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  1. Queens visit Another Tuesday, another game at the Caledonian Stadium, this time we host Queen of the South looking to get over the disappointment of a poor result at Alloa on Saturday. The game kicks off at 7:45pm. At the weekend, we went down to the Wasps who were absolutely buzzing. Only two goals which flattered Inverness who also saw a host of opportunities wasted. First half goals from Lee Connelly and Kevin O'Hara saw us leave Clackmannanshire empty handed. However, the disappointment was tempered by the fact that we actually gained a point over our nearest challengers over the week as all other sides drew again. I know, I know, it's clutching at straws a wee bit, but it's all we've got to be happy about after a grim week. Queen of the South went ahead in midweek only for Dunfermline Athletic to peg them back with a penalty just after half time. Gary Oliver had put Queens on their way to their first win in nine games but Jonathan Afolabi levelled from the spot. The Doonhamers have slipped into the play-off slot at the wrong end of the league thanks to Alloa beating us. However, we are still closer to them on points than we are to league leaders Dundee United. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Match Info Tickets Sports Bar Official report v Alloa Digital Matchday Programme ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Two other games on Tuesday night Partick Thistle v Dunfermline Athletic Dundee v Ayr United Queen of the South play Ayr United on Friday night. This is the third meeting between the clubs this season with Inverness victorious in the first two games, both 2-0 wins home and away. Queens are close to the relegation danger zone and will be looking to rectify that so expect a tough encounter where on their day, any team is capable of beating anyone in the league. Given our reluctance to beat teams in the bottom half of the league, this will not be an easy task. Hopefully the rude awakening at Alloa will stir the team and get us back on track. Sean Welsh and James Vincent missed the game at Recreation Park and Lewis Toshney came off injured after only three minutes. The news regarding Toshney is not great, he is expected to be out for at least a month with an injury to his quad muscle, and that leaves us wafer thin at the back with the run-in and Chocolate biscuit cup coming up. Once more Queen of the South will be relying heavily on top scorer Stephen Dobbie. Always a threat, Dobbie has eleven goals to his credit this term, meagre by his own standards. However, he is one of the best finishers in the Championship. Ignore him at your peril......... Simon Macdonald RIP The funeral service will take place on Wednesday 11 March at 12.30pm in the Funeral Home of William T Fraser and Son, Culduthel Road, Inverness, IV2 6AB, and thereafter to Kilvean Cemetery. All friends and colleagues past and present welcome. Family flowers only please, and money donations to the Scottish Burned Children’s Club welcome. As a mark of respect for Simon, the Fans will do their own tribute at the Challenge Cup Final against Raith Rovers. We're planning on having a minutes applause in the 44th minute for Simon / Bronson during this game. Something to note for later this month and feel free to make others around you at the game aware.
  2. A spot of Recreation After a good set of results in midweek, the Caley Jags head to Recreation Park Alloa, looking to consolidate their position in second place in the Championship, the game kicking off at 3:00pm. Inverness were the only team to win in midweek as the other four games ended goalless. This will be the sixth meeting between the sides this season, with Inverness having three wins, the other two games were draws. Last time together we struggled to a 1-1 draw against the Wasps. A first half penalty was tucked away by Iain Flannigan but Jordan White rescued our day with a goal on the hour. Last time at Recreation Park we were on Scottish Cup duty and edged out Alloa 2-3 thanks to a late goal from Charlie Trafford. Alloa's top scorer Kevin O'Hara scored twice to square matters after Aaron Doran and Jordan White had Inverness ahead twice. We never find it easy on the artificial surface and I expect it will be no different this time round. Championship fixtures this weekend Aloa Athletic v Inverness CT Ayr United v Dundee Dundee Utd v Partick Thistle Dunfermline v Queen of the South Morton v Arbroath Here's Johnny.............. OFFICIAL PREVIEW Sean Welsh and James Vincent missed out in midweek but Lewis Toshney added some much needed solidarity to our defence. Brad Mckay will be available for selection after his red card against Hibs in the Scottish Cup and Robbo is hopeful Vincent will be added to the squad. Alloa's main threat will be 14 goal Kevin O'Hara although he is not the only player we need to be wary of. Kevin Cawley, and Alan Trouten are well aware how to find the back of the net, and at the other end Neil Parry made a welcome return to the goals, shutting Dundee out with a tremendous performance in midweek. That's some save by Neil Parry in midweek................. Bronson It should be noted that after the passing of the legend that is Bronson, his funeral arrangements have been released. RIP Simon. On behalf Simon’s immediate family, we would like to express our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has been in touch, shared their memories of him and offered their support. It has been truly humbling – we knew he was a great bloke, but this has surpassed even our expectations. His death will leave a huge hole in the hearts and lives of all who knew him. The funeral service will take place on Wednesday 11 March at 12.30pm in the Funeral Home of William T Fraser and Son, Culduthel Road, Inverness, IV2 6AB, and thereafter to Kilvean Cemetery. All friends and colleagues past and present welcome. Family flowers only please, and money donations to the Scottish Burned Children’s Club welcome. Please share this information with anyone else you think would like to know. — feeling heartbroken. As a mark of respect for Simon, the Fans will do their own tribute at the Challenge Cup Final against Raith Rovers. We're planning on having a minutes applause in the 44th minute for Simon / Bronson during this game. Something to note for later this month and feel free to make others around you at the game aware.
