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  1. White Xmas Jordan White bagged a hat-trick as Inverness cruised into the fourth round of the Scottish Cup with an ultimately emphatic win over League Two Edinburgh City on a chilly Highland night with 672 freezing souls in attendance. A Tom Walsh brace and a last minute Aaron Doran goal completed the Inverness scoring and for City Blair Henderson scored early in the first half to cancel out Walsh's opening goal. This was a much needed win for Inverness who had been struggling in front of goal recently. After an uninspiring first half the home side began to cut open the visitors and eased their way to a fourth round tie against East Kilbride. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Much was expected of Inverness tonight after a disappointing last couple of games and after a dreich first half the game came to life in the second period. Tom Walsh opened the scoring in the fifth minute with a replica goal straight out of the Falkirk game, running onto a forward pass from Aaron Doran into the box and drilling home. Alas the lead was short lived and hesitancy in the defence allowed Blair Henderson to pop up between two defenders to equalise a couple of minutes later, the big striker finishing well. There followed a turgid spell where everything broke down before the final third and misplaced passes were commonplace, however Jordan White was on hand to score after fifteen minutes, nodding in from close range. More mediocrity followed right up to the break with neither keeper being called into serious action and Edinburgh were still in the tie as Inverness found it difficult to get in behind their defence. Half Time 2-1 City knew they had nothing to fear at this point after we had toiled for forty-five minutes and they came out of the blocks fast at the start of the second half, Henderson trying his luck once more. Robbo must have been unimpressed by that first half and you could see a bit more urgency about our play. Ten minutes into the half and we sealed the tie when Walsh scored after a mazy burst forward by Donaldson who gave the ball to Polworth to set up Walsh for the finish. Some good possession play along the front of the visitors box saw Shaun Rooney cross low and the ball was met by White in the box, his low drive being too hot for the keeper to handle as the ball squirmed into the net. One minute later and White grabbed his hat-trick as he powered a Liam Polworth corner high into the net from five yards. The introduction of Roddy MacGregor had sparked some life into the Inverness ranks and his quick feet and build up play was creating more chances for the now eager forwards. The scoring ended in stoppage time when we broke down a City attack on the edge of our box. The ball broke to MacGregor who sprinted forward with the ball, jinking across the City defence before releasing a timely ball into the path of Doran who had made good ground and he never broke stride as he placed the ball across the keeper into the bottom corner. So, into the next round we go where we will take on East Kilbride at the Caledonian Stadium. Well done big Jordan White for getting the hat-trick, that will do his confidence the world of good. Still room for improvement though as the big striker could almost have doubled his tally. Tom Walsh seems to have taken to this scoring lark, that's his third in two games, I feel there's plenty more to come from the lively wide player. Ridgers had little to do and Coll Donaldson was neat and tidy again. Charlie Trafford looked sharp in midfield with some tight turns and good distribution. Liam Polworth was involved in some of the goals but was also guilty of some wayward play, especially in a poor first half. Big Shaun Rooney is shaping up as a better wing back than a dedicated full back with some marauding runs in the Ross Tokely style. Special mention for Roddy MacGregor who looks like a tremendous prospect. His quick feet setting him aside from some of our more pedantic players. Overall, a comfortable win after a grim first half. Let's not get carried away though, we are far from the finished article and will find Ayr a much tougher proposition on Friday night. However, let's bask in the glory of scoring six goals and getting into the next round of the cup for now. Next game as mentioned is Friday night at Somerset Park against league leaders Ayr United. Highlights from the game............... Jordan speaking after his treble performance.............. And Robbo has his post match thoughts....................... Date: 04/12/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 672 Referee: David Munro Inverness CT: 6 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart (Harper 69), Doran, Trafford, Polworth (McGregor 64), Chalmers, Walsh, White (Austin 78) Subs (not used): Hoban; Oakley, Nicolson, Brown Scorers: Walsh (5, 53), White (15, 60, 61), Doran (90+1) Booked: Donaldson (41), White (37) Sent Off: none Edinburgh City: 1 Lineup: Antell, Thomson, McIntyre, Black (Watson 49), Balatoni, Laird, Smith (Rodger 64), B. Henderson, Taylor, Shepherd (Hall 80), L. Henderson Subs (not used): Morton, Beveridge, Lumsden. Scorers: B Henderson (7) Booked: Smith (40), Taylor (77) Sent Off: none a
  2. Bottoms Up Bottom club Falkirk claimed the win right at the death when Scott Harrison knocked the ball home after a free kick. Inverness had opened the scoring early when Tom Walsh slotted in before a Zak Rudden double turned the game on it's head. George Oakley stooped to head home from close range with half an hour to go but Inverness were unable to add to that before being hit with the sucker punch. The hosts squandered a raft of chances in the second half after a poor first forty-five and once more paid the price for a lack of composure in front of goal. That late goal ended the worst unbeaten run anywhere in the world where draws became more important than winning. With that monkey off the back, maybe we can go out and play something more entertaining for the fans and hopefully bag a few wins. If not, then we look to be in big trouble and sliding into obscurity. A bright but chilly afternoon with 2260 spectators saw the hosts get off to the perfect start. We played briskly from defence when Sean Welsh passed forward to Liam Polworth, he spun round and threaded a lovely ball into the path of Tom Walsh who took a touch towards the corner of the six yard box then drilled low across the keeper into the bottom corner. Great start but could we build on it? The answer became apparent as Falkirk got to grips with the game and broke forward at pace at every opportunity as we reverted to holding onto the ball at all costs. Their persistence paid off when they burst down the right, three passes and a Petravicius cross later Zac Rudden was left unmarked to nod into the net with Ridgers merely a spectator, helped to watch by Brad Mckay and Shaun Rooney, when maybe they should have been more involved. Good goal from the Bairns point of view, sloppy from ours. Falkirk survived a massive penalty claim when George Oakley was manhandled to the ground by Scott Harrison as he entered the box on the left edge. Referee Colin Steven deemed that the crime started outside the box and a free kick was awarded which we wafted way over the bar, one of many wayward attempts from crosses, corners to free kicks. Aaron Doran was buzzing in and around the visitors box and he had one effort blocked by the legs of Leo Fassan in the Falkirk goal. Falkirk were still looking more direct on the break and it was no big surprise when they scored a second and no surprise it came as a result of more ball watching from Shaun Rooney. A quick free kick saw a long ball floated over the less than alert defender and Rudden capitalised to gather the ball and head goalwards. It was a fairly tight angle but from about three yards out from the bye line he managed to squeeze the ball through Ridgers and in off the far post. Another good goal for Falkirk, another self inflicted disaster from us. Oakley headed well over the bar from a corner when he should have been hitting the target as we tried to get back on level terms before the break, however most of our moves as usual broke down in the final third. Half Time 1-2 More urgency was shown after the interval and Rooney was deployed further up the park where we were hopeful he could make amends for his earlier slackness. At least there was less chance of us conceding when he was at the other end of the park. He did get a useful low ball into the box after ducking in between two players but Oakley's slid attempt just went a foot over the top of the bar as it dipped over. Close, but no cigar. Oakley appeared to be shoved in the back for a second time but the referee chose to ignore this one completely for what looked like a stonewall penalty. A goal was coming for the hosts but not yet. The now familiar sight of Jordan White getting under a cross, leaning back and heading an inviting cross over the bar from inside the six yard box was too much for some to take, an outburst of biblical proportions from some filled the air. Ridgers had been idle for most of the second half but he had to look sharp to get down low to his left post to tip a curling shot round the post from Paton. We would not be denied though and a deep corner was headed back into the mix by Rooney where it bounced kindly for Oakley to stoop and nod the ball in from close range. That goal prompted an assault on the advertising hoarding as two or three jubilant players were fouled by our sponsor McEwan Fraser, but it was not legal. Game on! We pressed hard for the winner and Joe Chalmers curled an effort just over the junction but it was not to be. Tom Walsh tried a low shot to the near post but Fassan parried then a defender blocked the rebound as White tried to turn it in, but it was not to be. Then, out of nothing, deep into stoppage time, a late free kick wide right for Falkirk saw a dangerous ball swing to the back post where Donaldson was the wrong side of Harrison and he bundled the ball in to the delight of the visiting fans. Misery complete for the home fans who had seen enough. So, the unbeaten run ends. Thank Christ we all sigh, now let's get the season started. It could be a make or break week with a tough cup tie on Tuesday and an even tougher trip to Somerset Park on Friday. Our normally reliable defence let us down today but Donaldson and McCart still played well, despite the odd lapse. Ridgers has had better days and the forwards did what we expected, missed loads of chances, so there you have it, run over and beaten by the bottom club. Let's end on a bright note. Roddy MacGregor was a late sub and looks like a bright prospect. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ RIG sums it up brilliantly in his summary of our first two goals "Awful defending from Mckay for the first Rudden goal. It's almost as if someone playing as ICT on FIFA suddenly loses their controls connection with the PS4 as he just stops dead and doesn't even bother trying to challenge for the ball. As if that wasn't bad enough Rooney then follows it up by getting distracted by a shiny object in the North Stand and forgets to challenge Rudden for the ball and let him ghost past before finishing well past Ridgers.ο»Ώ" Zak seems to agree with my assessment............. Post Match on BBC Sport website, the managers had different reactions:- Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson: "I'm hugely disappointed. We didn't deserve to lose the game. We created chance after chance after chance and got caught by a sucker punch. "It's cruel on the players. The worst we should have got was a point but we desperately wanted all three." Falkirk manager Ray McKinnon: "I'm really, really happy with the guys. They executed the game plan brilliantly. We got off to a bad start but responded well and right at the end we tried to win the game. "Inverness are a good side that's why they are unbeaten for 25 games. We worked extremely hard and we got the rewards." Here's Robbo on the Official Facebook page Date: 01/12/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2260 Referee: Colin Steven Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Walsh, Polworth, Chalmers, Welsh (Trafford 58), Doran (White 58), Oakley (MacGregor 84) Subs (not used): Hoban; Trafford, White, MacGregor, Nicolson, Brown, Harper. Scorers: Walsh (6), Oakley (61) Booked: Mckay (52), Polworth (90+1) Sent Off: none Falkirk: 3 Lineup: Fasan; Kidd, McGhee, Muirhead, Paton, Petravicius (Haber 77), Sammut (Irving 80), Robson, Harrison, Brough, Rudden (Lewis 90+2) Subs (not used): Mitchell, Dallison, Dumbuya, Russell. Scorers: Rudden (16, 36), Harrison (90+3) Booked: Harrison (21), Muirhead (90+1) Sent Off: none a
