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  1.   HELLO AIRDRIE   Tuesday nights fixture is now of the crucial kind if we want to progress in the ViaPlay League Cup, or like the sponsors, we will not be participating for much longer. Given results over the weekend we find ourselves in big trouble with the prospect of getting out of the group stages diminishing rapidly unless we can find our feet and turn over the Diamonds. Not an easy task given their performance on Saturday as they beat Dundee 1-0 with a late penalty to follow up their 2-0 defeat of Dumbarton in their opening fixture. With Dumbarton beating us and a bonus win over the Rose, they are tucked in behind Airdrie in second place with Dundee and ourselves struggling in 3rd & 4th place. Dundee are at home to Dumbarton the following night and will fancy taking three points from that one, so it's win at all costs for us on Tuesday night.  Kick off 7:45pm Tuesday 25th July GAME INFO ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Team             P   W    D   L   GF    GA     GD  Pts   1 Air  2   2  0   0   3 0 3    6     2 Dum  3   1  1 1 2 3 -1   5    3 ICT  2   1  0 1 3 3 0   3    4 Dun   2    1   0   1 1 1 0   3    5 Bon   3    0   1   2 1 3 -2  1    Team News Inverness have signed wide player Luis Longstaff on a two year deal from Cove Rangers. Most of our squad have had a run out over these games with the exception of Max Ram who is not match fit yet. If this is still pre-season then it has been somewhat of a failure. The only bonus has been Billy Mckay notching his record equalling 101st goal for the club. That's a fantastic achievement and hopefully it won't be too long before he secures the outright leadership in the goal scoring charts.     Airdrieonians stunned Dundee at the weekend taking all three points to put them top of the table on six points having also beaten Dumbarton in their opening tie. Plenty of useful players at Airdrie. We know all about Nikolay Todorov but let's not forget that this side hammered Falkirk 6-2 in the Championship play-offs at the end of last season.    Starting XI v Dundee Rae Watson   Fordyce   Taylor-Sinclair   Ballantyne Frizzell   McCabe   Aiken McGregor   Gallagher   McGill Subs: O'Connor (53 McGill), Todorov (78 Gallagher), Telfer (81 Frizzell)   It's a long time since we last played Airdrie, in any shape or form. 20 years ago we won the Challenge Cup in Perth 2-0 with goals from Bingham and Hislop against the then Airdrie United. Our last game against an Airdrie XI was a 4-0 win over Airdrie United at the Caledonian Stadium in 2010.   Ian Broadfoot reports from the Caledonian Stadium in 2002, probably the final game v the original Airdrieonians. Steve Paterson's 300th game in charge produced a very welcome victory which stopped a slide down the league. Caley Thistle lay fourth last Saturday but slipped to seventh in midweek without kicking a ball. This win resulted in a climb to fifth. The first half was a nervous period with Caley Thistle trying hard but achieving little. Airdrie's best chance came in the first minute when they were awarded a free kick 20 yards out. Mark Roberts drove the ball goalwards and Nicky Walker dived to make a good save. In 13 minutes a high David Bagan cross proved troublesome to Airdrie keeper Allan Ferguson but he tipped it over. Five minutes later a Barry Robson corner from the right reached Grant Munro beyond the back post but he could only bundle the ball over for a goal kick. Stuart Taylor created a chance for himself at the other end in 29 minutes but he wasted it with a scuff past the post. In 33 minutes the home sides best first half chance fell to Dennis Wyness after good interplay with Charlie Christie but the striker hit it over from 10 yards. A minute later Owen Coyle reached a corner at the back post but left it to Taylor but he mishit to concede a goal kick. The tempo of the match changed in 50 minutes when Robson sent over a cross from the left and Martin Bavidge scored at the back post despite Ferguson getting a touch. This lifted Caley Thistle and calmed a few nerves. They kept on top after that but could not score a second goal. Robson strode through the Airdrie defence just after the goal but his shot deflected off Alan McManus. On the hour mark Ferguson raced out of goal to the touchline to just beat Bavidge to the ball. Ferguson saved Airdrie again in 76 minutes when he dived at the feet of Wyness as he stretched to reach a Bavidge curling ball but it went harmlessly for a goal kick. The nerves returned in the last few minutes as Caley Thistle worked hard to preserve their lead. With three minutes left Airdrie nearly stole an equaliser when a seemingly harmless Taylor header beat Walker but came back off the post into the relieved keepers arms. Despite a seemingly endless three minutes of added time Caley Thistle held on to win. Saturday, March 30th, 2002, 3:00pm Caledonian Stadium, Inverness Attendance: 1,709 Referee: C Hardie   Airdrie Info: They were formed in 2002 as Airdrie United Football Club following the liquidation of the original Airdrieonians club, formed in 1878. The club's official name was changed in 2013 with the approval of the Scottish Football Association to the traditional name of Airdrieonians.  
