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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Ayr we go Ayr we go Ayr we go..... Saturday 5th October sees Inverness Caledonian Thistle make the trip south to Somerset Park to face Ayr United in the league. At 205 miles it marks the second longest journey ICT and their home based fans face on league business, only seconded by trips to Dumfries. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Supporters bus to Ayr Bus to Ayr leaves Caley Club 8.45 ...Stadium 9.00 ....Sat5th Oct . Book on Facebook or 07462 218717 HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROBBO55 years young ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Mr Caley Jag is our scribe this week with this Preview for you....... On that travel basis alone their fans will undoubtedly be hoping for a better showing than the last display their team put on against Patrick Thistle when they were roundly defeated 3-1 at the Caledonian Stadium, some professing that the team didn’t turn up at all. That defeat brought the team and fans firmly back down to earth with a bang and the reality of another hard slog in the Championship hit home. Form Up until that point the Caley Jags were unbeaten in 6 games in all competitions recording 5 wins and 1 draw while Partick had only recorded wins in the league cup and 2 draws in the league, so form was firmly turned on its head. Our current points total of 13 from a possible 21 sees us sitting in third spot in the league 4 points clear of Dundee but 5 points behind Ayr Utd. In stark contrast Ayr United sit second on goal difference behind Dundee Utd having gone on a 5 game winning run in the league and recording only one defeat at the hands of Dundee back on the 10th August. Somerset Park has become a daunting venue for teams to visit this season and none to date have come up with any answers and walk away with any points. Ayr lost manager Ian McCall to Championship rivals Partick Thistle a couple of weeks ago and it was he who guided Partick to that win over the Caley Jags last weekend. Sandy Stewart is the caretaker boss of the Honest Men and McCall reckons he is the man who should get the permanent position at Somerset Park. He also reckons that Ayr are the best team in the Championship, but their size of squad will curtail their ambitions. Anyway, not his problem now that he has fecked off to the big money at Firhill, bloody wee Jobby. All competitions since start of the League cup on 13th July over 90mins. Ayr: WLWDWLWWDWW ICT: DWWLLWDWWWWL It’s certainly not a game to pick for your coupon that’s for sure unless you’re chasing the odds with the bookies only slightly favouring Ayr United arguably on their recent league form and the fact they are at home. Teams Inverness welcomed Brad McKay and Mitch Curry back to training last week following bouts out with injury and it remains to be seen if they’ll be fit enough to feature in any capacity. If not, they may get a run out against Brora Rangers on Sunday in the NoS Cup final. James Keatings remains out with ankle ligament damage while we await news on whether Tom Walsh will back in the team line up after he missed out against Partick. There’s no new injury concerns since the defeat to Partick unless the weekly mystery injury strikes. Ayr Utd – Life after Lawrence Shankland seems to be doing just fine at Somerset Park. With 5 wins on the bounce, Ayr would appear to have little worries ahead of this encounter. We do seem to be a bit of an Achilles Heel for the Honest Men, but that can't go on forever. Stevie Bell will be another couple of weeks before he is ready and the experienced Mark Kerr is a major doubt. Jamie Adams, Frank Ross, and Andy Murdoch are out with injuries. Other than that I expect United to be on similar lines to the last few weeks, and why not, it's working well. Here's Robbo ahead of the trip to Ayr. Championship fixtures this weekend Alloa Athletic 1-0 Dundee United Ayr united v Inverness CT Dundee v Arbroath Morton v Dunfermline Partick Thistle v Queen of the South ICT News Chief Executive Scot Gardiner sheds some light on the clubs financial situation ahead of the EGM on the 3rd October on BBC Sport Former director Graeme Bennett on what he hopes to hear/see from the forthcoming EGM can be seen in the Press & Journal ICT EGM – 3rd Oct Here's the Inverness Courier story after last nights meeting. On the back of the EGM, there will be a SUPPORTERS OPEN MEETING to be held on Tuesday 8th October, with arrival from 7pm for a 7:30pm start. Trip down memory lane 24th April 2010 Ayr United 0 - 7 Inverness Caledonian Thistle Team: Esson, Proctor, Munro, McBain (Bulvitis 26), Tokely, Hayes, Morrison, Duncan, Foran (Sanchez 64), Odhiambo (Eagle 71), Rooney Scorers: Hayes, Rooney, Foran, Odhiambo, Sanchez, Eagle, Morrison For me, this is arguably one of the best away games I have attended as a football fan and one of the best Caleyjag and I have been to together. Second last day of the season saw us guarantee the title and a return to the top flight at the first attempt under the tutelage of Terry Butcher. Chants of 'shoes up for the Caley Jags' while holding our shoes over our heads was a particular laughing point for me along with being on the pitch after the game calling out for TB to appear and address us. Aye, the sermon from the stand was brilliant! Sad news breaking with the passing of Hugh Crout, the former Caledonian FC President. “His partnership with his close friend, the late Alex Main, as team manager, was a winning combination at Telford Street. He was a real gentleman and made many friends in football, continuing his love for football by supporting ICT right up till the end. The highlight was seeing the club lift the Scottish Cup in 2015. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.” Some more sad news coming from Greg Tansey is that he will have to retire from football due to ongoing injury problems. You can read more on this in the Press & Journal. Greg played a major part in the making of Inverness Caledonian Thistle, the Scottish Cup Winners, and he was one of the sweetest striker of a ball in the game. We wish Greg all the best for his future, wherever that will take him. Thanks for the memories Greg. Here's how Greg announced it on twitter....... Every footballer knows when they sign their first professional contract that it will eventually come to an end. Today is that day for me, an injury that I have been fighting for 2 years now has ended my career. On Sunday, The Pat Munro North of Scotland Cup Final against Brora Rangers FC 🕒3pm kick-off 🏟️Mosset Park, Forres 🎟️Adults: £10, Concessions: £5, Stand Entry: £2 Tickets available from the turnstiles on the day of the match (Cash Only) Info 👉 https://ictfc.com/match-info-north-of-scotland-cup-final-20… If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  4. McCall's at the wheel..... Its been a turbulent week or two at both clubs as Partick Thistle come North on Saturday, bottom of the Championship, to face Inverness Caledonian Thistle at the Caledonian Stadium in a 3:00pm kick-off. Gary Caldwell was, unsurprisingly, the first managerial casualty in the Championship. Only six games in, but the board at Partick had seen enough and replaced him with Ayr United manager Ian McCall who has led the Firhill side before. Wow! McCall has gone from second top to bottom overnight, that's some drop. Alan Archibald also returns to Firhill as McCall's second in command. And, surprise surprise, we host McCall's Partick on Saturday as they languish bottom of the Championship with no wins in six games and only two points. Good enough reason to sack Caldwell if you ask me? To add injury to insult, they were dumped out of the League Cup in midweek by Celtic who put five past the Maryhill Magyars. No surprise there, but really! On top of all that, a Partick Thistle fans group - backed by ££££££ EuroMillions ££££££ winner Colin Weir - says it has made an offer to take control of the Championship club. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ***LATEST ICT NEWS*** It's been a hectic couple of weeks off the park at the Caledonian Stadium as well with an EGM being called and Chairman Graeme Rae resigning along with Director Alan McPhee. Full statements can be read on the Official ICTFC site EGM ~~ CHAIRMAN OFFICIAL PREVIEW Congratulations to Mark Ridgers who hits another ton today. 100 not out for Mark! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Back on the park, Caley Stan is yer man this week as he shuffles the pack for us...... And he said, don't forget to get your WYNESS SHUFFLE fix is right HERE Ian Holland McCall, known as ‘Corky’ or ‘Jobby’ depending on your perspective, walked off down Maryhill Road in April 2011 to confront his personal demons. He had left behind a Thistle side that was ready to push for promotion, but wasn’t able to hang around to enjoy the culmination of his ‘five year plan’. Jobby found himself out of the game for three and a half years, resurfacing at an Ayr side who were languishing in ninth place in League One in January of 2015 and taking them up through the play-offs in that same season. They went straight back down, but returned a year later as champions, much stronger, and raced to the top of the Championship where they remained in contention until the end of February. With one of the lowest budgets in the league, and bereft of the core of last season’s team, learned observers were unanimous in their conviction that Ayr would not come flying out of the traps again this year. But they did, and with five wins in their opening six matches, Corky’s star approached the heights it had reached back in 2003, when the man became too big for the club. An old flame came calling, and he strolled back up Maryhill Road into her welcoming arms. Caley v Jobby McCall may or may not have defecated in Simond Stainrod’s suede brogues, but Caley Thistle have definitely been shitting all over Jobby's teams for the past 22 years. Honours started out evenly with two draws and a win apiece in season 1997/98 - 33 year-old McCall took Clydebank up that season while Steve Paterson, five years his senior, got to grips with the third tier. Rivalries renewed a year later when we joined the Bankies in the old Division One, but they were on their knees and we had beaten them four times before McCall jumped ship to Morton – the last of those a 4-1 win in which Barry Wilson scored the last Scottish league or cup goal of the 20th Century. A 2-0 win at Cappielow in the spring saw us do the clean sweep over Jobby that season, and it is a damning indictment of our marketing department that we didn’t secure a lucrative sponsorship deal with Andrex as a result. Revenge was to follow, as McCall’s journey round Scotland’s lower league crisis clubs concluded with a 13-month stint at Airdrie during which his side won three of the five ties against us, including a painful 6-0. Airdrie went on to finish second whilst hurtling towards liquidation - an incredible achievement for which McCall was rewarded with a proper job at Falkirk. McCall assembled an excellent side at Falkirk in 2002/03 with a frontline of Lee Miller, Owen Coyle and Collin Samuel and snatched three points early in the season in Inverness when two late goals overturned Ross Tokely’s opener. But as the season progressed, it became clear that Steve Paterson’s side of Mann, Robson, Christie and Wyness were well equipped to challenge them for the title. By the time the two sides were due to meet again at Brockville in December, we were just a point behind them at the top with a further ten points separating the nearest challengers. Sadly, the football public was to be deprived of the spectacle of these two men, with their unbending commitment to attacking football, facing off against each other for the Division One title. Both had rejected the advances of newly installed Dundee United chairman Eddie Thompson the previous month, but Paterson joined Aberdeen in the run up to that Brockville tie, with McCall accepting an improved offer from Thompson the following month. At this point, i would like to inroduce this never before seen footage of Steve Paterson and Ian McCall together at the height of their rivalry: When Jobby Met Pele. John Docherty and Graeme Bennett took charge of the 1-1 draw that followed, and we didn’t see Corky again until we joined him in the SPL 18 months later in the dying days of his brief flirtation with the top flight. We stayed up while he stayed down, we gave him a wave on our ‘First Division Tour’, and didn’t clap eyes on him again until last season when we thoroughly owned his Ayr side with five wins and two draws. All of that gives us an all-time score of Caley 15, Jobby 8, with 8 draws, and the fecker still owes us for the pot of paint he kicked all over the tunnel in 1997. Partick Thistle I cover the history of this fixture here. Last season the games were tight, we won three of them with our sole defeat largely self-inflicted. On paper, Caldwell did decent business over the summer, bringing Scott Fox, Kenny Miller and Dario Zanatta among others, but he left them at the foot of the table with just two points from five games. By all accounts, he had lost the dressing room after a series of fall-outs with senior players and in those circumstances you might expect to see an immediate bounce following the removal of the manger, but Thistle were done 3-0 at home to Dunfermline under the caretakers. McCall took charge of his new side for the League Cup Quarter Final tie at Parkhead on Wednesday night - the 5-0 drubbing that resulted is largely irrelevant to our game on Saturday. Boardroom Banter Both clubs are either going to the wall or on the verge of being taken over by Russian oligarchs depending on who you believe. Go to the pub and speak to Grassa Bennett’s/Gerry Britton’s mates for details. ICT Team News and Tactics James Keatings remains out after tearing ankle ligaments while Brad McKay and Mitch Curry have returned to training. The absence of Keatings prompted Robbo to tweak the shape to accommodate Miles Storey rather than bringing in Roddy McGregor as a like-for-like replacement. While this frustrated some fans, I would expect him to put out the same team and shape that dominated Queen of the South last week, with Sean Welsh and James Vincent in the centre of the park and Storey running channels to create space for Walsh and Doran. Jordan White will be Jordan White. Please be nice to him. Prediction Inverness Caledonian Thistle 0 Partick Thistle 1 Why? Jobby If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  5. Extraordinary Movement It's a home game this Saturday at the Caledonian Stadium as Queen of the South visit on Matchday 6 of the Scottish Championship with the prospect of an upcoming EGM looming large. MrCaleyJag is your previewer this week and here is what he has to say on the visit of the Queens. As the song goes it has a bridge and a castle and given ICT's recent run of results you'd be forgiven as a home fan in hoping that the Caledonian Stadium can be made a fortress as well. That's certainly the hope of the locals as they welcome Queen of the South on Saturday 21st September. In a fairly drab match last week away to Dunfermline, the visitors managed a plucky 1-0 win through a Sean Welsh penalty in the 87th minute, signs possibly that the team have that extra bit of persistence which they lacked last season that resulted in so many draws. Whatever the reason it was a much welcomed three points especially away from home to keep ICT in touch with Dundee Utd and Ayr at the top of the table. Even at this early stage of the season momentum is key and something that has lacked in recent seasons for the home side. Here's Sean tucking away the penalty last week. Queens make the long trek north to the home of football in the highlands on the back of their first league win of the season last week. A Faissal El Bakhtauoi goal saw the score line finish 1-0 in their favour against a Morton side who had showed indifferent form also. The Queens fans will be buoyed by the result and will be hopeful the win can be built upon. With the prolific Stephen Dobbie in your side, anything is possible. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ RIP Fernando Ricksen who is at peace now after suffering at the hands of MND. He carried this wretched disease with great dignity and courage and is now free from his living hell. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What's in store at the EGM will be revealed to all shareholders on the 3rd October and this is the worrying first sentence that will set the tongues wagging; and a following paragraph: "The Board of Directors of Inverness Thistle and Caledonian FC trading as Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC (ICTFC) is committed a sustainable future for the Club." "The Board of Directors is convening an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) as an open and transparent forum for all shareholders to be briefed on our current issues and challenges, as well as consider some new proposals and other possible options. This open forum will also permit other Shareholders and potential benefactors to demonstrate their support for the Club. As there have been talks with a number of individuals and businesses over the last few months, it is the Club’s position that in the interest of transparency, the Shareholders should be updated about these talks, (where confidentiality allows) and therefore, an EGM is seen to be the reasonable platform for this." The full Club Statement can be read here https://ictfc.com/club-statement-on-3rd-october-2019-egm So, a rather ominous statement from the club, and despite our apparent run of form on the pitch, it's behind the scenes where issues are ongoing. I don't know what the public of Inverness expect or want, but if they would like to see a relatively successful club on the field of play then they need to get off their arses and get down to the Caledonian Stadium to help fund this. Unfortunately full-time clubs don't prosper with the meagre attendances alone that blight our Stadium. It's the same as any other facility/business 'Use it or Lose it'. Some pleasant news for a change and it's that John Robertson will be inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame. There's an article on the OFFICIAL SITE regarding this so it's congratulations to John. Robbo insists it's business as usual on the park and after a steady start to the season we are looking to build on that and keep the pressure on the top two, Dundee United and Ayr United. Inverness sit third in the table on 10 points, just two points adrift of the top pair. We suffered a blow last week ahead of kick off when James Keatings was injured in a training incident with Charlie Trafford the day before the game at East End Park. James has since undergone tests and it appears he has suffered ankle ligament damage and will be out for a few weeks. That's disappointing for James as he was beginning to show his value on the park with goals and assists. Inverness will be without Brad Mckay and James Keatings, both out longer term. Mitch Curry is getting close to being ready to resume playing. I expect the team will be along similar lines to the past couple of Championship games. Sean Welsh could start and the only other alteration that is a possibility would be the inclusion of Nikolay Todorov. Roddy MacGregor is also doing his prospects no harm with his lively introductions. The MATCHDAY PROGRAMME Here's Johnny.................. OFFICIAL PREVIEW Allan Johnston has no fresh injuries to deal with and is confident of taking something from this game. In the first game last season up here Queens came from behind to snatch all three points and he will be looking for more of that determination again. Last season there were two draws and a win apiece. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Other Championship fixtures today, all 3:00pm kick off Alloa Athletic v Ayr United Dundee Uited v Arbroath Inverness CT v Queen ot South Morton v Dundee Partick Thistle v Dunfermline Athletic ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  6. Long Ball Incoming? The Kingdom of Fife is the destination this Saturday, 3:00pm is the time and more specifically walking down the Halbeath Road at East End Park is the venue as Inverness Caledonian Thistle return to Championship action after the Chocolate Cup games last Saturday. The past weekend saw the less glamorous disruption of international football which reared it's ugly head over the weekend. Thankfully that embarrassment has now passed and we can get on with life without shouting and swearing at the TV for a wee while. What a shambles, at least the Chocolate cup brought about some joy for a handful of supporters around the country. Scotland could learn a thing or two from Kosovo about their application during a game. Great commitment from them and no shortage of quality and control. Sadly, Scotland possess none of the required attributes at the moment. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Tickets are available at East End Park on the day of the match Adult: £20 Concessions – (Over 65s, Under 18s, FT Students, Disabled and Unemployed) : £14 Under 12s: £6 The ICT Supporters Travel Club are running a bus to East End Park The Bus leaves the Social Club at 10.15am and the Stadium 10.30am Fares: £20 or under 16s £15 Book through their Facebook page HERE or on 07462218717 On DAFC site Legends and Charlie D's will be open on Saturday for home and away fans from 11.30am. OFFICIAL PREVIEW ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Over last weekend, Dunfermline were dumped out of the Tunnock's Caramel Wafer cup by fellow Championship contenders Alloa Athletic. Despite taking a first half lead through debut signing Greg Kiltie, the Wasps stung the Pars with goals from Thomson and Trouten to progress to the last sixteen. After giving Celtic a tough time in the League Cup, the pars have failed to kick on and subsequent championship defeats by Dundee United and Arbroath were not received well by the fans, exacerbated by Alloa knocking them out of the Challenge Cup last week. That poor form has the Pars second bottom with just one point. However, it's early days yet. Whilst Dunfermline were losing out, Inverness were beating Morton once more. Fresh from the 5-0 thrashing of the Cappielow crew the previous week at the same venue, a much changed side dished out another lesson to the Greenock guys in a comfortable 3-1 win. A superb goal from Nikolay Todorov was added to by Aaron Doran and Miles Storey. Todorov also had a penalty well saved before John Sutton stabbed in a consolation for the Ton. Here's Toddy's cracker...... The Cup draw sees Inverness at home to Dunfermline's conquerors Alloa in the next round. That tie will be played on 12th or 13th October. Incidentally, one week after this game, we play Alloa at home in the Championship. Sounds familiar. Unfortunately, the Chocolate Cup games give little away in terms of possible team selections for the bread and butter of the Championship. Dunfermline handed debuts to Greg Kiltie and Tom Lang with a starting debut for Gabby McGill. Inverness made eight changes from the side that won 5-0 the week before. It was great to see Sean Welsh back at his best as he strolled through this game and a rare start for the big Bulgar, Nikolay Todorov, who took his goal brilliantly. We also had keeper Cammy Mackay along with Roddy MacGregor, Cameron Harper, Kevin McHattie Charlie Trafford and Miles Storey starting. Matheus Machado and Lewis Hyde also came off the bench and showed some great touches. Changes off the park as well as Barry Wilson and Scott Kellacher were in charge of the squad for the day and did a great job of overseeing the occasion. What these games do provide is a challenge for fringe players to show what they can do and it generates competition for starting places. All of the players who played looked as though they had every right to be there and they played with a slickness that is sometimes missing. However, I suspect we will revert to type for the visit to Fife. Long ball incoming! Lot's of activity in the summer sales for the Pars after finishing 7th last season. That was their downfall last year, will it hinder them again this campaign? Here's their list of incomers: Aaron Comrie, defender (St Johnstone); Thomas Bragg, defender (Southampton); Gabriel McGill, forward (Middlesbrough, undisclosed); Paul Paton, midfielder (Falkirk); Euan Murray, defender (Raith Rovers, undisclosed); Josh Edwards, defender (Airdrieonians, undisclosed); Kevin Nisbet, forward (Raith Rovers); Kyle Turner, midfielder (Stranraer); Ryan Dow, forward (Peterhead); Tom Lang, defender (Clyde); Lucas Berry, forward (Fife Elite); Ben Swinton, goalkeeper (AM Soccer Club); Matthew Bowman, defender (unattached). It appears that the loan arranger is pretty shrewd at his job and some talented lads came in on loan: Harry Cochrane, midfielder (Heart of Midlothian); Anthony McDonald, midfielder (Heart of Midlothian); Greg Kiltie, midfielder (Kilmarnock); Josh Coley, midfielder (Norwich City). Out went: Kallum Higginbotham, forward (Real Kashmir); Jackson Longridge, defender (Bradford City, undisclosed); Robbie Muirhead, forward (Greenock Morton); Ryan Williamson, defender (Partick Thistle); Mark Durnan, defender (Falkirk); Aidan Connolly, midfielder (Falkirk); Louis Longridge, forward (Falkirk); Brandon Luke, midfielder (Stenhousemuir); Myles Hippolyte, forward; James Craigen, midfielder; Lee Robinson, goalkeeper; Sean Murdoch, goalkeeper (retired). Loan ended: James Vincent, midfielder (Dundee and now at Inverness); Faissal El Bakhtaoui, forward (Dundee); Ryan Blair, midfielder (Swansea City); Bruce Anderson, forward (Aberdeen). John Robertson has the almost unprecedented luxury of a mostly injury free squad although Brad McKay and Mitch Curry are still absent. However, Sean Welsh played in the Challenge Cup game against Morton and put in a MotM performance and will be knocking on the door. Nikolay Todorov stated his case for a start but Robertson is likely to start with Jordan White ahead of the big Bulgar. I expect the starting XI will be nearer the one that beat Morton 5-0 in the league game although all those that played last week did their prospects no harm at all. That will mean our back five will consist of the new Tokely, (Shaun Rooney), the back on form Coll the wall Donaldson and the man with the laser guided left foot Jamie McCart who has turned into a quality defender. Carl Tremarco should make up the back line and that's a great base to build your team from. Stevie Crawford will have at least one of his loan signings from Hearts available this week. Harry Cochrane is ready to go, but Anthony McDonald could miss out with a back injury. Another loanee Greg Kiltie will no doubt be a shoe-in after his debut goal last week. Crawford is looking for a reaction after last weekends dismal performance against Alloa and will no doubt be making a few changes. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Championship fixtures this weekend Friday 19:05 Arbroath v Partick Thistle Saturday 15:00 Ayr United v Dundee United Dundee v Alloa Athletic Dunfermline v Inverness CT Queen ot South v Morton ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Episide 3 from the Shufflers is online and and can be found on their Wyness Shuffle podcast page. No stone is left unturned as the guys check out everything to do with the Caley Jags, and more. Rubber bumpers and all that, have a listen to these podcasts, it will set you up for the weekend and always remember, any similarities to real life are purely coincidental.....🏆 If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  7. Chocolate Biscuit Cup Morton come back up the A9 this weekend no doubt looking for some revenge after last Friday nights heavy defeat. The Challenge Cup game kicks off at 3:00pm at the Caledonian Stadium with chocolate bars replacing tins of fizzy juice as the sponsors this season. We have had the DIY cup, the whisky, Alba, Ramsdens, Petrofac, and the fizzy pop cup. It's now called the chocolate biscuit cup, and this weekend we entertain Morton once more. I'm sure they will be delighted to be returning North so soon after Friday nights TV drubbing in the Championship. This time it's the Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Cup. I kid you not, that's the new name for the Challenge Cup. Who knew! Last week saw us rack up our biggest win in the Championship with a 5-0 thrashing of Morton, although a dour first half gave little indication of what was about to unfold. Jame Keatings opened the scoring just before the break and scored a second one minute into the second half. Jordan White, Coll Donaldson and Nikolay Todorov added some extra polish to the turd as we ran out convincing winners in the end, and with Morton unable to convert a penalty, Mark Ridgers saved to maintain a clean sheet. Overall it was a dominant performance, although the first half was a bit of a non event. A word of caution however. I don't imagine David Hopkin will let this one slip and I'm sure he will have tightened up all the loose nuts and bolts. Morton were a shambles in the second half but let's not get carried away after one big result. How often have we seen players running in on goal only to see their effort saved or slip by the post. Last Friday all the stars were aligned and every time we went through on goal we scored. 