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  1. Wasps Sting Themselves... Inverness moved up to second in the table after a 2-0 win over ten man Alloa who had Liam Dick sent off just before the hour. Both goals were scored in the first half with Scott Taggart heading behind his own keeper and Aaron Doran brilliantly volleying home the second from a Jordan White knock down as the half closed. With Dundee United and Ayr United frozen out, we moved into second spot for now and moved a further two points away from Dundee who lost at home to Queen of the South in a dramatic late ending to that game. There were two games called off for frozen pitches. Ayr United -P- Arbroath Morton -P- Dundee United Alloa Athletic 0-2 Inverness CT Dundee 1-2 Queen of the South Dunfermline 5-1 Partick Thistle Immortal Howden Ender has this report for us........... Well at least I am enjoying my Away Days this season. Ayr and Alloa have been good choices. And here I was travelling up in minus temperatures, blue skies and sunshine. And then Radio Scotland announces that two Championship games have been called off. I forgot that the wasps nest is now of the 4G variety. And good to see a fair smattering of the old brigade in a 100+ following. Relaxed train journey with Mantis, into Bobbin John's with the McDonalds - Lynn and Ronald - only to be called to Drysdale's and participation in a PeaPod cast or something like that. And then a late arrival at the Rec but an enjoyable 45 minutes followed by a tolerable second 45. I would have to say that I was impressed by Alloa. Unfortunately their penchant to play football and dispense with the hoof was admirable but may also be their downfall. I don't think that the most staunch of us would have begrudged them a point at the end. The first half made good watching and both teams carved out chances. We also dispensed with the hoof, played football and used the extra wide flanks. I thought that Rooney was exceptional in that half. Ridgers had made a couple of saves, we had wasted at least two half chances before Inspector Taggart became Inspector Clousseau and headed the ball past the man who won us the Scottish Cup. And the eventual match winner came right on the half time whistle. A Rooney cross, exquisite head back by White and Doran curves neatly passed poor old Rod. As good a goal as you will see all season. Half Time 0-2 And then you would have thought that a complete Dick had opened the flood gates with a double footed, red card, over the top tackle on Keatings. But, we appeared to relax and wait for another opportunity. And a few came along but we fluffed the final touch. I felt that we tried to overpass at times. We should have gone nap really. But Alloa improved with 10 men. As is often the case we looked like the team with ten. When an Alloa shot hit the postage stamp corner there was a shiver, not caused by the minus temperature. But we held on and returned to Drysdale's a happy bunch. I will dispense with the smileys but my marks out of 5 are made up of 3's and 4's. Ridgers, Rooney, Coll, Tremarco, Carson and Keatings get the fours. I may also add Roddy McGregor to that list as his pace and movement was terrific when he came on. Carson sneaks in as my MotM - mainly for his defensive display and a developing partnership with Triffid. Let's hope that McCart has only a minor knock. My only other whinge, apart from not scoring more goals was WHY take on Curry if he is on his way out? So Aloha to Clackmannanshire and I may well be back. Have to save up for the Maryhill Caley Away Xmas party 🍺 From BBC Sport Alloa Athletic manager Peter Grant: "The scoreline was very harsh on us. To lose the goals when we did was a double-whammy. "But I was chuffed with the way the players went about their business. Even when we went down to 10 men we were excellent." Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "Both teams carved out really good opportunities. The first goal was really strange, the second was a cracker. "There were more goals if they showed the quality of the final pass, and that's what let us down second-half. We didn't make the extra man count." Extended highlights from Alloa Athletic FC Date: 30/11/2019 Venue: Recreation Park, Alloa Attendance: 721 Referee: Greg Aitken Alloa Athletic: 0 Lineup: MacDonald; Taggart, Graham, Deas, Dick, Robertson, Cawley, Flannigan, Hetherington, Trouten, O'Hara. Subs (not used): Henry; Gilhooley, Malcolm, Gillespie, O'Donnell, Buchanan, Thomson, Scorers: none Booked: Hetherington (70), Flannigan (80) Sent Off: Dick (58) Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart (McHattie 76), Tremarco, Doran, Carson, Trafford, Storey (Curry 72), Keatings (MacGregor 73), White Subs (not used): C Mackay, Harper, Machado, Todorov. Scorers: Taggart (og 38), Doran (45) Booked: Keatings (72), Sent Off: a
