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  1. Caley Jags weather the storm. Inverness ran out comfortable winners as the game was played out in a mini storm. James Vincent opened the scoring on the half hour from a corner in a dull first half. A brighter second half saw James Keatings score a tremendous swerving free kick from 35 yards before Semple pulled one back for Queens in the middle of a storm. We'll put that one down to the weather. Miles Storey put the game to bed ten minutes from the end when David Carson slid a ball into the box for Storey to poke home off the post. The outcome was never really in doubt and just the tonic on a freezing night when the weather deteriorated as the game went on. Credit to both sets of players for getting through the game without hypothermia setting in. ☃️ Stirling Observer had this to say on CTO............. Good win. Queens were very poor. Took a wee while to settle into the formation but the goal certainly helped. Great corner from Keatings, with whip and dip. Vincent flicked it in. Second goal was a direct free kick from Keatings. It was a Ronaldo-esqe strike through the ball to give it swerve and dip. Keeper appeared to be distracted by this or the runners and messed up his balance. Ball went in quite centrally but moved an awful lot. Good strike from about 35 yards out. 3rd was a good run (again) by Carson. Was fortunate his flick through deflected into the path of Storey who was sharp to pounce and toe poke it in off the far post. Couldn't really see what happened with their goal. <checks video> Defence wasn't overly troubled. Mchattie swept up everything and Toddy won everything in the air. Formation suited most of the players particularly Keatings, Storey and Rooney. Carson had a super game again. Won back so many balls by harassing the opposition. Doran and Walsh seemed to enjoy their cameos off the bench. Corner flag on a bender..... Miles better............ Brrrrrŕrrrrrrrr Date: 10/03/2020 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1811 Referee: Steven Reid Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Todorov, McHattie, Tremarco, Carson, Trafford, Vincent, Harper (Doran 77), Keatings (Walsh 76), Storey (White 88) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Davies, MacGregor, Scorers: Vincent (30), Keatings (57), Storey (79) Booked: Tremarco (29) Sent Off: none Queen of the South: 1 Lineup: Stewart; Ledger, Kilday, Semple, Kidd (Petravicius 39), Lyon, Pybus (Hamilton 75), Wilson, Mercer, Oliver, Dobbie (Paton 62) Subs (not used): Leighfield, Devine, Gourlay. Scorers: Semple (72) Booked: Ledger (88) Sent Off: none a
  2. Wasps Buzzing Inverness had to re-shuffle the back four in the third minute with Lewis Toshney unable to continue, Kevin McHattie replacing him. A deflected shot by Lee Connelly opened the scoring after 12 minutes, the ball entering the net off Brad Mckay. Alloa were on top in the early exchanges but Neil Parry had to make a brilliant save to deny Jordan White midway through the half. Alan Trouten extended the lead before half an hour had gone, scoring from close range. No further scoring after the break, but Alloa were well worth the three points. It should have been more, the woodwork came to inverness' rescue a couple of times in the second half. For Inverness it's a thoroughly disappointing result, undoing the good work in midweek. The only thing in our favour was we only lost one point on everyone else as the rest of the games ended in draws. Therefore, this week saw us gain a point on our nearest challengers. Still, in truth, it's results like this that have cost us big time and left Dundee united alone at the top. One step forward, two steps back! Brad Mckay returned to defence with Kevin McHattie dropping to the bench. James Vincent and Sean Welsh were still out. For Alloa, Ian Flannigan missed out but Neil Parry made his second start between the sticks after returning from injury. Great report on CTO forum from RIG............... Daylight robbery. We should have been absolutely pumped rotten today. I can barely remember troubling Parry until a couple of minutes from the end when Walsh flashed a shot just over / onto the bar. The rest of the game Alloa took us to pieces aided by some lacklustre defending from us. There was no one with the entire mountain range of the Ochils to stop Alloa taking the lead with Connelly having far too much time and space to lash a shot beyond Ridgers. Apparently it took a deflection but it was hard to see for sure from the other end of the ground. Not too long later the second arrived. Harsh free kick against White for handball but again we looked shoddy defending the resultant cross which found Trouten at the back post and he tucked the ball in from close range. There didn't look to be any ICT player in close attendance and if there was there were still other Alloa players unmarked in an apparent breakdown of who was marking who. Our only real chance came when White tried to seize on a knock down but from a couple of yards out he couldn't connect with the ball and Parry gathered. Second half Alloa initially seemed to sit in before quickly realising that a defensive pairing of Brad Mckay and Kevin McHattie can be easily be gotten at, and set up utterly destroying us. Star of the show Scott Banks tested Ridgers when he broke free and curled a lovely shot towards goal but Ridgers leapt across to block it. Alloa then missed what looked like an easy chance to get that third goal. Alloa forced Ridgers into a save but, with the ball bobbling just in front of him, he couldn't hold on and the ball broke free to an onrushing Alloa player who rounded Ridgers but then hit the post from a yard or two out. Banks again showed real class as he did spin after spin to dance through the ICT midfield and defence and he was unlucky to see another good effort go over the bar and Alloa had a further chance when they rattled the crossbar. Our only real second half chance came when Walsh sent a half cross half shot onto the bar but we were well and truly gubbed today. A lot to think about in the coming weeks. Highlights from AlloaTV Honest John..... Date: 07/03/2020 Venue: Recreation Park, Alloa Attendance: 712 Referee: Steven Kirkland Alloa Athletic: 2 Lineup: Parry; Robertson (Buchanan 66), Stirling, Taggart, Dick, Cawley, Hetherington, Trouten, Banks (Brown 86), Connelly (Thomson 76), O'Hara, Subs (not used): Wright; O'Donnell, Scorers: Connelly (12), Trouten (28) Booked: Thomson (78) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Toshney (McHattie 3), B Mckay, Tremarco (Todorov 76), Doran, Carson, Trafford, Walsh, Storey (Keatings 63), White Subs (not used): C Mackay; Harper, MacGregor, Scorers: none Booked: Trafford (60), Sent Off: none a
  3. Toddy Niks it. Inverness took the lead after eighteen minutes through a Jordan White header. Morton squared the game through Aidan Nesbitt only for Shaun Rooney to put us back in front. Unfortunately Morton sub Reece Lyon equalised. However Todorov snatched a win from the jaws of a draw with an injury time goal, heading in off the post for a dramatic ending to the game. Inverness were the only Championship team to win on a night of three draws, so we stretch another two points away from the chasing pack. Phew! Inverness were without the suspended Brad Mckay after his red card against Hibs last Friday. Sean Welsh and James Vincent were out injured with James Keatings making the bench alongside u18 midfielder Kane Davies, his first involvement with the squad. Form side Morton were without Kris Doolan, Kyle Jacobs and Cameron Salkeld. A brisk night in the Highland capital saw Morton start brightly and Mark Ridgers had to make the first save of the game inside a couple of minutes from Nicky Cadden. Danny Rogers did well to save a header from Jordan White and a minute later he tipped behind an effort from Miles Storey after he cut inside. Rogers could do nothing to stop White opening the scoring a couple of minutes later with a header from a Tom Walsh cross. Walsh shot over the bar from outside the box as Inverness pressed for a second goal, but as the visitors settled Ridgers had to save another effort from Cadden. Cadden appears to be the most likely source for an equaliser and he fired a free kick just wide as play levelled out. Morton might feel hard done by as Inverness scored when keeper Rogers was struggling after taking a knock, but it's White's header that was the difference between the sides at the break. Half Time 1-0 Wintry weather greeted the teams as the second half got underway and a White header looped onto the top of the net and at the other end Baird headed over the bar from a corner. A second corner saw Luca Colville shoot just over as the vistors came out of the blocks sharply. A cross from Charlie Trafford found the head of White but a poor connection saw Rogers gather easily. On the hour Aidan Nesbitt levelled the game from a Strapp cross. Our lead was restored when Shaun Rooney headed home from six yards six minutes later, the assist from David Carson at a free kick. Morton keeper saved two efforts from White and MacGregor but it was the visitors that were next on the scoresheet after a spate of substitutions and it was substitute Reece Lyon from close range. Thankfully one of our own substitutes settled the game in the second minute of injury time. Carl Tremarco had headed a Doran ball across the box and there was Toddy to head it in off the post. A night of drama finished off with three points. Lovely jubbly!!! Coupled with all the other games ending goalless, then it's not such a bad night after all. Here's the goals......... From BBC Sport Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson: "It was a rollercoaster. I thought first half we were great. Danny Rodgers kept the score down - we should have been two or three ahead. "It's 2-2 and you think it's going to be two points dropped. They hung in there and big Toddy's popped up for the last-gasp winner. It's a big, big three points for us." Greenock Morton manager David Hopkin: "Bitterly disappointed but fantastic effort from my players because I thought we deserved at least a point. "We've not matched three headers and that's what's cost us, but everything else in the game I thought we were the better team." Oooerrrr, I think your grapes are sour David Highlights from Morton TV Date: 03/03/2020 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1772 Referee: Craig Napier Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Toshney, McHattie, Tremarco, Walsh, Carson, Trafford, MacGregor (Doran 73), Storey (Keatings 79), White (Todorov 73) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Davies, Harper. Scorers: White (18), Rooney (67), Todorov (90+2) Booked: Trafford (64) Sent Off: none Morton: 2 Lineup: Rodgers; Tumilty, McGinty, McAlister, Nesbitt (Nesbitt 72), Orsi (McLean 81), Strapp, Blues, Cadden, Colville (Lyon 68), Baird Subs (not used): Ramsbottom; Muirhead, Millar, McHugh. Scorers: Nesbitt (61), Lyon (76) Booked: Tumilty (74) Strapp (90) Sent Off: none a
  4. Walsh winner dumps Pars Inverness were still without Sean Welsh for the visit to East End Park, but captain Carl Tremarco made his 200th appearance for the club. Lewis Toshney started with Tom Walsh and James Keatings on the bench. The Pars had two former Inverness players in their starting XI, Owain Fon Williams and Danny Devine. Form player Kevin Nisbet was leading the attack. Roddy MacGregor set the ball rolling in front of a decent crowd in his first start for some time, but Dunfermline were soon on the attack with Mark Ridgers palming away a dangerous low cross from Jonathan Afolabi, James Vincent mopped up before Kevin Nisbet could benefit. A few minutes later Ridgers had to deal with an effort from Nisbet inside the box. All the early pressure came from the Pars and James Vincent picked up an early booking as the hosts looked for an early advantage. Dom Thomas shot wide after Afolabi headed the ball down to him. Inverness still to get out of first gear. It's all Dunfermline thus far and in the eleventh minute Nisbet headed wide and moments later Afolabi shot just wide. It looks like it's going to be a long night for the visiting fans. Inverness' first venture forward and an Aaron Doran corner finds Lewis Toshney at the back post but from a tight angle he missed the target. As the visitors began to get to grips with the game Roddy MacGregor won a free kick some twenty yards out. Aaron Doran fired the ball high into the net off the underside of the bar to surprise everyone in the stadium. What a goal from Doran, his ninth of the season. Back came the Pars and Ridgers had to deal with an effort from Thomas and at the other end MacGregor headed wide. Five minutes before the break Nisbet diverted a low cross over the bar. As the half ended Vincent deflected the ball at the expense of a corner which saw a Ryan Dow shot cleared. Ridgers then saved from Kyle Turner, the last action of the first forty-five Half Time 0-1 No changes at the interval and the Pars got the second half underway, kicking towards the home fans in the Norrie McCathie Stand but the first opportunity went to Inverness as Jordan White headed over. Dom Thomas sent an effort goalwards but Ridgers was equal to it saving in the top corner and Dow put the rebound over the bar from a tight angle. Minutes later Ridgers held onto another effort from distance from the lively Thomas. Celtic loanee Jonathan Afolabi was next to try his luck but the youngster fired over the bar, his next effort would be held by Ridgers. James Keatings replaced young MacGregor on the hour and Carl Tremarco got something for his 200th game; a yellow card. Dunfermline level the score with twenty minutes remaining when Dom Thomas fired a tremendous shot into the top corner from outside the box after a poor clearance from Inverness. Substitute Tom Walsh was only on for a couple of minutes when he hit the post from the edge of the box. He would do better two minutes later when he shot low into the net after a White dummy, possibly with the aid of a deflection off Euan Murray. Keatings volleyed over the bar after a White shot was blocked as Inverness looked to put the game to bed. Lewis Martin headed over the bar in stoppage time and a late corner was defended well as Inverness held on for a valuable three points with news that Morton had beaten Ayr United 2-1, so a good night for the Caley Jags who go into second place on their own, three points ahead of Dundee. Here's the goals, a couple of belters. And here's a happy chappy..... Full Highlights from PARS TV Date: 25/02/2020 Venue: East End Park Attendance: 3357 Referee: Gavin Ross Dunfermline: 1 Lineup: Fon Williams; Comrie, Ashcroft (Martin 81), Devine, Murray, Dow (Ross 54), Paton, Turner, Thomas, Nisbet, Afolabi (McGill 68). Subs (not used): Gill; Thomson, Brawling, McCann Scorers: Thomas (70) Booked: Paton (30), Ashcroft (57) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Toshney, B Mckay, Tremarco, Doran (Trafford 80), Carson, Vincent, Macgregor (Keatings 61), Storey (Walsh, 71), White. Subs (not used): C Mackay; Harper, McHattie, Todorov. Scorers: Doran (23), Walsh (77) Booked: Vincent (10), B Mckay (20), Tremarco (61), Toshney (79) Sent Off: none a
