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Found 120 results

  1. Who Knew? Who knew back in August that we would still be in with a chance to make the play-offs? We had lost our opening fixture to DundeeUnited and were hammered 5-1 by Dunfermline. Despite drawing with Morton, we were bottom of the League with just one point. In September, it would get worse before it would get better. Heavy defeats by St Mirren and Livingston and even Dumbarton got in on the act before another draw against Queen of the South. We really were struggling with only Brechin keeping us off the bottom of the table. Look at us now. An IrnBru Cup win and ten Championship games unbeaten will ensure that we make Dunfermline play out their final game with something to achieve whilst we try to get three points at Greenock. Who Knew? A battling midweek win at Livingston has set up matchday 36 as judgement day. A thumping Liam Polworth strike just after half time was the difference between the sides at the Tony Macaroni Arena which takes us to the final games before the play-offs. We are now assured of at least fifth place in the Championship but to get one place higher is out of our own hands after that cruel draw with Dunfermline. The manager and team should be congratulated on getting oh so close to the top four after our disastrous start to the campaign. Everyone took a while to gel, but the likes of Mark Ridgers who found it difficult at first was maybe trying to hard to impress coming back to his home town team. He is now having a great season and the confidence gained is running through the team. Coll Donaldson is another who has had a tremendous season. We went on a record breaking run of clean sheets once Coll broke into the side and it's no surprise that he won the Young Player of the Year award at Inverness. What a success he has been. Jake Mulraney will be departing for Tynecastle after the end of the season and we wish him well. Jake has so much more to give and may flourish in a team like Hearts. We have already recruited two players. Shaun Rooney, a right back from Queen of the South and Angus Beith, a young midfielder from Hearts. I'm sure there will be many more coming and going over the next couple of months as budgets are set and reset. Some will please the fans, others will take a while to get over. Iain Vigurs will come back into contention after serving a two match ban. Gary Warren was injured a couple of games ago and misses out. Nathan Austin was rested after he took a knock against the Pars but should be fit. The prolific John Baird will miss out for Morton due to parent club ruling. tm4tj prediction:- I'm taking us to keep our great end of season run going, but unfortunately I can't see anything other than a big win for Dunfermline over Dumbarton to keep us out of the play-off slot. More details on the OFFICIAL SITE ps: Mon Dumbarton
  2. You can't beat a bit of Bully With the dream all but over for another season, Inverness travel to second place Livingston on Tuesday night. It's a bit like Bullseye now. Let's see what you could have won - promotion to the Premiership, super smashing great, as Jim Bowen would say. After the dramatic injury time goal for Dunfermline, it's all academic now. We need Dumbarton to beat Dunfermline at East End Park, or a draw at East End Park while we score a minimum of eight goals in two games without reply. Fat chance to be honest. First things first, we have to beat Championship runners up Livingston on Tuesday night. The big game against Dunfermline was going to plan right up until the 95th minute. A soft free kick awarded to the Pars and the rest is history as Nicky Clark stooped to head home a Jo Cardle free kick. Cruel stuff after we had come from behind to get our noses in front and at one point looked like running up a cricket score. Andy Ryan put Dunfermline ahead but Joe Chalmers levelled from a free kick. Nathan Austin scored a tremendous second for Inverness and we roasted the Pars for the next half hour. They weathered the storm and struck the fatal blow deep into time added on. A sickener for Inverness, jubilation for the Pars. Meh! Livingston had a much less frenetic time of it as three second half goals saw them beat hopeless, hapless and winless Brechin City. Goals from Pittman, Longridge and Hardie were enough to take the points and ensure they enter the play-offs at the semi-final stage. Brechin are doomed and will be going down after a poor season where they were simply out of their depth. Despite the gloom, we are on a fantastic run just now. Unbeaten in out last ten games which has taken us to the brink of the play-offs. Unfortunately that is now out of our own hands. We have two draws and a defeat against Livi this season. The Lions are second top scorers in the league with 56 goals and are three better off than us in goals against. Iain Vigurs captured the players player of the year and the supporters player of the year awards, although nobody can quite work out who voted and where they voted. Whatever, he is suspended for this game. Gary Warren missed out against the Pars and he will miss this one as well. Nathan Austin came off as well and could be a doubt. Livingston have nothing to prove after a great season and could save some players with a view to the play-off games coming up. tm4tj prediction:- The Dunfermline game was the proverbial must win game and we almost did it. I hope the heads have not gone down as it has been a wonderful late push for promotion which looks like just falling short. Whichever way this one swings, it's been a hectic last few weeks which gave the fans something to cling on to. That has all but gone, but these guys are still playing with belief and confidence. It would not surprise me if we turned over Livingston. Now that would be interesting.
  3. Must Win Game Five down, three to go. We have had the must not lose games, well, we are at the stage where it's now a must win game. We have come a long way since Dunfermline hammered us 5-1 back in August. Smith, Ashcroft, Hopkirk and Cardle twice putting us to the sword in a Welcome to the Championship game. Iain Vigurs got a consolation goal for us that day but he will sit this one out after yellow cards caught up with him. These are the two form teams in the Championship just now. Inverness are on a winning run of five in a row, the best by any team this season in the league. The Pars are not far behind with four on the trot and they are the target for Inverness to aim for in the race for a place. Other than the 5-1 thrashing, both sides have enjoyed 1-0 wins. In fact neither side has lost since they last played each other on 13th March when the Pars won 1-0 at East End Park. Something is going to give! Ask the players and they will all tell you the same thing. They are taking it one game at a time over the last month with the games coming thick and fast after a winter of discontent disrupting the fixture list. Every win has taken us closer to the possibility of snatching a play-off place and the one game that keeps the dream in our own hands is here. Robbo will be without the suspended Iain Vigurs for the next two crucial games. His midfield partner Liam Polworth will have to take up the slack and he has been is fine form lately, pointing the way to go. Gary Warren came off after less than half an hour in midweek and is out. I would expect Collin Seedorf to return at right back with Brad Mckay teaming up with Coll Donaldson in central defence. Charlie Trafford will surely come back into midfield with Vigurs suspended. Jake Mulraney is another option and may be used later in the game. Allan Johnston has a settled side at the moment and that has shown in their recent run of results. Fraser Aird is a man on form just now scoring twice against Brechin at the weekend. tm4tj prediction:- This is a tough one. We are not talking about brushing aside part time Brechin or Dumbarton, but full time Dunfermline Athletic, a well established unit who are gearing up for a promotion push. Neither side will be wanting to give anything away and it could be a bit cagey. The Pars have only won twice in Inverness, the last time was in 2007. We did win the last time Dunfermline came North but they defeated Inverness at East End Park. Dunfermline's defensive record is similar to ours but they have scored seven more goals than us. In Jo Cardle they have a pacey wide player who can cause problems. Both sides are on tremendous runs and it's about who has the belief and will go the extra mile to complete the job. We might just edge this one, but part of me believes a draw will be the end product and that will end the dream. I hope I am wrong.
  4. Nothing has changed (apart from date) Despite a crushing win at the weekend, nothing has changed in our quest for a play-off place. Win our remaining games and it's achievable. One slip up and it's then out of our own hands. Game now goes ahead on Wednesday evening due to pitch having surface water. Forking Pitch was wet apparently. We went nap at the weekend over Tuesday's Wednesday's opponents with Nathan Austin notching a hat-trick into the bargain. Aaron Doran had scored a thumping equaliser after Grant Gallagher had scored a tremendous opener for the Sons. Iain Vigurs added the other goal to round off the scoring on a day when Liam Polworth, George Oakley and Vigurs would have claimed MotM but for Austin's timely treble. That was the first by an Inverness player since trebles for Iain Vigurs and Scott Boden a year ago in the League Cup group stages. Billy Mckay scored our last League one in a 4-3 win over Motherwell in 2013, his second of that season as he also did the treble in a 4-4 draw at Tannadice. We were without Coll Donaldson, Carl Tremarco and Charlie Trafford for the last game due to suspension but they are all available for this one. No doubt Robbo will continue to rotate the players anyway with bigger games coming up in the final three although they are all important if we want to get into the play-off slot. Dumbarton will freshen up as they look to stay competitive with the relegation play-off looming. The Sons have now confirmed their relegation play-off place after results went against them last night whilst they were forking their pitch. They had Froxylias on the bench at the weekend and he could be a threat should he get a start. David Smith, Sam Wardrop and Liam Dick will all miss-out tonight, as will Stuart Carswell. Tom Walsh is set to serve a suspension this Saturday against Falkirk but is added to tonight's squad. tm4tj prediction:- Assuming we have the same urge to have a go then I see no reason we can't take all three points to keep the pressure on Dunfermline and Dundee United above us. Dumbarton will have done their homework and we will find it tougher down there, but we should have enough ammunition to see them off. If not, then we don't deserve our late flirt with the play-off places. Supporters Notes: Gates open tonight at 6.30pm. DFC season tickets are valid and gate prices are £20 for adults, £12 concessions. Parent and Child - £28. Here's a wee reminder of how it went on Saturday............... Here's something I spotted on the Dumbarton page. Whodunnit? Nathan Austin, in the Stadium with a Hat-Trick
  5. Dumbarton Double Header It's part one of the Dumbarton Double Header as we take on the Sons with a place in the top play-off hanging by a thread, and a very thin one at that. After a late win over Falkirk we can still make the top-end promotion push, but as it was prior to the Bairns game, it's a tall order. It sounds simple enough. Win all your games and a play-off place is guaranteed. Try putting that into practice and it becomes a lot more difficult. The best we can do as fans is take it one game at a time and see where that takes us. The team are going the right way about it at the moment, seven games unbeaten including a Challenge Cup Final win over Saturday's opponents, Dumbarton. That's five wins and two draws (St Mirren & Dundee United). We are on our best run of the season with three wins on the bounce (Brechin, QotS, Falkirk). A Jake Mulraney goal was enough to give us a hard earned victory over Falkirk in midweek. Mark Ridgers was called into serious action as the seconds ticked away making a tremendous save to ensure we kept ahead. Dumbarton suffered on Tuesday night when Morton scored a very very late winner to edge the game 3-2. One of Morton's scorers was none other that John Baird. Who would have thought that. Danny Handling had scored the opener for the Sons before Morton went ahead. An og with three minutes to go looked to have given Dumbarton a point until Jack Iredale slotted home in the 94th minute. That leaves Dumbarton fighting to escape the relegation play-off. The second part of the double-header will be played out at Dumbarton on Tuesday 17th April with a 7:45pm kick off. John Robertson has been rotating the squad recently with our hectic schedule and that has worked ok so far. Charlie Trafford is suspended for this weekend which is a pity as the big midfielder has been on a good run of form since getting his chance recently and adds a bit of steel to the midfield. Carl Tremarco and Coll Donaldson have also fallen foul of the beaks and are also set to miss this one. We should have plenty of cover though with a full squad otherwise. Defender Brad Mckay and young keeper Cammy Mackay have both accepted extended contracts to remain at Inverness until 2020. Stevie Aitken has worked wonders to get Dumbarton to where they are just now and took them to the IrnBru Cup final a couple of weeks ago. Not bad for a part time club. Last time out against Morton, this was the Sons line-up: Gallacher; Dick, Barr, Dowie, McLaughlin, Hutton, Wilson, Stirling, Handling, Walsh, Gallagher. On the bench were: Ewings, Gallagher, Stewart, Hill, Froxylias, Nisbeat, Burt. tm4tj prediction:- If we have any aspirations about going up then these are the games we need to be winning, and winning well at that. Dumbarton showed in the Cup Final that they are a difficult team to break down and we have shown over the season that we are not always best at breaking down teams that are well disciplined and organised. Could be a testing afternoon. The introduction of Mulraney against Falkirk proved to be the difference between the sides with his pace a huge asset. Maybe he will be due a start as the player rotation goes round again. Home win, but a tight affair methinks.