80% of the time that doesn't happen, however, we will take it but I won't be expecting that every week. Robbo has hinted that there may be some subtle changes on the cards as he rotates his squad to give fringe players an outing. That's all good and well, but I hope that's not to detract from the competition and take the opponents too lightly after the previous encounter. I doubt Morton will be feeling the same way and they will probably be looking to exact some revenge for that heavy defeat. In the North of Scotland Cup semi-final in midweek, an Inverness CT XI moved into the final after beating Clach. They will play Brora Rangers in the final on 5th or 6th October. There was game time for some players needing to boost their fitness ................ Given the squad that played in the 4-1 win over Clach in midweek, it looks as though Nikolay Todorov may well start with Miles Storey up front and possibly the exciting young talent of Roddy MacGregor. Matheus Machado could also be worth a shout. Jamie McCart took a bash on his fizzog on Wednesday night but hopefully he is fit if needed. Cameron Harper is scheduled to start this one. Sean Welsh played against Clach and is nearing match sharpness and Kevin McHattie played 45 minutes. So plenty of choice for Robbo, although according to Robbo it's Barry Wilson and Scott Kellacher who will be calling the shots. David Hopkin has brought in two loan signings since last Friday. It's no surprise that both are defenders. Adam Livingstone comes in from Motherwell as a left back for the season. Jack Baird has plenty Premiership experience with St Mirren and will be at Morton up to the January window at least. 26 DREAM RINGS AND 104 FREDOS There's the latest podcast from the Wyness Shufflers. Have a listen to the guys, it's another great effort from them and will Paul McGowan's barber sue........? If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  8. TV Show With BBC TV looking on, Inverness and Morton served up a Friday night first half horror show. Thankfully, in stark contrast, the second half was full of entertainment. In a lifeless first half at the Caledonian Stadium, neither side was able to get the handful of fans inside the ground excited However, just before the interval Aaron Doran made a half yard of space for himself inside the box and fired a wicked shot at Rogers. He parried the shot away and James Keatings guided the loose ball back into the net from ten yards. One minute into the second half and Keatings bagged his second as he rifled the ball home from 12 yards on the right side of the box. The third came about after a good bit of ball retention ended with Jordan White rolling the ball into the net. Mark Ridgers saved a miserable penalty from Nicky Cadden after David Carson handled from an overhead attempt. Coll Donaldson met a corner from Keatings at the front post to nod down into the net to make it four nil. Substitute Nikolay Todorov got into the act and drilled one past Rogers from 18 yards, and there endeth the scoring. John Robertson made one change to his starting personnel by bringing back Jordan White up front with Miles Storey starting on the bench alongside Nikolay Todorov, Roddy MacGregor and Sean Welsh. David Hopkin threw Celtic loan youngster Stephen Welsh straight into his defence with the dangerous Nicky Cadden up front. Robbie Muirhead and Scottish Cup final scorer Peter Grant were on the bench. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Speaking on BBC Sport Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "Morton were hard to break down but we got the opening goal. In the end I don't think it flattered us. Some of our attacking play in the second half was superb. "Tonight was tremendous. I was really pleased with the style of play. It's pass and move. We got our reward for our hard work and some of the finishes were first class." Morton manager David Hopkin: "We tried to get to half-time goalless and we managed to get to 43 minutes. I think it gave the impetus to Inverness and we just continued to give away really sloppy goals. "I'm disappointed with the performance and I'm disappointed with myself. I've told the players in no uncertain that I won't accept it." BBC iPlayer The Dundee derby ended up 6-2 to United as they thrashed their near neighbours Saturdays games are Arbroath v Dunfermline Partick Thistle v Ayr United Queen ot South v Alloa Athletic ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A sparse crowd watched on as the proverbial dull as dishwater game unfolded in an instantly forgettable first 42 minutes. With no atmosphere at the ground it was difficult for players to motivate themselves. There was however one shining light and that came from an unexpected source. Shaun Rooney was dribbling his way into the area reserved for Tokely folklore as he danced his way down the right wing on numerous occasions. The big man is putting his heart and soul into the game and was immense in that first half. His Cruyffesque turns and nutmegs were a joy to behold as the game edged towards the break. The pressure had been mounting on the Morton rearguard and when Tom Walsh pinged a ball into the box, it went as far as Doran. He skipped inside his man and shot at goal but Rogers could only push his shot out and Keatings calmly knocked the loose ball home. Relief at last! Another moment of magic from Rooney saw him fire another great ball into the box but Dorans wee legs were not quite long enough and his header crashed off the bar. What a finish to the half after such a dull opening. Half Time 1-0 We started where we left off and within a minute Keatings grabbed his second goal as he shot across the keeper from the right side of the box after Jamie McCart had sent him clear with an excellent ball forward. We threatened to cut loose now and a Tom Walsh volley from the angle saw Rogers deny him at his near post with a super save. Morton tried to hit back but a McLean header was cleared off the line by David Carson who popped up in the right place at the right time. McCart made a superb tackle to thwart Salkeld advancing as he threatened to go in on goal. We toyed with Morton's defence for a bit but there was an end product this time as James Vincent sent a precise ball through a gap which saw White neatly slide the ball through the keepers legs into the net as he bore down on goal. Two minutes later Morton were awarded a penalty. An overhead kick was sliced onto the flailing arms of Carson who looked as though he was learning the Highland Fling. Nicky Cadden stepped up but he thought he was Messi and chipped the ball straight into the grateful hand of Mark Ridgers. Up stepped big Coll Donaldson at a corner and he headed down Keatings whipped cross behind Rogers for a decisive fourth goal as Morton looked to have capitulated. Todorov came on for White in the 80th minute and before the 81st had scored the fifth goal of the night after he was released through the middle by Carson, and that was his second attempt inside a minute as he drove the ball through the keeper from the edge of the box. What an impact from the big Bulgar, at least I thought that's what my mate said! We saw the game out thereafter and completed a fine 5-0 win. Who knew after such a poor first half. Never in doubt I hear you say..... Difficult to knock any players after such a resounding win. James Keatings was given MotM but Shaun Rooney was also superb with his marauding runs. Jamie McCart's defending and pin point accuracy with his long balls was a joy to behold. Good to see Donaldson getting some reward for his attacking prowess in the box and White scored a tidy goal on the end of some great team play. Toddy was also impressive so great competition for the strikers role. If there is any criticism, it's come from a poor first half where we found it difficult to create and were second to a lot of balls in midfield, our passing below par at times. However after we scored we were different class. RednBlackComeback summed it up neatly: Thought it was quite a scrappy first half, until Rooney made a run from virtually his own corner flag all the way to Morton's penalty spot . It seemed to change the game and we scored shortly after. Second half we got a perfect start and never looked back. Can't remember the last time we won 5-0 at home in the league. Tremendous result! If you can access BBC iPlayer, the whole game can be seen HERE Match video will be uploaded when available............... Robbo is pleased MotM James Keatings talks after his two goals...... Date: 30/08/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1400 Referee: Alan Newlands Inverness CT: 5 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Doran (Storey 74), Carson, Vincent, Walsh, Keatings (MacGregor 82), White (Todorov 79). Subs (not used): C Mackay; Trafford, McHattie, MacGregor, Welsh, Todorov, Storey. Scorers: Keatings (43, 46), White (67), Donaldson (77), Todorov (80) Booked: Rooney (61) Sent Off: none Morton: 0 Lineup: Rogers; Welsh, McLean, Jacobs, Millar, McAlister, Strapp, Colville (Sutton 64), Cadden (Muirhead 81), Nesbitt (Salkeld 53), McHugh. Subs (not used): Ramsbottom; Grant, Blues, Orsi. Scorers: none Booked: Jacobs (34), Salkeld (57) Sent Off: none a
  9. Friday night Footie After what seems like a lifetime, another game comes along this weekend at the Caledonian Stadium. However this one is Friday night footie with Greenock Morton the visitors, the game kicking off at 7:05pm with BBC Scotland cameras looking on. Rumour has it there will be very few away fans as many are boycotting the game due to the scheduling of the match for TV purposes. Last weekend we shared the points with Dundee at Dens Park in a goalless draw. This was a much improved performance from the dull League Cup affair when we went down to a Danny Johnson strike. This time we more than matched Dundee and could easily have taken all three points after creating a number of decent opportunities. Unfortunately we spurned most of them but went very close on a few occasions with keeper Hamilton pulling off a couple of excellent saves as well. Morton are the new TV luvvies with their last game also being televised. They came from 2-0 down to defeat Partick Thistle 3-2. Three goals in an eight minute spell late in the second half from Nicky Cadden, John Sutton and Brian McLean turned the game in their favour and lifted them to second in the Championship. There's also a first Dundee derby taking place on Friday night at Tannadice with United looking to keep their winning start to the season going and Dundee hoping to do everyone else a favour. David Hopkin has replaced Jonatan Johansson as manager at Cappielow, coming back to the club he supported as a kid and began his playing career with. The former Livingston manager joined in the middle of May and has begun shaping his side for his three year tenure. He raided Livvi and took Nicky Cadden with him. He also has a loan deal for Cameron Blues. Other players he will be looking to do a job for him are Keeper Danny Rogers on loan from (Aberdeen), forward Robbie Muirhead (Pars), midfielders Aidan Nesbitt, (Dundee United), Kyle Jacobs (QotS) and Calvin Orsi (Brechin), defender Peter Grant (Carlisle) and 36 year old John Sutton as player coach. They have also just added young Celtic defender Stephen Welsh on loan from Celtic for the season. Amongst the notable departures are forward Gary Oliver and defender Lee Kilday, ( both QotS); Robert Thomson, forward (Alloa Athletic); Derek Gaston, goalkeeper (Arbroath); Charlie Telfer, midfielder (Falkirk); Michael Tidser, midfielder (Falkirk). Greg Kiltie has returned to Kilmarnock and Andrew Dallas has gone back to Rangers. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ OFFICIAL PREVIEW DIGITAL MATCHDAY PROGRAMME ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Robbo will be without Brad McKay for another couple of months after further examination showed he has a cracked vertebrae. Get well soon Brad. Mitch Curry is also sidelined for a few weeks. Sean Welsh was on the bench against Dundee but may not be fully fit yet. Charlie Trafford missed out last week with a knock but should make the squad. David Hopkin had this line-up to choose from in their game against Partick Thistle: Morton (V Partick Th): Rogers; McAlister, McLean, Grant (Colville 68′), Strapp, Jacobs, Lyon (Millar 4′), Blues (Sutton 57′), Cadden, Nesbitt, McHugh Defender Henk Van Schaik has mutually terminated his contract at Morton after joining from Livingston in the summer. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Here's a game coming up for next weeks diary........... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you like a wee flutter, our new partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." ICT WIN 20/29 - DRAW 14/5 - MORTON WIN 7/2 FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  10. Home from Home Away Matchday three in the Championship and it's back to Dundee at 3:00pm on Saturday for the Caley Jags and a second visit to Dens Park this term, a third to the City having been at Tannadice on the opening day and we are not out of August yet! Dundee is not top of our destinations list in recent times and despite having the overall advantage over them in terms of wins, most of these came in the Premiership (or SPL) years. Maybe our luck will change for the better now that the park is called the Kilmac Stadium. Who knew? Here's a sobering thought. Our only Championship (division one) victory was a 1-0 win in the Highlands in season 2009/2010. 6031 fans saw an Adam Rooney strike complete our season as champions after overhauling Dundee who were dozens of points ahead of us around January. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Family Area Priced tickets available in the Bobby Cox Stand Rows A – Y, Seats 1 – 47 with prices as follows: Adult and one child under 12 £26 Two adults and two children under 12 £50 With additional children under 12 at £2 Under 12 and Under 16 tickets can only be bought as part of a family group Prices for all areas in Dens Park are priced at £24 for Adults, £16 for concessions and £10 for Under 18 OFFICIAL PREVIEW ICT SUPPORTERS TRAVEL CLUB The ICT Supporters Travel Club are running a bus to Dens The Bus leaves the Caley Club at 10.30am and the Stadium 10.45am Book through their Facebook page HERE or on 07462218717 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Last time out we edged past Arbroath thanks to a late strike from Miles Storey who caught the keeper out with the power of his strike. Bobby Linn had given the Smokies the lead but Inverness levelled on the stroke of half time when Aaron Doran ran through to guide the ball home. Not the greatest of performances but it was important to get the season started after the poor result at Tannadice. Dundee were in League Cup action last Sunday and were unfortunate to go out 2-1 after extra time to Aberdeen. Their last Championship game saw them defeat Ayr United 1-0 with substitute Andrew Nelson scoring fifteen minutes from the end. Their opening fixture was at East End Park where they were fortuitous to come from two nil down to draw 2-2 thanks to two penalties scored by Danny Johnson. Those opening games show Dundee sitting second in the league on four points, two behind leaders and neighbours Dundee United. Inverness are bunched in the middle of the table with three points. *** Friday nights Championship game saw Morton come from two nil down to beat Patrick Thistle 3-2 and they now have six points *** Inverness welcomed the return of Sean Welsh in a midweek North of Scotland Cup game against Forres Mechanics but he is not fully match fit yet. A 50/50 side beat the Can Cans 3-1 with Roddy MacGregor and a Miles Storey brace the scorers. Shaun Rooney played the first half to build on his fitness and with Brad Mckay out for a few weeks he will be needed at Dundee. Charlie Trafford, the walking yellow card, has a knock as well. Daniel Mackay has been injured whilst on loan at Elgin City. He has suffered ankle ligament damage after the original injury was thought to be a broken ankle. Small mercies I suppose but we all wish Daniel a speedy recovery. James McPake will be well pleased with the form of his new striker from Motherwell. Dangerous Danny Johnson scored the winner against Inverness in the league cup and followed that with two penalties against Dunfermline. He also scored from the spot in the defeat to Aberdeen, so if Dundee get a penalty, we know who will be taking it! Striker Kane Hemmings has returned to Dundee to add some height to their attack as they try to keep up with their big spending neighbours along the road. Former Inverness handball expert Josh Meekings will be in the Dark Blues squad. Here's the NoS Cup footage against Forres Mechanics. Watch out for some tidy footwork from Matheus Machado at the third goal. Here's our site sponsor at FansBet If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at GIVING BACK You can get Home win 7/5 - Draw 41/20, Away win 39/20
  11. The Smokies are coming After a slow start at Tannadice last week, 25 years on from the historic visit of Arbroath FC, Inverness welcome the now Championship newcomers Arbroath to the Caledonian Stadium on Saturday in a 3:00pm kick off. We won't mention Bon Accord, or the lack of pies at Gayfield. However we will mention that you cruised to the League 1 title last season, ending seven points clear of Forfar Athletic. Congratulations on that achievement. To celebrate our 25th year in existence, we will be wearing out new 3rd kit with the ICT 25 logo on it. Very smart indeedy. These kits are now on sale at the club shop or you can order them through the official site. Lets hope they can kick start our season in this game which is as close to the 25th year of the one that started it all. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Cast your mind back 25 years to the Glorious 12th. No, not the start of the grouse shooting, but our first home game in the Scottish Football leagues. Caledonian Thistle, as we were known back then, and what a momentous occasion that was. How fitting it was that club captain, hero, legend and all round terrific guy Alan Hercher scored the first three League goals for this club. In midweek, it had all kicked off on 9th August 1994 for Caledonian Thistle with a 2-0 League Cup win at Firs Park, East Stirlingshire where Wilson Robertson and Alan Hercher netted the goals to see us progress to a tie against Dundee. On Saturday August 12th, a crowd of 1700 saw the Caley Jags beat Arbroath 5-2 at Telford Street and the rest is history. Sadly Alan Hercher is no longer with us having been taken too soon, but his memories will live forever in the archives of this club. After Hercher had scored a twenty minute hat-trick, the Lichties hit back with a couple of goals through Brock and Reilly, but further goals from Paul McKenzie and Wilson Robertson put us firmly on the radar. We have gone on to have a wonderful roller coaster of emotions since then culminating in the Scottish Cup win over Falkirk at Hampden Park on 30th May 2015. Here's to the next 25 years! Watch the action here, you might even see yourself in Telford Street............ There's an article on the OFFICIAL SITE regarding the 25th anniversary match. OFFICIAL PREVIEW ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ On matchday one we suffered badly at the hands of a rampant Lawrence of Arabia who scored all four goals for the Arabs with Tom Walsh scoring what turned out to be little more than a consolation for the Caley Jags. By the end of the game we were well beaten, but it could have been a different outcome had we taken some early chances, notably James Keatings hitting the post before United took the lead. As it was, Shankland showed why United are forking out the big money for him. Arbroath entertained a Dobbieless Queen of the South at Gayfield and their opener ended goalless. That was their first game in the Championship for sixteen years and they will be reasonably happy with a point to get their season off and running. Steven Doris passed up on a couple of good opportunities and he will be a handful for any club. Arbroath manager Dick Campbell said: "You would have to be happy with a point when we're playing a full-time team. We're not going to be easy fodder for anybody, because we've got good players." Added to their League 1 winning squad are Derek Gaston, goalkeeper from Morton; Scott Stewart, defender from Airdrie; Robert Wilson, defender from Berwick and James Murphy, who is a midfielder. Brad Mckay was helped off the park at Tannadice, his neck in a brace and he ended up in hospital to get checked out, bruising is the problem. Along with Shaun Rooney, Sean Welsh and Mitch Curry he will miss this weekends game against Arbroath. Rooney and Welsh are reported to be doing light training in their recuperation process. Aaron Doran has been cleared to play after a suspected broken finger has proven to be ok. We have a problem at right back with David Carson filling in, but he's not really filling that role with any conviction. Charlie Trafford has become a liability with a yellow card in the refs pocket with his name on it before a ball is kicked. Choices for Robertson to make. We keep hearing how good some of our youngsters are, so it's about time we actually saw them. However, we won't be seeing Daniel Mackay or Daniel Hoban unless we go to Elgin. They have been loaned out until January. See OFFICIAL SITE. Dick Campbell is as shrewd as they come and he will get the most out of his part-time squad. His new additions will compliment his title winning squad with Steven Doris the main goal threat. Bobby Linn is another with a bit of pedigree and worth keeping the shackles on him. The experienced former Dundee midfielder Gavin Swankie will be a key player for Arbroath. Midfielder Michael McKenna and defender Thomas O'Brien will be looking to start. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Have a listen to the latest podcast from the Wyness Shuffle. This one is entitled A SEAGULL IN A CARRIER BAG. Don't ask me where they get the names from, but well worth a listen and keep up the good work guys. SHAUN ROONEY: MUTILATOR was the opening podcast and it has been well received. In hindsight, maybe it should have been called Shaun Rooney mutilated given his absence through injury picked up in pre-season. Hopefully, Rooney and Welsh will be back sooner rather than later as they begin light training. Fansbet are sponsors of CTO Odds for today. H10/19 - D 3-1 A9/2
  12. The return of the 'Magic Hat' It's another visit to the City of Discovery on Saturday as the Championship season kicks off with a trip to Tannadice to take on title favourites Dundee United, where we will discover if they have what it takes to get back into the premiership, or are they flattering to deceive. We know a little about Dundee after the League Cup tie last Sunday where we bowed out of the competition after we lost 1-0 thanks to a strike from Danny Johnson. In truth, there was little between the sides and but for a calamitous goal we would still be in the event. However, we are out and can concentrate on bigger things. Dundee United also wimped out of the League Cup after a surprise 0-2 defeat by East Fife at Tannadice. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The OFFICIAL SITE has more information regarding ticket prices and Supporters Travel Club etc. OFFICIAL PREVIEW can be read HERE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Robbie Neilson has a wealth of talent at his disposal and if anything they could be an even better side than they were last season. The acquisition of top striker Lawrence Shankland and permanent signing of Mark Reynolds underlining their intentions. Here's the list of newbies at Tannadice: Adrian Sporle, defender (Banfield); Mark Reynolds, defender (Aberdeen, loan to permanent); Adam King, midfielder (Swansea City); Lawrence Shankland, forward (Ayr United); Liam Smith, defender (Ayr United); Deniz Mehmet, goalkeeper (Queen of the South). Notable departures are Pavel Safranko (loan ended), Billy King, Callum Booth and Fraser Fyvie. For the new season, Inverness have brought in five new faces. James Keatings, David Carson, Nikolay Todorov, Mitchell Curry (loan & now injured) and the return of cup final man James Vincent. We are of course a few light as well with Liam Polworth off to Motherwell, Joe Chalmers over the bridge, Nathan Austin to Kelty Hearts, Darren McCauley back to Ireland and Owain Fon Williams painting & decorating at Hamilton, but at least he's off our wage bill. Young loan player Anthony McDonald has returned to Hearts. Tannadice was the last place we visited on Championship duty last season as we went down 3-0 in the play-offs. It all hinged on a couple of penalty decisions in both legs and a red card farewell for Polworth. At the end of the day we were ultimately well beaten. United went on to lose out to St Mirren in the decider after a penalty shoot-out. How ironic! Last season we played United seven times. Our only success was a 2-1 win at Tannadice in the Scottish Cup. United won four Championship games including the play-offs with the other two being 1-1 draws. The Betfred League Cup has been unkind to both clubs although it's difficult to gauge just how much desire either club had to stay in the tournament. Inverness had drawn with Peterhead, beaten Raith Rovers and Cove but lost out 1-0 to Dundee at Dens Park where many thought we underperformed. The best thing about the narrow defeat showed that Dundee are little, if any, better off than us. Like us, the Arabs won twice, drew one and lost one in Group A, missing out on the best second place team back door entry into the next round as well. They defeated Stenhousemuir and Cowdenbeath, drew at Tynecastle and had a shocker against East Fife who hadn't won at Tannadice for 73 years. What does it all mean I hear you ask? Well, the bulk of United's starting XI appear to have played against East Fife, as did ours against Dundee. Personally, these early League Cup games have a pre-season feel about them, despite the managers telling us otherwise. Unlike many fans, I'm not going to get too hung up over a narrow defeat at Dens Park against one of the sides tipped for promotion. I would be slightly more concerned if I were in Robbie Neilson's camp. McMullan, Shankland, Clark, Butcher, Stanton, Robson, all drawing a blank against East Fife. That tells me one of two things. United are at the same stage as us or East Fife are very good! We'll find out on Saturday. Robbie Neilson took a squad of twenty down to Shrewsbury during the week and they went down 2-1. Louis Appere won, and scored a penalty to give United the lead but Shrews hit back to win. Some of United's bigger names played the final half hour in preparation for the League opener this weekend. Inverness sent a young squad to Lossiemouth on Wednesday night to play a North of Scotland cup tie at Grant Park. They were bolstered by a handful of more experienced players and goals from Nikolay Todorov, Matheus Machado and Aaron Doran saw us progress to the next round by a 3-1 scoreline. United have no concerns ahead of the game and Robbie Neilson, having given Inverness the once over last weekend, saw nothing different from last season. Just saying..... Inverness will be without longer term casualties Sean Welsh and Shaun Rooney. Mitchell Curry can be added to that casualty list after coming off against Dundee and it's reported he will be out for a couple of months with ankle ligament damage. I expect we will be along similar lines to last weeks game at Dens Park. Toddy, Doran, Carson, McHattie, Roddy MacGregor and Daniel Mackay all played in the midweek game at Lossie. That would indicate that they might not start on Saturday. Over to you Robbo. ***LATEST NEWS*** The man who wears the 'Magic Hat' is coming back to Inverness. If you believed the speculation surrounding Miles Storey you were right. He has signed a two year deal to re-join the Caley Jags. A bit of pace up front could be just what we need to chase after knock downs from our target men. He will be included in the squad to face Dundee United after the deal was completed in time. And it has now been confirmed the 'Magic Hat' is back. In the opening game of the Championship on Friday night, Dunfermline paid the penalty against Dundee as Danny Johnson scored twice from the spot to earn the Dark Blues a point at East End Park as they came from two down to earn a draw. Go to around 1:40 and let's hope we see more of this from Miles. What a story!