  3. Raise a glass for Bronson One of the Championship's form teams venture North on Tuesday night in the shape of Greenock Morton. With 10 points from their last six games, only Arbroath can better that with 12 points. Our tally over the last six is a mere 7 points. The game has a 7:45 kick-off time as our hectic schedule kicks in. We went down heavily at Easter Road as the last Championship side standing. It ended 5-2 and we finished the game down to ten men, beaten, but not bowed. Morton made the most of their Saturday game as they thrashed Queen of the South 4-0. The goals came from Tumilty, Nesbitt, Cadden and McGuffie, that's 12 goals in their last four games including a 2-1 win at Somerset Park. Brad Mckay is suspended and James Keatings and James Vincent are doubts. OFFICIAL PREVIEW Robbo talking pre-match Sadly, football takes a back seat this week after news that one of our own larger than life fans has passed away with so much still to offer. No one saw it coming, no one saw the signs. Everyone thinks that men are so tough they don't give a shit. Well I have news for you. Men do care, men hurt, men cry, men can do all these things. It's OK to be not OK. Men need help as well so please please please tell someone, talk to your best buddy. More people understand than they will tell you. Many of us have felt low at some point. It's not something to be ashamed of, but help is out there, speak about it, please. Rip 'Bronson' a nicer guy you would struggle to find anywhere. It's difficult to come to terms with this. For his family and close friends, this is sad times, but please, be comforted in the knowledge that Simon was well loved and will be sorely missed. Heartbroken is a word used too readily, it is the word to describe the feeling amongst all who had the privilege and honour of being in Simon's company. Gringo posted this lovely heartfelt tribute to Simon. Words can not explain how I feel right now. Today I heard of the passing of one the nicest guys I ever met whilst supporting Inverness Caley Thistle. He was a laugh, a true Caley Thistle fan, a gent and was always in awe at my (our) long distance journeys that were made as a family to follow his (our) team. He was also a founder member of the infamous Highland March and also became the saviour of it too on that very first event. I shared the support bus with him on a number of occasions we're we talked football and rock music. From those halcyon days of the HM, the fun in the Innes Bar, the home matches and the away matches on the supporters bus I will never forget you Simon MacDonald ‘Bronson’ never. With a heavy heart I bid you farewell my friend and may you rest in peace now. My heart also goes out to all your family and friends. A pain unimaginable right now. I hope my words ease that awful pain somehow. 💔💔 Everyone on CTO will echo these thoughts and we all pass on our heartfelt condolences to Simon's family, friends and colleagues. Gone too soon, but will never be forgotten. Simon, you will never walk alone......
  4. Can we? There's only a Scottish Cup quarter final to be played on Friday night in the Capital of Scotland and guess who will be there? That's right, the Pride of the Highlands, Inverness Caledonian Thistle. We will be at Easter Road in time for the 7:45 kick off. If you can't make it, then BBC Scotland is the channel to find for full live coverage of the game. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ TICKET INFO The club can confirm that tickets for tomorrow’s Scottish Cup Quarter Final against Hibernian at Easter Road will be available from Ticket Pods at the South Stand from 6pm. Payments can be taken by cash or card. No season ticket discounts apply to tickets bought on the night Any remaining collections will be available from the he South Stand Ticket Pods TICKET PRICES Adult: £22 Concessions (65+/Students/Under 18s/Child): £12. 2 years old and younger are free James Keatings ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In the last round Hibernian knocked out runaway Championship leaders Dundee United 4-2 after a 2-2 draw at Tannadice. Inverness edged out Livingston in a close affair, Sean Welsh scoring the only goal of the game at the Caledonian Stadium with a superb free kick in stormy conditions. Interestingly, Hibs drew with Livingston last week and that should be a confidence boost for the Caley Jags. This is a big ask for Robbo's men after a couple of tough Championship games that saw us go down 2-1 at Tannadice last Friday and them we beat Dunfermline 2-1 at East End Park on Tuesday night. What was encouraging in both of these games was the performances and level of commitment shown. The same will be required against Hibs although this might be a game we will do well to contain a Hibs side who are always willing to go forward, especially at home. Having knocked The Arabs out at the same venue then they will be confident of quelling a Highland resurgence in a competition that we are no strangers to. Robbo was the scourge of the Hibees in days gone bye. He had bulged the Hibs net on no fewer than 27 times in Edinburgh derbies. I'm sure he will get a warm reception tonight from the Hibs faithful. Who put the ball in the Hibees net, Johnny Robertson...... Lewish Toshney is cup-tied and Sean Welsh is still out with an ankle injury. 27 year old Christian Doidge is the man to watch for Hibs. He has been in tremendous form with 17 goals so far this season, including the one last week against Livi. He's a handful at 6ft 2in and will need to be shackled if we want to get back to Hampden. Robbo pre-match.... And man of the moment, James Keatings.............