  5. Tannadice drookit John Robertson was without the injured Sean Welsh who has been out of the side most of his time here. Some say he is made of wafers, but he will be a big miss for us tonight. Former United player Lewis Toshney was on the bench with Brad Mckay coming into the back four. First time back at Tannadice since the departure of Coll Donaldson; who will they vent their anger towards instead? Louis Appere came back into the starting XI with American Ian Harkes dropping to the bench. Former Hamilton Accies striker Rakish Bingham made his home debut. Lawrence Shankland, the scorer of five goals in two games against Inverness was United's main striker. United kicked off with constant rain falling at Tannadice and James Vincent had to charge down an effort on the edge of the box, but moments later Lawrence Shankland should have opened the scoring as he latched onto a ball in the box with just a couple of minutes on the clock but fired just over the bar. Ten minutes gone and the game had turned into a midfield tussle. Or did I speak too soon........ Inverness failed to defend positively when United probed forward and Louis Appere side footed home brilliantly from the edge of the box with Mark Ridgers unable to get an early vision of the shot, the ball nestling in the bottom corner beyond the keepers outstretched hands. Mark Connolly headed over from a corner a minute later as United began to dominate the midfield and Shankland saw a twelve yard shot deflected over the bar for a corner which Ridgers claimed well given the slippery conditions. Inverness responded well and put United on the back foot momentarily before James Keatings dived shot over. Storey dragged a shot well wide as well as we tried to get a foothold. Vincent found himself offside after some neat interplay as we pushed forward. Brad Mckay did well to stop a surging run by Peter Pawlett and as the play went to the other end Jordan White shot over. David Carson robbed Shankland in the visitors half and the move ended when Tom Walsh curled a shot just over the bar. United did likewise as Connolly drove forward and Appere forced Ridgers to save his angled shot low down. Inverness went to the other end and won a corner. Keatings swung a great ball into the near post and big Jordan White put his head in the mix to power a header behind Siegrist to level the score. Some confusion in the home box allowed White to turn and shoot but the ball was deflected agonisingly wide with only five minutes to the interval. The corner showed more indecisiveness in the United box as it was hacked clear. Moments later White tried to get space in the box but United eventually broke the move down. There was no let up in the weather as the break approached and Shankland tried to burst into the box but Brad Mckay once more dominated him. Just on the break a flick goalwards was scooped up by Ridgers and that endeth a decent first forty-five. Half time 1-1 No replacements at the break as the rain continued to dampen the atmosphere. Walsh brought out a save from Siegrist at the start of the half as Inverness continued on the front foot but Carson who was walking a tightrope after a soft booking in the first half upended a United player to the derision of the home support. Another Keatings corner almost brought white into play agfain at the near post but United survived. Robbo thought better of the Carson incident and replaced him with Charlie Trafford as united refreshed as well. Against the run of play, Shankland turned and rammed home from the edge of the box to put United ahead once more with Bingham providing the assist. Great strike from a class striker, his 28th goal of the season. In the 70th minute Inverness wee fortunate to see a Harkes strike deflected for a corner as United looked to kill the game Shaun Rooney almost equalised in the final minutes when he headed just over the corner of the bar as Inverness chased an equaliser. It almost came when a long ball over the top found Tremarco coming in on the blind side but he was only able to find the side netting. A great tackle from Mckay halted Appere as he sprinted forward on the wing, but time ran out for the Caley Jags. The game ended just out of reach for the Caley Jags, but a decent performance all round which could have gained at least a point was the final outcome. Meh!!! Match reaction to follow................. Here's Robbo on BBC Sport "We need to mark Shankland in the box, it's as simple as that. That's why United will win the league - they're more clinical than us and everyone else. "We're too nice. We react to things, we don't anticipate. It's difficult to criticise effort and honesty, but to be a top player, you need to have that extra quality, desire, and that bit more know-how. "We've got masses still to play for. We should, in my eyes, be pretty clear in second place. This is the frustration - we've dropped too many silly points and haven't been clinical and ruthless enough." Match Highlights on BBC Sport Date: 21/02/2020 Venue: Tannadice Park, Dundee Attendance: 7583 Referee: John Beaton Dundee United: 2 Lineup: Siegrist; L Smith, Powers (Harkes 57), Connolly, Pawlett (McMullan), Bingham (Reynolds 87), Robson, Butcher, Shankland, Appere, Watson. Subs (not used): Mehmet, Sporle, Glass, Mochrie Scorers: Appere (12) Shankland (59) Booked: Watson (54) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, McHattie, Tremarco, Keatings, Carson (Trafford 59), Vincent, Walsh (Todorov 86), Storey (Doran 66), White Subs (not used): C Mackay; Harper, Toshney, MacGregor. Scorers: White (32) Booked: Carson (14), McHattie (73) Sent Off: none a
  6. No Shock, Aitken & Water man.. Inverness progress to the final of the Chocolate Biscuit Cup despite Storm Dennis and referee Greg Aitken doing their best to ensure that the team from the Highlands would not line up in the final against Raith Rovers at the end of March. A torrential downpour and Gael force winds turned the game into a lottery. Mebude opened the scoring early in the first half as he was given time and space to turn and drill a low shot beyond Ridgers. Substitute James Keatings volleyed home from the edge of the box to level matters just before the break. Keatings was wrongly sent off by the inept Greg Aitken as, not for the first time this season, he made our task more difficult. However, the ten men prevailed when Miles Storey crashed a loose ball into the net with twenty minutes left. Despite late pressure from the young Gers, Inverness held firm and move into the final. Mebude should have added a second for Rangers before we scored but he smacked his effort off the bar when a goal looked easier. Both sides had chances to score more but it ended at 2-1 for the hosts. Aitken got little right as he angered the home support and management. What appeared to be a perfectly legitimate 'goal' by Tom Walsh was ruled offside and the sending off of Keatings was just a joke. It's little surprise to hear that Inverness will be looking to get the red card rescinded. I'm sure the Rangers youngsters will be embarrassed by the assistance they were offered from the officials. They certainly did not need any of it as they showed good quality without the need for these clowns to intervene. The goals....... Date: 16/02/2020 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1741 Referee: Greg Aitken Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Toshney, McHattie, Tremarco, Walsh (Doran 79), Trafford (Keatings 29), Carson, Vincent, Storey, White (Todorov 74) Subs (not used): C Mackay; B Mckay, Harper, MacGregor. Scorers: Keatings (44), Storey (73) Booked: Rooney (??), Toshney (81), Keatings (48) Sent Off: Keatings (58) Rangers u21: 1 Lineup: Firth; Patterson, Palmer (McCausland 83), Breen, Shiels (Maxwell 87), Hastie (Young-Coombes), Finlayson, McPake, Dickson, Awokoya-Mebude, Kennedy Subs (not used): Kinnear, Butterworth, McClelland, Miller. Scorers: Mebude (6) Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  7. Livi Blown Away. An even first half where both sides had efforts cleared from the goalmouth produced no goals with defences on top. The wind was causing as much havoc as the officials. Sean Welsh fired just wide at the start of the second half, but he made no mistake with a free kick on the hour to open the scoring. Plenty of huff and puff thereafter, but no further scoring and it's the Caley Jags that go into tomorrows draw for the next round. That draw has now been made and we will travel to Easter Road to take on Hibernian on the weekend of the 29th February. Welsh buries the free kick.......scorcher. Despite claiming a clean bill of health, there was no sign of Aaron Doran's name on the paperwork. Sean Welsh started but James Keatings was on the bench. Livi made five changes to the squad that went to Dingwall in midweek, but Dolly Menga still started on the bench. In went Schofield, Lawson, Lamie, Jacobs and Souda, out went McCrorie, McMillan, Taylor-Sinclair, Sibbald & Robinson. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The managers on BBC Sport Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "It's a measure of this club's history in the Scottish Cup that people don't really see our result today as a shock. A surprise maybe, but not a shock." Livingston manager Gary Holt: "We talked at half-time about not making mistakes, and it's a mistake that cost us, simple as that." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ RIG summed it up like this............... the midfield trio of Welsh, Carson and Trafford were excellent. Slightly disappointed in Storey and Walsh as, in the first half, we seemed to get real joy out of attacking Livi down the flanks, particularly the right side, and it was a shame we didn't try and take advantage of their apparent lack of midfield cover for the fullback. Although Livi had more of the ball I think we had the better chances overall. Ridgers didn't have much to do until late in the game when Livi flashed a shot straight at him. Defensively I think we were pretty comfortable. Tremarco had a good game and Rooney started well but was less involved in the second half.Good away support in both numbers and voice. Fair play to them. Good to see Douglas Ross still as effective a linesman as he is a politician. Doofers Dad added........... We certainly coped with the conditions better but it was the commitment of the entire team which so impressed. Livi were chased and harried when they got the ball, and as a result were rarely able to impose themselves on the game. Nobody had a poor game but Welsh, Carson and Trafford were all excellent in midfield. Also a mention to Mckay and McHattie who did a great job in central defence following the departure of the established 1st choice pairing. We have these excellent team performances from time to time and one just wishes that this level of commitment was shown on a more regular basis. Match highlights from Caley Jags TV Robbo likes it.... Hear from goal scorer Sean Welsh Date: 08/02/2020 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1512 Referee: Don Robertson Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, McHattie, Tremarco, Walsh (Vincent 83), Trafford, Welsh, Carson, Storey (Todorov 90), White. Subs (not used): C Mackay; Harper, Keatings, MacGregor. Scorers: Welsh (61) Booked: Tremarco (74), Carson (90+3) Sent Off: none Livingston Fc: 0 Lineup: Schofield; Lawson, Brown, Guthrie, Lamie, Bartley, Jacobs (Sibbald 77), Pittman, Souda (Robinson 73), Lawless (Menga 66), Dykes. Subs (not used): Maley; McMillan, Taylor-Sinclair, Crawford Scorers: none Booked: Lawless (45) Sent Off: none a
  8. Inverness Pay The Penalty Inverness slumped again when others around them were faltering, this time only drawing with second bottom Alloa. A first half penalty was tucked away by Iain Flannigan after Shaun Rooney and or Brad Mckay rashly bundled Kevin O'Hara over in the box. We eventually equalised through Jordan White on the hour when he held off the defenders challenge in the box to turn and slot home from close range. White should have won the game with the last attack of the match but headed against the bar when it looked easier to score. Despite a dominant second half, Mark Ridgers had to be alert to block an effort from close range on the rare occasion Alloa ventured forth while we squandered numerous opportunities to make debut keeper Wright work too hard. Despite the dropped points, Inverness remain second top, and Alloa remain second bottom. Shaun Rooney appears to be here until the summer and he was on the park at right back. Tom Walsh started with James Keatings out injured, and Brad Mckay and Kevin McHattie filled the Coll & Jamie shaped hole in the heart of our defence. Alloa were without the injured Jamie MacDonald and young debutante Kieran Wright was in goal. Goal shark Kevin O'Hara was the sting in the Wasps attack. Inverness kick started the game but it was Kevin O'Hara that was first to make a keeper work, Ridgers holding on to his long range effort. Inverness responded and a blocked shot from Aaron Doran brought a corner to the hosts and then Tom Walsh had his attempt blocked as well before O'Hara once more tried his lick from distance, the ball deflecting for a corner. The first decent opportunity fell to Jordan White but Kieran Wright grabbed the ball comfortably as White failed to connect properly. Carl Tremarco popped up towards the front of the box at a corner and his header dipped just over the bar as Inverness looked most likely to score. Alloa broke the one way traffic when a Kevin McHattie back header was intercepted by Robert Thomson, thankfully he shot wide, but it was the hosts that mostly held the upper hand. Miles Storey broke down the right side and cut the ball low across the box but Doran smothered his shot and it trundled safely into the arms of the keeper. White saw a header sail over the bar, unfortunately that would be a recurring theme for the big striker. Boom! Out of nowhere, Alloa were afforded room down our right side and when O'Hara broke into the box, a combination of Brad Mckay and Shaun Rooney targeted the Alloa man. It looked as though it was Rooney who unceremoniously barged O'Hara over as Mckay tugged his man and there was no hesitation from Kevin Clancy as he pointed to the spot. Ridgers guessed right, but Iain Flannigan had sufficient power on his spot kick to find the bottom corner, just out of Mark's reach. If it's any consolation to us, Coll Donaldson did likewise for County yesterday. Meh! Almost immediately, we could have equalised. However Storey set a new record for vertical shooting as he lashed a great ball into the box high above the stand, straight out of the Jordan White heading textbook. Trafford fired a shot from twenty-five yards but it was straight down the young keepers throat as he parried then picked up the ball. Storey saw a header saved by Wright but it was at the other end where a goal almost came. Ridgers and or McHattie had to be at their best to deny Cawley after we got in a bit of a scrambulation in and around our own box. Another chance would come our way as White met a deep cross, but as he stretched out to volley the ball he could only knock it tamely into the goalies gloves. Half Time 0-1 We looked more urgent at the start of the second half and pinned Alloa onto the back foot, but a couple of deflected efforts came and went without troubling Wright too much. Sean Welsh made a welcome return to action and on the hour, White would not be denied though and the big lad did well to control an awkward ball into the box from Welsh on the right, hold off his marker and turn the ball into the net from six yards. No more than we deserved at this point in the game. We looked as though we were going to overrun Alloa now as Rooney began to surge forward but his sterling efforts saw no takers in the box, Doran being denied a couple of times. However, Alloa reminded us that they were also on the park when Ridgers had to make a great save to deny O'Hara after James Vincent gift wrapped a loose ball to the visitors. Best moment of the match from the hosts when substitute David Carson skipped across the Alloa defence before shooting just wide. Close but no cigar! In a frantic ending to the game Ridgers made a desperate stop to deny O'Hara or Alan Trouten, White headed over, Doran had a shot saved and right at the death Jordan White smacked the bar with a close range header when he should have been bugling the net. Doh! Mark Ridgers was our MotM with Shaun Rooney having a good second half. Good to see Walsh and Welsh getting up to speed and wee David Carson looked lively when he came on, really unlucky with the rasping shot that fizzed past the corner of the post and bar. Bottom line though is it's more points dropped against teams at the bottom end of the table, and that won't be good enough to keep us in second place should we continue to falter. The goals.... Speaking to BBC Sport Inverness CT assistant manager Barry Wilson: "I'm frustrated. We were chasing the game after the penalty, which we felt was of the soft variety. Results elsewhere went for us but we've not taken our chance to go further ahead." Alloa Athletic manager Peter Grant: "I've been delighted with our performances. We showed another side today the way they had to dig in at a tough place to come." Full Highlights from Caley Jags TV........... Bazza was on post match duty........ Date: 01/02/2020 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1914 Referee: Kevin Clancy Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, McHattie, Tremarco, Doran, Trafford (Welsh 57), Vincent (MacGregor 73), Walsh (Carson 74), Storey, White Subs (not used): C Mackay; Harper, Toshney, Todorov Scorers: White (59) Booked: Storey (45+1) Sent Off: none Alloa Athletic: 1 Lineup: Wright; Taggart, Dick, Deas, Stirling, Hetherington, Cawley, Robertson, Flannigan, O'Hara, Thomson (Trouten (63)) Subs (not used): Wilson, Gilhooley, O'Donnell, Buchanan, Connelly Scorers: Flannigan (30 pen) Booked: Sent Off: none a