  3. Replay Required Shaun Rooney scored the opening goal six minutes before the break when he headed home a Liam Polworth set piece at the back post to put Inverness ahead. However, Liam Henderson levelled the tie with five minutes left to force a replay for The Citizens. The replay will be held on Tuesday 4th December at 19:45. Mantis was on hand to catch the celebrations after the opening goal. Full report to follow................... Inverness faced a tricky away tie at Ainslie Park in the third round of the Scottish Cup against Edinburgh City. This tie had all the potential ingredients to be the proverbial banana skin match against a side making a name for themselves in League Two on the artificial surface of Ainslie Park. Just ask Alloa who were dumped out of the Challenge Cup after having led The Citizens 2-0. A home tie against East Kilbride awaited the winner of this game. City were without the services of Josh Walker, John Dunn, Danny Handling and Brad Donaldson but Adam Watson was back in the squad. Big striker Blair Henderson would be the main danger for the visiting defence and the experienced former Partick Thistle defender Conrad Balatoni will be tasked with keeping Austin & White out of the box. The Caley Jags started with George Oakley on the bench and Nathan Austin and Jordan White up front. Shaun Rooney returned to full back after injury. No place in the squad for Aaron Doran on the artificial surface. Plenty of youth on the bench as well. RIG was in attendance and was less than impressed with his afternoon's entertainment............. The performance was devoid of creativity, as it has been for weeks on end now. We've been so sluggish in pretty much every game aside from the Derby match for the last couple of months with no real sign of improvement. You could copy and past pretty much everything I have said after games against the likes of Alloa, Dundee United, QotS and so on about our lack of penetration in the final third and passing up the few chances we do create. Today we were again wasteful in the first half and then in the second half we went very defensive and sat back inviting pressure on to us and paid the price. Odd line up. McCart was at left back and did fine. Not sure who was meant to be going on in front of the defence though. Walsh was deployed on the left, Chalmers and Welsh in the middle with Polworth drifting across the pitch behind Austin and White. Having two up helped keep City pinned back for the most part but White was really poor today. Wouldn't have minded seeing Oakley and Austin getting some time up front together. After the subs we seemed to be playing three at the back (Mckay, Donaldson and McCart) with MacKay and Walsh on the left and right flanks respectively, Chalmers, Trafford and Welsh in the middle with Polworth behind Oakley. Looked like Ridgers lost the ball for the City equaliser dropping it at the feet of one of their players but they probably should have scored long before they did testing Ridgers with some decently struck long range efforts prior to that. Massively disappointing from us, particularly in the second half, where we completely took our foot off the pedal and paid the price. We're not good enough to get by on one goal and really should have gone for the jugular. City were barely a threat in the first half so it's concerning how we much let them back into the game and how poor again we were in an attacking sense. A performance that we really shouldn't be happy about and I'm sure Robertson and the players aren't happy either. As you can see in the video, we did squander a couple of guilt end chances, but that's a recurring theme.The second 45 offered little joy and RIG was rightly miffed at the overall performance but not overly surprised at the result. ymip was straight to the point:- "Quite frankly an embarrassment of a performance and result. Could see it coming for much of the second half. We barely troubled their keeper and are badly in need of some ο»Ώcreativity. Far too passive and lacking any kind of cutting edge. Very poor."ο»Ώ So peeps, not a great deal to enthuse over but at least we get another crack at getting into round 4, but then again, so do Edinburgh City. Here's the highlights from the Ainslie Park debacle........... Date: 25/11/2018 Venue: Ainslie Park, Edinburgh Attendance: 867 Referee: David Munro Edinburgh City: 1 Lineup: Antell; Thomson, Balatoni, L Henderson, McIntyre, Smith, Black, Laird, Taylor (Watson 70), Shepherd (Rodger 84), B Henderson Subs (not used): Morton; Hall, Lumsden, Kennedy. Scorers: L Henderson (86) Booked: Laird (66) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney (Trafford 74), Donaldson, McCart, B Mckay, Chalmers, Welsh, Polworth, Walsh, Austin (Oakley 55), White (D Mackay 71). Subs (not used): Hoban; Brown, Harper, MacGregor Scorers: Rooney (39) Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  4. Comeback keeps the run going. If Carlsberg did draws, they would probably do them like this................ Inverness left it late and were almost beaten by a Doonhamers side who were three up before we woke up. Lyndon Dykes bundled home on the half hour to give Queen of the South the lead at the interval. They doubled their advantage early in the second half when Dykes fed Stephen Dobbie in on goal for the striker to round Ridgers and slide the ball home. Josh Todd added a third, curling a shot wide of Ridgers as Inverness capitulated. A late fight back saw Jamie McCart and Nathan Austin (or maybe Tom Walsh) score and Sean Welsh converted a late penalty. We almost had the audacity to win the game but Austin was thwarted in the box, and it ended all square at 3-3. Inverness went with the same starting line-up that won all three points at Firhill with George Oakley spearheading the attack, Jordan White was on the bench. No Daniel Mackay to be seen, so we still only had five on the bench including young Roddy MacGregor. Queens had Alan Martin out with young Jack Leighfield replacing the experienced keeper. Stephen Dobbie and Lybdon Dykes were the attacking threat with last weeks goalscorer Connor Murray starting on the bench. As per norm, RIG was in attendance............ As has already been said we only showed up for the last 30 minutes with the game seemingly out of sight. A lot of our players were claiming handball for the first goal with Ridgers seeming to suggest that Dykes bundled it over the line with his hand. Whilst it would be a shame if that's what happened our defending was so abysmal leading up to that goal we probably deserved to concede a goal anyway. The second strike wasn't much better from our point of view. Trafford (I think) lost the ball in the middle and it was quickly launched forward to Dobbie who stole into a massive gap at the back with our players out of position. Ridgers half came, half stayed and Dobbie took advantage of his indecision to slide the ball past him and it was three not long after as we again failed at defending and couldn't clear the ball which was picked up by Todd and he dispatched a beautiful curling shot past Ridgers. Game over as far as I was concerned. But seemingly from nowhere we got back into it when McCart rose highest to head home a free kick and this was followed not long after by Walsh who sent a ball into the box which evaded everyone and nestled in the net. The Queens keeper, having barely been tested all game, was looking exceptionally suspect. The third duly arrived via a Welsh spot kick after he himself had been brought down. Not sure what it was awarded for but the fact that very few QotS players challenged the decision suggests it was a fair decision. We almost won it with perhaps the move of the match as we quickly broke from the back, Welsh, Polworth, MacGregor and White linked to play in Austin but his toepoke of a shot was well saved by Leighfield, his first act of competent keeping at a crucial time in the game. The change to 4 - 4 - 2 saw us make much more use of the wings and removing the possession haemorrhage that was Trafford in the middle left us with a much more effective partnership in the form of Polworth and Welsh. Queens should have been out of sight truth being told but we did exceptionally well to battle back to grab a point. Made the journey home a lot more bearable. Alt Maryhill enjoyed his day out............ That was good crack. Got to admit that I assumed that our chickens were coming home to roost after a few decent results despite dodgy performances recently. We were clearly second best against Dundee Utd, Alloa and in the first half against Partick, and yesterday Queens again played the better football in the first half, and then absolutely tore us apart for about 20 mins at the start of the second. Up until he scored, Dykes didn't impress me all that much, but after that I thought he was superb. When Dobbie finally got his goal against us, I assumed that the unbeaten run was coming to an end, and deservedly so. Ridgers, uncharacteristically, looked shaky, Charlie Trafford's touch and distribution in the middle of the park were miles off (again) and the team as a whole looked like it was scared of taking any risks. It only changed once Trafford and Oakley went off and we went to 4-4-2, and when Walsh and Polworth seemed to start playing without fear after it went to 3-0. Both were superb, and hopefully they'll take that into the Falkirk and Ayr games, as we can't keep starting games so hesitantly and still expect to get results. Great to see young Roddy MacGregor get a run at the end, and he almost helped to set up a winner for Austin at the death after some superb interplay with Polworth cutting through Queens in the middle of the park. Definitely looks a player. John Robertson speaking to BBC Sport:- "For 70 minutes Queen of the South should have been six or seven nothing up. "They were the best team, they outfought us, they outplayed us, they outrun us, they bullied us, they played some magnificent football. "We got a goal out of nothing, and then we get another quick goal and you think we might have a wee chance here, and then we get a penalty." Highlights from the amazing comeback to snatch a point..........then almost win it! Gary Naysmith bewildered.......... Andy Sirling has his say............. Date: 17/11/2018 Venue: Palmerston Attendance: 1233 Referee: Greg Aitken Queen of the South: 3 Lineup: Leighfield; Doyle, Fordyce, Marshall, Semple, Harkins (Murray 86), Jacobs, Todd, Stirling (Norman 82), Dobbie, Dykes. Subs (not used): Gibson; Mercer, Bell, Frizzell, Irving. Scorers: Dykes (31), Dobbie (51), Todd (61) Booked: Stirling (79) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Chalmers, Walsh, Polworth, Trafford (Austin 58), Welsh, Doran (McGregor 87), Oakley (White 57 ) Subs (not used): Hoban; Harper. Scorers: McCart (71), Walsh (74), Welsh (pen 81) Booked: Trafford (42), Welsh (65), Donaldson (79) Sent Off: none a
  5. Walsh stunner stuns Jags Tom Walsh scored the only goal of the game with a brilliant solo goal to earn the Caley Jags all three points. Inverness had Mark Ridgers to thank for keeping another clean sheet as he superbly saved a Blair Spittal penalty with 15 minutes to go. Lest we forget................... John Robertson made a couple of enforced changes from the side that started the Highland derby against Ross County. Out went the disgraced Riccardo Calder who has had his contract terminated and Shaun Rooney has ligament damage and will be out for some time. Carl Tremarco is still out injured. That meant a revamp at the back with Brad Mckay moving to right back, Joe Chalmers to left back and Jamie McCart teaming up with Coll Donaldson at the heart of the defence. Charlie Trafford was drafted into midfield. Gary Caldwell had former Inverness striker Miles Storey on from the start with Jai Quitongo and Kris Doolan backing him up. The impressive Cammy Bell was the man hoping to keep Inverness out, with midfield powerhouse Blair Spittal a key player for the Harry Wraggs. A crowd of around two and a half thousand observed an impeccable silence to remember the fallen before Partick got the match underway, Inverness defending the Glasgow end of Firhill Stadium. Immortal Howden Ender was our man at the match and here is his report.............. Didn’t we have a lovely day the day went to Partick. Well I just about got there and no thanks to yet another Rail strike. But it was well worth it to watch a sublime Tom Walsh curler hit the back of a rain soaked net in the 71st minute of what I can only describe as a turgid affair. Pre match we went β€œInto the Deep” and I enjoyed a scuba dive with Red Card, RIG, the Moffat Bros and a certain Mr. Oliver. Nice to actually listen to plaudits for the backroom staff and confirmation that a lot is actually been done behind the scenes. Never saw or heard a vulture all day. Anyway to the game and probably a reason to make a more extensive introduction. In a way we were lucky to get away with three points. Partick had the more clear cut chances BUT they looked poor and never really looked like scoring, even