  6. I don't like Tuesday's It's just a typical Tuesday, another game, another must win scenario and another six-pointer as Paul Hartley brings his Grangemouth revival squad North on the back of seven games unbeaten in the Championship since Livingston won 3-1 at the Bairnabéu Stadium. That was until Dunfermline pipped them at the weekend. Inverness were at Palmerston on Saturday trying to keep our slim chances of a play-off place alive and we came away with an excellent 2-0 win after Nathan Austin opened his account at Inverness. George Oakley added a second and that was George's 10th of the season. Whilst we were playing Queens, the Bairns were hosting Dunfermline but left it too late in their comeback. Kallum Higginbotham and Fraser Aird had the Fifers two up but Aaron Muirhead reduced the deficit with a penalty ten minutes before the end. However the Pars held on for an important win that keeps them in a play off position. These sides have met five times already this season. We started by losing 2-0 in the League Cup group game and followed that with a no scoring draw away from home before winning the IrnBru cup game 1-0. The next Championship game saw us rout Falkirk at home 4-1, but when we went South in the next one we lost 3-1 after Jake saw red. Both sides are capable of winning this one but we are coming together at the right time and it would be a brave man to put their money on a Falkirk win. There's little between the sides in goals for, Inverness just edging it by three (40) but we are ten better off in defence (34). That shows us just three points above Falkirk with one game in hand. John Robertson should have a full squad to choose from and Coll Donaldson came through the game at Palmerston without any further niggles. Good to see Nathan Austin get off the mark with the opener against Queens and fellow striker George Oakley beginning to show his worth with ten goals to his name. Paul Hartley has been building well recently, seven unbeaten until the loss to Dunfermline at the weekend. Here's the starting XI from that defeat to Dunfermline: Hazard, Muirhead, Grant, Watson, McGhee, Sibbald, Robson, Nelson, Welsh, Jakubiak, Longridge. tm4tj prediction:- We are building a bit of momentum at the right time and the win at Palmerston was a massive boost Falkirk had been on a run until the Pars pipped them at the weekend. Usually tight games to call but with Coll Donaldson showing his class at the back, Mark Ridgers high on confidence and George Oakley into double figures then I'm looking for a home win to continue our good run. Good cameraderie amongst the squad at the moment, here's hoping that continues tonight.
  7. Time to reel them in It's the long trek to Palmerston on Saturday as we take on Queen of the South in Dumfries. Our last venture down there turned into a nightmare journey, let's hope it all goes a bit smoother this time. We still have an outside chance to get into the play-off position albeit a slim one, but we have to make our move now as we are running out of games and will need an incredible selection of results to help get us there. However, it's in our own hands at the moment and it's time to get back into contention. There is no margin for error anymore, defeat will all but end our hopes. In midweek, we had an easy night as we put four past relegated Brechin City. Two from Joe Chalmers and one each from Coll Donaldson and George Oakley. In fairness, the team went about their business in a professional manner and deserved the win, our third 4-0 win over Brechin this season. It was a tighter affair as queens entertained Falkirk who pegged back their hosts with a late Louis Longridge goal. Queens had gone behind when Andrew Nelson opened the scoring, but they looked like taking all three points after strikes from Joe Thomson and Darren Brownlee put them ahead until Falkirk leveled in the 87th minute. Gary Naysmith speaking after the midweek game said "Tuesday's game against Falkirk epitomised our season really. In almost every game we have played this season, we have done really well in certain stages of each match but not for the complete 90 minutes and Tuesday's match was very similar. I thought we were off the pace for the first 30 minutes or so and then we finished the first half well". We have played each other three times this season and Queens have yet to win. Two no scoring draws and a 3-1 win in the Highlands so far. Iain Vigurs, Joe Chalmers and Aaron Doran scored for Inverness with a late Owen Bell counter for Queens. The Doonhamers are one of the highest scoring sides in the league with 50 goals. They have balanced that by conceding 50 goals. Despite the doom and gloom coming from the Queen of the South fans, they still sit above us in the league although they would be the first club we can climb above should results go our way in the next few weeks. Prolific striker Stephen Dobbie looks like he won't feature for Queens although a recent scan on his knee showed no worse than bruising. Other possible absentees are Ross Fergusson, Owen Bell and keeper Alan Martin. Lyndon Dykes will return after suspension. Coll Donaldson came off against Brechin and could be set to miss out. For those attending the game:- Visiting supporters should note that they will be located in section six of the Rosefield Salvage Stand and that they should enter via turnstile three. Entry is by ticket only. The home ticket office will be open for use of both home and away supporters and is situated adjacent to Rosefield Stand turnstile numbers one and two. In addition, supporters who choose to park in the Arena car park have access to a ticket office within the Arena. Ticket prices are: Adult £16, OAP's £9, U-16's £5, Adult accessible £8, Concession accessible £5, U16 accessible £3.
  8. Thick and Fast We are playing catch up now in the Championship and the games keep coming after the winter disruption with relegated Brechin coming North on Tuesday night, kick off at 7:45pm. Been a good week for Inverness, four points in the Championship from two tough games and an IrnBru Cup in the trophy cabinet from the victory over Dumbarton at McDiarmid Park. Who knew? Our last outing saw us rally after going two down to St Mirren but Gary Warren and Liam Polworth restored parity. An excellent point given the gravity of the situation when Lewis Morgan scored a second for St Mirren. However Mark Ridgers was in inspired form with a string of superb saves including a hook off the line with his foot penalty save as he dived the wrong way. Wonderful stuff from the big stopper who has turned his season round after a sticky start. Brechin are already mathematically relegated and they come North after losing 3-0 at Falkirk, the Hedge boys coming apart with two players sent off just before half-time. Not surprising really as they are without a win in thirty Championship games having amassed only four points all season. A word of caution however as we only just beat them in our last meeting in a see saw game. We went from 1-0 up to 2-1 down before George Oakley spared our blushes with a late goal despite ending the game with 10 men. Warning heeded I hope. All the stats are in our favour for this one. We are 34 for & 34 against, Brechin are 19 for & 42 against. In league games this season we have three wins with an 11-2 advantage. So, this is an opportunity to get into positive goal difference territory and maybe jump back above Falkirk. Injury lists have shortened as the season has worn on and Robbo should have a reasonable squad to choose from. Darren Dods will be without his suspended duo of Sean Crighton and Paul McLean as his season fades away. No disrespect to Brechin, but we should be winning games like this comfortably. Alas, games are not played on paper and given our struggle at Glebe Park, Brechin will be determined to finish the season with a mini flourish. Isaac Layne was one who caused a bit of discomfort with his burly robust style, but Coll Donaldson eventually got to grips with him and the threat was nullified. I'm looking for a goal scoring home win to set us up for a wee run in the home straight. The play-offs at the top end of the league are a long shot to be honest, but that could be achieved with an unbeaten run to the wire. We'll see how that goes. Defeat here is unthinkable, but as I said a wee bit of caution will not go amiss.