  5. 8Steak Bridie time The pitfalls of a wee cup run and some bad weather will be upon us for the next few weeks. On Tuesday night we face Dunfermline Athletic at East End Park, the game kicking off a 7:45pm. That means it's steak bridie time! That will be followed by a Scottish Cup quarter final at Easter Road on Friday night. What a time to be alive! Dundee closed the gap to zero points on Saturday after they beat Queen of the South. We remain above them on goal difference only with Ayr and Arbroath a further one and two behind. Ayr United had their game at Arbroath abandoned at half time with the score level. The table looks like this with one other game tonight, Ayr v Morton. Dunfermline are just off the pace in sixth place and a win would put them right back in the mix. It's all getting rather congested in the race to be the best of the rest as The Arabs disappear into a mirage. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Match Information including ticket prices & Travel Club Info ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We went down 2-1 at Tannadice in an entertaining game played in atrocious conditions. Jordan White scored inbetween counters from Louis Aperre and 28 goal Lawrence Shankland. We ran United close but Shankland was the difference on the night. Dunfermline's game on Saturday fell foul to the weather at Firhill. Here's Johnny..... Sean Welsh won't be attending this time as he is still broken. No reports of fresh injuries that I am aware of, so maybe a similar squad that played United or freshen it up with Lewis Toshney coming in to the back four. He is cup tied anyway so can't play at Easter Road. Dunfermline have had three weeks off prior to this game, their latest game falling foul of the wet weather last week. So they will be fresh as a daisy. Let's not forget, they have Danny Devine in their squad. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Don't forget the Quarter Final of the Scottish Cup is this Friday. Having beaten Livingston in the previous round, the Caley Jags travel to Easter Road to take on Hibernian, the game kicking off at 7:45pm. If you are unable to attend, then BBC Scotland will be screening the match live. Mon the Caley Jags
  6. Friday Night Footie We are on the telly again tonight. No it's not just the James Keatings diving show but we face runaway League leaders Dundee United at Tannadice tonight in a Championship game that kicks off at 7:05pm for the benefit of BBC Scotland TV. Been a hectic week or two with one thing or another so I'll keep this short. Inverness will be without Sean Welsh again who has a twisted ankle. Man of the moment James Keatings will be available for this one as his 'ban' will only come into effect for the same competition that the faceless imbeciles at the incompetent SFA decided that he dived. Nicky Clark is out for United but is hopeful of a return before the end of the season. United hold the upper hand over the Caley Jags this season and we will do well to hang on to their coat tails in this one. In our favour, the Arabs have faltered somewhat in the last few games since thumping Partick Thistle 1-4 on the 11th of January. They have since been knocked out of the Scottish Cup by Hibernian and had draws with Morton and Alloa and were beaten 1-0 by Arbroath. Mon the part-time teams. We had a morale boosting win over Livingston in the Scottish cup, but otherwise have let slip opportunities to narrow the gap at the top whilst the Arabs lost points. A defeat at Ayr, where incidentally Mr Aitken officiated, and a poor 1-1 draw with Alloa Athletic have also seen our Championship hopes stutter since an excellent away win at Dens Park after New Year. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Official match preview Includes ticket information The SPFL have confirmed that The Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Cup Final against Raith Rovers will take place on Saturday 28th March 2020 at McDiarmid Park, with kick-off at 4.10pm and the game being shown live on BBC Alba. We are all James Keatings also Our home fixture against Partick Thistle has been rearranged for Tuesday March 17th and will kick off at 7.45pm. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Here's a leaked video of James dressed as a giraffe rehearsing his dives Hopefully the recent poor weather will relent and the game will provide an entertaining spectacle for the throngs of onlookers checking to see the artistic dives and antics of the Caley Jags players.
  7. Chocolate Biscuit action Hold your horses, we play Rangers Colts in the Chocolate Biscuit Cup semi-final this Sunday at the Caledonian Stadium, Inverness. I bet you all forgot about this competition. Kick off for this one is 16:10 with the P&J Lounge within the stadium being open for a day of televised football, the drinks starting to flow at 12 midday. Ross County are the current holders of the Challenge Cup having beaten Connagh's Quay 3-1 in the final last season. The last round of the competition was played three months ago, I kid you not. So, back in November, we knocked out Clyde after a penalty shoot-out and Rangers u21's beat Wrexham 2-0. The other semi-final will be between Partick Thistle and Raith Rovers which will be played on the Friday night ahead of our game on the Sabbath. (Raith Rovers wait for the winners of this tie after they beat Partick Thistle 2-1. It was a frantic end to the game as Partick went two down with 15 minutes to go but they fell just short and hit the post as Raith hung on. They'll be dancing in the streets of Raith etc......) We have been in the final of this competition four times, winning the Challenge cup twice. To be honest it's an event that does not really come to life until the final stages for many fans. So here we are in the semi's against Ranger's finest youngsters and the opportunity to go further and gain some confidence as the league campaign gets to the business end. It's not for everyone, but our last final against Dumbarton showed what it meant to them and their fans as they lit up the day in Perth, their first final since the bronze age. Here's how we won the trophy two seasons ago......... Who are Rangers u21's/Colts. I imagine they are the finest hand picked youngsters who have been gathered from around the country and tied to Rangers on contracts that our players can only dream about. Add in a couple of seasoned professionals and there you have it. A team capable of challenging those outside the premiership in a trophy for the best of the rest. Rangers senior side won this competition in 2016. Rangers Team for the 2-0 win over Wrexham Wright; Patterson (Young-Coombes 31), Edmundson, Breen, Flanagan, Mayo, Barjonas, Maxwell, Dickson (Butterworth 87), Atakayi (Lyall 76), Kennedy. Subs not used: Budinaukas; Williamson, O'Connor, Miller. Goals: Jamie Barjonas (35), Nathan Young-Coombes (71) ***Inverness Team News*** John Robertson has fitness doubts over Aaron Doran and Lewis Toshney. Doran took a knock late in the home game against Alloa Athletic and Toshney, who had been cup-tied, has fluid on the knee which requires attention. Otherwise, it should be business as usual. Robbo insists that he has had The Rangers Colts watched a couple of times but admits it's difficult to know which players they will choose their squad from due to the nature of the competition. It could be a case of perm any XI from a possible thirty or so players. Good luck with that John. ***LATE NEWS*** The dates for the Scottish Cup game at Easter Road have been set and it's Friday night football for the Caley Jags. The game will also be televised live on BBC Scotland with a 7:45pm kick off ?Our @ScottishCup Quarter Final against @HibernianFC will take place on Friday 28th February at 19:45pm and will be shown live on @BBCScotland Ticket Information for Inverness fans will be announced over the weekend ? https://t.co/xPUhTigW3k