from the penalty spot. It isn’t hard to cheer on Caley when you are bombarded with β€œCome on Thistle / Jags” shouts and chants !! And a paltry crowd of just over 2500 at the ”Energy Check Stadium” just summed up the fall of the Magyars of Firhill. A closed main stand and the barren hill at one end was a rather pitiful sight – especially when the heavens opened. It was another disciplined and well organized defensive display that brought home the points. To be honest we never really tested Cammy Bell until the goal and although it was a sweet strike Bell did appear to flounder – and perhaps we should have had more than four strikes on target from 15 attempts. The first half was rather tedious. It was an open affair but neither side showed that killer touch. It looks like neither outfit have that goal scoring forward. Nice but ineffective tippy-tappy stuff but always either a poor last touch or a failed through ball. Plastic Whistle probably had the best opportunities when Ridgers saved from Quitongo and Doolan fluffed a half chance. We appeared to move up a gear at the start of the second half and Oakley squandered a couple of chances from corner kick ploys. And then Thistle IMHO made a major error in hooking Miles Storey who had evidently been buoyed by facing his old team but his magic hat vanished and Gary Calwell displayed some of his tactical magic once again. And then on 71 minutes TOM WALSH successfully pulled a rabbit out of the hat. Picking up the ball on the left, neatly cut inside and curled a beauty via a sweeter right foot. But it was only three minutes later when we could have fecked it up. IMHO it was never a penalty but officials have a tendency to make such rewards when the ball accidentally is fired at a defenders flailing arm. But Ridgers stood tall and showered himself with a Calderesque (Jim by the way) slap off the crossbar, through himself to his left and tapped the ball round the post. He is definitely β€œOne of our own”. And the Plastic boys then went all out to save the game but Ridgers, Coll and McCart stood firm and were abetted by the substitute Fitzpatrick of Partick who missed a 1-1 chance and never even tested Ridgers. So our unbeaten run continued and Thistle slumped to their seventh consecutive defeat. And the relief from our players was clearly displayed as to a man plus Robbo they hailed the travelling support. SMILEYMOMETER RIDGERS πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€β€“ I suspect that many will award him MotM. Well to me he was a very close second. But he has come on leaps and bounds and must be as good a custodian as anyone else in Scotland. Perhaps Tin-Tin Mcleish should have a wee gander. McKAY πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€β€“ Well he basically did his job defensively but rarely went forward apart from dead ball situations. DONALDSON πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€β€“ MotM with a superb display. Made one bad error but more than made up for it. His calmness and distribution was a joy to behold. McCART πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€πŸ˜€ - Now that was a very solid looking central defence pairing. McCart was more of a get rid / hoof type performance but almost as effective as Coll. CHALMERS πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€β€“ Has not played at full back for some time but did a good job. Evidently was thinking defence and like Brad rarely foraged forward. POLWORTH πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ - Well he ran and ran and ran. Clearly designated as the play maker but his good touches and good deliveries were almost the same ratio as the flawed ones. But he really did not have many moving targets. Perhaps Doran should be taking more of the dead ball ploys. TRAFFORD πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€β€“ Stood his ground, didn’t make any mistakes but had a quiet 90 minutes. WELSH – πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€Did a good job as the defending midfielder. Clearly thinks a good game and was leading others around him. DORAN – πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ not sure exactly where he was playing. Perhaps it was supposed to have been as a Number 10 but it looked more like an extra midfielder to me. I far prefer him playing out wider. WALSH – πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€πŸ˜€Apart from the goal he looked the man most likely to produce chances. The only flaw was his reluctance to take on defenders and play the through ball 20-30 yards out instead of hitting the bye line. OAKLEY – πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ Basically up front on his Jack Jones and really should have scored from the one heading chance that came his way. WHITE – Never really got a chance to show anything as he came on when we were under the cosh. But perhaps he should have started as his height may well have been more effective. And we only had four outfield players on the bench including McGregor and Harper. So three points was more deserving for a depleted squad. So lets roll on to Dumbfries and plunder another three points from the Doon Hammers. Here's a wee summary from Caley Stan.. Typical performance from us. Solid, organised, lacking creativity, but full of spirit. A real moment of magic from Tom Walsh and an excellent penalty save from Ridgers won us the game. McCart and Donaldson played very well but it looked like Coll was carrying an injury for much of the second half. Polworth also had a good game - great to see him finding pockets of space in wide and deep areas and using his ability to keep the ball - he's growing as a player. And Ridgers was excellent throughout, giving it big licks at the end too. What a season he's having. Walsh's superb goal and Mark's brilliant penalty save............. Robbo aftermatch at Partick. Here's Tom Walsh talking post match............. Date: 10/11/2018 Venue: Firhill, Partick Attendance: 2509 Referee: Steven Kirkland Partick Thistle: 0 Lineup: Bell; Elliott, Penrice, Keown, McGinty, Spittal, Bannigan, Doolan, Slater, Storey (Fitzpatrick 66), Quitongo Subs (not used): Storer, McCarthy, Wilson, Sneddon, Scobbie, Ntambwe Scorers: none Booked: Slater (69), Quitongo (78) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Mckay, McCart, Donaldson, Chalmers, Doran, Polworth, Trafford, Welsh, Walsh, Oakley (White 68) Subs (not used): Hoban; Harper, McGregor, Austin Scorers: Walsh (71) Booked: Trafford (39), Chalmers (90+2) Sent Off: none a
  6. New record for ICT as County cling on for a point All the goals came in a frenetic first half with County equalising just on the break with an own goal from Brad Mckay. Jamie Lindsay opened the scoring out of the blue when he chanced his hand from distance, the ball going well wide of Ridgers but into the bottom corner. Two minutes later George Oakley levelled and Shaun Rooney then put the hosts ahead on the half hour before that unfortunate own goal gave County hope they scarcely deserved. Mark Ridgers pulled off a tremendous Gordon Banks moment denying Billy McKay and it was all square at the break. After the interval Inverness looked to be the only team capable of winning and a number of close calls went unanswered, Ridgers eventually having to make another noteworthy save before the end, but the hosts had passed on a few opportunities to seal all three points. Two dropped for Inverness, one gained for County. Caley Jags manager John Robertson was still without captain Carl Tremarco and Riccardo Calder deputised at left back once more. Joe Chalmers came in for Charlie Trafford and George Oakley was fit enough to start with Jordan White dropping to the bench. Aaron Doran started with Daniel Mackay coming on from the bench later. Former Caley Jags players Billy Mckay, Ross Draper, Iain Vigurs and Don Cowie all started for Ross County who had Marcus Fraser back in the side. A healthy crowd of over 4000 witnessed an excellent Highland derby played out in good condition, with both sides looking for the advantage at every opportunity. Where do you start with that game? From the off it was clear that this was going to be a high octane game. The hosts looking sharp as they took the game to the visitors in the opening exchanges forcing a couple of early corners. Shaun Rooney heading wide from one. County got to grips with the pace of the game and Mark Ridgers saved from Josh Mullin twelve minutes in but five minutes later they scored out of the blue when Jamie Lindsay gathered the ball around thirty yards out. He had space to move forward before rifling a low shot beyond the outstretched arms of Ridgers into the bottom right hand corner of the net. Inverness were level two minutes later when George Oakley brilliantly turned a header back into the box from Walsh into the top of the net, the keeper rooted to the spot. That goal was the culmination of a wonderful move after breaking up a County attack on the half way line. The next goal was equally as good. After a Polworth corner was part cleared, Sean Welsh played a one-two with Joe Chalmers before flicking the ball down the flank to Polworth. He raced into the edge of the box before picking out Rooney who side footed perfectly into the bottom corner for a brilliant goal, Fox once more stuck to his line like a Subbutteo keeper. We continued to press and a Chalmers free kick just evaded Oakley as we looked for a third. Save of the day next when Billy Mckay looked to have levelled for County. However Mark Ridgers managed to claw his close range header away as the ball looked to have bounce behind him. Truly a Gordon Banks/Pele moment. What a save! Two minutes before the break and County were level. Vigurs released Billy Mckay who was right on the shoulder of Donaldson. The wee striker turned and sprinted forward before firing a low ball into the box. Unfortunately Brad Mckay thought he could intercept the delivery but only succeeded in turning the ball into the net with Calder ready to clear the harmless cross. Half Time 2-2 The end to end action continued after the break. There were numerous attempts to score from both sides. Unfortunately the strikers at either end were an inch or two away from completing the task of putting the ball in the net. We should have scored a third, maybe even a fourth or fifth given the amount of dangerous balls we were hurtling into the box, but every one just evaded the despairing lunges of the forwards. Liam Polworth will wonder how he missed the best opportunity when we burst forward on the right through Aaron Doran who unselfishly teed up Liam for a tap-in. However, he screwed the ball goalwards and it hit the base of the post with Fox beaten. A glorious chance to win the game. Doran, McCart and White were unable to stretch far enough to divert balls into the net as we pounded the County lines and at the other end Mark Ridgers had the final say in a superb Highland derby as he saved a Brian Graham header near the end. Wow, what a game and I suppose a point apiece is near the mark although we probably should have taken all three. I can't fault anyone out there today in what was a tremendous advert for Championship football. Mark Ridgers save from Mckay was exceptional, a world class save from the big man. Coll Donaldson and Riccardo Calder were immense, Calder firing crosses into the box like nobody's business. Sean Welsh was a powerhouse in midfield and Liam Polworth had his best game in weeks. I could mention them all, no failures. Two superb goals from Oakley and Rooney, not just the finishes, but the build up play as well. The one disappointment was the own goal which in retrospect was unnecessary. Anyway, to put it into context, that's 23 games unbeaten in the Championship, albeit a run of seven draws, but not many will be complaining after witnessing that game. Ross County TV are first up with the highlights.......... Robbo on facebook George Oakley on facebook The opposition view from Steven Ferguson Date: 03/11/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 5500 Referee: Kevin Clancy Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney (McCart 57), B Mckay, Donaldson, Calder, Walsh (D Mackay 74), Polworth, Chalmers, Welsh, Doran, Oakley (White 61) Subs (not used): Hoban; Austin, McGregor, Trafford Scorers: Oakley(19), Rooney (30) Booked: Calder (45 +1) Walsh (49) Sent Off: none Ross County: 2 Lineup: Fox; Fraser, Kelly, Draper, Lindsay, Vigurs, Cowie (Graham 75), Watson, Keillor-Dunn (McManus 66), Mckay, Mullin (Stewart 85), Subs (not used): Munro; Fontaine, Demetriou, Dingwall Scorers: Lindsay (17), Mckay (og 43) Booked: Vigurs (67), Lindsay (90+3) Sent Off: none a