  9. Champions elect coming North. St Mirren are the visitors on Saturday as we complete a hectic week with the Championship leaders looking to edge closer to promotion whilst we search for a way into the play-off zone. A large away support is expected for this one and the home fans might well be outnumbered given their reluctance to get down to the stadium. It has been a memorable week for Inverness as we won the IrnBru Cup after defeating Dumbarton last weekend courtesy of a Carl Tremarco stoppage time goal. We followed that up by beating pre-season title favourites Dundee United on Tuesday night, thanks to Aaron Doran's strike just on half time. It was a narrow win but well deserved and a decent performance to boot. That was in contrast to the rather dull Cup Final. However the result was the important thing and finals are often like that as nobody wants to be the one that makes the error. St Mirren are closing in on the title. Their charge began last season after being somewhat detached at the foot of the table, but Jack Ross has transformed the Buddies into a formidable side and one that thoroughly deserve to be promoted as Champions. St Mirren have almost double the points that Inverness have accumulated so far and sit top of the league by 14 points from Livingston. They are the highest scorers with 57 goals compared to our 32. Defensively we are much closer with the Buddies conceding three less than us. St Mirren have won the previous encounters this season although the games were closer than the scorelines suggest. St Mirren romped past Dumbarton in midweek banging in five goals without reply. Lewis Morgan bagging a hat-trick in that one. Four wins on the trot for the Paisley side. John Robertson has a doubt in Jake Mulraney but should have an otherwise injury free squad to choose from. Not often we can say that. tm4tj prediction:- Our season seems to have finally begun. We're a bit late to the party, but confidence can be a game changer and we need that from now to the end of the season. It would be a brave man to bet against St Mirren winning this one, but maybe we can take something from the game. Celtic bound Lewis Morgan is a big danger with 22 goal Gavin Reilly and Daniel Mullen on the goal trail as well. Formidable opposition it has to be said but it's not beyond the realms of possibility that we could take all three points, but that's optimism at it's best. A draw might be our best bet. Detailed Preview on Official ICTFC website
  10. IrnBru Cup Final It's the IrnBru Cup Final this weekend as both Inverness and Dumbarton travel to the Fair City of Perth, to McDiarmid Park to be precise, to contest the 2018 Challenge Cup final. The game kicks off at 16:15 with TV coverage on BBC Alba, so get your Gaelic phrase book out if you can't get to the game and settle down with a glass of the rusty nectar, maybe fortified with your favourite tipple. We have won this competition before at the very same venue in 2003/2004 season when we overcame Airdrie United 2-0 to lift the then Bells Cup thanks to late strikes from David Bingham and Steve Hislop. We have also lost the final twice. Alloa winning a high scoring game on penalties (5-4) after a 4-4 draw at the Excelsior Stadium. In 2010 we surrendered a two goal lead at McDiarmid Park when Dundee came back to win 3-2 in the Alba Challenge Cup. We got to the final this season after wins over Aberdeen u20 (2-4), Peterhead (3-0), Falkirk (1-0) and Crusaders (3-2) after the proverbial game of two halves. Dumbarton have had equally tough games and have reached their first major final in 121 years. They have beaten Rangers u20 (2-1), Connah's Quay (2-1), Stranraer (2-1), Raith Rovers (2-0) and Welsh side The New Saints (2-1). Previous encounters this season in the Championship are one win apiece. Dumbarton won the fixture at The Rock, coming from behind to win 2-1. Connor Bell had given us an early lead but Dimitris Froxylias levelled just after the break. Sam Wardrop scored the winner around the hour mark and we failed to find an equaliser with Gary Warren being red carded with twenty minutes left. Inverness gained revenge with a narrow win in the Highlands in mid December by 1-0, Carl Tremarco the scorer. Neither club has performed consistently in the Championship and their respective league positions reflect that. Inverness are currently eighth and Dumbarton ninth and either club could be drawn into the play-off at the bottom. However, we will put league form aside and concentrate on the IrnBru Cup final this weekend. Team News Inverness will be without Brad Mckay (suspended) and Nathan Austin (cup-tied) Good news is that Coll Donaldson should be fit enough to start after sitting on the bench last week. Dumbarton boss Stevie Aitken has reservations over Dimitri Froxylias who has been called up to play for Cyprus the day before the Cup Final. He will be flying back to Glasgow after the game and Aitken will be hoping his Cyprus call up will not affect his performance. The Sons also have four players cup-tied. Liam Dick, Andy Stirling, Kevin Nisbet and Aidan Wilson are all out. No prediction from me for this one. Suffice to say it won't be easy and let's hope both sets of fans enjoy their day out. More detail can be found on the Official Preview and you can keep up to date with all the latest news from the Official Twitter Account for ICTFC If you can't make the game, TV coverage is exclusively live on BBC ALBA. Coverage begins at 4.00pm. If you can make the game, tickets will be onsale from 2.30pm at the McDiarmid Park ticket office: £15 for adults £10 for over 65s & students £5 for juveniles aged 13-16 Free for U12s
  11. Play-Off Possibility Inverness face Dundee United on Saturday with the season hanging in the balance after another defeat in midweek at East End Park. We are now closer to the relegation play-offs at the bottom end of the table than we are to the promotion play-offs. Our schoolboy errors on and off the park leave us with little hope of progressing this term and the outlook is bleak. All we have left to look forward to is the IrnBru cup final at McDiarmid Park Perth against Dumbarton. That is assuming we can stave off the relegation play-off position. After a lifeless performance against Dunfermline, we went down 1-0, but by all accounts we got off lightly with Mark Ridgers making a couple of wonderful saves to keep the score down. Our attempts to score were negligible and our antics off the park were laughable. I'm talking about the farce that ended with Brad Mckay not being named at all until Riccardo Calder pulled up, then only being named as a substitute but Cameron Harper who made his debut was suddenly injured after five minutes therefore Brad got on the park after all. What the hell was that all about? Our opponents, Dundee United managed to get back on track after a poor run of results. They came from behind to defeat Queen of the South with Mathew Smith bagging a brace, the first a thumping long range effort. Thomas Mikkelsen had scored the equaliser to get United back into the game. It was their first Championship win since they beat Brechin on the 2nd of January. During that poor run they had been thrashed 6-1 by Falkirk and 3-0 by Morton. Coll Donaldson and Nathan Austin are still sidelined so that leaves our back line a bit fragile. Who knows what's going on behind the scenes, but the Brad Mckay farce was odd to say the least. Let's hope this is sorted before it's too late. The Arabs have made an emergency loan signing in Anthony Ralston. I'm buggered if I know what the emergency is, but the young Celtic defender is at Tannadice for the rest of the season. He has made six starts for Celtic including a Champions League game against PSG. United went with this line-up against QotS:- Lewis, Durnan, Quinn, Scobbie, Murdoch, Flood (Slater 88), King (McMullan 84), Stanton, Robson, Smith, Mikkelsen (McDonald 73). tm4tj prediction:- Given our lame effort at East End Park, and without Coll Donaldson, I see no reason that we should expect anything from this game. Thumping win for United which coupled with a win for Dumbarton over Brechin City will leave us perilously close to the relegation play-off slot. Further news on the Official Site
  12. Heading towards last chance saloon After what seems like an entire season of games put on hold in the Winter of our discontent, we should take on fellow promotion hopefuls Dunfermline Athletic on Tuesday night. It's getting to the stage for both clubs where only a win will suffice. This game has been knocked back already due to inclement weather and frozen pipes but it looks like it could go ahead this time. Our last competitive game was on 24th February when we went down 0-2 against Morton in the Highlands. We only managed two games throughout February. The other one was the IrnBru Cup game against Irish side Crusaders which saw us get into the final after a pulsating 3-2 win. We will play Dumbarton at McDiarmid Park, Perth, in a couple of weeks. The fixtures are now stacking up for Inverness and we will be playing twice a week for the foreseeable future. Dunfermline are without a win in their last seven games since they defeated Dumbarton 0-1 on 6th January. Their last game was a 2-0 defeat to leaders St Mirren at the weekend. They still lead Inverness by five points and sit just outside the play-off zone in sixth place, but we do have two games in hand. We were dropped down into eighth position at the weekend when Falkirk beat Morton 3-1, and only Dumbarton and Brechin are below us. Our season now hinges on us making a grandstand finish to the season, but with our player of the year so far Coll Donaldson injured, it looks like the IrnBru Cup might be our only crumb of comfort after the massive rejig following relegation. Dunfermline warned us how tough this league was going to be by trouncing us 5-1 in the second league game of the season. We did gain a modicum of revenge with a 1-0 win at the Caledonian Stadium at the end of October, but only six wins from thirteen Championship fixtures since then has seen us struggle to climb the league. It's like one step forward and two back at the minute. Coll Donaldson and Nathan Austin are both out with hamstring injuries but Robbo should have a full squad otherwise. Here's the Pars line up in their last outing at St Mirren. Dunfermline: Robinson, Williamson, Talbot, M'Voto, Ashcroft, Craigen, Beadling, Vincent, Armstrong, McManus, Clark. SUBS: Gill, Morris, Martin, Cardle, Wedderburn, Higginbotham, Ryan tm4tj prediction:- With our lack of action recently it's difficult to guess how we will react to our inactivity. Coll Donaldson missing out is a big blow and our cover up front is thin with John Baird off to Morton and Nathan Austin injured. Dunfermline fans don't seem too bothered if we were to help remove Magic Johnston from the managers seat, so let's see if we can help them out here and record an away win. It looks like a tall order though, so I'm going with a no score draw.