  8. A Blast from the past. It could be billed as an explosive cup tie as auld mates Livingston provide the opposition on Saturday as we meet in the 5th round of the Scottish Cup. BOOM BOOM! (Apparently the road opened with a bang after the device was detonated) Here's something to ponder over. On the day of this tie, 20 years ago to the day, Inverness Caledonian Thistle emerged from the ashes and this phrase was begat. SuperCaleygoballisticCelticareatrocious. Just let that sink in for a minute or two. This will be Livi's second trip to the Highlands in four days having played Ross County in a midweek premiership game. We made it thus far by beating Alloa Athletic 2-3 and Livi produced a late comeback to dispose of Raith Rovers 3-1 after Rovers led until the last 13 minutes. So, it's a wee while since we last hung out with Livi, having followed them through the leagues. We have had some memorable games against the Lions, and some instantly forgettable ones. Our last game against them was a 1-0 win for the Caley Jags in a Championship encounter in April 2018 when Liam Polworth (remember him), scored the only goal of the game in front of 740 fans at the Toni Macaroni. Ahhhh, those were the days...... Livingston went on to gain promotion via the play-offs that season by removing Partick Thistle from the premiership, winning home and away, while we just failed to make the top four after making a late run in the league, but falling at the third last hurdle when Dunfermline snatched a 95th minute equalising goal to deny us. Overall results against Livi are pretty even, the Caley Jags just shading it by a couple of wins and five goals. However, since we went down, Livi have been able to deal with life in the Premiership whilst we are struggling against the Arbroath's, Alloa's and Ayr's of this world. Livi sit comfortably in fifth place in the premiership and well clear of the dreaded drop, a top six place looks to be on the cards. It appears that Livi don't play quite as well when they are on the grass, their form away from the comfort of their own synthetic surface shows them to be vulnerable, something the village team at Dingwall exploited in midweek as a brace from Billy Mckay saw County take the points on Wednesday night. However, a word of warning, they are a strapping side and will pose problems to whoever our defence are. Dolly Menga, a substitute in midweek is a bag of tricks and will need to be shackled. Of the current squads there are a few players who have been on the books of both clubs. Our gaffer John Robertson was a player manager and present coach Barry Wilson played in Europe for them. Strikers Jordan White and Nikolay Todorov also donned both shirts. As well as departed players, the Caley Jags have injury concerns over the rest of the defence with Shaun Rooney, Kevin McHattie and Mark Ridgers all nursing knocks after the Alloa game last week. Lewis Toshney is cup-tied (is he even a real thing), although Cameron Harper has been recalled from Elgin City. According to the latest news, we have a clean bill of health after all the knocks last week, minus Toshney who is cup-tied. Here's Johnny..... Livingston went with an unchanged starting XI against Ross County in midweek, but added Dolly Menga to the bench in place of Alan Lithgow. XI: McCrorie; McMillan, Taylor-Sinclair, Brown, Guthrie, Bartley, Pittman, Sibbald, Lawless, Robinson, Dykes. Subs: Maley, Lamie, Lawson, Jacobs, Crawford, Souda, Menga.
  9. Ayr do Back to League business this weekend as Inverness make the journey to Somerset Park to take on Championship play-off contenders, Ayr United. The game kicks off at 3:00pm on Saturday at the same venue where Ross County were dumped out of the Scottish Cup last week. There's only four points separating the sides at the moment and this should be another tight affair. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Match and Travel Information can be found on the OFFICIAL SITE @ ICTFC We're in the money £££ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It's been a rewarding fixture for us in recent seasons, including last season when we beat Ayr in the away leg of the play-off and both league fixtures at Somerset Park. We have already beaten Ayr away this season back in October when goals from James Vincent and Shaun Rooney were enough to earn the points. The second meeting this campaign was another 2-0 win in the Highlands, Jordan White and Miles Storey the scorers. Last time out we were on Cup duty and recorded a hard fought 2-3 win over Alloa Athletic at Recreation Park. We were pegged back twice after Aaron Doran opened the scoring. Jordan White put us ahead again only for Kevin O'Hara to get his second of the game. Charlie Trafford scored the vital winner with only a handful of minutes remaining. Ayr pulled off a minor upset by knocking our neighbours out of the Cup thanks to a powerful headed goal from seasoned professional Steven Bell. Form since we last met in the league Last time we met was back on the 7th of December, and after winning 2-0 in the Highlands we were five points ahead of Ayr. Since then we have won two (Pars & Dundee) and lost two (Partick & Arbroath), plus a win over Alloa in the Scottish Cup. Our game against Queen of the South fell foul of the weather. In December, Ayr had a midweek draw with Arbroath then beat Alloa before losing to Dundee United and Queen of the South. They started January with an away win at Dunfermline, a postponed fixture at Dens Park and beat Ross County in the Scottish Cup. So form is fairly even at the moment at that is mirrored in the League table with Ayr just one place and four points behind Inverness now. Fixtures this weekend Dunfermline v Dundee (Friday) Ayr United v Inverness Arbroath v Partick Thistle Dundee Utd v Morton Queen of Sth v Alloa Robbo said ahead of the game: “We’ve got to go down there and do what we’ve done at Dens Park and Alloa, that’s go down there and be very busy and very proactive with the ball and when we lose it make sure we’re nice and solid. The key to our success all season is our solidity at the back.” Whilst that is very true Robbo, you would wonder why the club can not hold on to the heart of the defence until the end of a possible promotion campaign. Is there enough ambition left at the Caledonian Stadium? Team News It was great to see Tom Walsh back on the park last week after hamstring problems and a further bonus to have Sean Welsh on the bench as he recovers from a second broken foot. These guys have been out for a while now and it will be like having two new signings when they are both back up to speed. Unfortunately the loss of Coll Donaldson is a blow and the impending departure of Jamie McCart adds to our misery. McCart is still here for now unless St Johnstone dig deep into their pockets. It remains to be seen if McCart will be asked to play for the club he wants away from. However, we have to go with what we have and Lewis Toshney will come into defence with Brad Mckay and Kevin McHattie also looking to claim a place. There will be plenty room for them all should Shaun Rooney turn his back on us as well. Mark Kerr has strengthened his squad by signing Grant Gillespie from Hamilton Accies. Jordan Houston has also joined from Rangers. Kerr will be without Craig Moore, Andy Geggan and Andy Murdoch, but Grant Gillespie will be added to the squad. Speaking on Ayr United's official site Kerr said : ”We don’t need reminding that we don’t have the greatest recent record against Inverness, it is just another game and another opportunity to pick up points and continue this wee run we are on. We know what Inverness are all about. They are extremely well organised, everyone knows their jobs and they play good football at times as well. It’s a challenge that we are looking forward to and we’ve been working had on a plan all week to get the best out of the players tomorrow afternoon. The last couple of games have proved that we are able to mix it up now and win games a different way.” Oops, sorry for the reminder Mark. We have some good news and some bad news for you this week First the good news. The club have reached their original investment target of £500K and have issued a statement to that effect. In fact they have exceeded expectations and you can read about it HERE The bad news is the break up of our defence with Coll Donaldson already away and Jamie McCart following him out the door in the summer if not sooner. As expected, after sitting on the bench at Alloa, Jamie McCart is next to go. He will be on his way to Perth in the summer unless we can sell him now for a few pennies. Sometimes life's a bitch! The final blow would be the departure of the much sought after Shaun Rooney who has been in tremendous form for the Caley Jags lately. Sadly Tommy Wright wants to tie up both players before the weekend. With the run in for a play-off place at stake, this is indeed not what the fans want to hear. Scottish Cup Draw Coll Donaldson is now confined to history after he left the building to join Ross County before last weeks Scottish Cup ties. However, unlike his former Inverness team mates, he won't be in the next round of the cup as Ayr sent them homewards, tae think again. Inverness will host Livingston in the next round, the weekend of February the 8th. Now then, that date rings a bell!