  7. 2-2, Who knew? Everyone I should think. That result was as predictable as Xmas is on the 25th of December. Isn't it? Four first half goals ended the entertainment with neither side able to create an opening in a turgid second half at a baltic Caledonian Stadium. Keena put the Pars ahead twice, the second a spectacular effort from thirty yards plus. Calder equalised with a sweet finish first time and White scored our second to make it six draws on the trot. Boo's greeted the players at the end as the fans frustrations grew, a point not lost on Jordan Whyte who replied into the North Stand as angry fans remonstrated with the players, Whyte a particular target of the boo boy brigade. John Robertson shuffled the pack a little in a bid to get out of the cycle of draws. Carl Tremarco was missing through injury and was replaced by Riccardo Calder. Tactical switches saw Charlie Trafford in for midfielder Joe Chalmers and Daniel Mackay replacing Aaron Doran up front. Allan Johnston gave starts to Aidan Connolly, Malaury Martin and Joe Thomson. It was ice cold in Inverness as the Caley Jags kicked off with less than 2000 in the ground. Despite a bright opening from the hosts, it was all undone with one sloppy pass on the halfway line. Sean Welsh passed the ball to the visitors and when it came to Aidan Keena from Myles Hippolyte, the Hearts loan player calmly curled a low shot beyond the outstretched Mark Ridgers in the Caley Jags goal. A sloppy goal to lose, almost a replica of the Brad Mckay gift against Morton. We looked determined to get back on level terms, a couple of headers from Jordan Whyte causing little concern to Robinson in the Pars goal. After Daniel Mackay had won a free kick, Liam Polworth fired a low ball across the box where it was left to run to the left side and the incoming Riccardo Calder fired it home first time as he met the ball for an excellent reply. Keena and Whyte had efforts saved at either end of the ground and the Pars were threatening to open us up as we slithered around. On the half hour the Pars went back in front in spectacular style. Keena picked the ball up some forty yards out and after a few paces forward he sent a vicious shot high into the left hand side of Ridgers' net. No chance for the keeper and a stunning goal for Keena. Five minutes later and it was back level. Polworth fed the ball wide and Tom Walsh fired a low ball into the box where Whyte, under pressure, nicked the ball behind Robinson. An entertaining half ended level as the temperatures kept dropping. Half Time 2-2 More of the same would have been nice in the second period, unfortunately it was a bit of an anti-climax with both sides trying to make the breakthrough. Neither keeper was troubled but with just over ten minutes left, Aidan Connolly skimmed the top of the bar with a free kick, although Ridgers may well have had it covered had it been six inches lower. The nearest Inverness came to grabbing the winner was just after that free kick but Whyte headed over at the back post after failing to get above the ball following a corner. Great chance missed and maybe that just added fuel to the boo boys which led to the angry exchange after the final whistle. Full Time 2-2 Another draw and we fall further behind the leaders. Eight points behind surprise leaders Ayr United. Plenty of effort and a couple of goals were not enough to keep the fans happy. A lack of ambition in the second half undid any positives from the first forty-five. Inverness were best served by Coll Donaldson, Riccardo Calder and Mark Ridgers. However, my MotM is going to Dunfermline's Aidan Keena who exploded that shot behind Ridgers from probably thirty-five yards. Great goal worth seeing in the highlights. Highland derby on Saturday and Inverness will need to up their game if they want to remain unbeaten. Here's the goals from Caley Jags TV And Robbo's aftermatch can be seen on the facebook page Full Highlights from Dunfermline TV Date: 30/10/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1994 Referee: Barry Cook Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, Calder, Welsh, Polworth (Doran 75), Trafford (Chalmers 70), Walsh (Austin 71), D Mackay, White Subs (not used): Hoban; McCart , Oakley, McGregor. Scorers: Calder (20), White (34) Booked: Welsh (62), Rooney (85) Sent Off: none Dunfermline Ath: 2 Lineup: Robinson; Craigen, Ashcroft, Devine, Longridge, Connolly, Martin, Thomson, Longridge, Hippolyte, Ryan, Keena (Muirhead 81) Subs (not used): Gill; Williamson, Martin, HigginBotham, El Bakhtaoui, McCann, Scorers: Keena (10, 29) Booked: Craigen (14) Sent Off: none a
  8. White earns point for Caley Jags Inverness came from behind to take a hard earned point away from Tannadice in Robbie Neilson's first home game in charge of Dundee United. It was a hard fought point for the visitors after Safranko headed the Arabs in front after the break. Inverness levelled when a Liam Polworth free kick was headed into the top corner. Jordan White wants it but Coll Donaldson was not so sure that he was the scorer, both players claiming it. Either way, a goal it was and that ended the scoring but for Donaldson his day still had a bit to run as he was red carded with around ten minutes left. A decent day in Dundee saw over five and a half thousand welcome Robbie Neilson to Tannadice, with around two hundred and eighty visiting fans in the Shed to see if Inverness could remain unbeaten. Riccardo Calder has had some impressive outings off the bench recently and he was handed a start with Aaron Doran on the bench. Joining Aaron was Daniel Mackay fresh from scoring a brace for the under 18's at Rugby Park the day before and fellow striker Nathan Austin. It was the proverbial stalemate in the first half with neither defences giving much away and it was fully twenty minutes before a keeper was asked to do anything meaningful, Ridgers saving from McMullan. Rachid Bouhenna headed wide as United began to get the better of proceedings but Ridgers was never seriously threatened. Joe Chalmers had our first attempt, a shot from distance saved low by Siegrist, and at the other end Safranko brought Ridgers back into action as he saved his shot. Billy King was next to have a pop and as the half wore on Inverness were being pushed further back, Safranko being prominent in most things United. Brad Mckay made a tremendous block to deny a certain goal as Ridgers scrambled back across his goal. The half time whistle was a welcome sound to the ears of the visitors as we defended deeper and deeper. Half Time 0-0 Jordan White headed high over just after the break and Safranko went close with a header at the opposite end. However, two minutes later he would enjoy more success as he headed powerfully past a helpless Ridgers from an inviting Fraser Aird cross. No more than United deserved at this point and it was going to be an uncomfortable half hour for the visitors as United looked to extend their lead. Donaldson picked up a booking before the hour and that would come back to bite him on the bum before the end. The game turned a bit towsey and yellow cards were dished out at will as we held on to our one goal deficit. With twenty minutes remaining, Inverness won a free kick wide right. Liam Polworth curled a luscious ball into the danger area and someone headed it high into the net from a bundle of players. Jordan White wants it, but so does Coll Donaldson. It matters not one bit, what did matter was that we were back on level terms. With ten minutes left, White could have won the game as he turned on a ball in the box fed through neatly by Polworth but he couldn't wrap his foot round the ball properly and it went by the post. United made a late surge to try and win all three points and Donaldson was shown a second yellow for fouling Nicky Clark. Jamie McCart replaced Coll with Sean Welsh being made the scapegoat for Coll's misdemeanours. Despite a late flurry of activity around the visitors box, the wasteful United attacks came to nothing as their desperation to score grew and Inverness held on to take a hard earned point back North. Full Time 1-1 Still unbeaten and with all the signs pointing towards a home win, this was an excellent point against a United side who had the added boost of the new manager adrenaline rush. The United fans love to hate Coll Donaldson, maybe that's why he wanted to claim the goal. What a guy and he's my Man of the Match just for his nuisance value. He'll have a job convincing White that it's his goal having watched this footage. Mark Ridgers was solid in goal and Sean Welsh and Liam Polworth put in a good shift. Here's all the action from Tannadice.......... Robbo was delighted with the point and acknowledges that either side could have won, Robbo aftermatch reaction.... Date: 20/10/2018 Venue: Tannadice Attendance: 5628 Referee: Euan Anderson Dundee United: 1 Lineup: Siegrist; Murdoch, Bouhenna, Frans, Booth, Aird (Loemba 84), Stanton, Fyvie, King (Clark 75), McMullan, Safranko Subs (not used): Barton; Smith, Robson, Rabitch, Rakovan, Scorers: Safranko (55) Booked: Fyvie (64) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco, Walsh (Mackay 70), Polworth, Chalmers, Welsh (McCart 83), Calder (Doran 57), White Subs (not used): Hoban; Austin, Trafford, Harper Scorers: White or Donaldson (72) (to be confirmed) Booked: Chalmers (40), Donaldson (57), B Mckay (63), Polworth (65), Rooney (90+2) Sent Off: Donaldson (82) a
  9. North of Scotland Cup Final 2018 The Staggies lifted the NoS Cup after a five goal second half. The game was played in a mini tempest and County looked to have it all sewn up until a late rally by the Caley Jags, but they fell just short. It was a wild afternoon that greeted the youthful sides from Inverness CT and Ross County for the North of Scotland Cup Final at Grant Street Park, Inverness, the home of Clachnacuddin. Nathan Austin, Daniel Mackay and Riccardo Calder who were all substitutes against Morton were in the starting XI alongside squad players Jamie McCart and Charlie Trafford. County had a pair of Dingwalls on from the start and it was Russell Dingwall that had the first attempt, his shot deflected for a corner. Minutes later keeper Ross Munro denied Riccardo Calder from close range with a superb reflex save. Calder was the man causing the early problems for County and Munro saved again as Calder let fly from 25 yards, the ball going behind for a corner. County ventured forward and Maciver shot over, however the balls are taking a battering in the strong wind and another one disappears into the Merkinch landscape. County coming more into the game as the half hour approaches and a Gallagher shot is saved by Daniel Hoban and R Dingwall pinged one just wide ten minutes before the break. County having the better of it as the half wears on and James Wallace hit the post from a free kick just outside the box. Half Time 0-0 The second half was only a couple of minutes old when Hoban had to make a double save to deny first Dykes, then Grivosti. The Dingwall men carried on where they left off in the first half, on the front foot and R Dingwall shot just over. Jack Murray was denied on the line by a tremendous block from Jamie McCart as County turned the screw. Gunn and Macgregor swapped places for the Caley Jags and Charlie Trafford was yellow carded on the hour, but it was no surprise when County opened the scoring, albeit with the aid of a deflection. It was Tom Kelly that volleyed in from around fifteen yards after an assist from James Wallace. County were awarded a penalty when Hoban brought down Maciver and was booked for his troubles before Dylan Dykes scored from the spot. Wallace was involved again in the build up with a tremendous run. Morrison replaced Hastings as Inverness looked to get back into the game, but it was County that broke forward and Dykes netted his second of the game. Inverness were thrown a lifeline a minute later when Ross Gunn scored and soon after Charlie Trafford headed home a Brown corner for the second to set up a grandstand finish. Nathan Austin brought out a fine save from Munro but it was County that held on to lift the trophy. Full Time 2-3 It must be an ICT thing, too little too late once more. Congratulations to Ross County for winning the North of Scotland Cup after an entertaining final given the atrocious conditions the game was played in. Here's the goals that won and lost the cup.............. Date: 07/10/2018 Venue: Grant Street Inverness Attendance: 0000 Referee: Liam Duncan Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Hoban; Hastings (Morrison), Fyffe, McCart, Harper, Brown, Trafford, Mackay, MacGregor (Gunn), Calder, Austin Subs (not used): Nicholson, Kennedy, Hyde Scorers: Gunn (86), Trafford (88) Booked: Trafford (60), Hoban (70), Fyffe (79) Sent Off: none Ross County: 3 Lineup: Munro, Kelly, Murray, Grivosti, Johnstone, R Dingwall, T Dingwall, Dykes, Maciver, Wallace, Gallagher Subs (not used): Reid, Fraser, Macdonald, Hughes, Goodall, Wright, Williams. Scorers: Kelly (63), Dykes (pen 71, 85) Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  10. Not such a gay day It was all hands to the pumps as Inverness hosted the LGBT