  9. Robbo Burns As Rabbie once said to me.... The best laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft a-gley, An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain For promis'd joy. On the day of the Bard of Ayrshire, Inverness faced the Honest Men at Somerset Park with a new look defence after Coll Donaldson jumped ship, with Lewis Toshney joining Tom Walsh and Sean Welsh on the bench. The departing Jamie McCart was also benched again.There was the added incentive of Dundee crashing 2-0 at East End Park last night and three points for either side would be a huge bonus. Stephen Kelly scored the only goal of the game after an hour and both sides hit the woodwork, but it was no more than Ayr deserved as they closed the gap on Inverness to just one point. Our new defence got in a fankle at the goal allowing Kelly to take advantage. From the quill of the Bard himself, and so true...... There is no such uncertainty as a sure thing. RIG was on hand to see the wee sleekit courin timerous beastie, also known as the referee...... I think whilst we were on the end of some pretty debatable calls from the referee, Ayr were the better team throughout the 90 minutes and deserved the win. Kerr seemed to set Ayr up a bit more defensively than previous match ups and they let us carry the ball forward with little pressure but we were swarmed as we entered the Ayr half and forced to thread balls through a well organised Ayr midfield and defence (which we couldn't do) or try and dink a ball up to White and later Todorov (which we also couldn't do). When Ayr seized the ball they broke with real pace and direction quickly feeding the ball wide to Forrest or Moffat on the flanks or looking to play a pass in behind the ICT centre backs and a lot of their good chances game from this. Only a triple block/save combination from McHattie and Ridgers stopped Ayr opening the scoring in the first half which saw wave after wave of attacks threaten the ICT rearguard. Fortunately we held them off and had the ball in the net when Keatings lifted a free kick in for White who beat Doohan to the ball and flicked it in but the referee gave a free kick for a foul by White. Seemed pretty soft but it would have been hard on Ayr had we gone ahead (though thoroughly pleasing obviously). Second half and there seemed to be a strong claim for a penalty when Doran broke into the box and looked like he was pushed in the back sending him to the ground but the referee waved play on. Not long after this Ayr scored. I didn't see what happened but after I had stopped admiring my new trainers I looked up to see Trafford on his arse and Kelly seizing on a loose ball, heading for goal before calmly slotting past Ridgers. No more than Ayr deserved in fairness but frustrating nonetheless from an ICT point of view. Ayr had more chances after this to extend their lead before Doran went down under another challenge however this time he got straight back up to chase the ball before Aitken blew for a foul and cautioned Doran for diving which seemed a bit odd given he didn't seem to be looking for anything. We went with 2 strikers for the final few minutes with Todorov coming on to partner White but we didn't really create anything of note until the final kick of the game when Ayr threw bodies to block a couple of ICT efforts from close range (these might even have been our only shots on target...). Bizarre to see us end the game with a couple of big lads up front and our two best crossers of the ball on the wings yet we persevered with little dinked balls up towards White and Todorov which almost never found them. Any ICT fan not bothered about losing Donaldson AND McCart should be worried after today's defensive showing. Whilst McHattie was solid enough Mckay with the ball at his feet was an absolute bombscare. Vincent was decent for us, possibly closest to ICT MotM. Kerr and Moffat looked good for Ayr and Drinan really gave Mckay and McHattie a torrid time. We have a real battle on to maintain second spot which could be huge come the end of the season.. Highlights from Ayr United TV Eagle4Caley left Crystal Palace behind for the weekend to go to Somerset Park and enjoyed the ambience...... The highlights suggest a close game, although I felt Ayr had more chances, but we hit the bar, and quite why our goal was disallowed is beyond me...White at no time is looking at the goalie only at the ball, and I'm not convinced he even touches him. Also Doran was clearly pushed over in the penalty area, and then next time he gets a booking for going down, when you can see he catches the defender legs and is trying to regain his feet. Their goal was a bit of a bummer, at first I thought that McHattie was at fault but credit to the Ayr player who actually closes Charlie Trafford down very quickly. I thought McHattie had a decent game, as did McKay...strange how quickly our CB pairing has changed (presumably to make ends meet). For me our midfielders were the pick of the bunch, plus Walsh when he came on. Our forwards were very much powder-puff, Doran was quieter than expected, Storey didn't offer much apart from two/three decent crosses, I'm not sure what Keatings was doing and White looks like he is the Centre Forward because he's tall, because he seemed unable to anticipate where high balls were going nor jump at the right time (except for the disallowed goal), he's definitely better with his feet! For me 2nd place is probably between us and Ayr, so this was a disappointing reverse, but I guess we can't win every match against them. Robbo's the man for a' that.... Date: 25/01/2020 Venue: Somerset Park, Ayr Attendance: 1200 Referee: Greg Aitken Ayr United: 1 Lineup: Doohan; Houston, Muirhead, Harvie, Bell, Kerr, Moffat (Rocco 90+3), Forrest (McKenzie 90), Drinan, Docherty, Kelly Subs (not used): Ellis Hare-Reid; Doolan, McCowan, McGuffie, Hewitt Scorers: Kelly (61) Booked: Docherty (85) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, McHattie, Tremarco, Doran, Trafford (Todorov 75), Vincent, Storey (Walsh 66), Keatings (Carson 66), White Subs (not used): C Mackay, Toshney, McCart, Welsh. Scorers: none Booked: B Mckay (71), White (72), Doran (78) Sent Off: none a
  10. Charlie is me darling....... Inverness go into the hat for the fifth round draw tomorrow night, and that's not something that Coll Donaldson can say. Aaron Doran fired in a tremendous early opening goal but Kevin O'Hara levelled before the break. Jordan White headed a second on the hour but again the Wasps struck back again through Kevin O'Hara before a late Charlie Trafford header saw Inverness through this difficult tie without the need for a replay. Happy days for Inverness and even happier for Jordan White who scored a goal and announced a baby boy incoming with his wife Alana. Congratulations from all at CTOxxx. With Coll Donaldson preferring to play his football over the bridge, and Jamie McCart tellingly on the bench, we drafted fit again Brad Mckay and Kevin McHattie into central defence with Jordan White leading the attack. The good news was that Tom Walsh and Sean Welsh were both on the bench with Tom making an appearance after the interval. Alloa were without veteran and top scorer Alan Trouten, the onus falling to Liam Buchanan to get the goals. Top Championship shot stopper Jamie MacDonald was in goals for the Wasps with top shut-out keeper Mark Ridgers at the opposite end. Something was going to give. Thankfully the rain had relented and it was game on, and it only took eight minutes for Aaron Doran to bulge the net after a defensive slip gave him room to score after Shaun Rooney crossed in from the right. Ten minutes later Alloa were level when Kevin Cawley met a near post corner from Flannigan to squeeze the ball into the net. Jamie MacDonald had to save from Jordan White as the visitors tried to regain the upper hand but it was the hosts that began to take control of proceedings as Alloa's Jon Robertson shot wide. Adam Brown had two efforts saved by Mark Ridgers in the space of three minutes as the pace of the game increased, Ridgers making a third save from Brown just before the break. Half time 1-1 No changes at the interval and Inverness made a strong start to the second half with White hooking a ball over the bar and Ridgers making an excellent save to deny Liam Buchanan. Tom Walsh made his comeback with Storey leaving the field and after Inverness won a couple of corners, the third one proved fruitful when White headed Doran's ball behind MacDonald to put the visitors back in front. The lead lasted fourteen minutes this time before Kevin O'Hara volleyed a second equaliser for Alloa from a deflected cross. Game on once more! Carl Tremarco had a header deflected wide as we looked to get our noses back in front in this see-saw tussle and substitute Tom Walsh was just too high with a shot over the bar as the game entered the final ten minutes. An unlikely hero would emerge from the pack in the shape of Charlie Trafford when he nodded in from close range in the 86th minute after a Doran corner had been headed back into the box by Shaun Rooney. Scenes! Goal hero Trafford left the field shortly after scoring with a possible head knock to be replaced by David Carson to see out the final few minutes. Caught on camera.................. That's a good win for Inverness after a difficult week with tranfers and speculation. By the way, how did your weekend go Coll? Robbo happy enough after a tough tie....... Here's the scores on the doors from the Scottish Cup weekend. Dundee United v Hibs on Sunday afternoon. Only one replay so far and congratulations to BSC Glasgow who go into the fifth round. Aberdeen scrape through against the Sons, Hissy unlucky against Clyde and Ayr United dump some team out of the event. You've got to love a bit of Scottish Cup action. The highlights from Alloa TV Date: 18/01/2020 Venue: Recreation Park, Alloa Attendance: 590 Referee: Willie Collum Alloa Athletic : 2 Lineup: MacDonald; Robertson, Taggart, Deas, Dick, Cawley, Hetherington, Brown (Thomson 65), Flannigan, Buchanan (Connelly), O'Hara Subs (not used): Henry, Gilhooley, Malcolm, O'Donnell. Scorers: O'Hara (18) O'Hara(75) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, McHattie, Tremarco, Doran, Trafford (Carson 90), Vincent, Storey (Walsh 57), Keatings (MacGregor 83), White Subs (not used): C Mackay, McCart, Wesh, Todorov. Scorers: Doran (8), White (61), Trafford (86) Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  11. Dens Deelight for Caley Jags Inverness dominated the early exchanges and it was no surprise when Aaron Doran opened the scoring with a wham bam thankyou mam effort from 13 yards. Long ball from McHattie to Rooney and then on to Doran for a brilliant opener. Seven minutes later, James Keatings ran through on to a Rooney pass on the counter and drilled superbly under Hamilton for a second goal in the 24th minute as the visitors dominance continued. The half time stats showed Inverness with seven attempts on target to zero for Dundee. Despite an improved second 45 from the hosts, Inverness were well worth the three points today and remain second in the Championship. John Robertson had threatened wholesale changes after the lethargy displayed against Arbroath with only Ridgers and Storey guaranteed their place in the starting XI. The reality though brought home how fragile our squad is. Sean Welsh and Tom Walsh are back in training but not ready for action yet. So, captain Carl Tremarco back in at left back was a no brainer. However, Jamie McCart was dropped to the bench with Kevin McHattie moving to centre back to replace him. That was more of a surprise. James Vincent returned to midfield in place of David Carson with Nikolay Todorov up front for Jordan White. So, three changes, one surprise. Another pleasant surprise would unfold as the afternoon wore on. Dundee had Josh Meekings in the heart of defence with Dorrans in midfield and Kane Hemmings starting up top. Other Championship results today Alloa 1-1 Partick Thistle Arbroath 1-2 Morton Dunfermline 0-1 Ayr United Queen of South 0-1 Dundee United What the managers said on BBC Sport Dundee manager James McPake: "You go in and you think you've got the consistency in performances, you think everything's starting to click and then bang - you get that start to the game. We were on the back of a half-decent run, we should have been out of the traps really quickly and starting the game well but today we were really poor." Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "Today we showed what we are about - hard working, inventive with the ball, a right good team. To come here and win as comfortably as that is a big fillip for us." Looks like Robbo has signed a new player. Well done big Fillip. Immortal Howden Ender has this report for us, and just look at his face when he saw the team lines. Well I would bet mucho spondoolicks that the 194 ICT supporters who witnessed this performance would rank that first half performance as the most fluent and effective that we have played in a long time. I would class it as entertainment personified and the singing must also class as the loudest and most prolonged in years as well - even though a few idiotic barstewards tried to ruin it. Storey coming off at half time definitely affected the rhythm and Rooney was nowhere near as effective in midfield - although he had done enuff in the first 45 to win the MotM by a country mile. We started off as a 4-2-1-3 but were forced into a 4-4-2 in the second half. I reckon we would have trounced them if it had stayed the same. We totally controlled the first 15 minutes and then we were treated to the goal of the season which will be very difficult match. McHattie fired a pinpoint 60 yard cross field ball which found Rooney in miles of space. He then moves forward and we expect a looping cross. Well he cut it back along the 18 yard line at pace and DORAN smashed it into the corner. And only seven minutes later Rooney is at it again and at the end of a speedy counter attack KEATINGS coolly chipped it home. And we all thought that Storey had smashed in a second but unfortunately it was the side netting that bulged. And as we drew breath we wondered if the second half would be more of the same. Alas Storey going off, presumably injured, we probably lost our system. Brad McKay coming on at right full back and Rooney moving into right midfield. Harsh maybe but I feel that we should have taken on MacGregor. But don't get me wrong - we continued to boss the game. We never really looked like grabbing the third but Dundee never looked like scoring either. We did play a low lying back four but they won nearly everything and our workmanship and pressing was excellent. The only negative is that we may have lost three more squad players but let's hope that none of the injuries are serious and that Welsh and Walsh will return soon. So it is a very happy IHE who sips his post match voddie and let's hope that 2020 brings more of the same. The scores on the doors.......... Ridgers ???? He is becoming a major bonus. Another deserved clean sheet and three tremendous saves. Rooney ????? Simply superb in the first half. Not as effective in the second half when moved forward but covered every blade of grass McHattie ???? Was unsure to begin with but he and Coll looked like a real partnership. And that pass to start the first goal move was "World Class". Donaldson ???? Looked more like the Coll of yore. Won EVERYTHING. Tremarco ??? Solid if not spectacular but Dundee did play mainly down our right flank. Vincent ???? I thought that he was superb and you could see him continually supporting and egging on all around him. Trafford ??? Grafted but defended more than gave anything going forward. Keatings ??? Very well taken goal. I felt that he too suffered from the enforced half time goal. Desperately needs a striker who knows how to be a foil to a number 10. Storey ??? Has so much potential but frustrates me that he does not take people on more often. Still a striker to me and not a winger. Todorov ?? Sorry but had a big chance to make his mark but did little to impress. Simply not a holding target man. Doran ??? What a finish as only Aaron could do. He is the one person who you think could do something impromptu but lacks pace these days BUT still worth a starting place Mckay was a bit of a bomb scare at times, Carson is tireless and White looked good and hopefully continues to look over his shoulder at Toddy. Robbo got it spot on today but I still think that he should have taken on McGregor at halftime but WTF. And even Robbo the Ref gave us far more than he usually does ? ??? The goals courtesy of Sky Sport Scotland........ Robbo in better tune after that great performance. What a difference a week makes. Date: 04/01/2020 Venue: Dens Park, Dundee Attendance: 5040 Referee: Don Robertson Dundee: 0 Lineup: Hamilton; Kerr, McGhee, Meekings, McGowan, Dorrans, Johnson (Cunningham 85), Robertson, Mackie (Todd 62), Marshall, Hemmings. Subs (not used): Ferrie; Foster, Byrne, Moore, Cameron. Scorers: none Booked: Johnson (29), McGhee (64) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McHattie, Tremarco, Doran, Trafford (Carson 55), Vincent, Keatings, Storey (B McKay 46), Todorov (White 72) Subs (not used): C Mackay, McCart, MacGregor, Curry Scorers: Doran (17), Keatings (24) Booked: none Sent Off: none