  2. Alloa, chapter three We are off to Recreation Park Alloa this Saturday to face the Wasps on match day 15 in the Championship. The Wasps will be well acquainted with the Caley Jags before the end of the season as we will have met a minimum of six times after we have been drawn against each other in the Challenge Cup and the Scottish Cup. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ CLUB NEWS Annual General Meeting (AGM): The AGM of Inverness Thistle and Caledonian FC Ltd will be held at Caledonian Stadium on Thursday 19th December at 7.30pm and today we have issued notice to shareholders, which includes the Club’s annual report and financial statements. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Before I let Johndo loose with his nostalgiaitis, here's the tale of the tape so far this season. The first encounter this season saw a much changed Inverness get a somewhat flattering 3-0 win in the Challenge Cup game with Alloa hitting woodwork twice. The league game a week later saw us struggle to get a draw after our defence went AWOL, allowing Alan Trouten space and time to level the game at 2-2. We had fought back from an early Buchanan goal but found it difficult to break down a well organised Wasps defence. After getting our noses in front four minutes from the end through a Carl Tremaro special and an excellent Jordan White flying header, which incidentally put us top of the league for four minutes, we then proceeded to shoot ourselves in the foot. Such is life! It's been mostly downhill since then until we put in the effort to record a good 1-0 win over Dundee last week, Aaron Doran the scorer. Other games this weekend: Ayr v Arbroath Dundee v Queen of the South Dunfermline v Partick Thistle Morton v Dundee United Now pin yer ears back and listen to the Immortal Howden Ender So it is a sojourn to Clackmannanshire and the grand olde Recreation Park, on St Andrews Day, to face Alloa Athletic. Will our depleted, flu stricken squad have recovered well enough to bring back a well needed three point haul and maintain our renewed place in the Top Four. Lets hope that the Wasps are slumbering in their Winter hibernation and do not have enough sting left to inflict another defeat on us. Perhaps two games in a week may be too much for them as well ? It would be nice to hear of others Away Day experiences at the Recreation Park. Was anyone in attendance during our first season (September 1994) when we came away with a point in a 1-1 draw ? My first Alloa Away experience (or non-experience) was in December 1996 and also one of my early returns from Refusnikism. Drove all the way from Lancashire in blue skies, sunshine and mild temperatures – grooving to the recently released “Bring It On Home” – then sitting in the pub to be informed that the game had been called off. Were you there? And then on to November 1999 and probably the most disappointed and gutted that I have felt at the final whistle. Airdrie was the venue for the Challenge Cup Final with Alloa. We were strong favourites and had amassed a following of 2000 + Highlanders. It may have been a great game for neutrals but 4-4 after extra time led to a 5-4 defeat from the penalty spot. I still have an image of the skinhead (Martin Cameron) clenching his fist at the end. October 2002 was the opposite and as good an away performance as there has been over the years. A hat-trick each for Paul Ritchie and Denis Wyness landed us a very enjoyable 6-0 thrashing. And I know of a few who lamented our League Cup exit in August 2016 when we lost 1-0 – again despite being clear favourites. There always seems to be goals at Alloa – apart from the 0-0 draw next season. So being a betting man I would go for an ICT Win with Both Teams To Score. BUT our rollercoaster displays this season means that we cannot predict what kind of performance will be produced. In the league this season we beat them 3-0 at home in the Chocolate Biscuit Trophy with a “weakened” team but then drew 2-2 at home in the next game with the “preferred starting X1”. As for Alloa I have to congratulate then for hoofing Hellgin out of the Scottish Cup. And I also have to admit that I have always had a “liking” for Peter Grant, both as a player and a coach. To be blunt I would have thought that Alloa