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  1. Ayr Pressure Ayr United will try to keep the pressure on Inverness in this top end clash this weekend as the Honest Men come North looking for three points after their midweek loss to the Pars, whilst the Caley Jags will be hoping to make it three wins on the bounce. It's second versus third in the Championship and an opportunity for the hosts to consolidate their position within the top four whilst doing some damage to the other contenders. Ayr United lost 1-0 at Somerset Park to Dunfermline Athletic thanks to a strike from Kevin Nisbet, his ninth goal in five games. Inverness remained in second place and this game would be the perfect time to lay down a marker and state our intentions. Defeat would be a blow and undo the good work of the last couple of weeks and hand Ayr, Dundee and Dunfermline the impetus to get right in the mix for second place. We overcame a difficult hurdle last week by beating Alloa Athletic 2-0 at the Indodrill Stadium. It took a fortuitous Scott Taggart own goal to get us going but there was nothing fortunate about Aaron Doran's half volley from 17 yards after Jordan White layed off the ball to him just on the break. No further scoring after the interval but the Wasps had a Dick sent off for a rash challenge on James Keatings. The week before, we had battled hard for a narrow win over Dundee, Doran scoring the winner in that game. It's good to see Doran getting back amongst the goals. He is the top scorer in our squad with 44 goals in 263 appearances and has scored four times this season. His form has picked up recently and he is starting to look a lot sharper than he was at the start of the season. The sketch is one by local artist Sophie Robb. There's been a murder & Pick that one out...... Here's the goals from the Rooney show @ Somerset Park... Team News from Ayr United web site: Steven Bell returns to the squad after illness but Kris Doolan and long-term absentees Jamie Adams and Andy Murdoch remain on the sidelines. Luke McCowan serves the second game of his two match ban. Mark Kerr said: “We were extremely disappointed on Tuesday night with the result and the performance so it’s good to have another game quickly to try and rectify that. It is never easy playing against Inverness but we have a big incentive knowing a win will put us back into second place. We are heading up this morning (Friday) and training this afternoon so we will be well prepared.” Championship games on Saturday 14th December Inverness CT v Ayr United Arbroath v Dundee Dundee United v Alloa Athletic Dunfermline v Morton Queen of the South v Partick Thistle Heeeeeeeere's Johnny............ And here's a man on good form just now.............. If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ .
  2. Alloa, chapter three We are off to Recreation Park Alloa this Saturday to face the Wasps on match day 15 in the Championship. The Wasps will be well acquainted with the Caley Jags before the end of the season as we will have met a minimum of six times after we have been drawn against each other in the Challenge Cup and the Scottish Cup. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ CLUB NEWS Annual General Meeting (AGM): The AGM of Inverness Thistle and Caledonian FC Ltd will be held at Caledonian Stadium on Thursday 19th December at 7.30pm and today we have issued notice to shareholders, which includes the Club’s annual report and financial statements. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Before I let Johndo loose with his nostalgiaitis, here's the tale of the tape so far this season. The first encounter this season saw a much changed Inverness get a somewhat flattering 3-0 win in the Challenge Cup game with Alloa hitting woodwork twice. The league game a week later saw us struggle to get a draw after our defence went AWOL, allowing Alan Trouten space and time to level the game at 2-2. We had fought back from an early Buchanan goal but found it difficult to break down a well organised Wasps defence. After getting our noses in front four minutes from the end through a Carl Tremaro special and an excellent Jordan White flying header, which incidentally put us top of the league for four minutes, we then proceeded to shoot ourselves in the foot. Such is life! It's been mostly downhill since then until we put in the effort to record a good 1-0 win over Dundee last week, Aaron Doran the scorer. Other games this weekend: Ayr v Arbroath Dundee v Queen of the South Dunfermline v Partick Thistle Morton v Dundee United Now pin yer ears back and listen to the Immortal Howden Ender So it is a sojourn to Clackmannanshire and the grand olde Recreation Park, on St Andrews Day, to face Alloa Athletic. Will our depleted, flu stricken squad have recovered well enough to bring back a well needed three point haul and maintain our renewed place in the Top Four. Lets hope that the Wasps are slumbering in their Winter hibernation and do not have enough sting left to inflict another defeat on us. Perhaps two games in a week may be too much for them as well ? It would be nice to hear of others Away Day experiences at the Recreation Park. Was anyone in attendance during our first season (September 1994) when we came away with a point in a 1-1 draw ? My first Alloa Away experience (or non-experience) was in December 1996 and also one of my early returns from Refusnikism. Drove all the way from Lancashire in blue skies, sunshine and mild temperatures – grooving to the recently released “Bring It On Home” – then sitting in the pub to be informed that the game had been called off. Were you there? And then on to November 1999 and probably the most disappointed and gutted that I have felt at the final whistle. Airdrie was the venue for the Challenge Cup Final with Alloa. We were strong favourites and had amassed a following of 2000 + Highlanders. It may have been a great game for neutrals but 4-4 after extra time led to a 5-4 defeat from the penalty spot. I still have an image of the skinhead (Martin Cameron) clenching his fist at the end. October 2002 was the opposite and as good an away performance as there has been over the years. A hat-trick each for Paul Ritchie and Denis Wyness landed us a very enjoyable 6-0 thrashing. And I know of a few who lamented our League Cup exit in August 2016 when we lost 1-0 – again despite being clear favourites. There always seems to be goals at Alloa – apart from the 0-0 draw next season. So being a betting man I would go for an ICT Win with Both Teams To Score. BUT our rollercoaster displays this season means that we cannot predict what kind of performance will be produced. In the league this season we beat them 3-0 at home in the Chocolate Biscuit Trophy with a “weakened” team but then drew 2-2 at home in the next game with the “preferred starting X1”. As for Alloa I have to congratulate then for hoofing Hellgin out of the Scottish Cup. And I also have to admit that I have always had a “liking” for Peter Grant, both as a player and a coach. To be blunt I would have thought that Alloa was below his potential. Alloa are capable of grabbing points at home from anyone, as they proved against us and Plastic Whistle. Being in a tight relegation zone probably makes them more dangerous - and Alloa has no links to any Lottery Winners. It looks like the players to look out for against us are Alan Trouten, Kevin O’Hara and Kevin Cawley. Although the one time ICT “target” (Liam Buchanan) is still alive and kicking and unfortunately still capable of netting against Inverness. Alloa are once more showing their resilience and earned a point in midweek at Firhill. They led Patrick Thistle early in the first half through Alan Trouten before former player Dario Zanatta equalised before the break. Despite Thistle dominating, there was no further scoring with on loan keeper Jamie MacDonald denying Partick a few times. That saw the points shared at the relegation end of the table and it keeps Patrick at the bottom with Alloa two points above them. It has become more of a case of picking 11 players fit enuff to play rather than the preferred first choices. It may well be a case of few changes from the starting 11 against Dundee. The potential changes could be Rooney back in for Brad McKay and possibly Keatings for McHattie. Tremarco has trained all week and MacGregor and Curry will come back into contention. Robbo appears to have felt that we tactically outsmarted Dundee and heralded a 4-1-4-1 formation. Hopefully that will not be followed at Alloa and we discard the “hoof” tactics that appear to be unfortunately followed away from home. So I will be travelling by train from Stirling, having a pre-match aperitif in “Bobbing Johns” and an Asda carryoot on the way home. Hopefully the 90 + minutes on the terraces will be as enjoyable as the rest of the day. Like Johndo, I'm sure we will all be looking to consolidate on the hard earned points from last weekend against Dundee that ended a run of poor results and performances. Something to build on, at least the passion was back and maybe, just maybe, this virus is on it's way out of the Caledonian Stadium. If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  3. Dark Blue test Crunch game coming up and the Xmas trees are not even up in living rooms across the North. Dundee venture forth to the Highland capital on Saturday as we look to get back on track after a disastrous run of results that has yielded only one win in our last six games. Kick off is at 3:00pm. Crushing defeats to Dundee United and Arbroath were particular lowlights, but the manner of our performance against League 1 Clyde in the Challenge Cup left a lot to be desired. We looked as uncomfortable as Prince Andrew at an interview but thankfully our penalty kicks were emphatic enough to see us through. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ League Match Ticket Prices Adult Senior Citizen 16-25 Under 16 Main £22 £17 £17 £6 North/Away £20 £15 £15 £6 Tickets available from the Club Shop, over the phone on 01463 222880 and online HERE All Armed Forces personnel can gain entry to Saturday’s game against Dundee for the discounted price of £10. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Having picked up only four points from a possible fifteen in our last five Championship games, we find ourselves above Arbroath on goal difference only and one point behind this week's visitors Dundee with their neighbours United looking likely to run away with the title. This is the only Championship game on this weekend with others involved in the Scottish Cup Dundee have been indifferent lately, but nine points from their last five games have seen them climb above us in the table after an inauspicious start to the season. Two defeats to Partick Thistle and the Arabs were countered by wins over Morton, Alloa and Ayr United. Inverness have suffered badly over the last few weeks as a sickness bug took it's toll on the playing staff and management team. That could explain our recent dip in performances since we beat Queen of the South 2-0 at Palmerston at the end of October. Tom Walsh, Roddy MacGregor and Shaun Rooney will miss out along with Sean Welsh. Here's Robbo talking ahead of tomorrows game. Dundee boss James McPake had this team for the Dundee derby last time out:- Dundee (V Dundee Utd): Hazard, Kerr, Forster, McGhee, Mackie, Byrne, Dorrans, McGowan (Johnson 64′), McDaid, Nelson (McPake 66′), Hemmings. Dundee have a full squad other than keeper Jack Hamilton who misses out through illness.