  13. Winner Takes All The top two teams clash in a winner takes all game at Dens Park on Sunday with BT Sport 1 looking on. Both sides are on seven points heading into this game where the bonus point could come into play should it be level after ninety minutes. Inverness have clawed their way back into contention after a draw with Peterhead followed by wins over Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers. Dundee also beat Raith but have drawn with Peterhead and Cove, winning the bonus point on each occasion. The table below was prior to Saturdays games where Cove Rangers thumped Raith Rovers 3-0. Anything other than a defeat at Dundee will be good enough to see Inverness progress to the knockout stages of the competition. A draw will see both sides into the next round. Our last game was at home to Cove and we just did enough to edge past them with substitute Nikolay Todorov scoring the winner. It was a difficult encounter with Cove acquitting themselves very well. Jordan White fortuitously opened the scoring only for a Mitch Megginson brace either side of the interval putting Cove in front. James Keatings squared matters before the sub intervened. With goal threat Megginson sent off, our cause was helped and we held on to take all three points. Robbo was delighted with his strikers but less so with his defenders who were 'marking space', and as we all know, 'space' does not score goals. So, something to work on for the team in training. Last time out Dundee had to go to penalties to get the better of Cove Rangers. Daniel Park hit the bar for Cove but it ended scoreless with the Dark Blues winning the penalty shoot-out 3-2. I expect Inverness to be along similar lines to the Cove game with Welsh and Rooney out longer term. Nikolay Todorov is pushing for a start having scored twice coming off the bench. New Dundee boss Jake McPake has seven new signings as they try to make a quick return to the Premiership. More info regarding tickets etc can be found on the OFFICIAL PREVIEW @ICTFC.COM
  14. Cove Test On Tuesday night 25 year old Inverness Caledonian Thistle welcome the newest club to make the leap into the football leagues. Former Highland League outfit Cove Rangers have stepped up after gaining promotion into League Two since removing Berwick Rangers from the League set-ups. Congratulations to Cove and I'm sure they will make an impact. It's more Betfred action with Inverness looking to recover after a poor start in their opening fixture at Peterhead. We clawed ourselves back into the equation with a 4-1 win over Raith Rovers at the weekend. Goals from Jordan White, Coll Donaldson, Aaron Doran and Nikolay Todorov saw us take the full three points. That sets us up nicely for Tuesday's game against Cove at the Caledonian Stadium. We made life difficult for ourselves against Raith but a couple of swift strikes after they equalised was enough to take the wind out of their sails as we upped the pace and pulled away from them. Despite a lethargic first half, we ended the game well on top with some promising performances. Tom Walsh was the pick of the players on show with three assists, and there were excellent contributions from David Carson, James Keatings Jamie McCart and at times, James Vincent. Overall a deserved win and gives the fans some encouragement for the campaign ahead. The grass looked great as well! Cove began their new chapter with a narrow 2-1 defeat at Peterhead. Only the woodwork, twice, denied Cove from taking something from this game. They went even closer with a 0-0 draw against Dundee before the Premiership relegated Dark Blues took the bonus point after winning the penalty shoot-out 3-2. Daniel Park almost gave Cove the lead but his effort crashed back off the bar. Still, a tremendous performance in front of near 1500 appreciative fans. Sean Welsh and Shaun Rooney are out longer term. Brad Mckay missed the Raith game as did Kevin McHattie, both pulled a sickie. Carl Tremarco took a nasty knock against Raith but it takes a lot to stop the wee man from playing on. Good to see Aaron Doran and Daniel Mackay getting some game time, Mackay scoring twice for a young squad at Brora on Friday night. Cove were without several first choice players against Dundee, notably experienced captain Mitch Megginson. Daniel Higgins just joined the day before the Dundee game and was exceptional in defence. He had previously played under Paul Hartley when at Dens Park. Let's hear it for head groundsman Dale Stephen and his team as they have transformed the playing surface from Wet Sand to the Green Green Grass of Home in the space of six weeks The surface looked in great nick for the opening game against Raith Rovers at the weekend after six weeks of work improving drainage and re-seeding the grass in around 40 days. You can see more of the progress on the official site by clicking HERE And if you have some spare time Dale, my garden is in a bit of a boorach. Just sayin............
  15. New Turf for Betfred Cup Action. Raith Rovers are the visitors on Saturday for our second Betfred group stage game. Both sides will be looking to do better after underwhelming opening results in the competition where Dundee and Peterhead top the group D table with 5 points. We will unveil our newly grassed surface after improvement work on the drainage and soil was undertaken in the closed season. Well done to Dale Stephen and his team for getting the pitch ready for action Here's a wee glimpse of the new grass pictured a week ago, and what a difference they have made in the space of a few weeks. From a sandy lunar surface to the green green grass of home since it was all dug up at the end of last season. Let's hope we can put the grass to good use and start off with a win. We drew 0-0 with Peterhead in our opening group game at Balmoor Stadium. The hosts took the bonus point after an astonishing penalty shoot-out. All the outfield players on the park at full time scored their spot kicks and it boiled down to keepers Mark Ridgers and Greg Fleming. Unfortunately, Ridgers sliced his kick and Fleming made it 11-10 to win the extra point. Raith went down 3-0 to relegated Dundee in their opening game at Starks Park. Raith have always proven to be difficult opponents and I expect no different tomorrow. Let's hope we don't need a 94th minute Richie Foran overhead kick to win the game this time round. In saying that, it's 19 years since they last beat Inverness! Rovers last victory was a 2-1 win in the First Division back in October 2000, and since then, they’ve managed just two draws in 18 meetings. The last time the sides met was in the same competition a year ago, when a late Daniel McKay goal sealed a 2-1 win for the home side after Grant Gillespie had brought Rovers level, following Nathan Austin’s opener. We also face another testing time at home on Tuesday night as new League Two side Cove Rangers come to Inverness. Cove showed their resilience against last seasons Premiership fall guys, Dundee by drawing with them at the Balmoral Stadium. However, they suffered the same fate as us in the penalty shoot-out for the bonus point. We have a number of injury worries ahead of this game. Sean Welsh is still unavailable after breaking his foot last season. Shaun Rooney is out for a couple of months and Brad Mckay was taken off with a hamstring injury at Peterhead. Daniel Mackay and Aaron Doran were also missing on Tuesday night, and Kevin McHattie has reported in injured. Robbo has hinted that we could see more youngsters due to potential injury problems. That could mean a start for Harry Nicolson at right back or maybe Cameron Harper given our defensive issues. It will also be an opportunity for home fans to get a glimpse of our new signings. James Keatings, James Vincent and David Carson are likely starters with Mitchell Curry and Nokolay Todorov maybe getting an airing at some point. And if you haven't already seen young Brazilian Matheus Machado playing, look out for him. He's going to be a star one day and big things are predicted for him along with Roddy MacGregor (he's one of our own). Plenty to ponder for John Robertson who was less than impressed with the way Peterhead dominated large spells of the game last Tuesday night. There was a hastily arranged friendly at Brora on Friday night and the good news is that Daniel Mackay (pictured right) played from the start and on his return from injury scored two goals in the first half, one from the spot. That game ended 2-2. Remember to have a listen to The Wyness Shuffle podcast created by some of our own fans for your pleasure. Here's the Official Preview from ICTFC. Lot of info in there. If you like a wee flutter, our new partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Here's the page for INVERNESS v RAITH where FansBet have ICT as big favourites to win. Just click on Scottish League Cup. Let's hope they are right! Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  16. Betfred League Cup Opener After a reasonable pre-season the 2019-2020 season kicks off with the Betfred League Cup group stages, where we travel to Balmoor Park, Peterhead for our first competitive game of the new season. Pre-season went well enough with various squads representing the club at Clach, Rothes, Forres, Strathspey Thistle, Buckie and Wick. Stiffer opposition was provided in the final week where we drew with Aberdeen and Hearts before defeating St Johnstone 3-1 last Friday. Plenty of goals scored with all of the strikers finding the back of the net and many of the youngsters making appearances with the big boys and acquitting themselves well. The downside of pre-season is that Shaun Rooney picked up a knock and could be out for a couple of months. Some new faces have signed on and James Keatings, Nikolay Todorov, David Carson, James Vincent and Mitchell Curry have all shown up well. Peterhead began their campaign with a 2-1 defeat of Cove Rangers at the weekend. Derek Lyle and Rory McAllister were the scorers. Difficult to know what to expect in the first few games of a new season as it's all a bit low-key prior to the League campaign starting. Who will make the starting XI? Sean Welsh is not ready for a comeback and Shaun Rooney is injured. Aaron Doran had a slight niggle and could be rested. After that it's anyone's guess who will take to the field. Watch out for rising young stars Roddy MacGregor and Matheus Machado should they feature. A bright future ahead for them and others coming through the ranks. More information can be found on the Official Site regarding ticket prices/preview etc. Here's a new initiative by some of our own fans who have created a new podcast and it's called THE WYNESS SHUFFLE Have a listen. More to come from the guys throughout the season.
  17. It's Now or Never Last chance saloon for Inverness Caledonian Thistle as they travel to Tannadice on Friday night to face a Dundee United side who hold a one goal advantage from the first leg. Do we have the desire to summon up the energy for another high tempo game? The players believe, the fans believe, let's hope the board believe as well or it will be another season in the Championship for us if we fail to overcome United. There's no away goals rule in these play-offs so basically whoever scores the most over the two legs wins the tie. In the event of a draw it's extra time and penalties if required. We start the game one goal down so plenty to play for given the pounding we gave United in the Scottish Cup game at Tannadice. Paul McMullan was the man that made the difference on Tuesday night when he took advantage of a rebound off one post to send the ball into the net off the other post. It was an unfortunate set of circumstances surrounding the goal that you couldn't make up. The big talking point however was the sending off of Liam Polworth minutes after the break. High foot or low head, referee Walsh sent of Polly and that was a big game changer. It enabled United to gradually grind Inverness down but not without the hosts putting up a tremendous fight. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ New Signing David Carson has signed a two year deal at the Caledonian Stadium. Carson is a 23 year old midfielder and arrives from Morpeth Town having scored 14 goals this season. More on David on the OFFICIAL SITE. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ For Inverness, nothing much has changed since the game on Tuesday night which Tom Walsh and Carl Tremarco missed through injury. Robbo expects Walsh to be available tonight but Tremarco is out. Liam Polworth will sit this one out through suspension and that's disappointing as we could have seen the last of him in a Caley Jags shirt. Shaun Rooney was the newbie last time out and he performed brilliantly as a dashing wing back with Brad Mckay in the full back position. Kevin McHattie took Tremarco's role. Pavol Safranco came off at half time and is a doubt. Peter Pawlett took a heavy knock as well and Callum Butcher limped off the park. Off to Tannadice now, so you'll have to make up the rest as you go.