was below his potential. Alloa are capable of grabbing points at home from anyone, as they proved against us and Plastic Whistle. Being in a tight relegation zone probably makes them more dangerous - and Alloa has no links to any Lottery Winners. It looks like the players to look out for against us are Alan Trouten, Kevin O’Hara and Kevin Cawley. Although the one time ICT “target” (Liam Buchanan) is still alive and kicking and unfortunately still capable of netting against Inverness. Alloa are once more showing their resilience and earned a point in midweek at Firhill. They led Patrick Thistle early in the first half through Alan Trouten before former player Dario Zanatta equalised before the break. Despite Thistle dominating, there was no further scoring with on loan keeper Jamie MacDonald denying Partick a few times. That saw the points shared at the relegation end of the table and it keeps Patrick at the bottom with Alloa two points above them. It has become more of a case of picking 11 players fit enuff to play rather than the preferred first choices. It may well be a case of few changes from the starting 11 against Dundee. The potential changes could be Rooney back in for Brad McKay and possibly Keatings for McHattie. Tremarco has trained all week and MacGregor and Curry will come back into contention. Robbo appears to have felt that we tactically outsmarted Dundee and heralded a 4-1-4-1 formation. Hopefully that will not be followed at Alloa and we discard the “hoof” tactics that appear to be unfortunately followed away from home. So I will be travelling by train from Stirling, having a pre-match aperitif in “Bobbing Johns” and an Asda carryoot on the way home. Hopefully the 90 + minutes on the terraces will be as enjoyable as the rest of the day. Like Johndo, I'm sure we will all be looking to consolidate on the hard earned points from last weekend against Dundee that ended a run of poor results and performances. Something to build on, at least the passion was back and maybe, just maybe, this virus is on it's way out of the Caledonian Stadium. If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  3. Comeback earns Status Quo Alan Trouten gave Alloa hope of the great escape after converting a first half penalty. Inverness showed more urgency after the break and two goals in five minutes put the Wasps back into the mire. Shaun Rooney rattled in the first for the visitors from the edge of the box and Charlie Trafford was on hand to score his first goal for the club and snatch all three points. We didn't quite roll over lay down, but maybe it could be down down for Alloa...... With Ayr United winning and Falkirk losing, it's as you were for both clubs and that means that third position is still up for grabs. For Alloa, it means that Falkirk remain three points behind them although Queen of the South and Partick Thistle are still in their sights above them. The only thing that has been decided is that the village club from the quaint market town of Dingwall have now won the Championship. Robbo hinted that the extra cash would be the driver for Inverness ahead of the play-offs and so it was as he put out as strong a team as possible. That meant a return to defence for Coll Donaldson with Brad Mckay suspended. Cammy Mackay continued in goal with Mark Ridgers recovering from his dislocated finger. Carl Tremarco came back in at left back, but that one backfired as he came off injured leaving us with only ten men as all substitutes had been used. Alloa were desperate for points and had Alan Trouten and Dario Zanatta spearheading their attack as they looked to keep the pressure on those above them and keep Falkirk below them. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ RIG was with CaleyAway and here's his excellent report:- As others have said, the first half performance was pretty rotten. We tried to force our way through the middle of the pitch a lot of the time which was pointless as Alloa frequently had nine men behind the ball and were very disciplined defensively and broke with real pace whenever our attacks broke down which was quite often. The likes of Polworth and Chalmers tried to force balls through to White or Doran / MacDonald cutting in from the flanks but they never found their man. Our best chance probably came when Doran chipped a ball in from the left flank but it evaded White and MacDonald. Prior to this Alloa had taken the lead from the penalty spot when Donaldson bundled over Zanatta and Trouten easily found the net sending MacKay the wrong way. We were lucky to