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  1. Promotion warm up? With a play-off slot almost secured, one of the challengers for the final Premiership place comes North looking to set a marker for the forthcoming Championship shoot-out. Dundee United are the visitors and it's still mathematically possible for them to win promotion outright, but that all depended on the Staggies who held a six point advantage going into their game at Ayr on Friday night. I suppose we can now offer our congratulations to County who beat Ayr 3-1 and they have all but won the Championship given their massive goal difference over Dundee United. I wonder if that result will have any bearing on the way United now approach this game tomorrow knowing that automatic promotion is now a distant memory. Here is the updated table showing County almost unassailable. The other game tomorrow which could affect our push for promotion is the game at Palmerston between Queen of the South and Dunfermline Athletic. In the bottom half, it's even tighter with Falkirk facing Morton and Partick Thistle at home to Alloa Athletic who are on a four game winning streak. Bums will be squeaking for sure this weekend. There was a somewhat untimely release by the club this week in the build up to the season finale with the news that our chief assistmeister and playmaker Liam Polworth will be a Motherwell FC player next season in the Premiership. Liam has been around Inverness Caledonian Thistle since he was eight years old. He has made 214 appearances scoring nineteen goals so far and I'm sure he will go on to produce many more memorable moments on the park, just not our one. That leaves Caley Thistle Online with the job of finding a new player to sponsor as we have been Liam's sponsor since he was in the squad making up the numbers. He can be seen pointing the way to Fir Park where he will wear the Claret & Amber of Motherwell. All the best for the future to 'one of our own'. Admission prices: Official site TICKET INFO Adult (Grown up chiel) Concession (olde git or 16-25 noisy fekker) u16 (sober kids) Main Stand Adult £22 - Concession £17 - u16 £6 North Stand/Arab Stand Adult £20 - Concession £15 - u16 - £6 We inched our way towards a potential Premiership place by earning a point at Cappielow in midweek. A partly depleted squad came back to level the game with Morton in the 88th minute as substitute Darren McCauley slammed a Liam Polwrth pass into the net. Anthony McDonald had opened the scoring with a tremendous solo goal but Reece Lyon equalised for the Ton. Greg Kiltie put them ahead just before the break from the spot and as Morton went defensive, we searched for a leveller which arrived just before the final whistle. Dundee United have drawn with County in Dingwall having been ahead up to the last few seconds and they defeated Ayr 2-1 last time out, Safranko and McMullan overturning Ayr's lead through Bell. There has been four games against Saturdays opponents already this season. A 1-1 draw at Tannadice was followed by a similar scoreline at the Caledonian Stadium in mid-December. United won the next one at Tannadice by a solitary goal against an understrength Caley Jags. The fourth encounter was the Scottish Cup tie with a stronger side on the park and we bossed that one before winning 2-1 with a late Aaron Doran goal proving decisive. Joe Chalmers got the opener and it was an absolute belter. So good it was voted goal of the round, and so good we can have another look, courtesy of William Hill. Coll Donaldson, Mark Ridgers, Carl Tremarco and Sean Welsh all missed out through injury at Greenock, Welsh being out for the season. Anthony McDonald came back in to good effect scoring a superb goal but also took a heavy knock. Tom Walsh had a bit of a rest on the bench. Good to see Darren McCauley scoring the second goal and he should push on now that he has completed his degree studying nutrition at the University of Ulster. Plenty of tired legs and plenty of important players for what will be an exciting finish to a gruelling campaign where our thin squad has been pushed to the limits on a number of occasions. Robbo will have to choose wisely over the coming weeks to get the best out of our already stretched squad. Latest news is that Donaldson, Tremarco and Brad Mckay are all major doubts. Robbo still playing it cagey....... Robbie Neilson has a big squad to choose from and one man he is looking towards as the run in to the season begins is former Hearts forward Osman Sow. He is approaching full fitness and has been used sparingly since joining the Arabs in January because of a calf injury, but Neilson expects him to play a big part in the next few games. He also has plenty of other quality strikers he can call on, Paul (the diver) McMullan, Pavol Safranko, Nicky Clark, Cammy Smith and Peter Pawlett are all vying for the starting slot, so no matter who gets the nod, it's going to be a tough job for any defence. The Official Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year voting has commenced and you can cast your votes by following the link provided. The nominees are: PotY Coll Donaldson Mark Ridgers Aaron Doran Sean Welsh Joe Chalmers Young PotY Jamie McCart Tom Walsh Shaun Rooney Cameron Harper Roddy MacGregor ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Here is the registration page to sign in to FansBet Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you sign up and 50% of net profits will be returned to CTO If you like a wee flutter, our new enhanced partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies. .
  2. Back down to earth Well almost back down to earth: Greenock awaits. After the hullabaloo of the last couple of weeks it's back to reality, and for those that still have the stomach for it, a trip to Cappielow beckons on Tuesday night. From Hampden to Cappielow in three days. The last bastion of the days of yore are calling the Caley Jags down to Greenock where we could secure a promotion play-off slot by defeating Morton. The ICT Supporters Club are running a bus to this game and you can book on the facebook page HERE or call/text 07462 218717. The bus will leave the Caley Club at 13:30 and the Stadium at 13:45 Prices at Cappielow:- Adults £20 Concession £15 (olde gits, student gits & just gits (18-20)) Child £5 (12-17) Under 12 £1 Free if you are not born yet! With the Scottish Cup put to bed for another season, (ach it's a Mickey Mouse cup anyway ), it's back to the weekly chore. However, it's not so much a chore for Morton who find themselves dragged into the relegation battle as Alloa's run of four wins on the trot has kept everyone on their toes at the bottom end of the table. Even Dunfermline are starting to look over their shoulder at what's going on below them. That will make Morton difficult opponents on Tuesday night. Our last Championship game was a hard fought three points at Somerset Park the week before the Cup game at Hampden. Brad Mckay was on hand to put the ball into the net and we held on for the win. The next game was something of an anti-climax as we ran out of steam against a solid Hearts. All going to plan at the break, that quickly altered as they stepped on the gas and ran out comfortable winners in the end, despite a couple of valiant efforts from Chalmers and McCart who appeared to have been wrongly denied a goal. Meh! Morton drew 1-1 at Palmerston when we were nearby at Ayr, Charlie Telfer getting a second half goal to level the game. They were on the wrong end of a 2-1 defeat from resurgent Alloa who stung the Ton at Cappielow last Tuesday. Kiltie had put Morton ahead from the spot but Alloa were quick to reply through Andy Graham. Jack Hamilton on loan from Livingston scored the winner for the Wasps ten minutes before the end to pull Morton into the mire. They had a day of rest on Saturday, no doubt watching us on the telly. Morton manager Jonatan Johansson on BBC Sport after the Alloa game: "We've had our chances to climb out of it and now we're right in it. Too many games this season we've been soft with simple clearances and set pieces; we need to defend better. "The spirit and desire is there, but since the New Year we've just not been good enough. It'll be a long week now but it's something we have to deal with." Inverness have taken seven points from Morton this season starting with a 1-1 draw back in October. We have since won the next two encounters, 2-1 away and 1-0 at home at the end of February, Carl Tremarco getting the decisive goal in that one. A draw on Tuesday night could be enough to clinch a play-off position but a win would ensure Dunfermline could not overtake us this time. Team News We are back down to the bare bones again after suffering more injuries. Mark Ridgers will be replaced by Cammy Mackay after dislocating a finger against Heart's, oooyahhhh. Mark himself managed to tweet this using his other hand........... "Tough one on Saturday not the result we were after, hopefully now get that play off spot and push for promotion #ICTFC 🔵🔴 fingers crossed won’t be out too long". Coll Donaldson missed the Semi-Final through suspension, but also picked up an injury at Ayr and is a major doubt with a back spasm. Carl Tremarco had to be replaced at Hampden in the second half after he got a boot on the knee and will be a doubt. Sean Welsh is out for the season. Jamie McCart was struggling to make Hampden but managed to play whole game. Trust me, we have some tired legs out there, which could see some changes for this game. Anthony McDonald will be eligible to return after missing the Hearts game and some youth players will make up the squad. And apparently, Owain fon Williams has a groin problem. I'm not sure if there's any truth that it is being caused by his wallet Jonatan Johansson has his own injury worries to contend with. Denny Johnstone, Rory McKeown, Michael Tidser, Bob McHugh and Kerr Waddell all missed the Alloa game through injury.
  3. The Countdown Begins Hey Caley Jags fans, it's Hampden week as the build up to the Scottish Cup semi-final starts in earnest. Remember this image? What a history making day that was for the club. Legends every one of them. We had to do it without the suspended Gary Warren. Well Deja Vu! We will have to get through this one without our inspirational centre back Coll Donaldson who will be suspended, possibly even injured as well after hobbling off against Ayr. That's us done with the Championship for now as we take a sabbatical after beating Ayr United to jump back to third in the table. However, we have bigger fish to fry. That Championship sabbatical takes us back to Hampden for the first time since May 2015 when we did not too shabby as we lifted the Scottish Cup having beaten a resilient Falkirk 2-1. Our previous visit to Hampden saw an even greater performance as we put Celtic out of the Scottish Cup after an enthralling 3-2 win. Scenes! It all ended in 2015 with Graeme Shinnie holding aloft the Scottish Cup as depicted in Sopie Robb's fantastic painting. Let's start by giving you a wee flavour of these occasions and the build up to this seasons competition. This is what can be achieved with dedication, hard graft, a smidgen of quality, self belief, players playing for the badge, and a never say die attitude. Let's not forget the part played by our super fans who come out in force when needed.... Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines......... We will add something every day as the countdown continues, so check back on here daily for new updates. Long long time ago, there was a team called Inverness Caledonian who did many magnificent giant killing acts in the Scottish Cup over the years. League sides Airdrie, Stenhousemuir, Clyde, the list is almost endless as the non league side cut a swathe through the Scottish League sides. They put nineteen of them out of the national competition over the years prior to the merger and this was one of their finest moments, if not the complete giant killing act........... Inverness thistle were doing their own bit of giant killing culminating in their most memorable scalp, a 3-0 thrashing of Kilmarnock at Kingsmills in season 1984/85. The reward for this would be a trip to Parkhead. What a day that was, February 9th 1985. There were 'Big Kilmarnock Bunnet's' lying around the terraces and across the playing surface amongst a carpet of Kilmarnock supporters scarfs strewn across the pitch. They were not a happy bunch at full time looking to lynch the Killie board. Goals from Dave Milroy, Gordon Hay and Brian Fraser gave Killie there worst ever Scottish Cup defeat, something that still hurts them to this day. The jags other major claim to fame was the much postponed Scottish Cup tie against Falkirk FC. Due to be played at Kingsmills Park Inverness on January 6th 1979, it eventually went ahead 47 days later on February 22nd after 29 postponements due to a frozen pitch. Yes, 29, that's correct! When it did eventually go ahead Falkirk were 4-0 ahead before the interval. Bring on global warming I hear you say....... The Jags went on to play at Parkhead in the Scottish Cup in 1985 and suffered at the hands of a strong Celtic side. A certain Jimmy Calder being a substitute for the Jags at centre forward! Celtic: Latchford W McStay McGrain Grant (Archdeacon) McAdam O'Leary Provan P McStay Johnston MacLeod McGarvey (McInally) Scorers: McGarvey 9 P McStay 15, 63, 85 Johnston 30 MacLeod 89 Inverness: Fridge Skinner Wilson Sanderson (Fraser) Milroy Andrew Black Hay McDonald Oliver McLean (Calder) Attendance: 14,927 What a character Jimmy Calder was, often found sitting on the crossbar during quieter moments of games. He went from a part-time striker to a formidable keeper. On February 8th 2000, he was instrumental in knocking Celtic out of the Scottish Cup, something Inverness would go on to emulate another twice. Here's the proof starting at Parkhead.............. And again in 2003 at Inverness, Celtic fresh from beating Liverpool in Europe .............. The hat-trick was compete in 2015 with a little helping hand from Josh Meekings, not even Virgil van Dijk can stop us...... And following on from that dramatic defeat of Celtic at Hampden, we went on to lift the trophy at the same venue against Falkirk. And that's why Sophie got her paint brush out and reproduced that moment. So that brings us to this season, the William Hill Scottish Cup 2018/2019. The top three scorers so far are the prolific Stephen Dobbie - 7, Jordan White - 6 and Scott Sinclair - 5. It all started rather innocuously for the Caley Jags, a 1-1 draw with Edinburgh City at Ainslie Park. Shaun Rooney got the cup run off to a good start in the sixth minute but thereafter we struggled to make any improvement on the scoreline and the Citizens got their just reward when Liam Henderson sent the tie to a replay with five minutes remaining. The word embarrassment was used to sum up our performance on the day against League 2 Edinburgh City. The replay saw Jordan White score a hat-trick at the Caledonian Stadium as we ran out 6-1 winners. Tom Walsh (2) and Aaron Doran were the other scorers for the Caley Jags with Blair Henderson scoring for the visitors. Non League East Kilbride were next, and we only needed one game to dismiss them, albeit we made hard work of it and that's credit to Kilby who showed they were a well organised side. White, Doran, Polworth and an og saw us ease through 4-0. On the Sunday after our game, Hearts began their Scottish Cup challenge with a fourth round win over Livingstone thanks to a goal from Sean Clare. Our 5th round game would be a derby against County at Dingwall. This one would end in a 2-2 draw with County equalising in the third minute of time added on. We had led twice, Aaron Doran put us ahead before Ross Stewart levelled ten minutes after the break. Jordan White restored our lead until the tie was sent to extra-time by Josh Mullin. The previous day Hearts progressed by putting Auchinleck Talbot to the sword by 4-0. Berra, Mitchell, MacLean and Keena were the Jambo's scorers. The replay at Inverness against County was full of drama and the game went to extra-time and penalties. 