some semblance of an atmosphere, something that should have been created on the park. Let's get this game out of the system as Hearts come North next week. I doubt they will sit back and wait for something to happen, let's hope we are prepared for it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMi4XB-pNp4 Date: 23/01/16 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 3556 Referee: Greg Aitken Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Fon Williams, Raven, Tremarco, Warren, Draper, Devine, Tansey, Williams, Vigurs, Mbuyi-Mutombo (Polworth 70), Storey Subs (not used): Esson, Foran, Wedderburn, Roberts, Brown, Sutherland Scorers: none Booked: Vigurs (41), Mbuyi-Mutombo (52) Sent Off: none Partick Thistle: 0 Lineup: Cerny, Seaborne, Welsh, Booth, Osman, Amoo, Bannigan, Doolan, Lawless (Elliott 57), Frans, Dumbuya Subs (not used): Scully, Miller, Wilson, Leyden, Nisbet, Penrice Scorers: none Booked: Booth (87), Seaborne (90) Sent Off: none
Inverness CT -V- Hearts - GAME OFF
tm4tj posted an article in Previews 2015-16It's Jambo Time GAME OFF If you are travelling to this game for the 12:30 kick off, keep an eye open for updates as there will be a pitch inspection at 07:30 We don't want anyone to be marooned. The official ICT twitter account will be your best option https://twitter.com/ICTFC or https://twitter.com/JamTarts Tough match this Saturday at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium in the 12:30 kick off which will see Hearts as our opponents in the Premiership, weather permitting. The Jambos are having a tremendous season since getting back into the top division and are comfortably in third place with 41 points, 12 ahead of sixth place Inverness. They are also second top scorers with 42 goals and their defence is pretty solid too, conceding just 24, only Celtic and Aberdeen can better that. That gives them a goal difference of plus 18 compared to ours at minus 2. Last week we drew 0-0 with Partick Thistle in what can at best be described as a below par performance. In truth we were unable to break down a Partick side who had set their stall out to take a point at all cost, and they got that effortlessly as we huffed and puffed but could not blow the house down Hearts last game was also a 0-0 draw, at Hamilton where the Jambos were reduced to ten men for the whole of the second half, but they still came away with a point. Some good news for Caley Jags fans is that Gary Warren has signed on again, as have Ryan Esson and Ross Draper. We have already beaten Hearts up here this season in an entertaining 2-0 win. James Vincent and Miles Storey scored that day as Hearts finished the game with ten men, Juwon Oshaniwa dismissed after a tussle with Tobi Sho-Silva. The reverse game at Tynecastle was called off and has still to be played, Tuesday 1st of March is the re-scheduled date. Inverness are still plagued by injuries and John Hughes is looking to bring in more firepower given the news that striker Alex Fisher will probably be out for a couple of months with a chipped ankle bone. We have a couple of trialists up this week in the form of striker Victor Zapata-Caicedo and Liam Hughes, an attacking midfielder. Zapata was last with Czech side Banik Ostrava and Hughes has plied his trade for Cambridge United. I'll just call him Zapata, but he was highly thought of at the Tottenham Hotspur Academy before moving on and Hughes has only played for Cambridge United in his career. Inverness are still without Aaron Doran whose season can be written off. Dean Brill is another and Josh Meekings is catching up with them, apparently about another month at least. James Vincent has missed the last few games as well and new signing Alex Fisher is out for possibly two months. This must be our worst ever season for injuries, it's been non stop since the start of the season. With Esson signing on again, I wonder if we will see Brill back in action at the Caledonian Stadium. We persist with keeping Jordan Roberts and Richie Foran on the bench. I say if they are fit enough get them on the park, if not, get them off the bench. Hearts will definitely not have King Billy, sorry Billy King on show as he has gone to The Rangers for the rest of the season, masquerading as the Loan Ranger. Blazej Augustyn and Igor Rossi are both suspended and that could open the door for Oshaniwa and or Jordan McGhee to claim that position for themselves. Sam Nicholson and Jamie Walker could be fit enough to be included in the squad. tm4tj Prediction:- This may sound strange given our reluctance to create much last weekend, but I'm taking Inverness to edge this one. I hear you all laughing and falling off your seats, but here's my reasoning. When we are tasked to break down teams hell bent on keeping a clean sheet, we find that quite a chore and with us lacking some creativity since young Ryan Christie left we struggle to create the openings. However, teams like Aberdeen, Ross County and Hearts are easier for our style of counter attacking and will leave room at the back for us to exploit. So, if our defence can hold firm, I'm taking Miles Storey to hit the net and keep the points in the Highlands. Anyway, having seen Nat Wedderburn's shoulder dip, nothing can stop us now. See for yourself, I kid you not, we are now invincible...................