  13. Let the six-pointers begin. Inverness host Morton in the Championship as the battle for play-off places hots up. With only ten games left for Inverness to save their season, many of these encounters will be seen as six-pointers, and this one is certainly a must not lose game. It's game on after the pitch inspection. It had been arranged for 08:30 on Saturday morning as a precaution with the surface struggling to recover recently. It's back to league business for Inverness after the enthralling IrnBru Cup win over Irish side Crusaders last Sunday. It looked all over bar the shouting at the interval as Inverness raced into a three goal lead with goals from George Oakley, Joe Chalmers and Jake Mulraney. However, Inverness were once more reduced to ten men and Crusaders had a real go, Heatley grabbing a brace to make the last few minutes a touch tense. But we held on and even had the luxury of spurning a scoring opportunity when Iain Vigurs made a hash of a penalty kick after CTO Man of the Match Liam Polworth was sent tumbling to the sodden turf. That victory will see us play Dumbarton in the final on Saturday 24th March at 16:15 with the game being played at McDiarmid Park, Perth. Morton moved eight points above Inverness in midweek with a hard earned win over Dumbarton. Thomas O'Ware was the man that consolidated their position in the top four in a game that they always looked like coming out on top. The Greenock side have won three of their last four games, drawing the other one. They have the best defensive record in the league conceding only 23 goals whilst scoring 34, giving them a +11 goal difference, to Inverness' +2gd. We drew 1-1 in the first meeting this season with Gary Warren scoring in the first half. Morton eventually got to grips with the pace of the game and were well worth their point after Robert Thomson levelled just after the break. Collin Seedorf was red carded at the end of this game. In the second game, Morton held the upper hand after David Raven was sent off as he conceded the penalty after twenty-two minutes from which Gary Harkins scored the only goal of the game. Discipline has been a big part of our downfall this season and can probably be attributed to the loss of around ten points, enough to see us comfortably in the play-off zone. After the IrnBru game, we have now had nine players sent off. Whether the referee's decisions have been correct or not, we are putting ourselves in the position of ending the game with less players than we started with, mostly through petty trips, clips, minor indiscretion and often sheer stupidity. What it boils down to is those left on the pitch are suffering because we can't keep our composure when the going gets tough resulting in the ruination of the fans weekend plus our struggle to climb the table is like running in treacle. This really needs addressed Robbo, time to take drastic action against those seeing red where indiscipline is an issue. Inverness were without Carl Tremarco, Aaron Doran, Nathan Austin and Charlie Trafford against Crusaders. Tremarco is almost ready and could feature in the squad. Austin was cup-tied and will return. Doran was not risked on a really heavy pitch and he and Trafford are available. Brad Mckay will be eligible for this game as his red card will only make him miss the final against Dumbarton. John Baird has been loaned to Morton for the remainder of the season therefore I doubt we will see him in the squad tomorrow. No big loss really as although he worked hard, his return of only four goals in thirty-one games was hardly game changing stuff. Talking of red cards; Jake Mulraney will sit this one out after his madness at the end ofJanuary in Falkirk. It was that long ago that even the SFA forgot to put his name on the current list of outstanding suspensions. SFA not as observant as Caley Stan who pointed that one out. Morton were without Australian centre half Jack Iredale against Dumbarton and Robert Thomson has not played in over a month now. Jai Quitongo, Ross Forbes and Keeper Jamie McGowan are all out long term. tm4tj prediction. Well, if they can't be motivated for these final ten games then there's no hope. I expect us to be fired up for this one as we push for the top zone. It's taken a long time for Robbo to suss out his best options and he's nearly there. George Oakley has made the front man job his own. It's possible Austin could compliment him with Calder and Doran the providers. Liam Polworth had his best game for ages last week and his confidence is growing as is Mark Ridgers in goal. So, coming good at the right time we hope, but Morton have got where they are by hard graft and will be difficult to break down as their defensive record suggests. Gary Harkins will always be a threat with his quality. Tight game but we should edge it. 2-1 for Inverness, mon the Caley Jags. Official Preview Here's Morton keeper Derek Gaston pulling of this acrobatic save against QotS recently. Incredible stuff....
  14. IrnBru Cup Semi-Final Inverness welcome Irish Premiership side Crusaders to the Scottish Highlands for the IrnBru cup semi-final. Just when you forgot all about this competition, someone somewhere comes up with a date and time to suit everybody. Well, the date is Sunday 18th February, the time is 17:15. I kid you not. The weather has relented in the last couple of days which is just as well as the pitch looked somewhat tired and heavy after weeks of dismal winter weather took it's toll. I would still expect a less than velvet surface with the going soft. Logistics aside, the competition has reached the last four with Inverness v Crusaders (Northern Ireland), and New Saints (Wales) v Dumbarton. To give New Saints their Sunday name, it's The New Saints of Oswestry Town & Llansantffraid Football Club. They play in Oswestry, Llansantffraid-ym-Mechain. That'll be why TNS is the preferred title. Thankfully, it's Crusaders that we play and they are known as the Crues. ***Latest News*** We now know one of the finalists and it's congratulations to Dumbarton who have reached their first Cup final in over 100 years. They came from behind to beat TNS 1-2 with late goals from Danny Handling and Dimitris Froxylias. Former Caley Jags player Dean Ebbe had given TNS the lead early in the second half. So what do we know about them? They hail from Belfast where they have a 3383 capacity all seated stadium, Seaview. Manager Stephen Baxter is a former player and has been in the job since 2005. They play in red and black, so they have something in common with half of Caley Thistle. In season 2016/2017 they relinquished their title and finished second in the NIFL Premiership behind one of their Belfast rivals, Linfield. It was a last day victory for Linfield that decided the title. However, this season appears to be back on track with Crusaders 5 points clear with 10 games remaining. Some impressive stats so far, Played 28:- Won 22 - Lost 2 - Goals For 82 - Goals Against 28. Crusaders last game was a 4-2 victory over Glentoran although they were knocked out of the Irish Cup a couple of weeks ago 4-1 by Cliftonville after being reduced to ten men. Jordan Owens, Billy Joe Burns, Colin Coates and Gavin Whyte were the scorers in the win over Glentoran. Gavin Whyte is the top scorer in the division with 18 goals, and fellow Crusader Paul Heatley is third with 13 goals. Whyte was the man that scored a last minute goal to knock out Dundee United in the last round. The 22 year old is regarded as a flying winger and one of the hot prospects in the Irish Leagues. He was also a signing target for Dundee United at one point but he is content to remain at Seaview for now where he is scoring goals almost every week. Recent signing Darren Murray is also amongst the goals and scored a brace on his debut in the 3-0 win over Carrick Rangers. The former Warrenpoint Town striker feels he will benefit from playing at Crusaders as he will get more scoring opportunities. He has already notched 12 for the season. Check out this BBC Sport footage of their win over Glentoran. Crusaders v Glentoran From the Belfast Telegraph, defender Sean Ward said the players are relishing the chance to progress to another major final. "It's been a good competition for us and like every one we enter we want to go as far as we possibly can," said Ward. "We are confident we can beat Inverness, there is no doubt about that, but we will need to perform well. "We will give it our best. To reach the final will be special. Players want to play in finals, it's why we play the game and it's another massive opportunity to reach a big final. "After the disappointment of the League Cup semi-final and Irish Cup it's a welcome distraction for us. We will face a full-time Inverness outfit who will be good but we will give it our best and see if it's good enough." And manager Stephen Baxter added:- "This Inverness game is a break away from the relentless pressure and tension of the league games. It's a big game of football but it will be a nice break for us. "We will give a good account of ourselves. We won the Setanta Cup which was a huge lift to everyone and reaching an IRN BRU semi-final is a big feather in our cap as these are the best teams in our islands." Inverness have stuttered somewhat in recent weeks and have also dropped out of the Scottish Cup with a 1-0 defeat to Premiership side Dundee after a replay. That was our last game (30th Jan) as the weather saw the Dundee United game postponed. We were idle last weekend as we were not involved in the Cup and had no game arranged. Before the Dundee game we lost 3-1 at Falkirk in the Mulraneygate encounter. We were comfortable until Jake saw red and once we were reduced to ten men we lost the plot like Jake. We are lingering in no-mans land at the moment in seventh place in our own Championship. Team News It's been a slow news fortnight in the Highlands football wise, but here are the last known team line-ups for both squads. Carl Tremarco is still injured and Nathan Austin is cup-tied, otherwise Robbo should have a full squad to choose from. Inverness (v Dundee) : Ridgers, Mckay, Warren, Donaldson, Calder (Mackay 83), Chalmers, Vigurs, Polworth, Bell (Mulraney 67), Doran (Baird 67), Oakley Crusaders (v Glentoran) : Jensen, Ward, Burns, Coates, McChrystal (Beverland 46), Lowry, Forsythe, Heatley, Owens, Murray (Caddell 78), Whyte (Cushley 88) More detail and Robbo chat can be found on the Official Preview. From the Crusaders website:- Any Crusaders supporters going to the Irn Bru Cup Semi Final on Sunday against Inverness Caledonian Thistle are asked to gather at the ICT Social Club at 28 Grieg Street where a bus will transport you to the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium for the game. If you are there for 3.45pm Norman Coleman will have a "gift" for you as a thank you for travelling to the game so please do not miss out. It will be worth it and it is a gesture for your making it to the game to get behind the lads on the pitch. I'll make no prediction on this game as I have never seen Crusaders play before. However, given their win over Dundee United and their current form in the Irish Premiership then I would expect them to be an accomplished side well capable of troubling an Inverness side in indifferent form and during our rebuilding process. It will be a first for Inverness to be playing an Irish side and a welcome break from the somewhat turgid games we have witnessed in the Championship. Crusaders come over with an exciting free scoring side and we should be in for an entertaining match. Anyway, welcome to the Highlands of Scotland and I hope you enjoy our national drink, it's made from girders you know, although made with less sugar now. Sláinte............ It's not great quality, but here's how Dumbarton got into the final. Two cracking strikes to win it.