  2. Jags a thorn in the Rose The first ever meeting between The Caley Jags and the Rose was played out during a thunderstorm. Torrential rain of biblical proportions fell half an hour before kick-off and that dampened the grass somewhat. Inverness were quick off the mark and opened the scoring after four minutes when Aaron Doran took advantage of a defensive error to score from ten yards. No pun intended, but the floodgates never opened as Inverness made heavy weather of the next thirty-five minutes before Doran curled in his second of the game from just outside the box. What a beauty! HALF TIME 2-0 Big chance right at the start of the second half for Rose but Cammy Mackay saves with his feet from Smart to deny the visitors who are far from out of this tie. A raft of substitutions on the hour saw the hosts tighten their grip on proceedings as the heavens opened once more with Billy Mckay and Austin Samuels passing on great opportunities. Doran also denied his hat-trick by Martin's reflex save. Keiran McGackie headed home in the 90th minute following a set piece but it was too little too late for the Rose who gave a good account of themselves as Inverness fiddled with their line-up. FULL TIME : 2-1 First impressions from Robert on CTO: Underwhelmed by that. We always tried to play it out from the back, rarely with success. The early goal, a great finish by Doran, should have been a springboard but after his second goal, also a good finish, we did not deserve to be two up at half time. Bonnyrigg had a goal disallowed for a foul in the box, with a different ref they could have had a penalty, and MacKay had to race out of his box at one point to prevent a goal. I actually thought we were better in the second half as we moved the ball faster at times, but we couldn’t finish the chances we created and I couldn’t grudge the late goal. Of the new players, Brooks was quiet, and was playing wide left before being subbed. Gilmour could become an asset, but got an unnecessary booking. Davidson was trying to get forward after he came on and linked with Shaw a few times. I will give them the benefit of the doubt as they’ve only been back for two weeks but that was a poor performance. Doran the stand out, with Shaw looking the best of the rest. Tongue in cheek, maybe we’d have done better if we played hoofball!! The other game in group E finished Airdrie 2-0 Dumbarton. Late goals from Nikolay Todorov and Lewis McGregor settled this tie. More match reaction to follow... Date: 15/07/2023 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1077 Referee: Scott Lambie Inverness CT: 2 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: C Mackay; Carson, Duffy (Devine 61), Delaney, Nicolson, Doran, Gilmour (Welsh 61), MacGregor (Davidson 61), Shaw, Brooks (B Mckay 61), Samuels (Harper 74) Subs (not used): Ridgers; Strachan, Bray, Thompson Scorers: Doran (4, 40) Booked: Gilmour (42), Carson (88) Sent Off: none Bonnyrigg Rose: 1 Manager: Robbie Horn Lineup: Martin; Martyniuk, Jarvis (Forbes 81), Stewart, McGale, Gray (Connolly 60), Grigor, Peggie, Doan, Watson (McGachie 74), Osadolor (Faye 74) Subs (not used): Andrews; Scorers: McGachie (90) Booked: Watson (35) Sent Off: none a
  3. The Season Begins Now This League Cup tie means that we have now met each of the other 41 clubs with the exception of new entrants Spartans. Bonnyrigg climbed into 8th in League 2 thanks to a last-day win over Elgin. If results had gone differently they could have been 10th and in the playoff. They had the highest attendance in League 2, averaging 920. On Saturday they visit the Caledonian Stadium to kick-off the 2023/2024 season in earnest. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ticket Info New Away Kit Adam Brooks Charlie Gilmour Jake Davidson ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness, fresh from a couple of low key pre-season kick-abouts against Elgin City and Nairn County, start the season with a much changed squad since the Scottish Cup Final defeat to Celtic. Gone are Robbie Deas, Scott Allardice, Daniel Mackay, Jay Henderson, Shane Sutherland, Tom Walsh, Ben Woods and Steven Boyd. In come Defender Jake Davidson from Queens Park, Charlie Gilmour from St Johnstone and Adam Brooks from Celtic's B squad who will join the rest of the retained squad....which thankfully includes Billy Mckay. With the two pre-season friendlies safely negotiated, it's anyone's guess what our starting XI will be against Bonnyrigg Rose in our first competitive game of the 23/24 season. With our three new signings all getting some air time and a relatively injury free squad, Billy Dodds will have a selection headache ahead of this one. Both pre-season games saw two different teams take