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  1. Blue Brazil no match for the Black & Golds. Inverness played a midweek Betfred League Cup tie at Central Park and after falling behind to a superb strike from Jordyn Sheerin they went in at the break 3-1 ahead. Tom Walsh scored a brilliant double and Aaron Doran stabbed home a third right on half time. After the break it was goals galore with George Oakley, Aaron Doran and Jordyn Sheerin rounding off the scoring. John Robertson shuffled the pack a little with George Oakley and Charlie Trafford dropping to the bench. In came Tom Walsh who was scoring for fun in pre-season and Jordan White with new signing Sean Welsh on the bench alongside Zak Elbouzedi, Riccardo Calder and Jamie McCart. Cowdenbeath were relishing this challenge just three days after beating Raith Rovers with striker Jordyn Sheerin the dangerman leading the line and former County midfielder Martin Scott in the ranks. Inverness kicked off in their snazzy new away strip and Nathan Austin was first to threaten in the third minute from a Brad McKay pass but David McGurn in the Cowdenbeath goal blocked his effort. First stab for the hosts saw David Cox snatch at a long range shot but it went well over and soon after Jordan White saw a header tipped over by McGurn. Captain Carl made a hash of a pass in defence and the hosts should have taken the lead but Cox thumped the ball over the bar from almost underneath it after Sheerin teed him up. What a let off. Inverness never heeded that warning and a few minutes later Sheerin blasted a ball into the top corner from around 20 yards to open the scoring in the 24th minute. Welcome to Central Park! Inverness looked for an early reply but Liam Polworth's shot was straight at the keeper and after half an hour the visitors were making heavy weather of it until Tom Walsh latched onto a White knock down on the edge of the box and smashed the ball home. Great goal in his first start for the club after 34 minutes. Tom Walsh turned this game on it's head with a second goal in the 41st minute after he dribbled his way into the box to slot home a superb solo effort off the post. Just on the break Aaron Doran stole in to meet a header from White and scored a third Inverness goal with the defenders claiming for hand ball. What an incredible end to a half that looked flat for the visitors for half an hour. Half Time 1-3 Cowdenbeath tried to get back into the game and Robbie Buchanan had a shot deflected over before Tremarco stopped Sheerin from racing through on goal, but at the other end a big shout for a penalty as Doran is brought down by Mullen. Just before the hour Doran went through on goal but his shot was half stopped by McGurn before being hooked off the line by Miller and moments later Doran put Austin through but he fluffed his lines and that was enough for Robbo as Austin was replaced by George Oakley with about 25 minutes left. Walsh came close to his third goal but his shot went just wide of the mark. Moments later Oakley scored the fourth after he lashed home a loose ball from keeper McGurn who had stopped a White effort. The Caley Jags went nap when Doran scored his second goal of the night as he diverted a Charlie Trafford shot into the net four minutes after the Canadian came on as a sub. Raining goals now and Sheerin grabbed his second in the 81st minute after being sent clear. It could have been more but Tremarco made a frantic headed clearance on the line to deny Buchanan. Full Time 2-5 After a shaky start Inverness came good and Tom Walsh scored a couple of crackers to get us on our way. He seems to be a baller with an eye for goal. Bit of a goalfest in the end but after going ahead Inverness were always on top. Good entertainment for the 373 fans and Mantis. Rig was a touch subdued but nonetheless overall happy enough to witness the win after a sluggish start. 'A strangely unconvincing 5 - 2 win. We were slow out the blocks and took a long time to settle. The surface was poor which could be an excuse for some of the misplaced passes but some of the players still look like they need to blow the cobwebs away as there was some sloppy passages of play and a few defensive errors that fortunately weren't punished. 'The scoreline looks good but it wasn't a great performance by any means. That said, Walsh looked impressive particularly when he appeared through the middle but too often he was stuck wide right. Austin had a very quiet game, very little came off for him so it wasn't much of a shock when he was subbed. Donaldson and Tremarco looked solid enough at the back but Mckay struggled under pressure and Rooney regressed as the game went on. See all seven goals here............... If you are wondering what Tom Walsh looks like, here he is talking at a pre-season interview, right in front of the talented Sophie Robb's massive artwork......... More Updates to follow Date: 17/07/2018 Venue: Central Park, Cowdenbeath Attendance: 374 Referee: John McKendrick Cowdenbeath: 2 Lineup: McGurn, Mullen, Talbot, Pyper, Marsh, Malcolm (Scullion 86), Cox, Buchanan, Sheerin, Scott (Miller 56), Smith (Muirhead 74). Subs (not used): Goodfellow, Fotheringham, Swann. Scorers: Sheerin (24, 81) Booked: Marsh (85) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 5 Lineup: Ridgers, Rooney, Tremarco, Chalmers, Donaldson, Polworth, Austin (Oakley 67), Doran, Walsh, White (Trafford 74), McKay. Subs (not used): Hoban, McCart, Welsh, Calder, Elbouzedi. Scorers: Walsh (34, 41) Doran (45, 80) Oakley (73) Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  2. Pipped at the Post Inverness just failed to get into the play-offs despite beating Morton 3-0 at Cappielow. A brace by top scorer George Oakley and another by Nathan Austin won the points but as expected, Dunfermline thumped Dumbarton to take the final spot. Prior to kick-off we needed a massive helping hand from Dumbarton who we required to beat Dunfermline. That seemed unlikely, but we had to go about our business in the hope that miracles do happen. For Morton, Darren Hynes won his first start with midfielder Ben Eardley getting a place on the bench. John Baird was unavailable due to parent club ruling. Gary Harkins captained the side today with Thomas O'Ware out. Scott Tiffoney and Jack Iredale also miss out. Inverness were without the injured Gary Warren with Iain Vigurs taking the captains armband. Aaron Doran missed out altogether and Nathan Austin started. Before kick off, the news that Dumbarton were fielding a less than first XI meant that our task was doomed before we started. The game kicked off at Cappielow and more ominous news coming from East End Park via twitter: 11sec Pars have kicked off towards the away stand and Clark has the first shot of the match but it's wide left of goal........... It got worse when the Sons were reduced to ten men and Dunfermline opened the scoring. However, undaunted we went about our business and Oakley scored twice in the first half................. Just over 1500 were at Cappielow to enjoy the game. The away fans would enjoy it better. No doubt the home fans were a bit subdued with news that Chairman of 17 years, Douglas Rae OBE will be standing down after this game. His son Crawford will take over. Inverness were first up to try their hand with a Joe Chalmers free kick quickly followed by a Liam Polworth shot from distance, both attempts missing the target. The visitors were enjoying the lions share of play and after eighteen minutes Iain Vigurs hit the bar from close range. Nathan Austin and Carl Tremarco were next to have a go without scoring but in the twentieth minute George Oakley did just that. He opened the scoring after a Polworth corner found him unmarked and George knocked in his eleventh goal of the season. Five minutes later and he could have added a second when he met a Chalmers cross but he headed over. A warning from Morton a couple of minutes later as Gary Fraser is set up on the edge of the box by Oliver but his shot goes just wide. However, Inverness' overall dominance would pay off and Oakley bagged another eight minutes before the break after being played in on the right and he squeezed his shot behind Brennan in goal from a tight angle. Inverness cruising, but unfortunately so were Dunfermline. A couple of minutes before the break and Vigurs hit the bar a second time direct from a free kick. There was still time for Mark Ridgers to get some action, saving a Fraser shot and at the other end Oakley shot over looking for his hat-trick. Half Time 0-2.............. At East End Park it was 3-0 for Dunfermline Ridgers kept his goal intact with a stunning save to deny Gary Harkins from a free kick, managing to get the ball onto the woodwork. The game had opened out now as Morton looked to salvage some pride but it was Inverness that stretched their lead when Nathan Austin scored after gathering his own attempt and knocked home the rebound. Polworth had done the spadework with a lovely chip over the defence to allow Austin the opportunity. Oakley fired over just after the hour as the visitors went looking for more and Tremarco went close with a header that went just wide. Young Player of the Year Coll Donaldson went off injured with fifteen to go with Riccardo Calder replacing him. A late flurry of activity as Morton looked for a consolation but it was at the other end that a goal almost materialised when Polworth shot across the keeper was saved with five minutes left. Substitute Zak Elbouzedi should have added a fourth in the final minutes but he shot wide after being set through by Bell. Full Time 0-3..........Dream Over............Dunfermline win 4-0. So that was it. A tremendous 12 game unbeaten run to end the season which just fails to gain us a play-off place with Dunfermline pipping us. How important was that 95th minute goal by Nicky Clark last week. Absolute sickener if you ask me. We were men on a mission and almost pulled off the impossible. Well done to the squad and management for keeping the season going to the final game (for us). Player of the Year Iain Vigurs was a standout George Oakley said it all in this tweet: Great result today winning 3-0 and happy to score 2, so unlucky not to make the play offs! But the lads have been excellent 12 games unbeaten and the fans have been superb all year stuck behind us till the end. Happy to be top goal scorer this year! Next years the one! Caley Stan summed up the feelings of the fans: Robbo and the players deserved a show of appreciation for the effort and that's what we gave them. No celebrations, just a big loud display of support. I know Morton weren't really playing, but we were just brimming with confidence throughout the team, pounding them for the first half hour and playing some great football at times. Seedorf, Chalmers, Oakley, Trafford and McKay are all players i've had my doubts about at times this season, but they all had excellent games which tells us how well the team is working as a unit. This run might not have seen us into the play-offs, but it allows us to go into next season with a positive feeling, something that seemed unimaginable just 5 weeks ago. Video footage will be added if/when it becomes available. As they say on Looney Tunes, that's all folks! Date: 28/04/2018 Venue: Cappielow, Greenock Attendance: 1539 Referee: John Beaton Morton: 0 Lineup: Brennan; Doyle, Hynes, Lamie, Russell, Fraser (Ross 69), Murdoch (Langan 69), Harkins, Thomson, McHugh (Eardley 81), Oliver. Subs (not used): Purdue, Gaston Scorers: none Booked: Harkins (7), Murdoch (29) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: Ridgers; Seedorf, Mckay, Donaldson (Calder 74), Tremarco, Polworth, Trafford (Elbouzedi 83), Vigurs, Chalmers, Austin (Bell 62), Oakley Subs (not used): Esson; Mackay, Brown, Mulraney. Scorers: Oakley (20, 37) Austin (55) Booked: Trafford Sent Off: none a
  3. All down to the final game Despite beating Livingston 0-1, Inverness have left themselves too much to do on the final day of the season and will be in the Championship for another year........ unless miracles do happen and Dumbarton beat Dunfermline. Robbo made one change from the side that agonisingly drew with Dunfermline at the weekend. Nathan Austin made his way to the bench with Connor Bell starting. Iain Vigurs sat out the second of his two game suspension, no doubt pleased that he has scooped the CTO Player of the year award as well as Players Player and Fans Player award. Having secured second place in the Championship, David Hopkin rested one or two players with play-off games getting close. Neil Alexander, Craig Halkett, Nicky Cadden and Scott Pittman were all on the bench. Plenty of posturing in the opening few minutes and a couple of free kicks for the visitors but nothing doing. Early opportunity for the Caley Jags but Maley parried Polworth's free kick and grabbed the loose ball from Tremarco. Frizzell forced Ridgers to save with his feet as Livi ventured forth and Robinson went close shortly after. From a corner, Tremarco cleared a goalbound effort and at the other end a Polworth effort was deflected just over. Livi were racking up the corner count and Buchanan went close with a powerful header just over as the hosts set the pace. Near the interval Mullin picked up the ball in the box and snapped a volley just wide, however we made it to the oranges without conceding, but playing second fiddle for most of the half. As it stands at the break, the play-offs are beyond Inverness. It looks as though Robbo will need to introduce a bit of width for the second half as the narrow approach was just not working. Half Time 0-0 There must have been something good in the oranges. Less than one minute after the break a Tremarco cross came loose off Oakley and Polly drilled the ball low and hard into the net to open the scoring from twenty five yards. Superb strike from Polly. His next effort a couple of minutes later was less flattering. New balls please. Jordan Thompson tried to replicate Liam Polworth's strike but missed the target. McMillan did likewise soon after. Livi made their first change with Cadden replacing Mullin. Inverness reacted by bringing on Hearts target Jake Mulraney with Aaron Doran going off on the hour mark. Polworth broke forward and his cut back found Chalmers but his low shot was gathered by Maley in the Livi goal. Polly becoming more prominent and he combined with Bell but his close range effort went over. Livi made a double change with McMillan and Frizzell being replaced by Halkett and Miller as they tried to get back on level terms, but it was Oakley that went close for the visitors, his shot deflected behind for a corner with around twenty minutes left. Ridgers did well to deny Ryan Hardie and from the corner, Declan Gallagher almost netted an equaliser. Polworth blazed a thirty yard free kick wide and at the opposite end Craig Halkett fluffed his lines and shot wide. Livi were cranking up the pressure in the final ten minutes looking to preserve their eight game unbeaten home run, De Vita looking the likeliest to make the breakthrough. A Cadden corner was headed wide by Halkett as the clock ticked slowly towards the end, and we all know what happened at the weekend. Oakley broke the home possession but his powerful shot was palmed away by Maley, and with five minutes left Zak Elbouzedi came on for Connor Bell. Coll Donaldson took a knock in the last couple of minutes but Inverness held on to take the points and extend the season to the final game against Morton. Full Time 0-1 So, it all boils down to the last scheduled day of the season after we beat Livingston to set up the play off qualifier against Morton. Unfortunately, after their late equaliser against us last weekend, Dunfermline can get the job done by taking a point from the visit of Dumbarton as we would need to score something like eight or nine goals to replace them in the play-offs. Great result for Inverness who have given everything over the last hectic month and what a strike from Polworth to win the points. Catch the action here.................... Date: 24/04/2018 Venue: Tony Macaroni Arena, Livingston Attendance: 740 Referee: Colin Steven Livingston: 0 Lineup: Maley; Longridge, Buchanan, Gallagher, McMillan (Miller 71), Frizzell (Halkett 71), Mullin (Cadden 58), De-Vita, Thompson, Robinson, Hardie Subs (not used): Alexander; Jacobs, Pittman, Byrne. Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Seedorf, Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco, Polworth, Trafford, Chalmers, Doran (Mulraney 60), Bell (Elbouzedi 86), Oakley Subs (not used): Esson; Calder, Austin, Mackay, Brown Scorers: Polworth (46) Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  4. Last Gasp Agony Inverness now require a miracle of biblical proportions to make the play-off after a 95th minute goal snatched our destiny from our own hands in a pulsating match against the Pars. It was always going to be a big ask to win our remaining eight games, but we looked to be getting down to the last two until the stoppage time equaliser ruined the day. Nicky Clark did the dastardly deed with almost the last touch of the ball heading home a set piece to spoil our weekend. The Pars had gone ahead after some slack play at the back, Andy Ryan scoring. However, Joe Chalmers found the bottom corner of the goal with a super free kick and when Nathan Austin surged forward to thunder the ball into the net it was looking good until the last few seconds when a draw was snatched from the jaws of victory. Influential playmaker and the voters & players player of the year Iain Vigurs was suspended and in came Charlie Trafford to the midfield. Gary Warren missed out through injury and Collin Seedorf slotted in at right back with Brad Mckay moving alongside Coll Donaldson at the heart of the defence. Carl Tremarco replaces Riccardo Calder in a straight swap at left back. Dunfermline had on form Fraser Aird keeping Jo Cardle on the bench and former Inverness Cup hero James Vincent starting. Nat Wedderburn was also on the bench. A big travelling support boosted the crowd to near three and a half thousand on a bright Saturday afternoon, no chance of this game being called off. The Pars showed they were going to be difficult to beat in the early exchanges as they moved the ball around swiftly but it was Aaron Doran that got the first shot away, saved comfortably by Lee Robinson in the Pars goal. George Oakley tried his luck with a header that missed the target. Dunfermline made the breakthrough after some slack defending on the right side of our defence. Andy Ryan benefitting and beating Ridgers to open the scoring. Kallum Hegginbotham felt the need to hammer the ball into the North Stand in a peculiar sort of celebration and was promptly booked. Brad Mckay had a shot saved by Robinson as we looked to get back on level terms and we did just that a couple of minutes later when Joe Chalmers curled a free kick round the bottom of the wall into the vacant space beside the near post. Great strike and another that was in as soon as it left his laces. Dunfermline are a class act though and continued to play football as did Inverness and the game was moving swiftly from end to end in a great advert for the Championship. Fraser Aird brought out a fine save from Mark Ridgers with both sides probing for an opening and near the interval Nathan Austin broke down the left, cutting into the box but shot from a tight angle when a ball across the box might have been more beneficial. Half Time 1-1 The hosts exploded out of the blocks at the start of the second half and Liam Polworth and George Oakley both went close. We would do even better a minute later. Nathan Austin tussled for a ball around the half way line. He held the troublesome defender at bay for thirty yards and as he entered the box he landed a thumper of a shot which blurred behind the keeper for an absolutely superb goal. Inverness were in total control at this point and looked most likely to extend their lead with Seedorf and Donaldson going close to doing just that. A bit of a delay as a clash of heads saw Oakley being bandaged like Butcher and a Pars player also receiving attention. That would prove costly later. Substitute Jo Cardle went close for the visitors around twenty minutes from the end as Dunfermline got their second wind. Another substitute, Daniel Mackay could have sealed it for Inverness after great work by Aaron Doran down the left. He cut into the box and rolled the ball across to the other side where young Dan had made great strides to get into the box. Unfortunately his first time strike whistled just past the outside of the post. We would pay for that miss deep into injury time when Dunfermline won a simple free kick some forty yards from goal. Cardle swung a dangerous ball into the box and Nicky Clark silenced the home fans and sent the away fans delirious with a header that found it's way into the net for that all important leveller. Full Time 2-2 There was barely time to kick off and that was that. The dream almost done and dusted unless Dumbarton could do us a massive favour by beating the Pars next Saturday. It could all be irrelevant should we fail to win our last two games anyway, starting with Livingston on Tuesday night and ending at Greenock on Saturday. It had been a pulsating game with plenty of slick football from both sides. Inverness probably should have seen this one out having got their noses in front, but credit to the Pars for hanging in there. I suppose nobody could really complain about the final result but it was a hard one to take. Difficult to pick a clear MotM, but Nathan Austin got my vote for that goal alone. What a strike, showing pace, power, skill and determination. He was ably assisted by Liam Polworth, the tireless George Oakley and Aaron Doran who had the beating of the defence and was a threat whenever he went forward. Young Player of the Year Coll Donaldson put in another good shift at the heart of the defence and he would have been my pick for Player of the Year. It's not over until the fat lady sings, but she's on the final verse now. All we can do is beat Livingston and see what happens next Saturday. Unfortunately I fear the worst, but it has been a great comeback to the season after a horrendous start. Brad Mckay agrees with that, and here is his tweet: Agony that, boys have been unbelievable in the last 2 months. Unbeaten in 10 games, bad start to the season cost us dearly in the end. We keep going last two games and see what’s what. Coll Donaldson was just as gutted............ Such a disappointing end to a fantastic run! Means a lot for the team mates to vote me in as this though. Small consolation on a day like today but already looking forward to what we can achieve next year. Match highlights from Caley Jags TV Here's the goal that ruined our weekend................................ Alan Johnston talks after the game Cup Final hero from 2015 James Vincent has his say................ Date: 21/04/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 3316 Referee: Stephen Finnie Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Seedorf, B Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco, Doran (Calder 90), Polworth, Trafford, Chalmers, Austin (D Mackay 60), Oakley Subs (not used): Esson; Mulraney, Bell, Elbouzedi Brown. Scorers: Chalmers (16), Austin (48) Booked: B Mckay (32), Trafford (90), Polworth (90+2) Sent Off: none Dunfermline: 2 Lineup: Robinson; Williamson, Martin, M'Voto, Ashcroft, Higginbotham (McManus 66), Clark, Ryan, Aird (Cardle 60), Vincent, Craigan (Morris 90). Subs (not used): Gill; Wedderburn, Armstrong, Talbot, Scorers: Ryan (13), Clark (90+5) Booked: Higginbotham (13), Williamson (45) Sent Off: none a
  5. Mission Accomplished A tremendous effort from Inverness as they won their fifth game in a row to put pressure on Dunfermline ahead of the game on Saturday, where a bumper crowd will be expected to see if Inverness can keep the dream alive. Iain Vigurs scored the only goal of the game to take all three points North. He will be a big miss over the next couple of games as bookings catch up with him Dumbarton forked off the water and it was game on at the Your Radio 103FM Stadium, or to put it another way, The Rock. Tuesday nights game was put on hold for another day as surface water led to the game being postponed for 24 hours. Coll Donaldson returned to the starting XI after suspension with Collin Seedorf dropping to the bench alongside Carl Tremarco, Charlie Trafford and Jake Mulraney. Stevie Aitken reinstated Dimitris Froxylias from the bench............... Riccardo Calder had to make a timely tackle to thwart Mark Stewart as he raced through on goal in the early exchanges and at the other end Iain Vigurs played in hat-trick hero Nathan Austin who saw his effort saved by Gallacher. Minutes later Calder found Vigurs in the box but he shot over. Tom Walsh blew a good chance for the Sons with a header but he put it just wide. Bright start by both sides and Dumbarton looked more intent than they were at the weekend taking the game to the visitors at every opportunity in the first quarter. Gary Warren had to be replaced midway through the first half after going down off the ball and Collin Seedorf entered the fray. Just after the half hour Vigurs went close after being set up in the box by George Oakley but the score remained blank. Polworth took out Dougie Hill as he blocked a shot from the Inverness man. Ouch! Seedorf did likewise at the other end as Stewart threatened to offload. Despite Inverness ramping up the pressure on the home goal, few clear chances were created and it's all square at the break. As expected, this was a much tougher experience than the rout at Inverness. Half Time 0-0 Aaron Doran had the first chance of the second half after Polworth fed him but he shot over the bar. Iain Vigurs broke the deadlock after Gallacher failed to deal effectively with a Calder cross and the midfielder slashed the ball low into the net from the edge of the box ten minutes after the break. Calder fired over soon after and Doran saw the keeper gather his attempt as the visitors looked to get some breathing space. Dumbarton had to exchange keeper Gallacher after he appeared to go over his ankle and he was replaced by Jamie Ewings with sixty-seven minutes gone. Inverness took the opportunity to swap Doran for Carl Tremarco at the same time. Inverness won a spate of corners to no avail. Connor Bell replaced Nathan Austin and Ewings saved a twenty yard effort from Polworth as the game entered time added on. Donaldson saw an effort blocked out for a corner but at the other end Brad Mckay had to look lively to stop Dumbarton bursting through. Inverness got what they wanted though and the game ended with the visitors taking all three points North. Full Time 0-1 It might have been more comfortable for the guys on the park, but it was certainly much tighter than the game in the Highlands. A single goal lead is never easy to manage and the balance between looking for a cushion or shutting up shop is a fine one. We did just that and could easily have extended our lead but it was imperative that we kept Dumbarton out at the other end. Mission accomplished and the game on Saturday is now a massive one. Three wins to get into the play-offs, who would have thought. Comedy genius was provided by the stewards who felt the need to make Gary Warren drink out of a cup instead of a bottle. Gary had come to sit in the stand to watch the second half after going off injured. However, he got a telling off from the steward for having a bottle of water and has been required to put it in a plastic cup. Tut tut Gary, you really should have known better. Always a bother with water at Dumbarton. Robbo talks after the narrow win at Dumbarton Date: 18/04/2018 Venue: Your Radio 103FM Dumbarton Attendance: 0392 Referee: Don Robertson Dumbarton: 0 Lineup: Gallacher; (Ewings 67), McLaughlin (Hutton 74), Dowie, G Gallagher, Carswell, Stewart, (Gallagher 62), Walsh, Hill, Froxylias, Burt, Barr. Subs (not used): D Wilson, Handling, Nisbet, Stirling. Scorers: none Booked: Hill (47), Hutton (76) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Mckay, Warren (Seedorf 25), Donaldson, Calder, Chalmers, Vigurs, Polworth, Doran (Tremarco 67), Austin (Bell 88), Oakley. Subs (not used): Esson, Mulraney, Elbouzedi, Trafford. Scorers: Vigurs (56) Booked: Mckay (57), Donaldson (87) Sent Off: none a
  6. Austin Hat-Trick Inverness went goal crazy against a Dumbarton side they failed to trouble for ninety three minutes in the IrnBru Cup Final a couple of weeks ago. This time we showed no mercy and but for some wayward finishing could have scored more, but we can't be vexed at five surely. Dumbarton, to their credit came to play, unlike the final where they did their best to stop us playing. However, after opening the scoring through Grant Gallagher in the 13th minute, Inverness stepped up the pace and blew the Sons away scoring five going on eight. Aaron Doran replied four minutes later with a superb long range effort flying high into the unguarded area of the net. Four minutes before the break Nathan Austin scored his first of three. Five minutes after the break he added his second and Dumbarton heads went down. The influential Iain Vigurs added a fourth before Austin grabbed the match ball finishing off after a Liam Polworth burst into the box. Look what Fash took home with him after the game. John Robertson was forced into making three changes from the last game with Charlie Trafford, Coll Donaldson and Carl IrnBru Tremarco all suspended. In came Riccardo Calder, Collin Seedorf and Aaron Doran with Brad Mckay and Gary Warren taking up the slack in central defence. Dumbarton did their best to field a team of Gallagher's, three of them starting with the talismanic Froxylias on the bench. We fell behind when Calder dived into a tackle wide right but Andrew Stirling was always first to the ball and he skipped round the mis-timed tackle to cut a dangerous ball into the box where Grant Gallagher smashed it high behind a helpless Mark Ridgers. Excellent goal for the Sons, but all it did was wake up Inverness. Four minutes later and Doran crashed a swerving shot from all of thirty yards high into the net. What a strike from the wee man, goal as soon as it left his boot. Polworth almost matched it soon after as the ball sat up but his volley just dipped wide of the mark. His next contribution proved more fruitful as he lifted a ball wide to Doran who saw the run of Austin to the near post. He picked him out effortlessly and Nathan stepped round the keeper to tap in for an excellent finish to a tidy move. Half Time 2-1 Polly's next moment was less productive. After he broke down a clearance from defence, Polworth danced across the box delaying the finish a couple of times before cutting the ball cutely back across the keeper. Unfortunately he cut it back wide of the post as well when it looked easier to score. Gives the boo boys something to moan about I suppose. Great effort from Liam though. His assist rate is second to none though and after bursting into the box he chipped the ball goalwards where Austin was on hand to finish the task. Iain Vigurs showed his midfield companion how to cut the ball behind the keeper in a tight spot from close range as he did just that, Polworth again involved in the goal Austin grabbed his hat-trick after some neat play down the left, the striker guiding a low cross into the net after Calder drove forward, another good team goal finished by a player on song. Connor Bell had a couple of efforts late in the game which could have produced more after the tireless George Oakley did the spade work, but his wee leggies would not get him to the ball soon enough and when Mulraney met the loose ball Gallagher parried away his shot. Full Time 5-1 Biggest win for some time in a league game, probably since scoring six at Kilmarnock in 2011 (double hat-tricks that day from A Shinnie and Tade). First league hat-trick for a long time too, Billy Mckay bagging one against Motherwell in 2013. The statisticians will no doubt have more but it's good to get a couple of monkeys of the back on the same day. Great performance from Nathan Austin who is my MotM, but some unselfish work by others allowing him to flourish in front of goal. Notable grafters were Liam Polworth, Iain Vigurs, George Oakley and Aaron Doran who scored a beaut. All to do again on Tuesday night at Dumbarton where I doubt the home defence will be so generous. Ooooops, nearly forgot, congratulations to St Mirren who are on their way into the Premiership after clinching the title with a draw against Livingston who have secured their play-off place as well. Congrats all round and we hope to join you there. Here's the action from the game............ Johndo made the game and here are the marks from our Chorley scribe with his infamous Smileymometer..... Ridgers πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€ Must have appreciated the rest. No chance with the goal which was a screamer Seedorf πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€ some nice touches, especially one showboat that Clarence would have been proud of. But a right back or wing back he is not. And I suspect that his attacking capability is stifled. Warren πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€Solid but he is no playmaker McKay πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€ Again solid but again not a playmaker and clear why we missed Donaldson. Fortunately Gary and Brad usually had Polly or Vigurs in space. Calder πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€ Not a defender either and dived in completely in the run up to the Sons opener. Unlike Seedorf he has attacking flair and was always ready to take on the defender and hit the line in an old winger style that I still appreciated Polworth πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€ Gawd does that poor lad get some stick or what ? He ran and ran and ran, some of his touches were sublime. He has got bad press for two second half errors. From my perspective if he had completed the final touch on both occasions it would have been a goal of the season contender and he would have walked off with the MOM. Chalmers πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€ The man with the sweet left foot also appears to be the boo boys target. He basically sat and covered for Vigurs and Polly.I would have said that he was quietly effective. Vigurs πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€ Provided a master class for an hour, pinging balls accurately all over the pitch. I thought he could have been carded for one horrendous follow through tackle in the first half and he clearly tired at the end Doran πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€ Has lost a bit of pace but he is another with a high skill ability. Cracker of a goal. Oakley πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€ I thought he had a lazy, lacklustre first half but a real old centre forward second half display. Appears to Be the boo boys favourite as he made more errors than Polly. But he would have been in my top three Austin πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€ Well we have been asking for a goal scorer and he certainly fitted the role. Good turn of pace of the mark and good finisher to boot. I was surprised the he was hooked but I was told that it was a mistake and it was supposed to be Seedorf. Amateurish if correct. As DD alluded to Elbouzedhi looked sharp and I would like to see more. Disappointed that Robbo sent on Bell and not young McKay. Some of the refereeing decisions were bizarre. Good crowd and the Young Team were a credit. My first home game of the season and I can't understand what everybody has been complaining about πŸ˜› Date: 14/04/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2355 Referee: Gavin duncan Inverness CT: 5 Lineup: Ridgers; Seedorf, B Mckay, Warren, Calder, Doran (Elbouzedi 64), Polworth, Vigurs (Mulraney 71), Chalmers, Oakley, Austin (Bell 69). Subs (not used): Esson, D Mackay, Brown, Harper Scorers: Doran (17), Austin (41, 50, 66), Vigurs (63) Booked: B Mckay (22) Sent Off: none Dumbarton: 1 Lineup: Gallagher; Gallagher (Hill 75), Barr, Dowie, McGlaughlin, Nisbet, Wilson (Burt 58) , Hutton, Stirling, Handling, Gallagher (Stewart 67) Subs (not used): Walsh, Ewings, Froxylias. Scorers: G Gallagher (13) Booked: Barr (62), Stewart (76), Hutton (90) Sent Off: none a
