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  1. Group G Sorted Inverness played the first of five scheduled meetings with Cove Rangers today in the last of the group G qualifiers for the knock out stages of the League Cup. Inverness won the penalty shoot-out 5-3 after Fraser Fyvie saw his weak effort saved by Mark Ridgers. Inverness will now face an away tie at Motherwell in the knock-out stages. Roddy MacGregor opened the scoring in the thirteenth minute when he headed a Nathan Shaw cross into the top corner of the net. Mitch Megginson was left unattended to level the game after twenty minutes and it stayed that way at the break. A relatively uneventful second half saw the game go to penalties to decide the bonus point but as it stood, Inverness topped the group G to enter the knock out stages. ÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷ Our reward for qualifying is an away tie at Motherwell in midweek. Not the most romantic of games, however given their poor performance against Sligo Rovers, then anything is possible. This season is taking the same shape as thirteen years ago. A bright afternoon saw George Oakley Zak Delaney and Nathan Shaw start for the hosts with Mark Ridgers back between the sticks. Roddy MacGregor opened the scoring in the thirteenth minute when he headed a Nathan Shaw cross into the top corner of the net. Mitch Megginson was left unattended to level the game when he scooped the ball behind Ridgers after twenty minutes. Just after the half hour Daniel Mackay turned and shot from the edge of the box, but the keeper saved low to deny Dan. George Oakley was put through by Robbie Deas but Kyle Gourlay pulled off a good save just before the break. HALF TIME: 1-1 After a slow start to the second half, Megginson headed over following a corner and at the other end Cammy Harper put a free kick just over and then Deas diverted a Leighton McIntosh effort wide of the target. Billy Mckay went close to a winner but it went to penalties after ninety minutes and the Caley Jags prevailed 5-3 on penalties with Ridgers saving a weak spot kick from Fraser Fyvie From Robert on CTO Our goal was excellent. Good play by Oakley to put Shaw free and a great cross for MacGregor to score with a rare header. Cove’s equaliser came when we were temporarily down to ten as Duffy took a heavy knock and we seemed disorganised at the back as a result and it was too easy for the Cove player to hit the target. Cove had the best of the early part of the second half but we finished more strongly. I felt we just about shaded it but a draw was probably fair enough. It was good to at least win on penalties. Unfortunately that was not enough and we will be unseeded in the draw. I was disappointed with Cove’s approach. They approached the match in a cynical manner, trying to buy free kicks with play acting. They also tried to run the clock down when even. We have enough teams like that in the Championship already and I had expected more from them. I think our medical staff had to give treatment to players at least four times, generally due to the aggression of Cove. Some of their big names were worst, such as Logan and Fyvie, so justice was done when Fyvie‘s penalty was saved by Ridgers. Shortly after Samuels was harshly booked, a Cove player blatantly dived to try to get him sent off. The ref gave a foul but at least did not produce a red card. Of the new signings, I thought Oakley’s holding up play and distribution was good. Shaw was lively and could develop into an important player for us. Delaney is a calm defender despite playing on the wrong side for a left sided defender. Boyd had a couple of efforts when he came on. At times it felt like a pre-season game again, so hopefully when the league starts next week we get off to a winning start. Date: 23/07/2022 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1020 Referee: Alan Newlands Inverness CT: 1 (Pens 5 Boyd, Samuels, Harper, B Mckay, Allardice) Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Duffy (Doran 73), Deas, Delaney, Harper, Shaw (Boyd 79), Allardice, MacGregor, D Mackay (Samuels 67) Oakley (B Mckay 67) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Nicolson, Hyde, Cairns Scorers: MacGregor (13) Booked: Oakley (66) Sent Off: none Cove Rangers: 1 (Pens 3 Megginson, Leitch, FyvieLogan) Manager: Jim McIntyre Lineup: Gourlay; Logan, Ross, Reynolds, Towler, Scully, Vigurs, Leitch, McIntosh (McDonagh 78), Megginson, Fyvie, Subs (not used): McKenzie; Neill, Thomas, McAllister, Scorers: Megginson (19) Booked: Megginson (6), Fyvie (55), Ross (60), Towler (90+3) Sent Off: none a
  2. Rovers Return Deja Vu Albion Rovers last visit to the Caledonian Stadium thirteen years ago ended in a 4-0 League Cup defeat. It went the same way this time, another 4-0 thumping. An early header from Billy Mckay was added to before the interval by a super free kick from Cameron Harper. Rovers were not without their moments in the first half but Cammy Mackay was equal to the occasion. Wallace Duffy added a third just after the restart following a corner and Harper got his second minutes later. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It had been hot and sticky for a couple of days but an hour before kick-off the heavens opened to dampen the pitch. Ach well, the garden was needing it. Biilly Dodds went with a strong starting XI against League 2 Albion Rovers. Wallace Duffy returned to action at centre back and Daniel Mackay made his home debut for the season with Cammy Mackay getting his chance between the sticks as Mark Ridgers tested the bench. Before the bums were planted firmly on their seats, Billy Mckay opened the scoring after just two minutes when he followed up his first header from a Daniel Mackay cross to head home the rebound from the keeper after he made a brilliant save. It was just the start that Billy Dodds would have wanted, but Rovers came back at their hosts and Cammy Mackay had to look sharp to deny Kyle Fleming and Scott Roberts. Austin Samuels shot across the face of the goal after sixteen minutes in a lively opening to the game with the visitors looking dangerous going forward and just before the half hour Mackay saved an effort from Callum Wilson. Roddy MacGregor went close and Mckay shot over after a corner as Inverness pressure mounted before the break. That pressure paid off after Samuels was fouled outside the box. Up stepped Cammy Harper and he sent a beauty of a free kick into the top corner to double the advantage five minutes before the interval. Leighfield saved another shot from Billy Mckay before the ref blew for half time. HALF TIME 2-0 Similar to the first forty-five, Inverness came out of the blocks fast and Wallace Duffy scored inside a minute of the restart, firing low into the net following a corner. Harper did likewise seven minutes later with his head as he beat a stranded Leighfield to the ball and that was 4-0 and game over. That brought about a couple of substitutions and Duffy and Samuels were replaced by youngsters Zak Delaney and Nathan Shaw. Lewis Hyde then replaced Allardice ten minutes later as heavy rain fell once more. A bit of a let off for the hosts as Rovers hit the post and bar when Devon McCall shot off the post and Kieron Dolan followed up to hit the bar from close range. McCall then had a header saved as Rovers looked to get on the scoresheet. Substitute Lewis Hyde had a deflected shot from outside the box strike a post at the opposite end of the park and Nathan Shaw and Robbie Deas had efforts over the bar in the closing stages. Aaron Doran saw an effort blocked in the ninetieth minute and that endeth the action as Inverness reach nine points at the top of group G, three ahead of Livingston. FULL TIME 4-0 Date: 19/07/2022 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 871 Referee: Gavin Duncan Inverness CT: 4 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: C Mackay; Carson, Duffy (Delaney 54), Deas, Harper (Nicolson 70), Doran, Allardice (Hyde 63), MacGregor, D Mackay (Cairns 70), Samuels (Shaw 54), B Mckay Subs (not used): Ridgers; Boyd, Oakley Scorers: B Mckay (2), Harper (41, 53), Duffy (46), Booked: none Sent Off: none Albion Rovers: 0 Manager: Brian Reid Lineup: Leighfield; Fernie, Fagan, Sonkur, McGowan, Reilly (Testa 75), Leslie, Wilson (Duncan 71), Fleming, Roberts (McCall 71), Paton (Dolan 66) Subs (not used): Smith; Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none a
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