Inverness CT -V- Partick Thistle - Preview
tm4tj posted an article in Previews 2015-16Return of the Bogey Men Inverness' bogey boys Partick Thistle come North to try and pile more misery on our injury riddled squad in this fixture which has been delegated a 'Pay What You Can' occasion. The Inverness injury jinx has hit again, this time it's new signing Alex Fisher who has been ruled out for a posible two months after chipping a bone in his ankle during the cup replay against Stirling Albion. We made our way into the fifth round of the Scottish Cup in midweek, but not before huffing and puffing our way past a determined League Two side. Mind you the two goals that saw us through were pretty special, but much of the outfield play was somewhat laboured. Andrea Mutombo was the midweek star and his goal was spectacular to say the least as he danced his way through the Binos defence. The previous weekend saw our six game unbeaten run come to an end at Rugby Park in a disappointing showing, going down 2-1. Prior to the last two games where they went down to a late Celtic goal and a surprise 4-2 defeat at the hands of Dundee, Partick were undefeated in the previous six League games, including a run of four games either side of a couple of draws. They beat Inverness 2-1 and trounced Kilmarnock 5-2, with 1-0 wins over Dundee United and Ross County. Scoring goals has been Partick's main concern with only 21 so far against 30 for Inverness. Our normally frugal defence has been disrupted this season and Partick are better in that department, losing 28 to our 32. That leaves Inverness above the Harry Wraggs in 7th place, and four points to the good, but Partick have a game in hand. Partick seem to hold the Indian sign over Inverness having won four of the last five League meetings, the other being a draw earlier this season. They also won the November fixture 2-1. Our only recent success was a 2-1 Scottish Cup win in February 2015, and we all know where that ended. Fourth to eleventh in the table are separated by just eight points and all the teams are either battling to avoid the relegation play off spot or trying to get into Europe. It's as tight as a ducks arse, and there is no room for error. Aaron Doran and Dean Brill are permanent names on the injury list and Josh Meekings and James Vincent have joined them. Alex Fisher will miss at least one month if not two. Alan Archibald has a couple of major doubts. Mathias Pogba and Gary Fraser are requiring treatment and Liam Lindsay is out suspended. Ryan Edwards is on U23 duty with his Australian squad. Abdul Osman returns after suspension. tm4tj Prediction:- Bad news about Alex Fisher, so that will leave Miles Storey without a strike partner again. With Partick able to beat us to order it would appear that we will have our work cut out to break their dominance over us. I don't see us abandoning our predictable and pedantic sideways passing game and Partick seem to have that sussed. We will do well to take a point from this game, anything else will be a welcome bonus. Score draw is my best bet.