  15. Opportunity to bounce back. Game On! We head for Glebe Park Brechin on Saturday, our last game of 2017 to play The City at their quaint venue, where a hedge forms one side of the stadium. I suppose it's more picturesque than our own, where a defunct singing section, tea shop and toilets mark the touchline on the Bridge side of the stadium. It's an opportunity to bounce back after the disappointment at Morton where we went down to a Gary Harkins spot kick, and ended the game with ten men after David Raven was red carded at the penalty incident. There was some consternation surrounding the playability of the ground despite the City grounstaff and volunteers covering the surface. Heavy frost had penetrated a couple of area's and that was giving some concern. Brechin City have issued the following statement. "PITCH UPDATE In the main the pitch covers have done their job despite overnight frost with the vast majority of the pitch soft and playable. Unfortunately despite a double layer of covers the frost has got into an area of about 3 metres square in the bottom goalmouth. However, taking the current forecast into account and depending on overnight conditions, our ground staff feel this area can be worked on to make it playable for the game. In any case an early decision will be made tomorrow morning with regard to a pitch inspection." It matters not now as no inspection needed, Game On! So far this season, Brechin have been our whipping boys despite their results against other more illustrious opponents being very close affairs. We have played them three times already this season. A 3-0 league cup victory was followed by our first league win of the season, 0-4 at Glebe Park back in August. We repeated that scoreline at the end of November with a 4-0 win at the Caledonian Stadium and that brings us to the final game of 2017 matchday 18 for both sides. Brechin are without a win this season and that is shown in their league position, only three points from 17 games. With that in mind, their goals against tally is the worst in the league. They have conceded twice as many as Inverness with 38 against. If you thought that goal scoring is a problem for Inverness (18), then spare a thought for Brechin fans who have witnessed only 12 league goals. They are not the worst though. That accolade goes to Falkirk who have only scored 9 times. Our optimism is justified given our dominance over City in previous fixtures this season, but we are not exactly setting the heather on fire ourselves and this could be a tough game. Last time against City we won 4-0 with goals coming from Brad Mckay, John Baird, Connor Bell and George Oakley. We were always in command, but the game was somewhat flat at times and four nil possibly flattered us, a late dinked goal from George Oakley putting some shine on the dull proceedings. For the visitors that day, Isaac Layne ploughed a lone furrow, but he is a robust fellow and was a handful for our defenders who ultimately coped well with his powerful bursts forward. He is a bit like marmite, you either love him or hate him. On that day he looked decent, alas many Brechin fans think otherwise. Inverness will be without David Raven who may well have played his last game for Robbo's side. The stalwart right back was reinstated after the John Hughes era and has been a fans favourite, especially after his stunning goal that helped knocked Celtic out of Scottish cup. However, a red card at Cappielow means he will miss this one although he could possibly feature against Livingston on 2nd January before he leaves after turning down a new deal. That has been on the cards for some time and the end is nigh, but best wishes to David in his future career. Collin Seedorf will probably take Raven's place. Some fuel to the rumour that Nathan Austin will be joining us from Falkirk to add some competition to the main strikers berth. Much needed if you ask me. Darren Dods last squad for the 2-1 defeat to Dunfermline:- Smith, McLean (Dale 46), Crighton, Fusco, Spark, Watt, Smith, Lynas, Sinclair (Graham 77), Orsi (McLennan 55), Layne. Further detail can be found on Official Site Here's Robbo's reaction to the defeat at Cappielow
  16. Dundee Replay. After their winter break Dundee come North looking to put Championship side Inverness Caledonian Thistle out of the Scottish Cup. The first tie ended in stalemate and the prize up for grabs is a home tie against Premiership side Motherwell. A precautionary pitch inspection is planned for Tuesday lunchtime to see if the pitch is holding up after recent drookit weather of biblical proportions. Inverness went to Dens park and justified Robbo's faith in his own side when he said it would not be a shock to him should Inverness progress into the next round. Well, it never quite went to script but we earned a replay with a deserved 2-2 draw. Neil McCann was blaming rustiness for his sides failure to get through at the first time of asking. Aaron Doran started the scoring and Dundee replied through Sofien Moussa and Mark O'Hara before George Oakley knocked in the late equaliser to send the tie to a replay. Since then, we have been to Falkirk in the Championship, and with a depleted squad through injury and suspension, we lost 3-1. We had fared pretty well until Jake Mulraney went berserk. A booking just before half time, another dubious tackle seconds later then yet another crude challenge gave the referee no other option but to send the nutter packing. We often complain about poor refereeing, but I'm afraid this was all Jake's doing. He let the team, manager and support down, but more importantly he let himself down. Robbo will be introducing stricter discipline rules within the club and that is no surprise as that was our eighth red card this season. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. He's not the first this season that has let the side down, let's hope he's the last though. On the bright side, youngsters Daniel Mackay and Jack Brown came on against Falkirk and combined to score a brilliant goal, Mackay superbly finishing off a brilliant assist from Jack Brown. Dundee have played twice since the cup draw. A home game against Hibs in the Premiership on Tuesday night and an away game at Hamilton on Saturday. They went down 1-0 to Hibs and McCann was left furious by refereeing decisions going against his side. Aye, tell us about it Neil. They fared better at Hamilton after a very late goal in time added on to the time added on gave them all three points. It was hyphen man AJ LS that got the winner with Mathew Henvey getting Dee's opener after Hamilton had benefited from an og from Mark O'Hara who sliced the ball into his own net. Pity he could'nt do that against us in the first game instead of running half the pitch and smashing the ball into the net, meh! Hamilton were undone by a sending off as well, David Templeton trying to outdo Mulraney for the fastest two yellow cards of the season. John Hendry has been attracting the attention of other clubs and Dundee are reported to have turned down a bid from Celtic for the talented young defender. Another one about to be paid a lot to sit on a bench probably. James Vincent, he of Caley Thistle Scottish Cup fame has left Dundee and gone to Dunfermline on loan. This is what the draw looks like at present. You would imagine Hearts, Falkirk and Fraserburgh will join Brora for the fifth round games. Would be a shame not to get that opportunity to join them, so it's all to play for on Tuesday night....... Inverness should have Iain Vigurs and Liam Polworth back after suspension. Jake Mulraney's suspension will be for the next Championship game, although Robbo was raging after the Falkirk game and he might be punished by the club and miss out. Tremarco is a long term absentee. Nathan Austin was missing, presumed injured still, against Falkirk. We need someone with a bit of flair to create the opportunities for Oakley and Bell, let's hope he has recovered for this game, but it's doubtful. Dundee are beginning to find their feet again as Neil McCann steadies the ship. He is looking to bring Toni Martinez in from West Ham. The Spaniard has scored 12 goals for the Hammers under-23's this season, although McCann reckons he might be out of their league. Hendry may be included after missing the first game through manflu. This lad has plenty quality and was missed in the first encounter. tm4tj prediction:- With our midfield taking on a more familiar look with Vigurs and Polworth returning that will give us a better balance in the engine room. Aaron Doran will feature in this one after not being risked at Falkirk on the artificial surface. Strong shouts for youth to get their chance after Daniel Mackay scored his second for the Caley Jags. Maybe not in this one with Dundee up for it, but surely in coming games he will be slowly introduced. AJ -LS is getting amongst the goals and will be a test for our defence once more but with Coll Donaldson playing well for us we might be able to keep him and Sofien Moussa quiet. Another tough game to call and it might take extra time and penalties to separate the sides. If we can keep eleven men on the park, we should be a match for the bottom six clubs in the Premiership. When we plumb the depths, we are barely a match for the Highland League clubs. I'll go for us to oust the Dark Blues, but given our recent shady performances, it's anyone's game. ICT after extra time, Motherwell (at home) here we come.