march, but it was not such a joyous day at the Caledonian Stadium as we let slip another two points in a 1-1 draw with Morton. Charlie Telfer scored early doors for Morton and Jordan White replied just before the interval. Ryan Scully pulled off a string of unbelievable saves to earn a point for the Ton. As Larry Grayson would have commented. "What a gay day", however, not so on the football pitch as Inverness once more struggled to get the better of an average Morton side who shipped five goals at home to Ayr United last weekend. Robbo went unchanged again much to the chagrin of the meagre home support noted at just over 2000. That meant Jordan White started with Daniel Mackay, Nathan Austin and Riccardo Calder on the bench. Morton had Michael Tidser fit enough to start, he had been a doubt prior to the weekend. Similar to last week, Inverness took ten minutes to find their feet. By then we were a goal down after a series of defensive blunders and wayward passes opened the door for Morton to take advantage. They did just that after intercepting Brad Mckay's soft pass and a few deft touches later Charlie Telfer drilled home Michael Tidser's cut back. Sloppy stuff from Inverness as the visitors deservedly went ahead. It was fifteen minutes before we threatened when Donalson headed wide and five minutes later a Mckay effort was deflected wide after a corner by Joe Chalmers. The home support had seen it all before as we struggled to make much headway even when the visitors threat was on the wane. We badly needed an injection of pace and quality in the engine room, but that was sadly lacking once more as our predictability took over. We were beginning to get on top of the game now and Scully did brilliantly to deny Aaron Doran with a low save ten minutes before half time. With the break fast approaching a piece of genuine skill from Jordan White leveled the game. I never thought you would see those two words in the same sentence, but there you go. Coll Donaldson put a ball forward into the heart of the box where big Jordan defied the odds to control the ball, turn and flick it past Scully for a sensational goal. Eat yer heart out Messi! Half Time 1-1 Robbo wasted no time to alter his tactics as he went 4-4-2 by removing Jo Chalmers and introducing Daniel Mackay to the proceedings for the second half. However it was Morton that almost went back in front as Sean Welsh cleared a looping header from Tidser away from the goal line. Riccardo Calder was then brought out, replacing Aaron Doran and the crowd sensed a bit more urgency with the two subs on the park. Unfortunately the final ball still eluded everyone and Ryan Scully was soon to be the chief villain. Donaldson made a tremendous block to deny Gary Oliver a clear shot on target as the visitors took control of the midfield, Inverness reduced to chasing shadows at one point. Half an hour left and we started to get back on the front foot, Calder heading over and Donaldson flashing a shot wide from outside the box. Nathan Austin joined in for a final flourish but Scully was the man of the moment as first he broke Daniel Mackay's heart with a stunning point blank save from the young strikers close range shot. Mackay could not believe it as he covered his head with his hands, Tully flying across goal to keep the ball out. What a save! He would repeat his heroic performance as he touched a Nathan Austin header over the bar when Austin ghosted onto a forward ball almost nicking it over the keeper who finger tipped the ball over for a corner. Great stuff from Scully, the North Stand crowd looking on in disbelief. What a Scullywag! Big penalty shout at the end when Tremarco went down in the box but nothing given although Robbo confirmed after the game that Carl has stud marks down his thigh. Meh! Full Time 1-1 We finished the game well on top but it was another case of too little too late, a bit of a recurring theme at the moment. Morton had come out of the blocks flying and were behind before we ventured forth. I reckon this was certainly an upgrade from the Queens performance, or lack of one. Had Ryan Scully not made three outstanding saves we could have won this game, but credit to the Irish keeper he was on fine form and is my MotM. Once again our best performers were in defence and Coll Donaldson was again outstanding at the back and not afraid to drift forward and have a go. Food for thought again for Robbo and despite his stunning goal, White is maybe a bit ponderous and Austin, D Mackay and Riccardo Calder will be knocking on the managers door looking for a start next time out. By the way, here's how the official Morton twitter account saw Scully's saves:- 84' That is extraordinary from Scully! The Ton goalkeeper somehow manager to flip Daniel Mackay's close-range snapshot up onto the bar and over. A jaw-dropping save. 86' He's at it again! Scully flips Austin's looping header over the top just as it threatens to drop over him and into the net. And a Morton fan commented thus;- "In all fairness. That save Scully made towards the end of the game in top corner from 6 yards has to be one of the best saves I’ve ever seen live. I believe reactions and reflexes! A save that would go viral if he was De Gea or Lloris! Footage now available................. Here's Robbo talking after the game........ Date: 06/10/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2186 Referee: Craig Thomson Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco, Chalmers (D Mackay 45), Polworth, Welsh, White (Austin 79), Doran (Calder 58), Walsh. Subs (not used): Hoban; McCart, Trafford, Mcgregor. Scorers: White (45) Booked: Rooney (70), Tremarco (81) Sent Off: none Morton: 1 Lineup: Scully; Kilday, Buchanan, Waddell, McKeown, McAlister, Telfer, Iredale (McHugh 85), Tidser, Tiffoney (MacLean 54 ), Oliver, Subs (not used): Gaston, Tumilty, Thomson, Armour, Lyon. Scorers: Telfer (10) Booked: Tiffoney (52), Iredale (66) Sent Off: none a
  11. County hold rampant Caley Jags Ross County held Inverness to a scoreless draw at the Global Energy Stadium in front of a bumper crowd of nearly six and a half thousand. Inverness almost blew County away in a totally dominant first half. As the game wore on, County came back into the picture and Mark Ridgers kept the score sheet blank with a superb double save to deny McManus and Billy Mckay. Shaun Rooney and Liam Polworth were fit enough to start but George Oakley missed out through injury. No sign of Nathan Austin anywhere, apparently suffering from slight concussion picked up in training. Iain Vigurs was on the bench for County and would be introduced later in the game to try and disable Polworth with a series of cynical tackles on the controlling Inverness midfielder. Billy Mckay, Ross Draper and Don Cowie all started. Ginger Jaggy has penned this report for us.................. The game may have ended in a draw but there is only one team that will go away satisfied by the first Highland Derby of the Championship Season. Before the game the talk of some fans was about going to Dingwall to make a statement on enemy turf. Although the result didn’t reflect it, there definitely was a statement made. There was only one team playing football and it wasn’t the team in Dark Blue as Caley Thistle from kick off dominated the ball and played some excellent easy on the eye football. Liam Polworth was the standout player pulling all the strings and it was he who had the first chance early on but dragged his shot wide when in a good position. For all County’s money that has allowed them to build the strongest squad on paper, they lacked any cohesion as a team with the CaleyJags looking more fluent and fluid in possession. Goes to show you that football is not all about what’s on paper! Mark Ridgers was unemployed in the first half but his counterpart at the other end was pulling off numerous saves to keep his side in it. Scott Fox won man of the match and it was little wonder with some outstanding saves as he became last man standing in the way of the Caley Thistle juggernaut. He first kept out Aaron Doran with a fantastic one-handed tip over before pulling off another brilliant block from the same player and recovering as fast as lightening to block Jordan White’s rebound – to the astonishment of White who thought he had an easy tap in. White had a couple more half chances, but the score remained goalless at half time with only a harmless Michael Gardyne curler wide of goal the only chance of note for the home side. Half Time 0-0 The second half continued in the same fashion as Polworth went close with a dipping overhit cross that had Fox scrambling but landing just on the roof of the net. For the first hour it had all been the Caley Jags with County looking edgy and uncoordinated at the back as a long-range Chalmers shot had all the sting taken out of it and was rolling harmlessly to Fox before a panicked County defender booted it out for a throw in. Sean Welsh should have done better in the closing stages when a deflected Polworth shot landed perfectly into his path but instead of showing composure he lent back and hammered it high into the travelling supporters. County had made all their subs early in the half, while Inverness had failed to make one as the lack of fresh legs started to take their toll in the final 10 minutes. Gardyne was their main man with the late chances as he continued to shoot with most going miles too high that disappeared over the jail end although one did only just skim over the bar – a warning shot. Their best chance fell late on when Declan McManus got the break of the ball on the edge of the box and fired powerfully at goal, which Ridgers did well to stop before recovering to smother the resultant rebound and collect under pressure from Mckay. Full Time 0-0 County’s late rally only really happened as Inverness tired but a point apiece was just about right with chances for both teams but for an hour at least Caley Thistle were on top and playing some lovely stuff. The unbeaten run continues for another week and although it wasn’t a win, a statement has been well and truly made that Inverness will compete and are likely to be right up there come the business end of the season. That result saw Inverness toppled from the head of the table, Ayr United are the new leaders. Here's something you don't often see in the same sentence. Willie Collum and the word praise, but Old Caley Girl managed it. Congratulations! "Word of praise for Willie Collum who let the game flow and was restrained with the cards Different class to Aitken last week." And Polly was also singled out by OCG and he was our MotM. "How good was Polly running things in the middle. His best position and yesterday proved it. Happy with a point and we remain unbeaten." Here's the footage from Caley Jags TV with the Robbo interview following........ Official Report can be found here Date: 22/09/2018 Venue: Global Energy Stadium, Dingwall. Attendance: 6402 Referee: Willie Collum Ross County: 0 Lineup: Fox; Watson, Morris, Fontaine, Kelly, Cowie (Mullin 65), Lindsay, Draper (Vigurs 65), Gardyne, Mckay, Graham (McManus 81) Subs (not used): Munro; Demetriou, Stewart, Keillor-Dunn Scorers: none Booked: Kelly (72) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco, Chalmers, Polworth, Welsh, White, Doran, Walsh (Mackay 88) Subs (not used): Hoban; McCart, Calder, Trafford, McGregor, Brown. Scorers: none Booked: Donaldson (89) Sent Off: none a