just be one down at the break but Robbo shuffled the pack taking Polworth and MacDonald off for Austin and McCauley and going two up front with Austin slightly withdrawn off White. With this change we were a lot better and started to find a bit of space in wide areas to send a few decent crosses in which Alloa struggled to deal with at times. A Rooney header at the back post was a sign of things to come as Alloa started to struggle with our balls in from the flanks. Chalmers found himself with a bit of time on the left side to loft the ball into the area which Alloa only partially cleared and Rooney strode on to the loose ball to blast in the equaliser. White almost bagged a second goal moments later but Parry was equal to his effort. However we weren't to be denied with Chalmers again the provider. A low corner was hooked into the box by Chalmers and Trafford arrived at the near post to flick the ball into the net. Alloa nearly drew level late on when MacKay spilled a long range effort but was alert to get up and fist the loose ball away before any of the home teams players could seize on the opportunity. There then came a penalty appeal when Graham (?) fell over under pressure from McCart who was clearly incensed and his anger set off a bit of a stramash between the sides but ended with McCart going into the book. Fortunately we hung on. Not our finest performance of the season but it could be a vital win for us. The extra money from 3rd place would be very welcome as Robbo has said already this week. McCart was an absolute stand out for us and a clear MotM. We'll need to improve a lot if we want to progress through the play offs. Cheers Rig, great report from Recreation Park. Here's the goals from Recreation Park........... And Robbo's reaction........... Date: 27/04/2019 Venue: Recreation Park, Alloa Attendance: 826 Referee: Mike Roncone Alloa Athletic: 1 Lineup: Parry; Robertson, Graham, Taggart, Dick, Hetherington, Flannigan, Cawley (Kirkpatrick 75), Trouten (Hamilton 75), Zanatta, Aitchison (Shields) Subs (not used): Henry, Rosscoe, Brown, Peggie. Scorers: Trouten (pen 27) Booked: Zanatta (81), Robertson (90+2), Graham (90+4) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: C Mackay; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, McDonald (McCauley 46), Trafford, Polworth (Austin 46), Chalmers, Doran (Walsh 72), White. Subs (not used): Fon Williams; McHattie, Harper, MacGregor Scorers: Rooney (68), Trafford (73) Booked: Trafford (34), McCart (90+2) Sent Off: none a
  4. 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.
  5. Recreation time Or to put it more accurately, we are off to Alloa on Saturday for matchday ten against the Wasps followed closely by matchday eleven against Dunfermline Athletic on Tuesday night. But firstly, we have to concentrate on getting the better of Alloa, something we failed to do earlier in the season when they came North and went away with a credible draw even though they finished the game with ten men. Brad Mckay opened the scoring early on but Alloa were gifted an own goal off the back of the unfortunate George Oakley's head. We went ahead just after the break when Welsh slotted a penalty after Zdravko Karadachki was penalised and dismissed. Despite playing almost the entire second half with ten men, Alloa still managed to snatch a point when Ian Flannigan scored a late penalty. Day to forget for Inverness was summed up when Coll Donaldson passed up a great opportunity to score before the equaliser when he smashed a spot-kick off the bar. Our last visit to Alloa ended in a dismal 1-0 defeat in the league cup during the Richie Foran era. Some described it as an all time low at the time with Jason Marr scoring the winner in the first half. Last time out Alloa got their first League win of the season as they dumped Partick Thistle thanks to a goal from Dario Zanatta. Inverness remain unbeaten, but that statistic is turning into a bit of a millstone around our necks as we appear determined not to lose rather than to go on and try to win games. That's now six draws and three wins this season which gives us fifteen points, eight better off than Alloa. We sit third in the table with Alloa in second bottom. Team News Robbo will be without superhero Coll Donaldson for this one. Big Coll was sent off at last week for a second yellow offence and Jamie McCart who replaced him at Tannadice will fill the gap. George Oakley is back training but it's too early for him to get on the park. Jordan White bagged the goal last week and will be most likely to continue up front with Nathan Austin and Daniel Mackay on the bench. Wasps manager Jim Goodwin sent this XI out against Partick Thistle:- Parry, Taggart, Roscoe, Graham, Dick, Robertson, Flanniagan, Cawley, Trouten , Zanatta, Shields. Info for away fans:- Turnstiles are located in Hilton Road, behind KFC. The ICT Supporters Travel Club are running a bus to this game, book through their Facebook page or by texting your name to 07462218717.The Buses leaves from the Caley Social Club at 9:45am and from the Caledonian Stadium at 10:00am Prices for the Bus: Adults £20, Concession £15 and Under 16s £10