to the field after half time with everyone managing to get a kick of the ball at some stage. It appears that only Max Ram and Lewis Hyde missed out. The pick of the new guys might turn out to be young striker Adam Brooks who almost bagged a hat-trick in the 6-0 win over Nairn although he will face stiff competition for a start from Austin Samuels who has also been amongst the goals in pre-season, scoring twice against Elgin City in a 4-1win. Of course you can't keep record chasing Billy Mckay down as he needs one more goal to go level with Dennis Wynes as our top scorer of all time. Rather you than me Mr Dodds. This is our new away kit. Not everyone's cup of tea but I believe it's quite a striking kit. Not many like it about to be honest. It could be worse, it could be like the Gudgies kit, the maroon one with harling splashed over one side of it or the Celtic one designed in a playschool competition. Horrendous ones if you ask me, but each to their own... The Visitors: What do we know about them? Let's ask Mantis... Their manager is Robbie Horn, in his second spell at the club after a short time at Berwick. Like the manager, many of the squad have been at Rose for 5 or 6 years and he remained faithful to the squad which won the EOSL and the LL - a gamble which nearly cost the club dearly. Like many before them, ICT included, the Rose have found that the grind of 36 league games is a whole world away from beating bigger clubs in cup ties. They had a pretty settled back 3 last season, but finishing was a major problem, and they were the league’s lowest scorers with 36, although they had the 4th best defence with 47 conceded. Bonnyrigg started the season brightly but were soon found out and languished in 10th for much of the time, before finishing strongly to escape the bottom spot. They were never pretty on the eye and suffered from a lack of pace throughout the team, and very little quality in midfield. Though I found it interesting seeing them playing in front of a passionate crowd, the highest in the division, a mere mile from my house, they were widely regarded as the poorest team in the league who relied on the long ball - unfairly IMO. It’s a new season and I imagine that they will be stronger with what has been a pretty severe clearout. On our large pitch I wouldn’t expect anything resembling a high line… in fact I would expect them to tire and be beaten comfortably, but then look at the Brechin and Stirling games last year, although they both did eventually win their leagues. I would expect them to offer a similar challenge to last week’s game against Elgin. The following notes are based on the side which beat Elgin 3-0 in May, and a recent friendly v Falkirk. Robbie Horn seldom deviates from a 3-5-2. Goalkeeper: Paddy Martin Defence- almost certainly Robbie Horn will go with his favoured back three: Kerr Young - powerful 29y.o. centre-back who loves to get forward for set pieces. Probably Rose’s best player especially since Dean Brett (Kane Hester-type issues) has now moved on. Joined 2016, previously at Dunfermline and Berwick. 11 yellow cards last season. Josh Grigor - Very promising 20y.o. CB who joined in 2022 from Stenhousemuir. Neil Martyniuk - 26y.o. CB/LB/WB, joined 2017. Dependable player with experience at Montrose and Edinburgh City. Midfield: Ross Gray - Small, nippy 30y.o. wide player who has also played as a striker. Calum Connolly - a strong, powerful midfielder (29) in the Scott Allardice mould. Has a decent shot on him. Jonny Stewart (club captain) - a 33y.o. CM who is a bit of a legend, having been at the club since 2014 after spells at a few SPFL clubs. Doesn’t really have the legs for a full 90 mins but still managed 29 appearances last season. Lee Currie - the number 10, and the nearest the Rose have to a quality CM. Unfortunately he’s 33 and finds himself in the position 10CC was in when ICT reached the SPL. Not nearly as silky as oor Charlie but takes all the free kicks and has a fine left foot. Didn’t feature for much of the season as he fell out with the manager. Depending on what you hear, he was either disgruntled at not being picked every week, or didn’t fancy the travelling, or both… Conor Doan - young signing from Uni of Stirling who appeared semi-regularly last season without becoming a regular starter. Bradley Barrett - a local lad who did well in the LL winning season but didn’t feature much in the SPFL season. Still only 22. Reis Peggie - new signing from Kelty Hearts. He has impressed in preseason and I would expect him to start on the left. Forwards: Kieran McGachie - 31y.o. club legend, joined 2015 and revered in the same way as Billy Mckay is here. Teaches P.E. at the local high school. The player most recognised