Inverness CT -V- Stirling Albion - Preview - Cup
tm4tj posted an article in Previews 2015-16Another Chance Cup replay coming up on Tuesday night as Inverness welcome Stirling Albion back to the Highlands. The last time they were here, April 1999, they left Inverness with a point after a 2-2 draw thanks to a double from Alex Bone. Duncan Shearer had scored both Inverness goals. Inverness held the Binos to a scoreless draw at Forthbank a couple of Saturdays ago and the League Two side deserve another chance to progress in the competition as the Premiership side failed to get the better of their opponents. Having avoided the banana skin that day, you would have to fancy Inverness' chances of completing the job on Tuesday, but we are fairly inept at getting the better of underdogs and after a drab display at Forthbank, followed by a toothless performance at Rugby Park, one could be forgiven for wondering which club will be seen as the underdog. Stirling had their game on Saturday postponed at Elgin as Inverness struggled their way to defeat against Kilmarnock and the weather. The game was played out on a snowbound pitch as we once more failed to beat a club floundering at the bottom end of the league. The winning goal was a stunning volleyed strike, but it does not detract from another insipid performance from Yogi's side. The only bright spot for Inverness to come out of that game was our 1500th competitive goal. That landmark was achieved by Ross Draper. Not a regular scorer, 8 goals in 135 appearances, but nonetheless it's his name that goes into the record books. We are bereft of creativity at the moment and added to that is more injury woes that we are unable to cope with. Josh Meekings has not played for a month now and can be added to the longer term casualties. James Vincent missed out at Killie and Jordan Roberts once more filled a space on the bench but is yet to feature since his early season injury. Alex Fisher has been brought into the squad but will need time to get up to speed. Inverness will have Danny Devine back after he missed the Killie game through suspension. Richie Foran is another bench warmer, but not sure if he is ready for a full blooded cup tie yet. Doran, Brill and Meekings will not feature. Stirling Albion are without hamstring duo Kevin McKinlay and Ross McMillan, and new signing Scott Buist is ineligible, having signed too late for this 4th round replay. Motherwell await the victors at Fir Park in the 5th round and there's no guarantee that will be Inverness. In fact, given our reluctance to see games out, it would not surprise me if we struggle through this game as well. We should have enough in the tank to see off the Binos, but you could say that about the first game as well. I won't go as far as to say that Stirling will progress, but I will be pleasantly surprised if we can get through without any drama. Fingers crossed it is then.............
Kilmarnock -V- Inverness CT - Preview
tm4tj posted an article in Previews 2015-16Rugby Park Test. Off to Ayrshire this weekend as we get back to league duties with a visit to Rugby Park to face an upbeat Kilmarnock who will provide a stern test for our top six side. Killie got a massive boost last weekend as they ousted St Johnstone from the Scottish Cup at Perth, having drawn 2-2 the previous week against Hearts. While Killie were marching on, we stumbled around Forthbank in a dirge of a game and left needing a replay to sort out our tie with Stirling Albion. It was the lack of creation that left most fans despondent, and we are thankful that we managed to avoid the big banana skin that Hamilton Accies stood on. That said, we are now six games unbeaten, although a much improved performance will be required if we are to take anything from Rugby Park. Since we last met on the 12th of December, we have remained unbeaten, winning two of our five games and drawing the others including the cup game at Forthbank. Kilmarnock have not fared as well, and their only other win apart from the cup tie was at Hamilton where they scored the only goal. They lost to Aberdeen and Ross County in that sequence as well as the draw against Hearts. Killie's last home win was in mid October when they beat none other than Inverness CT. We were rather sluggish that day and failed to take early chances and paid the full price as goals from Greg Kiltie and Josh Magennis won the game rather comfortably in the end. That should be enough of a warning for Yogi as he looks to keep his side above the relegation tussle. Inverness will be looking for new signing Alex Fisher to get up to speed and add some much needed backing for striker Miles Storey. Kilmarnock's defence could be just the tonic our new strike pairing will be looking for as they boast the most goals conceded in the league (41). Their strikers are not much better bagging just 24, giving them a goal difference of minus 17 compared to minus 1 for the Caley Jags. Kilmarnock will be minus three suspended players with the burly Josh Magennis, Steven Smith and Kevin McHattie all missing one game for accumulative bookings. Mark O'Hara, Scott Robinson and Chris Johnston are all sidelined, but Lee McCulloch will make himself available for selection. Inverness will also have to re-shuffle their back line with Josh Meekings still out injured and Danny Devine suspended for one game. Also out are Aaron Doran and Dean Brill. Richie Foran could make the bench but is unlikely to feature. With Alex Fisher now on the books, Spanish striker Dani Lopez has returned to Spain after failing to establish himself high enough up the pecking order. tm4tj Prediction:- We are a stronger unit than the one which lost back in October, despite being able to call on Ryan Christie for that one. With players back to full fitness we are better prepared and should be looking to take something from this game. However our negative approach at Stirling has riled some fans and maybe we need a bit more time before we can get back to some semblance of free flowing football. The tightness of the league dictates how we set our stall out, but sometimes you have to give it a go. The onus will be on Killie as the home team, I hope we don't offer them the same time on the ball that we donated to Stirling Albion, as that could be our downfall. We might have to settle for a point, but it will be better than none at all, so I expect Yogi to take the cautious approach. Go on, surprise me! Scoring draw, with us losing a goal deep into injury time. 2-2.