  17. Back to the day job. A cup run is a welcome break from the weekly chore of trying to get back into the Premiership, but it's back to the bread and butter stuff this weekend as we take to the road again with a visit to Falkirk, the land of the Kelpies, the Big Wheel and the Antonine wall, a sort of poor mans Hadrian's wall. It's the fifth meeting between the sides this season already. Falkirk won the first up in the Highlands in a league Cup encounter when we were going through our disarray period. That was followed by a 0-0 draw at Falkirk during the clean sheet era where we looked to be the better side. Our improvement continued as we narrowly won the Challenge cup game 1-0 at the Caledonian Stadium. As confidence began to spread through the ranks, the evolution reached new heights when we skelped the Bairns 4-1 and that is where we are now, the new improved Caley Jags. Let's hope we can keep the trend going. Last weekend both clubs were to put their day jobs aside and play in Scottish Cup ties. However, Falkirk ended up with a day off when their game against Livi at the Pasta Place was postponed, the weather winning that tie. It did go ahead on Tuesday night though and Falkirk progressed into the 5th round courtesy of a deflected goal in injury time from a Reghan Tumilty cross. Inverness did play though, and managed a creditable 2-2 draw at Premier side Dundee. It took a late goal from George Oakley to earn the replay, but it was well deserved. Aaron Doran had opened the scoring in the first half only for Dundee to edge ahead with Sofien Moussa deflecting an A-Jay Smith-Leitch shot beyond Mark Ridgers. Mark O'Hara added a second after a midfield lapse and our defence backing off, and as time ticked away, Oakley pounced to merit the replay, which will be held at the Caledonian Stadium on Tuesday night 30th January. The last time these two met was just over two weeks ago in a re-arranged fixture. The scoreline was somewhat startling considering the hiding Falkirk meted out to Championship contenders Dundee United only three days earlier. The 6-1 thrashing sent ripples throughout the Championship and many feared the worst. However, Inverness dealt out their own punishment as they pumped the Bairns 4-1. We went on a scoring spree and were three up at the break with Oakley, Bell and Mulraney hitting the net. Falkirk tightened up after the break and pulled one back through Longridge, but we extended our lead again when substitute and former Falkirk player John Baird scored the fourth. Who would have thought? Since that game we have beaten Queen of the South and drawn with Dundee in the cup. Falkirk's inconsistent season saw them come away with all three points from Greenock on the Saturday after the loss at Inverness. Craig Sibbald getting the winner in the 20th minute. Paul Hartley spoke to BBC Sport after the game: "Credit to the players and how they performed today. They had to dig deep to get the result. The movement, work-rate and enthusiasm of Louis Longridge and Andrew Nelson to take defenders on and to put people under pressure was pleasing. The lads here are digging deep and want to stay in the team, and they are working well just now." It would appear that Paul Hartley is finally getting to find out his best XI. Full-back Reghan Tumilty's loan from Ross County has been extended and he has taken in Louis Longridge from Hamilton on a permanent deal after his loan spell ended. He has already scored three goals in three games. Sean Welsh has been taken on from Partick Thistle. Swansea City midfielder Ryan Blair and forwards Alex Jakubiak, from Watford, and Andrew Nelson, from Sunderland have all arrived on loan deals. Young Celtic keeper Conor Hazard arrives on loan for the rest of the season. The clearout has begun in earnest with midfielder James Craigen and striker Lee Miller leaving. Defender Luca Gasparotto has made a permanent move to Morton having been on loan to them. Add that to the earlier releases of Conrad Balatoni, Liam Henderson and Nathan Austin, it's clear to see that Hartley is looking to go down a different route to the previous manager. The latest departure is midfielder Mark Kerr. Even later news is that promising defender Tony Gallacher is off to Liverpool for £200K. Blimey, is anybody left? Inverness have Carl Tremarco out for another month or so. Charlie Trafford took a nasty head knock against Dundee and is struggling with sickness, and between petulance and incompetence, we have two players suspended for accumulative bookings. Like Trafford, both are midfielders and Liam Polworth and Iain Vigurs will miss one game. Nathan Austin and Jake Mulraney were rested on the bench, and given both players are recovering from slight injuries then that's no bad thing with some tough games coming up. Aaron Doran may not play given the artificial surface and his long term rehab from knee surgery. So it looks like it's all hands to the pumps for Inverness. With Jake Mulraney walking around with a large FOR SALE sign on his back, it's reassuring to know that Hearts have signed another pacey wide player, Danny Amankwaa. Hopefully Jake will be left here for a bit longer. Falkirk may be without Tom Taiwo who was injured in the cup game at Livingston. A badly swollen ankle causing him to come off. Hartley did say on Taiwo, “Tom isn’t too bad, he is ok. We will see how he is in the morning and assess him to see if he is fit for Saturday’s match. He got a bit of a fright, it looked a nasty one at the time, but it’s not as serious as we thought so he may have a chance to face Inverness". Smokescreen or what? With a multitude of departures and arrivals, it's anyone's guess who Paul Hartley will select. tm4tj prediction:- Both sides have improved from a poor start to the season and if the recent encounter is anything to go by then the smart money will be on Inverness. However, closer scrutiny will show that Falkirk did pass on some good chances in that game and after a sloppy first half by their own admission they improved drastically after the break. Hartley has begun re-shaping his side to his own requirements and after a hard earned win over Livi in midweek they will be out to get some revenge over Robbo's side after the 4-1 defeat in the Highlands. We will be without Carl Tremarco but his replacement Riccardo Calder has offered us some attacking threat on the left. Jake Mulraney and Nathan Austin could come back in as well so we might just have enough flair to edge this game. Anything better than a defeat will be a bonus, a draw will not be the end of the world and it would maintain our ten point advantage over the Bairns. A win will see us handily placed to make an assault on the play-off zone in the coming weeks. I'm going for a narrow away win, but a draw might be where the smart money is. Mon the Caley Jags
  18. It's Scottish Cup time. A break from the rigours of the Championship this weekend as we travel to the City of Discovery to discover if Dundee are any better than they were when we left them in the Premiership, or are we any worse. It's the Fourth Round of the competition and that opens it up for the big boys. It also creates the opportunity for some banana skin ties. We have been an integral part of the major shocks section over the years, none greater than knocking Celtic out of the competition on three occasions. However, John Robertson won't consider this a shock should we advance to the next round. Speaking to the press ahead of the game Robbo said: “It’s a free one for us as no one expects us to go to Dundee and win but I do as that’s the way I am. I expect us to win every game, that’s the attitude I want from my players. We have been preparing for Dundee this week, while they have watched us three times and I’m sure they will give us a massive amount of respect. Neil McCann is a very clever manager and they’ve got good players. If we play the way we’ve been playing, and pass the ball the way we have been, we’ve got an opportunity to go there and cause an upset in other people’s minds but not in mine.” The last time we played each other in the Scottish Cup was at Hampden in 2003 and John Robertson was in charge then as well. We had a tremendous side back then with great strikers like Dennis Wyness and Paul Ritchie with Barry Robson out wide. What we would give for that quality right now. Back then Dundee boasted an array of foreign stars. We had Ross Tokely, Roy Macbain Stuart Golabek, Russel Duncan and of course the great Bobby Mann amongst others. Great occasion for Inverness at the time, something we would go on to better in 2015. We started the game the better side and Dennis Wyness smacked the top of the post via the keepers fingertips with a ferocious right foot shot from 35 yards. "Here we go" we all thought but it was not to be as Georgi Nemsadze scored the only goal. Dundee had eased into the game and their undoubted talent shone through in the end. That was the semi-final and we went down to that scuffed Georgi Nemsadze strike late in the game (think Joe Chalmers) and bowed out of the competition having eliminated Raith Rovers, Hamilton Accies and Celtic. However, Dundee went on to lose the final 1-0 thanks to a Lorenzo Amoruso goal giving Rangers the trophy. Fifteen years on from then and we have been drawn away at Dens Park for this fourth round tie, as both clubs enter the 2018 competition. It's coming up for three years since we lifted this trophy. Ahhh, those were the days! Our last visit to Dens Park offered us a glimmer of hope in the battle to avoid relegation. It was Richie Forans final fling and we beat Dundee 2-0 thanks to early goals from Billy Mckay and Alex Fisher. We did beat Motherwell 3-2 in the last game of the season, alas it was too little too late for Inverness and Foran as we were relegated thanks to Hamilton stuffing Dundee 4-0 and Richie got his P45. Thanks, we owe you one for that. Our season took a while to get off and running, but a seven game run of clean sheets has seen us steady the ship and we are now building nicely towards a promotion play-off slot. Our last two outings have seen us pick up maximum points and scoring seven goals against Falkirk and Queen of the South. Dundee are sitting third bottom of the Premiership, only Partick Thistle and Ross County are below them. They too had an inauspicious start to their campaign. They qualified from their group in the League Cup, drawing 1-1 with Dundee United in the final group game (United won 4-3 on penalties). They gained revenge in the next round beating the Arabs 2-0, but their League form was poor. Only one point from their first five games before beating St Johnstone and then crashing out of the League Cup 4-0 at the hands of Celtic. They picked up zero points in October before they beat Rangers 2-1 at the end of September. Three wins in December saw them get off the foot of the table before the winter break and that takes them to this encounter with Inverness. Robbo will be without Carl Tremarco for a couple of months with a hamstring injury. Riccardo Calder deputised last week and should continue. Nathan Austin missed out similarly against Queen of the South and that opened the door for a Bell-Oakley strike pairing. Neil McCann has been busy getting some players tied up on longer deals during the winter break. They have extended the deal for young defender Kerr Waddell, and Spanish defender Jon Aurtenetxe has signed on for the rest of the season. A-Jay Leitch-Smith, the man with more hyphens than a hyphen shop has also extended his loan deal. tm4tj prediction:- Given our recent impressive form and this chance to let our hair down, I'm looking for a minimum of a replay here, although with cup ties, you never know. With Coll Donaldson knitting the defence together at the back, Iain Vigurs, orchestrating the engine room (should he remain on the park), and our strikers having the audacity to score goals, things are looking a lot healthier than they were three months go. This will be a step up in overall quality for our new look side, but we are showing more resilience and if we can keep the Dark Blues at bay, then let's hope we can continue our recent scoring spree and get something from this game. A couple of guys to look out for - Loan signing and former Shrewsbury player A-Jay Leitch-Smith who is their top League scorer this season with five. Tunisian Sofien Moussa from Lokomotiv Gorna seems like a tricky customer with an eye for goal as well, so great test for our re-born defence. One player who will be familiar is of course Josh Meekings, fondly remembered for his unorthodox style in keeping the ball out of the net against Celtic. Here is a link to The Dark Blues website where I answered a few questions put to me by Daniel Smith from the Dark Blues.
  19. Is there a goal at the third time of asking? After the big win on Tuesday night, it's Gary Naysmith's Queen of the South that come North looking to keep Inverness out of the play-off zone on Saturday with a 3:00pm kick off. It's the third time the clubs have met this season in the Championship and both previous games had the same outcome, no score draws. The first one at Inverness saw Queens get the better of a 0-0 scoreline but with Inverness content on sorting out their defensive frailties, it beckoned the start of a new defensive era, one where we stopped shipping comedy goals and started to build from the back. The return game at Palmerston was closer in terms of superiority but the result remained the same. Inverness got their shooting boots on in midweek with an excellent win over the Bairns. Oakley, Bell, Mulraney and Baird all scored to banish the narrow defeat at Paisley to the recycle bin. It was a swashbuckling performance in the first half that saw the Bairns blown away as Inverness consolidated their mid-table position. Jake Mulraney was in sparkling form, his pace was awesome and let's hope he recovers from his knock to make a start on Saturday. Queens had a fruitful visit to Livingston and came away with a 1-0 win to jump over them in the League, albeit on goal difference. Chris Kane was the man that made the difference with a first half goal. The clubs are more evenly matched in terms of goals scored and conceded than they were the last time they played. We have started scoring and shored up the defence and have closed the goal difference gap to four. Queens (for 33 against 27) Inverness (for 26 against 24) Carl Tremarco is back on the injury list with a suspected hamstring injury, the heavy pitches and busy schedule being blamed for his problems. He will be scanned before the extent of the injury can be gauged. Jake Mulraney was also subbed against Falkirk as a precaution after taking a knock. No David Raven to call on now, but Riccardo Calder did well when he came on against the Bairns, both in defence and going forward. Collin Seedorf is an option but he is another coming back after a recent injury. Up front Nathan Austin could return after his niggle at Paisley although he missed the Falkirk game. Queens have had recent injury problems of their own and will be looking to get back to full strength before some of their loan players return to parent clubs. James McFadden has left the club looking to play abroad. This was their team that played in the 1-0 win at Livingston that saw Queens jump into fourth place in the Championship:- Martin, Rooney, Brownlie, Kerr, Mercer, Murray, Thomson, Rankin, Dykes, Kane, Dobbie (Bell 90). tm4tj prediction:- Any club with a natural goal scorer like Stephen Dobbie has to be taken seriously. Despite the lack of goals in the earlier tussles, there is plenty of players on both sides capable of knocking one in. We had three strikers scoring against Falkirk and Mulraney notching his first for Inverness. So things are looking up. I'll take our in form strikers to get more goals in this one and edge closer to the top zone. In case you missed it, here are the goals from the Falkirkgame with all three strikers scoring.