and despised by opposing fans. Not the quickest but very strong and physical in the air and despite his size he gets accused by opposing fans of being a big jessie who flings himself down to win free kicks. He loves to rumble up defenders and will relish battles against Danny Devine or whoever. His goals were badly missed for a large part of the season due to a recurring knee problem. Alieu Faye - a beanpole of a French striker, signed from Civil Service Strollers in January, yet to convince the Rose faithful that there’s a player in there. Zander Murray - the subject of much media attention after ‘coming out’ as gay. Signed from Gala Fairydean in January but hasn’t yet hit the goal trail. Dean Watson - new signing from East Stirlingshire. Another possible starter as he has scored in preseason and seems to be a hit with the fans. Thanks to Mantis for that in depth look at the Rose squad
  4. Blue Brazil head North. Cowdenbeath are the visitors to the Caledonian Stadium on Tuesday 13th October as we play our second League Cup game which will also be a closed doors encounter. Don't forget, this game is an early kick-off at 6:30pm. Both sides sit at the bottom of of their group table with zero points. Hearts are at home to Raith Rovers later tonight with a 7:45pm kick-off. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Streaming Statement from ICTFC In conjunction with our new streaming partners and the SPFL, tonight will see our last full test of this new technology at the Caledonian Stadium and we had planned to make the game available for free but we have subsequently been told that this would be a breach of the competition rules. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Our opener at Tynecastle saw a relatively inexperienced squad go down 1-0 to Championship favourites Hearts. The game was decided through a dubious penalty decision gifted by Steven Maclean. A lot may have changed since covid19 entered our lives, but the standard of officiating in Scotland is still the same. Absolutely gross! A driven ball back into the box by Josh Ginnelly was adjudged to have been handled by the unfortunate Cameron Harper, despite his best efforts to keep his arms close to his body. Overall though, Hearts just edged the game although we had a couple of great opportunities to score, notably Nikolay Todorov near the end when he volleyed wide. Craig Gordon had denied Daniel Mackay in the fifth minute with a stunning point blank save from a header. Despite losing, the young Caley Jags side gave a good account of themselves considering we were without six regulars. One negative from the game was Shane Sutherland appearing to have done his hamstring just before half time. We had no game on Saturday as Raith Rovers entered the competition, beating East Fife 2-1 thanks to a late goal from Manny Duku. Liam Newton had given East Fife the lead but a penalty by Regan Hendry just on the break levelled matters before the 87th minute winner. Scenes! Like us, The Blue Brazil lost their opening fixture, going down 2-0 away to East Fife. Second half goals from Jack Hamilton and Ryan Wallace were the difference on the artificial surface at Bayview. Cowdenbeath had chances early in the game but East Fife gradually got on top in the second period. The first goal may have been fortuitous, but the second was a screamer from the right foot of Wallace on the volley, lashed into the top corner from the edge of the box. On Saturday, Cowdenbeath made Hearts work hard for the win before Craig Halkett headed home in the 77th minute. Beath keeper Ross Sinclair made a superb penalty save after 90 minutes to deny Jamie Walker from the spot. I'm sure we will also find the miners a difficult proposition on Tuesday night. Screamer from Wallace.... ***LATEST NEWS*** As we continue to build towards our Championship opener on 17th October it's encouraging to see that Danny Devine should be ready for Championship day one against Dunfermline. Whether John Robertson risks him tonight remains to be seen. Wallace Duffy and James Vincent are good to go as well but Shane Sutherland misses out. David Carson, Aaron Doran, Kevin McHattie and Lewis Toshney are still under wraps I presume??? Kai Kennedy is unable to make his debut as expected tonight because he has had to go into self isolation after Billy Stark tested positive for covid19. This caused the abrupt ending of the Scotland u19 international against England where Kai started the game. The match was halted before the interval and the subsequent encounter canceled. Sean Welsh will continue as club captain, let's hope he steers clear of injury this season and leads the team on the park.
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