2-2 after ninety minutes with no further scoring in extra-time led to a nail biting penalty shoot-out. Mark Ridgers woud make one save and Inverness converted all five from the spot to seal out place in the draw for the next round at Tannadice. The first team into the semi-finals were Celtic who beat Hibs 2-0 at Easter Road. We were second into the semi's after a wonderful 2-1 win at Tannadice where Joe Chalmers scored the goal of the round, an absolute peach. We were pegged back unjustly when Paul McMullan went down in the box but Aaron Doran scored with a header in time added on to put us on the road to Hampden. Aberdeen and Heart's would make up the semi-final pot after both won replays. The Don's dumped Rangers out and Hearts removed relegation threatened Championship side Partick Thistle 2-1 at Tynecastle. Joe's goal was so good, here it is in triplicate............. All the questions would be answered as the draw was made and the replays were completed on 12th of March. Hearts at Hampden and surprise surprise a 12:15 kick off. Plenty of previous between the sides although only one brief encounter this season. We played Hearts at Tynecastle in the League Cup and were summarily dismissed. Three goals in four minutes ended this contest before half-time. Here's a name that will send shivers down the spine of the Inverness defence. Uche Ikpeazu bulldozed his way through our defence on numerous occasions and scored twice. Odd game to be honest. We were a bit naive and paid the price for being too open and having a go. It ended up being a hammering. Oh well, there's always next time. We have a few players who have tasted life at Tynecastle. Keeper Mark Ridgers was on their books for seven years but only made three first team appearances. Brad Mckay made 40 appearances for Hearts in five seasons from 2010 onward. Kevin McHattie is the latest signing and he was on the books at Tynecastle for four years, pulling on the maroon shirt 83 times. However, there is one man at Inverness who beats them all, and he is a legend down Gorgie road. Inverness manager John Robertson. Robbo played 512 times for the Jambos in his 17 year affiliation with the club. In two spells at Tynecastle he scored an incredible 214 goals. He has raised the Scottish Cup before, he was an unused sub in 1998 when Hearts beat Rangers to win the trophy. Wee Robbo loved a derby goal, scoring 27 times against Hibs and has 16 Scotland international caps. He also managed Hearts for a short spell before being removed in one of Hearts' revolutions. There is one man who has made the transition in the opposite direction. Pacey winger Jake Mulraney who could well be in the Hearts side at Hampden after making some recent appearances for them in the Premiership. And that that brings us up nicely to the job in hand. Here's some pre-match chat at Inverness ***Latest Team News from Inverness*** As seen in the Jamie McCart interview, he is on the mend although it's touch and go whether he will be fit enough to start. Coll Donaldson is suspended after picking up his bookings in previous rounds. Sean Welsh is out for the season with a suspected broken bone in his foot and Anthony McDonald is ineligible due to the loan arrangement from parent club Hearts. Three of the 2015 Cup Final squad will be involved on the park on Saturday. Captain Carl Tremarco, influential midfielder and chief provider Liam Polworth and on form Irish wide player Aaron Doran whose goal at Tannadice got us into the semi-final. It's a big ask of the players against a solid Hearts side who came into this tie on the back of two championship defeats. A 3-0 away loss to Rangers and a 2-1 derby defeat at Tynecastle against Hibernian. Our last game was a hard fought 1-0 win at Somerset Park against the 'Honest men'. Hearts will be without long term absentees Steven Naismith and Ben Garuccio. Demetri Mitchell has returned to Manchester United. Bobby Burns could be in for a starting slot at full back but, unlike John Robertson, Levein has plenty of options to cover most eventualities. We will be outnumbered around 10/1 in the stands. On paper, it all points to a win for the Premiership side, however, we have previous with Hearts, even with nine men. Let's do this! I'm off to catch a train to Glasgow, so........................
  4. Fresh Ayr Challenge Somerset Park is the venue this Saturday as the business end of the season approaches and we find ourselves still in with a chance of securing a play-off place, and with it the slim prospect of promotion is still within our own grasp. Last game before Hampden for Inverness, let's hope we can get through this without any further damage to our squad. Don't forget to buy your tickets for the Scottish Cup Semi-Final against Hearts. No tickets will be available on the day. The ICT Supporters Travel Club are running a bus to this match and the leaving times are as follows: Leaving the Caley Club: 8.45am Leaving the Caledonian Stadium: 9am Book through their Facebook page HERE or call/text 07462 218717 Admission at Somerset Park Adults : £17 OAP’s, students and 18-21 year olds £11 Under 18s £6 It's been a frantic month with our stretched squad having had to cope with six games since the 3rd of March. These were mostly successful until it finally caught up with us on Tuesday night and lethargy set in as we went down 2-1 against Ross County and Nick Welsh. That success has brought the dreaded Manager of the Month & Player of the Month awards for March to Inverness with John Robertson and Aaron Doran being the recipients. Four wins and a draw saw the accolades head North. Doran waded in with 4 goals in March, including the vital winner in the Scottish Cup game at Tannadice. Well deserved if you ask me. Unfortunately the curse has already kicked in with defeat to Ross County in the derby. More info on the awards can be found on the OFFICIAL SITE Despite that loss we are clinging on to fourth spot with Dunfermline the nearest challengers and realistically the only ones likely to make the effort. They have a game in hand over us and at the moment are six points adrift. Ayr have only one win in their last five whilst we have three. Second place looks to be out of our reach so it would appear that third or fourth are the targets and either of them would be sufficient to get us into the play-offs. The updated table is shown above after Friday nights draw in Dingwall. Other games on Saturday are Partick -V- Dunfermline, Falkirk -V- Alloa and Queens -V- Morton. As it was the sixth derby between the sides, stalemate was setting in, but County went at it right from the first whistle and deservedly went ahead when a Josh Mullin strike nestled in the bottom corner as we strolled around the pitch in training mode. We missed a penalty but Carl Tremarco drew us level off the bar with a header before Andy Boyle nodded in the winner before the break. Down to ten men just before the interval, we plodded on but to no avail although we minimised the damage and went down 2-1. A result that gives County a five point cushion going into their Friday night game with second placed United. It remained a five point gap after a 1-1 draw in Dingwall, County levelling well into time added on. Here's our man of the moment discussing the derby......... Ayr took all three points as they dominated at Dunfermline last Friday thanks to a Declan McDaid goal but in midweek were held to a 1-1 draw by struggling Morton. A Shankland penalty had them ahead at the break but Greg Kiltie tapped in with twenty minutes to go for a share of the points. Our last visit to Ayr was an odd won. We raced into a three goal lead with three goals in a nine minute spell. By the 18th minute we were in the rare position of being three ahead and didn't know what to do with it. Ayr reshuffled at the break and the introduction of Shankland brought them instant reward, Declan McDaid reducing the deficit. Shankland reduced the lead further from a free kick late on. We held on and the goals from Nathan Austin (2) and Liam Polworth were good enough for all three points. The other two games at Inverness were a 0-0 draw and a 1-0 win for Inverness, Jordan White scoring a second half goal in that one. Ian McCall might ring the changes for this one after the disappointing draw with Morton. He has no injury worries ahead of this game. Here was his starting XI against the Ton. Ian said on the Ayr United official site: “Tuesday night was disappointing, we never really got going or played at the kind of tempo that makes us very dangerous. We were flat and probably in the end slightly fortunate to come away with a point. John Robertson will be without the suspended Charlie Trafford thanks to some refereeing ineptitude. Sean Welsh is a big miss in midfield and Jamie McCart took a heavy knock against County. Some desperately sad news: Twenty-three year old Angus Beith has had to retire from football after being unable to recover from a hip injury. You can read the full story on the Official Site. Angus said “I have done everything possible to recover from injury and to get back playing but, reluctantly I have had to accept that it is just not possible for me to play football any longer. I wish the club every success this season and in the future” I'm sure everyone at Caley Thistle Online wishes Angus all the best for the future, and success in whatever challenges he has ahead of him. Feed the Goose Here's Angus scoring in his loan spell at Stranraer FC, thanks for the footage. Stevie Farrell, the Stranraer FC manager paid tribute on their website:- Farrell was “gutted” for the 23-year-old and said: “You think we are going through a difficult spell, with a hard season and struggling and fighting. “Here is a young lad with his future in front of him. “Regardless of where we are, we always have a Saturday to put right. “Unfortunately, he does not have that. “He was a fantastic player for us and was very, very respectful. “They always say bad things happen to good people and Angus is one of those very good people.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ FansBet have Ayr 6/5 - Draw 23/10 - ICT 43/20 Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  5. Staggies staggering to title The staggering Staggies pop over the bridge to play the Caley Jags in this game postponed from a couple of weeks ago after heavy rain had left the pitch somewhat waterlogged. It's the 6th and final Highland derby coming up on Friday night with BBC Scotland getting in on the action from the Caledonian Stadium with Ross County the visitors for a 7:05pm kick off. Every one of these games has been passionate, enthralling, dramatic and left the fans wanting more. Well, it's here, the next installment. Other games being played on the same night are Ayr -V- Morton and Queen of the South -V- Falkirk, so interest at both ends of the table. After last weekend, we are in fourth place but five points ahead of contenders Dunfermline Athletic. Dundee United also suffered a surprise home defeat at the hands of Queen of the South. County remained top, but the gap has narrowed. Our last game was a laboured no score draw against lowly Falkirk on Saturday. A poor first half livened up after the interval but we never got the break of the ball and had Mark Ridgers to thank for making a point blank save in time added on to ensure we got a point. It was an opportunity sidestepped to put more pressure on the teams above who faltered apart from Ayr United. County went down 1-0 at Alloa thanks to a first half goal from Dario Zanatta. A surprise result but as said before, no easy games now with the bottom five fighting to avoid relegation and the top five vying for promotion. They have also made a visit to the Caledonian Stadium recently and went away with our IrnBru cup. There's a space on the shelf now............ The games between the clubs this season have been a fantastic advert for Championship football in the Highlands. They have had everything. The first two were drawn before County won the New Year derby 2-1 in Dingwall. There followed two tremendous 2-2 draws in Scottish Cup action including extra time with Inverness winning a dramatic penalty shoot out 5-4. Mark Ridgers making one save and Nathan Austin converting the winning kick to send Inverness into the next round. Thanks to that we can now look forward to playing Hearts at Hampden on April 13th in the semi-final. Aaron Doran has been in sparkling form recently with four goals in the last five games, and but for some last ditch Falkirk defending he would have made it five from five. The wee Irishman loves a goal against County as well although he only has one this season so far in the 2-2 cup draw at Dingwall. Aaron has come back from a few injury setbacks and has never been in better form, scoring 11 times this season. Here's a familiar image of Doran wheeling away after scoring yet another goal and captured in this sketch by our own ICT fan and wonderful artist Sophie Robb. You can see these and many more fantastic images on her twitter account or on her ETSY account. Sean Welsh is out after it has been confirmed that he has broken a metatarsal again. Robertson speaking about Welsh said: “Sean has been terrific for us this season – one of the unsung heroes. “He’s in the team every week and he’s in the team every week for a reason, with the job he does for us. He has been brilliant, he’s been consistent and he does what it says on the tin in the middle of the park. He wins the ball, passes it, breaks play up and he also gets forward. He has also become a very reliable penalty-taker to boot, but I think it is his influence on the team. He is one of our experienced players, patrolling the middle of the park and mixing play up. Here's the youngsters against Ayr United in the 5-2 win. Matheus Machado scored a couple of the goals in a 5-2 u18 win over Ayr United He had been drafted into the first team squad recently and it's good to know he has goals in him. Check out his second goal. How about that for a chip. Iain Stewart, eat your heart out! Ross Gunn and Cameron Harper also scored against Ayr as did Daniel Mackay, and he was on the bench against Falkirk as well. Anthony McDonald is a doubt but could make the squad. Another man who seems to relish these games is Liam Polworth who will be an integral part of Robertson's plans. Liam played his 200th game for Inverness on Saturday against Falkirk. Liam has only three goals to his name this season and is due another. Polly is also on Sophie's sketch list, and as they say on Blue Peter, here's one she prepared earlier. County's depth of squad will not present them with any major issues as they stagger towards the Championship tape. Billy Mckay is out for the rest of the season after breaking his arm whilst scoring a hat-trick against Ayr United recently. Mckay had scored 20 goals this season for County and was in fine form. He proved he is still a winner though, even when out injured and he has won the Championship player of the month whilst wristing up with his stookie. Good luck with the recovery Billy. County's management duo will be without defenders Callum Morris and Liam Fontaine who will not feature until next season and Iain Vigurs will likely miss the rest of the season as his foot injury continues to give him problems despite a forty-five minute outing against Kilmarnock reserves. Keith Watson took a knock at Alloa and is out and Michael Gardyne is struggling, but that could be a smoke screen and I expect he will turn up, even if it's just to try and wind up the Caley Jags players. Sean Kelly and Ross Draper made the bench for the trip to Alloa Athletic and should be included again. County's English defender Callum Semple’s Scotiish FA hearing for betting on football matches has been pushed back a fortnight to Thursday, April 11th. Semple was earlier this month given a notice of complaint accused of making bets between the period of July 1 and March 1, in which he also played for Queen of the South on loan from Sheffield United. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Scottish Cup Semi-Final, Hampden Park, Glasgow North and William Hill South Stands - Adults: £30 Concessions*: £15 East and West Stands - Adults: £20 Concessions: £10 *Concessions: Under-16s and 65 years and over................ Don't forget to buy your tickets for the SemiFinal against Hearts at Hampden. This may appear to be an alien concept for some, but always remember this, in space, no one can hear you scream. If you are sitting in your living room passing round the werther's originals and watching on TV, the lads won't be able to hear you. They have been brilliant to get this far in the cup and it's a great day out at the National Stadium. Be there or be square! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  6. Gathering Pace The push for promotion gathers pace after three wins on the bounce and we will be looking for a fourth on Saturday when perennial spoilers Falkirk come North for a 3:00pm kick off at the Caledonian Stadium. I'm sure the players would appreciate a big backing to help get right behind the team and push them on. If you can't make the game, look out for a live audio feed which should appear on the twitter feed as a periscope link. If the gremlins stay away, this should work, fingers crossed................ ps, Please don't be breaking any seats, it's a costly affair and something the club can do without. If you wouldn't do it at home, don't do it here. Read the joint club statement here Yes, three games on the bounce, who knew! Four if you include the cup win at Tannadice, or to put it another way, six out of seven in all competitions. The only defeat in that run was a 1-0 reverse at Tannadice when we were a bit light due to injury. What does it all mean I hear you say? Well it means that we now sit third fourth in the table going into today's game and five points clear of Dunfermline who are the ones most likely to make the push for promotion uncomfortable for us. Ayr have slithered in recent weeks but are not to be discounted yet. The Pars play Ayr on Friday night prior to our game. (Ayr beat Dunfermline 0-1 to go back into third place) There's the updated table above on the left. Other fixtures at the top end are Alloa -V- Ross County and Dundee United -V- Queen of the South. Final fixture is at the other end of the table where Morton play Partick Thistle, a game where Morton could get dragged into the relegation scrap. Our last game was a 3-2 home win over Alloa. Cruising at 3-0, our midfield dynamics changed when Sean Welsh went off injured and Joe Chalmers and Aaron Doran were exchanged. That let Alloa get a foothold and they plugged back a couple of goals through a Trouten penalty and a fortuitous Flannigan deflected shot that wrong footed Ridgers. Doran, Welsh (pen) and dainty feet Jordan White were our scorers. That's eleven for the season for a rejuvenated Aaron Doran who has scored in his last four outings. Great return from the wide midfielder. Dainty feet now has 14 goals in all competitions this season after a slow start to his ICTFC career. Falkirk's last outing was on the 16th of March when they drew with fellow relegation candidates Partick thistle. Ian McShane scored his third of the season to earn the point just before the interval. Previous to that, they went down narrowly at Dingwall (2-1) and beat Ayr United 2-0 at home. Those results show Falkirk sitting third bottom four points above Alloa and it looks as though they are starting to ease away from the dreaded drop. The Bairns are well used to this game of avoiding relegation and are battle hardened to it and will prove to be a tough nut to crack with Zak Rudden in particular a threat. Zak is fresh back from Cyprus where he scored a hat-trick for Scotland u19's. He has also scored three times against Inverness already this season. Another one making an impact is Shayne Lavery. He has two goals in two games after he scored the winner for Northern Ireland U21’s against Mexico last week. As ever, our games against Falkirk have been tough. We started at Falkirk with a 1-0 win back in August thanks to an early George Oakley strike, but he can't help us now. Falkirk came North in December and went away with all three points in a 3-2 win. Walsh and Oakley scored for us but a Zak Rudden double pulled the Bairns level before a late sickener in the third minute of time added on saw Scott Harrison snatch the points. That was the game that ended our unbeaten league run of 25 matches and got the monkey off our back (too many draws). The third encounter was a 2-2 draw at Falkirk as the Bairns twice came from behind (Rudden, McShane) to earn a point after Rooney and Doran had scored for us. John Robertson will have concerns over the fitness of Sean Welsh who was injured against Alloa Athletic. Sean has been a mainstay in midfield recently and his contribution from the spot is reaping rewards after we had tried a series of penalty takers who sadly fell short of the required suitability for the post. Those concerns were justified as it looks like he has cracked a metatarsal. If so he will be out for the rest of the season. Anthony McDonald is not fit enough to return this weekend but could make the squad for the Ross County game. Robbo summed up Sean's contribution perfectly:- “It’s not been confirmed yet but it’s certainly looking that way, we’re just waiting on the scan coming back. That’ll be a blow as Sean has been terrific for us all season and has been one of the unsung heroes, he’s in the team every week and he’s there for a reason because of the job he does for us. Saying that, it’s time for other players to step up now.” Ray McKinnon has no injury worries and had this squad out in the 1-1 draw with Partick. He said this about their current form: "We’ve lost once in our last nine games, our squad is looking good. We are strong and quick, the mentality is good and we’ve just got to go into every game to try and pick something up. We’re in decent form going into the business end of the season, but we’ll be taking absolutely nothing for granted". Don't forget your Scottish Cup semi-final tickets. Don't forget to buy your tickets for the SemiFinal against Hearts at Hampden. This may appear to be an alien concept, but always remember this, in space, no one can hear you scream. If you are sitting in your living room passing round the werther's originals and watching on TV, the lads won't be able to hear you. They have been brilliant to get this far in the cup and it's a great day out at the National Stadium. Be there or be square! Tickets for our William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final will be available for season ticket holders and shareholders on Monday 25th March from 10:00am. General sale will commence on Wednesday 27th March at 9:00am. Tickets will be available from the Club Shop and online from ictfc.tickethour.co.uk. The singing section for this game will be East Stand section G5. South Stand: £30 Adult, Concession £15 East Stand: £20 Adult, Concession £10 Concessions are available for supporters aged over 65 and supporters aged under 16 If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ FansBet have ICT @ 5/8 - Draw @ 11/4 and Falkirk @ 4/1. Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  7. Opportunity Knocks After back to back wins in the League plus a cup win over Dundee United, we welcome Clackmannanshire's finest, Alloa Athletic to the Caledonian Stadium. We will be looking to consolidate within the play-off places as Alloa try to extricate themselves from the foot of the table. The games are coming thick and fast at this time of the season as clubs play catch up due to the grim weather and fixture congestion. The Alloa game represents a great opportunity to knock on Ayr United's door for third spot, although the games against the Wasps have been tight affairs so far this season. After this one we have Falkirk, Ross County and Ayr United before we head to Hampden for the Scottish Cup semi-final against Hearts. Last game for us was a fine 2-1 win at Firhill where a Tom Walsh stunner saw us take all three points after Stuart Brannigan had equalised for Partick. Aaron Doran had opened the scoring with a well worked goal involving Jordan White and Aaron played a big part in the winner with a superb back flick for Walsh to volley home in spectacular style. Check out these goals......... Alloa battled hard at the weekend but came away with nothing when Nicky Clark scored a late winner for the Arabs to add to the own goal Andy Graham conceded in the first half. Jordan Kirkpatrick scored the opening goal for the Wasps early in the first half. After last weekends results, Inverness are now back in the top four with Dunfermline the nearest contender only two points behind. Alloa are battling it out at the wrong end of the table with four other teams trying to avoid the drop. Dunfermline v Dundee United play Tuesday night as well and it's Dunfermline v Ayr on Friday (TV) Somethings going to give The two games between the sides have ended in draws with our home game in August producing four goals, three penalties, an own goal, woodwork hit and a sending off. Aye it all happened here, and one of the penalties was missed (Coll hit the bar). Brad Mckay and Sean Welsh (pen) scored for Inverness and a George Oakley own goal and a late Iain Flannigan penalty gave Alloa a share of the spoils. And, just when you think it can't get any worse, ICTFC & Ross County fined £2500. Add to that some broken seats after the IrnBru Cup final thanks to Ross County fans then you just wonder where it's all going to end. We welcomed back Kevin McHattie and Tom Walsh to great effect against Partick with Walsh coming off the bench to score the winner. Nathan Austin has been used sparingly of late and could play a part. Alloa lined up like this against Dundee United :- Parry Robertson Taggart Graham Dick Shields Heatherington Flannigan Kirkpatrick Trouten Zanatta If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies. Don't forget to buy your tickets for the SemiFinal against Hearts at Hampden. Remember, no one can hear you scream if you are sitting in your living room passing round the werther's originals. The lads have been brilliant to get this far in the cup and it's a great day out at the National Stadium. Tickets for our William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final will be available for season ticket holders and shareholders on Monday 25th March from 10:00am. General sale will commence on Wednesday 27th March at 9:00am. Tickets will be available from the Club Shop and online from ictfc.tickethour.co.uk. The singing section for this game will be East Stand section G5. South Stand: £30 Adult, Concession £15 East Stand: £20 Adult, Concession £10 Concessions are available for supporters aged over 65 and supporters aged under 16