  7. Jake makes amends. Inverness kept their faint play-off hopes alive with a late winner from substitute Jake Mulraney. Sweet moment for Jake who had been red-carded in the away fixture at Falkirk earlier in the season which led to Inverness being turned over by the Bairns. This was another must win game for Inverness and after a dour first half they battled hard to get the points in a tough contest with Falkirk. John Robertson went pretty much with the same starting XI that did so well at Palmerston at the weekend. That meant another start for Nathan Austin who would feature against former club Falkirk. The Bairns were without Andrew Nelson and Peter Grant and that saw Tom Taiwo and Paul Watson start with Grant on the bench along with Alex Harris. It had been a pretty miserable day in the Highlands and the evening was no different as the sides took to the park with just over 2000 in attendance. Inverness were on a healthy run and looking to keep the pressure on the teams above them in the race for a play-off place. Falkirk had been seven Championship games unbeaten but lost at the weekend to big rivals Dunfermline. The game kicked off in damp conditions with Inverness playing in the unaccustomed direction of the North Stand for the first forty-five and Iain Vigurs tested his rangefinder with a shot that went wide. Some adjustment needed by the looks of it. Charlie Trafford gave away a free kick in a dangerous position but Mark Ridgers was equal to the shot by Sean Welsh and as the game opened up, Liam Polworth fed Nathan Austin but he volleyed wide. With Inverness keeping the pressure on the Falkirk defence, there were no takers for an excellent Brad Mckay cross to the far post but the defenders got it clear. Polworth fired over a corner and Gary Warren saw his header deflected for another. Mckay's header came back off the bar and Austin saw his effort cleared off the line as the hosts looked for the opener. The game became a bit towsy and bogged down in midfield with a number of petty fouls, neither side able to create the clear opening they were hoping for, but, if anything, the visitors were beginning to get to grips with the pace of the game and Welsh headed wide just after the half hour. Just on the break Polworth was denied by a great block by Watson but in all honesty it was a fairly innocuous opening half with defences rarely tested. Half Time 0-0 The first dangerous moment of the second period saw a Paul Watson header cleared off the line and at the other end just when it looked as though it was opening up for Polworth, he saw his effort blocked en-route to goal. Another Falkirk header from Watson cleared away from goal, this time it's Tremarco doing the mopping up. Ridgers holds an effort from Longridge as Falkirk up the pace. As in the first half, a bit of stalemate and a spate of substitutions by both sides as they tried to break the defensive shackles. Hazard managed to thwart Mulraney and his clearance fell to Mckay, but his effort was cleared by Muirhead. Oakley thought he had opened the scoring but he was ruled offside, however moments later substitute Jake Mulraney scored from inside the box after cutting in and firing low behind Hazard with ten minutes remaining. Sweet revenge for Jake who red misted in the away game. In the final minute, Mark Ridgers made a vital one handed save to deny Jordan McGhee with Peter Grant firing over. Inverness held on to take all three points in a really close encounter, but the all important three points stay in Inverness and the run continues. Full Time 1-0 Another vital win for Inverness which keeps us on track, just, for a shot at the play-offs. With Dumbarton losing a late goal to Morton, we now only need to concentrate on the top end of the Championship. Tonight's win was vital as both Morton and Dundee United picked up full points. We now have a double header coming up against Dumbarton and the possibility of six points that would bring us right back into the mix is making for in interesting finale to the season. All the action.............. Robbo delighted to take all three points Hartley miffed........... Date: 10/04/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2053 Referee: Nick Walsh Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Warren Donaldson, Tremarco, Polworth, Trafford (Mulraney 69), Vigurs, Chalmers, Oakley, Austin (Doran 69). Subs (not used): Esson; Seedorf, Calder, Bell, D Mackay. Scorers: Mulraney (81) Booked: Oakley (50) Sent Off: none Falkirk: 0 Lineup: Hazard; McGhee, Muirhead, Tumilty (O'Hara 89), Watson, Sibbald, Robson (Grant 73), Taiwo (Kidd 74), Welsh, Jakubiak, Longridge Subs (not used): Thomson; McKee, Harris, Blair. Scorers: none Booked: Longridge (60) Sent Off: none a
  8. Coll Donaldson, β™¬β™«π„žβ™¬β™«π„ž With a hectic schedule for the Caley Jags, John Robertson made three changes from the side that dumped Brechin City 4-0 on Tuesday night. Riccardo Calder, Collin Seedorf and Connor Bell all dropped to the bench to make way for the relatively fresh legs of Gary Warren, Carl Tremarco and Nathan Austin. Gary Warren fresh legs, who knew? With the games coming one on top of the other, Robbo has little option other than to try and keep energy levels high by rotating his weary players. Coll Donaldson had been a doubt but he was deemed fit enough to start the game. Gary Naysmith was fooling nobody with his smokescreen about Stephen Dobbie missing out and the prolific striker started ahead of Derek Lyle. Dan Carmichael replaced Dom Thomas. A crowd of 1140 saw a great start for the visitors when Coll Donaldson crossed into the box where Nathan Austin chested down, turned his marker and drilled home in the ninth minute, his first goal for Inverness. Just the start we were looking for and a superb goal for Fash to open his account with. Carl Tremarco came to the rescue just after the goal when he headed a Darren Brownlie effort away from goal and as Queens pressed for an equaliser Mark Ridgers saved a Thomson shot from distance. He saved again as a Stephen Dobbie close range header was netbound. Just when you thought a Queens goal was coming, George Oakley doubled the visitors advantage when he glanced home a Liam Polworth cross on the half hour for his tenth goal of the season and he almost got his eleventh five minutes later but his effort was saved. Gary Naysmith took some action at the break and replaced former Inverness man John Rankin with Lyndon Dykes. Five minutes into the second half and Austin had a close range effort saved, and at the other end Brownlie shot wide and Ridgers saved from Dobbie. Inverness were containing the home side well in this half and with twenty minutes to go young Daniel Mackay replaced the tiring Nathan Austin as Dobbie brought Ridgers into action once more with another long range shot, the keeper equal to it though. With 75 minutes gone, Iain Vigurs won a free kick as Aaron Doran replaced midweek scorer Joe Chalmers for the final fifteen minutes and we get an immediate lift as the wee man fires a long range shot just over with news reaching the stands that Dumbarton are doing their best to help out by leading United 3-2. Aww bless. No hard feelings then. Dykes brings Ridgers back into action as he shoots from the angle but the in form keeper deals well with it. Caley Away fans chanted solid for Coll Donaldson, the big stopper has had an immense season since joining from Tannadice, no doubt a reference to his old side stumbling once more as his new found confidence oozed from him. In a relatively quiet second period, Liam Polworth ventured forth and his effort was close but just missed the top corner, Donaldson's name still ringing out and Daniel Mackay went even closer in the final minute. Great result for Inverness which pulls them ever closer to the promised land, but still plenty of work to do. Dumbarton did pull off a result over United and Livi beat Morton, Dunfermline spoiling the day by beating Falkirk though. Still, we did what we had to do and we did it with something to spare. Date: 07/04/2018 Venue: Palmerston Park, Dumfries Attendance: 1140 Referee: Euan Anderson Queen of the South: 0 Lineup: Marshall; Fordyce, Brownlie, Cameron, Rankin (Dykes 45), Dobbie, Thomson, Jacobs (Lyle 73), Todd, Leighfield, Carmichael (Thomas 63) Subs (not used): Todorov, Murray, Mercer, Gourlay Scorers: none Booked: Brownlie (14), Carmichael (29) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; McKay, Donaldson, Warren, Tremarco, Chalmers (Doran 75), Polworth, Vigurs, Trafford, Austin (Mackay 69), Oakley. Subs (not used): Esson, Mulraney, Seedorf, Bell. Scorers: Austin (9), Oakley (30) Booked: Vigurs (34) Sent Off: none a
  9. Stroll for Inverness League whipping boys Brechin City were comfortably beaten by an Inverness side who went about their business and left Brechin winless after 31 league games, a statistic that will see them ply their trade in the next division down next season. Two goals in each half were sufficient to end the contest with Joe Chalmers bagging a brace and Coll Donaldson and George Oakley completing the scoring. A miserable night saw Inverness dominate proceedings and made all the early running. It took until the twelfth minute for Joe Chalmers to benefit from a Liam Polworth ball into the box to tap in the opener. Ten minutes later and Chalmers set up Coll Donaldson to knock in number two. Isaac Layne broke the monopoly and fired a warning shot just wide as Brechin tried to hit back immediately. Liam Polworth had a couple of attempts near the break but no further scoring despite our dominance. Half Time 2-0 Donaldson had a header blocked just after the interval as the game continued in our favour and George Oakley went close with a header of his own. The third goal arrived just before the hour and it was Chalmers who notched his second of the night with a driven left footed shot into the bottom right and that was game over. Eight minutes later the scoring ended when Oakley finished a good move by stroking in Connor Bell's pass. One downside was an injury sustained by Donaldson on the heavy pitch and he was replaced by Gary Warren with twenty-two minutes to go. Fair play to City who had a mini revival and Layne made Ridgers work before half-time substitute Euan Spark fired one just wide. Nathan Austin and Connor Bell both had a couple of close calls and Layne brought out another save from Ridgers, but the result was never in doubt. A comfortable nights work for the home side who possibly could have scored more given our superiority, but credit to Brechin for having a go right to the end. I hope Coll Donaldson was a precautionary substitution as he will be an important player in the final seven games. Good win for Inverness who were best served by two goal Joe Chalmers with Riccardo Calder not far behind. Liam Polworth put in a good shift as well. Date: 03/04/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1963 Referee: Colin Steven Inverness CT: 4 Lineup: Ridgers; Seedorf, B Mckay, Donaldson (Warren 68), Calder, Polworth, Trafford (Austin 67), Vigurs (Doran), Chalmers, Oakley, Bell Subs (not used): Esson, Tremarco, Mulraney, D Mackay. Scorers: Chalmers (12, 58), Donaldson (22), Oakley (66) Booked: none Sent Off: none Brechin City: 0 Lineup: Smith; Smith, McLean, Fusco, Dyer, Tapping (Sinclair 80), Graham, Dale (Lynas 63), Watt (Spark 45), Orsi, Layne. Subs (not used): Morrison, Costello. Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  10. Cold Comfort at Tannadice A perishing cold and breezy March afternoon brought Inverness down to Tannadice to face Dundee United as our season hangs by a solitary thread, the IrnBru Cup thread. Defeat today coupled with an expected Dumbarton win over Brechin will plunge us into dangerous territory with a top four finish highly unlikely. It was pleasing to see that Coll Donaldson and Nathan Austin were deemed fit enough to make the bench along with Jake Mulraney, Riccardo Calder Aaron Doran and Daniel Mackay. Charlie Trafford comes in to midfield with Connor Bell reinstated up front. Brad Mckay partnered Gary Warren at the heart of the defence. United had Paul McMullen, Scott McDonald and William Edjenguele on the bench with midweek goal scorer Matty Smith keeping his place in the starting XI. A crowd of 4772 put their winter woolies on to brave the elements. Connor Bell got the ball rolling and Inverness were first to get into gear in a bright opening spell but it was United that threatened first, Tremarco blocking Mikkelsen. Vigurs put Oakley through on goal at the other end but Harry Lewis denied him. Gary Warren had a header cleared off the line after Lewis misjudged a cross and Oakley had the loose ball blocked behind for a corner which United managed to clear. Good spell for the visitors. Polworth found Oakley inside the box and he had another effort blocked as we kept the pressure on the home defence. Just past the half hour and Inverness got the lift they needed when our talented midfielder Iain Vigurs headed home a Liam Polworth corner and United can have no complaints as Inverness have taken the game to them at every opportunity, a complete reverse of our midweek fail. Vigurs was leading by example and he fired a long effort that keeper Lewis managed to hold. Five minutes before the break and Mark Durnan prevented Connor Bell from knocking in Oakley's cross. Would have been a tap-in for Bell had Durnan not intervened. It had been a good first half for Inverness who were able to exploit space behind the United defence with Iain Vigurs outstanding. Seedorf and Trafford both took heavy knocks in the first half and we will need to see if they will be back out for the second forty-five. Oakley had been wasteful so far, would that come back to haunt us. With the half time challenge going to team ICT by 6-4, the teams were back out for the second half with United replacing Quinn with Macdonald. Lewis saved from Vigurs and Chalmers as the second half got underway, and it was following the same pattern as the first half. Vigurs collected a booking as he halted a United burst forward. How often have we seen this turn into a red card this season. On the hour, United got an equaliser when Mikkelsen on the stretch knocked a ball to the back post back across goal and in from a Jamie Robson cross. Jake Mulraney replaced Charlie Trafford with twenty minutes left and United took Matty Smith off with Paul McMullen coming on as they looked to find a winner. Doran replaced Bell with ten minutes left as Vigurs fired a shot over the bar as we tried to get our noses in front once more. He almost made an immediate impact, bit his goalbound effort was blocked and United forced a corner at the other end as they broke up the park. Mark Ridgers had to look lively to tip shots from McMullan and Flood over and Inverness made their final change with Nathan Austin replacing George Oakley. Austin offered Mulraney a chance but he shot over and that was about it as the game ended a point apiece. RIG thought "we were best serve throughout by Warren, Bell and Tremarco as our standouts. Bell brings a real energy to our attack buzzing all over the place to try and support Oakley whilst Tremarco is much more solid at LB than Calder. If we want to win the Challenge Cup next weekend we will need to up our performance again but I'm not too sure if some of these players have much more to give". Iain Vigurs was prominent in the first half especially and Mark Ridgers continues to impress with a couple of crucial saves near the end. This was a vast improvement from the midweek game at Dunfermline and the stats will show that Inverness had the better of the game without being able to create a two goal cushion that would have gained us all three points. This draw means that Dumbarton have closed the gap at the bottom to just four points behind Inverness, albeit we have a game in hand which is another tough encounter with the Arabs, scheduled for Tuesday 27th of March. Next week is the IrnBru Cup Final at Perth against Dumbarton and the winners of this will gain more than just a cup, it will breed confidence for the battle at the bottom. Date: 17/03/2017 Venue: Tannadice Park, Dundee Attendance: 4772 Referee: Steven Kirkland Dundee United : 1 Lineup: Lewis: Murdoch, Durnan, Scobbie, Robson, Quinn (McDonald 45), Flood, Smith (McMullen 74), Stanton, King, Mikkelsen (Fraser 85) Subs (not used): Mehmet: Edjenguele, Slater, Ralston Scorers: Mikkelsen (64) Booked: Smith (70) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers: Seedorf, B Mckay, Warren, Tremarco, Polworth, Trafford (Mulraney 71), Vigurs, Chalmers, Bell (Doran 78), Oakley (Austin 87) Subs (not used): Esson, Calder, Donaldson, Mackay Scorers: Vigurs (30) Booked: Vigurs (57), Oakley (67) Sent Off: none a Full Time.jpg_large