  18. Lets Work Together It'a double header against United this week in the play-off semi-finals, a place in the Premiership still up for grabs after we disposed of Ayr United at the weekend on a 4-2 aggregate score. Its certainly worth the effort to get behind the lads and give them as much backing as possible as we look to take an advantage down to Tannadice for what will be a difficult game considering the gruelling schedule of the play-offs. So, come on now people, lets work together, every boy, girl, woman and man! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ TICKET PRICES FOR Dundee United ARE AS FOLLOWS: Adult: £15 Concession: £8 Tickets can be bought online HERE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Whilst the Arabs have been sitting back relaxing for a couple of weeks, we have been kind of busy. A 3-1 win at Ayr with Charlie Trafford and Jordan White (2) doing the damage to set us up nicely for the return leg four days later. Ayr sniffed an opportunity after scoring a goal in the first leg through Michael Rose to offer them a glimmer of hope, and that hope became reality after Luke McCowan scored early in the first half at the Caledonian Stadium. The home fans were treated to some entertaining football, unfortunately most of that came from the Honest Men. However, we did eradicate the squeaky bums when Coll Donaldson claimed the goal to ease the tension and see us safely through to meet his chums, Dundee United. And breathe. It had been a tremendous season for Ayr, but it was all over for them at the final whistle as their vocal fans were mutually applauded at the end by manager and players alike. They will know that the likes of Michael Rose and top scorer Lawrence Shankland will be moving on, such is the price to pay for relative success in a league where survival is a threat for all but the most affluent of clubs. Shankland has around thirty clubs tracking him. He is a wonderful striker and how I wish we were one of the clubs after him, but I'm afraid he will be looking for a much bigger wage than we could offer so that'll be a no. For Inverness, playing our 50th game of the season, the torture goes on and after a season of draws (15 now), we are still in with a chance of promotion albeit having to do this by the long route. Never before has a team that finished third or fourth been able to get through the punishing schedule designed to assist the top flight teams and run the legs off the rest. I imagine we will line up something like this. We have a couple of worries ahead of this game with Tom Walsh going off before the hour against Ayr feeling his thigh. He looked slightly off the pace on Saturday and might need to rest up. Anthony McDonald replaced him and did very well when he came on, snapping at the heels and making darting runs, something we missed in the first hour. Captain Carl Tremarco was not involved at all as he recovers from a calf injury and rest is the only cure. Other than that no further injuries that Robbo is willing to mention ahead of this encounter. Key players in this tie will be mainly in defence. Mark Ridgers, Coll Donaldson and Jamie McCart will be crucial to our success as a United side brimming with quality players look to avoid the Dundee derby next season. Aaron Doran and Jordan White will be our main goal threat and if ever we needed Liam Polworth to produce his best, then Tuesday night would be a great time for it. Some good news, James Keatings has signed a two year deal with the Caley Jags. He has played for both Hearts and Hibs and was at Celtic in his early days. His most productive days were at the two Edinbutgh clubs and Hamilton Accies where he scored a total of 41 times. Read more on this at ICTFC. Pavol Safranko and Paul McMullan will be on our radar. But incisive midfielders like Peter Pawlett and Nicky Clark are dangerous on the break. We all know that McMullan is prone to fall inside the area, and maybe get away with handing the ball sometimes, but what we also know is that hidden behind his scheming exterior is a quality player with an eye for goal, definitely one to watch. Are you listening ref! The Arabs have had the luxury of a ten day break since losing to Morton on the 4th of May and even then they afforded some of their players the day off as there was nothing at stake for them. Robbie Neilson was happy enough with that given he has no injuries or red cards to deal with ahead of the play-off. That's the luxury that Robbo is not too happy about, but we knew the rules so let's get on with it. Lastly, The Arabs have a secret weapon in their ranks. The lovely Lorraine Kelly has thrown her hat , scarf and knickers into the ring and is firmly behind the Tangerines in their bid to get back into the Premiership. Or is she? Lorraine had been a lifelong fan of United but since we knocked them out of the Scottish Cup she has changed her allegiance to Inverness. Good on you girl, I'll buy you a breakfast for that. An interesting game in Paisley tonight and I'm sure Robertson and Neilson will be keeping an eye on the outcome as one of these teams will be in the play-off final. At the moment St Mirren are favourites to enter the play-offs being four points behind Hamilton with only two games to go. Cue music from the Great Escape! *** UPDATE ST Mirren 2-0 Hamilton. *** Hello George! Another striker made the Championship headlines this season and it's congratulations to the evergreen Stephen Dobbie who scored a hat-trick at the weekend for his 43rd goal of the campaign. That is a seasons best for a Queen of the South player, Nicky Clark and Jimmy Rutherford jointly having the previous best at 41. As big Bob Hite one said to Johndo: Together we stand, divided we fall. So, Lets work together, every boy, girl, woman and man
  19. Opportunity Knocks Inverness have a great opportunity of progressing to the next stage of the play-offs after gaining a 3-1 advantage from the first leg at Somerset Park thanks to goals from Charlie Trafford and a Jordan White brace. Whoever gets through, they will face Dundee United at their own ground on the 14th May, then again at Tannadice on the 17th May. It's a tough schedule and not for the weak. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Just day until we face Ayr United in the Premiership Play-Off Quarter-Final Second-Leg Who's coming along to get behind the Caley Jags in tomorrow's big game? Tickets available online Adult £12/ Concession £6/ Under 12s FREE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Given this week of comebacks of biblical proportions, think Liverpool Tottenham, it's not inconceivable that this tie has a bit to run yet. The first goal will be seen as vital by both clubs. An Inverness goal would virtually kill the tie, a goal for the visitors could well put a spanner in the works. Remember that away goals do not count in the event of the games finishing level over the two legs. The team that scores the most goals over the two legs go through to the next round. If the scores are level over the two legs then there will be extra-time and then penalties if required. What that means is if Ayr were to win 2-0, not absurd by any manner or means given our poor home results, we would be going into extra-time and the possibility of penalties. Bricking it yet? It was a somewhat controversial victory at Ayr with Ian McCall claiming our second goal was offside and the third should not have been a penalty. He always was a greetin faced wee nyaff with a chip on his shoulder if you ask me. It was a hard fought win on Tuesday night. Charlie Trafford broke the deadlock in the first half and Jordan White clipped in the second. Michael Rose pulled one back but White converted a penalty to restore our two goal cushion and that's how it ended. Those goals were White's 15th & 16th of the season. Not a bad return from the big fellow after a slow start. Here's the match video of the goals so you can judge for yourself if McCall was justified in his rant. Inverness have no further injury worries after the first leg. Coll Donaldson came through unscathed after being subbed against Dunfermline the week before. Carl Tremarco missed the game at Ayr with a calf injury with Kevin McHattie stepping up to the plate with ease. The injured Sean Welsh has signed a two year extension to his contract. Good news for Inverness fans and let's hope Sean makes a full and quick recovery from his current broken foot. Team News from Ayr:- Steven Bell, Jamie Adams, Craig Moore and Andy Geggan are out with injuries. Robbie Crawford was replaced at half time in the first leg and will be a doubt One man to be wary of is Lawrence Shankland who collected a new award this week. He picked up the inaugural Ladbrokes Championship Tartan Ball for finishing as top scorer in the league with 24 goals. Amongst that was a four goal haul at Tannadice when Ayr thumped the Arabs 5-0. Here's all his league goals for the season. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you like a wee flutter, new partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  20. Play Off 1st Leg at Ayr. Having qualified for the Premiership Play-Offs, we have the daunting task of playing Ayr United once more. By virtue of finishing third in the table, we get the benefit of a home tie in the second leg. Some say that's not maybe for the best given our random home form, and even moreso as Ayr have proved to be better away from Somerset park as well. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ICT Supporters Travel Club 🚌 🚌 🚌 PLAYOFF BUS TO AYR ON TUES 7TH MAY LEAVES ...CALEY CLUB 1.45 & STADIUM 2Pm BOOK ON FACEBOOK OR PHONE/TEXT 07462 218717 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Matchday 36 ended with a wee present from Dunfermline. They gifted us a goal to help us into third place and Alloa Athletic did the rest by drawing with Ayr. Nathan Austin was the beneficiary of a defensive mistake that saw a suicidal head high pass back bouncing off keeper Cammy Gill into the path of Austin who accepted the gift and stroked the ball into the empty net. One sour note was that Coll Donaldson came off at half time feeling his thigh and Jamie McCart replaced him for the second half. Whilst we were beating Dunfermline, Ayr United were being held to a 1-1 draw at home by Championship team of the season Alloa Athletic. Connor Shields opened the scoring for the Wasps but top striker Lawrence Shankland levelled four minutes later and that's how it ended, leaving Inverness third with United dropping down to fourth. So it all boils down to this, the play-offs, where it's all designed to favour the teams in the order they finished in the league. That means home advantage in the return leg, and the 3rd & 4th placed teams having the most to do. Another thing to remember is that away goals do not count in the event of the games finishing level over the two legs. The team that scores the most goals over the two legs goes through to the next round. If the scores are level over the two legs then there will be extra-time and then penalties if required. In the four meetings between the clubs this season, there has been one draw and three wins for Inverness. The first game in the Highlands saw newly promoted Ayr come away with a deserved 0-0 draw. The next game at Ayr was postponed in December due to high winds before we played them again in the North, running out winners thanks to a Jordan White goal. Down to Somerset Park at the end of January where we won an extraordinary game 3-2, having led 3-0 after 18 minutes. A Nathan Austin brace and a Liam Polworth goal had us cruising, but goals from Declan McDaid and Lawrence Shankland made it a tense finish. The final game was played only four weeks ago and a Brad Mckay goal was enough to win the points. So, Inverness getting the better of these games, but to be honest, very little between the sides. There's not much more to be said regarding the onfield news. Carl Tremarco missed the Dunfermline game with a calf injury. Coll Donaldson strained his hammy and was replaced, hopefully just precautionary but Sean Welsh is out long term. Mark Ridgers returned at the weekend and came through the game without concern. Kevin McHattie will replace Tremarco should he not make it. Ayr had Lawrence Shankland in their team against Alloa, and that is a worry for any defence. Manager Ian McCall has some concerns over a few players. Steven Bell and Craig Moore are out for the season. Defender Liam Smith has tweaked his hamstring and midfielders Jamie Adams and Andy Geggan are in the doubtful category. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ticket prices for the games home and away against Ayr have been set at £12, the minimum price dictated by the SPFL rules. Further Information can be found on the OFFICIAL SITE. Here's another tidy offer. Hospitality is £35 plus VAT at the Caledonian Stadium. Unfortunately, there is no season ticket discount rate as the SPFL have confirmed we have to charge for every ticket. Boooo @ spfl Email [email protected] to book your place or call the club on 01463 222880 With a new season looming, the club have opened the early bird offers for Season tickets. If purchased within the window allocated, season tickets will be frozen at last years prices and any tickets bought now will be honoured for the Premiership should we be successful in the Play-Off finals. At present, the window is 6th May to 26th May. See OFFICIAL SITE for detailed information regarding season tickets. It's been a challenging season for all at Inverness this year and it's pastures new for some, notably Liam Polworth heading to Motherwell after eight seasons with us. Others are sure to follow as money talks and Roy comes calling with cheque book in hand. Mark Ridgers is one that will be staying for another couple of seasons and local lad Mark has had a tremendous season after winning over the fans with some breathtaking saves to become one of the top keepers in the Championship. PLAYER of the YEAR awards were handed out after the Dunfermline game. Various trophy's dished out and you can see the full array of photo's taken by CaleyJags.com. on the Official Site. Here's the gist of it below, but head over to ICTFC for full details. Aaron Doran was voted the Fans PotY. Tom Walsh was voted the fans Young PotY Sean Welsh & Joe Chalmers were voted Players PotY Jamie McCart was voted Players Young PotY Roddy MacGregor was voted u18 PotY Coll Donaldson was voted Caley Jags Away PotY Joe Chalmers was voted Press PotY Coll Donaldson can be seen receiving his trophy from CTO and Caley Jags Away member Adamskibeats. Coll is also the front runner in the CTO polls. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you like a wee flutter, our new partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  21. Just the Ticket! The final game of the scheduled season will see us play Dunfermline Athletic at the Caledonian Stadium. However, we will have at least another two games and a possible six should we make our way to the play-off final, fingers crossed. All this could see our season extended to Sunday 26th May where we will find out who will join Ross County in the Premiership next season. As well as the play-offs, there is a great ticket offer for next season to be released on 6th May, so no excuses, get yourself sorted and get behind the Caley Jags next season. Your club needs you............ It's been a bit of a slog, but we managed to get ourselves a second chance at promotion after a slow burner of a season where draws were the order of the day for ICT. We are the draw specialists, Morton running us close, but at 14 draws our run for promotion was seriously curtailed. However, despite being interspersed with some excellent results and mediocre performances, we have managed to stay in touch with the play-off zone for most of the season and we will get our opportunity to progress as a reward for our perseverance. Last time out we had a tough time at Alloa before overhauling them with two rapid goals in the second half. Shaun Rooney rifling home from the edge of the box and Charlie Trafford weighing in with his first goal for the club. That was enough to secure the points after a first half penalty had been scored by Alan Trouten. Worryingly, Carl Tremarco had to come off injured before the end and that is bad news with the extra games looming. Dunfermline's season frittered away after a promising spell when they won a shitload of games to jump above us a couple of months ago. They stuttered badly in the run-in and they have now dropped to sixth, two points below Morton who beat the Pars 2-1 at the weekend. So tight has been the bottom half of the league they could plummet even further if results go against them this weekend. Other games on matchday 36 are Ayr United -V- Alloa, Falkirk -V- Ross County, Morton -V- Dundee United, Queen of the South -V- Partick Thistle. Final day of the season and still lots to be decided. Dunfermline were the side that scuppered our progress last season with a goal late into time added on to time added on. So be it. I won't dwell too much on the game on Saturday, suffice to say we have qualified for the promotion play-offs after a roller coaster season, a Scottish Cup semi-final and some rip roaring derby's in the Highlands. The carrot is dangling if we want more next season. For your information, here are the Play-Off dates, times and TV coverage. ** Tuesday May 7 or Wednesday May 8, 2019 Premiership play-off quarter-final, 1st leg 4th in Championship v 3rd in Championship ** Tuesday May 7 if Ayr United finish fourth ** Wednesday May 8 if Inverness CT finish fourth Saturday May 11, 2019 Premiership play-off quarter-final, 2nd leg 3rd in Championship v 4th in Championship Tuesday May 14, 2019 Premiership play-off semi-final, 1st leg 3rd or 4th in Championship v 2nd in Championship (Dundee United) Live on BT Sport, kick-off 7.45pm Friday May 17, 2019 Premiership play-off semi-final, 2nd leg 2nd in Championship (Dundee United) v 3rd or 4th in Championship Live on BT Sport, kick-off 7.45pm Thursday May 23, 2019 Premiership play-off final, 1st leg 2nd or 3rd or 4th in Championship v 11th in Premiership Live on BT Sport, kick-off 7.45pm Sunday May 26, 2019 Premiership play-off final, 2nd leg 11th in Premiership v 2nd or 3rd or 4th in Championship Live on BT Sport, kick-off 3.00pm Play off prices on Official Site Pars boss Stevie Crawford has Jackson Longridge suspended after a red card last week. Striker Andy Ryan and defender Lewis Martin have made comebacks recently and will be looking for a start. Robbo had talked about keeping the momentum going ahead of the play-offs and the extra £75K will come in handy, but self preservation will also be important and I see little point in wearing out our already knackered first choice squad with crucial games ahead. May the fourth be with you Robbo........... Mark Ridgers has been recovering from his dislocated finger, and it's fantastic news for the fans and the club that Mark has signed a new deal to keep him at Inverness for another couple of years. Hope yer finger is better. Sean Welsh is out with a broken foot. Carl Tremarco was injured at Recreation Park and will miss out with a possible calf tear. Others are flagging as our thin squad gets stretched every week. Robbo will have options though. Coll Donaldson made a welcome return last week and Brad Mckay will return after suspension. Cammy Mackay has deputised well for the injured Ridgers and Kevin McHattie is a ready made replacement for Tremarco. He could also look to the youth set-up where we have some wonderful players emerging and they are fresh from securing the Under 18's Progressive Tier title. Top bananas to these guys. They trounced none other than Ross County 4-0 on Tuesday afternoon. A full report can be found on the OFFICIAL SITE. Caley Thistle Under 18s secured the Under 18s Progressive Tier title in style as they beat Ross County 4-0 at the Caledonian Stadium thanks to a brace from Roddy MacGregor and goals from Donald Morrison and Matheus Machado. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Just the Ticket Coming soon, there's a great offer for you on the official site if you want to get your season ticket at this years prices, regardless of which division we find ourselves in. Here's hoping it's the Premiership, but the price remains the same. Early Bird Season Tickets for 2019/20 season will go on sale from Monday 6th May. The club would would like to thank everyone who bought a season ticket for season 2018/19 and as we come to the climax of an exciting season with a day in the Hampden sun behind us and with the Premiership Play-Offs looming, the club is pleased to be able to announce that Season Ticket prices have been frozen for those wishing to purchase early. _________________________________________________________________________ If you like a wee flutter, our new partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  22. Play-Off practice We have a couple of games of the standard season left to help us prepare for the extended version, the play-offs, where the prize for success will be a place in the premiership next season. Our first game is this Saturday when we visit Recreation Park to take on one of the teams of the season, Alloa Athletic. We may have little to gain in this game other than keeping players fully fit for the task ahead, but for Alloa, their survival in the Championship will go down to the wire as they and half the division battle to avoid relegation. We can still overhaul Ayr United and gain some much needed cash and that will also be on the mind of the Caley Jags, but the bigger picture must surely be ensuring we have our best available XI on the park when the play off games come around. John Robertson still maintains that winning games is vital to build momentum, not to mention the extra £75K for finishing third. The title has all but gone to the quaint market town of Dingwall unless Dundee United can overturn an 18 goal deficit whilst winning their two remaining games with County losing theirs. A bit of a tall order if you ask me. Ayr though are very much catchable and will be a target whilst preserving the fitness of our thin squad. ***Latest news*** Ross County romped home with a win over Queen of the South on Friday night to win the Championship. Right eenuff for County; Queen of the South are now deep in the scheisse. A win for Alloa would certainly put them even deeper. We slumped to a 2-0 defeat at home to contender favourites Dundee United last weekend. Not good I hear you say. However, the bigger picture shows that we left Coll Donaldson on the bench to give him more recovery time and Mark Ridgers and Carl Tremarco were both out injured and in need of much rest. We have been running on empty for a few weeks now and conserving energy is a priority. Much has been said of our performance last week but in reality we could have taken something from the game had perennial cheat Paul McMullan not been up to his old tricks again. A new one this time, hand ball in the build up to the second goal. The first was a beaut as Pavol Safranko blasted a volley home in the first half. Much has been made of this one as the ball never touched the ground from the goalkeeper until it went into the net four touches later. A classy route four goal if ever I saw one. After four wins on the bounce, Alloa were looking good leading Partick Thistle early on, however two goals from the Harry Wraggs eased their plight and put Alloa back into the mix in second bottom. Aitchison opened for Alloa in the first half but second half goals from Scott McDonald and Joe Cardle saw Partick climb the table. They have since gone further away from the drop by beating Ayr United in midweek. Notably, Lawrance Shankland was not playing for the Honest Men, no doubt being kept for bigger games, making them Dishonest Men. A glance at the table will still reveal that Alloa are the form team over the last five games with four wins and that defeat to Partick. No team news readily available at the moment, but my guess is we need to rest guys ahead of the play-offs. Sean Welsh is definitely out. Mark Ridgers should need more rest for his dislocated finger. Coll Donaldson was on the bench and will be available. Brad Mckay is suspended after last weeks double quick yellow cards. Plastic pitches are not on Aaron Doran's Xmas card list and he could sit this one out. It's our final away game of the season prior to the play-offs. Here's how we have done so far ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Official Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year voting has commenced and you can cast your votes by following the link provided. The nominees are: Player of the Year Coll Donaldson Mark Ridgers Aaron Doran Sean Welsh Joe Chalmers Young PotY Jamie McCart Tom Walsh Shaun Rooney Cameron Harper Roddy MacGregor Here is the registration page to sign in to FansBet Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you sign up and 50% of net profits will be returned to CTO If you like a wee flutter, our new enhanced partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  23. Promotion warm up? With a play-off slot almost secured, one of the challengers for the final Premiership place comes North looking to set a marker for the forthcoming Championship shoot-out. Dundee United are the visitors and it's still mathematically possible for them to win promotion outright, but that all depended on the Staggies who held a six point advantage going into their game at Ayr on Friday night. I suppose we can now offer our congratulations to County who beat Ayr 3-1 and they have all but won the Championship given their massive goal difference over Dundee United. I wonder if that result will have any bearing on the way United now approach this game tomorrow knowing that automatic promotion is now a distant memory. Here is the updated table showing County almost unassailable. The other game tomorrow which could affect our push for promotion is the game at Palmerston between Queen of the South and Dunfermline Athletic. In the bottom half, it's even tighter with Falkirk facing Morton and Partick Thistle at home to Alloa Athletic who are on a four game winning streak. Bums will be squeaking for sure this weekend. There was a somewhat untimely release by the club this week in the build up to the season finale with the news that our chief assistmeister and playmaker Liam Polworth will be a Motherwell FC player next season in the Premiership. Liam has been around Inverness Caledonian Thistle since he was eight years old. He has made 214 appearances scoring nineteen goals so far and I'm sure he will go on to produce many more memorable moments on the park, just not our one. That leaves Caley Thistle Online with the job of finding a new player to sponsor as we have been Liam's sponsor since he was in the squad making up the numbers. He can be seen pointing the way to Fir Park where he will wear the Claret & Amber of Motherwell. All the best for the future to 'one of our own'. Admission prices: Official site TICKET INFO Adult (Grown up chiel) Concession (olde git or 16-25 noisy fekker) u16 (sober kids) Main Stand Adult £22 - Concession £17 - u16 £6 North Stand/Arab Stand Adult £20 - Concession £15 - u16 - £6 We inched our way towards a potential Premiership place by earning a point at Cappielow in midweek. A partly depleted squad came back to level the game with Morton in the 88th minute as substitute Darren McCauley slammed a Liam Polwrth pass into the net. Anthony McDonald had opened the scoring with a tremendous solo goal but Reece Lyon equalised for the Ton. Greg Kiltie put them ahead just before the break from the spot and as Morton went defensive, we searched for a leveller which arrived just before the final whistle. Dundee United have drawn with County in Dingwall having been ahead up to the last few seconds and they defeated Ayr 2-1 last time out, Safranko and McMullan overturning Ayr's lead through Bell. There has been four games against Saturdays opponents already this season. A 1-1 draw at Tannadice was followed by a similar scoreline at the Caledonian Stadium in mid-December. United won the next one at Tannadice by a solitary goal against an understrength Caley Jags. The fourth encounter was the Scottish Cup tie with a stronger side on the park and we bossed that one before winning 2-1 with a late Aaron Doran goal proving decisive. Joe Chalmers got the opener and it was an absolute belter. So good it was voted goal of the round, and so good we can have another look, courtesy of William Hill. Coll Donaldson, Mark Ridgers, Carl Tremarco and Sean Welsh all missed out through injury at Greenock, Welsh being out for the season. Anthony McDonald came back in to good effect scoring a superb goal but also took a heavy knock. Tom Walsh had a bit of a rest on the bench. Good to see Darren McCauley scoring the second goal and he should push on now that he has completed his degree studying nutrition at the University of Ulster. Plenty of tired legs and plenty of important players for what will be an exciting finish to a gruelling campaign where our thin squad has been pushed to the limits on a number of occasions. Robbo will have to choose wisely over the coming weeks to get the best out of our already stretched squad. Latest news is that Donaldson, Tremarco and Brad Mckay are all major doubts. Robbo still playing it cagey....... Robbie Neilson has a big squad to choose from and one man he is looking towards as the run in to the season begins is former Hearts forward Osman Sow. He is approaching full fitness and has been used sparingly since joining the Arabs in January because of a calf injury, but Neilson expects him to play a big part in the next few games. He also has plenty of other quality strikers he can call on, Paul (the diver) McMullan, Pavol Safranko, Nicky Clark, Cammy Smith and Peter Pawlett are all vying for the starting slot, so no matter who gets the nod, it's going to be a tough job for any defence. The Official Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year voting has commenced and you can cast your votes by following the link provided. The nominees are: PotY Coll Donaldson Mark Ridgers Aaron Doran Sean Welsh Joe Chalmers Young PotY Jamie McCart Tom Walsh Shaun Rooney Cameron Harper Roddy MacGregor ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Here is the registration page to sign in to FansBet Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you sign up and 50% of net profits will be returned to CTO If you like a wee flutter, our new enhanced partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies. .