  8. Firhill for Thrills Final trip to Firhill for the season coming up on Friday night in the Championship, and if you can't get along to the game, fear not for BBC Scotland will be covering the game live with the action kicking off at 19:05. It won't be our last run to Glasgow though as we have a Scottish Cup semi-final to play at Hampden on April13th with a 12:15 kick-off. Who knew! Anyway, this is League business, a totally different beast. ICT Supporters Travel Club The ICT Supporters Travel Club are running a bus to this match and the leaving times are as follows: Leaving the Caley Club: 1.45PM Leaving the Caledonian Stadium: 2PM Book on through their Facebook page or call/text 07462 218717 Unfortunately, our off-field antics are fast becoming known as the 'banter years'. The AGM has just occurred and judging by the sound of silence coming from the board, it's more Disturbed than Simon & Garfunkel. In fact it could even be a Bridge over troubled waters. Chief executive officer Yvonne Crook gone. Academy director Danny MacDonald gone. Youth coach and head of recruitment Ronnie Duncan gone. Club Secretary Jim Falconer going................ With rumours that we are heading towards a one million pound debt, what is going on inside the Boardroom and what is going to be done about it? It's at this stage of the season that there are no such things as an easy game with teams either looking for promotion or trying to avoid relegation. This is when teams in the lower half tighten their defences and battle for everything. A drop into league two would be a disaster for most clubs. At the top end, it seems to be all over bar the shouting, but United made it more interesting with a win over County in midweek. As it stands at the moment, we are just outside the play-off's albeit with a home game in hand over the Pars, (Alloa). In our absence last weekend, Dunfermline were supposed to take on Dundee United at East End Park but the weather decimated the Championship fixtures. Our realistic goal is to make the top four although it's well within the grasp of Dunfermline and ourselves to topple Ayr should they continue to falter. Incidentally, out of our grasp but, Dundee United closed the gap at the top to eight points after beating Ross County at Tannadice thanks to an early headed goal from Calum Butcher. With County playing in the fizzy pop final this weekend, there is the potential for that gap to be further reduced. Getting interesting up there. Partick's last game saw them in a relegation threatened tussle with Falkirk, the only game to beat the weather and it ended in stalemate at 1-1. Scott McDonald put Partick ahead but Ian McShane squared it for the Bairns. Partick have also bowed out of the Scottish Cup, narrowly losing 2-1 in the replay against our next opponents, Hearts. The previous games this season will show that we hold the upper hand, just. A 3-2 home win back in September was followed by a barely deserved 1-0 win at Firhill in November, Tom Walsh nicking the winner in the 71st minute and Mark Ridgers making a penalty save. Partick came North at the beginning of February and first half goals from loan signing Steven Anderson and Aiden Fitzpatrick was just enough for them to edge the game 2-1 despite a late Darren McCauley goal. Here's the Walsh goal last time at Firhill The only good to come out of last weekends downtime is that our injured players had more recovery time. So Tom Walsh, Anthony McDonald, Kevin McHattie and Daniel Mckay let's be havin you, we have a Scottish Cup Semi coming up! Young Brazilian wing back Matheus Machado has shown up well in the Turkish training camp and will be included in the squad. Also returning after injury are Tom Walsh and Kevin McHattie. Partick's recent get out of jail signing 35 year old Scott McDonald has been doing his best to help Partick beat the drop and scored his third goal in six appearances. His experience will present a danger to our stuttering promotion aspirations. Gary Harkins is another experienced player drafted in to take the strain and he has skill in abundance. In our favour, they still have the misfiring Miles Storey. Here's what Partick Manager Gary Caldwell had to say to BBC Sport after the Falkirk game............. "That was frustrating because we played better than Falkirk and should have been more than one goal in front before losing a sloppy goal. "We were the only team trying to win the game in the second half, but we created our own problems. There was a lack of cutting edge from us and a lack of killing a team off when were were on top." Ooft, sounds familiar Gary........... If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Draw with goals 3/1.............. fair bet! Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  9. The Final installment GAME OFF! Another local derby coming up on Friday night with BBC Scotland getting in on the action from the Caledonian Stadium with Ross County the visitors for a 7:05pm kick off. It's the 6th and final Highland derby this season and every one of these games has been passionate, enthralling, dramatic and left the fans wanting more. Well, it's here, the next installment. There has been a pitch inspection asked for ahead of this game at 12:30 today after a week of constant rain has left the pitch the worse for wear. Here you can see a touch of dampness around the goalmouth which has affected the bounce of the ball...... AND IT'S GAME OFF. Our last game was a rewarding away fixture at Dumfries where we held Queen of the South at bay in the second half after we had come out of the blocks flying before the interval. Goals from Aaron Doran and Brad Mckay gave us a platform to build on but that never happened so we consolidated and kept Queens out with Mark Ridgers performing heroics in a challenging second half. That win was only good enough to keep us in fifth place with Dunfermline also winning to hold onto fourth position. Our Championship form has been somewhat patchy and that is why we have dropped out of the top four with Pars on a run akin to County's surge. Ross County have all but won the Championship and the teams below them are all playing for either a play-off place or relegation avoidance. A 2-0 home win over Morton at the weekend put them further ahead of second place Dundee United. Second half goals from Josh Mullin and Brian Graham secured the points. County faced a resurgent Falkirk on Tuesday night and raced into a 2-0 lead after twenty minutes with Brian Graham and Keith Watson both scoring headers. A late Falkirk penalty and Grivosti sending off made for a tense finale but County held on for all three points. That midweek victory over Falkirk gives County six wins on the bounce in the Championship. They have now opened up an eleven point gap to second placed Dundee United. Add to that, a win at Motherwell in the Scottish Cup and a couple of draws with us as well as a Challenge Cup win over East Fife, then it's easy to see why they are heading back to the Premiership. Their last league defeat was a 4-0 thrashing at Palmerston in mid-January. Our squad has been at the thin edge of the wedge recently with injuries to Kevin McHattie, Tom Walsh and Anthony McDonald. That has meant moving players around within our first choice squad. Joe Chalmers is one player who has benefited from his latest role coming in from the right and on to his sweet left foot as displayed by his stunning strike against Dundee United in the cup. County's depth of squad will not present them with any major issues as they sprint for the Championship tape. Billy Mckay is out for the rest of the season after breaking his arm whilst scoring a hat-trick against Ayr United recently. Mckay had scored 20 goals this season for County and was in fine form. He also won the Championship player of the month whilst wristing up with his stookie. Good luck with the recovery Billy. Iain Vigurs has been out for a few weeks and Tom Grivosti will be suspended. Callum Semple is a good bet to be in the squad. His gambling activities have been brought to the attention of the governing bodies and he will face a disciplinary hearing on March 28th. Street fighting, gambling, managers banned, inappropriate dressing room behaviour............It's all going down in Dingwall. There'll be a Netflix documentary out soon! Here's Polly looking ahead to tonight's game Good news is on short supply from the club at the moment, but here's some. Daniel McKay has penned a new three year deal at Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Daniel is one of the hot properties in the Scotland youth set-up and as John Robertson acknowledged on the Official Site he is a tremendous prospect. Robertson said: “Negotiations kicked in after he played his 25th game for the club. We’ve sat down with his agent and his parents to negotiate a new three year deal which will see Daniel continue to play his football in the Highlands.” “It’s another step which shows the youngsters are in our thoughts. It’s been an unlucky season for Dan, he’s picked up a lot of small injuries and he’s struggling a bit with a strain in his knee right now but hopefully this will give him a boost.” “He will be involved between now and the end of the season, and we hope he can kick on because we feel he is a tremendous prospect for the future.”
  10. Push for Promotion After the euphoria of a tremendous performance and result in the Scottish Cup win over Dundee United, it's back to the weekly chore of the Championship with a visit to Dumfries to take on Queen of the South. Yes folks, the push for promotion starts right here, right now, as we now find ourselves outside the play-off spot as we enter the final round of fixtures in the Championship. Plenty of action off the field at the Caledonian Stadium with CEO Yvonne Crook departing and our financial plight in the public domain. You can debate that and more on Caley Thistle Online. But we'll stick to the onfield activities just now with some crucial games coming up. Turnstile numbers for visiting fans, section of the ground BDS Digital (East) Stand section 6 has been set aside for away supporters. Turnstile 3 will be in use. Shared catering outlet and toilets in the BDS stand will be available for use. Catering is also available in the Arena café where a full menu is available before kick-off. The bar under the Gates Stand will also be open for refreshments. Please note that the BDS Stand ticket office is a CASH ONLY office. Should spectators wish to pay by card then they should purchase their tickets at the Arena ticket office. Adults - £18, Concessions - £10, Under 16 - £5, Adult Accessible - £8, Concession Accessible - £5, U16 Accessible - £3 It's our final game against Queen of the South for this season and there has been two draws and a win for Queens in the last one at Inverness. The most remarkable game was the 3-3 draw at Palmerston back in November. Lyndon Dykes, Stephen Dobbie and Josh Todd had Queens cigaring it. However, in a 10 minute burst, Inverness snatched a point and could have won it at the death. Goals from Jamie McCart, Nathan Austin and a Sean Welsh penalty squared the game and that was enough for a point. Speaking on the Doonhamers website, Gary Naysmith had this to say "We’ve lost six on the bounce now and that cold statistic doesn’t make good reading but it’s only part of the story because we’ve played well in nearly all of the games. I would be very concerned indeed if the performance levels were poor, but they’re not. The effort and the commitment in the games cannot be questioned. The players put in a really good shift again last weekend but the reoccurring problem is that we are not scoring goals when we are on top." Sounds familiar Gary! The table now shows that Dunfermline are in the final play-off spot after they beat Queens last week whilst we were on cup duty, albeit having played a game more, but it's points in the bag for the Pars. That's four wins on the trot for Dunfermline and they are one of the form teams in the League right now. Queens are the poorest side after six championship defeats in a row. The goals for and against for both clubs are similar, but with Stephen Dobbie in your side, those stats can change quickly. Our last game was the epic tie at Tannadice where we overcame United and a spot of diving to get into the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup where we will face the winners of the Hearts v Partick Thistle replay. Joe Chalmers scored our first with a sublime curling strike into the top corner and Aaron Doran won the game in time added on to stun the big home crowd. It was no more than we deserved though. How I wish we could take our cup passion into the Championship games. John Robertson has doubts over Tom Walsh and Anthony McDonald. Both missed the Arabs game through injury. Gary Naysmith will be without Josh Todd and Nicky Low. Both are out through injury. Robbo and Aaron talking ahead of the visit to Palmerston......... If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  11. Arabfest First game of the Dundee United double header tonight as we head to Tannadice on League business. The recent hectic schedule has been taking it's toll and our wafer thin squad is being stretched to the limit after some physically draining games since the turn of the year. Nonetheless we will need to protect our position within the play-off zone as we near the final rounds of Championship games. Off the field of play the financial side of things has taken a battering. On the park we are faring slightly better. Fourth in the table and a cup quarter final to look forward to. It's the 25th anniversary of Inverness Caledonian Thistle, but unfortunately, the off field financial situation is grabbing all the headlines at the moment with a massive loss of £810,000 being reported for season 2017/2018. It looks more like a Go Fund Me page will be incoming soon, and that's not really a joke. If you ask me, Robbo has worked wonders on a shoe-string budget and it looks as though that will get worse before it gets better. Chairmans Message The sides have met twice this season, both games ending in 1-1 draws. Safranko opened the scoring in the first game but Jordan White levelled with twenty minutes to go. Coll Donaldson was sent packing ten minutes from the end as we held on for a point. In the next fixture at Inverness in mid December Tom Walsh scored early for Inverness but former Caley Jags player Billy King equalised with quarter of an hour to go. Meh! Our last game was a 1-0 win over Morton. The result was better than the performance with Carl Tremarco notching the goal. United faltered against Dundee United at the weekend with the Bairns coming from behind to grab a draw. Cammie Smith had put United in front just after the break but Falkirk got their point when Ciaran McKenna's header powered home with five minutes remaining. Ross County face Ayr United tonight in a top of the table clash. Inverness will wait to see who is fit enough to start in this game. The Cup game follows on Sunday and that could be seen as more lucrative for Inverness, given the financial benefits of a Cup run to Hampden situation. With a five point cushion in fourth spot, that could pave the way for one or two to be rested tonight. Tom Walsh missed out against Morton and Jamie McCart went off injured. Coll Donaldson was supposed to be resting but was called into action and he too took a couple of heavy knocks. Maybe a chance for some of the youngsters that Mr Rae is talking about to stake a claim for a start. Dundee United have sufficient resources to not have to worry about who will be fit enough to start. Recent acquisition Peter Pawlett will feature tonight. Here's Robbo talking ahead of the Arabs Championship clash.