  12. Game of two halves It was the proverbial game of two halves. Inverness winning the first half 3-0 and Partick the second 2-0. When the dust settled it ended 3-2 for Inverness which was sufficient to move the Caley Jags to the top of the Championship. Three first half goals from Jordan White, Shaun Rooney and a penalty from Sean Welsh had the home side cruising at the break. However, we sat too deep in the second half and it was no surprise when Partick scored through Blair Spittal. They fell just short with a last gasp counter from Kris Doolan but the Caley Jags held on to take all three points and sit top of the division with Ross County drawing with Queen of the South. At the end of the action, the Caley Jags can be thankful for a penalty save by Mark Ridgers at the end of the first half. That became more important as the second half unfolded. No surprises in the Inverness starting XI, Jordan White chosen as target man with George Oakley and Nathan Austin on the bench. Partick had former Inverness players Miles Storey and Andrea Mutombo on from the start with Kris Doolan and Jai Quitongo making the bench. Old Caley Girl has this report for us, see what she had to say about the game. We’re top of the league and you’re no! Only 5 games in granted but certainly feels good and it’s been a long time coming. We got there in a very odd way to be honest. Summed up by a quote on twitter by our own Renegade β€œThe first half was probably the best Caley Thistle have played all season. The second half was easily the worst”. Partick appeared to start brightly but as the first half went on it was clear this is a team that, like us last season, are a bit shell-shocked after relegation and have yet to gel. With ex-Caley jags men Miles Storey and Mutumbo in the Partick line up there was a bit of extra interest from the home fans with Storey especially getting attention from the boo boys in the north stand. Blair Spittal had a good chance 4 minutes in which was ably saved by Ridgers. However, it was the home fans who were cheering in 11 minutes with Jordan White opening our account. The ball found its way to Polworth who put in a great run and launched a thundering shot from about 20yds out. This hit the post and fell to White who made no mistake in popping it in the net. This was the start of a great spell for the home side with some tidy football on display and in 23 minutes we were 2 up. A Polworth corner was headed down to Sean Rooney who made no mistake with a right footed volley into the net. We were cruising, and the home fans were lapping it up. Walsh and Polworth had further chances to extend our lead and Slater came close at the other end. Just over half an hour in and Polworth broke free on goal to be hauled down in the box by Ntambwe and a penalty was awarded. Madness on the Partick players part and he was extremely lucky to be awarded a yellow and not a red. His manager clearly agrees with me as minutes later he was substituted. Anyway, back to the penalty. Up stepped Sean Walsh and he netted with a calmly despatched shot right down the centre of the goal past Bell. At last we appear to have found the competent penalty taker we have craved since Tansey left. In 41 minutes, referee Greg Aitken enraged the home support with what looked like a very dubious penalty award to Partick. Sean Welsh was judged to have fouled Miles Storey right on the edge of the penalty area. It didn’t even look like a foul to most of us and was arguably not even in the box. As usual the protesting players were not listened to and up stepped Storey only for Mark Ridgers to save in his bottom right corner with the hapless Storey even managing to miss a header from the rebound. Just on half time Rooney was replaced by McCart with the former going off injured. Half Time 3-0 The second half was a total contrast from our point of view. The referee decided to take a starring role and infuriate the home support. There were several bookings for both sides for not very much. The Partick defenders always seeming to get the benefit of the doubt in 50/50 tussles and the game frustratingly very stop start. Oakley replaced White and Calder replaced Doran. We staggered on with too much sitting back for my liking until 82 minutes when Blair Spittal managed to get one back for the visitors. It still felt frustrating but comfortable to be honest. A few players appear to be carrying slight knocks with Polworth limping his way through last 10 minutes or so as we had no subs left. More worryingly Oakley had to leave the park (88mins), in agony, after going down whilst chasing on the main stand side towards goal. As all subs were used we were down to 10 men and in reality, 9 as Polworth was struggling badly and managed to pick up a yellow in 90 mins. In the dying seconds Doolan managed to get Partick a second. That was that though and the players went off to big cheers and the morale boosting news of being top of the league. Full Time 3-2 So, a tale of two halves but a win is a win and we are now 18 league games unbeaten. Off to Dingwall we go next week and that is looking like a tasty fixture now with our neighbours snapping at our heels one point behind. Our second half performance was worrying, and we cannot allow, ourselves to sit back next week or disaster will surely ensue. The Mallard and haggis pies await and hopefully another 3 points. We will have to play at our absolute best and I hope the experienced players such as Tremarco are drumming into the newbies how important this fixture is. More worryingly are injuries to Rooney going off in first half and Polworth struggling. Oakley however appears to be the most serious and I doubt we will see him for a while sadly. OCG MOTM – Id say everyone yesterday got pass marks so a hard choice. Ridgers a contender for that great penalty save and its fab to see Welsh despatch another penalty. However, for me it must be Polworth for his first half performance alone. Was involved in everything and we would be a much poorer team without him. I hope this performance gave the boo boys in our support something to ponder over. Special mention to the match officials. Very inconsistent and pernickety. Partick penalty award looked outside box to me. Standside assistant appeared to stand and watch Doolan elbow Donaldson in the face and do nothing and fans on twitter reporting one of the assistants had to answer his phone mid game to switch it off!!! Doesn’t do much to enhance the reputation Scottish officials are gaining this season. Robbo in this post-match interview was disappointed we only went in 3 up at half time and also felt the 2nd Partick goal took a bit of shine off the day. Sentiments I agree with. Archibald felt his side were hard done by and always a threat? Hmmmm not so sure what he was watching. Always felt comfortable even in the dying minutes for me. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ After the dust settled, here's what we thought of it all on CTO. Despite a grim second half, there were some heartening moments after the break. Inverwegian picked out this one:- "Why has no one mentioned the best thing about the second half?? The Partick keeper falling over the advertising boards! Really, you’ve got to take what you can from that second half and that was mine." Caman was straight to the point:- "2nd half kinda sucked, but three points, still unbeaten and top of the league. Could be worse I suppose!!! " And The Long Man summed it up nicely while looking ahead to next weekend:- "Good Stuff. Remember the doom and gloom after Hearts - now look where both clubs are. Sets up next week beautifully." Rig was feeling sentimental towards the 'Magic Hat' man:- "Great to see them capturing Mckay dishing out some telt to Storey after his penalty miss though I did feel for him a wee bit with the abuse he was getting." You can feel the love😍 See you all in Dingwall next week! Here's the action from Caley Jags TV Date: 15/09/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2424 Referee: Greg Aitken Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney (McCart 43), Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco, Doran (Calder 76), Polworth, Welsh, Chalmers, White (Oakley 69), Walsh Subs (not used): Hoban, Trafford, Austin, Mackay Scorers: White (11), Rooney (23), Welsh (pen 32) Booked: Chalmers (48), Polworth (90+2) Sent Off: none Partick Thistle: 2 Lineup: Bell; Elliot, Keown, McGinty, Penrice, Mutombo ( Doolan 56), Ntambwe (Bannigan 37), Slater, Spittal, Storey (Quitongo 71) Subs (not used): Sneddon, Melbourne, Fitzpatrick, Jefferies Scorers: Spittal (82), Doolan (90+3) Booked: Ntambwe (32), Bannigan (72) Sent Off: none a
  13. Can Cans Can't Stop Mackay A damp and blustery night greeted the semi-final of the North of Scotland Cup on a sad day for North football and journalism as it was announced that former Caley manager Alex Main, who amassed 14 trophies including 4 Highland League titles at Telford Street, had passed away at the age of 86. A tribute to Alex can be found on the Official Site. RIP Alex. John Robertson had indicated he would give a handful of squad players a game and Charlie Trafford, Riccardo Calder, Daniel Mackay and Jamie McCart were joined by striker George Oakley in the starting XI. George Oakley got the game underway and it only took five minutes for Inverness to get themselves in front. Daniel Mackay made his way down the right and crossed into the six yard box where Roddy MacGregor headed home. Forres steadied the ship and Milne headed a Duncanson cross wide after 18 minutes, at the other end Daniel Mackay shot over from distance. Halfway through the first half and Knight had to look sharp to come off his line and block George Oakley as he raced through on goal. Former Inverness player Stuart Soane went close with a header from a corner as we neared the interval. Half Time 1-0 The second half brought no changes, but three minutes in and Mackay volleyed home from ten yards after a Gabriel Hastings cross was part cleared by the visiting defence. Charlie Trafford was booked for a late challenge and moments later Daniel Hoban was called into action to deny Soane who had headed goalwards. Inverness stepping up a gear now and Jack Brown wins a corner that is cleared, but it's that boy again as Daniel Mackay scored his second and Caley Jags third after Oakley sent him through on the keeper. Mackay rounded Knight to score. Mackay tried to return the favour to Oakley but he could not take full advantage of the opening. Jack Brown got in on the act as he rounded Knight to score the Caley Jags fourth of the night and put the result beyond doubt. Right at the death, Riccardo Calder went close with a tremendous effort, but there was no more scoring as the ref brought the game to a halt. Full Time 4-0 Inverness progress to the final and await the winner of the Ross County v Brora Rangers tie which will be played tomorrow night. Date: 11/09/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: ???? Referee: Billy Baxter Inverness CT: 4 Lineup: Hoban, Hastings, Harper, Trafford (Gunn 64), Fyffe, McCart, Mackay, Brown (Hyde 85) Oakley (Kennedy 74), MacGregor, Calder. Subs (not used): Mackinnon, Nicolson, Harkness Scorers: MacGregor (6), Mackay (48, 62), Brown (70) Booked: Trafford (53) Sent Off: none Forres Mechanics: 0 Lineup: Knight, MacPherson, Fraser, Groat (Allan 65), Moore, Milne, Pollock (MacPhee 65) , MacRae, Duncanson (Taylor 70), Howarth, Soane Subs (not used): Brown, MacGillivray, Paterson, Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  14. Long time since Rooney scored for Inverness But today it was Shaun Rooney who opened his account for the Caley Jags and paved the way for a tremendous away win at East End Park. Liam Polworth and George Oakley completed the scoring, all goals coming in the second half. Our first visit to East End Park last season saw us whipped 5-1 by a rampant Dunfermline. The 1-0 defeat against Dunfermline on March 13 was the last time ICTFC had lost in the Championship. Something was going to give. The hosts had two former Caley Jags players starting in Danny Devine and James Vincent. Late signing Robbie Muirhead was on the bench alongside Kallum Higginbotham and Aidan Connolly. Inverness made a couple of changes from the Alloa game with big striker Jordan White spearheading the attack and Aaron Doran starting. That put George Oakley on the bench with Nathan Austin nowhere to be seen. Dunfermline got the game underway in front of a crowd of 5138 shooting towards the visiting fans. The Caley Jags were playing towards the Norrie McCathie stand, and it was the Pars that made the early running forcing Inverness onto the back foot and winning an early corner which came to nothing. Inverness had a goal chalked off after quarter of an hour and Mark Ridgers did well to tip a fierce shot from Myles Hippolyte onto the bar with Danny Devine lashing the loose ball just wide. Just before the half hour Joe Chalmers headed just over from a Tom Walsh cross. Soon after a defensive error by Ashcroft allowed Aaron Doran to play in Walsh, unfortunately Keeper Robinson made a good save to deny the Caley Jags forward. Just before the break Carl Tremarco and Myles Hippolite were booked after a bit of a set-to. There was still time for efforts at both ends, Brad Mckay went close with a shot from distance and Louis Longridge brought out another great save from Ridgers to keep out his eighteen yard volley. Plenty action at both ends but at the break there was no scoring Half Time 0-0 Polworth almost got a shot away early in the half but Inverness didn't have long to wait to open the scoring. Ashcroft was booked for bringing down Doran, and from the resultant free kick and clearance Walsh crossed for Shaun Rooney to get his first goal for the club. Polly stepping up now and he forced Robinson into a fine save moments after the opening goal. Inverness turning the screw now and Jordan White headed over from a Tremarco cross. El Bakhtaoui woke up and caused some problems around the visitors box but we were able to block and clear. Dunfermline were starting to press and forced a couple of corners but it was Inverness that hit on the break to double their advantage. Doran put in a lovely ball to the back post where Polly met it first time to volley home, 2-0 to the visitors. The Pars went close with a shot from Thomson that went just wide, and with ten