  20. Top Challenge Tough task ahead as we venture forth to Paisley to take on one of the form teams of the Championship in the shape of title contenders St Mirren on Saturday with a 3:00pm kick off slot. Last time out we ended the game against Livingston with ten men and surrendered a half time lead to end the day with just one point. That's the third game in a row where we have been reduced in numbers and half a dozen for the season, something which should be of some concern for John Robertson. This time it was Iain Vigurs who has the knack of rubbing the referee's up the wrong way and seems to be a target for some who like to get some retribution. In saying that, maybe Iain should wind his neck in a tad and make himself less visible to these situations. Just saying! Anyway, the sending off and subsequent injuries altered the pattern of the game and Livi managed to gain a point whilst we squandered two. Aaron Doran placed a wonderful low shot beyond the reach of the keeper to open the scoring early, but we were undone late in the game as Livi scored from a set-piece to level. St Mirren also surrendered a lead in their derby as Morton came back to earn a point after Celtic bound Lewis Morgan gave the Buddies the lead in the first half. Thomas O'Ware headed Morton level late on to secure a well earned point for the Ton. That reduced their lead at the top of the table to three points with Dundee United skelping Brechin 4-1. The table does not lie. St Mirren are top with 42 points and we sit seventh on 24 points. Goals scored shows the same trend with St Mirren on 38 and Inverness on 22. We have actually conceded one goal less than the Buddies, thanks to our clean sheet run but if it were not for Brechin (11 goals), there would be a massive difference in goals scored. As it is, we are getting close to 50% of St Mirren's stats. We have to take it one step at a time after our poor start to the season, but it was an opportunity missed last time out to put ourselves in a position where it would have been possible to climb the table. As it is, it will take another couple of weeks to see if we have what it takes to move up, or drift into mid-table obscurity, only time will tell. Nathan Austin made his debut in the home game against Livingston and looks to have plenty of what we have been missing. The ability to get past defenders, able to head the ball, pace and a directness not seen at the club since Barry Wilson last played here. Iain Vigurs misses out through suspension. Joe Chalmers came off injured against Livi and Collin Seedorf missed that one through injury. It's beginning to unravel a bit with suspensions and injury but Carl Tremarco will be back after his one match ban. David Raven played his final home game and despite his public swipe at the club, could play against St Mirren if required. Rumour has it that Alex Cooper could be let go, the former County player being surplus to requirements along with Matt Elsdon and Big Susan. Jack Ross has done a fantastic job at Paisley. Avoiding relegation last season after being cut well adrift at one point, and continuing the upward surge of the club this term, looking like Premiership contenders since the start of the season. Lewis Morgan has had his medical at Parkhead but appears to be on loan back to St Mirren for the remainder of the season. Similar to the Ryan Christie scenario a couple of years ago. Daniel Mullen has slotted in since joining from Livingston and is another goal threat to contend with. Gavin Reilly is strengthening after recovering from illness and is a huge goal threat. tm4tj prediction:- This is a tough game at a tough venue. We were scalped earlier in the season down there despite Robbo claiming there was little between the sides. St Mirren also won 2-0 in the Highlands and we will do well to contain them with their added fire power of Daniel Mullen complimenting Lewis Morgan and Gavin Reilly should he start. Our defence has generally coped fairly well since we settled down and got to know each other. A draw might be our best option, but I'm no holding my breath.
  21. New Year, New Striker? Livingston are the first footers on 2nd January 2018 at 15:00 as we look to build on our hard fought away win at Brechin in the final game of 2017 when we came from behind to win with ten men. An upset looked to be on the cards after we squandered an early lead at Glebe Park. Jordan Sinclair scored from the spot then volleyed home a tremendous second before the break to give Brechin some hope. Substitute George Oakley levelled the game but Carl Tremarco picked up a second yellow, therefore a red to give the hosts some impetus. However, some baller skills from big Coll ended up with Oakley tapping home his second and the winner to give us all three points which might have been harsh on Brechin, but showed some real determination from Inverness and that was not lost on Robbo in his post match reaction. Livi had a break before the bells when their game with Dunfermline was called off, one of six SPFL games to fall foul of the weather. Their previous game saw them thump Dumbarton 4-1 at the Rock, with goals coming from Craig Halkett, Scott Pittman, Dylan Mackin and Scott Robinson The current report card for Livi will show that they have made a tremendous start to life in the Championship and sit comfortably within the play-off positions at the end of 2017. However, more recent defeats to St Mirren and Dundee United and a draw against Falkirk have taken some of the shine off their results. Our own report card will show much improvement, but more required to make the play-off zone. Livi are third in the table on 29 points, four places above Inverness on 23 points. Defensively there is nothing between the sides, but Livi have the edge in attack with 28 goals to our 21. In fact, if you take Brechin out of the equation, then we would have only ten goals to our credit! Thank you Brechin City, call again. In the previous games this season, Livi came out on top in the first encounter winning 3-1 at the Caledonian Stadium when Todorov, Robertson and Halkett answered a Connor Bell strike. The return at the Pasta Place saw us draw 0-0 during our record breaking clean sheet run. So, we have improved, but a draw at Palmerston, defeat at Cappielow and a scrambled win at Brechin show we still have some way to go before we can consider ourselves candidates. David Raven could return after suspension in what could be his final game for the Caley Jags. Carl Tremarco will miss this one after being red carded at Brechin. Collin Seedorf is a doubt after being subbed at Brechin. New signing Nathan Austin could be in line for a start, but will have to climb over George Oakley to get it unless Robbo realises that scoring goals is not John Baird's best attribute and finally benches him. There's no doubting Baird's commitment, but scoring goals is not for him at the moment. Matt Elsdon and Big Susan look to be on their way out after failing to impress for whatever reasons. Nathan has plenty of style as you can see from this photoshoot. Welcome to the Caley Jags. Livi will have to do without the Mullen streak. Five goal striker Daniel Mullen signed for St Mirren on loan in mid-December and that will become permanent in January along with a five figure fee. Possible line-up for Livi: Alexander, Penrice, Lithgow, Gallagher, Halkett, Mullin, Jacobs, Byrne, Pittman, Boyd, Toderov or Makin. tm4tj prediction:- Let's not get too carried away after a stirring performance to beat Brechin. Yes, that's right, it was only Brechin. With Neil Alexander in goal, that makes it a more difficult task, and having Halkett, Pittman and Todorov in your side, goals are a distinct possibility. However, with results mainly on the up I will be looking for at least a point from this game. Anything less would be a severe setback to our aspirations and will have us looking over our shoulders once more. More info on Official Site
  22. Opportunity to bounce back. Game On! We head for Glebe Park Brechin on Saturday, our last game of 2017 to play The City at their quaint venue, where a hedge forms one side of the stadium. I suppose it's more picturesque than our own, where a defunct singing section, tea shop and toilets mark the touchline on the Bridge side of the stadium. It's an opportunity to bounce back after the disappointment at Morton where we went down to a Gary Harkins spot kick, and ended the game with ten men after David Raven was red carded at the penalty incident. There was some consternation surrounding the playability of the ground despite the City grounstaff and volunteers covering the surface. Heavy frost had penetrated a couple of area's and that was giving some concern. Brechin City have issued the following statement. "PITCH UPDATE In the main the pitch covers have done their job despite overnight frost with the vast majority of the pitch soft and playable. Unfortunately despite a double layer of covers the frost has got into an area of about 3 metres square in the bottom goalmouth. However, taking the current forecast into account and depending on overnight conditions, our ground staff feel this area can be worked on to make it playable for the game. In any case an early decision will be made tomorrow morning with regard to a pitch inspection." It matters not now as no inspection needed, Game On! So far this season, Brechin have been our whipping boys despite their results against other more illustrious opponents being very close affairs. We have played them three times already this season. A 3-0 league cup victory was followed by our first league win of the season, 0-4 at Glebe Park back in August. We repeated that scoreline at the end of November with a 4-0 win at the Caledonian Stadium and that brings us to the final game of 2017 matchday 18 for both sides. Brechin are without a win this season and that is shown in their league position, only three points from 17 games. With that in mind, their goals against tally is the worst in the league. They have conceded twice as many as Inverness with 38 against. If you thought that goal scoring is a problem for Inverness (18), then spare a thought for Brechin fans who have witnessed only 12 league goals. They are not the worst though. That accolade goes to Falkirk who have only scored 9 times. Our optimism is justified given our dominance over City in previous fixtures this season, but we are not exactly setting the heather on fire ourselves and this could be a tough game. Last time against City we won 4-0 with goals coming from Brad Mckay, John Baird, Connor Bell and George Oakley. We were always in command, but the game was somewhat flat at times and four nil possibly flattered us, a late dinked goal from George Oakley putting some shine on the dull proceedings. For the visitors that day, Isaac Layne ploughed a lone furrow, but he is a robust fellow and was a handful for our defenders who ultimately coped well with his powerful bursts forward. He is a bit like marmite, you either love him or hate him. On that day he looked decent, alas many Brechin fans think otherwise. Inverness will be without David Raven who may well have played his last game for Robbo's side. The stalwart right back was reinstated after the John Hughes era and has been a fans favourite, especially after his stunning goal that helped knocked Celtic out of Scottish cup. However, a red card at Cappielow means he will miss this one although he could possibly feature against Livingston on 2nd January before he leaves after turning down a new deal. That has been on the cards for some time and the end is nigh, but best wishes to David in his future career. Collin Seedorf will probably take Raven's place. Some fuel to the rumour that Nathan Austin will be joining us from Falkirk to add some competition to the main strikers berth. Much needed if you ask me. Darren Dods last squad for the 2-1 defeat to Dunfermline:- Smith, McLean (Dale 46), Crighton, Fusco, Spark, Watt, Smith, Lynas, Sinclair (Graham 77), Orsi (McLennan 55), Layne. Further detail can be found on Official Site Here's Robbo's reaction to the defeat at Cappielow This post has been promoted to an article