  6. Alloa Dump Sad Inverness The Wasps dumped Inverness out of the League Cup with a 1-0 win at the Indodrill Recreation Park Stadium. This was another inept display by Richie Foran's side who were given another chance en block to make amends for their poor showing at Partick, but nothing changed as the League One side scrambled the winner in the first half through Jason Marr. The visitors were unable to take control of the game and struggled to create much of note and Alloa held on for the win. Congratulations to Alloa who continue a six game winning streak since relegation at the end of last season. Shame on you Inverness who appear to be clueless with Richie Foran's honeymoon period coming to an end quicker than expected. We had a couple of keen observers on hand to relate the tale. Alternative Maryhill and Rig saw it like this and put their thoughts down on paper. Very poor tonight said A M. Going forward, Mulraney looked lightweight and on the rare occasion where he managed to get space to cross, his final ball was poor. King was slightly better, but the potential impact of both players seemed to be limited by the fact that they were played on the wrong wings - Mulraney, as a pacey left footer, should surely be allowed to use his pace to get to the bye-line and swing balls in with his left foot, while King contributed little from the left in the first half but looked a bit more effective when he was eventually switched to the right in the second. Where we really lost the game, though, was in the centre of the park: Polworth looked OK driving forward but both his and Tansey's distribution was poor, and neither seemed able to anticipate passes played into their opponents' feet or impose themselves physically; we at least had more of the play when Draper came on in the second half. We also allowed Alloa to push us back too deep in the first half in particular, and while they didn't create too many chances, there was too much scrappy, last ditch defending. McNaughton reads the game well, but his distribution was poor tonight, and he doesn't dominate opposing attackers the way Meekings can. As soon as Meekings is fit, he needs to come back into the team, and after tonight, Foran will hopefully also accept that we are a stronger team when Draper starts, whether it is Vigurs, Polworth or Mulraney who gives way. It was good to see Doran back as a second-half sub, although he didn't do a great deal, and Fisher had a few good touches and might be worth a start in place of Boden, who had a poor evening. Rig added: Not really much else to add other than we seemed utterly intent on trying to force the ball up the middle of the pitch which was bizarre given that we actually have wingers for the first time in forever to try and whip crosses in. In the second half especially, after Doran had come on and King was switched to the right flank (presumably to stop him cutting inside all the time from the left) we still tried to go right down the throat of the Alloa side and with Goodwin in there that was always going to be a tall order. Really strange that we didn't try and stretch Alloa more by playing with more width but given how excellent they were last night in a defensive sense I think they still would have held firm quite easily. The second half was like one of those overload training exercises given how much of the ball we had and how often we were camped in the Alloa side of the pitch. That said, it is also an exercise we would have failed badly at given how wasteful we were with the ball. Over the course of the 90 minutes I can recall a good shot in the first half from Polworth, a Vigurs (half?) volley in the second after a Fisher knock down and a late effort poked wide by Vigurs and that was it really. Fifteen shots on goal and only two on target. That's very poor. I thought Alloa were superb. You can argue they didn't offer too much in an attacking sense particularly in the second half but they were fantastic across the back completely neutralising our (limited) attacking play and their midfield dominated for most of the game although we got a wee bit of an edge back when Draper came on. Still, all the possession we had is only good if you do something with it. Our wasteful attacking play meant we didn't deserve to go through and Alloa rightly progressed. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thanks guys. A hugely disappointing result for Inverness and with a local derby coming up this weekend, no time to dwell on this result. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Venue: Recreation Park, Alloa, Date 09th August 2016, kick off 19:30 Alloa Athletic - 1 (Jason Marr 28) Starting Xl: Parry, Taggart, Waters, Graham, Marr, Goodwin, Longworth (Cawley 46) Robertson, Spence (Layne 81), Kirkpatrick (Holmes 76), Flannigan. Subs: McDowall, Wilson, Hoggan, Hetherington, Holmes, Layne, Cawley. Inverness CT - 0 Starting XI: Fon Williams; Raven, McNaughton, Warren, Tremarco, Tansey, Polworth (Doran 74), King, Vigurs, Mulraney (Draper 46), Boden (Fisher 60), Subs: Mackay, Horner, Brown, Draper, Doran, Sutherland, Fisher. Referee: Don Robertson Crowd: 613
  7. League Cup Action at Alloa Inverness visit Recreation Park Alloa on Tuesday night, or to be more correct, the Indodrill Stadium in the knock out stages of the Betfred League Cup for a 19:30 kick off. Close We booked our place in this first knock out round after topping our group despite losing a penalty shoot-out in our second game against relegated Dundee United. A narrow win over Cowdenbeath in our opening game was followed by the United draw and an unexpected 5-1 win at Dunfermline before we routed Arbroath 7-0 in our final group game. The late flurry of goals gave us great expectations for our opening League game last weekend against Partick Thistle, but it proved to be a false dawn for Richie Foran as we slumped badly to a 2-0 defeat at Firhill. Nothing new there then! Alloa have been the surprise qualifiers from group D where the current League Cup holders Ross County were expected to progress. However, the Wasps had other ideas and won all of their fixtures including a tremendous 3-2 win over County and a wonderful away result at Raith Rovers, winning 1-0. They then carried this form into their League One opener against Peterhead and last seasons relegated team from the Championship trounced the Blue Toon 4-0, a result that will not have gone unnoticed by Richie Foran. We have played Alloa in the League Cup before, and that ended with a resounding 6-1 win for Inverness in season 2005/2006, our last meeting with the Wasps. Overall we have a relatively good set of positive results over the Clackmannan side with thirteen wins against four, and nine drawn games. Alloa warmed up for this game by thumping Peterhead 4-0. Jordan Kirkpatrick scored two spectacular goals with Kevin Cawley and Isaac Layne getting one apiece. They have also fired home ten goals in their four League Cup games so far. Jack Ross has recruited well and they have added a bit of toughness in defence with experienced thug Jim Goodwin signing on and he has Culum Waters from Celtic alongside him. Midfielder Jordan Kirkpatrick looks to be an excellent signing with an eye for goal. We expected more from our squad at Partick, but it was the same old as we went down rather tamely by 2-0. Many fans wondering why last seasons top player Ross Draper was benched. We were also guilty of not providing much for striker Scott Boden to feed off and Alan Archibald had obviously done his homework as the much heralded Jake Mulraney was marked out of the game and rendered ineffective. It's early days in Richie Foran's managerial career and he acknowledges that this performance was not good enough. What will he do to change it though? We were comfortable in the group stages against lower league opposition, but as soon as we stepped up a level, our frailties were exposed. Aaron Doran is still to get back on the park although he appeared on the bench against Partick, but Josh Meekings has not featured at all. This will be no walk in the park and Alloa's confidence will be sky high, whereas we got a sharp reality check at Firhill. We will need to be at our best to get the job done and should have the know how to do it, but our lack of attacking threat was evident despite the raft of goals in the group stages. This could go into overtime, and that's maybe where our fitness should help us get the job done, but the wasps are buzzing just now. Close encounter with Inverness edging it.