  11. Defeat leaves Inverness looking over their shoulder. At least we managed to get a kick about after the frustrating list of postponements recently. Unfortunately it ended in another defeat that effectively ends our season with James Craigen scoring an early goal. Midweek at East End Park was not the preferred choice of many, but we went down looking to get our slim play-off hopes back on track. Dunfermline were in the same boat as their season has gone pear shaped as well. They were without a win in their last seven games, since they beat Dumbarton 1-0 on the 6th of January. Nevertheless, 2249 folk turned up to watch this one. Inverness were without influential central defender Coll Donaldson and fragile front man Nathan Austin, both out with hamstring injuries. Brad Mckay was also out..........until Riccardo Calder pulled up. That gave 16 year old Cameron Harper his first start and put Brad onto the bench. Collin Seedorf started at right back and Carl Tremarco partnered Gary Warren in central defence. George Oakley was the front runner with Connor Bell on the bench. The Pars were without top player Jo Cardle but Kallum Higginbotham started. Former Caley Jags man and cup final hero James Vincent was on from the start, but Nat Wedderburn found himself on the bench. Vincent has been on loan from Dundee since the end of January. The game kicked off in total confusion over the Inverness team lines with Cameron Harper starting. Harper's only involvement prior to this game was as an unused sub in the 3-1 defeat at Falkirk in January. Alas, his debut lasted only five minutes as he was substituted with Brad Mckay coming on, but the farce was just beginning as James Craigen fired home a free kick one minute later to open the scoring. Inverness were on the back foot as Dunfermline surged forward and Declan McManus was blocked as the Pars looked to increase their advantage. However Inverness started to creep back into the game and Lee Ashcroft had to look lively on a couple of occasions to repel the visitors. Half an hour gone and the contest had become untidy with petty fouls interrupting the flow of the game and that was the process right up until the interval with nothing of note to report. This game has an end of season feel about it. If it continues like this our season will be over. Half Time 1-0 Polworth started the ball rolling for the second forty-five, and the fans were be looking for a bit more life on the park. After a chanceless first half Doran brought Pars keeper Robinson into action as he gathered the Caley Jags' players shot in the 47th minute. Mark Ridgers denied James Craigen his second goal with an excellent save down low as the game livened up, the keeper pushing the ball out for a corner. Meanwhile, the visiting fans were amusing themselves by cheering for Ryan Esson as he warmed up behind the goal. Jake Mulraney had been woken by something and he ventured deep into the home area but the ball eventually going out. However, there has been more activity in the first ten minutes of the second half than there was in the whole of the first. Robbo had seen enough of Mulraney and Doran and they were replaced by Connor Bell and Zak Elbouzedi with twenty minutes left but it was Nicky Clark that almost scored for the hosts with his cross which was missed by Ridgers but hooked clear by Tremarco. A couple of minutes later Clark fed McManus and he hit the post. Polworth had a shot blocked as Inverness looked to get an unlikely equaliser and Zak Elbouzedi had no takers for his cross into the box as Robbo raged while Clancy ticked him off. Iain Vigurs headed straight at Robinson as we tried to make amends for a dismal first half. Inverness had Ridgers to thank for a couple of tremendous saves from Martin and Higginbotham and Brian Rice had his chips as he was sent to the stand by Clancy. Full Time 1-0 Looks like our season has ended in tatters with defeat at East End Park. We petered out and Dunfermline were well worth the three points and should have won by a greater margin. Our lack of funds is showing in the lack of quality and threadbare squad and it's the IrnBru cup or bust. Dumbarton are now only six points behind Inverness and we should now concentrate on avoiding relegation instead of looking for promotion which was always beyond us after last seasons disaster. RIG had this to say after another disappointing display. A truly shambolic performance from ICT that should really be leaving fans very worried at the prospect of a second successive relegation. With Dumbarton playing Brechin again on Saturday there's a real chance they will be just 3 points behind us. Forget about possible Highland Derbies next season and focus on staying in this league. Even though the score line makes it look like a close game I'd say we were as bad as when we were thumped 5-1 there earlier in the season. At the back we floated between competent and clueless. Most of the time we coped easily with the Pars attacks. Other times we flapped at crosses and passed the ball out of defence straight to the home side. Polworth and Vigurs certainly tried but mainly succeeded in giving the ball away. Chalmers was anonymous, Mulraney kept running the ball out of play instead of crossing it and Oakley spent most of the game falling over after wrestling with his opponent. We were an utter shambles. Aimless punts up the park and truly woeful attacking play in the final third. There were very few plus points. Ridgers made some good saves and it was great to see Tremarco and Bell back in the side. But apart from that it was a night to forget for ICT. Here's Allan Johnston talking after his sides first win in eight games. Date: 13/03/2018 Venue: East End Park, Dunfermline Attendance: 2249 Referee: Kevin Clancy Dunfermline: 1 Lineup: Robinson; Williamson, Martin, Morris (C), Ashcroft, Craigen, Beadling, Vincent, Higginbotham, McManus, Clark. Subs (not used): Gill; Aird, Shiels, Armstrong, Wedderburn, Lochhead, Ryan. Scorers: Craigen (6) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Seedorf, Warren, Tremarco, Harper (B Mckay 5), Chalmers, Vigurs, Polworth, Doran (Bell 71), Mulraney (Elbouzedi 71), Oakley. Subs (not used): Esson; Brown, Trafford, Mackay Scorers: none Booked: Tremarco (89) B Mckay (90+2) Sent Off: none a
  12. Ton too heavy for lightweights. Morton all but ended any faint hope Inverness had of making the play-offs with a clinical two goal victory in the Highlands, their first ever at Inverness. A sorry Caley Jags look destined for another season in the doldrums after failing to win this six-pointer and Morton took full advantage to move above Dundee United into third place in the Championship with their fourth win in the last five games. A first half goal from Scott Tiffoney was added to after the break when MotM Gary Harkins slotted home a penalty. It could have been so different had we hit the net instead of the woodwork, twice, and not had two goals chalked off. However, we were the architects of our own downfall, Brad Mckay having a first half to forget as he allowed the ball to bounce over him which led to the opener, and Collin Seedorf giving away a penalty in the second period. We did try, but Morton seemed to have all the answers and looked a yard sharper than us all over the park, the pace and movement of their front runners causing our Donaldsonless defence problems. Liam Polworth missed what can only be described as a sitter near the break and that summed up our day really. Inverness were dealt a blow before taking to the pitch with news that Coll Donaldson was injured. Carl Tremarco made the bench as did Nathan Austin, and Aaron Doran started with Jake Mulraney suspended after his red card madness at Falkirk. No surprises in the Morton side with Jack Purdue making his debut today coming off the bench and the evergreen Gary Harkins was the orchestrater in chief. Inverness went straight into the visitors box after some neat interplay in the opening seconds, but Trafford shot down the keepers throat. However, it was Morton who looked liveliest thereafter with their front players causing concern with their movement and pace. Inverness appeared second to every ball and anything loose was snapped up by the eager Morton players. The opening goal was a schoolboy error by Brad Mckay who allowed a long punt from Gaston to bounce over his head. Wee Tiffoney new exactly what was happening and turned Mckay to spin in behind him as Brad mistimed his interception. He almost made amends by blocking the first attempt, but Tiffoney mopped up by driving the ball towards the net as Gary Warren tried to recover the situation. The ball eventually going into the net off Warren's outstretched boot. We worked hard enough, but looked to have little up front to trouble Gaston in the visiting goal. However, we should have been level before the break when Liam Polworth tried to turn a Doran cross from the right into the net. He only succeeded in sclaffing it across the face of the goal when it looked easier to score. Great opportunity to get back on level terms before the interval. Half Time 0-1 Nathan Austin was given a part to play as Robbo hooked Trafford at the break. We looked to take the game to Morton but made heavy work of trying to create openings. Austin's day was short lived as he pulled up after only twenty minutes. It appears that he is made of porcelain. Apparently he has done his other hamstring this time. We were unfortunate on a couple of occasions when Joe Chalmers guided a shot onto the post with the keeper stranded and later on when Iain Vigurs rattled the crossbar with the keeper beaten again. From the rebound, Aaron Doran caught a sweet volley but Gaston got down to block at his near post. The keeper just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Right after that double miss, Morton went up the park and ended the contest. It had looked like it was not going to be our day and that was confirmed when Seedorf gave away a penalty with twenty minutes left bringing down Tiffoney as he jinked past him. Gary Harkins was calmness personified as he stroked the ball off the inside of the post and into the net to double their advantage and Inverness knew their fate. Full Time 0-2 We did have the ball in the net twice, but were penalised on both occasions, but in truth, we played second fiddle to a better organised side and Morton thoroughly deserved the win, their first at the Caledonian Stadium. MotM for me was Morton's Gary Harkins who has skill to burn. After Iain Vigurs wilted in the second half, Harkins took control of the nidfield and he was the main reason Morton pulled off this deserved win. Frustrating day for the Caley Jags who could have taken something from the game but in the end, when the going got tough, the heads went down and the all too familiar stench of defeat was there for all to smell. Here's the goals if you can suffer it................ Date: 24/02/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2359 Referee: Steven Kirkland Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers, Seedorf, Warren, B Mckay, Calder, Polworth, Trafford (Austin 47, D Mackay 65), Vigurs, Chalmers, Doran, Oakley Subs (not used): Esson, Tremarco, Bell, Elbouzedi, Harper. Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none Morton: 2 Lineup: Gaston, Doyle, Lamie, O'Ware, Russell, Ross (McHugh 72), Murdoch, Harkins, Tidser, Tiffoney (Purdue 83), Oliver. Subs (not used): Strapp, Brennan, Langan. Scorers: Tiffoney (28), Harkins (70 pen ) Booked: Purdew (90+1) Sent Off: none a
  13. Irish Crusade ends in Inverness Crusaders arrived in Inverness off the 12:30 flight from Belfast City some ten minutes ahead of schedule, and less than four hours before kick off. They were greeted at Dalcross by a fine winter's afternoon after the recent rain, sleet, snow and frost that has left the pitch less than pristine. There had been much speculation surrounding the rights and wrongs of this tie given the Sunday evening slot, but it's now time for the talking to stop and the action to take centre stage. John Robertson was without the injured Carl Tremarco and cup-tied Nathan Austin for this one while his Irish counterpart Stephen Baxter had a full squad to pick from. This is a squad that leads the Irish Premiership and have scored 82 goals in the 28 league games played so far. The free scoring Belfast club will probably be favourites for this one given our inactivity since the 30th of January. Aaron Doran was missing from the squad with George Oakley, Connor Bell and Jake Mulraney tasked with getting the goals. John Baird and Zak Elbouzedi and young Daniel Mackay were on the bench. Crusaders started with top scorer Gavin Whyte on the bench but still had plenty of fire power in the starting XI with Darren Murray and Paul Heatley having notched 25 between them. The teams came out with the pitch looking heavy, rain having replaced the early sunshine. Loads of sand had been used to get the surface playable in front of a sparse 1044 crowd, the BBC Alba live broadcast keeping many fans away. Crusaders kicked off towards the North Stand and Darren Murray was marginally offside in the first minute as he cracked the bar with a shot. Inverness strode forward from the free kick with Liam Polworth making a long run forward and he played in George Oakley who side footed home the opening goal in the second minute. Crusaders were unfazed though and took the game to Inverness playing the game in the Inverness half as they probed for an opening. Mark Ridgers did well to flop on the ball after a long throw in bounced across the box and seconds later Crusaders shot well over as they looked to level the tie. Great start for Inverness, but Crusaders look like they have goals in them as we struggle to make much headway, misplaced passes being the order of the day so far after that stunning opening couple of minutes. Thirteen minutes gone and Connor Bell did well to hold off the defender before feeding Oakley wide on the right, and his perfect cross found Joe Chalmers at the back post and he headed strongly behind the keeper for number two. Oakley headed wide at the front post soon after from another Mckay delivery as Crusaders heads went down since the second goal. Polworth almost threading another into the box as the hosts began to dominate. Donaldson had to time a tackle to perfection to stop a Crusaders break forward and from that, Polworth drove forward again before feeding Chalmers on the left, but his shot went just a tad too high. The next burst forward showed the best of Jake Mulraney as he skinned his marker before crossing for Bell, but his wee legs could not quite get on the end of the cross for what would have been a simple tap in. Mark Ridgers reacted well to stop Murray bursting into the box and from the clearance Polworth blasted a long range effort high and wide. Crusaders were creeping back into contention though and Ridgers guarded his near post well from Heatley at the expense of a corner which he clutched confidently. Riccardo Calder was booked on the halfway line as he clumsily brought down Heatley. Took one for the team methinks. Mulraney found acres of space down the right and he picked out Oakley who picked his spot in the net, but keeper Brian Jensen reacted brilliantly to tip his ten yard effort over. Polworth picked his spot as well, unfortunately his spot was just the wrong side of the post. Glackin was booked for pulling back Calder, the wide player enjoying his forays forward down the left wing. Iain Vigurs was pulling the strings in midfield and his promptings were causing plenty of problems for Crusaders. Mulraney should probably have added a third five minutes before the break after he danced into the box, but one step too many allowed Jensen to block his shot. Crusaders were not out of it yet and Ridgers pulled off a wonderful save to deny Heatley as he turned and shot inside the box. Lightning does strike twice and Mulraney passed a curled shot into the net from twelve yards after Polworth set him clear. Similar to a previous goal he scored in the championship. That ended an excellent first forty-five from the hosts with Crusaders having it all to do. Maybe top scorer and flying winger Gavin Whyte will be introduced after the break as Stephen Baxter looks to get back into the tie. Half Time 3-0 He did in fact make two changes with Whyte and Jordan Owens replacing Glackin and Forsythe. Ridgers had to make an early save as Crusaders came out in the second half intent on pushing forward but normal service was resumed soon after as we forced a corner from a dangerous looking cross. Heatley should have done better when offered an excellent shooting chance when Calder erred, but he hit it straight at Ridgers who saved comfortably near his post having got his angles right. The visitors were making