  12. Bleak House We were hoping for a White Xmas, instead we got a Dickensian novel, Bleak House, as Arbroath deservedly took all three points with a disciplined performance against a complete team of misfits with only Mark Ridgers earning his crust. The goal came just after the break with Luke Donnelly stroking home after we lost the ball near the visitors box. That triggered a terse exchange between Ridgers and his defence with Rooney the brunt of the exchange. All this came after an eye gouging first half which was topped by a more than inept second half with Arbroath more likely to increase their lead without having to try too hard. You can only paper over the cracks for so long and today we were found wanting as part time Arbroath, not for the first time this season, turned us over. It's such a shame that a decade of so many highs has ended with an all time low. Ridgers had to make a great block in the first half and two terrific second half saves to spare our blushes further whilst we were incapable of troubling the keeper who worked harder kicking the mud off his boots on the goal post than dealing with anything Inverness had to offer. On a weekend when every other result was in our favour, we could not help ourselves, and that's a bit of a concern. In fact, we are almost as close to Alloa Athletic as we are to Dundee United, only one point in it. I suggest we will be closer to the team at the bottom come the end of the season. Mark Ridgers was our MotM and that should tell you all you need to know about our inability to trouble Arbroath. I can't think of any outfield player who deserved passmarks other than possibly Miles Storey who at least put in some effort although not always channeling his runs in the right direction or getting an end product with wasteful crosses. Charlie Trafford made less mistakes than others, but played it safe instead of hurting the defence. Otherwise, we were a complete omnishambles. We remain second in the league for now, but unless we kick on, then we won't be there come the end of the season. Take nothing away from Arbroath who will be rightly delighted with the result, but this report is all about our inability to play football at a level required for promotion. In truth, the Smokies cigared this, so well done to them for a very successful year Manager reaction from BBC Sport: Inverness CT manager, John Robertson: "We were horrendous, quite as simple and straightforward as that. From the first whistle we looked lacklustre, didn't have any energy, any zip, didn't move the ball about. It looked like the players thought it's only little old Arbroath - little old Arbroath showed exactly what it takes to be a professional football team." Arbroath manager, Dick Campbell: "Anybody watching the game today would respect what we're about and it wasn't an undeserved result for me. To come up here and score a great goal like we did is fantastic - and I didn't see my keeper having having a lot to do. I couldn't be happier with points, I'm that soft and might give them Tuesday off now." Angry John...... Match reaction on CTO Plenty of unhappy Bunnies. Doofers Dad: I'm finding it hard to understand that a team that has been playing pretty well recently, who could have increased the gap between 2nd & 3rd to 6 points and who should have felt they had a point to prove after a poor 3-0 defeat earlier in the season at Arbroath, can put in such a truly awful performance. They should have been really up for this game. Instead, it looked as if most of them simply couldn't be bothered. And I don't think I can remember a game when possession has been given away so easily so often. It was like watching a 2nd rate pub side at times. It was just dreadful. Jack: I cannot believe the ***** I've just witnessed. We're bloody 2nd in the league and are being played around by a part time team who's main striker works the bin lorry every other day. Muirtown Jaggy: Slow, predictable, lethargic, sloppy....... it was hard to tell who the part time team was !!!!!!! Absolutely woeful, some players really need to be having a word with themselves. Does Robbo have enough about him to sort this out !!!! Not so sure. Caley100: That was a feckin disgrace. Total rubbish from start to finish! You would think Robbo and the coaches would have learned after the last two games against Arbroath what tactics would be an improvement. Rig: That was the first time Arbroath have ever beaten us in Inverness and, based on today, it'll be a long time until we beat them again. A truly shocking performance from ICT. Yngwie: Had a question for you all...... Question: Which spectators sat through both this and the corresponding away defeat? Answer: The ICT outfield! ? Have a great 2020, see you all then. tm4tj and the editorial team Date: 28/12/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2287 Referee: Graham Beaton Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, McHattie, Doran (Curry 64), Carson, Trafford, Storey, Keatings (MacGregor 64), White (Todorov 70) Subs (not used): C Mackay; B Mckay, Tremarco, Vincent, Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none Arbroath: 1 Lineup: Gaston; Whatley, Little, O'Brien, Hamilton, Stewart, Virtanen, Gold (Murphy 83), Linn (Kader 73), McKenna, Donnelly (Spence 77) Subs (not used): Jamieson, Thomson, Swankie, Doris. Scorers: Donnelly (47) Booked: Hamilton (20), Virtanen (76) Sent Off: none a
  13. Xmas Cheer Inverness collected all three points with an ultimately deserved win over a persistent Dunfermline Athletic. Despite mostly dominating the first half, we had Mark Ridgers to thank thrice for excellent blocks to deny Kevin Nisbet on each occasion, one just before the break was crucial, and that meant that Shaun Rooney's goal around the half hour gave Inverness the lead at the interval. The Pars were more prominent in the second half without really threatening, but Ridgers had to make another good block to thwart Nisbet again to keep his clean sheet, and a second half header from Jamie McCart sealed the win with ten minutes remaining. This result keeps Inverness four clear in second place with Dundee United disappearing over the horizon. Carl Tremarco was out injured with Kevin McHattie taking his place and Tom Walsh and Brad Mckay missed out again. Stevie Crawford was without the suspended Greg Kiltie, Joe Thomson getting his first start for nine months. Paul Paton and Lewis McCann started with Harry Cochrane and Kyle Turner on the bench alongside former Inverness loan player Anthony McDonald. A tentative opening quarter by both sides with James Keatings shooting just wide early on from inside the box. Mark Ridgers made his first save from Kevin Nisbet after 15 minutes when he spread himself well to deny the on form striker, then grabbed his follow up header. That was slightly against the run of play, but showed that the Pars would be dangerous on the counter. Scully was forced into making a fingertip save from what looked to be a header from one of his own defenders, the ball being tipped behind for a corner after a dangerous cross into the box with Jordan White lurking with intent. Neither keeper was overworked but after half an hour Inverness opened the scoring when Shaun Rooney was on hand to knock a Keatings cross behind Scully from 10 yards after a corner was cleared back to the Caley Jags man out wide. The hosts were now in control of midfield with Charlie Trafford and David Carson prominent and Scully had more to deal with than Ridgers, but on the stroke of half time the big Inverness keeper did well to prevent Nisbet getting an equaliser as he spread himself once more when one on one. Half Time 1-0 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What the managers said on BBC Sport Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson: "On the face of it, it seems the perfect day. As a manager you want the three points, a clean sheet and the performance too. "We were a big threat at set pieces and I think that second goal at the end of the day was deserved. We still had to concentrate, still had to be lively as Dunfermline have players who can hurt you if you don't keep an eye on them." Dunfermline manager Stevie Crawford: "It's a very difficult place to come, we had chances we could've scored from and were punished. "The second-half we huffed and puffed. Inverness managed the game really well, and we never created enough goalscoring chances to get back into the game." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dunfermline looked more determined after the break but with little cutting edge Ridgers was left to deal with the odd cross and a few clearances. The hosts were looking more comfortable as the half wore on and with a bit more composure could have added to their tally. Jamie McCart headed over from a corner with twenty minutes left as the home fans were looking for the cushion of a two goal lead. It would come ten minutes from the end and this time McCart rose unchallenged at the back to loop a header across the keeper into the far corner. Bit of a soft goal for Dunfermline to lose but a vital second goal for Inverness. Still work to do and Ridgers denied Nisbet for a third time with another excellent block to hold on to the clean sheet. The game ran away from the Pars and at the end of the day they can have little complaints after failing to capitalise on three one on ones with Ridgers who stood firm and gets my vote for MotM. Mark was well supported by his back line who were prepared to defend in depth when needed and willing to turn defence into attack with some great out balls. Defensively sound for most of the game that was a great way to get over the defeat at Firhill last week and puts a wee dent in the Pars run towards the play-off places. Shaun Rooney was the sponsors vote and he had a great second half with a couple of trademark bursts down the touchline. Aaron Doran was also lively and kept the visitors defence on their toes. There were some failures, but it's not a day for complaints with three points in the bag and a clean sheet. Here's the goals............ Here's Dunfermlines take on the game..... Robbo match reaction......... Table and Championship scores from yesterday Inverness CT 2-0 Dunfermline Alloa Athletic 0-2 Morton Dundee United 4-0 Ayr United Partick Thistle 0-1 Dundee Queen of the South 2-0 Arbroath Date: 19/12/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2116 Referee: Alan Newlands Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, McHattie, Doran (Todorov 89), Carson, Trafford, Storey, Keatings (Vincent 74), White (Curry 85) Subs (not used): C Mackay, Harper, Machado, MacGregor. Scorers: Rooney (33), McCart (80) Booked: Donaldson (65) Sent Off: none Dunfermline Ath: 0 Lineup: Scully; Comrie, Ashcroft, Devine, Martin, Dow, Beadling (Turner 43), Paton, Thomson (Ryan 74), Nisbet, McCann (McDonald 62) Subs (not used): Gill; Lang, Cochrane, Edwards. Scorers: none Booked: Comrie (35) Sent Off: none a
  14. Pumped Again As sure as Inverness Caledonian Thistle can beat Ayr United, Partick Thistle can beat us. Partick hold the Indian sign over Inverness this season with another 3-1 win over second place Inverness. James Keatings had levelled an Alex Jones opener for Thistle, but further goals from Steve Saunders and Dario Zanatta made it a long and miserable journey back up the A9. That win moves Partick up to eighth in the table. Immortal Howden Ender was on hand to witness our demise....... Ok I have slept on it and my “report” will be more considered, less emotive but still very critical. I suspect that after savouring the win and performance at Alloa and the positivity following the Dundee game I may well have underestimated Plastic Whistle and I feel that the team did as well. We have been crying out for a Plan B and that has been recently been delivered and in some style. There may be a load of armchair managers on this forum but there were a few things tactically that Robbo was blinded to yesterday. You can play the tippy tappy football on 4G or well cared for surfaces in cold and frosty conditions. Robbo has introduced that recently but – when you are faced with a boggy pitch, it is feckin freezing cold, added to by a strong, swirling wind and driving rain (especially in the second half) then the “hoof” is a more sought tactic. McCall sussed us yet again. He played two lines of four playing deep in defence. They only pressed when we were in the final third. They were only too happy to sit back and let us play meaningless passes across the pitch and often played backwards as well. And did we do just that !! And then we did not use the width. When we did go wide we looked more threatening. How many times did Storey run forwards but then stop and play the ball backwards or sideways. Doran simply does not have the stamina and pace in such conditions and defensive set up. But then again we do not have a holding forward or a striker with the “poacher” penalty box instinct. I would also criticize Doran and Storey for not channeling back and that increased the workload on Carson and Trafford. Plastic Whistle had the old head in Kenny Miller (playing in central midfield) and pace up front which made them always dangerous on the counter. BUT we did not revert to the hoof and Robbo stuck by the starting XI until it was too late. Our following was bellowing for the changes eventually made since the hour mark and then it was too late. We were always “chasing” the game which again wholly suited Partick. Alex Jones, who had been wholly ineffective, popped up early in the second half to put the Whistle ahead. KEATINGS pulled one back and, at that stage, you felt that we would take over. Well we did possession and territory wise but always looked susceptible to the counter. Saunders put those thoughts to bed and Zanatta scored a third with the last kick from an incredible angle. Lets just sum things up as “so disappointing” and three valuable points chucked away. For once I can see the comments made by both managers afterwards. McCall said – “I was really pleased, I thought it was terrific entertainment. "It could have been 5-3 to us but yes a big three points and takes us above Morton. You are only four or five points off fifth place now so we've another big game next week." It was terrific entertainment for the home fans !! Our three would have come from goalmouth scrambles and/or from dead ball situations. Robbo replied - "It was a good game, both teams obviously had chances. I thought we were the better team in the first half, a couple of great saves from Scott Fox, a couple of great chances from set plays. And you need to take those chances." We had at least double the “chances” but they took theirs. We were the better of two bad teams at half time. I would have at least doubled our chances from set plays. And Ridgers kept us in the game in both halves with two sensational saves in both. I am sure that there will be a Happy Clapper stating IF we had gone 2-1 up or IF we had taken one of those second half melee chances. There are no feckin Ifs in football. And as for McLean and the stand side linesman it is more shocking proof of the deterioration in standards this season. Although they gave strange and bad decisions against both sides. I am looking forward to seeing the replay of the alleged White “dive” which did look more like a penalty from our distant viewpoint. Apologies if this Smileymometer is insulting and aggravating but it is a personal perspective and I dare not give points !!. RIDGERS – May have fecked up the third goal but he kept us in the game and is the only player close to being a MOM candidate, far less a MOM ROONEY ? – Wish that he had been playing wide right instead of Storey. He was the one player looking to drive forward instead of the incessant “Ray Wilkins” passing tactics. TREMARCO ? – Looked shaded but does not exactly get much defensive support from Doran. Is Carl hitting the end of his playing days ? DONALDSON ?