Inverness CT -V- Ross County - Preview
tm4tj posted an article in Previews 2015-16New Year Derby 2016 It's a new Year and the first derby beckons at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium with Ross County first footing on the 2nd of January at 15:00. Inverness made the most of Storm Frank at Hamilton as they blew the Accies away in a stirring, epic encounter. We were well in control and cruising at 2-0 ahead when the wheels fell off. This is a worrying trend this season that needs addressed urgently. We allowed Accies to draw level before restoring our lead with Tansey's second thumping free kick. However, we were caught cold again and plenty of finger wagging went on in the box amongst our own players. Liam Polworth became an instant hero though as he exploded a shot behind the Accies former County keeper in time added on to secure a remarkable three points. County beat Kilmarnock 3-2 in Dingwall the night before in another topsy turvy game. Craig Curran had given County the lead before Killie forged ahead just after the break. Man of the moment Michael Gardyne became County's all time record scorer with two goals to seal the win and move County on to 30 points, 5 above Inverness. The clubs have met twice this campaign with one win apiece. Inverness ended County's seven match unbeaten sequence in the Premiership encounter at Dingwall when Miles Storey and James Vincent opened up a two goal lead, but despite Liam Boyce scoring a late goal, Inverness won 2-1, a somewhat shock result given the circumstances of both clubs. County gained revenge in the league cup quarter final by the same margin at Inverness this time. Irvine and Gardyne put County two up before Tansey reduced the deficit, but it was too little too late for a depleted Inverness as County moved into the semi-final. Inverness should be able to field an unchanged side from the one that performed heroically at Hamilton on Wednesday afternoon. Josh Meekings missed that one and he looks like missing out again along with season long absentees, Aaron Doran, Dean Brill and Richie Foran. Jordan Roberts made the bench and could provide an unknown alternative should Yogi decide to use him. One or two players could need time to prove their fitness for this one. Ross County should also be unchanged from the squad that beat Kilmarnock on Tueday night. That's a luxury that Yogi has not been afforded all season. tm4tj Prediction:- We are a different beast from the one that limped out of the league cup. In saying that, County have been on form recently and scoring for fun. Liam Polworth is our man of the moment for Inverness and he has grown in stature over the last couple of months. He has scored four goals in his last three games, his final one at Hamilton an absolute screamer. Miles Storey has not been scoring, but his pace is still causing all sorts of problems for defenders. With David Raven back in his role at right back and Ross Draper adding more muscle in midfield along with Nat Wedderburn, we have become more difficult to beat. Greg Tansey has found his free kick shooting boots and that should concern the County keeper. The downside of our displays has been after the hour we seem to surrender possession to the opposition and retreat into our own wee bubble. If we can sort that out and keep the County hotshots quiet, then it could be a Happy New Year. Home win on the cards; the Highlands are ours. One trivia stat that has been unearthed by one of our regular forum users Sneckboy is that we are getting very close to our 1500th competitive goal. As far as his painstaking statistics show, we need another three goals to reach this milestone. 500th goal was scored by Davide Xausa, Grant Munro scored the 1000th. It would be nice to complete the full set against our near neighbours and maybe another local lad could get the job done. Hat-Trick for Polworth anyone?