  4. Chocolate Cup weekend Bully-off against the Bully Wee on Saturday is at 3:00pm at the Caledonian Stadium with the visitors in the middle section of League1 and Inverness in the middle of a shocking slump. I don't even think we can blame HMRC. It's a break from League business though as we enter the quarter finals of the Challenge Cup, this year sponsored by Tunnock's Caramel Wafers and if you are quick off the mark you might even get some freebies prior to kick-off. Why the Bully Wee? From the Clyde FC Official Website:- As nicknames go, "The Bully Wee" is quirky and affectionate. It's not clear when it was first coined, or by whom, but it has been synonymous with Clyde. There appear to be three main theories how the name originated. The first refers to the fact that Clyde's support and possibly players were drawn from the Bridgeton area. Renowned for their pugnacious character the support were 'wee bullies' and hence the Bully Wee. The second theory takes a European dimension. Apparently some Frenchmen were at Barrowfield around 1900. Upon a disputed goal they cried: "But il'y, oui?" This translates as: "Their goal, yes", but sounds very like "Bully Wee". Our third and by far the most credible theory is that "Bully" was a Victorian synonym for first-rate/good/worthy. As Clyde were a small club it seems obvious that "Bully Wee Clyde" must have rolled off the tongue. The Bully Wee began life at Barrowfield Park in 1877 before moving to Shawfield in 1898. Their record attendance at Shawfield was for a game against Rangers in 1908 when 52,000 were at the game. That puts Shawfield at sixth place in the record attendances for Scottish football grounds. Clyde have come a long way since they were kicked out of Shawfield in 1986. 15.3 miles in fact and they now play out of Broadwood, Cumbernauld, the scene of one of our great achievements when we beat Clyde 2-1 to top the First Division before going on to promotion the following week on helicopter Saturday. What a day that was back on the 8th of May 2004. Goals from Liam Keogh and Stevie Hislop were enough to edge out Clyde who had levelled the score through an Ian Harty penalty until Hissy headed into the top corner with 10 minutes to go: Scenes! Turn the clock back Robbo, you were in charge then as well! Back to the future It's a chocolate themed weekend coming up with Inverness playing in the Chocolate Biscuit Cup and ironically we are as much use as a chocolate teapot just now. We are absolutely Tunnock's at the moment with only one win in our last five matches. It doesn't help when we have a Willy Wonka at the helm (according to some) but we certainly need a golden ticket to get us out of this mess. Now that takes the biscuit, crackers isn't it! We could really do with a boost as we are a bit flakey just now. Last week was one of the worst results in the history of the club since it joined the Leagues some 25 years ago. The 5-2 thrashing of Arbroath seems a long time ago now as the Smokies absolutely binned us last week with a comfortable 3-0 win over an uninspired Inverness who seem to have lost the plot. These players need to take a long hard look at themselves and ask if they actually give a feck whether they pull on the jersey or not. Wouldn't have happened on Hercher's shift! Even Bobby Mann had more pace than half of the current squad. Most of them lack the quality, the passion, the drive, the focus, the invention, in fact the basic skills of the game. If we were not in such a poor financial state, I doubt many would be retained. I suppose you only get what you pay for (buttons), let's hope we don't pay too much for the current squad. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Thanks to competition sponsors Tunnock’s there will be a limited stock of FREE Caramel Wafer Biscuits to supporters attending the match. The offer is one per person and while stocks last, so get down early! TICKET INFO Adult: £10 - Concessions (Over 65s, 16-25s, Juniors): £5 Under 12s: FREE (With an accompanying ticket holding adult or concession). ***Club Statement*** Two directors join the board. David Cameron (no not that one) and Allan Munro ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Our last Tunnock's game saw us defeat Alloa Athletic 3-0, just one week before we struggled to a 2-2 draw against the same side in the Championship. We have made many changes to the starting XI for these ties and hopefully this game will not be an exception as the guys that played at Arbroath have lost something. Rumours of an advert circulating on facebook in the Arbroath Neighbourhood Watch pages are so far unfounded. The advert is alleged to have been from a man who went only by the name of John. He said that whilst in Arbroath at the weekend with his mates an entire football team had lost it's mojo. It may be reluctant to be returned to it's rightful owners, but if found could you please contact Inverness Caledonian Thistle football club, the Caledonian Stadium, Inverness. Thanks, John. Meanwhile, back to the task in hand, maybe a change of personnel will see players who want to put in the effort and pull on the jersey. Cammy Mackay has been between the sticks for these games so far and should continue, although Mark Ridgers is one of the few who are not to blame for our demise. If the manager has any ideas left, surely the likes of Storey, will be binned, he has been a waste of space since he came back, flattering to deceive. He must be doing something in training, but we never see it on a matchday. Have the likes of Doran and Tremarco seen better days? Get the young team on the park with Harper, McHattie, MacGregor, Machado surely having as much to offer as the impostors that get the regular games. ***Latest News*** The sickness bug that has been lurking around the Stadium for a week or two now is still lingering on and James Keatings seems to be suffering at the moment. John Robertson, Scott Kellacher, Barry Wilson Ryan Esson will possibly be in charge of the squad and other unnamed players are also suffering but he expects the squad to be along familiar lines with a couple of exceptions. It's not looking great down at the stadium with this bug running through the team, that might explain the lethargy shown over the last month as performance on the park has certainly dipped from being top of the League for four minutes to losing three of the last four games and conceding six goals in our last two whilst scoring zero! Raith Rovers are the first team through to the Semi-Finals after beating 10 man Elgin City 3-2 last night. Shane Sutherland scored for Elgin and good to see Daniel Mackay back on the park after his recent injury. Defender Mathew Cooper was also in the Elgin ranks as they played the last half hour with 10 men. Other Q/F ties Rangers u21 v Wrexham Stenhousemuir v Partick Thistle Here's Machado opening his account against Alloa.... Clyde lost 1-2 against Peterhead in League 1 last Saturday, Two goals from former Inverness striker Rory McAllister (remember when we all slagged him off ), were enough to see off Clyde who scored late on through defender Scott Rumsby. To put our humiliation into perspective, it was Clyde that knocked Arbroath out of the competition at Gayfield with a 2-0 win. An own goal and one from Chris Johnston set Clyde up for this tie against Inverness. Just let that sink in for a moment. Former St Mirren manager Danny Lennon is the man in charge of Clyde and he reckons he has similar problems to Inverness judging by his comments after the Peterhead game. Danny: "At half-time we asked the players to install a bit of pride and reminded them that their reputation, every time they take to the pitch in a Clyde jersey, is under the microscope. It's a response that I'm asking for too often at the moment." Rumour has it that David Goodwillie could well miss this game through injury and Clyde are down to the bare bones. Should make it an even game then. Danny Lennon might even have to list himself on the bench such is the plight of the Broadwood side. If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog. Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  5. Smokies and the Bandits Inverness are off to Aberbrothock on Saturday with a trip to the shows on offer near Gayfield, the home of Arbroath FC and the famous smokies. It's a 3:00pm kick-off with only three points separating the two sides. Arbroath have had a great season so far and after the first round of fixtures they find themselves comfortably away from the relegation zone and just three points behind ourselves. Not bad for a team who were playing in League one last season. Dick Campbell has done a great job at Gayfield and in Bobby Linn he has an experienced player who is relishing the task in hand and flourishing in the Championship, scoring five goals this campaign, including one at Inverness back in August. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ TICKET INFO £18 – Adults £10 – Concessions (Child, Students, OAP 65+, Disability Entry with a free carer) £20 – Adult and Child Gate Arbroath operate cash only operated turnstiles. You do not need to buy a ticket in advance. ICT SUPPORTERS TRAVEL CLUB The ICT Supporters Travel Club is running a bus to Gayfield, Bus leaves Social Club at 10.15am Stadium 10.30am Book through their Facebook page or on 07462218717 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Last time out the Smokies edged out Alloa Athletic with Linn scoring the opener followed by Luke Donnelly. Alan Trouten pulled one back in the second half but their hosts held on comfortably to move to fifth in the table. The second fixture of this season was a 2-1 win for Inverness in the Highlands. Miles Storey scored the winner when his flashing shot deceived the keeper to end up in the net. Bobby Linn had opened the scoring before Aaron Doran levelled just on the interval. It took until ten minutes before the end for Inverness to eventually break down the resilience of the Smokies as the bandits snatched the points. Here's Bandit Storey pinching the points in August ...... Our last outing saw us demolished 0-3 by Championship favourites Dundee United who will be mystified as to why we performed so poorly against them when lesser teams seem to be able to cope. We barely mustered any clear opportunities although James Keatings will wonder how Ben Siegrist saved his point blank effort from around eight yards just before the interval. In truth, United won at a canter and could have scored double that had it not been for some excellent blocks by Mark Ridgers. It's almost as though we don't actually believe in our own ability and the performance certainly backed that up as we stood off United and allowed them to dominate. The home fans were not a happy bunch after we expected much more from our side. However, in our favour, our away form has been mostly decent with excellent wins at Queen of the South and Ayr papering over the cracks in the home form. Shaun Rooney came off injured against the Arabs and is a doubt with Brad Mckay surely ready to make a start. Sean Welsh will return to training soon after having his broken foot boot removed. Roddy MacGregor missed out last week with a thumb injury which will sideline him for a couple of weeks. Thats all the alleged physical injuries, however, there is also a report of a sickness bug doing the rounds at the stadium. That has already affected some with more feeling unwell as the week goes on. That's all we need with a tough visit to Gayfield coming up on what will possibly be a chilly afternoon. Great! Arbroath have been without Gavin Swankie for some time now and he is not ready for inclusion in the squad yet. The general opinion is that Arbroath will most likely field an unchanged side after three wins in their last four Championship fixtures. Bobby Linn and Luke Donnelly are major threats for the Smokies and will need to be shackled early. Arbroath (V Alloa): Gaston, Stirling, Little, O’Brien, Hamilton, Gold, Whatley, Virtanen, Stewart (Kader 78′), Linn (McKenna 78′), Donnelly (Spence 67′) Other fixtures this weekend Dundee 0 - 2 Dundee United (Fri. 11,233) Alloa Athletic v Dunfermline Athletic PartickThistle v Morton Queen of the South v Ayr United If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  6. Chirpy Chirpy Cheap Cheap? Where's yer money gone........ where's yer money gone, far far away. Middle of the road and this early in the season sees our first six-pointer as table toppers and financial deficit champions Dundee United visit the Caledonian Stadium in the Ladbrokes Championship. That's only £3 million more than ours. It's a top end clash where a home victory would put the cat back amongst the pigeons. Defeat will be not welcomed and a draw will keep the status quo. Where's yer money gone........ where's yer money gone, far far away Ogren or Ogre? Whilst we find it difficult to bring players North on our paltry wage offers and poor crowds, United are being heavily backed to get into the Premiership this time round with wages of £4m at Tannadice alone accounting for a 39% increase of £1.13m. At least they get reasonable backing in the stands to help, but it's still well short of what they are dishing out to keep the likes of Shankland, McMullan, Reynolds, Sow and Pawlett on the books. In fact, Shankland's wages are allegedly not on this deficit as he signed in July. At least he will be a saleable assett when he gets them to where they want to be before being whisked away by a bigger cheque book. Staggering to think what he is costing££££££. You can read more about the financial disparity between the clubs on the report from BBC Sport https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/50214653 A week ago we had a disappointing day at Greenock going down 2-1 to a Bob McHugh brace while Mitch Curry countered for us. That was a great chance to get right on the heels of United but we blew it in spectacular error strewn fashion. However, last time out we recorded an excellent 2-0 win at Palmerston, a venue that United were thrashed 4-0 at 10 days earlier. Well taken goals from Aaron Doran and Nikolay Todorov sealed the points in a difficult encounter where the defence turned up and the forwards did what forwards are supposed to do. Check these out..........BOOM BOOM! United had a difficult time overcoming Dunfermline Athletic last weekend when we were struggling at Greenock, but they saw off the Pars 2-0, thanks to first half goals from £awrence Shankland and Nicky C£ark. The Pars came back strongly and had plenty of possession, hitting the crossbar, but United held on for the points. On Tuesday night they overcame Partick Thistle and who else but £awrence Shankland did the damage, his 17th goal of the season already, although once again their opponents had the lions share of the ball and created plenty of opportunities to take something from the game. So, even at home, United are content to forego possession and hit on the break. Be warned, that's what undid us in the play-offs. Here's something for you to watch while your tatties are boiling..... Take a bow Ross Grant Sean Welsh is out long term. James Keatings missed out at Palmerston with no news prior to that game of any injuries, so presumably he was rested with the artificial surface forcing him to take a sabbatical. Those who saw him at Morton thought he was not fully 100%, so that makes sense. He will be available for the United game. Coll Donaldson will play with ear muffs as the sad Arabs prepare to boo him when the ball goes withing 25 metres of him. The Arabs have money to burn apparently. Well it's nearly time for Guy Fawkes, so lets build a bonfire. Plenty of options for them with their big squad so won't make much difference who is in and who is out....... unless it's £awrence Shankland I suppose. However, defender Troy Brown missed out last week but could return although Mark Conno££y is not fully fit yet. Other fixtures this weekend Dundee 2-1 Morton (Friday) Arbroath v Alloa Athletic Ayr United v Partick Thistle Dunfermline v Queen of the South If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  7. It's Dobbie Time Inverness face another daunting long distance trip three days after struggling at Greenock. This time it's off to Dumfries to take on a side on a bit of a resurgence after a poor start to the season. Queen of the South await the arrival of the Caley Jags at Palmerston, the game kicking off at 7:45pm on Tuesday night. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ICT SUPPORTERS TRAVEL CLUB The ICT Supporters Travel Club are running a bus to the game Book on their Facebook page HERE or on 07462218717 Entry is by ticket only. Tickets should be purchased from the ticket offices before arriving at the turnstiles. The ticket office within the QOS Arena will be open from 5.30 pm with the BDS Stand Away section ticket office opening an hour later. Please note that the BDS Stand ticket office is CASH ONLY. If you wish to purchase your ticket by card then you should use the Arena ticket office. Ticket prices are as follows:- Adults: £18 OAP/Concessions/ Students/ 16-21 year olds: £10 Under 16’s: £5 - Pre-School Kids: FREE Accessible tickets are available at £8, £5 and £3. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We lost out at Greenock after Morton's Bob McHugh scored couple of goals with assists from our own defence. The first looking suspiciously offside from a hoof forward, the second Coll Donaldson will not want to see again. A Mitch Curry goal was sandwiched between these goals but despite dominating most of the game we never created enough clear chances to say we deserved victory. A worrying trend that has followed us for a few seasons now. Queens will be disappointed to have thrown away a two goal lead at the weekend as Alloa came back to take a point at Recreation Park. Two quickfire goals in a minute saw the Doonhamers lead at the break. Who else but Stephen Dobbie, followed a minute later by Jack Hamilton. Alloa returned the favour in exactly the same manner in the second half with Alan Trouten and Kevin O'Hara scoring in the 64th and 65th minute. Like ourselves, Queen of the South would rue missed opportunities. They have been in good form recently though, a 4-0 mauling of Dundee United the highlight. Since losing 2-0 to Inverness in the Highlands, they have drawn with Dundee, beaten Patrick Thistle in McCall's return to Firhill, thrashed United and drawn at Alloa. Incidentally, Queens were knocked out of the Challenge Cup by our next opponents in the quarter final, Clyde. In contrast, since that game on September 21st, we have taken only one point from the bottom three clubs with our highlight being the 2-0 win at Somerset Park. We also dished out a flattering 3-0 defeat to Alloa the week before we struggled to take a point off them in the Challenge Cup. It really is a mixed bag and difficult for the supporters to see any indication that we will challenge for the title with such indifferent form. Sean Welsh appears to be the only long term absentee but Aaron Doran was not involved last week and might be unlikely to be risked at Palmerston either on the artificial surface. Robbo has decisions to make. Our solid defence has become something of a 12th man for the opposition lately. Maybe it's time for Brad Mckay and Kevin McHattie to get a start and put some pressure on those who think it's ok just to turn up every week and get a game. Up front we need someone who is clinical. Mitch Curry has done well with limited game time, maybe he could lead the line and avoid us having to lump hopeless balls forward only for defences to mop up everything. One things for sure, it's not working great the way it is. Tom Walsh should be in line for a return to starting action after his injury lay off, he was a sub at Morton. Miles Storey must be doing something in training as he keeps getting picked, lets hope he can use his talent in a match one day. Midfield is where we are struggling to dominate teams and Robbo needs to find his best option to make the most of what's at his disposal. Maybe, Walsh, Carson, Vincent, MacGregor or maybe even throw in Trafford. Hopefully James Keatings will start and add some quality to assist the main striker. Nothing coming from Palmerston regarding injuries so we'll assume everything is OK down Dumfries way. Here's their last XI and they normally go with a 4-1-3-2 formation:- McCrorie; Mercer, Brownlie, Kilday, Holt, Pybus, Kidd, El Bakhtaoui, Paton, Hamilton, Dobbie. That's the same team that whipped United. Other fixtures on Tuesday night, all 7:45pm Kick Off Alloa Athletic v Dundee Dundee United v Partick Thistle Dunfermline v Arbroath Morton v Ayr United Referee for Palmerston - Steven Kirkland Assistants - Joseph Lawson & Kevin Lindsay. Might as well boo them now.