  10. Scottish Cup 4th round Since winning the Scottish Cup in May 2015, it has been all downhill for Inverness. Relegation from the Premiership followed in season 2016/2017 and we find ourselves now in our third season in the Championship watching Dundee United disappear into the distance with a play-off place our only hope of getting back into the promised land. However, it's time for a break as it's Scottish Cup weekend. Who is going to take the trophy away from Parkhead? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Match info and Travel Club details can be found on ICTFC ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ For The Caley Jags it's a tricky trip to Clackmannanshire to face Alloa Athletic on the synthetic surface, a surface that fell foul of the weather last weekend as rain lashed the whole of Scotland with postponements curtailing the fixture lists. The cup game kicks off at 3:00pm at Recreation Park, or if the sponsors want to be heard, then it's the Indodrill Stadium. Robbo will have his work cut out to motivate the squad with all the transfer talk and that could have an effect on his squad for this game. Coll Donaldson has left the building already, others will follow as money talks. Look for Lewis Toshney coming in to the squad for the Championship games. Brad Mckay and Kevin McHattie already having some game time in central defence will surely replace Coll Donaldson this weekend with Toshney cuptied, having played for Falkirk already in the competition. At least we still have the top shut-out keeper in the Championship in Mark Ridgers. He likes to keep his sheets clean and has racked up 11 so far this season. That's better than Siegrist (Dundee United), MacGregor (Rangers) and Forster (Celtic). Mark has made 60 saves from 20 appearances. Incidentally, our opposition keeper this week, Jamie MacDonald has made the most saves so far with 78 from 16 games. Busy man, let's hope we keep him busy this weekend. Robbo has confirmed that Tom Walsh is available for selection after a prolonged hamstring injury and Sean Welsh is close to making a comeback after his second broken foot. Gringo's Gripe: Super Caley have a great cup pedigree but, as you point out, the squad could be side tracked by on going transfer talk and unsettled players. Dreams of a higher wage and a 'well-I'm-leaving-soon-anyway' attitude may take it's toll if we concede the first goal. On paper we should win this tie but if the paper is soggy we could slip up on the banana skins on the plastic pitch. Tommy Tremarco said pick that one out Jamie..... Scottish Cup 4th round Should be some entertaining ties coming up and at least one non league side will be in the draw with East Kilbride playing BSC Glasgow. BSC put East Fife out of the cup in the previous round with an excellent 3-4 win. Brora Rangers were the last Highland league side to go out of the competition this year after a 3-1 defeat to Morton in a replay at Dudgeon Park. The action kicks off on Friday night when Rangers entertain Stranraer and ends on Sunday evening when runaway Championship side Dundee United host Hibernian. Holders Celtic begin their defence of the trophy with an all Glasgow tie against championship strugglers Partick Thistle on Saturday evening. Alloa have only made the fifth round once in the last 13 seasons. Inverness have made it that far in nine of the last ten seasons. Here's the best goals from the previous round..... The January Sales. The sales are in full swing and the rumour mill is working overtime. Mitch Curry has already returned to Middlesbrough and Cameron Harper has gone to Elgin City. Coming back to Inverness on a pre-contract is striker Shane Sutherland unless we feel the need to get him in sooner. Shane left Inverness in 2013 to play at Borough Briggs having previously been on loan there. As it looks like we will need to re-assemble almost our entire defence, Robbo has made a shrewd signing in 27 year old defender Lewis Toshney who last played for Falkirk. Money does talk, and rumours of major departures from the Caley Jags seem to be surrounding our defence with Coll Donaldson already heading over the bridge with immediate effect. He has gone to Roy for an undisclosed fee, maybe he will show some interest now that his wages have increased, something we were unable to offer due to our financial plight. Maybe our paths will cross in the promotion play-offs, now that would be fun. Shaun Rooney and Jamie McCart are also attracting a lot of attention with St Johnstone, Dundee and Partick Thistle allegedly courting these players. The departures will open the door for Lewis Toshney, Brad Mckay and Kevin McHattie to stake their claim for a regular start. Well, there's nobody else in the way now.