– Appears to be trying to play in the Virgil Van Dyke mode. Unfortunately looked more like Dick Van Dyke at times yesterday. McCART ? – Probably came the closest to scoring from the dead ball situations. Defensively and passing wise he was the Julie Andrews beside Dick Van Dyke. Perhaps he should have retrieved Red Cards brolly. STOREY ? – My high hopes blew away in the Maryhill winds. Why did he not run at the defenders ? I lost count of the times that he stopped, back tracked and passed back !! CARSON ? – I thought that he played well and gave his all. Again he rarely got forward and tended to be another Ray Wilkins impersonator. TRAFFORD ?– Bad day at the office. Gave his all but his distribution was poor and he made no impact. DORAN ? – Hugged the touchline for most of the game. Did not defend at all. Most of our good stuff came down the right and even Aaron resorted to the back pass. WHITE ? – I have really tried to give him the benefit of the doubt but he did not win anything in the air and why did we relent with trying to play the ball into his feet. In his defence who was there to play it off to ? KEATINGS ?– If that was playing number 10 then why was he so deep ? You cant be a playmaker and a No 10. He was deep playing balls into the feet (mainly White) but then who was playing off White. Answers on a small piece of toilet paper. ROBBO ? – You should have changed the tactics and McCall sussed that. Keatings Overhead. Boom !!!!! Date: 14/12/2019 Venue: Firhill, Partick. Attendance: 2144 Referee: Steven McLean Partick Thistle: 3 Lineup: Fox; Williamson, Penrice, O'Ware, Cardle (Zanatta 58), Bannigan, Miller (Palmer 86), Jones (Harkins 72), Cole, Kakay, Saunders. Subs (not used): Sneddon; McGinty, Robson, Slater. Scorers: Jones (48), Saunders (64), Zanatta (90 +3) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco (Harper 85), Doran (Curry 84), Carson, Trafford, Keatings, White (Todorov 84) Subs (not used): C Mackay; B Mckay, McHattie, MacGregor. Scorers: Keatings (57) Booked: White (35), Robertson (manager 35) Sent Off: none a
  15. Storey is Miles better.... Inverness did what they had to do to remain in second place, and they did it in style. A fine finish from Jordan White in the 20th minute was built upon by born again Miles Storey after the break who sprinted from ten yards inside the halfway line before drilling the ball through keeper Doohan who will feel he should have done better on that occasion. However, Doohan was the reason that the score remained closer than it should have been with a handful of excellent saves to deny the eager Caley Jags men who thouroughly deserved the win to keep them behind leaders Dundee United. Inverness went unchanged from last weeks win over Alloa Athletic whilst Ayr United were likewise with Steven Bell coming on to the bench. Inverness were looking for their third win on the trot and in contrast Ayr were looking to avoid a hat-trick of defeats on the bounce. A crowd of under 2000 were on hand to watch this game as the miserable weather continued with a blustery wind adding to the clilled downpours. The hosts started in confident mode and Jordan White headed a James Keatings corner over in the fifth minute. Aaron Doran was poleaxed on the edge of the box a minute later but the referee was not interested. The first of many frustrating calls by a referee out of his depth. Keatings volleyed across the box but it narrowly missed the keepers left hand post as the pressure mounted on the Ayr goal. A free kick over and another effort from Keatings showed our intent and a goal was imminent. Ayr's one fleeting glimpse of goal in the first half came when a long ball forward saw Mark Ridgers come thirty yards off his line only to miss the tackle. However, by the time Ayr got the ball under control and lofted it towards the box Inverness had bodies back and the opportunity fizzled out. David Carson picked up the ball in an attacking area inside the centre circle and drove forward before feeding White just outside the box. The big man took one touch then offloaded early as a defender tried to block. This seemed to wrong foot the keeper and the ball was tucked into the bottom corner with Ross Doohan stranded. Great goal from the big striker and no more than Inverness deserved. Miles Storey was beginning to see more of the ball after a sloppy start to the game with some wasted opportunities to deliver a telling ball. He got on the end of a long clearance from Ridgers but Doohan saved comfortably low down. He forced Doohan to earn his money shortly before the break after we dispossessed Ayr near the centre circly. The ball fell to Storey and he strode forward before unleashing atesting 25 yard effort that the keeper did well to claw away with a diving save. Half Time 1-0 Ayr began the second half on the front foot as the Caley Jags looked content to weather the storm, however Ayr got the break of the ball after a clearance fell kindly to them off the back of a defender but Alan Forrest shot across the face of the goal sneaked just wide of the post. Storey was looking sharper as the game wore on and when a clearance from a corner came to him some 15 yards inside his own half he did what he can do best. He sprinted clear with pace and power before deciding whether to cross or shoot. He elected to shoot and the ball squirmed away from Doohan and rolled slowly into the net for a superb individual goal. That eased the pressure in the home stands and gave us a cushion to work with. That second goal seemed to take the wind out of the Ayr sails and we looked most likely to add to our tally. Carl Tremarco went off injured to be replace by Kevin McHattie just after the hour. With twenty minutes left, Keatings and Doran linked well around the box and when Keatings returned the pass to Doran it took a superb reaction save from Doohan to keep the score at 2-0 after Doran's shot from 10 yards was goalbound. Storey was now in full flow and when he burst down the right flank, his cross was met first time by Keatings only for Doohan to pull off another tremendous save low down to his left. Ayr's best moment came soon after when Ridgers did well to spread himself and block an effort from Mark McKenzie after he was set clear on the right side of the box. The Doran and Keatings double act linked well again and after Doran jinked his way into the box it was left to Doohan to once more deny Inverness a third goal with five minutes left. We finished the game on the front foot and Todorov saw a header booted off the line as the game ran away from Ayr. Good afternoons entertainment despite the horrendous conditions and a well deserved three points for the hosts. Miles Storey was given the sponsors MotM award and few could complain about that although David Carson has picked up most votes on the CTO voting. No failures today with the defence once more back to their best, three wins and three clean sheets. Carson and Charlie Trafford were in control of the midfield and Miles Storey used his power to good effect, especially in the second half. James Keating was unfortunate not to score today and but for some heroics from Ross Doohan, Inverness could have gone nap! Weekend Scores in the Championship Inverness CT 2-0 Ayr United Arbroath 1-1 Dundee Dundee Utd 2-1 Alloa Dunfermline 3-1 Morton Queen ot South 1-2 Partick Miles Better...........MotM Robbo impressed........... Match highlights from Caley Jags TV Date: 07/12/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1833 Referee: Gavin Ross Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco (McHattie 64), Doran, Carson, Trafford, Storey, Keatings (MacGregor 85), White (Todorov 86) Subs (not used): C Mackay; B Mckay, Harper, Curry Scorers: White (20), Storey (63) Booked: Rooney (39) Sent Off: none Ayr United: 0 Lineup: Doohan; Houston, Muirhead, Byrne, Harvie, Geggan (McKenzie 68), Docherty, Kelly, Moffat (Kerr 78), Moore, Forrest (McGuffie 69) Subs (not used): Hare-Reid; Bell, Ecrepont. Scorers: none Booked: McKenzie (90+2) Sent Off: none a
  16. Wasps Sting Themselves... Inverness moved up to second in the table after a 2-0 win over ten man Alloa who had Liam Dick sent off just before the hour. Both goals were scored in the first half with Scott Taggart heading behind his own keeper and Aaron Doran brilliantly volleying home the second from a Jordan White knock down as the half closed. With Dundee United and Ayr United frozen out, we moved into second spot for now and moved a further two points away from Dundee who lost at home to Queen of the South in a dramatic late ending to that game. There were two games called off for frozen pitches. Ayr United -P- Arbroath Morton -P- Dundee United Alloa Athletic 0-2 Inverness CT Dundee 1-2 Queen of the South Dunfermline 5-1 Partick Thistle Immortal Howden Ender has this report for us........... Well at least I am enjoying my Away Days this season. Ayr and Alloa have been good choices. And here I was travelling up in minus temperatures, blue skies and sunshine. And then Radio Scotland announces that two Championship games have been called off. I forgot that the wasps nest is now of the 4G variety. And good to see a fair smattering of the old brigade in a 100+ following. Relaxed train journey with Mantis, into Bobbin John's with the McDonalds - Lynn and Ronald - only to be called to Drysdale's and participation in a PeaPod cast or something like that. And then a late arrival at the Rec but an enjoyable 45 minutes followed by a tolerable second 45. I would have to say that I was impressed by Alloa. Unfortunately their penchant to play football and dispense with the hoof was admirable but may also be their downfall. I don't think that the most staunch of us would have begrudged them a point at the end. The first half made good watching and both teams carved out chances. We also dispensed with the hoof, played football and used the extra wide flanks. I thought that Rooney was exceptional in that half. Ridgers had made a couple of saves, we had wasted at least two half chances before Inspector Taggart became Inspector Clousseau and headed the ball past the man who won us the Scottish Cup. And the eventual match winner came right on the half time whistle. A Rooney cross, exquisite head back by White and Doran curves neatly passed poor old Rod. As good a goal as you will see all season. Half Time 0-2 And then you would have thought that a complete Dick had opened the flood gates with a double footed, red card, over the top tackle on Keatings. But, we appeared to relax and wait for another opportunity. And a few came along but we fluffed the final touch. I felt that we tried to overpass at times. We should have gone nap really. But Alloa improved with 10 men. As is often the case we looked like the team with ten. When an Alloa shot hit the postage stamp corner there was a shiver, not caused by the minus temperature. But we held on and returned to Drysdale's a happy bunch. I will dispense with the smileys but my marks out of 5 are made up of 3's and 4's. Ridgers, Rooney, Coll, Tremarco, Carson and Keatings get the fours. I may also add Roddy McGregor to that list as his pace and movement was terrific when he came on. Carson sneaks in as my MotM - mainly for his defensive display and a developing partnership with Triffid. Let's hope that McCart has only a minor knock. My only other whinge, apart from not scoring more goals was WHY take on Curry if he is on his way out? So Aloha to Clackmannanshire and I may well be back. Have to save up for the Maryhill Caley Away Xmas party ? From BBC Sport Alloa Athletic manager Peter Grant: "The scoreline was very harsh on us. To lose the goals when we did was a double-whammy. "But I was chuffed with the way the players went about their business. Even when we went down to 10 men we were excellent." Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "Both teams carved out really good opportunities. The first goal was really strange, the second was a cracker. "There were more goals if they showed the quality of the final pass, and that's what let us down second-half. We didn't make the extra man count." Extended highlights from Alloa Athletic FC Date: 30/11/2019 Venue: Recreation Park, Alloa Attendance: 721 Referee: Greg Aitken Alloa Athletic: 0 Lineup: MacDonald; Taggart, Graham, Deas, Dick, Robertson, Cawley, Flannigan, Hetherington, Trouten, O'Hara. Subs (not used): Henry; Gilhooley, Malcolm, Gillespie, O'Donnell, Buchanan, Thomson, Scorers: none Booked: Hetherington (70), Flannigan (80) Sent Off: Dick (58) Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart (McHattie 76), Tremarco, Doran, Carson, Trafford, Storey (Curry 72), Keatings (MacGregor 73), White Subs (not used): C Mackay, Harper, Machado, Todorov. Scorers: Taggart (og 38), Doran (45) Booked: Keatings (72), Sent Off: a
  17. Getting better! Inverness edged above Dundee in the table after a hard fought 1-0 victory in the Highlands. An Aaron Doran goal in the 16th minute was enough to take all three points in a game that Dundee enjoyed the possession but it was their hosts that created the better chances although we had Carl Tremarco to thank for a wonderful headed clearance to prevent the ball from ending up in the net before the interval. We weathered a Dundee fightback and should have added a second when Doran was clean through but dallied on the ball which allowed Hazard to snatch the ball from his feet when he really should have been bulging the net. However, his early counter was sufficient to move us into third place in the Championship. With the virus on the wane, we managed to get one or two back on the park but were still without James Vincent, Mitch Curry, Roddy MacGregor, Tom Walsh and Sean Welsh with Shaun Rooney and James Keatings making the bench. Dundee had Josh Meekings on from the start but there was no room for Danny Johnson who started on the Dark Blues bench. The hosts brought out the first save of the game when Conor Hazard comfortably denied Aaron Doran in the third minute from a free kick. Declan McDaid was looking dangerous for the visitors but the final ball was proving to be elusive despite Dundee enjoying the lions share of possession. David Carson had a shot blocked but in the sixteenth minute he would be the provider for Doran to score from a very tight angle as he met Carson's cross outside the back post. The wee man tucked the ball away brilliantly into the roof of the net to open the scoring. Carson's next attempt will probably enter the Guinness Book of Records for the wildest sliced shot in the history of the game; ever. We were living somewhat dangerously at times but the lads were putting in some effort as we kept Dundee at arms length with Mark Ridgers having little to do other than gather a few crosses comfortably. For all their possession, we were untroubled at the back until captain Carl Tremarco appeared from nowhere on the line to make a diving headed clearance from one of his own defenders (McCart) with Ridgers caught in no mans land a couple of minutes before the break. Where did he come from??? Half Time 1-0 No changes at the interval and the pattern continued, Dundee with the ball, Inverness with the determination to keep them out. Around the hour and Inverness passed on a glorious chance to seal the points. Doran was sent clean through on goal from the halfway line, but as he decided what to do, Hazard stole the ball off him before he made his mind up when it looked simple enough to shoot into the net. Great opportunity gone for a two goal cushion. The flow of the game was changing now as we became more visible around the visitors box and it was Dundee who were now looking to hit on the break as we flashed a number of balls across their box, but no takers for them. Fortunately our defensive