  8. Cappielow, the final frontier. Morton host Inverness this Saturday as we look to keep in touch at the top end of the table after last week's disappointing home draw against lowly Alloa. The Championship game at Cappielow kicks off at 3:00pm in one of the last few bastions of medieval stadiums left in Scotland. It has a wee Dublin end and a Cowshed and some old floodlights from Love Street. Olde and quaint, but delightful nonetheless. Cappielow has been home to Greenock Morton since 1879 and has a present capacity of 11,589. That makes it the tenth largest football stadium in Scotland. The ground record was set in 1922 against Celtic when an alleged 25,000 were in attendance. That game was a league decider and it ended in a riot. Nothing new then! Match report from The Scotsman, May 1st 1922 A late goal at Greenock saved the situation for Celtic, who found the Scottish cup holders lively company. It was a keen game in the first half, with Morton predominating, and the first goal scored, by Alf Brown, was well merited. Dodds and McNair were very shaky against a virile Greenock attack, and French and McNab were unlucky not to count. Celtic's left wing did good work, but their shooting did not seriously trouble Edwards, who was grandly supported by McIntyre and Wright. Morton continued aggressive in the second half, and looked like holding their lead, but Celtic came away near the close, and amid excitement McAtee obtained the equalising goal. The local club put up a great fight, and on the whole were the superior combination. The attendance was estimated at 20,000. Many of the Celtic supporters carried banners, and at half-time there was an ugly scene on the ground, free fights being engaged in. The playing pitch was invaded, flags were seized by the police, and a number of people were arrested. Happily order was quickly restored, and the match proceeded. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The ICT Supporters Travel Club are running a bus to Cappielow Book on their Facebook page HERE or on 07462218717 ADMISSION PRICES @ Cappielow Adult: £20 Concessions (Over 65s, Students, 18-20 yrs): £15 Child (12-17): £10 Under 12s: £1 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Last week we were at our frustrating best as we threw away a great opportunity to top the division after a late Jordan White header looked to have sealed the points. However we undid all the hard work of getting ahead by giving the Wasps the chance to earn a point after uncertainty in defence saw Jamie McCart give away a needless throw-in. The ball found Alan Trouten unmarked to gain Alloa a point. They had taken the lead five minutes in after a tidy move saw Liam Buchanan execute an equally tidy finish. Carl Tremarco scored a stunning contender as he fired an angled shot off the bar to square matters. Overall, it was a disappointing result given every other result could not have been hand picked better. Tremarcoooooooo! Oh yessss, what a goal Tommy! Table prior to Ayr v Dundee game..........................................Other Championship games this weekend:- Ayr United 1-2 Dundee (Friday) Alloa Athletic v Queen of the South Dundee United v Dunfermline Morton v Inverness CT Partick Thistle v Arbroath James Keatings returned to action last week with a 15 minute substitute appearance. He smacked the bar in injury time with a curling and dipping free kick and we will need his creativity to break down any resistance. Mitch Curry also made his league reappearance after 11 weeks out and Brad Mckay returned to sit on the bench. The pleasing aspect of having injured players return is tempered by the fact that Sean Welsh is out long term and Tom Walsh and Nikolay Todorov have missed the last few games. Robbo has no new injury surprises for us as we look to get back on track, Sean Welsh the only casualty left. It has been reported that Tom Walsh and Nikolay Todorov are also back in full training so expect these returnees to be introduced as required over the next few games. Coll Donaldson and Jamie McCart need to reacquaint themselves with solid defending, correct decision making and get fully focused on the job in hand. Properties that we all know they posses but need to display every week. James Vincent should discard his sideways pills and start creating for the front men and Miles Storey should concentrate on his visible talents, pace and power. If we can also get Aaron Doran to be more direct then we could be a force to be reckoned with and the strikers will benefit from some decent service instead of working off scraps. The return of James Keatings could be the spark needed to ignite the strikers. No reports of any more injuries at Morton. Look out for Bob McHugh. The former Motherwell and Falkirk player is top scorer and has netted six times this season. Officials for tomorrows game:- Referee: Euan Anderson Assistant one: Stuart Stevenson Assistant two: Ryan Kennedy ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I was saddened to learn of the passing of John Fleming this week. I knew John personally through his work at BT and as an aside he would be a referee in his spare time. John went on to become SFA head of refereeing operations. Here's a fitting tribute to the referee and the dedicated family man. RIP John. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Brad's back..... If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  9. Main Course We had the appetiser last week in the Chocolate cup and this week it's the main course as Alloa come North again on Championship duty. The game kicks off at 3:00pm at the Caledonian Stadium with Inverness looking to consolidate their position at the top end, tucked neatly in behind Dundee United and Ayr United. Last week Inverness made half a dozen changes but still proved to be too strong for the Wasps, despite a late revival by the visitors after going 3-0 down. Mitch Curry scored his first goal for the club just before half time. A deflected Charlie Trafford shot crashed high into the net for number two and Matheus Machado polished the turd when he scored his first senior goal for the Caley Jags. A glimmer of hope for Alloa as they managed to hit the woodwork twice and Cammy Mackay had to be alert to save at the feet of the striker. If there's any criticism of the home team, it comes from some overelaborate play and being wasteful in the final third. However, 3-0 is not to be scoffed at and we went into the hat for the quarter final draw. Here's the goals from the Chocolate Cup game.......... That draw took place on Wednesday and Inverness have been paired with Clyde in the quarter final. Other ties see Raith Rovers host Elgin City, Stenhousemuir take on Patrick Thistle. Solihull or Rangers Colts will play Wrexham. Our last Championship game was an excellent away win at Somerset Park as we beat the Honest Men with goals from James Vincent and Shaun Rooney. That was maybe slightly unexpected given the home defeat to Partick Thistle the previous week. Alloa's last outing in the Championship opened up the table and gave the rest some optimism as they beat league leaders Dundee United 1-0 at Recreation Park. Alloa were deserved winners and Kevin O'Hara finished off a fine move with a great strike. Inverness will be without Sean Welsh for a few months with another broken foot. Tom Walsh has missed the last couple of outings with a hamstring injury. James Keatings is back in full training and could be a surprise addition to the squad after recovering from ankle ligament damage. I imagine we will revert to one of our more familiar line ups with Jordan White returning to lead the line. Charlie Trafford showed up well last week and could be in line for a start. Walsh's injury remains a close guarded secret, should he not return then Roddy MacGregor could continue his run in the team. Peter Grant had made a couple of changes for the Challenge cup game. Jamie MacDonald will continue his emergency loan deal with keeper Neil Parry injured long term. Nathan Gilhooly started last week, but it was his error that led to the opening goal, that could earn him a place on the bench. Liam Dick and Blair Malcolm are still injured. Steven Hetherington could be fit enough for a start after missing the cup game last week which saw Alloa with only three on the bench. To add to their misery, Iain Flannigan was sent off late in the Arabs game and will sit this one out. He was in great form in that game and will be a big miss. Cast your mind back to this one 17 years ago, hat-tricks R us............ If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  10. Challenging Times Challenging times ahead both on and off the park. Let's concentrate on the park for now as we entertain Alloa Athletic in the Challenge Cup on Saturday as the Wasps come North for a 3:00pm kick off at the Caledonian Stadium. It's the fourth round, or if you prefer, the quarter finals of the Chocolate Biscuit Cup sponsored by Tunnock's Caramel Wafers. If they like it up here, they will be back the week after to face us in the Championship. Bit of Deja Vu there as we also had a double header with Morton which went 8-1 in our favour. In the last round of this competition we put Morton out 3-1 at the Caledonian Stadium the week after pumping them 5-0 in the League. It was a much changed side that took to the field for the second game as Robbo introduced fringe players to the squad and added the returning Sean Welsh to the team to get some game time in his recovery from injury. That went well until last week when it was feared he had broken a metatarsal in his other foot! That has now been confirmed. He will be a big loss as the season unfolds. Anyway, goals by Todorov, Doran and Storey saw us comfortably beat the Ton despite making eight changes from the previous week. Many of them had tasted first team football but not on a regular basis. Cammy Mackay was in goal with the likes of Cameron Harper, Roddy MacGregor, Kevin McHattie and Nikolay Todorov all starting. All in, it was an excellent result given the alterations. Our last competitive match saw us take all three points at Ayr thanks to a rare goal from James Vincent and one from photographer Shaun Rooney with a superb solo goal. Great result from us against one of the form teams in the Championship. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ SPORTS BAR OPEN FROM 1PM TICKET PRICES FOR THIS MATCH ARE AS FOLLOWS Adult: £10 Concessions (Over 65s, 16-25s, Juniors): £5 Under 12s: FREE* when accompanied by a ticket holding adult/concession. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Alloa's progress was less clear cut but they pulled off a tremendous away win at Dunfermline, beating the Pars 1-2. Robert Thomson and Alan Trouten were the scorers as the Wasps came from behind to win this one, but at a cost Keeper Neil Parry was injured and Alloa have since taken Jamie MacDonald on emergency loan from Kilmarnock to cover the position. They finished the game with ten men after Blair Malcolm pulled up but held on to go in to the draw for the next round. Alloa's last outing was an even better performance as they deservedly beat League Leaders Dundee United at Recreation Park. Kevin O'Hara scored the only goal but Alloa were brilliant on the night and the Arabs could have no complaints at the result which could have been greater. They certainly showed the rest of the league how to tackle United. Given that we will tinker with our squad somewhat, I feel that Alloa will be more direct in their approach to this game and will see it as a tremendous opportunity to pick up some silverware, whereas we have bigger fish to fry as the season goes on. That could make it more difficult for us to progress although the squad will be along similar lines to the one that performed so well at Ayr last week. Robbo will draft in some more fringe players and we could see the likes of Tremarco, White and Doran rested. Brad Mckay and Mitch Curry could come into contention for a start, but Sean Welsh is definitely out. Tom Walsh is reportedly suffering from a hamstring injury. This will be a good benchmark for the game next week against the Wasps and any shortcomings will surely be addressed for the Championship encounter. Don't forget to listen to the latest offering from the Wyness Shuffle guys. If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  11. Ayr we go Ayr we go Ayr we go..... Saturday 5th October sees Inverness Caledonian Thistle make the trip south to Somerset Park to face Ayr United in the league. At 205 miles it marks the second longest journey ICT and their home based fans face on league business, only seconded by trips to Dumfries. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Supporters bus to Ayr Bus to Ayr leaves Caley Club 8.45 ...Stadium 9.00 ....Sat5th Oct . Book on Facebook or 07462 218717 HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROBBO55 years young ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Mr Caley Jag is our scribe this week with this Preview for you....... On that travel basis alone their fans will undoubtedly be hoping for a better showing than the last display their team put on against Patrick Thistle when they were roundly defeated 3-1 at the Caledonian Stadium, some professing that the team didn’t turn up at all. That defeat brought the team and fans firmly back down to earth with a bang and the reality of another hard slog in the Championship hit home. Form Up until that point the Caley Jags were unbeaten in 6 games in all competitions recording 5 wins and 1 draw while Partick had only recorded wins in the league cup and 2 draws in the league, so form was firmly turned on its head. Our current points total of 13 from a possible 21 sees us sitting in third spot in the league 4 points clear of Dundee but 5 points behind Ayr Utd. In stark contrast Ayr United sit second on goal difference behind Dundee Utd having gone on a 5 game winning run in the league and recording only one defeat at the hands of Dundee back on the 10th August. Somerset Park has become a daunting venue for teams to visit this season and none to date have come up with any answers and walk away with any points. Ayr lost manager Ian McCall to Championship rivals Partick Thistle a couple of weeks ago and it was he who guided Partick to that win over the Caley Jags last weekend. Sandy Stewart is the caretaker boss of the Honest Men and McCall reckons he is the man who should get the permanent position at Somerset Park. He also reckons that Ayr are the best team in the Championship, but their size of squad will curtail their ambitions. Anyway, not his problem now that he has fecked off to the big money at Firhill, bloody wee Jobby. All competitions since start of the League cup on 13th July over 90mins. Ayr: WLWDWLWWDWW ICT: DWWLLWDWWWWL It’s certainly not a game to pick for your coupon that’s for sure unless you’re chasing the odds with the bookies only slightly favouring Ayr United arguably on their recent league form and the fact they are at home. Teams Inverness welcomed Brad McKay and Mitch Curry back to training last week following bouts out with injury and it remains to be seen if they’ll be fit enough to feature in any capacity. If not, they may get a run out against Brora Rangers on Sunday in the NoS Cup final. James Keatings remains out with ankle ligament damage while we await news on whether Tom Walsh will back in the team line up after he missed out against Partick. There’s no new injury concerns since the defeat to Partick unless the weekly mystery injury strikes. Ayr Utd – Life after Lawrence Shankland seems to be doing just fine at Somerset Park. With 5 wins on the bounce, Ayr would appear to have little worries ahead of this encounter. We do seem to be a bit of an Achilles Heel for the Honest Men, but that can't go on forever. Stevie Bell will be another couple of weeks before he is ready and the experienced Mark Kerr is a major doubt. Jamie Adams, Frank Ross, and Andy Murdoch are out with injuries. Other than that I expect United to be on similar lines to the last few weeks, and why not, it's working well. Here's Robbo ahead of the trip to Ayr. Championship fixtures this weekend Alloa Athletic 1-0 Dundee United Ayr united v Inverness CT Dundee v Arbroath Morton v Dunfermline Partick Thistle v Queen of the South ICT News Chief Executive Scot Gardiner sheds some light on the clubs financial situation ahead of the EGM on the 3rd October on BBC Sport Former director Graeme Bennett on what he hopes to hear/see from the forthcoming EGM can be seen in the Press & Journal ICT EGM – 3rd Oct Here's the Inverness Courier story after last nights meeting. On the back of the EGM, there will be a SUPPORTERS OPEN MEETING to be held on Tuesday 8th October, with arrival from 7pm for a 7:30pm start. Trip down memory lane 24th April 2010 Ayr United 0 - 7 Inverness Caledonian Thistle Team: Esson, Proctor, Munro, McBain (Bulvitis 26), Tokely, Hayes, Morrison, Duncan, Foran (Sanchez 64), Odhiambo (Eagle 71), Rooney Scorers: Hayes, Rooney, Foran, Odhiambo, Sanchez, Eagle, Morrison For me, this is arguably one of the best away games I have attended as a football fan and one of the best Caleyjag and I have been to together. Second last day of the season saw us guarantee the title and a return to the top flight at the first attempt under the tutelage of Terry Butcher. Chants of 'shoes up for the Caley Jags' while holding our shoes over our heads was a particular laughing point for me along with being on the pitch after the game calling out for TB to appear and address us. Aye, the sermon from the stand was brilliant! Sad news breaking with the passing of Hugh Crout, the former Caledonian FC President. “His partnership with his close friend, the late Alex Main, as team manager, was a winning combination at Telford Street. He was a real gentleman and made many friends in football, continuing his love for football by supporting ICT right up till the end. The highlight was seeing the club lift the Scottish Cup in 2015. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.” Some more sad news coming from Greg Tansey is that he will have to retire from football due to ongoing injury problems. You can read more on this in the Press & Journal. Greg played a major part in the making of Inverness Caledonian Thistle, the Scottish Cup Winners, and he was one of the sweetest striker of a ball in the game. We wish Greg all the best for his future, wherever that will take him. Thanks for the memories Greg. Here's how Greg announced it on twitter....... Every footballer knows when they sign their first professional contract that it will eventually come to an end. Today is that day for me, an injury that I have been fighting for 2 years now has ended my career. On Sunday, The Pat Munro North of Scotland Cup Final against Brora Rangers FC 🕒3pm kick-off 🏟️Mosset Park, Forres 🎟️Adults: £10, Concessions: £5, Stand Entry: £2 Tickets available from the turnstiles on the day of the match (Cash Only) Info 👉 https://ictfc.com/match-info-north-of-scotland-cup-final-20… If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  12. McCall's at the wheel..... Its been a turbulent week or two at both clubs as Partick Thistle come North on Saturday, bottom of the Championship, to face Inverness Caledonian Thistle at the Caledonian Stadium in a 3:00pm kick-off. Gary Caldwell was, unsurprisingly, the first managerial casualty in the Championship. Only six games in, but the board at Partick had seen enough and replaced him with Ayr United manager Ian McCall who has led the Firhill side before. Wow! McCall has gone from second top to bottom overnight, that's some drop. Alan Archibald also returns to Firhill as McCall's second in command. And, surprise surprise, we host McCall's Partick on Saturday as they languish bottom of the Championship with no wins in six games and only two points. Good enough reason to sack Caldwell if you ask me? To add injury to insult, they were dumped out of the League Cup in midweek by Celtic who put five past the Maryhill Magyars. No surprise there, but really! On top of all that, a Partick Thistle fans group - backed by ££££££ EuroMillions ££££££ winner Colin Weir - says it has made an offer to take control of the Championship club. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ***LATEST ICT NEWS*** It's been a hectic couple of weeks off the park at the Caledonian Stadium as well with an EGM being called and Chairman Graeme Rae resigning along with Director Alan McPhee. Full statements can be read on the Official ICTFC site EGM ~~ CHAIRMAN OFFICIAL PREVIEW Congratulations to Mark Ridgers who hits another ton today. 100 not out for Mark! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Back on the park, Caley Stan is yer man this week as he shuffles the pack for us...... And he said, don't forget to get your WYNESS SHUFFLE fix is right HERE Ian Holland McCall, known as ‘Corky’ or ‘Jobby’ depending on your perspective, walked off down Maryhill Road in April 2011 to confront his personal demons. He had left behind a Thistle side that was ready to push for promotion, but wasn’t able to hang around to enjoy the culmination of his ‘five year plan’. Jobby found himself out of the game for three and a half years, resurfacing at an Ayr side who were languishing in ninth place in League One in January of 2015 and taking them up through the play-offs in that same season. They went straight back down, but returned a year later as champions, much stronger, and raced to the top of the Championship where they remained in contention until the end of February. With one of the lowest budgets in the league, and bereft of the core of last season’s team, learned observers were unanimous in their conviction that Ayr would not come flying out of the traps again this year. But they did, and with five wins in their opening six matches, Corky’s star approached the heights it had reached back in 2003, when the man became too big for the club. An old flame came calling, and he strolled back up Maryhill Road into her welcoming arms. Caley v Jobby McCall may or may not have defecated in Simond Stainrod’s suede brogues, but Caley Thistle have definitely been shitting all over Jobby's teams for the past 22 years. Honours started out evenly with two draws and a win apiece in season 1997/98 - 33 year-old McCall took Clydebank up that season while Steve Paterson, five years his senior, got to grips with the third tier. Rivalries renewed a year later when we joined the Bankies in the old Division One, but they were on their knees and we had beaten them four times before McCall jumped ship to Morton – the last of those a 4-1 win in which Barry Wilson scored the last Scottish league or cup goal of the 20th Century. A 2-0 win at Cappielow in the spring saw us do the clean sweep over Jobby that season, and it is a damning indictment of our marketing department that we didn’t secure a lucrative sponsorship deal with Andrex as a result. Revenge was to follow, as McCall’s journey round Scotland’s lower league crisis clubs concluded with a 13-month stint at Airdrie during which his side won three of the five ties against us, including a painful 6-0. Airdrie went on to finish second whilst hurtling towards liquidation - an incredible achievement for which McCall was rewarded with a proper job at Falkirk. McCall assembled an excellent side at Falkirk in 2002/03 with a frontline of Lee Miller, Owen Coyle and Collin Samuel and snatched three points early in the season in Inverness when two late goals overturned Ross Tokely’s opener. But as the season progressed, it became clear that Steve Paterson’s side of Mann, Robson, Christie and Wyness were well equipped to challenge them for the title. By the time the two sides were due to meet again at Brockville in December, we were just a point behind them at the top with a further ten points separating the nearest challengers. Sadly, the football public was to be deprived of the spectacle of these two men, with their unbending commitment to attacking football, facing off against each other for the Division One title. Both had rejected the advances of newly installed Dundee United chairman Eddie Thompson the previous month, but Paterson joined Aberdeen in the run up to that Brockville tie, with McCall accepting an improved offer from Thompson the following month. At this point, i would like to inroduce this never before seen footage of Steve Paterson and Ian McCall together at the height of their rivalry: When Jobby Met Pele. John Docherty and Graeme Bennett took charge of the 1-1 draw that followed, and we didn’t see Corky again until we joined him in the SPL 18 months later in the dying days of his brief flirtation with the top flight. We stayed up while he stayed down, we gave him a wave on our ‘First Division Tour’, and didn’t clap eyes on him again until last season when we thoroughly owned his Ayr side with five wins and two draws. All of that gives us an all-time score of Caley 15, Jobby 8, with 8 draws, and the fecker still owes us for the pot of paint he kicked all over the tunnel in 1997. Partick Thistle I cover the history of this fixture here. Last season the games were tight, we won three of them with our sole defeat largely self-inflicted. On paper, Caldwell did decent business over the summer, bringing Scott Fox, Kenny Miller and Dario Zanatta among others, but he left them at the foot of the table with just two points from five games. By all accounts, he had lost the dressing room after a series of fall-outs with senior players and in those circumstances you might expect to see an immediate bounce following the removal of the manger, but Thistle were done 3-0 at home to Dunfermline under the caretakers. McCall took charge of his new side for the League Cup Quarter Final tie at Parkhead on Wednesday night - the 5-0 drubbing that resulted is largely irrelevant to our game on Saturday. Boardroom Banter Both clubs are either going to the wall or on the verge of being taken over by Russian oligarchs depending on who you believe. Go to the pub and speak to Grassa Bennett’s/Gerry Britton’s mates for details. ICT Team News and Tactics James Keatings remains out after tearing ankle ligaments while Brad McKay and Mitch Curry have returned to training. The absence of Keatings prompted Robbo to tweak the shape to accommodate Miles Storey rather than bringing in Roddy McGregor as a like-for-like replacement. While this frustrated some fans, I would expect him to put out the same team and shape that dominated Queen of the South last week, with Sean Welsh and James Vincent in the centre of the park and Storey running channels to create space for Walsh and Doran. Jordan White will be Jordan White. Please be nice to him. Prediction Inverness Caledonian Thistle 0 Partick Thistle 1 Why? Jobby If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  13. Extraordinary Movement It's a home game this Saturday at the Caledonian Stadium as Queen of the South visit on Matchday 6 of the Scottish Championship with the prospect of an upcoming EGM looming large. MrCaleyJag is your previewer this week and here is what he has to say on the visit of the Queens. As the song goes it has a bridge and a castle and given ICT's recent run of results you'd be forgiven as a home fan in hoping that the Caledonian Stadium can be made a fortress as well. That's certainly the hope of the locals as they welcome Queen of the South on Saturday 21st September. In a fairly drab match last week away to Dunfermline, the visitors managed a plucky 1-0 win through a Sean Welsh penalty in the 87th minute, signs possibly that the team have that extra bit of persistence which they lacked last season that resulted in so many draws. Whatever the reason it was a much welcomed three points especially away from home to keep ICT in touch with Dundee Utd and Ayr at the top of the table. Even at this early stage of the season momentum is key and something that has lacked in recent seasons for the home side. Here's Sean tucking away the penalty last week. Queens make the long trek north to the home of football in the highlands on the back of their first league win of the season last week. A Faissal El Bakhtauoi goal saw the score line finish 1-0 in their favour against a Morton side who had showed indifferent form also. The Queens fans will be buoyed by the result and will be hopeful the win can be built upon. With the prolific Stephen Dobbie in your side, anything is possible. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ RIP Fernando Ricksen who is at peace now after suffering at the hands of MND. He carried this wretched disease with great dignity and courage and is now free from his living hell. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What's in store at the EGM will be revealed to all shareholders on the 3rd October and this is the worrying first sentence that will set the tongues wagging; and a following paragraph: "The Board of Directors of Inverness Thistle and Caledonian FC trading as Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC (ICTFC) is committed a sustainable future for the Club." "The Board of Directors is convening an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) as an open and transparent forum for all shareholders to be briefed on our current issues and challenges, as well as consider some new proposals and other possible options. This open forum will also permit other Shareholders and potential benefactors to demonstrate their support for the Club. As there have been talks with a number of individuals and businesses over the last few months, it is the Club’s position that in the interest of transparency, the Shareholders should be updated about these talks, (where confidentiality allows) and therefore, an EGM is seen to be the reasonable platform for this." The full Club Statement can be read here https://ictfc.com/club-statement-on-3rd-october-2019-egm So, a rather ominous statement from the club, and despite our apparent run of form on the pitch, it's behind the scenes where issues are ongoing. I don't know what the public of Inverness expect or want, but if they would like to see a relatively successful club on the field of play then they need to get off their arses and get down to the Caledonian Stadium to help fund this. Unfortunately full-time clubs don't prosper with the meagre attendances alone that blight our Stadium. It's the same as any other facility/business 'Use it or Lose it'. Some pleasant news for a change and it's that John Robertson will be inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame. There's an article on the OFFICIAL SITE regarding this so it's congratulations to John. Robbo insists it's business as usual on the park and after a steady start to the season we are looking to build on that and keep the pressure on the top two, Dundee United and Ayr United. Inverness sit third in the table on 10 points, just two points adrift of the top pair. We suffered a blow last week ahead of kick off when James Keatings was injured in a training incident with Charlie Trafford the day before the game at East End Park. James has since undergone tests and it appears he has suffered ankle ligament damage and will be out for a few weeks. That's disappointing for James as he was beginning to show his value on the park with goals and assists. Inverness will be without Brad Mckay and James Keatings, both out longer term. Mitch Curry is getting close to being ready to resume playing. I expect the team will be along similar lines to the past couple of Championship games. Sean Welsh could start and the only other alteration that is a possibility would be the inclusion of Nikolay Todorov. Roddy MacGregor is also doing his prospects no harm with his lively introductions. The MATCHDAY PROGRAMME Here's Johnny.................. OFFICIAL PREVIEW Allan Johnston has no fresh injuries to deal with and is confident of taking something from this game. In the first game last season up here Queens came from behind to snatch all three points and he will be looking for more of that determination again. Last season there were two draws and a win apiece. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Other Championship fixtures today, all 3:00pm kick off Alloa Athletic v Ayr United Dundee Uited v Arbroath Inverness CT v Queen ot South Morton v Dundee Partick Thistle v Dunfermline Athletic ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  14. Long Ball Incoming? The Kingdom of Fife is the destination this Saturday, 3:00pm is the time and more specifically walking down the Halbeath Road at East End Park is the venue as Inverness Caledonian Thistle return to Championship action after the Chocolate Cup games last Saturday. The past weekend saw the less glamorous disruption of international football which reared it's ugly head over the weekend. Thankfully that embarrassment has now passed and we can get on with life without shouting and swearing at the TV for a wee while. What a shambles, at least the Chocolate cup brought about some joy for a handful of supporters around the country. Scotland could learn a thing or two from Kosovo about their application during a game. Great commitment from them and no shortage of quality and control. Sadly, Scotland possess none of the required attributes at the moment. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Tickets are available at East End Park on the day of the match Adult: £20 Concessions – (Over 65s, Under 18s, FT Students, Disabled and Unemployed) : £14 Under 12s: £6 The ICT Supporters Travel Club are running a bus to East End Park The Bus leaves the Social Club at 10.15am and the Stadium 10.30am Fares: £20 or under 16s £15 Book through their Facebook page HERE or on 07462218717 On DAFC site Legends and Charlie D's will be open on Saturday for home and away fans from 11.30am. OFFICIAL PREVIEW ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Over last weekend, Dunfermline were dumped out of the Tunnock's Caramel Wafer cup by fellow Championship contenders Alloa Athletic. Despite taking a first half lead through debut signing Greg Kiltie, the Wasps stung the Pars with goals from Thomson and Trouten to progress to the last sixteen. After giving Celtic a tough time in the League Cup, the pars have failed to kick on and subsequent championship defeats by Dundee United and Arbroath were not received well by the fans, exacerbated by Alloa knocking them out of the Challenge Cup last week. That poor form has the Pars second bottom with just one point. However, it's early days yet. Whilst Dunfermline were losing out, Inverness were beating Morton once more. Fresh from the 5-0 thrashing of the Cappielow crew the previous week at the same venue, a much changed side dished out another lesson to the Greenock guys in a comfortable 3-1 win. A superb goal from Nikolay Todorov was added to by Aaron Doran and Miles Storey. Todorov also had a penalty well saved before John Sutton stabbed in a consolation for the Ton. Here's Toddy's cracker...... The Cup draw sees Inverness at home to Dunfermline's conquerors Alloa in the next round. That tie will be played on 12th or 13th October. Incidentally, one week after this game, we play Alloa at home in the Championship. Sounds familiar. Unfortunately, the Chocolate Cup games give little away in terms of possible team selections for the bread and butter of the Championship. Dunfermline handed debuts to Greg Kiltie and Tom Lang with a starting debut for Gabby McGill. Inverness made eight changes from the side that won 5-0 the week before. It was great to see Sean Welsh back at his best as he strolled through this game and a rare start for the big Bulgar, Nikolay Todorov, who took his goal brilliantly. We also had keeper Cammy Mackay along with Roddy MacGregor, Cameron Harper, Kevin McHattie Charlie Trafford and Miles Storey starting. Matheus Machado and Lewis Hyde also came off the bench and showed some great touches. Changes off the park as well as Barry Wilson and Scott Kellacher were in charge of the squad for the day and did a great job of overseeing the occasion. What these games do provide is a challenge for fringe players to show what they can do and it generates competition for starting places. All of the players who played looked as though they had every right to be there and they played with a slickness that is sometimes missing. However, I suspect we will revert to type for the visit to Fife. Long ball incoming! Lot's of activity in the summer sales for the Pars after finishing 7th last season. That was their downfall last year, will it hinder them again this campaign? Here's their list of incomers: Aaron Comrie, defender (St Johnstone); Thomas Bragg, defender (Southampton); Gabriel McGill, forward (Middlesbrough, undisclosed); Paul Paton, midfielder (Falkirk); Euan Murray, defender (Raith Rovers, undisclosed); Josh Edwards, defender (Airdrieonians, undisclosed); Kevin Nisbet, forward (Raith Rovers); Kyle Turner, midfielder (Stranraer); Ryan Dow, forward (Peterhead); Tom Lang, defender (Clyde); Lucas Berry, forward (Fife Elite); Ben Swinton, goalkeeper (AM Soccer Club); Matthew Bowman, defender (unattached). It appears that the loan arranger is pretty shrewd at his job and some talented lads came in on loan: Harry Cochrane, midfielder (Heart of Midlothian); Anthony McDonald, midfielder (Heart of Midlothian); Greg Kiltie, midfielder (Kilmarnock); Josh Coley, midfielder (Norwich City). Out went: Kallum Higginbotham, forward (Real Kashmir); Jackson Longridge, defender (Bradford City, undisclosed); Robbie Muirhead, forward (Greenock Morton); Ryan Williamson, defender (Partick Thistle); Mark Durnan, defender (Falkirk); Aidan Connolly, midfielder (Falkirk); Louis Longridge, forward (Falkirk); Brandon Luke, midfielder (Stenhousemuir); Myles Hippolyte, forward; James Craigen, midfielder; Lee Robinson, goalkeeper; Sean Murdoch, goalkeeper (retired). Loan ended: James Vincent, midfielder (Dundee and now at Inverness); Faissal El Bakhtaoui, forward (Dundee); Ryan Blair, midfielder (Swansea City); Bruce Anderson, forward (Aberdeen). John Robertson has the almost unprecedented luxury of a mostly injury free squad although Brad McKay and Mitch Curry are still absent. However, Sean Welsh played in the Challenge Cup game against Morton and put in a MotM performance and will be knocking on the door. Nikolay Todorov stated his case for a start but Robertson is likely to start with Jordan White ahead of the big Bulgar. I expect the starting XI will be nearer the one that beat Morton 5-0 in the league game although all those that played last week did their prospects no harm at all. That will mean our back five will consist of the new Tokely, (Shaun Rooney), the back on form Coll the wall Donaldson and the man with the laser guided left foot Jamie McCart who has turned into a quality defender. Carl Tremarco should make up the back line and that's a great base to build your team from. Stevie Crawford will have at least one of his loan signings from Hearts available this week. Harry Cochrane is ready to go, but Anthony McDonald could miss out with a back injury. Another loanee Greg Kiltie will no doubt be a shoe-in after his debut goal last week. Crawford is looking for a reaction after last weekends dismal performance against Alloa and will no doubt be making a few changes. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Championship fixtures this weekend Friday 19:05 Arbroath v Partick Thistle Saturday 15:00 Ayr United v Dundee United Dundee v Alloa Athletic Dunfermline v Inverness CT Queen ot South v Morton ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Episide 3 from the Shufflers is online and and can be found on their Wyness Shuffle podcast page. No stone is left unturned as the guys check out everything to do with the Caley Jags, and more. Rubber bumpers and all that, have a listen to these podcasts, it will set you up for the weekend and always remember, any similarities to real life are purely coincidental.....🏆 If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  15. Chocolate Biscuit Cup Morton come back up the A9 this weekend no doubt looking for some revenge after last Friday nights heavy defeat. The Challenge Cup game kicks off at 3:00pm at the Caledonian Stadium with chocolate bars replacing tins of fizzy juice as the sponsors this season. We have had the DIY cup, the whisky, Alba, Ramsdens, Petrofac, and the fizzy pop cup. It's now called the chocolate biscuit cup, and this weekend we entertain Morton once more. I'm sure they will be delighted to be returning North so soon after Friday nights TV drubbing in the Championship. This time it's the Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Cup. I kid you not, that's the new name for the Challenge Cup. Who knew! Last week saw us rack up our biggest win in the Championship with a 5-0 thrashing of Morton, although a dour first half gave little indication of what was about to unfold. Jame Keatings opened the scoring just before the break and scored a second one minute into the second half. Jordan White, Coll Donaldson and Nikolay Todorov added some extra polish to the turd as we ran out convincing winners in the end, and with Morton unable to convert a penalty, Mark Ridgers saved to maintain a clean sheet. Overall it was a dominant performance, although the first half was a bit of a non event. A word of caution however. I don't imagine David Hopkin will let this one slip and I'm sure he will have tightened up all the loose nuts and bolts. Morton were a shambles in the second half but let's not get carried away after one big result. How often have we seen players running in on goal only to see their effort saved or slip by the post. Last Friday all the stars were aligned and every time we went through on goal we scored. 80% of the time that doesn't happen, however, we will take it but I won't be expecting that every week. Robbo has hinted that there may be some subtle changes on the cards as he rotates his squad to give fringe players an outing. That's all good and well, but I hope that's not to detract from the competition and take the opponents too lightly after the previous encounter. I doubt Morton will be feeling the same way and they will probably be looking to exact some revenge for that heavy defeat. In the North of Scotland Cup semi-final in midweek, an Inverness CT XI moved into the final after beating Clach. They will play Brora Rangers in the final on 5th or 6th October. There was game time for some players needing to boost their fitness ................ Given the squad that played in the 4-1 win over Clach in midweek, it looks as though Nikolay Todorov may well start with Miles Storey up front and possibly the exciting young talent of Roddy MacGregor. Matheus Machado could also be worth a shout. Jamie McCart took a bash on his fizzog on Wednesday night but hopefully he is fit if needed. Cameron Harper is scheduled to start this one. Sean Welsh played against Clach and is nearing match sharpness and Kevin McHattie played 45 minutes. So plenty of choice for Robbo, although according to Robbo it's Barry Wilson and Scott Kellacher who will be calling the shots. David Hopkin has brought in two loan signings since last Friday. It's no surprise that both are defenders. Adam Livingstone comes in from Motherwell as a left back for the season. Jack Baird has plenty Premiership experience with St Mirren and will be at Morton up to the January window at least. 26 DREAM RINGS AND 104 FREDOS There's the latest podcast from the Wyness Shufflers. Have a listen to the guys, it's another great effort from them and will Paul McGowan's barber sue........? If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  16. TV Show With BBC TV looking on, Inverness and Morton served up a Friday night first half horror show. Thankfully, in stark contrast, the second half was full of entertainment. In a lifeless first half at the Caledonian Stadium, neither side was able to get the handful of fans inside the ground excited However, just before the interval Aaron Doran made a half yard of space for himself inside the box and fired a wicked shot at Rogers. He parried the shot away and James Keatings guided the loose ball back into the net from ten yards. One minute into the second half and Keatings bagged his second as he rifled the ball home from 12 yards on the right side of the box. The third came about after a good bit of ball retention ended with Jordan White rolling the ball into the net. Mark Ridgers saved a miserable penalty from Nicky Cadden after David Carson handled from an overhead attempt. Coll Donaldson met a corner from Keatings at the front post to nod down into the net to make it four nil. Substitute Nikolay Todorov got into the act and drilled one past Rogers from 18 yards, and there endeth the scoring. John Robertson made one change to his starting personnel by bringing back Jordan White up front with Miles Storey starting on the bench alongside Nikolay Todorov, Roddy MacGregor and Sean Welsh. David Hopkin threw Celtic loan youngster Stephen Welsh straight into his defence with the dangerous Nicky Cadden up front. Robbie Muirhead and Scottish Cup final scorer Peter Grant were on the bench. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Speaking on BBC Sport Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "Morton were hard to break down but we got the opening goal. In the end I don't think it flattered us. Some of our attacking play in the second half was superb. "Tonight was tremendous. I was really pleased with the style of play. It's pass and move. We got our reward for our hard work and some of the finishes were first class." Morton manager David Hopkin: "We tried to get to half-time goalless and we managed to get to 43 minutes. I think it gave the impetus to Inverness and we just continued to give away really sloppy goals. "I'm disappointed with the performance and I'm disappointed with myself. I've told the players in no uncertain that I won't accept it." BBC iPlayer The Dundee derby ended up 6-2 to United as they thrashed their near neighbours Saturdays games are Arbroath v Dunfermline Partick Thistle v Ayr United Queen ot South v Alloa Athletic ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A sparse crowd watched on as the proverbial dull as dishwater game unfolded in an instantly forgettable first 42 minutes. With no atmosphere at the ground it was difficult for players to motivate themselves. There was however one shining light and that came from an unexpected source. Shaun Rooney was dribbling his way into the area reserved for Tokely folklore as he danced his way down the right wing on numerous occasions. The big man is putting his heart and soul into the game and was immense in that first half. His Cruyffesque turns and nutmegs were a joy to behold as the game edged towards the break. The pressure had been mounting on the Morton rearguard and when Tom Walsh pinged a ball into the box, it went as far as Doran. He skipped inside his man and shot at goal but Rogers could only push his shot out and Keatings calmly knocked the loose ball home. Relief at last! Another moment of magic from Rooney saw him fire another great ball into the box but Dorans wee legs were not quite long enough and his header crashed off the bar. What a finish to the half after such a dull opening. Half Time 1-0 We started where we left off and within a minute Keatings grabbed his second goal as he shot across the keeper from the right side of the box after Jamie McCart had sent him clear with an excellent ball forward. We threatened to cut loose now and a Tom Walsh volley from the angle saw Rogers deny him at his near post with a super save. Morton tried to hit back but a McLean header was cleared off the line by David Carson who popped up in the right place at the right time. McCart made a superb tackle to thwart Salkeld advancing as he threatened to go in on goal. We toyed with Morton's defence for a bit but there was an end product this time as James Vincent sent a precise ball through a gap which saw White neatly slide the ball through the keepers legs into the net as he bore down on goal. Two minutes later Morton were awarded a penalty. An overhead kick was sliced onto the flailing arms of Carson who looked as though he was learning the Highland Fling. Nicky Cadden stepped up but he thought he was Messi and chipped the ball straight into the grateful hand of Mark Ridgers. Up stepped big Coll Donaldson at a corner and he headed down Keatings whipped cross behind Rogers for a decisive fourth goal as Morton looked to have capitulated. Todorov came on for White in the 80th minute and before the 81st had scored the fifth goal of the night after he was released through the middle by Carson, and that was his second attempt inside a minute as he drove the ball through the keeper from the edge of the box. What an impact from the big Bulgar, at least I thought that's what my mate said! We saw the game out thereafter and completed a fine 5-0 win. Who knew after such a poor first half. Never in doubt I hear you say..... Difficult to knock any players after such a resounding win. James Keatings was given MotM but Shaun Rooney was also superb with his marauding runs. Jamie McCart's defending and pin point accuracy with his long balls was a joy to behold. Good to see Donaldson getting some reward for his attacking prowess in the box and White scored a tidy goal on the end of some great team play. Toddy was also impressive so great competition for the strikers role. If there is any criticism, it's come from a poor first half where we found it difficult to create and were second to a lot of balls in midfield, our passing below par at times. However after we scored we were different class. RednBlackComeback summed it up neatly: Thought it was quite a scrappy first half, until Rooney made a run from virtually his own corner flag all the way to Morton's penalty spot . It seemed to change the game and we scored shortly after. Second half we got a perfect start and never looked back. Can't remember the last time we won 5-0 at home in the league. Tremendous result! If you can access BBC iPlayer, the whole game can be seen HERE Match video will be uploaded when available............... Robbo is pleased MotM James Keatings talks after his two goals...... Date: 30/08/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1400 Referee: Alan Newlands Inverness CT: 5 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Doran (Storey 74), Carson, Vincent, Walsh, Keatings (MacGregor 82), White (Todorov 79). Subs (not used): C Mackay; Trafford, McHattie, MacGregor, Welsh, Todorov, Storey. Scorers: Keatings (43, 46), White (67), Donaldson (77), Todorov (80) Booked: Rooney (61) Sent Off: none Morton: 0 Lineup: Rogers; Welsh, McLean, Jacobs, Millar, McAlister, Strapp, Colville (Sutton 64), Cadden (Muirhead 81), Nesbitt (Salkeld 53), McHugh. Subs (not used): Ramsbottom; Grant, Blues, Orsi. Scorers: none Booked: Jacobs (34), Salkeld (57) Sent Off: none a
  17. Friday night Footie After what seems like a lifetime, another game comes along this weekend at the Caledonian Stadium. However this one is Friday night footie with Greenock Morton the visitors, the game kicking off at 7:05pm with BBC Scotland cameras looking on. Rumour has it there will be very few away fans as many are boycotting the game due to the scheduling of the match for TV purposes. Last weekend we shared the points with Dundee at Dens Park in a goalless draw. This was a much improved performance from the dull League Cup affair when we went down to a Danny Johnson strike. This time we more than matched Dundee and could easily have taken all three points after creating a number of decent opportunities. Unfortunately we spurned most of them but went very close on a few occasions with keeper Hamilton pulling off a couple of excellent saves as well. Morton are the new TV luvvies with their last game also being televised. They came from 2-0 down to defeat Partick Thistle 3-2. Three goals in an eight minute spell late in the second half from Nicky Cadden, John Sutton and Brian McLean turned the game in their favour and lifted them to second in the Championship. There's also a first Dundee derby taking place on Friday night at Tannadice with United looking to keep their winning start to the season going and Dundee hoping to do everyone else a favour. David Hopkin has replaced Jonatan Johansson as manager at Cappielow, coming back to the club he supported as a kid and began his playing career with. The former Livingston manager joined in the middle of May and has begun shaping his side for his three year tenure. He raided Livvi and took Nicky Cadden with him. He also has a loan deal for Cameron Blues. Other players he will be looking to do a job for him are Keeper Danny Rogers on loan from (Aberdeen), forward Robbie Muirhead (Pars), midfielders Aidan Nesbitt, (Dundee United), Kyle Jacobs (QotS) and Calvin Orsi (Brechin), defender Peter Grant (Carlisle) and 36 year old John Sutton as player coach. They have also just added young Celtic defender Stephen Welsh on loan from Celtic for the season. Amongst the notable departures are forward Gary Oliver and defender Lee Kilday, ( both QotS); Robert Thomson, forward (Alloa Athletic); Derek Gaston, goalkeeper (Arbroath); Charlie Telfer, midfielder (Falkirk); Michael Tidser, midfielder (Falkirk). Greg Kiltie has returned to Kilmarnock and Andrew Dallas has gone back to Rangers. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ OFFICIAL PREVIEW DIGITAL MATCHDAY PROGRAMME ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Robbo will be without Brad McKay for another couple of months after further examination showed he has a cracked vertebrae. Get well soon Brad. Mitch Curry is also sidelined for a few weeks. Sean Welsh was on the bench against Dundee but may not be fully fit yet. Charlie Trafford missed out last week with a knock but should make the squad. David Hopkin had this line-up to choose from in their game against Partick Thistle: Morton (V Partick Th): Rogers; McAlister, McLean, Grant (Colville 68′), Strapp, Jacobs, Lyon (Millar 4′), Blues (Sutton 57′), Cadden, Nesbitt, McHugh Defender Henk Van Schaik has mutually terminated his contract at Morton after joining from Livingston in the summer. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Here's a game coming up for next weeks diary........... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you like a wee flutter, our new partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." ICT WIN 20/29 - DRAW 14/5 - MORTON WIN 7/2 FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  18. Home from Home Away Matchday three in the Championship and it's back to Dundee at 3:00pm on Saturday for the Caley Jags and a second visit to Dens Park this term, a third to the City having been at Tannadice on the opening day and we are not out of August yet! Dundee is not top of our destinations list in recent times and despite having the overall advantage over them in terms of wins, most of these came in the Premiership (or SPL) years. Maybe our luck will change for the better now that the park is called the Kilmac Stadium. Who knew? Here's a sobering thought. Our only Championship (division one) victory was a 1-0 win in the Highlands in season 2009/2010. 6031 fans saw an Adam Rooney strike complete our season as champions after overhauling Dundee who were dozens of points ahead of us around January. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Family Area Priced tickets available in the Bobby Cox Stand Rows A – Y, Seats 1 – 47 with prices as follows: Adult and one child under 12 £26 Two adults and two children under 12 £50 With additional children under 12 at £2 Under 12 and Under 16 tickets can only be bought as part of a family group Prices for all areas in Dens Park are priced at £24 for Adults, £16 for concessions and £10 for Under 18 OFFICIAL PREVIEW ICT SUPPORTERS TRAVEL CLUB The ICT Supporters Travel Club are running a bus to Dens The Bus leaves the Caley Club at 10.30am and the Stadium 10.45am Book through their Facebook page HERE or on 07462218717 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Last time out we edged past Arbroath thanks to a late strike from Miles Storey who caught the keeper out with the power of his strike. Bobby Linn had given the Smokies the lead but Inverness levelled on the stroke of half time when Aaron Doran ran through to guide the ball home. Not the greatest of performances but it was important to get the season started after the poor result at Tannadice. Dundee were in League Cup action last Sunday and were unfortunate to go out 2-1 after extra time to Aberdeen. Their last Championship game saw them defeat Ayr United 1-0 with substitute Andrew Nelson scoring fifteen minutes from the end. Their opening fixture was at East End Park where they were fortuitous to come from two nil down to draw 2-2 thanks to two penalties scored by Danny Johnson. Those opening games show Dundee sitting second in the league on four points, two behind leaders and neighbours Dundee United. Inverness are bunched in the middle of the table with three points. *** Friday nights Championship game saw Morton come from two nil down to beat Patrick Thistle 3-2 and they now have six points *** Inverness welcomed the return of Sean Welsh in a midweek North of Scotland Cup game against Forres Mechanics but he is not fully match fit yet. A 50/50 side beat the Can Cans 3-1 with Roddy MacGregor and a Miles Storey brace the scorers. Shaun Rooney played the first half to build on his fitness and with Brad Mckay out for a few weeks he will be needed at Dundee. Charlie Trafford, the walking yellow card, has a knock as well. Daniel Mackay has been injured whilst on loan at Elgin City. He has suffered ankle ligament damage after the original injury was thought to be a broken ankle. Small mercies I suppose but we all wish Daniel a speedy recovery. James McPake will be well pleased with the form of his new striker from Motherwell. Dangerous Danny Johnson scored the winner against Inverness in the league cup and followed that with two penalties against Dunfermline. He also scored from the spot in the defeat to Aberdeen, so if Dundee get a penalty, we know who will be taking it! Striker Kane Hemmings has returned to Dundee to add some height to their attack as they try to keep up with their big spending neighbours along the road. Former Inverness handball expert Josh Meekings will be in the Dark Blues squad. Here's the NoS Cup footage against Forres Mechanics. Watch out for some tidy footwork from Matheus Machado at the third goal. Here's our site sponsor at FansBet If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at GIVING BACK You can get Home win 7/5 - Draw 41/20, Away win 39/20
  19. The Smokies are coming After a slow start at Tannadice last week, 25 years on from the historic visit of Arbroath FC, Inverness welcome the now Championship newcomers Arbroath to the Caledonian Stadium on Saturday in a 3:00pm kick off. We won't mention Bon Accord, or the lack of pies at Gayfield. However we will mention that you cruised to the League 1 title last season, ending seven points clear of Forfar Athletic. Congratulations on that achievement. To celebrate our 25th year in existence, we will be wearing out new 3rd kit with the ICT 25 logo on it. Very smart indeedy. These kits are now on sale at the club shop or you can order them through the official site. Lets hope they can kick start our season in this game which is as close to the 25th year of the one that started it all. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Cast your mind back 25 years to the Glorious 12th. No, not the start of the grouse shooting, but our first home game in the Scottish Football leagues. Caledonian Thistle, as we were known back then, and what a momentous occasion that was. How fitting it was that club captain, hero, legend and all round terrific guy Alan Hercher scored the first three League goals for this club. In midweek, it had all kicked off on 9th August 1994 for Caledonian Thistle with a 2-0 League Cup win at Firs Park, East Stirlingshire where Wilson Robertson and Alan Hercher netted the goals to see us progress to a tie against Dundee. On Saturday August 12th, a crowd of 1700 saw the Caley Jags beat Arbroath 5-2 at Telford Street and the rest is history. Sadly Alan Hercher is no longer with us having been taken too soon, but his memories will live forever in the archives of this club. After Hercher had scored a twenty minute hat-trick, the Lichties hit back with a couple of goals through Brock and Reilly, but further goals from Paul McKenzie and Wilson Robertson put us firmly on the radar. We have gone on to have a wonderful roller coaster of emotions since then culminating in the Scottish Cup win over Falkirk at Hampden Park on 30th May 2015. Here's to the next 25 years! Watch the action here, you might even see yourself in Telford Street............ There's an article on the OFFICIAL SITE regarding the 25th anniversary match. OFFICIAL PREVIEW ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ On matchday one we suffered badly at the hands of a rampant Lawrence of Arabia who scored all four goals for the Arabs with Tom Walsh scoring what turned out to be little more than a consolation for the Caley Jags. By the end of the game we were well beaten, but it could have been a different outcome had we taken some early chances, notably James Keatings hitting the post before United took the lead. As it was, Shankland showed why United are forking out the big money for him. Arbroath entertained a Dobbieless Queen of the South at Gayfield and their opener ended goalless. That was their first game in the Championship for sixteen years and they will be reasonably happy with a point to get their season off and running. Steven Doris passed up on a couple of good opportunities and he will be a handful for any club. Arbroath manager Dick Campbell said: "You would have to be happy with a point when we're playing a full-time team. We're not going to be easy fodder for anybody, because we've got good players." Added to their League 1 winning squad are Derek Gaston, goalkeeper from Morton; Scott Stewart, defender from Airdrie; Robert Wilson, defender from Berwick and James Murphy, who is a midfielder. Brad Mckay was helped off the park at Tannadice, his neck in a brace and he ended up in hospital to get checked out, bruising is the problem. Along with Shaun Rooney, Sean Welsh and Mitch Curry he will miss this weekends game against Arbroath. Rooney and Welsh are reported to be doing light training in their recuperation process. Aaron Doran has been cleared to play after a suspected broken finger has proven to be ok. We have a problem at right back with David Carson filling in, but he's not really filling that role with any conviction. Charlie Trafford has become a liability with a yellow card in the refs pocket with his name on it before a ball is kicked. Choices for Robertson to make. We keep hearing how good some of our youngsters are, so it's about time we actually saw them. However, we won't be seeing Daniel Mackay or Daniel Hoban unless we go to Elgin. They have been loaned out until January. See OFFICIAL SITE. Dick Campbell is as shrewd as they come and he will get the most out of his part-time squad. His new additions will compliment his title winning squad with Steven Doris the main goal threat. Bobby Linn is another with a bit of pedigree and worth keeping the shackles on him. The experienced former Dundee midfielder Gavin Swankie will be a key player for Arbroath. Midfielder Michael McKenna and defender Thomas O'Brien will be looking to start. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Have a listen to the latest podcast from the Wyness Shuffle. This one is entitled A SEAGULL IN A CARRIER BAG. Don't ask me where they get the names from, but well worth a listen and keep up the good work guys. SHAUN ROONEY: MUTILATOR was the opening podcast and it has been well received. In hindsight, maybe it should have been called Shaun Rooney mutilated given his absence through injury picked up in pre-season. Hopefully, Rooney and Welsh will be back sooner rather than later as they begin light training. Fansbet are sponsors of CTO Odds for today. H10/19 - D 3-1 A9/2
  20. The return of the 'Magic Hat' It's another visit to the City of Discovery on Saturday as the Championship season kicks off with a trip to Tannadice to take on title favourites Dundee United, where we will discover if they have what it takes to get back into the premiership, or are they flattering to deceive. We know a little about Dundee after the League Cup tie last Sunday where we bowed out of the competition after we lost 1-0 thanks to a strike from Danny Johnson. In truth, there was little between the sides and but for a calamitous goal we would still be in the event. However, we are out and can concentrate on bigger things. Dundee United also wimped out of the League Cup after a surprise 0-2 defeat by East Fife at Tannadice. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The OFFICIAL SITE has more information regarding ticket prices and Supporters Travel Club etc. OFFICIAL PREVIEW can be read HERE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Robbie Neilson has a wealth of talent at his disposal and if anything they could be an even better side than they were last season. The acquisition of top striker Lawrence Shankland and permanent signing of Mark Reynolds underlining their intentions. Here's the list of newbies at Tannadice: Adrian Sporle, defender (Banfield); Mark Reynolds, defender (Aberdeen, loan to permanent); Adam King, midfielder (Swansea City); Lawrence Shankland, forward (Ayr United); Liam Smith, defender (Ayr United); Deniz Mehmet, goalkeeper (Queen of the South). Notable departures are Pavel Safranko (loan ended), Billy King, Callum Booth and Fraser Fyvie. For the new season, Inverness have brought in five new faces. James Keatings, David Carson, Nikolay Todorov, Mitchell Curry (loan & now injured) and the return of cup final man James Vincent. We are of course a few light as well with Liam Polworth off to Motherwell, Joe Chalmers over the bridge, Nathan Austin to Kelty Hearts, Darren McCauley back to Ireland and Owain Fon Williams painting & decorating at Hamilton, but at least he's off our wage bill. Young loan player Anthony McDonald has returned to Hearts. Tannadice was the last place we visited on Championship duty last season as we went down 3-0 in the play-offs. It all hinged on a couple of penalty decisions in both legs and a red card farewell for Polworth. At the end of the day we were ultimately well beaten. United went on to lose out to St Mirren in the decider after a penalty shoot-out. How ironic! Last season we played United seven times. Our only success was a 2-1 win at Tannadice in the Scottish Cup. United won four Championship games including the play-offs with the other two being 1-1 draws. The Betfred League Cup has been unkind to both clubs although it's difficult to gauge just how much desire either club had to stay in the tournament. Inverness had drawn with Peterhead, beaten Raith Rovers and Cove but lost out 1-0 to Dundee at Dens Park where many thought we underperformed. The best thing about the narrow defeat showed that Dundee are little, if any, better off than us. Like us, the Arabs won twice, drew one and lost one in Group A, missing out on the best second place team back door entry into the next round as well. They defeated Stenhousemuir and Cowdenbeath, drew at Tynecastle and had a shocker against East Fife who hadn't won at Tannadice for 73 years. What does it all mean I hear you ask? Well, the bulk of United's starting XI appear to have played against East Fife, as did ours against Dundee. Personally, these early League Cup games have a pre-season feel about them, despite the managers telling us otherwise. Unlike many fans, I'm not going to get too hung up over a narrow defeat at Dens Park against one of the sides tipped for promotion. I would be slightly more concerned if I were in Robbie Neilson's camp. McMullan, Shankland, Clark, Butcher, Stanton, Robson, all drawing a blank against East Fife. That tells me one of two things. United are at the same stage as us or East Fife are very good! We'll find out on Saturday. Robbie Neilson took a squad of twenty down to Shrewsbury during the week and they went down 2-1. Louis Appere won, and scored a penalty to give United the lead but Shrews hit back to win. Some of United's bigger names played the final half hour in preparation for the League opener this weekend. Inverness sent a young squad to Lossiemouth on Wednesday night to play a North of Scotland cup tie at Grant Park. They were bolstered by a handful of more experienced players and goals from Nikolay Todorov, Matheus Machado and Aaron Doran saw us progress to the next round by a 3-1 scoreline. United have no concerns ahead of the game and Robbie Neilson, having given Inverness the once over last weekend, saw nothing different from last season. Just saying..... Inverness will be without longer term casualties Sean Welsh and Shaun Rooney. Mitchell Curry can be added to that casualty list after coming off against Dundee and it's reported he will be out for a couple of months with ankle ligament damage. I expect we will be along similar lines to last weeks game at Dens Park. Toddy, Doran, Carson, McHattie, Roddy MacGregor and Daniel Mackay all played in the midweek game at Lossie. That would indicate that they might not start on Saturday. Over to you Robbo. ***LATEST NEWS*** The man who wears the 'Magic Hat' is coming back to Inverness. If you believed the speculation surrounding Miles Storey you were right. He has signed a two year deal to re-join the Caley Jags. A bit of pace up front could be just what we need to chase after knock downs from our target men. He will be included in the squad to face Dundee United after the deal was completed in time. And it has now been confirmed the 'Magic Hat' is back. In the opening game of the Championship on Friday night, Dunfermline paid the penalty against Dundee as Danny Johnson scored twice from the spot to earn the Dark Blues a point at East End Park as they came from two down to earn a draw. Go to around 1:40 and let's hope we see more of this from Miles. What a story!