  11. ***Game off*** There's another preview wasted; meh! It's Dobbie time. Steven Dobbie takes the rest of his entourage North this weekend as Inverness host Queen of the South at the Caledonian Stadium. The game kicks off at 3:00pm and let's hope the wind and rain relents somewhat so we can avoid trampolines and other objects seen hurtling around Inverness this past week. Oh dear, the weather has won, the game has been called off on Friday after a 12:00inspection. Our last game saw a return to form as we ran out comfortable winners over a resurgent Dundee at Dens Park. Two superb first half goals from Aaron Doran and James Keatings gave us the platform to go on and dominate the first forty-five and from there on in we were never in danger. What a difference a week made after the disappointment of the Arbroath defeat to end 2019. The Doonhamers took on the other half of Dundee at Palmerston but narrowly went down 1-0 as Mark Connolly headed the winner early into the second half. After last week's games, Queen of the South find themselves in sixth position, ten points behind second place Inverness but still only three points above the relegation play-off place occupied by Morton. These two teams have a crucial catch up game to play against each other. Lots of players moving back and fore in the January sales and Mitch Curry has returned to Middlesbrough after his injury disrupted spell in the Highlands. I suppose he was more of a Korma than a Vindaloo, but good luck to him for the future. Less pleasing are the strong rumours that Coll Donaldson could be on his way over the bridge on a pre-contract while Shaun Rooney could be heading to Dundee, with St Johnstone showing interest as well. Another in danger of leaving is Tom Walsh, although he would be less of a miss due to recent injury problems, although on his game he can be a match winner. I'm afraid money talks, and we won't be splashing much cash around unless we get contracts bought out now. Anyway, it's all speculation at the moment, but it's no secret that Donaldson and a few others would prefer a bigger wage. In fact, rumours would have it that half our squad are being targeted such is our financial disposition. Cest la vie! Gringo's thoughts.......... Caley Jags are so difficult to predict these days. They blow very hot and cold. This should be a massive three points for us but....I'm struggling to find any confidence that they can do so. Distractions of higher wages and new contracts could have an affect on the minds especially if we concede the first goal. Some guys might get that 'well I'm leaving soon for a higher wage anyway so this game doesn't matter attitude' I'd hope they are more professional than that though. NPL says FT 2-1 Pfffftttt A bit damp around the penalty box
  12. 2020 Vision We are the first footers at Dens Park in 2020 as second takes on third in the Ladbrokes Championship. So take your piece of coal and a wee Whyte & Mackay with you as we take on Dundee. Last time out, Dundee battled hard for a point at Tannadice on the Friday night whilst a day later we slumped badly at home to Arbroath, going down to a flattering one goal defeat in what has been described as a decade ending debacle. Despite this, a good New Year to you all and our resident seer, Immortal Howden Ender will take us through the first game of 2020. Call it a vision if you like! A seer with a vision. Preview by Immortal Howden Ender Well initially let’s go back to April 20th 2003 and our initial Hampden Park appearance when we met Dundee in the Scottish Cup Semi-Final. We had gone ballistic again in the Quarter Final when a memorable Denis Wyness winner put Celtic to the sword yet again. We were dreaming of our first Scottish Cup Final against the other half of the now extinct “Old Firm” !! In those days we lauded the likes of Wyness, Bobby Mann, Charlie Christie, Richie Hart and Barry Robson. But, in those Mafiosi days, Dundee were fielding Julian Speroni, Fabian Caballero, Georgi Nemsadze, Zurab Khizanishvili and Nacho Novo !!! Unfortunately we went down to a 1-0 defeat but we held our heads high. Dundee may well have done the rest of the division a favour if they had managed to beat their noisy neighbours recently. They probably deserved to win but only came away with a point. There may not be a collection of obscure “superstars” any more but Graham Dorrans and Kane Hemmings are recognizable names and of course their “capitano” is one Josh “VAR” Meekings. This could well be looked at as an undoubtable “six pointer” as an ICT win would put us six points clear whereas Dundee would have to win 3-0 (no chance) to take over second place. Personally I would prefer the former, although a draw would suffice. Other Championship fixtures: Alloa v Partick; Arbroath v Morton; Pars v Ayr; Queens v Arabs We have not enjoyed the best of luck at Dens or bizarrely the “Kilmac Stadium at Dens Park” recently. We fought out a drab, goaless fixture in August but Dundee knocked us out of the Scottish Cup last season and they inflicted a 1-0 defeat on us in the League Cup in late July 2019. Our last meeting resulted in a 1-0 home win in Sneck as a 16th minute Aaron Doran goal won us the three points. There was a frantic, heated last 15 minutes when six yellow cards were shown by the impetuous Davy Munro. This weekend we have Don “Robbo” Robertson in the middle. I can see the starting XI as being pretty close to the team that started at home in late November – apart from Rooney and Keatings starting in preference to McKay and McHattie. Perhaps there may be a James Vincent return to enable him to prove Dundee wrong? Personally I would change the over familiar selection and change the predictable system. Doubt if there is any feckin chance of that though? Ridgers Rooney Donaldson McCart Tremarco Keatings Carson Trafford Doran McGregor Storey So I will be in amongst the thousands of marauding Highlanders in the Bob Shankly Stand !! I presume that the “Trades House” will be the meeting point. I note that the latest review on “Trip Advisor” is not a positive one – “I have attended matches here for years and can honestly say the place is a death trap. Unhygienic dirty and would not recommend a visit.” Sounds great! ***Latest News*** Defender Cameron Harper has gone on loan to Elgin City with keeper Daniel Hoban returning to Inverness from the League 2 side. Sean Welsh and Tom Walsh are back training but neither will feature this weekend. Robbo talking ahead of the game......... 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/