minutes left Ridgers blocked an effort from Bakhtaoui with his legs. All action now and Oakley and Polworth bring out saves from Robinson in the Pars goal. However, Oakley would not be denied and he put the game to bed after Ridgers 'kick' out was flicked forward by Doran, Oakley running through to score. Full Time 0-3 Never saw that one coming, great result and the fans chanting for Polworth in a positive mood this time is a bonus all round. A plus for Rooney as well and the third bonus is we scored three goals. All good. Rig was chuffed with what he witnessed and here's how he describes the goals and summarises thus:- A simply stunning ICT performance of yesteryear. A return to the reliable 4-2-3-1 setup and philosophy of sitting in, absorbing pressure and hitting Dunfermline hard on the break. Going into the game and seeing the line up I wasn't expecting much at all but needless to say by full time I was eating humble pie and it tasted great. The second half saw ICT tear Dunfermline apart by allowing them to come on to them before clinically hitting them on the counter. The opener however came after a free kick found its way to Walsh on the Pars left flank and he stood up a cross to the back post where Rooney ghosted in to steer a header into the net. 1-0 We extended our lead with a quite brilliant counter attack. Dunfermline failed to make one of their many crosses go anywhere useful and Donaldson cleared the ball to Oakley who brought the ball down and quickly fed Doran who galloped down the right wing and picked out Polworth darting into the box with a quite delicious cross which was sidefooted in to make it two. 2-0 The game was killed off when Ridgers partially sclaffed a clearance up the pitch in the general direction of Doran. As the ball sat up nicely for him Doran cheekily backheel flicked it over his head and into the path of Oakley who bench pressed the Pars defender and raced towards goal and coolly slide the ball past Robinson. 3-0 As has been mentioned on here before it may be that this season we are a more successful team away from home than in Inverness where we might be expected to dominate the opposition. Based on today it seems very much like this is a team that would excel sitting in and hitting on the break and we're unlikely to do that much at TCS. Hopefully Robbo keeps the 4-2-3-1 going forward. A 3 - 0 win away from home against a fellow promotion challenger is not to be sniffed at. Caley Stan still showed some trepidation in his summary:- That was fun! As RiG says, it was an excellent counter-attacking display after a tetchy first half. Doran's second half performance was particularly pleasing - I've doubted his ability to come back and he's clearly had to change his game but his work-rate was superb today and his class eventually shone through with two wonderful assists. Great to see Polly back in his proper position and the fans did a good job of undoing some of that damage. We also saw decent games from Donaldson, Tremarco, Walsh and Welsh, and Ridgers made a couple of blinding saves. Our weaknesses, though, remain glaring. Rooney is a huge concern, and while Welsh is an improvement on Trafford, we still aren't strong enough in defensive midfield where Dunfermline found a lot if room to get shots in from the edge of the box in the first half. And we're no closer to finding out who our striker will be - White worked hard and used his body well but Oakley looked far sharper when he came on and took his goal well. Here's the action from Caley Jags TV..................... Date: 01/09/2018 Venue: East End Park, Dunfermline Attendance: 5138 Referee: Don Robertson Dunfermline: 0 Lineup: Robinson: Ashcroft, Durnan, Devine, Williamson (Higginbotham 67), Vincent (Connolly 79), J Longridge,Thomson, L Longridge, Bakhtaoui, Hippolyte (Muirhead 59) Subs (not used): Gill: Ryan, Connolly, Martin, Craigen, Higginbotham Scorers: none Booked: Hippolyte (40), Ashcroft (50) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: Ridgers: Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco, Walsh, Polworth (Trafford 86), Welsh, Chalmers, White (Oakley 67), Doran (Calder 84) Subs (not used): Hoban: McCart, D Mackay, Brown Scorers: Rooney (51), Polworth (72), Oakley (83) Booked: Tremarco (39), Walsh (54), Welsh (90+2) Sent Off: none a
  15. No fizzy pop joy this season. The holders wimped out of the IrnBru cup at the first hurdle in what can best be described as a reserve team game. Both sides made massive changes to their starting line-ups and it was the visitors that went through to the next round after surviving a plethora of Inverness attacks, but holding on to score a break away goal at the end. Both sides fielded fringe players with youth players making up the squads for this IrnBru cup game. John Robertson said the players had been knocking on his door looking for some game time. That wish was granted for some, but Robertson was less than impressed after the game with what he saw on the park. Daniel Hoban was in goal and Jamie McCart and Riccardo Calder came into the back line. Aaron Doran started as did Sean Welsh, Daniel Mackay and Jordan White, all getting the opportunity to stake a claim for a regular game. The Pars fielded a whole new starting line-up with seven debutantes since their defeat to County, giving youth a chance to show their worth, and they certainly responded positively, although much of that was due to the inability of the Inverness players to impress their manager. Similar to the first team squad, chances were created and squandered before Dunfermline opened the scoring in controversial fashion. The Pars broke forward after a poor choice of ball by McCart played Trafford into trouble. He failed to deal with the ball and Andy Ryan broke forward to the edge of the box before being fouled by Brad Mckay. It looked to happen just outside the box given the position of the large divot left on the park. However, penalty was offered and Kallum Higginbotham promptly dispatched the ball low and hard to the keepers right hand side. We struggled to make any impact in a first half dominated by a stiff breeze and the Pars went in at the break one goal ahead as the early threat offered by Daniel Mackay eroded. Half Time 0-1 Robbo saw enough ten minutes into the second half and made changes as we continued to disappoint. Mackay and Trafford made way for Tom Walsh and George Oakley, and that coincided with our best spell of the game as Riccardo Calder began to threaten down the left and get some dangerous crosses in with Walsh doing likewise on the right. After three or four false alarms, Jordan White eventually met an inviting cross from the left, meeting Calder's ball ten yard out to drive it into the net for the equaliser. White was now beginning to get plenty joy in and around the box but unfortunately for him he was unable to direct any headers on target or with sufficient force to seriously trouble the keeper. Similar to Saturday, White landed another looping header on top of the net as our frustration grew. We were undone in the final few minutes when Polworth lost possession around the halfway line. Andy Ryan once more benefiting from our slackness and racing forward before rolling a ball into the box from the left side. Callum Smith was first to it and he knocked it high behind an exposed Hoban. We still managed to miss another couple of attempts, White knocking one over the bar from one yard and another header going over. Full Time 1-2 The experimental squad backfired for us but gave Dunfermline a safe passage into the next round. Was it deserved? Maybe not, but you make your own luck or get help from your opponents, and both of these happened on the night. Robbo has taken his squad to task over the display. I'm in agreement with him, it's time to take the cotton wool wrapping of the players and get them to perform to a higher level. So no fizzy pop joy for us this season, but good luck to Dunfermline in the next round. Wee midfielder Aidan Connolly (8) was a handful for our middlemen. Good control, able to beat a man and pick a pass, something we could have done with. He is the son of former Dundee United player Paddy Connolly and he is my MotM. Date: 14/08/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1046 Referee: Alan Muir Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Hoban; Rooney, B Mckay, McCart, Calder, Polworth, Welsh, Trafford (Walsh 55), Doran, D Mackay (Oakley 55), White Subs (not used): C Mackay; Brown, Harper, Fyffe, Kennedy Scorers: White (60) Booked: B Mckay (23), Rooney (34), Welsh (38) Sent Off: none Dunfermline: 2 Lineup: Gill; Allan, Morrison, Beadling (Jordan 63), Luke, Higginbotham, Todd, Connolly, Smith (Robertson 90), Ryan, McCann Subs (not used): Burt; Swanson, Crosbie, Brown, Sawers Scorers: Higginbotham (Pen 24), Smith (87) Booked: McCann (64) Sent Off: none a
  16. Inverness pay the penalty Inverness were held to a 0-0 draw by newly promoted Ayr United who had been reduced to ten men after half an hour. Despite the numerical superiority we were unable to capitalise and wasted a few good opportunities to take all three points, including a missed penalty. Prior to kick-off, a minutes silence was impeccably held in memory of Alan Hercher who died at the tender age of 52. Alan was our first club captain and scored our first, second and third goals with a hat-trick against Arbroath in 1994. How we could have done with Herchies drive in this game. RIP Alan Hercher 1965 - 2018. The visitors took along a healthy support amongst the 2376 crowd and were looking for wanted man Lawrence Shankland to see them through the game. Inverness were pretty much as expected with Nathan Austin and George Oakley up front and Jordan White, Aaron Doran and Daniel Mackay starting on the bench. The hosts started brightly and buzzed around the visitors box without actually creating too much for keeper Ross Doohan to deal with, Tom Walsh going close but missing the target in the third minute. Unfortunately that would be a recurring theme for the afternoon. Ayr's Daniel Harvie received a yellow card in the 13th minute that would come back to haunt him after half an hour. Robbie Crawford called Mark Ridgers into action as the keeper saved his effort in the 17th minute as Ayr began to get to grips with the pace of the game with their hosts not able to penetrate their defence. Harvie looked to push George Oakley over as he went for a high ball into the box and promptly got his marching orders from Andrew Dallas. Unfortunately Liam Polworth could not take advantage and directed his spot kick well wide of the post with the keeper going the wrong way. Five minutes before the break Nathan Austin should have scored when put through one-on-one with the keeper. He also picked his spot with his shot, but unfortunately that spot was two yards wide of the post. Great opportunity that went abegging. He also managed to hit the keeper right on the break for a frustrating end to the half for the home fans. We should have been at least two up at the break but through our own inability to hit the target Ayr went in at the interval on level terms. Half Time 0-0 Ayr came out of the blocks flying at the start of the second half and dangerman Lawrence Shankland used his strength and speed to good effect, but his angled shot went across the face of the goal with Ridgers scrambling across to cover it. Michael Moffat could also have opened the scoring but like everyone else he shot narrowly wide six minutes into the half. Robbie Crawford followed suit as Ayr looked for the opening goal. Inverness gradually came back into the game and Joe Chalmers stung the palms of Doohan. His shot had plenty of power but was too direct at the keeper. Robbie Crawford tried his luck again as the game opened out and Coll Donaldson took matters into his own hands and surged forward a couple of times. Plenty of effort from the hosts in the last half hour but we were unable to fashion any really clear opportunities. Donaldson fired a shot just over in one of his runs forward and substitute Jordan White could not quite direct a header on target, the ball landing on the roof of the net. A flurry of corners came and went and Ayr managed to hold on for an excellent point for them. Full Time 0-0 A frustrating afternoon all round and to be honest this felt like a defeat, but credit to Ayr for having a go especially once they went down to ten men. Difficult to select a MotM from an Inverness perspective with nobody catching the eye. Shankland gave our defenders a hard time with his powerful play and quick feet as did Moffat and Crawford. Donaldson might just be our best player on the day after making a couple of early mistakes which he recovered to deal with himself. He was one of the few players to drive forward with any menace and gets my vote. Miserable day for Liam Polworth not helped by some of our own fans venting their displeasure towards him with some unsavoury chants. Clean it up please. Dunfermline visit on Tuesday night in the Challenge Cup. They surprisingly went down 3-1 at home to Ross County on Saturday. Expect a difficult game in midweek. Here's the action from the game............. Date: 11/08/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2376 Referee: Andrew Dallas Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco, Walsh (Doran 70), Trafford (D Mackay 68), Polworth, Chalmers, Oakley, Austin (White 59) Subs (not used): Hoban; McCart, Welsh, Calder. Scorers: none Booked: Tremarco (19), Rooney (49) Sent Off: none Ayr United: 0 Lineup: Doohan; Geggan, Adams, Rose, Harvie, Forrest (Ferguson 31), Crawford, Kerr (Docherty 83), Murdoch, Shankland, Moffat (Bell 74) Subs (not used): Hare-Reid, Moore, McDaid, McGuffie. Scorers: none Booked: Harvie (13), Crawford (70) Sent Off: Harvie (30) a