  12. Back to the weekly chore. Back to the mundane weekly chore on Saturday as Morton come North hoping we don't think they are Ross County. If only we could play Ross County every week. It was an exciting time to be alive on Tuesday night as Inverness finally got one over our dear friends and near neighbours in the Scottish Cup. It might have taken extra-time and penalties, but we got there in the end and dumped County out of the cup. Big team big cup, wee team wee cup. We will now face Dundee United at Tannadice in the Quarter Finals of the Scottish Cup on Sunday 3rd March, 15.30 kick-off. Adults £15, Concessions (Over 65s, Students, Under 18s and Under 12s) £5. Get your tickets HERE What an intense experience that was. Noisy crowd, four goals, eight bookings, a fracas in extra-time and Nathan Austin squeezing home the final penalty to win the tie. We have had greater achievements, but for sheer drama, this one will take a lot of beating. There has been nothing between the sides in all five games this season and the tension was palpable as the sides took to the field. County went ahead when Ross Stewart bounced in a header only for Jordan White to power one of his own behind Fox. Gobby Gardyne put County back in front but Jordan stroked in his second of the night. An extra thirty minutes failed to separate the sides although Carl Tremarco hit the junction of post and bar with a hooked shot and it was down to penalties. Mark Ridgers made the breakthrough as he saved McManus' spot kick and we slotted all five to put a smile back on the Caley Jags fans dials. The young team were our secret weapon as they rallied the troops in the North Stand. Overall it was a great night and here's hoping we can recreate the derby experience in a run of the mill Championship game. Morton limbered up for this game with a goalless draw against Ayr United last weekend whilst we were suffering at East End Park in a dire performance, going down to a Joe Thomson strike. Those results coupled with Queen of the South losing to Dundee United saw our play-off hopes suffer little damage and a win this weekend would put some more daylight between us and Morton who are only three points behind us at the moment. The cup tie in midweek was a hard battle and Tom Walsh was injured early on. It looks like he will miss this one with a groin injury although that has not been confirmed yet. The pace of the game took it's toll on the players and it was a survival of the fittest, both mentally and physically. Don't be surprised if one or two require more time to get over that game. Donaldson took a few knocks but was last man standing at the end. The heavy pitch took it's toll as well, so it's up to Robbo to see who has the desire, mental and physical ability to get back on the park again. Morton had this starting XI against Ayr United:- 23. McCrorie 8. McAlister 5. Waddell 4. Buchanan 3. Iredale 7. Millar 6. Telfer 15. Dykes 44. Dallas 11. McHugh 20. Kiltie Subs used: 17. O’Connell (for Dallas, 67), and 32. R.Lyon (for Dykes, 90+1) Here's another date for your diary. The IrnBru Cup Final will be played at the Caledonian Stadium on Saturday 23rd March with a 16:30 kick off. I suppose it's handy as the Cup is in our trophy cabinet anyway. The final will be between Ross County who will have to make the arduous 12 mile journey over the Kessock Bridge, and Connah's Quay Nomads from Wales who will only have to make the 400 mile trip which will take six and a half hours by car. Seems fair enough to me. Just so they know where they are going, here's Sophie's painting of our stadium. Here's a wee song to while away the hours for all the travelling folk. Our site sponsors FansBet will have some good odds for you to take advantage of this weekend. If you like a wee flutter, our new partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  13. The Groundhog Derby Yes, it's time for the Groundhog Derby. It's the fifth time these two clubs have met this season, and despite Inverness having played some of their best football of the campaign, we have only three draws and a defeat to show for our efforts. I fully expect Bill Murray to appear at one of these games with Sonny & Cher blaring out of the tannoy........They say we're young and we don't know, we won't find out till we grow............ This replay has come about after a thrilling 2-2 draw at Dingwall when Inverness were pegged back in time added on having led the Gadgies twice. Aaron Doran gave the visitors the lead but Ross Stewart levelled before Brad McKay restored our advantage. Josh Mullin was the man that broke the Caley Jags' hearts with that 91st minute equaliser which takes us back to the Caledonian Stadium for this replay......................I got you babe............... County are the team to beat in the Championship, and the IrnBru Cup. They are going along nicely with big spending Roy keeping them in credit whilst Inverness are the poor relations at the moment. That is beginning to show somewhat with the better depth of squad at Dingwall. We are a bit thin on the ground, and once you take three or four regulars out of the equation we struggle badly as at East End Park at the weekend. Fourth place in the league looks to be our target and that would be sufficient to get a play-off slot. Coll Donaldson and Liam Polworth missed the game at Dunfermline although Donaldson made the bench but was rested. Sean Welsh was benched for the most part, coming on with a couple of minutes left. We are having to play some players through the pain barrier with our replacements a bit off the pace at the moment. Darren McCauley is one of the strugglers and he was replaced for his own good after picking up an early booking and threatening to get a second before being subbed in the first half. County played an IrnBru Cup game against East Fife and that enabled them to rest one or two with this cup tie in mind. Their XI were just strong enough to get by East Fife and that puts County into the fizzy pop final. Maybe they can keep the cup in the Highlands. Robbo was not happy with our application at East End Park and has threatened changes, but that is not likely to be a major event given our lack of resources and the changes will probably involve the regular senior players starting. Mark Ridgers was partly at fault after an uncharacteristic error, but I would expect him to be in goal for this one. Hopefully Coll Donaldson will be back in central defence with Jamie McCart alongside him. That looks to be our best pairing and that will leave Shaun Rooney and Carl Tremarco as our wing backs. We really missed Polly at the weekend and fingers crossed he will return for the cup game. Chalmers, Welsh, Walsh and Doran are the next best across the midfield and wide areas with Jordan White and or Nathan Austin up front. That is an area of concern as strikers scoring goals is not a common feature for us at the moment. Daniel Mackay featured in a couple of u19 internationals last week. Maybe he could get a chance to feature at Inverness with our other strikers firing blanks just now. County have no major concerns ahead of this game. Site Admin Scotty has this to add from our site sponsors FANSBET Ahead of our replay against County, Fansbet are allowing CTO users to suggest what the special bet to be promoted on their site should be for the game next week ? If you want a specific special listed please put them in the thread on CTO and they will chose one at random, assign it odds and feature it before the game in the fan boosts section. : https://www.fansbet.com/en/betting/sports/fan-boosts/
  14. League Duty East End Park is the venue for tomorrow's Ladbroke Championship encounter with Dunfermline Athletic, three o'clock is the timeslot, and by five o'clock we should know the outcome. Championship football sandwiched between Scottish Cup derby's, Right eenuff mun. ICTFC Supporters Travel Club Dunfermline bus leaves Caley Club 10.15 Stadium 10.30. Book through Facebook or on 07462 218717. Dunfermline game -Tickets £18 - Concession £12 - U12 £5 It's an opportunity for both clubs to make inroads into their seasons target. For Inverness it's a chance to cement their position within the top four. For the Pars they could be in the peloton trying to close the gap to the pace setters as the end of season sprint nears. This will be the third Championship game between the clubs. The first saw Inverness win 3-0 at East End Park thanks to second half goals from Shaun Rooney, Liam Polworth and the now departed George Oakley. The return fixture at Inverness ended all square. The visitors went ahead through Aiden Keena. Riccardo Calder levelled only for Keena to score again, but big Jordan White squared the game again. All the goals coming in the first half this time. Our last outing was a fierce Scottish Cup tie at Dingwall where we once more looked the side most likely to win, but once more we were unable to hold onto a lead and Josh Mullin levelled in time added on when he beat the high defensive line we held. Aaron Doran scored a tremendous opener only for substitute Ross Stewart to pull County level. Brad Mckay slammed us in front before the late sickener that leads to a replay on Tuesday night at the Caledonian Stadium. Here's the goals from the cup game.............. The Pars last game was a home defeat at the hands of Ross County. On loan Aberdeen striker Bruce Anderson scored their goal but second half strikes from Billy Mckay and Michael Gardyne turned the game in County's favour. We sit fourth in the table with Dunfermline eight points behind us in seventh place. Defensively we are similar, but we have scored ten goals more. Dunfermline are without a win in their last four, Inverness have two wins. Here's the table. Coll Donaldson limped out of the cup game at Dingwall and must be a doubt. Tom Walsh, Mark Ridgers and Carl Tremarco came through it unscathed although it was a tough shift on a difficult night for football. Robbo was being a bit coy on the injury situation, but reading between the lines I would expect two or three changes to the line-up, given the cup game forthcoming on Tuesday night. Twenty six times capped former Scotland International left back Callum Davidson has joined the backroom staff as first team coach at EEP. He has been first team coach at Stoke City recently. Dunfermline had two former Inverness players in their starting XI last time out:- Ryan Scully; Ryan Williamson, Lee Ashcroft (c), Danny Devine, Jackson Longridge, Kallum Higginbotham, James Vincent, Joe Thomson, James Craigen, Bruce Anderson, Faissal El Bakhtaoui Here's Robbo and Anthony McDonald talking before the visit to Dunfermline.......... If you fancy some Matchday Hospitality at the Scottish Cup replay against @RossCounty on Tuesday 19th February, 19:45 kick-off, for £40pp including a welcome drink, curry with accompaniments and main stand seats from which to enjoy what is sure to be another great Derby! So, hurry for your curry!
  15. Cup of Cheer In a pulsating Cup derby Aaron Doran put the visitors ahead with a fantastic goal after thirteen minutes, firing home from range. It remained that way at the interval but substitute Ross Stewart pulled the tie level soon after coming on. Brad McKay lashed Inverness ahead but Josh Mullin squared it in time added on to send this tie to a replay on Tuesday 19th February. The draw took place after this game and here are the fixtures. Aberdeen v Rangers/Kilmarnock Dundee United v Inverness /Ross County Partick Thistle v Hearts Hibs v Celtic ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness boss John Robertson sprang a handful of surprises by giving starts to recent injury victims Mark Ridgers, Tom Walsh, Coll Donaldson, Carl Tremarco and Aaron Doran. Jordan White would spearhead the attack. Shaun Rooney made the bench along with Nathan Austin, and Darren McCauley. County's former Inverness players Billy Mckay and Ross Draper started for County along with Kenny Van Der Weg. The effervescent Michael Gardyne would be the provider with Brian Graham the target man. Josh Mullin and Declan McManus were on the bench. A cagey opening few minutes as both sides jockeyed for position was ended when Billy Mckay dipped an angled volley over the bar after five minutes. Inverness responded by winning a corner but the ball to the back post produced nothing and Michael Gardyne looked to be the danger man for the hosts as he forced a corner at the other end after a good run forward. Jamie Lindsay drilled a deep cross wide of the target from the corner. A bit of a midfield battle ensued as the sides struggled to get to grips with the game and Liam Polworth won a free kick as Van Der Weg handled on the edge of the box. Joe Chalmers forced Fox into an excellent save as he curled low to the near post, however the visitors kept the ball around the County box, and when Aaron Doran latched onto a headed pass forward from Tremarco some 25 yards out. He turned and whipped a vicious half volley low behind the outstretched Fox for a superb opening goal. Gardyne broke into the box after 25 minutes but his shot was blocked at the expense of a corner. Gardyne took it himself but Mark Ridgers came out to gather the cross confidently. Gardyne was at it again and his floated cross caused problems but was turned behind for a corner which Ridgers gathered again. It was Gardyne against Ridgers now and Mark turned a stabbed effort behind for a corner, diving low to his right. Inverness broke forward and Tom Walsh almost emulated Doran's strike but Fox made a brilliant diving save to deny Walsh a second Inverness goal. County were racking up the corners after a Brian Graham shot was deflected wide but again it came to nothing better than a free kick for the visitors. A ball forward saw Fox have to block from Tom Walsh as the Inverness wide player sped into the box and flicked the ball goalwards. A few moments later Walsh saw an effort deflected for a corner as the Caley Jags pressed for a second goal before the break. Yet another great break forward by Doran who fed Brad McKay but the wing back saw his cross cut out for a corner. As Inverness gathered momentum once more, the first half drew to a close with the visitors on top. Half Time 0-1 There were no changes at the interval and County would be playing towards the Jailend after the break, and that usually inspires them to greater things. Scott Fox had to make an unorthodox stop to deny a piledriver from Carl Tremarco, the keeper eventually keeping the ball out with his knees as the ball fizzed goalwards. Great effort from Tommy. Ross Stewart replaced the ineffective Brian Graham and within a couple of minutes he drew County level after some untidy midfield play saw Gardyne drive the ball into the box where Stewart volleyed home. Doran spurned a glorious chance to put Inverness back in front but he mistimed his header and sent it wide when he should have hit the target. It was end to end stuff now in typical derby cup-tie fashion. Liam Polworth flashed a powerful shot towards the County goal that was head deflected for a corner. From the resultant corner Brad McKay found the ball at his feet a few yards out and he smashed it high into the net. Walsh broke down the left but his shot was a bit ambitious and it went well wide. County won a free kick just outside the box after Chalmers upended the dangerous Gardyne, but after the shot was blocked County were penalised and the danger was over. Carl Tremarco was having a magnificent game at the back and was putting his body on the line time and time again as County threw balls into the box, but the wee man stood firm. Substitution for Inverness as Doran was replaced by former Coleraine player Darren McCauley as Ridgers mopped up another ball into the box. Almost a chance to get a third as a ball is flicked into the six yard box but it runs through to Fox. And as the rain started to fall a mistake at the back by County let Walsh speed forward. He lashed a shot to the top corner but Fox pulled off another great save to deny the Inverness man. Shaun Rooney had replaced the injured Coll Donaldson by now and we re-jigged at the back with Brad moving inside. A loose ball some 30 yards out found Chalmers but it was wasted and McManus wasted an effort at the other end. They would not be denied though as our defence parted and Substitute Josh Mullin squeezed the ball through the exposed Ridgers in time added on. A dangerous free kick by County was wasted as they looked to get ahead in added time with Inverness now hanging on a tad, but the late comeback by County was just enough to earn the Dingwall side a replay as time ran out. Inverness were best served by Aaron Doran, Tom Walsh, Coll Donaldson and Jamie McCart, but none better than Carl Tremarco. The biased Bill Dodds gave the TV MotM to Michael Gardyne who was undoubtedly County's most influential player. Another frustrating night for Inverness who have held the upper hand in all four derby's this season with little to show for it. On BBC Sport:- Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "It's just about being street-smart. They stopped. "You just keep defending but they've let Josh Mullin through and he's scored. That sums up our season. We've been in the lead and given away a goal at the end. We now have a replay to play so we'll just get on with it. "We felt we were getting close to that third goal which would have finished the game off. We didn't see where their goal was going to come from. That's the difference. That's why we're fourth in the league and County are top." Ross County co-manager Steven Ferguson: "We always felt there would be one more chance in the game. Josh is well onside and does great to finish it. "The players never know when they're beaten. Sometimes it's not pretty and you have to put your shoulder to the wheel and the players deserve all the credit for that. "I don't think either us would have wanted a replay. We're delighted we're still in the hat." Robbo after the event.............. Date: 11/02/2019 Venue: Global Energy Stadium, Dingwall Attendance: 2800 Referee: John Beaton Ross County: 2 Lineup: Fox; Fraser, Boyle, Watson, Draper, Lindsay (McManus 86), Van Der Weg, Gardyne, Spence (Mullin 67), Graham (Stewart 55), Mckay. Subs (not used): Munro; Grivosti, Murray, Wallace, Scorers: Stewart (55), Mullin (90+1) Booked: Watson (68) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson (Rooney 80), McCart, Tremarco, Chalmers, Walsh (Trafford 85), Polworth, Welsh, Doran (McCauley 77), White Subs (not used): C Mackay; McHattie, Austin, MacGregor, . Scorers: Doran (13), B Mckay (65) Booked: Welsh (25), Chalmers (77) Sent Off: none a
  16. CUP DERBY AGAIN How about that, another chance to relive the 2012 Highland derby cup game at Dingwall where many a pundit had the game all over after 93 minutes when Richard Brittain put the Staggies ahead. Butcher's boys had other ideas and Richie Foran had the last laugh when he knocked in the equaliser two minutes later. Inverness would go on to win the replay at the Caledonian Stadium. That game saw Billy Mckay score a superb volley to open the scoring for Inverness. Rocco Quinn levelled with a dipping 20 yard strike. Inverness went back in front when Mckay's shot deflected off Foran's bottom. He made an arse of a few things did Richie, but he had the cheek to get that one right. Bad boy Iain Vigurs restored parity when his effort took a massive deflection to go up and over the keeper and into the net. Foran's equaliser did not best please Derek Adams, the Inverness support were delighted though. Of course it's just past the 19th anniversary of the Parkhead SuperCaleywentballistic evening when we put Celtic out of the Scottish Cup on their own patch. We would go on to put them out of the cup twice more since then and go on to win the trophy, something County have yet to achieve. County are looking like title favourites in the Championship and have taken five points out of nine in the derby's this season with Inverness managing only two despite dominating for large parts in all three games. Inverness look like they might hang on to the final play-off position in fourth place. That seems to be our best option given our smaller squad. However, this is cup football and anything can happen as Ellie Goulding would say. Home advantage won't count for much as the Inverness travelling support at Dingwall is always very vocal and committed to the cause. Injuries have disrupted our climb up the league of late and our display against Partick Thistle last weekend was nothing short of criminal. An error strewn first half gifted Partick a two goal cushion that we never quite managed to overhaul. Other results below us meant we remained in fourth place. County sit top of the table by three points after a 2-1 win at East End Park, goals by Billy Mckay and Michael Gardyne overcoming a half-time deficit. John Robertson will be hoping that his injury list is shrinking. Mark Ridgers could return to action and Coll Donaldson will be looking to start this week after playing 45 minutes against Partick. Tom Walsh could be a surprise inclusion to the squad. Darren McCauley got off the mark against Partick but is maybe not up to full speed yet. Aaron Doran missed out last week as did Daniel Mackay. I suspect Iain Vigurs won't feature after his misdemeanour at an Inverness nightclub, allegedly. One of his bosses will be joining him in the stands as Stuart Kettlewell has a six game ban for his disgraceful behaviour at Greenock. What on earth are they teaching them in Dingwall? County have a riches of depth to their squad and any missing players will be easily replaced. Here's Mark the goalie talking ahead of the cup clash...... We are ahead already. Crossbar Challenge, we'll take it. Robbo's no speaking to the fans, so here's Scott Kellacher.........