unit was in solid formation and everyone was doing their job which restricted Dundee to fleeting glimpses of our penalty box with some great last ditch tackling preventing Dundee on the few occasions they tried to progress. It had been an edgy afternoon for the fans in the North stand, but we played out the final ten minutes at the right end of the park and Doran should have made the keeper work but his curled effort from the edge of the box dipped over the bar. Keatings did similar with a free kick as we ended the game on top and claimed all three points. This was a much improved performance from the one that saw the side slated for a lack of everything against Clyde in the Challenge cup a week ago. Tremendous effort all over the park although it took Miles Story about 85 minutes to burst into life. David Carson won the sponsors MotM, but today there were a few candidates all over the park. Great to see the defence keep a clean sheet and my MotM is going to Coll Donaldson who along with Carl Tremarco put their bodies on the line time and time again. What a captains clearance from Tommy to keep us ahead at the interval and Donaldson and McCart were back to their best and singing from the same hymn sheets today. Aaron Doran put in some shift, especially in the second half when he back tracked numerous times, much better from the wee man who scored his fourth goal of the season. Good all round effort from everyone, but it will be in vain if we can't keep up the same energy levels when playing the Alloa's and Arbroath's of this league. We have played better, but let's not forget that Dundee were expected to be at the top end of the league, so to take all three points from a tough encounter is pleasing. ? Doran's goal with Carson's assist Match reaction from BBC Sport Inverness CT manger John Robertson: "Our game plan was excellent and we had a real threat on the break. Our tactics were spot on today and we were competitive over the park for 70 minutes. "If we'd been a wee bit more clinical we could have won by a couple in the end. "It's a pleasing win. We felt we could keep getting at them. In the end I think we deserved the win and did enough to merit all three points." Dundee manager James McPake: "There wasn't much between the teams but we just didn't perform to the levels we've shown we can get to. "I think we were very wasteful. We had a lot of possession but not in the right areas where we should be hurting teams." Date: 23/11/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2184 Referee: David Munro Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay (Rooney 71), Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco (Keatings 82), Doran, Carson, Trafford, McHattie, Storey, White (Todorov 64) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Harper, Machado, Hyde Scorers: Doran (16) Booked: Todorov (74), Donaldson(75), Doran (83),Trafford (90) Sent Off: none Dundee: 0 Lineup: Hazard; McGhee (Kerr 70), Forster, Meekings, Mackie, Byrne (Todd 61), Dorrans, Ness, McGowan (Johnson 61), Hemmings, McDaid. Subs (not used): Ferrie; McPake, Robertson, Moore. Scorers: none Booked: Hemmings (75), Dorrans (90+1). Sent Off: none a
  18. Clyde pay the penalty Clyde were the visitors for the quarter final tie in the Chocolate Biscuit Cup and it was literally survival of the fittest for both sides who had depleted squads. A sickness bug at the Caledonian Stadium has been doing the rounds on and off the park and Clyde were somewhat diminished with an injury ravaged squad. Strangely, Inverness fielded what on paper was almost a regular first team squad. Not necessarily a good thing to be honest. Clyde were without top scorer David Goodwillie amongst others. Let's be frank, this was a rank rotten performance with Inverness looking like a second division Welfare team. That's maybe doing Welfare league sides a disservice such was our inability to play football. We struggled badly to create anything worthy of note and Clyde looked more likely to score from open play than us. We had MotM Mark Ridgers to thank for a couple of great saves, one in particular warming the palms of the home fans when McStay let fly from 25 yards. We couldn't muster any decent chances in 93 minutes of football. Thankfully, our penalty kicks were brilliant, absolutely clinical and with Ridgers making two superb saves we go into the semi-finals with Raith Rovers, Patrick Thistle and the Rangers u21 team. Our penalty takers were Todorov, Tremarco, Donaldson and Keatings. Grant and McMullin were the Clyde scorers. Nothing to see here, move along............ Bazza after the game.......... Danny Lennon: "Regardless of going out, which is disappointing, we took a lot from the game today. To come and play a team going well in the Championship and compete - and how we did in the second half was absolutely fantastic. We had probably the best two or three chances." "We can take confidence from how well we acquitted ourselves. What's pleasing is how we started the game - that's something that's been indifferent for us in recent weeks. We're stretched at the moment but the players that came in did very well." "Our fans (126) were there to be seen and heard today and I thank all of them for making the journey. Although we're disappointed not to be in the semi-final, we can take a lot of positives from the game and I'm sure the fans - like us - want to see that on a regular basis." Date: 16/11/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1066 Referee: Gavin Ross Inverness CT: 0 (4 pens) Lineup: Ridgers; B McKay, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Doran, Trafford (Carson 81), Vincent, Curry (Keatings 63), Storey, White (Todorov 70) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Harper, Machado, Scorers: Penalty shoot-out: Todorov, Tremarco, Donaldson, Keatings. Booked: Carson (83) Sent Off: none Clyde FC: 0 (2 pens) Lineup: Mitchell, Duffie, McNiff, Howie, Rumsby, Grant, Wallace, McStay, Smith (Lamont 72), Cuddihy, Lyon (McMullin 83). Subs (not used): McGee, Allison, McNiven, . Scorers: Penalty shoot-out: Grant, McMullin. Booked: Duffie (33), Wallace (73). Sent Off: none a
  19. Smoked Arbroath pulled level on points with Inverness as our season disintegrated at Gayfield. A humiliating 3-0 defeat to a well organised part-time outfit will surely have repercussions. Scott Stewart scored in the first half and a second half penalty was converted by Bobby Linn the bin man. The thrashing ended with substitute Omar Kader adding a third with 4 minutes remaining. We remain fourth, by the thickness of our scales..... Inverness were looking to get back on track after a poor performance against Dundee United last week and faced a testing trip to a bright but chilly Gayfield to take on a confident Arbroath who had won three of their last four Championship games. In contrast, the Caley Jags had only one win in their last four, an away win at Palmerston. A couple of injuries and a sickness bug limited Robbo's choices in his 200th game in charge. Shaun Rooney came off injured against United and missed out altogether. Nikolay Todorov started with Jordan White on the bench. Unsurprisingly, Arbroath were unchanged following their recent good run which meant Steven Doris was on the bench. A minutes silence was impeccably observed prior to kick off to remember the fallen, and all those who returned but had made huge sacrifices so the rest would have a better life. Here's a leaked image of the Inverness squad preparing to travel back up the A9 after the game.... Plenty of expectation for both sides as the game kicked off and just two minutes in David Gold had the first effort of the afternoon but missed the target to the left with his header. Following a corner from James Keatings, a Carl Tremarco effort was blocked and the rebound fell to Coll Donaldson, unfortunately his attempt was blocked on the line. A few minutes later the same player headed over the bar after a set piece from Tom Walsh. Mark Ridgers denied Scott Stewart with his feet in the twentieth minute, the ball going out for a corner for the Smokies which came to nothing and at the other end Walsh fired over from distance. The hosts opened the scoring near the half hour when Scott Stewart fired low past Ridgers from the right side of the box. Inverness paying the price for not heeding the earlier warning from the same player. Five minutes later Miles Storey blew a great opportunity for parity, but he shot straight at the keeper when through on goal. Keatings went close with a shot before Gaston saved again, this time from Nikolay Todorov as he headed straight into the keeper from eight yards. Good response by Inverness after falling behind. Inverness picked up a couple of bookings in quick succession as the game got messy just before the break as Donaldson and Todorov were Half Time 1-0 No changes at the interval and Charlie Trafford headed wide as we looked to claw our way back into the game and Walsh had a shot saved. Not an easy task with Dick Campbell's side well organised. However, our task got even more difficult when Brad Mckay pushed Colin Hamilton to concede a penalty and Bobby Linn converted from the spot ten minutes after the break. A bit of a lull in proceedings before a spate of substitutions ensued as our season was heading for the bin and it was Arbroath substitute Steven Doris who came close as he fired a ball across the posts. Omar Kader rubbed salt into the wounds of the Haddies when he slotted in near the end to round off a miserable day for the Caley Jags. This has to be one of the worst results for Inverness Caledonian Thistle since we beat Arbroath 5-2 way back at the start ☹️ More match reaction to follow.......... RIG on Twitter............That was an absolutely disgraceful "performance" from ICT today. Arbroath deservedly won and could have had more. Hard to think of a single positive about today #ICTFC ? A less than ebullient Robbo Have some; tidy stuff..... Date: 09/11/2019 Venue: Gayfield, Arbroath Attendance: 1173 Referee: John Beaton Arbroath: 3 Lineup: Gaston; Stirling, Little, O’Brien, Hamilton, Gold, Whatley, Virtanen, Stewart (McKenna 81), Linn (Doris 68), Donnelly (Kader 68). Subs (not used): Jamieson; Spence, McKenna, Kader, Doris, Murphy, Campbell. Scorers: Stewart (28), Linn (pen 54), Kader (86). Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Zilch, nil, zero, nothing, absolutely feck all. Am I cheesed off - YES... Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Walsh (Doran 79), Carson, Trafford, Storey, Keatings (White 67), Todorov (Curry 68). Subs (not used): C Mackay, Harper, Hyde, Vincent, White, Curry, Doran. Scorers: none Booked: Donaldson (38), Todorov (39), Tremarco (57) Sent Off: none a
  20. SCUNNERED..... Dundee United cruised to victory in the Highlands as disparity on the park mirrored that off the park. United were worthy winners as Inverness struggled to find any momentum and it was left to desperation and Mark Ridgers to keep the score down. Shaun Rooney deflected a forced Paul McMullan cross/shot into the net. A reaction save from Siegrist blocked a James Keatings effort before the break but that was as good as it got for the hosts. Nicky Clark stroked in the second as we unravelled and a cheap penalty saw Lawrence Shankland complete the scoring, but not the agony as we failed to trouble the United keeper with a series of fluffed attempts whilst United looked more likely to increase their lead. A poor day at the office that had the home fans shaking heads long before the end as we lose ground on the three teams above us. Almost 800 Arabs made the trek across the Drumochter Pass to land in the heavenly oasis drenched mirages in the highland capital. Just under 3000 drookit fans in the stadium in time for kick off as League Leaders Dundee United looked to strengthen their grip on the top of the table, and they did that in surprisingly easy fashion as their hosts simply watched in awe. We were all happy to see Paul McMullan get his 100th game for the Arabs, how sweet as we applauded his every move. United were the busier side in the early exchanges and Inverness were forced onto the back foot as McMullan, Clark and Harkes all showed their intent with efforts at goal and blocked shots. Aaron Doran had an effort charged down and just when we looked to be getting to grips with the pace of the game, disaster. We were unconvincing in trying to clear a ball forward and when it found it's way to the right, McMullan was allowed to cut in from the right and hit the ball hard into the ruck, the ball coming off Shaun Rooney just about on the line and ricocheting into the net. Nicky Clark fired a free kick over from a decent position as United continued on the front foot and Calum Butcher was left unchallenged to head wide ten minutes before the break. Our best chance fell to James Keatings as we got the break of the ball for once and he found himself directly in front of Siegrist about 10 yards out. The keeper spread himself and reacted brilliantly to save the point blank effort. And that was our only big chance of the half. Half Time 0-1. United flew out of the blocks at the start of the second half but it was Jordan White that had the first opportunity as he headed tamely at Siegrist before Mark Ridgers had to make a full length diving save from an Ian Harkes strike from distance at the other end. Louis Appere fed Calum Butcher in on goal, and but for another quality save from Ridgers, United would have doubled their advantage. A free kick from Keatings was curled over the bar as we responded to the activity around our box before a double substitution saw Storey and Walsh replace the ineffective mild Curry and twirling Doran around the hour. Shaun Rooney picked up a yellow, moments after getting away with a bit of 'road rage' after not being awarded a free kick and then hunting down his man in a fifty yard dash. He would leave the pitch injured shortly after to be replaced by James Vincent and that further reduced our attacking options as Toddy would remain on the bench. In the 71st minute James Keatings should have made the keeper work after Tom Walsh sent an inviting cross to the back post. However from just outside the sticks some three yards from goal Keatings fluffed his lines and headed down, wide and out. One minute later Nicky Clark was on the end of an incisive move to fire the ball past Ridgers from inside the box and effectively end the contest. Cut open like a tin of corned beef and finished sweetly. However, that didn't stop Miles Storey making a rash challenge in the box allowing Lawrence Shankland to score his 18th goal of the season. He doesn't need any help, but there you go. Calamitous defending. That took the stuffing right out of the turkey's in blue and we were fortunate not to concede any more with Ridgers saving from Cammy Smith and Appere shooting wide when it looked easier to hit the target. Inverness were best served by MotM Charlie Trafford with the only other candidates in blue being the busy David Carson and Mark Ridgers who made three or four crucial stops. The rest were quite frankly an embarrassment. We've had more riches and quality in our first season in the ranks than there was on display yesterday. The real quality came from those in Tangerine with Ian Harkes standing out for me and wee McMullan providing the ammunition for his strikers, unlike our wide players who would have been as well staying at home and keeping dry. General consensus online is that the gaffer could have made different choices with Curry looking particularly weak and Storey being a waste of a jersey, certainly in the wide position he has been played. The big talking point though is why goal scorer Nikolay Todorov is benched in preference to Jordan White as the target man and why do we keep adopting the long ball approach when we don't retain it after the punt. Over to you John! From BBC Sport Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "For the majority of the game there was very little in it. I thought their passing and movement looked a little bit sharper. They deserved to win the game in the end. "Big moments change games and it should have been 1-1 and then in the blink of an eye we were 2-0 down. The penalty allowed United to completely dictate how the game finished by just sitting in." Dundee United head coach Robbie Neilson: "I was pleased. We got the first goal and then in the second-half we were a bit more dominant. We got the second goal and that killed it. "It's a very, very tough place to come. I think a lot of teams will drop three points up here. It's a good three points and we move on to the derby now." No easy to respond when you've been stuffed.... And here is something for the club to chew over. That's more than the fans are getting......... Who ate all the pies? At every single Caley game I see the same routine, Not on the pitch nor the half-time draw, but it's such a woeful scene, The masses queuing for their pies are often left bereft, As the painful cries from the pie stand guys state "sorry, no pies left!" A simple head count every week would seem the best solution, To draw this daft scenario to a quite simple conclusion, The total sum of customers who "missed out" so to speak, Equates to the extra amount of pies you order for next week! (c) Kenny Adie 2019. Date: 02/11/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2902 Referee: Grant Irvine Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney (Vincent 70), Donaldson, McCart Tremarco, Doran (Walsh 61), Carson, Trafford, Curry (Storey 61), Keatings, White. Subs (not used): C Mackay; B Mckay, K McHattie, Todorov. Scorers: none Booked: Tremarco (34), Rooney (62) Sent Off: none Dundee United: 3 Lineup: Siegrist; Smith, Watson, Reynolds, Robson, McMullan (Stanton 69), Butcher, Harkes, Appere, Clark (Connolly 86), Shankland (Sith 79) Subs (not used): Mehmet; Spoŕle, King, Cooney Scorers: Rooney(20 og), Clark(72), Shankland (76 pen) Booked: Harkes (90+2) Sent Off: none a