inroads though and Inverness will need to be wary of the injection of pace from the Crues. Burns burst into the box and from a tight angle shot over as Inverness played a dangerous game and the keeper came to the rescue once more, blocking a certain goal, the ball skewing away for a corner. You could tell a goal was coming and in the next attack after the Inverness defence failed to clear the ball effectively, a driven shot from substitute Whyte deflected off Donaldson to throw the Crues a lifeline, and one which they look well capable of taking at this point in the game. Apparently the goal has been credited to Heatley who challenged Donaldson for the ball as it deflected into the net. Whyte was booked for hauling down Mulraney in midfield, but the big talking point was to follow seconds later as Brad Mckay was yellow carded and red carded. Here we go again, reduced to ten men, what a surprise. That prompted the removal of Bell who was replaced by Collin Seedorf as Robertson looked to tighten the midfield. Mulraney then waltzed into the box on the left side but his cross was marginally too high for Oakley to connect properly with and Jensen gratefully gathered. Steady rain was continuing to fall and the heavy pitch may play a part later in the game. As it was, tackles were becoming more reckless as conditions deteriorated. Twenty minutes to go and Ridgers watched a Burns shot drift wide as Crusaders pushed for another goal. The comfort of the first forty-five seems a long time ago now. Crusaders had the ball in the net after a swift break but the linesman had flagged for offside. With fifteen left, Crues brought on Paul Lowry and soon after Mulraney was replaced by Zak Elbouzedi, but it was Crusaders that opened the game right up when Heatley sped into the left side of the box and prodded tidily behind Ridgers. The game is right in the balance now with Crusaders looking likely to level the tie. We passed up on an excellent opportunity to restore our two goal lead, but Vigurs shot tamely wide from fifteen yards. Ridgers saved with his feet as a driven cross came into the box and when we broke forward Oakley forced Jensen into a low save to deny the striker. Fast and furious now and Crues missed a great chance to level the game but the ball fell the wrong side of the post as Ridgers and Seedorf combined to keep the ball out. Oakley again almost scored when his deflected shot squirmed behind Jensen but spun away off the post. Nail biting stuff now as every ball into the box looks likely to cause problems. Another scary moment when Gary Warren looked skinned, but Owens had tugged him back and Inverness were awarded a free kick instead of conceding a goal. Three minutes of time were added on with Crusaders still probing for the breakthrough and Inverness defending somewhat nervously. Coates headed into the side netting as we held on by our finger tips with thirty seconds to go. Suddenly, Liam Polworth made a tremendous run in the last seconds which ended with him being brought down unceremoniously for a penalty. Iain Vigurs should have ended the scoring from the spot, but not before Declan Caddell talked himself into a red card. Vigurs then completely scuffed his shot, dragging it wide of the post in possibly the worst penalty in the history of soccer. After that embarrassing scuff, the ref ended the contest and it's Caley Thistle that will contest the final against Dumbarton the weekend of 24/25 March. Full Time 3-2 Well, we got there in the end but all credit to Crusaders who put up a tremendous battle in the second half which almost went bottoms up after Brad Mckay was sent off. BBC Alba gave Jake Mulraney the MotM but for me it was a toss up between Liam Polworth and Iain Vigurs. Polworth gets my nod after that penalty miss. Crusaders can be happy with their display after taking a battering in the first half. But the introduction of Whyte and Owens caused our ten men problems and Heatley was a handful all game. Stephen Baxter was indignant though. He reckoned Crusaders should have won 6-4. I'm not as convinced as he was, but they certainly made a game of it after the break in what turned out to be a highly entertaining game. See you all at the final. Here's the goals from Caley Jags TV Date: 18/02/18 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1044 Referee: Bryn Markham-Jones Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: Ridgers, Mckay, Warren, Donaldson, Calder, Mulraney (Elbouzedi 79), Polworth, Vigurs, Chalmers, Bell (Seedorf 65), Oakley. Subs (not used): Esson, Baird, Mackay, Brown, Harper. Scorers: Oakley (1), Chalmers (13), Mulraney (44) Booked: Mckay, Calder, Polworth Sent Off: Mckay (63) Crusaders: 2 Lineup: Jensen, Burns, Beverland, Coates, McClean, Forsythe (Owens 45), Caddell, Glackin (Whyte 45), Snoddy (Lowry), Heatley, Murray Subs (not used): O'Neill, Carvill, Cushley, Suarez. Scorers: Heatley (57, 79) Booked: Murray, Glackin, Whyte, Owens, Caddell Sent Off: Caddell (90+6) a
  14. Revenge for the Bairns as Jake sees Red. It was a much changed Caley Jags squad that went to Falkirk with our midfield decimated by suspension and injury. Iain Vigurs and Liam Polworth were suspended, Carl Tremarco is still out injured and Aaron Doran would not be risked on the artificial surface given his long term injury problems. Charlie Trafford was touch and go given his head knock and illness since last weekend. In Came Collin Seedorf with Trafford making the starting XI. Jake Mulraney returned to action, for a while anyway, more about him later. John Baird was on the bench along with a couple of youngsters in Daniel MacKay and Jack Brown. Falkirk had Andy Nelson starting and Tom Taiwo had recovered sufficiently to begin the game. Robbie Thomson continued in goals despite the signing of Celtic youngster Conor Hazard Falkirk kicked off in front of 4251 fans, a decent crowd for a miserable afternoon. Inverness were first to threaten in the second minute as Connor Bell put a dangerous ball to the back post, but it was cleared by the defence and a few minutes later Robbie Thomson was forced to make an excellent save to deny Joe Chalmers. With Inverness forcing the pace of the game George Oakley shot just wide after outmuscling the defender and Charlie Trafford headed one into the hands of Thomson. A great start by Inverness who are taking the game to their hosts and creating the openings. Jake Mulraney caused havoc and won a corner from which Oakley flicked the ball goalward but the danger was cleared by Thomson who gathered. It was almost half an hour before Mark Ridgers had to earn his money and he produced a superb save to deny Sibbald after he was played in by Louis Longridge. A looping shot from Mulraney went close ten minutes before the break as Inverness dominance resumed but there is no breakthrough yet for the makeshift midfield who are squaring up well so far. Coll Donaldson made amends after failing to control a ball but he got back to make a solid challenge on Andrew Nelson to deny the striker, the home fans looking for a penalty (be patient..... soon). Brad Mckay had to make a clearance when Nelson tried to backheel his way to goal as Falkirk came back strongly at the end of the first half. Out of the blue came a red! Mulraney saw red mist after a couple of rash challenges and a shove and kick and then had a go at the water bottle on his way to an early bath via the dressing room doors (allegedly). Looks like the FOR SALE sign hanging round his neck is taking it's toll. What a clown . We needed this like we need a hole in the head. Some harsh words needed from Robbo after that aberration. He let himself and his team mates down with that indiscretion. Inverness' 8th red card of the season. Disgraceful. Half Time 0-0 Cheers Jake . Two minutes into the second half and Falkirk take the lead as Aaron Muirhead converts from the spot after Chalmers fouled Longridge in the box. The Bairns smell blood and Nelson forced a corner after a neat turn and shot. It looks a long way back for ten man Inverness, and we pay no attention to our horrendous disciplinary record as Trafford enters the book. It goes from bad to worse and Seedorf gave away another needless penalty and Muirhead smashed his second of the game. Falkirk don't have to do anything, we are doing it for them. It's open day now and Longridge dragged a shot wide as we appear to have imploded. But, our saviour is on when Connor Bell is replaced by John Baird as Gary Warren enters the refs book with twenty minutes left. Please referee, just end the game now! It's virtually been one way traffic since the sending off and the end can not come quick enough for Inverness................. but wait a minute. Young substitute Daniel MacKay linked brilliantly with fellow sub Jack Brown and finishes with aplomb with some five minutes remaining. Great goal and the youngsters showing their seniors how it should be done. However normal service was resumed as Nelson grabs a third for Falkirk before being subbed. RIG summed up the highs and lows in his review of the match. "With the game over we saw a couple of young lads come on for some first team action and they provided probably the only spark of the second half for ICT supporters when Brown burst from midfield and played a ball forward to Mackay who turned his man and curled a shot into the bottom corner of the net. A glimmer of hope that was quickly put out at Warren was burned for pace down the right side of our defence and the ball crossed for Nelson to seal the win from close range." Full Time 3-1 Revenge was sweet for the Bairns after Mulraney saw red. Up until that point it was an even game. Some of these guys need a talking to as this is not acceptable. An eighth red card of the season for Inverness and two more bookings is crippling the clubs bid to get back into contention for a play-off spot. At the moment, it's three steps forward and two steps back. ICT Chris was more pragmatic: "Overall, deserved win for Falkirk and one we need to write off as a bad afternoon and get back to our prior form." On the first forty-five he was optimistic up to a point: "That was a pretty odd game. We started Trafford and played him with Seedorf and Chalmers in midfield and started really well, we made all the running and, as I see a Falkirk fan noted, Oakley dominating the home centre halves. We didn’t create that much though and slowly Falkirk came back into the game, forcing Ridgers into a good save before Mulraney had his meltdown. It was utterly bizarre, he conceded a foul and got booked then immediately went through Longridge before kicking out at someone a few seconds later. He literally got booked twice in two minutes and walked off, it was like he wanted to get sent off. Really odd." Caley100 was more scathing, only Ridgers escaped his wrath: "We started quite well without causing any damage, Lost the plot after the wee man had a fecking brainstorm, but too many players were awful.. really awful. Trafford was terrible, Mackay just cannot pass a ball, Chalmers gave away the first pen, has the pace of a tortoise and is about as dangerous to the opposition as a plastic bath duck, Seedorf also gave away a pen which was on the cards as he spent the day diving into tackles. I' m not going to mention Baird. ( haha, you just did) Warren lost a high ball (again) letting it bounce 3 times before letting the forward Nick the ball to set up their third. Ridgers was pretty safe and had no chance with goals. ***** day weather wise too, good few beers in Edinburgh later helped." OK, so maybe we can put it all down to a bad day at the office, but if we are serious about getting in to the play-off places, then the attitude needs to change. It's almost as if the management don't want the club to go up. Anyway, well done to the young guns for coming on and playing football, take a bow Daniel and Jack. If you just want to forget the rest of the game, here's Jack Daniel's superb set up and finish, I'll have a large one! Robbo was understandably not impressed.......... Falkirk have been busy getting their videos online..... Date: 27/01/18 Venue: The Falkirk Stadium, Falkirk Attendance: 4251 Referee: Euan Anderson Falkirk: 3 Lineup: Thomson, Kidd, McGhee, Muirhead, Grant, Taiwo (Jakubiak 66), Sibbald, Longridge, Tumilty, Robson, Nelson (O’ Hara 89). Subs (not used): Hazard, McKee, Blair, Loy, Watson Scorers: Muirhead (48 pen, 65 pen) Nelson (87) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers, Chalmers, Warren, Oakley (Mackay 78). Mulraney, Calder, Seedorf, Bell (Baird 69) McKay, Donaldson, Trafford (Brown 82) Subs (not used): Esson, Doran, Harper Scorers: Mackay (84) Booked: Mulraney (43), Trafford (64), Warren (70) Sent Off: Mulraney (45) a
  15. All to do again. Inverness went to Dundee in search of a minor shock in this fourth round Scottish Cup tie almost three years on from lifting the trophy. However, it's a much changed side from back then. It looked bleak until three minutes from the end when George Oakley stabbed in the equaliser from close range. Aaron Doran had scored the opener with a deflected shot to give the visitors the lead before the break. Sofien Moussa deflected a shot in to level before Mark O'Hara looked to have put Dundee through. John Robertson has been the architect of a few Cup surprises over the years. During his previous tenure at Inverness, he knocked out Celtic en route to the 2003 semi-finals where today's opponents Dundee ended our run by virtue of a 1-0 win. Robbo benched attacking midfielder Liam Polworth who had been struggling with a virus, and to add more steel to the engine room he slotted Canadian Charlie Trafford in alongside creative playmaker Iain Vigurs. Jake Mulraney took a knock a couple of weeks ago and he made the bench along with John Baird and Nathan Austin who has also been receiving treatment. McCann managed to get a few contracts extended during the winter break and he started with Josh Meekings, Darren O'Dea and talented striker Sofien Moussa on the park. Sitting on the bench were Kerr Waddell and Marcus Haber and Jack Hendry missed out through illness. Paul McGowan was first to have a go in front of 3507 fans but his shot from distance was well wide of the target and at the other end Iain Vigurs shot straight at Elliott Parish. Great start to the game by the visitors who were playing in their Premier League opponents faces, causing Dundee to be error strewn. Joe Chalmers almost got on the end of a Brad Mckay cross as we took the game to Dundee. Fifteen minutes in and Inverness opened the scoring when a long throw-in from Mckay bounced through Josh Meekings and found Aaron Doran in the box and he volleyed in the first goal of the game. Almost another after a mix up in the home box, George Oakley playing Connor Bell in but Parish collected just in time. That warning seemed to perk Dundee up and they managed to fashion a couple of corners which the visiting defence were able to clear. Scott Allan hit one from 25 yards but Mark Ridgers dealt with it as Dee came more into the game and Mckay blocked Moussa as he let fly, Ridgers able to save the rebound from A-Jay Leitch-Smith. Surprise surprise, Iain Vigurs received a yellow card midway through the half and Ridgers saved a Scott Allan free kick. Ten minutes before the break and a let off for Inverness as Moussa headed onto the underside of the bar from an Allan corner. Dundee had certainly been stung during that brisk opening quarter by Inverness but the game was more evenly balanced now. Mark Ridgers pulled off a tremendous save to deny Leitch-Smith as he bore in on goal and preserved the narrow advantage. Just before the interval, some great play by Doran forced a corner with Bell waiting for a tap-in, Vigurs heading the resultant corner over. Moments later Parish stopped Oakley from notching number two with his feet as the striker broke free. Half Time 0-1 Dundee got the second half underway with Glen Kamara kicking off towards the Bobby Cox stand, no doubt looking to get back on level term quickly. And hey presto, just two minutes in and a second deflected goal of the afternoon draws Dundee level. Leitch-Smith shooting but Moussa credited with the goal this time as the ball deflects off him and goes out of Ridgers' reach. Bell was denied by a reaction save from Parish as the visitors almost went back in front just after being pulled level, and it was Parish again to deny Bell as the game swung back towards Inverness. Charlie Trafford got the worse of a clash with Darren O'Dea and had to leave the field. O'Dea continued after treatment but Trafford is off down the tunnel. Liam Polworth replaced the Canadian. The lively Scott Allan went off to be replaced by El Bakhtaoui, not a popular choice with the home support given Allan was possibly the most effective Dundee player. Dundee edged ahead through Mark O'Hara as he burst forward when Vigurs gave the ball away in the halfway area and O'Hara went on to fire low past Ridgers from the edge of the box. El Bakhtaoui fired over for the Dee and Vigurs tried to make amends for Inverness but his effort was woeful. Substitute Liam Polworth tried from distance but it was another straight down the keepers throat. Entering the final ten minutes and Inverness won a free kick in a promising position, but Doran's cross was cleared. Robbo freshened up his strikers and threw John Baird on and withdrew Connor Bell as Polworth entered the ref's jotter for catching McGowan with an arm. The Dundee midfielder missed a good opportunity to end the contest but