  17. By George, he's off Struggling Partick Thistle come North on Saturday to the sponsorless and Georgeless Caledonian Stadium, looking to get themselves away from the relegation battle at the foot of the table. It's a great opportunity for Inverness as well as they look to consolidate their position within the top four and keep on the heels of Dundee United whilst making sure the teams below stay there. One man who won't be at the stadium is George Oakley. He was a surprise departure on the final night of the transfer window, leaving for the metropolis of the Eastern Block landscapes of Hamilton. @George_Oakley23 had this to say to the Inverness fans on twitter. Just want to say a massive thank you to everyone @ICTFC for everything they have done with me for the past year and half! Great club and the fans were amazing for me from the day I joined! But I am looking forward to this new challenge with @acciesfc can’t wait to get started👊🏻🔴 Wow! That's a sign of the times as we can't even compete with Hamilton Accies for the signature of a player. Is this the beginning of the end for Inverness Caledonian Thistle? Have the club really got such a lack of ambition that we can't hold on to one of our three strikers? Has George got the talent to succeed on the plastic pitch at Accies? Or, was it a shrewd bit of business to get rid of an injury prone second rate striker whose contract runs out in the summer and we can get some pennies before it's too late. To be honest, the jury is out on the CTO website. Many blame the board but some are coming round to the fact that it might be for the best. It all depends if your glass is half empty or half full I suppose. Plenty of uncertainty on the forums. Here's a selection of the concerns:- "As we are skint then I'm not surprised we took cash for Oakley, we are however left relying on White and Austin, (if fit), as our senior strikers." "We are skint! Also appears we have no real ambition anymore. Gutted." "Well this is depressing news. Ambition - not..." "Easily the best of our strikers allowed to leave for peanuts no doubt. FFS the squad was small enough already without losing any more players." "Well that’s pretty $hit news. Are we now relying on injury prone Austin. Jordan White and two youngsters in McGregor and Mackay." And some almost positive comments:- "Can’t say I’ve ever found myself thinking that Oakley is too good for this league and should be playing at a higher level." "from what I saw last season I didn't think Oakley was that good a striker. He certainly wasn't the sort of striker who would fire you to the title in this league. He was also out of contract at the end of the season and if we thought he wasn't going to re-sign and isn't a starter then cashing in, even if it'll be pennies in the scheme of things, could be the right thing to do." "Slightly shocked, but he's out of Contract at the end of the season, (and the small fee probably covers the laundry bill) anyway I think McCauley can do a job for us in his place." This one sums it up as far as I am concerned "The fact that players see moving to Accies from us as a step up is hardly a laughing matter and is a sad indictment of where we are these days." Anyway, thanks for the effort George and Good luck at Hamilton, I think you will need it. George Joins Accies The other big talking point this week is that the club are looking for a new sponsor for the Stadium and what it will be named now that ownership has been secured. I don't suppose it will be called the George Oakley Arena now. The Harry Gow Dream Ring is a popular one though. Others already in the bin are The Dump, The Stadium of Shite, The Richie Foran Arena of Excellence, The House of Hughes. Here's the official take on the stadium deal. Read about it HERE Meanwhile, there's a game to be won on Saturday. We played Ayr United on Tuesday night and came away with all three points after we blitzed Ayr in the opening twenty minutes. We found ourselves 3-0 up with goals from Nathan Austin (2) and a Liam Polworth belter. Ian McCall changed his side at the interval and we were immediately on the back foot when the hosts scored early in the second half through Declan McDaid. Lawrence Shankland got the nerves jangling when he banged in a deflected free kick to set up a tense ending but we held on for a valuable three points. That was on the back of a 2-2 draw at Falkirk last Saturday when we were pegged back twice. It could be a great week for us on the park should we take the points tomorrow. Partick won their first League game in six since they beat The Pars 2-0 on the 8th of December. They beat our recent conquerors Queen of the South 2-1 thanks to goals from Joe Cardle and Miles Storey. That moved them off the bottom of the table one point above Falkirk. The games between the sides this season have resulted in six points for Inverness. A 3-2 win in the Highlands was followed by a 1-0 win at Firhill. Both tight games but scorer at Firhill, Tom Walsh is out with a broken foot. We survived a late fightback in the first game after White, Rooney and a Welsh (pen) put us 3-0 ahead. Last ten minute goals from Blair Spittal and Kris Doolan almost snatched a point for Partick but they fell just short. ICT 3-2 Partick from September Inverness will obviously be without Oakley and the injured Coll Donaldson, Tom Walsh and possibly Aaron Doran. Look for new signings Darren McCauley and Anthony McDonlad to be more involved tomorrow. Mark Ridgers has missed the last two games with a back problem with young Cammy Mackay deputising, and he put in a decent performance at Ayr. Here he is talking ahead of the Partick game............. Partick will be without the injured Joe Cardle. Gary Caldwell was speaking on the Partick Thistle website about the ins and outs:- “We set the target before January started of coming out of the window a stronger side than we were when we went into the window and I think we can definitely say that is the case. We have strengthened the core of the side with a goalkeeper, a centre back, a central midfielder and two strikers coming into the Club. On top of that we’ve got some great creativity in Joe Cardle and some additional versatility at the back in the form of Jack McMillan.
  18. Let's go fly a kite.... Somerset Park Ayr is the venue on Tuesday night in this re-arranged fixture after the original date was called off less than an hour before kick-off due to high winds. Unfortunately many Inverness fans had already made the five hour journey only to be met with the news they didn't want to hear. And it could be Deja Vu with a pitch inspection planned for 11:30am after a week of rain in Ayrshire. 🌧️ The ICT Supporters Travel Club is running a bus to this match. The Bus leaves the Caley Club at 13:45 and the Stadium at 14:00. The Bus can be booked by text on 07462218717 or through their Facebook page. The original game was due to be played on the 7th December, but strong winds forced the postponement with teams and fans already at the stadium. Since the postponement, Ayr have had three draws, three defeats and one win on Saturday against Dundee United, Craig Moore scoring early. Falkirk and Inverness were Championship winners but the surprising defeat was to Auchinleck Talbot in the Scottish Cup. Prior to the game that was called off, Ayr were sitting on top of the League. They were knocked off their perch as County turned the screw, but had managed to get back on top before Saturday when County won to regain the lead although Ayr have a game in hand, this one against the Caley Jags. We have blown hot and cold recently and since the postponement have three wins, two defeats and two draws. The biggest win was a 4-0 defeat of Lowland League leaders East Kilbride in the cup. The two disappointing losses were the Highland derby and a home defeat by Queen of the South. The first meeting of the season saw Inverness fail to get the better of ten man Ayr, Liam Polworth missing the target from the spot. We did keep Shankland fairly quiet in that game, but even with ten men Ayr were still a threat on the break, the game ended 0-0. The last time we met a couple of weeks ago we managed to get the better of Ayr thanks to a header from Jordan White, a rare home win for the Caley Jags this term. Inverness fielded their two new signings at the weekend, both coming off the bench in a 2-2 draw at Falkirk. Mark Ridgers was unable to play due to a back spasm and Cammy Mackay deputised in goal. Unfortunately that probably contributed to Falkirk's second goal resulting in a couple of points dropped. Disappointing result really as we led twice but our attacking intent was evident and Aaron Doran's stunning strike was worth all three points. Three of our most influential players were missing at Falkirk. Coll Donaldson and Tom Walsh are out for over a month unfortunately. Ridgers will hopefully be over his back problem soon. The introduction of Darren McCauley and Anthony McDonald will give the squad a lift though and Jamie McCart has proven to be an able deputy for Coll. Aaron Doran pulled up at Falkirk with a possible hamstring injury and might be out for a couple of games. Ayr have scoring sensation Lawrence Shankland back in action after he missed a few games. Craig Moore and Michael Moffat have shown that Ayr are not a one man team though. Geggan and Forrest are out, but Kerr and Adams are almost there. It's a pity Aaron Doran is out as he has been getting back to his best recently. Here's what he is capable of. Here's new Inverness signing Darren McCauley talking ahead of the Ayr United game........... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you like a wee flutter, our new partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  19. Bairns Bash Inverness travel to second bottom Falkirk on Saturday knowing they will be in for a tough test. The Bairns had come North at the start of December and ended our 25 game unbeaten run by going away with all three points in a five goal tussle. Inverness CT fans will be housed in Section H of the Main Stand for this one at the Bairnabeu. Falkirk Club Shop will be open from 09:00 – Kick Off on Saturday for those wishing to purchase in person. Weather for the Falkirk area is expected to be heavy rain at times with a moderate breeze.🌧️ Falkirks last two results were a 1-0 win at Ayr United and a 1-1 draw against Partick Thistle at Firhill. Rangers loanee Zak Rudden is the man who earned the points with a second half goal against Ayr and an equaliser at Firhill. Rudden had scored twice when Falkirk won 3-2 at the Caledonian Stadium before Scott Harrison won the game with a 93rd minute goal. Tom Walsh and George Oakley were the Inverness scorers. The first encounter of the season was the opening fixture in the Championship. The Caley Jags took the points then as George Oakley fired home after only ten minutes. Would that be the start of a promotion chasing season? Well, maybe not yet, but we are still in the hunt for a play-off place and I'm sure Falkirk would happily exchange places with us given their faltering campaign. Our last league game was a deserved win over title chasing Ayr United thanks to a strike from Jordan White. Last weekend we comfortably disposed of East Kilbride 4-0 in the Scottish Cup. Goals from White, Aaron Doran, Liam Polworth and an og put us into the last sixteen. Falkirk were idle having already been dumped out of the cup in a surprising 4-2 defeat by neighbours Stenhousemuir. Rudden is certainly one to watch. He has scored eight goals this season, including a brace against Inverness. He has also been capped for Scotland at u16/17/19 level. All this and he he was only born two days before we knocked Celtic out of the Scottish Cup in 2000. John Robertson has moved into the transfer market and snapped up the Coleraine wide midfielder Darren MacCauley. The 27 year old scored 20 goals last season for Coleraine with 10 assists. He has scored 7 league goals this term. Darren was once a trainee at Celtic, but we won't hold that against him. Also signing on loan for the rest of the season is Hearts youngster Anthony McDonald pictured in his Jambo's strip. McDonald is 17 years old and is one of the promising young players at Hearts. He has made a total of 21 appearances for the Jam Tarts and has been capped for Scotland at U16 and U17 level. Good luck at the Caley Jags Darren and Anthony Striker Jordan White has been talking about his medical issues in the press and fair play to the big man he has battled through it to get where he is today. Talking on the BBC Sport website, Kenny Crawford has written this article "One night during pre-season, I woke up and just couldn't move my legs." Have a read and maybe we can all understand what Jordan has gone through. Inverness have been dealt a double injury blow with Coll Donaldson (groin) and Tom Walsh (foot) out for over a month. Both missed the win over Ayr United last weekend. Jamie McCart is a ready made replacement for Donaldson and it looks as though Darren McCauley will be able to fill the gap left by the injured Tom Walsh. Anthony McDonald will be available for selection for tomorrow’s trip to Falkirk. Darren's inclusion will depend on whether his international clearance has been received. Falkirk have been busy in the transfer market as they look to get away from the foot of the table. Goalkeeper Harry Burgoyne has signed on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers for the rest of the season. The 6ft 4″ stopper has made a total of seven first team appearances for the Premier League side. Paul Dixon was also brought in before New Year. Former Partick Thistle captain 31 year old Abdul Osman was the second signing after Dixon. Motherwell pair Ross MacLean and Ian McShane soon followed. In fact there are too many to fit on the preview and not even the Bairns fans know what their team looks like now. Viva la Rayvolution! Here's Nathan Austin speaking ahead of the Falkirk clash Latest News The Friday night Championship game at Somerset Park ended Ayr 1-0 Dundee United. That result has put Ayr back to the top of the table on goal difference thanks to a fourth minute goal from Craig Moore. Dundee United ended the game with ten men when Morgaro Gomis was red carded in the 89th minute. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Scottish Cup V Ross County In their wisdom, the powers that be have determined that 7:15 on Monday night the 11th of February will be the date for the Highland Scottish Cup derby at Dingwall. It's not a great choice for the fixture and it looks like the SFA have bowed to the TV companies to fit this tie in for their schedules. Fans aren't given much consideration and I fear this may diminish some of the atmosphere in what should be a cracking game. Prices have been set at Adult £15 Concession £10 Under 12 £5 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you like a wee flutter, our new partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  20. Honest Men come North It's heading towards Tam O' Shanter time as the Honest Men head North to tackle the Chapman Billies at the Caledonian Stadium in Inverness. Ayr have been a revelation this term and a breath of fresh Ayr has certainly breathed some life into the Championship with Lawrance Shankland being one of the reasons they sit at the business end of the table. They sit second in the League only three points behind County. Ayr thrashed Dundee United 5-0 at Tannadice at the end of November, but since then they have drawn three and lost last week against Falkirk. Top scorer Lawrance Shankland missed that one and looks like missing out again. Our last two games have ended in defeat. We went down 2-1 in the Highland derby and threw away a lead against Queen of the South last week as two goals in a minute turned the game on it's head. It was a similar tale in the derby where we had the better of the game but ended up losing all three points, sums up the season so far. Due to a postponement at Somerset Park, we have only played Ayr once. That game ended goalless despite Ayr being reduced to ten men when Daniel Harvie was sent off in the first half. Ayr have a plethora of possible call offs which could include Lawrance Shankland, Mark Kerr, and Liam Smith . Andrew Geggan is back after suspension but midfielder Andrew Murdoch has reached the yellow card threshold and misses this game. Jamie Adams and Alan Forrest will definitely be out. For Inverness, Shaun Rooney serves the second of his two match ban and Brad Mckay has to serve a one match ban for accumulated bookings. Rumours also abound that possibly as many as three unnamed players might be down with the flu. Kevin McHattie could be involved given that at least two of our first choice defenders are out. George Oakley is still sidelined. Back up keeper Daniel Hoban has been loaned out to Forfar Athletic for the remainder of the season. Keeper Cammy Mackay has returned from Rothes and will cover for Mark Ridgers when required. Here's Kevin McHattie talking ahead of tomorrow's game. The Official Digital Online Programme is available HERE I asked the Bard for a prediction, he came up with this:- “The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men, Gang aft agley. An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain, For promis'd joy! In other words, it might not go to plan, which might annoy the fans................ Thanks Robbie. Another draw it is then! He also had some advice for Robbo:- “O, wad some Power the giftie gie us To see oursels as others see us! It wad frae monie a blunder free us, An' foolish notion.” Aye, well said Robbie, I'm sure our own Robbo will take that on board bard. Enjoy yer haggis & neeps peeps. If you like a wee flutter, our new partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  21. New Year, Old Habits These two sides have had twenty draws between them this season and it was heading that way until Tom Walsh opened the scoring with twenty minutes left. However, Queens snatched victory from the jaws of defeat when they scored twice inside a minute through Scott Mercer and Stephen Dobbie to take all three points back to Dumfries. I'm afraid we have carried last years bad habits into the New Year and look like a side lacking the confidence to go all the way. Carl Tremarco returned to left back after injury with Brad Mckay moving to right back and Jamie McCart in central defence. George Oakley was still injured and along with Daniel Mackay was not risked. Queens had new signings Nicky Low on from the start with Barry McGuire on the bench and Stephen Dobbie the main striker looking for his 30th goal of the season. The Dumfries men were playing in their Claret and Amber away strip for this game. RIG has seen it all before and here is his match report................... So predictable. The sick twist was obviously conceding a winner but as hard as it was to take it's hard to argue with the result. The usual ICT traits from this season were evident - have a fair amount of the ball, don't create a lot of chances, miss the few chances we do create, score, start to stand off the opposition, defend deeper, defend deeper still, even more deeper, concede, try and get a winner. Queens best chance of the first half came when Todd found himself in a bit of space in the box but his low drive was repelled by Ridgers who got down well to divert the ball round the post. ICT struggled to create much of note as we seldom were able to attack with any real pace and incision and the Queens defence easily stood firm for most of the first half. Polworth did get some space in the box and should have done better than trundle the ball straight at Martin. Shortly after, White found himself 1on1 with Martin but a lack of composure saw the keeper block his shot. The closest ICT came to scoring was when Welsh stood up a cross to the back post and Walsh arrived to header it back towards goal but the ball came off the bar and neither White or Doran were able to force it in from close range before it was cleared. A free kick from Polworth looked like it had gone in but sadly it skimmed the roof of the net. Sit down shut-up! Into the second half and ICT started on the front foot. Chalmers found some space on the left flank and he sent in a lovely cross which just evaded White. An even better chance was passed up by McKay when he somehow failed to connect with a cross at the back post appearing to lose sight of the ball after Donaldson's glanced header had come back off the base of the post and landed at Brad's feet half a yard out. There was then a quite bizarre and hilarious moment when Dykes refused to give the ball back to Donaldson who wrestled with him for a second which left Dykes rolling around on the floor in a heap holding on to the ball. Dykes continued to roll away from Donaldson still clutching the ball delaying the free kick. With twenty minutes remaining, Tom Walsh volleyed home after Carl Tremarco got a second bite at crossing into the box. Jordan White's head managed to guide it back into the mix and Walsh finished with aplomb. Walsh had perhaps our best chance to extend our lead, and possibly kill the game, when he drilled a fierce shot that swerved and dipped before the Queens keeper fisted it (oo er) clear. Thereafter it was classic ICT as we decided to sit back as Queens pressured us. Out balls to White and Austin weren't sticking and any clearance from our defence was quickly retrieved and a new attacking phase started. Eventually the Queens pressure told when Marshall skipped down the ICT right and burst into the box and his low cross was met by Mercer who had ghosted in from the right to equalise from close range. Before you knew it Queens had scored a second. McKay contrived to give the ball away in the right back area and Dobbie was on to it like a flash. Cutting inside he then shot back across goal past a despairing Ridgers who flung himself to the right but couldn't stop the ball and suddenly the Doonhamers were 2-1 up. There was a late chance for ICT when White set up Walsh at the edge of the box but his tame effort was easily handled. Right at the death White challenged for a ball on the edge of the box, it fell kindly for Walsh with his back to goal and he whipped a fierce volley just wide and shortly after the whistle went and ICT had, as too often this season, blown a lead and have only themselves to blame. RednBlackComeback said:- Am I trapped in some kind of parallel universe where I've to sit through the same pi$$ poor, action replay, performance every other week? Go 1-0 ahead then proceed to switch off and throw the game away. Does nobody in this team/management learn from their mistakes? Too many of this team look completely disinterested in winning games. The performance again today was ponderous and lethargic and lacked imagination, just as almost every other game I've witnessed this season. No point in raising your game for the local derbies but not bothering your ar$e for the bread-n-butter games! More match reaction and video to follow............... Barry Wilson was left to explain why we lacked conviction and belief..... It goes without saying really, but Gary Naysmith was delighted........... Nicky Low made his debut and was also chuffed................ Date: 05/01/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2225 Referee: Barry Cook Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco (McHattie 88), Walsh, Polworth (MacGregor 88), Chalmers, Doran (Austin 64), Welsh, White Subs (not used): Hoban; Trafford, Nicolson. Scorers: Walsh (69) Booked: McCart (56), Polworth (64) Sent Off: none Queen of the South: 2 Lineup: Martin; Mercer, Fordyce, Semple, Marshall, Low (Frizzell 84), Jacobs,Todd, Doyle (Stirling 74), Dykes, Dobbie (Maguire 88) Subs (not used): Leighfield, Bell, Murray. Scorers: Mercer (83), Dobbie (84) Booked: Marshall (66) Sent Off: none a
  22. Play-Off rivals clash Queen of the South are the first footers on Saturday as the year 2019 comes into view, 2018 proving to be a tentative one for the Caley Jags as they seek to keep themselves in a play-off spot. Along with Morton and Dunfermline, Queens pose an immediate threat to our stuttering chances of achieving our goal and remaining in the top four, although should any of the other clubs go on a run they would also come into contention. Stephen Dobbie has missed a few games recently but returned last Saturday in the 0-0 draw with Ayr United when the Championships top two strikers drew a blank. Gary Naysmith said on the QotS website " I was really happy with the lads last weekend, they showed the great character and spirit that they have and gave their all to grind out a result. Ayr maybe had more of the ball but we had the better chances to score on the day. That's three times we've played Ayr now and still have the upper hand with a win and two draws so the boys deserve a lot of credit. That result coupled with County stealing the Highland derby means that the Dingwall side now head the table by three points from Ayr United with Dundee United third and Inverness clinging on to fourth, just. (We drop down to 5th with Morton beating County 1-0 last night). We wuz robbed! Yes, that's how it felt after the bell went and the dust settled in Dingwall. A late goal from Ross Stewart snatched an unlikely three points for County after Inverness had dominated for long spells. Despite having the better opportunities, our lack of a clinical striker was evident once more and we only managed a first half goal through Jordan White, his 100th senior goal. Billy Mckay must have wanted to score and he did just that, the wee scamp that he is. However, due to Scott Fox having a good day and our forwards having a normal day then we failed to take advantage and it cost us dear. There was also a double sending off for a spot of fisticuffs. Perennial cheat Brian Graham was sent packing for assaulting a couple of Caley Jags players and it appears that Shaun Rooney was caught returning the favour. With that in mind, Rooney will be unavailable to face his old Doonhamer pals. Both of the previous games this season have ended in draws. There were no hints that this fixture could produce some excitement back in September when a Gary Harkins inspired Queens drew with an uninspired Inverness. The return fixture at Palmerston was full of action though as Queens raced into a 3-0 lead on the 17th November. Goals from Lyndon Dykes, Stephen Dobbie and Josh Todd saw them cruising on the hour. Twenty minutes later it was all square as Jamie McCart, Tom Walsh and a Sean Welsh penalty pulled us level and we almost won it at the end. Spectacular stuff and a repeat of that entertainment will please most. Queens and Gary Harkins have parted company. The talented and experienced midfield general has decided that Partick Thistle is where he will see out his time. Former Dundee and Aberdeen midfielder Nicky Low has joined the Doonhamers and he will be seen as a straight replacement for Harkins. Look out, we could be 'on the eve of destruction' as Barry Maguire has also signed on at Palmerston. What! Sorry wrong Barry; this one is a central defender joining from Motherwell and highly thought of at that. If he won't 'destruct' us, then this man is well capable of doing so on his own. Stephen Dobbie has just returned after injury and will be a massive threat. As mentioned earlier, Shaun Rooney will be suspended for his part in the Global Energy UFC bout. Carl Tremarco made the bench that day but was not risked at Dingwall. Unsurprisingly, we now have to move the back four around to cover for Rooney, so I would expect Tremarco to feature at left back with Jamie McCart returning to central defence which will release Brad Mckay to right back. However, we now have a new name to throw into the hat for a starting berth. Kevin McHattie has joined from Derry City. The 25 year