  13. I'm dreaming of a White Xmas Arbroath will be the visitors this weekend as they head North for this Championship encounter with Inverness at the Caledonian Stadium, 3:00pm will be the kick off time. It's the last game of 2019, so come along and see if we can keep our form going and maybe get some revenge for our last encounter with Arbroath. The Smokies certainly smoked the Caley Jags in the last encounter when they ran away with the game in a deserved 3-0 win at Gayfield. Scott Stewart opened the scoring in the first half and a Bobby Linn penalty was added to by Omar Kader late in the second half to hand Inverness their second 3-0 reverse in a week. In truth, the scoreline that day flattered Inverness although we can point a finger at a virus that was working it's way through the Caledonian Stadium around that time. Since that defeat at the beginning of November we have put together a decent run apart from a setback at Firhill a fortnight ago when we lost 3-1 again to Partick Thistle. It started with another virus induced laboured performance over Clyde (0-0) in the Chocolate Biscuit Cup. It went to penalties where Mark Ridgers made two saves to see us through. Partick apart, we have played four Championship games without conceding a goal whilst scoring seven with wins over rivals Dundee, Ayr United, Alloa and Dunfermline. In that same period, Arbroath have had five Championship games without a win, managing only two points from draws with Dundee and Ayr United. They also needed a replay in the Scottish Cup to see off Auchinleck Talbot after a 1-1 draw at Beechwood Park, Ayrshire. After the 3-0 result at Gayfield, Arbroath found themselves level on 20 points with Inverness, but these results now show a 10 point gap has opened up as we move to second while Arbroath sit in seventh. Last time out we overcame Dunfermline in the Highlands with a hard fought but deserved 2-0 win although we had to thank Mark Ridgers for making two or three crucial blocks to keep the Pars out, or to be more precise Kevin Nisbet from scoring. Otherwise, it was a competent performance with a goal in each half from Shaun Rooney and Jamie McCart. Whilst we were beating the Pars, Arbroath were going down at Palmerston to Queen of the South. A Dan Pybus strike and an own goal from Ricky Little secured the points for the Dumfries side and continued Arbroaths poor run. Championship games this weekend starting with the Dundee derby on Friday night. Yes it's derby weekend all round and Arbroath are our nearest........ Dundee United v Dundee (Friday) Ayr United v Queen of the South Dunfermline Athletic v Alloa Athletic Inverness CT v Arbroath Morton v Partick Thistle Here's our goals from the win over Dunfermline last week. Team News John Robertson has been without Sean Welsh for nearly three months now and Tom Walsh is catching him up as he sits out for another week with his hamstring. Brad Mckay was not in the squad last week either but James Vincent returned to the bench before coming on as a sub. Kevin McHattie deputised for Carl Tremarco last week who had taken a knock the previous week, however, Tremarco, Vincent and Mckay should all be in the squad tomorrow. I'm sure Robbo will be looking for more return from his strikers who had the day off last week with defenders Rooney and McCart doing the business. So, like Gregor, we can all dream of a White Xmas, just like the ones we used to know and hope the big man starts scoring again. Arbroath went with this line-up against Queen of the South at Palmerston and Dick Campbell is happy enough with his sides contribution to the Championship so far. And so he should be, especially the likes of Bobby Linn who likes a goal against the Caley Jags. Arbroath manager Dick Campbell has taken heart from recent performances in some tough games even though he thought they deserved more points. “I will happily admit that we are ahead of where I thought we would be at this stage and if we finish with a couple of teams below us by the end of the season then I will be a very happy man.” 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/
  14. Festive Fare It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas and Dunfermline Athletic are the visitors on Saturday with both clubs looking to bounce back after disappointing results last weekend. The game will kick off at 3:00pm at the Caledonian Stadium as Xmas shopping start to bite. So, if you want to avoid all the mind numbing festive jingles in the retail park, get yourself down to the Stadium and get behind the Caley Jags as they try to fend off a Dunfermline side who will be challenging for a play-off slot come the end of the season. Once again we slumped to defeat against a Partick side that were thrashed 5-1 by the Pars recently, albeit the Harry Wraggs had a man sent off in the fourth minute. That's a second 3-1 doing from Partick this season. Alex Jones opened the scoring just after the interval but a superb James Keatings overhead kick restored parity before Steve Saunders put the Partick Jags back in front. Dario Zanatta ended the scoring and made the points secure in injury time and left the Inverness fans frustrated by our inability to break down the hosts and take something from the game. Meanwhile, Dunfermline staged a mini comeback with ten men against Dundee after trailing 4-1. A couple of late counters were not quite enough to earn them a point but once more Kevin Nisbet was on the scoresheet. The Pars other scorers were Ryan Dow in the first half and second half goals from Nisbet and Lewis Martin. Greg Kiltie was sent off after an hour which made the fightback all the more remarkable but they fell just short. Kiltie will miss the game against Inverness. Other Championship fixtures this weekend Alloa Athletic v Morton Dundee United v Ayr United Partick Thistle v Dundee Queen of the South v Arbroath Inverness CT v Dunfermline This is the second meeting this season, the first ended in a narrow 1-0 win for Inverness at East End Park. A Danny Devine foul allowing Sean Welsh to score from the spot. Our last ten competitive meetings shows four wins each and two draws. Inverness have won the last two encounters, both by 1-0 scorelines. Five players in the current squads have played for both clubs, Brad Mckay, Jordan White, Shaun Rooney, James Vincent and Danny Devine. Six if Anthony McDonald gets some game time for the Pars. Remember kids, don't let anyone tell you Santa is not for real. Here is Buffy the Vampire Santa all prepared for her day in the press box at the Caledonian Stadium. Prior to the game, she will be in the bar getting tanked up for the day ahead. Busy period for all Santa's. James Vincent returns to the squad on Saturday after a full weeks training although he might have to settle for a place on the bench. No word on Tom Walsh although I suspect he will be missing once more. Brad Mckay was on the bench last week. With the sports bar open from 1:00pm, there's every chance that Santa will be over the limit, watch this space.......... Here's Steveie Crawford ahead of the game this Saturday....