  21. Winner Takes All The top two teams clash in a winner takes all game at Dens Park on Sunday with BT Sport 1 looking on. Both sides are on seven points heading into this game where the bonus point could come into play should it be level after ninety minutes. Inverness have clawed their way back into contention after a draw with Peterhead followed by wins over Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers. Dundee also beat Raith but have drawn with Peterhead and Cove, winning the bonus point on each occasion. The table below was prior to Saturdays games where Cove Rangers thumped Raith Rovers 3-0. Anything other than a defeat at Dundee will be good enough to see Inverness progress to the knockout stages of the competition. A draw will see both sides into the next round. Our last game was at home to Cove and we just did enough to edge past them with substitute Nikolay Todorov scoring the winner. It was a difficult encounter with Cove acquitting themselves very well. Jordan White fortuitously opened the scoring only for a Mitch Megginson brace either side of the interval putting Cove in front. James Keatings squared matters before the sub intervened. With goal threat Megginson sent off, our cause was helped and we held on to take all three points. Robbo was delighted with his strikers but less so with his defenders who were 'marking space', and as we all know, 'space' does not score goals. So, something to work on for the team in training. Last time out Dundee had to go to penalties to get the better of Cove Rangers. Daniel Park hit the bar for Cove but it ended scoreless with the Dark Blues winning the penalty shoot-out 3-2. I expect Inverness to be along similar lines to the Cove game with Welsh and Rooney out longer term. Nikolay Todorov is pushing for a start having scored twice coming off the bench. New Dundee boss Jake McPake has seven new signings as they try to make a quick return to the Premiership. More info regarding tickets etc can be found on the OFFICIAL PREVIEW @ICTFC.COM
  22. Cove Test On Tuesday night 25 year old Inverness Caledonian Thistle welcome the newest club to make the leap into the football leagues. Former Highland League outfit Cove Rangers have stepped up after gaining promotion into League Two since removing Berwick Rangers from the League set-ups. Congratulations to Cove and I'm sure they will make an impact. It's more Betfred action with Inverness looking to recover after a poor start in their opening fixture at Peterhead. We clawed ourselves back into the equation with a 4-1 win over Raith Rovers at the weekend. Goals from Jordan White, Coll Donaldson, Aaron Doran and Nikolay Todorov saw us take the full three points. That sets us up nicely for Tuesday's game against Cove at the Caledonian Stadium. We made life difficult for ourselves against Raith but a couple of swift strikes after they equalised was enough to take the wind out of their sails as we upped the pace and pulled away from them. Despite a lethargic first half, we ended the game well on top with some promising performances. Tom Walsh was the pick of the players on show with three assists, and there were excellent contributions from David Carson, James Keatings Jamie McCart and at times, James Vincent. Overall a deserved win and gives the fans some encouragement for the campaign ahead. The grass looked great as well! Cove began their new chapter with a narrow 2-1 defeat at Peterhead. Only the woodwork, twice, denied Cove from taking something from this game. They went even closer with a 0-0 draw against Dundee before the Premiership relegated Dark Blues took the bonus point after winning the penalty shoot-out 3-2. Daniel Park almost gave Cove the lead but his effort crashed back off the bar. Still, a tremendous performance in front of near 1500 appreciative fans. Sean Welsh and Shaun Rooney are out longer term. Brad Mckay missed the Raith game as did Kevin McHattie, both pulled a sickie. Carl Tremarco took a nasty knock against Raith but it takes a lot to stop the wee man from playing on. Good to see Aaron Doran and Daniel Mackay getting some game time, Mackay scoring twice for a young squad at Brora on Friday night. Cove were without several first choice players against Dundee, notably experienced captain Mitch Megginson. Daniel Higgins just joined the day before the Dundee game and was exceptional in defence. He had previously played under Paul Hartley when at Dens Park. Let's hear it for head groundsman Dale Stephen and his team as they have transformed the playing surface from Wet Sand to the Green Green Grass of Home in the space of six weeks The surface looked in great nick for the opening game against Raith Rovers at the weekend after six weeks of work improving drainage and re-seeding the grass in around 40 days. You can see more of the progress on the official site by clicking HERE And if you have some spare time Dale, my garden is in a bit of a boorach. Just sayin............
  23. New Turf for Betfred Cup Action. Raith Rovers are the visitors on Saturday for our second Betfred group stage game. Both sides will be looking to do better after underwhelming opening results in the competition where Dundee and Peterhead top the group D table with 5 points. We will unveil our newly grassed surface after improvement work on the drainage and soil was undertaken in the closed season. Well done to Dale Stephen and his team for getting the pitch ready for action Here's a wee glimpse of the new grass pictured a week ago, and what a difference they have made in the space of a few weeks. From a sandy lunar surface to the green green grass of home since it was all dug up at the end of last season. Let's hope we can put the grass to good use and start off with a win. We drew 0-0 with Peterhead in our opening group game at Balmoor Stadium. The hosts took the bonus point after an astonishing penalty shoot-out. All the outfield players on the park at full time scored their spot kicks and it boiled down to keepers Mark Ridgers and Greg Fleming. Unfortunately, Ridgers sliced his kick and Fleming made it 11-10 to win the extra point. Raith went down 3-0 to relegated Dundee in their opening game at Starks Park. Raith have always proven to be difficult opponents and I expect no different tomorrow. Let's hope we don't need a 94th minute Richie Foran overhead kick to win the game this time round. In saying that, it's 19 years since they last beat Inverness! Rovers last victory was a 2-1 win in the First Division back in October 2000, and since then, they’ve managed just two draws in 18 meetings. The last time the sides met was in the same competition a year ago, when a late Daniel McKay goal sealed a 2-1 win for the home side after Grant Gillespie had brought Rovers level, following Nathan Austin’s opener. We also face another testing time at home on Tuesday night as new League Two side Cove Rangers come to Inverness. Cove showed their resilience against last seasons Premiership fall guys, Dundee by drawing with them at the Balmoral Stadium. However, they suffered the same fate as us in the penalty shoot-out for the bonus point. We have a number of injury worries ahead of this game. Sean Welsh is still unavailable after breaking his foot last season. Shaun Rooney is out for a couple of months and Brad Mckay was taken off with a hamstring injury at Peterhead. Daniel Mackay and Aaron Doran were also missing on Tuesday night, and Kevin McHattie has reported in injured. Robbo has hinted that we could see more youngsters due to potential injury problems. That could mean a start for Harry Nicolson at right back or maybe Cameron Harper given our defensive issues. It will also be an opportunity for home fans to get a glimpse of our new signings. James Keatings, James Vincent and David Carson are likely starters with Mitchell Curry and Nokolay Todorov maybe getting an airing at some point. And if you haven't already seen young Brazilian Matheus Machado playing, look out for him. He's going to be a star one day and big things are predicted for him along with Roddy MacGregor (he's one of our own). Plenty to ponder for John Robertson who was less than impressed with the way Peterhead dominated large spells of the game last Tuesday night. There was a hastily arranged friendly at Brora on Friday night and the good news is that Daniel Mackay (pictured right) played from the start and on his return from injury scored two goals in the first half, one from the spot. That game ended 2-2. Remember to have a listen to The Wyness Shuffle podcast created by some of our own fans for your pleasure. Here's the Official Preview from ICTFC. Lot of info in there. If you like a wee flutter, our new partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Here's the page for INVERNESS v RAITH where FansBet have ICT as big favourites to win. Just click on Scottish League Cup. Let's hope they are right! Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  24. Betfred League Cup Opener After a reasonable pre-season the 2019-2020 season kicks off with the Betfred League Cup group stages, where we travel to Balmoor Park, Peterhead for our first competitive game of the new season. Pre-season went well enough with various squads representing the club at Clach, Rothes, Forres, Strathspey Thistle, Buckie and Wick. Stiffer opposition was provided in the final week where we drew with Aberdeen and Hearts before defeating St Johnstone 3-1 last Friday. Plenty of goals scored with all of the strikers finding the back of the net and many of the youngsters making appearances with the big boys and acquitting themselves well. The downside of pre-season is that Shaun Rooney picked up a knock and could be out for a couple of months. Some new faces have signed on and James Keatings, Nikolay Todorov, David Carson, James Vincent and Mitchell Curry have all shown up well. Peterhead began their campaign with a 2-1 defeat of Cove Rangers at the weekend. Derek Lyle and Rory McAllister were the scorers. Difficult to know what to expect in the first few games of a new season as it's all a bit low-key prior to the League campaign starting. Who will make the starting XI? Sean Welsh is not ready for a comeback and Shaun Rooney is injured. Aaron Doran had a slight niggle and could be rested. After that it's anyone's guess who will take to the field. Watch out for rising young stars Roddy MacGregor and Matheus Machado should they feature. A bright future ahead for them and others coming through the ranks. More information can be found on the Official Site regarding ticket prices/preview etc. Here's a new initiative by some of our own fans who have created a new podcast and it's called THE WYNESS SHUFFLE Have a listen. More to come from the guys throughout the season.
  25. It's Now or Never Last chance saloon for Inverness Caledonian Thistle as they travel to Tannadice on Friday night to face a Dundee United side who hold a one goal advantage from the first leg. Do we have the desire to summon up the energy for another high tempo game? The players believe, the fans believe, let's hope the board believe as well or it will be another season in the Championship for us if we fail to overcome United. There's no away goals rule in these play-offs so basically whoever scores the most over the two legs wins the tie. In the event of a draw it's extra time and penalties if required. We start the game one goal down so plenty to play for given the pounding we gave United in the Scottish Cup game at Tannadice. Paul McMullan was the man that made the difference on Tuesday night when he took advantage of a rebound off one post to send the ball into the net off the other post. It was an unfortunate set of circumstances surrounding the goal that you couldn't make up. The big talking point however was the sending off of Liam Polworth minutes after the break. High foot or low head, referee Walsh sent of Polly and that was a big game changer. It enabled United to gradually grind Inverness down but not without the hosts putting up a tremendous fight. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ New Signing David Carson has signed a two year deal at the Caledonian Stadium. Carson is a 23 year old midfielder and arrives from Morpeth Town having scored 14 goals this season. More on David on the OFFICIAL SITE. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ For Inverness, nothing much has changed since the game on Tuesday night which Tom Walsh and Carl Tremarco missed through injury. Robbo expects Walsh to be available tonight but Tremarco is out. Liam Polworth will sit this one out through suspension and that's disappointing as we could have seen the last of him in a Caley Jags shirt. Shaun Rooney was the newbie last time out and he performed brilliantly as a dashing wing back with Brad Mckay in the full back position. Kevin McHattie took Tremarco's role. Pavol Safranco came off at half time and is a doubt. Peter Pawlett took a heavy knock as well and Callum Butcher limped off the park. Off to Tannadice now, so you'll have to make up the rest as you go.