old is primarily a left back and has previously played for Hearts, Kilmarnock and Raith Rovers and has had a loan spell at Alloa Athletic. Therefore should Carl Tremarco not be 100% fit then McHattie could make his Caley Jags debut. George Oakley missed the derby after twisting his knee in training but could return to the offense if he has shaken off the injury. Daniel Mackay and Roddy MacGregor could also get more game time as youth begins to surface with the purse strings tightening. tm4tj prediction:- I'd almost given up on doing predictions as a draw was the most likely outcome. We seem to be slightly more suited to playing away from home, therefore if we can keep Stephen Dobbie quiet then I'll go for another draw. The Official Preview & Digital Match Programme can be found HERE If you like a wee flutter, our new partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  23. Derby Day No3 It's the Highland Derby up next where Inverness take on table topping Ross County at Dingwall on Saturday. Ross County climbed to the top of the table last week after beating PartickThistle 2-0 at the Global Energy Stadium. A penalty from Billy Mckay and a late Ross Stewart strike were enough to see off the struggling Glasgow side. Inverness went back into the top four after a narrow 1-2 win at Cappielow, only our fifth League win of the season. An early Tom Walsh goal and a second from Aaron Doran with a header should have opened the floodgates against ten man Morton. However, in typical Caley Jags style we were left hanging on a bit towards the end in a game we dominated earlier and had missed a penalty when Sean Welsh beat the keeper but smacked the post in the first half. So, all to play for in the Highland Derby. There has been two already this season and despite Inverness dominating most of the 180 minutes, both games ended in draws. The first one at Dingwall saw Inverness hold the upper hand for seventy minutes but County finished the game stronger although it ended goalless. The return at the Caledonian Stadium was a pulsating game where a rifled Jamie Lindsay shot opened the scoring. George Oakley drew Inverness level a couple of minutes later with a spectacular volley and Shaun Rooney stroked the Caley Jags back in front. However, fortune favours the brave and Billy Mckay chased a ball down the left before cutting across the bye-line. Unfortunately Brad Mckay thought he could clear it but only succeeded in knocking it behind Mark Ridgers. That all happened in the first half and there was no further scoring after the interval, although Liam Polworth should have done better than hit the post after being teed up by Aaron Doran. The game ended 2-2 and it was a great advert for football in the North. Inverness will be pretty much as they have been for the last few weeks with Jamie McCart successfully covering for the absent Carl Tremarco, although Carl will be included in the squad but is not match fit yet. It's a toss up between George Oakley and Jordan White as to who will lead the line, form seems to be favouring Oakley at the moment Liam Polworth has blossomed in these derby's and was instrumental in the win at Greenock last week. Mark Ridgers has been in tremendous form as well and could be a busy man on Saturday. County have Billy Mckay scoring again, even from the penalty spot, and he is always a handful around the box. Should he be fit, the enigma that is Iain Vigurs could hold the key to which side dominates the midfield. It all depends which one turns up, the silky skillful footballer, or the cynical hatchet man with the petulant attitude. We saw both sides of Vigurs when he played for Inverness. He has a foot injury and may not be available. The other one to cause concern is Michael Gardyne who is also recovering from injury and can cause havoc when running at a defence. Like Tremarco, he might not be fully fit either. It would be a brave man to call this one. County would have to be seen as favourites given the home ground and the wealth of talent at their disposal. Inverness by comparison are being run on a shoe string with barely enough players to fill the bench. However, a draw might be the most likely outcome after witnessing the first two games where Inverness held their own and more. Ross County v ICTFC Saturday 29th December 3PM Kick-off Adults- £20, Concession £10 and Under 18s £5 Our initial allocation for Saturday's Highland Derby against Ross County has now SOLD OUT. Away Tickets will be available on Saturday from 9am at The Global Energy Stadium on a first come first serve basis. If you like a wee flutter, our new partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/  Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  24. Tis the season to be jolly Off to Cappielow this weekend where Inverness visit Greenock Morton as the sides battle it out for mid table supremacy with only one point separating the sides. Yes, it's Xmas time and everyone's letting their hair down a bit, but bah humbug, there's always someone who spoils it for the rest. Yep, even the Caley Jags players have been chastised for some offensive carol singing and don't be looking for your Xmas card this year, Scrooge has tied the purse strings........... The ICT Supporters Travel Club are running a bus to this game. It leaves the Caley Club 9.45 Stadium 10.00, book on their Facebook page HERE or text your name to 07462218717. For Inverness fans travelling to Cappielow from Greenock Morton Wheelchair users pay concession but carer is free. One carer per wheelchair user unless there are special requirements for another carer. This is due to limited space. Wheelchair users and carers enter via main stand entrance in Sinclair Street. The wheelchair area is shared with home fans and is under cover although rain can enter depending on wind direction. Supporters will be accommodated in Sections F&G of the Main Stand. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket booth beside the Main Stand turnstiles in Sinclair Street. Supporters buses drop-off and pick-up is East Hamilton Street (A8 dual carriageway) outside Arnold Clark showroom. Supporters buses can park free within the main car park accessed from the A8/Sinclair Street junction. Bus drivers must ensure they leave the main car park at least 15 minutes prior to the end of match to uplift supporters on East Hamilton Street outside Arnold Clark’s showroom. Car parking is charged at £3 and accessed from the above entrance. Please note that all vehicles (except coaches) will require to turn left on exiting the car park and travel south on Sinclair Street under the railway bridge. Drivers can then take second left (Weir Street) and follow road to the end. At T –junction, turn left (Gibshill Road) and re-join the A8 East Hamilton Street. Weather forecast for Greenock is showery. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It's also time for my Xmas night out so I'll be brief with this preview........... Merry Christmas X However, there's a game to play and both teams are flirting on the edges of the play-off places, the fourth position currently occupied by Queen of the South. Morton played out a goalless draw with Falkirk at the weekend in a turgid affair and it was much the same at the Caledonian Stadium where Inverness and Dundee United drew 1-1. Tom Walsh scored his now trademark goal running into the box on the inside right position and slotting the ball low across the keeper before Billy King replied in the second half for United. The home fans were less than impressed with Inverness' second half performance as the Tangerines took the game to their hosts. Mark Ridgers was in fine form though and made three or four excellent stops to keep Inverness in the game and earn them a point. The previous encounter this season ended in stalemate, Jordan White levelling after Telfer had scored early for Morton. Even back then in October the cracks were showing and Inverness manager John Robertson said to BBC Sport after the game: "The unbeaten thing is annoying me now - I think that's affecting us. We had a spell last year when we had seven clean sheets on the bounce and it looked like that's all we wanted to do - just protect the clean-sheet record. "I just wonder at times do we get into a position where, instead of going on to win the match, we are happy not to lose it - that's just a theory." Sounds about right Robbo. Well, Falkirk broke the unbeaten sequence a couple of weeks ago but the belief does not appear to be running through the squad with any conviction as we struggled to build on our early lead against the Bairns and once more against Dundee United. This lack of belief is now firmly entrenched in the stands and that's going to be a difficult job to raise morale amongst a dwindling fanbase. John Robertson has Carl Tremarco back training but he is not ready for a game yet. No other team news available at time of publishing. This was our starting XI against Dundee United Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Walsh, Polworth, Chalmers, Welsh, Doran, Oakley For Morton, Gregor Buchanan‘s knee injury does not appear to be as serious as first thought, however he will be unavailable for this clash. This is how Morton lined up against Falkirk:- Gaston Tumilty Kilday Buchanan McKeown Millar McAlister Tidser Telfer McHugh Thomson Morton gaffer Jonatan Johansson was speaking ahead of this clash and is aware of his own clubs limitations........ Official Preview can be found Here If you like a wee flutter, our new partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/  Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  25. Amber Alert One of the form teams come calling this Saturday as Dundee United head to the Caledonian Stadium boasting thirteen points from their last six Championship games, despite that crushing 0-5 defeat to table toppers Ayr United. Since we last played each other, a 1-1 daw at Tannadice in October, United have won 4 times with that defeat to Ayr United and last weeks draw with Morton. Our stats are less impressive with last weeks first defeat of the season against Falkirk. That was preceded by four draws and a solitary League win over Partick Thistle. Add in the Cup draw at Edinburgh City before we thrashed them in the replay and it's a bit patchy to be honest. Last Friday's game at Somerset Park was called off as high winds were deemed too strong for the game to go ahead. Unfortunately that was only decided about 45 minutes prior to kick off, after Inverness fans had already made the long five hour trek. Just a shambles if you ask me, the weather forecast was not a secret and if they had thought about the fans instead of TV revenue, the game could have been called off on Friday morning. That game will now be played on Tuesday 29th January 2019 at Somerset Park, 19:45 Kick-Off. In their last game United were pegged back by Morton with just over ten minutes left. Gregor Buchanan earned a point for Morton after Frederick Frans had headed United ahead half an hour into the first half. Robbie Neilson was sent to the stand during the game for using foul and abusive language. tsk tsk. We played a Scottish Cup tie last midweek, a replay against Edinburgh City and ran out 6-1 winners after a pretty dour first half. A hat-trick from Jordan White and a brace from Tom Walsh with Aaron Doran scoring the sixth in time added on. United are third in the Championship on 28 points and we moved down one place with Queen of the South drawing at Dingwall. Arabs defender Jamie Robson left himself defenceless after an ill informed fancy dress guise was leaked on instagram. Robbie Neilson has spoken briefly to the player and the club have conducted their own enquiry over the incident where Robson was dressed as a beach vendor with a blackened face. He will be disciplined by the club and will likely not be included in the squad for this weekend. It's not the first time the club has has to question his antics. Have a word with yourself son. John Robertson has a wafer thin squad to juggle around with compared to Robbie Neilson at Tannadice. A couple of injuries for the Caley Jags and we are down to the bare bones. Carl Tremarco has been out for some time now and although he has resumed running he will not be considered for this game. Daniel Mackay has also been out for a few weeks. Jamie McCart has been a decent deputy for Tremarco and another of our young stars, Roddy MacGregor has been given some game time and looks a great prospect. Talking of Roddy MacGregor, he played for the u18 side against Aberdeen on Friday evening. Unfortunately the young Inverness side lost out by 2-1, Donald Morrison scoring for the Caley Jags and they were unlucky not to at least draw this game played at the Highland Rugby Club artificial surface. I expect Inverness to be along similar lines to their last few games with hat-trick scorer Jordan White spearheading the attack and George Oakley and Nathan Austin waiting for their opportunity. Our defence speaks for itself although a couple of slack goals recently need to be addressed. United's last game against Morton the squad looked like this:- Starting XI: Rakovan, Murdoch, Booth, Frans, McMullan, Fyvie, Curran, Stanton, Safranko, Bouhenna, Aird. SUBS: Donaldson, Smith, King, Rabitsch, Edjenguele, Thomas, Watson. Here's the Matchday Programme from the Official Site ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Highland Derby is coming soon Ross County v ICTFC Saturday 29th December 3PM Kick-off Ladbrokes Championship Tickets: Adults- £20, Concession £10 and Under 18's £5 ICTFC fans can secure their tickets for the next Highland Derby online from the following link: TICKETS Supporters should select tickets in section N1-3 or N4-6. These are the North Stand tickets (Away end) Please note ticket for this fixture are available online only right now. The tickets will go on sale from the Stadium for personal callers on 17th December at 2pm.