he headed a Kerr cross over after a good break forward. John Baird passed on a couple of decent chances for Inverness as we pressed for a leveller. However, it was strike partner George Oakley that got on the scoresheet when he got on the end of a Riccardo Calder cross to level the tie. The ball was poorly defended and when the half cleared it was headed back into the six yard box by Joe Chalmers where Oakley pounced to send the tie to a replay. Calder joined Vigurs, Donaldson and Polworth in the refs book as he brought down Moussa in time added on and right at the death a last ditch tackle thwarted Aaron Doran from getting clean through. Full Time 2-2 All in, a great day out for the 357 Caley Jags away fans and the team thoroughly deserved another crack at getting into the fifth round, something our near neighbours will not manage this season. Good to get the draw without a couple of influential players on the park. Nathan Austin and Jake Mulraney will benefit from the time off, although Charlie Trafford might now be struggling to make the replay. Speaking on BBC Radio, Robbo said : "There was little between the teams. We started well, got the goal, looked dangerous, then Dundee come into it. They turned the screw, created opportunities, and it was a terrific second goal. "We had to change it. Liam Polworth was in his sick bed all week, but travelled because he knew we were short, came on and started to cause problems. Then big George managed to get a goal and we deserved it for our bravery, because we kept going forward and throwing men into the box. A replay was about right. "It's taken us a while to get going, but we've got a shape that suits us now. The players have confidence and to come here to Dens Park and put on that kind of performance shows our improvement. We'll go at them in the replay with the same vigour and resilience, and we'll have a chance." Replay has been scheduled for Tuesday 30th January 19:45 kick off at the Caledonian Stadium. The prize for the winner is a home tie against Motherwell. Video Highlights from Caley Jags TV Robbo spoke after the game..... George to the rescue..... Highlights can be seen on BBC TV for those that can access the channel. Date: 20/01/2018 Venue: Dens Park, Dundee Attendance: 3507 Referee: Stephen Finnie Dundee: 2 Lineup: Parish; Kerr, Meekings, O'Dea, Aurtenetxe, McGowan (Wolters 85), Kamara, O'Hara, Leitch-Smith, Allan (El Bakhtaoui 61), Moussa Subs (not used): Malherbe; Holt, Curran, Waddell, Henvey. Scorers: Moussa (47), O'Hara (64) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Mckay, Donaldson, Warren, Calder, Trafford (Polworth 58), Vigurs, Chalmers, Doran, Oakley, Bell (Baird 81) Subs (not used): Esson; Austin, Mulraney, Seedorf, Brown. Scorers: Doran (16), Oakley (87) Booked: Vigurs (27), Donaldson (66), Polworth (82), Calder (90+4) Sent Off: none a
  16. Closing in on a play-off position Inverness recorded their first win over Queen of the South this season with a comfortable 3-1 scoreline. First half goals from Iain Vigurs and Joe Chalmers gave us a deserved lead and Aaron Doran added a third after the break. As we eased off, Queens came more into it and got their consolation when Owen Bell headed a fine goal with five minutes left. This win pulls Inverness level on points with the Doonhamers and within striking distance of the two teams above us although we have played more games than most. Still, it's a healthier position than we were in a few months ago. Carl Tremarco missed out through injury as did Nathan Austin. Riccardo Calder slotted in at left back with Brad Mckay on the opposite side. Collin Seedorf and Jake Mulraney were fit enough to make the bench. The Doonhamers had the firepower of 35 year old Stephen Dobbie up front and youngster Owen Bell starting on the bench. On loan Rangers defender Myles Beerman was on the bench along with him. Striker Chris Kane was making his final appearance for Queen of the South before returning to St Johnstone. The 23 year old has now made 24 appearances for the Doonhamers scoring five goals and has benefitted greatly playing alongside the vastly experienced Stephen Dobbie. The frost of the previous days had relented and it was a brisk day, a tad chilly but nonetheless a decent day for a game of footy. Just over two thousand two hundred fans made the effort to get to this game and they were treated to an excellent start by the hosts who came out of the blocks with all guns blazing. The two previous meetings this season produced no goals but Inverness were looking to carry their excellent form from the Falkirk game into this one. Queens were confident their excellent away form would continue. The opening moments were a taste of things to come and captain Gary Warren had a header saved in the second minute as Inverness pressed from the off. The keeper did well to tip his powered header onto and over the bar. Moments later from the resultant corner Iain Vigurs placed a header into the keepers top right corner as he kept a cool head when a loose ball presented itself to him. Great goal and what a start to this game. Dobbie and Polworth exchanged efforts at either end as the game opened out but it was Inverness that were in control and it was no surprise when a second goal came along, although it was all done in slow motion. Joe Chalmers gathered a ball on the edge of the box and his scuffed effort deceived everyone, including the fans in the North Stand. It wrong footed half a dozen players and an unsighted keeper to roll gently into the bottom corner with Leighfield scrambling frantically across his line to no avail. Take that and a first for Joe Chalmers. We saw out the half comfortably and our attacking endeavour should maybe have reaped more, but Queens got away lightly. Half Time 2-0 Gary Naysmith no doubt got them to up their energy levels after the break and with Inverness content to hold what they had Queens came more into it, Stephen Dobbie coming close. However, when we broke forward we always looked dangerous and Aaron Doran knocked home a third after Polworth crossed into the box from the right. Dobbie tried his luck again but his curling effort was mopped up easily by Mark Ridgers as Queens began to believe in themselves and we gave up ownership of the midfield. Beerman and Kerr went close as well but most of the work Queens were doing ended in hopeful efforts rather than guilt edged chances. Iain Vigurs was yellow carded in bizarre fashion. Shaun Rooney went down when tackled and the ref blew for a foul, albeit a soft one. After the players exchanged pleasantries Rooney shoved Vigurs over. As is the norm these days, the ref calls them both over and booked Rooney then Vigurs. Seems to me that getting pushed over is a bookable offence. How odd. Mark Ridgers saved a rasping effort as Queens went looking for a goal and we began to look a little edgy at the back but we weathered the storm and it probably was more comfortable on the park than it was watching from the stand. John Baird had an effort saved but Queens got their reward for not giving up when a superb Beerman cross was briskly headed high into the net by Owen Bell. Inverness responded and Oakley almost restored the three goal cushion but he shot across goal and wide of the mark. Full Time 3-1 Fantastic first half again for Inverness. Some really tidy play and a thoroughly deserved win. Coll Donaldson was once again immense, he is some player for a big lad, but for me, he was outshone by Riccardo Calder who doubled as a full back and left winger. Great shift again from Calder who is my MotM. There was some wonderful play all over the park and George Oakley is turning out to be a useful front man using his upper body strength to good effect. Unsung hero Joe Chalmers has come onto a game over the last couple of months playing on the left midfield side. Without the shackles and constraints of defending, the big loon has come into his own and scored a goal into the bargain. Iain Vigurs, despite his booking tally reaching it's limits, was a class apart in the first half and himself and Polly are beginning to create plenty for the strikers. No failures yesterday and competition for starting berths is hotting up. So, we are starting to pick up pace and are now pushing for a play-off position, well deserved given our recent form. Scottish Cup game at Dundee next week followed by an away trip to Falkirk. Goals highlights from Caley Jags TV Robbo delighted. Gary Naysmith was honest as usual accepting his team were second best. Here's what he had to say. Date: 13/01/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2209 Referee: Alan Muir Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: Ridgers; Mckay, Warren, Donaldson, Calder, Polworth, Vigurs (Trafford 78), Chalmers, Doran, Bell (Baird 72), Oakley Subs (not used): Esson; Seedorf, Mulraney, Mackay, Brown Scorers: Vigurs (3), Chalmers (29), Doran (58) Booked: Mckay (21), Vigurs (74), Donaldson (76), Sent Off: none Queen of the South: 1 Lineup: Leighfield; Rooney, Kerr, Brownlie, Mercer, Murray (Fergusson 63), Thomson, Rankin, Dykes (Beerman), Dobbie, Kane (Bell 71) Subs (not used): Martin; Akubuine, Gourlay Scorers: Bell (85) Booked: Dykes (41), Rooney (74) Sent Off: none
  17. Bairns Battered Inverness stunned Falkirk with a superb opening forty-five to end this contest with three first half goals. George Oakley, Connor Bell and a sublime first for Jake Mulraney gave the visitors too much to do and they never recovered from that opening spell. Louis Longridge scored a consolation looking suspiciously offside but John Baird quickly restored our three goal advantage to end the game. John Robertson had Iain Vigurs back after suspension but Nathan Austin missed out through injury. With David Raven now departed, Brad Mckay was shipped out to right back with Gary Warren back in the heart of defence alongside Coll Donaldson. George Oakley started with John Baird on the bench. Paul Hartley came North buoyed by his sides 6-1 thrashing of Championship contenders Dundee United with Louis Longridge in the starting XI. Tom Taiwo missed out through injury. Oakley was yellow carded early for an alleged dive, I'm not as convinced as the referee John Beaton. However, Inverness went ahead after only ten minutes. Iain Vigurs won the ball deep and fed Liam Polworth. He drove forward before sliding a great ball into the path of the electric Jake. Oakley then benefited from Mulraney's pace and direct ball into the box, the striker bundling the ball in from close range. The visitors tried to force their way back into the game, mainly due to some wayward passing from the home defence, but their shooting left a bit to be desired. Gary Warren earned a booking for a cynical type of foul after losing his man in the final third, Joe Chalmers would earn his card for a similar foul later in the game. The free kick drifted wide with Ridgers watching. Warren would be more constructive soon after, popping up in the visitors box and bringing out a tremendous save from Robbie Thomson from ten yards when a shot found him unmarked close to goal. The hosts would not be denied though as we forged a path through the Falkirk players from our own left back position. the ball was transferred swiftly with Polly travelling again before feeding Jake who in turn teed up Bell to notch number two. Fantastic break from defence into attack involving six players. Two minutes later and the Bairns were in disarray. Another ball from the back showed Oakley use his strength to turn his marker on the halfway line. He played on to Jake who skipped forward before curling a beauty behind a stunned Thomson with his left peg from just outside the box. 3-0 at the Interval and even the home fans were stunned. Half Time 3-0 Inverness were obviously wary of a backlash from the Bairns and we were content to relinquish territory and possession and hit on the counter. That worked well for most of the half with Falkirk only having a couple of efforts wide of the mark although Ridgers was called upon to make a smart save when a loose ball was cracked goalward. It was the only moment of real concern until Longridge lifted a ball over him when he was sent clear behind our high line. It looked offside but hey ho. Two minutes later, and the final goal came When substitute Aaron Doran broke down the left flank. He measured a cross onto the head of fellow substitute John Baird who gleefully nodded into the empty corner of the net. Full Time 4-1. What a surprisingly fabulous result for Inverness, their best win of the season against last weeks surprise package, Falkirk. The confidence boosting statistic is that three different strikers scored and electric Jake got his first goal for the club in the Championship. Some great performances. Iain Vigurs ditched his bad boy nonsense and oozed class in the first half. Jake Mulraney was magnificent with his searing pace and scored a super goal before coming off injured in the second period. Riccardo Calder came on and was a revelation at left back after Tremarco went off injured. At one point, one of the Falkirk players had to pay to get back into the ground as Riccardo left him bamboozled and bewildered. Great skills from the wing back. However, my MotM goes to the ever confident Coll Donaldson who must surely be getting right up the Arabs noses with his stylish displays since joining Inverness. That win has us closing in on the play off slots and another win at the weekend over Queen of the South will do us no harm at all. It also keeps Falkirk away from us just now, so all good. FromFalkirk TV Robboe delighted..... Date: 09/01/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2014 Referee: John Beaton Inverness CT: 4 Lineup: to follow Subs (not used): to follow Scorers: Oakley, Bell, Mulraney, Baird. Booked: ???? Sent Off: none Falkirk: 1 Lineup: to follow Subs (not used): to follow Scorers: Longridge Booked: ???? Sent Off: none a
  18. Time for Vigurs to grow up. For the third game in a row, Inverness were reduced to ten men after Iain Vigurs got a second yellow for an attempted overhead kick. However it was the circumstances surrounding the first yellow that leaves a nasty taste in the mouth and something our talented midfielder needs to grow out of. Many felt that his sending off changed the game. We were leading 1-0 at the time after Aaron Doran drilled in the opener, but Livi levelled in the second half when Alan Lithgow headed home unchallenged. John Robertson made a few changes to the starting XI, some enforced and some to freshen up the side. Carl Tremarco missed out through suspension and Colin Seedorf through injury. John Baird paid the price for his lack of goals and George Oakley started. Connor Bell made way for Aaron Doran and captain Gary Warren returned to the defence. Brad Mckay was the right back and Joe Chalmers filled Tremarco's boots. Nathan Austin began on the bench with David Raven who would make his last home appearance for the Caley Jags later in the game when Chalmers had to leave the field through injury. It all started so well for Inverness and Aaron Doran scored in the sixth minute with a low shot placed beyond the keeper from within the left side of the box. It was starting to look good for the hosts and a Doran cross/shot bounced off the crossbar as we searched for a second goal. Liam Polworth was booked for fouling Josh Mullin in the 36th minute. Iain Vigurs poked his nose in and was also foolishly booked and that would lead to his dismissal later in the game, just before the break. Gary Warren had a header saved as we pressed hard then in the 43rd minuted after a scramble in the Livi box Vigurs was shown a second yellow followed by a red for his attempted overhead. The Livi defender doing the dying swan act obviously caught the referee's attention and that was sufficient to see Vigurs head for an early bath. Livi were nowhere to be seen in the first half, but that sending off would change the shape of the game and ultimately the outcome. Half Time 1-0 Robbo reacted at the interval by removing Jake Mulraney and fitting Ricardo Calder in at left back and moving Joe Chalmers into the space vacated by Vigurs' departure. That would change again when Chalmers had to leave the field and Raven ended up at left back with Calder moving into midfield. Down to ten men for the third game in a row is something that Robbo needs to look into and the flow of the game began to swing towards Livi now as we reshuffled. However, we still looked dangerous on the break and should have scored a second when Trafford burst into the box only for his cross to fall awkwardly for Doran and the moment passed without him getting a clean shot away. Livi were seeing plenty of the ball but most of their crosses were mopped up by the home defence and keeper Mark Ridgers. Just when it looked as though we might hold out for all three points, Livi equaised. Raven and Calder combined to give away a free kick on the Livi right. When Raffaele De Vita swung in the ball it was Lithgow who climbed first to head past Ridgers as our defence watched on. Liam Polworth almost scored after the restart when he gathered a ball just outside the box but his curled effort just shaved the side netting on it's way past the post with the keeper beaten. We did manage another couple of moments around the visitors box after the introduction of Nathan Austin who seems to have the abiity to drift past defenders as if they were not there. Surprisingly, we almost lost the game in injury time when Dale Carrick skied a shot over when it looked much easier to at least hit the target and thus endedeth the match. Full Time 1-1 Iain Vigurs needs to have a word with himself. Having an abundance of skill is no use to anyone when you are taking an early bath. There is no doubt in my mind that his sending off cost us two points and the chance to climb the table next week. Nathan Austin looks a tasty addition and Aaron Doran took his goal well. Mark Ridgers was fairly comfortable all afternoon and will be disappointed in the defence at the goal. Chalmers went off injured as well and that will be another midfielder missing for the next game with Vigurs needlessly out. David Raven played his final home game coming on around the hour and got a good send off at the end as the fans chanted his name. Difficult to pick a MotM in this one with so many playing in unfamiliar roles. I'll go for Gary Warren who returned to the heart of the defence and made some crucial tackles and blocks as Livi used their extra man to good effect late in the game. However, it's not a point gained but two dropped when others around us were drawing, so Vigurs, think about your actions next time for the good of the team and not your own inflated ego. You let your team mates down today. If I'm honest, it's not just today as he has been booked far too many times for petulant immature actions all too often. Tough game next week away to St Mirren who were held to a 1-1 draw by Morton today. Video footage and match reaction to follow....... Date: 02/01/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2239 Referee: Greg Aitken Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson, Warren, Chalmers (Raven 58), Polworth, Trafford, Vigurs, Mulraney (Calder 45), Oakley, Doran (Austin 70). Subs (not used): .Esson; Baird, Bell, Cooper. Scorers: Doran (6) Booked: Vigurs (36), Polworth (36), Calder (81) Sent Off: Vigurs (43) Livingston: 1 Lineup: Alexander; Lithgow, Halkett, Gallagher, Longridge, Byrne, Mullin (Todorov 66), Cadden (Carrick 58), De Vita, Mackin (Robinson 66), Pittman Subs (not used): Knox, Malley Scorers: Lithgow (82) Booked: Gallagher (41), Halkett (84) Sent Off: none a