  21. Hot Toddy warms the 39. Inverness made four changes from the defeat at Greenock as Aaron Doran, Nikolay Todorov, Charlie Trafford and Roddy MacGregor came into the side. Miles Storey, Jordan White, and James Vincent made way with James Keatings sitting this one out on the artificial surface. Queens made one change with Abdul Osman getting his first start, replacing Lewis Kidd in the starting XI. With just over 1200 fans in the stadium and thirty-nine in the away end, it was the hosts that started strongly and Mark Ridgers was forced to deny Stephen Dobbie from a tight angle in the first couple of minutes. David Carson replied for Inverness in the fourth minute but McCrorie saved well in the bottom left corner, and Dobbie once more was dangerous as he shot over after a set piece. It's a frantic start from both sides and Roddy MacGregor shot narrowly over the top right corner. Russell Osman couldn't keep the ball down following a corner as the opportunities continued for both sides. It'll be a miracle if this game remains goalless as Jack Hamilton shoots over. Visiting captain Carl Tremarco took a knock after twenty minutes but continued after treatment. Approaching the half hour and a Nikolay Todorov header was comfortably gathered by McCrorie in the home goal. Hot Toddy.......... Inverness drew first blood when Aaron Doran scored low to the left with a curled effort from the edge of the box after some neat interplay involving Donaldson, MacGregor, Curry and MacGregor again with the penultimate touch before Doran swept the ball beyond the keepers right hand. Just before the break a good run from David Carson brought Inverness a corner but Queens kept the deficit to one goal as the half time whistle sounded. Half Time 0-1 Connor Murray replaced Michael Paton at the start of the second half and within a couple of minutes Dobbie had dragged a shot wide at the back post after good work by El Bakhtaoui. The hosts were looking to to get back on level terms and Kevin Holt had two efforts within a minute that both missed the target. As the pressure mounted on the Inverness defence, Dobbie fired one across the face of the goals that went inches wide. Mark Ridgers denied Jack Hamilton with a superb fingertip save to keep Inverness ahead. The Caley Jags broke the current trend and McCrorie saved from Curry after Roddy MacGregor fed him. Shaun Rooney was the first into the refs book around the hour and Miles Storey entered the fray at the expense of Mitch Curry. McCrorie saved an effort from Carson as Inverness responded to the Queens pressure at the start of the second period and at the other end Dobbie headed over. Scorer Aaron Doran was replaced by Tom Walsh with just over twenty minutes left but it was the hosts that continued to press for the equaliser as Dobbie tried his luck from range, volleying wide. With five minutes left Dobbie sliced one wide and El Bakhtaoui saw an effort saved by Ridgers in the last minute of normal time. Tom Walsh almost added a second for Inverness but McCrorie was equal to it although he had no chance moments later when Nikolay Todorov crashed home a James Vincent feed to end the game and ensure Inverness had an enjoyable journey back up the A9. What a great result after the indifferent form shown against Morton on Saturday. That sets it up nicely for the game on Saturday against Dundee United. Other results tonight Alloa Athletic 0-3 Dundee Dundee Utd 1-0 Partick Thistle Dunfermline 2-0 Arbroath Morton 2-3 Ayr united Match reaction and video........ Caley Stan summed up and threw down the gauntlet to the North Stand............ And we made more noise than the Bridge End on a good day!!! Another good battling performance. We didn't ever have control of the game apart from a couple of spells either side of the opening goal but we were a threat on the break throughout. Trafford played well and Carson was excellent alongside him. Flashes of brilliance from McGregor, but he struggled with the physicality of the game at times. Really well taken goals, Toddy lashed his home with the last kick if the ball. The goals...... Managers reaction from BBC Sport Queen of the South manager Allan Johnston: "We started well first half then Inverness get a goal which is a bit sloppy from our point of view. I thought second half we were on the front foot for the majority of it and probably should have got an equaliser. But the first goal in this league is vital." Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "We had to be lively because Queen's were bubbling after their win here against United. I thought second half Queen's pushed on to us but we defended really well and we looked a threat on the break. We took the chances at one end and didn't make any mistakes at the other." Here he is, Robbo in person..... Date: 29/10/2019 Venue: Palmerston, Dumfries Attendance: 1221 Referee: Steven Kirkland Queen of the South: 0 Lineup: McCrorie; Mercer, Brownlie, Kilday, Holt, Pybus, Paton (Murray 45), Osman, El Bakhtaoui, Dobbie, Hamilton (Oliver 74). Subs (not used): Burns; Murray, McCarthy, Lyon, Semple, Gourlay. Scorers: none Booked: Mercer (67) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Doran (Walsh 68), Carson, Trafford, MacGregor (Vincent 78), Curry (Storey 60), Todorov. Subs (not used): C Mackay; B Mckay, McHattie, Walsh, White. Scorers: Doran (30), Todorov (90+3) Booked: Rooney (60), Tremarco (82) Sent Off: none a
  22. Another chance missed. Inverness slumped to an extremely disappointing defeat at Cappielow as Bob McHugh scored a double to keep Morton's decent home form going and prevented Inverness from making any headway after Ayr United lost to Dundee last night. Mitch Curry levelled the game midway through the first half but a Coll Donaldson error allowed McHugh to steal an unlikely three points for Morton. Despite dominating possession, we were unable to create enough clear openings and went back up the A9 empty handed. Caley Stan was surprisingly philosophical about the event........... I thought we were ok yesterday but we suffered from the fact that Morton, having scored the early goal, were never tempted to open up at any point. We'll never know if the opening goal was offside unless someone else was filming it but the defence has attempted to play him off and he's taken the goal really well. That happens. Terrible mistake from Donaldson for the second - the kind of mistake that he's always got in him - I wonder if Robbo is tempted to bring Brad in on Tuesday as a wake-up call (WAKE UP COLL!). We've got lots of options in the forward areas now, and Robbo started with a surprising combination. Deprived of space, they took a lot of shots from distance and tight angles, struggling to create clear-cut chances. When the subs were made, the shape didn't change but we were on top in the game and the four of them were already playing very high so I'm not sure what else Robbo could do. I felt throughout the second-half that we were more likely to score. We've blown a great chance to cement ourselves in the top 4, but this league is very tight and we could still find ourselves top of it on Saturday night. Date: 26/10/2019 Venue: Cappielow Attendance: 1408 Referee: Euan Anderson Morton: 2 Lineup: Ramsbottom; Welsh (Millar 65), Baird, Grant, Strapp, Jacobs McAlister, Salkeld (Muirhead 79), Lyon, Colville (King 86), McHugh Subs (not used): Rogers, McLean, Nesbitt, Sutton Scorers: McHugh (6, 81) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Storey (MacGregor 84) Carson, Vincent, Curry (Walsh 71), Keatings, White (Todorov 70) Subs (not used): C Mackay, B Mckay, McHatte, Trafford. Scorers: Curry (27) Booked: Todorov (86), Carson (90+4) Sent Off: none a
  23. Top for four minutes Inverness blew the chance to go top of the table after Alloa scored in the 89th minute to earn a point with a disciplined defensive performance at the Caledonian Stadium. Take nothing away from Alloa, but we were void of ideas as we struggled to break down the Wasps defence in a frustrating second half. Liam Buchanan opened the scoring as early as the fifth minute and that opened the door for Alloa to flood their defence and employ standard hit on the break tactics that worked well for them as we toiled in a poor first forty-five. The second period saw more frustration for the hosts until we scored from an unlikely source with a stunning goal. A Tremarco corner came back to him at a tight angle. Undaunted, he fired the ball high into the net with his left foot for a spectacular goal with an hour played. We huffed and puffed before Jordan White looked to have won the game with a powered finish in the 85th minute. However, there was a sting in the tail of the wasps after Jamie McCart took the wrong option, eventually putting the ball out for a throw when a pass to Mark Ridgers would have been sufficient. From the resultant long throw Alan Trouten found himself in space to knock the ball home to silence the frustrated home support. James Keatings hit the bar with a superb free kick as the clock ticked down but it was too little too late and we were knocked off our four minute perch. Given that every other result went our way, it was a hugely disappointing outcome. Meh! John Robertson was without Tom Walsh, Sean Welsh and Nikolay Todorov. Charlie Trafford started in midfield after a good showing in the Challenge Cup game last week and Roddy MacGregor retained his place in the starting line-up. James Keatings was on the bench with other returnees Mitch Curry and Brad Mckay. Peter Grant's Alloa side saw Robbie Deas return and Steven Hetherington and Blair Malcolm were fit enough to start, however Iain Flannigan was suspended. Just over 2,000 were inside the ground and a fitting minutes applause was offered in memory of former Caley Chairman Hugh Crout who passed away recently. Within five minutes of the start, Alloa took the lead with Liam Buchanan finishing off a tidy move on the left side of our area. Neat interplay sliced us open and Buchanan added an excellent finish. We almost responded immediately but Roddy MacGregor's header was well saved by a diving Jamie MacDonald on his line. Unfortunately, that early goal gave Alloa the opportunity to sit back and soak up what we had to offer, and quite frankly that was very limited and very little. All too often we ran out of ideas and any high balls forward were mopped up by the waiting visitors defence. Carl Tremarco let fly from distance but his low shot fizzed just wide. He would do better later in the game. A couple of headers well over the bar from Jordan White was all we could muster. He would also do better later on. Apart from the goal, there was little to enthuse over in a turgid first half for Inverness with Alloa content to sit on their lead, and why not, they deserved it at the break. Half Time 0-1 If anything, the second half saw the visitors even deeper in their own half as their hosts flattered to deceive. Plenty of possession but too many sideways or backward passes saw the crowd looking for a more direct approach. Alloa on the other hand broke quickly on the few opportunities they got. White almost got a shot away inside the box as he broke through the middle of the defence but was stopped by a solid challenge and John Robertson, yes, the manager, got the first yellow card of the afternoon for showing his displeasure at some poor refereeing decisions. Just when we were beginning to think it was not going to be our day, a goal out of the blue from Captain Carl. And what a strike it was. His corner was cleared out as far as himself on the right side of the box. Tremarco never hesitated and fired a tremendous shot high into the net from 20 yards. Spectacular stuff. The introduction of Mitch Curry and David Carson seemed to liven up our efforts and it looked as though White might have given us all three points when his diving header from a Tremarco cross flew into the net. At that moment, we were top of the league with results elsewhere going in our favour. However, another lapse from the normally reliable Jamie McCart saw him fail to clear up a ball forward when a comfortable pass back to his keeper would have cleared any danger. Instead, he almost gave away a corner but ended up knocking the ball out for a throw in. From the long throw in, the ball landed at Alan Trouten's feet and he promptly tucked it behind Mark Ridgers for a sickener. We almost snatched it in injury time when a curling free kick from James Keatings crashed back off the bar with MacDonald stranded, but the rebound was cleared and a great opportunity passed to head the table. Only ourselves to blame for this after struggling to make headway against a team we beat 3-0 the week before. In saying that, the signs were there in that game that Alloa could cut us open at times and so it came to pass. Difficult to pick any Inverness players for MotM, but Carl Tremarco gets my nod for his superb strike and assist. Jordan White similarly, and he was fed on scraps throughout the game. Substitute David Carson did his prospects no harm and took the game by the scruff of the neck by driving us forward with a bit more tenacity and urgency. Those who will not be getting any awards are those not mentioned, especially McCart who needs to look for better options than scrambling the ball out after miscontrol and brain farts. Col Donaldson was in his early season mode, miffed at not getting a transfer probably and looked disinterested and Shaun Rooney never really got going. Roddy MacGregor wanted to be busy, but the game passed him by and Aaron Doran did his usual wee circles of nothing. Miles Storey, now there's an enigma and James Vincent was more sideways than a crab. No blame attached to Ridgers, although he did make a meal of a shot that bounced just in front of him, the ball squirming away for a corner with Mark staring at the offending blade of grass. If looks could kill! Maybe it's time for a wee shake up Robbo. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ From BBC Sport Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson: "We've let United and Ayr off the hook and that's what disappoints me. To go 2-1 up, if you've got title ambitions you've got to see that out." Alloa manager Peter Grant: "The boys deserved great credit for the way they kept fighting. I'm disappointed to be going down the road with only the one point." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ RIG summed it up like this:- Donaldson and McCart were really poor today. Despite not being put under much pressure their balls out of defence were absolutely rotten, Donaldson especially, and often set up chances for Alloa to break on us. Storey was poor again and had one decent cross from the flanks. He isn't a winger and struggled there at Partick so why we are persisting with him there is bizarre. MacGregor struggled to create much of note in the middle as Alloa packed the midfield and sat deep. There was zero creativity in the ICT side today to break them down and it would have been very harsh, though thoroughly pleasing, had we won that game. With Queens getting a superb result today and Morton possessing an excellent home record the next couple of games are going to be a lot more difficult than they might appear on paper. Did he mean it??? Raging Robbo.... Date: 19/10/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2036 Referee: Mike Roncone Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Doran (Curry 59), Trafford (Carson 70), Vincent, MacGregor (Keatings 75), Storey, White Subs (not used): C Mackay; B Mckay, McHattie, Machado. Scorers: Tremarco (61), White (85). Booked: Rooney (68), Carson (77) John Robertson (manager 53) Sent Off: none Alloa Athletic: 2 Lineup: MacDonald; Taggart, Graham, Deas, Robertson, Cawley, Hetherington, Trouten, Brown, Buchanan (Thomson 81), O'Hara. Subs (not used): Henry; Malcolm, O'Donnell Scorers: Buchanan (5), Trouten (89) Booked: Trouten (77) Sent Off: none a