  23. Caley Jags Head South Inverness make the long trek to Dumfries this weekend to take on Queen of the South in the Championship. Queens have made steady progress under Gary Naysmith with some great results this season, but they have also faltered when better results were expected, going down at home to Livingston a couple of weeks ago. They have scored 23 goals and conceded 19 from their opening 14 games, winning 6 losing 4 and drawing 4. They did of course get the better of a no scoring draw in Inverness at the start of our record breaking run of clean sheets. They are six points above us in 5th place. Our last visit to Palmerston was in April 2010 when we won 3-1. We were one down after ten minutes but Adam Rooney levelled before the break. Grant Munro headed us in front and Rooney completed the scoring a couple of minutes from the end. We went on to win the League that season and were promoted back into the Premier League. Ahh yes, those were the days. Last time out we convincingly beat Brechin City 4-0 in midweek. That was after the disappointment of the St Mirren defeat that ended our run of seven consecutive clean sheets. John Baird scored the second against Brechin and the whole team celebrated this phenomenon. Brad Mckay had opened the scoring and Connor Bell and George Oakley rounded off a good evening for us. Queens last outing saw them come from behind twice, with a late og helping them earn a point at Dumbarton who are proving to be a difficult side to put away. Top scorer Stephen Dobbie had scored a penalty earlier in the game to level the scoring. This is what the former Hearts and Scotland player Gary Naysmith thought of the Dumbarton game. Brad Mckay put Gary Warren back to the bench after his one match suspension and I would imagine Charlie Trafford will get the same treatment as Iain Vigurs returns from his one match ban. Aaron Doran won't be risked on the artificial turf and Zak Elbouzedi will sit this one out as well. Callum Fordyce will miss this game for Queens after a hamstring injury picked up on Tuesday night at Dumbarton. Naysmith has options of Andrew Stirling and Chris Kane coming in for allegedly tired oldies like James McFadden and Derek Lyle. John Rankin will be in the visitors squad, with Stepehen Dobbie the joint top scorer in the league one to watch. Connor Murray is a doubt but Dan Carmichael is a non starter. Kyle Jacobs is back after suspension. More detail on the Official Site tm4tj prediction:- We will provide stiffer opposition for Queens this time out. Our last mission against them was to stop conceding goals. We accomplished that and went on a run, the rest is history. However, with Ian Vigurs back, the quality from midfield will provide goal scoring opportunities although at the other end Stephen Dobbie will be a major threat. I'm taking us to draw at worst, win at best. It will be tight, but I believe we now have enough quality and confidence to compete with the best in this division. Our reporter for this game will the intrepid Immortal Howden Ender for whom this will be seen as a home game for him as he makes the short trip from Chorley FM to Dumfries. Enjoy yer trip ya olde git. ***LATEST NEWS*** The Inverness team bus was delayed for hours on Friday evening after a serious road accident on the A9 at Killiecrankie, not arriving at their destination until 03:00. Thoughts are with those injured at this time. More details On BBC website.
  24. Forget about last Saturday Brechin City will try again on Tuesday night in this re-scheduled game with a 19:45 kick off, the previous attempt thwarted by persistent rain. The last time these two clubs were due to meet the weather put paid to any football. Not a lot has changed since but the preview has been revamped to show the results of Saturdays game and the impact of any player injuries or disciplinary actions. City are now without a win this season from the thirteen league games played and have only three points to show for their efforts. That has planted them firmly at the foot of the table and are no doubt the bookies favourites for automatic relegation. They have scored just nine goals and more importantly have conceded twenty-six. So, scoring 0.7 of a goal per game and conceding at the rate of two every match. That's the form that justifies their position at the moment. On the face of it, City have a lot to do. However, closer inspection shows that their last six league games were tight affairs only losing by one goal in each game and a draw with league leaders Dundee United. Those defeats were by St Mirren, Morton, Queen of the South, Livingston and Dumbarton. The Dumbarton game was particularly hard to take with the Sons scoring the winner in the 90th minute. And the final straw; it was a Willie Dyer own goal. A battling draw last weekend with United shows that Brechin will not be going down without a fight. Inverness were on a record breaking run until St Mirren and referee John McKendrick spoiled the party at the weekend with a disputed and disappointing 0-2 win. Seven games without conceding saw us edge our way up the table. What a transformation from our opening couple of months. Defeat at Dumbarton on 23rd September with Gary Warren red carded saw us only two points better off than Brechin and morale at an all time low. we started the record breaking run with a hard fought goalless draw against Queen of the South. It was not a classic, but a determined effort and the team were under strict orders to keep Queens at bay. It worked and things have looked up ever since. It's great credit to Mark Ridgers and his defence that we have continued that run. Coll Donaldson is doing so well at the moment that captain Gary Warren could not get back in the side. However, he played against St Mirren with Brad Mckay suspended and the clean sheet run came to an end. I suppose it had to happen sometime. The clubs have met twice already, once in the League Cup and once in the league. Inverness came out on top both times securing 3-0 and 0-4 wins. The League game at Glebe Park saw goals from Polworth, Mckay, Cooper and Vigurs give us a comfortable victory. However, Brechin have learnt a lot in defeat and their recent performances have been encouraging for Darren Dods. The manager of the month curse has now struck yet and our last game saw St Mirren take the points in a wintry scene more akin to a Xmas card. I'm sure Samuel Taylor Coleridge based a verse on the sodden pitch against the Buddies. It's time to get the St Mirren game out of our thoughts and get back to winning ways. Robbo can call on the previously suspended Brad Mckay but he will be without the classy red carded Iain Vigurs who was oddly sent off against St Mirren for being assaulted by keeper Craig Samson. Possibly Aaron Doran, Zak Elbouzedi and Collin Seedorf will come into contention at some point during this game. Many thought Doran could have done a job against St Mirren, however the heavy pitch was maybe a factor in his omission. Darren Dods had this starting XI against Dundee United, and they worked hard for their point. G Smith; McLean, Crighton, E Smith, Dyer, Dale, Graham, Watt Spark, Layne, Orsi. Mclennan & Sinclair came on as subs in the second half. tm4tj prediction:- Given our previous results against Brechin this season, I would have thought another win was on the cards, but with their recent run of close games, this one will be tighter than previous, but I am still going for a home win. 2-0 to the Caley Jags with John Baird to break his drought. More info on the Official Site
  25. Still 693 and counting. With the Brechin game being called off in midweek, our next visitors will be a much more difficult proposition and the clean sheet record will be well tested. St Mirren are the next club attempting to breach our defence, something they managed four times in the previous fixture this season in Paisley. To be honest, the record, 693 minutes, is a welcome notch in the clubs history, but let's not let it detract from the job in hand. Three points is the aim in each match, clean sheets or not. The Brechin game fell foul of the weather on Tuesday. Constant heavy rain for hours on end scuppered any chance of the game going ahead as it got heavier as the day wore on. St Mirren went on a scoring spree last Saturday as they were involved in a Scottish Cup 3rd round encounter with Lothian Thistle Hutchinson Vale.The Championship side knocked in seven goals in the first half, with Gavin Reilly helping himself to four before being substituted in the 67th minute. The Buddies sit second in the table despite no wins in their last three. Draws against Falkirk and Morton and defeat at Tannadice has seen the Arabs hit the top, but St Mirren have a game in hand over leaders Dundee United who lead by three. St Mirren have scored 24 goals in their dozen games so far and have conceded 17. That's 11 goals more than us although we are one better off in defence thanks to our recent run of seven games without conceding. They got the better of Inverness earlier in the season by virtue of a 4-2 win. It rained goals in thirteen second half minutes. When the dust settled, it was the Buddies that took the points. Goals from Lewis Morgan, Gregor Buchanan, Cammy Smith and Ian McShane did the damage with John Baird and Liam Polworth replying for Inverness. John Robertson has Aaron Doran back after a two year injury hell. The wide player featured against Falkirk in the IrnBru cup and will benefit from more match sharpness as the season progresses. Jake Mulraney returns after international duty with the Irish u21 side where he scored a superb solo goal. Brad Mckay is suspended and that opens the door for a return to the heart of the defence for captain Gary Warren. Collin Seedorf and Zak Elbouzedi are making progress and could be included in the squad. Big Susie is still out. Jack Ross has Gary McKenzie's back in training but not available for this one. tm4tj prediction:- St Mirren have not fared as well away from Paisley where they have only dropped two points this season. Away from home they have lost three times which offers us a glimmer of hope. Our form has got better as the season lengthens. A win is a big ask, but we are well capable of matching the opposition. I'm looking for a narrow home win. More details are on the Official Site