  19. Snore Draw ZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... Inverness were late to bed the night before the game after a serious road accident delayed them by some ten hours. John Robertson had asked if the game could be postponed but our pleas fell on deaf ears. A crowd of 1293 were on hand to witness a goalless first half although it was not without incident. It was much the same fare in the second forty-five but at the end it was a point apiece. The nearest we came to scoring was a late penalty claim that was turned down by the match official when Charlie Trafford appeared to be fouled in the box. Unfortunately, it's a result that drops us down a place as Dumbarton shocked leaders St Mirren in Paisley to win 1-0 and jump above Inverness. Full report to follow..................... Robbo reaction...... Gary Naysmith reflects on the game......... Date: 02/12/2017 Venue: Palmerston Attendance: 1293 Referee: Barry Cook Queen of the South: 0 Lineup: Martin; Mercer, Kerr, Brownlie, Marshall, Dykes, Jacobs, Rankin, Stirling (McFadden 68) Kane (Lyle 76), Dobbie (Rooney 88) Subs (not used): Tapping, Bell, Leighfield, Akubuine Scorers: none Booked: Brownlie (90+1) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Raven, Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco, Polworth, Vigurs, Chalmers (Calder 85), Mulraney, Baird (Trafford), Bell (Oakley) Subs (not used): Cooper, Warren, Seedorf, Mackay Scorers: none Booked: Vigurs (36), Donaldson (56), Trafford (68), Mulraney (71) Sent Off: none a
  20. I was there when John Baird scored. Inverness cruised to victory against bottom club Brechin City thanks to two early goals and another two later in the second half to secure a comfortable 4-0 win. Goals from Brad Mckay, John Baird, Connor Bell and George Oakley secured the points on a chilly winter night, the pitch heavy and proving difficult to move the ball around quickly. A crowd of 1801 braved the dropping temperatures to witness a rare occasion, a John Baird goal in this re-scheduled fixture, the first one being postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. Gary Warren returned to the bench with Brad Mckay re-instated alongside Coll Donaldson after his suspension. The disciplined Iain Vigurs was replaced by Charlie Trafford in midfield. Brechin were as expected, with Isaac Layne ploughing a lone furrow up front.The same man has the power to carry it off though and caused a few problems with his burly physique. There was almost a dream start for Brechin as a long ball forward sat up nicely for Connor McLennan on the edge of our box. Ridgers was caught in no mans land and a subtle lob left him stranded, but the ball bounced back out off the base of the post. A let off for Inverness before we got going and a warning we heeded. In the seventh minute we went ahead, Brad Mckay crashing a close range volley high into the net direct from a Polworth corner. Two minutes later and it was joy for John Baird. The striker had not scored for over a couple of months, but he capitalised on a defensive mix up by a pair of Smiths to squeeze the ball home from ten yards for number two after it broke kindly to him off the defender and keepers lack of communication. We dominated the half but the game went quiet, for long periods, akin to a Sunday afternoon kick-about. Isaac Layne made some powerful bursts, but Coll Donaldson and Brad Mckay were equal to him overall. Jake Mulraney was a menace to the visiting defence throughout and he was unfortunate not to break his duck on a couple of occasions. Half Time 2-0 Connor Bell headed in number three early in the half to put the game to bed and that allowed us to make some alterations with Aaron Doran getting more game time. Our intricate play was not helped as the heavy pitch deteriorated and made simple things difficult. Substitute Alex Cooper hit a ferocious shot that Keeper Smith did well to beat away but he was helpless when another sub, Goerge Oakley ran onto a tidy through ball from Trafford to flick it round the advancing keeper. Cool finish from Oakley who is beginning to look the part. As said earlier, Layne was the one Brechin player that looked mildly menacing but Ridgers was untroubled for the entire ninety minutes as he froze his bells off between the sticks. Full Time 4-0 A convincing win for Inverness against a side that drew with Dundee United at the weekend. Conditions were not conducive to silky football, and what skill was displayed came from the home side. Overall, an excellent win in what could have been a potential banana skin game. Best for Inverness were Brad Mckay, Jake Mulraney (first half) Liam Polworth, and my MotM Coll Donaldson. Good in defence, quick and willing to play the ball out of defence when required. Date: 28/11/17 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1801 Referee: Craig Charleston Inverness CT: 4 Lineup: Ridgers; Raven, Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco, Chalmers, Polworth, Trafford, Mulraney (Cooper, 80), Bell (Doran, 63), Baird (Oakley, 63) Subs (not used): Mackay, Warren, Calder, Seedorf Scorers: Mckay (7), Baird (9), Bell (52), Oakley (87) Booked: Chalmers (57) Sent Off: none Brechin City: 0 Lineup: G Smith; McLean, Dyer (Lynas, 55), Dale, Graham, Layne, Watt (Sinclair, 70), Spark, McLennan (Orsi, 76), Crighton, E Smith Subs (not used): Fusco, O'Neil Scorers: none Booked: Dyer (12) Sent Off: none
  21. Watery Lottery Sinks Caley Jags It was a case of Saints and sinner at the Caledonian Stadium Water Park as St Mirren and their Buddie ended our run of clean sheets with two second half goals. The first was a disputed penalty scored by Ian McShane, the second a breakaway at the death as we probed for a leveller, knocked in by Gavin Reilly. The conveyor belt of comedy referees knows no bounds. This time it was sinner John McKendrick that showed his inability to officiate fairly and he had clearly lost the plot midway through the second half, brandishing cards at will, ignoring blatant cheating and sending off Iain Vigurs for what can best be described as being assaulted. As expected, Gary Warren replaced the suspended Brad Mckay and Jake Mulraney returned to the starting XI with Alex Cooper removed. St Mirren went with a tried and tested eleven. The game kicked off with 2687 hardy souls peering through the driving sleat with both sides probing for openings. Liam Polworth fired from distance but Samson got down to keep it out and Carl Tremarco got on the end of a Gary Warren header from a corner but the ball was kept out from close range. The visitors were being fairly robust, with their Buddie making allowances for the conditions as he ignored home pleas for a bit of protection. Iain Vigurs was wrongly booked for protesting about a brash challenge from Cammy Smith, the perpetrator also booked for his part. Polworth and Chalmers tested Samson again but the keeper made a couple of fine saves to deny the eager Inverness midfielders. John Baird showed why he has not scored since the last St Mirren game by wasting a great opportunity after a Polly ball set him in on goal but Samson was relieved to see the strikers effort go straight at him. The clean sheet record was still preserved as the whistle brought the first half to a close, Inverness looking the most likely with Mark Ridgers freezing his bells off in goal with little to do to keep warm. Half Time 0-0 The second period was only six minutes old when Kyle McGennis went down under a shoulder charge challenge from Polworth. There seemed little danger and it beggars belief that anyone would make a rash challenge as McGennis cut along the line into the box. But up stepped Buddie McKendrick to award a hotly disputed spot kick to the visitors which McShane buried with Ridgers going the opposite direction and thus ended our clean sheet record in disappointing fashion. Chalmers once more brought out a good save from the keeper as he turned his shot from around thirty yards round the post, having dived full length low to his left. However, the second half had descended into a watery lottery as sleat and snow blizzards swept across the already sodden turf making it difficult for any cohesive movement. Water was splashing up from the surface as players struggled to get to grips with the monsoon conditions. The visitors were relishing it though as they were afforded the freedom of the park by Buddie McKendrick, upending players without punishment and the more they did, the more they got away with it. Unfortunately, the same leniency was not shown to us. The hapless man in the middle surpassed himself when Vigurs and McShane collided in the box. They exchanged pleasantries and whilst doing so, keeper Samson sprinted over and did some sort of WWE manoeuvre on the Inverness midfielder. Many more joined in to what had now become a mass tag team event. When the snow settled, McKendrick gave Vigurs another yellow signalling the end of the game for him. Absolute joke I'm afraid. That displeased most in the park and we were left chasing the game a man short. With Inverness now desperate to level, they were denied another penalty claim after 90 minutes and from the resulting clearance, Reilly was put clean through and he slotted home to end the game. By the time the second goal went in, hypothermia was setting in and it was time to go, the home stands clearing briskly. Full Time 0-2 A disappointing end to our recent good run, but that was in no small way attributed to another Scottish referee in a long line of absolute duds. St Mirren were here to keep us out at all cost and their tactic of winding Iain Vigurs up worked very well with a bit of assistance from McKendrick. An utter howler of a day and one to forget for many reasons, but it will be remembered mostly for the performance of the egotistical hapless clown who has made Willie Collum look like an expert in his chosen field. A chance to get back on track this Tuesday with a home game against Brechin who drew 1-1 with Dundee United today. Robbo was less than diplomatic in his appraisal of the events.... Date: 25/11/2017 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2687 Referee: John McKendrick Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Raven, Warren, Donaldson, Tremarco, Chalmers (Oakley, 75), Polworth, Vigurs, Bell, Mulraney (Calder, 52), Baird (Trafford, 80). Subs (not used): Mackay, Elsdon, Doran, Seedorf Scorers: none Booked: Iain Vigurs (22), David Raven (71). Sent Off: Iain Vigurs (79) St Mirren: 2 Lineup: Samson; McGinn, Baird, Davis, Eckersley, L Smith, Magennis, McShane, Morgan, C Smith (Demetriou, 83), Reilly (Duffy, 90) Subs (not used): Stewart, Buchanan, Sutton, Kirkpatrick, McCart Scorers: McShane (Pen 52) Reilly (90+2) Booked: Smith (21), McGinn (24), Eckersley (61), Samson (79) Sent Off: none a
  22. Bell ends the contest Inverness eased their way into the semi-final of the IrnBru Challenge Cup thanks to a second half goal from striker Connor Bell, his fifth goal of the season. In doing this, we also established a new record for consecutive clean sheets. That's seven in a row now. By my calculations, that's 693 minutes of play without conceding, give or take a minute or two. Fantastic effort guys. Alex Cooper replaced Jake Mulraney who was on u21 international duty. For Falkirk, Kevin O'Hara began his eight match suspension and Nathan Austin, Alex Harris and James Craigen all started. Chances were at a premium in this tight contest but after a dogged first half, Inverness gradually got on top and their presence in the Falkirk half eventually paid off when the ball broke to Bell after a headed clearance cannoned off the back of John Baird into the path of Bell. He steadied himself before firing through Robbie Thomson to score the only goal of the game. Inverness were able to see out the game without too much fuss. Falkirks best moments came in the first half when Coll Donaldson cleared one off the line and Myles Hippolyte fluffed a couple of good opportunities. Carl Tremarco was voted MotM on Alba TV, Connor Bell got the vote from the match sponsors, but there were a few worthy winners. Aaron Doran was a surprise inclusion on the bench and he got on the park for the final twenty minutes. Great to see the wee winger back on the field after his horrendous injury problems over the last two seasons. The draw for the semi-finals will take place on Tuesday. Included in this are Crusaders from Northern Ireland, Dumbarton and the winners of Sunday's tie between Welsh league side New Saints and Queen of the South. Robboquote:- "The players are now playing for the name on the front of the jersey rather than the name on the back". Falkirk Manager Paul Hartley felt his side were a bit unfortunate. Highlights from Falkirk TV The BBC Alba broadcast of the game can be seen on iplayer for the next six days ICT -V- Falkirk Date: 11/11/2017 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1078 Referee: Euan Anderson Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: : Ridgers, Raven, Tremarco, Chalmers, Polworth, Baird (Oakley 79), Vigurs, Bell (Calder 86), Cooper (Doran 71), Mckay, Donaldson. Subs (not used): Cameron Mackay (GK), Warren, Trafford, Daniel Mackay. Scorers: Connor Bell (57) Booked: Bell, Tremarco Sent Off: none Falkirk: 0 Lineup: Thomson, McGhee, Muirhead, McKee (Loy 63), Austin (Dunne 71), Hippolyte, Longridge, Harris, Balatoni, Craigen (Blues 84), Watson. Subs (not used): Mutch (GK), Grant, Gasparotto, Gallacher. Scorers: none Booked: Craigen Sent Off: none a
  23. tm4tj

    Livingston -V- Inverness CT