  17. Bairns Beaten The opening game of the new Championship season saw Inverness travel to Falkirk and recorded their first points of the season when a George Oakley strike after 10 minutes was enough to settle the affair. John Robertson opted for a front pairing of Nathan Austin and George Oakley with Aaron Doran and Jordan White on the bench. Captain Carl Tremarco got over his knock from Tynecastle and took his place at left back. Paul Hartley had former Livingston striker Dylan Mackin on the bench with on loan Dundee forward Marcus Haber starting. Leo Fasan was between the sticks. Falkirk got the season underway in front of an excellent support of over four and a half thousand. Rig & Immortal Howden Ender will take it from here with this dual report ................ "As IHE says it was a 442 / 4411 for most of the game. Polworth spent most of the game tucking inside which brutally exposed Rooney on a number of occasions and led to Mckay getting dragged out of the middle to cover when he (Rooney) was taken apart. Left side was more impressive with Tremarco and Walsh getting a lot more joy especially in the first half with the latter sending over a number of good crosses and setting up the goal. When Walsh went off for Welsh Chalmers was moved to left midfield and Welsh slotted into the centre with Trafford. Austin and Oakley played as a two up front with Oakley often dropping slightly deeper to challenge for high balls. We got very lucky today. Despite a good start we regressed more and more as the game wore on. Falkirk really came to dominate things as the match wore on but more often than not they ran out of ideas as they got closer to our goal. Walsh, as mentioned above, started well down the left and he set up the opener with a ball across the box sent in from the left and Oakley found a bit of space to divert the ball back across goal and into the net. We should have killed the game off when Austin found himself with a free run on goal after a defensive mix up but he never looked like he would score and he was smothered by the onrushing Falkirk keeper. Falkirk thought they pulled level when a high free kick was headed beyond Ridgers but after a loooong delay, and with the players about to take the kick off, it was suddenly pulled back. I've no idea why the Falkirk goal was chopped off but I'm guessing it was a foul on one of Rooney, Donaldson or Mckay as they all ended up in a heap when the ball was floated in. The referee hadn't given anything but it seemed the linesman was the one who saw something wrong. Following on from that we resorted to brutal route one football with aimless hoofs up the park for Oakley and later White to try and chase. Bizarrely we even seemed to be targeting Mckay with these long balls rather than White and these high balls were easily mopped up by the defenders. The one occasion we did get the ball down and pass it around we looked good. Chalmers, Welsh and Trafford quickly played the ball around 3 or 4 home players who were left chasing shadows so it was disappointing that we seemed to lack the composure to do this more often though perhaps that was more to Falkirk closing us down a lot better in the second half than the first. Falkirk look exactly what we were like this time last season, a team clearly lacking cohesion due to so many new faces so we definitely got them at a good time. Whilst it's a very encouraging result I think we need to be cautious given how poor we were in the second half. Donaldson, Tremarco, Walsh and Oakley were probably my picks from today. Donaldson was excellent at the back although there were a couple of lapses on occasions. Tremarco and Walsh linked well down the left and the latter offered good defensive cover as well. Oakley was a handful up front but faded as the game went on. " RIDGERS Never actually looked troubled, went for most crosses and evidently promotes confidence in front of him. ROONEY 🀣 Wow does this lad have potential but he is a Jekyll and feckin Hyde. 80% positive but he has the same reaction at times as my grandson has to a feckin Slush Puppie. McKAY πŸ™„ Protected more by Donaldson. Did nothing wrong but still worries me. DONALDSON πŸ₯ƒ MOM TREMARCO "You will never get past Tremarco" - enuff said. POLWORTH πŸ˜ͺ Totally wasted IMHO playing wide. Lets give him the playmaker role. CHALMERS πŸ™„ Welsh is the better option but he always competes. TRAFFORD πŸ™„ Works hard but suspect that he may make way for Welsh and Doran. WALSH Looks class. Hope that he shows that more at home games. AUSTIN 🀣 Should have finished it at 2-0. Not at his best but has potential. OAKLEY 😎 Worked and worked and played for the shirt - RESPECT Here's the action from Falkirk Date: 04/08/2018 Venue: Falkirk Stadium Attendance: 4538 Referee: Steven McLean Falkirk: 0 Lineup: Fasan, McGhee, Muirhead, Dallison, Paton, Petravicius (Greenwood 74), Lewis, Evans (Mackin 71), Harrison, Haber, Irving Subs (not used): Mutch, Kidd, Sammut, Robson, Turner, Greenwood Scorers: none Booked: Paton (82) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers, Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco, Walsh (Welsh 75), Polworth, Trafford, Chalmers, Austin (D Mackay 71), Oakley (White 82) Subs (not used): Hoban, McCart, Doran, Calder. Scorers: Oakley (10) Booked: Rooney (40), B Mckay (65), Chalmers (84) Sent Off: none a
  18. Hearts Trump Caley Jags Aces Inverness had few tricks up their sleeves as they were brushed aside and out of the Betfred League Cup after losing 5-0 to Hearts at Tynecastle. A display of clinical finishing saw Hearts into the draw as goals from Ikpeazu (2), Garuccio and Naismith (2) settled the tie. Uche Ikpeazu was the man who taunted Inverness all afternoon with a powerful display and capped it with two great goals. Hearts made three changes from the midweek thrashing of Cowdenbeath. Uche Ikpeazu's man of the match performance gained him a start. Aaron Hughes got his first start with Michael Smith injured and Olly Lee returned in place of Andrew Irving. Kyle Lafferty made the bench after struggling with a back injury. Jake Mulraney joined him on the wood. For Inverness, Robbo made a couple of changes, George Oakley and Nathan Austin dropped to the bench with Jordan White and tough midfielder Charlie Trafford starting, no doubt looking to stifle the midfield and hold the ball well up front. Immortal Howden Ender watched through clasped hands as we were tortured....................... Well I probably can proffer thanks that this game was changed to a Sunday and prevented me from doing a British Rail Away day from Englandshire. It was difficult to take on BT Sport so I can really feel fer the 317 faithful who managed to get there. Can understand - to a degree - why Robbo started off as he did do. I expect that he was hoping to go in 0-0 at half time or even in the hope of a breakaway goal. For the first half hour there was little in it. Ikpeazu was the difference. As the BT punters kept on pointing out our central defenders were far too tight on him and he outmuscled them regularly. We could have gone in front on the 13th minute when the sweet left foot of Chalmers malfunctioned. My gripe about the first Ikpeazu goal was that White was given the role of shadowing him. It still was a fine finish. The free kick was unstoppable. Take a bow Garuccio. The third by Ikpeazu was a fine powerful header but we should have learned the earlier lesson. And the Zlamal makes two good stops to thwart Doran and Trafford. You began to start thinking that it was not our day. We could have been 4-0 as Hearts also hit the post but by then were fully in control, full of confidence and had the crowd behind them. In the second half we gain started well enuff but we NEVER looked like scoring. Naismith has always had a reputation of being good in the air for his size but he was left totally unmarked for his brace. Unfortunately it always looked as if Hearts would add to their tally rather than us pulling one back although Austin could have done that with a couple of minutes left. I will detract from an individual Smiley allocation BUT - Ridgers had little chance with all five goals. Rooney blew hot and cold. Donaldson and Brad McKay did not appear to be an understanding partnership. McKay looked the poorer. Tremarco did well enuff until limping off. Our tactics (by Robbo) proved to be wrong. We bypassed midfield and therefore we "lost" the influences of Polworth and Doran. They were played wide whilst the centrally operating pairing of Trafford and Chalmers were overrun - but Hearts went wide most of the time with Lee, McLean and Morrison bossing throughout. I would give Walsh MOM and cant understand why he was hooked. White was evidently chosen for his height but he lost most balls in the air and was not exactly adept at holding things up. I am sure that in retrospect Robbo wishes that he had gone for Austin from the off and played Doran in the number 10 role. I would also have consider taking on wee Danny for either Chalmers or Trafford at half time. Video footage to be added when available Date: 29/07/2018 Venue: Tynecastle, Edinburgh Attendance: 10,030 Referee: Willie Collum Hearts: 5 Lineup: Zlamal, Souttar, Hughes, Berra, Haring, Morrison, Lee, Garuccio, Naismith, MacLean, Ikpeazu Subs (not used): Doyle, L Smith, Burns McDonald, Mulraney, Lafferty, Bozanic Scorers: Ikpeazu (28, 33), Garuccio (33), Naismith (64, 81) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers, Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco, Walsh, Polworth, Trafford, Chalmers, Doran, White Subs (not used): Hoban, McCart, Austin, Calder, Elbouzedi, Oakley, D Mackay Scorers: Walsh Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  19. Late Mackay goal sinks Raith Substitute Daniel Mackay scored the winner with three minutes remaining after Grant Gillespie had scored a screamer to draw Raith level. Nathan Austin had opened the scoring after a goalless first half which Inverness had dominated without over exerting the keeper. Tom Walsh kept his starting place after his two goals at Cowdenbeath with Shaun Rooney at full back. Daniel Mackay was on the bench with Riccardo Calder and Jordan White. Raith had former Inverness giant Nat Wedderburn on the bench with ex-Dundee player Kyle Benedictus on from the start. The hosts started briskly and forced a corner within a minute and continued on the front foot for most of the half. Thompson saved an effort from Walsh but Austin couldn't dig the ball out and get a shot away from the rebound. Oakley turned on a through ball but Thompson saved smartly to deny the striker. Lot's of neat interplay from Inverness but little end product as the half wore on with Raith offering nothing up front. Not surprisingly it ended all square at the break. Half Time 0-0 Second half was only five minutes old when Oakley held up a ball from Polworth to lay it onto Austin who steered a low shot to the keepers right hand side into the net. Smart opening goal and no more than we deserved. Could we kick on from here? Well, the answer was no and out of nowhere Raith scored a scorcher of a goal when Grant Gillespie latched onto a loose ball from a corner some 12 yards out and lashed his shot like a missile into the top corner at junction of post and bar. We struggled to make much headway thereafter until substitute Danny Mackay benefited from a blocked shot from Riccardo Calder on the break to send the fans home happy. Full Time 2-1 Hard work but an overall deserved win over a defensive Raith Rovers. More updates to follow........ ICT: Ridgers, Rooney (), Tremarco, B Mckay, Chalmers, Donaldson, Polworth (), Austin (Calder 81), Doran (White 76), Walsh, Oakley (Mackay 68) Subs not used: Hoban, McCart, Elbouzedi, Trafford Raith: Thompson, Watson, Valentine, Davidson (Wedderburn 45), Murray, Benedictus, Gillespie, Milne (Stevenson 81), Matthews, Nisbet, Mackay. Subs not used: McGuff, Barry. Referee: Colin Steven Attendance: 1295
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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