  24. Chocolate cup delight Inverness made a number of changes for this Challenge Cup fourth round tie against Alloa Athletic but still came out on top after a somewhat listless game where errors were more commonplace than slick incisive football. Less than 1000 fans were in attendance as Mitch Curry scored his first goal for the club just before the interval. Debutant Nathan Gilhooly gave away the ball thirty yards out and Curry ran into the box before cutting the ball back across the keeper and into the net. We got a deserved second when Charlie Trafford crashed a shot goalwards. It took a big deflection to fly high into the net with keeper Jamie MacDonald stranded. Alloa hit the woodwork twice through Trouten and Graham before we wrapped the game up. In the last minute Matheus Machado was on hand at the back post to knock a Miles Storey cross into the net for his first senior goal. Brazilliant! Five or six non regulars were given the nod in this one, notably, keeper Cammy Mackay, Cammy Harper, Kevin McHattie and Mitch Curry who returned after injury, his first game in eleven weeks. The Wasps were along more familiar lines and made two or three changes from the side that beat Dundee United last Friday. Nathan Gilhooly was making his first start for the club with Robbie Deas missing. Steven Hetherington also missed out and Liam Buchanan started. It was a low key game and the performance echoed that in terms of urgency. Inverness were dominant in the first half but wasteful in the final third with some preferring to flatter to deceive rather than go for the jugular. Mitchell Curry had a couple of efforts as did Roddy MacGregor but either failed to make the keeper work or made it easy for him to gather the ball comfortably. Shooting practice might be on the agenda this week as Aaron Doran fired harmless efforts well over the bar. Curry opened the scoring just before the break after he cut out a loose ball from Gilhooly. He carried on across and into the box before cutting the ball back across the keeper and into the bottom corner. He wasted an equally good chance within a minute after bursting into the left side of the box but shot weakly with his left peg at the near post where MacDonald gathered the ball with ease. He would have been better opening his body looking for the far post or squaring to the incoming teammates. Half Time 0-1 The second period saw our dominance continue and Jamie MacDonald did well to stop a MacGregor shot on the line after a deflection took a bit of the pace off the ball. Aaron Doran looked as though he had scored with half the North Stand already on their feet. However his dipping volley sliced narrowly wide of the keepers left hand post. Close, but no cigar! Our dominance eventually paid off but it took a deflected shot from Charlie Trafford to get the two goal cushion. He bludgeoned the ball from outside the box and it deflected high into the net with MacDonald stranded. We seemed to stir a hornets nest after the second goal and the wasps almost stung us, three times, with Alan Trouten firstly taking forever to pick his spot. That spot was the post and it rebounded back towards the keeper. Adam Brown tried from distance and Cammy Mackay stopped the shot, but as it bounced away from him Robbie Thomson looked favourite to get to the ball first but Cammy dived full length forward to deny the Waspy. Andy Graham also saw a late header come down off the bar as we lost our focus a little. We rallied again and the often wasteful Storey managed to get a cross into the box. Jordan White challenged for it and it was met at the back post by young Matheus Machado who tidily and gleefully knocked it into the net. That's his first senior goal for the club, many more to come methinks. Good end to the contest by the Caley Jags who seemed to be in control but almost undid the good work prior to Alloa's wee revival bid. Overall we were comfortable winners, but had we taken a more urgent approach could have scored half a dozen goals. Unfortunately we were somewhat pedantic at times with Doran going round in circles and Storey often taking the wrong option when he should be using his best asset, his searing pace and power. Good cross for the third goal though. MacGregor is young and comes across as over eager to score. Very busy player though and will be a great asset once he gets off the mark. The goals...... Not easy to spot the MotM. A few contenders with Charlie Trafford in particular having a good day. David Carson was also industrious and at the back Coll Donaldson looks more focussed than he was at the start of the season and Kevin McHattie will be knocking on the managers door very soon. No real failures, but some need to work to their strengths rather than be fancy Dans. Good to be back.......... The draw for the semi-finals will be made at 1:00pm on Wednesday 16th October. Also through along with Inverness are Stenhousemuir, Elgin City, Clyde, Partick Thistle, Raith Rovers, Wrexham and the winners of Solihull Moors v Rangers Colts(Tues 15th). Scott Kellacher talking after the game............ Date: 12/10/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 973 Referee: John McKendrick Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: C Mackay, Rooney, Donaldson, McHattie, Harper, Doran, Carson, Trafford (Vincent 78), Curry (White 75) , MacGregor (Machado 85), Storey. Subs (not used): Ridgers; Tremarco, McCart, Scorers: Curry (42), Trafford (64), Machado (88). Booked: none Sent Off: none Alloa Athletic: 0 Lineup: MacDonald; Taggart, Graham, Cawley, Robertson, Buchanan, Trouten, Flannigan, Brown (O’Donnell 86), Gilhooly, O’Hara (Thomson 65) Subs (not used): Henry; Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  25. Ayr Raid There was plenty at stake for both clubs and it was the visitors that opened the scoring in the first half when James Vincent knocked a short clearance into the net. In the second half, Shaun Rooney did a Forrest Gump before scoring a brilliant second just after the hour. With no further scoring Inverness moved to within two points of both Dundee United and Ayr United. Great end to a difficult week for the club. Run Forrest, run......... Apparently when Shaun scored Pikachu said:- There's magic that brought us together. And that magic... is Rooney! John Robertson went with the tried and tested at Somerset Park as Ayr went searching for their sixth win on the trot that would see them top the table on matchday 8 after leaders Dundee United stumbled at Alloa last night. Brad Mckay and Mitch Curry are back in training but not deemed fit enough to start this one, although they could see some action on Sunday in the Nos Cup final. Tom Walsh was still out injured and that saw Roddy MacGregor get his second start. Caretaker boss Sandy Stewart was without the experienced Mark Kerr with Jordan Houston replacing him. That was the only change for Ayr who were looking to top the table after last nights Championship game saw the Wasps sting the Arabs 1-0. A massive three points available and all to play for in this one. A crowd of nearly 2,000 were on hand to see this lively encounter with 148 & Pikachu supporting the Caley Jags. Amongst those was the Immortal Howden Ender and he will bring you his report shortly.................. Me you and Pikachu..... It was the day that the Highland Pokemon prevailed in deepest Ayrshire and I am sure that Pikachu was envious of the lightning strike by Shaun Rooney in the second half. It was my first “live” game of the season and the fare served up by the Caley Jags enthused and surprised me. That was as solid a team performance that I have witnessed for some time. We could have been ahead in the first minute when Miles Storey outpaced the Ayr defence but then dragged his shot slightly wide with the help of the keepers fingertips, corner for ICT. Then came ten minutes of Ayr dominance. I felt that Ridgers kept us in the game three times, especially saves from McCowan and Moffat. Then on the half hour the away support lamented the substitution of Sean Welsh who hobbled off with yet another injury. However, within seconds we were celebrating a contentious opening goal. Not many would have been surprised if the referee had stopped play to allow treatment for the poleaxed Jordan White, lying prostrate in front of the Ayr goal. But the referee played on and JAMES VINCENT appeared to deflect home a Rooney cross. Not exactly a carbon copy of his Hampden clincher but very important none the less. I thought that we controlled the game thereafter. We were wholly solid defensively and looked dangerous on the break. The midfield certainly worked their socks off. Ayr’s final touch or shooting was well off although Ridgers did save us twice more in the second half, especially one save where he appeared to turn himself in the air when the initial shot was deflected. Roddy MacGregor should have notched a second after the break but he hesitated and he who hesitates is lost. And then what must be a contender for goal of the season. In the 64th minute Donaldson punted upfield and SHAUN ROONEY remarkably kept the ball in play, swiveled, sped inside and as cool as a feckin cucumber slotted the ball home. Rooney could have claimed a second late on when Todorov failed to execute the through ball with Rooney sure to overlap again. Doran really should have made it three but slashed at the ball from the penalty spot. That completed another fine away day and the long journey home was worth it. Robbo’s after match comments summed it up and perhaps he really does think that Ayr are more of a danger than the Tannadice bunch - "We are only eight games in, but it is important that we are still there at the top of the table. We faced the best team in the Championship today and we asked the players to put on a performance, show their character and that's what they did in some style." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ From BBC Sport, here's what the gaffers thought Ayr United caretaker manager Sandy Stewart: "I can't fault the team's effort. While I don't think we were as good today as we have been in the last five or six weeks, we still had chances to take something from the game. "People will look at the Dundee United loss to Alloa and be disappointed we did not take advantage today, but it was always going to be a tight race at the top and that has not changed." Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson: "We are only eight games in, but it is important that we are still there at the top of the table. We faced the best team in the Championship today and we asked the players to put on a performance, show their character and that's what they did in some style." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ And so to the Smileymometer and my apologies to the short-sighted Caley Stan !! ? RIDGERS (*****) On many a day he would have been MOM but he was outshone on the day by a Ross Tokely lookalike. ROONEY (*****) + Looking forward to seeing a replay of that goal. But apart from that he was solid at the back and always looked a danger when going forward – which he did menacingly on a regular basis. DONALDSON (****) Looked more assured and far much more like his old composed self. Perhaps his fitness has hit the 100% mark ? McCART (***) Tends to play in the shadow of Coll but he also looked assured and that central defence partnership will be a very important building block for the remainder of the season. TREMARCO (***) Appeared to concentrate more on defensive duties which may well be his remit from now on. VINCENT (***) Playmaker in the first half and very effective. Quieter in the second but defensively solid. WELSH (**) Another bitter blow and leg injury allowed only 30 minutes of holding midfield at its best. MacGREGOR (***) Very lively, sharp and pacy. Some nice touches but too easily knocked off the ball. Did look like a wee boy on a pitch of men. But he can only improve and he does have the required potential. DORAN (**) Never does shine when the game is mostly about defending. Has lost some pace and that shows at this level. WHITE (**) Poor Jordan is simply not my cup of tea. His height and presence does attract central defenders but he does nothing in the air and his hold up play is lacking. His main contribution was the first goal assist !! STOREY (***) If only he had that bit of panache and composure to add to the lightning pace – he really would be wearing a magic hat. More effective out wide though. TRAFFORD (****) He more than successfully filled the boots of Welsh. He was winning everything in central midfield. CARSON (***) Evidently taken on to beef up the midfield. The complete opposite of McGregor. No nonsense needed in a game of this ilk. TODOROV (***) Still not the final product but I feel he is more mobile, is a better holder and has more pace than any other forward at the club. Probably a better foil for Storey as well It says that the attendance was 1912 but there looked a lot more than that – although the migration of Honest Men at the start and half time may have confused me. There were not many in the home end at full time though. My thanks to all, on and off the pitch, for making my first away day of the season a very enjoyable and wet one - and that surprisingly includes Kenny McLean Alternative Maryhill added: It was a really disciplined, hardworking performance from ICT. It looks like Robertson and Kellacher are more focused on coaching players on their individual roles than either Foran or Hughes were: Doran is tracking back and covering Tremarco far more then he used to, and Storey did the same really well on the opposite flank and provided real strength there, which is obviously necessary for us when Rooney goes off on his peregrinations. I thought Storey would be absolutely useless if not played through the middle, but he did an excellent job yesterday. Vincent worked his socks off in the middle and Trafford did fine when he came on, although it is going to be a big blow for us if Welsh does turn out to be long-term injured again. I thought Ayr played some lovely stuff going forward - some great interplay between Forrest, Kelly and Moffat, and McCowan looked dangerous too - but Donaldson in particular dealt with them really well. And Rooney is just an absolute force of nature at the moment, and looks like he's loving playing for us. He's probably always going to struggle defensively if he's up against a fast, tricky left winger, but those rampages forward have been getting more and more audacious and basically made the difference between the teams yesterday. It's an absolute nap that he's going to get caught out at some point soon, and some team is going to ruin us on a counter-attack down our right, but it's worth it. Biggest cult hero we've had since Tokely. Here's both goals............. Birthday boy post match............ Nice present for you John. Full match highlights from Caley Jags TV Date: 05/10/2019 Venue: Somerset Park, Ayr. Attendance: 1912 Referee: Steven McLean Ayr United: 0 Lineup: Doohan; Houston, Muirhead, Rosscoe, Harvie, Geggan (Doolan 76), Docherty, Kelly, Moffat, McCowan, Forrest, Subs (not used): Hare-Reid; Moore, Ecrepont, McKenzie, McGuffie. Scorers: none Booked: Geggan (75), Muirhead (79). Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Doran, Welsh (Trafford 30), Vincent, MacGregor (Carson 67), Storey, White (Todorov 70) Subs (not used): C Mackay; B Mckay, McHattie, Machado Scorers: Vincent (31),Rooney (64), Booked: Carson (79), Todorov (79), Trafford (90) Sent Off: none a