  24. Back down to earth Well almost back down to earth: Greenock awaits. After the hullabaloo of the last couple of weeks it's back to reality, and for those that still have the stomach for it, a trip to Cappielow beckons on Tuesday night. From Hampden to Cappielow in three days. The last bastion of the days of yore are calling the Caley Jags down to Greenock where we could secure a promotion play-off slot by defeating Morton. The ICT Supporters Club are running a bus to this game and you can book on the facebook page HERE or call/text 07462 218717. The bus will leave the Caley Club at 13:30 and the Stadium at 13:45 Prices at Cappielow:- Adults £20 Concession £15 (olde gits, student gits & just gits (18-20)) Child £5 (12-17) Under 12 £1 Free if you are not born yet! With the Scottish Cup put to bed for another season, (ach it's a Mickey Mouse cup anyway ), it's back to the weekly chore. However, it's not so much a chore for Morton who find themselves dragged into the relegation battle as Alloa's run of four wins on the trot has kept everyone on their toes at the bottom end of the table. Even Dunfermline are starting to look over their shoulder at what's going on below them. That will make Morton difficult opponents on Tuesday night. Our last Championship game was a hard fought three points at Somerset Park the week before the Cup game at Hampden. Brad Mckay was on hand to put the ball into the net and we held on for the win. The next game was something of an anti-climax as we ran out of steam against a solid Hearts. All going to plan at the break, that quickly altered as they stepped on the gas and ran out comfortable winners in the end, despite a couple of valiant efforts from Chalmers and McCart who appeared to have been wrongly denied a goal. Meh! Morton drew 1-1 at Palmerston when we were nearby at Ayr, Charlie Telfer getting a second half goal to level the game. They were on the wrong end of a 2-1 defeat from resurgent Alloa who stung the Ton at Cappielow last Tuesday. Kiltie had put Morton ahead from the spot but Alloa were quick to reply through Andy Graham. Jack Hamilton on loan from Livingston scored the winner for the Wasps ten minutes before the end to pull Morton into the mire. They had a day of rest on Saturday, no doubt watching us on the telly. Morton manager Jonatan Johansson on BBC Sport after the Alloa game: "We've had our chances to climb out of it and now we're right in it. Too many games this season we've been soft with simple clearances and set pieces; we need to defend better. "The spirit and desire is there, but since the New Year we've just not been good enough. It'll be a long week now but it's something we have to deal with." Inverness have taken seven points from Morton this season starting with a 1-1 draw back in October. We have since won the next two encounters, 2-1 away and 1-0 at home at the end of February, Carl Tremarco getting the decisive goal in that one. A draw on Tuesday night could be enough to clinch a play-off position but a win would ensure Dunfermline could not overtake us this time. Team News We are back down to the bare bones again after suffering more injuries. Mark Ridgers will be replaced by Cammy Mackay after dislocating a finger against Heart's, oooyahhhh. Mark himself managed to tweet this using his other hand........... "Tough one on Saturday not the result we were after, hopefully now get that play off spot and push for promotion #ICTFC 🔵🔴 fingers crossed won’t be out too long". Coll Donaldson missed the Semi-Final through suspension, but also picked up an injury at Ayr and is a major doubt with a back spasm. Carl Tremarco had to be replaced at Hampden in the second half after he got a boot on the knee and will be a doubt. Sean Welsh is out for the season. Jamie McCart was struggling to make Hampden but managed to play whole game. Trust me, we have some tired legs out there, which could see some changes for this game. Anthony McDonald will be eligible to return after missing the Hearts game and some youth players will make up the squad. And apparently, Owain fon Williams has a groin problem. I'm not sure if there's any truth that it is being caused by his wallet Jonatan Johansson has his own injury worries to contend with. Denny Johnstone, Rory McKeown, Michael Tidser, Bob McHugh and Kerr Waddell all missed the Alloa game through injury.
  25. The Countdown Begins Hey Caley Jags fans, it's Hampden week as the build up to the Scottish Cup semi-final starts in earnest. Remember this image? What a history making day that was for the club. Legends every one of them. We had to do it without the suspended Gary Warren. Well Deja Vu! We will have to get through this one without our inspirational centre back Coll Donaldson who will be suspended, possibly even injured as well after hobbling off against Ayr. That's us done with the Championship for now as we take a sabbatical after beating Ayr United to jump back to third in the table. However, we have bigger fish to fry. That Championship sabbatical takes us back to Hampden for the first time since May 2015 when we did not too shabby as we lifted the Scottish Cup having beaten a resilient Falkirk 2-1. Our previous visit to Hampden saw an even greater performance as we put Celtic out of the Scottish Cup after an enthralling 3-2 win. Scenes! It all ended in 2015 with Graeme Shinnie holding aloft the Scottish Cup as depicted in Sopie Robb's fantastic painting. Let's start by giving you a wee flavour of these occasions and the build up to this seasons competition. This is what can be achieved with dedication, hard graft, a smidgen of quality, self belief, players playing for the badge, and a never say die attitude. Let's not forget the part played by our super fans who come out in force when needed.... Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines......... We will add something every day as the countdown continues, so check back on here daily for new updates. Long long time ago, there was a team called Inverness Caledonian who did many magnificent giant killing acts in the Scottish Cup over the years. League sides Airdrie, Stenhousemuir, Clyde, the list is almost endless as the non league side cut a swathe through the Scottish League sides. They put nineteen of them out of the national competition over the years prior to the merger and this was one of their finest moments, if not the complete giant killing act........... Inverness thistle were doing their own bit of giant killing culminating in their most memorable scalp, a 3-0 thrashing of Kilmarnock at Kingsmills in season 1984/85. The reward for this would be a trip to Parkhead. What a day that was, February 9th 1985. There were 'Big Kilmarnock Bunnet's' lying around the terraces and across the playing surface amongst a carpet of Kilmarnock supporters scarfs strewn across the pitch. They were not a happy bunch at full time looking to lynch the Killie board. Goals from Dave Milroy, Gordon Hay and Brian Fraser gave Killie there worst ever Scottish Cup defeat, something that still hurts them to this day. The jags other major claim to fame was the much postponed Scottish Cup tie against Falkirk FC. Due to be played at Kingsmills Park Inverness on January 6th 1979, it eventually went ahead 47 days later on February 22nd after 29 postponements due to a frozen pitch. Yes, 29, that's correct! When it did eventually go ahead Falkirk were 4-0 ahead before the interval. Bring on global warming I hear you say....... The Jags went on to play at Parkhead in the Scottish Cup in 1985 and suffered at the hands of a strong Celtic side. A certain Jimmy Calder being a substitute for the Jags at centre forward! Celtic: Latchford W McStay McGrain Grant (Archdeacon) McAdam O'Leary Provan P McStay Johnston MacLeod McGarvey (McInally) Scorers: McGarvey 9 P McStay 15, 63, 85 Johnston 30 MacLeod 89 Inverness: Fridge Skinner Wilson Sanderson (Fraser) Milroy Andrew Black Hay McDonald Oliver McLean (Calder) Attendance: 14,927 What a character Jimmy Calder was, often found sitting on the crossbar during quieter moments of games. He went from a part-time striker to a formidable keeper. On February 8th 2000, he was instrumental in knocking Celtic out of the Scottish Cup, something Inverness would go on to emulate another twice. Here's the proof starting at Parkhead.............. And again in 2003 at Inverness, Celtic fresh from beating Liverpool in Europe .............. The hat-trick was compete in 2015 with a little helping hand from Josh Meekings, not even Virgil van Dijk can stop us...... And following on from that dramatic defeat of Celtic at Hampden, we went on to lift the trophy at the same venue against Falkirk. And that's why Sophie got her paint brush out and reproduced that moment. So that brings us to this season, the William Hill Scottish Cup 2018/2019. The top three scorers so far are the prolific Stephen Dobbie - 7, Jordan White - 6 and Scott Sinclair - 5. It all started rather innocuously for the Caley Jags, a 1-1 draw with Edinburgh City at Ainslie Park. Shaun Rooney got the cup run off to a good start in the sixth minute but thereafter we struggled to make any improvement on the scoreline and the Citizens got their just reward when Liam Henderson sent the tie to a replay with five minutes remaining. The word embarrassment was used to sum up our performance on the day against League 2 Edinburgh City. The replay saw Jordan White score a hat-trick at the Caledonian Stadium as we ran out 6-1 winners. Tom Walsh (2) and Aaron Doran were the other scorers for the Caley Jags with Blair Henderson scoring for the visitors. Non League East Kilbride were next, and we only needed one game to dismiss them, albeit we made hard work of it and that's credit to Kilby who showed they were a well organised side. White, Doran, Polworth and an og saw us ease through 4-0. On the Sunday after our game, Hearts began their Scottish Cup challenge with a fourth round win over Livingstone thanks to a goal from Sean Clare. Our 5th round game would be a derby against County at Dingwall. This one would end in a 2-2 draw with County equalising in the third minute of time added on. We had led twice, Aaron Doran put us ahead before Ross Stewart levelled ten minutes after the break. Jordan White restored our lead until the tie was sent to extra-time by Josh Mullin. The previous day Hearts progressed by putting Auchinleck Talbot to the sword by 4-0. Berra, Mitchell, MacLean and Keena were the Jambo's scorers. The replay at Inverness against County was full of drama and the game went to extra-time and penalties. 2-2 after ninety minutes with no further scoring in extra-time led to a nail biting penalty shoot-out. Mark Ridgers woud make one save and Inverness converted all five from the spot to seal out place in the draw for the next round at Tannadice. The first team into the semi-finals were Celtic who beat Hibs 2-0 at Easter Road. We were second into the semi's after a wonderful 2-1 win at Tannadice where Joe Chalmers scored the goal of the round, an absolute peach. We were pegged back unjustly when Paul McMullan went down in the box but Aaron Doran scored with a header in time added on to put us on the road to Hampden. Aberdeen and Heart's would make up the semi-final pot after both won replays. The Don's dumped Rangers out and Hearts removed relegation threatened Championship side Partick Thistle 2-1 at Tynecastle. Joe's goal was so good, here it is in triplicate............. All the questions would be answered as the draw was made and the replays were completed on 12th of March. Hearts at Hampden and surprise surprise a 12:15 kick off. Plenty of previous between the sides although only one brief encounter this season. We played Hearts at Tynecastle in the League Cup and were summarily dismissed. Three goals in four minutes ended this contest before half-time. Here's a name that will send shivers down the spine of the Inverness defence. Uche Ikpeazu bulldozed his way through our defence on numerous occasions and scored twice. Odd game to be honest. We were a bit naive and paid the price for being too open and having a go. It ended up being a hammering. Oh well, there's always next time. We have a few players who have tasted life at Tynecastle. Keeper Mark Ridgers was on their books for seven years but only made three first team appearances. Brad Mckay made 40 appearances for Hearts in five seasons from 2010 onward. Kevin McHattie is the latest signing and he was on the books at Tynecastle for four years, pulling on the maroon shirt 83 times. However, there is one man at Inverness who beats them all, and he is a legend down Gorgie road. Inverness manager John Robertson. Robbo played 512 times for the Jambos in his 17 year affiliation with the club. In two spells at Tynecastle he scored an incredible 214 goals. He has raised the Scottish Cup before, he was an unused sub in 1998 when Hearts beat Rangers to win the trophy. Wee Robbo loved a derby goal, scoring 27 times against Hibs and has 16 Scotland international caps. He also managed Hearts for a short spell before being removed in one of Hearts' revolutions. There is one man who has made the transition in the opposite direction. Pacey winger Jake Mulraney who could well be in the Hearts side at Hampden after making some recent appearances for them in the Premiership. And that that brings us up nicely to the job in hand. Here's some pre-match chat at Inverness ***Latest Team News from Inverness*** As seen in the Jamie McCart interview, he is on the mend although it's touch and go whether he will be fit enough to start. Coll Donaldson is suspended after picking up his bookings in previous rounds. Sean Welsh is out for the season with a suspected broken bone in his foot and Anthony McDonald is ineligible due to the loan arrangement from parent club Hearts. Three of the 2015 Cup Final squad will be involved on the park on Saturday. Captain Carl Tremarco, influential midfielder and chief provider Liam Polworth and on form Irish wide player Aaron Doran whose goal at Tannadice got us into the semi-final. It's a big ask of the players against a solid Hearts side who came into this tie on the back of two championship defeats. A 3-0 away loss to Rangers and a 2-1 derby defeat at Tynecastle against Hibernian. Our last game was a hard fought 1-0 win at Somerset Park against the 'Honest men'. Hearts will be without long term absentees Steven Naismith and Ben Garuccio. Demetri Mitchell has returned to Manchester United. Bobby Burns could be in for a starting slot at full back but, unlike John Robertson, Levein has plenty of options to cover most eventualities. We will be outnumbered around 10/1 in the stands. On paper, it all points to a win for the Premiership side, however, we have previous with Hearts, even with nine men. Let's do this! I'm off to catch a train to Glasgow, so........................