  15. Firhill for thrills..... This Saturday it's the battle of the Jags as Caley Thistle face Partick Thistle, second top versus second bottom with Firhill the venue, 15:00 the time. First time round this season it was the Partick Jags that came out on top in the Highlands but Inverness have put together a tidy wee run of three to bounce back to second in the table whilst the Firhill men are struggling to get away from the bottom end. All to play for on Saturday with a crucial three points for either team available. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ticket Info Adults: £20, Under 16s: £5 Concessions: (Over 65s*, students, disabled supporter including carer, 16-18 year olds) £15 Tickets available from Firhill on the day of the match. Cash gates will be available at turnstiles 40&41 and located in the Jackie Husband Stand. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The new manager bounce is long gone for the Maryhill Magyars, but when Ian McCall had his first game back in charge they were whipped 5-0 by Celtic in the League Cup. However, move forward three days to the Caledonian Stadium and the team with the greater desire on that day ran out comfortable winners as Inverness shot themselves in the foot......twice. It ended 3-1 to Patrick with Inverness the architects of their own downfall. Dario Zanatta opened the scoring early but Jordan White levelled ten minutes later. Kenny Miller benefited from some poor defensive play just after the break to put Patrick back in front and a late goal from Cammy Palmer secured the points. However since beating Inverness on the 28th of September, Partick have struggled to put a run together and still find themselves second bottom of the League with some indifferent performances. Three wins, five defeats and a draw plus 2 wins in the Chocolate cup and a narrow defeat of Penicuik Athletic in the Scottish Cup are the stats. A couple of really low points in that run were the 4-1 humbling from McCalls old team, get it right up ya, and an absolute 5-1 humping from Dunfermline with a 4th minute red card thrown in for good measure for Tam O'Ware. Speaking to BBC Sport after the Pars mauling, Ian McCall said: "We were very confident to come here and win but after four minutes everything changes. I think everybody was in shock, it's inexcusable."We didn't give ourselves an opportunity to win it and it was too easy for Dunfermline. I felt for the fans because it was a non-contest." Their last outing saw them come from behind to beat the inconsistent Queen of the South 2-1. Joe Cardle had pulled Thistle level after Connor Murray opened the scoring for Queens and a late Reece Cole goal nicked the points for McCall's men. How festive, goal king Cole! He's a merry olde soul apparently. Inverness are on a three game winning streak in the Championship, the latest win was a merited 2-0 victory over Ayr United in the Highlands. Superb strikes from Jordan White and a rejuvenated Miles Storey were enough to see off McCalls old side. Previous victories over Alloa and Dundee took us out of the doldrums with a virus possibly partly responsible for defeats by Arbroath and Dundee United. Not so much the fact that we were losing, but the lethargy was palpable. With all the catch up games played in midweek, the table now looks like this after 16 games. Arbroath v Dundee United Ayr United v Alloa Athletic Dundee v Dunfermline Morton v Queen of the South Partick Thistle v Inverness CT Immortal Howden Ender will be Previewing and Reporting on this game for us.......... The Magic Hat derby What is happening? Four clean sheets on the trot – Challenge Cup Semi Final, three vital wins, nine points taking us to second in the league. And there is more – Positive posts galore on CTO and not just the Happy Clappers. Are we going to have a very Merry Christmas or is the bauble going to shatter. Let’s enjoy our trip to Maryhill, let’s take something from the on-form Pars, enjoy Xmas and then gain revenge against the Smokies and enjoy a New Year that we surely could not have envisaged as the dark days of Winter brought initial gloom and doom to Inversneckie. But as the old adage goes “Let’s take one game at a time” so it is off to see the Hipsters of the West End of Glasgow. The Plastic Thistle are more unpredictable than us !! They get hammered by the Pars and then they turn up and turn over the Doonhamers in Dumfries. The one thing that you have to be envious of is the presence of a “Sugar Daddy” in the form of Lottery Winner – Colin Weir. He is the major shareholder, has a holding in the land at Firhill, is going to hand over “ownership” to a Fan Group by April 2020 and is funding a new Youth Academy. But Mr. Weir does not appear to be widely backed by the Magyar diehards and I don’t think that the potential of Jacqui Low and Alan Rough taking control is being heralded. It looks like they are putting a lot of faith in Kakay, Zanatta and Cole but are bemoaning a pedestrian back four which should be good news for us. Weir and McCall will need to dive into the transfer market and may well do in the New Year sales so we need to ensure that we take those three points back with us this weekend. Revenge is needed for the Ian McCall “first game back” defeat at Sneck in late September. That was well and truly three points chucked away and a performance only just worse than the Gayfield gutting. History would suggest that we usually take something away from Firhill and we don’t give away many goals either. Let’s hope that there is a 17-point gap between us come Saturday night. Robbo recently echoed the Seer recently and let’s hope it is an end of 2019 prophecy – John Robertson says Caley Thistle’s ability to string a run of wins together will decide if they are good enough to challenge for the Championship title. “Our problem this season is that we have not put a run together. If you look at Dundee United and Ayr they have managed to put five straight victories together. That is something that we need to do to get ourselves back in there. But I said to the lads find a way to keep winning games, pushing up the table and see where that takes us.” As for our starting 11 – well it is simply a case of “Same Again Please. To me that is not surprising given our injury list but I am surprised, albeit delighted, that our back five appear to have got back their mean defending after a leaky spell – Carson and Trafford have blended and are bossing the midfield – Keatings has returned to form and White has also shown signs of improvement and hopefully will be adding to his goal tally before 2020 as well. But the player who may well shine on Saturday is Miles Storey. The last time that I was in Maryhill we were giving him pelters – so lets hope that this time it will be adulation and applause. This is only my third away day this season, following Ayr and Alloa. Lets hope that it will bring about a hat-trick - another entertaining match and a 2-0 victory. And if we don’t I will eat his Magic Hat. Team News Sean Welsh is still out but recovering well from his broken foot. Carl Tremarco was injured last week and is a doubt. Kevin McHattie will be a ready made replacement should Tremarco not make it. Tom Walsh has missed the last few games with a hamstring problem and misses out along with James Vincent and Brad Mckay. ***Latest News*** Inverness u18 players Millar Gamble and Lewis Nicolson have been called up to the Scottish Schools FA Under 18 Centenary Shield Squad. Both players attend Culloden Academy. Congratulations to them both.
  16. 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/ .
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.