    No goals at Pasta place. In John Robertson's 100th game in charge, Inverness made it six clean sheets in a row as they played out a 0-0 draw against Livingston at the Tony Macaroni Stadium. It was no surprise that John Robertson made no changes to the starting XI from the one that beat Dunfermline Athletic last week. That meant that John Baird was deemed fit enough to continue up front. Gary Warren remained on the bench with Coll Donaldson in his place once more and Alex Cooper returned to the squad after injury. David Hopkin made three changes to the starting line-up that beat Brechin City last week. Onto the bench went Nikolay Todorov, Rafa De-Vita and Jack McMillan. In came Jackson Longridge, Keaghan Jacobs and Danny Mullen. 1262 paid to witness this encounter with 267 in the away end making themselves heard. Livi came flying out of the blocks and had two attempts in the first couple of minutes, Josh Mullin testing Mark Ridgers and Craig Halkett heading over from a corner. Connor Bell had the ball in the net after six minutes from a John Baird cross, but the linesman flagged him for offside. Coll Donaldson was booked after twenty minutes as Livi looked to threaten and at the other end Jake Mulraney was close to connecting with a Joe Chalmers cross. Five minutes later and Mulraney was fed through on goal by Liam Polworth but Neil Alexander denied the pacey wide player saving low to his left. Ten minutes before the break Longridge went close after he found some space in the box from a Danny Mullen lay off. Mulraney turned on the after burners but Alexander foiled him as he lost control having done the difficult bit. Danny Mullen was yellow carded five minutes before the interval and Carl Tremarco followed him into the book a couple of minutes later after a late tackle. However, we made it to the interval without conceding and still had eleven players on the park. Inverness possibly shaded the first half with Mulraney looking dangerous. Half Time 0-0 As in the first half, Livi looked intent on breaching our defence and pressed hard without actually creating anything. Brad Mckay is next to have his name taken as the home side threatened to break forward. Around the hour mark, George Oakley replaced Baird who was reportedly struggling to make this one. Tremarco almost latched on to a Mulraney cross as the visitors made some progress. Livi subbed Penrice for Cadden. Shortly after, Tremarco was replaced by Riccardo Calder. Polworth tried his luck from outside the box but his shot ran out of steam and Alexander saved comfortably and at the opposite end Ridgers dealt easily with a cracker from Jacobs with twenty minutes left. Longridge upended Mulraney and was booked for his troubles. Jake dragged a shot wide moments later. Hopkin made his final changes and Danny Mullen and Josh Mullin went off, Nikolay Todorov and Dylan Mackin came on. Chalmers won a corner with ten minutes left but it came to nothing as Polworth fired well over. Moments later Polly fed Bell in on goal but Alexander came out on top once more, managing to get a toe on the ball to divert it from goal. Todorov and Cadden shot over as Livi tried to nick a winner but we made it six clean sheets in a row to take a hard earned point back up the A9. Full Time 0-0 Immortal Howden Ender will have the full version of the days events for us in due course......... and here it is. RETURN TO THE TOEKNEE MACARONI - NO GOALS BUT PLENTY OF POSITIVES First game I have been to since Dumbarton and it was like watching a brand new team – a much improved and organised outfit – and I was advised that this was below the standards set at Tannadice and against Dumbfarmlife. Well dropped the missus off at the Travelodge, a swift pint in the Hungry Horse at the top of the Hill and down to the petite Stadium Bar and a few swift voddie and cokes with Top Six. And then we were all paraded into the Main Stand. It was packed and we must have had close to 50% of the attendance – and we certainly made ourselves heard. A 0-0 always conjures up the idea of boredom and a lack of entertainment. Apart from the first 2-3 minutes - when Livi flew out of the blocks and had fashioned two chances – I felt that we were always in control, if anyone deserved to win it was us but most of the play was confined to the middle sections of the pitch. On show were two very well drilled defences but two teams clearly lacking in the necessary firepower to clinch all three points. In many ways we cancelled each other out as Livi’s style and system was almost identical to ours. We had two good chances to steal three points in both halves. Mulraney had the first half chance after a great through ball from (?) Vigurs, he outpaced the defence but brought out a good save from the veteran Alexander. IMHO Connor Bell had the better chance and really should have tucked it away. And what a through ball from Polworth. So we looked very solid and confident at the back. We won the midfield battle but I felt that we were lacking up front and the two β€œwee man attack” against the likes of Livi will not work. But we are getting better and better – fitter and fitter – and all of a sudden a play-off place is very much back on the cards. Only negative was our discipline (again) and picking up three cheap yellow cards – Mckay, Donaldson and Tremarco. And we picked up praise from both coaches. Inverness manager John Robertson: "That's six clean sheets and something the players should be immensely proud of because they're working their socks off. We had to match a really honest, intense, direct Livingston team and we managed to create a few opportunities. Livingston manager David Hopkin: "Inverness have really picked up defensively and Neil Alexander's pulled off a couple of great saves to keep us in it as well. Before the game I'd have taken a point. We were playing against an experienced and well-drilled side. SMILEYMOMETER RIDGERS Nowt to do with fitness, all to do with confidence and a much improved back four. RAVEN May not have many more opportunities so I will give him the MotM Award. More like the old Rave, kept going and overlapping for 90 minutes. MCKAY Not pretty but dogged and efficient. DONALDSON Mighty close in my MotM choice. Can't believe the difference in him in comparison with Dumbarton. TREMARCO Probably a real influence on the improvement defensively but I suspect he will be missing in action for another few weeks. MULRANEY Appears to have been given some β€œplay for the shirt” medication but also played wide right and offensive which is undoubtedly where he is at his best. POLWORTH Another 110% display. If only we had a Brewster or Dargo to feed to. VIGURS Showed the usual class touches but I suspect that he was singled out for the β€œdon’t let him play” attention by Livi. CHALMERS I really (always) liked him in midfield. A real battler and a great foil for Vigurs, Polworth and Mulraney. BAIRD Needs a goal. Plus he is the target man and I don’t think that he is comfortable with that. Better player running off the front man. BELL Well I would simply pick him in front of Baird – as the runner – at the present time. Great run on to a greater pass which led to him missing the 1:1 opportunity of the game. CALDER Looked a bit dodgy and not the ideal cover for Tremarco at full back/wing back OAKLEY WTF – what an action packed half hour put in. Probably boosted by the fan chants and evidently clapping enthusiastically at the final whistle. ROBBO Continues to improve. Will be interesting who he plays at left back and surely Oakley has booked a start as the Number 9. Here's the action from the Tony Macaroni......... Robbo was a bit disappointed not to take all three points, but he was very happy with the Caley Jags Away fans. Date: 04/11/2017 Venue: Tony Macaroni Stadium Attendance: 1262 Referee: Gavin Duncan Livingston: 0 Lineup: Alexander; Longridge, Byrne, Halkett, Gallagher, Lithgow, Mullin (Mackin, 77) Pittman, Penrice (Cadden, 65), Jacobs, Mullen (Todorov, 77). Subs (not used): Maley, Knox, Carrick, Todorov. Booked: Mullen, Longridge. Scorers: none Booked: D Mullen (40), Longridge (74) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Raven, Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco (Calder, 69), Chalmers, Polworth, Vigurs, Mulraney, Bell, Baird (Oakley, 60). Subs (not used): Esson, Warren, Cooper, Trafford, Mackay. Booked: Donaldson, Tremarco, Mckay. Scorers: none Booked: Donaldson (21), Tremarco (44), B Mckay (56) Sent Off: none a
  24. Caley Jags dump the Arabs Inverness threw the form book out the window as they went to Tannadice and convincingly beat United 2-0 thanks to first half strikes from Iain Vigurs and Connor Bell. It was no more than Inverness deserved as they kept the home side relatively quiet throughout and the three points went back up the A9. Thankfully, they paid no attention to my pre-match prediction of a home win and went about their business with some authority. John Robertson went with an unchanged side from the excellent draw at Falkirk. Under fire Arabs boss Ray McKinnon brought in Scott McDonald and Sam Stanton to try and give him some attacking promise. Out went Billy King and Jordie Briels missed out through injury. That went well Raymond! A board meeting was hastily arranged at Tannadice on Saturday night. ICT Chris was in attendance and he was suitably chuffed with how things went, here is his account of the game. We were excellent today, thoroughly deserved the win and it probably should've been more. We appear to have stumbled on a formation and style that works, or it has the last two weeks anyway. We built on the performance against Falkirk and improved on it. We set up in a pretty standard 4-4-2, relatively flat in midfield with Chalmers left and Mulraney right. Vigurs and Polworth sat in the middle in front of the the same back four as previously, including returning hero Donaldson. Up front we had Baird and Bell. United had a few chances early and forced Ridgers into a reflex save from a shot (didn't see who hit it) and then we had to scramble clear from within the six yard box after a prolonged stramash. After that we really took over and started having an impact in an attacking sense. Baird and Tremarco missed headers and we had a few other openings before opening the scoring. Following a corner the ball was headed clear to Vigurs who shot in from the edge of the box. We then doubled our lead with one of the best goals I've seen us score in years. A United attack broke down around our 18 yard box and we broke with a little dink into midfield from Donaldson (I think). We then moved the ball quickly through midfield and released Mulraney with a weighted through ball. Mulraney rinsed the left back for pace and drove into the box, where he hit a driven low cross that Connor Bell drilled in from a couple of yards. It was a ******* belter, everything about it was perfect, the passing, the pace, the finish. When Mulraney got the ball I said to my mate that this would be goal of the season, I can't imagine us scoring a better one this season. We had a couple of other breaks which could've lead to goals in the first half, Mulraney, Baird and Bell all had opportunities. Into the second half and we again sat strong and broke, with Mulraney probably having the best chance when he was put right through but didn't shoot quickly enough. Donaldson also had a header that he put over but should've got on target. United, oddly, played with their centre half Durnan up front from an hour but that had zero impact, I don't think a single chance came from it. There were a couple of set pieces that Ridgers had to save but weren't really threatening. It was nervy for the fans because we've been so bad but looking back, we cigar'd it in the second half. Full Time 0-2 Overall, we were excellent. Vigurs was at the heart of everything, he ran the midfield. He has been superb this season, strolling though games and dominating possession. He can switch the play but it's the way he plays little passes to create space, flicks round the corner of players and turns with the ball that makes him so effective. He really has been a class act and is the heart of our team. Defensively we have somehow become settled and solid. Having two experienced full backs in Tremarco and Raven is a help but Donaldson has been a rock the last two weeks, defends well, no nonsense, quick and good in the air. He clearly loved getting that win, going by his celebrations at the end. He looks like being a real find. Up front Baird and Bell aren't likely to be prolific but the way they pull defenders about, hold the ball and make runs is vital to creating the space for our chances. Mulraney has kicked on in the last two weeks, another confidence filled game today, including an actual assist, miracle of miracles! Second week in a row he dominated the full back and his end product was better. Great stuff You can see why ICT Chris was drooling over the second goal. She's a belter as Gerry Cinnamon would say.......... Robbo was suitably chuffed as well Date: 21/10/2017 Venue: Tannadice Attendance: 5560 Referee: Willie Collum Dundee United: 0 Lineup: Lewis; Durnan, Toshney, McMullan (Murdoch, 60), McDonald, Stanton (Fraser, 76), Edjenguele, Flood, Robson, Keatings, Fyvie (King, 52). Subs (not used): Mehmet, Scobbie, N'koyi, Smith. Scorers: none Booked: James Keatings (65) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Raven, Tremarco, Chalmers, Polworth, Baird, Vigurs (Oakley, 87), Mulraney (Cooper, 74), Bell (Trafford, 82), Mckay, Donaldson. Subs (not used): Esson, Warren, Elsdon, Mackay. Scorers: Iain Vigurs (28) Connor Bell (36) Booked: Brad Mckay (16) Sent Off: none a
  25. At least we were no Skelpied Inverness showed much improvement in the land of the Kelpies as they more than matched Falkirk in a no score draw at the Falkirk Stadium. Despite hitting the woodwork a couple of times, the ball managed to stay out and we took a well deserved point back up the A9. Falkirk fans pretty much in agreement that we should have won all three, anything from three to five goals is the going rate at the moment. John Robertson made two changes from the side that beat Peterhead. Out went the injured Owain Fon Williams with Mark Ridgers deputising and Riccardo Calder dropped to the bench in favour of Jake Mulraney. Paul Hartley, in his first game in charge, reinstated Robbie Thomson in goals as expected, but Nathan Austin only made the bench with Sammy Hippolyte starting. Lee Miller missed out altogether. 4107 fans were on hand to watch Hartley's first game in the hot seat with 160 fans in the away end. Alex Harris and Joe McKee were first to get shots away, Mark Ridgers having to deal with the second one with a save low down. Inverness began to compete but early efforts from Polworth and Baird petered out. Thomson stopped the first one and Baird just missing the target with his attempt. Polworth looks to be on a mission and tried another from distance but this time his shot was blocked. Good opening quarter from the visitors and Chalmers won a corner after his shot was deflected behind and from the corner kick, Brad Mckay won another from his header. Thomson stops the flow this time as he gathers in his box. What a surprise, Jake Mulraney gets booked for alleged simulation. Polly goes in the book as well for questioning the decision. Jake gets a lot of this, travelling at speed brings it's own downfalls at times. Half an hour gone and Chalmers delivers a decent ball into the area but it's turned behind for another corner to Inverness. Jordan McGhee was thwarted by a fantastic tip over from Mark Ridgers, his header looking like it was about to open the scoring. Looks like the video cameraman wasn't quick enough to catch the action, so I have added the photo from the Falkirk website match report to give you an indication of the quality reaction save by Ridgers. Tremendous reaction from close range. Five minutes before the break and John Baird won a free kick in a promising position, however Chalmers' shot went narrowly wide of the mark with Thomson scrambling across his line as the ball fizzed past his left hand post.. An encouraging opening half from the visitors and they went in at the break on level terms. Half Time 0-0 Baird started the second forty-five in similar fashion to the first, shooting just wide again. Mulraney made good progress and found Baird who played it to Vigurs, but he shot wide as well. Recurring theme here. Carl Tremarco burst into the box but he also fired high over the bar. Hartley has seen enough of Tom Taiwo and Kevin O'Hara and replaces them with Cameron Blues and James Craigen as he looks to get a better grasp of midfield where Iain Vigurs was running the show. Baird headed over as the near misses continued. Connor Bell was next to break into the box, he went closer but his shot clips the outside of the post and goes behind for a goal kick. Next attack and Baird fed Bell at the back post but Thomson blocks. He also gathers an effort from Polworth as Inverness look for the opener and a Vigurs corner starts a melee in the box, but it is eventually gathered by the keeper. Mulraney shows a clean pair of heels to the Falkirk players and a corner is won as a result of this. From the set piece, Mulraney smacks the post. Everything but a goal from Inverness and Coll Donaldson flicked a header wide. With five minutes left, Jake Mulraney left the field to be replaced by last weeks young record breaker Daniel MacKay. Both sides went looking for the winner in the dying moments of this game, but despite plenty of effort, the ball remained out of the net. Full Time 0-0 So, despite fearing the worst, we were untroubled for the greater part of this game and with a bit of luck could have scored two or three and Falkirk would have had no complaints had we done so. Like the League Cup game, we more than matched the Bairns, but this time we cut out the comedy defending and thoroughly deserved our point. A few plus points for Inverness. A clean sheet for under fire keeper Mark Ridgers, a solid defensive display for Coll Donalson, Jake Mulraney doing what he should be doing, and no fighting in the dugout this week. Iain Vigurs was in control mode in the midfield and gets our MotM award. Minus point was the familiar failure to score goals given the opportunities available. Some wayward results today with Livvi beating the Arabs and Dunfermline drawing with Queens. Defeat for Brechin keeps them rooted to the bottom and we remain second bottom, but after today's performance, there is a great deal more optimism than there was a couple of weeks ago. Check the video's and see the progress being made. A more ebullient Robbo and honesty from Paul Hartley. Date: 14/10/2017 Venue: Falkirk Stadium Attendance: 4107 Referee: Nick Walsh Falkirk FC: 0 Lineup: Thomson, McGhee, Grant, Balatoni, Muirhead, Harris (Austin 67), McKee, Kerr, Taiwo (Blues 59), O'Hara (Craigen 59), Hippolyte. Subs (not used): Gasparotto, Shepherd, Gallacher, Mutch. Scorers: none Booked: Hippolyte Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers, Raven, B Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco, Polworth, Vigurs, Chalmers, Mulraney (D MacKay 85), Bell, Baird. Subs (not used): Esson, Elsdon, Oakley, Calder, Cooper, Brown. Scorers: none Booked: Mulraney (25), Polworth (25), B McKay (90+4) Sent Off: none a